High School War: A Graduation Morning to Remember

The final part to HSW series. I'm glad you were all here for the ride.

May 31, 2012

Today is graduation day! Well, it was the rehearsal at the Air Ixiom Center anyways, but still. Garret, Marcus, Kei, and Alvin were finally, FINALLY leaving high school. And to make it all the more sweeter, Kei was valedictorian and Garret, salutatorian. Marcus and Alvin were in the top 5% too. Kei was dubbed the Queen of the Razgriz after the incident with Clarkson and no one tried to take that title away. The pair have been steady for over two years and showed no signs of stopping. They were even going to the same university: Grand Osean University, one of the top 5 universities in the entire world. They both want to be engineers and work for the Osean Space Agency. But something was off. Kei was late to rehearsal. She was never late.

"Excuse us, Mr. Lawson?"

Garret, Marcus and Alvin turned around to face Principle Vincent Harling and Vice Principle Nastasya Obertas walking towards him.

"Mr. Harling. Ms. Obertas." He nodded to them politely.

"Sorry to be upfront about this, but, have you seen your girlfriend?"

"Uh… no. I called her this morning. She said she would meet us all here. It's unnerving actually."

"Have you called her since you got here?" VP Obertas asked.

"No, not with all the practicing going on. I was going to call her now actually."

"Good. Let us know where she is when you're done. We'll be over by the back."

With a nod they left him. Garret turned back to his friends.

"Gimme a minute guys." He moved to a quiet hallway, pulled out his phone and dialed her number. It rang. No answer.

"What's up, Kid?"

"No answer Chops. I'm going to try again."

"Cool, Snow and I will keep an eye out for here."

"Actually, I'll go ask Allison. She might know where she is." Marcus walked over to a group of girls. Garret and Alvin rolled their eyes. Garret tried again. No answer. He left a message. Marcus came back. Nothing. Now Garret was getting worried. He waited 10 minutes. No call back. 15 minutes. No call back, no text message, no email nothing. Social media sites – nothing since this morning. 20 minutes – nothing. Half an hour – still nothing. Now Garret was worried.

He called again. Three rings and the phone picked up.

"Bout time gir…"

"Well, I was beginning to wonder when you'd call back, pretty boy."

Garret's world shrank and grew dark. No.

"Cl-clarkson?" Marcus and Alvin were know paying attention.

"Who else?" He laughed into the phone.

"When – how'd you get out?"

"A good magician never reveals their secrets. But back to the matter at hand. I'm sure you felt pretty high and mighty when you busted me. But now the tables have turned."

"What are you talking about?"

"You see, little over two years ago, you took my freedom and a great catch from me. I was on my way to being the town's top dog! In the span of 10 minutes you took from me what I tried years to build! You took my life!"

"I'm sorry, the last I checked criminals don't quite deserve to be top dog. Especially a little poodle like you." Marcus and Alvin snickered. Garret kept his calm.

"Well, this 'poodle's' all grown up and turned into a Doberman. You took something from me and it's time to take something of yours. Or rather someone."

Garret froze. Clarkson couldn't have his parents, they left well before he got out of bed. No. No. No.

"I take your silence that you know that she's missing. And its graduation rehearsal too? Tsk. Tsk. I'll put her on the phone."

"Garret! GARRET! HELP ME!"

"KEI! I'm…"

"Now you see the situation you're in."

"I swear Clarkson, if you harm one hair, breathe in the air she breathes out, put so much as a finger nail on her, I will kill you!"

"Oh really?" Over the phone Garret could hear the sound of flesh meeting fleshing and Kei wailing. Clarkson slapped her. "I'd like to see you try Lawson. Come alone. No police, no under-covers, not your boys. Just you. You're gang's little hideout. You have 90 minutes, starting now." The line went dead. The time 10am. He had until 11:30 to do something.

Garret broke into a run for the parking lot with Marcus and Alvin in tow.

"What happened, Kid?"

"Clarkson has her. I gotta go alone. They are at the hideout." Garret said while running.

"Wait, and your just gonna go in, guns blazing, without a plan?" Marcus asked.

"I have no time. I have 88 minutes to get to her." They finally reached his car. "Marcus call Andersen. Don't go to see him in person. They are probably watching the station. Chops, find Harling and Obertas. Keep a low profile. I gotta go." 40 seconds later Garret tore out of the parking lot, racing for the highway. It would take 20 minutes to get back home and another 10 to reach the hideout in the woods. That is if traffic flowed smoothly and he had green lights all the way. He prayed that Marcus and Chopper weren't being followed.

BREAK

Andersen just got off the phone with Marcus. Buchner was listening in as well. It was disturbing. Clarkson had escaped from Juvenile Detention the night before. No one knew how and he had a few officers on the case. But this, this very disturbing. A leading teen figure in the community was kidnapped and held in the woods by a very dangerous teen and her boyfriend was racing in her direction.

"Buchner?"

"Put out a call to the traffic light team and officers on patrol. Tell them if they see a black Dodge Neon SRT-4 with blue and white stripes and yellow rims, change the light and let him thru."

"On it. What about you?"

"I'm gonna make a call to snipers Cipher and Mobius 1 of Nikanor's SWAT team. We could use their talents." 80 minutes left.

BREAK

The cops didn't chase him. He had all green lights. Marcus, you did good. Garret kept going. He was just 5 minutes away. He noticed large white unmarked semi's parked a couple miles from the hideout. As he came closer to the location, he could see cars lined up and bunch of guys, some girls, all in black standing by them. No wonder why Clarkson said come alone. Early warning detection and human shields. Sad. He stopped, parked, got out and activated the alarm on his car. They may take girl, they may take him, but Kei was getting out and she was driving this. No questions asked.

He was approached by two of the goons. Silent glares told him to follow and no funny business. They raised their shirts to show the hand grips of handguns. Great. Now it was really a life or death situation. But they had, then Clarkson was packing. One made a phone call, saying 'he's here'. Short, sweet, to the point.

"So, uh… what's your names."

"I'm Bernitz. This is Heimiroth. Not that it matters, you won't be around much longer."

Garret shrugged.

"Whatever. Lead the way."

After a 5 minute walk they reached the place of the hideout.

"Ah, Lawson. Long time huh?"

"Apparently not." Garret muttered. His 'escorts' were sent away.

"Quite. Look, here's the thing. I have you girl and you have your life." Clarkson pointed to Kei who was tied to a chair, her mouth was duct taped.

"I'm not quite sure I follow, Lars."

"It's quite simple. You ruined my life and I want to ruin yours. That way we'd be equal."

The hell?

"Uh… how exactly did I ruin your life? You've tried to put me out time and time again. I never came after you. I…"

"You took her away from me!"

A hormone driven teen, great.

"She was set to be mine, Lawson. I was going to finally have her. And you took her from me."

"Well it doesn't exactly help if your first meeting was…"

"Interrupted by you."

"…basically she cowering in fear because you made her uncomfortable. Well done, failing to see that. Who she choose is her business and her business alone."

Garret tried to move in her direction but movement in the woods caught his eye. Kei saw it too and tried to eat the tape, slowly.

"Like I said, I want to, no, need to ruin your life. You were always ahead. Always had the grades. The public loved you."

"I did my job as a student."

"My ass. You wanted to be at the forefront. The lights, the fame."

"I never sought it out. I never wanted it. It just happened. If anyone is to blame for your issues, it's you. You blamed me for cheating. You tried to bring me down with you. Don't think I forgot. It was then I knew you were no good. I wanted to stop all that. Not let it get rampant and grow."

"You know nothing about me!"

"I don't need to. I never did. The Razgriz have stopped you and your people many times before. All we needed to know was what act we caught you in."

He inched closer to Kei.

"And I know something about you, Lawson. I know you love her. So tell me… who gets the bullet?"

Clarkson pulled out a four- barreled hand gun.

"Whoa, man. Put that away." Garret threw his hands up, still trying to reach Kei.

"Not so high and mighty now, are we? It's amazing how a piece of metal, springs and black powder can change a situation."

Actually Garret knew he would be armed but being this close? Nope.

"So," he raised the gun at Garret. Kei gasped loudly, her tape now hanging off her mouth. "Well, lookie here. She did it. Now I can hear her scream when I put a round into your skull."

"I don't think that will be wise, Clarkson."

Clarkson stopped to think. He put the gun but only slightly. How did he get away from the girl. Oh, very clever Lawson. Very clever.

He shot the ground in front of Kei. She looked drained.

"Lawson," he pointed with the gun. "Get away from her. Nice try."

Damn.

"Well, now we have a bit of a situation. Either one or the both of you dies. See, I am merciful but I could swing either way."

"Why not be extra merciful and let us both go?" Kei asked.

"No."

Worth a shot.

"So, Lawson. You or the girl gets a bullet to the skull. Personally, I don't wanna take chances with the walking dead."

More movement in the woods. These guys were dead silent. How the blazes?

"Clarkson, just put the gun done. You could end up regretting it."

"How?"

"There are people in the woods. They could kill you."

"Please, girl. Those are my men out there. Lawson is here alone."

"No, she's right Lars. Look."

Clarkson turned to face the woods. Nothing. He could see no movement.

"Nothing. Well, it looks like the end of the line for one or both of ya. Nagase it's been fun. Nothing against ya, but I wanna torture your boyfriend for a while longer and I think killing you is good enough. Then as you die, I'll kill him."

No response from either.

"Nothing? No final words?" He shrugged. "Oh, well."

He raised the gun from 30 feet away. He was lining up the shot. Taking his sweet time. Time slowed down for Garret as he rushed in to tackle Clarkson. Clarkson turned. The gun went off, Kei screamed and Garret pounced knocking Clarkson down and the gun out of his hand.

Fists connected with Clarkson's face, knocking him out after about 6 blows.

Garret got off the unconscious brute and went to untie Kei.

"You okay, babe?"

She nodded but noticed his left shoulder.

"You're hurt."

He looked down and noticed the blood. "It ain't nothing. Right now, let's get you out of this chair. After 30 seconds, due to the injured arm, Kei was free. She hugged her boyfriend but immediately hid in body. Clarkson was back up. Garret could feel it.

"So this is it then, huh Clarkson? Shoot an unarmed, innocent guy in the back?"

"Never said you were innocent, Lawson. It's been a fun ride. But today your story ends and mine begins."

Garret turned around with Kei still behind him. Clarkson point a .9 at them.

"Let her go Clarkson. This is still between you and me."

"Oh no. If she's with you, then she's to blame. You and your group: The Razgriz. God, it leaves a disgusting taste in my mouth saying it. Always stopping me. Always a pain in my side. I could own this town. I should be the golden boy! The untouchable!"

"Lars…"

"NO! NO MORE TALKING!" The look in his eyes went wild. "Time to die!"

Garret never took his eyes off of Clarkson. He tensed. Kei was getting out of this alive.

Clarkson felt the trigger sink. Time to get his revenge.

The gun went off. Garret winced but felt no pain. He was still standing. More importantly, Kei was still standing. Crying, but alive. The faint echo of a gunshot was still ringing through the woods but he couldn't find out where the shot came from. Clarkson wasn't standing.

Wait. Clarkson wasn't standing. Garret looked at the body clad in black. There was blood pooling, spewing from the neck. There was no head. In fact, there were no traces of it anywhere. And there was a sizeable hole in the body's right side. That couldn't be Clarkson. Bully Clarkson. The infinite pain that has been with him since he was ten, was very much dead.

Garret turned to embrace his shook up girlfriend.

"It's ok. Don't look." He could feel her head shift.

"I said don't look."

SWAT came in from everywhere. He spotted two snipers and nodded at them, silently thanking them.

"Garret? Kei?"

Andersen.

"Over here, Chief."

Andersen, Buchner and some other dude came up to them.

Kei couldn't move. The whole ordeal was too much. She didn't pay attention to what they were saying but she felt Garret talking. He never let her go or she never let him go. It didn't matter.

"Kei? Kei?" Garret shook her. She snapped out of her thoughts.

"I have to get cleaned up. They want to take us to the hospital to check us out ok?"

"What about your car?"

"Marcus and Alvin are here. They got it."

"So is he…"

"Yeah. He's gone."

"I was so scared. I should have come with you." She spit it all out at once.

"Hey, hey. Don't blame yourself. It's alright. We're still alive."

"But your shot."

"It happens."

"Stop being carefree. You could have died."

"I know. But I was going down protecting you. I came for you. To get you out."

She cried into his chest more.

"I love you Gar-bear."

"I, you Noods."

They kissed and were escorted to the ambulance. The scene where he parked was total chaos. Loads of teens were arrested and trying to resist. The Gun Slingers were no more. Their leader synchro-sniped. It was a shame it had come to this. But the pretty little Asian in front of him made it all worth it.

Garret only had one thought, well two: I'm hungry and I wonder what rumor will spread before graduation?


That's it. High School War is over. Finally. You have no idea. It put a lot to put out this chapter. I'm going to let you on a little secret. I was going to drop cliff hangers a couple times during this. That would have been totally evil right? If it would have been, tell me. And tell me what you think of the chapter or the whole HSW war story line? Idk, but im pooped. gotta be careful with the angsty stuff. it's brutal. lol. True thing: original title was "A Graduation to Remember" but I didn't put the graduation in. So, in addition to everything i asked earlier, should i do the graduation, well the speeches of garret and kei or just leave it? it's all on you guys. i could either way. lol. if you want it, say so!

Oh before i forget, I started a new thing: Hell Week. It's a danny vs dash fic. well, it was. it might grow now. lol.

YOu know the drill: favorite, follow, comment, review. Do it, do it now! lol. love ya.

Be safe. God bless