DISCLAIMER: If you recognize it, I don't own it.


"First throw! First throw!"

The crowd surged forward with anticipation, forcing Flynn closer to the stage. His eyes darted back and forth in search of a way out, but the gaps in the mob had been closed up. Think think think think…

"Can't we talk about this?" he asked, pasting on his most charming smile as he casually tossed the baseball up and down. "You know what? I think we ought to draw another number. Believe me, you won't regret it. Worst pitcher in New York right here! Which reminds me, I gotta get back there — "

Everyone fell silent. "You mean you're an outsider?" a woman demanded.

"Well, yes. Nothing wrong with...hey, wait! Wait!" Flynn was cut off as two policemen grabbed him by his arms and held him in place.

The announcer knelt to his eye level, smirking. "You think there's nothing wrong with that, boy?" he said. "Don't you know that makes you a back-stabbin', snake-in-the-grass False Shepherd?"

The people gasped and recoiled at this word, staring at Flynn with fear and disgust. "And we ain't lettin' no False Shepherd into our flock!" the man added, standing up. "Show him what we got planned, boys!"

One of the officers pulled a weapon from his belt — sharp, spinning blades molded to the handle of a gun. Time seemed to slow down as it came towards Flynn's face...just slow enough for him to toss the baseball into the air, shove aside the second officer and wrest the contraption away from its owner. "Okay, I'm pretty sure this thing does something bad. What do you say we not find out?"

The crowd screamed and fled. "After him!" a voice yelled as police with guns flooded the clearing. "The False Shepherd has come to lead our lamb astray!"

"I-I don't know anything about this, I swear!" Flynn shouted. He blindly waved the hooked contraption around and caught a man in the side of the head. He fell to the ground, blood slowly seeping from the wound. Flynn heard himself scream, then he was faintly aware of his feet desperately carrying him towards the gate. Anywhere but here.

A flash of metal on the ground caught his eye - someone had dropped a pistol. Snatching it up, he raised it into the air and fired a single shot. "I'll aim lower!"

The officers all recoiled. Some sank to the ground, and others fled. Flynn's legs nearly gave way as he stumbled in the other direction. Jumping over a row of roadblocks, he slipped through a gate and took off down a sidestreet.

On a ledge behind him stood a white horse with an officer atop his back. "We've got him, Maximus," the man said, pushing against the animal's side with his spurs. Maximus whinnied, then jumped to the street and galloped after his target. He could smell its fear, and the scent delighted him.

Flynn jumped at the noise and backed into a barrel, knocking it over. The pungent smell of gasoline invaded his nostrils as the clear liquid flowed into a wide puddle on the ground. He backed away from it before glancing at the pistol. It's not like anything else can go wrong, I suppose.

He fired a shot at the puddle, then turned and ran as a wall of flame billowed to life and blocked off the street. In another time, he would have stopped to admire his work. Today, however, anywhere but here sounded nice. He was gone before he could see Maximus galloping around the corner.

"Woah, Max!" the officer shouted, jerking vainly on the reins. "Max, slow down! Max!"

When the horse jumped, he was thrown to the ground. The animal, meanwhile, sailed over the flames without even a singe. Landing on the other side, he continued to thunder after the target. Its scent was getting stronger.


The street was empty here, of both people and of buildings. Figures that they would stop having the latter right when he needed a place to hide...wait. There! Across from him floated a restaurant. There wasn't a light in any of the windows, and a CLOSED sign hung from one of the door handles. All he needed was -

RAT-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT!

Flynn curled up against the brick wall as a turret went off on the platform just above his head. Forcing himself to move, he looked up at the machine and watched it spin around raining death in all directions. When it had turned away from him, he dashed across the street in a beeline for his shelter. The doors were heavy, but they gave way with enough pulling. They fell shut behind him as he staggered into a dimly lit entryway and collapsed. The room was dancing like a kaleidoscope before his eyes, and his breath came in weak bursts. Should be safe in here awhile…

"Intriguing."

"That we haven't killed this one yet?"

"That he chose evasion rather than confrontation."

Flynn looked up. A man was behind the bar, cleaning a glass. A woman stood in front of it, examining a coin. That was where he'd seen them before - the coin toss. "W-What are you doing here?" he demanded as he stumbled to his feet.

They answered him with blank stares, as though he had asked what the shape of the earth was.

"...Never mind. Look, I need to get out of here now. Do any of those rockets go back to the surface?" More stares. "...Okay, fine. How about a hiding place? Somewhere I can go where they won't look for a few days."

"Everyone goes everywhere," the woman said. "Or almost everywhere." She and the man looked to the window, turning their heads in unison. When Flynn looked with them, he saw the angel statue looming in the distance. "You can go there?"

"If you're clever," said the man.

"Or suicidal."

Flynn could see the kitchen through a doorway. The hanging pots and pans rattled with a gust of wind; the back door was open. "I'll take my chances," he said, sticking the pistol in his belt.

The man and woman watched him go. "He may be rather cross when he gets there," she remarked.

"That is why we'll be somewhere else."

"Or somewhen."

"Preferably."

She flipped the coin. "Tails again."

He smiled. "Then perhaps he'll take it well."


I was going to make this longer, but I decided to put something out so you guys wouldn't think this was dead. Also, I might as well warn you that I'm cutting the Fraternal Order of the Raven. Is it cool (in a sick and twisted way)? Sure. Does it really advance the plot? Not really. Oh, cheer up. You get the skylines next chapter.