Chapter 8

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Thanks for being so patient guys! As a thank you for your support, here's a nice (relatively) long chapter! I hope you enjoy the read!

Like track runners at the fire of a gun, Zane, Olivia, and Valerie dashed in the predestined direction of their mission. Nole followed close behind, surprised by their haste. He was told to watch and learn, but had no idea what that entailed. Sticking around the errand wasn’t part of his plan anyway. Before leaving the apartment complex, Nole had made the decision to look for Caden above all else.

Despite the early hour, they heard Enforcer sirens going off in the distance. Must be because of the fountain. Nole looked to them for any sign of retreat, but they didn’t hesitate. Looks like they’re going all in, he thought. A part of him questioned abandoning the errand for fear Betty would lash out and put Suri on the streets, but he stuck with his instinct and put more faith into his plan.

The idea was, he would pursue the job with Zane, Olivia, and Valerie, but separate from them when they didn’t notice. When he searched for, and found, Caden, he would head back and say he got lost. Not a great excuse, he admitted, but at least we’ll have Caden back. Just as he finalized his decision, the runners came to a screeching halt. Although they had been running at a rapid pace, they had only gone a couple of miles at most.

“Let’s stop here,” Olivia announced. Reaching into her back pocket, Nole instantly remembered the pepper spray she had whipped out from the same pocket during the fight at Murphy’s shack; but to his surprise, she pulled out a folded piece of paper. Kneeling on the ground, she unfurled it to reveal a detailed map of the central part of Nova.

After Valerie and Zane crouched beside her, all three of them stared at Nole until he joined them.

“What is all this?” he asked, frustrated that he was being kept from his plan.

Preoccupied with the map, Olivia mumbled something to herself. With her preoccupied and Zane obviously ignoring him, Valerie spoke up.

“She’s strategizing an approach for the job.”

“Strategy? Is it really that complicated an errand?”

“Yeah, pretty much,” she answered with a smile and a shrug. Although he didn’t show it, he felt worried that the anxious girl was being left in charge of the analytics.

“You going to fill me in on what we’re doing?” he asked. Before Valerie could respond, Olivia cut in.

“We’re going to infiltrate the Octas territory,” the redhead explained. Her voice lacked the shaky anxiety it usually carried. She must be more confident when she’s in her element, Nole reasoned. She’s like a different person.

“What was it that Betty wanted?” Valerie asked.

“A folder,” Zane answered, analyzing the map.

“Right,” Olivia added. Placing a finger on the map, she followed a drawn path before her. “This is where the core hideout is.”

Nole was beginning to feel lost with the lingo. “Core?”

“As in, there’s a big probability that the head of the Octa gang is there,” Olivia clarified.   

Nole didn’t know what shocked him more: that Betty actually knew the hideout locations of one, and quite possibly more, of Nova City’s Great Eight Gangs; or that they actually planned to infiltrate it. Facing a gang, even gang leader, is one thing, but fighting them at their headquarters, their home turf, was another. Unfamiliarity with the area is one thing, but a massive crowd of readily available gang members is another; even if they weren’t top three.

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