Chapter 38

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Adam's point of view:

Up until now, I was never worried about talking to the people of the good side. I grew up here and I'd lived here ever since. I figured that these people would trust me wholeheartedly and openly embrace what I have to say. And with Cassia and Kyle with me, two healers who usually bring about a calming atmosphere, this would be a piece of cake.

But as I stand here now as people begin to gather to hear what I have to say, I realize that I could be wrong. And being wrong is not something I take too kindly to feeling.

I sent out a few of our allies this morning to tell the people about a secret rally that was going to take place in this very spot. It was the only way to get everyone out of their homes. And even though the Council can't use their security cameras anymore, I still felt it was best to keep everyone hidden. So I chose to hold this speech at the mechanic shop where I built the bombs with my sisters. It's pretty cramped, but it's the best place I could think of on the spot.

Once everyone has arrived, I stand up on the counter and try to speak. "Good morning, everyone.'ve gathered you all here because...because...," I stutter.

What's wrong with me? Why can't I speak to them like I do everyone else?

"We're here to talk to you about the battle that's been going on. We have a plan to help us win the war, and we need your help," Cassia says in my place.

Angry, I whisper harshly to her, "I had that." She just rolls her eyes and whispers back, "Sure you did. Now get on with the speech!"

"Yes, as my friend Cassia has pointed out, I have created a plan that involves all of us, and it will help us win the war. involves meeting the dark side," I get out.

Gasps ring out in hushed tones among the crowd, and a good portion of them attempt to move closer to the door. "No please! Just hear what I have to say! And then decide whether you'd like to help!" I plead.

They reluctantly turn their attention back to me, hundreds of pairs of blue and brown eyes looking up at me. I am about to explain the plan when a pair of green eyes catch my attention. Julia?

Only it's not Julia when I find the owner of the eyes. It's her little sister, Allison.

She is the exact replica of Julia, only smaller. She looks like the quiet kind of people, but her eyes hold the same hidden fire that Julia's eyes have. Two people cling closely to her, a mother and a father; Julia's mother and father. I remember meeting them long ago, but they look different now. Worry lines surround their faces, and the light in their spirit has faded. All that remains now that I can see is their hunger for truth, for someone to tell them something and mean it. They want answers.

"Well? What are you going to tell us?!" Someone annoyed calls out, snapping me back into focus. "Oh right, of course. I'm sure all of you are aware of by now, the Council is holding Julia hostage," I begin. I see Allison drop her head as tears begin to form in her eyes. She must not have known.

"They're going to kill her. Tomorrow is when it's scheduled, and we need your help. My sisters and I, whom I'm sure are in this crowd somewhere, have designed three explosives that will crumble the wall that divides us. When the wall comes down, everyone, the dark side included, will rush to the Council's headquarters where Julia will be killed. The sheer amount of people will distract them to where we can free her. Once that's done, the Council will be outnumbered and helpless, and this war will be won," I say. Initially expecting to hear cheers at the end, I am disappointed when the people seem even more afraid than they were when they first came here.

"No offense to your power of knowledge, but we're peaceful people. We do not fight, and we most certainly do not associate with those that enjoy violence. We like the wall, and we'd prefer it stay there. It keeps us safe," someone protests. Utters of agreement are heard throughout the crowd.

"Keeps you safe? You're in more danger now than you ever were! We're not asking you to fight the dark side, we ask that you compromise with them! The people of the good side are supposed to be peaceful, but they are also supposed to be accepting. Show us that you are who you claim to be," Kyle snaps.

"Quite the audacity coming from someone who fought alongside the Council once before. And before you ask, the power of evaluation that I have bestowed upon me led me to that statement," the same person says back.

I'm always forgetting that Peter's not the only one with that power.

"It's not about fighting or not fighting for the sake of who we are. This is about all of us, and the way we want to live from this moment on. The Council has killed people, many of whom we were close to. And now they're going to kill Julia as well, and once that's done, what's to stop them from going after you?" Cassia says, pointing at random people. "Or you? Or what about you? Even you, Allison," she says, pointing at the green eyed girl as she hides behind her mother.

"Cassia, you leave us out of this," Julia's father calls out to her. "I wish I could leave us all out of this, Mr. Lancaster. But if they win this war, then no one is safe anymore. They know what mass bloodshed looks like, and they're not afraid to go through with it once again. This isn't about powers anymore, or two sides never meant to meet, but it's about us. It's about all of us and the future we decide for ourselves from now on. Aren't you tired of hiding away in your homes? Is this the way you want your children to grow up? Your grandchildren?" Cassia pushes.

And for the first time today, I see the people begin to understand.

"The Council may have left you alone for now, but they won't hesitate to take you all out if need be. We've got to come together and help each other. Light cannot exist without darkness, but darkness can't exist without light. The two sides need each other, but the question is, are you ready?" I say, desperately hoping for people to help.

And then, thank God, people start to step up. "I don't know what awaits me, but I'll stand with you," someone says as they step forward. "So will I," another says. "If it ensures peace, count me in," someone else vows. More and more come forward, until everyone in the room has agreed to help.

"I...I can't thank you all enough," I get out. "You must know, however, that we can't ensure that you'll all come back alive. If you choose to back out, we will not show discrimination. We just want you to know what you're walking into," Kyle warns. One man just sneers and says, "Back out? Please, you've got our attention, and we're not going to abandon you." And when no one moves, the man's comment is set in stone.

"Alright then. Julia's execution is scheduled for 12:00 in the afternoon, but we're setting off the bombs at 11:45. Everyone must be in their homes at that time, or you risk being blown up along with the wall. Once the wall is down, we need everyone to rush to Council headquarters. Try to stick together as the mass of people may cause you to get separated from your loved ones. I suggest that your children be left at home. And when we get to the prepared for a fight," I caution them.

I look at everyone, all these people who came to listen. They may not have come here to sign up for a fight, but they were at least intrigued enough to listen. It seemed they had all lost hope, but now, it seems to be restored. They're ready to be prosperous once again.

"Thank you all for coming to hear what I have to say, and thank you even more for agreeing to help. At the end of tomorrow, you will be heroes. Now, return home to get some rest for tomorrow. It's going to be a long day," I tell them.

They all begin to shuffle back to the door and disperse back into the streets, ready for tomorrow. I let out a content sigh, happy for the turnout of people.

"Well that went well," Kyle says, no sarcasm in his voice whatsoever. "It really did. Well, Peter should be done talking to the dark side, so let's go see how it went," I say.

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