Lost Freedom

Lost Freedom

A Chapter by Ricky
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Traveling through the filthy sewers Richard and his alien companion try and keep their sanity intact

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Richard and Lycia wander in complete darkness with nothing but the foul stench of the sewer to comfort them. Richard plugs his nose with his free hand, it helps get rid of the stench but now he’s beginning to taste the foulness that surrounds him. Dragging him along is this alien who seems to be making a gagging noise every so often having to stop as it coughs violently. He knows that it has no idea where it’s to take him giving him little hope that its plan to get this bomb out of his head would work. As far as he knows it could be leading them in circles and they’re just stalling their capture. 


               It stops again with a fit of coughs, with every cough it tugs at his cuffed wrist that sends a jolt of pain through his body. He’s not sure how bad the damage to his body is, but he knows that sudden movements are agonizing. If they weren’t being hunted at the moment he’d probably collapse and let the alien drag him. That was until another foul taste of the air makes him rethink that notion. The alien takes in another raspy breath trying to get control over its breathing.


“Hey are you ok?” He asks somewhat out of concern that maybe he’d have to be the one to do the dragging.


“I’m fine.”


“You sure? You don’t sound fine.”


“I’ll let you know when you should be concerned now come on we need to keep moving.”  It yanks him forward not only causing him to grunt by almost lose his footing. A few moments past before it tries to suppress another fit of coughs.


“You’re not gonna die on me, now are you? I’d hate to think what would happen if those agents or whatever would do if they found me with your corpse.” It ignores his statement and presses on.


“Do you even know where you’re going?” 


“For the love of Alyu, stop talking!”


“Who?”


“Be quiet, I’m trying to get us out of here.”


“And I’m asking if you know where you’re going, but seeing how you haven’t answered my question I feel the need to continue asking until I get a sufficient answer. So where we goin’, where we goin’ where we goin’?” He replies like a smart a*s.


“For all that is decent in the galaxy would you SHUT YOUR MOUTH, I know where I’m going!”


“Are you sure?”


“Yes!”


“So, you’re telling me an alien on a foreign planet, in an unknown city, crawling through a very old and probably unused drainage line knows exactly where it is going?”


“Yes! Now be quiet! And do not refer to me as an ‘it’.”


“Well excuse me, but seeing that I’ve not been provided with a name I think ‘it’ is the title that makes the most sense.”


“You have no business of knowing who I am, for I plan to leave your miserable planet as soon as possible. Therefore the need to dispense pleasantries is unneeded, not to mention that it be a waste of breathe on savages.”


“I take offense to that.”


“Good.” He feels his tolerance with this thing is fading by the second.


“Would it be too much to ask for your gender at least?”


“Why would you possibly need to know that?” Its voice sounds as annoyed as he felt.


“Because every time you yank me I’m pretty sure my hand is scrapping your a*s.”


“My what?”


“Your butt.”


“IS THAT WHAT I’VE BEEN FEELING?” Its voice echoed through the pipe.


“Keep it down, Jesus my ears are still ringing fro before.” He replies resisting the urges to dig into his ear with his filthy fingers.


“Keep your degenerate hands off me.’


“Hey it’s not like I can see or control that hand at the moment. But taking your reaction into account I’m guessing you’re a woman.”


“Of course I am what else would I be?”


“I dunno, a blue freak with a mASSive ego.” The pun he make clearly goes over her head with the silence he receives, “So do you know where you’re going?”


“YES!”


“Alright as long as you know.” His antagonisms were more of a way to cope with the situation rather than to annoy her. Because no matter where they end up he’ll still be in the same situation that she’s in.


               They move on in the blackness endlessly, both finally being silent aside from the occasional coughing fit. It feels like they’ve been moving for hours and the pain and stench is getting two them both.  She once again goes into another vicious fit of coughs, this time though it brought her down to all fours dragging Richard beside her. She was gagging and gasping unable to get it to stop this time however.


“Ok you are not alright, tell me what’s wrong now.” He begins patting her back.


“I’m, *coughing* I’m fine. L-lets get going.” She tries to rise, but hunches back over when she begins coughing again.  Richard tries to her to stand up, thinking that if her airways work like his, they’d be more open when she’s upright. It didn’t help though as she continues wheezing, furthermore she tries to shove him away. She’s becoming weak and is unable to though, he could feel her arm shaking as she tries to push him.


“You remember what I said earlier about being found with your corpse, well I get the feeling I’m gonna be right if you don’t tell me what’s wrong with you.” His voice is more serious now. She lets out a few more coughs before clearing her throat.


“It’s my skin. Alyuan’s don’t have nostrils so we smell through our skin.” She barely manages to get that out before another fit overwhelms her.


               Richard sighs, now it makes a lot more sense to why she’s been having so much trouble being down here. The constant smell of mold and God knows what else was literally choking her to death. He’s surprised she hasn’t thrown up already, then he thought that maybe her species was incapable of doing so. Hearing her enter another fit he takes off his sweatshirt handing it to her.


“Here wear this, it won’t stop you from smelling this place entirely but it should help.” He says aimlessly handing the clothing out.


“I-I don’t…”


“Just shut up and take before you literally kill yourself!” he said grabbing her hand forcing her to hold it. He heard hear say something that was indistinguishable to him, but thought nothing of it and he feels her shift trying to put on the sweatshirt.  Then they hit a snag.


“This… this was pointless. It’s bad enough I’m chained to you, but there’s no way I want to have your skin rubbing against mine.”  She said throwing the sweatshirt back in his face with her free arm.


“I’m going to ignore your racist remarks and come up with a solution to this dilemma.” He spun the clothing around figuring which way was the front, then tearing the problem end’s sleeve all the way down to its base.


“There all better. Now unless you want to meet the Almighty, I suggest you put this on.”


“The who?”


“Just put the stupid shirt on!” he shouts adding to the ringing in his ear. Once she reluctantly puts on the clothing, putting the pair through the shuffle of putting the sweatshirt on.


“How do you feel?” Richard asked.


“Whenever I move my left arm I catch a puff of the filth around us, so it could be better.” She complains swinging their arms back and forth.


“Jesus Christ, ok here,” he grabs the fastener from the hoodie and loops it around her arm tying a knot at the end by the wrist. “There is that better, or is it too tight for you.”


“Aside from me smelling your musk, it’s adequate.” She responds in her own condescending tone.


“Alright then lead on your highness.”


               They continue to walk in the smelly pipes for quite awhile longer, the coughing fits persist but with less frequency. At times she would stop simply to remark how disgusting humanity was or how much she hated the smell of their surroundings. If he weren’t cuffed to her and his life wasn’t on the line he’d have definitely tell her shut up. Seeing how that is the case, he instead puts up with her constant disapproval of his species amusing himself with puns that continuously go over her head like, “This whole situation must seem ALIEN to you” or “Chin up at least your MOLDING character.”


               His joke spree is silenced when she lets out a loud gasp backing up into him bringing them both down.  “I felt something hairy brush against my leg.” She’s quick to get back up yanking once more before proceeding to hide behind him.


“Ya know even if it was something dangerous, there isn’t much I can do with my hand cranked behind my back.”


“What was that thing?”


“It was probably just a rat. They’re vermin found all over the planet, but aren’t harmful or anything. Well, the normal sized ones can’t hurt you, I don’t know about the cat sized one.”


“They’re not venomous, are they?”


“Well first off, can you get out from behind me, you trying to dislocate my shoulder?” Richard pulls her to the point where he feels comfortable once again, 

“Secondly no they’re not venomous. They do however, carry a lot of diseases, but you should be fine being a foreign life form and all.”


“Right, let’s just get out of this place as soon as possible.” They both just stand there in the pitch-black darkness.


“Uh… weren’t you the one leading the way?”


“You can’t expect me to walk ahead in the darkness with that thing roaming about!”


“Hate to break it to ya, but this place we’re in is a haven for rats. Plenty of space leading all over the city, no predators down here, and even nasty water flowing beneath our feet…”


“Ugh! Your species is absolutely foul!”


“C’mon this way” Richard stomps forward with his alien companion trailing behind.


“Woah- hey slow down! I know I said I wanted to get out of her as fast as possible, but I don’t appreciate being dragged in the process!”


“The rat was following the flow of the water, which mean it could also be a way out for us too.”


“That thing wasn’t very big for all you know, it could slip through a crack while you drag me to some dead end.”


"True, but there’s a chance we could out too, and personally I’d prefer getting some fresh air.” For the next twenty minutes or so they rub around only stopping so he could feel the water’s flow. All the while the sound a leaking water grows louder filling him with hope. The alien meanwhile is not so confident as he is, constantly throwing doubts at him and mocking his sense of direction. “Not as fun on the receiving end.” He thought to himself forcing her to move at his pace.


               They keep going until they could see a dimly lit and worn out grated entrance that has been rusted to hell. His mind screams in excitement having finally caught a break. Granted they’re still wanted fugitives with manslaughter under their belt, but now they’re that with less sewage in their lives. And for the moment that’s all that matters to him as he chuckles in relief. While he is too busy jumping for joy, the alien who seems as eager to get out as he is, pulls him along to the grate. She grabs the heavy grated fence shaking it forcefully, but the damn thing wouldn’t budge.


“Ugh, what is this flaky substance that is on this exit?” She says as wiping the rusted off iron onto his sweatshirt.


“You mean rust?”


“What’s rust?”


“Are you kidding me? What do you guys maintain all of your metal made materials that they never rust?” She remained silent.


“Ok rust is basically when metal gets worn out due to multiple factors and isn’t maintained.”


“You just let your metal rot away?”


“We prioritize what does and doesn’t need to be maintained, admittedly we are a pretty wasteful species.”


“Clearly, but instead of talking, help me find a way to open this gate.” Rolling his eyes after being blamed for a conversation she started he  grabs the grate and tries to force it open as well. Not much come from their effort leaving the two frustrated with freedom being so close.


“This is all your fault!” The alien jabs her finger into his chest.


“Really and how is this my fault? What do you think I went around locking old sewage dumps before we met?”


“If we had gone a different route we may have found a better way out by now! I knew I shouldn’t have let you lead me.”


“I’m sorry, but let me reflect upon the results of all the decisions you’ve made thus far. When you planted a translator or rather a bomb into my head we were taken into custody. While we were in custody you caused an accident where not only did we plummet to the ground in a car wreck, but also resulted in the death of one, maybe three other people. And by leading us into these tunnels you nearly asphyxiated yourself, as well as getting us nowhere at all. In regards to what I have done I’ve given you a chance at freedom by helping you rather than my own species. And when I took over leading us, I actually got us somewhere, plus on top of that I’ve explained to you a few details of Earth your welcome.”


“You’ve only done all that to benefit yourself nothing more!”


“I wouldn’t have had to do all that is I was strapped to a God damn alien!”


“Of all of your kind I could’ve chosen I had to pick you, the most infuriating fool I’ve ever had the misfortune of knowing. Now I’m stuck with you because of that lunatic chained us together.”  Richard was going to open his mouth for a retort, but instead something caught his eye.


“Maybe we can fix that.” The alien turns its eye in suspicion to what he said. “Look part of this has rusted off, we might be able to cut the chain off of the jagged metal.”


“And if we can’t?”


“Then we better find a way to conceal the fact that we’re cuffed. Give me your side of the chained.” He lifts the chain over the sharp broken off piece of grate. It’s very obvious that the alien didn’t like that he has his hand so close to hers by the way she hesitantly gave him her wrist. “Too bad” he thought as he sluggishly saws through the chain. A better part of twenty minutes go by before he was able to saw through the link. Lifting it back over he forces the other link through setting the two free from one another.


“Well I’d prefer having this thing off my wrist, but being free from you will do.”


“You ain’t free just yet,” He pointing to the device attached to his head. “Plus, we still need to get out of here.”


“Well let’s find another way, this entrance isn’t going to budge.”


“No, we can’t afford to go back, the FBI is surely on our tail, hell the only reason why they haven’t been able to catch us thus far is because they aren’t able to track us down here.”


“All more the reason we need to go and find another exit!”


“Will you stop being so stubborn for a sec and think? They were right behind us right, so what makes you think that it would take them too long to find the way we got in here. They could be a few minutes behind us for all we know, and going back will increase the odds of them finding us. As a bonus come over her and look at this lock, it looks ancient, sure it a heavy-duty lock but if we put enough power into it it’s defiantly gonna bust.” He gestures her over pointing out the old brownish lock that had parts of it rusting away.


“I have had enough of this ‘rust’ getting all over me, you seem capable and confident enough to do it yourself.” The alien leans up against the walls of the pipe getting the nasty grime all over his ruined sweatshirt.


“Look I’ve been very nice to you all things considering…”


“This is what your species calls nice?” the alien interrupts.


“…but CONSIDERING ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED, you helping me out would be a nice change of pace.”  The alien did not move. “Or you can go and run off letting my head explode giving away your general location so they can close in and nab you. 

Your choice.”


“You’re so willing to just let yourself die?”


“Nah, until recently my life has been pretty decent. Sure, a few hiccups here and there but overall, I got a lot to be thankful for. But considering that this thing is attached to my brain I’m guessing if you leave I won’t even feel the bomb go off. And knowing you’ll be captured and stranded on my planet for the rest of your life will be some consolidation.” She rises from the wall angrily starring him down, her white pupils glowing in the dark contrasting of the moonlight shining in. He just smiles shrugging, despite being the victim of all this he has all the power in this situation too.


               She says something that sounding like her own language she was probably swearing at him seeing how his swears didn’t translate either. He thinks about swearing back, but her coming over to actually help makes him think better. She stands beside him taking a heavy look at the rusted bars before reluctantly grabbing them glancing over to make sure that he was doing the same. He grabs them announcing to start on three, counting down they lash out onto the grate. Despite their effort the lock held discouraging them both, but he tells her to try again on three. She sighs but begrudgingly agrees and once again shake the grate as hard as they could. The lock groans from the stress, and Richard stops seeing the lock now had a noticeable crack in it.


“We almost got it!”   


“If that’s true then why’d you stop! Help me get this thing open and so I can get out and be done with this slog.” He grabs the grate again shaking it savagely. All that did was get a concerned look from the alien as for the lock, though weakened, it wasn’t giving out yet.


“Hang on I got an idea keep doing what you’re doing.” He tells her backing away from the grate.


“Where in Alyu’s name do you...” As she questions him he crashes into the grate shoulder first bouncing off. “Did it work?” She snickers watching as he rubs and rolls his shoulder.


“Very funny, not exactly but look.” The lock was now missing a chuck of it and the crack had grown wider. “I’mma try it again, and ya know, feel free if you wanna pitch in.”


“No go ahead and break your shoulder ramming this thing, don’t let me stop you.”


“They call me Rammer for a reason.” He backs up even further this time running at the grate once more leading with the other shoulder. A loud pop comes as hits it, the hatch swings open and Richard splashes down into the water below.


“Alright, that wasn’t what I was expecting but I’ll take it. Hey, you still in there?”


“No, I just disappeared into thin air, of course I’m still here!”


“Huh, I’m sorry did you say a smart a*s remark? I couldn’t hear you I got water in my ear.”


“Very cute, is it safe to come out?”


“Yes no one is around, speaking of where are we?” He rotates himself in the cold dark water to see the locally dubbed ‘Floating Bridge’ connecting Mercer Island to Seattle. The water near the bridge gleams red on the Seattle portion of the bridge, while in the middle it flashes red and blue. Inspecting the bridge, he could see that there is a checkpoint with tiny figure going around cars looking through them and their trunks before letting them go on through.


“Well s**t.”


“What? I thought you said no one was here.”


“There isn’t but, look over there. Those flashing lights on that bridge is definitely for us, and I’m guessing they set more up on all the other roads leading out of the city. Which makes leaving Seattle that much harder.”


“That’s just fantastic, so we’re trapped here is what you’re saying?” the alien had somehow open the grate without him noticing and was sitting on top of the drainage pipe looking down at him.


“…Maybe not, I might know a guy who can help. We need to find a phone so I can talk to him. He might even be able to get these things off our wrist.” She sits there for a good bit giving him a displeased before carefully getting up.


“Well then get out of the water, I need you to find this person.”


“*sigh*Coming. God, I really hope this doesn’t put him in the hot water I’m in.” Richard mutters swimming back to shore.


               As he climbs out of the water reflects on how to go about this. He knows he’s a target of suspicion with his clothes being as drenched as they are. He would’ve asked for his hoodie back until realizing she probably need the hoodie to hide more than he does. Still his face must be on very news outlet along with a ton of amber alerts giving off his description. And the broken handcuff and device attached to his head didn’t make things easier. He tapped on the device to remind him it’s still there, it was obviously, but now hidden under a lump of his wet hair. He takes a small bit of relief in that despite knowing the odds were still against the two of them.


“Where are we going?” the alien waits for him arm’s crossed impatiently.


“The guy I mentioned was recently in the general area we just need to see if he’s still there.”


“And if he isn’t?”


“Then I’ll try and see if he can come to us or get us to him.”


“And what if we’re spotted in the time between it takes to for him to retrieve us?”


“Then we’re out of luck.”


“Is that all you can say! If we’re caught who knows what they will do to me.”


“Yeah cause it’s only your life on the line here, right?”


 For a moment he thought of reconsidering helping this alien, after all up to this point she’s been stingy, mean, racist, and condescending and so on. Sure, her species might be able to detach this from his head, but what’s stopping them from taking over Earth. What if she tells them how hostile humanity has been and they see this as an act of war, mankind has a good chance losing altogether. That’s an outcome he couldn’t live with, or probably others wouldn’t let him live with.


Regardless if she does or doesn’t give humanity a fair reputation he still loses in the end, because the U.S. government is not gonna be so happy if he lets her get away. And in retaliation they might throw him into a maximum-security prison for the rest of his life. No one will know that he would be there either, all they’d have to do is make up some detailed cover up and boom no more questions. He’d lose everything his life, his friends, his family; the thought of his family and how he might never see the again forms a lump in his throat.  He forces the tears from forming, but gives the alien a grim look, the anger in him wants to take away her life as she did to his.


It’s the same anger from before, and just like before it clouds his judgement wanting to be unleashed. He feels a spike of adrenaline course through all of his limbs marching up to her. Reaching out to grab her shoulder he stops halfway, his conscious stalling him by seeping a million thoughts into his mind.  Many of them were plans of how he should attack her and react once the brawl began. There are other thoughts as well, that pry their way through the violence reminding him of reason and empathy. He wants to know what his family would think of him if he killed another living being. Or would the bomb still go off if she died, what would be the repercussions if he did this, and could he live with himself afterwards. His conscious gets through to his body preventing him from murdering her, at least for now anyway.

“Hey why you just standing there? Take me to this person who can help us!” the alien turns around with his sweatshirt’s hood over its head. Richard ignores her walking passed her waving her to follow him through Seattle’s dark streets.




© 2019 Ricky


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Author's Note

Ricky
As always thank you for reading, and a special thanks to those whose reviews contributed to my writing. The reason this chapter came out as soon as it did was thanks to a review. If you want me to review any of your work just send me a message and i'll get to it ASAP. See you all in the next chapter

My Review

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Featured Review

This is an excellent story line with great potential. I do think you could use some fresh eyes for editing. You swap from him and her frequently, and a few other spots made me back track or reread, readers don't want to waist time reading thing over and over especially if it is a complex story to begin with. I enjoyed the characters and am truly intrigued by where it is going. Happy writing.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ricky

1 Year Ago

Thank you, i know the chapters are a bit long and i pause between days when i write them. You're rig.. read more



Reviews

This is an excellent story line with great potential. I do think you could use some fresh eyes for editing. You swap from him and her frequently, and a few other spots made me back track or reread, readers don't want to waist time reading thing over and over especially if it is a complex story to begin with. I enjoyed the characters and am truly intrigued by where it is going. Happy writing.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ricky

1 Year Ago

Thank you, i know the chapters are a bit long and i pause between days when i write them. You're rig.. read more
Wow. Thats really all I have to say, its so freaking good.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on January 24, 2018
Last Updated on February 14, 2019
Tags: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Action, Drama


Author

Ricky
Ricky

Seattle, WA



About
I am a young ambitious man who has always been fascinated in telling stories. And unlike the rest of my family who can draw very artistically i cannot so writing is as best as i can in displaying what.. more..

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A Chapter by Ricky