Julian felt two people pulling his arms as he was dragged through the halls of the prison complex. They thought he was asleep.
Right, left, left, right, right, stop.
Julian heard them opening a metal door before they threw him into a room. Julian then heard the metal door close again, followed by numerous locks sliding into place.
“Hello Blaze.” A woman’s voice walked closer to him, aggression and hatred in her voice. Julian was tired of people hating him. What had he done to make these people hate him?
“Wake up!” She commanded, kicking Julian exactly where he had been shot.
Julian let out a gasp of pain as his hands flew to the spot where she had kicked him.
“Open your eyes!” She demanded, kicking him again, in the same spot. Despite the protection Julian’s hands offered the kick sent another wave of pain through his body.
Julian obeyed reluctantly, opening his eyes to see a Gray woman. She looked to be in her late 20’s early 30’s. Her hair and eyes were extremely dark, almost black, but light enough to still be gray. Her skin was also a darker shade of white, and almost gray itself.
“Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. I’m in charge here. When I tell you to scream, you scream. When I tell you to shut up, you shut up. When I ask you a question, you answer the damned question. You understand?” She yelled. She waited a few seconds before kicking him again.
“Do you understand!?” She repeated.
“Good. Now you’re going to answer every question I ask you.” She said, the anger in her voice being replaced with superiority.
Julian nodded again.
“Where’s the other blaze?” She asked.
Julian didn’t reply. She kicked him again and he hissed in pain.
“Where is the other blaze!?” She demanded again.
“Even if I knew, I wouldn’t tell you.” Julian replied, closing his eyes and bracing himself for the next kick.
The kick never came though, instead her foot came down hard on his stomach, effectively making him wince and gasp for air.
“Where is she!?” The Gray demanded again.
“I don’t know.” Julian replied.
“Where is she!?”
“I don’t know.”
The Gray woman delivered kick after kick to Julian’s side, which was what finally caused the wound to reopen. Blood spilled from his injury and he attempted to slow the bleeding by pressing his hands to the bandaged wound.
“Oooh, your blood looks like the rest of us. I always thought you’d bleed a different color than us humans.” The Gray woman smiled, taunting him, “Maybe now the rest of you will match your hair and eyes.” She said malevolently before knocking on the door and demanding it be unlocked. When she finally stepped out, Julian was left alone trying to stop the blood spilling out of him.
Should he lie?
Should he take the chance?
If he didn’t they would eventually kill him.
If he did they would find out and kill him.
It was a lose-lose scenario.
But the former had less risk of them actually finding Jamia. He couldn’t risk that.
10 minutes later, the Pink nurse finally showed up, by then Julian had almost passed out, and the floor matched his hair and eyes.
“Why didn’t you just tell her?” The nurse asked, gently prying his fingers away from the wound.
“Because I… don’t know.” He replied.
“Are you telling the truth or are you trying to protect your sister?”
“Both.” Julian said, closing his eyes.
“What’s your name anyway?” She asked out of nowhere.
“We’re going to be seeing quite a lot of each other, so I may as well know your name.” She explained, smiling at him.
She smiled at him…
She was the first non-Red to ever smile at him.
“Julian.” He reached out a blood-soaked hand to her.
“Stephanie,” She replied, shaking his hand, “Nice to meet you Julian.”
“Nice to meet you too.” Julian replied before closing his eyes again as she resumed working on the wound.
Jamia pulled up her hood before looking at Livi, who was wearing her own sunglasses, but not a hood.
“Can’t see a thing.” Livi said, giving Jamia a thumbs up.
“You don’t have to do that.” Jamia replied, trying to sound tough as she pulled out her own sunglasses and put them on.
“What?” Livi asked.
“You’re acting like a child.” Jamia said.
“No I’m not.” Livi replied, dropping her smile.
“Yeah you are.” Jamia replied.
“What makes you think that?” Livi asked.
“That’s exactly what I did when I was 10 years old.” Jamia replied.
“Then you must be one of those people who matures 10 years ahead of anyone else.” Livi replied, smiling again.
“Must be, accept that my little brother stopped doing that at 10 as well.” Jamia replied.
“Your little brother?” Livi asked.
“Yeah. He’s two years younger than me.” She replied.
“Where is he then?” Livi asked, no longer smiling, already suspecting the answer.
“At worst, he’s dead. At best he’s in a Gray prison.” Jamia replied, looking at the ground, signalling she wanted to end the conversation.
Livi didn’t ask another question, she just put her smile back on.
“Well, right now we need worry about getting out of the city. We’ll worry about saving him once we’re safe ourselves.” Livi said, moving next to Jamia and slapping her on the back.
“Well, where are we going?” Jamia asked, trying to sound tough again.
“Don’t worry, I know a place.” Livi replied, grabbing Jamia’s hand and pulling her out of the alley.
Jamia found herself blushing and her face heating up when Livi grabbed her. She almost pulled her hand out of Livi’s, but she didn’t. She found herself not wanting to.
After about two minutes of Livi pulling her through the streets, the Gray came to a sudden stop.
“Why are we stopping?” Jamia whispered.
“Blue police officer 10 feet to your left, they’re watching us.” Livi replied, deadly serious.
“Okay, just walk normally, pretend we don’t notice them.” Jamia replied, pulling her hand out of Livi’s. Almost immediately she could feel her face start to cool down and the blush starting to disappear.
Livi stepped ahead of Jamia.
“Remember, I’m the one who know’s where we’re going.” Livi said, the smug smile returning to her face. Jamia was starting to think that Livi wasn’t actually like that as it was so easy for her to go from serious to joking in a split second.
“If you’re leading me into a trap, I will kill you.” Jamia whispered threateningly.
“Look to your right, on the window of the restaurant called Murphy’s.” Livi said, not dropping her smile.
Jamia obeyed, looking at the restaurant right next to her that she was currently walking past.
‘Wanted: Livi Grayson’
‘Crime: Harboring Criminals’
“Your point?” Jamia asked.
“I’m not going to turn you in, because I’d be imprisoned as well. In fact, I’d probably be executed while you’d just be tortured until they had enough of you and put you in a ghetto.” Livi replied casually like she was telling Jamia about the weather.
“Or they killed me because I’m Red.” Jamia whispered.
“Yeah, but you’d still have a chance of getting out, maybe even with your brother. But I won’t have that chance. And, honestly, I don’t have any family anyway.” Livi replied. Still trying to sound upbeat.
“How can you say that with a smile on your face? How can you be happy about that?” Jamia asked.
“What do you mean?” Livi asked, putting her hands behind her head as if reclining.
“My parents died. They died getting me and my brother out of the house. But you talk about losing your family like it’s a normal thing. Like it’s a good thing. How can you do that?” She asked, trying to sound angry rather than the sadness she truly felt.
“I guess it’s because I used to cry myself to sleep every night, and eventually I got sick of it.” Livi said, now sounding bored.
Jamia didn’t reply, she just followed Livi, biting her lip to prevent herself from scolding Livi for her insensitivity.
When Julian opened his eyes again, Stephanie was gone. He must have fallen asleep while she was treating him. He tried to move, when he realized he wasn’t on the ground, he was leaning against a wall.
He tried to move his hands, but they were held in place above his head. He looked up to see metal bands covering his wrists.
He looked down to see his feet hanging about 2 inches off the ground.
Not even a minute later the Gray woman walked in, a malevolent smile on her already evil-looking face.
“We’re about to have so much fun.” She said ominously.
Julian tried his best not to show how scared he was, but he was sure he had given some kind of flinch or momentary facial expression that let the woman know she had him scared.
“Now, we have some new rules. My boss has told me that I’m not allowed to kick you anymore because he wants us to have even more fun.” She sounded cheerful, as if she were a child getting a Christmas present.
“Every time you fail to answer a question,” she pulled out a small remote from her jean pocket, “I get to do this.” She pushed the big red button in the center of the remote.
Julian tried to pull his hands out of the metal restraints as painful amounts of electricity shot through his body.
“Do we understand?” She asked, taking her finger off the button.
“Yeah...” Julian replied, panting.
“Good. Now, where’s the other Blaze?” The woman asked.
“What Blaze? What’s a Blaze?” Julian asked, smirking.
“Don’t play dumb Blaze. Where is she?” The woman demanded.
“Who? I don’t know who you’re talking about.” Julian replied, trying to buy himself some time to weigh his options some more.
“Your sister.” She demanded, pushing the button again.
“Where is your sister?” She demanded as Julian writhed in pain in front of her.
“Far away from here.” He replied. ‘Hopefully’ he thought.
“Where? Be specific!” She demanded, pressing the button again.
“I don’t know!” Julian cried in desperation.
“Where is she?”
“I don’t know!” Julian shouted.
“WHERE IS SHE!?” The woman shouted, not bothering to take her hand off the button.
“I d-don-n’t-t kn-now.” Julian said shakily. Very close to passing out from the electricity.
The woman threw the remote on the ground and stomped on it, smashing it under her foot.
“Obviously this isn’t working, but I’ll be back soon, don’t worry.” She said threateningly before opening the thick metal door and leaving.
Only after she had left did Julian let himself close his eyes. He had only been awake for about 10 minutes, but he was already going back to sleep.