They had no way to escape! All they could do was defend themselves from the onslaught of attack, but as Gwynivara stood ready to fire several incantations, she could tell that they would have been heavily outnumbered. Emorick hadn’t come close to fully recovering from all the energy he used for the incantation he used to save Gwynivara during their battle against Rafeneita, and Gwynivara knew her adrenaline would only take her so far! She had used so much of her ability in the past week or so that she knew she wouldn’t last long in a fight! Regardless of which adversary was heading towards them right then, they would have had such a large advantage against the pair that they could have eradicated them in mere seconds! Gwynivara couldn’t let them do that to the number one and two in command of the Rebellion- the group that had the rare bit of knowledge to save humanity would collapse without their key players, so she needed to keep them alive for the sake of their entire planet! She almost sent rocks tumbling down to block the entrance to the cave, and the only thing that stopped her was the observation that the voices coming towards them sounded happy…
Emorick and Gwynivara looked to each other in confusion. They didn’t know what to expect, and it startled them when Riley appeared first! He gleefully announced, “You’ll never guess who José and Niqun found!” As Bernadette, Cody, Rebekah, John, Naama, José, and Niqun all trickled in with big grins on their faces, Emorick and Gwynivara still felt confused… until…
Susie, Cedric, and Easton showed up with the rest of the Rebels from Great Dismal Falls behind them! Gwynivara’s jaw dropped- it seemed like too impossible of a feat to actually occur, and yet, here they were! Susie beamed at them and exclaimed, “Surpise!”
“What are you… How are you…?” Emorick stammered.
“We were in the sewers on our way back to headquarters when they just came out of nowhere!” José told them.
Gwynivara inquired, “You guys learned to travel using your Venenatus Sanguis?” She thought about how Abigor and his cronies disappeared after their siege before now, but she had gotten so wrapped in mourning the deaths from that day as well as the agony she endured when Kierram stormed off without coming back that she hadn’t given this facet a lot of consideration. Now that José had reminded her of it, she felt obligated to get to the bottom of it! If they could figure out how to do it as well, they would have a much needed edge in their efforts against Rafeneita and the wave of corruption that she created within their own government!
Easton merrily replied to her, “I wish! If we knew how to do that, we could have solved a lot of our problems a long time ago!”
“So, how did you all get here?” Niqun probed. She let the others know, “They wouldn’t tell us until we were all together!”
“Well, there’s a lot to explain, maybe you should sit down…” Cedric glanced around the cave, and he saw saw that it had become so packed that no one could move much! In fact, some of the Rebels couldn’t even fit inside! So, he retracted his original thought, “Never mind! Just stand comfortably!” He took a deep breath and began the saga, “After we went back to the FBI building, we found that Casey and Ansel had died! A group of agents stood over their bodies ready to dispose of them, but then when they saw us, they started using incantations against us! I know, hard to believe, right?”
Bernadette somewhat bitterly responded, “Not really! Abigor convinced the FBI to create their own Disease Safety Unit so they could go after us again!”
Easton cringed before he commented, “That explains a lot!” He shook off the ill feelings that this brought up and continued their story, “Well, they heard someone coming out and suddenly seemed eager to hide what they were doing, so we used this distraction to escape. We ran to Great Dismal Falls ’cause we assumed that when Riley picked you up that he took you back to the Ashling Boarding House. Security is so tight down there now! Police were onto us in a minute! When we finally got there, Susie said you guys never made it back!”
“When we saw the news covering Emorick’s court martial, we realized what happened,” Susie jumped in. “But the police started to show interest in the boarding house since they saw Cedric and Easton running in that direction and because it was owned by the mother of one of their most wanted people. We knew we weren’t safe there, but we had no idea how we were gonna evacuate everybody without everyone else noticing ’til this policeman showed up…”
“You trusted a policeman?” Emorick reacted quizzically.
Susie justified their decision, “Well, we went to the door ready to fight him off, but something about his demeanor made us think he wasn’t a threat. He genuinely seemed concerned about us, and he told us he was a friend that could help. He warned us that it may not seem like it at first, but we needed to trust him. We didn’t totally believe him, but then he assured us that he would never want to do anything to harm Riley!”
Riley stared at her in utter shock. “Was this policeman’s name Justin?” Susie nodded, and Riley’s eyes widened in bewilderment. “I gave him a fake name! How did he know my real identity?”
“Apparently this teacher you pretended to be filed a complaint when he received a huge fine for seemingly no reason,” Easton informed him. “He also saw your face when helped Emorick escape and got your mug all over the most wanted list. It didn’t take him long to figure out who you really were!”
“But…” Riley looked as though he wanted to feel elated by this revelation, but he struggled to comprehend it as reality. “… If Justin knew I was a wanted felon, why would he wanna help me?”
Cedric filled him in, “He was torn at first. He wanted to follow the rules and do his job, but when he remembered the look in your eyes, he said he didn’t see a criminal. He just met you, but he had a feeling you were special. He didn’t wanna believe that you were up to no good, and that’s when he started noticing a lot of sketchy things going on. He didn’t have a full grasp of what was happening, but after responding to Joanette Joule’s break in, he just knew something greater than he could imagine was at stake! So, he decided to help us.”
Susie narrated the rest of the story, “He bound all of our hands behind our backs with zip ties and had us get onto this bus. He headed towards Richmond, but on the way there, he promised us that he would help us get out of there if we told him the truth about everything. So we did. I don’t think he believed us at first, and for a while, we worried that he just tricked us into getting captured, but then when we were almost in Richmond, he told us to use our incantations to break out of the restraints and overpower him! I was the first one who could do it, but it felt so strange hurting a man who was so nice to us! He ordered me to do it since the human race was on the line, and I knew he was right. I made sure to incapacitate him in a way that was the least painful though! Before I knocked him out, he said that they suspected that you may have used the sewer systems. Once he was out, we followed the sewers but got lost. We didn’t know how to get to Silver Park, so we just kept trying to head north. Then today, we finally knew we made it when we heard José and Niqun talking!”
Everyone held Justin in high regard after hearing that, but Riley felt especially touched by his actions. John remarked, “After this is all over, you definitely gotta call this guy!”
Many of the other Rebels shared his sentiments, but Gwynivara picked up on something else from Susie’s account. “Wait, you said they suspected we were using the sewer systems, not he. So, who else besides Justin figured this out?”
“Some of the detectives assigned to you guys thought you went underground to elude authorities, and it started to click for them what was underneath the ground…” Easton regretfully revealed.
“They’re on to us!” Emorick miffed.
Naama deduced, “If they follow the sewage system, they’re bound to find our headquarters in this cave! We can’t hide everyone, we can’t even all fit inside! We can’t stay here!”
Bernadette wondered, “Where are we supposed to go though? We don’t have any other allies to help us get the cure out, and we can’t go after Rafeneita ’cause we don’t know where she is…”
“Yes we do!” Rebekah differed. She dove between a couple of people’s legs and pulled up a newspaper article. “He’s holding a rally in Ohio in a few days. If she’s gonna make like she’s hoping to be the future first lady, she’s bound to have gone with him!”
“We don’t know for certain that she’s the one masquerading as his gal though!” Gwynivara painfully admitted. She hated recalling the fight she had with Kierram, but she couldn’t get it out of her head, even right then! As joyous as this reunion with the other Rebels felt, she anguished over the fact that one Rebel, one very important to them, was notably absent! She knew if he were there that his opinion would have been significant, so she had the impulse to speak for him. It did come to her mind that his defense of Rialowe may have led them to some kind of trap, so she pondered if she ought to maintain this practice or not! It vexed her to think that if he had been present at that moment, he might have tried to persuade them to go there so they could fall prey to one of Rafeneita’s snares! She noticed that Rebekah was holding up a Vulpes Press publication, and that made her realize that one of their representatives would more than likely attend that rally. They knowingly or unknowingly did Rafeneita’s bidding by legitimizing Rialowe’s dangerous ideas, so if one or more of her lackeys would attend that rally, then she thought perhaps they could find a valuable clue that may lead them to Rafeneita! “But Rialowe has to be stopped regardless of who is working with him! Maybe it would be worth it to go to this thing!”
Cedric posed to her, “Yeah, but how would we get all these people there? We don’t have a bus this time, and they’ll be watching the sewers soon, so how are we gonna sneak everyone across state lines without getting caught?”
They all contemplated the issue for while. It did truly seem like an impossible task! Gwynivara knew that they couldn’t hide a crowd this size until they got to the rally where they could blend in with everyone else there! She transfixed her gaze back on the newspaper, and all of a sudden, something caught her eye that made the solution obvious…
“All aboard!” the train conductor shouted. “Last call for the train heading to Fredusky!” He watched a group of people donning pro-Rialowe gear board his train, and he joked with them, “Let me guess, you’re all Carter fans?”
“What are you blind?” Gwynivara pretended to feel offended by that slight.
The conductor chuckled, and then he expressed, “You’re lucky! All of Rialowe’s rallies sound like they’ve been a blast, but I have a feeling this one will be huge! And I don’t just mean the size of his supporters attending it either! I think this one will be the most momentous event he’s ever done!”
Gwynivara gave him an honest reaction to that, “You have no idea!” The conductor cheerily laughed and gladly collected their tickets as they entered onto the train.
During the ride, Gwynivara wistfully viewed the scenery go by. Emorick set down his newspaper and encouragingly regarded her, “It’s all gonna be okay, you know that, right?”
“No, I don’t know that!” Gwynivara lamented, “Kierram doesn’t know we left! He’s still out there, and they’re determined to…” She spotted the conductor nearby, so she finished her sentence in a lower voice, “They’re determined to capture the us, so what are the odds that he’ll find us?”
“Kierram’s a smart guy,” Emorick whispered, “If he goes to the cave and sees we’re not there, he’ll figure out where we went to.”
Gwynivara repined, “But what if he doesn’t? What if he doesn’t figure out where we went and…” She glanced at the conductor, who came walking down the aisle, and she reworded her theorization, “What if he never figures out where we went and he thinks we abandoned him?”
Very sure of himself, Emorick assured her, “He’ll know better than that! He’ll know that we wouldn’t desert him just ’cause you two got into an argument! He’d know that something caused us to vacate our… camp like that, and he knows how we feel about Rialowe…” He tipped his “Lie to Me” ball cap to the conductor as he passed by, and the conductor nodded cordially back to him.
“Well, I suppose he could work out what our plan changed to, but there’s…” She softened her tone as she fretted, “There’s so much that could go wrong with this whole ordeal! Bella has already proven she has powerful allies, and Abigor may do something to get back in Rafeneita’s good graces. Most of our guys haven’t honed their incantation abilities, and now we’re down an Officer! Three Officers, actually! Two of our men died, and one is missing, and we barely hung in there the last time we battled Rafeneita before…” The conductor turned his attention in her direction when she mentioned Rafeneita’s name, and while she gauged it to be a coincidence, she didn’t want to take another chance and decided not to discuss anymore classified details. “I’m not saying we can’t succeed, I’m just saying there’s a lot of awful possibilities for us and I may not get a chance to tell him goodbye!”
“You’re not gonna have to worry about saying goodbye! We’re gonna be successful before you know it, then you and Kierram will find each other and have fun making up! Don’t give me that look! You have to believe that if you wanna succeed in a mission this critical!” Emorick advised her.
Gwynivara acknowledged, “You’re right! Everything will be just fine!” As the words came out of her mouth, her stomach tightened and she didn’t feel too sure about their odds…
The train came to a halt, and the conductor bellowed, “Okay folks, you’ve now reached the final destination! End of the line, everyone’s gotta go! Welcome to Fredusky!”
I am so impressed at your regular output! (tu tu tu, bli ein haRa, as some folks say, no Evil Eye or jealousy intended!!)
Thank you! I do strive for consistency 😊
Thank you! 😊
You are most welcome!
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