Author's note: Please take a look! i wrote this for all audiences and i plan to add action sequences but it is... Show full author's note »
Chapter 7: Break In October 3rd 1942“Okay, so everyone knows the plan?” Eleanor asked Jackson and I. She looked at each one of our determined faces.
I tried to look expressionless, but my straight black hair that was now covering my face and pale skin proved to display some sort of nervousness, so Jackson reached out his arm and padded me on the back in what must have been a comforting way. It was 9:30p.m. We had spent all day devising a plan on how to bail out Ian from where he was being held. We were all pretty tired
My leather pants were holding up, as was my jacket. I hoped that we wouldn’t have to resort to violence, because that would not solve anything. That would only make our situation worse, but none the less I tucked my knife within the folds of jacket and stood up. It was now almost pitch black outside, with a chilling breeze blowing my hair behind my back and out of my face. I turned my head in the direction of the base, now a menacing light in the distance, daring whoever was brave enough to come closer and see what was in store for them.
Eleanor and Jackson also arose. We all stepped back a bit; breaking the small huddle we once were squatting in. Eleanor nodded to both of us and murmured almost silently to us:
“Be careful, quick, and quiet…and don’t let General Lancaster catch you!” Her words were whipped away by the wind, but I heard her.
Jackson was staring at me, his eyes full of some ancient sadness I knew not of. He turned and began walking in the direction he was supposed to head in, but then turned back quickly and swept me up into a tight, bone crushing bear hug that pulled me to him in an instant. He whispered to me and said:
“Good luck Jade. And promise not to get caught just to find Ian faster, please. Do this for me.” And with that, he pulled back, kissed me on the forehead, released me, and then took off, heading north. I smiled to myself in the moonlight. Jackson was never one for physical affection, so his hug had surprised me, but I was still glad that he had done it. I bent down to tie my laces tighter, one more time and then took off in the opposite direction.
This was it, we were going to get Ian back, but unfortunately, I knew that I was not going to keep my promise to Jackson. I was going to have to get caught in order to enter the jail near the barracks. There just wasn’t enough time to sneak my way across the yard to the barracks. There just wasn’t.
I was precariously perched on the edge of a tree limb, my weight barely weighing down the branch. As far as the tree was concerned, I was just a very big squirrel who had eaten a few too many berries during the winter. I was about 20 feet about the headquarters building for the military base. The branch I had chosen stretched over the tall, brick wall that kept all military business within it. I was squatting down, carefully and quietly edging one foot in front of the other, getting as close to the end of the tree branch without causing it to snap. I edged closer.
“Just a bit more,” I muttered to myself, “Just a little further until you drop to your death and splatter all over that black roof below.”
This was it. This was as far as I dared go without the tree limb threatening to break. I hoped Eleanor and Jackson were in position. I didn’t think I would be able to squat here much longer. I looked at the two corners opposite me, trying to see Eleanor or Jackson. I scanned the horizon and eventually spotted them. Eleanor, hanging upside-down from her knees, was dangling from another tree about a mile away. I could just make out her ponytail swinging behind her, and her red penguin style jacket hanging behind her. Her black and white striped shirt revealed her stomach, and her black khaki clad legs were draped over the tree’s limb. I have no idea why she decided to wear such a conspicuous outfit. Her red vinyl jacket and flats were reflecting the moonlight and made her look like a searchlight.
Jackson was perched on his branch in a safer way, like me. He caught my eye and nodded, giving me the signal that it was time to drop. We had all decided to enter the base at the same time, so that if one of us was caught, they could distract the rest of the camp, and the others might be able to make their way to the barracks.
Eleanor had apparently seen the signal too; because she was now perched like I was and ready to drop. I nodded at her, turned on my heels, and dropped, but caught myself by my arms as planned. I tried swaying back and forth, my gloves providing a great grip on its wooden surface, and surprisingly, the branch obeyed and swayed closer to the gathering of pine needles atop the black roofed building. I hoped that it would cushion my fall enough to not injure and not attract the entire camp’s attention.
I swayed one last time. Close, and then far, close and then far, and then let grip loosen on the branch, launching me through the air and towards the clump of pine needles. I had to use every ounce of courage that I had to not scream as the black roof got closer and closer until…
Thump! Amazingly I had landed right on target and had not made too much noise I sighed and let out a long breath, filling my lungs with the icy cold morning air once again. I gazed up at the stars, thankful not to have broken anything, but I was still a bit sore. I knew that I would be covered in bruises tomorrow, but I still survived about a 15 foot drop! That was definitely something to be proud of. I sat up quickly, my ears tuning back into the sounds around me. There was the rustle of leaves from a nearby tree, crickets, quiet marching, the breeze and voices. Voices! And they were nearing my hiding place! I jumped to my feet and sprinted to the edge of the roof, then made an abrupt stop. I had made a lot of noise and was now silently praying that I had not been discovered.
“Raleigh, I’m sure you didn’t hear anything. It’s middle of the night. Nobody would come here at such an early hour. Come on back to dining hall with me. I hear that the cook brought out an early morning supper.”
“Look Hampton, I’m sure I heard something. Let’s just check the roof to be sure that there is nothing up there and then we can head in. I know I heard something running around up there.”
“Fine, but you get to take my next shift.” The solider by the name of Raleigh grumbled.
“Whatever, just help me get the ladder off the ground so we can check.”
There was a sigh and then some groaning. I couldn’t tell for sure, but I thought the ladder was made of metal from all the clanging sounds it made as the two soldiers tried to put it upright. My heart had stopped in its tracks, not daring to beat at all, but then I remembered that I needed to get caught in order to get to the barracks in time. I really hoped that Eleanor and Jackson had made out okay, but I knew I would have to worry about them later. It was time to worry about me right now. I heard them finally prop the ladder against the roof, and then took a few steps back from the roof’s edge. I didn’t want to fall off, but I also didn’t want to get caught before I was ready.
I fumbled around in my bag until my hands found purchase on my knife in it’s ivory case. I slipped it down my bootleg and shook my boot, making sure it had found somewhere to nestle itself in. I also pulled my timepiece from my bag, wrapped its chain around itself and slid it down my other boot. Shaking that leg out, I watched one of the solider poked his head above the roof and scanned the horizon. He was young and looked pretty friendly. I was glad to be caught by these two. The one now staring straight at me, Hampton I presumed, had a round face, brown eyes and short, cropped blonde hair. He had an A. Hampton embroidered in fancy calligraphy on his right breast pocket. His eyes popped wide open as he saw me, and I, not knowing what else to do, cocked my head to the side, smiled sweetly at him and blinked twice. Confusion washed over his features, causing his eyebrows to knit in confusion and what appeared to be frustration.
“There is someone up here!” Hampton shouted! “You were right!” But then, as quickly as his wave of confusion had arisen, anger washed over him, and he ran up the ladder and grabbed me by the arm. He couldn’t be a day over 20. He reminded me of Ian…
“Well, don’t just stand up there! Bring the lad down!” Raleigh chided. Hampton pushed me away from him a bit, trying to size me up, and then his eyes popped open even wider.
“It’s not a lad we have here, it’s a lass!” Hampton exclaimed!
“A girl! There is a GIRL up here! She is dressed as a man, but she is definitely a girl, I can tell by her-
“Hey!” I shouted, “I’m right here ya know!”
“You’re right Hampton!” Raleigh yelped, “It is a girl, I can tell by her voice!” Hampton was still eyeing me and then shouted down to Raleigh:
“Yes, and she’s pretty too!” I blushed. Nobody had ever called me pretty before, but then I stopped short. He probably hadn’t noticed my eyes, and hadn’t gotten the chance to call me a freak yet. With the hand that was not being held by Hampton, I brushed some of my long black bangs out of my ponytail, and over my purple eye. I figured that green wasn’t to unnatural a color, even though my green was breathtakingly bright and just as shocking in hue. “Hey, stop that!” Hampton said, grabbing my other arm as well. His eyes narrowed, but he did not attempt to move the bangs from my eyes.
“Well bring her down here! Let General Lancaster have a look at her and he’ll decide what to do with her!” shouted Raleigh from below. I turned my gaze away from Hampton and down at Raleigh. Hampton still hadn’t quit staring at me, and as soon as Raleigh said General Lancaster, my stomach had started to churn. I frowned and tried to pull away from Hampton and his awkward gaze, but he gripped my arms tighter leaned closer, as if trying to see something hidden in my appearance. Which of course there was, but I didn’t feel that he needed to see my eye. The last thing I wanted was to be made fun of by two people I didn’t even know.
“Now I don’t want any funny business,” Hampton said to me, trying to look me in the eye while I still tried to avoid his gaze. “Look at me!” he said to me in a loud voice. He shook me back and forth, and in doing so, moved the bangs away from my eye, revealing it and all its purple goodness. I looked up at him, aware that my time was up. “Would you look at that.” he murmured, suddenly entranced by my gaze. “Two different colours, just like…Anastasia.”
“Wait, what?” I stuttered, “How do you know-” But Raleigh cut me off.
“What’s going on up there?” Raleigh screeched from below. I could tell he was getting impatient.
Hampton continued to stare at me in his trance, but then shook it off and gripped my arms tighter once more. “Don’t try anything funny. I have a gun in my left pocket, and if you try to run, I’ll shoot.”
I nodded briskly, staring up at him. There was something vaguely familiar about him. I knew him from somewhere, but how did he know about Anastasia? And did he know me? From the look of utter puzzlement on his face I guessed not, but still…
Hampton pushed me towards the edge of the roof. I stumbled, but he caught me since he had still not let go of my arms.
“Well, go on then. Climb on down.” He nodded to the metal ladder and let my arms go. I turned toward it, but then back up at him. In the shadowy night, I couldn’t see him completely, but he still looked like a nice person, and gave me a strange sense 2of déjà vu when I looked at him. I cocked my head to the side, but he broke his gaze away and nudged me again towards the ladder with his hand.
I turned around again and headed down the ladder.
“Would you look at that? An actual girl on our roof! I can’t believe it!” Raleigh shrieked.
“Don’t get too excited,” I smirked at him, “I don’t plan to stay long.”
“Ha! She’s got spunk! And she’s dressed like a boy! I never thought I’d see the day!” Raleigh almost giggled with delight. I chuckled to myself and jumped off one of the rungs of the ladder that was a ways from the ground. I pulled off my gloves and tucked the in one of the inside pockets of my jacket. Raleigh tensed and pulled his gun from its holster by his side.
“Don’t move!” He shouted. “I don’t want to hurt you but I will if necessary!”
“Relax Raleigh,” Hampton replied. He made his way down the ladder and jumped off like I had. “The General with want to see her. It would be best not to blow her brains out before then.”
“Right,” Raleigh agreed. It was easy to see that Hampton was Raleigh’s superior. It looked liked Hampton was a lieutenant and Raleigh was his sub officer.
“Come on, we better bring her to him quickly, I don’t know how late it will be before they let her go.”
“Alright.” Raleigh straightened up and put his gun back into its holster by his side. “come on then girlie. It’s time to meet the nice old General I’m sure that he will be as glad to see you as you are to see him.” Raleigh smiled slyly and took my left arm. In the harsh light that now was shining down on me from all of the lights lining the sidewalks of the base, I could tell that Hampton and Raleigh were opposites. Raleigh looked devious but obedient while Hampton looked kind but rebellious. Hampton grabbed my left arm, and they both began marching towards the door of the headquarters building just a few feet away.
I could tell that I was in trouble and I knew that I would regret having done this, but there wasn’t much time before sunrise, and our entire operation depended on the cover of darkness, and the time we had prior to the arrival of the other generals to this base. As the officers on either side of me thrust the large metal doors in front on me open, and dragged me into the sickeningly white room, I stared straight into the eyes of General Lancaster.
“Well, well, well, what do we have here? I hope that this little fox hasn’t strayed too far the pack.” The general sneered. He looked to the left of the desk at which he was sitting, and at Eleanor and Jackson with their arms being held behind their backs by a pair of very unfriendly looking soldiers with indifferent expressions plastered on their pale faces.
Jackson had his head hung down. And I could see a long cut stretching from his right eyebrow to a bit below his cheek. Luckily, whatever had cut him had missed his eyelid, but had continued down his cheek after that. He looked unconscious, and he could have been, since he and Eleanor were both on their knees. Eleanor looked up suddenly when she heard me gasp, and I could see a big, purple bruise forming on her left cheek.
I simply stared wide eyed with horror at them, and then back at the general. He had brown hair and dark brown, almost black beady little eyes shoved into face. He had a long face, and a menacing grin that stretched just a little too far across his face in a very unnerving and inhuman way.
“Take those two the jail cells we have so kindly prepared for them,” he said in a horrifying voice. It sounded like razors, sharp and earsplitting even at a low volume. “But leave that girl with me.” He said, pointing at me.
Hampton nodded unhappily and took Raleigh with him over to Eleanor and Jackson. The four officers forced Eleanor and Jackson to their feet and dragged them away, through another set of white doors behind them. This whole place looked and smelled like a hospital, except for the metallic sharp smell that I began to recognize as blood. I sank to my feet after Raleigh and Hampton and Raleigh had let go of my arms. I felt helpless and alone as General Lancaster approached me, a long knife glinting in its holster by his side. I could tell he wasn’t one for guns, and was glad for that.
My head hung down, and I was sitting somewhat on my knees, my arms sprawled out on either side of me, not caring what happened now. The whole break in attempt seemed pathetic and hopeless now. There never really was a chance for us to actually rescue Ian.
I sat there, staring at the ground, enveloped in my own dismal thoughts until I heard General Lancaster’s footsteps nearing where I sat on the ground. I slowly raised my head, reluctant to meet his gaze. This was going to be bad, I could just feel it. It was silly to come here. To think we actually stood a chance against the military. It all started with the stupid military drafting. If only Ian could be home with us right now, away from all of this military business. This was going to be it. We had come so far, but our efforts were futile in the end. The military would always win.
And with that, I closed my eyes and prayed. For Ian. For Eleanor. For Jackson. And family.