Sheer shock struck me from head to toe, my heart jumped into my throat, and I felt a cold cement block at the pit of my stomach. I was on the floor with my back to the wall, looking at Butch’s dead body. A puddle of crimson blood formed around his head, the thick liquid crept and extended in diameter until it reached me. I peered at Mary, and saw her shuffling herself back into a corner with her hand on her mouth, trying to silence her screams, but failing. Tears ran down the side of her face onto her hand as she extended her arm, and pointed at Butch’s body.
“Come on, Butch,” I whispered “Quit foolin’ around, okay? Come on, man.”
I got no answer from him; he just kept staring at the ceiling with a blank look on his wrinkled face. I reached over and touched his shoulder, shaking it, in hopes that that’d wake him up. The door that led to the underground floor had a joint on the top, which allowed it to close automatically. However, Butch’s feet were in the way, so the door was slightly ajar. Mary crawled to me, still crying silently, and grabbed my arm.
“He’s dead, Callisto,” She whimpered “He’s dead.”
I did not want to hear these words, the man was the only family I had left, no matter how short and limited the period of time we’d actually spent together; he was like a father to me. I shook my head, and tried to recollect my senses. I ached to sort my chaotic thoughts, to cool my burning heart. I stood up, grabbing Mary with me, and started to run towards the stairway that’d lead us to the exit. We ran like maniacs, and all I thought about was getting Mary out of this place. Something hit me on the back of my neck; I fell on my face, and blacked out before even reaching the ground.
I opened my eyes, and it was as if I was looking through a dirt covered glass window. I couldn’t move my head, given the searing pain that pounded at the back of my neck, which made my mind woozy. The monster named Mordecai Rogers stood tall before me, clenching Mary by the hair, and holding her in front of his ghoulish face. He abruptly turned his sight to me, then turned his head back to Mary, and struck her with his fist. I tried to say something, I thought I said something, but I only said it in my head because I couldn’t speak. The dirt on the glass I was looking through cleared a little, and I saw that I was in a dim room with a lot of counters, and white walls. I presumed it was The Doctor’s laboratory, for I caught a glimpse of a few test tubes and whatnot. I moved my vision toward the flood where I lay, and the horror I saw twisted my guts. They were all dead; all of Mutineers lay limp on the ground surrounded by blood. Ella, Martin, and The Painter had holes in their heads. I couldn’t see The Doctor anywhere, so I kept looking around. I saw his goatish face wearing a mask of gore; he was leaning against a wall across the room. He was still alive, breathing heavily, with one eye open, and the other completely swollen closed.
“You son of a bitch,” I managed to say “What have you done?!”
“There, there, Mr. Gretly.” He said with a British accent then threw Mary to the ground.
He was standing in the middle of the room, between me and The Doctor. Rogers turn in my direction, and strode en route for me. I tried to move, I strived to move, but the pain was too much to handle. I was able to move my hand, but it was all in vain because he disarmed me while I was unconscious.
“This is my job, you see.” He added with a sly grin on his malevolent face.
“All this for a drug, just a fucking drug!” I yelled “Even if it causes an infinite high, is it worth killing all these people for? They were good people, they were my friends.”
“Just a drug?” Rogers chuckled aloud, and then looked at The Doctor “You didn’t tell’em, did you?”
“Tell me what?” I said with my eyes gazing at The Doctor “Tell me what, Doctor?”
“Oh, this is going to be so much fun!” Rogers said as he walked back and forth in the middle of the room, with his hands crossed, and his nose to the ceiling.
“Can’t you see, Callisto,” The Doctor said, his voice weary and crackling “Blue is not a drug, son, Blue is the anti-drug. It is the substance that washes the body from all the government issued junk, which is not only sold to the public, but is added to everything including water, vegetation, and any food product.”
“What are you talking about, Doctor?” I said in bewilderment “This doesn’t make sense, this can’t be true.”
“It is true, Callisto,” He said “This right here, the so-called Blue’s high, this is reality, this is the real world at its ugliest. Blue constantly cleans the user’s system from the junk, manufactured by the government to manipulate the people; this has been going on for decades and decades. The hallucinations sold to the public as their own realities, these visions of the perfect world, they are all lies!”
“This can’t be…” I whispered to myself.
“Blue makes you see the truth beyond the veil of lies, Callisto,” The Doctor said “That is why the government would not allow it, that is why they hired this stinking rodent to do the job.”
“Enough with this bullshit,” Rogers snapped “You’ve surpassed your expiration date, it’s time to die.”
Mordecai Rogers raised his pistol and fired at The Doctor, and the bullet hit him right in the chest. The old man went out without uttering a single word or scream. I winced at the sight in front of me, all these people dead because they wanted to show everyone the truth; they wanted to save everyone from the government’s deception, and to show them the world for what it was. The truth beyond a veil of lies, The Doctor’s words rang inside my mind. I understood, I finally understood what was going on, and I wished with all my heart that I hadn’t. To see inside a person’s soul, no matter how true the visions were, was not a gift, but a curse. It was insanity and I did not want to take part of it.
“I’m gonna fucking kill you, you fucking son of a bitch!” I screamed at Rogers.
“Just die like a fucking man, Mr. Gretly,” he said “Your father did. Boy, do I remember the looks on your parents’ faces when I shot them dead in the house you grew up in. Fun, fun, fun, bloody, fun.”
“You killed them?” I yelled “You killed my parents?!”
“Just like I’m going to kill you right now.” He said.
Mordecai Rogers pointed his gun at me, and I stared down its barrel without flinching. He put his finger on the trigger, and was about to press, but suddenly, he whaled at the top of his lungs. The gun fell to the ground, and Rogers followed it holding his ankle, which was bleeding furiously. Behind him, Mary lay on the ground, her face covered in blood; she held a penknife in her hand, which she used to stab Rogers in the chest. The adrenaline shot all over my body, and I was able to stand up. I walked to one of the counters, and found my father’s revolver there, still loaded and ready. I walked over to Rogers who lay in a pool of blood, with the knife sticking out of his chest.
“Go ahead, Gretly,” He gargled on his blood which was bubbling out of his mouth “Shoot me, but you’ll die anyway, cops are already outside the building, there’s no way out.”
I pointed the colt revolver to his head, and shot him until there was no head to shoot. Mary stood up, and leaned against one of the counters as I went to Butch’s body to look for something that could help us. I found two tube bombs and some wires in his bag, and I decided to plant them at the underground floor’s doorway, so they’d explode the moment someone tried to open the door. I pulled Butch inside the room, laid his body next to Ella’s, and then fixed the bombs in place.
“I don’t know what to do now…” I said to Mary, who was trying to straighten her broken nose.
“I don’t know either;” she said “Maybe we’ll die after all.”
She was calm, calmer than I was actually, which mellowed me down a bit. I thought for a minute, and decided that we’d hide in the tunnel for now, and then figure out what to do next. Before going into the tunnel, I took out three hand-grenades, wedged each one at some point in the lab, and tied them together with wires. I also took the keys to Butch’s car, and apologized for doing so. Mary and I entered the tunnel, and locked the metal door behind us. We still had some of our weapons, but we didn’t know how many cops were out there, and at the same time, we were too weak to fight. After some time, we found the tunnel’s exit, which led to a street away from the asylum. We saw Ape-man’s dead body on the ground, so we didn’t risk going out. Sooner or later, cops would enter the underground floor, and trigger the tube bombs, so we decided to wait until that happened. I crouched on the ground, the sharp pain at the back of my head returned with great force, that I could barely move my head. Mary sat next to me, resting her back on the tunnel’s cold wall. We sat in silence for what seemed like forever before we heard the massive bang of the tube bombs. The ground shook beneath our feet, and distant sounds of yelling and screaming reached us. The adrenaline returned, I got up, and pushed the door after turning the lock. The door opened outwards; I held my gun in front of me, but there was no one out there. I made sure of that by scanning the whole area, then I opened the door all the way, and helped Mary out of the hole. We ran for two miles without stopping, without looking back until we reached Butch’s car. I started the engine, and burnt rubber, headed for an old dirt road that took us outside the city’s boarders. I parked the car near a corn field ten miles from the boarders because the adrenalin had faded, and my whole body ached. Mary sat beside me staring at the dark sky above us, which was illuminated by millions of consolations.
“Why do they get to be so beautiful, Callisto…” She said as a matter of fact, and not really asking “Why are they so beautiful, when everything is ugly down here?”
“I don’t know, love,” I answered “It’s not fair.”
“This is reality, this is the real world. Can you imagine that? Everything you’ve ever seen, or heard, or touched, or tasted, or felt before ingesting The Doctor’s stuff was one big fat lie after another.”
“I still can’t believe it,” I sighed “What I don’t get is he didn’t tell us the truth about Blue, I don’t get that at all.”
“Well, I guess we’ll never know.”
“That’s true.” I sighed “What now, love?”
“Salvation?” She said
“Maybe….” I whispered “Just maybe.”
I managed to lift my arm and put it around her; she turned to face me, and placed her head on my shoulder, as I held her hand. Mary and I fell into a deep slumber beneath a cloudless sky, with enchanting stars eternally beholding the ugliness of the real world.