The End: Story One
The Great Escape Pt.1

By: David K. Montoya

I woke up before sunrise; couldn't sleep last night. I kept replaying the plan of escape over and over in my head, trying to work things out to the finest detail. Also the side of my neck throbbed, where I had been bitten the other day. Of course, the first thing that popped into my head was that I had contracted the 'Sickness' and was slowly turning into an Unlucky.

Other than the wound, I felt pretty good. If I were to become sick, it would take up to four days to show any signs of being ill. Then my thoughts turned to Rich, and if he had lived through the night. There were no expectations—after all he had lost so much blood—but still I hoped he was strong enough to survive.

I got out of bed and walked over to a window; it looked like it was going to be a nice day. I thought the plan over once more and decided to act. For the most part everyone in Palace City was still asleep, which was an added bonus in our efforts to escape from this place.

I know the place was gorgeous, and had things that probably no other would dream of having. But still it had an unpleasant feel within the walls. More was happening in the shadows and everyone ignored it; frightened of what would happen to them if they were to do otherwise. So the people would rather live a fabricated life than face what was really out there.

And whatever was actually happening, the only sure thing that could be said about it was that the Emperor was the man behind it all. The residents looked on him as a living saint; but he is no saint—just a devious old bastard who came to create Palace City. I'm not sure what was to become of him in the end, but if he were to get in the way he would have to die!

#

After getting dressed I went out to find Michael's room. I walked up the hallway that lead to the elevator, attempting to determine which room was my son's. It wasn't to hard too locate; there were two armed guards standing at his door. Guess the Emperor saw Mike as a possible threat.

It came as a surprise to me that the two guards allowed me into my son's room without any sort of confrontation. Once inside, I found Michael still asleep. For a moment I flashed back to seeing him in his bed when he was a little boy. As my kid lay there, he still had that innocent look about him that he did as a child.

But I did not have time to reminisce; we had to make our move. After a few good nudges, he finally woke up. Mike sat up and rubbed his eyes, then eventually looked up at me with a dazed expression. Once I knew he was completely awake, I began to explain what was going on.

He and I were going to head back to where the Emperor was holding Richard as prisoner. If he was still alive, we were going to free him and meet up with the others. By that time, the girls should have gotten their hands on the key to the SUV and located it. Then we will have to go back the other way to find Tina, who will meet us in the back where we first came in. She will have our stuff ready and waiting. As soon as we have everything loaded in, it should be smooth sailing from there out.

A few minutes later, Mike was up and dressed. I told him that our first problem were the two guards outside of his room. He stood there for a moment while he attempted to think of an answer, then he looked over at me and gave me a mischievous grin, as he picked a brass lamp from the bedside table.

Without explaining his idea, he turned around and walked outside into the hallway, where the two men where standing. As he passed through the doorway, he slammed the bottom end of the lamp into one of the guard's face. Before the other guard could react, Michael had also laid him out with a blow from the lamp.

Michael turned to me and asked me to help him drag the two men into his room. I went outside and assisted my son to get the guards out of sight. As we brought the last one inside, I asked him were he had come up with an idea like that? He paused for a moment and replied that he had read it in a book once.

Following a good laugh, I told Michael that we should take the uniforms off the men, and dress as guards. That way we would be able to move through Palace City without any interruptions. That would be the easy part, but getting out might be another story.

He asked about what we should do with the two guys—if they were to be found, that would be disastrous for us. I grabbed one of the men and pulled him over to the bed, and my son figured out what I was up to. Michael helped me put the man into his bed and covered him up, making it difficult to identify him.

I grabbed the other man (who happened to be much lighter), and put him over my shoulder. I told Mike that I would take the man to my room and do the same with him. Michael said that he would meet me back in his room, since it was closer to the elevator.

With the unconscious man draped over my shoulder, I grabbed his rifle that was left on the ground and ran out of the room and raced down the hall toward the one I was assigned to. I was hoping the entire way that no one would walk out into the open to catch me, before I could get the body to my room.

Finally, I reached my room in a nick of time; the wounded part of my shoulder really ached. And though I knew it was only a few yards, it seemed like I had just ran twenty miles. Inside, I tossed the man from my shoulder to the bed. Michael really did a number on him; he didn't even move when he hit the bed. In fact, the man looked dead, but he was still alive. I could see him breathing.

I covered him up with a blanket, but left one leg exposed, showing that the man was wearing the same black slacks I had on last night. I knew they would eventually come and check on the guards when it was discovered they were missing, but we all should be long gone by then.

#

As I was walking back up to Michael's room, I noticed that two other guards were talking to him. I picked up my pace a bit and I could feel the trigger of the rifle that I took from the guard rub against my finger. The thought of shooting these two crossed my mind, but I wanted to try to avoid any unnecessary attention if at all possible.

But if I had to KILL those two men in order for my family to survive, then I will put them both down without a second thought.

I walked up to them, and I realized that they were only talking—one of them made a crack about "How long does it take to crap?" For a moment I was lost, then Michael explained that those two men were the relief duty and he told them I had gone off to use the head.

I went along with it. It was obvious that they thought we were the other guards. We talked with the men for a bit, so as not to cause any suspicion toward us. Michael grabbed my shoulder and said we needed to let these guys get to work. As we started to walk away, I turned back to the men to tell them not to disturb the people in the rooms, that they had been up late.

The guards responded with another joke, and we all laughed as if it was funny and continued to walk away until we were completely out of their sight.

To be continued…

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