*Magnify*
SPONSORED LINKS
Creative fun in
the palm of your hand.
Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2111046
by Rhyz
Rated: 18+ · Serial · Action/Adventure · #2111046
Changed both chapters a bit Jump over to drafts to see what exactly Please rate and review
9




I am dragged from my slumber by someone noisily kicking my bedroom door in. Still groggy from sleep, I have no time to react before whoever they are is upon me and forcing a thick, stuffy sack over my head, sealing it around my neck with heavy, coarse rope. I flail around blindly, fear making it feel like I'm suffocating. Driven by that fear, I claw at the rough rope around my neck, trying to tear it away in order to breathe unobstructed, while attempting to escape from my attacker at the same time by kicking wildly in the direction I think he is. One of my kicks connects with something and I hear a grunt of pain; I feel an all too brief sense of satisfaction before it is dispelled by something hard striking me on top of the head and everything slips away, including the energy that was bubbling up from somewhere deep within me in response to my terror.
         
The first thing that I'm aware of when I regain consciousness is the gigantic throbbing pain in my head, like someone with endless stamina is beating a drum inside my head, making it impossible to think of anything else. At first, nothing else exists except for that relentless drummer in my head, drum, drum, drumming away. I shake my head in an attempt to silence the drummer, but that only makes him drum harder. Slowly, my tormenter made less and less noise until I'm able to actually take notice of my surroundings and pay attention to my other senses.
The first thing that they alert me to is that I am absolutely drenched; there is not a single spot on me that is not soaked to the bone. Water keeps on running down into my eyes and --no matter how furiously I blink-- everything looks blurry, and the fact that it is dark isn't helping. The next thing I notice about myself is that my arms are suspended above my head, my wrists enclosed by two cold, metal rings with a pair of metal chains, pulled taut, leading away in opposite directions into the darkness. The last thing that I notice is that I'm kneeling in thick, sticky, gooey mud with everything below my knees already buried deep within the mud; my pants are now more brown than blue.
"Hello?" I shout out into the darkness. "Is there anyone here?" Somewhere in the distance, rumbling thunder is my only response, followed a few seconds later by a flash of lightning.
Suddenly, a bright light is shone at me, blinding me and outlining a figure holding an umbrella. "Hello Eric," a familiar, gruff voice says calmly.
"L-Leon?" I ask, squinting at the figure through half lidded eyes. "Is that you? What's going on?"
"Training," he says simply.
"What?" I ask confused. "What the hell are you talking about? And can you turn that damn light down?"
"Uh, uh, manners," Leon says but he still raises one of his hands and the light dims a bit, making it easier for me to see. "Is that better?" he mockingly asks.
"Yes," I say, adding "thank you" after a brief pause. I can see where I am clearer now. I recognise the space in which I'm in now; it's one of the three courtyards with the dirt floors I saw on my arrival. Far over on my left and right are two metal poles that the chains are attached to, each pole being a bit longer than my arms, buried in the mud. I don't remember seeing them here before, so they must have been put in after I arrived, meaning that they should be easier to pull out. All of this I take in in less than five seconds. "Now, what the hell do you mean by training?"
"It's simple," Leon says, stepping to the side to reveal a row of metal cans, standing to attention like a line of soldiers for inspection. "All you have to do is knock down these cans with your shockwave power and I'll let you go. Got it?"
"Yes," I say simply.
"Good. Now, I want you to think of the person that you hate more than anything, someone who gets you angrier than anyone else ever could."
I do as he says and shift through my memories for that one person that I hate more than any other; I think of the trigger happy man from the park and the crowd, but I can't summon any anger against them--the man lost his wife and the crowd thought that I caused the Event; I cast my net back further through my mind and think of the kids from school, how nearly all of them shunned me, ridiculed me, because I was different, because I wasn't like them but I can't be angry at them either--I wasn't from around where they lived, wasn't part of the same groups, didn't like the same things; I think of my father but I can't be angry at someone that I've never met. I finally settle on my stepdad, the person who came into my life just over a year ago and started making it absolute hell, the person who was always preaching and going on about God and religion, who was always trying to convert me and Gareth, who somehow convinced Mum to make me quit my job even though we never had enough money with it. I summon all of these and dozen more moments like them, trying to get myself angry enough to use my power but I can't--all of the things we used to argue about, things about God and religion, all of that is mute now. Besides, he was only trying to help me in his own way. I try to get myself as angry as I can, but I just can't; it's like someone filled a pot of water inside me but forgot to pot the heat on.
"I just can't do it," I sigh in frustration at Leon after what feels like hours.
"It's okay," Leon says patiently. "Some people just need a little extra motivation." He looks to the side and suddenly yells, "Jason, get your lazy ass out here! We have some meat that needs tenderizing." I hear a door creak open where Leon is looking at the same time as thunder boomed overhead, followed less than a second later by the bright flash of lighting, revealing the large form of the figure squelching towards us.
"Who is it?" he asks and I recognise who it is; Albert's friend from earlier.
"Him," Leon says pointing at me.
Jason turns and grins wider than a Cheshire cat when he spots me, putting a mouthful of broken teeth on display. His face is nearly completely covered by a mess of ugly scars crisscrossing each other, fighting for room and at its centre is a wide flattened nose that has been broken many times. On top of his head, a black, tangled disaster of a bird's nest replaces his hair. He has two beady, beastly bloodshot slits for eyes, the colour of the mud around us. "This is going to be fun," he growls as he strides towards me, cracking his bowling ball sized knuckles.
"Leon?" I worriedly ask, trying to catch a glimpse of him behind the titan's bulk. "What's happening? What's going on?"
"New rules," he says. "Jason here is going to pretty much beat you up until you use your power to stop him. Got it?"
"What!" I yell. "Leon, you can't do this. This isn't right."
"I can and I will!" he snaps. "I decide what's right and what's wrong. I will do whatever it takes to stop the World-destroyer. Do you hear me? Whatever it takes." He takes a deep breath and calmly says, "Jason, lay into him."
"I've been waiting for this," Jason leers as he looms over me before pulling his right fist back and, before I can realise what's happening, punches me in the side of the head with the force of a thousand Albert's, snapping my head to the left so hard and fast that I think he gave me whiplash. I quickly go limp after that, having taken many beatings in my life and knowing that the best thing to do is not to resist and go with the punches; when he punches me in my left side, I go in the same direction as well as I can, trying to minimize the impact.
As he does this, I try once again to get angry enough to use my power but, once again, nothing happens--that pot of water inside me starts to bubble but it doesn't reach its boiling point yet. I just can't bring myself to be too angry at him--he's only doing what he's told to do and I did hurt him before. Plus, I'm not that worried that I'll come to any serious harm anyway--after all, I'm an Evo, so I can take a lot more punishment than before. Also, Leon had a vision of me alive and well later. Unless he was lying about that. Just as I had this thought though, Leon commands Jason to stop, but only after he pummelled every inch of my body--turning it black, blue and every shade in between--,broken a few of my bones and painted the ground around me with my own blood.
While Jason was pounding me, I also slowly pulled on the chains that are holding me up, hoping to loosen them and, slowly but surely, the poles started to lean slightly towards me until I can wrap each chain around my wrist and hold it in my hand if I wished to; if I can't get out of this using my power, I'll have to do it another way.
"This clearly isn't working," Leon says. "We have to try something else."
"What do you have in mind?" my torturer asks gleefully, who's having too much fun to stop.
"This," Leon says. Two more spotlights light up a lumpy, white sheet set against the back wall that Leon strides effortlessly towards. He reefs it off to reveal my family, all lined up in a row, their hands tied in front of them with rope, their legs bound together and duct-tape sealing their lips shut. "Jason! Hurt them," Leon orders coldly.
Jason grins wider than before and marches towards them, despite me screaming, "No! You leave them alone!" He slowly walks past Gareth and Mum before stopping in front of Lewis. He bends down, painfully tears the tape from Lewis's mouth and rips the rope from his hands like they were made of paper. He then takes one of Lewis's tiny wrists between his finger and thumb and then grabs one of his fingers before slowly, excruciatingly slowly, bending it backwards, causing a scream to tear from his throat, mingling with my own scream of despair, of helplessness, of fear and anger; the pot of water inside me didn't so much boil as the lid shot off.
With a herculean effort, I reef the poles out of the ground, rescue the lower part of my legs from the mud and throw the left pole, using my shockwave power when it reaches the end of its chain, snapping it and turning it into a deadly projectile. Jason looks up just in time to see the pole flying towards him before it impales itself right in the elbow of his left arm, hitting with so much force that it lifts him off his feet and slams him into the wall, most of the pole burying itself in it, with only the top poking out through his flesh. Before I know it, I'm standing right in front of him, my face less than a centimetre from his, my hand wrapped around his throat. "You can do whatever messed up shit you want to too me," I growl quietly at him while staring into eyes that were wide with pure terror, "but if you ever, ever, come near my family again, I'll fuck you up so much that you'll wish that I killed you right here and now. Got it?" Getting no response, but swearing that his already wet shorts has a darker spot, I get the broken chain and wrap it around his neck one, two, three times before pulling it tight, waiting until his face turns blue before asking, "Got it?" again.
"Yes," he manages to wheeze and I let go, allowing him to breathe again.
"Good," I say before turning to Leon who stood and watched throughout the whole thing and throw the other pole at him. At the last moment, he raises his hand and freezes the pole in mid-air, before spots of rust appeared on it and it completely rusts away, leaving only the chain. He then grabs the chain and pulls me towards him, wrapping the vast majority of it around my neck, just like I did with Jason. We end up face to face with each other, with me facing away from my family and Leon facing towards the light, allowing me to see his brown eyes clearly.
"You have seen my power," he says simply. "Don't threaten me again." But I wasn't paying much attention to him, not really. Because, behind him, up on top the courtyard wall, one last flash of lightening revealed a figure that I would recognise anywhere--Shadow.




10





"We can't stay here anymore, Gareth," I say for what feels like the thousandth time.
"And I say we can," he says for what must be the thousandth time.
We jetted right back to my room after my...torture. That's the only way I can think of it. Torture--I shudder just thinking of it. Mum is sitting on my bed with Lewis while Gareth and I stand in the middle of the room, where we've been arguing since setting foot in here. I was still in my ruined new clothes, my shirt now more dark red than green. The same goes for my jeans. We didn't even stop by Lorea--despite pleas for me to do so-- but my injuries have mostly healed by now anyway.
"We can't. Not after what they did. What they did, they crossed a line doing it."
"What do you suggest doing then? Going back out there, where we could be snatched at any moment by the Reapers? Where it was a question if we would go to sleep with empty bellies or not? Where we could be killed at any moment?"
"Hey, at least out there, we knew what was what. We knew that it was a struggle and we accepted it, just like we always had. But in here, what happened? We gave them our trust and they threw it right back at us, that's what."
"Okay, okay, I get that. But how are you going to get out? In case you didn't notice, the walls are, like, forty-five metres high and so smooth that not even you can climb it."
"Well, um, uh, I haven't thought of that," I admit. "But I'll blast a hole in the wall if I have to. I've done it once already."
"Yeah, that's another thing," Gareth says. "Your powers. How are you going to learn to use them by yourself?"
"That's just it, Gare," I say. "I don't want to use them. I never did. I'll rip them out right now if I could."
"Wha!" Gareth utters, shocked. "What about all of that stuff that Leon said about the World-destroyer? You know, that thing that would, uh, destroy the world if you don't stop it.?"
"That's just the thing. I don't know how much of what Leon is said is true and much is just a steaming load of bullshit."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I don't know much about the Illuminati, but from what I've heard, they want to control without being in the spotlight, you know? The way Leon was talking made it seemed like they were all gung-ho about taking centre stage."
"So?" Gareth asks, confused. "The Illuminati started in, what, 1776? In the last two hundred and so years, their goals could have changed."
"That's not all though. Before, when Leon first mentioned the World-destroyer, he said that it left Evos alone. But later at dinner, when I protested about using my powers, he said that he saw it destroy them as well. Why not say both at the same time?"
"He probably didn't think it was important at the time," Gareth shrugs. "I know that I wouldn't."
"But that's still not all. During dinner, Leon's eyes were blue like mine, but just now in the courtyard, they were brown. How do you explain that?"
"Oh, I don't know! It was dark. Maybe you got confused. What does eye colour matter anyway?"
"It doesn't," I admit. "What does matter though is that he hurt Lewis. Even if we pretend for a moment that everything Leon's told us so far is true, there was no reason for him to hurt Lewis. No reason at all."
"Okay, first of, it was Jason who hurt Lewis, not Leon. Second of, it was necessary. It was the only way to get you to use your power. They tried every other method before going after Lewis. And if they did do some really bad damage to him...well, they have a healer."
"It doesn't," I admit. "What does matter though is that he hurt Lewis. Even if we pretend for a moment that everything Leon's told us so far is true, there was no reason for him to hurt Lewis. No reason at all."
"Okay, first of, it was Jason who hurt Lewis, not Leon. Second of, it was necessary. It was the only way to get you to use your power. Yes, what they did was bad, I'm not trying to deny that, and I wish that they didn't do it, but they tried every other method before going after Lewis. And if they did do some really bad damage to him...well, they have a healer."
"It doesn't matter. They--hurt--Lewis! It doesn't matter who did it, it doesn't matter the circumstances, it doesn't matter if they can fix it right after, because they hurt Lewis!"
"Well, maybe if you just manned up and used your power, they wouldn't have needed to hurt Lewis to get you to use it."
"So what? Are you saying that it was my fault that those bastards hurt Lewis because I was unable to use my power?"
"Unable to use it or unwilling to use it?"
"What are you talking about?" I ask Gareth, confused.
"I'm just saying that you already made it abundantly clear that you don't want your power, which I don't get. Like, if I had what you have, I'll be using it non-stop. But, maybe you've put a subconscious block up or something and you didn't even realise it. That's all I'm saying."
M-maybe that's true, maybe it's not, but that doesn't change the fact that they hurt Lewis, and we need to leave."
And then we descended into another round of back and forth arguing, until Gareth says, "Why are we even arguing about this?" while throwing his hands up in exasperation. "No matter what you decided to do, I'll be staying here."
"Is that how it's going to be is it?" I ask. "Are you going to just abandon us, like you were planning on doing before the Event?"
"What are you talking about?" Gareth asks confused.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about. If it wasn't for the Event, you would be long gone, playing soldiers somewhere off in the world." I wait a moment as his facial expressions slowly rearrange themselves as he digests my meaning. "Yeah, that's right, I found those military pamphlets stashed under you bed." He slowly moved his mouth and sputters in some futile attempt to speak before he was interrupted by a rapid knock on the door. He shots me a look telling me that this is not over.
He marches over to the door and reefs open to reveal Shadow's surprised face.
"Oh, hey Gareth," she says, fidgeting with her hair while trying to look behind him. "I wasn't expecting you. Is Eric there?"
"Yeah," he says, looking at me franticly shaking my head, "he's here," before grabbing me by the collar of my shirt and basically throwing me out of my room, slamming the door in my face.
Before Shadow can say anything, I say, "Why didn't you tell me about last night?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," she says immediately.
"Oh, pull the other one. I saw you standing there on the wall last."
"Alright, I was there. I wanted to tell you about it, I really did, but I couldn't."
"Why not? If you knew about it, why couldn't you?"
"Because everyone goes through it! Every new arrival goes through what you went through, getting snatched from bed, having a one on one with Leon if you're an Evo, everyone goes through the same thing."
"Does everyone also get the Jason treatment? Does everyone else get the pleasure of watching their family get tortured by a sadistic bastard!" I'm surprised that I'm not foaming at the mouth by now.
"No," Shadow admits quietly, "that's rare. Like, extremely rare. Usually, Leon is a lot more patient with these things, letting the Evo go at their own pace until they use their power. He only ever gets Jason involved if the Evo is really struggling to use their power. He's never brought in family members before though. He was pushing you beyond hard."
A bit calmer I ask, "Why though?"
"I don't know. Maybe he feels like time is quickly slipping away, like the time to fight the World-destroyer is rapidly approaching."
"Why else are you here?" I ask, knowing that there's a bit more.
"They sent me to get you for breakfast," Shadow admits sheepishly. "It's in about three minutes."
© Copyright 2017 Rhyz (rhyz at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Log in to Leave Feedback
Username:
Password:
Not a Member?
Signup right now, for free!
All accounts include:
*Bullet* FREE Email @Writing.Com!
*Bullet* FREE Portfolio Services!
Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2111046