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Brooks nodded along at Ellen's words. “I can tell you for certain those people ain’t FOE, they would have spotted us a mile away. The scouting part is good, you and Abigail sneaking up and getting a precise location on the coolbox before we start shooting. Since they don’t seem to be a part of any official organisation we shouldn’t be worried about any crazy firepower they’re packing. You two move in, give us a wave for the go ahead and we’ll dispatch the bandits.”
“Are you kiddin’ me? They want us to take these kids and haul after armed bandits?”

“That’s why they sent us, as backup.” remarked Mark, a little snidely.

“I agree with you, Brooks.” Hans added curtly, practically cutting Mark off from any further comment. “Even the most capable people in this group don’t have the training or experience for something like this. At Goodnight, I objected to this idea.”

“So did I, at first.” the shorter man continued, “but as much as I hate to say it and as fucked as the situation is, there’s just no other mother fucker who can even respond right now - and these new bloods already have a reputation, given their rescues.”

“Ja. This isn’t good, but it is the best we have. And people will die without the insulin.”

Brooks clenched his jaw. He was silent for a moment then he nodded. “Abigail, with me. If we’re confronting ‘em we’ll need those guns. Everyone else, start getting in the van. We’re going to give chase.”

Abigail split off from the group, stalking up the path to the house and following Brooks' footsteps. "You don't sound so sure 'bout this," she pointed out.

“‘Course I ain’t. We’re following after killers with a pack of rascals.” he stepped up to the house, opened it and went where the injured bootlegger claimed to have dropped the guns. “Besides, what’s got you all giddy. You’re looking like a one armed bandit with broken lights.”

"The blood, for starters," Abigail intoned quietly. The sight of the house's interior had started to sink in. "And the pain, but that's more of a, a constant…" she stopped, checking under the coffee table for any weaponry.

“And I’m askin’. How the hell did you injure yourself with no one that’s trying to kill you in sight?”

"Occupational hazard," Abigail remarked as she ran her fingers across the bullet holes, entranced. "I uh, it was an accident really, I got a little carried away and melted a bunch'a zip-ties into my hand. But we're good now," she added on hastily.

“No, we really ain’t.” he found the two guns where the injured man said they would be. He checked them for ammunition. “You don’t seem to grasp just how serious in a situation you are. Do you? Have you -still- not gotten in your head?”

"What, because I'm cracking jokes? Better to laugh than cry, right? And the state'ah this house is really tellin' of what I got ahead of me." Abigail swallowed hard, staring at the pools of blood and Alex's body. "What is this anyway, huh? You didn't bring me here to get the guns. What do you want from me?"

“I left you alone for what, five minutes and look at what you gone and done.”

"You missed the part where Billy spent another five minutes yanking shit out of my melted hand, and I didn't so much as spark. I told you. It's been two weeks. I'm not gonna be a goddamn master."

Brooks narrowed his eyes slightly then exhaled. “You’re going to trail behind when we run into the bandits, not run off on your own. You might get in the way with a bust up hand like that.”

"Hey man, I ain't complainin'." Abigail skirted towards Brooks, then away from him - back to the body in the kitchen. "Do I get one of them fancy guns?" She asked over her shoulder as she weighed her options...then squatted and started to rifle through the dead man's pockets.

Brooks let out a sharp breath of air through his nose, rolling his eyes up at the ceiling. “MhmNo.”

Abigail found a couple of extra ammunition magazines and a blister pack of caffeine pills. Being unable to locate anything else of importance on the man's person, she trotted to Brooks' side and offered out the extra ammunition. "Then I hope whoever you give the spare to has some damn good aim," she grinned at him, all sweaty and dirty with blood down her arm. Brooks took the ammo and left the building to return to the bus.

As Brooks returned back to the van he voiced out at the group collectively: “Any shooters amongst you? We got two guns spare, one with eight bullets and the other with six. We’ll need ‘em where we’re going.” he turned to Billy next: “We’ll follow their tracks. Might have to go off road, can the bus handle it?”
Much like Billy, Brooks felt no discomfort throughout the shift in space and it certainly wasn’t due to being accustomed to it. He readjusted the time appropriately on his wristwatch as Billy opened up the garage door before driving back out. Upon spotting the bodies his demeanor didn't change though his scowl slightly deepened. He reached for the glovebox in front of him and pulled out a pistol as he glanced outside of the window in all visible directions to get a better understanding of their surroundings. He continued to stare out the side window for a second or two before raising his hand at the shed one of the bodies laid next to.

“Slight change of plan, people in the back. We’re looking at two bodies, maybe the bootleggers. Billy, stop the van here for a second. Ellen, Zephyr, Matt, you’re coming with me to clear out the building behind us. Billy, once we leave the van, drive it up behind the shed and have Abigail and Siobhan clear that building. Angline, go see if the bodies are dead. Any information you can get out of their state is useful to us.” he paused, turning back at the people crammed into the back of the van before opening his door and jumping out.
Brooks silently scowled and watched everyone file into the van. “No ones going to bat an eye seeing this thing out where we’re going.” he explained as briefly as possible. He migrated to the front passenger seat, getting in and waiting for a few more people to settle into the van. As he let the others talk he checked over his equipment, loading his pistol and checking it over with careful, methodic movements.

He half-turned in his seat to watch the others. “The people we’re meeting should already be there on arrival but I want a group of you pairing up and combing through the buildings nearby. Ellen, Zephyr and Mat. You three stick together and make sure there aren’t any unwanted visitors hiding about. Angeline, there’s a basic first aid kit in the van here that you can use if we need it.”


Brooks scratched his nose and pushed himself up from the desk that he was leaning on. The coffee cup was discarded as he gave Ellen a brief explanation,“The FOE are american based, we won’t be dealing with them out where we’re going. But...you asked good questions, so I’ll answer them anyway. The F.O.E. rely on precision and meticulous attacks. They can’t afford to have the public turn against ‘em and will go to great lengths to prevent using heavy firepower to take down our folks. Now that don’t mean they’re doing it out of respect for kindness,” Brooks’s face twisted into a scowl. “The F.O.E. are still zealous. They’ll be ruthless and brutal if they catch us.” He coughed before carrying on.

“As for what the plan of action is if they do ever catch you, it’s to rely on your instinct. Or the instinct of the next best person. It’s the measures we take before a mission that's supposed to stop them from catching us. They can mess and scramble with blue magic to prevent its use so you’d be solely relying on a clean getaway to lose them, something they wouldn’t allow unless they’re being sloppy.” He wet his lips before turning to Angeline.

“There ain’t mercy regarding children from the F.O.E. If the VU fall they’ll get strung up dead either way. Now whether they actually got the gumbo to carry out said tasks is why we don't turn away volunteers. It’s easier to train people that are willing over those who want to...” Brooks trailed off momentarily, glancing at the doors to the headquarters, "...To try and live a normal life." He shook his head slightly. "We need all the hands we can get."
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