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He grunted. No painkillers? Dammit. Hadn't they always been vital materials before? And Landon hadn't been that bad with them, had he? Well. He probably had, it was just a matter of whether Bell had noticed or not, really.
"I'm good," he replied belatedly, upon realizing that Daniel was probably waiting for a reply before he went. He couldn't imagine that lying down and putting more skin against the seat would be more comfortable. If he could float on a cloud right now,that would be perfect. Or stand, even. He took the candy bar and started to unwrap it slowly, barely even noticing what it was before he took a bite. It tasted super-sweet, his senses heightened from the exertion until it was almost painful to eat, but he managed anyways. Needed food more than anything.
Once that was done, he crumpled the wrapper and tried to find a comfortable way to sit. Every bump the car drove over was a spine of burning pain through his skin;it was impossible. Only when they returned to well-paved roads could he finally find a comfortable seating posture.
Then he withdrew from the world, focusing on drawing out the goat's healing abilities. The bullet holes closed first, but the same as before, the acid took forever to heal. He found himself drifting off, losing concentration. Sleep loomed, and he fought it, hard, but ultimately lost the battle and slid into an uneasy doze. In his dreams, dark things curled and coiled, oozed and boiled, and he heard a distant voice speaking to him: speaking urgently. He had to-- if he didn't-- But do what? Do what? What?
"What?" he asked, blinking awake and struggling to sit up, heart beating the same as when he'd been sleeping in class and got called on by the teacher. Only it wasn't a teacher. Just Landon. No, Daniel. Just Daniel.
He pushed his hair back and looked around blearily, taking everything in again. Some part of the back of his brain chewed over what Daniel had said, trying to decide sounds half-heard through sleep, and finally pieced it together. "Oh, food? Yeah, food, food is good," he replied, looking himself over. He wasn't all healed, but he was a lot better. The bullet wounds were only scars, and the places where acid had scoured his skin were no longer so droopy and angry red. Though...he'd lost his shirt again. Landon would be pissed about that...
"I'm not a very imaginative person, but from the looks of you, not well?" Daniel guessed with a smirk. The bullet-holes were really the lesser of Bellwether's injuries, since they weren't made of acid that prevented goats from healing flesh, whereas the acid on the man's side was. Daniel watched Bell sit down and watched the man dispassionately. Injuries like that were a pain -literally.
"No, did away with the last batch on account of addict-face," he muttered. Or maybe they'd just run out. Or had they lost the last batch some place?
Whatever. Daniel licked his lips as he reached for the car-keys, which were still conveniently lodged in the ignition.
"You sure you want to be sitting up, Bell-boy? Couch back there looks comfortable?" Daniel suggested. If Bell was going to do the whole zoning-out thing again, Daniel didn't really care to have Bell moan about sore and stiff muscles from sitting in a cramped chair for god knew how long. Daniel passed Bell a candy-bar.
"Just saying, it's there," he shrugged and waited for Bell to think things through. Daniel ran everything by in his head; gas -check. Candies -check. Weapons -bonus items were in the trunk. What else was there? Aside from a stray bottle of water which had nearly been emptied already. He'd get new ones as soon as they found a proper stop.
His ankle really hurt. Daniel grimaced and considered how long he'd be able to drive with that. Pretty long, probably, as long as they left the shoe on. It'd force the swelling down.
"Right," Daniel shook himself, checked whether Bell was secure and started up the car. The green Sedan was way lighter and far nimbler than their clunky van from before. It even smelled nice. For however long that would last. Not very long.
Daniel backed the car up until there was space enough to turn and then drove back to the gate. It'd been left open by the hunters. Daniel didn't see why he'd shut it either. All that was there, was an abandoned white van now.
After a few hours, Daniel had trouble using his hand. The wrist that had been grabbed at was swollen and sore with dark bruises. Daniel didn't think his ankle fared much better. Nothing. There was nothing on the way that would even remotely have something beyond aspirin.
"Do you want to stop for food?" Daniel asked, slightly concerned about Bell and more than done with driving for now.
Landon tumbled right off the car. If he had any concerns, they evaporated when the man called something or another pretty. At least he was alright, if magnificently unhelpful.
Oh,and now it was 'loot the car', huh? Had to do all the damn work around here. He sighed and climbed off the hood slowly, favoring the side with half its skin burned off. Moving was difficult, now that the adrenaline was starting to wear off. He could feel all the places where the bullets had gone, like knives running through him. They ached when he moved, ached when he stood still. One had grazed him and just gouged out a semicircular hole in his arm, and he peered at it, somewhat curious. It'd be kind of cool, if it didn't hurt so bad. Searching around his body for other holes, he was so distracted he almost didn't notice that Landon had called him Bell-boy for a moment.
Which meant, of course, that it wasn't Landon at all, but instead Daniel.
He suppressed a sigh and sat down on the hood of the car, resting while Daniel went about the business of looting the van. "Yeah, I got shot," he said, watching the other move around. "Guy pulled a gun on me, and I tackled him, so that went about as well as you can imagine."
He got up when Daniel threw the gas in the back and grabbed his coat, then went to wipe the glass, goat-goo, and everything else off the passenger's seat. It came out easier than he'd thought, and he sat down heavily, then regretted it as his back hit the seat. Ugh, hurt just to sit. He should've thought that rush through a little more. Sure, he could heal it, but if he didn't have to, he shouldn't have to, right? Though even looking back on it, he couldn't think of a way to have avoided it. Maybe if he'd... no, even then, the guy still had the acid thing.
"Ah, damn," he muttered, shifting a little. Really should've thought that through. There had to be something he could've done. Anything was better than this. "Do we have any painkillers?" Bell asked hopefully. Wouldn't that be nice...
Was it despair? A sensation of being separated, of being incomplete. Daniel wasn't entirely sure, but the feeling resonated with him. For a moment there was an equilibrium in which the pain didn't increase or decrease, but just was. They both just were for a moment. Bellwether struck at the tendrils violently, shredding the connection to pieces. The thoughts became crowded, loud and chaotic.
Daniel was let go. The thoughts stopped.
He fell off of the car's hood, on his back, blinking at the night's sky, which was remarkably clear this far away from everything. Daniel couldn't ever recall seeing so many stars. London had been nice, so had New York, but light-pollution had prevented him from ever seeing more than a a hand-full of stars.
"Pretty," Daniel called out from his spot on the floor.
His ankle and arm throbbed with pain, remnants of the pressure the would-be-goat applied. There'd be bruises in a few hours.
"Loot the car, we're not taking the van, see if there's a jerry-can so we can exchange gas," Daniel started, turning to push up. If he thought he was in pain, Daniel stifled it upon seeing Bell-boy.
"Jesus," he managed.
"Did you get shot, Bell-boy?" There was blood everywhere. The skin off to one side looked as if it'd been plastered on by a shitty construction-worker. Parts of it were melting off. It'd heal, Daniel was pretty sure of that, but that had to hurt pretty bad.
"Right, you just take it easy for a second," Daniel said. His concern was useless, seeing he couldn't act upon it, and Bell-boy wasn't appreciative, so Daniel just swallowed and focussed on preparing the car for high-tailing it out of there.
The van had a jerry-can. Daniel leached some of the gas from the van and hobbled back to the car once the canister filled up, spitting out the vile taste of gasoline. He tossed the thing in the trunk of the car. There were weapons in there. Daniel shut the trunk, found a wiper and used it as a crude instrument to brush away the shards from the cracked wind-shield. They'd be exchanging this car as well, but Daniel was fairly certain this one wouldn't have trackers.
Maybe a hotel was due regardless. Eating out was out of the question.
"Your carriage awaits," Daniel announced, looting the candy from the van. A quick inspection and Daniel settled behind the steering wheel of the green car.
The pain dropped to a level he could deal with, and Bell laid there for a second, panting. He shifted, then slowly peeled himself up off the ground, wincing with each shift. Damn--ow, ow, ow, dammit. Who'd given them acid? What kind of shitty person had decided that hunters needed to spit acid? Or were their abilities random,gifted at the whim of the goat?
Who knew. Point was,the guy was dead. And his skin was a bloody, molten-looking mess. It still burned, but it felt less like it was going to burn its way through his ribcage now.
So how was Landon doing? The sounds of fighting from his way had quieted, so he had to be...getting attacked by a full-blown goat. Wait--when had that happened? And why wasn't he fighting back? Acid burns momentarily forgotten, Bell jumped up and pushed himself to go as fast as he could, drawing on the goat's speed to get there in time. Tendrils had crawled their way up Landon's arms; he severed them with a sharp blow from his pipe, and the cut-off parts withered on Landon's arms. "Hey! Snap out of it!" he shouted.
He wanted to clap Landon's cheeks and really wake him up, but there was no space to move so freely. Confronted with yet another attacker, the goat lunged at him, lashing out with tendrils of black. Bell parried the tendrils, which turned out to be the wrong choice as the goat wrapped the tendrils around the pipe and pulled. Bell pulled back, and had to draw on the goat's strength for the first time tonight. The man had just had human strength; this goat was weak for a goat, but still strong.
Bits of tendril came with him when he finally pulled the pipe free, and he staggered back without something to pull against him. The next second, he closed the distance, batting away tendrils as he approached. For the second time tonight, he laid into the goat, this time more angrily than before. What the shit was Landon doing? Didn't he understand he was in real danger, dammit? He couldn't just space out in the middle of fighting a goat!
Landon had taken care of the most of it. Very little was left, and it turned quickly to quivering jelly under his pipe, disintegration speeded along. He stopped, then, and drew a deep breath. He was tired. Still hyped on adrenaline for now, but tired despite it all. And he was bloody and soaked in acid. He looked down at himself and frowned, not pleased with what he saw. He looked awful. Like chewed on meat. He'd been shot at and spat on and he just wanted to go home and sleep. Maybe grab some dinner in between, pop enough pain meds somewhere between now and then that he wouldn't feel the pain when it inevitably hit.
"Let's get out of here before someone comes," Bell said. He craned his neck to confirm it, but the man was still ever so slowly disintegrating. Or was he disintegrating? Would they have a body to clean up after all? If there was one way he didn't want to spend his night, it had to be cleaning up a body.
Fighting with Bell was usually chaotic, but today even more so. Shots rang out, cracking noisily through the quiet and dense forest. It put a time-limit on how long they could afford to stick around. People would head, even if this place was remote. Daniel's eyes were trained on the woman, reaffirming his grip on the bat, slowly backing away from where she sat, fighting the monster inside.
A grin tugged at the corner of Daniel's lips. Yes, it was beautiful, the way the lightning thrust free from underneath her skin, boiling up to the surface with painstakingly slow speed. She had to be in agony. Daniel was sure of it.
Black welled up from beneath the shallow surface of her skin.
"Welcome," Daniel greeted the goat, but didn't waste much time. Rather than stand and gawk, Daniel brought the bat down. Tendrils of black shot out, much like before, wrapping around his ankles. Shit. Daniel tried to swipe at the tentacles, but they pulled with considerable force and knocked him down. He got pulled in. Daniel kicked at the goat's face, its jaws opening wide. He recognized that manoeuvre.
"Oh no you don't," he grit through clenched teeth, pulling up close, real close, and struck with the bat. From this angle, he couldn't put in much force, but it was enough to break what fragile jaw it had inherited from the meek poisonous woman. As if surprised, the goat paused. Daniel used the opportunity to wrestle one leg free. He kicked out with it, hard. It got the goat's attention back, but Daniel hardly cared. Again he kicked at its head. The jaw broke again. The goat's skin was meek and fragile, as were the bones. He wrestled the other leg free.
Daniel didn't even bother standing up. Even crouched, he laid into the goat. The jaw, again, broke under the force of the bat's impact. Then its black eyes were beaten to mush; fumes rose from the damaged skin. It shivered and pulsated, recovering its head. Daniel didn't stop to watch it happen. This time the bat reached all the way to the goat's rib-cage. Rather than try and reshape a head, more tendrils quivered in attempts to grab Daniel. One wrapped around his arm, black spilling over his skin. Thoughts reached him; but they were contorted and chaotic.
The goat's black essence crept up slowly. So chaotic.
What was it trying to say? Do?
Pain brought Daniel back. It was crushing something. What? His arm?
Another tendril grabbed at the arm with which Daniel held the bat. He meekly resisted. It was trying to say something. He didn't understand.
It seemed to happen in slow motion. The man turned to face him, gathering his breath, and Bell saw the now-familiar contortion as he prepared to spit acid. He twisted his body in mid-air and avoided the worst of it;fire lit up down his side as the acid bit into his flesh. He barely felt it.
With both hands and all his might, he brought the pipe down on the man's head. Rather than a solid crack, he felt it score a glancing blow--thanks to avoiding the acid, he'd twisted off-center. The man staggered to the side and came up against the car, off-balance. Bell landed and planted his feet, twisting his abdomento pull out the most of his strength. The man raised his arm, and the pipe cracked it in two. The man staggered away, arm mending even in those few seconds. Almost completely like a goat, Bell thought.
He rushed the man again. With his other hand, the man pulled a gun from the back of his pants. It went off, loud as thunder in Bell's ear; he felt a sharp pain along his temple as the bullet buzzed by. Putting his hands up to cover his head, he threw himself at the man. More gunshots went off, pain sparking to life in his arms and chest, and then he crashed into the man. They went down in a flailing pile of limbs, Bell slamming every inch of the man he could reach with his pipe. Bones broke and mended, and the man screamed. It was almost like killing a goat, except the goats' screams never sounded so human. Acid pain lanced across his skin, over his chest and stomach; Bell ignored it and kept beating him down. Over and over and over again, until the was nothing left but a pile of bruised flesh, nothing but what was usually left of a goat.
And slowly, very slowly, it started to disintegrate.
Bell jumped up and yanked his shirt and jacket off, then batted at the parts of him that had gotten hit by the acid with what remained of the shirt. His skin sloughed off at a touch, melting together and sliding off his frame. Shit! What could he do? Wait, the sand. It'd hurt like shit,but it'd absorb the acid. He flopped down on his stomach and tried to dab off as much as he could with the sand.
What there was of the goat inside her lunged out at the reminder of what it had been. Black ran like blood from her eyes and mouth, covered her body until there was nothing but black. The woman screamed and fought, but the goat won. It denied her, devoured her, and from her flesh took form.
"Okay," Landon confirmed their plan; left and right -jump as soon as the two exited the vehicle. He could do that. Landon's hand nervously wrapped around the bat's hilt. "Good luck," he muttered. Nerves fluttered through his stomach, buzzing with anticipation and trepidation at the same time. This plan wasn't actually a plan; that was the worst part. It was something of a plan. Better than nothing, but still dangerous.
Landon scratched his arm. The forest was dark -how far should he go out? Not too far. Bell would be faster than he was by miles. Besides, he'd already bashed the woman's head in once, what was a second time? Landon put his back against a tree and waited.
His breathing sounded loud to his own ears. Wind toyed with the trees, rustling the leaves above. Something shifted in the undergrowth. Maybe a squirrel.
They hadn't brought water, had they? If the acid caught one of them, they'd be fucked. No, wait, wasn't there a bottle of water in the back? It wouldn't suffice. Not by a long-shot. Shit, why did he get acid-woman? Because the other one was a mystery. At least with the woman, Landon knew what she could do. And couldn't do.
The engine of the approaching car could be heard first. Tall shadows were cast as the vehicles head-lights illuminated what trees the lights hit. The car slowed down with a crunch. Landon felt adrenalin shoot through his body like a drug. His eyes were wide open. His heart thundered in his chest.
The car's door opened. Bell shot out from hiding and Landon followed closely behind. Landon completely ignored the other guy. The woman in the passenger's seat looked angry; her hand was on the door. Locked. Smart.
Landon didn't waste much time and he jumped onto the hood of the car. A few bashes with his bat had the window shattered and breaking. The woman spit -he'd been expecting it. Some part of his coat got caught, but he was free from injury. Landon didn't wait for the woman to recover either, but hit straight through the open window inside. The woman brought her hands up again and prepared for a second shot. Landon felt his hand move as if on its own. It drew a symbol in the air.
The woman's eyes widened, frightened, and then her hand grabbed at her chest, gasping for breath.
"Come out, come out wherever you are," Daniel sing-sang at the goat inside the human.
The path ahead grew narrower and sandier until he wasn't sure they could keep going, much less turn back around. The hunters...if they drove up behind him and Landon, they'd effectively trap them in. Too late to worry about that now, he supposed.
Just when he wasn't sure they even could go any further, Landon stopped the van. Gratefully, he climbed out, glad the long road trip had ended. He walked around in a little circle, working his legs out, stretching his arms and shoulders. This was it, huh? This was where they made their stand against the hunters. The last of this bunch,anyways.
"I'd say stay here," Bell said. "Hide in the woods--I'll take the right, you take the left. We'll jump them as soon as they get out of the car--can't prepare themselves that way."
He looked up as something not so distant creaked. The gate. The hunters were almost upon them. "We aiming for interrogation, or just taking these suckers out?" He drew his pipe and swung it once or twice,trying it out. Either way, they only needed one, right?
Though thinking about it, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to interrogate a couple of hybrids with unknown abilities. The girl could spit acid, after all. Couldn't exactly interrogate her if they had to bind her mouth shut.
"Right, good luck," he said, moving into the forest. He'd be on the driver's side of the hunters' car, hopefully the side with the woman's partner. Whoever was working with their acid-spitter, they couldn't possibly make her drive while she was recovering from getting her face beaten in, could they? He was gambling on that, but he figured it was a fairly safe bet.
He didn't go far into the forest--just far enough that if he crouched and held very, very still, he wouldn't be seen. It wasn't long before he saw the first sign of headlights flashing through the trees, or heard wheels crunching over the unpaved road. He tensed, breathing in through his nose and out through his mouth. Any second now. Any second.
The green car turned the corner in the woods. Lights flashed on the back of the white van; it stopped abruptly, engine shutting down with a shudder. Then there was only silence, as the car pinged and cooled, as the wind blew through the leaves and the creatures called out to one another. Bell narrowed his eyes, adjusting his stance to be ready to jump in the second something happened.
The driver's side door opened with a creak, and Bell launched himself into the air, flying at it with pipe held high.
Bell made short work of the padlock and the metal gates ominously creaked open under Bellwether's ministrations. Landon drove through slowly, almost apprehensively, and waited for Bell to climb back aboard. His eardrums ached as the air-pressure suddenly spiked when Bell slammed the door shut. Landon didn't pay it much mind, but rather start driving down the increasingly sandier road. Maybe during the day the gate was open to people. That, or they might be trespassing on private property. Shit. Were they already doing something illegal?
It wasn't long until forcing the van through would be difficult and treacherous without turning the lights on. Tall trees crowded the narrow pathway, and where before there had been tall shadows cast across the forest floor, they soon became one blotch of darkness through which it was difficult to see. Landon stopped the van.
It would be logical to stop here. The hunters wouldn't have too much trouble finding the vehicle and it was plausible they'd continued on foot from here.
"Guess this is it," Landon announced and shut off the engine. Whatever hunters came down the path would have to run their head-lights just to see the narrow path, so they'd both hear and see their car come up. Unless one of them could see in the dark. That'd be a nuisance, but as far as powers went, something they could fairly well deal with.
Landon took the keys and stumbled out of the van, stretching his back. He'd been stuck inside that van all day long already. His legs complained having to suddenly walk, after sitting down all day.
They wouldn't have much time to prepare for something. Landon casually walked by the edge of the small clearing, noticing a cruddy path leading further down into the forest. It was too small for the van.
"You want to go further in or make a stand here?" Landon pitched.
He had no idea what would be easier for Bellwether-goat to move in; dense forest or a small clearing. Either way it'd be like putting a blender in the centre of a fruit-bowl. Shit was going to hit the fan.
Creaking. It was distant. Way distant, but there. The hunters had caught up to them -they were at the gate. There wasn't much time to decide on what to do.
"Alright, then," Bell declared, drawing the pipe. He rolled out his shoulders and jumped a little in place, warming up. All his joints were achy and happy to be up and about, especially his hips and knees. He rolled his neck, then stretched and took a few practice swings. Hopefully everyone had gone home for the day. His pipe was going to make one hell of a clang against the gate and padlock.
The lock had a long loop on top, longer than he'd ever seen before. It wasn't any gym locker padlock, that was certain. He slipped the pipe into the loop, then pushed. Nothing happened at first, until he closed his eyes and drew on the goat's strength. Then, with the torturous screech of tearing metal, the lock popped open, pipe smacking against the gate with the leftover force.
Bell opened the gate, hinges squealing at him like baby pigs, only they were screaming for oil, not milk. He held it open and stood back, waiting for Landon to drive through. Once the other man had driven the van through, he closed the gate, then ran the few steps to rejoin Landon in the van. That way, the hunters would have to stop and open the gate as well. It wouldn't slow them down much, but if they stopped within a reasonable distance, the squeal of the hinges would alert them to the hunters' approach.
"Alright, let's go," he said, slamming the door behind him. He was starving. He'd kill for a good burger--well, he was literally about to. Sooner they got this over with, the sooner they could go to dinner. And the way the sun was steadily setting, if they didn't finish it up soon, nothing would be open for them to buy food from. Candy bars were not his idea of a meal, and from the face Landon had made upon tasting one, they weren't his, either. And getting Landon to eat was trickier than convincing a toddler to eat carrots--simply impossible. They couldn't afford to miss a single meal, because Landon already ate half of what he should, even when they did eat proper meals. Bell frowned. Maybe he should have Landon live the way he had for a little while, again, teach him what it was like to go without food, to desperately need food and have none available. The little brat could use a good lesson on the value of food.
"No, I don't think we have, they're probably further behind to prevent being seen," Landon said casually. More casual than he felt like. Nerves were playing up, butterflies rampaging through his stomach. They were going to kill again. Landon took another deep breath and changed the grip he had on the wheel. As the road got worse, Landon had to pay more attention to where they drove, trying to avoid the pot-holes and getting caught with a broken axle.
The gate was a new touch. Landon stopped the van and opened the door, watching Bell try to open it. Locked.
"If you use the pipe you'll break it easy," Landon pointed out. It didn't look like a very sturdy pad-lock, all things considered. If Bell applied just an inch of the goat's strength, using the pipe as leverage, the thing would go flying in no time.
In the twilight of dusk, the contrasts became less sharp. And turning on the lights on the van would make them easier to find. All things considered, having the night as cover was possibly the best bet they had. As long as their mystery-hybrid didn't have any spectacular new skills, they'd probably be fine.
"Let's break it, I'd prefer to face them when it's dark, so that means driving ahead a bit more," Landon pointed out. "It'll make us harder to find too, easier to ambush," he noted. The thought that someone was around to mind the padlock and gate didn't even cross Landon's mind right then. So what?
What could an ordinary human possibly do in comparison to a goat?
Call the police? Landon wasn't one bit scared of that prospect any longer. If he ended up in jail, he'd just get out. It was just that simple. There were goats everywhere. And when he found one stepping into any prison, he'd make it get him out.
Goats weren't all unreasonable.
It was a deranged fall-back and Landon knew it.
What was this place anyway? A fence here? So maybe it was a reserve after all. Landon rested his arms on the wheel, not even bothering with shutting down the engine. He wanted to move on fast. Get this over with. Travelling to Philadelphia however wasn't really his ideal way to spend his time either. What was?
Landon watched Bell move about. His life had become a one-way ticket towards death. Not that it'd been any different before he met Bellwether, but it was all becoming real now. He could die tonight. A horrible, acid-riddled death. And it would be that easy.
Landon didn't like it. Well, why the shit had he bought it then? Idiot. Bell rolled his eyes and leaned back, getting comfy in the car seat. He'd been sitting in the same position too long, and his bones were sore from it. Even this new position didn't help much. Hopefully the hunters would give them a chance to limber up before they attacked.
At long last, they were going to do something! Bell sat up when Landon pointed out the forest and watched it out his window as they approached. Most parks and forests were the homes of campgrounds, or at least a park of some kind and hiking trails, though if the park didn't have a campground, it wouldn't be odd for it to shut down after dark.
Landon sighed at him, and Bell shot him a glance. "What?" he asked. What'd he done now?
A glance over his shoulder gave him a view of the traffic--sans the hunters'green car. "Did we lose them?" he asked. They hadn't been particularly stealthy this whole time, after all. If they were out of sight, they'd probably thrown them.
Well, whatever. If the van really had a tracker, they'd find him and Landon soon enough.
The roads narrowed ahead of them, from a highway to a two-lane country road, then again to a paved road without any lines that was barely big enough for one car to use at a time. The further they went, the more potholes they found, until the asphalt pittered out to a dirt road, winding through the woods. The sun continued to set, light turning soft and orange, cutting through the woods at a low angle; it got darker, quicker back here, without civilization to remove the trees.
Finally, they could go no further. A metal gate locked across the road prevented them from pushing on. Once Landon had stopped, Bell jumped out and tried pulling on it. It was locked, really locked.
"I could probably break it if I tried," he called back to Landon. "Or we can go ahead and set up here, either-or." If someone locked the gate, it meant someone came back here every so often; on the other hand, the gate looked rusty. By the time someone came back here again, they'd, in all likelihood, be miles away.
"Let's hope she spit out all her poison before-hand," Landon muttered sourly. He didn't care to get hit by the acid, as it appeared goats still out-healed humans in that regard. It made Landon almost regret not bashing the hybrid's head in when they had the opportunity to. On the other hand, dealing with a corpse wouldn't benefit them either and there was no telling what part of a hybrid actually evaporated. Perhaps it depended on how far the human half had degraded, had been eaten by the thawing lightning stuck inside of their bodies, waiting to strike.
Candy was forcibly thrust in his face and he raised an eyebrow. When it didn't seem Bellwether would let up, Landon grudgingly took the bite of food. A burger sounded way better than the sweet candy right about now, but even Landon had to admit the sugar woke him up a little bit.
Maybe he should've stuck with savoury foods instead. Everything at the gas station had either been salty or sweet however. Landon swallowed the bite down and pulled a face. Did they really have to add this much sugar to a candy-bar?
A sign caught his attention.
"That looks good, forest," he noted. Hopefully it wouldn't be a reserve or something where people loved taking hikes. Or where they had to bury a couple of half-corpses for that matter. A shiver shot down Landon's spine. Yeah. Definitely not.
It brought back memories from the first couple of hunters they'd taken out. He'd switched to be Daniel then too, hadn't he?
And Bellwether had been drugged.
There was still time to come up with a better plan. Landon watched Bell's profile for a split-second and sighed out. Bashing it with a pipe was as good as it was going to get, in all probability. And despite everything, it was probably the most effective thing they could do.
Landon steered the van off the exit, and kept an even pace. The dark-green car was in their sights not long after, especially considering traffic was thinning. Landon lost sight of them not long after. Maybe they'd increased their distance for fear of being noticed. That was good; it'd give Bell and him time to prepare something akin an ambush.
"Guess so," Bell admitted. Yeah, it'd be a little obvious if two white vans were trundling along after one another. Not just for them, but for passersby, as well. And the hunters wouldn't want anyone sticking their nose into this any more than Bell and Landon did.
In some ways, it was good that it was a personal vendetta. "They probably won't have backup, then," Bell reasoned. "If it's not officially sanctioned." They wouldn't have the huge group of snipers they'd had the first time they'd taken on Bell and Landon.
Oh. He hadn't even thought of that. Yeah, they'd mentioned that, hadn't they? That most hunters were out on missions, or only the poor ones stayed at the base. "Yeah, point," he agreed, yawning. That was probably what this was, rather than some cavalcade from Pennsylvania.
"Probably best not to stop until after," he said. True, they hadn't made a move at the last drive-thru, but eventually their patience was going to run out. If they had guns, all it took was one bullet and one impatient hunter to kill Landon forever. He wasn't willing to risk that.
"Well, I can probably take the strong one, if I'm not blinded or poisoned, and you can take the girl," he said with a shrug. He'd have worried about Landon holding back against a girl, except Landon had already bashed her head in once. As long as something weird wasn't going on, they'd be fine.
Then again, it was the hunters. "Something weird" was basically their middle name.
He found the candy in the glove box and rooted out the one that looked like it'd have the most nutritional value--a peanut-coated caramel nougat. Bell peeled back the wrapper, then thrust it in Landon's face. "Here, have a bite," he commanded. Landon hadn't eaten earlier, so he needed something. It'd be no good to fight on an empty stomach.
Bell waited until he was satisfied that Landon had at least eaten something, then took the bar back and finished it off. "Alright, let's take these idiots out," he said, through a mouthful of candy. The sooner they were dead, the sooner he and Landon could get dinner.
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