‹ Prequel: Hurricane Heart
Sequel: Storms in Utopia

Martyr's Run



Someone screamed.

Another person fainted.

I was sinking.

I had failed.

The Operation...they were sentencing us to the Operation. How...the fuck...I couldn’t breathe...I couldn’t think.

Looking around, the world was spinning. The man in the suit; the governor of the Institution, smirked and the police officers exchanged glances. A woman next to me staggered into her friend, and a few were already crying.

It was sick...twisted...how the fuck could they? Monsters, bastards...


And yet, it was as if a silent ripple had passed over the room. Regaining enough of my sanity to look around me, it seemed as if every Dreamer in the room was unwrapping a blindfold that they had tied around their own eyes for the first time in far too long.

People were thinking again.

And not just people like me. There were others too; ones that had only had their injections yesterday, and ones that had been in here for months, or even years, and had seemed to possess so little memory of the Dreamers that they had forgotten what all of this was like.

But now they were remembering.

Now they were waking up.

In the spur of a moment, we had been condemned. But I, no matter how sick I felt, sick to the very core, was certainly not going to go down without a fight.

And for the first time since being in here, it seemed that I was not alone.

‘Back to your cells!’ the governor ordered. ‘Hurry up! Out now!’


The voice came from close to me. That was the only reason I heard it.


‘No,’ I echoed, as loud as I dared. This one was loud enough for a pair of eagle eyes to snap in my direction.

‘No!’ someone else braver than me repeated.

‘No,’... ‘no,’... ‘no.’ They were coming from all around. They were coming thicker and faster than I could have ever expected.

The Dreamers were coming back to life.

The governor cocked his head to the side. ‘Guards?’ he asked, ‘get these people back to their cells now. And I want silence!’

The room was growing louder, despite what he had said. Twenty or more guards began shoving people in the direction of the door, but there were nearly two hundred Dreamers, and they weren’t going easily. The ones that were too drugged up to know what was going on were helped out by their peers—friendship and sacrifice like I had never seen before. A woman near me was shoved hard by one of the guards, and she moved obediently as he hissed in her ear.

I was having none of it.

I pulled her out the way, pulling her behind me, and three more people—two women and a man—came to support me.

‘Don’t touch her, she doesn’t even know what you’re doing,’ I warned the guard menacingly.

‘Move,’ he ordered.

‘Everyone back to your cells NOW!’ the governor yelled furiously into the microphone. The two police officers on the stage, a man and a woman, took action, readying their guns and joining the masses of security guards.

From out of nowhere, a hand made contact with the back of the head of the guard who was pointing his gun at me. He cursed loudly, staggering forward, and someone beside me began yanking the gun from his hands. He held on desperately, but another blow to the head sent him reeling. The trigger was inadvertently pulled, narrowly missing the man who was trying to prise it free, and a third punch from another Dreamer sent the guard to the ground. The man snatched the gun from his fingers triumphantly, pointing it up into the air and firing it three times.

Another tranquiliser from another gun soared through the air, jabbing into the shoulder of an unprepared man standing not far from me. I released the girl that I had helped and she looked around in dizziness and confusion, not sure what was going on, probably not even sure who she was.

More bullets and darts and God-knew-what shot through the air, and more guards appeared at the back doors as reinforcements.

We were not the only ones. People were moving. People were reacting. People were fighting.

They say that when you have no hope, it also means you have nothing to lose. If that was true, then maybe there were some advantages to having no hope.

Our situation could not get any worse right now. If we failed, we were condemned. We would suffer the fate that plagued our deepest thoughts...nightmares...what was a nightmare?

Seriously, what was a nightmare?

I had heard the word before, but the drugs fucking up my mind were still too prominent to let me remember what it meant. But that was another problem for another time. I had bigger problems right now.

Like surviving.

Somewhere further in front of me, I saw Tim’s head bobbing through the crowds, moving swiftly through the raging riot towards the stage. I could only hope for the best from him.

People were moving on mass now. The guards had guns, but we had numbers. And guns were nothing when there was a risk of hitting people on your own side.

‘Get down!’ someone shrieked, and I heard multiple explosions, followed by screams, one after the other. A guard collapsed to the ground, a tranquiliser dart somehow lodged perfectly in his head, knocking him unconscious almost instantly. People all around me were fighting, and I launched myself into the mess, kicking and punching at the nearest guard I could find. A dart missed my face by inches, and hit another man in the leg instead. I didn’t have time to help him, but I could still seek revenge on the bastard who had fired the shot.

‘Lock them all in here if necessary,’ the governor was yelling, retreating to the back of the stage. He pulled three guards up to him to help defend him. ‘Just get your men out, put the entire complex on red alert and phone the damn police!’

That was when I saw Tim launch himself onto the stage.

I held my breath. There were three guards with guns up there defending the governor.

But by some miracle, my friend had also acquired a gun. I had no idea where from, but hope surged through me all the same.

And the guards were distracted, firing into the chaotic torrents of Dreamers instead.

Tim managed to shoot all three of them.

The governor stood unarmed and without defence. The three guards were not yet unconscious, but they were fading.

I kicked another guard and dodged a few darts on my way up to the stage where I joined my friend.

‘Hey,’ Tim said, glancing at me, his face shiny with a light sheen of sweat. I panted breathlessly, kicking out at the first guard to be unconscious. One of the still conscious ones fired his tranquiliser dart towards me and I dived, shock piercing my heart, but his hands were trembling so much that he missed and the dart landed uselessly on the ground.

I stole the gun from the unconscious one, kicking the one who had tried to shoot me and the other one for good measure, taking their guns too and running to the front of the stage. I fired a couple of close range shots at an unsuspecting guard whilst Tim stood tormenting the governor behind me, and then I passed out my two spare guns to the first two Dreamers I saw.

Then I stood up and picked up the microphone.

EVERYONE GET THE FUCK OUT!’ I roared as loud as was physically possible. My lungs were about to burst and my voice was rough and ragged with the fear and adrenaline and power. I couldn’t breathe, but we had to try.

More guards appeared; more guards with guns, and they were blocking the exit. A bloody fight ensued as I screamed one more time into the microphone to make my message clear and I turned back to Tim.

‘So,’ he said, narrowing his eyes as he thrust the tranquiliser gun into the base of the governor’s neck. The coward was whimpering in fear and shaking so badly that he could barely stand.

‘What’s it gonna be?’ I finished for Tim, marvelling at all of this. How? This was so, so much better than I had expected.

Tim didn’t wait for an answer; he shot multiple darts into the governor’s body until he sunk to the ground, collapsing in a heap on top of the guards that had tried and failed to protect him.

I leapt agilely to the side of the stage, dodging a few darts and then...bullets?

Yes. The reinforcement guards had bullets.

I looked at them swarming in through the double doors at the back of the room. There was another door by the stage; a single door; nowhere near big enough for everyone to get out without being massacred. It was the same colour as the wall and had probably gone unnoticed, but no doubt it was the door the governor had used to get into the room. Chances were, it led into some steel corridor deep in the bowels of block one.

We had to get out. There were more guards running in than I thought possible, and bullets were being fired. I aimed at the far door and, from my height advantage up on the stage, my darts managed to soar over the heads of the protesting crowds beneath me and into the midst of the advancing army. Some missed; some hit, but I didn’t have an endless supply of tranquilisers, and we had to get out.

Cracks mapped their way up the grey walls as they were struck again and again by the new addition of bullets, and I could see blood and screaming and falling...and all I could do was yell at them to flee, not fight; that failure here meant the Operation or, at best, death...but they weren’t listening. Those who tried to flee were gunned down and as Tim left the stage and burst through the single door on this side of the room, I had no choice but to follow, screaming at anyone who would listen to come with us.

A few people heard, and they made it out into some deserted steel corridor. I had never been in this block before; I had no idea what was going on. Presumably, neither had Tim, but he shot off right and I raced after him, looking at door after door after door—we seemed to be in the medical corridor, hoping that somewhere there would be an indication of how to get out. This place was a labyrinth, and I soon lost track of the other people that had exited the large hall. I was on my own now apart from Tim charging off not far ahead.

‘Where are you going?’ I screamed at him. I was so exhausted that I could barely choke the words out, and spluttering caused me to stagger into the wall, clanging loudly and swearing louder, running on again relentlessly, begging and hoping and praying for some sign of an exit.

And then there was an explosion.

We didn’t have time to find out what it was. We didn’t have time to find out anything. But only now did it dawn on me that the Dreamers were losing. We had risen up against the guards, and some had escaped, many had died, and the remainder were condemned to the Operation.
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I forgot how tense this part of the story was! Seriously, I'm liking this story now that I'm re-reading it a second time a lot more than when I actually wrote it.