The Buccaneer Chronicles:
By Karen Dunn (Despite Interference by Keith Dunn, Andy Simpkins, Adam J Purcell and Tony Gallichan)
Chapter Twelve - The Cell
“I can’t believe he did that. I can’t believe he did that. I can’t believe he did that. I can’t believe he did that. I can’t believe he did that. I can’t believe he did that. I can’t believe he did that. I can’t believe he did that.”
“Son of a bitch! What is it with this guy? We had allies here and he’s just blown it all apart. What kind of freak enjoys being the under dog?”
“They can shout and cry all they want - I’ve done the right thing. They’ll understand in the end.”
Rafe peered through the tiny barred window of the cellar door and watched the prisoners.
The new guy - Mac - the one who had snuffed out Eleanor in the blink of an eye - was standing with his back to the door, gazing at his feet as if they held the answer to his troubles.
Colin was pacing back and forth, back and forth, shooting glares at the other man’s back, while Blanche was curled up in the darkest corner, hugging her knees to her chest and refusing to look at her cell mates.
Rafe sighed. Before Mac’s tornado arrival, he felt sure he and Colin would become friends. Now he didn’t know what would become of any of them. Without Eleanor.
With a final glare at Macfadyan, he pushed himself away from the door and headed back up to the bar.
“Would you please stop that.”
Colin paused in mid-stride and glared at Mac, “What?”
Mac gestured with one hand, back and forth, back and forth, “Pacing. It annoys me.”
“Tough.” But he stayed where he was and scowled at the Time Lord.
Mac shoved his hands in his pockets and scuffed his shoe through the straw that littered the floor of the cellar, “It was for the best.”
Blanche lifted her head from her arms, “You didn’t even know her. You just waltzed in and shot her.”
“She was a vampire.”
The girl leapt to her feet and threw herself towards Mac, “She was a good person!”
“You don’t understand.”
Spittle flew from her lips as her rage took hold, “Too bloody right I don’t! What the hell is it with you? Do you like nightmares? Is that what it is?”
“I’ve heard you at night on the Ship. I’ve heard you talking to your ghosts. How pathetic is that? A grown man talking to shadows. Well you’ve got a new ghost to shout at now, Mac, cos you’re a murderer and I hope she never lets you forget it!”
The slap ricocheted round the room with a crack and suddenly Blanche was on her back, one hand clutching her bleeding lip, eyes wide in shock as Colin hauled Mac away from her and threw him against the cellar door.
Refusing to give in to the welling tears, she dabbed her fingers to her lips and held out her hand, the blood shining, “Feel better? Cos I tell ya, you get me killed and I’ll haunt you forever.”
Colin glared venom at Mac, one fist gripping his collar, then pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and held it out to Blanche, “Here, kid.”
She smiled at him and held the small chequered square of cloth to her mouth, the blood soaking the material red.
Colin let go of Mac and stared him in the eye, “Tell us why. And no ‘secret’ crap. Just tell us why you did it.”
Mac tugged his collar straight, “There’s another vampire.”
“Deeper in the forest. He calls himself Stackmore. Cre’at and I found him. He warned me about Eleanor.”
Blanche scowled, “Warned you what?”
“That she kills for fun. That she feeds off the fools who worship her. His home is full of people she infected. He’s working on a cure…”
Mac frowned at her, “I’m not saying I trust him. He obviously has his own agenda. But this Eleanor was a threat and he helped me neutralise it. He’ll be next.”
“Eleanor was no threat! She was the one working on a cure!”
“No. It’s Stackmore - though he’ll fail. There is no remedy…”
Blanche slapped her hand on the concrete floor, “You’re so full of it!”
Mac’s expression darkened and Colin stepped in front of him, keeping him away from the girl who was glaring fire at him.
She got to her feet, the bloody handkerchief clutched in her whitening fist, “You can never be bothered to hear both sides, can you? You come blundering in and blow everything apart because you’ve decided to listen to Stackmore and you just have to be right! You and Eleanor could have worked together on this. She could have helped you get this bloke and you could have helped her with the cure…”
“There is no cure!”
“Just because you say it, doesn’t mean it’s true! How do you know there’s no cure? You didn’t even give her time to speak! You bastard!”
They all jumped when Rafe’s voice shouted out, “Enough!”
He was standing by the open door, his face like thunder, Marco behind him, standing at attention, refusing to look at Blanche.
Colin looked at his one-time friend, “Rafe?”
Rafe returned Colin’s gaze, “The boy. Tyrel. He’s awake and he’s fine. The cure works.”