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Cat hung her head, Bellwether's telling off making her feel particularly young again. "I'm sorry," she mumbled. The dart was still hanging from her coat. It'd only scratched her apparently. Or gotten dislodged when she fell.
Whatever. She plucked it out and pocketed the dart.
A yawn split her jaw and Cat shook off some of the tiredness when Bellwether asked about Daniel. Still the same old, same- wait. No. Something was different.
Rather than the stoic expression he'd been sporting all day, Daniel's face lazily shifted into something of a troubled expression every now and again. Same with his fingers, which were twitching. A dream? Was Daniel dreaming? Dreams didn't happen to comatose people, did they? But then, it wasn't an ordinary coma to start off with, if that's even what it was.
"I think he's asleep," Cat told Bell. "He's having a dream."
Didn't look like he'd wake up easily though. The man's expressions and movements were too slow, too sluggish to consider Daniel's sleep to be light enough to wake up from. Maybe if they really tried, but it seemed cruel.
"Do you...want to switch places?" Cat offered. Bellwether looked like he was dead on his feet. In the back, there was more space to sprawl out and if need be, she could move the truck. Cat would feel safer if she could, even though everything outside seemed quiet now.
That and it was weird now that Daniel might wake up.
"You can sit on Daniel when he tries anything or whatever," she tried to convince Bellwether, or no wait, that was Spot who'd said that. Cat looked at the back of Spot's chair, wondering whether the other man was alright. She hadn't been awake to see what'd happened to Spot or Bellwether, but at least one of them was injured.
Daniel could hear them talk. Loud, booming voices created noises in succession, but the sounds were less overwhelming than they'd been a moment ago. Not by much though. Cat? Was that her name? Bell-boy. They were too loud for Daniel to make out what they were saying.
His hands responded with considerable delay and the mental exertion of moving them was quickly draining his stamina.
Another noise. Him?
Cat cocked her head, examining Daniel a little more closely.
Maybe she'd been wrong about him being asleep.
Was he waking up?
There was a lot of road. A whole lot of road, stretching to the horizon. Bell stared at it and sighed, wishing that staring would make the road contract, get shorter, send him to somewhere safe faster. He was exhausted. His eyelids felt heavy; keeping them open was a chore. He was starving, too, whenever he didn't want to puke. The wounds were closed, but they were still fucking up his gut a little. It'd be fine once he had time to sleep, he was sure of that. But there was no time to sleep. He had to keep moving.
At one point in time he thought he heard a soft groan from the back, but when he glanced in the rearview, everyone was still just as passed out as ever. He sighed and shook his head. One hand turned the radio up in an attempt to distract himself awake. It didn't really work.
He didn't keep to the highways, but split off, took the back roads and side streets, all the ways that were all but empty at this time of night--the ways a hunter wouldn't take to find them. It didn't really matter where he went, after all, as long as it was far away from where they'd fought the hunters. As long as he kept moving.
Motion in the backseat caught his eye, and he glanced back hopefully, but it was only Cat. "I told you to stay back," he snapped, irritated. Had to carry a whole extra body to the car because of her, and for what? She hadn't even helped, just passed the fuck out right out the gate. And now she cared if he got hurt. He rolled his eyes. "I'm fine."
The sedative hadn't lasted as long as he was used to, though. It'd only been an hour or so. Felt longer, but the clock told him otherwise. He glanced back at Cat, then at Spot. And the man who was twice her size and better fed was still out? Maybe Cat was right. Maybe there was a reason he'd brought her along with them.
"How's Daniel?" he asked, rubbing his eyes. He needed to find them a place to rest, but he was so tired. So, so tired. Ahead, a dirt road pulled off from the main road, and he slowed and took it. It dead-ended a few yards in at a trailhead, and he parked. Okay, that was it, he was done. They'd sleep in the car tonight.
Moving was difficult. Like he'd forgotten how to operate his muscles and had to relearn. Daniel concentrated, hard. Nothing. Motion. Sounds. They exploded in his head like fireworks. Rustling, shuffling, breathing. Everything sounded impossibly loud.
Bellwether. Daniel recognized that voice, wanted to speak, say anything, make a sound, but his body wasn't listening. It felt like he was trapped.
Shit. Was he trapped?
Like some sort of vegetable? Was he doomed to live his life out like this? Without even being able to tell anyone to just kill him and be done with it? No.
Okay. No need to panic.
The engine of the truck rumbled to life with a thunderous roar, so loud, it hurt his ears. Daniel thought he heard a soft whine then -might've been him. That was good though. He could still react. Move. Now he just needed to move.
How hard could it be to just lift a finger?
Noises stretched into painful concerts of blaring static, that pulsated in and out of focus.
Movement! Finally. Daniel felt something. The fabric of some cloth? The strands felt larger than life under his touch. They were everywhere. His face was on top of them. His neck, his hand, his finger shifted against the gruff fabric. Smelled like cheap detergent and badly masked blood.
He was getting tired.
From just trying to move his fingers? Seriously? Maybe. Maybe just a nap then.
[right [pic http://image.ibb.co/dfYoqF/ial_by_pherenike_d2tjxyz_zpsmlycrtnq.jpg]] Cat woke up first, blinking owlishly at the weirdly angled interior of the truck. Oh, she was still alive? Good. Well, as good as the headache pounding behind her eyes would allow her to feel anyway.
"What happened?" Cat asked listlessly, rubbing her eyes.
She'd survived the encounter at least, that was something. Probably not the best fight ever, or well, any fight at all. She'd left Daniel too.
Okay, so she screwed up a little.
It smelled like blood. The scent was heavy in the truck, fresher than when it'd been Daniel's blood cooking away all day, but heavier too.
"Are you hurt?" she asked Bellwether, sitting up. Her head felt like it had tissue lining her skull, preventing her brain from sloshing. She couldn't really put her feet down on account of Daniel though.
"Am I?" Cat checked herself over, but other than a killer headache, she appeared to have made it out alright.
Bell looked at the two unconscious bodies, then lifted his shirt to examine his stomach. It was a mess, but not as bad as he'd thought. Two shots went clear through him; another had clipped his side. In the depths of his gut, he could see black-stained flesh moving, working to repair itself; he grimaced. Gross.
But it'd need to heal before he could carry the others back. And chances were there were more hunters coming. They had to get a move on.
He closed his eyes and focused on the goat again, calling it once more to the forefront, though this time to help him heal. He could feel it draining his energy away, but when it was done, there were no longer gaping wounds through him.
Okay. Two rounds. He gave Cat a dirty look as he picked her up, in a fireman's hold this time so he'd be able to take the ladder. He'd told her to guard Daniel. Stay in the car. So why was she out here?
Oh well. Spilled milk, and all that. He hefted her down the ladder and through the train yard. Ugh. Was Cat always this heavy? Damn, she had more weight than he'd expected. Or he was more drained than he'd thought.
The truck came up at last. He hefted her into the back seat, over Daniel, who was on the floor for some reason. A quick check revealed that Daniel was still sleeping. He kissed the man's forehead, just glad he was okay, then headed back to the car. Spot was heavier than Cat, even, and Bell grumbled wordlessly to himself as he carried Spot. And he couldn't turn back into a dog, either? Asshole. He tossed Spot in the passenger's seat, then took a break to breathe, bent half over. His stomach was on fire, and he felt like he was going to puke again--but whatever. Deep breath. Deep breath. At last, he felt well enough to stand straight, and shook his head and swallowed what was left of the nausea away. Okay. Enough of that for now.
"Alright, sleeping beauties," he announced to the truck as he climbed into the driver's seat. He started the engine, then yawned. All else aside, it was late as shit. But what was he supposed to do, with the hunters crawling up his ass? "Let's get this show on the road," he announced to the carfull of gentle snoring, and pulled out of the lot. Damn hunters.
He was floating. Dreaming. Not quite. Memories surfaced. Good memories, bad memories. His mother getting beaten by his step-dad. Watching his dad being buried. Beating his step-dad. Meeting Lily. Watching Alice die. Or not die. The memory was distorted. It wasn't real.
But it was. In a way.
Lily was crying. Alone, in a corner. She'd lost the child they'd both wanted so badly.
They'd name her Alice.
The facility. Being held there, restrained and drugged. His mother, her warm hand to his unresponsive face. Cold, clinical hands manhandling his body and mind in whatever mould they desired.
Being drunk, behind the bar. Going to college. Making a shit-ton of money; stealing. The rush. Richard and Lily's betrayal. Landon. Them playing together. His mother's disapproval. Trying to commit suicide. Once. Twice.
Everything he'd done in life was half-hearted.
It was all just a game.
He wasn't the only one watching the memories and sorting through them -the goatling was there too. Rather than merely observe, it discarded the lies, the hallucinations and the delusions, until only the truth remained.
It wasn't that he forgot, it was just as if the goatling had categorized which memory was real and which was a lie.
Bellwether was real.
Lily had been real.
Alice hadn't been allowed to become real. Lily had miscarried before the child could have ever been born. It had hurt her to see him 'pretend' she existed.
It was all clear now.
Not different, but clear at last. And quiet.
His head was quiet. No more voices telling him what was what, no more whispers suggesting reality might be different from what he thought it was.
No more Lenny.
It was just a facet of himself he couldn't face.
No more Alice.
Just a child he didn't have.
Reality seeped through slowly. His ears were the first senses to awaken. Daniel could hear himself breathe. Felt his lungs expand and contract. After a while, and Daniel wasn't sure how long, he felt like he wasn't in control of his own breathing. Like he should be getting more oxygen. Like he should be moving, something.
A pinky, maybe?
Or open an eyelid. That'd be good. Seeing something.
He wanted to see Bell. Tell him everything.
The man stood no chance against him, in the end. They were both wounded, but Bell was more used to it, and the hunter hesitated for just a second too long, focusing on protecting his neck and face as Bell jumped at his legs. Bell plunged his knife into the hunter's inner thigh and split it open. Blood gushed out; it was over. Bell pulled free from the man, giving him a few kicks as he extracted himself just for fun, then stood, slowly, grimacing as his stomach muscles worked around fresh wounds. Shit, dammit. And this was a brand new shirt, too.
He looked back at the first hunter. No motion. None from the second hunter, either. These guys were both human, through and through. Double shit. He needed to get out of here, fast. He dragged the bodies together and kicked them under a nearby train car; good enough. His gut hurt like a fucker, though--and he'd have to drive, wouldn't he? It made him want to cry.
He turned and glanced back towards the truck, then did a double take. People were standing on a train car? Wait, that was Cat, wasn't it? As he watched, she crumpled, the other figure catching her; almost to his surprise, anger welled up from within him. What were they doing to his Cat? No one else was allowed to hurt her! He charged for the car, running down the alleyway between the train cars right at it.
Bob lined up his scope and was surprised to find the goat from earlier lined up perfectly in his sights. His first instinct was to pull the trigger, but no. He wasn't like those other idiots. He had time, he'd take it. He took a deep breath and held it as he lined up the shot. There--
Spot had watched it all go down, seen Cat stand, then fall. He didn't have a pipe, but he didn't need one; his hand clutched tight to a rock. Two more steps, and he threw with all his might, unleashing the rock straight at the hunter's head, little more than a lump over the profile of the train car.
The rock smashed into Bob's head just as he pulled the trigger, and he jerked to the side. His shot went wide; Bell dodged to the side as it whizzed past, colored dart buzzing through the air, slower than a bullet. Bob cursed and tried to line up another shot, but now his vision was blurry, the world spinning. One more. All he had to do was delay them. He could still get the shot--!
Spot launched himself into the air and grabbed the ladder halfway up. The hunter spun and shot at point blank. For the second time, Spot felt the sting of a dart impacting his flesh; unlike Cat, he didn't hesitate. He snatched up Cat's bat and struck the man's gun out of his hands, kicked him into his back, then dealt the killing blow, hard to the man's nose. It crumpled in, and the hunter stopped moving; Spot sank slowly to the floor, already losing his strength.
"You get him?" Bell asked from the floor, heaving as he caught his breath. No reply. Worried, he grabbed the ladder and hauled himself up to take a look--but everyone was fine, just dreaming. He sighed, then stared over his shoulder at their truck. Two more to carry piggyback.
Cat glanced back, hoping Daniel wouldn't pick now to wake up of all moments, but the truck was still doused in darkness and still as ever. She moved slowly, not making a sound. Noises came over the intercom. More shots echoed in the distance. Cat readied the bat, gripping it tightly with two hands. She'd never even knocked a person out before, but she knew it'd be bad if Bellwether or Spot got shot from a powerful weapon, capable of crossing that distance. She just didn't want to see either of them hurt again.
Cat pinpointed the man at last. On top.
High up. She'd have to put the bat away and climb up. Slowly. Carefully.
It was harder than she thought to find places to hold on to. Her foot slipped. Cat cringed, holding on tight, pressing her body close to the car she was climbing. Shit. Shit. Shit.
If the guy caught here there she was done for.
It didn't seem she was that guy's focus however and Cat gathered herself up enough to continue climbing.
Nervous energy buzzed through her system, even as she made her way on top and finally had a visual on the guy. He turned immediately.
"What the- I thought there were three," the man snarled. "Larry been lying again?"
Cat's eyes went wide. Shit. This wasn't good.
"That's alright," Bob started with a smirk. He stood from his perch and approached Cat. "You're a little one, aren't you?"
She stiffened in fear. No. No! She had to move, hit the guy, knock him out -something! Cat jolted back to life, but not in time. Bob raised a small gun -a dart-gun- and fired. She got hit almost instantly.
"Don't be scared, you'll just have a pleasant little sleep," the hunter soothed as he approached Cat. Cat shook her head. Her limbs started to feel heavy. Finally, Cat managed to reach for her bat, but it grew heavier with each second, until it fell and rolled away from her. Run. She had to -run. Cat turned. Bob caught her arm.
"Not so fast, it's alright, just give in," Bob soothed.
Cat's legs gave. Bob caught her before she could slip off the train. Her eyes grew heavy, the world spun wildly around her. It was easy for Bob to handle her. She got laid out on her side, and then Bob went back to his weapon.
THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen
/ 3d 13h 35m 0s
Even as he beat the first hunter's head in, the second hunter raised his weapon and fired. Bullets bit the earth around the both of them, springing up dirt, and Bell hunkered low over the hunter, covering his head with an arm as though that'd do anything. What the shit? Did he not care if his buddy lived? Not that his buddy was in good shape. He'd felt skull crack under his pipe--never a good sign for the guy on the business end.
A bullet grazed his side, another biting into his raised arm and clipping his jaw. Bell winced, then narrowed his eyes at the other guy and channeled the pain into rage, pulling on the goat's strength and speed all at once. He launched himself up off the first hunter and raced at the second; timing it, by some happenstance, at the exact moment the man lowered the weapon to reach for his radio. "Now," the man snapped, then dropped the radio in favor of his gun, but Bell had already gained a crucial few yards.
Bell snaked left, then right; bullets bit into his gut, little more than impacts in the adrenaline high. His feet stumbled, but the momentum of using goat's speed threw him forward; he fell into a somersault right at the man's feet and tumbled into his legs, bringing the hunter heavily down on top of him. The pipe was too long. He snatched his knife out of his coat and slashed at the hunter, drawing blood. The hunter shouted and elbowed him, and they struggled, Bell stabbing and smashing him with the pipe when he got room, while the man hit him with the butt of the gun, landing blows anywhere there was room to hit. One of them got Bell in the stomach, right on top of the fresh bullet wounds; he gagged, then vomited on the hunter. Stupid asshole hunter! He spat and stabbed the guy in the stomach--see how he liked it!
Spot moved slowly, taking in the whole lot as he moved. Where was that guy? Damn, it sucked to be a human. All his senses were weak. Even so, he heard a radio crackle to life and turned, listening for the direction. Over there? He reached for his pipe, only to find that the goat hadn't given him one. Okay. Bare handed it was. He circled casually towards the sound, coming up on it from the opposite side of where the truck was parked.
Don't mess up he said. Ray could only lift his head before his face was met with a steel pipe, a heavy weight pushing the air from his lungs. Stars blossomed in front of his vision, colouring the dark sky bright with splotches Ray knew weren't good.
Larry however didn't miss a beat and raised his weapon, shooting several times.
"Now," he spoke through the intercom. Larry stepped back, creating space between the monster and himself. Screw Ray, he could suffer his mistake -if they survived. His heart beat wildly in his chest.
One more second.
One more step and Bob would have a clear shot. It was no use shooting when they knew it might miss. An injured beast kicked hardest. They only needed these sedated. Bringing out their monstrous other half would mean the death of them all. And no. No.
This time, they wanted them alive.
There was something about this target.
Cat was doused in silence. All she could hear was Daniel's calm and even breathing and her own erratic gasps for air. What was happening out there? Spot had left them alone, told her to lay low and hide. She prayed to whoever would listen the hunters didn't give two shits about a decrepit old truck.
And then she heard them: shots. At each shot fired, Cat ducked a little further down the seat, hands to the top of her head. Daniel didn't flinch. Didn't move or shit. Spot suggested she pin the guy when and if he woke, but Cat doubted it'd happen.
She understood why he'd said it though; they didn't want Daniel to be in danger.
Whatever they were doing, this was dangerous.
And they'd just recovered. It was all going to be fine.
Static. A soft, distant 'now'. Was that? Shit. One of them was close by. Cat stiffened, hand tight on the bat -her only weapon. Now? What did they mean by now? Shit, Spot and Bellwether were miles away, so this was the third? The second? A sniper maybe? But what could she do? Obviously this guy was stationed near their truck, in case they were trying to make a break for it. But Spot had diverted their attention to the car, rather than the truck.
She patted Daniel's chest.
"Don't go anywhere," she whispered, then sneaked out the truck's door.
There had to be something she could do.
Aww, Cat cared. He shook his head and waved her away as he stepped outside. Spot smirked to himself. She was warming to them, after all.
Spot followed Cat back to the car, then obeyed her instructions, laying Daniel low on the floor. "Keep an eye on him, alright? If he wakes up or starts to act weird, hold him down. Just sit on him, if you need to." He glanced around. No sign of the hunters for now. But one of the scents had been... in this direction. A little more distant. He stared off in that direction for a moment, then shook his head. "Lay low. Stay quiet. I don't think they know about the truck yet." He nodded Cat a farewell, then took off across the parking lot, moving casually like he was just out for a walk. He had Bell's face, which was unfortunate, but maybe he could confuse the hunters a little with it. If he guessed right, that was, and he was heading towards the van.
Okay. Two to three hunters. Potentially hybrids. Spot hadn't said anything, but it might just be that he couldn't sniff it out. Bell glanced around, but for now he was alone. Good.
A ladder was stuck down the side of a nearby boxcar. He grabbed it and climbed up, moving quickly. At the top, he crouched down, low against the car; the darkness would mask him somewhat, but he'd still be better off presenting a low profile to the hunters. From up here, he surveyed the yard. Train cars, random debris, bits of metal that became shapeless lumps in the falling dark. A fence, in the distance. Nothing.
Motion. Bell swiveled on the spot, turning to face where the motion was coming from. Two men, like Spot had said, about a row of cars away from one another. Both carried weapons, heavy guns that belonged on the battlefield moreso than an empty trainlot. He narrowed his eyes. Alright. There were the hunters.
He'd go for the taller one first. See if he couldn't take the man down without too much sound. The man was the closer of the two, in any case, and steadily drawing closer. Bell climbed along the roof of the boxcar, staying low. In one hand he held his pipe at the ready; the other hand clenched the roof of the boxcar. His feet were braced behind him, ready to push. Another step. One more. Just a little closer.
The hunter was beneath him, walking peacefully by. Bell launched himself from the roof of the boxcar at the hunter, striking downward with the pipe. The man only had time to flash a fearful look skyward before the pipe met his forehead; Bell rode him to the ground, already raising the pipe to strike again.
It was weird having two Bellwethers. It sounded like they were having a conversation with themselves. With himself? Plural or singular? Cat shook her head. Whatever this Bellwether was, he seemed to care as much for Daniel as the other, and share the same kind of jealousy, undoubtedly. So how had they managed to get this one to be a dog?
Damn it, and he could've helped a little more when Daniel had his guts smeared across the streets!
Whatever. Water under the bridge. For now.
They had to move quickly.
Two or three didn't sound too bad, but it'd only taken two to take down both her parents.
"Bell? Be safe?" she said, hesitating shortly at the back of the car. Before Bellwether could see her embarrassment Cat jumped after Spot.
"Is he going to be alright on his own?" Cat whispered quietly.
They were at just as much of a risk, probably. She was faster than Spot, who was carrying a still comatose Daniel -this time Daniel had it easy; not having to go through the whole 'being hunted' experience. She was kind of jealous.
And to boot, both Bellwether and Spot had agreed she was to wait at the truck with Daniel. What if the hunters had found their truck first? Obviously they'd seen them drive, if Bellwether saw them in their white truck earlier.
Who said they'd be safe in the truck?
Cat took a deep breath and realized they'd been stupid -Bellwether still had the truck's keys and everything. She could've at least fled to a safer location. Now she'd be stuck.
Before she realized and wanted, the truck loomed up ahead.
"Just place him in the back, on the ground, so we won't be seen," Cat offered up.
The least they could do was hide.
"How stupid are you?" the hunter ground out.
"You let a mother-fucking dog get away?"
"I didn't think it'd run like that -it was way faster than I expected, Larry, give me a break."
"We don't get breaks, you moron. Did you call it in, Bob?"
A crackle over the coms signified 'yes', yes the man had. Good, backup ought to arrive soon. And they'd need it. He'd only heard stories, but already Larry could tell this wouldn't be pretty.
"Find a nice position and keep me covered...oh and Ray?"
"Don't mess up twice."
Led them straight to--shit. "Yeah, probably," he said, tossing a tense look out the window. But first, he needed Spot to change. He couldn't carry a comatose man and a passed-out dog, and he didn't want to leave either of them behind.
Spot changed. He was clothed this time, and while Bell had no earthly idea where the goat had conjured clothes from, he was glad for it. The man gave him a drowsy look, then blinked and shook his head, pushing from all fours to his feet. "Hunters," he said, pointing behind him.
"Yeah, we gathered," Bell replied dryly.
"Following--they were following me. I think I threw them off, but I'm not sure. But they're close. We need to move." Spot glanced around the room, then moved past Bell and went to Daniel, running a hand over the man's face as he checked on him. Bell watched for a second, then glanced back out the open door into the darkness. There were worse things to worry about.
What did they do? "No, well..." he glanced at Spot. "How many were there?"
Spot glanced back, thinking. "Uh. Two, I smelled two. No, three. Two or three."
Bell nodded to himself. So one team. Okay. That was doable. Except they had to protect Daniel, too. Okay. So he'd be doing this alone, then. "Spot, grab Daniel, go out the back of the car. Cat, go with him. You two go back to the car and hunker down. I'll be right behind you."
He glanced at the darkness, almost expecting a hunter to loom out of it at any moment. Twilight was still clinging to the corners of the world, the strange half-light reducing his vision almost to zero; he had to hope the hunters were in the same situation. And if they were a lone team like he hoped they were, cut off from the man group, then as soon as he ended them, this whole mess would end. He grimaced. Be nice to have Daniel around, for the goatling's shout, but... too late for that.
"They're close. We won't have much of a head start," Spot warned him, but didn't hesitate in picking up Daniel. Bell couldn't take them alone, but having Daniel around would only hold him back. He'd go drop Daniel in the car with Cat, then circle back and come help. It was the only way. He unlocked the door in the back of the car and stepped out, then glanced back, waiting for Cat to join him.
Bell nodded. He walked out of the front door and into the night, glancing around as he did. Nothing. Not yet. Well then. He looked up at the next car over and grinned. He'd give the hunters the surprise of their lives.
She let go of the window as if it had stung her. Cat was scared. That didn't mean Bellwether's words were ill spent on her. So Daniel believed Bellwether's choices were influenced by the goat inside of him? Were hers too? If she was a goat? Was that why she'd decided to go with these two men and their pet dog?
So then were Daniel's actions too-? Maybe that's why he hadn't been scared to take the goat's gift.
"I know," Cat said. She'd seen them kill her parents after all.
Heard it all.
Bellwether tensed and Cat found herself tensing too, reaching for the bat she'd been given, but really? What was she going to do against bullets with that?
Spot. She sighed in relief. He was alright.
"What's wrong with him?" Cat asked, sneaking closer. A dart? She plucked it out of Spot's fur and studied the projectile. "They sedate their prey? Wait, Spot might've lead them straight to us this way," she told Bellwether.
Right there on the floor, the dog turned into a different version of Bellwether.
Cat stepped back. They were relatively safe inside the car because it was all metal and aside from the windows, getting a bullet through that would require special ammunition she was sure the hunters hadn't brought -at the very least no darts could get through.
But they were trapped inside too. If someone tossed a gas-grenade inside they were pretty much done for too.
She didn't know what to do, had never dealt with a situation quite like this. Cat imagined Daniel would just grin and shout for the hunters to come at them then.
God, she wished Daniel was awake. There was just no way they were moving fast with Daniel comatose and unable to fight.
"What do we do? We can't leave Daniel, but I don't think we should stay," Cat hissed under her breath. The cover of darkness would hide them to a certain extent but if the hunters had heat-detecting gear then they'd be done for in a second.
Cat's heart was thundering in her chest. Panic shot through her, making her shaky on her feet. Fight or flight; her body couldn't coax a proper decision out of her.
He shook his head. What did he see? Nothing. "A white van," he said. "They move around in white vans. But..." he shook his head. "I mean, so does your average plumber. I don't know."
Ah--shit. Finally puzzled that one out, had she? "Yeah--Spot is, he's kind of...a version of me," he said. "I don't know about you. If you are one, or..." He shrugged. The only ones who knew were her parents' killers. And the goats, but ha, good luck asking them.
Cat looked so serious. He didn't know how to react. All retreating into herself like that, how was he supposed to deal with that? "I don't know," he said, honestly. "I don't know what you are. I brought you because...because there's a base we need to take down, and we need help to do it. But...I don't know. Daniel thinks I move because of the goat. That it controls me. I don't know if that's true. But if it is..." he shrugged, pushed his hair back. Maybe it'd made him bring her, and if so, then...well, there was probably a reason. She was probably... something. A goat, or something else.
Keep watch? "Yeah, probably," he said. That much, he knew. "Probably don't want to press up against that window," he pointed out, gesturing for her to move back. "They use bullets, you know."
There was motion outside, something shifting in the dark. Bell spun around and squinted, staring into the dark. What was that? Was there something out there? Someone? He couldn't see.
Motion again, from straight ahead. Bell reached for his pipe, ready to attack. The shape in the darkness resolved at last, Spot racing at them. The dog trotted inside and looked around, mildly puzzled by Bell's pose; had he done something wrong?
Bell sighed out and bent to greet the dog. Spot sniffed his hand, then staggered slightly to the side. His legs gave out from under him, and the dog fell to the side, eyes dull. A dart stuck out of his side, bright even in the darkness.
Shit. Bell's heart started to race. Hunters. "Spot, change," he snapped, shaking the dog's head to try and get his attention. "Go human!" If he was lucky, the change might be enough to snap him out of the tranquilliser. They'd need all the manpower they could muster tonight.
Nutrients? How did peanut-butter equate to nutrients? Cat thought about it for a second and then shook her head. Whatever Bellwether wanted to feed the comatose Daniel was fine by her, as long as she wasn't the one having to somehow feed the guy.
So if he knew Spot would be back, why was Bell so nervous?
God, would it kill the guy to relax?
"It's not what?" she posed from her spot on the bench.
Cat sat up a little, slightly concerned now. Was something up?
Hunters. The mere mention of the words chilled her spine. Those were the people who had killed her would-be-goat-parents. She still hadn't decided whether that was a good or a bad thing, though Daniel and Bellwether made it out that the hunters' methods weren't 'right' somehow. How that made what Bell and Daniel did right was lost to Cat, but she was pretty sure the guys were just as clueless.
They didn't seem the sort to think things through.
"What did you see?" Cat asked, a serious undertone to her voice. If she knew, she could see whether she recalled anything of the likes too -verify Bellwether's sighting.
Would they sneak up on them during the night, while they slept?
The idea had Cat bundle her legs close, arms around her knees.
"He's not gone, he's just...exploring," Cat tried. "I'm sure they won't be bothered with a dog," she said. "Or would they?"
A funny little idea crept into her head. Daniel was part-goat, or whatever. Bellwether was a whole one, like her parents had been and so it wasn't strange that the hunters would come after him. That left Spot.
Why would they bring a dog on their little road-trip?
Why would they bring her?
Was there something she didn't know that she ought to be aware of?
"Is Spot one -am I...?" Cat asked, soft, almost a whisper. Her eyes were trained at Bellwether. "Why did you decide to bring me?" And the hunters had tried to get to her as well.
"Am I a goat, Bell? Did...did I die?"
What if Spot was out there, alone, facing off against those hunters? Stupid it might be, she'd grown fond of Spot. She'd gotten used to Bellwether and Daniel, even if it was awkward at times. It was easier, safer, having two gay men around. She was assured nothing funny would happen, but was also protected from other vagrants.
Cat moved and put her hands against the window, staring outside to see whether she could distinguish the white and brown stain of a mutt amid the dark. This was scary.
The idea of them being hunted was scary.
"Maybe we should keep watch?"
THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen
/ 4d 20h 42m 52s
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