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Corrandion, Corridane
I am JT, Ringer, nutjob, and archer, in that order. I like animated films, epic films, book films, movie music, folk music, and the occasional random other thing. I make friends by accident and like it that way...

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20 May 2011

The Elevator To Mars , Part Four

Once again, I was surprised to hear a voice coming out of the walls. “Please state your name, rank, and purpose.” It said in the same sort of voice a tour guide would use when saying ‘please keep legs and arms inside the vehicle at all times’.
I was nervous, dazed, and desperate. I could hear security pounding up the second flight of stairs. I couldn’t waste time thinking up a false name and purpose, so I told the truth. “Name, Richard Lee Jackson! Rank, none! Purpose, to escape from a security detail that’s planning to make me listen to sappy love songs! Get me out of here!”
Suddenly, the tone of the voice changed. “Oh… them again? When will they learn? We’ve told them time and time again, sappy love songs don’t make anyone feel smarter, and they should get some classical records, like the Beatles, but they never listen…”
“Whatever! Help me, will you!” I shouted, feeling a mental breakdown coming if I didn’t get somewhere safe. The voice didn’t reply. Instead, the heavy mattress-doors in front of me began to open. As soon as the crack was big enough, I slipped inside, as the voice called out “Have fun!”
When I saw the room I had just entered, my jaw dropped and I nearly passed out from amazement. I had gained access to an ENORMOUS game room! Ping-pong tables, pool tables,, air hockey tables, pinball machines, Galaga, Pac-man, PC gaming stations, even a Kinect. You name it, I saw it in that room. Strangest of all, there was absolutely no-one in the entire room! Well, almost no-one. After a minute of blank staring, I spotted my alien companion Darthus Depp, running around the room as if he were crossing hot coals, and laughing hysterically.
After a moment, he spotted me and called out “Hey, kid! Care for a game of something? This is great! I never knew about this before! This is crazy!”
Coming back to my senses, I called out “wait a minute! Aren’t we supposed to be ESCAPING? Security’s gonna be in here after us before I fin-“
But the alien cut me off. “No they won’t! The first thing I did in here was to lock the doors and turn on the automated verification voice! Don’t ask! Every place has them! I could have kept you locked up if I wanted to! You know what’s even crazier? All the games are in suspended animation, waiting for the players to come back!”
I hadn’t noticed this before, but I did now. The cue sticks from half the pool tables were hovering over the table, frozen in time. The ball and paddles still hovered over one of the ping-pong tables. And then, Darthus depp called out “You know what I think?! I think this is conference room 100!”
“You mean to say you don’t actually know where the conference rooms are after all?” I asked, stunned.
“Yep! I’ve only been on the job for 75 years! First performance review ever and I quit! Hahahaha!” With that, Depp ran off to a far corner of the room. This time, I followed him. When I caught up, he said “Ok, you’re right. It’s time we got out of here. But we’ve got problems. Look.” He pointed to the wall.
Looking in the direction he was pointing, I saw that he was indicating what looked like the front half of a standard four-door sedan. Next to it, there was a sign that read “Teleporter out of order. Teleport at your own risk.”
“Uh-oh,” I said. “This is not good.”
“No, it’s not,” Depp replied “But it’s our only way out of here unless we want to get caught by security.”
“Well then, I’m game if you are.” I said, glancing over at my alien friend.
Depp, who was beginning to turn black, just nodded, obviously too nervous to speak. He got into the driver’s seat and I sat down next to him in the other seat. It took him a moment to remember that cars were started by turning a key and stepping on the gas, so a moment later, he did both at once. And then, suddenly, we weren’t, either of us, anywhere anymore. I felt like I had been squeezed into a crate and attached to the world’s fastest projectile. I could tell I was going faster than light, because I couldn’t see anything. Overcome by the pressure, I reached out to where Depp presumably still was, and elbowed him, hard enough to make him take his foot off the accelerator.
A minute later, when we had gotten our bearings, we saw that we were in the middle of the dance floor in the solar system’s busiest nightclub. Both of us immediately turned, pushing through the crowd, hurrying to find another teleporter. We eventually ended up outside in a blind alley. Then, a moment later, we noticed that an empty dumpster bore a sign which read ‘teleporter. Close lid.”
Without a word, we climbed inside and closed the lid, instantly feeling that squeezed- projectile sensation again. This time I tried to keep track of the minutes. When I had reached five, I nudged Depp and we pushed the lid open.
Believe it or not, we found ourselves in an elevator.
When I realized where we were, all I could think was “Alright… I’m in a flying elevator… again… Only this time it’s worse because I’ll feel the whole trip, and I’m stuck with an alien whose life’s ambition is to work at McDonalds. I’m doomed.”
Of his own accord, my alien companion opened the doors of the elevator, just far enough to put his head out and see that we were indeed right where we wanted to be, inside an abduction pod which was being flown to Earth to replace an innocent elevator. Whether we would land where we wanted to remained to be seen, though.
“How do you keep a ship like this hidden from Earthlings?” I asked.
“Sophisticated stealth technology.” Depp replied. “We don’t know computers, but we do know stealth flight technology.”
“Then you could invade Earth anytime you wanted to!”
“Yeah, I know. But we prefer to just measure your intelligence. Who knows maybe someday Steve Jobs will step into an abduction pod. Then we’ll be in business.”
I decided not to reply. This was too weird.
A minute later, Depp spoke again. “I’m goin’ in, er, out. Hold the fort… pod.” Before I had a chance to reply, he had pushed the ‘doors open’ button and stepped out into the ship. Alright, I admit it. This was worse. Now, I was fully aware that I was eventually going to crash on Earth, but now my alien companion had left me, possibly to turn me in to the other aliens on the ship, so they could hold me and take me back to Mars.
But my fears, just as all my other suspicions had been, were totally wrong. Five minutes later, Depp was back, alone. But now he was carrying a plastic sack that looked oddly like a tightly folded rain jacket. Noticing my confused look, Depp explained his absence. “I just had to get a couple things. Oh, and I changed the coordinates of this pod’s flight path. It’s now programmed to drop us straight down into your home building.”
“What the-! What do you mean?!” I snapped back at the alien, who was now busy unfolding the raincoat he had brought in.
Without looking up, Depp replied “Autopilot. All the podships are on preprogrammed flight paths. There’s also one for each pod in the ship.”
I didn’t really have an answer to this. All I could say was “What the- what on Earth- This is totally insane! Am I dreaming?” To make fully certain that I wasn’t, I first pinched myself and then stuck out a foot and kicked the alien sitting two feet away from me. We were both solid, and we both felt me. “How can you build spaceships, equipped with autopilots, when you’re still trying to learn how to build computers?!”
“Same way we learned how to build imitation elevators that fly to Mars when you press the ‘up’ button. Extra-Sensory Perception and hypnosis. One thing, though. I’d advise you never to step into an elevator again in your life. You never know when you might find yourself on Mars again.” When Depp had finished speaking, he took the rubbery object he had unwrapped and stretched it as far as it would go a couple times. After it snapped back the second time, he stretched it again and put it over his face. Then he asked me “How do I look?”
I was stunned. Instead of an alien, I was now sitting two feet away from Earth’s typical person, as calculated by National Geographic Magazine* . What’s more, he was dressed like a mechanic. By way of explanation, my companion only said “Standard disguise. We also keep track of what face is least likely to be noticed by the Earthling on the street. We’ll be arriving in five minutes.”
Finding my voice at last, I replied “Ok. There’s a McDonald’s joint that’s hiring two blocks from where I live. Have you got a fake resume?”
“I wouldn’t go to Earth without one.”
“Alright then. Good luck, Mr. Depp.” I said, shaking his hand. “Thanks for getting me off of Mars.”
“You got me off just as much.” He replied. “I never had to interrogate anyone so smart in all my 75 years on the job.”
We fell silent. A couple minutes later, we felt the jolt and the clicks which told us that the abduction pod was attaching itself to the existing elevator cable. A minute later, I stepped out onto my floor, before the pod started going down. Just before I left, Depp reached into his pocket. “These’ll help.” Was all he said as he handed me three barbeque meatball sandwiches, done to perfection. By way of explanation, he added “My lunch, now yours.”
I had one last question. As I maneuvered the sandwiches around so as to be able to open our door, I asked “This pod won’t leave right away, will it?”
“Oh no, of course not, the alien answered. “I checked the log. This one’s scheduled to launch exactly… 36 months, four days, 22 minutes, and 34 seconds from now, with or without a load.” Then the alien reached out and pushed the ‘doors open’ button for me, and I stepped out. I never saw Darthus Depp again, but I had not heard the last of him.

Two years after my adventure on Mars, I noticed that the New York Times #1 bestseller was a book called From Mars To Big Macs; One Alien’s Dream Comes True by D. A. Depp. My onetime acquaintance’s book stayed at number one for the next year and a half, listed as fiction. (Of course, people didn’t believe there actually was a martian working anywhere. His disguise was too good, and he had, presumably, taken voice lessons. Eight years after I spotted Depp’s book and read it, I received a letter from none other than the President of the United States! When I opened it, I found only four lines: Yo, Rich! Would you agree to become ambassador to Mars? You can bring a four foot Reese’s candy to protect yourself if you like. D.A. Depp p.s. please keep the enclosed electric spork on your person at all times. It’s a great way to hold off security!
It was only then that I noticed the electric spork lying on the floor, which had obviously fallen from the envelope. Picking it up, I laughed a little at the memories and then said quietly “I’ll think about it, Mr. President.”

The End

14 May 2011

The Elevator To Mars, Part Three

note: The link to the comment box, in case you're wondering, has been renamed 'rallying cries' (I'm talking to you, Jmann and his friends...)

On my hands and knees under the shell of what must have been the solar system’s biggest Reese’s candy, the insanity of my plan began to sink in; I had nothing but a chocolate shell two inches thick, and a stolen electric spork. I didn’t even have a real plan. Using the spork, I carved a rectangular hole in my candy shell which would allow me to see where I was going. Curving my back, I lifted my shell off the ground and began to crawl across the floor, fearful that at any moment, Darthus Depp would lift the shell and force me back into the chair to answer more pointless questions.
But no! As I crept toward him, he ran out of the room, screaming “Mayday! Mayday! There’s been a security breach in interrogation room 5! I repeat! Security breach! Requesting reinforcements and orders!”
I heard the response, which apparently came from the same speakers which had been playing back the scratched shriek recordings, loud and clear. “The security detail for the interrogation rooms has just gone to lunch. Darthus Depp, report to conference room 100 for your annual performance review.”
When I heard this, I began to feel sorry for my erstwhile interrogator, who, admittedly, hadn’t actually done anything to me. Here I was, trying to escape, and here he was, stuck without any backup and late for his performance review. The guy, er, alien, was doomed. He was sure to lose his job. I had to think of something quick that would save both of us.
I started crawling off down the hall, hoping I would think of something as I moved. A moment later, I heard Darthus Depp call after me “Hey, you! Earthling kid! Are you trying to escape, or what? “Cause if you’re trying to escape, you’re going the wrong way!”
“Hold still” I thought. “He’s trying to trap me.” Holding my breath, I stopped and waited to hear what the alien would say.
“Seriously, kid, if you’re trying to escape, you need to turn around. If you go that way, you’re bound to hit the lunchroom. If you run into the security crew, you’re in real trouble. Believe me, you do NOT want to get caught by security!”
Still under my shell, I called back “Why’s that, Mr. Depp?”
“You think tongue twisters, disco balls, and giant candies are all that goes on around here? They make you listen to heavy metal punk rock and cheesy love songs.”
“You’ve gotta be kidding me!” I shouted in disbelief.
“No, I’m not. How do you think we got all those recordings of earthlings shrieking in despair?”
“All right” I thought “There is nothing in the galaxy that would make me want to go that way. Anything but interrogation floor security.” After a pause, I called out “Ok, Mr. Depp! I’ll come out if you promise not to capture me! Wait a minute! Aren’t you late for your performance review?”
“Aw, so what?” replied the alien “I hate this job anyway. You know what I really want to do?”
“I want to become a burger flipper at McDonald’s.”
I would never again be as surprised as I was then. I screamed this time. “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING! THERE ARE MCDONALD’S JOINTS ON MARS?”
The alien, though, remained calm and continued. “Yes, there are, actually. They’ve taken over Earth, so they thought ‘hey, why not take over the whole solar system? You don’t understand. On Mars, McDonald’s workers are the most highly respected citizens of all. Why, the dictator himself started out as a manager at McDonald’s.”
“What the-! The dictator? Is Mars anti-democratic, then?”
“Oh no, of course not. He’s freely elected by secret ballot. The leader holds the title of dictator because half the leaders on Earth who call themselves presidents are really dictators. He wanted to buck the trend. Want to know what our planet’s official name is?”
“The Totalitarian Empire of His Royal Presidency Insert Name Of Current Leader. We’ve wasted too much time already. We need to get going. Security’s lunch break ends in five minutes.”
“Five minutes?! Quick! Get me out of here!”
“All right then. Come on. But before we go, there’s something else that needs to be done.”
I scrambled out from under the chocolate shell just in time. Without warning, Darthus Depp had produced a blowtorch and aimed it at the candy. Four minutes later, there was a puddle of chocolate on the floor, getting bigger by the second. “All right” Depp exclaimed, turning off and stowing the blowtorch in its wall-mounted case once more ”We’ve got one minute! Let’s move!” Without another word, both of us began to sprint down the hall.
When we abruptly turned a corner, I yelled out “Why didn’t we just go straight to the exit?!”
“Out of the question! The outside world is the first place they look! We’ll find a better place!”
“Alright, where’s the better place?!”
After we had turned two more corners and climbed a flight of stairs, Depp called out “Watch what I do!” A second later, he had climbed a ladder which was on the wall beside us and grabbed two handles which were suspended from a cable above our heads. Pushing off from the wall, he went zooming down the hallway until, with a loud crash, he burst through the unmarked door at the other end.
I wasted no time in following him. I tried hard not to be worried, but I couldn’t help thinking “If one has to be the size of Darthus Depp to get through properly, how am I going to manage it? Those doors must be awfully heavy.” A second later, I collided with what can be best described as Tempur-Pedic® mattress foam. The shock caused me to lose my grip on the handles and fall hard to the floor. I could hear the footsteps of what could only be interrogation floor security pounding up the stairs. How did they know? I was trapped!

13 May 2011

Chapter Thirty-Four

This chapter comes to the Scarlet Pimpernel custom-made...

Chapter XXXIV

Dameon had been sitting in the dark cell for days, waiting for the Spaniards to come for him, and beginning to think that, maybe, there was an outside chance that they didn’t care about him anymore... No, of course not. They would never forget him while he was alive, and if he had his way, they would never forget him after his death either. His final act would be to teach these Spaniards that a good man never goes down until he is ready. Though from his angle in the cell below street level, he could not tell, the day was already far advanced. Dameon had lost track of time after he had been locked up, and now spent most of his time sleeping. Suddenly, he heard the sound of heavy boots echoing through the passage. He knew instantly that they were finally coming for him.
A moment later, a Spanish officer strode into the room, ordered Dameon to stand, and then tied his hands behind his back. Dameon did not resist, only thinking “So I’m supposed to escape and fight, am I? Well, these Spaniards don’t seem aware of that. I’ll just to have to carry the show on my own.” The Spaniard still refused to speak, simply pushing Dameon toward the door so that he stumbled awkwardly as he was crossing the threshold.
He had to blink several times before he was ready to mount the steps to enter the cart that had come to carry him to the square. Looking out at the crowd, Dameon saw that what must have been at least half the city had turned out to witness his execution. He had been expecting this. He had not been expecting to see any friendly faces. But then, in a matter of seconds, he saw them; the muscular man with the short blond hair, shaking his fist along with the others, but wearing an expression radically different from theirs. And then the other, the tall Portuguese, brandishing his sling and wearing the same expression as his friend. Both were trying to tell Dameon “Don’t lose hope! All will end well!”
The remainder of the ride seemed short to Dameon, cheered as he was by the fact that he would not die alone. As he had known he would, he mounted the scaffold gladly, fifteen minutes after he had exited the prison. As the executioner dropped the noose around his neck, Dameon began to look around for the friends he had seen in the crowd earlier. He grew disheartened at failing to spot them. “Maybe they were on their way out.” He thought. “They never said they would rescue me anyway. They only gave their word that they would get rid of Coinhara if they could.”
Looking up one last time, Dameon saw that the Spanish officer who was about to read the sentence was... Coinhara! Gathering his strength, Dameon shouted “The days of you and your kind are numbered, Coinhara!”
Coinhara looked up slowly from the paper he was holding. Then he looked down at it again. After a pause, he pronounced “Is it really necessary to read this? This is false anyway. Release him.” Tearing up the charges, Coinhara stood and smirked as the platform opened underneath Dameon’s feet and he dropped through.
Suddenly, as Dameon was still falling, he felt the bonds around his wrists fall away. A voice behind him said “I would say that was a good shot, but it was not the best my friend can do. He can split hairs if he wants to. Try not to move; he’s going to do it again. When I say ‘now’, make a grab for the rope and climb for your life with all your skill. Until then, act limp. They think you’re dying.”
The moment the voice had stopped speaking, the knife flew through the air again, this time cutting the noose just under the knot. The cry of ‘now’ came a split-second later, as Dameon was falling to the ground. Reaching up, he grabbed the rope and began pulling himself up, hand over hand, back through the hole in the platform. With a last effort, he leapt onto the scaffold shouting “For the phantom, for America, and for God!” Charging straight at Coinhara as that man stood frozen in shock, Dameon sidestepped him at the last possible moment and grabbed Coinhara’s sword from its sheath. “I stand ready to fight to death! Come at me who will!”
As as many as fifty soldiers came charging out of the crowd, Dameon leapt down among them, relishing the fight. The training the phantom had given him years ago underneath Edinburgh University was let loose in its full force for the final time. Not one of the soldiers could touch Dameon, who was in his element, with blade or rifle butt. He fought his way out into the center of the square, away from the scaffold, as he became aware that even more troops were coming against him. “Might as well,” he thought “I’ve sent so many on ahead already that there’s plenty of room on the wagon for more.” He never said another word, or even thought another thought. His mind was completely blank as he spun, slashed, hacked and parried his way into legend, waiting for the word that he might stop.
Finally, after several long minutes, when he was at last beginning to tire, he saw what he had been waiting for. She was there for a moment, and then disappeared again. His wife, Elspeth, who had died years ago, had just appeared before him in the midst of the ranks of soldiers. He knew now that the end was near. Even so, he kept fighting for several more minutes.
Finally, at long last, slowed by extreme weariness, he was unable to dodge the heavy blow of a rifle butt which came down upon his head. At the same moment, he felt a blade pierce him from behind. As he fell to the ground, he looked up and saw Coinhara still standing on the scaffold, watching the demise of his greatest foe. But even as Dameon watched in that instant only, Coinhara fell to the ground, revealing the two men who had aided Dameon earlier, cheering wildly in a last rousing send-off. With his last breath, Dameon cried out “God our Father! Have mercy on us!” A moment later, he collapsed to the ground, dead to the world.
Dameon was walking along an inexplicably bright hallway, which seemed to have no visible source of light. He was wearing his best dress uniform and carrying his hat under his left arm. He was not wearing his sword. He walked briskly, eager to reach the end of the hall.
Suddenly, an opening appeared in the wall. Through it stepped Elspeth, radiant with happiness. Dameon stopped short as she came up to him and asked “Was it hard?”
“No. Honestly, it was the easiest thing I’d ever done, knowing what would come of it.”
“When I saw you, you looked so tired.”
“Is it not right for one to be tired of life when God is near at hand?”
“I see what you mean. Is our John a good boy?”
“Yes, he is. A wiser man his age could not be found. He will be a great priest.”
“Then let us go.”
With that, the two stopped talking and both began to hurry down the hallway once more. In a short time, they had come to the door which Dameon had tried and failed to open in his dream. He knew, though, that this time it would open instantly, for his time had come. Turning the handle, he threw the door open wide.
At the sight of Dameon, Joseph rose from his place nearest the door and offered Dameon his hand, saying “Welcome, Dameon Mellino, honorable soldier of God, to the League of The Father.”

09 May 2011

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter XXXIII

Desperate to reach London in time to save his father, Michael had ridden three horses to the ground after taking each of the last two in the dead of night. At last, severely saddle-sore but thoroughly relieved, he reached the gate of London at dusk on the fifth day after he had left John Crane behind in the coastal town. Slipping off the horse just inside the gate, he crawled to a nearby storefront, leaned against it, and fell into the deepest sleep he had gotten in the past week.
It seemed like only moments later that he was roused out of his slumber by the harsh voice of an angry Englishman. “You, boy! Take my horse! Put him up at the Royal Arms, and be sure it’s done well, or there’ll be some aching backs around that place when I come for him!”
Not wanting to be followed by yet another angry Englishman, Michael took the horse without a word and strode off toward the center of the city, knowing if he were to stop and ask where the place was, he would be detained immediately. As it happened, the place was not far from Trafalgar Square, which was where Michael had decided to go first, reasoning that he could find any building more easily from the center of the city. Having put the Englishman’s horse up well in the stable, Michael circled around the building to the back door.
As he came into view, the proprietor of the establishment put his head out of a window and called “We don’t serve street boys like you! Not at the front door, and not at the back door neither! Take yourself off to some place better suited to the likes of you, like the sewers!”
“Do you serve those who are looking for work?” Michael called back sharply an instant before the man slammed the window shut.
“Only on Tuesday evenings and Friday mornings, from four to eight! It’s now Thursday,” The frustrated landlord shouted back. “Be off with you!” Slamming the window shut, he disappeared.
Michael waited for several minutes to be sure that the coast was clear. When he had decided that it was, he crept to the doorstep. Using his knives, he had quickly forced the door so that it could be easily pushed open. Opening it quietly, he stepped inside and shut the door once more.
Even when he was inside, he went unnoticed. Desperate to hear what news there was, he sidled over to the bar, picked up the nearest dish, and hurried out into the main room. Once there, he stopped and waited until he spotted the man, made apparent by his frustrated gestures, who had obviously ordered the particular dish Michael was holding. Hurrying over, Michael set the dish down carefully, saying “I’m sorry, sir. I’m new here.”
“So new you didn’t know who had ordered what? How long have you been working here?”
“Exactly two minutes. Now, if you’ll excuse me, sir, I have other people to serve.”
Walking briskly back to the kitchen, Michael had served three more people before anyone stopped him. The fourth time Michael returned to the kitchen, he came face to face with the owner. “And what do you think your doing with that there plate of beef?” growled the burly host.
“Exactly what I look like I’m doing” Michael replied quickly “Taking it out to the man who ordered it. What did you think I would do? Eat it?” Without waiting for an answer, Michael strode off, carrying the aforementioned plate of beef.
When he placed the dish before the man who had requested it, the man wasted no time in getting to the point. “What’s the news?” he asked, as he began to make speedy inroads into the meat before him.
“To speak the truth, I don’t know the news myself.” He replied “I only repeat what I hear others say, and what others are saying is that Admiral Whiddake has captured the American admiral Anthony Mellino.”
“That he did, and a fine fight it was, too. I was there on the deck with his lordship, and I saw it all.”
“Really? Would you tell me about it?”
“Surely. Now, let us say this beef bone stands for Whiddake’s ships, and this carving knife shall do for the Americans. There was a heavy fog coming in off the coast, so neither side could see the other. So we waited until the Americans came to us. After a while, they made a mistake and decided to show lights. His lordship, when he sees that, orders all the boats out, so as to board and attack without damaging the prizes. A few minutes later, we stood on the deck of their flagship. they were completely surprised. I will give it to them that they did their best to try, because we lost many more men than we should have. The real fight, though, was between the officers themselves. It is widely known here that his lordship has no equal when comes to hand-to-hand combat, but, my, did Mellino give him a battle! It was up and down and all over the ship until the Americans’ colors were struck, more than half a glass later. All in all, we lost ten ships, but they lost half of theirs. Mellino is imprisoned now, but it won’t be long, in fact I’ve heard that it will be this afternoon, that Mellino is to be executed, on the theory that a dead man can’t attack you again.”
“Thank you, sir. I was worried that I might be too late to see it. I’ve come a long way.” Rising swiftly, Michael returned to the kitchen and left through the back door without stopping once. Five minutes later, he stopped a passerby, asked him where the American officer was being kept, borrowed a quill, and continued on his way. On his way to the prison, he passed a notice which was advertising Anthony’s impending execution. Tearing it from its place, he stopped long enough to scribble a short message. When he finally reached the prison, he dropped flat to the ground and whispered “Father? Anthony Mellino?”
A sleepy voice replied “And what do you want? I’ve had enough of you idlers about.”
“Well, you’ve changed.” Michael replied, flinging the message, with the knife stuck through it, into the cell, where it stuck in a crack exactly as Michael had wished it would. Then, Michael left without another word.
later that afternoon, Michael watched the world go by, as the scaffold was erected, the crowds arrived, and finally as his own father made the slow, humiliating ride to the end. Unnoticed by anyone as Anthony mounted the steps, Michael made his way to the rear of the scaffold, waiting for the moment.
“Anthony Mellino, you are therefore sentenced to hang by the neck until such time as you shall die.” pronounced the overdressed and overwigged judge. This was the line Michael had been waiting for. During the speech, he had climbed upon the platform itself and had begun to slice through the bonds around Anthony’s hands. The executioner had until this moment been too surprised to act, but now, seeing what was happening, he abruptly pulled the lever, causing Anthony to drop suddenly.
Reacting instinctively, Michael moved his blade in an instant, slashing the rope just under the knot of the noose, which caused Anthony to continue to fall until he hit the ground. Leaping down after him, Michael said “Quickly, father! I brought blades for both of us! If we move quickly we can get horses and be out of here today!”
Taking the sword Michael held out to him, Anthony said “You lead. I’ll hold the rear. But how are we going to get a ship to take us home?”
“We’ll find one! Just be careful not to kill anybody!”
With that, the two fugitives rushed out at the crowd, brandishing their blades. Wantonly knocking people aside, they had soon come to the tavern Michael had worked at that day. Rushing into the stable, they loosed the officer’s horse and one other, turned them toward the gate of the city, and rode off, as fast as they could go.
Days later, on the coast, Anthony and Michael found a smuggling cutter which would take them on before the mast. The ship left port that day, and was soon well on it’s way towards America.