The snow beginning to accumulate on the ground made it harder to pick up his feet, but the boy ran against it as fast as he could. The two guards assigned to him noticed quickly and took off after him. But Michel swept low and collided with them to knock them off their feet. The winged-man rolled on the snow before springing to his toes. Assault rifles fired at him, but Michel raised his wings to shield himself and the bullets ricocheted harmlessly. When the guns were unloaded and clicked to signal a need of مزید bullets, the insurgent took the opportunity to take to the sky again.
The seven-year old had trusted that Michel's distraction would be enough. He had enough of a lead to make it to the درخت line. Dr. Felis had trained his prized subject سے طرف کی giving him only a ten سیکنڈ head start before unleashing trained wolves after the child, so running for his life was nothing new. But the thin prisoner uniform left the boy's body quickly stiff from the cold. The flurries had gained speed and weight, making the forest a maze of trees and frozen earth blurred سے طرف کی the frosted winds. He was running blindly on numb legs, deafened سے طرف کی the distant shouts of the dogs and his own pounding heart. His lungs were on آگ کے, آگ with the daggers that the tundra کی, شمالی winds slashed into his lungs. The boy almost gave into the terror making him مزید frigid than the cold, almost stopped running to catch his tormented breaths, trusting that Michel had kept the dogs far enough away from him. Then he felt the sudden stirring of wind and the crunching of running boots quickly gaining on him.
The child clenched his jaw and pumped his arms to gain speed. He suddenly changed course so that he was running with the wind and snow at his back rather than against it. But the predator was gaining, closer and closer and closer and the boy had the wind knocked out of him as something lunged and collided with him from behind.
The two tumbled down a slope and came to a stop on the bank of a rushing river. The child tried to get up, but the one who had jumped at him was know pinning him face down. He was unable to اقدام except to turn his head out of the snow to breath. He tried to cry out for Michel, but a hand went over his mouth. "Leise!" a hushed voice commanded in his ear. When the boy tried to wiggle out from under the body, the voice commanded, "Keine Bewegung! Leise! Leon!"
It was the last word, the name, that cut through Subject X-Ag13's panic. He lay still and listened. First their was the howling of the wind, then the matching heartbeats of his captor's and his own. Finally, the crunching of snow beneath heavy black boots. There were soft voices, then harsh shouting. The words were of his first language, telling the child that it was the Russian dogs searching for him. The shouting was close by, then slowly receded.
The snow that the boy lay on had seeped through his poorly-suited prison garb and chilled him to the bone. The weight on his back disappeared, yet he found himself too frozen in the cold and exhaustion and fear that gripped him as his adrenaline receded. Gentle hands picked up the small boy under the arms and pulled him into a tight embrace. It offered a warmth that thawed the boy enough that he was able to shiver and look up at his savior.