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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7. Chapter 7

There are over two thousand people in the north recorded under ‘S.Ryans’, and just over fifty-eight percent are male. Of course, only one was present with ‘X.Moore’ all those years ago on the trip to the south...we just have no clue which of them it is. The mission report for that trip appears to have vanished into thin air, making it nearly impossible to find out which ‘S.Ryans’ is my ‘S.Ryans’.  

Nearly impossible.

You see, only two hundred ‘S.Ryans’ were employed by the military or the government, and only  hundred ‘S.Ryans’ were in action back then, and out of that one hundred only fifty of those were in high enough ranks to have gone on the trip. Inside that fifty, thirty have blue eyes, or are part of a family with the blue-eye gene...mum always told me how I had my father’s eyes.

So now we’ve gone from two thousand ‘S.Ryans’ to thirty...and one of them is my birth father.

We have the records for all of these ‘S.Ryans’, and are currently scanning through them guessing at which ones might actually be him. Which sounds difficult in theory, but in practise- it’s even harder. There’s no way of telling who could and couldn’t be my real dad. Occasionally I’ll read something that makes me think ‘it’s not him’, but then I wonder if I might be dismissing the person who’s actually my father, and I decide to keep them in the mix. It’s impossible to decide who could be Steve Ryans from facts about their birthplace, height, weight etc, and I’m not sure how much longer I can bare to sit at a table trying to.

“How about this one, I think there’s some resemblance.” Annabeth hands me over a file she’s been looking at. I stare at the image of the man, the picture is old, he’s only twenty-ish in the image, but according to his date of birth, he’d be forty-something now. He’s got light blue eyes, and strawberry-blonde hair that’s neatly combed back away from his forehead. There’s a smirk in his smile and a glint in his eye that just doesn’t ‘click’ for me, but then again how can I be sure…?

“Um- I don’t know...m-maybe?” I stammer, unsure. Annabeth sighs, taking the file back and adding it to the ‘maybe’ pile (which currently consists of all the files). “Listen,” I stand up, tired of this, “We’re getting nowhere, I mean, how can we possibly narrow it down just by looking at the files? This is hopeless.”

“What over option to we have?” Max shakes his head, not necessarily disagreeing with me.

“There-there’s got to be something,” I stress, “I-I just have to get out of this stupid shed.” I turn sharply on my heel, heading in the direction of the exit. I ignore Daniel’s cries of protest behind me, simply telling him I won’t go far and I’ll be back soon’, and waving him off with my hand, not even making eye contact as I shut the door behind me.

Alone at last, I let out a long overdue sigh, resting against the wall for a moment as I gather my thoughts. I decide to go over to the local convenience store, after all, we need some more supplies, and it will give me a good half hour to calm myself down and get ready to go back in there and face the realities of my currently disjointed life.

As usual, I walk with my head down and my body language closed, trying to draw as little attention to myself as possible. The government want me, but they don’t want me too badly, I mean, right now I’m not really much of a threat, and as long as I take care I have nothing to worry about. I’m like third place, I’ll do, but there are bigger prizes to be won.

The convenience store is only a five minute walk away, and I arrive in no time at all. I take a basket and scan the shelves, in particular looking for any orange ‘reduced, still fresh’ labels. I pick up milk, some breakfast bars, baked beans, oranges, bread, and a few bottles of water. I am just picking up a cheap (but necessary) bottle of hand sanitizer, when I feel the warmth of someone standing behind me.

Directly behind me.

Not a bit to the left, or an inch to the right, right one-hundred percent behind me, like a living shadow. This isn’t just someone hovering behind me waiting for me to move out of the way, this is someone blocking my exit.

“What do you want?” I whisper, my voice shaking. Is this it? Am I about to get caught and taken away? Arrested and executed at long last?

“It’s funny the people you bump into at the supermarket, huh?” I feel a shiver go down my spine at the sound of that voice. It electrocutes my bones and spreads to my veins, causing them to itch and ache, and I gag, feeling as though I might actually be sick. To make things worse I now feel the press of a gun against my back, an unspoken threat telling me to stay put where I stand. “Drop the basket, and come with me.” The same voice orders, proceeding to lead me out of the store and into the street. We walk along, turning left and right, heading down alleyways and footpaths, away from the main city.

I’m sorry Daniel, I apologise mentally, if I die here it will be my own stupid fault for leaving alone because I was in a bad mood. I actually think I might die here, this person will not show sympathy, and whatever it is they want, I know they will stop at nothing to get it. I’ve experienced their stubbornness first-hand, and I have a feeling I’m about to again.

“Stop.” The voice commands, and I freeze, halting where I stand. “Turn right and open up the doors.” I do as I am told, facing the entrance to some old bomb shelter. I kneel down and open the doors to reveal an entrance. “Go inside.” I nod, and step down to the entrance, walking along and into the main shelter. “Have a seat.” I take the offer, knowing I have no choice. I sit on the old wooden chair, now facing my kidnapper.

...and she hasn’t changed a bit.

“Hello again Elia.” She smiles, with a glint in her eye that unsettles me.

It’s like I’m seeing her again for the first time. Back in the computer room in Yuma.

Uncombed strands of bright red hair statically extending out from her scalp, knotted among each other, unable to settle. Skin unseen by the sun, pale and pasty- and her tight lips curving to the right in a confident and sinister smirk...her head angled in the same way as she enjoys the silent hierarchy. Then there’s the eyes. One green, one amber...both squinted and focused as they judge me from head-to-toe, scanning me like a product in a store. They both hold the same expression- they both contain the same glint, a glint that tells you she’s wild and uncontrolled, that she’ll do whatever she wants, no matter what the possible consequences might be. Her eyes are alive with a longing for danger, a longing for destruction.

“Hello Luci.” I grimace.

Without warning, she collapses down into a crouch to be at my level, clutching the sides of the chair with her hands and looking up at me excitedly, her smile widening.

“You haven’t changed a bit.” She states the fact as if it pleases her, “That’s good- I was afraid you might have.” She extends out her left hand and grabs a handful of my hair, not to hurt me, to examine it, “Well, your hair isn’t as soft...but I suppose that’s not important, is it?” She stands back up again, folding her arms across her chest, “There are more pressing matters at hand.”

I bow my head. Of course she knows, she knows everything...that’s how she’s always one step ahead of everyone.

“The alliance.” I sigh, “Listen, Luci-”

“The what?” She cuts me off, “I’m not talking about some stupid ‘alliance’ group.”

“Oh. Then wh-what are you t-talking about?” I try to figure things out, confused.

“You of course.” She states, acting as if it was obvious all along, her matter-of-fact tone blunt and cold.

“Me? What did I do?” I ask, genuinely clueless. What does Luci want with me?

“Not something you’ve done, something that you’re going to do.” Luci stresses, spelling it out for me in an insultingly patronising way. She walks over to the ajar door and slams it shut. “You’re looking for your dad.”

My brow creases, I don’t really understand what she’s so worked up about.

“What’s so bad about that?”

Luci sighs heavily, rolling her eyes and pacing over to the other side of the room, leaning against the wall.

“You just don’t get it do you?” She grumbles, “I’m trying to help you.

“Help me?” I question, “You’ve kidnapped me!”

“Yeah,” Luci shrugs, as if I accused her of eating the last biscuit, “But I did it so I could help you.”

“I-I don’t understand…” I trail off.

“Clearly.” Luci mutters under her breath, her tone bored and irritated. Then, in a flash, she bounces back to life, springing over to stand behind where I sit, kneeling down to whisper in my ear. “Do you know who I was before I became this person?” She asks me, chuckling a little at the end. I just sit silently, to stunned to speak, I can feel her boiling breath against my earlobe. Slowly, she straightens her spine, standing up tall so she can loom over me. “I was you,” she reveals, “I was a little british girl unable to truly understand life’s horrors. I was blind to the truth, and so naive in my ways that I let people just walk straight over me. So, when little naive me found out I had a daddy in the North, I knew I just had to meet him. I used my computer skills to find out who he was, and I just kept on digging deeper and deeper into the man you know as Xander Moore, and the further I dug, the more disappointed I became. My dad was a monster. I found out that I was the daughter of the devil.” Luci moves to stand in front of me, walking slowly so I can hear her footsteps thud against the hard metal flooring of the shelter. Once again she lowers herself to my level, and she leans in so that we are just centimeters apart. “And I knew, from that moment on, that I wanted to kill him.” She shakes her head as she speaks, her lips curved up sinisterly as she laughs out her words. She retracts herself away from me again, and I can breathe at last.  She folds her arms across her chest, looking me dead in the eye. “If you go looking for your dad Elia you’ll just end up like me, a bundle of uncontrollable hatred. We’re the same, you and I, we both belong everywhere, and thus nowhere. We come from both the North and the South, so consider this some advice, from one outcast to another, don’t go looking for your northern side, it’ll just tear you apart further.” I don’t reply, I just sit and wait for her to make the next move. Her words are hard to hear with the sound of the loud booming of my heart as it tries to escape my chest, I hide my hands from her, but they’re shaking so violently that I’m not sure if they’ll ever stop.

I wince as she approaches me again, slowly prowling over to where I sit. I’m as still as a statue, frozen in place as she crouches down and sits on my lap, literally right on my lap. I try to ignore her, but it’s impossible, in this moment she owns me, and we both know it. She takes a handful of my hair and uses it to yank my head towards her, forcing my eyes to meet hers.

“The day I found out the sort of person my daddy was, was the same day I realised what Luci is short for,” she slurs, “Lucifer.” She grins, then, without warning, she stabs me in the back with something small and sharp...a needle perhaps? She gets up and walks away, the room is spinning around me now and my vision is blurring, she must have injected me with something. “When you wake up go back to your friends, and tell them to stop looking for your father, then go find some place new to hide.” She instructs me, her words fading as I begin to black-out, “Night ni-”

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