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December 31, 2011 / milesandhisfavorites

Abandoned: Confrontation

Ellis Island Ferry Dock, 3:46 P.M. 

Errol figured that his watch was almost over.  Then again, as the head of the Tropic Dock Guard, he was required to put in at least four hours a day, so maybe not.  It didn’t really matter-neither did time, these days.  Day and night, that was all that mattered.  Suddenly, a twig snapped behind a stack of crates.  Errol jumped, his leather whip cracking as he spun around to see what had made the noise.  Then again, that could have been the late afternoon watch.  That theory was disproven as soon as the person walked out.  Her hair was blonde, almost white, dyed in some places with blue.  She was wearing some sort of armor, and shadows of green surrounded her sharp gray eyes.  Errol recognized her the exact second she raised her staff.  “Moles,” he whispered.  Famous last words.

An hour later

“So, who was this guy?” Leil said.  Abel and Leil’s search party had found no trace of Martina, except for a body on the docks where the Ellis Island ferries used to operate.  Abel responded with a shrug of the shoulders.  “Dunno.  Probably a Tropic, they own these docks.  He has a badge, so he’s one of the Dock Guard.  Maybe even the leader.  Either way, we’re a little too late.  My guess is, Martina killed him and hijacked one of the ferries.”  He waved his hand, motioning to the pair of big white boats with the words ELLIS ISLAND FERRY SERVICE. Both were in various states of disrepair, but the Tropics had managed to get a few running, and used those to get from their home on the harbor’s islands to Manhattan.  One of the soldiers had been looking one of the ferries up and down since they had arrived.  She looked up, a sly smile on her face.  “I think I can get her working,” she said cheerfully.  In a couple of minutes, they were motoring through the water, towards the turquoise Statue of Liberty.

Meanwhile, on the island itself, Martina was walking around the grassy park that surrounded the statue.  Not a lot of people came here anymore, since without the adults keeping the statue in top shape, there was always the threat of Lady Liberty crashing down.  All of a sudden, Martina heard running footsteps coming from a nearby path, close to an information kiosk.  She turned to see a group of soldiers bearing down on her.  One of them, a girl with an eye of Horus on one cheek, threw a makeshift spear at her.  Martina ducked, running at them and punching one in the face.  The girl ran over to him, helping him back up.  Martina and the team continued fighting for a few minutes, until the Mole leader leaped over the rail and dived into the water.

The soldiers ran over to the metal rail, looking over the side.  Abel looked at Leil, and said, “She can’t possibly get to the other side.”  Leil pointed towards Ellis Island.  “Yeah,” she said.  “But maybe she could make it there.  If she was lucky.”  Sure enough, a second later, Martina’s head popped up about halfway between the two shores.  Abel shouted “Fire!”, and the other soldiers threw their spears at her.  Noticing her vulnerability, Martina shot underwater again.  One of the soldiers, a girl named Jenn, leaped over the side.  The others followed suit, and soon they were searching the area outside the Ellis Island facility.

It must have been a couple hours before they found any sign of her-muddy footprints leading into the building.  They were about to head inside, but Abel realized something.  “Wait a sec,” he said.  “Martina’s shoes would be dry by now, assuming she didn’t do go for another dip.”  Sure enough, they heard something drop down from a tree.  Spinning 360, the group saw Martina standing not five meters in front of them, tittering with delight, exactly like that prisoner, Zalla.  Jenn charged her, but Martina took a sharp sheet of metal out of her pocket, and slapped Jenn upside the head with it.  Blood instantly began to flow from her cheek, and another soldier named Brian ran to her side, pressing a washcloth to her face.

That left Abel, Leil, and a guy who called himself Zip fighting Martina.  Leil grabbed at Martina’s shoulder, pulling her down while Abel and Zip kicked at her knees.  In seconds, she was down, but not for long.  She sliced at Zip’s wrist with her makeshift knife, making him yowl out in pain, and causing him to stagger away.  Abel and Leil fell back into the Ellis Island museum, but charged back into the open.  Martina had vanished yet again.  Zip, who was leaning against a tree, cursing, said he saw Martina headed for the docks, but nothing more.  Abel wrapped Zip’s wrist in a cloth bandage, gathered Jenn and Brian, and combed the island, looking for a way back to the mainland.  Finally, a Tropic named Huck let them use his speedboat to try and find Martina again.  Luckily, Huck had also seen somebody swimming in the water towards the Statue of Liberty, so the soldiers headed back towards the island, stopping at the shaded docks where the ferries used to dock, before the Virus.

The group split up, Abel and Leil searching the arrival area where people used to buy Statue of Liberty merchandise, and Jenn, Zip, and Brian searching the green parks behind the statue.  Leil was wandering through the torn remains of a gift shop when she heard Martina’s voice echoing throughout the main plaza.  “Oh, Leil.”  Leil jumped out of the gift shop and ran through the island, trying to find Martina.  Then, she stepped out of the treeline, one arm around Abel’s neck.  Leil screamed “Get away from him!” and charged her.  Martina drew a pocket knife from her pocket and held it against Abel’s jugular vein.  “I wouldn’t be so sure, little Leil,” she said.  “One false move, and your friend won’t last a minute.”

All of a sudden, a voice came out from the trees.  “Fifty-nine, fifty-eight, fifty-seven…”  The voice counted down, while Martina stood.  She might have looked fierce, except for the nervous look in her eyes.  She was in a bad place, and she knew it.  When the voice reached one, Sham and about two dozen of his militia leaped out from the trees, spears raised, aimed at Martina.  Instead of surrendering, which Leil would have done in that position, she just laughed, threw the knife down, and released Abel.  He ran back to Leil, and the two hugged, Abel gasping for breath.  They looked at Martina, trying to guess her next move.  Martina cleared her throat, and began to talk.

“I suppose you’re going to kill me now, and I wouldn’t blame you.  After all, look at all the chaos and death me and the Moles have caused.  But I shouldn’t be what you’re worried about.  You see, I’m but a pawn on the board of a person that could change the course of this planet’s history forever.  You see, he’s still out there.”

And with that, she slammed her fist against her chest.  Her eyes went wide, and then suddenly lifeless.  She slumped to the ground, a sick grin still on her face.  Sham and another soldier ran up and crouched down next to her.  The other soldier, who Abel recognized as a kid named Wells, placed two fingers against her neck, feeling for a pulse.  He shook his head.  A hollow, but not exactly sad, look crossed Sham’s face.  NYC’s worst enemy yet was dead, and he had no idea how.  What’s more, her last words made no sense.  Leil whispered something into Abel’s ear.  “You think… you think she was talking about an adult?  Saying that he was back and all?”  Abel whispered back.  “If so, there’s a whole lot going on in this world that we don’t know yet.”

“Isn’t there always?”

Sham and Wells stood up from examining Martina’s body, and announced their findings.  Apparently, Martina had committed suicide.  There was a somewhat blunt blade inside her chest plate.  By slamming it, she had shoved a knife directly into her heart, killing her instantly.  Wells walked away, followed by Sham, the soldiers, and finally Abel and Leil.  On the way out, Abel caught one last glance at the body.  Already, her skin was pale, almost greenish, but her smile was as twisted as ever.  Fitting, Abel thought.  Disturbingly fitting.

He’s still out there…..

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