Home > The Fate of Ten (Lorien Legacies #6)(4)

The Fate of Ten (Lorien Legacies #6)(4)
Pittacus Lore

The cop strides forward to shake my hand. His grip is like a vise. “We won’t forget you, John Smith,” he says. “All of us, we owe you our lives.”

“Give them hell,” someone else says.

And then all at once the rest of the group of survivors are blurting out their good-byes and their gratitude. I grit my teeth in what I hope is a smile. The truth is, I’m too tired for this. The cop—he’s their leader now, he’ll keep them safe—he makes sure everyone keeps it quiet and quick, eventually hustling them out of the apartment building’s lobby and onto the Brooklyn Bridge.

As soon as we’re alone, Sam releases me from the telekinetic grip he was using to hold me upright and I slump backwards against the wall, struggling to keep my feet under me. He’s out of breath and sweating from the exertion of keeping me standing. He’s not Loric and he’s had no proper training, yet somehow Sam has developed a Legacy and begun using it the best he can. Considering our situation, he’s had no choice but to learn on the fly. Sam with a Legacy—if things weren’t so chaotic and desperate, I’d be more excited. I’m not sure how or why this happened to him, but Sam’s newfound powers are pretty much the only win we’ve had since coming to New York.

“Thanks,” I say, the words coming easier now.

“No problem,” Sam replies, panting. “You’re the symbol of the Earth’s resistance; we can’t have you laying around.”

I try to push off from the wall, but my legs aren’t ready yet to support my full weight. It’s easier if I just lean against it and drag myself towards the nearest apartment door.

“Look at me. I’m not the symbol of anything,” I grumble.

“Come on,” he says. “You’re exhausted.”

Sam puts his arm around me, helping me along. He’s dragging too, though, so I try not to put much weight on him. We’ve been through hell in the last few hours. The skin on my hands still tingles from how much I’ve had to use my Lumen, tossing fireballs at squad after squad of Mog attackers. I hope the nerve endings aren’t permanently singed or something. The thought of igniting my Lumen right now makes my knees nearly buckle.

“Resistance,” I say bitterly. “Resistance is what happens after you lose a war, Sam.”

“You know what I meant,” he replies. I can tell by the way his voice shakes that it’s a strain for Sam to stay optimistic after everything we’ve seen today. He’s trying, though. “A lot of those people knew who you were. They said there was some video of you on the news. And everything that happened at the UN—you basically unmasked Setrákus Ra in front of an international audience. Everyone knows you’ve been fighting against the Mogadorians. That you tried to stop this.”

“Then they know that I failed.”

The door to the first-floor apartment is ajar. I shove it the rest of the way open and Sam closes and locks it behind us. I try the nearest light switch, surprised to find that the electricity is still on here. Power seems to be spotty throughout the city. I guess this neighborhood hasn’t been badly hit yet. I turn the lights off just as quickly—in our current condition, we don’t want to attract the attention of any Mogadorian patrols that might be in the area. As I stumble towards a nearby futon, Sam moves around the room closing curtains.

The apartment is a small one-room studio. There’s a cramped kitchen cordoned off from the main living space by a granite counter, a single closet and a tiny bathroom. Whoever lives here definitely left in a hurry; there are clothes spilled across the floor from a hasty packing job, an overturned bowl of cereal on the counter and a cracked picture frame near the door that looks like it was crushed underfoot. In the picture, a couple in their twenties pose in front of a tropical beach, a small monkey perched on the guy’s shoulder.

These people had a normal life. Even if they made it out of Manhattan and to safety, that’s over now. Earth will never be the same. I used to imagine a peaceful life like this for Sarah and me once the Mogs were defeated. Not a tiny apartment in New York City, but something simple and calm. There’s an explosion in the distance, the Mogs destroying something uptown. I realize now how naïve those life-after-war dreams were. Nothing will ever be normal after this.

Sarah. I hope she’s okay. It was her face that I called to mind during the roughest parts of our block-by-block battle through Manhattan. Keep fighting and you’ll get to see her again, that’s what I kept telling myself. I wish I could talk to her. I need to talk to her. Not just Sarah, but Six too—I need to get in touch with the others, to find out what Sarah learned from Mark James and his mysterious contact, and to see what Six, Marina and Adam did in Mexico. That has to have something to do with why Sam suddenly developed a Legacy. What if he’s not the only one? I need to know what’s happening outside of New York City, but my satellite phone was destroyed when I fell into the East River and the regular cell phone networks are down. For now, it’s just me and Sam. Surviving.

In the kitchen, Sam opens the fridge. He pauses and glances over to me.

“Is it wrong if we take some of this person’s food?” he asks me.

“I’m sure they won’t care,” I reply.

I close my eyes for what feels like a second but must be longer, opening them only when a piece of bread bumps against my nose. With one hand extended theatrically like a comic book character, Sam telekinetically floats a peanut butter sandwich, a plastic container of applesauce and a spoon in front of my face. Even feeling down and out as I am, I can’t help but smile at the effort.

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