Indigo called to him. “Vagrant! Are you hurt?”
“No!” Shadrach replied in a squawk. He cleared his throat and repeated, trying to hide the excitement in his voice. Indigo nodded. Rain was rolling off of the bloody blade, sending a stream of pink droplets to the ground. Now more than ever Shadrach was convinced that it wasn’t just the darkness of the skin or the strangeness of the eyes that made Indigo different. He was more than a man, filled with courage and rage and lethality that could not possibly be matched, and Shadrach could only stand near in awe.
Indigo eyed the crumpled remnants of the motorcycle (mechanics, he called them) that crashed into the pillar only momentarily, before walking toward the other wreckage in the midst of the trees. The clouds overhead were swollen and ashy, and full of an anger that was compressed over them. Jagged lightning scorched not far from here, and thunder boomed in unison. Indigo told him that they wouldn’t survive this weather, and Shadrach had no doubt in the midst of it. Yet the dark man examined the wreck in the trees, and he squatted suddenly, gripping the sidecar. He waved for Shadrach frantically.
The gales whipped at his clothes and skin as he rushed onward, and a second surge of adrenaline coursed through him at the thought of braving this squall. That rush was snuffed out by a new, closer attack of thunder and lightning, and he brayed a scream and covered his ears as he rushed toward the trees.
“Trees don’t actually keep you safe from the storm!” he bellowed at Indigo, but the dark man wasn’t listening. He was fidgeting with the straps that were binding the rider in the sidecar, trying to cut them loose. His face was stricken, and his amber eyes were devoid of the rage and power they held, replaced now with deep concern. The rider in the sidecar shifted slightly, and Shadrach raised his pistol without thinking.
Indigo swatted it from his hand, and it bounded off of the ground. “Not him,” the dark man said firmly. “Help me cut him loose and get him from this storm.”
“He tried to kill us,” Shadrach interjected, and Indigo’s eyes flashed, silencing his protests.
They cut the rider loose from his restraints, and as they pulled his moaning form from the crumpled sidecar, Shadrach was oddly amused at his form. This creature was short and squat, with bandy legs and a barrel chest. His face was crusted with mud and blood, and a gunshot wound was seeping through the shoulder pads that had harnessed him into the sidecar. Indigo hoisted him beneath his armpits and carried him through the storm, undeterred by the rising winds and tortuous rain. Shadrach retrieved his gun and stuffed it away, covering his head from the storm, all too certain that if he didn’t hurry, that driving rain would turn into a deluge of fist-sized hail.
He found them on the other side of the train car, where he had huddled away and loaded bullets only moments before. Indigo was tugging at the door handle, the cords on his neck standing out as he strained. The wounded ride was lying on his side, his soft moans drowned out by the storm. There was a shriek of metal on metal that topped the roar of the weather, and the door staggered open. The dark man took the rider again beneath the armpits and dragged him into the bowels of the wasted train car. Shadrach stood momentarily, not sure what was going to come next. He was hurried by a crash of thunder that seemed to happen only inches behind him, and he hopped into the train car, soaking and confused.