Sophia and Yuna carried Oliver. Sophia was still holding the gun in her hand and she was ready to shoot, Yuna had no gun. Oliver hardly knew what was happening, all his strength left him, and he was barely moving his feet, so that the girls didn’t have to carry all his weight. Every time they came to a crossroad, he just pointed to the way they had to go.
“I think I can see a barricade!” Said Darius. Really. At the end of the hallway the Greys were standing in front of a big opened door and waited till they would come within their shooting range. Lucas jumped for joy and ran with a mad laughter towards their enemies. “Sorry sirs, but albinos are not welcomed to my party! You’re gonna have to leave this world!” He shouted and fired ahead. Every time the Greys wanted to knock him out, he just jumped away and hid behind the corner. “FREEDOOOOOM!” He shouted full-throatedly and fired indiscriminately. The rest of them were hiding about ten meters behind Lucas at a nearby crossroad. They were watching Lucas poking out and always hitting at least one of the Greys’. Sophia was counting the magazines he threw on the floor and realized he had only one left. He poked out to fire again. But after the first shot, his body flew out of the corner. A giant black centipede was holding him in its jaws. It was holding him around his waist and was driving him against the wall. Lucas was screaming and shooting on it, but the centipede ignored it. Its jaws tightened and gave Lucas a tug. He became flabby. The centipede turned around and started to run towards the group of fugitives. It was wriggling along the walls and was filling most of the hallway. It was more than ten meters long.
Darius blustered out and started to shoot. Sophia dropped Oliver and started shooting, too. Yuna pulled out the gun from Oliver’s belt and launched a salvo. They all shot at the centipede’s head and it was hit at least thirty times till it stopped. It turned around and ran the other way. It went right towards the Greys, who started shooting at it, but their energy balls were for nothing. When it reached the barricades, it caught two of them with its teeth and disappeared in the hallway at the right side.
Darius didn’t hesitate, loaded his gun once again, he had only one magazine left and started to shoot at the Greys. After a few minutes, it was over. “If I didn’t get them with this, I would have to load it manually. That was my last magazine.” He said and pulled out some bullets, which he crushed into his gun’s magazine.
“I don’t have anymore,” said Sophia, laid her gun aside and helped Oliver go back on his feet. “Nor do I,” said Yuna while helping her with Oliver.
“If this is our exit, I hope, we won’t be needing them anymore,” said Darius and led the group further. They awaited another attack.
He stood by lying Lucas and nudged him with his foot. “Dead.” He stated. Though his mad nature, Lucas was an invaluable help for them. They all realized it. But they couldn’t stop. Darius took Lucas’ guns. He had several bullets in his supporting gun, so he gave it to Sophia and they continued. At every crossroad they checked, whether there are no creatures, but it seemed, they will have no other surprises.
They reached the door without any problems. The door led to another hallway that was ending with a stairway going up. The last four survivors went up the stairs and they were listening to everything around them, so that they would hear, if something moved either in front of them or behind them. The stairway was incredibly long, and Oliver’s condition wasn’t helping them.
They were going up the stairs about ten minutes and at its end was another door. It was much smaller, without a handle just like those in other parts of that building. From their behind a huge roar was heard again. Darius took the glove out of his belt and put it to the door. They opened.
They went through them and walked into the darkness. They turned on their flashlights. They were in a forest. They all breathed in the fresh air. Sophia looked back by the sound of closing door. From the other side, the door was totally hidden, as if it was a part of a small mountain.
“Well, which way now? Does anyone of you know where’s the north according to the stars?” Darius asked. “I do, but will it help us? We still don’t know, where we are, Darius. Just follow your nose and we’ll get somewhere. Or maybe we’ll find a place high enough to look around,” said tired Sophia.
“Huh, you’re right, girl. Let’s go!” And they set out on a walk through the woods. Sophia was feeling better, when they were moving away from that awful place. She looked at Oliver, but he didn’t have a clue, what was going on around him. His eyes were half-closed, he was heavily breathing with his mouth and his knees were moving only automatically. After about a half an hour, the ground shook. They heard a loud roar from their back and saw flames after an explosion. “It won’t take long and it everything can be on fire,” whispered Yuna. “Let’s move!” ordered Darius.
They went on for an hour and reached a concrete road. Yuna as first, yelled with happiness and ran to the road, leaving Sophia to carry Oliver. At her half-way she stopped and went back to Oliver.
“Sorry, I forgot…” But she quickened her step that Oliver wasn’t catching up.
“It will sound strange, but though we escaped doesn’t mean we’re free,” said sad Darius.
“What do you mean?” reacted Sophia. “Kidnapping a person is not a simple thing, I know that. Other people had to be involved, which means, if we get to a city and go to the police, we don’t have to end up in a mental house, but they can send us back. What if someone cooperates with them? Do we know, who can we trust?” “What do you want to do then? We can’t stay in this forest, Oliver needs help.” “Oliver needs some rest. Of course, we won’t stay in the forest, that’s absurd. We’ve got to find out where we are, get to a city and find a hotel. I don’t know, how long I’ve been out of my business, so lots of my contacts will be lost, but there are several people I trust. I’ll call them, they’ll send us money and tomorrow they’ll pick us up and take us home. My doctor will examine Oliver and at my house I’ll give you instructions, what to say to the police. No one is to know, where have we escaped from!” He was talking so calmly, as if he didn’t see the things other did. Sophia and Yuna agreed, he was right. “That sounds reasonable, but how will we get to a city?” “That’s simple, we’ll hitchhike, this is a road, right?”
They were sitting by the road for a few minutes, when the car lights appeared. Darius stood on the road and stopped the car with his thumb up. The car had a polish license plate. “Sophia, this dumb head doesn’t understand English, can you, please, tell him we are having troubles on our trip and our friend is injured and quickly needs to get to the city.”
Sophia took a step to the car and explained to the driver what Darius wanted. He agreed he’d take them to the city. While they were getting into his car, he was looking at the light in the distance.
When they were in the city, Darius took care of everything. They were filthy, exhausted and he looked like he knew, what to do. They found a hotel and made a call from it. Ten minutes later, they had money and he was paying for their rooms. He also gave the waiter a big tip, so that no one took a notice of drunk Oliver. That’s what Darius told him he was. He even managed to get a pizza at two o’clock in the morning. Before they went to bed, they drank everything in the minibar. Oliver ate and drank the most of it. It looked like his stomach was bottomless.
On the second day, they had a lift. Oliver was feeling fine. Physically he was still weak and hungry, but they didn’t have to carry him anymore. When he wanted to ask Darius about some details of their get-away, he stopped him and told him to wait till they’re at Darius’.
Date: September 26th 2024
Place: Wien, Austria
It was two days since their runaway. They were all still at Darius’ house. Oliver was healthy again, he didn’t need a doctor and even didn’t want one to come. He only needed a lot of food and drinking, which they had a lot of! Darius took care of it, so that they had enough of everything. Every time he wanted, he ordered a food from a different restaurant and enjoyed the taste of something else than the slimy mash. Darius even ordered them clothes, that fit them, because no one wanted to go to the city. No one wanted to be among other people.
When they got to Wien, they all went to the police to tell them what had happened, that they were kidnapped and they all told them a well-prepared story, which Darius made up. With several bribes he made the investigation ended as another cold case. Reporting it all to the police helped them to solve problems, they had while they were gone.
Now, they waited for the police permission to leave the city and the state. They wanted to go home. Two days after their escape, Darius invited them all to come to his office. They sat at a round table and waited for what he wanted to tell them. “Only we know, what had happened in Poland, what really had happened there. I think we should learn more about it, why were we brought there and who was involved in it. But I can’t do it all by myself. Of course, the fire in that forest was in the news. The official information says about a natural gas field and its huge explosion. Nobody said anything more concrete and since they have put out the fire, no one can enter that part of the forest. No one thrusts nose into it, except for several conspiration webs. I think it says, how much is involved in this game. I’ve started to take action to get my business back, I want to use my influence to gain some information. But not everything will go my way and not everything I can do by myself. I want to know, whether you can help me.”
After he finished, they all reacted otherwise. Oliver was biting his thumb nail and was thinking about it, Yuna was staring at Darius and Sophia was looking at the table with a faraway look.
Sophia said something as the first one. “Sorry, Darius, but I can’t. I don’t want to have anything to do either with the Greys or anything else. I want to go back home.” She stood up and ran out of the room.
Oliver stood up and wanted to go for her, but Darius stopped him. “Wait, Oliver! I know, it’s hard for everyone, but this is important, and I know, you know it, too. You haven’t taken that disc just as a souvenir.”
Oliver clenched his fists. “I think you know, I will help you, Darius. You don’t need me for that, but Sophia…” “Sophia will make it. For fuck sake! At that base she was stronger than we all together were! Now we have to make a plan before we all go back home!”
Oliver looked him in the eyes. “I don’t think she wants you to know, but I’ll tell you that only because I want you to give her some space. I have visited her for several times at night, at the first night I wanted…, doesn’t matter what I wanted, but she was asleep, and it wasn’t a calm sleep. She was shaking and sweating. I woke her up. She had nightmares because of all she had seen. Since then I’ve been with her almost every night and when she fell asleep, it was always the same. I don’t think she had even one single calm night since we have escaped.”
Yuna was staring at Oliver, while he was speaking. When he finished, she joined the conversation. “I think we all have things we have to get on with. None of us is meticulous over what had happened, but that doesn’t mean we can run away from the reality. Darius is right, we’ve got to do something.”
“And we will do something, but if she doesn’t want to help us, we can’t make her do it.” Oliver frowned. “What do you mean, Darius? Explain it in short.”
Darius sighed and started explaining. “I’ve got a job for every one of you. Yuna is going home and no one knows when will she get back to Europe, I can talk to her later. Oliver, I need you to help me with that disc. I know people, who are into computers, you could cooperate, Slovakia isn’t that far, so…”
“No way, Darius,” Oliver interrupted him. “If somebody works with that disc, it’s going to be only me. First of all, we have no idea, who got you into that and anyone you know can be involved in this all. Secondly, we don’t know, what’s on that disc and what would another person do with those data and, most of all, I am the only one, who understands their language. I am the only person, who is going to work with it.”
Darius was thinking for a while and then agreed. “That sounds sensible. Although I don’t believe any of people, that I was thinking of, would betray me, we can’t be wasting time with learning them the Greys’ language. I’ll give you as much money as you need. I don’t want you to go to a work. I’ll pay you everything, but I want you to focus only on this, until you decode it.”
“OK, that’s great. We can talk about the details later.” said Oliver, which ended their conversation as he left the room. He found Sophia on the terrace staring at the garden. “Are you OK?”
For a while, they were standing there, and no one said a word. “It’s not that I don’t want to help you. But I can’t do it, Oliver. I need some time for myself, I need to think about it all. Just for a while, I want a normal life. As normal as possible. But I don’t want to leave you behind. You are the only one, who understand me. I do understand, that what had happened must stay between us and I need you all.”
“However you decide, none of us will object. Darius is just careful, as we don’t want to take a risk, that one of us gets hurt. We still don’t know, what have the Greys done to us.”
“Darius is careful, and you are the same. I trust you, you can make it, I would only hinder you all.” “That’s insane. I wouldn’t be here without you.” “And without you, none of us would be here. Just give me some time, then I can help you.”
“Take as much time as you want. And whenever you need me, I’ll be here for you.” Sophia smiled at him. “Thank you.” They heard the terrace door opening, Yuna was standing there. “I’m sorry to interrupt you, but Darius and I are done, and our pizza is here.”
On September 29th they were permitted to leave the country, but if it’s needed, they’ll have to go back. Yuna flew away two hours later and Darius gave Oliver and Sophia a car to drive back home. He even gave them some money for fines so that Oliver wasn’t afraid to drive faster. Oliver seized his opportunity with delight. The road ran off very fast.
The SUV, they were given, could drive at the speed of 200km/h and Oliver didn’t care about how many fines he’d get. He just wanted to get home as quickly as he could.
At first, he drove Sophia back to the village she lived in, and they exchanged their contacts. He saw her family welcome her very warmly, they were all hugging her and kissing her. Her mother was looking at Oliver with tears in her eyes and was inviting him to go in, but Sophia explained to her he was in the same situation as she was, and he wanted to be with his own family, too.
Under favorable circumstances, he would be pleased to stay, but now he was glad he didn’t have to stay and could go home. He wasn’t looking forward to seeing his family as he was looking forward to being alone. It was ironic, that after spending so much time in a cell all by himself, he wanted to be alone. He needed to think over some things.
Since their escape, the Shadow was quiet. Oliver felt he was absorbing information about the outside world and was learning from his memories, at least from those memories, he was let in. But he still didn’t say a word. Maybe he wanted to give Oliver some time to put his thoughts in order.