“Preaching to the choir, babe.”
“I know I am. I know you and Luc and probably a hell of a lot of people here want nothing more than to see them gone, and I may not remember my time with them. I know that is probably a blessing.”
Zoe’s gaze flickered away. “It is.”
I swallowed hard. “But I keep thinking about that Trojan Eaton saw—the one who slammed his head into the wall until he died. All Dasher had done was tell him to do so, and he did it without hesitation.”
“I don’t even know what to say about that,” she said, jaw working. “They could never get that kind of control over us or the hybrids—definitely not the Luxen. Not that they didn’t try. I think the only reason why the Daedalus haven’t taken over was because they couldn’t replicate the hive mind the Luxen and Arum can have.”
“But they have now. Eaton said that the Trojans view Dasher as if the man is their god. Luc thinks that the whole coded thing doesn’t matter, that I won’t end up under Dasher’s control, but we really don’t know that,” I admitted, then took a deep, steady breath. “It doesn’t matter if I can control myself or not. Those other Trojans? They were probably like me or like you and Luc. They might not have had a choice before this was done to them, but they sure as hell don’t have a choice now. We need to stop the Daedalus before they have the ability to command hundreds of thousands of newly mutated people who don’t live up to their expectations into killing themselves. I can’t let that happen.”
Determination reverberated through me. I had to do something, because those Trojans and the ones yet to be mutated were like a part of me. Sounded crazy, but that was how I felt. I couldn’t explain the connection with the other Trojans, faces and names I couldn’t remember and might not have even known. Maybe it was there, buried deep within me, because I’d been trained with them. Perhaps it was far simpler than that and had everything to do with the lurking, insidious fear that I could become the Trojan commanded to do something too horrible to conjure to others or to myself. I had no idea, but the Daedalus needed to be stopped. They needed to be wiped from the face of this planet and from history, for real this time.7Our appetites pretty much shriveled up and died at that point. Talking about power-hungry organizations that had the potential to wipe out or mutate over half the United States population would do that.
Muscles twitching in my thighs, I unfolded my body from the near-fetal position. Having my legs stretched out helped. A little. Tiny twitches danced along the back of my thighs and then my calves, causing my legs to jerk.
“You okay?” Zoe asked.
“Yeah. I’m just…” I wasn’t just feeling twitchy. There was more, a restlessness that pushed to the edge of frustration, the kind that made you want to cry or stomp for no apparent reason. I was antsy.
Antsy to the point it itched at my skin. I couldn’t sit in here and stare at angel paintings. Probably had a lot to do with what we’d been talking about. “I need to get moving around. I can’t sit here.”
“Same,” Zoe shared. “Not when we have all this heavy, dark crap in our heads. I can show you around, if you want.”
Interest more than just piqued, I pushed off the couch. “Are you sure I’m allowed to roam like a free-range Trojan?”
“Free-range Trojan?” Zoe snorted. “If Grayson is allowed to actually come into contact with others here, I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to.”
Hearing his name made me think of last night. God only knows what he must be thinking, but I wondered how he was … well, handling everything. As much as he appeared to hate humans, he had cared for Kent, and even I could see he was taking Kent’s death hard.
Sorrow poured into my chest as I gathered up the lids, placing them onto the containers of food. In comparison to Zoe and everyone, I’d barely known Kent, and Clyde and Chas even less so, but their deaths still hurt.
“How is Grayson doing?” I asked, brushing my hands off on a napkin when I was finished storing the food away.
“He’s doing okay.” Zoe straightened the hem of her shirt as she walked around the coffee table. “He’s not really wanting to talk about Kent or Clyde, but I know he feels responsible.”
“It’s not his fault.” What happened to Kent happened before anyone knew what was going on. It had been so fast—a sniper and a bullet had found him, ending his life before any of us realized the threat had been there.