Rhys slipped past the two guards. They were the same he’d seen almost twenty-four hours prior and still as tense. But they were strung out, getting sloppy.
Rhys had taken over from Yun at midnight, as agreed. The night had yielded enough intelligence to add to Yun’s observations. The front entrance was being used for legitimate business. The back entrance, the alley, was used to ferry Descartes’s agents to and from the facility. Using some simple night vision combined with his own sense, Rhys established a routine for the evening. Descartes’s agents moved about the building in response to stimuli he couldn’t see. Intel, communications from around the city were most likely. The guards that patrolled, plain-clothed and even some dressed as janitorial staff, were all human. The worst kind, traitors to humanity making a deal with the devil. It was possible some of them didn’t know for whom they worked. In Rhys’s experience, some were incredibly close to the head of operations, and were privy to such horrifying revelations and still willingly signed their lives away.
Once inside the building, Rhys followed through with his plan. He could sense that the highest concentration of creatures was in the basement. They liked the dark and the damp. But there was some sign of activity on the top two floors. Descartes was different; he wanted to lead from the front and wouldn’t hide in the shadows any longer than he needed to. It must be him.
Rhys held back from sensing his way. If he reached out to feel them, then they may sense him. Instead, he took the dimly lit fire escape internal stairs to the very top. With a click, the lock was persuaded to permit him. Rhys held his blade in his left hand, running down his forearm, while his right clasped a silenced pistol, courtesy Yun’s contacts on the dark web.
The top floor seemed built for someone’s ego. The hallway leads directly to the head office. Smaller offices were arrayed around it but were easily ignored. The two heavy-set doors were his target. If this worked, the snake’s head would fall, and the Nameless would fall back into the shadows where he could easily hunt them down. Years of hunting and raids on nests in the wilderness sent shivers down his spine. But, he had become adept at the practice and was prepared to return to it. Here, with technology, money, blackmail, Rhys was out of his depth. But it could all end now, in the early morning sun that had begun to creep into the windows. A new dawn.
Rhys clicked the lock, his blade was versatile, and crept into the darkened room. He stayed low, looked around in the dark. He could smell of office furniture, plastic, oak and… something else. With a silent shiver he realised that he wasn’t alone and that whoever was hiding in the large room knew he was there.
He opened up his sense, knowing that it would give him away to anything this close, but that such a discovery was, at present, redundant.
There was one figure, it lit up in his mind’s eye on the other side of the room. Was it Descartes? No.
‘He was right, you are closing in,’ a female voice floated to him. An eastern European accent, who was she?
Rhys stood, readied his body.
‘Where is he?’ He demanded.
‘Away from here. He’ll be disappointed he missed you. But some of his guards are below and on their way up.’ There was a smirk evident in her tone. ‘But, you know that, don’t you. You have our abilities, at least some of them. But you are like a child, stumbling in the dark. There are many things we have planned for you. Why don’t you stay, and Descartes will fill you in.’
There was no point in staying. He could sense the dozen or so things below making their way up towards him. They’d be there in less than a minute, their deformed bodies moving at incredible speeds.
‘Perhaps another time.’ Rhys withdrew. He made for the fire escape but realised that the Nameless were using it. The lifts would be a death trap. The woman was in pursuit. She was right behind him, and he was surrounded.
To be continued…