Will's War

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Chapter I

Submitted: June 26, 2016

Reads: 129

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Submitted: June 26, 2016

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Chapter I

Rain pattered against the shop windows and formed puddles in the dark street. A door swung open from a dark shop and a woman carrying a girl of some seven years old emerged from it. Her eyes were wild and her hair matted. The little girl of seven whimpered in her arms. The woman’s eyes darted up and down the street fearfully, suddenly they lit with delight. A dark figure in a rich suit came towards her hurriedly. The woman dropped the child and threw open her arms running towards the man. Suddenly out of the darkness came a glimmer of cold silver, hurtling towards the woman. She let out a gasp as the knife pierced her skin. She stumbled. And fell with a soft thump. The man’s eyes widened and he ran towards her, hesitated and stumbled back towards the building from which he’d come. A shot thundered through the night and blood blossomed from his chest. His eyes glassed over and his body slumped near an ally. Two pairs of hands reached out and grasped his arms, pulling him towards the blackness from which they’d emerged. The child let out a forlorn cry, and, weeping weakly, stumbled into an abandoned shop. Her cries echoed through the street and the rain poured harder.

*****

Will bent down and picked up a broken shard of a mirror from the ally’s cement. She gazed at her distorted reflection. Her hair was in a disheveled braid and her clothes were so ripped and soiled that she couldn’t tell what color they were. She sighed and hurled the glass against the wall where it shattered into miniscule dust.

She walked deeper into the alley, which was buried so deeply beneath towering buildings that it was like night. Cigarette butts littered the ground and hobos sat listlessly waiting for something that was never to happen. Dense fog rolled endlessly, but no one thought it strange. The fog had been rolling in for the past fifteen years. The sun rose over the horizon with a dull, ruddy red glow. Her stomach glowered at her angrily. Obligingly, Will picked up the pace, weaving through such a maze of alleys that it would seem she would become hopelessly lost. A tall and stately building came into sight in the distance. It was strange to see such a large, perfectly sterile white building amongst the cowering, dirty shelters of the city. Abruptly, the gritty and composureless buildings ended. In front of Will there was an open plane of about thirty feet and then eye shattering whiteness. The buildings beyond this stretch were starched into painfully modern and sterile colors, steely gray, obsidian black, and white. Always white. It appeared that one could just stroll into this clean haven. But she knew better. In the center of the alley was an old sewage pipe, its metal covering cracked and rusted. She heaved the sewage covering off and swung it to the side. A ladder led down a pipe ten feet wide, beneath the ladder was a small platform. The hobos and homeless had been slowly but surely adapting this pipe for many years. The sewage had been washed away by open water pipes, hacked open with shovels. Now water flowed endlessly, creating a man-made, underground river. Tied to the platform were makeshift rafts, made of various scraps, and suspended down the river as far as the eye could see was a thick metal coil. Will slung herself lithely onto a raft made of wood, packing Styrofoam, and several ancient life jackets lashed together by a thick rope. Will fumbled with the knot holding them to shore for a moment, loosened it and pushed into the underground waterway. As she reached the center of the rolling water she took the rope used to fasten the raft to the dock and looped it through a rusty pulley dangling off the metal coil, the rope holding her in the center of the river, where the current was strongest. This done, she let the current sweep her through the darkness, with nothing more than the roar of the water, echoing off the walls.

After a good half hour of sweeping around turns dangerously close to the hard, cement wall and bouncing over rapids, Will sighted the second platform. She detached from the coil and the raft flew straight to the platform and arrived at its destination with a jarring collision. Will jumped from the raft and onto the platform. Before her lay another sewer pipe, this one long and dry, feeding into the river. As she turned into the dry pipe she unsheathed her knife. Dangerous men often sought refuge here. She crept across the platform and into the darkness beyond. She was forewarned of men by the glowing of their cigarettes and their shallow breathing. Having wandered alleys since age seven she had long ago learned how to regulate her breath until it was near silent. She slid past four cigarettes. Two more lay ahead. With nothing but cigarettes to navigate by, making no noise was difficult. She slunk between the last two men and gave a silent prayer of thanks. She had encountered men from this particular pipe before and had come to the conclusion, as a girl, to avoid them when possible.

She slipped about another corner, almost slamming into a wall. Suddenly her heart sped, her back went cold, and her hair pricked. She scanned the blackness. No cigarettes. The Men of the Pipe never went anywhere without a cigarette except to buy more cigarettes. And yet a feeling of being watched fell upon her. But if she saw no one then no one could see her. She sank into a crouch and stole towards the wall. She breathed a mental sigh of relief as her hand met the wall. That sigh was cut short. A knife slid across her throat, she felt a thin trickle of blood. A voice hissed in her ear.

“Don’t move.”

Will, despite her situation, was tempted to laugh. Oh yeah, ‘got a knife at my throat and a maniac behind my back and I’m not going to move? Think again.

Dirty was the way of the streets. Moving suddenly she reached behind and kneed her attacker in the crotch. All she got was a sharp intake of breath and a slight jerk of the knife against her throat. Her opponent shifted behind her. She aimed a kick for the estimated location of the stomach, but her assailant was no longer there.

“Feisty little thing, aren’t you?”

The voice was undoubtedly male, tinted with irony humor. She saw a shadow shift a few yards to her left and then lost it in the darkness. Unfortunately, the shadow proclaimed itself swiftly. Suddenly something struck her stomach painfully and she doubled over. Will’s vision went slightly blurry and came back into to focus in time to see a whirl of limbs behind her. The man with the knife flipped her onto her stomach swiftly and caught up her arms as his accomplice secured her feet with rope.

At this point she came to the conclusion that The Men of the Pipe would do nothing worse than this to a sixteen-year- old girl and Will let out a girly screech. This was the first time she could remember screaming like a girl. She heard excited voices coming down the pipe. Her abductor swore angrily. Before Will could screech again the man covered her mouth. She promptly bit his hand, he swore again, but did not let go, she savored the taste of blood in her mouth, then spitting in the direction of her abducters. Will heard the sound of ripping duct tape and a moment later the hand was replaced by a sturdy layer of the tape.

The voices were almost upon them. Despite Will’s thrashing the man hoisted her up onto his shoulders. Despite her predicament she could not help noticing his shoulders were broad and strong. The man began to run silently down the pipe and then turned sharply into a smaller pipe. Will’s last hope of rescue ran, shouting drunkenly, past and down the pipe in the opposite direction.

“All right Mone, are we ready to get out of here?” Hissed the man whose shoulder she was on.

“Just one more moment. This keypad obviously ain’t lit and I’s older than Hell itself.” He whispered back in a preoccupied tone. “Ah, there she is.”

As these words came out of his mouth, a quiet mechanical thrum filled the air. Will twisted about on her captor’s back, her eye’s came to rest on the opening through which they’d entered. A steel panel, like those in the strictly modern city, was sliding steadily towards the floor, blocking any hope of escape or rescue. Seeing this, Will twisted so violently that her captor swore for the third time. She had almost squirmed free but she knew it was hopeless, the panel was inches from the floor. Her captor must have known it too for he dropped her. Will ripped off the tape from her face, her mouth smarting. Then she turned furiously upon her captors.

But, of course, she could see nothing in the inky blackness. Fluorescent began to flickered weakly to life above her. The two men were nowhere to be seen. She whipped around, facing the steel panel. No one was there either. Suddenly a mechanical voice spoke out of hidden speakers, in an impossibly cheerful, sickly sweet tone.

“Please wait for an attendant, we will be with you shortly. In the meantime feel free to take a seat, order a martini, and read a magazine. Thank you for your patience.”

It was so unexpected Will almost sat down. Of course there was nothing to sit on except for the floor. There were no martinis. Or magazines. Will looked around her. The hall where she now stood was spotless, stainless steel. It was completely empty, without so much as a crumb, much less a chair. The only break in the smooth metal was a small keypad at the end of the tube like hall. Will walked over to it. She reached for the buttons but when her fingers were within a few inches an electric shock jarred through her. The hidden speakers belatedly bleated out.

“The keypad is surrounded by an electric force field. Ask an attendant to deactivate. Do not bring in direct contact with skin. Instead feel free to take a seat, order a martini, and read a magazine. Thank you for your patience.”

Will pulled her hand back. She walked aimlessly around searching for an exit. But her eye’s were continually drawn back to the only non uniform object in the room. The keypad. In boredom, she pulled the rope holding her braid in place from her hair and threw it at the keypad. The rope flew through the air to the force field. Suddenly, as it hit the force field it ignited. Will leapt back in surprise. The speaker crackled statically into life.

“It is not advised to allow the force field to come in direct contact with your skin. Combustion may occur. Instead feel free to take a seat, order a martini, and read a magazine. Thank you for your patience.”

Will was sure the voice would drive her insane if the total lack of color did not. She was fed up. Nobody abducted her, treated her like trash, and then left her in a steel tube to die of disembodied voices was going to get off without some small debt to pay.

“Hey!” Will yelled. “I want a martini!”

The speakers responded calmly. “I’m sorry, martinis are not available in this location. Instead feel free to take a seat, order a martini, and read a magazine. Thank you for your patience.”

Will felt as if she was going to combust like her rope. She flung herself at the wall and pounded it like a two year old in the middle of a tantrum.

“It is not advised to hit the walls as self inflicted pain may occur. Instead feel free to take a seat, order a martini, and read a magazine. Thank you for your patience.”

Exhausted, Will sat down. Without her martini. Or her magazine. An idea sprung into her head, a desperate plan, but a plan nonetheless. Will began to pound the walls with her fists, goaded on by the speaker’s constant and calm warnings. When fifteen minutes passed with no result, she changed tactics. she began to pound her head on the wall.

As suspected, a small, previously invisible, panel slid open as the far end of the pipe. Two men hurried into the room, hastening towards her. The panel slid firmly shut behind them. Will continued to pound the wall with her head, ignoring them.

She snuck a sly glance at the two men, who were looking at her in confusion, in the midst of her assault upon the walls. They were almost covered in dirty white fabric, meaningless emblems decorating their chests. Their suits reminded her of the first astronauts to walk on the moon, hundreds of years ago. They wore clear helmets that seemed to mold around their faces. Across the top of the helmets a single word, in shiny, wavering letters, reads: IgneousElements.

What was that supposed to mean? Will waited until they were within a few feet of her. Then she struck like a snake. She leapt to her feet and whipped her leg behind her with the height of a dancer. It struck the man in the face. Electricity jolted through her. This is just not fair. Force field helmets? Since when did those even exist? Though it surprised her, it seemed also to surprise the two men. They shook themselves and one of them leapt towards her. Their clothing didn’t seem to hinder their movements, rather it seemed to float with them. Will dived out of the way. The man thudded into the wall, and laid there in shock.

The second man growled like a wolf and approached her warily. Will circled him, equally wary. She slowly led him toward the keypad. It was her only weapon. The man charged her. She fled towards the keypad. Then she turned to face the man. The man came closer. Five feet. Three feet.Two feet. A foot. Will flung herself out of the way.

The man was not so lucky. His eyes widened with horror as he saw the keypad. He tried to slow his headlong dive. It was too late. Force field collided with force field. Bone with wall. The fire erupted, white hot, with an ear shattering screech. The column shot past so close to Will she felt as if her body was flaming. If she was to die at least she could die a beautiful death. A flaming and untamable bird, flying towards freedom.

The fire exhausted itself, leaving the steel hotter than the sun. Will smelled an awful scent, seeping through the air. Burning flesh. Her feet were numb, she couldn’t feel, she couldn’t hear. She stumbled towards the remaining man. She searched him and found what she was searching for. A small metal card.

She walked to the keypad. A small slot appeared next to the keypad. She inserted the card. The speaker’s disembodied voice rang out, ever cheerful.

“Thank you for contacting an attendant. The force field is deactivated. Feel free to punch in your security number. Be sure it is the correct number series, otherwise security will be contacted. Thank you for your patience.”

Will’s hands shook as she punched in the first series numbers that came to mind. 2/10/4023. The date of her arrival on the streets, of her parent’s death. The voice rang out.

“Thank you for your service. Welcome to IgneousElements, Wilvex Belvont.”

 


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