J ran through the halls, making his way toward the old exit near the training facility. It wasn't hard, really, just a series of lefts and rights. Like a code or something. Bell knew different ways than J, so he didn't really worry about meeting at that exact exit.
In the past, they had been taken to the surface and beaten. It was meant to be a warning for if they ever left without permission, but it served a different purpose. Bell was the first to notice, really. Every time they were brought up, they passed through the hallways and out the main exit. It was like a memory game for them. And with the sight of the surface, J and Bell just became more anxious to leave.
Of course, in time J stopped having hope. He showed Bell a smile to keep her going and told her he believed in freedom, but he didn't even have the slightest hope of escaping. Well, not entirely... There was a shard - more like a shard of a shard - of that hope still in him. Even as he ran down the halls, that hope struggled to stay alive.
'No,' J thought furiously, 'I will have hope in this. For my friend!'
A smile crept along J's face and he ran faster, causing passing CORE people jumped out of his way. It only took a few moments before the alarm went off and a voice came on the intercom. "Code red alert! Escaped experiment heading toward the Main Corridor. I repeat, code red alert! Escaped..."
J smiled at the mention of only one experiment. In the past, there had been escapes by some of the other creatures in the Orphanage. It had always specified the amount, too. They never said what had escaped, only that they had and how many. Knowing that, J also knew Bell was still safe.
Turning down a hallway, J cam face to face with a guard. The guard was stunned, giving J the perfect chance to run around the man and out a door. He really didn't want to hurt them, so it was better to just run. Violence wasn't J's favorite thing unless it was for a good reason, like the cell door earlier. He hoped Bell had gotten out safely.
Ahead, J saw Mr. Shaw, the man who usually worked on him. Instead, the man stood there and pulled out a pistol. As if on impulse, the sight of the weapon made J stop running and freeze in place. He was instantly aware of his heavy breathing and the steam coming off his arm from underneath the cloak he wore. Had he really wore out the thing that much?
"78..." Mr. Shaw said slowly, "No, Justin is your name, correct?"
For some reason, J just nodded. His eyes darted everywhere, looking for a way to escape this situation. He didn't need to waste time here but he also could allow himself to die, no matter how much the darkness beneath desired it. He needed to escape. For Bell's sake.
The man smiled warmly. "Don't worry, I am here to help, Justin." Why did he keep saying J's name like it was a friend. J was nice to people, but only Bell was a friend to him.
The man nodded, lowering his gun in the process. "Yes, I even let the guards think you were in the west sector." J hoped Bell hadn't gone that way. "All you have to do is go down this hallway and proceed to that old exit you saw today."
J wasn't sure about Mr. Shaw's odd kindness, but he didn't have time to doubt him. He needed to get to the Orphanage's main building! So, despite his odd feeling he had about Mr. Shaw, J ran by the man and ran down the hallway. Why bother with the details anyway. This was a way without violence.
Shaw watched as his project ran off in search of this 'freedom.' It had taken long enough. All the experiments, all the battles against the twisted creations of Max's. Slowly, Shaw had been building up 78's reasons to leave. It had taken so many years.
"Shaw! Shaw, you bloody bastard!"
Shaw turned to see Max walking toward him. The man was short in stature, but not weak. "How may I help you, Max?"
The man was enraged. "Who the fuck stole my set of keys and RELEASED all the BLOODY beasts!?"
Shaw frowned. "That isn't good, let's go ask Petroy." The other man was still angry, but nodded. As they left, Max didn't see Shaw throw a set of keys into a passing room. Those 'experiments' would be a good farewell for his dear 78 and make Max suffer enough of a loss to be erased. Two birds, as they say.
Run, 78, run. What sort of things would he destroy on the surface, especially without the help of your friend? Shaw couldn't wait to find out that girls fate with the whole of the guards chasing her, too. Belikov needed to be brought down a peg, the stuck up bastard.
Shaw laughed quietly as he followed Max.
J slammed his mechanical fist into another of the experiments that had escaped into the main corridor. Like Mr. Shaw had said, there were no guards. What he hadn't mentioned was that somebody had released all the experiments he was forced to kill during training. There were dozens of them.
Luckily, J didn't feel any remorse over killing them all. He even felt relieved that the more he killed, the less they could use to hurt others. They didn't last long, of course. J was already practiced against all kinds of these things, as long as-
A great beast in the shape of a tiger appeared just ahead. Images of a scared Bell and a freshly ripped arm in the tiger's mouth came flashing in his eyes. Then came pain, anger, and even excitement. The darkness even flared to life with killing intent.
This was the same tiger.
J's thoughts were interrupted by an announcement.
"Code black! Code black! Experiment loose in West Sector. Deemed extremely dangerous. Calling all guards! I repeat..." J felt a shiver down his spine. Bell was that way! There was no other explanation! He had to hurry!
A growl reminded J he wasn't alone. First, revenge. Then, he headed toward the west sector exit. It would be the most likely place to start his search for Bell.