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.Marta, his sister.He felt a lump in his chest pushing up into his throat, and a low growl escaped his lips.To him, she was beautifully human, a living memory of his past that the government had failed to erase.But to her, he was still a Huntsman, and he knew it would be difficult to get close without her raising the alarm.Leo moved towards the nearest buildings, stepping into the shadows where he was unlikely to be seen, and began his approach.#‘He’s gone, sir,’ Dreggo said, jogging up to the Governor as he stood near the top of the ramp down into the tunnel.‘The Huntsman Lyen, the one who used to be Leo Banks.’‘What do you mean?’‘He’s ignoring my instructions and he won’t respond.I can hear him, but he’s blocking his thoughts.He’s distant though.I think he’s gone after her.’‘His sister?’‘Yes.’The Governor frowned.‘This is.unexpected.We may have to change our plans.’‘Sir, I think he’s heading into the village to warn her.’The Governor’s white face flushed with anger.‘We cannot have that.We may have to abort the trap and take them in the town.At worst they will come running here.There is nowhere else for them to go.’Dreggo closed her eyes and concentrated.‘Sir, I can.feel the Mistakes.The ones in the forest.I can sense something has happened.’The Governor looked hard at her.‘Can you control them?’‘I don’t know.maybe.’The Governor’s eyes blazed.‘Do it.Call forth their rage, Dreggo.Bring them down on that town with fire in their eyes and hate in their hearts.And while chaos ensues, we will capture the Tube Riders and finish this.’‘Yes, sir.’‘Do what you can, Dreggo.Act quickly.’Dreggo moved off as the Governor called out for Clayton to assemble his men.She closed her eyes and sent her thoughts out to the Huntsmen and to the people who had almost been Huntsmen.She called forth their anger, sought out their rage.And distantly, through her mind, she heard them begin to respond.‘My Huntsmen.I command you to go to war,’ she whispered aloud.Around her she heard their minds spark into life, their bodies begin to move as they turned and sprinted through the trees, back in the direction of the dirt road and beyond it, five or six miles away, the town where the Tube Riders were hiding.And among the nearby fields and the forests, she felt a buzz rise into the air as hundreds of shattered human minds began to boil with anger, brush away the pain of their wounds, and turn their thoughts to one last assault on the people who had hurt them.#Switch was having a good day.Lying in the grass feigning death not far from where the Huntsmen and the DCA agents patrolled, he watched with surprise as the men began to climb up into the trucks which then turned around and headed back down the road away from the tunnel entrance.A rally driver, a sailor, a movie extra.damn I was a busy boy before I ended up as a scrawny little street kid with a jippy eye.He was soaked in the blood of a Mistake he had killed, his clothes doused, his hair, his face, his hands sticky with it.It stank beyond belief, to the point where he had retched until his stomach was empty of the last of Reeder’s breakfast and then some, but the ruse had worked.He’d overheard Clayton telling the Governor he thought there were Mistakes in the tunnel, and a Huntsman had patrolled just a few feet to the left of where he lay still without giving him more than a brief glance.But now they were all leaving.There were two agents up on the hill, covering the entrance with sniper rifles, but he would easily kill them once the others were gone.Where were they going? What had happened back in the village to cause them to leave?He sensed the others were in danger, but at the least their urgency and the leaving of the guards meant his friends were still alive.He had to help them, but first of all he had to secure the tunnel entrance.Pulling a knife from his pocket, he began to shimmy through the long grass like a deadly snake, towards where the land began to rise.#Leo knew it was almost too late when the cacophony began behind him.He let his mind relax and the sounds flooded in, the Mistakes in the forest creating a backdrop to the roars of the Huntsmen, and above it all, the shrieking commands of Dreggo, their assumed leader.They were coming, all of them, and within minutes the village would be turned into a battle zone for a second time this night.Marta, just twenty feet ahead of where he crouched in a doorway, had heard it too.She looked around as though having just woken up, and the dim street lights reflected tears in her eyes.She stood up.This was his chance, his only chance, before she was gone again.He stepped out of the shadows.‘Marta.’She turned.For a moment her face didn’t change, then suddenly she seemed to recognise he was different to the other Mistakes in the town.‘Huntsman!’ she gasped, backing off.‘No!’ he growled, unable to think of anything else to say, and then, trying to prove he wasn’t a threat, he slumped forward onto his knees, his hands spread wide on the ground in a praying gesture he hoped would look submissive and harmless.Marta had been about to run, but now she paused a moment.Perhaps she thought he was injured.Leo knew he only had seconds to make her understand before she called out for help.For a moment his own name eluded him, so he used hers.‘Marta.sister.’ He lifted up one hand and pulled the hood back so that she could see what was left of his face.She stared at him for another long second.Then her mouth fell open, and she began to cry.#It was him.Leo.Her brother.She recognised his eyes, the deep blue that mirrored hers.The rest of his face was a mess, a doglike snout covering where his mouth had been, wires protruding from his temples and feeding in through holes in his neck.She was repulsed and joyous at the same time, washed away by a wave of emotions that included the knowledge that her brother wasn’t dead after all, that he was right here in front of her, and that he had perhaps been subjected to a fate that might actually be worse than death.She couldn’t stop the tears that flooded down her face.‘Oh my.what have they done to you.?’‘Huntsman.’‘Why?’‘Tunnel.Governor.Dreggo.wait for you.run, Marta.’Her hands, tentative at first, cupped his face.She could feel metal under his skin.‘Leo, come with us, we can save you!’‘I.save you.’ He frowned, and a strange yelping noise came from his throat.She thought he might be crying.‘They come.now.You.must.hide.’Marta looked up, hearing the wail of the Mistakes.From somewhere not far away, she heard what sounded like an explosion.They were attacking again.She climbed to her feet, pulling Leo up with her.‘Come on.We have to get back to the safe house.’He stopped.‘No.They attack.safe house.’People were running past her now, people with spears and knives, running in the direction of the perimeter.The attack was imminent.‘This way,’ she said, leading them into an alley.‘We can get back to the safe house, find the others, and then –’A Huntsman stepped out in front of her.Marta screamed and turned back.Another Huntsman appeared behind them.‘Lyen.’ the first Huntsman said.‘Lyen have.Tube Rider?’Leo put an arm around Marta.‘Prisoner,’ he said.‘Kill her,’ the second Huntsman ordered.‘Prisoner,’ he repeated.The first Huntsman sniffed at the air.‘Lyen.Tube Rider.smell same.’The second Huntsman growled.‘Lyen.is.traitor!’With a roar, the two Huntsmen leapt forward in attack.#Clayton’s DCA convoy pulled up just outside the town.Ahead of them, he saw the Governor and Dreggo climb out of the car and head straight into the fray, through the last trees and into the town, even as crazed Mistakes dashed past them and threw themselves headlong into the barbed wire [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]