Word Count: 1,213
When they had established that I wasn’t going to do any more harm they dumped me back in the camp and I found myself at square one again. People avoided me like I was the plague, the only person who came to greet me was Robby.
‘How did it go?’ she asked with eager eyes.
My expression said it all.
‘That sucks. There must be another way for you to be reunited with your friends.’
‘Why do you wanna help so much?’
She was quiet for a second. ‘You wanna know the truth?’
‘You remind me of my friend,’ she smiled. ‘He was just like you, even down to the ginger hair. I guess it is déjà vu, or trying to have some part of my old life back. It’s just nice to do something for someone else too.’
The words that she spoke made me feel a pang of grief for the life that I had also lost. We weren’t the only ones though; everyone was suffering. Each single person in this camp had lost something precious to them; you could see it in their eyes. Though they were acting joyous, you could tell they had lost their light.
I didn’t want to get caught up in any of it. I just wanted to be out of there. How the hell was I going to get out though? How was I going to make contact with either Rayn or Cancer and more importantly get them out of there? I had absolutely no means of communication with anyone other than who was in this camp. Maybe someone would help me. There surely had to be someone who knew something.
‘How can I get to the other camps?’
‘You won’t make it,’ Robby was already speaking before I had finished. ‘The security is tight.’
‘This isn’t a prison though; surely we’re allowed to wander.’
‘I guess. None of us have really tried it; we haven’t had any reason to. I’ve got my sister in here, and others have their family with them. They don’t like to split us up.’
‘I need to find the camp that Rayn is in. I think that Cancer’s still in the lab…’ I froze, realizing I had just made a very stupid mistake.
Her eyes went wide and her mouth fell open. ‘You mean, he’s the cure?!’
‘No he was sick when he came in. Other injuries.’
My excuse was lame and she saw straight through it, of course. I resorted to pleading instead, hoping she wouldn’t drop us all in it.
‘Robby, you can’t tell anyone. I’m begging you.’
‘Joe, look, I want you to find your friends almost as bad as you want to find them. I won’t say anything,’ she promised.
I thanked her, more grateful than she would know.
In the end, we spent a while planning how I was gonna make our great escape. I asked her if she wanted to come, out of kindness and guilt more than anything and wasn’t surprised when she kindly turned my offer down. She said that she had felt more secure in this camp than anywhere else. I had to admit, it was a little baffling that we were leaving but I knew that Cancer would hate every second he was being tested on and it was just better for all of us if we continued our trip up to Atlanta.
We ruled violence out. If I went in there with guns blazing they’d shoot me down immediately. Not to mention the fact that I only knew how to work the handgun I had been given and had a feeling it wouldn’t be enough against the massive machine guns the soldiers had strapped to them at all times.
I could try intelligence, maybe, but I had a feeling that wouldn’t go down so well either. In the end, we settled for a distraction. Robby told me the route I needed to take to get to the other camp and it turns out it was in completely the opposite direction to the path I took when I ran into the lab earlier.
‘What distraction are we going to use?’
‘The only one that I know will work,’ she said, eyes twinkling.
I said goodbye to her, unsure if I would see her again at all after this and casually walked over to where she had pointed me to.
She started off looking a little curiously at one of the fences. I watched as her expression changed to one of horror and she screamed at the top of her voice.
Damn, the girl could act. She was crying hysterically, rounding up the attention of all nearby soldiers and suddenly everything was in commotion. I knew that I had literally only a matter of seconds before they realized she was lying and I made every second count.
The path that I needed to get onto was through a set of locked exits on a chain-link fence. I hooked one foot into one of the sections and pulled myself up. It felt like I was going to get exposed any second, a bullet was going to go flying past me and I would never get out. The fear almost froze me but I forced my limbs to move and I ignored the racing of my heart. Just a few more steps and I’d be at the top.
Come on Joe, come on Joe.
I was there!
Some of those metal spikes that they attach to prevent intruders threatened to send me back down but I told myself I needed to get out of there now. My foot found some holding on one of the spikes and I meant to send myself sailing through the air onto the other side but it slipped at the last minute and the dynamics changed vastly.
A sharp, agonizing pain tore through my leg as one of the spikes found its way into my flesh and I bit my lip to avoid howling out.
Warm liquid ran down my skin and my vision blurred as tears threatened to spill.
I landed with a crash onto the dusty pavement below me and this only intensified the pain. For a few seconds, the world went bright and I thought I was going to pass out. Instead, I took off the checked outer shirt that I wore and tied it to form a makeshift bandage in some attempt to staunch the flow of blood.
I limped desperately over to the other gate and peered through the gaps. I couldn’t see Rayn here and there was still another camp. It wouldn’t be long before they knew I was gone and it wouldn’t take a genius to figure out where I had escaped to.
My eyes scanned heads everywhere, looking for one in particular.
Someone small in the middle of camp shifted and caught my attention.
However, when they turned I saw it was just a young child.
‘Come on Rayn, where are you?’ I whispered to myself.
I nearly gave up and hopped over to the other camp when I spotted him. He was on the other side, sat alone. I tried waving my arms around manically.
How the hell was I going to catch his attention?