We saw them moving, systematically, void of all meaning, into their 35 foot tombs. We felt the engines whirring in the air and smelled the gasoline drifting across the field. I wanted to believe that things were never going to be the same here, here in this small patch in this Midwestern plain. I wanted to think that the atrocity brought upon this area, the screams, the blood, would all leave an impact that would last and hold itself up to future generations of whatever species ruled this planet and present an argument that we don’t have to reach this level of hatred, that there could be something more. But I knew it already. I saw it. Saw it like I saw those just like me moving onto a perfectly planned execution, saw a small girl carrying the life in me away, saw that more deaths and more blood would have to be sprayed across these fields before someone realized the full scale of this current depravity, and we would just have to endure until then.
The air had a warm feel to it. The lights that showed upon the base seemed to illuminate and radiate to the surrounding area below. We were now less than a hundred yards from the complex and could hear the buzzing from the posts. The lights whirred intensely and the closer you stepped the more you could feel the warmth crawling up your skin. The momentum of it moved slowly, like ships moving towards an uncharted shore to avoid hitting coastline. The closer we stepped the more uncomfortable we grew due to heat finally encompassing most of our bodies. The lights stood tall over the base. From past the fields the area looked large but unimposing but now we could see the vast area that was being covered. The base stretched far and away and was more long than wide. It was tall however but didn’t seem to be more than one story. The building had a rustic yellowish-hue to it leaving one to think that the area as simply taken over to be used for this one instance but the area around it still seemed fresh. The amount of blood that was shed here had colored the base in the short amount of time that it stood upon these grounds. Along the walls of the building you could see scratches as well as indents. The floor on the outside was now completely turned to mud from all the foot traffic. The air started to fill with the smell of turned up dirt. The sediment seemed to fill in the nostrils and the moisture of the floor filled in around the soles of our feet. The ground smelled almost as if it was decomposing and along the ground you could see footprints among the mixture of water, saliva, and blood. I turned and saw that the blood on Garrett’s’ hands had started to dry and that his eyes were fixed on the lights above the compound, the lights that we now just stood on the edge of.
“I’m not sure how to do this without getting killed.” I said looking towards the base.
“If they look like they are going to kill us, we fight.” Garrett replied
“They are going to notice the blood on your hands.”
“Good. I want them to.”
“This isn’t about agendas or revenge.”
I had been afraid of Garret since the moment I met him at The Divide but this was a different fear. I felt in this moment that I couldn’t trust him to hold the personal pain and the need for violence in order to save Rowe and Maggie. I felt the anger that all men feel when they go past desperation. I felt the need for more and that no amount of bodies would fulfill it. In this state no men could be trusted. Even if we weren’t technically part of what was considered mankind. We felt the same as them. I’m sure that we were only no more than a percentage off from them. I saw the same hatred, the same wants and needs. One percentage of anything though had proven throughout history to be sufficient enough to make one party owners of a fake superiority. Garrett was vital to this operation but also could be a vital part to ensuring we don’t survive the ordeal, someone was going to die at the hands of his irrational tendencies, someone always does.
“I have a plan Garrett.”
“What is it?”
“Capture me, take me up to them holding my arms around my back, and tell them you caught me out here in the fields.”
“Then we both get arrested, what makes you think they won’t shoot the both of us on sight?”
‘I don’t know, they might, but if it works, we have to make sure we don’t do anything to make them want to do that, understood?”
“If I see that Maggie is already dead, I’m killing every last one of them.” He said looking straight at me.
Garrett then grabbed my wrists and started leading me to the fence. We saw an opening on one side that looked as if it led straight to the courtyard. We were fully in the light at this point and once we reached the entrance to the fence we could see the buses lined up across the property with rows of them getting on with a small gathering still sitting on the floor with zip ties holding back their arms. Guards were standing directly behind them but looking towards the convoy. Suddenly an alarm went off and started blaring through the property. We saw yellow lights pulsating frantically. Soldiers started coming out from the building and some of the guards watching those sitting down turned around to face us. One by one the soldiers. All weapons drawn. Cachug, Cachug, click click click. They all motioned out swiftly toward Garrett and I.
“Stop where you are! Get on your knees!” One yelled. He was wearing a skull painted mask and holding a rifle that looked ready to fire right through us at any moment.
“Get on your knees now or I will shoot!”
“I captured one of them! I saw him in the field so I captured him and brought him here!” Garrett yelled frantically sounding desperate.
“I said get on your knees now or we will shoot!”
“I captured him! We can make a trade!”
“I said get on your fucking knees! Now! Three! Two! One!”
Garrett dropped to his knees and pulling myself down with him. He held on tight to the back of my wrists. I could feel his hands shaking violently but I could also feel his heart exploding in his chest. He wasn’t nervous, he just wanted to fight. His hands clenched tighter until I had to motion him to settle down. The soldiers then start circling around us. All rifles were pointed directly at us at this point, all of them seemed ready to fire. The one that ordered us to kneel down put the barrel of his rifle against my cheek, pushing into my jaw.
“We can try to make a deal, please” Garrett said softly.
“Captain!” The soldier yelled.
The crowd around us then started to shift. A parting started to form between them and in between the bodies you could see one man walking through them. He finally reached the front and knelt down in front of us. He was young, short-haired, military made.
“Hello, I’m captain Johnathan Halls, and you are both now under our control” He said.
“I wanted to make a deal, I thought if I captured him, then I could secure my safety from being persecuted.” Garrett responded looking towards the ground in front of him.
“We don’t make deals here.”
“No, please, please just consider it.”
“I already did. I got a deal for you though. Will you listen to my proposal?”
Halls pulled out a pistil that as hanging it on his side then put it against Garrett’s head, pushing it in his skill and causing an indention in his skin.
“If you get on one of those buses within the next five minutes, I won’t spray your head across this asphalt, how do you like that deal?”
Garrett nodded back slowly.
“Good, okay boys, put them on there.” Halls said, then stood up and walked out through the crowd
Two soldiers grabbed us by the back of our neck. They were all wearing gloves that had pointed edges on their palms so when they grabbed us they dug their hands into our skin and caused blood to flow from the base of my shoulders and trickle down my back. They grabbed our arms in the same manner and twisted and pulled them until they could no long move without dislocating our joints. It was at this excruciating moment they applied the zip ties and kept us in that painful position. They then walked us quickly across the courtyard. We moved through the crowd of those sitting on the floor. I tried looking to see if Rowe and Maggie were in there but they kept our heads down and forward the entire time. They then led us onto the bus that separated the driver and passengers by a thick glass with fencing built inside of it. They led us to the closest seat which was near the front and all of a sudden we were surrounded by cries. We did it, what we set out to do. We were captured, and we were also in hell. I looked out the window and saw halls looking directly towards me, looking as if he knew our plan, and was excited to see here it all led to. He then looked around, saw the convoy almost ready, and then let out his command.
“We move out in fifteen.”