Episode 6 - Into the Rabbit Hole

Episode 6 - Into the Rabbit Hole

A Chapter by Luke Steed
"

so this guy gets taken in by an army and he also gets a memory, cause he's got amnesia

"

There was something off about the man pointing his gun at my forehead. He looked like a snatcher at first glance, but with another glance, he looked like a normal person with purple paint on his face and flimsy, cardboard snatcher claws attached to his helmet. He was even dressed like a snatcher soldier- bandanas and all. I didn’t know whether to be rest assured or to still be terrified for my life. I didn’t even know anything anymore. I had amnesia, remember?

After the fake snatcher realized what I was, he lowered his gun and quietly beckoned for his comrade to come into the room. He entered, not making a sound. The intruder nodded his head toward me and his comrade immediately understood the situation. He approached and grabbed the bed, yanking the IV out of my arm. I winced, almost making a sound before the intruder shushed me.

The two of them started rolling me out of the room, the curtain passing over the bed. The soldier started whispering, “Take this person to the outside of the infirmary. I’ll continue on. Tell the men to get this man to a safer place.”

The intruder parted ways with his comrade, leaving him to roll me down to the door of the infirmary, where I would be ‘safe’. I think I forgot what that meant.

“You’re in good hands now, kid. You’re gonna be okay.” The comrade whispered to me.

As soon as we reached the doors and saw the camping militia of humans, I blacked out - but not a bad blackout, a peaceful one. A tidal wave of relief washed over me. Maybe it was sleep, or maybe it was just another faint, I didn’t know, and I didn’t care.

~////////////~

The black faded into a dream. A vivid dream. The sky was painted a gloomy gray and the ground sodded with pitch darkness. The blurriness focused into detail, and soon, I could spot shapes popping into existence around me. Color filled the shapes and I could tell they were flat. They floated and hovered over the gray sky and the black earth, peacefully.

I walked up to one to take a closer look, the shape remaining vivid. A yellow square. I held out my arm and touched it, and it began rotating. It was almost like a frisbee, if frisbees are shaped like squares.

So when I touch these things they move? I thought confused.

I looked back at my surroundings, met with more surprise and confusion. All the other shapes were rotating too. I looked back at the square I touched, still rotating. I had an urge to touch it again, and when I did, another weird thing happened. The square started to expand into a cube, then it stopped rotating.

I touched it again - now beginning to rotate again along with every other shape, just like last time. There was a trend here, but what could possibly happen if I touched it again? It turned into a cube when I touched the rotating square, and when I touched it again, the cube then started to rotate.

I touched it again, and my curiosity turned back into confusion.

The cube expanded, growing another cube on itself, transparent. I could still see the original cube inside the transparent one.

I touched it one more time, and it started doing something even more unusual. It didn’t seem like it was rotating, but maybe it was in its own way. The inner cube pushed upward and engulfed the transparent cube over itself, the transparent cube shrinking. The opaque cube faded translucent. I looked back at my surroundings again and saw this same thing repeating around me with the other shapes; pyramids, ellipsoids, prisms, you name it.

Then a word then popped into my mind.

Tesseract.

I woke up.

~////////////~

Bright white lights beamed into my eyes as I cracked them open. My upper body was elevated slightly, and I could see everything going on around me a lot easier. I was wearing a hospital gown and was tucked under the blankets. My back felt a lot better too, and not just because I was under treatment and in a better bed, but something felt off about it, like something actually healed it. I felt a very small sting where the break was, but nothing more.

How long was I asleep? I wondered.

I pondered the question while human soldiers and doctors crossed my vision in a blur. I felt a lot like a tourist in my situation, and this new environment seemed to make a stark contrast with the usual city I woke up in. I didn’t belong here, and it showed. Everyone else who was lying in a bed looked like actual soldiers, battle scarred and bloodied, and then there I was, sitting in a bed made for important personnel being the useless prick that I was. Soon, I started to ask myself, Why am I even alive?

I mean, I didn’t really want to die. I wasn’t suicidal or anything, but I couldn’t understand why anybody cared about me enough to take me under their care. Hopefully, it would make sense in the future, but for then, I still didn’t know anything, like an infant; a tourist-infant to be the most accurate.

An explosion echoed from above the ground and made the lights flicker and the hall shake. It must’ve went off right above us.

Another wave of people passed my vision. Nothing too out of the ordinary. It was just like the other hundreds of groups, except someone slowly diverted their attention from walking and gave me a fearful glance. I noticed and glanced back and the person quickly looked away.

Then a spark flickered in my empty brain as I looked at this person. I remembered this person. It was a girl. I knew her from somewhere. Finally, someone I might’ve known!

I was frantic yanking the covers off of me and trying to sit up and dangle my feet over the side of the bed. My first worry was that the pain would just flood back in once I stood up, but there wasn’t any severe pain shooting up my spine this time. I was free. I was on my feet and moving, in fact! I glanced back over at the girl, hoping to still see her. She was walking faster now, trying to get away.

My back tensed up with every step. I could still feel the repercussions of my back break pulsating throughout my nerves, although it wasn’t as bad this time as last time. I could bear it if it meant I could talk to someone I knew before I lost my memory.

I hobbled after her. “Hey! Wait!”

I could hear doctors behind me telling me the same thing, but I didn’t care. This was my only link to the life I once had, and I couldn’t let it slip away.

“Hey!” I called again.

I watched her blonde head disappear behind a corner, among a crowd of doctors, soldiers and workers. My only hope dipped in and out of reality in a matter of seconds, and I hadn’t any clue how to get it to come back. It couldn’t have been all gone though. I still had a little bit of hope left over. I needed that hope. If I didn’t have that little hope in the back of my mind, I wouldn’t have known how to stay alive.

Hands of doctors grabbed me and pulled me back. I still stared at the intersection where she disappeared, longing for my old life back, longing for the hour to come that everything would finally make sense again.

My doctor and several nurses dragged me back and strapped me to my bed.

“Do you even realize how hurt your spine was? Using that accelerated healing process wasn’t cheap, and if you broke your spine again, there’s no way they’d let us perform it again on you! Just stay there and don’t move.” The doctor said. He walked off grumbling.

I imagined that my back would be fine, even though it throbbed a bit. Relapsing a little on the pain was almost worth it. I almost had it too. If only there was a way to heal faster so I could go find that person again…

My thoughts drifted away from my impatience and met the person I knew again. I thought long and hard about who I saw. I kept showing myself the image of her in my mind, and everytime the image formed, it would flicker.

But a few things came back. Just a few.

One thing I got was that I remember her slapping me, so then it made sense why she would try to run away from me. But why would she slap me? I thought about that a little longer and found no answer. When pondering the question though, I remembered being on good terms with her at one time, but I couldn’t tell if it was just a memory or not. There wasn’t anything left I had in my mind when I showed myself that image. Nothing came. Blank. Nada. Zilch.

From the corner of my eye, I noticed my doctor walking back my way, along with a soldier.

“This the one?” The doctor asked.

“Yes sir! Thank you. Leave him to me for now.”

The soldier walked up to my bed and introduced himself, “Hello! My name’s Colonel Bernard, commander of the Underground’s first regiment.”

I felt awkward greeting him back. “Hello.”

“I saw what you did on top of that building, with that parabeast. I gotta hand it to you kid, that was some brave stuff. There had been those parabeasts the snatchers couldn’t control who were running rampant. It was hell up there. I’m so glad you made it out.”

Colonel Bernard was extremely tall, like at least two and half meters tall. I looked down at his arm and saw that he had his whole left forearm replaced with some kind of huge gun, like a bazooka. He had a mean look all over himself except his face, which bore a sincere and compassionate look. His presence would’ve made me uncomfortable if he was just here to recruit me and not to praise me.

“Yeah. Me too. I don’t even know what’s going on. Has it always been like this?”

Bernard let out a hearty laugh, but when he looked back at me in his laughter, he could tell I was being serious. The laughter died. “Well, not really, no. The city was actually pretty normal a week ago, then the snatchers started invading. So far, they have most of the upperground, but barely any of the underground, and we intend to keep it that way.”

A whole week has passed?! “Oh…” I looked away from Bernard and suddenly couldn’t breathe. That’s how long I’ve been out?! I couldn’t believe it.

Bernard noticed I was freaking out. “Hey, it’s okay. You’re still alive and well, and safe too. I know a whole week’s gone by, but we’ve slightly gained the upper hand since then. It’s even a little safer aboveground, too. I mean, the leader of the snatchers assigned a curfew for everyone in the city except for the snatcher army, but it’s easier to go on missions now. The Underground has been the main player in keeping the snatchers from completely dominating the city.”

I barely felt any better after being told this. None of this could be real.

“Look man, you don’t really have a good place to go back to. If you went back aboveground, your chances of being killed are still extremely high. That’s why I want you to join us- the Underground Army. You’ll be well fed and well taken care of, far better than if you were still staying in your apartment.”

“I don’t even know my own name, colonel, I don’t know about this. I have amnesia. I’m not sure how helpful I can be.”

“I promise you soldier, we’ll try to help you regain your memory. We have doctors and therapists for that. Join, and I promise you’ll see a positive change in your situation.”

I thought it through for a second. Maybe this was the right course of action for me. What the colonel said was true. I really didn’t have any better place to go back to. This was what I needed the most.

“Okay. I’ll join. Just tell me what to do.”

“Awesome! After you’re done here, go to the barracks. I already have you a bed and a crate waiting for you. You’ll be in the fourth division with a bunch of other soldiers very much like you. I’m glad to have you, soldier.” Colonel Bernard saluted me and walked on, probably to go recruit some other person they picked up off the street.

It seemed weird, and a little loose for an army, but it made sense in their situation. The Underground was probably losing soldiers from that attack. The attack seemed so sudden and jarring, with no warning or anything. It made sense how the people above ground got completely dominated while the Underground was able to maintain control of their territory. The snatchers had a quick and easy way into Escloeopia, and nobody knew what it was. The Underground was in need of reinforcements because it was the snatchers who had the high ground.

I only saw the situation getting worse later on, but I clung to the little hope that I had left.



© 2018 Luke Steed


Author's Note

Luke Steed
mhm yeah

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Added on April 23, 2018
Last Updated on April 23, 2018


Author

Luke Steed
Luke Steed

Fort Worth, TX



About
My main project right now is Copperoton: the Snatcher Saga, a long sci-fi adventure book. The first couple of chapters are still being worked on, with the first being the most heavily focused on. My o.. more..

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Copperoton Copperoton

A Story by Luke Steed