Twig

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Chapter 14

The three of us, Splice, Spot, and I left the Beast Battle building together. It was dark outside. I found my monster, but it took an entire day to do so.

In an alleyway, we regrouped, even though I thought our business was done.

“We had a deal,” I argued.

“And you failed,” Splice said.

He could kill a person in the blink of an eye, but I swear he always seemed tired, disinterested, and unamused unless blood was involved. I was visibly upset, but he didn’t care.

“Don’t be upset, Twig, you wanted a monster, now you have two,” the murderous mad man added.

“I don’t need you; I need it,” I said, pointing to Spot, who was floating behind his back.

“With your abilities and 247′s,” he started to say until I cut him off.

“Spot,” I corrected.

He raised an eyebrow but continued, “I believe there may be a way out of Section 2.”

“I’m not helping you break out.”

“That’s what you were going to do? Isn’t it? Why else would a newcomer be so interested in a Beast Battle monster?” He questioned while cornering me between himself and a dumpster.

I was too intimidated to speak with him so close.

“You will help me, or you’ll be stuck here like everyone else,” he debated before stepping away.

“I can leave at any time, I can climb the fence,” I explained when he turned his back.

It was stupid of me, but I didn’t see how the information could be used against me.

“You continue to amaze,” he said with a sinister chuckle.

“I don’t have time for this,” I interrupted before reaching out to grab Spot.

Splice promptly cut my hand off at the wrist, and I retracted my arm.

“You want ‘it,’ you get me too,” he said.

I didn’t have a choice. There was no more time to waste. I needed to be over the fence by morning.

Spot and I could have climbed the fence. Even with the armed guards, we had a good chance of making it. With Splice tagging along, things became complicated. Deadly or not, he wasn’t bulletproof or shock resilient.

I had a plan. If I found a way to stop the electrical current running through the fence, Spot should have been able to eat a hole through it. I didn’t particularly appreciate helping a super villain, but I was already assisting King. My list of things to make up for was proliferating. Still, I needed a way to stop the electrical current. The locals had yet to warm up to me, and with it being late at night, there few still awake. I had only one person to turn to. Joan.

“Come to fight another battle, have we?” She asked after letting me into her home.

“I need something to stop electrical current,” I said, getting straight to the point.

“Section 2 was designed as a trap, do you honestly believe anyone has the tech to overcome the main obstacle,” she remarked while we walked through her house until she found a seat in the kitchen.

“People have guns, tasers, knives, and everything else. How hard is it to find this one thing?” I argued.

“We have weapons because the rest of the city dumps them here. EMPs and current dampeners are hard to come by,” she laughed.

Already annoyed, the sound of her laughter didn’t help.

“So, you can’t help me.”

“I didn’t say that,” she remarked.

Unlike Splice, Joan took note of my mood and offered me a seat at her table before going further. I was reluctant to sit down, but in the end, I couldn’t make that woman move any faster than she wanted.

“You’ll be taking me with you,” she said as I settled into my seat.

“What?”

“Let’s not play coy. You need a way out, and so do I. Do we have a deal?”

Joan was blunt, but for once, I appreciated it. We shook on the agreement.

I had to wait until she finished a cup of tea. In a hurry or not, considering Joan lacked an actual mouth, it was curious watching her empty a cup. When she was done, we went to the garage. My body locked up when we entered the room. I could still sense the life lost.

When Joan flicked on the lights, the body was gone. There was no blood or anything. She must have cleaned it up. While I examined the room, she went to pull something away from a wall. It was something mechanical about the size of four briefcases.

“What is this?” I asked when Joan sat the contraption in front of me.

“This is the generator I use to power my home,” she said.

“We need to stop a current, not supercharge it,” I remarked exhaustedly.

“If we use this, whatever is powering the fence will find itself overwhelmed by the sudden surplus of power. It won’t stop it permanently, but long enough,” she explained.

She made it sound plausible, but there was an obvious red flag.

“And why haven’t you tried it?” I asked.

“Anyone crazy enough to hook something up to the fence would be shot dead before they ever had a chance.”

“And you think I’m crazy enough?”

“Are you?” She answered my question with a question.

Did she know I was bulletproof, or was she gambling on my level of stupidity being high?

“There’s something I left out. We won’t be alone,” I said while squatting down to look over the generator.

“Bringing a school bus of lost kittens, Twig,” Joan laughed.

“His name is Splice,” I said.

She went silent for a moment until I stood up.

“That’s quite the name drop.”

“He has to come with us.”

With her hands on her hips, she looked away but spoke to the information.

“Fine by me,” she said, but there was a pause before approval.

I couldn’t afford to wait till morning. It would have been nice to rest up before attempting a prison break, but Cloud needed me. I picked up the generator before Joan and I left to rendezvous with Splice. Moving through a neighborhood of thieves at night was like the worst game of keep away I ever played. People were eager to pickpocket me when I didn’t have anything. Carrying a working generator drew attention even in the dark.

“What did you do?” Joan asked while we walked.

“What do you mean?”

“How did you end up here? Your too soft, too kind, too polite,” she added.

“What did you do?” I deflected.

I didn’t expect a response, but Joan gave me on.

“I stole something valuable from people with power,” she said.

“That’s all,” I questioned.

Sure Section 2 had plenty of thieves, but I expected there to be more.

“It was, but there’s so much now. That’s what this place does,” she went on.

“This place?”

“This city. I might have always been a thief, but this city never made it easy to being something better.”

She wasn’t wrong.

Someone jumped from the shadows to tackle me, but Joan quickly shot them with her double barrel handgun. We kept walking as if nothing happened.

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