Fiddlestix’ paranoia always has a tactical basis. As Deacon says, her hunches have never been wrong – spooky, considering this time she believes that Varin is more deeply involved in the situation than he let on.
Preparations for the trip to Florida began immediately. Deacon did not have a zeppelin to send them back in, but he could provide long range, two man flitters. The lightweight fliers were stored deep in the Georgia mountains. A high speed railway would transport them there in a very short time.
Deacon and Fiddlestix bid a brief, heartfelt farewell. Their time together had been short, but it had tempered a bond previously cast.
“I know now why I never tried to love somebody,” she sighed, laying her head on his chest. “It’s so much easier to go when you can pretend you don’t care.”
“We’ll be together soon. I’ll be bringing down our soldiers as soon as I can.”
“Deacon, you can’t! You’re needed here!”
“Hannah-Belle, you know it’s a political statement. I have to present a show of power.”
“I can’t rest on my laurels while you and my people go head to head with Varin or the Noir.”
A horrifying idea struck her, causing her to pause. Deacon was starting to look at her funny, so she finally put her misgivings into words.
“What if Varin is the Noir?”
Her mind had clicked into high gear. Excitement sang along her spine as she considered the implications of what she was saying.
“We have no clue if what Varin is saying is true. Suppose all the sub-standard building was his idea? Maybe Scarlet got wise and blew the whistle. Then she’d have to run.”
“You just might be onto something!” Deacon had caught her enthusiasm, joining her game of What If.
“What if Varin has contact with Bobby? The Noir were way better armed and financed than they ever were in my time. They could be Varin’s private army!”
“Their attack on you and the Harlichs was an interesting development. What would push them into doing that? Not just the fact that you went through their woods. That’s never been the cause of an ambush before.”
“No.” Horror filled her mind; black, swirling fear. “How did they know where we were?”
It occurred to both of them that the bugs in the phones had served an even more insidious purpose. Rather than monitoring their conversations, it could have been used as a GPS tracking device. Who needed an inside man if he had satellites at his disposal?
© 2011 Dellani Oakes