The ShAr

Alina's life had always been like this. Bland. Dull. Hollow. Dot Corp had made sure of that. It affected everything in her life, even her best friend. And Alina hated it. But what if there was a way out? What if there was something that she could do to take a stand? Something stronger than a simple smile, or a kiss on her brother's forehead? Of course, something like this existed, but Alina could never imagine herself being part of it. Sophia had been, and look where that got her. This solution was called The ShAr, short for Shiller's Army. Alina was close to her breaking point, but how far was she willing to go?

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6. Chapter Five- Initiation

UNEDITED

 

Chapter Five

 

Alina felt like they had been walking around for ages, but it didn’t really bother her, because Conn’s hand was on her back, leading her. She felt like floating.

Conn stopped.

“We’re here.”

“And I still can’t see,” she reminded him.

“Right.” She could hear the grin in his voice and it was all she could do to not launch herself at him, even though she couldn’t see where she was, or where he was. His fingers gently lifted the blindfold off of her head, but all she could see was darkness. It was basically like the blindfold was still on her head, but she just couldn’t feel it. It wasn’t really still on her head, though.

“Is it pitch black, or are my eyes deceiving me?” she asked, but there was no answer. Alina whipped around. “Conn?” Something wooden was pressed into her palm.

“It’s a knife. You’ll need it.” 

“What?!” she cried, but he was gone. “Conn!” she shouted. 

A dim light filled the room, but it was still too dark to really see. She put her hand out in front of her-- the one not holding the knife-- and she couldn’t see her hand, but she could see the shape of her hand. She sighed. Her left hand came up, and she squinted at it, trying to get a good look at the knife. Why would she need it?

A second later, a figure stalked toward her. Or so it looked like. Alina started to back away slowly.

“Conn? she whispered, but she knew it wasn’t him. Then, the figure lunged toward her, and by reflex, she struck out at it with the knife in her hand. The person shouted in pain=, stumbling back only slightly, and that was when Alina realized what was going on.

Initiation. If she wanted to be initiated into The ShAr, she had to show them that she was worthy, by beating this person. Determination made her face harden, and her hand grip the knife tighter. She would beat this person. She would. 

It was only a few moments later that the figure attacked again, but this time, Alina was ready. Unfortunately, the person was anticipating her moves as well. She extended the knife viciously, but they dodged it, kicking her in the leg instead. She held in her cry, biting her lip hard. 

Alina swung her leg, aiming for the person’s chest, and this time, she made contact. They must have only expected her to use the knife. They doubled back, coughing, and she thrusted her forearms out at them while they were still recovering from her last blow. The person fell to the ground with a thud, and she wasted no time in straddling the figure, her hand holding the knife over what she could assume was the person’s throat. With the hand not holding the knife, she pinned down the person’s left hand, and restrained their right hand with her foot, leaving her in an odd position.

They were both breathing hard. 

Slowly, the lights that were dim brightened, until they were at full brightness, and she could see her attacker.

It was a guy, and he looked to be a little older than her, maybe by two years. He had the same hair color as Maggie, and had hazel eyes. There was a little bit of stubble on his chin, and it made him look rough. She liked that.

His every breath pushed their bodies closer together and there was a warmth flowing between them that she wanted more and more of. They were staring at each other now, but Alina couldn’t tell if he was thinking the same thing, or if he was only looking at her because he had nowhere else to look.

A slow clapping made her head turn.

“Well done, Alina.” It was Conn.

“Thanks.”

“You can get off him now,” he added, in a joking tone. Alina felt herself flush.

“Right.” She removed herself from his body, missing the warmth of him as she stood up. The knife felt heavy in her hand. “Can you take this?” she asked Conn. Without questioning her, he took it. He looked up at Alina’s attacker.

“Good fight, eh, Darmer?” Conn joked, a small grin on his face. Darmer got up and dusted himself off. He threw a glance at Conn, a terrible look in his eyes.

“Fuck off, Connor,” he said.

Then he looked at Alina, and he smiled. 

“You got me good.” 

And he left the room, nobody saying anything.

“Well, Darmer’s a charmer!” Conn exclaimed, trying to lighten the mood. Alina smiled, but she was mostly smiling because of the look that Darmer had given her.

“Is that his real name? Darmer?” she asked, tilting her head upwards.

“It’s his last name, actually. His first name is Blake.”

“What does he go by?”

“Either one.” Conn shrugged. “We should go see Audra.”

Alina paused. “Who is Audra?”

“She’s in charge of the new recruits. She’ll explain some things, and teach you stuff about The ShAr. You’ll like her,” he promised, starting towards the door on the other side of the open space. 

Remembering what Maggie had asked Conn to do, she asked, “Aren’t yu supposed to explain some things?”

He grinned. “That’s what I’ll be doing on the walk to Audra’s place. Come on.”

Alina smiled and headed towards him. The second she reached him, he started talking.

“The first thing you should know about The ShAr is that we...” he was saying, but Alina couldn’t concentrate. She was too busy dreaming about Blake’s smile, stuck in her head like a catchy song. And she was playing it on repeat.

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