The door banging open, pulls Thom from his slumber. Grabbing Adam, as Millie does the same. Darting behind a raised bed as black clad soldier’s swarm over the roof top. Millie opens fire as Thom pulls his pistol from its concealed holster. Any sign of sleep gone from his demener.
‘Who the hell are this lot?’ Thom growls out. A storm of fire is traded as Thom franticly looks for an escape route.
‘Sir the stair well,’ Millie shouts above the noise, as Adam slips his bag over his head getting ready to run. He takes up a crouched position, waiting for Thom’s signal. Completely trusting his friend with his safety.
‘Now,’ Thom returns a volley of shots, as he grabs Adam and drags him between the raised beds, as Millie keeps the intruders busy.
‘I thought we were past this,’ a wiry smile on Adams face.
It would seem not,’ Thom chuckles, as he follows Millie down the stairs. She pushes a door open and they are shrouded in silence. Calmly walking along the corridor to the lifts. Pressing the button, Adam sags with relief as the doors open immediately. Millie enters first.
Thomas shuffles into the lift his hand clasping his side. The lift isn’t empty, there are two smartly dressed women. Adam suppresses a smile as Thom takes his hand. This move makes Millie smirk. As the women eye up the strangers in the lift. Both seem to put distance between them and the other occupants
‘Oh look, aren’t they cute,’ one of the women says glancing at Thomas holding Adams hand, her pink painted lips turning up in a smile.
‘Some of them are just adorable. I heard they breed the aggression out of them,’ the woman in a smart navy skirt suit replies.
‘I was going to buy one with my bonus this year, you can you know, when they go to retire them, they offer them for sale first.’ The woman with the heavy makeup comments. Thomas’s hand tightens on Adams, making him wince in pain.
‘I heard you can go to that spa and be inseminated naturally; they buy up the retired ones.’ The first woman reveals, her expression bland, as if she is talking about the weather. Millie gives a cough, and Adam knows not to look at her, as he doesn’t want to laugh. Not that this is funny he decides.
‘Oh, really, is intercourse trendy again, can’t say I fancy it, doesn’t sound very sanitary.’ The navy suited women grimaces.
‘Shame these two belong to Madame Ramsbottom, the little one is very cute. My daughter was asking for one, he would have been perfect.’ Adam wasn’t sure he would ever be so grateful for a door opening as the lift came to a smooth stop as he was sure any longer and Thomas was going to hit something or one.
Chaos surrounds them as people mill about along with more soldiers. All hurrying to destinations and paying the occupants of the lift no attention.
‘What’s the plan Thom,’ Adam bites his lip gazing around wondering how they are going to get through the lobby unnoticed as a soldier runs up to Thomas. Pulling off the helmet as Millie raises her gun.
‘Mathew,’ Thom grins and places his hand on Millie’s arm lowering it as Adam surges forward wrapping the soldier in a spine crushing hug.
‘There is some sort of power struggle taking place the lobby is teaming with soldier’s UHF soldiers as well as Gen-Corp, but I have a car out front,’ Mathew says quickly. ‘They are rounding up the Echo children, so Adam isn’t safe here,’ Mathew glances around, his movements betray his nervousness.
‘We could do with a distraction to get out,’ Thom walks purposefully along the corridor. Tentatively Adam follows, Mathew is behind him and still holding the gun.
‘Not sure about you and a gun,’ Adam gives Mathew a nervous smile. As Thom greets one of the biggest people Adam has ever seen.
‘Tina, how you doing?’ Thom chimes happily and strolls over to the guard and hugs her. The security guards face erupts in a smile and hugs him back, he draws in a sharp breath as pain flares in his side. Looking down he rubs his hand over a small bloom of blood.
’Master Thomas what are you doing here and why are you injured?”
‘Long story Tina, but I need to get this young Adam away from here,’ Thom emphasizes as Tina looks at me. ‘Bullet must have nicked me earlier,’ his only explanation. Adam frowns in concern as Tina turns her attention to him.
‘He is young, too young to be with Madame Ramsbottom,’ Tina muses, as she grins at Mathew who is grinning back. ‘Master Mathew perfect as ever, man you are one well put together man, hell of an advert for Gen-Corp.’ She winks at Mathew and he has the grace to blush.
‘Tina, would you like me to tie you up,’ Mathew asks grinning.
‘Any time you want to tie me up you just give me the nod sugar,’ She grins as Mathew rolls his eyes. ‘But seriously I don’t think this is the appropriate moment for that.’ She chuckles and Mathew rolls his eyes again and comically groans.
‘I meant so you don’t get into trouble helping us,’ he answers dryly.
‘Get out of here; no one would believe you could overpower me, ay Thom.’ She chuckles and slaps Thom on the back he pales and groans in pain clutching the wound in his side a gurgling sound coming from him as he sinks to his knees.
‘Shit,’ Mathew kneels down next to Thom. ‘Mate what is it?’
‘Pain must be worse than I thought,’ Thom gasps wiping blood from his mouth. Tina scoops him up making him groan and cough up more blood.
‘Thom you okay?’ concern lacing Adams voice as he looks him over, marvelling at how Tina just scooped him up, Thom is no weed like him.
‘Yeah Adam,’ Thom coughs up more blood wiping it away on his sleeve and rests his head against Tina.
‘I can walk,’ Thom gasps. ‘You don’t need to carry me Tina?’
‘Okay but if you look unsteady, I will carry you,’ Tina looks at Adam again and chuckles. ‘You really are very pretty for a boy.’
‘Thanks,’ he manages, not sure why that is so amusing as they reach the entrance to the lobby.
‘Thanks Tina,’ Thom hugs her again and uses Tina to lean against.
‘You are so welcome Master Thomas. I can never thank you enough for the gift of a daughter,’ Tina pulls her wallet out her pocket and shows Thom a picture of a little girl who has Thom’s cheeky grin, this amazes Adam, and he looks at Thom and then Tina. Thom sees his look and smiles.
‘I um, gave them a sample for free for A.I,’ Thom shrugs as Adam raises a brow and grins.
‘We would never have afforded it without Thom,’ Adam wonders how they met but doesn’t like to ask.
‘I taught him all he knows about hand to hand combat,’ she answers as if she could read his mind.
‘Right ready you guys,’ Mathew takes hold of Adams hand as Thom gasps again and faints, Tina only just catching him. The lobby is even more chaotic as people rush around the lobby and groups of security move through all heavily armed, escorting groups of people either from the building or further in. Tina gets a few curious glances but are largely ignored. As Millie takes charge ushering the group through stopping at the reception desk.
‘Tina, how you doing,’ a woman dressed as a Mother steps over to the group as Adam shuffles behind Mathew, bowing his head and placing his hands behind his back. Having learnt to no longer trust Mothers, Adam decides this is the safest reaction to her.
‘Good grief is that Master Thomas?’ The Mother looks at Thom a look of concern marring her perfect features. She lifts his shirt and tuts as she asses the wound. ‘Mathew you need to get him to Doctor Bennet,’
‘We don’t have time, I will be fine,’ Thom grumbles.
‘It’s fine Thom, we have time can’t let that get infected,’ Mathew reassures him.
‘What happened?’ The Mother raises a brow.
‘Soldiers on the roof after Adam,’ Mathew replies, anger flashing in his eyes.
‘So, this little one must be master Adam I have heard so much about,’ the Mother looks at Adam and smiles warmly. Adam stays in his submissive position. ‘Hello young man, you don’t need to do that,’ she gently lifts his chin with her finger.
‘Karen, he isn’t safe here,’ Mathew emphasizes as Karen continues to look Adam over.
‘He is young, too young to be here,’ Karen muses. ‘Where is his Mother?’
‘Dead, unfortunately,’ Mathew lies his expression grim.
‘Right, I suggest I take you to Madame Bennet’s, do you have a car Mathew.’
‘Of course,’ Mathew grins.
Karen takes charge. As a grin spreads over Adams face at the prospect of going in a car. Mathew puts his hand on the middle of Adams back and ushers him toward the exit of the building. Adam is taken by complete surprise as Mathew grabs him and pushes him to the ground as the lobby erupts into gun fire.
‘Stay down little dude,’ Mathew shouts in Adams ear as he glances around, on the floor are bodies, some just avoiding the bullets careening around the lobby some obviously dead, as blood pools around them. Adam swallows down a cry as he sees one of these is Karen. Franticly he looks for Thom relieved when he sees his unconscious form blood seeping from his mouth, it isn’t dark red but pink and frothy from his lungs. A feeling of relief consumes Adam as he realises, he hasn’t been shot again but knows he is far from safe.
The gunfire stops and there is a suffocating silence. Mathew pulls Adam to his feet and picks up Thom and it is then that Adam sees Tina laying still, her sightless eyes staring at the ceiling. Adam turns away, moving close to Mathew. He grabs Adams hand and drags him outside and pulling him along the street holding something in his hand. A car up a head flashes its lights.
‘Ah ha!’ Mathew exclaims. He juggles Thom in his arms as he opens the door. Mathew manages to get Thom in the car without hurting him anymore.
‘Get in Adam,’ needing no prompting, fascinated as Mathew drives it away leaving the tidy clean inner city behind.