Chapter Forty Two
I had never seen the original capital city before, no one my age had. For twenty one years the city had been sealed off and a quarantine had been issued. Since the 20 Day Siege, London had been a place no one dared visit.
Rumours said that the sound wave which killed all those people still echoed throughout the air in the city. It was only through the technology Tobias had created that the sound wave continued to be held in place successfully. In all this time scientists had yet to find a way to block the signal completely or perhaps they had given up, aware that the capital city could never be the same.
This meant travelling to London was very dangerous. If anyone were exposed to the signal for a long time, it would start to eat away at their Tether and both they and their twin would die. If a new sound wave had been created that was similar, then it’s likely it would have the same effects.
“Now I know why you need me,” I said. “It’s so you can disable the sound wave. Anyone else would die if they went to London for a long time. As I don’t have a Tether I can’t be killed that way.”
“That’s correct,” replied Gabe. “However there’s something we haven’t told you about The Deck.”
I looked at him with anxious fear.
“We were all born without twins and without Tethers.”
“But, that’s impossible,” I replied.
“In theory, yes,” said Gabe. “We were all born on the same day during the 20 Day Siege and our twins died before we had chance to bond with them. Somehow we were able to survive without them.”
“That’s not right. I’ve met Grace’s twin,” I said.
“You mean Kenan?” asked Grace. “He’s right over there.”
A slim short man came over. It was someone I had seen countless times before. “Kenan?”
“It’s me Emmie. Grace and I never had twins so we pretended for each other,”
“When we were children it was because we were afraid of being different,” said Grace. “As we grew older we realised how different we were and that there was a risk we would be experimented on. So we kept the secret hidden and kept the lie going.”
“That’s why The Deck was started,” said Gabe. “To keep those of us without twins safe and to get revenge on the man who took our twins away.”
“That’s also why I joined,” said Grace. “I didn’t want to be a victim of something I couldn’t control.”
“So how many of you are there?” I asked.
“In the UK we’ve only ever found the twenty of us without a twin, although people don’t exactly advertise the fact that they’re freaks. Around the world? Who knows,” said Gabe.
“Am I like you? Is that how I survived?”
“Honestly? We have no idea. Everyone in The Deck was born without a twin but you had one you were connected to. There’s something about you that exists in no-one else Emmie.”
“How do you even know all this? You only met me a few months ago.”
“The data that March provided us with from TethTech gave us everything we needed to know. Tobias had been tracking the brainwaves of everyone during Tether events using DualCam’s given to all his employees.”
I prayed Will had not been involved in this.
“Your brain has a unique signature,” he continued. “Your brainwaves are twice as strong as any other human, including all of us. It is as if you have a Tether inside yourself, as well as the one you have to Will. When Grace told me you had survived Will’s death then I knew it had to be true. You can survive any signal, even this new one.”
“And you knew all of this, yet did nothing?” I looked at Gabe disgusted.
“We did everything! We have always tried to keep you safe.”
“And my brother?” I screamed.
“I’m sorry. He was never the priority. You were the one we needed.”
It was the last straw. I’d known The Deck had secrets but knowing they could have saved Will. Knowing they had been watching me. It was all too much. Gabe tried to stand in my way but I dashed past him. I don’t think anyone expected me to leave but I wasn’t going to stay here. I needed time to think.
“Don’t be stupid,” shouted Gabe. “How long do you think you can survive out there without us? Tobias will find you in a matter of hours.”
“Then I’d better make the most of them,” I ran towards the exit doors, darting past Grace’s chambers. All I could focus on was running.
I reached the double doors with my shoulder held out and tried to knock them open. They didn’t budge. I looked to my side and saw a control panel. It was locked and looked like the only way out of the building. There was no help from March this time. He wanted me to stay and had no intention of letting me go.
Gabe caught up to me and raised a gun at my head. “You can’t leave,” It was the second time he had threatened me with a weapon.
“Let me out of here. I won’t be anyone’s puppet,” I replied. “You won’t shoot, I’m too important.”
“Don’t be so sure,” he said as he continued to aim at me.
Will he really fire on me? I wondered. I was trapped. The door wouldn’t open and there was no escape. Whether it was Tobias or Gabe, they both wanted to manipulate me to their own end.
“Fine. Do it,” I taunted. He wouldn’t shoot. I couldn’t stop the signal if I was dead.
We stared at each other as other members of The Deck looked on. We were both too far gone now. He couldn’t back down and seem weak in front of his team and I didn’t want to submit.
“If that’s what you want,” said Gabe as he released the safety from his gun. “It’s a real shame. You had so much potential.”
He started to pull the trigger and before he could finish Grace dived from behind him knocking him to the floor. “What the hell are you doing to my friend!?” she shouted “I thought you were on my side!”
Grace tossed me her keycard. “Run Emmie. Run!”
I grabbed it and swiped it through the keycard panel, opening the door. No one else tried to stop me. As the door closed I could hear Gabe and Grace fighting. Their romance was clearly over.
I dashed out of the shopping centre and found my bike parked in the storage room in a women’s clothing store. Just where March had told me it would be. I started to wonder if this was another one of his small favours and if he was still loyal to me.
Whatever the case it was clear lines were being drawn within The Deck and that they were not the perfect team they had been made out as.
I checked my phone before mounting my bike to find over one hundred and sixty missed calls. They were mostly from Rex. He had called me every day since I had disappeared, some days more than once. It seemed that he hadn’t given up hope. Even when he hadn’t heard from me for three months.
I jumped on my bike to ride back to him and sent him a text message; “Hide and seek?”