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Ashley was trying her hardest to keep her calm. She had to, for the sake of the people she was trying to save. She already looked out of place in Jones’s baggy and bloody uniform, she couldn’t also be looking terrified. The disguise wouldn’t hold up to much more than a brief glance from a distance, but it was something. Not to mention it offered some protection, even if it was ill fitting and battered. She only needed to wear this for a little bit, then she could get a better fitting one that she hadn’t taken off of a dead guy. They were still in the cave, waiting for Vanessa to scope it out using Darryl’s power, so she had a second to pull herself together.
She couldn’t get Jones’s face out of her head, nor could she forget the pain. It was like nothing she had ever felt before, and she inflicted that onto someone else. She killed him. Vanessa may have dealt the final blow, but she killed him. She wondered if Arte would even want to see her. She wasn’t the same person she was before.
She shook her head. Now was no time to fall into a spiral. She needed to think positively. She may have done some bad things along the way, but she had done this to save more than a hundred people from torture. Even the guards were really prisoners here, if what Darryl said was true. They had to put a stop to this at all costs, and she couldn’t let her own preferences get in the way of that.
Vanessa finally opened her eyes and stood up. “Alright, we need to move out now. Our window is small. Most of the guards are at an assembly right now, but there are still a few on patrol. Stay close to me.”
She took off at a brisk walking pace out of the cave, and Ashley and Darryl both followed suit.
The tunnel suddenly turned from natural stone into concrete, and they were in a small room with a prison cell. Darryl made his way to a cabinet, and unlocked it. He pulled out two pistols, and handed them to Ashley and Vanessa.
“These have tranquilizer rounds.” He handed another pistol too Ashley. “This one has live rounds. Use your own discretion.”
Ashley was about to object, but Darryl and Vanessa had already taken off. She quickly holstered both of them, being careful to put the tranquilizer one on the right, where she could quickly reach it. She followed out the way they had left, and almost ran into them when she saw them at a complete stop.
Vanessa held up three fingers and counted down, before running around the corner of the T-junction.
After they rounded another corner, the walls were lined with prison cells. Ashley had been here for a while, but she wasn’t sure where this control room that Darryl had referenced was. She had a vague idea of where the locker room was, but she only really knew that relative to her cell or maybe the cafeteria.
Her heart nearly stopped when a guard came around the corner. He had appeared at the end of the hallway, and there wasn’t any way to hide now. Darryl motioned for them to keep walking, and drew his gun. As Darryl drew his gun, the other guard drew his, and continued a cautious advance. They both kept them pointed at the floor, and eventually were close enough to whisper.
“Darryl, what the hell is going on? Who the hell are they?” The other guard whispered. His name patch said ‘Gaines’. They couldn’t see his face from under his mask.
“Marques, I’m gonna need you to trust me. I know that you know this is wrong. Help me put a stop to it, or at least step aside.”
Marques hesitated. “Do you have a plan? A good one?”
“Yes. It’s the best option we have, but I’ll need some backup from as many guards as we can. Can you do that? We’ll need numbers to take on Takeo.”
He holstered his gun and nodded. “Alright. I think I can do that.”
Darryl also holstered his gun. “I’ll need one other thing. Make sure anyone who’s sympathetic is somewhere safe or ready, because I’m gonna release all of the prisoners.”
“All of them?”
“All of them.” Darryl nodded.
“If that’s what you gotta do. I’ll meet you at the control room, I guess.” Marques nodded before taking off.
Vanessa motioned and they took off as well. After a few minutes, they reached the locker room without incident. Once inside, Darryl followed along the lockers before motioning to Vanessa, who threw a disk which broke off the lock.
“Mara is on vacation, and she’s about your size.” Darryl tossed each of them a clean uniform, before going outside to keep watch.
Vanessa and Ashley quickly changed, and transferred what equipment they had into their new uniform. They discarded their old ones, and met Darryl in the hall.
“Alright. Now that we have actual uniforms, we shouldn’t need to sneak around quite as much.” He nodded. “But do be wary of closer inspection. If they try to ID you, they’ll see that you’re faking.”
Ashley and Vanessa both nodded in understanding, and Darryl led the way to the control room. As promised, they didn’t run into anything along the way. They stopped outside of the door, and Vanessa placed a hand on Darryl. After a moment, she opened her eyes.
“There’s one guard inside. Darryl, you lead.”
(Art credit: WordPress Free Photo Library)
Happy almost Christmas! Hope you’re doing well. I believe I’ve finally got the post-timing down with the new system and my new schedule, so we should be returning to every Friday at noon.
I will put out a blog post at some point discussing my plans for season 3 and the holidays, so you have that to look forward to within the next week or two.
Remember, love one another, Black Lives Matter, and trans people are valid.