Chapter 10 (Part 2-The Aries)A Chapter by Syrinx
Esme, Silas, Honor, Max, Felix, the twins, Clarissa, Dex, and Nastya gather for their plan to save Evander.
Max stands there, her blonde hair slightly tangled from the fight and her green eyes smiling at Felix. Her hands rest on her wide hips as she waits for a response. She breathes heavily from the struggle of the massacre but manages to keep a smile on her face. She watches Felix closely, watching and anticipating for him to respond to the show. Felix sits, his hands handcuffed around the poll and with his legs spread open. He’s managed to close his gapping mouth, but he still doesn’t respond. He shakes his head, sending his blonde bangs out of his face. His grey eyes still shake a little in either fear or confusion. I lie next to him in the fetal position. Feeling so close to myself and the heat from my own body relaxes me from the near death experience, I can still feel the cold muzzle against my skin, his arms choking and pulling me, and waiting for the next gunshot.
Instead, Max catches her breathe and approaches Felix. She slips what looks like a bobby pin out of her belt, and kneels next to him. Focusing on the lock of the handcuffs, she inserts the bobby pin. She fails the first time, but after a few minutes she successfully unlocks them, and then throws them in the bloody mess. Her fingers creep to his face, and hold his cheek as she waits.
Felix slowly lets his arms fall, and turns his eyes toward hers. His mouth opens, but no words are released. He closes them, licks his lips, and tries again. “Max?” He whispers.
“Yes yes! It’s me Felix, it’s me! I’m the mole, I’m the Russian mole.” She says, her fingers caressing his face. He abruptly turns his face, then his other hand smacks hers away.
“You’re not who I thought you were.” He says quietly, not even looking at her as he spoke.
“I’m still the same person! I’m still the girl in the nightgown! Just not as helpless or crazy!”
I sit up, forcing my body to live out of the comfort and back into fear. “I think you’re still just as crazy.”
“Touché.” She responds. She scoots closer to Felix. “I know it’s odd and I’m sorry I had to lie to you but just because I’m not her doesn’t mean I’m not me.”
Felix sits quietly for a moment. Max swallows as she waits for him to say something anything. “What’s your name?”
“What?” Max asks, her voice so shake and nervous.
Felix’s head snaps back to her, I can tell his eyes burn into hers. He’s mad, belligerent even. It surprises me, remember how long he waited for her to even let him sit on the same side as her. But he went every night in hopes of her saying a word or just letting him sit closer. He lead her around, helped her talk more, and even though Max seemed like Super Woman, inside every girl is a helpless one that just wants a guy like Felix.
“What’s your real name?” Felix says even slower, like she couldn’t speak English.
“Well, um.” Max stutters. “My biological parents named me Nadia after Nadia Comaneci. She was the first to make a perfect score in gymnastics in the Olympics. They wanted me to be the best I could possibly be. And I am, for staying her in America and helping out. I wouldn’t take anything back. But ever since I moved to America for the past two years, I’ve gone by my American name, and I like it.”
“You’re not who I thought you were.” Felix whispers. “You’re not the girl on the bridge.”
“What? What do you mean not the girl on the bridge? I was never on a bridge.”
Felix looks away from her again. “Exactly.”
Maybe Felix was confused, maybe Max really was the girl on the bridge, the one who stopped him from killing himself. Even if she wasn’t, he told me he loved her. Obviously, he didn’t know what love was. If Evander walked up to me and revealed himself as a Russian spy it wouldn’t change anything. Hell, Evander was engaged to my nemesis and I still loved him.
I used to be jealous of Felix and Max, they had each other when I couldn’t have Evander. I was so invidious how he would do everything for her, and wait on her for months. And now that he see’s she’s a Russian spy, he doesn’t want anything to do for her.
“I don’t want anything to do with you.” He says, still refusing to look at her.
“But Felix,” Max protests. “I’m still me, I’m still Max just Russian and not needing you to lead me every step of the way but I still want you to!”
“I said,” He says slowly again like she can’t speak English. He turns his head and his eyes full of hate and defraud glare into hers full of despair and remorse. “I want absolutely nothing to do with you.”
Felix stands up, and proudly walks away to the elevator. He crosses his arms, and leans against the wall. He stares off to the side and waits for us.
Max sits on her knees still, and looks to the ground. No tears form in her eyes, but instead she swallows then stands up, looking towards me. “Are you okay, any injuries?” She says as though nothing has happened. The awkwardness between me, her and Felix could fill America no problem.
I brush my bangs behind me ear and stand up, my legs still a little shaky. “I think I’m fine, just a little shoke up. How about you?”
“Perfect.” She growls as she looks around at the red flood she created. She sneaks a glance at Felix, but he keeps his eyes far away from her. She looks back at the floor and starts picking up weapons. She takes a few daggers and two more handguns. She steps over a body, and their hand shoots out and grabs her ankle. She creams and falls over in panic. I run to her aid and help her back up. I grab the hand and search for the alive human. Through the blood and other corpses, I find a hazmat face whose eyes move. He spits towards me and I move just in time to not get hit. I step on his mouth with my foot, and bring my swallow to his neck. His eyes express fear and his body tenses. Max joins my side and aims her gun to his forehead. I remove my foot and swallow from him, and drag him up by his shirt. I impel him against the wall and Max c***s the gun.
“Where would they take prisoners awaiting the guillotine?” I ask.
The man remains silent. Max pushes the muzzle even harder against his forehead. “Do you really think I won’t kill you?” She snaps.
The man cowers behind her, and then clears his throat. “Under the hotels is a basement that all connect. There are storage rooms to the west. They keep them in there.”
Max throws him down and leads me to the elevator. She presses the button, and immediately the door opens to reveal Elaine cleaning the blood off her throwing stars. She looks around the red room, and smiles. “Well looks like you guys covered this one. Where now Esme?” Her smile beams and her red wavy hairs are now where they belong in her ponytails.
I board the elevator, and Max and Felix follows. Elaine, Max and I stand together, Felix stands as far away as possible still with his arms crossed and gaze far away. “I’ll explain once we get back to the helicopter. Let’s go get Honor and Silas.”
Max presses the ground button. Felix and her exchange eye contact only for both of them to look away quickly. The elevator creaks down the floors and tacky elevator music is played. It reminds me of the elevator music that played as Evander and I rode down the elevator. I was so anxious to find out what the huge surprise was, only to have this ten pound necklace strung around me by Silas. I can still feel the chill of the subway tunnels the night I searched for Evander. I remember sitting at grand central station, unaware of what everyone was saying under the blatant sound of my worries. Maybe Max and I was the same person, we were both helpless at one point but now look at us. She just took out a whole army of Aries and I broke into a prison.
I don’t feel like I did at the Gemini. I don’t feel so scared about Evander, I guess somewhere inside of me I believe in myself to save him. I’ve never really believed I could do anything until the apocalypse. Sometimes things happen for a reason. Maybe seeing Evander and Gwendolyn that night made me stronger, I would have just released Athalie otherwise.
The doors open, and we exit as our eyes scan the scene. About ten men lie dead on the floor. Silas and Honor sit back to back, watching both of the exits. Honor faces the elevator, and lights up as she sees me. She stands up and runs towards us. I expect her to be running for Elaine, but instead she throws her arms around me. For a moment, I stand there awkwardly waiting for her to let go, but then I embrace back.
She lets go and smiles, cupping my face in her hands. “I haven’t seen you in so long! Oh how much I wanted to hug you in the ballroom! I’m so glad you’re back and not dead Esme! We’ve missed you so much!”
An odd feeling seizes me. Maybe, I missed her too. Honor and I had always had a rocky relationship, she always sided with Gwendolyn and I always opposed her. However, I can’t help but smile at seeing her tan face. Honor was the prettiest of the group, even though Gwendolyn was supposed to be. Her light blue eyes looked so beautiful against her tan skin and dark hair.
Silas walks up and Elaine flies to him, jumping on him and hugging him. He falls over and laughs. Elaine slides off him and stands up, helping him up. He walks to me, and hugs me by surprise as well. I hug back and he lets go, ruffling my hair. He’s grown, and now taller than me. He smiles, and somewhere in the back of my mind I can’t help but think maybe he’s finally over Lance. Maybe somewhere his vindictiveness has disappeared in thin air as he fell for his enemy’s sister.
“I’m glad you’re okay Esme.” His smile is warm and his tone is friendly, but I still can’t trust him. We were once really close; almost best friends until he proposed to me at the Gemini. If I had stayed, he would have forced me to marry him just so he could get Lance’s head. His eyes search mine and I can feel the brotherly feeling we once shared. I throw my arms around him again, so revealed that he, Honor and Elaine are safe. He hugs me back.
I let go and brush my bangs back again. I sigh deeply and look around to see everybody’s eyes on me. “This is a great little reunion, but we don’t have much time. Listen, they have Evander, and if we don’t get him soon he’s dead. When I entered the fifth floor there was man there, he wore a black sheet over himself and Evander was near death. Niles is supposed to be dropping off Dex, Clarissa and the twins. Let’s hope to god that they’re here.”
Honor crooks her head to the side. “A man with a black sheet? That’s the leader of the Aries!”
“Yeah, I know. I told him the Aquarius was going to war with him”
“You what!” Felix yells. We all turn to see him fortified at my words. His hands turn into fists and he steps closer. “Do you know the size of the Aries? There’s thousands. There’s maybe one hundred Aquarius counting the prisoners. There’s absolutely no way we will win.”
“Excuse me?” Max turns to him. “With Esme, Me and Elaine I think we can handle it.”
Felix continues to shake his head. I sigh again, and look dead into his eyes. “He gave me a choice between you and Evander. You’re lucky I didn’t let you die.” I snap at him.
He shuts up and looks the other way. Without words, I lead the four of them out of the building. We approach the cliff, a small grassy hill with spare bushes and trees. It curves like a dome, and the top is perfect for overlooking the ice carved sun and the moon. We begin to ascend, all our eyes on the blackened masterpiece. When we get to the top, we stop and stare at the model. Black stains the ice from the fire, and the picture is still just as clear. Max puts her arm around me, and Elaine does the same. Silas puts his around Elaine, and Felix stands alone.
“That is so awesome.” Silas whispers. I smile down at it, remembering that night. I still can see Elaine in the tiny nightgown, now in a costume made for her. I can’t help but notice that our costumes kind of make us look like superheroes. In some ways, we were. We faced the super villains and helped people in crisis, mainly ourselves. We didn’t have any superpowers, but we all could fight like champions.
“Esme! Look!” Max calls as she points into the sky. A small airplane begins to descend from across us. We duck as it flies over our heads and lands somewhere beyond the ice field. Felix is the first to run after it, Max takes off after him and I follow her. I hear Silas and Elaine’s footsteps behind me as we step onto the ice field. It’s slippery, and Felix falls. Max catches his head right before it busts on the concrete ice. He snatches her hands away from his head, and gets up to continue running.
We run a whole football field’s length until we reach a green grassy patch. The small plane rests as a harle stands out of the door way watching us with a smile. She jumps off and walks with her arms out towards Max. Max runs to her, and squeezes her. They both embrace for a while before Max lets go, keeping one arm around Nastya. Nastya smiles at me, and I approach her. Behind Nastya, Dex, the twins then Clarissa exit the plane. One of the twins, I think Ian helps her out and still holds her hand afterwards.
“I have meeting tomorrow in Greece, I cannot stay. Max here knows how to fly plane. My pilot should be picking me up soon. What is plan?”
“Evander is being held in the storage rooms of the basement. We don’ have much time, we really don’t have much time.”
Everyone gathers in a circle. Elaine and Max stand beside me. Nastya stands beside Max, and beside her Clarissa, the twins and Dex stands. Felix and Silas finish out the circle. Elaine squats, and with a stick draws three rectangles in the dirt.
Elaine points at the buildings with the stick. “There are three main buildings to the Aries and Gemini are all one hotel. The closest way to get in the basement is from the main lobby in this building from the elevator shaft. Unfortunately, we don’t have an elevator key so we will have to pry to doors open and climb down. There is an emergency door to the left, which Esme will have to kick open. An alarm will go off, but once we get in we are seconds away from the prisoners kept in the storage closets. We find Evander, and get him out of there before he’s dead. Then, we will have to escape by going to the north side and climbing out of a manhole, I’ve escaped from there the night I found Esme here. I know where to go.” She looks around, waiting for someone to ask a question.
“Dex,” I say. He looks up as he holds his sniper close to his heart. “We need you to find a close but hidden place once we get down there for you to use it. Hopefully, the party is still going on and they won’t notice as soon.”
Honor chuckles. “It’s the Gemini, they are still partying.”
We all look at each other, searching for scared faces. Everyone looks content, and Max is the first to turn around and start walking.
Felix calls after her. “Where are you going?”
She looks back at him. “We don’t have much time, remember?”
Felix contradicts by his body language, but Elaine turns to follow her, with Silas at her side. Honor and I join, and then the rest starts after. Felix yells after her, “I don’t have a weapon!”
Max doesn’t turn around to answer him; instead she grasps her handguns and yells back, “Well I guess you’re staying here!”
I look over my shoulder to see Felix say something under his breath, and then sit down on the grass. He looks longingly after Max, then curses and follows the twins.
We all fall in behind Max as she crosses the ice field to the other side of the cliff. We all stop, this time to look at the ball room still light up with strobe lights and blasting dubstep. Max catches my eyes, and like a silent conversation agrees with me to go around to the second building.
She walks along an iron fence with us following. Trees are barely visible in the darkness, and the three buildings stand tall in the night. They are all probably the same height as the plaza, but not near as wide. Like mini skyscrapers, they are tall and skinny. Some windows illuminate light, and others are dark as the night. Behind us a helicopter flies, and a rope is tossed down for Nastya. Max reaches the corner of the fence, and turns to walk west against it. We follow her until we reach the opening where the gate stops, and an empty parking lot greets us. The second building is dark, with only lighting in the lobby. We sneak into the opening, and to the side of the lobby where no one can see is. Across from us is a pool shadowed by some hedges. I watch them as I see something black sneaking within them. At first my heart stops, and I fear that we’ve been caught, but then the movement stops. I tell myself I’m just seeing things due to the darkness and lack of sleep. Max hits the wall of thw hotel, and we all pile in behind her. She lifts up her hand in a fist to represent a stop, then suddenly shoots it toward the door, telling us to invade.
© 2012 Syrinx
Fire and Ice
AboutMy names Emily Puckett,I am 17, and I enjoy writing :) It's a release for me, after a long school day, baton and flute practice, I love to sit and write my fantasies (not those type you dirty mind!). .. more..
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