Disclaimer & Notices: See Prologue.
by Red Hope
Clarke moved swiftly but as silently as possible. Her eyes had finally adjusted to the tunnel’s darkness. Each breath filled her lungs with dank air. Thoughts and emotions thundered in her heart and head, but Clarke remembered that there was no time for weakness. There was no time to think about what had happened outside of the tunnel only moments ago. She could do nothing about the fact that an army should be behind her and Lexa at her side. She was alone, but she had to be enough. She had to press on, for her people.
Clarke rounded a corner and tightened her grip on the handgun. She heard soft movements and prayed it was a friend rather than an enemy, or even a traitor. Briefly, she thanked God once she saw Octavia a few yards in front of her.
“Octavia,” Clarke greeted. Her breath hitched a few times.
Octavia lowered her blade and slotted her eyes.
Octavia was turning her back on Clarke. An irritated look came across her dirty features. “Screw you. Of course I stayed.” She whirled around and faced Clarke again. “I know where my loyalties lie.”
“We have to get in there,” Clarke argued. She started for the sealed door until Octavia grabbed her.
“If that was possible, you think I’d still be out here?” Octavia drew Clarke over to Fox, who rested motionless in the metal dump.
Clarke swallowed hard and stared at Fox.
“Why did Lexa sound the retreat?” Octavia questioned.
Clarke silently cursed her betrayer. She controlled her venom, barely. Just as she composed her answer, a distinct voice cut her off.
“I made a deal with Mount Weather.”
Clarke turned on her heels, and her wide eyes locked on the one person she did not expect to see. Perhaps she never wished to see again.
Lexa focused on Clarke and stated, “So we meet again.”
Octavia raised an eyebrow at Lexa’s appearance from the tunnel’s darkness. Before she could say or do anything, Clarke already charged Lexa.
“You fucking asshole,” Clarke yelled. She came at Lexa with a harsh push and was surprised the grounder commander took it.
Lexa stumbled a few steps then she was harshly slammed against the cold, damp stone wall behind her. Slowly she raised her head and gazed into stormy blue eyes.
“You betrayed me,” Clarke hissed. Her raw anger increased her strength, and she pressed her arm across Lexa’s chest even harder. “We had an alliance, and you betrayed me.”
Lexa dug her nails into the stone wall. She struggled against her natural desire to fight back. “Yes.” She gritted her teeth and honestly stated, “I made the best decision for my people… just as you would do the same.”
Clarke’s lip curled in a slight sneer.
“It is not personal,” Lexa added.
“The Hell it isn’t,” Clarke snapped. She coldly stared the commander down. There was nothing telling in Lexa’s eyes. However, Clarke started thinking over Lexa’s actions, which always spoke louder. “Why are you even here?”
Lexa kept on her mask of control. She took a steady breath that calmed her warrior instincts. “Somebody told me that my people and your people were once the same people.”
Clarke allowed the memory of that night to drift back to her. She also remembered Lexa’s own response, and she echoed it back, “That was a long time ago.”
“It was,” Lexa whispered. She watched Clarke work through her anger. “But, we are all human.” Finally, she was able to take a deep breath after Clarke removed her arm. “I cannot ask my people to accept such truth… not right now.” Lexa straightened up, off the wall.
Clarke swallowed hard, and she trembled now that the rage had washed away from her.
“But, I accept this truth,” Lexa softly confessed. “That is why I am here.”
Clarke processed what this could mean for Lexa, as the grounder commander. In many grounders’ eyes, Lexa’s personal support of Clarke and her Sky people could be considered a betrayal. It was a dangerous risk.
“Thank you,” Clarke murmured. She felt undone by the commander. She backed off from Lexa and composed herself.
Lexa slipped past Clarke and approached Octavia, who stood near the sealed door.
“Heda.” Octavia bowed her head. She hoped to hide her guilty features from the commander.
“I would have done the same for my brother,” Lexa revealed. She continued to the sealed door and glowered at it. “How can we get in?”
Octavia released a shaky breath and straightened up after Lexa’s unspoken pardon. “There is no way in,” she stated. She watched Clarke join them.
“Let’s just try knocking,” Clarke suggested. She banged on the door until Octavia grabbed her arm.
“Stop,” Octavia snapped. She hastily warned, “They’ll know we’re here.”
Lexa stared coldly at the door and considered their options.
Clarke took a step away from Octavia and suddenly brandished her gun, aimed at the door.
Lexa hastily moved aside as Octavia grabbed Clarke’s arm again.
“What is wrong with you?” Octavia demanded.
“I am getting through that door,” Clarke hotly replied.
“And that’s your plan?” Octavia countered.
Lexa shifted closer to the pair. She could tell Clarke’s emotions were climbing each heartbeat.
“Bellamy is counting on you.” Octavia inched closer to Clarke and continued firing off at her. “Everyone is always counting on you!”
“What you want from me?” Clarke yelled back.
“Everyone trusted you!” Octavia pointed at Clarke. “You and Lexa let a bomb drop on Tondc. You let all those peo-”
“I am doing the best I can!”
“Shof op,” Lexa snapped at the pair. She gripped Octavia’s shoulder and drew her back from Clarke. “Be silent,” she ordered them again. Her eyes darted to Clarke, who briefly looked at her then moved away from Octavia.
“It’s not good enough,” Octavia quietly but harshly told Clarke.
Lexa gripped Octavia’s shoulder tighter and snarled, “Shof op.”
Octavia released a strangled breath and let it go, finally.
Suddenly, a computer chime signaled the door’s opening. All three women spun around with their weapons at the ready, until they saw Bellamy’s familiar face.
“Bellamy.” Octavia raced over to her brother and hugged him tightly.
Clarke sighed in relief and lowered her gun. She moved to Lexa’s side as Bellamy approached them. A few quick greetings and hugs passed between the group of friends.
“Where’s your army?” Bellamy questioned Lexa and even Clarke.
“You’re looking at it,” Clarke answered. She could see the question on the tip of Bellamy’s tongue so she cut him off. “It’s complicated.”
Bellamy warily eyed Lexa, who gave away nothing about the unexpected situation. “I hope you have another plan then.”
“I was hoping you had some ideas,” Clarke countered.
“Not really.” Bellamy was worried.
“We are wasting time,” Lexa reminded the pair.
Clarke conceded and grabbed Bellamy’s arm. “Come on.” She, Bellamy, and the others hastily worked out plans and split apart to handle Mount Weather, free their people, and get the Hell out of the godforsaken underground prison.
In minutes, Clarke entered Dante Wallace’s confines and watched her friends fan out in the room. She stole a glance at Lexa, who kept a calm look as usual, but Clarke was sure that Lexa wanted to gut Dante and the rest of the Mountain Men.
“Hello, Clarke,” Dante greeted. His eyes centered just on the Sky leader.
Lexa shifted to Clarke’s side. Her known presence caused Dante Wallace to focus on her.
“Commander Lexa.” Dante could barely hide his smirk. “My, my. What a surprise considering you signed a treaty only moments ago.”
“A treaty that will be useless as soon as you gain access to the ground,” Lexa argued. “And that will not happen.”
Dante smiled and stated, “You knew.”
Clarke looked at Lexa in question. She saw the familiar glint in Lexa’s eyes then it occurred to Clarke that Lexa had anticipated a deal from the Mountain Men and took advantage of it. Before she could ask anything, Bellamy cut her off.
“Sir, we need your help… again.”
Lexa carefully listened to the discussion between Dante Wallace and the Sky people. She could tell Dante Wallace would refuse, and Lexa flexed her grip on the dagger sheathed on her hip.
Finally the conversation ended with Bellamy’s last words. “You’re gonna help us whether you like it or not.”
Lexa allowed the Sky people to file out one by one. For a beat, she studied the artwork around the room, but they held no meaning to her. She followed the Sky people and kept watch of the rear. Shortly, they were gaining access to the control room.
Bellamy entered first and called that it was clear. He and the others spread out in the room after Lexa sealed the door shut.
Clarke ordered Monty to get the monitors up.
Lexa went to Clarke’s side. Her eyes scanned the room, and she took in all the technology. She watched each monitor come to life and show images from around the facility. Lexa took a step closer and studied the monitor showing a Dorm.
“Is that Raven?”
Clarke was at Lexa’s side. “Oh my god.” She inched closer and whispered, “Mom.”
Bellamy grabbed a handheld radio and turned to Dante Wallace. “Tell them to stop, now!”
“I won’t do that,” Dante stated, coolly.
“He is useless to us,” Lexa stated to the group. She wanted to free her dagger and throw it into Dante Wallace’s chest. However, she was leaving the decisions to the Sky people.
“Maybe not,” Clarke argued. She went over to Bellamy, took the radio, and hailed, “Carl Emerson.” She had him on the radio and demanded to speak to President Cage Wallace.
“This is President Wallace.”
Clarke faced the large monitor that Monty brought up of President Wallace. “I have your father,” Clarke told over the radio. “If you don’t let my people go, I’ll kill him.”
Lexa folded her arms and stayed positioned so that she could watch both President Wallace on the screen and Dante Wallace. She wondered about President Wallace’s strength.
“How I know you have him?”
Clarke approached Dante and held up the radio to him.
“Stay the course, Cage.”
“You won’t do it,” Cage challenged to the Sky leader.
Clarke clicked the radio and argued, “You don’t know me very well.” She waited a second then pushed the button again. “This ends now. Release my people.”
“I can’t do that,” Cage replied.
Clarke lowered the radio as her mind processed her options.
“It would mean the end of our people, Clarke,” Dante announced.
Lexa unsheathed her dagger and tensed further when Clarke whirled around with the gun pointed at Dante Wallace.
“Clarke, we need him,” Bellamy challenged.
“And I need his son to believe me.” Clarke countered.
Bellamy was breathing hard and watched Clarke carefully.
Lexa flexed her grip on the dagger’s hilt. She watched Clarke’s internal struggle to shoot Dante Wallace. The hesitation was very clear in Lexa’s eyes.
“Don’t make me do this,” Clarke radioed to Cage. Sweat beaded across her brow, but her hand remained steady. She watched Cage Wallace struggle with his next words until he finally radioed back.
“Dad… I’ll take care of our people.”
Dante Wallace turned his wide eyes away from the monitor. “None of us has a choice here, Clarke.”
Clarke pushed the radio’s button. “I didn’t want this.”
“Neither did I-” Dante’s voice was muffled by the gunshot. He bent forward, and blood soaked his shirt. His pained groans carried over the radio frequency.
Lexa lifted her chin and watched Dante fall to the floor, dead in a few seconds. She felt no remorse for him. Her eyes darted over to Clarke, who spoke again over the radio.
“Listen to me very carefully. I will not stop until my people are free. If you don’t let them go… I will radiate level five.” Clarke watched Cage Wallace move in worry. “Cage, listen to me. I don’t want anyone else to die. Stop the drilling, and we can talk. There must be a way to get us all out of this.”
Bellamy watched as Emerson took an order from President Wallace. Quickly the game started to change once they realized Emerson was coming for them. Monty hastily worked to shut off Emerson’s key card. President Wallace started moving too.
“Where is he going?” Bellamy asked.
“He is going to your mother,” Lexa answered. She looked from the screen to Clarke. It was any eye for an eye.
Clarke felt alarm build in her, and she looked at Monty. “Monty, can you do it? Can you radiate the level?”
“I can do it,” Monty replied.
“Wait a second, Clarke. We need to think about this. There are kids in there.”
“I know,” Clarke replied to Bellamy.
“People that helped us,” Bellamy added, desperately.
Clarke shook her head and demanded, “Then please give me a better idea.”
Bellamy fell silent, but his fears clearly written on his face.
Monty worked quickly as President Wallace ordered Abigail Griffin to take the spot on the table. Clarke realized the Lexa was right. Each second felt like an hour until Monty’s feverish typing came to a sudden quiet.
“Why are you stopping?” Clarke demanded.
“Because I did it,” Monty replied. He looked from the three around him and back to the computer. “All we have to do… is pull this.” His index finger pointed at the silver lever. “Hatches and vents will open and the scrubbers reverse… pulling in outside air.”
Bellamy peered up at the screen and saw that Emerson had made it to the control room’s door. Emerson was setting up a bomb, and Bellamy pulled his handgun. “He’s gonna blow the door.”
Clarke readied her gun.
Lexa had unsheathed her sword and faced the door. She was ready for a fight, but her eyes cut over to Clarke.
Monty was in front of the monitors. “Clarke, we’re out of time!”
Clarke hastened to the lever, her right hand closed over it. She hesitated though and looked over at the Dorm’s monitor. In horror, she watched her people continue through the torture that the Mountain Men performed on them.
“I have to save them,” Clarke rasped, painfully. She started to pull until a strong hand forced her to stop. She jerked her head up and stared into dark green eyes.
Lexa halted Clarke’s movements, her grip almost painful. “I shall bare this, Clarke.” She forcefully pulled Clarke’s hand off the lever then took it with her left hand. Lexa jerked it down without regret or hesitation and whispered, “Jus drein jus daun.”
Clarke’s hand was still tangled in Lexa’s fingers. She gasped as if coming up for air, and she twisted her head around towards the monitor. She expected an instant reaction. It only took a minute before it was obvious the outside air had entered level five. She watched in horror as the people of Mount Weather started to die, one by one.
After the deaths, Clarke stood in shock and uncertainty about what had transpired in Mount Weather. She barely remembered being rushed out of the control room. It seemed as if a fog fell over her mind and numbed her emotions. Everything was a loud rush until they were finally outside of Mount Weather, her and all of her people. At the base of Mount Weather, the Sky people exchanged hugs and words after surviving the horror of the Mountain Men.
Clarke exchanged a long hug with her mother, who needed help walking thanks to the damage done. As a child, her mother’s hug took away her fears and pain. But today, it was impossible as Clarke’s pain went deeper than the Mountain Men’s drills had done to her people.
Bellamy suggested they return to Camp Jaha before nightfall. He gathered everybody and made sure the injured had help.
Clarke turned from her mother after she heard the familiar voice. “Lexa,” she greeted. She hesitated and looked at her mother. “I’ll be a minute, Mom.” She and Lexa moved away from the group.
“I must return to my people.”
Clarke nodded and glanced over at Bellamy, who was beside his sister. “What about Octavia and Lincoln?”
Lexa followed the Sky leader’s line of sight to Octavia, who donned her grounder attire. “I will handle it.”
Clarke captured the commander’s arm and checked, “Can they return?”
Lexa considered the complications but gave a low nod. “Send them to me in a day.” She planned to speak with Indra first.
“Thank you,” Clarke murmured. She released the commander and tried speaking but faltered on what to say.
Lexa watched the stormy emotions in Clarke’s eyes. This time, she gripped Clarke’s arm and stated, “I bare it so you cannot.”
Clarke’s lower jaw trembled at the memories from the control room. She saw Dante Wallace fall dead and then the innocent people die on level five. She swallowed hard and shakily reminded, “You pulled the trigger.” Finally her eyes focused on Lexa. “But I loaded the gun.” She started moving until Lexa jerked her back.
“Blood will have blood,” Lexa sharply reminded.
Clarke shook her head and whispered, “Does that cycle ever end, Lexa?” She saw how her words even affected the great grounder commander.
Lexa felt continued desire to help Clarke, but the urgency to return to her army pulled at her mind. “We must talk more about this in private.”
“I can’t return with you,” Clarke countered. She looked over at the Sky people. “I have to make sure they make it to camp safely.”
Lexa sympathized, but she insisted, “Come to me later.”
Clarke considered the invite. Her mind was so scrambled, but she still nodded at Lexa’s request. “I just need…”
“Come when you are ready.” Lexa freed Clark, but she watched Clarke head to the Sky people. She turned too and started towards her people.
Clarke only made it a few steps before she turned and called, “Lexa.”
The commander paused beside a tree and gazed back at Clarke of the Sky people.
Clarke held up a hand and offered, “May we meet again.” She spun on her heels and quickly hurried to her people.
Lexa inhale deeply as Clarke’s eerie words sunk heavy in her mind. She fisted her hand and continued to her people, who would have noticed her disappearance by now. She had a lot to answer to after today.
Clarke Griffin helped her people travel to Camp Jaha. It was a beautiful day, but it was lost on Clarke. She heard several conversations carried among her people. Once Camp Jaha grew from the horizon, Clarke felt as if the camp loomed over her. Her steps became smaller each time until she finally stepped in front of the gates. She watched her people enter Camp Jaha and were welcomed with open arms.
Bellamy had paused by the gate and watched Clarke exchange a hug with Monty. She slotted his eyes because Clarke stayed out of the camp. He pushed off the gate.
Clarke saw him even though her attention seemed to be on Camp Jaha. She waited until he was beside her.
“I think we deserve a drink.”
Clarke’s head bobbed a few times. “Have one for me.”
Bellamy was quiet as he considered what happened in Mount Weather. He clenched his teeth but stated, “We’ll get through this.”
Clarke shook her head and softly explained, “I’m not going in.”
Bellamy blinked twice then looked at Clarke. “If you need forgiveness, I’ll give that to you.” He paused and read Clarke’s features, which had stoned over in seconds. “You’re forgiven.”
Clarke turned her head and stared at Camp Jaha.
“Please come inside,” Bellamy softly pleaded.
Clarke weighed Bellamy’s words, carefully. But, she had made her decision during the walk from Mount Weather to Camp Jaha. She nodded once and turned to Bellamy. “Take care of them for me.”
“I’ll be seeing their faces every day. It’s just gonna remind me of what I did to get them here.”
Bellamy insisted, “You don’t have to do this alone.”
Clarke studied her people in the camp before she looked at Bellamy. She kept her emotions under lock. “I bare it so they don’t have to.”
“Where are you gonna go?”
Clarke shook her head. “I don’t know.” She then moved in and hugged him. She placed a quick kiss to his cheek. “May we meet again.” Clarke released him then quickly left before he tried changing her mind.
Bellamy turned and softly echoed Clarke’s last words.
Clarke Griffin continued walking through the field and headed directly to the woods. She vanished from sight and travelled the woods. At first, she seemed lost until things became familiar to her again. Nearly close to dark, she arrived at her destination and pulled a metal hatch up from the forest floor.
Carefully, Clarke descended into the fallout shelter built by a lost family over a century ago. She ward off her memories from the bunker as she lit the candles. She went up the ladder and released the hatch for tonight. For now, she would be safe here until she put her meager plans together. She wanted to be any place but here in these woods, near Camp Jaha, or around Lexa’s army.
Clarke methodically took time preparing supplies and placed everything into one pack. The darkened stain on the floor coldly reminded Clarke of Finn. Another damn mistake. Clarke shook it off and refocused on the task.
Quickly the pack started to fill and bulge. Every item was necessary, except for the graphite pencils and sketch book. It was silly to carry them along, but she had not drawn in a long time.
Clarke organized a quick bite to eat from the supplies she had hidden in the bunker some time ago. She then crawled onto a bed and passed out in minutes. Her mental exhaustion put her into a deep sleep for most of the night until her night terrors found her. Every ghost from Mount Weather visited her until dawn. Clarke hastened out of the bunker at first light. She adjusted the pack’s straps then resealed the bunker and kicked leaves over it.
At first, the trip was tense because Clarke was unsure whether Lexa already had patrol setup around the forest. She suspected not because the war just ended and the warriors were still gathered around Mount Weather. It was her chance to duck out unnoticed by anybody, even from Lexa’s far seeing eyes.
Clarke was unsure of her direction, but she decided to follow the sun. But eventually the sun crept over her head and then went to her back. Clarke took periods of rest, but she travelled at a decent pace due to her recent build of stamina. Living on Earth had changed Clarke both physically and mentally. The girl that dropped from the Ark was long gone.
By nightfall, Clarke discovered a small cave that provided safe shelter from trouble. She built only a small fire that kept her warm. She remained near the mouth but in the shadows with her gun at the ready. Now and again, she closed her eyes and leaned against the cave. However, a nightmare found her each time, and Clarke was startled awake. Similar to yesterday, Clarke returned to her trip at first light and hiked towards the sun.
Each day was similar to the next. Clarke travelled through the daylight and rested at nighttime. Her attempts at rest were disrupted by nightmares that followed her every step. Her sleep was broken and so little that Clarke started feeling it by the fourth day. Her hikes were physically wearing, but she could barely sleep at night. Her demons from Mount Weather attacked her every night until finally her emotions reached a peak.
At dawn, Clarke wearily travelled through another forest after crossing a stream. She swore she heard voices behind her, but she saw nothing. At first, she thought it was a grounder from the Trikru. But, she was too far from their territory.
Slowly the voices started to make sense to Clarke. They demanded her blood for their blood. They chanted relentlessly. Nothing could stop them as Clarke fought to get away and closer to the sun. Clarke’s fast walk turned into a run, and she sprinted from her tormenters.
Clarke let out a wrenching scream, but she was surrounded by them. She slowed beside a fallen tree and started turning in a circle. She yelled, “I had no choice!”
“Blood must have blood,” the voices of Mount Weather cried out.
“No,” Clarke pleaded. She reached for her gun from within her jacket. She released the safety and looked for the owners of the voices. “My people were going to die,” she cried back.
“Blood must have blood,” the voices chanted, again and again.
Clarke fell to her knees. Tears finally broke free and trickled down her flushed cheeks. “Please… forgive me,” she begged. Her heart hammered against her chest. Every victim’s pain cut into her skin and aimed at her heart.
“Blood must have blood,” the voices demanded angrily.
Clarke bowed her head and looked at the handgun. “I’m so sorry,” she rasped. “Please…”
“Our blood must have your blood.”
Clarke looked up after she heard Dante Wallace’s dark words. She stared at his bloody shirt where her bullet had struck him days ago. “Oh god… no.” She shook her head and whispered, “You’re not real.”
Dante Wallace took steps closer to Clarke. “Blood must have blood.”
Clarke continued shaking her head. She pointed the gun at him. “Stay back.”
But, Dante Wallace came up to Clarke and knelt down. He reached forward and placed his hand over Clarke’s young hand that held the gun. “Our blood must have your blood.” Dante helped Clarke guide the gun up to her chin.
Clarke was consumed by the deads’ agony that burned her heart and attacked her soul. She had commanded the execution of the guilty and innocent of Mount Weather. Every ounce of innocent blood stained her hands. She had ordered death. Clarke was a murderer.
Clarke closed her eyes once the gun’s cold metal kissed the skin under her chin. “Blood must have blood,” she whispered. She had to end the cycle or else the dead would never know peace, nor would Clarke. She would avenge the innocent. She slowly opened her eyes to Dante Wallace, but she stiffened because now Lexa was knelt before her.
“Jus drein jus daun,” Lexa whispered.
Clarke’s eyes grew wide as she stared at Lexa’s painted face and all the blood of hundreds dried on Lexa’s tan skin. She clenched the gun harder. “Lexa… please…”
“Jus drein jus daun,” Lexa repeated. Her normally green eyes darkened to black. Her dark war paint had long waves under her eyes as if her war paint cried for the innocent. “Jus drein jus daun.”
Clarke slid her index finger over the cold trigger.
“Jus drein jus daun.”
Clarke was breathing hard, but she echoed, “Jus drein jus daun.”
Lexa gave a low nod. “Jus drein jus daun.” Her full lips pulled into a wolfish smile. “Jus drein jus daun,” she commanded.
Clarke gasped for air and yelled, “Jus drein jus daun!” Her last breath turned into an anguished scream that tore against her throat, erupted from her lips, and carried through the woods.
Clarke’s index finger pulled against the trigger with the promise of peace, for all. She welcomed it as she saw the stairway to heaven, finally.
Trigedasleng to English
Shof op. – Be silent.
Jus drein jus daun. – Blood must have blood.