I have a purpose in this world.
“Ready.” Conner held his gloved hand over the door release. “Detain the suspect if possible, Kill if necessary.”
My team and I pounded our right fists against our hearts.
I am a soldier of the Regent’s militia. I’ve never known nor wanted anything else.
The convoy doors opened. We stayed seated as Conner left first. His long jacket trailed behind him. Out of protocol the convoy blocked the exit. I leaned forward to get a better look, and to get a feel for the layout if it came down to a fight.
The tunnels were damp and cold, because of the water that constantly flowed below us through a tight canal. The perfect hiding place for a Demon. We were a small patrol at four people, there didn’t need to be any more for a single hunt. Honestly, I could have done it one my own. I don’t like looking out for more than one—myself.
The tunnel was tight and lit up with small fires scattered around makeshift tents. When the flames licked the walls in an uneven rhythm, I saw some more tents deeper in the darkness.
“Ms. Clark. We are here, on behalf of our good lord Regent, to respond to an accusation placed upon you. Step forward and make yourself known.” Conner had done this hundreds of times. I admired how straightforward he could be with a suspected Demon.
The occupants on the tunnel hid in their tents or backed up tightly against the cavern walls.
All except one.
“Ms. Clark hand yourself over willingly and we won’t be forced to use violence.” Conner’s calm voice sent a rush through me. He knew that our targets are most likely killed, but he always made it feel like that wasn’t even a possibility to the target just by the tone of his voice.
I could never do that, I would have shot it already.
“You’ve heard wrong, I’m not a Solari.” Ms. Clark's muffled voice tried to push through a thick scarf. “I’m human.”
I stifled a laugh alongside Kris, and Jordan elbowed me. She had a different view than I did, she believed that our targets were innocent unless proven otherwise. I believed any who involved themselves with the Solari and Lunites were Demons themselves and lost all rights to their innocence.
The twitch I saw out of the corner of my eye only confirmed my belief. I knelt down and fired a shot, grazing its leg. I heard the familiar hiss that meant I had hit my target, and the Demon broke in to a run with inhuman speed down the tunnel.
“Dammit Lyons!” Conner shouted at me. “Move out. Detain before going in for the kill!”
I pulled my mask up, covering my body completely in armor. The front of the mask lit up along a visor as the digital screen flared to life and began tracking the lava like blood from the wound I inflicted.
A low growl rumbled against the cave walls. The lead of our patrol, Jordan, held up her hand and gestured for us to stay close.
I felt my teeth grind together.
That should be me up there.