Origins Part II: Pride
“Julie, are you inside?” Ace asked.
“Not right now, but we can head back-”
“Thank god,” Ace sighed. “I need you to get off the school grounds asap.”
“Why?” I asked. Kellen read my expression and had hushed the conversation with the other two. They were all watching me.
“There’s a shooter in house 3 keeping everyone hostage. He contacted the Syndicate saying he had Kellen hostage. What you’re telling me confirms he does not so we can let law enforcement deal with him – that is if he’s working alone.” Shitshitshit.
“Is there anything organised?” I asked.
“Unfortunately not yet. For now just make your way to the house in Brighton. Be careful, the streets are empty and dangerous right now.” I nodded and hung up, looking at Kellen.
“We need to go to the Brighton house,” I said.
“Oh, let’s head back and pack stuff. A group sleepover sounds fun-” Lissa begun.
“We can’t go back to House 3,” I cut her off. “There’s a shooter there holding people hostage,” I admitted.
“What?” Joy whispered, her chest moving with panic. “We need to get help, or something.”
“Police are already on their way. Right now I need to keep you all safe,” I replied.
“Keep us safe?” Lissa asked, frowning. I’d spoke without thinking, it had never my intention to blow my cover as a bodyguard but this was an unprecedented situation. I pulled out my gun, showed them the safety was on, and then put it back in my waistband.
“It’s your choice but Kellen and I are going to get away from Rodeon,” I said. Lissa and Joy exchanged a look before nodding.
“Lead the way,” Kellen said. One of the first things I had done when I had the free time was check all of Rodeon’s ground for possible fast exits or places a threat to Kellen could take advantage of. Since the threat was already in house 3 we moved as far away from there as possible.
“You’re gonna have to climb, I’ll give you a foot up,” I said. “Kellen-”
“Lissa and Joy first, I can keep a look out,” Kellen said.
“No, you first-”
“My uncles paying you, so do what I say.” I blinked at her before gritting my teeth and doing as she asked. Lissa was light so it was no trouble at all when she stepped on my crossed hands. I lifted her up and after a moment scrambling, she was on top of the wall.
“Is there anything of concern on the other side?” I asked while she was up there.
“Looks fine to m-” her words cut off, a wet sound leaving her throat. Then her body slumped off the wall and on the floor. Joy immediately screamed and I jumped forward to cover her lips.
“Move.” Kellen did as I said and we raced to the nearest building, which happened to be the theatre and arts building. Once we were inside Joy shoved me away.
“I need to go back and check on Lissa,” she said. I grabbed her wrist and pulled her back from the shut doorway.
“Lissa is dead Joy,” I said. Joy shook her head, vehemently denying the truth. I shot Kellen a look and she sighed. She nodded once and I pulled out my gun and used the handle to thump Joy’s head, using enough force to knock her out but not hurt her in the long-run. There was a moment of shock and then her eyes rolled upward and she slumped. I caught her body and with Kellens help we took Joy backstage.
“You stay here,” I told Kellen. “Keep her safe.”
“Wait where are you going,” Kellen asked, grabbing my wrist and clinging for dear life.
“I need to make sure this room is clear and check if I can see the shooter from the windows.” She hesitated before releasing me.
“Be careful,” she asked.
“I will,” I promised. Luckily this was a block I knew well thanks to Kellens love of the performance arts. It didn’t take long to check the rest of backstage and the audience. I didn’t dare leave the drama theatre to check the other art classrooms. I couldn’t put that much space between myself and Kellen. I climbed the metal stairs backstage to where the lights were adjusted and where I knew there was a small oval window that looked out over the main grounds and main gates. I waited next to it with my gun ready before daring a glance. The first thing I saw was Lissa’s body, there was a small pool of blood around her abdomen. She moved, clearly in pain.
“Fuck,” I whispered. I had been so sure she was killed in one shot. These shooters sucked, unless they knew the exact situation they were putting me in. I could either stay here guarding Kellen, or try to rescue and help Lissa. It took some searching but I spotted the shooter. He was hiding on the second floor of the administration building. There was no way I could get a good enough aim from here. My more specialised gear was in the house in Brighton. I gritted my teeth, watching Lissa move again on the grass.
“See anything?” Kellen asked, appearing at the bottom of the stairs.
“One shooter and…” I hesitated.
“What is it?” she asked.
“Lissa’s alive.” I glanced down and saw her widened eyes.
“Let me find out if there are others,” I said. I slipped into echo before she could reply and reached out. Luckily the grounds were vast, which made it easier for me to explore the buildings ahead. It took me some time but I identified two others with guns. Nothing as advanced as the sniper on the administration building. This was an organised effort and there was no doubt whatsoever who they were after. I pulled myself back and immediately noticed something wrong with the echo in the theatre. I glanced out the window.
“Fucking idiot!” I cried. I jumped over the railing, landing with ease, and raced to the door. Kellen had ran out there to get Lissa.