Bass was standing in the middle of a platform, two cages were dangling in the air to his right and to his left, only held by rusty looking chains. In it were the women he valued the most at this moment. Duncan, the warlord and Charlie, his... companion? Words were failing him, when it came to here. She could be a real pain in the ass sometimes, with her sarcastic attitude and her temper. But she was trustworthy, clever, dependable and downright honest, never afraid to speak her mind. On top of it all she was a real fighter, a killing machine. He often wondered what would have become of her, if the blackout never had happened, but now was definitely not the time to dwell on such things.
He had to make a choice and it was literally about live and death. Only one of the two women could be saved and it was up to him, to make the decision. These patriots really were a bunch of sadistic douche bags. The key in his right hand started to burn the skin it touched, but he knew it wasn't real. It was the soul of a life already lost, nagging away on his mind. Feeding of his fear.
“Sebastian. Open up the damn thing already. This isn't funny anymore. You know you need me, if you want to win this war.”, Duncan sounded so sure of herself, always had. Her over-confidence had brought her the rank of a warlord, but it was useless now. He laughed bitterly, turning around to Charlie, staring right into her blue eyes. They were empty and this scared him more than anything else. Duncan was right of course, but the patriot war wasn't the only one he had to fight. Something bigger was brewing up inside him and he wasn't sure for how much longer he could keep it at bay. Only one person was able to keep him grounded and she was already halfway dead, judging by her cold eyes.
“Don't even think about it, Monroe. I will kill you if you open this cage, for sure this time. She is right, you need her to win this war. You all do. If I am not dying today, I probably will next week...you know how I always manage to get myself into situations like this. It's not worth it.”, this little speech was the most he had heard her talk over the last couple of weeks. He showed his big white smile, though it didn't quite reach his eyes.
“I know you have a death wish, Charlotte but this is neither time nor place for a suicide mission.”, he said gently, trying to ignore Duncans intense glare.
“There is no other way. Let me die. It will be an honorable death. That's all I ever wanted.”, her voice was trembling, but not because she was angry. It was the anger building up in her.
“Honorable? You're clearly talking to the wrong guy. I'm nothing but a selfish murderous delinquent.”, he said in a husky voice while he was nearing her cage, crouching in front of it. She looked even worse close up, sitting in a corner leaning against the bars. The key in his hand was getting heavier by the minute, playing yet another trick on him.
“So you're just going to let me die because you want to save a petty little girl you have a crush on? My men are the only chance for you to defeat the patriots once and for all.”, Duncan tried to sound calm, but her facade was crumbling. Bass was going to kill her with his own hands, if she didn't shut up. Yes, there was history between them and she knew a lot about him, but there was a reason why he left her behind without a second thought.
Meanwhile, Charlie had dragged her body to the front of the cage. She would try everything to stop him, but he really didn't care. There was still a chance that this was all a trap and they were all going to die, but he had to try. Without further hesitation he placed the key into the lock. Charlie slipped her arms through the bars of her little prison, pulling at his hands, digging her nails into his skin. Bass didn't even flinch, he was used to pain and once he set his mind on something, nothing was going to stop him.
“Listen to me, Charlotte! I can hardly live with myself as it is. I will never let you die, I will keep on saving you as long as I am breathing. I owe you that much.”, his words were dripping with utter conviction, which made Charlie realize that there really wasn't anything she could do. She stared back at him, saying nothing. Still, he knew what she was screaming in her head, while she was slowly withdrawing herself.
He nodded at her, refocusing on the key, slowly and very carefully turning it, as if it was going to trigger a bomb.
“Sebastian!”, Duncan shouted from the other side of the platform. It didn't stop him, he had said his good-byes to her a long time ago.
And then there was a click.
The cage rushed towards the ground a split second later, hitting it with a thump followed by a noise that tore through flesh and bones. The warlord was dead, her body probably destroyed beyond recognition by the impact. It didn't leave him as unaffected as he would have thought.
Charlies cage door opened and she stumbled right out crashing against him. Her fists started to pound against his chest with fury, but he couldn't fight anymore. Bass just wrapped his arms around her shoulder, bringing her as close to him as possible. She kept on struggling for a while but it got weaker and weaker until only her sobs were left. Never had he seen her so vulnerable and it chilled his spine, despite the fact that their warm bodies were pressed against each other for comfort.
“Charlie, trust me. Everything is going to be fine.”, he said in a whisper, kissing her forehead softly. Lies, lies and nothing but lies. They were all doomed.