"Drop your weapons slowly and turn to face me." I demanded. He held his hands up,
"Whoa, okay, hey I don't want any trouble here-"
"Then put your weapons on the ground, or I'll blow your brains out." He nodded shakily and dropped the gun and two knives onto the ground. Something shiny poked out from his pockets. "Your left pocket, what's in it?" He pulled out an old leather watch.
"Relax, man." The boy growled.
"You're pushing my patients." I snapped.
"Now kick the gun and knives over to me before I shoot you right in between the eyes."
He smirked, "Trust me, you don't want to do that sweetheart."
"Oh yeah? Why's that?" I shoved the gun up against his temple.
"I have two snipers on you from the sycamore to your left and that big rock back behind me."
"I noticed. Y'all aren't great at covering your tracks. at least for my eyes. Now kick the gun and knives to me and I'll leave you be."
That's when I heard a gun click a round in it right behind my ear and a deep voice spoke: "But we won't let you be until you explain who you are and what the hell you're doing holding a gun to my partners head when he clearly hasn't done anything to ya."
"You have done plenty to me." I snapped. "That's okay, just take the gun away from his head and turn to me. I sighed in defeat and pulled the gun away from his partner's face.
"I'm Cadarn." The man pointing the gun at my head said. Meanwhile, his friend began frisking me pulling weapon after weapon from my body.
"Wow. That's a lot of guns; what did you do? Rob a gun chamber?"
"Three." I said with a tint of proudness in my voice.
"I'm impressed. Now, who are you?" Cadarn asked while more and more boys came from the trees around me.
"Holy Deadman. It's a girl." Someone exclaimed in a whisper from behind the Cadarn. I rolled my eyes and stood slightly holding the hip that was injured.
"Forgive me, I should introduce myself before you blow my head off, I'm Phoenix." Said the boy I was holding the gun to. I nodded, still not giving away my name. "She's a shy one isn't she, Cad?" A boy with a lighter said while igniting the flame and putting it out repeatedly. I watched it; the opening and closing of the metal mouth. "Stop that." I snapped at the boy. "Oh we can tell she's not shy now!" Said a boy that looked exactly like the one with the lighter. They both shared the same features of red shaggy hair, freckles peppered just over their noses, and those misty green eyes. "Knock it off, Roman." Cadarn shoved the lighter boy that held the fire the color of his hair.
I counted about six or seven boys.
"Forgive Roman and Greece. They're a bit loud." Phoenix whispered to me. I just half nodded, "and who are the rest of you?"
"These guys are Ares, Jonah, and Toshiro." Roman answered with a point to each boy who waved and just rolled his eyes.
"And you?" Ares groaned.
I stared at them all for a few seconds before my delayed words finally reached my mouth, "Cathal, now give me my stuff and let me leave."
"I'm sorry, Cathal, but I don't think I'm going to be able to do that."
My eyes widened, "Why?"
"You tried to harm one of your own kind." Cadarn answered.
One of your own.
That's when I noticed they all had the REMEMBER tattoos written across their wrists. I felt guilt but then anger. "You guys stole my stuff."
Ares smirked with the large cross bow hanging from his right hand that was laced with tattoos of birds flying up towards his shoulder, "How do you mean?"
"That crossbow! That's my crossbow-"
"You'll get it back. Just hold on." Cadarn said clearly annoyed with me.
"Why not now? Look, just give me back my board and crossbow and you can keep the rope." I was now frustrated and looking for a way out of this.
Cadarn came close to me, like he was trying to speak to me and only meaning me. His face was next to mine and his mouth next to my ear as he whispered, "I know you're injured, and we want to help you. They don't know you're hurt."
"And how do I know to trust you?" I growled.
"Because we are part of your family. We all went through the same pain, so we need to stick together."
I didn't trust them; I couldn't, but I agreed. "Okay."
Cadarn backed up, "Good."
"Guys, we have a new guest." Cadarn announced to his group. They all made their cheers and we all began a trek to their hiding place.
I lingered towards the back so I could watch their behavior.
I never was around boys much, except my father and brother though they've been gone for a long time.
"You don't trust us, do you?" Roman chuckled while walking jollily next to me. "Yeh, Dude, you're so uptight." Greece laughed slinging an arm around my shoulder making me flinch. "Don't touch me." I snapped. Greece stood back innocently,
"Whoa okay, so you don't like friendliness."
We walked a good two miles before anyone said something.
"So, Cathal, you're clearly not from what used to be the great state of California; now what is our countries capital. And I'd be very curious to know where you are from." Cadarn announced loudly from the front of the group.
"Texas; southeast from here." a blandly answered. He nodded with a sound of acknowledgement. "Explains the stubbornness." Ares mumbled. I was getting the vibe that this guy didn't like me.
"At least I know not to mess with the snake when it's rattle shakes."
"Yes, but I know to take it's deadly fangs when it is occupied." He pat the crossbow knowing it would piss me off that he has my favorite toy.
While passing through the dense forest, I noticed that there were small triangular figures etched into the trees until we stumbled upon a thick metal flooring under our feet.
"Bingo," Jonah shoved Toshiro causing laughs to erupt from both of them. "Keep it down, the patrols will start soon and we don't to get caught, do we?" Cadarn's thick and raspy voice shifted quietly over the group. He moved a few leaves over to where there was a large metal block protruding, like the ground was a safe. Cadarn pulled a large card looking device that when he touched a button on the side it glowed a dark blue. He shoved it into the slot on the bronze block. The flooring began to move down and another replaced it as soon as we hit the flooring of an underground bunker. I gripped the knife under my sleeve and followed the group down a series of hallways where more and more boys like the ones I was walking behind passed me. They all stared and glared at me.
Cadarn stopped and turned to all of us, "Y'all are dismissed, Cat, I'll show you you're bunk."
"Don't call me Cat." I answered.
Cadarn smirked, "Follow me."
I obediently did as he said and followed like a puppy lost in a maze. I took time to observe the narrow halls. The ceiling was made of bright lights and concrete painted a creamy white. Doors in the sets of two were every few feet and painted with what looked like initials on each one. Greece poked his head out if one with the letters GH written sloppily into it. He smiled and waved with a mouth full of something like a biscuit. I just stared ahead of me and watched the tall figure of Cadarn bounce to his was. He was skinnier than the rest but bigger built. His body with carved with muscle and strength.
They're watching, they're staring.
I nervously looked around me when we were stopped in front of a grey door with nothing etched into it.
Secrets! They're keeping secrets! The building is laced with them.
"You're senses are overwhelmed, aren't they?" Cadarn seemed to notice my nervous looks. "You're clutching that blade pretty tight under there." He gestured to my hand under my jacket.
I glared at the boy as his dark brown eyes stared back amused. "You're safe." He opened the door with a key and shoved it open. The room was small with a full size bed covered in pillows and blankets; a desk sat across from it and a full body mirror leaned against the wall in the corner. "It was a bunker for families during the war, but it was never used by the capital, so now it's our home." I wasn't used a luxury like this; my home was a pallet on the floor of a shed not much bigger than myself. I was most definitely not used to having someone sleeping just beyond the walls I was in. "It's nice." I mumbled. "Well I'll leave you alone to get settled and be back in a bit to bring dinner." Cadarn gave a polite smile and closed the door behind him. I sat on the bed and stared at my dirty hands before Peering up in the mirror to see an old friend that I haven't seen in a long time. My face was thin and smudged with dirt and color from war paint. Every year they do a mark on July 23rd for the Deadly War. We were taken over by a control obsessed group that assassinated our president and other officials. It was the next World War that destroy freedom. I shoved my jacket and shirt before stumbling into the bathroom. There sat a sink that was clearly not used for a while since dust coated the porcelain and marble. Next to the sink was a toilet and then a tall shower, clearly made for Glitches; we all are taller than six feet for some reason. I sat between 6' and 6'2 but I wasn't completely sure where I actually stood.
There was the sound of laughter which was odd to my senses. I haven't had the sound of a warm giggle in a long time, but it was clearly coming from the hallway full of boys from the ages 12 to 19. I found a soft feeling in my heart because of the sound I long for.
My side hurt and was clearly bleeding again. I turned on the shower, letting hot steam fill the room and stepped under the gushing water. It was a wonderful sensation that I have long forgotten until now. I groaned aloud at the relief that loosened my muscles.
After my shower, I stepped out smelling of mint and vanilla. My side still gave me sharp fits of pain, yet I was able to slip on undergarments and a pair of grey tights that sat folded at the end of the bed along with a large grey shirt that I ignored at the moment. "Wow, you look like a true girl now." Cadarn's voice came from the corner of the room, making me jump and reach for a knife that wasn't on my leg. "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to offend you- and- sorry. I'm used to walking in the guy's room, and I'm sorry." He turned around and covered his eyes.
"It's okay. I'm wearing a bra and pants. You can turn around." I said with a small amused smile that was barely pushing up the side of my mouth, but it quickly disappeared as he turned to face me.
"What happened?" Cadarn asked.
"I was being chased, and they were shooting at me." I answered while turning to reveal my wound covered in bandaging.
I peered up at him behind me and saw his eyes locked onto the wound. "Let me help you." He said.
"No, I'm fine."
"Please, I've been doing medical for quite some time now." Cadarn then grabbed bandaging, a needle with thread and held my arm up while I stared bewildered at the boy that stood about seven or eight inches taller than me. "You can trust me." He stared straight in my eyes.
I obeyed and slowly put my body into the cushioned bed.
"This is going to hurt a bit." Cadarn warned.
"I've been through worse." I answered with calm voice.
He was right though; the needle pierced the skin and tied the holes shut on both sides, yet I didn't whimper or scream in pain. I withstood it and just gripped the blankets under me slightly. After Cadarn patched me up, he handed me the grey shirt at the end of the bed.
"Sorry, the tights were the only pants we could find that might fit you, and same with the shirt." He apologized.
I threw in the large t-shirt before answering him. "I have more clothes back at my base. And besides, I can always rob more." I began throwing my clothes in to my bag, but Cadarn stopped me halfway through.
"We'll wash those for you."
I hesitated before handing him the clothes, making him chuckle, "You can trust me."
I half nodded as he left the room.
Being alone makes it hard to trust anyone, especially after being betrayed by your own parents. When they told me that society couldn't have me, I didn't know it meant they were going to try and kill me. Moments later, Cadarn came back in.
"Do you know how to knock?" I asked.
"Sorry, once again, I'm with a bunch of boys." Cadarn shoved a bowl of some type of soup to me.
"You usually have to go to the cafeteria for your food, but I'll make an exception for you since you're injured and new."
"I'm not staying." I answered.
"Why not? We have food, shelter, working showers, anything you need to survive."
The offer was truly a good one, but I didn't know to trust them.
"I just can't stay. I'm not like all of you."
"But you are. When I was patching you up, I saw the scar on your back. You're rare. You were one of us that was chipped before you could leave, meaning you were a huge threat for some reason."
I stared in confusion. How could I be a threat. I was like Cadarn and everyone else here; I could sense everything.
"You have a second mind."