Chapter 50: Inferno, You're Up

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'The Lights South Public School has just undergone an entire evacuation following a fire, presumably started in the office building.'

Jackson frowned, straightening, as his ears tuned in to the radio. He shared a glance with Elizabeth, who reached across the table to wind up the volume, the rest of the report blaring across the warehouse.

'Witnesses report they saw the machines belonging to none other than the city threat, The Silver Scorpion, running from the direction of the school soon before the fires were noticed.'

Almost immediately, the rest of the team had gathered around, listening intently.

'All emergency services have arrived on scene to help. However; despite the fire department's efforts, the flames have yet to be doused, and are continuing to spread around the school grounds. The staff of the school are concerned that some children may still be inside the building, having been counted as missing from the school-wide evacuation.'

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Kiley bring her hands to her mouth.

'Oh, those poor children!' she gasped.

'We have to get out there,' Colt cut in, urgently. 'Right now.'

Everyone began to move at once

'What about the police?' Jackson asked, scraping the chair as he leapt to his feet, following. 'They weren't so happy the last time we dived in there to save people.'

'I don't think they've got much of a choice,' Colt pointed out. 'And, police or no police, I'm not going to sit here while an occupied school is burning down.'

Jackson nodded, almost eagerly. He wasn't about to back down from this, either.

It was barely a handful of minutes later before they'd all piled into the van outside the warehouse – all except for Quentin, that is, who boldly volunteered to stay back and watch the screens, without her brother having to say anything. Perhaps she was more shaken up by their experience in the subway then she'd let on...

'Hey Flamethrower, you going to take the front seat?' Darcy offered.

Jackson rose his eyebrows. 'Am I driving?'

'No, what kind of question is that?' The other man looked outraged. 'This is an emergency situation, I'll be driving. I just need someone to look like they're awake behind the steering wheel.'

'Figures,' he huffed, climbing into the front seat, nonetheless. Darcy had only ever driven the new van once, and already he was in love with the thing.

Several minutes after that, however, Jackson found himself regretting his decision entirely.

'Holy Hell, man, why do you drive like such a lunatic?!' he cried, gripping white-knuckled onto the steering wheel. He glared at Darcy's seemingly-unconscious form, slumped in the passenger's seat beside him. 'You're going to hit something, or someone, and I'm going to get the blame for it!'

Strangely enough, he had the vaguest feeling that was the intention.

And to think... if it weren't for that urgent radio interruption, then he'd still be preparing himself for a night on the town, to see that Ben Benjamin whack-job. He wasn't sure if that was still going to happen, tonight... he supposed it depended on the results of today's little fire situation.

They emerged from the forest, into the quiet suburbia of The Lights South, and though the van ceased it's senseless swerving, they were definitely powering well over the speed limit.

'If we actually get there alive,' he heard Ryn say from the back, her voice slightly warped by the glass panelling. 'What's our plan?'

'Well, Jackson's mutation is certainly going to come in handy,' came Colt's reply, and Jackson turned around to glance at the younger man through the glass. 'Do you think you can handle that kind of fire?'

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