Deliverance Page 96

“He doesn’t know. And somehow I think even if he did know, he’d still choose to love you.” I step into the hall and walk to Marcus’s door, since Ian shows no signs of getting up off the cell floor. The chain running through Marcus’s lock is heavier than it looks, and I suck in a pained breath as I carefully slide the dagger inside my boot and then struggle to remove the chain.

“Why didn’t you tell him?” Ian says behind me.

I stop pulling on the chain and look at him. “Because he’s been through enough. He loves you. He thinks the world of you. He doesn’t deserve to have that ripped away from him.”

“I don’t know what to say.” He sounds confused as he takes the chain from me and begins unwrapping it.

He’s not the only one. I want to punch him in the face. I want to break down and cry because it isn’t my dad behind this door. I want to stop feeling empathy for the boy who killed my best friend.

“I don’t want to hear anything you have to say.” I step back as the door swings open. “I just want you to help me save Logan.”

“Jared Adams’s Rachel? My sons? Save? Promised,” Marcus says. “Promised. Inverse.”

“You promised him we’d save Logan?” Ian doesn’t sound happy.

I turn toward him and snap, “No, I promised him I’d save you both from James.”

“Why would you want to save me?”

“I don’t. But it was the price of getting him to tell me about the summoners. Marcus says you know how to destroy them. We have to do that before Logan gets here.”

“You forget that Logan went north. With the Commander, apparently. He isn’t coming.”

I meet his gaze. “He’s coming. I promise you. If he went north first, he had a good reason, but he’s coming to get me, and we are going to destroy the summoners before he gets here.”

Ian steps into his father’s cell, but keeps his eyes on me. “I don’t know where they are or how to—”

“Inverse! Summoners below inverse transmitter music? Wave function! Ian? Ian!” Marcus shuffles toward us, his back permanently hunched, his gait unsteady. I’m guessing he didn’t have medical care after his whipping.

“What is he saying?” Ian demands.

“He’s saying you know how to destroy the summoners. Something about inverse.” I move away from the cell, though I don’t yet know how I’m getting out of here. “Just tell me, and I’ll figure out where they are. I’ll search the entire city if I have to. Just—”

“I don’t know!” Ian shouts. “I don’t know what he’s saying or where the summoners are, and I don’t know if I should help you even if I could.”

“Ian!” Marcus’s voice is wounded. “Help? Help Logan? Help.”

“Yes, Ian, help.” My lips curl around the words, though for Marcus’s sake, I try to keep my tone even. “Help your brother. You owe him that. You owe us both.”

“Inverse! Transmitter? Ian?”

“I don’t speak tech. What is he saying?” I ask as I glance at the dungeon’s window. The bars gleam dully in the morning light, and I can just make out the lines of soldiers parading across the grounds. Soldiers in Rowansmark green and brown. But also soldiers in gray and blue. Soldiers in dark blue and white. A combined army that is so much bigger than anything Logan and Lankenshire can pull together.

Not that the army will matter if Rowan’s summoners call a host of tanniyn instead.

“Summoners? Logan? Inverse? Wave!” Marcus stumbles, and Ian rushes to his side. The moment Ian touches his father, Marcus turns and wraps his arms around his son, holding him tight while he croons Julia’s broken melody and smiles.

“Inverse . . . wave? Is that what you mean?” Ian looks at me. “It could work. Using a sonic wave that’s the inverse of the frequency emitted by the summoners would, in theory, negate their signal.”

“Would you need to know the exact location of the summoners to use an inverse sonic wave?”

“No, sound travels. The wave is amplified using transmitters, so theoretically, as long as you were in the vicinity and had a stronger sound wave, you could nullify the signal.” He slowly leans his cheek against his father’s shoulder, as if worried the resting place he seeks will disappear as soon as he gets there.

“So all we need to do is build a device that can send an inverse of the summoners’ signal, right? You can do that, can’t you, Ian?” My voice is a hard slap.

“I can’t.” His blue eyes challenge mine. “Remember how I said that Quinn burned down the lab? Years of research, equipment, supplies, and proprietary tech . . . gone.”

Up until a few moments ago, I’d have been overjoyed to learn that the lab was destroyed. I’d planned to do it myself. Now, I’m terrified that the destruction of the lab means there’s nothing I can do to save Logan.

“What can we do?” I ask. Fear trembles through my voice.

“Logan? Save? Promised. Mine. Logan?” Marcus pulls back to look at Ian.

Ian looks at the floor. “We don’t know where the summoners are buried, and we don’t have the supplies to build another controller. We can’t stop this.”

I stare at him, my chest burning, my eyes stinging, and feel something powerful surge through me. Maybe Ian can’t stop it. Maybe he’s willing to look at all the obstacles standing in our way and admit defeat. Or maybe he just has no intention of trying to save Logan after spending so many months hating him.

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