`Right, the last part of The Mission coming up. I’ve been writing this story all this week based on daily prompts on Describli. Follow the link for more. Or I’ve explained the site on the post for the first part of The Mission.
I’m hoping the end is good. I’m never satisfied with endings. Let me know, if you like.
The knife nicked Lena’s throat as Drawler fell back from her.
She jumped forward and spun around, whipping out her own gun, aiming at his chest.
He looked up at her, teeth gritted, hand over his injured shoulder. Zinna was by her side. “Don’t move,” she hissed. Then to Lena, “Grab the gem.”
Lena looked sideways at her. A perfect mask of anger covered her.
She walked backwards, and reluctantly slipped her gun back into its holster. The gem was heavy, cold to the touch. Warmth glowed from the small stones, the coloured ones in her pocket.
“Got it?” Zinna asked.
“Good.” Zinna crouched down, took the knife from him, and pressed the muzzle of her gun right against Drawler’s head. “You don’t threaten her, ever. Understand?”
He just glared. Defiant.
“I’m a fair person,” she continued. “But only to a point. You got us here. You let us leave, you keep your life. You try and stop us, you lose your life. Do you at least understand that?”
“I’m entitled to half of that,” he said. His eyes were fixed to the gem.
“No. You lost that when you got greedy.” Zinna stood. “Learn that lesson the hard way.”
He kept glaring. His hands itched to attack.
Lena hugged the gem to her body. Zinna laid a hand on her arm and they started to back away.
Drawler sat up. Zinna kept her gun aimed at him. They reached the tunnel, turned, and ran. “Do you think he’ll attack us again?” Lena asked between breaths.
Water splashed. They moved on instinct through the darkness. Neither possessed a light.
Lena stumbled, Zinna caught her. “Keep moving.”
Heavier steps followed. Drawler.
They emerged between the roots of the tree. The sun shone down on the them, hot and strong. It burned her eyes. She squinted.
The buzzing came back, dust blew at them, wind gusted at the tree, threatening to tear its withered form from the ground.
Shielding her eyes, Lena looked up. The airship. A rope descended. Figures climbed down it.
The train still waited for them.
Lena started to run for it, Zinna at her side. A stampede followed them. She daren’t look back.
Guns banged out their bullets. Friction burned past her ear. Almost.
She leapt up the steps and onto the station. Something snagged on the bottom of her coat. She fell. The gem flew from her, clinking on the stone, rolling awkwardly away.
Sounds of a fight.
Hands were grappling at her legs, someone trying to clamber on top of her. She kicked out, connected with something solid. Someone grunted as if in pain.
She got to her feet, ran for the gem. Drawler appeared before her, reaching down for it. She pulled her gun out. Aimed. “Don’t do it,” she said. “Don’t even think about making me shoot.”
“C’mon sweetness, it’s either me or the guys your friend’s losing her fight against. You can’t get out of here with it. Give it up.” He spoke in a persuasive tone.
Temptation to look over her shoulder, to see Zinna, to see if he spoke the truth, seized her. But that was the point.
Zinna was capable. She could win.
“Get out of here, you live,” she said.
He shook his head, slow pity. “You know I’m right. It’s mine, just accept it.”
Her finger touched the trigger. “Just walk away.”
He bent down further, hands hovering over the gem.
She pressed down. He fell.
Over in an instant.
His hand lay near the gem. She picked it up. Silence had descended over the platform. The buzzing was gone.
Zinna knelt on the ground, wiping blood from her mouth. She looked wild. “Got it?” she asked, voice hoarse, breathless.
Lena nodded. “Where’s the airship?”
“Gone. I shot its engine out. It ran.” She got up. “Let’s get out of this heaven-forsaken place.”
They headed for the train, boarded, waited while it pulled away, lurching from the station, moving backwards.
Lena laid the gem on the table, and placed the small ones beside it. Clear diamond was replaced by a rainbow of colour.
Zinna knocked them with one finger. “Bonus,” she said.
“Teal will be able to tell us what they are, if they hold the same power as the big one.” Lena picked one up. It felt warm. “This place is so strange.”
“You’re telling me?” Zinna leaned back in her seat, arms folded.
“Well, I suppose we knew it would be. Shimmer Worlds are never normal. They work on a different-”
Zinna held a hand up. “I don’t need the science lesson. I understand what I can. The rest…well, that’s what you and Teal are there for.” She smiled. “Let’s just try and stick to non-Shimmer Worlds in the future, okay?”
“No arguments here.” The sooner she was back in her home the better.
The prompt for today: “Don’t do it.”
This story is connected to my previous short story and first attempt at sci-fi, Escape.