Redmayne

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 9 (v.1) - Into the Wilderness

Submitted: June 17, 2018

Reads: 39

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Submitted: June 17, 2018

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Patricia looked sideways at Talbot several times as he drove along the road, but he continued to look straight ahead. Patricia then turned towards him with her arms folded. “Are you driving because you think I am a woman and I can’t drive a rig like this?”

Talbot didn't take his attention off the road. “I can assure you that sex does not come into it.”

Patricia faced forward again. “Well I’m certainly glad to hear that.”

“I know the way; it is sensible that I drive rather than have to tell you where to go.”

Patricia looked ahead at the road that the Romans would have been proud of. She saw how it headed off toward the mountain in the distance, and noted the scrubby grassland leading up to the right and down to the left. Looking back at Talbot she said “There doesn’t seem to be much of a choice of routes at the moment.”

“There is not,” said Talbot looking at Patricia for the first time on the route. “Would you prefer to be driving?”

Patricia waved her hand dismissively. “Not really, I’m quite happy sitting here.”

“Then why did you ask about it?”

“I just wanted to know.”

Talbot nodded. “Just as you wanted to know whether the Geologist was Dr ... what was the name you said?”

“Dr Maskell,” said Patricia fiddling with the leaflets on her lap. “Actually, I thought it was a bit unlikely that she would have the same name as my Doctor back home. I was just fishing for the name.”

“And now you have it.”

“Indeed I do, and I’ve made a note of it so that I don’t forget it.”

“What good does having that name do you?”

Patricia shrugged. “Probably none, but it can’t hurt to find out a bit more about her if I get the chance.”

“I see that your strength lies not only in your sword arm.”

Patricia looked at Talbot. “Is that a compliment?”

Talbot looked at Patricia. “It is an observation.”

“Close enough for Jazz.”

Talbot fixed his eyes ahead once more and Patricia smiled to herself as she looked out of the side window. The scene hadn't changed outside the car, but there had been a subtle change inside.

*****

Valerie pulled up in her car near a fissure. Looking over the edge into the scar on the earth's crust. She got out and paced along it, stopping from time to time and bending down to the ground to get a worm’s eye view of the landform. Having made half a dozen observations she strode back to the car, reached into the back and got out a rucksack.

Taking various pieces of equipment from her rucksack, she began taking measurements. She measured the width and depth of the crevice, then the steepness of the sides. Taking soil samples, she tested their physical and chemical properties. Each piece of information, she meticulously noted down and double checked. This was the work of a scientist that was not only at the top of her field, but one who enjoyed what she was doing. It took well over an hour in all, and after packing her equipment away, she made a note of the location using GPS.

To help with her climb out of the trench, Valerie grabbed the hardy plants that dug their roots into the bank. Her feet slipped as she struggled to find a purchase. She was in no hurry, and it was slow but steady progress, and she constantly checked that her rucksack was not knocked or shaken too vigorously.

Once at the top she looked up and down to see where she had left the car, and took a good drink from her water bottle. Her breathing slowed as she made her way back to the car at a leisurely pace, enjoying the scent of pine from the surrounding trees. In the distance she could hear rushing water in between the bird song.  

Sitting back in the car, she got out her notes and glanced over them once more. She smiled to herself as she drove off.

*****

Patricia put her head out of the window and felt the breeze against her skin as the truck ground on in a low gear. It was helping to bring her senses back after a soporific drive that had caused her to drift away with her head back. She glanced quickly across at her companion and smiled to herself as she thought of the two of them with gun and sword in hand.

It had been about half an hour since the change from metalled road to dirt track had brought Patricia back to her surroundings. The thick woodland on both sides of the track was in stark contrast to the wide-open lands when they set off from Jackson Hole. Judging by the amount that their speed had dropped on the rough track they had not come a great distance, but she was getting farther from the major thoroughfares.

The small display on the dashboard was silent but it reassured that though she might not know exactly where she was, there were satellites that could still see her. As she was looking at the display it became harder to see as they turned a corner. Looking up, Patricia could see that a clearing opened up ahead of them. There was woodland all around it but there was enough room for several trailers and their companion vehicles, thought from the state of the ground, few ever came here. Hers was certainly the only trailer there now.

Talbot drove into the clearing and parked so that the trailer was on flat ground to the left of the track. Patricia was not concerned about the trailer as she stepped out of the car; her eyes were fixed on what was ahead off her. It was a traditional tepee, complete with a camp fire and logs for seats. It was as though she had stepped into the past, at least as long as she ignored the truck parked on the opposite side of the track.

Another Native American came out from the tepee and walked up smiling. He looked similar to Talbot, except that where Talbot was clean shaven; he had a thin drooping moustache, and a slightly leaner face. Talbot also got out of the car and walked to towards his fellow Native American.

“It's good to have you back,” said the Indian from the tepee.

“It is good to be back. As you can see Patricia is with me; she is the one who can defeat the Evil One.”

Patricia gave a slightly nervous laugh and said “I don’t know about that, but I will certainly try.”

Talbot turned to her and said sternly “You must not doubt yourself, for along that path lies defeat and the consequences of being defeated are too terrible to imagine.”

The other Indian rolled his eyes and then walked up to Patricia. “You'll have to forgive him; he's a very serious individual.” He held out his hand in offer of a shake. “I'm his little brother Jim, and I’m pleased you came.”

Patricia realised that Jim had seen that she kept staring at the tepee; he walked towards it, gesturing for her to follow him.

As they made for the tepee, Patricia noticed that the woodland sloped downwards from the camp near the tent; it was less densely wooded on the slope but still enough to keep the clearing well hidden. Once inside, Patricia was surprised once again. The accommodation had all mod cons, from sleeping quarters for the two brothers, to a laptop workstation.

As Jim went to the workstation Talbot said “What news have we had?”

“Not much I’m afraid,” said Jim.

Patricia was still looking around the inside of the tent. “Wow, I didn’t expect to see all this in here.”

Jim looked around and then back at Patricia. “What were you expecting, an open fire and buffalo hides?”

“Er... well...” Patricia said hesitantly.

Jim smiled. “That’s what we would have in here,” he said and while nodding towards his brother, “if he had his way.”

Talbot said “Do not listen to his fanciful stories.”

Jim ignored his brother's remark and gestured towards the equipment. “We have this set up so that we can find out as much as possible about the Evil that we know is coming here.”

“How do you know it is coming here?” said Patricia.

Talbot looked around the tepee. “We believe that all things are connected and we retain links with our ancestors over many generations. If you know how to listen, they will talk to you.”

Patricia looked at the two brothers, and then directing her question to both of them “So you’re saying that your ancestors told you two that the evil was coming?”

Jim shook his head. “No, they didn't tell me. My brother only is the one with ears that are spoken to.”

“Then how do you know?” asked Patricia.

Jim Shrugged. “I believe my brother.”

“It is not just my ancestors,” said Talbot, “it is all those who have died on this land.”

“And I suppose it is those people who told you about me?” said Patricia.

Talbot walked towards the tepee entrance; he looked out briefly and then turned back. “That does come from our ancestors, but through stories handed down.”

Patricia's eyes were wide. “Handed down from where?”

Talbot turned and faced out of the tepee. “Many years ago there was a race of fair haired, fair skinned traders from across the sea. They told tales of a hero called Erik Redmayne who alone could stand against the Evil One. They told how his succession came down through the women in his line and how that succession would yield a warrior to fight the darkness that might one day rise.”

Patricia was put on the back foot. “How did your ancestors know who I was?”

Jim sat down in front of the computer. “They might have had a hand in it, I suppose. All we know is that our Grandfather dedicated his life to tracing the lineage of Erik Redmayne using any means he could. I’ve carried on that research, and it lead to you.” Pointing at the laptop, he said “I have a comprehensive family tree for you if you like to see it. I can even show you some of the websites that I got the information from.”

While Patricia was wondering how to respond to the revelation that her entire family tree was there on someone else's computer, Talbot said “Please forgive him. He is what my people call Geek in Need of Life.”

“Hey!” exclaimed Jim.

Patricia asked “Does that mean you have internet access here?”

Jim smiled. “In spite of what it looks like from the outside we are all linked up to the web. There is a cell phone tower in the Old Faithful area so as long as we are near enough to that we are all set up.”

“In that case,” said Patricia, getting a leaflet out of her handbag, “can you look up this person?”

Jim took the leaflet and began typing in the name scrawled on it while Patricia and Talbot looked on.

Patricia, as if suddenly struck by a revelation, said “Just a minute, how did your father know where to start looking into my family. Anyone could be descended from Erik Redmayne?”

Talbot looked at her and said. “Our father looked into the stories of women who were skilled with the sword. Some have used their skills for mortal enemies, and they led us to you.”

“Here we are,” said Jim cheerfully, as a picture of Valerie appeared on the screen. “This is from the cover of her latest book.”

*****

Martin was looking out from the back of the car as it was driven up to a large hollow in the ground south of Lost Creek Ranch Road. It was a secluded spot, and a black van was already parked there. Four armed men stood in the early evening sun, guarding the van and waiting. One of them stepped forward as the car pulled up in front of him. The driver got out of the car, quickly followed by Ryan and finally Martin.

“Luther; it's good to see you again, so it is,” said Ryan.

Luther stood, legs slightly apart, looking as though he would spring into action at a moment’s notice. “So Ryan; I see you are making the big time.”

“Ah now, it seems that way. I trust you have the device?”

Luther smiled confidently. “We have it. Do you have payment?”

“Don't you be worrying about that,” said Ryan, “you'll be having the payment all right.”

It sounded like a veiled threat, and Martin could see Luther looking over the two of them, before continuing without showing any concern.

“I not worried,” Luther said. “Five million dollars was agreed payment. You said it would be deposited in account by the time of delivery. I do not want to miss deal so I give you right up to time of delivery.”

“That’s very good of you,” said Ryan.

“I do not do this for everyone; it is only because we have many happy transactions in the past. But you know I cannot disappoint my boss.”

“Yes; I understand,” said Ryan. Turning towards Martin he added “My associate here will be giving you everything you need.”

Martin was both surprised and terrified. It was as if gravity had increased several-fold on his bowels. “Well, I suppose I could, um...”

Luther’s face did not show any sign of amusement as he stepped towards Martin. “Where is money? A lot of effort has gone into this delivery. I do not take kindly to joking.”

Martin was now petrified. “I....I wasn’t joking; I don’t have the money.”

Luther stepped back from Martin. “Too bad.”

The four men, including Luther drew their guns, all of them pointing at Martin. The driver pulled his gun and pointed it at Ryan.

Martin closed his eyes and waited for the shot, caught between fear and relief. No shot came.

“You will go now,” said Luther.

Martin opened his eyes and realised that the remark was aimed at Ryan who was now getting into the car. 

Martin knew that the Evil One would have given his orders silently to those around him, and they would be followed without question. He wanted to go with Ryan but the Evil One would not let him. He carried the Evil One’s crystal, and unlike the others, he was not given orders and left to carry them out; he was linked to the Evil One and his orders came constantly.

He stood watching the car speed away, and was now alone with the armed men. At first, they did not move, and then he saw the driver walk up to the other four and the five of them stood in a circle; each one with his gun pointed at the head of the man two places along to his left.

Five shots rang out simultaneously as the five men shot each other in the head and fell to the ground. The sandy ground now splattered with blood and brain as the dead bodies lay in a circle. They were left in the sun; alone except for the flies that had come to feast on their new-found bounty.

As Martin’s stomach wretched at the sight, his mind was given his next task and he immediately checked the van and said “The device is there as you requested my Lord.” For a moment he had a passing hope, when he thought how the Evil One had saved him.

The thought was instantly detected and he heard the hated laughter in his head again. “Don't think for a moment that I have saved you out of kindness. You will long to have been killed by them before I have finished with you, but that is a luxury you will not have. Now; you know what your orders are.”

Martin hung his head, went over to the van, got in and drove it away.

*****

“Excuse me,” said Jason as his leg caught the arm of a rather large man that was sticking out into the aisle. Trevor stood to look at his travelling companion making his was forward along the plane. As Jason neared his seat, Trevor stood up to let him back in.

“Thanks,” said Jason as he sat down.

Trevor settled down in his seat again. “No problem. I trust you’ve made yourself comfortable.”

“Yes, much better thanks. I’ll probably want to disturb you again though; this is a long flight.”

“We could always while away the time with a bit of a conversation.”

“All right; what do you want to talk about?”

Trevor looked around at the people nearest him, once he was satisfied they were either sleeping off the evening meal, or were listening to the inflight entertainment, he turned back to Jason. “Well how about this to start? You could tell me how you knew those people were going to be murdered?”

Jason raised his eyebrows. “Blimey, you’re not much of a one for small talk are you? You must be a real blast down the pub.”

“I thought it was as good a place as anywhere to start a conversation.”

“I’ll bet you did. I can tell you’re a copper all right.”

Trevor smiled. “I suppose it is a bit of an occupational hazard, but still I told you all about Ryan and why I am following him. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that you tell me why you are.”

Jason shrugged and said “I told you already.”

Trevor nodded sagely. “I know, but this time give it to me without all the great evil bullshit.”

“I can’t give it you without all the great evil bullshit; that's the reason I knew. I thought you believed me.”

Jason looked out of the window; he neither looked towards Trevor, nor made any attempt to say anything further.

Finally Trevor said “Okay then, give it to me again, with the great evil business as well.”

Jason turned towards him. “What's the point, if you're not going to believe me anyway?”

“Well the truth is I’m about ready to believe anything.”

“So you say now, but you didn't just then.”

Trevor sighed. “Yeh I know; just tell me will you, this has been a very weird case, and I'm prepared to listen at least.”

“Well you had better be prepared for it to get a lot weirder. We are dealing with some very dark forces. What I am chasing will make Ryan look like a Sunday School teacher. If he succeeds in rising to power we will all fall into a darkness that I cannot see us ever climbing out from.”

“Then it's up to you to help me get ready by telling me everything you know about what's going on.”

Jason looked out the window and thought hard about what to say next. He was concerned that if Trevor did not believe him, then why was he bringing him to America? He decided that with all that was at stake, honesty was the only real option. “Okay, I’ll tell you everything I know, including references to great evil. It’s not bullshit; if you don’t accept that, then there is no point me telling you.”

Trevor nodded and blinked just once before saying “All right then, let me hear it.”

Jason nodded towards Trevor's inside pocket; the one he'd seen Trevor deposit his pill case in to earlier. “You might want to take another tablet before I start.”

*****

Martin drove the van along the road, but it was slow going because to the weight in the back. He tried to relax and enjoy the scenery. While he was driving the Evil One would leave him free of pain, so he did not want to be travelling faster towards his own torture. None of Martin’s thoughts were secret from the Evil One and he constantly expected his moment of peace to be ended. As they approached a large layby, the Evil Voice gave his orders and Martin pulled in.

Expecting the pain to start again he braced himself, but there was nothing, not even the mocking voice. He sat and looked at the few cars and the two RVs alongside which they were sat. From what he could see the occupants were admiring the views, reading maps, or eating and drinking. One driver was laid back which his eyes closed, but there seemed nothing on which to remark. Martin too chose to put his head back and sleep, perhaps he could gather some strength if he could only rest. His rest was cut short as he was ordered to drive again, and he left the tranquillity of the holidaymakers alone to enjoy the dying days of peace.

*****

Pulling up outside the Evil One's camp was awkward, and the weight made the van hard to park. The trailer door opened and Valerie came out.

Martin got out of the van and shuffled up to her. “Have you pinpointed the location?” he asked.

“I have,” said Valerie. “Do you have the explosive force required?”

Martin indicated towards the black van. “I believe so, but it will be very awkward to manoeuvre into place.”

Valerie walked up and touched the van. “I think I have a solution. There is a part of the fissure that we can get this van down into. It may not be possible to get it out again, but that will not be necessary. I will mark it on the map.” She turned and went back into the trailer.

Martin was about to follow when he fell to the floor in pain. His time of respite was over, he was no longer needed to drive and there was no one to hear his whimpering as the Evil One played and feasted again. He was only just aware that Valerie was packing equipment in the car, but his mind could not question it, all it could do was endure.

*****

On the side of the Road, south of Jackson Hole, the car that Ryan rode off in was sitting stationary. Inside, Ryan was sitting as motionless as the car, and he was staring at his watch. The time was nearing seven o'clock in the evening and the second hand was ticking around. Thirty seconds to go, and there was no movement; ten seconds, and still nothing. Five, four, three, two, one.... the moment it reached seven o'clock Ryan moved; he got out his mobile phone and dialled.

He waited for the call to be answered. “Yes get me the police.” He waited to be put through. “Hello, I would like to report a murder that took place just south of Lost Creek Ranch Road.” He waited while they asked him to confirm. “Yes, that’s it all right. There are five dead bodies up there, in a hollow. They aren’t visible from the road but you should be able to find them easily enough.” Inevitably they asked him to identify himself. “No, I can’t give you my name. There is, though, some information that you might be finding useful; I got the license plate number.” Naturally he was asked whether he would divulge the number. “Yes of course,” he said; “it’s a Wyoming Plate 347BE.” When asked to confirm it, he simply said “347BE that’s it all right.”

Immediately he had given the final confirmation of the number plate, he rang off and started the engine. He drove off in the direction he had been facing. The number plate on the car he was speeding away in was exactly the same as the one he had just given to the police.

*****

Martin knew that darkness had come, but he was not sure whether it was because of the fading sun or his own eyes. He had seen Valerie drive off but since then, there had been nothing but the Evil One’s voice for him to be aware of.

It stopped and he lay there unable to get up. He felt arms around him, dragging him toward the trailer, but he could not see them, nor did they speak. That was all he thought before tiredness forced him into the refuge of sleep.


© Copyright 2019 Kevin Broughton. All rights reserved.

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