An earth shattering explosion, even louder than the one Lizzie had set off, shook the sky as Amabelle's grappling hook drew her quickly back to the blimp. She felt the strong pull of the tornado underneath her, but she couldn't bear to look as she held tightly onto her hook. Amabelle crashed into the bottom of the blimp, losing her grip on the handle. She started falling back down toward the tornado spinning just below her, her body being pulled into the funnel cloud. As she started thinking of all the ways she wished she would've lived her life differently, she felt a rope loop over her head and pull tightly around her waist.

Amabelle looked up to see Beau and Lizzie perched atop the blimp, Beau holding tightly onto the rope that was secured around Amabelle and Lizzie grasping the back of Beau's shirt. Beau began pulling up the rope and soon Amabelle was atop the blimp. She sat on her hands and knees on top of the blimp, her whole body quivering as she recounted what had just happened in her mind.

"Are you alright?" Beau asked. Amabelle nodded; she feared if she opened her mouth that she may be sick all over the blimp. She slowly looked up. Her grandfather and several other Minutemen were standing on an island off in the distance. Malaki had disappeared completely.

"Do you feel steady enough to grapple back to land? I don't know how long we'll be able to balance safely on top of this blimp," Lizzie said, her voice soft despite her hardness toward Amabelle earlier. Amabelle nodded again, and the trio quickly grappled back to land.

Amabelle landed in front of her grandfather, not wanting to meet his eyes and see the disappointment there. Before he could open his mouth to speak, whizzing came in from all directions as Malaki and several members of the Cartel landed on the patch of land. Amabelle instinctively stepped closer to Beau, with Lizzie closing in on her left side.

Malaki walked forward, stopping just in front of her grandfather.

"Well, well, well. I never thought I'd see Rusty Cassidy right here on a Cartel island. You come back to fetch your granddaughter?"

Her grandfather snorted. "I mostly came to this god forsaken place to get that weapon, but now that it's been destroyed, I suppose I better take her back with me to her momma. That's if you'll let me take her, but I never knew you to be the sympathetic sort."

Malaki looked over at Amabelle with narrowed eyes, spitting on the ground by her feet. He moseyed on over to her, stopping just a foot in front of her face. She could smell the whiskey seeping out of his skin and had to clamp her mouth shut. "You destroyed something we've been working on for years. Somethin' that could've made us the most powerful clan in the skies. And you just ruined all of our chances. And for what? Dream boy over here sweet talk ya into doing it?" He nodded his head toward Beau.

Amabelle set her shoulders back. She was sick of having these men talk down to her like she didn't know what she was talking about. "I destroyed it because no group of people deserves to have that type of power over the other. No one should be able to murder so many people at the flip of a switch. Why can't we all work together to create a more powerful society in the sky? Think of what we could accomplish if we did that!"

A loud grunt came from behind Malaki. A familiar wheezing voice rang out. "That's a far differn' story than you were sayin' in the jail cell."

Amabelle looked around Malaki. "Garth? Is that you?" Sure enough, it was the drunk she had spent two days trapped in the jail with. "What are you doing here?"

"I came here to see what was goin' on with what I created! Arrived jus' in time to see you destroy it. Migh' not be a bad thing though, coulda killed a bunch of people."

Amabella was floored. "You, you created the weapon?" She remembered the initials she had seen on the sketch...G.M. That must've been Garth.

Beau stepped forward. "It doesn't matter now. What's done is done."

Malaki laughed. "That's where you're wrong, brother. You worked with a Minutemen to destroy Cartel property. You either go with your blue lady friend or go somewhere else, I really don't care."

Amabelle looked at Beau. There was a bit of sadness in his eyes, but mostly triumph. She looked at her grandfather. Amabelle didn't want to go with him, back to that life where she was underappreciated and undeserved. She nudged Beau gently with her shoulder as the other men began milling about, talking amongst themselves.

"I heard that there are these islands, wayyyy up in the sky that are covered in ice," she said. Beau's eyes widened. "Care for an adventure?"

Lizzie leaned in close. "Really? Can I come too? I know I won't be welcome here anymore either."

Amabelle nodded. "What do you think Beau?"

Beau stared off into the distance, the dark sky beginning to lighten as morning approached.

"Let's go make our own adventure," he said, and the trio grappled off into the rising sun.

written by: Shannon McPherson

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