He ran as if his life depended on it. His life did depend on it. He didn't dare look behind as the whirring mounted and footsteps ricocheted off the brickwork. "Nicolas Sharp you are under arrest for prison break and high treason. Stop running and lower your weapons to the ground!" A menacing and powerful voice bawled over the microphone. Nicolas continued to run. He was not going back; he wouldn't survive any more years in that pit. The whirring grew closer as the hovercraft raced after his fleeing form. "Stop running or we will shoot!" The voice ordered once again; Nicolas could almost feel the crosshairs on his back. But he still kept running. He knew the streets better than the police; he could out run them. Those words cycled through his mind like a motivational mantra, until he heard the soft click of a rifle. The racing bullet tore through his thigh in a torrent of agony as he fell to the hard cobbles. There was no way he could run now. They were going to take him back; back to that hell he had just broken free from. Nicolas tried to crawl away but the pain flooded his mind like a tsunami, bent on destroying what was left of his sanity. The whirring drew ever closer and footsteps thumped onto the cobbles.
"Take him alive. The king wants him in one piece," the leader ordered as the horde of men descended upon him. One was binding his arms when a flash of light and a torrent of bullets rained down on them. Nicolas tried to move out of the firing line but the man's grip on him was too strong and the pain continued burning through his leg. The only thing he could do was pray to a god he didn't believe in. More pairs of hands grabbed his body but his energy was drained along with the precious crimson liquor that was pooling on the floor. Everything was a haze until somebody jabbed his leg and he snapped awake with a cry. "I'm sorry," a soft voice apologised from by his leg. A man with light brown hair and little thin glasses was examining the damage and looked to be working to repair it. "Get off me! I'm never going back!" Nicolas cried out, desperately trying to get away from his captors.
"It's okay mate, we're the good guys. We're not police," another man reassured him, adjusting the jacket under his head.
"And why should I trust you?" He asked sceptically, this could all be some scheme to get him to come willingly. The man by his head pulled out a necklace; it was the sign of the revolution, unable to be imitated. Nicolas reluctantly conceded at the sight and hesitantly let the man work on his leg. Now the adrenaline was gone; it seemed his body had finally decided it was safe. And the pain returned with a vengeance. It tore through his very soul and ripped his mind in two; it was unbearable. The battle for consciousness was quickly swinging against him and he didn’t know how long he could keep this up for. The land of the living was slowly leaving him behind as he struggled to keep up. The revolutionary doctor seemed to notice and gave him a drug, he couldn’t struggle against the needle. It seemed to give his brain a kick start and the pain retreated back to just his leg.
"Lucien, hurry it up. They're looking above," Someone shouted from further down the corridor. The man, Lucien, finally bandaged up his leg and helped him slowly to his feet. Nicolas turned around and saw the assembled crowd for the first time.
One man was giving orders in the centre; he was heavenly. Truly like an angel straight from heaven itself; the mighty Ares walked among men. He was instantly in love. The man's golden curls framed his chiselled face and blue pools of mystery stared back at him as if they were devouring his soul. And he wanted them too; Nicolas would do anything for this man that was prowling towards him. They hadn’t even spoken yet. "Tie him up and blindfold him," the god ordered and Nicolas jumped out of his idle worship.
"What, what? No!" He stuttered in shock as one of the other men handcuffed his hands behind his back. "I've done nothing!" Nicolas shouted while the strip of cloth was tied over his eyes.
"Shut up or I will gag you!" The leader exclaimed calmly and Nicolas reluctantly quietened down.
"It's just precaution, you could be a government spy," the kind man from before reassured him as he hobbled very slowly through what had to be the old London tube network. It hadn't been used since global warming hit its crescendo and the world retreated into their protected citadels. No one could live outside the walls; London was the biggest protected civilisation in the British Empire and third biggest left in the world.
Only three civilisations remained; the British, the Americans and the Chinese. They were the only nations with enough money and resources to sit through the destruction of earth. Nicolas could remember those days; he was only two when it was at its worst. Hurricanes with the strength of giants tore apart countries and blew down most of the mountains while tsunamis rained down and submerged islands. The world's temperature rose to seventy degrees centigrade and burnt everything to a crisp. But the British and Americans had a plan, scientists had developed a force field that could hold back anything and inside developed an artificial atmosphere. Only two British cities remained; London and Leeds. One mighty king ruled over them both with an iron fist. China used to be owned by the British Empire but they revolted from under the king's rule and developed their own technology to survive. The American's still had their democracy but were at war with the British. The world was falling apart at their feet.
The group came to a stop and Nicolas froze, completely exposed to whatever whim the leader may have. The blindfold was ripped off his face and he was dropped to the floor in a pained heap. Nicolas found himself in an alcove of a decrepit tube station, Earl's Court the signs said. His hands remained cuffed as he attempted to get to his feet and reason with these revolutionary madmen. All across both London and Leeds there were men trying to overthrow the king and establish a democracy; but the British Underground were the worst of a bad bunch. But also this group who had kidnapped/rescued him were the most likely to succeed, and that worried the government. Before he could even move, a cage door was slid across the opening and padlocked shut. "Let me out!" Nicolas shouted at the top of his voice, trying to attract the attention of the beautiful leader of the underground.
"Not until we trust you," he stated, not even casting him a second glance.