“Please stay in your house. This is not a test. Just do exactly what you are told.” I stared at the TV in interest as I ate my eggs and bacon. After another few minutes, I called my boss, telling him that I would be unable to make it to work because my neighborhood was on lockdown. “Uhu, sure Lium. Nice try.” “Look Mr. Corgea, I will send you a picture.”
Hanging up, I pulled up the camera on my phone and took a picture of the SWAT team, and military personnel right outside my window. I sent it to him, and he never replied.
Unsure of what to do, I just kind of watched them until some guy came knocking on my door. Like any other person, I opened it. It was a muscled, well built Navy SEAL. “Hello, Sir, I am Aden Grey. Would you mind coming outside to talk with us for a moment?” “Sure,” I replied with a slightly suspicious voice. I followed him outside with the man, only to be surrounded by a team, guns pointed at me. Something turned on inside me. Adrenaline began to rush. My vision sharpened, and energy flooded my veins. Somehow, I knew my past had caught up with me. I wasn’t the same man I had been. But they either didn’t know that, or didn’t trust that. The law was the law, and I knew that if I was caught, I would be given a lifetime sentence.
My old talents came back at me. I studied my surroundings, and waited for them to make the first move.
“Lium Scorch, get on your knees right now! We will shoot!!!” A plan formed in my head, and my heart raced with adrenaline. I got onto my knees and put my hands on my head, and interlaced my fingers. Two military men came up and grabbed my hands to cuff me. I spun around and headbutted the one on my right. Laying on my back, I immediately kicked the other in the knees, causing him to stumble.
Excitement pumped through my veins as I tried to plan my next step in the span of a few seconds.
I jumped up, heading for a confused military guy in front of me. Right before I could get to him to push him aside, I felt the lightning of two prongs snapping into my face. One hit my jaw as the other hit the side of my neck. The buzz of painful electricity flowed through my muscles, causing my body to go stiff, and I fell to the ground.
About ten people at once jumped on top of me, as I tried to get up again. Another shock wracked my body, and I stilled as I lay in a daze. They cuffed me, then started going through my pockets. A sense of helplessness overcame me. I couldn’t live life in jail. I’d been once before I escaped, and it was hell. I would rather die. But that wasn’t really an option right now either.
Aden Grey walked up to me as I sat up. Bruises adorned my face, and the prongs were still connected to me. He crouched down, and carefully pulled them out. “Legally I must read you your rights. You probably have them memorized by now, but I wouldn’t want to go to jail right now. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law. You have the right to have a lawyer during or before interrogation. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights?”
I nodded at the familiar words. “Good. Are you willing to speak with me?” I didn’t reply.
As they loaded me into a military helicopter for dangerous transports like me, they threw a bag over my head, and I tried to plan how I was going to escape. I was now in basically a cage, I couldn’t see, and my hands and legs were cuffed. I had to admit, I was in a pretty bad situation. One that would be very hard to get out of.
But I was a resilient man, with many skills, and much knowledge. So I did something very risky. Something I would never advise to others. I guessed. I guessed everything.
Most likely they would turn me so that my back is towards the door. So I spun myself around. Next, I knew there was a paperclip in the cuff of my jeans, where no one would think to look. I took it out and behind my back where no one could see, I began to undo the cuffs. It was a long and frustrating job, but I had a lot of practice after escaping last time. I finally had released my wrists, and I carefully set the cuffs down behind me.
I was careful to keep it looking like I had my cuffs on. Planning my next step carefully, I knew what to do. In a split second I removed the bag over my head, allowing light to let me to see everything. I began undoing the cuffs on my legs, and people started yelling. I knew they weren’t going to shoot me, not with the engine right behind me. Yes, I had heard the engine and moved myself in front of it.
Aden opened the cage door as soon as I undid the last cuff. So it was going to be a standoff fight. Interesting. He was taller and built better than me, but he was carrying more weight with him. That’s what I told myself. More muscle equals more weight. The less muscular you are, the lighter you are, the quicker you are. I had the advantage of speed, he had the advantage of strength…..and ten other soldiers...and tasers….and guns. But I tried not to think about that. Best to stay on the positive side of things.
We circled, hands up. He had a military knife on his belt, and a small handgun as a last resort. But he wasn’t gonna risk me getting them. He tossed them to one of his buddies for safe keeping. “Come one, Mr Scorch. You don’t want to do this. Fighting? You know you are going to life imprisonment without parole. First of all for the 18 murders, and then from escaping from the highest security cell in the highest security prison in the Russia. Honestly, I’m impressed. That’s real talent right there. But you used it on the wrong side of the law. We have to send you to the highest security prison in the world, ADX Florence, the United States. I know you don’t want to go to prison, but it’s gonna happen, and you know it. Just give up already. Do the right thing for once.”
I did know it. I had known for a long time that my past would catch up to me. But I would put it off for as long as possible. “I can’t give up man. I did those things, but I’m different now. Changed. I can’t go back to prison. I’m sorry.”
With that, I lept towards him, feinting to the right. As he threw his arms to the right, I ducked to the left, coming from behind. Something sharp pricked me hard on the right side of my neck, injecting a cool liquid into my muscle. Unwillingly, my muscles relaxed into a paralyzed state. I could breathe, see and was totally awake, but couldn’t move. I started to fall to the ground but Aden caught me, and set me down. He cuffed me again, this time with flex cuffs.
Fear ripped through me. Why couldn’t I move? What was wrong? What had happened? My head swam with confusion. I felt utterly and completely helpless. Then the realization hit me. I was going to jail. And I would likely never get out again.
Chapter 2 - Interrogation
I opened my eyes to a clean, white, air conditioned room. I was sitting in a metal chair, my hands flex cuffed to the table. There was a mirror in the corner, most likely someone on the other side watching me. Another chair sat empty across from me.
I could move my body now, but it was slow going, and I was stiff all over.
My neck ached from the needle, and I knew there was likely a bruise there. Exhaustion haunted my body, from all the adrenaline rushes and excitement and exercise a few hours ago. Or was that yesterday? I didn’t know. Not knowing what time it was, and how long I’d been asleep, I had lost total track of time. A door opened, and Aden walked over and stood in the corner, allowing another man to enter. He was masculine, with grey eyes, and dark brown hair. He was probably somewhere in his 40’s and his eyes were calculating, and assessing.
He sat down in the chair in front of me, putting a recorder on the table. “My name is Ethan Brown. I already know who you are. I know what you are capable of. You have great talents, Liam. You are a rare man to find. Even rarer to keep. Now, I wouldn’t want those talents to go and waste away in jail. So I’m going to make you a deal, and one deal only. I have the authority to change your sentence. I can lower it to a maximum of 25 years with parole.
But in exchange, you have to work for me. You will live in my home under 24 hour watch. You will do some...jobs for me. They get more and more intense the more you do. There is a limit to where you can go, and what you can do, but I assume it’s better than rotting in prison?”
I sat back and let my mind run. “What kind of….jobs?” He thought for a second. “I cannot tell you until you have signed that agreement.”
I tensed. “If that’s the case, then no.” He stared at me. “Ok. Have fun rotting in prison.” With that, he stood up and stalked out of the room. My eyes were cold as Aden led me to a holding cell. Since I was so good at escaping, he had two Marines standing guard.
I paced across the room, wondering what was going to happen next. Finally, I gave in to my exhaustion, and slept on the cold, hard floor.
My eyes flashed open to find that I was in handcuffs, being carried my about 4 Navy SEALS, most likely the team Aden was in charge of. Everything was hazy, and I guess I’d been given a sedative. I turned my head to look behind me, but all I could see were bright white lights. Everything was too foggy. I was carried into a white room and they cuffed me to a bed. Having been in jail before, I knew the routine.
They had to be sure I was healthy enough to be in a cell. They stuck a whole bunch of white circular stickers on my chest, neck, and legs, and a few on my face too. I knew that these monitored my heart rate, blood pressure, etc. After a little while, they did a CT scan, and made sure I didn’t have any broken bones or anything like that.
By now I was pretty much myself again, and I could see straight. I hated sedatives. They basically made it so that I couldn’t think, feel, hear, or see. After a couple hours of getting checked over, it was time for them to take me to my new cell...which meant getting in another helicopter...and risking me being able to escape. I knew this would mean another sedative, or something stronger. I stared coldly at Aden and he stared back. He nodded to his team. I had no clue what that meant but my body tensed. The teamed grabbed my arms and legs holding them still. Aden grabbed me head, keeping it perfectly stationary.
A doctor came over with a long needle, translucent green liquid inside. Now I knew what was coming.
Fear took over, and panic climbed its way into my brain. I had a great fear of needles. Weird, I know, for ex-military, but there was nothing I could do about it.
I struggled against the team, but they were much stronger, and had better leverage. The doctor carefully slid the needle into my neck, right below my skull. My body spasmed slightly, and started to shut down. I could see spots and I knew I couldn’t lose consciousness. This would be my opportunity, and probably my only opportunity. I focused all my strength and concentration on fighting the drug. But eventually, my body gave in, and darkness made its way towards me.
Chapter 3 - Last Chance of Escape
“How long do we have before he wakes up?” “I don’t know for sure, sir, but for the normal person about another hour.” “So for him, that would probably mean half an hour. I need everyone to start preparing for when he does, understand?” “YES, SIR!” I was in and out of consciousness a couple of times before fully waking up. I was surrounded by military personnel. Up ahead I saw a building. It was all concrete and steel. I quickly had to come up with a plan to escape before I was thrown into prison. The flex cuffs were tight around my wrists. Same on my ankles. Things were looking pretty bad. My body was weak, as I hadn’t eaten in the last 24 hours.
I struggled to think, my hands were shaking uncontrollably, and I was super dizzy. The building came closer, and I still had no plan. The best I could do was try my best to escape without a plan. I wriggled my body, and struggled against my cuffs. The thing is, I was surrounded by military soldiers. Aden was there, and he could see my desperation and fear. I hated prison. He knew that. He could see the fear in my eyes. He came over and put his hand on my shoulder, stilling my movement. “It’ll be fine.” It wasn’t some long, boring speech, it was just those few short words that began to calm me down.
He looked over and saw that my hands were shaking. “Hey, Tristan, when was the last time he ate?” The younger soldier looked at me, “He hasn’t eaten since he was caught.”
“Ok, everyone stop for a break. He hasn’t eaten in 3 days. We don’t want him dying on us.” The group stopped, and Aden pulled out a fresh water bottle, and some lunchmeat. He started to take off the cuffs. “Man, what’re you doing?” Tristan wasn’t cool with that. “Tristan, he isn’t gonna run away. Trust me.”
He was right, I was took weak to even lift myself into a sitting position, much less get up and outrun twenty trained, well-fed soldiers.
Aden lifted me into a sitting position, and took some water and let it slowly drip down into my dry mouth. I couldn’t remember the last time water tasted so good. I only got a little bit before he took it away, but I knew he didn’t want me to get sick. Without having eaten in the past couple days, my stomach had shrunk, so I could only eat and drink a little at a time to get it back to its original size.
He passed me some lunchmeat. “Slowly.” I ate it carefully, then had another drink. After a 30 minute break, we continued. But my strength had barely returned. I knew it would all come back later, but this was my chance. I was cuffed again, but my ankles weren’t this time. I could run with my hands cuffed. It was harder, but possible. In my state, if it was possible I was going to risk it. I felt sorry for Aden, knowing if I got away he might get deranked. But he could get back. If I went into prison I would live there forever. Until I died. I would never get to see anyone. I would die alone.
Desperation fed me energy, and a plan started forming. But in my distressed state, I didn’t notice that Aden noticed my fast breathing. He knew what I was gonna do, but I didn’t know that he knew. I jumped up to run, but only got a foot away before Aden threw me to the ground. Since I couldn’t catch myself with my hands, I went face first, immediately breaking my nose, and causing a large gash across my face from a rock. I was dazed, my body momentarily paralyzed. Aden was on top of me, holding me down. I kicked at him, desperate to get free.
Two others ran over, holding down my legs.
I was breathing hard. “Stop fighting!” Aden said through gritted teeth. He positioned a military swiss army knife against my throat forcing my to stop moving. The sharp edge forced my head off the ground in an uncomfortable, but not painful position. Pain throbbed throughout my face and head. My vision became doubled, and I couldn’t see straight.
I didn’t even feel as they cuffed my ankles again, and double cuffed my wrists.
Aden removed the knife from my neck and rolled me onto my back, and grimaced at the sight of my face. I could feel blood running down, staining my shirt.
He brought over a t-shirt, and pressed it to try and stop the bleeding. I overheard him ask someone else where the nearest hospital was. It was 2 days away by helicopter.
A couple minutes later he brought a First Aid kit around. He poured water over my face to get rid of the blood. I coughed as he wiped it away so I could breathe again. Tristan prepared to stitch up my face. First though, he was going to set me nose. He put his fingers on either side, and I heard a painful pop as it was reset into its original position.
A soldier laid across my waist, another on my legs, putting all their weight on me to stop any movement. Aden placed his rough hands on either side of my head, holding it completely still. I could feel the strength of his arms, knowing I wouldn’t be able to move my head, even if I wanted to.
Tristan had prepared the sharp needle to stitch my face. Once the stitching began, I quickly lost consciousness, from my fear of needles, and from the pain.
Chapter 4 - Time To Get Out
I woke up in the prison. My face was throbbing, and I was lightheaded. I was alone in a cell. Large steel doors were the only entrance or exit.
First things first. Plan A and Plan B. That’s what they teach you in the Navy. You always have more than one plan. Always. But first I needed a list of things I needed to accomplish to escape. First, I needed to get out of my cell. Not too hard. Then I needed to figure out where the exit was. Then I need to head to the exit, without any of the officers or guards noticing. Or I could just try to outrun them. So first, Plan A. For my first plan was to tell that guy, Ethan Brown, that I changed my mind, and would accept his offer to work for him in undercover. Hopefully, they would take my out of my cell to sign the contract, and that would be the first step. Then I would try to outrun them since it is highly unlikely I will get the chance to dress as one of the officers. But if I did get the chance, I would take it.
Now, if he wanted me to sign the contract in the cell, then I would have to move onto Plan B.
Plan B: when they knock on the door for breakfast, I wouldn’t wake up. Since they have cameras in the cell, they would see I wasn’t waking up. I would have to stay laying down, “asleep” for awhile. Eventually they would get worried and send someone in to try to wake me up, and make sure I was ok. Then I would jump up, and run for the door. I would run until I was able to find an exit, and then get out.
So, I buzzed the buzzer by my door. An officer came and opened the door window. “Yes?” “I was interrogated by Ethan Brown who offered me a job to get out of prison. I originally said no, but I’ve changed my mind, and I want the job.” He laughed, “What can change your mind other than 24 hours in prison? I’ll go talk to him.” “Thank you.” “Whoa, prisoner with manners. Never seen that before.” He laughed and closed the window.
I waited for about fifteen minutes before the officer came back. “I’m sorry man. I called him, and he said it was ‘expired’ whatever that means.”
Shoot. Well there went my first plan. Time for Plan B. I laid down on the ground, and pretended to go to sleep, which looked normal. A couple hours later, another officer banged on me door. “Time for dinner.” But I didn’t get up. “Hey, you need to come get your food.” But I didn’t budge. I could feel his eyes on me, and I kept my breathing slow, and added a little rasp for extra measure. He left and a few mins later came back with a doctor.
They opened the door, and entered. The doctor came and stood next to me, checking my pulse, etc. After a few seconds, I jumped up, and made a dash for the door. I made it through, but barely, and now I had 6 police officers and 4 guards on my tail. I dashed down the first hall I found. There was lots of yelling behind me. I started running in zig zags, knowing that they had tasers and guns. Something I hadn’t predicted. After 10 minutes, I was starting to get tired. My endurance and energy was wearing off, and they were starting to block off areas. They also now had Aden and his team after me.
Because I couldn’t find an exit, I decided to go with Plan C.
Plan C was: Improvise. I was panting hard, and I could feel an asthma attack coming on. Shoot. I stopped, and grabbed a police officer. I pulled out his gun and pointed it at his head. I wasn’t going to hurt him, but the others didn’t know that.
I was panting for air, but it wasn’t a full on attack yet. It would all catch up to me in the next 15 minutes or so. “Lium! Put the gun down, man. You need to stop what you’re doing right now! I want you to put that gun down, kick it away and get on your knees right this instant!” I stared at Aden. Seriousness lined his face, and his eyes were cold, but not emotionless.
could feel my attack starting to take over. I started gasping for air, and it was getting extremely hard to breathe. My body became weightless, and the gun began to drop from my fingers. I needed oxygen now. I didn’t even hear it as the gun hit the floor. I started falling but didn’t even notice as my head slammed against the wall. Everything became hazy, and I couldn’t think. Why was there blood on my head? Where did that come from? Wait, why am I on the floor? I didn't know. All I knew was that I had a whole lot of screaming soldiers running to me.
But I couldn’t hear them. I saw Aden yelling at them. Somehow, he knew what was going on. A doctor came over, and touched my chest. She said something, but I couldn’t tell what it was.
A few minutes later, an oxygen tank was brought over, and an IV drip. I was beginning to fade. I could feel as they inserted a needle into a vein on my hand, and then as they got an oxygen mask on my face. I sucked in the fresh air, my lungs desperate for it. Slowly, strength was fed into my body. I was handcuffed, and they brought my oxygen to my cell. A drug was inserted through the IV, and it was only moments before I was unconscious.
Chapter 5 - Someone Out there Understands
“He’s doing fine, he’s doing fine. He’ll be alright as long as he doesn’t get too excited when he wakes up.” “Well that’s pretty unlikely. Can you give him something to keep him calm?” “Yes.”
I felt something cool and thick enter my bloodstream. My heart rate began to slow down, and I began to feel very calm and relaxed. I opened my eyes to a bright white light. I quickly shut them again. “It’s alright Lium. Waking up is good. Open your eyes again.” I tried to but my eyes burned, and my head began throbbing. “It hurts.” “I know, sweetheart. But from what I hear, you are a very resilient and tough man. Come on, try again.” I did, but I couldn’t keep them open. “I can’t.” My body ached, my head ached, everything ached, and my escape plan had failed once again. I was broken. My body was exhausted and I could hardly lift a finger. I tried to move my wrists, but they were cuffed to the bed.
“Just relax, Lium. You’re going to be fine. Physically and emotionally.” She patted my hand and walked over to my right side. Who was this lady? She sounded old, but she was very sweet. I heeded her words, and began to relax. “That’s it, good boy. You can just take another nap if you want to. Your body needs it.”
When was the last time anyone had ever talked to me like that? When was the last time anyone had ever seen me as a hurting human being rather than a nasty, emotionless criminal? When was the last time someone looked at me, and really understood? When was the last time somebody saw that I was really just a hurting 19 year old kid, who lost his parents in a car crash at 12, and had to grow up alone? I really couldn’t remember. I wasn’t even sure if anyone had seen me like that.
“What is your name?” I felt her eyes on me. “Maria.” My hands started shaking with emotion. That had been my mother’s name. “Why-y aren’t you afraid of me?” I could feel her glowing smile. “Because, Lium, you are young kid that was in the wrong place at the wrong time, with wrong emotions. You grew up alone, and you were angry and sad. You aren’t a heartless murderer. You are just a kid with quite unique talents.”
I could feel tears starting to slide down my cheeks. “I am a heartless murderer. I killed all those people.” “Ah, you were, not are. Silly boy. Your past will never leave you, but you must make room in that head of yours for a future.”
“A future in prison.” “No, a future of opportunities. To share your story, and to understand someone else’s.”
She walked out of the room, and I was quite sad she was gone, but she had given me a lot to think about. My decision was already made. My life would be an opportunity. Not a curse, not a bad twist of fate, but a opportunity to show love to others, and give them a chance at the life I could never have.
No matter how old, how young, how scarred, or how scary someone is. Whether they are a bully, a criminal, or just someone mean who you’ve com across, remember and try to imagine what they have been though. Listen to them, understand them, and love them. Because everyone in this world just wants to be understood.
So give someone out there a chance at life. If you couldn’t have that chance, then pass it on to someone who could really use it more than you. Share happiness and positivity through your life, and live it to the fullest. Thank for reading my story, and I hope it was an inspiration to someone out there.