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

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

“It’s not an accident,” I say to Sam, thinking out loud. “He must want the humans to be able to see the destruction he’s bringing down. It’s not like on Lorien where his fleet just wiped everyone out. That’s why he tried putting on that big show at the UN, it’s why he tried all that shadowy MogPro shit to bring Earth under his control peacefully. He’s planning to live here afterwards. And if they’re not going to worship him like the Mogs do, he at least wants his human subjects to fear him.”

“Well, the fear thing is definitely working,” Sam replies.

On-screen, the news has switched to a live shot of an anchor at her desk. The building that houses this channel has probably taken some damage from the fighting because it looks like they’re barely keeping themselves on the air. Only half the lights are on in the studio and the camera is cockeyed, the picture not as sharp as it should be. The anchor is trying to keep up a professional face, but her hair is caked with dust and her eyes are red-rimmed from crying. She speaks directly into the camera for a few seconds, introducing the next piece of footage.

The anchor disappears, replaced by shaky video shot with a cellular phone. In the middle of a major intersection, a blurry figure spins round and round, like an Olympic discus thrower warming up. Except this guy’s not holding a discus. With inhuman strength he’s whipping around another person by the ankle. After a dozen spins, the guy lets go of the curled-up body, flinging it through the front window of a nearby movie theater. The video stays centered on the thrower as, shoulders heaving, he yells out what’s probably a curse.

It’s Nine.

“Sam! Turn it up!”

As Sam gropes for the remote, whoever’s filmed Nine dives behind a car for cover. It’s disorienting as hell, but the cameraman manages to keep recording by sticking one hand above the car’s trunk. A group of Mogadorian warriors have appeared in the intersection, blasting away at Nine. I watch as he dances nimbly aside, then uses his telekinesis to fling a car in their direction.

“. . . again, this is footage taken in Union Square just moments ago,” the shaky-voiced anchor is saying as Sam turns up the volume. “We know this apparently superpowered, um, possibly alien teenager was at the UN scene with the other young man identified as John Smith. We see him here engaged in combat with the Mogadorians, doing things not humanly possible . . .”

“They know my name,” I say, quietly.

“Look,” Sam says, hitting my arm.

The camera has panned back to the movie theater, where a burly form slowly rises from the shattered window. I don’t get a good look at him, but I immediately know exactly who Nine was throwing around. He flies up from the movie theater window, slashes through the few Mogs still in the intersection and then careens violently into Nine.

“Five,” Sam says.

The camera loses track of Five and Nine as they plow through the grass of a small nearby park, churning up huge chunks of dirt as they go.

“They’re killing each other,” I say. “We have to get over there.”

“A second extraterrestrial teenager is fighting the first, at least when they’re not fighting off the invaders,” the anchor says, sounding baffled. “We . . . we don’t know why. We don’t have many answers at all at this point, I’m afraid. Just . . . stay safe, New York. Evacuation efforts are ongoing if you have a safe route to the Brooklyn Bridge. If you’re near the fighting, keep inside and—”

I take the remote from Sam and turn off the TV. He watches me as I stand up, checking to make sure I’m all right. My muscles howl in protest and I’m dizzy for a second, but I can push through. I have to push through. Never has the expression “fight like there’s no tomorrow” had more meaning. If I’m going to make this right—if we’re going to save Earth from Setrákus Ra and the Mogadorians, then the first steps are finding Nine and surviving New York.

“She said Union Square,” I say. “That’s where we go.”

Chapter TWO

THE WORLD HASN’T CHANGED. AT LEAST, NOT that I can tell.

The jungle air is humid and sticky, a welcome change from the cold dampness of the Sanctuary’s subterranean depths. I have to shield my eyes as we emerge into the late afternoon sun, ducking one by one through a narrow stone archway that’s appeared in the Mayan temple’s base.

“They couldn’t have let us come in that way?” I grumble, cracking my back and glancing over to the hundreds of fractured limestone steps we climbed earlier. Once we were at the top of Calakmul, our pendants activated some kind of Loric doorway that teleported us to the hidden Sanctuary beneath the centuries-old human-built structure. We found ourselves in an otherworldly room obviously created by the Elders on one of their visits to Earth. I guess secrecy was a higher priority than ease of access. Anyway, the way out wasn’t such a hike and didn’t involve any disorienting teleportation—just a dizzying hundred yards of dusty spiral staircase and a simple door that, of course, wasn’t there when we first entered.

Adam exits the Sanctuary behind me, his eyes narrowed to slits.

“What now?” he asks.

“I don’t know,” I tell him, looking up at the darkening sky. “I was sorta counting on the Sanctuary to answer that.”

“I . . . I’m still not sure what we saw in there. Or what we accomplished,” Adam says hesitantly. He pushes some loose strands of black hair out of his face as he watches me.

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