** This was a submission I wrote for the Prologue Contest hosted by MarkTwain2.0. The goal was to write an exciting, dramatic prologue for a story of choice. This entry won 1st place.**42Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡrnWV5S2e7t
42Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡoU7BqyzjGR
42Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡZbqlXtqGWR
“Damn.” Locked-down elevators forced the unknown thief up a spiral staircase. A piercing, repetitive siren wailed with circulating red lights dotting every room. Everyone was aware of his crime now, but that didn’t deter him. His mission was a sin, but a righteous one.
Rulers of a twisted world. They controlled everything down to the very fates of an individual. Their title made them sound like saviors. A hard pill to swallow when you knew what they hid behind closed doors. The thief knew. He had seen beyond their facade. Now, the world needed to know.
He tucked the stolen item closer to his chest as his feet touched the top of the stairs. He darted for the nearest door, a sign reading “EXIT” above it. Its thick, metal body groaned in protest as the thief pressed against it. He cursed silently. The distance between him and his pursuers kept shrinking. Time to pick up the pace.
He went light for this mission. A suppressed 9mm and a large hunting knife were his only weapons. Anything more would have been impractical. If bullets started flying, however, things would get difficult. Heaven didn’t hire weaklings. Even the research staff could handle themselves just fine.
He was running down a long hallway, lit by fluorescent lights lining the ceiling. Polished tiles filled the floor, but the walls reflected with glass. He was about to ponder the glass when blinding lights emitted from their surface. He covered his eyes and froze.
“Surrender mortal,” a distorted voice spoke from an intercom speaker. A white face on a black background appeared on each of the glass panels. The face lacked features, save for a haunting smile. It was unnerving.
“You cannot escape,” the voice said. “You have violated the will of Heaven. Persist, and you shall surely die. Lay down your arms and return what is ours. We shall discuss a means to save you from certain death.”
The thief sneered. A sugar-coated lie to make him believe he could walk away with his life. He couldn’t. Not with what he held. Heaven advertised themselves as ‘for the people,’ but tyrants were tyrants. They would slaughter anyone who would unveil their dark secrets. Oh... and was this secret darker than any shade of black.
“This is your final warning. Surrender or face death.”
“Go screw yourself!” The thief said. He followed it with an obscene gesture. Each of the faces went still. Their simulated lips flattened as if in contemplation. Silence lingered for several moments before the mouths morphed into menacing grins.
“Very well.” The hallway went dark. No lights. No sounds. Only silent blackness remained.
“Welcome to Hell.”
Dread crept into the thief’s mind. He shook his head. It was just another method to instill fear. A brilliant tactic for a lesser person, but he wasn’t a lesser person now, was he? He was going to help expose Heaven’s secrets. He would be part of something new. A world not controlled by a single guild of power-hungry people. That was his payment. His motivation.
Light peeked through a crack at the end of the hallway. A door had opened on its own. The thief knew it was intentional. He was being guided by those monitoring him from afar. He hated the idea of being led by his enemies, but he couldn’t go back. There wasn’t much choice. He took his chances and went through.
The doorway took the thief outside the complex. He paused for a moment. This was where he needed to be. A massive jungle stretched out ahead. If his GPS wristwatch was accurate, the LZ was a few minutes north through that jungle. He looked at his surroundings with caution. No one else around.
He took a few deep breaths, firming the grip on his 9mm. There wasn’t enough time. He had to go. Now. The pilot waiting for him would bail on him soon.
The mission’s secrecy forbade communication devices. He couldn’t inform the pilot he was approaching. If he failed to arrive on time, that was it. He was on his own. That lit a fire under his feet. He dashed into the foliage, abandoning stealth altogether. Bugs of all sorts flew and buzzed past him, some smacking him in the face. Sweat formed from the sweltering heat despite it being late at night. His eyes burned as the droplets found their way under his eyelids. It took everything in him not to trip over the abundance of tropical vegetation that weaved and tangled in every direction.
A slight panic finally gnawed at a corner of his brain, reminding him that, by every footfall, he was giving away his position. He had no choice but to ignore it. The pilot would leave in a matter of minutes, making his endeavors meaningless.
He checked the GPS on his watch once more. The LZ was almost within viewing distance. He allowed himself a moment of relief in his mind. No gunshots yet. Maybe he would make it after all.
That’s when he heard it.
A branch snapped in the distance. His mind screamed for him to find cover, but he kept on running. He could only hope that it was a friendly animal.
An ear-splitting scream shattered those hopes. Not from a human, nor from any animal he could recall. No, whatever he had heard could be described as only one thing. Evil.
He poured on the speed.
Soon, he broke out of the jungle and tore his way across a clearing towards the waiting helicopter. Relief flooded his system. He had made it.
The scream screeched once more, rattling branches of trees. It was closer this time.
It was chasing him.
Icy fear filled the thief’s veins. With his adrenaline at maximum, he put every ounce of strength into his hastening steps. There were no questions. He would die if it caught him.
That’s when it hit him. The helicopter’s blades were stationary. Even in open sight, the pilot had yet to turn the engine on. Why?! He looked through the cockpit window and his stomach lurched into his throat.
Red painted cracked windows and stained seats. The pilot was nowhere to be seen. His fate required little speculation. He was dead.
The thief remembered the last words spoken to him before he had exited the facility.
“Welcome to Hell.”
He watched as a single, glowing feather floated past his face. He was no longer running. Hopes of escape had fled him.
He could hear wings thumping.
Something was grabbing his shoulders.
The last thing he saw was his blood spilling onto the ground.
The night ended, and the morning began with a wailing scream...42Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡQTjAOtibNvns126.96.36.199da2