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Well that was embarassing!

"H-hi!" I said struggling to get up. "I'm Kathryn" I said extending my hand.

"She's lying" Paul whispered to Brett "Her real names annoying"

I rewarded him with a glare.

"Nice to meet you Kathryn." He said, shaking my hand with a smile. "I'm Brett." He looked over to Paul, "Be nice Paul or I'll tell your little secret."

"You wouldn't!" Paul almost yelled.

"Secret?" I asked Brett.

He gave me a wink. "If he bugs you, let me know."

I grinned "Will do, Thanks!" I glanced at Paul who was now looking a little uncomfortable. He glared at me but didn't say anything.

"Did I miss anything interesting?" Brett said to Marc-Andre.

"The most important thing you missed is the addition of a new weapon. We have been using rail drivers and we now have a semi-automatic model that works great." He explained.

"We're using what now?" Brett said confused.

"I'll tell you all about it." Marc-Andre laughed.

"Can I come too?" I called after them. "I don't want to be left with these two."

"Sure." Brett said. "The more the merrier."


The bus stopped and the sudden lack of motion woke me. I glance around trying to work out where we were then I realized.

"Ashley!" I said shaking her till she woke up "We're here!"

She waved her hand around, almost looking like she was trying to hit me on the head.

"What are you doing?" I said, avoiding her hand.

"There's got to be a snooze button somewhere." She joked, opening her eyes. We both looked out the window to an averagely large city.

"Wow." We both said in unison. Other than a few military vehicles going around, it looked like a normal city.

We glanced at each other "SHOPS!" We both said happily in unison.

I frowned "Jobs."

Ashley smiled. "Jobs in shops!"

"The best of both worlds!" I grinned. "Shall we?" I said extending my arm.

"We shall." She said, taking it. We marched forth towards the shops on a very serious mission.


"So this is the new weapon huh?" I said inspecting the new firearms the soldiers were using.

"How do you like it?" Kathryn asked me.

I looked at her, then turned to face a target forty feet away. I took several shots at the target hitting it every time, though not in the center.

"I like it just fine." I said.

"REPORT!" We suddenly heard the Captain call.

"Uh-oh. This can't be good!"

Kathryn, Marc-Andre and I ran to find the Captain standing at the airpad as a helicopter touched down. It looked like the team was in a firefight and the wounded were being taken to the infirmary and the helicopter had taken a few hits.

The leader of the other team walked to Captain Gibson.

"We've taken heavy casulties and we need immediate re-enforcements." The Captain of the other group said. "How long before your squad can be ready and fighting?"

Captain Gibson thought for a sec. "Fifteen minutes."

"Make it ten, I don't know if we can hold out for fifteen."

"We're going to fight?" Kathryn asked me with a shaky voice.

"First time in combat?" I asked her.

She nodded looking a little unsure of herself.

Just then John turned up "Now she isn't going to fight. She isn't ready!"

"I am so!" Kathryn protested and walked off.

I looked at John with a sympathetic look and ran after Kathryn. I caught up with her after a few seconds of running. Man she walked fast!

"Kathryn, listen to me." I said.

"Don't you start!" She shot back.

"Easy! We're on the same side here." I said.

She stopped and looked at me, arms crossed. "Alright, so what is it?"

"Glad she's not mad at me.." I thought to myself. Then I spoke up "Don't you think this is a little too far to go to prove your brother wrong?"

"I'm not doing this to prove him wrong!!!"

I raised my eyebrow and gave her a skeptical look. "You sure?"

She just stomped her foot "I am SICK of being looked down upon!"

"I don't mean to look down upon you." I said to her. "I just want you to know what you are getting yourself into." I looked down to the ground. "I already lost someone who was like a brother to me."

"I'm sorry to hear that." She said.

"You're so young and have your whole life to live." I said.

"Just let me live it!" She shot back.

"I just don't want to see it cut short." I said, then walked away.


AUGH! Everywhere I turn there are big brothers! I'm suffocating here!

I stomped over to the barracks to get my things. Forget them. My life. 16 may be young but it's old enough to make decisions. I stormed over to the helicopter and got in.

John, too, stormed over to the helicopter and stood outside "Get out of the helicopter NOW!" He yelled over the sound of the blades.

I didn't do anything.

"Kathryn! Don't make me come in and get you"

I continued to ignore him.

"KATHRYN!" He yelled.

"Just get in!" Marc-Andre yelled. He went out and grabbed John and pulled him into the helicopter.

Once he was inside, the helicopter lifted off.

"You're in big trouble!" He said to me.

"Knock it off." Brett said.

I just crossed my arms and stared out the window as the helicopter lifted up into the air and flew off over the city.


We marched through the mall looking for 'help wanted' signs but unfortunately we didn't find any. We eventualy covered the entire mall.

"I'm getting blisters on blisters!" Mary-Kate complained sitting down on one of the benches.

"Me too!" I said slumping in the seat. "And we still need to find an apartment"

"Or we could just live in the mall" Mary-Kate curled up on the seat, using the armrest as a pillow.

"Wake up!" I swatted her gently "Come on. Lets go"

She got up with a groan and followed me.

Our apartment search went better than the job hunting. We found a decent apartment that seemed a step up from the one we had in Riverside. We had a nice view from the window and we were about ten walking minutes from the mall. We had nice furniture and two bedrooms. The superintendent gave us a month to find a job.

"This place needs redecorating" I decided "But it'll do"

"Better then the streets" Mary-Kate agreed.


"Alright! Find cover and wait for orders!" Captain Gibson called just before the helicopter touched down.

I was determined to keep an eye on Kathryn during this mission, just incase she needed the help. Both of us found cover with Brett, Marc-Andre and John.

"I think they're happy to see us." Brett said.

A wall of bullets were flying by and it was hard to move without being hit. It was like a whole army was shooting at us.

"Any plans?" I said.

"I plan to hurt them a lot." Brett said. "I just need to figure out how to do it without getting a whole in my head."

A bullet wizzed past Kathryn's arm and she leapt away from it, bumping into me in the process "Sorry" She said backing away.

"I knew this was a bad idea to bring you here!" John shouted.

"Oh SHUT UP!" She shouted back.

"Why don't you both fight the ENEMY before fighting eachother." Marc-Andre shouted.

"Alright" Captain Gibson said over the radio. "We will attempt to flank them and attack them on all four fronts. Marc-Andre and your group, keep them distracted while we move into position. The rest, try to make your way around them."

"Anyone have red and white paint?" Marc-Andre asked.

"I'll pass it to you as soon as I finish painting the bullseye on my chest." Brett replied.

"What do you guys mean?" Kathryn asked.

"Until the others make it around them and attack from the sides and the back, we are on our own." I explained.


"I think it's time we fought back." Paul said.

"I'll see if I can make it to that building over there." Brett said, pointing to a structure several feet away.

"Don't go! You can get hurt!" I said to him

I instantly felt stupid for that statement. Thankfully he didn't seem to have heard.

I glanced up and saw him run while dodging bullets and diving into the structure. I was relieved to see he made it ok. Another bullet whizzed past my leg and I moved closer to the debris we were taking cover under.

"Over here you dirty rats!" I heard Brett yell at them as he shot back.

"That's our cue!" Marc-Andre said.

"What?" I asked, not wanting to know the answer.

"Run to the building on the other side of the street." John said as he got up and ran.

"I can't!" I screamed.

"GET YOUR BUTT OVER HERE RIGHT NOW!" He yelled from the other side of the street.

Oh Yay! He's using the big brother tone again!

Paul was behind me and said over my shoulder. "I told you that you shouldn't be here."

I only glared at him and took a deep breath. I ran for my life towards the same building John ran in moments earlier. I made it and I put my back to the wall, sinking towards the floor.

Paul ran in right after me. "I knew I could get you in here."

Brett and Marc-Andre ran in a minute later. Brett had fire in his eyes and he took Paul and slammed him against the wall.

Chapter 54

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