setting: episode 2 "Sick"
Chapter 12 - Dead or Alive
Boston – The Hoag, January 2007
It was their forth day inside the kitchen when it happened. Connor was always careful, always watching, but even he didn't see that one coming. They were with thirteen other prisoners and two guards inside this part of the kitchen. Only two of the others were part of Castillo's gang, or so the brothers thought. It happened in a blink. So fast that the MacManus twins couldn't do anything about it. In a matter of seconds four prisoners suddenly started walking and headed right for the two guards, making it impossible for the men to get their guns in time. The four prisoners grabbed the men by their arms and started kicking and punching them. They then took their handcuffs to cuff them. Connor and Murphy were too busy watching it happen and trying to stop them to notice that other prisoners were right behind them. Connor didn't get a chance to scream or fight back since two of the largest and muscular prisoners were already on him and beat him a couple of times. Murphy was faster and more agile than his brother, now seemingly alarmed by what was happening. He knew exactly what was going on, since another two criminals, which were the ones who were part of Castillo's gang, were heading for him with evil smirks on their faces.
"Fuck off! I'll kill ye!" the younger MacManus yelled and grabbed a dirty bread knife from the dishes and backed off to the far wall of the kitchen.
When he stared in the guards' direction he could see that the men were lying on the ground now, with bloody wounds on the back of their heads.
The prisoners were closing in on him while Connor started kicking and yelling to get his attackers off, and soon Murphy found himself cornered.
"Let 'im go! Ye sick fucks! I'll kill you! I'll fucking kill you if ye touch him!" he heard Connor yell and started swinging the knife around to protect himself, but of course, that wouldn't work. One of the prisoners used the opportunity when the younger MacManus turned his back on him to threaten the others. The bald and heavily tattooed man darted forward and put Murphy in a headlock, while another one managed to grab the bread knife and rendered their victim defenseless. Murphy started kicking and wailing just as much and loud as his brother, which made the whole gang laugh at them. The prisoners obviously enjoyed what was going on, how they had managed to overpower and take the Saints of South Boston hostage. Just like that.
"Bring him over here, big boss wants him to watch" said one of the prisoners who were holding Connor.
The ones who were holding Murphy looked up and started grinning, then they dragged the struggling younger MacManus all the way across the kitchen until he was standing right in front of his older half. Both brothers looked at each other in surprise until Murphy started kicking and struggling and yelling all over again, making everything just worse.
"Rumor is your brother killed Mendez. Strangled him to death in his cell. Is that true, MacManus?" the man to Connor's right asked with a big grin on his face.
The other man started choking the blonde just a bit more to stress what was being said. The older twin tried to turn his head to look at the man who was talking to him.
"Go to hell" was all he said and turned his head in horror when another prisoner said "Do it."
Just a second later something what looked like a dishtowel was being wrapped around Murphy's neck and the men started to pull. The younger MacManus started struggling and made the most horrible choking sounds, and that snapped something in his brother's head. Suddenly Connor was kicking and yelling and struggling so hard that the two men had real trouble holding him in place.
"No! I'll fucking kill you! I'll fucking kill you! Let him go!" he screamed as loud as he could and turned into an animal.
Murphy was struggling just as hard but couldn't yell or breathe, as the two men behind him kept strangling him with the towel.
The large prisoner who was holding Connor suddenly looked at the men opposite him and nodded.
"Alright, that's it for now" he said to the bald man who had been strangling Murphy.
When they let go of him the dark-haired twin sucked in as much air as he could get. The bald guy chuckled and grinned at Connor.
"Not such a calm and relaxed guy now, huh?"
"Fuck you! Let 'im go!"
"I'm gonna kill yah!" Murphy joined in but started coughing.
His throat ached from all the strangling, and a second later the prisoners were already on him again.
"Is this how you did it? Put something around his throat? Did you kill him, you sick little bible-banging fuck?" the bald man said in the younger MacManus ear.
Murphy kept staring at his brother in both terror and disgust. He was so angry and horrified because of everything that was happening to him even with Connor being so close to him. He could almost touch his brother, and looked like his twin was just as desperate to get to him, but the prisoners wouldn't let them. The dark-haired MacManus tried to turn his head to see where the surveillance cameras were. He knew that guards were watching this and that they were probably already on their way, but he was not sure if he was going to make it until then.
"Fuck..you.." he gasped and tried to reach out for something to protect himself, but his consciousness was already fading.
Connor's yelling and fighting got more desperate and furious with every second he was being strangled right in front of his eyes.
"Okay, stop" the large guy demanded once more and they stopped, leaving Murphy out of breath and coughing all over again.
He was still trying to stay strong, but Connor had already reached his breaking point. It was well true that his twin brother was a tough guy. He jumped off buildings, ripped toilets out of the ground and always went down last during their fights. Shoot him, torture him, cut him, he doesn't give a fuck. But he had one weakness, one tiny problem that made him break easily, and those bastards had found it. They started strangling Murphy once more and this time even harder, to a point where he was actually being lifted off the ground. Apart from the obvious pain and panic the younger of the brothers was actually pretty annoyed by the whole thing, because the whole repeating it over and over again made it pretty ridiculous. He understood that this wasn't about just killing him, it wasn't about him at all in fact. This wasn't about breaking his neck, it was about breaking Connor's silence and will first. And they had already achieved that. His older half had stopped threatening the prisoners and was actually begging them now, and it was damn typical. Now he was offering himself, now he wanted to get hurt, get killed, just to keep him safe. Connor, that crazy, suicidal stupid idiot. They stopped strangling Murphy again and were now properly laughing at the twins, and the large man with the long hair got closer to Connor until he was almost whispering in his ear.
"Now this is going to be fun" he said and chuckled, but Connor used the closeness and headbutted him right in the face, making the prisoner's nose bleed.
"I'll kill you. Every last fucking one of ye" the blonde growled and glared at the remaining prisoners, and just for a second there was nothing of the joking and cheerful Irishman left. Once again Connor seemed to be nothing but a furious animal, who was sure capable of killing every last man in this room with his bare hands if only he got the chance to free himself. Murphy was just as furious, especially now that he was getting so sick of being the victim all the time. This was the second time in just a couple of years that he was being used just to get a reaction from his twin. The second time Connor had pissed of some violent fucks and he had to pay for it. The large prisoner had recovered from the attack by now and grabbed Connor by his hair, forcing him to stare at Murphy.
"Take off the kid's pants. With the knife" he demanded and the younger MacManus widened his eyes in sheer surprise.
He never would have thought that the whole thing could lead to this.
"No! Don't you touch him you motherfucker!" Connor roared and lost control again as he watched another prisoner get closer and closer to his twin, who was also being strangled again. The new guy was holding a knife in his hand and kept grinning and grinning as he got closer, obviously enjoying how helpless and defenseless their victims were right now. The knife was only inches away from Murphy's belly when the whole scenario suddenly changed. With a loud bang! One of the prisoners who held Connor was being knocked off his feet, a second later the large guy with the long blonde hair followed. The older MacManus gasped in surprise as he found himself free to roam and turned around to see what was going on. Three other prisoners were standing right behind him, people he had not noticed before. One of them was holding a large frying pan, which he seemed to have used to knock out the two prisoners.
Connor didn't know their names but he was vaguely aware of their crimes. He believed that they were a small gang of thieves and car smugglers, certainly not the hard caliber like Castillo's gang. The Irishman didn't have any time to thank them, because right then he launched himself at the man with the knife who was threatening his brother. All hell broke loose as the other prisoners joined in and started fighting the remaining members of Castillo's gang, and seconds later Murphy was free as well. Especially the two MacManus twins lost it during that fight, as they kept punching and kicking their attackers as hard and mercilessly as they could. They managed to kill three of them before other guards finally stormed inside the cafeteria and separated the fighting mob. And as they were being escorted out of the room Connor found himself walking right next to the man who had saved him with a frying pan.
"Thank you" was all he could say, and although he was quite surprised that he was actually thanking a criminal he still meant it.
The man and his other fellow prisoners had probably saved his brother's life, there was no point in denying that.
"Don't mention it, bro. Fuckers killed one of our crew. We're on your side. You do the right thing. We got your back. Someone's gotta take out the real sick fucks. Ain't got no place in our neighborhood for that."
Daryl stayed on the left side of the corridor, whereas Connor stayed on the right side. He was getting tired of all the dark hallways, but he knew that they had to clear out the prison and find medical supplies for Herschel. The Irishman worried about the old man. He doubted that he was going to survive, he had experienced the fever himself after all. He knew that they were talking about such freakishly high temperatures that it was just impossible to survive. Normal people who weren't immune couldn't survive this. But even after knowing all that he still wanted to help. Simply because those people had helped him as well when he had needed them. Daryl turned around the corner and signalized that it was clear. The prisoners were right behind them, and Connor still felt annoyed by the fact that Tomas was right behind him. He was just waiting for him to jump on him, so he could finally put an end to all this. And he sure as hell would be the one to walk out of that fight alive.
"Man, it's too damn dark in here" Oscar complained and Connor hushed him.
Daryl stopped walking and looked at the large prisoner.
"Gotta hold it up high, out in front of you" he said and nodded at Oscars axe.
"You're gonna hear them before you see them" the hunter went on and Connor chuckled.
"And smell 'em."
"Shut up, Connor."
The Irishman shrugged and held his knife up higher, too.
They walked around another corner and Axel startled.
"It's coming!" he shouted and Connor hushed him loudly.
"Shut te fuck up, dude, We told ye, noise attracts those bastards!" he hissed and glared at him.
He could see that the prisoner was scared, he was even shaking a bit. When the Irishman turned around he could see that Daryl was waiting for him to cover the front again, and there was an amused smirk on the hunter's face. Connor couldn't fight a smirk as well and shook his head.
"Jesus fuckin Christ" he murmured and walked back to his friend. Daryl moved a hand up and signalized that the group should wait.
They could hear the awkward gasps and groans of walkers who were obviously very close. A second later they could see the shadows of two walkers on the wall.
Connor wanted to walk ahead and start killing them, but Daryl placed a hand on his chest.
"They don't need to know" he growled and nodded at the prisoners.
His friend rolled his eyes and was just about to get into yet another argument over his immunity, but the hunter wouldn't have any of this. Daryl turned his head and looked at the prisoners, counting up with his fingers. He hadn't even shown them his second finger when the whole group darted forward and started yelling. Connor was thrown against the wall when Tomas shoved him away.
"Eh! Watch yer fuckin step ye.." he complained and wanted to punch him, but the whole group of prisoners was long since gone.
They started attacking the two walkers with their weapons, yelling all the way through. Connor adjusted his clothes with a growl and went back to Daryl, and together with Rick and T-Dog they just watched the prisoners with a confused frown. They could see how they were stabbing the walkers stomachs over and over again. Oscar and Andrew threw one walker to the ground and started kicking him and beating him with a baseball bat. Big Tiny held the other walker in a tight grip so Axel and Tomas could stab him. The undead was growling and fighting, but couldn't do anything against it. No one of the Atlanta group would say anything, they just watched them with a disgusted frown.
Connor felt even more disgusted. It wasn't the first time he saw how prisoners went crazy on someone, especially the stabbing and kicking rang bells. It wasn't like he was someone who couldn't be violent, he had gotten into many fights and killed many people after all, but he just couldn't understand how someone could just stab someone's guts like a complete nutter instead of just killing them. That was just insane and fucked up, and reason enough for him to kill people who acted like this. Because they were dangerous. He growled and stared at them, feeling the urge to kill them again. The prisoners eventually killed the two walkers, but the noise had attracted even more. They could hear how a bigger group of undead was approaching them, and when they saw them Rick finally spoke up.
"Get back to the group! Hold formation!" he hissed and the prisoners did as they were told.
"It's gotta be the brain" Daryl reminded them as he and Connor placed themselves in front of them.
The rest of the group stayed close to the wall behind them.
"Not the stomach, not the heart, the brain" the hunter said and shot the first walker in the head.
Oscar was the first to step forward. He bashed the head of the next walker in and stepped back so the others could get a chance.
"Like that?" he asked and Daryl nodded.
Axel was the next to go and kill a walker, and Connor used the space to move closer to his friend again.
"Well, yer telling 'em that, ye didn't go fer my brain either" he said and chuckled.
His friend glared at him. He still hated how Connor kept mocking him with that all the time. As if it would have been better if he had really killed him. He didn't get the chance to kick or punch his friend for that because the Irishman was the next to step forward. For a second Daryl just watched him, and was surprised that the walkers were still not attacking his friend. The walker looked at Connor for a second, but then tried to walk past him so he could attack the rest of the group. The Irishman stabbed his eye and put him to the ground. When he wanted to go for the next walker Daryl suddenly stepped forward and pulled him back.
"They don't need to know!" he reminded him once more and pulled his friend closer, so he had no chance to run away again.
He pulled him back to the wall again so the rest of the prisoners could kill the walkers.
"Let me go. Those fuckers are mine" Connor growled and tried to get back, obviously feeling some sort of blood lust again.
Rick was the one to go for the next walker then. He killed him with a blow to his head and stepped back as well.
"Stay in tight formation. No more prison riot crap. No more one man jobs" he reminded them and looked at all of them.
More and more walkers were entering the hallway, and soon the group started to work.
They all started killing the undead, and after killing about four walkers Connor placed himself right next to Tomas.
He knew that this chaos was his chance to murder the prisoner.
"This all you can do? I thought ye know how t'take out a man?" he yelled and started laughing.
Tomas glared at him for a second and stabbed another walker, obviously incredibly annoyed and angry now.
Connor killed another two walkers, using his advantage that they didn't exactly attack him.
He tried to keep them away from Daryl and Rick, who were standing to his right.
"I know how to take out a man!" Tomas suddenly yelled and swung his axe around so powerfully that he beheaded a walker and still had so much energy left that he hit Connor as well.
The Irishman yelped and grabbed his arm, looking down on himself in surprise. He could see that Tomas had managed to hit his upper arm. His leather jacket was torn where the axe had grazed him, and in a matter of seconds he started bleeding. He felt his arm in shock only to come to the conclusion that the cut wasn't too deep, but it still hurt. Connor narrowed his eyes at Tomas, who was obviously half panicking and half raging now. He suddenly grabbed a walker and shoved it right at Daryl, making it impossible for the Irishman to follow him. The hunter fell back with the growling and snapping undead right on top of him, and Tomas kept moving so fast that Connor couldn't take him out just yet. Since all the others were busy killing of the walkers in the hallway it was up to Connor to save his friend from a possible bite. In a matter of seconds the Irishman was on top of the walker and stabbed his head. He grabbed the undead by his prison overall and dragged him away to get a proper look at his friend, who was checking his arms and chest in surprise.
"Are ye alright?" Connor asked and did the same, and when Daryl nodded he gave him a hand to pull him back up.
For just a second the blonde's heart had missed a beat, because his friend could have been bitten just like that. He could have lost him in a heartbeat, lost him exactly like his brother. Just because of some stupid inmate they had found just an hours ago. And as the two men got back to their feet he suddenly felt that rage and hatred inside of him, to a point where he actually didn't care about anything anymore. The rules, the group, the fact that Rick had the say. He didn't care about cut on his arm. No, it was the fact that Thomas had threatened Daryl's life, and although Connor knew that he wasn't Murphy his brother instincts kicked in so violently that he could no longer control himself. He could feel how blood was running down the inside of his jacket as he grabbed his gun and undid the safety, but none of that mattered. In just a couple of seconds more blood would be flowing, and it certainly wouldn't be his own. Tomas needed to die. He tried to make his way past his fighting group so he could get Tomas, who was busy killing the last couple of walkers with Oscar.
Just when the Irishman was about to raise his gun and shoot the prisoner dead a loud scream startled them all. The group killed the last bunch of walkers and then started running to see where the scream was coming from. They could see Big Tiny standing there by the wall, with a walker behind him. Connor widened his eyes when he saw how Tomas raised his gun behind Rick.
"Rick!" he yelled and darted forward, but the prisoner already pulled the trigger two times. The walker that had attacked Tiny fell to the ground, and everyone looked at Tomas in surprise. Especially Rick was shocked, because he had almost been hit by the bullets himself. The two men stared at each other for a while, then everyone looked at Tiny, who was panting and felt the back of his shoulder. When he looked at his hand they could all see blood on it. Connor groaned.
"Jesus fucking Christ" he murmured and turned around to look at Daryl, who seemed just as surprised.
"Turn around" Rick demanded and approached the prisoner.
"It's just a scratch" Tiny murmured and tried to catch breath, but Rick was already beside him and turned him around.
The rest of the group got closer and took a look at the prisoner's shoulder as well.
They could see a large bloody scratch on his back, and his clothes were ripped apart where the walker had attacked him.
Big Tiny turned around again and looked at Rick with wide eyes.
"I'm telling you, I don't feel anything. It's just a scratch" he said and looked at the rest of the group.
Rick sighed and looked down to the ground.
"I'm sorry, man."
"I can keep fighting!" the prisoner yelled and Connor got closer as well.
"It doesn't matter. Ye got in direct contact with their stuff. As soon as it enters yer blood stream yer done."
"You cut that old guy's leg off to save his life!" Andrew protested and looked at Rick.
Their leader pointed at the prisoner with his flashlight and growled.
"Look at where the bite is" he answered and Andrew looked at Connor.
"Well, what about this guy? I saw that he got a scar of a bite wound on his arm, and he's obviously fine! Go! Show them your arm!"
The Irishman looked at him in surprise and snorted.
"I don't. Wouldn't be standing here otherwise" he murmured and startled when Andrew approached him and grabbed his left arm.
"Hey!" he protested and tried to shove him away. Daryl darted forward and shoved the prisoner, too.
"Hey, get yer mits off 'im!"
Andrew had still managed to move the sleeve of Connor's leather jacket up. The rest of the prisoners glared at his arm, saw the cross tattoo on it, and when the Irishman finally shoved the prisoner away the others saw it, too.
"See!" Andrew exclaimed and pointed at Connor's arm where they could see the scar all too clearly.
The Irishman growled and pulled the sleeve of his jacket back down.
"Bullshit" he murmured and looked at the rest of the group. Daryl snorted.
"Dream on, Jay-Z, you get bit and yah turn into those freaks, end of the story. Why d'you think it spread so fast? No walkers bit the leprechaun, I did.
In a fight. Don't make shit up now. Yer friend is as good as dead."
"I'm fine! Just...I'm fine" Big Tiny yelled and looked at them. He tried to argue with Rick once more.
Connor snorted when Daryl placed himself next to him again.
"So, ye bit me in a fight?"
"Someone had t'make an excuse"
The Irishman chuckled.
"Well, I was just about ta do the same, I'd have told them that ye bit me cos ye were having such a great time when we were makin out."
Daryl snorted and shoved him.
"Jesus, could yah be anymore gay? Shut up."
Connor chuckled as well.
"Look, there's gotta be something we can do. We could just lock him up!" Oscar suggested and Daryl and Connor looked at the group again.
"Quarantine him!" Axel joined in and looked at them.
"We gotta do something. Why are you just standing there and laugh your ass off? We gotta save him!" Andrew shouted and Connor sighed.
"Look, buddy. 'm sorry. But that's te way it works. There's nothing we can do about et, all we can do is make it comfortable fer.."
He startled when Tomas suddenly darted forward and hit the back of Big Tiny's head with his axe. He looked at all of them for a second, then he fixed his eyes on Connor, who widened his eyes in surprise. For a second he thought the prisoner was going to attack him next, but then Tomas started attacking Tiny again, who was lying on the ground now. He wouldn't stop bashing his head in with his axe in an absolute violent way, and the whole group just watch him in shock. After a couple of seconds Tomas was completely covered in blood.
He stopped chopping after what felt like the fiftieth time and glared at Connor again, chest heaving and face stained with blood. The blonde's blood ran cold and he narrowed his eyes at him. The blood on the prisoner's face, Tiny's mutilated corpse, the cut on his arm and the fact that Daryl had been attacked by a walker, that was enough to seal the deal for Connor. He placed a hand on his gun, waiting for the right moment to raise it and pull the trigger. No one would say anything or notice that, as they were all busy looking at the mess Tomas had made. Tiny's head was bashed in, his face was completely destroyed. No one could believe what had just happened. Tomas finally stopped glaring at Connor and turned his head and glared at Rick instead. And this was all it took. In a matter of seconds Connor suddenly grabbed his gun, pointed it at Tomas' head and pulled the trigger.
"NO!" Andrew yelled, but it was already too late.
A loud bang rang through the corridors and startled the rest of the group, and with that Tomas fell to the ground, landing right on top of Big Tiny's bloody corpse.
For a second it was deadly silent and everyone was staring at Connor in shock. No one had seen that coming, because normally people listened to Rick and waited for his orders instead of doing things themselves. But Connor did not work like that, his rules were far more simple. Kill people and threaten his friends and brother and you are dead. The Irishman kicked the prisoner to turn him around, then he put his gun away with a huff.
"'s about time someone took that fucker out" he justified his action and adjusted his jacket.
When he looked up he saw that all the others were staring at him, and especially Rick and Daryl seemed angry. They didn't have any time to argue because Andrew started yelling again. He tried to attack Rick with his baseball bat but the former policeman was faster. He kicked the prisoner's leg hard so he fell to the ground, losing his weapon on his way down. Both Connor and Daryl reacted instantly when Axel and Oscar tried to move as well. Daryl pointed his crossbow at Oscar, Connor his gun at Axel.
"Easy now" the hunter growled and focused on the prisoner.
Andrew got back to his feet and glared at them all in horror, then he suddenly started running.
"I got him" Rick shouted and ran after him.
Connor widened his eyes.
"Rick! Ye can't go out there alone!" he shouted and looked at T-Dog.
"Cover him!" he demanded and ran after Rick and the prisoner.
"Leprechaun! Get your ass back here! This ain't any of your business!" Daryl yelled but his friend had already disappeared.
"Dumbass" the hunter growled and glared at Oscar.
"Man, get down on your knees!" he demanded and pointed his crossbow at his head. The prisoner moved his hands in the air and knelt down.
"We don't have no affiliation to what just happened. Tell him, Oscar!" Axel explained with shaky voice and glared at the other member of his group.
Oscar shook his head, with his hands still in the air.
"Stop talking, man" he answered and the other prisoner looked down. Daryl raised an eyebrow when he started sobbing.