Chapter 35
"...and so the two of them were stuck inside their car, which I had taken the liberty to rid off its driving capabilities," said Damov, relishing the moment. If it were not for the electrified cage he was willing to wager that Samuel could have ripped it apart and flown at him.

"...pity I wasn't allowed to inflict any physical wounds, but no one can tell whether or not a person was tasered."

"The hell did you do?!" asked Samuel, glaring at Damov.

"Your mother's dentures almost flew out after all that voltage."

"You fuck!" Samuel launched a tackle at the bars and there was a shock. A burning sensation crept up his shoulder blade as he refrained from striking again.

"You lie..." Samuel said in a low voice. He shrunk back and shook his head: "you fucking lie..."

Damov rolled his eyes: "now I don't have much of a beef with you, but..."

He suddenly shot Kurtis a deathly glare, narrowing his eyes to slits.

"...you, on the other hand, you ungrateful pile of trash with shit for brains!"

Kurtis' expression remained indifferent as he glanced up at Damov for just a second.

"We could have been so much! The two of us were... ascending through Trailblazer, much faster than that snobbish Baltrev geezer. Our operations could have gone beyond Gedan, beyond Heinjal! I guess the concept of power and authority's an alien to you..."

Damov paused, noticing how Kurtis was staring off in the other direction. He furiously kicked his stool away and kneels in front of the dragon's cage.

"...and you fucking look at me when I'm talking to you!" he yelled. Kurtis suddenly made a weak kick that caught him by surprise, making him land on his bottom. Samuel took this opportunity and quickly slid both hands through the bars and grabbed Damov, pulling him towards his cage.

"Why you...!"

Electricity went through the young man's neck, which came in contact with the bars and Samuel felt a quarter of the shock. Without time to call out, Damov's limbs jerked around before going limp.

Samuel pushed his body to the ground and felt around Damov's jacket pockets. Sure enough, there was a key card.

"Kurt, you see anything for this?" asked Samuel. Kurtis looked around and eventually pointed to something above Samuel's cage.

"Well, I can't reach it for sure. Try using your tail."

Samuel threw the card across and Kurtis caught it, gingerly wrapping his tail around it. He slid it out and managed to get the device to read the card after a few swipes.

The bars folded away for their cages after a short delay and the two of them crawled out, stretching their backs after sitting hunched in their captivity.

Spotting their gear on the table to the side, Samuel went over and took back his XR9-S along with his PDA and handed Kurtis his Basilisk. There was also an MP449, a pocket knife, another PDA and a few spare pistol magazines.

"I'm guessing this is Baltrev's," said Samuel, taking the PDA. Switching it on, the wallpaper was a photograph of a young man amidst a few dogs.

"What now?" asked Kurtis, loading a fresh clip into his Basilisk.

"I can't say I have experience in escaping from trains," shrugged Samuel, pulling out his own PDA and speed dialing the number Jan gave them for "emergencies."

"And I don't have a signal," sighed Samuel. He heard the click of a pistol hammer ring cocked back and whirled around to see Damov pointing a Mateba revolver at him from the floor. Kurtis grabbed him the moment Damov fired and the two jumped through the window at the side, into the relentless winds outside the train.

"I'm hit!" cried Samuel; Kurtis had dug his claws into the roof of the train while his other hand held Samuel by the waist. The dragon hoisted himself up onto the roof along with the teen.

"Bastard got me in the ankle," he groaned, "good save though..."

Samuel squinted through the strong breeze: they were on a long, dull grey train going through some sort of tunnel. Small, round lights hung from the ceiling and they flew past Samuel's head every few seconds.

The roof they were on was suddenly punctured with bullet holes and the two of them hastily crawled forward. There was a pause between every six shots and it was quite obvious Damov was below trying to hit them.

"Keep crawling!" shouted Samuel. Digging into the dents in the metal, Samuel and Kurtis managed to move fast across two carriages, crawling side by side.

"Kurt, disconnect them," instructed Samuel, nodding at the carriages behind them, "with any luck we can get Damov off our backs."

Three swipes with the elbow blades was all it took to disengage the locks holding the carriages together and Samuel watched with satisfaction as the carriages disappeared down the tunnel. He was pretty sure he saw a red faced Damov opening the door of the very section they disconnected and almost falling into the tracks.

A hatch opened some distance in front of them and a Trailblazer soldier popped his head out. He yelled something to his men below and pulled out a machine gun.

"Oh shit!"

Bullets skidded around them and Kurtis fired back with his pistol to suppress him.

"We need to get back inside!" said Samuel. Kurtis peeked down his side:

"No glass!" he said. Samuel stuck his head out and looked down the other side.

"Alright! I have a window here! Cover me!"

Kurtis rapidly pulled the trigger to fire faster as Samuel inched over to the right with his pistol. With a double tap, the window shattered and he swung in, landing rather badly on his wounded ankle.

"There!" yelled someone. Clutching his leg, Samuel looked up to see two men turning sub machine guns at him.

The roof of the train made a loud noise as two blades sliced through the sides. A section of it fell onto the men and there crouched Kurtis, blades at the ready.

The machine gunner from before jumped back down inside and Kurtis lunged at him, pinning him to the wall and driving two claws straight at his neck.

"Wait wait wait," said Samuel, as Kurtis reached out for the door to the next carriage.

"They'll be expecting us, we should go back up."

Kurtis nodded and went over to the opened hatch, getting over it in one leap before helping Samuel up as well.

"We get to the front first," grunted Samuel, massaging his foot, "and we disconnect the rest of them carriages."

"Then...?"

"We'll improvise."

The two of them suddenly saw light at the end of the tunnel; within seconds they entered a vast mining shaft with tracks spiraling downwards. A circle of the dusk sky loomed above them and it painted the walls orange.

"Hang on..." said Samuel. There was a lurch as the train rumbled onto the curved tracks and made its way downwards.

Samuel and Kurtis took extra caution as they crawled, with the train now curved and speeding faster. They became extremely weary with each passing hatch: no one was popping out of them to deliver pot shots.

"They must be expecting us in the front," thought Samuel. He signaled for Kurtis to halt one carriage before it.

"We're gonna ambush their ambush," said Samuel, in latching the hatch below him, "wanna have the honor?"

Kurtis flexed his arms and pulled open the hatch. He flung himself inside with his pistol ready and sure enough, there was a squad of men facing the other way, taking positions behind the door to the controls.

Kurtis raised his gun only to have something hit him across the head. His ears rang as he stumbled, turning to see two more men behind him with the mysterious metal rods Damov used back in Qiang Cun.

Samuel saw what was happening and quickly hooked his legs to the sides of the hatch. Dropping in upside down, he quickly dispatched the two men with his pistol.

The four operatives turned to open fire but Kurtis managed to throw himself onto one of them, causing their formation to stumble. Samuel eased his legs and dropped, landing on one of them. Without allowing the man time to recover from the shock, he placed his whole weight on one shoulder and rammed the man's head against the window. It cracked and it only took another kick to send the poor soldier out tumbling across the tracks below.

Kurtis had already made quick work of two Trailblazer men with a slice across their necks and launched a drop kick at the third and last one, barging him through the door into the controls carriage. A few rounds smacked into his torso as the two men inside instinctively fired and Kurtis slid in to finish them off with two rounds of the Basilisk into each of their skulls.

As he scavenged for pistol magazines among the bodies, Samuel hurried over to the controls and tapped away at the main screen. There was a loud hiss as the carriages disengaged locks.

"That's done with," said Samuel, allowing himself time for a breather as he watched the rest of the train separate. Only their carriage was on the move now.
"Most of these are in Chinese, so I can't do much else," he sighed, "best we can do is to wait for the next stop."
The train, or what was left of it, eventually came to the bottom of the spiral and continued down yet another dark tunnel. Neither Samuel nor Kurtis knew where they were headed...