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There should have been time.

Seconds, minutes, hours, perhaps even days.

It should have gone slowly, deliberately, with space for argument and explanation; the opportunity to create a team with the same goal in mind, prepared for what was to come.

There shouldn’t have been screams, no heavy breathing.

The taste of fear shouldn’t have been thick and metallic against his tongue, shouldn’t have colored the air with a spray of red.

Shotgun shells shouldn’t have clashed against stone in time with his pulse, with the tempo of feet pounding down a mountain.

Bodies should not have collided, should not have fallen.

This wasn’t a thing meant to be rushed, to be forced. It needed careful and tacit agreement from all, but especially from the one who would oppose most harshly.

The smell of mint mingled with fresh dust and copper—the effect was nauseous and unsettling.

They came from all directions and they came in droves, Minho had been barely into the process of loading up the Berg when the first shot had rung one, accompanied by an earsplitting shriek from a voice Thomas couldn’t place.

He hadn’t even caught up to Newt yet, to begin his attempt to explain the decision he’d made and why it was important it was made then.

He’d had a plan.


He’d had a plan.


He’d had a plan.





There should have been time.