"I did not expect to see you up," he stated.
Geoff looked at him and nodded as he slipped a clip into his borrowed gun. "As long as I stay near Witashnah– I should be fine."
"That lets the rest of us spread out a little more," Davy agreed.
Wicasa looked at them as if they were mad. "If Spiral shows up..."
"We'll deal with him," Davy answered coldly.
Wicasa's eyes narrowed as he realized Davy wasn't just talking about Spiral– he was accepting the possibility of having to do the unthinkable. He wondered if he would have the strength if it had been his brother.
"We know the odds," Boomer assured him as he slipped a combat knife into its sheath.
"And we aren't taking any chances," Kenny added.
"This is the only chance Rabbit and Joey have– and if Spiral's going to make his move, you can bet it'll be there."
Wicasa watched them and then nodded. He could understand now why Brighton feared these brothers– hurt, beaten, they only seemed to come back stronger. "We leave in one hour."
"We'll be there," Davy assured him.
Looking at the brothers, he knew they would be.
Rabbit watched as the General's men escorted Joey to the van. When he tried to move towards his brother, the guards guns came up.
"Don't do anything stupid," the General warned. "Its almost over and it would be a shame if something unpleasant was to happen here..."
He was forced to stand there and watch as Joey was shoved into the back, and locked in. Then the General gestured towards the door to his own car.
"Get in Mr. Wilson," he said in an almost social tone.
Rabbit looked at the car. Wherever they were going, Joey would arrive hidden in the back of the van, and he would arrive in the open with no visible signs of coercion. The perfect illusion of cooperation.
"You don't need to do this..."
"Oh, but I must– you see, with your reputation... and history– you're the perfect choice for this little mission."
"You'll find out soon enough Mr. Wilson– need to know... When it's time Corporal Zentraden will give you the specifics."
"Then you won't be there..."
The General gave him an almost patronizing look. "I'm a command officer– this is an enlisted man's detail. Don't worry though– I'll be watching everything."
Derrick glowered as the General activated the cameras and called up the feed from the back of the van where Joey was being locked into one of the bench seats.
"Just in case someone decides to look inside," the General informed him.
"If anything happens to him...."
The General sighed. "That all depends on you Wilson– I thought I'd made that clear... it all depends on your performance. Just remember-- I'll be watching..."
Rabbit glared at him one more time, and then complied. There was nothing else he could do.
"Enjoy your trip," the General told him as he closed the door behind Derrick.
Corporal Zentraden smiled at him from the front seat.
"Just follow your orders and everything will be fine," he said.
"Fine..." Rabbit repeated woodenly. "You got a strange idea of fine..."
Wicasa watched as two details became one. The Wilsons seemed oddly at ease in the uniforms his people had provided. Even Tommy was with them. The ork would remain at the command post– monitoring the scene while the rest of them stayed with Witashnah.
Their assignments were simple– He and Davy would try to warn the UCAS delegation of the danger, while Tasunke and Geoff would stay with Witashnah. The rest of his people would surround podium, in two groups. Boomer and Kenny taking up positions between the two teams. Integrated and yet separate.
He prayed that Davy and Geoff were right on this– they were only going to get one chance. He addressed his people– telling them what would be needed and that this would most likely be the place for Spiral to make his move.
Once Witashnah performed the sacrifice– her power would be too strong for him– he had to attack before then– he just had to.
As they moved to the vehicles, he overheard Davy as he spoke softly to his brothers. Hearing him, Wicasa was glad they were on his side.
Davy looked at each of his brothers in turn before speaking. He kept his tone soft and calm, but none of them were fooled. This was probably the hardest mission they'd faced– it involved family.
"No matter what– our first concern has to be Witashnah. If it comes down to a choice– she's your primary objective. Protect her. If you have to take Rabbit out– "
He let his breath out slowly, knowing he was signing at least two brother's death warrants.
Geoff took over for him. "If you have to take Rabbit out– do it. We can't afford to play the General's game... likewise– if I start to... change. Take me out, fast. I'm compromised... don't forget that... not for minute."
Davy looked at Geoff and then bowed his head. They needed Geoff as the early warning system for Spiral– and that meant running the risk of having him on the playing field– where Spiral could use him... try to use him.
"The only chance we have is to break the General's game– before anything serious happens. Once we've warned the UCAS security detail-- I'll be keeping an eye on Geoff and Witashnah. I'm counting on all of you."
Boomer gave a solemn nod as Kenny tried to give Geoff an encouraging grin.
"Let's do this already," Boomer growled.
Davy looked at Geoff one last time.
"You heard the man," Geoff told him.
"Stay crisp," Davy ordered.
"You got it boss," Boomer answered.
Rabbit watched as the van pulled to a stop in front of them. As the MPs inspected the van, he realized that the plates were UCAS military. His eyes widened slightly as Corporal Zentraden turned and smiled at him.
"A rather well choreographed scenario, don't you agree?"
Rabbit snarled slightly, but said nothing.
"Just sit back.. You're my specialist– and I'm taking you to your assigned post."
Rabbit let his breath out slowly as the MPs closed the van up and waved it through. There was nothing he could do.
When the car moved forward everything was in order. The General had everything covered. Once they were waved through, the unholy convoy continued to a small building on the outskirts of the town. Whoever the target was– Rabbit knew they were important.
He bowed his head. There was no choice here– his brothers were counting on him.
Wicasa led his people through security. He stood off to the side, identifying each member of the team to the security detail at the gate. Each man was photographed, then handed an ID with his name and picture printed on it.
As they approached the podium, a team of UCAS Secret Servicemen greeted them. Wicasa and Davy moved forward.
"The area is secure," the first agent told him, as a second stared at Davy for a moment before looking at his name tag.
Davy nodded. "Yes sir."
The Secret Servicemen exchanged looks then back to Wicasa and Davy "What's going on?"
"This man's brother has been kidnaped. We believe he is being used to create an incident between our peoples."
"If this is an attempt to scare us..."
"My brother is a trained sniper. UCAS trained," Davy answered. "If anything were to happen here..."
The men looked at each other again and then nodded. "We'll notify command– but I doubt he's anywhere near here. We have secured the area and the only thing out of the ordinary– is you."
Davy looked around and shook his head. "He's here– it's the only thing that makes sense."
Wicasa and Davy watched as the men returned to their command post.
"We'll see..." Davy sighed.
"You expected different?"
Rabbit climbed out of the car as two men from the building moved to the back of the van and helped pick up the bench seat from the back of the van– a crate with a cushion on top– nothing more.
A crate with Joey inside.
He forced himself to remain calm as they dragged the crate into the building. Once it was inside, Corporal Zentraden nodded towards the door.
"Better take your post soldier."
Rabbit gave him a cold stare then moved. ‘You'll get yours,' he vowed to himself.
The Corporal merely smiled and followed him inside.
Witashnah gave Geoff a slight smile as she prepared to take her position. He smiled back at her, and nodded. There was still no sign of Spiral, and standing this close to her– he could believe they had a chance. That feeling was short lived.
He could feel her discomfort as she climbed the stairs and was on display before the media. The President of the UCAS was already there– waiting for her... waiting for them.
As the President stood, Geoff stiffened. He could feel Spiral– and he was very near.
"Alert," he subvocalized. "Spiral is in the area and active."
Davy moved to Witashna's far side where he could keep an eye on the President and Geoff.
As a barrage of camera flashes greeted them, the brothers began scanning the area for sniper positions and signs of Spiral.
Geoff moved forward slightly as he sensed the creature stirring inside him. "Moving in... keep alert..."
He scanned the area, trying to remain where Davy could take him out if necessary. It had to be here– it just had to be.
He looked at the President, and mentally drew lines from every building in town. His eyes widened slightly as he realized his mistake.
"No!" he screamed pulling Witashnah behind him.
Everything around him exploded in a flash of light and pain and then– nothing.
Return to Story Page