The Guns of Brixton - The Clash
I responded to the reviews from ch. 12. Thanks. I love you all so much.
Heavy breathing fills the pitch-black room, the breathers held captive in a hell hole of darkness, no stimulation, no light, no physical contact. But it’s all for the best. The protection of the workers, not the prisoners.
The Facility, in all its marvelous glory is a center of disease, torment and merciless carnage. The epitome of oppressive government control. This place, this center, this…focal point of horror is only the beginning. With duplicates all around a destroyed world, who else would remain in control with the sole purpose of domination?
With the control of the military, anything is possible. Martial law is enforced and put to use. Although, no one cares about honor, justice, loyalty. No. It’s all about need. It’s all about manipulation. How can one steal, annihilate, and extort the good of others? How can one get ahead while stepping on every other living soul? How many people would they need to kill, abduct, or terrify to get food, water, and medicine? How many? Ten? One hundred? A thousand?
How many need to die just so one family can be safe for another day?
When science runs amok, you can create anything. Anyone.
Destroy anything. Or everyone.
There is a chill in the east sector, where the winds from the storm blow, where the walls are thin and the sounds of screaming fill the ears of the denizens day in and night out. There is no privacy here. Every sob, every whisper, every teardrop falling onto the concrete floor resonates into the east sector.
But it’s not like the inhabitants can hear anything. Everyone there is dead now.
There is only pain in the walls, the dead locked away inside: their suffering never explained, only hidden in plain sight.
Footsteps slapped against the concrete floors, a man dressed in a white lab coat with two large pockets. The left filled with a small pad and pen, the right a knife. Just in case.
But the man is not in search of death today, no. He’s looking for snipers, mercenaries, recruits, and traitors.
He’s looking for test subjects.
There is a ritual in the facility, for every thousand dead, another two thousand must be imported in. Overcrowding? Who cares. The spread of disease? These walls are sealed for containment. Frequent vaccinations and full body germ sprays are often given. To the workers, not the prisoners.
In a way, the man dressed in the white lab coat represented a businessperson, his company sold mass extermination and the gift of life, he was a worker, a pawn to the system, a link in the food chain of life. He was a manipulator of social Darwinism. If one can’t take the pressure, the pain, the horrors of this world then they are meant to be eliminated from society. There is no brotherly love here. No promise of life. Sentimentality is dead. Those who are weaker aren’t meant to live, they are supposed to die. Die and be forgotten.
Gone. Drifting down to the sewers with the souls of the deceased. This is the degeneration of society. This is the downfall.
There is a beauty hidden in the decadence, one just has to find it.
But no one cares. All who did are dead.
The worker snorted and muttered, “Good riddance” under his breath as he walked toward the containment chamber. The dark grey walls stared down at him hauntingly, as he gripped the knife in his pocket. A cold shiver ran through him as he began to think of times before this happened. Think of why he was doing this. Think of who he was.
Six months ago, he was Cadmus Wright, an aspiring doctor with a wife and a baby on the way. The memory of her beautiful face would’ve brought tears to his eyes, if only he could see past the marred body. If only he could’ve seen the bright smile, not the charred face. Not the burning. Not the stench of flaming hair.
He couldn’t hear his wife’s voice, the angelic sound of her singing, the virtuous voice as she sang hymnals and read the bible to him. He couldn’t hear that because the sound of her cursing god, cursing the world, cursing him over powered it.
For letting them kill her, for letting her die, for forsaking her.
But it wasn’t his fault. No. It wasn’t his fault.
He didn’t set the house on fire. He loved his wife.
Yes. Yes. Cadmus Wright told himself, he loved his wife.
So who did it?
Those damn witching bastards. Cadmus Wright told himself, he loved his wife.
The fire was too hot, the roof was caving in, he couldn’t of gone in to save her and his unborn son. Cadmus Wright told himself that he loved his wife.
He saw those…demons running around lights flying out of those fucking sticks of death. He saw it blow a hole in the house next door. He saw it from his car, as he watched his house burn to the ground with his wife inside. Burning with no evidence. Not with those fucking--
Cadmus Wright couldn’t of done it, he told himself, he loved his wife.
His knuckles turned pale from gripping the knife so hard. With the containment room just ahead, he steadied his breathing and leveled his thoughts.
He was Cadmus Wright for fuck’s sake. He was in control, in power, a killer, a savior.
Standing outside the containment room, he stared at the grey door; red splotches littered the edges and seeped to the inner part of the door. Relinquishing his hold on the knife, Cadmus took out the pad, reading the list of names that he was supposed to pay close attention too.
People of Interest:
(32232) “W. Precognition”
(23232) “W. Retrocognition”
(83461) “W. Persuasion”
Pair them up, if they don’t agree. Slaughter them. Stand outside the door a soldier will appear shortly, wait for more instructions.
Cadmus shoved the pad back into his oversized pocket. Slaughter them? How the hell was he supposed to do that with only a knife? Five fucking killers is what they all are. Pieces of shit with a heart of stone. Creatures, he thought disgustedly. They don’t even have hearts, just black empty souls of the devil. Fucking worshipping evil.
Cadmus glared at the door, waiting for the soldier to come. Fucking dumbass soldiers, he thought, where the hell were the good ones? Where was his respect? Fucking waste, give a man a gun and they suddenly call themselves damn soldiers. Give a man some chemicals and he’s automatically a chemist? Fuck no.
But these damn bastards think they can just—
“Doctor Wright,” said a deep voice from behind him.
Cadmus immediately cleared his mind of all thought and spun around, “Lieutenant Gallagher” he raised his hand to his head in salute and then bowed.
“At ease, Doctor” Gallagher said nonchalantly, He reached over his shoulder and took off the shotgun attached to a leather carry, handing the heavy weapon to Cadmus.
“Now you listen and listen good, they are all dangerous. 15073 is man-made, we don’t exactly know what he’s capable of…”
Before Cadmus could stop it, the word slipped through his lips, “What?”
Lieutenant Gallagher glared viciously, “Did you not hear me?”
“I-I-sorry.” Cadmus lowered his head. Gallagher’s glare faded from anger to suspicion, brow raised he stopped the explanation and said, “If you can’t handle this Cadmus, if you have a second thought, you can’t do this. If you leave that room before you’ve talked, convinced or killed them, there will be a bullet in you before one foot even steps out of that door. I can’t allow you to get out if you fail. I have my orders and you have yours.”
Gallagher’s features did not soften as he continued, “Last warning,”
Before Cadmus could blink, much less ready the shotgun, Gallagher’s handgun was pressed against his forehead, “One more slip and your brains will be on the floor. Fucking try something, I dare you.”
Cadmus’ body was frozen, his heart rate eerily slow and calm, being this close to death, he’d seen too much, done too much to be afraid. Knowing that begging was useless, he stood strong, yet submissive to the Lieutenant.
Gallagher waited a few seconds, “Drop the gun.” Cadmus did as he was told; the gun fell with a clatter to the floor. Gallagher’s eyes veered from Cadmus’ pale, sweating forehead on to a person coming up from behind.
Gallagher whispered, “Watch closely.”
Taking a step back, handgun still trained on Cadmus, he picked up the dropped gun and placed the handgun back into the holster.
“Private O’Hara” Gallagher called out, a young woman in her early twenties stopped in her tracks, immediately saluted and stood still, waiting to be put at ease. Her eyes had dark rings of purple around them, lack of sleep, exhaustion, stress, frustration, disgust. Whatever the reason, she was marked, “I’m showing Doctor Wright the proper way to use a shotgun.”
Gallagher glanced over at Cadmus, making sure he was watching. Gallagher slipped his hand into another holder along his belt, one at a time, He loaded them into the shotgun turning the weapon toward Cadmus so he knew where to put it.
“You see Doctor, a shotgun can only hold ten bullets, small number compared to other weapons. But for the job you potentially have to use it for. Very effective.”
After all ten bullet’s were loaded in, he pulled the gun up to eye level, aiming at Private O’Hara, who stood silently, shaking.
Cadmus turned round to look at her only to be scolded, “Look at the weapon, Doctor.”
Cadmus watched as Lieutenant Gallagher cocked the gun and said, “First spot you can hit is rather messy. I don’t recommend it. Would you like to practice?” His voice had a tone of nonchalance, like this was nothing to him.
Private O’Hara had tears pouring down her cheeks, seconds passed; the doctor shook his head no. No gun shot. Relief.
She started up to speak, to thank him, to run to him and kiss the helm of his lab coat. But training kept her standing firm. Mindless. Under the control of orders.
Lieutenant Gallagher looked at Cadmus and shrugged his shoulders, lowered the gun and stepped back.
“Well if you insist.”
Cadmus sighed in relief, closing his eyes and rubbing his forehead, knowing that killing an innocent bystander was not the way to prac-
Gallagher smirked down at Cadmus, too hell with ethics he thought wildly as he lifted the gun…
Cadmus felt like his eardrums exploded from the sound, the force of the bullet’s escape startled him and he fell backwards to the floor. Shocked, he turned to look at the woman; She stumbled backwards and hit the wall, the only support for her body. Her eyes wide and etched with pain and fear, a shaky hand reached for her chest, clutching her heart.
She looked into Cadmus’ eyes with such accusation and hatred that he looked away.
“Shoot without hesitation to stop them in their tracks.” Lieutenant Gallagher said calmly, continuing with his lesson as if she wasn’t even there, “For the full effect, aiming is everything.”
“No! Wait, please!” Cadmus whispered, so low, so very low that it didn’t matter. So low that his mouth barely formed the words. It didn’t matter that he didn’t want her killed, it didn’t matter that the accusation in her eyes reminded him of those in his wife’s. His voice didn’t matter. His opinion was forsaken, cast off, unimportant, useless.
So he watched on as Gallagher pulled the trigger and saw the bullet cut through the air, through his morality, through his soul. She slumped the floor, dead. Cadmus stared at the wall, knowing that the stains could never be fully removed.
Lieutenant Gallagher cheered and shouted, “Bull’s eye!”
This whole world is fucking insane.
“THAT, my friend is how you shoot a shotgun. Now,” Gallagher was clearly happier than he was five minutes ago. Killing in the heat of anger with no consequences might do that to a person, “15073 is a killer, a murderous psychotic killer,”
Cadmus couldn’t help but note the irony.
“He’s the nasty piece of work chained down in the cage. A word of advice, don’t throw up when you look in he’s face. It’s enough to turn your stomach a hundred times over. They call him the Banshee might as well called him a Chimera. We created it.”
“We’ve created human life?” Cadmus said in an awestruck voice. There was something much bigger going on her than he originally thought.
“Yes and no…It’s…merely an adaptation. You know as well as everyone else that we’ve got spare parts around here. I don’t know what kind of shit that the doctor’s are pulling around here but when my men brought him in he was human. A dirty, demon worshipper but a fucking human, nonetheless. Now? There are more arms on that thing than I have fingers on my hand.” Gallagher shuddered, “Don’t let it touch you. You can do whatever the fuck you want, ignore all the rest of the advice I’ve given but if you want to live, you won’t touch that shit. We’ve got other people to get them if they chose to live…” Gallagher trailed off.
“What about the others?” Cadmus asked quietly, his voice was shaken but the fear was hidden.
Gallagher pulled the list from Cadmus’ pocket, personal space didn’t matter anyway. He skimmed over the list, “The rest are pretty special but none as bad as 15073.” Gallagher paused again and then glared down at the list.
“Got those fucking twins in there though. They come as a package deal. Gotta get them both, regardless.”
Gallagher looked up at Cadmus, glaring again, “I wouldn’t ask so many questions if I were you. But that’s the Precog and Retro. One supposed sees into the future the other into the past.” Gallagher’s voice was gruff as he continued, “Seems like fucking fake bullshit. Everyone knows that psychics aren’t real.”
Once again, Cadmus spoke to quickly, “Everyone thought these creatures weren’t real either.”
Gallagher shot Cadmus a calculating look and then returned down to the papers. Cadmus couldn’t help but notice that something was sliding down the floor toward them. He couldn’t bring himself to care. Not really.
“Persuasion,” Gallagher spoke up as if he hadn’t been interrupted, “Before, when I was found and saved by the Facility, I ran into one of these. They have the ability to play little mind tricks on you. Apparently, they…they, see into your head. Get inside there and play around with your memories, persuade you do to stuff. If he tries any of that shit, kill him. We’ve done everything we could to get him so that whatever his power is, is pretty much running on air. But we’ve had a few…nasty circumstances.”
Gallagher handed the notepad back to him, Cadmus noticed that his hands were shaking rather violently as he slipped it backed into his pocket. His shoved his hands in the pockets as well. His fingertip running up the edge of the knife in his right pocket. Gallagher nodded his head in encouragement and started down the hall. Cadmus called after him.
“Wait, the gun? Why would I need that anyway?”
Gallagher checked his watch, huffed and then turned back quickly, and shoved the gun in Cadmus’ hands. “If they try to fight back or refuse, you kill them. I expect that everyone will try to refuse at one point or another, at least everyone at accept 01468.”
“01468? Why does that number sound so familiar?”
“It’s the only prisoner left from the observation room.”
“01468 is a relative of the escapees?”
“Yep, the last vampire in the facility now. But don’t worry about the others, we’ll capture them soon enough. They couldn’t of gotten that far. Plus, remember we’ve got all those decoy’s stationed outside these walls.”
“Like the double agents? They pretend to help but then bring them right back to us?”
“Yes…” Gallagher’s eyes were set in a fixed stare on Cadmus’ face, “Why so much interest?”
“I-I-nothing! Nothing, Lieutenant”
“Hmm” was the response. Another pause. Tense.
With more hesitation then before, Lieutenant Gallagher continued, “01468 has been very loyal since his processing. He’ll help out with anything. The only problem is that…he’s losing control of his human-side and reverting too far back to animal instinct. He still knows how to walk and talk and all other natural functions, his preference is just on the ground. When he talks, its deeper than most males his age, more gruff. But there’s nothing to worry about from him. After awhile, it’s like his an oversized, revolting dog that you want to kill. It’s very touching.” Gallagher had a smile on his face that expressed that he truly felt that way, no sarcasm involved.
Giving Cadmus a curt nod, Gallagher walked back toward his victim and removed former Private O’Hara’s beret, tossing it to the side in the process to expose a ponytail that was hidden underneath the cap. Gallagher gripped the length of hair; Cadmus tried not to watch as Gallagher started walking toward the east sector, Private O’Hara in tow.
But Cadmus couldn’t help it, the urge to look up far too strong. When he did, he saw Gallagher only this time with a deranged smile upon his lips. Cadmus found himself smiling back with the same hysteric expression. He knew the thrill. The insanity.
Cadmus turned back toward the door, gun in hand, listening to the soundtrack of Gallagher’s chuckles as he made his way through the hall. Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, Cadmus removed the bars and chains from the door, two guards came up behind him as the last chain fell to the floor, guarding the door and preparing to lock him in.
He turned to look at the two soldiers with a smirk, but their eyes narrowed: cold and stony. Cadmus’ eyes slipped past their faces and onto the stains that stretched across the floor. Cadmus chuckled to himself.
Cadmus entered the room and the guards locked the doors. He was alone.