Binding Moonlight

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 27 (v.1) - Chapter 27

Submitted: January 19, 2019

Reads: 10

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Submitted: January 19, 2019

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“What is it?” the colonel asked, keeping his eyes on Nrekeeka.

Robyn clenched his jaw and exhaled slowly. “Old photographs.”

“Of?” The man's eyes flicked from the photos to Robyn.

Robyn didn't answer, just stood there, staring down at the photos on the ground. He tapped his weapon against his leg, scowling. No one spoke, waiting to see what his next move would be.

Shaking his head, the green haired man bit down on his lip. “No. No, this can't be right. You did something to these pictures. You doctored them somehow,” he accused Nrekeeka without lifting his eyes.

“I didn't. I can see in your eyes you know I'm telling the truth,” she told him, her voice soft. “I was just as surprised as you when I found them. I was so scared, so unsure, I went back to my parent's house to dig around in boxes of forgotten items. I suffered through the heartache of being in those memory-filled rooms so I could learn the truth.”

“Tie them up!” Robyn barked, waving his gun. “You're lying!”

“What the hell is going on?” the colonel demanded as he and his subordinate restrained the group, securing their wrists with zip ties and forcing them to kneel.

Nrekeeka was surprised none of her friends interrupted, protested, or fought back as their wrists were bound. Granted, Tobi suffered a blow to the head and Adonis was losing blood, but it didn't account for the others. She refused to let her concern show on her face. This was her opportunity to show everyone just how solid she could be in a tough situation.

“I don't believe you,” Robyn muttered.

Looking directly into Robyn's lime-colored eyes for the first time, Nrekeeka drew her shoulders back and stuck her chin out. On the surface, he was furious, confused. Underneath she could see the abandoned, betrayed child fueling his rage.

“I would say I'm sorry Robyn, but I'm not. I'm not sorry your father, the reason behind your homicidal plans, was in love with a full-blooded Deldin. I'm not sorry he married her and gave birth to an adorable baby boy. I am sorry an innocent child turned into such a monster. And I am sorry Shelsea and I weren't able to know you before this all happened. I always wanted a brother, but I never wanted him to be like you.” Now with everything in the open, Nrekeeka could feel some of her rage drain away.

“No way. He's our brother?” Shelsea asked, jaw hanging open.

“What did I say about not antagonizing him?” Tobi grumbled.

Nrekeeka continued. “Didn't you ever wonder, Robyn? Why your reflexes are so good? Or why you can hear things a little better than you should? Or even why your ears are just a little pointier than they ought to be?”

“No. No, I'm not like you things. My father would never have married a Deldin woman,” stated Robyn, more to himself than to Nrekeeka.

“No matter how much you deny it, it's the truth.”

“Is it really such an outrageous notion, Robyn? How well did you really know your dad before he died?” Max inquired.

Robyn turned abruptly, pulling the trigger on his weapon at the same time. The shot went wide, hitting the corner of a crumbling concrete wall. “Enough! This has been nothing but a waste of my time! Your lying has only served to piss me off!” he howled.

“Read the letter.” Nrekeeka stretched out her leg, nudging the photos with the toe of her boot to uncover a ragged, folded note.

The colonel puffed out a breath. “Stop playing with the girl and let's get this done, Robyn. My kid has a thing this afternoon.”

“What does it say?” Theo asked.

Folding her legs beneath her, Nrekeeka's shoulders rose and fell with a deep breath. “Keiran wrote it to my mom before he was stationed on Deldin, and I don't think dad knew about it. It said he never stopped loving her, even after she left. He apologized for treating her the way he did, ignoring her, not giving her the affection she deserved. There was a lot of heartache in those words, but mostly he wanted to tell her he was going to see her parents while he was on Deldin. He wanted to tell them about their grandson, about Robyn.”

“So, you're just gonna let them chat? Okay...” The colonel rolled his eyes, leaning against a stack of tires. Holstering his weapon, he crossed his arms, closing his eyes in a prolonged blink.

Robyn bent down and scooped up the letter, shaking it open with one hand. His eyes traveled quickly across the page as he read. When he reached the bottom, he read it again. Then he read it a third time. When he spoke, his voice was calm. Disturbingly so. “This is his handwriting. The foolish man always insisted upon writing letters instead of electronic mail. But this...it doesn't change anything.”

“Why would you do something so cruel to your family?” Shelsea whimpered.

Robyn exhaled sharply. “My family is dead. And I'll make those who killed him suffer. Private Endris?”

“Sir?”

“Are the canisters ready?”

“Yes, sir.”

A smile lit up Robyn's face. “Perfect! Well, let's forget all this silliness and get down to business!” he commanded, stepping on the photos as he crossed the open area to where his canisters waited.

“You do know there are hundreds of human beings living on Deldin, right? Ya plan on killin' em, too?” Gabe wondered aloud, squirming against his restraints.

“Collateral damage,” stated the colonel, interrupting before Robyn had a chance. “We're just doing what we couldn't during the war.”

“Collateral damage? What is wrong with you?” Max asked, shaking her head.

“Sacrifices are an unfortunate necessity,” Robyn replied in way of clarification.

“Are we sacrifices as well?” Theo glared at Robyn from under his eyebrows.

“You'll have to be. You eight are the only thing linking me to the deaths. Everything else will be incinerated, leaving no trace behind once the virus is deployed,” explained Robyn.

“Our deaths will raise some suspicion, I think,” muttered Tobi.

“People will look for us,” added Max.

Robyn scoffed. “Like who? Your brother? I'm not afraid of that idiot.” Rolling his eyes, he slipped his weapon into his waistband and lifted the first of three canisters.

“If anything happens to me, Haruto won't stop until he finds out who did it. He's persistent. And he'll start with you,” Max told him as he set the canister on the launch pad. He locked it inside a hollow missile and went to get the next one.

“You would not be difficult to track,” Adonis growled through gritted teeth. “You are too emotional. You will make mistakes, despite your intelligence.”

Robyn's jaw twitched. “The next person to speak will have their tongue removed,” he told them, carrying the second canister to the launch device.

Gritting his teeth, Adonis focused on his restraints while the others watched as the missiles were prepared. Their faces were slack, hopeless. If they weren't going to help themselves, he would have to help them. He had been steadily raising his body temperature, using the heat to weaken the plastic zip ties. It was difficult enough to do with the dampeners, but he also had to suppress the formation of flames. The blood loss did nothing to help his concentration. Keeping conscious became increasingly difficult.

“Colonel, once I begin the launch, you and Private Endris should leave. I'll keep these people alive long enough to act as scapegoats should the need arise, as infinitesimal the chances something will go wrong.”

“Are you sure? You don't want any help putting them down?” the colonel asked.

“I should be fine. I want the pleasure of executing each one of these pains in my backside myself,” Robyn told the older man as he secured the final canister.

“Hate to question you son, but this doesn't seem very bright. You know, 'victims of our own hubris' and all,” commented the man, following Robyn to his laptop.

“Hubris? Oh, please.” Shaking his head, Robyn typed a quick sequence into his computer and the launch pad began to rumble. Flames sputtered beneath the missiles as the thrusters came to life. The blue tendrils tore the others from their morose thoughts and they all started shouting at once. Robyn enjoyed the cacophony. He smiled to himself while punching commands into his computer. Whether it was the cries to stop, or the shouts declaring he was insane was unclear, but he was pleased with the situation.

“There. This ought to do it,” stated Robyn, studying the missiles from where he sat. “I won't bother with something so formal as a count down since it's just us.” The roar of the rockets and rumble of machinery drowned out Robyn's voice. He stared directly at Nrekeeka, then Shelsea, as his fingers hovered above the keypad of his computer. Though his lips twisted into a smug, self-satisfied smirk, his eyes remained soft, content. After holding their gaze, he raised his hand with a flourish and pressed one last key.

The shouting elevated to screaming as the flames swelled and the frames shook. With a rush of hot air, the missiles streaked into the sky. Their screams died on their lips.

“You...you have no idea what you've just done,” muttered Nrekeeka.

“Oh, I have a pretty good notion,” Robyn replied, shaking the Colonel's hand and thanking him.

“No. No, you really don't. You've killed everyone on Parset,” she told him, eyes locked on the sky.

“Wrong planet, m'dear,” the colonel told her.

“Take your heads out of your asses and look at what's happening,” Tobi snarled at the men, head tilted back as he spoke.

High above them, the sky lit up with streaks of fire, red, blue, and orange tendrils flickering in the blackness. The sound of a distant, muffled explosion reached their ears.

Robyn's mouth hung open. “No! This wasn't supposed to happen. What went wrong?”

“You're too cocky. You overlooked errors because you didn't believe you could ever do anything wrong.” Nrekeeka's voice shook and her heartbeat thumped in her ears as they watched the explosion play out above them.


© Copyright 2019 Kristin Kuffner. All rights reserved.

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