Last week's episode ended with Max trying to make sure Addy will be taken care of after he leaves her behind in the Tuniit village. Little does he know that Regan is on the hunt for him and Addy and, as you'll see in today's episode, isn't far behind.
An abducted cop and a gladiator prisoner must learn to trust each other with their lives…and their hearts…to escape their alien captors.
Regan knew exactly where he’d start his search. The conduit system to his left, engulfed by steam and darkness, away from the stench of the main incinerator plant, and out of view of the control booths made a perfect hideout. Now if only Ferly Mor would stop talking to these damn workers and unleash him, he’d get on with his job.
The gray Hyborean reached down to unhook Duncan’s leash before his own. It’s about damn time.
“Where are ye headed, lad?” Duncan called from behind.
Regan didn’t answer. Why the hell did Ferly Mor bring Gramps anyway? The old guy had been pissing him off since they left HuBReC with his nonstop talk and nervous behavior.
It agitated him. And he hated being agitated.
If they hadn’t been with a master all day, he’d have decked the old man hours ago.
As Duncan followed him through the maze of steam pipes, Regan thought about slugging him here, but through the white fog, something caught his attention: an unsightly structure of wood, metal, and other scraps pieced together to form a little hovel. This shit hole was the work of human hands.
A twinge of disappointment shot through him. Surely it wouldn’t be this easy. He would have preferred a challenge. Something to sharpen his skills for the survival race.
He reached for his sword but felt smooth thermal suit. Ferly Mor hadn’t armed him with a weapon. It didn’t matter. His hands were lethal.
He slunk to the shack and touched the doorknob.
“Shouldn’t ye knock first, Regan?” Duncan shouted.
Regan turned his annoyed glare on the old man. “Why would you give up our element of surprise?”
Duncan’s shifty eyes looked everywhere but at him.
“Uh-huh. Thought so.”
“Just dinna hurt the lass.”
His pathetic pleading boiled Regan’s blood. Redirecting that energy, he forced down the door.
A thin, old man in ratty clothes jumped from his chair, a book in hand. “What’s the meaning of this?”
“You see a girl? This tall,” Regan held up his hand to his chest, “long hair, pregnant, and a body that screams ‘fuck me.’”
The old guy looked from Regan to Duncan then back to Regan with distrustful eyes. “There’s no one here.” The man clutched his book in both hands. “I live alone.”
“She was with a man. Dark hair, weird green eyes, scrawny ex-gladiator. They escaped HuBReC in a garbage truck.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Nobody’s been through here.”
“Do you know who I am?” Most people trembled when he sneered. This guy didn’t. Dumbass.
“I know your type.”
“Then stand out of my way while I search this dump.” Regan strode through the tiny one-room shack, taking in the knickknacks, books, decorative weapons, and kitchen knives hanging on the wall. “What’s behind this door?”
Regan ordered Duncan to keep an eye on the scrawny old man while he checked the bathing room.
“Have ye seen the lass?” Duncan asked. “Her name is Addy. Is she well?”
“What did these folks do to warrant a posse?”
Regan stepped back into the living space. “That’s not your concern.”
“Well, I haven’t seen anyone in months. You say they escaped in a garbage truck? Supposin’ those two fools got themselves incinerated?”
The whiskey bottle on the counter ignited red-hot anger in his veins. He punched the old-timer in the jaw. The man sailed through a stack of books before crashing to the floor.
“Regan, are ye mad? What’s gotten into ye, lad?”
Grabbing the tattered man’s neck and waistband, he heaved him from the floor and into a wall. “I hate liars.”
Duncan gripped his shoulder to stop him, earning him a hard shove. “Stay out of this, Gramps.” He turned his attention back to the worthless piece of shit. “Tell me where they are, and I’ll let you live.”
“I don’t know what you mean. I don’t know these people.”
If the old-timer’s rapid blinking and sweaty temples didn’t give him away, the scent of fear oozing out with his blood did. Inhaling the glorious scent, adrenaline exploded, awakening Regan’s inner beast.
“Perhaps you need your memory jogged.” Twice more he punched him in the head.
“Stop, lad. He said he doesna know.”
Regan let go. The man slid down the wall and crumpled to the floor.
“Oh, but he does.” Regan crouched and used the man’s ratty shirt to wipe the blood from his knuckles. “I won’t let up until you tell me what I want to hear.”
The man hacked, and then spat in his face.
Instead of wiping it off, he beat the crap out of him until the body went limp.
Breathing hard and pumped up, every fiber in his body tingled. He felt awesome. Powerful. Alive. Life didn’t get better than this.
Duncan paced the tiny room. He wiped sweat from his brow. “Is he dead?”
“Do you care?” Why the hell did he have to babysit the old coward?
“Regan, this is no’ the survival race. You canna go around killing innocent people.”
“The hell I can’t. Your master wanted an alpha gladiator to track the female and the loser who took her. If he didn’t want me to do things my way, he would have just brought you. Of course, you couldn’t find your dick with two hands and a lightstick.”
“Hrumph. Well, how are they going to be found now? Ye clobbered the man. Ye dinna find out if they were even here. They could have been incinerated. They could have escaped from the dump truck. They could have come through the plant but never seen this man.”
“Shut up. Do you know why I haven’t killed you yet?”
“Ye keep telling me it’s because I make the finest whiskey in the universe.”
“You mean this?” Regan snatched the bottle off the counter and threw it to Duncan who caught it clumsily.
He examined the bottle, eyes widening. “This is my mark etched into the glass.”
“How do you think this asshole got it?”
“Addy.” He closed his eyes and hugged the bottle. “Ye were here, lass.”
Regan rolled his eyes before squatting next to his victim. Fisting the bloody man’s white hair, he jerked his head off the floor. “Where are they?”
“Please,” Duncan rushed over to the man. “The lass may be in grave danger.”
Could Duncan be any more annoying? The way he carried on, you’d think they were looking for Tess.
“They left.” The old man gasped for breath. “Through the cooling vents. I don’t know where to. They wouldn’t tell me.”
“See, was that so hard?” Regan let go, and the old man’s head dropped to the floor with a thud. He turned to Duncan. “Take the bottle to your master. I’m sure he’ll recognize it and know we’re on the right track. I’m going to check out the cooling vents.”
Regan stepped over the mess that was the old man and followed Duncan out of the house, but not before stuffing a kitchen knife into his boot.
Uh oh. Will Regan or his master know to search the Tunitt village? If so, Will Max or Addy still be there? Find out in next week's episode Chapter 29 or read the full story now at your favorite retailers.