I wouldn’t have nearly enough time to free her from her handcuffs, so instead I wrapped my arms around her. “I’m sorry!”
“Marina,” She hissed. “Marina, leave.”
“You can’t leave me out of everything! I’m a part of the crew, too! I deserve to know as much as you do!”
“This really isn’t the time for that.” She whispered, nudging me with her forearm. “I’ll be fine. I promise. But you need to trust me and leave right now, before it’s too late.” She looked up at Halon. “We’re not having this discussion. We’re not on the ship, so right now you’re not in charge. You’re going to take Marina and leave. I’ll catch up with you later.”
“Cotto, no,” Halon’s anger had subsided. He sounded almost painfully sad.
She stared at him, her beautiful eyes hard. “Halon, please.”
“Alright, this has gone on for long enough.” The judge said exhaustedly.
Halon tugged on my arm gently. “Marina, we’ve got to go.”
“You’re just going to give up on her like that?” Halon, the bravest captain in the entire universe, was quitting?
“You’ve got to pick and choose your battles.”
“Pick this one!” I screamed.
He jerked on my shoulder more sharply. “Cotto will be alright.”
I maneuvered out of Halon’s grip. Two court guards were moving towards Cotto to take her to some horrible place. I punched the first one squarely in the jaw. He staggered backwards, cupping his face.
The other was on the defensive. Cotto was yelling something, but I couldn’t hear her over the sound of my heartbeat. I landed a lucky kick in the gut on the second guard. Neither of them seemed to be good at coping with pain, and lay moaning where they fell.
I tugged on Cotto’s hand. “Go!”
She shook her head firmly. “Get out of here before they come after you.”
“You come with me!”
Halon pulled on my shoulders. “Marina, you can’t help her.”
I rooted myself in place. “Cotto, please come with me! I can rescue you!”
“I love you Marina. Halon. Be safe,”
I clutched her wrist tightly, my eyes stinging with tears. “I can’t leave.”
Halon wrapped his arms around me, lifting me off of the ground and separating me and Cotto. I screamed and kicked, desperately pounding against Halon. “Put me down! We can save her!”
He carried me from the courtroom. “Cotto!” I sobbed heartbrokenly, giving up the fight against Halon as the courtroom doors slammed shut.
One of the guards had managed to recover, and jogged alongside us. “Sir, the judge wants to hold you to that deal. If you give us what we need, we’ll let her go.”
The judge exited the courtroom himself. “Why don’t we talk?” He motioned to me. “Does she know anything?”
“Then she can’t come in with us.”
Halon let me down. My legs wobbled, but the pain in my chest was far worse. “Marina, I know you don’t want anything to happen to Cotto, but you doing something rash won’t help her. I’m going to talk to the judge, and they’ll let her go. All I need you to do is sit here and wait for me. Got it?” He spoke slowly and thoroughly, like he was talking to a child.
I nodded solemnly. “Yes.”
He ruffled my wavy brunette locks. “I’ll be back soon, kiddo.”
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