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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Panacea -chapter 8

by J.R. Wagner

Image credit: Vinícius Carvalho

I strongly recommend reading chapters 1-7 before continuing

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6 
Chapter 7

Pushing through the hordes of people moving in the opposite direction, I jumped/rolled over the turnstyle (What? did you think I was Trinity from The Matrix?) and managed to fall flat on my back, knocking the wind out of me.  Several kind folks actually stepped on me an not one effing person bothered to stop and see if I was all right. 

By the time I got to my feet, the crowds of people had thinned and I was able to make my way to the elevators. I pushed the button and waited for a moment.  Several more boom's sent me ducking for cover and I finally realized the elevator power, along with the power to the rest of the building was not working.

I moved to the stairs and quickly opened the fire door. Emergency backup lighting was flickering eerily as I conquered the first set of steps. I read the placard outside the second floor door looking for Tessa's father's name. No-go.  Up another flight of stairs.  And another...and another.

By the time I reached the fifth floor, I felt as if my chest were going to implode -that is, if my lungs didn't shrivel up and die first. I bent over, hands on knees to catch my breath and stop my head from spinning enough so I could read the sign when the door swung open hitting me square in the ass and propelling me forward into the railing.

I turned around ready, for the first time in my life, to inflict some sort of physical harm upon the person who'd opened the door. A man dressed all in black (Just like the guys at Tessa's house) was on all fours and looked to be in extreme pain. He looked up at me for a second before barfing on the steps.

I realized it was the act of a coward to kick a man when he's down but I couldn't help myself. I gave him a good kick in the gut (it actually hurt my foot...a little) sending him onto his side.  Before he could react, I slipped through the door.

Fortunately, I had some momentum as I moved through because I ran smack into another man in black and he happened to be restraining the girl I was looking for. Tessa.  The man fell off balance and lost his grip on Tessa's arm, which was bent at an awkward angle behind her back.  Tessa didn't waste any time gripping the shotgun he was holding (her shotgun) and kicking him in the crotch.  He instantly fell to his knees gripping his family jewels and screaming in pain, which didn't last long because Tessa knocked him out cold with the butt of her gun.

My mouth hung open as I watched her remove a pistol from his holster.  I'd never seen that kind of violence in person before and certainly never dished out by a high school girl. Frankly, she scared me. Reason #468 why women rule the world.   They'll kick your ass just after smiling at your face and not think twice about it.

She stuffed the pistol in her waist band, looked at me, then did a double take.

"Seriously?" she said, rolling her eyes.

"What?" I asked.

She didn't answer, just turned and ran down the hall.

"I just saved you you ungrateful b..."

She opened the last door at the end of the hall and was gone before I could finish. I ran after her (It was more like a fast walk, but given a fitness handicap, for me, it's a run.) and stopped outside the door.


Great.  More stairs.

I followed. Inside was a long door-less hallway with another one of those seizure inducing lights at the far end.  I could see Tessa stop at the far end of the hall.  She then started climbing up the wall...like Spiderman. At that point I was certain the lack of oxygen to my brain was causing hallucinations. 

I trotted after her calling her name a few times -no, she didn't answer, just kept climbing.  A loud noise that got louder as I moved closer to Spiderwoman seemed to be coming from above.  When I finally reached the end of the hall, I realized she didn't have super powers.  A ladder bolted to the wall extended up to an open hatch where I could see Tessa's feet vanish.

I cursed and climbed.  The noise just got louder -so loud that the ladder was vibrating.  When I got about half-way up, I finally realized what it was.  A helicopter. I pulled and pushed myself up to the top, cursing every fast-food restaurant that added to my excessive weight and clogged arteries as I climbed.  

When I cleared the hatch (and the big metal air conditioning unit that was blocking my view) I saw not one but three helicopters hovering above the roof.  They quickly moved away leaving silence and dust in their wake. 

Sort of like this (click for credit link)

I spotted Tessa kneeling on a man in black's chest and punching him repeatedly in the face.

This couldn't end well.

The story continues...

 To purchase Exiled, option the movie rights, hire me as a writer for the next Blade Runner film, the next Star Wars film...any film! For updates on the soon-to-be-released novella(pictured below), book 2 updates, for videos, fan art, contests and more awesomeness, visit my website (click on the website tab)

New from J.R. Wagner...

A tale of perseverance, strength and redemption.
Coming soon.

In bookstores now

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