The drive was calmer than it should have been. We were merely catching up with Taker’s group, driving by farms and empty streets. I had the displeasure of seeing Sacrifice make a new mask out of a cow, tearing it apart with her bare hands and covering herself in the blood.
I also had the displeasure of throwing up at the smell. She reeked of death.
The van stopped. We got out, Sacrifice almost dragging me. I’m glad my legs work again, she’d probably have done so anyway.
“We’re here,” said Bloodwitch, looking up.
There was a massive, giant wall in our way. There was also a message written in blood.
DOOR 3 MILES THAT WAY –>
P.S : BOSS, WE’LL MEET IN NEW AUSTIN
Sacrifice sighed, pulling me back into the van.
We drove to the tunnel door in relative silence. I had nobody to talk to apart from Ellen, and she only responded to members of the Hunting Party, for the most part.
We got out again, seeing the second van and the door, wide open.
“Trauma, check it,” Ordered Sacrifice, pulling on me again.
She looked inside, felt around the door and turned around.
“Not many lights, boss. It’s also a maze in there,” she said, taking a step back.
“I see. We should find a way through it,” said Sacrifice. “We’ll split up if we can’t find an exit.”
“We will go first,” said Ellen, taking Bloodwitch by the hand. She pulled her in, closing the door.
“Ryan, tell me what you notice about this situation here,” she said slowly.
“I’m being dragged around by a naked chick old enough to be my mother?” I blurted out.
“Not that. We got a message from taker, right?”
“Yeah, so?” I looked at her and saw that she was clearly stressed. The pressure of Taker’s betrayal has wormed its way into her.
“Why didn’t we get one here?”
She’s overthinking it. “You’re overthinking it.”
I pulled her into the darkness of the wall, and turned to foll-
Sacrifice tugged back and pointed at one of the walls:
I swallowed deeply, terrified. Sacrifice was right. Something was up. She gave me a knowing look, glancing at the pair up ahead.
She began to speak. “We sho-”
“Hurry up,” shouted Trauma, interrupting her. “We’ll lose sight of you two at this rate!”
The walk was tense. We took turns, walked up and down stairs and entered several dead ends. The sounds were mainly of our footsteps and the hum of lightbulbs.
Sacrifice provoked a mix between hate and fear. I was scared because she had more experience than I did in everything, and she acted overtly like a predator. She does horrible things casually, and she acts like she could kill me at any time. I hated her for what she did, and I’m scared of her for what she might do.
This situation however, was different. I was as scared as she was stressed; playing along when we both knew they’d kill her. She also knew I’d never help her, even if she begged.
If I was a hostage out of the necessity of Sacrifice’s plans, then she was a hostage out Taker’s. We were enemies in an inescapable trap.
“Hey Ryan,” said Trauma, glancing back.
“I was wondering about that time a few years ago,” she said. Another left turn.
“What about it?” I said. Sacrifice tapped my arm. Stress.
“Well,” she began. “You still like me, right? Isn’t that why you ran away from Maxine and Derek?”
More taps, harder.
“You ran, didn’t you,” she sounded cross as she said it. “You really shouldn’t abandon your friends.”
“Look, I could help,” I explained, weakly. “I can make spaces where yo-”
“At what cost? That chick who followed you might die. I bet that it was her blood that was used to write those messages.”
She admitted it.
“What do you mean, ‘messages’? Was th-”
“It isn’t exactly like that!” yelled Sacrifice with anger, interrupting me.
“Looks like you figured out, Ryan,” said Trauma, turning around with a massive grin.
“Your powers, right?”
“No, I am her power. I’m that little voice that says ‘go on, do it’ over and over and over and over! And I never lie! It’s so great!” she giggled.
Sacrifice charged as Bloodwitch took several steps forwards.
“Don’t listen to it! Ryan, stop her!”
I felt for my baton.
“Ryan, your powers don’t work properly,” she said, taking a step away as Bloodwitch threw up a wall of blood. Sacrifice punched it with all her might, creating a shockwave that knocked Bloodwitch over and down the hall. Trauma ran down a side entrance.
“Maybe I’ll have a nice long conversation with Mom! She’ll be glad to see me again!” she laughed, growing fainter.
Sacrifice charged at Bloodwitch again, punching into the floor as she rolled away. The lights went out.
Sacrifice yelled in the dark. “Ryan, you know how to use your ac-”
“Yes!” I interrupted.
I made a space, and began to envelop the hallway with ‘normalcy’.
The darkness was terrifying. I spread it out more, filling wherever I could. I could only picture a general shape, unable to picture who occupied it.
“Ryan?” asked Sacrifice.
“I’m covering the who-”
“She’s gone,” she interrupted me. “They’ll attack us later.”
I fell to my knees. I couldn’t bear it. Ellen betrayed me again. She tried to kill me.
“Fuck!” I yelled, a futile gesture. Tears welled up and ran down my face. “This is all your fault. I’m blaming you.”
Sacrifice didn’t react. She got closer, as far as I could hear.
“Ryan,” she began, slowly, calmly. “We’ll die if we don’t put in our effort.”
“I don’t care anymore! She was a friend and you bastards did that thing to her and changed her and she was taken away and she tried to kill me!” I couldn’t hold it in anymore. It hurt, everything about this hurt. “Why would you do that to us! We were just kids!”
I knew Sacrifice would give no sympathy. Her reply was just as I expected from her.
“We didn’t do it to kids before. I would have been interesting to see your development.”
Rage built up again.
“That’s why!? To see what happens!? Curiosity!?” A lump in my throat formed.
“Yes,” she replied with ice. “It was exactly like that.”
She sat down.
“I think I should explain what Taker is trying to do. What I was trying to do.”
“I’ll kill you,” I muttered, under my breath. “‘I’ll fucking kill you.”
“Help me and I’ll offer myself up on a silver platter,” she said. “I’ll let you kill me.”