1-5. Cloaks and Daggers

She took off down the hall without a word, shoving past patrons. The hall was empty when she reached it.

“Where’d he go?” Chip asked. There were only two doors, one leading to the kitchen, the other outside.

“Look in the kitchen. I’ll check outside.”

She jogged to the end of the hall and burst through the doors, almost colliding with Scorch.

“What are you doing here?”

“I saw you following that being. This seemed the most likely way for him to go.”

“Did you see him?”

“No one has come out besides you.”

A light rain had begun to fall, and she turned slowly in a circle, wondering where her object had disappeared to. She swore and turned back to the door. Chip was within.

“Find anything?

“Nada, cap. They weren’t too happy with me popping in, either.”

“We’re about to be implicated the murder of a mob boss. I’m not to concerned with the happiness of their kitchen staff.”

“Captain?” Scorch spoke up from behind her. She looked up at his large metal frame.

“Yeah, Scorch?”

“I’ve been scanning the hall. There appears to be a hidden doorway just ahead.”

She went to the portion of wall Scorch indicated. There were no marks anywhere on it, the ancient stone was smooth. She felt along it, but found no purchase.

“How do you open it?”

She watched Scorch trace his crescent-shaped eye over the wall. “There is a heat signature on the opposite wall. Try pushing there.”

She placed her hand on the spot he was pointing to, and a thin silver line appeared, tracing a door in the white rock. It pushed back of its own accord and slid aside. They stepped through with weapons drawn. The door slid closed behind them, and Scorch lit a light mounted on his head to ward of the dark. Ahead of them, steps ascended.

“Bet I know where those go,” Chip remarked in a whisper.

Laurie didn’t reply, just nodded her head and started up the stairs.

As expected, the emerged in the rear of Yoss’ office. The bodies still littered the floor, only now several figures stood in the center of the room, including the hooded figure they were pursuing.

It was short and hunched, with thin slits for eyes glowing from beneath the hood. “Thank you for coming, captain. You have something I would like.”

“I’m sorry, you are who, exactly?”

“I am the rightful owner of that which you possess. I would like it back.”

“You mean Scorch? Had him for years. I guess I could sell him for the right price.”

“I am not referring to your automaton friend. Where is the case you were told to deliver here? Give it to me and your lives will be spared.”

“Was that the same deal you offered Yoss? Because it doesn’t look like that’s an offer I should accept.”

The cloaked figured chuckled, a low sound which rattled the bones. “Yoss has many sins to account for, stealing my property being the least of them. I will only ask once more, hand the case over.” Behind him, his much larger companions rattled weapons intimidatingly.

[Voting is closed! Check back on 12.26.14 for Chapter 6!]


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