Home > The Fate of Ten (Lorien Legacies #6)(2)

The Fate of Ten (Lorien Legacies #6)(2)
Pittacus Lore

She lets go of the ladder, dropping into the alley below, right as the air around her sizzles. The hair on her arms stands up and the girl can tell there’s electricity coursing through the metal of the fire escape. But she’s unharmed. The alien missed her.

The girl jumps over some trash bags and runs to the mouth of the alley, peeking around the corner to see the street she grew up on. There’s a fire hydrant gushing water into the air; it reminds the girl of summer block parties. She sees an overturned mail truck, its undercarriage smoking like it could explode at any minute. Farther down the block, parked in the middle of the street, the girl sees the aliens’ small spacecraft, one of many she and her stepfather saw unleashed from the hulking ship that still looms over Manhattan. They played that clip over and over on the news. Almost as much as they played the video about the blond-haired boy.

John Smith. That’s his name. The girl narrating the video said so.

Where is he now? the girl wonders. Probably not saving people in Harlem, that’s for sure.

The girl knows she has to save herself.

She’s about to run for it when she spots another group of aliens exiting an apartment building across the street. They have a dozen humans with them, some familiar faces from around the neighborhood, a couple of kids she recognizes from the grades below her. At gunpoint, they force the people onto their knees on the curb. A big alien freak walks down the line of people, clicking a small object in his hand, like a bouncer outside of a club. They’re keeping a count. The girl isn’t sure she wants to see what happens next.

Metal screeches behind her. The girl turns around to see one of the aliens from her apartment climbing down the fire escape.

She runs. The girl is fast and she knows these streets. The subway is only a few blocks from here. Once, on a dare, the girl climbed down from the platform and ventured into the tunnels. The darkness and rats didn’t scare her nearly as much as these aliens. That’s where she’ll go. She can hide there, maybe even make it downtown, try to find her mother. The girl doesn’t know how she’s going to break the news about her stepfather. She doesn’t even believe it herself. She keeps expecting to wake up.

The girl darts around a corner and three aliens stand in her path. Her instinct makes her try to turn back, but her ankle twists and her legs come out from under her. She falls, hitting the sidewalk hard. One of the aliens makes a short, harsh noise—the girl realizes he’s laughing at her.

“Surrender or die,” it says, and the girl knows this isn’t really a choice. The aliens already have their guns raised and aimed, fingers nearly depressing the triggers.

Surrender and die. They’re going to kill her no matter what she does next. The girl is certain of this.

The girl throws up her hands to defend herself. It’s a reflex. She knows it won’t do anything against their weapons.

Except it does.

The aliens’ guns jerk upwards, out of their hands. They fly twenty yards down the block.

They look at the girl, stunned and uncertain. She doesn’t understand what just happened either.

But she can feel something different inside her. Something new. It’s as if she’s a puppeteer, with strings connecting to every object on the block. All she needs to do is push and pull. The girl isn’t sure how she knows this. It feels natural.

One of the aliens charges and the girl swipes her hand from right to left. He flies across the street, limbs flailing, and slams through the windshield of a parked car. The other two exchange a look and start to back away.

“Who’s laughing now?” she asks them, standing up.

“Garde,” one of them hisses in reply.

The girl doesn’t know what this means. The way the alien says it makes the word sound like a curse. That makes the girl smile. She likes that these things ripping up her neighborhood are afraid of her now.

She can fight them.

She’s going to kill them.

The girl throws one of her hands into the air and the result is one of the aliens lifting up from the ground. The girl brings her hand down just as quickly, smashing the airborne alien on top of his companion. She repeats this until they turn to dust.

When it’s done, the girl looks down at her hands. She doesn’t know where this power came from. She doesn’t know what it means.

But she’s going to use it.

Chapter ONE

WE RUN PAST THE BROKEN WING OF AN EXPLODED jet fighter, the jagged metal lodged in the middle of a city street like a shark’s fin. How long ago was it that we watched the jets scream by overhead, a course set for uptown and the Anubis? It feels like days, but it must only be hours. Some of the people we’re with—the survivors—they whooped and cheered when they saw the jets, like the tide was going to turn.

I knew better. Kept quiet. Only a few minutes later, we could hear the explosions as the Anubis blew those jets out of the sky, scattering pieces of Earth’s most sophisticated military all over the island of Manhattan. They haven’t sent any more jets in.

How many deaths is that? Hundreds. Thousands. Maybe more. And it’s all my fault. Because I couldn’t kill Setrákus Ra when I had the chance.

“On the left!” a voice shouts from somewhere behind me. I whip my head around, charge up a fireball without thinking about it, and incinerate a Mog scout as he comes around a corner. Me, Sam, the couple dozen survivors we picked up along the way—we barely break stride. We’re in lower Manhattan now. Ran here. Fought our way down. Block by block. Trying to put some distance between us and Midtown, where the Mogs are strongest, where we last saw the Anubis.

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