As I trained my sights on the men tracking the rest of SCIT I heard Foster humming something under his breath, barely audible. I strained to hear what it was and then smiled widely.
...Well, it's a long way from the pool halls, through the rackets and the petty crime. well, you thought you were a tough one, but you've bitten off too much this time, you've stepped on the wrong toes, now look who you've upset....
"In all the years I've known you Sherlock, I never knew you liked Rory Gallagher" I looked sideways at him just in time to catch the fleeting grin on his face. "There's a hell of a lot you don't know about me Crow." was the only reply I got. "I'll bet..." I muttered under my breath, I think he might have heard me but he showed no sign of it.
I stared down the scope again and saw the trackers picking up speed, they must have realised they didn't stand a chance out in the open...and then suddenly they were in a clearing and the temptation was too great. I plugged four of them and the last one went running, straight into Beth's knife. That's my sis... I thought proudly as she wiped the blood off and looked up towards us and gave the thumbs up.
I turned to Foster. "Lets get this ball a rolling and get the hell out of here!" I shouldered the gun and started to walk down the hill towards the rest of them. Foster was beside me in seconds muttering under his breath, something along the lines of 'he never bloody misses' I think he said.
We caught up with the others easily enough, a blind man could have followed the trail Jagan was leaving. I dropped the gun on the ground, walked over to him and grabbed his arm. "Sit." I motioned to a fallen tree and he sat down looking slightly scared. "Why are you..." but I cut him off by pulling out a knife and cutting his shirt up the side to expose the wound. It was worse then we'd thought but not bad enough that I couldn't do something about. I pushed him back so he was lying flat and I pulled out a lighter and proceeded to burn the blade of my knife in the flame. Memories flooded my mind, gunfire, men screaming, one woman soldier begging me to kill her.... I shook my head and they vanished, but I still felt cold, empty.
"Steve WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO..." Beth's voice was cut off, doubtless by Foster's hand clamping over her mouth and Jagan just stared up at me in stark eyed terror. "Close your eyes." I stared him down "and grit your teeth, because this is really going to hurt." Jagan automatically squeezed his eyes shut and his hands formed a steely grip on the tree trunk.
I poured some water over my hands to clean them and then over the wound to wash away the blood so that I could see it clearly. Then I pulled the edges of the wound apart with one hand and gently slid the hot blade into the wound. "Aaarrrggghh...." Jagan bit down on his scream but his body convulsed around the knife as it cauterized the wound. I pulled it out slowly and put another bandage on, this time it was tighter. "That should stop the bleeding and prevent infection. It's an old trick I learned in the field." I said before picking up the gun and walking onwards. They all just stared at me.
Foster caught up with me after about a minute and we walked in silence with both women helping Jagan, he was already steadier on his feet, I supposed it was the fact that blood loss was no longer an issue for him. "I haven't seen that done in over fifteen years, long before you were even dreaming of joining Crow." Foster's voice cut through my thoughts and I nodded. "It's an old trick."
"Very old." Foster agreed, not asking anymore questions. Thanks pal, I don't want to relive that just yet....
After a while I dropped back to see how Jagan was doing. He was walking upright, still unable to carry much but he looked miles better. "How you doing now?" I asked, even though I could see how he was by just looking at him.
"I feel miles better. I think I might try carrying my pack in a few minutes." he replied with a half smile as he motioned at Beth to pass him the pack. I intercepted it and put it on my front like a parachute. "Oh no you don't, not unless you want to go and rip that wound right open again." I put the gun over my shoulder again and walked forwards to Foster. "Hey Crow?"
I turned to look at Jagan and raised an eyebrow. "Eh...thanks..." he said quietly and I smiled. "No problem, sorry I couldn't make it less painful, got no morphine shots with me." Jagan started at that, "But only field medics carry morp..." I turned my back on him and walked away. Too quick for his own good sometimes. I hope he doesn't ask questions that are liable to make me want to strangle him.
Dani came up to talk to Foster after a bit and then she turned to me and took in the two packs, the sniper rifle and the four other guns I wore strapped to me. "Always prepared for an ambush aren't you Crow?" she grinned cheekily before adding "Nice guns." sticking her tongue out and running back to Beth and Jagan.
I felt myself going slightly red and Foster just looked at me and raised an eyebrow. Be cool Crow, be cool... you are cool, the king of cool, you're cooler then ice, cooler then the Artic...be cool....
I coughed to clear my throat and looked dead ahead. "So... eh.... How do you reckon they got to us so fast?" I tried searching for a topic I was comfortable with... killing and detective work seemed the best option. Foster made a wheezing sound and I snapped my head around to look at him before I realised that the b*stard was laughing at me. He caught my eye and immediately pulled a straight face and coughed. "If looks could kill...." he murmured, amused. "So when did this start happening that I didn't notice hmm? And what do you intend to do about it now?" I kept quiet. "Not gonna answer me right now then no?" his eyes twinkled with mischief and I felt myself getting hot around the collar.
"Right now man?...I hate you." I kept walking, my ears were burning.
Dude...You have just lost the attempt at being cool....