"You're marked. You're mine. You'll get your fight, little man." - Gary, Lockdown
Gary Owens is an inmate introduced in the middle of Lockdown. He was one of the leaders of the Skulls and major antagonists.

Appearance Edit

Gary is an older boy, tall, well built teenage boy. He has a light blonde shaved head and facial hair. His hands and knuckles are often bruised and bloodstained.

Personality Edit

"But Gary lashed out and killed as if life was nothing, meaningless, like he was crushing a bug." - Alex, Lockdown
Gary is cold and considered emotionless, except for being extremely sadistic. Because of this many of the inmates are terrified of him, Alex also kind of considers him as a wild card who does what he wants regardless of whose trying to stop him. Still, when Gary catches on to the escape plan Alex had been planning he is anxious about what would h

Main Story Edit

Backstory Edit

Very little is known about Gary's life before Furnace. Though, in Solitary he reveals that his father used to beat him when he compares the injuries he'd gotten from the river to the abuse he'd gotten from his dad.

"Just took a few hits, that's all. Not the first time I've had the crap beaten out of me. That river was a pansy compared to my old man." - Gary, Solitary

Lockdown Edit

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Gary is first introduced when he arrives with Ashley Garett and Toby Merchant in the prison. When the Skulls first try to intimidate him, he holds his ground up against them. Then, after the warden assigns his cell and leaves, Gary immediately tries to take on the Skulls. Kevin tries to get his gang to attack Gary, but everyone is too shocked to jump into action. Gary ends up breaking Kevin's wrists, kicking him down and taking Kevin's bandana and shank; effectively dethroning him. At this point, every inmate is watching and celebrating Kevin's dethroning. Even Donovan and Zee are impressed by the feat. The feeling quickly dissipates when Gary shanks a couple of inmates who get to close, and declares himself as the new leader. A lockdown sounds and Gary is taken out by a couple of blacksuits who drag him out of the yard for a few hours before returning him to his cell.

The next time Alex encounters Gary is at in the trough room. Gary, who had been informed Alex had been messing with the Skulls, approaches Alex and threatens him. He warns that Alex will get eventually get his fight. Aside from that, Gary isn't mentioned too often. He shuts down the gym making it exclusively only for fights (which irritates Donovan whose just trying to work out) and spends most of his time in there.

Gary comes back through when he marks Alex in the chipping hall with "the red hand." He challenges Alex to a fight to the death in the gym, due to Alex's previous skirmish that had gotten one of the other Skulls killed. In the gym, Gary calls forward Alex and the three Skulls who made the challenge. He punches Alex in the face but otherwise only spectates the fight at hand. Donovan ends up pleading with Gary to spare Alex's life in exchange for a place in the escape plan. Gary does stop the fight.

After the fight while Alex recovers, Donovan goes back to talk to Gary and make sure that Gary doesn't spill the secret because otherwise the plan would never work. Gary on his part keeps quiet, though he does confront Alex in the trough room a few days later with a threat, and exclaims loudly that if the group tries to leave without him he'd kill them. Most of the inmates don't react to the statement in disbelief. The night before the escape Alex runs down to tell Gary when it's happening and where to meet the rest of the group. It's then for the first time that Gary seems visibly anxious, but the moment is gone when he dismisses Alex.

The day of escape Gary sneaks into the chipping halls with Alex, Zee and Toby. They all wait for the blacksuit on guard to leave his post before entering the equipment room. Jimmy, an inmate that arrived with Alex and Zee, tries to stop them and threatens to call for escape if they leave without him. Gary smashes Jimmy's face with the wooden end of a pick axe to incapacitate him. However, Jimmy is still conscious and starts screaming for help, bringing the blacksuit back into the room. Alex, Gary, Zee and Toby manage to scramble into Room Two, though Gary sets off the tunnel explosion too early, nearly killing Alex and Toby. Gary then sets off the other explosion in the river and jumps in without waiting for the rest of the group.

Solitary Edit

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After jumping into the river in Lockdown, Gary, Zee and Alex make it out. Gary pulled himself out, and Zee managed to drag Alex out of the water but Toby died in the river along with his injuries that he'd gotten in the explosion. Gary starts threatening to kill Alex if he doesn't start thinking up of a plan, but before Alex could think of a solid one the warden's dogs are on a chase after them. The three have no choice but to jump back into the river to evade the dogs. Alex and Gary manage to grab onto each other while being pulled away and getting dropped into the caverns of the river once more. Alex manages to spot a path along the rock walls to climb up to escape the dogs and he and Gary start swimming their way over. Zee is almost lost in the current but is caught by Alex who manages to pull him to safety.

The three climb up the rock wall to the edge of a large cavern that appears to be completely separate to the prison's layout. Gary is furious that Alex only managed to get them deeper in the underground. Alex secretly agrees but picks a direction and makes Gary take the lead walking it. At some point in their path, the three start hearing the screams of wheezers in the distance. Realizing the wheezers are somewhere above them and river beneath them, Zee points out a tunnel in the wall as a potential way out. After an agonizing crawl through Alex, Zee and Gary make it in the clear. At this point however, it's clear that Gary had sustain the worse internal injuries of the three, physically for the first time being the most vulnerable. He waves off Alex and Zee's concerns and continues on regardless.

As they walk along the cavern the three are attacked by a rat. Gary pushes Alex away as bait and runs away as the rat starts attacking. They all begin to run away, but Alex trips in his escape and is attacked. Before he could get killed, the creature is fought off of Alex by something else. Alex is urged to run, before getting shoved in the direction of safety by his saviour, who leaves before Alex can figure out their identity. He catches up to Zee and they make their way into a passage that leads to a distant light. Reaching the end of the tunnel, Alex and Zee realize they only made it right back to the Warden’s path. Gary has already beaten Alex and Zee first outside, injured and held down by a blacksuit. After the warden sentences Alex and Zee to a month of Solitary, Gary is dragged out unconscious to the infirmary.

The next time Gary is seen is in the infirmary once more when Simon busts Alex and Zee out of the hole. Alex is the one who finds Gary who at this point is being injected with nectar and had not undergone any treatment, except for his eyes which were bandaged and bleeding.

Death Sentence Edit

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After Alex's surgery on his legs, he gets transferred back into the infirmary, during which he encounters Gary once more. One of the blacksuits claim that "Number 195" is acting up again, moments before another blacksuit is killed. A large, imposing creature stumbles out of its surgical cubicle, and Alex recognises it to be Gary. Gary charges at Alex, who in turn throws himself off of his gurney and onto the floor to avoid being hit but is still singled out by Gary and is picked off of the ground. In a moment of lucidity, Alex urges Gary to remember his own name as he is strangled. Alex is spared due to blacksuits shooting Gary, causing him to buckle and drop Alex and is tazed by blacksuits into submission. The chaos comes to a stop by the time Cross steps into the scene, telling the blacksuits to sic Gary onto genpop that night in order to sate his bloodlust.

The next time Gary is scene is after Alex's trial test, when Cross gives Alex a tour of the real behind the scenes workings of Furnace. They pass a set of cages that contain the hulking beast formerly known as Gary Owens, while Cross explains that Gary has now transformed into a berserker; a rat whose mind has completely gone to waste but whose body continues to absorb and become more powerful under the nectar's influences.

A few scenes later, Alex and Zee find Gary again as they begin their escape out of the lower levels. In order to distract the blacksuits, Alex unleashes Gary upon them. The blacksuits are sufficiently distracted by this plan.

While not directly appearing later in the book, Bodie tells Alex, Zee, and Simon that he can hear gunfire from the elevator shaft leading to the lower levels. Alex intuits this rampage to be Gary taking out more of the blacksuits down below and hopes that Gary doesn't have enough sense to try and crawl up the elevator into genpop.

Appearances Edit