I grab a fork and start eating the food inside of the box, which looks like some sort of tofu. It’s a bit too hot, both spicy-wise and heat-wise. But it’s not bad, and as I eat it, my attention half-focused on the movie, I manage to kind of forget about Ed for a minute.
I actually manage to forget about him for a while. I finish my food pretty quick, and turn my attention fully to the movie. We get about halfway through before there’s a massive knock on the door.
Ernest springs up, tells me to not worry, and runs over to the door. There’s a girl with really dark brown hair in a pixie cut standing outside it. She’s wearing all black, and looks all business. One hand is resting on a sword strapped to her hip. “Ernest, come on! There’s a group of Darklings trying to break down the front door!” she yells as soon as she sees Ernest.
“Shit, they found us out?” Ernest asks. “Too late for the tranq gas?”
“We already tried the tranq gas, Ernest. It didn’t work. We need everybody down there to at least try to kill them.”
“Alison, please, if we kill them it’s going to be conspicuous and were will we end up hiding the body? Just kidnap them.” Ernest said.
“We still need your help for it,” Alison replied.
(Hating this new red-orange look already. The old color scheme was better. Why Wattpad, why?)
“Besides they aren’t part of Oliver’s main army. The General’s best guess is that they’re part of the city’s most powerful gang.” she continues, ignoring me completely.
(oh god, when I saw the blood orange I felt all “OH MY GOD WHAT DID I DO WRONG IS THIS AN ERROR MESSAGE”)
“So doing anything to them wouldn’t make examples out of them…” Ernest said. “Okay, alright, I’ll go. Come on, Mes, you’re coming with me.”
(Went on the site proper and, it’s official, the Luminescent Republic owns Wattpad now.)
(Lol. Also, where did Kiran come from? Did him and Ernest switch places randomly?)
Alison finally looks at me. “No. She’s untrained. It would not be wise.”
(No, I messed up the names. I fixed it now.)
“What are you talking about?” I asked. “What do you mean I’m not trained enough.”
“You never completed even a single full day of Luminescent military training.” Alison says. “As far as we’re concerned you’re just another Unlightened.”
“She is coming with us.” Ernest insists. “Mesa. Is coming. With us.”
“Do we let the Unlightened fight? No. No we don’t Ernest. You did a shit job training her that one day, and that’s not even the weapon she’s using now. Mesa Wyatt is staying here!”
“I’m going with whether you like it or not!” I snap, standing up from the couch.
“I won’t go if she doesn’t go.” Ernest growls.
Alison smirks. “Fine. Then neither of you are going.”
She shoves Ernest back and slams the door shut. There’s some clanging from the other side.
“You two aren’t getting out anytime soon! I’ve barricaded the door! Have fun!” Alison’s mocking voice, well, mocks from the other side.
“You’re making a mistake!” Ernest screams at Alison. He then sighs and walks back over to turn on the movie.
I try to focus on the movie but I just can’t. I can’t calm down after that happened.
As it keeps playing, there’s a lot of yelling, screaming, and banging from the lower floors. I hear guns going off pretty much every second.
I just can’t focus on the movie, and I wouldn’t be able to sleep, so I just sat there, pretending not to care. I’m a terrible actress.
Finally, I can’t take it anymore. I stand up and say, “I’m gonna go paint. I’ll be out later.” and start walking to my room.
Ernest catches me by the wrist. “Don’t take too long, ok?”
Shaking his hand off, I reply, “Yeah ok, sure.”
I get to my room and shut the door. I set out a blank canvas, and begin to paint.
I paint Alison with her sword pressed into the neck of a shadow. Her eyes are narrow and disdainful.
I paint what just happened - Ernest and Alison’s argument. I paint myself, covered in the words that Alison said about me - “shit job”, “staying here,” “just another Unlightened”, “never completed even a single full day”, “untrained”. And one she didn’t but just implied: “weak.” I paint Ed Terrell, his fate still uncertain. Ernest, caring so much about me. Myself, trying to ignore everything. I can’t stop, I really can’t. There is no way I can think of to stop or finish because I am not here right now.
Ernest opens my door.
“Mesa, I told you not to take too long.”
The brush drops from my hand. “Not again. I spaced out again?”
“Yeah, ya did.”
“Oh god, how long?” I ask.
“Two hours.” Ernest says.
“Is Alison still fighting with those Darklings?”
“Yeah, and we’re still locked in. They’re probably gonna be fighting for a couple more hours.”
“Oh god, what did you get from what you could overhear?” I ask, knowing that the answer might not even be slightly clear.
“Not just overhear. Come on, let me show you.”
Ernest leads me into a very small office-type room. A fold-up table with a computer takes up pretty much the entire room. Oh, and a folding chair too. “We’ve got security cameras around the base of the building. The General gave me access when I joined.”
“Oh, cool,” I say, “So how are we doing?”
Ernest taps around before stopping at Camera 17. The entry room. I can see the blood of some Luminescents, but none of their corpses. Switch to Camera 12, an above-ground view. In the corner of the viewscreen I see some indistinct Darkling holding one of those crystal things to the throat of one of the Luminescents. A hard-to understand, Luminescent-accented voice says something that I can’t exactly make out, but by the tone and the few words I can hear, it’s pleading for its life to end. Another voice, this one with a Darkling accent, says something along the lines of “Oh, your life will end. You won’t remember anything after we turn you.”
“We have to help that guy!” I scream.
“Our door is barricaded shut, Mesa,” Ernest reminds me.