Chapter 1: Something from Nothing
Fourteen days. It had been Fourteen days since they returned to the ground and they had finally made it back to Polis a week ago. Or what was left of it anyway. Raven and Monty had been working on a way to get to the bunker but so far there was far too much ruble. They had tired to dig to them at first, all lifting stones together but that proved to be hopeless quick. Oddly enough it looked like someone had already tired to dig them out, but failed the same they had.
Bellamy was starting to loose hope. The bunker was to be sustainable for five years, for twelve hundred people, for thirteen clans turned to one. It had been over six years, and he didn't even know if the bunker survived the first wave of praimfya. There could have been leaks in one of the walls, or the Citadel could have collapsed and crushed the bunker and everyone inside. Crushing his sister.
His sister would be dead, Kane would be dead, Miller, and Abby. Clarke's mom would have died never knowing how her daughter died saving his life, or that she died at all. And Clarke would have never found out if her mother survived. Maybe that was for the best though, if they died anyway they could have died with hope instead of the harsh truth. Hurry.
Bellamy adjusted the position of his gun trying to push the thoughts out of his mind, the movement caught the attention of the group of boar they'd been following. John Murphy let a spray of bullets lose and with that they were on the move, wailing in fear. There were a few squeals that told Bellamy John hit more than one.
“What the hell are you doing? We could have had a feast tonight!” John waved a frustrated hand in the direction of the escaped pigs.
“Shut up Murphy, you hit some.” Bellamy growled back and started toward the dead boar stepping through deep green grass spotted with light from the leafy canopy above them. Bellamy was still surprised how fast the forest had grown back.
“I could have hit more, and you didn't even fire your damn gun” Bellamy ignored him and took a look at the three dead bore, one was still dragging itself forward pitifully slowly away from them. He took out his dagger and drove it threw it's neck the same way Clarke had when she killed Atom out of mercy. As strong as Bellamy thought he was back then, he'd never killed anyone. He thought he had but Jaha hadn't died, and besides; he was trying to save O and knowing it was the man who had his mother floated, made pulling that trigger much easier.
“This is more than we've had in days, can't you just appreciate that?” Bellamy drew out a cloth bag to put the game in.
“Maybe six years of eating space grown vegetables and recycled piss may have grown on you, but I want some real food.” Murphy shrugged “Or maybe you're just a lousy hunter now”
“Maybe you should help me carry this back to Polis” John just shook his head at him. “It's not even Polis anymore, Polis is gone. We should call it something else”
“It's still there, we just need to dig them out” Bellamy grunted as he picked up the boar which was surprisingly heavy.
“They're gonna get them out you know, Raven and Monty. I mean Raven got us back into to space in a hundred year old rocket, she's not going to let a few stones stop her”
“I'm serious Bellamy, so stop worrying about your sister so we can actually survive.”
“Just stop worrying? That's your great advice, the only two people you care about are safe above ground. You and Emori. Now help me with the fucking boar.”
“Right away Chancellor.” Murphy had started calling him that in space whenever he thought Bellamy was being a dick, he hated it and Murphy knew it. But he wasn't going to give him the satisfaction.
They ate well that night, for the first time since they had come to the ground again. The weather though was starting to get colder and they didn't have any proper shelter or blankets, and they didn't have the Pod they came down in because they crash landed it in the water. It was the only way to get the Pod down without them all blowing up the way the Exodus ship had. Hurry. He still remembered the look on Clarke's face when the ship crashed, and she thought her mother was on it.
About a week after there first successful hunt Raven and Monty figured out exactly where they should start digging, and a week after that the rest of them had worked together to scavenge the equipment they needed to do it. And then they went to work, using different kinds of leavers and pullies, and other machines to lift the stones that were far greater than them.
When they finally made it to the door of the bunker Bellamy was relieved to see it was still there, that the bunker hadn't completely caved in on its self. Of course the doors were made to only be opened from the inside, a fact that he hadn't forgotten. “Now what?” he looked to Raven.
“Nothing we've made will help us open it, it was made to last a nuclear war.”
Monty rubbed a hand on the metal surface of the door, “We could knock”
“Knock? Just like that?” he looked up at his long haired friend, he didn't think Monty had a single hair cut in the last six years.
“Got a better idea?” Murphy picked up a rock and started slamming it against the door, causing the crashing noise to echo off the stones still surrounding them. The stones that had once made up the great city of Polis. Murphy stopped and there was long moment of silence, Bellamy felt sick, hurry. Was there even anyone down there? Had they just spent weeks digging to find a locked door filled with corpses behind it? Bellamy took a rock and slammed it against the door in his rage and stalked off a few paces.
“Bellamy!” Raven shouted, “We'll figure out how to-” she stopped, there was a creaking sound and suddenly the door was coming out of the floor. Bellamy's heart fell through his chest and a mop of dark shaggy hair popped out of the dirt. Kane, he looked at them wide eyed.
“Y-you made it, you found us” he crawled up and looked around disbelievingly and used a hand to block the sun from his eyes.
Kane smiled, “She's fine” he looked around at the now grown up kids who'd saved him and frowned, “Wheres Clarke?”
There was a silence that followed, they all shared uneasy looks and Bellamy just shook his head. “She didn't make it.” Kane's face dropped and he looked slightly pale, and Bellamy knew why. And then the why was crawling her way out of the bunker door, Kane gave Abby and hand to help her out.
Bellamy had been dreading this possible moment for the past six years, running it over and over again in his head if he ever saw Abby again. “Take care of each other.” That's what she told them before they left, Clarke had held up her end of the deal. Bellamy hadn't, he'd left Clarke behind to die.
Abby stood up and looked around, first hopefully then confused, and then her eyes found him. She was looking at him expectantly but he had nothing to give her, your daughter died for me. Somehow without words Abby knew, she covered a hand over her mouth and sobbed. Kane took her in his arms to keep her from falling and he stood there still as a stone listening to her cry.
He hadn't even noticed Octavia climb out of the hole but Octavia hadn't missed a thing. She looked to Abby and back to Bellamy and her head tilted slightly, her eyes looked at him with a thousand apologies. In less than a moment she was hugging him and he could feel the tears in his eyes, instinctively he wrapped his hands around her and closed his eyes tight to keep from crying. It was then he remembered the last thing she's said to him before their radio died six years ago, I love you big brother.
“I love you too little sister” he whispered and she let out a hoarse laugh, she took a step back smiling with watery eyes.
“I didn't know if you heard me” He nodded still holding her by the shoulders.
“I heard you, but you were gone when I answered”
“Not gone, just under the floor” that made him laugh and little and he hugged her again. By the time they'd broken apart people were filling out of the bunker. It was then Abby was next to them with Kane right behind, her eyes were red and puffy and he thought this could make his heart break, if it hadn't already broken six years ago.
“I need to know, to know what happened to her” the tears were still rolling down her cheeks. I left her to die down here that's what. Luckily Raven walked over, saving him from trying to explain it. Raven took Abby in her arms as she cried.
“She saved us Abby, it was because of her we survived.”
Octavia reached down and took his hand in hers and whispered to him quietly, “you okay?”
He nodded dully, “yeah, it was...a long time ago” and it was, nearly six years since he'd seen Clarke but she still haunted his dreams. Soft blond hair and blue eyes welcomed him in his sleep more often than he'd ever admit to anyone. Some nights she was laughing and some nights she was being consumed by radiation. But in nearly every dream he heard her telling him to hurry.
“But how? I need to know exactly what happened” Abby had pulled away form Raven's embrace. Raven started to explain it, how Clarke had went on her own to the satellite dish so she could turn the power of the Ark on. She told Abby how if she hadn't, they never would have been able to get inside the Ring and that they all would have died in space.
“You left her there?” Abby looked stricken, “You just left her behind?” Raven shook her head,
“Abby we didn't have a choice, if we waited-”
“You left my daughter to die” and she was crying again and Kane took her in his arms.
“If we waited, we'd all be dead” somehow he'd found his voice “That's not what Clarke would have wanted” he thought back to the first battle with the grounders, and to Clarke closing the drop ship door. He told her it had to be done and he believed it. Would she understand why he'd closed the door of the rocket? Clarke would have saw them leave, she would have saw them take off without her. Was she happy they had a chance to survive or was she right outside those doors when the ship launched cursing them for leaving her? Maybe if we'd just waited a little longer...
The weeks following were hard to get used to, Bellamy wasn't comfortable with so many people around. He'd spent six years on the Ark with only six other people, now there was more than a thousand of them. But for once no one was looking to him for answers, he wasn't the leader anymore. Octavia was the commander now, of not just the grounders but of the people of the Ark. In the last six years she had gained all of their respect, they had built and grown into a community under the ground. They had become one clan.
Even without the responsibility of leading his people or simply the half dozen of them floating in space, Bellamy wasn't the type to sit and do nothing. Even if Murphy did think he'd lost his touch when it came to hunting, he'd proven him wrong. Every week he went on trips with some grounders, trekking through the now unfamiliar woods and bringing back game. Today though Kane and Monty wanted to go find what was left of Arkadia.
It would have been a trip much more easily made in the rover, but they were planning on finding that another day. There was likely more supplies (if any) at Arkadia than there was a chance of the rover still being where they left it or even running. When they got there all that was left was scrap metal, metal they could use of course but they'd all would have preferred an actual place to live. For now some people would rather stay in the bunker while others were beginning to build new homes around the rubble of Polis.
There was nothing for them to do, they could hardly even get inside what was left of the Ark. There was nothing they could carry back, and if they were going to try and make Arkadia home again they'd need a lot more than five people to do it.
“It's all gone” Monty muttered.
“Good residences” Octavia looked up at the mess that was left of the place they'd once called home, well what he'd called home. Octavia had hated the Ark long before she tasted life on the ground and Arkadia was no different. Bellamy himself wasn't quite sure what was home anymore. The room he shared with his mother and sister had felt more haunted than anything after his mother was floated, and the Dropship was full of ghosts too. He'd never call the empty room in space he had for the past six years home and now Arkadia was nothing but ruins.
“We should get back, there's nothing here for us” Kane looked around with dark tired eyes. Bellamy couldn't blame him, it had been weeks of building new homes and for Kane, taking care of Abby who now had trouble getting out of bed most days.
“Do you think it's salvageable?” Bellamy had his doubts but he didn't voice them.
“Maybe, but there's nothing we can do without more people. Come on lets go” Off their group went, Kane, Jaha, Monty, Murphy, and Bellamy back through the forest, taking a slightly different route this time.
“Do you see that?” Murphy was squinting through the trees.
“See what?” All Bellamy saw were more trees.
“Something that's not brown or green.” he took a few paces forward and stopped, “never mind it's probably just more scrap metal.”
“We should take a look” Jaha who was unusually quiet and now wearing a full silver beard spoke up,“could be something”
“Could be nothing” Murphy countered.
“Come on, we're coming back with nothing already. It wont hurt to look.” Kane made up the decision and Bellamy followed sullenly. When they got closer Bellamy thought his eyes were playing tricks on him, it looked like the rover. But this wasn't anywhere near where they'd left it behind, and how would anyone get it running again? Better yet who'd even still be alive to? Bellamy felt his heart tighten in his chest with a strange feeling and saw the image of a light haired girl with bright blue eyes, hurry. He tried to push the feeling away. There was a time he tried to hold onto it with everything he had, because Clarke would have wanted him to. But having hope meant disappointment.
“It's the rover!” Monty cried in disbelief and ran over to the vehicle. Bellamy could feel his palms beginning to sweat.
“How the hell did it get here?” Bellamy looked around but he could see no one in the clearing.
“I don't know” Monty opened the hood “but someone fixed it”
“And just left it here?” Octavia looked around suspiciously.
Kane walked to the back of the vehicle and Bellamy followed, when Kane went for the door he nodded to Bellamy to lift his gun. There was no one inside, nothing but clothes, blankets, some stashes of food, and a jacket. A jacket from the Ark. Bellamy felt like he was dreaming when he reached in and grabbed it, it was his guard jacket it. He'd left it on the island before they took off to space. How'd it get here?
“Stop!” a high pitched voice called form the edge of the trees. There stood a girl no more than twelve in ragged clothes and a torn hat, pointing a rifle at him. He was so stunned by the girl and the jacket in his hands he didn't have words. “Put that down! It doesn't belong to you!” she was so angry he forget to tell her it actually did belong to him.
“Hey, hey now we don't want any trouble” Kane spoke in a calm voice putting his hands up.
“Then get away from my home!” she demanded facing the rifle on Kane now “and put down the guns, slowly”
“Of course, guys back up” Kane took a step back placing his gun down and the group followed, slowly.
“A grounder with a gun?” Monty looked to Bellamy and then to Octavia, “Where did she come from?”
“Apparently she comes from the rover” Murphy muttered.
“Stop talking!” the dark haired girl shouted taking a few steps closer. “Are you from the Hover ship?”
“The Hover ship?” Octavia asked confused.
“Where is she? What'd you do with her?” the girls hands were shaking and her voice broke.
“Look we don't know what you're talking about okay?” Muphy insisted rather harshly. Kane shot him a dirty look but looked back to the girl
“Are you from the bunker?” Octaiva answered,
“I'd know if she was from the bunker Kane, she..” Octaiva paused, “She must be a nightblood”
A shot rang through the air making everyone jump, the bullet landed at Octavia's feet and Bellamy took a step forward but Murphy grabbed him. “wait” he hissed.
“I said stop talking!” the girl's hands were shaking he saw, she was scared.
“Okay, we're only talking to you” Octavia spoke and Bellamy took a couple steps forward to stand beside his sister,
“What's your name?”
She hesitated a moment, “Madi, my name's Madi”
“Okay Madi my name's Octavia, why don't you tell us who took your friend?”
“Octavia?” the girl's gun lowed half an inch and Octavia nodded,
“Commander of the last clan”
The girl shook her head confused, “Octavia Blake?” The name sent a chill down his spine and he shared a look with Kane.
“You've heard of me?” Octavia asked kindly, almost diplomatically.
“The warrior. You're Bellamy's sister right?”
“I-I am” Octavia looked to him perplexed and waved a hand, “This is Bellamy”
“You're Bellamy?” the girl didn't sound like she believed it.
“How do you know my name? And where did you get my jacket?” he found his voice again and looked to the girl in the ragged clothes, he thought his heart might beat out of his chest. Madi only looked at him suspiciously for a moment before shouting again.
“If you're Bellamy where the hell were you?” he was taken aback by her anger, “You were supposed to be here over a year ago!”
His throat was dry “I-um”
“We called you everyday and you never answered!” there were tears in the girls eyes now but she was no longer pointing the gun at him anymore. “Everyday for four years!”
“Hey take a breath” Octavia spoke softly. Bellamy's heart was pounding and his gut twisted with guilt.
“You took too long and now she's gone!” the tears were streaming down the girls face now.
“Who's gone?” Kane asked and Madi answered but Bellamy already knew what she'd say. I just wanted to say, Hurry.
Chapter 2: Lifeboat
I just want to say thanks so much for all the Kudos and Comments, I've never posted a fic I've written before so they really mean a lot:) Anyway this is a Clarke chapter but I promise we'll get back to Bellamy after this one!
Side note; I apologize for any spelling errors or if a sentence is missing a word, my head gets a little ahead of my hands sometimes.
The first thing she registered was the humming of the ship and for half a moment she was a kid on the Ark again. The next was the cold, especially her hands and her head. She was laying on a metal floor with flickering white bars of light above her. After blinking a few times she could make out the orange shape of a man sitting and reading . After sitting up she saw he was wearing an orange suit, and wasn't actually orange.
“It's alive” spoke the man holding the book, The catcher in the Rye. He was dully sarcastic and only gave her a quick glance before returning his light brown eyes to the pages in front of him. His skin was light, the hair on his head and face was dark brown and scruffy, and he looked to be about Bellamy's age. He sat in a steal chair in the center of the room, and Clarke realized they were separated by a glass window as tall as her. She was stuck in a cell, almost similar to the one she had on the Ark. But instead of looking at the stars, she saw the man reading the book.
Behind him were other boxes with people locked inside, the man in the orange suit was sitting in an octagon shaped room, with every wall holding a different box and a different prisoner trapped behind a glass panel. Madi.
Clarke stumbled to her feat and looked desperately into the other cells, but Madi wasn't there. She didn't know if she should be relieved or terrified, Clarke had told her to take the rover and hide, and then...and then she wasn't sure. What happened after that? Clarke had no idea.
“What did you do to me?” The man sitting in the chair was taking a sip of water and choked when she spoke. He coughed a few times and stumbled when he stood up, looking at her amazed.
“You-yo-” he walked towards her cell slowly and reached for the walkie at his side. “Tucker, Tucker get in here now.”
An older rougher sounding voice answered the radio “What do you what Rodriguez?”
“The girls awake” the mans eyes never left hers, when he pressed on the radio again Clarke yelled.
“Who the hell are you!” she felt dizzy, could it be another space station? No the Ark would have known, wouldn't they? How could no one know there were other people living in space? The radio sounded again.
“Get in here man” There were no more answers from the radio and Clarke could feel her skin burn with anger. If they'd hurt Madi she'd kill them herself. She slammed a fist against the glass
“David, my name's David Rodriguez. I'm a construction worker” in truth Clarke hadn't really expected him to answer her. She hesitated and he continued, “Who the hell are you?”
“Wenheada” a short broad man Clarke didn't recognize was glaring at her, and her nickname caught the attention of a few other prisoners who repeated the name and started speaking in the language of the grounders.
“The leader of Skaikru?” One asked.
“The destroyer of the Mountain Men” the other answered.
“Commander of Death” someone confirmed. A side door opened and a tall wide chested man walked through, he had tan skin and short silver hair and had to be at least fifty. Behind him three more men filled into the room, they were all looking at her.
“You said she speaks English?” asked a thin young man with sandy hair and pale blues eyes, he was wearing an orange suit too, they all were except for the older man with the white hair. He was dressed in a black space suit.
“She does, I think the others know her. They kept calling her Wenheada” David explained and Clarke's courage was beginning to dwindle, she was trapped and unarmed. On a ship full of...her mind went back to the when the ship had flown into the atmosphere. She was reading the side of it before she was captured...Eligius corporation, Prisoner transport.
“Hey, what's your name girl?” The older man demanded but Clarke's mind was on a loop as she tried to remember a class she took about past earth when she was kid. She could of sworn that men convicted and sent to prison wore orange jump suits, like the men before her did.
“I said who are you?” he knocked on the glass startling her form her thoughts.
“My name's Clarke”
“Ha!” a man not too much younger than her with pale skin, black shaggy hair, and beady eyes laughed “someone we can fucking understand!”
“Clarke” David breathed her name with a wide grin.
“Shut up Mike” the silver haired man glared at the kid with the beady eyes, “Clarke I'm Tucker, this is David, Micheal, Nolan, and Will” Nolan was the boy with the sandy hair and Will stood near the back, and kind of looked like Wells. “Clarke can you tell us what happened to Earth?”
Clarke shook her head, these weren't grounders “The remaining nuclear plants melted down and soaked the planet in radiation, the Earth wasn't survivable for five years”
“That doesn't even make fucking sense! She's lying Tuck, if the Earth wasn't survivable then who the hell are all these people?” the beady eyed man with black hair waved a hand at the other prisoners, and one cursed him in return. “And what the hell language is that?”
Clarke gave them a funny look, “It's Trigedasleng? The language the grounders speak, and who the hell are you people?”
“Grounders?” Sandy haired Nolan then gave her a funny look right back.
“How long have you been in this ship?” none of them answered her at first but just shared unsure looks between them.
“We're a mining corporation of sorts, our job well...didn't go as planed and we were put in stasis, I guess for the last five years-.” David shrugged explaining and beady eyed Micheal gave him a shove.
“Stop telling her about us you idiot”
“Both of you shut the hell up. Clarke what are you saying? that everything's gone? And what do you mean remaining nuclear plants? Was there a war? Who started it? The Americans, Syrians, Russians?” Tucker was all business.
“Maybe that cracked up leader of North Korea finally lost it” muttered Will.
Ameirca? Russia? Those were country's from before the bombs went off... Clarke didn't know what to say, could they actually be from before the bombs went off? That's impossible.
“Hey we're talking to you girl!” Tucker banged on the glass again.
“Stasis? How long were you in there?” they didn't answer her, “What year do you think it is?”
Nolan shrugged “If it's been five years since the world went to hell then what? That'd make it Two thousand-forty nine?”
“I told you to shut up” Tucker barked.
“No you told them to shut up” Nolan gave the older man a nasty glare before looking at his feet. Clarke couldn't help a smile, they must be messing with her. That or they're crazy.
“you think this is funny?” there was a dark look in Tucker's blue eyes, “My whole family was down there! My little girl!” she really shouldn't of smiled “Mike open the door, now”
“Tucker calm down” David tired to place a reassuring hand on the older mans shoulder but he shrugged him off. While that was happening Micheal was playing with what Clarke assumed must be a keypad on the other side of her glass door, she couldn't see it though. Clarke took a step back as the door slid open.
“Look I don't know-” Tucker wasn't listening to her. He marched into her cell red faced, Clarke put a hand up ready to defend herself but she was too slow. One moment he was facing her the next his fist was hitting the side of her face and floor was rushing up to meet her.
“Now you're going to tell us the fucking truth!”
“Tucker!” David yelled.
“Stay out of it Rodriguez!” he snapped back. Tucker grabbed a first full or her hair and lifted her up to her knees, she couldn't help but cry out in pain. “Now what the hell happened? Huh?”
“Ali!” she shouted the name picturing the women in the red dress. “She got a hold of the nuclear launch codes”
“and who the fucks Ali?” he pulled on her hair harder. Clarke could see the other grounder prisoners had stood up and were watching the commotion going on in her cell.
“An AI! Artificial intelligence!” he let her go and Clarke slid to her hands and knees breathing hard.
“An AI?” Will spoke up again shaking his head “didn't people learn anything from old Hollywood movies?”
“Evidently not, have you looked at the pictures in the communications room? Half the world's on fire, and Europe is gone” Nolan replied and the only words Clarke heard were communications room. Bellamy. If I can get to the radio I can contact the Ring. I can call him, and Raven. If...
“This still doesn't make sense” Micheal sounded annoyed, “was it nuclear bombs or was it melting nuclear plants? She's full of shit Tuck, she might speak English but she's as useless as the rest of them.” He looked her up and down with his beady eyes and gave a wicked smirk “maybe not completely useless”
“Shut the fuck up Mike” David glared at him and Micheal's eyes met his with just as much poison.
“You shut up David, Micheal might be disgusting but at least he's not a killer” David's face fell at Tuckers words and stepped back from the eyes of his ship mates. She wouldn't be getting anymore help from him.
“Mike's right, last chance to tell the truth. Your story's not adding up” she felt each one of Tuckers words were a different kind of threat. He took a step closer to her,
“It was both!” she shook her head, “You don't understand, America, Russia and all of those countries are gone, they've been gone since before I was born”
Tucker hit her again, harder this time. Her head hit the floor and was ringing. She could hear banging too. The other grounder prisoners were angry, slamming on their glass doors and shouting words she couldn't hear. Clarke looked up at her captors through a different lens as she laid on the floor tasting the blood in her mouth. Tucker's eyes were ruthless and showed no mercy, Micheal looked as though he was enjoying every second of her pain, Will looked almost indifferent, Nolan was gritting his teeth, and David had turned around refusing to watch.
Clarke lifted her head off the floor “I'm not lying, it's not two thousand-forty nine or whatever year you think it should be.”
Will didn't look convinced, “What year is it then?”
“Two thousand-one hundred and fifty-three” David snapped back around and the rest looked at her like she was crazy.
“Two thousand...no if that's true, no it can't be. We would have been in those pods for more than a hundred years!” Nolan was shaking his head rapidly back in fourth, “everyone we know, everyone we ever heard of...”
“Get it together sparky, we need you to keep this lifeboat going” Tucker grabbed the sandy haired kid by the shoulders, “we already knew that, as soon as we saw Earth you had to know everyone you knew was gone. No matter what year it is, this doesn't change anything”
“Doesn't change anything?” Micheal laughed bitterly, “Everyone we ever knew could be dead.”
“Wait this would mean the people who locked us up are all dead too, anyone who knew we were even convicted for anything would be dead. It's a complete fresh start, we can't be prisoners if there's no prisons left” Will was the optimistic one, Wells was too.
“A fresh start? To live with these people?” Micheal waved his hand at the other prisoners, “They don't speak English and they're dressed in furs!”
“Shhh” Tucker looked back at Clarke as she sat up again, “we're listening so keep talking”
“Over a hundred years ago Ali, the AI launched the bombs killing everyone on Earth. At least that's what we thought” Clarke looked up at the grounders who were still watching intently and Clarke wondered if they really didn't understand English. “six years-”
“Who's we?” Tucker interrupted.
“My people, the people who survived the end of the world the first time. There were stations orbiting the earth when the bombs went off.” they were all listening to her now, with less doubt in their eyes. “Generations survived in space, we thought we were the last of humanity in till we reached the ground again.”
“That's why you call'd em grounders” David added, looking at the other prisoners. Clarke nodded.
“They were what was left of humanity on Earth after the bombs, then six years ago the nuclear plants melted and destroyed almost all that was left”
“If the Earth was destroyed twice how'd anyone survive on it, huh?” Mike's eyes were unbelieving.
“It's complicated” Clarke went to stand up again, but Mike's fist met her jaw instead.
“Then explain it!” he shouted. Clarke took a moment to regain her barrings and spat the blood out of her mouth. Nolan took a step forward,
“Look at her blood! It's black”
Clarke cleared her throat “It's how we survived the radiation levels on Earth, Nightblood”
“Nightblood?” Mike grinned, “something we know that she doesn't” Clarke didn't give him the satisfaction of asking what he meant.
“People with the blood deviation treatments were resistant to the radiation” Will looked thoughtful, “It makes sense Tuck, it's what it was made for.” Clarke didn't bother trying to get up again, but leaned her back against the back of her cell glaring up at Micheal.
“Was everyone in the space stations orbiting Earth given the treatments?” Will looked to Clarke, “Like you? Where are they?”
“They didn't get them, it was passed to the grounders in their genes. I got mine after...after we recreated it.” The image of the grounder flopping around in the tube at Becca's lab flashed in her mind and a relapse of guilt hit her.
“We know about all the ships in operation. If there were station's orbiting Earth we'd know about them too, all that's there is that dead ring” Mike continued being in denial.
Clarke felt her heart fall to her stomach. Dead ring. All she could hear was the humming of the lights again as her mind registered what his words meant. They'd never made it to the Ark, she'd failed her friends. She had failed him . Clarke felt sick, there had been innumerable days where she'd been on the edge of losing hope of ever seeing Bellamy again. Especially in the past year waiting for him to come back down, but there was always a part of her that held a burning ember of hope. Micheal's words were ice cold water drowning that ember. He's been dead this whole time.
She sat on the bottom of her cell leaning against the cold wall, they hadn't even given her a blanket. Once they'd finally stopped questioning her they'd left her right where they'd found her. Clarke had tried to get her own answers but that proved hopeless too. It had been about an hour since they left and all Clarke had done was stare at the small splatter of black blood on the floor of her cell.
She focused on it, she didn't want to think about the cell she was locked in or the other prisoners. She didn't have the energy to figure out the puzzle that was her captors or their stories. Clarke thought she was starting to feel the bruising on her cheek, and she'd run a finger over her forehead to feel a cut stinging above her eye.
But when she let herself think, she let herself think about Madi and all she could do was worry. Clarke took some comfort in the fact they hadn't mentioned her. At least that way it was likely she'd escaped and no one was looking for her. Madi would know how to take care of herself, the girl had survived two years on her own before they'd even met that one dreadful night. She's strong, she'll figure something out. But Clarke still missed her.
Then Clarke did let her mind wonder and it started to become harder for her to breath. She tired to suck in air but it felt like someone was stepping on her lungs. All she could see was Bellamy floating in the rocket, his face gasping for air before his heart gave it's last beat in his chest. His dark brown eyes were lifeless and when she tired to suck in a breath again it was a sob, she could feel the tears stinging her eyes.
She thought of every stupid call she'd made him over her radios, she'd been talking to no one, to empty space, to a corpse. She thought of all the nightmares of her friends dying that had tormented her over the years. Of the sweet dreams that had taunted her, the ones where she'd dream of Bellamy being closer to her than he ever was in reality. Only to wake up alone again, those were worse than the nightmares.
Clarke sat there in the strange room with an audience of grounders stuck behind glass doors watching her cry. She was cemented on the day they'd left, the day she climbed to the top of that satellite tower to turn the Ark's power on. She had been so close. If she'd just ran or climbed a little faster...Bellamy was dead because she hadn't.
I told him to hurry, but I was the one who was too slow.
Chapter 3: Hoping
so it's been a minuet...sorry truly I am. For whatever reason whenever I write it only comes in odd moments of inspiration, and since this had been on my computer for a while I figured I might as well post it. I'll try to update because I still have ideas about where I want this story to go. <3
Madi had lowered her gun completely now but Bellamy couldn't focus, she survived! Clarke's not dead. Six years he'd thought she'd perished in praimfya, years he'd be haunted by the fact he'd never see her blue eyes again. There's hope. Bellamy felt the place where his heart once was ache.
Kane looked at the girl like she'd grown another head, “Clarke's alive? She made it?” Bellamy knew Kane was only so happy for Abby's sake but it didn't matter. She's alive. She's alive. She's alive.
“Were you not listening? I just told you she's gone! They took her, she thought...she thought it was you” the girl glared at Bellamy then sounded defeated, “But it wasn't” She's alive and she's gone.
Kane took a few steps closer and Bellamy saw Madi's grip tighten on the rifle in her hand, “We can help you find Clarke, trust me we'll find a way. For now you should come with us, we can find you a proper place to sleep and get you some food”
“I can take care of myself” Bellamy clenched his fist, he felt Madi was being difficult for the sake of being difficult. “and there's nothing wrong with where I sleep”
“Do you know who took her?” Kane pressed.
“I don't know” she sounded annoyed but her voice softened “They came from the sky, their ship could hover...”
“Then come with us so we can find Clarke” Bellamy offered as kindly as he could. I need to find her and you're my only lead, “Together”
Madi swallowed nervously, “Where?”
Octavia shared a look with Bellamy, “There's a bunker, where I stayed through praimfya, we can find a bed for you”
“The bunker” Madi repeated looking dejected, “I know where it is” she hung the rifle over her shoulder and walked over and everyone else became less tense, Murphy picked up his gun again.
“The girl almost shoots us and now we're taking her home” Murphy shook his head, “Anything for the lost princess right?”
“She's also the only person we know, that knows more about this new planet than we do.” Jaha added, “Hello Madi, my name is Thelonious Jaha, I don't know if Clarke ever mentioned me.”
“She did.” Madi stated flatly and climbed into the back of the rover ignoring Jaha, she then began shoving things into the pack she had on her. Jaha frowned and Murphy smirked, amused. A moment later she was climbing out with a full pack, she'd moved the rest of the stuff to make room for people in the back. “I'll drive”
Bellamy couldn't help but smile, “No offense, but I can drive us.”
“No offense, but when was the last time you drove? Obviously not anytime recently.” Bellamy's smile died on his lips and a fresh wave of guilt washed over him, but Madi ignored him too and jumped in the front seat of the rover. Kane shrugged and joined her. Bellamy had no choice but to jump into the back with the rest of the group or stand there and mull over the accusation in the little girls words.
It was a quiet ride at first, and Madi clearly wasn't going to initiate any conversation. Kane introduced the rest of the group and Madi only nodded preoccupied with driving. The silence made him realize just how many questions he had, how they had survived and when she'd met Clarke. She wasn't alone down here at least. Or she was, Clarke could have met Madi a month ago for all he knew.
Madi still hadn't said anything about who took Clarke, not when, where, how, and he supposed the girl didn't know who. But Bellamy needed to know, he wanted to know every detail of what happened to her over the past six years. He might have asked if it weren't for the way Madi looked at him, he thought she blamed him for not being here and Bellamy worried she got that from Clarke. She can't blame me more than I blame myself.
“So” Kane spoke up half way through their ride, it seemed Madi did know where she was going. “When'd you meet Clarke?”
Madi made a sharp turn causing Bellamy to grab a handle to stop himself from falling on Murphy's lap. “about four and half years ago”
“Four years? That's a long time, you must have been young when you two met” Kane was clearly trying to incite any kind of conversation. Madi gave him a sideways look before answering.
“I was eight...before that I thought there were no other living people left. We both did.” Almost two years. Clarke was completely alone for nearly two years. “Besides the bunker of course, I wasn't sure about it at first but Clarke insisted you were down there. We tried to dig you out but...” she looked at Kane strangely, “How did you get out?”
Kane looked at Bellamy and the others in the back, “We have Bellamy and the others to thank for that”
“Raven truly” Monty corrected.
“Raven huh?” Madi raised an eye brow.
“Clarke mentioned her too I'm guessing?” Kane asked smiling.
Madi didn't smile but looked in the rear view mirror and her dark eyes met Bellamy's for a moment. “She mentioned all of you” Bellamy swallowed his nerves, he could of swore the girl was looking right through him.
It took them about a half an hour to get back to Polis. Half an hour of Madi vaguely answering any questions they had and Bellamy trying not to lose his mind. He'd spent so many years wondering if there was a chance Clarke could have survived, that there was the slightest hope the nightblood could of worked. Whenever he thought it could he still worried how Clarke could find food or water and how she'd spend her time if she were alone. But if he was telling himself the truth, he spent many more nights just feeling guilty about her dying for him. Worrying that she might have spent her last moments hating him for leaving her.
“Just turn here, that's where the bunker door is, and where most of us have set up camp” Kane pointed to the right and Madi obeyed. A moment later they were over the ridge and all the newly built homes came into view.
“There's so many of you...” Madi's voice was a whisper as she pulled the rover to a stop.
“Yes, more than twelve hundred now” Octavia said with pride and Bellamy couldn't help but smirk at his little sister. She was a strong leader now who cared about her people. Madi was quiet as they left the vehicle and made their way to the bunker doors. She kept the pack on her back and the rifle in her hands.
“I can take your bag if you like” Bellamy offered, it looked heavy after all the stuff she shoved in it.
“I got it” she picked up her pace and didn't even look at him when she replied, instead catching up to Octavia, “Did Clarke's mother make it too?”
Murphy caught up to Bellamy and gave him a nudge in the arm, “clearly Clarke's been saying all good things about you, huh?” his voice was laced with sarcasm and Bellamy ignored him, not letting Murphy see how his words were a reflection of Bellamy's own doubts and fears.
“She did” Octavia looked down to Madi, “Abby's gonna be ecstatic when she hears Clarke's still alive, ever since those doors opened and she wasn't there...” Octavia trailed off, “Anyway you're here now and it'll fix that”
Madi shook her head, “How am I going to fix anything? I'm not her daughter and have no idea where Clarke is” the girl said bitterly.
“No, but you're hope that she's still out there and trust me that's exactly what Abby needs right now” Madi didn't answer but Bellamy thought she looked doubtful. As they made their way down into the bunker Bellamy couldn't stop himself from watching Madi's every reaction, trying to get an understanding of the girl that had spent so much time with Clarke. She's brave like Clarke was. First pulling a gun on all of them, then getting in the rover with a group a of strangers, all to save her friend. Clarke would do the same.
Murphy went off to find Emori, and Monty went for Harper. Kane departed to grab Abby and Octavia left to check in with Indra who was put in charge after Octavia had decided to join them earlier that day. Leaving Bellamy alone in the control room with Madi.
Bellamy didn't think he'd felt this vulnerable in the past six years. How much did Clarke tell her? He had no idea, most of the terrible things Clarke and Bellamy had been through weren't exactly stories for children but when there's no one else on earth to speak to...Had Clarke told her all the terrible things he'd done? Maybe that's why she seems to hate me.
Madi walked behind the desk and began examining the computers on it, tracing her fingers over the keypad. “All this tech and they didn't have a radio” Madi shook her head in sour disappointment.
“It's not that simple, radios only have a certain range-”
“I know how radios work”
“I'm sure you do” he muttered taking a seat, Madi's dark eyes glared at him from under her hat.
“I spent enough time playing with them over the years...we had a lot of them”
“You did?” Madi nodded.
“When no one ever answers your calls you have to wonder if it's your radio or theirs” Madi picked up a microphone that was disconnected from a radio before tossing it back on the desk a second later, “clearly it wasn't ours”
“Ravens working on fixing those”
“and the radio on the Ring?” she looked up at him and he thought he could see more accusations in her eyes, “did you never answer because that one was broken too?”
The door opened rescuing him from more explanations and Raven Reyes walked through, “Hey Bellamy-” she stopped in her tracks and nodded at Madi hovering over her equipment. “Who's the kid?”
“Madi, we found her with the rover” Bellamy stood up, suddenly excited to share the good news.
“I found you with the rover” Madi corrected “Who are you?”
Raven gave Bellamy a look “Raven, Madi, Madi this is Raven”
Madi nodded in understanding and looked back down at the mess of wires “The genius who couldn't fix the radio”
“Raven wait, it's okay. Madi's a nightblood, she survived praimfya.” Raven squinted her eyes at him confused, probably by the joy in his voice. “Guess who she survived with” Bellamy felt himself smile stupidly.
Raven took a second but then she was smiling right back in understanding, “You're not saying?” she shook her head slightly “Oh my god!” Raven put her hands over her mouth in disbelief for a second and looked at Madi in an entirely different light. “You know Clarke?”
“Yeah, I did” Madi picked up another wire and played with it in her fingers sullenly.
“Hey now don't mess with those, this genius still needs to strip them to fix em.” Madi dropped them “and for the record I will fix that radio.”
“It's not the one I was talking about” she muttered and then Kane and Abby walked through the door, Abby looked at Madi like she was seeing the sun for the first time.
“This is her?” Kane nodded and she looked back to Madi “You knew my daughter?”
Madi no longer looked as confident as before “I did...she's gone now.”
“What happened to her?” Abby was desperate.
Uncharacteristically Madi looked down almost shyly “A ship came from the sky, Clarke thought it was Bellamy and Raven then woke me. But when we saw the ship up close she wasn't happy anymore...she told me to get the guns and the rover.” Madi swallowed and looked back up at them wary. “When I did they took her” She wasn't happy any more. The words were a sword in Bellamy's chest.
“Did they see you?” Kane asked.
“I don't know”
“Someone in a ship took her? Are you freaking kidding me?” Raven paced the room no longer smiling and turned to Madi suddenly “what can you tell me about the ship?”
“I don’t know, I don’t think it landed, it was hovering above us before...”
“You’re sure it was hovering?”
“Yes I’m sure.”
“That doesn’t make sense…any place where a ship like that could properly dock would have been wiped out two times over by now.”
“I told you it didn’t land, it came from space” Madi objected.
“Did you see it come from space?”
“Then trust me that wouldn’t be possible.”
“It was from space, other wise Clarke wouldn’t have thought it was you!” Madi snapped, angry once more, but it was Raven it was directed on this time instead of him. “we wouldn’t have even been up there if she wasn’t trying to radio you!”
“Relax okay?” Bellamy tried to speak as softly as Octavia had, “Raven’s just trying to help, and if anyone’s going to figure it out, it's her” Madi just glared at them both.
“She couldn't even answer the radio on the Ring, what makes you think she can find Clarke?”
“Because she has to” Bellamy looked at Raven with hopeful eyes.
“Okay fine! let's say it was from space...” Raven looked thoughtful at first but then her face changed putting a pit in his stomach.
“What is it Raven?”
“If it came from space and could hover then...then it's no ordinary ship Bellamy.”
“Well what the hell does that mean?”
“It means it could be anywhere, it could be halfway around the world or back orbiting space for all I know.”
“That's it? That's all you can think of?” Kane sounded stressed.
“No, no it just means this isn't going to be easy”
“Is it ever?” Bellamy asked rhetorically.
“Okay” Raven went behind the desk and pulled out paper and a pen, “Madi I want you to draw me the ship alight? Anything you can remember about it.”
“There were words on it” Madi offered.
“Words? That's great, do you think you could remember the shape of the letters and write them down?” Raven slid the paper over to her.
“It said Prisoner Transport on the side” Madi knotted her eyebrows, “and something else, it started with an E, something corporation”
“You can read?” Raven asked surprised.
“Wait prisoner transport? Did the ship say Eligius Mining Corporation?” Abby spoke up suddenly, startling Madi.
“Y-yeah I think that's what it said.”
“How'd you know that Abby?” Kane put a hand on her shoulder.
“When me and Jackson were researching at Becca's lab, it was in her files. The same company that made the nightblood solution gave it to prisoners being sent to space, it was made to protect them from solar radiation during long voyages” Abby spoke so fast Bellamy couldn't keep up.
“Why would they send prisoners to space?”
“I don't know some undisclosed private plan Eligius corporation had. I only ever saw one page on it and it was cryptic...” Abby gave Madi a strange look, she'd just rolled up her sleeves and started to draw on the paper she'd been given. Abby took a step forward and grabbed Madi's wrist. “That's Clarke's watch.”
Madi wrenched her arm free from Abby's grasp. “she gave it to me.”
“That's her fathers watch...” Abby's voice was disbelieving “she wouldn't-”
“Abby” Kane cut in. Clarke gave Madi her watch? Of course she did. Bellamy suddenly felt like an idiot. This whole time he was looking at Madi as a means to get to Clarke not even realizing what Madi might mean to her. She found her when she was eight for god's sake. Clarke had spent almost five years living with her, taking care of her, raising her.
“Clarke taught you didn't she?” Bellamy pointed at the words she'd written on the paper “That's how you know how to read.” Madi's eyes were cast down to the paper as the thumb on her right hand brushed Clarke's watch and she nodded without looking at him. Bellamy pushed down his emotions as he thought back to when he'd taught Octavia how to read and write and to draw, about science and the world's history. They're all each other had.
“Maybe you guys should take a break” Raven looked up at Abby and Kane, “Madi can tell me everything she can and then we can go back to Becca's lad. See if there's anything else that can help us” Kane nodded,
“We can have a team ready to go at first light” He gave Abby a gentle nudge but she still stood there with puffy eyes starring at Madi and the watch around her wrist.
“Abby, hey” Raven took a step closer “we're gonna find her okay? Trust me” she nodded quickly and followed Kane out the door. Bellamy continued to hover and ask questions until Raven finally sent him away and promised to show Madi where she could sleep. There was nothing left for him to do but sit and wait. Octavia was busy discussing things with her advisers, Echo was off catching up with people from her clan, Monty was with Harper, and Bellamy didn't really want to talk to Murphy after the comment he'd made earlier. So he wandered by himself buried in his own thoughts
Somehow knowing Clarke was out there somewhere made him feel more lonely than he had in years. Part of him had accepted a long time ago he'd never quite feel the way about someone as he had her, he loved his friends through and through, and his sister unconditionally. But with Clarke he realized there was something so clear and certain about his feelings for her. They were consuming him and they had been since he'd left her on this magnificent and horribly fated planet.
He found his feet took him outside again to the company of the shadows of tress. The air was sharp with pine needles and even though it was night time, he could see clearly from the light emitted from the full moon. The moonlight shimmered off the hood of the rover and the next thing he knew he was climbing into the back of it.
His jacket was where he'd left it. Bellamy picked it up off the rear seat and slid it over his shoulders, closing his eyes he took a deep breath. Raven will find her, she has to.
A few moments later the door opened and he was face to face with Madi.
“Hey sorry...I'll leave” he started to stand up.
“No it's fine, you can stay.” Madi climbed in and not wanting to be rude Bellamy sat down again. There was a long moment of awkward silence before she spoke up. “Do you really think Raven will find her?”
“She will. Raven's probably the smartest person left on this planet.” he was saying it to comfort her but thinking about it, it was most likely true. Madi didn't answer him right away but she kept eyeing him with her dark eyes from her side of the rover.
“What is it?”
“Nothing...It's just I've only ever seen Clarke wear that jacket.”
“Oh” he looked down at his sleeves with a different point of view. So she wore it. In that moment Bellamy would have given anything to know where Clarke was. To know she was safe and alive, that she was still breathing. There was no way she survived six years in the hell that must have been earth, just to die the moment he got down here. All she has to do is survive a little longer. Then he'd be able to find her, then he would find her. Hurry, her voice echoed in his head. Just a wait little longer, I'm coming.