Diclaimer: YES, I DO OWN- *lawyers hold match dangerously close to pirate cannon fuse* Err, yeah, what I meant to say is that I don't own Alex Rider *pouts*

Dramatic Irony: Irony that is inherent in speeches or a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters in the play (or in this case, story). ( )

For those of you who don't like dramatic irony, I suggest you don't cross the line. Yeah, this line, right… here!

Ian Rider was not currently a happy man; he had no reason to be. He was on a giant Russian zeppelin filled with hydrogen and covered in highly combustible paint* on a Kamikaze mission , his cover had been blown and a crew of angry, gun wielding Russians was looking for him with murderous intent; and last (but certainly not least) he didn't even have any back up coming. No, Ian Rider had no reason to be happy.

He frowned as a barrage of gunshots echoed down the metal hall, the clanging mixing with angry Russian shouts. Ian was currently bunkered down in a supply closet, attempting to assess his options (there weren't many); so the shots couldn't have been meant for him. Unless the Russians had turned on themselves (Unlikely, the whole setup was a family business), it was possible that he had another potential ally on this floating bomb. After all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

The shots grew closer, and he heard running footsteps turn into the hallway were his supply closet was growing closer by the second. Ian carefully cracked open the door and saw a 20 some year old man sprinting down the hallway, eyes darting around frantically for some place to hide. Ian's eyes narrowed; this wasn't one of the Russian crew.

As the man neared his hiding place, Ian made an impulsive decision. His hand shot out and grabbed the man's arm as he ran past, dragging him into the supply closet before the man could react. He quickly closed the door again just before the Russians turned the corner; exclaiming in surprise at their lost quarry.

The man began struggling and Ian clapped a hand over his mouth, and whispered

"Shhh, I'm trying to help, do want them to find us?"

The man calmed down marginally, and Ian removed his hand from the man's mouth; watching him carefully in the dimness. They both held their breath as the Russians thundered past the closet and released it once they crashed into a different hallway.

"Thanks." muttered the man, and Ian was surprised to hear no Russian accent. In fact, whoever this person was, he sounded like he was from England.

"No problem." Ian replied "But would you mind telling me why the current biggest crime family in Russia was shooting at you?"

The man snorted "Funny story that, but I'll wager it was at least somewhat connected to the fact there is an Englishman currently hiding in a supply closet."

"Two Englishmen" Ian corrected, slightly surprised that this man had picked up on his country of origin. A slightly awkward silence pervaded the small closet.

The man cleared his throat and then quietly offered "Well, thanks for helping me out back there…?"

"Ian" Ian supplied and offered his hand for a shake. His cover was shot; there wasn't really any point in an alias. Ian was a relatively common name anyway, so long as he kept his last name to himself, it was nearly as good as an alias.

"Ben" 'Ben' replied and shook his proffered hand.

"So, Ben," asked Ian "Care to explain what you're doing on a highly flammable Russian zeppelin floating over the Mediterranean Sea ?"

"Gladly, Ian, as soon as you explain why you're hiding in a supply closet on board said Russian zeppelin" Ian raised an eyebrow; Ben was nearly as evasive as he was, and he was a spy. A spy… A seedling of a suspicion planted itself in his brain. Could this man be a spy?

It was possible; MI6 probably thought he was dead. They might have assigned another agent to this mission. After being pulled off the Storm Breaker mission (his cover had been blown, some other agent could finish it), he'd been put into deep cover on this Russian crime family business (Gregoravich's assassination attempt had actually come in handy for faking his death).

He'd been told it would be a short mission; that he'd only be 'dead' for no more than a month. It had all been going swimmingly until his transmitter stopped transmitting, and until he'd missed his scheduled meeting with the backup. At that point, it became impossible to contact MI6 and get out of the mess. The family had already had suspicions about his loyalties.

Ben suddenly shifted awkwardly, and Ian tensed up slightly, bringing himself back to the present.

"Actually," muttered Ben "I was looking for somebody; two somebodies." Ian's eyes narrowed in suspicion; the only people on this zeppelin were the Russian crew members (and him, of course, but that wasn't exactly common knowledge).

Ben caught his expression and shook his head "No, no; two kids. I was looking for them when those Russians found me."

"Two kids?" Ian asked incredulously. Well, if this man was telling the truth; that threw his spy theory out the window. Ben was probably just some older brother in over his head. It didn't explain why he was evasive or calm about being shot at, though.

"Yeah, a couple of fourteen year olds. I don't even know how they managed to get into this mess." Something softly jerked inside of Ian; Alex was fourteen now. He hadn't seen Alex in nearly a year.

Going against his screaming spy instincts, he asked Ben "Would you like some help finding them?"

Ben looked at him; seemingly judging his sincerity, then came to a conclusion. "That would be great." He said, and then continued "They shouldn't be hard to spot; they're probably the only kids on this thing."

Ian nodded in agreement, and they both prepared to slip out of the closet.

Once in the shiny hallway, Ian drew his gun and glanced over at Ben, who had also drawn a gun. They eyed each other suspiciously, but elected to overlook it. Ian's spy theory resurfaced.

They quietly crept down to the end of the hall, and Ben gestured to the left fork. Ian nodded and they softly continued. A huge ruckus erupted at the other end of the hall, and Ben and Ian spun around in time to see a giant cloud of black smoke mushroom out. A familiar looking teenager with spiky black hair burst out of the cloud, coughing, with Russian curse words ringing out behind him.

Above them, the intercom suddenly crackled to life: T minus ten minutes to detonation.

"Ok, I know we aren't over England yet" Muttered Ben, staring at the intercom.

"How did you know they were going to detonate this thing over England?" growled Ian, pointing his gun at the suddenly suspicious Ben.

Ben pointed his gun at Ian and challenged "How did you know that?"

Interrupting their showdown, the black haired kid from the smoke bomb plowed into the both of them.


Ian found himself trapped by the teenager, who was cursing and scrambling to his feet. Ian shoved him up and got to his feet himself.

"Oh, hi, Ben!" The teenager said when he caught sight of Ben, who had also gotten to his feet.

"Tom?" Ian exclaimed incredulously at the teenager. What in the world was one of Alex's friends doing on a Russian zeppelin?

Tom looked over at him and his eyes widened comically. "Holy crap, ZOMBIE!" Ben looked between Tom and Ian confusedly. "Do you two know each other?" He asked.

"What the heck? You're supposed to be dead! Are you a clone or something?" exclaimed Tom, ignoring Ben.

"I think you've been reading too many science fiction magazines, I'm neither a clone nor a zombie." Replied Ian distractedly. Ben had said there were two kids, and if Tom was here, was Alex…?

His train of thought was interrupted by the intercom once again coming to life: "T minus nine minutes to detonation" It declared statically.

"He didn't" muttered Tom, glaring up at the speaker. Once again, the speaker cracked to life, this time boasting a human voice instead of an animatronic one.

"Excuse me, this the current captain of the zeppelin speaking, not on behalf of the former captain." Said a very familiar voice. " It has been decided by me that this ship is going to be blown up early and there's nothing you can do about it. Please panic, and have a nice day."

"He did" groaned Ben.

"Only Alex Rider would think it was a good idea to blow up a zeppelin with us inside of it" groused Tom.

"That was Alex?" asked Ian. Tom looked at him strangely "Aren't dead people supposed to know everything?"

"I'm not dead, Tom" Replied Ian.

"No way, I went to your funeral!" said Tom.

"Later you two!" snapped Ben "Tom, which way is the cock pit of this thing, that's where Alex and the main intercom would be."

"That way." pointed Tom. Tom looked at Ian again "You know, if you actually aren't dead, Alex is going to kill you."

Ian rolled his eyes. "Yes, Tom, I am fully aware." "Focus!" groaned Ben. The two of them stopped talking and all three set off in the direction Tom had pointed out.

"Tom, you should see if you can find some parachutes." said Ben, after finding a map of the zeppelin on the wall of a small lobby they had come across.

"What, and leave me at the mercy of the crazy Russians?" snorted Tom "No way, I'm sticking with the guy who has the gun. "

"T minus six minutes to detonation"

"I agree with Ben-" Ian was suddenly cut off by an explosion of chaos down one of the branching hallways connected to the lobby. The loud sound of gunshot intermingled with Russian curses echoed as a figure shot out of the hallway and into the lobby, pressing himself against the wall.

"Now we can all go find parachutes" Grumbled Tom, who then rushed over to the figure.

"Tom?" asked the figure incredulously, "I thought I said to get out of here- wait, who are they?"

"That, Alex, would be Ben and your dead uncle" Said Tom, dragging Alex over to the rest of the group.

"Wait, Ian?" exclaimed Alex as he got a good look at the second member of the group. "Alex!" said Ian, his eyes widening.

"Uncle?" asked Ben, looking at Ian with dawning comprehension then at Alex. It was then that the Russian crew decided it was time to crash the reunion party and barged into the lobby.

"Zere he iz, get him!" cried one in heavily accented English, and the other Russians scrambled toward the group.

"Crud" muttered both Alex and Ian. "RUN!" yelled Tom. "This way!" yelled Ben, and they took off in the direction he had pointed.

"Where are we going?" Ian shouted over the din of the Russian pursuers.

"The map, it indicated that there was some sort of hatch in one of the rooms!" Ben yelled in reply.

"Oh, I get it! If there's a hatch, there are probably parachutes!" hollered Tom. At this point, the Russians got smart and pulled out there guns, taking pot shots while attempting to catch up with their quarry.

"Awww, shoot" muttered Tom. The other three just rolled their eyes.

'T-minus three minutes to detonation'

"HERE!" shouted Ben, and pushed the other three through an open doorway and slammed it shut behind them. Alex spun around, grabbed a chair and shoved it under the door knob. Ben raised his eyebrow.

"You could have just locked it."

Alex blushed "Err, yeah…"

"I liked the dramatic effect" added Ian. Tom just reached out and locked the door. "Hatch, parachutes?" He asked pointedly. The Russians were frantically pounding on the door.

'T-minus one minute to detonation… fifty nine… fifty eight…'

All of them looked at each-other, and then scrambled around, overturning everything in search of the elusive parachutes. Outside, the Russians had ceased pounding on the door and were panicking.

'fifteen… fourteen…thirteen…'

"Here!" Yelled Ian, and tossed some parachutes out of a bench. Ben yanked open the hatch and shouldered one of the parachutes, while Alex tossed Tom a parachute.

'three… two…'

"So Tom," Alex asked "Ever been skydiving?"

*I saw this on the Mythbusters Hindenburg episode. Such a lovely explosion! =P

A/N) I love constructive criticism and would jump up and down like a crazy person if anybody would tell me how to make this better (just nothing that changes the plot to much(not that there's much of one to begin with( AAHHH, ATTACK OF THE PARENTHESES)))!