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((This is soley for me to draw more attention to my novel, Adrenaline. Sci-fi, action, adventure, lgbtq+ pride, dystopian. TW: Gore, violence, language, alcohol, drugs. Please do not reply to this forum topic - just read it as I update it chapter by chapter as I write them. If you have comments or questions or anything, PM me. You can also find this story on Wattpad and Quotev. I am not finished with them all yet, but here are the profiles for the characters.))
Adrenaline
El que tiene miedo de morir que no nazca.
xChapter 1x

He stared at the ground, and for only a moment, his eyes were pallid and dull. If he could take back the past and erase it all so he could avoid this future, he would. As much fun as he had sometimes, feeling those rushes of adrenaline and outsmarting everyone… all he could feel was cold deep inside. Like some warm feeling he used to have had been frozen over so much that it was unbreakable. He clenched his fists for a moment, though they were tied behind him, and he quickly changed his expression to be stoic before he lifted his head once more, narrowing his eyes slightly at the light shining in his face. “I hope that you’ve become wise enough over 7 years to know that you’re not going to get me to talk,” he said in a bitter tone.

A smug voice returned to him. “I have. Which is why I’m just going to kill you. It’s taken too long to catch you, but now that you’re here, I’m not letting you go. Once you leave this building you will never see it alive again,” it said. The man’s eyes got used to the darkness enough to see well who was talking. Blake Black. The so-called ‘Nevos’ of Adelmir. The Nevos being a ruler, usually someone who is born into a line of others before him. Well, Blake was born into this line, but he became Nevos far earlier than he should have. This was all his doing. He had a pale skin tone, dark hair which was either dark brown or black - it was hard to tell - and light brown eyes that seemed too bright and happy to belong to such a vile man.

“You don’t scare me,” the tied up man replied, silently searching for the lock to the chains that kept him from just getting up and running away. The lock felt rather familiar, so he figured that he had worked with the same type before. “What makes you think this time will be any different than the others? Maybe this will be the day you almost caught Richard Alann.”

Blake rolled his eyes and stood up straight, crossing his arms. “Your pop culture references delight me, Rich. However, if you remember correctly, not too long after Jack Sparrow was caught.”

“Then he escaped again.”

“Don’t compare yourself to a fictional pirate captain.”

Rich smirked. “Don’t compare yourself to those who were miraculously worse Nevos than you,” he replied, removing two needles that he kept stabbed into the sleeve of his jacket. It was easier to hide those than any lockpicks and it was far easier to get away with it as long as the needles were thin enough.

“You’ve had such a droll sense of humour lately.”

“All the better to annoy you with,” Rich gave him a grin. Blake ignored his comment and went on explaining some details here and there about a death sentence and such. Rich quit listening very quickly. The room was rather cold and Rich began to realize that it got slightly harder to pick the lock as his hands tended to get cold the quickest. They had to have been in Black Tower, so he wasn’t really sure why it got so cold. Maybe it was just his faint, underlying anxiety. Who knew?

Rich took the needle and tried to figure out the lock situation. It was just a simple keyed padlock, which Rich found odd as he would have thought there would be a bit more pizzazz to it than that. Keyed padlocks weren’t hard at all to bypass. It was easy enough just to destroy one, but Rich clearly wasn’t in a very good situation for that. Besides, there was nothing to destroy it with.

He took a look at his surroundings, tuning out Blake. It was a dark room except for the light on him. But the four walls seemed to be solid concrete of sorts which gave Rich the illusion that this was an underground interrogation room.That would explain the cold. Nothing above ground would stoop any lower than rich and classy. So, if he were to escape, there most likely would only be one or two stairwells he would have to go up to get to the main floor. The soldiers were another question though. Blake spared no expense when it came to training people to work and fight other than them. The soldiers rose far higher than the Adelmir police force and getting past them was far different than the cops. Rich had outrun and outsmarted some soldiers a few times but he never managed to get himself caught and had to escape Black Tower with them on his tail. For all he knew, too, there could be ten waiting outside the door for him.

Then, of course, there was Blake. Rich had quickly learned that Blake was a strategic guy, but once his own tricks were used against him, he was defenseless. There were no qualms that Rich could escape him too.

As he removed the lock, letting it silently fall into his palm, Rich looked at Blake, who had quit talking. “Are you done?” he asked, then pushing the chair he was tied to backwards so he could easily escape the chains. Blake quickly caught him and got him in a chokehold with a gun to his head. “You’re fun,” Rich grinned, gripping the padlock and hurling it at Blake’s face. He knew well how much that hurt - as something similar had happened to him once that he didn’t talk about. The man staggered backwards and Rich stole a set of keys from his belt loop, dropping a few in the process. He swore under his breath but took the key that was labeled ‘Int.’ as he figured that meant ‘Interrogation’.

Rich worked to unlock the heavy door that separated him and the rest of the tower, but before he could open it, Blake had gotten back up and put a hand to the back of Rich’s head, slamming it onto the door, which could have easily broken his nose if it hit correctly. Rich knew that Blake didn’t want to kill him now, as he wanted to see him suffer, so he didn’t quit fighting. He swung his arm back, hitting Blake in the side of the head with brute force before fumbling to open the door, which took more effort than he thought it would. As soon as the door opened, though, and people recognized that this wasn’t Blake, everybody started yelling and shooting. Rich had been hit with a bullet plenty of times before. He could handle it.

He took off with a sprint, not even taking a second to look around him to figure out where exactly he was. He just ran down a dimly lit corridor until he found a door to a stairwell - whilst gunshots were also being fired at him from behind. He managed to move around enough in the small space to evade a few bullets, but nonetheless, he still got hit a couple times. As he tried to open the door, a bullet hit him in the femur area, which made him hiss in pain and jerk open the door, practically falling face-first into a cement stair.

“Oh, joy,” he mumbled with bitter sarcasm under his breath, almost having to half crawl his way up the stairs. A soldier ran down at him from above, but he stole the gun from his hands, hit him upside the head with it and kept it handy just in case. Well, he knew he would need it. With a price as large as the one on Rich’s head a 5-year-old would know his face and scream for the cops.

Rich shot back at the soldiers chasing him and tripped over a stair so he fell to the ground of the main floor. He scrambled to his feet, limping at the same time. Quickly, he grabbed his hat from the ground and ran out the stairwell door and through a carpeted office space in which gasps emerged from everyone in near proximity. For such an evil Nevos, he ran a fairly nice looking place. The office had cubicles like that of your near 40-year-old mother’s attorney office. It was dull and boring but the cubicles proved to be good obstacles. Rich zipped around here and there, running around the office like a little maze of files and computers before he finally ran out one of the glass doors that went onto an elevated loft area. The main floor was technically the second one, but there were no doors but the front doors on the true main floor.

The ground was now black, shiny tile and people that had previously been walking around working and talking now stared at the said criminal running from the soldiers. Rich ran down one of the two main staircases that you saw when you first walked into the nice, large glass doors to the tower, skipping two or three steps at a time. He jumped to the ground on the last three steps, and from the bottom of the stairs to the doors were these maroon runner carpets like some sort of trail urging him to leave. This main floor had a reception area and a few adjacent rooms and hallways splitting off which led into the endless tunnels of Black Tower.

A shot through the sleeve of Rich’s grey trench coat brought him back to reality and he darted off and out the doors. Now he had the bustling city of Adelmir to worry about. It was largely populated, lively, and overall what looked to be an interesting city to visit, but if anything, underneath this façade was a terrible dystopian world ruled by an even more terrible man. However the streets were busy and there were plenty of people walking along the sidewalks. This proved to be a blessing and a curse. A blessing as it was a good way to blend in and escape, a curse because, well, it was crowded and dangerous to step foot onto a road. Who knew when some idiot driver was going to decide to run a red light?

However, Rich wasn’t too wary of anyone else around him in situations like this. He didn’t have any reason to be. They weren’t being chased down by the cops. Rich had learned that it was better to just worry about himself. Besides, everybody only worried for themselves anymore. So, he kept running. Sometimes running could get rather difficult after a time. Growing up before… everything happened… Rich was a sprinter only and wasn’t as good at long distances. Though after seven years of running, it became easier - though when it wasn’t easy, he still had to force himself to push through with it because otherwise he would die. That was unfavourable.

It was quite odd how this time around, though, his steps just felt heavy. Almost like it was so hard to lift each foot and keep going. He wasn’t able to figure out exactly why, but almost like something was dragging him back. He glanced behind him a second only to learn that it was only his imagination. Rich wasn’t the kind of guy who paid much attention to underlying emotional reasons towards the reason he felt or did certain things, as he had always claimed that there were better things to worry about and emotional health wasn’t going to help him. He had to be smart. Street smart.

The soldiers running after him got closer by the second. Was Rich running slower than normal? Or were they faster? He couldn’t tell, so he pushed himself to go faster even if it hurt and felt impossible. He ran into an alleyway between two apartment buildings and quickly scampered around the corner. He had to come up with a plan, and he looked around him as he ran, trying to pinpoint where in Adelmir he was. It was a pretty large city, but he had figured out landmarks well and knew the place like the back of his hand.

But, hell, it seemed that the faster he ran, the faster the soldiers seemed to run. You would think I'd be caught by now...

A bullet darted right past him. One inch to the left and that would have hit him square in the head. He tried to run faster, but he couldn't. There had to be another way out of this one. Where was he, where was he...

There! He swiftly turned a corner to the side of a tall, brick apartment complex. He scrambled up the fire escape ladder on the side, pulling up the ladder once he got to the fist platform. Who left that down anyways? How irresponsible.

As Rich clambered up, he could feel the bullets clang into the metal, one after another. The soldiers' yelling enhanced as they climbed up as well. For the first time, Rich was able to actually listen to the voices and decipher who was among them. He didn't know all of the soldiers, but one voice was especially distinct to him: Lieutenant Colonel Edmund Kelley.

Rich had multiple run-ins with Edmund before. He was one of Blake's right hand men - another being Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Winters. They were both harsh, cold hearted men who only seemed to know one thing: catch Richard Alann. They were just like mindless robots, controlled by Blake to do as he pleased. Pathetic. Rich only heard Edmund this time, though. Having to deal with both of them at the same time was a living Hell.

Grasping into the side of the roof of the apartment complex, bits of loose concrete dug into his palms. It didn't bother him much, especially considering the fact that he was getting ten bullets a second shot at him right now, but it still gave him an idea. He pulled himself up and over to land on the roof, only taking a second to catch his breath. He grabbed the largest chunk of concrete he could find and threw it down at the soldiers with most of the strength he had left in his arm. A couple audible cries of pain sounded, which made Rich smile.

Was he a sadist? No, most certainly not. But there was a bit of an accomplishing feeling one gets when they successfully fight off some dude trying to kill them. With all due respect, they deserved it.

Patiently, Rich waited for the soldiers to get up, whistling Hall Of The Mountain King, walking around in circles. He removed his black Panama hat, dusting it off as the soldiers reached the top, jumping to their feet and aiming their guns at Rich.

"Alann, I'll give you five seconds to surrender and put your hands where I can see them!" Edmund called out.

"Five seconds?" Rich turned to look at Edmund, putting his hat back on. "That's very chivalrous of you, Edmund dear." He spoke in a flattered tone. Edmund rolled his eyes.

"Five..."

"Seven!" Rich responded, clearly just trying to annoy Edmund. The soldiers now had their fingers vey near the triggers.

"Four..."

Rich shuffled to the edge of the roof.

"Three..."

"Hey, I've been thinking about my last words for a while now."

"Two...!"

"Wanna hear them?"

"ONE!!"

"Hasta la vista!" Then, he jumped backward, off of the building.

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