Destroyer(Legend of the Ir'Indicti,Book 5)(15) by Connie Suttle
* * *
"You go at sundown," Raze instructed the six Dark Elemaiya Baltis had selected for the mission. "The state of Georgia is one hour later than it is here, and the building we've selected will be unoccupied at that time. It will take one relocation from here, and you will return to this location as soon as the explosives are placed and set. Do you understand?"
Raze had traveled to the Kansas City area the night before with his six companions. He watched carefully as each of the six nodded at his words. These were Baltis' best troops, and half of them were captains in Baltis' army. "We are ready," Baltis' senior captain bumped a fist against his chest and nodded respectfully to Raze. "We await your command."
* * *
"All will be well," Wildrif bowed respectfully to Baltis. "You will see."
"Good. Leave me." Baltis waved a hand in dismissal. Wildrif bowed again and walked away from Baltis' lavish tent, reminding himself not to hurry or draw attention from the others. By the time the night was over, the human government would be angrier than an anthill under attack and he would be on his way to Mexico.
He'd made arrangements with Tanner, too—Baltis would think him dead when he disappeared. A body, dressed in his clothing and mangled beyond recognition, would be left behind in the desert. He hadn't considered it, but Zeke Tanner had. Obediah had been crafty, but his older brother Ezekiel eclipsed him. Zeke had sent Wildrif to New Mexico years earlier to keep an eye on his younger brother.
Wildrif sighed heavily. The Ir'Indicti had prevented him from seeing Obediah's capture and the destruction of Obediah's empire. Wildrif hadn't seen the Ir'Indicti's arrival either, but that was an unpredictable event. Even the best Miriasu couldn't have seen it; it wasn't for them to see. If the Ir'Indicti became involved in any event, Wildrif's visions wavered or failed altogether. He'd seen Beldris' death easily enough—the Ir'Indicti hadn't been involved in that. He had failed to see his appearance in Canada, and what happened as a result. Wildrif had come to rely on information on those surrounding the Ir'Indicti, and he was getting better at tracking his movements. Soon, things would fall into place and Wildrif would have his revenge.
"I'll be better off in Mexico for the moment," Wildrif muttered to himself as he walked past the camp's perimeter. The guard spared him a perfunctory glance and turned away.
* * *
"Nick, seems your takeover bid didn't go so well."
"You didn't tell me you were bringing vamps," Nick, held easily by Rhett, cursed as he snapped at the Grand Master. Weldon stood before Nick, arms crossed comfortably over his chest as he watched the Amarillo Packmaster. Nick, thinking only the Grand Master was coming for a visit, had six wolves waiting to bring Weldon down. He'd thought to take the Grand Master position and change the landscape for werewolves throughout the world.
"I don't tell a lot of people a lot of things. That's my business. Six good wolves died tonight, because they didn't want to cross their Packmaster. You're responsible for their deaths. What do you think I'm about to do with you?" Weldon's dark eyes bored into Nick's hazel gaze.
"Gonna have one of your pet vamps do it for you?" Nick hissed.
"If I were you, I'd shut up. One of those vamps is holding you, remember?" Weldon's voice was a growl. "I'll do this myself, with Thomas as a witness. It'll be more painful than a quick head removal by Rhett, there."
"Screw you," Nick struggled in Rhett's implacable grip.
"No, thanks. Now, are you gonna die honorably, or are you gonna make Rhett chase you when he lets you go? Remember, he'll have you again before you can blink if you try to run."
"I'll take you down, you flea-ridden mutt," Nick snarled.
"You can try," Weldon's growl was low and menacing. "Rhett, let him go." Rhett nodded to Weldon and released his hold on Nick Robbins. Weldon didn't bother to undress. His clothing ripped as he became werewolf and leapt at the Amarillo Packmaster.
* * *
"We'll fly to Atlanta tonight, to look for a vampire we suspect of theft, illegal arms dealing and the killing of humans," Tony explained to Ashe while Gavin silently looked on.
"You think we need that outmoded method of transportation?" Gavin stared as Ashe's eyes went a dark blue and stars swept through their depths. "I will take you to Atlanta. Before you deal with Rydley Huntington, we will make another stop—at Fort Arland. Your targeted vampire has managed to sell explosives to the Dark Elemaiya, and they are planning to destroy most of the base tonight if we don't stop them."
"What the hell?" Tony backed away from Ashe, whose eyes slowly cleared.
"I mean it," Ashe shrugged. "I know what I know."
"You know where our quarry is?"
"Yeah." Ashe shrugged again.
"This will make things a lot easier," Tony muttered. "A lot scarier, too."
"Anthony, you will keep this information to yourself," Gavin commanded.
"Yes, Anthony, you will keep this information to yourself," Ashe repeated, placing compulsion on Tony. Tony's eyes unfocused for a moment before clearing. He blinked. "Yeah. I guess I will," he nodded.
* * *
"Weldon?" Winkler answered the Grand Master's call on his cell.
"Just wanted to let you know that Amarillo is without a Packmaster right now," Weldon said. Winkler heard clearly the sounds of Weldon dressing while he spoke.
"Took down Robbins?" Winkler asked.
"He tried a coup, earlier. Thought I'd be alone when he set six of his wolves on me. If Thomas, Dalroy and Rhett hadn't been with me, things might not have gone so well. Tell the kid thanks for giving me the heads-up."
"I'll tell him, but he's in a meeting with the vamps here—upstairs in my study."
"They'd better take care of him. Do they even have a clue how valuable—and vulnerable—he is?"
"I think Gavin may have a clue. Jury's still out on Hancock."
"Keep an eye on that cook of yours. I don't think he has a high opinion of shifters."
"I'll fire his ass."
"Don't fire him. Send him to Amarillo and let him help clean up this mess."
"I'll send him in the morning."
"Thomas can pick him up at the airport."
"I'll let you know what time."
* * *
"Trajan, we'll need a new cook," Winkler turned to his Second after ending the call with Weldon.
"I heard," Trajan pulled two sodas from the fridge and handed one to Winkler. "I hear Florence Thompson is a good cook."
"Amos' wife? The swan shifter?"
"Yeah. She made those pies you ate half of at the potluck gathering not long ago."
"That apple pie was almost as good as Lissa's," Winkler sighed. "Can you call her tomorrow? See if she's interested? I know she and Amos had to sell their livestock before the move. If she's bored, she may consider cooking for wolves. Assure Amos she'll be as safe as we can make her, and she can go home every night. Offer her weekends off, too; we can go out."
"How much?" Trajan asked.
"Offer her four thousand a month, if she does three meals five days a week, and she can carry dinner home for Amos."
"Why don't you ask Amos if he'd like a job? He can help guard the perimeter and get a little exercise, too. That way he won't miss his wife's cooking during the week," Trajan grinned. "He used to guard Cloud Chief. All he can do at Star Cove is sit inside that dinky guard shack."
"Then offer both of them a job," Winkler nodded.
"I'll call first thing in the morning, and tell the wolves they have to behave."
"If they don't want the job, see if anybody else in Star Cove is interested."
"Will do, Boss."
* * *
"Peyton, you've been in the same place for too long." Zeke's growl worried Peyton. "Did you think I wouldn't have a locator on that cell I gave you?"
Peyton gulped. He hadn't considered that, and he knew he should have. "Just getting my bearings, Mr. Tanner," Peyton replied, attempting to keep his voice calm and even. Zeke could smell fear from a hundred miles away.
"I expect you to be in Corpus Christi by tomorrow," Zeke snapped. "If I see you haven't moved, I'll send somebody after you. Got it?"
"Yeah. I'll be in Corpus by nightfall tomorrow."
"Good. We'll discuss a game plan when you get there."
* * *
Kid, what are we waiting for? Tony sent mindspeech to Ashe. He, Gavin and Ashe were hidden behind a forklift inside a darkened warehouse. Surrounding them were crates, boxes and supports filled with grenades, bullets, shells, rocket launchers and all sorts of weapons.
Six Elemaiya. The dark kind. With explosives bought from Rydley Huntington, Ashe replied. You take care of the Elemaiya. I'll handle the explosives.
What do you plan to do with the bodies? Tony asked.
Send them back where they came from, Ashe's mental voice was grim. It'll cause trouble down the road, but it could mean bigger trouble in the interim.
That's very comforting, Tony's response was sarcastic.
You used to do this kind of crap for a living. Vampirism has definitely gone to your head.
Don't get smart with me.
Then get smart with yourself. Look around you. What will this do if we let it happen? The nation goes on lockdown, people start looking for terrorists under their beds and wars start. End of story.
Kid, the vamps generally stay out of human affairs.
Except for those who work for Matt Michaels. Or the ones Wlodek has stashed here and there around the globe, so he can keep his fingers in every pie. Except for those, you mean?
Kid, watch your mouth.
Get ready, Ashe warned, just as six Elemaiya appeared inside the warehouse.
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