A Car In The Woods: Chapter Fifteen
New? This is a serialized work. Please start on A: A Car In The Woods
Eddie held the combat knife clutched to his chest. The thick trunk hid him well. Plenty of low hung branches. He was surrounded by enough bottomland trees, the upturned roots plentiful. Tripping was a minor problem. Stepping on dry leaves or breaking a twig underfoot would give away his position.
He wasn’t going to give away his position.
Slowing his breathing and heart rate was primary out here. He’d been working on it in the lab’s workout room. They had finally lessened the drugs, which gave him time to come back to himself and think. He needed a way to beat the clicking noises. They came from his chest, and it drove him over the top on too many occasions. He knew what they told him: it was a way for the group to keep tabs on each other while on an Op. No talking. No bird calls or any other type of signal. The clicking drove their targets to lose focus.
Eddie also found out it did more. The Insert monitored his heart rate; if he couldn’t control himself the clicking became unbearable. He knew they had a way to track him and the others: had to be the Insert. It was also able to bring them all to their knees if anyone got out of line. Or tried to make a break. The jolt blacked him out instantly. It was up that was far worse. It felt like chest had been torn open and everything inside had been used as a punching bag. Every Taken had it happen enough times to buckle down to the orders given.
It was a classic mind fuck, but with new toys.
The stab to his leg, the blow to his head, and Eddie faded out. Before he went unconscious, the last thing he thought of was Pat. Patricia. He was out too fast to think of the kids, but when he woke strapped to the table in the lab, he thought of all of them while he tried to free himself from the bonds. He couldn’t raise any part of himself except his chest as he breathed in and out. Even that was tight, causing pain if he breathed out too forcefully.
Time meant nothing. No windows. No clocks. None of the lab workers would talk to him. What he could see were the white jackets that were buttoned up to their necks, large white face masks, and white head caps covering the rest. Over that they wore thick goggles, the glass more yellow than clear. When they worked on him, which felt nonstop, Eddie was usually on his back, the overhead lights boring into his eyes. There was always a point where a needle took him out. He’d wake up lying on a thin mattress on the floor in another room. His cell.
They took blood often. In between, they injected different colored liquids into his arms. Sometimes his legs. Sometimes his stomach. One time into his heart. Most of them delivered a deep burning feeling throughout his body; some sent him into screaming jags that only quit when his vocal cords gave out. A few shots sent him elsewhere. Every time they injected this type of drug, Eddie’s mind shattered into tiny particles and then took him on a bizarre journey. Nothing seemed real. Everything seemed real. When he came back to himself, there was always sweat pooling under him.
The worst were the operations. These came after the first barrage of drugs they pumped through him. They were studying him, making furious notes while he tried to not scream. Eddie didn’t always succeed. The Insert was one of the first operations. That was a screamer. Other times he passed out, no matter how much they tried to keep him aware and awake. Too much was too much.
Back in the cell was always discovery time. Stitches ran up his right leg. Another time he woke up to find a duplicate row of stitches on the other leg. Then came the arms. He fought through the pain each time with the best he could. Eddie wasn’t always at his best.
The last major operation had him waking up to an A-Bomb of a headache. Eddie thought his skull would explode. He reached up and put pressure on either side of his head. The pain stayed. The pain grew. The pain was all. However long it took, the throbbing finally eased off. Still holding his head, Eddie realized that he was now bald. Reluctantly, he ran hands around his head, finding a full circle of stitches.
He jumped to his feet, which sent him leaping across the room and into the wall. He screamed and beat at the cell barrier. His face flamed, his arms and legs grew tense and tight, and his fingers clamped white-knuckled. This continued for a very long time. If his captors heard, or saw, any of this, it didn’t matter to Eddie. He was beyond caring. He saw red, and it was full and consuming.
More operations. More needles.
And then it all stopped. Eddie was placed into a barracks. The others were all there, watching. He looked around, taking in the pecking order of their stances and positions in their clumps of groupings.
One leaned against a wall, arms folded, one leg bent and foot planted on that wall. Glaring. Eddie found the Alpha.
“Maynard,” Eddie said. He had to stop his lips curling in disgust. His eyes said all he needed to say.
Eddie heard clicking from his left. Not too close, but judging by the “shit” that followed, not too far away. Root by root, he eased away from the tree as other clicks sounded out, then silence. It was Putdown Mode. Eddie knew it too well. He stopped against another tree, crouching on a thick root. A sound came from above. Eddie ducked and rolled. The huge rock sailed past his head and hit the tree he had just been in front of. It set up enough racket that the others came running.
Picking up the rock in his knife free hand, Eddie saw two figures racing towards him. They probably expected him to retreat, but Eddie knew that there were more behind him. He ran, but forward, turning as he did so counterclockwise. The two were too close: Eddie flung the rock, hitting the one on the right across his scalp. The rock spun off and hit the other in his face. Both were down. Eight more to go.
The years fall upon each other.
Time was a lie; man-made and changeable.
What was done to Eddie?
There was a car in the woods.
Author’s Note: Apologies to one and all. Monday got away from me. I know I’m posting the S post on the T day. I will have T up later, midday on Tuesday.