"Why did you come?" Elliott asked as they walked through the alleys, towards Jack's car.
"I don't know, sounded fun," Meraki said, her hands in her pocket, walking in a laid back position behind Jack and Elliott.
"Won't be too fun when you get there," Elliott said, trying to make it sound like a warning but Meraki wasn't budged. She kept on following them.
"Just don't be a burden," Jack said walking over to his car and unlocking the trunk.
Meraki was the one who was almost able to grip and control her powers and was strong physically. Maybe that's why Jack allowed her to tag along. But Elliott saw it differently. He wanted to show her what they were up against.
Jack placed his hand on the car trunk and looked around to make sure no one was around. The trunk opened and Elliott heard Meraki gasp. Handguns, pistols, rifles, knives and quite some stocked up weapons were placed inside.
Jack leaned in, picked out two handguns and started hiding them in his waist belt. Elliott grabbed his hand and stopped him.
"We're not taking these," Elliott said firmly.
"Like hell, we're not. I'm not dying unarmed so stop babbling." Jack said, brushing off Elliott's hand. But he pushed further.
"No, you won't. We're going to a police station and we're already at a risk," Elliott tried reasoning with Jack but he wasn't bothered.
"I'll take care of it so stop wasting time," he said, digging through his weaponry again. He took out a 9mm pistol and tossed it at Meraki which she caught and started gazing at it amusedly.
Elliott was about to protest when Jack tried handing him a similar pistol. He shook his head.
"I don't need it," he said, refusing to take it.
"You might get hurt..", Meraki said.
"I'll be fine," Elliott said, starting to walk away. But on second thought, he stopped and took a look at the arms Jack had stocked up. He reached over and picked up a black bungee cord rope and a waist belt. Then he trudged off and got in the front seat of the car.
"You're too stubborn for your own good, you know?" Jack spoke out but Elliott didn't say anything else.
Soon, he heard the car trunk shut close and they entered the car. They sat in silence for a minute or so and then Jack let out a sigh, preparing to start the car.
"We've done this before, Elliott. We've taken risks, fallen into traps, got pretty beat up. But look at us, we're fine. We'll be okay." Jack said, reaching over and patting Elliott's head, trying to lift him up.
Elliott glanced at him and noticed that he was tensed as well. He nodded in understanding.
"Y'all are cheesy. Can we leave already?" Meraki leaned forward, sticking her head in between the two one them.
Jack started the car and soon, they drove out of the alley heading straight to the Westwood Central Police Station.
The clouds were darker than Elliott had ever seen. The roads looked blurry from the fogs, the night wasn't here yet.
The weather was so grim that it cast a green shadow all over the city. The dull buildings had a faint green hue over them making everything looked worse off.
Elliott felt his head throb when he thought about the possibility that he'd see her again. But deep down he wished it wasn't her at the police station, anyone but her.
He wanted her to stop so that he didn't have to see her, but he knew he'd have to see her again.
The roads were empty and all three of them were silent. A low rumble of the thunder set the tone for all of them. It was still bright outside so no one was backing down, not tonight.
Till the time Jack parked the car in a hidden corner, 3 blocks away from Westwood Police Station, they already knew they would've been safer if they walked. Policemen were spread in every corner of the street and their scared gazes were fixed at the police station building. If Elliott and the others wanted to get out of there safely, they had to be invisible.
"What the hell is going on?" Meraki hissed, trying to peek outside the alleyway but Elliott pulled her back and shook his head side by side.
Suddenly, Jack started walking back to his car with a blank expression.
"Are we going back?" Meraki asked, a little disappointed but relieved.
For a moment Elliott thought Jack was giving up and going back. But he never entered the car. He walked around it and picked up a sharp-looking rock from the side of the road. Then he started scratching the number plate of the car till the numbers were barely visible. Then he opened the car trunk once again and loaded himself with more weapons. He gave some of them to Meraki that she took readily. Then he walked to Elliott.
"Just take them," Elliott handed two revolvers and a machete knife.
"I'm not taking that," Elliott said, pointing at the machete. Jack shrugged and set the machete on his ankle holster.
"Aren't you from a detective agency? Why are you such a coward that you can't even hold a knife?" Meraki pointed out. At first, when she got to know about what Elliott really did, she was quite amused but that was not the case anymore. Jack and Elliott shared a look.
Meraki didn't know that the detective agency they were all working for, was an illegal corporation.
"Also, why are you guys nervous seeing the police around? Aren't you two supposed to be working together?" She said, more curious than doubtful.
"I- I'm just not.. too comfortable carrying guns around," Elliott said, to change the topic.
"I'm doing it too," Meraki said, flaunting her handguns. He hesitated.
"I'm underage," Elliott spoke out.
"So am I- oh... I get your point now." Meraki said, realising that the police wouldn't like the idea of teenagers with weapons. She nodded, not asking any more questions.
"That's why try not to use them unless it is too important to. If it's a human threat, aim for the arm. If it's not.. a human threat, just shoot and run," Jack explained, trying to be as clear as he could. Meraki seemed to get it.
Jack led them as they took to the alleys because the streets were posted with police.
Elliott could hear various kinds of noises that made it a difficult location where the trouble was.
Carefully, they kept on moving forward with hushed feet. They were trying to reach the police station secretly. No one seemed to be walking those alleys except them.
Suddenly, Elliott stopped and looked to his side. He saw a short wall attached to a two-storied building side by side.
"Let's go!" Jack ordered but he didn't move.
"The streets are too dangerous if we don't know where to go," Elliott said, quickly unfastening the bungee rope from his waist belt and tying it around his stomach. Then he backed away and took a run-up to jump and catch the edge of the small wall. He pulled himself and set himself up on the wall.
"We should just follow Jack's lean," Meraki remarked, unsure.
Elliott stood up on the wall and slowly walked on it till he reached the building. Once he did, he quickly took the rope, spun it to get momentum and then threw it over to the roof of the building.
But the hook didn't get latched to the railing and came off. He tried again and a few more times.
"Let me do it," Jack said, getting impatient but Elliott didn't stop trying. Finally, he threw the rope with all he had and heard the clank of the hook. He pulled on the rope to see if it was tight enough and started moving up the wall.
The wall was rough and it was digging into Elliott's skin as he moved up to the building. He got hold of the railing and helped himself up the roof.
"You okay?" Jack's voice sounded and Elliott waved back at them.
Then he stood at the edge of the slanted roof, holding on to not fall over as he stared back at the sea of decaying houses that looked like a maze and the alleys were the only escape.
Elliott snapped out of it and looked around to locate the Westwood Police Station. He found the greyish rundown building with rusted barricades a few blocks behind where he was. But that wasn't the only thing that he saw.
He crouched down, almost lying on the roof to not get noticed as he saw policemen hurdled up on the roof of the police station. They had guns and rifles but they were trembling with fear. It was as if they were seeking refuge on the roof.
The noise of sirens, loud thuds and the faint smell of smoke and something burning stuck Elliott all of a sudden. But he couldn't hear anyone's voice. No person uttered a word out of fear.
But.. fear of what?
Elliott slowly crawled down the roof and unlatched the hook from the railing by pulling the rope off. He saw Meraki and Jack standing, alert.
"Something's off about the police station," Elliott said as he leapt off the wall.
"No s**t, Sherlock" Jack commented and prepared to leave. "Which way?"
With that, Elliott started leading them towards the station without even understanding what was going on there.
Through the cracks between two buildings and the closed together pathways, Elliott somehow managed to take them to the backside of the police station.
"Everything's off about this place," Meraki gasped slightly as they saw the huge metal doors that were used to discharge the prisoner was shattered and bent over.
That's when the loud thuds started sounding once again and Elliott realised what they were.
"Gunshots," Jack spoke out, "that means it's still going on inside."
Suddenly, rough clatters of metals clanking sounded from above making Elliott look up. The station was three-storied and it looked very ancient. But as they looked up, they were thunderstruck at the sight.
"Take cover," Jack ordered in shock and they rolled back behind the dumpsters.
They saw that the people upstairs were hitting the rust metal grills of the window to break it down. After a few more hits, the bars gave in and broke apart. The real horror started when the people started jumping off of the windows, jostling to jump first.
And they were not just people, they were prisoners in orange uniforms.
They were throwing themselves on the ground, almost breaking bones or teeth but they were running away even if they had to crawl. They were trying to save themselves with all they had.
Suddenly, Elliott spotted a scrubby man who had just fallen on the floor, limping and running away. He dragged his feet as he tried running. When Elliott raised his eyes to look at the man's face, he was startled.
Garry winced as he walked further and further away from his initial residence, the prison.