The concert was going on as planned. It had been a nearly sold out night at Continental Arena.
“Make sure you follow our plan, Richardson.”
“I know what I’m doing. I just don’t understand why we need to put the fans lives put in danger, that’s all. Isn’t there another way we can do this?” Kevin asked as he finished putting on his outfit for the final two songs.
“The fans will be safe. You can trust me on this. He’s the only one they want.”
Nick was feeling somewhat relieved as the concert came to an end and Larger Than Life began playing to the delight of their audience. They danced and waved to the crowd, putting on a great show.
“That makes you larger than….that makes you larger than life!”
Nick held his arms up over his head, breathing heavily as the pyrotechnics began kicking in, the crowd screaming……but something went wrong. The screams were full of terror.
“Holy shit…” AJ said as they watched the fire growing. Nick was frozen in fear….he saw it spreading rapidly, there was a faint smell of gasoline.
“We have to get out of here!” Nick screamed. There was no time to sneak out the back way, the best route was right through the arena itself.
“Nick, come on!” Brian shouted as the ceiling began to fall apart over them. This was no ordinary fire….smaller explosions went off above them, causing support beams to tumble. Already tired from performing, Nick was having a hard time keeping up with the others….the smoke making it hard for him to breathe. He ran and ran as the smoke became thicker, the fire at his heels. He could hear Brian yelling faintly to hurry but he couldn’t see him.
“BRIAN!!!! Guys….wait….” Nick coughed, feeling weak as he blinked through the smoke. He tripped over something on the ground, feeling his ankle give out. It was then he heard the creaking. Laying on the floor in the middle of an aisle, Nick looked up to see a piece of the lighting rig overhead hanging, swaying back and forth. Nick tried to get up but he soon realized he was unable to move, his ankle throbbing.
“Come back!!! Someone help me!!!” he choked, but a loud creaking drowned him out. The beam hit him with such force that he heard his leg break, the bone tearing his skin as he cried out….
“Where the hell is he? He was behind you!” Brian yelled, grabbing AJ by his jacket. The parking lot outside was full of police and paramedics treating fans who had gotten injured.
“He must still be inside.” AJ reasoned, looking back at the building. Angry flames shot out of the top, they heard someone say the place may collapse.
Brian let go of AJ and kicked at the ground, feeling frustrated with himself. He had warned them all…..Nick had warned them and they didn’t listen, he had let Nick down again…..
“BRIAN!!! Are you crazy?” Kevin shouted when he saw Brian run towards the burning building. Brian struggled as Kevin restrained him, kicking and screaming.
“Let go of me! I have to help him!”
“I’m not letting you go in there, you’ll get yourself killed. It’s suicide.” Kevin shouted. Brian wriggled free and raced across the parking lot, dodging fallen debris.
Kevin silently cursed him for doing it.
Nick sobbed as the pain overtook him, the weight of the metal beam pinning him to the floor.
“Someone help me….” he yelled weakly, feeling his throat constrict from the smoke. He thought he saw someone coming…but his vision was fading. He could feel the flames getting closer…
“You….you came back-” Nick smiled when he saw Brian at his side. Brian’s face fell as he looked at the situation. More beams fell around them, the fire intensifying.
“Of course I came back, buddy. I wouldn’t leave you….now let’s get you out of here.” Brian said, gripping the beam with both hands and pushing with all his strength. He pushed and pushed but it just wouldn’t budge. Nick cried out in pain, feeling his leg twinge.
“Brian, just leave me….save yourself-” “I’m not leaving without you, Nick.” Brian protested, pushing again. Sweat ran down his face and he coughed, looking at Nick and trying to release him.
“Bri…” Nick coughed weakly, his face grey from the smoke. Brian stopped pushing and growled in frustration, noticing Nick’s leg bleeding.
“Don’t use your strength. We will figure something out.”
Brian tried pushing again but this time AJ had appeared by his side.
“I figured you could use some help. Damn, he’s stuck bad…isn’t he?” AJ said. He and Brian together still couldn’t free Nick. They were about to try again when the building began to shake….
“We gotta get out of here!” AJ screamed. Brian knelt down in front of Nick, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“Frack….I’m so sorry….”
“Brian, you have to go. You and him need to get out of here. I will be fine.” Nick lied, knowing this might be the last time they’d ever speak.
“He says he will be fine, let’s get the fuck out of here!” AJ shouted, seeing more of the ceiling giving way.
“Wait….take this…” Nick whispered, touching the silver cross around his neck. Brian took it from him and placed his hand on Nick’s head, resting it there.
“I’m always with you…” Brian smiled before AJ dragged him away. The two of them ran, Brian tripping on the way out. The cross went flying out of his hand….
“NO!!!! AJ, help me find it…”
“Are you a fucking moron, Brian? If we look for that thing we’ll be dead!” AJ screamed, pulling him along.
The two of them made it out and ran across the parking lot but a deafening explosion knocked them to the ground, Brian and AJ hitting the pavement.
“Holy shit….” AJ said, looking back. The arena was gone….reduced to rubble. Brian went to stand but something hit him in the back of his head.
“BRIAN!!!!” Kevin screamed, running towards him as he fell, catching him as he hit the ground…..darkness overtaking him as Kevin’s screams echoed in his ears.