"What's the worst that could happen..." It wasn't a question, but more of a statement.
As I hung upside down in the team's locker room, the conversation was coming back. I could hear grunts behind me, dull blows being exchanged. There were many involved though. At least one of them was Lief. As I spun slowly, I arched my back to twist myself into view. When I tried to something grabbed me on the back tightly and suddenly I was flying.
I came to once more. Lief was there, standing over me covered in blood and dirt. Underneath me were three large, muscular bruisers, the kinds that wear tight pants and black shirts in front of the discotheques. Seeing that I was aware he squatted down and cut open my bonds. Moving felt like a novelty, but I was free.
"Wha... Oh shit... my head." It was all I could manage.
"I don't think we can stay here any longer," Lief said, turning his face away, alert and ready. "I definitely think they want to kill us."
"No kidding..." Again, all I could manage.
"I was not expecting Sophia to be a collector," he said again, pulling me up from the floor. "She's on her way no doubt. We need to hurry."
"Doing all right then? Do you need time to process?" I said sarcastically.
"Oh shut up."
During the meeting I gathered that Sophia was one of those strong types, the kind of woman who wasn't to be trifled with. We had come in she was there, expecting us. The conversation was very business like, something that should of tipped me off. I should have caught what Lief did not. He was too blinded by the reunion to notice that she was probing him for info of what exactly she could harvest, asking him whether or not he possessed a healing factor or a bionic brain. Lief was only happy to answer any questions she had for him. After all, what are long lost great great great, and so on, grandbrothers for?
He being the physical one, picked me up to carry me as we ran back towards the gate. Holding me like an infant, he looked torn up inside, a great pain swelling like an open sore. I felt sorry for him, in certain respects. My siblings were more or less fabricated, but I could imagine well the betrayal he felt. Ahead of us a troupe of guards we waiting, but Leif leaped into them, striking with his legs and knocking them all out cold.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Panting, he glanced down at me in his arms and charged another group of thugs.
"Maybe after we have escaped this death trap," he suggested gasping for air.
"Let us not forget that she was indeed your flesh and blood," I added boldly. Leif looked down at me, frowning.
"I have not forgotten, not at all."
The exit was near as we passed through the antechamber of the stadium, lined with marble busts of former players and champions. Lief's speed was the only reason for our progress, and I was thankful for it; yet I could not quite help but feel robbed by the experience of not being able to see the statues closely. Many of the players were famous for their campaigns. I likened the experience to running wild through a museum.
"So what do we do now, kemosabe?"
"We get the hell... what? What is kemosabe?"
"I heard it once. It's just, oh... Never mind that."
I gather it would have been odd to witness myself and Lief bolting out of the city the way we did, but it was fast enough for me. Lucky for us, we did not need to be scanned to leave the city, but I could still sense that it would be the last time I would enter Lyon for at least a hundred years. I did it once before in the Isles, where a bio arms dealer had a price on my head. I had to wait 60 years for him to die before I could go back and get my tools, which I buried in the country before I left.
Lief set me down on the road side and looked at me hard. digging into his pocket he took out a large bag and tossed it to me. Inside was a large bar of platinum, easily worth three times as much as what I was originally promised.
"So this is it?" I said, turning back to look at the city. "It feels premature, don't you think?"
Lief heaved a sigh and kicked a rock in frustration. Rubbing his eyes, I could tell the man was worse for wear.
"We didn't find her, but my curiosity is satisfied. Take the money, you earned it. There's no more reason to do this."
I couldn't believe what he was saying. He was giving up.
"But why not continue? Clearly we get along alright. Your sister is still to be found. There is still time."
Lief's eyes met mine. They were wide with surprise, but slowly settled into understanding.
"Well then," he said, "I guess it's your move."