Chapter Eight

            Kat twisted the copper wire binding the bar together she wound it around once more before twisting it into a secure knot. She pulled at the bars to test the strength. Satisfied with the result, she moved onto the next pair of bars. She worked by the flickering light of a small lantern that Skipper held as he read the instructions Emmlia had written. Kat worked as quickly as she could trying not the let the eeriness of the rundown tunnel creep in on her mind.

Toby had insisted the place was entirely safe but she wasn't exactly sure she trusted him, since his making sure the Hallman's Pass Demon had vacated the premise was to howl down the tunnel yell and scream. When no one or nothing had answered Toby deemed it inhabitable. Kat didn't have the heart to tell this to Skipper, he would surely stop aiding her if he knew of Toby's inefficiencies; however, Toby was his apprentice so Skipper must've been aware of the boy's work habits by now and lackadaisical attention to important detail.

"Do you really think this will work?" Kat asked, taking a step back and looking doubtfully at her creation. It looked like a large box covered in an array of wiring wrapped like a spider web.  With a door set at either side. It was a simple trap that required prefect timing to operate.

"Emmlia said this should stop him from escaping either in his cursed from or natural one.  We just need Toby to get here with that Wer venom for the bars and we'll be set this will kill him." Skipper said comparing the instructions with the finished trap.

 Kat sighed, wringing her hands anxiously.

"I hope this works."

"Do you want to practice the timing once more?" Skipper asked, folding up the instructions.

Kat nodded trying to shake herself free of the doubt that clung to the inside of her mind and infected her thoughts with uncertainty.

"Let's do this."

Skipper opened one of the doors. Kat entered into the box. Skipper left the door open and took a couple of steps back.

"Now I'm the bug." He said.

"You not so scary." Kat joked trying to lighten the misgivings that weighed heavy on her shoulders.

"I'm not a cursed Firefly."  Skipper pointed out, not helping Kat's psyche.

"Thanks I needed that." Kat said sarcastically, with a forced smile that was almost a grimace.

"Life is best taken straight, no chaser, no sugar on the shi--"

"I got it."

“Okay. Ready?” Skipper asked. Kat nodded.

He rushed towards the cage in a light jog. Kat edged towards the back of the cage. As Skipper reached the door of the cage Kat turned and leapt across the remaining distance to the opposite side of the cage. She threw open the second door and jumped out of the cage slamming the door behind her. Skipper reached the second door as Kat began to lock it. He grabbed hold of the bars and shook it with all his might. Kat struggled to lock the door pushing against it with her back.

"From here I can easily reach you with my fangs." Skipper pointed out.

"Not helping." Kat hissed through gritted teeth.

"He won't either." Skipper reminded. Kat pushed the lock into place and jumped away.

"Ok. Done." Kat said, whipping her hair way from her face.

"And your dead. Kat Fireflies burn you with acid every time they touch you. You have to be faster than that."

"Well the bars will be laced with venom. That will burn him back he, he should stay away." Kat said, defensively.

"He's been waiting for this moment of twenty years. He's humiliated and angry, enough so to attack you because your scent resembles Adrian's. If he is angry enough to do that then believe you me he is angry enough to suffer a few burns to get you. Let's try it again."

"Fine."  Kat said opening the door and stepping inside the cage. "Go."

They went over the task many times, until Kat was exhausted but flawless...or maybe Skipper was exhausted too and getting slower. But by the end of the day she managed to escape the cage and lock it before Skipper could cross halfway towards her. Skipper continued to express how much slower he was than a Firefly but that couldn’t stop Kat from growing a the smallest bit more confident. Maybe this could work after all. She dare not hope least she jinx it.

The End

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