Ch17: Flight Across the Waters

Copyright © 2013 by P.A. Lackey
All rights reserved.

No part of this story may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. 

Chapter Seventeen: Flight Across the Waters

The others were gone now, and only the sound of the slow whooshing of the water could be heard besides the sound of the chopper circling the warehouse several blocks back. Arius moved onto the beach and onto the docks. He glanced around warily; his senses were up to the highest sensitivity possible. The slightest movement would alert him.
He moved to the boat house with the gas can in hand. He didn't know what he would do, but he had retrieved the gas for a reason. Perhaps he would follow the others and try to convince them of his innocence and Dueson’s treachery, but all he had on his side was his own trustworthiness which was absolutely nothing. Thorim would probably try to keep things under control, but the others had already shown their lack of concern for authority. Thorim wouldn't be able to protect him from the others.
The hair on Arius’ neck stood up as he sensed something moving toward the beach. Headlights glared around a building before a land cruiser peeled around toward the beach. Arius attempted to take cover but the headlights had already exposed him.
Bullets began to fly as he dashed for the boathouse. Swinging the door open he slammed it shut before bracing it with a nearby cabinet. He could feel the hostiles approaching on foot now. Glancing to the boat he spotted the motor, and made haste to fill it with gas.
The door shuttered as they attempted to break through, but the cabinet only gave by a couple inches. It wouldn't take long for them to get in as they continued to wrestle it open. The gas guzzled into the motor slower than Arius could take. The cabinet scraped across the floor before jamming against another shelf, and the door was open enough for a soldier to squeeze through.
Arius tossed the still full gas tank aside where it splashed into the water, and riddled the door with his rifle. The soldiers were pushed back, but they returned fire reducing the door to scraps. Arius nearly tripped into the boat as he back into it, and its rocking nearly sent him over the edge.
He fired another burst toward the door before turning to the controls. The key was already in the ignition which he turned to hear the motor groan. The door to the boat house blew open, and another turn revved the engine to life.      
Pulling the throttle the boat roared forward before slamming into the exit which hung over the water. The doors flew open as the soldiers stepped into the building where they fired toward the fleeing boat. Arius crouched as the bullets hammered against the boat but they missed him as he steered it away from the building.
More guns fired from the soldiers upon the beach, and the boat splintered from the rounds. Arius turned it toward the vast ocean unwilling to let them sink the boat, and soon the gunfire became silent. His hands shook from the adrenaline in his system, and he held his limbs tight as the boat bounced against the waves.
He didn't know where he was going other than away from the island. The moon was gone behind the clouds, and there was no light upon the ocean which left him in utter darkness. His eyes were good at seeing in the dark, but an endless ocean left him with nothing to see.
Arius kept it at full throttle not knowing when it would run out of gas. The cold wind against his face at first eased his nerves but soon chilled him to the bone. Looking back he could no longer see the island. He wasn't sure how long he had been traveling. Turning his eyes forward again he glimpsed the rocky reef ahead of him, but it was too late as the boat smashed into the rock with a grind.

Half the floor ripped away from him as the rest of the boat flew into the air. Arius lost hold of the wheel and became suspended in the air before plummeting into the darkness around him. He heard the boat crash into a million pieces elsewhere before he was consumed by the ocean. 

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