The next morning found Longbow pacing as he sipped his coffee. He couldn’t shake the feeling time was running short, and he only had a description of an orc and a van that could have been abandoned. He was pouring his second cup as Mims breaded cube steak for breakfast.
“She can handle herself when it comes down to it, Dear.”
“That’s not the point, is it? She is like a daughter to me, and I-”
“And you are going absolutely out of your mind with worry. You sent a message to Heathen and Dash asking them for help. If anyone can find a better lead, the orc, or even the van, it’s Heathen.”
Longbow chuckled, “That rat shaman could find a week-old piece of hamburger in a vegan home if you left him to it.”
Mims smiled as the dipped the steaks in the frying oil, “And Dash will go to the ends of the earth for that girl as long as there are no rats around.”
Longbow shook his head laughing.
Heathen wiped the grime off his comm and checked the message.
Flashpoint is missing. Was seen last leaving…
He stopped reading long enough to wash out a cup and fill it with dark coffee. He cleared a space on a cracked desk and took out a scrap piece of paper and a dirty pen. Rewinding the message, his hand flew across the paper as he took notes. He paused the message again to look at the description of the orc. His eyes narrowed.
Grim, he’s notorious for hating humans. Why would Mr. White employ him? Is the troll slipping?
He shook his head while opening a drawer. He removed a glove and walked over to a rat the size of a Yorkie, “Blaze, I need you to sniff this, and then I will take you where you need to follow the smell.”
The rat took the glove and smelled every facet of it before putting it on the desk. Heathen took the rat and made the trek to the warehouse district.
Dash was in the middle of trimming his goatee when his comm alerted him to Longbow’s message. He picked it up and hit the key opening the communication. He turned the trimmer off and walked out of the bathroom reading the message.
He dialed Longbow. Before the elf could say anything, Dash was talking, “How long has she been missing?”
“Over 24 hours, we have every reason to believe Mr. White has her.”
Dash switched to hands-free and continued to trim his facial hair, “I can see how you would. She isn’t one to go silent unless she’s on a job, and even then she calls right before and when she’s done.”
“Right. Let’s not forget he’s notorious for abducting talent and not just arranging normal meetings.”
Dash rinsed his shaver, “He’s very heavy-handed. If he’s hurt her, it’s not going to matter how big he is. Mr. White will be covered in red.”
“Dash, we don’t need you to do that. We need you to go to the docks and talk to your associates there about when White came into town and see if you can get them to tell you in which direction he is located.”
“I got that much. What do you want me to do if I find where he’s at? Just get in touch with you and wait? What if he decides to move her?”
“You’re overthinking things again, Dash. Just contact me. I am sure Heathen will be in the area as well or at least one of his friends.”
Dash shuddered, “I hate rats.”
“We know. Just get a hold of us if or when you find her.”
He heard the click of the call ending, threw on a Dolphin’s T-shirt, and a pair of faded jeans. As he exited his apartment, he slung his mono-katana over his left shoulder and slipped on some sneakers.
Heathen traversed miles of sewer tunnels with Blaze following behind him until they got to an outlet near the docks. The shaman carefully lifted his companion onto the street. Blaze stood on his hind legs and sniffed the air before sniffing the ground and then turning to his friend.
“Do you have the scent? Do you need to sniff it again?”
Blaze nodded causing Heathen to take the glove out of a plastic bag, “Here.”
Blaze sniffed it and then turned to sniff the air. The rat sneezed.
“I know. The salty air is messing with you. Try your best.”
Blaze was off, sniffing high and low. Heathen could do nothing but sit to the side of the outlet and wait for his companion.
Blaze was crossing over to the first row of warehouses when he heard a yelp. Dash had spotted him and froze. Blaze smiled and looked back toward Heathen who had decided to peek. Heathen shook his head. The rat stayed his course.
Heathen could do nothing but laugh, “That rat loves to mess with Dash.”