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Authors: S. Harrison

Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Science Fiction

Infinity Rises (26 page)

BOOK: Infinity Rises
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“Sorry,” she says, looking down at him. “But I have my orders.” Facing me, Gazelle grabs my wrists, ducks down, and with a practiced pirouette, her head pops up in front of mine with my arms secured firmly around her neck. I don’t even have time to protest as she lunges into a sprint, so I grip her waist with my legs and hold on tight as the wind rushes through my hair.

I look back over my shoulder and see two of the R.A.M.s hurtle down the bottom of the hill, one behind the other, and steamroller right through the sand garden. The able-bodied and wounded soldiers alike are scattering in all directions. Some troops are firing, and some are beating Drones aside using their empty guns as clubs, but some just aren’t fast enough to avoid the R.A.M.s and disappear beneath the giant, armored boulders. I lose sight of the Professor and everyone else from the school group as the R.A.M.s smash through the garden and onto the promenade. They don’t discriminate when it comes to who or what they mow down as cherry trees are bashed over and Drones are flattened into the ground.

Gazelle slides to a halt a safe distance from the horror that’s unfolding in the garden, and I drop from her back. Suddenly there’s a huge explosion, and both of us look back in the direction of the transport.

“Zero! Kestrel!” shouts Gazelle.

Fire and smoke seem to be spreading everywhere, and as I look her in the eyes, I can tell that we’re both thinking the same thing. “Go,” I whisper. “If they’re still alive, get them the hell out of there.”

She gives me a solemn nod, then turns and takes off at top speed back toward the fire. I scan the area for Otto and see her in the distance. She’s still running, and Brody is still beside her as they make their way across the wide path of the promenade. Jack, Bulldog, and Mantis, having successfully avoided two of the R.A.M.s’ deadly descents, are swerving toward the garden as the third R.A.M. rolls at blinding speed down the bottom of the hill. Suddenly it slams into a stone statue and bounces high in the air, catapulting over the three members of Zero’s team. It slams to the ground, and deflected from its original course, it barrels across the smooth paving of the path and plows straight into a silver support tower.

All three R.A.M.s have come to a stop, and I watch in horror as all three begin to unfold. Soon their weapons will begin destroying everything in sight, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do. I feel so weak and utterly useless, but I can’t just stand here. I know I can’t help the Professor or Zero and his team, not when I’m this weak and broken, but I have to do
. I have to find a place to hide, a place to rest and get my strength back. All I can do is hope that they survive. I decide to make my way back along the promenade and meet up with Otto and Brody when they reach the other side. If there truly is a sanctuary beneath that pond, then it makes sense that we all try and get there. Forget fighting; this has become a matter of survival. I look up at the line of buildings and think I can see the top of something that resembles a Japanese pagoda. The man who sent the message said the hatch is by the pond, and the pond is somewhere near a pagoda. With my mind made up—and hoping I’m heading in the right direction—I start limping, keeping my eye on the upturned edge of the building over the top of the monorail track.

As I go, I look down toward the survivors. Most of the Drones have been either shot down or crushed, their artificial corpses littering the ground all around the sand garden. But the danger is far from over as the three fully unfolded mechanoids begin swaying their weapons and opening fire. Missiles launch and curve from their shoulders at people running toward the line of buildings. The air is filled with the haunting scream of rail guns, cries of pain and terror, the brutal thuds of detonations, and the rolling rumble of disintegrating walls—but through all of that noise, I hear something else.

It’s the grinding squeal of metal straining to breaking point. Up ahead, I see the silver tower that the R.A.M. crashed into lean and then topple. A tangle of cables and wires and concrete comes thundering to the ground as another whole section of monorail track collapses onto the promenade. In a crumbling chain reaction, the next section falls, then the next, then the next, and as I look above my head, I’m suddenly filled with a terrifying realization. The track splits off in a three-way junction, and that junction crosses over the promenade . . . directly above me.

I try to break into a run, but my injured leg won’t support me; I stumble and fall as the next section of track loudly slams and breaks apart on the ground. A wave of dust engulfs me. I cough and sputter; I can’t see anything. I hear the next section hit the promenade, and then the next. I panic and stagger to my feet as huge chunks of concrete pound the top of my head and my arms and my body, every impact like a blow from a hammer. The breaking, grating, roaring all around me is deafening, terrifying, overwhelming.

I can’t hear my own thoughts.

I can’t see a way out.

My fear becomes dread.

And that dread becomes my desperate, bloodcurdling scream.



Heaving at the air, I wake up lying in pitch-black darkness. I thrash my head from side to side, seeing absolutely nothing as my heart drums in my chest. I can feel a mattress beneath my body. I sit bolt upright and jerk my arms, but my wrists are bound and jolt to a stop. A door flies open, and I wince with pain in the bright flood of light.

All I can see is the silhouette of a man in the doorway. He’s tall and wide—so big, he fills the entire frame. He speaks, and when I hear his voice, a rising panic courses through every inch of my body and grips my very soul.

“It’s alright, sweetheart. You’re safe now . . . Jonah is here.”


Photo © 2014 Lucy Ngata

S. Harrison is from New Zealand, where he often indulges in his love of watching superhero movies and art house films. He frequently escapes to some of the many islands of the South Pacific to focus on his writing. He is the author of
Infinity Lost
Infinity Rises
, books one and two in the Infinity Trilogy.

BOOK: Infinity Rises
7.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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