Dash found an empty storage shack and paced while waiting for Longbow to contact him. He would peer out the door to see if White had returned to the building, and after twenty minutes, he was ready to do something when his comm went off.
“What is the situation, Dash?” Dashes voice didn’t hide his impatience, “It’s been two hours since I told you what I saw, and you told me to watch and wait. I am pacing trying not to pull out my hair. I could have had her out of there by now, Longbow.”
There was an audible sigh, “Yes, I know you are capable, but we have no clue when he is going to return, and we don’t need two of you in captivity, and before you say anything, that troll is more agile than you think.”
“All I know is he tore out of here like someone pissed him off and I heard shit hitting walls. I don’t know if Flashpoint is one of those things.”
“She isn’t. He needs her. He may have a reputation for treating runners like cannon fodder, but he doesn’t damage them personally. He needs her to do something.”
“That is what I am trying to determine, Dash. While I am doing that, do another recon of the building now that he isn’t there, and see if you can spot her. Keep an eye and ear out for a vehicle returning.”
“Finally, yes, sir.”
Longbow ended the call, “Sometimes I think that boy needs a tranquilizer.”
Mims shook her head, “As if you wouldn’t be pacing the floor impatiently if something happened to me. Put yourself in his shoes. He loves that girl, and he had to wait for you to give him the go-ahead. I am surprised he didn’t just go on his own.”
“Mims, I was just-”
“I know dear, but sometimes you think more with your logical side than your emotional side. It’s good for business and successful runs, but it can stunt you when it comes to understanding how people are. Just put yourself in his shoes.”
Alicia bounded down the stairs and went straight to the fridge, “Any word yet on why White wanted Laura?”
Longbow flipped through the info on his terminal, “The only thing I can think of is someone is in desperate need of a team to do a run on Coatl Tech.”
Alicia choked on a piece of cheese and Mim’s head whipped around in a flash, “What?”
Longbow looked up at them, “I had the same reaction when I made the discovery. If he thinks Laura is going to do that job solo, he’s dafter than I thought. That place takes at least four people depending on the size of the building and the job in question.”
“Six if you want to make sure your hoop is covered,” Snoops plopped down next to Longbow, “So, what do you think is going on?”
“If I had to speculate, his drive was due to doing something ignorant like asking the Johnson for more money and being turned down.”
Snoops tilted her head to one side, “Normally, the one hiring the Johnson sets the payment in stone. It’s up to the Johnson to agree while the deal is being struck.”
Longbow smiled, “I keep forgetting you’ve been in that position before.”
Snoops nodded and sipped her soda, “You have to balance how much you want to pay and how much you think you’re worth. Tightwads try to keep as much money as possible and hate it when they have to fork over more money than they planned.”
“Correct, and White is one of those tightwads.”
Dash made his way around to the back of the building. He stopped at the dumpster and looked into it. He vaulted over the side and sucked air through his teeth when he realized the glass which was reflecting the sun was Flashpoint’s cell. The face of it was shattered into pieces as was her pocket secretary. He picked both up and put them in his pocket before jumping out of the trash bin.
He climbed up on a ledge and peered in through a window just in time to see White’s captive walk out of what could have been the troll’s office.
Holy drek, when he wrecks drek, he goes whole-hog. Fack me. I’ve got to get her attention.
He shimmied along the ledge to the next room and just missed her again. He took his key fob out and flipped open something he used to test the thickness of glass.
Wait. What was that sound?
Laura backed up to the room she had just passed and looked surprised. Dash was tapping on the glass.
She ran up to it and fumbled for the lock. It was nailed shut. She looked at Dash and shrugged. He held both his hands up, pointed at her with one hand, and then made explosion motions with both. She shook her head and physically looked around the room.
She mouthed, “No go. anti-magic.”
Dash let his forehead hit the glass before looking at her and testing the glass again. He put the tool away and took out another which allowed him to cut a small hole in the glass.
“There at least we can talk now.” Dash smiled.
“I can’t do anything magical in here. I don’t know what this place was used as before but it’s completely lined to prevent anyone from using magic and even astral projection.”
“Drek. That explains why you haven’t ported yourself out of there.”
She nodded, “The window is nailed shut.”
“Have you found a hammer?”
“All I have found so far is smashed office equipment and an empty archaic wall safe. I can’t even find my phone and Pock-Sec.”
“Um, I found them. The glass is shattered on both. I guess he thought that would keep you from using them if you found them.”
The exasperation could be felt in her response as she threw her hands in the air and waved them around, “And how the HELL was I supposed to find them outside when I couldn’t even leave the farking room I was in until now? All the doors are fekking locked in this place!”
At that moment, both of them heard a vehicle. Laura’s eyes flew open in fear and Dash dropped down off the ledge.
A gray pickup pulled up to the building. A dark green complected orc climbed out much to the truck’s relief. He walked up to the building and punched in a code. The door beeped allowing him entry. Laura and the orc stared at each other in the hall as he shut the door behind him.
“I am not like the other orc. I am stupid, nor do I insult people unless they insult me first. Are we going to be cordial, or are you going to be difficult?”
Laura rolled her eyes, “Seeing how I react to how people treat me, I should be asking you that question.”
“Fair. You do need to go back to your room, however. White called me while in his car and asked me to check on you. I see he forgot to lock the door upon his exit.”
Laura made one eye close to a slit, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you sound-”
“More intelligent than most orcs you’ve encountered? Yes, I know, and no I don’t take it the wrong way. I took it upon myself to be educated.”
She noticed metal on the orc’s right temple, “Rigger?”
He smiled, “Yes, now let’s get you back to your room.”
Dash watched as the orc punched in the door code. His angle was off and could not see what code was being entered. That’s when he saw Heathen’s rat standing on its hind legs with its head tilted to one side.
That shaman’s got to be tapped into that rat. Aw man, this means I have to get close to the thing to get the code. Fek me, man.
The orc opened the door and in one fluid motion stepped inside and closed the door before Dash could reach it.
He stood looking at the door about to scream when he heard the chittering behind him, “Let me guess. You’re going to tell me the combo?”
The rat squeaked a response and tapped his foot. Making an assumption, Dash counted the stomps and punched in the numbers accordingly.
The orc was three feet from the closed door and started moving toward Laura when the door beeped and was sliding open. There was a “snick” of an asp sliding to its full length as the orc turned to face who had appeared. Dash caught him right in the jaw. The orc cried out in pain and Dash wasted no time him hitting the man once more in the back of the neck, making him fall to the ground.
He looked at Laura, “I believe this is the exit you need, madame.”
She smiled and shook her head while holding out her hand, “Why yes, yes it is. Let’s jet before He wakes up or White gets here, whichever comes first.”