Chapter Five – Escape

“What do we do now?” Gregory asks.

“Shhh don’t say anything yet.” Jasmine takes her device and starts programming it again and after a few minutes she slides it behind the panel. “Okay we have to get ready to leave early, before they come back, and thanks for that memory of yours we have some time.”

“I only started reading those sections since you started messing around with your device. Lucky for us.”

“Yes let’s get our stuff and we can head out, the sooner the better. I don’t think we should spend the night here.”

They both scramble and start getting their important things and the most basic. They grab some Clothes and personal items get thrown into the two backpack. After a few hours they stand for the last time in the living area and look once more over the apartment, their home for many years, but now it seems like a prison.

Jasmine pulls her device from the panel, “give me your device.”

Gregory hands it to her, “I was going to leave it here.” “Yep we will,” she replies as she starts to program his device.

A few minutes pass, “I transferred some programs from mine to yours,” she slides his device into the panel, “in eight hours and fifty eight minutes, before they come back, your device will start to erase all the programming in the whole apartment building, and work it its way to other connections. That should give them something to worry about.”

“Wow I did not know you can do that!”

“Well many years working for the government on stopping stream jumpers has been very helpful.” Jasmine slides her backpack on and starts for the door. Gregory follows her.

They leave the apartment and enter the elevator. Jasmine enters commands into her device. “The transport will be waiting for us.”

They reach the front entrance and find their vehicle, the doors open and they enter. Jasmine slides her device into the slot, Manual mode active, communication mode off.” The digitized voice responds.

“We will go manual drive all the way, no need to risk it.”

“Okay here we go.” Gregory replies as he starts to drive.

They reach the outskirts of the city on their way to their destination. “Okay we should make it to the church in less than an hour.” Gregory says as he glances at the time display on the windshield.”

As they reach the edge of the city zone, “City zone limits reached, total shutdown in thirty seconds,” the digitized voice announces.

“Turn around now,” Jasmine shouts and Gregory makes a big turn and heads back into the city zone a few blocks and as he does the voice comes back on, “Entering City Zone, shutdown disengaged.”

They both don’t say anything, but Gregory stops the vehicle. After a minute passes, “what now?” Gregory asks.

Jasmine pulls out her device and starts using it, “I did not think they had time to put programming limits on the vehicle or they could. They must have hard tagged it when they left.”

“Well they can, I can site sections, but for the sake of simplicity they can limit travel if suspicion is found.”

“Great, well I guess we are going to have to walk.” Jasmine opens her door and steps out with her backpack.

Gregory gets out as well, “what we do with the transport?”

“I transferred some programs to it, it will auto drive home and park itself, and since it is linked with the apartment complex it will get infected as well.” Jasmine starts to walk, “let’s go we can still make it to the church just in time.”

They cross the City Zone line and now the scene changes, they did not notice it the first time they passed through because they drove through it pretty fast, but now they felt the emptiness of it. Broken down building and houses were all around them, behind the façade of what looked like well maintained buildings. Looking deeper into streets the emptiness weighed heavily on them as they walked. As they started feeling it, they began moving faster and faster through the streets to get to their destination.

Someone or something was watching them, the feeling was overwhelming. They did not talk but just kept moving as fast as they could. After about four hours of walking Gregory breaks the silence, “we should almost be there I think. It was much faster with the transport going a hundred miles an hour”

Jasmine looks at her device, and the nav system was showing about fifteen more minutes at their current speed. “Fifteen more minutes.”

“Good, because I do not like walking this deserted zone, it is making me more uneasy the further we walk in.”

“I Know, I feel the same way. Something is not quite right with this place. It did not feel like that when we were at the church last night.”

As she said those words she noticed a figure standing at an intersection in front of them, with its back turned to them.

They slow down as surprise comes over them on seeing anyone on these streets. They would have to pass the figure and turn right to get to where they were going.

They slowly approach the figure, and notice that that person was missing both of its arms. They stop and wait, they did not know what to say or do.

“You better turn and run back where you came from,” the hollow voice echoes through the streets. Fear starts to build up inside of them, and they were frozen and unable to move.

It sounded like a man’s voice, and that is what Gregory thought, “Sir, we don’t mean any trouble. We are just passing through this area.”

“Passing through…” a hissing laugh escapes the figure and he turns around. The site of him was disturbing. It indeed had no arms. They were severed clean off at the elbows. It looked like it has some kind of suite on from the back but in the front they were all burnt revealing dark monstrous flesh. The face was that of no man they had seen, but a monster and its eyes emitted a sinister blue light. This is the first time they encountered evil in its true form. In past days they have past evil and been blind to it, but now there was no turning back.

They have journeyed too far into truth this past few months to walk away, and yet now they were too scared to keep moving forward.

“Well I see you are one of them now.” The thing starts to approach them as they stood their ground, not because of bravery but griping fear.

Although Jasmine’s mind was stricken by it, her heart called out in prayer, ‘God if you are there help us.’ All of a sudden a name came to her lips and with that name she remembered that she had the relic in her device, “Philomena pray for us.” The words came out of her lips in a whisper, soft and calm, although her mind and heart were racing. while saying those words pulls out her device in front of her.

The creature stops at the name, and its eyes seem to go wide with surprise. A loud Shrek escapes it as it lunges forward at both of them, mouth stretch abnormally wide, and fangs abnormally long. It was about to reach Jasmine and bite her neck clean off and sever the head, but something stopped it.

A wispy shape emerged out of the device into thin air between them and rushed the beast as a mighty wind. It knocks the creature into what was left of a light pole, impaling it on its torn sharp edge. The shape made out of wind returns and stands before them, and slowly forms into a shape of a woman in dazzling light. “I am praying for you, keep seeking and God is with you always.” The voice was soft and beautiful. Before they could say anything the woman before them vanishes out of this world.

Gregory reaches out and holds Jasmines hand, he wanted to comfort her, but he also wanted to make sure he was awake. After a few moments they look at each other and could not help but give each other a weak smile. When they turn back to look at the creature that was impaled, it had now turned into dust, which the light wind was carrying away into the coming day.

“We must hurry, time is passing quickly.” Jasmine finally says after taking a quick glance at her device. They begin to run through the streets.

That encounter had delayed them and now it was one minute passed six and they had four minutes to go according to the device.

They were not used to running, although they were healthy, but that was mostly due to the controlled pellets given to everyone. No one really ate any food, it was all for the good of the person.

They reach the church and as Jasmine feared it did not seem like anyone was there. They go up the stairs and open the large doors, it takes a few pulls but it opens. They enter and close the door behind them. It was dark except for one candle that was on top of the altar.

They both move closer and down the aisle to approach the candle. Underneath the candle there was a note.

‘My dear Jasmine and Gregory I knew you would come, and we would have waited but God has a plan, trust him. We will meet soon. Philomena told me that she is praying for you. She is the one that sent you that note before she left this world. Don’t fear anything no matter what and be ready. Father Ed is here waiting for you down stairs, he was asked to stay by God for your sake. He will guide and help you to reach us in the near future.

God be with you, and keep Philomena’s relic with you at all times to remind you to pray.

Your brother in Christ, Lemach.’

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