Haven: Part Three – The Fire
The following story is a four-part series about an ordinary guy named Jason A. Sileski and
his search for a shelter – a safe place- a haven.
To read part 1, click here
To read part 2, click here
Mind the gap. That’s what the sign said as I got off the train and stepped foot on the tile of 72nd Street Station. I was ten blocks away from the police station and though my ankle hurt, I needed time to think.
So are we going to continue the story?
Not with you.
Because you might spoil what will happen.
I don’t do that. It’s not like the meeting you, Peter, and some other guys have is that exciting anyway.
What that part is boring and then the only next thing is…
Oh I wouldn’t want to spoil that.
Are you going to mention your foot?
Alright, so where was I, Man knocked me down, I see the chip is gone, security tells me the man who knocked me down is the one who stole it, ok, now I know.
“How can that be possible?”
“I don’t know Sir. I think he said he was doing repairs.”
“Alright, I want you to send a list of workers right up to Peter Lupip’s office.”
“Right on it Sir.” The man left and I went back up the elevator. Once arriving at the sixth floor I walked to Peter’s office. The door was open and there was a very nervous Andrew standing next to the desk of a very stern Peter Lupip.
“Sit down.” I did. “I heard what happened. Do you have any idea who did it?”
“I sent a file up to Randall’s office of the people who work on the ground floor.”
“It’s flimsy but,” he turned.” Andrew go and get it please.”
“Right away Sir.” He left. Peter was quiet for a bit.
“Yes?” He looked up.
“What has just happened is more than theft. If this chip gets in the wrong hands.” He rubbed his eyes.” Though.” He seemed very serious. Andrew got back.
“Bring up the cameras.” Peter said to his desk. A panel pushed in and a screen lifted up. He flipped through the different cameras, quickly taking account of all the people at their desks. After a few minutes he furrowed his brow. “Who are the people who work in the negative floors?” Andrew consulted the paper with all the people in employment.
“Two men. A man named Charles Rekzi and a man named Jason Sileski.” at that moment, a worker walked in and said.
“Sir, two security officers went in search of the man who stole the chip and have recognized him as Jason Sileski, though we can’t find Charlie either.”
“My money is on Jason.” Said Peter. “We’ll go after him, and Erik here will lead the charge.” Everyone left the room leaving Peter and I.
“Why am I leading this?”
“Because this Jason, he took what was rightfully yours. You have the passion, the desire, the anger. Jason Sileski will pay, just like Atlas.” I looked at the painting again. The anguish on his face, the impossible task, the justice. Peter was right. I had to find Jason. I nodded, walked up , and got out.
Most sounds, become very annoying after they are repeated for a long while. The beeping of a machine that was a monitor of my heart, was no different. Every once in a while, a nurse would come in and I guess make sure I wasn’t dead. I had heard a nurse say that she had no idea what was wrong with me, but would run more tests. The person she was talking to, asked if he could come in and talk to me. She said yes and then man walked in. Brooks.
“Hello Brooks.” I said.
“You seem fine.” He said.
“Yeah I don’t know why I’m still here.”
“Well Linda said you just collapsed and that you didn’t respond.”
“I guess she has reason to be worried then.”
“Yeah, so are you feeling good enough to continue the story?”
“Yeah.” I sat thinking. I closed my eyes. I started feeling cold. I was laying in the back of a truck. I turned over and my eyes set upon a gun pointed right at me.
“Don’t you move a muscle boy.”
“Sir please don’t shoot. I am unarmed.”
“Get up.” I did. “Follow me into the house.” We walked past a couple cars and then it hit. Right in the face. Snow. The first snowfall of winter. The house was a modest one. A country house that made sense because on further inspection of my surroundings, I realized we were in the country. Inside, there was a small table with four chair around it, to the left was a kitchen, and to the right was a small hallway that lead to stairs.
“Sit down, you cold?”
“A little.” He walked to a closet.
“He take this jacket.” I put it on. It fit pretty good. A couple women came down the stairs.
“Who’s this Daddy? said the shorter one who was apparently Bill’s daughter.
“His name is…” he turned to me.
“Harold.” He repeated.
“My name is Madeline, Bill’s wife.” The taller one said as she shook my hand. She turned to look at the girl beside her.”And this is Herm.”
“Hello Herm.” I said. “How old are you?”
“Cool. I remember when I was 11. I liked to ride bikes and that was the year I learned to roller blade.”
Bill’s house phone started ringing. Madeline picked it up.
“It’s for Harold.” I got up.
“Don’t talk just listen. Jason, they are coming for you. You have to make sure they don’t get the chip. I know you are looking for a safe place. There is a place in Maine, it coordi….” The sound faded and then hung up.
“Who was it?” Bill asked.
“I have no idea.”
There was the sound of cars driving up and doors slamming. Bill looked out the window then turned.
“Honey, bring Herm upstairs. Now.” She did. “I’m going to go out there. See what they want.”
“They’re here for me.”
“I know.” His eyes were solemn. He walked out and zipped up his jacket. What did he mean, he knew? The voice were slightly muffled but I could hear what they were saying.
“Sir have you seen this man?” asked a man in a black suit.
“No.” he said.
“Sir, we have witnesses that say this man is in your house.” A suited man tried to pass Bill.
“You aren’t allowed to go in my house without a warrant.”
“Mr. Barcley, what should I do.” as a man who looked vaguely familiar walked out from behind some men holding guns.
“Do you have a gun on you?”
“Well, the only one we need alive is Jason, so.” The man nodded and took out his gun.
“Survive Jason!” He yelled. Then the shot. The first of two I will never forget. Bill fell.
“Mom, what was that?” I heard Herm say.
“No, no something happened. I want daddy.”
“Alright.We know he’s in here somewhere. Smoke him out.” Said Mr. Barcley. At that there were shouts and soon the crackle of old wood burning. I need to escape. There was a scream. Madeline and Herm. Bill just died for me, I couldn’t let his family die too. Smoke started to come from the floorboards. I ran towards the stairs and saw that a curtain had started to catch fire. I had never been upstairs but I was able to find the mother and her daughter from the crying. Smoke had started to fill the air.
“You guys have to come with me.” They walked to my voice. “Is there any place where you can go that is outside of this house?” After a few coughs Madeline said that there was a shed in the back. We arrived at the door.
“Herm, you look cold.”
“Take this jacket.” I took off the jacket her father gave me and laid it on the small girl. “Come on.” I said as I pushed open the door. We ran to the small square building that seemed to blend in with woods that were near the house. “Are you guys going to be ok?” Madeline nodded.
“I have to go.”
“No, please stay. If you go they might catch you.”
“Yes and if I stay and they find you two with me then…” I stopped there. Madeline understood. “Good bye Herm.” She didn’t say anything. She had her face buried in her mother shoulder switching between crying and coughing. I turned and left them in safety. I knew the men from Uniris would see me if I stayed in one place. Once again the forest, the unknown, would have to be my escape. I started running. There were shouts. I turned and then a shot. The second shot I would always remember. I was on the ground. Everything was hazy. I looked down. In contrast to the pure white snow all around me, there was something darker. Not black but… Red. Blood. My breathing started to quicken. I.. I couldn’t think straight. My tHouGhts StaRted to juMble. Stop the bleeding. Stop the bleeding. I pressed my hand on my stomach. I let out a yell of pain. Applying more pressure I would have let out another but a hand covered my mouth. “I’m here Bucko.” That voice. It sounded familiar. I tried to make out the person’s face.
“Stop moving.” I couldn’t move if I wanted. Who was this? Bucko. Who calls me Bucko?