Chapter 19: The Line

To Alex's surprise, the next few days passed rather quickly and without more confrontations. Of course, tensions still ran high, but everyone kept it in check. Alex and Yassen were not to be trifled with and K-unit had the kid's back. It was inexplicable, but the grounds felt like it was a war on standby, an unwritten treaty in place.

And in this fashion, Alex trained, studied, and recovered. Even Mia saw vast improvments concerning his psyche.

Coming into the camp, Alex had failed the pscyhe test. She had worried that these past missions had taken a huge irreversible toll upon the young child's mind. However, she realized that Alex had long stopped being a child, he had matured beyond his years.

Gradually he opened up to her, not fully to disclose his missions, but enough for her to underestand exactly why he endured. Alex had an unfailing sense of duty and responsibility. It was something rare and admirable in one so young. Alex had handled these situations far better than any soldiers that come through her office. She could only hope that MI6 stopped using him before something truly unfixable happens.

Alex's bond to K-unit and Yassen became stronger than ever. Even through unspoken words, they understood each other. It was bonds borne through enduring both camraderie and suffering alike.

For Alex, Yassen became somewhat of a pseudo-godfather or perhaps more of a mentor. Alex had enough of godfathers, his last experience with one hadn't really endeared him to trust anyone else easily.

Both Alex and Yassen hated the thin silver accesory that kept Yassen chained to the camp. To them, it was a symbol of imprisonment that both of them could not escape. For Alex, MI6, and Yassen, physical freedom.

K-unit had been and continued to be his brothers in combat. This squadron he trusted his life with. They had proved themselves to be pillars Alex could rely on.

Soon enough the last day of training camp had arrived. It was a sigh of relief for both the soldiers as well as Alex. The forced peace had almost come to a point and something was bound to happen if it continued anylonger.

Alex himself, was excited to leave. He felt both physically and evenly mentally a bit better, surprisingly. Figures, one of the places I actually feel revived is in a boot camp, thought Alex. However, Alex yearned to see Jack, the one thing that had been constant in his entire life. But he did wonder what was going to happen to Yassen once he left.

It was obvious the reason Yassen was at the camp was to train him, but what is MI 6 goining to do with him now? Was MI 6 going to kill the assassin, or maybe sedate him until the next time they would need him? Alex wouldn't put it past them. He knew they were ruthless when it comes to achieving their goals. There must be someway to help Yassen, Alex thought. Well, it wasn't exactly easy to help an international known assassin without landing oneself on the world's most wanted list, thought Alex wryly.

These were the questions that flitted through Alex's mind as he loaded his duffle bag onto the back of the Jeep.

Unbeknownst to him, the Seargant had already sedated Yassen and was preparing him to be transferred back to Royale and General on the same route Alex was going on. As much as the man appreciated the assassin assissting Cub, he hated the man residing at his camp even more. It just wasn't meant to be. He was glad to wash his hands clean of the assassin, but at the same time, he couldn't help but feel an unease when the man was out of his sight.

Finally, the last man boarded the vehicles, and three Jeeps peeled out of the camp heading back towards London.

Leaning back on the seats, Alex asked Wolf, "So where are Fox and Snake? I thought they were going to ride with us."

Wolf started and fixed his collar nervously. Something was not quite right, Alex could feel it.

"Oh, they are sitting with some equipment we have on the other Jeeps," replied Wolf.

For the rest of the ride, it was quite, leaving Alex to ponder his own thoughts. What would MI 6 have in store for him now? I hoped he would be allowed back in school, though that was rather a vain hope. He didn't think MI 6 sent him to the camp just to keep him safe. There were several bunkers they could have used otherwise.

Soon enough, they were turning onto the familiar street that led to his home.

Inside the Rider home was bustling activity. Almost all the lights were on and Jack was hurrying to and fro to prepare the house for Alex's arrival. She missed Alex immensly and couldn't wait to see him. Though she hated the thought of him spending time with the government, she couldn't help appreciate the fact that he was probably the safest at the camp.

It had been annoying at first, having so many guards circulating the neighborhood. They had been dressed in civilian clothing, but she could tell at a glance by the way they walked, that they did not belong. But it was not matter, Alex was coming back!

Happily, she set the table and glanced at the clock. He would be here in 5 minutes! She had made him his favorite soup. Well, there should be enough time for me to dump these peels in the compost bin out back, thought Jack.

Quickly she gathered the left over vegetable parts and headed towards the back door.

Alex could see all the lights were on his house. Jack was probably whipping up one of her famous creations, thought Alex. He knew she loved to experiment with her dishes. Luckily they all tasted alright, with perhaps one or two mishaps along the way.

Finally the Jeeps pulled up to the sidewalk a few doors down from his house. He pulled his duffle bag from the mix and headed down the road with the other men following behind. It had started drizzling. He hoped he would make it inside before it started pouring.

It was then he felt it. Saw it.

It felt like his world was crashing down.

No, it was worse, much worse.

It was as if someone had hooked up his house to his bycicyle pump, thought Alex disbelievingly, as the house bulged outward and exploded into a thousand shards.

It was strangely silent, as if everything was on mute.

Alex didn't feel it at all as Wolf tackled him to the ground as pieces of burning wood and glass flew around them.

There was a odd pressure in Alex's head. He couldn't breathe. Couldn't hear. He could not stop seeing.

And then someone flipped a switched. All the sound and horror became real, much too real.

Alex scrambled up from Wolf's grip and started running towards the burning remains of the house. He heard an awful keening sound and looked around before realizing that he was the maker of the sound.

Words could not describe the grief he was feeling. Jack, JACK, JACK! screamed Alex mentally and physically. This was not happening. It was not. It was not. Oh god. Where is Jack?

Arms caught him in the middle midway across the lawn. He struggled, bit, kicked the arms that held him prisoner, the ones preventing him from seeing Jack. He was sobbing, thrashing, fighting more wildly than any wildcat.

Wolf, with tears streaming down his face held the boy tight. He could not let Cub run in there, as much as he wanted to run in there himself. He could not stop the immense grief he felt as he watched the fire rage in the house which held the remains of Alex's last family. He held him tight.

The boy suddenly became very still in his arms. Wolf looked down, fearing that Cub had passed out from the trauma. Instead, he saw something that he feared most.

The boy's eyes were clear. The warm brown had frozen into something harder than diamond. They were full of pain, fear, suffering, and hate.

Alex could not feel anything, but at the same time could not stop feeling everything. His anguish burned the very blood in his veins. He had to get away form here, away from everything.

Those he had trusted, had betrayed him, in the worst way possible. He had believed that they would keep Jack safe, yet the reality lay in front of him. His house in smithereens, with Jack inside. He had enough.

Catching Wolf by surprise, with a few practiced moves, he knocked the older man down. Enough to wind him and give himself enough time to escape. As he turned to run, Alex saw something metallic on the ground. It must have fallen out of Wolf's pocket. On instinct, he nabbed it form the ground and stuffed it in his pocket.

No one paid him much heed as he weaved through the wreckage. It was a mess, firemen, bomb squads, people everywhere. The rest of K-unit was busy scouring the area for possible further enemies.

Alex started running.

The pounding of his feet on the pavement drove him faster and faster away from the scene.

He didn't want to think. He didn't want to feel.

He just wanted to run, run forever, leaving everything behind.

But he wasn't running away, oh no.

He was going to find out who did this and take revenge.

Alex wiped the wetness from his eyes. His sweat, his tears, his blood, the rain washed them all away.

In the third Jeep, Yassen stirred on his cot. The sedation was only meant for a limited amount of time and that time had passed. Yassen could feel his heart quickening, the lethargy leaving his body.

Strangely as he opened his eyes, he found himself inside a vehicle. He heard quite a commotion outside.

"Stay where you are." Said a voice commandingly. He turned his head and saw the man he recognized as Snake, one of Alex's soldiers holding a gun to his head. Fox had already gone outside to help, and unfortunately Snake was left by himself.

Snake knew that the drug would wear off soon and decided stand guard over the assassin while his fellow soldier went out. But he knew himself, that he was no match for Yassen.

Yassen knew this was his chance. He had enough experience with guns to his head to be properly fearful of them any longer. Frighteningly calm and lightning quick, he dispatched Snake. Of course, it was only to knock the other man out. He knew that Alex would not like it if Snake was killed.

As he opened the truck doors, he was met with a cacophony of sounds and smells. His eyes zeroed in at the burning house and the mass of people trying to salvage what was left. This must be the boy's house thought Yassen. He sighed.

His eyes raked the scene as he tried to find Alex, who was no where to be seen.

Knowing his trigger box had to have come on the trip, he scoured the scene for a second man, Wolf. He knew it had to be in his hands, they would not have left the soldiers defenseless against him on the trip.

Finding Wolf on the ground knocked out, Yassen patted him down. He found nothing. Too late to search anymore, as another soldier spotted him outside, Yassen headed for the shadows.

In the distance he saw another figure.

The two ghosts blended into the darkness.


A/N: righto…, so I haven't updated in so long! Omggg. So a lot of you probably hate me for what seems like an abondment, right? Haha, but no, I did finish this story. Hopefully, this ending isn't too heartbreaking for y'all.

However don't you worry, there will be a sequel! I promise!