What's It Worth?Mature

Act I

"We've got them this time!" a young team of four and their veteran leader sprinted towards an old and unused construction dock building used to store discarded goods or extra crates. Through a long month of searching today they would finally find what they were looking for, the young team of investigators were more than eager to solve their next case and even convinced their leader to ignore particular protocol which wasn't completely needed, he was confident in their skills since they were all above average.

    "Herbert go up the stairs, the rest of you keep following!" their valiant leader ordered as they ran down the hall. Herbert abided by his command and broke away from the group as soon as they reached the stairs which lead to the building's second story. The rest of the team when they made it to the door on the first leaned against the wall next to it.

    "Evert knock the door down." he kicked down the door and made space for his leader to enter first. With pistols drawn and swords in their sheath they made it inside with no threats. The two lined up behind their leader and made their way through the overwhelming amounts of imported containers, wooden and metallic.

    "It's just a bunch of containers." Gerhild complained.

    "Don't worry sweetheart, they're in here." Evert assured her.

    "Keep your eyes sharp." their leader warned as they walked along the sides of the wall. Above them were catwalks which helped prevent their bodies from being spotted.

    "I'm seriously going to kill you if your so called 'gut feelings' aren't right, we had to break a lot of rules for this moment."

    "I grew up on the streets here, I know what goes around." Evert stated. Their leader didn't really mind their loudness despite the fact they were on a mission, he had been in much worse conditions and was confident that he could take care of all of them.

    "Stop." their leader ordered as he looked through a crack between the containers. The team then leaned against the next container and their leader was ready to move into the center of the building and his underlings were ready to follow. As they walked down the rows of containers they found that the center was hollow of any, instead they had wooden crates.

    "This has to be it." Evert stated.

    "Looks like you were right." Gerhild said as she pushed open the top of a crate to expose rifles stored within it, to their luck the top few crates were left unscrewed.

    "Of course I was right, maybe one day I'll be the best investigator in Wachstum." Evert joked. Their leader took a closer examination at the rifles, judging by their appearance they must have been from neighboring sovereign.

    "Sure, maybe." she responded.

    "Wait. Something isn't right, where is Herbert?"

    "Herbert is our best marksman and boxer, he probably found the criminals and beat them up." Evert joked again. Gerhild nodded.

    "Herbert isn't the type to go down so easily, he might have reached some dead ends or something." she assured.

    "No wait. Listen." the trio listened more diligently to the faint sounds in the back in a consistent pattern.

    "Herbert! Is that you!?" Evert called out while he aimed his pistol at the catwalk furthest from them.

    No response. Then suddenly the noise started to pick up, they were more easily distinguishable now. Footsteps at the platform accelerated but suddenly stopped. From the catwalk Herbert was pushed off by two men out of sight, the worse part was he wasn't dead.

    "Herbert!" Gerhild shouted as she moved herself from cover and towards his body which laid on the ground twitching and covered in blood.

    "Wait! Gerhild!" their leader shouted but it was too late, she was too far gone and out of reach of his casting distance.

    "Herbert hold on!" she shouted. Evert also made an attempt to move but was dragged down by his leader. As Gerhild ran the criminals exposed themselves from the catwalk and fired. Gerhild stood no chance and was lost with the first bullet that pierced her heart.

    "Gerhild!!!" cried out Evert.

    "Get down!" his leader said as he pushed him down. From there he casted the Bradu-phulaké a spell that slowed down extremely fast projectiles, in this case bullets. "We need to go, follow me."  Evert looked up at him and knew they couldn't be saved... and it was his own fault. When the enemy started to reload they quickly sprinted away from the boxes and out the storage building. When the enemy finished reloading they quickly moved into positions to shoot at them however the various crates and unpredictable moment of the investigators made it difficult, especially when the leader used the Bradu-phulaké.

    "You need to stop using the spell." Evert stated as they took shelter behind a tower of crates. He shook his head.

    "No, you can't die too."

    "If you keep using the spell you'll be the one who…!"

    "No one else is dying!"

    "We..." Evert was cut off when one of the riflemen above took a shot.

    "We need to move again." they sprinted through the semi disorganized maze of crates and tried to find the way out but once again something was wrong.

    "They stopped shooting." Evert pointed out. Their leader took a moment to think and realized that the worse was to happen.

    "RUN!!!" the enemy had intentionally destroyed the ammunition crates to kill the investigators, he realized that it might have been the underground bounty on his head that they wanted. The old storage building started to collapse from above and underneath their feet, still with no way out they continued their escape in vain then from above the walls of crates fell on them.

    "It's no good." Evert could hear his leader say as he opened his eyes.

  "Lieutenant..." he called out weakly as he tried to get out of the pile of broken and crates on top him, "...it's all my fault. They're dead because of me and we will be too." his leader looked to the side and realized that they were at the side of the building and that he had one leg inside of a destroyed section of the floor which lead to the water dozens of feet below.

    "No wait. Not yet Evert. We can still make it out alive." he reached with his left hand to grab Evert’s jacket and helped him but it was another vain action. Behind Evert he dragged with him splintered bones. "Come on Evert." his leader said once he was close enough to forcefully pull him, the space was very limited but there was enough space for him to get up but he was too weak.  The building was coming down too fast, more debris piled on top of him.

    "Lieutenant. You need to tell them that this was my fault."

    "No, it's not your fault, we can still make it out. I am not letting you die here." the pressure on top of Evert prevented his leader from being able to pull him however Evert was close enough to do something else.

    "I will... take responsibility for my actions."

    "Evert what are you doing!?" his leader shouted wide eyed and surprised. Evert gave his leader the final push to break his grip and throw him off balance to fall into the water. His leader did not even have time to call out his name but he reached out to him with one arm knowing that it was useless. In a moment he was in the water but still he reached out.

. . .

“We The Arch Court of the Delegation of Wachstum finds the defendant guilty of all charges.”

The End

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