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Chapter 13

They listen to the sound of the train wheels on the tracks as they wait, bored. “Are we there yet?” she says, half-jokingly. “How much longer? I’m so bored.” “It’s only about an hour left, I think,” he says. “Why do we even have to do this anyway? We can just fly there,” she continues. “Yeah, but we can’t leave them behind. Plus those things are up there, I don’t really wanna mess with ‘em or disturb them, you know,” he says, “and I kinda like trains. It’s good to take things slow sometimes.” She lets out a huge sigh. They’re lucky though that the squids aren’t really doing anything. They are not defenseless and can be quite fearsome in combat. She motions her index finger up and down, levitating a glass of flowers on the table. The train bumps and she accidentally flings the glass upwards, breaking it. Surprised, he gives her the “What are you doing?” look. “Sorry,” she apologizes. “Don’t worry, we should be there soon,” he says. He looks out the window again while she leans on her hand, sighing. “Just go to sleep. We’ll be there before you know it,” he says looking out the left window, a little spaced out. Just outside the right window is a steep drop towards the cliffs below. Most of the track is on high ground. Aaanndd, he’s doing it again, but not really again. He starts to remember the bad times too, flowing like a bad dream. He can see it so clearly and so vividly that it feels like he’s there. It’s amazing how all those emotions can rush back in so quickly even after you haven’t experienced them for quite some time: the laughing, the jokes, the cruelty…the ignoring; all those stupid people. A mix of sadness and anger and a little hatred fills him, but mostly sadness. A tear drops from his eye, and another, and another… He wipes it off with his hand. “Come on, Takashi,” he says to himself, “you have to be strong. For yourself…and for her.” “Hmmm, what did you say?” she asks. “Nothing,” he replies. Suddenly they hear a quiet humming, getting louder by the second. They look outside to witness a creature riding a mechanical hovercraft preparing to attack them. “You gotta be kidding me?” she says. These creatures are different from the ones before, wearing battle armor, quite tall, and carrying weapons: soldiers. One of them pulls out a strange weapon and fires it, releasing some sort of projectile towards the cabin. They quickly run towards the front compartments to dodge it as it blows open the side, just barely landing safely on the floor.

The impact caused it and the compartment behind to slip from the tracks and onto the drop. He quickly extends his arm and focuses on the chain connecting their compartment with the falling one and breaks it apart, letting it fall to the cliffs; they’re breathing quickens. They quickly get back up and start running towards the pilot. “Sergeeeeeeyyyy!!” he screams. “What was that??” Sergey says, looking back. “Shit!” He runs with his men to see what’s going on, leaving Viktor on the controls. They all meet up at the ripped compartment. “What the hell is going on?” Sergey asks. “Ummmm, that,” Takashi says pointing to the aliens carrying the deadly weapons. “Shit,” Sergey says, staring at them. It shoots its weapon again—death heading straight for them. But Olivia quickly reacts, pulling her energy and raises her arms to send out a wave of telekinetic energy, intercepting the projectile mid-flight—it explodes in a magnificent firework. The creatures all start to fire more projectiles and she continues to deflect them all away. “I. Am. Getting. Tired. Of this,” she screams while deflecting. The aliens growl at them before flying away. Olivia leans on her knees, trying to recuperate after that ordeal. “Shit. Alright, what do we do mr. soldier?” Takashi asks. “What else? We kill alien scum,” he says, looking all cool. “Grab your weapons, men!” The alien then returns with its friends, two of ‘em to be exact, and with full force. The men begin shooting at them with their assault rifles, the creatures scream a terrible cry at the attack. They separate and one of them gets closer to the cabin and actually jumps towards them wielding its staff like weapon, both edges of it glowing white and laced with an unknown energy. It targets Boris—he shoots back, but his bullets are no use against the armor it’s wearing—and it hits him with the staff, knocking him over with a bright backlash.

As it lands and stands up, producing a thumping sound on the platform because of its weight, they all stare in awe at its size and height as it towers over all of them. It then proceeds to attack again, sending both Valentin and Alexander flying backwards with the weapon. Again, the bright, white backlash is seen. The incredible force of the energy was powerful enough to send them through the door and hitting the wall, bending it. “Nooooooo!!!!!’ Sergey screams as he starts shooting the creature to no avail. The creature shields the bullets with its arm and roars at him before preparing to attack. Takashi quickly jumps on its back and sorta materializes a chain rope and pulls on the creature’s neck. Of course, it’s slightly invisible and leaking energy. Olivia rushes in and slams at the creature with full force, knocking it down. The staff slips from its hand and burns through the walls of the narrow door, landing inside leaning on one of the seats. Takashi continues to pull as hard as he can on the creature’s neck, obviously straining himself. It’s also struggling, holding on to the materialized chain. “Hold it!” Sergey says as he points his rifle to its head. As he fires, the train bumps again, causing him to miss the shot, instead hitting the chains causing it to disappear. Takashi screams as he almost falls back. The creature quickly recovers, grabs him, and throws him across the cabins to the pilot. It then turns around, grabs Sergey with its right hand and strikes Olivia with its left, knocking her overboard as she falls to the cliffs. It looks back at Sergey and begins to crush him with its bare hands. “Aaaaarrrrghhhhh!!!” he screams in pain. Takashi quickly gets back up and flies towards it with great speed. They both go through the adjacent cabin, completely destroying the frame of the door. Sergey is thrown upwards into the air and lands on top of the last cabin, grabbing on to the emergency door railing for dear life.

Olivia quickly recovers from her fall and, angry, quickly jumps and flies towards the train, producing a shockwave. As she reaches the train and is about to help Takashi, the other two creatures intercept her. A dogfight ensues, if you can call this a dogfight. They shoot at her with their laser-firing space guns; it gives out that unique laser sound as it fires. She maneuvers all over, trying to barely dodge the lasers. She’s able to get close to one of them and punches the creature to kingdom come, sending it flying off its hovercraft and tumbling down on the side of the cliff as the machine crashes. Stupidly, she hovers for a moment to make sure that it’s gone. Then the other one gets the drop on her and is able to hit her on the side with its laser gun. “Aaaarrghghh!” she screams. It rams her with its hovercraft. She turns around to face the creature as it whips out its staff. It tries to hit her, but misses as she dodges it and comes back with a good punch to its face. Unfortunately, her weakened state makes her unable to gather all her strength and energy; she holds the spot where the laser grazed her body with her left hand. Meanwhile, Sergey is still holding on above the train. He tries to open the emergency door, with difficulty, but eventually manages to do so and enters, falls to the cabin. He lies on the floor, resting and catching his breath. But there’s no time for that, so he quickly picks himself up and makes his way back to Takashi; he’s not doing so good himself. The creature has him pinned to the ceiling with its tentacles, with one wrapped around his neck and another around his legs. He struggles and jerks around. It growls at him. “Hey,” he says. He points his hand to its face and releases a small, concentrated burst. Hitting its face, it fumbles back, releasing him. He lands on his hands and feet and quickly rushes to it unleashing a flurry of telekinetically enhanced punches, psychic energy bursts out of his hands as he does so. He stops to catch his for a moment. The creature is definitely feeling the impact of it as it wiggles and fumbles around. Suddenly, a gunshot is heard and a bullet bursts out of its forehead. It falls down to the floor, dead. Sergey is standing behind, holding his 9mm M1911 sidearm. “Thanks,” he says, still catching his breath, “Where’s Olivia?”

She’s still outside, in the air, battling the last creature. In her weakened state, she’s unable to fight back. It tries to finish her off and lunges its staff towards her. She grabs it with both hands; her left just below the edge while her right is on it. She screams in pain as the energy burns. She musters up all her strength and energy to hold it back, but something strange happens. Some of the energy on the edge flows to her right hand. She looks at it with confusion and tiredness. “Hey!” A voice shouts. They turn and see Takashi flying towards them, holding the other staff. He strikes the creature in full strength with its own weapon, sending it towards the horizon. “Argh!” Olivia screams dropping the staff. He quickly picks her up as the hovercraft drops and crashes. He lands back on the train with her. “Is she alright?” Sergey asks. “I don’t know,” he replies, “shit, that’s a nasty wound.” “What is that glowing on her hand?” Sergey inquires. “I don’t know,” Takashi replies, checking it, “we can worry about that later. You can go check on your men, I’ve got this.” “Alright. Be careful,” he tells him.

He runs back inside and into the pilot. Viktor is kneeling on the floor next to the bodies of Valentin and Alex, crying. Badly wounded and burnt on several areas, they never stood a chance. Sergey suddenly feels a feeling he hasn’t really felt in a long time: sadness…and fear. It grips him like a child’s hand that won’t let go. “No, not like this,” Sergey says. A soldier learns to ignore his/her emotions, but the sight of his closest comrades’ bodies is too much. “I am sorry, Sergey,” Viktor says. Sergey slowly walks closer and kneels down with him. He grabs and holds Valentin’s hand that lie on Alex’s chest, gripping it tightly. Tears roll down his cheek, the first in a long time—though he probably won’t admit it later. “They were good soldiers, and good friends. Do svidaniya. You both will be missed,” he gives them a short eulogy and says his farewell. “Sergey, we are almost there,” Viktor tells him. The city can be seen through the window.

Outside, Takashi tries to heal Olivia’s wounds, but finding it difficult to muster the energy to do so after his battle with the creature. But he keeps trying, placing his hand over her wounds. “Come on, Liv. You’re stronger than this,” he says to her. The energy that was absorbed into her right hand dissipates into her. Suddenly he hears a low thumping sound coming from above. The aliens are preparing for their final attack…and it’s a big one. All of the squid creatures begin launching explosive acid projectiles towards the ground, and it’s heading for them. “Sergeeeeyyyyy!!!!” he screams. Still teary from the loss of his comrades, he fails to hear the bombardments happening outside. But he quickly regains his composure as they’ve still got a job to do, and orders Viktor to get back to the controls before running back. “What is it?” he asks. He turns to look at the numerous amounts of dark-green liquid substance raining down upon them. “What do we do?” he asks. “You take Olivia inside and brace yourselves,” Takashi says to him, weary, “leave it to me.” Sergey nods at him and quickly does so. He lays her on one of the seats and turns back around to see Takashi outside raising both his arms to the sky. Using what strength he has left, he surrounds the train with a huge force field. He seems unsure of himself, his heart pounding hard, his body tired and aching. When the projectiles hit, the strain proves too much for him. “Aaaarrrrggghhhhh!!!!” he screams in pain. The force of the impacts forces him down to his knees. The shield weakens, but he tries hard to keep steady, to keep strong. Inside, Olivia starts to regain consciousness. “Uhhhhh,” she groans. Sergey says to her, “Ah, you are awake. Are you okay?” “Yeah, what’s going on?’ she asks. “Uh, short version. Your boyfriend is outside doing his best to protect us.” She quickly gets up, “What??” she asks, shocked. She quickly pushes him aside and tries to run outside to help him.

Unable to hold on anymore, he turns to see Olivia running to him as he gives in, lowering the shield. With his very last strength he jumps inside to the other cabin before passing out. The train then receives a fair amount of damage from the bombs before jumping off the track from the force and tumbles to the hillside next door. As the train rolls down the hill leading to the cliff, they all roll around with it inside, hitting everything. The backmost cabins crash into a rock on the way and bend and drag the rest before snapping off and exploding. They continue to hit more rocks that damages and separates them. With the pilot at the front now, it hits another huge rock sending Sergey and Viktor flying to it leaving Olivia alone as the chain snaps off. The pilot cabin stops there on its side while the cabin with Olivia in it reaches the cliff—the hillside angles back to almost flat level at this narrow part—hanging on its side as the train comes to a full stop. The trail of destruction it left behind is great with wreckages and debris scattered all over as fires also burn in some parts. Sergey and Viktor try to get up and stand, wounds and scratches covering their face and half their body. “Argh!” they both exclaim as they try to walk. Slowly they reach the door, which is already destroyed, and step outside, fumbling. They stare in awe as they witness the destruction that was left behind. His face shows that expression of toughness again, fighting through the pain and against overwhelming odds. They survived this after all.

They slowly continue and walk to reach the cabin where Takashi and Olivia are in, near the edge of the cliff. They’re shocked to see one of the cabins is barely hanging on the side of the cliff. He quickly thinks of where Takashi and Olivia were when the train fell, hopefully not in that one. He checks through the windows of the one nearest to them and sees Takashi passed out on the floor, also badly covered in wounds. “Viktor! Help me!” he shouts. At first, he wanted to enter directly through the window, but the broken glass would make that dangerous and painful. They instead climb to the roof of the cabin, tiredly, via a ladder on the side and enter through the emergency door. He jumps in first followed by Viktor. “Shit,” he exclaims. “Takashi, are you alright?” “Uhhhhhh,” he groans. “Da, come on. You are alright,” Sergey assumes. He gets up and touches his forehead trying to quell the headache. “Uhhhh, what happened?” he asks. “I think you will want to step outside and see for yourself,” he answers. “Ooookay,” he says, confused. Sergey takes his hand and helps him get up. “Uh, where are we?” he asks, looking out the window. “Where’s Olivia??” he asks with a worried face. “We do not know. We were just about to go look for her,” he explains. Worried, he quickly flies out of the emergency door and hovers above. “Oliviiaaaaaaa!!!” he screams for her. Sergey and Viktor follow behind, climbing out of the door more slowly than him. “You need to slow down, my friend!” he shouts, “we cannot fly like you. Also, we do not want to attract the attention from our friends above.” He quickly flies back down though—the wounds he sustained during the fall and the energy he lost during the battle takes its toll on him. They quickly jump down to help him. The toll was definitely great, as just hovering for several seconds alone has rapidly drained his remaining strength. He kneels on the ground next to the cabin with fatigue, shaking and shivering. His stare, blank like an unwritten whiteboard. Viktor comes and helps him up; he picks him up by his right arm, without him budging an inch, unmoved like a doll. “Come on, my friend. Snap out of it,” he says. He suddenly shakes his head like waking up from a daydream and quickly stands up, breathing heavily, hands pointed towards Viktor. “Hey, it’s okay,” Viktor says. “What happened?!” he asks. “You flew up and then went back down tired. I mean, really tired,” he explains. Meanwhile, Olivia is passed out inside the hanging cabin on one of the seats facing upwards. She wakes up and groans, also feeling the fatigue and headache. She grabs her head trying to stop the headache and wake up. Her left hand touches the side of her body, her lower-right stomach area, and feels the dampness. She looks at it and sees the blood…her blood. “Oh, fuck. That’s a lot of blood,” she remarks with a quiet voice. She can hear the distant calls of Takashi from outside. “Oliiiviiiiaaaaaa….” She faintly hears. Unable to move or speak loudly, she quietly speaks, “Yeah, I’m here,” resting her head.

All of a sudden, the cabin shakes and she hears the bending and scratching of steel. Takashi, Sergey, and Viktor are also alerted to the sound. They see the cabins slowly moving towards the edge, about to fall over. “Hey!!!! I’m here!!!!” she screams at the top of her lungs for help. “Shit, that’s Olivia,” Takashi says. They quickly run to the edge. Olivia tries to move and grabs the edge of the seats in front of her with her right hand first, but that proves painful thanks to her wound. So she stretches her left hand, but is unable to reach. The cabin starts to tremble and shake more as both it and the other cabins attached are ready to take a dive to the bottom of the cliff. She continues to try and reach it, but the seat she’s on breaks off to the side and she falls with it. She grabs on to the seats below, but proves useless as that one breaks off too. She falls down, breaking through the door and lands on the railings. “Ohhhhhhhh, shit,” she says, half-crying. The force of her impact has also started a chain reaction, culminating in the fall of the cabins. “Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!” Takashi screams. He quickly points his hand to one of them and holds it back with all his force, fighting through the pain and the fatigue. “Olivia!!! You have to fly up here!!” he shouts to her. Sergey and Viktor also try to help by pulling the cabin—don’t really know what that’ll do though, but it’s better than nothing. “Arrrggghhhhhh!!!!” they scream as they do so. “Come on, Liv!!!” “I can’t, Takashi,” she says softly, fully crying now. “You can do it, Liv!!! Please!!! I know you can do it!!” She wipes the tears away and leans on her side trying to get up. “I can’t hold it anymore, Liv!!!” he screams before letting go. Sergey and Viktor also release and jump out of the way. Olivia quickly rolls over the railing, but catches herself midway through the fall, avoiding the train. She hovers on her back, but quickly spins around, as she’s unable to maintain focus, her vision getting blurry. She tries to hold herself in the air, looking at the falling train as it reaches the bottom of the cliff and explodes. She forces herself to rise for a few meters, but stops. Takashi kneels down near the edge trying to catch his breath and sees her. He pulls out his hand and helps her stabilize. “Come on, Liv! I got you!” he shouts to her. “Okay,” she nods. With his help she rises to ground level and slowly reaches for the edge. “That’s it, Liv! You’re almost there!” As she reaches the edge, she quickly falls to the ground and lies there beside him. She feels a great sense of relief as the burden has finally been lifted of her shoulders. They both continue to lie there and pass out for a moment, tired, too tired. They could use the rest. Sergey gets up and sees them resting there and lies back down, on his back this time. “Da, we could use a little rest,” he says.
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