The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 172

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“You’re different than the rest. I imagine it has to do with you being given different serums beforehand. The hive mentality programmed into Trojans hasn’t fully taken hold,” he said. “But you said when you attacked the men that came for you, these Liberty men, you weren’t yourself?”

“No, it was like … I was there but I was viewing things differently, like it was a task for me that needed to be carried out. That’s the best way I can explain it.” I started to pace in the cramped space between the stacks of books. “And I don’t know why it happened. It was like a switch being thrown.”

“Is it possible there was another sound wave weapon nearby that was used?” Luc asked. “The Cassio Wave?”

“I don’t think so. As I said, it most likely was the multiple serums. You’re a fluke in a way. Those serums you confiscated from the girl’s house? Would’ve been interested to have seen them.”

“Yeah, they’re gone,” Luc said.

Eaton was quiet for a moment and then he looked to where I stood. “The Daedalus really would love to get their hands on you. You’re not like the others, and they’d want to take you apart, bit by bit, to figure out exactly why.”

Well, that statement sure didn’t leave me feeling warm and fuzzy.

“You’re going to need to get your abilities under control,” he said, still looking at me, and then, after a pause, “If you can.”

If I can?

Wow, that was motivational.

“She can,” Luc insisted. “I’ll help her.”

General Eaton took a swig from his bottle. “Of course you will.”

Luc frowned. “What is that supposed to mean?”

“You two are a disaster in the making, how can’t you see that?” Eaton looked down at the bottle he held while Luc and I exchanged a long look. Then Eaton laughed. “Well, one of you would see the truth if you’d stop letting yourself be distracted by emotion and the past.”

Well, that could honestly be either of us.

“I think it’s time for you to put down the drink,” Luc suggested.

Eaton lifted his gaze to Luc. “Do you think that this wasn’t planned from the beginning? You’re smarter than that, Luc. You know how the Daedalus operates. They know how you operate.”

Luc clamped his mouth shut.

“What is he talking about?” I demanded.

Eaton didn’t take his gaze off of Luc. “You two were made for each other.”

A fine shiver skated over my skin as I turned back to Luc, recalling that he’d said the same thing to me. We were made for one another.

“You think it wasn’t designed from the moment you left the Daedalus, Luc? That they didn’t know that eventually you would find someone out there that you’d do anything for? You know how they manipulated the Luxen that were close to humans. Look at Daemon and Dawson. The Daedalus damn near engineered their relationships in hopes that they’d mutate a human.”

My brows flew up. “Engineered their relationships?”

“A Daedalus operative was connected to both Bethany and Kat,” Luc explained. “He didn’t put them with Dawson or Daemon, but he was able to report on them and help … aid things along, whether it be the final step of the mutation or turning them over.”

“God,” I whispered.

“And you think the same wasn’t done to you?” Eaton challenged, and Luc’s head whipped toward him. “Did it ever occur to you that they knew about her the minute she ran away from her house and into your waiting arms? That they weren’t tracking both of you, keeping tabs on you? They just got lucky when she got sick.”

Luc’s jaw clenched as he stared at the general, and I felt like I needed to sit down.

“Her cancer was their perfect opportunity. They knew you were trying to get the serums to give to her. LH-11. Prometheus. Each one not healing her, but prepping her for the final serum. Andromeda. They just had to wait until you were desperate enough to take that risk and take her to the Daedalus.”

Luc’s features turned stark, and I had to speak up in his defense. “He didn’t take me to the Daedalus. He took me—”

“To Sylvia Dasher? Child, I know you believed that woman to be your mother, and maybe in some small way, she was, but she was very much a part of the Daedalus up until the moment she decided she couldn’t do what was required from her,” he said, and if I thought my heart had broken back when Steven had begun to talk, I’d been wrong. It was breaking now. “Those things you said you were able to do? The fighting. The shooting. What you did to those men outside of Atlanta? You were trained by the Daedalus, handed over by Sylvia, and then your memories were wiped.”

I did sit down then, in a worn, squeaky computer chair.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance