Up There so High

What do you get when you have a space fanatic, a runaway princess and a bunch of miscreants? Well, you get the three E's; Explosions, Expletives and Enemies.
You may not laugh along with this story but you may sing (because the main space man is very much fond of that).

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24. The Fighting Chance

 

~The Fighting Chance~

~Everett~

 

When Everett fought back, slamming his fists into a guy’s face, he did not expect Bradley to clap. “Well done Fancy Name, there’s potential in you yet.”

That’s what started the fighting. Bradley called it an incentive programme. Every time someone denied Bradley’s needs, they would be called the weakest and either Everett would fight for them or against them.

Everett wasn’t the best by any means and sometimes he got the shit kicked out of him instead kicking ass.

But he got benefits, like better meals, more phone calls and not being picked on by Bradley’s crew anymore. As long as he fought, Block J got left the hell alone, KL’s daughter wasn’t threatened and Harry wasn’t beaten anymore. 

He was taking one for the team. At least that was what he was telling himself every time he fought and pictured Nick Thornby’s face on the opponent he was fighting.

There was other things to be thinking about besides that though. Everett was more focussed on the fact that he actually got to eat pots of jelly now instead of thick sludge, and man jelly was the best childhood food Everett could think of.

“You are way over your head,” Harry remarked from one of their computer sessions. He was tinkering with something and Everett was on watch. If another prisoner snitched on them it was Everett’s job to either fight for them or against them. Kings would prefer if it was against them; he was messed up like that.

“What do you mean?” Everett asked shooting a quick glance to the door of the computer room.

“You have no idea on what Kings is doing with all of this do you?” Harry was looking at him when he should have been looking at the computer. He had to hack into something Everett knew, into what he didn’t know. He quirked his mouth in a motion of saying no, he didn’t know what Kings was doing. He could be doing anything with his time, besides making lame Joker backstories every time one of their meetings happened. God that guy needed to get some originality in his brain. “All of this,” Harry points to the computer and to Everett, “is for his bigger plan. You’re just a distraction, a way of entertainment to make people get in line. He’s making us all hatch his plan and we’re just pawns.”

“But what is his plan?” Everett whispered, conscious of the guard on the door. They only had a set time for this and Everett did not want to be the guy that messed this all up.

Harry pulled up a word document and wrote a sentence down, Bradley Kings is getting us to plan and execute his escape.

Everett had to swallow a laugh because that was just stereotypical. But he knew that if anything went wrong in this plan things would go terribly for him. He was not Kings best fighter, that medal went to a guy with more muscles than even Kings.

It turned out that Harry was installing a virus that would give him access to the security cameras. Once it was active he could control where they filmed and where the blind spots were. Those blind spots would be most advantageous when it came to Kings actually escaping.

Part of the plan that everyone had to follow was to make sure that no one became suspicious of what they were doing. No one meant absolutely no one. No one included Morton. It was the first time that Morton visited Everett and he immediately became suspicious of what was going on, even though he didn’t have the foggiest idea of what exactly was happening.

“How on Earth did you get those muscles, did you get them at NASA?” Morton asked as he handed over the coffee that he got for Everett. Everett had already thanked Morton and Morton’s parents for giving birth to him, just for that gesture. And pretzels, Morton had also brought pretzels Everett’s favourite food in university.

“NASA was very demanding in terms of fitness and they have a gym here, I’m not wasting away in my time here Mort,” Everett tried to say around a mouthful of deliciousness. Eating pretzels made his brain a little fuzzy.

“What’s it like in here, they treating you well?” Morton was only concerned for him, Everett got that but god the questions were invasive.

“It’s prison Mort, it’s not all hugs and giggles in here. But hey, I get pots of jelly so I’ll survive my two years here,” Everett shrugged not saying the truth in the matter. Morton raised his eyebrows.

“A prison with hugs and giggles would be the next insane asylum Everett. You love jelly, does that have anything to do with the many phone calls you seem to have?” Everett knew that Morton was getting suspicious and he had to direct him away from it.

Had he messed up and called Morton twice in a week or something? Damn, he was just about always messing things up and Morton was more suspicious of things than most.

“Sometimes they give you rewards for good behaviour. I’m the top student here,” Everett was leaning back in his chair, trying to remain casual and aloof. Morton didn’t seem to buy it.

“Really, you weren’t the top student at university never mind prison,” Morton was saying as Everett was low key panicking. God if Kings got a hold of this, he would be the victim in the fight and not the fighter. “I got a phone call from a girl at NASA, she said she was in your group in the programme. Nick let loose that the bosses got a call from you here taunting them for their mistake, and she wanted to ask if what he said was true. She was only concerned for you.”

“Nick’s an asshole, he lied obviously,” damn you Abbey for being concerned. The programme would still be running, it had another two months to go and he hoped to god that Nick didn’t win.

“Oh I know, I didn’t say much until I got a call from a lad called Matthew, a drunk dial actually saying that he missed you and he called you an asshole for getting yourself caught. Apparently a Joshua had told them everything and our number at the apartment was on the records at NASA.”

Damn, Matthew. Morton knew that Everett called him every week so he was only suspicious of how he was getting the extra phone calls.

“Fine,” Everett blew air in between his teeth and made up an answer watching as Morton seemed to be satisfied by just that word, “I slept with a female guard and now I get to reap the benefits.” He smirked devilishly and Morton frowned.

“Be serious,” Morton pleaded.

“Why so serious?” Everett tried his own at Joker jokes – and hah, that was a pun right there.

“Don’t lie to me,” Morton gritted and Everett tried to disperse it.

“Nothing but truth passes these lips,” dry humour always did it with Morton. But then Morton’s hands went into fists and the shouting match started. Dry humour did not disperse the tension between them.

Morton was escorted away when the argument reached the temperature of fire. Everett had stood from the table and they were chest to chest. Everett even had the temptation to punch his friend, and he hadn’t physically had that feeling ever before. The fighting had changed him.

Everett got a stint in solitary confinement for that, just for the day, but he got it. Alone with himself he was angry with how prison had changed him. He had never been this angry before and he couldn’t keep blaming Nick Thornby on it.

Nick was a contributing factor but prison and Kings were a bigger factor.

The next day he was back to fighting, determined to get Kings out of prison so that he didn’t have to be a pawn to him. And like Harry loved to say, everyone were teddy bears with smiles on their faces if you gave them what they wanted. So Everett gave Kings what he wanted, he would help the Joker wannabe get out of prison and he would be glad when he was gone.

He fought to push the anger out of his veins, to think that he could redeem Morton’s trust back even though he believed that after the argument he would never come back. Morton had been rejecting his calls too, that was how he knew the argument was so damaging.

His fists had more force behind them, more fuel behind the fire, and the blood on his knuckles smarted yellow, like he had mustard in his veins or like everything was a fading, sickly bruise, when it should have been ruby red.

That was Everett’s first clue that what he was seeing was not as real as he once thought.

~

 

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