My hands trembled as I snatched the envelope off the ground. My chest constricted with the feeling of panic one gets when they find they forgot something important. I tore open the paper inside was a thick sheet penned in flawless black cursive.
“Ben, you're so predictable. I expected more from an intellect like yours. Perhaps I misjudged you. I have Eve and your father. If you want them you must give me something: you. I know you Ben. You will accept the trade, because that is the weakness of those who care. Already your tiny mind is contemplating how I will devise for someone invincible to die. Don’t worry, there is always a way. Meet us at the following location at 4 O’clock PM today. I would have preferred the dark there is something so wonderful about the absence of light.”
At the bottom of the page I saw the address and a tiny H. I knew whose initial it stood for. I glanced at my watch. The time said 1 AM but apparently time ran differently in the two worlds. I looked up at the massive screen on the building. It was 1 PM. I had 3 hours to get ready. First I sprinted to an ancient library computer. Google found the address immediately. It was a decrepit warehouse. Good plenty of entry points. I studied the picture a minute. The odds were that Eve and father were at the back of the warehouse. I would need distraction. I wish I had brought one of the gang with me. I shook my head. Hercules thought I was dumb. Excellent. The cogs were already turning. I decided it was time to go to the hardware store.
I walked out of it and hour later. The contents weighing heavily in my new back pack. For once I was glad my father was rich. I now had a backpack full of surprises. It was now 2:00 PM I started to run. At 2:30 I was block away. I turned into a Café to put the final touches on my plan. I took out a massive bow from my bag, duct tape, a firecracker, and a piece of paper. On the paper I wrote:
“Pleases don’t hurt them. I will make the trade.”
I scribbled the letters as one distraught and desperate, it wasn’t hard. I stuck the paper on the arrow and taped the fire cracker to it. I stepped out of the Café and lit the fire cracker. I quickly shot the arrow towards the decrepit warehouse. Through my new binoculars I could see a black figure pick up the arrow. Phase one was complete. They wouldn’t suspect a rescue now. I took out two oil canisters from my bag and poured their contents on myself scales out. I checked the pockets of my fire proof pants. It was all there. 2:45
I went around the entire block until I was right behind the building. 2:51. I made a silent prayer to God. I don’t pray normally but I needed help. The back of the ware house was a scant 20 yards away. There was a hole in the wall, perfect. I ran for it. Adrenile pulsing through my veins. I smashed through the hole and into the dark room beyond. Lying on the floor was my father and Eve. They were both bound and gagged. Their eyes widened when they saw me. My plan melted when I saw the two. I planned to do survey of room but instead I sprinted towards them. Mistake, because I ran to them a figure stepped out of the shadows stepped Atlas. He was grinning delightedly.
“Excellent! I am so happy Hercules sent me back to guard them! Now I have the pleasure of killing the great and invincible Ben. The others will simply turn green with envy!”
Fire was beginning to coalesce in his palms. He continued,
“You see fire always finds a way.”
With that he launched the fire ball. Instead of dissipating and my chest it ignited the oil. In and instant my entire upper torso was ablaze. His jaw dropped in shock. I ran towards him imagining I must look pretty frightening. He opened his mouth to scream for help but my flaming fist caught his throat the impact stopped the sound in his throat. He desperately sent fire at me. It only fed my inferno. I slipped behind him and threw him down. In an instant I was on his back my knees planted on his shoulder blades. Without hesitation or remorse. I grabbed his forehead with both hands and wrenched back. His neck broke with a sickening crack. “yes,” I whispered, “fire finds a way.”
I ran towards Eve and father. I took out a push out razor and began to attack the duck tape. In seconds they were both free. Eve was crying and father didn’t recognize me. He recoiled in horror.
“Eve, get him out!”
She nodded and began to drag my father towards the hole. I turned to follow then I felt my self sucked to the floor. I my heart sank with despair. To slow. All the black ones burst into the room. Hecules was angry. He kicked Atlas’s corpse.
“Arrogant fool!” he spat at body. He turned to me. “I suppose you think your smart. You were close. Very close. But then again that only counts as they say in horse shoes and hand grenades. I’m going to kill Eve and your father right here in front of you. Then you will learn the ultimate price the price of failure.”
He took out switch blade and walked purposefully towards father. He raised his arm and was about to bring it down when something clinked to the floor. Oh the irony, it was a grenade. Hecules reflexes saved him he wind blasted the grenade to a corner. I was free. The Atlantis’s gravity let up and I sprang to my feet. Digging my hands into my pockets and pulling out two road flares. I ignited both and threw them at the black ones. The black ones quite appropriately don’t like light. They screamed in agony of it.
Patrick burst through the hole. He was waving an uzi submachine gun. He fired at the black ones and I heard a scream. “GET OUT!” He roared at us.
Eve and father ran, I started to as well Patrick threw a third grenade. This time Hercules threw himself on it. I remembered he could someone how resurrect himself. I realized Patrick wasn’t running. He was valiantly holding the exit. I stopped and turned back. He whirled around and pleading eyes whispered a single word, “Run.” I ran. I turned around the corner and then I heard Patrick start to scream. Tears turned to steam as I ran down the avenue, Patrick was a hero. He saved our lives. And I learned the price of failure.