It's 2060, and the world now resembles a desert. The world is ruled by Smile Incorporated, an company which dictates everything. However, the rebels are ready, a force known as the Daredevils, a secret and growing alternate way of living. Phoenix is one of the Daredevils, and she strives to protect her little sister, and at the same time, remove Smile from power. But ultimately, which one is more important to her?


2. Route 4

The night air is heavy, and the breeze is not existent. I look around, still seeing everyone snoring, apart from Mockingbird, who is sniffling in the darkness. I get up and the floor creeks slightly I creep along the floor, and I sit down next to her. "You okay?" I ask quietly, careful not to awake anyone.

She hugs me tightly and cries into my vest. "I had a nightmare. I had a nightmare the smiley people took you away." I choke slightly on my tears, knowing that could very easily become a reality. "They can't touch you. Or me." I lie, faking a fragile smile.

"Where did the radio tell us to go?" she says, and I pat her on the head and smile. Route 4...
"Route 4. It's near the oasis." I tell her, and she claps and smiles. "Can we go swimming there?" I chuckle and nod. "As soon as we finish." She tugs on my arm, trying to tug me towards the wardrobe. "Can we go now?" I laugh and point to everyone else, reaching for my jacket. "Of course, go wake them lazy bones up."

Mockingbird goes and kicks everyone to wake them up. "Come on! Sis says we're going now!" she shouts and Sparrow grins "Five more minutes." Mockingbird pouts and kicks him again. "She said now!" I walk up and kick him as well. "Come on, get up or we will leave you to the smiles."

He grunts and puts his jacket on and laces up his boots. I open the door once they're all dressed, and we squint as the sun beams down. The dust kicks up in our faces as we get into the car. I crank up the volume on the radio, and we all get out our guns, including Mockingbird with her little pistol, and I kick the gas pedal, and the car roars, we begin to sing to the radio.

The barren landscape blurts past, and as per usual, Sparrow and Eagle are hanging out the window, having a shooting competition. Trying to shoot the tumbleweed my driving blasts off the road. Meanwhile, Hawk is trying to drag them both into the car and Owl is telling Mockingbird a story about the good times.

I listen to Owl more than I listen to Sparrow rubbing Eagle's nose in it whenever he misses. Usually with a 'fuck you' attached from Eagle. There's only so much I take before I scream "Shut the fuck up!" back to the two, who promtly get back on and don't speak for the rest of the journey. Too enthralled by Owl's stories.

I begin to hum to myself and the routes blur into each other. It's hours before we even get anywhere near Route 4. And I spin the car round and the engine grinds to a halt. We all get the car immeadiately, and crouch over the ledge overlooking the Runway, the Jets den, which is surrounded by smiles.

Men in white suits, with a mask of a smiling clown strapped to their faces. I pull out my rifle from the boot of the car, and Sparrow steals it and dangles it from the ledge. I glare at him, and grab the pistol in my pocket, aiming it at his head. "Get your own!" I growl, and Mockingbird pulls out her own gun and points it at Sparrow. "Give it to Sis!"

I nod as if to say 'Hell yeah.' and he reluctantly hands the rifle over. Hawk scowls and lies on the floor, adjusting her scope and surveying the area. Owl has his rifle ready in his hands, and lowers Mockingbird's gun to the floor.

Eagle hangs a machine over his shoulder and shouts "How many there, Hawk? How many can I kill?" Hawk head snaps up and she growls slightly. "They're all people! There's roughly 600 there, Phoenix, we can't do this. It's no wonder Jets got ghosted."

I blink and ask "We have to have chance, right?" Sparrow sits on the edge, and the ledge crumbles slightly. The dry sand is the perfect deathtrap. I grab a pair of binoculars and scrutinize the area, and grimace. "You're right, Hawk. We'd get ghosted. Get a radio."

Owl finds his little radio, and tunes into the channel we use, 13.6, and passes me a microphone. I tap it twice, and the sound pierces the static, so I go on. "This is Phoenix, and we have no choice but to seek support for Route 4." The static hisses for a moment, before a feminine voice breaks the static. "This Miss Bleak. That's a negative. Your on your own Birdies."

Mockingbird looks at my face, which resembles just being sucker punched and asks innocently "What's wrong? Are the smiles coming to get us? You said they couldn't hurt us." I swallow, and go gradually whiter. "They can't. But they're still bad."

I squeak as Hawk picks me by my collar. "Why do you tell her that? They can kill you, and damn quickly if they get their hands on you!" she shouts, shaking me violently, and I hiss back in her face "I don't want her to know! I want her to be a child! Unlike me! Hell, 14, and I was fighting. She's 7, Hawk!"

Owl covers Mockingbird's ears as we shout at each other, before Sparrow steps in between us. "Hawk, you gonna lose your tailfeathers if you stay like that! Put the firebird down." he says, and she grunts, dropping me on the floor.

I get up and brush the dust from my shoulders. "Hawk, draw their attention to that ledge." I order her, pointing towards a much lower and closer to the hideout ledge.

She nods, and we me, Eagle, Owl and Sparrow move to the ledge, but Mockingbird stays with Hawk with a radio in hand. I will not let her fight like we do. I whistle to show Hawk we're ready, hiding behind a natural wall of dried sand, and she fires a glee below our platform.

All the smiles look towards us, and we open fire. We clear that unit, and drops down onto the floor, creeping along the floor, occasionally slipping into the sand. We reach the hideout, only to find a large complex had already been built in the short time they had Route 4.

I pick up the radio and sigh "Hawk, bring Mockingbird. You gys have got to see this..."
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