"NO!!! No, no, NO!!"
Melody cursed the captains who had taken their guardian, frustrated at her inability to breach the headquarters. After a week of rigorous tracking and killing, the twins had finally found the operations center, although not for the reasons they had originally planned. Destiny understood Melody's frustration; somehow, losing Will was like losing an older sibling.
"Calm down, Mel. We're getting inside. We'll save him, I promise."
Melody's fist connected with the wall that stood between them and the inside that held their dying friend. The girls looked each other in the eye, the same feeling reflected in their eyes, one of absolute determination. The night ahead would be a long one.
Another lacing pain in his shoulder woke Brody for the third time that day/night; he couldn't really tell anymore. Desperately trying not to scream, he pulled for a deep breath, which again failed. At this rate, he would be dead before the end of the week, and his lifelong mission would be a failure to both himself and his sisters. A cold laugh accompanied his pain, a mockery of his hopelessness.
"You're right, you know. Death is something you've evaded far too long, Brody. Remember when we were kids in the training program, and you swore you'd eradicate us? Funny how life works out, considering WE are going to destroy YOU.
This is the final installment of the continuing short story
The woman rested a foot on his shoulder, increasing the pain by tenfold. It was all Brody could do to keep from crying out. Keeping his voice under some kind of control, he grabbed the foot and shoved it off.
"Meira shut your mouth. You always did talk too much for your own good."
A vicious snarl erupted from her petite frame, earning him a kick in the ribs.
"Ah, but talking is how I got where I am. If you talk loud enough, people hear, and they start to trust you. When they trust you, power is easy enough to seize, but you wouldn't know anything about that, would you? You, who disappeared into the world, chasing after the memory of a family you never had, and faded into the scenery. People with a voice are the ones with true power, not those who work the strings in the background. You're a coward, Brody."
The words cut deeper than any knife. His mind ran through every decision he'd ever made, trying to prove that he'd had honor in mind, but a part of him wondered: Had he been scared? Did that explain why his power had been so strong in hiding, not fighting like all the others? Meira had most definitely proved her bravery, as had all the other people he knew, but had he?
"Oh, and by the way, we just let your sisters in. This should be very interesting in about, oh, five minutes. I made sure to post the easier guards on their way in."
His invisibility guard chose that moment to flicker, rendering him invisible to Meira's smug gaze. Her eyes narrowed dangerously, but a ruckus in the outside hallway distracted her.
Destiny and Melody sprinted down the hall, positive that they were being lead in, but not caring. This mission was always supposed to cost them their lives; the only difference now was they had a reason to risk their lives. This had not ended the way they'd planned, but things rarely did.
"Dessie, I just have one thing to say."
"I love you so much, and I have your back."
Tears sprang up in both girls' eyes, bringing them to a halt. Quickly, they pulled each other into a hug, ignoring their perilous situation. For the first time in a very long time, the sisters had managed to stop. A gut-wrenching tug that felt like a massive teleport separated them violently, and the room changed to a circular ballroom with high-ranking Lies surrounding them and a noticeably empty space.
"Welcome to my house, Destiny and Melody. I'm so glad you could make it in time for the party. But it seems we're missing a guest; he's a little shy. Brody, SHOW YOURSELF!"
Brody struggled with his invisibility, and finally broke it. His sisters stared in confusion; undoubtedly they wondered at the name. Meira looked between them, sensing the confusion, and finally putting it all together.
"Oh, Brody, they don't know who you really are, do they? From the looks on their faces, they didn't even know that was your real name. How about I explain?"
It was Brody's turn to snarl. This was his business, and Meira would not put anything in the story that would turn this around.
"Dess, Mel, she's right; Will isn't my real name. It's Brody, and I'm not just some random bodyguard. You probably wondered why I was so familiar with you two, or why I was still around even after you became competent, even incredible, workers. Truth is: I couldn't leave, because I'm your older brother, and it's my job as a brother to watch over you."
Meira laughed at the disbelieving expressions on his sisters' faces before, inevitably, speaking.
"That is TOO cute. But you forgot the part where you guys have been on a suicide mission since you were kids. There's a reason why most of these people here today were part of the Liberator group. The Liberator group BECAME the Lies, my friends. You three were trained so that you could become the leaders of this organization, but you left before the Liberators officially became the Lies so now I'm the leader. Fascinating, right? But now, we just want you dead, so I brought all my old friends here and we're going to shoot you to pieces. Prepare yourselves."
She took advantage of shocked siblings and fired off a couple shots. In a flash, everything changed; the room filling with movement as the largest fight Brody had ever seen erupted. Lunging for Meira, he managed to grab her next with his good arm and start strangling her. He understood that she was the most important person here, and that if she died, the siege would fall apart around her.
Everything that happened after that happened rather quickly. Destiny and Melody backpedaled away from a three-person firing squad while Brody slowly strangled Meira.
Melody pushed Destiny out of the way, saving her from a dagger that would have torn out her heart, and then dragged her in Brody's direction. Meira was almost gone; he could feel her body chilling slightly around his arm. She breathed her last, and just as he had suspected, the whole room froze eerily. Melody and Destiny took positions at his side, guns ready and aimed.
"You killed our leader, Brody. That makes you the leader, so how will you command us?"
"Disband. Completely, that is. I never want to hear anything about this again."
With that, every person in the room except for the twins and Brody exited silently. It had been too easy, and they all knew it, but the threat was over for now. A sigh of incredible pain escaped
Brody, startling the twins. For the first time, they really noticed his condition. He had paled, and his breathing had become increasingly labored.
"Mel, Dess, I'm sorry I didn't tell you. I had to keep you safe, first. Do you forgive me?"
Tears fell down Melody's face as she took his hand gently.
"Of course we forgive you. How could we not? You were the best brother we could ever ask for. Please don't worry about us anymore."
He cracked a smile; the first one in a long time. Destiny moved closer, no tears gracing her face yet but her anger flaring inside at the reality that would set in soon.
"I'm dying so you two can live; don't waste it, and please don't forget."
His eyes finally closed, leaving the twins with a new mission that was their only gift, and the memories of a man they had never really known who had given it to them. Their new mission . . . was life.