THE GUARDIANS Chapter 12: Mistrust (NEW BOOK OUT IN 2 DAYS!)
Posted August 5th, 2016 by Codename-X12
in a secret bunker finishing the Guardians
CHAPTER 12: MISTRUST
The next morning I woke up bright and early and couldn't go back to sleep. Annoyed, I checked the alarm clock and noted with irritation that it was 5:34 in the morning. Stretching so that I accidentally punched the bottom of the top bunk where Brandon slept, I got up. Fortunately he was still out cold.
I prepared a simple breakfast like I had almost every day: some toast and jelly with a bowl of cereal. After quickly eating I went to my computer and checked some local news websites to see what information I could glean on where the victims of the robot attack were being hospitalized.
"Gotcha," I muttered as I clicked on a link that read 'Victims of Attack Hospitalized, 33 Dead". They must not have counted any of the wrecked bots as dead. The report said that five survivors of the attack were recouperating at St. Andrew's-Cross Hospital & Emergency Room, which was only a few miles from our current location.
I turned at the sound of a sleepy shuffling of blankets and saw that Brandon was up, blinking in the morning light and rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
"Good morning," I said pleasantly. "Hey, I just tracked down the hospital they're at."
"Nice," he replied, the comment drowned out by a loud yawn. I motioned toward the box of cereal and the milk sitting on the tiny table. Brandon nodded and shuffled over to make himself some breakfast. He inspected it for a moment and then began eating.
"Why was that one girl wearing that weird mask and cape?" I asked after he had seemed to wake up a bit more.
"She, uh, she has superpowers too," Brandon replied after a moment. He had seemed a bit on edge andn ever since last night. "She...fights crime like us."
"Oh, I see," I said. I had met a few superpowered individuals in my career as a vigilante. Sometimes they had the same goal as me, to take down such-and-such crime gang or whatever, and we ended helping each other out. Other times they would be on the opposing side or get in the way of my mission, and I'd have to put them down. "What's her origin story?"
"I don't actually know," he answered. "I'll have to ask her."
"Do you know how you got your powers?" I questioned.
"I don't really remember," he replied, suddenly more guarded, I noted.
"I have no idea how I survived the fusion bomb and got powers if everyone else died," I said, trying to switch the subject. "There was nothing left..."
"My parents died when I was young too," he spoke up, and immediately after he said it he looked like he wished he hadn't. "I think I have a lead on who did it..."
"Maybe the people behind the attack yesterday?" I asked.
"Yeah...maybe!" he exclaimed, but then his eyebrows narrowed as if in suspicion.
"Yeah, I heard about the attack at PalaTech," I replied slowly.
"What, you knew?" Brandon asked, his fist clenching around the spoon he had been using to eat his cereal. "But then you knew about Luna!"
"Yeah," I admitted. "I just wanted to make conversation."
"Wait, you brought me here...just to get some information out of me?" he asked, slamming his fist on the table in a burst of anger.
"Yeah, sure!" I replied, teeth gritted. "Like I didn't already know your last name is Lorensten, and like I didn't know about Dread and Vesper. Like I don't know what you don't trust me to tell me! And just for the record, I don't care about conversation."
He looked shocked. "So you're just another of the backstabbers out there. I did trust you! But it looks like I just learned my lesson once and again."
"No, you didn't trust me," I retorted. "Just because of what those people did to your family, you think every other human is a terrorist. And don't think I've forgotten about how you tried to shoot me in the back last night. I don't forget. You think I'm just coming alone for the ride because I want to help you, but I'm not. I'm hunting him. I'm the Predator, after all."
"I've been backstabbed by so many people it makes it hard to forget," Brandon replied, slightly shocked by my outburst. But his face had turned from an outraged glare to one of someone who has felt hunted for most of his life. I couldn't blame him for constantly expecting me to betray and kill him at any moment. After years of tragedy and his heart turning to stone, he felt unsafe among his own kind.
"Look, I'm not out to sell you," I said. "I know what it feels like to be betrayed. But if you can't get past the fact I need to know stuff to save people, you can leave for all I care. And don't think I'm here to be your lackey."
"Fine, I can't expect you to take that," he answered slowly. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have immediately accused you. I'm not normally so on edge, but I guess when I saw I couldn't beat you..." I smiled at him; it was probably the first time in a while he had opened up. "Now let's go check on those people in the hospital."
That's when we heard the first of the sirens.
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