Nobody's Boy

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Chapter 9

The guards were all gone, cowering behind their fabric tents, their guns clutched tightly in their hands. I could see the vague silhouettes beyond the thin walls, and hear the frightened whispers they uttered while waiting for the warthog to come.

I hobbled to the center of the clearing, my legs still wobbly from the injection. The pig’s squeals were coming closer and I could hear its large body crashing through the undergrowth as it advanced towards us.

“Group circle.” Jack said. We huddled together, all of us facing different directions.

“Wait, Rikki’s safe, right?” Felicity looked around.

“Yeah,” Jasmine hopped from one foot to the next. “he’s in the guards tent. They gave him some medicine, but it hasn’t kicked in yet.”

“Guys, focus.” I muttered. The chatter died down. The noise had stopped, but I knew that the pig was close. Maybe even just beyond the ridge.

The animal noises were fading away and the entire forest quieted down. In the silence I concentrated on my rapid heartbeat. The anticipation in the air was almost palpable, and for a few minutes I began to think that everything was going to be all right.

Until the warthog came out.

It charged through the wall like it wasn’t even there, its tusks speared through the wood that was meant to take it out. Morgan cursed as it ran in her direction. Her power wasn’t very useful unless it attacked in the dark. Felicity jumped in front of her and ran swiftly around the camp, drawing the vile creatures attention to her. It chased her, running right past the guards tents.

I flew over to the tents and peeked inside. The leader was sitting in the midst of the sweaty men, his arms cradling Rikki. They were injecting him with something colored pea green.

“Get out of here while we distract the pig.” I said. “We’ll try to kill it but we need space and weapons.”

“We’ll give you knives.” He motioned to the men and they handed me several wicked looking blades.

“Guns would be better.” I said, looking at the bulges in their coats.

“They’d also be better for a rebellion.” The leader stood up and several of the men helped him carry Rikki. He called out to the others and soon all the guards were frantically climbing the small barrier.

Felicity had stopped running and now Jack was trying to manipulate the pigs thought. It lookedconfused and was standing in the camp, staring at us.

“Are these guards immune to his abilities?” I asked Jasmine.

“Yeah, Kimari said everyone was injected so he couldn’t boss them around.”

“Why don’t you mess with its insides?” I suggested.

“Eww!” She shrieked. “I guess I can try, though.” She ran to the pigs side and stuck her hand into its stomach. The pig squealed when her hand passed through the skin and then she began to rip it. Blood poured out of the wound but as soon as she was a couple centimeters away the skin began to close itself.

Jasmine backed away and shook her hand in disgust. The skin was now closed all the way and the pig looked good as new. It began to run again, straight towards Jack. I flew up and landed on its back, grabbing its tusks. It turned slightly but it was still headed for Jack. I screamed and tugged as fast as I could, closing my eyes.

It suddenly stopped, throwing me off its back. I landed on the ground a few feet away and sat up, groaning. Jasmine screamed and I looked over.

Jack was running away, but the warthog was rapidly catching up. Felicity chased them, speeding ahead of both before she caught the pigs attention again. It chased her away while Jack joined me and Jasmine.

“We need an idea!” Morgan cried. “It’s like… invincible!”

“We can’t beat it here!” I said. “We need to get it out!” I ran to the wall and began making another gap on the other side, motioning for the others to help. Once it was made I turned to the others.

“You run and I’ll lead it off before I fly up and leave it somewhere far away.”

Jasmine planted a small kiss on my cheek before turning away. “Come on!” She called. Felicity followed and I ran up to the pig. It began to chase after me.

I led it through the thick jungle, looking for somewhere good to lead it off to. There was nothing, until I found myself running against a rock wall. Vines crawled up the sides, and the jagged top was far above.

A cliff, hidden beneath the foliage.

I turned the corner and found myself standing before a large gaping hole.

A cave.

The pig was behind me and I turned to find myself cornered. I ran into the cave and tried desperately to stay out of reach. It was dark and I found myself wishing for Morgan’s eyesight. The pig squealed right behind me and I jumped into the air, rising faster than I anticipated. My head hit the ceiling and I fell.

My body ached all over and I began to lose consciousness.

Before the world was reduced to pain I felt myself being dragged across the rocky floor.

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