The Twelve - The Great Unraveling | Penana

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The Twelve
Writer ToriG.
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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The Twelve
A - A - A
The Great Unraveling
Jan 27, 2017
22 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!bkPt1UzvLhCuqtgCGhBIposted on PENANA

Val135Please respect copyright.PENANA9kYHKr9qF7
   "Wow, you look really beat up." Kenneth grabs my arm. "What happened last night?"135Please respect copyright.PENANAcIfiBSqo34
   "I got into a fight." I yawn and stand up as the bell rings for first period to be dismissed. "There was a huge fleet or something." I don't tell him about Tom or any of what else happened.135Please respect copyright.PENANAWwkZq4iXuT
   "Well it looks like you have a hangover or something." He squints, "you are hiding something. What's up?"135Please respect copyright.PENANA5Ee3mZvwpb
   "Have you checked out the blog yet?" I run my hands through my hair and find a piece of dried sludge and shudder as I throw it away.135Please respect copyright.PENANADBTSUuKlSO
   Kenneth frowns as he notices the dried sludge. "No… why?"135Please respect copyright.PENANApPkJOLN7Ii
   "No reason. I heard he posted something depressing." I can't stop yawning, in fact the whole school seems to be in sloth-mode. To be honest most of them are barely making it through their hangovers. That's what happens after the game hat none of the teachers want to admit. 135Please respect copyright.PENANA0NXfRjemPD
   Ash starts to say something funny but Melody grabs my hand first. Her face is frozen into a confused scared look. "Val, I need you." She extends her cane and begins pulling me through the crowds. Her voice is barely a whisper. "I found something and I don't know what it is but it smells terrible." She slows down as we reach the door of the girls' bathroom. "It smells like… blood."135Please respect copyright.PENANAxsfrlaV6vO
   I feel my face go pale. Oh no, what's happened? I almost expect a hidden camera guy to pop out and say "surprise! Smile for the camera, 'cause you just got served!". But no camera guy appears as we push open the lime green doors.135Please respect copyright.PENANAUVDfFs0szJ
   The smell hits me like a freight train, it smells like iron and earth and has this warm smell to it. I know it instantly as blood. I look at the broken mirrors and see my scared face. I shouldn't be scared, I am a Socius. A superhuman! My stomach wants to turn as melody picks up her cane and leads me to the second stall where a large red stain is beginning to bloom across the yellow tile floor and into a hair clogged drain.135Please respect copyright.PENANALAxIPo23LR
   "Val?" Melody says and grabs my hand tighter. I feel myself begin to give out a warm heat that makes the mirrors start to fog up. 135Please respect copyright.PENANAHjkXKF7GMD
   I slowly push open the door but it's caught on something. I look up with my eyes and see a long rope hanging from a ceiling panel. Oh no. Oh no. I'm going to hurl. I push harder and overcome the force. My breathing stops as the door swings open all the way. My heart starts pounding faster.135Please respect copyright.PENANAvGy8WdBXGa
   "Val?" Melody cries out, grabbing my hand tighter. "Val?! Val!"135Please respect copyright.PENANAGsKdaACcDn
   The girl with blue eyes stares at me with a shocked expression. Her face is blue and her eyes are glazed over, her hands are around her throat where a necklace of rope holds her up and lets her petite feet dangle over the puddle of blood. But that doesn't scare me. The knife in her chest scares me. The blood drips down still warm from her body into the pool, splattering against the now red stalls. A recent kill. One of her hands is clenched around something stained but still white. Paper.135Please respect copyright.PENANA4lGpir5q8R
   "Val? What is it?" Melody is crying now, dancing around on her feet like a frightened pony. 135Please respect copyright.PENANA3DyCMuQnrw
   "Asahel Arete" I read, "your time is up. The new order is coming. Ask for mercy and Glorious Leader will grant it, turn from your ways and you will be brought into our forgiving home. You and your receiver have no more time left. This time, you will not escape."135Please respect copyright.PENANAy7Yjl9TXmx
   "Val look out!" Melody throws me aside as something rushes over my head. She screams and smashes her cane into its skull. It goes down, holding its head. 135Please respect copyright.PENANAlqS2PbtVCC
   I drop the paper in the puddle and press my boot against the creature's chest. It moans and tries to struggle to it's feet. "You've taken it too far." I feel my hands heat up and send a large flame shooting into it. The creature doesn't have time to scream before it turns into sludge. It smells like blood and singed hair.135Please respect copyright.PENANAMFfki2O8pf
   "K-Kenneth told me a-about you." Melody grabs her broken cane and stands beside me. "I-I didn't believe him. W-What was that thing?"135Please respect copyright.PENANAEYnDhJMaG9
   "Melody, that was awesome, I didn't even see it coming and then you bashed its head in."135Please respect copyright.PENANAI2zB4pMykp
   "Val," she says with more resolution. "What. Was. That?"135Please respect copyright.PENANAa75qrnsgvR
   "An Inimicus," I whisper as I step through the sludge and grab her hand. "Kenneth told you what I am?" The bell for class rings, but I couldn't care less.135Please respect copyright.PENANAvaPTO7CBhj
   "A-a Socius, a superhuman. That's w-what he said. He s-said that you were f-fighting aliens, but that wasn't a little green man." She's shaking. No, I can't let her go into shock.135Please respect copyright.PENANAK0ljBpJoY4
   "Melody, listen, you can't go into shock right now. I need you to stay focused. I need you to go to Principle Jackson and tell him that something bad has happened and we need to go into lockdown. Can you do that? I have to get Ash and run. If I don't see Kenneth tell him that I said bye."135Please respect copyright.PENANAN8bSzDg1TL
   "Where will you go? Why are you running?" She's pale as a ghost now. 135Please respect copyright.PENANATpWJiKQVl8
   "Where there's one, there's more. As for where we'll go.. I have no idea." Melody starts running as I go back to the blue-eyed girl, dangling with a knife in her chest. I bite my lip. "I'm so sorry, but you don't need that anymore and I need it a lot." I grab the knife and pull it away with a spurt of blood. Eww nasty.  I stuff the bloody knife into my backpack and run out of the bathroom. 135Please respect copyright.PENANAe58ApK098Y
   Suddenly, a figure in all black tackles me and drags me into the janitors closet. He rips my book bag away and fights against me. I scream but his hands are round my mouth and before I know it, he's sitting on my chest staring into my eyes. 135Please respect copyright.PENANAeW7pPG35HW
   I scream again. "Ash! Ash! Help!"135Please respect copyright.PENANARBlNkEyazU
   The lean figure presses his hands against my throat. "What are you?"135Please respect copyright.PENANAjO0spqcpzl
   "Your mother!" I scream again. He's a human, I don't want to hurt him if he's human. I try to fight him but he's so much bigger than me, I'd have to hurt him if I fought against him. 135Please respect copyright.PENANAoNivd7bgcT
   He rips away his ski mask and I scream louder. Shaun. My human enemy. "Valerie, listen to me!" He slaps me across the face hard and I stop struggling. "What are you? I saw what you did last night. I saw you… kill? those people."135Please respect copyright.PENANAd3vyRPcq0M
   "Shaun, you have to let me go! If you don't let me go, they'll kill us!"135Please respect copyright.PENANAkkBkM0LYpk
   "Who?" He hisses, bringing his face inches from mine.135Please respect copyright.PENANAkN8CjmJvDW
   "The Inimicus," I whisper back, "they're going to kill us. You have to let me go or I'm going to be forced to hurt you."135Please respect copyright.PENANApR0UpSJCiK
   "What are they? Aliens?" I have never seen this look of fear on his face before and it's almost hysterical looking mix of his Cherokee features. "What do they want?"135Please respect copyright.PENANApD40YQ1JPr
   "To kill us." I whisper and stare into his eyes. "I'm going to knee you where the sun don't shine if you don't get off me. Understand?"135Please respect copyright.PENANA49fdMyzw3d
   Shaun nods with a red face and helps me up as a loud alarm blares. We fall against each other, elbows hitting each other and ears deafened. "Lockdown! This is not a drill! We are going into lockdown!" Principle Jackson sounds strained and scared out of his mind. The alarm suddenly stops, leaving us in silence. "We have some uh… nice gentlemen who want to uh… talk to some students. Over the intercom, please do as they say."135Please respect copyright.PENANAss4tmul67E
   The gruff voice in half Inimicus laughs, "thank you Principle Jackson for the warm introduction. Now, I've never been fond of… beating around the bush as you humans call it, so I'll get down to my proposition. We need  Asahel Arete and Valerie Carmen, we only need to talk to them." Liar. "If we don't get these two students in twenty minutes, we're going to start shooting, first in the office. I think we might even start out by killing this little girl. Tell Asahel and Valerie your name darling."135Please respect copyright.PENANAQwhUxfKyZA
   "Melody," the soft voice says with fear. 135Please respect copyright.PENANAZ3KegwNQ2Q
   "And what do you have against your head?" 135Please respect copyright.PENANA4vj8YFDkMK
   "A gun, some sort of pistol. A Beretta I think, or a Glock." Melody's voice shakes and I feel my breath catch in my throat. They're going to kill her.135Please respect copyright.PENANAZCggwOwhmw
   "You get the memo Socius," the voice clears its throat, maybe even takes a casual sip of water. "We kill the little blind girl and next we kill Kenneth Marconi. You have twenty minutes. We just want to talk, but it's your choice."135Please respect copyright.PENANASmzCBQ8oHb
   Shaun tackles me and pulls me into the corner with him, behind the trash can. We're close together, I can smell his strong cologne that isn't covering up his sweat. "I'm not letting you go out there, I might hate you but I know it's suicide. Besides, I like hating you."135Please respect copyright.PENANAfLHyUGex00
   "I have to formulate a plan. I need to talk to Ash." I reach for my phone and see Ash's name lit up like a Christmas tree. Fourteen missed calls and text messages.135Please respect copyright.PENANAhZCyg9mNrJ
   "Val, we need to run!" "Answer me!" "They have Melody!" "And Kenneth!" "I need you!" "Weights class is going to send me out if I can't come up with a plan!" "Twenty minutes Val!" "Where You at!!"135Please respect copyright.PENANAjj5TWHJ45r
   I quickly send a message. "Shaun here, J closet hidden. Thinking of plan. Have to save them."135Please respect copyright.PENANAgkcXS6D7DE
   "You can't go out there-" I shush him as I hear boots clicking towards us. My heart pounds faster. I reach with my foot and manage to strap my book bag to my shoe. I scoot it forward quietly and dig out the bloody knife. I hand it to Shaun. 135Please respect copyright.PENANA7VEJtVTPJk
   "Follow my lead." I lean into him and feel my hand against his chest. I can feel his heart beating like the bass in a rock concert. He nods and I nod back. "Calm down, they don't know that we have you as an ally. Slow your heart rate." I can feel his breathing deepen in an attempt but his heart is still like a frightened bunny.135Please respect copyright.PENANAy2EEWAlGFq
   I can hear voices now in a singsong voice. "Come out little Socius, come out and play." I can hear music too, childish music like horror movie material music. Ring around the rosies, pockets full of posies. Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down- Shaun's heart pumps faster, I'm afraid that it might burst in his chest and kill him right there. 135Please respect copyright.PENANA7VLjTEqxL4
   "I know you're here, little Valerie. Don't you want to come play with us?"135Please respect copyright.PENANAcSZRCsMvhw
   I stand and slowly bring Shaun up with me. I put out my hands in a fighting stance and Shaun brings the knife up with shaky hands. 135Please respect copyright.PENANAQQyuuv4PbK
   "I know you're here somewhere, come out, come out, where ever you are." 135Please respect copyright.PENANAgiG1CzF37r
   A sliver of light illuminates the opposite edge of the janitor's closet as the barrel of a M1 Carbine sticks its head around the corner. I press my hand against Shaun's chest to keep him still. His heart is pounding even faster. What is the maxim heart rate for a seventeen year old, healthy, basketball player?135Please respect copyright.PENANA7jj6aVyXrQ
   "Is our Socius friend in here?" The Inimicus steps around the corner and leads his friends to do the same as I release all my tension as a fireball so large it touches the ceiling. I kill four of them with one fireball.135Please respect copyright.PENANAthG2LaxQ0J
   "Grab his gun," I shriek as I grab obey my own words and throw it to him. "You know how to shoot a gun, right?"135Please respect copyright.PENANABg1hiEQYHX
   "This thing have some recoil?"135Please respect copyright.PENANApOhIUrEtp5
   I throw up my hands, "why the hell would it matter now?! Just see those things and shoot!"135Please respect copyright.PENANAjTm0V8btZb
   "Okay! Okay!" He runs out behind me, staring at the boiling sludge as we slosh up to our ankles in it. "You killed them? You're sure you killed them?"135Please respect copyright.PENANAcAseSKTIIA
   "They're sludge! There's no way they're coming back." I run, my legs are like springs, catapulting me forward through the empty halls. Shaun runs behind me messing with the M1 Carbine. He's calming down, I can hear it in his breaths. He's taking it like a basketball game, endurance and stamina win the game. Except this time he's literally shooting to get the win and fouls don't get you kicked out of the game.135Please respect copyright.PENANAG7pXQkpuOP
   I take out my phone and see Ash's name light up the screen. "Val! I need you now! They're going to send me out!"135Please respect copyright.PENANAz8IW8E5j84
   "Stay put," I reply, "I'll be there in a few seconds."135Please respect copyright.PENANAvkFXzxIsgr
   The intercom blazes to life. "Valerie Carmen, I can see you. We're coming to take you now." They can see me? Security cameras. I growl and start crunching the security cameras as I run. One.. Two… Three. All gone and squished by my mental hands.135Please respect copyright.PENANA3XztUpOkTC
   "Shaun, you need to go somewhere. This is to dangerous."135Please respect copyright.PENANAatKSqTxvcF
   He grabs my shoulder, his eyes wide and full of life and fear. "I'm not leaving, for once, I can be the hero." And with that I open the door and start running.135Please respect copyright.PENANAAI0gGzNo24
   I dodge bullets as Shaun starts shooting and I start throwing fireballs and crunching security cameras. They're everywhere, crawling off buildings and slithering up the tall grass banks leading to the school. With one hand, I pick up a dumpster and start hammering anything that moves. With the other hand, I start throwing fireballs as bullets echo around me. And then, all I see is sludge and Shaun has stopped shooting. I hear a single gunshot and see Shaun crumple to the ground like a used red tissue. He screams. I spin around and hurl the dumpster at the remaining four Inimicus and keep squishing them like bugs underneath my shoe until they dissolve.135Please respect copyright.PENANAP61oAWOogI
   I run to Shaun as he struggles up. His shoulder is bloody and torn by a bullet. It's a clean shot, through and through his deltoid. I grab him by the waist and stand him up. 135Please respect copyright.PENANA1rbLjCER7R
   "Ten minutes," the intercom announces. "How do you feel Melody?"135Please respect copyright.PENANAwIzwYf6LE9
    "Val, Ash, don't listen to them! Run! You have to-" a sickening thwap echoes around me as Melody moans.135Please respect copyright.PENANAQtgRSQNGf4
   "Don't listen to her Asahel and Valerie; she doesn't know what we want."135Please respect copyright.PENANApgvA1PdGGk
   "Shaun, this is going to hurt. Don't scream." I read a book once where a girl used a hot frying pan to stop someone's bleeding. I fire up my hands as Shaun realizes what's going on. He bites down on his jacket as I press my hands against his shoulder. Shaun almost faints but I catch him. Only a dribble of blood remains as he comes to and tarts trudging along with me. I grab four more M1 Carbines and jog with Shaun groaning in pain beside me.  135Please respect copyright.PENANAxc37J1nPN1
   I reach the door to the weight room and kick it down. They throw weights at me but I deflect them. Ash runs up and hugs me tightly. "We need to go."135Please respect copyright.PENANAZDvfuo5i5k
   I throw the rifles across the room and watch the boys' pick them up with a desire and hunger in their eyes. "We might need help." I carry Shaun a little farther into the room and lay him down on a bench. "Please help him; I've done everything I can at the moment.135Please respect copyright.PENANAmuAS4CHijo
   Suddenly, Ash and I have five riffles pointed at us. "We're not helping you, you're murderers." The teacher walks up to me and grabs my wrists. "Move and I'll blow your head off." I feel duct tape around my wrists as he binds them together. "They only want to talk."135Please respect copyright.PENANADRBGYkHlav
   "Coach, you trust me. You have to believe me! They'll kill us!" Shaun has started to pipe in but he's not very strong. "Please, I'm begging you, let us go!"135Please respect copyright.PENANAn98SoDguWl
   "Nick," the coach says, "duct tape his hands together, and make sure they're tight. Try anything and I swear I'll kill you Asahel Arete." The kid named Nick goes to duct taping Ash's hands together again and again and again. 135Please respect copyright.PENANAOiPpbU2Tcl
   "Everyone with a gun, come with me, Asahel Arete and Valerie Carmen are going to come to the office with me." I feel myself begin to break down as the guys with guns start walking us in restraints forward into what I know will be death for Ash and worse for me.135Please respect copyright.PENANAhPcSvacdwn
   "Val," Ash interrupts the silence as we start walking into the cafeteria and into the gym. "Do you remember last night when we melted marshmallows and they were like glue?"135Please respect copyright.PENANAITwRLUv2or
   I get the memo, melt the adhesive. "Yeah, I remember that. That was fun." A gun nudges me in the back and I shut up. I fire up my hands quickly, hoping they don't give off any light. I feel the duct tape's adhesive begging to unstuck to my skin. I bite my lips and force, myself to go hotter. Suddenly, there's nothing holding my arms behind my back except flimsy ribbons. I go to work with Ash's restraints, staring at them and feeling that exhaustion starting to come again. It takes precision to not burn him to death in the process. He rolls his shoulders and I see his bonds almost slip off but he catches them.135Please respect copyright.PENANAndKdDW7FPk
   Suddenly we're in the office. Melody and Kenneth are holding each other, Melody crying into his shirt as Kenneth tries to remain calm. His face is one gigantic bruise, I can only imagine what he said.135Please respect copyright.PENANA069cYFnbTU
   "Ash, Val no!" The Inimicus above Kenneth pistol whips him hard across the face. Kenneth cries out in pain.135Please respect copyright.PENANAyCN4uzZZCo
   "I'm here," Ash says with that darkness creeping into his voice. "Let them go and kill us."135Please respect copyright.PENANAr0Ccdf8lUX
   The tall Inimicus laughs into the intercom, it's an echoing caw of a crow and a hyperventilating moose. "Oh I have what I need. Thank you students and staff for your cooperation, but you will all die anyways." The coach realizes what he's done too late and tries to fire, but Inimicus have come up from nowhere and taken away the rifles.135Please respect copyright.PENANAFU3P72vveo
   The tall Inimicus walks forward, smiling an eager smile as he stares me up and down. My breath catches in my throat. The Inimicus laughs at me. 135Please respect copyright.PENANApM0cRuMRuo
   "Asahel Arete, are you ready to die?"135Please respect copyright.PENANAgVpS8C8gX2
copyright protection131PENANAJQyqtrFdXL

135Please respect copyright.PENANAdDXht5kYAy
Ash135Please respect copyright.PENANAmZlnccRY4m
   He presses the gun against my heart then moves it down and right so it rests against my liver. "Let's make it painful for the other Socius."135Please respect copyright.PENANAnkhMdqplGn
   I feel a bead of sweat drip down my forehead. I look over to Val and see her nod. She's as nervous as me. If I die, she gets my abilities. I'm not going to die though.135Please respect copyright.PENANAnU0lctqwr0
   "Countdown please, I always like dramatic deaths." I slow my breathing, calm down, you're not going to actually die. 135Please respect copyright.PENANA5OZqbbD3aH
   "I'm glad you do Asahel Arete, in fact, I'm going to let the intercom hear everything. So you're going to die in… Three…"135Please respect copyright.PENANApy1Hle7KzO
   "Two…" I slip out of my restraints and thrust my hand forward, blazing with electricity. It not only shatters his nose, but a piece of cartilage blows back an punctures his brain. He turns into sludge and I dive behind the front desk. I knock out the lights and see arcs of electricity waving from my hands to the Inimicus along with the huge adrenalin filled fireballs that Val hurls. Humans scream, Inimicus scream in pain before falling, and Val and I scream with enjoyment. 135Please respect copyright.PENANA8XI9iVCIs4
   I turn the lights back on and see piles of sludge around the room. Humans are coated in the stuff and so are the riffles and pistols floating around the room. I jump back over to Val and she wraps her arms around me tightly. 135Please respect copyright.PENANAJxTIX4UB85
   "We need to get out of here."135Please respect copyright.PENANAixDjeZylK8
   "Not so fast," I hear the chu-chink! of a shotgun and see Principle Jackson staring at me. "I've got the cops on the way. You're not going anywhere until they show up."135Please respect copyright.PENANAaS6S1oOE7g
   "There are no more Inimicus," Val says and slowly drops her hands from me. "I made sure that they're gone. Shaun though, Shaun's in the weight room with a bullet to his shoulder, I did what I could to heal it."135Please respect copyright.PENANAJQOCzMHtnP
   "That doesn't matter, this is a matter that needs to be dealt with by the men in black."135Please respect copyright.PENANAzFmdZBcyWX
   Kenneth steps forward and Melody does the same. "If you don't let them go, they'll die! Sir, they're fighting to keep us alive. If the cops show up, they're dead and so are we. Those things want to kill all of humanity and there are only seven more of them that can stop it! You have to let them go or I-I'll make you."135Please respect copyright.PENANAG7PN0RbOvj
   "Sir, he's telling the truth," Melody says. 135Please respect copyright.PENANA5faTRKFye2
   "Go," he says to us and motions towards the door. "Go!" We grab Melody and Kenneth's hands and run into the parking lot.135Please respect copyright.PENANAoNIK0Hlcfi
   We stand beside my truck and just stare at each other with disbelief. "This is goodbye, isn't it?" Melody says.135Please respect copyright.PENANA9WpZJpRVem
   I nod, "it is."135Please respect copyright.PENANAfjCpct9S2n
   "Will we ever see you guys?"135Please respect copyright.PENANAVqbDbblwoB
   I shake my head, "probably not."135Please respect copyright.PENANAPyxfxhFodT
   "I'm going to miss you guys. If you can, come back and see us. Okay?" We hug and shed a few tears. They leave crying into each other and without anymore goodbyes.135Please respect copyright.PENANALsdnSpR2iU
   I sit down in the driver's side and Val sits beside me. We're going home and then when we have mom, dad, and Danny we'll run. We'll run somewhere where it's safe.135Please respect copyright.PENANAqdkBQwMb3b
   I start driving and my phone lights up. It's Danny. I answer and laugh. "What's up my little brother Daniel, we just beat the crap out of some Inimicus. By the way, we're on the run now."135Please respect copyright.PENANAMSJk8hCNGP
   "Ash," he whispers weakly. "Help." The phone goes dead and my stomach drops. I press my foot down as I stare angrily at the road. Whatever they did to Danny is going to happen to them. Nobody messes around with my brother.copyright protection131PENANA286SC7NbDy

   I reach the house and see that it's nothing abnormal. I exit the truck running though and trip in Inimicus sludge. I slam open the door, splintering it in two to find… 135Please respect copyright.PENANAHrhUPakHcC
   No. No. This can't be happening.135Please respect copyright.PENANABCPWeGs0Rw
   Mom is on the floor, her blue eyes staring up at the ceiling and her face slack. A gun is in her hands and a pool of blood surrounding her. A pile of black sludge sits to her right as if to prove what she did. I kneel beside her and feel her pulse. It doesn't exist. But I just needed to look at her to see that she's dead. There is a large hole right in the middle of her forehead. At least it was a quick death. 135Please respect copyright.PENANAbEpVYxcAlS
   I stare at her hands and see that she has a small dagger cupped in her hand. I take it and give it to Val, she would've wanted her to have it anyways.135Please respect copyright.PENANAq2kIWaSgR4
   I shake and Val holds my hands. "Kara," she whispers. "Is she-?"135Please respect copyright.PENANATtHIqVoTWg
   The tears start to flow as she says the words. I nod, "she's gone. Mom's dead. I need to find dad."135Please respect copyright.PENANAp8UO3TmfuH
   I walk around the couch as movement catches my eye. It's a bloody lump of flesh and singed hair but I know him. "Dad," I sob and fall on my knees. I cradle his bloody face in my hands as he smiles. 135Please respect copyright.PENANA7UJrCGBuXt
   "Ash," he whispers. "Ash, I tried. You have to run. Run before hey get you. You know the account number and you know how to blend." He reaches up to me, his strength almost gone. My tears wash little streams on his face to expose the white before returning to red.135Please respect copyright.PENANAzQWhyncXg9
   He holds a knife in his hands, a blade with an elegantly carved handle made of silver and inlaid with sapphires and lapis lazuli. I look at the handle and read the name Arete written in old scroll.135Please respect copyright.PENANAdFh8uk1Qzw
   "Inheritance," he wheezes and looks up at me. "Win Ash, you have to win."135Please respect copyright.PENANAxHqg92XLxU
   "Dad, please don't leave. Please, no don't leave me." I cry as a final breath leaves his lungs and his eyes go hazy. "No, please don't leave me!" I sound hysterical and wheezing at the same time. I take the knife and put it in my pockets.135Please respect copyright.PENANAe6KbnjyAgO
   "We h-have to find D-Danny," I say as I realize the training room door is open wide. I pull out the knife and slowly walk down the stairs. Music is busting the stereo. 135Please respect copyright.PENANAJuu0DYlFOV
   I stop at the end of the stair and take a deep breath. His blood, his blood is everywhere. A red trail snakes around into the center of the training room where Danny lays in the middle of a red puddle. I scream and Val does the same.135Please respect copyright.PENANAblCBCMEzxb
   I run forward and slide beside him. There is a knife in the middle of his abdomen along with several other stabs around it. Killing wound. I know one when I see one.135Please respect copyright.PENANAuLieXGyvgP
   "H-hey Trash," Danny jokes as he sees me. He fakes a smile. "I-I told you I h-had a bad dream."135Please respect copyright.PENANAk0jO1XNmCB
   "Danny, they did this?" I press my hands down against his broken little body and know that there's nothing I can do to stop him from bleeding out. "The Inimicus did this?"135Please respect copyright.PENANAhNXUoAG2ad
   "I killed them in return. I-Is it true? You k-killed the ones at school?"135Please respect copyright.PENANAeEZwSXcrst
   "It's all true," I brush away baby hairs from his face. "You did good, Danny. You did-" I can't help but sob. "-you did so good. And they stabbed you! Why wasn't it me?! Why didn't they kill me instead?!"135Please respect copyright.PENANAgNtzCuwpR8
   He touches my face. "K-Knock it off, you're going t-to do s-some good things Ash. I did what I was made for and I'm happy. D-Don't leave me, I'm so c-cold."135Please respect copyright.PENANA19WZ3kzKnJ
   I pick him up, knife and all, and rock him in my arms. It's like back when he was a baby, when we used to rock him to sleep. That's what I'll do now. Danny's breaths are shallow and terrible. I rock him back to sleep and sing the first thing I can think of. "I'm the first one in line to die when the cavalry comes. Yeah, it feels like the great divide has already come. Yeah I'm wasting my way through days. Losing youth along the way." 135Please respect copyright.PENANAYBnY8gVkHo
   Danny looks up at me to go on. "Ash, I-I l-love you."135Please respect copyright.PENANANYbhxOL4dD
   "I love you," I whisper back. "In this wasteland were I'm living, there is a crack in the door filled with light. And it's all that I need to get by. In this wasteland where I'm living, there is a crack in the door filled with light. And it's all that I need to shine." Danny's eyes flutter closed and his breathing stops altogether. I let him go on the floor and Val grabs me, pulling me up as my knees buckle.135Please respect copyright.PENANAdfMaeQuOBS
   "Val, go get the flash drives. They have everything on there. We have enough money to buy a disguise and new clothes. We need to get out of here. I'll get whatever weapons I can find." She nods and hurries off to find what I asked.135Please respect copyright.PENANAyztVxBctWU
   "Danny," I whisper as I fall to the ground. "It should've been me." I grab the knife from his body and pull it out. "I will find the Glorious Leader and I will kill him with this knife, I swear it. I love you kid, I'm sorry I wasn't fast enough."135Please respect copyright.PENANARKS31qRNv5
135Please respect copyright.PENANAqJkcTz3ooE
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