Elk Creek High School, 6:30 AM
Aiden yawned, leaning backwards. It was much too early to be up and to be at school, but a series of… incidents had forced the students of Elk Creek High School to be locked in. The school itself used to be a large Cold War shelter that had been morphed into a school in the early 2000s. In Aiden's opinion, it didn't look much like a bunker. There was one main hallway, where the entrance was situated at. Five smaller hallways were attached to each side of the main hallway, the three classrooms on one side of them and the latrines/storage/bunk rooms on the other. In case of a nuclear bombing or something similar, the students and their families would be sheltered within the dorms, each having six beds at least.
Aiden didn't know what the 'incidents' were, and probably never would, the only thing he knew about them was that they had taken his brother from him. The school staff were extremely adamant about hiding whatever had happened from the students, much to Aiden's chagrin. Right now, his parents were off on a vacation to god knows where, leaving him to be housed in one of the dorms. He didn't really mind, though, as the dorms were actually very nice and well-furnished. The first two halls were just for students who had to stay the night, often containing only one or two beds.
Right now, due to an alarm of some sort, the ten or so students that had decided to stay the night were all huddled in the media center, the former theater room of the bunker. "What do you think it was?" asked Gilbert, one of the younger kids. He was a bit of a jerk to other people, but had a few friends. "Maybe a drill?" one of his friends responded. Aiden snorted at their discussion. This couldn't possibly be a drill. The school had actually sent armed, armored, and trained guards down to the media center to protect them.
They were all situated around the clump of bookshelves that all the students were hiding in, all facing away as if there would be some sort of threat. Aiden was starting to get a bit annoyed. "What exactly calls for armed reinforcement?" he asked, staring at the shotguns and assault rifles they held in their hands. One of them glanced back at him, "Can't tell ya, kid."
Usually, Aiden would be a bit nosier, but he didn't want to piss off someone holding a loaded shotgun.
"Probably a lunatic that bust in, waving a pistol around," Aiden reasoned with himself, standing up an leaning on the heavy bookshelf. He was still in his 'pajamas', a red t-shirt and long pants. Thankfully, he was one of the more decent ones here, as one of the girls only had a short tank top and some extremely short pants. Last Aiden had seen of her, she had walked off to one of the corners in the media center, flustered and embarrassed.
Suddenly, a very, very faint sound could be heard. He could tell he wasn't imagining it, as all the armed guards perked up, some even raising their weapons at what they guessed were the sources, most of them pointing towards the grandeur doors that opened into the main hallway. "Alright!" one of them barked, probably the leader, to the students. All the high schoolers glanced up, startled, "We need all of you to get into the security room and barricade both doors on the side, as well as the one opening into here! We'll let you know when it's safe to come out!"
Now people were starting to become fearful. The noise was becoming louder, starting to reverberate off the cement walls and paneled floors. Clank. Clank. Clank. It was obvious now. All the students made a break for the security station, Aiden being one of the first to enter. Once the last person entered, they had grabbed whatever they could find, file cabinets, desks, chairs, in front of the three doors inside the security room. On the back wall, there were extensive monitors of all the classrooms, hallways, and storage areas, along with the media center and main hallway. To Aiden's annoyance, they were all only showing the name of the area and nothing else, the media one was turned away from the main room, and on a small corner. He could make a small figure in the shadows.
Maybe she hadn't heard the leader, or was too frightened to move. Having already seen his sibling die, he wouldn't be sane if he witnessed a girl die because he was too much of a coward. A small, rational part of his mind told him to stay put, to just listen to what happened. But it, like before, it was a small part. The majority of his brain screamed at him to retrieve the girl. Ad that's what he would do.
He feverishly started moving around the barricade for the main door, only moving what was needed so that he could get out. "What the hell are you doing, retard! We've got to keep the door closed!" exclaimed one of the more outspoken students. "Fine. Then be ready to barricade it the second I get the girl in here!" he growled, his breath becoming heavy. "Somebody's got a crush!" somebody teased. "Oh, shut up! I don't have a crush! I'm just not willing to see anybody die today!" retorted Aiden, finally managing to get the door open. Before somebody could insult him again, he sprinted out, taking cover behind a bookshelf.
The noise was louder now. Clank. Clank. Clank. It sounded like metal clanging against chains. He forced the part of his mind, now wailing for him to go back into the security station and fearful for his life, to the back, pushing forward his fervent dedication to saving the student. "Tango out in the main hallway! Snake position!" shouted the leader, barking commands. He could hear multiple pairs of footsteps joining the clanking sound out in the main hallway. He glanced around, finally seeing the corner that the camera had displayed.
He swiftly lunged across the open space in between his singular bookshelf, and the line of bookshelves that would help shield him. He winced, as he could never do the lunge maneuver properly and always left his shoulders aching. This time was no different, but the adrenaline rushing through his blood let him ignore it.
He ran as silently as he could towards the shadowy corner, speeding up a bit subconsciously as he came across gaps. It felt like an eternity, though, it was merely a couple of seconds. All the while, the noise became louder and louder. "Hey! Girl!" Aiden whisper shouted at the corner, faintly seeing the outline of the scared student. The outline of her head snapped up towards him, her eyes glazed with fear. "Come here. I'm here to help," Aiden moved his hands in a 'come here' motion, keeping an eye on the main table area of the media center. Her eyes were thankful as she hastily got up, practically bounding to the high school student.
He grabbed her wrist, making sure she wouldn't be left behind. And that's when they heard it. A loud smash followed by a series of gunfire. Someone shouted, "What the hell is that!"
Not risking a look, he shot forward, trying to pull the girl with him. The bookshelves sped by, looking like a vortex to Aiden who was only focusing on the doors that the others seemed like they were about to close. They were nearly there! Just a few more feet! But, just before they could reach it a pile of books slammed down onto the ground as the bookshelf they fell from groaned, the crumpled form of one of the guards visible on the other side.
They tumbled onto the ground, not having enough time to react. The students had formed a partial-barricade; big enough for them to fit through one at a time. They bookshelf behind them flew off its foundation, slamming into the wall. The event caused them both to practically jump to their feet. And that's when it saw them. It was what looked like a medieval knight. It held a black greatsword with glowing golden markings. Its armor matched the colors of its sword, elaborate carvings on the torso, arms, legs, and helmet glowing golden; a stark contrast to the black.
At this moment, Aiden knew he would have to make a choice. He could either hop into the station, leaving the girl's fate to the knight's hands, or shove the girl forward and into the station. He'd only have enough time for one of them. He wouldn't be able to live with himself with an innocent person died simply because of his selfishness. With that, he made his choice.
He kicked the girl forward, sending her forward and sprawled on the ground of the security station. The others seemed surprised, but closed the doors anyway, the grinding of furniture audible from the security room. The knight, though, calmly walked towards Aiden, sliding his sword into a sheathe on his back.
This is it, Aiden thought. Today was the day he died. A thing his dad always said popped into his mind every time a tragedy happened, and the news talked about it. "Better to die a hero than to live and become the villain." He stood his ground. He stared at the knight, who was just a bit taller than Aiden, unflinchingly. He would show no fear. He would not go down a coward. But then, something unexpected happened.
The knight, now standing right before him, bowed down on one knee, his arms crossed over his chest, "Your highness."