Chapter 12: Through the Underground

Toreus tried not to think of Antila Sojat as he followed the plate dwellers and the burly little Neanderthal through the corridors of the underground. There was no time to think of that. He needed to concentrate on the mission.

He used the Guider to contact Shakorja.

How are you doing, pal?

I am waiting near a tunnel in the warehouse district, transmitted the big cat. An exit from the underground.

Good, replied Toreus. We are presently headed in that direction. Keep the motor warm so we can get out of here.

Way ahead of you, Tor. There is considerable violent activity on the surface now. Gunshots and police cars racing about. I think that someone has started an e insurrection.

Of course, thought Toreus. Violence to cover up our activities. And on top of that maybe my violence to distract the RAMP away from a prison break or two.

Toreus did not like this at all. Innocent bystanders would be hurt and killed in that violence. Such careless disregard for lives was not something that he felt justified.

But the words he heard from Kothar’s father long ago came to him.

“You can never have freedom without some loss of blood.”

Perhaps because no one has ever tried hard enough, thought Toreus.

We draw near to the stairwell leading to the exit, Warrior, announced the Guider. Plate dwellers guard it but no sign of enemy forces.

There were plate dwellers around the staircase up ahead. They were armed with archaic weapons—both melee and firearm types. No sign of shields. If these guys got into a fight they stood a good chance of being killed.

“I guess you leave us here,” Paulo said. There was a very sad look on the Neanderthal’s face as he said it. “I wish that I could go with you.”

“Where will you go,” Toreus asked.

“I will return to Antila Sojat and continue our work.”

“Good,” said Toreus. “Take care of her, will you.”

“I will be more than happy to.”

Toreus realized that he had said a little too much about this girl that he hardly knew. Perhaps less said to one of her companions the better.

Toreus started up the stairs and noticed that the others were not going with him. “Good luck,” he said to Paulo.

The Thulian nodded and grinned. “We will all need that.”

Toreus turned and climbed he did not look back until he reached the top of the flight. Where he did he saw that the Neanderthal and the plate dwellers were gone. Faded back into the shadows to continue their business.

Damn you, Kothar if you get these people killed, he thought as he climbed. Damn you and damn me.

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