The doors are all locked down,
I'm flying on my feet,
Gotta reach that corridor,
Rythian's feet beat the marble floor as he rushed down the halls. Throwing doors open one by one, he was screaming for Zoey. He knew she was here somewhere; he just had to find where and get her out!
He'd smelled the smoke earlier, but thought nothing of it. Zoey was constantly playing with her flame ring, he'd been sure she could handle whatever she caused. He thought she was just messing around in their room.
He was wrong.
Warnings of pure dread,
Heard on the overhead,
In a monotonic tone,
The piercing ringing of the alarm filled his ears. The alarm system in her lab? Of course her lab was the source of the fire! He had to get down there, he had to save her from whatever trouble she'd gotten into.
The alarm gradually died away as its components melted, but that did nothing to slow Rythian as he rushed towards the stairs to the first floor. Practically falling down them, it was only by luck that he made it to the bottom in one piece. He was grateful for his mask; the smoke was much thicker down here. He could only imagine what it was like for Zoey underground.
There are men and women trapped in that room,
Flames scorching them,
But they'll be out soon,
Rythian had to hurry- he was nearing the front of the fortress, and the entrance to the lab. He could see the opening to Barry's cave, and he pushed on. Choking on the thick, black smoke, Rythian's eyes were watering. He could barely see, and didn't notice when a large beam from the wall cracked.
It fell directly in front of him, and there was no time to move. His foot caught the edge of the burning wood, pitching him forwards. His head slammed into the floor, but still he fought to stand and get to the lab. He was convinced that if he could only make it to Zoey, everything would be fine.
He made it to his feet, then fell back to his knees, hacking and coughing. The rational part of his brain told him it was time to give up. He could hardly see or breathe, and moving obviously wasn't going to get any easier, yet something else said he had to keep pushing. Out of the corner of his eye, he thought he saw a shining light through the smoke. He could hear voices, and smiled to himself. Maybe they'd help him get Zoey out.
He's holding on as he's ripped from the room,
Engulfed in flames,
But they'll be out soon,
The first thing Rythian found was that the voices were not imagined- they belonged to the pair of people hoisting him upwards. The second thing he found out was that these two people were trying to take him outside. No! They can't do that! He had to go save Zoey! She's still trapped in the lab, Rythian still had to go save her, why couldn't these two see that? He tried to break from their grip, but only succeeded in exhausting himself further.
He became aware of someone screaming, and it took a moment to realize it was him. The pair of people had carried him outside and laid him on the grass. Rythian thrashed on the ground and gulped the fresh air greedily, trying to rid his body of the toxic smoke. He sat up and looked at his saviors- Martyn and Toby? Why are they here? - before struggling to get to his feet and go back to the castle.
Martyn put a hand on Rythian's shoulder and held him down. He was saying something, but Rythian couldn't hear the words over the crackle of flames as Blackrock was engulfed. He focused, and made out some of the words being said.
"Rythian, are you alright? We saw smoke and came as fast as we could," Toby was speaking, but Rythian ignored him entirely.
"Zoey…" Rythian managed to croak, his voice hoarse and his mouth dry. Toby handed him some water. Rythian drank, then tried speaking again. "Where's Zoey? I have to go back for her, she's in the lab, I-"
Martyn cut him off. "Rythian, the fire's too big. You can't go back- if she's in the lab, it's hopeless. I'm sorry,"
Sirens are blaring,
Screams from the staring,
As they watch him cry,
A scream ripped Rythian's vocal cords to shreds, but it didn't matter. Nothing mattered, not if Zoey was still inside. He couldn't help but feel as if this was his fault. The one time he wasn't there watching her was the one time something went wrong, the one time Zoey couldn't control her fire.
No, that didn't make sense. Zoey could always control her fire. The thought rattled around in Rythian's smoldering head. There was something not right about all this. Zoey would never let something as simple as a flame get out of hand- she'd always been able to put it out before anyone got hurt and before it spread, and this time shouldn't have been different. Something must have happened.
Awake from a cold sweat,
How could I forget,
I've seen this all before,
He knew he was being paranoid, but his thoughts kept being drawn back to the Old World. He was sitting straight up now, and he began looking frantically around.
Rythian's eyes locked on to a figure in the distance, and he jumped to his feet. The motion sent him into another hacking and wheezing fit, but right now all he cared about was getting to Lalna.
"You!" Rythian's scream hurt his throat, but it was too late to stop now. "You did this!" He cried, rocketing towards Lalna with his flying ring. "You did this! I'll kill you! I'll-" Rythian stopped as a sob racked his body. He stopped flying and collapsed to the ground on his knees in front of Lalna, tears streaming down his face, pure hatred and rage in his eyes. Lalna, who'd previously been watching the destruction with a malicious grin, visibly paled when he saw Rythian.
"You're alive? You're out here?" He asked. Rythian didn't grace the question with an answer, just buried his head deeper into his hands. "But then who…" Lalna trailed off. He wanted to know who was still inside, Rythian realized. He leapt to his feet.
"It's Zoey! Zoey is still inside! This is your fault!" He screamed, battering the scientist with his fists. Of course, as powerful as Rythian was, he did no more damage than a feather would've against the nano armor. Lalna barely seemed to register the fact that he was being hit; he was too focused on what Rythian had said.
Lalna shook his head slowly, not wanting to believe it. "But she's alright, right? Zoey's going to make it out OK, right?"
Rythian didn't even hear him. "I'll end you! This is your fucking fault!" was all he could say, over and over, with little variation.
"No, no," Lalna muttered. "You're supposed to be in there, why are you still alive? Why are you out here? Zoey can't be inside, this isn't how this was supposed to work!" He trailed off as his mutterings became more and more incomprehensible.
The crackle of the flames overpowered all other noise, eating through the fortress. Rythian and Lalna could only stand and watch as the flames burnt long into the night, slowly turning Blackrock- and the two men outside it- into nothing more than empty shells.
Fire, fire burns much brighter,
When oxygen is the supplier,
And fire, fire has killed their desire,
To not be cold as they expire…