Conspiracy Design by Almondie Shampine
book 4 in The Modules Series
We endured just another silent trip to the airport. He refused to tell me where we were going. I refused to give him the benefit of asking him.
Then when he had me seated on the plane, he kissed me . . . goodbye? I watched him walk away, watched him leave, saying nothing, expecting him to return, because he’d made it clear he wouldn’t be leaving my side, right?
But then the plane began moving, and he hadn’t come back. “Wait!” I cried, unbuckling my seat belt and beginning to stand. A man in a black suit and tie was instantly there. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” he said.
“Who are you?” I asked snottily.
He just smiled at me, then buckled himself in right next to me, without ever answering my question.
When the plane landed at a Texas airport, I hauled butt toward the exit, but last minute swung inside the bathroom compartment, waiting for everyone else to exit. When the footsteps stopped, I peeked out of the compartment, and began fast-walking in the opposite direction, toward the back of the plane.
“Going somewhere?” another guy with a black suit and tie stepped into my pathway in the aisle. I turned to find the other one behind me.
“It would make your guys’ job a lot easier if you just give me a little bit of information and tell me what you want.” I said.
They said nothing, escorting me out of the plane, then keeping close to both my sides as we walked. They led me to a black vehicle, same as Headquarters’ vehicles.
“Get in,” was all I was told. The door opened and there were two more inside.
“Not until I know where I’m going and what all of this is about,” I said, and positioned myself in a defensive stance. The guy cocked his gun and pointed it at my head, “I’m not going to tell you twice.”
“Fine, as long as you know I have no problem killing strangers, which is what you are until you tell me who you are, so you might want to rethink your secrecy.”
I plopped down in the seat, and the guy holding the gun maneuvered in next to me, so that I was sandwiched between two guys carrying guns.
“Better buckle up. Wouldn’t want there to be any . . . accidents,” he chuckled cruelly.
“Oh, there will be. Just you wait. Don’t close your eyes. Don’t even dare to blink,” I threatened.
The windows were black. I had no idea where they were taking me.
An hour into the trip, I told them I had to go to the bathroom.
“You just went on the plane.”
“I was only pretending to go on the plane, but now I really have to go.”
“No stops, that’s our orders.”
“And who do you take your orders from?” I asked.
The only response was another chuckle.
The destination landed me in a completely secured dusty barracks. No signs, addresses, or anything to tell me where I was.
“Electric fences. No one gets in and no one gets out without authorization. Try to pull some funny business, you’ll be shot. Welcome to your new home, little girl. By the looks of you, you won’t make it a week.”
“Longer than you’ll be making it,” I said.
And when he opened his mouth to chuckle again, I slammed my fist into it and grabbed for his gun. By the time the others got around to trying to grab me, I had it pressed against his forehead. “Boom,” I whispered, dangerously.
“Too bad you don’t know how to use it, witch.” And in one quick movement, he had my wrist, and I felt the snap before the gun dropped out of my hand.
“Better figure out what you’re messing with before you mess with it,” he said, kicking dust into my face, before laughing.
They got into the vehicle and drove away, leaving me on my knees craning my broken hand.
“How am I supposed to work with this?” I heard a disgruntled voice behind me. I looked up at the looming creature in military uniform staring down at me in disgust.
“I think my hand’s broken,” I said, trying to stave the tears.
“You’re lucky that’s all that’s broken what you just pulled. Shooting you would have saved us all a bunch of work. Get up, follow me. On the double. Told him this was a mistake.”
He brought me into a dark room, reminding me of the interrogation room I’d been taken to previously when tortured for information on the formula. He had me sit while he paced the room.
I didn’t know which pain was worse. My broken wrist or how badly I needed to go to the bathroom.
“I am Commander Lewis. You will address me as Sir, Yes Sir.”
I stared at him. With a sweep of his foot, the chair was
dislodged, and I fell on the cement floor, landing on my wrist. I
yelled out in pain.
“What do you address me as?”
“Sir, Yes Sir,” I gritted my teeth.
“I will call you whatever the hell I feel like calling you, but you will always address me as Sir, Yes Sir, after everything I say.”
I began picking myself up off the floor, and stood on wobbly legs. He kicked the back of my knee and I fell again. “Sir, Yes Sir!” I hollered.
“For however long this takes, I own you, got that?”
“Sir, Yes Sir!”
“But I am going to warn you that your being here is a huge inconvenience, and as long as you inconvenience me and my operations and my men, I am going to make your life miserable.”
“Sir, Yes Sir.”
“In fact, when I’m done with you, I’m going to make you wish you were never born.”
I stayed kneeled on the ground. “Sir, Yes Sir.”
He stepped on my hand, crushing it into the cement until I had tears burning in my eyelids. I moaned aloud, as I felt the bones grinding against each other, and to my absolute horror, I felt a puddle of warmth between my legs. I’d peed myself.
He gripped the back of my head and shoved it toward the puddle. “You disgust me!”
“Sir. Yes. Sir,” and I don’t think I’ve ever sounded as dangerous as I did then. A hundred scenarios played out in my head in the matter of seconds, preferably him on his back, soaking in my pee, eyes wide and full of fear.
“For that, you’ll be spending the rest of your evening cleaning this entire room with a toothbrush, but we’ve got other matters to take care of first.”
He lifted me by the back of my shirt. There was so much pain in my hand that I was seeing black swirling dots in my vision. We walked toward another building.
He shoved me in an open room.
Shockingly cold water sprayed harshly on me, and I screamed.
“Remove your filthy clothes, female.”
I looked at him in horror, and the three other guys stationed there. “Can I have some privacy, please?” my teeth chattered.
They laughed at me. “Seems you don’t take too well to orders. That’ll change real fast.”
Two of them moved toward me and began helping themselves to literally ripping off my clothes.
“Okay, okay, I’ll do it myself,” I said.
But they were having too much fun. As soon as I was completely exposed and vulnerable, they turned the water directly on me, knocking me down against the wall, while I tried to cover my face from the feel of the ice. The only thing I was grateful for was that they couldn’t see me crying.
When I was blue and trembling so hard I could barely walk, they led me into another room, and before I could even lift my head, I saw my hair land on the floor, cut. When I heard the sound of the buzzers, I began to fight, murmuring “No’s”, and “Pleases”, until I was laid out on my back on the floor, restrained by my hands, my legs, and someone’s hands on my throat, while the buzzer harshly went over my skull.
Then my chest was being bandaged so tight, I could hardly breathe, and I stood there, limp and lifeless, while they dressed me. A hat was shoved on my head.
“Stand up straight,” was yelled.
“Sir, yes sir,” I murmured, but my body was jello, my strength completely depleted, so they forced me and held me into a straightened position and turned me toward a mirror.
“Take a good look at yourself, because this is who you are now. The only thing we can’t give you are the parts, so you best keep your pants on at all times.”
I didn’t recognize the pale blue, slumped weakling with the large fearful eyes in the mirror. I only noticed the boy that was staring back at me with a wrist that was hanging unnaturally, looking like a claw.
“Get him over to the med department to get that wrapped up with some pain medication.”
I dozed in and out of sleep while a male nurse worked on my hand and gave me temporary reprieve from the pain. I was handed bread to eat, a glass of water to drink, then escorted back to the interrogation room where a bucket of bleach water and a toothbrush sat on the floor, next to my drying puddle.
Awkwardly, I began the work with my left hand, as it had been my right wrist that had been broken.
Time passed, I didn’t know how long, as I focused on my methodical breathing and the scrape scrape scrape of the toothbrush. Pain began returning to my wrist, and the room was like an inferno.
Sweat dripped off every part of me, making me itch in all the places that were bandaged that I couldn’t get to. I needed to go to the bathroom again. I was parched and needed water badly, but no one came.
I began shivering cold in my sweat, and I eventually curled up on the floor, wrapping my arms around me and pressing my legs up to my chest. My dreams were chaotic.
I felt delusional, and I kept fogging the lines between sleep and awake, so when the door finally opened and I felt pain in my side, I looked up at the Officer and believed I was still dreaming. Just a crazy nightmare. Any moment the Commander would be kissing me awake, with coffee and breakfast waiting for me.
I felt pain in my side again, and realized that he was kicking me. I tried to sit up, but dizziness led me to begin dry-heaving.
“You’re an idiot,” I heard. “Obviously didn’t learn your lesson from making a mess in here yesterday. Now you’ll have to do it again. Get up!”
“Sir, Yes, Sir.”
I wavered on my feet and squinted through blurred eyes at him.
“May I go to the bathroom, sir?” I cringed.
He took his sweet time answering, and I almost believed I’d be denied that, but finally he assented, and took me to what appeared to be a private bathroom.
“Thank you,” I said in great relief and gratitude.
It was short-lived, as I was faced with a urinal and no toilet paper.
Then he walked in and began talking to me like I wasn’t trying to go to the bathroom. “This is an all-male facility. Females do not belong this side of the line. I do not know what you did to get yourself here, but I can assume you’re going to be regretting it, if you’re not already. You would have had an easier time of it going to prison. At least you may have had a chance at surviving there.
“Here, you’re not going to make it, female. That’s a promise, because I’m not going to babysit you. You get yourself into a situation, you’re on your own, so it’s in your best interests you keep your identity secret and protect it like your life, because it will be your life if your gender gets out. You’re a month behind the others. Most recruits start on time. You’ll be working double. This isn’t the type of military operation where no man gets left behind. If you fall behind, you will get left behind.”
“Sir, yes sir.”
Then he smacked my bottom. Before I even had my pants
buckled, he pulled out in front of me and began peeing in the urinal. I turned with flushed face.
He laughed, patronizing, “You act like you’ve never seen one of these before. How old are you, anyway?”
“Almost 18, sir.”
“Yeah, you’re chopped liver. In a way, it’s too bad. I could think of better purposes for you. Perhaps, when things get too tough for you, I’ll offer you a deal.”
I said nothing.
I followed him toward a line of big, thick, tall men in uniform, standing straight and rigid. There had to be fifty of them, and they seemed quite amused by the look of me.
“Our newest recruit, Kadon. Don’t let him hold you up. He’s got a lot to learn. I’m sure you’ll all take care to show this skinny little bastard the ropes.”
“Sir, Yes, Sir.” And they all seemed extremely enthusiastic with that order, too enthusiastic. I took my place, the last of the line, beside a massive, probably 6’6” guy.
“You know the drill. Let’s get to it.”
“Sir, Yes, Sir,” they yelled, and his elbow came up and hit me harshly in the nose, which immediately began bleeding.
The Officer just looked at me, disgusted, and shook his head.
While we ran, I stayed quite a bit behind on purpose, to avoid trips, kicks, hits, and elbows.
A mile into it, I was completely cramped. By two miles, I was
wheezing and falling more and more behind, but I wasn’t even allowed that, because the Officer stayed behind me and kicked me in the rear to keep me running away from his foot.
Then there were the crunches, and the push-ups that I had to do on my elbows, because of my wrist, then the pull-up bars.
“You’re required 25 pull-ups. You don’t get off the bar until you’ve done them. Sweet hanging,” one of the guys said, while looking at my wrist. “Do you know what happens to the hanging guy?”
I shook my head.
“You’ll find out.”
I was boosted up, and I grabbed the bar with my left hand, while babying my right. With all my strength, I could not pull my chin above that bar, not even for one pull-up. I wanted to cry. I began kicking my feet, trying to bolster myself up. They were all laughing. My hand slipped and I fell the eight feet to the ground, landing painfully on my knee, just as quickly to be lifted back up.
“I think he needs some incentive,” someone yelled.
“Well we got plenty of that to dish out.” And suddenly I was struck in the back. By what, I couldn’t see, but it was sharp and hot and stung when it hit me.
Yelling, I pulled myself up with my left hand.
“24 more to go, you little twit.”
And I was hit again. My hand slipped and I fell again. Again, I
was forced to grab the bar. This time I grabbed it with my right, and I
cried out in pain, as I felt bone mash against bone.
There were tears free-flowing down my face when I got to five. A numbness began to set in where the brain stopped being able to process the pain.
They had surrounded me now, and all of them were taking hits at me.
“You wishing you never signed up here? You want your Mommy now, little boy?”
“Go back home where you belong. You got nothing. You can’t make it here.”
Their taunting continued. 15.
The Officer just stood there, arms crossed, a smile on his face. He wasn’t going to stop them.
“Cry mercy. Give up. We’ll send you home with a blankie and a binkie.”
17. I was screaming out loud. I didn’t care. Screaming for all I was worth.
“He needs more incentive.”
“Depants him. Let’s whip him bare skin. That’ll get him moving.”
I waited for the Officer to stop them.
He’d already told me to protect my gender with my life. They
came toward me, two of them grabbing at my waist, and the Officer
I gripped the bar, kicked my two feet in front of me hard, knocking the one guy down, then flipped forward on the bar and slammed the other guy in the chest with my feet. Using the swinging momentum, I swung up to the top of the bar, and stood crouched on it, while the others closed in. I jumped overtop their heads, landing in a crouch, and side-swept three of them. The others’ hesitation was just enough, placing me in the position of being able to round-house their sorry butts, and finally I kicked the back of the knee of the massive male that had elbowed me in the nose earlier. I wrapped my arm around his throat.
“Done!” I screamed.
Only then did the Officer hold up his hand. He nodded at me. I let the guy go, and faced the Officer, straight and rigid, and saluted him, “Sir. Yes. Sir.” I hollered, and began to sprint, this time, in front.
“You’re gonna pay for that. Tonight,” I heard behind me.
I didn’t find trouble. Trouble always just found me.
That’s why I was as happy as strawberry jam to be spending that evening with bleach and a toothbrush, again.
I smiled brightly at the Officer the following morning when he walked in to a pristine clean, Clorox-smelling room, with a new yellow puddle on the floor.
Click on this link to get the entire Modules Series for Free July 4th, 5th, 6th, 2018. Or go to www.amazon.com/author/almondieshampine
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