Preview to For the World – A part of a chapter to come

This is my first real fanfiction that I'm doing as more than a oneshot, so I wanted to do this preview to get a feel for it. I hope you like it.

Italics is a flashback

The explosions continued throughout the base, shaking the ground as Artemis fought to run through the narrow corridors. Smoke was starting to fill the hallway, stinging his eyes and hiding cracks and debris from view.

A particularly large crack in the ground met his already clumsy foot, and he hit the unyielding ground hard, losing what little air he had.

'Damn it… Get up'

Clinging to the wall, he continued his mission back toward the center room, back towards the controls, back to her…

She'd known. She figured it out on her own, and set it up to end like this. In the end, she'd finally gotten the better of him.

"This is the only way. I don't regret it, Artemis. How can I? After everything that's happened, if I can save you, and Holly, and Foaly, and Butler...and everyone, I can't choose anything else."

"You don't have to do this! You don't have to end everything here! Jus-Just come back with us! We'll sort it out after we get out! You know I'll think of something!"

"You'll always think of something. I never doubted that."

"Why do you want this? Why die here-"

Butler grabbed his young charge now, unwilling to risk anymore time as the countdown continued. Gasping and struggling against the giants hold, Artemis fought, kicking and pounding to be released, ordering Butler to let him go. He might as well have fought a stone.

"No… No! NO! Stop! Let me go! Butler, I order you to let me go!"

Butler said nothing, fighting back his own emotions. His duty was to his charge. It always had been. But that didn't mean leaving her didn't kill him.

"Please, Artemis," she begged. "Please, you've got to live"

"Just come down!"

Butler reached the doors, dragging Artemis backwards and into the corridor. The doors started to close as he fought against his bodyguard/captor.

"Artemis," she said, tears glistening in her eyes. "You've got no idea how much…" She closed her eyes and bit her lip, taking a deep breath before saying the last words he heard from her.

"Thank you, my superhero."

And then the doors slammed shut with a resounding bang, drowning out his final desperate shout, his last attempt to deny the reality set before him.