A few moments passed before he reacted, it was like he didn’t hear. He did that quiet often, people said he was slow but it actually came from a deep consideration of what was said. As someone who doesn’t like to speak unless there’s a reason for it, he wanted to make sure he understood whatever question was asked. Giving a wrong answer was a waste of time.
“There was a mission earlier,” he repositioned himself on his chair and looked over at the nearest group of people. “There’s no point in asking, they won’t tell me.”
“Because of you.”
“They’re afraid I’ll tell you and you’re not part of this yet.”
I got it. They were guarding themselves. I didn’t know if I was going to join up and, frankly, if I wasn’t I didn’t want to know what was going on. I was a coward and if anyone questioned me I’d give them answers straight away. Even knowing about one of the passages was a risk. One they definitely shouldn’t have taken and, I had to admit, they were doing the right thing.
But then, if I did join I’d have to toughen up. I’d know more than I do now and the risk of being caught would be so much higher. I know that right now I’m questioning my faith in Solo, in the people who are supposed to be looking after us, but it was a massive leap from having my very first doubts to jumping in bed with the enemy. Everything I knew about them came from the mouth of government officials, the only sort of news circulation we had were posters and the occasional crier. According to them the group was a bunch of misfits bent on causing havoc because they have nothing better to do. They were influenced by Hebens with ideas above their stations and in the past few years they’d upgraded themselves from petty annoyance to murderous criminals.
Again it was a massive leap, for them. Having spent the previous years protesting and demonstrating in public, across the entire city, barely causing any harm then deciding to take the step in the extreme direction and terrorising the people. Well, maybe something didn’t add up. Maybe Elswick had a point, which I was beginning to find out was usually the case.
“What are you guys trying to do?” I asked, unable to keep my curiosity in check.
He started explaining, his words were easy and confident as if he often went over it . Maybe he brought a lot of people in, maybe he kept telling himself to keep him going. A simple explanation that was difficult to argue with, but also so vague. An answer that wasn’t really an answer.
“We want to make Solo a better place.”
He shrugged his shoulders, a habit so a part of him I couldn’t imagine him saying something without including one of these. It was as comforting as his words. But it lead to many questions.
“Better according to who?”
“To all those who fight for change.”
“What about anyone who’s too scared? Don’t they get a say?”
“I don’t know.”
“How can you fight without knowing, without fully understanding?”
“Because anything has to be better than what we have.”
Not long after, Elswick came back with Lance. He looked relieved to get whatever he was holding in off his chest. The man next to him didn’t look nearly so relaxed, deep furrows appeared on his face as he thought. It might’ve been my imagination but those furrows looked to get deeper when he looked at me.
“Are you joining us?” He asked abruptly.
“I don’t know,” I said taken aback.
“At least she’s honest.”
“She’s still standing right here and so far I’ve seen nothing that says I should join. You’re not exactly welcoming, neither are the people who follow you. No one’s done anything to explain what goes on here and all I know about you has come from the Government. As far as I’m concerned you’re a bunch of monsters who like to terrorise people and blew up a bank last week. Tell me why I should believe you? Show me that my government’s wrong.”
At no point did I raise my voice, but it still sounded like my words echoed. When it cleared up there was silence. People were looking over at us and I think Elswick smiled, if very faintly. Warren, as per usual, didn’t react.