|By The Walking Inferno||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from The Walking Inferno||Drama/ Action/ Adventure||PG 13||None||No update page|
In the Ministry of Defence, London, a building that was just a mere façade for what it truly concealed. The Colonel was sitting down in a large leather arm chair resting his chin on his closed hands. He was deep in thought. Plotting- scheming on what to do next. There was a desk placed in the centre of the room in front of a window that was closed by silver blinds. The sunlight etched it's way through the gaps and onto the desk in lines of yellow beams.
A metal filing cabinet was pressed up against an wall next to a bookshelf. The tops of both were grey from the collected dust and lack of cleaning. Even the books were fading in colour from the exposure to sunlight and filth.
The door opened and the Colonel stood up straight, still keeping his stern expression. A large man wearing a green military suit covered in badges walked in and went over to his desk. He had an old complexion and white hair that was thinning at the front from his many years on earth. When he sat down he looked up and saw the Colonel standing in the shade of the corner.
"Colonel," he respectfully addressed.
"General." The Colonel nodded his head and walked up to the general's desk with his usual looming stature.
General Hyde opened one of the draws on his desk with a key and pulled out two whisky glasses. "Colonel. Would you mind telling me what you were doing lurking in my office?"
Hyde pulled out a half empty whisky bottle and placed it hard on the desk, the liquid swished from side to side. "I needed to ask you something sir." Hyde grunted and unscrewed the cap on the whisky.
"You know Colonel, this whisky is as old as me." He poured some into his glass. The trickle of the alcohol broke the silence of the room. "I save it for when I have a hard day. Or a good one."
The Colonel was confused. "Sorry sir, I don't understand."
"When you come into my office. I usually have a hard day." He took a sip of the whisky and swirled it round in his hand. "What do you want Colonel?"
Hyde took another gulp. "Help with what?" He was starting to get his suspicions.
The Colonel leant over Hyde's desk, planting his hands against the clean wood. "Flynn." His voice seemed to change to a cold, merciless one when he uttered that name.
Hyde put down his glass with a large clunk against the oak desk. "And how is that going Colonel? Last report I read, you were found unconscious along with several troops just outside a military checkpoint."
The Colonel was ashamed of this remark and he started to frown further. "We were ill-equipped for the situation."
The Colonel's excuse didn't work. "Hmm hmm," Hyde mumbled into the glass.
"I've got reports that he's on the outskirts of London."
"Then go after him," Hyde simply put.
"I won't find him in a place like this general. I need a full task force."
Hyde grew a frown and put his glass down again, more violently this time. He looked the Colonel in his blank eyes to see if he was joking. He wasn't. "I'm sorry colonel, but that is not an option."
"Sir, I need it. I won't be able to bring him in unless I can sweep the city," The Colonel heard a desperation in his voice and hated it.
Hyde raised his voice "You can Colonel. And you will."
The Colonel slammed his hands on the desk. "Sir!"
Hyde stood up and scraped his chair far back. "What you are asking me to do Colonel, is to launch a full scale attack on the city of London! I am not doing that!"
"No Colonel. I don't want to hear any more of this!" Hyde relaxed a little and sat back down, his tone became a little more relaxed "That's an order."
The Colonel pushed away from the desk and went to the door. He shot a cold look at General Hyde before leaving and slamming the door behind him. Hyde grunted and poured himself another glass of whisky, curious as to how that look sent a shiver down his spine.
The Colonel stepped out of the shady office and into the white halls of the Ministry. The floor's shine was enough to reflect the walls and ceiling lights all the way down the corridor. It was an ironic and stark contrast to the impure activities that took place there. Paintings trailed down the corridor and only broke when the odd door to more offices were in the walls.
He paced down the corridor looking left to right at the different signs. His leather coat creaked with every sway of his arms. All these great people were pencil pushers, something that did not sit well with the Colonel at all. He would prefer to be out in the field doing the real work for the rest of his life instead of ending up like Hyde, drinking himself asleep in his measly office.
The Colonel was displeased with the general's lack of co-operation, but he expected as much from him. And if he would not give him the forces he needed, the Colonel would get them himself.
He pulled out a voice recorder from the inside of his coat. He pressed play and the general's rough voice played. I don't want to hear any more of this. The Colonel pulled out another device and attached it to the end of the recorder. He pulled out a tiny screen and played it again; The general's voice showed as blue lines on the screen in different clumps. The Colonel played more parts of the conversation on the new device and unplugged the recorder.
He attached a small microphone to the bottom of the device and plugged it into the bottom of his mobile phone. He dialled the number for the dispatch unit. "Hello, this is sergeant Barclay."
"Sergeant Barclay, this is General Hyde." The Colonel spoke into the phone, but the device changed his voice into Hyde's rough voice. Even the thought of him acting as the general made him sick.
"What do you need sir?"
"I need you to dispatch all riflemen squads and vehicles. Whatever men you've got I want them to do a full sweep of the city. Your target is Flynn Grant. I want every police officer and service in the area to know that there are three fugitives on the run in the city and they need to be brought in."
"Yes General Hyde." The sergeant had no idea what was happening. He just had to follow the extreme orders given to him.
The Colonel smirked in evil delight. "Also, I want the Hunters to be dispatched."
The sergeant almost dropped the phone in shock. "Are you sure sir?" His voice was stuttering. "They might-"
"Yes I'm sure sergeant. Now get on it."
"Yes sir," Barclay put down the phone and repeated the orders given to him. Men scrambled all around a white bunker, grabbing weapons and equipment before getting into black cars, ready for deployment.
The Colonel detached the voice modulator and put it back in his coat. He got up and his left hand started to shake. The Colonel glared at it with wide eyes full of fear and pulled out a bottle of pills from his coat. He held them in his shaking hand and they began to rattle violently. He struggled to grasp it with his right hand, but when he did he shook out two pills and swallowed them whole with a large gulp and a tilt of his head.
As the pills started to take their effect, and the Colonel's hand started to steady itself out, he locked his fingers together behind his back and walked towards the exit with only one thing on his mind...
Andra and Flynn sat on a wooden bench in Wormholt Park waiting for the Sun's warm embrace to surround them. The cool crisp wind travelled through the trees and grass, awaking the birds that were nested on their branches. Their chirps perked the pair up from their semi-drowsy state.
They had not slept a wink for two days, and it was taking its toll on them. Flynn had dark circles under his eyes and Andra was ready to nod-off at any point in time. Jake, on the other hand, did not seem to have a problem and still kept his senses on high alert as he was told to; as he was trained to.
The trio had been through a lot in the past week and they were getting one step closer to actually getting out of this new found hell. Jake was at a payphone making an important call, where or why Andra and Flynn did not know, so they just took the time they had to rest and fulfil the promise they made to each other those weeks ago.
They sat there in silence until Andra broke it "Flynn?" He opened one of his eyes and grunted "I never said thank you."
Flynn opened his other eye and looked at her "For what?" He asked.
"Last week. You know when you saved us both from doom?"
"Oh that. Pfft, that was nothing!" Flynn joked and smirked.
"But, I never said thank you."
"And you never have to." Andra blushed and looked away from Flynn, hoping he didn't see. He nudged her shoulder "You did say thank you, by the way. You were just too doped up to remember it."
She punched his shoulder making him grasp it. "Shut up!" She said, and started laughing.
The mood was quickly broken when Jake approached. They could always feel him coming, he brought some sort of dull atmosphere wherever he went that the duo could easily pick up. "I know where we are going next." Flynn and Andra looked at him with a little tilt of their heads. "We're going to Germany."
"Why Germany? France is closer," Flynn stated.
"We would never get through the French border. I know a guy in Germany who can get us some fake passports that will look almost real. When we have those, then we make our way to France and South from there." Jake looked at the two still sitting down. "Well then, lets get moving."
"Already? We've just stopped moving," Andra protested.
"Yes. We have to get through the heart of London and pick up some supplies on the way. If we go now we have a better chance of not being spotted." He waved his hand to signal them to get up and started walking away. They obediently followed and set forth into the city. Flynn felt something in the back of his mind that made him feel like he was being watched and glanced behind himself. All he saw was the green park beginning to come to life with the voices of children and morning runners.
He shook his head and kept walking. Must be paranoid he thought.
It was indeed a good thing to go when Jake said so, it was less busier than usual but it still had some sort of bustling activity. Flynn found his eyes beginning to wander round the buildings around him and lock at the faces that gave him strange looks every time they walked past. That niggling feeling was back in his mind and all it took was one tiny seed of doubt in the early hours of the morning.
Restlessness and paranoia weren't a very good combination for a person of Flynn's unstable condition. Up to now the need of the flame was tiny, something trivial he suppressed every now and then. But now it was different; the need for it grew more and more ferocious every passing hour and Flynn feared he could not contain it for much longer.
As they walked down the streets for only one destination Flynn and Andra found themselves pausing to look at different buildings. They found it strange how, in a city of such diverse cultures, there were mostly old and classical buildings.
Over a few minutes Andra and Flynn found themselves walking closer and closer together until they finally bumped shoulders and flinched away from each other. "Imagine this place over three hundred years ago. It must of been amazing," Andra said whilst taking in the sights.
"I doubt it," Jake huffed.
"You're both wrong I'm afraid." Jake and Andra looked at him with a quizzical frown. "Khana told me that three hundred years ago this place would of been much different. Possibly a site for a battle."
This strange look on history confused Jake and Andra. For the first time they saw Flynn as a strange person; not because of his person, but because of his ideals. He meditated, though was not religious. He knew about things many others did not, yet he did not preach them into crowds of people.
"How much do you really know, Flynn?" Andra asked.
The question took Flynn by surprise, they usually weren't ones to pry. Except for that time. "I don't know much really. She just told me about a war not how it was lost or won. Just that it happened."
"And you believed her?" Jake said with his own hint of disbelief.
"Somehow it made sense." Flynn dipped his head. "I just guess I was ready to believe anything at that point."
Gullible Jake thought to himself. He had gained some respect for Flynn after he helped him with Andra but he still held him in low regard. They kept walking and with every passing hour more and more cars and people started to litter the streets and roads. The car horns did nothing to move the stagnant traffic but they did make Flynn's ears twitch.
The sky was mirrored by the clean windows of buildings giving the image of an endless sky of blue dotted with the white clouds. They did the same for people walking across the pavement. The windows tracked the people mockingly, mimicking their every action.
When Flynn looked over at the shopping windows he was shocked at what he saw. It had been a long time since he looked in a mirror and the ghosted image looked far different than he felt. He looked almost demonic. His evil grin only added to the devilishness of his dark pools that were once his eyes. The reflection started to laugh maniacally although it made no sound. Flynn smacked his hand against his mouth to stop the laughter but his reflection seemed to continue more violently than before. It was almost as if his own reflection was mocking him.
He drew his gaze away from his reflection that was still laughing at him and focused on Andra. She was no different. Her black hair was a tangled mess and she leaned against Flynn, laughing along with him. Jake seemed different however. He was shying away from Andra and Flynn; his stocky form was now skinny and feeble. He looked as if he could be snapped in half like a twig.
Everyone else on the street seemed different too. Like their normal lives were completely different on the other side of that veil of reflective glass. Flynn was snapped out of his trance when Jake caught on and snapped his fingers in front of Flynn's face. Flynn's head shook itself back to reality, but he had to do it again to make sure. He looked over at Andra and she stood there with her smooth black hair and usual timid nature.
They stood outside a multi-sports shop. Trophies stood around the display shelves in the front of the shop along with various other pieces of sporting equipment. Even a small fencing sword stood in the corner of the window. "First stop," Jake said and proceeded inside. Andra and Flynn followed as they usually did.
Jake entered with a very small sense of excitement. Places like this always did bring that sense of elevation to him. It was something about everything being on display to see for all its glory; no secrets, everything revealed. He walked up to the counter and stood in front of the old man who owned the shop. "May I help you?" His voice carried more age that his old face.
"Yes. Do you have any bows here?"
"Huntin' bow or aimin' bow?" The old man certainly knew his wares.
"Have you not got something in between?" The old man smirked. This young boy knew his stuff. He left the counter and waved his hand for Jake to follow him. Jake nodded and went in the back of the shop, leaving Flynn and Andra alone to look at the different pieces of equipment with fascination.
Flynn wandered away from Andra for a second and went to a corner. She barely even saw him leaving as she gazed at a hunting rifle behind a display cabinet. Flynn looked over his shoulder to check if she was watching. Luckily she was still caught in her trance as she stroked her fingers against the glass as if she was touching the yellow wood of the rifle.
Flynn took a deep breath and looked down at his palms. A flame ignited in his palm and Flynn sighed and shuddered with a sick satisfaction. The flame was like a narcotic now. Regular doses he thought but, like any narcotic, control was not an option. he was startled when Andra started to try and look over his shoulder. Luckily his small height advantage proved useful and she failed to see, giving Flynn a chance to extinguish the fire, put on a straight face and turn to her with a false sense of innocence.
"What were you doing?" She asked with a face of worry.
"Nothing just..." Flynn shut his eyes and took a sharp breath in through his nostrils. He didn't get his full fix. "Just looking at this." He grasped the nearest thing he could grab and showed it to her with a nervous smile.
Flynn winced slightly at his foolish mistake. "You can never be too careful," he simply replied.
Andra rolled her eyes, took the box out of his hand and placed it back on the shelf. "You're starting to sound like my brother." Flynn smiled a little more. Andra walked away with a smirk. "That's not a good thing."
Flynn let out a grunted chuckle and went with Andra. She at least provided a good distraction from the itch in his mind.
The back of the shop was far greater than the front. Now Jake understood the reason why such a small shop was nestled in such a large building. Silver metal frames held wooden shelves that housed the more 'luxurious' items available. For the first time in a while, Jake had a genuine smile on his face. "Do you manage all of this by yourself?" He asked the old man.
The man chuckled and shook his head in his own disbelief. "Yes, I do."
"Incredible," Jake merely said whilst observing the white floor that seemed to stretch on and on. "I'm guessing this is the 'beyond' section."
The man let out a lively laugh that seemed more young than his voice and his face. He finally stopped shuffling across the floor and reached a shelf that was cradling silver metal containers. The man started to reach desperately for one of the cases. Jake saw his struggle and stood right next to him. "I'll get it."
Jake lifted the container down with relative ease despite its size and weight and set it down with a thud and a grunt. The old man pulled a single key from his shirt's top pockets. With a twist of the key the box clicked and flung open by itself. The old man stepped back in pride with his arms folded. "What do you think?"
Jake tried to take it all in at once, but it was impossible. The carbon fibre of the bow was blue and smooth. It arched like the rim of a sunset on a winters night. The string was beautiful in its own simplicity; it was strong and held the end product together. The very ebb of it seemed to carry its own enchanting power. Its metal joints allowed it to be compacted but they still seemed to fit in the overall design.
"My greatest work of art," The shopkeeper said proudly.
Jake lifted the bow up by the very edges of the carbon, making sure not to stain the brilliant craftsmanship. Jake was speechless. The old man chuckled. "Take a good hold of it boy!" Jake nodded and gripped the rubber handle. Perfect he thought as he measured its weight.
"Can I have a moment?" Jake asked. The man nodded and walked behind another shelf, making sure his was in earshot range. Jake set the bow down with both of his hands on the grip. He then moved his hands to the ends of the bow slowly, caressing every slight groove along the way. He got down on both knees and put his hand on his heart. "I sit here before this work of art to commit my aim and my arm to its mighty craftsmanship. In return I ask that it provides me with true aim and a steady hand."
The old man who listened to the whole thing walked back to Jake with a smile. Jake sighed. "How much?"
"For a man who still says the solemn vow. Free."
Jake filled up with a giddy excitement of a five year old at Christmas. "Really?" He said eagerly. The old man nodded again. Jake got up and shook the man's hand with vigour. "Thank you, thank you!"
"No problem kid. Now I think I have some more things for a man of your... skill." The old man shuffled away and Jake eagerly followed. The bow was left behind, but only for a short while. He would be united with it again soon.
Jake and the man walked through the door and Flynn and Andra got up from the floor. "And that should do ya on your journey."
Jake nodded his head in respect. "Thank you." The old man nodded back and went back behind the counter. The trio left the shop and set off for more resources. They were chewing through them more quickly since they entered the city and it did show in their weight; Flynn's to be more precise. He started to thin out until his ribs were beginning to show, but now he had some more meat on his bones and felt better than he had in a long time. The over indulgence of eating however quickly turned them lazy and less cautious of their resources.
After a quick shop, Flynn looked over his shoulder again. "What is it?" Jake asked.
"I think we're being followed." His eyes scanned the crowds.
"I thought we were being watched this morning. There!" Flynn pointed at a man in a black business suit who started to briskly walk at Flynn's discovery. Jake seemed to notice him too.
"Come on." He slung the backpack over his shoulder and guided Flynn and Andra through the streets. The trio manoeuvred around people whilst the agent started to barge through them in a desperate attempt to get to his target. All of them wanted to burst out into a full sprint, but that would cause a scene and surely everyone would catch on. So instead they kept walking at faster and faster speeds glancing back at each other every few seconds.
Flynn took another look back and saw another suit join the slow pursuit. They crossed a street and as a van passed by and Flynn took another glance back there were five more suits who had joined the charge. His heart started to pound as more and more joined the chase with eyes as wide and deadly as a hunters'.
"Guys, we need to get some distance," he took another look back. "Fast."
They found themselves wandering all the way to Downing Street and Flynn saw the house of number ten with its policeman standing on a constant valiant guard. "Stop," he ordered.
Andra turned "We don't have time!"
"I was thinking we hide from them, or else we'd be running all around London all day."
Andra folded her arms. "What have you got in mind?" Flynn looked at the house of number ten. Andra's expression turned to one of shock. "All of the houses in London and you want that one?!"
"It's a good idea," Jake said. Flynn looked surprised, he never agreed with him. "Think about it, nobody would look there."
"Okay, but how are we gonna take care of him?" Jake ran to the other side of the street and grabbed the policeman's head, quickly slamming it against the wall in one fluid movement.
They all looked up when they heard the clatter of over ten men approaching the corner. Jake kicked the door open and ran in with the unconscious police officer, quickly followed by Andra and then Flynn who closed the door behind him. They looked out of the window as the men sprinted past shouting and pointing fingers.
Andra let out a sigh as if her breath was held throughout the whole chase. "What are we going to do with him?" She asked and pointed at the officer.
Jake tapped him across the face a couple of times. "He's out cold. I'll lock him up in a closet or something, make sure he doesn't wake up for a while." And with that, Jake dragged the man upstairs leaving Flynn and Andra to their own devices again.
It was a lot different than they imagined. A few famous paintings hung on the white walls and somewhat treasured items stood on shelves and different furnishings. Andra couldn't help but feed her curiosity and she started to inspect things very closely; sometimes picking up the pieces and moving them around.
Flynn walked off and Andra couldn't help but look at him with sorry eyes. He had been through so much and still he maintained his posture. That was one of the things she admired about him, of course there were other things she admired about him but she digressed.
Her thoughts then shifted to her father, or what ever thoughts she could still remember of him. She started to frown as she thought of that one rainy night again. That night where he slipped into the pitch black never to be seen again. He made a promise that he would see her again but alas, the promise was never kept and she was stuck with a brother trying to take his place for eleven years. Eleven years she thought.
Eleven years since she threw her first rock.
Eleven years since the pain of loss opened and slowly faded over time.
Andra caught sight of a black grand piano in the corner of the room. Its surface reflected the light in tiny white streaks. She walked over to it and sat on the red cushioned seat. She lifted the coverings of the keys and gently placed her hands over the middle keys. She took a deep breath in and started playing.
Flynn walked upstairs looking for a particular room. The Prime minister's office. He yearned for the secrets it held though it was another distraction from the itch in his head. "This room looks important," he mumbled to himself. He slowly grasped the golden handle and extremely carefully opened the door as if someone was still inside.
But the room was empty as was every other room in the house. This one though had a very luxurious desk and chair in it with a bookshelf set against the wall near the door. Flynn walked to the desk and stroked his hand across it before sitting down on the grand chair. He swivelled round to the window and rested his chin on his hands, thinking about his situation.
Was this to be his life from now on? Running from building to building hoping that he wouldn't be intercepted by identical looking agents with a blood-lust for his kind. Never before had he felt such a pure hatred towards him and sometimes he actually hated himself. Ever since that day he had a monster in his mind, desperately trying to battle its way out of its cage, and Flynn's solution to the problem was starting to become one in itself.
He gripped the armrests of the chair and felt a sudden click. The bookshelf opened up behind him to reveal a monitor with a holographic keyboard at its base. Three men covered in black shadows flickered onto the monitor. "What do you want mister Prime Minister?"
Flynn was shocked, but then he smirked and slowly turned in his chair. The Council were shocked to see Flynn sitting in their usual puppet's seat. "Well well, what do we have here?"
"Hello Flynn," the man in the middle said.
He chuckled slightly and swayed the chair from side to side. "So you know me too? I must be very popular in your little club then."
"More than you could ever believe, child." The man in the middle still carried the conversation.
"I'm no child any more. These past few weeks have brought me far from that threshold."
"Yes you have been through quite a bit haven't you? Leading your little group of friends through this country. I must say it has been a valiant effort, but like everything your victory will one day cease to exist." The man spoke with too much confidence, even through a voice modulator.
Flynn got up from his chair to try and assert his authority. "You control him like some indoctrinated puppet don't you?" Flynn signalled to the empty chair.
"He does his job," the man on the left said.
"And we do ours," the man on the right continued.
Flynn started to laugh and the man in the middle shifted uncomfortably shifted in his seat. "YOU DARE MOCK US!"
"You have no idea how wrong you are." An iron grip seemed to clasp his throat and control his very words. Flynn started to slowly walk up to the monitor as if he was looking at them face to face. "There is no situation where you win. In the end I will escape. Then I will come for you. And that is when the fun starts." Evilness was starting to show on his face. "Because I will get you and slowly burn every last part of your body until you scream for death. And then I would stop. I would leave you charred and burned for the rest of your life making you wish death would come. You think you know me, but you have know idea what I am capable of."
The man in the middle sat back. "Don't make threats you can't keep," he said, then the terminal shut down and the bookcase folded back to its normal state. The iron vice was released and Flynn gasped.
His ears twinged at the sudden volley of piano keys and he walked towards the source admiring the music along the way. He slowly crept down the stairs so he wouldn't interrupt it.
And there she was, Andra playing the piano with a delicate grace. Flynn realised it as Heart of Courage and just looked at her closed eyes. "Wow," he thought out loud. She seemed to flinch and miss a key but got back into the rhythm. "How..."
"I've been able to do this since I was young. I can feel the vibrations going through the piano and nothing else. Each key sends a ripple through the whole thing," she stated. "I just know which key will go next."
Flynn just stood there and listened; even closing his eyes himself and taking a seat on a leather seat. The windows then shattered and Andra missed another key. Flynn quickly opened his eyes and saw a familiar silver canister, and just on cue, green gas slowly seeped then burst from the top.
"Andra, don't breath it in!" Bullets then started to clash through the windows and Flynn found himself in a familiar position, down on the floor dodging bullets. Jake exploded from one of the bedrooms and leant against the banister on the top floor.
"They must of found us!" Andra shouted over the whistle of bullets.
"Can you make it up here?" She glanced around her and saw nothing. Andra shook her head. Jake snarled as he watched furniture explode in a cloud of fluff around Andra.
Flynn then started to shuffle over to a couch and tipped it over with a mighty heave. "Andra, behind here." Andra shuffled over and leant against the couch. "Okay, we're gonna have to go through the smoke to get to the stairs. I need you to help me push this thing as cover, okay?" She nodded. "All right, lets go."
She struggled to push the couch all the way to the stairs and the fact they had to hold their breath didn't help. Even though Flynn wasn't breathing in, the gas still slithered its way into his nose and burned his lungs, making him wheeze uncontrollably.
Just as things started to become dark, they made it and quickly took off up the stairs, coughing violently. "I hate that stuff..." Flynn sighed. A man with a rifle kicked down the door Jake left and aimed his gun. Jake's fluid instincts took over as they usually did and he grabbed the gun, wrestling with the soldier for its control. He managed to get a firm grasp on the middle of the gun and he smacked it against the man's head. He stumbled backwards and let go of the gun, letting Jake hit him in the face with the butt of it.
The man fell to the floor then the main door downstairs was kicked in and a flood of soldiers wearing gas masks entered. Jake took position on the banister and fired down at the agents with non-lethal shots. He took a quick glance at Flynn. "We need an exit!" A bullet splintered part of the banister and Jake ducked down. "NOW!"
Andra saw a window at the end of the hallway that led to the rooftops of the rest of the houses that joined Number 10. "Out here!" She pointed to the window. Flynn instantly shot a fireball to break the window and jumped through it, quickly followed by Andra then Jake after a couple more shots.
Andra heard the cock of a gun in the distance with her precise hearing and she kicked up a bunch of tiles which stopped the exact amount of bullets that were fired. She dropped them and followed Flynn across the rooftops. "Does it feel like we're always in the same situations, or is it just me?" She joked.
"Not this time." Jake nodded towards the black cars and vans which the agents took to get there. "Come on, let's get one." They quickly scurried over the rooftops breathing heavily. Jake leapt off the roof and onto the top of a car with a metallic thud. Andra did the same and Flynn followed, only to land awkwardly and fall off the car. When he recovered Jake was driving and Andra was in the back.
"Flynn, I need you to ride shotgun."
"Sweet." He jumped in the side and the agents started raining bullets down on them causing sparks to fly off the top of the roof. The wheels screeched and smoke trailed behind them as they took off down the streets of London, the agents in hot pursuit.
The cars sped down the narrow side streets, almost colliding with some pedestrians before they moved out of the way with a dive or when Jake saw them just in time to swerve away. The Authorities on the other hand demanded they moved out of their way with only their quickly encroaching car bonnets to tell them. Andra even saw a few people get knocked over by the ruthless agents and tossed high into the air.
Another bullet hit the back window and this time it cracked slightly. "We're not doing too good back here. Another hit and this thing goes down," Andra announced to Jake.
He kept his focus on the road ahead which seemed to meld with the buildings around them. "Flynn, get them off us."
"You got it boss." Flynn rolled down the tinted window and peaked behind the car. He quickly ducked back inside when he spotted a bullet going his way and hit the wing mirror off. He snarled and leaned half of his body out. When he had a good angle he jabbed two quick bursts of fire at one of the several cars behind them, causing the fire to blast up the front of the car and make them swerve slightly (a potentially fatal mistake at the high speeds).
He fired another two to coax the same reaction, but Jake took a hard right and sent the last blast flying straight through a window and sending Flynn forcefully back into the car. "A little easier next time, huh?"
"Oh, I'll just send us straight into a building next time, okay?" Flynn rolled his eyes and leaned back out, this time sending a continuous stream of fire behind them. As the fire stopped and its prongs licked the window of the car behind, the drivers were blinded and they lost control of the car, forcing them into the side of a house.
"Got one!" Flynn proudly stated. His victory was quickly followed by a scatter of bullets on the back window which quickly broke it and sent glass onto Andra's back. She curled up into a ball to protect herself yet she still let out a little scream when it hit her.
"Andra!" Jake shouted and looked back at his sister.
Her hair was strung over her face when she looked up. "I'm okay!"
"Jake, the road!" Flynn pointed in front of them and Jake snapped his head around to quickly avoid a mother pushing a baby across the road. Flynn sighed in relief and heard the skidding of tires behind them screeching to a stop. "Andra, do you have a good glimpse on how many are left?"
She looked out of the shattered window. "Around five."
"Can you earthbend?" Jake asked.
"I can, but it is hard to move back here! I'll try and grind the road-slow them down a little." And with that she knelt on the seat to give herself more room. She held her hands out wide to grab the earth in the road and clenched her fists. This make the road split and as the car went forward, twin trails of cracks followed it. The tires of one of the agents' cars got caught and it halted suddenly; the break in speed sending the front two passengers out of the front window.
Their comrades were barely able to avoid them and one hit the tail of the car and spun into a shop. A shop Jake thought; they had begun to close in on the busy centre of the city. "This isn't good," he muttered to himself. "Guys, we're going to have to make a quick turn."
Andra sat down and Flynn held onto the window. They then were flung to one side of the car as it turned down a one way street. "Oh no..." Flynn gasped.
Jake saw the problem. A line of black cars blocked the tiny street in a tight formation. He didn't slow down. Andra would have been worried if she didn't see that usual cool, confident look on his face. "What do you want me to do?" She asked.
Flynn looked between her and her brother, trying to figure out if he missed something. "I need you to flip one of those vans on its side. Flynn, you take the wheel when I say."
"Now!" Andra brought up her forearms and one of the cars was tipped onto its side by a sudden elevation beneath it, revealing the machination at the bottom of the car. Jake put on the handbrake and made a sharp right. "Take the wheel!" Flynn held the wheel in the same position and Jake pulled a gun from beneath the dashboard. As the car was mid-way turning the full 180 degrees he took a sharp breath in and exhaled slowly; shooting the pistol with great accuracy. The bullet went straight into the fuel tank and the van flew a few feet into the air in a small pillar of flames.
He threw Flynn's white knuckled hand off the wheel and took control again. Jake released the handbrake and drove back the way he came, leaving a hand out of the window, ready to fire. Flynn did the same, minus the gun, and when they faced their pursuers a torrent of flames and bullets met them. Jake shot out a couple of tires and Flynn did what he could against the metal- which wasn't much, but still enough to disorientate them. They mounted the pavement and scraped past the Authorities vehicles, causing sparks as the metal clashed. They narrowly made it out of the side street and went down another street.
"Did we lose them?" Flynn asked.
Andra took another look behind. "Yep." they all seemed to relax a little and Jake's shoulders dropped slightly, only to tense again when the luminescent police cars suddenly appeared and drew closer.
Flynn's hazy awakening was quickly interrupted when he was dragged out of the crunched car along with a shower of glass that gently tapped the floor with a mixed melody of pings. He was relieved to see the outline of Andra's face, but the excitement was gone when she seemed to point to a group of people whilst shouting something undecipherable.
She looked at Flynn again, but her voice was still muffled. When Flynn kept the same glazed eyes she slapped him across the face. "Wake up!" Muffles. Andra shook her head. "Wake up!" She repeated with another strike.
Flynn blinked rapidly and seemed to answer the call. "Ungh. Wh-what?"
Andra sighed in relief. "Get up, I need your help." She grabbed his hand and heaved him up.
He suddenly wobbled and felt queasy in the pit of his stomach. "I hate being knocked out. In fact, no, I'm getting sick of it."
"Really not the time," she said with some urgency. It was then Flynn's senses started to finally clear up and all he heard were sirens and policemen shouting 'Get down on the floor!'. Flynn looked at them then looked at the car, realising Jake was nowhere to be seen. "Before you ask, I have no idea."
"Great, so whilst he plays ninja, we're stuck here with these guys."
"Seems so," Andra confirmed. He sighed and shot his arms out, releasing a torrent of flames from his hand. Whilst they were clouded by the fire one armed police officer got startled and shot a stray bullet, but that was just the trigger for the rest of them- who sent a barrage into the fire.
As the bullets went through the flames they were heated up until the point where they were red streaks going past Andra and Flynn. Since they were like this they were easy to dodge and Flynn ducked and rolled whilst keeping the fire streams up. Andra dropped down and dug her fingers into the road and started moving her palms across the surface, creating cracks in the road that zig-zagged towards the flames and underneath them.
Clunks of metal were followed by four police cars being flung up into the air with a spin. Whilst they had a small victory, it was hard to tell how much damage they did and as Flynn was losing his strength he took the chance to drop the streams and take a look. As the last of the straggling flames died out he rolled behind the wreaked car as he saw at least fifteen officers left.
Andra pulled out a small wall with what little time she had left and ducked beneath it. She flinched as the bullets skimmed the sides and she looked over at Flynn with the same annoyed look he had. Where is Jake? Flynn and Andra thought, and right on cue - as usual - an arrow went right into one of the officers' arms. His face changed to one of pain and he fell clasping his arm and the arrow that was wedged in it.
Andra and Flynn both looked up to the roof of one on the terrace houses to see Jake propped up against the stone railing that encompassed it. His eyes were completely focused and his arms moved swiftly from the bow, to the quiver, to the arrow and back to the bow again; just one fluid movement.
The police officers had no time to react and before they knew it, five of them with guns were down on the ground screaming in pain with an arrow in their arms or legs. That left ten; five with guns. They were split on targets, either having to aim at the sniper or the two kids in front of them. Two started firing on Jake and he took cover. Flynn nodded at Andra and she pushed the wall with her hands and feet. it slid across the ground at break-neck speeds and hit the two shooters without them being able to react.
At the same time Flynn rolled over the back of the car and swung his leg over his head making a large fire blade arc over and cut clean through the middle of a car. the officers looked at it shocked and Flynn stood up on the car, jabbing fire as fast as he could at them. They ducked down, but two were hit and knocked over. The rest were hit when Flynn cupped a fireball in his hands and released it with a devastating power. The road was cracked and scorched, much like a battlefield, yet not much had taken place.
Flynn and Andra were drawn to grunts and saw Jake wrestling with a dark figure. The man pushed Jake off the roof and he fell on top of a car without making a sound. Andra ran over to him whilst he squinted and writhed in pain to console him. Flynn just focused on the man, the build looked familiar. It was then he realised.
The Colonel jumped off the roof and landed more graciously than the last person who fell. Flynn just took a quick glance before he quickly sent several jabs of fire at him; desperately trying to keep him at range. But it was all the same routine for the Colonel, it was what he was used to over the years. They panicked and threw everything they had at him. Clumsy fools, he thought as he effortlessly dodged Flynn's attacks.
As he closed in and Flynn backed away, he ducked underneath a fireball and drew one of his pistols. He took a quick pot-shot at one of Flynn's feet to make him stumble. The bullet barely missed Flynn's left foot and he stumbled back a few paces. The break in fire gave the Colonel a clear shot and he was about to take it when Jake appeared and grabbed the gun.
Jake lifted the Colonel's arm up to stop the surprised gunshot and began to wrestle for its control. Both of them bared their gritted teeth as they tugged and moved the pistol. Flynn kicked a fire blast at the Colonel and he ducked underneath it, feeling the heat sere the hairs on the back of his neck.
Jake made another yank for the gun, but to no avail as the Colonel kicked his knee cap and brought him down to the ground. he pulled back the hammer of the gun, ready to fire at the back of Jake's head. Andra went to punch him with an earth gauntlet and he moved his head out of the way just enough for it to miss. He grabbed her arm and Andra's eyes widened as he hit Jake with the butt of his gun; then he hit Andra in the stomach with the same end of the gun and she crumpled over in pain.
He let go of Andra's arm and aimed his gun where Flynn was. He was startled when an arc of fire swiped its way through the air, quickly leading to its target. the Colonel dived out of the way and snapped his head around for Flynn. The one place he didn't look was above, and that was where Flynn came from. He had his feet on fire and a large frown.
He landed straight on the Colonel's back and he yelled in pain. Flynn jumped off and the Colonel was left sprawled out on the floor, it was Flynn's turn to gloat now. "You know, I thought this was going to be harder."
The Colonel's injuries and his old bones kept him on the floor. "Really? I thought this would be easier." The Colonel grinned. "I guess I underestimated you, Flynn."
He walked up to the Colonel until he was in stomping range. "Well; big mistake." He lifted up one foot and the Colonel's body jolted and his arm grabbed Flynn's other ankle with lighting fast speed. He pulled at his leg and Flynn fell to the ground. the agent was on him in seconds and he pushed his forearm into Flynn's neck.
Flynn desperately tried to speak as he tried to pry away the solid arm that constrained him. Only gurgles came out as his face went red and his eyes started to roll back into his head. He started to feel faint, dizzy and angry all at the same time.
He gasped what would be his last struggled breath of air when Jake finally recovered and sprinted towards the Colonel, drop-kicking him with all of his weight. The Colonel was flung off Flynn and he rolled along the floor. As the Colonel was knelt down on the floor Jake held his hand out to Flynn, who was coughing violently. "I've got your back," he said with a smile.
Flynn coughed more but it did resemble a thank you. "No problem," Jake replied. They both looked at the Colonel, who finally got up and laughed. "What's so funny?"
The Colonel reached into his coat. "I always carry two."
He drew the gun and Flynn and Jake looked in horror. He almost pulled the trigger when he remembered something: the girl. A large rock cracked into his right hand hand and the gun shattered into its intricate pieces. He grunted and looked at his disfigured hand, who's bones made the skin protrude and bleed.
He desperately tried to hold back the pain to show no weakness to the kids. He accepted defeat, he couldn't fight with that hand, especially against the older boy. Jake saw the Colonel's lack of movement as a surrender and he walked over to his bow. He just followed Jake with a creepy smile then set his eyes back on Flynn and Andra.
He staggered a couple of steps towards them and Flynn set his hands alight. "Go on, Flynn. Do it." Flynn snarled in response, now reluctant to strike. "What's keeping you, Flynn? You don't want to add me to your collection?" Flynn cocked his head to the side.
"What does he mean?" Andra asked.
"Oh, he didn't tell you? Your friend there has started a good count of kills. How many is it, two?" He said tapping his chin with his working hand. Flynn had a puzzled look on his face. "Well there was the one who's skull you cracked - then the one you left in the house." Flynn's fire started to flicker and weaken as his face twitched with emotion. "And that helicopter pilot." Flynn opened his mouth to speak but the Colonel seemed to answer his question. "He died a week ago. It's horrible what a helicopter crash can do to you."
Flynn looked down to the ground; this wasn't what he wanted. "You've killed?" Andra asked at length.
"I didn't-" Flynn stuttered and faltered under Jake's overpowering gaze.
"Now, now, I have plenty of tales to tell. Like that shot you made on that sniper Jake. Good, clean shot that was. And I think I know where you got that incredible aim of yours." Jake's head snapped to the Colonel and he retained his deadly gaze. "You know, Jake, I was reading over your application form a few weeks ago; just thought I'd take a peek. I must say, you have a formidable skill set."
"Jake?" Andra looked at her brother with saddened eyes and he felt a tingle of guilt run down his spine. "What is he talking about?"
"This boy right here was to be my next apprentice they way he was advancing. But, it seems he dropped out of the Authorities before he could be fully integrated into the organisation." Jake frowned and pulled an arrow from his quiver. He placed it on the string and quickly pulled back, letting the tension freely shake his arm. The Colonel smirked yet again. "Go on, I know you won't miss, even with all that rage."
The echo of police sirens broke the crackle of the distant fires ad the eerie silence that fell upon the group. The Colonel turned his right hand into a fist, letting blood ooze from the holes and cuts. Andra tugged at Jake's arm. "We have to go."
"I'm not going anywhere with him," Flynn said.
"I don't care who's not going with who. We need to get out of here now; We'll talk about this some place else," Andra protested with a tone of authority.
Jake yielded and put down his bow. He didn't however change his facial expression. Soon after Flynn yielded too and they ran away, leaving smoking cars and a smiling agent behind. He had broke them with the tiniest seeds of distrust. And now all he had to do was wait for the seeds to grow.
The team came off a fast pace in a nearby park not six minutes after their confrontation with the Colonel. They found themselves in a similar situation as they did a few weeks before. Andra stood in the middle of Jake and Flynn as they gave each other cold, unmerciful leers. She sighed. "Here we are again, ready to bite each others' heads off."
"Yeah we are," Jake said and he made a hasty grab for Andra's arm.
She whipped her arm away and stuck it to her side. Jake just snarled and grabbed her again with a hold like a vice. "Let go of me!"
"No! You're coming with me, we have to get away from him."
"Jake, let her go she didn't do anything wrong," Flynn pleaded whilst holding a hand out to help; hesitant to intervene.
"She needs to be protected from a murderer like you!" Jake shouted. His grip on her arm strengthened and Flynn saw Andra visibly wince and whimper in pain.
"Jake, forget about me for a second and take a step back." Jake didn't budge and only seemed to grip tighter. A tear glistened as it escaped Andra's eye. "Look at yourself!"
Jake seemed to be knocked out of his trance and he saw the pained expression on Andra's face. How she held out so long without screaming was a mystery to him, but he immediately let go and Andra quickly backed away from him, visibly shaking. She could still feel the throbbing of where he gripped her and the steady trickle of blood returning feeling to the dead arm. Guilt hit Jake right at the pit of his stomach and he seemed to regain his posture. "I'm sorry." He reached out to give her a comforting hand, but she backed away more as Jake advanced.
After a while he got the message and stopped, lowering his arm and head in shame. "You just stay away from me." Flynn then tried to reach out to her and he was met with a slap to the hand. "You as well. I want nothing to do with the both of you!"
Jake lifted his head and paced over to Flynn until he was looking down at him. His menacing glare trying to break his victim. But Flynn had seen those eyes before, their blank, ferocious message did nothing to him, instead he just returned the glare with his own chaotic, amber eyes. "This is your fault," Jake murmured.
"What?" Flynn gasped.
"This is your fault!" His shout silenced the chirping of the birds and even broke the steady whistle of the wind.
"You couldn't just tell us, could you? All you had to do was tell us you killed someone and it wouldn't of been poison from him," Jake pointed from the direction where they came as if to signal the Colonel.
"That wasn't me who killed them," Flynn said with a deep voice and the dip of his head.
"It sounded like it to me," Andra put in with a teary, yet intimidating voice. She just looked at Flynn with red, blotchy eyes.
He backed away from Jake and staggered into position. "I killed those people, but it wasn't me." Andra just frowned at him, disapproving of the explanation. Flynn sighed and continued. "When I get mad or lose control I-" The vice started to grip his throat again. He swallowed hard to clear it and seemed to be relived for a few seconds. "I snap. I don't now what happens; one thing I'm there, the next I'm seeing through someone else's eyes- only that they are my eyes." He looked at Jake. "I didn't mean to kill him - I didn't mean to kill anybody."
An awkward silence rolled across the planes of grass and green trees, teasing their strong, weak posture with a little nudge of wind. "What happens if you snap again? What will happen to us?"
"It won't happen to you."
"You say that, but if you're really not in control how can you be sure?" Flynn grimaced and Jake frowned. He turned to Andra who was still standing in the middle holding her arm. "This is why we need to go."
"So you can take her to the Authorities?" Jake snapped his head back at Flynn.
"You have no idea what you're talking about. You have no idea why I did it."
"Then tell me Jake," Andra said looking at the floor.
He sighed and tightened the grip on his bow. "It was about two years ago. Mum lost her job and the bills were high. We almost lost the house; so I went out and looked for a job, one that paid well." Jake started to pace back and forth. "I saw an advertisement for a job. All you had to do was go through some tests and at the end you got twenty grand and a high paying job. So I took it; learnt some new tricks and at the end I got the money and finished top of the programme." He looked at Andra. "You know that time you got really sick and had to go to hospital?" She nodded without making eye contact. "I left then. Just took the money and went. It was enough and we got back on our feet. It was only when we saw them a few weeks ago when I recognised the uniform."
"I didn't tell you because I didn't know at the start," Jake took a long, awaited breath and waited for the response.
"It's not enough." Jake winced and she seemed to enjoy the pain it gave him. Flynn looked at Andra and started to see the person in the windows; the other Andra. She turned to Flynn. "I'm not going with you, Flynn," She flatly said.
"Good, let's go then," Jake started off walking, but Andra's dark eyes set upon him, freezing him in place with a grip of fear.
"I'm not going with you either," she coldly said with a sense of freedom. She never felt so alive, the invisible tether between siblings had been broken and now she was free to go where she wanted.
"Andra, please," Jake said.
"Think about this Andra," Flynn asked, desperate to try and stop her from this path. He recognised the look on her face; the pure hatred it showed. That same look was shared by him on many occasions.
"No, from now on, I go on my own."
"Listen to us Andra, we need to stick together. You saw what we were up against back there. You're strong, but not that strong," Jake said with more of a factual tone instead of a compassionate one.
Andra folded her arms and stared into nowhere. After a few carefully thought out seconds she measured her odds. "Fine," she head with a huff and Jake's shoulders relaxed. "But only through this. Once we get on the boat out of here You're on your own."
The heated argument was broken by the echo of gunshots. All three looked towards the direction of the sound and a scream followed the cackle of gunshots. "What's happening," Flynn gasped. A louder echo could be heard in the distance and Flynn turned to the BT Tower. A black dot flew from the tower and not seconds later fire erupted from the middle and the black spire began to fall.
The screams could be heard from anywhere in London and the chaos didn't stop there. As a black cloud followed the tower down and ash began to emerge from the roofs of the houses and buildings, a large shatter of glass and a loud ring of a bell signified another explosion. Flynn watched as Big Ben flew across the sky in pieces. "What are they doing?" He asked in disbelief.
"Looking for us," Jake replied. he looked around but the location they were in provided no special vantage point. Where was close by? What gave them a good view? His eyes then set on the London Eye sitting at the edge of the Thames. "Up there," Jake pointed out to the others. "We'll get a better view from up there."
"We'd have to wait a while, the queue's kinda long," Flynn said.
"You think anyone would want to go on that through all that's going on?" The continuous sound of gunshots and screams enforced his point. "We go up there, get our bearings, and find out what is going on. Then we leave."
"Sounds like a plan," Andra huffed.
The three took off again. One tense, one broken, another angry.
The smell of gunpowder hung dry in the air and fire had quickly spread through parts of the city. Ash and smoke swept through the streets and patrols of armed soldiers roamed around, shooting anyone in sight. Flynn led the way through the streets, constantly running in a hunched fashion. It made his back ache and throb, but it wasn't as bad as the screams of horror when people were found and the brutality of the gun that silenced them.
people were being smarter now. They stayed inside the buildings and were not disturbed and it seemed for the first time people were cooperating with each other no matter what, or who they were. Flynn saw several people let inside a strangers house just to avoid a nearby patrol. The people who were trapped though weren't so lucky; they his as best they could and the three even picked up a couple of extra stragglers looking for some form of protection. There was safety in numbers.
They were a young couple with tattered clothes and hair. One was called Cindy and Flynn forgot the name of the man, but they were still years older than Jake. They just didn't have a bow and arrow.
Abandoned cars and burning wrecks provided good cover for the group and they took a rest behind a truck. It was amazing how one hour could bring the city to its knees. "Do you think they will find us?" Cindy asked, her red hair covering her face.
"We should be fine," Her boyfriend reassured her. She started to tear up again and he held her in close. "It's going to be okay," he said running his hand through her hair.
"How can things get so bad so quickly? We have nothing now." She asked Flynn as if he had all the answers, that and he looked the friendliest.
He felt a pang of guilt. This was his fault and he knew it. "I don't know" was all he managed to say as a lie. He rested against the truck, its cold metal was refreshing against the heated air. He closed his eyes and took in the senses of war. Glorious, isn't it? The voice in his head rang through his mind. All this suffering because of us, because of you. Flynn frowned and squinted, his face becoming wrinkly. Give me one more flame. "No," Flynn murmured to himself. GIVE IT TO ME! A very sharp pain shot through Flynn's head and he doubled over in pain.
"Are you okay?" The girls boyfriend asked.
Flynn recovered slowly. "I'm fine. All the noise is just - you know." he looked towards Andra, who was looking at shell casings on the road. "Be god if I had some earplugs." He saw the edge of a smile on her face and he looked at the floor satisfied. Maybe she was coming around.
Jake raised a hand and everyone looked at him in fear. "Stay low and stay quiet." He peered around the truck and saw a patrol of five walking steadily down the abandoned street. Flynn looked at him. "Five of them." Flynn nodded in response, not surprised by Jake's reading of his face.
"Can we take them?"
"No, we won't risk it, just let them pass."
So they waited anxiously behind a giant vehicle that somehow seemed a lot smaller now. Jake clutched his bow and Flynn was ready to ignite. Andra was still looking at the shell casings on the floor and the couple were holding onto each other tightly. The soldiers' heavy boots thudded the floor and their guns clicked with every step. Minutes felt like hours as the group waited for them to pass.
Then Cindy relaxed against the truck and made a small metallic thud. Everyone looked at her with wide eyes and the footsteps of the soldiers stopped, only to be replaced by the whistle of the wind and the rattling of paper as it glided down the street. "What was that?" One of them said and the group tensed up.
The boots got louder and louder as the soldier approached and a swift click followed the loading of his weapon. "I think it came from behind here." Everyone started to panic and Cindy started to whimper quietly.
The clunk of the boots carried on in a beat. One. Two. Three. Four.
The soldier pressed against the truck and got his weapon ready; he took a deep breath and quickly looked around the corner. Nobody. He went to turn away, but saw something in the corner of his eye. A shoe at the bottom of the truck.
Jake looked at Cindy's foot and pointed to it viciously. She gasped and reached down to untie it, trying not to move her foot. The soldier got closer and Jake pulled out an arrow to use as a stabbing weapon. Cindy scrambled at her shoe laces in a mad panic as she watched the shadow of the man get closer. Her breath accelerated and she finally managed to get the lace untied.
The soldier leaned over for the shoe and as he grabbed hold, Cindy managed to get her foot out of it as he yanked it away, expecting someone else at the end of it. "Did you find anything?" A distant voice called.
"Negative." The soldier walked back around the truck and the group sighed in unison. he held the shoe up in the air and waved it around. "I did find a shoe though." The group of soldiers laughed whilst the runaways stayed as silent as mice. "I think it's designer," The soldier joked and walked off with his patrol, laughing.
After they were out of earshot they all crawled out fro underneath the truck. "That was too close," Flynn said looking at Cindy.
"Can you stop looking at me like that. It wasn't my fault."
"We could of been killed," Jake stated.
"Just lay off okay," The girls boyfriend tried to defend her.
"I just think we are a little tense right now guys," Flynn said, trying to keep the peace. "We're almost where we need to be and then you two can find a safe place to hide until this blows over." They both nodded. "Can we go now?"
"Yeah, come on. Flynn, you lead the way." Flynn went on ahead and guided the group through cars and alleys, luckily not running into any guards along the way.
Then there they were. Just a small pavement stood in between them and the London eye. "This is it. You guys are free to go anywhere you want."
The couple looked at each other. "Maybe it'd be best if we stuck with you."
"Not a good idea," Andra finally spoke. "We are kind of a magnet for trouble. You should probably find a house to stay in, I'm sure people are willing to take you in."
"Okay, we should do that then," The boyfriend said. He shook Flynn's hand. "Thank you for all your help. Stay safe."
Flynn just nodded his head, he couldn't bring himself to say that he helped, it was his fault they were in this mess. The couple looked around and ran off in pursuit of safety.
Two agents stood at the end of the alley they were in and Jake looked at Flynn. "We take them down together." He held out three fingers and counted down. When he clenched his fist, Flynn and Jake ran up to the two agents; Jake jabbing the one on the left three times on the spine to paralyse him and Flynn putting the other one in a choke hold until he lost breath and fell unconscious. They all ran over to the Eye, looking around and switching between bins and lampposts for cover. Jake made a dash for the power and flicked a switch that resembled a starting button. The rush of excitement was slowly crushed when the power gave out and a loud hum died down.
Jake walked over to Andra and huffed. "No power."
"So, what do you want me to do about it?"
"I need a lift. An earth lift." Andra sighed and went to one of the struts that held the eye up.
"You guys better get on or you're staying behind." she threw her arms down and the ground cracked beneath them. Hopefully this would go better than the last time they had an elevator ride with Andra. Jake and Flynn took position and they were rocketed up into the air as Andra moved her arms up and down to move the earth up the strut. When they reached the top of that Jake still couldn't get a clear view.
He looked over to a white service ladder that reached all the way up to the top carriage. "Up there." As they climbed further up the ladders the wind grew stronger and rippled their clothes. Andra's hair blew wildly, but her determined look stayed the same.
Jake was the first to reach the top and he clambered atop the metal roof of the cabin. Andra followed and Flynn nervously edged his way across, challenging his mind to not look down. A big gust of wind howled through the air and the carriage shook slowly forcing Flynn to hold his arms out for steadiness and locking them in place as fear seized his muscles. "Is now a bad time to say I'm afraid of heights?"
Jake held a hand as a guard from the sun on his forehead. He slowly moved his head side to side, looking for some kind of exit and there it was. A large passenger boat was docked at the side of the Thames and as far as he could see people were pouring on in droves. How weren't they found? He then saw a small pocket of resistance keeping the troopers at bay with scavenged weapons and turned over cars for cover.
As they stood on top of the Eye someone leapt from the middle and onto the roof of the Cafe Manga. He cocked his head sideways and fired a rocket at the struts of the Eye before leaping away. A white stream of smoke followed the rocket and hit the strut in a ball of fire.
The carriage shook and Flynn looked nervously between Andra and Jake who adopted the same posture as Flynn with their arms locked out. The large metal creaked and the a cable flicked off with a pang. The carriage shook more violently now and Flynn lost his balance, slipping off the white metal trying to find something to grip. "Flynn!" Andra tried to grab his hand but missed by millimetres. His eyes widened as he accepted his fate and as the carriage tipped further Andra started to fall too. Her saving grace was Jake who gripped onto the side of the Eye and held onto her forearm.
Andra felt lost. She was so close to catching him, but...
The last thing Flynn saw was Andra's horrified face as she failed to grab him. He was falling face down with the wind howling in his ears and stinging his eyes. As the ground got closer and closer he needed a plan. something anything... "Flame on!" That didn't work. He punched in front of him, sending twin streams of fire to break his fall.
He started to slow down and he managed to reach a mid-air standing up position, but he wasn't going slow enough. Seconds before he landed he stopped the streams and his legs crunched against the pavement. The pain was a sharp stab, then it turned into a prolonged grip on his legs. Did he break them? He looked up and saw a little girl who had wandered into the square. Another metallic snap caught his attention and he saw a carriage come loose from its holdings, right onto the child.
He tried to move his legs, he had to. Flynn pushed his torso up but his legs wouldn't respond; the pain was too unbearable. The carriage started to fall and that was when his senses kicked in. He yelled through the pain and sprinted to the girl as she looked at the falling carriage with innocent eyes. Flynn stood next to her and shot out a fireball at one of the windows.
The girl gasped before being sheltered by Flynn as the glass bounced off his back. Both closed their eyes when the carriage fell with a loud crack of stone and shattering of more glass. He drew away from the girl and she looked up into his eyes, slightly amazed and slightly scared at the same time. He knelt down to her "Do you want to go find your mummy?" She nodded her head vigorously and ran out of the crashed carriage. When Flynn looked around he saw that they were right in the middle of the carriage; a very lucky escape.
He sighed and walked out of the wreckage to look up at the still falling monument. He saw Andra's legs dangling over the edge of the top then rapid clicking coming from behind him. He quickly turned around and saw something that was far from human. It was a shiny black metal robot. It was slim, yet still looked strong from its interlocking plates of metal. It was fairly small and just a few inches taller than Flynn.
It didn't even hesitate as it reached for his throat. It almost crushed his windpipe in one go, but something held it back. It had no face, only a red dot for an eye; still enough for it to be cold and lifeless.
Its head cocked side to side almost as if it was curious. What was going on behind all of its circuits no one could tell, but it was interested; analysing every movement of Flynn's struggling arms and twitches of his neck. It didn't even flinch when Flynn blasted it with fire.
"Playing recorded message," its plastic voice stated. "If you're listening to this then the hunter has caught you. I'm sorry I couldn't do this in person, but I've had to get my hand tended to. I'm sure you understand." The hunter was the perfect embodiment of the Colonel's voice. It was cold, decisive and felt absolutely nothing - just like him.
It then started to squeeze tighter and tighter. Flynn had to something, the pain however locked his body up and all of his attempts to move did nothing. The only option left was to unleash the other him. It was either that or death and Flynn felt like going for the latter.
It reached into his mind, its fingers slowly creeping across the light and replacing it with darkness. NO, he thought and clenched his fists to make fire daggers. Fuelled by conflict he brought his hands up and stabbed them into the side of the hunters' neck. Then again: twice, thrice. Sparks and wires flew from the holes they left behind and finally it let go.
Flynn felt helpless on the floor, but the need to survive ironically outweighed the need to live. He went to punch the hunter and it easily avoided it following through by leaping high in the air. Before it came back into view, Flynn rolled backwards to avoid its crushing landing and launched a fireball at its face.
An ineffective attack, but it did make it stagger a bit. Flynn threw another punch that was yet again easily avoided. Punch after punch it ducked and weaved, waiting until Flynn was too tired to attack. The thing the machine couldn't calculate was the flight or fight instinct that drove him.
It blocked one of his punches and drove its own fist into his stomach to make him double over. Flynn dropped to his knees and frowned at the machine and at himself; the monster inside was winning. Another metal snap made the Eye fall further down and Andra lost her grip on Jake's hand. She gasped and fear flooded through her body which released as a scream all the way down.
On the way down she pulled her arms out which drew out a shelf of earth from one of the nearby buildings. It did break her fall, for what good it was, before cracking and sending her to the ground. The hunter was distracted by Andra's unfortunate fate and in the split second it turned its head Flynn struck out with a punch to the face, dealing more damage to his hand than to the hunter.
It seemed to resemble something that lost its temper when it gazed back at Flynn and was finally ready to finish him off, for good this time. Flynn stared in anticipation, this was the easy way out of this hell. Yet fate had a different plan and a rock smashed into the side of its head before it could deliver the final blow. The targets were both weak, but the hunter was all machine, the biggest threat had to be dealt with, and at that time it was a crippled earthbender lying on the ground.
It dealt a quick jab to Flynn's head before leaping off and running straight towards Andra who, despite her best efforts, failed to move herself anything below the waist. It wasn't pain that was immobilizing her though, it was a numbness-a tingling numbness. Her breaths were staggered as both fear and helplessness made a lump in her throat. The hunter's prey was helpless and it almost had her within its grasp.
A sharp whistle cut through the air and the hunter stopped dead in its tracks. It looked towards a roof and saw Jake aim his bow, a slight smirk across his face before releasing the arrow and piercing it through the hunter's shoulder. Without hesitation Flynn charged towards it and tackled it to the ground. It was easier than expected and they landed with more force than he thought. That, added with the temporary daze he got from the punch earlier, and all that guided his next move was instinct. A straight stab to the eye with a flame dagger was enough to make the machine feel pain and writhe around in confusion.
The only problem was that it was still standing. it needed to be destroyed, obliterated, as long as it wasn't alive. Jake walked up to Flynn from nowhere and startled him slightly. "How do you do that?"
Jake put a hand on his shoulder to silence the oncoming barrage of stupid questions and stared at Flynn's eyes, ready to analyse any reaction. "I know we aren't on the best of terms right now, but I need you to take care of that thing whilst I tend to Andra."
Flynn just nodded. "Here, take this." Jake handed him a normal combat knife. "It seems to be vulnerable to small surface area weapons." Another nod. Jake ran off to Andra and knelt by her side. Flynn only watched for a couple of seconds before reacting to a sudden black blur rushing towards him.
He instantly ducked low and thrust the knife into the hunter's stomach as it passed by, tearing out the blade with a spin. The hunter slid across the floor and looked at the red oil spilling from its gut. Flynn looked at the blade with some satisfaction. It bled, in a sense. It was mortal and judging by the reaction of the hunter, it knew it was too. Flynn held the knife in his left and created a flame dagger with his right, the oil still dripping off the silver blade. he flicked the rest off and set himself for another attack. "Come on Colonel, show me what you've got."
"Hey there rock," Jake softly said, trying his best to be comforting. Andra just glared at him, he was obviously not good at that stuff.
He reached out to turn her over, but her hand clamped onto his harder than he did it to her. "Don't touch me," she said with a weak voice.
"You want to be like this? I can help you." Andra scoffed and rolled her eyes. "You won't be able to stop me anyway." Another sigh went with the release of his hand and an ease of the pain. Jake resumed with what he planned and turned Andra over to her stomach. A scream of pain made him flinch. "One second," he reassured and went to his backpack.
Be a rock she thought to herself. Be. A. Ro- "Aaaaaahhhhhhh". An immense pain shook her body and seized her joints, bringing an unexpected feeling of relief.
"I am so sorry. Your back was jutting out, stopping it from repairing. I had to push it back in before I apply the medi-gel. Now just stay still for a couple of seconds." Jake applied some of the gel, almost instantly healing the wound, but still not enough to get Andra up and moving. "Flynn, how you holding up?"
Flynn sidestepped a kick and went for a stab with the knife which was easily dodged. "Doing fine. Get her out of here," he said before the hunter tried for another lightning-fast punch quickly counter by Flynn turning his body and stabbing it in the arm with the knife.
Jake picked up Andra with a lot of struggle and helped her half-limp half-walk her away from the confrontation. Meanwhile, Flynn was still trying to get a good hit on the machine. The stomach was the only critical point, enough for it to be still bleeding oil in a steady stream. It clicked rapidly and started a flurry of jabs and kicks that Flynn staggered backwards to avoid, only being caught by a kick to the arm that sent the knife across the ground.
Flynn watched it slide away and replaced it with another fire dagger whilst turning his attention back towards the hunter and making a swift slice. It did nothing to the machines weaved plating and it took advantage of Flynn's overcommitted attack by kicking him in the leg. Flynn fell to one knee and made a swift role backwards before the hunter could come down with a powerful axe kick that shattered the ground.
The hunter chased after him, but was surprised when Flynn stabbed a flame dagger into its side, causing it to squeal. He then grabbed the knife from the ground and rammed it straight into the hunter's throat. It grabbed the hole whilst red oil spilled through the gaps in its cold fingers; The hunter stumbled backwards, allowing Flynn to run up and stab it in its head with an angry cry.
He repeatedly stabbed it whilst it fell to the ground and more so when it landed. The violent and sick satisfaction of victory was shown through his ferocity of stabbing. It wasn't the hunter's face he saw now, it was the Colonel's. And he enjoyed it. Blow after blow more and more oil flew over his body and face until something horrible stopped him.
The oil was too warm, too thick to be oil. It didn't smell like it nor did it taste like it. It was almost like... Blood. Flynn stopped stabbing and looked at the knife dripping red with blood. he started shaking and returned his gaze to the machine. The Colonel was gone, but a pink bit of flesh could be seen through the deep pool of blood. Was it a - no, it couldn't be it was a machine.
"Flynn!" He was snapped out of his trance by Jake's call and he quickly turned his head to him. "We've got company!" Flynn looked to his other side and saw a group of ten men weaving their way through cars to get to their targets. He looked back to the knife and put it in his pocket. Why? He wanted to throw it away, but he kept it against his own wishes.
He had no time to dwell on it now. They had to get to that boat. Flynn got up and left the Col - the hunter on the ground, running towards Jake and Andra as they fled the scene. It wasn't far away, but the Authorities were hot on their tracks and Flynn decided to cover their retreat. He set his feet into a steady stance a drew his arms back with a large breath in.
The heat flooded through his body and was ready to be released. The Agents stopped and looked at the boy standing in the middle of the road with curiosity and concern. Concern seemed to take hold when Flynn breathed out and sent a jettison of fire down the street, knocking cars away and the agents with it. Flynn instantly felt limp and sagged over in weakness as the energy flooded out of his body.
Just as he thought they were safe, more agents came out of the other streets and joined the hunt. Flynn couldn't do that kind of attack again, not for a few more hours. Instead he resorted to the usual jabs of fire that had little to no effect on the trained agents, especially when the fire had almost no power behind it. One agent even shrugged off a blast of fire and continued to run after him completely unaffected by it.
Flynn couldn't see Jake and Andra any more. They must have turned a corner and gone straight for the boat. Flynn didn't take any chances and ran straight for the direction he last saw the boat. Bullets flew past him as he jumped over cars and ran through gritty streets littered with rubble and ash. An area hit by a heavy attack had ash and embers all across the ground, with black scorched buildings on either side. As he ran through, the soft orange embers kicked up behind him, slowly melting his shoes.
He dared a look behind him and saw over 50 agents trailing behind him and the Colonel at its head aiming his pistol with deadly intent. That only made him run faster until he finally saw the top of the boat above the rubble of a collapsed building. It gave him some hope, but this couldn't of been the way Jake and Andra came, they wouldn't of been able to scale the building.
Flynn could though and leapt onto one of the big slabs that lay on the floor. He clambered up some lose bricks and propelled himself up with a fire enhanced jump. The Colonel came to a stop and lined his sights on Flynn. It was perfect: the range, the steadiness of his hand, the wind. His finger curled around the trigger, his thumb pulled back the hammer, then his hand started to shake. His sight line became more unfocused, he was losing his shot. He took a chance and fired. Flynn was so close to the top and he dragged himself over the final large slab, rolling all the way down the other side as a bullet narrowly missed his face.
The Colonel roared and threw the gun to the ground before putting his hands behind his back and facing the other agents. "Get rid of that building!" He shouted before storming off through his soldiers and off into a plume of black smoke.
When Flynn landed on the other side he was shocked to hear the cocking of guns. They had him. "Civilian!" Flynn turned his head and stared down the familiar sight of the barrel of a gun. Another man went up to the soldier and put a hand on his shoulder. "Stand Down!" He shouted. That seemed to be enough to make the soldier lower his gun and walk away. The other soldier offered his hand, which Flynn more than gladly took as he hauled himself up. "You okay, son?"
"Yes, but there are about fifty men ready to either climb over that wall or break through it."
The soldier gritted his teeth. "Damn. They must be determined, they haven't tried over these past few hours. We blew it in the confidence it could act as a barrier. So far it has worked, but the door swings both ways. We can't get past that thing without bringing down the entire terrace."
The boat blew its horn. "You better get on that boat kid, it's ready to leave."
"What about you?" Flynn asked, feeling some sort of attachment to the soldier.
"We'll hold the area for as long as it takes. Now go, get on that boat."
Flynn did as instructed and ran onto the boat before it pulled up its ramp. It wasted no time in taking off as it blew its horn again, signalling its departure. Flynn stared at the blockade as troops tried to climb over the building before being shot by the defending soldiers.
The further away the boat got the more devastation Flynn could see. Old and famous buildings lay in ruins and pillars of thick, black smoke rose from the once great city. The smell of fresh air refilled his lungs as he moved away, but the heat and powdery smell still clung to his nose. The cries of men, women and children echoed behind him, poisoning his ears. The taste of blood fouled his tongue and to top it all off, a faint ball of fire where the blockade was engulfed the port where the boat was.
The worst part was, it was all his fault.
The sacrifices, the deaths, everything was his fault. He turned around and saw Jake and Andra looking at him the way everyone would if they knew why the attack happened. The brother and sister went their separate ways without saying a word and Flynn turned back to the fading view of London before resting against the railing of the boat and letting the sea air blow across his face.
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