Monday, December 20, 2010

Apocalypse (part 1)

FBI Agent Randal studied the footage of Sawyer shooting up the courthouse, closely. He shook his head in frustration and lit a cigarette.
“No freakin’ way that’s a person in a suit.” He said under his breath.
He was so busy with the video that he didn’t see the woman who walked into his office.
“Agent Randal.” She said.
“Agent Shepherd, I don’t care what your boss said, I’m not dropping this case.” Said Agent Randal
“I know. That’s why I brought you this.” Said Agent Shepherd as she dropped a file on his desk.
“What’s this?” he asked
“Look at the photo of the man and the dog in the airport.” Said Agent Shepherd “Look familiar?”
“Heck yeah it does!” he said. “When was this taken and where did they go?”
“Six days ago.” Said Agent Shepherd. “And they went to Ukraine.”
Agent Randal slammed the picture on his desk. “They got away, then! That’s out of our jurisdiction by a long shot”
“True. Except for the recent kidnappings over there.” Said Agent Shepherd.
“It still falls under the local police.” Said Agent Randal.
“Except that one of the people who was kidnapped has dual citizenship.” Said Agent Shepherd.
“He’s an American?” said Agent Randal
“Sergei Petrov. His mother lives in Chicago, but his father lives in Ukraine. He spends half the year in Chicago and half the year in Ukraine with his father.” Said Agent Shepherd. “In the name of diplomacy, the Bureau is sending an agent over there to look into it. I volunteered you.”
“If it wasn’t against protocol, I’d kiss you.” Said Agent Randal
“Like that’s ever stopped you before.” Said Agent Shepherd, flirtatiously.

* * * * *

“How the heck can this be?” said Sawyer with both paws on his head. “How is Doctor Apocalypse alive?”
“I blew his frigging jaw off!” said Ryan as he punched the air in frustration.
Sawyer just sat there, dumbfounded, still with his paws on his head while Ryan kicked over a nearby chair and cussed.
“And who is Apocalypse?” asked Mikhail.
Ryan relaxed a bit and explained his encounters with the mad scientist. Mikhail’s eyes widened upon hearing how many times Doctor Apocalypse survived certain death.
“He had a son with him.” Said Mikhail
Sawyer’s ears perked up.
“You mean he had your son?” asked Ryan
“No. He had a son, also. He was young; about your age. The doctor’s face is a twisted mess, but the way he treated the boy, I knew he was special to him.” Said Mikhail.
“Just another target.” Said Ryan. “This changes nothing.”
Ryan and Sawyer finished assembling their gear. They were going to leave first thing in the morning, but they decided that striking in the middle of the night would be the best approach. After studying maps of the area, Ryan and Sawyer agreed to search the abandoned apartment building in the center of Pripyat, a small town outside of Chernobyl. Mikhail drove them there.
Along the way, Ryan thought about what he wanted to do when this was all over. He and Annie had put off starting a family because of school, but Annie was done with grad school now. He wasn’t very old, but he wasn’t getting any younger. When they got back home, Ryan knew he would work on convincing Annie that it was time to start a family. In order to ensure that family’s safety, however, he and Sawyer would have to make sure that General Evil, Doctor Apocalypse and his son were killed. The law had had their chance at containing them and they failed. He just had to make sure Sawyer understood. The truck came to a stop and Ryan and Sawyer got out and gathered their gear from the back.
“I will wait here.” Said Mikhail. “Good luck to both of you.”
Ryan and Sawyer quickly made their way into the town and headed towards the apartment building where they believed they would find Annie.

* * * * *

Doctor Apocalypse watched Annie work from behind a reverse mirror. After Annie had tried to escape, he had ordered an additional guard to watch from behind this mirror. He had relieved the current guard so that he could watch her and possibly learn how to make the bacteria on his own. The door behind him opened as he took notes and he dismissed the guard without looking.
“I’m not a guard, father.” He said.
“My mistake.” Said Doctor Apocalypse. “Have you come to learn more about the weapon?”
“No. I would like to meet her, though.” He said
Doctor Apocalypse was no ladies man, but he understood that his son, now 28 years old, was frustrated with his inability to find a woman who would love him. He was a genius, good looking and wealthy, thanks to his father, but he lacked common sense when dealing other people.
“Her husband was killed?” he asked
“We believe so. If not, he’ll be dead soon.” Said Doctor Apocalypse.
“Then let me have her. She’s far too intelligent and sophisticated to waste on another knuckle-dragging fool like Ryan Easton.” He said.
“I won’t stop you from trying, but she probably won’t be interested in the son of the man who killed her husband.” Said Doctor Apocalypse.
His son stood to his feet and left the room. He knew his father was right. Surely Annie wouldn’t want to have anything to do with him. Still, it didn’t matter. He had a trick up his sleeve, or rather, in his coat pocket. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a necklace. It had been given to him by General Evil who told him that this particular necklace could persuade anyone to do anything.

* * * * *

Annie checked her watch. It was nearly 10pm and the guards still hadn’t brought her anything to eat. She was about to give up and go to sleep hungry when her cell door opened.
“It’s about time.” Said Annie
Someone she had not met before walked in and put her plate on the small table inside her cell. A guard hurried in and put another chair up to the table while a second guard quickly placed a second plate on the table.
“Thank you, guards. That will be all.” The stranger said, faking a smile as they left Annie’s cell.
“Who are you?” asked Annie
“My name is Clark. You’ve met my father. He goes by Doctor Apocalypse. I just call him ‘dad.’” Clark laughed.
Annie didn’t return the chuckle.
“Your father is a monster and I hope Ryan kills him.” She said.
Clark wanted to snap at her and declare that Ryan was dead, but he kept his cool.
“Did it hurt when you fell?” he asked
“When? I didn’t fall.” Said Annie
“When you fell from Heaven.” Said Clark with a wink.
Annie rolled her eyes and said nothing back.
“Why Ryan? Why would you, an intelligent woman with so much potential in the field of medicine, choose to be with such a brain-dead, ignorant, hockey fan?” asked Clark in despair.
“He’s not ignorant. He just doesn’t care about science.” Said Annie
“How could anyone not care about science?” asked Clark “That’s why he’s a fool!”
“He’s not a fool. He’s just…” Annie struggled to find the right word. “He’s bad.”
“Bad?” asked Clark.
“He doesn’t take crap from anyone. He sticks up for me. He’s just bad.” Said Annie. “And that’s hot. That and he has a great beard.”
Clark rubbed his chin. He had not been able to grow a beard his entire life. But maybe he could be ‘bad’.
“Guard!” yelled Clark.
A guard ran in and stood, waiting for orders.
“Insult her!” Clark demanded.
The guard looked at him, then at Annie.
“Insult her?” said the guard.
“Do it!” said Clark.
“You… stupid woman?” said the guard to Annie.
“She isn’t stupid!” said Clark as he slapped the guard. “Now get out!”
Annie just shook her head.
“I have restored your honor.” Said Clark.
“You’re a freak.” Said Annie.

Clark was enraged. This was not the first time he had been called a freak and it never got any easier.
“I tried to be nice to you and you returned my kindness with hate.” Said Clark. “I believe you are an intelligent woman, but you clearly don’t know what’s best for you.” Clark took the necklace from his coat pocket. “Guard!” The guard rushed back in, confused. “Hold her down!” Annie struggled to free herself from the guard, but she was too weak. Clark put the necklace on Annie, and then sat back, grinning.
“I don’t want to be your woman!” cried Annie. “Get this… off of… me…” Annie’s voice trailed off as the guard relaxed his grip. Her thoughts were clouding over. She still wanted to resist him, but she no longer had control over her own will.
“Leave us, guard.” Said Clark. “You’re disturbing our date.”
Clark picked up a small bag and took out a revealing dress.
“Put this on, my love. I’ll show you the time of your life.”

* * * * *

Ryan and Sawyer made it to the abandoned apartment building. Sawyer picked up the sniper rifle and peered through the night vision scope.
“Bingo.” Said Sawyer. “I see guards and a few robots around the perimeter.”
“How many?” asked Ryan
“I see three guards patrolling inside and a dozen robots outside. They’re spread out though. If we could just take out one, we could slip past the others.” Said Sawyer.
Ryan thought for a minute, and then remembered the taser. He checked the area through the sniper rifle’s scope and found a ditch that went right past one of the robots.
“Sawyer.” Said Ryan.
“Yeah?” said Sawyer.
“When we get in there, I need to know that you’ll do what you have to do to stop these guys for good.” Said Ryan. “We can’t let them surrender this time. They’ll escape again and go after us.”
“I’m not a murderer.” Said Sawyer.
“No, you’re not. They are. And they’ll kill us and everyone we care about if we let them go.” Said Ryan “And if that happens because you ‘tried to do the right thing.’, I’ll never forgive you.”
Sawyer thought about it for a moment, then nodded in agreement.
“We have a picture of Mikhail’s son, Sergei. Just don’t shoot him. Everyone else is fair game.” Said Ryan “Okay?”
“Okay.” Said Sawyer
“Let’s go.” Said Ryan
They crawled all the way up to the robot guard and stopped. The robots were scanning the area for heat signatures, but they couldn’t see Ryan and Sawyer as they crawled along the ditch. Ryan took out the taser and fired it at the robot. The robot sparked for a moment, then died before it could react.

* * * * *

General Evil sipped from a glass of scotch as he studied a map of the United States. He quickly turned his attention to a display with a flashing red light, informing him that one of his robots had been disabled.
“Doctor.” Said General Evil into a radio. “They’re here.”
General Evil grinned as he entered commands into his robot control program. Ryan and Sawyer had never seen anything like the terror he was about to unleash on them and there would be no escape.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Annie glanced over her shoulder at the guard that had been assigned to watch her. She faked a smile, then went back to work on the bacteria. She was close to what she had made in school, but had left out some key steps. The bacteria were deadly if inhaled, but it wasn’t resistant to extreme heat. That meant that if a missile was used to spread it, the bacteria would die once the missile exploded.
“Could you come here please?” Annie asked the guard. “I just can’t seem to open this jar.”
The guard moved towards her as Annie put a mask over her nose and mouth.
“Which jar?” he asked impatiently.
“This one!” said Annie as she smashed one of the Petri dishes on the guard’s face.
The guard gasped in surprise, then grabbed his throat as he suddenly struggled to breathe. Annie snatched his weapon and ran as fast as she could. Without looking, she ran into the hallway and right into General Evil. Annie fell back and tried to shoot, but nothing happened. Two robots that were escorting the general locked and loaded their own weapons and aimed them at her.
“Easy…” said General Evil. “She was kind enough to leave the safety on.” General Evil mocked as he took the gun back. The robots relaxed, but didn’t unload their weapons.
“Just let me go!” said Annie “I didn’t do anything to you!”
“Where is your guard?” General Evil asked, ignoring her plea.
Annie pointed back at the laboratory. General Evil stood her up and pushed her towards the lab. Once back inside, Annie gagged at the site of the guard. He had probably died before she had left the room. All that remained was a body covered in boils.
“Excellent work, Mrs. Easton!” General Evil said sarcastically.
“Please stop. Don’t make me do this anymore!” Annie begged “I made you your weapon. Now let me go be with whatever is left of my family.”
“Of course.” Said General Evil. “But first, a test.”
General Evil struck a match and tossed it into a Petri dish. The dish erupted in flames and sizzled before dying out. All that remained was a black slime.
“You call this a weapon?” asked General Evil
“I don’t know what went wrong.” Said Annie “I was certain—“
General Evil slapped her, knocking her to the floor. Then he kicked over the table and destroyed week’s worth of Annie’s work.
“Don’t toy with me!” yelled General Evil. “I will give you one last chance. Fail me again and you’ll be praying for a death as pleasant as his!” General Evil grabbed Annie by the hair and shoved her head within inches of the dead guard’s face. Annie closed her eyes and held her breath.
“Enough, General.” Came a raspy voice. “Let her get back to work.”
“Dr. Apocalypse.” Said General Evil as he released Annie. “We’ll need another of your guards in here. Make that two. And no more stupid ones, please.”
Dr. Apocalypse ordered two more of his guards to watch Annie work and gave them specific instructions not to approach her, while General Evil’s robots disposed of the dead body. Annie picked up her table and began organizing her instruments. Now that she knew they would test the bacteria before deploying it, she had to find another way to trick them. But how?

* * * * *

“Can I get all first-class passengers, passengers with children and any passengers who need assistance to begin boarding now, please?”
“That’s us.” Said Ryan, who was disguised as a blind man. This way, he and Sawyer could try to plan what to do once they landed. Sawyer was attached to a harness that Ryan was holding onto as he pretended to carefully walk towards the terminal. After a little help from the flight attendant, Ryan and Sawyer were seated and ready to take off.
The person who sat next to Ryan was Ukrainian. This was perfect because Ryan now had a chance to get to know someone who could help them with whatever they may need. They had to leave their guns behind, so they were basically unarmed and would need to find weapons of some sorts. Unfortunately, Ryan was having a hard time getting a word in…
“This country, it is nice, yes.” Said the passenger in a heavy eastern European accent. “But is too busy for me. I prefer country side on a farm.”
“Oh, do you live on—“ Ryan tried to ask a question, but was cut off.
“We farm and we farm and we farm and we do it for the children and do you know what they give to us? Nothing! They say, ‘Oh, we need money! Oh, we need cars!’ You need cars? You get money and then you get cars!” the stranger rambled on.
“Yeah…” said Ryan
“And it’s time to harvest and the kids all say, ‘Oh, we want to visit our friends!’ and I tell them, ‘You bring your friends here and I’ll put them to work!” but they don’t listen to me!” he explained.
“Is it harvest time now?” Ryan asked, kicking himself for encouraging the stranger.
“Oh yes! And where are the children? Not in the fields! No, they are here and there and buying things with my money and…”
Ryan cut him off.
“Do you need help with the harvest? I have time. In exchange for my help, if I could crash at your place for a few days with my dog, we’d appreciate it.” Said Ryan
“Crash?” asked the stranger
“Sleep.” Said Ryan
“I thought you were blind?” said the stranger
“No, I just don’t like paying extra to bring my dog.” Said Ryan
“Well, sure! I’ll put you to work, no problem!” said the stranger.
“Great. My name is ‘Ryan’, by the way.” Said Ryan.
“Bryan, my name is Mikhail.” Said the stranger.
“Oh, it’s actually ‘Ryan’, not ‘Bryan’. Can I call you ‘Mik’?” asked Ryan
“No, Bryan, my name is Mikhail. You must never take away part of the name that was given to me by my parents. You see, Bryan, I take great pride in my name and…”
Ryan glanced at Sawyer who was pretending to sleep. This was going to be a long flight.

* * * * *

After landing, Ryan loaded their luggage into Mikhail’s truck and rode with him to his house which was just outside the Kiev city limits. Once home, Mikhail introduced Ryan to the rest of his family. Most were pleasant, but one was fat and loud. His name was Dmitri, and he went on and on about nothing.
“What do you do?” asked Ryan
“Work?” laughed Dmitri “I don’t have time for work! My family provides me with whatever I need while I provide them with whatever I can.”
“And what do you provide them?” Ryan asked
“Knowledge.” Said Dmitri “I know things that most people have no idea about. Did you know that our government intentionally caused the Chernobyl disaster just so it would have an excuse to keep people away from that area so they could build a secret military facility? There’s no radiation there!” said Dmitri
“I think there is.” Said Ryan
“No, I spent days there. And look! I’m perfectly fine!” said Dmitri
Ryan passed up the chance at a joke.
“Did you find the military base?” asked Ryan
“No, but I was ready for it. I had half of my weapons cache with me.” Said Dmitri
Sawyer’s ears perked up and Ryan blurted out, “You have a weapons cache?”
“Yes. Want to see it?” asked Dmitri
Dmitri brought Ryan and Sawyer to his home down the street. Once inside, he pulled away a rug and opened a hidden door in the floor. Ryan expected to find old World War II weapons, but was shocked at the quality of the weapons and attachments.
“Where did you get all of this!?” Ryan exclaimed
“My sources.” Said Dmitri.
Ryan picked up an M-4 carbine with an ACOG sight, a riot shotgun, Colt .45 pistols, ammo for all and even a few grenades.
“How much for all of this?” asked Ryan
“Why do you need it?” asked Dmitri
“I’m on a mission. I have no weapons or ammo and I need these to do what I need to do.” Said Ryan
“Very well. I’ll take your dog.” Said Dmitri
“No you won’t.” said Ryan without hesitating. “$2,000, American.”
“$3,000.” Dmitri countered.
“2,800, and throw in this and this.” Said Ryan as he picked up a silenced Dragunov sniper rifle and a Taser.
“Deal.” Said Dmitri.

* * * * *

Ryan worked in the fields of Mikhail’s farm for a week. While he worked, Sawyer would sneak into town with their laptop and look for wireless signals he could use to search for clues.
‘There just doesn’t seem to be anything happening here.’ Thought Sawyer
He clicked on a few more pages, but gave up and closed the laptop. As he was leaving town, he noticed a billboard with a picture of a memorial on it. It was of the firefighters who died trying to contain the Chernobyl disaster area.
‘Chernobyl… Why didn’t I think of that before? Tours there are illegal and the ones that do take place are restricted. I bet we could find clues if we went to those restricted locations!’ he thought to himself.
Sawyer ran all the way back to Mikhail’s farm where he found Ryan putting away his tools for the night.
“Find anything yet?” asked Ryan
“We need to check out Chernobyl. That’s the perfect place for such a hideout.” Said Sawyer
Ryan agreed and the two spent the evening reviewing maps and preparing their gear. Sawyer was checking his M-4 when Mikhail walked in and saw him holding the weapon. It was the first time he had been speechless since Ryan had met him.
“Mikhail! Relax! He’s okay.” Said Ryan
Sawyer set the gun down and dropped to all fours like a normal dog.
“He’s with me, Mikhail. We need to leave in the morning. We’re on a mission.” Said Ryan
Mikhail regained some of his composure and asked, “Are you here for the general and the doctor?”
“General Evil?” asked Ryan
“He is, yes. I could feel it when he came here. The general and the doctor with the iron jaw. They came and took my son. I was going to call the authorities, but they threatened me with an army of robots.” Mikhail sobbed.
“Yeah, that’s him. General Evil. Give me a picture of your son and I’ll look for him. Do you know where they went?” asked Ryan
“They went north.” Said Mikhail
“North!” said Sawyer. “Chernobyl is north of here!”
“I will help you.” Said Mikhail
“Three’s a crowd, Mikhail.” Said Ryan. “Let us handle this.”
“I won’t be in your way, but when the time comes, I will be there to assist.” Said Mikhail
“We appreciate it.” Said Ryan. “I don’t know who the iron-jawed doctor is though. Was there anything else about him you remember?”
“He wore these strange glasses. And his face was burned so badly.” Said Mikhail
A chill ran down Ryan’s spine as the fur on Sawyer’s back stood straight up.
“It can’t be…” said Ryan. He and Sawyer looked at each other and said it at the same time.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cold Blood

Out on the road, but driving aimlessly, Ryan and Sawyer needed a plan. It had been a week since they had watched one of General Evil’s robots blow up their house, but were no closer to finding him. Ryan decided to call Phil to see if he could help somehow.
“Phil, do you think you could check online for something for me?” asked Ryan
“Sure. What is it?” said Phil
“Anything having to do with flying robots, robots armies, evil general controlling robots... Things like that.” Said Ryan
Phil checked the internet, but couldn’t find any reports of UFO’s or strange robot armies anywhere on the web.
“You think it’s General Evil then?” asked Phil
“Pretty sure. If not, I want to question, then kill him anyways, so why not check into it?” said Ryan
“The last time you saw him was in Detroit, right?” asked Phil
“Yeah, Central Station.” Said Ryan
“Well, maybe he left behind some sort of clue. It’s worth checking out.” Said Phil
Ryan agreed and thanked Phil for the suggestion, then hung up the phone. He and Sawyer drove to Detroit and parked outside the old, abandoned Detroit Central Station. There were cops patrolling the area, so Ryan couldn’t get in, but a stray dog probably could. Once the sun went down, Sawyer snuck in through a hole in the fence and made his way inside. There he turned on a flashlight and walked upright trying to find clues. He had some bad memories of the place and the dark hallways didn’t make the search any more pleasant. He got to the room where Ryan had fought the Mecha-Sawyer and freed him from the mind control that General Evil had on him. A quick scan with his flashlight revealed a rusting pile of metal in the center of the room. He could hardly believe his eyes. It had been almost a year since that fight, but still in the middle of the room were the rusting remains of the Mecha-Sawyer. Sawyer approached them solemnly, remembering the chaos of the fight and how close Ryan had come to being killed. Sawyer searched the destroyed robot for clues, and found one. On the back of the robot’s head, Sawyer found writing. It wasn’t in English and he couldn’t read it, so he took a picture with his phone. After further examination and no more clues, Sawyer turned to leave. He was startled by the sound of something falling nearby, so he swung his light in that direction. There he found a small dog cowering in the corner of the room. He appeared hungry, cold and definitely afraid of Sawyer. Sawyer took off his backpack and took out the cheeseburger he had been saving for later and placed it on the ground.
“Good luck, friend.” Said Sawyer in his own language.
The small dog hesitated, and then made his move towards the cheeseburger as Sawyer continued on his way.
Sawyer jumped in the car where Ryan was waiting and explained what he saw as they drove away. After spending the night in the car, they headed to a nearby café to analyze the information and make a decision on their next step.
“It’s Russian.” Said Ryan
“I don’t think so.” Said Sawyer
“Well, it’s not English, it’s not Arabic, it’s not anything I can read.” Said Ryan. “It just looks Russian to me.”
“Pretty sure it’s Ukrainian.” Said Sawyer.
“How can you tell?” asked Ryan.
“This website has a chart that compares the English alphabet to the Ukrainian alphabet. It’s the same.” Said Sawyer. “And I think I can tell what it says using google translator.”
Sawyer went back and forth between the two pages and the picture he had taken for a minute, then hit ‘enter’ on his computer.
“Yup. Ukraine.” Said Sawyer. “Part of this robot was assembled there.”
“Any idea where?” asked Ryan
“Nope, but it’s a start.” Said Sawyer.
Sawyer closed his laptop and looked up just in time to make eye contact with a familiar face. Sawyer growled as Ryan quickly turned his attention to where Sawyer was looking. There he saw Brant sitting at a nearby table with a computer of his own. Brant moved like he was about to stand, then winced in pain as he grabbed his right shoulder and slowly sat back down. Ryan walked over to him with a hand inside his hoodie, pretending to have a gun at the ready.
“Well, well, well.” Said Ryan. “If it isn’t my favorite battered woman.”
Ryan sat down across from Brant as Sawyer moved in next to him.
“What do you two want from me?” asked Brant, fighting back tears.
“Why are you not in prison and where’s your boss?” asked Ryan
“I was released. Good behavior. Besides, I wasn’t really guilty of anything.” Said Brant.
“And Elementis?” asked Ryan
“My Dearest… she abandoned me!” Brant sobbed uncontrollably.
“Do you know where she is?” asked Ryan. “She’s dangerous and needs to be brought to justice.”
“I can’t betray my Dearest…” Brant’s voice trailed off.
“So you do know.” Said Ryan. “Look, the cops may not have been able to get you to talk, but I promise you, he and I will make you spill your guts- one way or another.”
Brant looked down at Sawyer who was snarling back at him.
“She’s… in Chicago.” Said Brant. “I’m sure of it. Her hideout was on top of the Sears Tower. She had always dreamed of putting a weather machine up there. It would freeze the entire country.
Ryan and Sawyer knew now that Ukraine was officially going to have to wait. They brought Brant with them to their car as they drove five hours to Chicago and parked a few miles from the Sears Tower. Ryan and Sawyer took their usual weapons and hid them. Ryan also snuck a revolver inside the waist of his pants.
“Brant, when we get up there, I want you to go in first and do your best to convince her to surrender to the police, but don’t tell her we’re here.” Said Ryan
“Okay, no problem.” Said Brant, clearly bothered by the thought of deceiving his Dearest.
“Remember, she screwed you over without hesitation. Now’s your chance to grow a pair.” Said Ryan, sensing his hesitation.
“You think he’ll do it?” asked Sawyer under his breath.
“Nope.” Said Ryan, bluntly. “Not a chance.”
After a long climb, all three reached the top of the Sears Tour. Brant stepped outside and closed the door behind him.
“Dearest? Are you here, Dearest?” called Brant
“How did you know to look for me here?” came a familiar voice.
“Dearest! I forgive you!” proclaimed Brant
“Shut up, I did nothing to you that you didn’t deserve.” Said Elementis.
Ryan and Sawyer waited inside, but could hear everything.
“Come on, Brant. Stand up for yourself!” Ryan thought out loud.
Sawyer just shook his head.
“But my Dearest, I was shot for you…” said Brant.
“I was shot, too, fool. Where were you on that one?” Elementis shot back, pointing at her thigh.
“I’m so sorry.” said Brant. “Never again. I will never fail you again.”
“What a pussy!” said Sawyer
Brant stood there, cold, heartbroken, and desperate to win back his mistress. Then he thought of a plan.
“Hold me, Dearest.” Said Brant
“No, you fool! Can’t you see I’m busy trying to finish this weather machine?” snapped Elementis
“But Dearest, I need you to be close to me.” Said Brant
Sawyer buried his face in one paw.
“I think he’s going to blow our cover.” Said Ryan, preparing his shotgun.
Brant hugged Elementis, who did not hug him back, then whispered in her ear.
“That jerk that shot us and his dog are behind that door.” Said Brant.
Elementis shot her gaze towards the door. She pulled out one of her weather pistols and fired a bolt of lightning at it. The bolt struck Ryan and Sawyer, knocking them unconscious. Brant tied them up, then splashed water in Ryan’s face.
“I will never betray my Dearest.” Said Brant. “You should have known that.”
“I’ll keep that in mind next time.” Said Ryan
Sawyer woke up after he too was splashed with water. Elementis ordered both of them to the edge of the building. Ryan stepped up to the ledge, then felt his revolver on his waste.
“Stupid skank didn’t even frisk me.” He thought
“Get a paw free.” Ryan whispered to Sawyer
Sawyer was already working on doing just that. Once he had one free, he nodded to Ryan.
“You’re a disgrace, Brant. Your woman owns you. She walks all over you. She uses you. She doesn’t even love you. In fact, I think she hates you and you don’t see it.” Said Ryan
“We are in love!” Brant shot back.
Elementis rolled her eyes.
“Are those your last words?” said Elementis, impatiently.
Ryan turned to face the edge of the Sears Tower. It was a long drop from the top and he was terrified of heights. He and Sawyer would likely only get off one shot, if that.
“On three.” Said Ryan, under his breath.
Sawyer, unsure of what the plan even was, flexed his free paw in preparation for whatever it was he had to do.
“One, two... three!” said Ryan, under his breath. He turned his back to Sawyer and lifted the back of his shirt. There Sawyer could see the grip of Ryan’s revolver. He lunged for it, cocked the hammer back and swung it towards Elementis.
“Dearest! No!” cried Brant as he dove in front of Elementis.
Sawyer fired. The bullet struck Brant in the chest as he fell.
“My Dearest…” said Brant as he died. “I saved you…”
“No you didn’t, you idiot.” Said Elementis as she fell on Brant’s body.
The bullet had traveled through both of them.
“.357, for the win.” Said Ryan as Sawyer handed him the revolver.
“Elementis is still alive!” said Sawyer
Sure enough, Elementis was wounded badly, but still alive. Sawyer rushed to her aid. He put a paw on her wound and pressed tightly. Elementis coughed up blood and breathed deeply as she struggled to hold onto life.
“You’re going to pay for all that you’ve done.” Said Sawyer as he tried to stop the bleeding.
“She can’t understand you.” Said Ryan
“Help me!” said Sawyer. “She has to face justice.”
“Justice?” said Ryan. “Here’s her justice.” Ryan pulled the hammer back on his revolver and fired a bullet into her forehead, her eyes wide with shock.
“What the hell is wrong with you!” cried Sawyer as he shoved Ryan with bloody paws. “You just murdered her!”
“She killed plenty of people on her own. That’s what she deserves.” Ryan shot back.
“You’re not the law!” said Sawyer.
“The law keeps letting these idiots free. The law tried to lock me up for a murder that may or may not have happened. The law is sitting around eating donuts while Annie is who knows where. Shut up about the law, Sawyer!” said Ryan
Ryan and Sawyer silently made their way back to their car and drove off.
“Please don’t do that again.” Said Sawyer. “You know it’s wrong. You’re better than that.”
“Sawyer, I’m going to do what I have to do to end this. All of this, once and for all. Even if that means killing the bad guys.” Said Ryan
Sawyer just shook his head. He had come to grips with the fact that Annie could be gone forever. Now he wondered if he was losing Ryan too.
“Ukraine?” said Ryan, trying to change the subject.
Sawyer looked back with sadness in his eyes. “Ukraine.”

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Back in the Hunt

Phillip Bauer took off his jacket and hung it in his closet. After removing his tie and putting it away as well, he sat at his desk and logged into his computer. There he found a folder containing pictures from a fishing trip he and Ryan had gone on as well as pictures from the hockey league they played in. He sighed deeply as he thought of the many memories. He and Jen had just returned from Ryan’s funeral. In a matter of weeks he and his wife had lost two friends and all he wanted was one answer:
“There’s a tow-truck outside.” Said Jen. “Looks like they have Ryan’s old car.”
Phil stood and walked to the front door just in time to see the truck driver back over his mailbox.
“Of course…” said Phil.
“Sorry about that.” Said the driver as he handed Phil a clipboard.
“What’s this for?” asked Phil
“Apparently it was willed to you by someone.” Said the driver. “Now if I could get you to sign here and initial right there and there, I’ll be on my way.”
“And the mailbox?” asked Phil
The driver scratched his head and looked back at the mailbox.
“It’s an easy fix…” said the driver.
Phil signed the paperwork and the driver left. He and Jen stood in the driveway admiring their new car, but did not notice someone walking up behind them on the sidewalk.
“What are we going to do with this?” asked Jen
“Well, the gas mileage is terrible, but it is a classic.” Said Phil. “I could probably sell it for a decent amount.”
“Sell it!?” said a familiar voice behind them.
Phil and Jen turned quickly and saw Ryan standing there with a look of disbelief that rivaled their own.
“Ryan!” said Phil. “How the heck…”
“Yeah, long story man.” Said Ryan. “But I’m fine. I’m going to go look for Annie.”
“Why did you give me your car?” asked Phil.
“Because if I didn’t leave it for someone, it would have been auctioned off or something.” Said Ryan. “Speaking of which, here’s the deed to our house. Just hold on to it. Annie and I will be moving back in one of these days.”
Phil took the deed and stared at it as he shook his head.
“I just came from your funeral, man.” Said Phil.
“Oh really?” said Ryan with a laugh. “How was it?”
“Sad.” Said Phil. Clearly not amused. “Jen, could you get us something to drink?”
“Sure.” Said Jen. “Glad you’re not dead, Ryan.”
“Thanks, me too.” Said Ryan.
Phil waited for Jen to walk inside, then asked:
“Where’s Sawyer?”
“He’s back at the house getting some supplies ready. Guns, ammo, camping gear. Pretty much everything we might need.” Said Ryan.
“I hope you find Annie.” Said Phil. “How are you going to pay for the trip?”
“Yeah, about that…” said Ryan. “Have you checked your bank account lately?”
“Yesterday. Why?” asked Phil.
“Check it again.” Said Ryan.
Phil pulled out his phone and opened his bank account info.
“Oh my freaking g---!” said Phil as Ryan covered his mouth with his hand.
“OK, so it worked.” Said Ryan. “That’s the deposit from my life insurance. I need that.”
“That’s $100,000!” said Phil.
“I started a new account with a new name.” said Ryan. “Just transfer $95,000 into it and buy a boat with the rest. Or whatever you want.”
“What name did you make the account under?” asked Phil.
“Gordon.” Said Ryan. “Gordon Howe.”
“You wish.” Said Phil with a laugh.
“I also need you to register the car in your name.” said Ryan. “That’s all.”
“Alright, I suppose I could go do all that now.” Said Phil. “Do you have any idea where Annie could be?”
“Nope.” Said Ryan. “Not a clue. But she’s out there. Somewhere.”
* * * * *
A man wearing a white lab coat walked down the hallway of a poorly lit building. He reached into the pocket of his lab coat and pulled out a single key. He stopped in front of a door, unlocked it and slowly opened it.
“Mrs. Easton.” He said firmly, but respectfully. “Please come with me.”
Annie couldn’t see who it was since the person was standing in darkness, but she was somewhat relieved as this was the first time the door had been opened in weeks and he didn’t sound threatening.
“Who are you?” she demanded. “I’m not going to cooperate with you until you start cooperating with me!”
“We have met before.” Said the man as he stepped forward into the light. “My name is Doctor Apocalypse.”
Annie gasped at the sight of the man standing before her. His face and hands had been severely burned and his lower jaw was missing. In its place was a crude steel jaw that looked to have been hastily made by someone with little skill in such tasks. He also wore a strange pair of goggles on his eyes and seemed momentarily bothered by the light he had walked into.
“Your face…” said Annie.
“Nothing to concern yourself with.” Said Doctor Apocalypse. “I just needed a moment to adjust to the light. As you can see, I have had a few run-ins with your husband and his dog.”
Annie thought for a moment then recognized his voice.
“You’re the one who kidnapped me and took me to that warehouse.” Said Annie. “All you wanted was one of Ryan’s hockey sticks.”
“Yes, you are correct.” Said Doctor Apocalypse.
“He destroyed the stick last year.” Said Annie. “You’ll never get it now.”
“We don’t need the stick. We need you.” Said Dr. Apocalypse. “We need your mind.”
Annie looked confused.
“What do you need my mind for?” she asked
Dr. Apocalypse pulled a piece of paper from his jacket pocket and handed it to Annie.
“The original plan was to kill you and Ryan outright, but while following you around your college campus, we learned a little more about you than we thought we would.” Said Dr. Apocalypse
“This is my research paper.” Said Annie. “How did you find it?”
Ignoring her question, Dr. Apocalypse continued:
“We need you to recreate those bacteria. It’s resistant to extreme heat and…” his voice trailed off.
“And what?” asked Annie.
“It’s so very deadly.” Said Dr. Apocalypse, unable to fight back a sneer.
“I found them by accident.” Said Annie. “I had no intention of making something so powerful. Even if I could recreate them, and there’s no guarantee that I can, I would never make them for you. You’ll hurt people!”
Dr. Apocalypse took a radio from his jacket pocket.
“She says she won’t do it. Are you ready with the ultimatum?” he said
“Yes. Bring her.” Said a voice through the radio.
“Come with me.” Said Dr. Apocalypse. “You will want to see this.”
* * * * *
Ryan pulled into his driveway and parked the car. Sawyer met him outside with a few bags of supplies.
“There’s more in the garage.” Said Sawyer. “Do you think you can get it? I wanna see if Buffy is home so I can say goodbye.”
“Yeah, sure. Take your time.” Said Ryan. “Wrap it before you tap it!”
“She’s classy!” Sawyer snapped.
Ryan finished loading everything into the Malibu. His shotgun, Sawyer’s AK-47, ammo, pipe bombs, fishing gear, camping gear. Gear, gear and more gear. Ryan and Sawyer had no idea if they would need any of this stuff, but they sure weren’t going to risk not having it if they did need it.
Sawyer came back after an hour and jumped in the Malibu, ready to go.
“You alright?” asked Ryan as he got into the driver’s seat.
“I’m fine. She’s sad.” Said Sawyer. “Let’s get going before I have second thoughts.”
Ryan pulled out of the driveway and headed towards who knows where. He looked into the rear view mirror at his house, wondering if he would ever live in it again.
“There it goes, Sawyer.” Said Ryan, still looking in the mirror. “All those good times.”
“What the heck!?” cried Ryan and Sawyer.
Their house had just exploded in a ball of fire. Debris was raining down all around them as a robot flew over their heads and out of sight.
“Well, we just got our first clue.” Said Ryan.
“General Evil…” growled Sawyer.
* * * * *
“That house was empty.” Said a man in the dark trench coat as he turned off the video feed from the robot that had blown up Annie’s house. “The next one will be loaded with your family members.”
Annie buried her face in her hands and sobbed. “Please just leave us alone…” she said.
“Agree to help us and no more harm will come to your family.” Said the man in the trench coat.
“Agree to help us and we will reward you when our plans have come to fruition.” Said Dr. Apocalypse.
Annie weighed her options. If she didn’t help them, they would kill her family. If she did help them, she would be helping them kill someone else’s family. Unless…
“I’ll do it.” Said Annie. “I hope your plan fails, but I’ll help. Just leave my family alone.”
“You won’t regret your decision.” Said Dr. Apocalypse. “Guards, take her to her laboratory. We will start right away.”
Two guards escorted Annie from the room. Dr. Apocalypse waited for them to close the door behind them, then spoke:
“I have not been able to contact the lawyer for days, Evil.” He said.
“No matter. He did what we needed him to do.” Said General Evil.
“Did he?” Apocalypse challenged. “Ryan Easton and his dog disappear off the face of the earth the same day the man who tried to put him in prison does? He’s going to come here…”
“And he will die.” Said General Evil. “This is all too prefect, really.”
Dr. Apocalypse looked uneasy as he placed a hand on his steel jaw.
“One of these days, my luck will run out.” He said.
“Don’t worry about Ryan and his dog.” Said General Evil. “If he is alive, and I doubt he is, I have a surprise waiting for him.” General Evil motioned towards a reinforced iron door.
General Evil changed the subject:
“Have you gained her trust?” he asked.
“She will never trust either of us. Nor should she. But she will cooperate.” Said Dr. Apocalypse.
“Good.” Said General Evil with a sinister grin. “Cooperation is all we require.”

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bait and Switch

It had been a month since Sawyer had helped Ryan escape the courthouse. They had spent the weeks following the escape trying to evade capture in the woods. They were unable to light any fires for fear of the smoke giving away their position. Still, they had managed to avoid capture so far, mostly because of Sawyer’s ability to keep them a step ahead of the police dogs. They had no shelter and had little food. Only what they could scavenge from hunting cabins. Sawyer had spent one evening pretending to be a stray and was invited into a house long enough to steal an old radio.
“What are they saying?” asked Ryan
Sawyer pulled off his headphones and replied, “Sounds like the police are calling off the search for now.”
“What about you being on video shooting up the courthouse?” asked Ryan
“Well, sounds like people know it happened, but…” said Sawyer
“But what?” said Ryan
“But the media is doing a good job of casting doubt on the situation. I’m either a small person in a costume or a hologram.” Said Sawyer “Because quote: “There’s no way a dog can shoot an AK-47, people!” Or so I keep hearing on the radio.” Said Sawyer as he wrapped the headphones around the radio and placed it in his denim backpack.
“Do you think the insurance companies have me listed as wanted?” asked Ryan
“No idea. Why?” said Sawyer
“Time to make a call.” Said Ryan as dialed a number into his cell phone.
“Hello, I’d like to make a change to my insurance policy…” said Ryan
“Yes, the benefactor in the event that I die…”
“Phillip Bauer, please. B-A-U-E-R.” said Ryan
“What are you doing that for?” whispered Sawyer
“Alright, thank you very much. Have a nice day.” Said Ryan as he hung up the phone.
“Why did I do that?” said Ryan “Because there’s no reason $100,000 needs to go to someone who can’t use it in the event that I get killed. Phil can use it to find Annie’s captor.”
“OK, but in the meantime, where do we start?” asked Sawyer “We don’t know anything. Not even the police had a clue.”
“I know.” Said Ryan, shaking his head. “But since we escaped the courthouse, I’ve been wanting to ask Fred a few questions.”
“Fred Crosby?” asked Sawyer “Your lawyer?”
“My crappy lawyer, yes.” Said Ryan. “He just didn’t seem at all interested in doing his job. It’s as if he wanted me in jail. Call me paranoid, but it’s worth looking into.”
“You know where to find him?” asked Sawyer
Ryan pulled a card from his wallet. “Let’s start at his office. First thing tomorrow morning.”
* * * * *
Ryan and Sawyer made it into town before the sun came up. They knew that in order to get into the office, they had to find disguises. Ryan had grown a beard while in the woods, so it would help for a little while, but once in Fred’s office, he knew he’d need something better.
“Wait here.” Said Ryan. “I’m going to find disguises.”
Ryan was gone for about 30 minutes before coming outside with two bags and a large box.
“What’s in the box?” asked Sawyer.
“Your disguise.” Said Ryan
Sawyer opened the box and found a large baby stroller with a cover shade on it.
“Nice. We can hide the guns in here too. Good thinking.” Said Sawyer. “What’s your disguise?”
“Never mind…” said Ryan
“Tell me!” said Sawyer.
“No.” said Ryan.
“I’ll find out sooner or later.” Said Sawyer as he grabbed one of the bags from Ryan. He opened the bag and immediately doubled over laughing.
“Shut up, Sawyer.” Said Ryan
“Make sure you shave first.” Said Sawyer through tears of laughter.
* * * * *
“Hey, sexy!” said a stranger as they passed by Ryan and the baby stroller. Sawyer covered his mouth with his paw to hold back the laughter.
“Sawyer!” said Ryan under his breath. “Focus!”
Ryan was wearing a blue dress, a blonde wig and was carrying a purse while pushing the stroller.
“Aw, how cute!” said a lady on the street as they crossed paths. “Can I see your baby?”
“Um, he’s napping right now.” Said Ryan in a female voice.
“Oh, OK.” Said the lady. “I see you have another one on the way!” said the woman, pointing at Ryan’s stomach.
Sawyer immediately busted out laughing.
Ryan looked down at his gut, then shot his glare back at the woman. “Mind your own business, you stupid skank!” said Ryan, making no attempt to hide his voice.
The woman was shocked and hurried away with a disgusted look on her face as Ryan continued his way towards the lawyer’s office.
“Stop walking so fast!” said Sawyer. “You might induce labor!”
“I hate you, Sawyer…”
* * * * *
“Yes, I’ll take your case.” said Fred into his phone. “$1,000 up front, then $200 per hour after that.”
“That’s the cheapest rate in town.” Said Fred
“Well if you’re so worried about going to jail, you should either buy a better lawyer or maybe not break the law!” Fred yelled into his phone.
“Hello? Hello? Cheapskate.” Said Fred as he hung up.
“Mr. Crosby, there’s a woman out here that would like to see you.” Said the receptionist through the intercom.
“Send her in.” said Fred.
* * * * *
“Hello, miss.” Said Fred. “What can I do for you?”
“Well, my name is Cammi Granato and I’m trying to divorce my husband.” Said Ryan
“Divorce just so happens to be one of my specialties!” Said Fred, obviously flirting.
“Good. He’s a horrible man.” Said Ryan “He never listens, he leaves the toilet seat up and—“
“Intriguing.” Said Fred. “Do you have money?”
“Well, I have my husband’s money.” Said Ryan as he pulled out a fake ATM card. “How much do you want?”
“Let’s have lunch, shall we?” said Fred, grinning from ear to ear.
Ryan put the stroller holding Sawyer into the back of Fred’s car, then rode with him to a nearby diner.
“The fish here is terrible. So is the beef, the pork and the turkey.” Said Fred. “But it’s dirt cheap, which I like.”
“Works for me.” said Ryan.
Ryan pushed Sawyer into the diner, then sat at a nearby booth.
“What can I get for you?” asked the waitress.
“I’ll have the fish sandwich. Easy on the mayo.” Said Fred.
“And you, miss?” said the waitress as she turned towards Ryan.
“I actually brought lunch with me.” Said Ryan as he reached into the stroller.
“Miss, we don’t allow outside food in the—“
Ryan pulled his shotgun out and pointed it at Fred’s face.
“Can I get everyone that isn’t a crappy lawyer to leave, please?” asked Ryan.
Everyone hurried out of the diner, then Ryan motioned for Sawyer to come out of the stroller. Fred’s jaw dropped when he saw Sawyer pointing his rifle at him.
“You two!” said Fred. “What do you want from me?”
Ryan took off his wig and dress, then put on jeans and a hoodie from the stroller.
“Tell me what you know about Annie’s missing person’s case and you’ll walk out of here alive.” Said Ryan.
“Me? I don’t know anything about it!” said Fred.
“Look.” Said Ryan. “You’re a terrible lawyer. But there’s no way anyone is that bad. You were throwing the case and you know it! Now tell me why!” said Ryan, jamming the gun against Fred’s chest.
“I’m telling you, I—“
Sawyer shoved his rifle into Fred’s mouth and growled at him.
“That’s Sawyer.” Said Ryan. “Wave at Sawyer.”
Fred turned his eyes towards Sawyer and waved slightly, then turned back to Ryan.
“He’s a good dog, but he has a talent.” Said Ryan. “He can smell bull crap from a mile away. He doesn’t like bull crap.”
Sawyer growled.
“Alright, alright.” Said Fred. “This guy, he called me.”
“What guy?” asked Ryan.
“He never told me his name.” said Fred. “He just said that if you were convicted of murder and locked away, he would pay me a million bucks and give me coordinates for a safe zone.”
“Safe zone?” asked Ryan.
“I don’t know why, but he said I would need to be there within 24 hours of receiving the coordinates if I wanted to live.” Said Fred.
“What did the guy sound like?” asked Ryan.
“He disguised his voice.” Said Fred.
“So you listened to a guy with a disguised voice?” said Ryan
“Hey man, a million bucks.” Said Fred.
“Did he mention Annie at all?” asked Ryan.
“Sorry, just the money. He seemed to know what he was doing.” Said Fred. “No unneeded information passed between us.”
“Did he leave you a number?” asked Ryan.
“No, he said he’d call me whenever he needed me and his number was blocked.” Said Fred. “Hey, who’s at the door?”
Ryan and Sawyer both looked back at the door as Fred made his move. He grabbed Sawyer’s rifle and pointed it at Ryan! Ryan pointed his shotgun back at Fred’s face and chaos ensued.
“Put it down!” said Fred
“You put it down!” said Ryan. ”I’ve got nothing to lose!”
“I’ve got everything to gain!” said Fred. “Drop the gun now!”
“I have no problem killing you!” said Ryan.
“Neither do I!” said Fred.
No one noticed that the police had arrived in front of the building. Ryan saw Fred’s finger start squeezing the trigger, so he dropped to the floor as Fred blindly sprayed bullets out the window.
“He’s shooting at us!” said Officer Culver. “Return fire!”
The police opened up on the building, hitting Fred in the chest. Fred fell to the floor and lay motionless.
“Sawyer, get your gun and shoot back at the cops, but don’t hit anyone!” said Ryan
“Why?” said Sawyer.
“Just do it!” said Ryan.
Sawyer sprayed a burst of bullets of the heads of the police as they ducked for cover. Ryan took out his wallet and switched it with Fred’s. Then he put his wedding ring on Fred’s finger.
“We need a fire!” said Ryan. “Check the kitchen!”
Sawyer sprinted into the kitchen while Ryan kept returning fire. Sawyer found a gas stove, a microwave and some aerosol cans. Sawyer turned on the gas of all four burners, but never lit the fire.
“OK, when I give the word, put the cans in the microwave and turn it on full power for about 10 minutes!” said Ryan.
“What are you going to do?” asked Sawyer.
“I need my disguise again…” said Ryan
* * * * *
After Ryan had his disguise back on, he gave Sawyer the signal. Sawyer started the microwave, then jumped into his stroller. Ryan ran out the back door, pushing Sawyer as he went.
“Hold it!” cried a policeman.
“He rigged the whole place to blow!” said Ryan in a female voice.
“Come with me, ma’am!” said the officer.
Ryan followed the policeman to a safe distance, then waited.
“Make sure no one goes in there!” said Ryan. “They won’t make it!”
The officer used his radio to warned the others. Once he was finished, Ryan clubbed him in the back of the head, knocking him out. He and Sawyer left the scene just before the diner exploded in a ball of fire.
* * * * *
Officer Culver walked into the morgue and approached the charred remains they had pulled out of the diner.
“Were you able to identify the body?” asked Officer Culver.
“Yes.” Said the mortician. “His name was Ryan Easton. His wallet was in his pocket. There was enough info left undamaged to make a positive I.D. Plus his wedding ring had his name engraved on it.”
“Ryan Easton?” asked Officer Culver.
“Yes. Did you know him?” asked the mortician.
“Yeah, he helped the department out a few times. Not sure what got into him lately, but he used to be a good guy.” Said Officer Culver.
“Notify the next of kin?” said the mortician.
“Well, his wife is either missing or dead. He was the prime suspect. There’s no one else to call as far as I know.” Said Officer Culver. “Send the remains to the funeral home. Looks like this case is closed. For now at least.”
* * * * *
“Hello? Can anyone hear me?” cried Annie. “Please, help me!”
She was trapped in a windowless prison with a windowless door.
“Calm yourself.” Said a raspy, almost metallic voice. “You’re wasting energy.”
“Who are you? Where am I?” asked Annie.
“I can’t tell you who I am just yet, but you are safe here.” Said the man. “Here, eat something. You will need your strength in the days to come.”
The man passed a plate through a small slot in the door. Starving, Annie grabbed it and started eating.
“What are you going to do with me?” asked Annie as she ate.
“We’re going to make you the most powerful woman in the world.” Said the man. “Now enough questions. Why don’t you get some sleep?”
Annie immediately felt tired. ‘I must have been drugged!’ she thought. Before she could say anything in protest, she was asleep.
The man with the raspy voice stood and was about to walk away when a voice from the shadows stopped him.
“Will she assist us?” asked the man in the shadows.
“She will.” Said the man with the raspy voice. “With the right motivation, you can make someone turn on their own country.”
“Good.” Said the man in the shadows. “Tomorrow, we begin.”

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rock Bottom

Annie turned the page of her text book and sighed deeply. Tomorrow was the biggest day of her life. Ace her exam and she was guaranteed a trip to med school. Fail it and who knows what she would have to do to achieve her dream of becoming a doctor. It was so important she has asked Ryan to go fishing for the evening and to take Sawyer with him in order to keep the house perfectly quiet. She was almost done. Just a couple more pages and she could go to sleep, confident that she was as ready as she could be. Then someone knocked on the door. Annie got up from her desk and headed to the front door.
“It’s 10:00 pm.” She thought “Who could this be?”
She opened the door and saw a man dressed in black trench coat and dark aviator glasses. The man glanced over his shoulder at the dark, empty neighborhood, then spoke:
“Is the man of the house here?” he asked
“He’s actually out fishing tonight.” She explained “Can I take a message?”
“No ma’am.” He said with a smile “That’s what I was hoping to hear.”
Without warning, the man shoved a cloth over Annie’s face, pushed his way inside the house and slammed the door behind him. Before she could scream, she was out cold. The man tied her up and gagged her, then carried her out to his car. Once she was in the back seat, the man pulled out a syringe and drew some of Annie’s blood. He then went back inside and searched through the dirty laundry for a woman’s shirt. After finding one, he pulled out a silenced pistol and shot three holes into the chest of the shirt, then soaked it with the blood he had drawn. After planting the shirt in the washer, he went to the living room and dialed 9-1-1.
“911, what’s your emergency?” said the voice on the other line
After hearing the operator, the man began turning over the furniture and breaking things.
“Is everything alright?” asked the operator after hearing the commotion
Then the man walked outside and loudly slammed the door behind him.
“If you can hear me, the police are on their way…” said the 911 operator.
* * * * *
“I’m telling you, that fish was at least 4… no, 5 feet long!” said Ryan
“You’re crazy!” laughed Sawyer “There are no fish that big in our little lake.”
“That’s what I used to think!” Ryan shot back
Ryan and Sawyer were almost home when three police cars went flying past them.
“Yikes.” Said Sawyer. “Someone’s in trouble.”
Then they arrived at their house and saw that the police in their front yard. Ryan jumped out of his truck and ran to the front door.
“Who are you?” demanded one of the cops
“I’m Ryan, I live here.” Said Ryan. “Is Annie ok? My wife Annie? She was supposed to be here…”
“There’s no one in the house.” Said the officer “There was a 911 call at 10:05pm. When we got here, no one was here, but the living room was trashed.”
“What!?” said Ryan “Let me see!”
“I’m sorry, sir.” Said the officer “This is a crime scene.”
“Well, was she hurt?” asked Ryan “Do you have any leads at all?”
“Nothing yet, sir, but we’re working on it.” Said the officer
Just then, another officer walked out of the house and motioned for the one that had been talking to Ryan. Ryan looked down at Sawyer with a worried look. Sawyer returned the same glance. This was not the first time Annie had been in danger, but normally the culprit left behind a note or a clue for Ryan to follow since all they really wanted was a chance to kill him and Sawyer. This time, it was as if she had vanished. Was this connected to anyone that they had fought before? Or was this just a random crime? Then the officer came back outside.
“Ryan Easton?” he asked
“Yes…” said Ryan
“You’re under arrest for the murder of Annie Leonard.” Said the officer
“What!?” Ryan gasped “Murder!? How can that be!?” he pleaded
“You have the right to remain silent.” The officer said, ignoring him.
Ryan was read his rights and placed in a squad car as Sawyer watched in disbelief.
“What do we do with the dog?” asked one of the officers
“Call the pound, I guess.” Said another “His owners won’t be seeing him anytime soon.”
Sawyer was crushed after hearing that. He had to keep himself out of the pound. He had to stay free so that someone could find Annie and free Ryan. Or free Ryan so he could help find Annie. His mind was racing so fast, he didn’t see the dog catcher’s noose coming at him until it was wrapped around his neck!
“No!” thought Sawyer “I have to get away!”
The dog catcher pulled Sawyer towards his van as Sawyer struggled to free himself. As he drew closer to the van’s back door, Sawyer knew he had to blow his cover. He stood on his hind legs, grabbed the pole with his paws and ripped it out of the dog catcher’s hands. The dog catcher froze in disbelief and fear as Sawyer loosened the noose and removed it from his neck. Sawyer thew the pole back at the dog catcher, dropped back to all fours and bolted off into the darkness.
“Where’s the dog?” asked one of the cops
“He—You didn’t—He couldn’t—“ the dog catcher stammered “He—He got away…” he finally blurted out.
* * * * *
“Let’s go over this one more time.” Said the officer who was interrogating Ryan “You were fishing all night. No one who stands on two legs can account for this. We get a 911 call from your house, find it trashed, your wife is missing and we find her bloody clothes in your washing machine.”
“Yes.” Said Ryan, solemnly.
“You see why this looks bad for you, right?” said the officer. “Intruders don’t usually try to clean up evidence. Especially when they seem to make a clean get away.”
“I’m telling you.” Said Ryan “I was fishing all night and—“
“Save it!” the officer cut him off. “You can tell it to the judge tomorrow morning.”
* * * * *
It seemed like the longest night of his life. Sawyer had not slept at all. He was too nervous and afraid. Not afraid of the dark woods he had taken refuge in, but of the unclear future he was faced with. Was Annie really gone forever? What if Ryan couldn’t prove his innocence? Sawyer made his way home and stopped just inside the wood line to see if there were still cops waiting outside. Once he saw that no one was there, he trotted towards the front door and walked inside. The house was still a mess. Sawyer went into the basement and opened the door to their sports room. That’s where he and Ryan had watched all the Red Wings hockey games and played video games together. He turned on the TV and switched it over to the local news.
‘A local woman is presumed dead. After receiving a 911 call from her house, police found the place trashed.’ Said the reporter. ‘No one was home, but a bloody shirt with bullet holes in it was found. The woman’s husband is the prime suspect and will be arraigned on charges of murder in the first degree this morning.’
Sawyer pulled away all the cushions to the futon sofa they sat on and pulled open the bed. Rather than a mattress, he found Ryan’s riot shotgun, his own assault rifle, loads of ammo and a few other accessories that Sawyer loaded into his denim backpack. Next he headed out to the garage. He wanted to take the Malibu for its speed, but he didn’t want a lot of attention so he chose the Suburban.
He and Ryan had found a manikin torso and had dressed it up for just such an occasion. Sawyer would control the truck from the passenger seat while the manikin would appear to be the driver. Sawyer fired up the engine and entered the court building into the GPS. After a deep breath, he pulled out of the driveway and headed into town.
* * * * *
“All rise.” Said the bailiff. “The honorable Judge Manson presiding.”
Ryan stood up and watched as the judge walked towards his bench and sat down. The judge read the charges out loud as Ryan stood quietly.
“How do you plead?” asked the judge
“Not guilty.” Said Ryan
* * * * *
Sawyer was getting close to his destination when he noticed a cop was following him.
“Oh great…” said Sawyer
He did his best to drive carefully, but he was so distracted by the cop behind him that he ran a stop sign. The cop turned on his flashing red lights and demanded that the driver pull over. Sawyer pulled the Suburban off to the side of the road and turned off the engine.
“This is not good…” Sawyer said as he tried to figure out a plan of action. He looked at the manikin, then back at the cop car and knew this could not possibly end well. The cop stepped out of his car and slowly made his way towards the Suburban. Without warning, the Suburban roared to life!
“Stop!” cried the cop
Sawyer mashed the gas button on his controller. He glanced behind him and saw the cop jump into his squad car and turn on his sirens.
“Dispatch, I’m in pursuit of a black Chevy Suburban, Michigan plates!” Said the cop into his radio. “He’s heading west on Fourth Street! Requesting backup!”
“10-4.” Said a voice on the radio. “Backup is on its way to your location.”
Sawyer drove through a busy intersection without slowing, barely missing other vehicles. Up ahead, he could see more police headed right for him so he veered off onto a side street.
“Recalculating…” said the GPS
“Shut up!” Sawyer yelled.
Sawyer made a hard left then glanced behind him. There were three cops chasing him and closing fast. He was less than a mile from the court house now. One of the squad cars moved in and tapped Sawyer’s back bumper. He almost lost control, but kept it straight. Then the squad car moved in next to him and tried a PIT maneuver. This time, Sawyer lost control. The Suburban’s back wheels went to the side as Sawyer tried to correct them. The squad car stayed right on him though and before Sawyer could do anything, the Suburban was rolling down the street. Sawyer braced himself as best he could. The truck slammed into a light post and came to a stop upside down. Sawyer was dazed, but unhurt. He struggled to unbuckle his seat belt as the police cautiously approached the vehicle. Once he was free, he secured his backpack and weapons and prepared to make his move.
“I see movement inside!” yelled one of the cops as he and his fellow officers took up positions behind cover. “Come out with your hands up! You are completely surrounded!”
* * * * *
“Your Honor, my client, um, Ryan, could not have been the killer.” Said the public defender “He was fishing at the time of the murder.”
“Stop talking about her like she’s dead.” Said Ryan, under his breath. The public defender ignored him and continued.
“We would like to see the charges dropped due to lack of strong evidence.” He said
“I would say that the 911 call, the missing person and the bloody shirt all located in the defendant’s house and his lack of a firm alibi are very much strong evidence.” Said Judge Manson
“Oh…” said the public defender as he leafed through Ryan’s file. “Then, bail?” he asked
Ryan sighed deeply as the public defender sat down next to him.
“You suck at this.” Said Ryan “What’s your name anyways?”
“Hey, you’re the murderer.” He shot back. “You can call me ‘Fred’.”
“I didn’t kill anyone, Fred.” Said Ryan “And it’s your job to make that clear!”
* * * * *
Sawyer looked out the back window of the Suburban. He could see the court house, but he was surrounded on all sides. As the cops closed in, he made his move. He unlocked the back door and kicked it open. The police were ready to fire, but all they saw was a black dog run out from the back.
“It’s just a dog!” said one of the cops
“Yeah, but he’s armed!” said another
Before any of them could react, Sawyer was long gone. All four of his legs carried him to the court house in no time. Sawyer burst through the front of the court house and was immediately faced with security. Without hesitating, Sawyer stood on his back legs and began firing his AK-47 into the air. The guards dove for cover as Sawyer ran, setting off the metal detectors. One guard reached for his weapon, but Sawyer was too fast. He aimed Ryan’s shotgun at him and unleashed a barrage of rubber pellets onto his chest. The guard dropped in pain. Sawyer quickly read a sign, then sprinted towards the court room where Ryan was being arraigned.
* * * * *
“I’m going to deny bail.” Said Judge Manson. “Though you have no prior record, I feel that the charges are significant enough that you may be a flight risk.”
Ryan waited for Fred to say something, but he just nodded in agreement.
“Sit down, you useless prick!” said Ryan as he stood next to Fred. “Your Honor, please! I am no killer. Annie could still be alive! We’re wasting time!”
“Do you have any idea where she could possibly be or who could have taken her?” the judge calmly asked.
“No.” said Ryan. “But we’re not getting any closer just sitting in here!”
“I understand your position, sir.” Said Judge Manson. “But the evidence is---“
The alarm in the court house sounded.
“Everyone stay calm!” said the Bailiff. “Remain in your seats!”
Judge Manson slammed his gavel. “No bail. Bailiff, take the defendant into custody.”
“This is a mistake!” Ryan yelled over the alarms.
Then the doors to the court room burst open. Ryan looked back and saw Sawyer.
“Sawyer!” said Ryan, shocked and thrilled that there was still hope.
“Catch!” said Sawyer as he hurled Ryan’s shotgun towards him. “Rubber ammo!”
As soon as Ryan caught the shotgun, he turned towards the Bailiff and fired a round onto his chest. The bailiff flew back and landed in pain. Ryan turned to Fred and butt stroked him in the jaw.
“That’s for sucking.” He said to the unconscious lawyer.
“Come on!” cried Sawyer.
Ryan and Sawyer ran out of the court room and towards the front door of the court house. The guards were just standing up as Ryan and Sawyer fired their weapon at them again to get them back down. Sawyer ran out the door with Ryan closely behind. The cops that had surrounded the wrecked Suburban were making their way towards the court house.
“This way!” said Sawyer. “We need a vehicle!”
He and Ryan ran into the street. The first car that approached them was a van.
“Not that one!” said Ryan
They continued running down the street with the police behind them. Then a Chevy Camaro pulled out in front of them.
“Out of the car!” said Ryan “Leave it running!”
The man hesitated until he saw Sawyer growling at him behind an AK-47. He jumped out of the car and ran away. Ryan and Sawyer got in the car, turned it around and were gone before the cops could catch them.
* * * * *
“I think we lost them.” Said Sawyer
They had driven for a few hours and were now well into the country. They ditched the car, gathered their weapons and headed into the woods.
“What are we going to do?” asked Sawyer
“I don’t know.” Said Ryan. “But Annie is alive. I know it. I don’t know where she is or who took her, but I know she’s alive. We have to find her.”
With that, he and Sawyer continued on their way, determined to find Annie, clear Ryan’s name and bring the real perpetrator to justice.
* * * * *
“The judge had denied bail, but then his dog showed up.” Said Fred into his cell phone.
“No, he never suspected me.”
“I can’t imagine how they would evade the police much longer…”
“Yes, Sir.” Said Fred. “I won’t fail you.”

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hot Streak

“Alright. Everyone know what to do?” said Ryan “I’m gonna send out a ‘ready check’. Once everyone clicks ‘yes’, I’m pulling the boss.”

Ryan watched his computer screen and waited for confirmation that everyone was ready.

“Ready Sawyer?” he asked

“I clicked yes.” Said Sawyer “Pull him…”

Ryan charged the raid boss with his character, and then an epic battle ensued.

“De-curse… Need bleed effects… c’mon, DPS, burn it down…” said Ryan into his headset

“Adds!” said Sawyer

“Got em…” said Ryan

“Pwnyerface is down…” said a voice on the computer.

“Battle rez on Pwnyerface…” Ryan ordered. “Get ready… phase two inc…”

Then the boss went on a rampage, hitting harder and faster.

“OK, blow all cooldowns… void zone! Watch the void zone!” said Ryan

“We’re not causing enough damage!” said Sawyer “He’s gonna enrage!”

“Focus…” said Ryan “LOH! LOH!”

“It’s on cooldown!” yelled Sawyer

“Heal me! C’mon! Heal!” Ryan yelled as he frantically clicked spells on his screen.

The boss was too much for them, however, and the raid wiped.

“Dang it!” said Ryan as he threw his headset.

“We almost had it…” said Sawyer, banging his paw on the desk. “Not enough DPS…”

Ryan waited until he cooled off, then addressed the raid.

“Alright, guys. It’s late and I need to get going for the night. We’ll get him next time…” he said

Sawyer logged off just before Annie walked in.

“Why is it so hot?” she asked

“I don’t know.” Said Ryan “Maybe because of the computer running?”

“No, it’s hot all over.” Said Annie “It’s 110 degrees outside.”

Ryan went outside and sure enough, it was a scorcher. He went back in the house and turned on the weather channel. They were reporting temperatures as high as 125 in some places. Worse, it was raining. The humidity was unbearable. Sawyer watched the screen, cocking his head to the side as he studied the radar.

“I don’t know why it’s like this…” said Annie “But I need Starbucks. Iced coffee. I’ll be back later.”

* * * * *

Once Annie left, Sawyer pointed to the screen.

“You see that?” he asked

“What?” asked Ryan

“The heat is strongest here, in the center of the state and gets slightly cooler as it moves out in all directions. Same with the rain storms.” He explained

“How can that be?” asked Ryan

“Who do we know that controls the weather…” said Sawyer, waiting for the obvious answer

“Elementis…” Said Ryan

“Are we gonna do something?” asked Sawyer “Remember, she said she had bigger plans than just bank robbery.”

“Yeah, we’re going after her.” Said Ryan “Get your gun.”

* * * * *

Ryan and Sawyer pinpointed the nasty weather somewhere in the middle of the Manistee National Forest. They piled into the Malibu and drove. Sawyer loaded magazines and put a few odds and ends in his backpack.

* * * * *

“Brant!” yelled Elementis “Why isn’t the AC working?”

“It is, my dearest.” Said Brant “I just wanted to turn it down to save some energy.”

“You idiot. We can afford the expense. Just keep it as cool in here as you can.” Said Elementis

“Yes, my dearest.” Brant groveled. “Sorry to have failed you.”

“Again.” Said Elementis

“Yes, again.” Said Brant

Elementis withdrew some of her rage.

“It won’t be this hot for much longer.” She explained. “Once our stocks in air conditioners, fans and pools have topped off, we’ll sell it all, then turn on the blizzard.”

“Won’t people die from the sudden change in extreme temperatures?” asked Brant

“Yes, I suppose that’s possible.” Thought Elementis “We’ll have to invest in funeral homes as well.”

* * * * *

Ryan and Sawyer arrived about a mile from the center of the heat wave. They parked their car and traveled the rest of the way on foot. It was still raining and the temperature was in the 130’s. Through the steamy mist, Ryan was able to see a trailer up ahead along with a large circular object.

“See that?” said Ryan

“Yeah,” said Sawyer “It looks like a bigger version of Elementis’ guns.”

“Exactly.” Said Ryan “You were right.”

Ryan loaded a shell into his shotgun as Sawyer switched the safety off of his rifle and stood up. After bumping fist to paw, they closed in on the target. Just then, a man stepped out of the trailer, then froze after seeing Ryan and Sawyer.

“That’s not Elementis…” said Sawyer

“Dearest!” cried Brant “Intruders!”

Elementis stepped out of the trailer, pulled out one of her weapons and fired it at Ryan and Sawyer. A bolt of lightning struck the ground between them as they both dove for cover.

“That’s Elementis!” said Sawyer

“I know!” said Ryan “Shoot her!”

Sawyer raised his weapon and pulled the trigger, but nothing happened. He pulled the bolt back and tried again but again, nothing happened.

“This weather! It’s soaked my powder!” said Sawyer

Ryan attempted to fire his as another bolt struck close to them.

“Mine too!” he yelled

Sawyer threw him his pack.

“Get back to the car and regroup! I’ll hold them off!” said Sawyer

Ryan started to protest but Sawyer was already gone. He charged the trailer and tackled Brant, biting at his arm.

“Dearest! Help me!” cried Brant

Elementis picked up a log and struck Sawyer in the head, knocking him out.

“Thank you!” said Brant

“Shut up and turn on the snow!” said Elementis

“But the investments…” said Brant

“Forget the money. These are the two from the bank.” Said Elementis “If we don’t freeze that guy, we’re finished.”

* * * * *

Ryan made it back to the car. By now we was sweating and completely soaked. His shotgun was worthless now, but he was hoping he left something in his trunk. After opening it up, he was relieved to find his bow and arrow. While he only had three arrows, the bow was guaranteed to shoot no matter the weather. He would need one for the weather machine, one to kill one person and hopefully the third to kill the other. He was about to head back towards the trailer when he felt the temperature drop sharply.

“What the heck?” Ryan said out loud

His drenched clothes started to freeze as he dove into the car and turned on the heat. The thermometer on his car said it was -20 degrees outside. Normally -20 wouldn’t be the end of the world, but with wet clothes, he could die. Suddenly he remembered Sawyer’s pack. He dumped the contents out on the seat next to him and sure enough, Sawyer had planned for this. There was Ryan’s hoodie, some jeans and dry socks. Sawyer had also brought a vest for himself. Ryan folded the vest and put it in his pocket, took a deep breath and left the car.

He made it back to the trailer in no time since the heat wasn’t slowing him down. He circled around to the side of the trailer and waited behind a tree about 30 yards away. This was going to be a waiting game. Could Ryan wait in the freezing cold for someone to open the door and give him a shot? Or would he freeze to death while
waiting? These were his two options.

* * * * *

Sawyer woke up and looked around. It didn’t take long for him to find the barrel of a gun pointed at him. Behind the gun was Brant.

“He’s awake.” Said Brant

Elementis ignored him.

“May I open a window?” Brant asked “It’s so hot in here.”

Elementis rolled her eyes. “Fine, but just for a second. And please stop whining.”

“Yes, dearest.” He replied

A breeze entered the trailer and Sawyer immediately caught Ryan’s sent. He knew he had to be out there waiting for them to come out. He decided on a plan. He perked his ears up, looked out the window and growled as if he saw something.

“He sees someone.” Said Brant “Maybe his owner?”

“He wouldn’t growl at his owner, fool.” Elementis snapped “Go see what it is.”

Ryan shivered uncontrollably. He was at the end of his rope. If someone didn’t leave that railer soon, he would have to leave and come back with warmer clothes. By then, they may kill Sawyer or leave with him. Just then, the door swung open. Brant stepped outside and looked around. Ryan carefully slipped behind the tree and drew his bow back.

“There’s no one here!” Brant called out

“Then get in here and shut the door!” Elementis yelled at him

Ryan peaked around the tree, aimed at Brant and released the arrow. It struck Brant in the shoulder and lodged in his bone.

“I’m hit!” Brant cried out in pain. “Save me, dearest!”

Ryan knocked another arrow and drew back in anticipation. Elementis stepped out and saw Brant, then saw Ryan just as he was about to fire. She dove for cover as Ryan released the arrow. The arrow missed badly. Ryan cursed his bad luck as he knocked his final shot. Elementis took off her jacket. Once again, she had a parachute underneath. She pulled out her weapon and fired it at the chute. A strong gust of wind began to carry her off as Ryan release the arrow in desperation. The arrow struck Elementis in the thigh. She shrieked in pain as she was carried off by the wind.

Ryan approached Brant.

“Where’s my dog.” He asked

“He—he’s inside…” he stammered

Sawyer stepped out and joined Ryan next to Brant.

“My dearest has left me!” Brant sobbed, his tears freezing to his cheeks.

“There there… The cops will be here soon enough.” Ryan mocked

* * * * *

The police were very interested in the machine that was left behind. After some tampering, they were able to turn it off, much to the relief of everyone. Except Elementis.

“She’s still alive.” Said Ryan

“Yeah. And so are we.” Sawyer countered.

“Do you think the cops will get Brant to talk?” asked Sawyer

“I don’t know.” Said Ryan “I guess that will be a story for another time.”

Friday, May 21, 2010

Old School

Ryan turned off the TV and threw the remote down in disgust.

“The stupid Sharks!” he yelled “I can’t believe we lost to the Sharks!”

“We lost to the Sharks.” Said Sawyer “But the refs were wearing Sharks jerseys.”

Ryan and Sawyer consoled each other over their team’s loss. The Red Wings were out of the playoffs, so there would be no more Detroit hockey until the fall.

“Want a pizza?” Ryan asked in despair

“Yeah.” Said Sawyer as he took off his Red Wings hat and sighed out loud. “Extra pepperoni.”

Ryan stood to leave and reached for his keys when he suddenly vanished before Sawyer’s eyes!

“Ryan!?” said Sawyer “Where are you!? What happened!?”

Then the phone rang. Sawyer picked it up and listened.

“I know you can hear me, dog.” Said the voice “Killing you will be so much easier now that your fool owner is gone.”

Sawyer snarled. He knew he couldn’t communicate back. He also knew who it was on the other end of the line. Doctor Apocalypse.

“Time travel is possible, beast.” Explained Doctor Apocalypse “The boy was much easier to silence when he was in grade school!” he laughed

He went back in time and killed Ryan when he was young?’ thought Sawyer ‘Now what am I going to do?

“I must go, beast.” Said Doctor Apocalypse “But I will be paying you a final visit very soon.”

The phone went dead. Sawyer needed to do something. He needed to go back in time to prevent Apocalypse from killing Ryan. He sprinted down the hall towards Ryan and Annie’s room and started tearing apart Ryan’s drawers. He tossed his clothes all over the room looking for something. Then he found it: The radio that had sent them back in time last year. Then Annie walked in and saw the mess he had made.

“Sawyer!” yelled Annie “Bad dog!”

Sawyer ignored her, grabbed the radio in his mouth and ran past her.

“Come back here!” she yelled at him

Sawyer ran outside, turned on the radio, set the channel to 1989 and pressed the talk button.

“I hope he’s still alive in 1989…” said Sawyer as a flash of light temporarily blinded him.

Sawyer was right back where he was a second ago, but it was different this time. The house he had just ran out of was gone. Instead, there was a for sale sign by a dirt road. Sawyer started walking towards town. Or at least where he hoped to find a town. After a short walk, he found a gas station.

“$1.15 for a gallon of gas!?” yelled a man as he refueled his truck “What’s this world coming to?”

“Highway robbery!” said another as he did the same

$1.15 for gas?’ thought Sawyer ‘I must have made it. Now to find Ryan.

* * * * *

Ryan approached the door to his school. He had been attending there for 3 years, but he felt like the new kid again. It was June, 1989 and he was in summer school. All of his friends were off for the summer and it was mostly kids from other schools that were here, so even though this was his school, he was the outsider.

Maybe I can impress these other guys somehow.’ Thought Ryan

* * * * *

Sawyer ran towards Ryan’s old school. He had shown it to Sawyer once before. Since it was the middle of the day, he should be there. He just needed to find him before Apocalypse did. Once he found the school, he walked up to the gym window and looked inside. There were dozens of kids standing in line to register. Then he found Ryan. He looked as if he wanted to say something to the kids talking in front of him.

I’ll just make up some lie!’ thought Ryan ‘These guys will think I’m the coolest kid here if they think I have cool toys… and they’ll never know! Now what toy collection is popular…

“Hey.” Said Ryan to one of the boys

“What.” He asked impatiently

“I own the entire Willow collection.” Said Ryan

He actually said that?’ thought Sawyer ‘I thought he was kidding…

“Willow sucks.” Said the boy as he turned back around and continued his conversation.

Ryan hung his head in shame.

Guessed wrong, loser!’ he thought to himself

“Is there a Ryan here?” asked a man who had just walked into the gym. He had strange goggles over his eyes and it looked as if he had been badly burned once before.

“Here.” Said Ryan

“Come with me, please.” Said the man

Ryan left the line he had been standing in to follow the man. Peering through the window, Sawyer growled at the man that Ryan was following. It was Doctor Apocalypse. Sawyer ran around the building to find a door. He had to get inside and stop Apocalypse!

“Am I in trouble?” asked Ryan

“Not at all.” Said Apocalypse “I just need your signature on some papers.” He lied

“Signature?” said Ryan “I don’t have a signature. I’m 8.”

“Just shut up and follow me you little brat!” Apocalypse snarled back. His patience had run out. He just wanted to eliminate Ryan and get back to 2010.

Who is this guy?’ thought Ryan ‘Maybe a teacher from a different school?

Doctor Apocalypse opened the door to the teacher’s lounge and motioned for Ryan to follow. Ryan walked in as Apocalypse closed the door behind him.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am right now, Ryan.” Said Doctor Apocalypse as he pulled out a silenced pistol.

Ryan stood frozen in fear as Apocalypse aimed the gun at his face.

“Who let that dog in here!” cried a voice outside the room

Doctor Apocalypse suddenly looked past Ryan in shock just as the door flew open. Sawyer charge Doctor Apocalypse and grabbed the gun before he could fire it!

“Ryan! Run!” yelled Sawyer

“You can talk!?” said Ryan “What the heck is going on here!”

“Run I said!” Sawyer snapped as he wrestled with Doctor Apocalypse

Ryan turned and ran out the door. Sawyer got the gun away from Apocalypse and fired three rounds into his chest.

“Blasted beast!” yelled Apocalypse as he fell back and lay motionless

Sawyer threw the gun into the trash and ran outside to find Ryan. He found him running across the playground towards his house.

“Wait!” yelled Sawyer as he ran after Ryan

Ryan turned and saw the talking dog running towards him.

“Help!” he cried “A talking dog is chasing me!”

“No, it’s alright!” said Sawyer as he caught him “I’m… from the future.”

Ryan listened as Sawyer explained what happened. He explained who he was and why he had to stop Doctor Apocalypse. They continued to talk until they reached the empty lot where Ryan would someday own a house.

“This is where I’m going to live?” asked Ryan

“This is it.” Said Sawyer

“And only I can understand you when you talk?” said Ryan

“Yeah, so far.” Said Sawyer

“Huh… And now that Apocalypse guy is dead so… you gotta go?” he asked

“I should.” Said Sawyer “Besides, I have to make fun of your future self.” Sawyer said with a laugh

“Why?” asked Ryan

“Let’s just say you become much cooler in 20 years.” Said Sawyer

“That’s good…” said Ryan “… Hey!”

* * * * *

Sawyer adjusted the radio to read 2010 and prepared to press the button.

“Well, good luck, Ryan” said Sawyer “Remember, watch more hockey and less basketball.”

“Thanks, Sawyer. I will” said Ryan

Just then, Doctor Apocalypse tackled Sawyer from behind! Sawyer dropped the radio and tried to defend himself from Doctor Apocalypse’s punches! Ryan picked up the radio and tried to hit Apocalypse with it!

“No!” cried Sawyer “I need that!”

Ryan put it back down and searched for something else. He found a big stick, ran towards Doctor Apocalypse and was about to break it over his head when Apocalypse grabbed the stick out of his hands, knocked Ryan out with it and threw it away all in one motion. Ryan fell in a heap onto the ground and lay their motionless.

“You’re next, beast!” said Doctor Apocalypse

Not so fast…’ thought Sawyer

Sawyer bit Apocalypse in the arm as he tried to punch him. Apocalypse cried out in pain as he pulled back. Sawyer freed himself and grabbed the radio. Doctor Apocalypse tackled him as he tried to press the button, but it was too late. A bright flash of light blinded them both as they were transported back to 2010. Ryan woke up and looked around. Sawyer was gone. Doctor Apocalypse was gone. But at least he was safe now.

* * * * *

As soon as Sawyer and Doctor Apocalypse came to, they found themselves in Ryan and Annie’s house. Apocalypse grabbed Sawyer by the neck and tried to choke him! Sawyer couldn’t get free and was starting to black out when a shotgun blast echoed throughout the house. Apocalypse slumped over and grabbed at his back. Sawyer looked up to find Ryan standing there with his shotgun. Smoke rose from the barrel as he loaded another shell into the chamber.

“You alright, Sawyer?” asked Ryan

“Yeah, thanks.” Said Sawyer “Man, am I glad to see you.”

Suddenly, Doctor Apocalypse groaned and shifted.

“He must be wearing a bullet proof vest!” said Sawyer

“Let’s see if this works…” said Ryan as he put the barrel of his shotgun in Apocalypse’s mouth


* * * * *

Officer Culver took Ryan’s statement.

“Thank you for your cooperation” said Officer Culver

“Is he dead?” asked Ryan, pretending to be upset

Officer Culver looked up from his notes. “You blew his jaw off. I’d say he’s gone.”

* * * * *

“Hey!” said Annie as she walked in the house

“What’s up?” asked Ryan

“They opened up a Starbucks just down the street!” Annie beamed with joy

After Annie had left the room, Sawyer leaned over to Ryan and asked, “He is dead, right?”

“I sure hope so. Because if he isn’t, he’s gonna be so pissed at us.” Said Ryan “But I guess that will have to be a story for another time.”