The trip had been disastrous as far as Elric was concerned. It had rained almost the whole way, the food at the motel had been horrible, and to top it off they had asked if he wanted a kids menu! Can you imagine? Sitting in the front seat, Simmons', his part chauffeur, part bodyguard, part just about everything else, could see that the Master was displeased. And even at just the age of 13, when Elric was in a foul mood, everyone was in a foul mood.
And then, bang!
The boy's scowl deepened. "It appears we've blown a tire." Simmons' said from the front of the luxurious car. The boy tapped his fingers against his arm impatiently. "You best be quick, father is expecting us in less than an hour, and I don't have a bloody clue where we are. You do realize there isn't even signal out here, don't you? I mean honestly I-"
Simmons chose that moment to go attend to the blown tire, he knew a rant coming on when he heard it. He walked around the side of the car to the back, all the while he could tell something was wrong. The road was smooth, slick even, after all that rain. No pot holes, or even sharp rocks.
He leaned down to examine the tire, and then immediately heaved himself behind the car. "Elric, get out of the car! Now! On my side!" Simmons was in full soldier mode. The tire had a clean hole, even into the metal of the wheel, no wider than the radius of a dime. He knew a bullet hole when he saw one.
Just as the door opened and the boy went to step out, another bullet impacted the opposite doors window, sending spiderweb fractures through the bulletproof glass.
Master Elric's face had cleared up, the scowl replaced with a frown of deep thought. He turned to his bodyguard then. Not with a tear in his eye, as any other thirteen year old would have been. But with a question. "Simmons, where do you think the shooter is positioned?"
The bodyguard looked at the impact on the window and the approximate position of the tire when it had been hit. Considering the angles of the shot and the cover available to the shooter, he pointed toward a large hill that was heavily treed.
The boy was silent for a moment, and he bit the inside of his cheek. He was planning.
"The moon is that way, " the boy said, pointing over the hill. "so since there's no moonlight illuminating us, " Simmons still had no idea where he was going with this information. "the shooter must be using a night-vision scope. So once we find some cover all we have to do is light a flare. It will temporarily blind him and we can make our escape." The boy smiled smugly.
The bodyguard grinned, feeling inside his suit jacket. He kept a large array of weaponry on him at all times, even as he slept. He handed his younger charge a handgun. Just in case, as the boys father had said. All Simmons' brain was doing at the moment was following proceeder. He grinned a little wider as a thought sprang to mind. I've seen more combat situations with this boy then my entire Special Ops carrier and my Government carrier combined.
Just then, the breeze blew, and the branches parted way just enough for a sliver of light to come to them from the other side of the road. "There's a house." Elric stated, his brain already calculating how long it would take them to make it there.
"Good. Run for it, and don't look back. I'll be right behind you." Simmons took another look at the grenade in his hand. "And hold your ears. This baby is loud enough to make you go deaf."
The boy gave a stiff nod and when signaled, ran. There was a definite loud pop, and he just kept running, counting backwards in his head. If he reached zero, he'd be living on borrowed time.
"Fifteen." he whispered to himself. He jumped right over a fallen tree, a feet at any other time that would have caused him to gloat for an indeterminable amount of time. In fact, nearly any physical activity would have been quite the achievement for him. Funny how running for your life makes things less important to a person.
"five." he breathed breathlessly. His hands were sweating. He was so close, but not close enough. "Zero." he cringed internally, but if anything he only ran faster. Come on! So I stole a few million here and there on the side. If you kill me, you'll never figure out where it is! he shouted inside his head.
His hand touched the door, causing it to fly open. But no sighs of relief yet, he could still be taken out just as easily. He slammed the door shut behind him, and only after running and hiding behind the couch did he allow himself to breathe. "Well Simmons, looks like we've got quite the night ahead of us." he gasped between breaths. Silence. "Simmons?" he called. "Simmons!?" he yelled more urgently. He looked around. His bodyguard was nowhere to be seen.