Everyone in the cabin was asleep except for Lucas. He was awake, lying on his side, unable to sleep. How could the others not feel guilty? They killed more people than him, except maybe Shawn, and they were sleeping fine in their clean uniforms that had been lying on their beds when they returned to camp.
The main reason that Lucas couldn't fall asleep was the image of the boy and his younger brother kept floating around in his head. The way they looked at him when he stepped into the hut-Lucas felt a connection. Was it because of the flashback? The flashback of what Lucas assumed was his younger brother laughing? The smiling innocence?
The two brothers had been innocent. They hadn't done anything to deserve dying, just as the rest of the people in the village. Was trying to survive such a crime? A felony with the penalty of death? It didn't seem right. And if Lucas though that the village battle was bad, then the rest of the battles were going to be much worse. The village was only a test, a drill, to see if they were ready. Would they have to actually go on a killing spree in a real town next time? How much different would it be? Lucas doubted that there would actually be mutants that they would kill. Or try to kill. Mutants were tough. And if you didn't kill them on the first try, they just got angry and you were likely to be killed soon after. Lucas didn't want to go into battle with mutants. Shawn and him had to escape before then.
But… Lucas felt selfish escaping. Couldn't he do more than that? Save the innocent people somehow, like the two brothers? Could he… take down RWO? Stop their plans? People wouldn't be killed. But what better way to stop RWO than from on the inside?
"Lucas!" Shawn whispered.
Lucas sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the bed. It was time to go. He quietly climbed down the ladder and stood beside Shawn. Then they crept out of the cabin, and Lucas was shocked at how dark it was outside. He didn't know how late it was, but the world was pitch black. Then he felt cold raindrops on his skin, and realized why it was so dark. It was the extra cloud coverage that made the world darker than before.
"Come on Lucas, there's no time for standing around," Shawn whispered. "I don't want to leave our footprints in the mud."
"Alright," Lucas said, following the man around the side of the cabin. "Do you think Max has found a way out?"
Shawn either didn't hear him or didn't feel like answering him. Lucas guessed it was the latter.
The rain pattered lightly on the roofs.
Even though it didn't seem like Shawn was in a talking mood, Lucas quietly talked as they headed for the back of the base.
"I think we should try to save the world."
That caught Shawn's attention. He glanced back over his shoulder at Lucas. "Are you crazy?"
"Have you lost it? Look at the world we live in. People are afraid to leave their apartments, mutants freely roam the streets, and there's a lack of food and water, for starters. Maybe you should think about the basic flaws first?"
The flashback caught Lucas off guard. It wasn't painful, it was just words that someone said echoing in his head. It wasn't Shawn, Lucas knew that, so who was it? "We could take down RWO, and all the innocent people that were going to die wouldn't have to die anymore."
Shawn didn't reply as they walked between two cabins. Instead, he slowed his gait so he was walking beside Lucas. With a sigh, he patted Lucas on the back. "We can't save the world, Lucas. It's a big place, and we're just two people who are unwillingly trapped inside an army base. Do you really think we could save the world?"
Lucas shook his head. "Yes. One step at a time. If we take RWO down, I think it would be possible."
"If we take RWO down, then anything is possible," Shawn replied, his voice heavy with sarcasm.
Lucas looked at his friend. "You're just jealous that you didn't come up with the idea," he said playfully.
Shawn smiled and wrapped his arm around Lucas's shoulders. "Sure I am."
They stopped for a second when they reached the tall crackly grass that marked the edge of camp. Lucas looked up at the outline of the trees towering above them. Maybe he could find a way to bring down RWO, but for now, they had to worry about how to get out of the hell hole they were stuck in.
After pushing past the tree line, Lucas and Shawn reached the fence. Before they could even begin to walk along the menacing fence, Max erupted out of the bushes on the other side. Without even saying hello, the man began speaking.
"Today is your lucky day!" He said, clapping his hands together.
Lucas was ready to beg to differ. Killing someone wasn't exactly what he could consider his lucky day.
"I found a way for you two to get out," Max continued.
Lucas snapped his head up, and his mouth fell open. Suddenly, the smell of the wet forest seemed fresher, the rain didn't seem as cold, and the night seemed to get a smidge brighter. They were going to be free!
"How? Where?" Shawn said, clinging onto the fence.
"I was wandering around the edge of the base and stumbling, literally, on a pair of giant wire clippers. I figure that someone forgot about them when they were building the base, and the clippers got left here. I picked them up, examined them, and found that despite being a bit rusty, they still worked."
The news sounded like music to Lucas's ears. Tonight they would be free. In a few minutes they would no longer be soldiers so RWO. They would be themselves, and most of all, they would be able to get their memories and life back.
"So I came back here and cut a hole in the fence. Now mind you, I couldn't cut the hold just anywhere. I needed to cut it where it would be mostly hidden, so that the guards would have a harder time finding it."
The last sentence didn't even register in Lucas's mind. All he could think of was freedom! They didn't have to fight!
"So if you follow me, I'll show you where the hole is."
Max began walking along the fence line, and Lucas and Shawn followed. Lucas was in front, mostly because he was afraid that one more second in the base would drive him crazy knowing that somewhere along the fence there was a hole.
After a long minute of walking, the man stopped and leaned down, reaching into the tall patch of grass where the fence disappeared. There was a clicking sound, and the man curled up a section of fence.
"Go on through," he said, a giant smile covering his face.
Lucas almost threw himself onto the wet grass, and just like that, he wiggled through the hole and was free. Once Shawn made it through a smile also spread across his face, and they hugged each other. They had made it through all the drills, through the tiny prison cells, through the battle, and through all the pain. They had escaped.
"Now I hate to break up this extraordinarily happy moment, but there's only a limited amount of time we have to get a head start," Max said.
Lucas pulled away from Shawn, and they both looked at Max.
Seeing that he had their full attention, the man continued. "We have until morning, at the most, until people will have realized that you're gone. In the meantime, we need to get as far away from there as possible. Understand? After a few days we'll rest, depending on our progress. The journey ahead will be a long one, one that will be hard, painful, and gruesome. I need you to understand that before we go."
Lucas and Shawn nodded.
"Good." Max leaned down and replaced the rolled up piece of chain link fence back into its original position. "Now let's go." He took off into the dark wet forest.
Lucas followed with Shawn at his side. Lucas didn't care about how long they had to run for, because he would do anything to make sure that he never had to see another RWO member again. Never again. Now he was free, and he was planning on staying that way.
So what do you think? A disappointing ending, a happy ending? Did it feel too rushed? Towards the end I was slacking off on my writing because I decided to start a rewrite of New Age so I could take it in a different and better direction, so if you're interested in that please keep an eye out! Thank you for reading, I really appreciate that you people take time to read my story!