Between a Dark and a Darker Place
February 17, 2014
Lanna rolled onto her back. Her lean body glistened with a layer of perspiration. “I think that was our eighth bout since we checked into this place,” she purred.
Jack’s back was toward her as he slipped on his jeans. “Sounds about right and it works for me.” He smiled over his shoulder, “Eight is Yig’s lucky number.”
“I hope you’re all happy. You showing up at The Joint pretty much insures that I’ll never work in Boston again. Hell, never go back to Boston again.”
Jack stood and watched the waves crash against the shore below them. Rain hammered the coast and showed no signs of slowing. “How long do you think it would have been before they dragged you out of that place whether or not we were around?”
“I’m not sure,” she purred. “I can usually find some what to convince most people that I can be a very useful girl.”
He smiled, despite himself. “I’m sure you can. Still allowing some Caradon’s mutated hands to touch you… I’m not sure much is worth such a price.”
“Don’t underestimate mutates, hun. Sometimes they have things that—hey where you going?”
“I need to find Bruin and see where he stands.”
“Wait, you don’t even know where I stand.”
He flashed her another smile. “Nah, I think I do.”
* * *
Jack found Bruin and Phillip drinking in the hotel’s small dark bar. Shadows played over both men’s faces and Jack wondered if they had asked the bartender to dim the lights. As he drew in closer, Jack felt pleased that the Stalwart of the dark one had at least removed his hockey mask.
“What can I get you?” Phillip asked while hurrying behind the bar.
Jack had learned better than to ask where the bartender might have been and just requested an ale before joining Bruin at the center table.
The man’s black locks covered his face almost as well as the hockey mask had. The rest of his wardrobe would have made a Darcarre jealous. Black jeans, met a black shirt and high boots. Even his drink looked like ink.
“So what have you two been discussing?” He asked.
“Mostly how amazing it is that you all still draw breath,” Bruin said.
Jack leaned in. “So you’re saying we shouldn’t be trying to keep the Xemmoni from claiming the whole city and perhaps initiating a ritual what could damage the war on multiple worlds?”
“I’m not saying that at all,” Bruin whispered. “I’m just saying that I’m surprised your luck hadn’t run out and it probably would have if Lanna and I hadn’t come to your rescue.”
“We’ve been through worse.”
“Again, I’m not surprised. Your blundering methods must lead you into all sorts of trouble.”
“Hey,” Phillip said, before Jack could reply. “We were luring them back into the woods. That worked well for a while.”
“Yes,” the Tezcatlipoca follower said, “but when we’re dealing with a mixture of Magick backed up by technology, secrets don’t keep long.”
Trying to keep his voice even, Jack asked, “So what big innovate plan would you suggest?”
Bruin steepled his fingers. “There are many things I might suggest, but first we have to determine if Felix and Blaze are ready, willing, or able to join in this battle.”
Jack tiffed and took a sip of ale. “That’s your big idea? We would have been doing that anyway.”
“Perhaps, but I have another idea. I know where a Darcarre nest is located. I’d like to hit them where it hurts.”
“You want us all to attack it?”
“Noooooooo, just me and maybe Lanna for back up. I’m immune to their darkness Bestows. I go in, assassinate as many as possible. If any try to flee, Lanna can be waiting for them outside.”
“What if there are too many?” Phillip asked.
“That’s where your team comes in. You will go for Felix. This will perhaps empty out more of the nest when the Darcarre call for back up. Then, hopefully before they reach your battle, the Darcarre will be summoned back their own nest to keep me from slaying them all.” He favored them with a dark grin. “This way, we have a chance to free Felix, keep a huge group of Darcarre out of both our battles, and wipe out a nest all at once.”
Phillip looked over at Jack. “The plan has some merits.”
“True, if it looks like we’re heading toward Felix, they might allow us to continue into the city so we can spring the trap they have undoubtedly set for us there. The downside… they have set a trap for us there.”
“But your predictability will work in our favor instead of against us.”
“Easy for you to say,” Jack grumbled. “You’re not in the trap springing group.”
“Yes, I’m in the wipe out a whole nest from the inside by myself group.”
Phillip shrugged. “I’m not sure what else we can try, Jack. We keep thinning their ranks, but more pour into my city every day. At least this way, maybe Bruin can take down a few leaders.”
“Perhaps,” Jack leaned back in his chair. “It’s time for Felix to either join us or leave town. At least with this plan, he’ll have that chance. I do agree with Bruin on one thing. We’ve been mostly spinning our wheels killing the rabble while their leaders probably grow closer to their real agenda.”
“Yes,” Bruin said through clenched teeth. “If we don’t get our act together your end game will be fighting pudwacks and then wondering what’s happening while you and Phillip fade into nothingness.”
Jack stood up. “Alright, we’ll review this with the ladies, but Bruin, I want you to do me a favor.”
“If you do run into some high ranking Darcarre. Try to take one of them alive.”
To be continued next Monday