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.

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