Chapter Thirty-Four – You Didn’t Have a Choice
“Please help,” a familiar voice rasps. “Help us.” Jaha.
The impotent feeling fuels rampant anxiety. Bellamy doesn’t know what to do with Heaven because he knows this isn’t going to be good. But he can’t not do anything. Like Kane pointed out—this is who he is. He has to help.
He sets Heaven on a crate. “Stay here,” he says firmly. She gets the idea, pulling in her knees, squishing Bae to her chest. Good. She’ll stay. He hopes.
There’s a barrel of water off to the side marked as clean. Probably for the crew to drink while they’re working. Bellamy grabs a bucketful and braces himself.
Six people, including Jaha, sprawl out in various states of duress. It’s worse than anything he expected. Worse than Pendleton. He gags but pushes forward towards the least wounded. The ones that might be saved.
Jaha looks up at him with unseeing eyes. “Help.”
“They’re coming. Here.” He puts the bucket in front of Jaha’s shaking hands. The man cries out when he splashes the water onto his skin but doesn’t stop.
Bellamy searches for another container. He doubts it will help any, but he feels useful. He finds a plastic crate that he fills for the next victim—a woman he knows only as Six. The others look barely able to move. Bellamy gives up on buckets, dragging the half-empty barrel over to the group. One has already died.
He yanks the walkie from his belt. “Abby, where the hell are you? We need medical in the observation room. There are wounded.” His hands shake as he pours water on a man—a kid, really. The boy barely moves, his skin blistered. His lips repeat unheard words, reminding Bellamy of Pendleton in his last moments. Kill me. Bellamy keeps working for a few minutes before returning to the radio. “Abby!”
“We’re here!” she shouts from behind him. He glances over his shoulder as the medical team rushes in with gurneys and equipment. They’re loud and fast. Bellamy barely has time to stumble out of the way. Abby doesn’t even ask what happened, just shouts orders at her team.
There’s nothing left for Bellamy to do except be in the way now. He returns to the crate, heart heavy, but Heaven is gone. Not now. Don’t do this now. Through the thunder and the screams and yelling, he hears a little sniffle. Relief floods his system as he searches between the crates. Heaven is curled into a ball in the corner, face stained with tears. He doesn’t blame her—he wants to cry, too.
“It’s going to be okay, sweetheart. Come on out.” Heaven crawls over, dragging Bae behind her. She immediately clings to his neck, nearly pulling out his hair above his collar. Bellamy winces but doesn’t stop her. At least he knows he’s alive if he can still feel pain. He honestly doesn’t know if that’s good or bad. Being alive. What does that even mean anymore? “Let’s get out of here.”
Out in the hall, Bellamy leans against the wall, trying not to vomit up the little breakfast he ate. More people rush past to help. He takes a few more settling breaths then leaves on shaky legs.
Turning the corner, he sees Raven limping his way as fast as her busted leg will take her. Bellamy hurries up, grabbing Raven’s arm and pulling her away from the carnage. “You don’t want to go in there.”
She thrashes against his grip. “Let me go!”
“I don’t think so.”
“Those are my people, Bellamy, I need to help.” Tears roll down her cheeks. “This- this is my fault.”
His grip tightens. “No, it’s not.”
She continues to struggle. “You don’t understand. I sent them out there. My decision got them hurt. I need to check on them.”
“You think I don’t understand? That I don’t know what it’s like to make hard decisions? You think I was okay with arming a bunch of kids and sending them into a war? I get it, Raven.”
“You didn’t have a choice.” She sniffles, her resistance waning.
“And neither did you. Someone had to fix the transformer, and don’t say it should have been you because as much as it sucks to lose those people, it would have been worse to lose you. We will not survive five months, let alone five years, without you keeping this place running.” He pulled her closer. “Don’t do this to yourself, Raven. It won’t help them.”
Raven collapses against him. “I killed them.”
“No, you didn’t—the storm did” He wraps an arm around her shoulders and guides her back to engineering.
She trembles in his grasp. “How many made it inside?”
Bellamy forces a lump down, not sure if he should tell the truth or try to make her feel better. He’d want the truth, though. Give it to me straight so I have all of the facts up front no matter how painful they are. “Six,” he whispers into her hair. “Jaha, Six, and a few others.”
Raven cries into his shoulder. He doesn’t know what to do with her like this. Raven’s one of the strongest people he knows. Seeing her broken feels wrong. Flips his world upside down.
When they get to engineering, Bellamy sets Heaven on a table. She watches them quietly, thumb in her mouth. She shouldn’t be here. This isn’t any kind of life for a child. He squeezes her knee to reassure her; Heaven wraps her free hand around his finger.
You can’t do this to her.
Raven takes a ragged breath and wipes the tears from her eyes. “What do I do now?”
Bellamy rolls over a stool for her to perch on. “We wait. Let Abby do her thing. Then-”
“Right.” She takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. He doesn’t have to tell her the chances are slim that anyone survives. She knows better than anyone. “And after that?”
“I don’t know.” Bellamy stares at one of the lights until the image is burned into his vision. “They died heroes, Raven. Despite the danger, despite the high chance the storm would turn, they stayed out there. Even after the rain started, they continued to work until the lights came back on.”
They’re all quiet, lost in their thoughts. The silence relaxes Heaven. She crawls across the table to explore a box of junk collected from outside. Occasionally, she pulls out an item to inspect further, nose scrunched.
“She’s adorable,” Raven says, softly.
“She’s been good for you, Bellamy.”
Bellamy cringes, looking anywhere but at Raven. “I don’t-”
“She has. Before you found her, you were, I don’t know, so down. Lost inside yourself. It’s nice to see you smiling again.”
He shrugs. “It doesn’t matter. Indra’s going to find a Grounder to take her in.” He considers telling her about the curse, but she has enough on her mind. “She’d never let me keep her.”
Raven shakes her head. Before she can comment further, Bellamy redirects the conversation. “What are we going to do about the transformers? We can’t have them outside once the Death Wave comes.”
She sighs, but he’s not sure if it’s from frustration or the change of subject. “The only reason we have them is because the station was such a wreck with broken connections everywhere, but we’ve been working on the wiring since then and have set up a substation in the storage bay.”
That’s some good news.
“It’ll be a few days before we can get back out there and reroute from the transformer completely.”
Bellamy frowned. “The storms are getting worse. We’re going to have to close the doors soon.”
“I know that. But if we don’t disconnect from outside, we’re screwed.”
He didn’t push further because he knew Raven was thinking the same thing as him—they’ll have to send people up, possibly to their deaths. Instead, he slides another chair over and watches Heaven entertain herself with the junk box and leaves Raven to her thoughts.