Chapter 14:


Pyro's Grand Demise

Will this man never leave me alone? First, he tases me in a dank alleyway, then he bribes me into stealing a blueprint which he conveniently forgets to mention might very well cause the slavery of all cyborgs. To take the fucking cake, he now wants to break me out of the prison he got me into? Sounds incredibly suspicious to me.

“I don’t want her watching,” was the last thing I heard him speak, and it’d been right before he cut into my wounded leg with an assortment of tools. I hadn’t been awake to experience the surgery, but I do now have an obvious gray patch on my otherwise realistic right leg. It’s seamless with my thigh, like a large, square birthmark.

A stain preventing me from forgetting.

That’d been months ago and I haven’t heard from the outside world since. In fact, no one here recognizes me, which I’m grateful for. I have a feeling if someone found out I burned down the Wharf, they might find they have a bone to pick with me.

The green-type I killed seemingly forever ago still occasionally visits me in my dreams. Not as a nightmare, but a reminder. Cyborgs take it personally when you disrupt their lifestyles, and if any of these cy’s find out I’m the delinquent who burned down their means of income, well, that wouldn’t be good for me.

At least I haven’t recognized anyone from the Wharf. My memory is good, and I’m sure no one here has looked at me with recognition yet. Maybe my suspicions are correct and we’re far away from the place I was taken from. This research building could be on the other side of the country for all I know.

“No thanks,” I say to Kaden. He pauses, mouth half-open as if he hadn’t quite expected me to refuse him so quickly. I nearly fear a fly might find its way down his throat.

“Oh,” he says, then hesitates, “that wasn’t quite the reaction I was expecting.”

I shrug and say, “No offense to you, but I’ve been disappointed by Joseph far too many times for my liking. I’d rather not build myself up to be let down once more.” Fool me twice, shame on me.

“Besides,” I continue, “who are you to Joseph? Is he bribing you from the outside or something?”

“No, you misunderstand,” Kaden says with eyes slightly wide. “I am not a test subject, I am a warden.”

At this, I quirk my brows. “I’ve never seen you around before.”

“I work away from prying eyes. I’m the one who watches and processes all the security footage.”

Oh. “That explains why you were able to disable them.”

“Not so much disable, as not be there to watch them,” he corrects me. “I’m not technically lying if I tell my superiors I witnessed nothing unusual on the cameras.”

“What, do you suck at lying or something?”

He nervously looks away. “They have means of getting the truth out of you.”

Of course they do. I sigh and press my thumb and forefinger to the bridge of my nose. The mix of disinfectant and sudden onslaught of information are causing a migraine to form in the front of my skull.

It’s typical even the wardens are not immune to the demands of the humans in charge. They may wear bulletproof uniforms and carry batons, but they’re just as beneath the thumb as anyone else. They only have the illusion of power, which is exactly what Zachariah and Christine are gunning for. Little do they know, mirages fade from reality once you finally approach them.

“Listen,” I say with no little exhaustion, “I’m sorry you went through all this to speak with me, but I have no intention of cooperating. I hope that whatever sum of money Joseph gave you, you at least get to keep a portion of it for your efforts. And if you see him again, please tell him to stop interfering with my life. If he chooses to feel guilt for me being in here, so be it. He deserves it. However, I’m moving forward in the best way I know how. I don’t need him.”

With that, I stand up and leave.

The moment I turn a corner, I’m faced with two wardens, both hybrid green-types. By hybrid, I mean they used to be greens, but have since been experimented on. One has glass for an eye and it protrudes quite a distance out. My guess is that it’s a permanent looking-glass, but it seems terribly outdated for such a simple purpose.

“Stop immediately,” Eye-Glass says. “Knees on the ground and hands above your head.”

“Fucking Zachariah,” I mutter beneath my breath, but don’t dawdle before following the warden’s instructions. I’d rather not be tased today, thanks. No matter how many times it happens, you never quite get used to it.

They cuff me immediately, which is no surprise. The cuffs are incredibly strong, but emit an electric shock if too much force is used against them. I could probably break them if I wanted to, but I hardly see a point in it. It’s not like I’d have anywhere to go, nor do I have plans of escaping.

Maybe I’ll start daydreaming up escape plans once I truly become good and bored. Perhaps in another two weeks or so, when I run out of Dusk reruns.

I’m just kidding myself now; there’s certainly no escape from here, with or without outside help. I’ve seen what happens to the cyborgs who try, and the prospect of following in their footsteps doesn’t interest me in the slightest.

I’m not surprised by the direction we head in. Unfortunately, we do have to pass the cafeteria in order to get to Hallway E. I can’t help myself but glance through the clear doors and search for the table of green-types and two blue-types. Even though the table isn’t visible, I swear I can feel the smirks which permeated around it like a sick fog. I’m becoming more paranoid by the day.

Where I used to brush off people’s opinions as if they were nothing, here it can be a matter of life or death. If people don’t like you here, they very well may surround you on your way back to your room and stab you to death with a plastic spork. This could also happen on the outside, but there’s hardly space to run or hide in here.

Despite feeling practically naked in my simple cotton pants and shirt, I stand tall. Even while being led to the isolation chamber, I refuse to dip my shoulders or shed a tear. Because if they break me, they win. And I haven’t given them hell yet.

Steward McOy