Fan Fiction » Rin » Secrets » Chapter 2
Chapter 2 - Introduction
DEPARTURE: ROCKPORT, MAINE
DESTINATION: WASHINGTON, D.C.
"JONNY!" screams sixteen-year-old Hadji Singh from his position, sitting Indian-style in the luggage hold of the plummeting cargo plane. "This is not working!"
"Keep trying!" yells back a flustered Jonathan Quest, as he shoves a sweaty golden lock from his sapphire eyes. "We've got to warn Dad and Race about the bomb!"
Hadji rolls his eyes and lets out a sharp, exasperated breath as his long, graceful fingers continue to fly over the keyboard of the laptop sitting in his lap. He shudders as he once again meets the unblinking stare of the dead pilot in the floor.
"Forget about the bomb!" screams Jessie Bannon, who sits in the copilot's seat beside Jonny. "If we don't figure out how to control this piece of junk, we'll be the ones in a thousand pieces."
"Thanks for the newsflash, Jess," replies Jonny sarcastically, as he makes a desperate attempt to gain control of the unresponsive craft.
Bandit, Jonny's faithful dog, runs clumsily back and forth from the cockpit to the cargo hold, barking frantically. This is the only sound as Jonny and Jessie struggle for control of the plane and Hadji struggles to break The White House's firewall.
Without warning, the plane suddenly buckles, whirling to the left side. Jonny, Jessie, and Hadji go twirling, banging against other objects.
Hadji groans to himself as a fire extinguisher slams into his chest, taking away his breath. Why is it every time we go on vacation I come home with bruises?
"What now?" Jonny cries, frustrated, as he pulls himself upright in the seat.
Hadji can see the right wing out the window, and the sight triggers a full-scale panic attack.
"Jonny!" he screams, his mission to warn Dr. Quest of the bomb temporarily forgotten. "The right engine just exploded!"
Jonny sighs and rolls his eyes. Why is it every frickin' time I get on a plane the engine blows? Oh yeah, I'm a trouble magnet.
"This is not helping our situation!" Jessie yells.
"Thanks for stating the obvious, ace," Jonny says, as he once again tries to get a response from the controls. "Hadji, have you hacked the system?"
As if on cue, the laptop in Hadji's lap beeps and, in a mechanical female voice, says, "Access denied. Process terminated."
Hadji sighs. Everything has to be difficult.
"It just terminated my programming," he calls up to Jonny.
"Never mind, Hadj," Jonny replies. "Just get your laptop. I think we're gonna have to "
While he speaks, Hadji is standing hunched, because of the low ceiling and stuffing his closed laptop into his red backpack. A second later, the plane shudders and he falls onto his butt with a harsh cry, nearly sitting on Bandit, whose barking has accelerated considerably.
Jonny growls in irritation and yells to his companions, "Guys, this isn't working! We're gonna have to jump for it!"
"Jump?" repeats Jessie unbelievingly. "Are you insane?"
Jonny ignores her and leaps to the cargo hold to search for parachutes.
"Yes, he is," Hadji answers her question casually, unsurprised by Jonny's crazy statement. He is used to those sort of things coming out of his younger friend's mouth.
"Found one!" Jonny announces as he holds up a parachute, his tone playful, as if this is a game.
"One?" repeats Jessie. "You do realize there are three of us, right?"
"Sure do," he replies in his I-gotta-plan voice. "You and Hadj will take that one."
"And what about you?" Jessie asks, crossing her arms across her chest. "Don't tell me you count on your unfailing luck to bail you out I don't think it's that good."
"Luck," Jonny states, a proud grin on his face the one he always gets when he is bragging on his dad, "and this." He picks up his backpack.
Hadji and Jessie look at each other, the looks on their faces making it clear what they were thinking.
"Dad installed a prototype super-slim personal parachute into the front pocket of my backpack," he continues. "He said I could take it with me, just in case." He has to laugh aloud at this his dad knows him all too well.
"If it's a prototype, how are you sure it works?" questions Hadji, afraid of the answer.
Jonny flashes him a lop-sided grin. "I don't."
Jessie rolls her eyes. "Of course you don't."
Jonny laughs, totally unworried. "C'mon guys, when has anything of my dad's not worked? Besides, knowing it'll work would take the fun out of it."
Hadji and Jessie groan in unison. Nothing seemed to bother Jonny Quest.
Jonny opens the door of the plane. The 120-miles-per-hour wind is nearly enough to knock him right out of the plane; it blasts his blonde locks in all directions.
Hadji and Jessie lean out and can see the ground approaching fast.
"You first!" Hadji yells at his best friend.
Jonny looks at Hadji and Jessie. They can see the excited grin on his face. Jonny has serious thrill issues.
And then he jumps.
"WHOOOOOO-HOOOOOO!" his cry of pure joy fades as he falls to the ground.
Hadji gives Jessie his backpack. She holds it, along with hers, as he puts on the parachute and wraps his arms around her waist.
"Ready?" he asks into her ear.
She nods exuberantly. While she may not agree with her blonde friend in many ways, exciting thrills are definitely something they have in common. She certainly is her father's child in that sense.
Hadji, on the other hand, has to close his terror-filled eyes before taking the step into mid-air. He opens his eyes just long enough to push the button on the parachute before closing them again.
As Hadji with his eyes still closed and Jessie float gracefully toward the ground, Jessie suddenly screams, "Hadji! Jonny's parachute didn't work!"
Hadji's concern overcomes his fear, and his eyes snap open and look below them, where their blonde friend is still plummeting much too quickly. They can see him fumbling with his backpack straps, struggling to make the parachute work, but to no apparent success.
"He's not going to make it, Hadji!" Jessie screams in horror, unable to imagine seeing Jonny hit the ground and shatter into a million pieces.
Hadji doesn't know what to say, or do. What can he do? There is no way to save his younger brother, not from so far away. Why didn't he insist on taking the prototype?
Unable to do anything but watch in sheer panic, Hadji and Jessie see Jonny twist around in mid-air and rip the backpack from his back.
"What's he doing?" Jessie exclaims.
Jonny, still twisting and turning uncontrollably, unzips the front pocket of his backpack and pulls out a white fabric. He then slings the backpack back around his shoulder and loosens up the white cloth in his hands, which was obviously the parachute. It unfurls behind Jonny, flapping violently in the wind.
As the ground gets closer and closer, Jonny holds onto one end with his right hand, and reaches up with his left to grab the other end. The fabric now stretches out over Jonny's head. Almost immediately, his speed begins to lessen.
Hadji and Jessie can do nothing but gape in utter shock.
I should have known his good luck would kick in, Hadji thinks. It always does.
Jonny hits the ground first, his landing a resounding thud in the open field just outside of the city. Hadji's and Jessie's landing is much softer and more graceful.
Both worried he may have hit too hard, Hadji and Jessie quickly stand and run over to Jonny, who still lays facedown in the wet grass (it has been raining all week).
"Jonny?" Jessie dropped her knees beside his still form and rolls him over onto his back as he lets out a waking groan.
"Are you hurt, my friend?" Hadji asks worriedly.
Jonny's eyes blink open. "How was that for fun?"
"Are you all right, Jonny?" Hadji asks again as they help him sit up. "You hit the ground very hard."
Jonny places a hand on the back of his head. "Yeah; I got a pounding headache now, though."
"Do you have a concussion?" asks Jessie. "Do you feel dizzy or nauseated? Do you have blurred vision? Can you tell what color my shirt is?"
"Geez, Jess," Jonny rolls his eyes. "Who do you think you are? My dad?"
He's not exaggerating when he asks this. If there were an award for the Most Overprotective and/or Paranoid Father of the Year, Benton Quest would win it, hands down. While he couldn't be more openly proud of his son's accomplishments, he also wishes they weren't so dangerous. He says that he trusts his son's intelligence and quick thinking, but it is his most nightmarish fear that something would happen to Jonny which probably explains his obsession for inventing helpful gadgets that always seem to come in handy.
"Are you sure you're okay?" repeats Hadji for the third time, as he and Jessie help their friend stand.
"I'm fine," Jonny insists. They were starting to get annoying. Suddenly, his head pops up. "Wait a minute. Hadji, please tell me I imagined that you told me you couldn't reach Dad."
Hadji shook his head. "I am sorry, my friend. I could not get into the system."
"Guess they figured out they needed to upgrade their security," says Jessie, "when they realized that three teenagers could hack it."
This is true only a few months ago, the trio managed to break into The White House's motherboard and send a warning to the President of a pending attack from a terrorist. It was necessary at the time, but it took many scientists weeks to unscramble all the files Hadji, Jessie, and Jonny accidentally messed up during the break-in.
Horror flashed in Jonny's eyes. "What are we standing around here for? Dad and Race are gonna get blown to a million pieces in a few minutes if we don't stop it!"
Even though Jonny would never admit it aloud, the worry Benton feels for him is mutual nothing would hurt Jonny more than to lose his father, or any of his family. This is probably the reason he always insists on being the one to rescue one of them whenever he or she is kidnapped, and to assist him or her when there is danger near. And besides, that's the source of most of his fun saving the day.
Completely forgetting his pounding head, Jonny grabs each of his friends' wrists and runs to the nearby road.
"But, Jonny," Hadji says, as panic seizes him, "there is no way we can make it in time!"
Jonny looks back and grins his familiar grin. "Not on foot, we can't."
He reaches into his backpack and pulls out three flat, somewhat narrow metal things. He pushes a button on the first one and, with a mechanical zzzt, it seemingly builds itself, a strange, flat engine moving under it and two wheels placing themselves in the front and back.
"Another one of Dad's gizmos," Jonny states proudly, as he drops the futuristic version of a skateboard onto the ground. "It's solar-powered and everything. Pretty slammin', huh?" He tosses the remaining two to Hadji and Jessie, who follow his example.
When all three have balanced themselves skillfully on top of the boards, they each press the red button under their heels, which triggers the sleek engines. Three nearly simultaneous flares of blue fire appear trailing behind the boards as their riders rush to save their fathers and the President of the United States.