Escape Route

From the Story Arc: The Fading Flame

Previous Story in the Arc: Cries by Dr. Jacob Garvey (Wednesday, July 11, 2007)

Next Story in the Arc: Breaking and Entering by John Murdock (Wednesday, July 11, 2007)

(posted Wednesday, July 11, 2007)

Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis. "Not for you, not for me, but for us."

It was full dark when they left, down another long tunnel, another crawl to the surface. A different exit this time; this one came out just above a streambed in a thicket of thorny bushes that made Ratt curse. Sera sensed them then, and by the thrill of alarm from Astra, so did her daughter.

The Fallen.

She counted seven of them, and in their minds was the knowledge that they followed some other hunters. Somehow those others knew where they were....

At the first pause, where the Sarge consulted something like a GPS, she touched his sleeve. "Hunters," she said. "We are being tracked."

A pause. "How?" Sarge asked.

"I don't know. These are..." She paused a moment. It was Astra who slipped up beside them and gave him the answer.

"The Fallen call them The Pack."

Sarge let out a low whistle. "Evidently we're comin' up in th'world," he said sardonically. "A'right. We knew there was gonna be some opposition, an' we got warnin' about who and what it is. Do they know what we are?"

"No." Both Astra and Sera replied simultaneously. "There are seven Fallen with them, however," Sera added. She thought....she thought they did not feel familiar. It was not possible to know all the Siblings, of course, much less all the Siblings and those that had Fallen. And she did not think that once they had seen her, they would know her. Although she did not know quite how they would read her. As mortal, or Seraph? A great deal might hinge on that.

"Seven Spooks, huh?" Sarge chuckled grimly. "Well, we're leadin' 'em away from HQ, so that much is a plus. Let's see if we can't turn this around and ambush them instead." He pondered a moment. "There's a good place up ahead, and they don't know this territory, I bet. It's changed a lot since the last maps were made, an' it ain't necessarily the kinda thing you could get with satellite imaging." He put up his device. "But we gotta beat 'em there first."

Astra fed JJ with strength as they rested. Sera was amazed; she no longer needed the sun anymore to feed herself; somehow she was tapping into some other source--and it had to be untainted, or the energy she had would not be so pure...

It's us. Another familiar whisper in her mind. Not Jessica this time. Bella. We believe in you, Sera, in you and your children. You can do this. That gives us hope, and hope is giving us strength, and we're giving that to her. And you too, if you want it.

Sera's hope grew a little stronger with that. She reached out her thoughts as a caress to the spirit so like, and so unlike, her Bella. But then, her Bella still suffered. This one was past all pain, and only her love and will remained. Not yet. Not yet. But...I think...soon.