Jesse swallowed the limpid stuff. The right stuff, he told himself. This would do the trick. Finally, after 48 hours of uncertainty and a heightened sense of anxiety, he managed to locate the little clear vial and drain it of its contents swiftly and painlessly. Sure it looked like water, but it burned like a perfectly aged whiskey. Hell, it almost seemed as if a fire was burning in his throat. Then just like that, the sensation was over. And everything went black.
As Jesse ran down the deserted alleyway, he desperately wished he could take back those last words he uttered to the Behemoths. Traveling in packs of sixty strong, the Behemoths would intimidate anyone they wanted and would crush anyone who stood in their path. They would ransack houses, and loot shops. The citizens feared them, the courts loathed them and the pigs just felt absolute repugnance towards them. Why did Jesse have to go and tell t hem off? They made off with the goods anyways, why couldn’t he just keep his mouth shut? He was too important to get caught up in something like this.
Now, as he was fleeing in terror with his heart rate up in the two hundred’s, Jesse wished he had answered those questions just a few minutes earlier. It’s too late for that, he told himself. Just then, a hand reached out from around the corner, grabbed him, and pulled him into a small niche in the wall he would never have noticed. “If you don’t drink this, they’re going to torture you. No matter how tough you think they are, they’ll get the secrets. They know who you are, now drink it!”
Jesse looked at the limpid stuff. “Why should I trust you? What if this is bad for me?” All the stranger said before he brushed past Jesse and disappeared was, “because you know I’m right.” Makes sense…Jesse popped out the cork, tipped the beaker back, and downed it in a matter of seconds. Everything doubled, and Jesse’s thoughts began to mesh with one another as he lost focus and slouched down against the wall. In the distance, he could just make out the angry shouts of the Behemoths closing in on him, and as he tried to hold on to consciousness, just as he saw it slipping away, he saw him. He couldn’t be sure, but it looked exactly like Abe was dressed as a Behemoth.
He woke up with a throbbing headache, looking into Abe’s face which was partially covered by an operating mask. “What are you doing here?” Jesse tried to ask. Must not have worked, because Abe just continued going about his business that started up just as Jesse began to stir. “WHERE ….I??” Jesse managed to blurt out. That seemed to work, because Abe quickly spun around, whipped off his mask and held up a finger to his pursed lips, signifying the universal “quiet”. Abe leaned in so close to Jesse that he could taste the liquor on his breath. So close that he could feel his 5 O’clock shadow brush against his ear.
“I’m not one of them, Jesse. Seeing as how you’ve got no choice, ya gotta believe me. I’m working as a double agent for the company, and they assigned me to the Behemoths to ensure your safety. They knew the Behemoths were settin’ you up, so they sent me, naturally. I’m gonna get you outta here, but we gotta foist convince ‘em your of no use. Take this…(Abe pulled a little bit of black liquid from his pocket as he said this)…it’ll put you to sleep.” And with that, Jesse was out again.
As he began to stir, the first thing Jesse noticed wasn’t the fact that he was completely naked, and sitting up aagainst a stone wall on a damp dirt floor. Nor was it the fact that his hair had been shaved, and his muscles seemed to have been entered into a heightened state. What he first noticed was his dear friend Abe slumped up on the wall right beside him. With an ever-increasing wound directly above his left atrium. What had happened? “I’ve been shot, Jesse! The drink I gave you…it accelerated your muscle growth as you slept! You have another dangerous liquid in you, and if you don’t find the cure within an hour, you’re a goner! GO!!”
Jesse watched his companion breathe his last breath, and then seize on the floor as he [Jesse] made himself a silent promise to live. To live, damnit, so that Abe would not have died in vain. He got up, not knowing what to expect, or who to meet, when out of nowhere, a hand struck the side of his head. As he staggered, his pulse quickened, and his ears rang, but he knew what he must do. He knew his body was combat-ready, and he knew exactly what to do. After all, he was a militias tactics major back in 04.
As his attacker went for the next blow, a roundhouse to the left, Jesse raised his right hand, blocking the punch, and followed it with a quick knee to the solar plexus. As he felt it crack beneath the power of his new leg, Jesse took a step back, and watched the man writhe on the floor in pain. He stripped the Behemoth of his pants, and continued onwards. He saw the next one not far away, standing atop a grassy knoll, relieving himself. As Jesse inched silently closer, he bent down and instinctively picked up a smooth, sharpened stone in the shape of an arrowhead, and he lunged forward.
He grabbed the oversized man from behind, wrapping his legs around his waist and sticking the stone up against his temple. “Give me the antidote now, or you die.” He momentarily released his grip to allow the gargantuan to reach into his pocket and obtain the vial. What Jesse didn’t take into account, however, was that instead of an antidote, the killer would probably brandish a weapon. Which he did. As he swung his butterfly knife backward, making to stab Jesse square in the back, Jesse flung from the man’s shoulders and braced himself for his next parry.
Strike after strike, Jesse and the man danced. The Behemoth was always one step behind. Just a little bit slower than the accelerated body Jesse had come into possession of. Enough of this child’s play, Jesse thought. As he sprang from the ground, completing an entire corkscrew, Jesse sailed above his assailant’s head, and jammed his arrowhead into the man’s neck. Immediately, blood spat forth in every direction. Upon landing only a couple feet away from the Behemoth, Jesse thrust forward jabbing at his opponent, and slit his throat quite cleanly and professionally. He knew that within a matter of minutes, the man would be void of all life.
As he reached into the being’s pocket, his hand hit something cold and smooth. He wrapped his fingers around the vial, and pulled it out of the dying man’s pocket. “I’m sorry for all this, but you did start it. All you had to do was give me the antidote.” The killer’s only reply, and last words were, “and you would have let me live. Good oneeee.….”
He popped the cork and Jesse swallowed the limpid stuff. The right stuff, he told himself. This would do the trick. Finally, after 48 hours of uncertainty and a heightened sense of anxiety, he managed to locate the little clear vial and drain it of its contents swiftly and painlessly. Sure it looked like water, but it burned like a perfectly aged whiskey. Hell, it almost seemed as if a fire was burning in his throat. Then just like that, the sensation was over. Not again, thought Jesse. And everything went black.