Sunday, March 6, 2011

Final Countdown

Sawyer ran until he couldn't hear the sounds of fighting anymore. Was Ryan dead? Or did he beat General Evil? Sawyer started to go back, but then stopped. If Ryan was dead, then he was Annie's last hope. He would need to keep going just in case. With his nose to the ground, he followed the hallway, checking each door as he went. Sawyer came to a turn in the hallway and peaked around the corner. There he found a guard standing outside a door.

'Annie could be in that room.' thought Sawyer.

He stepped back and whimpered a bit, trying to draw the guard's attention. Sawyer prepared his weapon as he heard the guard approach. The guard looked around the corner and found himself staring down the barrel of Sawyer's rifle. Frozen in fear, the guard nearly fainted when he saw that the gun was being held by a dog. Sawyer pointed toward the door and nudged the guard with the rifle. The guard nodded and headed to the door. Once there, he unlocked it. After the door was unlocked, Sawyer slammed the butt of his rifle into the guard's head, knocking him out.

"Who's there!" demanded a voice inside.

Sawyer stepped in and saw Annie in an elaborate gown and an expressionless face.

"What is this?" demanded the man with Annie. "Who let this dog in?"

Sawyer stood and pointed his gun at the man, who promptly fainted. A pool of urine formed by his crotch as he lay unconscious.

"Annie, we have to get out of here!" said Sawyer.

Annie didn't move. Instead she just stared at the man on the floor and didn't move.

'She's acting just like I did when I was under General Evil's control.' thought Sawyer.

He checked Annie for any sign of a mind control device, then found the necklace. He ripped it off of her and immediately, Annie grabbed her forehead and groaned.

"Where am I? Why am I dressed like this?" she asked, looking down at her dress. "Sawyer? Is that you?"

"Yes! Can you understand me?" said Sawyer.

Annie just looked at him, confused.

"This is the weirdest dream, ever." said Annie.

Sawyer cursed and reached into his backpack for his pen and paper. He quickly scribbled a message for Annie.

'I am your dog, Sawyer. This is not a dream. Let's go!'

Annie read the note and again she looked back at Sawyer, completely confused. Sawyer grabbed her hand and pulled her out of the room. They had barely gone anywhere when they heard a voice on the intercom.

'May I have your attention please. This is Doctor Apocalypse. Our operation has been compromised. We do not have the completed virus, but we do have the missiles. We will be implementing plan B immediately. If you are not locked behind bars, I suggest you leave now. If you are locked up, I hope you've enjoyed your life, because it is over.' With that, Doctor Apocalypse laughed and signed off.

Sawyer scribbled a note: 'Plan B?'

"Plan B was what they were going to do if I couldn't make the virus. It means they're going to aim all of the missiles at this very town. Not only will this building go up in flames, but all the radiation in the area will be kicked back up into the atmosphere. We have to get out of here!" said Annie.

'Where do they control the missiles!'

"I can show you. Where's Ryan?" asked Annie.

Sawyer couldn't answer that, so he motioned for Annie to lead the way.

* * * * *

Ryan had just cleaned his knife off on General Evil's jacket when he heard Doctor Apocalypse on the intercom. He headed down the hall that Sawyer had run down, but was immediately stopped by a voice from inside a cell.

"Hey there! You gotta let me outta here! This whole place is gonna blow!" the captive said.

"Stand back." said Ryan.

He fired a round into the lock and opened the cell door.

"Thanks! Now we gotta get out of here!" said the man as he turned to run away.

"Hold it!" said Ryan. "Help me get everyone else out."

"There's no time for them!" said the man.

Ryan aimed his gun at him.

"Don't be a blue falcon." said Ryan.

The man looked confused.

"Help me or die." said Ryan as he turned the safety off.

"Fine, but now we'll all die!"

They continued letting prisoners out of their cells and all of those prisoners helped free more. Then Ryan recognized one of the men.

"Sergei? Sergei Petrov?" Ryan asked.

"Yes, how did you know?" asked Sergei. "And who are you?"

"My name is Ryan Easton. Your dad is just outside the city limits." said Ryan.

"Release the rest of the prisoners and then get out of here."

"Thank you for freeing us!" said Sergei.

"Where's Annie Easton?" asked Ryan, ignoring the appreciation.

"I don't know. Last I saw her, she was with Doctor Apocalypse's son. He's fond of her." said Sergei.

Ryan was pissed.

Sergei described what the young Apocalypse looked like, then made his way out of the building with the rest of the prisoners. Ryan continued down the hallway, more driven than ever before. Was it to free Annie and get their lives back? Was it for more revenge? Ryan's judgment was clouded by rage.

* * * * *

Annie and Sawyer made it to the control room where she believed the missiles would be fired from. Sawyer carefully opened the door and entered, checking each corner with his rifle. Once he was sure it was clear, he motioned for Annie to enter.

"The missiles are set to begin firing in 2 minutes." said Annie. "I need the password to override the command."

Annie began trying random passwords.



Nothing was working.

"I don't understand his motivation!" said Annie. "If I knew that, I'd have a shot at this!"

One by one, missiles began launching. Sawyer rushed to the keyboard.


The missiles stopped firing.

"You did it!" said Annie. "Only three missiles were fired. We still need to get out of here in case one hits the building, though."

Just then, Doctor Apocalypse entered the room.

"You'll never be able to get out of here in time." he sneered with his iron jaw.

Sawyer pointed his rifle at him and held a paw out for Apocalypse to stop. Ignoring the warning, Doctor Apocalypse walked up to Annie.

"Why did you stop them?" he asked. "So much ignorance in the world. So much foolishness. Let me destroy civilization and we can start over. We'll start a new world with science as the religion. You will be the queen and my son, your king!"

"That's disgusting." said Annie. "Shoot him, Sawyer."

Sawyer hesitated. He would rather see Apocalypse in prison than buried.

"If only you had listened to her." said Doctor Apocalypse.

Apocalypse grabbed Annie by the waste and pulled her close to him. Annie gasped as she felt the cool blade of a knife driven into her stomach. Ryan ran into the room just in time to see her eyes close as she slumped to the floor.

"Annie! No!" Ryan yelled as she lay motionless on the floor.

Sawyer screamed in terror as he and Ryan both unloaded their weapons into Doctor Apocalypse. Apocalypse dropped to the ground next to Annie. Ryan lunged at Sawyer and grabbed him by the throat.

"Why didn't you kill him!" Ryan demanded as he shook Sawyer.

"I- I wanted him to face justice!" Sawyer sobbed.

Ryan forced Sawyer to look at Annie's lifeless expression.

"There's your justice, you stupid bastard!" said Ryan, disgusted.

An alarm sounded on the computer.

'Missile impact in 5 minutes.'

Ryan threw Sawyer to the floor and put Annie's body over his shoulder. Without saying a word, he hurried down the hall towards the exit. Sawyer kept pace, but stayed back, head down the whole way. He was afraid to look up for fear he would see Annie.

* * * * *

Doctor Apocalypse's son walked in to find his father in a pool of blood. He knelt beside him and took his hand, certain that he was gone. Suddenly, Doctor Apocalypse spit up blood and gasped for air.

"Father! You're alive!" said Clark Apocalypse "And Annie? Where is my bride?"

"She was killed." said Doctor Apocalypse, struggling to speak. "Ryan was here. I offered her a world where science would dominate other religions. A world where you and her would be king and queen. She accepted the offer and..."

"And what!" Clark demanded.

"Ryan murdered her in a fit of jealousy!" Apocalypse lied.

Clark was distraught.

"My son, you can have revenge, but I need you to carry me to the escape module. I'll be dead when we arrive, but there are instructions inside to keep my brain functional. Follow the instructions and you will have vengeance!" said Doctor Apocalypse, blood oozing from his mouth.

Clark Apocalypse dragged his father to the escape module that was hidden behind a door within the room. Once there, he prepared the module for flight, determination in his eyes.

* * * * *

"We're not going to make it!" said Sawyer.

"Shut up!" said Ryan.

"I'm sorry! Ryan, I'm sorry!" said Sawyer as they ran. "I ruined everything, but..."
Sawyer was going to tell Ryan that they could move faster if they left Annie, but he was sure Ryan would kill him for it.

"Shut up, I said!" Ryan demanded. "Just get that door!"

Sawyer rushed forward and opened the exit door. Just then, a squad of General Evil's robots fired at them from outside. A bullet grazed Sawyer's shoulder and another hit Ryan just below the knee. Ryan fell in a heap with Annie on top of him. He cried out in pain as he grabbed for his leg, but it wasn't there. The bullet had blown his leg off just below his right knee. Sawyer struggled with his own wound as he dragged Ryan to safety.

"I have to make a tourniquet." said Sawyer. "You'll be fine, though. You'll be fine."

Ryan ignored him and stared at Annie. The robots had stopped shooting for a minute, but opened up again when they saw Annie's body. Bullets hit her and Ryan went mad. He grabbed both of their weapons and tried to stand on his one leg.

"You sons a bitches!" Ryan cried as he fired at them. "Leave her alone!"

Ryan fell forward, unable to walk on one leg. Sawyer tried to pull him to cover, but Ryan was hit with another bullet. This time, it claimed his left arm.

"Ryan! You have to stay behind cover!" said Sawyer.

"Go to hell!" said Ryan, elbowing Sawyer in the jaw and leaving him dazed.

Sawyer quickly regained himself and tackled Ryan. He was becoming very weak with the blood loss and Sawyer feared that he might die soon if he didn't get the situation under control. Sawyer used his collar on Ryan's arm and the bleeding stopped. However, he could hear the robots approaching. Suddenly, in the distance Sawyer heard mortars being dropped down tubes. The robots stopped their approach. The mortars impacted all around them as sounds of machine gun fire erupted just inside a nearby forest.

"It's the prisoners!" said Sawyer, holding Ryan back.

Ryan ignored him. He was trying to reach Annie's hand. Sergei Petrov rushed in and picked Ryan up.

"Get Annie..." said Ryan, weakly. "Sawyer, get..."

Ryan passed out. Sawyer knew he couldn't go back for Annie. They had no time to spare. Sergei put Ryan in the back of a truck and told the driver to go. Sawyer jumped into another vehicle with Sergei and they sped off just as the building they had just escaped from was blown to bits from the impacting missiles.

* * * * *

Back at Sergei's house, Ryan lay in bed as a doctor cleaned up his wounds and made more permanent repairs. After he was finished, Sawyer walked in, slowly. Ryan opened his eyes and saw Sawyer, then motioned for him to come. Sawyer sat beside his bed as Ryan tried to speak.

"Sawyer. Did you get her out?" asked Ryan.

"Just try to rest, Ryan." said Sawyer. "It's been a terrible day for all of us."
"Sawyer..." said Ryan.

"Yes?" said Sawyer.

Suddenly, Ryan wrapped his left leg around Sawyer's neck and pinned him between his legs. He grabbed his shotgun with his right hand and shoved it into Sawyer's mouth.

"All you had to do was kill him." said Ryan, fighting back tears. "All you had to do was shoot him and she'd still be alive."

Sawyer struggled at first, but then let up. He knew that he deserved this.

"You and I have been through so much together and it's only for that reason I'm not going to kill you today." said Ryan as he took the gun from Sawyer's mouth.

Sawyer started to cry as Ryan continued.

"But if I ever see you again, I will kill you." said Ryan.

Ryan's words ripped through Sawyer like shrapnel. He had lost his entire family in one day and it was all his fault.

Ryan stood on his one leg, but the doctor tried to stop him. Ryan slammed the butt of his shotgun into the doctor's jaw and hobbled past him as he fell. He used his shotgun as a crutch and made his way outside. He got into the doctor's car and drove off.

Still inside, Sawyer buried his face in his paws and wept. After some time, the doctor began to stir. Sawyer grabbed his backpack and headed out the door. He looked down the road that Ryan had taken, then looked in the other direction. Ryan's warning repeated itself in Sawyer's mind as he walked down the road away from Ryan.

* * * * *

Outside, Sergei Petrov was talking to Agent Randal who had seen the explosion from the helicopter.

"So Ryan and his dog are here? Now?" asked Agent Randal.

"Yes." said Sergei. "Inside on my bed. They saved us all."

Agent Randal walked inside and found the doctor standing and adjusting his jaw next to an empty bed.

"What happened? Where did they go?" asked Agent Randal.

"He attacked me and took my car keys." said the doctor.

"He couldn't have gotten far!" said Agent Randal. "Let's go!"

* * * * *

Sawyer crawled into a shipping crate that was addressed for the United States. In another town, Ryan crawled into the luggage compartment on a commercial plane that was headed for Green Bay. Sawyer half wanted his plane to crash, but in his mind he knew he had to watch over Ryan. From a distance, yes, but he had to be there for him if he ever ran into more trouble. Ryan pulled a picture from his wallet. It was of Sawyer and Annie when they picked Sawyer out of his litter. For a moment, he wanted to be with Sawyer and mourn their loss together, but then he remembered the instant that Annie was stabbed and seeing Sawyer stand there dumbfounded with his weapon in his paws. No, Sawyer was the enemy now. Maybe Apocalypse's son was still alive, too, but Sawyer would pay for what he allowed to happen. Ryan crumpled up the picture and threw it away.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Apocalypse (part 2)

Agent Randal leafed through Ryan’s file. He glanced at each photo of Sawyer and scribbled notes on a piece of paper as the helicopter he was riding in carried him towards Pripyat.
“What is that?” asked his contact, Officer Igor Kozlov.
“Nothing.” Said Agent Randal. “Just a file on a case I’m working on back home.”
“We should be there in one hour.” Said Igor in a heavy Eastern European accent.
“Tell me again why we’re going to Pripyat? That place has been abandoned for years.” Said Agent Randal.
“Exactly.” Said Igor. “That is why we should check there first. Besides, there have been reports of strange activity in the area.”
“What kind of strange activity?” asked Agent Randal.
“Tours of the disaster area are illegal, but they happen anyways.” Said Igor. “Until recently, that is.”
“What do you mean?” asked Agent Randal
“The few companies that gave the tours have disappeared. They did not just close up shop, they vanished. No one has heard from them.” Said Igor
“So they were the first to be kidnapped?” asked Agent Randal
“Possibly. The kidnapping that you’re investigating was witnessed. Others were not. We will assume that all other missing persons reported the last few months are connected.” Said Igor
“And if they’re not?” asked Agent Randal
Igor Kozlov grinned. “We do not like having unsolved cases.”

* * * * *

Ryan and Sawyer managed to elude the guards and made it inside. Sawyer quietly closed the door behind them as Ryan checked his shotgun. The outside of the building looked like an apartment complex; however, many of the apartments had been demolished or remade into workshops and prison cells.
“What a nightmare this place is.” Said Sawyer. “I don’t want to be here a second longer than I need to be.”
“Imagine how Annie feels.” Said Ryan.
Sawyer nodded solemnly as he took the lead down the hall. The building was not a pleasant sight, but the structure was surprisingly sturdy; probably from being converted into a prison or factory. Or both.
Sawyer checked each prison cell, but each one was empty.
“Maybe they’ve moved them someplace else.” said Ryan
“No.” said Sawyer. “They’ve been here recently. Their scent is fresh.”
Suddenly, Sawyer heard some commotion down the hall.
“Someone’s coming!” said Sawyer.
“Quick! Get in this cell!” said Ryan
Sawyer ran into the cell, Ryan handed him his weapon, but stayed out.
“What are you doing!?” said Sawyer
A guard appeared with an exhausted prisoner. Once he saw Ryan, he threw the prisoner down and approached him.
“Shcho vy robyte tut?” the guard demanded in Ukrainian.
“Oh thank goodness I found someone!” said Ryan. “I seem to have lost my tour guide. Do you have a telephone I can use?”
“Vy ne mozhete buty tut! Pidemo zi mnoyu!” said the guard as he grabbed Ryan by the arm and tried to pull him down the hall.
“Whoa, easy there.” Said Ryan as he pulled his arm free.
The guard persisted and grabbed at Ryan’s arm again. This time, Ryan caught his wrist with one hand, pulled the guard towards him and slammed his elbow into the guard’s mouth. Stunned, the guard fumbled with his weapon. Ryan grabbed him by the hair and put his head in the door jamb, then stood on his back so he couldn’t move.
“Where is Annie Easton!” he demanded.
“іди к бісу!” said the guard
“I know you can understand me! Tell me where she is!” Ryan demanded again.
“You will die here, American!” said the guard.
“Tell me where she is, or you die first!” said Ryan
“She’s dead already! You’re too late!” said the guard, mockingly.
Ryan slammed the door shut on the guard’s head.
“What’s funny?” said Ryan as he slammed the door on his head again.
The guard’s laughter was replaced with a painful groan.
“Ryan, that’s enough!” said Sawyer. “Take his keys and lock him up so we can get moving!”
“So he can call for help?” said Ryan. “Not happening.”
Ryan slammed the door one last time. The guard did not move and did not make another sound. Sawyer winced and looked away as Ryan put the body in the cell.
Ryan and Sawyer approached the prisoner.
“Do you know where Annie Easton is being held?” asked Ryan
The prisoner, still lying on the floor, looked up at Ryan. “I have not seen her. Only heard her name mentioned. I think she’s alive though.” Said the prisoner.
“How do you know?” asked Ryan
“We’ve been waiting for her to complete a weapon so we can begin production.” Said the prisoner.
“What kind of weapon?” asked Ryan
“A virus or bacteria. Something like that. We were brought here to be slaves. To put the bacteria into missiles that would be fired at targets all over the world.” Said the prisoner.
“Did she make the bacteria?” asked Ryan
“Not yet. But they still have the missiles. Hundreds of them. They could still do a lot of damage alone, but with the bacteria, they could destroy entire nations.” Said the prisoner.
“What about this guy?” said Ryan as he showed him the picture of Sergei Petrov. “Have you seen him?”
“Yes, he also works on the machines.” Said the prisoner.
“What machines?” asked Ryan.
“The General’s army grows each day.” Said the prisoner. “Beware of his greatest weapon. He cannot be stopped when he is wearing it.”
“Wearing it?” said Sawyer out loud.
“What do you mean, he wears it?” asked Ryan
Just then, more sounds could be heard down the hall.
“Nevermind, just get out of here. Be careful, though. There’s still a bunch of robots outside.” Said Ryan.
The prisoner hurried down the hall and slipped out the door to freedom. Ryan and Sawyer carefully made their way towards the noise, hoping it was nothing. They followed the hall to a large open room with only one door on the other end. The door itself was huge. It was also much newer than the rest of the building. Ryan and Sawyer headed towards the door when suddenly, it flew open revealing a giant robot. It was larger than any they had fought yet.
“Prepare yourselves for destruction, you miserable fools!” cried General Evil
Ryan and Sawyer glanced around the room quickly, looking for General Evil, but then realized that his voice came from the robot. He stood 9 feet tall and was armed with a Gatling gun on each hand.
“Made yourself a new toy, eh, you prick?” said Ryan
General Evil unleashed the full fury of his robot suit on Ryan and Sawyer as they sprinted for cover, firing as they went. They made it to an old drill press that shielded them from the bullets, but their own shots caused no damage to the massive machine.
“We need to get to that big door!” cried Sawyer over the gunfire.
“No, you need to go! I’m staying for this guy!” Said Ryan. “I’ll cover for you!”
“No way, I’m not leaving you!” said Sawyer
Ryan grabbed Sawyer by the collar and pulled him towards his face, aggressively.
“Get Annie out of here!” said Ryan. “That’s your mission! Nothing else! Now go!”
With that, Ryan sprinted away from cover and away from the door. Sawyer hesitated for a moment, but then bolted for the door when he saw that General Evil was distracted. General Evil saw his mistake and tried to shift his fire towards Sawyer, turning his back on Ryan for a moment. Sawyer managed to escape and Ryan saw a weakness. He ran up to the General and fired a round of buckshot into the back of his exposed right knee. General Evil cried out in pain as he fell on that knee. Ryan attempted to shoot the other knee, but a 3 foot long blade shot out of General Evil’s right arm. The General slashed at Ryan, narrowly missing as he ducked at the last moment.
“You arrogant bastard!” cried General Evil. “You’ve cost me billions of dollars!”
“You kidnapped my wife!” countered Ryan. “To hell with your money!”
Ryan tried to get in closer, but General Evil’s left hand grabbed him around the waste and began to squeeze. Ryan was fading quickly and was about to pass out when he grabbed his knife from his pocket and slashed the hydraulic lines that powered the massive machine’s hand. Ryan managed to free himself and slash another of the robot’s hydraulic lines. This time, General Evil lost control of the machine and he fell flat on his face.
“Curse you!” said General Evil. “Curse your whole family!”
Ryan opened the back of the suit and stepped on General Evil’s back.
“I surrender!” said General Evil.
Ryan just stood over him, waiting.
“Now what? You arrest me? Turn me in to the Ukrainian authorities? I will be back. You can’t stop me.” Said General Evil.
Again, Ryan just stood over the General.
“Get off of me, you fool! Get me medical attention!” demanded General Evil
Ryan grabbed the General, picked him up and threw him back down on his back. He then stepped on his wounded leg. General Evil screamed in pain as Ryan shoved his shotgun into the General’s mouth. General Evil gagged eyes wide open in fear.
“You have no idea the pain you’ve caused me.” Said Ryan. “When you attacked me and Sawyer in Romoskovia, I was mad. When you attacked us again and took Sawyer, I was pissed off. But then you came after Annie.”
General Evil began sweating as he gasped for air, Ryan’s shotgun barrel still forced into his mouth.
“You changed me. I used to be a decent guy that just wanted to watch hockey and go fishing on the weekends. Because of you, I have not seen my wife in months. Because of you, I’m wanted for her murder and she’s not even dead.” Said Ryan.
General Evil tried to talk, but it was incoherent.
“Your time is up. And you will not die painlessly.” Said Ryan.
With that, he stabbed General Evil in the chest and twisted the knife. His eyes rolled back as he struggled with the knife, but Ryan held it in. Within moments, the General was gone.