Previously on Shattering Glass:
Bill nodded to Shane and the alpha lifted Hazel in his arms, the girl screaming as he bore her away from the scene, and Bill pulled at Belinda as she cried out, begging for Christopher not to do this.
But the aquatic alpha heard nothing of this as he held the lighter in his tanned hands, hands covered in Maria's blood. She looked up at him from beneath thick eyelashes.
"Don't leave me…"
He kissed her forehead softly as the soldiers entered the room, guns screaming. Bullets ripped through his skin but he felt no pain as he smiled softly down at her.
Christopher breathed, closing his eyes as he threw the lighter at the bombs.
"I'll see you on the other side."
Now back to the story…
Everyone stopped when the explosions rocked the building. Men and women, moments away from killing each other, weapons held aloft as cracks appeared in the walls and the floors shook beneath their feet, the bodies of the dead rolling this way and that. Flames roared through passageways, but Alphas with brave hearts held the fire at bay.
No one moved. Every breath was taken hesitatingly, confusion marring the scarred faces of the fighters. Blood seeped from wounds slowly, as though someone had taken a remote and frozen the frame, and now the characters in the film were coming back to life. Then they heard it. The sound of air being pulled and twisting, the shout of soldiers.
The helicopters had arrived.
From the hole the explosions had ripped in the middle of the Institute, Red Flag agents dropped down from aboard helicopters as planes circled the smoking building. When the new alpha soldiers stormed into battle, the patient's gave a triumphant cry and returned to their games of blood and murder, new found strength surging with the hope of victory.
But no such victory was seen in the eyes of the alphas that had witnessed the explosion.
Bill got to his feet, covered in dust and ash, a weak Hazel keeping them protected from the chemical induced flames. There was nothing left of the center of Binghamton, just a gaping crater and a collapsed ceiling, bars of iron twisted and sticking out of the roof, like silver blood vessels. Just destruction, not a single sign of Christopher and his beloved Maria. Not even a body.
"The bodies must have been incinerated in the explosion." Belinda chocked, hand covering her mouth to stay the sobs that wracked her body.
Shane looked at them, hands still around Hazel's still from-rendered unconscious in the process of protecting her friends. "I know you mourn your friend, but the time for regret isn't now, we are in the middle of a war. Don't let his sacrifice be in vain."
Wiping away his tears, Bill nodded, righting his tattered suit jacket. He looked up at the soldiers coming down the hole like spiders; planes hovering in the sky.
"HARKEN!" The dark skinned man turned at the sight of Tiana running towards him, a smile on her bloodied face, hair around her shoulders after it had fallen from its stays. "Bill, we're winning. Alphas are taking over the wings of Binghamton, I spoke to one of the generals, and they are bringing in the large cargo planes to get people away from here. "
"Good. We'll call people in here and help the wounded. You stay here and ensure no soldiers get close."
"My pleasure." She said with a manic laugh. "I'll hold the keep with Christopher; the red flag agents know the two of us. Where is he?"
Bill was quiet as the smile fell from her face, turning to a mask of confusion. But Shane interrupted, stepping forward.
"I'll help you."
Tiana nodded, looking between him and Bill with an uncertain face, but she didn't press on the whereabouts of her friend, her attention turning to cries from the roof.
"THE AIRFORCE! THE AIRFORCE IS HERE!" Someone shouted.
"DON'T RETREAT! KEEP THE PLANES HERE TO GET PEOPLE OUT!" Tiana shouted over the roar of incoming jet fighters. "Leave them too me."
With a gust of wind she climbed up through the roof, the sunlight momentarily blinding her. The sound of jetfighters almost made her fall over as planes approached their keep, guns aimed at the helicopters that had come to the rescue.
Clouds rolled over the sky and from their growing black depths, the mouths of three tornadoes began to approach the ground. The alpha held her hands up, one holding tight a bubble of air that protected the institute from the fury of the cyclones, one willing the swirling air towards the jetfighters. The pilots didn't even have the chance to turn around before they were sucked into the grey circles, fire adding color to the dark wind as the planes were torn to pieces.
Below her the alphas were running down the linoleum halls, the once pristine center dusty and covered in blood. Bill loaded people into the planes, Tiana allowing them passage from her fury, the weak and the strong alike rushed into the bellies of the gargantuan planes. One by one they set off, away from the battle, the institute emptying with every passing moment.
Deep in the of the institute, Cameron held off the soldiers as Nina directed the alphas towards freedom. The bullets that flew at the pair were easily held off by Gwen as her green eyes narrowed at the pieces of iron, willing them towards those who fired them.
Belinda watched with broken eyes as Hazel was pulled onto one of the planes, following her with insistence from Bill. The agent fought with Shane as they cleared the halls of soldiers and ensured the safety of the patients.
Had the sky not been covered in clouds, the alphas would have noticed that the sunset was a scarlet red as night fell on the battle, Tiana's strength keeping the military at bay. Generals in the Pentagon roared in fury as they realized they were fighting a losing battle. But they could do nothing as the planes bearing the alphas disappeared into the fog, the result of one of the Red Flag generals, making the world below them blind of the great planes that surged overhead, carrying hundreds too safety.
Bill turned to Shane and nodded, the other alpha shouting over the din. "SOUND THE ALARM."
An alpha with shaggy blond hair looked up and screeched, his vocal chords carrying through the building, a message to all those inside that the seventh and last cargo plane was being loaded with passengers.
Cameron gave Nina a quick kiss before ordering her onto the plane, running down the hallways to make a final check. A blue armband moved up and down his forearm as he raced through the broken halls. Sunlight seeped through cracks in the walls and ceiling, shattering glass glinting in the light. It was as if time slowed as the screech broke the windows and shattered the transparent sheets. Cameron shouted through the halls, asking if anyone was still inside. But he received no answer in the silent depths, the only things inside the bodies of alphas and soldiers layered over each other, growing as cold as the air inside in death.
Another screech told him to return and the alpha's heart raced as he made it to the center of the institute, the plane rising up out of the crack. Bill extended his hand and Cameron took it, the agent hauling the other man into the belly of the carrier. The two collapsed, doors shutting closed behind them.
Hearts beating fast, the sound of blood loud in their ears, they looked around them. The belly was packed with the broken bodies of Red Flag and Binghamton alphas alike, all laying on the floor as the magnitude of the injuries became known as the adrenaline left their bleeding bodies.
"Cameron." The alpha was assaulted by a woman with dark hair, Nina burying her face in his neck, his arms coming around her in relief.
Then he realized it. He turned to Bill, who sat leaning against the iron wall of the plane, eyes wide. The agent smiled grimly, nodding slowly before closing his eyes. They had done it, they had won. Cameron looked around the plane.
Tiana was wrapped in Skylar's arms, exhausted from the power that kept the military at bay, the tattoed alpha pulling her hair from her face, a long gash in her skin.
Shane had his head in his hands, breathing shallow and rapid.
Gwen braided her dark red hair, eyes unseeing in the distance, Zachary at her side, allowing her to lean against his chest.
Belinda seated somewhere in some other plane, Hazel in her arms.
Christopher….Cameron looked around suddenly, and Nina pulled away from him, looking at him questioningly.
Bill stiffened as all eyes turned towards him. Tiana got up on unsteady feet, walking towards them.
The dark skinned man looked at them, mouth open, turning away for a second.
That's all they needed.
Tiana's face remained the same, but she fell to her knees, looking forward uncomprehendingly. Gwen began to cry, but no sound came out, her thin body only shaking with silent sobs, Zachary's arms coming around her as he too allowed silent tears to fall out of his blue eyes.
"No…" Tiana choked finally, unable to breath. "No…not him…" Nina approached her, pulling the other woman into an embrace.
Cameron still looked at Bill in shock, punching the floor in anger. But the agent did nothing except turn away from his mourning friends, covering his face in hands and finally letting himself cry.
The other alphas on the plane that day would tell stories of how the large man in the suit began to sob at the back of the plane, how he sobbed for hours as they flew in the sky.
He sobbed for the people who had died, for the people who lay dying, and for the people who never had the chance to see the sun. He sobbed for the blood spilling out open wounds and the eyes glazed over, for the burns that marred the faces of the young and the families torn apart over the price of being different. He sobbed for Christopher, for Maria. For Gary who he still hadn't seen and might never see. For Rachel who lay in a coma far from here, for the children with no fathers and the fathers with no children. He sobbed because of war and pain and tragedy and the horror of reality. And even when his tears ran out and his body stilled into an unsteady sleep, the screams of the wounded rang in his ears and the faces of the dead and broken seared his closed eyelids.
War will make corpses of us all.