Being dragged around by Natalia was not his idea of fun, but Atticus didn't complain. If he did, he was sure she was going to slap him across the face or something. She seemed pretty angry about him not being completely organised. How could he help it? He was being shot at by pretty scary looking guys today! Wasn't that enough of an excuse? Apparently not.
"Everyone, let's go! Now!" Natalia yelled as she almost threw Atticus into the cockpit, Helena and what looked like Natalia's Russian recruit... uh, Nick? following her up. After Nick had closed the door, he yelled out to the guy in the cockpit, which was thankfully Cooper. At least he would cut Atticus some slack. He was a good guy, Cooper was.
"Hey Cooper! How fast can this bird get in the air?"
"Faster than you think. Buckle up, everyone!" Atticus immediately found a seat and clung on for dear life as the plane seemed to start moving immediately after. Annie herself who Atticus recognised (she looked far more tired than when he had seen her last time though) grabbed an armchair with one hand and her computers with her other. The plane lunged forward as it finished rotating towards the runway, quickly building up an insane amount of speed. Atticus managed to pull his head to the side, looking out the window and behind them. Sure enough, guards, armoured ones too, started to gather outside the gate, yelling at their moving plane and raising their weapons.
"Cooper? They have guns," Atticus pointed out.
"I am aware. Don't worry, they can't catch The Falcon!"
As their speed grew faster and faster, Atticus clinged to his seat tighter and tighter. He did not have a fear of flying, no, but he definitely had a fear of crashing into something and dying. He glanced over at Helena, giving her a quick thumbs up before slapping his hand back down on the seat to hang on. She probably didn't think she was going to be doing something like this when she woke up this morning.
"Cooper!" Natalia cried as she peered out the window. Atticus followed on his own side, catching with his eyes a commercial airline pulling out right in front of them at the end of the runway. At the speed they were going, they weren't going to clear it. But that didn't stop Cooper at all. He pulled the the throttle all the way back and pulled his control wheel back hard, in turn pulling the plane up into the air. He flicked a few switches as the plane rose upwards, pulling up the landing gear. But the plane in front of them was too close, they wouldn't make it, they wouldn't make it.
"We're not gonna make it!" Atticus yelled out, extinguishing his own hope in the process. He felt a sharp swipe on his ear, opening his eyes to see Annie pulling back her hand.
"Shut up! We're gonna be fine!"
The plane pulled up as Atticus pulled his eyes shut, feeling the entire plane vibrating beneath him and then a violent shrieking noise of metal on metal. That was it, they were going to die. He closed his eyes tighter, waiting for death but felt nothing, only the smack on the arm and a cheer beside him.
"Cooper! You did it!" Annie squealed in her chair, dancing as best as she could without the use of her legs.
"Landing gear hit the plane, but we're gonna be alright," Cooper sighed, his British accent soothing Atticus' adrenaline rush. "Next stop, AUP home base in France!" And the speaker clicked off. Atticus fell back into his chair, breathing heavily. No more for today, please.
"What a relief."
"Yes, a relief. Atticus, can I please have a word with you in the back compartment?" Natalia was already on her feet. What a hard woman she was. She didn't even look like she had just been through a near death experience. Never the less, the had that sweet and sour face about her and saying no would have earned Atticus a trip off the plane. Skydiving. Without a parachute. So, he followed her to the back, closing the door behind him. What he was met with when he turned back around was a completely transformed angry, Russian woman who looked like she could fire missiles from her ears. Oh geez.
"You single minded, idiotic, buffoon!" she hissed, her Russian accent crazily off the charts. It was hard to understand anything and Atticus probably wouldn't if she wasn't as pissed as she was. It was actually a little sexy, but Atticus didn't dare say it aloud. "Do you understand what exactly the weight of what you have done today? What you could have done today? What you should have done today?"
"Eh?" Atticus blinked as she pointed her finger at him quite ferociously. He thought today had gone well, hadn't it? Aside from being shot at, but that wasn't his fault! "I thought today was good!"
"Today was not good, it was not good at all! You risked the life of a recruit today! You should have planned this more! You should have known that there were others that are against us! After what happened to Camilla, we should all be excessively careful, planning each step. But you? You walked into today having no idea on what you would do coming out!" Natalia continued to use her finger to throw accusations. Well, not accusations. They were kind of true.
"Hey, I can't plan things like you do Natalia, we aren't all programmed to do everything on a strict set path!" Atticus threw his arms up. Natalia looked back at him, her eyes growing wider and her brow frowning deeper. Perhaps they were not the best words.
"Programmed? Atticus, I am asking you to plan ahead, not become a robot. How rude of you to say that is what I am!"
"Hey, no, okay, but seriously, don't get so mad! Helena is fine! I mean, she got scraped but I took care of it, okay? Everyone's alive now so we should all be thankful!"
"Scraped? By a bullet? See Atticus, this is the kind of responsibility that you don't take so seriously! She was hurt! None of this should of happened! What would have happened if Afon had not stepped in and saved you like he did? Where would you be now? In a basement? Dead?" she shook her head. "No, you should not act so childish about these things."
"I could have gotten away! We had a gun, and Helena got a hit in before the Russian kid did his techno thing. We were fine! We could have out run them!"
"Could you, Atticus? Could you? You do not understand, these members matter more than you think they do! When it comes to recruits, their lives come first! We must dive in front of bullets, we must sacrifice ourselves if it comes to that for these children. They are the future of the AUP and the future of the world, Atticus, and I will not have you destroying any of their lives!"
Annie smiled as best she could as the muffled voices of Atticus and Natalia could be heard behind the closed door. You could hear bits and pieces of words, maybe chunks of sentences, but Annie was already aware of what they were yelling about. She had heard the argument before, many times, though full grunt of it in AUP HQ. Natalia just needed some time to fizzle out and then everything would be alright again. She turned to the two, directing her attention at the newest recruit first.
"Hi! I'm Annie! You are Helena, right?" she said in Swedish first to help Helena relax, then switched back to English. "This is Nikolai! He's also a new Atlantean recruit like yourself! And flying the plane is Cooper, he looks after us all at headquarters. In there is, Atticus, I'm sure you already know that, and Natalia, who brought Nikolai here." Annie stopped at an awkward time, only to hear an excessively angry "scraped?!' by Natalia. Annie's eyes darted to the bandage on Helena's arm, she must have gotten hurt. But she looked okay, so basic bodily functions came first.
"Are you hungry? Thirsty? I would help you myself but I can't really move, haha," she glanced at her useless legs briefly, hearing another angry word from Natalia, this one a little more ominous. Dead. Oh boy. "Sorry about those two, they argue a little. Atticus was Natalia's first recruit, see, and Atticus isn't really... well, they clash a little."