Friday, March 14, 2014

Friends and Enemies // Chapter Twenty Three // A Startling Discovery

Willow tapped the door open as quietly as she could. Both she and Bréda peeked around the splintered wood into the darkness. The door at the end of the hall looked sturdy. Great.
   "Follow me," she whispered. Bréda nodded, her eyes huge with fear. Stepping out into the dark hallway, they crept up to the door. Willow grabbed the handle and began to twist it gently. It pronounced a rather loud scraping noise as it turned. They winced as the fingernails-on-a-chalkboard sound reverberated throughout the hall.
   "Where is everyone?" Bréda asked, her voice not quite a whisper.
   "I don't know," Willow answered, her eyes scanning the dank walls. I sure hope they're not lethal. Only one corner remained completely shadowed. "Bréda, who guards you guys here?"
   She shrugged. "I don't know. They dress in black and carry Shadow swords."
   "What?!" Willow's stomach leaped and her skin prickled. She spun around and ducked, just as a glowing purple blade of a Shadow sword sliced into the door, just where her head had been. Bréda screamed as the Shadow Knight grabbed for her wrist. Willow snapped her fingers in his face, igniting her purple fire that danced over her fingertips, lighting the edges of his hood on fire. Pulling away, the Knight covered his face and cried out.
   Willow seized Bréda's hand again and drove her shoulder into the door, shoving it open. They tumbled down the stairs in their hurry.
   "Good grief, are they expecting little children to start a revolution or something?" Willow grunted as she tried the door at the next landing with a gigantic lock. "Yep, it's totally locked." She started frantically fishing around in her pocket.
   "How're we going to get out, then?" Bréda's voice broke, and tears started dripping down her cheeks.
   "This way." Willow waved an about foot long cream, bronze, black, and silver stick-looking thing at her.
   "Is that a magic wand?" she sniffed, wiping at her tears.
   "No, there's no such thing as magic wands. It's a sonic screwdriver. I probably shouldn't be using it here, but it's really handy for locks," Willow replied. Pointing the sonic screwdriver at the big lock, she pushed a tiny black button. A strange noise erupted from the thing, and Bréda clapped her hands over her ears. The lock sparked, then fell with a clatter to the ground. Grabbing her hand again, Willow pulled her through the door and around the next corner.
   "Shhh..." she muttered, slipping down the staircase like a ghost. "The back way," she indicated, pointing to an almost hidden door to the left.
   "Halt!" a deep voice ordered, and several guards {thankfully not Shadow Knights} appeared, racing down the hall.
   "Go!" She shoved Bréda through the door and slammed it behind her, sonic-ing the lock. Then she spun on her heel and made for the door at the end of the hall, just to the left of the guards. She slammed into it, threw it open, hurled herself and slammed it shut again two seconds before they reached it.
   "Whew," she muttered. The door was made of some kind of metal, so it would take them some time to get in.

   "Bréda!" Betromith cried, scooping up his little sister and situating her on his hip. "Let's get out of here!"
   "What about Willow?" Hyaline protested as she and Brédin followed close behind him.
   "She will be at the rendezvous. Don't worry, Hyaline," he assured, casting a reassuring glance at her.
   "There were Shadow Knights, Betro..." Bréda murmured into her big brother's shoulder. "Willow lit purple fire in his face."
   Hyaline grinned in spite of herself as she jogged after Betromith to keep up with his longer legs. Please let her be safe, she prayed.

   "What's this...?" Willow ran her finger lightly over the scrolls and manuscripts on top of an oak table. There were sketches, and notes of all sizes littering the room. Bending down to pick one up, she held it closer to the window, where the moonlight could shine upon it easier. It was a colored sketch of a bronze ring with a blue sapphire set in it. It was thick and wide, and had precise designs on the side. It looked dwarvish, almost.
   The pounding on the door jerked her attention back to reality, and she knew that she needed to get out of there. Stuffing the sketch into her pocket, she swung both legs out the window and started climbing hand over hand neatly down the brick building.

   "There you are!" Hyaline scolded in a loud whisper as Willow jogged up, her long braid hanging lopsided out of her cap.
   "Sorry," Willow apologized, panting as she leaned against a tree.
   "Let us be off, we need to get to Essgarothe as soon as possible," he ordered, but gave Willow a sideways grin. She grinned back, and swung up onto her horse.
   "Righto, Betro," she teased. But though her face showed that she was cheerful, her eyes remained troubled. Why did those people have a sketch of a dwarf ring?

I had an interesting time writing thing. 
I got stuck about half way for a while, and then finally broke through my writers block.
Plus, I got some really awesome inspiration from some pictures from a show off of pinterest. 
Be ready for some really fun upcoming chapters. 
As soon as I'm done posting this {I typed this up on Thursday evening} I'm going to start working on the next chapter {eep!}.
By the way, the sonic screwdriver is 11's. It will be explained later.

Question of the Friday // Who's your favorite F&E character?

 Be a friend, not an enemy,


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Watchmen Files // File One // Chapter Seventeen // Road Rage

Hey everybody!

D again, and it's Wednesday :)

   So, after spraining or twisting or whatevering my ankle, Willow getting stung by a bee (for the first time in forever), and now I think I've acquired a cold, this has been quite an eventful week for us. But I still managed to finish this week's chapter! Yea! I especially like this one, Conner's pretty awesome in it :)

   But that's beside the point. This is one of my favorites, but I don't have much experience in chase scenes (I should've consulted Willow) so excuse that...

   Well, time to post the seventeenth chapter of The Watchmen Files! *sigh* I never thought I'd get this far... but end is drawing near...

   The miniature crowd of InterTech guards lead by Lila Norris entered a dark empty storage room and set down the containment unit with a booming thud.
   "He's not gettin' out of there anytime soon, ma'am," one of the guards reported as she knocked on the human sized rectangle box four times to taunt him.
   "Good!  Better get it on a carrier..." she stood, staring at him and finally shouted, "Now!"
   They all 'yes ma'am'-ed and stumbled out into the hall as she followed after them, barking orders and slammed the door behind her.
   Just before it shut, Conner stuck his foot into he crack to stop it and quietly slipped through unnoticed.
   Once inside, he hurried up to the large container and ran his hands over it. "Doesn't seem to be any door..?" he pondered aloud to himself.
   After carefully examining the entire human encasement, he sat down on the floor and stared at it, befuddled. Maybe Mason wasn't stuck in it like he had assumed?
   Alright, if I were designing a miniature prison cell, how would I lock it? It would have to be secure, of course... some sort of key I could keep on me... no, I can't think like me, I've got to think like her, he reasoned with himself. She looks like someone who's pretty hands on, she had a mobile on her and a gun... but this whole industry is very technological, maybe there's a password or a secret panel?
   It was worth a shot.
   Having gone over the entire box already, he looked for the next most obvious way of finding it: fingerprints.
   And he found them fairly easily. Touching exactly where her prints where, he gently lifted his hand off of its surface and small simulated screen came up. He smiled in awe at the technology. "Father would be so pleased-"
   All at once, one of the sides of the box swung up from the bottom, smacking into Conner's chin as it veered upwards. He fell back in surprise and landed on his back, joined momentarily by Mason who fell out of the box itself and landed on top of Conner.
   "Con?!" Mason shouted with relief as the blue glow faded from his arms.
   Conner groaned and gasped for air in return.
   Mason rolled off and helped Conner up to his feet again. "I was starting to panic there. You okay?"
   "I'm alright-" Conner nodded, then stopped. "Mason, your hand! It's bleeding!"
   Mason glanced down and suddenly he felt the pain come back. Trying to hide it, he waved it awkwardly. "I'm fine-"
   "No, you are definitely not! We're not leaving this room till I get that wrapped."
   He grasped his hand and clenched his teeth as Conner pulled out some bandage material from his tiny medical pocket and carefully examined it first.
   "Thank the Lord it's just a flesh wound," he breathed with relief and removed the bullet. "It got mostly skin right between your thumb and pointer finger... it'll be alright," he smiled caringly.
   Mason nodded back, but he still looked like he was in pain.
   Conner began to wrap it up as gently as possible, but he could tell it still hurt by Mason's obvious biting of his bottom lip.
   "Mom said I had a really high pain tolerance," Mason seethed. "Not so much now, huh?"
   "You're doing fine, just don't look at the blood," he continued, trying to think of some way to distract him while bandaging his hand up. "Why did she say that, do you think?"
   Mason let out a smirk. "It took a lot to punish me," he chuckled lightly. "Once, she had me do one hundred pushups, it didn't even faze me. Or at least, I was pretty good at hiding it. Plus the kids at school and I weren't exactly simpatico. What 'bout you?"
   Conner gulped. "I hate blood."
   "Really?" Mason shrugged. "I guess it's a family thing with the Krugers."
   "My mum was a nurse and I learned lots from her on that subject, but it still makes me a bit nauseous when-"
   "Hey, how'd you get out?!" One of the thugs burst through the door and spotted the two.
   "Uh oh."
   Mason leaped to his feet, threw the guard into the box and, along with Conner, raced out the door and down the hallway, with two more thugs on their tail.
   Turning the corner, Mason stopped and used his fists to take one out as Conner stunned the other with his pistol.
   "You don't have to just hit them with your fists," Conner noted reasonably. "There's something called a stun gun."
   "Well," Mason rolled his eyes sarcastically, "there's something called theft," he answered, gesturing to his empty holster.
   The shouts of more guards sent them running through the factory's halls, trying to lose their followers and not to mention find an escape.
   Conner's cellphone vibrated and he threw it to Mason who could speed-read and run at the same time. "We have to getta Chestnut ave.!"
   Chestnut... Conner's mind was sent spinning with maps and directions. Chestnut ave. = North on 62d. "Follow me!"
   Next thing they knew, they were shoving through the emergency exit and alarms were blaring from behind them.
   Conner turned right and raced down the narrow ally to the back parking of a city diner. There, a four door, shiny gray Hyundai Sonata was parked in the corner, ready for their escape. Conner nearly slid over the hood (or as he would call it bonnet), swung the right side car door open and threw himself in. "Where's the wheel?!" he shouted, flustered at not being in the driver's seat, then realizing that American cars had the wheel on the left side, not like the British ones that were on the right side. "Bloody Americans-"
   Mason, who had followed in tow and gotten into the left side of the car, stared down blankly at the wheel, shift, and pedals in front of him. "Uh..."
   "Start it!" Conner shouted from the passenger seat.
   "Okay, okay!" Trying desperately to recall every movie with a car chase in it, he fumbled with the key that was already in the ignition.
   While Mason was pretending to know what he was doing, Conner looked in the rear-view mirror to find three sleek, white motorcycles with InterTech henchmen as the drivers. "Mason, start the car!" Conner's voice escalated as they drew nearer, checking the alleyways for the pair.
   "Trying!" He turned it left, then tried right, and finally the car's engine started up. "Ah ha!"
   "Go already!" Conner's eyes were filling with fear as the motorcyclists spotted them.
   Mason nodded and pressed down hard on the left pedal, ready to get out of there. But the car didn't move.
   "Mason?!" Conner's voice had risen to soprano.
   "I'm trying, it won't go!" Mason frantically scanned the floor where two pedals were located and pressed harder on the one to the left.
   Conner leaned over to see the problem. "The accelerator, for goodness sake!"
   "Which one is that?!"
   "Well what do you think?!" Obviously, Conner had found his angry-sarcastic mood.
   Panicked, Mason stomped the pedal on the right down hard and the car burst down the road with the three motorcycles in hot pursuit. The two lane road suddenly acquired a road-rager in Mason Kruger as he sped down it at ridiculous speeds.
   "Slow down!!" Conner's eyes were as big as a Disney Princess's as he clung to the bottom of his seat in fear.
   "I'm trying to lose them!!" Mason retorted back, making a sharp turn into the town park and running over a flowerbed.
   "Mason!!" Conner shrieked as a woman and her two kids went running for cover as the Hyundai went zooming passed them and through the playground. "Kids! Kids!! KIDS!!!"
   "Outta the way, kiddies!" Mason swerved left and right again to miss the preschoolers and moms that were fleeing, panicked (and rightly so). Moments later, the small group of motorcyclists flew after them, maneuvering more easily around the families with their smaller vehicles.
   "Shift!" Conner ordered from the passenger seat as he heard the engine strain from the outrageous speeds. "SHIFT!!"
   "How?!" Mason tried to watch the road while searching the wheel and buttons for a shift key.
   "Haven't you taken Drivers Ed.?!" Conner questioned as he reached over and shifted it up a few gears for him.
   Mason, now driven to the limit and arms pulsing a bright blue confessed with frustration, "I DON'T KNOW HOW!!"
   Conner was down right furious. "You can't drive a car?!"
   "I live in New York! I ride a bus to work!!"
   "WHAT?!" He couldn't believe it.
   "Gimme something!" Mason demanded and got back to the main road as Conner racked his brain for something, anything.
   "Shut up and drive!!" Closing his eyes, he mentally imagined a map of the city and the street names. Recalling which they one they were on, he noted their destination and mentally routed the quickest, most complex way there. "Give me the wheel!"
   "I can't, I'm driving!"
   "Driving?! More like crashing!!" Bringing the map back up in his head, he pictured the closest mall. "Left!"
   "Right!" Mason confirmed.
   "Left!! Turn left!!"
   "I AM!!"
   Leaving rubber marks on the pavement behind them, they quickly lost the motorcyclists in the bustling outlet mall parking lot. Conner directed them to the closest underground parking garage and ordered him to get out of the car.
   Mason, finding no problem with giving up the driver's seat, speedily hopped out and they exchanged places in a flash (Conner practically leaped over the hood to make time).
   Conner was burning from the inside. Mason had never seen him so riled up, in a bad way. Then, as he settled into the leather driver's seat and gripped the wheel, running his fingers over it, he let out a breath and closed his eyes for a moment. He was smiling.
   Mason shifted uncomfortably. "Uh, Con, we better hurry, those InterTech goons are gonna find us real fast-"
   "Hold on."
   In a split second, Conner's eyes snapped open and he put the pedal to the metal (for you who don't speak car, he put his foot down on the right pedal, hard). They went flying out of the parking garage and out onto the street again, where the InterTech agents were waiting and followed after them. Conner kept the engine at full throttle as he swerved around the line of cars waiting for the red light to turn green and into the oncoming traffic.
   "Conner!!" Mason warned, but he didn't listen. The car swerved left and right as to avoid a head-on collision with the other vehicles as they honked their horns, braked and skidded to the sidewalks. Conner kept the car steady down the middle of the road and suddenly turned down another alley in an attempt to lose the guys that were after them.
   Conner didn't look back but continued to drive down alley after alley, making sharp turns with a completely straight face as Mason was cheering from the passenger seat. He was apparently enjoying all the action, and he caused Conner to break a mini-smile and press a bit harder on the accelerator.
   Conner's gray-green eyes filled with a strange mixture of glee and concentration as adrenaline pumped through his veins. All sound was blocked out until it became like a faint background noise, even Mason's shouts of exhilaration became distant. Conner's heart pounded from it, and his strong reflexes lend them safely down the tight alleyways as he shifted and turned in perfect synchronization. He made sharp, clean turns with precision, not knocking into the walls or hitting any stray garbage cans or vagabonds that happened to be hanging about. This was his natural environment, for once in his newly acquired career, he knew what he was doing, no exceptions. His place was at the wheel.
   Though they both seemed to be having a smashing time, the InterTech goons were still on to them, even when they braved the oncoming traffic and had gone through numerous alleys and side-streets (not to mention the twelve tickets Jason would receive later).
   "They're still on to us!" Mason clarified as Conner drove them smoothly along a construction site.
   "I know what I'm doing," Conner retorted calmly. He had a little surprise. Yeah, it was a crazy stunt move, and yeah, they could both die, but he had pulled off years of training, he could do it.
   "What're you doing?!" Mason queried when Conner turned them left into the construction site. He noted the 'DO NOT ENTER', 'DANGER!', 'SAFETY HELMETS REQUIRED', and 'CONSTRUCTION SITE' signs set up all around. Up ahead, there was a half-finished freeway overpass with construction tape and a small wooden barrier around it.
   "Do you trust me?" He avoided the question with one of his own as they drove toward the unfinished bridge.
   "Now is hardly the time-"
   "Do you trust me?"
   He was getting the idea of what Conner was about to do, but he hardly thought he could do it. The motorcycles came into view on the rear view mirror, and they were pulling out hand guns from their belts. He gulped, but managed the words, "But you can't land-"
   "My father works with cars!" Conner reassured him without taking his eyes away from the windshield. "I know this sound crazy, but I know this, it'll work! Trust me!"
   He gulped down his stomach and nodded vaguely. "I do trust you!"
   Conner took his eyes off of their on-coming doom to look him in the eyes. "Then hold on!"
   The car drew nearer to the inevitable drop off where the noonday traffic raged bellow. With the bad guys on their heels, guns draw and ready to fire, there was no going back.
   Without another word, Conner launched them off of the bridge and down to the rushing freeway bellow. There was a moment when they hung in the air, the car resting on nothing. With the throttle still going hard, the tires smashed into the pavement and the Hyundai skidded over the ground and through the traffic to safety. As they fled the oncoming cars to the shoulder, the motorcycles braked hard and looked over the unfinished bridge at the triumphant Watchmen bellow.
   Mason leaned out of his window and waved his fist up at them, face bright with a smile. "Ah ha! Not so scary now, are ya?!"
   Conner just laughed and did donuts in celebration.
   Gunfire rained down on them and they quickly retreated down the freeway from their short-lived victory, still laughing but with more reservation. Once they were out of danger, Conner drove to the shoulder and parked the car to give them a moment to catch their breath.
   He hoped out of the car unfazed and ran his hand over the silver exterior. "Not a scratch."
   "That was amazing!" Mason congratulated his friend with a punch on the shoulder.
   Conner smiled back as he rubbed his now sore arm.
   "Where'd you learn to drive like that?" Mason asked as he settled down from the car chase and clutched his now bandaged hand.
   Conner glanced quickly at him, then back to the road and shrugged. "Oh, I guess it runs in the family."
   "Dude, I wanna meet your family," Mason joked with a smirk.
   Conner tensed up for a moment and laughed unconvincingly. "Ha ha ha... I doubt it..."
   "Why? Nothing's wrong with them, right?"
   "No, that's not what I meant-"
   "That's what it sounded like."
   Conner sighed, not liking the way the conversation was going. "Can we change the subject?"
   Mason sighed also, but agreed. "Did you get the records about where they'll be shipping the titanium?"
   "Oh yeah," Conner nodded. "Once the Watchmen process that data, we'll know the exact location of the Hydra base."
   "But they probably have hundreds!" Mason brought up. "How do we know that Ava will be there?"
   Conner pondered the thought, then shrugged. "We've got no other leads to follow." Then he put a sympathetic hand on his friend's shoulder. "We will find her, Mason."
   He nodded halfheartedly. "I suppose you're right. Now c'mon, we better back to the base. Graham's gonna kill us for not following orders..."

   Yea! Chapter seventeen is complete :) This one is a bit longer than normal (I think...) but I hope you still enjoyed it :) It was fun to write!

So, I have something to announce...
Willow's chapter of Friends and Enemies should be up this Friday!

Aaaaaannnnddd that's it. Really, this blog doesn't have much to announce anymore... humph... but anyway, have a good one! :)

Oh, and if you liked the car aspect of this one (as I did!), you can check out my board on Pinterest for them, How They Roll. You don't have to be a member of Pinterest to view the boards, btw.

Always watching,