Small Acts of Kindness

Start from the beginning

When he checked the message, he found information, data.

A name, planet, colony, address, and a ticket to that planet.

So, here he was, on a shuttle to that planet that was actually a moon, trying to track down someone he'd met only once and had almost completely forgotten about.

Benjamin Mosley.

Drake rubbed absently at his temples. He still had a headache. The shuttle was finally coming to a halt. As it came down, he'd been given a view of the colony, and it wasn't much to look at. He wondered what Mosley was doing in a place like this. As the shuttle rolled to a halt and went through the nine thousand tedious things they needed to do before they could let you off, Drake thought back through the miasma of pain and grief.

He thought about the first, and only, time he'd ever met the kid named Ben Mosley.

It had been during the galactic chase, their first stop on that desert planet. He and Trent had arrived to recover an ancient alien artifact. Unfortunately, Rogue Ops had beat them there. He and Trent had rallied the battered local forces and mounted an assault on the research compound. They'd been saddled with a young research tech, still a teenager, terrified but bravely pushing on. He'd survived the assault and they'd left him behind to go chasing after the bad guys. But, in his alcohol-addled state, Drake had suddenly remembered something.

"I'll see if I can't pull some strings, get you set up with a nice cushy tech job with a corporation or something."

Trent had said that to the kid. He'd wanted to help and Drake fully believed that the man, his brother, would have followed through with it. Because Trent was many things, he'd been a mean drunk, a little slow, very stubborn when the situation called for it (and sometimes when it didn't), but he was also a man of his word.

If he said he was going to do it, he'd do it.

And the more Drake thought about it, the more wrong it seemed that this kid should have to go on with his promise unfulfilled. Especially now that he saw where the poor guy was living. Finally, the million and one landing procedures had been completed. Drake stood and began making his way towards the exit.

At least Hawkins had put him up in first class.

He still didn't have any stuff with him but his pistol, which everyone reluctantly let him hang onto since he was ranked as Spec Ops. Anything he bought he ended up abandoning in the hotel room, no matter what it was. But as he shifted around, getting in line with the few other passengers in first class, he felt something in his inner coat pocket. He remembered, almost unwillingly, that he had snagged a second item when he'd skipped out on the Dauntless. Something that had stayed with him, clinging to his psyche like a malignant tumor.

The infopad they'd recovered from the previous mission.

With Enzo's message on it.

He still hadn't watched the damned thing. Neither Greg nor Eve would tell him what it said, only that he needed to see it for himself. There could be anything on it. Hell, it could just be a video Enzo waving his dick around right before he blew his brains out. He still didn't know how the man had died. He wouldn't put it past the maniac to do that. In a morbid way, the thought was funny, and he found a grim chuckle escaping him as he left the shuttle behind and moved into the terminal. As he detached from the gaggle of passengers, he moved into a large, empty seating area, momentarily pausing in front of a trio of immense, floor-to-ceiling windows.

They offered him a view of the dismal landscape beyond. Nothing but pathetic copses of decaying trees and the beginnings of a saw-toothed mountain range. Rain ran on the glass outside, a silent testament to his own inner turmoil. With a sigh, Drake turned away. His stomach was rumbling and his headache was getting worse. Well, it probably wouldn't do to show up at Mosley's place hungover and starving as well as in a terrible mood. (There was nothing to be done about the mood.) So, numbly, he began walking.

Small Acts of Kindness (A Shadow Wars Companion)Read this story for FREE!