Deliverance (The State) by Tom Wright by Tom Wright - Read Online

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Summary

Alliances shift as Kara teams up with Andrew, the leader of the Academics. Each are motivated by the death of a close friend, and each must face their own personal demons before they can work together effectively.

Matt, now separated from Kara, has to make a decision: Does he trust Kara's judgment about the state's atrocities, or does he return to the life he's known for so long as a soldier of the state?

Friends fight against friends as a cobalt-bomber is assigned to destroy the heart of the state's leadership. Matt, Kara, and Andrew have to decide what they stand for, what side they're on, and they have to do it before a cobalt-bomb kills the people closest to them.

Published: Tom Wright on
ISBN: 9781507014486
List price: $2.99
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Deliverance (The State) - Tom Wright

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Deliverance

Chapter 1

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Kara stared through the dragon’s window, watching water droplets stream off in thin trickles. The summer shower wouldn’t stay for long; in fact, the sun was shining again, so the water would dry off soon. Won’t stop us from collecting, though, she thought. Our most precious resource.

Her thoughts were wooden, her mind thick with pain. She returned again and again in her mind to Orem’s death. She played it back again, wondering what she should have done differently. Maybe taken the neo-engine bomb. At least I’d have taken more of them with me.

She glanced to her left where Andrew sat at the dragon’s controls. She expected to feel rage when she saw him, but couldn’t summon any anger. The fury she’d felt in enemy territory was all gone. All she had now was… loss. Kara squeezed her eyes shut to keep from crying again.

Uh, said Andrew, the uncertainty clear in his voice. He glanced at her and said, The airport is just ahead.

He might be more lost than I am right now, she thought. Don’t set down anywhere near the airport. That’s asking to get shot down. Swing around… There, she said, pointing. See those fields? We can walk in from there.

Andrew squinted through the rain-splattered windshield. Seems kind of far. You sure we can’t get closer?

Positive. The resistance is tracking us now that we’re this close. She didn’t know if it was true. Frankly, I doubt it. Would’ve been true before the attacks. Now? Now we’ll have to settle on getting some supplies. I can figure him out at the same time. Kara didn’t trust Andrew enough to give him full access to the remaining resistance leadership. Not without digging a little deeper, anyway.

Andrew brought the chopper down in the middle of a weed-infested field, the chopper’s downdraft blowing mud all around it. Kara didn’t wait for the rotors to stop spinning before she unbuckled herself. She reached to release the cockpit hatch, but Andrew held out a hand, taking her firmly by the arm. Before he could speak, Kara wrenched her arm away. In the blink of an eye she pulled his pistol from his side holster, pointing it at his chest. The hate she’d expected earlier came roaring in now at full force, crashing into her. Despite the onslaught of emotion, her hand stayed steady.

Whoa whoa whoa! Andrew shifted as far away from her as he could, but was still secured by his seatbelt. He put both hands up in the air.

Kara kept the gun pointed at him, glaring. She reached for the hatch again, fumbling around for it until she found it behind her, and pulled the handle. The cockpit door pushed upward, not high enough to hit the still rotor, but enough to let her comfortably duck out.

Andrew kept his hands in the air until she was standing outside. He slowly put his hands down, but kept them in her sight. What are you doing?

She didn’t answer for a second, instead thumbing the safety on his stolen gun and sticking it in her belt. Don’t touch me. Her anger seemed to pound in time with her heart beat.

I’m sorry.

"Sorry isn’t going to bring Orem back."

I loved Orem. I tried to stop them. I-

He’d still be here if it weren’t for you.

Andrew sighed. Maybe. Maybe not. Can I get out without you shooting me?

She reached in and grabbed her rifle where it had been stowed between her seat and the door. Once secured, she nodded. Andrew climbed over her seat, jumping out of the chopper. Look, he said, I’m sorry I grabbed your arm. But we need to figure something out. We can’t work like this.

She dropped her rifle to her side. Her voice was quiet, but strong. Just don’t touch me. Not after what happened to Orem.

He nodded, and she asked, What happened to Matt?

Can we talk while we walk? After she nodded, he asked, Then where to?

Straight to the airport. If we keep our guns down, we should get picked up by the resistance instead of shot.

They trudged through the slick grass, burrs sticking to their pant legs from the healthy amount of weeds they waded through. The rain stopped, and now it was just humid, the air feeling dense. The mugginess made her want to slow down, but they were losing too much water to sweat as it was, so she picked up the pace.

Matt’s in the hospital right now, Andrew said. Hopefully nothing more than a broken leg, if that. He jumped off the second floor stairs. His voice hinted of his pride for his soldier. That takes some guts.

How did you get him to trust you? Won’t the Academics kill him? She voiced what she’d been thinking since she saw Andrew. Why didn’t you kill him?

I realized why he was there. He’d come for Orem. It gave me the perfect excuse. If I could get Orem out under the guise of a resistance attack, it could all go back to normal.

Kara shook her head. What are you talking about? What could go back to normal?

Me to the State, Orem to the resistance. At her confused look, he said, "I meant it when I said I didn’t want him to die. Orem was a father to me. We fought this whole war trying not to kill each other. Always