Terra Mortis II: The Gathering

Chapter 23

By Dwayne MacInnes

It was already night by the time the Horde with its prisoners pulled into Vice-City. The noise was practically unbearable to Brady after a year of relative quiet. People were laughing, screaming, and singing as they drove down the main road. The flashing of a multitude of different colored lights added to the surreal surroundings.

The small gang with its human cargo pulled into a fenced-off parking area and stopped. A chain-linked fencing topped with coils of barbed wire surrounded it. The guards then unchained their prisoners from the wall of the U-Haul and led them into what was once the town's police station. Brady and his two companions were then roughly pushed and pulled down the white hallway. At the end of the hall, they were literally tossed into a cell.

The guards laughed as they slammed the cell door shut.

"Hey, sweetheart maybe we'll meet you at one of the brothels later," joked a bearded burly man dressed in black leather chaps and matching vest.

His companion started to laugh even harder. The two men then turned and exited the cellblock. The clanging of the block's main door shutting echoed down the corridor with a hollow clang.

Brady blinked his eyes. Even without his glasses, the artificial light took some getting used to. He looked around the room, but he couldn't make out too much. "I guess it's time to get a cane and dog," Brady thought.

"Welcome strangers," a man's forlorn voice said softly. "I was getting a little lonely being shut up all by myself. As you can see even the other cells are empty."

"Hi," Brady responded as he shuffled his way towards the voice and what he hoped was a bed against the far wall.

Cooper grabbed Brady's right arm and led him over to the bunk beds. Lisa retreated to a corner and continued to sob.

"Looks like you have a little wound there," the man continued. "We should take a look at that injury."

"Thanks," was all Brady could say before his leather jacket was pulled off his torso and fire shot through his left shoulder again. Brady hissed as the pain force him to intake air between his clenched teeth.

"I don't have any real tools but I think I can pull this splinter out."

Brady cried out in pain as the prisoner pulled the inch long splinter quickly from his shoulder with his dirty blunt fingers. The intense explosion of pain nearly made Brady lose consciousness. Then Brady felt real fire burn onto his shoulder.

"Now hold still I need to cauterize it. Too much blood pouring out," the stranger explained.

Soon Brady's shoulder was cleaned and patched up with bandages made from torn bed sheets. After this last ordeal, Brady felt overwhelmingly tired. He lay down on the bed and started to drift off.

* * * * *

Brady instantly came awake when he heard the block's main door creak open. The sounds of three sets of footsteps could be heard stomping down the corridor. It was amazing how quickly one started to become more attuned to their other senses when one of them wasn't working properly, Brady mused inwardly. It wasn't that the other senses became more acute it was that you now paid more attention to them.

"These are them, sir," the same burly man from before said as the new comers approached the cell door.

"Ah, excellent. So this is our little rebellious army and I see it had found another leader," mocked a voice, a voice that Brady recognized.

Brady sat up abruptly and turned toward the new voice.

"Dr. Vanders?" asked Brady.

Khan, formerly know as Barry Vanders jumped back with surprise. The two biker guardsmen and the other prisoners all noticed how Brady's question seemed to affect Khan as if he had been slammed in the chest with a heavy object.

"Wha...what do you mean?" Khan stammered off balanced.

"Yes, of course. It all makes sense now," Brady said thinking out loud. "You taught Inner-Asian history at U of W and Genghis Khan was a favorite topic of yours. You'd always seem to go on some tangent that led one way or the other to Genghis Khan."

"SILENCE!" yelled Khan as he regained his composure. "Dr. Vanders died in Seattle during the incident. Khan was born like a phoenix from the ashes of a dead world to create a new empire..."

"You still have a touch for theatrics, Doc," Brady interrupted.

The burly man quickly pulled out a short club and jumped toward the cell, "Shut-up boy, or I'll ram this nightstick up your..."

"Enough, Seth. I'm sure my former student will find that he's not so brave when he's running the Labyrinth."

"Look, Dr. Vanders I've faced death many times before and this is just one more," Brady bluffed hoping that his face did not betray his bravado.

"I am sure you are a very brave young man. But how about if you are a guest watching the show as your friends here run it. It is a shame, I was hoping to add them both to the brothels. My men's appetite for ...um, ‘pleasures of the flesh' runs the whole gambit."

Coop and Lisa both looked in horror at Brady and then Khan. They both had heard all about the Labyrinth. The best thing to hope for was that you broke your neck as they threw you down the manhole.

"We'll start the games tomorrow morning," Khan added as he and his two companions turned and exited the corridor. The sounds of the two bikers resonated down the hall in accompaniment to the retreating footsteps.

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on February 21, 2006 5:20 PM.

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