The team covertly slunk down the bleak white hall. D could see that although it was clean and orderly, the plastered walls had begun to split and crack. The white paint had begun to fade awhile back and even the ceiling lights flickered every now and then. D glanced down, and sure enough the linoleum floor was in the same condition, slightly cracked. Obviously the fortress had not been repaired for awhile. It was clean, yes, but not even the best soap could erase the marks of time.
And D wasn't sure what that meant. Yes, on one hand, they might be facing opponents out of practice, out of sync. Being the lesser skilled than the elite of the Alliance. And if the conditions of the fort were the same conditions of the troops, then the mission would be easy to accomplish.
On the other hand, however, what if this entire mission was a trap? A lure to trap Daniella as well as several Rebellion members? The last time they planned an attack, they were immediately discovered. If it wasn't for Daniella's quick thinking and preparation, the Alliance might have 20 more prisoners to torture. So far, that was all that happened to anyone captured by the Alliance, except for those who.... converted to their side and became a turncoat. Bleh. D despised anyone who simply gave in to the Alliance. They were the enemy. Hurting innocent beings, suppressing freedom, she couldn't understand how anyone would tolerate such a thing. It was below low, it was inhuman.
And now they were preparing to change all that, no, working to change everything. By freeing Syrus, they could save the world, defeat the Alliance and bring peace finally. D knew that, the senior staff knew it, Daniella knew it.... and perhaps more.
Daniella and Syrus, D never knew a pair more romantic, more together. The couple of the century. It seemed as if no one could separate them. But the Alliance did. By capturing Syrus, they broke apart the two in an act of nothing more than strategy. Something beautiful destroyed by the war.
D recalled the first time Daniella heard the news. She was utterly and completely devastated. For days she remained in her room, crying, weeping for her lost love. D thought that perhaps Daniella would rush out and save Syrus, but Daniella knew that to do that would be suicidal leaving Syrus in the evil clutches of the Alliance. However, in all that, it was Sk that prevented her from leaving, from traveling on some half-cocked mission. He knew that she would try and he prevented her from leaving. A battle of wills ensued until Daniella was left exhausted from trying to rescue Syrus and weeping for him at the same time.
Daniella eventually recovered from the shock. Dr. Mario carefully tended to her while she regained her strength, yet there were always at least two guards posted outside sickbay and another assigned directly to her. She wouldn't be escaping, but by the time she finally returned to her duties, she didn't want to. Oh yes, she yearned for Syrus severely, but something else came into the calculation, a new life. It was then, about a month after Syrus had been taken that Daniella gave birth to their daughter, Clair. That tiny child, the life that grew from both her and Syrus saved her from her reckless mission, at least from the suicidal one. The little girl, brown hair and hazel eyes, was the gift bestowed upon the remains of the couple. Love saved Daniella and Clair saved love. A reminder of Syrus and a reminder of Daniella.
Dratini fought to protect her family, Harry Kim fought to avenge his sister, and Mario didn't know why he was fighting; yet Daniella fought for one and only one reason, Syrus Saith. She followed him into war when the Alliance targeted Saith Industries and she followed him into war when he himself had nearly been killed. And even now, she followed him, or more accurately, lead to him, to recover what was lost.
It strengthened her, it blinded her. Sk knew it, James knew it, and D knew it. D had to keep her cool because soon, at anytime, Daniella might lose control of her emotions and that would be disastrous to the entire mission. It was her job and her responsibility to act logical in time of need. Something she lacked in herself, but even so, she understood her duty, her mission and set herself to complete it with flying success... or die trying.
The group quickly slid down the corridor and turned right into an adjacent hall. D quickly snapped back into the moment, settled from her violent expulsion in the sewer as well as reintegrating her mission back in her mind. In times of great peril like this, she knew from experience that she shouldn't have her mind wandering about, but then again, she never usually had to act as Daniella's conscience. Balancing both sides of the scale isn't as easy as people think.
Walking down a few more meters, Daniella soon turned left. The rest of the group silently followed. So far, they were lucky to not encounter anyone, but no one wished to say it so as not to break the taboo. D merely remained silent as well; her feet carefully tiptoeing down the halls. In the air, she could hear their breaths, inhaling and exhaling as if their life depended on it. So deep, so loud, in constant rhythm.... in.... out... in... out.
And then their hearts fell into the same pattern. She could feel it through her skin and slowly placed her hand over it. Her breathing kept repeating in the same pattern, and her heart did as well. Every lub and dub in a pattern like her breathing, soft at first, but soon grew louder and louder.
The rhythm quickened, beating harder and faster, D quickly too her hand off her chest yet she could still feel the pulsing blood. It grew stronger with each step, each breath, each beat. Soon, she could hear her heart in her ears, beating, thumping. Her pulse quickened and her skin began to crawl. She looked ahead, but everything appeared blurry. With nothing else to do, she replaced her hand on her chest, but the beating didn't stop, didn't slow. Racing against time, she felt confined and watched as the walls began to close in on her. She looked back, but the way was blocked, closed up by the jumble of bodies behind her. Looking forward, she saw the same thing, no way to run, no way to escape. Panic gripped her and threw her in a rage of fear and anxiety. Two options remained, to fight or run.
And when she could take no more, emotions and chemicals flying inside of her, when the walls seemed to close in for the kill to destroy her, it all stopped, disappeared. The walls flew back into place and her heart dulled to a silent beat. For now, D had something to focus on, some target to think about.
There at the end of the hall stood two Alliance guards. And based on their facial expressions, they were just as surprised as she was.
"We love Him because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19
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