One trip to the bank-in-the-box later, Talon found himself a hundred universals richer, which almost made up for the ten-mile chase and the slash across his ribs. Marty and Talon parted ways and he had a feeling the extra money Marty would be making could be the only thing saving their friendship.
Belter was where he thought he would be and he had a fistful of cash. It would have been tempting to trash the junky and keep the money, but the Rips knew where both he and Marty lived and would be coming back for them.
That didn’t keep him from pocketing an extra three-hundred however. How could the Rips really know how much Belter had spent.
Belter wined and protested the whole way to the Rip headquarters, but he had taken enough Cain to kill three normal people, so there wasn’t much that he could do.
Ax and most of his Bangers had returned to their dilapidated quarters, which was little more than a windowless building covered with graffiti.
Walking into the dark building, like he owned the place, Talon pushed Belter so hard that he was dashed to the trash littered floor.
The Rips surrounded them at once. Weapons were drawn and Talon was beginning to wonder if he was going to make it through this. “You led us on quite a chase, punk,” Ax said, while glaring down at him. He held his namesake in his right hand and from the looks of its stained blade it had seen quite some use.
“If I had known that Belter had planted the tracker in my jacket, I might have let you catch me.”
“The tracker,” his voice slowed. “What about my syn?”
“I never saw any of that. Belter got away with both that and the money I guess.”
“He’s lying,” Belter managed to get out, before Ax kicked him across the jaw.
“We’ll deal with your sorry ass later and believe me we are going to take our time.”
Stepping forward, Talon handed Ax what was left of his cash. “I could have kept this, but I figured if you got it back it would be good enough to keep you out of my path.”
Ax took the money, while never taking his eyes of Talon.
“Come on, what about the Cain,” the guy Talon had given the black eye to was complaining. “One of these dregs must have it.”
“I don’t know what the story is,” Talon said holding up his hands. “All I know is that I don’t have it and I didn’t find it on Belter. Perhaps you can ferret the hiding place out of him?’
“Oh, I think we can manage that,” Ax said, grinning enough to show his filed down canines. Beneath them Belter whimpered.
“So we are square then?”
“It took a lot of balls coming here,” Ax said, and then just stared at him. The lights of the candles made his eyes glow red. The pause wore on, making Talon nervous, until Ax finally said, “yeah we’re square for now, but if I hear about you moving any syn, I’ll make you wish you could trade places with this little shit.” A kick to Belter’s ribs brought out another cry.
Favoring them with a wane smile, Talon turned and exited the building. He still didn’t feel safe until he was halfway home. The sun came up before he got there. It was only three more hours until he had to start on the dishes. It was going to be a long rough day, but he had somehow made more money than he usually did in a week. He patted the money where it sat in his jacket and he hummed one of his favorite tunes as he turned down his street.