The bird of fire seemed to burn hotter and darker at the end of it's message, though why Elric had no idea. Mostly because he didn't even know how it was possible to exist in the first place, but also because at just that same moment, Nathan flew off the couch and onto his feet. At first Elric thought the bird had frightened him, before an all too familiar sound erupted across the room. A bang. A gunshot.
Elric dropped to the ground and pressed his back to the side of the couch. Alright, judging by the way Nathan fell, the shooter must be on the stairs. Probably about six steps up.
Holding his breath, he peeked around the corner to see if the man was still there. He was. Elric also noted the shooters quick eyes, tense stance and arm length. If his quick measurements were correct, he'd have about a 70% chance of making it out of the living room. That's not good enough.
But with every second passing by, he knew the shooter could be taking up a better position, coming nearer to him. Every second going by, another person could die. And it would be his fault. He had a plan, he was just too much of a coward to carry it out.
Staying lower than the edge of the couch at all times, he managed to get to his feet. Simmons would kill me for this. I wouldn't be allowed out of the house until I was eighteen.
Before he could convince himself otherwise, he made a run for the kitchen, as it was closer than the hallway. He only made it halfway before he heard the second shot. There was a burst of fire behind him that lasted all of a second before fading away, and though he didn't know what it was, all he cared about was the fact that he was still alive.
He ducked behind the dividing wall, a third shot ringing through the air. He heard that one hit somewhere close by, but he didn't know where.
Taking a glance around he noticed Corby, Leigh and... why could he not think of anything else other then that stupid nickname? It doesn't matter. I need the gun. Covering the rest of the distance to the cabinet, he whispered "I need a tranquilizer gun and some rope."