Solace throws the phone against the wall. He paces back and forth trying desperately to ignore Andy’s wails of anguish. Fifteen minutes after bringing Teller to Doc Fin she is dead. The anger he feels towards Cas is multiplied after the brief conversation they have just had. “He wants to meet me at noon tomorrow.”

“Well you aren’t going.” Jacob says pulling him toward the door and away from their moaning friend.

“You know I will,” Solace watches as Andy beats at his own face, trying to feel anything but the bile burning inside. “Right now, we forget about Byron and kill Casanova.”

“Solace, this isn’t a fucking movie. We are not going out for vengeance.”

“You didn’t seem to think that when we were out looking for Pat.”

“I know, but—”

“No, we are going to do this. If you don’t want to help Andy—”

“You fucking prick.” Jacob grabs Solace’s collar, “Do you really think this is going to help Andy. Patricia was alive, Teller is dead. We need to bury her and let Andy grieve before we go looking for anyone.”

“Say that to me again, but this time act like you are talking to someone who didn’t attend either of his mothers funerals.”

“This isn’t an argument of ideology, this is a moment where your friends need you here.”

Solace pushes Jacob’s hand away and walks out of the infirmary. The sky is littered with stars. Teller loved being out at this time. “If we wait he will have gone.”

“We can find him.”

“So you’re back on board with vengeance?”

“Andy did it for me.”

“What if Casanova comes looking for us instead.”

“Then he will be walking into the very fires of hell where demons of unimaginable brutality will be waiting for him.” Jacob looks up at the stars. “What happened with the McWrithers?”

“You name it and they beat me with it.” Solace says, looking over at his oldest friend. No matter how angry they ever got with each other over the years, they could always forfeit their anger long enough to see how the other was doing. “They mostly went for the ribs and fingers, maximum pain with none of the drawbacks.”

“You passing out or unable to breath, speak, or communicate in any other way.”

“We’ve done this before, haven’t we.”

“Ha, yeah well Cas taught us…” the two friends look away from the stars.

 

Ten in the morning. That is the time when the the seven friends watch one of their own go in the ground. Six of them standing beside the coffin, one sitting a long way away looking through the scope of a rifle. Casanova, ex-military, womanizer, six time winner of the house Drink-a-thon, go to for anything debauchery, sits alone and mourns. He didn’t want this to be the way things are. With his last living brother deep in the hands of Byron he had no choice. He has no choice. He has one choice. Kill Solace.

“I am so sorry.” He whispers. Taking a deep breath he releases the safety. With another he places his finger on the trigger. Three bullets shatter the ground next to him, instinctively he rolls into a bush and crawls behind a tree.

“Ma’am I missed.” A voice calls out from behind the car he had stolen.

“I saw, find him.” A womans commands.

Casanova holds his breath long enough to hear two sets of boots make their way towards his. Pulling out his sidearm, he makes his way deeper into the trees. Taking a risky glance towards his pursuers he sees why they aren’t afraid of making noise. Both mercs are dressed to the nines in TAP-Tech body armor. Their visored helmets gleam in the scattered sunlight. One already has a bullet hole in it, this is to his favor. As the mercs make their way nearer Casanova leaps from out of his cover and fires a single shot at the already damaged helmet. The bullet rattles around inside destroying the mercs face. The second fires another bursts of bullets, two of which sink painfully into his right leg.

“Bravo is down, target is hit, will proceed and destroy.” The merc says. He marches forward leaving his companion to bleed out where he fell.

Casanova staggers into a tree and props himself up. His leg is gushing blood and the merc is getting closer. He can disarm him but with that armor there is no way he can have any chance of fighting. Dropping his gun he looks into the thick trees ahead of him. It takes him a second to make out the deformed shapes emerging from the surrounding trees. They look human, or like something that used to be human. They all twitch their heads from one side to the other like dogs trying to find a scent. Casanova looks down at his leg and tries to waft the smell towards them. It works. Their heads snap in his direction. Slowly they fade back into cover.

A heavy boot crushes Casanova’s injured leg. “I found him,” the merc says into his helmet and points his rifle at his capture. There is a moment where the merc waits for his order, and in the very next countless misshapen figures leap into him. Shots are fired but absorbed by the monstrosities now tearing into the body armor.

Casanova scurries to his feet, stumbles and is caught. He looks up into the perfectly manicured mustache of Endre Gosz, whose round multicolored sunglasses glisten in the sun. He straightens Casanova, pats him off and walks back towards the stolen car.

“He is off to collect the one you call Nancy.” Gloria Gillory says through a large cloud of smoke. The red leather clad demon stops next to him.

“How did you two get here?”

“We have our ways, Casanova mon amour.” She says watching her deformities devour the merc threw her white penciled eyes.

A few minutes later Endre returns with the other merc over his shoulder a gun bag in the other hand and one lens missing from his glasses. With ease he lobs the dead merc at the deformities, walks over to Casanova and hands him the gun bag. “Nancy got away, that one was already dead.”

“She is very slippery.” Gloria chuckles.

“Yes indeed Madame.” Endre says.

“Tell me Casanova, have you killed Solace?”

“No.”

“You little child, how difficult could it be when he sleeps in the same home?” Gloria flicks her ashes at him, “Byron will not be happy to hear this. Nor will your brother.”

“I was about to when they,” he points at the scraps of armor and bones, “attacked me.”

“Lucky Byron has you tagged.” Endre says with a smile. Which is immediately wiped away by a firm slap from Gloria.

“Homme stupide , pourquoi parlez-vous?” She scolds.

“Madame , bocsáss meg nekem.” Endre apologizes and drops to his knees, kissing her high heeled boots.

“Ten lashes tonight, Endre.” She turns her attention back to Casanova. “Well boy, tell me how you plan on killing him.”

“Firstly, call me boy again and I will ram one of these gimps so far up your ass you wont know weather to moan or call it a pregnancy. Secondly we need to get out of here, all this gunfire has no doubt carried over to Kal.”

Smiling sweetly Gloria digs her heel into Casanova’s leg wound. “This is what I think of your list. Now you will listen to me, in ten minutes Endre will have you cleaned up, and one minute after that we will make our way down to this Kal and kill every last person who gets in my way to Solace.”

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