“NO!” I tried to yell but nothing came out.
I started to go after them, but my legs wouldn’t go. Each movement was painstakingly slow. With every second that passed they grew farther and farther away. They had Olivia. They were dragging her somewhere with a burlap sack thrown over her head and cinched down on her neck. They were too far away. I could never catch them.
“STOP! HELP! Someone HELP!” I sobbed, but no one heard me. Thousands of people surrounded us. All of them looked on as if nothing were happening. I desperately called for help again, but none of the faces reacted. I recognized them. Tanner, Eve and about a hundred other people from the slums. No one would do anything. I tried again to move my legs. I had to catch the men taking Olivia away. This time they worked. I sprinted ahead and gained ground on Olivia’s captors. They were now within range. I pulled out my pistol and carefully aimed at the man dragging her by the arms. My finger eased down on the trigger. A blast sounded from behind me.
The sound jolted me awake. I reached over and felt the stitches on my shoulder.
“Quiet down Robin Hood." The guard rapped his paralyzer gun on the metal bars of my cell.
I put my head back down on my deflated, damp pillow. The guard eased back into his chair. I stared up at the ceiling and waited. I remembered the dream. I was grateful that they didn’t have Olivia. If they did have her, I couldn’t escape. If they had her and I escaped, they'd torture her until they knew where I was, then they would kill her. If I thought they’d catch Olivia, I’d stay in prison.
I sat up straighter and leaned my back against the wall, impatiently. Darion would be breaking me out at 10:30 PM.
“Do you have the time?” I spoke to the guard without moving my head.
“10:40. Is the poor garbage boy reflecting on his last moments of life?” The two other guards chuckled at the ugly one’s poor attempt at humor.
I tilted my head back onto the brick wall next to my bed. I watched the sitting guards intently, looking for any weakness to exploit if I got the chance. The ugly guard was left handed, or at least his right hand was missing a trigger finger. His gun stayed on his left side with his hand never moving more than few inches from the weapon. The other two guards were more careless. Their guns leaned up against the wall. It would take them at least a couple of seconds to reach if they needed them. More than enough time.
Footsteps echoed down the hall. Darion’s. He walked like a government official. Rhythmic, like the sound of a rubber metronome. I remained still. I couldn’t give away that an attack was coming.
Darion stopped in front of the cell and spoke to the guards with a smooth confidence that couldn’t be faked. He didn’t even look at them.
“Open the cell. I’m here to escort the prisoner for execution.”
“Well, well Robin Hood, it looks like the president sent his only son. You must feel pretty important?”
The two careless guards chuckled.
The ugly guard got up and opened the cell. “He’s sly sir. You’d better watch your back.”
“I’ll be sure to keep him in front.”
The tallest of the guards entered my cell and drug me out by my shoulder. I feigned weakness and grunted as I attempted to move towards the opening. I knew they’d be slower to react if they thought I still felt the effects of the paralyzer in my legs. The guard smiled, and he shoved me over to Darion. I looked at Darion. He gave an almost imperceptible nod. I turned instantly and bulled into the ugly guard’s left shoulder, knocking him on his back. He reached for his gun but not fast enough. Darion grabbed one of the guns from against the wall and shot. The second guard’s arm slumped down at his side before he reached his weapon. I grabbed the now paralyzed man’s gun and quickly finished off the other two guards as they frantically dove for the remaining weapon.
I stayed sitting for a moment taking in what had just happened. Darion grabbed my uninjured arm and pulled me up. I tucked my new weapon into the belt of my government issued, prison coveralls.
“Hurry, we only have about 20 minutes now before the real guards are supposed to come get you.”
“What took you so long?” We moved quickly down the empty hallway. Darion led the way around each corner.
“I ran into a bit of a snag. Once we get outside, I can’t help you. Dr. Braga’s father should be waiting for you in a grey Mercedes two blocks south of the prison.”
We got to the entrance in less than 5 minutes and Darion’s “snag” became apparent. Two guards lay on their backs, unconscious behind the reception desk. They didn’t look like they’d put up much of a fight. They probably never expected the president’s son to attack them.
Darion turned and grabbed my shoulder before we could exit the building. “Good luck. I hope we see each other by tomorrow morning.”
He turned back to leave.
“Wait.” I grabbed his arm.
“Why are you doing this? He could have you killed.”
Darion paused for a moment. He looked down at the ground then back at his arm. A saw a strange, sad determination in his eyes. He rolled up the sleeve on his white collared shirt. I moved my head closer and studied the black bar code printed on his wrist. I moved my eyes to the first four numbers[h] printed below the bar code.
I looked back up at Darion. Stunned. “But you’re--”
“I can’t explain it now. Olivia can tell you. I have to go. Eve is in trouble.”
Darion ran out the door and sprinted toward a black car parked on the other side of the street. I moved outside and headed south down a back alley. I stayed out of sight, knowing my prison garb would set off an alarm to anyone who saw me. I traveled the two blocks without incident. It was too late for most people to be out and about. Anyone who was out at this hour didn’t want to be seen. I slid into the passenger seat of the grey Mercedes that waited with the engine running.
“Micah, it’s good to finally meet you.” The man in the driver’s seat spoke with a slight accent that sounded Brazilian. “I’m Dr. Aloisio Braga. My daughter has said good things about you.”
I shrugged and smiled as I realized who he was. “Is she okay?”
“She’s fine. She's still undercover. President Isoli still does not know she’s working with us.”
I nodded and looked out the passenger window. It started to rain. Lightning flashed in the distance. I remained silent, hoping Olivia would be waiting when we got to the rebel camp.
Ten minutes later I settled into the private jet that would take us to the rebel camp. Aloisio had said it would be a about a twenty minute flight to the camp in southern Utah. I leaned my head back in my chair and ran my hand over the bar code on my wrist. I moved my head down and read off the first four numbers.