Sabotage, Chapter 5

“I can’t breathe!” Carmen croaked. She always knew this day was coming, but it felt like a fantasy this whole time. Carmen had a comfortable rut for the last three years that she realized that she never really liked but had become accustomed to this lifestyle. Even on bad days or weeks, she could foresee the consequences of her actions. On the flip side, once the wedding finished, she knew her path. After her honeymoon, she would move in with Teddy and work on becoming manager. Today was a different story though. Today felt as though it would never come. Yesterday, she was in the field as normal. She didn’t felt any pressure during the week to make sales because she couldn’t earn any interviews while she was out of town. That level of indifference should’ve garnered her some promising sales, but it didn’t. When she got back, she would have to work really hard to get sales so that she wouldn’t have to scrimp so much. That was a normal thought on a normal day for her, but today was far from normal. The change she spent so much time working toward was upon her, and she wasn’t ready!

She gazed at her stricken expression in the full length, antique mirror. She had a v-neck bodice with a lacy flower pattern that went down to her waist with a tiered tulle skirt that flowed down to the floor. Normally, stilettos hurt her feet, but she couldn’t feel anything right now. She had her make up professionally done, and they had added heavy eye shadow and lots of blush, a level of cosmetics she had not dealt with since her theatre days. She didn’t have her hair in an up-do but only because the veil,which her maid of honor would bring soon,had such an intricate template. She reminded herself of a Barbie doll that she had in the nineties! The gown itself was worth more than she made from a whole month of sales. Every detail down to the most minute facet wreaked of luxury. This was the moment every woman dreamed of, and so now she wondered why she didn’t feel more excited.

The gossamer curtains of her preparation tent ruffled. The area was now empty except for the mirror and various things left behind from her bridesmaids. From one of the flaps at the entrance, Lilith entered. She commanded the attention of any room she went into. Her ivory skin was so smooth that people often forgot that she was in her forties. She had chestnut colored hair with a natural bounce, and her piercing brown eyes could terrify even the meanest person around. She wore a lavender chiffon gown with an empire bodice and a sweetheart sweep train, which made her look like a fierce princess. She could hardly believe that the vice president of Mirage agreed to be her maid of honor! Then again, Lilith was the one that set them up in the first place. She brought in Carmen’s elaborate rose bouquet and ornate flowery veil. Lilith leered, “Uh oh! Someone is getting cold feet!”

“This is different!” Carmen wailed. “I’ve gotten butterflies in my stomach before, plenty of times! Before running my first meeting, before my first play I was in…this is bigger! I’m scared! I’m petrified! I…I can’t breathe!”

Lilith straightened Carmen up and started to put on her veil. “It’s just nerves! You and Teddy are perfect for each other! That’s why I set you two up. I’ll never forget the day he first laid eyes on you. While I was in the western Colorado main office, he happened to see a picture of you on my phone. I just got off the phone with you after a one-on-one, which, by the way, I normally never do for anybody who isn’t a manager, so Teddy saw your picture ID. Teddy said he never saw anyone so beautiful! Just wait ’til he sees you today!” She heard music starting to play. “That’s my cue. I’m so proud to be your maid of honor! See you soon!” She winked and left the tent.

Carmen knew that she needed to walk to the other pier, but she was having a hard time moving. Zartex pulled up the back of the tent and checked in, “Oh good! I thought you were dying! Your emotional reading is off the charts!”

“I can’t do this!” Carmen shrieked.

Zartex slipped into the tent and encouraged her by saying, “You’re scared, but you get scared a lot. In the past week, I’ve seen you constantly brave your fears and knock on all of those doors. Do you know how many people fear all of that? Talking to people, going to strange houses, failure…Yet, you always persevere! I’m quite convinced you can overcome anything! Are you telling me that you don’t have the nerve to participate in this ritual?”

“Yes!” Carmen cried out. “I got good at ignoring my feelings for work, but I can’t ignore this Even on the days I got a serious injury I didn’t have anxiety like this! I feel like I’m walking into my own funeral!”

Zartex pointed out, “Well, you have to do something! You can’t stay in this tent forever!”

“You’re right!” Carmen bitterly admitted. “As we said in theatre, the show must go on!” She took a deep breath, opened the tent flaps, and marched outside.

As she stood on the old pier, a cold wind hit her face. She heard the attendees gasp in admiration as she stepped out. She jerked her head over to the other pier, and everyone looked like ants. She would have to walk fast to catch up. The sound of her heels hitting the pier seemed so loud. Everyone of note from Mirage and all of the Grand Junction office were there. She could see Seth Dabria, the president of Mirage, take a picture with a digital camera. It was hard to tell one person from another from a distance, but she knew it was him because he always wore the loudest suits. Today was no exception; he wore a purple plaid suit with a periwinkle tie! He always wore his Buddy Holly glasses, and the only ordinary thing about him was his brown, curly hair. The president and the vice president were there to honor her, so she should feel grateful, right?

Teddy stood at the alter waiting for her. As she quickened her step, she thought about how often people congratulated Teddy for finding a bride like her. They were happy for Teddy more than her. She never really thought about it before, but they never really made a big deal about her milestones. Why, in exactly two weeks she would be turning thirty, and no one had mentioned it yet, just like all her other birthdays. Her big days were never a big deal. In fact, she reasoned that Seth, Lilith, and the other executives were way closer to Teddy than her, so most of this ceremony was celebrating Teddy. They were all here because Teddy wanted to marry her, just like they wanted her to be a manager for them. Suddenly, she realized this whole thing was never about her! The field, the promotion, the wedding, they weren’t about her goals or needs. Sure, some of it fit her long term goals, and they knew that! They sold her on the idea to help them, not her! So no, they weren’t there to honor her, and they won’t make a big deal on her milestone birthday either. And they never would! This was the first day of the rest of her life!

Instinct overtook her body. The truth radiated through her body, and she stopped dead her tracks. The wedding party stared at her in bewilderment. She knew what she had to do. She turned around swiftly and ran in the other direction. She could hear chairs scraping and people rushing over. She couldn’t let them catch her. She didn’t know why, exactly, she needed to avoid them, all she knew was her intuition told her to run! Run! And never look back! Before they could get any closer, she jumped off the pier and into the lake!

Carmen sank down but bobbed back up a little. She then swam over to under the dock. She got her head above the water and took a deep breath. She heard almost the whole wedding party calling her name, so she knew eventually they would peek under the dock. Serendipitously, a motor boat jetted in her direction. She quickly pulled off her veil with one hand, and as the motor boat passed by, she threw the veil on it. She heard Arius shout, “She’s on the boat!” Everyone ran off the pier, and Carmen hid behind one of the support poles. She watched them all run along the lake shore, and once they were far enough away, she swam to shore.

Carmen could feel her heart pounding rapidly, and all of the nerves in her body were stirred. She ran for the nearby woods. Soon they would discover that she was never on that motorboat and would come looking for her. She had no time to ponder why her instincts told her to escape them, but she trusted her intuition. She ran, and she kept running as fast as she could. She ran and ran, dodging every bush and gnarled branch in her path. Suddenly, part of her skirt got caught onto some shrubbery. Panic flooded her body as she heard footsteps in the distance. She ripped off the bottom layer of her dress! When she freed herself, she heard footsteps coming from multiple directions. She spun around frantically, trying to figure it out. All of a sudden, Zartex appeared before her and commanded, “Stay hidden!” He threw her up into a tree.

After recovering from the momentary shock of getting flung into the air, she clung onto a large branch well above the ground. She laid on her stomach and watched the scene below her. Zartex must’ve teleported out of there. She didn’t move and even tried to slow down her breathing, although they worried that they could hear her heart pounding inside her ears. From one end, she saw Seth, Lilith, and a few executives searching across the forest floor. In the next moment, Seth held out his arms to stop the others as they glared at someone approaching from the other direction. Seth forcibly pried, “Who are you? What are you doing here?”

Carmen caught a glimpse of the man from the back. He wore a brown suit, so Carmen’s curiosity was roused; what would someone like that be doing in the middle of the woods? She couldn’t tell if he was young or old, but she guessed that he must be somewhere close to his age since his dirty blond hair had no gray. From the sound of his voice, he projected strength and knowledge. The mysterious man pushed back, “I was gonna ask you the same thing! What business do you have here?”

Lilith seethed, “We’re looking for a fugitive!”

Most men would cower when Lilith gave them a stare down like that, but this man had the bravado walking up to her and staring at her dead in the eye! “Oh, you’re federal agents? I don’t like your type! Just ask your friend in that clearing!”

“A friend in the clearing?” Seth inquired skeptically.

“Yeah, let me help you get reacquainted.” The man reached into his back pocket as if he was pulling out a gun. Seth, Lilith, and the others unwillingly backed away.

Carmen didn’t move. She didn’t want to get mixed up with gangsters at a time like this, but somehow she didn’t think he was dangerous. There was something about his aura that made her trust him. He stood in the same place with a fixed stare in the direction where the Mirage executives came from. After what seemed like an eternity, the man gently instructed, “You can get down now, Carmen.”

Carmen’s heart fluttered at the mention of her name. She wondered how he could possibly know who she is! She hesitated as she silently debated if coming down would throw her from one danger to another, but since he already knew she was there, she didn’t have much of a choice. She couldn’t just stay in the tree! Besides, her nerves had calmed down, so she took that as a cue to follow him. She gingerly climbed down and saw him holding his arms out to catch her. She wanted to get a little closer so her fall didn’t have too much of an impact on the mysterious man, especially if he could turn into her ally! At that moment, a branch snapped, and she lost her footing. She fell threw a few more branches and…smack!

She landed on top of the man on her back causing the man to fall onto his back with a huge grunt. Carmen anguished, “I’m so sorry! Are you hurt?”

He breathed, “Get off! You’re too heavy!”

“Excuse me?” Carmen replied, slightly offended.

Zartex appeared and grabbed her by the hand. “I think he’s having trouble breathing ’cause you’re on his throat.”

Carmen took Zartex’s hand, and the man got up, gasping. Carmen apologized, “Are you okay? I hope I didn’t hurt you too badly!”

“It’s okay; I’m real strong!” the man responded breathily.

Carmen finally got to take a glimpse at his face. He had kind, blue eyes and facial features that conveyed a mix of fortitude and softness. He did seem to be in good shape as he claimed. It took her a while to realize that she had been staring at him too much, so she looked away shyly. She couldn’t believe that, for a moment, she forgot about what danger she was in or that she had a lot of hurt from the past that made her miserable. She remarked, “Thank you for helping me! You seem to know who I am, so can I know who you are?”

“Garith Kendric,” he told her.

“The reporter from San Francisco?” Carmen got surprised by discovering this, but then it occurred to her that she recognized him from all of his social media friend requests. “What are you doing here?”

“Well,” Garith explained hastily, “I came to spy on a big corporate wedding, but now I’m here to rescue you!” Now that he had recovered from the fall, his senses were reawakened. He finally registered that Zartex was there and made a strange face. “Who is this?”

“Zartex the alien!” Zartex held out his hand.

“What?” Garith didn’t believe him, but he didn’t have time to object. He absentmindedly shook his hand and notified Carmen, “Whatever. Look, they’ll be back soon, and we gotta get you out of here! You’re in terrible danger!”

Zartex grabbed Carmen’s hand and ran in the direction he came from. Zartex followed them as Garith led Carmen through the woods. Carmen felt compelled to ask, “I know I’m in danger, but could you explain to me exactly why I suddenly felt like I was at death’s door?”

Determinedly focused ahead, Garith told her, “Because you’re escaping from the world’s most dangerous cult!”

War of the Mystics: Frozen

Attention Readers: the free version of my novel, which I posted a chapter at a time on my blog, is no longer available. However…you can purchase it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble online, Createspace, and eBay. So please, check it out and spread the word!!!

War of the Mystics: Frozen, the Novel

For anyone that read chapters of my novel, I want to thank you. Each individual is appreciated for your support. If you’re a fan and would like to purchase a hard copy of the book, it is available here: https://www.createspace.com/6854358. In a few days, it will be on sale in Amazon. Thanks so much!

Forgotten Society, Part 16

INT. DRAGON REALM.

Miguel, Curtis, William, and the others creep in quietly. The GRAND DRAGON (who is extremely large, green, and scaly) is sleeping. Miguel silently instructs everyone to spread out. The dragon’s eyes suddenly open wide. He raises himself up to a menacing level. He lunges for them. People attack him from all sides, but the dragon has the ability to fight them all. Curtis sees the dragon about to crush one person, and he goes to help. Before he gets there, the dragon gets struck in the eye. Curtis sees the wound was dealt by William.

WILLIAM:
He can’t hurt us if he can’t see us!

CURTIS:
Somehow I doubt that.

The dragon regains himself, and the battle continues.

EXT. DANIEL’S ESTATE. DAY BREAK.

Renee moves among the battlers, searching.

RENEE:
Why don’t you come and fight,
you stupid, cowardly, son of a-!

She gets struck in chest. She falls down on her back.

BENJAMIN & TIFFANY:
No!

DANIEL:
You pathetic outlaws are no match for
me! Even if you do manage to win this
battle, you won’t have enough people
to fight the Grand Dragon!
(beat)
Wait, where is that Curtis guy?
And others are missing!

TIFFANY:
They died.

Daniel laughs. Everyone watches as he stands over Renee.

DANIEL:
You sinners just don’t get it! We
have already won! You need to be
controlled for your own good! Why
would you object? Don’t you want
to be free of crime? No, you probably
don’t. That’s the nature of animals. You’re
too late! You will learn to bow to me as I
become mayor then president then king!
Anyone who stands in my way will be taught
a hard lesson. You wanna rape my land? How
would you like it if I did that to you? You
wanna find out? Blonde girl, come here!

Benjamin and Kenneth hold Tiffany protectively.

DANIEL:
Submit to me, you bitch!

Right after he says this, a sword pierces right through his crotch. Renee stands up with a sword in her hand.

RENEE:
Who’s the bitch now?

Daniel fights Renee. Tiffany, Benjamin, Trina, John, and the remaining police barricade the rest of Daniel’s guards from getting to Renee. Renee pierces his knee, which makes him fall to his knees. Looking him in his hate-filled eyes, she cuts off his head. Her people cheer. It takes her a moment to register what just happened. She smiles and breathes easier.

JOHN:
Now what?

Renee turns to answer them.

INT. DRAGON REALM.

Miguel and his people are losing. Curtis has to hold open the dragon’s mouth so it does not eat him.

CURTIS:
Why won’t you die?

GRAND DRAGON:
Accept your doom!

Suddenly he sees a swarm of police officers storm in. The dragon focuses on them. Renee comes up to Curtis.

RENEE AND CURTIS:
You’re alive?

CURTIS:
You killed Daniel?

RENEE:
Yes, nice and gruesome! Not in a heroic
Disney-esque way either. How would
your Disney friends slay the-?

Before she can finish her sentence, the dragon grabs her with his claws. Curtis looks at his sword.

CURTIS:
Disney did have a dragon. Renee,
you’re a genius!

While the Grand Dragon taunts the others with his captive, Curtis climbs the cave walls.

CURTIS:
Hey! Hey! Dragon! Look at me,
mother fucker!

The dragon finally sees him. He stands on his hind legs to get him. Renee is still in his clutches. The dragon starts to lunge for Curtis, but Curtis throws his sword into the dragon’s heart. The dragon roars out in pain. The cave begins to shake, and rocks fall down. Everyone evacuates. The grand dragon forgets about Renee, who tumbles to the ground. Curtis grabs her hand, and they run out of the cave.

EXT. DRAGON LAIR ENTRANCE. DAWN.

When everyone is far enough away, they watch as the tiny dots that are the grand dragon’s eyes move about the cave. The light in his eyes go out, and rocks cover the cave’s entrance. Everything is still for a minute.

WILLIAM:
Is it over?

MIGUEL:
For a thousand years.

The thought now sinks, and everyone celebrates. Kenneth finds his children and hugs them tight. Trina finds John, who is holding his hand over a wound on his leg. He straightens up for her, and Trina smothers him with kisses. Curtis picks up Renee and spins her around.

RENEE:
Mother fucker? I love your new
dark side!

CURTIS:
I’ve always loved your dark side!
And your wit. And those sexy curves…

RENEE:
Prove it!

He kisses her, and she flings her arms around him and kisses back. William, Miguel, and Tiffany see them and smile.

INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE. EVENING.

Curtis, dressed in a tuxedo, sits on the couch and watches the news. It shows John in the delivery room holding his son. Trina lies on the bed, exhausted but exhilarated.

TIFFANY (OS):
And in other news, newly instated chief
of police, John Ryo, and his wife, Trina,
welcomed a new son into their life. I
think I speak for all of the DC area
when I say welcome home, little man.

The camera pans back to Tiffany, who is sitting at the news desk.

TIFFANY:
I’m Tiffany Cartwright.

The camera zooms out to William, who is sitting next to her.

WILLIAM:
And I’m William Washington. Good night!

The television goes to commercial. Curtis’s attention turns to the bathroom, where emerges Renee, who is wearing a beautiful white dress and light make up. Curtis stands up and goes to her.

CURTIS:
Wow!

Renee turns around and models for him.

RENEE:
I haven’t worn anything non-black
in so long! Do I look ridiculous?

CURTIS:
You look amazing!

He grabs her waist.

CURTIS:
But if you felt like taking it off,
I won’t stop you!

RENEE:
We’d be late for Mayor Miguel Trebla’s
inaugural ball!

CURTIS:
So? He’d understand!

Renee laughs and playfully hits him. They kiss. Curtis shuts off the television. They leave together, arm in arm. Their swords gleam over the doorway. Renee turns off the lights, and the room goes dark.

CUT TO CREDITS.

Forgotten Society, Part 15

EXT. CROSSGROVE HOLLOW. EVENING.

Everyone convenes when they reach safe quarters.

MIGUEL:
First of all, I want to thank
Benjamin and his team for
rescuing us! And thank you
for bringing Tiffany to the hospital.

BENJAMIN:
Obliged we could help!

MIGUEL:
They’re expecting us to run down there,
and we won’t be able to pull off another
amazing escape. What we need is a red
herring, something to distract whatever
guards they may have in place long enough
for us to enter the dragon realm. Besides,
Thornprick Path, where else would they
need a lot of protection.

CURTIS:
Daniel’s home.

MIGUEL:
Yes! So, I want us to split up. One group
will storm Daniel’s home while the rest
fight the grand dragon. If one group
survives, go to the other location to
find the others. I’m going to the grand
dragon. Who wants to go to Daniel?

RENEE:
I do!

BENJAMIN:
I’ll go too.

Most of Benjamin’s group volunteers too.

MIGUEL:
The rest of you come with me.

CURTIS:
I-

MIGUEL:
They have their volunteers. We
need you in the lair.

The groups depart. Curtis looks back longingly at Renee. Renee too looks back for a moment but determinedly sets on her mission.

EXT. DANIEL’S ESTATE. NIGHT.

Renee leads the others to his new estate, which is small but swanky. Before they make a move, Tiffany arrives with a cast and TRINA (a pregnant Asian woman).

TIFFANY:
What are you doing here?

RENEE:
We’re going to kill Daniel.

BENJAMIN:
Tiffany! You’re okay!

He gives her a big hug.

BENJAMIN:
What are you doing out of the hospital
so soon?

TRINA:
She saved me from some guy who could
breathe out fire! Thank goodness I haven’t
gone into labor! Daniel is my neighbor.
What’s going on?

RENEE:
Dragon men are trying to build up power
here, but we’re cutting them off at the source.

DANIEL:
Is that so?

Daniel stands on his lawn with twice as many guards as Renee’s group. Everyone gets ready to fight.

EXT. DRAGON REALM ENTRANCE. NIGHT.

Miguel and his group climb up. Miguel notices Curtis looking a little glum, so he pulls him aside.

MIGUEL:
I need you to buck up.

CURTIS:
I know, but I just can’t help it.
What if I never see Renee again?

Miguel laughs softly.

MIGUEL:
You got her optimism now, huh? What
would you tell her if she had said that
to you?

CURTIS:
Quit thinking so negative! Even if one
of us doesn’t survive, I’ll always be
with you!

He braces himself on a rock, trying to hold back some tears. Miguel pats him on the back and keeps moving.

CURTIS:
(quietly)
Please don’t die!

He steels himself up. He joins the others. They take a deep breath and enter the cave-like tunnel.

EXT. DANIEL’S ESTATE. NIGHT.

A battle rages on. Renee’s team puts up a skillful fight against the dragon men. At one point, JOHN (Trina’s husband) sees his wife involved in this battle. He grabs a gun out of his car and joins in.

JOHN:
Trina, baby, are you alright?

TRINA:
Don’t worry about me! I’m a survivor,
you know that! Just don’t you die on
me! I’m not raising this baby alone!

John laughs. He gives Trina his gun.

JOHN:
I’m calling my men for back up, and
I’ll be back in a sec.

They kiss, and he goes to the radio in his car. As they battle, Renee watches Trina and John longingly.

TIFFANY:
You’ll get your chance to say
good-bye to him!

RENEE:
To who?

TIFFANY:
Curtis. Isn’t it obvious, he’s crazy
about you!

Before she can respond, they get separated by fire.

Forgotten Society, Part 14

INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE. DAY.

A bunch of people from all over the world are inside the presidential suite watching the news. Renee, Curtis, Miguel, William, and Tiffany are also there. A news anchor appears to cover the story.

ANCHOR MAN:
Investigators have discovered a mass group
of sinners and criminals at the Morning Star
apartments. Therefore, there will be no
further investigation into the attack.

People react with anger and shock.

ANCHOR MAN:
Daniel is calling for police to find the
whereabouts of the survivors to bring
them to justice.

People react with fury.

AMERICANS:
That’s bullshit!

ENGLISHMEN:
That’s rubbish!

HAITIANS:
Beaucoup de mairde!

IRISH MAN:
(to the main five)
These people are heroes! Look at
them, lining up their photos like
they’re terrorist leaders!

FIREMAN 1:
That man saved our lives.

DAD:
She saved my daughter!

MIGUEL:
They are calling all of you our partners
in crime. This chaos and control is going
to escalate if we don’t act quickly. Daniel
and his men aren’t human. They are
dragons using human skin. There’s only
one way to stop them. We need to round
up as many people as we can to slay
the grand dragon. We must do this as
quickly as possible.

The people in the room, already teeming with adrenaline, readily agree. The five also prepare to leave.

EXT. CROSSGROVE HOLLOW. EVENING.

Everyone walks through the forest with trepidation.

RENEE:
(whispers)
I have a bad feeling about this.

CURTIS:
(whispers)
I know, but hope for the best.
(beat)
If something does happen, I just
wanna tell you that-

He is cut off when a SWAT team ambushes them. Some surround the rebels while others arrest them.

INT. TERRORIST CELL ONE. EVENING.

The room is an empty, stone-walled cell with a chained chair in the center. A couple of officers toss Miguel into the room.

INT. TERRORIST CELL TWO. EVENING.

A couple of officers throw William in.

INT. TERRORIST CELL THREE. EVENING.

A couple officers throw Tiffany in.

INT. TERRORIST CELL FOUR. EVENING.

A couple officers throw Renee in.

INT. TERRORIST CELL FIVE. EVENING.

A couple of officers throw Curtis in. They chain him to the chair.

OFFICERS:
Are you Curtis?

CURTIS:
I am Stevens!

INT. TERRORIST CELL TWO. EVENING.

OFFICER 2:
What were you doing in Crossgrove Hollow?

WILLIAM:
Go to hell!

The officer slaps him, but William barely reacts.

INT. TERRORIST CELL THREE. EVENING.

OFFICER 3:
We know you’re guilty. There’s no
use in continuing to lie.

TIFFANY:
If you know the story, then why do
you need me?

INT. TERRORIST CELL ONE. EVENING.

OFFICER 4:
We want to know where you’re
hiding the other survivors.

MIGUEL:
Go figure it out yourself! I’ll die
before I tell.

The officer gets in his face.

OFFICER 4:
That can be arranged!

INT. TERRORIST CELL FOUR. EVENING.

Renee sits defiantly. An officer points a gun at her head.

OFFICER 5:
Any last words you want on
public record?

RENEE:
You’re full of shit, and you smell
like piss!

The officer cocks his gun. Before he can shoot it, BENJAMIN (Tiffany’s older brother) bursts in with a bunch of other vigilantes. They kill the officer and free Renee.

BENJAMIN:
My father said you were in trouble.
Tiffany has a police radio or something,
so he heard…

RENEE:
We don’t have a lot of time! Let’s move!
They run out.

INT. TERRORIST CELL TWO. EVENING.

Renee, Benjamin, and the others burst in. The officer drops his weapon and surrenders. A couple of people keep their weapons on him. They free William and run out.

INT. TERRORIST CELL THREE. EVENING.

They go in to see that Tiffany has been cut and passed out. They kill the officer. William wraps a tourniquet for her. He and a couple of others carry her out. The rest go back for the others.

INT. TERRORIST CELL ONE. EVENING.

They burst in and see Miguel arguing vehemently with the officer. They kill the officer and free Miguel. They leave.

INT. TERRORIST CELL FIVE. EVENING.

When everyone bursts in, the officer holds a knife to Curtis’s throat.

OFFICER 1:
Leave, or he dies!

Everyone stands still, unsure what to do, except Renee, who walks up to him silkily.

RENEE:
Relax. We don’t want any trouble.
Surely, there must be something we
can do to work this out.

Renee caresses his arm.

OFFICER 1:
You’re hot, but I got strict orders to-

Renee grabs the knife and stabs the officers eye. As they free Curtis, the officer pulls the knife out. His eye comes with it. He screams. They all run out.

Forgotten Society, Part 13

EXT. MORNING STAR APARTMENTS. MORNING.

The five arrive to a place of huge disarray. People are evacuating the building, and firemen are trying to put out the fire. Some of them go inside to rescue people. The police are there trying to get everyone to safety. Some of the civilians volunteer to help with the evacuation. The five spread out and do the same. Things seem chaotic enough when suddenly people look to the sky in horror as a second dragon appears and flies straight into the apartments. As it crashes, it blows fire and explodes on impact. The building is in really bad shape.

FIRE CHIEF:
All units, cease rescue efforts. Everyone,
immediately! Building looks ready to collapse!
(beat)
Why aren’t they responding?

CURTIS:
I’ll go get them!

FIRE CHIEF:
Here’s a gas mask. Don’t delay!

Curtis runs into the building. William is helping police against people who are reluctant to leave. Miguel is carrying people to places where they can get aid. Tiffany finds a camera and is taping both the scene and people’s reactions. Renee is showing people to safety. She sees Curtis enter the building and this bothers her. She sees a little Haitian girl crying.

GIRL:
Mama! Papa! Où-est vous?

Renee sees a piece of debris about to fall on her, so she runs to her, scoops her into her arms, and runs away just in time. More pieces of debris fall down. The rescuers make an urgent effort to get people out of the way.

EXT. REMONT HOTEL. MORNING.

The Remont Hotel, a fancy lodging, is a safe distance form the apartment. Renee sees a frantic man who looks like he could be the girl’s father. She gives the child to him, and he looks so relieved.

FATHER:
Vous la savez! Merci!

He kisses her cheeks and runs inside. Renee is taken aback from his gratitude.

EXT. MORNING STAR APARTMENTS.

Tiffany is still video taping everything. William and Miguel are evacuating everyone.

INT. STAIRWAY. MORNING.

Curtis finds the firemen.

CURTIS:
Your radios aren’t working! The chief
said to evacuate. The building is about to-

He hears some loud creaking, and the ground begins to shake.

EXT. MORNING STAR APARTMENTS. MORNING.

People are horrified as the building starts to fall. People run as fast as they can to escape the smoke and billowing ashes.

EXT. REMONT HOTEL. MORNING.

Everyone watches in horror as the apartments collapse. Renee lets a blood-curling scream. After it is finished collapsing, Renee searches the crowd. She finds an ash-covered William and Miguel. They find Tiffany too, who is still filming.

RENEE:
Did Curtis make it out of the building?

William and Miguel gesture that they do not think so. Renee, Miguel, William, and a bunch of others rush to go help any possible survivors.

EXT. APARTMENT REMAINS. MORNING.

People begin to dig through the rubble. They bring any body they can find out of the ruins. A lot of people are calling out for their missing loved ones.

RENEE:
Curtis! Curtis!

She gets no response. Suddenly, she hears some beeping. She starts digging.

INT. STAIRCASE RUBBLE. MORNING.

It is pitch black. Curtis and the firefighters hold each other’s hands so they know where they are.

CURTIS:
We’re still alive?

FIREMAN 1:
Yes, but we have about thirty floors above
us. Who knows how long it’ll take for them
to find us!

FIREMAN 2:
Do you hear that beeping? That’s activated
when a fireman’s body is still for too long.
At the very least, they’ll find our bodies.

After a long moment, Curtis notices some light.

CURTIS:
Look! There’s light!

FIREMAN 3:
Wait, that’s sunlight! We’re at the top now!
(shouts)
Hello?

RENEE (OS):
Hello?

CURTIS:
Renee?

RENEE (OS):
Curtis? Thank God!

CURTIS:
We’re gonna climb out! Keep digging!

EXT. REMONT HOTEL. NOON.

KENNETH (Tiffany’s father) stands outside directing people.

KENNETH:
Welcome to my hotel slash hospital slash
rescue shelter! Please, come in and find a
spot!
(beat)
Tiffany?

Tiffany runs to her father and they hug.

KENNETH:
My God, where have you been?

TIFFANY:
I got the attack on video!

KENNETH:
Of course you did! Well, tell me about
your adventure later. Help me organize
all this!

Curtis and Renee (covered in dust) come in sight.

TIFFANY:
You guys made it!

She gives them both hugs.

KENNETH:
You saved my daughter’s life, didn’t
you? Something didn’t seem right
about what they said in the news.
Tell me about it later. Get inside and
get some rest!

Curtis, Renee, and Tiffany go inside. A moment later, Daniel tries to enter with a couple of his guards. Kenneth blocks them.

KENNETH:
This is private property! You can’t
enter without a warrant!

Daniel looks surprised at his defiance.

DANIEL:
We believe you are harboring a fugitive.

KENNETH:
Come back with a warrant.

DANIEL:
Fine. Just a warning, you may want to
take caution with those you associate
with. It could determine your future
with me.

KENNETH:
I’ll that in mind if you get elected. Now, leave!

Daniel raises an eyebrow but leaves.