Lucid

~The Sequel to 'Little British Girl~
- Decide which side your on -
Three and a half month after Luci kidnapped her birth father, Xander Moore, Elia and her friends are on the run. Both north and south are engulfed in complete and utter chaos, and the resistance and the rebellium are gaining power through an alliance. Both sides want them out of the way, and they have nowhere to be, nowhere where they belong. The four friends must choose a side, the alliance, or the government, a decision that will forever haunt them all.
Nothing is certain, nothing is safe, nothing is lucid.

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35. Chapter 35

“I’m impressed,” I hear Luci’s voice behind me, followed by the sound of her approaching footsteps, “I was about sixty percent certain that this was some sort of trick.” I try not to react as I hear her come closer, keeping my back turned, my head down, and my body as still as possible. This had all seemed like such a good idea until about twenty seconds ago. “Well...aren’t you going to do something? Say something? Why exactly did you go to the trouble of getting me here?” I swallow down my fear, taking a deep breath in and out, knowing I can’t show her how petrified I am right now.

“Do you know where we are Luci?” I ask her, glad that my voice is plain and emotionless, without a single stammer.

“The woods,” Luci sighs, “You don’t have to be a genius to figure that out.”

“This is where he died.” I reveal, unable to stop my voice from breaking off a little at the end.

A second passes. A second for her to look around and see this clearing the way I do.

Then a second second passes. A second for her to react to being here again.

And then a final second passes. A second for her to hide that reaction, to bury it deep.

I hear her footsteps as she walks closer to me, drawn in by my announcement. She knows now. She knows this isn’t a trap or a trick. She knows this is a plea, a plea for hope. I wait until I’m eighty percent sure she’s only a foot behind me, then I get up, standing to the right of where I just knelt, pointing down at the small area.

“He died there,” I spit, pointing down at the cluster of blood-stained leaves, “He died there.”

Luci looks down at the crimson dirt, her face finally showing a small hint of emotion- of grief. She quickly looks away again, focusing her eyes back onto me.

“I never meant for anyone to die.” She tells me, stressing each word.

“But someone did, he did.”

“I didn’t fire the bullet.”

“No, but you didn’t stop Elda from pulling the trigger.”

“Do you think that I wanted him dead? Do you think that I wanted any of this?” Luci snaps, lunging towards me, forcing me to the ground. I ignore the pain in my leg, I wanted this...I needed to strike a nerve, I needed to dig deeper.

“You may not have wanted him dead, but you were willing to put his life at risk...you were willing to let him die.” I continue to dig at her, fury rising up inside me. The anger is unexpected. I’d expected to feel hurt, betrayed, even distraught...but not angry.

“I’m not the one who killed him Elia!” She reminds me, pinning me down to the ground. I don’t resist, I let her attack me.

You put the tracking device in my leg,” I remind her, “He stayed behind to help me get away, because I couldn’t run on my own. He died because of that tracking device! He died because of you. He-”

I don’t finish my sentence, my body is thrust to one side, chucked down the sloping hill, landing against an old oak tree. Pain escalates up my back and my head, and my leg is so useless now that it’s numb with the pain. I don’t get the chance to recover. My vision is blurred but I can still see her run over to me...I can still feel her kick in my ribs, as I just lay here, lifeless and limb.

“If Max...stayed behind for you...then…then your the reason he died!” She yells, shouting out her words in between each hard, firm kick. I don’t know how long the attack lasts, but it’s cut short suddenly.

BANG.

The sound of a bullet being fired.

I narrowly misses Luci, hitting the tree behind her instead, but I think that was deliberate.

“Get away from her Luci.” Annabeth warns, moving her gun and inch to the right so it’s now aimed directly at her head. Luci does as she’s ordered, taking two large steps away from me. I feel a pair of firm arms around my waist, lifting me upwards, and I recognise them immediately as Daniel’s.

“Are you okay? Can you walk?” He whispers to me, positioning me so I lay across his lap, with my head supported in his hand. I want to lie to him, to tell him that I’m fine, but I know that the most I can do is stand.

“No.” I cry, shaking my head. He brings me in closer to him, hugging me tight as he helps me get to my feet, resting me against the trunk of the tree.

“We’re going to leave now Luci, and you’re not going to follow us. Understand?” Annabeth takes control, still pointing her gun at Luci’s head.

“No...”

“What?”

“No I don’t understand.” Luci clarifies cynically, glaring up towards Annabeth. “Why does she always get saved?” She turns back around to point at me, her tone spiteful and cruel, “Why does everyone always rush to the rescue when Elia’s in trouble? What has she ever done for the world that makes her so precious?”

“Stop that Luci, you know perfectly well why we’re here. Elia’s our teammate, it would work exactly the same way for any of us.” Annabeth snaps.

“Would it?” Luci asks, waving her hands up in the air. “Would Max have stayed behind and helped Daniel get across? Would he have helped you? Probably not. Because you and Daniel can take care of yourselves. But little miss innocent over there...she needs you, and you let her need you! You’re always there, protecting her innocence, protecting her virtue...why? Why does she get to stay innocent in such a deadly world? What gives her the right?” Luci yells, burying her head in her hands, clawing at her scalp.

“Luci you’re not making any sense.” Annabeth calls out to her, her voice a bit softer than before, “Look, I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t see the good side to you that Elia seems to be able to focus on, but I do think that there are sides to you that aren’t so...rough. And I think- I think that Max, he brought out those sides. It started as a game, you needed a cover, you need to play him...but along the way, I think he touched you in a way you never expected. I think you loved him Luci, perhaps not as much as he loved you, but enough.” Annabeth lowers her gun, put keeps it ready at her side as she makes her way over to Luci, becoming more and more hesitant with each step she takes. “You want someone other than yourself to blame for his death, but the fact is that it was your fault, and you know that. So now you’re attacking Elia because the fact that Max got shot saving her irritates you. You’re angry that he chose her over his own safety, but that’s not Elia’s fault. It was his decision.” Luci looks up at her, her face damp and red. I try to read her expression, but I can’t. She straightens her back, standing face to face with Annabeth...

“Don’t tell me how I feel.” She snaps, smacking Annabeth across her face and snatching her gun right out of her hand. She kicks Annabeth in the stomach and shoves her back towards me and Daniel, so that she stumbles into her cousin's arms. Luci pulls out a second gun from her coat pocket, and points both of them at the three of us. “I told you just over a year ago that if you got in my way I’d kill all of you…” She trails off, as if she’s still deliberating what to do, “I warned you all to stay away!”

“And we didn’t listen,” Annabeth reminds her, brushing the dirt of her trousers and standing tall, “So kill us, stay true to your word. If those years spent in Arizona working with us, helping us, fighting alongside us really do mean nothing to you then shoot us Luci, and we can all go and join Max wherever he is right now.”

“Not all of you need to die for me to make my point, killing all of you would be gluttony.” Luci thinks aloud, biting down on her lip. “In fact…” My stomach churns at the sight of her smirk returning, her eyes brightening up again with the formation of a plan. To my horror, she turns to me, shoving me forwards and onto my knees, away from Annabeth and Max. “Sorry Elia, but you don’t get to stay innocent in this world,” She smiles at me, bending over to be at eye-level, “I killed my daddy, I killed the devil and became the devil...now it’s your turn.” To both my surprise and terror, she passes me one of the guns. I feel sick at the sensation of my hand gripping onto the deadly metal. I keep perfectly still, too scared to move a finger. “Either you kill me, or I’ll shoot Daniel.” As she speaks she raises her gun so it points at his head, taking a small step away from me. “Either you kill me, or I’ll kill the man you love. Either way you won’t be little miss innocent anymore…”

“Luci please don’t do this, please...please I’ll do anything!” I find myself begging at her, tears streaming down my face, “Please! Please don’t make me do this- please, please just let us go…”

“5.” Luci says, ignoring my cries and beginning to countdown.

“Please...please don’t do this.”

“4.”

“Luci listen to her! Stop this!” Annabeth yells, stepping in front of her cousin, shielding him.

“3.”

Daniel uses all his strength to shove Annabeth into the oak tree, knocking her unconscious and keeping her out of the line of fire.

“2.”

She’s not stopping. She’s not going to stop.

“1.”

With my time finally up, I make my decision.

“I’m sorry Daniel.” I murmur, envisioning the stone cell in my mind. I never really escaped it. This entire planet is one giant stone cell, and I’m a rebel… I won’t survive it.

I raise the gun up high, pointing it at the left of my head.

And then I pull the trigger.

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