Savages Part Two

By David E. Gates

The van crashed through the fence of the field that ran alongside the road and careered over the ridges of earth that had been formed earlier in the day by a plough.

The field sloped upward slightly, the rise making one of the ridges deeper than the rest, and the van hit this and stopped dead. The woman, still holding the shotgun and facing toward the back of the vehicle, was thrown toward the front of the van.

The top of her skull hit the windscreen and her lower back hit the dash simultaneously. Her spine broke in two places at the same instant. Her kidneys pulverised moments later.

The glass shattered and fell about her prone body as it came to rest half-in and half-out of the van. Blood from her head fell and mixed with the blood on the grille from the innocent man they'd hit earlier. Rising steam from the radiator refracted the light from the headlights and made curious patterns on the blood's surface.

Her body convulsed, as death came for her, and her hands tightened their grip. The shotgun went off. The man, held in place by his seatbelt, but knocked unconscious as his head hit the wheel, jerked awake as the shot seared through his thigh.

The banging from the rear of the van became more intense and primal noises could be heard.

From somewhere behind the van came voices. Officious. Instructing. He couldn't make them out but they weren't friendly. He made to leave the van but his seatbelt held him fast. He panicked slightly, and leant back in the seat to release the tension on the belt and pushed down on the button that held the restraint in place.

As he did so, a wrenching of metal occurred directly behind him and he closed his eyes as the claws ripped across his face, digging one of the eyeballs out of his sockets. His scream was significantly reduced as a second and third claw ripped through the soft and flexible flesh of his cheek, catching above and below his tongue and pulling the studded pole he had through it out of his mouth, leaving his tongue behind.

More metal wrenched open, and the man watched with his one good eye as the figure crammed itself through the escape hole it had made. The figure regarded him for a moment, then clumsily fell onto the woman. For a second, as the figure tried to regain its balance, the malformed couple looked as if they were engaged in intercourse.

As the voices from behind the van grew louder, the figure took hold of the woman's shoulders and pulled itself up, and over her, and through the windscreen. Horrible cracking sounds of the woman's ribs giving way under the weight of the bulky figure echoed around the van's cab. Then gentle padding sounds as the creature stole away across the field and into the night, its pale flesh turning red as it briefly moved in front of the blood-stained headlight glow.

The driver door opened.

"We got a live one here!" Shouted the guy who had opened the door. "Damaged. But alive."

The man attempted to speak, but with a freshly-forked tongue his words came out slurred. "Who are you guyssshh? Really?"

"Just take it easy fella. We'll have you outta there soon." The man dressed like an FBI agent said.

A second man, dressed in a pale blue smock, similar to that which surgeons wear, appeared and without hesitation inserted a large hypodermic needle into the man's leg. The van driver's single eye bulged as the fluid from the needle gushed into his leg, then closed.

When he opened his eye again, he was no longer in the van. He was on an operating table. He knew where he was, even before he sensed the woman working the shot out of his leg told him.

"You're in the Operating Room of Brett Research. You know, the place you used to work. The place you used to work before you took it upon yourself to steal a specimen, a van, and run riot across the state." She said.

"I..." he began.

"We'll catch him. Don't worry," She interrupted, "We caught you."

"Pleasssse..." He tried to say, his tongue working better than it had in the van, but the fluid in his mouth making him gurgle unintentionally.

"Your tongue and leg will heal in time," She leaned closer to him, directly over him and his good eye. "But I'm afraid the eye is gone." Her voice was malevolent. Pleased. "Even with surgery, the damage done is too much. All I could do was seal the wound."

He attempted to raise his hand to feel what had been done to the left side of his face. It was restrained. As were his legs and other hand.

"What will you do to me?" He spluttered.

"The same as we do with all the others. But we have to wait for your wounds to heal. Should give you plenty of time for reflection on the consequences of your actions. You killed an innocent man. And his dog. Covering up for you is made harder by these kinds of incidents. I'm sure you understand."

"Please. Don't do this to me." He pleaded.

"I'll get someone to come in and bandage your leg. It's unlikely you'll see me again." The woman said and turned away from him and out of his newly limited visual range.

He felt sure she hadn't left the room, for he heard no doors open or close. The paranoia he felt from being watched, even several minutes after she'd left him alone, made him tense and struggle against his restraints. Soon after, the effort in doing so and his beleaguered state reduced him to exhaustion from which he fell into a deep and restful sleep.

The office was palatial compared to where he worked, a "cube" as it was called. He'd been told to wait here and that any attempt he made at sabotage or escape would mean he'd be shot on sight and not given the second chance he was being given today. He didn't know what was worse. Being dead, or being reduced to one of "them".

From behind him, a voice. Sudden, and unexpected. It seemed as though he never heard any doors nowadays.

"John, how are you?" It said.

He turned. A man, in his late forties, in an expensive suit, came toward him, his hand outstretched. On seeing that he was unable to return the handshake, the suited man sheepishly pulled his hand back.

"I'd rather have a suit like yours." John said.

"You caused us a lot of trouble John." The suit ignored his comment and sarcasm. "You're an intelligent man. What am I to do?"

"You could let me go." The suit smiled. "I could. But I don't think you could be trusted John. Not that anyone would believe you anyway. We're a well respected pharmaceutical company. We even supply drugs to the president."

"You'd have to kill me then, I guess." John said casually.

"Now, there's the quandary. You're a good man John. We know you're close to sealing the code on the Overseer drug. You know we need you to finish that. Sure, we can make you a vegetable, a savage, like the others, but you have something we need. We're lucky that damn creature didn't pull it out of your head along with your eye."

"And if I don't give you the codes? There's more than one you know."

The suit smiled at John's impertinence. "John, don't try and test me. You're clever. Too damn clever. But remember that I know there's only one code. And I know you have it somewhere inside your head."

John smiled back. He knew his smokescreen wouldn't work, but it was worth a try anyway.

"We'll find your family John." The suit said. Serious. Menacing.

"I don't have a family. Well, none to speak of." John returned.

"Like I said John, don't try and test me. We will find them. Your wife. Your two daughters. And even that cat of yours that never stops whining. What was his name? Timmy?" The suit rested his arse against the edge of the desk that was sized appropriately to his ego.

"You won't find them. And even if you do, I won't give up the code." John said.

"Time will tell. And I'll give you some time. You have one week." The suit said. John saw the almost imperceptible nod the suit gave and readied himself for what was coming from behind.

The crackle of the cattle prod sounded before it hit John's back and the 25,000 volts threw him to the floor in an instant.

Prone, two orderlies lifted him up by the straps on the restraining suit with ease and removed him from the office.

Even before he'd travelled five feet, and though in intense pain, John was already working out a plan.

© Shaun Hutson 2000