Stanley finally found them. They were standing facing each other arguing in an abandoned railyard.
"Stop here!" she said.
Mr. Carter pressed the brakes, but before the car stopped completely, Amanda opened the door and started running. Roger, Trisha, and Stanley were right behind her.
"I took over because you abandoned us," Amanda could hear Brian yell at Todd.
"Do you think I had a choice? They gave me an ultimatum! I didn't see you facing off with the Ostosiens; You left as well!" Todd yelled back.
"I did what I needed to protect the city," Brian said, "and since Amnika doesn't want to lead, I'm taking over!"
"You don't know she doesn't want to," Todd responded, "We haven't even had time to make it official."
"You know as well as I do she has limited time," Brian said. Amanda could feel his energy increase.
Amanda could see Boris with Camellia standing behind Todd. They were Natisiens and could not contribute to the fight. A stronger Brian will easily overpower his weaker brother. If Todd doesn't back down, he could die.
She couldn't let that happen. Not here.
Amanda glanced at the substation as she ran, she entertained the notion that she might be able to pull energy from it. Then immediately nixed the idea. Even Inersiens are not immune from electrocution. She'll have to make do.
She finally caught up and got between them. Then drawing on what little rikta energy she could find, and brought out her own energy in full force. It was enough to cause her to glow even in the bright afternoon sun.
"Enough," She yelled at both of them. She felt Todd immediately backed down. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Todd and the others shift their positions behind her. Roger, Stanley, and Trisha joined them. Mr. Carter soon followed.
Brian hesitated, looked at everyone behind her, then finally backed down. She dropped her energy.
"Listen to me," Amanda yelled, "Our city is gone and with it the traditions we all hold dear. The Government here has given us a second chance, and for now, we follow the rules and traditions here." Amanda paused to make sure everyone understood what she was saying.
"But because you are so insistent on holding these traditions, I am claiming leadership for as long as I have the mental capacity to do so."
Brian stepped back indicating that he was willing to accept.
She took a breath and looked at the group behind her. Then she continued, "But know this: I am not Amnika, I'm Amanda Conway. That's Todd, Trisha, Stanley, Roger and you are Brian. For all intents and purposes, we are not Inersiens, but humans and we will act that way as long as we are here."
"We have our papers," Amanda continued, "We will use them to do business here. Take advantages of the markets and use what we can get to rebuild."
Brian scoffed, "Yeah, those IDs that we got have strings attached. You know they'll demand payment in some form of loyalty test." He points to Amanda and continues, "And don't think just because you were born here, you are immune to them stripping you of your citizenship."
"I know this," Amanda said, "I also know humans. We can use this to our advantage to bring those more like us together so we can go home."
She can hear Todd sigh, "The Ostosiens won't let us back, they never trusted us, in spite, I mean," Todd stopped. He couldn't finish. Amanda caught a brief glimpse of what he had to deal with, but then he hid it.
"I know," She said gently.
"Even if we could build a fleet, their firepower is much more superior to ours. They'll obliterate us before we even reach our borders," Trisha added.
Amanda scoffed, "Where there is a will, there is a way. As long as we all have a will to go home, we will find a way."
She could finally sense hope.