I hear Eve’s voice, but I can’t open my eyes. I mutter some unintelligible noise in response.
“He’s alive!” she shouts to someone. I hear a great shuffling around me. Slowly, my eyes open, but I can’t bring anything into focus.
“You alright, kid?” the voice of Bruno asks from the fuzzy shape on the right.
“I looked at him when taking out of car,” says a female voice I don’t recognize from the blob on the left. She sounds like one of the bad guys from that old cartoon with the flying squirrel. “Could find no bad damage. Maybe has little concussion.”
“Cyrus, can you see my finger?” Bruno asks. I see the blur on the right moving, but there’s not much for definition. I gurgle.
“Is that a yes or a no?” Bruno asks.
“Let’s give him some air,” Eve suggests as the center blur grows taller.
“Ungh,” I get out, intending to say Grant, but apparently not quite succeeding.
“You need something, kid?” Bruno asks.
“Grrr,” I attempt again, feeling heartened it seems closer to the intended word than the first try.
“Grant?” Eve asks. I tentatively attempt to nod my head.
“He’s taken care of,” Bruno says calmly.
“Taken care of?” the third voice responds. “Perhaps this is too gentle a phrase to use for what I did with him.”
“Needless to say, Cyrus, he won’t be bothering you anymore.”
I blink my eyes and the blurs gain some clarity, although barely. The woman on the left gets up and walks away.
“Who?” I stammer.
“Maxine?” Bruno asks. “Old friend of Golden Dawn. Happened to be in the right place at the right time. Got to the scene before I could even land the plane.”
“And you’re lucky I did.” Maxine reappears in my line of sight. “If not for me, your friend would have ripped you into two. You cut my hand as way of saying thanks. Not very nice.” She shoves something in front of my face. I can barely make out the color red before she pulls it away.
“Now, now, Max,” Bruno says, “Cyrus was obviously disoriented. We’ll get you back to base and bandaged up in no time.”
“I have camp nearby. I’ll take care of myself.”
I cautiously attempt to sit up against whatever is behind me. As I do, I realize they’ve got me set up against the tipped-over SUV.
“How are you feeling, Cyrus?” Eve asks.
“Been better,” I say, happy to see my ability to speak return.
“You look like the dead dog,” Maxine says.
“Thanks,” I offer with a chance at a smile. My cheeks hurt as I try it, but I hope it gives off the idea I’m aiming for.
“No problem,” Maxine says after a brief pause. “Would have done it for everyone.”
“We are certainly grateful you were here to do it for Cyrus,” Bruno continues my gratitude.
“What are you doing here?” Maxine asks, a look of concern on her face. “Camp has been shut down for all but the researching, no?”
“I suppose you don’t get the news up here, do you?” Bruno asks.
“Not if I can help it.”
“Ah, well, we’ve got a lot to talk about. But first, let’s see if we can get Cyrus here loaded up in the plane. I’d like to get him back to the lab for a closer look to make sure he hasn’t been seriously injured.”
“I’ll take him on ATV.” Maxine claps her hands. “Leave plane where it is. No reason to be making all that noise again.”
“But I don’t think it would be too safe for Cy—“
“I’ve got trailer on back of my vehicle and promise to go nice and slowlike. You and Bruno can ride back there too. It’ll be cozy.”
“It’s not a bad idea, Eve,” Bruno agrees. “We’ve already drawn enough attention to ourselves today. Let’s get back into hiding before anyone decides to check on it. The busted SP vehicle is sure to draw some attention. If I remember correctly, they send out a distress signal whenever they’ve been damaged.”
“Great,” I grunt. “More SPs.”
Go to Chapter Sixteen