Part 14: Chapter Four - pt.2
Investigation of Griffs role in the beginning of the epidemic was taking much longer than it needed to.
Griffs confession doesnt come cheap! Im going to infiltrate Bragas den and steal a bag that contains... some sort of evidence against him.
So Griff was cheekily expecting Klara to go and risk her life infiltrating his rivals base and obtaining evidence that would get him off the hook, and most likely implicate his rivals in the process? She could go to Alexander immediately saying that Griff is guilty, and his whole gang would be rounded up in a matter of minutes. But she needed to protect him, and it seemed that he knew that and wanted to make the most out of the situation.
She crossed the rail bridge over Vein, to where factories sprawled. Someone had put up an unusual scarecrow on the tracks on the other side. A skeleton of wooden poles had a cowl wrapped around it; three rats were hanging from it by tails. One wouldnt have to be clairvoyant to understand that they were entering the infected territory.
She ran down the embankment the glow was already there. Her destination was in the area of the factory where giant sheds used for storage stood. Warehouses in this town, it seemed, served no purpose other than housing ruffians and fugitives.
Each of the structures had more thuggish-looking people standing watch in front of them. Braga was supposed to be in the biggest one.
Klara decided to try the direct approach.
Youre not coming in!
Look at you... You are ill! Put your knife away and Ill help you.
Oh... Ive heard about you... You can heal with your hands... Go ahead, but be careful...
The guard refused to hide his knife though. If something went wrong, he could gut her like a fish with one motion.
But her supernatural skill worked instantly.
Impostress watched the giant man flop into the grass and then hurried inside to get the business done before the incident was noticed by others.
The inside of the large metal barrel was dark and echoey.
Somewhere behind a pile of crates and metal drums she found an especially large and fearsome thug she supposed it was Braga the Barber himself. More importantly, the bag was right beside him.
Well look at what has walked in! Should I cut you in two, or just squash you with my fingernail?
You have no idea who youre talking to, serf. Im the soul collector.
Ha-ha-ha! And whose souls do you collect? Lice, from the look of you? Come on in, dont just stand there! Reap your grim harvest! Oh, that was a good one...
No lice for me, unless you count as one. Listen to me before its too late.
Im going to count to three. Surprise me, and you will live. One. Two...
Hey, whats that noise in the corner behind you? Guess whos hiding there!
Questioning him was out of the question. It was time for plan B.
Klaras power of suggestion seemed to be getting the more powerful the more she was forced to use it. For a second she even froze herself, half expecting the man to discover something in the far corner of the warehouse.
But all she heard was an angered growl as Braga came out of his altered state
Rapid heavy steps rang in her ears amplified by the round metal roof. The man was coming back and he was approaching fast!
She grabbed the bag and ran for her dear life.
Luck was on her side that day: nobody was waiting for her outside.
She had a good idea as to what was in the sack, but decided not to think about it.
Twenty minutes later, as she approached Stems porch she noticed a letter labelled «To Klara» on the doorstep. Ink was beginning to run from the stray raindrops that were hitting it occasionally. But she wanted to have spent as little time in possession of a human head as possible, so the letter had to wait.
I may have to burn in hell, but Ill set this town to rights!
I have been through a lot. But Ive learned that...
What? What have you found out?
Griff is not the spider. He did try to stop the massacre. It is another man who instigated the killers... His name is Braga the Barber...
If it is so, I should inform Bachelor at once. It seems that he is going to get to Griff before Wolf.
I dont understand...
I have prepared a trap for Griff. Sergeant Wolf has learned that the killers leader will gather them in a secret place. He was going to catch Griff red-handed.
I dont know a thing about your justice, but my judgement must be fair and impartial!
Enough... Well talk about it later. Lets get down to business. I need to send a messenger to Wolf at once.
Do you see this sack? I stole it from Bragas den... Take it. Its very heavy. And wet...
Whats in there? Let me look.
Its Wolfs head... He was the one heading the operation, the first to know about the congregation of the killers...
Then it is true. Braga is the head of the killers.
...My most trusted lieutenant! The most cunning, skilful, and reckless man! I wanted him to succeed the missing Yaklakh... Who can I trust now? That bastard! Hes taken my right hand... Enough! Where do you say they are hiding?
They are in a big semicircular warehouse on this bank of the river.
Ill crush them all... These ones today, all the others tomorrow! Let Griff live another day, hes probably scared straight for now. In two days, well see what we can do... Have you asked him about the river yet?
Alexander will stop pursuing Griff and blaming him for bloody murders. But the beginning of the epidemic is a different matter entirely... What is that black twyrine? I shall ask him, for I have the hooks now...
I have endured a great deal for you... Nearly turned myself inside out.
Oh, stop trying to talk in riddles. I already have the answer: you are still alive, so it must have worked. Is that so?
I stole the head from Braga and gave it to Saburov. He wont bother you for now.
Heh-heh... He has no people to bother me anymore! Unless he decided to show up himself, of course! Or maybe hed send you instead? With a document? Heh-heh... You little thief you.
A bargain is a bargain, Griff. I have three questions now.
Go ahead... what do you want to know? But talk like a normal person, without all that... how did it go again?
Filin, Filin, I know that you are the real leader of the killers. Would you agree to get close to me? Will you let go, submit into the depths... And give unto my questions your honest, unbiased answer?
...Yes. Im their real honcho... Bragas mutiny was convenient... blamed everything on him... Im an innocent man now... Bachelor fell for it, hook line and sinker...
Why did you do that?
...Its what my soul wanted... An urge... to kill... My hands, they want... need to make merry...
Now tell me about the Olgimskys. Did they cover for you?
Fat Vlad controls all the trade... It was he who ordered black twyrine... it was he... Junior doesnt know a thing about that...
So that is why Saburov didnt arrest you at once.
...Hes lying. He is not afraid of Olgimsky... Look higher...
Simon favoured me... Im still an Adherent, remember? Simon dictates rules even from beyond the grave... what you can do, what you cant...
Those people you threw into the river what had they died from?
...We didnt do that... Ive heard that tale about the corpses. Worms from the Apiary did it, but it was blamed on me. Not the kind of murdering I do... too... barbaric. Why poison all the water? I swear to God...
Look whos talking about barbaric! After everything Ive learned...
Swatting a man with a morning star is sporting, especially if youre not doing it from behind... Using a knife is... riskier... especially if its a borrowed knife. What do you think were made of? Why is it such a blasphemy to cut the bodies? Because youre not supposed to see whats inside, thats why... Or the secret will come out...
Secret? What secret?
...Thats the most interesting thing... I have no idea... Dont ruin me, girl! Youll need me when the time comes...
Im done with you, Griff. Wake up!