Chapter 30

They huddled in the centre of the room, surrounded by the rubble that signified their defeat.

Tears flowed silently from Simmi's eyes while the other members of The Brotherhood sat silently by him, too traumatised to speak.

Gyan looked across at the faces in front of him and avoided glancing down at the still body of Gill at his feet. Like the others, he felt the wretchedness of their situation but knew he had to be strong. Three of them were gone, decimating their confidence.

"This shouldn't have happened," he mumbled, desperate for something to say. He was a Teacher, not a Hero. This was beyond his scope. They had spent hours scouring the debris. Gill was dead. Vis' invisible body remained missing. And Jackhammer was kidnapped. There was nothing he could say to ease their pain.

"How could this happen?" Simmi sobbed. "How did they know we'd be here?"

"Someone must have told them," O'Shay spat with a shake of his head. He looked accusingly at Gyan. The others followed his gaze.

"You were against us coming from the start," Simmi said as the meaning of O'Shay's look dawned on him.

"You were supposed to protect us," Hawk added, " but I didn't see you anywhere in the fight."

Gyan sensed the direction of the conversation immediately. Their grief needed a scapegoat.

"Listen to me," Gyan said, "No one is responsible for what happened. I don't now how Seduction knew we would be here…"

"Someone must have told him," Brains interrupted. "Who had access to a phone?"

"None of us had contact with the outside world," Hawk said to Gyan. "You were the only one."

"That's not true," Gyan countered. "Jackhammer and O'Shay both came from the outside."

"But you found us," O'Shay countered. "You took us in the night and brought us to the school. We had no idea where we were or when we were going to leave."

"That's right," Brains agreed. "You were the only one who could contact the outside world." He glared at Gyan. "You opposed this mission and you hated Jackhammer…"

"Oh my God," O'Shay muttered under his breath. "It was you!"

"It was you!" Simmi echoed. "You told them we were coming! You told them to ambush us!"

"No, I…"

Simmi lunged at Gyan, knocking him over backwards. "It was you!" Simmi screamed and he lashed out with all the hurt and anger and despair raging inside of him.

Hawk was quick to react, tugging fruitlessly at Simmi until Brains and O'Shay joined the fray. Between them, they pulled Simmi back, holding him at bay as he lashed out with his feet at Gyan.

Gyan rose to his feet, wiping his nose with the back of his hand and looking at the bloody streak it left there.

"Enough!" Gyan said, controlling the shake in his voice. "Enough! We can't fall apart like this. We have to stay in control."

"You expect us to trust you after what you did?" O'Shay gasped.

"It wasn't me," Gyan repeated. "I didn't betray you."

"Liar!" Simmi screamed and wretched himself free, diving at Gyan again. Gyan saw him coming and this time leapt aside, grabbing Simmi as he staggered passed him, securing him in a tight hold from behind. Simmi shrieked, the string of expletives coming so loud and fast they blended into an unintelligible wail.

"Stop him!" O'Shay panicked and grabbed at Gyan, trying to pry him free of Simmi. The others followed suit, hauling Gyan off their comrade with great effort, dropping him face down on the ground. They piled on top of him, pinning Gyan to the broken concrete floor.

"Find some rope!" Brains yelled to no one in particular, but Simmi was soon by his side with enough loose wiring to bound Gyan's hands and feet.

"Stop this!" Gyan yelled. He struggled to release himself from the frenzied grasp of all four. It was a useless fight and he was hogtied before he could break free.

Gyan rolled to his side and looked up at them. They loomed above, chests heaving as they panted from the stress and effort.

"Don't do this," Gyan pleaded. Simmi kicked him in the stomach for his effort.

"Jesus Christ!" someone said. Gyan squinted against the pain as the four boys turned to look behind them. Standing naked in the doorway was Vis. "What the fuck is going on?!"

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