Alright so here's my response to the Firm's October challenge. I had a lot of fun writing it so let's see if you have just as much reading it.
Disclaimer: I do not own Alex Rider.
The sounds of gleeful screams permeated through the bright, sunny day. The afternoon rays glinted off of the multicolored lights that,at night,would brighten the place in an artificial yet happy glow. Children ran from ride to ride as they tried to squeeze in as much world-tilting fun as possible. Teenagers tested their luck as they filled their stomachs withcheap, greasy stand food, and then braved the roller coasters and rides that spun them around until they couldn't walk in a straight line. The people were there for fun. All expect a spare few.
Alex Rider sat at a picnic table, looking to all the world as if he was hanging out with his older brother. He was watching the person across from him inhale a foot long chili dog with an overabundant amount of gusto. He couldn't help but give a small look of disgust. It wasn't like the food was bad enough; the sight made it ten times worse.
Eventually, the man across from him looked up as he finally registered the stare he was receiving from the teen.
"What?" he mumbled around the large bite he'd just taken.
"That's disgusting," Alex responded.
"I'm just eating," Eagle replied, his mouth slightly open and showing the contents inside.
"With as little manners as possible," Cub responded. "Shut your look like an idiot."
Eagle complied, his teeth clicking together as he threw a small glare at the boy across from him.
"You know, I liked you better when you didn't talk," he said. "Remember those days? It was just quiet and timidish out of you."
"I was not timid," Alex growled. "And the only reason I was quiet was because talking to you guys just wasn't worth it. And 'timidish' isn't a word."
"Never could do English very good," he replied.
Alex shook his head at the terrible grammar.
"What exactly are we waiting for?" he asked.
Eagle swallowed another bite and responded.
"Big guys, no kids, looking suspicious," he replied. "You know, the usual when it comes to these terrorist types. They all look the same."
"Yeah," Alex agreed with zero amount of enthusiasm.
Never again would he agree to do a job with K-Unit. Not only did he get the unique experience of pretending to be Eagle's kid brother, but he hated amusement parks. He never could find the 'amusement' in it. He'd only been there once, with Jack and Tom on his ninth birthday. It had been a boring day. Eagle was ecstatic to be here, though—Alex was pretty sure the man was nothing more than a giant kid, a thought so scary that it was worthy of a horror movie.
"Would you at least try to relax?" Eagle asked, amused by the stiffness in the teen's shoulders.
Eagle sighed. This was going to be a really long day.
An hour later,they were still sitting there. Alex had briefly seen Wolf and Snake walk by with two women they had obviously just met hanging off their arms. Eagle had mumbled a "No fair," and Alex had felt amused for the first time that day.
Technically, it was a part of their cover to mix with the amusement park staff and patrons like one normally would. However, Alex had no interest in being there and Eagle was far more concerned about eating. K-Unit and Alex had all agreed outside that Alex and Eaglewould sit at the table for as long as possible, acting as a pair of more permanent eyes. The other three would wander around while remaining fairly close. So far, they'd seen nothing, and Alex was starting to think that this deal theywere waiting for just wasn't going to go down. Maybe they'd had some sort of leak?
Eventually, even Alex got bored with just sitting there. He almost became hypnotized by the movements of one of the rides. It spun around in a wide circle while,at the same time, lifting the cars to different heights and spinning those around as well. He remembered this ride from the last time he was here. It had been the only one he'd had any fun on. Getting a crazy idea,he glanced over at Eagle again, who had finally stopped eating the nasty park food.
"We should get on a ride," he said suddenly, and pretended not to see the sharp look Eagle gave him.
"Uh, why?" the soldier asked, confused.
Alex couldn't really blame him. It was a pretty strange suggestion, considering that he didn't even want to be there, and had made no attempt at hiding that fact.
"It'll look more natural," Alex responded.
"Our job is to sit here," Eagle refuted.
"For hours?" Alex responded. "The longer we sit here,the more suspicious we look to anybody who might be watching."
The look on Eagle's face might have been a painful version of contemplation, but Alex wasn't too sure.
The boy continued, "Besides, the others are all wandering around near here. We're covered."
"What's with the sudden interest in the rides?" Eagle asked.
Alex gave a shrug but answered anyway.
"I've always liked that ride," he said, nodding to said contraption. "It was the only one I ever had any fun on as a kid."
"You're a strange one," the soldier mumbled, and Alex glared a little at him. Eagle, catching the glare, sighed. "Fine, one ride."
Alex smirked and sprang up, leading the way to the Tilt-N-Spin. They got into the not-so-long line. They only had to wait a few minutes,and then they were seated in a bright blue car. Eagle pulled down the security bar while Alex braced his feet on the sloped front. He couldn't wait to tell Tom about this particular mission. How often did one get to coerce a SAS soldier into riding an amusement park ride?
At first, the spins weren't too intense, in fact, it was rather enjoyable. It wasn't that bad when it picked up either, and they really started going. Alex didn't scream out in joy or anything of the sort,but a small, relaxed smile came onto his face. It had been so long since he'd done something like this,and he was actually enjoying it. He remembered the first time he'd been on this ride. He'd been sitting next to Tom, and the two nine-year-olds had had a blast watching the guy in front of them throw up over the had been incredibly funny.
Then Alex glanced over at the empty table that he and Eagle had occupied previously, only tosee four men sit down. In the brief second that he saw them before the ride spun him away,he was able to deduce that these were the guys he and K-Unit were after. Thefour men fit the profile. Leather jackets. Abriefcase. All around shadiness. It was an old cliché in a new place. Honestly, who did an arms deal in an amusement park? Alex twisted and turned in order to keep an eye on them until the ride stopped.
And that was when he heard the groan. He looked at the man next to him, only to find his companion an unbecoming shade of green. Alex lifted his eyebrow as he saw the sweat on Eagle'stemple and the glazed eyes. Was Eagle sick?
"You okay?" he asked, momentarily forgetting about the arms dealers.
Eagle's jaw clenched a little tighter and he shook his head 'no'. Alex almost laughed,but then the security bar was released because the ride had ended. He sprang up, leaving Eagle in the blue car,and snuck back towards the table, using a peanut and lemonade stand as cover. He crouched just behind one of the metal barrel trash cans to listen.
"-at price is too high," one of them was saying. "We won't pay it."
"Then I suggest you go somewhere else," another said coldly. "These are the best around, and that's what they're worth."
"How about I just go to the Russians? They have a much better price."
"And the pieces of shit to match the low price. You'll get what you pay for. I guarantee that."
Unfortunately, that was when a worker from the stand turned the corner with a trash bag in hand, and saw Alex crouching behind the trash can. Not understanding what was going on, she spoke:
"What are you doing?" she asked at a ridiculously loud volume.
The four people at the table spun their heads around so fast that Alex had no clue how they avoided getting four criminals weren't the brightest of people, or the least rash. One of them started to pull out a gun, and Alex knew—knew—that both he and the vendor would be on the receiving end of the bullets. The girl behind him had yet to notice it because she was still staring at him in a perplexed kind of way.
He turned on his heels and sprang at her, tackling her to the ground just as the first gunshots rent through the air. When he didn't feel bullets pierce his body, Alex turned and looked over his shoulder, ignoring the vendor's screams. K-Unit was rushing from three different directions, guns drawn and scowls in full force. Alex had no idea where Eagle was. The patrons and staff of the park were either fleeing or ducking down. Everybody was screaming.
Whichever soldier who had shot first had aimed true, and the man who'd been pulling out his gun was on the ground, howling in pain at his bloodied hand. The criminals had no time to draw their weapons, but they did engage in hand to hand. Full out brawls broke between the men. Alex could already hear sirens coming from the parking lot, which was located on the other side of the tall fence not five meters away from him. He grabbed the girl's upper arm and started shoving her around the corner of the stand to try and keep her from catching a stray bullet or receiving some other sort of injury. He was still on his knees because, due to terror, the girl was in no condition to stand properly.
With his back turned, Alex never saw the man on the ground come into contact with his gun again and raise it. He did, however, see Eagle stumble around the same corner he'd come around not five minutes before, at a speed Alex didn't think he'd be capable of in Eagle's state. The soldier managed to kick the gun out of the wounded man's good hand, and then stomped on it with his boot, breaking a few fingers.
In the criminal's instinctive reaction, he jerked his hand out from under Eagle. The already slightly unbalanced SAS agent toppled, right on top of the criminal. If it hadn't been a complete accident, Alex would have commended Eagle on his pinning abilities, as the older man's knee hit the other man's head, knocking him out cold. The unconscious man's associates were proving to be below SAS standards, and were soon either contained or unconscious.
Wolf, grinning like his namesake after a well won fight, approached Alex and helped him up.
"Alright there Cub?" he asked lowly, so that the still hysterical girl had no chance of hearing—even if she did have the presence of mind to eavesdrop.
"Yeah, I'm good," he said, looking over Wolf's shoulder at Eagle.
Eagle was swaying slightly after managing to pull himself up using the side of the metal trash can that Alex had been hiding behind. Wolf turned to see what Alex was staring at, and quickly went to his teammate who, for all he knew, was injured. Snake was already there, a hand on the other soldier's shoulder, trying to question him about what the hell was wrong with him. The new guy, Fowl, was busy giving their identification to the now arriving police officers.
Eagle suddenly turned and ducked his head down below the rim of the metal can before his combined motion sickness and adrenaline rush pushed the contents of his stomach out. Alex bit his lip and approached the Unit.
"Huh, I feel like this is my fault," he said as Eagle groaned.
"It is!" he practically howled, an echo bouncing off the metal sides of the trash can, making him sound all the more pathetic.
"What did you do?" Wolf growled, probably coming to some logical conclusion about Alex poisoning his teammate.
"Well, we went on a ride," he said, rubbing a hand on the back of his neck. "I honestly didn't think he'd get motion sickness."
Snake rolled his eyes and Wolf looked incredulous.
Eagle poked his head up long enough to say, "I now remember why I never went on the spinning rides as a kid."
He then ducked back down as a new wave of nausea plagued him. Snake shook his head again and, for some unsightly reason, looked down into the trash can to see how much his teammate was throwing up.
"Good God Eagle!" he snapped. "How much did you eat?"
"Everything," Alex replied helpfully.
Wolf grunted a little and crossed his arms as another evil grin came onto his face. It was the same one Alex had dreaded at Brecon Beacons. When it had been directed at him, it was not amusing, but had often been funny when directed at someone else.
"You know, I could go for some lunch," he said with an amused look at his sick teammate's back. "Eagle, do you want to go get a burrito?"
Eagle let out a huge groan.
"Sick, twisted bastard," he mumbled, but it was amplified by the metal. None of them could quite contain their laughs. Who'd have thought that Eagle could get so sick over a little dizziness?
And there you have it! Let me know what you think.
Also, huge shout out to my beta, prone2dementia, whose editing skills far surpass my own. Thanks a million!