Crying Havoc – Blaine
It must have been late in the day when it happened. I didn’t know; the Facility didn’t have windows. I was dozing, alternating pressure on my wrists so the blisters wouldn’t hurt so bad. I barely lapsed into a light sleep when the grating of the cell door opening startled me. A young guard entered, the shape of his hat determining his rank. I had learned to tell the difference: square hats were captains, flat, second-in-command; round, everyone else. This one was round, so I knew this guy wasn’t too much of a threat. I found it suspicious that his uniform was rumpled, as if he’d put it on in a hurry, and his tie was wildly askew. The guards normally never had one wrinkle in their uniforms.
As he came in, he kept glancing around him conspiratorially like somebody who did something bad and doesn’t want to be caught. I met his eyes, and we stared at each other for a moment. He blinked first, and looked away.
“You’re Blaine Davenport, aren’t you?” he said softly after a while.
I nodded. “Yeah. The one who tried to get away.”
“I’m Cicero Wren. Not a guard, as you can see,” He indicated his outfit. “But I wanted to see you.”
“Do I know you?”
“No, probably not. I am a high-ranking officer with the Prometheus movement. Ever heard of that?”
I shook my head. “Is it new?”
Cicero thought about this for a minute. “Fairly. Probably, at the most, five years.”
“What do you do?”
“Well, Prometheus means 'forethinker'. We picked it because we think it’s time for a change that hasn’t happened yet. This social structure, it’s not working. Those Elites, they’re bigheaded and think they own everything. Even us. So, we’re dedicated to making a difference.”
“Neat-o. So are you recruiting, or what?”
He shook his head. “No. But we heard about your ‘rebellion’ idea. I personally think you would be a great addition to our ranks. That’s why I came here. You’re a great forethinker. You know what you want, and you’re willing to fight for it. We need that, more than ever right now.”
“Cool. How do I get in?”
“I can’t explain it here. I’ll unshackle you first, get us both out of this place, and then I will.”
“All right. Good deal.”
He pulled out a large ring of keys, thumbing through them. As he was doing that, I realized this would be a whole new chapter of my life. Another beginning. This would be something different. I would be making a change. Prometheus, I concluded, had a lot in store for me.
The Rumor of a War – Julia
The night passed slowly. I wandered in and out of the crowd, mingling with classmates. Daniel had drifted away, and I hadn’t seen him all night. I began to wonder how Mother could have possibly thought this was fun. There was absolutely nothing to do. Even trying to look busy was hard. My dress was starting to stick to me, and makeup was running into my eyes. I was beginning to wonder if there was going to be any activity at all. Prom royalty had already been picked, but I lost interest when it was no one I knew.
I had just started to fall into the lull when, above the party buzz, there was a distant boom like thunder. No one else seemed to have heard it. That roused my curiosity, and against my better judgment, I slipped outside. A cool, steady breeze was blowing, and the moon was barely out. It seemed unusually silent, but rather peaceful. I began to suspect a false alarm, and I was just being hypersensitive. Then, I heard it again, distinctly this time. Moments later, a flare of light jumped up from the roof of the building. I blinked in surprise. Pieces of the roof rained down around me. Then it clicked.
I have to get everybody out.
Back into the festivities I dashed. Once inside, I cast about for Daniel, knowing he would believe me better than anyone. I asked around, eventually pointed toward the appetizer table. I rushed up to him, breathless.
“Julia, hey.” He took one last swallow of his punch. “What’s up? You look kind of worried.”
“I am,” I panted. “Someone planted explosives up there on the roof.”
He blinked. “They did?”
I nodded. “Two of them just went off. If we don’t get everyone out…”
The sky exploded just then. Right above us, a hole was blown in the ceiling. Dust and debris showered everyone in the proximity, including Daniel and me.
Utter silence reigned for a split second. It went from order to chaos in the blink of an eye. Everyone panicked, running toward the exit, forming a bottleneck at the door. Daniel grabbed my hand and pulled me along after him, the entire building beginning to shudder violently. The floor was bucking so wildly I could hardly set foot on the ground. We crowded through the fire door, watching as the floods poured out, pushing, shoving, and general scuffle. All we could do now was wait for the building to blow.
After a couple seconds, it did. I covered my head and turned, but I could feel my body thrown forward from sheer force. Landing hard on rough grass, I plowed a deep furrow into the ground for a couple yards. Large parts of the building came flying by me, and one even got me in the shoulder with the feeling of a punch. A smaller chunk bounced off my leg. I squeezed my eyes shut tight, waiting for it to be over. In a matter of minutes, junk stopped raining from the sky. I stayed where I was for a couple minutes, feeling something wet running over my back and my leg throbbing. Painfully I sat up, surveying the damage. Where the Larkspur had been, now there was a large crater, wide and deep. A plume of smoke rose toward the clouds. Slowly I got to my feet. My shoes having been lost in the explosion, I limped barefooted across the moonlit grass.
Everywhere, my classmates were picking themselves up. For a while, I couldn’t seem to get my bearings. I wandered around aimlessly, the trickle of blood on my back turning from a stream into a river.
Daniel found me eventually, and aside from some singed hair, a bruise on his forehead and the back of his hand, and the loss of a shoe, he seemed fine.
“Hey,” He touched my shoulder, his fingers coming away sticky and red. “Oh God, Julia. You’re bleeding.”
I nodded, not really trusting myself to say anything.
“Like a lot. I gotta get you home. C’mon.”
I let him take my hand, and he began leading me to his car. The world swirled around me. I couldn’t think straight, and I wasn’t really sure how much blood I was losing. My feet had gone numb, and I could barely feel what I was walking on.
“Here. Take my cummerbund. You need it more than I do.” Daniel hurriedly unwound it, clumsily binding my shoulder.
All I could do was smile faintly. My head was so light I felt like I was floating away. I stumbled, Daniel catching me. My vision blurred for a second, and I tripped again. Even through the early stages of delirium, I could tell Daniel was starting to panic. He took my arm and looped it around his shoulders, letting me lean against him. With his other hand, he tried to stem the blood.
“No…no…no…stay with me…” I barely heard him as my senses, one by one, began to drop out. Were my feet even touching the ground anymore? I didn’t know.
“Come on…just a few more feet, Julia. You can do it…just a few more feet…”
Everything disappeared just then. All that was solid became liquid, and I tumbled into darkness.