Chapter Sixteen: Cobra and Wolf Face-Off
It is a gray overcast day as the citizens of sector zero went about there business during a cold Friday morning. Among the dilapidated tenements where many gestapo agents and there black vans patrolled the streets. The rain had tapered off the night before but there was the rumbling of thunder in the distance.
Wolf and Lilia where in her apartment eating breakfast at the small table near her bed. They both where wearing their drab gray clothes. They ate in silence for awhile until Wolf looked and her then dropped his fork ans sighed deeply.
Lilia noticed and asked, "something wrong?"
Wolf replied, "when Swift Rabbit gets here, I don't think we should tell him about Royce."
He explained, "if there is a traitor, if they learn Royce is with us they might tell the gestapo and he could be killed."
Lilia seemed to stare at Wolf. She said, "we can trust Rabbit. Though my instincts tell me that the traitor is Cobra."
Then there was a knock at the door. Lilia got up, Wolf remained sitting, and she went to the door and opened it to find Katsumi outside. Cobra was behind him and seemed as unhappy as ever.
Lilia said, "I'm glad to see you Rabbit."
Katsumi nodded. "Thanks Fox. How is the leg?"
Katsumi then told her, "we need to speak alone."
Lilia then looked back at Wolf and said, "Wolf, wait outside with Cobra."
Wolf said nothing as he got up and left the apartment and joined Cobra out in the hallway. Once Katsumi and Lilia where alone then began to look at each other, Katsumi seemed worried.
Lilia asked, "Rabbit, you seemed troubled."
Katsumi replied, "it is Star. I have not heard from her in days. She better be there when we meet at the ruins of the city tomorrow morning. She would not tell me what she plans to do when we last spoke, but she hinted that it would be very dangerous."
Lilia then blurted out, "Rabbit, we might have a traitor in the resistance."
Katsumi frowned. "How do you know that?"
Lilia told him, "I can't tell you who, but we have somebody on the inside who I think we can trust. What should we do?"
Katsumi then walked past her and looked out the apartment window. He said, "there is nothing we can do."
She raised her voice. "But we can't do nothing."
Katsumi's voice was low as he spoke. "If we had more time, I might have been able to flush this traitor out if your information is reliable. But our next action is tomorrow, if the leaders learn there is a traitor then we won't be able to trust each other. That might be more harmful then even if there was a traitor. So I'm asking you not to tell anyone. After our next action, we'll deal with it then."
Lilia nodded yet seemed hesitant. She said, "I'll respect your decision Rabbit. But my money is on Cobra."
Wolf and Cobra where in the outside hall way which was mostly empty. Wolf had his back to the other man and was deep in thought, but his pondering was interrupted when he heard the sound of the hammer of a pistol being pulled back.
Cobra said, "I said you would regret what you did."
Wolf turned to see that Cobra had a large automatic pistol aimed right at him. Wolf raised his hands and said, "Cobra, what the hell are you doing?"
Cobra seemed angry. "You must love that Soviet bitch to risk your life by striking me."
Then from somewhere in the apartment building came the sound of a couple arguing loudly. Cobra looked behind towards the direction of the arguing but when he looked back at Wolf, Wolf had his two pistols at him. They both scowled at each other in silence for a moment.
Cobra gritted his teeth. "OK. Maybe we should just kill each other."
Wolf asked, "why do you hate Fox so much, she is on your side."
Cobra still seemed angered as he told his story, though Wolf noticed there was something in the man's eyes, like some profound grief and sadness.
"All my life, I've seen my people hurt and killed by those Soviet bastards. But I wanted to just live a quiet life with my wife and two sons. That is it. One day though several Soviet soldiers showed up at my home, with orders to arrest me. Someone had told them I was subversive, a lie so they could collect a reward. My wife told me to escape out the back which I did. I left them behind because I thought they would be safe, I was wrong. As I ran, I stopped when I heard my wife scream. I hid nearby and watched those Soviet ingrates drag my family out from my house. They raped her in front of my children as I watched. After, they shot every member of my family and I did nothing. So you can understand why I hate that woman."
Wolf lowered his guns and lowered his head. "I understand Cobra, you must carry a lot of pain."
Cobra, gun still aimed, said, "what do you know about pain. Nothing. Nothing!"
Wolf then turned his back to him again. "Cobra, do what you must."
Cobra then lowered his gun. He asked, "why are you not afraid?"
"Cobra," Wolf said, "if shooting me will help console the grief and pain you must carry, then do it. But after, forgive Fox. She also carries the same pain."
Cobra returned the gun to his holster inside his coat, and Wolf did likewise. They faced each other again and seemed to be sizing each other up. Then the door opened and Katsumi walked out. He looked at the two men and asked, "what where you two doing?"
Cobra replied, "just settling some business."
Katsumi looked at Wolf. "Lone Wolf," he said, "I am aware that you have been acting on your own. I would have you thrown out of this resistance, but Fox has told me you may have done something very helpful to our movement. You are on thin ice, but I'll give you another chance. She is waiting for you inside."
Wolf silently entered the apartment and closed the door behind him. Katsumi then looked at Cobra and asked, "Cobra, what kind of sense do you have about that Wolf character?"
Cobra replied, "he belongs with us."
Then Katsumi and Cobra walked away.
Lilia was sitting on the bed when Wolf entered the apartment. She was not looking at him. He then approached her and asked, "what did Rabbit say about the traitor?"
"He says there is nothing we can do," Lilia replied, "but I still think it is Cobra."
Wolf told her, "I don't think so. It must be someone else."
Lilia looked up at him. "Why do you believe that Wolf?"
Wolf then looked at the door. "Trust me. The guy is not the traitor."
Lilia seemed troubled when she said, "Our next action is tomorrow. Rabbit does not know what it is, but he thinks a few members of the resistance are going do be killed. Are you ready?"
Wolf then sat on the bed with her. He said, "what ever happens, we'll do this together. But what ever it takes to keep you alive, I'll do it."
Then Lilia held him and mumbled, "this might be the last day we are together in this life. Can we just stay like this for awhile, just not saying anything."
Wolf replied, "sure. I would like that."
They spent the rest of the day together alone, neither saying anything.