Hal had been separated from the group for about an hour now, he was quickly and quietly making his way down a street when the sound of a mech. approaching changed his course and he turned and ran down an alley.
He had lost his weapon when he had been too close to an explosion and consequently thrown against a wall, his weapon clattering away somewhere he was unable to quickly grab and run.
Ducking behind a dumpster He tried to catch his breath, his heart hammering against his chest. The sound of the mech. approaching quickly quieted him and he craned his head to peer around the side, he was surprised when he saw no mech. His brow furrowed he made the mistake of not checking the entire area, when he slowly stood up he was immediately ambushed.
Four of them came out from both ends of the alley, two more crawling down the sides of buildings giving him no chance of escape. The mechs. and skitters weren't the only ones that were surrounding him, standing in front of them was his harnessed girlfriend, Karen.
She was smiling at him, god how he had missed that smile! But now that smile was fake, no real emotions in her eyes but he was so very tempted to run up and hug her anyways.
"Hello Hal" she began walking towards him, he was frozen to the spot, part of him wanted to run but the more dominating part just wanted to be near her again.
Stopping in front of him she reached out and touched his cheek, he should have flinched at her alien touch but instead he leaned into it, "god, I miss you" he closed his eyes and tears slowly fell from his eyes.
"I'm here now Hal, we never have to be apart again. All you have to do is take my hand" she raised her hand, holding it out for him to take.
"What about my family? They already went through enough pain when Ben was taken, I can't do that to them" he took a step back but she grabbed his hand, not in a gentle way but a bone crushing way, it felt like she was trying to break his fingers.
Her grip forced him to kneel and he thought he could hear his ring finger snap, but he couldn't be sure because it felt like all his fingers were snapping.
"Please don't make this any more difficult than it has to be. You are strong Hal, and you know where the 2nd Mass is stationed, you are of use to us. Our way of living is much better, you'll see, no pain, no sadness, just never ending complacency" the smile remained on her face, obtaining a creepy tone to it.
"By being a harnessed zombie? You call that better? The real Karen would never submit to a mindless existence, your just a puppet that looks like her" he glared at it, no longer would he call it Karen, she may be in there somewhere but right now she was not in control and he would not taint her name.
Lights from the mechs' weapons came on, spotlighting the two, a sign that his time to voluntarily go with them was coming to an end, he had to make a decision.
Looking up at her he managed to glare through the blinding pain he was experiencing, "Go fuck yourself"
Before he could congratulate himself for telling an alien to go fuck itself he felt the familiar bite of a stun blast hit him from behind and with a few spasms of his body he was out.
When he woke back up he found himself lying on a cold concrete floor, it was dark and smelled like cleaning products. Scouting the area within his view he discovered that he was alone, he didn't know whether he should be suspicious or happy at that fact, it could be a trap.
Pulling himself up, he groaned at the pain his movements caused, there wasn't enough light to look up at his hand but by touching it he could feel that it was slightly swollen and hurt like hell.
Trying to stand he found that his legs had fallen asleep and he collapsed back down, stupidly he tried to stop his fall with his injured hand and caused himself even more pain, and with that pain he cried out, giving away to his captives, he knew must be nearby, that he was awake.
Just as he suspected he could hear the skittering of skitters approaching and the single human footsteps that were approaching. Entering first was Karen, followed by two skitters.
As they approached him he tried to crawl away but his body was in too much pain so he didn't get very far.
"So this is how it's going to go down? Are you going to pin me down and stick that alien leach on my back?" he was trying to be cocky but on the inside he was scared out of his fucking mind!
Ignoring his remark she grabbed his arm and started to drag him from the room, he felt more than pathetic that he was still too weak to do more than weakly struggle as he was led to his zombification.
Tom punched the bars in front of him, his mind so deep with rage and worry that the pain didn't even register. Weaver had forbidden him from going back for his son, and the worst part was that he had locked him in what was once a sport equipment locker but was now a holding cell; needless to say Weaver did not trust him not to go off on his own, as he should have because that is exactly what he was going to do as soon as he got out of here.
Another precaution that Weaver had taken was that he wasn't allowed visitors, not even by his sons Matt and Ben, the only person that was permitted to see him was Weaver, and if an emergency arose Dr. Glass, either than that he was completely isolated.
There were two armed guards that were stationed outside the door, that was also locked, this treatment made him feel like he was a prisoner of war, in a way he was. His eldest son was out there all alone and he was locked in a goddamn locker!
The door to the room unlocked and Weaver entered, the two guards closed the door and went back to their positions.
"Let me the hell out of here Weaver! I need to find my son!" he demanded, banging on the cell bars.
Weaver shook his head, "I'm sorry Tom but I can't do that. Your son has been MIA now for 36 hrs. the chances of finding your son unharnessed is slim to none. Sending you out there would be too much of a risk, one that I'm not willing to take"
"We found Ben months after he had been taken, and Dr. Glass knows how to remove the harnesses and keep the individual alive!" he argued, growing more and more restless by the minute.
"I'm sorry Tom, my decisions final" Weaver turned and exited the room, Tom pounded away at the bars behind him, demanding to be released.
When the door closed Tom punched the bar one more time before slumping to the cold hard floor, tears collecting in his eyes and trickling down his cheeks. With his eyes clenched shut he kicked the bars in front of him.
"I promise Hal, I'm going to save you, no matter what it takes"
Karen had dragged him to another room, this one had a metal table positioned in the middle of the room. Without much difficulty she managed to pull him up onto the table, stomach first, and strapped him down.
Three skitters entered the room as well, surrounding him, looking down at him like he was a specimen, which in their eyes he guessed he was.
So this was it, he was going to be harnessed.
A hissing sound startled him, he didn't know from what but he knew that it couldn't be anything good. He could tell the moment the harness was placed, the hissing sounded again and this time was followed by a piercing pain that traveled from his neck down his spine; crying out in pain he clenched the edge of the table, the feeling of his blood sliding down his back sickened him.
"The process is almost complete Hal, all that's left is the activation" she spoke in that calm voice, which was really grating on his nerves.
Before he could retort in any way he actually felt her activate the leach on his back. A bright light clouded his vision and his mind started to feel fuzzy and the noises around him began to fade; so this was what it was like to be empty.
Wait...no...something's not right, he didn't feel like he was trapped in his own mind, and he certainly didn't feel like collecting scrap metal for the skitters, the next test that he did was attempt to move his own limbs, he could do that too! Was his harness broken or something? Not that he was complaining, but what the hell was going on?
It turned out that his harness wasn't completely defective, his eyes widened when a short strand of static entered his hearing followed by an indescribable flow of what appeared to be a language, the closest he could compare it to was the sound a computer makes when it faces interference and a whining growl, and the strangest part of it all was that he could understand it!
The voice was commanding him to rise, apparently in the short amount of time he had been thinking Karen had unstrapped him.
Not wanting them to catch on that his harness wasn't working correctly he rose from the table and stood before them, making sure to have his eyes look as emotionless as possible. He hoped they wouldn't catch on.
Karen walked around the table and stood in front of him, that same smile on her face, "welcome Hal"
His first set of instructions were to follow Karen where she would show him what to do on their latest assignment, which of course was collecting scrap metal, what a surprise.
Once she led him to where the other harnessed kids were scavenging she went to collect with another group. Picking up a long metal rod he followed another kid to a pile that must have been close to 3 ft tall.
Walking back over to the pile he looked around at the kids, he recognized some from the bulletin board in the school, and then there were others that he didn't.
When a skitter approached him he picked up a broken car bumper and walked to the pile, making sure to maintain his emotionless mask, the skitter watched him for a few moments, seeming to calculate his movements before moving on.
Keeping up this act was not going to be easy, but he only planned on doing this until he could find a perfect time to escape.
Collecting metal scrap under the scorching sun, consequently making the scraps unbelievably hot to the touch, he had to bite his lip from crying out when his skin felt like molten lava was being poured all over it and using all his will not to throw the scrap down. Hal surmised that they must have been collecting for about 6 hours now and his hands were as red as tomatoes, his throat felt like sandpaper and he was so exhausted that he could drop at any moment.
But it didn't look like they were going to be stopping any time soon if the huge amount of damaged and broken materials that were being dragged over by two skitters said anything. The familiar whining growl entered his hearing, it was them ordering him and a few others to get to work on the pile they had brought over.
He broke off a door that was hanging by wires and dragged it over to the pile that resembled a skyscraper now then went back to collecting more. As he worked he could feel the eyes of the skitters on his neck, along with noticing the occasional glances that Karen was shooting his way.
Maybe they were suspicious of him?
The sound of gunfire interrupted his musings and he dodged out of the way just in time to miss being hit by a stray bullet that was clearly meant for the skitter that was standing behind him.
Hal frantically looked around, trying to spot where the shooters were, he finally spotted two snipers up on a roof but there was certainly more shooters because not all the bullets were coming from their angle.
Looking closer at the shooters that he could see he realized that he knew them, it was Dai and Anthony! He wanted to run to them, hug them and go back to the 2nd Mass. HQ but he knew that his chances of reaching them and not drawing suspicion to himself were too ridiculously low to compare.
As he laid low in order to protect himself from shrapnel he watched as a man that he didn't recognize run out from a building and scoop up a little girl who was mindlessly standing in the center of all the chaos, not even flinching when a car blew up from a bullet hitting the gas tank.
Dai and Anthony covered him as the man ran back to the safety of the building he had appeared from then as soon as the child was safely recovered retreated. A few of the skitters went after them while the other few remained behind and gathered the harnessed, including Hal, and went back to the hospital.
Hal's appearance hadn't gone unnoticed by Dai or Anthony, they had both spotted him as soon as they had aimed their weapons in his general direction, they had had to take a double look just to be sure that their eyes weren't deceiving them. Both wanted to rescue him from the skitters but they barely had enough men and ammunition to rescue the little girl, it had killed them but they vowed that they would personally tell Tom and to also promise him that they would find a way to get his son back.