A Chapter by MightyMouse

Pip wakes up a few minutes later. Waya has her in his lap and it sounds like he’s arguing with someone, though he briefly stops talking. Pip has her ear pressed to his chest and she closes her eyes listening to the sound of his heart letting it give her strength. Her promise a week ago, made sitting alone in a storm, to make a difference, sits in the forefront of her mind. This is her chance to really matter, to do something for someone other than herself. Many someones and not just a five year old boy and a lonely englishman.

She sits up in Waya’s lap and rubs her eyes. Her head feels like it’s been run over by a mac truck, her back feels like she’s had the worse sunburn in history, and the rest of her is just numb. “Don’t sit up.” Waya demands trying to hold her still against his chest. He’s staring down at her, concern clear in his expression. “I have to get up. We can’t stay here. Jake needs you.” She explains shoving his arms away and standing. A short wave of dizziness catches her off guard and she nearly falls back down. A man reaches out and grabs her before she falls, holding on to her elbows until she can hold herself up. The man is relatively short, with dark green eyes, almost no hair, and a black mustache. It’s the same man who asked her to explain about Pest. “Are you sure you want to stand?” He asks. He’s italian, Pip had noticed it last night but had been too preoccupied with her imprisonment on the wall to point it out. “I’m fine.” Pip assures him almost laughing. “I don’t gets what’s funny.” He frowns at her, concerned, like he thinks she might be hallucinating. “Your accent. I love accents. I just met a british man a few weeks ago. I love hearing him talk, but don’t ever tell him I said that. He doesn’t know I like him.” She explains. She grows serious as she examines the situation around her.

The group of prisoners are in a circle around her, facing outwards like a group of bison protecting their calves. They’re all looking at the boy who looks like Ron Weasley. The boy is standing awkwardly in front of them staring at his feet like he’s never seen them before. “What happened while I was unconscious?” The man who had asked Pip her name and age answers. “This boy, Aaron Cooper, says he wants to help us. Everyone thinks he’s going to give us away to Tommy when we get out of here. That, and we don’t actually know what to do with Tommy and his men. They’re all lined up here in the hall.” Pip expands her attention to notice the unconscious men in the hall. She assumes they were lined against the walls so they couldn’t leave for help, if they woke, without being seen. The prisoners are all understandably nervous as their eyes dart around to each unconscious man in the room. None of them are women, Pip realizes. She wonders why.

One man she recognizes as Nova, or Canadia as she’s so kindly nicknamed him, is starting to wake up. She wanders over to him and kneels down beside him. She has no idea what she’s going to do. The logical thing would be to take the prisoners and flee, but Pip wants this to stop now. She doesn’t want to have to fight Tommy and his men later, though it’s probably inevitable. The least she can do is even the numbers by converting these men to her side.

Nova opens his eyes and stares at her. She can almost see the gears in his head turning. Confusion, realization, fear, and then anger flash across his face as he sits up. He gets a nice long look around the hall. Pip looks with him. At least thirty men are against the walls. Pip can only imagine what he thinks about that.

Fear creeps back onto his face. He swallows and turns his head slowly towards Pip. “What are you planning on doing with me?” He finally croaks, his voice barely above a whisper. Pip places her hand on his shoulder and he flinches. “I know how this looks, and I know what you’re probably thinking. But don’t worry. I’m not going to kill any of you, and I’m not going to hurt any of you. At least not if you don’t want me to. I’ll give you three options, and you can choose whichever you want. But choose wisely because I will follow through with it.” He nods his head slowly, his expression hardening as he prepares for his options. Pip stands and takes a few steps backwards. She places her hands behind her back and sits quietly watching the rest of the men. She spends the time rehearsing in her head while she waits for each man to wake up. She’s aware that everyone is anxiously waiting to hear her speak again, but she’s content to wait patiently for everyone to hear her at the same time. She doesn’t think she has the strength to say it more than once even though she doesn’t actually have a lot to say.

Pip calmly kneels in front of each man as he wakes up and tells them all the same things she told Nova. They each sit against the wall and wait for their options, each afraid she might just knock them all out again like she had done earlier. She keeps her fatigue to herself so as not to give them any ideas of rebelling. She would lose this time.

Tommy is the last to wake up. She kneels beside him as he opens his eyes. He too stares at the room and tries to figure out what happened. He doesn’t appear afraid like the rest of the men, and he doesn’t wait for Pip to speak. He gets to his feet quickly. “I want to know why you’re all just sitting around! She needs to be chained back up!” He yells pointing at Pip. Pip stands calmly and places her hands behind her back again. She feels like her body is ready to give up on her, and she wills it to keep going. Just a little bit longer. She’s numb. The world around her is blurry and muffled, and it takes every bit of strength she has left just to speak. She struggles to keep her exhaustion hidden so she doesn’t lose the feeble amount of control she’s managed to obtain. “It’s over, Tomlin.” She says. Tommy flinches. “How do you know my full name?” He questions. “If you’ll care to remember, You told me when I asked you yesterday.” He stares angrily at her clenching his fists. Pip doesn’t think he meant to tell her his name. “Now. I believe you’ve lost some power here today, Tomlin. I’ve given each man here an ultimatum. They have three choices, and I’ll get to telling them their choices in a moment. But I would like to let you know that the options extend to you as well, and the men, and women you’ve held prisoner here. The options will also extend to everyone else in your little army, and anyone else that I will ever meet. Because I’ve learned here today that this world has an unreasonable amount of cruelty in it, and I’ll have no more of it. I’ll do everything in my power to protect those who need protected and to stop those who need stopped, such as yourself. Am I making any sense?” She asks not sure of what she’s really say. Her mind is a mix of ideas, her rehearsed speech already forgotten. She doesn’t even know if what she’s saying is coming out clearly or if it’s just a slurred as feels.

Thankfully, everyone in the room nods at her, except Tommy who is still fuming, giving her ambition to keep speaking. “Good. Your three options are: One- leave. Take yourselves, and your belongings and go live your lives however you want to live them. We won’t have to fight with each other and I won’t hold it against you. Two- come home with me. You’ll have food and shelter and you won’t have to worry about if I’m going to snap and kill you like with Tomlin over here. Three- die. I won’t allow any of you to stay here with Tomlin and continue with his quest to find his wife and daughter. It’s not for you to do since none of you clearly want to be here anyway. None of you deserve to live that way.”

“I’m not going to snap and kill someone! They aren’t living in fear of me! They want to be here!” Tomlin screams at her. Pip is struggling on her feet. Her vision is blackening around the edges and she can feel her body starting to sway. She tries to reason with Tommy knowing it’s probably pointless, but needing to try anyway. “No, they don’t, Tomlin. If you continue down this path, you’re going to end up alone. There are other ways to find your family than this.”

Tomlin grits his teeth at her. “My men aren’t going to abandon me. They’re loyal friends.” Pip looks around Tommy at all of the men sitting against the hall walls. “Make your choices.” She states simply wishing they would hurry up before she loses her battle with gravity and collapses. The boy named Aaron steps forward. “I never wanted to be here in the first place, like you said, and I don’t want to die. I was alone before, and I don’t want to be alone anymore, so leaving isn’t an option. So if you really will provide food and shelter, then I’d like to come with you.” His eyes dart back and forth between Tommy’s furious expression, and Pip’s calm one. Avon stands from his place on the wall, and Nova follows his lead. “I know my brother and I are jerks, and none of you really like us. And we probably deserve that.” He says. Nova steps up beside his brother and speaks next. “But, believe it or not. We are human too. We are capable of emotions other than anger.” Pip can see several of the men around the hall roll their eyes at his comment. The twins don’t notice and continue talking back and forth between each other.

“Yeah. We have to be tough in order to survive out here, but if you really are willing to show that much kindness to a bunch of strangers…”

“Then we’d like to come with you too.” They stand with their backs straight and tense, their faces set in bank expressions, like they’re waiting for Pip to deny them. But she nods once at them and they relax. Another man stands and announces he’s going to come along with her as well. And another, and another, until every man is standing and staring at her.

Pip is too focused on standing to be stunned, though she tried. She had thought they would all refuse to come with her. They don’t know her, she just beat them all up, and as far as she knew, she hadn’t given them any reason to trust her. Tommy is breathing heavily as he stares at her. “This isn’t over. These aren’t the only men I have. The rest are somewhere else, and they for sure won’t abandon me.” Pip stares back at him. “I just thought I should tell you before you go. You should really work on your attitude. You sound very childish when you speak.” Tommy grinds his teeth together, nostrils flaring and face reddening, as he storms out of the hallway. A moment later, Pip hears a truck start and drive away. “You all really want to come with me?” She asks. The man who had asked her name and age walks up to her and places a gentle hand on her shoulder. “You may not realize it, but you are a very inspiring young woman. You single handedly fought at least thirty men and won without killing or maiming a single one of them. After being chained to a wall of nails all night long. My name is Milo, by the way. I didn’t get the chance to tell you last night” Pip looks dizzily at Milo. “I don’t actually have room for all of you right now, but I know somewhere we can go. If you can be patient for a few days…”

“We can stay right here for now.” Waya says stepping forward. “You need a doctor and some rest.”

“But Jake…” Milo clears his throat. “It just so happens, I’m a doctor. I’ll patch you up and you can sleep for a few hours. Then we’ll wake you up and take a vehicle to Waya’s baby brother. That way you can have some time to rest and still help him. Sound like a deal?” Pip nods relieved and then happily closes her eyes and gives in to gravity letting it pull her to the concrete floor. Strong hands, Waya’s hands, catch her before she collides with the ground, and pulls her into his lap. Her mind drifts to Jake, hoping he hasn’t worsened, as she falls into blissful unconsciousness.

© 2016 MightyMouse

Author's Note

Don't worry, next chapter is coming soon! Please tell me if it's getting good at all, or you know, if it's not holding your interest. I don't think anyone's even read this far yet...

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Added on September 6, 2016
Last Updated on September 6, 2016



Dayton, TX

I enjoy writing and I want to know if other people enjoy my writing. I live in a house full of seven people, three of them children, thirteen dogs, and ten cats. I have a twin sister with only one leg.. more..

Plummet Plummet

A Chapter by MightyMouse