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McCormick Place, Chicago

6 am

            It was a calm morning. The sun was just beginning to rise from behind the horizon. But at the convention center, there were flashes of light and screams. “C’mon Charlie! We ain’t got all day for this.” One man said. He was wearing a tactical vest. He was tall, had a muscular build, and a 5 o’clock shadow. He spoke in an Aussie Accent. Next to him was a man who had tasers embedded in his hands as he prepared to punch a man tied to a pole. “Now I’ll ask again. When is that shipment due? And where is it going? Sergei gets mighty pissed when somebody lies to him. So where is it!” Above the two men were a couple of people in full armor, and they were flying with winged jetpacks. Sergei then continued to punch the man in the chest, sending a shock through his body each time. Before he could punch him again, his hand was cut by a silver ninja star with a yellow light in the center.

            Everyone scrambled for cover as the core of the star exploded, covering the entire yard in orange smoke. The silhouette of a person began walking through the smoke. It pulled one of the bodyguards into the smoke, and then silence. Seconds later, another person saw something in the smoke and started shooting an automatic rifle. Just as he fired, a yellow bolt of energy hit his leg and he fell to the ground. “Wait a minute.” Sergei said, “Guardian can’t do that.” As the smoke cleared, a woman responded: “Guardian can’t, but I can!” Amber emerged from the smoke and kept firing the charges at the criminals, but Sergei was able to deflect most of the blasts as he ran towards her. Amber jumped out of the way and then faced him. She quickly was able to break away from Sergei, and tossed a rope at him, tying his hands. Amber then ran, and in two mighty blows, he was down. Instantly, another soldier rushed on her, showing far more agility and skills than the others. He threw punches and kicks quickly at Amber, but she was able to block many and started to fight back. After a few moments, she slammed his face against her knee. The largest one then ran at Amber as well. She tripped him, and the large man was on the receiving end of a red fist. When Amber looked up, she saw Guardian with his crimson and gold uniform, with blank white eyes. “That’s no way to treat a lady.” He said. Instantly, multiple armored men began shooting at him, and the rest ran at him with knives and swords. Guardian dodged many of the bullets and knocked down the others. When one tried to shank him with a knife, he grabbed the blade and pulled the man in front of him as Guardian was about to get hit by a charged bolt, using him as a human shield. He then pulled out a grappling gun and shot at both men in jetpacks. The two were quickly tangled and fell. Amber then got back in the fight and said “Glad to see you’ve decided to join us. I almost thought I was gonna have to take care of the suckers myself.” Guardian replied “Less talk, more action.” The two then split up and took down many of the soldiers with guns and swords. Above them, the two flying soldiers started shooting with bullets and flames. The two scrambled for cover and prepared to get back out. One of the flying soldiers deployed three powerful drones. Amber shot two of the drones down with her blasts of energy, but the third one grabbed her and pulled her into the air and into the convention center. Guardian then pulled out his grappling hook and went in pursuit. He flew right past the flyer and taped a bomb to his jetpack. Seconds later, it blew up and sent him plummeting to the ground.

            When Amber was directly above a walkway near the second-story window, she put her hand on the drone and burned half of its body clean off. She fell ten feet onto the metal planks. The second flyer then followed and pulled the pin on two cylindrical items on his belt. He then tossed them to Amber. Guardian then grabbed Amber and yelled “Get down!” as he pushed her out of the way of the explosion. Amber then got up and tossed a pair of shurikens at the flyer’s wing. They blew up instantly and the flyer fell onto the catwalk as well. As he reached for his flamethrower, it was kicked out of his hands by Guardian. He then grabbed the flyer. “This wasn’t a break-in, wasn’t it. Talk, before my associate burns a hole in your sternum.” Amber then ignited her hands in flames. The flyer then spoke in a raspy voice “No. This is no break in. You’re in over your heads kids. Run home to Mommy.” Amber cringed on his words, but Guardian snapped her back to reality when he said: “They’re working with someone.” Amber then asked “Who?” Then they heard a deep voice come from behind them. “That would be me. Amber. It’s an honor, although the circumstances are far less than ideal.” The voice was familiar; Amber hadn’t heard that voice in almost a year. She asked, “Do I know you?” The man replied “You know me by another name. But at the same time, not at all.” Guardian then stepped up “Who cares who you are. I’m still gonna knock you into next month.” He then lunged at the man and tried punching him, but he was quickly overpowered and slammed against a pole. The man then re-positioned himself for the next. Amber launched electrical bolts as and red flames at him, to no avail. She then started to punch him repeatedly until she was pushed away. Guardian got back up and grabbed the man by the neck. Suddenly, Guardian was lifted feet off the ground and tossed at Amber. The two then continued to punch him until he grabbed Amber by the throat and tossed her over the edge. Guardian then pulled out his grappling hook and shot it at Amber. The hook caught Amber by the foot, and she dangled only feet above the ground. The man then yelled “NOW!” Out of nowhere, Guardian was shot in his right shoulder with darts. As his vision began to blur, he was beginning to lose his grip on Amber. Guardian used the last of his strength to toss Amber out of the window. Guardian the got back up and lunged at the man, but was caught and punched in the face, knocking him out. “Rest well kid. You’ll need it.” He then grabbed Guardian and carried him out of the convention center.

            When Amber woke up, she saw the convention center right in front of her. Within seconds, everything came back to her. Before she could run back in, there was a loud blast. The entire building was engulfed in flames and started to crumble to the ground. She then saw a boat racing along the river. Amber began to run after it, and as she did, bullets were fired and she was able to dodge many of them, but she began to slow down. Amber couldn’t keep going. She sat down and hit the distress call button on her mask as she began to limp back to the apartment.

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Jeremy Gay
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Author Works

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