Breakout

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What was going to be the first chapter of a sci-fi novel has now become a stand-alone story. Didn’t get around to finishing it, so I’m putting it here for all to laugh at. Enjoy!

******

“Major!” Hearing the shout, Dave swivelled his chair around to face the door. Lieutenant Graham was standing in the door way, his eyes wide, fear etched into his features. In an instant, Dave was on his feet.

“What’s happened?”

The lieutenant swallowed before speaking. “It’s Cline, Sir. He’s gone!”

Dave banged his fist on the table. “Damn it!”

The lieutenant was still trembling in the doorway. “Sir, that’s not all.”

Dave looked at him, his breath coming in deep huffs now. “What else could there be?”

Graham cleared his throat. “Before he got away, he switched off the security systems. The shutters, the Generators, they’re all gone.”

Now, Dave could feel a bead of sweat forming on his brow. He wiped it away with the back of his hand. “You mean, they’re loose?”

Graham nodded, then turned at a crash from behind.

Dave walked up next to him, looking over his shoulder. The room beyond was bare, a cavern of steel and concrete. At the far side, the door to the lower levels were shut tight. Another crash, and Dave saw something move near the bottom of the door. He turned to Graham. “Get your APS, and your rifle, and meet me back here.”

The soldier nodded, and ran to his own chambers nearby. Dave turned and walked to the wardrobe near his desk. Opening the heavy wooden doors, he saw his own APS standing proud.

Painted a dark brown, the visored helmet and armoured suit looked intimidating. Pulling off the gloves from their holders, he fastened them onto his hands, wiggling his fingers to check mobility. Then, he moved on to the arm-guards, then the boots and leg-guards. Unclipping a panel on the fron of the breastplate revealed a zip at the front. He pulled it down, and pushed his armoured hands through the available holes. After fitting it to his torso, he zipped it up, and fastened the panel shut again. He attached the clips between the breastplate and the arm and leg-guards.

Finally, all that was left was the helmet. He pulled it from its shelf and placed it over his head, fastening it to the breastplate using clips. He reached behind him, feeling about for the switch. Flipping it on, a whir came from behind him, and the HUD within the helmet flickered into life.

On the visor, he saw the power level for the suit. He sighed in relief; the power supply was fully charged. The flashing icon in the top-right corner warned him to be still. He obliged. A high-pitched whine came from the power supply as it pushed the power to every part of the suit.

A message flashed in front of his as the icon vanished.

Bio-Suit Functional.

This was the notice Dave had been waiting for. Reaching down, he picked up his rifle from the bottom of the wardrobe, and loaded a fresh cartridge in the holder. He also picked up a scope, and loaded it into place.

He walked to the door, and set about aiming the weapon at the door. He heard another crash. Aiming at where he saw the movement earlier, he saw several large dents sticking out from the steel of the door.

Hearing footsteps nearby, he aimed his weapon at the oncoming man. Seeing the Bio-Suit, he lowered his weapon.

Graham was carrying a rifle identical to Dave’s, though lacking the scope. Dave could see the dull green glow of Graham’s HUD through the visor.

Graham walked closer to Dave. “Sir, I think we need to initiate a Lockdown.”

Dave scowled at Graham, though he doubted the Lieutenant could see. “A Lockdown traps us too, you know? If I can avoid it, I will.”

Graham gripped his rifle tigher. “I know that, Sir, but there aren’t enough of us to handle them.” He nodded toward the dented steel door. “At least if we lock it down, they’ll send in someone who can take care of them.”

Dave turned back to the door. He knew the Lieutenant spoke the truth, but wasn’t ready to admit it yet. “No. We’ll take care of it.”

Graham shook his head. “Sir, we have to set a Lockdown. Cline is already out. Do you want the rest of them free too?”

Dave took a deep breath, trying to stay calm. “Soldier, do not presume to speak to me like that. I am still your superior officer, and you will follow my orders. Is that clear?”

Graham nodded. “Yes, Sir.” He turned and walked away.

Dave squeezed his rifle, focussing on the task at hand. He wouldn’t let them out. He’d kill them all first. He looked to his right, but Graham was out of sight. Dave said a small prayer for his safety, then returned to his vigil.

 

Graham wandered the halls for a few minutes, trying to clear his head. Another crash came from the door, louder than the ones before. He tried to drown it out, focussing instead on the clack of his boots against the floor. They wouldn’t get through that door for a while, and he need time to think. All the same, he gripped his rifle tighter; when they did get through, he’d be ready.

As he clacked along, he found himself remember his conversation with the Major.

Surely, he’s not serious. He thought. I mean, if they escape, there won’t be any point to us being here anyway.

He soon found himself clacking toward the armoury. The door was a dull grey, with splashes of red rust; the colour of old steel. Beyond it lay an array of weapons ranging from pistols to full-automatic machine guns. Usually, it seemed excessive to hold so many weapons, but now Graham was more than happy it was there. For a moment, he felt tempted to go in, and claim another weapon. He thought better of it, however, and turned away.

The halls in this part of the Facility were all so dull, without hardly any change from the uniform grey of the walls. Even in Research, they had some white to brighten up the rooms. Containment got dull grey.

Another crash at the door made him jump. From where he stood, he could see the door much clearer than when he stood with the Major. There were large mound poking out from the steel; impact wounds. There was no doubting it, they were strong. They would be getting through soon, then the dozen or so men guarding this door would be goners.

If only Dave would see sense. A lockdown would bring the specialists in, people who really knew how to handle these guys.

Crash!

The mark from this one was far more prominent that the others; it stood out nearly three feet from the door. Graham heard a pang, then the sound of a rifle cocking.

Bloody hell, he’s shooting the door; like it needs to be any weaker.

Graham fought the urge to tell the Major his opinion. Dave was, after all, his superior officer. Another confrontation may very well end badly for Graham.

Graham decided the best thing he could do right now was to make sure everyone else was ready. The task would not take too long; he could already see most of the men perched at vantage points, all dressed in matching Bio-Suits.

He wandered the halls, looking for anyone who was not already alert to the situation. He found no one. He heard several more crashes, and the groan of suffering steel, as the prisoners bombarded the door.

On his travels, he found all but one of the men in the process of suiting up, struggling with clips and buckles, trying to secure the suit in place. He soon found himself near the main security room, and he entered to find Lieutenant Jason Carr sitting at the console, staring at the monitors through his visor. Carr’s Bio-Suit was the same dull brown as Graham’s, but due to his height he had always seemed more intimidating.

Graham walked up behind him. “Hey, Jason.

Carr turned his head to look at Graham, then turned back to the screens. “Hey, Graham.”

Graham leaned over the console, watching the screens. One screen showed the outside of the door. As he watched, a chunk of metal flew in from off-screen and slammed into the door. Another crash sounded out. Graham nudged Carr. “Have you seen any of them?”

Carr nodded. “They come up to the door after every couple of hits to see if they’re through. They should be coming on soon.”

Sure enough, three figures walked into the frame to assess the damage. One was a tall, bald man who walked with a limp. The other two were shorter, each with a full head of hair. The monitor did not allow colour, so identifying them was more difficult. The bald one was the easiest to identify. Simon Thyne.

Graham did not doubt that he was the one throwing the blocks at the door; he was the strongest Telekinetic in The Facility.

After a few moments of analysing the damage, they retreated back off-screen. “Have you seen anyone else out there, or is it just those three?”

Carr shrugged his shoulders, the plates protecting them clicking together with the movement. “I haven’t seen anyone else, but that doesn’t mean they’re not out there.”

Graham patted him only the shoulder, his mood lightened by this new information. If it’s only three of them, we might just stand a chance.

Graham turned to leave the room, and marched down the corridor, to tell the Major the news.

Dave was keeping a close eye on the door. They’re coming through soon, and I ain’t missing it.

Crash!

Dave had gotten so used to the noise, he barely heard it anymore. It’s cause was clearly visible, though. The dents were more, and larger too. That door can’t take much more.

A new sound came from the door, one that made Dave stand bolt upright. The door creaked and groaned as force was applied to the other side, testing the strength of the bolts holding it in place.

Dave held his breath as the steel stretched inward, threatening to collapse. Before long, however, the pressure eased off and the door returned to its original position. Dave released his breath in a sigh, and relaxed.

He lowered his rifle, aiming the barrel at the door. Putting his finger on the trigger, he squeezed. The rifle recoiled into his shoulder, and he heard the sharp pang of the bullet striking the steel of the door. He smiled. It felt good to be doing something, even if it accomplished nothing.

Crash!

Dave sighed. He was sure that Graham was right, but he wouldn’t trap his men in here.

He heard the clack of boots on concrete come from behind him, and he turned to see Graham running toward him. He planted the butt of his rifle on the floor, holding the barrel in his left hand.

“Sir, I just talked to Carr. He’s only seen three of them out there.”

Dave breathed a sigh of relief. Three, we can handle.

Graham reached him, his breath coming in huffs and puffs. “There’s something else. Sir”

“What?”

“Thyne is out there, Sir. He’s the one bashing the door.”

Dave’s spirits sank a little. Thyne was one of the most dangerous of the inmates. The team that brought him in lost a man to his abilities, so having him against them would make the fight that much harder

Crash!

“Sir, I still think we should initiate a Lockdown. If we can handle them, locking the place down won’t make it any harder. If we can’t, then at least they don’t get out.”

Dave took a deep breath. “Graham, I’ve already told you. I’m not trapping the men in here. These men have families out there. You want to shut them off from them?”

Graham clenched his hand into a fist. “No, Dave, that’s not what I want. What I want is to make sure the people outside of this facility are safe.” He pointed toward the door, now pot-marked with mounds of steel. “If they get out, the people who live up top will be in danger.”

Dave turned away from Graham, looking again at the door.

Crash!

“We can deal with them. You said it yourself; there’s only three of them. There’s thirteen of us.”

Graham exhaled loudly. “Sir, a specialist died taking on Thyne when he was by himself, and he had a team of five behind him.”

“Look. The doors are staying open. That’s an end to it. Now get to your post. I won’t have you putting the men in danger just so you can stand here and argue.” He turned to see Graham standing still. “That’s an order, soldier.”

Graham bowed his head. “Of course, Sir. I’ll keep our people safe.”

Graham walked off, his boots clacking against the floor. Dave shook his head, exasperated. That kid has a lot of learning to do.

Graham marched down the corridor, trying to keep his anger in check. How can he be so stupid? He’s going to let those maniacs out.

Graham knew what most of the inmates were like; murderers and terrorists. The people who were given gifts and used them to create chaos. Dave is going to put everyone at risk, not just the people down here. The most dangerous one was already out; Cline had killed an entire team the first time he was caught, and came close the second time.

Graham’s post sat closest to the door. As he made his way across the floor, he looked up and behind him to see Dave leaning on the railing, watching the door through his scope.

Crash!

Being so close to the door, Graham could almost feel the shot to the steel. He clutched his rifle tighter, aiming it toward the door. He didn;t know how much more that door could take, but it couldn’t be much more.

Crash!

This one made him jump. It was much louder than those before, and Graham could see one of the steel panels starting to peel out from the door. It’s weaker than I thought.

Ahead of him, Graham saw a dark shape lying on the floor. Moving closer, he saw what it was. A bolt!

He inspected the door, and saw the hole it had come from. He also saw several other bolts that were only a couple more hits from falling out themselves.

He looked over his shoulder again. Dave remained focussed on the dents in the door. After a moment of thought, he turned on his heel and walked back across the floor, headed toward the security room. I’m not going to let him put people in danger.

He looked up as he passed under Dave; he hadn’t noticed his change in plans. He kept walking through the halls, seeking the security room. He found it quickly enough.

“Jason.” The lieutenant looked up, and Graham could imagine the confusion on his face.

“Graham? Shouldn’t you be at your post?”

Graham took a deep breath. “Dave won’t see sense. I need you to start a Lockdown.”

Jason stood and shook his head, holding his hands up. “Oh, no. Lockdown is by order only. The Major is the only one who can authorise that.”

“Look, Dave isn’t thinking right. He’s going to let those psychos loose. Is that what you want?”

“Don’t make me a bad guy, here. I’m just following orders.”

Graham shook his head in frustration. “Jason, if we can’t handle these guys, then more than just us will die, unless you shut lock this place down.”

Jason clenched his hand into a fist. “I can’t disobey the rules, Graham. I can’t initiate a Lockdown unless Dave orders it.”

“Screw the rules! People will die unless you shut it down. We might, might, be able to handle the three out there, but there are more than two dozen others in here, and we can’t take them all out.” Graham could hear Jason’s breathing getting heavier. “If you don’t set it off, I will.”

Jason’s head snapped up, and he stared straight at Graham. “Don’t be stupid. If you do that, you’ll be court martialled.”

Graham shrugged. “If my choice is court martial, or the guilt of maybe allowing dangerous criminals to get loose, I’ll take the court martial.”

“I can’t let you do that. I’ll be in just as much crap as you if I do.”
Graham sighed, and raised his weapon. “Jason, let me past.”

Jason raised his hands and stepped back. “Whoa, there. You don’t want to do this.

“Move out of the way.”

Jason shifted around the room, making sure to face Graham.

Graham kept his gun trained on Jason. “I’m sorry about this.” When Jason reached the door, Graham shook the gun at him. “Turn around.”

Jason obeyed, turning to face the corridor.

Taking the gun in both hands, he slammed the butt of the rifle into the back of Jason’s head.

Jason collapse in a heap on the floor.

Making his way over to the console, Graham shoved the chair out the way. Leaning over the console, he looked for the controls he needed.

Near the bottom of the console, a switch was contained within a tranparent plastic case. Black and yellow tape covered the console around the switch.

Flipping open the case, Graham flicked the switch.

Dave stood bolt upright at the sound of the siren. He slammed his fist on the railing. Damn that kid. The lights attached to the side walls flashed red, announcing the Lockdown.

Crash!

A quiet ping floated up from the floor below; the sound of metal striking concrete. At once, he knew what had happened. That was a bolt.

He trained his gun on the door just as another crash slammed the steel, pushing two of the steel panels apart. The flashing red light from the hall beyond shone through the gap between the panels, shining a red beam across the concrete floor.

The sounds of celebration from the other side of the door made Dave shiver. They’re through.

The panels stretched outward, widening the gap, pushed by some invisible force. Through the gap, Dave could see Thyne’s face. The bare skin on his head reflected the fed flashes.

Dave cocked his rifle.

The steel supports holding the door in place snapped under the pressure, and the door crashed to the concrete. Dave was immediately grateful to Graham for initiating a Lockdown. There’s got to be at least a dozen of them out there.

Gunfire erupted around him as his men fired upon the inmates. Dave joined in, switching his rifle to automatic, and sending a stream of bullets into the inmates’ midst.

After a few seconds, the sounds from beyond the doorway changed to the sound of bullets striking steel. Taking a good look through his scope, Dave saw why. Thyne had lifted the fallen door, and was using it as a shield. All of the inmates stood behind its protective skin.

A hand waved in his direction from behind the steel, and a chunk of metal flew toward him.

He dove to the right, the steel just passing over him. It struck the wall of his quarters with a crack, and dust fell from the damaged concrete.

The other men were no luckier.

Several of those who were stationed at high vantage points had been forced to abandon them due to the onslaught of projectiles thrown by the inmates.

Others lay on the ground by their buildings, the victims of those same projectiles.

Dave raised his weapon, aiming it just below the steel, and opened fire. Several cries of pain rung out through the hall as the bullets ricocheted off of the ground, striking those behind the steel.

Dave smiled.

He pulled the trigger again, only to hear a click. Damn!

Dave released the cartridge, pulling a spare from a container on his suit. He clipped it into place, and cocked the weapon.

He turned and fired on them again, but no cries were heard this time.

He fired again, but was met with the same silence.

He pushed himself to his feet, staying low. The steel was still there, floating in mid-air.

A clacking behind him broke through the silence, and he turned, weapon raised, to look behind him.

He sighed with relief. “Graham!”

The lieutenant nodded, his breath heavy. “Yes, Sir.”

Dave pulled him into a hug, clapping him on the back. “I’m sorry, Graham.; I should’ve listened.”

Graham pulled away. “Yes, you should.”

The exchange was cut short by the sound of steel shattering concrete, as pieces of debris flew into the surrounding buildings.

Dave pointed down the corridor. “Let’s move.”

The two ran down the corridor, taking the staircase two steps at a time. Their retreat was followed closely by the bombardment, which seemed to get closer every second.

Before long, they found themselves at the armoury. Dave shoved the door open, ignoring the squeal of the rusted hinges. Graham followed him in, then slammed the door shut.

Both soldiers took a moment to breath, before examining what they had. The boxes in the armoury were heavy laden with dust, and the wood was beginning to rot.

Dave pried open the lid of one of the larger crates, and pulled out a shotgun. He examined the barrel for a moment, then replaced it. Graham, meanwhile, checked the contents of some of the smaller boxes.

Within, he found pistols, SMGs and even an entire box of grenades, all carefully packaged in protective wrap. None seemed suited to the current situation.

A banging at the door interrupted their search.

The two men looked first to the door, then to each other.

Another bang.

Dave and Graham raised their weapons, keeping them trained on the door.

A voice came from the other side. “For God’s sake, let me in!”

Dave breathed a sigh of relief at Jason’s voice, and moved to open the door.

Pulling open the door, he saw Jason standing in the hallway. Instead of entering the room, Jason simply looked down.

Over his shoulder, another voice spoke. “Well, thanks for letting us in.”

Jason’s head jerked back up, and a sickening crack filled the room. He fell lifeless to the floor.

Behind him stood five men, with Simon Thyne at the head. Dave raised his weapon, but an impact to the back of the head threw him to the floor. Simon stepped forward and kicked his weapon from his hands.

His vision faded from shadow to light, but Thyne’s figure stood prominent regardless.

The bald man knelt down beside Dave, and whispered in his ear. “It’s been lovely seeing you again, Major, but I think it’s time we say our goodbyes.”

A kick to the shoulder flipped Dave onto his back, and a dark shape floated above him. Thyne snapped his fingers, and the shape fell.

What does ‘Fantasy’ mean?

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Well, guys, here it is. My first post. As such, I want it to be something worth reading; more than just a simple introduction.

I considered writing about myself, but then it would be an introduction, no matter how much flourish I put into it. There’s enough about me in the About page.

What I settled on was writing something about a passion of mine; Fantasy.

The Many Worlds of Fantasy Contain Within Them Infinite Possibilities.

Let’s think about what people mean by ‘Fantasy’. For a lot of people, that word evokes images of dragons and wizards and magic swords. This is quite a way from the truth, however. Fantasy need not be about magic and dragons, although those are tropes that appear fairly often within the genre.

The main point of Fantasy is the world in which the story takes place. I don’t just mean the landscape, I also mean the cultures, people, races, creatures, political and economical systems; anything about the world that is even slightly different to our own. To give an example of this, I want to mention one of my current favourites in the Fantasy genre; A Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin.

This is a series with a storyline far too complicated to cover. Sufficed to say, it doesn’t take place in our world. There are certain things about it that ring true, such as the medieval feel, but there are also things that are far beyond anything we will ever experience. In the world of Song, the world is split into two main masses: Westeros and Essos. That in itself is beyond our own world, but one other thing is astounding. Their seasons, Summer and Winter being the main two, last for years.

Now, this post isn’t out to promote A Song of Fire and Ice, though it is definitely worth a read. The purpose of this post is to give a definition, even if it is only my own, to Fantasy. While magic is certainly a mainstay of Fantasy, it is the worlds in which the story is created that allow the magic, or dragons, to exist. Therefore, I think the main point of Fantasy is the world the story is written in.

What do you think? What does Fantasy mean to you?

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