Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Re-Read: Chapter Forty Eight- Detained

"I love you, Mel. Sorry."

Wanda and Jared quickly realize the red and blue lights coupled with the siren could only mean one thing...Seekers. Jared is frozen, working through all the possible ways out of this in his mind, but nothing comes to him. As Jared slows down, he reaches for Wanda's hand and asks her if she still has the cyanid pill. Wondering if Melanie can hear him, he apologizes and tells her he loves her. Wanda relays Melanie's words to Jared; she loves him, more than anything. Jared also tells Wanda that he cares for her and knows she was not deserving of his behavior towards her. When Wanda sees Jared pull out his cyanid pill, she asks him to wait, but he knows they have to do the unthinkable to save Jamie and the others from being discovered. Wanda begs Jared to give her a chance to lie their way to safety. Jared is reluctant, but agrees to the plan and switches places with Wanda so she is now in the driver's seat. She orders him to put on his seatbelt, close his eyes, and turn his head away to not draw suspicion. Jared settles in and Wanda calls for Melanie to help her. 
"I can't help you be a better soul, Wanda. But you can do this. Save him. I know you can."
Wanda tries to relax and put on a facade of tiredness as the Seeker parks their car on the other side of the road. Wanda only hears one set of footsteps and is relieved when she realizes one is coming to talk to her. The male Seeker, dressed in a T-shirt and shorts, approaches, questions at the ready. 
"Having a problem, miss? You were going much too fast for safety."

The Seeker appraises Wanda before glancing to the back of the van before coming back to her. Wanda can tell he is anxious and tries to keep her internal panic from escaping through her voice. She whispers her apologies before moving forward with her lie. 
"It was irresponsible for me to drive for so long without sleep. I thought we could make it to Phoenix before I would need to rest. I'm very sorry."
When the Seeker asks for her name, Wanda tells him it is Leaves Above. She wonders if she should head back to Tucson or take a nap on the side of the road, but the Seeker reacts strongly to her last suggestion. The Seeker's "No!" startles Wanda and she drops her pill on the floor of the van. He apologies for frightening her, but tells her that it is best to not linger since there was a recent disappearance in the area. It could have been an accident, or humans.
"Humans may be in the area."
Wanda tries to hide the fear in her voice and he tries to reassure her that there have been no sightings, but it would be best to not delay in the area. They are about to get back on the road when another pair of lights shine in the side mirror. Jared notices them too and tries to not react in front of the Seeker. Wanda becomes increasingly nervous as the lights move closer and begin to slow down. In her mind, Wanda begs the driver to keep going and Melanie echoes her thoughts, hoping Kyle is the one at the wheel. The Seeker offers Wanda some Awake to help her on the rest of her trip as the moving truck idles on the road behind the van. Not paying much attention to the truck, the Seeker simply waves it on.  The truck does not move and the Seeker waves it one with a little more force. Wanda mentally screams for them to "Drive! Drive! Drive!" and Jared is clearly agitated beside her. Slowly, the truck lurches forward and takes off down the road. Wanda thanks the Seeker for the Awake as he returns to his partner in the car. 
"They're gone."
"That was...close."
Jared sits up as Wanda pulls back onto the road and though they are in the clear, neither can speak above a whisper. He can hardly contain his disbelief that they got away from the Seekers and that she pulled off something "unbelievable" and "wonderful." Talking to himself, Jared realizes that having Wanda with them in the caves is "going to change everything." His words saddened Melanie, but there was no anger laced in her thoughts this time. 
"You can help them. You can protect them better than I could."
As the van catches up to the moving truck, Jared pulls a flashlight out of the glove compartment. Jared holds the flashlight to his own eyes as they pass the truck and Kyle acknowledges him with a nod. Wanda notices Ian looking anxiously at her and she tries to comfort him with a friendly wave. When they are sure the Seekers will not turn and follow them, Jared tells Wanda it is safe to go home. Deciding to drive both vehicles directly to the caves, Wanda and Kyle kill both sets of lights. Jared wonders what the recent disappearance was about and though Wanda thinks it might be about her, he is not convinced. He knows it must be about someone else since the Seekers were not patrolling the freeway before they left. Jared realizes the Seekers are looking for their community and, slapping his hand in anger against the dashboard, wonders what the others have been up to in their absence. 

Wanda does not understand why the Seekers would be looking for humans if someone simply disappeared in the desert. She knows their family in the caves would not leave unless it was an emergency or something urgent. With that, Wanda wonders if Jeb and Doc took advantage of her absence. Jeb had agreed to not kill people and souls while she was under the same roof, and now Wanda worries that he took their agreement literally. At this, tears begin to fall and while Jared offers to drive, Wanda continues on. 

Tears still stream down Wanda's face as they approach the hill hiding the cave system. Climbing out of the van, Wanda tries to stop crying as Jared approaches and puts a hand on her shoulder, coming to the same realization about Jeb and Doc.
"Sorry. I didn't know they were planning this. I had no idea. They shouldn't have..."
The moving truck pulls up behind them and Kyle and Ian come running over. Kyle demands to know what happened as Ian rushes forward and pulls Wanda into his arms. For some reason, Ian's comfort makes her cry harder.
"It's okay. You did great. It's over."
"Seeker's not the problem, Ian. They were watching the road for a reason. Sounds like Doc's been...working in our absence."
Ian is furious at the thought as the three move to grab a load of supplies and extra help. Though Wanda detaches from Ian, he does not leave her side as they begin to work. Jared leads them down the steep pathway, but they are stopped about halfway down the tunnel at the sound of Jamie's voice.
"They're back...ack...back!"
Wanda tries to compose herself before Jamie reaches them, but Jamie's face is too marred by sadness. Jared and Wanda say "Jamie?" together as the boy rushes towards Wanda and latches his arms around her waist. 
"Oh, Wanda! Oh, Jared! Wes is dead! He's dead! The Seeker killed him!"

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