Part 5 – The Disappearance Of Charlotte Farrow
One Week Before Impact Day
He raised an eyebrow, hands still folded in front of him. Something told me his patience had officially reached an end.
“I don’t even know where to start,” he sighed. “Aidan Scott, a seventeen-year-old boy and your adoptive brother, is the leader of the Stars?”
“That stupid device we found was a trick designed by your girlfriend?”
“Two for two,” I said.
“We’ve been on the hunt for two teenagers out of their depth, because you took six fucking months to get to the point where we captured you?” His rage was almost palpable.
“Like I said, I wasn’t expecting to be here this long,” I told him.
“You still think they’re going to save you?” he asked, condescending and cruel.
“In a manner of speaking,” I said. “I already told you enough that you should be figure out my plan. No amount of torture is going to get more out of me.”
He raised his hand, like he was going to hit me, but restrained himself. How odd. I watched, tense, as he took a deep breath.
“Tell me again about the cracks,” he said. “Tell me about your obsession with narrative, and dramatic irony. Did you just make those parts up for my sake?”
“What kind of a hack storyteller do you think I am?”
“I wasn’t aware you considered yourself any kind of storyteller,” he said.
“I grew up with stories,” I told him. “Books, movies, comics, anything. For a long time, it was all I had, the only way I could escape from all the negative thoughts in my head. It’s how I learned to understand the world.”
“You’re trying my patience,” he warned.
“Look, there are two ways you could look at this. Either my obsession with stories has coloured the way I perceive my own life, or…”
“Or you start listening to me, and realise just how fucking stupid this whole goddamned story is,” I said.
“Are you telling me you made it up?”
“No,” I snapped. “That’s my point. It’s all real, and that’s the weirdest fucking part, alright?”
“You’re not making any sense,” he said.
“Ugh, do I have to spell it out for you?”
“Watch your tone,” he threatened.
“Oh my god, I am so over your threats,” I said. “I’m obsessed with stories. I’m obsessed with heroes. I was before I ever knew I was immortal. Now I’m a fucking vigilante with an assassin and an information broker for friends? A fucking supernatural genius for a girlfriend?”
He shook his head.
“Your ego is astonishing,” he said. “Though I suppose, under the circumstances, that’s not entirely beyond understanding.”
“Do you know how many cities have a larger population than Melbourne?” I asked him.
“I have no idea.”
“Somewhere around seventy,” I said. “It’s less than two hundred years old. In the grand scheme of the world, it’s a nothing city.”
“Is this going somewhere?”
“Why Melbourne?” I asked. “Why would all of this be happening here, and not somewhere else? Why not Tokyo, or Beijing, or New York?”
“I’m assuming you have an answer for that,” he said.
“Because of me,” I said. “How do you not see that?”
“You really do think you’re the centre of the world, don’t you?”
“Why not?” I asked. “I’m tired of pretending to be something I’m not.”
“And what about Wendy?” he asked. “What is she, and why is she relevant to your story?”
“Eventually, Rachel’s gonna convince her to bust in here and rescue me,” I said, though every day I felt less confident.
“I think it’s about time you give up on that, don’t you?” he said coldly. “Besides, I already told you, even if everything you’ve said about her is true, she won’t be able to save you. She won’t even be able to find you.”
“We’ll see,” I said. “I’m not ready to give up yet.”
“I’ll break you eventually,” he said. “That’s a promise.”
Next Week: Maybe Everything’s Fine
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