Through the Flames 1-3

Part 1 – The Discovery

Chapter 3 – Preparations

The house was silent for a few minutes after the light faded. The three boys sat on the floor, hearts racing, the blanket several feet away. Tim slowly lowered his arms, still clutching the prophecy. Matt was the first to speak.

“What the heck just happened?”

Tim let himself fall back onto his elbows. “You don’t want to know.”

“No, seriously, what was that?”

“Look outside.” Ben walked towards the window and opened the curtains. He stepped back a moment later in shock.

Outside was a scene that was surreal to say the least. There was a panicked kangaroo outside their window on the sidewalk, looking at itself in apparent surprise. Two lions walked by, appearing to be confused about something. There were animals all over…

Ben suddenly felt a rush of horror. “Oh, my gosh. Those are…”

“Yeah.” Tim shook involuntarily.

“That could have been us,” whispered Matt.

“It was the prophecy!” Tim picked up the parchment carefully. “It must have protected us because we’re the only ones who can save everyone.”

The three boys were silent for a few seconds, suddenly realizing just what they were up against.

Tim broke the silence. “We need to do some more research,” he said, grabbing his laptop again. A few minutes later, he finally found what he was looking for. Scrolling down the article, he read “It says here that the prophecy was reportedly made thousands of years ago by an ancient king who was extremely powerful and was said to have mystic abilities, but mysteriously disappeared days after he made the prophecy. Some rumors circulated that an unknown force turned him into a wolf, but they were ridiculed and the rumors were mostly stopped. I guess we know now, though.”

Matt stared at the screen. “So these were the same forces that attacked us today. But why just the two times, and why him and why us? If they have that kind of power, why do they just seem to be fooling around with it?”

“Actually,” said Ben, “It makes sense. They tried to destroy the king because he made the prophecy, but they didn’t have enough power to eliminate the prophecy itself. Maybe they just couldn’t use their weapon on many people at once. But now, they can. Over the years they’ve improved, and now they’ve decided it’s time to attack. Tim was the first person they went after because they know he’s the only one who can stop them!”

Matt stared at Ben in shock. “You’re right,” Tim said. “That’s exactly why they attacked here, and also why I want them to think they succeeded, even though we don’t have much time before they find out. We need to search for those weapons, and fast.”

“Where do you think they are?” asked Matt.

“Something tells me the first one is in Russia. That one should lead us to the others.”

“But how do we get there quickly and safely?” asked Ben.

“Jets. F-22s to be exact.”

Matt and Ben did a double take, not quite believing what Tim had just said. Matt spoke first. “But where are we going to get them?”

There was a long, awkward pause. “We, um, have to steal them. I mean, borrow them.” Tim added the second line hastily, looking at the others nervously.

Ben’s jaw dropped. “We what? Do you have any idea how hard it would be to steal just one, let alone three? Not to mention that they probably have extra security on those. Even if we got off the ground, we’d have trained pilots flying after us!”

“And we don’t have any training.” added Matt.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got it figured out. All we have to do is get to West Point. They should only have three F-22s there right now if I remember the article I saw about them, which means that anything they send after us will be much less capable. And we’ve played Ace Combat before. These F-22s almost fly themselves with all the computer controls and stuff.”

“But what if those things use their weapons again,” asked Matt. “I don’t want to be an animal, and neither do you or Ben. And I’d hate to think what would happen if we were in the air when they attacked.”

“Well, that’s just a risk we’ll have to take. Although if my assumptions are correct, they will have used most of their weapon’s energy in this attack in their attempt to make sure they got rid of me.”

Matt sighed and sat down. “I guess we’ll have to.”

“Yeah,” said Ben. He paused. “We should probably start getting ready as soon as possible.”

“Yeah, we’d better get going,” Tim said. “I’ll get my stuff ready, then we’ll head for your houses. We’ll need some warm clothes, but just what will fit in a small backpack; we need to be able to move quickly. Also, you’ll want something to cover at least some of your face so you can’t be easily recognized. Matt, while I’m getting my stuff ready, grab some food from the pantry. Ben, my dad has two rifles in the basement in cases. Grab those, we may need them.”

The trio split up. Tim headed upstairs for his bedroom and grabbed his backpack on the way. He dumped the school supplies he had in it and began packing his clothes, laptop, multi-tool, an LED flashlight, lots of rope, and a few other necessities. As an afterthought, he ran into his parents’ room and grabbed their three two-way radios. Running downstairs and going into the garage, he stuffed a pair of heavy wire cutters into his pocket. “Guys, are you ready?” Tim ran into the living room, almost crashing into Matt and Ben.

Ben picked up the rifle cases. “Yep, everything’s together. What next?”

“Well, we can stop at your house first, then Matt’s house. We can take my parents’ car. I don’t have my license yet, but I think this counts as a life-threatening emergency.”

“Yeah, and most of the cops in this area are probably animals too. Probably apes; then they would literally be the ‘long arm of the law!'” Matt smiled at his joke.

“Unfortunately,” said Tim, “I think we’ll lose that advantage long before we get to West Point. That’s about 30 miles away, and the weapon is probably much shorter-range than that. We’ll still have to get through the base.”

“So how do we get past the guards without killing them or getting caught?” Ben asked.

“I don’t know.” The others paused for a second, then loaded the supplies into the back of Tim’s father’s green Land Rover. Concentrating as much as he could on the task at hand, he drove slowly through the streets, constantly watching for any animals running across the street; hitting one would quite literally be murder. As they drove, Tim began to explain his plan. “Our main objective is to get to the F-22s without being noticed. That should be easy because if we get past security, they won’t be expecting someone inside. We’ll probably have to cut through some fences, but that’s no problem. The tricky part is getting into the main facility. It’s some guard towers with a guard stationed in each one. The only way in without being spotted is by sneaking into one of the fuel supply trucks. Sometime on the way in, I’ll try to steal somebody’s radio. Once we’re in the airfield, there’s a small hangar where the F-22s should be. Once we’re there, we’ll get in the planes and figure out the controls. Then, if we have it, I’ll fake an emergency call with the radio, giving me enough time to open the hangar doors so we can fire up the engines and get the heck out of there.”

Ben shook his head. “And what if we don’t get the guard’s radio?”

“Well, we’ll just have to devise another diversion.”

“I don’t like it,” said Matt. It’s too risky – there are too many factors. What if one thing goes wrong? What if we’re spotted? There’s no backup plan.”

“Well, do you have any better ideas?”

Matt paused. “Well, no.”

“Neither do I.”

The boys drove on for a few more minutes in silence. He stopped as they reached Matt’s house.

“I’ll be right out.” said Matt. He ran inside, coming out a few minutes later with a small backpack and two pistols stuck in his belt. “These are my dad’s,” he explained. “I figured they might come in handy.”

“Let’s hope not,” said Ben. Tim started the car again and drove on. He stopped soon after at Ben’s house. Ben walked inside, but several minutes passed and he didn’t come out. Finally, Tim and Matt went inside. They were shocked to see Ben’s mom standing in the kitchen, right in the middle of an argument with Ben.

“But won’t it be dangerous? I don’t want you to get hurt!”

“Mom, I’m seventeen. I can take care of myself. Plus, Tim is depending on me, and the world is depending on Tim! I need to do this.”

Ben’s mom stood there looking at the floor, not saying a word.

“Mom, please. We need to hurry.”

At length she looked up. “Okay, but be careful.”

“I will, mom.”

She gave Ben a kiss on the cheek, then nodded to the others. “You all be careful!”

Tim and Matt nodded. Ben joined them, and they left the house, got in the car, and drove off. Ben’s mom stood at the door, tears streaming down her face as if she would never see them again.

Back to Chapter 2 – Words of Destiny

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