Opposition

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Opposition

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      The noise of the helicopter couldn’t block the sound of blood pounding in Hannibal’s ears. For the first time, Lecter’s heart was beating faster than usual. For the first time, his heart was filled with dread and powerlessness piercing it like iron rods... he had lost Will.       He lost Will down there, where the water was raging. They were driving through the sands of the Dominican Republic when the earth trembled, and the water rushed towards them splitting one of the sandy mountains in two. And before they could get any closer to each other, the wide white line of a river separated them       The area free of water was getting smaller and smaller. A tropical storm had hit the country several days ago, but the dam burst today.       “We’re picking up some movement down there, sir. There’s a car on the left.”       Hannibal looked over there: a white car was sliding parallel to the water on the sand. The same one Will could have been driving.       “Might be him.”       It looked bad. Water was rushing in from all sides. The car had barely enough time to cross the sand hills before they were swallowed up by the merciless torrent.       Hannibal was handed a satellite phone, and after a few beeps on the other end, Will picked up.       “Will? Will, can you hear me?”       “Hannibal?” Lecter’s heart nearly jumped to his throat when he heard Will’s voice. A voice he thought he would never hear again. “Hannibal, I’m trapped. I don’t know where to go, water's everywhere.”       “Will, I see you,” Hannibal swallowed a lump and exhaled quietly. “I’m on the helicopter with the rescue team.”       “There’s nowhere for the helicopter to land. We’ll be swept away by the water faster than I can open the door,” Will almost barked. “I can barely drive. The farther I drive, the worse the road gets. What do I do?”       There was a faint note of panic in his trembling voice. Hannibal couldn’t take his eyes off the car, which at times slipped on the trickiest parts of the sand.       “You’re gonna make it, Will. I’ll get you out. Do you trust me?” The car almost skidded at that moment, and Hannibal felt his hands sweat. “Will, do you trust me?”       “I…” The car straightened up and rounded another obstacle before it too was hit by a wave. “Shit!”       “Will, take a deep breath. Breathe. Deeper.” Hannibal tried to regain his face, to become impassive and firm. He would be a pillar of support for Will in this moment and always afterwards. If they were saved, Hannibal would be his support forever…       Will let out a barely audible, ragged exhale. Another one followed.       “Good. Keep breathing, Will.”       “Sir!” One of the rescuers distracted Hannibal and pointed forward.       An unpleasant chill ran down Lecter’s spine because Will was rushing straight into the lake formed by the water rushing in from everywhere. But there was still a narrow passage between the current and the lake. Will would have a chance to save himself if he can outrun the river.       “Will, are you there?”       “Where else would I be?” Will grumbled unhappily, and Hannibal smiled. If Will had sassed him, he still had the strength to fight.       “Listen carefully. You have to outrun the flow of the river and cross it before you reach the lake.”       There was silence for a moment. Hannibal expected at least a little bit of emotion, but not a phrase uttered through clenched teeth:       “How much time do I have?”       Hannibal looked at the rapidly shrinking distance and licked his parched lips.       “You have a couple minutes or less to make it through.”       Yes, he knew well how it sounded. Impossible. Sand and water at high speeds halved or tripled the chances of success. But they had to try.       Will didn’t respond.       A drop of salty sweat rolled down Hannibal’s temple as the car jerked forward.       There was another river running opposite the car. It was not as big as the main river, but it was wide and fast.       “Shit!”       “Hold on, Will, don’t slow down!” Hannibal almost shouted. He was afraid to blink as the car slid into the white rushing stream.       It was splitting the waves or flowing through them like butter, but it was still moving. Going against all odds.       His brave mongoose.       “One last effort, Will!”       The car skidded dangerously along the edge of the current, and for a moment Hannibal’s chest felt too empty. Like in slow motion, Will took advantage of the skid to turn sharply a few yards before the lake and get out before the clear water buried him.       Will stopped a safe distance from the river and breathed noisily. The cheers of the rescuers echoed behind Hannibal’s back, and Lecter exhaled heavily, feeling hot tears dripping from his lowered eyelids.       Today Hannibal almost lost the most precious thing he had. It was another reason to once again contemplate how fragile and precious life was...
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