Chapter 10

Chapter 10

“This is it you are done for. Never again will we have you in the field with us. You are the ultimate risk. A constant liability who can not follow simple orders. Your orders were to get on the bus but you were too good for that. You had to go stomping through the woods on your death march,” Elser lays into me verbally. Away from everyone else, but loud enough that they can hear. I force myself to stand and look dejected. “Who the hell do you think you are? You are nothing, a sniveling little pissant. You don’t have half the experience I have in my little finger but think you have the right to question my commands. Look around you. Look at these injuries. You did this. Every injury is on your hands. Every bump, scrape, bruise, cut and broken bone are your fault. What the hell do you have to say for yourself,” he says finally pausing his rant.

“Did anyone die,” I ask, a serious concern of my own.

“No, you were lucky no one died. In 99 another half-cocked runt like you rushed into a vampire den and got himself killed. He also got half of his squad wiped out. This is minor in comparison to that. You need to count your blessings and be thankful that you had some really well trained people behind you,” Elser picks up right where he left off.

I wonder if he enjoys these lectures he gets to give me. Ever since I was a child, any time I went against the grain he would just spit all this venom at me. He acts like I killed his pet or something. Sure, he’s a dick to everyone but I always seemed to get it especially hard. I’ve learned the best way to get through this is just act like it’s killing me inside and ask simple questions. It’ll send him on a tangent and he’ll wear himself out.

“Did we get all the missing people,” I ask when he stops to catch his breath.

“Yes, and an extra so I guess you did something right for once. You could have been killed down there if what you say was true. You had no business going against a vampire that strong on your own. You got lucky. Skill and luck will not be enough to carry you through every fight. You need to plan for anything. You thought you could just rush in like some sort of moving picture star. That is not how real life works.”

“So everything turned out fine,” I didn’t expect that to come from my own mouth but it did. I wish I could frame the look on Elser’s face. A look of shock, disgust and evil delight. It did leave him speechless for the first time in my life so I’m glad I said it. Maybe, I can’t expect things to turn out well for me after this. I knew that when I took off from the rest of the team. The only questions is how bad it’ll be.

I can’t lie the feeling of dread is flowing through my body. Suddenly the night is a little colder. My mouth is suddenly dry, maybe I haven’t been hydrating enough. I can feel my stomach stuck in an infinite drop, almost as if the lump that has appeared in my throat will never fall. I’d rather go a second round with the vampire from underground that face whatever is coming next. An hour ago, I was so sure of myself. I just knew I made the right move. Even seeing people who had been injured didn’t bother me since I knew no one had died and we saved a lot of people. Now I was afraid of what would come next. I’m not sure what will happen, or if I can fix it. But, I know it’s coming and I’m probably not going to like the results. Maybe Elser was right. Maybe I should pray for forgiveness, pray that I make it out of this one okay.

“This is your last strike, your seventh by my count. I’ll make sure it’s your last.

“You said it was minor just a few minutes ago. Now you want me severely punished? Which is it,” my attempt at bargaining, but it probably came out wrong.

“Dalia can not save you now child. Her protecting you is the only reason you’ve had so many chances. It’s done. You’ll stand trial for your action. Get out of my face. Just hurry up and get on one of the buses back. I don’t even want to see you right now.”

I let him have the last word, if I didn’t we would be here all night. It doesn’t matter what he says. It was a successful mission because of me. If I had just left when he told me, and ignored those screams, anything could happen. I’ll probably end up going to trial again. I’ll have to sit in front of some of the elders, they’ll tell me what I did wrong and then sentence me to some sort of punishment. That’ll be the end of the situation. I’ll probably end up right back on suspension. Considering everyone made it out okay, they might let me go with a slap on the wrist. Cleaning the bell tower or something like that.

Elser’s little lectures never bothered me in the past. He just wants me to feel bad, and it doesn’t work. This time is different. He was pissed, but not in the same way he usually would be. There were no theatrics. He didn’t throw anything or shoot any magic blasts. Maybe I really did fuck up this time. More than usual anyway. But, I saved so many people. Nobody died, and we don’t have to worry about the abductions anymore. How could something so right make me feel so wrong? I thought I was doing the right thing. No, I’m sure I did the right thing.



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