Chapter Nine- My Saviour From The Routine
Draw back the string, keep as still as hell as you wait for the moment, then release.
"You! Guard duty!" our Spokesman shouts at me.
I groan in annoyance as I let go of the string even though the coyote has fled, kicking up sand in his wake.
"Can't you get someone else?" I say quietly as I take deep breaths to stop myself from shooting this guy.
"I said you're doing guard duty," the spokesman growls while still managing to shout at me. It's no wonder he's the Spokesman, he's so loud. I curse under my breath as I turn and walk back into the Tribe.
"You don't even have permission to be out here, it's Sunday," the Spokesman tells me.
"Tell me again why you're holding all those prisoners?" I snap at the guy in annoyance.
"The stocks are feeling lonely today, D'you want to keep them company?" smart Spokesman asks me. He hasn't got half a foul mouth on him.
"I'm not doing this again!" I tell him.
"How do you feel about a public execution? You know that our traitors hang!"
"And you've got a full rack of 'em," I mumble under my breath.
"You better get going before you get close and personal with a rope necklace!"
I think every foul name about the Spokesman. I don't care what he says, all his words mean nothing to me.
I step through the Tribes gates and stretch. The streets are empty as every ones getting as much sleep as possible on their free day.
Following a path which winds next to the gate I head to the little prison building. I open the door and walk into the building. Inside is a table that fills up nearly the entire room and asleep around it is some pathetic excuse of a guy in his mid-thirties. I slam the door shut behind me and he wakes up.
"Rush! Good, I could barely keep my eyes open," he says to me. I'm pretty sure his name's Tom or something...
"Oh don't worry, they were wide open," I say rolling my eyes.
"I've been told to lock you down there," Tom tells me slowly as if I'm stupid.
"If they don't want a repeat, then I shouldn't be put down there!" I say exasperated. I hadn't tried to break them all out...
"If you try to help that fire freak again they'll kill you," Tom informs me. That annoys me so much when they call any of them freaks . They're one to talk anyway. Hang first, question later. That's the Freedom Tribes motto. And as much as I hate it, I have to live by it. Freedom. What a stupid name. They kill anyone and everyone as a traitor.
Tom comes up behind my back and pushes me through the doorway that leads downstairs. I hear the door lock behind me.
"Four hour shift Rush!" I hear Tom yell at me. I sigh to myself and head down the narrow stairs. There's absolutely no lighting, but I've been down here so many times that I don't need to see to know the way. I hate guard duty, it depresses me. Everyone down here is more my friend then anyone above ground. I reach the bottom of the stairs. Still pitch black.
"It's me!" I call out. The next second a ball of flame heads across the floor and up the wall, where it continues along, lighting every torch as it goes. I smile faintly to myself, but my smile disappears as soon as I can see the room. The room is large and holds ten cells, bars and all.
Nine people, down here since pretty much the age of six, all around the same age, every one of them somehow orphaned.
They were all part of a failed experiment, after which they were considered dangerous and spent their days down here. They were above ground until they were small children. Maybe it was Storms barrage of hail that fell on the Tribe, or maybe it was because Drew constantly made all the metallic objects fly to him, but they were all put down here.
Drew had attempted to escape by somehow picking the lock on his cell by using his powers.
That was the first execution I saw that made me feel sad. Drew was my friend, and this all happened a few years ago.
I've also noticed that all of them were named simply and the names are related to their powers:
Drew had a kind of magnetism power.
Storm controls storms.
Blade can...kind of injure someone as if with a sword.
But then, worst of all, there's...
"Rush!" Redd calls out to me as I pass outside his cell, "Where ya been? Abandoning me after the breakout attempt, I thought you'd been killed!"
"It's only been a week," I reply lightly.
Rule one, never leave Redd waiting for more then a minute, or he'll freak out.
"Exactly. It's been a week! Wouldn't YOU be worried?" Redd asks me.
"Not about me," I reply. That's true as well. I don't really care, I'd die to help anyone.
I look across the wall for the key to Redds cell. To everyones cell for that matter, and throw the keys through the bars to them.
"You letting us go Rush?" Storm asks me from the other side of the room.
"Sorry, I can't. Door's locked. Someone tell me when four hours are nearly up, or we'll all be dead," I inform everyone at large. After a mumbled response I open Redds cell door, walk in and collapse on his unoccupied bed. I groan as I rub my temples.
"Headache?" Redd guesses. I shake my head, which is buried in my hands.
"Oh is it..." Redd begins.
"I'm sick of it Redd," I state.
"Well sorry," Redd says, putting on a voice. I smile faintly.
If it wasn't for Redd, this Tribe would drive me insane.
I sigh, "It's the same day in day out, isn't it?"
"You seem to be as much of a prisoner as I am Rush, maybe even more so," Redd replies thoughtfully.
"I wish I could get you all out of here. You know how much it kills me, seeing you locked down here? Knowing that you have been nearly all your life?"
"Also painfully single," Redd adds.
I laugh, "So am I. At least you have an excuse."
"Yeah but when you hit a certain stage, it becomes sad."
"What age is that?"
"Very early twenties nowadays." Me and Redd laugh. It feels so good to laugh with him. I feel as if I'm using all my will to go on through the week, but then I see Redd and he refills it.
"I see we've both hit the sad stage," I observe.
"There's still time. We'll both meet someone," Redd promises. Forever the optimist, but you need someone like that. I close my eyes and just relax. I listen to the talking that you only hear when I'm guarding. But then they stop.
"Listen to that," Someone murmurs softly.
I listen hard. Very, very faintly I am able to hear screaming, which is occasionally cut through by a gunshot.
"More traitors," I say to myself. I hear the sound of someone hitting a wall upstairs.
"Gimme the key," I hear someone demand, "Give me the key!" they demand again. A gunshot follows, then the rattling of keys. I hear someone descend the stairs and stop at the bottom of them.
"Whoever wants to help, follow me out. If not, stay here," I hear an unfamiliar voice say.
I groan again.
"Why would we?" someone asks, Storm I think.
"Maybe you want to get back at this Tribe for treating you like crap. You can all help us seeing as you're only prisoners." the guy says.
"Who the hell are you?" I call out. I can't be bothered to open my eyes. I'm sick of everything. I hear heavy footsteps approach me and am pulled up by the shirt.
"Who are you?" the guy growls.
I sigh and open my eyes, "I asked fir-" I begin, but my breath is taken away, "You from this Tribe?" I ask.
The guy looks confused and shakes his head causing his mad curly hair to fly about, "Who are you?" he repeats, but lets me go gently.
"No way, guys give the names first!" I tell him, stalling whatever will happen next.
The guys mouth becomes a straight line and he narrows his gorgeous green eyes. Must admit, I've got a tiny crush on weirdo who's going to kill me. Woah I'm stupid. He seems to consider me a while longer before he answers.
"Finch," he tells me slowly, pronouncing each letter so they last about three seconds each.
"Hey Finch! I'm R-U-S-H," I tell him, mimicking the emphasis on each letter.
The guy, Finch, frowns at me, "Why are you down here?" he asks.
Why am I down here again? Oh yeah...
"I'm the guard!" I tell him, only realizing my mistake after the words have left my mouth. But then it's to late.
Finch pulls a gun out of thin air and holds it to my head. Then Redd, who'd been watching my conversation and laughing slightly, gets mad and pulls Finch away from me.
"Leave her alone!" Redd tells Finch angrily. Finch then decides to round on Redd and pushes him against the wall, gun resting at Redds heart.
"You a guard too?" Finch asks him, impatiently playing with the gun. Although I don't know him, I can tell Finch is scared and wants to run from this. I can tell by the way he moves his body, the scared and guilty look he has on his face.
"No. Prisoner," Redd replies quickly.
"You're as much an enemy if you protect guards," Finch hisses.
I still lay where I am, unsure of what to do. Why is no one helping? I look around and realize they've all left. Oh how helpful.
I get up, grab Finch by the back, and throw him backwards to the ground. I hear Finch grunt as he hits the ground.
The next second he grabs me around the legs and yanks me down. I let out a shriek as I fall beside him and he kicks me. I double over on myself.
"You're not meant to hit girls!" I gasp out in pain. Some gentleman. And then, the weirdest thing happens. Finch smiles wickedly at me and, what makes it weirder, I smile back.
What's going on? I'm so confused until Finch grabs me, pulls me up, and presses me gently against the wall. Then I figure it out.
"Strangest girl ever," Finch whispers in my ear.
"No way!" I breath out. This is how love happens for me, really? That can't be good...
"Rush!" Redd yells in concern. I feel him pull me back as he grabs my arm and I fly sideways into the wall. My head hits the wall painfully and I crumple to the ground, head thumping, world tilting.
I watch through misty eyes as Redd holds Finch against the wall.
Redd unleashes his powers and Finch instantly turns into a human torch.
I try to do something, but I don't know what and every time I move the world goes upside-down.Finch is screaming out in pain and struggling madly as he tries to get away, but Redd won't let him go.
Finch is still contorting in pain when his fingers clench hard. I hear a bang. I seem to let out my cry before I feel the pain of the bullet that is buried in my stomach. I hold my stomach as I continue to scream and my eyes begin to water.
"Dammit!" I scream out in pain and fury, "You i-idiots!"
Redd immediately stops and seems to turn into a statue when he sees me. Lucky for Finch anyway, who appears to have avoided any bad burns. I'm taking in quick little breaths to try and make the pain stop, but it won't. I let out a sob before holding it back in my throat once more.
"I'm so sorry. Are you ok?" Finch asks me with genuine concern.
"I was just shot," I tell him in one breath before letting out a moan.
Finch looks at me sadly. Oh why does he care? The world is tilting onto its side when I feel Finch pick me up.
"N-no. I'll w-" I try to say, but I can't finish it. I don't want to be carried around like a child.
"Ssh," Finch says softly as he pulls me in closer to him, "Go to sleep." I rest my head against Finchs body.
Now THAT'S a knight in shining Armour.
Go to sleep. How hilarious.
I let my eyes close as I'm carried out of safety.