With all her strength, Shevchenko pulled slack from the polyproylene rope so that Savoi and Farouk could continue to scale up towards the flag. Her vision was blurry from the sprayed liquid and her arms were tired from the added weight Savoi brought on. The liquid also made her leather gloves slippery. She yanked the rope hard enough to release it and quickly snatch the gloves off with her teeth. Once she retrieved the rope again, her arms grew heavier. She wanted to quit, but just as the rope slipped from her grip, a new wave of determination set in.
Suddenly, a combination of 6 cadets from Bravo, Charlie, and Delta squads surrounded Shevchenko. They were confused why she was holding on to a rope that seemed to lead nowhere. At that point, they had no awareness that the rope was also attached to the line which held Savoi and Farouk inside the vented shaft. She stood silently as the group peered cautiously at her.
“Hey pretty girl, what’s up with the rope?” Cadet Pearcy, from Charlie squad, demanded.
Shevchenko did not respond.
Pearcy did not take well to her silence, so he motioned for his team members to detain her. Savoi and Farouk heard the voices outside, and held their breath to continue their climb quietly. Farouk often lost his footing against the steel wall because his boots were covered in liquid. Savoi scrambled each time to pull him back into place. The closer they got to reaching the flag, the more they worried for Shevchenko’s safety.
Inside the control room, General Benavides green-lit squad leaders and co-leads to be released and join their teams. Each had been observing developments, which gave them an advantage of scouting alternative routes within the warehouse. Several hazardous traps were installed along those routes, which hindered and delayed the leads from rescue efforts. The senior cadets encountered everything from oscillating floors to a five-hundred-pound mechanical swinging gavel.
Roudan and Yoshida agilely sprinted to the area where Shevchenko was surrounded by the other teams. They came in hot and were prepared to use maximum force against their adversaries. There was little time to decide on a precise plan other than to eliminate any opposing force. The 2 men burst through a final metal door to witness Shevchenko in a standoff with 9MM laser pistols aimed at her. Yoshida drew his metallic sonic boomerang blade, which spiraled around the room to disarm their enemies. Meanwhile, Roudan rushed to support Shevchenko’s hold on the rope.
The opposing cadets instinctively knew they had no chance against Yoshida in a hand-to-hand duel. He stood patiently for a moment, but not long enough for anyone to decide who would attack him first. Without warning, Yoshida pounced and kicked the Delta team member in the chest. Then he swung the wounded cadet into Pearcy, which took both out. Yoshida dodged an upper cut from a female Bravo cadet and countered with a roundhouse sweep to her legs. After she recovered from her fall, 2 male Bravo cadets joined the match.
Yoshida interchangeably sparred with them using the shadow boxing techniques Roudan trained the Alpha squad in. He was so enthralled with his opponents that he did not notice the remaining Bravo cadet had re-obtained his weapon.
“NO!” Shevchenko screamed as the Bravo cadet unloaded his weapon.
The Bravo cadet was easily unnerved as he watched Yoshida eliminate his team with brute force, which caused his aim to falter. In fact, his rapid fire of lasers could only sever the rope. Yoshida lunged in the air to grip the rope before it snapped in half, but to no avail.
“What have you done, you fool?” Yoshida belted, before taking the pistol and knocking the Bravo cadet unconscious with the weapon.
Shevchenko, Roudan, and Yoshida scrambled to the vent door to see if Savoi and Farouk had fallen because the rope broke. When they looked down the shaft, they could see nothing. Once they spanned upward, they saw Savoi. Her back was pinned against the wall where Farouk once was. There was barely enough room for him to ease himself up and position himself on her back. Her legs were the only thing holding them both up.
“Hang on, Thomasa! We’re here to help,” Shevchenko cried.
Fortunately, they were only a mere few inches away from the flag. Farouk braced himself to stand and snatch the fan. Roudan knew Savoi’s legs would not hold them for long. He instructed Yoshida and Shevchenko to scale down the shaft quickly. In no time, the trio reached the bottom of the shaft. They found some sandbags and hay to pile together. Not knowing how her team would assist at the bottom of the shaft, Savoi’s legs gave out. She held on to Farouk as they plummeted down.
~The Waring Robins~