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Fugitives is the fourth installment to the Escape From Furnace series by Alexander Gordon Smith. It comes after the third book Death Sentence and before the fifth and final book, Execution. Fugitives takes place outside the Furnace Penitentiary but within the confines of the city. In this story, Alex, Zee, and Simon had finally escaped and were trying to not only get out of the city, but to find Alfred Furnace and bring him to justice. This book was published in 2010 by Faber and Faber Limited industries.

Plot Edit

The story begins with Alex narrating about his previous escapes which did not work out so well, as well as him being turned into a Blacksuit. Alex, Zee, and Simon first head towards Edwards Mall as soon as they broke free. While there they are watching a television which is on in a display case they notice that the police are right on top of them! When trying to escape the police they end up going into a subway station to avoid the police patrolling the area.

Next, they travel along the subway tunnels to find a route of escape and encounter three fellow inmates escaped from the penitentiary. While trying to negotiate with the inmates they all hear a noise and notice when a beetle black Berserker - a one from Death Sentence previously defeated by Alex - jumps off the balcony above them, apparently dead. Before they have time to react another Berserker jumps down, this one altered with the new Nectar to be faster, stronger, and more resilient than the previous generation of Berserkers. Another difference is that this Berserker seems to drool a different breed of Nectar. Instead of being black speckled with gold, this one is flecked with red crystals looking almost like ruby shards. The Berserker then attacks, knocking out Alex and Simon and throwing Zee into the rails. While unconscious Alex and Simon have visions with the city in flames and Furnace talking to them, the only difference being that Furnace asked Alex to become his right hand man. When he awakes he notices Zee, who he believes is dead at first but then notices is playing dead. Alex then sees that the Berserker has one of the inmates in its jaws. After the Berserker leaves with the boy, Alex finally begins to feel the effects of withdrawal from the Nectar. Simon helps fend off the effects by tearing off the beetle black Berserker's arm and feeding the blood, which had been replaced with Nectar, into Alex's mouth. After drinking only a small amount, Alex goes into a frenzy due to the consumption of Nectar after a long period of fast. After regaining control of his body Alex, Zee, Simon, and now the girl Lucy head towards the surface. Still believing that Alex, Zee, and Simon are bad people she runs to the nearest cop and asks him to protect her. The scared policeman warns them to stay away and promptly shoots himself in the head. Quickly after, two rats were sprinting across the street towards them. He notices one to be Bodie, a fellow inmate who had escaped a few hours earlier with them. A fist fight ensues in which Alex breaks Bodie's neck and Zee and Simon kill the other unnamed rat with their bare hands. They then all head to nearby church called St. Martin's which hold a number of refugees including a self proclaimed priest, a boy bitten by one of the new Berserkers, and a number of the priest's radical followers.

These otherwise innocent Christians scared beyond belief were led by the janitor of the building who was acting as a priest. Urged on by the fear of everything the congregation attacks Alex and his friends. Before much can happen Berserkers manage to break through the top windows and kill the church-people but refrain from obliterating Alex and his friends. As Alex begins to beat one of the large Berserkers he begins to realize that they were treating him as a comrade. He is utterly horrified by this but manages to move on.

Having escaped from the church and the Berserkers inside they are picked up by Captain Annabel Atilio from the Branch of Home Defense. She takes them to a group of mercenary 'PMCs' who were actually a part of Furnace's Army. They act hostile towards Alex and a huge battle between them and the tattered military present. Quickly the convoy was overtaken by Dogs and a couple of the enhanced Blacksuits.

Eventually, Alex made his way to the tower where his dreams were signaling him to. In the tower each room he passed had hundreds and hundreds of Wheezers. As he came into the highest room he was expecting Alfred Furnace to show his face and fight him. What he got instead was an orchard made of stone with one of the trees adorned with a young Alfred's disemboweled body. From behind a tree, Warden and a Berserker step out. Warden tells the story of how Furnace adopted him and challenges Alex to fight. Before the Warden prepares to battle with him he stabs the arm of the willing Berserker and takes a drink out of the wound. This renewed the Warden in a bout of energy and readied him to fight. They kept at each other but finally Simon showed up with a belt of grenades. He jammed one down the Warden's throat while Alex held him still. His face was partly blown apart but he was still alive. Then the Wheezers come. His body is ruthlessly picked apart by the creatures for the violent procedures they carry out. Alfred Furnace, knowing that the Warden had been killed through the Nectar, invites Alex to his island intending to have Alex as his heir.

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