The …ninja… writhed in Mystral’s grip, mentally and physically. He fought her, struggling against the invasive Working with everything he had. Zen.
Zen. A place of quiet. A place of water.
The storm rushed through, ripping the water out of the pond, revealing his thoughts below. The camp. The quiet trade in those who would grow up to be such very good slaves. The wooden chains.
Calm. The ninja breathed. He could not kill himself, as he should, as he had been ordered to. But he could dream of the fire. Fire. Fire, and the way it touched the sky. The way his home had burned. The way the bridges behind him had burned.
The storm rushed in and blew out the fire, showing the camp, again, the fortress with its little cabins, so tidy, all in a row, with its silence. With the silence of death, although many people lived.
Snow, and the way the children sometimes did die, in the winter, hauling wood, doing chores.
The coffles being led to sale across the continent.
Fire? The ninja was running out of energy. He felt as if his mind might burn out.
And that would be okay. He would never survive the failure of this mission, anyway.
Fire. He remembered the fire.
Luke knew he was out of control, or, at the least, balancing on a knife-edge of control and rage.
Bring it on he’d shouted at the wind, and then, angrier, “Come to me, or, goddamnit, I will find you.”
No-one came. He couldn’t actually leave. He wouldn’t leave the children. But he needed to hurt someone. He needed to hear them break beneath his hands.
He muttered Working after Working, searching the surrounding area. There, there, there. There. The dead ones, the incapacitated ones. They were all as he had left them. There. And there, one, walking towards him, trying to sneak up on him.
“You will die,” he informed the air, intentionally mis-aiming his call. “For invading my home and attacking my family. You will die.”
“But you will die, too.” The voice was female, level, cool, and evil. Luke spun as if surprised to look the direction the voice came from – not where the woman was coming from. He readied his attack. Let her think him blustering and foolish. “And your children will go to the Unit. No matter what you do, foolish man.”
“What Unit?” He strode forward, just a step. Not far enough to leave the children un-protected, but far enough to make it look that way.
“My Unit.” She really thought he was a moron. “The Unit.” Now her voice was coming from yet another direction, and she was sneaking up on the kids. Luke did not smile, but inside, the fighting glee rose in him. “Your kids will do well. Then again, mutt children always do.”
Mutt. For a moment, he saw red. Control it, old son, control it… The voice inside his head was Mike’s. He’d worry about that another time. Right now, he had a bitch to capture.
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