It all began, not with a bang, but with a boom.
I was running through the city when a single man held me up. From looking at him, it was obvious that he was a police officer. From the badge pinned to his uniform to the gun in his hand, the man with greying hair pointed at me with his weapon. Wanting to not cause any trouble, I put up my hands as he moved forward.
“Who are you!?”
“I’m no one,” I replied.
“Why are you here, then?”
“I’m looking for someone.”
The man did not break his stance, his gun still pointed at me. “There are plenty of people who are looking for someone,” he said.
“I know that,” I said. “It’s important to me that I find this person. Perhaps you could help me?”
“What makes you think I would help you?”
“You’re an officer,” I replied, “Is it not your job to protect and serve?”
“That’s none of your business,” he said. “For all I know, you could be with the Gang Stone.”
My eyes remained on the man as I started to speak, but that would have to wait as we both heard a single scream. The man jerked his head instantly as he tried to located the source of the scream. I lowered my hands and tried to figure out what was going on.
The man dashed ahead, still calling out for this Kira. Obligated to help, I decided to follow after the officer and help him in his search.
You’re probably wondering how I got to this point. Let me tell you: my name is Jack Nomad. What do I do? Well, I guess you could call me a traveler. The thing is, I’m looking for a friend of mine. Actually, I’ve been looking for him for almost fifteen years. It’s a long story.
As for where I am? Currently I’m in North Brook, which is about a few miles from Baltimore. It’s not exactly my home town, but I used to come here all the time when I was a child. Sometimes I even went with my friend, you know, before “it” happened.
What is “it,” you ask?
I really don’t want to talk about it right now.
So why am I helping out an officer that I’ve barely even met? At this point, I don’t even know, but I have to help. Anything to help me get closer to finding my friend. Even if it hurts me, I will find him.
The streets were familiar as I ran after the officer. Finally, he stopped before a large garage door. Close behind him, I looked at the metal door of the building. Graffiti was displayed, merely reading “Main Station Iron.” The officer, noticing that I was here, turned and pointed his gun at me again.
“I’m here to help you out,” I said. “To be honest, I had a hunch that they would be involved.”
“So you are with them,” he said.
“Don’t pull the trigger just yet,” I told him. “There is another reason why I’m here: because I want to stop the Gang Stone as well.”
The officer merely sighed. “What is your name?”
“My name?” I asked. “What about yours?”
“Just call me Stephen,” he answered.
“Jack Nomad,” I replied, “But you can call me Jack.”
“I have trouble believing that is your real name,” Stephen said. “I’m not going to question it, however. We have bigger problems right now.”
“Right,” I said. “How do we enter this place…”
I looked at the garage door again. “Main Station Iron.” What did it mean? Somehow, this phrase had something to do with the Gang Stone, but how I had no clue whatsoever.
“Main Station Iron.”
Those words repeated in my head again. Why could they not go away? A seemingly meaningless phrase was bothering me, and I did not know the reason why. Regardless, I shook it off and looked for a way to open the door.
“I’ll go in through the garage door,” I said.
“Whoever you’re looking for, they have their hands on,” I replied. “I’ll go in the front and distract them while you find the entrance in the back.”
“And you expect this will work?” Stephen asked.
“Trust me,” I said.
Without waiting for a response, I ran toward the garage door and rammed into it. The noise that was created was loud enough to draw some attention, that I was sure of. Just to make sure the Gang Stone heard it, I rammed into the door again. Stephen was still behind me, so I turned to him.
“Go!” I said.
He had no response except to take the path down the alley. There was some commotion going on inside as I heard footsteps coming closer. A few voices were heard, though I could hardly make them out. This was my chance.
“Open up the door!”
The garage door slowly opened as I could see four men wielding weapons. Two guns, one crowbar, and a knife. Four on one. Needless to say, I really liked my odds.
“You wanna fight, punk!?”
No hesitation as I ran up to the four. The men with the guns were on opposite sides, but they could still be disarmed first. Running to my left, I took that gunman first, ducking under his fist as I pulled his gun away from him. He tried to attack, but I knocked him out with his own gun.
“You son of bitch!”
Crowbar man and knife man charged at me next, as the second gunman trained his pistol on me. Crowbar swung first, but I backed up enough for him to miss. Knife was next, but his blade was not quick enough to get me. That was the next moment. With my free hand, I grabbed his knife and flung it at the gunman. The knife hit him in his shoulder, causing him to drop his weapon.
“Who are you!?”
Instead of answering knife man, I just smashed him in the head with the gun. Crowbar man attempted another swing, but it was to no avail as I took away his crowbar right before his eyes.
“It’s over,” I said.
Crowbar man, in a desperate attempt, flung his fist at my head. Not good enough. His face was close to mine as I headbutted him and sent him falling to the ground. The only one not unconscious was the second gunman, but he knew that he stood no chance against me. He ran away as I turned my focus to the open garage door.
The earlier phrase continued playing in my head as I ran up the stairs. Stephen must have already entered as I saw the door in the back ajar. There had to be more members of the Gang Stone upstairs, I assumed. My mind was a blank as I continued to fly up the stairs, until I reached the top floor. There they were, all three of them.
“Let her go!” Stephen demanded.
His gun was fixed on the gigantic man on the other side of the room. In his grasp was a young woman of an average height, her long, black hair covering part of her face.
“I’m not letting go of her,” the giant said, “The boss says that this girl’s too important! So unless you want to see her harmed…”
What happened next took only a few seconds, but felt much longer. Stephen took his shot; it was too late for me to protest. The giant looked like he did not expect it, either, his eyes wide as the bullet entered his forehead and out the back. The girl dropped to the ground as the man’s grip loosened. I wasted no time rushing towards her.
“Are you okay?”
She looked into my eyes as I felt the still warm barrel of the other man’s gun press against the back of my head. I stood up and turned around to find Stephen still pointing at me.
“Don’t touch her,” he said.
“I’m sorry,” I replied. “I’ll just let you do your thing.”
He shoved me aside as he helped the girl sit up. He brushed back her hair as she embraced him. An understandable action, given what she had to deal with.
“Are you okay, Kira?” Stephen asked.
“Yes,” Kira replied. “Thank you, Mr. Stephen, and thank you too, mister–”
“Nomad,” I said. “Jack Nomad.”
She looked at me with a blank stare, seemingly unsure if what I said was true. “That’s your name?”
“Um, yes it is,” I replied. “Officer Stephen, what’s the next course of action?”
“Why should I tell you?” Stephen asked. “You don’t need to answer that. I’m just going to head back to the station with Kira.”
He stood her up to her feet and started to leave, but Kira stopped as she turned to me. Another look into my eyes. I did not know what to say to her, nor did she until she decided to speak up.
“Mr. Stephen, I think that you can trust him,” she said.
“You must be tired,” he answered. “I’ll promise that our interrogation will not last long and you can go home afterwards.”
“I know you still don’t trust him,” Kira said, “But I feel like Mr. Nomad wants to help you. I… really can’t explain but he does.”
“Are you putting her up to this?” Stephen asked me. “This is not a trap you’ve set, is it?
I shook my head. “I already told you, officer,” I said, “I only want to help you stop the Gang Stone.”
Stephen grumbled. “If you’re that adamant, I suppose that I have no choice. It might be a good idea to interrogate you, anyway.”
I followed after the two down the stairs, but that was cut short as it felt like the entire building was shaking. An earthquake? It couldn’t be, but the walls around us started to break.
“We can’t stand like this!” Stephen exclaimed. “You have to hurry up, Kira!”
As she stepped down the stairs, her foot went through the step as Stephen reached to her. I tried to help as well, but it was too late as the stairs below our feet gave way. The fall awaited us as we plummeted to the ground. As I felt myself coming closer to the floor, my sight became brighter until pure white filled my vision. It was only a few seconds later that all three of us were outside of the now decimated building.
“What the hell?” Stephen asked. “Did we make it?”
“It looks like we did,” I replied. “Kira! Are you okay!?”
She lay in my arms, still breathing thankfully. However, it looked as if the ordeal took a toll on her as she was too tired to move. As I looked around, I could hear her groaning as she started to wake up.
Kira looked into my eyes. “We made it…”
“Shit!” Stephen yelled. “I don’t know where my car is. We’re going to have to go on foot!”
Stephen ran off ahead of us as I tried to get Kira up on her feet again.
“Are you fine?” I asked.
I reached out my hand to her, which she grabbed as we headed off to follow after the aging officer. We ran on the sidewalk, trying to figure out where Stephen went off to. After a few feet, however, he was nowhere to be found.
“Damn it,” I muttered. “Where are you?”
Rushing down the road, Kira and I ended up at a dead end within the city. Nowhere to go but out, but upon turning around we found a different problem. A large group of what appeared to be members of the Gang Stone had us cornered in the dead end.
I looked to her. “There’s no way out, is there?”
Kira did not answer. She just turned away as I tried to tower over her and shield her from whatever these men had planned. Several gunshots rang through my ears as I closed my eyes and waited for the worst to happen.
That’s when it happened.
“Impossible… This is impossible!”
“The fuck is going on!”
I opened my eyes once more. My shirt was clean and my body was unscathed. Kira had her eyes close and arms outstretched. I turned around and saw it all for myself. It was hard to describe, but what appeared to be a large, translucent window stood in front of us both.
“It’s… You’re doing this?” I asked Kira.
“I can’t… keep this up much longer,” she replied. “Just… stop them!”
“They outnumber us!” I answered.
Just then, I had an idea. It was a risky idea and I was not sure if we would survive. However, I knew that doing something would be better than doing nothing. At least that was what I learned from him.
I looked to Kira once more. “I have a plan,” I said, “Just stay right behind me and keep this up!”
However, it didn’t take long for the men to lower their guns as they moved out of the way for another man to walk in. Either side, the members of the Gang Stone stood as the man with long blond hair walked towards us. He looked to be in his twenties, but there was little I could do to confirm that. Just then, he stopped and faced one of the other men.
“What did I say!?”
I watched as he grabbed the man by his shirt. His facial expression had changed completely, going from no expression to gritted teeth and furrowed eyebrows.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Omega, sir!”
Omega clenched his fist. “It’s the girl! Kill him if you want, but leave her unscathed!”
“The rest of you!” Omega exclaimed. “You are testing my patience, and I will let you know that I have very little of it to begin with!”
I looked back to Kira, who looked back at me.
“Back at the building, was that you?” I asked.
“You mean when we went from the stairs to outside of the rubble?” Kira asked. “Yes. I… teleported. I don’t know why, but I can.”
I nodded. “You can do that again, right?”
“Sorry,” she said, “But I don’t know if I can.”
“There’s no other option!” I replied. “Just think of a place far from here.”
I hoped that she would do it soon, as it looked like Omega caught part of our conversation as he turned to us.
“You,” he said, “Why are you…”
He growled as his outstretched his arms from either side. Kira tugged at me, causing me to look back at her. Wind began to blow in my face as I could feel Omega’s presence grow larger. Another look at him and I could see that he was advancing towards us.
“Kira,” I said, “Now!”
“Here goes nothing!”
Omega’s footsteps drew closer, but it was just in time as the same white light from before filled my vision. Where we ended up next was the very place we needed to go: the North Brook Police Department. Not a Gang Stone member in sight as I looked to Kira, who fell into my arms once more.
“Don’t worry,” she said, “I’m… okay…”
“Let’s just go inside.”
Omega thrust his fist into the wall. “Why!?”
“Sir, maybe it’s possible they found a secret passage?”
“Are you insane!?” Omega blared. “This girl is no ordinary person! Why else would you be bumbling about after her!?”
He punched the Gang Stone member in the face, knocking him to the ground as he eyed the others.
“The same can be said for the rest of you,” Omega said, “All worthless! Worthless, worthless, worthless!”
Omega closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Kira had just escaped his grasp, but he wasn’t about to give up. Then there was the case of him. That man had to be important somehow. A wide smile filled Omega’s face as he started to laugh.
“How could I be so forgetful?” Omega asked. “This just got a lot more interesting…”
Omega’s laugh echoed through the streets, causing many heads to turn as people wondered what was going on. One thing was for certain, Omega thought, this was only the beginning.
To be continued…