Chapter Seventy

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The oddest thing about snow was the silence.

When it rained, you could hear the water droplets pouring down upon the pavement far below. When it stormed the bursts of thunder rattled the earth. Even when it was windy out, you could still hear the sound of wind brushing through the trees.

But when it snowed, it was silent.

I could feel the silence hanging down upon me as I walked through the snowy forest with Axel by my side. It was time for our plan. And once we had everyone back with us, we'd finally be safe. At least that's what I hoped.

Each footstep felt as if it were ten times louder than normal in the silence. In the complex, there was always the sound of distant chatter filling the air. Even though I knew we weren't actually making that much noise, I feared that my simple footsteps would call attention to us.

We were close to the complex. I could already see the edge of the tree line.

Our plan was a huge risk. While I ran into the open to distract the other soldiers, Axel would sneak up on those that we wanted to help escape, and get them to come with us. When he successfully got everyone, he would whistle as a signal and I'd meet up with him and the others back at the house, or on the way there.

There was one major flaw in our plan besides the huge risk. That was Mace. He was still hurt. I had no idea how he was doing at the moment. He could be dead and I wouldn't know.

I had to hope that he would be well enough to be allowed out with the others. And I also had to hope that none of the other guards would be suspicious of him.

We were at the tree line at this point. All I had to do was step out of it and into view for everything to be started. I knew it wouldn't be long for them to start sending people out. When I was inside the complex, we were taught to immediately go to the nearest exit when an emergency at the boundary occurred.

I looked over at Axel. He looked back at me and nodded.

I stepped out from the trees.

At first, nothing happened.

I kept walking a couple more steps. One of their snipers would see me at any second and try shooting me down.

I took another step.

And then the first shot came, landing an inch from my foot. It was too close for comfort. My heart rate picked up and I could hear the fast pads of Axel's feet as he began running to do his job. He would start elsewhere, so he wouldn't accidentally get caught in the firing.

The second more shots were fired from above, I began to back away. There was no point in running out into the field just to get shot down. I'd gotten their attention, and now I had to keep it.

Unlike the last time I'd tried to get away from the shooting, I couldn't just disappear in a mess of snow. I had to make sure they were still seeing me, which was the greatest risk in our plan. If one of them had a good enough shot, I'd be dead.

I tried not to think about that.

I turned and ran towards the trees in the forest, keeping a steady enough pace so that they wouldn't just give up on me. We needed them to send out soldiers as they had last time. Hopefully, it'd only be a couple more seconds...

I was right.

I heard the pads of boots slamming into newly fallen snow come from behind me. Glancing over my shoulder, I could tell that the soldiers were already spreading out in different directions. I wasn't sure if it was because they didn't know where I was or because they were trying to trap me from all sides. That'd be the worst case scenario. At that point, there would be no way that Mace or anyone else could help me.

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