Black Watch Asylum Chapter 9
For the next couple hours Nate, Lad, and Razor sat at the table drinking and swapping stories. They found their common interest in sports and talked about it for hours.
“Well we should get going. It’s going to be dark soon.” Razor said looking out the window.
The table full of the soldier types suddenly got up and rushed out the door. Nate watched through the window as the soldier group started to shout and yell at another group of free people across the street. Nate saw the other group was young and beautiful. “Vampires.” He whispered under his breath.
Lad heard Nate. “You’ve seen one of them then?”
Lad and Razor stared at Nate as he continued watching the two groups interact. “Yeah. Somehow I ended up at that hotel were they give out free food tokens.”
“Tsk! That’s a blood den fool. I told you to avoid those places.” Razor hissed.
“Aye, I didn’t know? Noob here remember? Anyways at this blood den they were having some sort of party and that’s when I saw them.” Nate obviously didn’t share the whole story.
“Psht. Man you better avoid those places for real unless you want to end up like one of them.” Razor drained his glass before standing up. “If you’re here that means you probably left your group. There’s an apartment complex two blocks down that’ll sell you a room for cheap.”
“Sell?” Nate asked.
“Yeah sell. You can find free rooms on the outskirts but everyone wants to come live in the city so people sell rooms. See you round Nemo.” Razor walked out of the bar with Lad right behind him.
Nate drained his glass then stood up. Before leaving he went back to the bar. “You got any rations for sale?”
The bartender nodded and pulled out a cooler full of rations. Nate picked out several boxes of crackers and two bags of chips. Some canned beans and a bag of trail mix.
“That’ll be thirty tokens.” The bartender said.
“T-thiry?! Bullshit, its only ten tokens at the wall!”
“Then you walk your ass twenty five miles to the wall and purchase these rations. Otherwise its thirty tokens.”
Nate glared at the man. “You’re a goddam leech you know that?”
“Thank you. Price just went up to fifty tokens.”
“Suck a fart and die.” Nate stomped out the bar empty handed.
“Suck a fart and die?” The bartender repeated in a confused tone of voice but Nate was already out the door.
He found the apartment building several blocks over. “Hey you looking to rent an apartment?” A pretty girl in business attire said to him.
Ever since he was robbed Nate’s been wary of pretty girls. “Yes.”
“Good. That’ll be three hundred tokens.”
‘Prisoner #23849 wishes to trade with you, do you accept?’
“Not so fast. When you give me a key to an apartment and show me that it works only then will I give you the tokens.”
Nate detected anger on the woman’s face but she smiled a fake smile and said, “Right this way.”
She led Nate over to one of the apartment doors and began knocking. The door opened and a burly looking man answered. “Yeah?”
“Got a customer here.” The girl said.
The burly looking man looked at Nate briefly. “Wait here.”
He went inside his apartment then came back out with a set of keys. “Follow me.” He said after locking his own door.
Nate and the girl followed him up five flights of stairs. All the way down the hall and stopped in front of a door that faced the parking lot. He tried several keys before finding the right one, unlocked the door then unlatched the key from the key ring.
The door swung open revealing a bare bones apartment, no furniture, not even a rug on the floor. “That’ll be two hundred and fifty tokens.” The burly man said.
‘Prisoner # 274329 wishes to trade with you, do you accept?’
Nate glared at the girl but she rolled her eyes ‘whatever’. Nate parted with the tokens and took the key and entered the apartment. There wasn’t much to the apartment, it was a small one bedroom one bath apartment. There was running water but no electricity and one mattress lying on the bedroom floor.
An hour later the sun was fully set and the howling began. Nate walked out of his apartment and stood at the balcony leaning his body on the railing. He looked down into the street and saw glowing wolfs running in the streets.
He could also hear screams coming from those who were caught out on the street. Nate felt a certain thrill standing out here as if he was exposing himself to danger. Looking around he could see there were several other brave souls who were standing against the railing looking out at the streets.
“AHHH!” They heard a scream closer than all the others. Nate looked around trying to see if he could spot some action when he saw a woman running for her life. There was one werewolf chasing her from behind.
He heard the other neighbors laugh and point as the woman continued screaming. It all reminded Nate of the ‘Hunt’, this realization sobered him up. “This isn’t right.” He whispered to himself.
“AHHHH!!!” The woman continued to scream.
“This way! Run this way!” Nate yelled. All his neighbors suddenly looked at him in alarm.
“The hell you doing your going to bring ‘them’ here!”
“Then get your ass inside!” Nate snapped. “Hey! Run this way!” He shouted.
The screaming got closer to the point where he could hear the running footsteps of the wolf and the woman. Nate ran down the hallway and down the stairs into the parking lot. He saw the woman running towards him with the werewolf right on her tail.
“This way!” He shouted.
He ran as soon as the woman passed by him. “Up the steps room number 542 it’s at the end of the hall!”
They slowed on the steps. Nate stopped as the werewolf leaped. Hardening his fists he swung at the werewolf’s open mouth. He was pushed backwards as his fist collided. He felt his vision swim as his head cracked against a step.
The werewolf was sent tumbling backwards, several teeth broke off from its mouth. It growled and growled but Nate was back on his feet ready to trade blows again. The werewolf stared at him for a while with oddly human like eyes before it turned tail and ran.
A flash of fear shot through him as he briefly wondered ‘what if the werewolves were actually humans’. But he sent the thought to the recess of his mind and ran up the steps. If those werewolves were human then they wouldn’t be limited to chasing down prey on the street, they’d enter buildings and homes too.
The woman was curled against his apartment door sobbing hysterically. Nate ran over and unlocked the door before ushering her inside. “You’re alright now. It’s okay.” He comforted her. The woman was inconsolable. She had a hoodie sweater on and looked as if she’d been living on the streets for years. This often happened to those who couldn’t afford to get their own place, they’d have to live on the street. The only problem with that was the werewolves hunted at night, and anyone found usually died then and there.
Nate just sat their holding her in his arm as she drenched his shirt with tears. Finally she grew calm and her breathing evened out. Nate didn’t rush her but after the second hour his legs were getting numb.
“Hey…” He said softly gently rocking her back and forth. That’s when noticed the woman was asleep. That’s when he made the biggest discovery of the night, the girl wasn’t even a girl, it was really a small little boy. The first child he’d seen in this hellhole.
Nate picked the little kid up in his arms and laid him down on the matress in the bedroom. He went back to the living room and lie down to rest on the itchy carpet. He tried to sleep but the little kid kept popping into his mind. He knew there was no way a little kid would be sent to Black Watch Asylum. And the no collar on his neck proved he wasn’t sent here.
The only alternative was that the kid was born here. Nate couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to grow up living in a hell hole like this. The more he thought about it the more it frustrated him so he decided to exercise.
When a hundred push-ups exhausted his physical body he was still too amped up to go to sleep. Nate then did push-ups, except he didn’t push with his hands. Instead he used his mind to push him up off the floor. His whole body levitated and he focused on raising himself higher and higher.
At ten feet he couldn’t reach any higher. His brain was also throbbing. Nate stayed at this height as his brain continued to burn as it was strained to its limits. After ten minutes he couldn’t hold himself up any longer. But rather than let go he lowered himself very slowly which made his brain stress even more. By the time he was back on the floor Nate was out like a light.
When he woke up the next morning the kid was gone. There were blood stains he hadn’t noticed in the dark but it was on the floor where the boy cried into his arms, and again on the bed where the boy slept. “Dam… he’s out there bleeding somewhere.”
Nate wanted to let the matter go but he couldn’t. He left the apartment and headed down the stairs keeping his eye out for someone in a black hoodie. Several of the neighbors from last night gave him deathly glares but Nate ignored them.
He searched the alleyways for several blocks around him but no luck. When it hit noon Nate finally called it quits and went into a restaurant for a meal. The meal cost him a ridiculous price but Nate paid up. He still had almost a thousand tokens to spend.
As he sat down eating his burger, fries, and milkshake he looked around at the other customers and wondered how they were here. They were wearing collars like him, except for a few burly men who weren’t. But it still got him wondering as to how they could afford the luxury. He knew to get any tokens, one would have to participate in the hunt. And those who managed to survive would then be targeted by the prisoners so how were these loners able to sit here enjoying luxury food.
After he finished his meal he went out the restaurant and wandered the streets aimlessly. He bumped into someone hard enough to jolt him out of balance.
“Excuse me.” The person he ran into said as they placed an arm onto Nate to steady him.
“That’s alright.” Nate patted the guy’s arm to let him know he could let go. When he looked up he saw the man’s face.
“Right then.” The man smiled but there were four teeth missing, two on the top and two on the bottom. Nate continued walking but he couldn’t help feel like he knew the guy from somewhere.
“You get a good look at him?” The man Nate just bumped into was now standing with a group of people. They watched Nate as he walked further down the street.
“You’re telling me that guy, the guy you almost sent flying from a casual bump, did that to your mouth?” The group snickered.
“He’s stronger then you think Adrian.” The man said dejectedly.
“Alright, alright. Can’t have someone looking down on us, we’ll take care of him.”
“There you are!” Nate shouted. He was in an alley when he found the kid from last night. The kid looked up at him, overgrown hoodie made it hard to see his face but Nate knew it was him just from that one glance.
The kid began to run. “Oh no you don’t.” Nate ran after him. The kid was shockingly fast. Nate thought about using his telekinesis to slow him down but he wasn’t looking to freak the kid out. That’s when he came to a realization.
If I can slow him down, could I speed myself up? Nate had no idea how to do that. He tried sending mental energy into his arms and legs but his speed didn’t increase at all.
Surrounding myself in mental energy does nothing. But what if I… Nate then infused the mental energy into his limbs. His whole perception changed as he became aware of his physical body. The way his arms pumped up and down in tune with his legs. The expansion and contraction of his lungs as air entered his body. Limbs, blood, muscles, skeleton, all of it became visible to him.
Using this ability, he pumped his arms faster and moved his legs faster using his mind. He imagined himself like a doll being controlled to run faster than his muscles would allow. His physical limitations were broken through as the mental energy infused in his limbs allowed him to run faster than ever before. Before he could begin to enjoy the thrill of running at superhuman speeds, the boy who was far ahead of him was suddenly right in front of him.
Nate grabbed him by the shoulder, “Kid I’m not going to hurt you.” Nate said as he approached the kid from behind.
The kid suddenly took a sharp right. Nate tried to follow but the speed he was going at was too great, he ended up twisting his ankle, falling head over heels before slowly coming to a stop. Nate dusted himself off. Got a lot to learn. Nate thought as he used mental energy to take control of his body. The kid was getting farther away, soon he’d be gone, Nate had to be faster.
Focusing on his image he made his arms and legs pump faster and faster to the point where the alley simply became a blur to him, eventually catching up to the kid. He grabbed the kid’s collar, the kid tried to struggle out of his grip. Nate pulled on the kid’s shoulder to slow him down. “Look, I saved you yesterday, I even let you crash in my room as I slept on that itchy ass rug. Doesn’t that count for anything? I just want to help you out but go ahead and run away if you want to.”
Nate let go of the kid’s hoodie and backed away from him. His brain was already strained from the enhancement. He turned off his ability. If the kid ran away now he wouldn’t be able to catch up.
“What do you want?” The kid said in a quiet voice.
“Did you live here all by yourself?” By ‘here’ Nate meant the Black Watch Asylum.
“What’s it to you?” The kid said defensively.
“I’m just baffled. Without a collar you can’t receive or use tokens. Without tokens no way to buy things like food. How did you survive this long?” Nate asked.
“What do you want to hear? That I root around in the trash like some kind of animal?! Or how bout the shit that I do for disgusting adult so that they’d give me the crumbs they throw away? Or how I… I…” The kid grew quiet as tears streamed down his eyes. There was so much anger and hate for the world. Nate saw himself in the kid.
When his parents were slaughtered in front of him he was angry at the demon who did it, but when the world started pointing the finger at him he wanted to see the world burn for his mistreatment.
“It’s messed up, all the things you been through. But you can’t go on living like this. Sooner or later those werewolves will catch you. Why stay in the city, why not move to the outskirts?”
“How? Any territory I end up in will look at my neck and see that I have no collar then they’ll immediately kick me out, sometimes after using me.”