Saving Who We Can
The scene before me was not what I was expecting. There were whole crowds gathered before the orphanage. I could see the plumes of smoke rising in the night sky and the orange flames of fire licking at the building's walls. I ran inside the fence, passing Logan and his guards, only to find the door barred shut. I took a few steps back, then went running, slamming into the door with my shoulder. I was mad. I had lost my people to my enemies. I won't allow the same to happen to Jennah. I did it again. The door splintered. I went running again, gaining large slivers in my shoulder. That didn't stop me. By the time the door came crashing down, my shoulder was bleeding.
I ran inside and was immediately attacked by some bandits. I fought back as hard as I could. Some of the kids went running outside. I finished killing the group. Logan and his seraph were right behind me as I moved on. We took on another mob of bandits before moving upstairs, the last place to look. Big Nose Ted was there. There was also a priestess who had formed a magical shield around herself and the remaining kids. Ted saw me. "This is between you and me," he said pointing at me. "I accept. First, let the kids and the priestess go." He nodded and the priestess and the kids ran outside. "Trisscar, you can't-," Logan started. "Ted's right, Logan," I cut him off. "It's the only way we can get him to fight without running away."
Ted and I took fighting stances. I waited for him to strike first. He dove and I dodged. I swung, he blocked. He came charging at me and I deflected him. He should have flown to the floor, but he quickly regained balance and struck again. This went on for a few minutes as the building continued to burn around us. Finally, he was shoved against the railing. He tore out one of the bars and swung. I noticed too late. I went flying back into the wall and fell to the floor. I looked up and saw Ted come charging at me. The world slowed down again. I felt fire coursing through my veins. I stood up and jumped. Ted missed me. I came back down and shoved Ted to the floor. I flicked my wrists and two whips formed in my hands. They were made of fire.
Ted got up and charged again. I lashed out and struck him. He stumbled back. I struck again. And again. He fell to the floor, unmoving. My whips disappeared as did my anger. I looked over at Logan. He and his seraph all held a look of amazement in their eyes. It was hard for me to not smirk at them. I walked past them and down the stairs. They followed me outside. Everyone started cheering. The priestess thanked us and I received multiple hugs from the children. Petra was in the crowd too. She ran up to me and we hugged. She pulled back saying, "You did it! You're amazing!" "That's cause I'm AWESOME!" I said sarcastically. We laughed. Then Commander Serentine showed up.
"The Ministry Guard will take it from here." Logan stepped up. "I don't see any nobles. This is Seraph business. My people will make the arrests." "If you insist. Tell me, how did you respond so quickly." She looked at me, obviously accusing me of helping Logan. "We were in the right place at the right time. Don't underestimate the Seraph, Commander." Logan's voice was stone cold as he said this. "Very well. Congratulations on doing your job correctly Thackeray- For once. Ministry Guard, clear out!" After they left, Logan turned to me. "Alright, let's get to the infirmary and check on Francis. If it's anything like this, he'll need our help." I nodded. Giving Petra another smile, I led the way to the infirmary.
When we got there, it was in the same state as the orphanage. I ran over to Francis but as soon as I was within five feet of him, I heard an explosion and was knocked back and on the ground. There was a piece of metal lodged in my bad shoulder. One of Logan's Seraph came and helped me up. The infirmary was charred, smoking, and caved in. "Francis, please tell me you got everyone out of there in time." "No, sir. Sorry, sir. We were able to get some of the people clear but there were still others inside when it went up." "I want injury and casualty count right away. Did you at least catch the arsonists?" "No, sir. Never even saw them. Sorry, sir."
I could tell Logan was getting more frustrated by the second. I stepped in. "We had better luck at the orphanage. Big Nose Ted won't be doing any harm to anyone ever again." "That's not enough! We have to do better!" I remained silent, letting him get the steam out of his system. He sighed. "Look, we've been through a lot and this isn't the time or place for debriefing. Especially not with Serentine sniffing around. She keeps turning up at these crime scenes but always too late." "You think there's a connection?" "Yes. Meet me in my office after you've rested up. We'll discuss our next move then." I nodded and we went our separate ways. I headed back to the tavern.
Inside was Petra, Andrew, and a few of the regulars. Petra ran up to me, but stopped when she saw the look on my face. "What happened?" "We were too late at the infirmary. It was blown up. So many people were still inside." I sat down at the bar and hid my face in my arms. I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up to see Andrew. "You did the best you could Triss. That's all anyone can ask for." I hugged him and he hugged back. "Some drinks to toast the heroes and those lost in the fight." After toasting was done and Petra dressed my shoulder wound, everyone left. Petra, Andrew, and I went to bed. I fell asleep feeling a little better. Especially since I could feel my mom trying to comfort me.