"Okay Austin,” Antonia managed to say as she rose off her hands and knees, “I work for the Atlantean Royal Family. This relief centre is not one of ours, rather one set up by an independent company pretending to be us. Hence why there were so few Atlanteans here.”
Oh yeah. I guess it would be pretty stupid if there were only two Atlanteans in New York City.
Austin was about to make a comment but Antonia cut him off with, “We need to get out of here before I can explain more." Austin nodded, and replied with a quick, “Okay.” Her story was pretty wild and sudden, but then again that seemed to be her specialty. She grabbed Austin by the arm and led him through a series of corridors, apparently to some sort of back or side exit. Occasionally she would let go of his hand to make short work of a guard or two, often before Austin could even react. Was her power super speed? Or was she just some sort of kung-fu master? Austin focused on keeping up, regulating his breathing to keep from tiring out in case they had to run faster in the future. Soon he saw the exit, and Antonia and he burst through the doors, out into a narrow alleyway. Antonia gasped as Austin let out a sigh.
“Ah, Christ,” he murmured. There had to be at least twenty-five, maybe thirty guards waiting for them. Slowly, a man emerged from their midst, clapping sarcastically.
Who's this asshat? They guy seemed like one of those corny super villains, like Loki in the Avengers movie or Lex Luthor in the old Super-Man…
"Well done, I commend both of you for escaping, but you see, you played right into our hands all along!"
Oh yeah. Definitely Lex Luthor.
"Jerry!" Antonia growled. So she knew this guy, huh? And by the tone of her voice, she sounded…betrayed? No, it sounded deeper than that. More like utterly demoralized.
"I would love to stay and chat, but see, I have business to attend to, so I'll leave you both in the capable hands of my minions." Jerry waved his hands, calling the guards to attention. They snapped into focus training their gaze on the two Atlanteans in front of them. It looked like what was far from a fair fight was in Austin’s future. He sighed again.
Damn it, and I thought I was going to be home before Dad got back…
Antonia tried to…cheer him up maybe? Encourage him? "Sorry Austin, looks like we're going to have to fight this one out. If we make this out alive, I'll give you a kiss." She gave him a wink, which at least made him feel less dreadful about the situation.
“I’ll hold you to that,” he said, smirking as he turned away from her. At that, the guards charged onto them, breaking off into more or less equal halves. Antonia didn’t hesitate to jump into the fray. Austin braced himself for the upcoming onslaught. The fastest guard reached him a bit earlier than the rest, and he took the opportunity to take him out. Sidestepping from the guard’s haymaker, Austin grabbed the back of the guard’s head and slammed it into the brick wall. Ouch. He turned away from the now unconscious guard, preparing to take on the mass upon him. But something grabbed his foot and pulled him down. Luckily, he managed to roll out of the way before he got stampeded by the charging horde.
What the hell?
The guard that he had just slammed into the wall was getting up, miraculously. His pals gave him a hand, and they all turned to face Austin.
A few minutes later
Austin was in the heat of the moment, ducking and dodging, countering and punching. He felt like Jackie Chan in the new Karate Kid movie, only Jackie Chan wasn’t getting his ass handed to him in that scene. Still, Austin thought he was holding up well considering the circumstances. But he was tiring fast, barely able to move quick enough to stay in the fight. Pretty soon, he started to falter, letting his foes surround him, not keeping the tempo, and losing ground control. He resorted to using a flash of light to get out a mess, momentarily blinding a guard or two. He glanced at Antonia, in a similar position herself, when he noticed an electrifying sensation in his body. Kinda like getting shocked, or licking a battery. Antonia looked over at him. Their eyes met, and Austin couldn’t get the lost puppy look out of his face fast enough. Antonia started to giggle as her feet left the ground. Austin’s bewilderment grew as he himself was lifted from the earth.
"Austin, welcome to the Atlantean Royal Family," Antonia huffed as they continued to rise.
"Where miracles come from," Another female spoke from a roof top. It had a strong Danish accent to contrast Antonia’s sort of light, and bouncing British one. Antonia and Austin landed on the rooftop as a nearby helicopter whirled into action. Austin was still speechless.
"Austin, meet Marilyn; she just saved both our hides!" Antonia introduced. Austin looked at Marilyn, managing to get out a, “Hey,” before Antonia pulled him towards the chopper. "We can drop you off near your house, if you like, but we have a proposal for you," yelled Antonia over the roar of the propellers.
As they entered the helicopter, Marilyn hopped into the cockpit with the pilot leaving Antonia and Austin in the back. Antonia helped him buckle himself in as Marilyn motioned towards a headset. Austin put it on, followed by Antonia. Her voice buzzed in over the connection.
"I came here to recruit you, Austin, the Atlantean Royal Family is a group of Atlanteans who intend to help Atlanteans coming to grips with and learning to control their abilities. We'll be heading to the airport; there you will be given the choice to join the Royal Family, or try to return to your 'normal' life," she paused for a moment, and then finished with, "So the question is: Do you want to join us, or not?"
Austin took his time before he answered. He weighed his options. The guy in the alley knew, Antonia, probably had even worked with her. Antonia knew Austin, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to guess that Jerry knew who Austin was too. And after what just happened, Austin could guess that Jerry wanted to get his hands on Austin, or Antonia, or even both. So if he went home, he was at risk of being kidnapped – or worse – by Jerry. It also put his parents in danger too, a chance he didn’t want to take.
Alternatively, he could follow this hot, 20 year oldsih British-Italian chick with super powers to go learn how to use his own superpowers better. In the end, it wasn’t too hard for Austin to decide. He just had one problem.
“I think its swell that you guys want me to be in the family and all, but what about my already-family? Are they gonna be safe and sound at home while I’m away getting hella familiar with a bunch of strangers, or is that Jerry dude from the alley going to show up and hurt them? And I don’t want to be that cool kid who has to call his mom before he goes to the movies, but should I at least let them know I’m going to superhero training camp?”