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Eye of the Storm
“Twenty-four hour lockdown maggots, back to your cells and shut the fuck up,”
the gristly voice echoed through the halls of C-5. Some of the less prudent inmates attempted to protest with unpleasant consequence.

Damien detached himself from the conflagration and focused on the power of light. He was sat upright on his bed against the wall and stared with a blind gaze at the sliver wall. He felt the flow of elemental might from his fingertips to toes. It was marvellous; so much more so than he had first thought. With each step forward his hunger grew for deeper knowledge.

He also felt the flow grow stronger although the progress was capricious. Sometimes he spent months without gain before his capacity spiked. It was but one of the mysteries he had not yet pierced. Each discovery was accompanied by numerous questions which he met with undaunted perseverance. He had felt the pull of oblivion at the precipice of the raging light but neglected to bend to its will. The power was his. He used it as he wished and no other way.

It had been weeks since his failed appeal and the end of his penance but he had yet to secure an opportunity worth taking until today.

A crack of thunder pealed overhead and the light allowed him to feel the earth tremble beneath the violent storm.

Damien smiled.

“Good boy, Oakland. I don’t know how the Warden tamed you but I thank God that he did.”

His gaze flickered to the armoured woman. Her face was split by a vulgar grin that twisted her otherwise pleasant features. That one took perverse pleasure in taunting her subjects.

“Not up for a chat? You’re not reading one of your books,”
she let out a short, sharp yap of laughter. “And you have all the time in the world.”

Damien pursed his lips. She had disturbed his concentration. “Do you have nothing better to do?”

Her laughter irritated him and worse, she knew it. “I could stand around while those other fucking perverts fantasize about raping and cutting my throat but I’m not in the mood for that today.”

“You are going to kill me, what makes you think I care?”

“Don’t be like that, Oakland. I don’t want to kill anyone. Death is too good for some of you fuckers.”

Damien was inclined to agree. Death was not the worst thing one could inflict on a person.

CODE 241. CODE 241, blared over the loudspeakers. The woman looked disappointed but signalled her acknowledgement before one last glance at Damien. “Looks like you got your wish, Oakland. Damn architects! Which genius decided to put a prison on the fucking ocean?”

Damien rose as soon as he heard the guard’s footsteps fade and approached the seamless cell door full of light and power. With practiced precision he short circuited the lock with a carefully placed and controlled flame.

It slid open with a satisfactory hiss and Damien made his way out of the cell without a second glance. He had all he needed from this cursed hell-house within him.

The optical panel which protected Section C-5 was easier to bypass despite what he had thought. As another growl of thunder shook the ground under his sensitive feet the panel sizzled and the heavy steel slid open.

A pudgy pig-faced man rounded on him in surprise when he heard the door open. “Wha-?”

Damien acted quickly with a brutal club of Air knocking the man to the ground. Blood began to pool around his fractured skull but Damien pressed on. He ignored the shouts of the inmates who saw him pass through the orderly halls. They howled their indignation and pleaded for their freedom but Damien had no intention of confederacy. If they wished for their freedom, they could attain it themselves.

The thunder grew louder and more frequent overhead and alarms started to buzz forcing Damien to quicken his stride. The next two guards he encountered were armed with loaded machine guns but had little chance to use them as he swept them from their feet with unseen hammers before they had spied him.

His heart beat faster in his chest despite the prevailing calm that came with the light. It was in part fear but the larger portion was the thrill of escape. He had waited patiently for so long.
Patience warred with anxiety and Damien soon felt the stirrings of true dread. The longer minutes ticked by the less likely his freedom became. Failure would certainly mean death but more than that seven years of preparation would be for naught. Death he could face. Being bested by petty tyrants and a cage full of madmen would be intolerable. He had the light of power and honed his skills to a razor sharp edge. If he could not win free now he did not deserve it.

Damien knelt at the base of yet another door and panel working the circuits with a steady focus. The sirens overhead pierced his ears along with the accompanied shouts and hurried footsteps muted by distance.
The door hissed open and he moved through the lower reaches of the complex. It had taken near half an hour to reach the base level avoiding as many possible combatants as he could. They were closing in on him with extreme efficiency that he feared he would soon be cornered.

The situation now called for a delicate touch.

The thunder and rain continued to batter the compound and once while he passed a rare window he allowed himself a soft smile of satisfaction as the waves along the shore crashed and broke upon the walls with swelling fury. Presently he had passed from the ‘inmate housing’ into the lower recreational and work facilities which had been deserted by both prisoner and guard alike. The lights had been cut to supply power to the cells lending the lonely halls an eerie echo broken below the emergency screeching.

The further he ventured the less comfortable he became and his progress subsequently slowed with his growing paranoia. The guards had fixed his location and pressed him hard. Twice he barely avoided death as bullets flew over his head or deflected off of a barrier of solid Air. The encounters grew more frequent and the constant dull footsteps grew louder and more numerous by the minute.

There was no turning back, however. He was forced to press on against his better judgement; a fact which tightened his dry lips. He could not expose himself in the outside world while he was hounded. There was only one option left to him; one he hated to even consider.

With gritted teeth Damien turned back and entered one of the offshoot paths that led down to the backup generators. He sped down the stairs which were damp with salty water. He barred the massive door with a flow of Air and slowed, eyeing the room with a wary reluctance.

For a high security prison such an important room was dilapidated and worn with disuse or negligence. It favoured him at this moment but he could not hide his disgust. Any man could walk in and simply...

The generator hummed as it worked and drew his gaze. Such a small, harmless object with no awareness of its importance. He circled in on the machine with the light of power glowing brighter than it had even done before. The sirens, shouts and clamour of the world faded to a singular purpose.

Damien’s head cocked slightly to the side as he placed a gentle hand on the warm generator. “If only life was so easy..."
he whispered under his breath.

He did not hesitate. Regret was sharp with frustration and anger but he did not hesitate. The current running through the generator shifted and hung in the balance for a precarious second.

The hum jerked to an abrupt stop and chaos was heralded by profound silence.

Edited by Damien, Mar 2 2014, 09:31 AM.
“Oh, shit!”

The calm was short lived and Damien wasted no time. He boiled the door under Fire until it glowed red-hot and the murmurs beyond grew panicked. It was then ripped from its hinges with brutal force and flung down the hall with a hiss.

Four bodies lay strewn in parts when he vacated the room after a moment’s caution. He strode through the blood and gore without missing a beat despite the resentment swelling in his chest. The sightless eyes of the woman who had taunted him would never dance with malicious delight again. At least he had given her a quick death. It would not have come to this if he had been greater. It was a thought he quashed under need and determination. Already the sounds of unrestrained carnage above assaulted his ears and the scent of fire and gunpowder wafted through the halls.

Machine guns fired in short, ugly bursts in the distance but the first human he encountered was a middle aged man with greying temples huddled under a flight of stairs. The man grabbed his sleeve with frantic fingers. “Oakland! Oakland! Help me! Everything is wrong! Wrong!”

Damien looked at the inmate’s clothing with curious eyes. What had this wretch done in his life to earn a place in San Quentin? Was he another victim, or simply a coward? He had no time to judge. Removing his sleeve from the man’s grasp he turned as someone approached.

A wild-eyed inmate dripping with blood stormed forward with outstretched hands and a hoarse cry of savage desperation. Damien struck out and the prisoner slammed into the wall and fell limp to the ground.

As he made to leave, the cowering man tugged on his sleeve again. “What...You...You need to help me.”

“Run, hide. Don’t come out until it is over,”

he replied and left the shaking inmate to his fate.

Dozens of prisoners flew through the halls in rage or fear. Damien struck down any who ventured to cross his path. He soon learned that the guards had concentrated themselves in force at the front entrance to prevent escape. Warden Beech slew prisoners with impunity and dozens of bullet riddled corpses were proof of his mettle.

Damien gave himself no time to dwell on his creation. He turned away from Beech’s direction and sought a safer path. It was not long before he found his way to the walled yard. Lightning flashed in the angry sky as rain soaked the ground although the tumultuous violence drowned out the sound of thunder so he almost forgot the raging storm.

It was perfect.

Preparing to burn the circuits, Damien placed a hand on the door when he felt a jolt of pain creep up his shoulder followed by the scent of burnt flesh. He spun with grit teeth and flung the armoured man back through the hallway. He ignored the wound and destroyed the handgun that fired. An unexpected stroke of luck that. He would have been dead if the guard had kept the wicked automatic that had shown so many prisoners death today.

Damien worked the door open finally and stumbled into the mud and rain. Shouts and stray bullets alerted him to more guards. He was not sure what they were doing here if Beech was at the entrance but he did not stop to ask. He closed the door and bolstered it with Air as he had done in the generator room.

With slow breaths he summoned as much light as he could closing his eyes and ears to the world. The light flowed through him as vast as the ocean and stormy as the skies. He felt the groaning of the earth below and the implacable force of the sea beating against the shore. Above all, though, he felt the stirring clouds. The hair on his arms stood on end as the currents of electricity streaked through the atmosphere.

Damien’s eyes flickered open as lightning struck the wall with incredible force that lifted him from his feet for and tumbling along the ground. The acrid scent left over had never smelled so sweet before.

Rising on unsteady legs Damien smiled.


Time passed uncertainly and his memory drifted with his consciousness. He had been deathly ill with the untreated wound growing infected while he evaded police. He had not gotten far before his injuries had overcome him but he did not rest until he had been secure. With the aid of a Mexican couple he was taken to the border and disappeared. He had used the light and power throughout the journey but his memory failed him. For weeks he lay in a near comatose state broken by intermitted periods of sanity.

In one of these rare moments he heard a voice with a heavy accent. “Where are you going?”



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