Chapter 26

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Liz asked Terra, "Are you sure you are well enough to travel?"

"I think I am, but regardless I have to.  It will not be safe for me or this town if I stay."

Will moved toward the door.  "We will need some provisions.  I need to go before the markets close."

Terra called out to him.  "No Will!  You can't be seen now.  Late tonight you can go to your apartment and get what you can, and grab my stuff.  Make it look like I left in a hurry."

Ginny jumped in.  "You can raid my pantry.  Just don't touch the bourbon.  Liz, put together what medical supplies they may need."

Liz asked Will, "Where will you go?"

Terra shook her head before he answered.  "I know an out of the way place, but it is best that as few people as possible know where."

Liz accepted his explanation and walked out to complete her task.

Late that night Will loaded several boxes of food and medical supplies in the back of his truck.  He placed Terra's and his bags behind the seat.  Liz and Zoe made one last medical examination of Terra and redressed her wounds.

Ginny shot a glare at Will as he came back inside. He dipped his head to the unspoken message. "I know."

Liz and Zoe helped Terra walk outside toward the truck.  There were hugs and some tears before Will assisted her into the passenger seat.  They drove away into a moonless night.

Will drove in silence as Terra watched him.  As they reached the edge of town she asked, "So, what is this out of the way place?"

"I have a cabin up in the mountains northwest of here, very remote.  It will take about four hours to get there if we go the back way.  Only Ginny and I know about of it.  It's beautiful around there, I think you will like it."

"That sounds good."

A look of concern crossed Will's face.  "Terra, what do you think the Dynasty people will do in Freehold?"

"They will search everywhere and probably break a few things in the process.  The story about me and a mysterious hooded man heading east will draw some of them out that way, but not all.  Ginny told me she planted rumors of another sighting in a town a day's travel away.  I am sure Zoe, Liz, and Ginny will be questioned but if they keep to the story they should be fine."

Will laughed and Terra gave him a confused look.  "I was just thinking about the poor investigator who tries to interrogate Ginny.  He may suffer the 'Stare'."

"The Stare?"

"Pray you never experience it.  She has a look when annoyed that can make a grown man curl up in a fetal position and cry like a baby, or cower a charging grizzly bear."

Terra laughed.  "Have you experienced this Stare?"

"A few times when I was a rebellious teenager.  Now I am immune to it.  Well, partly."

After a few minutes of silence, Terra began the line of questioning that laid on her mind.  "Will, I need you to tell me about your power, and how you were able to take down Necros."

"Okay, I owe you that much."  He sat in thought for a moment.  "I am sure you tried to assess my Talent by checking my aura.  What did you see?"

"Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  That should not be possible."

"And likely you accessed my Talent test records?"

Terra looked down, as if caught doing something wrong.  "You had the lowest possible ability."

"Almost true, actually I have no Talent at all."

Will pulled over to the side of the road.  He reached into a bag behind the seat, pulled out an apple, and placed it on the seat between them.  "Use your Talent to lift the apple and suspend it in the air."

"That's easy.  Even a T8 Talent could do that."

"Just do it."

Terra barely went into the aura for such a simple task.  She telekinetically lifted the apple, spun it around, and placed it down again.  "Easy."

"Okay, now try it again."

She silently scoffed, and went into the aura again.  Her eyes saw the apple, but she could not get a vision of it in the aura.  She tried harder, still nothing.  In frustration, she cast her telekinesis in the general direction of the apple, but it did not move at all.  She looked wide-eyed at Will.  "What did you do?"

"I can take away an aura, or perhaps it is more accurate to say I dissipate it.  I have an anti-Talent.  The tests do not measure for that."

"So you did that to Necros?  Took away his Talent?"

"Essentially, yes.  And also to the other Enforcer, you left injured in the alley.  Necros so relied on his Talent that he was paralyzed when he lost it.  It can be very terrifying to a high function Talent.  You probably felt some of it too."

"Yes, I remember.  It was sickening, but it hurt Necros much, much more."

"Well I tried to direct it at him, and I don't think you have as much reliance on the aura for everyday function as he did."

Terra remembered the cold look on Will's face.  "When you killed Necros, it was personal for you, wasn't it."

"Vengeance, yes.  He was the one who killed my wife, like he killed your friend, and he was going to kill you."

Terra bowed her head.  "That I understand."

"There is more Terra, and it is difficult for me to tell you.  Do you remember the Day of Darkness?"

"Remember?  It was terrifying.  I lost my Talent and the aura was gone.  It is hard to describe the feeling, like vertigo, nausea, despair, and fear all at the same time.  When you disabled Necros, it was like..."  Terra's eyes widened as the realization came over her.

Will tightened his lips as he nodded.  "When I found Ell's body it was more than I could stand and I lashed out.  I caused the Day of Darkness.  I am the Darkness you fear."

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