Waking Gods Page 27

Release. Two…I just did that. Let’s do this again. Ho—

Ah ben calver! It worked! I moved again! It’s still dark, so I must not be too far from where I was. I have no idea what direction I’m moving in, but I’m moving! I can do this!

Kara, forget everything I said about meeting someone. Screw him. I’m gonna make it.

Hold. Two. Two. Release…



FILE NO. 1539


Location: Michigan Science Center, Detroit, MI

—How long have you worked here, Mr. Mitchell?

—About a year, sir. Why?

—Do you enjoy your work?

—I…What do you want?

—I sense anger in your tone. Are there unresolved issues we need to discuss?

—Ha! You’re kidding, right?

—Do you believe I am being facetious or was that a rhetorical question?

—I spent four years in jail after I rescued Kara and Vincent!

—Why would you expect otherwise? There were four years left on your sentence for crushing Mr. Couture into a wall with your vehicle. You had to serve the entirety of your sentence after violating the terms of your parole by leaving the state to join Alyssa in Puerto Rico.

—You could have gotten me out, sir.

—The US Government wanted to charge you with treason. You could be meeting your lawyer to appeal your death sentence. Instead, you are scolding children for running inside a museum. I fail to see what you have to complain about.

—You could have gotten me out!

—Let us not waste time pondering what each of us could have done differently, shall we? You and I both know this conversation will not end with any great moral victory on your part.

—Do you know what I talked about at Fort Carson, before I went to Puerto Rico?

—I have a feeling I am about to find out.

—Nothing. I talked about nothing. Rose visited me a few times, but she’s about the only one I talked to. I stayed in my cell as much as I could. They took me to the yard, twice a day, but I mostly kept to myself. I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had done to Vincent. I—

—Is that really what you thought about?

—…You’re right. I kept thinking about what I had lost, about Kara. I couldn’t…I imagined the way she must have felt about me and I couldn’t stand it. I hated myself. I hated myself for a long, long time. I…I wanted her to like me again. I kept thinking of the ways I could make it up to her, what I could do to make her see me as a human being again, not as a monster. I’d come up with completely insane scenarios in my head. You know, she gets captured by terrorists and I save the day, that sort of thing. Took about a year for me to stop torturing myself and actually face what I did. I still hated myself, but at least I wasn’t living in a fantasy world. It wasn’t about Kara anymore.

—Is there a point to this story?

—Yes sir, there is. One day, out of nowhere, I get called in and they tell me I got an early release. Just like that. You can go. I didn’t know what was happening, they almost had to drag me out. A day later, I get a call to go to Puerto Rico. Kara’s there. Vincent’s there. Then things get really messed up and, by the time I realize how far out of her mind Alyssa’s gone, I’ve hurt both of them…again. I…It was hell. I couldn’t believe what was happening, but I pulled together and I did it. I saved them. You know, for real. I wasn’t daydreaming. I saved them! I wasn’t expecting everything to be perfect after that, but I thought…Then you threw me back in jail. Four years. No one came, not even Rose.

—I do not know where to begin. You attempted to kill Mr. Couture. Given the chance to gain their trust again, you chose to help Alyssa keep them captive and perform medical procedures on Ms. Resnik against her will. Finally, faced with something even you could not stomach, you chose to act like a decent human being, once, for about ten minutes. I am truly sorry if you were expecting a medal. As for Dr. Franklin, she was dead, which, if you ask me, is a reasonably good excuse not to visit.

—She came back.

—Yes. She came back, never having met you. Why would you expect someone you never met to visit you in prison?

—You know, sir, this is a lot of fun, but my break’s almost over. What are you really here for?

—As we speak, there is a team from Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta preparing a rescue mission. I would like you to accompany them.

—I can’t join a Delta Force team, sir. I’m not an “operator.” You have to be…well, you have to be Delta Force.

—You would be joining them as an advisor.

—I’m not a soldier anymore! They took that away too.

—I am aware of your dishonorable discharge.

—I’m sure you are, sir.

—Let me rephrase then. There is a Delta Force team preparing a rescue mission. I would like you to accompany them as a civilian advisor.

—Do you think sending me on a mission to watch a bunch of soldiers do what I can’t do anymore is gonna make me feel better about what happened?

—Your personal feelings are not my chief concern at this time, though I believe you might indeed find some degree of redemption in the process.

—What are you talking about?

—Do you remember how your mutiny ended at the Puerto Rico base?

—Alyssa escaped. Everyone else got arrested.

—Do you remember what prompted said mutiny?

—Yes. I remember. She said she removed some of Kara’s—


—Yeah…She said she would implant them into another person. She was trying to make—

—She was attempting to create children who share whatever features allow Ms. Resnik and Mr. Couture to operate Themis. She was trying to make pilots.

—She’s crazy.

—Crazy or not, it appears she may have been successful…at creating a child. No one knows whether Themis would respond to her.

—It’s a girl?

—Why are you smiling?

—Kara’s a mom! Does she know?

—Not at the moment.

—Wait…You didn’t tell her?

—I saw no need to alarm her until—

—You said you would, sir. You told me! You promised me you would tell her!

—I promised you I would tell her when the time came.

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