Colleens excess enthusiasm did not make Maggie uncomfortable.
Quite the opposite, her passionate greeting made Maggie feel more welcome. This just went to show how naive Maggie was.
Looking at Maggies innocent face, Colleen did not fully buy her act. She had been living on the streets for too a long time to believe that there could be such a nice girl out there.
Yet Colleen could not show her real intentions while Kieran was around.
Lets see for how long you can put up a show! Colleen mocked Maggie silently as she began to help Kieran carry the supplies into their hideout.
Unlike with Maggie, whom she felt a minor hostility towards, Colleen did care about the supplies that Kieran had brought back.
There was food, water and firearms, and Colleen knew the value of those things better than anyone.
Maggie started to help them carry the supplies too.
Although she was weak, she still wanted to help out as much as she could.
Soon the three of them had moved everything inside the hideout, including the cart.
They could not let go of it yet as it might prove useful again.
So you raided the Vultures base clean? Colleen asked while she covered the tracks Kieran had left behind.
The amount of supplies was astonishing.
Thats only half of it!
Kieran had no problem with Colleens vigilance when it came to covering their tracks. Although he had already tried to cover his tracks and hide his presence on his way back, he still might have missed something. It was nice to have someone double check.
Their new enemies might be different than the armed thugs in the Vultures base.
Colleen, were in some deep sh*t.
Just as Colleen was expressing her excitement over the supplies that Kieran had brought, Kieran decided to tell her about the rebels and their leader.
Oh, my God! Have you lost your mind?
Do you even know what the hell you are DOING?
WHY WOULD YOU GO AND PISS OFF THE MAJOR?
After she listened to Kierans story, she started yelling at him. She looked very upset and frustrated, just like she had when Kieran had first told her that he wanted to infiltrate the Vultures base.
This time though Colleen seemed more worried, maybe even desperate.
Even a five year-old could tell the difference between a bunch of thugs and an army.
And Colleen was no five year-old. She had been through hell, all thanks to the rebel army.
Before Kieran could elaborate any further, she said without hesitation, Okay, hurry up and pack some food and water. We need to leave before dawn! This hideout will not be safe anymore once the rebel army starts searching for you!
As soon as she had finished her sentence, she moved towards the supplies and started to pack.
Kieran held her back by grabbing her hand.
Colleen turned in surprise and saw him smiling at her.
How could you even smile at a time like this? Colleen said in an agitated tone.
Calm down, things arent as bad as they look. At least it was just their leader. Hes only an officer, hes not the whole army! Kieran tried to comfort Colleen by speaking to her calmly.
Colleen had not chosen to leave Kieran behind when she had found out that he had pissed off the Major. Instead, she had wanted them to leave together again. This made Kieran feel a little closer to her.
Colleen could sense the change of tone in Kierans voice.
It wasnt his usual courteous distant tone, but more of a friendlier one. If it wasnt for all the trouble that Kieran had caused, she would have been really happy.
However, her anxiety overshadowed all other feelings.
If Kieran had been a stranger, she would have left him straightaway, but they had been through a life-and-death experience together and she considered him a friend.
She would not grant her friends death wish.
She considered that she might even have feelings for him.
Colleen felt as nervous as ever.
Even if he is just an officer, he might have over a hundred men under his command! Fully-armed men! Disciplined soldiers! Not those damned thugs the Vulture had!
Her words were full of worry.
Calm down, please. Im not underestimating our enemies. I knew exactly what I was doing when I took that bag of jewelry. Ive got a pretty good idea..., Kieran stated.
Before he could further elaborate on his plans, the phone in his pocket began to ring. It was the Major.
Kieran rejected the call without any hesitation and took the phone battery out.
He turned to Colleen and said, He must have noticed that somethings off at the mall. We dont have much time, help me pack some food and water. I need to go away for a couple of days. Dont worry, Ill make it back in one piece!
Colleens lips moved a little as if she wanted to say something, but she did not.
She just turned around and started putting supplies inside Kierans backpack.
Kieran took the makeshift rifle that he had gotten from the Vultures base. After he checked it out, he stuffed the rifle and four more rounds of bullets into his backpack.
Be careful! Colleen said while she watched Kieran pack the guns.
He nodded and gave Colleen a smile that was meant to reassure her.
He checked the M1905 and the dagger on his waist last.
When everything was ready, he smiled at Colleen again and, before she could react, he went out and disappeared into the day.
As Colleen watched Kierans disappearing figure, she wanted to raise her hand and wave.
In the end, she didnt have the courage to.
He will get back safe! Maggie had watched the whole thing and tried to come up with something comforting to say to Colleen.
You bet he will !
Maggies voice reminded Colleen that she was not alone. She quickly regained her composure, hiding her softer side and putting on her attitude.
He will come back in one piece! He is my my best friend! she said with a nod.
Rebel Military Base.
Major Zarukhar hit the table so hard with his fist that everything on it was knocked over.
His aide-de-camp looked frightened by his actions.
His superior was infamous for being merciless and cruel towards his enemies as well as his subordinates.
As the third aide-de-camp of Major Zarukhar, he did not want to follow into the footsteps of his predecessors.
He didnt dare move a muscle as the major let out all his steam.
Zarukhar did not pay the slightest attention to his aide-de-camp. He was blinded by rage.
Son of a bitch! Goddamn it! he yelled furiously.
When he had found out that the Vulture had died and his base had been turned upside down, he had not been happy. He did not know who the new person-in-charge was, so he had sent out his best recon team to find out what had happened exactly.
His team did not bring him any good news.
The Vultures base had been wiped out. There was not even a single survivor.
Thats when he knew that he had been played.
The rejected phone call from before proved as much.
You piece of stinking rat! You rotten scumbag! Do you think you can outsmart me and go on living your life in peace? You must have left the base right after our phone call. That was forty minutes ago. Now its half an hour till daybreak. Where could you run with those puny legs of yours while you had to carry those heavy supplies?
Although he was furious, he did not let his anger cloud his judgement. He carefully calculated where Kieran might be heading.
Then he turned to the aide-de-camp standing next to him, Send everyone out at first light. Search in a twenty kilometer radius from the mall. Search everywhere that son of a bitch could be hiding
Before he could finish, his phone rang again.
Caller ID: Vulture.
Trace it! Zarukhar shouted to his aide-de-camp, forgetting what he had been about to say.
The poor aide ran to the call tracing device in the corner of the room and prepared to trace the call.
As a matter of fact, the aide had been standing by the device earlier, waiting to trace Kieran when Zarukhar had called the first time.
The aide was familiar with the device and he was confident that he could pinpoint Kierans location within only ten seconds.
He had even thought of how to best present his skills to his superior so he could look good.
But the call had not gone through the first time.
It had infuriated Zarukhar, and with a raging superior on his case, the aide had been scared and he too had cursed their target over a thousand times.
However, another opportunity had just presented itself.
The aide would not let it pass now.
Zarukhar might blow his head off if he failed this time.
With his life on the line, the aide quickly prepared the device and signaled to his superior that everything was set.
Zarukhar answered the phone.
You liar! Once the call had been connected, Zarukhars deep voice reached Kierans ears.
What are you talking about, Sir? Kieran replied, pretending to be stupid.
You son of a bitch, do you think you can run from me? Zarukhar raised his voice, sounding like he wanted to strangle Kieran with his bare hands.
Do you still want your jewellry, dear major? Kieran replied in a light joking tone.
Zarukhar went silent.