Status: Completed on October 4th, 2013

Breaking Their Hold

Chapter Fourteen: Assumed Identities

The minutes seemed to drag on forever as Zack lay in the white room, thoughts passing through his mind in an unstable whirlwind. Schlagger had found his two biggest weaknesses other than Melissa, and he was playing dirty. Zack knew that without a doubt, Schlagger would have both his mother and elder sister killed if he didn’t cooperate with them. If he wanted to save them, he had to say something. But on the other hand…
Melissa was his younger sister, and he’d taken it upon himself to protect her. He knew that his Zina and his mother would be extremely upset with him if he chose to rat the youngest of their family out. He sighed, for once in his life being completely at a loss for what he should do. He tried to think of the one person he knew could always give him sound advice, and tried to figure out what he would suggest to Zack that he should do, were he still alive. He thought of his father, James, and then remembered a conversation they’d had shortly before he’d been taken away from home.

It was a sunny day outside in spite of the Government regulations becoming stricter and stricter with each passing day, and a nine year old Zack was sitting on the front porch of his house with his father.

“Daddy, why’s Mommy always so worried about Mel?” Zack asked his father, looking up at the older man’s chiseled face. Father smiled down at son, and gave him a serious smile; one that held no joy.

“Because she’s only seven, Zack,” James sighed, meeting his son’s gaze. He smiled when he looked at his son’s eyes; they were mirror images of his own, much like Melissa’s. “She doesn’t really understand everything just yet and she’s too afraid of everything to try to grasp it.”

Zack looked down at the weathered boards of the porch, pondering the words his father had just spoken before meeting his father’s gaze again, a fierce determination on his face. “But doesn’t she know she doesn’t have anything to worry about? I’ll protect her and keep her safe.”

“I know, Zack.” James smiled down at her. “When I’m gone, you’re going to be all she has to protect her, Zack. Promise me now that you’ll do whatever it takes to do that for me.”

Zack nodded. “I promise, Daddy.”

As fate would have it, James had died only seven months later, shot down in front of Zack by Government Security. Zack hadn’t been taken then; instead, it had been Zina they’d been after. After his father’s death, Zack had done everything in his power to make sure that both his mother and younger sister were as safe as possible.

It was then that he knew what he had to do. He sat there on the bed motionlessly, praying for his father to forgive him for what he was about to do.

With Melissa, Jimmy, Matt, and Pierre

“We can go through Fullerton, and take the backroads up to the mountains. There’s a small camp of independents up there, and I know their leader.” Pierre told Matt and Melissa as the sun began to set. They had begun packing up their own camp.

“Fullerton’s big,” Matt said. “Won’t Schlagger have some of his people there?”

“Of course.” Pierre told him. “He has agents everywhere these days. Especially now that Melissa is on the run. And to get through Fullerton, we’ll have to improvise our appearances.”

Matt, Melissa, and Jimmy watched as Pierre pulled two bottles of cheap blonde hair dye out of his pack, and tossed one each to Melissa and Jimmy.

“What’s this for?” Jimmy asked, though he already knew what the answer would be. Pierre then explained.

“The two they’re going to be looking for the most out of us are you and Melissa, Jimmy. The most reliable way to change your looks is going to be using hair dye, at least until we get to Canada. It will have to be done frequently so that your roots don’t show. You’ll both be blonde, and you’re going to be siblings. Melissa, whenever we’re in a town, even if it’s a village of independents, your going to be Katherine Hauser. Jimmy, your name is going to be Alexander Hauser.”

Melissa nodded. She’d realized soon after they’d left Haverly that she’d have to start using an assumed identity; she had only been wondering when it would be. “Okay,” She said. Pierre nodded.

“And Mel?” Pierre said, an awkward look coming over his face. She looked at him, and he continued. “Make sure to dye all of your hair. In the event that we do get caught by Government Security, you need to be completely blonde for them to buy the identity.”