The Imaginarium - Chapter 4

      Chapter 4

      The inner compound of the Penitentiary was awfully quiet but was adequately lighted. Adam sneak near the wall, snaking and following as it waves and stop behind the guard's tower. He looked around the empty compound and managed to spot several guards standing and patrolling near the building. He peeked past the guard tower. "Four guards and two guard towers, nice." he said and leaned back to the wall again. Thanks to the dark night and the lack of lighting around the Penitentiary, Adam blend in perfectly to the shadows. He crouched and eyed the patrolling guards and the static guards near the door. He pulls out the key-cards and looked at it. "I guess, this is the key-card" he said and pulled the red key-card from the bunch and puts the rest back into his pouch. He zipped it and push himself back up.

      A blast of cold wind rushed down from the high walls of the mountains around the Penitentiary. Several of the patrolling guards stopped at their tracks and held themselves tight as they shiver from the sheer coldness. Adam clenched his fists and pumps it to let the blood in his body running. He was shivering but he ignored the feeling. He crept past the first patrolling guard and wait inside the shadow near the high fences surrounding the area and wait for the second patrolling guard to went past him.

      After successfully avoiding the second patrolling guard, Adam crept forwards towards the two guards standing guard in front of the front entrance of the main security building. He eyed the side of the building but the sheer darkness crippled his vision to see anything farther than a few feet in front of him. He rubbed his hands hard and blow into it. He cups it and rubs the warmth to his face, relishing the momentary warmth around his face. He smiled and looked back to the guards. He needs to do something about them or at least find another entrance, or windows.

      "Windows..." he said. He looked up and around the front side of the building for windows which, much to his dismay, there were none. He sighed. He crept closer and took the side trip to the side of the building. It was dark but the residue light from the front inner compound gave him just enough to guess what was in front of him. He looked up as he trekked the heavy snow and saw a lone window several feet near the center of the side wall. In the distance, he could see a small door with only a single light shining down to it. Tempted to try, Adam took the first step but stopped. "Nice, hidden camera" he said. Hidden by the strong shadows were a standard closed circuit camera pointing right at the door.

      Adam turned his head back to the lone window. The main security building was bigger than he thought. He could be taking his time around the building. Such thing worries him but he had no other choice. Carefully, he backed up a few steps back enough for a sprint and crouched into a starting run position. He took a deep breath and pushed hard on the snowy ground behind him. The snow dampened his speed but it was just enough to propel him to grab the edge of the window with his fingers. He groaned and kicked the wall for support. He slipped several times but finally managed to support his body with the toe edge of his shoes and push himself up.

      Adam grabbed on the window's frame and pulls it. The window creaked but nonetheless moved. Careful not to wake up the rest of the guards, he push on the window several inches every several minutes.

      When the window was finally open enough for him to slip through, Adam push himself up and slides in. He sat near the railing for awhile overlooking several guards who were on shift. He counts them and watch their routine before planning his entrance. He followed the first patrolling guard and watch as he march down the hallway greeting returning patrol guard and disappears behind into the first turn to the left. He turns his eyes back to the guards standing in front of the metal detector machine puffing out on his cigarettes and the man standing next to him. The way he statued in front of the machine made Adam frown. Unlike the others, the guard stood still, statued to the ground. Adam crept away crouching lower than the concrete railings. Moving along the shadows, he moused down the upper hallway to follow the first patrolling guard into the turn.

      "What's up?" said the first patrolling guard to one of the static guard.

      "Nothing. It's boring today." the static guard replied. The first patrolling guard smiled. "By the way, did you hear about the killing in the main terminal this afternoon?"

      The first patrolling guard shook his head. "I don't really watch much tv" he said and proceed to continue his mission.

      Adam listened and followed the guard again watching him as he passes through a fence wall that separates the front section of the building to the back section. He ran for the fence and his eyes follows its frame. It was steel and thick. Its tube frame ran along the walls up to the ceiling and down into a metal box with a large 'CAUTION' and the symbol of electrocution underneath it. He clicked his tongue and turn back.

      Adam crept back down the walkway. He eyed the walls around him in case he missed a staircase or anything he could use to go down a floor other than jumping. It was until he was halfway through that he saw a large shadow on the wall. Pitch black amongst the shadow. He walks to it and jerked his head forward. It was a staircase with no light. "How the hell do they run this prison?" he said and step down the staircase crouching. He hid inside the shadow once he hit the bottom and wait for the patrolling guard to walk back.

      It took awhile but the guard finally went pass by. Adam was about to lose hope when he saw the guard walk past him. It turn his hoping face bright and a smile broke. He crept forward, moving into the brighter area and peeked down the hallway – empty. He grinned and mouse his way towards the electric fence before. A large metal detector like machine sat in the center of the fence and another door with a keypad sat next to it. Adam took out the red key-card he got from Brad and slides it on the keypad. The red LED on the keypad dimmed and fade. The magnetic lock undid itself and another LED on the keypad glowed green. It worked, his mind exclaimed. He wanted to jump in joy but its inappropriateness held him back. He pushed the door open and gave it a gently push back to close. The magnetic lock clicked and the LED on the keypad glowed red again.

      Adam went through the large red door into an empty cafeteria. The place was dark and eery. Long metal tables coated red on top and silver legs lined in sixes across the room. Benches, wooden and old, some adorned with graffiti lined at each sides of each tables. It was packed but gave enough room to line up along the aisles. Adam make his way towards the side entrance with the word 'EXIT' written on top of it. He pushed the door but it pushed him back. A faint sound of something tapping on the other side of the door held it close shut together. He gave it a push again and listened to the sound. "Shit... chains." he said.

      He gave up and walk towards the kitchen. The metal door swings open revealing empty stations cluttered with pans and pots and unwashed dishes. Flies and maggots fills the dustbins and ants march around the floors. He pinched his nose and walked away squeamish. "What the hell?" he said. He went past the filthy kitchen towards the back door where foods and supplies were brought into the cafeteria. He makes a quick dash towards the steel shutter at the end of the cramped storehouse and knelt down. He ran his fingers through the bottom edge of the shutter and pulls it up. It cranks and stuck only after a few millimeters. "Damn!" said Adam. He sat on the floor and held his head with his hands. "Think, think!"

      Adam scrambled back to the cafeteria hall and back to the exit door. He gave it a push again and felt it retaliate. He looked back to the kitchen and frowned. "What if..." he said and heads back to the kitchen. The metal door swung open for the second time and Adam pinched his nose again. He heads for the sink where more ants march around the back of the sink and up the wall before disappearing behind the cabinets above. He pulls out one of the kitchen knife he deemed 'clean' and pulls a piece of paper from his pouch. He placed the knife on the station behind him and wrote down 'FIRE SWORD' on the paper. He held off his energy from seeping into the paper and wrapped it around the knife, holding it tight with his hand. He ran back.

      Adam took a deep breath. His grip on the hilt of the knife loosen and tighten. His palm felt sweaty and his heart felt uneasy. "One thing left to do.." he said and released his energy into the paper which in turn carries it forward and transfers it into the knife. The knife vibrate with enough intensity to make Adam think twice but he held on. A spark of red flame explodes around the knife's blade edge and extends into the air in front of it. Adam slides the fiery knife into the small opening at the center of the door and pulls it up towards the door's lock. His arms shouts pain to him and he felt the tugging coming from the other side of the door. Smears of red liquid drips onto the floor with hisses and smokes and the smell of burned grass. Adam pulls harder and slides the knife back and forth like a saw, hoping to get through the chain faster. The piece of paper he used to wrap the knife darkened.

      With one great pull, Adam managed to cut through the chain. He made a mad dash towards the kitchen and almost threw the burning knife into the sink. He turned the tap and let the water floods the cluttered sink before dipping the melting knife into it along with the charred paper in his hand. He looked to his reddened hand. Pain pricked at the skins like tiny invisible needles. He grits his teeth and sank his hands into the running tap hoping to cool it down. "Bad idea..." he said.

      Adam went back to the door. His hands were trembling but it was not longer hot. He tried for a grip but felt the skin too tight to let him so he gave up. He pushed the exit door slightly and poked his head through. He looked down the main compound and took a deep breath before pulling his head back inside. He sighed. "Okay, too bright" he said. He sat on the floor with his palm pressed to the cool checkered cement and inhaled. He let the coldness from the cement seeps into his hands.

      Adam let out a breath and push himself back up. His hands numbed from the coldness but his fingers still obeyed him albeit a little tight. He gave the door a slight push and slide outside, avoiding the hardened pool of metal from the chain he melted.

      The main compound differs greatly from the inner compound he passed earlier. It was larger and brighter. Floodlights splashes all over the place, covering every visible ground. Remnant lights floods shadows fading it. Yet even with all the light, it was the domed roof that caught Adam's by surprise.

      Adam crouched as low as he possibly can and moused to the corner of the cafeteria outer wall just before it joints with the main compound. The light stopped just before the wall giving him enough shadow to hide into. He peeked, counting guards and looking at their pattern of movements.

      Once confident and know what he would have to do, Adam pulls out several pieces of paper and folds them into the shapes of a grenade, a dynamite and a small mortar. He pulls out his marker and wrote down 'CLUSTER GRENADE', 'DRAGON'S BREATH' and 'MORTAR' on each of the origami. He closed his eyes and concentrate his energy into all three origami until they glow blue and whispers a hum. He looked to the open area of the main compound and placed a virtual marker inside his brain to where he wants the origami to go. He grabs them carefully in his hands and walk back a few paces behind. He placed them on the ground and picked up the first of the three origami, the cluster grenade origami. It felt heavy once his energy was infused into it but light enough not to encumbered him.

      Like an Olympian shot putter, Adam placed the grenade between his shoulder blade and his neck and using the leverage from the distance he moved back, he dashes forward and threw the grenade high into the air.

      The grenade arc into the air like a small golf ball over several guards and landed on the far end of the compound. It thud and sat silent.

      Adam felt the tug to his guts but he held on. He needs to time everything just right or else it would be hell. He went back and picked up the dragon's breath, a fancy name that he found very fond of for his favorite firecracker. Holding it like a knife, he gave a few turn and hurled it high towards the center of the compound. It landed flat on the ground and rolled before coming to a stop.

      Adam grits his teeth and fell to the ground holding his stomach. The tug was powerful for the dynamite added with the grenade, it felt like his stomach was about to be strip away from his body. He coughed light and silent and went back up on his feet heading back for the last of his plan. The mortar.

      He gulped. It was heavy and hurling it would be killing him, that much he know. So instead he pick it up and heave it to the door of the cafeteria. He placed it nose down and leaned it to the wall. He felt like puking but held it down with a deep breath. He gasped, tightening his own throat holding the pressure coming from each unreleased bombs. He closed his eyes and took another deep breath. What comes next is going to be one of the craziest things he had ever done. He whipped out his sword and shield origami and send down his energy towards it. Both origami glow blue and a faint miasma emerged from them the shape of shield and sword. The miasma of the sword glistened underneath the bright lights. He held the sword origami in his hand and the shield origami, he placed it in a small zipped pocket on his jacket. He took one last breath and made the mad dash.

      Most of the guards whipped to face him when they heard his scream. A couple moved back to rang the alarm. Adam ran forth towards the first two guards nearest to him. He slashed their arms before they could aim their rifles to him and used their bodies as shields. He picks up their rifle and countered the incoming fire from a patrolling guard. The alarm blared to life. Red lights danced around the closed compound, sending the floodlights brighter. The mixed of red and yellow light shoots out the temperature inside the closed area. Sounds of gears boomed in the distance and with a mighty heave, the domed roof above slides open, revealing the dark starry night. Cold winds stampede the ground sending some of the soldiers back to hiding. Adam grits his teeth but kept vigilant. He ran towards the nearest patrolling guards and shot them point blank. He ignored his bloodied face and heads for the next set of guards who were hiding behind sandbag walls.

      Adam leaped over the sandbag walls and slashed down at the surprised guards. He pushed himself forward and hid behind the wall himself. Behind him back at the cafeteria, more guards flood the main compound. Adam took a peek. A squad of guards exist the cafeteria. Adam closed his eyes and tightened his stomach. The energy that binds him to the mortar disappears as did the energy that binds him to the dragon's breath. Both explosives explodes and the vibration caused the walls of the cafeteria to crack and implode. A wall of fire erupted from the center of the main compound, separating the guards from the cafeteria and the guards from the main prison complex.

      Adam placed the sword back into his pouch after inhaling the energy from it. He picked the two rifle from the dead guards and rushed forward towards the main entrance. He shot down two more guards as he makes his way towards the entrance. Two guards stood near the door and aimed at Adam. He discards the two rifles and jumps with his shield in front. He pulls out his sword origami from his pouch and fills it back with energy. The sword origami hums and glowed blue and the sword miasma reappeared. He landed on the ground taking severl steps backward, pushed by the momentum from the bullets. Adam pushed his legs with every strength he has and dash forward using the opening when the rifle reloads.

      Panicked struck the two guards but before they could aim back, Adam had already stood in front of them. He slashed both guards neck and kicked the door to a dent. The wall around the door shook with such power the hinges cracked and dusts fell off from the ceiling. Adam stopped himself using the door and heave for air. He had overused his energy and is running low. He spat looked around the door. He noticed the small keypad and a slide for key-card above it. He looked back to the center of the main compound. The dragon's breath was still active preventing anymore backup from the front compound inside. He smiled and pulls back the energy inside his shield and sword giving him momentary relief. He scrambled for his pouch and pulls out the key-cards. He slides the blue key-card – nothing. The green was the same. Confident, he slides the yellow key-card but was met with the same buzzing sound of error. Furious, he slammed the keypad open. Sparks and smokes flew from the broken keypad.

      Adam stepped back and pulls out a piece of paper. He looked to the thinning packet and sighed. "I should have packed more" he said and fold the one he held in his hand into the shape of a grenade. He pulls out his marker and wrote down 'BUNKER BUSTER' on the origami. Blue energy seeps from his hands into the origami, turning the light paper into the weight of a grenade. "Let's hope this is enough to blow the door away" he said and threw the grenade towards the door.

      The grenade hits the door and slammed itself into the dirt in front of it.

      Three seconds past.

      The grenade explode.

      Taking down the entire building down with it. Adam looked with wide eyes and gaping mouth. "Okay... maybe I try not to use that next time..." he said. The fire wall behind him began to waver. He took a quick glance and ran inside through the destroyed wall.

      Corpse of guards crushed by the wall or killed by the blast littered the front room. Adam walked past them, looking straight into the deafening prison cell area. Screams and banging of bars echoed throughout the prison area. Men and women of all convictions screams for release, scream in joy for whatever it is happening to them.

      Adam step inside with darting eyes. He went past cells after cells looking for Melissa. He called out to her but his voice was drowned by the screams and the banging of bars. Distressed and out of time, Adam broke into a jog. He screamed louder, ignoring the taunts and the invitation by convicts eager to get out of their tiny cells.

      "Adam"

      Adam whipped to face the end of the area. A large fence guarded behind it by a horde of guards stood with rifles and batons in their hands all looking at him with angry eyes. He squints and focused his ears amidst the screams and bangs.

      "Adam"

      The voice came again from behind the guarded fence. Adam reactivated his shield and his sword. He kicked the ground hard and dash towards the fence with his shield in front. Rifles fired and pallets of metal bullets rained Adam, hitting his shield like hailstorms shot from point blank. He crouched and pressed his way towards the fence, hiding his body behind his shield as much as he could.

      Adam slashed on the fence and it fought back, almost prying his sword off his hand. He quickly hide behind his shield again and looked for another way through. Another hail of bullets rained on him, pushing his down to the concrete floor. With nearly depleted strength, Adam placed his arm on the side of his head and let his body becomes the support for his shield. "Shit!" he said only to saw the keypad on the door next to him. He pulls out the remaining key-card and inch slowly towards the keypad. The guards followed him as he draws closer towards the door. Some left their rifles to the ground and proceed to pushing the large table behind the fence to block the door.

     Adam stood behind the door and held his shield to cover his upper body. He slides the blue key-card and watched it dismay as the red LED blink. He quickly change to the yellow key-card and slides it just in time to block a bullet from hitting him from the side. The bullet ricochet and hit a prisoner in the chest, sending him flying to the floor. The LED blinked green and the door swung open halfway through before being blocked by the table. Adam growled. He took a few step backwards and shouldered the door with his shield tuck to his shoulder. The door slammed the table sending it jerking but the combined strength of the guards held it from being flown away. Furious by the guards, Adam pulls out his sword and send down even more energy into it. The origami in his hand crumpled and the miasma changed into something more physical. The blue glow intensify and with a roar, Adam slashed down through the opening, cleaving the door and several guards behind it.

     He gave the door another push and fell forward into the panicking guards. Not wanting to give the guards time to aim their rifles, Adam pushed his already aching legs to the floor sending him sliding towards the guards. He slashed at their ankles and watch them fall shooting the ceiling. The blue glow on the sword and shield waver. Adam held his head, his vision began to spin. He slapped himself hard and pushed himself back to his feet. Heaving for air, he looked down to the two screaming guards and tore their arms from their rifles with a slash from his sword. He inhaled and stood with closed eyes. His shield and sword origami transformed into dusts and fell off his arm pocket and his hand. His heart race, his lungs burning. He was drenched with sweat. Scratches from near hit bullets cut through his face and legs. His arm holding the shield trembled from overuse.

     The scream in the area continues as he stayed longer behind the fence. Some of his strength had came back to him but he was too low on energy to fold anymore paper. He opened his eyes and picked up the rifles left by the dead guards on the floor and checked the ammo still left inside. "Enough, I guess.." he said. He lean his back on the wall and slammed the butt of the rifle to the door, sending it swinging open and slam itself to the wall on the other side. Adam took several quick peek inside. Confident with what he saw, he took a step into the room followed by another. He grabbed the door and closed it back behind him without the sound. The scream and banging of bars behind him muffled by the walls.

     Adam frowned.

     The room was dim, almost dark and there was nothing inside save for a small chair and a hanging light that gives out dying light. It flickers as it swing lazy to the sides.

      "Melissa?" he said but there was no reply.

      "Melissa!" he said again. A footfalls came from beyond, amongst the shadows.

      "Adam" a voice followed the footfall. A shadow slides down the floor where the fading light shone. A figure came out with a smile.

      "Melissa" said Adam. He stepped forward and hugged his wife tight. His fatigue lifted and he felt refreshed to see her smiling face. She was badly bruised and her hair was a mess. She was wearing a single green robe, like the ones they used in hospitals only hers covered all over her body.

     Melissa sobbed.

     "It's okay, darling, don't worry, I'm here" said Adam.

     "I'm sorry." said Melissa.

     "Don't worry about it" said Adam. He massaged her hair and back. He kissed her cheek and forehead before giving her face another look.

     "I'm sorry." said Melissa smiling. Tears fell from her eyes when she pulls out the dagger from Adam's chest.