Escape from Pod 3
“What are our options?” Kathy asked. She looked to Steve for the answers. “There must be a way to get out of this pod.”
“Yes there is,” Steve replied. “There is an escape hatch built into every pod in case of a prison riot or takeover, just like this.”
“Great, why didn’t you mention this before?”
“Because it won’t work unless you have someone in maintenance to open the door at the end of the tunnel. Every pod has a hex key in the emergency box that will let you open the pod escape door, but once you traverse the tunnel, which is only two by three feet, you have to exit by another hatch door that is opened by someone in maintenance. Last I checked, Alex was dead and I’m here. And unless the National Guard goes in and opens the hatch door, we’re fucked.”
“There’s no way to open it from inside the tunnel?” Kent asked.
“You won’t fit in the tunnel anyway fat boy,” Steve replied. “What are you? Three fifty?”
Steve expected to get beat for his comments, but Kent was more of a gentle giant who remained seated and stewed.
“You didn’t answer the question,” Kathy said. “Is there a way to open the hatch from the inside?”
“No,” Steve replied. “How do you not know this? You’re the warden.”
“I’m administrative, I don’t change lightbulbs for a living.”
“You fucking cunt,” Steve said. “You’re administrative job won’t save you now.”
Ted shook his head in frustration. “What else can we do?” Ted asked.
“He have water, air and a bathroom. And emergency food for three days,” Steve said. “If we ration, we could last ten days.”
“I’m going to be out of here in less than ten hours,” Ted replied.
Paula spoke up, “Don’t do anything foolish Ted, let them figure this out.”
“Them? Who’s them?”
“The authorities,” Paula replied.
“I’ll take responsibility for my own life, thank you very much.”
“You don’t know anything about this place.”
“What’s there to know? All I have to do is get from here to an outside door and I’m free,” Ted said. “Just tell me how to get there, and I’ll take care of myself.”
“What about me?” Paula asked.
“Come with me,” Ted replied.
“I’m not going out there! Are you crazy? There are vampires all over this building. You don’t know where they are.”
“We have monitors, I can see the hallways from that screen,” Ted said pointing to the television screen mounted on the wall.
“What good is that going to do you once you leave this room?”
“It can’t be more than a few hundred feet to the nearest door,” Ted said.
“Steve replied, “It’s more like few hundred yards, and the front door is locked with second set of doors to boot. This isn’t a daycare, it’s a fucking prison for vampires.”
“Give me your key,” Ted said.
“My keys open the doors to the housekeeping closets, stuff like that, they don’t give me the keys to the front door.”
“You can get into the maintenance department right? And from there you can get to the outside right?” Ted asked.
“Wrong, I have to come in the front door like everyone else. I get scanned, patted down, just like the prisoners. What kind of place do you think this is? Who would put a door to the outside in the maintenance department? That would be way too easy for the inmates to get out. Why not relax and wait for the National Guard to get us out?”
“Are you sure the front doors are still locked? Can you tell from the control panel in this pod?” Ted asked.
“No, there isn’t a reason to have that here, they have that at the main entrance.”
“So you don’t know if the vampires have found a way to open the door?” Ted stated.
“No, if you want to get right down to it, I don’t know. But why would they do that? Where are they going? They’d be shot the second they tried to run out the front door. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Plus, keeping the door locked would make it harder for the National Guard to get in.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” Ted replied.
“The only way to get out of the prison is through the old tunnel system under the prison, and that’s locked up as well,” Steve said.
“Who has the key to that?” Ted asked.
“I do,” Steve said.
“So let me get this right, if a vampire could somehow get into the maintenance department and get your keys, they could in theory, escape?” Ted asked.
“Yes, but first they’d have to get past a locked door to maintenance, find me, and break into a tunnel that nobody knows about,” Steve replied.
Kathy spoke up, “I can’t believe what you’re saying is true, how long have those tunnels been there?”
“Since they built the prison,” Steve replied.
“How did I not know about this?” Kathy asked.
“Too busy banging yourself in your office to find out I guess,” Steve replied.
Ted said, “So all I have to do is get to the maintenance department and I can get out. What are we waiting for?”
“The maintenance department is clear across the building, in the basement. You’d have to go the length of two football fields, out in the open to get there. There are over forty vampires running around in the halls, do you think they’re going to let you walk on by?” Steve asked.
“No, but I have a phone.”
“You can watch the monitors, and tell me where to go, so I avoid any contact with the vampires. Most of them are near pod one anyway. My chances are pretty good.”
“That would mean giving up my keys, no way,” Steve said. “And if you made it, what good would it do for the rest of us?”
“You can come with me.”
“Like a walking buffet? No thanks, I saw what they did to the tourists, now they’re a pile of ashes and bones.”
Then a voice spoke up, “I want to try,” said Taylor Mendoza, a petite middle aged woman with a boyish haircut.
Steve replied, “I said I’m not giving up my keys.”
“What good are they doing if you’re sitting in here locked up?” Taylor asked. “We deserve a chance to save ourselves.”
“I might need them later, I’m the only person here who knows the in’s and out’s of the prison.”
“I could take them from you,” Ted said.
Steve swallowed hard, he didn’t like conflict, and wasn’t much of a fighter. But he knew giving up his only set of keys would make everyone’s life a lot harder. “Is that what everyone wants? For me to give up my keys to this guy?”
Kent spoke up, “No, don’t give them to him. He’ll get twenty feet and get killed, then we won’t have them anymore.”
Then Steve saw something out of the corner of his eye. A lanky, long haired vampire step out of the hall and into the commons walking towards pod one. Keeping an eye on the floor to keep out of the blood pools, the vampire stopped outside the pod and looked at the survivors inside. He didn’t say anything, just scanned what he could see and smiled. Steve pressed a communication button and spoke on the outside speakers. “What do you want?”
“How many of you are there?” the vampire asked in an awkward British accent. His voice carried from the microphone on the outside of the pod.
“Fifty,” Steve replied.
“Looks more like ten or so to me.”
“Hey, do me a favor,” Steve said. “Go get the cops and let us out.”
“You’re a funny one,” the vampire replied. “I don’t think I’ll be doing that.”
“Where are you from? I didn’t know we had any foreigners locked up?”
“I’m from London originally. Moved to the states back in the sixties.”
“How did I not know that?” Steve asked.
“I don’t know, maybe you’re fucking stupid.”
“What’s your name?” Steve asked.
“Isaac Abney, glad to meet you,” Isaac replied holding out his hand as if to shake.
“Well Isaac, if you didn’t come here to help us, I don’t think we have much to say to you.”
“I understand, you seem to be in a bit of a predicament. I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes.”
“I bet, now if you don’t mind, you can leave,” Steve said.
“I’d rather not if you don’t mind,” Isaac replied.
“Fine, I’m turning off the microphone,” Steve said.
“Now hold a minute, we might be able to work out a bargain after all.”
“What kind of bargain?” Steve asked.
“We can make a trade.”
“Do you have any girls in there? I think I see one or two.”
“We have a few females, why do you ask?” Steve asked.
“I’d rightly like to have a girl, if you know what I mean.”
“No, I don’t. Are you proposing I trade one of us for something in return?”
“Yes, that is correct, you provide me with a lovely young lady, and I’ll assist the rest of you to escape.”
Steve turned around and looked at the others. “This guy is nuts.”
“Keep him talking,” Ted said. “See what information you can get out of him.”
Steve turned around and faced Isaac again. “Let’s say I gave you a “lady” as you put it, what can you do to help us get out? Do you know something I don’t?”
“I can’t tell you that until you provide me with who I want,” Isaac replied.
“You do realize I don’t own anyone in here, I can’t just pick out a woman and give her to you.”
“Of course you can.”
“Maybe in your world that’s how it works, but in a civilized world, we don’t send people out to be killed.”
“You don’t watch the news do you?” Isaac asked. “It happens all the time.”
“I’m not getting into a political discussion with a vampire. Tell me what you know.”
“Give me a lady.”
“You have nothing to bargain with, and this isn’t sixth grade. You need to learn to argue like an adult.”
“Adult? I’m over a hundred years old,” Isaac said.
“You look thirtysomething,” Steve said.
“Yeah, I bet I do.”
“I think this discussion is over.”
“Wait, I can tell you one thing,” Isaac said. “I can get a couple of you out later this evening. Rancid is planning a meeting tonight and will have most of the vampires there. Once the rest of the building is clear, I can lead you out the door.”
Kent spoke up, “He’s lying, and you said the doors are locked.”
Steve addressed Isaac, “How can you open the front doors?”
“I have a key,” Isaac replied.
“That’s not how it works, there is no key that opens the front gates. It’s all on computer.”
Realizing his lies were getting him nowhere, Isaac decided to change tactics. “That’s fine, Rancid will find a way to get you out soon enough. If he doesn’t, someone else will. These vampires will get very hungry very fast and you’re the only meal in town. If you don’t want my help, fuck yourselves. This pod may be saving you for now, but they will find a way to open it like a tuna can and have you for lunch. And I’ll be there to get my lady. Either way, I’ll get what I want, and it will be more fun to watch them tear this thing apart than to have you give up one of your own.”
Kent spoke up, “Is there a gun in here, I want to shoot that fucker.”
“No, there are no guns in here, in case of a prison take over, they don’t want to arm the prisoners.”