Disclaimer: I do not own or have any rights to Alex Rider; all rights go to their respective owners.
"I will read" Ian said and grabbed the book. He found the right page and started to read. Chapter 2: Heaven For Cars'
"Oh man, is there a single one of these chapters that won't seem like they have some depressing shit in them." Tom moaned and looked over at Alex. Alex thought for a while before he gave Tom a weird look.
"How in the world would I know? I didn't write these annoyingly accurate books." Alex huffed.
"No, but you did live it," Tom stated like that should explain everything. Alex just stared at him.
"Dude, my life doesn't have titles…" at this Tom looked like he had just had an epiphany.
"Oh, that makes sense, and then you really wouldn't know, would you?" Alex just smiled at him.
WITH HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE just ahead of him, Alex left the river and swung his bike through the lights and down the hill toward Brookland School.
The bike was a Condor Junior Roadracer, custom built for him on his twelfth birthday. It was a teenager's bike, with a cut down Reynolds 531 frame, but the wheels were full-size so he could ride at speed with hardly any rolling resistance. He spun past a delivery van and passed through the school gates. He would be sorry when he grew out of the bike. For two years now it had almost been part of him.
"That's because you're a health freak or something, you can never just be still and play videogames or something." Tom stated, looking annoyed.
Ian rolled his eyes. He remembered how many times he had walked in on Alex and Tom playing videogames and how Alex had almost always complained that they didn't have enough action. Alex was a person who liked it when things happened all the time and he got very easily bored and restless.
"You don't have to worry about me calling your games boring anymore, I really prefer games that are unrealistic and boring now." Alex stated and got weird looks from both Ian and Tom. Yassen looked at him with an understanding gaze. He could completely understand why Alex would prefer the games that seemed unrealistic after Cray had made him play to survive.
He double locked it in the shed and went into the yard. Brookland was a modern school, all redbrick and, to Alex's eye, rather ugly.
He could have gone to any of the exclusive private schools around Chelsea, but Ian Rider had decided to send him here. He had said it would be more of a challenge.
Alex gave his uncle a weird look. "How would it have been more of a challenge? You know I hate those stuck up rich brats that you normally find in those places."
Blunt looked kind off insulted when Alex said this, but Alex was the only one that noticed. Ian just rolled his eyes and said "You have always had a difficult time of making friends. I knew that if I sent you to a private school, you would probably be hurt again." Ian broke off and gave Alex a meaning full look and Alex nodded. He really did not want anyone to hear that story, so he motioned for
The first period of the day was algebra.
When Alex came into the classroom, the teacher, Mr. Donovan, was already chalking up a complicated equation on the board. It was hot in the room, the sun streaming in through the floor -to -ceiling windows, put in by architects who should have known better.
As Alex took his place near the back, he wondered how he was going to get through the lesson. How could he possibly think about algebra when there were so many other questions churning through his mind?
"Ah, you have finally found out what all other kids already know, young 'Lexi, there are better and more worthy things to think about then algebra." Tom stated in a sage voice while he nodded serenely.
Everyone just gave him weird glances, but Alex sent him a small smile, he really appreciated what he was trying to do.
The gun at the funeral. The way Blunt had looked at him. The van with STRYKER & SON written on the side. The empty office. And the biggest mystery of all, the one detail that refused to go away. The seat belt. Ian Rider hadn't been wearing a seat belt.
"Yeah, really weird isn't it how all these things just kept piling up. It was almost as if someone was staging it wasn't it?" Alex stated and stared at Blunt. Ian looked between them and the bad feeling he had since the last chapter returned threefold. Something was definitely going on, and he really hoped that he was wrong in his thought as to what that was.
But of course he had. Ian Rider had never been one to give lectures. He had always said Alex should make up his own mind about things. But he'd had this thing about seat belts.
"Why is that Mr. R? I know most parents nag about seatbelts, but you wouldn't even start the car if Alex hadn't fastened his seatbelt." Alex looked weirdly at Tom when he said that, but he guessed it was true, Ian might not act like a normal parental figure, but for all intent and purpose that was what he was.
"There are a lot of things in this world that can kill you, and I decided a long time ago, that I was going to do all I could to make sure Alex wasn't harmed. And I sure as h** weren't going to let a silly thing like a car kill him. Especially, not because of something stupid like not wearing a seatbelt." Ian said and smiled at Tom. Because of that he did not notice that Blunt and Jones paled, or the smiles that Smithers, Yassen and Alex shared. Nor did he notice the grimace that for a short moment adorned Jack's face.
The more Alex thought about it, the less he believed it. A collision in the middle of the city.
"Now when I think back that is strange, wouldn't it have been on the news or something." Alex said still staring at Blunt. Nobody answered him, but Ian felt himself get frustrated. He really hoped the relationship between Blunt and his nephew soon would be explained.
Suddenly he wished he could see the car. At least the wreckage would tell him that the accident had really happened, that Ian Rider had really died that way.
Alex looked up and realized that everyone was staring at him. Mr. Donovan had just asked him something. He quickly scanned the blackboard, taking in the figures. "Yes, Sir," he said. "X equals seven and Y is fifteen." The math teacher sighed. "Yes, Alex. You're absolutely right. But actually I was just asking you to open the window. . . "
"CoughNerdcough" Tom fake coughed at Alex and the others in the room was surprised at how smart Alex seemed to be.
Somehow he managed to get through the rest of the day, but by the time the final bell rang, his mind was made up. While everyone else streamed out, he made his way to the secretary's office and borrowed a copy of the Yellow Pages.
"What are you looking for?" the secretary asked. Miss Bedfordshire had always had a soft spot for Alex.
"Someone is in looooove!" Tom sang. Alex didn't even know what to say. "Tommy, are you calling Miss Bedfordshire a pedo?" Tom got a horrified look on his face and decided to take it back. He had forgotten why he usually didn't mess with Alex. He had a way of turning your jokes back on you and he did it in such a logical way so that it didn't matter what you said, his comments where almost always indisputable.
"Auto junkyards . . ." Alex flicked through the pages. "If a car got smashed up near Old Street, they'd take it somewhere near, wouldn't they?"
"I suppose so."
"Here" Alex had found the yards listed under "Auto Wreckers." But there were dozens of them fighting for attention over four pages.
"Is this for a school project?" the secretary asked. She knew Alex had lost a relative, but not how.
"Sort of . . ." Alex was reading the addresses, but they told him nothing.
"This one's quite near Old Street." Miss Bedfordshire pointed at the corner of the page.
"Wait!" Alex tugged the book toward him and looked at the entry underneath the one the secretary had chosen:
J. B. STRYKER. AUTO WRECKERS
Heaven for Cars
CALL US TODAY
"That's in Vauxhall," Miss Bedfordshire said. "Not too far from here."
"I know." But Alex had recognized the name. J. B. Stryker. He thought back to the van he had seen outside his house on the day of the funeral. Stryker & Son. Of course it might just be a coincidence,
"Awe, aren't I just naïve." Alex mock cooed. The soldiers gave him weird looks. Alex looked at them and then exclaimed, "What? I have just come to realize that when you are dealing with certain some ones there are rarely something called coincidences." Ian gave him a sad look and felt his heart break. So his fears had come true, he might not know how much, but MI6 had clearly interfered in Alex's life to some extent.
But it was still somewhere to start. He closed the book. "I'll see you, Miss Bedfordshire."
"Be careful." The secretary watched Alex leave, wondering why she had said that. Maybe it was his eyes. Dark and serious, there was something dangerous there.
Tom and Ian laughed. When they noticed the others in the room staring at them Ian started to explain. "some time after Tom and Alex became friends, someone tried to kidnap them both, they still haven't told me what happened, but when the police arrived the kidnapers where begging to be brought in and away from the crazy kids with the scary eyes." He collected himself. "When Alex is completely at ease and feels safe, he has the most innocent eyes in the world, but when he feels endangered or unsafe, he gets these dark and serious eyes, that can promise you all from danger to death. When the police back then looked into Alex's eyes they were met with the innocent ones and just assumed the man was crazy or trying to get a milder punishment. We usually joke about how he has to sets of eyes, those of a child and those of a fighter."
All eyes turned shocked to Alex, but he made sure that none of them saw his eyes, all except Yassen who was saddened when he saw that they where the eyes of a fighter, not a child.
Then the telephone rang and she forgot him as she went back to work.
A telephone rang somewhere in the shed and the guard turned around to answer it. That was enough for Alex. Holding his bike and wheeling it along beside him, he sprinted through the gates.
At this point both Eagle and Tom was humming the James Bond theme song. Alex rolled his eyes at the, while the other soldiers tried to hide their embarrassment. The others in the room couldn't really believe that this was one of the men they trusted to protect their country.
Leaving his bike propped against the wall, Alex ran farther into the yard, crouching down behind the wrecks. With the din from the machines, there was no chance that anyone would hear him, but he was still afraid of being seen. He stopped to catch his breath, drawing a grimy hand across his face. His eyes were watering from the diesel fumes. The air was as filthy as the ground beneath him.
He was beginning to regret coming-
"So you turned around and left?" Ian said hopefully even though both his head and guts told him otherwise. Alex just shook his head at him and Ian felt his unease grow. Knowing the MI6 the way he did he really hoped they would prove him wrong because if they didn't he might just have to get Yassen to help him to kill someone and if he had interpreted the looks Yassen kept sending Alex right, then Yassen would have no problem with that.
But then he saw it. His uncle's BMW was parked a few yards away, separated from the other cars. At first glance it looked absolutely fine, the metallic silver bodywork not even scratched.
Certainly there was no way that this car could have been involved in a fatal collision with a truck or with anything else. But it was definitely his uncle's car. Alex recognized the license plate. He hurried closer and it was now that he saw that the car was damaged after all. The windshield had been smashed, along with all the windows on the driver's side. Alex made his way around to the other side. And froze.
Ian Rider hadn't died in any accident. What had killed him was plain to see-even to someone who had never seen such a thing before. A spray of bullets had caught the car full on the driver's side, shattering the front tire, smashing the windshield and side windows, and punching into the side panels.
Alex ran his fingers over the holes. The metal felt cold against his flesh. He opened the door and looked inside. The front seats pale gray leather, were strewn with fragments of broken glass and stained with patches of dark brown. He didn't need to ask what the stain was.
He could see everything. The flash of the machine gun, the bullets ripping into the car, Ian Rider jerking in the driver's seat …
Everyone in the room, (except Blunt) had a pitying or sad face when Ian read this. Ian lifted an arm and slung it around Alex's shoulders and pulled him down so that he was squished between the side of the couch and his lap. He was a spy he had known for a long time that he would probably die a violent death, but he had also always trusted that MI6 would come up with a plausible death to tell Alex, he had never wished for Alex to find out that he died a death like the one in the book. Especially when he didn't even know that he was a spy.
Alex didn't say anything about his uncles' actions, he just rolled his eyes and pretended to be embarrassed. Tom smiled at him and when he looked into Yassens eyes he saw understanding. Alex nudged Ian gently in the side to get him to keep reading.
"Hey!" Ian shouted and moved away from Alex. "Watch the strength there kiddo."
Alex looked suspiciously at Ian's side. There was definitely something wrong with his uncle's ribs. He saved the information for later and just stuck out his tongue at his uncles' actions.
But why? Why kill a bank manager? And why had the murder been covered up? It was the police who had delivered the news that night, so they must be part of it. Had they lied deliberately? None of it made sense.
"Oh, it totally makes sense." Alex drawled, and starred straight at Blunt. "I should have understood it right at that moment, who else can manage to make such a lousy cover-up." He smiled mockingly at the head of MI6, but he got no answer.
Ian felt the need to rip Blunts head of build, all his doubts where gone, Blunt had definitely done something to his nephew and the moment he found out what. Blunt was going to pay.
The soldiers didn't know what to think. Wolf knew that Cub had been involved with the spy business, but he had thought it was voluntary, but looking at the way the kid spoke and acted against the head of the MI6 he started to think otherwise. He promised himself that if his suspicions were true, he would do all he could to help the kid get out.
Fox and Tom just found Cubs actions amusing and wondered when he would snap. He was clearly under a lot of mental pressure and he seemed almost ready to snap.
"You should have gotten rid of it two days ago. Do it now. . ."
The machines must have stopped for a moment. If there hadn't been a sudden lull, Alex would never have heard the men coming. Quickly he looked across the steering wheel and out the other side. There were two of them, both dressed in loose-fitting overalls. Alex had a feeling he'd seen them before. At the funeral. One of them was the driver, the man he had seen with the gun. He was sure of it.
Whoever they were, they were only a few paces away from the car, talking in low voices. Another few steps and they would be there. Without thinking, Alex threw himself into the only hiding place available: inside the car itself. Using his foot, he hooked the door and closed it. At the same time, he became aware that the machines had started again and he could no longer hear the men.
"Don't worry about the men Alex, have you forgotten where you're hiding?!" Ian shouted in fear and Alex cracked up.
"You do realize that you're speaking to a book right Ian." Ian just glared at Alex, and muttered that of course he knew that.
He didn't dare look up. A shadow fell across the window as the two men passed. But then they were gone. He was safe. And then something hit the BMW with such force that Alex cried out, his whole body caught in a massive shock wave that tore him away from the steering wheel and threw him helplessly into the back. The roof buckled and three huge metal fingers tore through the skin of the car like a fork through an eggshell, trailing dust and sunlight. One of the fingers grazed the side of his head … any closer and it would have cracked his skull. Alex yelled as blood trickled over his eye. He tried to move, then was jerked back a second time as the car was yanked off the ground and tilted high up in the air.
Ian raised his eyebrows at Alex as if to say I told you so. Alex just shrugged. "I never said I wasn't in danger. I just pointed out that you were speaking to a book."
Ian huffed and stared reading again. Alex could be so annoying some times.
He couldn't see. He couldn't move. But his stomach lurched as the car swung in an arc, the metal grinding and the light spinning. The BMW had been picked up by the crane. It was going to be put inside the crusher. With him inside.
Everyone flinched at the thought. No one would even realize what had happened to him, he would simply disappear.
He tried to raise himself up, to wave through the windows. But the claw of the crane had already flattened the roof, pinning his left leg, perhaps even breaking it.
He could feel nothing. He lifted a hand and managed to pound on the back window, but he couldn't break the glass. Even if the workmen were staring at the BMW, they would never see anything moving inside.
His short flight across the junkyard ended with a bone-shattering crash as the crane deposited the car on the iron shelves of the crusher. Alex tried to fight back his sickness and despair and think of what to do. Any moment now the operator would send the car tipping into the coffin-shaped trough. The machine was a Lefort Shear, a slow-motion guillotine. At the press of a button, the two wings would close on the car with a joint pressure of five hundred tons. The car, with Alex inside it, would be crushed beyond recognition. And the broken metal-and flesh-would then be chopped into sections. Nobody would ever know what had happened.
He tried with all his strength to free himself. But the roof was too low. His leg was trapped. Then his whole world tilted and he felt himself falling into darkness. The shelves had lifted. The BMW slid to one side and fell the few yards into the trough. Alex felt the metalwork collapsing all around him.
Ian read faster and faster just wishing that this part of the book would be over soon. He couldn't stand to hear how much danger Alex had been in, and all because of MI6 and their incompetence.
The back window exploded and glass showered around his head, dust and diesel fumes punching into his nose and eyes. There was hardly any daylight now, but looking out of the back, he could see the huge steel head of the piston that would push what was left of the car through the exit hole on the other side.
The engine tone of the Lefort Shear changed as it prepared for the final act. The metal wings shuddered. In a few seconds' time the two of them would meet, crumpling the BMW like a paper bag. Alex pulled with all his strength and was astonished when his leg came free. It took him perhaps a second one precious second-to work out what had happened. When the car had fallen into the trough, it had landed on its side. The roof had buckled again just enough to free him. His hand scrabbled for the door-but, of course, that was useless. The doors were too bent. They would never open. The back window! With the glass gone, he could crawl through the frame, but only if he moved fast.
The wings began to move. The BMW screamed as two walls of solid steel relentlessly crushed it.
More glass shattered. One of the wheel axles snapped with the sound of a thunderbolt. Darkness began to close in. Alex grabbed hold of what was left of the backseat. Ahead of him he could see a single triangle of light, shrinking faster and faster. He could feel the weight of the two walls pressing down on him. The car was no longer a car but - the fist of some hideous monster snatching at the insect that Alex had become.
With all his strength, he surged forward. His shoulders passed through the triangle, out into the light. Next came his legs, but at the last moment his shoe caught on a piece of jagged metal. He jerked and the shoe was pulled off, falling back into the car. Alex heard the sound of the leather being squashed. Finally, clinging to the black, oily surface of the observation platform at the back of the crusher, he dragged himself clear and managed to stand up.
Tom laughed and Yassen actually cracked a smile. "I can see why the underworld has started to call you Panther cub, easy to catch, but hard to keep a hold of." Yassen stated.
Alex gave him a weird look. "Why panther? I get the cub, because I am a kid and all, but panther?"
Yassen smiled. "Well some time ago. Your name came up during a gathering of the most powerful men in the criminal underworld. One older man there suddenly exclaimed golden panther. When he was asked to explain he said that when he looked at you fight, you reminded him of the time he had seen a white panther fight. You had a feline grace about you and your hair had the same color as the panthers in the sun. The others agreed and when they heard about how you where able to get out of everything. Someone also mentioned that to catch and hold you seemed like to catch and hold a cat. Is it willing, then it's the easiest thing in the world, if it's unwilling then it is near impossible."
Nobody knew what to say. Alex had gotten a nickname from the leaders of the criminal underworld. It almost seemed like they respected him.
Ian almost wanted to cry. What in the world had his nephew been up to in his absence.
Alex just glared at Yassen. Sure it was cool, but he could have waited to say that until Ian knew what he had been doing. When Yassen realized why Alex was glaring at him he just faked a woops.
He found himself face-to-face with a man so fat that he could barely fit into the small cabin of the crusher. The man's stomach was pressed against the glass, his shoulders squeezed into the corners.
A cigarette dangled on his lower lip as his mouth fell open and his eyes stared. What he saw was a boy in the rags of what had once been a school uniform. A whole sleeve had been torn off and his arm, streaked with blood and oil, hung limply by his side. By the time the operator had, taken this all in come to his senses, and turned the machine off, the boy had gone.
Alex clambered down the side of the crusher, landing on the one foot that still had a shoe. He was aware now of the pieces of jagged metal lying everywhere. If he wasn't careful, he would cut open the other foot. His bicycle was where he had left it, leaning against the wall, and gingerly, half hopping, he made for it. Behind him he heard the cabin of the crusher open and a man's voice called out, raising the alarm.
At the same time a second man ran forward, stopping between Alex and his bike. It was the driver, the man he had seen at the funeral. His face, twisted into a hostile frown, was curiously ugly: greasy hair, watery eyes, pale, lifeless skin.
"What do you think . . ." he began. His hand slid into his jacket. Alex remembered the gun and, instantly, without even thinking, swung into action. He had started learning karate when he was six years old. One afternoon, with no explanation, Ian Rider had taken him to a local club for his first lesson and he had been going there, once a week, ever since. Over the years he had passed through the various Kyu-student grades. But it was only the year before that he had become a first-grade Dan, a black belt. When he had arrived at Brookland School, his gentle looks and accent had quickly brought him to the attention of the school bullies; three hulking sixteen-year olds. They had cornered him once behind the bike shed. The encounter lasted less than a minute. The next day one of the bullies had left Brookland, and the other two had never troubled anyone again.
Tom starred at Alex for a long while. "What is it Tommy?"
"Whenever I or anyone else asked you what happened to them, you just said that you talked. That hardly seemed like the consequences of a conversation." Alex smiled an innocent smile.
"They didn't want to listen?" Alex said, but instead of sounding like an explanation it sounded like a question. Tom just shook his head. Alex was impossible.
Now Alex brought up one leg, twisted his body around, and lashed out. The back kick Ushirogeri is said to be the most lethal in karate. His foot powered into the man's abdomen with such force that the man didn't even have time to cry out. His eyes bulged and his mouth half opened in surprise. Then, with his hand still halfway into his jacket, he crumpled to the ground.
Alex jumped over him, snatched up his bike, and swung himself onto it. In the distance a third man was running toward him. He heard the single word "Stop!" called out. Then there was a crack and a bullet whipped past.
Alex gripped the handlebars and pedaled as hard as he could. The bike shot forward, over the rubble and out through the gates. He took one look over his shoulder. Nobody had followed him.
With one shoe on and one shoe off, his clothes in rags, and his body streaked with oil, Alex knew he must look a strange sight. But then he thought back to his last seconds inside the crusher and sighed with relief. He could be looking a lot worse.
"You shot at him! » Ian shouted at the unmoving spy. "You shot at my little nephew. You shot at him!" Alex almost felt like laughing, it almost sounded like Ian was a broken record. "Do you want to try and explain yourself, try to give me a good reason to why I shouldn't freaking kill you? Shooting at my innocent little nephew." Alex blushed. He had always known that his uncle loved him that did not mean that he wasn't embarrassed when he made him sound like a baby.
Alex looked around in the room and took in the different emotions to the revelation that MI6 had tried to shot him.
The soldiers looked pissed off and maybe a little disgusted or ashamed. It looked like they didn't want to know it, but Fox was nodding to himself like he had known they were capable of something like this.
Tom looked like he was ready to punch someone. They were very much like brothers and even though Alex was the one who normally protected Tom and acted like the big brother, it did not mean that Tom was any less protective of him.
Smithers looked simply disgusted. He had always known that the MI6 was capable of a lot of despicable things, but he had always thought they wouldn't want to get their hands dirty. So even though they might be capable of sending Alex to his death he had always thought they were above shooting him themselves.
Jones just looked sad, but it seemed like she had accepted everything they had done.
Yassen was the one whose reaction surprised him the most. He hadn't moved, the moment the shooting had begun in the book. Yassen had seemed to freeze. His face was completely bare of feelings, but his eyes, his eyes burned with rage. He was starring at blunt with murder in his eyes. At this moment Alex seriously doubted that Blunt would stay alive for long when the reading was done.
The last person Alex looked at was Blunt himself. At first glance it would seem like he was completely unmoved, but if you looked closer you could see fear and regret in his eyes. Alex did not believe that he regretted his actions that day. He probably just regretted the fact that Ian found out. When Alex thought about it, it would make sense if that crazy journalist was the one who wrote these books.
He sighed and leaned into Yassens side. Ian had deposited him there when he flew up to verbally attack Blunt. Tom had moved out of the way and was now sitting by his legs. It was at this point his eyes landed on Jack. She had been so silent that he had completely forgotten that she was there.
She was sitting silently in her chair. She seemed a little sad, but the feeling Alex got from her the most were indifference. It made him sadder than anything. He could not believe that the person he looked at like a big sister had come to resent him like this. He buried his head in Yassens shoulder so that he would not have to look at her.
"It was not their intentions to shot Alex…" Alex focused back on the conversation just as Blunt answered.
"Did not mean to shot him?" Ian hollered. "If it was not their intention to shot him, then why in the world would they shot AT him?"
"They did not know who he was. To them he was just an intruder." Blunt explained. Alex raised his eyebrows, and decided to interfere.
"So you are saying that it is completely normal for your people to shot children just because they are in places they are not supposed to?"
Blunt had nothing to say to that and Alex just shook his head. He picked up the book and decided to start reading the next chapter.
Everything written in "bold" is cited from: Anthony Horowitz:Stormbreaker.Walker books, 2006.
Sorry for the long wait, a lot happened to me since I last updated. I broke my leg, so I had a hard time focusing on the story, then when my cast came of I had three weeks of intense studying to do before my exam at school, but I hope you all understand and I will try to not take this much time before updating again, but I make no promises, you never know what life throws at you.
At one point in the story Alex say that he hates those stuck up rich brats that one can normally find in private schools, I know that not all people that go to private schools are rich brats, if I remember, the reason as to why Alex think this will be explained later in this story, or in one of the other ones. (if I decide to do the other books too)
Please review and tell me who you want to join the reading I really would appreciate your opinion.