“You should stop,” he says in my ear as the music cuts out.
I keep running, focusing on the destination, ignoring the pain in my chest and in my legs. I can’t stop. Not now. Not anymore. They’re behind me. They’re coming. And there’s something Billy isn’t telling me. I can feel it.
“Seriously, you need to stop,” he repeats. “You’ve been running for four hours without a break. You’re going to kill yourself.”
Maybe I want to kill myself. Maybe that’s all I have left. I can’t stop. If I stop, I think. If I think, I remember him. If I remember him, I cry. If I cry, it’s all over.
No, I’m going to run, for as long as I can. Until my legs give out. Until I die. Because the only chance I have left is to get as far away from those people as possible until they can’t find me or this stupid device.
Or I could destroy it. Right? How hard would that be?
A big grin crosses my face. I have a plan.
I finally have a plan.
“Billy,” I say, gasping for breath, “how much longer can you keep them off my trail?”
“Finally,” he says loudly, sounding exasperated. “I’m glad you’ve finally realized what you’re doing to yourself.”
“Yeah, something like that. How long?”
“I don’t know, another hour at most. I’m honestly surprised they haven’t broken through my interference yet.”
“Great. Keep it up,” I say, feeling a new surge of energy pulse through me as I take a turn to the right. “I’m going to need as much time as you can give me.”
The three of us walk to the Maxine’s car. She steps out confidently.
“So, you are coming with me, yes?” she asks.
“Sure, yeah, we’re coming,” I answer. “Under one condition.”
“I’m not so certain I am needing to be making more bargainings. I have already offered you safe passage to your final destination.”
“Sure, but we want to make sure Grant gets there as well. He doesn’t deserve to stay out here like this. Even if he was working with Alvin, working against us, he did so because the system failed him. We owe him something better.”
“Wow, Cyrus,” Eve says with a sniffle. “That’s really thoughtful.”
“Yeah, who would have guessed you could pull that off,” The Geek jokes.
“Okay, this we can do. Anything else before I am taking you away to meet with Mr. Alvin?”
“Well,” I say hesitantly, “if there’s any chance you could manage to not screw us over, that would be awesome.”
“I assure you, I am playing on the ups and up,” she answers.
Go to Chapter Thirty