Written by Joshua Neary & Andy Mascola
Cyrus lumbered over to John and grabbed him by the shoulder, escorting him away from any window that may bring danger. Charles glanced over at the two of them for a brief second while cradling the despondent Mrs. Margot.
“You better fucking kill them bastards!” Charles sobbed into the elderly matriarch’s shoulder. Jennifer stepped forward to attempt to console Charles, but was pushed away almost immediately. Another shot burst through a neighboring window, ricocheting off of the statue that Cyrus had previously broken. Jennifer instructed her two teammates to get low and again approached Charles.
“I can help her! It’s not too late. Please, let me try.”
“No,” Charles replied, in an authoritative tone, “you must go. NOW!’
The three took his orders in the way that they were delivered, shuffling out of the room on their forearms and knees to avoid any potential gunfire. As they reached the door, Cyrus used his long arms to turn the doorknob and let them out into the hallway. Before they could even reach their feet, John already had a complaint.
“We don’t even have a fucking plan!”
“That’s the point, “ Cyrus said back.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
Jennifer stood up first, watching the two of them bicker on the floor like siblings with a shared birthday.
“Exactly what it sounds like it means.”
“The point of all of this is for us to defeat these people without a plan? You’re fucking losing it, man.”
“I’m not. I tried to tell you this before but you wrote it off as a drunk thing.”
“I did no such thing.”
“You did,” Cyrus replied, turning his one eye to Jennifer who nodded in agreement.
“He’s right,” she shot back, “you didn’t want to hear it. None of us did.”
“None of this is real,” Cyrus said again, just as he had on the night where they had first met Nick and Kimberly in the cabin.
“This is a game and there are rules. I’ve been here long enough to—“
“Are you telling us that you’re a plant?”
“What? No, no. Of course not!” Cyrus finally rose to his feet, prompting John to follow suit.
“We’re all one, John. Me, you, Jennifer, we’re all one kind. They want us to work together without instruction, or reason or even explanation. It’s about coming together, doing the right thing and fighting to preserve our kind.”
John glanced over to Jennifer and asked, “who knew he was a smart guy?” He continued on, this time addressing Cyrus?
“What about you, big fella? Do you got a plan?”
He shook his head and said yes, as he walked down the corridor, stopping at Kimberly’s room, where she still dangled, lifeless.
“What the hell are you up to?”
Cyrus chuckled and instructed Jennifer to grab a sniper rifle from Charles’ gun rack. As she rushed towards the door, she was shocked at what was unfolding in front of her. Charles and Mrs. Margot were sitting across from each other at the desk, drinking tea and exchanging stories.
“What the fu…,” Jennifer started.
“No time!” Cyrus yelled. “I can hear their chopper. To the roof while there’s still a chance of catching those bastards!”
The three ran down the hall. Cyrus tore the door to the stairway completely off the hinges and tossed it aside, narrowly missing John. The Cyclops flew up the stairs, while Jennifer, holding the rifle, and John followed as fast as they could behind.
On the roof, Cyrus jumped inside the helicopter they’d arrived in the night before, pulled on the headgear, and started the rotors.
“Does he know how to fly that thing?” John asked Jennifer while the two ran across the roof.
“How the hell would I know?” Jennifer shouted back as she pulled herself into the cockpit.
The helicopter began to lift off. Jennifer reached out for John. He took her hand and jumped aboard.
Cyrus expertly guided the helicopter into the sky and ordered his comrades to keep a look out for the enemy chopper. Fortunately, it was a clear morning and it didn’t take long before John spotted the same black chopper that had fired through the skyscraper’s window just moments before.
“There!” John yelled, over the sound of the helicopter’s blades.
“I see it!” Cyrus said with confidence as he bore down on the throttle, directing the trio’s giant metal bird toward their target at a rapidly advancing speed. “Hold on tight!”
As the team’s helicopter got closer, the pilot of the black chopper took notice and began making evasive movements to escape the blue helicopter in pursuit.
Jennifer checked the rifle, pulling the forestock back and forth.
“I’m going to take the shot!” she yelled to John.
“What?” he yelled back in disbelief.
Jennifer rested the barrel of the large gun on her shoulder and stepped out of the copter on to the skid.
“Are you crazy!?” John shouted.
“Don’t worry! I’ve got this!” she yelled back.
John watched as Jennifer spread her wings to balance herself in the rushing wind. Cyrus concentrated on getting as close to the zig-zagging black enemy helicopter in front of him. Jennifer put the butt of the rifle under her arm, raised the rifle to her eye, and squeezed the trigger. The explosion of the weapon’s firing caused an unexpected kickback, knocking the winged woman backward.
“Jennifer!” John screamed as he jumped out of the helicopter after her. Jennifer was dangling off the skid, hanging by one hand, her other hand held tightly to the rifle.
John bent down with an outstretched hand, his other hand holding the open door of the helicopter. The wind was extremely forceful, and below them, John could see morning commuter traffic zooming by. Jennifer’s hand let go.
“Nooooo!!!” John yelled. He let go of the helicopter’s door and fell toward her, grabbing Jennifer’s hand in both of his. John’s monkey tail instinctively wrapped itself tightly around the helicopter’s skid. “Let the rifle go! It’s too heavy!”
Jennifer dropped the rifle into the city below and grabbed both of John’s hands with hers. Cyrus, no longer able to see his teammates from where he sat in the cockpit, began a rapid descent. Within seconds the helicopter was hovering above morning traffic on a two-car-lane-wide bridge that spanned a rushing river below.
Cars honked and drivers yelled, but they all made space in order for the blue helicopter to land. Jennifer hugged John as their feet at last found pavement.
“Thank you,” she said.
Cyrus jumped out of the cockpit at the same time an angry commuter had come out of his car to complain about the helicopter now blocking the way.
“Hey!” the commuter yelled, “what’s the big i, i, i…” the man stammered as he watched the giant Cyclops remove his helmet, revealing a single giant eyeball in the center of his head. The deflated commuter ran back to his car and shut the door, frightened.
“No time for hugs,” Cyrus said. “Come on!”
“Did I hit them?” Jennifer asked as the three ran in and out between the honking suburban vehicles now jamming up the bridge.
“What a shot!” Cyrus shouted victoriously as he pointed to the other side of the bridge where a thick black cloud of smoke billowed from a crashed enemy chopper.
The trio walked around the wreckage of what was once a helicopter. As they marveled at the mess, police sirens could be heard not far from the bridge. They were getting louder by the second.
“Look,” John said, pointing. He saw his enemy counterpart. Merlin’s, tail was curling, black and charred, in the heat of the fiery crash.
“Marcus!” Jennifer said, pointing. Sure enough, it was Marcus, the enemy’s cycloptic counterpart to Cyrus. He’d been the black chopper’s pilot. His giant eye could be seen behind what had been the chopper’s windshield. It stared into oblivion. Both enemies were now dead.
“We better get out of here,” John said.
“Where will we go?” Cyrus asked.
John didn’t answer. Instead, he took Jennifer’s hand and walked her rapidly past the wrecked helicopter, through the traffic. Cyrus followed. As soon as the three were clear of the bridge, they walked along the river, surrounded by tall reeds. As they walked, they could hear the sirens of emergency response vehicles from the bridge. As they walked the sirens got quieter, until all they could hear was the gentle rolling of the river.
“Look,” Cyrus said, pointing.
A metal fishing boat with an outboard motor was pulled up in the sand. John and Jennifer got in. Cyrus pushed the small boat into the river, jumping in after. The Cyclops pulled the engine’s starter and steered into the current.
John and Jennifer sat in the front of the boat, side by side, holding hands. Jennifer’s wings opened into the cool morning air. John looked at her. Jennifer’s head was back, her eyes were closed, and her beautiful blond locks blew in the breeze, just like the day John had first seen her outside of the facility. He turned and looked back at Cyrus. The Cylcops smiled a big dumb grin and laughed. John smiled. They were free.
Andy Mascola’s novels can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/Andy-Mascola/e/B00LD7IEWK/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1