All I remembered seeing was a flash of movement, and James was on the ground. Before I had time to react, I had joined him on the cold floor. Everything around me went black.
Pain exploded from between my shoulder blades, the horrible sensation ripping through my already limp body. The pain was unbearable-- it clouded my thoughts from me. The burning sensation spreaded throughout my body, causing my whole brain to seemingly shut down. I tried to think straight as the darkness envelopped me, but I was unable to. My body became numb as pain began to rise thoughout it at a rapid rate. My thoughts came back, and I started to hear the faint blow of air coming from the ceiling that must have been above us. I pictured it there, realizing that it had to be a ventilation system. That meant a way out.
My eyes fluttered open, and Irealized I was being dragged across the floor. A large man with thick muscles and veins running along the bulges on his arms held my ankle in one hand, holding James's unmoving body in the other. I had an idea. Using my loose foot, I kicked him in the back of the neck, and he stumbled, letting go of us. Then, I rolled back and flung my body up in an arc, landing on my feet silently. Before he could turn, I slid between his spread legs. As he turned away from me, I shook James awake. When he woke up, he helped me up on his shoulders so I could get into the vent. When the man was turning, James returned to the floor, pretending that he was still unconscious.
The man started towards him, and I pulled out a gadget from my pocket. It was just a simple item-- a small, ordinary stone. I tossed it behind the man to the far wall. He turned abruptly, and I helped James up into the vent. The man was shocked when he turned and we weren't there, so I took his disorientation as a chance. I jumped down, curling my legs to fit the size of his neck. I pulled on it, feeling the resounding crunch as I did. He fell under my grip, and I stood.
I became aware of the pain that was still shooting through my back, almost like someone was drilling their hand into my back every two minutes. I retrieved the keys that the man had took, and returned to the ventilation system. We crawled in the confined space quietly, moving through it instead of crowded hallways. We got to the spot where we wanted to go, and I told James, who was behind me. I looked through the slits in the thick metal, seeing the two armed guards in front of a pane of glass. Behind the glass was the daughter of the Queen.
James shuddered, and I knew that he'd gotten an idea. I turned my head, which was really all I could do. "I know what we can do!" he whispered. He pulled out a gun from his pocket, and I analyzed it. It was a revolver. I moved ahead of him and went flat so I could turn over and spin to face him. He pointed the tip of the gun between the bars and squinted, closing one eye. He fired the gun, and the bullet whizzed past the guards, smashing the glass into pieces. They turned away, and I'd already realized what he was doing: creating a distraction.
I kicked the vent and pulled in into the tunnels, and we dropped to the ground, both of us rolling. We snuck around a corner as the men went into the prison, looking around vigorously. I pulled out a smoke bomb and threw it. It exploded, and thick, billowing smoke expanded through the small prison. We ran into the room, and grabbed the Princess. "Don't worry," I whispered. "We work for your mom. She told us to help you." I saw her silouhette nod, and we began to walk.
Thunderous claps echoed through the room as firearms were used. Flashes and bullets ripped through the smoke, and I stifled a scream as I was hit in my leg. I wanted to scream as the horrible pain tore away at me, black spots dancing before my vision. The spots became red as I shook my head, trying to clear it. It didn't help. I was soon teetering on the brink of unconsciousness, forcing myself forwards so I wouldn't drown in my own pain. I felt a cold sensation on my leg as it went limp, and I was forced to hop as I slowly died.
"What happened?!" demanded James as we ran-- well, he ran with the girl, I hopped as quickly as I could to keep up. A worried look spread across his face, and I stared at him.
"Nothing," I muttered through gritted teeth. "Let's just go!" He studied me as we ran, his face solemn.
"Youre hit..." he mumbled. "You got shot?"
"So what," I mumbled. "I'm fine!"
"Oh really?" he said. "How many fingers am I holding up?" I looked through blurred red vision, seeing only a pale hand in front of me. Trying to decipher it, I closed my eyes, using my senses. In my mind's eye, I saw his hand, three pale fingers sticking up. The bluish aura around his silouhette intensified, and I opened my eyes.
"Three," I said.
"Cheater..." he mumbled as he ran. He said nothing else as we ran and I limped until we got to the elevator. I went to press the button, and it didn't light up. Red lights flashed like strobe lights, and a loud alarm blared. We were stuck on the ninety ninth floor.