We were running. The wind blew ash in my face. Ahead firemen twice our size stood ready to capture us. I pulled my bat from my sling, swinging it and testing the air. Behind me Virgil unclipped his chain belt and slipped it from its loop with little difficulty, slowing slightly with Edmund's weight on his shoulders.

Dashing past the first firemen, I swung my bat, hitting his head with a resounding, metallic crack.

I heard the snap of chains against the pavement as Virgil's belt wooshed forward and the other fireman fell to the ground, realeasing his flamethrower.

Beyong the buildings on either side there was a small sign that read: "Leaving So Soon? Come Back and Visit!" Not much farther than that there was nothing but woods. That's where we needed to go.

The roads in front and behind us were empty and desolate. Virgil's arm slapped out, letting the chain's centrifical force wrap the belt around his arm, the stone on the end slapping neatly into his open palm.

200 yards, 100, 50, 10.

We were free.