“Raise and shine, morning glory.” I bolt up, alarmed at the sudden voice in my ear.
“Agent Anderson, its Darwin.”
“Oh.” I rub my face as I get up. “Don’t do that!” I hiss.
“You need to get moving. The prisoners are less active during the day,” Darwin continues, ignoring me.
“Okay, I’m going.” I mutter.
After I got deeper into the city Darwin, via the earpiece, helped me navigate my way to a boarded up building. Once I broke into it, she told me to rest there until further notice.
I poke my head out a shattered window. Judging by the sun, I slept for about four hours. Avoiding the glass I climb out of the window, cautiously making my way down the fire escape. As my feet hit the street I lift the wrist communicator to my mouth. “Darwin, where to know?”
“Head straight down Belstern Street. It should be right in front of you.” I glance up the street and spot the sign. Its bent and twisted but the word Belstron is still recognizable on it. With nothing but my weapons and the word of a woman that works for the people that took my daughter, I proceed done the street.
This is a terrible place. My eyes take in the sights as I scan the area for trouble. Every building is rundown and boarded up. Trash litters the streets and alleyways. Graffiti is everywhere. Over all, it’s a slum. Smells like one too. Smoke, liquor and gasoline, assault my noise. I’m a little surprised and nervous that I haven’t seen a single soul yet. I made a comment to Darwin about this. She said that was a good thing. I take a brief stop to eat on the steps of what use to be a church. “That’s a shame,” I muse to myself. The cross on the top of the church has been flipped upside down, the symbol of the Devil. Fitting, considering where I am.
“What is?” Darwin asks.
“Nothing,” I reply. Pulling an apple out of my bag I ask Darwin, “So, where I’m I heading?”
“Toward the center of the prison,” the earpiece cracks out, “Its one of the safest places.”
“Really?” That doesn’t seem right to me. “I would expect the heart of the prison to be the most dangerous.”
“It would be, being so near the territory dubbed Freak Place, by the inmates but it’s the only neutral zone there.”
“Why?” I say with a mouthful of apple.
“It’s in the area near a place called The House.”
“The House?” I swear, the names in this place…
“Yes, it’s home to over thirty residence that are not part of any gang or group.” I toss the apple core over my shoulder.
“So ya think this Edward is in that area?”
“Ahh uhh, I actually believe that he may live at The House.”
“Great! So do you know where that is?”
“Umm, no.” I glare down at the wrist communicator miffed.
“How I’m I supposes to find him then?”
“…We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
“Thanks.” I’m about to say more when I notice them. A group of figures is few streets down and closing fast. “Shit.” I snatch my bag then draw my weapon.
Swiftly I make my way in the opposite direction the figures are coming from. “Hurry before they see you,” Darwin panics.
“How can you see them?”
“There are cameras all over the prison. Now hurry!” Too late, a sharp whistle prices the air then shouts ring out. I’m in a full out run now. The shouts are growing loader. I can hear the thudding of boots behind me. A shadow passes overhead. I glace up at it. Without warning a rusted car ahead of me is crushed as something lands on it. I skid to a stop. The something straightens itself, and I see it’s a man. Massive metal wings fan out from his back. Wires and tubing from the back connect to his neck and robotic arm. He smiles at me, slanting artificial eyes, glowing white. “Yo, Selena, look what I found.” His voice sounds metallic as he laughs at someone behind me.
“Ya found your brain finally?” I don’t dare to take my eyes away from the winged man to look at the speaker. I hear Darwin curse in my ear. “You!” The voice is directed at me. Sounds like a woman. “Turn around so I can see ya.”
Cold sweat runs down my back, every nerve in my body is telling me to run but slowly I comply. Standing before me are at least another dozen inmates, all just as strange looking as the man behind me. Standing before them is a tall lanky woman. Long black hair frames her thin face. She gives me a big grin. Her mouth is filled with shark like teeth. “Well, well, what do we got here?” Her mocking voice sends shivers down my spine. “I see that pretty little gun ya got there. I’m going to ask you to put it on the ground and kick it to me.”
“Why?” I mange to say. Her eyes widen with mock surprise.
“So the little fuck has a voice after all. I was starting to think you were mute. You’re going to do it because if you don’t, I’ll have Huston behind you snap your neck. So whatsa’ going to be?”
I stand there for a moment thinking of anything that will get me out of this situation. One plane comes to mind and its probably going to get me killed. “Well?” Selena demands. I nod and gradually crouch down to place the gun on the floor. “There, now that’s a good little dog.” She laughs and the others join in. Abruptly Darwin’s voice is in my ear.
“If you let them get you there’s no telling what they might do to you. They could kill or rape you just for the fun of it.”
“Oh joy,” I mutter.
“Come on, toss the gun over!” I glance up at Selena. She and her group of freaks are gazing at me with the stares of hungry wolves. I slide the gun to her. She stops it with her foot. “Thank you, now stand up,” she snaps. It’s know or nothing. Springing up I draw the Glock 17s from under my arms and fire at her.
“Move!” someone shouts as the freaks take cover. I take advantage of their panic to try escaping. That doesn’t work. I forgot about the guy behind me. Huston bellows, shooting off the car at me. I dive to the side. He crushes the grown I was just standing on with his fist. I’m up again. He swings out at me. I duck, firing a round into his chest. He laughs as the bullet ricochets off him.
“You’re going to need something bigger to get me with.” Desperately I roll away as he stomps at me. Suddenly I’m air born as he grabs the back of my hoody, tossing me as if I were a doll.
“Ugh!” the air is driven from my lugs as I slam into the side of a building. I hit the ground groaning. Quickly I force myself onto my back and prop myself up. The others have gotten over their shock and now are advancing on me. Selena snarls at me.
“None of you idiots kill him. I get this bastard for lunch!” Somehow I’m still clutching at my weapons. Raising them I fire at them again. A few of them dart out of the way but most just let the bullets hit them. The bullets only seem to be making them madder. I’m screwed. I’m going to be killed by a bunch of freaks, and my daughter is going to become one of them. That pisses my off. It pisses me off even more that I’m going to die pissed off. Well I’m going to keep fighting till I do. I drop the guns as I stand up and poise myself to fight.
“Get back on the ground!” I jump at Darwin’s voice.
“Just do it!” I obey. Not a moment to soon. The snorting freaks around me are interrupted as three explosions rock the earth.
My ears are ringing as I look around. Through clouds of debris I see the freaks running about in a panic. What just happened? I start as someone grabs my wrist.
“What the-“ A bony hand clamps over my mouth.
“Hush now, if you want to live you will be very quite and follow me.” All I can see of the owner’s hand, through the cloud of debris, is the burred outline of a man. Silently he gets up pulling me to my feet. He drags me into the middle of the smoke. With a certain grace, he avoids all of the still panicking freaks with ease. We’re almost at the edge of the smoke cloud when one freak spots us. He runs at us, jabbering obscenities. Without hesitation my companion whips out an odd looking gun and fires it. A bolt of electricity sends the freak slumping to the ground as it strikes him in the face. I stare for a moment. The freak’s head was blasted clean off. “I do love doing that.” I look at my unexpected help, horrified. He smiles back at me with a psychotic grin. “Lets go before anymore decide they want to play.” He takes off down the street still dragging me along.
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