The Esperanza spent the remainder of the afternoon after the border crossing floating lazily down the river. Ocelot was impatient, his mind filling in dire scenarios that could be happening even as they floated, but he knew there wasn’t any faster way to go. Despite its languid pace the boat was still moving faster than they could have hiked in, and the jungle was just too thick for any sort of vehicles. Not to mention the fact that the authorities wouldn’t have taken kindly to them stomping through the delicate ecosystem. Gabriel could probably have dealt with it, but it would have blown their cover and caused problems of its own.
None of this meant that Ocelot had to like the delays, though.
He stood up at the front of the boat, leaning on the railing and watching the scenery go by without really seeing it. His eyes scanned far ahead, almost as if he expected to see Winterhawk and his group waiting on the riverbank.
Kestrel came up next to him and held out an energy bar. “Hungry?”
He shook his head. “No, thanks. Eating’s the last thing on my mind right now.”
She nodded, stowing it back in her pocket. “It won’t be long now.”
“Yeah—that’s what everybody keeps saying. But who knows what kind of shape ‘Hawk is in out there? What if he—?” He couldn’t finish the thought.
She put a hand on his shoulder. “You heard Gabriel before—he’s alive. That means he can heal himself. And don’t forget there are other mages there too. You said he knows Amazonia—”
Ocelot nodded morosely. “Yeah, he does. But he’s not exactly a master survivalist. He always left that kind of thing to the rest of the team.”
She smiled a little. “You’d be surprised at the kinds of things you remember when you need to. I’m sure he’s doing fine.”
He turned a bit and looked at her. “What about you? How are you doing?”
The question caught her off guard. She gave him a startled, curious glance but otherwise didn’t answer.
Ocelot shrugged. “We never really got a chance to talk about—things. I just wanted to know how you were doing, that’s all.”
She leaned over the railing and stared down into the water. “Okay,” she said. “I haven’t really felt much of anything physically, if that’s what you mean. I imagine it’ll start up pretty soon, if it’s going to.”
“So are you really okay with it?”
Again she paused before answering. “I guess I don’t really have a choice about it, do I? But even so—yeah, I’m okay with it. I don’t like what we’re going to have to do, but it’s the best way for everybody, I think.” She looked up quickly. “I’m not going to ask you to make a decision yet, though. We need to take care of this first, I know that. We have time.”
Ocelot nodded slowly, not looking at her. “Where is he?”
“Gabriel? I think he’s in the back, watching the wildlife. I think he’s fascinated by this place, especially since he’s never been here before.”
“Yeah...it’s a pretty fascinating place. Pretty deadly too, though. And damned uncomfortable.” He punctuated this by swatting a mosquito that had settled on his cheek. He took a deep breath. “I can’t get over thinking about last night,” he said suddenly. “I know I’m probably being way too paranoid, but it sure seems odd to me that somebody would care enough abou the fact that we’re here to send an assassin to try to kill us in our beds. And then there were those guys at the border. If I didn’t know better, I’d say there was more to this than we’re seein’.” He gave her a challenging look, as if daring her to refute his words.
Instead, she nodded. “I’ve been thinking the same thing,” she admitted. “We haven’t told anyone except Aubrey that we’re here, and as far as everybody who knows anything knows, we’re searching for our friend who went down in a plane crash. Which is all they can know, because it’s the truth. Why wouldn’t they want us to find him?”
Ocelot went back to staring at the water. “I can think of lots of reasons, but most of them are either lame or too farfetched to be useful.”
He sighed. “The lame one is that they don’t like anybody putting their dirty feet into their precious ecosystems, so they’re willing to accept a few sacrifices to keep people out.”
“That’s possible,” she said. “That could explain why they claim they never heard nor saw anything of a plane going down. What’s the farfetched one?”
“That maybe they do know something about the plane crash—and it crashed somewhere it shouldn’t. Somewhere they don’t want anybody to know about.”
Her eyes narrowed. “You mean they’re afraid somebody might find out they’re doing something they shouldn’t be in there?”
Again Ocelot shrugged. “Who knows? I told you it was farfetched. Not to say that there aren’t things going on in there that shouldn’t be, but the odds that the plane went down near one of them are pretty low.”
“Maybe they think it did,” she said. “That could be just as bad.” She pushed herself up and turned around so she was leaning on the railing facing toward the back of the boat. “But you’re probably right—that’s a pretty out-there theory. My guess is they just had us pegged for rich gringos and so they took a chance that they could roll us for our gear and credsticks. If that’s so, then we probably won’t have any more trouble from them now.”
“I hope you’re right,” Ocelot said, but he didn’t sound convinced. He was pretty sure she wasn’t either. Reaching in his pocket, he pulled out his comm unit. “I think I’ll see if I can reach Aubrey again and see if anything’s moving on his end.”
Kestrel nodded. “I’ll go see what Gabriel’s up to.” She squeezed his shoulder and moved off.
Ocelot watched her go as he listened to the comm ring. When she disappeared around the corner of the cabin he finally let himself relax a little.
“Stone Manor.” Aubrey spoke quickly, as if he was in a hurry.
“Aubrey. It’s me.”
“Terry! Where are you?”
“I’m on a boat, floating down the Amazon River. We’ve crossed into Amazonia, and I guess we’ve still got comm reception, at least for now. Anything new happening there?”
The caretaker’s sigh was audible even across the bad connection. “Sir, it pains me to say this, but I’m beginning to think I’m not going to be much help to you. It’s getting worse. Dr. Leifeld and I have been making absolute pests of ourselves, as have the parents of at least one of the students and the girlfriend of another, but it’s as if our words aren’t being heard. Somewhere between here and the Amazonian authorities, things are getting lost. Every time we call we have to start from scratch.”
Ocelot’s eyes narrowed. “What do you mean, from scratch?”
Aubrey sighed again. “I mean that every time we call, we either get someone we haven’t spoken with before, or they’ve misplaced our file, or the person we need to talk to is out to lunch—you understand. Once or twice might be understandable, but every time? If I were inclined to be more suspicious, I’d think that they were deliberately dragging their feet.”
“Be suspicious, Aubrey.” Ocelot’s tone was grim. “I think that might be exactly what they are doing. But don’t worry—we’re here now and they won’t stop us. You know how...persuasive Gabriel can be when he wants something.”
“Yes, sir.” Aubrey’s relief was evident. “I’m glad you’re there, and I only wish I were with you. But—” He paused. “If they are stalling, why would they be doing so? Someone is bound to question why it took them so long to respond to an obvious emergency.”
“Maybe,” Ocelot told him. “I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m really starting to think something is. Frankly I don’t give a frag what it is as long as we get ‘Hawk and the rest of them back home. They can play whatever games they want then—we’ll be long gone.”
Aubrey nodded slowly. “Yes, sir. I hope you’re right. Do you have any idea how far from him you are now?”
“Not sure—I think we’re a day or so away yet. This boat will take us to a spot as close as it can, and then we’ll have to hike it. We’re hoping Gabriel can give us a little help pinpointing their location once we get there.” He started to say something else, but the little comm unit crackled in his ear. “Aubrey, I’m breaking up here—I’m gonna have to sign off. I’ll try to call again, but no promises—I think we’re getting too far from civilization to get a signal. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.”
“Thank you, sir. I hope I’ll see you all soon.” Aubrey’s last words were almost lost in a burst of static, and then the signal faded out.
Ocelot slowly snapped his comm shut and put it back in his pocket. That was that—they were truly on their own now, out of communication range. He sighed and leaned back on the railing, watching the muddy water churn up under the boat’s bow. He wondered what Kestrel and Gabriel were talking about and thought about going back there to see, but decided against it. He wasn’t sure he wanted to talk to them right now.
The remainder of the afternoon and early evening passed without major incident, with the Esperanza continuing to make her slow but steady way toward the point where they would have to disembark and head off overland. The only excitement of the afternoon came from the sighting of a pair of macareu floating lazily ahead of them; Ruiz was clearly nervous about it, but they didn’t mess with the boat. Ocelot saw Gabriel up near the front watching them and suspected that the dragon might have had something to do with that fact, but he didn’t ask.
When twilight began to fall, Ruiz came up from the tiny bridge and asked them if they were ready for dinner. “You have an autopilot on this boat?” Kestrel asked.
Ruiz nodded. “I would not trust it with my life, but it is sufficient to keep us headed in the right direction long enough for me to handle brief tasks like preparing meals.”
“What about overnight?” she asked. “We can keep going, right? We don’t have to stop for the night?”
Ruiz looked troubled. “I would not advise it, señorita. Travelling by night is not safe here.”
“We’ll risk it,” Ocelot said bluntly.
“I can pilot the boat if you need to rest,” Kestrel added. “You won’t have to trust it to the autopilot. But we need to keep going.”
Ruiz took a deep breath, his gaze taking in each of their faces. At last he nodded. “As you say. I hope, however, that your magic is powerful enough to deal with the predators that come out to feed at night. Most of them are no threat to us as long as we remain in the water, but some of them—” he shivered a little.
“We wouldn’t be any safer on the shore,” Ocelot pointed out. “In fact, it might be more dangerous, right?”
“It is not safe anywhere out here,” Ruiz said.
“Then we’ll keep going,” Gabriel told him softly. “Don’t worry—we can handle the local wildlife. There should be little danger.”
Ruiz eyed him, obviously trying to reconcile his youthful appearance with his evident confidence and demonstrated magical abilities. “I will trust you, señor—I have seen your illusions, and if the rest of your magic is as strong, then you might be right.” He checked his chrono. “If we travel through the night, we should reach our destination by sometime tomorrow evening.”
Ocelot looked frustrated, but he said nothing. He knew that was the fastest they could do, but he still couldn’t shake the insane notion that getting out and running would somehow be faster.
He woke at dawn, uncurling himself from the uneasy catnap he’d fallen into sometime in the wee hours of the morning. Something had awakened him, but he couldn’t be sure what it was. A sound—
There it was again. This time, he had no trouble identifying its source: someone was in the process of being violently ill at the front of the boat.
He jumped up and hurried in that direction, confused. It couldn’t be Gabriel—he didn’t think dragons got seasick. It probably wasn’t Ruiz. So that left—
“Kestrel!” She was there, her body slumped miserably over the rail. He was there in a few swift steps, his hand on her back. “Hey, are you okay?”
She smiled wanly up at him. “Morning. Did I wake you?”
“Uh—no. I’ve never known you to get seasick before.”
She chuckled mirthlessly. “I don’t think it’s seasickness, Ocelot.”
“Then what is—” He stopped, tensed. “Oh.”
She nodded. “Yeah.”
Gabriel chose that moment to come around the side of the cabin, looking concerned. “Juliana? Are you all right?”
She looked a little embarrassed. “I’m fine, Gabriel. It’s nice that you’re all so attentive, but can’t a girl hurl in peace around here?”
“Hurl?” The young man’s look of concern turned to one of confusion.
His expression seemed to amuse her. “Hurl. Barf. Blow cookies. Feed the fish.”
He nodded slowly. “Are you ill?”
It wasn’t often that Gabriel was at a loss in a conversation, but this was one of those times. He looked back and forth between Ocelot and Kestrel, eyes questioning.
Kestrel patted Ocelot’s shoulder. “Will you tell him? I would, but I really need a date with a big glass of water and a nice toothbrush.”
Ocelot waved her off. After she had disappeared into the cabin, he turned back to Gabriel. “She’s not sick,” he said, trying to keep from sounding like he was grumbling. “Have you ever heard of morning sickness?”
Gabriel tilted his head. “But you just said she wasn’t—”
Ocelot sighed. Dragons! “Not that kind of sick. It happens to—pregnant women—sometimes. I don’t know much about it—hell, I don’t really know anything about it, except that they tend to get queasy in the mornings for awhile. I think it’s a pretty early thing. I guess it must not happen to dragons.”
Gabriel’s gaze had sharpened at the word pregnant. “I see,” he said softly. A pause, and then: “So—she will be all right?” He sounded almost guilty, as if he considered this to be his fault.
“Yeah, she’ll be all right.” He looked Gabriel up and down. “You know, if you’re going to be a father you really should look up some information on this stuff. Kestrel’s not gonna be too happy if she starts asking you to go out for pickles and ice cream and you act like you don’t know what the hell she’s talking about.”
The look of confusion was back. “Pickles and—?”
“Forget it. You’ll find out when you look it up.”
Gabriel nodded. He regarded Ocelot for several moments and then dropped his gaze. “You know, I don’t have to be telepathic to sense your tension.”
“Yeah, well...” Ocelot shrugged, pulling himself up to a seated position on the railing with his back to the water. “It wasn’t exactly what I expected, you know? I’m still working on it.”
“It wasn’t what any of us expected,” Gabriel said quietly. “I know that Juliana is not entirely comfortable with it, but I also know that she is adamant about wanting to see it through.”
“Yeah...” Some of the tension had dropped from his voice, replaced by weary resignation. “She always did have a thing about seeing things through to the end. And I guess I understand how she feels, that it’s not the kid’s fault all this happened.” He looked at Gabriel again. “But you don’t know how this is gonna play out, do you? You don’t even know if it’s gonna be safe for her to do this.”
Several seconds of silence passed. “It has been done before,” the young man finally said, “although not that I know of in this age. If any others have done it, they have kept it extremely quiet, which does not surprise me given the potential for negative consequences should they be discovered. If it will make you feel any better, I have never heard of a case where the female human died, or even experienced significant distress beyond normal, from bearing a dragonkin child.”
“But all that means you don’t know, right?” Ocelot’s tone was challenging now.
“Not entirely,” Gabriel admitted. “But it is not my decision. It is Juliana’s. I have told her the risks, and she has chosen to see it through. I will be with her to deal with any eventualities that might occur. I won’t risk her life for this.”
“You haven’t told her that, have you?” Ocelot chuckled a little, but it wasn’t a happy chuckle. “Seeing as how you still have your head, I’d say no.”
“No.” Gabriel shook his head. “Will I? I don’t know. We will see how things go.”
“Are you really planning to take her to your lair after this? Is that what she wants?”
Again he looked out over the water. “She fears for me, even though I have told her that it isn’t necessary. She has told me that she wants to do whatever is necessary to keep the pregnancy a secret, in hopes that she can bear the child without anyone finding out she was ever pregnant. I suggested that my lair might be the best place for this—it is certainly the safest place I have access to, and I can control the environment to ensure that she is both safe and...entertained.”
Ocelot wasn’t sure he liked the sound of that. Without thinking, he spoke his thoughts aloud in a growl: “You sure as hell ‘entertained’ her before, didn’ t you? Isn’t that why this whole thing started in the first place?”
Gabriel’s posture slumped noticeably and his head bowed. He did not reply.
Ocelot realized he might have gone a bit too far with that. “Sorry,” he muttered. “I didn’t have to say that.”
“It is what you were thinking, was it not?” Gabriel didn’t raise his head.
“Yeah...” he admitted with reluctance. “But I didn’t have to say it.” He paused, then sighed. “Ah, hell, Gabriel—dragons know about jealousy, don’t they? It ain’t a secret from anybody. That guy who pretended to be you back on the metaplanes said it pretty well, even though the last thing I wanted was to listen to him. It’s a human thing—well, a metahuman thing, I guess, too, but you know what I mean. Guys get jealous when they find out women they—fuck it, women they care about—are sleeping with other guys. With me, it wasn’t that I minded she did it, because I always knew she liked that kind of thing and it didn’t mean anything to her. But with you, it did mean something. I know what she thinks of you. It isn’t easy for me to admit to myself that she wants you more than she wants me. You get that, don’t you?”
“Of course.” Gabriel’s voice was soft, his eyes gentle. “And for whatever it might be worth, I don’t think Juliana ‘wants’ me in that way—not anymore. I think what happened that night was an isolated incident—something that she felt needed to happen, but I think she learned something about herself then.” He sighed. “My only advice to you, Ocelot, is that if you love her, show her—but don’t rush her. She isn’t one to make such decisions lightly.”
Ocelot nodded. “Yeah, I know that. Neither am I. Maybe that’s why we get along so well.” He was wondering why he was saying all of this out loud, but he couldn’t help it—Gabriel had that effect on people, and apparently he himself was no exception. He forced his expression to harden, but both of them knew it wasn’t genuine. “All I’ve got to say is that you’d better take care of her with this, or you’ll be hearing from me.”
Gabriel’s nod was solemn, as if he were taking the words seriously even as he knew the tone was joking. “I give you my word on that,” he said softly. “I will not allow any harm to come to her. But the promise is unnecessary—I had made a similar one long ago, both to Juliana and to myself.” He dropped his gaze. “Although I have already broken it once,” he whispered.
“You’re talking about when you...when the Horrors—”
He looked up. “Yes.”
Ocelot shook his head. “You can’t blame yourself for that, you know. Hell, even I don’t blame you for that. I still have nightmares about that whole time. I know Kestrel doesn’t think you’re responsible for it.”
“I know that as well,” he said, suddenly sounding very tired. “But that doesn’t change the way I feel about it. I have accepted it, but I will never fully forgive myself for what I did to her.”
“Did what?” Both of them looked up to see Kestrel approaching them. She looked considerably happier than she had a few minutes ago.
“Nothing,” Ocelot said quickly. “We were just—”
“You guys were talking about me,” she said, a little gleam in her green eyes. “Weren’t you?”
“Yeah,” he told her. “I was explaining to Gabriel here about what was up with you.”
“Are you feeling better?” Gabriel asked her.
She nodded. “Yeah. That’s the only saving grace of this—it doesn’t last very long, apparently. You know, I know next to nothing about this whole business. I should probably get a book or something.”
“That is what Ocelot was telling me,” Gabriel said. “That I should, I mean.”
“You two are hopeless.” Ocelot had to grin.
Kestrel swatted him playfully. “Yeah, like you’re the expert.”
At that moment, Ruiz came forward from the bridge. “Good morning,” he said. He looked out past the bow at the river in front of them and shook his head in amazement. “I must admit I am surprised, but pleased as well—the night passed uneventfully. I would not have thought it possible.”
The three passengers exchanged glances while Ruiz’s attention was occupied, and Gabriel gave them an almost imperceptible nod.
Damn, it’s nice to have a dragon along when you’re in dangerous territory, Ocelot had to admit.
Ruiz turned back around. “I am going to need some sleep—perhaps two or three hours.” He looked at Kestrel. “You say you can pilot the boat?” He didn’t appear to be happy about the idea, they could tell.
She nodded. “No problem. You go sleep and we’ll call you if anything comes up that you need to know about.”
Ruiz pulled off his hat, mopped at his sweaty brow with a bandanna handkerchief, and dropped his hat back on his head. “The autopilot should be able to handle things if the trip continues to be this...uneventful, but I do not feel comfortable leaving our fate under the control of a machine.”
“Me neither,” Ocelot agreed. “Don’t worry—if Kestrel says she can handle it, she can handle it.”
“Come, then,” he said. “I will show you what you need to know.”
The remainder of the day was almost an anticlimax. They continued their progress down the river, watching the jungle vegetation grow thicker and even the faintest signs of sentient habitation grow sparse and eventually disappear. Ocelot was bored and impatient—he kept checking and rechecking his weapons, almost wishing something would attack them just so he could have something to do. He spent a lot of time pacing the decks of the boat, looking around in all directions for potential threats and trying not to think about what Winterhawk might be doing out there in the jungle. The heat and humidity were oppressive; brief rainfall came and went frequently. Ocelot didn’t bother trying to go under cover to avoid the short soakings—he was already soaked through from sweating, so he figured a little more wouldn’t make any difference.
Gabriel, for his part, spent most of the trip up near the bow, his elbows propped on the railing, his gaze far away. Ocelot wasn’t sure if he was meditating, catching an open-eyed catnap, or discouraging the same potential threats that he himself was half-hoping to encounter. Whatever he was doing, Ocelot didn’t bother him.
Kestrel, when she wasn’t piloting the boat almost as expertly as Ruiz had done, stretched out on the top of the cabin like a cat, soaking up the filtered sunlight when it wasn’t raining. To anyone who didn’t know her she might have looked utterly relaxed, but Ocelot could see the faint tension in her muscles and knew that she was actually quite alert, ready to leap up and deal with anything that might be stupid enough to attack them.
It was early evening when the low thrumming chug of the engines slowed down and the boat made a little shuddering motion that startled all three of its passengers into full watchfulness. Behind them, the engines stirred up the dirty water into muddy froth. Ruiz had long since awakened and resumed his duties on the bridge. Ocelot was the first to reach him. “Something wrong?”
“No, señor.” Ruiz looked surprised, pointing over toward the shore. Ocelot, along with the others who had come up behind him, noticed that the captain was steering the Esperanza slowly in that direction. “We have arrived. This is the point where we will need to strike out overland. I can take you no further on the river.”
Ocelot was surprised. All the impatient waiting throughout the day had turned into almost a routine; he had begun to think that they would never reach their destination, and now here they were. “Let’s go, then!” he said, already heading for where they’d left their gear.
Ruiz took a deep breath. “Señor—I know that it will do me no good to say this, but you have hired me as your guide and I would be remiss in my duty if I did not. I advise you to remain here on the Esperanza until morning and set out at dawn. The danger on the river is insignificant compared to what you might face in the jungle at night.”
This time it was Gabriel who answered before Ocelot could. “Señor Ruiz, we thank you for your advice, but we must go now. Remember, our friends are out there in the danger you speak of, and we are better equipped to handle it than they are.”
Ruiz nodded like he expected that answer all along. “Yes, señor. I understand. If my friends were lost, I would have the same impatience.” His expression suggested that he was having serious doubts about these gringos’ abilities to survive in the Amazonian jungle, magic or no magic.
“One other thing,” Gabriel said, as behind him Ocelot and Kestrel began gathering packs and making preparations. “I think it would be best if you remain here on the Esperanza and waited for our return. We will likely be coming back with several injured people and we will want to leave quickly.”
Ruiz looked surprised, his expression warring between confusion and relief. “I do not understand, señor. You have hired me to guide you, and now you want me to—”
Ocelot picked up Gabriel’s reasoning. “We hired you to get us here,” he said, dropping a pack at Gabriel’s feet. “Besides, if you go with us there won’t be anybody to watch the boat. You wouldn’t want somebody to steal it, would you?”
“That is not likely here, señor,” Ruiz said, smiling a little. “Unless the monkeys have learned to pilot a boat since the last time I was here.”
Kestrel chuckled. “All the same, that’s what we want to do. Look at it this way—you’re getting paid the same amount whether you go with us or not. This way you get to kick back on your boat, read a magazine, fish, and wait for us to come back. A lot easier than trudging through the jungle, right?”
“I get paid if you return, señorita,” Ruiz pointed out.
“We’ll be back,” Ocelot growled. “We’re good for the money. We’ve already paid you more than the trip’s worth up front.”
Ruiz couldn’t deny that. He sighed. “All right, señor. Let us discuss your route.”
Gabriel got out the map and spread it out, and for the next few minutes they all pored over it under a flashlight. Ruiz offered suggestions for the best way to reach the likely crash site, and gave them a rundown of the gear he’d included in their packs. He pulled out one of the GPSs and held it up. “You know how to use these, right?”
Kestrel nodded. “Yeah.”
“Like I said back in town, this is your best friend. The terrain out there—it can change, and fast. I’ve seen times when I went to sleep and woke up in two completely different areas, even though the GPS said I didn’t move. Trust its reading, not your eyes, if you get lost.”
“But not too much,” Ocelot put in. “Last time I was here we had ‘em too, and they weren’t always accurate. Still, it’s better than nothing.”
They gathered up the rest of the gear, topped off their packs from Ruiz’s stores, and soon were ready to go. It was about seven o’clock, already dark. The captain rowed them to shore in a small rubber raft. “Good luck to you,” he called as they jumped ashore, shouldered their packs, and set off. “I will await your safe return.” If you return at all, he thought grimly to himself.
Several hours later, long after the three travelers had gone and Ruiz had finally allowed himself the luxury of two or three hours’ sleep in the cabin, he was abruptly awakened by a sound. He was immediately alert—his ears and his brain, sensitized to the normal noises of the jungle by many trips down this and other rivers, didn’t bother waking him up if it wasn’t something out of the ordinary, and out of the ordinary out here usually meant dangerous. Silently Ruiz picked up the rifle he kept next to his bunk and tiptoed out of the cabin and up the short stairway to the deck. Maybe it was just the gringos returning, admitting defeat and asking him to guide them in the morning after all.
Something grabbed him roughly from both sides as he reached the head of the steps, pulling his arms behind his back and forcing him to drop the rifle. It clattered to the deck next to him. He didn’t even get a chance to cry out before a strong hand clamped over his mouth. “Shut up,” a gruff voice hissed in his ear. “We want to talk to you about your passengers.”
Half an hour after that the intruders were gone. Reynaldo Ruiz never heard the muffled explosions or saw the fire that consumed his beloved Esperanza, the boat he had worked much of his adult life to afford. He was unconscious when the fire started, and by the time the charred remains sank to the bottom of the Amazon River, he was far past caring about anything.
Copyright ©2003-2005 R. King-Nitschke. The Shadowrun universe is the property of WizKids.
No part of this story may be reproduced without permission from the author.