adventure story

the slate of vale part 20

CHAPTER 20

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My foe my friend

The morning swerved into the hallway with a misty air that suspended around the light of the sun, which tubes in different numbers from the brick wall. Even though humid, the air smells fresh, pure and peaceful; its frigidity would have been welcomed if it was not clothing Matt’s skin with goose bump.

As empty as the hallway appeared, Matt was careful not to rest in its comfort as he hurried down. He was curious about his environment, looking over his shoulders and careful enough to slow his pace when he sees anyone or hears approaching foot-falls. His heart was racing, his stomach almost full from the nervous saliva he had been gulping. Even though the air was frigid, Matt could feel the sweat forming under his palms and booted feet.

The light on the ceiling which mirrored on the marble floor, divided the direction in two and Matt took the right without thinking. He knew this place by heart, If his direction were to be the storage room, the left turn would have been necessary, but right now, he was heading to the surveillance and from this point, he’d be in trouble should anyone sees him.

Matt increased his pace that his walk turned instantly to a jog. The surveillance would be crawling with people any moment from now. He had only one shot, and that was to place Raz’s Sol-X beside any computer in the surveillance room. It would copy all the secret code of the gates in the school, Raz has boasted, though he claimed he had not tried it before.

Matt hurried on

The zeal to see his best friend again pushing him forward

The humid rays of the sun had long been lost somewhere and the hallway was still noiseless. Matt could hear his heartbeat and the echoing sound of his boot on the marble floor. He couldn’t tell which one was louder, his heartbeat or his foot step.

The anxiety Matt fears threatens to bring tears to his eyes when the door of the elevator, at the far end of the hallway beeped and started to slide open.

Matt’s heart jumped to his throat as he pushed himself forward and turned the knob of a door at the right, he shouldered himself into it and closed it with umpteen carefulness.

His head was aching slightly from the sudden burst of adrenaline even as he held his breath and listened.

There were echoes of approaching foot step in the hallway and the sliding noise, suggesting the elevator door closing. The rhythm of the footfalls was different. One was quite dull and uniform and the other echoed loudly like the noise of an empty vessel.

A man and woman, Matt guessed with relief as both people merrily passed his door and forged ahead.

The two people were saying something and laughing. Matt couldn’t place a hand on what they were saying even as the noise of their footfalls was carried away by distance.

He pressed his ears on the door, waited until the grave-like silence of the hallway returned.

Matt opened the door where he had been hiding and walked back into the hallway, to the direction of the elevator.

That’s the door. He said to himself when his eyes rested on the only red door in the hallway which contracted the brown of others.

Written boldly on the door frame on what appeared to be a rubber pane was the word ‘S. room. Keep off’

From the glass on the door, Matt peeped inside the room and felt a ping of happiness lifting and churning his stomach. The room was empty not a soul was in it.

Matt turned the knob of the door and shouldered himself into the room.

The room had no window and the light source was beside the air vents which lined the walls of the ceiling. From where he stood wires and cables snaked in different direction that it was difficult to see the slate of the marble floor. The screen of the numerous monitors also added some illumination to the room as they displayed every activities going on in the academy. It shows every place and everyone, every grade and every Linage, every nook and cranny of the academy.

Everything was under close surveillance.

No privacy.

No secrets.

Matt navigated on the screen of one of the computers whose display was quite different and strange. It was the display of a room, but for the circle shape of the light casting a dim radiance in the middle, the room was empty.

Something else standing in the middle of the room captivated Matt’s curiosity and he felt pity swelling in his nervous stomach.

It was Isaac, hanging upside down with the tips of his fingers kissing the floor. He was Naked from the look of it and unconscious, If not dead.

Matt shifted his focus to the top right corner of the screen and saw something like R76 written in fading characters.

That’s defiantly the room where Isaac is. I should get there fast.

Matt brought out the Sol-X from his pocket and connected it just as Raz has instructed. He waited impatiently for the beep before he disconnected it and headed for the door.

********

Matt was sweating and panting simultaneously. He had skipped the elevator and chosen the stairs instead. To him it was safer and more reasonable. Nobody would use the stairs not while the elevator was in proper function.

That’s why he was not surprised when his descent was met with no interrogation of any sought.

R76 was new or so he thinks. Before now he never knew that men could build rooms hundreds and thousands of feet below the surface. Matt thought he knew everywhere in the Surveillance block, but now he was convinced because he realized that he knew little of the place. He hadn’t ventured this deep before not that he would have dared anyway.

Matt was panting heavily when he came to the door whose frame held the R76 name on it.

The door was not significant compared to other doors on the surface. Its only uniqueness was the single light bulb dangling above the door frame.

Matt turned the knob and pushed the door slightly. The door opened quietly and he slipped in.

He was met with dull lights which lined the ceiling of stones, like a cave.

Matt walked further in resisting the urge to turn back and flee. The air was clothed with a stench that nearly drew tears from his eyes, and it was as dead as a cemetery.

Locating the only door in the hallway, Matt opened it and walked in. he was surprised when he saw the room bare, with nothing on it but the single light he had seen back in the surveillance.

Is this some kind of joke? I’m very sure that I saw Isaac in this room.

Matt turned in a three sixty degree, contemplating whether he was in the wrong place or if he had come all this way for nothing.

Just when the thought of going back struck him, he saw chains and ropes sitting at the far end of the room, in the penumbra shadow of the dim light.

Someone must have cut him loose; Matt said to himself as he hunch over and observed the rope.

The bloods on it were dirty and dry. But wait…

Does blood has smell like a…like a… paint?

Matt stood up immediately and turned to the door with confusion, he found someone standing on the door post, a shadow it appeared to be at first, until it walked into the room clapping its hand.

“Hello Matty” Said a familiar voice.

The voice was that of Isaac, in clean plain suit, well shaven hair and nice perfume which were battling with the stench of the room.

“What’s the meaning of this Isaac, from the surveillance I saw you tired up and unconscious. How did you unbind yourself so fast? What’s going on here?” Matt asked still looking confused

“You fell for it Matty, too bad” Isaac chuckled.

Someone else walked into the room. Someone that was muscular, clean shaved mustached with a cape hanging over his shoulders. The eagle pendant could not be seen clearly from this point, but it was no doubt they were there, it was no doubt who the fellow was. The authority in his posture speaks for him, an authority that could drive home the fear of death itself.

It was Campter

The Inquisitor.

Matt gulped what was left from the saliva in his mouth and shifted his weight trying to find comfort in his stance. It was hard to shut the voice in his head that was telling him to break down in tears and plea for corporal punishment.

“Well done Isaac, it worked.” Campter said with those deep voices that Matt has come to hate.

“What’s going on here” Matt asked surprising himself.

Campter stroked his mustache and smiled.

“I will summarize it for you young lad. You see, the students in this academy hardly know that they are being watched, that their every move is being monitored. How naïve? Well, I knew about the plan you and your friends drew to eavesdrop in the meeting I called, and this silly plan to encrypt the gate of river Kirk. I know everything about you and your friends. That’s why we decided to put up a good show. You see one thing about the Blaze is that he is very soft and would die to make sure he preserved a life, even that of his foe.”

Campter laughed and continued “all we needed was just a little drama and now, here we are”

“Wait” Matt said, trying to swallow the fear and the confusion “Are you saying that I’m the Blaze, that I would die to save Anadan from darkness?”

“Don’t be silly Martins” Campter chuckled together with Isaac who was looking at Matt with happy eyes.

“If you were the Blaze, right now you will be struggling with the chains all over your body. You are just a means to an end.” Campter finished and immediately many crease appeared on his fore head. It was as if he is not the laughing type.

“Now Martins, let’s talk about the Blaze shall we”

“The Blaze? I don’t even know who or what it is” Matt replied with confusion.

“Off course you do.” Campter shouted and walked towards Matt that he could feel his breath. “Let me start again” he whispered “Let’s talk about the Blaze. Let’s talk about Jeff”

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