10. Gray Suspicions

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"The hell is wrong with that kid?" A tide of curses spewed from Gray as he paced around the small camp. The urge to punch something arose, so he spun and threw a fist at the nearest object. He hit the slender metal pole that braced the front end of their tent.

A dull clang sounded and the pole caved from the strength of the blow. Bent as it was, it could no longer support its side of the tent, so it dropped onto the ground. The fabric of the tent followed behind.

"Gray," came a calm voice, "stop it."

Gray ignored the voice. Instead, he kicked angrily at the pile of fabric on the ground. "Why would he do this? He's crazy!! Just what possessed the brat to even dare to -"


The shout made him pause. He turned to give a cold glare at the other flyer who interrupted him. "What do you want now?" he snarled.

The Scout flyer who had been assigned to help him could be considered a veteran. Not many people knew him or even knew of him, but among the Scouts, he had a reputation that rivalled that of Ryuto. Ryuto was infamous as the vainest member of the Twelve, but Raith - all the flyers of the Reconnaissance guild had a different name for him.

The Specter.

Outside the Scouts, however, he was relatively unknown. And he preferred it that way. Now, he regarded the enraged Talon with a gaze as calm and steady as a pool of water.

"Gray," he said. "You've destroyed our tent. What do you suppose we will do when it rains tonight?"

Out of pure reflex, Gray glanced upwards. He already knew the sky was a cloudless blue. Yet the suggestion of rain was something so completely ridiculous, he had to confirm it. Not only was the sky perfectly clear, but there was no wind. The air hung heavy and humid, still holding a lot of heat even as the sun had already began to set.

"Rain?" Gray spat on the ground, which was dry enough that it immediately absorbed the small bit of moisture. "Did you get hit in the head by one of those grenades? It hasn't rained in weeks and it ain't gonna start now. What kind of idiot worries about the weather when we've got bigger problems? You're -"

"For a Talon, you're not very observant," Raith interrupted. "However, that was never one of your attributes, so it's nothing to be surprised about." Though his words were unkind, his tone was mild. He walked over to the remains of their tent, regarding it for a moment.

It wasn't a big tent - it held just enough space to shelter the two of them. It would be a cozy fit, but it had never been designed with comfort in mind. It was a simple expanse of material, propped up on two sides with collapsible metal rods that were driven into the ground. However, thanks to Gray, their tent was now a wilted teepee.

"Didn't you hear me?" Gray asked. "Did you forgot why we're out here? We need -"

Raith turned to face Gray. Silently, he lifted a finger and pointed to the north-east. The Talon's expression was absolutely furious, his pale eyes nearly giving off sparks. Yet he clenched his jaw, and followed the line of Raith's finger.

A towering anvil cloud loomed above the horizon. Gray stared, somewhat startled. He was sure the sky had been perfectly clear just two minutes ago. When had -

"I'd say we have about forty minutes before that reaches us," Raith said. "I suggest we try and do what we can for that tent first. Then we can talk."

This Scout, Gray was realizing, had a really nasty habit of interrupting him. But there was nothing he could do to vent his annoyance, because there was nothing he could say against such perfectly reasonable logic. A storm was coming. And he'd just broke their only means of shelter.

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