Rose followed the tall, skinny man as he moved with incredible speed ahead of her. A couple times he had to stop and allow her to catch up, forgetting that she was a human.
They had taken the elevator down thirty floors to the basement before John expertly dismantled a security code entrance scanner. John continually led her through heavy metal door after heavy metal door. He seemed to know the way perfectly through the cold looking, minimally lit basement like sub floor.
Rose had little time to try and memorize which door they came out of and how many turns were to go back…just in case.
John held out a hand and made a motion for her to stop moving. He closed his eyes and concentrated on something.
“They know your gone now and they know that Im helping you. Theres no turning back… for either of us.” He made a move to open the next door, but stopped again as he concentrated a little harder,
“Military, Black dispatched the Military. They will be combing this building and down here shortly.”
“Why are you helping me?” Rose asked as they started walking again in the narrow corridor at a faster than before -if it was possible for her- speed.
“I have been working here, undercover for Madame O for nearly 54 years, purposefully messing up their researches, and reporting what they are researching back to her. But you and your family…I was placed here mostly just in case something happened and Black got you guys before we did. We are here.” John replied. Rose looked at the door before her; it was covered in caution and military restricted signs. There was another scanner, a more complicated looking one than before. John quickly flicked his fingers along the keyboard, his eyes running down along with the screen codes as they popped up. He had no access here, but he was capable of overriding it. He had years..54 to be exact to study this escape route.
As the door hissed opened, smoke releasing from around it denoting it hasnt been opened in a while. John closed them in and walked quickly to the only thing that was in that room. Rose looked at the hatch in the middle of the floor.
“Where is here?”
Kemar shook his head a wry smile on his face. The bastard…he thinks he can outwit me? From the time that he walked into Ricks office to find the man’s face contorted with rage, Kemar knew something was wrong. Rick pointed to the camera that was in Rose’s room. Kemar caught the white sleeve of someone and Rose fleeing.
Rick gritted his teeth as he said, “I want John Montgomery’s head on a plate. Find them, NOW!” He screamed, the building seems to tremble and Kemar was sure that a few things moved a couple millimeters on the mans desk. His own skin prickled and he was happy to leave the room.
Now everything made sense. The botched failures of the science department every time they came close to something, the way Madame O and her dog knew everything….John….it was John all along. Kemar laughed, he always hated the smug bastard; now he had a chance to kill him and he would not waste it.
He rallied up a sufficient amount of military men, dispatching other groups to different parts of the building. Their inhuman speed allowed Kemar and the military to quickly take floor by floor down. Rick had locked Synthesis down as soon as he saw the footage, this meant that the elevators would not work, doors would not open to to the outside world and certain areas like the lab would be locked down completely with no way in or out. Kemar sneered. Where you gonna go John? Where are you going to go?
“It leads deep underground. It is used for daytime travel. There are several hundred all through Metropolis A, B and the Sectors, but this particular one has been closed off.”
Before she could ask why it was closed off, John grunted in exertion as he tried to pry the hatch open. After several seconds of his lips pressed in a thin line and his face scrunched up, the door hissed in defeat. He held out his hand and she took it. He helped her down to the ladder before he followed, closing the hatch above them.
Rose jumped the last few steps down as they were broken and landed on her feet.
There was artificial lighting along the ceiling, a lot were broken and some flickered.
The narrow corridor was made of all stone. Rose wasn’t claustrophobic but the narrow space was making her feel like she was. For a moment she got a little bit lightheaded.
“You all right?” John asked.
“Yea..fine. Where does this lead?” She replied shaking her head a little to clear it.
“Its like a maze down here because usually these day corridors were connected to lots of homes and shops. All the places connected to this particular one has also been locked and sealed off, but there is one place that we keep open for just this emergency. We will follow the left one,” He said pointing to a two way split in the corridor that they had come upon after the several minutes of walking, “It leads to an abandoned shop in the Sectors, close to our destination, Madame O.” As he said so he checked his watch in the low light.
“Its already 4am…dawn is breaking soon. We might reach there when everyone is sleeping already.”
Rose followed John in silence. She noticed how quietly he seemed to be walking, how his eyes darted from the open spaces they had to walk across from, the darkened corridors that were split off from the main one, the areas that were covered in shadows. His quietness rubbed off to her and she followed his lead of being more aware of her surroundings and of course, being quiet.
They seemed to be walking, walking, walking, no near end in sight. She felt that feeling coming back again. Her head felt light and several times she found herself stumbling, she was so preoccupied with concentrating on being kept upright that she did not realize John had stopped and was asking her a question. She bumped into him.
“Rose? Rose?” John’s voice came into focus.
“Look at me.” He ordered, taking her chin in his hand he studied her face for a moment.
“When did you last sleep?”
“Um..I slept a little after you took my blood yesterday…Im guessing its yesterday?”
“Yes it was. You arrived here at 3am…you have been in that room for 15 hours..give or take some. …Now when did you last eat?”
“I ate….” She trailed off as she thought… “I haven’t eaten anything since…before the raid.”
John looked taken back, “Do you mean to tell me that they did not give you something to eat in that room?”
Rose shook her head and it sent her vision swimming around the edges. She had to concentrate hard on his face to keep it still.
“The stupid idiots. I have no idea if that’s a form of torture or if they blatantly forgot that you are human and need food.” He seemed to be silently cursing the fools in his head before he continued, “Im sorry Rose, I did not know or I would have brought some food before I came to get you. You need to eat to replenish all the blood taken.”
Rose waved away his concern. “Im fine, really. I just feel a little lightheaded. Ill be alright once we get outside and I get some air, its kinda stuffy down here too.”
John looked at her, unconvinced. But unable to offer anything else, he offered his arm for her to lean on.
“Come Ill help you walk. If you want I can carry you?” He said.
“No no no..this is fine.” Rose replied patting his arm.
They continued walking; John slowed his pace reluctantly for Rose, who was grateful for it.
For several more minutes they walked in silence. “How much further?” She asked.
“Its actually just up a head. There is a straight corridor, really long and then we turn right at the end to walk a short narrower corridor and take a left and there is our exit point.”
She begun to nod when she froze. There was a grumbling? Grunting? Moaning? What was that awful sound? She was about to ask John if he heard it too when he suddenly lifted her into his arms and began running.
He kept looking back as he ran.
Rose, her arms around his neck, her head faced what they were running from.
She had no ability to scream at the horror that half walk, half ran towards them. They were grotesque creatures; skin charred, black and sloughing off, some pieces hanging by a vessel, eyes red, mouth gaping, dried blood splattered on their broken, deformed bodies. It was then that she noticed the clothes…these were…people? vampires?
The closer they got the more distinct the noise they made became. It wasn’t piteous, moaning, groaning sounds; it was deep wet and dry guttural sounds….it was hunger.
John ran as fast as his long legs could carry him. Rose watched in horror as more seemed to come out from nowhere. They were all attracted to the noise and now to the sight of the two of them.
She barely had time to warn John of the one that was creeping up faster than the rest. He was stronger and more intact than the others; yet he was the most deformed looking.
“JOHN! LOOK OUT!” Rose screamed as the creature shoulder butted into John’s back. John quickly tossed Rose out his arms before the thing hit him square in the middle. She skidded a couple feet away from him; the impact of the fall on the concrete floor hit her hard, knocking the air from her lungs.
She laid on the floor unable to move for what seemed like minutes but was really seconds. She scrambled to her feet, pain scorching up her body at the areas that the concrete had grazed. She knew that her skin had been grazed off and only the adrenaline in her body kept her from toppling over at the pain.
“JOHN! JOHN!” Rose screamed in horror. “JOHN! LOOK OUT!”
John was doing his best to keep them all back. He did not turn around as he shouted to her, “RUN ROSE! RUN! ITS NOT ME THEY WANT! ITS YOU!”
She screamed as the creatures tried to topple over John’s tall form. His skinny frame was somehow holding them.
“GO NOW! RIVER IS WAITING BY THE HATCH! GO ROSE!”
She had known this man for what? Several hours at the most!? And yet she felt tears burning the back of her eyes. For the second time she had to turn and run, unable to help.
John felt bites through his lab coat, heard tearing of material. He was a vampire for Christ sake! He could hold them back! He mentally willed himself as he punched, kicked and threw the creatures back into the growing crowd that tried to claw their way through him to get to the fresh blood on the other side. For a moment he thanked the engineers that constructed the corridors in their good decision at making it narrow; bigger and he would not be able to save her. He screamed in pain as they suddenly turned their attention more to eating him, than trying to get through him, deciding he would do; he knew then that she had escaped safely.
Rose ran the straight corridor in a blur, turning when she had to, trying to remember John’s directions from before the attack. She could still hear them behind her; John’s pained cries as they tried to get passed him. Just when she felt new fear settling in over the thought of maybe being lost, she felt the cold air, turned and saw the metal ladder a few feet before her. She reached the ladder in time to grab on as a wave of nausea passed over her. Her knees buckled. It seemed the only thing that was keeping her upright was the fear, the adrenaline.
That ladder ment that she had reached her destination and her mind -though hard as she fought- gave her body permission to let go. She had no control over herself as the nausea made her trembling stomach eject what little it had in it. Nothing came out but saliva as the reflex took over her, violently shaking her body, when her body gave up and saw that nothing was going to come from trying to vomit, she began to feel the pain. The searing pain of bruised flesh all alongside her body. She whimpered like a wounded creature, her eyes shut tight, her senses began shutting down and soon she could feel no pain, couldn’t feel River cautiously pick her up, or hear him whisper “Itll be alright now peu est levee, little Rose.”