Chapter 6: Righting the Wrongs
We talked and planned the attack for several hours before Nate and a few other high-ranking officers went into a private office to confer amongst themselves.
I was left standing by myself in the meeting room, quite sure that I would never be able to work for the Empire again. My face was probably stamped onto every other building by now, and even if I returned repentant, they would never forgive me for disobeying orders. Or for sharing top-secret information with the Resistance. If the Empire ever caught me, I'd have a life sentence. Or worse.
I shivered, and then I noticed the Resistor who had stood up for me. I also realized that I didn't know her name, not when I rescued her and not when she rescued me. I resolved to ask her. She had been watching me, but now she was crossing the room towards me. She stopped about five feet away, looking as if she were about to say something but didn't know exactly what to say.
I took a deep breath and waited for her to speak. When she finally did, it was a question, "What was He like?"
I frowned. The question took me completely off guard, "Who?"
She raised an eyebrow, "Him."
I squinted, still having no idea what she meant.
She seemed to understand my confusion. "The Scarlet Man," she explained, "What was he like?"
"Why do you call the Scarlet Man 'He' or 'Him'?"
She thought about it for a second, "Because it honors him, I guess."
"But it doesn't make any sense...take this for an example: 'A man was walking down a street, and then he saw him.' Did the Scarlet Man see the person, or did the person see the Scarlet Man. We don't know."
She stared at me blankly. She obviously hadn't heard anything like that before.
I looked at the far wall, sighing to myself. It doesn't matter that much, why do I have to care so much about little things like that?
I tried getting back to her question, "Have you ever seen him?"
She flashed a brief smile, "Me, personally? No. I've never seen the Scarlet Man, but I really want to. A few of my friends have seen him and they said that he was the most wonderful person in Aethasia. I figure if I can't see him, I still want to learn as much about him as possible. So, what was he like?"
I could tell she was incredibly dedicated to the Scarlet Man. It made me glad to see such devotion. I tried to answer her question, "Well, I don't remember much about him, but there was something special about his eyes, and he smiled a lot--"
She grabbed me by the shoulders and stared into my eyes. Her frenzied look radiated amazement, "You saw him!?"
I was confused, "...Yes?"
"But you saw his face!"
"He always wears a scarlet cloak and hood! No one has ever seen his face!" She lowered her arms and began to pace rapidly before turning back towards me, "What did he look like!? What was his hair color!? Eye color!? Was he clean-shaven? Did he have a beard!?"
I was about to answer, but I suddenly found that I remembered very little about the Scarlet Man besides what I had already told her. I hadn't paid much attention in the moment and couldn't remember anything else.
"Well!?" she prodded.
"I'm sorry...I don't remember anything else."
Her gaze fell to the floor, I could tell she was crestfallen.
I felt bad about what I had said. I willed myself to remember anything else about the Scarlet Man, but I came up empty.
She looked back up at me, with a grim smile, "That sounds like him."
The Resistance leaders began filing back into the room; apparently they had made a decision.
The girl began stepping away from me, "Well, thanks for trying."
I struggled against myself, "Wait!"
She turned back towards me, "Yes?"
"I never caught your name."
She smiled, "Auriel."
I smiled and nodded, and Auriel walked away.
Nate prepared to speak, "We have decided that this opportunity is to great to pass up. We will send a small group of Resistors into the Imperial compound to capture Dr. Fog and bring him to justice. Since Auriel, Orville, and Tess have been trying to capture Fog for all these months, they will be included on the mission. Since Wolfe knows the layout and security of the base, he will accompany the group as well. Raven has requested she be part of the attack as well, and I granted her request."
I turned my eyes towards Raven, who was glaring at me.
Nate continued, "Raven will serve as the leader of the group, and she will make sure everything runs smoothly."
"I believe any more than five will attract too much attention, but there will be more Resistors hidden around No Man's Landing if the main group will need support. Any questions?"
Nobody responded to Nate's question.
"Excellent. I suggest that you all arm yourselves, prepare yourselves, and go to bed early tonight. We are all going to have a difficult day tomorrow. May the Great Engineer be with us!"
And with that, the meeting seemed to be dismissed. Resistors began talking with each other and traveling in every direction. I decided to take Nate's advice and head to the armory. I browsed the weapons and located a longsword in good condition. I also found a pair of flintlock pistols. After finally equipping myself, I began to head towards the sleeping quarters. As I opened the doors of the armory, I was startled when I saw Raven standing outside, waiting for me. She grabbed me, spun me to the side, and pushed me against the doorframe.
Her furious eyes were colder than the Snowmoors, "Nate may think he can trust you, but I can see you for who you really are. You're an Autofficer, and you will always have fog in your heart. I'll be watching you. Don't try anything, or I'll make sure you'll regret it."
She let me go and walked away.
I stood in the doorway, angry and hurt. She's never going to trust me.
Nobody probably ever would.
I woke up early the next day and met up with my team Auriel's group of three (whom had escaped from the prison a few months prior) consisted of Orville and Tess. They all seemed to be a friendly lot. Orville was the security expert. I was told that he could open any door. Tess was the warrior and fog containment specialist. Auriel was the leader. She wasn't the best leader I had ever seen, strategically that is, but I had never seen a leader so connected with their troops before. She genuinely cared about Orville and Tess, and knew them well enough to guess what they wanted to do. As a leader, what Auriel lacked in strategy, she gained twofold in coordination and morale. She seemed to be a good leader out of love. She even seemed to care for Raven, and me!
I had never seen that before.
We left the base at seven o'clock. In addition to our group of five, there were almost a dozen Resistors hiding out in the streets around the target. We almost had made it to the rear entrance. Peeking around the corner of a drab building, I found it. The rear entrance was guarded by two Troubleshooters.
I looked back at Auriel, smiling, "Wasn't it just a few months ago we were trying to break out of this place?"
She grinned, "Yeah, that's ironic."
Raven whispered, "Keep quiet! We don't want the automatons to hear us and report us."
My mouth clamped shut. Raven evidently did not have the same gift of leadership as Auriel did.
We waited for the automatons to leave, and they would. On the next street over, a Resistor in disguise walked next to an Imperial propaganda machine.
"The Isle off the coast of this town is a highly important fog mine, and one of the most important sources of fog rock in the land. Something for the citizens of No Man's Landing to be proud of. And to think, it used to be a pointless nature reserve."
Without warning, the Resistor whipped out a Tesla Hammer and smashed the machine to bits.
"HALT!" one of the Troubleshooters commanded, "DESTROYING IMPERIAL PROPERTY IS AGAINST THE LAW!"
The Resistor smiled, "Then come and get me!" then he ran off. The Troubleshooters followed. My group waited until the automatons were some distance away, and then we dashed to the door.
I tried the latch, "It's locked."
Orville approached the door, a sly smile on his lips, "Not for long."
He reached into a pouch and fumbled for a few seconds. He removed a red bottle.
"Solvent?" I asked, confused.
"Mmm Hmmm," Orville began pouring the solvent around the door frame.
Still confused, I replied, "I thought solvent was a cleaning agent."
"Did you know that solvent was the main ingredient in dynamite?"
"I do," I said, watching Orville spreading the fluid, "But I've always wondered why."
"Well," Orville said, not ever drawing his focus away from his work, "This isn't pure solvent. It's a little mixture that I came up with that's mostly solvent."
"OK..." I said. I was getting the be quiet! eyes from Raven.
Orville finished, replaced the solvent bottle, and removed a matchbox. He struck a match and put the flame against the greased doorframe. The solvent began glowing orange, and the glow began spreading throughout the solvent in both directions.
Orville blew out the match and turned to us, "We should take a step back."
We did, and the orange glow continued down both sides of the door. When the glow collided at the bottom, there was a flash of light and a small pop. Then, the entire door fell outward. Tess, Auriel, and Orville caught the door, moved it to the side, and laid it gently on the ground.
"Well," Orville wryly whispered to Raven, "I guess my plan did work."
Raven glowered for a second, "Allright! Onto part two!"
I readied myself. There were three autofficers stationed at points around the compound. They were commanding all of the automaton patrols within the building. If we could discreetly knock the autofficers out and take their control gauntlets, then we would be able to move to the high security area underground without notice. Raven had insisted that I stay with her, so we made our way to the rendezvous point in the basement. Auriel, Orville, and Tess moved in different directions to take out our assigned autofficers.
I traveled through corridors and hallways. Left, Right, Left, Right, Right, Left.
This was all so familiar. Wasn't I just here just a few days ago? How times have changed.
Raven walked behind me, supposedly making sure that I didn't try anything.
Then we heard something. Clanking, whirring. Automatons were coming from ahead of us.
I looked all around; the closest door was a few feet in front of me and to my left. I dashed into it. Raven wasn't as close to that door and had to backtrack a few steps and enter into a different door. A group of three automatons walked down the hallway. There were three Pacifiers, one of them an officer.
"Wolfe!" Raven whispered harshly, "Stay there!"
"SOUND DETECTED!" The Pacifier Officer announced, "MOVING TO INVESTIGATE!"
Great! Now what are we going to do!?
I know what room Raven ducked into. It was a maintenance closet. She would have nowhere to hide. My room was a meeting room, and there was an exit on the opposite side.
I grimaced and walked over to a fragile wood chair. I lifted my boot and slammed it on the chair. It collapsed, sending splinters flying around the room.
"NEW SOUND DETECTED!"
I didn't wait for them to barge into the room. I sprinted to the other side, slipped through the door and closed it. I put my ear up to the door.
The sound was slightly muffled.
"REPORT! CHAIR HAS COLLAPSED IN MEETING ROOM B!"
"MOVING BACK TO FIRST NOISE!"
I kicked the door.
"NEW SOUND DETECTED! MOVING TO INVESTIGATE!"
"You're welcome Raven," I said to myself, before I shot down the hallway I was in. I ran into the first doorway I saw, and then I slipped into a closet. I heard the sound of metal feet marching towards me, and then away from me.
Then there was silence.
I stepped out of the closet and started leaving the door and heading towards the Rendezvous point when I heard something. It was a soft noise, coming from an adjacent room.
It was crying.
That's when I remembered what this room was.
The door to her bedroom was slightly ajar, so I put an eye to the crack. She was sitting on her bed, looking terrible. She must have been crying all night. I wondered why, but then I knew the answer.
Today was Sunday. I had promised to go out on a date with Rayna last night.
I could imagine it all. She would have waited for me, for hours. She would have come back here past midnight, heartbroken. She collapsed on her bed, crying all night.
A tear rolled down my cheek.
I can't be distracted by this right now. I have to do my mission!
I turned and began to silently walk away. I noticed her notebook sitting open on the desk. I stopped and began to read it.
Tuesday - I'm going to ask him tomorrow. I know I've been putting this off for too long. I need to get over my fears and ask Wolfe out on a date. I'll ask to train with him and while we're training I'll ask him. Here's hoping it works.
Wednesday - I can't believe it! He accepted! I'm so filled with joy, I don't know how to explain it! The date's set for Saturday. I don't know if I've been more excited in my entire life! I hope I'll be able to tell Wolfe how I really feel about him. How I don't just want to be his partner as an Autofficer--
I stopped reading abruptly. This was an invasion of privacy. But I couldn't stop. Not now.
--but in all of his life as well. I can't wait until Saturday!
I shook my head; I had no idea, Rayna.
Thursday - Today was terrible. Wolfe disobeyed an Imperial order and now he's on the run. Zander is hunting him down. Everything...all of my hopes and dreams were destroyed in one day. Why did you have to do it Wolfe? Why did you have to ruin your life, and mine?
Tears welled in my eyes.
Friday - I can't believe that Wolfe would abandon the Empire. I can't believe that he would abandon me. I'm going to wait at the diner for Wolfe to show up. He will show up. He has to.
There was no entry for Saturday.
I bit my lip. Another tear tracked down my face.
I grabbed Rayna's pen and began writing. If I had been thinking, I would never have done it. It very well could jeopardize the mission. But, then again, this needed to be said. Rayna needed to know.
I'm sorry Rayna. I don't know why I did it. I just knew that what I was doing, what the Empire was doing was wrong. I don't know if I made the right choice...I guess there's no turning back now. I'm sorry...
...I love you too. Goodbye. -Wolfe.
I put the notebook down and took one more glance in Rayna's direction before running out of the room.
There were no more automatons on my way to the Rendezvous point. I was almost there when a knife pressed against my back.
"Wolfe!?" Raven whispered.
"Where have you been!?" she hissed.
"Distracting the automatons from finding you."
She lowered the blade and I turned around to face her.
"You were gone for an awfully long time," she whispered, "You could have done a lot of other things. You could have betrayed us to the Empire--"
"I'm not a traitor!" I whispered harshly.
"Says the person who betrayed the Empire just a few days ago. Maybe you are trying to earn back their favor."
"I betrayed the Empire once, they would never accept me again, no matter what I did. You don't think I'm dumb enough to believe that I would ever be accepted back into the Empire?" my eyes moistened, "Because they'd kill me before they ever let me back."
She searched me with her eyes, "That remains to be seen."
Arrrgg! Why does she have to be so difficult!
New footsteps sounded. It was Tess, carrying a control gauntlet. Our argument was over. Soon, Auriel and eventually Orville arrived as well. All three were holding stolen control gauntlets.
Auriel smirked, "Orville, you made it! I thought that you had finally met your match."
"Hey!" Orville replied with mock pain, "Just because I'm not trained in weapons like you are doesn't mean I can't fight," he removed a purple bottle, "That autofficer is going to be catching some z's."
Auriel flashed a smile, Orville smiled as well.
"Let's get this door open," Raven said.
Orville gave his control gauntlet to me and began working on the door.
Auriel held up her gauntlet like it was an alien device, "Uh, Wolfe? How do you use this?"
I explained how to use certain basic functions, such as stand down and open fire. Orville finished up with the door and we moved inside the high security area.
"Hey Wolfe," Raven whispered, "Give me the gauntlet."
I looked down at the control gauntlet over my arm, "Why?" Then I realized the answer. She doesn't trust me with it.
"Raven, please," Auriel interjected, "He knows how to use it, he should use it."
"I don't trust an autofficer with a control gauntlet," Raven stated.
"Well you have to trust him with it. You can have mine if you want."
Raven let out an angry sigh, "Keep it."
Tess opened the next door and found a platoon of Automatons on the other side. She jumped back.
I raised my gauntlet, whispering, "Stand down!"
Auriel and Tess seemed to get my hint and they ordered the automatons to stand down.
The automatons lowered their weapons, "OUR APOLOGIES, AUTOFFICERS!"
"Yeah right," Raven muttered.
We walked through the room of autos unharmed. We arrived at the far door.
"Fog is right behind this door," I said.
"Good," Raven replied, "Let's capture him and finish our mission."
Tess tried the door, "It's not locked."
"Probably doesn't need to be," Auriel offered.
"Let's do this," Raven said, pushing the door open. It was dark inside.
Auriel shrugged, "Maybe he's not awake yet."
We all knew how unlikely that was.
"I found the lights," Tess remarked.
The switch flipped and the entire underground laboratory glowed white in the radiance of the incandescent bulbs.
Only, there was no laboratory.
There was nothing in the room at all.
"Where is he!?" Raven demanded.
"He should be right here!" I answered.
A new voice echoed from behind us, "But he's not."
My heart froze for a second. I know that voice.
I turned around, "Zaul."
Zaul was standing in the midst of the automatons, which were training their guns on my team. Anzok stood at his left and Zander stood at his right.
"Welcome home Wolfe," Zaul purred, his voice sounding almost robotic.
I raised my gauntlet and ordered the automatons to point their weapons at the autofficers, but no response came from the automatons.
Auriel and Tess raised their gauntlets as well, but nothing happened.
I scowled, "Override codes." I threw my control gauntlet to the ground.
Zaul smiled, "You thought you were so smart; running to the enemies and attempting to gain face with them. You thought this plan could actually work," he absentmindedly patted a pocket on his vest. An envelope protruded out of the pocket, "I knew that Doctor Fog was coming here, and I knew you knew. And I guessed that you would leak that intel to the Resistance so that they could give you asylum from the Empire. I spoke with autofficers Anzok and Zander, and they concurred with my findings: someone would come here to try to kidnap the doctor. We took the necessary precautions and laid the perfect trap."
Anzok appeared to be happy and proud. Zander stared daggers in me. I hardly recognized him.
Zaul continued, "No matter whether you claim to fight for the Empire or against it, you will always help us in the end.
Raven reached for her communicator.
"Don't try that," Zaul said, waving his hand, "We've already captured all of your support on the ground. You are alone."
My entire team was visibly shaken. What hope was there now?
"But Wolfe," Zaul said, "There is hope for you."
I raised my eyebrow.
"You obviously were in contact with a Resistance base, which means you know its location. Tell me the position of the Resistance base and I promise that you will be accepted back into the Empire. You could be a Sergeant and your record could be cleared. Do you have anything to say, Wolfe?"
I looked around at everyone. Zaul's face was unreadable. Anzok's was questioning. Zander seemed doubtful. Raven stared angrily at me, silently demanding I say nothing. Tess watched the automatons defiantly. Orville seemed afraid. Auriel looked directly at me, wondering what I would do.
I stepped forward, "I do have something to say."
Raven jumped forward, "No!"
"Silence!" Zaul shouted. Automaton weapons cocked and aimed at Raven.
Raven stepped back. She stared at me with contempt, "Traitor!" she spat.
Zaul looked at me, "What do you have to say Wolfe?"
I glanced around the room, finally locating the power cord, "Duck!"
In the blink of an eye, I unholstered a flintlock pistol with my right hand and aimed it directly at Zaul. He dropped to the floor and I smiled. I now had a clear line of sight to the power cord. I fired and the bullet smashed into the cord, sending sparks flying and causing the lights in the room to flicker. In the same motion, I spun around into the laboratory and shut off the lights. The entire confrontation was shrouded in blackness.
I whispered to the other Resistors, "RUN!!!"
Anzok shouted, "Open fire!"
The room was momentarily illuminated and deafening gunshots reached my ears. Something hit into my chest but I kept going. I rammed into Zaul, who was still on the ground, and we both rolled in the darkness, throwing punches. I threw Zaul into the floor and reached into his pocket. I couldn't see, but I felt the envelope there. I snatched it out and ran in the general direction of the door. I ran in the dark for half a minute before I crashed into a door. I felt around the door for the latch and opened it. There was a gun barrel pointed at my face.
"Oh," Tess said, lowering her rifle, "It's you."
All four Resistors were standing outside the door.
"We didn't think you'd make it," Auriel said.
Raven hesitantly added, "That was a good move."
"Well?" Orville asked, "Can I blow the door now?"
I noticed sticks of dynamite strapped in the four corners of the door. I quickly stepped away from the door.
"Do it!" Raven said.
The door collapsed in an explosion. Rubble and detritus rained from the ceiling. A shockwave ran through the building that knocked all of us to the ground.
When the dust settled, Orville smiled, "That should slow them down."
I stood, looking at the pile of earth and metal where the door used to be, "Lets keep going!"
We ran to the surface, encountering a few isolated automatons on the way, but they were no match for our combined prowess. We finally reached fresh air, but we continued running for a couple of minutes so that we lost ourselves in the streets of No Man's Landing. We all hid in an alley, panting from the exertion and stress.
Auriel beamed, "We made it!"
She hugged Tess, then Orville, then Raven. And then me.
She stepped back, aghast, "Wolfe, you're bleeding!"
I looked down at my tunic, it was soaked with blood.
I had been shot.
Suddenly I felt dizzy. The world around me wobbled back and forth. Black spots appeared in my vision. The ground rushed toward me.
Auriel stood next to Raven in the meeting room of the Resistance base. Raven held the communicator to her ear, "Hello? Does anyone read me?"
It seemed so quiet, Auriel thought.
There were always at least a handful of Resistors around here, chatting, training, joking, planning...but now...
Raven threw the communicator, "Yaaaaaaaaghhhhhh!" It clanked as it bounced away.
Raven turned to look at Auriel. She looks angry.
"It's no use," Raven said, "Zaul wasn't lying. They captured...everyone."
Auriel felt as if she had taken a physical blow. What are we going to do now?
The door to the infirmary opened and Orville stepped out and stretched.
"How's Wolfe?" Auriel pressed.
"I think he's stabilized," Orville said, seeming tired, "Tess is watching him just in case."
Maybe Aether would help! Auriel thought, and she checked her Aethermeter.
Empty. Just like the last four times she checked. She had already used all of it on Wolfe.
The main entrance door slammed open. Raven had her pistols trained in a second. Raven lowered the pistols, "Nate?"
Nate ran to the small group, "Raven! Orville! Auriel! Thank the Great Engineer you're alive and not captured!
Raven holstered her pistols and looked at the communicator, "What happened to you and everyone else? Why couldn't we contact you?"
Nate shook his head, "The Empire was expecting us. They had three airships and they surprised us. My transmitter was destroyed and everyone was captured. I was the only one that escaped. Is there anyone else here?"
Auriel chimed in, "Tess and Wolfe are in the infirmary, Wolfe was injured."
"I don't suppose you were able to apprehend Dr. Fog?"
"No," Auriel answered. She gave the summary of the mission.
Nate sat down heavily on a chair. He sighed, "Then the mission was a failure and we lost most of our people." He looked up, "What do we do now?"
Tess ran into the room, "He's awake!"
I wasn't dead...I don't think being dead would hurt so much. I couldn't move and couldn't open my eyes. I tried to piece together what had just happened. I remembered all at once and sat up, my eyes wide. I winced, even in the dim light of...wherever I was. I noticed shapes standing around me. People. They came more into focus.
I saw Auriel, Tess, Orville, Raven, and...Nate?
"Where am I?" I moaned.
"Don't worry," Auriel said, putting her arm on my shoulder, "You're safe."
I took a deep breath and settled back down, "What happened?"
"The Empire was expecting us," Auriel said, "Everyone on the surface was captured, except Nate. You fell unconscious and we had to drag you back here. By the time we got you here, you were almost dead...the wound was pretty bad. But, we stabilized you and now you're going to be all right."
I took another deep breath and closed my eyes. I opened my eyes and reached into my shirt. I took out the envelope and dropped it on the bed.
Auriel picked it up and opened it quizzically.
"I stole this from Zaul while we were making our escape," I explained.
Auriel skimmed it, her eyes growing huge; "This is a letter from Dr. Fog to Zaul!"
"May I?" Nate asked, presenting his hand.
Auriel handed the letter to Nate and he read:
"Overseer Grimm, I would like to thank you for your exemplary effort in keeping me and my research safe from the Resistance. In gratitude, I would like to invite you to my secret laboratory in Greenshade Caverns so you may see how my experimentation is going along. Due to the threats on my freedom, I will most likely stay here until things cool down, but if you would come and review my work, you could inform Lucky of my breakthroughs. I sincerely hope you accept,
Nate lowered the letter in his numb hands.
"Greenshade Caverns!" Tess shouted, "On the Isle! We have never known where Fog's primary laboratory was, and now we do!"
"We need to go right away," Auriel agreed, "Before Zaul realizes we have the letter."
"But can we take the laboratory on our own?" Orville questioned, "There's only six of us."
Nate shook his head, "I don't think this is an opportunity we can pass up. I agree with Auriel."
Raven spoke up, "But what if Zaul planted the letter specifically for us to find it? What if this is another trap?"
Nobody spoke for a long time.
"I don't think we have a choice," I said, "If we don't attack now, Fog could slip through our fingers once again. We can't pass this up," I got out of bed and stood up, "The pain is going away, I'm feeling better already."
Tess smiled, "That's Aether for you."
Nate paced around, "Well, the votes are four to two in favor of going," he stopped and looked at me, "You said 'we,' when you referred to us."
I frowned, "I guess I did."
Nate nodded, "Auriel told me about your brave feats. We will do this mission, but we must do one thing first."
I stood in the center of the meeting room. Other Resistors stood around me, and Nate stood right in front of me.
"I, Nathaniel, give to you, Wolfe, this badge and uniform. Serve the Great Engineer and the Scarlet Man with all of your heart and soul and spirit. Welcome to the Resistance."
Rayna read the latest entry in her notebook for the third time. She laid the notebook gently on the bed, new tears wetting her eyes. She heard a knock on the door.
Zaul entered the room. Rayna stood up immediately, "Overseer Grimm!" she saluted.
"At ease," Zaul said.
She sat down on her bed, closing the notebook, "Is there any word on Wolfe?"
"He was here, this morning."
Zaul nodded, "He was working with the Resistance, trying to kidnap Doctor Fog."
"I can't believe that. Wolfe would never work with the Resistance."
Zaul waved his hand, as if dispersing the disbelief, "Numerous automatons recorded his presence. There is no shortage of evidence."
Rayna looked down, "...Why? Why would he do such a thing."
"I saw him, Rayna," Zaul said.
She looked up.
"He looked...different. Almost like he wasn't in control. Almost as if...the Resistance was controlling him."
She shook her head, "That doesn't sound like Wolfe...how would they be controlling him?" she seemed worried.
"Many ways," Zaul explained, "Threats, mind-controlling drugs, I've heard that Aether can control your mind and strip you of your memories."
She took in a sharp breath, "Then, is there any hope for Wolfe?" she rubbed her notebook.
"I believe so...but I'll need your help."
Rayna stood, her notebook in her hands and her gaze set on Zaul, "Tell me what I need to do."