Methos listened to the sound of the rain beating against her umbrella as she crossed Third Street and approached the Capital. Overhead a flash of lightning lit the sky and the deep, bass-like rumble of thunder followed on its heels as she reached the sidewalk.
The short warrior shook her head and then sighed in resignation. What had she been thinking? Talia didn’t need someone holding her hand for a simple meeting, yet a nagging feeling of something being wrong continued to eat at Methos.
She thought back to the communication between Track and Talia and then sighed. The other woman was normally transparent with the four of them about what she needed, but this time she’d refused. It had to be discussed in person, the President said, and couldn’t be trusted over the com system.
An earsplitting howl filled the air, causing her to wince, and she instinctively ducked as a shuttle flew past, only a hundred feet above the ground. The wash from its turbines ripped the umbrella from her grasp and sent it tumbling away. Windblown rain lashed at her, soaking her curly, silver hair in a matter of seconds as she looked at the craft.
What the hell is that doing here, she thought.
The shuttle came to a stop outside the capital and a feeling of dread washed over her. Why would someone fly through DC at such a low altitude and then hover outside the building? That didn’t make any sense whatsoever, so what was happening?
She reached down to pick up the umbrella and then stopped. “Wait a second! Track said she needed to discuss something that couldn’t be said over the com. She said it couldn’t be said over the com…Oh, shit!”
Bright flashes lit up the murky afternoon and the roar of wing cannons filled the air as she sprinted towards the Capital. Talia! How stupid had Little Miss Perfect been going to that meeting! Someone knew it was happening and where!
In fact, she thought, that person counted on it!
Methos tore across the grassy area as she pulled a pistol out from her coat pocket. It wasn’t worth a damn against that thing, but perhaps it could distract the pilot enough to allow Talia to think of something. Besides, if she’s going to die, I’m going with her!
The shuttle’s engines throttled up, shaking the very ground, as the craft launched upwards and then disappeared into the murky storm clouds as suddenly as it arrived.
Methos pushed a button on her wrist computer as she ran. “Valiant! This is Methos! Scan for a shuttle leaving DC!”
“What’s going on!” Crios snapped.
She raced up the steps and past stunned police officers. “Someone attacked the meeting!”
“I’m on it!”
Sweat mingled with the water dripping from her hair and then fell to the floor as Methos raced up the steps two at a time. How could she have been so stupid? It was so obvious! Whoever Track was worried about wanted the Alliance leadership and Talia in the same room! That way they could decapitate all opposition in one swoop!
“Methos!” Dannae said. “What’s the situation?”
“How the fuck do I know??” She leapt over a dead body. “Just get your ass down here!”
“Prepping a shuttle now!”
Blood covered the walls as she approached the Speaker’s office. She slipped and nearly fell as she passed by the shattered bodies of soldiers and police officers. Dear Cheikra please let Talia be alive!
Methos entered the office and came to a stop as her lunch threatened to explosively exit her body. Twenty thousand years of combat exposed her to every type of death possible, but none of it compared to the scene before her. A part of a leg, missing everything above the thigh, lay against the far wall and an arm lay at her feet. Blood, thick enough to be paint, coated the walls and ran down to pool on the floor.
Where is she??
She spotted a single figure face down on the floor and she knelt down beside it and then turned it over. “Talia!”
Her sister looked at her, eyes blank and unfocused. Large holes were ripped up on Talia’s chest, allowing Methos to see the circuitry underneath, and the smell of burnt electronics caused Methos to wrinkle her nose.
She pulled Talia close to her. “No, oh Cheikra, no! Dannae! Where are you??”
“Five minutes out!”
Methos cradled Talia’s head and started to rock back and forth as the tears started to run. How many times did Talia die in her arms during the war? And each time it cut a piece of her soul out that couldn’t be replaced leaving her feeling cold and alone.
“Don’t you leave me, Talia!” She stroked her sister’s hair and then held her tight. “I couldn’t live without you! Dannae!!”
“Landing right now!”
Sobs wracked Methos’ body as she tightened her grip on Talia. “Don’t you go, sis, please! Don’t do it!”
Dannae raced into the room and dropped to her knees, ignoring the blood on the floor. The warrior-healer ripped open what was left of Talia’s blue tunic and looked things over while letting loose a string of profanities that would make a sailor blush.
“Thank Cheikra!” Dannae yelled. “None hit the head!” She grabbed Talia. “Help me!”
Methos helped lift Talia up. “What now??”
“We’ve got twenty minutes before the emergency power supply in her head is exhausted! If we don’t have her connected to a power source by then, she’s dead!”