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Chapter no 64

Unravel Me (Shatter Me Book 2)

It’s raining.

The world is weeping at our feet in anticipation of what we’re about to do.

We’re all supposed to split off into clusters, fighting in tight groups so we can’t all be killed at once. We don’t have enough people to fight offensively so we have to be stealthy. And though I feel a pang of guilt for admitting it, I’m so happy Kenji decided to come with us. We would’ve been weaker without him.

But we have to get out of the rain.

We’re already soaked through, and while Kenji and I are wearing suits that offer at least a modicum of protection against the natural elements, Adam is wearing nothing but crisp cotton basics, and I’m worried we won’t last long like this. All members of Omega Point have already scattered. The immediate area above the Point is still nothing but a barren stretch of land that leaves us vulnerable upon exiting.

Lucky for us, we have Kenji. The 3 of us are already invisible. Anderson’s men aren’t far from here.

All we know is that ever since Anderson arrived, he’s been going out of his way to make a point about his power and the iron grip of The Reestablishment. Any voice of opposition, no matter how weak or feeble, no matter how unthreatening or innocuous, has been silenced. He’s angry that we’ve inspired rebellion and now he’s trying to make a statement. What he really wants is to destroy all of us.

The poor civilians are just caught in his friendly fire. Gunshots.

We automatically move toward the sound echoing in the distance. We aren’t saying a word. We understand what we need to do and how we have to operate. Our only mission is to get as close as possible to the devastation and then to take out as many of Anderson’s men as we can. We protect the innocent. We support our fellow Point men and women.

We try very hard not to die.

I can make out the compounds creeping closer in the distance, but the rain is making it difficult to see. All the colors are bleeding together, melting into the horizon, and I have to strain to discern what lies ahead of us. I instinctively touch the guns attached to the holsters on my back and I’m momentarily reminded of my last encounter with Anderson—my only

encounter with the horrible, despicable man—and I wonder what’s happened to him. I wonder if maybe Adam was right when he said that Anderson might be severely wounded, that perhaps he’s still struggling to recuperate. I wonder if Anderson will make an appearance on the battlefield. I wonder if perhaps he’s too much of a coward to fight in his own wars.

The screams tell us we’re getting closer.

The world around us is a blurry landscape of blues and grays and mottled hues and the few trees still standing have a hundred shaky, quivering arms ripping through their trunks, reaching up to the sky as if in prayer, begging for relief from the tragedy they’ve been rooted in. It’s enough to make me feel sorry for the plants and animals forced to bear witness to what we’ve done.

They never asked for this.

Kenji guides us toward the outskirts of the compounds and we slip forward to stand flush against the wall of one of the little square houses, huddled under the extra bit of roof that, at least for a moment, grants us reprieve from the clenched fists falling from the sky.

Wind is gnawing at the windows, straining against the walls. Rain is popping against the roof like popcorn against a pane of glass.

The message from the sky is clear: we are pissed.

We are pissed and we will punish you and we will make you pay for the blood you spill so freely. We will not sit idly by, not anymore, not ever again. We will ruin you, is what the sky says to us.

How could you do this to me? it whispers in the wind.

I gave you everything, it says to us.

Nothing will ever be the same again.

I’m wondering why I still can’t see any sign of the army. I don’t see anyone else from Omega Point. I don’t see anyone at all. In fact, I’m starting to feel like this compound is a little too peaceful.

I’m about to suggest we move when I hear a door slam open.

“This is the last of them,” someone shouts. “She was hiding out over here.” A soldier is dragging a crying woman out from the compound we’re huddled against and she’s screaming, she’s begging for mercy and asking about her husband and the soldier barks at her to shut up.

I have to keep the emotions from spilling out of my eyes, my mouth. I do not speak.

I do not breathe.

Another soldier jogs over from somewhere I can’t see. He shouts some

kind of approving message and makes a motion with his hands that I don’t understand. I feel Kenji stiffen beside me.

Something is wrong.

“Toss her in with everyone else,” the second soldier shouts. “And then we’ll call this area clear.”

The woman is hysterical. She’s screeching, clawing at the soldier, telling him she’s done nothing wrong, she doesn’t understand, where is her husband, she’s been looking for her daughter everywhere and what is happening, she cries, she screams, she flails her fists at the man gripping her like an animal.

He presses the barrel of his gun to her neck. “If you don’t shut up, I’ll shoot you right now.”

She whimpers once, twice, and then she’s limp. She’s fainted in his arms and the soldier looks disgusted as he pulls her out of sight toward wherever they’re keeping everyone else. I have no idea what’s happening. I don’t understand what’s happening.

We follow them.

The wind and the rain pick up in pace and there’s enough noise in the air and distance between us and the soldiers that I feel safe to speak. I squeeze Kenji’s hand. He’s still the glue between me and Adam, projecting his powers to keep us all invisible. “What do you think is going on?” I ask.

He doesn’t answer right away.

“They’re rounding them up,” he says after a moment. “They’re creating groups of people to kill all at once.”

“The woman—”

“Yeah.” I hear him clear his throat. “Yeah, she and whoever else they think might be connected to the protests. They don’t just kill the inciters,” he tells me. “They kill the friends and the family members, too. It’s the best way to keep people in line. It never fails to scare the shit out of the few left alive.”

I have to swallow back the vomit threatening to overpower me.

“There has to be a way to get them out of there,” Adam says. “Maybe we can take out the soldiers in charge.”

“Yeah, but listen, you guys know I’m going to have to let go of you, right? I’m already kind of losing strength; my Energy is fading faster than normal. So you’ll be visible,” Kenji says. “You’ll be a clearer target.”

“But what other choice do we have?” I ask.

“We could try to take them out sniper-style,” Kenji says. “We don’t have to engage in direct combat. We have that option.” He pauses. “Juliette, you’ve never been in this kind of situation before. I want you to know I’d respect

your decision to stay out of the direct line of fire. Not everyone can stomach what we might see if we follow those soldiers. There’s no shame or blame in that.”

I taste metal in my mouth as I lie. “I’ll be okay.”

He’s quiet a moment. “Just—all right—but don’t be afraid to use your abilities to defend yourself,” he says to me. “I know you’re all weird about not wanting to hurt people or whatever, but these guys aren’t messing around. They will try to kill you.”

I nod even though I know he can’t see me. “Right,” I say. “Yeah.” But I’m panicked through my mind.

“Let’s go,” I whisper.

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