Word Count: 1665
'Blaine this is insane!' Hatchet whispered harshly as they stepped nearer to the fortified gates, hiding in the shadows of a wrecked car lot like rats in a sewer. Hatchet tried to keep up with the long loping strides of the others but his little frame and broken leg made it hard for him to even hobble let alone walk. Night had never agreed with Hatchet, but since the earthquakes and everything else that had happened...the night had taken on a completely different feel. He could sense eyes on him from every shadowed corner, what was left of the stars didn't twinkle like they once did, they just stood there...unblinking...frozen in the vastness of space for eternity. And the moon...that blood red smear in the sky. 'Blaine can we go! Please!' as one the three bigger men turned on him.
Blaine was a tall man with greasy blonde hair hard blue eyes and a constant stubble across his anvil like jaw. In a second his hand was wrapped around Hatchet's neck, picking him clean off the ground and slamming him against a crumbling cinderblock wall. Fighting for air Hatchet kicked and tried to break his grip, but it was like iron around his windpipe. 'You listen to me you snivelling little pig! That colony has a running supply of clean water and enough provisions to last us a year! It's guarded by a little girl who even you could overpower now we're doing this and you're going to help us get in! Yes?'
'The...the Titan...' Hatchet choked.
'That chinky prick can kiss my ass! He rules New York with his precious Stranded, this is New Jersey.' Dropping him air flooded into Hatchets lungs before he hit the earth and his bad leg bent under his weight. Containing the scream of pain he felt tears sting his eyes. 'Get us in that colony and I'll find you a doctor to fix your leg.' Blaine said drawing a long combat knife from it's sheath across his back. 'If you don't...' the threat was more than enough.
'Ok ok I'll do it.' whimpered the small man.
'Good. We'll wait here for your signal.' With that Thunder picked Hatchet up by the scruff of his neck and pushed him into the light, One day...one day I'll watch you all die and I'll laugh! Hatchet said to himself as he gave the three lumbering oafs one last look before rounding the corner into the road. The street before him was a wreck of what it once was, the buildings on both side were nothing but rubble with broken windows, missing walls and nine times out of ten no roof. The street lights that once lit the way for everyone now stood slanted on their foundations, bent, or not standing at all. It was rare to find one that still worked but there were a few about, and where there was light there were stranded. It took a minute for the young girl guarding the fortified wall of steel and aluminium to notice his approach, hobbled and slow as it was.
She's a child...why would they put a child on the gate? Hatchet thought staring at her, they must be more desperate here than he thought. Fumbling with her rifle the little brunette took a knee behind a burnt out shell of an old Ford. 'Stop!' she squeaked. Her voice breaking with fear. Hatchet could see her hands shaking from where he stood, to play it safe he stopped and put his arms out in front of him showing her he wasn't armed. The rifle probably wasn't loaded, but better safe than sorry.
'Hey sweetie,' he said taking a gentle limp closer to her.
'Stay there! Or...Or I'll shoot!'
'Ok just take it easy...I don't want to hurt you. I don't have a gun or nothin'.' removing his tattered leather jacket his bare skin took a cold bite as a sudden just of wind blew through the street. 'See.' he said turning. 'I don't want no trouble...it's just...I've broken my leg see, and, well I don't have bandages or nothin' and me and my friends need water.' Slowly the girl stood, the rifle still firmly pressed against her shoulder and her eye down the sight. She's familiar with a gun at least. 'We just want our canteens filled, you do that and...and we'll be on our way, promise.' Hatchet felt dirty all over having to lie to the tiny girl, but slowly she lowered her gun and looked at him with suspicious but innocent brown eyes.
'Just water.' she confirmed solidly.
'Just water...and any spare bandages you might have, I aint' fussed.' putting his jacket back on Hatchet looked to the gate behind her, two lookout towers had been built at its side but both stood empty, and as far as he could tell so were all of the surrounding buildings. Is she here alone?
'Were are your friends?' she asked suddenly pulling him from his thoughts.
'Just here,' beckoning them out Blaine and the twins stepped out carefully. The girl raised her rifle again as they stepped out. 'This is Blaine...and the twins are Thunder and Lightning.'
'Hey honey,' Blaine said trying to sound friendly, he failed.
'Throw your canteens over,' she said with a measured confidence to her words. Blaine smiled at her before detaching his small hip flask from his belt and tossing it through the air to her. One by one they all did this until she had all of them in her hands. Giving them one last suspicious glance she turned and keyed the code into the small circuit box, that's all it took, just one moment for Lightning to bolt over to her as the metal gate rose off the ground like an old garage door. Its creaking hinges screeching through the air and masking her muffled screams as he picked her up in his massive arms, smothering her mouth with his hand.
'Keep her quiet!' Blaine ordered as they ran into the colony, Hatchet limped as fast as his bad leg would take him, he heard them doing a quick sweep of the make shift shanty town and the small cries of the little girl who was still being clutched in Lightning's arms. 'There's no one here!' Blaine shouted in victory as Hatchet finally passed under the gate that suddenly and silently shut behind him. This doesn't feel right.
'They've got water!' Thunder roared from inside one of the decrepit buildings. 'They exposed an old water pipe. It's clear!'
'We hit the jackpot boys!' Blaine yelled as he darted from one of the torn cloth tents with arms full of food packs. Hatchet turned his eyes to the sky, that red moon hanging in a tiny crescent in the dark sooty sky, like the smile of Satan himself.
'Get off meeee!' screamed the girl as Lightning threw her onto the hard ground.
'Be careful with her!' the uncharacteristic outburst shot from his mouth before Hatchet could stop it and he was soon pulling the huge bulk of Lightning off the little girl. In a dark spin his hand back slapped Hatchet across the face, his nose bending under the impact and his mouth quickly filling with blood.
'Shut ur' face Rat! I aven't' ad' me a woman in weeks! She'll do, even if she is a miniature one!'
'No help me! Help me please!' the girl screamed as Lightning fell on her. Hatchet reached over to grab his knife but Lightning spun and grabbed his arm leering at him like death itself in mortal form.
'Too slow Rat!' he grinned jumping from the girl and slamming Hatchet against the cold steel wall of the gate. A shadow detached from the darkened walls, then another, then another. 'I think I might just break your other leg! Then you'll be twice as useless!' Hatchet wasn't listening. Oh my god. A figure stepped from the darkness behind Lightning, looming over the both of them with a power that surely only gods could posses. His dark eyes screaming in rage, the black tattoos covering his face and blending in seamlessly with the dark coal strands of his hair. Lightning noticed as Hatchet tried to scramble away, maybe he could meld into the metal and disappear and not face this man’s wrath. Lightning turned and looked over his shoulder, directly into the man’s chest. 'Oh fu...' those were his last words before a colossal gleaming combat knife ripped through his jaw bone. It's polished point sticking out Lightning's temple.
His body fell limp and Hatchet began to fall but only for a heartbeat before a massive olive skinned hand wrapped around his neck and lifted him even higher into the air. The Polynesian giant roared slightly as he pulled Hatchet closer to his face. 'They're both dead over here Tai.' shouted a dark skinned man with a shotgun and a huge fire axe strapped across his back.
'Get Abigail into the truck,' the massive man grumbled. His dark eyes never leaving Hatchet, those eyes like flecks of coal. 'Do you know who I am little man?' despite the rock hard grip around his throat Hatchet nodded. 'Good. Then you know what I am capable of, do you work for the Blood Skulls?' again he nodded. 'You're going to tell me the location of their main camp, how many they have and what they did with the Stranded that used to live in this colony. Is that understood?' he nodded as black started to fold in around his eyes. 'Good. You play your cards right little man you might just make it out of this alive.' Hatchet hit the floor like a sack of bricks, sucking in great lungfuls of air as if he had just breached water. 'Gag him and bag him!' the Titan ordered to his men. 'And little man, don't run away. I'll just shoot you in your ass.'