The Return Chapter 3

Unexpected Choice

By Firstborn Dragon

Latter Rudy swore that he didn’t know how he reacted. But at that instant, he knew that Zed was in trouble. "Look out!" With those words, Rudy threw himself at Zed. The resulting collision knocked them both down, and they landed several feet from where Zed stood. Just as Rudy had knocked Zed over, a bullet flew through the air, smashing into the wall where Zed had just stood moments ago. Cecilia and Jack turned to face this new threat. And stood looking in amazement at they saw Jane standing there, her ARM smoking.

"Not again! This is the second time you took the fight from me. Now how can I clam the bounty on that beast’s head?"

Rudy stood in front of Zed, and faced Jane. Jack turned to watch Zed. No matter how much trust Rudy had in Zed, Jack didn’t trust him at all.

"He’s not a beast Jane." There was an unmistakable challenge in Rudy’s voice, as he spoke to Jane.

"He threatened the town didn’t he? Said he was going to destroy it. So tell my why he’s not a beast." Jane appeared a little surprised by the challenge, but she took it up.

"It was a misunderstanding Jane. So don’t start trouble." They all turned to look at Rudy who was still standing in front of Zed. Zed had an unreadable look on his face. Like something between hopefulness, disbelief, and fear. Then Zed moved, to face Jane. Jack tightened his grip on his sword. Rudy tensed, uncertain about what would happen next. "It was not a misunderstanding. I wanted to die. If I can’t save Laura, what’s left to me? Everything else is gone. I’ll never be a knight, and I’ll never fit in with them again. But then, that’s something that you can never understand."

Rudy turned to look at him. "Perhaps I understand better than you think."

Zed was about to reply, when Jane broke in. "I don’t care. For the amount of money I’m offered to kill him…."

"Then you’ll have to get through me first." Even as Rudy spoke, everyone looked at Rudy with a shocked look.

"Why would you…." Jane looked at Rudy, surprised.

"Because someone else stood up for me once. And because of another reason. Jane you’d kill Zed because he’s different," Rudy began to step forward, towards Jane. "Well what about me?"

Jane looked at Rudy in puzzlement.

"Hey Rudy. What are you talking about." Jane was clearly puzzled now.

Zed was still standing near to Rudy. He knew where his only chance of survival, and Laura’s survival lay. Now that he had hope, he wasn’t about to let it go. "What about you?" Rudy turned to look at Cecilia, who had just spoken.

"Don’t you remember? It was just over a year. Just before the war ended. Before Ka Dingle came up." This time, it was Rudy who was calling up the past. "You came for me. You helped me."

"What? Then? You mean then and now?" Jane looked puzzled, but then continued. "What do they have to do with each other?"

Rudy didn’t look at all surprised. "So you’ve forgotten. Not that it would matter much. I made my decision. I’ll go alone if I must."

Zed stood back, watching in shock as the man he had tried to kill so many times, so long ago, stood up for him. Yet there was a puzzled look on his face.

"I promised to help him. If you want to back out, go ahead." Rudy looked at Jack, and Cecilia, challenging them to say something. Neither did. In fact they didn’t know what to do. It was though no one still believed the offer that Rudy had made to the same demon that had nearly killed them. But with the look of determination on his face, they all knew that it would not be easy to change his mind. The only question was how the others would choose.


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