Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Watchmen Files // File One // Chapter Twenty Two // The Fall

Dear readers,

Good day to you all!

   So, as you may know I had thought that I might not have been able to finish this chapter on time, but I did! Which means I get to post it now, of course :) I hope you all like it, I very much enjoyed writing the second-half of the chapter!

So here we go!

   The dark halls of the Hydra building were suddenly filled with alarmed Watchmen, racing down the staircase to escape the oncoming catastrophic explosion. Graham, who was heading-up the operation, was shouting and running up and down for the full evacuation of everyone inside to the ground-level, and from there out into the forest outside. They had no idea how large the explosion would be, so he told them to get as far away as they could.
   But there was one young man not obeying orders, and definitely not running away. He leaped into the elevator and pressed the thirteenth story button rapidly. As it moved upwards, Mason watched as the Watchmen below darted out of the doomed building and into the relative safety of the woods around it. They seemed so small, like ants as the followed their orders without question.
   He wondered if Conner was down there, carrying Ava with him. He missed her already.
   But Mason had someone to rescue, though he wasn't even sure how. His dad, Doctor Hans Kruger was up there, being dragged back into captivity. All of the memories of his parent's divorce, his dad's cold and seemingly uncaring blue eyes, and his absence from his son's life were flooding his mind. But even if he had been a jerk (to say the least), he was still his dad, he was still family. Mason couldn't lose him, not again.
   The elevator seemed to be moving like a sloth up the shaft. He could hear helicopter blades starting to get moving above him.
   The elevator stopped and the door to the landing-pad opened. The small landing-pad itself was about the size of half a football field, and a small rocket-like-thing with helicopter blades on the bottom to lift it up off of the ground, along with some mini jets to give it a boost was parked on the far end. The pad was about three stories above the roof itself, and was being held up by a few pillars.
   The door to the rocket closed, and the blades had already started moving.
   He was too late.
   Bright white spotlights glared down at his bewildered face, blinding his sensitive eyes as it flew upwards, off of the landing-pad and into the night sky.
   Mason tried to open the elevator door again to get to safety, but he realized his quite possibly fatal mistake: it was locked.
   It was a trap!
   He couldn't see, and all he heard was the sound of gunfire from the light as it drew nearer. They were aiming for him, he knew, and in reaction he stepped back quickly as they came closer. He couldn't see where he was going, and suddenly, for a moment, his foot rested on nothing.
   Losing his balance, he teetered backwards, and fell.

   "Sargent?!" Conner, who was still holding Ava tightly in his arms raced out of the building and over to where Graham was checking to see if everyone had made it out. He tried to cover Ava's face with his arms to protect her from the pelting rain that was coming down in buckets from the storm above.
   Graham didn't put down his phone was Conner approached, but gave him a quick thumbs-up. "All clear?" He questioned the Watchmen on the line. Then he nodded, said over and out and put the cellphone down. "Blast it, where's Mason?"
   Hugging Ava tightly to himself, Conner's eyes flashed with fear as his last desperate shard of the hope that his friend's escape were dashed against the rocks. "I thought he might be with you..."
   Graham, now thoroughly confused, shook his head. "What'd you mean, you were with him, right?"
   Conner just nodded, but gave him a sorrowful expression. "Oh no..." Turning around, he watched as a rocket lifted up off of the helicopter-pad. Spotlights from on board the aircraft shown down onto the landing-pad, which he couldn't see completely because of the dark night and pelting rain.
   "Conner, we've go to get away from this building!" Graham tried to pull him and Ava with him into the woods, but he resisted strongly. "We've got thirty seconds, boy!" He tried to reason with him, but it was no use. Conner's eyes were fixed on the figure on the landing-pad.
   Suddenly, the craft started shooting at something on the landing-pad. He could see a figure getting closer to the edge. He seemed to be covering his face with his arms. He couldn't see where he was going, and Conner guessed who it was immediately. "Mason?!" And then, he stepped back where there was no more ground to get a footing on.
   "Mason, noooooo!!"
   "Ten seconds!" Graham shouted, and forced Conner behind a parked Hydra truck for cover. Ava screamed as Conner watched with stricken horror as Mason fell to the roof three storied below him. Graham was counting down the seconds to the explosion as Conner struggled to get free. But even if he could, there was nothing he could have done to help his friend.
   "... three... two-" the countdown and Conner's cry was overpowered by the ear piercing boom of the countless charges hidden inside the first story, all the way up to the tenth story of the building. The explosion rocked the ground, and a fiery billow of smoke and flame engulfed the bottom half of the Hydra operation. The charges had been hidden inside the pillars that held the weight of the structure, and their ignition cause them to collapse. The entire building fell in on itself.
   Mud, dirt, tufts of grass and rocks flew from the tremendous sound and force of the blast. The truck the three of them were hidden behind rocked backward over them.

   Conner never knew just how long he, Graham, and Ava were lying behind the shelter of the vehicle. When he came-to, his ears were ringing and his head was throbbing. Ava was laying beside him, eyes closed and breathing shallowly. Graham was awake, but he was too dazed to notice Conner stumbling away from him.
   Conner wasn't thinking about the devastation around him, the debris littered everywhere, the mud splattered over everything. The fires burned on the nearby forest trees, but the pouring rain was putting them out quickly enough. The building itself was hard to describe, but fires burned rampant. The charges had been placed in the pillars, which plenty of them were in the heart of the structure. That caused the building to not only collapse, but also to cave in the center.
   Conner's mind was swimming, but he kept moving forward in search of his friend. He knew he almost certainly would be dead, but that didn't matter. Not when he had one scrap of hope left in him. "Oh God, don't take him now," he prayed aloud in a begging tone. "Give him time, give me time."
   Through many scraps, gashes, and burns he scaled the remains of the side of the building and made it to the roof. His hands were torn from the climb and the debris, and his hands burned from the still hot metal, but his mind blocked out the pain to focus on one thing only: Mason.
   The roof had been broken into three pieces, caving in towards the center. Things that had been on the roof, mostly camouflage and equipment, had slid into the center crack, and most had fallen in.
   Conner, still dazed but more focused stumbled down the steam slope of the cracked roof to the center. The thick concrete had broken, and all kinds of debris was strewn everywhere inside. "Mason," he did his best to shout, but his voice cracked and he coughed hard. After recovering, he took a gulp of saliva and shouted again, "Mason, are you alright?"
   Avoiding another burning fire, he made his way to the semi-stable ground inside the crack. He must have been somewhere on the eleventh story, or what was left of it.
   He didn't know how long he spent pushing around stray sheets of burned metal and concrete, but it felt like an eternity. Finally, he pushed aside some rubbish and saw a foot sticking out from under a piece of broken metal. "Mason!" He cried with relief, but then it quickly vanished once he tried to lift it. The piece of metal was thick, too thick for him to pick up on his own. He couldn't hold it up and pull Mason out at the same time, and he was losing what little strength he had left.
   Suddenly, Graham appeared. He looked no worse than Conner did, battered and cut from the climb up, but he was definitely more awake and alert then the rookie was.
   "McKee! Are you okay?" He hustled down to where Conner was trying to lift the metal. "Whoa, don't hurt yourself!"
   "M... Mason..." Conner stuttered, then let go of the sheet and fell backwards with exhaustion.
   Graham caught him and gently placed him on the ground. "You don't look good... I think you're in shock. Don't move." Turning, he shouted over his shoulder. "We need a medic over here!"
   "But Mason..."
   "He's gone, Con." Graham looked down, and shook his head. "He couldn't make it."
   "Yes he can!" He persisted, pulling away from his Sargent and reaching for the debris. "He's a super soldier, he has to make it!"
   Graham tried to stop him, but Conner fought away and started pulling it up and off of the body underneath. "Help me!"
   The Sargent finally notice the feet sticking out from under it and quickly assisted. With both of their strength, they lifted the large sheet of pure titanium up and Conner pulled the body out from under it.
   Mason's face was pale. Conner's eyes were overflowing with tears as he put his ear to his friend's heart and listened.
   There was an defining silence.
   Then, a beat.
   Thump thump, thump thump.
   "He's alive!" Conner exclaimed, and Graham quickly double-checked.
   "He won't last long without help..." He turned about again, and hollered, "I said I need a medic!"
   When the medics arrived, they did what they could on site, then picked Mason up and put him on a stretcher to take him to the ground where they could air-lift him to a hospital. With two holding each pole, they started to carry him away to safety.
   Conner tried to follow, but as he did, he stumbled and fell, gasping at his wounded leg, unable to walk with his own strength.
   Graham put an arm around him and helped him walk to the edge, and strapped him in to a sort of repelling system the other Watchmen had already assembled for the rescue.
   Jared and Gabe piloted the small aircraft and landed it in a small patch of open ground they had made for them. They loaded Mason on board, and Graham let Conner go with him to the hospital to be treated.

   Mason didn't remember much of what happened, but what he did, he would never forget.
   A black, metal ceiling was above him, and he didn't feel anything. He was too woozy to know what was going on. He could hear an engine and saw the sway of take-off in the parachute packs hanging on the walls. Then his vision blurred into complete darkness.
   It felt like decades, but at the same time it felt like no time at all until he woke next.
   The white ceiling panels and blindingly bright ceiling lights whizzed by in a glowy blur, and he knew someone was moving him very fast as he lay on his back. He also felt deep pain, everywhere in his body, it hurt like nothing he had ever experienced until then. The anxious voices spoke rapidly in plain English, though he couldn't understand what they were saying. He could see people dressed in blue and wearing hair nets, and also face mask things that covered their mouths.
   He couldn't recognize them, he was having enough of a hard time thinking at all. But there were two people he did.
   First, Graham was on his left side, helping to push whatever Mason was laying on. His expression was one of strength, like he knew Mason would push through this.
   The freckled face of his friend was on his right, watching anxiously from his side. His eyes were like a lost puppy dogs, and when he saw Mason's eyes open a crack, he smiled and his deep dimples showed vividly. He said something to him, but Mason couldn't understand. All he could hear was the sound of his British accent speaking softly and encouragingly. Then he looked back up, and the bright white lights overcame his vision, and it was gone.

   Later, he could only hear a British accent singing softly,

"Weak and wounded sinner,
lost and left to die.
Oh raise your head for love is passing by,
Come to Jesus.
Come to Jesus.
Come to Jesus and live.
And like a new born baby,
don't be afraid to crawl.
And remember when we walk,
sometimes we fall.
So fall on Jesus.
Fall on Jesus.
Fall on Jesus and live.
Sometimes the way is lonely, and steep and filled with pain.
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain,
Then cry to Jesus.
Cry to Jesus.
Cry to Jesus and live."
   And there we have it :) Mason's safe, so is Conner! And Ava too, sorry I couldn't find an opportunity to mention her in this chapter, but I will in the next. Mason certainly hasn't forgotten her.

   Also, the song at the end of the chapter is one that the choir Willow and I are in are singing this year :) It's one of my favorites, and if you want to listen to a version of it, click here.
   Also, Ammelia will post her chapter this Monday and Willow might post her chapter this Friday {heheh, D asked me to do some announcements while she's in the shower, I have control!} if she can write it in time ;)

Always Watching,