Chapter Thirty Seven

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It was the only way to describe what happened after the universal call was shut off. People swarmed by the doors to Abby's office and banged on the glass and wailed for Abby's blood to spill. They slammed their fists and cried out in pain for those that had been sent to the slaughter.

Others called for the execution of Rachel and her group, still unwilling to believe the truth that lay right in front of them.

"You look surprised." Abby taunted in a sickly sweet voice. "What else were you expecting after turning their lives upside down?"

"Shut up." Juan told her.

"What do we do?" Rachel asked as Yalina, Juan and her gathered near Michael to confer. Rachel tore a piece of cloth from Michael's shirt and used it to apply a steady pressure to his wound. As the blood gradually staunched, she wrapped the fabric around his wrist twice and looked up to meet his eyes.

"I'm so sorry."

"I get it." He replied. "You were just doing what you had to do."

"You didn't deserve it."

"Like you said. No one is innocent. Especially not me."

Satisfied with the way her bandage had come out, she wiped her hands and turned to her friends. "What do we do now?"

"I say we let them have her. Let them have their revenge so we don't have to." Juan offered.

"We can't let them kill her. That's not who we are."

"In case you hadn't noticed, Ray, some of the bunker people want us dead too. This way, we let her take responsibility for her actions and their anger dies down."

"Rachel is right. We can't just go around deciding who gets to live and who doesn't, Juan." Yalina replied.

"Alright, let's do it the sensitive way, then." He shrugged his shoulder. "But don't say I didn't warn you. I don't care either way, what you do with her. All I'm interested in is getting information on what happened to my brother after this bitch abandoned him." He finished with a jerk of his finger towards Abby.

Yalina's eyes flashed with guilt as if she had momentarily forgotten about him. It must be nice, to be able to forget, Rachel thought.

"If we let them have her we might never find out what really happened to Hector." Rachel had to force herself to say his name. Up until then, she had been suppressing his absence, willing herself to not break down until it was all over. Get through today, break down tomorrow. That had become her mantra.

But saying his name aloud made him real again and knocked the breath out of her lungs as if someone had punched her in the gut.

"Lowell!" Abby suddenly gasped. They all turned to where Abby was looking and saw a kid, maybe thirteen or fourteen years old, cheek pressed up against the glass and eyes full of panic.

It wasn't until she noticed the gun pointed at his head that Rachel realized what was happening. The bunker people had lost it. A man was even willing to execute a thirteen-year-old boy to exact revenge on his mother.

"You can't let them kill my son!" Abby cried. "Let them have me instead!"

"What the hell is going on with these people?" Juan groaned. "Were we ever this crazy back at the compound?"

"We have to do something." Rachel looked between Juan and Yalina and then back towards the young boy.

"I told you. We gotta let them have her, it's the only way they'll be satisfied."

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