Being Amber

Without any memory of her past and not knowing why people react to her as they do, Amber has to learn to survive in the hard underworld of the City, among gangs and the unwanted citizens.
Her appearent resemblance with Ben's dead girlfriend, places her in the middle of a war that easily can cost her and others their lives.
In her quest to find her identity Amber has to learn to tell friend from foe, see behind the lies and decide if Ben's past matters at all.
When Ben asks Tom to train Amber he gets pulled into the war happening around him, far more than he wants to be.
Tom's alliance with Ben hangs in a thin tread when he not only falls in love with Amber but also starts a relationship with Kattie, who already has a boyfriend in Clay, Ben's second in command.
Will Amber ever find out who she really is ?
And how Will they get through the war ?

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36. Preperations for war

 

 *Amber*

 Everywhere you could see the preparations for war. The training facilities at Tom and Kress was being used much more than usual, and people kept helping and correcting each other, seeking their friends advices. The safety protocol with The Eagles and The Stars had been raised, and food and weapons were stored at the two places. Those would be our bases during the war and every member of The Shadows would move to one of them, were they could be easily protected and the enemy kept out.

 To my surprise a lot of people had started asking for my advice. They stopped me on the street and asked me advice on hand to hand compat especially.

 Worst part was that I couldn't really answer them. I couldn't tell what it was that had made me win against Zac, beside that apparently I managed to cut of for the pain and ignore it, and that I refused to give in, no matter how dire it looked. That I actually enjoyed figthing instead of fearing it.

 Ben still feared that Clay would show up in the middle of the night to take revenge, so he upped the security in the apartment. We were taking turns keeping watch, so there was always someone awake in the living-room. KC got the idea to let Lucas help and Ben took the ekstra step, letting Lucas move into the apartment. After I had moved into Ben's room, KC had gotten his room back and now shared it with Lucas.

 To make it all fit, Ben had also put Tom on the schedule, as he was mostly spending his nights in Kattie's room anyway. That meant we were two people covering a night as we wanted. I was sharing with Kattie and we both stayed up all night, snuggled up in blankets and talking, while drinking hot cocoa. Those nights almost made me feel like a teenager again.

 "So you and Ben, I guess you are sleeping together, now when you have moved into his room ?" Kattie looked and me an I blushed violently, but nodded. "So spill the beans, how is it ?"

 "It is nice". I didn't really know what to say, it wasn't something I was used to talk about. "It is amazing. He is always so sweet and caring". I sighed and giggled. "And well physically it is very very good too".

 "I am happy for you, for you both". Kattie smiled, then bit her lip. "Yeah the physical part we definately don't have any trouble with. God if you knew half the things Tom can do in the bedroom..".

 I quickly held up my hand, giggling. "Yeah stop right there Kat, sorry but I prefer if you leave out the details". She sent me a wicked grin. "But is something wrong with the rest or ?"

 "No.. I mean.. but me and Tom aren't really good at all that romance and feelings and stuff". She made a face. "But lately Tom is really trying, he is so sweet and caring when we are alone and he really try with the romance. And I am just so scared I end up laughing at him and hurt his feelings.. I mean not that it is funny, but I get so nervous and awkward".

 "Relax Kattie, you and Tom love each other, you are so perfect together. Don't worry so much about fitting into some boxes of what others expect". I told her and she sent me a smile and nodded. "I know Amber, thank you".

 It was almost morning, and the others would get up soon, so we could get to bed. Kattie had fallen asleep in the armchair and I let her sleep. I was laying on the couch, feeling my eyes getting more and more heavy.

 I was awakened when Kattie flew up, and when she listened I could suddenly hear footsteps on the stairs. I was about to get up, but Kattie lifted her hand to stop me.

 "It isn't Clay or Zombie". She whispered and untangled herself from the blanket and grabbed the knife from the table. Only in the underworld it was normal to have weapons laying around with teenagers in the house.

 Kattie was halfway to the door when it opened. But she had only just raised the knife, before she was face to face with Penny. Penny looked around.

 "So have you gone paranoid or what ?" She asked stepping past Kattie and into the living-room, giving me a small wave. "Or did you just run out of rooms ?"

 "Clay is still out there, and well he did threaten most of us with bloody murder". Kattie answered. "What are you doing here ?"

 "Clay ?" Penny sat down in the other armchair like she came around every day unannounced. "They one you were dating ?"

 "Well until he couldn't handling Ben being happy and back on track". Kattie answered. "We kicked him out when he tried killing Amber and KC".

 "But you didn't eliminate the threat ? You just let him go ?" Penny didn't seem like she agreed on that choice. "And now you are keeping guard at night in the living-room ?"

 "We are on our way to war against Zombie. There are several good reasons to be very careful". Kattie answered. "But what are you doing here ?"

 "The mayor is blaming the underworld for the murder on John Nobel. Guess who he appointed the new deputy mayor". Penny said.

 "My uncle". I answered. It was the most logical choice.

 "Yeah you would think that". Penny answered. "He chose Christopher and those two are very much in agreement about these things. They have made a public promise that within two years the underworld no longer exists and every unwanted citizen will be gone from Catrista".

 "I can't believe Christoper, dare do that". I hissed. "We should have killed him too".

 "I think we need to let Zac go have a talk with him". Kattie said calmly. "Was that why you came, just to tell us that ?"

 "You are going to war". Penny said with a smile. "Do you really think I would miss out on all the fun now when I am old enough to participate ?"

 "So you are back to stay ?" Kattie say, and I got a feeling she wasn't all happy about this.

 "Well the drugs are gone and Ben is back to being himself". Penny answered. "But I will need a room, because I am so not staying on the couch".

 We heard one of the bedroom doors open and footsteps down the hall. We all looked at the doorway as Tom emerged. He was only wearing his boxers and he was tiredly rubbing his face. "Kat baby, come to bed, I want to cuddle just a bit before I need to leave".

 "Well hallo there handsome, see that isn't a bad sight to behold in the morning". Penny said, her eyes running over Tom. I heard a low hissing sound from Kattie.

 Tom removed his hand looking at us, he suddenly looked most like a deer caught in the headlights of a car. I mean Penny was right, he did look absolutely sexy with his hair all tousled and a sleepy expression, but you don't say that out loud. "Oh, hi Penny. Are you here ?"

 "As you can see, yes I am and I am back to stay". Penny said, a sly smile spreading on her lips and I feared Kattie would attack her, so I hurried up saying. "Just go to bed Kattie, Ben will be up in 10 minutes anyway".

 "Don't even think about it Penny". Kattie hissed, before grabbing Tom's hand and pulling him with her down the hallway and into her room.

 Penny just shrugged. "To bad".

 

 Ben had us all meet on the school in what would be the commando room. He had put Hope in charge of the commando room with a couple of the other young members, that were active, but to young to fight in a war. I hadn't seen much of him those last couple of weeks, because he had been so busy getting the bases ready and making plans.

 Now he stood before us as the leader he was. The leader he had been before the grief had cribbled and almost destroyed him.

 "From here everything will be monitored". He explained. "All active members will be divided into groups of twenty-five. They will sleep, eat and fight together. Kress, Tom and I have mixed our members, so all gangs are represented in all groups. They have to accept that any of us can lead them and give them orders. Everyone present has been given the title of captain. You will each be in charge of a group, when needed. Expect that sleep and food will be very sparse in our cases.

 I looked around on the others. Kress, Tom, Zac and Drew was expected, Kattie too, as she was after all second in command of The Shadows. I was surprised to find myself in this group. Lucas looked like he felt just as out of place as me. KC and Mike was less of a surprise and Penny, well Penny probably wouldn't have accepted a no if she had been left out.

 "We have upgraded our communication equipment". Ben continued. "All active members will get a radio with an earpiece. Every group will be on different frequencies and their leader will be on the same frequency as the group they are responsible for. We will also have our own frequency . That means that your radio will have to keep switching between the two frequencies. It is importent you only use the group frequency to send short messages and stay on the leader frequency the rest of the time".

Ben showed how the switch between frequencies, it was only two buttons that had to be turned, so everyone should be able to manage.

 "Everyone in this room will also get one of these". He held up something that looked like a thin band aid. "This is a microchip that will be placed on your chest. It will monitor your heart rate, pulse and your blood pressure, that way the commando room can keep check on everyone. At the same time it has a GPS, so they can track us at all times. Hopefulle that makes it possible to send back-up and keep us alive".

 "How on eart did you afford all this ?" Penny asked and nodded towards the four brand new computers that had been set up and the other twelve tv screens on the walls.

 "Well some of the money we had". Ben answered. "Others were donated by an anonymous donor". I noticed the look he sent Zac. I didn't know how it was possible, but Zac surely had something to do with this. "The next couple of weeks there will be daily training fights, so people kan learn how to use the equipment. You will take turn leading to make sure that you know how to communicate both an attack and a defence.

 "When is the real deal starting ?" Drew asked. "Has the day and time been set ?"

 "Three weeks from now". Ben answered. "We meet at noon in the park. There we are going to agree on the rules for the war and set up the conditions of defeat".

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