**Note: Although the following is part of a previously self-published eBook, portions have been modified. However, it has not been professionally edited and likely contains typos and other errors. It is offered as an example of raw science fiction storytelling.**
Unexpectedly, the front door opened as several security personnel stormed into the apartment. The first line took up defensive positions while the second line spread out, taking up positions throughout the apartment.
Immediately upon their forced entry, several men seized Chase and dragged from the apartment. Alix and Cristina ducked into their room. They tried to barricade themselves, huddling together before the unexpected and unexplained wrath of the authorities, but the door was too flimsy. Alix started to use his abilities but Cristina halted him. “We go peacefully. Chase needs our help. Maybe we can learn what it’s all about,” she said.
He tempered his response, not knowing what she was up to, but he was willing to try it her way because he suspected that brute force and fire was too extreme.
She surrendered first and even asked that they not use any force against Alix. Disregarding her request, they persisted in beating him as they forced him to his knees. It angered her, but she suppressed her rage, saving it for the right occasion.
The authorities took them to District Office of Investigation, placing them in separate holding cells to be interrogated separately. As neither Cristina nor Alix knew anything the attitudes of the authorities rapidly became ugly, threatening them separately. Then they brought the two of them together, in the same room. Their interrogators sought to play one off against the other, first striking Alix repeatedly as Cristina gasped, and then they asked Cristina questions in order to obtain information.
Alix sustained enough physical abuse from his previous solo interrogation, but he was willing to take whatever abuse they wanted to deliver just as long as they did not touch Cristina. But then they turned their threats on her.
One of the interrogators struck her across the face. Alix could not sustain seeing a welt or bruise on her lovely face, or the tear shed from the pain as it rolled down her cheek. The second attempt Alix melted his restraints into puddles of molten alloy as he simultaneously launched a fireball toward the man who was prepared to strike Cristina again. As he fell away, Cristina released herself from her bonds and joined Alix as he blew out the door that confined them.
“I had it under control,” Cristina complained.
“No one strikes your face!”
She smiled, and then blew him a kiss as they ran side by side. “Where are we going?”
“We have tickets, right?” Alix asked.
“We don’t have our things.”
“Chase will take care of that.”
“He’s in custody. They took him out first.”
“He’ll get out. He’ll take care of things. He’s good at that. We have each other and our orbs.”
“You’re nuts!” Cristina challenged.
“Well, what makes sense about any of this? We have done nothing wrong. And still we were arrested, interrogated and beaten?”
“Are you okay?”
“Except for wanting to set every friggin’ one of those assholes on fire, yeah, I’m just fine,” he said.
There was a wall of security positioned before them as they exited the building out into the plaza. With a sweep of his arm, Alix sprayed a wall of flame toward them. As they cowered from it, Cristina and Alix were allowed the chance to escape. They continued to run toward an open assault vehicle. They dove inside and closed the doors behind them.
“Do you know how to operate this?” Cristina asked.
“What’s to know?” Alix said as he shot flames toward the circuits that controlled the vehicle and suddenly it responded on manual control. These things all have some sort of manual override for emergencies.”
“The authorities will know we are going to the railcar station, and they’ll find we have tickets reserved. If we make it to the station and board, they will be waiting. Even if we make it out of the city their agents will be waiting for us in Star City.”
“If we make it that far we will have a few hours to sleep on the way. Maybe in that time we can rest and formulate a better plan, but for now we just need to get out of Andromeda.”
“Okay, I’m good with that.”
“Good, just stay with me. I have the plan,” Alix said. “Maybe it’s not much but it’s what I came up with,” he said as he looked back and she met his eyes and they each smiled at one another. “Is this fun for you?”
“Not in the least,” she responded.
“I’ll have to do better then,” Alix said. A wall of flame again halted the immediate pursuit.
“I’ll admit that was pretty good,” Cristina said.
“It’s always good to feel appreciated,” Alix said as he focused on reaching the railcar station. “How long is it until our railcar arrives?”
“We are supposed to depart in about fifteen minutes.”
“We have plenty of time,” Alix said even though he was a little concerned at how slowly the armored vehicle was moving under manual override.
He knew the basic layout of Andromeda but he lacked the specifics. He felt that he knew where the railcar station was, on the south side, where it was in most cities. He recalled it being close to the air locks and since they had approached from the west and south, that meant the station had to be in the southwest corner of the city. Unlike Star City that had an eastern and a western station Andromeda had only the one mega-station. The rails from Andromeda turned almost due south toward Haven. There was nowhere else that anyone might want to go that was east of Andromeda, at least not yet.
Alix piloted the vehicle down the streets drawing fire at times from the layers of security officials assigned to prevent them from reaching the railcar station.
“They know where we are heading, they have us trapped. They have been pursuing us for a while,” Cristina said.
“Are you suggesting that we surrender?”
“I’m suggesting this is suicide.”
“I’m not ready to give up. I learned some tricks from my orb,” Alix said. “It’s just that I’ve never tried it.”
“I really don’t know what to call it, but I can decide to be somewhere else.”
“What about me?”
“I believe that as long as I’m holding you, I think we go together.”
“You believe; you think?”
“Hey, I’m totally new to all this crap, okay. I’m pretty sure I can take you with me.”
“I will come back and deal with the same things you have in front of you.”
It was not exactly comforting, but it spoke of Alix’s dedication to the promises that he made to her.
“Oh shit!” Alix said, “Brace yourself!”
“Incoming, armor piercing… duck!”
There was intense heat from an immediate blast. But then, suddenly it seemed very distant. Cristina had closed her eyes in dread preparation for her imminent death, but instantly she was standing in a courtyard.
She heard rumbling reverberations from the explosion as she turned to reassure herself that the hand she was clutching was still attached to the left arm of Alix. He was grinning at her.
“It worked, hon!” he said.
“Where are we?”
“We’re a couple of blocks from where we were and a few blocks further from the railcar station.”
“I figured it was time for strategy. Maybe they won’t expect us to move farther away.”
“I suppose I understand that in a warped kind of way.”
“Anyway, it worked! We won’t need tickets to board the railcar.”
“How so?” Christina asked.
“We can just be there.”
“I don’t understand.”
Suddenly, there was an explosion that ripped and tore its way through the armor hull of a nearby vehicle behind which they were concealed.
“They found us,” she gasped. Then, she closed her horrified eyes. When she opened them anew, she and Alix were sitting together in seats on a railcar.
“We made it,” Alix said, and the looked around as the railcar began departing the station. “We just barely made it.”
“What…just…happened?” She asked gasping for breath.
“We got here.”
“I can…see that.”
“Don’t worry…okay? I’ll…protect you. I’m…your shield. I’m yours…and yours alone,” Alix said as he leaned over and kissed her.
She looked into his eyes even as she fought to regain her breath and composure. “What we…just did…was impossible.”
“Yeah, well…we did it, anyway…we had to,” Alix said. “You and I…are not like…everyone else. What else…is new?”
Cristina was still struggling to regain her breath, wits and settle her shaken nerves. “They will…be waiting.”
“Maybe not…they think…they got us.”
“We can’t…count on that.”
“No…probably not,” Alix said. “I have some…other plans.”
“I’d hope so.” She continued to clam down. As the railcar increased its speed, she stared out the window. After a while, she stated the obvious. “We’re in a lot of trouble. What are your plans?”
“We rest for now. Then we figure out what we are going to do before we arrive in Star City.”
“I didn’t say they were the best plans. I’m improvising.”
“You are not instilling confidence in me.”
“We can make it. Trust me. I can do it. We are as good as there. First we get into Star City…”
She rested her head on his shoulder and sighed. “I know you will do your best. It’s just that…well, that was scary back there.”
“I know it was. I’m sorry I didn’t warn you better.”
“You were amazing.”
Alix beamed. “That was pretty good, wasn’t it?”
“You really have been practicing with the orb.”
“Not as much as I should. Not as much as you’ve been. I don’t have the control of it. When I do something it is still a little wild at times.”
“You got us here.”
“Yeah, well that had to be. Luckily that ended up just about right.”
“Nothing just comes out right, Alix. You did this!”
He shrugged. “I didn’t feel like I was in control.”
She looked up into his face then raised her head a bit more and kissed his cheek.
He smiled in response, and then kissed her lips. Once more she rested her head on his shoulder. “Sleep,” he told her.
“You first. I’ll be here watching. Everything has changed,” he whispered. “We’re fugitives, now.”