Alpha, p.26
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       Alpha, p.26

           Daniel Schmidt
 

  Chapter 26

  I looked back and saw several men clustered around someone on the floor. I pushed my way to them and found Carlos in a pool of blood. I nearly threw up. A large gash ran down his shoulder, across his chest and stomach. An Alpha had struck him with a sword during our escape down the hill.

  I ripped off his gear and, with many helping hands, patched his wounds. He was unable to speak and his breathing became labored. I saw fear creep into his eyes as he saw how much blood he had lost. I stopped the trucks so Christine, who was in the other truck, could come treat Carlos. She lost all the color in her face when she saw him but went to work right away.

  As we accelerated again, Carlos pawed at me several times but was still unable to speak. He pointed down towards his cargo pocket. My heart sank as I knew what he wanted. I reached in and retrieved the photo of his daughters. I forgot about the Alvar blood that was flowing inside of me for the moment as my eyes took in the two smiling girls.

  I realized Carlos would probably die, that he would never see his daughters again. The thought of it nearly made me faint. I handed the picture to Carlos. He took it and immediately kissed it, the blood from his hand smearing the backside of the picture. He kept his eyes closed and the picture on his lips.

  Christine gripped my arm. “I’ll take care of him, get us out of here.”

  Her words pushed just enough strength into me to get me back into the front seat of the truck. The leader of Luke’s men joined me. His face was white, his hands were shaking, and it took him several moments before he was able to speak. He told me where we had to go and then I told him to call Luke and tell him we were on our way. We turned off the highway several miles further up the road and started down a dirt forest service road.

  The forest service road led us toward a tall mountain to the west. I looked back at Carlos every few breaths. Christine knelt down beside him, holding his arm with one hand and checking his bandages with the other. Carlos still had the blood-smeared picture of his daughters in his hand. His eyes were closed and his breathing looked hard and painful.

  After half an hour the road started snaking up the mountain. The road became steep but the armored vehicles were powerful and handled it well. We climbed higher and higher, and every couple of minutes, after looking back at Carlos, I checked myself in the mirror but did not see any changes. When was I going to change? Would it be painful? What would I see, hear? Would I turn on everyone? What would my boss think – what would Luke do with me now? A thousand questions bounced around in my head and I was so lost in them didn’t even notice what was around me until the leader of Luke’s men slapped my arm and pointed.

  We were nearly at the top of the mountain and up ahead, tucked in beside a massive rock cliff, was a large concrete structure. It looked like a fortress with tall walls, narrow windows, and guard towers. It had been built into the cliff face, hidden on three sides. A massive rolling door opened as we approached. We drove into a huge garage that already had five other vehicles parked inside.

  The door closed quickly behind us and everyone piled out of the vehicles. I heard and felt powerful fans. Something irritated my throat and it caused me to cough. I looked around and saw the fans on the opposite wall. My throat started to burn and I realized what Luke had planned.

  He was going to knock everyone out with gas. There would be no fighting, no altercations, just blackness. The burning in my throat became more intense and everyone around me started to cough. Some of the men started to panic but the more agitated they became, the quicker the gas affected them. Before long they slumped to the ground. More men fell to the ground. I felt sleepy, then unbearably weak, so weak I had to sit and then lay on the ground. I stared up at the bright lights on the ceiling and it was not long before I blacked out.

 
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