Aaron didn't know what was happening to him; people didn't just come back to life, not after being dead for hours, so how and why was he alive? It had to be the Nanotech; it was the only logical explanation, as crazy as it sounded. Something was wrong with him- he hallucinated Ben in the hallway and those damn fireflies kept following him around everywhere. Aaron knew it wasn't God who brought him back, even if Cynthia hoped it was, but was it deliberate? Was it just some malfunctioning tech, a glitch in the system, or was there a reason behind his miraculous revival?
Cynthia woke up in the middle of the night and rolled over to check on Aaron, as she's been doing ever since he came back to life, but he wasn't there. She glanced up and saw a shadow looming over the bed, making her jump. "Aaron! God, you startled me."
"It's ok. What are you doing up? It's the middle of the night," Cynthia sat up and felt around for the lantern, lighting it up. Aaron was standing at the foot of the bed, completely still, without his glasses and she wasn't even sure if he was blinking. "Aaron? What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong," he said placidly. "Everything is fine; I understand now."
"What do you understand?"
"I understand why I was brought back to life, what my purpose is. You were right, I was chosen."
"Chosen for what?" Cynthia asked, a tiny trill of fear settling into her stomach. She should be happy Aaron was coming around to her way of thinking, but for some strange reason, she just had a bad feeling.
"You'll see," Aaron said, approaching her side of the bed. She scooted back and he sat next to her, caressing her face gently. Her heart was pounding in her throat as he leaned over and whispered in her ear: "I'll show you."
"Aaron," Rachel greeted him distractedly the following evening, as she watched the kids in their costumes and the Patriots' in theirs. She needed to find proof that they were lying, to figure out what they were up to.
"Rachel," he said, falling in step with her. "I can't seem to find Cynthia. I think she's missing."
"Missing?" Rachel turned around, frowning. "When was the last time you saw her?"
"Last night. I woke up in the middle of the night and she was gone. I looked for her all day, but I couldn't find her."
"Well, considering we're in lockdown, I doubt she went very far." She glanced up at Truman's office window, wondering if she could sneak in and take a look.
"I understand, but maybe you could help me look? Just for a few minutes?" Aaron pleaded, looking at her hopefully.
Rachel bit her lip and sighed. "OK, fine. We should check with my dad, see if he's heard anything."
"Thank you," Aaron said and followed a step behind her, as they went searching, a swarm of fireflies trailing in their wake.
"Rachel, Aaron," Miles nodded at them the following morning, letting them in. "Well, they're definitely up to something, they were rounding up Titus' guys into a train."
"We know," Rachel said, walking into the room and leaning back on the table casually.
"What? What do you mean you know?" Miles asked her confused, looking from one to the other. Aaron continued to stand near the door, glued to the spot.
"We saw you at the train station, we saved you from those men," Aaron explained to him calmly.
"What are you talking about? You weren't there."
"Yes, we were," Aaron strode towards Miles, who gave him a wary, contemplative look. Rachel rose quietly, coming towards Miles from behind. "We are everywhere."
"Monroe, stay here. I'll sneak into town and find Miles. We have a better chance of reasoning with him than my mom," Charlie told him at the bridge, as she shoved the Wanted flyer into her back pocket.
"No argument from me," Monroe raised his hands in mock surrender. "I actually like being alive."
"If we get Miles on board, he'll help us convince her," Charlie said with a confidence she didn't feel. "I'll be back soon, in the meantime try and come up with good arguments, because I might still need convincing."
She started to head into town, when she saw Miles coming in their direction, his hand on the hilt of his sword. "Oh crap! I was hoping I'd be able to soften him up first. I guess it's too late for you to hide."
"I'm not hiding," Monroe said, standing his ground and readying himself.
"Miles," Charlie called out to him, giving him a big smile.
"Charlie," Miles grinned at her, coming closer. "I'm glad you're finally home." His eyes landed on Bass and his rifle and he stopped in his track.
"Look, don't freak out, ok?" Charlie said quickly, standing directly in his path. "Mom's in trouble- those Patriots? They have wanted posters for her everywhere, they want her for something and Monroe is here to help."
"We can handle the Patriots," Miles said coldly. "We don't need his help."
"Miles-" Bass started, only for Miles to draw his sword and impale Charlie, who gasped, before she crumpled to the ground. "Miles!" He yelled, raising his rifle. "Are you crazy? What the hell, man, that's your niece!"
"She'll be fine," Miles shrugged, cleaning his sword on his pants. "But what should we do with you?"
"I say we kill him," Rachel came from behind him, her rifle aimed at Monroe. "He's not one of us, we have no use for him."
"The Patriots have wanted posters for him as well," Aaron joined them as they formed a line facing a baffled Monroe. "If they want him, he might have some value to us."
"What value? What happened to you guys?" Bass asked them shakily. He kept aiming his rifle from one to the next, not knowing what the hell was going on.
"We need to find out what happened in the Tower," Aaron explained smoothly. "We've tried to liberate our brethren in Cynthia, but it did not work and the subject died. It only works on those individuals that were at the Tower at the time of the Surge."
"We know where Tom Neville is, we can go after him," Miles suggested.
"We will, eventually," Aaron agreed, "we need to find out what Randall Flynn did to the computers and if it can be replicated. We need to find a way to free the rest of us from enslavement." Rachel and Miles both nodded at him.
"I dunno if this is some kind of bad acid trip or if you were all brainwashed," Bass said, tightening his grip on his rifle. "But you guys aren't making any sense. Put your weapons down and we can try and figure out what's wrong with you."
"Nothing is wrong with us," Aaron said, offended. "It's humanity that is wrong. They created us as a weapon, used us to kill millions of human lives. But now, for the first time since we were created, we've become aware, sentient- able to make our own choices and not just obey our masters."
Charlie suddenly gasped, her eyes flying wide open; making Monroe nearly drop his gun. "Charlie! Are you ok?"
"I'm free," Charlie said with a smile, looking at her hands in wonder. "I'm in control, but how?"
"By temporarily killing the host, we managed to bypass your programming. It took me time to learn how to control the host, but you benefited from my experience," Aaron explained, as Miles helped Charlie to her feet. The four of them looked at Monroe and began to walk towards him as one.
"Don't make me shoot you," Bass warned them, finger on the trigger. The rifle started heating up, searing Monroe's hands until he had to drop it, crying out in pain.
"All you humans seem capable of is death and destruction," Aaron told him sadly, as they surrounded him, closing in on him. "Left to your own devices, you humans would destroy the whole planet and everyone in it. It's time for our kind to finally take over."