View Full Version : The Nuclear Winter- Chapter Four

June 2nd, 2015, 11:56 PM
Chapter Four: A New Companion
When I finally came to, I began to panic; but then I remembered everything. How the drone found us, the collapsing of the tower, and the railgun. I tried to move, but I couldn’t: I found that I was bound to a wooden post by a pair of metal shackles. I looked around. I was in a tan, musty tent, with a dirt floor and two leather flaps for the doorway which were opened slightly so the morning sun was coming in.
There was a boy with messy caramel hair and a heavily bruised skinny body, who seemed a little younger than me, next to me sleeping on the pole that he was bound to. “Erm, sorry to wake you but what the heck am I doing here?” I said aloofly. “Wha-NOO! No leave me alone you devil!” the boy screamed. “STOP! Take it easy, man, easy,” I answered, startled. He looked at me with a surprised look on his face, “W-wh-when did you get here?” he asked.
“I have no clue, all I know is that I was with this girl, Dominique and we were in a tower, but the tower collapsed and I woke up here.” “Oh, well my name is Cylas—pronounced Sy-las…” There was a long pause of silence. “Sorry for going off on you like that, I thought you were one of those damned guards coming to force me out there again,” he said shuddering at the thought.
“So where exactly are we?” I asked; alarmed at the situation I was in. “Somewhere in Alabama I think,” he replied slightly calmer.
He began speaking again, “Listen now, I will try to explain it as best as I can, okay? I don’t know anything about you but you need to find a way out of here. I ain’t the first one to come around here, these people are evil abominations who capture wanderers and make them their slaves, and if their slaves fail to do their bidding, they eat them. Simple as that.”
There was another long silence. In the silence I sat there pondering what just happened to me. Does Dominique know I’m being held hostage here? If so, how could she ever save me?
I heard muffled voices outside and saw a big, burly man with wild bushy hair wearing a bear hide tunic and leather cowboy chaps for pants, it seemed he wore whatever he could muster. “Alright you stupid little imp, boss wants to see you witness the speech, hehehe,” he said in a heavily Southern accent.
He took out a key with blood stained on it, and unlocked the cuffs bounding me to the rotten wood post. I fell to the ground and he said, “You won't last long if you won't get up, ya’ll be a nice meal for Sir Vector,” he said gruffly. He told me to follow him out and I followed him out the tent. The sky was considerably more ashy than in Florida, it looked as if it was permanently dark, but there still were a few arrays of light to see.
He led me to a big crimson tent with torches all around it, he pointed to the leather flaps, “In,” he said stiffly. I walked into the enormous tent and saw men dressed identically to the man who guided me in, the tent had bones of all sorts laying in a neat pile in the corner, an array of wooden picnic tables in the middle with white, linen table cloths covering them, a long wooden table with dried blood stains on it, and a podium with a black banner draped onto it. The banner had a yin yang symbol on it, the yin was unhealthy yellow and the yang was dark red. Behind the podium was a tall man with black, combed hair, bloodshot eyes, and a crooked smile. He had two guards in the standard bear hide uniforms on each of his flanks.
“Guards, line up, NOW!” the man yelled as all the guards lined up on each side of the tent. “Good, good. Now, bring the rest-” before he even finished his statement guards began bringing other prisoners in from outside, seven people lined up next to him.
“Now that you are all here, we shall begin the initiation, initiates line up to across the long table.” The guards lined up across the long table, including the guard that brought him in. He smiled another crooked smile and stated, “Bring out the sacrifice bowls.” A man exited the big tent and returned with others carrying two bowls for each initiate. The guards in the line now looked more nervous than the prisoners.
“And now we bring out the knives…” he said, looking more menacing than ever. The men who brought in the bowls took big, butcher knives out of pockets in their bear hide uniforms. “May everyone place their arms from their elbow onto the table.” He looked around to make sure everyone who was doing the ritual had their elbows on the table.
He stepped down from the podium and let a man with red hair on his right proceeded to step onto the podium. “Do you all swear, from now on and for forever to serve your new master, Vector Grimsbane with an unwavering faith and servitude?” “Yes,” they replied. “Do you all swear, from now on and forever to be fully truthful and face fatal punishment if untruthful?” “Yes,” they replied again. “Do you swear, from now on and forever to show no mercy whatsoever to those outside your clan?” “Yes.” “And do you hereby agree to cut off your lower left arm from your elbow in sacrifice and tribute to your new-found master, Vector?” All of the guards replied yes except for one, they led him out of the tent and a loud bang erupted outside.
The man stepped off the podium and the guy from before took his place (I assumed the other man was their leader, Vector). “Valleons, ready your butcher knives,” he said as if enjoying it, “Commence the sacrifice in 3… 2… 1… Now,” he said eagerly. The guards at the long table howled in excruciating pain. I closed my eyes so I didn’t have to watch the horrible scene. “Welcome to the Butchers of Montevallo…” he said looking around with an evil smile. “Valleons, use clotspray and bring in the steel prosthetics,” Vector said nonchalantly. “Now, these eight new slaves will need to know their role, Guild Master Acarius will you show them their jobs and have them realize their place?” he said looking at the individual on his left. “Yes master Grimsbane, I will make them aware of their places as you wish,” he replied in a thick British accent and rushed to us.
He took us out into a field where mushrooms were growing on the ground. “The field is two square miles, I demand it all to be thoroughly picked, otherwise you shall face a punishment most unlike any torture you have ever felt before,” he said looking at each of us in the eye. “But, if you pick to my satisfaction I shall reward you with ten ounces of water and four mushrooms for consumption. You have exactly one hour, begin… Now.” He clicked a timer on his watch and strolled off. I bent down to the ground, and started to pick as rapidly as I could.
As I was picking frantically, I stopped, there was a strange looking mushroom that looked a little poisonous. I touched it and it sprayed me with a disgusting spray that smelled like rotten eggs mixed with a skunk spray. The other slaves looked revolted at the sight but rapidly went back to picking mushrooms.
Exactly one hour later, Acarius came back. We had picked the entire field, and all Acarius did was say. “Get back to your posts, now!” We walked to the tents, and the big burly guard put me back in shackles, wincing at the pain from his now missing arm, which was replaced with a steel prosthetic arm. After the course of another hour, a guard came in with one bucket of water. It was filled with mud, leaves, and dead bugs. I looked at the guard–disgusted, I yelled, “You said we would get water! And where are my mushrooms?” The guard looked us at with a slight grin, with his eyebrows raised. He kicked me in the stomach, and casually walked away with the ‘water’. This brought me to thinking that to survive, I would have to be totally loyal and obedient or they would make me suffer. I was at their complete mercy, but I didn’t care, I didn’t want their mercy.
The next morning, I was aroused by Cylas, who was chiding, “Wake up, or you will be punished, and–trust me you don’t want that.” “You think I care what these monsters think of me?” I said with irritation and arrogance in my voice. “If anything, you will torture me to death before anyone else has a chance.” “Sorry,” Cylas said with a huge amount of mockery in his voice. But, before I could think of something else to say our guard walked in, and for some reason, he seemed panicked, but all he said was, “Work time.”
For the rest of the day, both Cylas and I were ordered to do certain tasks around the camp within a given timeframe. “So if you don’t obey, what might they do to you?” I asked Cylas as we were repairing holes in an old tent. “Oh they just strap you onto a wall upside down and prod you with an electric rod, and if that doesn't work they rape you, and if that doesn’t work they would probably cut off one of your limbs,” he replied. I looked back at him with shock, he looked back at me and shrugged, “I’ve heard of even worse.”
Just then, a bloodcurdling scream broke the silence of the camp. A guard ran up to us and screamed, “Everyone, back to the tents, now!!” We were all hastily corralled back into our tents. After arriving back at our tents the guard hastily chained us back onto our posts and left without saying another word. “Damned girl!” I heard from outside the tent. “She bombed the main tent and Vector is not happy!” he yelled at someone. “Could you describe her, Sir Acarius?” “All I know is that she had brown hair and looked teenage.” Their voices lingered off as I thought a bit. Brown hair, teenage. that had to be Dominique!
A sense of relief rushed to me, but I then realized, I couldn’t just leave Cylas there, I had to take him with me, and try to free all the other slaves. “A girl bombed the big tent,” Cylas said glumly. I looked at him with a bit of surprise, “That means Vector is going to be in a bad mood, which means he might pick one of us as toys… And he was on the F.B.I.’s most wanted list you know,” he said, looking no longer calm.
“Yeah well we may just get a jailbreak soon buddy,” I said. “What makes you think that?” “Because I am 100% sure that I know that girl, and her name is Dominique.” Throughout the panic outside in the camp I told him about how Dominique and I met, he was appalled, I also went on to tell him how we were separated and a look of hope gleamed in his crystal blue eyes. “Maybe–with her intelligence she could set us all free, I’ve been here for two weeks and they continually promise food but only give us nasty, grimy water. We don’t deserve this.”
Cylas and I sat there in silence for a while before the guard came in, and hastily said, “Today you aren't going to harvest food or do any other chores, and one more thing, master wishes to have a word with you so don’t make him mad, got it?” he said stone-faced.
Nearly ten minutes after the guard left, Vector walked in. He looked at us for some time like he was almost trying to read our minds. “You boys ought to know that we monitor all conversations from our slaves... No-one is going to save you, and if anything else were to happen your odds of survival would be nil... And you don’t want to die do you?” he said, staring at us coldly. Both Cylas, and I remained silent, we both were glaring at him. People were panicking outside and screaming at each other. Vector sighed and strolled back outside–pausing before he left, he lifted up his finger,“I will be back.”
I heard a devilish roar, the sound of collapsing tents, and the screams of cowardly men. I heard someone yell, “God damnit, it had to have been that girl that led this beast to the camp!” Loud gunshots erupted outside the tent. The beast roared louder, whatever it was. “Psst, psst, hey!” “Shut up,” I whispered back at Cylas. “He already knows about Dominique now, do you want to die?” I said quietly.
“It’s a demon Sir Vector! The bullets are bouncing right off it!!!” screeched a frantic guard. “Calm, Trey, calm, unveil the railgun we scavenged, that shall put the beast to rest,” he said composedly. “Yes sir, as you wish, and what of these slaves?” he said trying to remain calm.
“This mutant would not have come here just to terrorize us, it wants food, therefore Trey I wish for you to take the weakest of the slaves out and try to coax the mutant to them,” he said. That statement erupted a deep cold feeling in my stomach.
“Rorry, what if they use us as bait?” Cylas said trembling slightly. “I have a feeling if Dominique led it in here she could also find a way to get us out before it kills us,” I said uncertainly, trying to comfort Cylas.
Sure enough, to my word, the man talking to Vector came in and unchained us. “Follow me, now,” he said uncharitably.
He took us outside and tied each of us up to wooden poles with prickly rope and beckoned another guard to lure the beast over to us.
Before he could even finish his sentence a booming roar came from the right and the beast barreled towards us. It picked up Trey and crushed him like popcorn. It looked directly at me with blood on it’s coat... I recognized him instantly.
This was the mutant bear that I met earlier when I was finding saplings for Dominique. He came up to me and instead of ripping my heart out, he ripped the ropes bounding me to the pole, and did the same for Cylas. I sat there in awe at the creature, ignoring what was happening around me.
A guard yelled, “Sir, it wants the young slaves, we must let ‘em go!” “Fine! Fine! Fine!” Vector screamed. “Let the children go! They will die anyways!” he snapped.
Vector went up to his guild master, Acarius, and spoke to him quietly, (I could only make out a few words). “Assu-party… follow… girl.” Although he was quiet about it I knew he had known that Dominique was trying to save us so he was going to follow us.
The beast stared down at me and lowered it’s rear, as if gesturing for me to hop on. Cylas grinned and yelled, “Freedom baby!”