Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day Forty-Eight

Day 48: 18 Sep 2010

The banging didn't last long. Someone outside must have found a key card -- I heard a beep, open sesame.

Two people charged into the room -- they were backlit from the hallway, so all I expected to see was silhouettes. I saw much more.

Apparently, the slug has made me better able to see in the dark -- I could easily identify Vince and Cassie as they rushed in. Both of them were carrying assault rifles and wearing body armor.

Take them apart, the slug said. It sounded very calm.

"Nope. Not going to do that," I thought back.

They're here to kill us.

"Can they?"


"Let's find out."

I stood up and turned on the lamp at the bedside table. I raised one hand in greeting.

"Hey, kids," I said to them. "How ya' doin?"

My voice sounded almost exactly like Jared's now.

"Oh, no," Cassie said. "He's too far gone."

"Well, that's an opinion. One I don't happen to share," I told her.

"I'll do it, Cass," Vince said, raising his assault rifle.

"No," she said. "I will. It should be me."

"I know how I look and sound, but I'm OK --" I started, but I was cut off by Cassie shooting me in the chest. It hurt, but not as much as it should have.

Told you, the slug said. Now rip her in half.

"Dammit, Cass. That stung."

I said these words out loud, ignoring the slug. I looked down at my chest -- no bleeding. I had a bit of a bruise, but that was it.

"Travis? You're still in there?" Cassie said, lowering her rifle.

"Yeah. Still here."

"Come with us, kid," Vince said. "We'll get you out of here, find a way to fix you."

Without hearing the words, I knew this was something the slug wouldn't allow. We were supposed to be loyal to the Chinese. It had saved the slug, brought us together. We owed them a debt. I knew this.

"Can't," I said. "You guys have to get out of here. Forget me."

"I don't think we can go out the way we came in," Cassie said. "They've got reinforcements coming."

I could hear better now, too. Hear air blowing by outside the west wall of my room.

Fine. We won't kill them, the slug thought. Go ahead. Let them out.

I held up one finger to Cassie and Vince.

"Wait one second."

I took a running start and rammed my shoulder into the west wall. The plaster disintegrated, the brick cracked.

We're still weak. One more should do it.

I rammed the wall again and fell right through -- onto the wet grass outside.

"There's the door. Go now," I said, picking myself up.

"We can't leave you, Travis," Cassie said.

"You can't help me, either. You need to go."

If they don't leave in ten seconds, I get to eat the little one, the slug said.

"Go. Now!" I screamed. My voice scared me.

It scared Vince, too. He grabbed Cassie by the shoulder and pulled her out through the hole in the wall -- I went back inside. As I heard Cassie and Vince's footsteps go off into the night, I laid down on the bed and went to sleep.

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