Chapter 18

5.5K 270 49

The unnerving silence would normally make Nole feel at ease, but nothing about his situation was easy. Jogging through the shadows made him reminisce about that night. Shaking his head, he ignored everything reminding him of Taro. He knew he had to focus on Caden. His brother was most important, so everything else would have to wait.

Despite the comings and goings of pain, he felt a surge of energy moving him forward. Either that or he was delirious from the mix of fatigue and soreness radiating from his back. The Central Enforcers Station was located four blocks east of City Square, so he had quite a trip ahead of him. Knowing that the threat of encountering Enforcers on the street was gone, and confident in his ability to ward off any gang members, Nole sped up his pace to a swift run.

Even though it was only eight in the evening, the dark clouds rolling above him obscured the moon completely, giving Nova a dark undertone. Even though the citizens needed it, Nole hoped it wouldn’t rain. It made him feel selfish to want such a thing, knowing full well that rain water would be a God send to Nova’s desperate populous, but poor weather would mean a more difficult situation for Nole.

If people began getting riled up over rainwater, chaos was sure to ensue. In the past, rain had proven to bring out the worst, most savage side of Nova City’s people. It was literally a contest of survival of the fittest. The mayhem during these times was mostly contained with the Enforcers, except at night, when their day shifts were long over. There was a time Nole recalled reading about a night when the Enforcers were called into an emergency night shift.

It was two months after he’d moved into the city, soon after Chief Caswell had implemented the strict sundown schedule of the Enforcers. The newspaper article detailing the event was fairly vague, but from what Nole understood, it had something to do with a sewer pipe infestation that jeopardized the city’s well being. The danger was so serious, that a still-standing quarantine of the sewers was put into effect. When the pipes were closed down in an act of perceived heroism, Caswell’s popularity as chief skyrocketed in the public eye. His quick thinking during that chaotic time eclipsed his rash shift changes of the city’s law enforcement.

The cautionary rumble of thunder crushed Nole’s hopes as he hastened toward his destination. He came across a few passersby, gangbangers no doubt, but he evaded them swiftly before any trouble was instigated. At one point, he could have sworn he saw a Para tattoo etched on a man’s bicep, but the mix of ill lighting and lack of concentration made him believe otherwise.

Despite the opportunities for trouble and the tightness in his chest, Nole managed to arrive to the station without traveling below the speed of a steady jog. The sky was much darker than when he’d set out, but the rain hadn’t begun falling yet.

Standing before the building, inches from the concrete steps leading to the main entrance, Nole couldn’t muster a single idea on how to go about his business in a calm and efficient way. It seemed as though every plan lead to straight out failure or fruitless capture, both of which wouldn’t help Caden.

What do I do? He could feel the humidity rising and the wind picking up. Throwing on his hood, he marched up the stairs. This could be the only way, he thought, clenching his jaw while resting his hand on the handle of the main doors. The building was quiet from the outside, at least compared to the bustling wind creating havoc around him.

“In or out?” Nole froze at the voice coming from behind him. Even though it sounded familiar, he didn’t dare turn and face them. “Are you going in, or not?” the voice asked.

“Uh,” he couldn’t think of anything to say. Thankfully, the voice spoke up again.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to spook you. I just came out here to have a smoke.” Nole turned his face to the side, and recognized Captain Quinn Hadley puffing at her cigarette with one hand, and holding back her long blonde hair back with the other. “This wind is just not on my side,” she said after a long exhale.

Errand RunnersWhere stories live. Discover now