This chapter was written by the utterly brilliant ChristopherOpyr
In any movement there comes a pivotal juncture, the proverbial point of no return, that once crossed amplifies every action, and imbues in every reaction a sense of vital importance - a point where all the disparate threads converge, and every thing that the movement has taken for granted, every victory, every unification, becomes a question mark, a certainty upon which the movement can no longer rely.
For all his faults, and he knew that they were legion, Sampson also knew the severity of the action that he had just taken, and, likewise, he understood the danger of the ripples that would fan out in that action's wake. The full fury of the Addingtons would now be unleashed; the resistance had been side-tracked into a rescue operation that put its very existence into jeopardy; Abby, his dear, precious Abby, was alone, struggling for her life; and Contestant 64, the last great mistake of the fabled Henry Addington, remained hidden away for what purpose, Sampson did not know. Yet, he was fully aware that all of these threads would not remain separate for long. His call would be the fire in the night sky, the beacon that drew them all together.
If only these idiots had sent him a secure message, had called, had done anything other than show up at his doorstep, and he could have made arrangements that didn't lead back to him; but of course they had brought the enemy to his gate, and never foolish enough to keep incriminating files and equipment in his publicly known residence, he'd been forced to call in that damned favour. If only he'd had time, time to think of another solution, but Abby had needed him right then. If only — no, there were too many ifs, and only one reality. Best to focus on that.
"You coming or not? We have to move." Tony Foster, that giant of the resistance, waited just outside, his lackey, Abby's stooge of a boyfriend, already turning the bend in the road, then signaling back that the coast was clear.
"Wait." Sampson glanced out across the night, assessing the situation. The dimly lit streets lay completely empty save for the three of them, and a silence blanketed the city, one that crept upon it every night - the vacuum of the state-mandated curfew.
"Where's your car?"
Tony shook his head.
"And you expect to reach Westcott territory on foot?"
"We have our own..." Tony paused, the word obviously stuck in his throat, but Sampson knew what he was going to say.
"Yes." Tony nodded.
"That's too slow. She'll be dead long before you can help her."
Sampson seethed. He wanted to lash out at the world, but he also knew that traveling that path would do nobody any good. He had to think. Fast. And so, he did.
"Fine. I have state plates. My work for the police means that I can take to the streets without drawing undue attention. I can get there faster."
Nick pivoted back towards him, his face awash in the very rage that Sampson was fighting so hard to suppress.
"Hell with that." He grabbed Tony's arm. "We don't need him."
"Yes, you do; but we don't have time for this." Sampson could never tolerate the ignorance of fools.
"No," Nick continued. "I don't trust this traitor. No way I'm riding with him."
"Of course, you aren't. Christ, I don't know what Abby sees in you."
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