The rise of nine, p.29
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       The Rise of Nine, p.29

         Part #3 of Lorien Legacies series by Pittacus Lore
 
Page 29

 

  Then I see myself in Katarina’s arms when we landed on Earth. I remember the door of the ship opening.

  Where have these memories come from? As hard as I tried before, I could never remember very much about our journey to Earth aside from a few small details. I’ve never had this vivid a flashback before.

  ‘Are you listening to me?’ Purdy yells. ‘We have talked to the Mogadorians,’ he says. That statement yanks me back to the present with a thud. ‘Did you know that?’

  ‘Oh, yeah? What’d they have to say?’ I ask, trying to sound like I’m just making conversation, but I regret it instantly. Why would I admit knowing who the Mogs are? Before I can dwell on my mistake too much, my mind drifts back to the ship, to its doors opening, to the human with brown hair and large thick glasses standing, waiting to greet us. In his hands are a briefcase and a white tablet, and behind him sits a big box of clothes. Somehow I know that’s Sam’s dad. Sam. Oh, how I want to see Sam again.

  ‘I want to see Sam,’ I slur. Even though I don’t want to say anything more, reveal anything else to the agent, I can’t help myself. I hear my voice, feel my brain thick and sluggish, and instantly I realize there must have been drugs in the water. That’s why I can’t hold a thought in my head, why I keep drifting into my past, and why I feel such pain when I try to use my Legacies.

  I kissed Sam. I should have kissed him for real but I was too worried what John would think.

  John. I kissed John, too. I would really like to kiss John again. My stomach gets kind of squirmy when I play back the moment when John grabbed me by the shoulders and turned me towards him. He lowered his face to mine, but just before our lips touched, the house exploded. I can feel my chin tilt upward as I replay the moment again and again. Except this time, when the house explodes, we kiss. The kiss is perfect.

  ‘Sam?’ Agent Purdy asks, interrupting my thoughts. I was really enjoying remembering that kiss. ‘I’m guessing you mean Sam Goode, right?’

  Sam’s face is now all I can see and my head is spinning out of control. ‘Yeah. Sure. I want to see Sam Goode. ’ I can hear my voice drifting off.

  ‘Is he one of you? What number is Sam Goode?’

  My eyelids grow heavy and I find myself falling asleep. The drugs are finally doing me some small favor.

  ‘Six!’ He shouts. ‘Hey, Six! Wake up! We’re not finished here!’

  His shouts jar me so badly, I jerk up, only to be stopped by my restraints.

  ‘Six? Six! Where is Sam Goode? Where is John Smith?’

  ‘I’m going to kill you,’ I whisper. My anger and frustration with being tied up and powerless is getting the best of me. ‘When I find you, I am going to kill you. ’

  ‘I have no doubt you’ll try. ’ The agent laughs.

  I try to clear my head, to concentrate on where I am. Too quickly, everything begins to spin until I pass out.

  The room is tiny and made of cement. There’s a toilet and cement block with a mattress tied down on it and a blanket that’s too short to cover me. I’ve been awake for two hours, maybe more. I’m having a difficult time putting thoughts together. I’m trying to establish some kind of timeline from when I found myself alone in the desert, to the gate, to waking up to my interrogation ride of horror. I need to figure out where I’ve been, how much time has passed and what information I let slip.

  Unscrambling my brain isn’t easy. Since the mo ment I regained consciousness in this cell, the overhead lights have strobed relentlessly. I feel a sharp, pounding pain in my head. My mouth is dry and I hold my churning stomach as I try to focus on the most important part of my recall, my conversation with the agent.

  I manage to turn invisible, just to see if I can, but as soon as I do I’m attacked with that extreme nausea I felt on the ride, so I materialize immediately. Either the drugs are still in my system or this is being caused by something else.

  I close my eyes for a few minutes to escape the flashing lights. They’re so bright, it’s impossible to block them out entirely. I remember Agent Purdy said he was in contact with the Mogadorians. Why would the U. S. government be talking to the Mogadorians? And why would he admit that to me? Don’t they know the Mogs are the enemy? What I can’t figure out is, how much does the government know about me, about my kind? As soon as the Mogadorians wipe out the Garde, the next thing they’ll do is kill every last human on Earth. Doesn’t the government know that? I’m guessing the Mogs have presented a very different picture of themselves.

  I hear a man’s voice come from somewhere above me. It’s not Purdy, the agent who spoke to me in the container. I open my eyes to look for a vent or speaker, but I can’t see anything with the strobe light flashing relentlessly.

  ‘Prepare yourself for transport, Number Six. ’ A small panel in the middle of the metal door opens with a clang. I stumble over and find a plastic cup of purple liquid sitting on a shelf. My insides gurgle at the sight of it. Why is it purple? Is it drugged, like the water I was drinking earlier?

  ‘You must drink the water to be transported. If you do not drink the water, we will be forced to inject you with it by any means necessary. ’

  ‘Go to hell!’ I yell at the ceiling.

  ‘Drink,’ the voice repeats. It does not invite discussion.

  I pick up the cup and walk to the toilet. I hold the cup high and tilt it, making a big show of pouring it out. The last drop has barely fallen when the cell door whips open. Several men with batons and shields rush in at me. Acid bubbles in my stomach as I try and steel myself for a fight because I know I’m going to have to use my Legacies. I decide that this time, I can do it. And maybe I can use the flashing lights to my advantage.

  I greet the first officer with an open punch to the throat. As a baton swings down at me on my left, I catch the attacker’s wrist and give it a good twist. I hear it snap. He screams and releases the baton. Now, I have a weapon.

  The officers form a circle around me but in the flashing light, our movements look like they’re happening in slow motion and are hard to follow. I pick a man at random and attack, cracking my baton across both his knees. He falls and I pounce on his neighbor. The physical exertion causes sickness to crawl up my throat, but I swallow it back down. Now that I’ve managed to push through once, hopefully it will become easier. I slam the butt of the baton on the man’s temple. One of the remaining men hits me on the back of my head with something, and another one grabs a chunk of my hair and yanks. Using my telekinesis, I smash them against each other. The body slam makes both of them fall, and I kick them hard.

  The once incapacitating sickness ebbs and flows, but my strength doesn’t – it is back. Now armed with two batons, I fight off three more men. When they start firing Tasers, I freeze the sharp probes in the air before swinging them back towards the shooters. Finally, the doorway is clear and looks like it is staying that way. When I step outside the cell, I brace myself and turn myself invisible. The pain is the worst yet, but I know I can push past it. I just need to hold on for a little while longer, until I can get out, and find the others.

  23.

  I come to facedown in wet grass. I lift my head and press my palms onto the ground to get my shoulders up. I hear Eight groan from somewhere nearby. Ella calls my name, but my head throbs too much for me to sit up and look for her.

  ‘Six?’ I whisper into the air. ‘Are you here?’

  ‘I don’t see her anywhere, Marina,’ Ella says, coming over and sitting down next to me. I lay my cheek back down on the grass and allow myself to just lie there for a few more minutes. Ella brushes a lock of hair off my cheek, but I’m numb and don’t feel a thing. Sickness rises in my throat as I hear Eight continue to groan. Ella seems unaffected. I never want to teleport again.

  I look around. My vision keeps doubling, and I struggle to bring it under control. Based on how green and lush it is, it’s obvious we didn’t land where we intended. ‘This isn’t New Mexico, is it?’

 
‘Not even close,’ Ella whispers.

  I finally feel as if I can move, albeit slowly, and I look up at Ella. Her brown eyes are hard to read in the darkness, then I register it must be the middle of the night. I look past Ella and into the starry sky. I flash back to the blue ocean, to Eight turning into a black octopus. Then I remember what Ella said just before we teleported.

  ‘Ella. Did I imagine it, or did you say you talked to Six?’ She nods. ‘With your mind, right?’

  Ella looks away. ‘I’m sure you think I’m nuts. I keep asking myself if it really happened. Maybe I just wanted it so badly. . . . ’ Ella shakes her head and looks down at me, her face serious. ‘No. I did not imagine it. I know I spoke to her. She said she was in a desert. That must mean she made it to New Mexico, right?’

  ‘Ella, you’re not crazy. I believe you and I think you’re right,’ I say, pressing my fingers against my pounding temples, willing away the pain and the fuzz that keeps me from thinking clearly. ‘You must be developing a Legacy. What we need to do now is figure out how it happened that time so we can do it again. ’

  Ella’s eyes widen. ‘Really? You think it’s a Legacy? What’s it called?’ she asks eagerly.

  ‘Telepathy,’ Eight’s voice comes from behind me.

  I roll over, grimacing from the pain, and look up at Eight, who’s standing on a huge stone slab held up by two even larger gray boulders.

  I sit up, roll over onto all fours, and get unsteadily to my feet. Hands on hips, I turn around and realize this place looks awfully familiar. But it isn’t because I’ve been here before. I know this place from all the pictures, from textbooks. I look back up at Eight. ‘Are we seriously at –’

  ‘Stonehenge? Oh, yeah. ’

  ‘Wow,’ I whisper, slowly turning around again to survey the scene. Ella walks over to a stone that must be twentyfive feet high, her head tipped back as she drags her hand across the surface. I understand the impulse to reach out and touch it. I mean, it’s Stonehenge. I can’t help but join her. The stones are cold and smooth, and just touching them makes me feel like I’m three thousand years old. Some are in perfect shape while others look like they must be mere shards of what they used to be. We all wander around for a while, seeing up close what most people only ever see in textbooks.

  ‘Eight? What is telepathy, exactly? Do you know how to use it, and how I can control it?’ Ella asks.

  ‘Telepathy is the ability to transfer thoughts from one being to another. You’re able to communicate with someone else’s brain. Go ahead, try it with me. ’

  Ella circles around and comes to a stop in front of Eight. She closes her eyes. As I watch, all I can think is how amazing it would be if Ella has developed this Legacy. It would allow us to connect the Garde, no matter where any of them are, anywhere in the world. After a few seconds, Ella opens her eyes and looks at Eight. ‘Did you hear me?’

  ‘I didn’t,’ Eight says, shaking his head sadly. ‘You just need to keep trying. It always takes time to figure out how to work with our Legacies. Telepathy will be no different. ’