Told through the eyes of Jolie and Tad. Jolie's been fighting for Morgan's cause for a couple of years now, she's hardened to the task, racked with guilt, and has made more sacrifices than most, sometimes having to force her friends make sacrifices too. Tad's new, revved up with energy and ready to fight but naive and unprepared to take direction from Jolie. The two of them share common goals, get what they want for the cause without getting themselves killed and most importantly, stay away from Tennant. Please read and reply!

Ricochet and Skitz

Book One - Jolie

Eaton died on the 19th July.

I think it was my fault but you can never say for certain.

What is certain was that Eaton was dead. You don't get riddled with bullets and survive. At least, not that I had seen before.

When I'm in a situation like the one outside the hospital, I stop thinking. My mind just turns into one well-oiled machine which relies completely on instincts and facts.

So when I saw Eaton fall to the ground, arms still flailing and body jerking, I didn't think, Shit; that's Eaton. I just had that one solid thought that I needed to get my crew out of there.

"Come on!" I yelled above the chatter of machine gun fire. I ran, bent double, turning round only to fire at the advancing army. My badly-aimed shots went wide.

On my way towards the car, I met Finney running the other way, straight towards the soldiers. I slammed into him, tackling him to the ground. I was on top of him and could see his pale face covered in grey chalk dust and flecked with specks of blood.

"Get off me!" he screamed up into my face.

"No!"

He tried to buck me off. I was about three stone lighter than him and even though I had my hands clamped on his shoulders and my knees pinning his, he was pumped on adrenaline. I fell to one side and felt a cruel jab of pain up my wrist. As he was trying to get up though I flung myself at his legs and bought him down like an oak tree. A pile of flattened cardboard softened his landing but I think his head hit the ground too hard because he didn't start moving again at once.

"Jolie!" out of the crackle of gunfire and clouds of smoke and dust, Charlie appeared at my side. "We need to go! Now!"

"Help me get him up!" I shouted.

Letting my gun hang round my neck, I supported Finney with Charlie rounded the corner to where the car was. Finney wasn't out cold but he dragged his feet slightly and his head lolled from side to side.

Charlie wrenched open the door of the back seat and we toppled Finney inside. Charlie leapt in beside him and I darted round to the passenger seat.

"Drive!" I said.

"Where's Eaton?" Choot demanded. In the sudden hush of the car, with the sound of gunfire dimmed and the shouting muted, I felt that crushing sense of loss and guilt begin to clutch at me.

"He didn't make it," I snapped.

Choot didn't ask anymore questions. She jammed the car into gear and we shot out through the streets and out into the country.

"You didn't let me go back for him." Finney's said his voice hoarse.

He had struggled into an upright position some time ago, angrily swatting at Charlie when he had raised a concerned hand to inspect his head. For the last half hour he had been huddled into the corner of the car. I glanced at his reflection in the lowered compact mirror at his face.

"No," I replied.

Finney's face distorted, mouth twisting into a warped line and eyes watering with tears as he struggled to overcome a wave of tortured emotions.

"Hey, man, it's OK," Charlie started to edge across the seat to him.

"It's not fucking OK!" Finney screamed, spraying flecks of spit. "It's fucking shit, man!"

I continued to stare impassively into Finney's eyes. The real shock that Eaton was dead hadn't quite hit me yet. I was still lost in numbness.

"He was dead," I stated flatly. "I saw him die. What do you want me to say, Finney?"

"He didn't feel it, Finn," Charlie said softly.

Finney hugged himself and lent back into his seat.

"It's fucking shit," he muttered in a choked voice, angrily swiping at his nose. He turned his glinting eyes to the window.

Two hours later and we were back at the condo.

Choot jumped out of the car almost as soon as she wrenched the handbrake up. After flinging the door shut behind her she started quickly towards the condo. She had been very quiet all the way back.

We all had, consumed in our own thoughts.

I eased my seatbelt off and opened the door. As I applied the pressure to the door, I felt another sharp jab of pain up my wrist. I let the warm smell of the forest fill the car for a few moments before slowly clambering out.

"You coming, Finn?" I heard Charlie ask as he swung his door open and made to get out. I glanced back at him while I felt in my pocket for a cigarette. Finney did not respond. Charlie got out and shut the door.

"You OK?"

I wordlessly nodded. I had found a battered cigarette in my jacket pocket and my lighter.

"You're smoking cancer sticks there," Charlie warned.

"Fuck that." My voice came out hoarse and trembling.

Charlie moved away to the condo. I tried to light the cigarette but my thumb kept sliding over the trigger, I was shaking too bad. With a sudden jet of frustration I threw the cigarette on the ground.

"Fuck!"

I ran a shaking hand, white with chalk dust, over my forehead, pushing my loose hair streaked with grey away from my eyes. I looked sideways and saw Finney watching me expressionlessly out of the window.

I began to walk but my knees had gone weak. I staggered into the surrounding pine trees until I couldn't see the car anymore. Then, I let my legs buckle underneath me and fell to the ground. Once again, I felt the cruel jarring pain up my wrist.

"Damnit! Damnit!" I cursed through barred teeth.

In the end though, I keeled over on the ground, nursing my sprained wrist.

I could hear raking, rasping sobs and feel hot, scalding tears sluicing down my cheeks making tracks through the dust on my face.