Silus glared at Alex, his eyes burning into the mans face though the other pretended not to notice or didn't care. Small purpleish black brusies formed around his neck where the rebels had begun to strangle him with their hands and the old soiled sweater. His breath was soft and raggad, Damn Rebels, if only he had his radio and the blasted plastic hadnt busted in the crash. He grit his teeth as Alex's rough fingers hooked into the collar of his uniform and wrenched their faces pretty darn close together.

 "You got anything you wanna share with us about shutting that thing down?" He gestured to the Stalker that was growling and swinging around in search if them, high above on the buildings ceiling. Silus let a snarl permeate his features only to have one of the rebels hook his arms around SIlus's neck and apply pressure. He was in their world now, Alex sighed and relaxed against the over turned counter, what to do with his prisoner. He was no good to them dead but the same applies to the combine guard being tight lipped. The man had to be afraid of something...someone... there was no way he was just some souless bastard that wasnt afraid of anything, sure if this was a movie he may have been but this was reality.

"So Combine," Alex started running his hands thourhg his messy and dust covered hair. "What's your name? They do give you names don't they?" He asked and motioned for his rebel subordinate to let Silus go so that he could at least breath normally for five minutes. Silus coughed a few times massaging his abused throat before he could even respond.

"We're not friends... and don't try to pretend to be one. You're doing exactly what I was planning on at the new facility you were supposed to be transferred to. You want my name fine; Name, rank, nad serial number other than that you're not getting jack." Silus's voice was strangely cool and calm though there was an icy inflection to the tone. "Silus Amaranth, Prison guard commander and assisstant warden, 07192993." Alex looked at the man and sighed nodding, it was something he thought.

"Men, scout ahead clear us a path through the rest of this city towards our underground head quarters." Two out of the five men nodded and took off, scurrying through the scattered rubble like rats till they disappeared down the half destroyed concrete stairs. The sound of their footsptes mixing with the hushed breathing of the remaining bodies.

"Well Silus you already know I'm Alex and I'm hoping that we can at least come to some understanding. See, It wasn't my plan to be captured by the combine...nor to run into you and ruin your day. We just want our freedom. And-" Silus began to laugh it was a cold hollow sound that rumbled up from the recesses of his chest. Alex cocked his brow at the man and scowled, not really knowing why teh man was laughing until he had suddenly pinned alex beneath his weight. The rebels circled around but Silus's growl pushed them back.

"If you want your precious commander to live then you'll stay back and let me speak my mind!" Though reluctantly, the rebels backed off to take up satch positions, if the combine guard did anything to try and kill their commander he'd get a chest full of fully automatic lead.

"You think you want your freedom, that the world will suddenly be better and that you will have nothing to worry about? That you can just go about expressing your life as you wish and there will be no problems? That their will be no crime and no bad people when we're gone?" Silus was shivering with rage as he held his hand around Alex's throat. God, how he wanted to strangle this man so badly but it was his duty to get alex to the other facility and he had never failed... it was after all, the only thing he had left.

Suddenly the ground began to tremor, the concrete building groaning under the sudden stress thrown upon its supports. Silus's eyes widened and he lept from Alex hurrying over to a part where the wall of the building was collapsed. He had a perfect view of the skyline and what he saw shocked him. The tower at the cities center was surrounded by dark reddish black swirling clouds. Lighting crackled in the air followed by magnificent roars of thunder.

"The Tower?" Alex said, stepping next to SIlus as Stalkers abandoned their rummaging through the city and were moving to the tower, ignoring everything around them. Silus didn't exactly know what to say or do, he'd heard rumors of the unstable power within the structure but of course he never believed the rumors.

"We need to leave." Silus said turning only to have Alex strike him across the back of the head, knocking him to the floor and jabbing his boot hard into the mans spine. "To answer your earlier questions that were so rudely thrown in my face. I believe that humanity deserves a chance to live free and happy with the knowledge that others will still try to ruin it because they are innately evil." He gestured to one of his men as the scouts got back.

"Sir, we have a way out through the sewers... others are already beginning to evacuate the city. Some are saying if the tower explodes it will level the city.." The men looked like craized rabbits that had been chased about by wolves. Alex nodded as his men took Silus, occasionally hitting him with the stun stick if he moved to slow or lingered to stare at the tower. He had never imagined that his world would suddenly collapse around him for the second time. It had to be the rebels doing, they had to have put some bomb there, perhaps an attack that set something off.. He didn't know what had happened but he knew that they would need to work together to escape and the thought made him want to wretch.    

The End

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