Hello to anyone reading! I'm sure that you probably don't really want to take the time to read my little corner of rambling dubbed an "author's note" (and probably won't!), but I'll put it in anyway (it'll make my story seem longer :D). This is a short story written for my English class (no, not the same one that I wrote my other story for, if you were wondering. That was my 9th grade one. This was for my 10th grade). It was only supposed to be three pages long, but there was no possible way I could fit my whole idea on three pages (I usually write more than required anyway. It was a final grade for our short story unit (during which we read a lot of short stories that had to deal with death...the whole class asked our teacher, at some point or another, if she was depressed or something, to which she replied she wasn't and the death made the stories more interesting :P). I got an A–or a 4 on a 4-point scale–if anyone wanted to know. Well, I'll stop rambling and let you read the story (if you bothered to read this!). Hope you enjoy!

Summary: "She was halfway to the motel she passed before, waiting at an intersection when she saw them. There were two men in gray suits. They were standing on the opposite corner, also waiting to cross. Leah froze. They found her again." Leah has been on the run for a month. Her house is gone, her father is gone, and she's running from agent's of 'the company,' who are trying to catch her for what she knows. Can she survive?

The morning air was cool, and Leah's breath came out in puffs before her as she ran, just as she had been for the past- how long was it now? A few weeks, maybe a month? She had entered the forest three days ago, and before that...she couldn't remember. Her hunger was making her brain sluggish. She hadn't eaten much since the food in her pack ran out, which had been a few days before she found the forest. She told herself that as soon as she found her way out, she would find a McDonald's and buy herself four cheeseburgers, if she lived that long, that was.

Around noon, she started to hear sounds of a city: cars honking, dogs barking, and people yelling. She walked out of the last cluster of trees and saw a town starting just down the hill she stood on, beyond the fence at the base. She went down the hill and climbed over the fence, fully intent on finding food and a place to stay for a few days.

She got many strange looks as she walked down the street. She figured that it was probably pretty uncommon for a person in a small town to see a strange, barefooted girl walking down Maine Street. She wandered around for a while, then finally found the McDonald's she was looking for. She ordered her food to go and headed back the opposite way, munching on a few fries as she went. She was halfway to the motel she passed before, waiting at an intersection when she saw them.

There were two men in gray suits. One was tall with graying hair and a stubbly beard. The other was little shorter, and seemed younger, with sandy brown hair. They were standing on the opposite corner, also waiting to cross.

Leah froze. They found her again.

She turned and ran from the intersection. She thought she had lost them in the last town, when she had managed to topple a whole isle of kitchenware on them at the local Wal-Mart, but apparently not. She was pleased to see that there were only two of them, compared to the three that were there previously. They had been after her since the first day, right after they had found her father.

She was well down the street before she risked a look back at them. Her heart jumped in fright. They were only half a block behind her. She looked around wildly, searching for an escape route. She quickly ducked into a narrow alleyway. At least if they followed her, there was really only room for one of them at a time. She crouched behind a dumpster and listened for their footsteps, desperately hoping that they would pass by. She should've known she wasn't that lucky.

She saw the shadow of a person walking into the alley, with another right behind. She pressed herself further against the wall, trying to make herself as unnoticeable as possible. She felt something dig into her side. She looks. It was a piece of metal pipe. Then, an escape plan started to form in her head. She grabs the pipe and waits for a moment, the person drawing closer. When she saw the tip of a slightly pointed dress shoe, Leah jumped out of her hiding spot and swung the pipe as hard as she could, at what she hoped was the man's head. She hit her mark, and the brown-haired man in the gray suit went down like a ton of bricks.

She stopped for a second, surprised by her own strength. That was her mistake. The other man rushed forward, grabbed her wrist, and twisted her arm behind her back, making her drop the pipe. She wanted to scream with frustration; she was so close! She struggled in his grip, trying to get away.

"I wouldn't," he said. "I could break your arm like a twig."

She growls at him. Then, from one of the windows above, someone shouts, "Heads up!"

Leah looked up just in time to see something bright blue falling straight down toward them. She pulls herself forward as far as she can, avoiding the falling object. The man wasn't so lucky. The object smacks him in the face, and his grip loosens; just what Leah was waiting for. She wrenches her arm away just as the gray-haired man falls to the ground, the same way as the brown-haired man.

Leah studied the object that had fallen. She now identified it as a bright blue suitcase. It had popped open and some of its contents had spilled on the ground.

From above, the same voice called, "Hey! You! Girl with the red hair!"

Leah looked up. Instead of another falling object, she sees a head poking out of a window. It was a boy, who looked about her age. He had short, black hair and bright blue eyes.

"I didn't hit you, too, did I?" he asked her.

"No," Leah called back to him. She looked at the suitcase lying on the ground, then back up to the boy. She pointed to the suitcase and said, "You want this back?"

"Oh, right. Hang on a sec." His head disappeared from the window. A few moments later, he walked into the alley, then proceeded to gather his things and roughly shoved them back into the suitcase. Then he stood, turned to Leah and said, "So, how long have the 'Goons in Gray' been chasing you?"

Leah raised a questioning eyebrow. "'Goons in Gray?'"

"Yeah, that's what we've been calling them for a while now. We being my friends and I. I'm Chase, by the way."

"Leah. And by that, I assume they're after you too?"

Chase nodded solemnly. "For a little over three months now. You?"

"About a month. What are they after you for?" Leah asked.

Chase seemed to think for a moment, then said, " How about you come with me to meet the rest of my friends, and I'll tell you on the way."

Leah hesitated. Since they were running from the same people, she was pretty sure they wouldn't turn her in, but she was still wary of strangers. She'd had her fair share of bad dealings with them.

"Unless," Chase said loftily, "You had better things to do and a place to stay?"

Leah's stomach chose that moment to grumble loudly.

Chase laughed. "We have food too, if that'll help convince you."

Leah smiled. "Alright. Let's go."

She followed Chase out of the alley, carefully stepping around the 'Goons in Gray,' then further down the street.

"My brother worked there," Chase started. "at the company. He was one of the top engineers. They drew up blueprints and designs for the machines that the company sold. It payed good, so it seemed like the ideal job. Our parents died when I was little, so he was supporting me as well as himself. It was a little after he had worked there a year that he noticed some of the strange occurrences. Co-workers disappearing, thousands of dollars dropping out of thin air, etc.

"Then they had the engineers work on a special project. They were for weapons, like bombs, and tanks, and stuff. The heads had told them that they were for the government, but a little while later, my brother discovered the real reason." Chase cracked a smile. "It was your 'build an army, topple the government, and take over the world' villain-y cliché type thing. My brother and some of his fellow engineers decided to try and slow them down. By this time, the blueprints were already done, so they took them and divided them into five pieces, then taking and hiding the pieces. Of course, the head found out and hunted them down. So, before they came and took him, my brother gave his piece of the blueprints to me, and they've been chasing me ever since."

Leah nodded. She wasn't surprised by any of the story. Her father had told her most of it.

Chase turned to her again. "Okay, your turn. What's your story?"

Leah looked at the ground for a moment, then began.

"My story's kind of similar to yours, I guess. My dad was the Chief of Security for the company, both the security of the tech, like the firewalls and the passwords and stuff, and the security for the building itself. He, like your brother, found out the heads' plans and wanted to stop them. He changed the password for the whole system of computers, to one that only he knew, so now nobody can get on their computers, let alone do their jobs. He and I went into hiding. A little over a month ago, they found us. Dad gave me the password and told me to run." Leah sighed sadly.

"I went back later. Our house was nothing but ash. And my Dad..." she trailed off. "Well, I'm the only one who knows the password now, so they're desperately trying to catch me."

Silence met the end of Leah's tale.

After walking for a little while longer, they came to a small house near the edge of town. Chase led Leah up to the second floor.

Chase banged open the door. "I'm back! And I've brought us a new playmate!" Chase sang cheerily. A brown-haired girl walked into the hallway they stood in, looking slightly annoyed.

"What are you talking about, Chase?" she asked. Then her green eyes landed on Leah. She raised an eyebrow. "Who are you?" she asked.

Before Leah could reply, Chase said, "Hold on a second, Kaylee. I'll make introductions once Kai and Ryan get their lazy buts out here!" Chase shouted the last part to the two unseen entities Leah assumed where somewhere in the house.

Then she heard footsteps thumping into the room.

"What do you want, Chase? I was trying to make a sandwich." Two guys walked over to them. On had shaggy brown hair and green eyes, much like Kaylee's. Leah assumed the two were related. The other had blond hair and chocolate brown eyes.

Kaylee snorted. "Kai, when do you not eat. I have no idea how you can eat as much as you do and still be a skinny stick!"

Whichever one Kai was, he ignored her. Both of the two guys were looking at Leah.

"So Chase," said the brown-haired one. "Are you going to introduce us to your lovely lady friend, here?" he bends down to eye level with Leah, a small smile on his face and hand on his chin.

"I was going to, if you didn't interrupt me. And stop that, you're creeping her out!"

After the brown-haired guy mover to a more comfortable distance, Chase proceeded with introductions.

"Leah, This is Kaylee and her boyfriend, Ryan. Mr. Creeper over there is her brother, Kai." Chase said, ignoring Kai's protests to his new nickname. "Guys, this is Leah. I found her this morning, being chased by the the 'Goons in Gray.' her Dad was the Chief of security at the company. I think she will be joining us, won't you, Leah?"

Leah opened her mouth to answer, when she was tackled by Kaylee.

"I won't be the only girl anymore!" she declared with glee. Leah laughed. She felt at home already.

Over the course of the next week, Leah got to know the four of her new companions. She learned their stories, which were similar to her's and Chase's, and told them her's. They filled her in on what they were planning on doing.

A few days later, the 'Goons in Gray' burst through the door.


Leah sighed. Running was what she had been doing for the past month, and now she was running again. But then she smiled. This time was different. This time, she wasn't running alone.

So, what did you think? Comments and Critique are welcome! Flames will be ignored. What parts did you like/hate/think I could write better? For now it's a oneshot unless people really want me to write a full story. Please give your thoughts! Thanks for reading!