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We advance into the tent, and the people scatter. I manage to catch one of them in the same way I caught the guards, in case I have any questions. For the time being though, I turn my attention to the man on the table.
Dale and I head towards him slowly. I know he’s strapped down and they’re hurting him, but maybe he’s penned up for a reason. I step up just out of reach of his tentacles. He’s still looking around wildly, and struggling against his bindings, but he’s stopped screaming.
“Hey, man, are you alright?” I try to keep my voice calm and my movements slow. The last thing I want to do is provoke some tentacle monster.
He looked at me, terrified. “You’ve gotta help me out of here, man! Please!”
Tears ran down his face. He was wearing sweat pants, but no shirt. He couldn’t have been older that 30, and he looked closer to 25.
I look to Dale. I’m not sure about this. On one hand, it’s obvious they’re mistreating him. On the other, I don’t fancy getting mauled by tentacle man.
“Yeah… We’ve gotta let him out.”
I look at his bindings, unsure where to start. Each of his tentacles appear to be nailed to the ground, but his wrists and ankles are also bound to a table. I figure it’s probably best to work from the outside in, but also to start slow. I command the trampled corn around one of his tentacles to pull the spike from the ground. The man doesn’t immediately attack me, so I remove the rest in a similar fashion. I move forward to unbind his wrists and ankles, but the tentacles beat me to it.
He gets to his feet and looks to Dale and I. “We need to move, before they get you too.” Dale and I nod in agreement, and we all head out the flap of the tent.
“We’ve got dirtbikes off this way.” Dale points in the direction we came from. “Can you run?”
“Yeah, I thin-” He starts to answer, but he’s cut off by shouting and gunshots from behind us. It looks like more suits with guns to me.
We start to leg it towards the corn. I put a wall up behind us, and we break into the field. I part the corn as we run through in the same way I did last time, and we get to the dirtbikes in no time, but I can still hear them behind us.
Dale and I start up our bikes, and realize we don’t have a third with us. “Alright, tentacles, hop on.” He hops on the bike behind me, and grips my waist. Thankfully with his arms. Dale moves with no problem, but between me being rusty and having cargo, I’m not keeping up as well.
We’re well off in the distance of the cornfield, when I see a black SUV break into the grass field we’re on. I look around, but I don’t see anything we could use for cover. It’s flat fields for miles, maybe some rolling hills, but not much. Dale is trying his best to stay back with me, but the SUV is gaining on us.
I’m all out of ideas, and the SUV is about to run me down. There’s a crash of crunching metal, followed by several more crashes. I look back and I see the SUV rolling across the field.
“What the hell was that?” I shout back to tentacles. I don’t stop going. I don’t care if the SUV rolled or not, I’m not about to take chances.
“Just drive!” He shouts back.
We put a little more distance between us and the suits, until we can’t see them anymore and then some. We bring the bikes to a halt, and hop off.
We sit down around the bikes. It’s night, but it’s summer so it’s not cold at least. “So… What do we do now?” Dale asks.
“Well, we can’t go back home. We just committed a lot of felonies.” I shake my head. This is gonna be a pain in the ass.
“Well, what if we went to the sheriff’s and explained everything? I mean, we have him.” He gestured towards our tagalong. “Who are you by the way?”
“My name’s Tim. I’m from Riverbrook.” His tentacles waved slowly behind him.
“Riverbrook? That’s a good couple hundred miles from here.” Dale seems surprised about the place he’s from, but I’m more interested in something else.
“Yeah, and what’s with the tentacles?” I’m not sure if it’s rude to ask someone about their tentacles, but I just saved his life, so I figure I get a freebie.
“Well, I woke up a couple of mornings ago with these.” He gestured towards his tentacles. “I went to the hospital, and they sent me off with some ‘specialists’ from the Vertech institute. They cut me open and tortured me…”
“Well… That sucks.” I’m not really sure what else I could contribute to that. Torture isn’t exactly a common occurrence out here, at least as far as I know. I also haven’t heard of this Vertech institute.
“Hey man, it’s alright. Like hell are we gonna let them get you again. You’re safe now.”
I chuckle. Dale always had a weird knack for this kind of thing.
“Yeah, thanks…” Tim shook his head. “So, to the sheriff?”
“Yeah, I guess so.” I’m not sure if it’s the best idea, but I don’t see any better ideas. After all, the sheriff is reasonable.
“We gonna camp here tonight?”
“Well, if we keep going, we could probably actually make it to town in another hour. We could get a hotel. See the sheriff in the morning.” I get up and head towards my bike.
“Well, I guess I’d rather be in a hotel than a field.” Dale groans as he gets off the ground.
“You’re carrying him this time, though.” I get on my bike, and start it up.
“Fine.” Dale sighs. He gets on and starts his own bike, with Tim behind him, and we ride off into the night.
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