The Defiants, part eighteen
The Wanderer Rebels, story two
By the time both ships landed, Skye was anxious to get out and be outdoors again. She didn't like being in them for long stretches of time, even if she sat on the pilot's lap for most of the duration.
When Bram opened the door, Skye practically fell off of Galen's lap, rushing outside, almost mowing into Jo'dan in the process.
She inhaled deeply when the fresh air hit her, the smell of pine everywhere. Yeah, that was the stuff. It reminded her of when she'd first moved to Washington from Alaska and taken her first hiking trip.
But when she spotted the building, much of her joy fizzled out. While she hadn't been kidnapped, she had certainly felt like a prisoner, having been handcuffed to the bed for the first bit.
Not that Skye wouldn't do it again. All those girls now resided with them. Although being shot hadn't been pleasant.
"I don't know how I feel about being here again."
She turned, Ava standing next to her. "Same here."
Skye felt her tiny robots hum as they moved inside her more than normal. Maybe they sensed their dormant companions.
"At least no one's inside." Nash walked up, holding some device in the air. "So, no need to worry, my love."
Ava shyly smiled. "I know."
She couldn't help but grin as well. It was cute watching those two when they weren't wailing on each other when training.
"There you are."
Skye raised a brow. "Did you really think I'd run away?"
Galen narrowed his eyes, "You ran out of the like a bat out of hell."
"I just wanted off the ship."
"Well, please don't do that again."
"Stop it, you two." Nash shot them a look. "Now, let's go inside."
She stood still from surprise for a moment. It wasn't often for Nash to flaunt his authority, even though he was Dae'lon's second. But she supposed he didn't need to most of the time.
But Skye quickly began moving again, but not before glaring at Galen. He only raised a brow, hanging back to assist the others.
She, Nash, and Ava went inside first, the coldness of the building making the hair on the back of her neck stand. And the heat being off played only a slight part.
This time, though, Skye took the time to see all the details. Last time, everything had been rushed for one reason or another.
"It's cold in here." Ava rubbed her hands together. "Is there some way to turn the heat on?"
"I got that covered," Bram jogged in, holding a flat disk, "I brought this."
Nash only stared at him.
He then pressed it against the wall to her left. Suddenly, all the lights, machines, and heat lit up the compound.
"Thanks, Bram." Ava gave him a thumbs up.
Skye wasn't shocked. The engineer always carried at least three gadgets on his person. And it came in handy more than anyone wanted to admit.
"You guys couldn't even wait for us?" Evan grumbled, Jo'dan helping him move. "It's not like I can run after you."
She smiled, "Not yet."
"Hopefully." Olsen sped down the hallway. "Follow me."
They did, Skye noting how Galen remained in the back of the group. Good. It made it easier for her to think.
She glanced at Ava and Nash, a twinge of jealousy surging through her. They had always worked well together, even before the bond. But how did they do it?
Perhaps she'd ask when this was over.
Skye stopped when they reached the room she'd been kept in.
Broken glass and other debris coated the floor, but all the equipment appeared intact. But that wasn't the reason she hesitated stepping through the doorway.
She remembered bleeding from her stomach as the nurses had wheeled her in on a gurney, Olsen ordering them to move out of the way. It had been the first time she'd been a patient since before nursing school.
She'd screamed and cursed at them when he began tending her wound, no one giving her a sedative or numbing agent.
Skye also remembered the man in the suit walking in and whispering something into Olsen's ear. And how he'd gone pale for a moment before resuming his duties.
Then when the nanites had been injected into her, without her knowledge, her whole body lit on fire, and she'd passed out from the pain. But Skye felt great when she woke, and ever since.
"Do you need a moment, my sweet?"
Skye looked up, Galen's expression soft with concern.
She shook her head, deciding not to be combative with him. "I'll be fine."
Nodding, he walked in and waited for her as Bram and Olsen started setting things up.
Skye stepped in, glass crunching beneath her feet. Well, here went nothing.
It only took minimal observation for Galen to know Skye was uneasy about being in the room again. But clearly, that wasn't going to stop her.
He hid his smirk as she carefully stepped on the glass, making her way toward Evan and Ava. He actually had no idea what would stop Skye from doing what she thought was right but was intrigued to find out.
"So what should we do?" Evan glanced at the large bed, "Share?"
But Max quickly wheeled in two more beds from somewhere else. "Here."
Galen tilted his head, "Two?"
"Yes." He began removing his outer gear. "I'm getting the nanites too."
"No!" Olsen practically screeched, stomping over. "I'm not allowing it!"
Max held his ground. "Dad, I'm an adult, and this is my decision."
"And we're doing it." Ava already laid on a smaller head, not fazed as Skye cuffed her wrists and ankles to it. "I don't see you objecting to me."
Olsen's expression softened, then he sighed, "Fine."
After cuffing the two men and putting a piece of rubber in each of their mouths, Skye stood back, waiting as Olsen and Bram finished the setup, the engineer grinning as he worked.
Bram clapped his hands, "Okay, Doc, it's all you now."
Olsen nodded, "Thank you."
Galen watched the machine hum to life, a shiver running down his spine. He didn't know what would happen next, which set him on edge. The last thing he wanted was for any of his friends to be harmed.
But Skye grabbed his hand, interlacing her fingers through his. "They will be fine, but it's gonna hurt like a son of a bitch."
Galen raised a brow. He didn't care for that human expression but said nothing. There were more important issues.
"So that's why you chained my mate to the bed." Nash stared at Ava, stroking the top of her head.
"Yes. I don't want any of them hurting themselves."
Olsen walked toward Max, holding three injection guns. "This will be painful."
The soldier nodded but arched his back as his father injected the nanites into him. Max moaned loudly.
But both Ava and Evan screamed through their rubber mouthpieces, their bodies straining against the restraints.
As Nash tended to his mate and Bram to Max, Galen and Jo'dan pinned Evan to the bed as he threatened to break away, struggling to keep him down.
Galen hadn't realized how much damage his body had sustained until now, his chest tightening and eyes stinging for his friend. But he hadn't asked either, making him feel worse.
Tears and sweat slid down Evan's face, his heart beating furiously as the nanites worked to repair his body. Would he be able to survive this?
Galen locked eyes with him, still holding down his legs, "You are not going to die on us, do you hear me?!"
Evan moaned, but his gaze seemed to focus.
"We won't let you give up." Jo'dan almost sounded desperate. "I won't let you."
That seemed to calm him, his body relaxing and his heart slowing.
"Holy shit!" Max sighed, "That hurt!"
He heard Bram sit on the floor, his breathing heavy. But he didn't turn to check his friend, still pinning Evan to the bed as he spasmed from the pain.
Galen looked at Ava, who still squirmed around, as Nash, who had climbed onto the bed and hovered over her, whispered something into her ear.
He knew she would be fine; Ava was one of the most stubborn and willful humans he'd met, although Skye gave her a run for her money.
"God, that was painful." Ava now sagged against Nash. "Why didn't you warn us, Skye?"
"I did warn you!" She stomped over to them, "And so did Olsen!"
"Felt like I've been burned and ran over." Gripping the railings next to Galen, Max managed not to fall over, his face gaunt with exhaustion.
Olsen assisted his son, "I said it would be painful."
"It's over now, my love," Nash held Ava tight. "And you're fine, so stop yelling."
Ava scowled at her mate, making him snicker.
Evan began making noises like he was trying to speak.
Jo'dan lifted his head, "Should I?"
Galen eyed Evan for a moment. "Yes, I think he's alright now." He let go fo his legs.
Releasing his arms, Jo'dan removed the rubber from Evan's mouth, then began uncuffing him.
Evan coughed, rolling to one side, "That was quicker than I thought."
Galen couldn't help but chuckle, Jo'dan and Skye following suit.
Max looked at him like he was crazy, "That's your comment?"
"Yes. Deal with it."
As Skye and Olsen checked on them, Galen focused on Bram, who carried the same exhaustion. "Will you be okay?"
"Yeah, I just wasn't expecting for it to be so intense."
He bobbed his head, knowing about the engineer's extra abilities, and helped him to his feet.
"Can we leave now?" Ava stood on shaky legs.
Evan still hadn't tried standing on his feet but was grinning as he flexed his arms and legs freely. "It worked." Then he stood, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. "It worked!"
"Well, assuming you all can walk, yes." Olsen seemed relieved.
"We'll be fine," Evan strode to the door, clearly not exhausted anymore. "C'mon, people."
So they did, with more Wanderer technology in tow.
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