Home > Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)(3)

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)(3)
Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

Kady Grant: No. She didn’t.

Interviewer: I’m sorry.

Kady Grant: Yeah.

Interviewer: So, did Ezra see reason? Did you go to find your mother?

Kady Grant: We started. Ezra’s mom isn’t around, so mine had just spent a year feeding him. I think she was more upset about the breakup than anyone. We were heading for her lab, and by that time there were people in the streets, riding in all-terrains, some on quad bikes, folks on foot. The ground was cracking and there were chunks breaking off buildings, and all the time there’s this huge BeiTech ship in the sky, pounding our defenses with missiles. Shuttles were lifting off with civis evacuating. It was so loud, I thought my ears were bleeding. And over the top of all that, Ezra chooses then to start criticizing my driving.

Interviewer: It’s hard to believe you guys broke up.

Kady Grant: You have no idea. Anyway, that was when half the cineplex fell on our truck.

Interviewer:  … Wait, what?

Ezra Mason: I don’t know how long I was unconscious for. I came to and I thought the sky was covered in spiderwebs. And then I realize I’m looking through the smashed windshield, and we’re buried under half a building. The truck is scrapped, Kady’s next to me and there’s blood all over her face, and I couldn’t find a pulse. So I dragged her out of the wreckage and started to give her mouth-to-mouth and that’s when she slugged me, Your Honor.

Interviewer: She hit you?

Ezra Mason: Yeah, right in the face. Good shot, too. I dunno. She thought I was trying to kiss her. She’d hit her head, she was messed up. So we’re gearing up to start yelling at each other, and then we realize the sky is full of Cyclone fighter ships. So I figured the cavalry must have arrived.

Interviewer: Could you still see the Lincoln?

Ezra Mason: No. But we could see the refinery had been hit. It was covered in this … I dunno. It’s hard to describe. It was like a mist? But it was black. Creeping in the air real slow, like molasses. Not smoke. It was … something different.

Interviewer: You said your father worked at the refinery?

Ezra Mason: Yeah. So of course I want to go look for him. And Kady still wants to go find Mrs. Grant. And the glacier is cracking open and the sky is on fire, and I think I can see BeiTech ground troops in the distance. And then I said it.

Interviewer: What did he say?

Kady Grant: He said, “You picked a hell of a day to dump me, Kades.”

Interviewer:  … You honestly said that?

Ezra Mason: Yeah. So all hell breaks loose, and Kady is yelling at me and I’m yelling back. All this stuff that’d been building up for the last year and boiling just under the skin. Like, I loved her. I love her. But she had this way of just … It was so stupid. The world is ending all around us and we’re screaming about college applications and commitment and shit. I mean, can you believe that?

Interviewer: You’re seventeen, right?

Ezra Mason: Eighteen next month.

Interviewer: Then yes, I believe it.

Ezra Mason: Cold, chum. Real cold.

Interviewer: So what happened next?

Ezra Mason: I took off. She told me I was being crazy, but I was just … furious. And my dad is all I have left, so … yeah. Ran toward the refinery, burning cars and trashed buildings everywhere. I saw a Cyclone crash into an apartment block right in front of my face. Felt the heat on my skin. I was just keeping low and trying to get closer to the plant, but there were BT troops all over. Big, armor-plated goons in winter camo carrying guns you could kill a glacieosaur with. I didn’t really have a plan, I just needed to find my dad. Didn’t know what I was going to do once I hit that fog. But turned out that wouldn’t be a problem.

Interviewer: Why’s that?

Ezra Mason: Well, they shot me.

Interviewer: They shot him?

Kady Grant: I couldn’t believe it either. Those fuckers should have got in line. They’re not the ones who had to put up with his—

Interviewer: You said you’d parted ways at that stage. How did you find out he’d been shot?

Kady Grant: I started by heading toward my mom’s lab on foot, but there were a bunch of BeiTech troops in the way. They were putting carriers down on the ground and rolling out soldiers and all-terrain vehicles. I was a little concussed, I’m pretty sure. I know I stopped to puke at one point. I could see shuttles landing out by the labs to do evac, so I just hoped my mom was getting on one of them. I knew I wasn’t going to make it across town to her. I wasn’t going to make it anywhere without another truck. So I stole one from a BeiTech crew.

Interviewer: I’m sorry, you what?

Kady Grant: I am frequently underestimated. I think it’s because I’m short.

Interviewer: They didn’t want it back?

Kady Grant: Probably. They were pretty busy jumping out of the way. Also, I knew my way around the middle of town, they didn’t. I took some sharp corners and worked my way around the back of the community complex, scraped the truck doors right off the side of it, but when I got out the other end I’d lost them. Our people didn’t have weapons to shoot at me with, and theirs thought I was on the same team, I guess.

Interviewer: What happened next?

Kady Grant: There was this filthy black cloud oozing down from atmo toward the refinery, and I knew that was where Ezra was. I heard it was some kind of bio-attack. Is that true?

Interviewer: I don’t know. You said he was shot, so I guess you found him?

Kady Grant: On the wrong end of a BeiTech platoon, bleeding everywhere. I kind of freaked out when I saw it all.

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