We kept walking around the building and I grew awkward when people would talk to her. Some would eye me strangely before getting back to their tasks. Others recognized me and clearly wanted to talk to me, but had second thoughts upon seeing their leader.
“Um, so...where are you going now?”
“You sure ask a lot of questions, Freshmeat.”
“Do you need any help?”
She stared at me for a moment.
“I guess it wouldn't be completely terrible to bring you along. I guess.” Black said, looking away.
“Will your leg be okay?”
“Hey, don't smother me.” She seemed annoyed for a second there.
“Sorry. Um, where's Hawk?”
“Coming with us. We're going to get rid of some unwanted visitors. If you plan on coming with us, don't run out of energy halfway through a fight, it'll only bring us down.”
“Well, I was thinking...maybe I could serve another purpose?”
“And that is?”
“Do you guys usually just all rush in or is there any planning involved?”
“What do you think?”
“I assume that the others could be as reckless as you are, I guess.” I shrugged.
“What's your point?”
“I'm just saying that if we have some sort of...preparation before confronting these people that there wouldn't be as many losses or injuries. By preparation, I mean a way of catching them off-guard.”
“They're probably expecting you all to come at the same place seeing as they're probably well-known enemies of yours and they might not know you for strategy. What if we all spread out and then attack at different times? They won't be expecting that, I don't think.”
“That's an interesting take on it. I'll consider your idea. Anyway, if you still want to join us, we'll be in that room from before in like, half an hour. Alright?”
“What about the trial?”
“A mission with us counts as one, haha.”
“Is Freshmeat a natural redhead?”
“W-what?” I wasn't really sure what she was asking.
“Oh, lighten up. I thought you'd be able to see that was messing with you.” Black said with a faint grin on her face.
“Well I knew that, but not why.”
“Why? Why not?”
I looked down in a puzzled manner.
“You're very strange for a leader.” I finally said.
“Please, I'm known as Black.” She held her hand out to me.
“Um, okay. Black, then.” I hesitantly accepted her kind gesture.
She stared at me for a while longer before letting go of my hand. When I glanced at her, I could see something different in her eyes for a moment. Unfortunately, it was gone before I could make sense of what it was.
“Come on, let's show them who's boss, yeah?” She said, tearing my thoughts away.
“Let's try out your 'plan' shall we?”
Several minutes later, a number of us were outside. Those who came with us didn't seem to eager to be a part of the operation, other than Hawk. Her attitude was oddly infectious, I found. She wasn't as cold and distant as their leader was. I did my best to take in what ever she had to tell me. Black, on the other hand, would usually talk to me with either a crude disinterest or something resembling a mild fascination of some sort. I saw that she'd brought some sort of blade that was held in a sheath on her back.
I told them about the plan I had mentioned earlier and thought about it some more beforehand. It apparently required effort on their part and would have them to work together. I had no idea how well this went in the past, but I could tell by their reactions that is wasn't something they often did. Hawk mentioned that what what our group was known for was their strength and the actions of their very strange leader. I assumed that whatever planning they'd had in the past were as spontaneous as she was, perhaps.
While I was focused on my thoughts, Hawk walked up to me and I was handed a gun.
“Um...what's this for?”
“You do remember how to use it, right?”
“I guess, but...”
“You're going to hesitate again, Freshmeat?” Their leader came in close and stared at me.
“I'll try not to, but I'd really like to avoid-”
“Okay, good. We're going now. You come with me.” She practically forced me to fallow her.
The gun's weight in my hands was heavy, but not in the way one might think. I didn't like to think that I'd have to kill others with it in order to preserve myself, so I made a mental note to at least try and disable instead of simply shooting to kill.
“We're going after their leader. The others with us will take out the few reinforcements if they arrive. I sure hope this works, Freshmeat.”
I mumbled something out of the bitterness I had for that name.
She spoke to the others and we went around to the back of the building and brought the door down. I sighed, not appreciating how she reckless she was. It was surprising to see her bring it down so easily and I was reminded once more not to get on her bad side.
We went inside and took out a few of the people who got in our way. I was still reluctant with using the weapon I'd been given. Black seemed to be enjoying herself even though others were clearly focused on just getting out of here alive.
Upon coming across their leader, ours certainly took her time with taunting him. He knew he was cornered, but still put up a struggle that was in some way formidable. When his backup finally came, they were too late to save him and Hawk's group quickly finished them off.
The victorious feeling that the group shared wasn't something I took part of. I even had to look away when Black took his life. When we'd arrived back at their base, I went back to my room and kept to myself for the rest of the night.