Chapter Thirteen – Part Two
West of Paradise, Galatia
“How much closer do you want us to get?” Roland asks with a worried look on his face as he peeks through the small amount of foliage that is standing between him and the Domers that he was following. Sure, he and the rest of his people were a good forty meters away, but that just didn’t feel like enough to Roland. Not when he was looking at people he didn’t know. And especially not when said people had a lot of guns.
Astrid lets out an annoyed sigh before she fires back, “Well I said I wanted us to talk to them.”
Roland frowns as he continues watching the Domers who seems to be a lot more acclimated to the forest than the last few groups were. Most of their group is still outside of earshot, but the occasional bits of conversation can be heard if the wind blew just right. After a few seconds, Roland says, “Well we don’t know if we can trust them yet.”
“And how are they going to gain our trust from over here?” Astrid asks pointedly, “We can’t even hear what they’re saying most of the time.”
“Well, this isn’t the best place for us to draw close to them,” Roland points out. He scans the area between him and the Domers and shakes his head. They are currently in one of the sparser parts of the forest and there wasn’t much cover for anyone. The Domers definitely picked well when they decided which way to go because they would make some great time through these woods.
Astrid gives Roland a quizzical look before she says what was on her head, “Not if we were sneaking around, but it’s the best place for us to make ourselves known.”
“They have a lot more guns than we do,” Roland reminds Astrid. Shaking his head, he looks over to the rest of his people who are watching his argument from behind him. Seeing that no one else was going to help him, Roland eventually argues, “We can’t just give up our position like that. What would we do if they opened fire?”
“I think we should get closer,” Haley announces steadfastly as she shifts from where she is currently sitting. They had all been in the same position for a while now thanks to their keen vantage point where they had been all been watching the Domers from. Haley never liked stalking prey, but she never went as far as to tell anyone that. Instead, everyone knew how much she hated it because of the pain that you could see on her face. She couldn’t sit in one place too long anymore or else her joints would get all stiff.
“And what would we do if they see us?” Roland asks the whole group pointedly. He can see that they had all grown tired of watching the Domers and they wanted to meet them.
“Then we can wave hello,” Astrid declares mischievously.
Roland can’t believe that his whole team would ignore his withholdings and he quickly starts to fire back, “Now hold on—”
“Nope, we’re doing this!” Astrid cuts him off with the same playful look in her eyes. She then gives Roland a hard shove and sends him careening through a bush and then down the small steep hill that they had been watching the Domers from.
“Six o’clock!” Roland hears one of the Domers call out as he slides to a stop at the foot of the hill. He instinctively rolls behind a nearby tree and he waits several beats for the Domers to open fire on him.
“We saw you, now come on out!” Roland hears another voice beckon. This voice belonged to the one that the others called Maverick.
“See? They’re friendly!” Astrid calls down to Roland just loud enough for him to hear.
“Well we could have figured that out without pushing me down a hill!” Roland fires back. He glances around the tree he is hiding behind and sees that the Domers are beginning to spread out.
Astrid laughs before she says, “Now what’s the fun in that?”
“Are you okay?” Haley asks as she sticks her head through the foliage the others are hiding behind.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Roland assures her, “It’s Astrid that I would be worrying about now though.”
“Oh yeah, because you’re so threatening down there,” Astrid mocks.
“Oh, I’m going to get you back good for this one,” Roland warns before he calls out to the Domers, “We just want to talk!”
“Sure you will,” Astrid teases before she and Haley both dip back out of sight in their natural blind.
“Who are you?” Maverick demands, this time a lot closer.
Roland looks up to the sky and shakes his head. He couldn’t believe that Astrid would do something so reckless. Fortunately, she seemed to be right and these Domers weren’t hostile, but that didn’t make things right. Sighing, Roland replies, “My name is Roland Dixon, I live out here.”
“You’re one of the Savages?” Maverick asks. His voice sounds like it came from the same place, which means that he stopped. Roland frowns, wondering if his response might have put up a red flag.
“I’m no ‘Savage,’”
“Then come on out. Slowly.”
“Not until you call off your team,” Roland retorts with a loud laugh. He glances around his tree far enough to see a few of the Domers that are trying to circle around him.
“Oh, nice call,” Astrid compliments from her bush, “We were wondering if you saw all of them.”
“Aren’t you all so helpful today,” Roland snaps, he didn’t know why, but it seemed that his team suddenly didn’t care if he was in danger.
“Alright, fine,” Maverick replies, much to Roland’s surprise.
Rolande then watches as most of the Domers withdraw, but he can’t help but note that several of them are still circling around him. Frowning, he calls out to Maverick, “I can still see the rest of your guys circling around,”
“Jason, get over here!” Maverick shouts toward the wayward Domers.
“You’ve got your team, I’ve got mine,” a guy’s voice calls from the other group.
“Our best bet of staying alive is by staying together, Jason!” Maverick reminds the one who must be the leader of the other group. There is some rustling near where Maverick before he starts shouting, “Get back here! You’ll die out there on your own!”
“I don’t care what you think,” the one called Jason retorts.
There is some more rustling before Maverick warns, “We won’t be able to save you when you get attacked by the hybrids.”
“We are more than capable of saving ourselves,” Jason snaps before a gunshot sounds from his group, “Now leave us alone!”
“Get down!” Maverick calls out and there is a lot of noise as all his people dive for cover. A moment passes before he yells, “You can’t possibly think this is a good idea!”
“Damn you!” a girl cries out before a long spurt of gunfire sounds from the other group.
“Danni, knock it off!” Maverick demands before he continues in a softer voice that Roland can just make out, “No, don’t shoot back. They’re not our enemies.”
“What’s going on out there?” Roland asks Astrid and the others as he presses himself against his tree.
“It looks like the Domers aren’t getting along,” Warren answers after a few beats.
“I can tell that much, what’s going on though?” Roland presses.
There is a rustling in the bushes and a rifle flies out toward Roland. Roland catches the rifle, which was surprisingly well thrown, and then Julius warns, “It’s not looking good, stay hidden.”
“Tyson’s hit, boss man,” Roland hears a voice report before another spurt of gunfire sounds from the other group.
There is a hushed whisper from someone before Maverick says, “I’m not shooting at them and neither are you.”
“I always knew Danni was going to snap,” a girl’s voice sounds in judgement, “Tyson says he’ll pull through, he says he isn’t hit bad.”
“Maverick, you and your people should just let them go,” Roland announces, “They clearly can’t be reasoned with.”
“You, shut it, I don’t need advice on how to run my team!” Maverick cautions Roland from continuing further. More gunfire sounds,
Roland shakes his head as he rolls his eyes. He initially thought that the one named Jason might have been the jerk, but now it seemed like the one named Maverick might be the egotistical tyrant. Sighing, Roland opts that his best bet would be if he pressed the matter, “My team can give you some cover fire if you need it. They won’t shoot to hit anyone.”
“It would be best if we fell back,” a girl offers in a voice that is barely loud enough for Roland to hear it over the cracking of gunfire.
“But we don’t know who we can trust, Sylvia,” Maverick argues.
The girl, Sylvia, laughs before she points out, “Well, that Roland guy and the friends he says he has aren’t shooting at us, so that’s a good start.”
“How can I know that I can trust you?” Maverick eventually calls out.
“I think you’re just going to have to trust me on this,” Roland answers as a few bullets tear into the tree he is still behind. Gritting his teeth, Roland demands, “So do you want our help or not?”
Chapter Fourteen is up! Go on and read it!