The CC Games

A story of vile tales and great sacrifices.

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10. Captured?

I hear people chattering in the background, all a blur of words. I open my eyes but quickly shut them again. I open them slowly this time. I sit up. I look around, whitewashed walls, bright yellow lights, and a mahogany desk with an overlapping CC.  And absolutely no door. I stand up, my legs feel numb but I manage to stand up. I wobble toward a wall. I run my hand along it, wondering if I can find a crack or dent or some imperfection in the wall. Notta. I start tapping the wall listening for the echo signaling that part of it’s hollow. Yes!  I kick the wall as hard as I possibly could and it made a huge dent. Lucky me. It’s drywall. I heard footsteps coming toward me. I quickly lean against the wall casually covering the giant hole I just made. Act casual. Okay. The guard walks past me with a raised eyebrow and peered into my cell but said nothing and kept on walking. Is it really that easy to fool guard? Not questioning my luck, I went back to making the hole wide enough for me to fit through.

 

Once the hole is big enough for me to fit through, I climb through and find myself squished in between two thin pieces of drywall and to my left and right are wood beams reaching up as far as I can see. I start climbing up the wood, like how Mr. You SUCK had us climb a sixty-foot rope (again, part of training). Yet, this was a lot harder. After going for a while, I hear an explosion from above. Either the others had come, or the Pakistani government is landing another bombing raid. Either way, BAD. A crack forms in a room about ten feet above. I climb vigorously to the crack, and kick it open. The room is in flames and the sky above is full of smoke. Pakistani bombers fly over in squadrons with bombs falling everywhere. One of them starts falling towards the building. Below, a one hundred and fifty drop to the water. Risk running through smoke and flame and damaging the body that I just exhausted, or take the sixty percent chance of surviving the fall. I decide to jump. I jump without hesitation and it takes me almost three seconds to hit the water, and the pain of my body hitting the water is so excruciating that I blink out of conscience.

 

I wake up to see a familiar face next to mine. Four others are near me and also look familiar. I try to get up, but the head swims and I sink back down with a plop. My vision starts to clear, and I see Max next to me, looking away. On the other side is Erin. The sun outside is barely above the horizon, when Hannah and Alina come into the tent we are in.

 

“Emily? You’re awake!” Alina says, loudly enough that Erin wakes up and shoots up from the ground very quickly.

“What?! Emily, are you awake?” Erin says.

“Yeah,” I say, much more groggy then I intended, “How did you find me?”

“I found you on the shore of the Perak River, you had a bad concussion and seven of your ribs were broken. One of your back muscles is ripped, so it will take six months to heal. In the meantime, you have to take it easy.”

“How long have you guys been dragging me on?”

“About a week.”

“WHAT?!”

“You had a terrible concussion. Max thought you were going to have permanent brain damage.”

“Where are we?”

“Somewhere in Laos, probably near the ruins of Vientiane.”

“Oh, where are we heading for?”

“Tokyo.”

“Why?”

“Probably the only place still doing okay.”

“But, the map had Japan full of strongholds!”

“I think it is where Michael Barcelona is…”

“Oh.” That explains it… He’s the one keeping the wheels turning.

 

I try to get up but my legs won’t move. They are not twisted, but definitely broken. For some reason, I feel no pain, but Max probably injected me with the only fentanyl he could find. Normally I would advocate against using a drug, but for this purpose, I would think it fine. Still…..The side effects… Whatever I’ll deal with it. This better be worth it, Max!  I pushed myself up so that I was sitting upright with my arms propping me up but I couldn’t. My elbows buckled with pain and I was too weak to hold myself up. I ended up on the ground once again.  Come on! I decided I would just lay there on my back. I feel cold smooth marble on my back.  I stared up and saw a cement slab. What? Where am I? Where is everyone else?! No wonder I hadn’t heard them.

I try using my voice. “Hello?” I croak. Aw,come on. I can’t find anyone, I can barely move, and I sound like a frog. Great. I turn my head left and right. I see perfectly painted and smooth white walls. I lie there for a little longer waiting for the side effects of the fentanyl to wear off. At some point I doze off.

I wake up with a yawn. Tears fill my eyes but I quickly blink them away. I sit up and look around. I see the same cement roof, same white painted walls, same marble on the floor. I panic, thinking about yesterday. Where is everybody?! I try standing up but my legs are numb. Right.

I yell, “Max! Erin! Help!” I hear boots treading toward me but I don’t see anything just white painted walls. Someone dressed in camo walks right through one of the wall. I do a double take. Did he just walk through a WALL?  He carries a needle with a strange light blue liquid. He runs full speed at my hospital bed and tries to stick the needle into my arm. I quickly punch him in the face, and he falls backwards. He gets up to come again, but I notice that the needle is stuck in his neck. He stumbles forward, but collapses and knocks the hospital bed over. The intravenous line out of my arm, ripping a large gash in my arm. I scream out in pain, and hear many other soldiers running towards my direction. I can’t move my legs well, so I start dragging myself with my arms even though my forearm burns. Two people run in with guns and pick me up. Am I really that light? Anyway, they carry me up a tower and I look out a window to see Beijing completely aflame. They did this. The people carrying me out did this. I hear shrieks coming from the flames below. I writhe around in their arms trying to get away. But they hold onto me, tight and keep walking staring straight ahead as if they are totally not carrying me Oddly robotic , I am totally not squirming around in their arms trying to get away, and Beijing is totally not a BONFIRE! Disgusting. I punch the person hold me. Soulless. I punch again. Idiotic. I punch. Cretins. I punch for the last time. I stop, my anger fading. I go limp in their arms and give up realizing that I’m just wasting my energy. I turn my head to look around.

That’s when a large explosion knocks me out of the man’s arms, sending him sprawling and leaving me on the ground. I quickly get up and grab his pistol. You did this. I pull the trigger. The large sound knocks me back, winding me. Blood sprays everywhere coating everything, including me. Before my vision clears, I run, not wanting to see what had happened. That was the first time I have ever killed anyone.  Guilt was eating away at me. I have no time to think about it, when another explosion knocks me to the ground. Fire engulfs the corridor, and I run down the path. I pass dome doors. Missile Launch,  Lunch Court, Control Center… Control Center!  The doors are half open, and I run in. Large panels with computer are centered around a giant map. Most of the world is red, including countries like the United States, Canada, and India. Four countries were pink, Japan, Russia, Australia, and Egypt. Then the rest were gray. Two countries were flashing red, Sweden and China. Looking through the computer files, I found a list of security camera footage. Looking through, I found my group running through the burning city, passing burning bodies and collapsing infrastructure. Then I hear gunshots and Erin, Alina, and Alex collapse to the ground. The rest turn around and raise their hands. Then they are shot. I scream, putting my mouth over my hand. They all fall blood spewing out of their bodies. The date on the  security camera footage is… August 16, 2149…

“Haha...I knew you would fall into my trap.”

I turn to see who it was. I look at his metal nametag, pinned to his pristine white shirt as if the building wan’t burning down and I hadn’t just shot a guy. “Michael Barcelona”

“You! You murdered my friends! My family! Everyone I have ever loved!”

“Oh...I’m sorry? Are you saying everyone? Aren’t you missing someone?”

He pulls Erin and Max in, with blindfolds over their eyes and handcuffs over their hands and feet. Gags were stuffed into their mouths. Michael raised a plasma rifle to Erin’s head.

“I will kill them both, and then the rest of your buds in the basement. Would you like to say anything to them before they DIE?” He emphasized the word ‘die’ with a happiness and glee only found in a sadistic psychopath.

“Don’t do it, please… kill me, not them.” Formulating a plan in the middle of panic is not easy.

“Really, really Emily?! That’s it?! What a sell-out! Hero of the world, coming to save us all!” He says in a mocking voice. “You know what I did with those rebels in China? Look on the screen.” The screen flipped to a picture of China being invaded. First the army shoots in from Japan and into Tianjin. The north is quickly overrun by the army, which quickly flows into Manchuria. Indian troops push slowly through Tibet, until breaking through and flowing swiftly into Southern China. The army in South-East Asia sends a navy into Taiwan. The country’s capital, Beijing, is surrounded in only three years. The city holds out valiantly, but finally collapses on August 11, 2149. Total Chinese casualties, over twelve million. CC casualties, one thousand. How? How did that happen?

“Now are you satisfied? Twelve million Chinese! Have you got the CC secrets now?”

He laughs hysterically and sets the plasma rifle against Erin’s head again.

“No! No, you can’t do this!” I scream, but he only laughs as he pulls me closer. “Let’s give them a taste of plasma now, shouldn’t we?”

An explosion hits the building, and the rifle misfires, hitting Erin’s stomach instead. She screams and falls.

“NO! Erin!” I scream, as I pull back her blindfolds to see her eyes rolled back into her head. “Please. Please, stop! No.” Tears are flowing down my face. Wait. “Michael, if you captured this city six days ago, why is this building collapsing?” I say with a fury so surprising I scare myself.

“Nothing, nothing is collapsing…” He says, knowing he was backed into a corner.

“Well then, let me educate you, a plasma rifle...tastes like this.” I put the rifle against his head, and fire without hesitation. His head blackens and then his body falls, the smell of singed hair and cooked blood blasting me in the face. His burned head and upper torso become visible from the smoke. The building around starts to crumble and I am buried in a pile of rubble.

 
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