The plane ride was long—but at least the autopilot functioned. Francisco had kept that much working.
As the small plane bucked and jerked in the air currents above the east coast, the two passengers sat in silence.
Both were thinking, planning.
The young man was the first to speak. “We’re not like them. I can’t disguise myself like he could.”
“I can’t fight like he could.”
“Neither can I.”
There was quiet again.
Then: “What happens…what happens when a human pack member dies?”
“The companion is sent into the void—waiting until they come to a human. It’s painful. Iridess barely spoke for months after she came to me.”
“Daldion seemed fine.”
“He’s a strong one. He was an outsider, even before they came to earth.”
“So where is he?”
“Mourning. Can’t you feel him? Iridess is doing the same. They’ve known Buncombe and Francisco a long time.”
“But Rigel and Zerihun?”
“Alive…somewhere between. They’ll come to a human soon enough. We’ll have to find them.”
“So they’re just…around? Can the wolves ever die?”
The plane jerked. Justin wondered how it could possibly be healthy for the plane to be jerked around like it was. How it stayed in the air. The conversation drifted.
“We can’t be like them.” Justin shook his head.
“They’re all I knew. They taught me all I know.”
“We have to be different. We need to be ourselves, I think. Buncombe…he was from a different age.”
“He was a great man.”
“He was. But he wasn’t used to this…just look at this plane. Connor. He’s what Buncombe was up against.”
“I see what you mean. A modern man—he changed with the times. He’s up for president next year.”
“You think we’ll stand a chance against him when he has the CIA, the FBI, and all branches of the military at his beck and call.”
“It doesn’t work like that, Justin. He doesn’t even know we’re alive.”
“He will soon enough. If Sarai tries to sense us, she will. We’re not Watchers. We can’t block her. Even when we find whoever it is that will take on the role, we’ll need to operate differently. When you can’t beat them, join ‘em.”
“No. Some other guy. But we don’t need a pack—Connor’s not going us on them anymore. It’s not eight on eight. It’s him and all his cronies against us.”
“I used those men at the coffee shop.”
“We need to think bigger. We need a network.”
Amber sighed, her drink—a warm Coke—spilling as the plane jerked yet again. “And where do we find one? We don’t have experience in this sort of thing.”
Justin pulled a laptop from the seat beside him. Using the cash Buncombe had given him “just in case something happens” he had purchased a computer and a few accessories.
He powered it up and plugged in his wireless modem.
“Actually,” Justin said, logging onto his conspiracy website, “I do.”