Chapter 58

Maya woke up in the ditch, the large ivy thicket had broken most of her fall. At least it smelled like ivy. Her eyes opened, but she didn’t move a muscle. She stayed very still and listened. She heard sirens, but none of them were close. That meant whoever had cleared out.

How long had she been out? And why hadn’t anyone found her? She tried moving an arm and almost yelled out in pain. She hurt all over, and her brain hadn’t bothered to clue her into that fact while she came back online.

She moved slowly, leaves falling out of her hair as she sat up, glass joining them as she finally found herself in a sitting position. Which, weirdly, didn’t put her head above the ivy thicket she was sitting in. She tried not to think about how many spiders were in her vicinity as she stood, slowly and creakily.

In the road, was their G-wagon, on it’s roof, flagged and pulled off to the side of the road, a few cars flying past as she pulled herself out of the woods. She looked at the skid marks, the way the glass had flown every direction. And the two small pools of blood that someone hadn’t cleaned up, yet. 

Her stomach fell to the core of the earth. Two people had been hit. And it looked like everyone had been taken by the IJS. She was alone.

She eventually flagged down a taxi which took her back to the hotel. No one had come for them, there, apparently. But she didn’t hold much hope of them keeping it a secret for long. There could be a possibility a couple people got away on foot. Maybe she should stay put. Or call them? No, don’t call them. That would tip them off to her location.

She slowly showered, her aches and pains not melting away as she’d hoped with the water, but sticking with her. She got into new clothes and got herself down to the bar, which was in the front window of the hotel. It seemed like the best place to wait.

Three hours, two beers and a sandwich later, Sam finally came in, sweating and panting. Maya jumped up and intercepted him.

“Sam,” she cooed with a fake smile on her face. “Come upstairs with me, sweetie. Let’s get you cleaned up.” Sam shut up. Possibly glad she was doing all the cover talking and followed her upstairs. They found his room and his keycard in the mess of his new suit pockets and he collapsed on his bed. Maya dug a packet of candies and some water out of the fridge and tossed them to him on the bed. She allowed herself to pace just a bit.

“How long have you been here?” he finally sat up and began eating candies by the fist full. 

“Three hours.” She shrugged. “But I was knocked out for at leas two while they cleaned up the g-wagon.”

“I supposed that answers why you didn’t’ get snatched.” He shrugged. “You got knocked out in the bushes and they didn’t find you? They didn’t do a head count or something?”

“Were you making trouble?” Maya crossed her arms ad stopped pacing to glare at him. 

“Well,” Sam was sheepish. As if it was a bad thing to save her life. “Yeah. What else is a guy supposed to do if someone is dragging his girlfriend into the back of a van?”

“I’m not mad.” She said. “Just trying to bring a touch of levity to the situation.”

“Levity?”

“Never mind.” Maya waved him off and sat down on the bed. Sam picked up the remote and flicked the new on. They weren’t running anything important, so he turned it down and picked up the phone receiver. 

“Do you need something to eat?” he asked, looking at the menu.

“Ice cream. Chocolate” The sand which had been long enough ago that she needed something else. But she was done just fueling her body. She needed some freaking therapy. Sam put in his order and then flopped back onto the bed, refilling his bottle twice while they waited for their food, just watching the screen for any news.

The food came, the news kept going. Nothing was on about their friends.

“They wouldn’t release it,” Maya shook her head. “Would they?”

“Catching three out of the five of us seems like enough to report on. Plus Alex’s little friend who tried to escape? Yeah. They’d want to crow about it.” He was noshing his way through a platter of fries and the biggest burger Maya had ever seen. She was just nibbling her ice cream, praying for something.

It was twenty whole minutes before they finally got the story they wanted. Apparently, Piwitti was very excited about getting the four people she needed, as she’d announced a press conference the next day.

“Told you she’d crow.” Sam was smug.

“Shut up.”

“In the meanwhile,” the smiling reporter was standing outside another IJS building, but a different one to the one they’d just broken into. “The four will be held in these facilities, until they can be questioned by the authorities. This is the Seattle Police Department’s old headquarters. And many experts don’t think it will be enough to hold them.”

Sam muted the TV after that and stood. 

“Okay.” He said going to the door. “That’s where she is. That’s where I’ll go.”

“Wait!” Maya jumped off the bed. “Sam! You have to wait, you can’t just go charging off like that. We have to have a plan!” He was striding down the hallway, in the open. She didn’t want to talk about these things here.

“Plans got us here.” Sam punched the elevator in anger. “I’m done with plans.”

“Fine.” Maya said. “Then wait five minutes and I’ll get our things and we can rush in their and get killed together. How’s that sound?”

“Awesome.” Sam said. “Because your sister is going to be killed by that phsychopath, I hope you understand that.”

“I do.” Maya was trying to keep her voice down. They didn’t need to get picked up, too. That would help no one. “But we have to do this smart. We can get a good idea of what’s happening in ten minutes, you know that. We can do this the smart way.”

“I’m done with the smart way,” Sam said. “I’m going to do it in the stupid and dangerous way. I’m going to go in there and blow some people away.”

“We can’t start doing that.”

“Why not?”

“Because they are people, too!” Maya yelled. She hadn’t meant to. She lowered her voice. “They are people with families, who are just trying to get a paycheck. Just like we were. And we can’t just end them just because we are hurt and scared. Please, Sam. Come back to the room and we will come up with something. I swear.” Sam nodded and stepped out of the elevator, following her back to his room.

Zoe FleischerComment