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There was little noise to be heard as Ryan walked along. The infrequent sound of banter from a building or two was the most he happened across.
As usual, a guard stood sentry outside the place where Georgina and the scientists were held. He approached the brawny man with confidence. “Hey, yo! Sammy!”
“Ah, Lloydy, my man! What’s happening brother?”
The two shared a handshake.
“It’s been a hard day, man. Me and Shaz found an infected baby today. Had to kill it. She’s kinda fucked up by it, y’know?”
“Shit, man! Fuck! That’s tragic!”
“You know it.”
“What brings you here anyway?”
“I need to see the girl. Sharkey’s asked me to sit her down somewhere quiet and talk to her. If she keeps on refusing food then we aren’t gonna discover the cure.”
“Yeah, I’m with you. No worries. Just go on in and get her.”
Ryan walked through the door as Sammy held it open. The scientists who were still awake looked up immediately at Ryan; he didn’t pay them any mind and went straightaway to where Georgina was sleeping. He shook her lightly and caused her eyes to flicker open.
“Ryan?” She asked hoarsely.
“Get up. You’re coming with me. We have things to discuss.”
Too dazed to argue, Georgina stood on wobbly legs and allowed Ryan to lead her out of the room. The fresh air of the outdoors hit her like Muhammad Ali in his prime and it made her feel almost intoxicated. She couldn’t deny that Ryan’s strong yet gentle grip around her waist was a welcome sensation, though she was concerned about what he might be up to.
They entered a dark and empty building. Ryan switched on a light in one of the rooms and led Georgina to a seat, sitting her down in it. She looked at him with incomprehension.
“Tonight is the night,” he said.
“The night for what?”
“I’m getting you and Jay out of here. Getting you out of your room was the easy part; now I need to find a way to bust Jay from his cell.”
“But… why? I don’t understand you, Ryan. You’re the reason we’re both where we are. What reason could you have for changing your mind?”
“We all make mistakes. Granted, I make them more than most. I thought this, joining up with Sharkey, might be the best option for everyone. Then I heard how you and Jay were getting treated. I couldn’t let it carry on. It’s been good fun rolling with Sharkey and his men; shame that all good things have to come to an end.”
“Where will we go?”
“Anywhere! It doesn’t matter as long as we’re away from this place. You, me, and Jay have what it takes to make it out there.”
“What about the docs? What about Kas?”
“There’s no way I could get all the docs out of here. As for Kas, he won’t be coming with us. He wants to stay with this lot.”
Georgina said nothing. Apathy was all she could allow herself to feel. If Ryan wanted to free her from her predicament and rescue Jay too then that was his outlook. She wasn’t about to stop him.
“You’ll be okay here for a bit. Nobody will come looking. I need to go and get Jay.”
“Wouldn’t you stand a better chance if we both go?”
“Not at all. You’re malnourished. No offence, but you’ll just hinder me. I’ll be fine on my own; trust me. Stay here and help yourself to whatever there is. There’s likely some snacks and drinks in the cupboards. Most places around here have a stash. I’ll see you soon.”
There came no response and he didn’t hang around to see if there would be one as he returned outdoors and paced in the direction of where Jay was incarcerated. There would either be one or two men on guard. This would be much tougher a task than getting Georgina out was.
Ryan arrived at the old police station; it made sense that Jay would be held here technically speaking as it had actual cells. The doors to the station weren’t manned and he let himself into the building where a guard sat at the reception, feet propped up on the desk before him, snoring aloud. It took Ryan all of a second to decide what he was going to do as he rounded the reception booth, entered, and duly drove his bowie knife into the man’s temple; better to kill him while he slept and wasn’t aware of it than to wake him whilst freeing Jay and kill him in full consciousness. If he hadn’t been all in with this plan before then he was now.
Luckily, the way to the cells was labelled and he moved in the direction of them. The door was locked when he reached their location. A quick look through the small window of the door told him another guard was in there. He, too, appeared to be asleep. Ryan returned to the reception in the hope of finding a set of keys; however, his search was fruitless. His only option was to wake the guard in the cells.
He returned to the locked door and knocked upon it. The guard within was startled to life and looked up with suspicion. He rose to his feet, approached the door, and unlocked it. The expression on the guard’s face didn’t fill Ryan with much confidence.
“What are you doing here?” he asked.
“I’ve been asked to come and talk some sense into that idiot I used to run with.”
“Oh, aye? Well, you’d better come in then, hadn’t you?” He stood aside and allowed Ryan to pass.
Once they were in, the guard closed and locked the door. Ryan looked through the bars of the only occupied cell to see a forlorn-looking Jay asleep on the floor. The anger rose in him. It didn’t last long though.
“I wasn’t sure if to believe it when Sharkey said, yet here we are.” The guard pulled his sidearm and aimed it at Ryan, who span around and looked uncertainly at the barrel of the gun. “He told us you’d probably turn up in the middle of the night sometime and tell us some bullshit so you could help the prisoner escape. Pretty dumb really; I mean, who’d come to speak to them at this time of night?”
Ryan tried to think of something to say; the words wouldn’t come. He wouldn’t be able to dig his way out of this.
“Now you’ll join your mate. It’s a shame really because you’ve been pretty useful so far.”
“I ain’t rotting in no cell, pal. You’ll have to shoot me instead.”
“How about I shoot you and leave you in a cell? It’s easy enough to incapacitate you; I don’t have to kill y—”
The guard was cut off very suddenly when a pair of hands shot unexpectedly through the bars of Jay’s cell and pulled him in quickly. His head clattered the bars with sickening force and he fell to the ground unconscious.
So fixed had Ryan been on the guard that even he hadn’t seen Jay rise and stealth attack until it was all over. He looked at Jay. “I see malnourishment hasn’t slowed you down.”
“Malnourishment is part and parcel of squaddie life. What the fuck are you doing here?”
“I’m breaking you out. You, me, and Georgina are leaving tonight.”
“I was wrong, Jay. I screwed up. All I can do is apologise and get you away from here.”
“He isn’t coming.”
“He wants to stay?”
“I’m afraid so, to the point where he’s said he’ll stop me if I try to break you and George out. Time is against us, so we’d better make this quick.” He retrieved the keys from the guard and unlocked the cell door. A part of him expected Jay to thump him one as he stepped out. Fortunately for him, it didn’t happen.
They dragged the unconscious guard into the cell, bound his arms behind his back, and gagged him. Ryan then closed and locked the cell and then made for the door.
There was no drama for the pair as they left the police station and quickly ran for the building Georgina had been left in. Part one of the rescue plan had gone almost completely without a hitch; part two surely wouldn’t be so easy.
TO BE CONTINUED
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