Fool’s Hand: Part VII

The Corruption is brought through the lines of safety

Fool's Hand: Part VII


Five weeks after The Corrupted charged the gate of the prison, the remaining survivors began to waste away.

Charisma placed Baethan’s subconscious into the mind of a chief officer who was running the prison. Baethan could see five other officers in the room. Television monitors lining a wall across from them showed different parts of the prison; Baethan saw that most of the survivors were huddling together in cramped cells.. Some looked malnourished; skin was clinging tightly to their bones. Other cameras showed people lying motionless on the ground.

“Gentlemen, we need to come up with a plan as soon as possible,” the officer said. “We may’ve been able to keep those creatures from storming the prison, but we’re starting to run severely low on our resources. While we’ve been trying to distribute what we have left evenly, we can’t continue like this for very long. Does anyone have any suggestions on what we should do?”

The other officers in the room stayed silent. They all looked around the room uneasily.

“Very well,” the chief officer said. “Then let me suggest some type of plan. I want a small group of people, accompanied by at least two of our men, to go out and see if they can scavenge for any untainted food. You can tell if a piece of fruit is contaminated because the inside is layered with black veins. Unfortunately, I’m not sure about how you can distinguish clean water from infected water, but I want you all to just worry about food at the moment. Are we clear?”

“Yes, sir!” the other officers chimed.

“Alright,” the chief officer said. “Get a move on, then.”

As all of the men were clearing out of the room, Baethan called out to Charisma.

“I wish I could do something to help,” Baethan said. “I don’t want these people to keep starving to death, but that group will definitely be killed if they go out there. I just know The Corrupted are still waiting for them. What can be done for these people, Charisma?”

“Something is already being done for them,” Charisma said. “Let me show you what I mean.”

Charisma then pulled Baethan’s subconscious from the chief officer’s mind and put it into the mind of a woman. She was walking through one of the halls in the prison. Baethan could see her reflection in the polished floor of the hall. Her long blond hair was matted down to her face and to a dirty, worn blouse. Her body was withering away from hunger and exhaustion.

Baethan felt that the woman was holding a bundle of something in her blouse. She stopped walking when she reached a little girl, who looked like a smaller version of the woman; her face was flushed with red and her skin was hugging her bones.

“Mommy,” the girl weakly said.

“Hold on, love,” the woman said. “I got you something to make you feel a bit better.”

The woman pulled an apple out from her blouse and gave it to her daughter. When the girl took a bite from the apple, Baethan noticed black veins inside the apple.

“No!” Baethan exclaimed. “How did she get those apples? Doesn’t she know they’re contaminated?”

“Obviously not,” Charisma answered. “Whether out of ignorance or desperation, she has chosen to sacrifice everyone in this jailhouse to give temporary relief to her daughter. And now, we will observe as the last pieces of hope are spilled around their feet like shattered glass. Their fates have been sealed.”

“What do you mean?” Baethan asked.

The girl suddenly gave a loud, shrill scream. She was shaking violently as her veins visibly bulged out against her skin. Her veins, starting from her mouth, faded into a sickly black color as her eyes filled up with blood.

“The Corrupted have broken through,” Charisma said.

Burke Bischoff can be contacted at [email protected]