Now that I have wheels, I really need to figure out where I’m going. This whole idea was stupid to begin with, but now I’ve got a chance. I’ve got speed.
Sure, they’ve got all the tools they could ever want to catch me. And they can track me. But they’ve been holding back.
I was almost taken out by some goons on horses, surely Alvin could manage to find a single fighter jet to take me out. Or even just one guy on a motorcycle.
Maybe I’m missing something.
I can’t really be this lucky, can I?
None of this feels right, but for now, I’m safe. And that feels incredible.
“Any clue of what they’re saying?” I ask my brother while we watch my parents kneeling in the center of a circle of armed SPs. There is a woman walking back and forth in front of them, wearing all white. She appears quite agitated, but that’s all I can get from the scene in front of us.
“Of course I don’t have a clue,” The Geek replies. “The real question is, who are these people?”
“Well, obviously they must be connected to my parents,” Eve adds. “Why else would your parents be here?”
“Could they have been following us?” I ask.
“That’s unlikely,” Grant answers. “But none of that is important now. What we need to figure out is how to get past all these people.”
“If they’re connected to my parents, couldn’t we just walk on down there and explain everything?” Eve asks.
“First, we don’t even know if your parents are here,” The Geek responds. “Secondly, even if they are connected to these people, that doesn’t mean they are good. For all we know, the Gardners could be hostages here. We need more information.”
“How do we get that?” I ask. “It’s not like we can just dress up like one of the SPs and pretend we’re supposed to be here.”
“That’s not a terrible idea,” Grant says thoughtfully. “I’ve worked with the SPs a lot over the last few years. I could easily infiltrate their ranks and get us some answers.”
“No, it’s too risky,” Eve debates.
“I’m glad you’re worried about me, Eve.” Grant smiles. “But with all I’ve done to you over the past couple of weeks, I probably deserve anything they’d do to me. Not that they’ll do anything to me because I won’t get caught.”
“No, I don’t—“ Eve begins, but stops as Grant struts off along the roof toward the ladder.
Eve stands to walk after him, but I pull her down beside me. “Don’t, Eve. It’s a really good idea. And he’s smart, right? I guess I don’t really know him well enough to say that, but he’s definitely good at not dying. He’s like a cockroach, that guy.”
“And what do we do while he’s doing that?” Eve asks. “Just stand here and watch?”
“We might not need to wait that long,” The Geek says with a frown.
He points down to the circle and I watch as Eve’s parents step out from under the archway in front of the castle. I can’t say I’m completely sure it’s them, since they’re so far away from us, but based on Eve’s gasp, I’m feeling pretty certain I’m right.
John and Mary make a beeline toward my parents. The Geek stands and I have to pull him back down.
“What do you think you’re doing?” I ask him.
“It’s the Gardners, right? Now we know they’re here and we know they’re not being held hostage. That means we should be safe to head down there, right?”
“What if they’re working for Mackenzie-Lena?” I disagree.
“Cyrus!” Eve rebukes. “They’re my parents. They would never—“
“Look, I get that it’s a hard thing to accept, but let’s face it. Everyone we’ve dealt with lately has been working against us. Now, I’ll admit your parents seem mighty nice, but just look around us. No one here seems to be all that happy to be here. Those people back by the river, they looked scared. What were they scared of? Who were they scared of? And why would they have all these SPs around? Whether or not the government has been shut down, how in the world would your parents, or anyone connected to the rebellion for that matter, have gotten an army of SPs in here so quickly. It’s only been a couple days.”
“What are you trying to say, Cyrus?” Eve asks. Her eyes flare with rage.
“I’m just saying we obviously don’t have a single clue of what’s going on here. Maybe you’re right and your parents really are the good guys. But what if they’re being used by the bad guys? What if they were told to bring us here just so we could get captured?”
“You really are a piece of work, Cyrus,” Eve states dismissively.
“Look at all we’ve been through these past two weeks. And now we’re sitting here, in the middle of an abandoned theme park, which looks like it’s under martial law. Look at the size of those guns everyone’s carrying.”
“The guns are there for protection, not oppression,” The Geek argues.
“Sure. But who are they trying to keep safe? Can you seriously tell me you aren’t at least a little concerned that they might be working against us? Everyone else is.”
“You’ve got to trust someone sometime, Cyrus.”
“Why?” I ask, feeling the temper flare up within me. “Why should I trust anyone? Every single person I know and love has broken my trust. Every single person in this world has used me and abused me. And I’m not going to sit down and take it anymore.”
“I haven’t used you, Cyrus,” Eve says firmly.
“Not yet,” I scowl, staring her down.
Just as I say it, I know I shouldn’t have. But from the look in her eyes, I can tell it’s already too late. She stares at me for a period which feels like forever. An eternity of wishing I could take back those two words. Before I can come up with a proper way to take it back, Eve is on her feet and headed toward the ladder.
I look at The Geek. “Come on, can you blame me? I mean, even you lied to me about all of this.”
“That’s a low blow,” The Geek frowns. Without a second glance, he follows Eve down the ladder.
Go to Chapter Nineteen