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Caged Warrior

Caged Warrior

Description : Caged Warrior
She wasn’t in the lab. That’s all she knew. The smells were different. Fewer sterilizing cleansers and less recycled air. More body odor. Piss and sweat. Dirt. Wet rocks.

Audrey opened her eyes and blinked. She pushed up onto her hands and knees. Pain banged at her temples—the ache of still-healing blows to the skull and her own frantic pulse. Lifting her head was an effort like swimming through wet cement.

Her fuzzy vision sharpened as she got used to the dim lighting. Just a pair of bare incandescent bulbs. A humid mist hung heavy in the cavelike room. Even when her eyes worked together, focusing, that mist ebbed away at details. She couldn’t tell where the algae-covered walls began and ended.

The bars of her four-by-four cage were a prison. Solid iron. She lifted swollen hands and grasped the cold metal. Frustration ate at her insides. Rattling the cage bars, she shrieked.

“Where is my son?”

At least in the lab, she and Jack had shared a cell. No bars. Only walls painted black. Just as disorienting. But that confinement had almost felt safe. She’d held her boy, thankful the darkness concealed the worst of their wounds.

Now she had iron bars, algae, and a black pit where her heart had been.

“Where is he? Aster! You son of a bitch!”


The hair lifted on the backs of her forearms. As her heartbeat jacked, she noticed her dirty body. Her vulnerability. She wore a paper hospital gown—no underwear, no shoes. Had she been dragged straight from the lab? The last thing she remembered was being strapped to an operating table after having slipped the note to Reed. A mask had pumped anesthetic into her mouth and nose but she’d been hopeful for the first time in months.

Maybe that explained her grogginess. From surgery...