As the burn of orange breached the darkness of the night, a plan formed in my mind. Bathed in the warm glow of sunlight, I pulled out a pen and a piece of paper and wrote. My words were directed at no-one and yet seemed more personal than I dared to think. It was as if I was writing it to Evan to explain why and what I had done but I knew that was just a lie I was telling myself to reduce the guilt. This was my confession and my acceptance of what was to come but also my story. It was the truth of the events which had occurred all of those years and months ago and told why I was about to act. In order to win, I refused to stoop to their level but came awfully close with what I had planned. Maybe after this, people would see the light and would understand the truth, but it would all fall apart in an instant if I failed. If the message wasn’t received there would be panic and maybe even a civil war.
I just had to make sure that it was.
For the first time since I had run away, I finally knew exactly what I was going to do. Eyes fixed on the broadcast tower, I examined the structure and where each disc and cable led in order to know what I needed to activate and what I didn't. Although I was far away, narrowing my eyes, I could see the various different cables but that didn't help as I had no idea what they connected to. I was going in blind and with no backup and no idea what to do if my plan failed. If the footage of the council talking to me and admitting that they mutated the virus was gone, I was as good as dead. If the broadcasting equipment had been taken away or failed then I was as good a dead. If I was seen , I was as good as dead.
If, if, if.
There were to many variables and things that were bound to go wrong to dwell on. I had to rely on my skill and techniques that the people that I was fighting against had taught me. The irony of that didn't escape me but I couldn't afford to feel bad about it; I had to stay strong and rely on myself to succeed.
I had to get in, find the footage and broadcast it across the country to show them what depths they had fallen to to win the war. After the footage was sent, I had to act quickly with the next stage: infiltration and extermination. The weapons vault was my target. I was the one who had sown the seeds of destruction and now my plants were growing and polluting the planet. It was my responsibility to deal with them. I wasn’t sure how, but by the end of the day, I knew in some form or another, my part in the war would be over.
Slowing my breath until I could only hear the pounding of my heartbeat, I placed the letter on the ground, covered by a jacket to protect it from the elements. Taking one final look at it, I only hoped that it would be found and understood. If I didn't make it out alive, I wanted the world to know the truth: my truth and why I had destroyed their false society, built on lies. Leaving my final words behind me, I held up my weapon and began the descent into the militaries complex.
‘Unbreakable’ they used to call it. ‘Impossible to get in’ they used to insist. ‘We’re safe in here’ they used to tell themselves but now I was putting that theory to the test.
I knew the way around and knew ever door and exit. I had spent so many years restricted to the complex and had snuck out more times than I dared to count. And back in too. I knew the base and that gave me the advantage over the military’s toy soldiers holding toy guns as the roamed around the building. They would never see me coming and I struck, I would strike hard. I a few men had to die to save the rest of society than it would be worth it. But that made me no better than the council and their harrowing choices. I decide to disable instead of kill if the situation rose upon me but yet I hoped that it didn’t.
Gripping my hand gun and expecting the unseen to strike, I finally reached one of the many side doors which led into the building and towards the broadcast tower. Drawing out a small dagger, I thrust it into the metal box which powered the door. As the electrics hissed and died, I listened out for the click of the door unlocking. The moment that I heard it, I gently pushed the door open, gun raised and ready to shoot whoever lay at the other side. As it swung open before me, I stepped through to see no-one there. Almost sighing in relief, I closed the door behind me and clung to the shadows as my legs carried me towards the tower. Twice, I halted in my track as sounds ricochet on the walls around me, tricking me into thinking that I wasn’t alone. But I was and as I finally reached the door separating me from where I wanted to be, I knew that something was wrong: It shouldn’t have been that easy. Armed and ready to fire, I walked in.
A single word escaped from my lips as I the sight before me forced me to pause and reconsider everything that I was about to do.
“Evan...” I whispered, voice wavering as I spoke. No. No. No. He couldn’t be here, not now and not ever. If the plan succeeded he would not survive this. I had planned for every eventuality but not my true weakness: him.
“Helena. Welcome back.” He said, voice filled with steel and ice.
“Make a single move and I will shoot you.” He warned, showing me the gun in his hand. Concealing mine behind my back, no amount of will power could allow me to open fire on my heart and kill Evan. The memory of our kiss and our tireless days of joy still haunted me. I wanted to hate him for what he had done but still, I felt the warmth radiating off of him.
“They knew that you would come here. They knew that you would run. I guess that you’re not as clever as you thought Coleman.” Stealing a breath, I looked at him and saw through him. I could see the pain and anguish in his eyes but also the rage, the undying and unrelenting rage in his eyes. I could see the flames, burning and burning until there was nothing left but fire. He had seen death and destruction and had felt heartbreak but know he was hollow and was merely the shell of the man he used to be.
“On the night that your parents died, it was my job was to ensure that you died with them but instead I made the call to save you. That was certainly a good decision. You want to give the world peace but yet you create weapons of war and destruction. You’re just one man against thousands, what could you possibly do to make a difference?” he taunted, enjoying my pain and suffering.
That wasn’t my Evan, my Evan was dead. Letting a tear escape, I met his gaze and watched the harshness dance inside of him. He didn’t care anymore, he never did. He had hurt me and had lied to me for as long as I remembered. He knew about my parents’ murder and never said a word even as I cried myself to sleep muttering the word ‘why’.
Raising my gun, a single shot was fired.
Ending my weakness, A single bullet met its target.
And then it was all over, Evan and I were over and my heart shattered into a thousand pieces.
Stepping over his limp form, I began my work, never looking back at what I had done.
Never looking back because the pain would always be there. Wiping away a stray tear, I took a deep breath before continuing my task. Everything else was irrelevant now, only my task mattered. Feeling hollow and numb, my hand hovered over the button. I was so close to letting the footage fly through the frequencies to be seen by whoever had survived the massacre of war. I was so close to success. Taking one last look at Evan’s still body, I froze, reconsidering everything that I was about to do before speaking out to Evan and to myself.
“This.” I whispered through my tears, “This is what I’m doing to make a difference.”
Taking a final breath, I pressed the button.
Stage 1 was complete but at what cost?
My humanity, that was what.