Danni California, Part 16

Continued from Part 15, here.
Start the story here.

* * *

Most people, seeing the bridge ahead of their speeding train explode in a wave of fiery ignition, might have paused in shock, gasped, or wasted time on some other useless activity.

Those people weren’t trained Priests.

As soon as my eyes registered that burst of flame, I knew the train was going down.  I spun around, rising up from my seat as I shoved my gun roughly back into its holster and out of the way.  One arm shot out, wrapping into a fist around a handful of Danni’s shirt, and I hauled her up and out of the compartment.

A moment later, even despite the screeching of brakes as the train conductor frantically attempted to bring the massive vehicle to a halt, I felt us starting to tip.

The train was going over the edge.

Screams rang out from around the car as we started to tilt, obliquely pitching forward.  I did my best to stay on my feet as the train car shifted beneath my feet, and although I had to hold Danni up, she didn’t let out any noise.  When I shot a quick glance at her, I could see that her face was pale, but she wasn’t yet lost to panic.

Doing my best to stay in the middle of the pitching car, I hurried towards the rear of the car, the back door that led out.  “Come on,” I called to Danni, and she did her best to keep up with me.

But before we could reach that back door, the car suddenly gave a sickening lurch, and tilted until it was nearly straight vertical.

I felt my stomach clench.  We were dropping, in free fall off the track.

The drop only lasted a second or two, although it felt like longer to my adrenaline-fueled mind.  I kept one arm looped firmly around Danni as my other arm clenched onto one of the seats, holding up both of us as the car tumbled down towards the bottom of the bridge.

There had been water down there, I remembered, and a moment later we impacted with a combined splash and a screech of tearing, shearing metal.

Below us, I saw the front third of the train car immediately fold and crunch like an accordion, and several screaming passengers from that part of the car were immediately silenced.  As we hit the water, the car dropped back to somewhat near horizontal, and I didn’t waste time.  I stumbled forward, kicking out at the back door.

The door opened, thankfully, despite several deep kinks in the metal frame.  Turning back to Danni, I grabbed her with both hands and pulled her up to me.  The girl still didn’t look lost completely to panic, but I could see that her eyes were wide.

“Hope you can swim,” I said to her.  Before she could reply, I heaved her out of the train car, into the water rising up to swallow us.

I knew that more cars were still falling, and before I could leap from the drowning train myself, another car impacted next to us with a massive splash, knocking the floor beneath me askew.  I did my best to stay on my feet, but I felt myself slip as I pitched forward.

As I tumbled out of the train car after Danni, I saw the metal edge of the rear platform rushing up to meet my head.

A moment later, everything went black.

To be continued . . .

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