Chapter Forty Five
“Rex, if you can hear me you need to turn back,” I said. “Whatever is happening you can fight it.”
I hoped Rex had heard every word but if he had then he certainly wasn’t reacting to them.
He dashed towards me and I ran into the twisting stone structure of the base. Rufus didn’t follow us. The last I saw of him he was fiddling with a broken control panel.
“You can’t do this Rex!” I shouted back at him. He’d always been faster than me and this was a race I knew I couldn’t win. The stone corridors twisted around me as I dashed left and then right trying to find the exit.
As I worked my way around the maze he caught me and grabbed my shoulder yanking me backwards. I instinctively threw my other arm back to try and hit him but the pain was too much and my punch was not strong enough, causing him to barely flinch.
Still holding my shoulder he curled his other arm around my neck and squeezed tightly, cutting off my airflow and holding me in a headlock. “You are coming with me,” he shouted as he tried to drag me to the exit of the base. “I’ve got her,” he shouted to Rufus who did not reply.
Fearing for my safety I jabbed my arm back into Rex’s chest. It hit him on the scarred side where he had lost a lung and he instinctively hunched over. When we’d attacked Kull earlier he hadn’t felt our attacks so I was surprised to see a response but used the opportunity to run away.
I started to gain distance. Rex should have been able to catch me but I couldn’t hear his footsteps. Something wasn’t right. I started to wonder if I’d really hurt him and I slowed down my pace slightly to see if he would catch up but I could no longer see him. I stood still to try and hear him and it was only then I could hear his panting for breath.
I ran backwards towards Rex to check if he was ok. I didn’t want to be responsible for another injury. As I turned a corner I saw him lying on the floor coughing up blood. His body had been pushed too hard. With one lung this had been a chase he couldn’t win.
As I took another step closer to him the lights in the base flickered out. I suddenly realised that was what Rufus had been doing. He’d been trying to turn off the lights! There were no windows around the base and the stone walls blocked any outside light. We were sealed in complete darkness. All I could see were the orange glows in Rex’s eyes. Somewhere in the darkness Rufus lurked as well, his orange eyes glowing just as fiercely.
“You can’t do this Rufus!” I shouted. “Your brother needs medical aid and I can’t help him in the dark,” I looked around to try and see a light source but there was none. I needed to escape to get help for Rex.
Ok Emmie. Lets’ see how well you’ve memorised the route, I thought to myself. When trying to escape earlier I had taken a few wrong turns so I tried to picture the route in my head. I couldn’t run fast or I’d run straight into a wall, so I quickly felt my way along the wall step-by-step.
A light flickered in front of me illuminating the corner ahead. An exit? I wondered but it was not. Rufus turned the corner holding a log that was on fire. He must have taken it from the fire we had made earlier for our tea. He and Rex now had the upper hand. They knew this base as well as I did and now they had the advantage of sight.
I turned backwards from Rufus and tried to find another way. I walked slowly along the side of the wall. I was scared to make any noise for fear that it would help them find me. My heartbeat grew faster as the terror set in. My two best friends wanted to kill me and I was powerless to stop them.
My best bet was to escape and hope that Tobias released them from his control. I didn’t know what to do after that. The Deck was starting to seem like my only option.
“Emmie!” shouted Rex.
“Emmie!” shouted Rufus.
Their voices then became one in unison. “Surrender now or I will destroy these bodies.”
He had to be bluffing. R&R meant nothing to him. Killing them wouldn’t help him. I hoped that The Deck could help me turn them back to normal. That was the only solution.
I turned a corner and then I saw him. Rex stood in front of me with a burning log. The fire was tickling his arm and lightly burning away at his wrist but he didn’t react to the pain in any way. The light from the fire made his orange eyes flicker menacingly. He was standing in front of the exit. There was no way around. I turned back to see a further glow of light approaching me. Rufus was closing in on me.
“It’s over,” They both spoke together. “Surrender and your friends won’t die.”
As I looked at Rex I could see he was straining. Chasing after me must have hurt his body. With only one lung he wouldn’t do well in another chase. I couldn’t keep putting this pressure on him.
“Ok,” I said. Rex threw his log to the floor and grabbed my arms behind my back. They walked me through the double doors and out into the light.
A dark blue saloon car was waiting for us with the engine running. Inside the car I saw two faces I hoped never to see again. Two orange eyed men sat in the car. Both of them had large and muscular frames with one of them sporting scars on his face.
I knew it was them instantly, the same men who had killed Will.
Rufus opened the door so suddenly that I felt like the hinges might break. Rex sat down in the back of the car and Rufus threw me inside where my head hit the cream leather seats with a dull thudding sound. Rex grabbed a clump of my hair in his first and pulled me upwards. The stinging sensation from the pain made me start to cry.
Rufus sat next to me and he and Rex held my arms so tightly that I couldn’t fight them. As the car drove away and I began to realise that no one was coming to help me the tears started to flow down my face.