This isn't my first Alex Rider fanfic, but it was my first AR story idea that got neglected till now. It's also going to be my first multi-chapter fic. (my other story doesn't count as it was basically complied with one-shots) so wish me luck - I'm new at this. Oh, and as a side note, the title might change
Disclaimer - I own nothing, really.
On the coast of the vast, glittering-blue Caspian Sea was the city of Rasht. Rasht was historically nicknamed the "Gate of Europe" back when it was a major transport and business centre that linked Iran to Russia and Europe.
"Oi! The boy's getting away!" A guard cried, huffing.
"Well, run faster! He cannot get away!" The leader growled. His face turned into an unappealing burnt-tomato shade. His growing steaming anger didn't help. Nor did his near inability to breathe from running.
Presently, Rasht is a major trade centre as well as a tourist centre, attracting thousands of visitors from various countries like Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and France.
Alex was darting through a marketplace in this very city, trying to lose the nine men brandishing sleek, lethal weapons not too far behind him.
Well, there were eighteen guards in total, including the leader, but Alex didn't consider half of them a threat. Only nine were professionals.
"Maybe... we should... take... a break," a second guard gasped out, panting and out of breath. He was promptly rewarded with a sharp smack in the head.
"I said he cannot get away. We must catch him! Anyone say different and I will personally see to it that they get a nice whipping and then lose their job once this is over."
Hearing this, the others wisely kept their mouths shut, not voicing their thoughts on how the leader himself couldn't keep up with the boy either. Instead they focussed on breathing and the disappearing young figure.
Rasht produces and markets rice, tea, peanuts, silk and glass. Being right next to the sea, fishing was quite popular, too.
Alex tossed and turned the bits of history he dredged from the recesses of his mind, trying to see if any of it were helpful. Alex was in a marketplace... but not just any marketplace – he was in one that was teeming with people and resembled an endless maze.
Being in an area like this when people were out of his blood... well... it was as lucky as Alex could get. True, it was hard to navigate, but he was more agile than the leader and the guards both physically and mentally. With his nimbleness, there were lots of possible escape routes. And with his creative mind, there were just so many options, Alex thought a bit evilly.
Options were, of course, the number of ways Alex could incapacitate the guards with his surroundings. Something Alex had always excelled at.
The only problem was the possibility of a bystander getting hurt – that, and the utter chaos he was about to cause... Alex tried not to think about it too much.
Besides, he was running for his life, from an unpleasant death, to put it mildly. Wasn't that alone enough to justify what he was about to do?
Alex scanned around him, taking in all the miniscule details, while still sprinting at full speed, a plan formulating in his head already. Adrenaline coursed through his body.
"When I get my hands on that kid, I'm going to pummel him into dust after I tear him into pieces!" This was said by the leader.
The others nodded the best they could, even though they were doubtful. This boy was so damn quick. Even the more experienced ones weren't sure.
The marketplace Alex was in sold just about everything you'd expect in a Middle-Eastern market.
Baskets lined with worn white fabric were filled with rich spices and herbs: he dutifully knocked each of them down as he ran past; the baskets slowed the guards down. He saved one basket of cumin powder, which he emptied out all over the guards when they came into range.
"Ahhh... aahh-choo! Sorry... I'm allergic to cumin..." A guard tried to explain.
"I couldn't care less! Just get the boy." Sometimes the leader questioned his position. When the Boss declared he was the leader of all the guards, he thought of it as a great honour. Now, he wasn't so sure. Not all the guards were competent; some previously being store keepers.
A stand had different jars and vases made of porcelain and metal with intricate designs on them. Alex breezed past, sparing them from the ten second demise they would've had if he used them in his great escape.
There was a stall selling luscious, ripe fruit: when the owner wasn't looking, Alex took a basket of them as ammo, and pushed over the others. Oranges tumbled out and rolled everywhere, tripping the guards who didn't notice them.
The sun baked down on home-made clay sculpture and wooden-carved figures.
The dust-filled air was stirred up by people hurrying through the bustling streets.
Everything about this marketplace gave off an exotic, almost timeless quality that dated back to the thirteenth century, despite how modern Rasht had become as a city.
A more experienced guard swung his bronze sword at Alex's neck. He ducked and executed a perfect back kick into the guard's pelvis. He threw an apple from his ammunition basket with such force it knocked out a guard with a gun when it made contact with the guard's face. It probably broke his nose, too, Alex thought absentmindedly. He punched another in the gut and finished him off with a hook kick before dashing off with this basket of apples.
Some other guard who was in serious need of a better hair cut, in Alex's opinion, managed to catch up to Alex. Alex swung the whole basket of apple at him and it crashed rather painfully into him. The guard recovered quickly, so Alex stole the wheelbarrow of a man pasting by (despite his protests) and heaved it the guard's way. The chicken feed in the wheelbarrow piled all over his body as the whole wheelbarrow toppled over him.
Alex looked around. Elaborate necklaces and bracelets hung on a horizontal wooden stick frame that rested on a low table, while more jewellery sprawled out across the same table beneath the dangling necklaces. Vibrant-coloured silk scarves with golden glitter billowed in the breeze from their racks.
For good measure, Alex pushed over the racks onto the guard and upturned the jewellery table to block the road and to cause a bigger commotion, making it harder to follow.
Alex was as quick as the wind, though, and had already left the scene before the table touched the ground or anybody could register what just happened. The last thing Alex wanted was regular, angry civilians after him on top of the guards.
Alex zigzagged, ducked, and rolled, sometimes even running on top of stands of avoid the knives and bullets aimed at him. With his heightened senses that came with his spy mode, he could feel the bullets coming towards him before it did – like an instinct. In fact, it was an instinct; a sixth sense Alex must've inherited.
Not too many people noticed the chase, strangely enough. Only a handful of people were aware, some of them being the owners whose stands Alex wrecked. Humans were curious in nature. Ironically, they were also extremely unobservant compared to animals.
As Alex ran, he saw a little dark-haired boy staring at him with amazement.
At the same time, he heard the distinct, sharp flick of a shuriken, sailing through the air even with all the noise. It was badly aimed; it would miss Alex by several feet, but it would hit the little boy dead-on.
With a burst of speed, Alex closed the distance between the boy and himself. He managed to pull the boy out of the path of the shuriken, but it sliced his own arm before it embedded into a wooden wall with a thwack.
Alex looked at his arm. It was bleeding, but nothing too serious.
He turned to the boy. "Are you alright?" He spoke in a dialect he thought the boy might know. After Thailand, Alex had taken it upon himself to learn a couple dialects.
The boy seemed surprised he could speak his language. He nodded. His eyes widened when he noticed Alex's wound. "Do you need some bandages?"
"Don't worry. I'm fine." He ruffled the kid's hair. The kid sort of reminded him of himself when he was younger – curious and innocent.
Alex got down on a knee and looked him in the eyes. "Just stay out of trouble, okay? Remember to move when knives are being thrown at you. Now, I really need to go." Alex ran off and called back, "Bye, kid. It was nice meeting you." The little boy waved back, eyes shining.
This was exactly what Alex didn't want happening: people getting caught in the crossfire. It was lucky that he got to the boy in time.
Alex decided it was time to step it up a notch.
Up ahead, dried and salted fish were displayed by a line of metal hooks attached to a suspended long metal rod. He climbed up the roof of the shop using the crates stacked to the side as a ladder, pulling himself the rest of the way up. His stomach lying flat on the roof, he reached down and grabbed the metal rod of fish.
Alex was running and leaping across rooftops, graceful and lithe, like he was born to do this.
With the elevated perspective, he could see the harbour in front to the left. Moored to the dock were mostly small fishing boats. Off to the side was a jet boat. He knew immediately it was his escape boat.
Down below, he could see the guards having a hard time with weaving through the thick crowds. They hadn't noticed he was on higher grounds yet. He smirked inwardly to himself.
"He's on the rooftop!" So some guard finally noticed, Alex mused.
"Shoot him down!"
"Here, this way. We can climb up the roof over there."
Some guards attempted to climb up a roof nearby. He unhooked the fish and pelted them at the guards. The fishy projectiles smacked all the guards he threw at, causing them to lose their grip and fall back down. When he ran out of fish, he whacked them with the metal rod. A couple guards managed to get on a roof and were jumping from roof to roof after him.
Meanwhile, simultaneously, bullets and knives were whistling in the air all around him.
Too soon Alex could see he would run of reachable roofs to leap to. The next roof was an incredibly large span. Refusing to stop, as there were guards right behind him, he hefted up the metal rod and used it as a pole vault, launching himself to the next roof. The guards stopped at the edge of the previous roof, unable to go on. One didn't stop in time and tumbled off.
"See you later!" Alex called over his shoulder with glee.
The guards cursed at him colourfully much to Alex's pleasure.
After several more roofs, he jumped down and landed on sacks of potatoes. This is going to bruise, Alex thought, wincing a bit.
He stood up, brushed off some dirt and jogged off in the direction of the sea.
Unfortunately, he still had a bunch of guards at his tail (the ones who didn't climb up a roof), so he ran faster.
Alex was growing tired, his adrenaline was slowly depleting and the guards were catching up.
The leader, surprisingly, still kept up, even with his heaving. His hatred for Alex was fuelling him on. He could tell once Alex got to the jet boat, it would be over and he would be on his merry way. He could also tell that although the boat was really close, it was really far too. Alex had kept this quick pace for a long time, but he was starting to recede.
The guards in front of the leader were gaining on the puny boy. He couldn't wait to get his hands on Rider. He would crush him till he was no more.
Trying to get away, the leader could see Alex had accidentally dropped a wooden box from without noticing. He smiled wolfishly, knowing that it must've been important and if they held it hostage, Alex wouldn't be able to leave until he got it back. At the very least, he would have to come back for it.
The guards in front realized this too, for they slowed down. They walked over to the box and picked it up.
"Yoo-hoo! Rider! We think we've got something of yours!"
The leader snatched the box from the guard once he caught up. "You're going to have to come back here if you want it back!"
Alex turned around, spotting the box in the leader's hand. Strangely, instead of panic on his face, there was a smile. "Oh no, that's for you. A parting gift, so to speak, to show you my gratitude for your hospitality."
The leader quickly dropped the box when he saw what was inside. Rolling out of it was a stun grenade. Before anyone could take a single step, it exploded with a blinding white light and the loudest bang ever.
Alex ran the rest of the way to the jet boat, grinning.
He hopped into the jet boat. "Let's leave before they throw rocks at us."
"Must your exits always have to be so... flamboyant and dramatic?" His partner asked, speeding the jet boat away. "Why not try keeping a low profile?"
"Where's the fun in that? Besides, I like to make unforgettable impressions. I have a reputation to uphold. Hang on a moment."
His partner stopped the jet boat, letting it idle in the water.
Alex stood up and turned around, looking at the leader who was at the shore, fuming.
Cupping his hands to the side of his mouth, Alex yelled, "Don't worry! I'll remember to send you a postcard once I get home!" He waved, smiling smugly as the jet boat started up again.
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