Tales of the First – The Men With Guns Part Two

April 13th, 2019  |  Published in Tales of the First  |  3 Comments

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Hmm… I can see that,” Wendy said. “But I think we’re okay here where nothing happened. You can but ask. You can’t practice here.”

“Yeah, that’s true,” Sienna said, “Let’s go and ask.”

“That’s the spirit,” Wendy said.

“Mum, Dad do you think it’s safe for me and Wendy to go for a walk?” Sienna asked once they got downstairs. “I need to clear my head.”

Her parents didn’t answer immediately but instead looked at each other.

“Well whoever shot those poor people is still at large,” her mother said hesitantly. “Though there hasn’t been any more since the gas cleared.” She looked at Sienna’s father. “What do you think?”

“It should be okay,” he said. “There was no trouble when I went to the shop so the local major incident plan seems to have coped. The police have said it’s safe to go out as long as people avoid the town centre. Just be careful though. It is worrying that they don’t know who murdered those people yet. I don’t think you’re at risk though. From what the news said all the victims were men.”

“Thanks, Dad,” Sienna said. “We’ll be careful.”

“Take your phone in case something happens, sweetpea,” he said. “And don’t be gone too long.”

“Okay, dad,” Sienna grabbed it from where it was sitting on the sideboard and put it in her bag as she and Wendy headed out the door. When they reached the end of the path Sienna turned to Wendy. “So where’s this factory.”

“Not far,” Wendy said. “Follow me.” She set off down the road towards the edge of town.

They hadn’t got far when the sound of squealing brakes made them stop. A black range rover with tinted windows screeched to a halt outside a house at the end of the road.

“That’s odd,” Wendy said. “That car has no number plate–” She broke off as four armed men in a military style clothes jumped out. All of them were carrying assault rifles. “Shit!”

Sienna didn’t say anything. Her mouth was too dry. She looked around for somewhere to hide certain the men were looking for her.

Instead they smashed down the door of the house they had stopped outside and rushed in, emerging moments later dragging a middle aged woman and a young man who looked enough like her that he was probably her son. She kept trying to escape her captors and go to him.

He seemed somewhat out of it and Sienna suspected he had a milder version of whatever had afflicted their attacker yesterday. That or he’d had longer to recover.

By this point a small crowd had gathered from neighbouring houses and one of them rushed at the man who was holding the woman but there was the crack of a gunshot and he collapsed to the ground, his knee a smashed and bloody pulp by a well-aimed shot.

“The next person to interfere gets it in the head.” The man who had shot him had an accent that Sienna thought was American. He glared at the crowd before turning his attention back to the male captive. “Are you sure about this one? He hasn’t done anything yet.”

“I’m sure,” the one holding him said. “Look at him.”

“Even if he wasn’t she gave us this address and she’s never wrong.” The fourth gunman whacked the captive with the butt of his rifle. The victim roared and a blast of fire flew at his attacker who side-stepped it calmly. “See?”

“I do indeed,” the man raised his gun again and shot the male captive in the head. Then when the woman wailed he turned around and cracked her with the rifle butt. She fell to the ground and he hit her again. “And you disgust me, traitor. Trying to protect him.” He turned and addressed the crowd. “If any of you are sheltering invaders you’d best destroy them before we find you or we’ll kill you too.”

He pointed his rifle at the woman and Sienna was certain he would have fired but one of the others grabbed his arm and said something Sienna couldn’t quite hear. A quiet but obvious argument followed until sirens in the distance made all four flee. The car sped off just as the police arrived but by then Sienna was too busy retching up her lunch on the grass to care and she wasn’t the only one. It was only when her phone rang that she realised her house would have been in earshot. She grabbed it from her bag and answered it.

“Mum, I’m okay!” She spotted a policeman heading towards her and Wendy. “But I’m likely to be late. I think the police are going to need a statement.”

Sienna’s father came to the police station to sit with her while she gave her statement. She was still shaking as they sat in the interview room after her statement. Eventually the police officer who had taken her statement came back and put a mug of sweet tea on the table in front of Sienna.

“There you go, Miss. Drink that before you go out to face the world again,” he said. “You’ve definitely had a rough couple of days.”

“Did you catch the people who did this?” Sienna asked.

He hesitated visibly, glanced at the inactive tape recorder then shook his head. “No. There was a brief road chase then their vehicle turned a corner and just disappeared into thin air. I mean literally – they were just gone.”

Sienna’s father narrowed his eyes at the man. “That sounds a bit unlikely. Are you sure they aren’t actually with the military and you’re helping cover it up.”

“No more unlikely than people throwing fireballs and that happened apparently.” The police officer shook his head. “If they are military then no one told us and we’re certainly not covering anything up.” He hesitated, “Of course I’d say that anyway, wouldn’t I?”

“Probably,” Sienna’s father said. “But I suspect you’re being truthful because I’m pretty sure you’d come up with a better story than a disappearing Range Rover if you were. Who do you think they are?”

The police officer sighed heavily and double checked the recorder was switched off. “Well whoever they are they’re well organized and seem to have been expecting this. I really shouldn’t tell you this but I think that we have some sort of messed up paramilitary group on our hands, though I don’t know how they knew this would happen.”

“I don’t either,” Sienna’s father said. “But I have a horrible feeling that this is far from over and we may yet find out. I hope I’m wrong.”

“I do as well,” the police officer said before turning back to Sienna. “Your friend has nearly finished her statement. Once you’ve finished tea you can both go.” He shook his head. “You know it was her cousin who came and sat with her not her mother?”

Sienna got the feeling he was fishing and decided she wasn’t going to tell him about Wendy’s family problems. Instead she finished her tea and stood up. “Let’s go and wait for Wendy then.”

The police officer nodded and led them out to the front desk. “Goodbye, Miss Munroe,” he said. “Be careful out there.”

“Oh, I don’t think I’m these psycho’s type.” Sienna’s mouth went dry again.

“Well you don’t seem to be,” he said. There was a subtle emphasis on the seem that made Sienna stare at him. Did he suspect she had powers? How could he?

“What?” she said but he was already gone.

A few minutes later Wendy and her cousin, a tall black man in his early twenties, joined them near the front desk. He had a rather harried expression on his face. As they walked towards the car park he paused.

“I hate to ask this but after what happened with Keith earlier Mum and I are trying to persuade Helen not to take him back. We both think that it would be better if Wendy was out of the way. Could you…” he trailed off.

“Of course Wendy can stay with us for the night,” Sienna’s father said. “I imagine both girls would be happier with comforting company after earlier anyway.”

Wendy’s cousin nodded. “Honestly I think what Wendy described seeing earlier was worse than yesterday even if only one person was killed.”

“It was,” Wendy said. “It was awful. Those poor poor people.” She looked close to tears as she hugged herself. “Who were those men? Why did they do that?”

“I wish I knew,” Sienna’s father said. “But we aren’t going figure it out standing in the street. Let’s get home before anything else happens.”

“How did they know?” Sienna and Wendy were sitting in Sienna’s room later that evening. Wendy looked around from where she was watching music videos on Youtube as if she could use them to wash the memory of what happened out of her mind.

“I don’t want to think about it let alone talk about it,” she said. “Not yet.”

“I understand,” Sienna said softly. “I don’t either. But it’s kind of important. If they knew about him will they find out about me.”

“I–” Wendy stopped and looked at her again. “I still don’t want to talk about it but I think you’re right we have to don’t we? The trouble is I’m not sure it will help because I have no idea.” She narrowed her eyes thoughtfully at the laptop.

“Except we need to think about security. I don’t know how they found out but I can hazard some guesses about things we should avoid.”

“Like what?” Sienna asked.

“Well simplest of all we need to tell as few people as possible. The more people in a secret the more chance it will leak. After that I’d say no talking on the phone or internet unless it’s thoroughly encrypted. No internet searches for information unless the same caution is taken.” Wendy narrowed her eyes thoughtfully. “Searching for information might be how they found them except I imagine a lot of people were simply because of what they’d witnessed so it couldn’t just be that.”

“She,” Sienna said. “They said ‘she was never wrong’. Someone told them.”

“Yes,” Wendy said. “But how did this person know. I feel like I’m missing something.”

“After I gave my statement the police officer told me that the range rover disappeared into thin air. Not just evaded but literally vanished.”

Wendy narrowed her eyes. “What… that would suggest…” she trailed off.

“What is it?”

“That would suggest that they have some sort of powers of their own,” she said. “Which could mean this ‘she’ has some sort of detection powers.”

“In which case I’m screwed,” Sienna said.

“Not necessarily,” Wendy said. “Not if they are looking for people in the state that man was in. They wouldn’t look twice at you unless you did–” She broke off at the sound of someone coming up the stairs.

A moment later there was a rap on the door and Sienna’s mother popped her head in. “Would you two like some strawberry cheesecake? I made it earlier and thought it might cheer you up…” she hesitated. “This is well beyond the power of dessert to fix, isn’t it?”

Truth be told Sienna didn’t feel very hungry because her stomach was still churning but she didn’t want to upset her mother either. She was obviously trying but had no idea how to help. Sienna didn’t blame her. She didn’t think anyone would. So she smiled at her and nodded.

“Cheesecake sounds lovely, mum.”

“Oh good!” Her mother smiled at her and shut the door.

“She’s doing her best,” Sienna said when she saw Wendy’s look.

“I know,” Wendy said. “It can’t be easy on her.” she looked thoughtful for a moment. “I don’t think we should talk about what we were discussing any more, not here anyway,” she said after a long moment. “We should wait until we get to the den. Less chance of being overheard.”

“I can see that,” Sienna said. “But there is one more things that I need to tell you after mum brings the cheesecake. If I’m right it’s important.”

“Okay,” Wendy gave her a curious look.

A few minutes later Sienna’s mother returned with two plates of cheesecake and then left them on there own again. Wendy picked hers up and began playing with it with her spoon.

“So what did you want to tell me.”

Sienna took a breath and then told her about her sense that the police officer had known about her and what he had said to make her think that.

Wendy frowned deeply and began absently eating her cheesecake. “Yes,” she said after a long pause in which half the dessert disappeared. “That does sound like he knows – or at least suspects – something. I wonder ho… oh shit!”

“What’s wrong?”

“Were there any CCTV cameras near where it happened?”

Sienna swallowed anxiously as she saw where Wendy’s train of thought was going. “I didn’t notice. I mean those things are everywhere. You think we were seen?”

“I think it’s possible but I’d have expected more reaction than this if you had.” Wendy frowned. “But it might be how the killers know where to look.” She frowned. “I’ll get Martin to look into it – he knows where all the cameras are that’s how we made sure no one could find our den that way.”

“You trust him a lot, don’t you?” Sienna asked.

Wendy nodded. “Of course I do. I know he’s Keith’s son but he’s a much better person than his father. He may only be my step-brother but I love him like a real one.”

“He has done a good a job of avoiding being like his father,” Sienna agreed. “So if we’re not going to talk about this what shall we do to take our minds off it?”

Wendy looked back at the laptop. “I guess you don’t want to watch more music videos?” she asked.

“Not really,” Sienna said. “I’m not in a music mood.”

“What about a movie then? Something with a lot of comedy and no violence? A romcom maybe?” She didn’t sound very enthusiastic about that last bit.

“Meh,” Sienna said. “I can understand the lack of violence but I detest romcoms.”

“Yes, me too,” Wendy admitted after a moment. “I so much want to shake the main characters and yell ‘talk to each other’ in most cases.”

“Ooh I know” Sienna ran to her dvd shelf and pulled her My Neighbour Totoro DVD off it. “What about this? No romance, no violence, precious little conflict but somehow it still works as a great movie.”

Wendy took it off her and read the back. “Sure,” she said. “That looks cute. Cute is good right now.”

“Okay, just let me fire up my DVD player,” Sienna said.

They spent the rest of the evening sitting on Sienna’s bed, eating cheesecake, drinking pop and watching dvds until it was time to go to bed.

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3 Responses to “Tales of the First – The Men With Guns Part Two”

  1. White Tiger says:

    Another awesome chapter. Loving it!! This secret group seems a bit fanatical and can’t wait to see what warehouse practice reveals!!

  2. torvawk says:

    Not only a bit fanatical but if I am guessing the plot lines right, a bit hypercritical too. We use magic users to kill potential magic users and we will call them invaders too.

    I hope practicing is not what got the other one caught. She better be very careful with her practicing.

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