”I am nothing like you, ”

Whispering, those words couldn help make me smile; this was Deans doing all along. The perfect way to keep tabs on me without raising suspicion. What a traitorous bastard and to imagine I had trusted him? Already this adventure has become an unsettling feeling.

Why hadn I realized it before? The mere sellout looked back at me as I gaze down at my reflection. The water shone like a hectic mirror, draping me as tightly as my coat. It had lost its turquoise to the night, but in the moonlight, the tides curled as the ground below shivered in the absence of the heat waves. Yet to my feet, the enthusiasm was still there, sheltered in the edges of the shadows. It was all the invitation I needed to pounce, deeply into the welcoming blackness, and leave my troubles behind.

But, there were too many questions unanswered, to up and disappear, so I stood silently, allowing my emotions to stop and balance one another as I gazed at the group. Perhaps we could sanction one another. It was best to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

”Saving me from Mikael and his union wasn a coincidence, right? ” I found myself mumbling.

It took them a few seconds to acknowledge Id spoken and a few minutes to respond with an uncaring nod.

”Listen, I crossed a line back there. I thought I could deal with Mikael for once, but it went too far. I let my wiliness get over my head anyway I just wanted to apologize for wasting your time, it was a mistake. Anyone who appears to notice me knows how unpredictable I might get. ” Their disbelief was a point in the right direction. Misleading them is going to be easier than expected.

”Well, you sure as hell aren wrong about being, you know erratic, ” Drake looked at me and started laughing.

”If youd give us a second, ” Rose says firmly and hustles the group together. I didn attempt to eavesdrop. I just easily could; they
e no further than a few feet. But whats the point?

”She isn a person we could steer or trust. What about her magic? ” I watched Katlin enlighten the group. It was beyond me how they could perceive a word as if I wasn there, although their speech was unique, a sort of whizz wasn there prior.

”She proclaimed it reaped to her as it did for us, ” Rose added to the hunch.

”By all means, she could have extorted it from the old testaments, ” Sin asserted.

”Sin maybe is right, ” Drake agreed.

”Could it be? No, I am right. ” Sin argued.

”This energy isn natural to concur. It took us months to deem worthy. How could Amelia attain it in just a few days? ” Jane cocked her vision in my direction.

”So you
e implying she ransacked them? ” Drake issues.

”Its a possibility, ”

”I didn steal anything, ” I clarified sharply, veering in their direction. Im not going to withstand being accused once again of treason. Sins stance shifted from suspicion to fear.

”What did you say, ”

”I said I didn steal anything. ”

”You can decipher our language. How? ” Drake questioned.

”What kind of question is that? ” A bewildered tone crossed my mind.

”Well, you seem to have the tongue for our sacred language? How is that possible? ” Katlin reinforced the statement. I stared dumbfounded at them as if they were out of their minds. Sacred language?

”How is it that you can understand us? ” Jane questions striving towards me.

”What are you talking about? ” I backed away. But in less than a second, she was standing in front of me, urging her strength.

”Tell me! ” She dug her fingers on my forearm.

”Are you insane! Let go. ” I yelled, shoving her off. But she seemed ambiguous to let go.

”Answer the question, ” She hissed.

”I don know what you
e insinuating. I reckoned you were conversing informal English but found it odd you were carrying a conversation about me when I could listen to your every word. If Im sincere, you
e the disloyalty. ” I asserted.

”And why is that? Feel you
e more special than us? ” Something beneath the surface of her hardened expression scrutinized a sudden shift. Nothing sprouted out of nothing. There had to be a motive behind her behavior, but what?

”What? No! ”

”Yes, you do! Deem yourself fairer than us simply because you
e unique. Please don make me laugh. But if this is how you genuinely see yourself come show me what you can do, ” Jane gestured with her hands.

”Jane, maybe you should calm down. ” Rose moved towards us.

”Shut Up! ” She yelled in frustration.

”What is your problem? ” I upheld the wonder.

”You are my problem! ”

”Why, ”

”Don act like you ain have a clue. ”

”I genuinely don , ” I said, unknowingly. Her obscene attitude reminded me of Mikaels.

”Because of you, the only thing I had in my life was destroyed! ”

”What did I ever do to you. I barely know you. ” I pointed out.

”Please save the noble act for someone who cares, as you do for Markus and Dean, who always paraded around you. As if you
e their source of victory when the only thing you have brought to us is misery. If it weren for you, my brother would still be here. Alive standing next to me, like he promised to be. ” Jane snarled more than she spoke as she crouches down, easing the balance and shifting her weight before leaping at me.

I was not expecting to get hit in the face or the jaw. At the sight of blood, a surge of outrage circled me like smoke as I brought up my hand just in time to curb the subsequent blow. With my right hand, I grab Janes upcoming punch and twist it just enough that I could sweep underneath to strike her in the midsection, which barely caused trauma. Before Jane flipped us onto the floor, the wind knocked out of me as she sat against my ribcage.

”You ma…kn..ow..se..nse…what..do..I…h..ave to..do..with yo..ur brother? ” I coughed between breaths.

”It is all about you, the missions; every single one of them were always about you. The one we staged last year wasn like any other get in and get out, but Dean wanted Luke to investigate a little deeper into Alchemys archives and data because of your stupid dreams. ”

That **ing bastard promised he wouldn say a word. I shouldve realized his scheme from the start and never utter a word. I was foolish to believe I could confide in the enlightenment that depicted interest in my being.

”So my brother did as told and guided his team into headquarters; it was an ambush they never escaped. ” Her resentment was palpable either way, half the crew agreed with the statement, and the other half didn , I guess theres diversity no matter what.

”Im sorry, even if it wasn my fault, ” I admitted. ”But I am not letting you abuse your superiority over me. Just to leverage your grief, I had it with people manipulating my every move solely for their convenience. From now, Im putting an end at being someone elses puppet. ”

”Do you want advice? ”

Janes statement came across as a phrase rather than a question. I didn know what to expect, so I simply look away.

”Don let a memory restore what breathes ahead of you.

Commitment isn always free will, but it comes with a cost. ” She confessed before getting off. I slowly stood up, anchoring my weight with a sword.

”Given my past, my mother paid that price. You
e not the only one who thinks there whole life; is meaningless. Every day I remind myself I am the reason shes dead. I gain nothing by being more than what I already had because sometimes acts of bravery lead us to recklessness; even our loyalties may lead to blind devotion. Opinions at times are view as arrogance if we
e not careful. Our ambition, even if we believe it to be naive, could lead to betrayal. All of us have the potential to be good or evil. Theres no way of going around it. Power fiddles with our fates immensely, but its up to me to navigate myself in the right direction. ”

”Thats clever coming from someone who isn one of us. ”

”Honestly, I don give a damn if Im anything like you. Im happy to know who I am and where I belong, ”

”But if you were, you would understand our souls aren only exemplified by animals but by the four elements. As older rites have fallen into distant memory, details are only uttered as often as they once were. We are the imitation of fire, earth, air, and water.

Water is the element of change, which people like us define occult as adaptable. It also implies we can rise to the domain around us and tailor it to our forging path. Were we can etch a new image into the world and altered it to whatever situations we may find ourselves.

Being a Kimera signifies, we are cunning, resourceful, and ambitious. We unearth flexible strategies to overcome obstacles that lay in front of us, with an unmatched desire to succeed. Our only downfall is that we are restless but determined. These virtues can overturn life, whether for the greater good or the unfortunate. ”

Something about her speech reminded me of Deans the day of inauguration months ago.

”Why are you telling me this, ”

”Because you are the anchor to all of this, just not quite what Dean or Markus speculate. And you owe it to my brother to accomplish what weve wanted for decades, freedom. ”

”How am I supposed to do that? I am like youve all said Im nothing like you. ” I whispered.

”That may be true, but you don have to be one of us to withstand as a hero. Just remember, ignorance is a weakness. Knowledge is power. ” Rose announced as they all got closer.

”We look forward to seeing you prosper in your journey. ”

”What does that mean? ”

”For now, don dwell on the past, but soon youll discover that not everything is as black and white. ”

”wait… ” I was about to question her words when Markuss voice surged from Janes radio.

”Jane, do you read me? Copy. ” Jane stares at me before answering.

”I read you loud and clear, sir. Whats the situation? Copy. ”

”It appears Divisions troops are steering their way to the south of the city. Whats your location? ” In that instant, we understood what was happening, and we haded to leave soon.

”Where the enemy is presiding, sir? ”

”Abandoned the mission immediately and vacate the area, don waste a second longer. Well encounter each other at the border. Whatever happens, don lose sight of Amelia, you copy? ”

”I understand, sir. ” Jane took off her earpiece and crushed it on the ground with her foot. ”Lets continue, ”

”Aren we going to go back, ” I implored, confused.

”No, if they don want to finish their purpose find by us, but we have one of our own, and nothing will deter us from running with it. Are you with us or against us, you decide? ” Sin declared as everyone else wait with guns pointing straight ahead, waiting for an answer. ”

It occurred to me that this may be a nightmare, perhaps if I ought to play along, this would fade away. Looking at

their formation, and the touch of rain, specify there was a chance, all this was real.

”With you, ” I confirmed in surrender.

”Lets go then, ” Jane began leading the way as we all follow behind with her team forming a circle around me.

With that, all ensued forgotten. It was beyond me to retaliate against them for lying, but Id done the same. Even if they oversaw the brutality, I laid the stones. Secrets aren secrets. They
e just truths untold.

”You didn believe we were going to shoot you if you didn agree right. ” Sin grinned with confusion.

”No, I. ”

”Get down, ” Drake shouted as a shower of ammunition rang in our direction. We did our best to take cover, but we knew there was no chance we would come out of this alive.

”Hold your fire, ” A mans halted the commotion.

”Step out with your hands in the air, and we promise not to shoot! ” There was an untruth to his promise. I knew a little bit too much about those.

”Who are you trying to fool Mikael! ” I yelled as the others looked at me as I was crazy.

”How are you certain its him; it could be an ambush. ” Sin whispered in my ear. I rolled my eyes, in return,

”Its Mikael were talking about here. Hes the king of deception. ”

”You never seem to amaze me, Amelia, come out so I can perceive that ugly face of yours. ” Knowing it was indeed him, they looked at me surprised before getting up.

Their swords gleamed in the cold moonlight. The glint in Mikaels eyes knew I would walk away from this. His sword was stained with blood. I shuffled to the side and waited for the attack, and, possibly, inevitable death—our opponents charged with a mighty cry. I managed to dodge the team in one fluid move, anticipating the trick Mikael swiveled in my direction. His menacing eyes were a blazing blue, and his dark hood made the rest of his features indistinguishable. He thrust his sword forward, only to be met by mine. Both swords met in the air with a resounding clang. The man was a master swordsman. Slowly, I was tiring but managed to strike a weakness, granting a pullback. If I am to die, I shall fight to the last breath. With renewed vigor, he slashed his blade back and forth, chasing after me.

Being hustled was nothing like practice; the reality was far from the interpretation of jogging to save your skin. The shadows were dissolving into the darkness, allowing me to hear fast footsteps approaching two meters away. In the forest, there is only one person who could get so close to me without detection, and I know he wants me dead. As soon as I lay a hand on my hunting knife, the fight will be on, and only one of us would walk away – or probably neither. Perhaps some talk will throw him off guard.

”I have a message for you…from Markus. ” A lie, but if Im going to get out of here alive in one piece, I think some deception is justified. His voice comes back at me, tight with rage.

”What? ”

”Its complicated, but if you
e too scared to come to talk to me, man to man. ”

”You are not a man; you
e just a girl. ”

”Im a human; I think that gives me the right. ” I can feel the heat of temper rising in him. He wants the message, but his urge to kill is growing. In that moment of self-conflict, I turn the knife in hand, and his advantage is lost. Ive taken more and better down in fair fights, and he knows it. Now he has a new emotional fear. He takes a step backward and points the finger at me.

”Youll regret this just like your mother did for trusting my father! ”

”What are you saying? Speak up. ” I wanted to know what he meant. Did Markus know my mother before her death? How could that be possible if that dreadful day was the first time crossing each others path?

”Why don you ask him? ” He gestures, striding along the lines of my life.

”I want you to tell me. ”

”I don think you would enjoy hearing what I have to say, ”

”Please just tell me, ” Before he could utter a word Jane and her team came rumbling down, pulling Mikael off of me.

”We need to leave now Division is on their way. ”

”How are they able to track us, ” Katlin gestures as she heals the group.

”Not how but whom? ” Mikael states as he stands up.

”You be quiet. Ive had enough of your bullshit. ” Jane declared as Drake restrains her from going after him.

”And you think your plan isn . ”

”Stop playing games we don have time Division is on their way. ”

”Why don you tell Amelia what your proposal is lets see if she agrees when she finds out the truth. ”

”Shut up! ” Jane yells out.

”What is he talking about? ” I looked at every turn as they all averted their gaze away from me.

”You were the key to get her brother back. She believes exchanging you will set things right. ” Mikael smiled as if he was the hero.

I glance at Jane, ”Is that true? ”

”Yes, ”

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