Seph employed a simple tactic to move through the halls of the church; move with purpose. He moved quickly, confidently and without glancing around. It was a gamble, but one that he made easily. Ana struggled to follow his lead. They would walk, then duck into a room and work out where to go from there.
“This is taking too long!” Ana paced backwards and forwards in the small storage room.
Seph lent against an empty crate and played with his goatee. They didn’t have long before someone would discover that Ana was gone and the church was a twisting tunnel of corridors and rooms. Whatever place this was before these lunatics found it, it certainly wasn’t here to do good. thought Seph.
“AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!” shouted Ana.
“SHUT UP!” snapped Seph, “We are trying not to get caught, not alert every moron with a red cloak where we are!”
Ana fell silent but continued to pace backwards and forwards. Seph stood up to approach her but she held a hand out for him to stay away. He complied, even with a rising sense of unease lifting through his stomach. Under his cloak he could feel Bonbon twist into a tight circle in his jacket pocket. She obviously didn’t like what was happening either.
“We need to keep going. Our best chance is still to find Talen before they realise you’ve escaped,” said Seph.
Ana muttered something under her breath that Seph could only take as a begrudging agreement. They slipped back into the hallway and started walking. The stone walls were nondescript, and while Seph continued walking with confidence, Ana started to slow down.
“Fuck!” snapped Ana, “We’ll never escape!”
Seph twisted around, his eyes burning with frustration at her word.
“You there!” came a shout from a red cloak looking out from one of the rooms coming off the corridor.
Seph took a breath and prepared to respond with the nonchalance that would see them through.
“Shit they’ve found us!” shouted Ana.
“Oi! Stop right there!”
“Sound an Alert!”
Seph grabbed Ana’s arm and yanked her through a nearby doorway and slammed the door behind her. Ana looked around the room with wild eyes, searching for another way out that didn’t exist. Seph swore and spat as he pulled a chest of draws in front of the door. The door started banging immediately as half a dozen Red Cloaks tried to shove their way through.
“We’re trapped you yak-face!” shouted Ana as her pacing grew more and more frantic.
“You!” Seph bit down on the words that were about to come out of his mouth, “You don’t get to talk!”
The room offered little in the way of help. It was small and dusty, originally an office for a church official it was now just a dumping ground for useless junk. A few chairs, some old plates and a lot of paper. Each thing more useless than the last.
“Hold my jacket,” stated Seph as he slid off his red cloak and pulled his jacket off.
“And my shirt.”
Seph threw both items of clothing at Ana and faced the door.
“Why the hell are undressing?!” screeched Ana as the door started to splinter under the repeated poundings of the Red Cloaks.
“Because I don’t want to rip them, they cost me too much,” replied Seph as if it was the most normal thing ever.
The tanned rogue lifted his arms up towards the door. They started to swell pulse and grow in size and his tanned skin grew darker and leathery. His limbs were nearly unrecognisable from what they had been moments before. On his body they seemed even more out of place, too large and muscular for his frame by far. The red cloaks finally smashed through the door and pulled the remaining shattered wood out. The first lept over the draws and into the room brandishing a knife. Seph stepped forwards and parried the blade against the rock hard skin on his left arm and followed through with a right hook to the Red Cloak’s temple. The man’s face broke against the fist, a sickening crack and squelch as bone gave way and the red cloak fell to the ground.
Seph pressed his advantage as another cloak entered the room. He didn’t allow them to mob him, taking each one as they entered. This time the man was unarmed, and his punch struck Seph’s bicep. The bones in the man’s hand most likely broke with the force. Again Seph didn’t pause, twisting his body to bring his elbow into the man’s face. The next Seph caught his arm as he entered, dragging him over the draws and delivering a silencing blow from above.
“Get back up!” shouted one of the remaining red cloaks and the three of them ran off down the hall shouting.
“Let's go!” shouted Seph as he vaulted the draws and Ana followed clutching his cloths.