7. Hi, Gray

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He had told himself there was no looking back, that it was all behind him now and there was nothing left but to move forward. Yet, he found himself doing exactly that, unable to tear his gaze away from the slowly shrinking outline of Shann Tei.

Tarrod felt empty, like part of him was left behind, forever lost in the ruins of what had once been his home.

Sighing softly, he stared upwards, squinting against the glare of the sun. That was when he spotted them. Two small little shapes that moved across the sky towards them. At first, he wondered if they were birds, but then their flight was too straight, too fast to be anything other than a specific flight plan.

Dread curled inside, turning to ice. He lifted a trembling finger, and shouted a warning. "Flyers! Flyers are here!"

The men around him took up the cry, shouting and waving their arms at the vehicles following to warn them. One pounded on the back window of the truck's cab, jabbing a thumb skyward. In response, the truck jolted forward, speeding up. The rest of the train followed suit, though Tarrod thought it was a futile gesture.

Barren open land surrounded them on all sides; to the watchful eyes above, they stood out like a shining beacon. Trying to run away would be useless. Their only choice of action now was to depend on one of the flyers' own kind. He looked to the white flyer, feeling an odd mixture of both hope and disgust.

The flyer rose, staring out at the fast approaching figures. Then he glanced down, dark eyes seeking Tarrod's.

"Keep going. I'll catch up." Then he jumped off the truck.


Jett's blood ran cold when he saw who his pursuers where. It shouldn't have surprised him, really. He should have expected that they'd send the only other Talon after him, but he hadn't thought he'd run into Gray so soon.

Gray and the other flyer touched down with hardly a sound, their wings and boosters fading from existence mere moments before their boots kissed the earth. Their helmets disappeared as well, and Jett tried to not stare at the lines that seemed to have appeared overnight on Gray's face.

The man looked tired. Older. His naturally white hair didn't help either. Jett felt a stab of pity for him. Losing Raven had been hard on the other Talon – they'd known each other for years before Jett had even come along.

Now, Gray turned his cool grays on Jett, regarding him with a hard expression that the teen had never seen before. "Jett," he said, steel underlying his tone.

"Hi Gray," Jett answered softly. Out of the corner of his gaze, he saw Gray's companion, a Scout, shift slightly, a hand moving out of sight behind his back. Tensing slightly, Jett kept a wary eye on the Scout, knowing that they were here to either kill or capture him. 

 The wisest thing to do would be to flee, yet he had to keep the flyers here, keep them from going after the survivors of Shann Tei. Not that he thought they'd go after them, but he still had to be cautious.

"What are you doing, Jett?" The gray Talon stood motionless, and Jett was suddenly afraid. He remembered the first time he'd met Gray. The man had been bemused then, yet imposing and threatening without even trying to be. Now, Gray was dead serious and he was terrifying.

 There was a reason he was a Talon, a reason that he was sent to the front lines almost as often as Raven had been. Jett held no doubt that if Gray wished it to be, he could easily have been one of the Twelve.

"I am doing what I must," Jett answered. His voice trembled ever so slightly despite his attempts to show himself confident.

The Scout took a step forward then, but Gray held out a hand. The Scout stopped, glancing at Gray with a curious expression. Gray's brows knit, his lips pressing together. Something dark lurked in his eyes, barely hidden at bay.

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