Copé ran. The strength of the Aeonian diminished, but glimpses and flickers of "the color" didn't leave him. He ran. The blades of sickly grass beneath his feet even looked healthy with the lively hue. He felt an emptiness at the pit of his stomach, a heaviness in his chest. Still, he ran.
The Italina Knights had their carriages and horses, and they surely would be after him.
But The Aeonian would not venture beyond the town's walls, not for an insignificant thief, nor one of the God-like, wunderkind variety such as Secrat.
Secrat ran without direction, only distance on his mind. This must have been how The Woman felt, running aimless from her perpetrators. Copé couldn't remember a time he had been more intimidated or scared than how he felt now.
Secrat ran. They wouldn't look all night, not outside the walls, not when the area was so populated. Too dangerous.
The wagon was gone, confiscated according to The Creature's words. It, or they, the Italina authorities must have been notified by The Woman. She must have run to them and informed them of Brutus' attempted murder, of Secrat and Brutus' successful steal.
Copé felt something beneath his feet and tripped. This seemed as good to hide as any. He fell hard onto the ground, his own momentum sending him forward forward. The feeling of his knees drives against the dirt-floor was enough to make him yell out. The way he landed, he leaned against a large dead-tree.
The Italina walls were still very visible to him. He realized he might very well have been at the exact opposite standpoint of where Taison and the wagon were. Or once were.
His body ached everywhere. His back was sore, his knees more bruised than a prostitute from The Hallow, and to top it off, his hand was throbbing again.
The chilly air made his body shiver. Not accustom to such temperature.
His clothing being drenched with sweat offered little assist.
Unless Taison was able to outrun the Knights, he would've been captured. In other-words, he was captured.
Marc Sero, Lukas Lewis, and Samuel Syi's whereabouts was up in the air as well. Of course, Brutus was taken for certain. And if, empty-handed without Brutus would have upset Toucan, then coming back alone would surely spell out The Thief's death. A small moment, a trickling of thought, found itself roaming, the thought of screaming "Fuck It!" to the heavens and leaving The Flux occurred to Secrat. Alas, he knew it wasn't an option for him. The Whispey Deserts were hot and living arrangements around all Maharris were never favorable. Besides, he was well accustomed to be a member of the troupe.
Secrat felt down at his leggings and found himself some tobacco, dampened and moist by his sweat. He lit it up with an abrasive scroll and a pine-stick. The flame had a haphazard hue until Copé's eyes settled. He had seen nothing but what the stars allotted him for so long that the Aeonian still messed with his vision. He assumed it'd frequent his psyche for a times and while it made figures easier for him to distinguish in the blackness, he wanted nothing more than to have it vacate him.
He brought one end of the cigarette up to his lips, welcoming the smoke into his lungs. He watched the small flame shake and realized he, himself, was the cause. The fear yet to bid its farewell.
It was either come back with the rest of The Red Flux or don't come back
He took a puff of the cigarette. God, I hate these, Secrat found himself thinking. He had hoped they'd calm his nerves but as the emerald smoke escaped his lips, he felt on the brink of a panic attack.
All the items taken. Even the Statue that got them in this predicament. The whole of the Aer Festival heist was a failure.
They took EVERYTHING. But Secrat knew he'd have to return. He'd have to penetrate the Italina Prisons and rescue his brethren.
He knew not how to do that, however. Not the faintest of assumption nor idea. Had it been like a fable or storybook, the good-guy would find the answer to his or her dilemma in an unrealistic location. But Secrat wasn't the good guy. Secrat was a thief meaning to rob innocent common folk of Italina and a reoccurring murderer of those innocent common folk.
However, as he flicked his cigarette out from between his fingers over to the ground in-front of him, he saw that fate didn't concern itself with such technicalities. He saw what he'd tripped over and saw that the Italina Knights had, in-fact, not taken everything. A coincidence, like in the storybooks, made all the difference. A coincidence that operated as special happenstance to let him carry on in his misadventure. One that would let him, The Hero, carry fourth and save The Red Flux brethren.
An outline of green around it, Secrat saw the Italinian Knights armor stolen by Marc Sero, buried partly in the dirt.
The Red Flux & the Wunderkind THief
Chapter One (1 - 2 - 3)