It was such a pleasure to participate in Mahriya’s Typewriter Project! Although I’m sad that it’s come to an end I’ve had a lot of fun and learned so much. I really enjoyed it.
I thought I’d post my entry for the final task as I was particularly proud of it. I’m not very good at dystopian or post apocalyptic types of stories so I wanted to dabble a little bit and this was the result!
Leaders were meant to call the shots. Even if sometimes those shots felt wrong; they were meant to be given whether they were difficult or not. Still, as Jin stood at the top of the ridge staring out at the burning city he couldn’t help, but feel regret for the decisions he’d made earlier that day.
The only sign of movement were the slow moving flames as they licked their way from building to building slowly but surely engulfing the rubble below. He shouldn’t have sent Parker. He had a bad feeling. There was something wrong.
There was always something wrong, that was a given in their world now, but something about this particular moment just felt wholly wrong. It was necessary, he had to remind himself. Parker was the youngest, and the fastest of the five of them and knew how to slip around in the shadows. If any one of his team was to go it would be Parker.
“Anything?” He called out to the others his voice controlled, but his nerves fracturing at every angle. He didn’t for a moment tear his eyes away from the city, stupidly, feverishly hoping he could catch a glimpse of their youngest member.
“Still no direct contact. Kaern is working on re-establishing the GPS to get his location.” Mathieu replied worry biting into his tone.
“He’s fine.” Jin muttered loudly, hands balled tightly into fists. Though his voice held strong, his eyes held a different story. He had meant to reassure the others, but at that moment he was almost one hundred percent certain that it was him who needed reassurance.
Gnawing on his lower lip he squinted at the bright red and orange flames until his eyes hurt. Come on Parker. Where are you?
“Don’t you think we should go in after him?” Jakob stood off to his left, communicator dangling limply in one hand. It proved to be useless since they’d lost connection with Parker twenty minutes ago. Any efforts to reach their youngest member since then had been fruitless.
“We need to trust him. Parker’s capable. He can do this.”
His thoughts were the complete opposite of his words. It wasn’t that Jin didn’t believe in Parker’s abilities, it was the worry gnawing away at him. The fear that Parker wouldn’t come back, that he may never see the younger man again, that’s what was causing the panic that was blooming in his chest and circling around in his thoughts.
“And what if he can’t?” Jakob’s words cracked out flat like a whip.
It was blatantly obvious that Jakob didn’t think that they should just be sitting on their asses just waiting. Not at the possibility that one of their own was alone in the city, bleeding out somewhere or dead or worse captured. Jin knew that Jakob was right. He was going against every fibre in his being, not giving the order to head into the city, but as a leader he couldn’t risk the rest of the team. It was against regulations, he’d be breaking laws by allowing the others to go off in search of their youngest.
For the first time Jin pulled his gaze away the rubble of the broken city. His eyes met Jakob’s pained ones, before pressing on and looking towards the other two as well. Similar expressions painted all their faces. It was obvious the other two agreed with Jakob. They wanted to go after Parker. Their loyalty to each other ran deep, and the look on their faces made it clear that they would go after him, even if it meant going against protocol.
“Don’t pretend like you’re not worried Jin. We know that you, of all people care most about Parker returning.”
“It’s not that simple. And you know it,” he replied voice soft, and filled with defeat. He had to be a good leader. He had to protect the rest, and stick to protocol even if it meant losing someone as precious to him as Parker. Just do it. You can do it without them knowing. The four of you can go in, find Parker and get out. No one would be the wiser.
“We shouldn’t have sent him alone in the first place. But not going after him when he could be hurt or dead or captured? Does that make you a good leader Jin?” Kaern stepped forward, throwing the GPS tracker at the dirt, “That’s what you’re obsessed with isn’t it? Being a good leader?”
A bitter mocking laugh left Kaern’s lips, as Mathieu placed a hand on his arm, quietly cautioning him of his place. It was promptly ignored and Kaern stalked towards his leader with an angry defiant look swirling in his eyes.
“To whose standards are you trying to be a good leader? The higher ups? You want a raise? A promotion? More recognition? You want to look good for them?”
“Kaern.” Mathieu’s low warning fell to deaf ears. Jin stood stock still, frozen in place by the accusatory statements thrown in his face. It wasn’t easy. He wanted to go into the city, to give the order so they could go find their seemingly lost member. But if they were caught all of them would face the consequences. And he couldn’t risk that happening to them.
“He’s right. We should be going to look for Parker.” Jakob broke through the tension rising.
“You don’t understand-” “No you don’t understand.”
Kaern interrupted, “How you look to the higher ups shouldn’t even matter to you. You should be worrying about being a good leader to Parker and to the rest of us. A good leader wouldn’t leave Parker behind.”
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