When Makara left the room, Raine let out a heavy sigh. The girl couldn’t know how worried he was about Ohlan, and even he could admit that if Ohlan was headed somewhere, it wasn’t to found a new settlement in the Wasteland, as he had previously discussed with him.
“What’s our COA?” Green asked.
Raine cracked his knuckles one by one as he considered.
“We got to go after him,” he said.
“If he’s been gone a few hours, he’s halfway to Carin by now,” Green said. “He knows just about everything we do.”
“Everything that matters, in any case,” Raine said. “It’s still a question of whether they can assault this place. We gave ‘em a hard licking last time.”
“They’re warring the Krakens right now,” Green said. “Ohlan picked a bad time to leave.”
“Someone must have tipped his hand.”
She had overheard Ohlan and Cyrus discussing his betrayal. It was possible – perhaps even probable – that Ohlan had figured that out.
Suddenly, Raine stood, his senses going on high alert. Green reached for his handgun, but before he could get a word out, Raine was out the door.
He checked both directions, but Makara was in neither one. She had left two minutes ago, but Raine already kicking himself for letting her go in the first place.
He ran up to nearby guard. “Corley, did Makara go by?”
Corley pointed toward the mall. “That way, Boss. What’s up, something wrong?”
“Lock down HQ,” Raine said.
Corley’s eyes widened. “Sir?”
“You want to explain what’s going on?” Green said, running out of the office.
Raine was about to explain when an explosion sounded from the direction of the concourse. Raine’s skin went cold as the floor vibrated beneath his feet.
Raine sprinted for the escalator, taking the steps two at a time.
When he reached the bottom floor, a cloud of dust rolled over him.
He covered his mouth with his arm, hacking and coughing even as he pushed forward. As the thunder of the explosion dissipated, he could hear the screams of both the frightened and the wounded.
The dust cleared just enough for him to see ahead into the concourse, where rubble had piled onto the floor. There were several unmoving bodes trapped beneath the concrete, and the sun shone through a large gap in the wall.
“We’re being bombed!” a female voice wailed.
Someone was trying to pull up a slab of wall that had pinned an elderly man to the floor. Raine rushed over to assist.
“Let me help you with that,” he said.
Together, he and the man lifted the concrete up, just enough for the man to escape.
“You all right?” Raine asked the man.
The man nodded, even if he was favoring one leg.
“Can you see him to medical?” Raine asked the man who had helped him, only now taking note of his face.
His brother looked at him, flashing a smile. “I’ll get him to medical right away.”
As he turned to go, Raine grabbed his shoulder. “Wait! I thought you…” Raine considered, wondering whether he should be reaching for his gun.
“It was an act, Raine. I’m on your side. Always have been. And I learned about this attack…I was just a few minutes too late. I rushed back to warn you,but…”
He trailed off helplessly. Raine just watched him, stunned.
‘It was a bomb. A plot. I’m sorry I couldn’t stop it in time.”
Raine only now found his tongue. “Someone…overheard you speaking to this man named Cyrus. I thought…”
“I’ve always been on your side, Raine. I don’t agree with everything you do, but…” He coughed from the dust, which was still thick. “Maybe we can talk about this later. Even if I couldn’t stop this, I learned a lot that will be of use.”
Raine nodded dumbly. He had been prepared to go out and kill Ohlan at the first opportunity he got.
Now, he didn’t know what to thin.
“You could have told me, Ohlan.”
“You would have never agreed. They still think I’m working for them, Raine. Still. Isn’t that useful to you?”
“So you’re a spy, now.”
Ohlan gave a coy smile. “We all have our talents, brother. I’ve always worked better in the dark.”
“And my men? I thought you all were deserters. Jesus, Ohlan, I was about to go out there and hang you myself!”
“Well, you know now. As far as your men…they never really left, of course. They were watching my back in case my meeting with Cyrus went bad.”
“This won’t happen again,” Raine said. “Ever. Even if you’re still loyal to the gang…and a big part of me doubts that…I need to know I can trust you. You can’t do shit like this and expect to get away with it, Ohlan, or I’ll kick you out of the Angels myself.”
“Secrecy was vital,” Ohlan said. “You would have never allowed a Reaper into the mall. I had to do that, Ohlan.”
“To let them think I was really on their side. You have to trust me, Raine. I got this under control.”
“Whether you are or you aren’t, I’m in on everything you do now,” Raine said. “Play spy if you want to. Just let me in on what’s going on.”
Ohlan nodded, and it was all Raine could do not to heave a sigh of relief.
“Let’s clean this place up.”