I rubbed my tired eyes and cursed myself for the billionth time for getting myself arrested. I thought it would be better for me, but boy, was I wrong. I was practically conversing with Death himself.
Footsteps rang out through the prison. An armed guard approached my cell and unlocked the door.
"There is someone here to see you," I said stonily. He unlocked the chains around my ankles and grabbed my arm. I had no choice but to stumble after him to a room I'd never seen before. There was a formidable iron door and the walls were white. There was a table with two chairs; one on either side. A security camera was positioned one of the corners. A young man around twenty was sitting in one of the chairs. He wore a black t-shirt with army pants and black combat boots. Around his neck was a shark-tooth necklace decorated with other beads and shells. A black wristwatch was clipped around his right wrist and a sweatband was around his opposite. An AK-47 laid on the table and he had a knife at his waist. A black backpack sat on the floor beside him.
He had brown hair and brown eyes. His skin was deeply tanned, his build was muscular, and he was admittedly quite handsome.
The guard shoved me down in the other chair and left. The man stood, locking the door, and then sat back down to face me, his eyes filled with urgency.
"Are you Rylee Foster?" he asked.
I fumbled with the chains around my wrists, my muscles tense. I glared at him. "Yes."
"I was wondering if I could speak with you for a moment. I'm from the US Military and I make it my responsibility to check in with the MRD Mutants to see how they're doing. Is that all right?"
"Sure." I wanted to strangle this man.
Some of the tension in his face relaxed and he sat up straighter. He reached into his backpack and pulled out a paper and a pencil. Handing them to me, her continued talking. "I just need you to fill this out before we begin. It's a record so that we know when to check in with you again. Nothing in here will be used against you in a court of law, it's all just for scheduling purposes."
I looked down at the form expecting to see a bunch of stupid questions like "How do you feel about being a Mutant" or "Have you realized the importance of keeping powers under control", but I was shocked. I was smart enough to hide it though.
"Don't say anything, Rylee Foster. Don't even make a move. Just keep reading and pretend like you're filling this out. I am Andreas Barton of the X-Men. I don't work for the US Military or the Brotherhood, or anything else like that. I've been sent by Professor Xavier to rescue you and bring you back. I have a plan to get us out of here. It won't be easy, but we can do it. Just act normal. I have everything under control. By the way, my power is internal compromise. Basically, the mechanisms inside of something are utterly destroyed at my will."
I slid it back to him casually. "There."
"You seem to be a girl of few words," he began with a laugh. "They warned me of that."
I became suddenly interested. "Who?" My nose twitched as I caught a hint of a familiar scent from the young man.
He slyly glanced at the security camera and his fingers twitched.The mechanism broke from the wall, it's wires sparking and fizzing.
"We only have a short amount of time before they realize the camera is dead, so listen carefully and don't ask questions." As he talked, he flicked a wrist at my collar and it beeped loudly, then fell to the floor. I yelped with surprise at the shock. A catlike hiss escaped my throat, but I refrained from using my newly-freed powers quite yet. Then he took care of my shackles. Horrified, I looked at my red, swollen wrists. Andreas winced and took some bandages from his backpack. I spoke as he wrapped my wounds.
"What do we need to do? How are we going to get out?"
He finished and stood, loading his gun. "I was told you can teleport. Can you get us out of here?"
"This place is teleport proof. We have to use the long way."
"That's okay. I have a Plan B, but it's a lot more dangerous. Are you willing?"
"Always," I said, smirking.
Andreas reached into his backpack again and pulled out a pistol, a simple wristwatch, and a tiny earpiece.
"Take these and don't lose them," he said. "The pistol can be transformed into a knife when the scanner on the back reads your thumb. The wristwatch is actually an extremely high-tech communicator complete with everything found on a modern phone. You can control it with this earpiece. Her name is Pepper. It's also voice-activated." He handed me the three items.
In awe, I clipped the ear-piece in my ear and slid the watch in my pocket. "Who made this stuff?"
"Look on the handle of the pistol." His lips twitched into a small smile.
I obeyed and saw two words in small dark grey print: Stark Industries. "How-?"
"No time to explain," Andreas's face filled with fear as he looked at his watch. "We were supposed to have escaped two minutes ago. We could be compromised by now."
In answer to his statement, a pounding resounded on the door. "You're under arrest," an angry voice barked. "Open up and stand down."
Andreas positioned his AK-47 and motioned for me to stay behind him.
I gave him an exasperated look. "No way. I can take down an army in panther form. You stay behind me. Besides I know more about this place than you. Destroy their guns and cover my back. Don't get shot, don't get killed, and whatever you do, don't get captured."
Before he could protest, I transformed into a panther and yowled as the soldiers outside smashed down the door. As I tackled the guards, the world around me became a complete blur. I was only focused on the moving bodies in front of me, my surrounding completely gone. I knew all the right places to attack so that they wouldn't be killed, but just wounded and unable to follow. When they had all fallen, I gave Andreas a look as if to say "told you so" and we continued on.
We ran down a few empty halls until we turned a corner where we were met by another group of heavily armed guards. I couldn't bite through their armor so I turned into a human and took the pistol Andreas had given mee. We stood shoulder-to-shoulder and stared at the group. I looked behind me and saw more men and women. A resounding bunch of gun clicks filled the air.
"Drop your weapons and stand down," the lead said.
Andreas began to put down his gun. I did the same, thinking we were really surrendering, but then he winked at me and I knew exactly what he was doing. The guards relaxed, the lead pulling out two pairs of handcuffs. Once his gun was on the ground, Andreas lifted his hands in mock surrender and pivoted a wrist. All of the guards' guns began sparking and sizzling. They all threw them to the ground as they burned through their thick gloves. While they were distracted, the mutant scooped up his gun and waved a hand at the surrounding alarms and lights. They all exploded, the guards covering their heads. With the darkness giving us an advantage, we forced our way through the barrier of bodies and continued running. We didn't stop until we made it out of the building. Tumbling over the grass, laughing, we high-fived each other and lay there, breathing heavily.
"Can you believe we just outsmarted the MRD?" Andreas said.
"They are so stupid sometimes!" I agreed.
With a sigh of relief, I looked up at the bright, cloudless sky, blue as an endless sapphire. For the first time since I was arrested, I felt alive, free. I wasn't weighed down my chains or sorrow. I was going to see Xander soon. I was going to be reunited with my friends. I breathed in the sweet air and sat up.
That's when I saw dozens of MRD guards filing out of the doors. I shook Andreas.
"Looks like we haven't escaped yet," I warned. We both stood. Andreas loaded his gun and I turned into a panther. Then we collided. We attacked repeatedly, but we were far too outnumbered.
"Run, Rylee!" Andreas shouted over the din of the battle. "Get out of here!"
I changed into a human and replied, "No way, Barton!" I paused to slam my fist into a skinny man's cheek. He stumbled backwards and spat out a tooth. "You can't survive on your own."
Andreas looked at a massive, dark-skinned man with bulging muscles who had a gun pointed straight at him. The mutant destroyed it and then broke the man's wrist. He grunted and fell back. Then Andreas turned back to me, a dark and serious look covering his face.
"Rylee," he kicked back an approaching teen. "Get out of here. Now." He fell to the ground and swung his leg, knocking several guards to their knees. "They need you."
That did it. I kicked down an approaching woman and ran into the wooded area ahead. Looking over my shoulder, I saw an intimidating man with a missing ear sprinting after me. I pulled out my pistol and shot his foot. He stumbled and fell, screaming in pain. Before I could turn around, I slammed right into another body. They gave a grunt and I looked up. I gasped. He looked different since I last saw him: older. He was taller with a stronger build and matured features. His hair was still dark blue, but styled differently.
"Garrett!" I cried and embraced him.
He returned the hug. "You're okay! Well, I mean, you don't look great, but you're alive!"
I laughed. "Hey, I've been in the MRD for two years, don't judge."
"It's so good to have you back."
"It's so good to be back!"
"Rylee!" a familiar voice squealed. A caramel-haired girl with brown eyes shoved Garrett aside and grabbed me in a spine-breaking bear hug.
"Merleah!" I said. Man, had she grown. Her hair was long and curled, her cheeks were splashed with pink, she was a few inches taller than I, and she was absolutely gorgeous.
"Oh my goodness, Rylee, I missed you so much!"
I held her close. "I missed you too. All of you."
She stepped back and wrinkled her nose, frowning. "You definitely need some cleaning up though. And your hair!" She rubbed my short fuzz. I knew she wasn't being all fussy and girlish. I knew she was genuinely concerned.
I put my condition a little lightly. "I- got sick. I'm fine though." I smiled. Merleah looked a little distrusting, but she smiled back.
I turned again to face Andreas's fight against the guards. He was doing quite well for one man, but his movements were beginning to slow. He was getting exhausted.
"I need to go back," I said, but before I could get too far, Merleah and Garrett both grabbed my arms. I growled. "He's in trouble!"
"He can handle himself!" Garrett snapped. He loosened his grip on me and gave me an apologetic look. "Look, we need you. We can't keep fighting without you. We can't lose you again. Xander needs you. We all do."
I relaxed and they released me. We watched fearfully as Andreas was engaged in a fierce melee with a muscle-bound man who was wickedly fast with a knife.
Suddenly, two other guards came behind the struggling mutant and snapped a collar around his neck. He twitched for a moment and then fell to the ground. I screamed his name and started forward, but Garrett and Merleah grabbed my arms and held them behind me. The guards handcuffed Andreas and began taking him to the nightmarish prison, unconscious with his feet dragging behind him.
Tears came to my eyes and I pulled hard against my old friends. Their grip was iron. "Let me go!" I sobbed. "I can't let him be taken!" I remembered all the horrors I faced. I couldn't let an innocent soldier face those unspeakable things too.
Finally, I gave up struggling, weak and exhausted. Against my will, Merleah and Garrett began dragging me away and I had no choice but to surrender under their strength.
Phew! Hope you like it! :D