“Razor,” the deep voice quietly called out from behind him.
Razor didn’t bother to turn. His eyes were focused on the three figures running, or should he say ‘jumping’, through the ruins of the city below. He was following one figure in particular. The slender form in the front was covered in black and slipped in and out of the shadows, at times disappearing from his view. He cursed under his breath when that happened and quickly switched to infra-red so he didn’t lose them. His gut tightened when he saw another human rise from behind a destroyed transport and open fire on the running group.
“What is the current report?” He growled out as his second in command approached to kneel beside him.
His eyes continued to follow as the runner in front flipped in mid-air, sailing over a burnt out shell of another transport while pulling two firearms out from his waist. He landed and rolled coming up on one knee, firing in rapid succession. He hit both of his targets.
“The fighting between the two factions has escalated. Intelligence information states two males identified as Destin Parks and Colbert Allen are fighting for control of Chicago,” Cutter said quietly as he raised his viewer to his eyes to watch the conflict below. He whistled under his breath when he saw the figure take out the two men with a clean shot to the head. “Nice shooting. If nothing else, some of these humans would make good warriors.”
Razor ignored the comment as he continued to observe the figure as it rose. The other two with him nodded when he turned. Within moments they were scaling the side of a half destroyed building and had disappeared from sight. He reluctantly lowered his viewer knowing he would not be able to locate them again as they moved further away.
It was the same each night. He was slowly piecing together a pattern for this particular group’s movement. Since he had been handed this assignment a little over six weeks before, he had been studying both sides. While each side was fierce and methodical in their attacks, there was a clear difference in their styles. Destin Park’s followers routinely protected and worked at rebuilding the city while Colbert Allen’s waged a war of terror and destruction for those who did not follow him.
Unfortunately, it looked like Allen’s followers outnumbered Park’s by almost two-to-one. Unless something was done, and soon, Chicago would have to be declared a hostile zone and he would be forced to make the decision to have his troops clean it. When that decision was made, all inhabitants that resisted were immediately eliminated without prejudice. He would not risk his men’s lives in trying to negotiate with the remaining rebels. Enough Trivator warriors had been wounded or killed over the last six years.
He was known as The Finisher. He was brought in when all others failed. The Alliance had finally decided it was no longer willing to waste time and resources to bring this last major city in the Northern Hemisphere under control.
Since his arrival on the planet six months before, he had already resolved the issues in the other cities on this side of the world that continued to resist integration into the Alliance. The small rebel groups in Mexico City, Miami and Houston had agreed to lay down their arms and the cities were currently being rebuilt. Of course, those agreements had come after he had ordered Sao Paulo, Brazil leveled after rebels there opened fire after he warned them what would happen. Those that refused to leave at first had fled in desperation as the huge battleships began demolition of the city. Those that continued to resist died.
“Tell me something I don’t already know, Cutter,” Razor said, sliding the viewer back onto the clip at his waist and standing.
“We’ve been here six weeks,” Cutter said puzzled. “Are you going to meet with the two men or do we just flatten the city?”
Razor glanced at Cutter, noting the fresh cut on his face that still looked raw. “I will meet with the men before I make a decision. What happened to you?” He asked, nodding to the cut.
Cutter grimaced and touched his cheek. “I got a little too close to a resident of the city,” he replied with a slight curve to his lips. “I’ll have to be a bit more careful next time.”
“Did you kill him?” Razor asked as he stepped into the small transport and nodded to his pilot.
Cutter stepped in behind him and sat down on the narrow metal seat. He pulled the straps over his shoulders and hooked it. He was quiet for several long moments before he looked up to see that his commander and friend was studying him with an intense expression that made him wince. Razor always seemed to know when he was trying to think of a way to avoid answering a direct question.
“No,” Cutter sighed, looking out the open door as the small, military transport rose off the roof of building. “I need to know in advance if you plan to flatten the city.”
“Why?” Razor asked bluntly.
Cutter turned and glanced at Razor with a penetrating stare. “I have to find someone and get her and her children out before you do.”
“I assume it is a human female,” Razor said with a raised eyebrow. “She will leave once it becomes clear the area will be flattened.”
Cutter shook his head and turned to look at the darkening city below him. A few scattered lights glimmered from burning fires but that was all. Everything else looked abandoned.
“No, she won’t,” he replied quietly. “These females… they aren’t like any others I’ve met before. They fight right alongside the males.”
“You said she has young,” Razor observed looking at the tablet in his hands as he pulled up the information Cutter hadn’t given him about the two men fighting for power. “She will want to protect them so she will leave when the order to abandon the city is given.”
“She can’t,” Cutter bit out. “The kids aren’t hers. They are children whose parents have died or have abandoned them. She will not leave if she thinks any remain behind.”
Razor looked up at the hard, almost desperate tone in Cutter’s voice. “How do you know this?”
Cutter touched the cut on his cheekbone. “One of the little devils told me when I finally caught her,” he admitted ruefully.
Razor’s eyes narrowed on the teeth marks also gracing Cutter’s hand. “Right before she bit you?” He asked, an amused glint lighting his eyes for a moment.
Cutter chuckled as he turned his hand and looked at it. “Yeah, right before the little she-devil bit me. Hurt like hell,” he admitted. “Just so you know I also found out that Parks protects them as well. From what the female told me, Parks has provided protection, food and medical for the northern half of the city for the past six years. It was only in the last year that Allen has made a move to take over his territory.”
“Why?” Razor murmured, looking at the data on the tablet with a frown. “Why does Allen suddenly want the northern section of the city? He could have seized it six years ago.”
Razor turned his gaze and looked out of the remains of the city. He could clearly see the border separating the southern half of the city from the northern half. A crude barrier of collapsed building rubble had been piled up to make a twenty foot high wall that went in both directions as far as the eye could see.
It didn’t keep all intruders out. That was evident from the conflict he had observed earlier. Parks didn’t have enough men to guard the entire length. Instead, small teams patrolled the line. He had noticed this particular group of three almost two weeks ago.
He became lost in thought as he remembered back to the faithful night when the warrior who led the small group saved his life. He resisted the urge to rub his leg. The wound to it was already healed. It had been a minor wound compared to what would have happened if the warrior hadn’t appeared. He would have been dead. He had no illusions of what his fate would have been otherwise.
“Razor,” Cutter said breaking into his thoughts. “Did you get the information that I sent to you?”
Razor gave a brief nod before he pushed his memories aside. He wanted to know what would drive two men who had been friends at one time apart to the point they were trying to kill each other. He also wanted to know how two men with such different views could have been friends at one time. The more he studied this mission the more questions he discovered he had.
Razor’s Traitorous Heart out June 12th 2014