Yet Another Chapter! Yay!Chapter 7: The Castle
The sleek car pulls up to the front steps of the huge building and Tess thinks the building looks like a castle. It has large fields in front of it, all surrounded by the towering walls. Men rush to the car. They clamber to open the door for Mr. Grito but he tells them to help Tess out of the car. They open the door and try to help Tess out but she shakes them off. If she can handle being shot, she can handle getting out of a car and walking up a few steps. So the men just form a circle around her, thinking maybe if she falls, they could catch her; or if she somehow managed to attempt an escape, they could grab her. They begin to ascend the stairs and a few brave teens turn and look at the new arrival. The men standing watch over them quickly run to the few daring kids and hit them in the back of the head with their pistols.
Tess winces at this; her comrades brutally abused because of her. She turns back to the steps. Her feet ache horribly but she doesn't complain. She has to keep her strength in front of Mr. Grito. She also has to keep her wits about her. She thought of something on the drive here.
At last she reaches the top of the seemingly endless steps, accompanied of course by her personal entourage. The men seem so worried that she might fall back so they crowd around her, forming a sort of shield. They don't care about me, Tess thinks to herself. They're just worried about their jobs. Mr. Grito would probably have their heads if something happened to me. Why am I so important to him? Maybe he thinks himself powerful because he 'forced' me to surrender and become his 'forever slave'. Ha . . .
She snapped back to reality as Mr. Grito's guards rushed to open the huge oak front doors for the boss and his captive. The doors swing open and some of the guards join the men at Tess's side, seemingly out of curiosity. They want to make sure I don't escape, Tess thinks. But I can't run anywhere seeing as my feet are pretty much dead right now. And besides, they have guns. After what happened . . . I don't want to take that risk. Besides, I want to make an impact in this world before I die, even if all I do is destroy an evil man's plans. She smiled at the thought of ruining Mr. Grito's plan even more. She glanced around, still smirking, at the large circular room welcoming them into this castle of torture. The last time Tess saw this room was when she and her fellow rebels were destroying the place. She had to admit, Grito did a good job restoring the place. No matter how nice it looks now, soon this place will come crashing down, taking with it Grito and his men. And the pain they have caused us all. I'm sure all of us would rather rot in adoption agencies and orphanages than go through all this again.
Mr. Grito interrupted her thoughts by addressing a figure hidden by shadows. "Tess, meet Joanne. You two actually know each other pretty well. You both put up a good fight that day. Unfortunately for you, it didn't work very well. But you'll be better off now Tess." He tells her. Tess has a look of pure disgust on her face. She can't believe Mr. Grito thinks she'll really help him now. "Joanne fought very bravely that day which convinced me she would be a nice addition to my staff. She's a good, strong worker. Well, enough about her, let's talk about you, Tess. You will need to go through some physical therapy but soon enough, you will be able to patrol the halls and eventually stand watch over the 'others'." He turned back to Joanne.
"Take her to her new room and then show her where she'll be going everyday. She is your new assignment. You will help her with her physical therapy. And you will also train her to be completely obedient and help her learn her way through the castle. You are dismissed."
He turned and headed down a hallway followed by four of the guards. The rest strolled back out the front doors and watched the training session. Joanne went through a door opposite the hallway Mr. Grito took. Tess walked slowly behind her, pondering whether Joanne had really become one of Grito's cronies or if she was just acting. Neither of them spoke until they finally reached their first destination.
"This is your new room. We get special rooms because we are superior to those others that don't serve Commander Grito willingly." She pointed to a bed in the corner and told Tess it was hers. "You will have the room all to yourself. You're the only new Superior to arrive. You can ask Commander Grito for things to spruce up the room, if he favors you." She went back into the quiet corridor.
Tess followed her. Her feet hurt badly but she had a strange feeling that she was being observed so she remained upright, holding her head high and trying her hardest not to limp. She thought that maybe the glints she noticed in the paneling could be miniature cameras. This made her instincts tell her to be strong and look intimidating.
"Do you mind if I stop and use the restroom?" Joanne asked. She didn't wait for an answer but turned quickly into a small room to the right. Tess stood outside the door for a few moments then went inside. She was puzzled because of the way Joanne was acting. When she got in the restroom, Joanne stood waiting by the door for her.
"The lowers, as we call the others, have such simple things; like this bathroom. Our bathrooms are much more luxurious. After a few months, maybe you will get the special privileges I received. She entered one of the stalls and Tess thought to herself, Why does she trust me? If she were really one of Grito's cronies, she would hate my guts for what I put him through. She probably wouldn't utter a word to me. But she's casually chatting about privileges and such. She sounds like she's worked for Grito all her life.
Joanne emerged from the stall and walked briskly to one of the old porcelain sinks. She seemed deep in thought so Tess chose to remain silent. Joanne turned the rusted knob of the sink and water poured forth. The pressure of the water was so great; it sounded like a waterfall, the sound echoing off the walls. She could even hear the sound coming back to them from the corridor. Joanne looked to Tess and whispered under the sound of the sink. "No cameras in here" Tess began to talk back and tell her how relieved she was at seeing her but Joanne stopped her, "Can't talk too loud; bugged." She pointed to her shirt and Tess saw a miniscule microphone hidden in a badge Joanne wore. Mr. Grito was listening to them, trying to monitor Tess's behavior and also the way Joanne handled the situation.
"Act yourself the first few days, then 'come around'. Understand?" Joanne asked Tess.
"Yea." She replied.
"Just don't try anything. You'll blow my cover. We need to gain Grito's trust and then betray him." Joanne whispered. She turned the old knob and the water turned off but they could still hear the echoes in the corridor. "Let's go see the room you'll train in." She turned around and went out the door. Tess stayed in the bathroom a minute longer, collecting herself. She heard Joanne calling her from the corridor, back to the 'all obeying' person she was five minutes ago. Tess hurried out the door, wobbling a little bit. Once she got to Joanne's side, she strained herself to keep a straight face and remain strong and calm. She thought back to just a few days ago. She remembered walking down a hallway, almost exactly like now, fighting to keep going.
They headed down the corridor and reached the end. They then turned down yet another corridor to their left. This corridor, similar to the last, was very narrow and had doors on either side.
I remember this hallway. This is the same one they led us down when we first came here. These are the rooms we were locked in . . . This one was mine and this one was . . . Danny's. Most of the doors were opened but hers and Danny's rooms were closed. So were the rest of the rooms that once housed the newly 'adopted'.
Joanne was talking to Tess along the way but Tess hadn't been listening. She nodded every few pauses and muttered a quiet 'yea' here and there. She was so deep in thought that when Joanne stopped in front of a door, Tess ran straight into her.
"Sorry . . ." She mumbled. Joanne just opened the door in front of her, seemingly ignoring Tess's apology. They stepped through the door and into the small, cramped room. Still encased in thought, Tess followed Joanne silently and listened to a little of what she was saying.
"This will be your physical therapy room." Joanne said and went into a long sermon on Tess'' new physical therapy routine. Tess looked around. The room looked fairly normal and insignificant. Joanne kept talking and said something about the Lowers.
"This is a very state-of-the-art system." Joanne went on. The so-called state-of-the-art system looked sort of raggedy to Tess, seeing as it was just some weights in a corner and a few mats strewn across the floor.
As they left the room, a voice spoke out over a loudspeaker. "Jo . . . Ray . . . Lease Escort Tess O'Neil to Commander's office Immediately. That is All." The old speakers cracked at first but finished clearly.
"Come on, I'll take you there. Just remember you're way there and back to your room." Joanne led her off towards the office and Tess was reminded once again of her past. She thought back to when she used to go to school. When she got in trouble, she was escorted to the headmaster's office, just like right now. She feared she was in trouble but this fear was quickly put at ease. Mr. Grito needed her, he wouldn't treat her like he did in the basement; not now at least.
Srry bout the paragraphs, they wouldn't let me use tab 4 some odd reason. Oh well, you'll get over it.... : D j/k...
Thanx so much 4 the reviews... it helps me out a whole lot...