Chapter 21: The Final Stand of Kit Marshall
Kit Marshall stood amongst his friends and colleagues with beads of nervous sweat on his forehead. This was it. This was the day he dreaded. For years, he was Warden Greene’s man in the general population of Havenville Penitentiary. He spotted potential subjects for his experiments as well as potential problems. The inmate that called himself Xander Zane was both.
Kit knew that he should keep an eye on Xander the day he first saw him, but he couldn’t pinpoint why. There was no doubt that Xander had the skill and mentality to become an Elite Guard or the fodder for some grand experiment of The Warden, but there was also the potential of danger.
That danger became clear the day that Kit and Dr. Dean played their little game with Xander and the Ten of Clubs in the Mess Hall. Xander had passed the test with flying colors and proved again that he had skills. The other thing that became clear is that he had made alliances, and that is what made him dangerous.
Kit and Dr. Dean both warned Warden Greene not to toy with Zane when The Warden got the information of who Zane really was. Kit argued time and time again that they should just dispose of him in the same fashion they disposed of the last FBI agent that found his way into Havenville, but The Warden just had to play his games until they turned Zane into both a martyr and a hero to the inmates. Not all of the inmates at Havenville are idiotic thieves and animals like The Warden thinks. They saw what was going on, and all they needed was a catalyst to spark them to life.
There was a reason Kit Marshall didn’t kill Xander Zane himself when The Warden asked him to do it. The cold hard fact was that Marshall was scared of him. He was scared of what he had become in the eyes of the inmates, and he was scared of what he might be if he was killed in the most vulgar of fashion.
Now, Kit Marshall’s fears were realized as he stood his ground in front of the Max Lockup facility. He nervously grasped his rifle with the inmates of Havenville barreling towards him looking for revenge in the name of Xander Zane.
He felt they deserved it.
Xander looked around him at the massacre that just ended. There were piles of dead wolves and torn apart inmates. Xander didn’t even want to know how many lives he just lost to this vicious pack of wolves. He bent down near the wolf closest to him and tugged on the green collar. There was a long serial number on the bottom.
“Fucked up,” Leonard’s voice said from behind him. “At least we got the gates shut.”
“I had no idea,” Xander said still kneeling in front of the dead wolf. “I was ready for anything, but this was -” Xander trailed off trying to keep whatever little food that was in his stomach from making it’s way up. There wasn’t even anything he could do for the dead. He knew from the beginning he’d have to keep moving no matter what happened. Now that the first battles were won, he wondered how long he can endure marching these men to their deaths.
“We won the battle,” Tajiri said. “We lost some of our troops, but this is a war. We’re ready to move on. The men will still follow.”
Xander looked around. Was Tajiri just saying that, or was it really true. From the looks on the inmates faces that survived the wolf attack it didn’t seem like it. If this is what The Warden can throw at them now, he didn’t want to see what they would be up against once inside Max.
“Xander,” Leonard said. “El Niño is ready with the bus. We need to rally. What else can Greene have? Flying monkeys?”
Xander made a dry chuckle. Leonard seemed the least likely to tell Xander that it was ready to rally and fight. Xander dusted off his orange pants and looked at Leonard. His face was resolute. “Give me the phone,” he said.
Leonard took the phone from his pocket and swiped at it a few times. After a moment he handed it to Xander. “Go ahead,” he said.
“This is Xander Zane,” Xander said. His voice once again boomed from every speaker in Havenville. “Your wolves are dead. We’re coming for the elite guards next. Surrender The Warden and Lockhart and this ends now. Continue to resist and we’re coming for Max.”
Kit Marshall grabbed his mic. He didn’t have access to the speakers that Xander currently had, but he did have the huge megaphones on the back of his jeep. With the volume turned all the way up every inmate and guard in Havenville would get his message loud and clear.
“Come on, Zane!” he shouted. “We’re waiting for you. Bring everything you got!”
Marshall threw the mic back into the cab of his jeep and returned to the line of hardened guards. The last words Warden Greene spoke to him still rang out in his mind.
Wolfsky ran through the halls of Max Lockup. Anarchy was ensuing on the inside, but he doubted Xander would get word of it until he finally broke in. Guards were slain and left in heaps by him and his comrade in arms. He didn’t have the luxury to offer them a safe haven like Xander did when the war began.
Wolfsky made his way downwards into the basement cells and labs that weren’t supposed to exist. He left the inmates upstairs to riot and kill as they saw fit. Some of them knew Wolfsky from when they were with him in the General Population, others knew him by reputation, and some never heard of him. They all had one thing in common: They wanted Havenville destroyed.
Wolfsky slowed his stride so nothing would surprise him. He knew very little of this section of Havenville and had no idea on what security precautions The Warden took with his pride and joy. He pushed open door after door, but all he found was sparkling clean floors and empty labs. Finally, after what seemed like hours, Wolfsky found who he was looking for.
“Ah, patient Wolfsky,” one of the doctor’s said standing up from his desk that was covered with x-rays. The other doctors were all in the large room as well. They were all going over files, x-rays, and pictures of cut open bodies. They seemed oblivious to the chaos that currently enveloped Havenville.
“It seems like we won’t have the chance to operate on him after all,” one of the doctors said turning his head. The light reflected off the reflective disk on his forehead.
“Such a pity,” another said. “I think our friend here would have made a fantastic specimen.”
“Do you think the skeletal implants would have worked in this one?”
“But of course.”
“He could have been The Warden’s greatest weapon.”
“I think he could have been the one who took the steel core.”
“There’s still time.”
“Let’s keep him alive.”
Wolfsky had enough of the doctor’s rambling. Even though they were now at his mercy, he still had his anxiety about being around them. There was something about the white coats and discs that made Wolfsky uneasy. “Line up,” Wolfsky said. “Wolfsky doesn’t want to waste energy chasing all of you around this office.”
“You seem to be mistaken,” the asian doctor said walking from around his desk. “You stepped into a situation that is quite dire for you.”
“Oh yes,” a robust dark skinned doctor said stepping from behind his own desk. “Dire indeed.”
“Who do you think we experimented on first?” Another said coming around his desk. “You really have no idea who we are, do you?”
“You’ll be our finest work.”
“Finest work indeed.”
Wolfsky snapped. He charged the nearest doctor and found himself flipping through the air before his hands could find his throat. He hit the ground hard and the wind escaped his lungs. He wasn’t prepared for it, and it showed. A shined black shoe pressed down on his throat, and Wolfsky struggled to breath. He tried to force the shoe off, but it wouldn’t budge.
“Clear off your desk, Doctor Crispin,” Wolfsky heard. He saw the items from the desk all clatter to the floor in the corner of his eye. He was flipped again and landed on his back on the hardwood desk.
“Doctor Vick,” Doctor Crispin said. “Hand me a scalpel.”
Kit licked his dry and cracked lips. Warden Greene gave him an ultimatum, and he chose the fate he felt fit him best. It was here that he would make his final stand. As much as he was beginning to regret his participation in Warden Greene’s plans, he still decided he would fight and he would die defending Havenville from the scum that occupied it.
He gripped his gun in his rough hands and willed Xander to throw everything he had at him. Only one of them would be alive at the end of the day, and Marshall felt the animalistic side of him grow aroused at the thought of some great battle. His father served and died in the Marines, and Kit always wanted to do him proud. Even if he was a washout of a soldier, at least Warden Greene saw something in him. Even if he didn’t believe in what Warden Greene was doing with the prisoners at Havenville, at least he could give his life to prove the Warden’s trust in him was correct.
As the day drew on he was given that chance to put his life on the line and prove his worth.
Suddenly the guards were fired on. Tear gas canisters and smoke bombs flew through the air from unseen assailants and landed around the guards feet. Purple and gray smoke was expelled, and the guards scrambled to put their masks on. Marshall juggled the gun and his mask as well, and that’s when he heard the motor.
He squinted through the smoke to see what was coming, but the sound was enough. There were two sets of fences between Max Lockup and the rest of Havenville, and there was no way the inmates would be able to just march right passed them. Kit Marshall was expecting something like this.
The prison bus plowed through both sets of fences. Kit saw enough through the smoke that there was some kind or large rake stemming from both sides of the front of the bus that aided in taking down the fences. The fence posts and barbed wire came down on the guards who fought to break free, but in the smoke their flailing led to death as bullets began to pour from the windows of the bus.
Kit was far enough back to not have the fences fall on his, so he began firing his rifle into the front windows of the bus hoping to hit someone on the inside. He pumped his rifle again and again as the glass fell from the bus windshield to the ground. As a gust of wind blew through the fortress and began disperessing the smoke, he saw Xander Zane running towards him with the force of his inmate army behind him.
Kit Marshall calmly reloaded.
The inmates rushed behind the bus that was now stuck and not moving. Xander had ordered anyone with an automatic gun to the front, and they began firing into the guards that stood their ground in front of the Max Lockup facility. Xander aimed his gun and sprayed bullets into the line of guards. Few found their marks in flesh. The guards were still heavily padded in kevlar vests and riot gear. Xander’s small army had stolen what they could from the guard’s stores, but it wasn’t enough to protect all of them.
The inmates from behind made a mad dash past those with the automatic weapons when they got to the bus. Those behind were armed with blunt weapons or stun guns and had masks that would protect them from Leonard’s smoke bombs and tear gas. They rushed the guards and pummeled them while their sight was impaired by the smoke screen. The gunman reloaded or switched to their own blunt insturments of death.
Bullets flew in every direction from the guards. Xander watched as more inmates fell to the bullets of the Elite Guard’s guns. He wished they found more armor before waging their battle. He fired his own weapon at the guards hoping to hit more than armor, but it seemed that those that rushed ahead were having more luck. Xander threw his own gun down and ran towards the melee.
Kit Marshall took the opportunity once Xander’s gun was down and pulled his handgun from his holster. He took aim at Xander’s head and squeezed the trigger.
Kit thought his gun may have jammed, but it wasn’t his gun. He noticed a searing pain through his right arm and noticed the entire side of his body was full of nails. His gun tumbled from a hand he could no longer control. He turned to see Leonard Kelly tossing a smoking pipe to the ground and pulling another one from behind his back. He lit the fuse and aimed at Marshall once again. There was a loud pop, and Marshall’s entire front was full of nails. The body armor took most of the nails, but enough found their mark in his thick neck.
Marshall clawed at this neck to try and get the nails out, but it was too late. He tried to gasp for breath that wouldn’t come. Warm and frothy blood poured from his mouth to the earth in front of him. The only thing he regretted as he fell to the ground is that he didn’t even have the chance to curse Xander Zane with his dying breath.
Wolfsky struggled to free himself from the desk, but he found himself unable to move. He strained his eyes, and he was able to see a tall skinny doctor holding his legs down.
That’s impossible, Wolfsky thought. He shouldn’t be that strong.
He tried to move his arms and found them frozen as well. He used his peripheral vision and noticed one doctor holding each of his arms.
Impossible, Wolfsky thought again.
“There’s no use struggling,” the tall, gray haired doctor by Wolfsky’s feet said.
Wolfsky felt the fear and anxiety that seemed to partner him whenever the doctors were near. He saw the gleam of a scalpel in the florescent light of the room drawing closer. He didn’t know where this fear was coming from. He was trained to push it away. He was trained not to fear. He was trained to be a machine when he needed to be one.
Think, Wolfsky, a voice in his mind said.
Wolfsky took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He called upon the early days in his training. He reviewed his most recent memories in rapid succession.
Wolfsky’s running towards the first doctor he intended to kill. He’s flipping through the air, but there is no sensation of a blow from the doctor. Then there’s a foot on Wolfsky’s throat. Wolfsky tried to force the shoe from his throat, but to no avail. Wolfsky doesn’t feel the torque of his muscle pushing an immovable object. Then Wolfsky falls onto the hardwood desk. That’s when he notices.
Wolfsky jumped! he thinks. The doctors did nothing. It was all Wolfsky!
Now Wolfsky saw the reason for the large metal discs the doctors all wore on their heads. They weren’t paying an obscene homage to some sci-fi doctors. They were either using the discs to amplify some kind of psychic attack or using them to block the scars from when they operated on each other’s brains. Either way, Wolfsky was under the psychic attack of seven twisted doctors.
But Wolfsky was trained for this as well.
He focused his mind inwards instead of on the seven white coat wearing madmen. His body was on top of the cold desk, but his mind was back in Barbados. He was sitting under the shade of a tree sipping a cold soda with Amanda. He told her some joke and she giggled. He smiled at her laugh. If Wolfsky’s mind was back in Barbados with Amanda the doctors could not control it.
“What’s going on?” The doctor holding the scalpel inches from Wolfsky’s face asked. “Why is he smiling?”
The other doctors became nervous the moment the the last question was posed. Their psychic hold on Wolfsky wavered at that moment, and Wolfsky’s mind was his own.
Wolfsky grasped both of the doctors on his arms and pulled them together. Their heads smashed together with a slapping thud. Wolfsky released them and they fell to the ground dead. Wolfsky spun towards the doctor holding the scalpel. He moved quickly and snapped the doctor’s neck. Wolfsky took the scalpel from his hand and threw it into the neck of the doctor that was holding his feet.
Three more left, Wolfsky though moving his eyes around the large office space.
Wolfsky smiled as he went around the room to kill the last of the doctors. How long had it been since anyone had feared those who had pulsed their fear into the minds of their victims. He found one doctor behind a desk and ripped his throat out. How many victims felt nothing but forced fear as their bodies were toyed with at the whim of a madman? Wolfsky found another brandishing a lamp as a weapon. Wolfsky punched him in the chest hard enough to destroy his heart. How long had these walking vampires been allowed to live off of the fear of the inmates of Havenville. Wolfsky found the the last doctor running towards the door, but Wolfsky was quicker. He got behind the small asian doctor and picked him up by the hair. The doctor screamed in pain and flailed his feet wildly trying to shake loose Wolfsky’s grip.
“Where’s Lockhart?” Wolfsky growled as he turned the doctors face towards his.
“I don’t know,” the doctor said meekly. He was too scared to try his psychic hypnosis on Wolfsky without the aid of his six colleagues.
“Liar!” Wolfsky said. He dropped the doctor on the floor and brought him up by his hair again. Wolfsky noted it was coming out. He wouldn’t be able to do this for long. Soon he’d have to come up with another tactic.
“He’s down two floors!” The doctor said. “He has a private lab. Please have mercy!”
“Mercy? Wolfsky said letting the doctor fall to the floor once more. “Did you give mercy to the inmates that came into your care?”
The doctor moved backwards on the floor. Trying to put distance between him and Wolfsky.
“No!” the doctor yelled. “We did not!”
“Then you shall receive no mercy from Wolfsky!” Wolfsky said picking the doctor up by his throat. He held him in his air and watched his face as the life slowly drained from it.
Xander once again stood and beheld the carnage that was around him. Leonard’s bus idea worked perfectly, and the fences crushed a good number of the guards before they even got there. Now that the smoke was clear and the chaos was over, there was nothing left to do but continue into Max Lockup. There wouldn’t be any rest for him or his men until Havenville was taken or they were dead.
Xander’s men were tired. The ached. Those that survived this phase of the war picked weapons and armor from the corpses. Xander felt that familiar pang of guilt seeing them willing to fight on under his leadership, but this was their war as much as it was his. They lived under the shadow of Warden Greene long before Xander Zane came wandering through the doors of Havenville.
“What now?” Leonard asked panting.
“You have the soul of a great warrior,” Tajiri said. “I saw you take down Marshall.”
“That was you?” Xander said with a small smile. “You’re a cold blooded killer.”
“I fight with honor,” Leonard said bowing. “Now are we going to keep flapping our gums, or are we going to get Wolfsky and kill that fucking Warden.”
There were murmurs of agreement behind Leonard, and the men started to line up once again. Xander’s small army had lost more members, but there was still enough to push forward. In truth, Xander would march into Max Lockup until every last man stopped breathing.
“Say the word,” Tajiri said.
“Break the doors in,” Xander snarled.
Xander’s army moved forward. The clouds above Max Lockup suddenly turned dark gray and swirled. A man fell from the heavens and landed in front of the large doors that led inside Max. There were wires coming from the top of his head that led up to where he came down. “STOP!” he called with a booming voice.
The inmates froze in place. They were expecting some kid of resistance, but this was well out of the range of what they were willing to believe. The only one who moved was Xander Zane.
“I’ve already seen this trick,” Xander said. “The man in my dream had the same apparatus as you do.”
The man squinted at Xander, and he felt a tingling between his eyes. “Ah yes,” the man said. “One of my predecessors. He seemed to be on your side. A former John Smith. I can tell you now that he was wrong. Havenville will definitely not end.”
“We’ll see about that,” Xander said. “Move aside.”
“You have no authority over me,” John Smith said in an eerily calm voice. “I can end your little army easily.” John Smith raised a hand and held his palm flat towards the crowd. Everyone who was in front of his palm writhed in pain and fell to the ground.
“Stop it!” Xander shouted.
“Maybe it is you I should be destroying,” John Smith said. “If I cut off the head the body will surely die. Goodbye Xander Zane Peter Frost. It is a shame we cannot meet in person. John Smith held his palm towards Xander Zane.
Xander never felt anything more agonizing in his life.