“We can’t. We need these weapons. It is worth our lives, without them we won’t be able fight again, or defend our own base.” He motioned at me. “Fire three more bursts then follow me. I found a side path to the cache.”
I nodded. Inwardly, I panicked. There is no chance we tripped any alarms. This is a trap, I thought. The rest of me kept firing, and following orders.
Harl made the motion. A rip toward a grenade from my side I hurled it down the hall, as we turned running down the side passage. The hallway shook before I heard the boom. A yank on my arm caused me to stumble.
“Are you trying to get us killed?” There was no real accusation in Harl’s voice. There was fear.
I shook my head. “No, it’s a trap, Harl.”
“I agree.” Amaria chimed in a gun resting against her side. “We need to go, if we are going to make it at all. You’re lucky Vallen knows how to make grenades, otherwise we would be dead already.”
A grunt as Harl swept his eyes over who we had left. Celi was missing, as was one of Harl’s people. “Amaria keep to the middle, Vallen cover the rear, and I’ll lead.”
Sweat dripped down my forehead. Our progress was slow. I couldn’t hear anyone coming down this way. It didn’t make me feel any better. Most likely they were concerned I had more grenades and were waiting to ambush us up ahead. My arms, and neck ached with tension.
Behind me, I could hear gunfire, and shouts. “Harl?”
“Not us.” He sounded as tense as me.
“Jirth’il!” rumbled from Harl. “Vallen, come here.”
I tapped Bara on the shoulder. “Take over on the back. Understood?”
“Yes, sir.” He looked pale.
I walked over to Harl and I cursed as well. The hallway was strewn with corpses, at least ten
soldiers lying in their own blood. A look told me they weren’t rebels. I noticed a doorway stood open and inside were walls of weapons. “Is this cache? Is this all the sand for the ambush?” It didn’t seem like enough to me. Nobles could be arrogant, but not generally stupid.
“No, they took after whoever did this.” He motioned to footprints in the blood. “Let’s get the cache. I have to set it up to go down the trash chute across the hall. Someone is down there to pick up.”
I didn’t feel like trusting Harl’s judgment since his contact failed this time. “Who?”
“Xialo.” I couldn’t object. A Woellian isn’t an ally who you distrust. Besides Xialo was a good guy for an eiaa, an abnormal.
Harl stood against the door frame. “Bara, grab as much as you can and send it down the chute.” I motioned to Harl’s trainee. “Same for you.”
Amaria tilted her head in the direction the Noble’s troops went. “Whoever they are chasing is frustrating and angering them.”
“Who they are chasing?” Harl barked.
The star in her eye expanded outward for a moment, her eyes widening. “I can’t sense them. Either they are shielded in some way, or have the mental capability to block me. It seems they are leading them on a merry chase.”
Huge crates of weapons, and ammo got dumped into the chute, the two panted from the effort. Still, the cache’s shelves filled with more. “We can’t hope it will last. Eventually, they’ll get annoyed enough, or smart enough to come back here.”
“I agree, we’ll get a fourth of it at least before we cut out.” A fourth would help us last for months, and it would be more than worth it.
Something about Amaria’s posture troubled me. She seemed either confused, or upset.”What is it?”
“They are dying. Not quickly, but the person they are chasing is killing them.” Her face scrunched up. “I can feel their lives being snuffed out. Whoever is killing them is as efficient as me.”
“You’re telling me they are drawing them out to keep them away. As if they are choosing to keep them distracted.” The rumble in Harl’s voice seemed as confused as Amaria. Never before had anyone attempted to help us aside from those already with us. “If that’s the case, go ‘till half. Vallen, help them. Amaria let me know if you sense anyone coming this way.”