[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/257213032/0/0]Link to Chapter 2, Part 2[/url]
[spoiler]All chapters of the War of Lies will be linked to the [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/257167399/0/0]Table of Contents[/url] as they are posted every Monday[/spoiler]
I was opening my mouth to retort when a shout rose up behind the man. “This‘ns alive, boss!”
“Bring ‘im over!” the boss waved.
The crowd parted once again to let a human man pass through, dragging someone by the color. When the mercenary tossed the person on the ground, I saw the disguise and metal flesh of Estefa and gritted my teeth. “Issa chick, boss,” the grunt announced, “Least judgin’ by the curves.”
The boss looked from her back to me. Something must’ve shown on my face, because he grinned. “If I’m not mistaken, mate, that’s the fake little missy you used,” he drew a pistol from his belt, “And I’d say she means somethin’ to you.”
Estefa stirred a little on the ground and tilted her head towards me and my captor. “These…the little pricks…that hurt my baby?” Even as she was, wounded and thrown out on the dirt, I could see fury burning in her mechanical eyes. I nodded, eyeing the boss of the Mob forces as he inspected Estefa.
“Wait, is this little missy the captain, or my mate here?” The boss used the hilt of his gun to scratch his head, confused because he thought that I should be the one possessive of the ship.
In that moment of distraction, Estefa pushed up on her hands and kicked the man who had dragged her away, then lunged at the boss. Responding quickly, the boss got knocked over by Estefa but then took a few quick jabs at her head and shoved her off. No one shot because of how close she was to their leader, and I was held back even after a sudden lunge against my captors. “To hell with these Exos,” he climbed to his feet and planted a boot on her back, “Always forget that they’re built to keep going after getting shot.”
I burst to my feet and tried yanking myself free of the thugs again, but they held me tight. Estefa writhed and spat bloody murder under his foot, but she wasn’t able to escape before he lowered his gun and pulled the trigger. That didn’t sit right with me, so I slammed my heel on the toe of one of my restrainers and suddenly changed my direction on them, jabbing my elbows back into their stomachs. Pulling loose, I charged at the boss and swung a right hook at him. He blocked it skillfully and punched me square in the stomach, then kicked me in the face when I doubled over so that I fell flat on my back, gasping for air and bleeding from the nose.
“Sorry, mate,” he was dusting himself off, “Woulda made this easier on both of us if I coulda knocked you off, but Seren said I needed to leave one alive. Whoever’s in charge, she said. No clue why…maybe to make a point?”
“Maybe…” I spat some blood out of my mouth, “She can tell me the point in person so I can kill her for real this time.” I had no plans to make it out of here alive, despite the orders of my captor. Every single one of my men and myself would die before surrendering or being made into a tool of the enemy.
“I like you,” the mercenary grinned, squatting next to me, “But if you think you and me are scary gents, you need to open your eyes, mate. You see, the real scary people are the ones who kill without using their own weapon. Businessmen like us are simple: we like gettin’ to face our rivals eye to eye. But those other ones…the governors…the puppeteers…they use us the same way we use our guns. And my boss, that Seren you thought you could fool, she makes all those others look like a bunch of flower-sniffing kitties.”
“You’re really bad at intimidating people,” I sneered.
“You’ll believe me soon enough,” he grunted as he stood again, “You better let your boss know that you aren’t gonna win this fight.”
“Wanna bet on that?” I worked up some more blood and spit in my mouth and managed to splatter some on his boots.
“I really like this guy,” he laughed, “Are all you Syndicate boys such tough nuts?”
“Sir! SIR!” someone shouted over the ruckus, shoving his way out into the little ring with a device clutched in his hand, “She’s calling!”
“Sh…” he began to curse, but stopped and cleared his throat, “Boys! Let’s not keep the missy waiting! Light knows what she’ll do if we waste her time…”
That last part was muttered as the underling held up the device in front of the two of us and stretched it into a hologram tablet. I pushed myself up and sat on my heels, watching warily. After a moment, the screen lit up with a woman’s face showing. She was Awoken as the decoy had been, but with glowing grey eyes unlike any I had seen before that spoke of dangerous intelligence. Her gaze stayed on me for a moment before lazily shifting to my captor. “You killed all the others?” Seren questioned.
“Yes miss,” he answered, addressing her more respectfully than he had with anyone else.
She looked back to me, putting some kind of smoking pipe to her lips and puffing on it. After a moment she put it down and softly breathed out a cloud of smoke, then spoke, “Tell Ava-3 that the Reef Mob will no longer tolerate her blundering.”
That made me bare my teeth angrily. She would pay for insulting the Syndicate and our leader.
“Tell her that the Reef Mob takes what it wants and will never submit to any master,” she continued, “Tell her that I do not care what she wants or what her goals are; I will snuff out every hope of success and happiness she has ever had if she dares interfere with my operations again. We are everywhere and we see everything. It would be best if your little rabble finds somewhere to cling to and hide out of everyone’s way, or just disappear entirely. Consider this your final warning, from the tongue of Seren Cay herself.”
Her icy gaze reminded me of Ava’s as she said this, but I detected a kind of heartlessness that I knew my leader could never possess. The gaze turned once more to my captor.
“I’ll carry out the orders, miss,” He stiffened and nodded submissively. Seren closed her eyes and put her pipe in her mouth again, then the screen went blank. “She’s in a good mood,” the mercenary grumbled sarcastically, “Anyway, mate, I’m gonna give you a radio to call in help, then me and my boys are gonna get out of here.”
“Shame you can’t stay to get hit by ordinance,” I crooned sarcastically.
“Mate,” the mercenary smiled at me again, “I think I’m glad you got to live. I would tell you and your boys to roll over to Seren and not get caught up in a losing war, but I know you won’t. Hope we run into each other again on a more even field.”
“Your name?” I requested coldly, hating that I was fueling his small talk, “Can’t kill you if I can’t find you.”
“Heh! Fair enough!” he chortled, “Hundson.”
“Captain Quince,” I gave Hundson my name.
“Formal types, didn’t even wait for me to ask,” Hundson shook his head ruefully, “Someone get this mate o’ mine a radio. Boys, head out!”
As soon as his back was turned I tried pushing up onto my feet to make one last glorious charge and die, but the shoving boot of one of the men who had been holding me earlier made sure I fell right back to my knees. Everyone began to filter out. Some patted my back or smacked the back of my head as they walked by, and a couple even wished me luck in a manner that clearly implied they expected me to die soon. I kept my eyes on Hundson, glaring daggers into his back. I wanted to kill him and every last one of his men, but I was held back by the knowledge that me dying now would achieve nothing. Next time I saw Hundson I’d have a bullet in the chamber for him. If we had been on the same side, maybe I could’ve liked him, but right now I felt nothing but hate towards him and his masters. A radio was placed next to me and turned on, then the last of the mercenaries left for the trees and their hidden ships.
The Reef Mob would pay in blood, on that I swore.
[url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forum/Post/257257964/0/0]Link to Chapter 3, Part 1[/url]