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Snippet #816022

located in Lost Haven, a part of Swan Song, one of the many universes on RPG.

Lost Haven

Main City. Will make Genesis once we get to that point.

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It took no more than an instant for Jeremy to rise to his feet, his mind flooded with as much worry as what was flooding James's lower clothing to his side. Now, the most logical conclusion would be that what they were all experiencing was a fire drill. There had been many recently, mainly because each one ended in over a dozen office workers hypothetically being burnt alive within the building. Of course, on those previous occasions the extinguishing showers had not been activated.

There was one convincing factor, however.

The smell of choking smoke and the sudden shake of the building was real enough. Already he could hear the petrified shouts from other floors. It seemed the fire drills really hadn't made much of a difference to people's actions in a crisis.

The flames had not yet reached Jeremy's floor, which was a relief, but still Jeremy's legs began to shake, leaving him frozen on the spot with his mouth hanging open, his eyes darting from one screaming drone to the next.

"Sean, we have to get out of here," James shouted in a high pitched tone. This, apparently, was his scared voice. Had he been an actor auditioning for the role of scared worker 1 he would have been given the part immediately. Some probably would have even made him the protagonist, so believable was his emotion. The growing, wet stain, distinguishable even as he was drenched from above, was simply a prop to immerse the crowd. But, unfortunately, this was not a film or a play, and they were not actors. Jeremy was scared stiff and James was peeing himself whilst others either did very good impressions of Jeremy, ran for the elevator leaving behind a trail of frightened noise or started to gather a much of the expensive equipment and possessions as humanly possible.

It was then that something happened, snapping Jeremy away from his shock and back into the much more pleasant real world. A loud smash was heard from above, maybe to floors away, followed by something that looked remotely human, engulfed in flames, falling past the floor's large window. This took a little while to sink in, perhaps longer than it should have considering the circumstances, but it was enough to cause Jeremy to look around and face James. His face was gaunt white with worry, and James didn't look to good either. It wasn't that much of a problem, however. Nobody looked good right then.

"We need to get down to the ground floor," Jeremy stated, hoping he sounded braver than he felt. "The flames are close by, I think."

The thought was correct. Smoke was seeping through the bad quality, white ceiling tiles above them, starting to fill the floor with its deadly form. Jeremy appeared to be the only one that had noticed this, and was maybe the only person present that had taken in the small details that would make all the difference. Smoke could kill, that much everyone knew, and it was increasing in its quantity by a fair amount per second. What hadn't been taken into account was that during these situations the elevators were shut off, leaving only the stairs as an option for escape. This hadn't seemed to motivate those standing before the elevator doors, pushing one another aside and even breaking into fights to be first in when it came. A couple of the more intelligent drones were fully aware of this, and were taking advantage of the chaotic situation to run through the emergency escape and head down before the rest caught on.

"There," Jeremy announced as he pointed towards what was usually an inconspicuous door. It was completely grey, and did nothing to stand out from the rest. Originally there had been a sign reading 'FIRE ESCAPE' but somebody had taken it for a door at home. In fact, Jeremy knew who had done so, and saw that one person follow another two through the frame and make their way towards the ground floor. For anyone who hadn't stolen the sign or paid special attention during there lunch hours due to lack of companions to socialize with the door was just another entrance to a small room filled with cleaning products.

"Right. right," James said as his head bobbed up and down in agreement. That was the thing about the memory. James had completely forgotten about that perfect exit, until Jeremy had decided to boot his brain into action by pointing.

No sooner had Jeremy done this, James began to sprint. Fortunately enough there were large spaces between that rows of cubicles, and that meant less manoeuvring and more rushing. Jeremy would have more than happily followed suit, but something caught his lucky eye. James was running into what was a potential deathtrap. The smoke had been leaking from mainly one area of the ceiling, and as it did so, that portion of white began to slowly turn grey and crack.

Jeremy accelerated. It was in that moment his bones tensed to painful proportions, and like a dog chasing it first meal in weeks he sprung forwards. Between James and himself there was a row of cubicles that James had decided to run around. Jeremy didn't have time to do so. One after the other, Jeremy's leg propelled him forwards, working together like a well oiled machine designed for maximum output. It was not speed that Jeremy was going for in his motion, as logical as it may have seemed only a second before. Each step he took was more like a leap forwards joined by Jeremy's insignificant weight being thrust against the resistance that the air proposed. This augmented Jeremy's momentum significantly, which was what gave his intensified muscles the burst of strength necessary to jump.

The left foot pushed with full force against the floor without the heel touching, springing the rest of his body into a diagonal trajectory. The right foot however, having not even come close to the ground, elevated itself, taking the leg with it so that it would pass over the cubicle's board.

Half of Jeremy glided over, his torso arched forwards to pose less of an enemy against the ever present defence of the air that threatened his chances. His torso was then followed by the left leg that had been lifted to the side. Still, there was no way for it to simply pass over the board on its own. Jeremy placed his right, still in the air, on the very same board he had been trying to vault over, and pushed, giving him the impulse to lift his trailing left leg over.

The attempt was a success. Now over the cubicle, Jeremy braced himself to touch the ground and continue his sprint. He bent both legs into such a position that they would simply compress upon impact, and that was what they did. Jeremy reached the floor without having stopped and continued his run.

Above James, the ceiling had just opened up completely, revealing a large desk and computer covered by dancing reds and oranges, accompanied by electrical sparks. He had realised this, seeing as the roof's goal had not been stealth upon collapsing, and as he looked up and hopefully raised his hands to his head's height in defence, he felt a sudden force that slammed into his side, taking him off his feet. The next thing he saw was the grey fire exit drawing closer. He had only been a few feet away in the first place, but was approaching his destination far quicker than he had expected.

Jeremy, his arms wrapped around James' stomach area, lifting the man from the ground be a few inches, turned slightly to the right, preparing his left shoulder to burst through.

What followed was much more dramatic than he had expected. The door gave way like a boxer who had just received the knockout blow, slamming against the metal stairway with a loud clang. Jeremy, still carrying momentum, followed suit, collapsing with James in his arms to the floor just as the ceiling collapsed completely behind them, effectively sealing off the fire escape to anyone not already inside.

Jeremy panted heavily. His shoulder ached and he was out of breath. James breathing such a way because of his stunned condition. It had all happened in a moment, and it seemed strange enough, but it had definitely been real. Jeremy had vaulted over a row of cubicles and tackled him away from a collapsing ceiling with enough strength to knock a security door from its hinges.

"Thanks, Sean," James wheezed, climbing to his feet using the balustrade on offer to balance himself. "But how did you-"

"No time for that," Jeremy stated firmly, regaining his breath as he jumped back into a standing position. "We have to get out of here."