Title: Speed: Haven City Style
Disclaimer: I don't even own the plot…
Keywords: kissing, Jak/Keira, PGA (Praxis gets ass-kicking)
Couples: major Jak/Keira
Chapter Rating: PG-13 for Jak and Praxis bad boy language and violence
Feedback: falls to her knees I am begging you!
Timeline: same time, same place
Author's Notes: w00t-ege! The finally chapter has arrived. After a good few months of me being lazy, you being annoyed, and Daxter being unlucky, the end of S:HCS has arrived. Aren't ya'all excited? silence okay… This is a chapter I got out actually on time! Yay! Let's all be proud of the author and her non-laziness!
Story notes: kissing, kissing, kissing!
(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)(&(&)(&)(&)(&)(&)Chapter Six- Pop Quiz
The SWAT team was finalizing their preparation in Pershing Square just outside the Race Stadium. Undercover cops moved here and there, signaling to each other. On top of a large hotel, the Baltimore, snipers took their positions and waited, their guns loaded and ready.
An ambulance pulled up besides a barbershop without their sirens wailing. Jak stepped out. He hadn't allowed the scar on his arm or on his side to be patched up because there wasn't time. His once white shirt was now gray with the sweat he had worked up and he looked exhausted. He signaled to Keira within the ambulance to sit tight until he came back. Because she was still getting her wounds bandaged, Keira didn't complain.
Jak hurried towards the small barbershop where Samos was setting up his command post to wait out Praxis. He glanced back at the ambulance once before entering the small hair salon.
Keira smiled at the doctors as they finished patching up her wounds. As they returned to their seats in the front of the car, she stepped outside. She didn't feel like sitting in any form of vehicle after what had just happened to her.
She watched Jak's retreating back, her face etched in worry.
Howard Praxis parted his blinds slowly and peered out onto Pershing Square with a smile on his features. He watched as a garbage truck pulled up next to the northeast trashcan. A cop dressed as a garbage man walked over to the trashcan and dropped two plastic bags into them before driving away.
Praxis looked around the square more. He watched as a SWAT member dunked into a doorway on the opposite side of the street and he saw a sniper crouching low on the roof. He chuckled to himself and headed for the door. He stopped as he passed the small black and white TV that showed the bus still circling the airport.
"It's too bad, Jak. You probably would've made a good cop," Praxis muttered, smiling at the TV. Just as he walked away he noticed something that had him frowning in sudden anger.
Mrs. Kamino dropped her purse on the TV screen. The TV glitched and the purse was suddenly back in her hands… it fell again and returned back to her hands moments later.
A scream rose up in his throat…
Jak, Samos, and Norwood stared nervously out of the storefront.
Keira watched the barbershop Jak was in. She could see him, but he wasn't looking at her. She took this time to admire his handsome, strong features and smiled softly. Jak had asked her to stay in the ambulance instead of going to the hospital, saying he had something important to ask her.
Maybe on a date? Keira thought hopefully, even though it was kind of odd after all they had been through together for the thought of date to get her flustered. A dreamy look took over her eyes and she didn't notice the cops running to and fro, trying to keep curious pedestrians back.
There was a tap on her shoulder and Keira turned her head and looked into the calm, trained face of a SWAT cop. "Miss, we can't have you this close, we need you to move back."
"But Jak—" Keira protested, frowning slightly. She remembered very clearly Jak telling her to stay near the ambulance Well, he had actually said stay inside the hovercar, but there was no way she was going to stay in any form of vehicle for a good day or so.
"Officer Traven," the SWAT cop agreed with another nod of his head. "Asked that you be brought out of harm's way. Please, this way, miss."
Keira sighed, pleased that Jak seemed that concerned with her safety. She smiled dreamily up at the SWAT cop as he gently took her arm and led her away.
Howard Praxis smiled back…
Jak was aggravated as he watched the garbage can stand alone on the corner without any signs of movement. Did Praxis know something was up?
"He's running a little late," Norwood muttered besides him, pressing a pair of binoculars to his eyes to get a better look at the garbage can.
Jak looked at his watched and saw it read two minutes after eleven. He shook his head, knowing something was off. "He's not late."
"What?" Norwood asked, turning his eyes away from the binoculars to look at Jak with confusion in his eyes.
"He's never late," Jak repeated, the feeling of something being wrong settling into his stomach.
"That money hasn't moved," Norwood muttered to himself and Jak, looking back at the can. "We got two hundred eyes on that can. And there's a homing beacon in the money bag. We'd know if he moved it. He's covered."
Jak looked over at the tracking machine set up on a wooden table. "Turn it on," he snapped, realizing something.
"What for? He's not—" Norwood began to protest.
Norwood sighed, but flipped the slim switch on the machine. It lit up and Norwood's eyes widened. The white light that symbolized the money blinked off and on as it moved across the screen.
"Shit…" Norwood muttered.
Jak wheeled around and bolted for the can.
"Jak!" Samos cried, but the young man had already dashed across the street.
Jak dodged the traffic as he made his way across the street to the garbage can. He reached it and yanked it from the floor. He looked into a dark hole leading to a utility access tunnel.
"Son of bitch…" Jak muttered.
He placed his hands on either side of the hole and dropped into it. As he landed gently on the ground he heard the distinct sound of feet hitting the linoleum only a few paces ahead of him. He pulled his gun from his waistband and followed the sound.
He could hear someone running down the tunnel, the two bags of money in their hands. Jak couldn't see who it was—in the dim light their body was cast in shadows. But he knew it had to be Praxis…
Jak unlocked the safety of his gun and drew a bead. "Freeze! Turn around." He aimed the trigger at the back of Praxis's head, moments away from pulling the trigger. He thought of Daxter and his face clenched.
Praxis stopped running, but didn't turn around. His back was heaving from his run.
Jak clenched his teeth together as a raw anger overtook him. "Pop quiz, asshole. I have a hair trigger aimed at your head and I'm in a real shitty mood. What do you do? Turn around. TURN AROUND!"
Slowly, Praxis obeyed but still didn't say anything. As he turned his face came into the light and Jak could see him…
It was Keira… and she was terrified.
As Jak stared at her in horror, incredulous, Keira dropped the money bags and slowly reached down for the jacket around her torso. She opened it and Jak gave a view of the ten pounds of C-4 strapped to her chest.
Jak realized what was going on and his gun lowered just slightly as his mouth opened wide. "Oh no…" he managed.
"I'm sorry…" Keira said so softly that for a moment Jak doubted her heard her.
An emergency door on the side of tunnel opened with a bang and Praxis stepped out with a deadman's stick caught between his fingers. "Be prepared. That's the boy scout's marching song." He waved the stick.
"I'm sorry, Jak," Keira said, more loudly this time, just to be certain he had heard her. Jak shook his head in disbelief.
"What are you doing to do, Jak?" Praxis wondered idly, flipping a lock of Keira's hair just to make Jak's blood boil. "I don't think you can shoot her…"
"Let her go," Jak said through clenched teeth, his gun caught so tight in his fingers they began to bleed.
Praxis looked down at Keira, who had lowered her head to fight back her tears, and pretended to consider it. Finally he shook his head. "No… I don't think I'm gonna do that."
With his other hand he dropped a large bag at Keira's feet, who flinched at the slight sound. "Fill it." As Keira bent down to obey, Praxis addressed Jak, "I think Daxter would be disappointed seeing as how we're right back to where we started."
Jak's rage exploded. "Let her go! You got the money! Take it and walk!" He moved forward a foot, motioning to the bag of money Keira was filling, but Praxis waved the detonator and he jumped back. "Let her go!"
"You still don't get it, Jak," Praxis said, looking down at Keira as she continued to fill the bag, biting her lip until it bleed. "The beauty of it. A bomb is made to explode; that's its meaning, its purpose. Your life is empty because you stop the bomb from becoming. And for what? For who? People like her? You know what a bomb is, Jak, that doesn't explode? It is a cheap gold watch."
"You're crazy," Jak grounded out, his eyes filled with hateful fire. "You're fucking crazy!"
Keira rose from her knees, her body trembling and her work done. "Poor people are crazy, Jak." Praxis reached down and hoisted up the bag of money and waved it in the air. "I'm eccentric. Let's go." He ushered Keira to the door from which he had entered.
Jak raised his gun at Praxis and almost fired, but the stick in his hand kept him from firing. He lowered his gun, his face twisting, ready to scream in rage.
Praxis looked over at Jak, almost fondly. Then he pushed Keira through the door, who gave a small scream, and slammed it shout behind him.
Jak rushed to the door, twisting the knob. When it didn't budge he rammed his shoulder against it… hard. It still wouldn't budge. Jak raised his gun and fired at the knob, blasting it apart. He kicked the door open and light flooded in. Jak stepped through door and found himself in the subway.
He was on the upper level and there weren't many people around. Someone rushed past him from downstairs, looking extremely frightened. Jak took the hint and climbed down the steps, two at a time.
Praxis pushed Keira in front of him. She move without any sound of protested, knowing he literally held her life in his hands. Around them people were screaming, moving away from them. Praxis had his large Scatter gun out and Keira was wearing bombs. People began to climb out of the subway and Praxis pushed Keira into the first car by her shoulder.
There were only three people sitting there. A man, a woman, and little girl. He pointed the gun at them, smiled, and asked, "Are these seats taken?"
The father pushed at his wife and little girl and they ran from the subway, screaming as loud as they could. The cars were empty as the train doors closed and the train started to move.
Jak ran down the stairs, yelling for the civilians to move out of his way. He sprinted along the platform as the train started to move. He jumped after it, but only managed to grab the fourth car.
Praxis pushed Keira against a vertical pole and handcuffed her. He pressed the detonator into her fingers and she trembled. "Now, you don't want to drop this. I'm counting on you."
He moved to the front of the car as the driver came from the control compartment. "What the hell is going on here?" he asked.
Praxis raised his Scatter gun and shot him point blank four times. The driver was sent flying backwards into the control compartment. Two of the shots crashed into the actual control panel, causing sparks to scatter across the board.
Keira screamed and began to struggle with her hold on the deadman's stick. She had almost dropped it at the sounds of the shots and couldn't seem to get a firm hold back on it. She cried hysterically as she reached out for the stick.
Crouching down as he scurried along the cars, Jak made his way to the first one. He left the compartment doors open as he went, having no time or patient to close them. He reached the door leading to the first compartment just in time to see Praxis blow away the driver.
He was about to rush forward when he saw Keira struggling to gain hold of the stick, but Praxis made his way over to her.
"Uh-oh!" Praxis said as Keira struggled with the detonator. He rushed forward and took it from her. "I think you better let me hold this after all. I'm afraid you're a little hysterical and might let go a mite early." As she began to tremble again, Praxis tapped her lightly on the shoulder with his knuckles. "Hey, buckaroo, it's not because you're a woman."
Praxis turned and made his way to the back of the car. He almost saw Jak, but he dunked in time. With nowhere else to go, Jak climbed onto the top of the car. Praxis peered into the other cars of the train and saw they were empty.
"Looks like we're alone," he said to Keira, smiling. "I don't think anybody wanted this ride." He made his way back over to her.
As he neared, Keira struggled to keep calm and failed. She had to find a way to save herself and it made her panic. Almost hysterically she said to him, "You can let me go. You won. You beat Jak, you beat everyone. Throw me off the train, I don't car. Only let me go. Please…" Her eyes swam.
Praxis ran his hand through her silky hair like a tiny child would a favourite doll, he spoke to her softly, "This stick works on a remote. See, when you explode, that's where they'll came. But that's not where I'll be. A mess like that… they don't even count body pieces. Gives me more time." He brushed hair tenderly from her face, like Jak had done. "It's not gonna hurt, Keira."
Jak crawled along the train, trying to be as quiet as he could. Keira's life depended on it. He raised his hand to check his gun when a red conduit pipe ripped it from his fingers and sent it flying over the side.
Praxis and Keira looked up at the roof of the train as they heard the gun bounce down it. Praxis grinned wildly.
"Is that you, Jak?" he called to the ceiling and then turned his smile to Keira. "He's so persistent. Always gets his man, you know."
Praxis knelt down besides his bag of money and opened it. He looked up at the ceiling again. "Don't suppose you'd be interested in a bride now, would you?" He chuckled to himself. "There's plenty to go around."
As he said it, a dye exploded in the bag. It sprayed across Praxis's face and he looked at the purple dye spreading across the green money, ruining it. The purple ink dripped down from his face like blood.
Praxis screamed and jumped to his feet, drawing his Scatter gun. Still roaring, he fired a round into the ceiling.
"You bastard!" he screamed to the ceiling. "You like that, huh? You like that you piece of shit!?"
Jak rolled away as the bullets came up all around him. He managed to dodge being hit by all but one. It ripped through his shoulder and he clutched it in pain, forcing himself to stay quiet.
Agony played across his face.
Praxis fired his Scatter gun again and again and again until he found himself clicking on an empty gun. Even then, it was almost impossible for him to stop. Screaming again, he dropped the gun to the floor.
"I'm gonna get you, Jak!" He screamed, rushing past Keira towards the compartment door. He shouted Jak's name loudly.
Keira lowered herself to her knees, her hair covering her face. Her body shook with sobs.
There were no more bullets, Praxis must be out. Jak turned back towards the door, knowing he had to get to Keira fast.
Praxis was right there.
Screaming the man slammed his fist into Jak's face. Jak went reeling backwards, sliding against the metal of the train. As Jak looked back up at Praxis, he could see he was practically foaming at the mouth.
He hit Jak with the hand that held the deadman's stick. Jak was helpless. He was wounded and Praxis had the stick… Keira would die unless he got it away from the crazed metal man. He feebly tried to defend himself, not able to fight back.
Praxis was on his knees over Jak. He's started to hit Jak repeatedly on his shoulder wound. Jak nearly blanked out from the pain, but Praxis's voice brought him back to.
"What do you do, Jak? What do you do? You're so smart! Right, Jak?" He pressed the deadman's stick against Jak's cheek, causing blood to run. "You little piece of shit! I got the plan! I'm smarter then you! I'm smarter then you."
Jak's vision was blurry, but he was able to see the flashing red light. He realized that they were tearing through another station.
Jak pulled his leg up and slammed it into Praxis's solar plexus. Praxis flew back, standing straight up on his knees. His eyes widened at Jak.
A red conduit pipe smashed into his face.
Jak watched as something round bounced along the train like a tin can thrown carelessly onto the freeway by some yahoo driver.
Praxis's hand loosened on the deadman's stick. Jak lunged and wrapped his own fingers around the trigger, keeping it pressed down. The body of Praxis rolled off the train and onto the tracks. Jak leaned his back against the train and panted, out of energy as well as breath.
Finally, Jak lifted his head and looked at the stop where Praxis—with a head—had once kneeled. "Yeah, well I'm taller," he gritted out.
Keira stood and turned her body wearily as she heard the doors slide open. Relief shone bright on her face as she saw not Praxis but Jak, clutching the deadman's stick. She smiled at him, weakly, and said his name softly.
As Jak walked towards her, breathing hard from his fight with Praxis but still looking powerful, she asked in a soft voice, "Praxis?"
Jak didn't reply. Instead, for an answer, he rose the deadman's stick, almost smiling at her. Keira felt another wave of relief wash over her.
"I ripped his head off," Jak drawled and then said to her, "Let's get this off, shall we?" Keira nodded her head enthusiastically. He eyed the C-4 for a moment before pulling a wire from the bombs. He released the deadman's stick and smiled at her widely. He threw both deadly things to the ground and walked over to the control compartment, going to slow the train.
Jak felt himself go stiff as he saw the sparks coming from the equipment. It was shot to shit. He saw the brake controls and flipped the switch. Nothing happened. He grabbed the speed volume level and tried to pull it back, but it wouldn't budge. It was jammed. He reached for the radio mike and tried it, but it was dead.
"Nothing works in this fucking town!" Jak thundered, slamming his fists into the control panel. It looked like they would be jumping. He turned around and raced back into the passenger car saying, "Keira, you're not gonna believe this but we gotta…" he trailed off, his eyes drawn to her wrists.
"You can't stop it?" Keira asked worriedly, flexing her wrists.
Her cuffed wrists.
Jak's mouth fell open as he approached her slowly, horror in his every step. Keira gave him a weak smile and said softly, "We'll… um… unlock me and I'd love to go with you…" She too trailed off as she saw the look in Jak's eyes.
"I—I don't have the key…"
"I don't have th—the key, Keira…" Jak whispered softly, grasping the chain link that held the two cuffs together. Keira looked at him in horror, saw the hopelessness in his face, and began to pull her wrists against the cuffs, straining them.
Jak backed up and kicked the pole she was locked to, kicked it again and again and again and again, but it wouldn't budge. Seeing that option as useless, he grabbed Keira's wrists and tried to pull them out of the cuffs. Her body was covered with sweat that his hands slid up her wrists to her arms.
He yanked her so hard that her wrists began to bleed and Keira jumped away in pain. "NooOOOOW!" Tears she had been bravely holding back came down her face in a waterfall. Jak's own face twisted as he battled tears. It was hopeless. He reached out to touch her shoulder but she was jerking around to much for him to get a grip.
Keira pushed away his hands, stopping her flow of tears, and said in a shaky voice, "Jak, you have to get off!"
No way. Jak sent her a look that said she was talking crazy. He turned his head as she continued to protested and saw the map on the wall. He could see the large curve of the road, leading to a dead end.
"Jak, listen to me," Keira tried to reason with him, more tears coming down her face. "The end of the line is solid rock. You have to jump. Goddamnit, I'm ordering you! Go!"
Jak didn't even bother to acknowledge her. Finally, after a long moment off thinking, he turned back to her and whispered, "Faster."
"Jak…" Keira sighed.
He walked over to the control compartment, stepping over the dead driver, saying to her, "The only way to stop this thing is to make it go faster. There's a curve up ahead. We go fast enough we might jump the track, hit something besides a dead end."
"Jak, this is bullshit!" Keira shouted at him. "You have to get off the train, Jak! Jak!" When he didn't answer her, she fell silent.
He pushed the level up to top speed and watched as the speedometer picked up speed. He turned back to Keira and walked over to her.
Keira slid boneless to the floor, not even crying now. Jak wanted to whip the look of defeat from her face, but he didn't know how. He was sure it was mirrored on his own. He stood there for a moment, looking down at her. Nothing mattered more, suddenly, then making sure she lived. Not getting the bad guys, not saving the hostages, just her. Just Keira…
She didn't look up at him as he gripped the pole and slid down next to her. How she wished he had gotten off the train. Knowing he was still alive would have made her death so much easier. Suddenly, she wanted to do nothing more then hold him. She looped her cuffs around his neck and brought him closer, fighting more tears. He wrapped his arms around her waist as well and held her close. She pressed her head into his shoulder as she felt the train pick up speed.
Please don't let him die, she thought.
The highland station, which the train road down, was still under construction. At the end of the station was the dead end leading into a rock-face.
Keira pressed herself more fully against Jak and he braced them both for the impact. "Come on… let's go…" she heard Jak whisper besides her ear.
The train barreled through the station, going way too fast but it still held firmly to the train tracks beneath it.
Jak and Keira were jarred by the rough ride. The lights around them flickered on and off. Smoke from the overheated engines rose into the car.
The crew workers fled as they heard the train racing down the tracks. It rushed passed them and continued on at a break-neck speed.
The train hit the curve hard. The wheels sparked on the rail, screeched. It bounced and jarred as it barreled on.
Jak and Keira clung to one another, their eyes squeezed tight as the ride became rougher, faster, more powerful…
The train jumped the track like Jak had hoped. The wheels came off the rail. The trailing subway cars twisted off and stayed on the main road, cashing into the rock-face.
The train with Jak and Keira on it skidded sideways up on the ramp. Steel sheared the car in half. The front half continued to skid and roll up the ramp.
On Hollywood Boulevard, just outside the Race Stadium, the train appeared. Like a breaching whale it flew into the air then skidded across the ground, crashing and finally rested on its side in front of the Chinese Theater, to the amazement of dazzled onlookers. Jak and Keira were visible from the now opened back car.
Jak and Keira sat up, amazed to see they were both fine. The pole that had held Keira captive had been wrenched free from the ceiling. Jak pulled Keira's hands free, laughing, and brought her into his arms. They fell down again, Keira on top and Jak beneath.
They kissed, desperately alive. Lips hastily merged in rapture at being alive. Keira's hands locked in Jak's hair and he clasped her waist to him. She moaned and he groaned. They were both a little dirty, a little sweaty, but it hardly mattered to them as they kissed. She tasted like the salt from her tears and fruit. He tasted like the coffee he had sipped hours earlier and… bagels?
Finally, they broke and Keira—still situated on top of Jak—cupped his face in her soft hands and said, "You didn't leave me." She looked him in the eyes in disbelief, shocked he had really stayed. "You didn't leave." She pressed herself back into his arms. "My God…"
"I didn't have anywhere to be just then." Jak explained, his hands coming up and pressing against her back.
Keira raised her head just slightly and smiled down into his eyes. "How boring?" she asked.
Jak blinked at her, "What?"
"How boring are you?" Keira elaborated, biting her tongue playfully at him. "I mean, is it… is it really scary, Jak?"
Deciding to play along, Jak thought for a moment. "Well… I watch bowling on TV…"
"Okay." She nodded, as if taking it into serious consideration.
"And sometimes…" Jak added slowly, as if not wanting to tell her. "When I watch bowling… I get excited and I… cheer."
"Ooh." Keira scrunched her face, absolutely adorable. "Well…"
"Keira," Jak spoke slowly, seriously now. "It's over. You can walk away." He said it like it hurt… maybe it did.
She gave him the look he had given her on the train when she had told him to jump. No way. She reached down and quickly, gently, clicked one of the cuffs onto his wrist and the other onto her own. Joining them.
Jak grinned at her as she sat up. He got them message. Playfully he pointed out to her, "I have to warn you, I was once told that relationships based on extreme circumstances never last…"
Keira grinned as well and bent back down, looking him straight in the eyes. She bit her lips lightly, considering, and said, "We'll have to base it on sex then…"
Jak laughed and used his free hand to cup her hair. "Whatever you say, ma'am," he told her and brought her lips back down to his. As they kissed passionately the shards of glass still clinging to the windowpane of the train broke and showered down on them, but they didn't notice.
The tourists were walking over to the destroyed train now. Somewhere in shellshock, others had dug out cameras, and the rest were just wondering what in the name of hell was going on.
But they all smiled at the kissing pair within in the train.
A/N: Well, I'm all done! Yay! Now, wasn't that just a tad fun? Go on, admit it! You enjoyed reading the blasted thing. Speed was a movie made for the fun of it, not to prove a point or send a message. It was made simply because people like fast-paced action, language, and romance. This movie had all that and more. And as a true blue American I loved it!
Alright, now onto the serious stuff. Below are the responses to the reviews (such a low turnout last chapter…) and below that is something special! A preview to the sequel to Jak III! That's right, Jak IV have finally arrived! I told I would get around to writing it, didn't I?
Hellmouth2: hides in corner Sorry, sorry, sorry! I wasn't too sure how I was going to handle that scene until after I had written it. I love Daxter to death, but it seems he's always getting the short end of the stick in my stories… hmm, why is that?
Glorfindel Silverleaf: Yes, I was kinda upset when Dax died. It reminded me of my sadness when that characters from Speed died… but alas, I made a vow to stay truthful to the script and I made myself kill Daxter! sobs
Maieve Avvi: No worries, luv, you didn't miss anything. Jak IV has not been posted as of yet, but trust me when I say it is in the works!
Jak IV: Penalties of War
Yes, it's in the works. In fact, I have about fourteen pages of it written. Looking at it, and my plans for it, it's gonna be an epicy kinda story with more then three parts to it. Before I post it I want to have all the plot kinks and holes work out, but expect the first Act to be up before the release of Jak 3 (I have it marked on my calendar with big pink hearts!) After that, well the updates might be slow. After all, I'll be spending most of my time playing Jak 3 or doing my homework. But take heed! It will arrive and in the next two weeks look out for it!
Jak IV: Penalties of War is not going to be a pretty story like my Jak III. No, it's gonna be heavy on the angst. While there will be romance (Lizzy doesn't write a story without romance) it will fall sort compared to the angst I'll be loading into it. I dun wanna give away any of the plot yet, but trust me, I think you'll be pleased. We're even going into Crea and Nyx's past, just like some of you wanted. I promise, I'm giving something to everyone and then some to myself!
It's over. You've seen the end.
That's it. Everything's been said.