Shadow Wolf time! This is part of my weekly writing exercise, written raw and rough. The first story arc, Blade Breaker, can be found here. The first story of this arc, Red Fangs, can be found here. The previous week’s post can be found here.
None of the others could hear the sobbing that filled my ear, but that was to be expected. My sense are well-honed. I itched to respond, as all those with heart do when they hear another’s distress, but I knew it was a trap. I was glad that Berkhilda did not hear; it would have been difficult to keep her from charging in.
“Did Cinder expect us to come?” asked Berkhilda. The thought sent a shiver down my spine; such a prediction would signify a foe of truly fearsome cunning.
“No,” said Murith. “He expected the watch to come.”
“That makes more sense,” I said. “How would the watch go about securing this area.”
“It depend on who is commanding,” said Murith. “You can be damned sure that I would see this as a trap.”
“But you are supposed to be dead,” I noted. “Killed by vamps. Imagine whoever they sent to replace you, after mopping up the lessers, they find this. How would they play it.”
“If they go by the book, they cover all exits and flush whoever is in there.” said Murith. I raised my brow. I only know one watch Sargent who is that cautious when blood has been spilled. “Fine. They would find the access points and move in swiftly, attacking any hostiles they encounter. They would sweep room by room after securing the prisoner.”
“So they would go in and find whomever is crying,” I said, tapping my chin.
“Why does this matter?” asked Berkhilda.
“Because if I can guess what Cinder expects us to do, We stand a better chance of not getting caught in his trap.” I answered. “If Murith is right then he may have poached some very dangerous substances this evening; perhaps he doesn’t want to sell them and instead wants to use them, letting the watch trigger them.”
“We have only a short time before the sun rises,” growled Berkhilda.
“I will be quick then.”
I stalked toward the sound of distant whimpering. It grated on my ears, and my heart leapt when it ceased momentarily, only to start anew a few heartbeats later. I could tell now that it was a woman.
The smell of blood and narcotics was overwhelming, increasing as I prowled closer. The most obvious entrance to Cinder’s local hideout was a basement doorway, but I could not see behind it and could not be certain that there was a tripwire or some other mechanism behind it. I did notice that the door looked new and sturdy, surprising for a supposedly derelict area.
I made my way around the basement. The building must have been a warehouse or sanitarium at some point, judging by the bars on the windows. None of them looked worth testing. After long minutes of frustration I found a cellar hatchway with a lock on it. The lock was open. I took a closer look, smiling when I saw the shadow of a wire through the crack of the hatch.
Git was there when I returned, carrying his adventuring kit. He shrugged, when I nodded to him. It looked like he’d applied some salve to Murith’s wounds while they waited. Berkhilda pace impatiently, axe in hand,
“Just the man I wanted to see,” I said to Git. “Do you have any of that acid that you used to weaken those steel bars in Jagen’s crypt?”
“Something like that.”
“Good. This place is rigged to release something dangerous if we go through the doors. I’m not certain what it is, but I found a trap-wire on the back door.”
“Why don’t we just leave it?”
“Someone is in there,” said Murith.
“Well, I also think it might be rigged to go off on its own.” I added. “I’m going to guess at dawn. We need to move Git.”
“Wait… why dawn?”
“Because the victim is a vampire…”