Nothing much else happened today. Wasted lots of time. Wrote. What annoys me is that in the last 24 hours, I've spent about 3.5 hours writing, only for a result of 7 pages and roughly 5000 words. That's only 2 pages an hour, which is simply not good enough. Then again, what I'm writing is pretty boring and my mind wanders ... once I get up to the really thrilling stuff, that's when the amount of pages will really begin to pile up.
Question: anyone know where I can get some good information on boating? Anyone reading this actually know a bit about boats?
Quick rundown of what's happening: Andresz (17), Amak (16), and Aqua (15) Axver are discussing just how stupid some of the stuff about them in newspaper gossip columns is (these guys happen to be from a famous family). Isaiah and Felka are their parents, Megan, Florentyna, and Elanor are their younger sisters.
“It’s entirely stupid.” said Amak. “I just want to know who comes up with this.”
“Heh, yeah, and what else they do with their time. Speaking of that, I’m going to go practice my guitar.” Suddenly, a burst of gunfire ripped through the air.
“Or maybe not.” said Amak as he heard his younger sisters down the hall scream and both Andresz and Aqua raced to Amak’s window. Outside, a group of armed men were assailing the gatehouse at the entrance to the Axver property with bullets, while two tanks slowly advanced down the street and focused their turrets on Llanelli House. Just as the first shots went off, an armoured jeep raced up and fired multiple grenades over the fence, which managed to thoroughly destroy the swimming pool and water slides as some severe structural damage was caused to the bell tower by the tank shells.
In the murky Xovonodian criminal underworld, there’d long been a price on the Axver heads, especially Isaiah and Amak’s. Even the lowest ransom figures were astounding.
Somebody had finally decided to cash in on them.
Isaiah frantically yelled into his mobile phone. “We need more security! Call in all bodyguards! Get the police! Anyone!”
Andresz and Aqua shook in silent fear.
Megan, Florentyna, and Elanor ran from the television room to Amak’s room.
Felka screamed frantically for her children to take cover as she ran upstairs from her sewing room in the basement.
Amak looked serenely calm. His eyes twinkled with an idea, and a thin smile crept onto his face. He had a reputation for being amazingly cool in a crisis, and with his reflexes and his brain, he’d already worked out what to do.
“Everyone, calm down.” he said in an appropriately calm tone. “We’re going to be fine. All we have to do is wait for them to get in the house –”
“In here?” exclaimed Megan. Amak kept going, unperturbed.
“It’s safe to assume they have the rear and side exits covered. In other words, we can’t run down to the Concorde River and swim away, or jump over the fence to safety. They’re too clever for that. But they’re going to make one error, I can see it already. They’re going to leave the front unguarded. We’re going to have to time it just right, but there should be a point where they’ll have completely entered the house or lost sight of the front and the leading forces haven’t made it upstairs. It’s going to be really close, but we can do it. Megan, go get Mum and Dad. We’re going out your window.”
“What about the tanks?” asked Andresz, as Megan raced off.
“What about them? Notice what they’re doing – one’s turning into the other part of the property to scout for any of us who may be over there, so it won’t be of any concern to us, and the other’s about to –” There was a loud explosion from outside. “– has just blasted a hole in the fence in direct line with the garage.” The Axver’s gate was on the edge of the property, and thus the driveway had to cut through the front lawn to reach the garage that was positioned beside the main entry in the centre of the house. “It’s going to smash through into the garage, and because the armoured jeep’s already raced off, I can only assume it’s what they plan to load us into if they get us.”
“Why’d the jeep race off so soon?” asked Florentyna as the tank did exactly as Amak said it would do, driving through the garage door in a loud screech of metal.
“I bet it’ll be back soon.” replied Amak. “It’ll make regular passes to fire grenades and stuff like that. So we have to be quick. Their front forces are just entering now. Where’s Mum and Dad and Megan?”
“Right here.” said Isaiah, who was just racing down the hallway. “Megan’s room?”
“Yeah.” said Amak, and he raced out of his room with the others in tow, and they followed their parents and Megan to her room. As they ran, they could hear bullets being sprayed across the front of the house.
“Excellent, we won’t need to break the window.” said Amak – and then stopped short as he entered Megan’s room, to find the window was miraculously unbroken. “Get down!” he yelled at the others, and he approached the window, being careful not to be seen by anyone who might’ve been out there. A quick glance revealed the state of play – the battle at the gatehouse had been well and truly won by the attacking forces, with almost nothing left of the gatehouse, and the rear forces were still in the front yard, letting loose with fire on the house as they slowly advanced forward.
“Amak, we’re going to have to hurry!”
“I know, Mum, I know.”
“They’re in the house!” Racing footsteps and gunshots could be heard from the stairway. The attackers obviously had little concern about wasting ammunition.
“We’ve got to wait for the rear forces to hurry up … they’re slowly getting to the house.”
But it wasn’t fast enough. The front units burst up off the stairway and spread down the hallway. Megan’s door was a good few down, but it didn’t take long for one of them to reach it. He slowed, rammed the door open with his shoulder, and entered …
… to find the room abandoned, and the window blasted out by gunfire.
“This one’s empty too!” he yelled, and made his way to the next room.
The Axvers were already running across their torn-up front lawn. The rear units had sped up just in time, and a couple of the last few shots blew out Megan’s window. Amak began clambering out the second they vanished below the roof covering the balcony that ran across the front of the house, and the last out, Aqua, had only just managed to duck his head below the window and crouched on the roof when the man had burst into Megan’s room. As he heard the door slam shut, he scuttled across to the edge, grabbed hold of the pole the others had used to slide down, and soon found himself landing upon a bunch of flowers already squashed to pieces by the rest of the family. Gunshots, commands, the tank’s motor, and yells of “This one’s empty!” could be heard inside, but the Axvers paid no attention to it – they shot for the nearby opening where the gate had once been, ran out onto the street …
… and came face-to-face with the armoured jeep. A man on top of it instantly wheeled round his machine gun with a grin of glee, and then his expression snapped to shock when he saw Isaiah raise a pistol and fire off a single shot. The man’s head was flicked backwards and he tumbled off his seat, slid down the front windscreen, and fell in front of the jeep. The driver, surprised, turned on reflex, and not only managed to fail to avoid the body of his dead comrade, but also managed to drive his jeep straight into a still-standing portion of the fence. Isaiah quickly removed a grenade from a pocket with a comment of “I knew keeping some in the house was a good idea”, rolled it under the jeep, and then took off in the other direction, followed by his family. They’d made it a short distance down the street when an explosion went off behind them, and the jeep, ripped open and ablaze, was hurled through the fence, bounced on the lawn, and crashed into the tank, trapping it in the garage.
“They know we’re out now,” said Amak, as he raced ahead of his father. “so we need to get off the road quick. Now.” He sharply turned onto a lawn and raced the short distance to another gatehouse, this one belonging to a mansion five down from Axver Palace. Sirens could be heard approaching, and five assault rifles stuck out of slits in the gatehouse that had gone into lockdown mode. But suddenly, reassuringly, the gate slid open just wide enough for two to go through at a time – the men inside had recognised the Axvers. The family shot through and raced to the front door as the gate shut, and not a moment too soon – the remaining tank had been alerted to the escape of the family and appeared on the road to prowl, along with a large contingent of gunmen from the house.
The front door was quickly opened by Alexander Oscken, a friend of the family, and he ushered them inside, to safety, security, and anonymity. As he locked and bolted the door shut behind the Axvers, he reassured them with a simple “My men won’t let anyone in.”
Seconds later, the leading police vehicles appeared on the street, and the battle rose to new levels of ferocity. The Axvers, along with Alexander and his family, listened as gunfire and explosions rocked the air. Sirens wailed, the tank boomed, a couple of helicopters could be heard, a grenade shot over Alexander’s fence and exploded in the middle of his driveway – and then, all of a sudden, it went quiet.
Alexander picked up a phone and contacted one of his men in the gatehouse, putting it on speakers so that the others could hear.
“What’s going on out there?”
“Mister Oscken, you’re not going to believe this one.”
“The police just fired these things, grenades. But they weren’t grenades.”
“Oh no, they were more than grenades. They went off right in the middle of the line of those terrorists, and they were just vaporised. This large dome-ish thing of blue rose into the air, fell back in on itself with this terrible ripping sound, and they were GONE. Their clothes and weapons were still there, but the people, they had been completely evaporated.”