What I was expecting to come from plan A was some kind of change from within Colin, whether it be his personality, his view on his criminal life, his mind set, or his sanity. And maybe he did change, but what I didn't expect is whether I would change.
Plan A entailed that I would have sex with Colin to try to save him from going completely insane with his killing spree, to save him from getting slammed into jail and to possibly even save his life, but the feeling I woke up with was one that I had never felt before.
I woke up in bed next to Colin, and I suddenly had a huge craving for adrenaline. When I woke up, I felt like I could jump out of an airplane, travel at the speed of sound, fly as high as a bird could, fall off a cliff, or even kill a person. I wanted to more do things, specifically the things that he's doing. I wanted to learn how to shoot a gun, how to be dangerous, how to live.
He's killed many people, but I don't really mind that. Not anymore. In fact, I think I look up to him in a strange sort of way. A lot of people fear him. A lot of people probably don't want to mess with him. When I awoke the morning after, I knew I wanted to be seen the same way people see him. I loved the idea of people fearing me, and I felt like I could be so much more than I already am.
"Brad?" I lazily answer the phone, my eyes barely even open. I had to walk into the bathroom so that I wouldn't wake up Logan. What could he possibly want?
"Can we talk?"
"Now?" I groan, wanting desperately to fall back to sleep. "Does it have to be right, fucking now?"
"Get the hell up, you lazy ass. It's eleven in the morning."
"Please, Brad. I'm literally begging you."
"God, I didn't know you were this fucking weird in the morning. When did you fall asleep?"
I blink my eyes a couple times to keep them from closing and try to remember what time it was. The only thing I remember is noticing the time on Logan's alarm clock. It was around two thirty, I think, and then we... oh hell yeah.
"Late," I can't stop grinning. "I don't know, man. Two thirty, three?"
"Pulled an all-nighter on that assignment due today?"
If I was the Colin Powers that hadn't fallen into the vat, hadn't thought up a plan to take down an entire company, hadn't killed a shit ton of people, and hadn't met JI, I would have been shitting bricks. I had no idea the assignment Brad was talking about was due today, and if I was the old Colin Powers, I would be mortified—I haven't even started it. But I'm not the old Colin Powers. Instead of chilling me to the bone, Brad's words fly over my head, meaningless.
"Uh, nah. I didn't even start it, to be honest."
"Are you not going to do it?"
"Then what the hell did you do last night?"
"Nothing. Just couldn't sleep." The self-control is strong in this one—I wanted to say 'Logan' so bad. "What did you want to talk about?"
"That green-eyed killer dude is fucking insane—"
"He has the same eyes I do, yeah, everyone fucking tells me."
"That's not what I was going to say."
"Whatever. Yeah, he's insane. What about it?"
"What do you mean, what about it? He should fucking stop."
"Yeah, he should. Those employees probably have lives," I say in the most monotone voice I can muster.
"Nothing. They shouldn't die."
"Yeah, they're just defenseless people who have done absolutely nothing wrong."
Oh my god, more self-control. I hold back my anger as best I can from yelling at him over the phone, and take a deep breath instead. They've done everything wrong. They don't deserves their lives. They die for good fucking reason. He wouldn't understand.
"Is that all you wanted to talk about?" I ask, desperately wanting to end this conversation.
"I thought I could talk to you about this."
"At eleven in the morning?"
"Later, Brad." I hang up the phone before he has time to complain any further. He'll forgive me eventually.
What I thought would have been a phase lasting a few hours lasted longer than I thought. A couple days was all I needed to know that I did want Colin's life, and I knew that I would find it in Mexico, with JI. Colin and I were on my couch watching a movie on Netflix, when his phone buzzed.
"Someone calling you?" I asked.
"No, an alert." I paused the movie when I saw his grave expression. "JI is expecting my answer." His answer, which is really my answer. I control if he goes or not, a responsibility he insists I should have.
I wanted to say yes, but a small voice in my mind reminded me the one thing I've been forgetting, so I hesitated longer than I should have. You could both stay here. You'd both be safe, have a normal life. The voice was right. We would be away from danger. Colin already knows that the killings aren't working, so he would stop eventually. I would help him study, we'd both graduate, get into university and live our lives from there, however they may go...
Or... I could feed my adrenaline, risk our lives, see the unattractive side of the world, and learn to live. I could go to Mexico, be with Col, let him do what he knows will end his mission, and come back like nothing happened. I could finally step into Colin's world, and see life through his eyes. I could do what my heart has been telling me to do since plan A.
The idea ignited a fire in my eyes, and I kissed his frown away. "Let's go tell them, then."
Mexico is a complete mystery to me. No matter how hard I try, I can't bring myself to expect what could happen there. It's almost as if it's unreal, and when I get there, I wont be Colin Powers anymore, but some strange entity floating in time and space. That probably didn't make any sense, but that's how I see it. It's unreal, as though it doesn't exist yet.
Because I can't imagine, I wonder instead. I wonder what I'll have to endure. I wonder what Logan would have to endure. This is obviously not the safest trip to go on, and my life will most likely be at risk more than once. After all, we're trying to take down a company in Mexico, a company with guards... and guns. It didn't take rocket science to know that Mexico wont be as stupid as Nuclean. No one is as stupid as Nuclean.
But now that my mind wanders, and I'm making no effort to stop or control what goes in and out of my mind, I start to question myself, something I haven't bothered doing since two days ago when I met the guys. What if I can't handle it? Think about it... I've only just started with using a gun when they've probably had years of experience. And what if I can't do it? What if I disappoint everyone? What if JI overestimated me, and I'm not right for them? What if I fuck up the whole thing?
These questions swim around in my brain like a virus, and they laugh at my anxiety and discomfort. They taunt me with these possibilities, these doubts, but I don't have much time to care about them, because one question in particular mortifies me more than ever; what if I wont be able to protect Logan?
The thought makes me want to destroy myself. She wants to learn how to shoot a gun, yet I barely know how myself. I don't want her to fight at all. If she gets in on the action, she'll get hurt, or killed, and if that happens, I might as well die along with her. She's the only thing keeping me alive...
I don't think she's even aware of my concern for her. So I put it in the back of my mind to tell her on the way to Mexico. She needs to know that I don't want her anywhere near where I will be going. She can say what she wants, but I'd rather have her be pissed off at me rather than dead. Even the thought of it makes me shudder.
I push down any last doubts I have into the back of my mind. I need to stay focused. I can't be a cowering, lip-trembling idiot in front of JI—or Logan, for that matter. I need to act like I have everything sorted out in my mind, even though I don't. The violins have been attacking me too, as soon as they saw what kind of things I've been thinking about Mexico lately. Winter isn't even beautiful anymore. It's just daunting, like a dancing monkey saying, "Hey, look at me! You're going insane and there's nothing you can do about it! La la la."
"Can I ask you something?"
"What?" she asks, grunting as she pulls her boots on.
"Well... why is it that you suddenly chose to come? I'm not complaining or anything, but your parents trust you. They're going to come back to an empty home and be worried sick."
"How did you leave your home?" she asks without hesitation, as though she was expecting this question from me. "Don't you love your mother? Wouldn't she be just as worried as my parents would be?"
Her words stump me. I never even said good bye to my mom. Only now I wish I had. I just put on my coat and walked out the door. If I don't come back from this, either if I die, or I survive and choose to keep sticking with JI, she probably wont see me ever again. Half of me wants to go back home and hug her, but then the other half of me wants to just get going.
If I were to go back, then how on earth would I say good bye to her? Good bye or not, it will still bring sadness for both of us. I can already feel the dark and cold growing inside of me—the feeling of guilt, sadness, home sickness, and solitude all mixed together. I can already feel it eat away, making my chest cavity seem hollow.
"I didn't." I say, my eyes unable to pull away from hers. "I didn't say anything to her. I just left... because I need this. And I need you. And I've worked so hard for this and now I'm finally going to get to—"
"Wait, what did you just say?"
"Uhh... I've worked really hard for this—?"
"No, no. The thing before that."
"I need you...?"
"Wow," she sighs as if she's been holding her breath all this time for me to say something like that. "You need me."
"I do. And not just to be my brain."
"What do you need me for?" she asks, wrapping her arms around my neck. And instead of answering with words, I kiss her, as though we don't have anywhere to be in the next couple minutes. After a few perfect moments, she pulls back and lets go of my neck. "We're going to be late," she says with a smirk.
"So, I've always wanted to ask. How do you do it exactly?" This is what I asked him a few days before plan A went down. It was a sunny, but chilly afternoon and we were out for a walk, something he said he never gets to do anymore.
"Oh. I don't think even I know exactly how it works. All I do is focus my mind on a certain place, and concentrate on it and my body, and I close my eyes. When I open them again, I'm there."
"How do you blink other people?"
"Well, I guess I just do the same thing, but I concentrate on the other person's body." It didn't make much sense to me, because there's no real scientific explanation for what he's able to do, and that annoyed me a bit, but before I could complain, he eyes lit up and he added, "Don't let go of my hand."
His eyes quickly darted away from mine, and suddenly, we were on the roof of a nearby house. I screamed, but he just laughed as he blinked us from roof to roof. It turned from terrifying, to adrenaline pumping faster than it probably would have for anyone else. The world jumped at me as fast as Colin blinked, as though we're staggering through the sky. I've never cared for, or wanted his power... until then.
Finally, we get to Nuclean, and he blinks down to the pavement. I take a moment to catch my breath and relive the excitement I get every time we blink.
"If you walk me anywhere again, I'm breaking up with you."
"Wait. You liked it?"
"I loved it." The first time he blinked me, I couldn't process what was going on, and I felt like throwing up. Compared to this time, I've really gotten used to it.
"What happened to Logan Blaire?"
"She's gone with the wind." And I smile wickedly.
"Boss, when are we going to tell him everything?"
"When he gets here. Calm the fuck down."
"What happens if he doesn't believe us? He still seemed a little suspicious."
"We should be suspicious of him. As far as he knows, were the solution he's been looking for. When he actually arrives and proves his worth, then we'll be able to trust him. Until then, this trust has got to be one sided. Got that?"
"I understand," Bomb says into the phone. But before he can speak up about the other things that were concerning him, he hears the dial tone.
With a tight grip on Logan's hand, I lead her through the complex and into the office room full of cubicles. Her eyes widen when she sees the look on the worker's faces. "Like zombies..." I hear her mutter to herself. "You kill these people. Pick them off like fish in a barrel." I can't tell if she's disappointed, angry, or just in disbelief. I don't know what she's feeling right now, but all I hope is that it wont change her mind when it comes to Mexico. We're so close...
The boy with the natural dark brown hair and the girl with the pastel blue dyed hair weave in and out through the cubicles. The girl, she's astounded by what she's seeing before her eyes. Part of her can't stop thinking about how easy it would be for her to shoot someone right now, and no one would know. If she had a gun, all she would need to do is pull the trigger, and she'd be a murderer, and no one would find out.
Once they see the faces of Bomb and the others, they freeze. The boy knows these strange people, but the girl doesn't. She's heard of them but now she finally meets the people her boyfriend have been talking about.
As the man with the huge bulging muscles and scars walks into full view, she gets a feeling of mixed emotions. The man can't be older than twenty five, yet his shirt is struggling to stay on. Half of her feels a stir of strange emotions. In a strange sort of way, the man with the big muscles isn't completely ugly. She found herself forcing out thoughts that she shouldn't be thinking, especially with her boyfriend standing right beside her.
Standing next to Mr. Steroids, is a woman with red hair wearing a tight, black jumpsuit. She can feel her own eyes widen at the sight of her, feeling very belittled. In comparison to the woman in front of her, she resembles a twig. It doesn't take very long to decide that she wouldn't blame Colin if he kept his eyes on her longer than he should.
"You brought a guest," the man says.
"Yeah. Bomb, Jess, everyone, this is my girlfriend."
"Aw, she's cute," the woman in the jumpsuit says, almost mockingly. Her voice is so smooth, it brings up a sort of fear from within the girl. It makes the hairs on her arms stand on end. But she doesn't show her nervousness. She knows that she's going to need to play a part in this mission. They wouldn't let her come otherwise.
With this thought in her mind, she stands a little straighter, feels a little more confident, speaks a little more defiantly. "I'm Logan."
"Nice to meet you, Logan," the man says with a smile, something the boy standing next to her hadn't seen before. He holds out his hand and she shakes it, giving him a smile of her own. Even the red haired woman, who has known the man for several years, looks a bit perplexed at his kindness towards the girl, but she shrugs it off as they walk towards the parking lot towards the van that will take them to the plane.
The plane is essentially a cargo plane, but it has around fifteen seats installed on either side of the plane, the people sitting in them able to face each other. Above the seats are places for small cargo, like on a commercial plane. The plane isn't that pretty, it's just a solid dark color everywhere I look, and the seats aren't all that comfortable, but it works.
Once I get on the plane, I'm told that JI stands for 'Just Is'. It's meant to be a play on words to sound like the word 'justice'. One of the members of JI—his name is Dan—tells me that JI has a grudge with the Mexicans and that that's why they want to take them down. This raises my eyebrows and starts up a rant forming within me.
"No. A reason that you would go to this extent—to literally kill the people at that company—is if they're a threat to you, which I don't really think that they are. I'm sure that whatever grudge you guys have towards them isn't all that's between you and the company. There's something else going on, isn't there?"
"N-no, they're not a threat to us, but—" he sounded at a loss for words, but I just continued on, somewhat surprised at how confident I spoke.
"Someone else then. They're a threat to someone else. They must be. But... the only reason you guys would care is if you're protecting that someone."
Dan is now completely speechless, his jaw practically on the floor. I look to Colin, and he has an impressed grin, probably enjoying watching me render Dan speechless.
"Who are you protecting?" I ask. There are more questions I want to ask, like why Fernandez Nuclear decides to be a threat to anyone in the first place, but I let the metaphorical microphone drop and let the silence consume the plane, and everyone in it.
A smirk appears on Bomb's face. He gets up from his seat and places his hand under my chin, tilting my head up a little, his thumb rubbing against my cheek. He turns to the other people in the plane, including Col, who looks just about ready to kick him in the face.
"I like her. She's smart," he says, hardly intimidated. He returns to his seat but leaves the smile on his face. "We need some smart people in JI. Very few these days. We didn't really need them before, I guess. But now..." He doesn't bother to finish his sentence, even though I wish he would.
END OF CHAPTER 18