I could hear charging feet around the corner. Then steps stumbled, Amaria stepped from around the corner. “I sensed them. Harl was hoping to get one more load.” She pulled the other two up with a quick jerk.
My palms itching for my gun, as I followed suit. The urge to keep checking behind me was nearly overwhelming. Amaria is there, I told myself, she’ll see someone far before you. I swept down as I passed the door my gun resting, in my hands. “Situation?”
“A lot of them are heading this way. Our friend is either dead, or they gave up on them.” The shadows spoke with Amaria’s voice.
“Can we go down the chute?” It was quickest exit I could think of.
Harl shook his head to the side. “No, it would kill us. I have an exit. I’m not sure how to get there with all these men bearing down on us.”
A bit of hysteria filled me as I laughed. All of them stared at me. “I have a plan go to your exit, I’ll follow.” They didn’t move. “Harl, I swear to you I’ll provide a distraction.”
He knew what I was telling him. He bowed his head. “This way, be ready.” They took off in a sprint. Only Amaria lingered to offer me a deep bow of respect.
It didn’t take long for their footsteps to fade. A few tears and I held the three remaining grenades. I started to throw them into the cache when a voice piped up.
“Heroically sacrificing yourself. That’s pretty adorable.” Gulla stood casually leaning against a wall. Blood splattered across a tight fighting battle suit with several metal plates hanging loosely, or had fallen off. The only fully attached pieces were the chest and shoulders. “Aren’t you going to thank me for diverting the ambush?”
“That was you?” My jaw felt unhinged as I stared at her.
A roll her eyes as she strolled over. “Of course, who else would try to keep you alive? Do you think your little group of fighters has endeared yourself to anyone?” Her eyes focused on the grenades. “Why don’t you go hide out in the chute, I’ll throw them and join you before the explosion.” She held up a pair of hooks. I wonder who she had to kill for them.
“I made them myself.” In the future, I realized, her having ability to read me was going to be very irritating.
I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t know if this was the best idea. “I think you should go. I’m just a Noble, you are the hope the rebels need.”
She snorted. “Give me a break. I’ll be fine. And, this is the only way to save you. I may be a kid to you, and maybe I could stand to be more mature.” It looked painful for her to say it. “We don’t have time for this. Go, or I’ll throw them and kill us both.”
I bit back a growl and headed out for the chute. I slid in digging the metal hooks into the side leaving enough for her to fit as well. A gust of wind filled the air as the door slammed shut. The building twisted, and buckled around me. I rocked back and forth slamming into Gulla and the metal. My muscles screamed in objection. Then a series of explosions made it impossible to feel anything. All I could think of it was I wish I had a way to plug my ears.
Gulla let out a holler. “Now that was exciting.” She winked at me. I could see bruises all over her.
“You’re hurt as bad as me.” I stuttered, I never heard my voice so battered.
She wiggled upward forcing the blackened, twisted door open. “I’ll heal. Better than you.” A tug and she tumbled out.
It took me several groans to follow after her. “Where to?”
She gave a massive stretch. “Out the hole.” She motioned to the shattered wall. “I got rope too.” She patted the coiled pile on her back.
I frowned. She was a little too good at this. “Alright, let’s get it over with. If we wait too long my muscles will seize up.”
She spent a moment tying the rope off. She leaned over the side. “We’ll have to drop a bit, or we can try climbing the wall.”
The grinding of my bones distracted me as I looked down. The rope stopped about three full lengths from the bottom. “Won’t kill either of us.”
“True,” she half laughed grabbing the rope and shimmied down. I followed watching her move at speeds I could barely follow. She got the end, hooted and let go.
My ambition was less I went to the very end of it, then fell. The ground came up hard against my feet, and I let out a yelp of pain. I opened my eyes and she leaned over me. “Are you going to be okay?”
“Probably, can you take me back to base?” My leg was broken. It cracked right below the knee. Thank my useless father who replaced my kneecaps long ago. I shut my eyes leaving it to her. I felt bad about it, but I couldn’t do it anymore.
“Harl, I got your second in command here. Broken leg, you might want to fetch him.”
I meant to ask her how she was talking to Harl, but I blacked out. It dawned on me; I was resting on a cot. Harl, Amaria, and Gulla sat around me on chairs. The rebels arrayed other outside. “You get the weapons.”
A light slap on my shoulder as Harl scolded me. “You are injured and the first you thing you ask about is the weapons? They are here. You need to rest.”
From behind them I could see everyone’s eyes on Gulla. I knew then, as I went back to sleep, she would be our leader. Harl was already on the way out. He just didn’t know it yet.
I hoped you enjoyed Gulla’s antics in Rebel’s Rise. The next story coming up is the Rebel’s Lesson, where Gulla might have to learn some humility, and social skills.