Slaige Files

"Rylan, be careful." He reach out and grabbed my arm, forcing me to turn around to look into his eyes. I smirked. "Why would I?"

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1. prologue

 

R Y L A N

There was only one phrase repeating in my mind: I'm going to die.
“GO NOW!” Grant yelled over the spraying salty water as the stolen, rusty boat lurched violently to the side. A storm crashed outside, the lightning and thunder fusing into our terror. In the distance I heard machines--machines of other boats perusing us, chasing us down--and machines of boats that were much more advanced than our crappy motor engine that ran our tiny boat, and there was no doubt that they would catch up with us.
“Jack, is there any way you can make this d*mn motor go faster?” Grant shouted over to Jack, who had a gun in his hands, his blonde hair whipping furiously with the tempo of the wind.
“I'll try, but you take my cover!” Jack shouted back, the strong wind almost carrying his voice away. Jack tossed the gun over to Grant and Grant took up the gun, loading it up just in case.
“Careful, Grant!” I yelled. 
“Okay, when were you ever careful?” Grant retorted, lifting up the gun and pointing it in the misty distance.
“Don't joke around, you jerk,” I said, but I couldn't 
help feeling a small smile growing on my face despite the bad luck we were running through. “Don't get shot.”

“Well lucky for me, my aim looks pretty clear, and unlucky for you, Rylan, because they’re gaining on us. Jack, how’re we doing?”

“Stubborn little devil!” Jack yelled, gritting his teeth as he worked, checking for any problems. “I won't get anything out of it unless we stop!”

I steered furiously, my hair covering my eyes, my mouth and nose stinging with ocean water mist spraying over the sides of the boat. “We’re not freaking stopping, you idiot,” I yelled, spitting excess water that got in my mouth over the boat and into the swirling black water. 
“Looks like we’ve got visitors,” Jack mumbled, taking cover underneath a cushioned seat on the side of the boat.
“Jack, take the wheel!” I shouted over to Jack. Jack replaced my spot and his eyes squinted forward in deep concentration, trying to see what was ahead of us.
I grabbed an extra gun on the floor and joined Grant’s side. Wind whistled loudly in my ears. It was hard to even see Grant, who was two feet away from me, crouched down, with one arm on his gun and the other arm over his eyes to block out water mist that was spraying over the side of the boat. In the distance I could just barely see a bright light that was floating closer and closer, probably a light attached to another boat trying to catch us. We watched with unease as the light bobbed with the rough, choppy waves until it was riding at our side.
“Ready?” Grant asked, looking over at me with solemn eyes.
“Good luck,” I said quickly to him, smiling briefly before I rolled out of cover to the side of the boat. Immediately gunshots from the other boat rang out. I merely missed one and ducked behind cover just a second before a bullet whizzed over my head. Someone threw a heavy metal object into the water close to our boat.
“Hang on, you two!” Jack yelled, speeding the boat to its limits. Grant and I swiftly grabbed onto the boat and my stomach lurched as we raced forwards at high speeds. Soon after a heavy explosion sounded in the air, sending a jet of ten feet of blue-black water spraying up just a few feet away from our boat, an orange and red glow from a fire following it, igniting pieces of scrap metal floating in the water close by. The jet of water poured over the boat, soaking our clothes and hair and chilling us to the bone.
I crouched up and shot at the boat. The bullets were deflected as they grazed the sides.
“Aim for the engine!” Grant said, running over to me and shaking his dark brown hair to get water out from it.
“I'm trying!” I said through gritted teeth. The boat caught up with us again until we were racing through the water neck to neck. I glanced over at Jack, who was trying to go faster to outrun the other boat. Grant shot a few more times and his bullets went through glass, shattering it into millions of pieces and exposing the back of the boat. Men heavily armed and wearing black came out from the opening, firing at our boat, forcing the both of us to take cover. When the shooting ceased, I rose up from the side and aimed carefully. 
“Rylan, get down!” Grant hissed over to me. “They’re going to shoot you!”
I ignored him and aimed for where the engine was. I quickly fired three shots. The first two missed, the third hit straight on. For a split second, everything was eerily calm, and the the whole boat exploded and burst into fire, the boat crumbling to pieces in the ocean. The force of the blow knocked me backwards. I desperately tried to grasp to the boat, but it slipped from my grip and I tumbled over the side.
“Rylan!” Grant’s voice screamed, but it seemed very distant in my ears as I submerged in the freezing dark water, and in the shock of the icy water I couldn't move for a few seconds as I drifted downwards. Then my mind exploded and I frantically thrashed about, using as much strength as I could to push my arms and legs through the water, hoping the momentum would bring me back to the surface, but I could slowly feel my energy being eaten away by the cold that hugged my body. 
My lungs bursting and unable to breath anymore, I accepted death, and let myself drift downwards into the dark abyss.


***


People always wonder how I always seem to find the courage to face death. They wonder how I can live through extremities and hardships and adventures. They ask me how they could be daring, or someone like me, who supposedly is afraid of nothing.
I used to think I was afraid of nothing. But then I realized I was afraid of myself, and I never cared to share that with anyone.
I have nothing to lose.

 

***

 

“I wandered everywhere, through cities and countries wide. 
And everywhere I went, the world was on my side.”
Roman Payne

 

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