Fire poured from the barrel as he unloaded at the double doors. The safety glass started to shatter and buckle. It was supposed to be able to stop an out-of-control car, but it didn’t look like it’d last much longer. Suddenly blinding light erupted around the van, coming from directly above. The squeal of tires found its way through the cracks in the glass as the van started roaring away.
The gunman leaning out the side struggled to hang on and then they were gone, the light from the sky following after them. Within moments, another agent was running into view from the opposite direction. He stopped and brought his pistol up, but the kidnappers must have been too far away already for him to take a shot. Instead, he moved towards the door, shielding his eyes from the sun to look inside.
Turning his back on the chaos in the school, the agent scanned the parking lot and grounds again before turning back and giving a thumbs up. At first Leo thought the gesture was directed at him, which was beyond surreal, but then he looked behind him and saw Agent Felix returning the gesture. The signal was obviously to show that Julia was alright. The girl herself had a dazed expression on her face. When she saw Leo looking at her, her eyes came into focus and she started to get up.
“Ms. Estelle, I don’t think it’s a good idea to move right now.”
Julia ignored her bodyguard and started moving towards him. Pushing with his legs, Leo managed to force himself into a standing position. Without the wall there to brace him, he knew he’d fall right over.
“Are you okay?”
“I hit my head pretty hard. I just need a minute.”
“Let me see.”
He couldn’t help wincing as she touched the back of his head.
“You’re bleeding, you need a doctor.”
“We already have an ambulance on the way,” Felix said as his eyes continued to scan the hall on both sides.
The man on the ground who’d disguised himself as a bodyguard still seemed to be moving. The real agent kicked his gun away and grabbed his right arm. The injured man groaned in pain, unable to resist as Felix pulled his sleeve up, revealing a strange tattoo on his forearm. It was shaped like a flag, but not one that Leo had ever seen. Alternating bars of red and white made up most of it, but one corner was blue with a circle of stars in the middle. Leo counted them. There were thirteen. He turned to Felix and Julia, and instead of seeing his confusion mirrored in their faces, he saw grim understanding.
“Julia, what flag is that?”
“If you’d have done the reading for Mr. Martin, you’d remember it. It’s the rebel flag they used in the American Revolution.”