Monday, August 29, 2011

Chapter 31 - Micah

            A small glint of light caught the corner of my eye as the sound of a metal chair grating against cement echoed across the hall. I stood up and watched the light jump around. The plastic security card swooshed as the guard slid it through the card reader. The metal wheels attached to the prison bars ticked methodically; the door skated open. At least I guessed it had. I still couldn’t see it. Only the small white spot danced around in front of me. It belonged to either a flashlight or a shiny belt buckle reflecting the light from the prison hall.
            “Show me your hands kid.” The flickering spot that belonged to the guard spoke like he’d just woken up from a nap.
            Instinctively I wanted to attack the guard in his weakness. The light gave away his position. I held off, knowing that after taking him out I would still be stuck. I had to cooperate until my vision returned. I held out my hands submissively. The guard locked the hand cuffs over my wrist and cinched them down tight.
            “Get movin; they’re waitin’ fur us upstairs.” The guard tugged at the cuffs and led me forward. “Thought you’d be able to see by now. Guess you’da missed the execution any ways.” We moved forward faster and the light disappeared. “Well that’s why they call it’n expe’ment I s’pose.”
            Doubt wormed its way inside me. An experiment? Would I be blind forever? It was taking longer than they had expected to regain my vision. An escape seemed impossible. My shoulder slumped. I listened to the echoing sound my feet, shuffling towards someplace I couldn’t see. The guard’s shoes squeaked with every step. Creak, clunk, creak, clunk.  I imagined where we were. The frequent twists and turns made it useless. We finally climbed a set of stairs. Before we reached the top, I heard the guard push open a door. If we went outside I could locate the sun and at least identify our direction.
            The door flung open and light flooded my eyes. I squinted trying to block the sudden infusion of radiance. I stared at the sun, just peaking above the horizon. My hampered vision darkened it’s rays like an expensive pair of sunglasses.  I turned my head and tried to take in my surroundings. I could scarcely make out anything I saw. Objects that looked like people blended into their backgrounds. Buildings and roads meshed into one. Colors were hardly discernible. I held my hand up to my face and narrowed my eyes. It almost touched my nose before I saw it clearly, normal.
            Three blobs now moved in front of me. One of them tugged me toward a large silvery white box. Another blob pulled a dark oval at the back of the box and it sprung open.  It made the sound of a door. The last blob flung me inside what had to be a security transport vehicle. The door slammed shut.
            “Micah!” Eve’s voice bounced off the walls of the metal box.  Footsteps rushed towards me then a faint outline stopped abruptly a few feet away. The feeble light from the vehicle made it more difficult to see. Eve crashed to the ground. I reached out but felt nothing; my depth perception obviously still lacking.
            “Keep still girl, you’ve given us enough trouble already.” The voice came from another outline that moved around in front of me. The guard grabbed my wrists and slung me against the wall. I grunted. Pain shot up my side. The silhouette jumped back and rested on the wall opposite me. Two other guards sat next to him.
            “Eve? Are you okay?”
            “Keep quiet. I don’t want to hear from either of you until we get to the extraction point.” The voice came from one of the shadows on the wall.
            “Or what?” Eve sneered. She spoke from my right. “You’ll hit us with your fancy flashlight? I mean, they didn’t even give you a gun.”
            Eve’s cavalier attitude surprised me. I liked the new persona. “They don’t have weapons?”
            One of the dark, fuzzy outlines moved closer. I reached out my hands in self-defense but my eyes struggled to pick up motion. A hard plastic cylinder smashed into my temple. I fell to the side. Blood trickled down my cheek.
            “Get away, you cowards!” Eve’s hand touched the side of my head where the guard had hit me. The guard moved back to the wall and the other guards chuckled.
            “Micah, you barely moved. What’s wrong?” Eve scooted closer and examined my wound.
            “They shot me with a new paralyzer bullet. It made me go blind.”
            “Is it permanent?”
            “No, I’m getting my sight back slowly. When I’m outside I can see better.” I paused. I’d avoided asking the one thing I wanted to know, afraid of the answer. “Do you know where Olivia is?”
            “I’m sorry, I tried to save her. I found her at the capitol with Isoli, but I... I’m sorry I didn’t mean to-”
            I sat up and stared at my sister her face, only a few inches from mine, it remained fuzzy but clearer than the guards a few feet away, “Is she alive?”
            “Yes, yes, she’s here in the truck. It’s just that... I accidentally shot her with a paralyzer bullet. It was an accident, Micah. I’m sorry.”
            “You shot her?” My cloudy vision made it harder to think. Maybe the bullet had affected my hearing also. She repeated it. I wanted to accuse her but Olivia was still alive, so I held back my anger. I forced a smile. “You came. That’s what matters. I don’t see her though?” I looked around trying to focus my vision.
            “She’s up front with Isoli. He gave her some sort of liquid. It seems to be making her heal faster. She’s still paralyzed, but she was starting to move her fingers and talk before they threw me in here.”
            I stood up to move closer to the front of the van. A shadow from the back of the van jumped up and moved closer to me. I balled my fist and swung wildly in his direction. I hit nothing. I’d swung way to early. I prepared myself for another crack to the face. Eve moved behind me and dove at the guard. She took him by surprise and he crashed against the wall groaning in pain. Eve must’ve gotten the best of him.
            “Leave him alone. He’s not hurting anyone.” Eve returned to my side. “I don’t think he’ll bother you anymore. He just got beat up by a girl.” The other two guards laughed. The light slumped lower to the floor.
            “Thanks.” I felt more than a little embarrassed that my sister had to fight for me. I looked down and decided I needed to get my pride back.
            I nudged Eve with my elbow and looked in the direction of the guards. I hoped she understood my intentions. At least she would follow my lead. The guards wouldn’t expect another attack from a girl and a near blind man. They would assume that three of them could handle us. With the old Eve they could have.
            I leapt up from the ground and crashed into all three guards at once, creating a massive pile up. One guard crashed into the door and staggered before gaining his balance. Eve flew into him knocking him to the ground before he could fully recover. My fist swung wildly hoping to connect with something important. One guard groaned and fell to the floor as my first swing found his nose. I smiled at my luck. Another guard slammed onto my back and my head collided with the metal floor. I reached back, grabbing for his head. Suddenly he flew off me. I heard his skull crack against the floor. The truck turned silent.
            “Did we get them all?”
            “Yeah I think so; they’re all unconscious.”
            “Get their keys and un-cuff us, and cuff them while you’re at it. If they wake up before we get there just club ‘em in the head with their plastic sticks. It shouldn’t be too hard with their hands tied up.”
“Umm... There are only 2 pairs of hand-cuffs?”
“Just cuff them all three together than. Put the big one in the middle.”
            I sat down and rubbed the lump on my forehead. Eve continued working on the security guards. After a few minutes she sat back down next to me.
            “So what’s the plan, chief?”
            “I was hoping you had something in mind.”
            “I figured you’re the one leading us to our death, I’d let you make the decisions.”
            “Okay, I’ll think of something but no one is gonna die. Is that clear?” I tried to sound stern and reassuring. “How far to the extraction point?”
            “I heard them say 20 minutes back at the prison so I guess that leaves us another 15.”
            The truck ran along smoothly on a paved highway. I questioned Eve about the guards as I tried to formulate a plan in my head. I held my hand up to my face to check my vision. Even in the darker truck I could see my hand more clear than I had when I first left the prison.
            “Who else is with us besides Isoli? Are there any more trucks?”
            “Just this one. I only saw one other guard with Isoli. He’s driving the truck. He didn’t have time to get his regular guards. They’re taking us to a helicopter and then to a jet. From there I think they’re planning on taking us somewhere to the east coast.”
            “So I guess you’ll get your wish after all?”
            “Shut up.” Eve’s elbowed jabbed into my side. “I think he’s meeting someone else at the extraction point. He said that whoever it was would be excited to see us. Probably some mad scientist who’s been waiting to use your DNA.”
            “Okay, okay, here’s the plan. We’ll assume that there is only one guard with Isoli and two or three more waiting at the helicopter. I think we’ll need to take Isoli before this other person shows up. When the truck stops, you’ll wait behind the left side of the double doors. Wait ‘til the right side opens and then move quick. They may already suspect something from all our rolling around back here. It’ll take me a second til my eyes adjust to the light, and then I’m not really sure what I’ll able to see. Grab the guard and smash his head against the metal or whatever it is you did to these guards.” I pointed to the still unconscious pile of guards at the back of the truck, “Just get his gun and slide it to me. Hopefully I’ll be able to see by then. You get around the side of the truck to get Olivia while I take out the guards I can see at the helicopter. We’ll have to wing it from there.”
            “Smash his head against the metal or whatever you did?” Eve snorted in disapproval, “I’m not a barbarian. And just so you know, even if we don’t die in 30 minutes, I’m not going to join your army or anything. I still don’t like to fight. Maybe I’ll be a cook or something.”
            “That’s a start I guess. I can think of one soldier who would be very happy to hear that.” I smiled, hoping to get a reaction. I waited for a jab to the side but Eve stayed silent.
            After a few minutes the truck started bouncing up and down on what felt like a gravel road. Where ever we were going, it was close.
            The truck finally slowed to a stop. Eve moved into position. I barely heard the front door slam open then shut. The transport vehicle had to be nearly sound proof. My muscles tensed, ready for action.
            “Hey Eve?” I whispered.
            “I won’t always want to fight either.”

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