Windy City Awakening, Part 2
Posted on Sat Jun 17th, 2017 @ 4:27am by Senior Headmaster Absynthe "Syn" Drake & Freshman Bethany Davies & Civilian Talia Cervanek & Freshman Edward (Xander) Carlisle IV & Civilian Cecily Carlisle & Civilian Jonathon Harrison
Location: Just Outside of Chicago, Illinois
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse - 15 January 2012
The ride had taken a bit longer than anticipated due to some heavy storms that were moving through the area. The wind howled terribly around them, and snow flurries cut visibility down to almost nothing at times. Bethany had spent most of the trip asleep in the back, but the howling winds and the SUV being knocked around had woken her up.
She had awoken in a foul mood, her head pounding from the whiskey that she had used to stitch herself up, as well as the blood loss from the still aching wound in her shoulder. Still, it was doing better than she had expected. She was only missing a little of her normal range of motion and she was resting it, just in case she needed it for some reason. She was also drinking enough water to make her grateful when they had finally arrived at the cabin.
Once they had arrived she had relieved herself, then had climbed up on the roof to get a good look at the surrounding terrain. There was a lull in the storm and, cold or not, it was more comfortable for her to just be away from the people inside. She dialed the number that Syn had given to her. She wasn’t needed here anymore, nor was she wanted by a certain razor-tongued redhead, and she figured that she’d just have them come get her when Jon replaced her on watch.
“We’ll be heading in that direction shortly, oddly enough,” the Tower’s headmistress told her. “You haven’t run into anything strange there have you?”
Bethany shrugged, saying, “That really depends on your definition of strange.”
“A valid point. Forward your coordinates and we’ll be there as quickly as possible,” Syn replied with a chuckle. The girl didn’t sound good, and she figured that it might be better to get to her sooner rather than later.
Bethany did so and set up a rendezvous that was in an open field not too far from the cabin. Suddenly, there was a sharp report of a single gunshot, and before the girl could even look up to see what was going on the silver smartphone seemed to explode in her hand. The tactical teen was sent rolling down the slanted roof of the cabin and onto her back behind it. She laid there stunned, the wind having been knocked completely out of her, and she groaned, her face throbbing, her wounded shoulder screaming in pain, and her lungs burning as she gasped for air.
“Fractal?” Syn asked as she heard the distinctive sound of gunfire and the line suddenly went dead. “Fractal!” She began running towards the jet and the team that she’d picked to search for a possible newly awakening mutant. “OG, please tell me that you have her! That that wasn’t gunfire that I just heard!”
“I wish that I could. Her signal is gone,” OG answered, the digital being seeming as concerned their headmistress.
“Everyone on board! We’re leaving! Now!” Syn shouted at the team and ran up the ramp into the awaiting aircraft. “I’ll brief you en-route!”
Jon had gotten Xander and Cecily settled into rooms to rest and returned to the living room. He stood alone staring into the fire when he heard what sounded like a gunshot and then a loud thud coming from the back of the cabin. He tensed up. “Bethany!” he cried, moving to where his gun was hung in its holster on the back of a chair.
Xander came out of the bedroom in just a pair of sleep pants, his hair mussed. Talia was behind him. Cecily emerged from the other room in blue flannel pajamas.
“What was that?” Xander asked.
Cecily signed something.
“Yes, gunfire,” Jon said. “Get everyone out here, away from the windows. I have to find Bethany. She was outside.”
Xander nodded, turning to hug Talia to him and grabbing Cecily’s hand, pulling them into the center of the cabin and down to the floor.
Jon rushed out the back of the cabin, moving low, scanning the tree line for hostiles and the yard for Bethany.
Bethany was just finding her feet, still breathing heavily. She shook her head as she pulled one of her guns. Her vision had gone completely haywire, and she was seeing in infrared. Her breath caught in her throat as she realized that there were far more people around than she was expecting.
She spun and noticed someone moving towards her. Bethany pointed her gun at the reddish human shape that was closer than the others, blocking her path. She shook her head again, trying to get her vision to cooperate and failed miserably. “Who’s there?” the teen demanded. She had to get back into the house. Everyone had to get out!
Jon held his hands up as Bethany pointed her gun at him. “Fractal! It’s me!” Jon hissed. “Are you hurt?” He’d seen her dig herself out of the snow. “I heard a gunshot.”
Bethany heaved a sigh of relief and lowered her weapon. “They hit my phone and I fell off the roof. I’m fine, but I’m not seeing right. I’m seeing in infrared.” She had never told anyone about her strange shifts in vision, afraid that it might provoke more scientific prodding. The tactical teen moved toward Jon rapidly. “We have to get everyone out. There are a lot of people coming at us.”
“How many is a lot?” Jon asked. “I have everyone in the living room,” Jon said. “How much time do we have?” He was already heading inside with her.
“My head is spinning a bit too much to make an accurate count right now,” Bethany admitted, then shrugged. “I’d say at least fifty, if not more, spreading out in the trees. I was on the phone with Miss Syn when it happened. Something tells me they’re on their way. I set up a rendezvous at an open field not far from here before the phone exploded in my face.” The girl’s face was cut in a number of places, and she looked to have a couple of small burns around her eye. “We need to get everyone there. We’ll need their help.”
“The Tower is coming?” That was good. “Okay. We’ll get to the rendezvous point and try to hunker down there,” he said. “Are you sure you’re okay?” They didn’t have much time to deal with it, though.
As they got inside, Jon said to the others, “We don’t have a lot of time. Talia, your father is sending pretty much his entire army at us. We need to leave. Now.” He went to his jacket to retrieve spare clips and sling an Uzi onto his shoulder. “We will go out the back through the woods. Everyone stay low and move as fast as you can. Bethany and I will provide covering fire until you get to the woods. Don’t wait for us. Keep moving. We’ll catch up.”
Talia was already as white as a sheet, but she managed to pale even further. She clutched at Xander as her knees tried to buckle on her when she tried to stand. She hadn’t expected him to send that many people after them. “We’re dead,” she said in a horrified whisper.
“Jon knows what he’s doing, luv,” Xander said, hugging Talia. The wind outside picked up intensity.
Bethany’s vision flickered again as they stepped into the differently lit room and she squeezed her eyes shut. When she opened them again, blinking rapidly, it had returned to normal and everything seemed a bit too bright. Still, she pulled her coat off, then stripped out of her armored vest. She went to Cecily and put it over her head, then started strapping it into place. “We don’t have enough of these to go around, so you get mine.” The look on her face made it clear that she wouldn’t take any arguments.
Cecily shook her head vigorously, signing rapidly with emphatic claps of her hand.
“Take it, Cece,” Xander said, going to get Talia’s coat and his shoes and coat.
“We have someone coming for us, but I don’t know when they’ll get here. So we get to the extraction point and we might have to wait. But they will be here.”
Once Bethany had finished with Cecily, she pulled her jacket back on and geared up much the same way that Jon had. She pulled a few things out of her gear bag, including a strap with a few grenades hanging from it. “Talia, do you have a GPS app on your phone?” she asked.
“Umm, yes,” the redhead answered, her entire form shaking with fear. She reached over to a small table and pulled it out of her handbag. “Why?”
Bethany took the phone, pulled up the app, then punched the coordinates of the open field into it. She handed it back to her. “You need to get there. Jon, we’ll get them to the treeline, then I’ll break off and distract as many as I can. Get them to the clearing, I’ll meet you there.” Her voice was as icy as the weather outside, the girl already sliding into that combat mode that she hated so much.
Jon nodded. “Be safe,” he told Bethany, motioning to the others and moving them outside. He held them back by the wood shed as he scouted the yard and the tree line, and then motioned them forward.
Xander led Cecily and Talia in a dash through the snow toward the woods.
Bethany brought up the rear, closing her eyes briefly and forcing that change back to the infrared, giving her a slight advantage in the darkened area. As they made their way to the treeline, she cracked off a couple of covering shots that sent some of the men to the ground to avoid the bullets that were suddenly whizzing by. Once she saw that the group had made it to cover, she broke off and activated her cloak, disappearing into the stormy, moonless night.
As Jon ran, he sprayed the Uzi in the direction of their attackers, providing cover for the others to reach the trees. Then he disappeared into the trees himself. “Keep going!” he said. “That way!”
Xander stumbled through the snow, helping pull Talia and Cecily along. The wind picked up, blowing snow through the area, reducing visibility around them. Above them, the gathering storm lit up with lightning and thunder rumbled through.
The flashes of lightning caused Bethany to wince slightly. That was going to be a problem eventually, but for the moment she was going to use her altered vision to the fullest. The green-eyed brawler moved into another stand of trees and tossed a flash-bang into a large group of the attacking men, then looked away quickly, hunkering down behind a tree and squeezing her eyes shut. Within seconds a loud explosion rocked the air, along with a bright flash of white light, setting men to screaming in pain and confusion.
“Holy shit! What was that?” Xander exclaimed.
“Keep moving!” Jon shouted at him, shoving Xander to get him and the girls moving. Turning, Jon fired into a group of men coming up behind them. Several dropped, but others ducked behind trees and returned fire. Jon grunted as his vest took a hit, toppling him into the snow.
NPC Bethany Davies
Absynthe “Syn” Drake
Headmistress, Townsend Academy
NPC Xander Carlisle