The Battle

Amy was the one that found the Glock pistol behind the seat. It took her quite a while to gather the courage to go into the control room, but once she did, she made a thorough search of it, and even located the button that moved the frozen cable. Jules wondered how the class was going to get from the pylon onto a moving cable, but Jessica shut him up. Marcus appointed himself as lookout and went out to watch as the seats did their rounds in the darkness, like a carousel...all empty, none holding one of his friends, smiling and relieved...

Of course, it would be a little while before anyone would finally manage to get on the seats, but when Marcus saw Lucien Quois clinging to a cable car, his heart beat with incalculable relief. Three, four classmates made it onto the summit, and Jessica made sure they avoided the control room. For now, nobody asked questions. Student after student jumped onto the snow, stamped a little, feeling the joy of solid ground, and was shoved in the back by Jessica Peuvant, past the control room.

The only people missing now were Mr. Gallin and another called Braun, a small, wiry boy with round glasses and surprising strength. Marcus looked over the precipice, into the darkness - and saw the two of them, Gallin across the seat; Braun standing with his feet on the backrest, with about a five hundred yards of cable to go. Braun was pointing towards teh ground, but Marcus couldn't see anything, and couldn't get much closer. He was shouting, too, but Marcus couldn't hear what he was saying...

"Jessica!" shouted Jules. "Jessica, take everyone to the cafe. Go - now!"

Jessica looked at Jules - who was he to talk to her like that? - but then Marcus heard what he was shouting.

"Wolf. Wolf!"

"Jessica!" he shouted. "Amy! Just go!"

Jessica looked at him, looked ready to retort, and then heard it too. "Everyone, follow me," she called. "Get to the cafe at once. It might be the last thing you do."

"Why aren't you following them?" asked Jules.

"Because you are," said Jessica. She seized the Glock from Amy, and told her, "Follow him. Save the others. Marcus and I will sort the others."

Amy was speechless, but she left, and took Jules with her.

Marcus grabbed Jessica. "Stop trying to be a hero," he snapped. "They're rabid. You're our only conscious leader - we need you alive. I can handle this on my own; I can stall them."

"You're not stalling them without me," Jessica replied. She shoved the gun in his hand. "Shoot anything that barks." With that, she dived into the control room.

Marcus took the pistol in his hands and held it like he'd seen them do in action films. He prepared himself. He knew the basics, of course, pull the trigger, the gun fires -

A wolf reared over the snow, and Marcus' mind went blank -

He squeezed the trigger. The force of recoil knocked through him, and a manic kind of buzz - as he watched the animal howl and whimper and recoil. He'd shot it in the shoulder.

Another one, and another, barking and yapping at Braun and Gallin - and Marcus shot at everything he saw, wondering just how many bullets he had. He kept having to load the Glock, and his fingers kept slipping, but at last, Braun's seat came around, and inside the control room, Jessica slammed the button.

All would have gone well, had the cable decided to stop. As it happened, the force of the brake was too great, and the cable, at last, gave way. 

The End

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