Chapter 50 - Surrender

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"We can't go through with this." Steve argued after everyone grew quiet with thought, shaking his head. 

"It's the only way to shut this down for good. They want me, they can have me. That's the only option we've got right now." I replied, looking around at everyone else. "It doesn't matter what any of you think anyway, I've made up my mind. Alex, you're in charge whilst I'm gone." I continued, ignoring the look of disapproval on Steve's face as he crossed his arms. 

"I'll come with you." Nat suggested, stepping away from the wall she was leaning against. "You can't go in there unguarded." 

"I can't afford to do that." I shook my head. "I need all of you here. You two will be in charge of the military aspects of this." I nodded towards her and Steve. "You guys know the field, the soldiers here will give you information on this field. But they'll see you coming if I don't go on my own, they'll know something is up and they won't hesitate to kill."

"What if they can read your mind? You know, get into your head through mind-reading?" One of the guards asked. 

"They won't. I won't let them." I answered, sighing softly and smoothing over my dress. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to speak to the person responsible for this mess." 

"What?" Steve rose a brow, everyone else looking at me with confused and tired expressions. 

"Nat wasn't the one that was smelling like The Shadow. Her scent had left a while ago. It was the dress she was wearing. Which was borrowed, right?" I answered, already making my way to the door, knowing what the answer would be. I didn't look back when I heard footsteps following after me as I made my way to the hall where I learnt that meetings were held. 

Walking in, I saw the two guards who I had asked to send the message stood in the end with a laundry maid between them, looking as if she had no idea what was going on. 

"I'm so sorry for the delay, there was an important matter at hand." I said, making my way over to the throne that the three were stood in front of and taking a seat, and clapping my hands together for another worker who presented me with a tray that had a glass of some kind of alien alcoholic drink. I took it and smiled, watching the maid closely before sipping from the glass and getting comfortably in the chair. "I wanted to personally thank you for lending one of your rather high-end dresses to my friend... um, I didn't catch your name?"

"Trista, your highness." She answered with a small curtsey, looking at me for a second before looking down at the floor.

"You know, not only did that dress save my friend, it has also opened a door for me, and as a result, I need you to do something." I said, setting my glass on the armrest of the throne given that there was enough room. "I need you to send a message to your leader, Trista. What, is something wrong?" I asked when her eyes widened slightly and she placed her hands behind her back nervously. "How else would the Shadow have gotten onto palace grounds? There has to be one of their own here in order for that to happen and your dress led us directly to you. So, your gift is to take a message to your leader and tell him that I surrender." 

"What?" She gasped, every head in the room turning to look at me. I glanced behind the guards and Trista, watching as Steve and Nat exchange a look, shaking their heads. 

"You heard me, I want you to tell your leader that I surrender. I'll be in his territory tomorrow after dawn, unarmed and unguarded." I explained, standing up and taking my glass with me, slowly walking towards her, staying quiet for a moment. "The condition is that he upholds his end of the bargain. No more innocent deaths. It's me he wants, right?" Trista nodded quickly in response. "Good, then these two guards will escort you so that you get the job done, then they bring you back. Either with or without a message, I don't care, but you come back. The blood of twenty innocent maids are on your hands, and your hands alone." I lowered my voice, taking another sip of the drink and nearing my face towards hers. "And for that, you will be punished." 

I smiled patronisingly when a look of fear crossed her face, turning around and finishing the rest of what was in the glass. "Oh, and another thing." I said, looking over my shoulder. "If you so much as attempt to escape either before or after you've done what I asked, the guards will kill you on the spot. Slowly and painfully. Now get out of my sight." I threatened, looking away from them and listening to the sound of their footsteps as they left the hall. 

I breathed out, this sudden surge of power coming out of nowhere before I stepped up onto the throne and sitting on it again. "I'm not changing the plan." I said with a finality in my voice when Steve stepped forward to protest. "This is my chance to do what my mother should have done. A chance to save my people. Just as you would die for America, I will stop at nothing to end the murder; even if I have to die in the process." 

The hall suddenly seemed far quieter than when we had walked in, the silence sitting heavily in the room. It was almost as heavy as what I planned to do tomorrow, and the consequences of if it goes wrong. I just prayed that it doesn't go wrong. 

Her Shield | s. rogers [✔]Read this story for FREE!