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Alone, except for a bunch of pigs.
It takes me a while to catch my breath as I sit on my knees, bent over the wet sand. My eyes fall on the reddened scar on my ankle. Two’s symbol.
I almost laugh.
There were nine of us and now there are seven, and we’re the ones who are supposed to defeat the Mogadorians. An entire army of aliens. And so they sent us to Earth with fragile protectors and scattered us across the globe. Hoping what? That at least one of us would survive?
The rain beats down on me. I feel like my head’s going to explode—like something’s got to burst out of me. I shout from somewhere deep inside. The two palm trees nearest to me splinter in half under the power of my Legacy.
I BURY REY IN THE FOREST.
I wanted to send him out to sea—to put him in the sailboat and just push him out. I remember seeing that in some movie about Vikings once, and Rey taught me the basics of sailing. But I was too afraid the currents would push him back to the beach. That I’d wake up one morning and find his body washed up on the shore, eyes pecked out by seabirds and body shriveled up like jerky. I couldn’t see that.
Burial seemed like the only solution. I couldn’t just leave him out in the elements as something for the little green lizards to pick at. So I find a place where there’s enough open land—once I’ve cleared away a few bushes—and start in with the shovel. Digging his grave is the hardest work I’ve done in a long time. Under different circumstances I’d joke that this was Rey’s last laugh—finally getting me to do some hard labor. But I miss him too much to do that.
The rain doesn’t let up. For every shovel of mud I scoop out, twice as much floods back in rivers of brown. Before I even realize I’m doing it, I’m punching into the earth with my newfound power, mud coating my body and face. I use my telekinesis to burrow out the rest of the hole and keep the mud back.
And then, once he’s in the bottom, I let all the mud and sand and earth and water fall in over him. His body is covered almost instantly.
I carry on, alone on my island, through the wet season. Rey has taught me well—how to survive off the land—even if I didn’t realize he was doing it at the time. I know which plants to eat, and how to keep our shack dry on the inside as the sky continues to dump rain on me day after day. I continue running, and training—more so than I ever did when Rey was alive.
I keep thinking that someone will show up. If the Garde’s deaths are burned into my leg, is it the same for the Cêpans? Will Rey’s mark show up on the Loric guardian who’s looking after Three? Or Four? Will one of them come and find me and tell me what I should be doing next?
But no one does.
And after weeks—maybe even months—of waiting for something to happen, I know what I have to do. Rey told me to stay on the island until I was stronger, but he didn’t know about my power. I am stronger now. Besides, he also told me to survive, and if I’m going to do that, I’m going to have to leave. If I stay, I’ll go crazy.
Technically I can do whatever I want. I’m free. There’s no one looking after me. I’m alone.
I can go anywhere I want.
Martinique. It was the last island we were on. I didn’t mind it there. And it’s close. Or at least, it seemed close when we sailed from there.
On a day when the rain finally starts to die down, I act.
I empty out Rey’s pack and stuff it with some rations. It goes in the sailboat, alongside all the coconuts I can find and several canteens of water. Once I’m on the big island . . . well, I’ll have plenty of time at sea to figure out what to do next. Maybe I’ll try to track down the Garde. Maybe I’ll just find a way to get back to Canada and that home I so liked when I was a kid.
I toss my duffel into the boat, along with my Loric Chest. I take Rey’s big, broad straw hat to keep the sun off me. There’s no lower deck to the boat, so I’ll be exposed the whole time I’m at sea.
My last act is to break down the hog fence. I do it with a single burst of telekinetic power.
They’ll be fine, I tell myself as they reluctantly cross over the broken wooden slats and onto the beach. They’ll get a taste for all those lizards running around.
It takes me a few tries to get the two sails up on the little boat, and even longer to try to read the sea map I find on board. There are no markings in the place where I think our little island is, but I’m sure that Rey always said we were just east of Martinique. There’s a compass and a telescope in the drawer as well—all the things an amateur sailor could need.
I want to leave immediately, but I have to wait for high tide, and that means I have to sit around rethinking my decision until dusk. Finally, the ocean rolls in under the boat, and I use my power to push off into the water. Then I work on adjusting the sails to the direction I need to be going. By the time I get the course set it’s almost completely dark, the moon and stars obscured behind thin clouds. I can barely see our island as I turn back for one last look at it. I wave, even though I know there’s no one there to see it.
The boat and I sail into the black night.
I wake up confused, unsure of where I am at first.
I’d meant to stay awake the whole night—by my guess, it shouldn’t have taken all that long to get to Martinique—but after working the sails and using my power so much, I must have passed out leaning against the wooden dock.