The Sequence of Kai
It took several hours of arguing and planning before Trish and I make our move, by which time it was already the morning of the next day. I say that we did both but really the multiple hours were spent convincing her to not come with me and all of ten minutes spent planning.
What little plan we came up with was as follows: Trish will hang back in the surrounding forest, so I have a quick getaway. I’ll release everyone being held and minimize the casualties.
Those were the two conditions I had to agree to if I wanted her to hang back. Luckily, she’ll only really get angry with me if I fail to meet them both, otherwise, it’d be an impossible task.
We took a taxi from outside our hotel all the way out to the village near this milieu chateau. It’s not all that close in truth, still an hour or so walk from where we were dropped off.
It’s a bit of a ghost town, plenty of businesses but no accompanying people. I’m sure most of these places are illegitimate, barely a guess in a town this small with two mechanics and no police station.
“Come on, it’s starting to get bright.”
A little over an hour later and the chateau comes into view. We crouch down in the surrounding greenery and observe what we can.
This place is secluded, the road up to it isn’t marked, even though it clearly was at some stage in the past. Neither me nor Trish can get any signal on our phones. All of the windows are boarded up. There’d be no finding this place unless you already knew about it.
We stake out the place for several hours. It only took Trish a dozen minutes or so to decide she’d be better off napping whilst leaning against one of the trees. She can sleep anywhere, I’ll never understand this extra ability she’s managed to pick up, keeps trying to get me to go camping with her. The answer will forever be no.
Not much happens during this time. There are two men guarding the door, one in a suit, one in jeans and a t-shirt, both wearing ski masks to cover their faces.
Just before the first hour was up, there was a shift change. The two men from earlier were replaced by two new ones, similar masks but not a suit between them this time, seems these aren’t professionals.
I was hoping to wait around for the next shift change, figure out how long it is between each one, but it’s been bright for a while now. With no guarantee that there’s more than one shift change a day, I don’t want to wait around any longer. Bastien might already be in the country and if he is, it won’t take him long to sniff this place out.
Should I wake Trish up? I don’t actually need her for anything here, not like something could go wrong enough for me that I would need a quick escape. If I don’t wake her up, I can let loose a little more but there is the chance that there’s someone I haven’t noticed yet that could find her here.
What to do?
“I’m going in now.”
“Wai…. Kai, hang on…”
I stand up and move away quickly before she can grab any part of me or my clothes to stop me. She doesn’t follow, she’s not a stupid girl, she knows she can die.
I circle around the trees so that I can come at them head-on. If I die while coming around the side, I risk getting one of the girls inside killed for me. I step out of the shrubbery and a couple of moments later I’m noticed. The man to my left, the less remarkable of the two, pulls his gun.
“You’re trespassing on private property!”
Been a while since I heard that one. I don’t understand what he’s saying since it’s in French.
“Stop or I’ll shoot.”
“Put the gun down if you don’t wanna get hurt.”
I hope they can understand English, I wouldn’t be overly thrilled with hurting people without warning.
A shot flies just by my head, a warning. Maybe he didn’t hear me, I’ll try one more time.
“What? Do you not understand English or something? Look.”
I make the figure of a gun and mime dropping it to the ground. Should be no language barrier for that.
Another bullet is fired, so much for a peaceful resolution.
He’s a good shot, the bullet hits me just above my left eyebrow. I feel the skin split for a moment before hardening over again. I wish my ability worked just a little faster, I don’t often bleed, but I can’t wear makeup because of the times I do. At least it puts me at no disadvantage compared to the competition.
I need to think about these innocuous types of things while I’m dying if I don’t want to lose myself, easier said than done really, much more doable when I’m calm.
I feel all of the voices bubbling up, but they have nowhere to direct their anger, they die in my throat before they can spill over.
The second man is surprisingly fast in getting the second shot in, right through the neck, where someone remembers having an Adam’s apple. It’s quite a nice sensation actually, like getting a bad cold, the blocked feeling that comes with it, for only a split second before it clears instantaneously.
The body that shot me gargles on its own blood for a moment. I rush up to kill it myself before it has a chance to die but I’m too late. If I can avoid killing people with my power, I’d like to, but when time is on a strict budget like today, I can afford an extra passenger or two.
Realizing that it’s going to be harder to tail Mallory later if she knows my face, I take the ski mask off the second guard. The bottom of it is dripping with blood but at least it’s usable, the other one is soaked all the way through.
I enter the chateau. They didn’t lock the door, which is a shame because I like kicking them in. When I’m inside it’s immediately clear that whoever I’m looking for is not on the first floor, all that’s here are worthless girls and at least one corpse.
Either upstairs or the attic then.
There are eighteen steps on the staircase, so I take them two at a time. Four rooms on this side of the second floor, 5 on the far side. I’m definitely closer to her than on the first floor but the sense is still faint.
I walk by the rooms tracing my right hand along the walls and doors. The first one, a single girl, unremarkable. The second, empty. The third, two girls, unremark-……. No, hang on, this is it. I nearly missed it; this must be the weakest soul ever strong enough to play.
I pull the mask over my head and tuck my hair in. White is a distinctive colour, even more so right now with the dyed ends. I got some of that dye in my mouth and on my shirt, I’m not used to avoiding stains that can be removed so easily.
I kick down the door, glad to be able to do that once today.
The girl on my right starts screaming, not her. It was never going to be the girl the with the normal reaction, was it? The one to my left, who must be Mallory, has her eyes shut.
She’s handcuffed to the bed by her right hand, nothing on its back so it must be her left. The trace of her sequential connection is still so faint that I want to make absolutely sure I’ve got the right person before I proceed.
She cowers away from me, as far as her restraints allow her. I reach across her body and grab her by the left wrist, pulling her onto her feet. Even now she keeps her eyes closed.
There it is, an ink black spade and a standard number ten beside it. So plain, no flair at all, I’ve never seen a game marker so uninteresting.
In my peripheral vision, I find that she has finally decided to open her eyes. She’s staring at me, staring at her hand. At the exact same time as she opened her eyes, whatever connection she had to the sequences vanishes.