My life had been pretty normal and dull. When the fire alarm went off I just figured it was another drill, turned out it'd change everything
Chapter One - Smoky introductions
The fire alarm rang overhead, hurting my ears. I was following the other students through the corridors when the smell of smoke reached my nostrils. I saw the others notice and some of them picked up their walking pace.
“Where do you think the fire is?” Casey asked. I didn't get a chance to answer as another body collided into mine. The guy glanced at me momentarily before taking off in the opposite direction. I paused where I stood, starring after him.
“Wrong way guy!” Casey shouted, but he didn't seem to listen.
“Idiot,” I muttered, but I couldn't quite convince my legs to keep moving forward.
“Here, I'll be right back,” I said, throwing my bag at Casey.
“Wait, what? Are you insane Jen?” Casey asked with a face so shocked it was rather comical.
“I swear, I'll be two minutes tops,” I yelled over my shoulder as I started running after him.
“Two minutes of smoke inhalation is all it takes!” She shouted after me, concern evident on her face. I didn't bother answering as I turned the corner in time to catch the flare of his black leather coat. Just who was he? This was a small college, I thought I'd at least recognise seeing his face in the corridors. Then again I'd only caught a blurred impression. He turned another corner and the smell of smoke got stronger, was he suicidal? Or maybe he was the arsonist?
I found myself at a T-junction with no clue where he went. I chewed my lower lip and looked the way I came. I should probably go back.
“You!” The word was so sudden I jumped and stared around for the culprit. When I realised it had been from the hall and not aimed at me I followed the corridor. Then double doors were thrown open wide. I kneeled down and peered around the door and saw the guy. Though he was far from alone.
“Yes, me. Want to calm down the dramatics?” The guy said with a slow drawl. The kind that said he was bored and more than a little annoyed. It was aimed at a guy standing on the other side of the hall. They were complete opposites to each other. The guy I'd chased had pale, sickly skin and uneven black hair to match the black jeans and leather coat. The other guy had normal jeans and a shirt. He had well-styled blond hair and baby blue eyes. His skin was well-tanned and muscles well defined. If Casey was here she'd be drooling.
“I will, when you explain the fire. Why target here?” The blond man asked, his voice was strong and smooth, like honey.
“Gregor picked up something interesting. We figured we could easily find it in the chaos,” A lady next to black-haired guy said. Was that his name? The lady had a striking, tall figure and a mane of dark brown hair. The smell of smoke grew stronger so I pulled the collar of my hoodie up to cover my mouth and nose better. I wanted to tell them to get out fast, but they looked so relaxed, and clearly they were all aware of the fire.
“Is he still scared someone more powerful than him will come along?” a second women spoke up, her voice was feathery soft, in fact her small figure, red curls and freckled face screamed fragile. But I could see muscles under her clothes. Just who were these people?
“Someone more powerful is already here, why else would he only ever send his lackeys?” Blond guy said, glaring openly at the other guy. I wish he would turn his head so I could see his face. I imagined it'd be bored based on his voice earlier.
“I'm hardly a lackey Jackson,” the tall lady threw back.
“Maybe not, but he is,” he replied, gesturing to the black haired guy. I saw his shoulders tense in response.
“Dick,” he spat. It didn't seem to do a lot to throw Jackson off. The smoke was stronger now and my eyes were watering, but something about them made me stay. It was like they gave off a completely different air to anyone I'd ever met. It was clear straight away the black haired guy and the lady weren't good guys. Was this some kind of secret government thing? I saw the lady turn to the black haired guy, she whispered something in his ear and he nodded. The others noticed straight away of course.
“What are you planning now?” A third guy asked, he was to the other side of Jackson and had dark skin and braided hair, not to mention being built like a giant. That's when the smoke got too much and a coughing fit started. Five pairs of eyes flew to me instantly as I tried to stand and back away.
“Hey, come back!” I recognised it as being the blond guys voice but I ignored him and kept walking. My vision was blurring worse and I couldn't find an end to the smoke in the air. Casey would be so smug when she said “told you so”. I was aware the depended on me getting out of here. I took another step forward and a sudden rush of air propelled me forward. At first I assumed it was the strangers then painful ringing started and the walls shook around me. I didn't understand how it was possible, we hardly lived in earthquake territory. Rocks fell before me and cut off the corridor, as well as letting in beautiful fresh air.
I didn't have much time to savour it though as I saw the ground splitter before me.
“Shit,” I whispered, my voice horse from the smoke inhalation. I raced back the way I came, hoping they would help me. But the hall was completely empty. I ran back into the corridor and headed to the fire escape I knew was around here somewhere. I ran and searched, aware that the distant sounds of destruction were nearing all the time. I heard a low groan of pain nearby and followed it.
“Hello?” I said tentatively as I entered a lab room. The tables and half the wall had collapsed, giving me an easy way out. I glanced around more and saw a dark trail.
“Oh god,” I murmured, knowing it was blood. I neared it and saw it was darker than any I'd seen before. In fact it was close to pitch black. Split chemicals maybe? Another groan, much closer. I neared the pile of rocks and with energy I really didn't have I heaved the first rock off. I yelped when I saw a arm, and the black blood was coming from it. I moved the others with a lot of effort and revealed a leg, someone’s back wearing a black leather jacket.
Then when moving the next rock I felt someone helping me on the other side. After that I didn't have to do anything as the black haired guy from earlier freed himself. He didn't even bother to thank me and studied the room, his eyes zeroed in on the blood and cursed. He turned to the cabinets and searched through the chemicals inside. I crossed my arms and watched him as he mixed various coloured liquids. The shaking had mostly stopped and to be honest I was curious about him. He left the counter and poured the mixture on anywhere his blood had fallen, the last amount was near my feet so when he'd finished pouring it he stood up and faced me. I had a feeling his acknowledgement of me wasn't that good a thing afterall.
“Hi,” I said, taking a step back without thinking. He looked just a little too intense for my liking. At least I could tell his eyes were as dark as his hair.
“Did you touch any of it?” he asked. I furrowed my brow in confusion and he sighed loudly.
“The blood, did you get it on you,” he explained. What a weird question I thought. I glanced at my bare skin anyway.
“Don't think so-” I paused mid-sentence as I realised there was a fleck on my arm. I must've got it when I was moving the rocks. He saw it too and this time it was a defeated sigh.
“Is it a bad thing?” I asked, eyeing the gap in the wall. He ran a hand through his hair and studied the floor for a few seconds. When he looked up he seemed calmer.
“Yes. You're going to die. Painfully probably. Might as well get it over with quicker for you,” he replied. My eyes widened, not because of his decision, but the fact that he didn't even sound that bothered by the idea of having to do it.