Chapter 1: Jus drein jus daun
The sun was setting but instead of the breathtaking hues of orange, purple, red and yellow that she had grown to love in her wondrous, albeit short time on earth, black clouds started to rapidly fill the previously clear sky.
If she had been a superstitious person it may have felt like a warning, an omen even, alas she wasn’t, so instead, she just rejoiced and marveled at the opportunity to feel one more time the icy rain that was sure to follow.
The earth had never ceased to amaze her, even when fighting for her life she had taken the time to admire everything that surrounded her; the trees, the lakes, the flowers, hell she had even come to appreciate the mutated animals. Everything was vibrant and full of life, it tasted like freedom and endless hope, a dazzling contrast to the gloomy, monochrome and structured life in the ark.
Another memory assaulted her already overloaded brain. A brunet with intense green eyes and a smile that put the glorious sun to shame, her Heda, her Lexa; so strong, so stern, unyielding and ruthless yet delicate, gentle and loving at the same time. A contradiction in itself, a puzzle she quite never finished solving. Lexa was everything she had never known she wanted but now could never live without.
She was so lost in her memories and pleasant dreams of her lover, of their stolen moments full of all-consuming love, lust, and longingness that she didn’t even feel the first’s cuts to her biceps, forearms and legs, it wasn’t until a gona strike her in the chest that pain started to register on her brain.
Death by a thousand cuts; the bloodiest and most painful way to die, incisions shallow and precise enough to draw blood and extend the torture for hours, bringing agony and despair but not the relief of death. The irony of dying like this wasn’t lost on her, she killed Finn to spare him pain and now she suffered his predestined fate. Karma was really a bitch.
Her eyes were wide open and her chin held up in proud defiance, she wouldn’t allow them the satisfaction of breaking her, she embraced her death with such an unwavering confidence and poise than even the most seasoned warriors held their breath for a few seconds, whether in fear or admiration, she would never know. Clarke managed a small and pained smirk, she had finally gained their respect, she wasn’t a weakling, a defenseless child they could bully and torment to their heart's content, only the toughest and more unyielding warriors could resist until the end.
Titus slowly but steadily approached her. No matter how much he tried, his face couldn’t hide the awe and astonishment he felt. The Fleimkepa never held Clarke in high regards, he believed her weak, a distraction to Lexa’s path of grandiose yet now he had to recognize he had been wrong; hot-headed and impulsive, yes, but not weak. Clarke Griffin was anything but weak.
At the sight of the bald man, bile rise in her throat, traitorous and spineless coward. How dare he show his face today?. He chided Lexa for her choices, urged her to correct what he perceived as mistakes yet he wasn’t even man enough to admit his own misdeeds. In a fit of rage he tried to murder her and accidentally kill Lexa yet he accused Clarke and made her pay for his crime.
“Lexa would be proud of you” Shame, sorrow and guilt, irradiated from the man like waves, the once proud Flamekipa was reduced to a broken shell of a man. With one careless, and frankly stupid, action, he had not only snuffed the life of the woman he had vowed to protect, the closest thing he had to a daughter, but also condemn her lover to the worst of fates.
She idly considered mocking him for it but instead of acknowledging his words she just looked him in the eyes, a perverse satisfaction filled her entire being when her cold, murderous stare, made him flinch and lower his gaze.
“Have the decency to honor her and look at me murderer”. Her ragged words coming in pants, punctuated by blobs of blood leaving her lips, were enough to give her a small reprieve from the torture. She effortlessly saw that her spiteful words planted the seed of doubt in her executioners, good, maybe Titus will be the next and finally pay for his felony.
Ontari was stunned and, despite herself, amazed at the woman in front of her. She had expected to rejoice with pathetic whimpers and supplications, hoped to hear screams and pitiful pleads for mercy but the skygirl endured her punishment silently and faced her death with a grace and stoicism few could brag to possess.
Her original plan had been to massacre all the skykru while the blond watch tied to the post, unable to do anything but weep for them but despite her ruthlessness she couldn’t do it. Not out of kindness and certainly not compassion but out of admiration, against all odds, Clarke Griffin proved herself to be a worthy opponent. A fierce leader and even strongest warrior.
As soon as the night blood raised her sword to deliver the final blow, Clarke allowed a small and grateful smile to graze her lips, somehow through all this madness she gained Ontari’s respect and that spared her the fate of watching the slaughter of the Arkadians. The skykru guards, no matter how many guns they had, were no match for an army of ruthless, bloodthirsty, Azgeda warriors.
When the double edge sword pierced her heart Clarke’s eyes briefly flashed red and a deep, frightening voice rumbled from inside her.
“I’m Wanheda and my spirit won’t rest until I find you again ai hodnes"
Chapter 2: Meeting with an old friend
Getting re-acquainted with an old friend might not always be pleasant but this time it's definitely a welcome surprise.
Besides the usual disclaimer, I want to add that there is a quote from one of my favorite books of all times... bonus points for whoever spots it.
“Prisoner 319, your food” a metallic voice reverberated through the walls of her small prison.
Clarke was so familiar with the routine that she didn’t even need to hear it to know what would happen.
First the familiar creaking of the door and the light steps of the guard, who didn’t dare enter the room for safety reasons. That would be followed by the unmistakable jingling of a plate thrown carelessly on her floor and finally the resounding tap of the guard’s hurriedly receding footsteps, eager to finish feeding the prisoners to be finally relieved of their tedious shift.
“I should try to eat something”.
She had learned early on that refusing to eat the prison food, which was worse than anything she had tasted before, only lead to a beating or some other form of punishment and she wasn’t eager to experience that any time soon. She still had phantom pains in her back from the last electric whipping she received.
The blonde tried to open her eyes but the sensory overload that assaulted her was unmanageable; her ears were ringing so loud that she was sure her eardrums had shattered.
After the first attempt to incorporate herself she became acutely aware that trying to sit on the bed hadn’t been a smart choice either, a wave of nausea invaded her and been unable to fight it she ended up falling to the floor.
All her muscles ache like she had run for hours without stopping, her head was throbbing painfully and her heart was pounding so fiercely that for a second she feared it would break out of her chest. Was this how dying felt like?
She had no idea how much time she spent on the cold, metallic floor, curled up like a baby. It could have been a minute or even hours, she was too disorientated and too worn out to care.
Soon her sobs turn into a loud wailing, why didn’t the pain stop?. Surely someone must have heard her by now, most guards were cruel towards their prisoners but even they wouldn’t let her die like this, would they?
A fog started to envelop her mind, everything was hazy and slightly out of focus but at least the brutal and relentless pain she felt before seemed to be fading.
Her pulse started to slow down and the soreness lessened a bit but she was exhausted and didn’t have the strength to keep fighting so she just closed her eyes and gave up.
A rapidly fired sequence of brief flashes started to dance behind her partially closed eyelids
Blood, so much blood; in her hands, her face, her clothes, just about everywhere. Why was it black? That made no sense, blood is red.
A two headed deer, green trees and fresh air. The earth. So deadly but so magnificent at the same time.
Grounder Warriors, armed with spears and deadly swords. Thousands of them.
Metal chains chuffing her wrists, making them bleed.
Titus grief-stricken and fearful expression
Life slowly draining from her
Ontari’s malevolent smirk
A gleaming double edge sword
Breathtaking green eyes
A roaring cry emerged from her already sore throat. “Lexa!”
No longer feeling like she was dying, Clarke took a second to scrutinize her surroundings; shiny metallic floor and walls, a few art supplies scattered aimlessly and an untouched plate of food. She was in her sky-box, there was no doubt of that.
Was any of what she had just seen, real? It had to be. She couldn’t have made it up, could she? No, it had felt so vivid that, no matter how far-fetched and ludicrous it sounded, it had to be real.
Lexa couldn’t be a figment of her imagination, she just couldn’t. For some reason even the possibility of that filled her with unspeakable dread.
Was her mind playing a trick on her or her prison was even colder than before?. Even wrapped in her comforter she was freezing, she tried rubbing her hands together to generate some warm but it yielded no results.
“You are finally awake my little child” a gravelly voice whispered
“Who are you? Are you even real? Or this is just happening inside my head?"
"Of course it is happening inside your head, but why should that mean that it is not real?”
“That makes no sense whatsoever”
“Don’t you feel me?”
“In your soul Clarke”
“This is getting weirder by the minute”
“Search your soul for something that shouldn’t be there. Something that you had never felt before until today”
“Are you the reason why I’m freezing?”
“Sort of, yes. It takes time for the human body to get used to”
“Get used to what exactly?”
“Me, obviously”. The voice sounded amused this time.
“Ok, I’m definitely coming down with something. Maybe it’s the flu. But the flu doesn’t provoke hallucinations, does it?” Just in case she would check with her mother in her next visit.
The voice laughed loudly. It was pleasant and oddly comforting, like the embrace of an old friend.
“You are not sick Clarke”
“Of course I’m sick, I’m hearing things that are not here”
“We already went through that. I’m in your head, yes, but I’m very much real”
“Who are you?”
“You don’t remember me, do you?”. The voice sounded disheartened and even a little saddened by this revelation.
For some reason that she couldn’t exactly comprehend Clarke wanted the voice, whoever she was, to be joyful again. She wanted her to laugh, like she had done just moments before.
“For not knowing who you are, for forgetting you”
“Oh Clarke, you shouldn’t worry about me”
“But I do, I don’t really know exactly why but I care for you”
“Your soul is already merging with mine, that’s why you care”
“My soul is doing what?”
“You might not consciously recall who I am but your soul does, that’s why it accepted our bond so fast”
“Relax, breath slowly and let your mind go blank. What do you see?”
Another flash. Red eyes, a gravelly voice that didn’t belong to her, speaking in Trigedasleng, a language she could barely comprehend.
“I’m Wanheda and my spirit won’t rest until I find you again ai hodnes”
“So everything was real? The earth? Lexa?”
“Yes, those aren’t dreams, they are your memories”
“But how?… why?”
“With your last breath you called for me and I came to your aid”
“Why didn’t you show yourself before?”
“You felt responsible for everything that happened down there, even for the events that were out of your control. You were filled with such an unbearable guilt that I couldn’t have shared your soul even if I wanted to”
“What happens now?”
“Now darling you make sure we live, not just survive this time”
Chapter 3: Sadness flies away on the wings of time
We have a strange relationship with sadness. Despite it being one of the most fundamental emotions that we experience, it’s something that is often not discussed, and certainly never encouraged but sometimes all we need is to let it all out.
Hi! First I want to apologize for not updating sooner.
Truth is my mother had a stroke at about 15-20 days ago and I became her, somewhat unwilling, 24/7 nurse. Don't get me wrong I love my mom but our relationship has always been a bit complicated and her frustration at not recovering fast enough is frying my, already quite delicate, nerves and exhausting all my patience.
To make up for the long wait, and for the fact that I seem incapable of writing chapters longer than 1100-1300 words, I decided to post 2 chapters together.
Hopefully this will help keeping your pitchforks and angry rants away for a little longer.
A little clarification to make things less confusing: Italic - Wanheda's voice, remember that, for now, it's all in Clarke's head. If it somehow manifests in the outside world I will let you know.
31/1 - I posted this again cause I realized it had a few gramatical errors. It doesnt really change anything plot wise.
A loud obnoxious horn blared in the distance, interrupting her pleasant dreams. Clarke watched through her little window, half expecting to feel the sun shining on her face or for the moon to delight her with its ethereal glow, but all she saw were familiar metallic walls and sour looking guards.
It had been troublesome for Clarke to adjust again to the routine of keeping track of her day with her watch as the only aid. Morning and night were exchangeable terms in the Ark, their schedule was dictated by efficiency and practicality rather than natural phenomena’s like sunrises or sunsets.
She never told another soul, not even Lexa, but the first time she woke up in the earth, with the warm rays of the sun caressing her skin she panicked, for a split second her mind believed she was burning alive. Until she arrived in the earth the sun had been a giant star that the Ark orbited around, the closest interaction they had with it where the solar flares, but even then they couldn’t really feel it, they just factually knew that they had to be checked for radiation poisoning. Ironically it wasn’t until she was further away from it that she got to actually experience its heat.
Sitting in her bed, hugging her knees, she let herself cry for the first time since she woke up in her new reality. She cried for Lexa and for the life they never got to live together, she cried for herself and the atrocities she had been forced to commit but mainly she cried for everything she had been deprived of since she left the earth.
She wept for the simple things, the unimportant, trivial or meaningless events that every grounder took for granted yet for her had been the most marvelous, wonderful and awe-inspiring experiences of her short life.
She yearned for the moonlight, for the forests with so many shades of green that her paintings could never bring justice to. She wanted to rejoice again with the melody of birds singing with the sunrise. She ached with the need to feel the rain falling down on her face and the wind blowing her hair. She craved the pure air, unlike the fabricated one of the Ark, to fill her lungs once again.
“Mourn your loss, let it all out little one, otherwise grief will consume you”
Memories started to dance in her head. No matter how hard she tried it seemed that every decision she made lead to pointless deaths or someone injured; 300 hundred warriors burned alive by her orders, all the inhabitants of the mountain boiled by radiation, Murphy hanged by a crime he didn’t commit, Lincoln –the purest and most gentle soul she had ever met- tortured for defending himself. Names kept popping up in her mind like an endless list of pain and suffering; Charlotte, Finn, the villagers Finn massacred while looking for her, Anya killed by the Arkers, Pike slaughtering grounders because she had been too much of a coward to face her reality and had run away… and Lexa, the biggest failure of them all, so much wasted time, so many regrets.
“Embrace all the pain, self-hate, guilt and shame you once felt and let them be your strength. Even the worst of situations taught you a lesson, they shaped the person you are now and the one you will become”
After what felt like hours the sobs finally ceased, she felt lighter and more in peace with herself than she had felt in months, the blonde couldn’t, wouldn’t, forget everything that happened but she could finally forgive herself for it. With a renewed sense of purpose and hope igniting a flame in her heart she decided to take the first steps in forging a better future.
“Sleep now little one, you will need all the strength you can muster up”
At first, it had been quite discombobulating and even a bit alarming to share her body, her soul, with someone else but the presence that once felt unnerving was now soothing and comforting, like a blanket on a chilly day or the hug of an old friend you hadn’t seen in a long time.
After eating her dinner, a tasteless porridge and a piece of old bread, the blonde sat on the floor and began the meditation and breathing exercises that Wanheda taught her.
“For us to succeed it’s imperative you train your mind as well as your body”
When she finished her meditation Clarke began the physical aspect of her training, it was tedious and at times gruesome task but she quickly learned to push away her discomfort and soldier on.
In the few months, she had been on earth her muscles had grown exponentially fast; abundant food and constant physical activity had been the catalyst for that development. This time around she vow to herself that she wouldn’t arrive unprepared, instead, she planned to hone her physique to the standards of an elite grounder warrior. To achieve her goal she needed to condition her body not only to withstand pain and fatigue but to survive with meagre rations of food, resources were thin in the ark and the council wouldn’t waste more than necessary on expendable prisoners.
Despite the small space available, she followed Wanheda’s instructions, at best as she could. The first few days her whole body felt on fire and her muscles had been so sore from the strain she put on them that she barely had the strength to crawl to her bed, where she promptly passed out until the alarm announced the begging of a new day. She didn’t let this discourage her, instead, she used it as motivation to improve and a way to keep a benchmark of sorts to asses her progress.
After getting used to the vigorous exercise the blonde easily stablished her new routine; breakfast, meditation, lunch, physical exercise and then dinner, promptly followed by dreamless sleep. She was exceedingly grateful to be so exhausted that she didn’t have time to dwell on anything but following the steps she had set for herself.
If she had learned something in the previous time-line was that been in solitary confinement, with nothing to do but look at the ceiling, was that your mind became your biggest enemy. Devoided of meaningful human interaction, aimlessly wandering through your memories, over analyzing everything, replaying every bad decision you ever made in a constant loop. It was no wonder that most of the prisoners in solitary try to commit suicide or became so mentally unstable that they had no hope of ever integrating in the Ark society again.
Before, in what she had begun to call the other time, she had focused on art to occupy her time and scape her cruel and maddening reality. Her mother had sent her drawing materials and she had used them to paint every last inch of her cell; her walls and floors, even the metal bed, had been covered with drawings of the earth, what she had known about it at least, flowers, animals and every other thing she had seen in her books.
This time around, while her mother once again sent her art supplies, she didn’t bother to use them. Not only was she too exhausted to even try but she also had to restrain herself from drawing things she had actually seen on Earth and what was even harder she had to keep under control the urge of drawing Lexa, her heart ache to see her again and her fingers itched to try and recreate her beauty. In the end, she concluded that the titanic effort needed to curve her desires outweighted the potential benefit. The only thing that made her miserable about her decision was knowing that this time around her mother would have nothing left to remember her by.
Abby had confided in her that she had her old prison cell closed down, to preserve the last memories of her and that she would sit in there every time she was overwhelmed by her responsibilities, or whenever she felt hopeless about the Ark situation or worried about the wellbeing of the 100. Her mother confessed that being surrounded by her drawings brought her piece of mind and a sense of calm that allowed her to soldier on with her duties as a council-woman.
Chapter 4: Secrets only we know
“I will not rest until I find you again my love” The blonde mumbled under her breath, mindful of the man a few feet behind her. She hoped that somehow her words would reach Lexa, even if the brunette had no idea who she was yet.
For a future reference, this is the timeline I'm working with:
2054 - Becca descends to Earth with A.L.I.E. 2.0
2128 - Lexa kom Trikru is born.
2131 - Clarke Griffin is born.
2144 - Lexa (16) ascends as Heda - Time since Becca: 90 years
2147 - Costia dies. I'm gonna be honest, the show never mentions exactly when she died so I totally made this date up.
2149 - The 100 are sent to Earth
Clarke: 17 (a few months shy of 18)
“Prisoner 3-1-9 face the wall” a guard called from her door. Clarke placidly complied with the request, grateful that the guard assigned for this particular task was kind and known for treating prisoners with respect, something quite uncommon in the ark. It seemed that brute strength and lack of compassion were unspoken pre-requisites when selecting people to fill the security force.
Been one of the “privileged ones”, as many of the 100 used to call her, certainly had perks; she wasn’t treated better or given more food but, at her insistence, her mother had convinced Jaha to allow her out of her cell. The chancellor was wary of the request but he felt he own it to them after floating Jake and so he had given her an hour, once a week, it wasn’t much, in fact, it was laughable at best, but it was what she had been given and she wouldn’t complain, least of all he decided to take it from her. In exchange for that “merciful concession”, she had to keep silent all the time and was forbidden to interact with anyone she might cross paths with.
The first time she had been let out Jaha had been apprehensive the whole time, as a fact he had barely slept the night before. To not arouse suspicions Clarke wouldn’t be cuffed and only one young guard was to be by her side the whole time, to anyone watching it would look like a late afternoon, lazy stroll with a friend or possibly a romantic partner, and not a warden with her prisoner. No one outside the council and a few guards knew that Clarke Griffin had been imprisoned and he planned to keep it a secret for as long as he could.
Thelonious expected her to use her time to scape, it would be fairly easy to outmaneuver the guard and run. Knowing that, for obvious reasons, no one could actually hide in the Ark for a long time brought no comfort to the Chancellor, Clarke only needed to gain access to one of the control rooms and a few minutes to succeed in spreading Jake’s message about the failure in the systems and subsequent oxygen issues the Ark was experiencing.
When Clarke’s only request had been to be taken to the area with the best view of the earth the chancellor had been flabbergasted. What was she planning?. It was a pretty isolated corridor, used only by guards doing patrols and a few random mechanics coming and going from one station to the other.
Later that same night he extensively interrogated the guard; What did she do the whole time? Did she seem nervous? Was she looking for something? Did someone approach any of you?. To his great relief, and astonishment, the guard denied every question and conveyed that the prisoner, mindful of her restrictions, walked quietly the whole time and once they reached their destination she just put her hands on the glass walls, like she was trying to physically reach the earth, and merely stared with a wistful smile etched on her face.
At first, Jaha could not believe the man. Did Clark bribe him somehow to lie for her?. While not a practice the council encouraged, it was an open secret that many prisoners used sexual favors as a bargaining chip to improve their living conditions; an extra ration of food, another blanket, some alcohol, longer visiting hours for their family and friends, and other trivial things that made life in that hell-hole a little more bearable. When he became the chancellor he tried to put a stop to it, but no one would testify when questioned and they couldn’t prosecute anyone solely based on rumors, so the council had resorted to turn a blind eye to it.
Paranoid by his suspicions, and a little terrified at the potential disaster heading his way, Jaha enlisted the help of a lowly security tech to verify the guards’ claims. He scared the man with a possible demotion if he breathed a word about his actions and forced him to check every security camera available in that sector.
A few days later he received a little disk with all the relevant footage and a simple note scribbled on paper, nothing to report. While he did not believe the tech would lie to him, for he had nothing to gain by it, the chancellor still took the time to review all the material he had been sent.
Finally able to let out all the anxiety he had been holding in since he authorized Clarke to leave her cell, he allowed himself a few minutes to smile contentedly, maybe for once the faiths were shining upon him, absolutely everything the guard had reported could be corroborated by the camera recordings.
Weeks went by and the routine repeated itself, Jaha had planned to grill her about her strange obsession but in the end, he decided that, as long as she upheld her end of the bargain, he had no motives to intrude in her personal thoughts. He didn’t believe she would tell him the truth anyway.
Once again she stood in front of the wall, admiring the view of her beloved earth, Clarke reminisced all the little moments by Lexa’s side; fleeting kisses in the shadows, long hours filled with war strategizing and stolen glances full of lust, their last hours together making love and laughing like they had no other care in the world.
“I will not rest until I find you again my love” The blonde mumbled under her breath, mindful of the man a few feet behind her. She hoped that somehow her words would reach Lexa, even if the brunette had no idea who she was yet.
Meanwhile on the earth, in the city of Polis, the capital of the coalition, Lexa was in her room looking up at the breath-taking stars, finding comfort in the never-ending landscape of the night sky.
The brunette had always been fascinated by the firmament, ever since she was a little child, barely a few summers old, she had been intrigued by what resided beyond the confinement of the earth. What mysteries did the sky possess that they weren’t privy to?.
Bekka Pramheda, the first Heda, had come from the starts, she had arrived on earth when it was nothing more than a desolated and barren land, ravaged by the nuclear bombs and established the basis to develop the society they knew today. Sometimes she wondered if it was her destiny as the next Heda what made her be so fascinated by the stars.
In the last few months she had been even more drawn to her childhood obsession, after tiring days of settling clan disputes and endless meetings with the ambassadors residing in Polis, she could be often found in the balcony of her room absentmindedly gazing the black sky, like the cluster of stars hold the answers to all her problems. Deep in her heart, she felt like something was missing, and for some weird reason, the answer to it seemed to be hidden far away in the sky.
This particular night, exhausted and more irritated and angrier than she had ever been with the petty political games played by the clans, to get the upper hand, she let the heavens sooth her worries and lull her to sleep. She dreamt about a girl, the image was blurry and too distant to fully see her face but somehow her presence brought her an inner peace she hadn’t felt since Costia’s death a few years ago.
Chapter 5: Success is a journey, not a destination.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Here is a new chapter to start the year with the right foot!
Happy new year and my best wishes to everyone!
She had almost finished her daily exercise routine when she started hearing earsplitting noises coming from outside her cell; the other prisoners started to bang on the walls and chant, in loud and excited voices, about going to the earth.
No matter how hard they tried to disguise it with enthusiastic shouts she could easily distinguish the frightened tremors in all their voices, having honed her senses to gauge the smallest signs while reading her opponents body language in life and death battles, it wasn’t exactly hard to pick out the obvious cues.
While all of them were exceedingly happy about leaving the ark, that much was crystal clear, none of them knew if they would survive or if by some miracle they did what would exactly happen down there but even that innate fear of the unknown wasn’t enough to quell their exhilaration. Better die in the earth than live here, seemed to have become their unofficial anthem.
The guards tried to seize control of the situation in the only way they knew how, by brute force, and so they kicked, punched and shouted until all the unruly prisoners seemed to fall back in line and back down in their effervescent defiance.
Her door opened with a loud bang and two guards came in, one was twirling his shock baton in what was supposed to be a threatening way but Clarke didn’t show fear, after facing grounder warriors Taggart’s little act was laughable at best.
“Prisoners 319, face the wall.”
This time she didn’t resist them, not only she knew what was happening she also wasn’t going to give Taggart the satisfaction of hitting her again and get away it.
Clarke didn’t even flinch when the brute guard bodily check her, as a fact she allowed herself to give him a mocking smirk.
It seemed that sharing her soul with a warrior spirit allowed her natural defiance to shine even brighter than before. In the other time she had tried to keep her head down and avoid incurring the guards’ wrath, but now she didn’t even try to curve her sarcastic retorts or openly disdainful sneers.
The blonde faced any punishment given with an unmatched bravery and enjoyed toying with the guards. To their astonishment, no matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t break her and that perverse satisfaction gave her the strength to withstand anything and everything they threw at her.
“This will be the only time you can touch my body, I would enjoy it if I were you”
Angered by her flippant attitude and the blatant reminder of all the times she refused his advances while imprisoned, he pushed her against the wall, with more force than necessary, to secure her arm and put the bracelet on her wrist.
“Like it rough big boy?” she taunted him again, enjoying his growing anger. The first time she denied him she got a busted lip and another time a black eye, he didn’t need to be careful she was in solitary confinement after all.
The enraged man was about to hit her when the other guard with him stopped his raised arm before it made contact with her body.
“I will escort the prisoner from here onwards Taggart”
“Back off, she is a council member daughter’s for god’s sake. Do you want us to be floated for this?”
Clarke didn’t know whether to feel grateful or disgusted by the older guard. While he prevented her from being seriously injured before her trip to earth, which could definitely pose a problem later, he clearly knew about Taggart’s less than stellar behavior towards the prisoners and only stopped it because of who she was, her mother would surely have them both executed if she happened to find out.
When she came out of her cell the first thing she saw was her mother waiting for her. Abby looked as self-confident and beautiful as ever but the dark circles under her eyes and the hunted look in them betrayed her fear and exhaustion.
“Clarke” She said in a whisper and hugged her tighter than ever, like the older blonde was afraid she would vanish in any minute.
“It’s time, isn’t it?”
“Yes, but I’m confident everything will be ok” She tried to sound strong but her words couldn’t hide the dread she felt. She would be a lousy poker player, Clarke thought idly.
“I prefer to die in earth than be trapped in this box a minute longer”. Her words were true, if given the choice she would pick almost everyday day she spent on earth rather than life in the ark.
Black blood coated her hands, lips and every inch of her naked body. Labored breath and moans of pain filled the empty room. You were right Clarke, life is about more than just surviving . Everything was blurry, she started to sweat and shake heavily. Her breathing became erratic, only one word was on her mind, like a broken record, Lexa, lexa, lexa!
“Clarke, honey, you are having a panic attack. Focus on my voice”
Slowly but surely the haze in her mind started to ebb away. She was still in the ark and Lexa was alive somewhere in the earth. That small comfort inflamed her chest with unwavering hope and confidence. She wouldn’t fail her lover this time, her Heda will rule the coalition for many years to come, even if she had to kill everyone who opposed her with her bare hands.
Luckily her mother had no way of deciphering the real meaning behind her panic attack and attributed her sudden flair of terror and anxiety to her impending trip. Clarke just hugged her tight and reassured her that everything was going to be ok.
“What happens now?”
“First a shower and then a group of guards will escort all of you to the dropship”
Clarke nodded, absentmindedly remembering that she hadn’t gone through this part of the process the first time around since she had been knocked unconscious.
“I will see you before we go, right?”
“Of course, I wouldn’t dare been anywhere else”. You knock me unconscious before and left me alone, she thought bitterly. She shook her head to get rid of those thoughts, no matter their differences and how apart they have grown with time, Abby was still her mom and she loved her.
Once alone in the shower she took the time to scrub herself conscientiously, there would be no time later and who knows how long it would take her to find a safe lake once they arrive. Her lack of personal hygiene on earth bother her a lot more this time around. Of course between facing possible death and a bath it was no contest that washing wasn’t exactly a priority but still, she reeked… how the hell Lexa managed to ignore that it’s a mystery that she will never understand.
The prisoners were directed to a line and Clarke could see that Wells was in the front, she walked quickly to stand beside her only friend. The blond took Wells hands on her own and gave it a little squeeze.
“I know it wasn’t you who got my father floated and that you got arrested on purpose. Thank you”
The black boy looked at her in surprise but returned the squeeze and gave her a beaming smile, words were unnecessary between them.
Breaking all protocols Abby run to her daughter and embraced her a last time. The guards debated whether to act or not but remembering who the woman was, rapidly decided that there was no point in angering her and let them be.
A few of them even nodded solemnly and sympathetically, first her husband was floated and now her child was sent on a suicide mission, that no one really believed would be successful, the least they could do was allow her this little indulgence.
“I will be okay mom”
“I know you will, you have always been strong and independent. It’s me who isn’t ok”
“All prisoners take their assign seats please” a cold metallic voice said from a speaker in the wall
“I love you mom”. A lonely, traitorous tear fell from her eye. Knowing beforehand that they would survive didn’t make it any easier.
“I love you too Clarky”
After what it felt like an eternity, Clarke heard the dropship door close with a resounding bump, sealing their fate as the first of their people to travel to earth in 97 years.
She instantly intertwined her fingers with Wells who offered her a small smile as the countdown started and when it hit zero, they were launched.
Chapter 6: The beginning is the most important part of the work
The Journey to the earth is finally set in motion.
Hi! I hope everyone is doing well.
I apologize for my absence but I've been enjoying my well deserved vacations. Getting tanned and swimming in the sea... an amazing scape from reality that I plan to enjoy while it lasts.
Tonight I left my family sleeping and went to the bar a few houses from our apartment, where I'm updating while waiting for a cold beer.
Ps/ If you have already read this please ignore the re-post. I accidentally deleted it when posting another chapter.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The blonde casually looked around, everything was exactly as she remember from the previous time. Her anxiety started to flare out, what if things don’t happen the same way? What if they actually die this time?.
Clarke tried to force herself to calm down but it only seemed to make it worse. Blackspots started to swim in her vision, they were going to die on a suicide mission and she would never see Lexa again. She would never experience the touch of those callous yet exceedingly gentle hands roaming her skin, making her feel like she was on fire, she would never get to kiss those sweet lips that tasted like grounder wine and fresh fruits.
Wells, bless his soul, must have realized her state of panic because he grabbed her hands and tried to distract her.
“How are you feeling?”
She arch an eyebrow in challenge, how do you think I’m feeling?, but smiled anyway, he had always been a supportive friend, always trying to protect her, even if she hadn’t always understood nor appreciated that.
“Stupid question, sorry. Honestly I’m terrified”
“That makes two of us then” Clarke laughed at her own answer and internally thanked him for the distraction.
“I’m glad you’re here with me, Wells” And she really was, the pain that Wells death brought to her was not something she would willingly put herself through again.
Her main priority would always be Lexa but she had been granted the most amazing of gifts and she needed to keep her best -and only friend- by her side through this journey.
“There is nowhere else I rather be”
The dropship began to shake uncontrollably, a few pieces of metal fall from the walls, striking terror in the delinquents and making more than one shout and cry in desperation.
“We hit the atmosphere.” She said like last time, the last thing she needed was for massive hysteria to spread through the entire population, things would be rough enough without adding more problems to it.
A few minutes later Jaha’s video message started, God just what they needed now, she hated that pompous, self-righteous jackass.
“Prisoners of The Ark, hear me now. You've been given a second chance, and as your Chancellor, it is my hope that you see this as not just a chance for you, but a chance for all of us, indeed for mankind itself. We have no idea what is waiting for you down there. If the odds of survival were better, we would've sent others. Frankly, we're sending you because your crimes have made you expendable”
“Your dad is a dick, Wells”
“Do you want a prize for voicing the obvious?” was the fast retort to the comment.
Many, including Clarke, looked at him in surprise and more than a few in approval.
Well, that was certainly interesting, Clarke thought to herself, the first time around he just let the rude comment slide but now he was willing to stand up for himself.
Was she unknowingly making changes?. Hopefully having her support and friendship meant that Wells wouldn’t let anyone make him a target for their missplaced anger and hate.
“If, however, you do survive, those crimes will be forgiven, your records wiped clean. The drop site has been chosen carefully. Before the last war, Mount Weather was a military base built within a mountain. It was to be stocked with enough non-perishables to sustain 300 people for up to two years. No one ever made it there. Because we spare you no food, or water, or medicine, I cannot stress strongly enough, that Mount Weather is life”
Clarke first thought was fucking assholes, while they needed the 100 to live they were prepared to just count their deaths as necessary for the greater good of the Ark. They were expendable, barely more than a waste of space and resources and that line of thinking was the reason they felt no needed to send even basic supplies. After all, death was their guaranteed fate, with the low oxygen supplies left none of them would be pardoned in their re-trial.
For a brief second she contemplated the idea of letting all of them rot in their precious ark but then she thought of David McIntyre, embracing Harper like she was the most precious thing in the whole world, and her anger faded instantly. The population of the ark wasn’t to blame for the underhanded and cruel tactics of their council members.
Her resentment and annoyance with Jaha and the others completely evaporated when she heard the words Mount Weather, a place that still hunted her nightmares, an ever present reminder of the atrocities she had been forced to commit.
Horror and apprehension settled in the pit of her stomach when thinking of Cage Wallace and his underlings. Even Dante, with his refined tastes and gentlemanly behavior, made the bile rise in her throat, he may have speared her friends but he had no remorse whatsoever about bleeding, torturing and killing those he considered savages and inferiors.
Committing genocide, for there was no other word to describe her actions, had tainted her soul in an irreversible way and chipped away the last vestiges of her innocence. It had taken her months alone in the wild to stop trying to find a scapegoat, mainly Lexa, and hold herself accountable for her choice.
In the end she made peace with herself and while she still felt responsible for snuffing some innocent lives, the guilt didn’t drown her anymore. The worst thing of thinking about it again was that, even knowing the consequences, she wouldn’t hesitate in doing it this time around if she had to.
Shaking her head Clarke purposely refocused on the present time, there was no point in mulling over something that hasn’t happen and may or may not come to be. There were too many uncontrollable factors and variables to try and predict if the same exact future was going to play out regarding the mountain. She would defeat it, that wasn’t negotiable, but the exact how remain a mystery.
She suddenly remembered a quote she once read in one of her history books about the old word “It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time”, she couldn’t remember who said it but its meaning resonated deep within her even then and now she could relate to it even more than before.
1. The tittle comes from Plato’s most famous and widely read dialogue, The Republic.
2. The quote about destiny belongs to Winston Churchill (Prime Minister of the UK).
3. David McIntyre doesnt exist but for the sake of this fic he is Harper's father. I honestly thought about Hannah Green when I wrote this but considering she became a mass murderer I didnt think it was appropiate.
4. Clarke didnt think about Abby when she thought about letting the Ark die, that was intentional not an oversight.
Chapter 7: We are back bitches!
The adventure on earth is closer than ever before.
A big thanks to everyone who supports this fic!
It might seem stupid but your reviews and kudos are the encouragement that helps me to keep writing!.
Clarke rolled her eyes when she saw Finn floating. How had she found him charming and had even been attracted to this moron before was something she still couldn’t completely understand.
In her memory lane trips and reflections, while in solitary confinement, she concluded that it had probably been the loneliness of losing Wells, long before his death at Charlotte’s hands, and the grief for her father’s death that prompted her to cling to him like a life line.
“Spacewalker bandit strikes again.” Someone shouted joyfully, celebrating his act of defiance.
Clarke sneered at his foolishness, did he have no self-preservation instinct whatsoever?. “More like stupid bandit” She said loud enough for almost everyone to hear. A chorus of aws and ouchs was the instant reply of the other passengers.
To the blonde’s aggravation some things were meant to repeat themselves, just like before, Finn stopped in front of them while floating horizontally “Check it out. Your Dad floated me after all.” He said mockingly to Wells and laugh unabashedly like he had told the greatest joke of all times.
Clarke dismissed him easily as soon as she noticed the other two who, trying to copy Finn, started to get their seatbelts off.
“Hey you two! We are about to start landing and it will not be an easy ride. Hold tight in your seats before you break your neck trying to imitate this idiot!”
Luckily the lean built boy with short black hair and tan skin, whose name she would later learn was Glen Dickson, decided to heed her warning and stopped fumbling with his seatbelt, the other guy just rolled his eyes and started floating around carelessly. She sighed but easily put the incident away from her mind, in the end everyone had free will to make their own choices.
“Hey, you're the traitor who's been in solitary for a year”
“Yeah and you are the idiot who will get himself and that other moron killed before we find out if the earth is toxic or not”
“But it was fun” he said petulantly “I'm Finn by the way” he added while smiling, trying to be charming.
“I know who you are, you wasted a month worth of oxygen on an illegal spacewalk” She retorted with disgust. His and Raven’s careless actions had costed people their lives in the end.
Before he could say anything more she grabbed a hold of his leg and pulled him towards her. When he was close enough she hold him by his arms and forced him to practically sit on top of her.
“Trying to cop a feel princess?”
“More like saving your sorry ass” the blonde said as the ship started to tremble and shaking so hard that for a moment she thought it was gonna fall apart before they landed.
She continued to hold Finn down until they seemed to have finally hit the ground and as soon as the movement ceased she threw him to the floor like a rag doll.
The blonde rapidly made her way to the boy who had also been floating and had been thrown backwards when the dropship started to shake. Hoping against all hope she checked his pulse but exactly like before there was nothing there.
She easily saw the remorse on Finns face, his I didn’t mean for that to happen look, which she had, regrettably, been extremely acquainted with in the past. She briefly thought of comforting him but instantly dismissed the idea, she was not responsible for his idiocy and she had far more important things to do.
“Open the doors, goddammit!” This time she felt no dread at the words, instead hope and elation filled her entirely. Of course knowing the air wasn’t toxic was a big help.
“Stop, the air could be toxic.”
“Wells if the air is toxic, we’re all dead anyway.”
“Yeah, I guess you are right” he said chuckling
“Bellamy?” Everyone turned to the brunette running down the ladder. She wasted no time and fling herself to his open arms.
“My God, look how big you are” He didn’t even tried to hide the tears in his eyes and the slight quivering of his voice. Clarke was the only one in the group who knew how deep his love for his sister run and what he was willing to do for her.
“What the hell! are you wearing a guard's uniform?” everyone close to the brunet boy took an unconscious step back, the girl’s angry voice was a little frightening.
Clarke understood her reaction, there was no one Octavia hated more than Ark guards. They had taken everything from her, starting with her mother.
“I borrowed it to get on the drop ship. Someone has got to keep an eye on you”
Like you can. She thought sarcastically. Octavia was a grounder warrior at heart; independent, fierce and incredibly strong. Absolutely no one, least of all Bellamy, could stop her.
She needed to get the ball rolling if they were going to leave this place anytime soon “Where's your wristband?”
“Do you mind? I haven't seen my brother in a year”. And just like that the whispers, rude stares and even more obnoxious comments started
“Nobody has a brother.” Someone said. “That’s Octavia Blake. The girl they found hidden under the floor.” Someone else called it.
Clarke wonder if she should she do something but ultimately decided against it. Not only was Octavia was more than capable of defending herself but knowing how prideful the brunet was she wouldn’t take kindly to her interference.
“Octavia, no. Let’s give them something else to remember you by”
“Yeah? Like what?”
“Like being the first person on the ground in 100 years” Bellamy said smiling at her
Clarke could feel the tears coming to her eyes when she heard Octavia’s voice resonate deeply inside the dropship. One step closer to Lexa were the words she kept repeating in her head like a mantra.
“We're back, bitches!” Octavia yelled while jumping down from the platform onto the ground.
Chapter 8: Forging a new path
The adventure beggins
I know it's been long, too long, so I made an effort and this chapter is longer.
From now on I will try to post more regularly.
Clarke took a minute to contemplate the vibrant world around her, so different from the sterile and white Ark; the impossibly tall trees that seem to scrape the sky, the beautiful flowers and gentle rays of the sun on her face, it was like a balm for her troubled soul.
Clarke let out an audible sigh as she looked at the ground, loving the feeling of fresh and muddy earth beneath her feet. A sense of content and peacefulness settle in her heart, long gone were the nights of longing and dread, she finally came home.
No matter how dangerous and hectic their life on earth had been she couldn’t deny the immense beauty that had always surrounded them. Beauty that she hadn’t always appreciated but would never take for granted anymore.
For a second she wondered if she should try to keep things as close to the original timeline as possible but remembering how that path led to a future littered not only with mangled corpses and broken dreams but, even more important, without Lexa, she completely dismissed it.
The original future or was it the past now?. Whatever. The original something can float itself. She was not only going to survive this time, no, this time she was going to thrive and flourish while trying to enjoy the hell out of her journey towards the love of her life.
“We got problems, Clarke” Wells said distracting her from her thoughts.
She folded the map she had been pretending to study while letting her mind contemplate and discard different possibilities on what to do this time around.
Trying to plan for every contingency was not only exhausting but realistically impossible and trying to analyze every variable and predict the outcome was even more futile, as any change, no matter how little it might seem in the grand scheme of things, could screw all her careful planning.
Knowing that even the most meticulous constructed plans could fall apart Wanheda had advised her that instead of wasting precious time in useless plotting, which may ultimately lead to their premature death if wrongly executed, they only needed to focus in minimizing the risks.
“All the systems failed. A dozen panels are missing and the communication system is completely dead”
Knowing about the failure beforehand had helped to soften the blow, the first time around she had been devastated but now her mind easily shifted to another topic without dwelling on it.
“Our first priorities have to be safety, water, shelter, and food”
Wells nodded in agreement. He might not know much about survival technics in hostile environments, earth skills was his least favorite subject, but it definitely sounded like a reasonable course of action.
While everyone ran through the trees giggling and cheering, marveling at the wonders that the earth so freely offered, she fought back the urge to do the same. She owned it to them to hold firm and be a strong leader, a better leader than the first time around.
“Everyone gather around!”
Minutes later everybody was looking at her expectantly “We need to organize ourselves…”
“This isn’t the Ark Blondie, we don’t have to listen to the privileged ones like you anymore!” Bellamy said, making a few cheer and holler in approval.
Clarke sighed and rolled her eyes but let him speak his piece. Bellamy, while charismatic, lacked foresight and long-term planning, he was surely going to say something stupid, like the first time around, and she planned on exploiting that to her benefit.
The 100 were all naive in their understanding of the world around them, of the dangers that sat in the trees observing them and all the challenges they would face before been able to call the earth their home. She needed them organized and willing to cooperate, this time she was not letting their survival in the hands of luck and fate.
Luck is a capricious mistress at best, one who gives you a break every now and then but mostly just screws you over whenever you expect it the least. Organization and discipline were the keys to success.
“No more rules” We are the masters of our destiny!” Bellamy shouted
“No more council!”
“No more guards!”
“No more sky-box or floatings!"
With every word, he yelled the others began to applaud even more fervently. Excited shouts echo Bellamy’s words.
"No more rationing!"
Wells was about to intervene but the blonde stopped him with a vigorous shake of her head. Thankfully the boy listened to her or they would surely have lynched him, mobs were always dangerous and unpredictable, incensed ones like this even more so.
"No more anything!"
“That’s exactly the problem!. No more anything!”
Her words made the hollers of euphoria lower instantly. Bellamy looked at her with surprise etched in his face while Wells was nodding as if he already knew what she was going to say. He probably did, she thought, he must have realized how precarious their situation was.
“We have no protection from possible predators, no shelter, no water, no food, and no medicine. We have absolutely nothing!”. No more rules, no more morals, and restrictions. Just utter chaos. She added to herself.
The once elated crowd had become deadly quiet now. This was the moment she had been waiting for when they finally understood how difficult the days to come would be.
“I want all of you in groups of ten. When that’s ready let's divide...”
"Who put you in charge blondie?" Bellamy challenged her.
As a few others voiced their disapproval of Clarke, the blonde made a hasty decision, she would let things play out without her intervention for a little while. They wanted freedom, fine, let them figure it out for themselves that living on earth was a lot harder than living in the Ark.
Maybe if they suffer a little they will see reason and won’t fight me every step of the way. If she had dwelled on the sentiment she might have wondered where did that spiteful side of her had come from but instead, she stored it for later as this was definitely not the time for self-introspection.
“No one did, I am just saying what needs to be done for everyone to survive. The original plan was for us to arrive near Mount Weather. That's over there!" Clarke pointed to the mountain that was barely visible in the distance.
“We will never make it in one day and even if we could we have no clue about what kind of obstacles are between us and that place or even if it actually has any food"
Whispers started again. She had to remind herself that at the end of the day they were a bunch of scared children who had tasted freedom for the first time. Had she been that naïve too?. She couldn’t remember even if she tried.
“You want to be in charge Bellamy or maybe you do Atom?” The black hair boy raised his eyebrows in surprise “Yes, you, I heard you snickering and badmouthing me” He looked a little ashamed but she just rolled her eyes “Well you guys are officially in charge but don’t come crying when things get rough”
She turned around leaving the group of stunned teenagers behind.
“Where are you going?”
It didn’t surprise her that it was Octavia who called for her, out of the two Blake siblings she had always been the most level-head one.
“To look for water and food and maybe explore a little. You are welcome to join me if you want”
“Octavia stays here.”
“That’s her decision, not yours… ” Clarke started to say.
“I’m going, Bell,” Octavia said, a dangerous edge in her tone. “I’ve been locked up all my life, you are not going to lock me up too.” Bellamy grabbed her arm and started to talk to her in a harsh undertone about possible dangers.
Clarke decided to leave Octavia to deal with her brother, if she had stayed she would have ended up strangling Bellamy to death. She didn’t really miss dealing with this arrogant and over-confident version of him.
She carefully approached Murphy, maybe with a little nudge in the right direction and a hand extended in friendship he would grow out of his jackass persona faster and became the man she remembers, the one who was with her after Lexa’s death. Besides curtailing any influence Bellamy could have on him would only make her life easier in the long run.
“I’m going to see if I can find water and hunt something to eat. Do you want to come?”
He looked at her skeptically “Why me?”
“Out of everyone here you are my best chance at actually accomplishing something” The blonde said while gesturing at the other teenagers “You are a survivor Murphy, you know how to fight and truthfully I already like you for the sole reason of breaking Taggarts nose” she admitted with a sheepish smile.
“Flattery will get you everywhere blondie”
Clarke couldn’t help but sigh in relief, earning Murphy's friendship was the key to get his loyalty and trust. Out of all of the delinquents, he was the most dangerous and unpredictable one but he also proved to be resourceful and a lot more suited to grounder life than most, all in all, someone she would really like to have in her corner this time around.
“I guess there is no point in waiting for the fuckboy over there and his cronies to pull their heads out of their asses and realized how fucked we actually are. Do you have a plan blondie?”
In under a minute Wells caught up with them and a few seconds later Finn joined them too, walking beside an already smitten Octavia.
No Monty nor Jasper this time she idly noted, was Murphy's presence the reason for their absence?.
On one hand, she missed Monty, the self-proclaimed king of all things technological, with his soft-spoken ways, logical reasoning under pressure and reassuring yet not over-bearing presence.
On the other a large part of her was relieved when she didn’t see Jasper in their little hunting party, she didn’t know if she was ready to face him yet.
Clarke understood, better than most ever will, that everyone grieves in the own way and at their own pace but Jasper never even made the effort to try moving on. He held on to his sorrow and let it consume his entire being, sinking into the haze of alcohol immediately after returning from the mountain.
In the end he had become a shadow of his former self, long gone was the easy-going kid she had met, he had become lazy and cruel, lashing out at everyone around him, especially her. In his delirious mind, she was the source of everything bad that had ever befallen the delinquents, something he took immense pleasure in reminding her at any chance he had.
Sometimes on her loneliest nights, while on the run, all she could hear where his taunting and vicious words, tainted with a maliciousness she had never even suspected he possessed.
Chapter 9: Facing the wilderness
“It’s a buck” Wells whispered in awe. Clarke understood his astonishment, it was the first animal they had ever seen.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“The first thing we need to do is make some weapons, we can use sharp shards of metal from the dropship as knives and sharpen wood to make a few spears”
“Why not look for food first, there are probably plants or something around here. I’m getting hungry” Finn complained slightly
Well rolled his eyes at him “The human body can survive up to 2 weeks without food, but just 3 or 4 days without water”
“Wells is right, besides we don’t know what we can actually eat. Any animal should be safe but plants are trickier, they could be poisonous”
While working on their soon to be weapons Murphy was his usual sarcastic self and mocked everyone else, but Clarke easily spotted the disguised pride dancing in his eyes while holding his makeshift knife like one would hold a trophy.
The blonde couldn’t help but smile and compliment him on his efforts, it was going to be a long road to make him the man she knew he could be but it seemed that the little act of simply including him in her group was already paving the way for it.
When everyone was armed, except for Finn who loudly stated he was not planning to harm anything out there, they finally left the dropship landing site and started walking through the forest.
“Are you really stupid enough to walk out there without some kind of protection?”
“Not all of us are bloodthirsty savages like you Murphy”
Clarke couldn’t help but snort at that, you are far worse than Murphy ever was, she thought to herself.
When the other four turned to look at her oddly she just shrugged and dismissed them. “I agree with Murphy, it’s stupid, but alas, you can do whatever the hell you want”.
Finn rolled his eyes but John, in some sort of approval, smirked at her. She counted that as a win in her book.
Luckily the council had the decency of sending some empty jerry cans, without them they wouldn’t have anything to store water. She asked them to take one each and they finally left their camp.
Once in the forest, the boys moved ahead leaving Octavia trailing behind with Clarke. The blonde hoped that the boys wouldn´t take the same route as the first time, if they did she would just steer them in another direction, she was not planning to run into the grounders any time soon. Fortunately for her Murphy seemed to have taken the lead and he had chosen another path.
"Before you get any ideas," started Octavia "Finn's mine."
Clarke sighed before looking at her in the eyes, she needed to make sure the girl was really paying attention when she answered “Honestly, I couldn’t care less Octavia. He is not my type”. She thought about telling the brunette that Finn was already taken but she had no way of justifying that knowledge so she kept it to herself.
The blonde wanted Octavia as her friend again and knew that at this stage she needed to tread carefully, she had to remind herself that this girl wasn’t her Octavia yet. She wasn’t Linconl’s lover and proud grounder warrior, she still was the clueless, reckless and immature child who had spent her entire childhood in a small compartment under the floor, locked away and denied the most basic human rights and then her teenage hood imprisoned in a sky-box.
Clarke easily caught up with Wells and Murphy, whom, to her amazement, weren’t arguing but sharing a pleasant chat about the things that surrounded them. It was a trivial and inconsequential talk but considering what had happened before it was a hell of a lot more than what she expected.
Like before, she saw Finn plucking a flower but couldn’t stop him from putting it in her hair. Murphy and Wells snickered at his actions, oddly, they seemed to bond a little more over their shared amusement, and it was that what gave Clarke the strength to reign her anger towards the boy.
The blonde sighed in annoyance. He didn’t remember Raven at all, did he?. Clarke knew she couldn’t stop him from trying to flirt with her but she had no plans to encourage him either so she just grabbed the flower and discarded it easily, crushing it under her boot for good measure. Unfortunately, it wasn’t poison sumac this time, which would have been useful at least.
“Hey chill out princess”. Annoyance filtered in Finn’s voice at being rebuffed so succinctly but the blonde paid him no mind, she didn’t have time for his unwelcomed advances.
“I will when we are back in the camp” The sharpness of her tone left no room for any kind of argument.
Twenty minutes after the flower episode the blonde held up a hand, signaling for the others to be quiet, there was something out there. She knew it had to be some kind of animal, no grounder would have been careless enough to make those sounds and alert them of their presence.
“It’s a buck” Wells whispered in awe. Clarke understood his astonishment, it was the first animal they had ever seen.
“What do we do now?”
Clarke dropped into a slight crouch, moving forward as silently as she could, and motion for Murphy to do the same.
“When I say three we throw the spears and try to stab it”
“That is your genius plan blondie?”
“Do you have a better one?”
“Not really” he said with a shrug
“One, two, three!”
Pride swelled in her chest as their spears sunk into its target, dropping the buck. Unfortunately, it wasn't dead but it definitely wouldn't be running off.
“We did it, blondie, we actually did it!” Murphy shouted joyfully.
Clarke high-fived him before kneeling next to the buck. She wanted to spare him more pain so as fast as she could she pulled her makeshift knife across its throat, effectively killing it.
“Why did you do that?!" Finn shouted heatedly.
The contrast of his ire against the jubilant cheers of victory from the other three was almost comical to Clarke. She briefly smiled with fondness, this was the boy she had once grown to love, not the unrecognizable one he had become after playing judge, jury, and executioner, against a group of defenseless and peaceful grounders.
She shook her head to get rid of those unwanted thoughts, he might be the same but she definitely wasn’t and it wouldn’t be fair to him to lead him on, knowing that her heart belongs to another.
“This is our dinner or did you think that we just were out here for a lazy stroll?" the blonde said sarcastically
“Spacewalker make yourself useful and help Junior get water from that pond”
Clarke looked at Murphy in confusion “Junior?”
“Mini Jaha” He said simply, a little exasperated, like she should have understood without an explanation.
“Wells is not his father, you know?. Sometimes he hates the chancellor as much as the rest of us, maybe even more”
“Junior is cool but that doesn’t mean I will stop making fun of him blondie. That’s how I roll”
Clarke shook her head but let him be, Wells had never really cared about nicknames and she had more important things to do.
“Octavia, Octavia” the blonde had to call for her a few times before been acknowledged. The girl had frozen in her spot and now was looking at her in awe, like she was some sort of Goddess or something equally ridiculous.
“Can you help me find a big piece of wood?”. After getting an energetic nod in response Clarke turned to look at Murphy “Please see if you can find some vines to tie him up”
After tying the buck, which Murphy and she would carry, and filling up the cans they made their way back to camp.
While walking Clarke couldn’t help but wonder what was happening there and how much the future had been already changed by her different approach to things. In the other timeline, by this time of the day, Jasper had already been speared by grounders and after rescuing him Bellamy and she had killed a panther for everyone to eat.
2 chapters in 2 days, I'm on a roll people!
Again, thanks for all your support and encouraging words. You guys are the best!
Chapter 10: He who rides the middle of the road gets hit from both ends.
She felt a familiar pressure behind her eyelids and instinctively looked down, avoiding eye contact with Bellamy or anyone else. If she were to look in a mirror she would see her eyes briefly flashing red.
“How dare this insolent little boy challenge us like that?. We will never vow to him or anyone we deem unworthy!”
Hi! I just want to let you know that I haven't abandoned this story, fear not I'm committed to finishing it!
The title is a quote from George Pratt Shultz (American economist, elder statesman and businessman).
Once in their camp Clarke led them to a secluded corner, her primary goal was to avoid drawing unnecessary attention because if Bellamy was anything like before, chaos was sure to start anytime soon.
She was a hardened warrior but not even her extensive hand to hand combat training would be enough to overpower all the remaining delinquents, if they suddenly decided to turn on them for one reason or another, so the best course of action was to lay low and wait.
After they had sat on the floor, to rest for a little while, Bellamy spotted them and wasted no time to approach them. Inwardly cursing her bad luck, Clarke got up and faced the man, she wouldn’t let him intimidate her.
“Do you need something?”
“As a matter of fact I do blondie” Bellamy sneered “you know, it’s fitting that as one of the privileged ones you finally did the hard work for a change” He added as an after-thought and everyone who was listening cheered at that, Clarke just smirked at his predictableness, he had said something along those lines before.
“Well, we weren’t given any food and I don’t plan to starve so it was either go out there and try to find something or stay here and laze around like you seem to be doing”
The brunette boy ignored her taunts and pursed his lips in annoyance “as the leader of this camp I’m here to confiscate that meat”
“You must have hit your head pretty hard on the fall to say something stupid like that. First a deer won’t feed almost 100 people and second, it’s not really my problem that you and the idiots that seemed intent on following you are lazy jerks. This food and water are ours and truthfully I have no plans to share”
At a sign from Bellamy, Mbege went to grab the food but Finn approached him from behind “You should take a few steps back.”
Clarke just looked at him in annoyance. “I don’t need a savior. I can take care of idiots like him myself. Thank you very much.” She said, bodily checking Mbege and effectively stopping him.
“Hey, spacewalker. You can rescue me next, I promise I will like it.” Octavia said as Finn sighed dejectedly.
Bellamy grabbed the gun from his belt and pointed it at Clarke, by this time everyone was in close hearing range waiting with bated breath to see how things develop. Most were stunned, eyes big as saucers, but a few started whispering among themselves.
“Are you really stupid enough to shoot me?” The mocking tone in her voice was evident to everyone, including Bellamy.
The boy was dumbfounded by her careless attitude, most people panicked when facing the end of a gun yet Clarke dismissed it as a mere inconvenience.
“I will. You don’t want to test me”
He tried to project an aura of confidence, which fooled almost everyone, but to her, the false bravado in his voice was easily discernable. This Bellamy was all posture, arrogant and a bully at heart but not a killer, if he shoots her it would be by accident and not design. Besides she knew him enough to know he was lying; his left eyebrow raised and fall steadily and his hands were shaking a little while holding the gun.
“If you do you are a bigger idiot than what I thought. I’m the only chance any of you have at surviving”
“We don’t need you. What makes you think you are so special? You may have gotten lucky hunting but any of us can do it princess” it was Mbege this time who spoke, always a mindless follower she mused in irritation. At least Murphy had been a little pro-active in his bullying, Mbege, on the other hand, couldn’t even think for himself.
“I’m the only one who has any kind of medical knowledge” she retorted with barely concealed exasperation “I’m sure Monty can identify useful plants but what good would that do if no one really knows what to do with them?”
“Green?” asked Connor in barely concealed surprise, like it didn’t even cross his mind to think the guy could be useful. From his point of view only strong people like him, Bellamy and Mbege had a chance to survive, nerds like Monty Green would do nothing but slowed them down in the long run.
“His family grows all the pharmaceuticals in the Ark” Jasper supplied and Monty elbow him slightly at that, he really didn’t want Bellamy and his little gang to focus on him too much.
“I could force you to help, I have a gun after all” by this point Bellamy was just trying to assert some kind of superiority over her, he needed her to back down and accept his leadership without questions or his plans to seize control of the camp would never come to fruition.
He had no plans to shoot her, her medical expertise was invaluable to their survival, but he also realized that if he didn’t do something about her defiance he would lose the respect most of the others delinquents had for him.
He could see that his leadership was starting to crumble, loyalties that seemed unbreakable were starting to waver and the tides were not exactly in his favor.
“You only have 13 bullets. Would you really consider losing some ammo for a petty squabble like this?”
“Well, I could always beat you in submission if I had to” Bellamy smiled condescendingly, she had given him a perfect opportunity to re-establish his dominance over their little group. He was confident that he could beat her, he had been a guard cadet after all.
“Bellamy there is no point in fighting each other, what would we accomplish?. The council dropped us into a shitty situation, they practically sent us to our death but I know that if we work together we will find a way to survive”
“The only thing I’m hearing is that you are too scared to fight me, princess”
“You can’t solve every problem with brute force or a gun”
“This isn’t the ark, you can’t hide behind the laws that favored the privileged ones like you anymore, the faster you accept that the easiest it will be for everyone”
She felt a familiar pressure behind her eyelids and instinctively looked down, avoiding eye contact with Bellamy or anyone else. If she were to look in a mirror she would see her eyes briefly flashing red.
“How dare this insolent little boy challenge us like that?. We will never vow to him or anyone we deem unworthy!”
“Fine. You want a fight, you will get one”
The blonde fervently hoped that acquiescing to this worthless fight wouldn’t cost her the chance of making the remaining delinquents trust her. She wanted to gain their loyalty but to achieve that she knew she needed to earn their respect first, making them terrified of her wouldn’t achieve anything.
Only authoritarian and dogmatic leaders surround themselves with people eager to blindly accept them and their choices, people, ready to say whatever the person in power will find most acceptable, even if it’s glaringly obvious that in the long run, those choices could be detrimental to their common goal.
Clarke knows she is nowhere near perfect, that she will make many mistakes thus she need people willing to point out her blunders and help her see her faults. Sometimes what a leader needs most is to hear the truth, before they say or do something that will bring harm to themselves and others.
If they feared her; they would fear doing or saying anything that might suggest dissension; fear exercising individual freedom to think and speak and if that were to happen they were doomed before they could even begin.
Chapter 11: It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
As almost always the title of the chapter is a quote, this time it belongs to Mark Twain.
As a side note while "poison sumac" was mention in the show as some kind of natural tranquilizer or pain reliever (truthfully I don't remember) the truth is that this plant is more toxic than its relatives' poison ivy and poison oak.
I’m not being a plant geek here, pointing out some minutiae of botany, to be perfectly honest I'm able to identify like 5 plants (and one of those are roses) but I like to share whatever little knowledge I might have.
As soon as the challenge was accepted all the other delinquents retreated in a human circle, enclosing the soon to be combatants. A few, like Octavia and surprisingly Murphy, tried to intervene but their efforts were quickly hindered by someone else before they could so much as set a foot in the fighting arena.
Subconsciously the group of delinquents had divided itself. Humans are, by nature, herd animals and because of that primal instinct, is simply natural to have the desire to identify leaders and followers. Not only will that selection provide security and order to a previously established group but, in case of unforeseen calamities, it will also help shift the blame from the individual components to the leaders, thus absolving the followers from anything that might go wrong. Everyone craves the glory and potential benefits that come with been in charge but almost no one wants the responsibility of making hard choices.
Bellamy was a compelling figure, his natural charisma and confidence shone effortlessly, no one could deny that, he easily won them over promising them freedom and a new beginning but what many had started to realized was that his promises, while full of allure and excitement, were devoid of any real meaning, just vague and empty words, for he made no real effort to properly guide them or even help them settle down.
He preached that this was the beginning of a new era and guaranteed them a better future than what the Ark had held in store for them yet he tried to establish his dominance by bullying whoever opposed him. Did they really want someone like him in charge of their fate?.
Clarke, on the other hand, was regarded with suspicion, while most have never really interacted with her before they knew she belonged to the Ark’s ruling class and that little fact didn’t sit well with the former prisoners. They wanted to be free from the Ark’s influence but they had to concede that she was the only one among them who seemed to have an idea on how to survive in the hostile environment they had been dropped in. Would it be so terrible to support her and give her the benefit of the doubt?.
Bellamy ran to meet her, heart filled with savage fury. His plan was fairly simple, try to overwhelm his foe with a frenzied barrage of big and aggressive movements. He had no training in personal combat, guards relied on their stun guns, but believed that his brute strength would be enough advantage over Clarke.
At first, she easily blocked his wild and uncoordinated punches but after a while, she started to get tired, the unrelenting onslaught was taking a toll on her. Clarke foolishly lowered her guard to attack him when a punch connected with her chest and another with her ribcage, sending her to the ground.
She took a deep breath, trying to regain some footing. Her head was swimming and a wave of nausea struck her, she felt her stomach tighten but refused to throw up, she was not going to give him the satisfaction of knowing how much damage he had actually done.
Everything blurred for a minute, then came back into focus again. When her vision was a little better and she felt a little steadier, the blonde exhaled, inhaled again, inched her arms under her and pushed herself up on her hands and knees.
“Don’t you dare give up! Get up and fight!”. Wanheda’s voice resonated in her head.
An animal snarl clawed its way up her throat and with renewed strength she launched herself against an unsuspecting Bellamy, who had cockily let his guard down while waiting to gloat about his victory.
She grabbed him in a headlock, thrusting a leg behind him, and threw him to the ground. Clarke tried to punch him in the face but the brunette boy, rapidly recovered from the attack, rolled away from the blonde and got back on his feet.
He lunged, trying the same movements that had worked in his favor so far, but this time Clarke was ready and effortlessly deflect them. Realizing his punches had missed he changed tactics and tried to push her but she had easily seen it coming. Turning, Clarke caught Bellamy's left hand in her right one and locked it between her fingers, pushing it back and up, the sudden shooting pain and Clarke's leverage sending the boy to his knees, a startled yelp escaping him.
Using all the strength he could master he throw all his weight against her and slammed her into the floor. Not giving the blonde any time to react he started to kick her, over and over again.
She absorbed the trauma, swallowing the pain, then kicked her way slowly back to the surface. The blond managed to him in the chest and send him tumbling down.
For a few seconds both combatants laid on the grass, the ache and extent of their injuries prevent them from making any sudden movements. They were badly bruised, full of lacerations and cuts, their ears were ringing, their hearts pounded erratically and both could taste blood in their mouths.
Despite his weak legs and hazy vision Bellamy tried to deliver another blow but Clarke managed to roll over and kick him behind the knee, making him tumble in agony.
Using his rage and tarnished pride as fuel Bellamy crawled on his hands and knees and using a fallen log as support he succeeded in getting up once more, in a poor attempt to deliver another blow he swung again, but lacking strength he barely managed to graze her cheek.
Clarke, using her last reserve of energy, curled her hand into a fist and aimed for his face. With a sickening crunch, her fist connected with the bridge of his nose, snapping his head back. Bellamy's blood splattered all over the ground and he fell once again.
A deafening silence enveloped the combatants, at first no one dared to move, too shocked by what had transpired, but once the tension seemed to subdue, claps, cheers, and excited shouts began to fill the air.
She may have won but she certainly did not feel like a winner; half her face was swollen, at least one of her eyes would be black by tomorrow, her hands were sore and her ribs ache simply for breathing, luckily they didn’t seem to be fractured.
While trying to regulate her breathing Clarke hoped they would chalk up her unexpected victory to luck and pure determination. If she was questioned about it she wasn’t sure if she would be able to give them a suitable explanation for her fighting skills.
The blonde was about to leave the human-made arena to some isolated part of their camp to tend to her injuries in peace when she saw that Bellamy was still in the ground.
For a second she idly wondered if she should just leave him there to nurse his wounds, pain and humiliation seemed like a fitting punishment, but her natural inclination to help those in need prevented her from it. Instead, she helped him on his feet and proceed to check on his injuries.
“It’s not broken, thankfully”
He curved his mouth in a barely there smile and, while he didn’t voice it, Clarke could see the respect clearly reflected in his eyes. Maybe the brawl hadn’t been such a bad idea after all.
“Clean your face and once it stops bleeding elevate your head to reduce throbbing pain”
She gazed around until she found a mop of black hair among the crowd “Monty can you try and find us something to help with any residual pain? I think I saw turmeric when we were walking. Wells can take you there”
The boys easily agreed and instantly left the camp to comply with her request. Monty was babbling excitingly about all the plants they may find while Wells smile indulgently at his child-like behavior.