United as One (Lorien Legacies #7)(5) by Pittacus Lore

All this power, and only one thing to look forward to.

The destruction of every Mogadorian on Earth. Including and especially Setrákus Ra, if he’s even still alive. Six thinks she might have killed him in Mexico, but I won’t believe that until the Mogs surrender or I see a body. A part of me almost hopes he’s still out there so that I can be the one to end the bastard.

A happy ending? That’s out the window. I was stupid to ever believe in it.

Pittacus Lore, the last one, the one whose body we found hidden in Malcolm Goode’s bunker, he had Ximic, too, but he didn’t do enough. He couldn’t stop the Mogadorian invasion of Lorien. When he had the chance to kill Setrákus Ra all those centuries ago, he couldn’t do that either.

History will not repeat itself.

I hear footsteps in the hallway that stop right outside my door.

Even though they speak softly and even though I’m listening through a reinforced steel door, with my enhanced senses, I can still hear every word Daniela and Sam say.

“Maybe we should just let him rest,” Daniela says. I’m not used to hearing her speak in such a gentle tone. Usually, Daniela’s a mix of abrasive and gung ho. In just a couple of days, she’s completely left behind her old life and joined our war. Although she didn’t have much choice considering the Mogs burned her old life to the ground.

Another human swept up in our war.

“You don’t know him. There’s no way he’s sleeping in there,” Sam replies, his voice hoarse.

Sitting in this stale room, reflecting on the past and the damage I’ve caused, I started to wonder: How would Sam’s life be different if Henri and I had chosen Cleveland or Akron or somewhere else instead of Paradise? Would he still have gotten Legacies? I’d be worse off, maybe dead, without him. That’s for sure.

Sarah would still be alive, though, if we’d never met.

“Uh, okay, I’m not really talking about him getting a good night’s sleep. Dude’s a superhero alien; for all I know he sleeps three hours a night hanging from the ceiling,” Daniela replies to Sam.

“He sleeps same as we do.”

“Whatever. Point is, maybe he needs some space, you know? To work his shit out? And he’ll come to us when he’s ready. When he’s . . .”

“No. He’d want to know,” Sam says, and then knocks softly on my door.

I’m off the bed in a flash to open the door. Sam’s right about me, of course. Whatever’s happening, I want to know. I want to be distracted. I want forward momentum.

Sam blinks when the door opens and stares right through me. “John?”

It takes me a second to realize that I’m still invisible. When I appear from thin air in front of them, Daniela stumbles back a step. “Goddamn.”

Sam barely arches an eyebrow. His eyes are red rimmed. He seems too worn-out to be surprised.

“Sorry,” I say. “Working on my invisibility.”

“The others are about ten minutes out,” Sam tells me. “I knew you would want to be there when they land.”

I nod and close my door behind me.

The illusion of a motel disappears as soon as I’m outside my room. The hallway beyond, more like a tunnel really, is all austere white walls and cold halogen lights. It reminds me of the facility underneath Ashwood Estates, except this place was built by humans.

“I got a VCR in my room,” Daniela says, trying to make conversation as the three of us walk down one of the identical hallways in this mazelike complex. When neither Sam nor me immediately responds, she presses on. “You guys got VCRs? Shit’s crazy, right? I haven’t seen a VCR in years.”

Sam looks at me before answering. “I found a Game Boy wedged under my mattress.”

“Damn! Want to trade?”

“It’s got no batteries.”

“Never mind.”

I can hear the distant hum of generators, the buzz of tools and the grunts of men working. The one drawback of Patience Creek being so under the radar is that a lot of its systems aren’t what you’d call updated. For security reasons General Lawson had decided they should run a stripped-down operation here. With everything going on, there’s not exactly time to call in civilian contractors. Still, there’s got to be almost a hundred army engineers working around the clock to bring the place up to date. When we arrived late last night, I saw that Sam’s dad, Malcolm, was already here, helping a crew of electricians install some of the Mogadorian tech recovered from Ashwood Estates. As far as the army is concerned, Malcolm’s basically an expert on the extraterrestrial.