They Walk Among Us
We left the safety of the warehouse, and I oriented myself to the beacon of pain coming from the young Opalite. Zach was heading in the right direction so far.
::How do you want to play this out?:: Zach’s question filled my mind.
::You’re going to tell Tyler and Gideon, you’ve decided to turn me over to them. I’ve become more than you can handle on your own. If they tell you to leave, you leave. Don’t argue with them, or give away the fact you might like me.::
::Might like you? If I didn’t like you, I wouldn’t be helping you like this. I don’t like the idea of leaving you there by yourself.::
Sighing, I tightened my arms around his waist for a quick second before loosening my grip. ::Trust me, Zach. I can protect myself. There isn’t anything Gideon or Tyler can do to hurt me.::
::But they’re hurting the other Opalite they have. And you said they’re doing it to draw you out. Don’t you think they’d be prepared for you?::
I chuckled, and while there wasn’t any sound, I thought Zach got the picture of what I was doing. Annoyance drifted through our link, because he didn’t think I was taking the threat seriously.
::You are the leading authority on Opalites, Zach, and there were things about me you didn’t know. Those men have no idea what I’m capable of. They can hurt the young Opalite because he hasn’t come into his full power yet, but even if he had, he’d still not be as powerful as I am.::
If it was the truth, then I wasn’t bragging. Because of my ancestry, I was the strongest Opalite left on earth, and it was my job to keep the others safe until our mission came to an end. The way things were moving, the end was coming a little sooner than I planned.
Yet we were as ready as we were ever going to be, and we had humans to help us as well. I hoped Zach would continue to travel with me on my journey as far as I had to go.
::Are you like the de facto Opalite leader of the refugees?::
I shrugged. ::No. I don’t see myself as that. Maybe the others do because of my power, but I think we are all equals.::
A faint derisive snort in the back of my mind told me what Rissia thought of my statement. She had been very vocal about her thoughts on my position in the mission. All I wanted was to find the jewel, and get the hell off this godforsaken planet. I might have grown up on earth, but I held no emotional attachment to it.
I’ve always dreamed of a home I’d never seen. I was born while in route to earth, and all the images of my home planet came from my parents before they died. It was a place I longed to see before I died, and with our mission in motion, the possibility of being able to see it was getting closer every minute.
::Some instinct tells me you’re downplaying your position in the Opalite community. If you’re so sure you can save this youngster all by yourself, you shouldn’t need anyone else’s help.::
::No matter how powerful, no one is an island unto himself. I’ve learned that the hard way, and I’m willing to admit there are things I don’t know how to do like drive.::
Zach jerked his head like he wasn’t expecting to hear that. ::You can’t drive?::
::No. I never learned how to do it up in the mountains where I’m from. My foster family was extremely poor, and a car was a luxury they couldn’t afford. We walked wherever we needed to go.::
I shook my head, even though Zach couldn’t see me. ::No flying. Too easy to be spotted, and the government would swoop in like a giant carnivore to eat those people alive. I wouldn’t have risked it.::
::But you can fly?::
::Get me to the rebel’s headquarters, Zach, and you’ll see what I can do.::
I wasn’t interested in talking any more. We were getting closer to where the Opalite was being held, and I needed all my concentration not to get overwhelmed by his pain. Also, I had to fight down my own rage at the thought of humans treating my fellow Opalites like monsters or criminals when we’d done nothing wrong.
Zach pulled the cycle to a stop at a fork in the road an hour or so later. I hadn’t been paying attention to where we were, needing to focus on calming the other Opalite. Looking up, I saw we were in the backcountry, surrounded by a forest. Perfect place for a rebellion to hide out.
He shut off the bike, and removed his helmet. I climbed off, and took mine off as well. Zach turned to look at me.
“How do we arrive? I can’t have you riding on the back of my bike, because if I tied you up, you could still overpower me and escape.”
::Leave me here. Go and talk to Gideon and Tyler. Tell them you have me tied up outside the compound, but you need a vehicle to collect me. I’ll take care of the rest.::
“Are you completely sure about this, Raven? I don’t feel right about just leaving you to their tender mercies.” Zach cupped the side of my face.
I pressed a kiss to the palm of his hand. ::If it makes you feel better, you can hang around. Just not where they can see you, because they’d get suspicious of your motives then. That way if I need your help for a quick getaway, you’re around to help me.::
He still didn’t look convinced that my plan would work or was even the best way to handle it. Zach wanted to bust in there and demand the release of the Opalite, but that way wouldn’t work. In my life, I’d learned sabotage from within worked best to bring down an enemy.