Glider – Part 2
A short story about three heroes stuck in an elaborate trap, and one desperately watching from below. A single glider is their only hope.
(Just joining us? Here’s Glider – Part 1)
“Ainara,” Dana warned, standing next to Lux. “Don’t you dare.” Ainara nodded and took a deep breath.
“Nara, I swear if you jump,” Flint threatened in her earpiece. Ainara closed her brown eyes and smiled, loving hearing her name so much from her friends.
“You know I love you all, right?” Ainara stated. She had to be sure.
“Don’t do this,” Dana pleaded.
“There are other ways,” Lux said.
“But this one makes sense,” Ainara replied. She took a deep breath and jumped off the crane, pressing the button to completely unfold her glider and praying the weight of the bomb wasn’t too much.
“Ainara, no, shoot, no!” she heard Flint through the earpiece. “Nara!”
“No,” Dana breathed, rushing to the edge and watching helplessly. Ainara was gliding but still dropping at a dangerous speed, yet she was struggling with the bomb in her hands. “She’s trying to diffuse it.”
“Dang it,” Lux said as he stomped to the end of the crane to watch, fists clenched in frustration. Flint was grappling from rooftop to rooftop trying to keep Ainara in view. The brown-haired boy slid to a stop once he had a clear view of her flight path and aimed one of his projectile gadgets at her.
“Fifteen seconds…the red wire…button…” Ainara talked herself through trying to diffuse the bomb as she fell. She took a deep breath as the clock counted down from five and she only had one more button to press. She closed her eyes and put her green armored arm in front of her face, ready for the smaller detonation. She felt something hit her back…then she pressed it.
Dana turned away as the blast resounded in the air. She heard Ainara talking to herself and knew the bomb had been diffused, but the girl had been right about the secondary detonation. Lux pulled Dana in for a hug as silence fell over them.
“I should have done something,” Lux sighed angrily. Dana pulled back and looked at him. “She was so young,” he added as he saw tears in Dana’s eyes. He had never seen Dana at such a loss for words.
Suddenly, Flint’s voice came crackling through the earpieces.
“I-*static*-her!” he yelled. Dana tossed a look at Lux; no one quite understood what he said.
“Could you repeat that, Flint?” Lux said through the comms. Flint’s heavy breathing came through once more.
“I got her!” he shouted. “I need medical attention over here immediately.”
“We’re coming! Our ride just showed up,” Dana replied quickly. She saw the helicopter coming to retrieve them from the crane. “Is…she…?”
“I don’t know, just get over here,” Flint stated.
“Coming to you,” Lux commented once they were on board. As the helicopter landed on the rooftop and they rushed out to where Flint was, they saw him slowly reeling Ainara up from over the side of the building. Flint managed to hook onto her belt seconds before the explosion. Whether he had been able to yank her away from the blast fast enough, they had yet to tell.
“Easy, easy,” Flint said as Lux helped him gather Ainara’s body from over the edge and lay her safely on the ground. Dana quickly rushed over just as Flint checked for a pulse.
“She…” he started, but broke off and rubbed his face, putting his other hand on Ainara’s arm. “She’s alive,” he said through a broken voice. Dana kneeled beside Ainara and earnestly looked at her face, putting a hand on the girl’s cheek. She had burns on her face, but nothing too serious.
“How bad is it? Is she just unconscious?” Lux inquired. Ainara’s eyelids fluttered.
“Come on, come on,” Dana pleaded under her breath. A rush of air entered Ainara’s lungs and the color returned to her face. Lux stood and looked away, overwhelmed by his feelings of relief.
“You really are insane,” Flint chuckled as Ainara’s eyes finally fluttered open. She grabbed Dana’s hand as she slowly focused on Flint looking down at her, then Lux a little behind him.
“Did we make it?” she asked weakly. All three of her friends rush to squeeze her in a hug. “Ouch! Ouch! Just got blown up, remember?”
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© 2020 Ariel G. Wach