The bunker was going together nicely. The mask he’d bought from Bruja was the real deal. He’d parted with every stolen good he’d had left and he felt it might be worth far more.
It was surprising to learn just how capable the mask was, and he was always learning new ways to manipulate his environment. It certainly helped him finish his work quickly while remaining anonymous. He’d already built hundreds of robotic soldiers without lifting a finger.
The ground began to shake, and he knew something was wrong, as the Aigon forest isn’t prone to earthquakes. The doors burst open and Bruja appeared before him. “You made it incredibly hard to find you, Moe, but I have.” It was like a punch in the gut. That wasn’t his given name, but he still never used it for fear that he would be discovered. Anonymity was imperative to his survival.
“How did you find me, bitch?” She laughed. The grating sound was far more unsettling than it should have been to him. “I told you that I would always find you. You bought my wares, and now I own you.” She dropped his sack of gold onto the ground in front of him. “I have a job for you.”
He launched into an attack. He owed himself to the man that saved him. He did his bidding and nobody else’s. Not that he had a choice. He would be killed if he didn’t pledge full allegiance to the man.
She easily dodged him. “Now that’s not very nice.” She was mocking him. He really needed a more secure bunker so he wouldn’t have to deal with her. She grinned and then he found himself engulfed in her blue flames. But it didn’t hurt, and he wasn’t dying. Through the flames, Bruja appeared as a beautiful young woman who looked to be exhausted.
He shook his head, feeling a bit of pity for the woman. “I’m sorry. I can’t help you.” She flew into a rage. “I will kill you, then. Slowly.” She sounded sincere, but he could see her true self. She must not have been aware. He could see her shaking and weeping. “Leave, Bruja.” To his surprise, she listened. “I will return.” And she left.
Moe sat on the floor, now alone. He couldn’t help but feel that he’d made the wrong decision.