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Infinity's Row - Interlude

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by WritingBookworm on Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:56 pm

I walk out of the security room with long strides. Gentry has to run a little to catch up to me. "So we need to find that bomb, right? How do we do that?"

"Simple," I say. I unsheathe my sword. "We need only to ask one of our little friends."

Before she can say anything else, I move ahead through the hall. I pass several doors, among them being ones that lead to a library, a medical room, and some sort of closet, but not once do I spot one of the gunmen.

I continue through the hall with Gentry, quietly stepping through the hall and around a corner--

That's when I see one.

A single gunman, likely a sentry of some sort.

I hold up a single finger to Gentry. Then, carefully controlling every bone in my body, I creep towards him--

I clamp his hand over his mouth. Within seconds I have him pinned to the wall.

"Now, there are two ways we can handle this. I trust you know what they are. Tell me where the bomb is now or--"

"Or you'll what?" the man says. He smiles broadly, displaying several missing teeth. "You'll kill me?"

"No," I say. "As much as I'd love to decapitate you right here and now, killing you would only be detrimental to my plans. So no, I won't. Instead, I'm going to make you feel pain until you tell me where it is."

"There's no way you'll actually go through with it, heroes are too moral for--"

I hear Gentry shriek when I cut off one of his fingers.

I look up at the gunman's face. He's not smiling anymore. In fact, it looks like he's experiencing a great deal of pain.

"I am a man of limited patience," I say. "Do bear that in mind. Now, where is the bomb?"

"Do you really think I'm going to tell you?"

I slice my sword through his middle finger. He jerks his head upwards, his face contorted in pain.

"Do I need to repeat the question?" I say.

"Go screw yourself."

A third finger falls simply to the floor. Dark, thick blood splatters the white.

"E-Elias?" Gentry's voice quivers. "Please, Elias, there has to be another way--"

"Where. Is. The bomb."

The man's eyes look very frightened. Yet still he spits right into my face.

I sigh in annoyance. I lop off his pinkie.

I notice the large lump on his throat. He's in a world of pain. He'll crack at any moment. All that is required is one more push.

"Don't worry," I say. "I suspect you won't need that in the future. In fact, now that you've lost four out of five fingers, I reckon you don't even need your hand."

The man gives a great bellow of pain when I decide to cut off his entire left hand.

"The storage room!" he says. "The one directly below the chamber! Just go to the bottom floor, take a right, and go straight, you'll find it soon enough, I swear!"

I look at him directly in the eye, searching for any sign of a lie--

There is only fear. People will do much under the weight of fear.

I smile. I release his neck and let him fall to the floor.

"Your cooperation is much appreciated, truly it is," I say. "But I simply cannot allow you to give us away."

I draw my arm back, then plunge my sword deep into his chest.

I hear another shriek come from Gentry. The man chokes, his eyes bulging. Then, gradually, he lowers his head until it rests on his bloodied chest.

I pull Xiuhcoatl out of his chest and turn around. Gentry looks like she's trying to stab me with her eyes.

I lift an eyebrow. "What is it?"

"How can you do that?"

"Do what?"

"Just kill people like that!" she says. Her hands tighten around her pistols. "I thought it couldn't get any worse when it turned out that you actually had the stomach for interrogation, but I was wrong, you kill people, too!"

"It is a dirty job--" I sheathe my sword, "--but it is one that must be done."

"It DOESN'T have to be done, Elias! You could knock them out, maybe tie them up, anything that doesn't take their life!"

How dreadfully naive this girl is. She must come to see the reality of the circumstances. "So you claim. But Silverbane and his men do not value life. To be as dangerous as him, we must not, either. We must sever all limitations cast upon us."

"So valuing life is a limitation?" Her voice cracks, and those insipid tears are welling up in her eyes. "That's the sickest thing I've ever heard! Is that what you seriously believe?"

"In our current situation, yes."

The world seems to slow down as her jaw lowers to her chest. Her eyes are filled with shock, disbelief--

As well as something that I can only describe as hurt.

My shield of apathy begins to dissolve. I feel a hard twinge in my midsection, and I can't help but cast my eyes on a point in the distance.

"You are one heartless bastard," Gentry says.

My arms go rigid before I relax them. It's best if she continues to think that. It's best if everyone continues to think that.

"Hey!"

I swing my head around. Four of Silverbane's men have rounded the corner and spotted us.

I curse under my breath and unsheathe my sword. "I don't have time for this. Miss Yate, how do we get to the bottom floor?"

No response.

"Miss Yate?"

Still nothing.

I heave a sigh. "Need I remind you of your parents, Miss--"

"There are stairs just down this hall," she says gruffly. She cocks her pistols and aims them at the attackers.

I run straight towards my opponents. I drop to the ground, sliding towards them as a barrage of bullets is sent flying just mere feet above me. I whip my sword through one of the attacker's sides as I slide past them, roll around them and stand up once I'm behind them.

I prepare to ram my sword into one of the attacker's chests until he cries out and falls down due to a gunshot wound in his leg. I consider killing him anyways, but I'm already on dangerous ground with Gentry. I cannot lose her assistance, for I need her to properly navigate the manor.

I turn around and strike at one of the attackers only to be blocked by the barrel of a gun. I retract my blade and am just about to send it deep into his stomach--

A high-pitched scream cuts into my ears.

I grimace and take a step back due to the sheer volume of the sound.

I lift my head and locate the source if the scream--

Gentry.

Gentry, who lets out another scream and slumps to the ground as she attempts to staunch the bleeding of a gunshot wound.

I pale and nearly drop my sword. "Mi-Miss Yate--"

She screams again--

I clench my teeth--

Then I'm at her side in three fast and strong steps. "Miss Yate!"

I run my eyes all over her gunshot wound. Blood flows between and under her fingers, and it keeps coming, never stopping--

Her screams gradually come to a stop. Her eyes flutter shut, and oh God she's already looking so pale--

It hits me.

The blood isn't trickling out of the wound slowly and steadily, like a river. It's coming out more like a great waterfall. It's so unnatural--

She has hemophilia. Her bleeding to death is a very real possibility.

I try to think. The bomb. . . The bomb is down that hall--

But I remember spotting a medical room down the hall, the other way--

I have to get to the bomb--

But she needs medical attention--

I must get to the bomb--

I slam my fist on the wall.

But dang it, I won't let Gentry Yate just die.

I pick up one of her guns and fire blindly at the fleeing attackers before dropping it and picking up Gentry bridal style.

And then I run.

I run, pushing myself as hard as I possibly can, summoning speed that I didn't even know I had within me because I need to save her, I need to save Gentry Yate--

"Hang on," I say. "Come on, hang on, don't you dare give up on me! I lost Nora, I can't lose you too!"

I look down on her.

And I swear, for a moment, it looks like her eyes are somewhat open.

I skid to a halt once I see the door to a medical room. I slam it open--

I lay Gentry down on the floor before sprinting over to the steel shelves that line the walls.

I look around them frantically. Bandages, I need bandages--

There.

I grab two rolls of tan bandages and hurry back over to Gentry. I kneel by her left shoulder.

Hands shaking, I rip a small piece off of one of the rolls, twist it so it's small and vaguely cylindrical, and then plug it into her bullet wound. Within moments blood has completely soaked through it, so I rip off another piece, twist it, pull the original one out and insert the new piece inside.

I don't know how many times I repeat the process. I just continue the procedure, trying to steady my racing heart, constantly wondering if this is really going to work, if she's just going to die just like my sister did no matter what I do--

When I remove the next cylindrical piece, I find that it's not soaked in red. It's certainly bloodied, but. . .

But it's nothing like when I started. The blood flow is decreasing.

I toss the piece aside and grab the roll. I tear off a long, long strip this time. Then, carefully, I wrap the bandage around her shoulder.

Once I've tied it properly, I put two fingers against her neck--

I feel a beating in her pulse. It's small, but it's there, prominent and steadfast all the same.

I detach my fingers from her pulse and heave a sigh of relief. She's okay. She's actually okay.

I allow my spine to unwind until I'm leaning against the wall. I close my eyes, soaking in the sheer solace.

"E. . . Elias?" comes a groggy voice.

I crack an eye open and see Gentry slowly coming to.

I push my back off of the wall. I clear my throat. "Good. You're conscious."

Gentry looks at me like she's seeing me in a new light. "Elias? Did you. . . actually save me?"

"Obviously."

"But. . . I thought you said valuing life was a limitation."

I tighten my lips and study some medicine bottles residing on a far-off shelf. "Limitation or not, I value yours."

I decide to leave it at that.

_________________
Credit to Hime for the drawing!





[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by boyhoy on Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:42 pm

Awwwww that was really sweet. I loved this chapter. I really love these two characters and the story is so suspenseful! Keep it up :DDD

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by WritingBookworm on Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:34 pm

The circumstances are undoubtedly not in our favor.

That's what I have decided upon reviewing these past events. After all, we're trapped inside a building with several gunmen who are holding people hostage. While we now know of the bomb's whereabouts, my only ally is unable to fight not only because of the bullet wound to the shoulder, but I accidentally left behind both of her guns. As though things couldn't get worse, two of our attackers escaped. The reason why I killed the man in the first place was so he couldn't reveal our location. Now that they've gotten away, they're able disclose our whereabouts to their allies. And, of course, that one-hour limit the man gave the one in particular is running short.

"Hey, Elias?"

I almost tell her to shut up. But instead, I say, "Yes?"

"Thanks a lot."

"Of course."

I close my eyes and begin to get lost in my thoughts again when Gentry adds, "How did you know what to do?"

"Do what?"

"Treat my gunshot wound."

"I just knew."

"Come on, don't be like that. Who'd you learn it from? Because now that I think of it, that training could definitely come in handy."

I sigh. "I learned it on my own, all right? One time I saw someone die due to a shot to the chest, so I learned how to treat them to ensure that something like that never happened again."

"That Nora person, right?"

I throw my head over my shoulder and stare at Gentry. How did she--

Oh. Right. I let her name slip while rushing Gentry over to the medical room. I'll need to watch myself better.

"Yes," I say. "It was Nora."

Gentry's face is soft. "I'm sorry." Then she looks down and bites her lip. "Um. . . if you don't mind me asking. . . I'm just being curious right now, I mean, obviously she was special to you, so--did you and Nora ever. . . you know. . . do it?"

"Whatever do you--oh, you idiot! Nora was my sister, not my lover!"

Her eyes are wide. "Oh. That's awkward. I-I just figured that--"

"That I've actually been involved in a prior relationship?"

She looks like she's trying to shrink. "Maybe."

I roll my eyes. "Honestly, Miss Yate. Some of your notions are simply ridiculous."

"Well, you seem a little--actually, very hardened--at times, so I just figured that maybe there was some sort of romantic screw-up or betrayal or breakup that made you like this."

I arch an eyebrow. "You do realize that this is not a drama film, correct?"

"I know, but--"

"This is simply the way I am, Miss Yate. It always has been. I possessed this behavior even before my sister's demise."

I turn away from her. "And you?" I ask. "Have you ever had experience in the romantic field?" I'm not particularly interested in the subject, but I must redirect the conversation before she can push the matter pertaining to my nature further. If she does, then she'll force me to remember memories that are better left buried.

"No, not really," she admits. "Don't get me wrong, I've had several crushes and find a lot of guys attractive, but it's not like I've ever had a boyfriend or anything. I . . . I. . ."

Her voice becomes small and weak. "I've never had the chance to have one."

I open my mouth to get her to stop talking, but she continues. "I mean, surely you figured out that I have hemophilia. I also have osteoporosis, and the two of them combined really isn't a good thing, so for almost all of my life I've been isolated from people my age. My parents knew how much risk I was at and then decided to keep me within the manor at all times. So you could say that I got restless."

I sneak a glance at Gentry. She's trying to act nonchalant, but all of this means a great deal to her.

"I guess that's why I joined the Row," she says. "I know, I know, it's stupid and reckless with both osteoporosis and hemophilia. But I don't want to be a pretty little dove in a cage. I want to become an eagle, strong and proud and free. I'd rather die soon while living life to the fullest than live a long life in seclusion and fear."

She exerts a ragged exhale. "I guess what it all comes down to is that no, I've never had a boyfriend."

I look up thoughtfully. "Hm. That means that there's a man who's about to become very honored."

"There's a man who'll. . . What? What do you mean?"

Because, Miss Yate, I imagine that it must be an honor to be your lover."

Gentry's mouth falls open, and unlike last time, it's in a positive way. Then she closes it, her subsequent smile very tender. Her cheeks are distinctly redder than they were a few moments ago.

"You know," she says, "keep that kind of talk up and you have potential to become a big chick magnet."

"And then have hoardes of singleminded fangirls come running toward me? No thanks."

Gentry giggles.

Her entire body relaxes as though she's bathing in sunlight. "Hey, Elias?"

"Yes?"

"Thanks for not being a heartless bastard."

A hard rap sounds on the door.

Silence falls over the room.

The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, and my heart begins racing.

"Elias?" she whispers.

I grit my teeth. This is what I get for letting those two attackers escape.

They've found us.

I shut out the world and think as hard as I can. I don't know how many attackers there are, so I'm going to have to find some way to strike hard, and I can't do that with just my sword--

I whip my head around and scan the medical room. My eyes fall on a large steel cart, probably used to quickly transport medical supplies.

"E--" Gentry grimaces as I hear her get up to her feet. "Elias?"

I'm already crossing over to the cart. I lift it up, walk back over to the door and place it close to there.

"Stay back until I say so," I say. "And when I do say so, you run. I'll see if I can steal a gun or two from them, but only if you promise to run."

"But I--"

"Miss Yate."

". . . Alright. I'll run."

I redirect my focus to the door. I mentally prepare myself for whatever happens next and open the door.

I push the cart out as hard as I can the second the door's wide enough. I run out and unsheathe my sword as I hear surprised cries.

I scan the number of attackers. Ten of them.

My eyes become slits. I could be able to wipe them all out, but only if I really push myself.

I'm going to have to kill them all. I don't like that fact, but I know that leaving any of them alive will allow them to go running back and report our location to their leader. I made that mistake once; I couldn't let myself repeat it.

I advance towards one of them and stab him in the chest. I turn around to see one of them sprinting straight towards me, raising his gun high over his head to give me a mighty blow on the head--

Big mistake on his part. He's leaving himself wide open.

I promptly run my sword through his heart, ducking when I hear a gunshot. I remove the blade from his chest, roll towards another one of the attackers, and give a swift punch to both of his kneecaps.

I stand as he crumbles and shortly deliver a hard blow to his neck. When he remains motionless, I bend down and yank a handgun from his waistband.

I dodge a bullet as I come back to my full height. I carefully aim at one of the gunmen's heads before firing a single shot.

I turn around before I can see whether I hit or missed. I sprint back over to the door and toss the handgun into the room. "Now run! I'll cover you!"

I run back to the the steel cart and use it to ram two gunmen into the wall. I retract it, lowering my head as I hear a gun go off, and slam it again and again into the attackers until I hear a few crunches.

I look over to Gentry. She's out of the room, and quickly fires a few bullets with her good arm before lowering it and sprinting down the hall.

The two men hit by her attacks collapse to the ground, howling in agony. Only two remain standing now--

And one of them is carefully aiming his gun at Gentry.

I run towards him and ram my body into his just before the shot goes off.

Together we fall to the ground. After a brief but difficult struggle with him, I come out on top, with his head mere millimeters from the wall.

"I'll make sure you never try to harm her again," I say. Then I punch the underside of his jaw, making his skull crack against the wall.

I attempt to stand, but then throw myself to the ground just as a bullet whizzes by. I lift myself back up, and charge directly at the last man standing--

Before sinking Xiuhcoatl deep into his chest.

He chokes, blood dripping from his mouth. Then he closes his eyes and lowers his head.

The sudden weight on my sword is quite heavy.

I grit my teeth and pull the blade out of his chest. Then, after stepping over numerous corpses, I sheathe my sword and begin running after Gentry.

Not long after I take a left, I can see Gentry running as fast as she can. Good. She hasn't run into trouble.

"Miss Yate!" I call. "Go into that door up ahead! I'll be with you shortly."

Initially, I don't know if she heard me or not. Then she skids to a halt and bolts into the next door she sees. In turn I pick up the pace, running faster, faster, faster--

I get into the room and slam the door shut.

My breaths come out in heavy panting. Sweat drenches my forehead. I quickly look around me and see that we're in a small janitor's closet.

"Glad to see that you're still alive," Gentry says.

I don't respond. Instead I inch my head downwards until my slick forehead touches the door.

Eleven people.

Eleven people are dead, in one night, because of me.

I push out a ragged exhale and squeeze my eyes shut. I must stop it. I must show no mercy. I must stop feeling this. . . this compassion.

If I am to stop these invaders successfully, I must not let my emotions define me.

I feel Gentry's hand on my shoulder. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," I say.

But I know that she knows otherwise.

I detach my forehead from the door and begin regulating my breathing. I have never lost control of myself while under a stressful situation, and there will never be a first time.

"You're quite impressive, one in particular."

It's that man from the video feed.

My eyes snap open. I look all around for the man, but he's nowhere to be found. . .

That means he's speaking through an intercom that runs through the house.

"Why would your parents install an intercom system in the manor?" I say.

"We're filthy rich. Why not install an intercom system in the manor?"

"I'll have to admit," continues the man, "I didn't expect you and your little partner to fight so hard. Even after your partner was shot, you dare to go against me."

I can't move. I can barely even breathe, for it feels as though the floor is crumbling beneath my feet.

This confirms it.

My initial theory was correct.

I am the one in particular.

Gentry stares at me in shock. "So you're the one they were trying to negotiate with this whole time? You're who can put a stop to this, and you didn't tell me?"

"You're not the only one this comes as a surprise to, Miss Yate," I say. "I didn't think I'd actually be the one in particular. I don't even know what they want from me! I don't have anything with me except my weapon--"

And then I remember her words.

"Just take my sword. It's one of my most valuable possessions, and the key to my memories. Do what you will--use it, stow it away--I don't care. Just protect it."

A chill rakes down my spine. Inch by inch, I force my head to the side, and then bring my gaze down to the sword hanging at my hip.

Nora's sword.

No. . .

"But nevertheless, you are still not complying to my demands, and furthermore, you're trying to stop me. You've forced my hand, so now things are about to get a little more. . . interesting."

_________________
Credit to Hime for the drawing!





[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by boyhoy on Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:20 am

OH MY GOSH SO MUCH CLIFFHANGER!!! Gah!!!!

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by WritingBookworm on Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:49 pm

"'Interesting'?" Gentry gulps. "I really don't like the sound of this."

Neither do I.

"Let's give this tale a nice plot twist, one in particular," the man says. "Every five minutes that you don't deliver yourself to me, I'll kill someone. Easy enough to understand."

I want to hypothesize that he's simply bluffing. But why would he when my compliance is at stake?

Sure enough, I hear a woman's whimpering over the intercom. "No, please, don't!"

"Your five minutes start now."

Gentry's mouth is open, her eyes wide and horrified. She turns to me. "What are you going to do now?"

"I'm going to take out that bomb."

"But what about that hostage over the intercom? You can't just let her die, can you?"

I don't answer.

Still she understands what I mean. "But. . . no, Elias, you can't!"

"We have to be reasonable, Miss Yate," I say. "Say that you and I were to actually succumb to their captor's demands. What then? There's no way they'd let us out of the room after that, and it's highly probable that they will simply kill everyone anyways. Going after the bomb is the best chance we have of saving everyone."

"Not everyone," she says. "That woman needs to be saved, too!"

I shake my head. "Her fate is already sealed. No matter what we do, she'll die. The best thing we can do is save everyone else."

"But there has to be a way!"

"Miss Yate. There isn't. Not one that will end well."

And I mean it. There isn't. Because of there was, I would certainly try it. No more blood should be spilt tonight on my watch.

I place my hand on the cool doorknob. "I'm going after the bomb. Wait here."

"What? No, I'm coming with you!"

"You're not."

"You know, you don't have to do everything alone, Elias!"

I look over my shoulder and cock an eyebrow. "Have I done this alone?"

"Well. . . No. I guess not."

"Exactly." I let go of the doorknob and turn to face her fully. "Although, you do strike a bit of a point. You are the first person that I have properly worked with in an extremely long time."

I clamp a hand on her shoulder. "Listen. I know that you want to fight. I know that you want to save your parents. I also know that you want to save them not only out of concern for their safety, but also so that you may prove yourself to them."

She looks at me in awe. "I. . . I never told you that."

"You never had to. It was obvious. But you're already wounded, and I don't know if I can save you should you get hurt a second time. I know you want to prove yourself, but you can't do that if you're dead, Gentry!"

She raises her eyebrows.

Then, somehow, she smiles. "You called me Gentry."

There is a pause. I drink in both the meaning and the context of her words.

I remove my hands from her shoulders.

"So I did."

I turn around and open the door. "Stay here."

I step out and close it behind me before I can look back.

I break out into a run straightaway.

I no longer care for stealth or subtlity. Neither of them matter no longer. What does matter now is speed and efficiency. I have to get to the storage room before anyone else loses their life.

I turn around the corner and sure enough, there's the medical room and the corpses littered outside its door.

I keep my gaze strictly pinned to the wall as I run around them.

A gunshot echoes in the hall.

My heart skips a beat. I stop, out of breath, and unsheathe my sword as I look around for an attacker--

There are none.

His voice comes back just a second after I realize it. "Such a shame, one in particular."

Dread sinks into my stomach.

Eleven has become twelve.

"She really didn't have to die," he says. "And neither does this kind sir I have here. Your five minutes begins now."

I swallow and touch my hand to the back of my neck. I feel as though bricks have been stacked onto my shoulders, and my forehead breaks into a sweat once more.

Then I sheathe my sword and begin running again.  

I run down the hall, passing many doors until I find the man I interrogated.

I stop for a second, closing my eyes and resting my chin on a fist. What was it that Gentry and that man had said?

Gentry had told me that there were stairs just down this hall. And that man had reported that the storage room was on the bottom floor. Then I'd have to take a right and I'd find it soon enough.

My resolve set, I break out into a run once more. Within thirty seconds, I see the stairs Gentry promised me.

I put my hand on the golden railing and fly down the stairs three steps at a time. I leap onto the floor once I get there, run straight down the hall, and make my way down the first right turn I witniss--

It leads to a short hall with a single door at the very end.

That has to be the room I seek.

I unsheathe my sword and advance towards it. Should I manage to be successful in this endeavor, then I'll have taken their greatest weapon out of the equation. After that, it'll be a matter of how to eliminate the gunmen surrounding the hostages--

Another shot is fired.

My free hand becomes a fist. That makes thirteen.

"And so we move to number three," the man over the intercome says. I can vaguely hear some heated swearing in the background by a frightened male voice. "Five minutes."

It takes all of my will to not stampede straight into the storage room.

I take a few deep breaths. When I'm as calm as I can possibly be in this situation, I close the remaining distance between.me and the storage room--

I fling the door open.

Several shots are immediately fired. I throw myself on the ground, and the moment the shooting pauses I rise up to one knee and swing my sword into one of the guard's ankles. He promptly screams as he falls down.

"He's here!" I hear one of the guards say as I run towards another and stab him in the stomach. "Carstairs is here! Kill him and get the swo--"

He stops talking when I stab him the chest.

I turn around and see a man a few feet away reaching for a black communicator. I raise my sword above my head, aim carefully, and then throw my weapon at him as hard as I can. It stabs his shoulder, and the weight of the blade drags the guard down to the floor.

There's just one more guard, right behind me. I step towards my blade--

I stop myself. I'll need at least one of these men alive.

So I turn around and advance toward the guard. His face is pale, and the arm that's pointing a gun at my head is shaking.

Within two quick strides, I'm at his side. I grab his head and slam it against the wall. The man then drops the gun and slumps to the ground, unconscious.

I make my way back over to my sword and yank it out of the groaning man's shoulder. For good measure, I kick his gun away.

I have to look around the gray-walled storage room for a moment before my eyes land on a bundle of explosives placed at the center of the room.

I walk over to it and take a look at the timer strapped to them. 9:57. 9:56. 9:55.

Good. I made it with almost ten minutes to spare.

I kneel down and inspect the timer. It's actually a relatively simple one that they happened to connect to the bomb, so it doesn't take long for me to find a simple OFF button.

I don't press it right away. I don't trust these invaders in the slightest. There could easily be some sort of mechanism that could go off once I press the button, or maybe if I press it nothing will happen at all--

But when after nearly two minutes of searching it as thoroughly as I can, I find nothing.

I blow out through my cheeks. Then I lay my index finger on the OFF button and press it--

The timer stops.

Then the numbers disappear.

I relax. The threat of the bomb has officially been disposed of.

I stand up. Now all there's left is to find a way to take care of the twenty or thirty gunmen surrounding the hostages.

But first. . .

I walk up to the man I knocked out and kick his stomach. He jumps awake--

His eyes quickly fall to the blade I have aimed at his throat.

"I have heard of the one you work for," I say. "Silverbane. Is that not his name?"

The man gives a small, tense nod.

My entire body seems to go rigid. Initially, while I heavily suspected Silverbane to be the one who killed Nora, I had no confirmation. But now that I know that they're after Nora's former sword, it's quite plain that Silverbane, whoever he is, is indeed to perpetrator.

My eyes narrow. I lean forward. "Where is he?"

"I-I don't know--"

The tip of my sword pokes his chin.

"Where. Is. Silverbane?"

"I don't know, honestly! He's a really cryptic one, he never tells anyone where he is, please don't kill me!"

I bend down my head and examine him--

Then I step back and lower my sword.

"You really don't know, do you." This man isn't half as resiliant to interrogation as the previous man was. If he really had answers, he would have already given them.

I cringe when I hear the third gunshot over the intercom.

"Hmm. You're quite the stubborn one," the man says. "But I know that you will crack eventually."

I hear the fourth person. "No no no, you can't!"

My blood runs cold.

I know that voice.

It's Gentry's voice.

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[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by Sentinel on Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:15 pm

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by Salphirix on Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:19 am

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by WritingBookworm on Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:39 pm

The very world arounds me seems to spin. They have Gentry. They have Gentry Yate--

But that honestly doesn't make sense. Guns are a loud weapon. If they found her, then surely she would have struggled. If she would have struggled, she would have fired at them. And if she would have fired at them, then surely I would have heard it.

And the voice. Now that I think of it, it seemed far more deep. More mature.

No, they don't hold Gentry.

They're holding her mother.

Surely Gentry's realized this.

Surely she's willing to risk her life for her mother's.

And I'm quite, quite sure that she's brash enough to do so.

I turn back to the man and study his uniform. Underneath the steel breastplate he, like all of the other gunmen, are adorned in black longsleeved shirts and trousers.

Just like me.

"Take off your breastplate and mask," I say.

"But--"

"Breastplate and mask, now. You're quite lucky that I haven't killed you already."

He nods. Then he obliges and hands them over to me.

It doesn't take long to put them on. Soon enough, I look just like one of the invaders.

Now it's time to get into the chamber before Gentry does.

And once when I do, it's entirely possible that that will be the time in which this all ends.

~ ~ ~

Running back to the chamber, fortunately, takes little time. Within approximentally three minutes I'm inching the door open and slipping back inside the chamber.

Back where it all began.

It looks the same--there's the bright red carpet, the golden railing, and the curved staircase that leads to the main floor. There, the invaders surround the hostages--

And one of gunmen restrains the woman I saw in the video feed, holding a gun to her head.

I pick out every detail, attempting to see if any one of them have noticed me--

Many of them haven't, and the few of them who have dismiss me as one of them. Good.

Now, how to rescue them. . .

"Sir!"

I, along with many others down below, divert my attention to a short gunman walking up to their leader.

"What is it?" the leader says with a critical eye trained on the gunman. "This had better be good."

The gunman takes that as permission to walk closer. The gunman stops only upon being five feet from the leader, a little behind Gentry's mother and the man restraining her. "I know the whereabouts of our opponents, sir."

The leader simultaneously lifts his eyebrows and cocks his head. "Do you, now?"

"Indeed. Admittedly, I don't know where the one in particular is. But his partner is RIGHT HERE!"

Gentry whips out her gun and shoots the shoulder of the one restraining her mother. He reels over, releasing her. Mrs. Yate quickly runs back to her husband.

A flurry of bullets come for Gentry--

I run down the stairs three at a time. In seconds I've reached the bottom--

She's pulled down one of the round dining tables and uses it as a makeshift barricade. She rips her mask off, reloads her gun, and--as soon as the barrage of bullets stop for a single second--stands up and fires at several of the gunmen.

She dashes over to another one of the dining tables and heaves herself up onto it. I hear the leader motioning for all of his men to assemble in front of the table. Before long, there is a line of gunmen standing before the table, and I hear several guns cock before they're all pointed at her--

But Gentry doesn't seem to mind. She just levels her own gun at everyone and stands with her back erect, shoulders back, and head held high. She is taller than she ever has been before.

"If any one of you shoot at me or at any of the hostages," she says slowly, "then I swear, I will personally shoot your balls off."

One of the attackers simply growls, lifts his gun up--

A gunshot like a firework echoes through the domed chamber. Gentry throws herself on the flat of the table before rising back up again and firing one, two, three times at the instigator's crotch--

I think I hear something fall to the floor. The man lets loose a great howl of pain before sinking to the floor, clutching his crotch.

"Does anyone else want to see if I'm kidding?" Gentry says.

I glance at her parents. Their expressions are simply priceless.

"You know, little girl," says the leader with the scarred face, "hasn't anyone ever told you that it's stupid to expose yourself when there are more than ten men poised to shoot you?"

"Oh please, you're not going to kill me," Gentry states. "Otherwise you already would have. You're more interested in seeing me alive than dead."

She shifts the gun's aim to his head. "Now, Scarface--I think I'll just call you that since I don't know what the heck your name is--let everyone go. Otherwise I will make you feel pain."

He laughs. "Is that supposed to be a threat? Because I can withstand a lot of pain it it means achieving my ends, you little bi--"

My body acts of its own accord. Within seconds I'm right behind him, poking the tip of my sword into the nape of his neck.

"I really don't recommend you finish that sentence."

I don't have to see his face to witness his nasty smile. "And who might you be?"

"Don't play games with me." I detach the tip from his skin, but keep the sword at his neck level as I circle him. "You know exactly who I am."

I stop when I'm at his front. I remove the steel mask and toss it aside so that he may see my own cold fury.

"I am the one who will make you long to be in Hell once I'm through with you. That is, if you do not truthfully answer every question I ask."

I lift my chin. "Who are you?"

"Archer. Ryan Archer."

"I trust you work closely with Silverbane?"

Archer snorts. "Well duh."

"Who is he? What is his true name?"

"Nuh-uh-uh, Carstairs. No can do, that's classified information."

I bury the tip deeper into his throat. "I realize that. That's why I'm demanding that you declassify it. Now, who is Silverbane?"

Archer grins, exposing many of his crooked teeth. "Silverbane is the future of N'al Ren. He is the one who will carry the land to the era of peace that it deserves. And once we have that thing you're pointing at me, he will at last be able to bring forth this grand new age."

My eyes slant. "Do you expect me to believe that? That he'll 'bring peace'? And that he'll somehow use my sword to do it?"

"Come on, Carstairs, don't tell me that you really don't know about Gen--hold on. . ." Archer stares at me. Then his dark brown eyes widen. "Oh, no way! You really don't know! You're stupider than I'd thought! Almost as stupid as that vile sister of yours--what was her name again? Nora, wasn't it?"

I punch him cleanly in the face.

Archer slowly brings his face back to mine, this time with a deep red mark coloring the side of his nose. "A bit touchy there, aren't we?"

I aim my fist for his head once again. He catches it this time.

"My mistake," he says. "Very touchy."

I retract my fist and thrust my sword at his neck. He ducks, and throws a punch at my chest. I sidestep, effectively dodging the blow, and swipe at him--

Archer brings his leg up and kicks my wrist with a startling amount of force. The kick sends my wrist flying upwards before it reflexively releases my sword, sending it flying up high into the air before clattering to the floor.

My breath hitches. "Gentry!"

"On it!" She leaps off of the table and sprints towards my sword.

I turn back to Archer just in time to dodge a blow. He tries to punch me again, but I stop it with my hand. He tries again, but he reaps the same result, leaving our arms locked above our heads in a battle of strength.

I grit my teeth and dig my feet deep into the floor. My arms begin to wobble, but I force them to become rigid once more the moment I catch it--

I look over to Gentry. She's got the sword, and fires at the gunmen while they fire at her--

All at once I feel Archer using our lock to throw my body to the side. The force and the sharpness of the move sends me tumbling down to the floor.

I grunt at the sudden throbbing all over my body. I move to stand up, but then I feel an arm roughly loop around my neck. The arm jerks upwards, forcing me up to my feet.

"It certainly took a while for you to get here, even when I threatened a lot of people," Archer says close to my ear, "so I'm really not sure how well threatening that girl over there would work. However. . ."

I see what he's doing. I clutch his arm and use all of my strength to pry his arm off, but I might as well be trying to pull a building.

Archer spins me around just as Gentry comes to us with the sword. He presses a pistol to my head.

She looks like a deer caught in the headlights. She takes a step back.

"Put that sword and your gun down, girlie," he says, "or he dies."

Gentry drops them before he even finishes the sentence. Gulping and terrified, she puts her hands in the air.

I cringe. That was so idiotic of her.

Archer jerks his head to the side, motioning for one of his men to collect the weapons. A volunteer steps forward and grabs both of them.

Finally I feel the pressure around my throat relieved. He shoves me to the ground, and I barely catch myself with my arms. I hack a few coughs.

I feel a hand on my shoulder. "Are you okay?"

I don't answer. I look up and see Archer with my sword.

A sea of dread swallows me whole. I still don't know why exactly that sword is needed, but I already do know that it's not good. With that predatoral look in Archer's eyes, there's no way at it can be.

I lower my head. My eyes glaze over.

I'm sorry, Nora.

I failed.

"Well, this has certainly been an eventful evening," Archer says. "But all things must come to an end."

I flick my eyes upward. Archer points his gun down at my head.

"Gotta say, Carstairs, I really need to give you credit for performing well in this situation," he comments. "But it's time for you to say goodbye."

A gunshot goes off.

_________________
Credit to Hime for the drawing!





[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by boyhoy on Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:37 pm

Dang that was super intense. I love how you write fight scenes. It's beautiful!! Very excited for the next chapter Very Happy

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Re: Infinity's Row - Interlude

Post by WritingBookworm on Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:17 am

A gunshot goes off.

I close my eyes and brace myself for the bullet's impact--

Yet nothing comes.

I crack them open as two more are fired. Archer flinches--

It's not him that shot the bullet. Then it can be only one other person.

Gentry is up on one knee, aiming a gun at the golden chandelier. Nearby is one of the gunmen, reeling over and now weaponless.

She fires three more shots at the chandelier before I finally hear something snap. The chandelier groans and begins to plummet to the floor, its shadow growing across the entire floor.

I grab Gentry's wrist and sprint away. "Everybody, run!" I say.

Screaming and yelling subsequently erupts as everybody--even the invaders--runs for cover. Gentry and I zigzag through the tables, looking behind us every few seconds to ensure that we won't be crushed by the chandelier--

And now it's about to hit the floor.

I stop running and drop to the floor in a crouch. "Get down!"

The chandelier punches the floor, crushing several tables and glad objects in its wake. Its sheer impact jostles my body.

I stand back up once it's over. Several citizens are running out of the room while screaming, and while I hear a few gunshots being fired in the distance, most of the invaders are running away as well.

I recognize what Gentry has done. By shooting down the chandelier, she caused so much chaos and confusion that it enabled us and the other hostages to escape.

She'd certainly succeeded.

"Good work," I say. "Now, escort them all to safety."

Gentry cocks her gun and grins. "Only if you make sure to go after your sword."

I look around the chamber for Archer until I spot him sprinting up the stairs with the sword.

I set my shoulders back. Earlier, I had been thinking illogically. I have not failed yet. There's still a chance that I can get my sword back.

I turn to Gentry. "Hand me one of your guns." I'm by no means as good of a shot as she is, but it's not a good idea to run after Archer while defenseless.

She offers me one of her pistols. "Good luck."

Then she takes off, stretching her free hand high up into the air to garner attention. "Everyone, follow me! This way!"

In the meantime, I run towards the stairs. I see Archer passing through the doorway as I arrive to the foot--

Within seven seconds I've reached the top of the grand staircase and hurl myself through the doorway. I look from side to side--
He's in the left hall--

I spin on my heels and give chase. I close both of my hands around the pistol, gripping it almost too tightly as I run after him through turns and staircases, through long halls and through sharp corners--

Archer begins flying up a towering staircase. I continue going after him, but my ribs feel like they're on fire and my legs feel like water--

I shove it all aside. Pain is necessary, and something I must deal with. But no matter how much of it is thrown at me, I'll get past it. I'll make myself get past it.

Finally I reach the top, but when I do I don't slow down, I just make myself run faster and faster and faster--

He slams his body into a door at the end of the hall and goes outside, and I'm right on his heels--

I feel the wind on my face the moment I step through the doors. An intricate railing borders the wide balcony, and from up here I can see the moonlight's beams cast upon the fleeing civilians.

Just a few feet in front of me is Archer. His right hand points a gun at me; his left holds the sword. For the first time, his eyes don't look amused, overconfident, or twisted. They actually look quite frustrated.

"Persistent," he remarks. Then he smiles once again. "But honestly, Carstairs, my plane is going to be here any second now. You seriously need to quit trying to be a hero!"

I just smirk.

"Who said I was ever trying to be a hero?"

His smile falls.

"As I said," I continue when he doesn't say anything, "I've never tried to be a hero. I probably never will be a proper one. However, there are times in which there are no heroes to be found, and thus the mantle of playing their part falls to me. And I discovered something tonight--I actually don't mind doing it."

With that, I fire at his chest. Archer dodges it with ease, but my subsequent three rounds are much more difficult to avoid.

I aim and fire, again and again and again. I miss each time, but each of the rounds do come close, and with each shot he's becoming more and more nervous.

My confidence growing, I pull the trigger again--

Nothing comes out.

I look down on the gun. I pull it twice more, but still nothing comes out.

It's out of ammunition.

Crap.

Archer stops and studies my face. His eyes fall on the empty pistol.

Then he grins again.

I toss the gun aside. I dive out of the way just as he aims his pistol at me and pulls the trigger. I rise back up to my feet when I hear the bullet fall to the ground--briefly ducking my head when I hear another bullet being shot--and run over towards him.

Archer steps back as I advance, shooting at me several times as I come closer. I move my body to the left, to the right, to the left again, weaving under and around his bullets--

I smash my leg into his chest, sending him stumbling back until he hits the balcony railing. I swiftly cross the distance between us and attempt a punch at his face--

He brings the flat of the sword up to his face to block it. I make a grab for the sword hilt--

Archer sidesteps just in time and uses my momentum to violently slam me against the railing. I grit my teeth when I hear a crack coming from around my ribs.

I push myself up from the railing only to be shoved back down by Archer. He digs his fingers into both of my shoulders and begins forcing them past the railing and downwards to the ground five stories below--

I clamp my hands around the railing, lift my leg up, and thrust my body forward in a powerful kick to his stomach. He lets go of me and cries out in pain.

I take this moment to regain my balance. This time I deliver a right hook to his jaw, causing Archer to take three steps back.

He tries and fails to hide his grimacing. Then he lifts his head back up. His eyes hold a passionate, murderous fury.

"You. . ." he seethes, "I won't let you stop me. I won't let you stop Silverbane. And I certainly won't let you stop us from bringing our gift of--"

Your gift of peace?" I say. I snort. "And this is coming from the people who've killed my sister, shot my partner, and taken an entire building hostage."

He detaches his hand from his shoulder and comes at me as swiftly as lightning. He attempts a flurry of fast and strong blows, and I have to avoid them all, but it's difficult, he's holding absolutely nothing back--

Then I sink to the ground only to rise back up with a hard uppercut to his jaw.

Archer grits his teeth, stopping only for a second--

A second is more than enough time for me to swipe his wrist and yank the sword out of his hand.

I take a few steps back, readying myself in a defensive stance as I feel newfound power course through my veins, lending me strength and will.

I look into Archer's eyes and lift my eyebrows. "Would you honestly care to test me right now?"

He gives a yell that sounds more animal than human and charges at me as he draws his pistol once more--

I smirk and prepare myself to ram my blade through his heart--
A gunshot is fired.

Sticky blood drips from a wound in Archer's shoulder--one that wasn't there a second ago. His mouth opens in a soundless scream. He drops his pistol and puts a hand over his shoulder and falls to his knees--

I see Gentry at the doorway, covered in sweat and lowering a gun.

I stare at her for a long moment. And then I look back to Archer. I make my way over to him as he falls to the ground.

For a moment, I can do nothing save stare at him.

Then I stamp my foot on his wounded shoulder and twist my ankle as hard as I can.

The great yell of pain he gives could not be more satisfying.
"E-Elias. . ." I hear Gentry say.

I ignore her. Keeping my foot on his shoulder, I get down on one knee and bend closer to him. I want to be sure that he can hear me.

"Do you recall what I said earlier? About how I would make you wish you were in Hell if you didn't answer my questions?" I say in a low, articulate voice. "Well, I've had another thought. Perhaps, instead of making you wish you were in Hell, I should simply put you there myself!"

I turn my sword around and thrust it down at his chest--

The tip lingers less than a half-inch away from his chest.

I twist my lips into a snarl. This man has done horrible things. Therefore, it is only logical that he should rot. It is logical that he should die. Following logic is what I have always done.

But. . .

No one else should die tonight.

I push out a deep breath. Then I stand up, take my foot off of his shoulder, and sheathe my sword.

"But I won't."

It is then that I become aware of Gentry's eyes on me.

I turn my head over to her. Her brown eyes are warm, and her soft lips have formed a tender smile.

I clear my throat. "Have you gotten everyone evacuated?"

"Oh, um, yeah. Yeah, they're all safe. Authorities should be here really shortly."

"Good. Go back down there and tell them where they can find this man. I'll remain here to ensure that he doesn't try anything else."

"Right, on it."

"Oh, and Gentry?"

"Hmm?"

"Nice shot."

Gentry beams. Then she turns and begins making her way back into the Yate Manor.

I turn back to Archer--

Who's reclaimed his fallen pistol and aims it at an unsuspecting Gentry's back.

My breath hitches--

And the next thing I know I'm thrusting my body to the side just as a shot goes off--

I feel like I've been hit by a white-hot sledgehammer. I gasp in pain, stumbling back, and my throat tightens as I feel two more bullets puncture my side.

I hear someone scream. "ELIAS!"

I crumple to my knees before falling to the ground. I vaguely register a cackling, and something in the sky gradually coming closer as blackness seeps into my vision.

"HELP! HELP!" I hear. "SOMEBODY, HELP ME!"

I feel something slide under my head as I hear her panicked voice stumbling over her own words.

"Pl-Pl-Please, Elias, stay with me stay with me stay with me--" I hear her gasp as she fights to rein in tears, "You're so stupid! I knew you should have taught me how to treat a gunshot wound!"

I can barely even hear her now. My eyelids begin to drift shut.

And why not?

Why not just. . . surrender to the blackness. . .

I allow my eyes to drift shut. My head lolls to the side.

"Elias. . . You're so stupid. . ."

The darkness swallows me whole.

~ ~ ~

Something trickles into my ear before it fades away. Then the sound grows again, stronger and more persistent this time.

I crack my eyes open only to close them. I try again, this time with Herculean willpower--

A white room comes into focus. I'm in a bed, covered by a thin white blanket, with a small table at my right. At my left . . .

"Yeah, thanks," I hear. "Yeah, you can go."

I hear footsteps. Then a door shuts.

I knit my eyebrows and try to focus on the one sitting next to me. But along with the pain and exhaustion, it doesn't seem as though I have my glasses, so it's hard to make them out. . .

Then I recognize the hair. The brown hair.

I groan. "Gentry. . . can I have my glasses?"

Her head whips around. Her facial expression is a little hazy, but she scrambles off of her chair, rushes to another bedside tables and drops the glasses into my palm.

I unfold them and slide them onto my face. Suddenly the colors are bolder, the details are sharper, and the shock on Gentry's face is clearly visible.

That is much better. "So can you tell me what--"

Gentry's ridiculously large smile is the only warning I receive before she flings her arms around me and hugs me as tightly as she can. She buries her face into my shoulder.

Startled, my mind goes utterly blank.

Then I do two things that I haven't done in a very long time.

The first is that I smile.

The second is that I hug back.

_________________
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[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
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