Here are a few snippets from the end (or near the end) of I Will Repay. I’m quite pleased with how the whole thing turned out, although I won’t be posting the very end since that would be spoilers, right?
Putting Archie into a tight turn that the others followed, he dashed toward the arsenal. The guards stopped, looking confused, wondering why he wasn’t heading out the open gates. He urged Archie on. Any pause could very well be their downfall. As soon as they were near enough, he leaped off his horse and taking the knife out of his boot, hacked away at the lock on the door. He worked away at the innards of the bolts and with a sprong they popped open.
He risked a glance behind him and saw the guards coming up fast. In just a matter of seconds they’d be here. He hoped the horses would slow them down a little, but he couldn’t count on it. He raced into the arsenal, his eyes adjusting to the murky light. What to get? What to get? he asked himself frantically. Guns would be best, of course, but far too heavy. His eyes fell on a pile of bows stacked neatly on a leather bench and he snatched them up, along with a package of what he was sure were arrows.
Shouts came from the outside.
Time to go.
He ran outside, the sunlight momentarily blinding him. But he ran toward Archie anyway, slinging the bows and packet up in front of him and pulling himself up. His shoulder gave a hard twinge and he gasped. Now he could see. The guards were close. So close he could see the little wisps of fuzz on their masks. With a warrior’s cry, he turned Archie around, right on top of them and galloped out. The whole thing had taken less than a minute in his calculation, and he still had time to get out the gate.
And then he saw it being shut.
“No!” he cried out, fury and rage in his voice. He wouldn’t let this happen. He’d escape. He knew he would. After he was out of the Capitol, he had no idea how he’d shake them off, but anything was better than being stuck within the city walls. Archie thrust through the closing gate, and they simply had to stop as the other ten horses galloped along behind. ~Chapter 14
“We don’t have time for stragglers right now.”
“Well, then, when?”
Nathan let out a groan of frustration. “Once we’ve succeeded.”
“And what if we don’t? Did you ever think of that Mr Confidence? There’s a pretty good chance we won’t succeed, and then do you know what will happen to boys like this? They’ll be killed fighting for the queen, just like thousands before them. I’m not letting that happen to my brother. There was a chance to help him escape, so I took it. You’ve got a problem with that?”
Jeremy had made a persuasive argument and Nathan could feel that everyone was siding with him. He would have to do much better if he was to win this battle of words – a battle of just words, so far. “This is no time for sentimentality, or emotion. We have a job to do, and no distractions are allowed.” His words felt weak and selfish coming out of his mouth, and he knew it.
“Listen,” Jeremy spat, coming up close to him. “Just because you’ve never felt a human emotion in your life, doesn’t mean that we don’t. Not all these men have brothers, but all of them have friends, many of them still back there in that facility. We’re not going to forget them just because some boy decides that we can’t waste time in anything other than fighting.” ~Chapter 15
The Acrean facility.
Nathan felt a lump fill his throat and he pushed it back.
Why all this emotion?
He couldn’t think of any reason, except maybe the fact that this facility had been his home for nineteen years. He remembered the boys, the trainers, many of them his friends. There were bad memories locked up in this facility, lots of bad memories, but also some good ones. He’d had fun there, playing games with other boys, learning Defensive Arts from Hunter, molding other boys into exactly what he wanted them to be.
His throat tightened again, and he swallowed. They’d all been so foolish back then. Idealistic. Young. Brave. Ready to die for the queen at any moment. He’d been one of them, but no longer. This time he would lead them all out to freedom, provided they let him. The Acrean facility was far enough away from the Capitol so that they might think they were in no danger from the rebel band.
But this facility was personal.
It was time to rescue his friends. ~Chapter 16
“If revolution is the answer,” Benjamin said quietly, “then you’re asking the wrong question.”
Nathan stopped his ranting, almost shamed by the quiet words. His own angry repartees left him, and he was left with one last, parting shot. “Well, I hope you’re happy. You’ve just condemned several thousand people to death, including my men. And for what? Just so that you can all keep living in comfort, sending others out to do the work for you. If that’s what your religion is, I’m not interested,” he spat out.
Aaron’s father looked like he was about to say something, but Benjamin lay a restraining hand on his arm. He said it anyway. “You have condemned your men to death. You don’t have to fight this anymore than we do.”
Nathan gave a short laugh. “I can’t stop them. They’re too eager. They’ll fight anyway, regardless of whether I lead them or not. But you – you send your young people out on senseless missions that only drag other people into the same kind of bondage I see here. All you’re interested in is controlling people’s lives. I let my men decide for themselves. Several of them have left to join some other group, and I haven’t stopped them. They’re free.” ~Chapter 16
“Do think I’m going to give mercy to you?” he spat, his voice hard and full of loathing.
“You betrayed me. You killed one of my friends. Probably more, but that’s the one I most remember. I was with him when he died. On the battlefield.”
Her hand went to her mouth. “Oh, Nathan, I didn’t-I didn’t think that you-”
“I was there,” he said. “I saw it all. And that boy who died was an Existent. I wonder how many others were. An Existent. He could’ve been the little brother of one of your ‘friends’ back with the Nonexistents. And you killed him.”
Tears slipped down her cheeks, but he kept on going. They didn’t do anything to soften his heart, which he knew was at it should be. “And for what? For some power? Some status?” He shook his head, disgusted. “Is a human life really worth that?”
“No!” she screamed, finally snapping. “I didn’t-”
“Didn’t what?” His voice was scornful. “Didn’t make sure everyone was dead on that battlefield? What a pity. Because now the survivor is coming back for revenge. Never thought that would happen, did you. You were probably too wrapped up in your little bubble of wealth and protection to think such a thing could happen.” Words were pouring out of him and he made no attempt to stop them. “Well, now everyone’s deserted you and you are going to pay for what you did.”
“Don’t say that,” he said, rage filling his whole being. “You lost the right to say anything to me the day you betrayed me.”
“It’s not what you think. Please believe me.” He could hardly understand her for the tears, but raised his bow again, despite her words. It was too late for pleading now. He understood everything, all too well.
“I thought perhaps we could build a life together someday,” he said, his voice choked with anger and perhaps a few tears. “But I can never feel anything for a dirty, double-crossing liar.” He steadied his weapon, readying for his shot. He wanted to do this. To revenge the death of Ethan, and Liam, and all the hurt he had felt ever since he saw her on the battlefield. ~Chapter 17
And there you go – leaving you all on a bit of a cliffhanger…
P.S. Would any of you be interested in another character written post sometime soon like the one Nathan did? Any questions you’d like a specific character to answer? Any particular subject you’d like one of them to address? They’d be more than happy too, and it would give me a break as well *winks*