The car was racing down the slippery, dark, road fast. Everyone grim and panicked. Everything had gone wrong, so very very wrong. The sound pf the engine being pushed to its limit, the turning slipping tires, the howling wind against the car, it drowned out all sounds from the passengers. Outside from the soft chanting coming from the wounded Ninja.
To all of them it felt as if they were in one singular moment that seemingly lasted forever. While driving Shuura sometimes glanced back at her passengers through the mirror. One might question the logic of letting someone without depth vision drive, but she was good at what she did and that was all that mattered. She had to focus on the road, but she couldn’t help worrying. All her passengers where pale. The little light from the moon that fell through the windows only accentuating their ghostly appearance. Luna was much paler than the others, she basically looked dead already, only the mantra she kept saying under her breath confirmed she was still alive. She was gripping her side, keeping pressure on the wound, trying to keep herself from passing out. Closed eyes, ragged breathing, time unmoving, her whole world right now was only pain, the mantra and the struggle to stay conscious.
Next to her sat Impatiens, in shock, staring at the dark liquid slowly dripping off Luna’s seat onto the car floor. Blood, he could smell it, but in this light everything was just shades of grey with a hint of blue. If he tried really hard he could imagine it was just lemonade syrup, or melting ice cream. That his friend was alright and nothing had happened. He dug his fingers into his seat, ripping the cloth and exposing the filling. Shuura would feed him to her bear if she found out. The car just recently got renovated, after a little incident with a hostage nobody wanted to tell him about.
All the way to the right sat Craz, also in shock. Not really capable of thinking anything outside of regret, this is why she didn’t go on missions, this is why she preferred staying with her computers and monitoring everything within the safety of her keyboard. She had already contacted HQ, told them they were coming, told them Luna was wounded and needed immediate medical help. She partly expected to be scolded by Will. He’d normally be quite… expressive, when someone fucked up. This time he just said they’d prepare for their arrival and told them to hurry up.
When they arrived time started moving again. Roughly awakened from their bubble of passive observation and monotone sounds the passengers blinked confused. Except Shuura, before the car had even fully come to a halt she already jumped out, opening the door on Luna’s side.
- “She’s on this side, kept conscious the entire ride. Major blood loss, big wound on her side.”
She blurted out everything that might be either of use, or in some other way important. However Will just pushed her aside roughly with the stretcher, not even bothering with yelling to get her out of the way. He carefully, but swiftly, undid Luna’s seat belt and got her on the stretcher. Within a minute he was rolling her to the nursery. There wasn’t really any operation equipment in HQ, however Luna had renovated one room in the nursery to be ideal for treating people. Specifically stitching people up, which seemed to be far more prevalent under the members than the flu.
Another big problem was that Luna was the main medic, nobody really got official medical training. But when something did happen, Luna was the one fixing people up. They got to the nursery and Will moved her from the stretcher to the makeshift operation table. It basically was some metal bed with sometimes a thick blanket strapped onto it, with paper sheet spread on top for every new patient. But in this case there was no blanket strapped on, it would only get in the way and she was bleeding too much.
- “You actually payed attention all those times I tried teaching you to handle an emergency…”
Her voice was weak, close to whispering. This pissed Will off, why try and make light of the situation?! She hated it when he did that in serious situations.
Frustrated he turned around, wanting to point out she was a hypocrite.
- “I’m trying my best here! You know it is really frustrating that you—“
The look in her eyes shut him up immediately. The feeling of frustration was replaced by the urge to punch himself in the face. She hated it when he raised his voice, he knew that.
- “Fuck, Sorry. Just.. Just tell me what do I need to do. Clean and bandage, right?”
- “Yea, first hot water to wash all debris away. Then disinfect the wound, use the emergency handbook if needed. It is a class C wound I believe, too big to stitch up.”
The handbook was already open on the counters behind Will, next to all the tools he prepared following the steps from the book. He gave her a small wooden block to bite on, so she wouldn’t bite her tongue instead. They had anaesthetics for this, but he was uncomfortable with handling giant syringes and possibly injecting too much. Besides by now he’d learned she hated not being capable of feeling the pain, always telling him that pain is there for a reason. Of course eventually she’d take a painkiller of some sort in such a situation, but only after figuring out what was going on.
- “Focus will you?”, she spoke mumbling keeping the wood between her teeth.
- “I’m boiling water and making sure everything is sterile, that takes a moment.”
- “You seemed distracted.”
- “For someone that is deadly wounded and has to rely on someone fixing her up, you’re really fucking annoying. I’m trying to help here. And if it wasn’t clear already, you nit-picking doesn’t make it go any fucking faster!”
He did it again, he was done boiling the water and turned around ready to apologise. She avoided his gaze.
- “I’m going to cut away your clothes around the wound, because—“
- “You don’t need to explain, I wrote the manual remember. Just don’t cut me.”, she spoke harshly. In any normal situation her mumbling through the wood might’ve been funny, now it seemed to put only more emphasize on her bitter tone.
He silently started to cut away cloth around the wound, it looked really bad. He tried to focus on his task, keep in mind the manual. Blood and massive wounds didn’t bother him, he fought with an axe, if you can’t handle massive gaping wounds that’d be a bad choice of weapon. This however, this did bother him, a lot. It made him sick to his stomach, a feeling he hadn’t experienced in a while, if you didn’t count those few times he ate too many snacks.
Cleaning the wound went fast, but felt like ages. Luna tried keeping strong, but he could see her flinch ever so slightly from time to time. Now the wound was cleaned up it was time to bandage her, he only turned around a moment to get the bandages. The whole wound was covered in blood once more within seconds, that was fast, way too fast. He felt panic taking a hold of him, how much blood had she lost by now. While cleaning she couldn’t put pressure on the wound properly, he had to bandage her quickly.
- “Alright, fuck. Bandages. How did you do this around the middle again?!”
She sat up with a groan, accompanied by another gush of blood. “I have to sit up.”
He rushed forward trying to stop the bleeding while bandaging her at the same time. Trying to estimate how big her blood loss was, if it was critical or not, not realising that he was swearing under his breath the whole time.
In the meantime the others had taken care of Shuura, Craz and Impatiens, leading them to the main room and trying to figure out what the hell happened.
- “Alright first things first”, spoke a sleepy Dragon. “Are any of you wounded?”
Impatiens sat down in a chair, still pale and shaking. “A few scratches at most..”
Aurora was still pacing back and forth, like she’d done from the moment Craz’s call came in.
- “Then can we now move on to what the hell happened out there?!” She growled, clearly ready to tear someone apart for doing this. Impatiens moved his chair a tad further away from her.
Craz, looking down the whole time, started explaining what happened.
“I.. I still don’t know what exactly went wrong. I was supposed to hack a computer from inside the car, Impatiens was with us to get some experience in the field. Luna had to sneak in and connect me to the main frame, everything was going well until..” She shuddered, shaking her head in disbelief while reliving the moment. She clenched her hands around her cup of tea and took a sip before continuing. “We lost contact with her, that by itself isn’t so strange.
Normally these organisations have something set up to scramble signals going in and out of the building, to prevent spy tech from working and all that. After a little while I got a notification from the device Luna had to connect, it is designed to basically disable the signal scrambling and leech of their communication network. I got into the system and started doing, well… My job. But after fifteen minutes Luna still didn’t show up.”
Shuura, who was sitting on top of her bear, hugging him for comfort, lifted her head up out of his fur to speak.
- “I have gone on many missions with Luna, as car driver. Never taken that long to return.”
After a bit of silence Dragon changed position and continued cleaning his glasses. He always does that when he’s agitated, to the annoyance of some others who don’t like his fiddling.
- “Please continue Craz.”
- “Oh, yes. Of course, sorry.” She mumbled softly before continuing her story, speaking louder so everyone could hear.
- “We all got worried and.. well. Impatiens suggested if I could maybe hack into a camera to see what was up. Which I did. I could see guards running around, screaming something. They had big dogs going around sniffing the ground.”
Aurora’s ears perked up. “What did they look like, what did the guards say? Any chance they were from a pack I know?”
Craz, a bit taken aback by Aurora’s sudden reaction, shook no.
- “They were camera’s without sound registration. The guard dogs seemed like ordinary dogs to me, not anymore intelligent then average dogs. They were really big though, like not your size but—“
- “They were still humongous!” Impatiens chimed in. “One seemed to be growling and snarling, and I swear it had foam around its teeth!”
- “Anyway”, Craz continued. “I couldn’t find were Luna was, many camera’s weren’t even functioning.”
- “Then we heard gunshots.”
This time it was Shuura interrupting instead of Impatiens.
Craz sighed, before speaking once more. “After hearing the gunshots Impatiens and I headed in, thinking Luna needed a way out. We climbed in through an open window on the second floor, the same Luna presumably used. We ran towards the sound of battle, only taking cover when we were really close already. We know that isn’t a good way of doing it, but we thought Luna was in danger!” She added quickly because of the disapproving glances she got.
When we got closer we could hear guards shouting about multiple trespassers being spotted, for a moment we thought they’d seen us, but as they kept yelling through their intercom it was clear the trespassers were on a different floor. Then a dog suddenly shifted and started barking in our direction, we ran away as quick as possible. But it was too late, we were already sighted. They managed to restart the security measures I previously hacked in and activate the alarm. Metal bars slammed shut, preventing escape from the windows.
We ran through the hallways, taking turns at random, not really knowing where to go anymore. The guard chasing us with his dog was still yelling stuff in his intercom, I didn’t quite catch what exactly he was saying. But it was pretty obvious he was calling for backup and giving our location. While he was calling for help, we managed to put more distance between us. And soon when turning a few corners rapidly, we were out of his direct line of sight. We hadn’t shaken him off completely, he still had that dog with him that could track us pretty easily, but we could now gain distance more rapidly.
After what was probably ten minutes of running, we started to tire. Impatiens was looking for places to hide, while I tried to keep track of where we were heading. We found elevators and a stairway, we pushed the button of the elevator, but instead ran down the stairs. We knew the guy was still on our tail and hoped that I’d confuse him at least long enough to buy us some more time. On one of the floors we were about to run past Impatiens spotted a door without a lock, he grabbed my arm and we ran towards it. We quickly crossed the hallway and dove into the room. I was about to slam the door shut when something grabbed my wrist and covered my mouth to muffle my scream. Then they gently closed the door instead of loudly slamming it, like I was about to do.
When the door was closed the stranger released me and softly spoke, immediately we recognised Luna’s voice. She kept it really brief, I don’t recall the exact words she used. I was still recovering from running away, the mixture of exhaustion and adrenaline making it hard to concentrate.
Basically she told us there was a way out through the fire escape, because of legal reasons those doors couldn’t be blocked off, not even in the case of a breach. However, all those doors had camera security and there would be guards positioned near there when the alarm went off. She’d been trying to contact us, but because of the other group infiltrating the building was spotted, they manually reactivated their security system.
Including the system that scrambles most signals, only specific frequencies remain intact. And those frequencies are either monitored for suspicious activity or used by their own communication system.
She waited there for the whole ruckus to die down, a few times guards checked the room. But apparently they never looked up, only under or behind things. I didn’t bother to ask how she somehow stuck to the ceiling, I just wanted to get out of there.
When Impatiens and I had rested a bit she decided it was time to move. She told us we had to stay put until she’d give the signal to follow her. The idea was that she’d scout ahead a bit, to check if the area was clear, and then we’d follow after. This went well for the most part, until we heard screaming and yelling behind us. Apparently the other group of infiltrators had the same route of escape, and they weren’t sneaky about it. Everything happened really fast after that. Impatiens grabbed me and we started running to the exit. There were gunshots behind us. I glanced back for a moment, just long enough to see they were gaining distance on us, fast. I basically ran into Luna while looking behind me, she looked around, seemed to consider something for a split second, then made her decision and moved to action.
She grabbed and pulled us with her too the exit, where a guard was waiting ready to close in the other group of people behind us. He raised his gun, clearly surprised and confused at our sudden appearance. I remember she yelled something, we kept running straight at him. He pulled the trigger, Luna pushed me aside while still running towards the exit, I could hear the bullet hit something behind us. I thought it had completely missed its mark.
Impatiens got to the guard before he could shoot a second time, he punched him and then grabbed his ankle with one of his tentacles and flung him away from the door. Sending him sliding over the ground, causing absolute chaos as people just turning the corner tripped over him.
We ran down the escape stairs to the car, Shuura saw us and the doors slid open. We didn’t even have time to put our seatbelts on before she drove off. In the car we found out Luna got shot.
The whole group was silent after that, nobody really knew what to say. After all they were still waiting for Will to come back with news about Luna.
I wrote this second part a long time ago. I never posted it because I found the quality of my writing to be not good enough. However after a while I just gave up on test reading and rewriting it.
Anyway I decided to post it and inform you that I won't be continuing the story.
I'm no writer, in fact I am terrible with words. I know I could improve, but I don't have the time to do that. Nor do I have the will or confidence to do so. Writing things and showing them makes me feel hollow, empty, like there is a void where my organs are supposed to be.
Therefore I much rather do other things that don't make me feel like I'm fading out of existence.
Sorry to disappoint you guys.