Eclipse Star: Chapter 6
Recap: Thinking they had seen the last of Syrus and the Demon Regime, our group of not-so-average teenagers settled down and prepared themselves for nothing more than detention and added schoolwork. Unfortunately, Syrus saw this as the perfect opportunity to erase signs of his mistake and attempted to kill all of them with a single well-placed energy blast. Although his attack narrowly missed instantly incinerating the bus everyone was riding in, it did succeed in flipping it over and causing a public disturbance worthy of an act of war. But before Syrus could complete his objective, Jack and the Legion arrived to save the day.
Jack: We’ve gotta get everyone off that bus, now!
Chris: Oh, right. (Jack, Chris, Derek and Austin jump back into the bus to try and get everyone out. Once inside they discover that a few people are bleeding badly, and one in particular is lying facedown and unconscious). Lindsey!
Leena: (Shaking Lindsey worriedly, trying to wake her up). Come on Lindz, wake up, you’ve just gotta get up, we’ve gotta get out of here.
Chris: Leena, is Lindsey- (Jack pushes him out of the way and runs over to Lindsey).
Jack: (Bends down to pick Lindsey up). How long has she been out?
Leena: (Acting very frantically). Not long, only a minute or so. When the bus flipped over she slammed her head against the window and she hasn’t been moving since.
Chris: (Looks over at the completely shattered window). Oh please no…
Jack: (Turns back over to Chris). Stop wasting time over here; go help someone else. I’ve got this situation under control. (Picks Lindsey up and carries her off the bus).
Chris: (Has trouble turning away but Austin grabs his shoulder and pulls him back to the rest of the scene unfolding. Austin weakly smiles and nods). Okay, I’ll start pulling people out of the bus. You go check on the driver.
Derek: (Casually walks over). Don’t bother, I already did.
Chris: Is he alright?
Derek: Depends. He’ll live, although I don’t think he’ll be driving the bus anymore.
Chris: He’s that shaken up?
Derek: His arms are missing.
Austin: Guys! (Pulls their attention to Kyle who’s lying on his back and coughing. His nose is bleeding profusely).
Chris: Kyle! (Kneels down next to Kyle and grabs his hand). Can you walk?
Kyle: Ug, yeah. Can’t breath much but I can walk well enough. (Sneezes out some blood and forces himself to his feet. Chris puts his arm around him and assists him out onto the street).
Chris: Did you break your nose when the bus crashed?
Kyle: Me? Oh heck no, I just get nosebleeds when I’m under a lot of stress.
Chris: Wait here.
Kyle: Not much choice on my part.
Chris: Just…be patient. (Legion soldiers make their way to the bus and begin pulling people out much more efficiently than Chris and the others had been doing. Among those pulled out safely are Willy and Clinton. Danny however is carried out on a stretcher by three soldiers. Chris runs up to Danny with much panic). Oh my God, Danny, you okay?
Danny: (Gives Chris a big smile and tiredly responds). Don’t worry Chris, it’s nothing serious.
Chris: Then why’re you on a stretcher?
Danny: Not sure.
Legion Soldier: He said he couldn’t feel his legs.
Danny: Uh, no I didn’t.
Legion Soldier: We asked if you could feel your legs and you said “no.”
Danny: You asked me and I said “uh-huh.”
Willy: When the bus flipped we both slammed our faces on the seat in front of us and got fat lips. Danny’s been mumbling a bit since then.
Danny: Yeah, but I’m fine.
Legion Solider: Damnit kid, get off the stretcher. (He and the other two soldiers flip Danny off the stretcher and run back aboard the bus).
Chris: At least you’re okay. (Looks around for Jack and Lindsey). Where’d he take her…?
Derek: They’re in the back of the van other there. (Points to a medical supply van).
Chris: (Runs over to the van). Jack, how’s she doing?
Jack: Well, we’ve got a strong pulse and no actual blood loss. No internal bleeding, no signs of brain damage, no real signs of injury. She just suffered a hard bump on the noggin. She’ll probably sleep pretty deeply for a few hours but she’ll be just fine when she wakes up. It’s the damnedest thing. As for you… (Leaves Leena to attend to Lindsey and steps out of the van). We’ve got more to discuss.
Chris: What about everyone left on the bus?
Jack: No one is dead and the only person to suffer a severe injury is the driver. There are more than enough soldiers here to take care of everyone. We have important things to talk about.
Derek: (Runs up hurriedly). Yes we do.
Jack: You are…?
Derek: I’m the guy Chris wishes he could be. They call me Derek.
Jack: Couldn’t hurt including you I suppose. Did you see what the attacker looked like?
Derek: Neither of us saw him clearly. He had to be over a mile away.
Chris: It was the same guy from the museum.
Derek: (Annoyed at Chris, disbelieving him instantly). How the hell did you see him from that far away?
Chris: I didn’t exactly see him but I knew it was him.
Derek: Because he used one of those light grenade things?
Chris: (Shakes his head, contemplative). No, that wasn’t it. His image just flashed in the back of my mind before I realized what was coming at us. He seemed sad and desperate.
Jack: You got really lucky that he didn’t hit the bus directly. You also got lucky that he didn’t try to do anything fancy with his attack. Most people proficient enough to create a destructive blast also know how to manipulate it during its flight course.
Derek: Like change its direction and stuff?
Jack: Change directions, multiply, grow, change shape, etc. Pulse energy is quite an adaptable thing. If he’d decided to change the trajectory in mid-flight, your actions could still have been in vain.
Chris: He wasn’t going to change the direction.
Jack: (Cocks his eye at Chris). Lucky guess?
Chris: (Quietly, unsure why he thinks it himself). Sure why not, we’ll go with that answer.
Derek: (Points at Jack). Can you do a bunch of fancy things with your blasts?
Jack: (Coughs a bit and turns away from Derek). Hem, have you both reached a decision about joining us?
Derek: I’m in, regardless of what Chris decides.
Chris: I don’t really have a choice in the matter. It seems that at this point we’ve got a dangerous person after us and we don’t stand a chance of survival without your help.
Jack: Good man. I’ll let my superiors know right away. (Runs off to inform his boss).
Chris: Things are going to change.
Derek: Wake up, things already have changed. (Claps Chris on the shoulder, smiling). And for the better…
* * * * *
(A few days later, Chris and Derek make their way through the halls of their high school one last time before they move to the Legion’s headquarters).
Derek: Just think Chris, this could very well be the last time you see any of these people. Bigger and better things my friend. Bigger and better.
Chris: I’m gonna miss the group though.
Derek: You’ll get over them. Lindsey’s the one you’ll cry yourself to sleep about.
Chris: It’s not just her. What’ll I do without Austin?
Austin: (Walks up at this moment). Don’t worry Chrissy, you won’t have to go without me.
Chris: But I am leaving.
Austin: Well so am I. What, you thought I’d just leave my best friend in the hands of Derek?
Chris: God am I glad to hear you say that.
Austin: C’mon, we’ve been through too much at this point for me to leave you alone. Now where’d Danny and Willy go…?
Chris: Yeah, we should probably say goodbye to ‘em before we leave.
Austin: (Taps Chris on the head). Nope, they’re coming along, too.
Chris: How’d you convince them to do that?
Austin: They said they didn’t really have anything better to do. Plus, no homework. At least that’s what I told ‘em.
Derek: And Clinton’s getting dragged along.
Chris: Why’d Clinton come? I know he’s close friends with you but he’s got a lot going for him here.
Derek: They offered him one hell of a scholarship to join.
Chris: Dude, what the hell? I got offered nothing.
Austin: They told me they’d pay for additional schooling.
Derek: And I’m getting a full ride to the college of my choice as long as it’s within the state.
Chris: Am I the only one who’s getting screwed with this deal?!
Kyle: (Walks past Chris carrying a rucksack on his shoulder). It would appear so.
Chris: You too?!
Kyle: Well why the hell not? I’ll see you on the bus, roomie.
Chris: So all they had to do was wave a few bucks in front of your faces and you come running?
Austin: (Smiles playfully). Course not. Something serious is happening and I don’t want you to have to deal with it alone. The others are terrified of what they saw, but they know that it’s for the best to learn about it instead of run away.
Chris: Lindsey…isn’t coming, is she?
Austin: I don’t know, I haven’t seen her all day.
Derek: Well guys, it’s time for us to go address our public. (Walks them into the lunchroom as everyone begins eating. Derek stands up on a tabletop and begins his speech). Ahem. Your attention! (People look up, curious). Hello my loyal subjects! I, Derek, you’re beloved team captain of so many, many sports and activities, am about to embark on an adventure like no other! I shall see the unseeable sights, dream the undreamable dreams, and do the undoable…stuff. But I offer you a chance to join us. Come with us if you dare! Live our lives and experience the future! (Power stance).
Random Student Way in the Back: We’re not listening!
Derek: Jackass…Goodbye my loving fans! Until next we meet! (Steps off the table). Nuts to them, let’s go.
Chris: (Slowly climbs onto the table and looks around warily). Hi. Um…my name’s Chris and, well, I doubt any of you really know who I am.
Random Student: You’re probably right!
Chris: Thank…thank you. (Points at Random Student). I don’t know you either. Anyway, I joined the Legion a few days ago after what happened during the museum field trip. I’m sure you’ve all heard so I won’t waste your time with it…
Guy Sitting a Few Tables Down: Actually, we don’t know. They wouldn’t tell us a damn thing.
Chris: (Surprised). Oh, well, we got attacked by a bunch of guys with guns, although one of the attackers could blow stuff up with just his hands and move at incredible speeds and make himself stronger and things along those lines. So…basically we’re gonna go learn how to defend ourselves against people like that.
Guy: (Slightly amazed). Wait a second, you’re telling us that you’re gunna learn how to do all that bullshit?
Chris: Yeah, yes, yes we are.
Guy: Chris, you sir look like a trust-worthy individual and as such, I shall believe you. (Stands up and walks over to Chris). I’m only wasting my time staying here. What would I have to do to come with you?
Chris: Just…come with us. That’s…that’s basically all.
Guy: (Squints his eyes and looks at Chris while nodding his head, then pulls his hands out of his pockets and shakes Chris’ hand). Well then, sign me up. Name’s Scott. (Scott is slightly taller than Chris. He has very short black hair and looks a tad scruffy from not shaving much. He’s a big guy with a Mafioso look to him and tough mannerisms. In his mouth, a toothpick takes the place of where a cigarette usually sits).
Chris: Oh, well nice to meet you Scott. I’m Chris.
Scott: Yeah I was paying attention. I know Derek here, and I’ve seen Austin around some, so I’m pretty caught up I suppose.
Chris: (Looks back towards the crowd). So…does anyone else want to come along?
Stranger: (A kid from off to the side stands up and makes his way to the front of the group. He’s of average height, light-black skin, short, styled afro, and has large features. He wears very plain clothes and has a deep, friendly voice). Chris, I’m near heartbroken you would even consider I wouldn’t come with you.
Chris: Kevin…? (Smiles). Man, I haven’t seen you in ages! How’ve you been?!
Kevin: (Smiles and nods his head). Heh, better than you seem to be.
Chris: Dang, how long’s it been since we saw each other?
Kevin: Since you stopped coming to church.
Kevin: Chris, don’t worry. I’m not here to judge. I’m here to learn and to help a friend who I’d all but lost contact with.
Chris: Kevin, it means a lot to hear you say that. (The two long-forgotten friends share a hug).
Chris: Well, I guess that about wraps up everything here. Shall we hit the road?
Lindsey: (From the opposite side of the room). Chris! (Rushes up to the group and gives everyone hugs). You weren’t about to leave without me now were you?
Chris: You’re…you’re coming, too?! Did you hear that guys?! Huh?! Did you all hear that?!
Derek: Urg, I’ll go wait on the bus…
Kyle: (Closes his eyes). Don’t tell me, I can predict what’s about to happen next…
Leena: (Walks up pulling a large suitcase). Lindz, I love yah hon but I still don’t know how you dragged me into this.
Kyle: (Nods and points his finger). Yep, there she is.
Leena: (Gives Kyle a scornful look). Oh great, he’s coming as well?
Kyle: Hey, it’s a free country. (Looks towards Chris). It’s still a free country…right?
Kyle: Well then God bless Zanretha. (Slings his rucksack back over his shoulder).
Chris: I’m so happy you’re coming along Lindsey.
Lindsey: (Smiles). Yeah, I gathered about as much, what with the uncontained excitement and general giddiness you’re spewing. Guys, look, whatever happens, we’ve gotta stick together no matter what. Agreed?
Derek: Sure sure.
(Everyone gathers their things and makes their way to the parking lot where a fancy bus is waiting to take them to Legion Headquarters. Jack is leaning against a wall with his arms crossed waiting for everyone).
Jack: (Smiles). ‘Bout time guys. And gals. (Winks at Lindsey, who giggles).
Chris and Kyle: (They share an outlandish look and a frustrated sound). Ohhhhhh…
Jack: Well then, who wants to go learn how the world really works?
To Be Continued…