Conversations And Complications

Clear the way
Dead men walking
Listen now
Their footsteps are talking

Telling stories
Of all the roads they have travelled
Wishing that
Their lives had not unravelled

Won’t be long now
‘Til all their sins are paid for
Watch closely now
Is death behind that door?

Clear the way
Dead men walking…

Somehow we’ve managed to reach the hallway leading to the infirmary unchallenged and the alarms have remained silent as ghosts. Not a word has been said since we left the cell, though Kate has been speaking volumes with those looks she’s been tossing over her shoulder at me.

I want to apologize again - hell, I’d like to apologize another million times, until my voice dies a croaking death - but the damage has been done now. Any friendship that may have existed between us is dead and gone. I need to force myself to see her as a tool to use for our escape, nothing more.

Easier said than done, but I need to focus on something besides the madness of this moment.

Our footsteps echo hollowly off the walls as we approach the swinging doors that lead to the medical wing. Once we’re inside I’m going to have to figure out what comes next, and I suspect that’s when I’ll come face to face with just how foolish this is.

Kate leads the way through the doors, with Terry at her shoulder and me bringing up the rear. As I ease the doors silently shut behind us I freeze, certain I heard a noise down the hallway behind us. I leave the door open a crack and press an eye to the opening, seeking a moving shadow amongst the darkness.

“Manny?” Terry calls from a few feet behind me. “We got trouble?”

“Doesn’t look like it,” I say, turning to join them. “Guess I’m just hearing things. Let’s keep moving, time is not in our favour.”

“Where to now?” Kate asks, hands on hips, her lips a tight, thin line. “Or do we just wait here until your private helicopter arrives to whisk you away to some tropical island?”

“We’ll have no more of that attitude,” Terry growls, bringing his right arm back and swinging an open palm towards her face. Thankfully the movement is lazy and overconfident and I’m able to intercept the slap before it arrives at its intended destination.

“And I’ll have absolutely none of that,” I hiss, spinning him around so that I can glare into his dark eyes. He looms over me like an angry mountain but says nothing. “Kate, take us to the supply room. We’ll have a look around for anything that might help us and it’ll get us out of plain sight for a bit.”

Kate spins on a heel after giving me an unreadable look and marches away from us. I let go of Terry’s arm and we follow; I glance back down the hall a few times but the doors remain shut. My nerves must be playing with my head.

The storeroom is the third door on the left and we pile in, Terry closing the door behind us and taking up position there as Kate flicks on the light. It takes a few moments for our eyes to adjust to the sudden brightness and then I’m moving along the rows, inspecting labels.

“Who else is on duty tonight?” Terry asks and I feel stupid for not thinking of that earlier.

“Cortez. Tomlinson. Gregg. Doc Romero.” Kate rattles off the names listlessly from where she’s leaning against the wall with her arms crossed. “And Olsen.”

“Mmm, I hope we run into him on our way out the door,” Terry says with a bright smile as he cracks his knuckles. “That man could use a great big serving of humble pie.”

“I’d rather we get out with as little hassle as possible,” I reply. I pause to pocket a wicked looking needle and unbutton my shirt a few notches. Sweat has glued it to my body, which leads to a new line of thinking. “Any chance the docs keep a spare set of clothes around here?”

“If they do it’d be in their offices,” Kate replies without looking at me. Maybe we should just lock her up in here and be done with her.

“Then we should go have a look-see,” Terry says, “cause I’d love to finally get out of these prison grubs. Might even make escape a little easier too, hey Manny? But before we go, could you grab me a couple of those nasty needles you found?”

He’s got better eyes than I figured. I’m not sure I want Terry armed, but I’ve got no good reason to refuse him. So I dig out a couple more and pass them over. But he’s not done yet.

“Oh, and Miss?” Terry says sweetly and Kate turns to him with a worried expression, unsure what to expect. “I’ll have that baton of yours now - I’d hate for you to go getting any silly ideas into that pretty little head of yours.”

“Hand over the handcuffs while you’re at it,” I add, my brain finally starting to work again. Who knows what I might use them for but she certainly has no need for them now.

Kate passes them both over without a word and then seems to shrink within herself just a touch as she stands before us defenceless. I want to tell her that we won’t hurt her but I’m not sure that’s the truth.

“Shall we pay Doc Romero a visit?” Terry asks. I don’t like the look in his eyes.

“No one dies tonight unless it’s us or them,” I tell him and he shrugs nonchalantly. “I’m serious Terry.”

“And who put you in charge of this little operation?” Terry demands, taking a step toward me, Kate’s baton held loosely in one hand.

If this isn’t the last thing I need right now, I don’t know what is.

“I reckon neither of you meatheads is in charge of anything tonight.”

All three heads in the room snap towards the door and my blood goes cold when I see Ana standing there, with Nevada smirking over her shoulder.

It’s all gone mad
It’s all gone bad
First friendships tire
Now cut off by fire

No, don’t get manic
No, do not panic
Just make your escape
Just do whatever it takes

The End

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