Thirty-Two - Linkin

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The arguments from the hallway long died out and I sat on the bed with my eyes closed. I thought about what Stuart said over and over - he was telling someone, Liana, about me and I knew whatever was going to come after that wouldn't be good. I tried to find some positive within it all, but my only thought was the relief that I knew I wouldn't have to see Desmond again. No matter what happened, Desmond wouldn't be a part of my life ever again and that brought some comfort.

"What happened, what was that?" Jaysen spoke up, breaking me in another replay of Stuart's conversation.

Opening my eyes, I glanced to Jaysen. He had been pacing the room, biting the bed of his nails as he did. His attention was now focused on me and it almost surprised me how well a man without true eyes could have such a horrified look in them. "What was what?" I played dumb though I knew there was only one thing he could be talking about, I just didn't know how to answer his question. How did I tell him I knew something was wrong, that I knew they were scared and I attacked an innocent person just to know that my life had an expiry date, and it was coming up quickly.

Jaysen stopped pacing and stood to face me as I sat cross-legged in the middle of my bed. "Did you do that because of me? Because I told you there were mics in here?"

I shook my head and smiled weakly, "I think Stuart's telling a woman about me, Liana-"

"Doctor A?"

I shrugged, the title had no meaning to me. "I just know he called her Liana. Even he's scared of what she's going to do to me. I wanted to know what was wrong and now I do." I explained to him.

There was a solemn pause between us, staring at each other. Neither of us knew what to say, what did you say to someone when death or a fate worse than it was impending. "Linkin-" Jaysen started but stopped as his head jerked to the door, moments later there was a dull thud against it.

Together we tensed and I held my breath, rolling up my sleeves in case whoever was unlocking our door had the intentions of trying to drag me out of my room because I wouldn't go willingly. The door opened and I was quickly on my feet. "Ira?" Her hands were coated in blood and drops also covered her shirt. The man who was guarding our door laid unconscious just beside it, a small incision was made in his neck from her scalpel, but what she did was far from medical.

"You said you can get us out of here?"

Glancing to Jaysen, I exhaled sharply before nodding once, "All I asked for was a pen and paper, you really went above and beyond, didn't you?" My dry humour went unappreciated as she stared at me from the doorway. "Yes, I can. Jaysen is coming with us."

"Of course he is," she said like I was the idiot, "Now let's get moving." Her whole body was tightened like a prowling lion ready to pounce. I could almost feel the radiating adrenaline off of her, she was going to get us out here or die trying.

Jaysen seemed more hesitant to agree as I headed for the door, "What about Celestia?"

There was a pause as Ira glanced over her shoulder to someone, "She's gone." Her voice cracking as she spoke and for a second her confident and powerful demeanour fell, revealing the pain behind her walls. "If we don't go now, we'll all die. Stuart included."

Sure enough, as I met her at the door, standing just out of the way was Stuart, a fist-shaped blood print was around the collar of his shirt, "He's not coming with us. He's the one who ratted me out to Liana!"

Stuart tensed, his eyes flicking from me to Ira, he opened his mouth, but Ira already came to his defence. "He wouldn't do that. He tried to help you and he tried to help me." With that, she reached out and grabbed my shoulder, pulling me out of the room and into the hall. Stuart, for whatever reason, looked surprised. "Jaysen," Ira didn't have to say more as he came rushing out of the room, skillfully tucking himself between Ira and Stuart. "Hurry," she added.

It was strange to be actually running through these halls myself before it was like a dream. I knew where I was, but I couldn't truly feel how cold the tiles were under my feet, taste the sterility in the air, and feel the crushing weight of the long white hallways had on a person's mind. Ira, Jaysen, and Stuart stayed just a step behind me as I rushed through the corridors, glancing to a clock the first time I saw one to know where the guards would be as long as they followed their schedule.

Guards were the only thing I was concerned about and there weren't many of them on any one shift. Doctors were too unpredictable. Ahead I could hear whistling and tensed, glancing around my surroundings to find an office labelled "Supply Closet G". I turned and quickly entered the 4-digit code and the door opened. "Inside," I ushered everyone in.

"How-" Stuart started to question, but Ira's heavy shove on his back seemed to knock the wind out of him and cut him off.

Pulling the door closed, I shut my eyes and breathed calmly. "Let's see if you can really do what you say, Jaysen. Tell me when he walks around the corner."

"What?" I didn't reply as I focused on the whistling as he walked closed, his work boots clicking off the tiles floors leaving echoing. My heart raced with every step he took closer and even though in my mind I knew we should be safe, I heard the whistling stop.

I bit my bottom lip to ensure I made no noise, but my racing heart was betraying me. I could feel its pulse in my ear and I was confident that everyone could hear it. Behind me, I felt a hand slip into mine, tightly squeezing my fingers. There was no stickiness of blood so I knew it wasn't Ira. It could have been either man, but my money was on Jaysen. Static from a radio went off and for a second, I knew we'd been caught. "Hey Henry, got some blood just outside Supply Closet G, might want to clean it up before some doctor notices and tries to use it for samples."

The radio clicked again and another voice, Henry, replied with a laugh, "I'll be there soon, thanks, Trent."

Just like that, the whistling resumed and the footsteps became softer. "He's around the corner," Jaysen gulped, a clammy hand released mine as I reached for the door and pushed it open.

The hallway was once again empty, and sure enough, there were a few drops of blood on the tiles and I glanced to Ira. "Try not to drip any more," I hissed at her before stepping out of the closet and rushing down the hall. It wasn't much further until we were at the door to the outside world. Once there, I stared at the keypad and blinked.

"What are you waiting for?" Jaysen was whining, shifting from foot to foot in anxiety.

I waited for a second, searching through all the numbers in my head trying to remember which one could be for this door. "5-2-9-5-8," it was Stuart who spoke up. "Those were the numbers that showed up with Kos. This would be his entrance."

So Kos did speak to Stuart about me. I pushed that thought to the back of my mind as I entered the five-digit code into the keypad, each one coming back with the same monotone beep. For that second I waited for the light to go from red to green was the longest in my life. Sure enough, it flicked to green and the door clicked to unlock. Ira stepped forward, taking a bloody hand and shoving it open. Her first reaction was to raise a hand and block the sunlight from her eyes. Ahead of us was trees then the sandy beach of the shore. The docks were only seconds away - we made it, we were free. 

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