The only different reaction I saw was Nic. His eyes acknowledged the event. Our car was destroyed and he was captured by the United. But somewhere in Nic's eyes I saw that same spirit that drove him to make Red Rain the first time. He whispered something I did not understand, but I heard in it the same voice that reminded me who was in control of the Mars base.
A wrecked car was but a slight hurdle in Nic's mind.
I lay against the side of the car, basically pinned under people and by the other wall. Then I heard a loud his and a bang. Giant steel scissors cut through the side of the car, inching their way through so that they could take us out. Nic's eyes traced their every move with deliberate disinterest. I looked over and saw Augustine grab the gun he had got from Nic. He had lost in the run and tumble in the car.
Was he really going to shoot whatever United officer was the first to show his face?
Nic was strewn between me and Stanyard, and we both watched as he shakily drew the gun up in front of his face, ready to sight it in on whoever was visible first. But gradually his hand crept around to the side of his face, and he held the gun muzzle against his head for a brief moment. Augustine clicked the safety off.
Nic instantly punched across the face and barked, "You won't get to heaven that easy! That's not how we do things!"
Stanyard lay there, paling. He barely got his words out, "We're sticked now. We've lost. They've got us. I can't let them get my information. Hundreds of us will die."
Nic snapped on him, getting his phrases out between banging hisses as the car wall was slowly cut away. Cutting armored cars in two wasn't very easy, I gathered. "Well, for all of you, to die is gain, so you may as well expedite your friends on. And for me, having you dead is the last thing I need, so do a wretched sinner a favor and don't spread your brains all over the car."
Augustine didn't look convinced. His left hand crept over for the gun. I couldn't take it. "Oh for the love of God, Stanyard, don't murder yourself! What would Jesus do?"
Stanyard relaxed, still shaking all over his body. The last clank came and the United tore away our last mask of protection. Would they execute us all on the spot?
Cameras. They were filming the grand capture of the Unaccepted rebels. And I was one of them.
How had this started? How did I get involved with all this? I was a good girl. I did was right. I was respectful. Why did I have to get involved with this?
He stood up. The reason my life was being twisted apart before my very eyes. Nic stood up and saluted the cameras. As large thugs moved for him he blurted out, "It's time for another round, United! The stakes grow higher every time!" They struck him with long poles with wires on the end, and he fell on the ground convulsing.
Stanyard put his hands above his head and hid his face. He was grabbed and dragged away without a word as other guards bounded into the carcass of the wrecked vehicle. One grabbed Ephesus and pulled him out. He was thrown onto a stretcher, his face wrapped around with a towel. Cea stood and they grabbed her, practically throwing her out of the car.
Then they came for me. A tall guard jumped into the car, but before he even stepped toward me I hopped to my feet. I offered my hand like a proper lady, and I guess in instinct he must have offered his arm. I used his arm for a boost and stepped lightly out of the wreckage.
The city had paused around us. Cameras and microphones were everywhere, and teems of people watched the spectacle as more and more police cars rushed to the scene. I stepped out of the car before anyone could grab me, and some audacious reporter stuck a microphone in my face.
"Why would you Unaccepted do this? Why would you leave your safe and kind internment camps for this life of even greater crime?"
I looked pleasantly into his cameraman's lens. Be respectful.
"Because we love each other too much to be separated. And we love the world too much to let it fall under the yoke of the United."
Then they jerked me away and threw me into a car. And I didn't care what they could do to me. As long as I found my family again.
I looked over, and next to me was a man with a towel smashed onto his face. I really didn't think that that was helping Ephesus very much. Then I heard a dry voice from the far side of the back seat. "We should probably take that towel off his face before it congeals. Then it'll hurt to take off. They just didn't want the cameras on that."
I pulled it off slowly, the way I knew Ephesus liked his bandages coming off. Then he reached up and jerked it off. He looked at me with his grossly bloody face and said, "Sister, we'll get them yet."
Nic coughed. Ephesus looked over and grinned, "And, I guess, if we've got you, too, you might as well join us."
"Well I'll take you. Or at least I'll take Philadelphia. With her trouble-making skills and unending passion for crazy schemes, we can't fail."
And I don't think I cared that I was in a police vehicle, headed to who knows where.