I just cant get my head around it. At first I thought the change in mood was down to Furieux’s departure. But after the fallout had died down, I noticed a certain shift in attitude remained with a handful of the Dragons. Was it me? Were they resentful that others had looked to me to take the mantle of unofficial leader of the group? After all I had always been one of the guys, the one they felt they could come to when Furieux was either too drunk or to occupied with his latest conquest, but that seemed to have changed. I sat alone trying to ponder it out. Years as a slave, then at the card tables I had always been able to get a read on people, and I knew something wasn’t right. But these men and women I trusted with my life, hell I owed most of them my life and vice versa. We were more than a team, and while it looked like just a group of mercenaries who only cared for themselves from people looking in, they never saw that bond that was more akin to family than team mates. I couldn’t bring myself to believe that any of the guys would work against us.

But something really wasn’t sitting right, and trusting my gut I had learned was the best way to stay ahead of my enemies, and my gut was screaming that something wasn’t right. Maybe I was paranoid, after all I had some big shoes to fill, and being the top guy, however unofficial was a huge burden. I took a long pull from my flask while I tried to reason things out. Could this have something to do with the sudden drop of influence in Alignak? Where they responsible for the propaganda and security leaks over the last few days? They were certainly capable enough, but there was no reason. Someone was definitely trying to undermine the Dragons for sure, but I couldn’t bring myself to believe one of my brothers was working from within to bring down all we had done.

All of us had a past, but that didn’t matter, who you were before was always your own business, everyone I had the pleasure of calling brother or sister had proven themselves 100 times over, but why couldn’t I shake this feeling?

Dace, Dry411s and Zas were the 3 that had my alarm bells ringing. DRY411s I was used to being secretive, his intel gathering rightly so was often kept secret, but I knew when whatever he was after was confirmed or denied I would find out about it, but his closeness with Dace was pretty new, the 2 always seemed to be in cahoots with quiet meetings and sly glances, the 2 were hiding something that was for sure. Zas, a relentless assassin, was another who was cloaked in secrecy, but he knew I didn’t give a toss about what he did on his time away from the Dragons, Many a time I have been partaking in the Sol Herb and he has discussed some of his ‘adventures’ or asked me for advice, knowing I had some experience in making people vanish.

What the bloody hell was it?

As much as I hated to spy on my friends I had no choice, the kid should be back with some information soon. I had sent him to see the professor, if there was a plot within the Dragons, one of the leading intelligence operatives in the alliance, and the man who raised me after my parents murder would have at least a sniff of something.

I looked up and could see Dace and Zas deep in conversation, I watched, hoping their body language, or some unconscious gesture or look would give me a clue as to what they where hiding, but nothing other than the subtle signs they were hiding something where evident. I don’t know how long I spent watching, 2 minutes? 2 hours? I know I was watching until Unfazed came running in to the bar, took one look at me and ran to the booth I was sat in.

“Wally – there has been an incident, you need to get to the infirmary now, its the Kid”

2 hours later

I made my way back to the S&G, The Kid, my only family left alive was dead. This was all the confirmation I needed. Apparently the ships life support and the escape pods life support had an imbalance in the O2 mix. In one you could put it down to one of those things, in both, this was deliberate, someone had tried to murder me, or more likely stopping the Kid from reaching me with whatever he had learned. This was no Dragon who had done this, as I said they were capable of lots of horrific things, leaving a trail was not one of them. No way would any of them have been so sloppy. But they knew something. And I didn’t care how but I was going to find out.

As I rounded the corner to the S&G I was met by the 3 men I wanted to see

“Wally” Dace started, “We need to talk”

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