Kal, the small community that sprang up from the McWrither regime, is sleeping soundly. None aware that the brothers are down two members and the living are on a long trip to a reassignment facility. The few guards on duty walk the streets in pairs, smoking and quietly telling jokes. All Blind to the dark figure crawling its way across a rooftop.
Cas slinks between a garage and a property wall as two of the guards pass. His breathing is controlled, his steps are measured and his pistol is held cautiously in his right hand. He is already six houses away from Dahlia Fox’s home, a few more and the cities parameter gates will be the only thing left in his way.
The third house is the toughest to get over. Not only is it two stories with no visible footholds, but there is a late night gathering in the back yard. Soon another set of guards will walk down the street and find him. He finally decides he will have to kill these guards and somehow take their preplanned route to the other street where hopefully there will be an easier house to get over. But where would he hide the bodies.
“Hey Cas, are you gong hunting too?”
“What?” Cas nearly leaps out of his skin. He turns and sees Teller standing in the light of a street lamp, bow strung over her shoulder.
“Are you going hunting too? I like going this time of night, the Pit-Gators are out and man do I love knocking a few off before bed time. Plus they make for a good breakfast.” She smiles sweetly at him. “If you like you can come with me, I know all the good spots now.”
“We haven’t been here that long.”
“I used to hunt everyday back home. Its not hard to find game trails if you know what your looking for.”
“Sure, I’ll tag along darling.” He composes himself and smiles mischievously at her.
“So what are you hunting?”
“Don’t know yet, I haven’t gone out the whole time we were here.”
“Well you look like you know what your doing, I know where there are a couple of huge males a mile off the main road.”
“Hi Dave! Hi Mike” Teller runs up to one of the guards and hugs him. “Me and Cas are going to go hunting for a while so if you see two huge shadows coming down the road don’t shoot. It’ll be us with some Pit-Gators over our shoulders.”
“Ha, such a cute little chick out hunting with a boy. Sounds hilarious.” Dave says pinching Teller’s cheek.
“I’ve taken down four Water Buffalo in a single hunt, and he is ex-military.”
“Oh, well move along.”
“See you later Dave and Mike. I like them, they remind me of my cousins.”
“Really, how?” Cas says glancing back to make sure the guards are walking away.
“I think Andy would say ‘they talk big chips but have no cheese between them’ or something like that, you know.”
“Lets say I do.”
“So what do you think Solace is up to?” She says, now walking on her hands.
“I don’t know.”
“I hope he is alright. He did seem sad when he left, and his leg must still be hurting him. I wonder if he found those men he was looking for. You think he did it thoughtfully or just ran in shooting like he always does.” She says now walking backwards on her hands. “I think he went in shooting. Probably in some bar right now hitting on beautiful women and drinking. Which he isn’t supposed to if he is still taking Doc Finn’s medication.”
“Your quite the talker aren’t you?”
“Yeah, thats why the boys hated me back in Africa. Said I’d rot the ear of an elephant if I ever met one. But there is just so much to talk about. I don’t understand how you all can keep everything in. Like Patty, she talks a bunch but mostly about girl stuff. Last time I tried to teach her how to skin a rabbit she squealed and ran inside. I guess its a good thing you have markets or she’d starve.”
“I suppose you’re right. How much further do we have?” Cas asks, looking back at the pinprick of light that is Kal.
Teller rolls off her hands and sits up on the deserted road. “About fifteen minutes up the road. Then a left at the broken Deer sign.”
“Good.” Cas says pulling out his pistol and looking at the back of tellers head. “I hope they find you before the animals do.”
“What do you mean by—”
Six minutes later Cas stops to take a breath next to the broken Deer sign. His side aches and his throat is raw. She saw it coming but had no time to react. He should have paid more attention to the shadow he was casting. Up ahead he sees a set of headlights. They’ll find her. He sinks into the surrounding foliage as the car passes. Right now he needs to worry about making his way back to the Arrives manor where the McWrither’s have Solace captive.
“Why are you slowing down?” Nancy calls out to the Driver.
“There is someone on the road ma’am.”
“What?” Solace pulls himself up to the front seat and peers through the front window. “Who is that.”
“Probably food for the big cats.” The mercenary in the passenger seat says.
“Stop the Car!” Solace yells and jumps out. He stumbles out through the door and lands next to Teller’s Body. A small pool of blood collecting under her head. “Teller, Teller are you alright?”
“Who is this?” Nancy says walking up next to them, “not an old girlfriend?”
“Shut the fuck up and help me!”
“Seven, Bravo get her into the back.” Nancy commands her mercenaries.
“She’s breathing. Fuck, fuck, be careful you asshole.” Solace shoves passenger Bravo as he steps on Teller’s hand.
“Sir she can’t feel that.”
“Can you feel this.” Solace pulls out his gun and shoots the merc point-blank threw the visor. His counter part has his assault rifle pointed at Solace’s heart before Bravo lands.
“Put the gun down!” Seven yells.
“You fucking cunt! You shot me.” Bravo stands back up, a bullet lodged in his visor.
“He’ll do it again if you aren’t careful,” Nancy says calmly. “Seven lower your weapon. You would be dead already if he wasn’t just trying to make a point.”
“Yes ma’am.” Both men say. They lift Teller and take her to the back seat of the car.
Nancy gets in the front with the two mercs and Solace in the back with Teller. “Go!”
They barrel down the road, Kal coming closer. The car slows down again and solace sees a large group of guards standing at the gate with guns ready. He lowers the window and pulls himself out. “Out of the way assholes, we need to see Doc Fin.”
“Solace you’re back.” Dave the guard yells out.
“Teller’s hurt, wake the rest of the guys.”
“Teller? But…” the rest of his sentence is inaudible as the car picks up speed again.”
A few miles closer to the manor, Cas stops again to take a breath. He cant believe someone actually shot at a dead girl. With great effort he pushes Teller out of his mind and reaches for his phone. He dials the number slowly and waits half a second before calling. It rings twice and a womans voice answers. “Yes?”
A second later the line is picked up, but none speaks. Cas takes a calming breath before speaking. “Master, I am on my way to the manor to assist the McWrither Brothers. He is captured. They phoned me last night. He didn’t say much but I think I can get more out of… Master are you there?”
“Oh I am here Casanova, I am just waiting to see how far into this little fairytale you will go. Now continue, you know I love a good story.”
“I don’t understand, this isn’t a fairytale. They have him, and I can get more information out of him when I get there.”
“Poor little fool, Solace is free. Two of the McWrither’s are dead, and you are misinformed.”
“Find him and the journals or your old team wont be the only ones hunting you.” The line cuts leaving Cas dumbstruck.
The doors to Doc Finn’s infirmary burst open, Andy stampedes in and is held from entering any further by two guards. “Let me see her!”
Solace slowly stands from his corner chair, not knowing whether he should intervene. Jacob and Allan come in after Andy and pull him back. They take him all the way outside with out noticing Solace. Taking a deep breath he walks outside and catches a glimpse of a large group of people before a fist pummels his left eye. “She went looking for you! I told her not to. And she went anyway.”
“Andy, she didn’t” Solace says, squinting at him with his good eye. “We found her on the road a mile out.”
“Why was she out there then?” Andy roars.
“I don’t know.”
“So she might have finally gone after you?”
“Why the fuck would she?”
“Because you fucking saved her. Same goddamn reason any of us wanted to go out and find you. But she doesn’t get that you do this kind of thing to the people you love. She didn’t understand that she had to get used to you not being there. She thought it was out of the fucking ordinary and wanted to make sure you were safe.”
“Andy, calm down.” Jacob Says.
“No, I will not calm down.”
“Jacob is right Andy,” Allan says. “This is helping no one.”
“Where’s Cas?” Patricia looks around worried.
“He was with Teller, they were going hunting.” Dave the guard makes his way through the crowd.
“Hunting?” Allan asks.
“Yeah, teller goes out a lot, but this is the first time I saw Cas. Crap what if he’s still out there.”
“Andy, Patricia will stay with you while we go out and look for Cas.” Jacob says, putting a hand on Andy’s shoulder.
“Dave, do you think you can get a few guards to help us?” Edgar asks zipping up his jacket.
“Andy, we can wait inside if you like?” Patricia takes his arm and leads him towards the infirmary door.
“Solace, we have no time for another plan. What if he’s hurt too?” Jacob says already beginning to walk towards the main road.
“He isn’t hurt.” He can feel everyone looking at him. “He did this to Teller.”
When no one speaks Nancy clears her throat, “long time no see Jacob. I am sorry to inform you that Casanova is a defector, he is at the moment and, from what I gather, has been for quite some time, working for Byron.”
“Bullshit.” Jacob says, walking towards Nancy. Her mercs close ranks and block him.
“Boys, he is another one you don’t want to mess with.” She pushes them aside and comes face to face with Jacob. “This is no bullshit, sweetheart. He is not on your side.”
“Why did he do this to Teller?” Andy asks in a small and defeated voice.
“I think she just happened to get in his way.”
“So, he’s gone?” Allan asks.
“No, while you all were throwing punches Seven here found a call going out a few miles back. I don’t think he knows you escaped Solace.”