Status: Completed on October 4th, 2013

Breaking Their Hold

Chapter Forty-Four: Every Threat Will Be Eliminated

With Matt, Jimmy, and Zack

“Get up.”

Jimmy cracked one eye open when he heard the rough voice speaking to him and the others through the door of the cell. A little bit of light was filtering in from outside, but not enough for him to see who was standing there. It was only when the door opened all the way and he saw a man clad all in black with a covered face standing there that he realized what was happening.

His face quickly drained of color, but he said nothing. There was no way he’d give the Government that satisfaction.

“So it’s time,” he murmured as he shook Zack, and the Matt’s arms to get them to wake up, too. “Guys, wake up. C’mon.”

Zack’s eyes opened immediately, but Matt took a few moments longer. He glared up at the man and opened his mouth to shoot a sharp comment before he quickly shut his jaw when he too saw who was standing there.

The Executioner. It was someone everyone recognized – and everyone feared. If the Executioner was standing in their cell right now, it meant that their time was up. They wouldn’t live to see Mel come back to them. They wouldn’t get to see the country they’d all put their lives on the line for liberated.

Instead, they’d be some of the final victims of Schlagger’s dictatorship.

“Chin up, guys,” Jimmy told his friends, trying to keep his voice strong. “They know they’re close to the end. Why do you think they’ve sent this buffoon?”

Matt didn’t say a word, but it wasn’t hard to see how pissed off he was. Zack seemed the least affected by the man at all. Jimmy couldn’t say he blamed his friend. He couldn’t even imagine how he’d cope if everything he had ever loved was taken away from him. Zack really had no one left anymore. Of course, he had Jimmy and Matt…but they were about to be killed too. And Mel?

Jimmy knew she was out there somewhere, safe. But that didn’t help Zack feel better. It didn’t ease his guilty conscience. It didn’t numb the pain he knew his friend was in.

“So what, you’re just going to shoot us like cowards?” Matt finally spoke as the three of them were led out of the cell and down a long, damp corridor. The Executioner just scoffed under his breath as he walked in front of them, another Policeman behind the three of them so that none of them would attempt some kind of escape.

“The three of you earned yourselves a publicized, televised hanging,” the Executioner smirked back at them as he stopped in his tracks. “A very long, agonizingly painful death. It sometimes takes a couple of times before your neck snaps. And even then, sometimes you don’t die right away. It could take up to an hour for you to finally bite the dust.”

Jimmy had to admit, the thought of hanging for an hour before dying wasn’t very comforting. He didn’t want to spend his last hour of life like that. He’d rather it be painless and fast, but he knew Schlagger would never settle for that. He’d make this as cruel as possible.

When they reached the end of the corridor, Jimmy watched as the Executioner punched a code into an alarm system before the door opened. Bright sunlight filled the small space, nearly blinding Jimmy’s eyesight as the three of them were led outside.

He looked up ahead of himself and swallowed hard when he saw all the people that had gathered around in the small area. There were enough people that it looked almost like a crowded concert hall, Policemen and Government officials scattered around the area to maintain control.

What scared him most was what sat in the middle of all the people, though. There had been a special podium built; it was tall enough that it would take half a flight of stairs to get up to it, with a concrete foundation. Three tall gallows sat in the middle; the ground beneath them wooden, no doubt to give way when the ropes were pulled.

This was to be his last day alive, and that was only now just sinking in. There would be no goodbyes said, no hugs. There would be no camaraderie between himself and his friends.

No resolution that Mel really was safe.

This was the end. Death; that was all that lay ahead for Jimmy.

The Executioner walked up the stairs first, followed next by Zack, Matt, and Jimmy as the Policeman shoved them up the scaffold.

They were each directed to one of the nooses before the ropes were placed around their necks. Jimmy was expecting the ropes to be pulled immediately, but instead, the Executioner moved to the side. He heard the click of expensive shoes on the concrete ground around the center of the gallows stood.

He narrowed his eyes when he watched as Schlagger walked up onto the center of the foundation, a podium set up in front of him.

The entire area was dead silent as the dictator began speaking, his voice cold and devoid of any emotion at all except for maybe smugness.

“Today marks the end of a very trying time for our great nation.” Schlagger began as he stood tall, his hands both on the podium in front of him. “Because today, we have ended a major threat to our national security. Over the last several months, our entire country’s network of Police Headquarters and Government officials have tirelessly searched for one girl. One silly girl who has proven herself to be our greatest threat since the old ways were in place. She threatened us all, my good citizens. Her goal was to destroy this country from the inside out. And she almost succeeded in that. Almost.”

Jimmy felt his eyes widening. He knew that the only girl Schlagger could be talking about was Melissa. Was this speech saying that they had found her?

“She has not gotten away with her crimes, however. At three o’clock this morning, I received word from one of my closest confidantes that Melissa Baker has sought and received refuge in Canada. This has not been taken lightly. As of this morning, I have prepared a military strike against the Embassy in Alberta. In a few short hours, the entire world will realize that we are not a country to lie to; not a country to steal from, and certainly not a country to attempt to destroy. Melissa Baker may be untouchable for now, but her heart is not. And that is why today, I have gathered the patients of Haverly State Hospital here . That is why today, I have made this broadcast mandatory for all viewers at home to watch. Today, the world will learn a valuable lesson, as will each and every one of you. Every threat to our nation’s heart, no matter how small, will be eradicated with the force of a hurricane. Every threat will be eliminated with no mercy; with no compassion. Threats will be eradicated on sight from this moment on. But today, I set an example with three boys; none of them even twenty years old, but all of them a high risk to our national security. Matthew Charles Sanders, who impersonated a Government official and lied to our state officials at several checkpoints. James Owen Sullivan, who aided and abetted fugitive Melissa Baker in her escape from Haverly. And Zachary James Baker…the brother of the previously mentioned fugitive and perhaps our biggest threat. These boys have proven themselves incapable of bowing to our national Government and it is because of that that I have hereby sentenced them to hang at noon. Each of them will hang by the neck until they are pronounced dead by one of our officials. After they have been declared deceased, their bodies will be cremated and disposed of with no proper burial.”

He went on to say a few more things, but Jimmy zoned out after the end of the sentence he was completely numb now. To him, there was no point to continue listening; not when he already knew what the end of his story was going to be.

At least he now knew for sure that Melissa was safe, though. Hopefully she’d get out of Alberta before the military strike, but he was sure the Canadian officials already knew what was headed their way. Pierre was a smart kid; he had a lot of connections, and especially in the Capitol. He’d make sure Melissa survived all of this with her life intact and that was really all that Jimmy cared about.

He looked up at the giant clock that had been set up near the podium, probably for the viewers at home to time when they could leave their television sets and go on with their days. It was eight twenty-seven. That only gave them three and a half hours to live.

The funny thing about three and a half hours was, it seemed like such a large space of time when it was all you had left to live.
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So, I know it's been a long time since I've updated this story. I'm really not sure why I stopped writing it since the love for this story has always been there. :) I think I just got out of it for awhile. But I'm back! There's only one more chapter for this story, but it definitely won't take another year to update. With any luck, it'll be up in the next seven days or so. :)