Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 10 - "Reflection"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews


Category: Fantasy - Rating: R - Genres: Fantasy,Horror,Sci-fi - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2009-11-19 - Updated: 2009-11-19 - 1040 words - Complete

“Look!” Shades called, pointing at the jungle gate as it swung shut of its own accord. He was still debating whether or not to run the gauntlet to find his friend, in spite of Justin’s warning and his own unnerving experience in there. Justin had told him Max was still alive when they spoke on the mountaintop, and he was still arguing Max’s chances of survival. Now he decided to wait and see what happened next before he made a move.

“This isn’t good,” Justin muttered. “I think we should…”

Even as Abu-Sharrah raised a hand to point out a more hopeful reason the entity might want that gate closed, Justin faltered as they all saw Max come dashing into view. At first Shades and Justin expected Max to use his laser sword, and both of them were equally stunned to see him leap and vault the top of the gate. And hit the ground running, much to their relief. As he ran, they called out to him.

“Watch out, Max! It’s out there!” Shades warned. Certain it would be a matter of seconds before it went after Max. Justin had angered whatever malevolent presence it was that dwelled in that house, and Shades feared that if it couldn’t have Justin, it would try to take Max. “And it’s got a gun!”

“Get your ass in gear!” Justin added.

“Run, Max!” Abu-Sharrah called.

Then the shooting started again.

At least Max understood what that meant. He continued his flight, somehow managing to pick up the pace in spite of looking like he was already firing on all cylinders. Shades could see that red dot chasing him, the shots tracking him, coming closer and closer.

Abu-Sharrah scrambled for the helm, resuming his preparations for a hasty departure now that the gang was all here. Bandit had his paws up on the railing, watching Max anxiously though looking like he really wanted to bolt before the deafening roar of all that firepower. Tail twitching back and forth. Justin edged along the railing, apparently without even thinking for a moment that the entity could switch gears at any second and target him instead, the rush of the moment gripping him as he shouted, “Go Max! Dammit, you can run faster than that!”

“Max! Max! Max!” Shades chanted, recalling the strong effect it had on people in gym class. Noticed that, in the heat of the moment, he had drawn his new gun. And an idea came to him as he watched the entity’s targeting dot. Meanwhile, he continued to chant, “Maxi-mum! Maxi-mum!”

“Max!” all three of them cried out in unison as Max slipped and fell.

They watched in stunned silence as he hit the ground sliding, the entity’s shots passing over their target with his unexpected move. For his part, in what seemed like slow-motion to his friends, Max tumbled across the sand, bounding back to his feet and continuing his dash to the dock. Both Shades and Justin let out a sigh of relief, the latter noticing for the first time that he was holding his breath.

For his part, Max continued to zigzag back and forth, attempting to evade the thing’s aim.

“I’ll cover you!” Shades called out. He then implemented his new plan, aiming between the entity and Max and opened fire.

“What the hell are you doing!?” Justin screamed. He watched helplessly as Shades moved back and forth across the other targeting dot, bracing his arm across the top of the assault pistol in a desperate attempt to control his aim. “Are you out of your fuckin’ mind!?”

Shades gave no reply, continuing to chant and fire. It only took him a moment to see that his tactic was working like a charm, confusing the entity as to which red dot was its own. Hoping he could hold out long enough, he continued to confound the thing’s aim with his own laser sight.

By now, the others understood what Shades was up to, and even joined him in his chant.

“Oh yeah!” Justin found himself copying Shades. “Maxi-mum! Maxi-mum!”

Whoo!” Abu-Sharrah shouted triumphantly. “Maximum!”

Then Shades realized that he really didn’t need to fire, that he was needlessly endangering his friend even as he was trying to save him. Instead, he changed tactics, holding his fire and fixating on the entity’s dot, he scarcely noticed when their enemy abruptly shifted its aim at them, and Justin belatedly hit the deck. Only one round hit the edge of the railing, then the shooting stopped with as little warning as it started.

“Yes!” Shades hissed as the entity finally ran out of ammo. All he heard now through the ringing in his ears was a repeating, frustrated-sounding clicking from somewhere out there. “Go for it, Max!”

Now able to take a straight path, Max made the rest of the way without difficulty.

“Alright!” Shades laughed, slapping hands with him.

“Damn!” Justin muttered as he got back up. “When you fell down back there, I thought your ass was toast!”

Waving it away, Max handed him one Shades often offered when he screwed up in training: “I meant to do that.”

And they all shared a relieved laugh for a moment.

“De important part is dat you made it,” Abu-Sharrah told him.

“Just one question,” Max asked as Bandit pounced on him, “Who was shooting at me?”

Relieved, but also strangely exhilarated, he realized. The rush. Feeling more alive, even knowing that his life could end at any second.

“I can tell you later,” Shades replied, rubbing his arm where the barrel of the gun burned him. I’m gonna feel that in the morning… “We had a close call, but I’ve got a feeling that thing’s got more tricks up its sleeve.” He motioned for them to duck down again. “For now I think we should get the hell outta here.”

“Damn straight!” Justin seconded.


Everyone paused, looking to Max. But as he got back up and turned to one of the other ships, it only took them a moment to figure out what he had in mind.

“I’ve got an idea.”
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