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A symbiotic relationship

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It was one of these days where just everything seemed to go differently than expected. It had started with a quick meeting at Markus' office.

„Jeremiah won't go with you today,“ the young man told him,“ he still has a high fever, and Erin insists that he stays in the hospital area at least for the day.“

„The tour is only routine,“ Kurdy answered quickly. He didn't like the thought of another partner; he and Jeremiah were a team since a long time already, and even if the young man could get a bit too impulsive sometimes, Kurdy knew that he could trust on him when it was necessary. „Only meds and baby supplies for Clearwater. We've made the way several times already without any incidents.“

Markus had agreed, but when Kurdy came to the parking lot, he found Smith standing beside the jeep. As usual in his much too wide, too warm coat for a nice spring day, the big backpack, he never seemed to lose sight off, on the ground beside him.

„Seems as if I'm your partner for today,“ he said.

„Jeremiah is my partner, I don't need a new one.“

„Jeremiah is not around, and God says, you shouldn't go alone today.“

„I don't give a damn,“ Kurdy murmured, but he knew it made no sense to protest. It seemed to be impossible to stop Smith when he was on a mission; he would follow him, no matter what he did. Better don't to waste time and to accept it. „Fine, get in. But shut the fuck up.“

:::

They reached the outlying area of Clearwater about two hours later and the closer they got the more twitchy felt Kurdy. No children playing near the road, no one came out of the houses to greet them, a disturbing silence was lying over the small town.

„Shit,“ he murmured and stopped the jeep at the roadside. More than before he wished Jeremiah would be at his side instead of this strange little guy. It wasn't even sure if he knew how to use a gun. „Stay here in the jeep. I will try to find out what going on here.“

„I don't know if this is a good idea,“ Smith tried to hold him back, but Kurdy had already left the car without listening to his protest.

The road didn't offer much cover; he was all aware of that, but there was no other way. He had just reached the little market in the middle of the town; abandoned, destroyed carriages and makeshift booths instead of the usual hustle and bustle. Without any question, something was going here, and the best he could do was to go back to the Mountain as quickly as possible to tell Markus. This was nothing he could deal with alone.

A warning outcry attracted his attention, but it was too late. Suddenly the skinheads were everywhere around him. No chance to escape their superior force.

:::

After they had beaten him up they pulled him away half conscious. Threw him into a small dog kennel, to wait for the boss, who would decide would happen next to him. Kurdy didn't fool himself, he knew, this couldn't end well, the skinheads never showed any mercy. It was only the question of how long his torture would last before they finally killed him. All he could hope for was Smith, not a very reassuring thought.

The jeep had been empty when the skinheads had checked it up; all they had found were the boxes with meds and baby supplies. They had looked pretty disappointed, apparently not what they had hoped for, no weapons, no booze. But Kurdy stayed realistic, the chance that the little guy would make the back to the Mountain in time, to alarm Markus and the others, was not very great.

His body hurt, his eyes were almost swollen shut, his head was hammering, and it got more and more difficult the think clearly. Finally, it started to rain, a cold and heavy spring shower. Maybe this would give him a bit more time. Kurdy curled up on the dirty, muddy ground, tried to keep himself warm as best as possible.

He had lost every sense of time when suddenly a hushed noise from behind tore him out his dizzy state. Not the skinheads, they wouldn't be so silent. Slowly he turned his head and groaned when the pain shot through his whole body. The sight blurred he needed a moment to recognize the little figure sneaking closer.

„Smith?“

„Are you okay?“

What kind of question was this? Inwardly Kurdy cursed. God damned. What the hell was he still doing here? The skinheads could be back every moment. „Go. Go!“

„No!“ Smith shook his head. „I'm not leaving without you.“

„Oh, fuck you. Not the time to play the hero. Go!“

Smith smirked. „I'm not a hero; I'm only the puppet in God's hand. And he says, our symbiotic relationship will keep us alive. Whatever will happen to you, will happen to me, too.“

Groaning Kurdy closed his eyes again; even now this fucking geek couldn't stop talking shit. He was for sure not in his right mind. „Your wish will come true sooner than you will like it,“ he murmured faintly. „Probably they will kill you first to silence you.“

„None of us will die today.“

Nice try, Kurdy thought, when Smith stepped closer to the metal-grilled door of the kennel; the thick iron chain and two locks were impossible to overcome. Unless Smith was not only God's messenger but also a wizard.

Only a moment later the chain dropped down onto the ground and Smith opened the door. „Can you go on your own,“ he asked, looking down at Kurdy. „We should better be a good step away before they notice your escape.“

Kurdy somehow managed it to fight his dizziness and get back onto his feet. Busy with keeping the balance he knew, this was not the time for questions. „I guess, you will need to support me.“ And was not surprised that the grip of the little guy, who was at least two heads smaller than he was and only half of his weight, was steady and tight.