Chapter 114: Hunter’s Sign

*The Night of Trump’s Attack*

Allspades stared at the cocoon. The fight was over.

For a brief moment, relief clouded the pain in his shoulder. Then the day slammed into him.

King was alive. He wasn’t angry about it anymore, or even sad, but even the pain an exhaustion couldn’t hide the emptiness at knowing the truth.

Even after the months he had spent working with the group, thoughts of the Cards had always filled him with warmth. But not that feeling was gone.

Paige’s presence drifted by his side, but she didn’t say anything. He could feel her looking at the cocoon. The bond that connected her to him pulled at his heart as her presence sank to the ground. Her pain echoed through him and lit a spark. A small piece of anger came to life.

The glow surrounded Allspades again, more gentle and less bright than it ever had. He reached down and gave their bond a gently tug. He felt her attention shift.

“He doesn’t deserve it.”

His words were quiet. The group may have been able to hear him, but none of them said anything. But Paige heard him clearly. Her will joined his in grasping the bond. It was the closest the they could come to touching each other.

Allsapdes stayed like that for as long as he could.

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Allspades gripped his shoulder spun his arm in a wide circle. Pain spread from his shoulder, rolling halfway down his arm and licking at his back like fire.

He ground his teeth, but didn’t stop. He’d never taken this long to heal before. One of his arteries had been ruptured, and his shoulder blade had shattered. A doctor had spent six hours pulling the pieces out and puzzling them back together. If he weren’t a walker, he would have lost his arm, if he hadn’t bled out first.

He’d only lost the sling today.

He stopped moving it, and the pain faded, but it was still smoldering in his shoulder.

His lips pulled back in a grin and he started to run. He leapt off the roof and over the street. The city stretched out beneath him. 10 stories down, the first cars of the morning were just starting to fill the street.

With a flash of white, the glow let Allspades push off of the air and clear the street. His own rush of excitement was mirrored through the bond as the glow let him move through the city faster than he’d ever managed before.

Paige hadn’t talked since the attack, but her constant presence was more comforting than her words had ever been.  She prodded his senses now, directing him to the center of the city. He turned to the south and leapt again.

She had been guiding him around town since the group’s decision to look for Will, but so far there had been nothing solid. Every false lead had the bond twinging with her frustration.

If she was really sensing Will, then he was moving strangely. His path through the city looked like he was searching for something, but a trip that would take a few minutes for anyone who could travel by rooftop had been taking him hours.

The Council Headquarters was in front of him. They’d managed to make the street usable, but the building was still scarred and an empty construction site surrounded the building. Despite that, the museum had managed to stay running. The doors were just opening, and Paige was nudging him inside.

The floor was still roped off where it had been cracked from Adamant’s rampage. Allspades walked to the ropes and stared at the hole.

Paige had been pulling him here. In fact, it felt like he was standing in the same spot as Will but there was no one to be seen. The bond stopped reacting. Allspades gave it a light tug and walked out of the building.

If Paige had really been tracking Will, then looking any more wasn’t going to do any good. Will was somewhere they could reach without help.

He could tell the group when they met up tonight, maybe one of them found something more solid.

Allspades scaled his way to the rooftops again.

Ice crept up his bond with Paige, freezing his heart. He couldn’t’ hear her voice, but it felt like she was shouting in his ear.

His gaze slowly drifted down the block. A black and silver blur raced towards the headquarters, barely visible against the street.

Even as close as he was to the building, the blur passed him before he heard anything. It sounded like somebody had fed concreted into a blender, and the blender won. The construction barriers that had been in the blurs way were flattened, and the building had a new scar.

A large, stylized J had been carved into the building, just above the door. Even among the cracks that littered the walls, it stood out as the most important one of them all. It was a statement that echoed in the primal parts of his brain. Somebody had marked their territory; more importantly, they’d challenged the biggest beast in town.

Allspades stared at the carving in disbelief.

A soft ringing filled his ears, but he didn’t realize it was his phone until it was almost too late.

He caught a glimpse of Hawthorne’s name before he answered. Why was she calling? They had all already agreed to meet up tonight.

“Same place as last time, as soon as you can. I’ll explain there, but this could be bad. Keep your eyes open and don’t take any risks.”

She didn’t let him answer before she hung up.

Allspades stared at the blank screen on his phone and then looked at the carved wall of the headquarters again.

He could make it to the meeting point in three minutes, but this guy could do a lot of damage in that much time. He was fast enough that Allspades wasn’t sure if the entire group could take him on.

There were already people gathering around the headquarters, and a different blur was on its way there. The runner had nothing to do with him, and the Council would be able to handle him on their own.

Allspades turned for the meeting point.

As he jumped from the roof, a black and silver blur came to a halt where he had been standing.

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