There is No Going Back

2146 Words
There is nothing Lucas can’t do to save his only sister, even if he throws his pride and makes him beg he will do it. That’s how much he can be shameless but Dr. Martin is different. If not for him, Lucas would have lost Andrea a long time ago. He helped him hide her, he oftens pays for Andrea’s vaccines and gives money to Lucas from time to time to have something to eat. Shamelessly once again, Lucas hid the money envelope and Dr. Martin smiled at him. The next day, Lucas took a break from work and said, he will have his vaccine shot. He went to the central office. It is a government controlled facility where vaccines are stored. The Doctor's prescription works like magic. No question asked after verifying that it was indeed a prescription. On his way to the hospital, he dragged out of nowhere to an alleyway. He tried struggling but he was punched to his sides and left to the ground groaning. “We meet again, buddy! Seeing you come out of the central office, it means, you have the money right?” The same man from yesterday is squatting in front of him. “P,please give m,more time.” Lucas pleaded. “Boss, he bought the latest WIC’s vaccine!” One of the minions announced. It made Lucas jump and tried to grab it despite wringing pain. “This shit.” He was kicked and made to fall to his back. “WOAH! No, s**t. Where did you get the money to buy this premium vaccine huh?” The man waved the vaccine bottle with the WIC Company stamp logo. “G,Give it back.” Lucas glared at the man. “WOW! Attitude!” *STOMP STOMP STOMP Lucas was again stomped and beaten. His wounds from yesterday are still fresh and now he has a fresher one. “I’ll take this as partial payment, buddy okay? I’ll be back for the rest!” “Kite! Please, I,I need it.” He wasn’t sure if he had said it outloud or it was all in his head since his ears were ringing, he couldn’t tell clearly but even in the slow transition of passing out he hears them laughing on how can he get another vaccines and if they are bored, they could just report him, not taking his vaccine and he will be more in trouble. He passed out. By the time Lucas has regained consciousness, he is in a hospital lobby with a dextrose. “Good, you are awake, Dr. Martin wants to see you.” A nurse said to him. It took a few seconds to reality hit him. His body aching empty pockets and the memories of earlier. He put his hands on this face and squeezed it so tightly wishing he could just kill himself right there and there. The fidgeting of his legs won’t stop as he repeatedly curses in his mind. ‘Dammit dammit!!!’ He wants to lose control and release this frustration but the only thing stopping him is the thought of his sister. How will she survive without him? She is not cured yet. He bit his lips hard and closed his fists as he calmed himself. ‘You cannot lose it. Don’t lose it. Don’t lose it. Not now.’ He said to himself as he stared at black and blue face reflection on the metal railings not far from him. He stood straight with dead eyes. The nurse swallows her dry saliva and leads the way while distancing herself from him. *Knock knock Lucas was greeted by a pat and he was led to a seat. Though the doctor called his name, he is blankly staring at the space. “Lucas, I know how frustrating this feels for you. Trust me I feel the same way, if only I can cover all the expenses and vaccines for your sister, I would, but... we are reaching the limit. If your sister doesn't get a vaccine within the day, she might turn and if she did… she can no longer go back.” Lucas' eyes widened and soon it became watery. “I am so sorry, Lucas.” Dr. Martin gave Lucas a squeeze in his shoulder before he first left the office. Lucas crumpled his pants and dried his impending tears before it fell down. Crying and staying here won't solve his problem. He gotta do what he needs to get done and save her sister. ‘I can’t let her be one of them.’ He said it was resolved. With all courage he found himself gathering all his courage once again and entered a building. The guards had checked his identity first before coming in and he was good to pass. As he entered the second floor he was greeted by a room full of cigarette smoke, the man who beat him up for two days in a row. “Buddy! You got the money? That was fast!” He said happily, as he arranged his plaque card. Kite Logan. CEO of Ink and Money Co. Ink and Money Co. is a lending company that targets people like Lucas. The poorest of the poor. They are known to have a very bad reputation. *Thud Lucas dropped to his knees and bowed his head to the floor. “What the f**k?! What are you doing?” Kite was appalled by the sudden begging stance. “Please lend me money!” Lucas said loud and clear as he shut his eyes. He already knows that he can no longer get the vaccine back from them, because this is not the only time they did this. They claim that the vaccine is for their interest but it was just plain day robbery because Vaccines are expensive even when they are sold under the table. “W,wait. Wait, did I misheard it? You are not here to pay back my money but you want to get more from me?” Kite pushes his cigarette to the ashtray and as if solving some puzzle he thinks so hard in pretense. “Yes. Please lend me some.” Lucas held his ground and remained bowing. Kite starts laughing and is his minions. “Beat the hell out of him, maybe he just misspoke.” He said and clicked another cigarette. As the minions start coming near. “Please Sir. I really need the Vaccine. It will be my due date soon. The doctor said that if I don’t get it by the end of the day, I might turn.” Lucas can’t bring up her sister’s situation. He would rather be the one thrown away. “Please sir! Have mercy on me. I cannot turn.” Lucas pleaded. Though it is true he would rather be the one to take the fall but he cannot do it, not while his sister has only him. What would happen to her, if he disappears. “Oh! Ho! Ho! We wouldn’t want that right? I still need to get my money from you.” Kite's pretentious concern sounded more like a mock. “Please save me, this one time, sir.” “Hmmm. I think I’ve already saved you more than once already. . .” “...” Lucas trembled. “You are turning if you don't get it by tonight right?” Lucas can tell, the next thing will be ugly but he still answered. “Yes, sir.” “Okay, Boys. Take him to the operating room. We gotta see if we can salvage his organs before he turns.” Kite said as he smoked. “Sir?! Please don’t do this. I need to live!!” Lucas looked up at Kite. Kite has a smug look on his face but he was knocked down, before he finally lost his remaining consciousness, an expensive looking leather shoe came to his view. “Arghh.” He groans as Lucas comes back to his consciousness. His head feels heavy and his sight is still spinning but he sees a bulb on top of his head which alerts him. He panics and he scans around, to his big reactions, he isn't able to control his weight and lose his balance from the chair. Unlike his thoughts of finding himself on the operating table, he found himself in a room with one door, table in the center, a chair he knocked himself with and a mirror room in front of him. He looks above again and sees a lighted bulb. ‘Electricity?’ He thought. Electricity is a luxury enjoyed by the higher middle to high class people. ‘How long has this been on?’ He wondered. Why would anyone spend a fortune on someone like him? ‘Where am I?’ Then he remembered, he looked at the broken watch in wrist. It’s already 10 in the evening. He quickly proceeds to the door and discovers it was locked and won’t budge even if he pushes it with his body. “Good Evening Sir Lucas Maximillian” Lucas was startled at the mechanical voice.He immediately looked for the source of and found a speaker had been set up on the edge of the four corner room. “Ah. Sir, I, I don’t know what I am doing here, but I need to get back quickly. Will you please let me out.” His eyes are not still and looking alternating at the speakers. “Will you come back to the hospital empty handed and watch your sister turn?” “..!” “Please take a seat.” the mechanical voice instructed. Opening and closing his hands, trying to make sure his blood still flowed in his veins as he reluctantly took a seat. “P,please…” That’s all his shaky voice could make out. Despite the many things that had been going on in his head. Nobody except for the doctor and him, that his sister “Sir Maximillian, Do you wish to save your sister? If you do, read the paper in front of you.” Used to being ordered around he opened the folder and saw big printed letters. [BEYOND THE WALLS CONTRACT] “Sir Maximillian, We are offering you a contract to venture outside the wall. Will you do it?” *Thud Lucas immediately closed it again, obviously scared. “W,why?” He asked. “$5,000,000 will be given to the people who will survive and since you are in need of immediate money for your sister’s … maintenance, you will receive a signing bonus of $10,000. Will you do it?” “S,survive… Y,you mean I can die.” Stating the obvious, he felt ridiculous after saying it outloud. The reason for the wall is for human’s protection, stepping outside means you are wavering your protection. “Lucas Maximillian. How much is your life’s worth on post-apocalypse earth?” When the mechanical voice drops the question. He immediately understood what it meant. It is the question he was often asked, the basis of the caste-system. The skills you have are what matters most, it determines your place in the society. “Are you worth $5,000,000?” It is an amount he can never earn. By just having an amount like that, he and his sister can live inside the top 20 walls and get all the medication Andrea needs, but was his life worth that much? “I am not.” He answered. “Sign the contract and we will turn your life to be worth that much.” Lucas swallowed his dry saliva and opened the document once again. There is only one sheet of paper. BEYOND THE WALL CONTRACT Rules: Participants must complete all required tests Participants must follow the rules of each tests Upon signing the contract, participants can longer back out. Penalty Breach of any rules will result in moderator’s sanctioned. Rewards Signing bonus of $10, 000 Prize money of at least $ 5,000,000 Place inside the inner walls. It was a short contract and tempting to anyone but Lucas knows better. He signed too many loans unfavorable to him. “What kind of test will I be taking?” Lucas asked. “Test to Skill set.” “How do I sign?” Though still feeling uneasy, he was left with no other choice but to take the test. “Draw blood on your thumb and mark the paper.” Lucas now knows why a picker is placed there beside the document. He didn’t hesitate to wound himself and press his bleeding thumb on the paper. *Swoooooosh The room soon released a gas making Lucas panic but it didn’t take long before he started losing consciousness again. . . The last thing he heard was the mechanical voice from . . . “Congratulations, Lucas Maximillian officially enters the games.”
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