Singe ran a gloved hand over the burned side of his face feeling the rough edges, nubs of spikes, and the spots where the slightest touch was too intense. Staring at nothing, fuming, Singe thought of ways to turn Twist’s return to his advantage.
“What’s on your mind boss?”
“The deal,” Singe grunted in reply. “Nothing more than the deal.”
“Twist showing up was a surprise.”
“Yes. Yes, it was.”
As his bike banked, Singe snapped out of his revelry, turning off his helmet comm and the autopilot. Grasping the controls, he roared ahead of his men dodging through the sparse late night Lower City ground traffic. Roaring through an intersection, Singe thought about the meeting, the original plan to negotiate a new price for the weapons and make a new arrangement with him as the leader of the Red Hands and Dragons. Pulling into a garage, now he needed a new plan before the Dragon’s learned about Twist. A few minutes later, the rest of his men pulled into the shipping and receiving garage. Singe holstered his gun and started walking to the meet confident his men were behind him.
“Are you ready to make the delivery?” Singe asked Hil’tan Sha, leader of the Dragons standing across from him.
With a nod to Singe, “Everything is packed and ready to move out. Now the payment,” he finished holding out his hand.
“Things have changed.”
“Have they?” Sha replied in an interested tone.
Two of the Dragons shifted from on-guard to read for action, nobody else moved. Singe waited a beat, hoping Sha would break the silence first. The initial silence stretched on, to long for Singe.
“Yes, they have. Your cut is going down.”
Everyone shifted the tension was palpable. Singe dreaded this part. Taking an aggressive stance, he took two steps towards Sha; Singe slipped and fell. Looking around him, he immediately saw the expanding pool of blood from where his leg was. Chaos all around him as both gangs pounced. The second shot, passed through his chest. From the warehouse floor, Singe watched his men slaughtered by the Dragons and someone else.
A few minutes of chaos ended in silence. Singe struggled to remain conscious. Singe opened his eyes, tired, and confused, how long had he been out? In front of him, Sha stood with his back to Singe, in front of Sha someone Singe recognized, Salvage. He tried to get angry, too tired.
“Here is the payment,” Salvage said.
“Let Twist know he has our loyalty,” Sha responded with a flourish.
“What about them?” Sha asked.
“Purge them with cleansing fire,” Salvage said as he walked off.
Standing next to his bike, Singe called Twist, “I have extracted the problem.”