Chapter Five: Calm

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For a hologram, the pilot was able to land in a small clearing in the middle of a forest surprisingly well. Leo stretched outside of the jet. He looked at the sky and yawned. He couldn't remember seeing the sun rising. He never woke up this early. If Cole hadn't woken him up, he still wouldn't have. He sighed.
I should be counting my blessings, he thought. At least he didn't set me on fire. He heard clanking next to him. He looked to see Riku walking down the boarding steps from the jet. He couldn't help but stare.
"I think this is the first time that I've seen you take a step," he said to Riku. The teen yawned in response.
"Where did he go," he asked. He annunciated the word he with bitterness. Loa took a mental note to never wake Riku up.
"I think he ran into the forest somewhere. Are Lara and Lucia still in the jet?"
"Yeah. They must be getting 'ready' for the day," he said, annoyed. He threw his hands up, "Where did they even get a change of clothes?"
"I know Lucia. She always has a change of clothes with her. Well, we'd better give them a break, considering how Kira woke them up." he said, laughing to himself. While Cole got the other guys up, Kira woke the girls up in a different fashion. While Cole woke the guys up by grabbing them by their collars, dragging them out of their spots, dropping them onto the floor, then walking away.
"Time to get up," he said as he walked out of the jet. That event was Leo's new definition of a rude awakening. Kira, however, woke up the girls in a slightly different way. While the girls were still dragged out of their spots, Kira manipulated Ranto to do it for her. Also unlike Cole, Ranto stayed there, staring down at the girls as they opened their eyes. Leo wasn't sure if it was Cole or the girl's screams that really woke up up. Either way, his ears were ringing until he left stepped off the jet and breathed in the fresh forest air.
"Where is Kira anyways?" Riku asked, tearing Leo from his thoughts.
"She disappeared after the girls started screaming. She must be in the forest, since her friend walked out of the jet and into the forest."
Riku cracked his neck and looked into the trees, which were a few yards away.
"When are we heading out,"
"After we eat," a new voice said. Cole strolled out of the trees, carrying the carcass of a deer over his shoulder.
"Puppet girl made a spit on the other side of the jet." he said, walking around the jet and towards where Kira's puppets build a spit which would allow Cole to cook whatever he caught. Leo's eyes widened when he saw the deer.
"How did you catch that?" he asked, amazed.
"I'm awesome," Cole responded as he disappeared behind the jet.
"He does know we have food in the jet, right?" Riku asked. Leo gave a small laugh.
"Whatever. At least we get meat today," Leo said as he walked to the other side of the jet. Riku shrugged, then poked his head inside the jet.
"We're eating outside." he called, "Meet us on the other side of the jet,"
"OK," the girls said from the bathroom. That bathroom is big enough for two? he thought to himself. Is the shower? How irresponsible are our organizers? He'd have to remember to confirm his theory about the bathroom. He then walked down the stairs and joined found the others. Kira stood with her back to the forest. Leo leaned against the side of the jet, watching Cole and another figure. Cole and one of Kira's puppets stood on either side of the deer, removing the deer's pelt. They worked at an incredible speed, preparing the deer to be cooked whole. Cole may have had some type of survival training to learn how to prepare a dear, but how would Kira know enough about preparing a deer to manipulate her puppet to do so. Could the puppet know? He forced the idea out of his head. Riku then looked at the puppet. It was a new one, that looked about six and a half feet tall. It had spiky red "hair" that differentiated it from the puppet Kira had been using in battle the previous night. However, they had the same red dot eyes, same off color nose, same grey skin. It had a different mouth, though. Riku thought it was positioned to look like the puppet was focusing very hard on something. He chose to not think about what the puppet may be thinking about. It cut the deer's pelt off with two daggers, which gleamed in the light. Within minutes, they had turned the deer into a large chunk of meat and had placed it on the spit. Kira sent one of her puppets to go back into the jet to find some plates, utensils, and a table which it did. Cole then began cooking the deer. With his pyrokinetic powers, he roasted the meat. Lucia and Lara soon found the group. They both wore jeans and different colored blouses. Leo noticed that they didn't look happy, but he couldn't tell if their mood was because of the exclusively meat meal or because they noticed another puppet in the group.
"Jager, dagger," Cole said after a few minutes of roasting the venison. The puppet who assisted him in preparing the deer to be cooked threw him one of the daggers he had been using. In one motion, Cole caught the dagger, chopped a piece of meat off of the cooking deer and took a bite. He licked his lips.
"Perfect," he said. He grabbed a plate and began chopping cuts of venison from the deer, the cuts landing on the plate. Jager, the puppet, grabbed a plate and began mirroring Cole's actions, chopping off cuts of meat, the cuts landing on his plate. After his plate held enough venison that made the plate difficult to hold, Cole held onto the plate with both hands and walked the plate over to the table and placed it down. When Jager had cut the same amount, he moved to the table and placed down his plate. Cole smiled, then turned to the group. Leo was honestly surprised. He never thought that he would see that teen smile, nor that the smile would be to... normal.
"Lets eat," he said. He took the dagger and impaled several cuts, moving them to another plate. He let all but one fall off, then began devouring the one on the dagger. Leo was almost impressed. Riku shrugged, then walked over to the table, grabbed a small knife, and moved a few cuts onto another plate and began eating. Leo, Kira, and Lara eventually did the same. Lucia hung back, however. Once she got her food, Lara went next to her.
"Aren't you going to eat?" She asked, before taking a bite of venison. She could tell Cole knew what he was doing when he cooked the deer. The meat was medium rare and tasted almost like steak, but much gamier, leaner.
"Not hungry," she said, looking down at her feet. She then quickly looked up, but didn't see Leo close. If he was, he would have made a joke and she would have had to slap him.
"Its fine, I don't eat much. You go ahead,"
Lara just shrugged and continued eating. Lucia gave a small smile at the girl, then continued looking at the grass at her feet. A few yards away, Leo and Riku leaned against the jet, eating venison.
"Not bad," Leo said.
"For a psychopath," Riku added. He shrugged. "Still not bad, though."
Next to the spit, Cole sat cross legged on the grass, devouring the cuts he took. Kira stood on the other side of the spit, nibbling on a piece of her venison, watching Cole. She watched him eat, with a small smile on her face. If she didn't know what he was like, she would have thought he was cute. She took another small bite of meat.
"This is good," she said, just loud enough for him to hear. He looked over to her, a small piece of venison hanging from his mouth. He wiped his mouth with his hand.
"Thanks," he responded. He was about to take another bite, when a thought entered his mind.
"When did a girl like you learn how to make a cooking spit?"
"I don't," she responded. "But Jager does,"
"How can he know something that you do not?"
She looked at her puppet, standing next to her, awaiting his next order.
"He is a hunting puppet. He knows how make one,"
"How can a puppet..." he paused for a moment. "Nevermind, you're the puppet master," he said, before returning to his food.
After a few minutes of silence, RIku spoke up.
"So what's our next step?" he said to the group. Leo licked his lips, put his cleaned plate down, cleared his throat, and began speaking.
"So, we're in Transylvania." he began. "About a mile north is our target." He looked towards the jet and yelled "PICTURE ONE!" In the rightmost jet window, the pitch black window send a projection on the ground, directly in front of Leo. A picture of a large castle appeared. It was like something directly out of the movies; gigantic, made of grey stone, with several large towers rising into the sky. Leo stepped out from behind the picture.
"So, Castle Dracula. PICTURE TWO!" Suddenly, the leftmost window changed, sending a projection right in front of Leo. The picture was of a handsome young man. An audible squeak came from Lucia. The guy looked about eighteen. He had long, black hair, which seemed to be flowing, despite the image being completely still. He had piercing red eyes, which matched his red and black robe. Leo growled, then moved out from behind picture.
"This is Marketh Free, aka. Vlad the thirteenth.. Hemokinetic master, super strong, and super fast. He's not exactly a vampire, but he's the closest thing that exists in our world."
A chill seemed to spread through the forest. Even Jager seemed to shiver.
"So, our mission, which we have no choice but to accept, is to infiltrate the castle, and make sure he will cause no further trouble. By any means necessary,"
"Yeah, about that," Riku said. "How do we know he actually caused trouble."
"Well, we have eyewitness reports from two soldiers that he slaughtered the rest of their squad, so about five men. The Bulgarian recruit's death is solely speculation."
"So," Cole said, standing up. "We storm the castle, kill the freak, and get paid?"
"All except for the last part, yes."
Cole sighed, then cracked his knuckles. "Lets do this, then," he turned and began to levitate.
"Wait," Lara yelled. "shouldn't we start planning what to do before we..." before she could finish, Cole flew away. She sighed, not even bothering to look for Riku or Kira, since she knew that they'd have disappeared by now.
"Well, so much for planning," Leo said, as he ran over to Lucia and put a hand on her shoulder. "Lets go,"
Lara quickly ran over to them and put her arms around Lucia as a disk appeared behind them and began to fly after Cole, towards the castle of Vlad the Thirteenth and mission one of the Axis Squadron: Blitzkrieg

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