“So why am I going with you?” Sam asked Brian in a whispered voice.
“I don’t know. I didn’t tell you to come.”
“You did! I remember you saying ‘Tonight I’m going to go see the orc’ directly to me!”
“That doesn’t mean I told you to come.”
“Then why specifically find me to say that?”
Brian shrugged, “I have reasons. You don’t have to come if you don’t want to, you know.”
“What if we get caught?”
“We won’t. But, if it comes to that, I’m going to use the crazy excuse. As for you… well, they’ll probably be glad you didn’t set anything on fire.” Brian turned to him, “Assuming you don’t set anything on fire.”
“I don’t set things on fire!” Sam didn’t know why people always thought he set things on fire. They just got that way, and he happened to be around.
“Good,” Brian touched his finger to Sam’s nose, “But you know, if something happens to catch on fire anyway, maybe put it out before anyone sees it.”
Sam wrinkled his face at that thought. That would be a waste. If it wasn’t his fault, why should he have to worry about the consequences? Still, he also didn’t like getting in trouble. Maybe that would be better. “So um… how are we getting in?”
“I know the code to the door.”
“How do you know that?” The two of them were just exiting the approved buildings, heading toward the detached security building, “Won’t the alarms go off? You know, because we left the building? We’ll get caught.”
Brian shook his head, “No power. Anyway, I asked Chief Fox for the code.”
“And he just told you?”
“Nope.” The two of them reached the door, and Brian turned the handle, opening it. “Power’s out. The electronic lock doesn’t work.”
Sam slipped in after Brian. “Umm, isn’t this… super insecure? Is that alright?”
“Normally the emergency generator would be on. Besides, all the dangerous stuff like guns are locked away with… well, keys.” Brian walked confidently through a few short hallways, “Except that, I guess.”
Sam’s eyes widened, “What’s an axe doing here? That’s not a fire axe or anything.”
“It’s from the orc, obviously.” Brian walked past the table that held the axe.
“Really? I expected it to be… bigger.” Sam poked the axe. “It’s not really any bigger than a fire axe, though it’s definitely rather different.” Sam looked up at a rather unpleasant splattering sound, “Oh dude are you alright? What happened?” Brian was standing near the next table… with the body of the orc. Well, he was currently bent over vomiting onto the floor nearby. “Is the body that gross?” Sam walked a bit closer. “Eh… it’s just kind of… weird.”
Brian shook his head. “It’s not how it looks.” Brian coughed. “Uh, hold on, I think I need to do this again.” He reached out his hand and put it on the orc’s forehead, and then he vomited once again.
“Oh gross, why are you touching it?” Sam shook his head.
Brian wiped his mouth, “Uhggg… Wasn’t there a sink over there?”
“Seriously though, why would you touch it?” A different voice than Sam’s spoke up. Both Brian and Sam turned to look.
“Uhh… who are you? How did you get in here?” Brian asked.
“Adrian. The same way as you, through the front door. I wanted to see if it really was an orc. Sink’s over there, by the way.”
Brian hurried over to wash.
“So what are you doing here… Sam, isn’t it?”
“You know me?”
“Sure. I try to remember people’s names.” Adrian stepped closer to the table with the orc, though he was careful not to get too close. “It really is an orc. Or at least, something anyone who’s seen our idea of orcs would agree is an orc.”
The sound of the sink stopped, and Brian spit one last time. “Yeah, they’re orcs alright. They have a camp in the local forest… and a human prisoner.”
“What?” Adrian blinked.
“I said they have a camp nearby, and a human prisoner.”
“No, I heard you. The what was more referring to… how would you know that?”
Brian frowned, “I… overheard him talking?”
“I think you’re the worst liar I’ve ever seen.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that. I’m sure you’ve seen worse. Say, why do you have gloves?”
“I don’t touch people.”
“Oh.” Brian’s eyes flicked toward Sam, “Well, I’ve got to go now. It was nice talking to you both.” Then he shook Sam’s hand and turned to head toward the door.
“What did you say?” Dr. Crocetti frowned.
“Someone was in the security center. The axe is missing, and there are… other signs. We did a check around the premises, and there are three people no one has seen since last night. And umm, one of them left a note in his room. Or at least, we presumed it’s him. It was… Brian Coburn?”
“Show it to me.” Dr. Crocetti reached out to take the note, “Yes, it’s his handwriting. ‘Be back later, off to save a princess (not really though).’” Dr. Crocetti sighed. “Why did it have to be him? He’ll probably end up hopelessly lost in the forest. Was there any real indication of where he was going?”
“No, just this note. Do you think the others are with him?”
“Well, maybe. Adrian is… mostly rational, but he might have gone with Brian. I don’t know if Samuel would have gone with them. Though, to find him we’d only have to look for smoke.”
“Never did manage to catch him with a lighter.” Chief Fox sighed, “Good thing the forest looks nice and green, yeah?”
“Right. I suppose.” Dr. Crocetti frowned, “This might be a problem. Though I suppose they have the right to go where they wish, sneaking off is not the right way. This might cause trouble with the others. Especially because of Grace. I’m sure she’ll notice Adrian is gone… any minute now. Perhaps we have been a bit too casual with security. From now on, we need someone standing at the gate at all hours. We probably should have already done so with the appearance of that… orc. I know it will be hard on security, but we’re responsible for the safety of these people, at least as much as we can be.”
“Yeah, I just hope they make it back safely. Especially that Brian, he’s a nice kid. Strange, though.”