All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet.
He’ll look round the room, he won’t tell you his plan
"West entrance is out," calls Eames from the other side of the warehouse.
"Shit!" yelps Ariadne and there is the sound of gunfire. "They’re at the back door too."
"Exiting via our entry point is now also out the question," informs Saito.
"So basically, we’re surrounded," Cobb deduces.
Yusuf sighs. This is why he stopped going under: getting shot at is such a bitch – and this is only a training exercise.
Glancing around the room he sees Eames returning fire through a broken window, Ariadne barricading a door with packing crates, and Saito gesturing with his hands like a poor street magician.
"I am trying to make a trap door."
"You need to focus, Saito. Visualise the door in your mind and then will it into existence," says Cobb encouragingly.
Yusuf rolls his eyes behind the relative safety of the turned back of his wealthy and powerful new employer.
Walking back to the van offers him the sight of Arthur climbing the pallet racking that stands in the center of the warehouse. It’s three tiers high, nearly reaches the beams that support the roof, and is filled with boxes of who knows what, so Arthur is making his way up the rails on the side. Moving quickly and attired in black pants and a navy sweater, Yusuf can’t help but be reminded of the dark spiders that crawl the walls of his basement.
Standing on top of the stacked boxes of the third tier, Arthur leaps and catches hold of one of the girders. Yusuf watches, fascinated, as Arthur dangles for a moment, assault rifle slung over his back, before pulling himself up.
"Arthur, what the hell are you doing?" calls out Cobb, but he receives no answer. Arthur is too busy weaving through the support beams, making his way towards – aha – a skylight set into the roof.
They all watch now as Arthur shoots out the glass and then uses the muzzle to force the last of the shards out of the frame. Then he lifts himself up, through, and onto the roof.
There is an agonizing minute where Yusuf can only hear Ariadne’s projections battering at the walls outside, but he breathes a sigh of relief when gunfire is finally heard from the edge of the roof.
Eventually, the side door is pushed open and Arthur enters, rumpled and dusty.
"Come on," he says, "get back in the van. We still need to practice the kick."
He's a cowboy kid
"Arthur, will you please remove the stick from your arse and hit some of these projections with it!"
"I’m sorry, I thought I heard you say you could handle it."
"Clearly, I underestimated the situation!"
A projection has Eames in a headlock and, conveniently, for this and nothing else, that is the optimal viewing point for what Arthur does next.
Rope unfurls from a fourth-level balcony and Arthur descends quickly, one gloved hand gripping the line, the other wielding an M16. He isn’t yet six feet from the ground when he begins shooting at the angry mob crowding their way down the escalators. Under these conditions, even without the benefit of sighting his targets, it’s rather like shooting fish in a barrel and if Arthur’s rain of fire doesn’t kill many, it wounds most.
On the ground he discards the assault rifle in favour of hand to hand combat with one of Eames’s assailants. The projection throws a wide punch that Arthur easily blocks and then takes advantage of, using the projection’s momentum to break its arm with a swift chop.
Another projection abandons Eames (but tragically not the one involved in the aforementioned headlock) with a rather ridiculous flying kick (bleed-through: the subject is very fond of wuxia films) that Arthur avoids by swerving into the path of a third, this one a woman. She is knocked into the display window of a stationary store by a roundhouse and back kick combination; Arthur then dispatches the other with a snap kick to its solar plexus.
Eames’s vision is beginning to blur when Arthur draws his Glock.
Someone falls to the ground to his left.
There is a ‘thud’ behind him.
Eames’s would-be killer becomes limp and wet around him and he shakes them off; somebody’s grandmother is missing a third of her skull.
Off Arthur’s insufferable smirk - "Not a fucking word."
But he's coming for you, yeah he's coming for you.
She trips. She falls. And before she can get up her, left leg is crushed beneath the fallen banister.
She howls in pain.
Arthur is crouched by Dom’s prone body, finding safety it the stability of a doorway. No, he is standing now.
But it is too late. He darts out towards her, eyes shifting between the collapsing ceiling and the debris littering the floor.
"It’s minutes, Arthur! Not worth it!"
Arthur leaps over a fallen chandelier and avoids another lump of ceiling by rolling to his side, but now his path is blocked by the crumpled remains of the staircase. Picking himself up, he runs, and, by using a chaise a springboard, vaults over the staircase, contriving a forward handspring off the lone level step.
He lands on both feet.
From there he ducks and swerves until he is at her side, gripping her hand, and waking her up.
The slight of my hand is now a quick pull trigger
The projection lurches towards her, drawing a sawn-off shotgun to his shoulder.
Fuck, Ariadne thinks. Where’d he come from?
But she hasn’t even drawn her Beretta from its holster when the projection crumples to the ground, blood a blossoming stain on his shirt.
With a smile she keys the mic at her collar.
"Arthur, you’re my favorite. Seriously."
"I bet you say that to all the boys watching your back with a high powered sniper rifle." The breeze ruffles the hair at her neck as he chuckles into her earbud. The effect is such as to send shivers down her spine.
She turns to look in his direction, shielding her eyes against the sun with a raised hand. She twinkles her fingers at a distant rooftop.
"Yeah, but I only mean it with you."
Your hair's on fire, you must have lost your wits
Dom is about to walk out of the alley and onto the street where the bank is located when Arthur suddenly grabs him by the shoulder.
"Wait. Something’s…wrong. I saw something."
Arthur looks back, looks up, and then looks out at the street.
"What is – " is all Dom gets the chance to say before Arthur knocks him to the ground and then falls at his side.
Arthur groans and clutches at his left shoulder.
"Sniper," he gasps, "on the second floor of the hotel."
Dom looks up.
"They’re gone now."
Arthur becomes very pale in his attempt to staunch the flow of blood with his right hand.
"You’re in too much pain. Let me wake you."
"You won’t have time to get to the bank before the dream completely collapses." Lips thin: "I can hold on."
When they wake, Arthur rubs his shoulder absently and asks: "Were any of the other projections violent?"
"Not at all," Dom replies, spinning Mal’s top on the ground.
"That’s weird...That only one was a sniper and all the others didn’t notice us." He looks to Dom, asking him with a raised eyebrow for an explanation.
The moment stretches awkwardly between them before Dom clears his throat and says that they need to move on to the next job.
All the other kids...
Cobb’s shoulder is pockmarked with several entry wounds but his cause of death is most likely the bullet to the heart.
Eames’s head is a pulpy mess, his flexible face for once devoid of any expression.
Yusuf is now a few scattered limbs thanks to the grenade he’d carried with him to meet the projections.
Ariadne still gasps for breath.
Arthur kneels down beside her. She offers him a wan smile.
"I think we all thought the same thing: save you."
With his left hand he holds her right; with his right he un-holsters his Glock.
"I’m the dreamer. I can go on."
She pulls his hand to her lips and kisses his knuckles.
"I can’t speak for the others but that wasn’t my train of thought."
Her body shudders and she coughs up blood.
"Wake me up?"
Really, he muses as he walks away from their bodies, it was a very nice gesture, all of them sacrificing themselves for me.
Of course, now he’d have to do the job all by himfuckingself.