Let’s start off Arc 2 of Volume 2 with a short PROLOGUE hohoho
(My ambiance song for this chap)
No one’s POV
“What do you see?” The guard asked staring into the black eyes of the child before him.
He was one of the Hans’ experiments with the tattoos. Unfortunately for him, the ink had traveled to his face and blocked his eyesight. In exchange, it had given him a certain level of sight.
The boy gaped, staring straight ahead – seemingly straight at the guard.
“I can’t describe it.”
“Glimpses of the future?”
“Love, hope, pain, now, then and later.” He said getting up. He walked to the edge of the bars, tentatively reaching out to whatever he was seeing. “It’s like a beacon.”
“Are you being intentionally cryptic?” The guard asked and the boy brought his hand back to his side.
“I don’t know how to describe it. I can’t see much of the future. I’m not that talented.” He said, his hand coming to touch his face.
“I heard you saw something happen to this place.” The guard pressed.
“Not much. The place gets trashed. Soon. It doesn’t stay a torture chamber for much longer.” He passed his hand over his eyes and back again, as if testing that he really couldn’t see it.
“Something from the outside attacks?”
“I don’t know. Maybe. You’d think so. I can’t see that well.” The boy reiterated.
The guard couldn’t seem to resist, he reached out, his gloved hand cautiously reaching through the bars to touch the boy’s tattoo – more scars caused by the Laboratory.
“How long have you been here?”
“I haven’t been able to see since the school got bombed in the bigger town.” He replied, his eyes nevertheless following the movement of his hand.
“Hey!” Another prisoner called out and the guard turned around, stepping away from the cell.
The prisoner stared for a few seconds, her mouth slowly opening until an excited squeal came out.
With it a word spoken with a strange accent. “Mamkela!”
At this point, the guard was getting progressively more confused. Nevertheless, he gave a small gesture of leave to the blind boy – who watched as the only thing he’d seen in ages walked away from him.
“Mamkela, Mamkela!” The white-haired girl excitedly chanted as the guard made his way over. Her chanting had several of the other prisoners casting curious and dubious looks. The white-haired monster rarely ever acted like…this. “I can’t believe it’s you! I can’t believe you’re here!”
“Ah I want to hug you!” The thousand year old girl exclaimed, her arm pushing against her own personal force field.
“I don’t think we’ve ever met. Who’s Mamkela?”
The girl brought her arms back to her side, her excited nature now dulled into a cautious one. “Did you forget already Mamkela? How could I remember and not you?”
The guard approached; motivated to reduce the girl’s shock at finding she wasn’t who she wanted. “I’m a shapeshifter. I could be anyone.”
“I know, something happened didn’t it? I’m so sorry I left. Is Fenlarcy close?”
The guard’s confusion rose again. “I’m sorry to tell you, I’m not who you think I am.”
The young girl paused, letting her demeanor turn more serious. “Who are you then?”
As she asked the question, the rest of the prisoners rose from their seats to come grip the bars. The answer was desired on the entire level – who was the strange guard?
“I’m…” The question took him by surprise and he eyed the cameras that were surveying the area. He’d gotten away with the stunt he’d just pulled downstairs. They wouldn’t be able to trace it back to him. If he broke disguise now…why would he? Because these people were making him terribly curious.
Another prisoner spoke up – one that had previously been downstairs. “You’re the young girl they send out on the field aren’t you? Shapeshifter.”
Another prisoner nodded along. “Gloria.”
“Gloria.” The lizard eyed girl nodded. “I’ll remember that. Memory loss is way too common of a problem.”
She grabbed her bars and with one sharp pull, ripped them out of their sockets. The ease with which she’d done it was terrifying.
The field the Hans had put around it strained and eventually broke, setting off an alarm.
“I’ll help you remember what you’ve forgotten. Are you ready for an adventure? I know I am. Mamkela would be ashamed of how I’ve let myself be, but….you’re here now. Come on! There can’t be anything holding you back here.”
Gloria swallowed nervously at the daunting offer – but it was true. There was nothing to hold on to here. Only people she’d long since distrusted and people who had caused the death of her parents out of spite. If what the blind boy had said was true, the better move was fleeing this place before it came down.
Following a girl who could rip metal bars out without breaking a sweat was also a pretty comforting thought.
She’d stayed with the Hans to find answers and an explanation to what happened to her parents – the why most of all. She’d despised the answers she had found and for a moment she thought she could fix it. Maybe she could rise up and lead this organization on a proper path of discovery – not one of torture and relentless domination.
But she was starting to understand why her mother had left this place.
She was growing terribly tired of watching and of doing so little.
This concept couldn’t be fixed from the inside.
Gloria felt an invigorating smile on her face as the decision she was taking settled in. A huge heavy weight was lifting off her shoulders, only validating this leap she was taking.
“If this adventure includes righting the Hans consider me in.”
The man next to Gretel’s cell spoke up then, noticing an opportunity. “I know of a town that might have everything you need.”
“First step. Getting out of here.” She grinned, taking off on an excited jog for the exit. As she did, she dragged her hands across the other cells bars, tearing them off and freeing her neighbors.
“You’re talking about Stonebridge aren’t you?” Gloria asked as people pooled out of their cells, rushing to open the other cells as well.
He nodded. “I’m extremely well-known in the werewolf community. While stereotypically that might not mean much to you, we’re nomadic by nature so the preservation of knowledge is extremely important to us.”
“While they’ll most likely help you just by principle,” He continued. “Feel free to use my name. It’s Hartly Convington.”
“Thank you, though I feel your help is a little undeserved.”
He laughed gesturing at the forming chaos. “This wouldn’t be happening if you hadn’t come here and breathed life into her.”
The lady in question shouted over the rising noise and alarms with a powerful voice. “Let’s go Gloria! No time to waste!”
Hartly grinned. “I’ll see you around, I have to go find my wife in this chaos.”
While chaos wasn’t something you usually should relish in, seeing these innocent people who’d been trapped for an endless amount of time – who’d suffered more than anyone deserved to – who’d given up all hope – watching them pool out in an exhilarated mass…
Was terribly heartwarming.