I decided it was time to go hunting. I wasn’t going to fire first, but I was going to track them down and talk.
“Hey, Kanesha. I’m going cultist hunting.”
“Can I come?” She reached for her jacket.
I thought for a moment, then nodded. “Sure. Just one thing. We don’t fire first.”
She nodded. “I’ll get behind you if they start shooting.”
I bit back laughter, but it was the smartest thing for her to do. I ran upstairs, grabbed my gun, my sword, and the second gun Mike had not-really-given us. I handed that one to Kanesha and she tucked it under her jacket, albeit seeming less than comfortable about it.
Kanesha preferred to just beat people up. “Call it insurance. Let’s go.”
In a month, Kanesha would be able to get her driver’s license. As it was, we weren’t that mobile, but I wasn’t sure we needed to be. If they’d broken the truce then they were looking for me.
So, where would I look for me? The first place I checked out was a small neighborhood park. Our entrance spooked a raccoon, who glared at us before trotting away with his striped tail trailing behind him.
“We aren’t popular.”
“We’re trespassing,” Kanesha pointed out cheerfully. There were no gates but the sign did, indeed, read ‘Closed at dusk.’
“And?” I crossed the park quickly. “We’re somewhere we shouldn’t be. First place they’ll…”
I whirled, hand on my sword hilt.
It wasn’t the cultists, of course. It was some kids, and they’d come out of practically nowhere behind us. I cursed myself for not paying attention, then drew my sword.
As a weapon of intimidation, it beat a gun hands down. Kanesha was already practicing her martial arts on one of them. Two more fled, but another two decided to brave the crazy woman with several feet of steel.
“Oh for…just go home. Whatever you planned on doing to us, it isn’t worth it.”
They didn’t have much to say for themselves. I decided that was entirely suspicious and made sure to use the flat of the blade on the one that approached the fastest, knocking him out at his buddy’s feet.
“I think…they’re hopped up…on something.”
“Not hopped up enough.” The one still standing fled, and Kanesha had the other one in a painful-looking hold.
“Talk,” I said as I stepped over, lowering my sword tip to the ground.
He didn’t say anything. There was a green flicker in his eyes. I sighed. “Not hopped up, Kanesha. Possessed.”
And did that explain the cultists?
“Call the Father?” she suggested.
“I don’t think I need to.” I met the boy’s eyes. “Nice ambush. Now release him and go back where you came from, and don’t try this again.”
Now he did speak. “Just a test, Lokisdottir. Just a test.” Then the green light was gone and he slumped, unconscious.
“Last thing I need is somebody playing games with me.”
And willing to use innocents to do it.