Sixty-Seven - Linkin

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When everyone else panicked, I had no option but to remain calm. My body language made it almost seem like I didn't hear what Thierry had said, but I had. "Linkin!" It was Stuart yelling, my eyes flickered to him then back to the ocean ahead of us as I steered, not detouring from the path to the island. "Linkin, didn't you hear him? We have to go back! We need a new plan."

All eyes were on me as I shook my head, "We aren't turning back, Stewie." I spoke, only loud enough so the wind didn't completely take my words. "If she just escaped, she hasn't had time to warn them. If we turn around now, we're never coming back." This wasn't a group decision, this was mine. I was the only one here with a photographic memory to get us from Mexico to the island and back. Sure, there were maps, but the time they would take to study them, figure out our position to get us back, well it was time we didn't have.

A silence fell over the group and I nodded, pushing the throttle down a little further and I still felt eyes on me. "Are you sure?" It was Thierry asking, not just me, but the entire group.

"She's right," Ira could always be counted on to be the voice of reason.

"What if she isn't? What is Celestia already managed to get word back to them?" Stuart continued trying to get someone on his side.

Stuart was the normal one out of all of us. While he had seen so much horror, he never had it done to him. Even Thierry, who wasn't on the island, knew dark times. For us this wasn't just about revenge, it was to ensure that no one else would ever suffer the same way we did. There was an opportunity to stop everything which happened on the island, to save so many young people with lives ahead of them. That was a cause worth dying for in my mind.

Ira shifted to whisper calming words to Stuart as I looked to Thierry. He looked defeated. My heart was cold and I gave him a slow nod, one which tore his gaze away from mine. Last night I didn't sleep, I was purely running on coffee and adrenaline. Thankfully, since I didn't sleep when Thierry woke up, searching for me, we managed to have a talk. The conversation lasted longer than he wanted it to, but by the end, things went my way. If things went sideways today, if they were going to take me, Thierry agreed to kill me.

It was an odd sense of comfort knowing that today could only end two ways - victory or death. My greatest fear was ending back on the island, caged, trapped, and allowing myself to be broken. I wouldn't turn into Celestia or Desmond, but I knew if they caught me I could only last so long. I wasn't Ira, I couldn't fight them, especially when we wouldn't have someone like Stuart reminding us that we're human, that we mattered. If we didn't save the island today, I was going to die trying.

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Pulling the throttle back almost to neutral, the sun was minutes away from rising and there was already a change in the colour of the sky. We were on the western side of the island which would give us more time in the shadows to work. Ira stood at the front of the boat, her eyes scanning the area to ensure there wasn't a trap waiting as Thierry clung onto the biggest gun we had, keeping Stuart behind him.

The docks were empty.

Ira was looking for people, small signs of a trap that she failed to miss the most obvious one. There used to be over 20 boats at the docks, ATVs, and Jeeps all along the shore here for transfer to and from the labs, the beach was empty.

The engine of the boat died as we coated into a dock. Thierry was the first to jump out, securing it to the docks. "Where is everyone?" he breathed, glancing to me, "You said when you left there were boats, ones we had to disable." He sounded panicked, flustered by this change.

Maybe Stuart was right and we should have turned around while we still had the chance. The boat was docked and the three of us slowly stepped onto the island. I was the last out of the boat, hesitantly glancing around before making up my mind. I undid my jacket and tossed it on the ground. Jumping onto the docks, I felt Thierry staring as I bent down and started to grab different weapons, strapping them to my body. "Tina..." Thierry started.

I paused to glance up and smiled faintly. It was one of the outfits he had bought for me, I expected he didn't expect me to wear it like this. It was a black bodysuit tank top. It was form fitting and beautiful, and fairly revealing. I shrugged his gaze off, "The more skin, the more dangerous I am. I didn't have a heck of a lot which kept most of my skin exposed." I explained myself to him.

I was not getting taken. Even if someone tried, they would have to wear gloves just to get near me. The risk of my friends brushing against my skin was one I was willing to take to ensure no one could sneak up behind me and grab me. Thierry continued to stare, I doubted it was because of the outfit though. This was really our last moment together if things didn't go well. Within the next hour, we both might be dead. Words were hard to find knowing that, so I didn't even try. With four pistols and one fully automatic machine gun, I was ready for the fight which I think everyone, including Stuart, was expecting.   

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