Our limo is a state car, like Nico said it would be: flags on the bonnet. A Lorder motorcycle escort in front and behind. Dad is in happy mode as we set out, chatting with Amy. Mum is silent; her eyes are tired, drawn. A face that hasnt slept well. A face that is grappling with decision.
Once again there is a Lorder standing guard outside Dr Lysanders door. A nurse comes out of the office next to it, her face one I dont recognise. I store her up, some part of my brain busy collecting people who work in the hospital to draw for Nico. That is when it hits me: what about Lorder faces?I force myself to study the guard. It is uncomfortable, trying to overcome the automatic urge to look away, to avoid eye contact, and stay out of notice. Apart from Coulson whose face is ingrained on my memory, and those ones when Cam and I were taken in, I cant say I know what many Lorders look like, exactly. Men and women, they all dress the same: identical grey suits most of the time. Or in black operations gear like this one has on now while on guard duty, with a black vest over top, a weapon at his hip. The vests are bulletproof, Nico says. And the way they stand and carry themselves says stay out of our way. Faces generally expressionless; hair either short or tied back. Nothing to distinguish them as individuals. If you came by him on his day off in blue jeans, would he look the same as everybody else?
He is young, and Im surprised. Why? I suppose the whole uniform and stance of authority makes me assume older. His face is blank, staring straight ahead, not noticing any lesser beings like myself around him. But he looks no older than Mac or Aiden, early twenties or so. Average height and build. Thin tapering fingers like a musician, not for holding guns. I shake myself internally: stop being so fanciful. Hazel eyes, short light brown hair. Average features in an average face that would be hard to distinguish in a drawing, but I store it up so I can reproduce it later, and—He rolls his eyes. Shifts and turns a little, face still blank.I nearly fall off my chair.
Dr Lysander appears in her door. Kyla? You can come in now.Saved. I scurry past him and through the door.
Dr Lysander smiles; so she is in a good mood.
Good morning, Kyla. What is on your mind today?Two figures in black guard one of the entrances to the quad near the bench Ben and I were sitting just days ago. One turns and faces the tower, looks straight at me, as if he knows I stand here, watching. The other slips her arm around his waist. Shes laughing.
CHAPTER THIRTY THREEMy arms finally drop; the camera is a weight. This cant be happening. Aiden is silent, his face a mirror of mine: shock. And agony.
A whole college of nameless fellows and students who voted to help us: dead.I stare at the camera in my hands, full of witnesses. Recordings of pain. Ben? No. I cant – he couldnt have—