Little British Girl...

- Decide where you belong -

In a world split into two zones, north and south live separately. The sole-superpower, America in the north, and every other country lives in the south. Trespassing is punishable by death.
When Elia, a British citizen, wakes up in the northern zone she is forced to trust local cop Daniel to keep her safe. With no memory of how Elia came to the north, and no recollection of why, she and Daniel decide to try and figure it all out. But along the way secrets are uncovered, allies are made, and Elia begins to play dangerous games, with tragic costs.

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31. Chapter 31

“Hello again Elia.” I recognise the familiar face of Mr Timms sat opposite me. I’ve been in this room cuffed to chair for over an hour, waiting for someone to come in and tell me what’s going to happen next. At long last, someone has, it was considerate of Xander to ask for someone I already knew.

“Mr Timms, I was almost beginning to miss you.” I smirk, “Though next time we meet up I’d prefer to do it in a chair without handcuffs.”

“Well look who went and grew a backbone,” he sighs, shaking his head, “Maybe the stone cell wasn’t as effective as we previously thought it to be…” In response to his words I see the small torture chamber flash up in my mind, the memory of my time there still haunting my mind. I push the feeling to one side, I have to seem strong. “Let’s get down to business, shall we? Well first of all-”

“No.” I say, cutting him off, my expression blank and firm.

“I’m sorry?” Mr Timms leaned in, curious as to the nature of my interruption. I sit back and roll my eyes, I’m so sick and tired of all this power play. This should be between me and Xander, nobody else has to be involved. If he wants to deal with me he should do it in person.

“No, we shan’t get down to business.” I reiterate, empathising my point with a simple shrug of my shoulders.

“What are you talking about? You’re hardly in a position to order me around.” Mr Timms reminds me, but I remain firm.

“I have information which I’m willing to share, but not to you, to Xander, to my father. If he wants to tell me of or punish me or interrogate me he can do it himself. I’m sick of him hiding in the shadows. It’s time for his past to at last catch up with him, it’s time he met me, his daughter.” I explain, keeping my tone authoritative. I have to seem more confident than I actually am to get Mr Timms to agree to my terms, I have to make him believe that they can’t get anything from me unless Xander is the one asking. The truth is I’m crumbling inside, my heart beats faster than ever before, and my grief weighs me down as if my stomach is full of ten kilogram weights. That side of me has to be invisible, for now at least...I have to be tactical, I have to be cunning, I have to be a politician.

Mr Timms judges my expression silently, trying to figure out just how far I’m willing to go with this. I look him dead in the eye, wiping my face clean of any emotion. After one long minute of staring and faking, he finally looks away, appearing to be convinced.

“Fine.” He agrees, “But be warned Elia, Xander Moore has a short temper, don’t try to undermine him...and just for the record, I would have been a lot nicer to you.” He gets up from his seat and heads towards the door, turning around just before he leaves, “Good Luck.” He nods to me, and I give him a small smile in return. I don’t trust Mr Timms as far as I can throw, but I can see that despite his line of work, he still manages to maintain his morals. After that he leaves, and I am alone once more. Knowing full well there are still cameras on me, I maintain my confident act, but look down to let a few rogue tears escape...here you go mum, I think to myself, you’re finally getting what you wanted all along, I’m going to meet my dad. I can’t help but wonder what she’d think of all this if she were still, well...alive- would she have still sent me back here if she knew it would result in her own death? I thought I knew my mother better than anyone, but since I first woke up in the north I’ve learnt with each passing day just how wrong I was. She had a secret romance with a powerful politician,  she hid the true nature of my birth from both me and the world, and she arranged for me to be kidnapped...twice. My mother died a stranger to me, and if I could have any wish in the world, it would be able to have just five more minutes with her so she could explain it all to me-

“I heard you wanted to see me.” I jolt at the sound of his voice just meters away from me, waking me up from my thoughts, “Hello El-elih...I’m sorry, how do you pronounce your name?”

“El-iy-ah.” I state, not looking him in the eye as he walks over to sit opposite me.

“Such a unique name, for such a unique girl… british and american, wow.” He’s mostly talking to himself, gazing out of the tiny square window to our right. Then, with his moment over, he sharply turns his head to look at me, his expression changing from light and relaxed to serious and concerned. “I thought I told you to stay put in the south.”

“I tried.”

“Clearly not hard enough…”

“Maybe if northern security wasn’t so easy to bypass then we wouldn’t be in this situation.” I snap, a tiny fraction of my temper escaping me.

“Ah yes,” Xander smiles, “How exactly do you do it? Nobody else has ever managed to, and yet, you’ve successfully travelled from south to north twice. What’s your secret?” His hands are flat against the table, his enthusiasm taking over, turning his eyes insane.

“I don’t have a clue, I’ve never come to the north by choice, I was kidnapped both times.” I confess, bracing myself for what is next to come with a few deep breathes. I have to make him believe, he has to see that I’m telling the truth, if he doesn’t...then everyone I care about will suffer at his hands. “There is a group that call themselves ‘The Rebellium’, they’re extremists who use violence to try and bring down the system. They’ve kidnapped me twice, sending me here to the north in hope that I would meet you, and become a tool in controlling you.”

“So they are real...interesting, though the plan they came up with was far from effective.” Xander sighed, he’s playing it cool but I can tell he’s interested. Clearly the rebellium are more of a legend and a whisper in the night than the resistance, I have information he wants...I have leverage.

“I suppose they didn’t realise you were a heartless pig.” I shrug, my anger slipping out once more. Xander rolls his eyes at this, already bored of my rage...which only makes me madder, he killed my mother, my rage is fierce and powerful, and not something to be taken lightly or ignored.

“It’s good that you hate me, that will make this a lot easier.” He nods, “Now, what were you saying about the rebellium?”

“Here’s the deal,” I get down to business, placing all my cards down on the table, “I will give you names, locations...I will tell you everything I know, but I want something in return.”

“What’s your demand?” Xander leans back in his chair, keeping his expression unreadable.

“Do you remember the note you left me? Well I’m assuming that agreement has been broken now. In return for my intel, you’ll maintain your half of the deal, and leave my friends alone.” I announce, maintaining a calm tone throughout my reply. To my horror, Xander begins to chuckle...this is not a good sign. He tilts his head back and roars with laughter, amused by my request as if I’d just asked him to turn lead to gold.

“My dear girl...you know perfectly well I can’t do that!” He shakes his head, “Sure, I want the information, but the benefits are simply not worth the risks. If we let those pals of yours go who knows what will happen? That Luci girl is a computer genius! Annabell or whatever her name is can take down four armed guards at once...I mean, these are dangerous people. When we let them go they’ll go back to the resistance and do a lot more damage. All of that just for a few details? No way, never.”

“Well, then wh-what will y-you d-do with, uh, with them?” I begin to stammer, my confident facade slipping away. My plan is falling to pieces, the balance of power is shifting in Xander’s favour, and there isn’t anything I can do about it.

“Well we were going to hold them to a biased trial that would result in all of their deaths, that’s what we usually do...but seeing as you do have some information I want I am willing to change that plan. In return for your little collection of facts, I won’t put them on trial...I’ll send them to the stone cell instead.” As soon as I hear the words slip out of his mouth I feel a lightning bolt of fear shoot down my spine, memories of my time flooding my mind and flashing before my eyes at an incredible speed...no, he can’t be serious-

“They’ll die.” I finish my thoughts aloud, “You know they won’t survive that sort of treatment.”

“Not the ex-cop, not Daniel.” Xander argues, “He’s not got enough of it inside him to pull the trigger, he’s like you. Daniel will live, the rest will die.”

“Exactly, they’ll still die...Luci, Annabeth, and Max. I won’t let you do that.” I remain firm and horrified.

“Come on Elia, I saw you two at the rally...holding hands. The way he looks at you it’s so obvious he has feelings for you, and I have a strange feeling that you care for him to, call it a father’s instinct. They’ll all die if they go to trial, but only three will die if you tell me what I want to know, and Daniel will live.” He bargains, explaining his deal, tearing me apart whilst doing so. How could I do something so cruel as to offer up information and favour one life above them all? Sure, Daniel’s the sweetest most kindhearted guy I’ve ever met, and everytime I look into those blue eyes I instantly feel safe and calm, and he’s saved me so many times in the past...but what about the others? I’m sure Daniel wouldn’t want me to favour him over his own cousin. Besides, even if I took the deal, Daniel would have to spend time in the stone cell...and I can’t even begin to imagine what that would do to him.

“I can’t,” I sigh, looking down at my feet, “I won’t.” I hear Xander get up from opposite me, moving to look out of the window- if only I had that option.

“I can’t say that I’m not a little disappointed…” He trails off, “Ah well, I guess I’ll have to be a little harsher. Now I’m assuming torture won’t work, you’re much too selfless for that...and after the stone cell I doubt much else could get to you. It seems to hurt you, I have to hurt those around you- hm...Am I right in saying one of your motivations for declining my offer had to do with you not wanting to send your little friends into the stone cell?”

“Of course.” I confirm, my head still down but my pulse beginning to race, what is he up to now?

“Then how about this; Either you accept my previous offer, or I send all of your friends off to the stone cell, and then if they survive, I put them on trial. Biased, of course.” He proposes his next bargain, sending shivers across my entire body. He’s asking me to choose the lesser of two evils, is the information worth such a tiny difference in punishment? I look up again, studying Xander’s face...is there some humanity left inside him? Could he possibly be bluffing?

“You wouldn’t.” I shake my head, “Even you don’t have it in you to do such a thing.” Xander sits back down opposite me, tutting as he does so. He leans in so close that I can feel his breath on my forehead, I swear I can hear his heart beating.

“Watch me.” He snarls, moving back away from me to recline in the seat, “Literally...I’ll make sure you have a front-row seat to watch you entire world fall apart.” Then his face goes blank again, his sinister expression gone in a blur, and he gets up, heading towards the door. It is then that I realise he is serious, he will actually kill my friends to get to me, and there is nothing I can do about it…

“Wait, wh-where are you g-going? Xander? Xander look at me! You can’t do this! You c-cant, please...p-please don’t…” I beg, but all this does is fasten his pace, oh no...they’re all going to die, just like my mother- “Wait!” I yell, finally reaching my point of complete and utter devastation, willinging to lose it all for I have nothing left to lose. To both my sadness and delight he turns around. “If you leave them alone, and let them go...then I’ll tell you everything, absolutely everything, not just what I know about the rebellium, what I know about the resistance too.” I look up at my father through my eyes blurred with tears, trying to judge whether or not it will be enough. I hear the firm ‘thud’ of his steps coming closer and closer towards me, and my heart drops as I hear him sit back down.

“Let’s begin.”

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