‹ Prequel: Martyr's Run

Storms in Utopia

Into Berlin


As we turned into the side road, I could see something, most likely a person, at the far end. Despite it being a sunny day, the light didn’t reach down in between the buildings, so we had to get considerably closer before I could make it out. As soon as we got there, however, I knew exactly what it was.


Casper was ranting before I was even fully out of the car. I gave him a glare, telling him to shut up, but sometimes he really didn’t get it.

‘Where the hell did you go?’ he demanded. ‘The fight was three days ago! I’ve been trying to contact you!’

‘Is it any of your business?’ I asked, forcing myself to keep a cool tone despite the anger that was boiling up inside me. It was ridiculous. I’d only known Casper for three days before I left for Hamburg, and we hadn’t been in contact since, yet we’d hated each other right from the outset.

‘I think it is my business, Sonja!’ he said. ‘The entire base has been put on hold as we didn’t know if the kid was dead or alive. And we still don’t know if he’s real or just a false alarm.’

‘Well, Arjan is alive, in case you haven’t noticed,’ I said curtly, gesturing to my side. ‘And don’t call him ‘the kid.’ He’s older than you, Casper. And don’t you dare call me Sonja.’

‘Well, three days before you left, you introduced yourself to me as Sonja,’ Casper retorted, not quite able to keep up with my fickle speech. ‘So I think I’m very much allowed to call you by it. I don’t know where all this Hurricane crap came from, but it was only a code name.’

‘A code name that I liked, and have now gotten used to, enough to carry on using it.’

‘And anyway,’ Casper continued, ‘what about the ‘false alarm?’’

‘Please,’ I muttered, ‘we can talk about this later. Not when Arjan’s around.’

Casper actually began to laugh out loud. ‘Oh, like you’ve ever cared about other people before.’ I chose to ignore him. As much as anything, I wanted to divert away from the ‘false alarm’ conversation that was unfortunately inevitable. I knew why Arjan was important, but no one else did, and until we’d come up with a productive plan, I wanted it to stay that way. I could tell the Master; I might even mention it to Carl and Jonas and people I actually liked, but no way was Casper going to be the first person to know about the Dreamer revolution.

‘I’ll tell you this much:’ I said, wanting to defend my pride as much as I wanted to keep our secret, ‘it wasn’t a false alarm. Dave was wrong for once.’

‘You’d better be glad that that’s the case,’ Casper said. ‘Otherwise, you alone just endangered the lives of every Dreamer in Berlin for absolutely no reason.’

I took a step closer, glaring at him through dark eyes. I was shorter than him, but not by much, and I was powerful.

‘Well,’ I muttered, ‘it wasn’t the case. It never was. So don’t bring it up again. Okay?’

Casper shrugged. ‘Whatever, Sonja.’

I sighed at his immature games, not wanting to carry on arguing. It was strange how there were some people in life who we were simply never destined to get along with.

‘Come on,’ muttered Casper. ‘And bring your boyfriend with you.’

‘He is not my boyfriend!’ I hissed angrily, though Casper either didn’t hear or chose not to listen, walking on ahead.

‘Oh, so you kissed me because you hated me, did you?’ challenged Arjan sarcastically, once Casper was far enough away.

‘Shut up!’ I snapped, storming off without another word. I think the hardest thing was that I knew he was somewhat right, as much as I chose to deny it. ‘It was all lies Arjan.’

He looked offended, but I would be surprised if he wasn’t used to it from me by now, so he fell silent and followed the rest of us on. As much as anything, I was just glad that Casper didn’t hear Arjan’s comment. If he did, I would never live it down.


Casper came striding in, his powerful sweep suggesting that something important was going on. Subconsciously I sat up a little higher on the sofa, no longer slouching as I had been two seconds ago, and became suddenly alert.

‘I have some good news and some bad news,’ he announced.

‘What is it?’ I asked, immediately eager. As much as I liked my new found calm time, it was only ever meant to last until my injuries had healed. And, considering they were almost there, I was now beginning to think about bigger things.

‘The good news,’ Casper began, ‘is that Sonja’s here.’

‘Excellent!’ I said. ‘So, can we meet her?’ Finally, this was a chance to meet the mysterious Hurricane. I’d heard that she was the one I had to talk to when it came to my increasingly big ideas of uprising and rebellion.

I paused just for a moment. ‘What’s the bad news?’

Casper sighed, looking irritated. ‘The bad news, is that Sonja’s here.’


Walking into the base was an overwhelming experience. It was bigger than I’d expected, and grander. The foyer was the same size as a decent school hall, and bright strip lights lined the ceiling. This particular room seemed to be a hub of activity; from this main entrance, I could see at least eight different corridors leading off in all different directions, and people were moving around in here—some were chatting, some seemed to be working, and some were simply passing through from one corridor to another.

‘We need to go and—‘

‘Where the hell have you been?’ a voice cried to my left. From seemingly out of nowhere, Carl appeared. On the other occasions I had seen him, he’d seemed like a pretty happy, easy-going sort of guy, but now he looked almost ready to explode.

Hurricane seemed much more casual about things.

‘I’ve been busy,’ she said curtly, preparing to stride past him. I made to follow her; she knew what she was doing and, as the pointing and whispering seemed to increase around me, I figured I should stay with her for a bit.

Busy?’ Carl fumed.

‘Sonja—‘ someone else began to call. Hurricane looked somewhat hurried.

‘I’ll tell you later,’ she told Carl briskly. I didn’t miss the knowing look she gave him. Even if Carl didn’t know anything about our proposed ‘revolution’ just yet, he was going to be in on it. He seemed to be one of the few people Hurricane felt she could trust. In fact, he seemed to be one of the few people that she could actually tolerate.


‘I said later,’ she said curtly, striding off. A woman who I did not recognise walked over to us now, but Hurricane pretty much waved her away.

‘Really Anna, I’ll talk later,’ said Hurricane dismissively. I had no idea how she did it. If anyone else in the world spoke to people like that, they’d surely be outcast. But Hurricane...well, I couldn’t explain it. But as soon as she walked in, it was as if every head had turned, and everyone became enthralled by her very presence. I doubted it was purely because of her; it was probably more because word had got around that she’d disappeared off the face of the earth for a few days after defying the Master’s orders to come and find the boy she may or may not love in the middle of a Soulless-ridden city, and then got out of it, not just alive, but seemingly without a scratch on her body.

We walked down the corridor directly opposite the entrance and, now that there were less people around, Hurricane seemed to relax a little.

‘They’re all looking at me,’ I said. ‘And whispering.’

‘They’ll get over you in a couple of days,’ she said, still keeping that same curt tone as she had used with all the others.

I was beginning to grow exasperated.

‘When will people understand that I’m here by choice?’

She just shrugged. ‘I don’t know. Soon. Hopefully.’

It was hardly an ideal response, but I had learnt never to expect anything more from Hurricane. Once again, I fought hard back through my memory to try and remember what I actually liked about her.

‘Where are we going?’ I asked, changing the subject.

‘I’ve got to see the Master,’ she replied.

The Master’s office was a little way down this corridor. We didn’t pass many more people on the way; it seemed there wasn’t a lot else down here.

When we reached the door, which had a makeshift sign on it saying ‘David J. Eisenberg; The Master,’ Hurricane knocked.

‘Come in?’ an abrupt, yet elderly voice said from the other side.

Hurricane pushed the door open and stepped inside. She was in a lot more trouble than I was—I’d done nothing wrong here—but if she was scared, she didn’t show it. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel quite as comfortable. For me, I was about to walk into the lion’s den.
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Somewhat random question; does anyone ever laugh at anything in these stories? Sometimes I find myself bursting into hysterics after re-reading something I've written, but that's probably largely down to the very specific picture of the characters and the way they talk that's formed in my mind. It's also most likely down to my rather peculiar and sarcastic sense of humour. But I was wondering whether it's just me, or whether there's occasionally a line that actually sounds funny.