As he rounded the corner leading in to the small conference room Oz took a deep cleansing breath. Confronting her in an angry manner wouldn't solve anything, he had to be calm, cool, collected. Clearing his throat he strode into the conference room, saw Shaddow and bellowed, "How the hell could you!?!?!?"
She looked at him and raised her eyebrow, "calm, cool, and collected I assume?"
Oz glared at her and folded his arms across his chest. "Explanation, please?"
Shaddow didn't answer him. Quickly, as if she were gliding on invisible ice skates, She walked across the room. From beneath a heavy black tarp she produced a painting. With absolute confidence she strode over to Oz and offered the painting for his examination.
Oz stared at the portrait of Drake Ducaine in confusion. Surely this could not be all that Shaddow had taken. He looked up at her, perplexed.
"It's a painting" she offered calmly.
"I know that!" snapped Oz. "But why do you have it? You don't even like Drake Ducaine."
A mischievous smile tugged at the corners of her beak as she spoke. "It seemed more interesting that the usual diamonds and other crap I've been stealing for years. Besides, I don't recall having to explain my actions to you." Shaddow dropped the painting on the lush burgundy carpeting and went to sit in a near by recliner. As she settled herself into the comfy leather chair she asked, "did I make the news?"
At this Oz nearly exploded, "you could say that! What did you think you were doing? Do you know what this is going to do to our reputation?" He looked into her eyes and instantly knew that he had made a mistake.
" Our reputation?" Shaddow's voice was hardly above a whisper as she continued. "Don't ever forget your place Oz. Manda created the Blade from nothing, she and the original team gave there sweat, blood, and in the end, their lives for it." Shaddow's face grew momentarily soft as she continued, "you and I are not the Blade, Oz. We are just part of what once was."
He knew that she was right about Manda creating the Blade, but he was leader now. She had bestowed the Blade to him upon her death. He vowed then that it would never die, but Shaddow was talking like it already was. His brown brows furrowed as he paced across the room trying to convey his feelings to the dark woman before him. Though try as he might the right words wouldn't come.
He had planned on telling her how much she had hurt him and he was going to remind her of her broken promise, but it seemed impossible. After a minute his anger subsided, "why, Shad?" he asked sinking into a chair beside her.
Shaddow hung her head, she never talked to anyone about her thoughts, except for Duke, but with him gone she had no one. She desperately wanted to tell someone, especially Oz she trusted him as a leader and respected him as a thief. "It's just that I'm sick of things always being the sa..."
She was cut off by Crash and Sabastian running into the room carrying a lump.
Oz jumped to his feet, "what?" he asked the two men.
"It's Tammra," panted crash as he helped Sabastian lay the large, covered lump on the carpet.
Oz gasped as the blanket fell away from the lump on the floor and he was looking into Tammara's bloodied face.
Sabastian came to stand next to Oz. "It was a Saurian soldier. He ambushed her in a technology raid, she never had a chance. I'm sorry." Sabastian placed a black-gloved hand on Oz's shoulder.
Soundlessly Cole entered the room. He heard the whole conversation, grief raced through his entire body. Tammara had been his best friend, but more so she had been his lover. He had adored her, worshiped her, loved her.
One lone tear fell from his dark eyes and came to rest upon his grey cheek. Someone would pay for this. Someone would die.
No one saw the group of thieves enter the small saurian strong hold. No one saw them kill the 6 saurian guards or set the 50 pounds of explosives. No one even noticed when they dragged one, already beaten Saurian out in to soft moonlight. Oz made sure no one would notice. He was an exceptional leader with mind staggering tactical skills.
He had Crash draw up a plan of all of the security of the compound including guards, doors, and computerized alarms. He then ordered Crash to build explosives, 50 pounds of high powered, electronic mini-bombs.
Next he had Sabastian enter the base 2 hours before dark and set up bugs all throughout the building. The small devices told him what was going on and what was being said therein. A useful edge in fighting, and stealing.
Shaddow then entered the perimeter 5 minuets after nightfall and readied the areas that were to house the bombs.
Lastly, he, Cole and Crash were to enter the perimeter, lay the explosives and meet up with Sabastian and Shaddow.
After that, thanks to their skills and the bugging devices it was easy for them to find the saurian that had killed Tammara and remove him from the building.
A simple plan that went off without a hitch, at least it would have, if not for Cole.
The team had just brought the wounded saurian into the yard of the camp and were preparing to chain him and take him to one of the holding cells in the Blade base.
Cole had tried to keep his calm, but in the end he could not. "You killed her," he growled through clenched teeth.
The saurian's head only bobbed slightly, but a smirk came to his lips showing yellow fangs.
The two males locked eyes, one a grieving man, the other a monsterous killer. "She screamed...loudly for me..." muttered the Saurian.
Cole's eyes flashed blood red and with in seconds he had knocked Crash over and was upon the Saurian soldier.
The once calm night howled with agonizing screams as Cole killed the Lizard with his bare hands. He ripped through the soldiers flesh and strangled the life from his once proud body.
In seconds that ticked by like hours, the saurian was dead. Cole had killed him. Without a word to anyone the young, grey duck wiped his hand upon his black uniform and ran from the stronghold.
Oz began to bark orders that the others were only too happy to obey. "Sabastian, close that door, I don't want anyone leaving!"
The tall, masked male only winked and produced 2 katanas, each containing a small, blue button.
He pressed the button on one of the swords and it flared to life. Sparks jumped from the blade which grew three inches and became consumed in crackling fire.
Sabastian jumped from his position near the saurian body to the door which was about to be opened. He kicked it shut then held the door with his foot. Majestically the young thief
ran the blade around the door frame heating the metal to melting.
He then pushed the button on the other sword. A soft, white mist curled out from the weapon and began to encircle the sword blade. Quickly he ran the ice sword around the door frame cooling the melted, bubbling metal. In under a 30 seconds he had sealed the door. Sabastian smiled to himself, "a new record."
"Get clear!" yelled a young male voice. Crash had made the last alterations on the explosives from his wrist computer and was preparing to set them off.
"On 20!" Oz yelled back from the middle of 3 saurian soldiers who had made the mistake of attacking him.
"Not a problem," the blond duck yelled back. He punched a sequence of numbers into the small computer and hit the enter key. After that he turned around and punched a saurian in the gut before it could strangle him. "You guys have got to stop being so predictable."
The lizard glared at him and was about to get up to attack when Crash flicked his arm and produced a dagger from his sleeve. He held the weapon towards the Soldier who laughed and prepared to attack. "Moron," said crash as a beam of yellow light shot from the dagger incinerating the saurian utterly.
The thieves had all heard Oz's command to Crash and they were counting down mentally, each at the same number. When they got to 10, all stopped what they were doing and began to run to the fence. Ever synchronized they hurdled the 20 foot gate and disappeared into the shadows.
The saurian's began to collect themselves and laugh at the retreat of their attackers.
"We showed them but good, eh?" Said one to his commander.
The commander was about to respond when he heard a loud 'click' come from behind him. Slowly he turned around to face the glowing explosive attached to the wall.
"Run for..." he never got a chance to finish he command for at that second, the saurian army base exploded into a billion pieces.
"Impressive" said the woman to her companion, "that must have been done by the one called Crash."
The male looked up at her from his crouched position. He slowly stood and adjusted his trench coat, "you impress easy, Dagger."
The woman rolled her eyes and smoothed her long purple hair, "get a grip, Jericho. Their good, you know that as well as I do."
He said nothing, only thought 'why do you care so much about them, Dagger?' Had he asked her she would have laughed at him and said he was being an idiot. But he knew better, there was something she was not telling him and Jericho wanted to know what it was.
Dagger turned to leave then cocked her head to the side. "Are you ready?"
She smiled, "Then it is time to find the Blade..."