#Chapter 156: Stealth Mission
With the way that my leg was feeling, my journey across town was slow and painful. I didn’t seem to be healing anymore, since my wolf was too weak for some reason, so each step was agony. But I had to keep going. My friends were still out there somewhere and I needed to find the antidote and help them.
I stuck to narrow alleyways, darting between abandoned cars so as not to be seen. Not only did I have to worry about rogues, but I also had to worry about James now, and there was no knowing where he was right now. For all I knew, he was out here looking for me.
Eventually, I somehow made it to the outskirts of the campus. I cut through the woods, wincing as I limped over fallen trees and struggling to climb in and out of ravines, but by the time the sun started to get high in the sky, I made it.
I could see the hockey arena from here, as well as Tiffany’s pink Jeep. Just thinking about her made me want to vomit. I couldn’t help but wonder what the Crescents did with her body… But I couldn’t think about that right now, because it only brought me immense pain. Tiffany would have wanted me to do everything I could to get the antidote..
Since it was the middle of the afternoon, I didn’t see any rogues around. They must have been resting during the day, as they were stronger in the moonlight. This was a bit of a relief, but it didn’t mean that there weren’t any Crescents wandering around, either in their wolf forms or their human forms. I had to be cautious as I quickly made my way across the athletic field.
I was out in the open now. I pushed myself as fast as I could go, but I could only go so fast with my leg. By the time I made it halfway across the athletic field, beads of sweat were forming on my forehead just from the exertion that it took to keep myself upright.
Finally, however, I made it. I crouched behind Tiffany’s Jeep and peered around it as I looked for any Crescents. I didn’t see any, so I pushed through the pain in my leg and warily made my way into the hockey arena.
The arena was thankfully empty. I let out a sigh of relief and crouched behind the rink barrier as I made my way toward the door that would lead to the infirmary.
But as I got to the doorway, which stood wide open now that a rogue had bashed its way through the door and knocked it off its hinges, leaving the crumpled remains of the door strewn aside, I heard something.
I heard the sound of voices.
My breath caught in my throat. I cupped my hand over my mouth, steadying my breathing, as I slowly peered around the corner and into the door.
Inside the infirmary, there were at least five Crescents. I recognized some of them from Ronan’s team.
They were milling around the infirmary; a few were sitting at the table, digging through bins of medical supplies, while another was sitting on one of the infirmary beds and groaning in pain.
“You’re fine, Josh. It’s just a cut.”
“Yeah, but it hurts!”
I took this moment while they were all distracted to quickly scan the infirmary for an antidote, but from where I was crouched, I couldn’t see well enough. Besides, I wouldn’t be able to get in there anyway without being caught; it was too small of a space, and it was full of Crescents.
I would have to get out of here and somehow make it to my next destination: the woods, where Tiffany’s body was dragged off to.
It was sunset by the time I made it across campus in the direction of the cabins. I had to stop at one point to change the bandage on my leg and slather some antibiotic ointment on it, gritting my teeth and stifling my cries of pain as I touched the wound. It was still open and bleeding; what little healing my wolf had managed while I was asleep was undone now by all of the walking and running I did.
But I was finally here.
I circled around, avoiding the cabins as I was certain that Crescents would be there. Even Lisa or Ronan, who I hadn’t seen so far, could be there, and for all I knew they may have been on high alert for me. But, as I remembered how they had taken not only Tiffany’s body but also her medical bag in the direction of the cabins, I was certain that they had the antidotes there. Whether they knew what the antidotes were or not was still a mystery.
I quietly approached the cabins from the side, using the growing shadows to my advantage – and, just as I figured, the smell of a campfire eventually came to my senses.
After that, I heard the distinct sound of laughter, music, and people talking.
“Ah, man, you should’ve seen the look on her face! P-Please don’t b-bite me!” one male voice said in a mocking tone while also sounding thoroughly drunk. The others laughed in response. It made me sick to my stomach.
I kept approaching the cabins, staying low and quiet as a mouse, until I finally
made it to the back of one of the cabins.
From here, I could see the glow of the campfire as well as the shadows of the Crescents walking around, casted on the side of the adjacent cabin.
“When is Ronan coming back, anyway?” one girl said, her speech slurred from alcohol. “I haven’t seen him or his girlfriend since they took what’s-his-name. I hope they didn’t chicken out or something.”
I furrowed my brow. Were they talking about Ronan and Lisa? I didn’t know who they were referring to either when they mentioned Ronan and Lisa taking someone.
Holding my breath, I slowly peered around the side of the cabin. I couldn’t see much from here, but thankfully none of the Crescents were facing in my direction, so I took it as a chance to dart over to the adjacent cabin to get a new angle. As I did, I caught a glimpse of exactly what I was looking for: Tiffany’s medical bag. It was laying in the dirt, right by the steps of the first cabin I had hidden behind. Assuming it still had anything in it, it seemed as though they didn’t see it as being particularly valuable.
“I dunno,” the male voice responded. ” I’m sure he’ll come back.”
“And if not?”
There was a silence between the Crescents, filled only by the sound of their music playing. I froze in my place, just as I was slowly beginning to creep out to reach for it, my heart pounding in my chest.
“If not, then I guess we’ll appoint a new leader. I volunteer, of course.”
The other Crescents laughed, causing the first Crescent to stutter nervously. As they were laughing, I took my chance; I quickly darted forward and grabbed the bag, then took off as fast as I could back into the forest, ignoring the blistering pain and unmistakable throbbing in my leg.
I wasn’t sure if they heard me, or even noticed anything. I didn’t stop to find out, either. I ran, and kept running, until I was a good distance away, before diving behind a large tree and peering around nervously.
Around me, the forest was quiet. No one had followed me.
Letting out a sigh of relief, I opened Tiffany’s medical bag in my lap.
I nearly jumped for joy when I found the antidote inside.