The two men in black suits let the car drive, headed for a town in Pennsylvania.
"You and your fucking ponies, Bob. You had to fuck everything up for me too didn't you. It'll be fine, you said. The boss won't find out, you said. WELL HE FUCKING FOUND OUT! And things are not fine at all!"
"C'mon bud, how da fuck was I supposed ta know dat would happen? I mean what're the odds she would run into the guy in Conquest, fa gawd's sake?"
"You coulda just done what the boss told you to do. Give the fucker the money! Now he's some big-shot that even the boss needs to get on the good side of! It's a fucking miracle you aren't sleeping with the fishes in the East River."
Bob muttered something unintelligible and added in a louder voice, "Y'heard what the boss said, gotta bring the kid in to see him ASAFP! "
"What was that you said!? Don't try to fucking change the subject you schlemiel!"
"Crap...I said, the boss ain't gonna do that to family."
Sebastian snapped his head around to look at Bob.
"What da fuck! It all makes sense now! I'm not your partner, I'm a goddamned babysitter! What are you, his nephew?"
"Something like that," Bob mumbled, looking away from his 'babysitter.'.
Back at the Red Fortress Dave closed his eyes and took deep breaths trying to calm himself.
Then his eyes snapped open and a shiver ran down his spine.
"Fuck me! Me and my big fucking mouth!"
He'd given himself away in the encounter with Mercy. He was so angry he'd forgotten the thugs Bodybuilder and Door Prop knew who pulled her from the car, and knew how to find him. They would make the connection between his online persona and real life identity.
Dave hurriedly dialed Lone's number.
"Lone, I'm in a tight spot,"
"What is it Davy-kins? You sound nervous, are you going up against a tough mob without me again? Is it a big boss?" Lone teased.
"Mob. Boss. Ah, yeah, probably appropriate." He shook his head at himself, just another reminder that Mercy was a member of [It's just Business], the Conquest guild that was run by the mafia.
"I messed up, I revealed my real identity to someone I shouldn't have. Here's what happened..."
She listened to Dave's entire explanation without interrupting, unusual for her..
"That's not good, Dave," her serious tone didn't lessen Dave's worry.
"Leave the house right now and come to The City. Those guys won't risk crossing daddy."
"I don't want to endanger your family, I just needed a favor, I'm already in the City, in hospital. But there's a person I know who might be in danger if the mafia guys are after me."
"Text me your friend's address and I will ask dad to send someone to watch your friend. Uncle Sam and I will pick you up from the hospital in a few, be ready." She hung up.
"Damn, now Lone and her family are involved. I hate it, but I'm in way over my head. Why didn't I just keep my big mouth shut!"
Back at the penthouse in Manhattan a purple-haired woman logged off her gaming capsule and dialed on her phone.
"Hello uncle Sam, do you know where dad is?"
"He's got some business downtown, why?"
Lone gave her uncle Sam all the information that Dave told her,
He frowned, "That was reckless. But it doesn't matter matter now, we just have to deal with the fallout. Let's collect him from the hospital. I'll send someone to Moya to look after his friend."
"Okay, it's a Mrs. Clementine, she's his neighbor."
"Good, I will take care of everything, meet me at the hospital in half an hour."
Lone disconnected and hurried down to the garage. She looked around, trying to decide which car to take.
"The Cady matches my purse, executive decision made!" She patted the older model black Cadillac.
Lone's phone rang as she was driving through Manhattan.
"Hi daddy!" said Lone
"Zoe, what's happening?"
"Did you talk to uncle Sam about Dave?"
"Yes, I already sent some people to look after his friend in Pennsylvania."
"I'm amazed that you are making such an effort to help this boy. He sure has lit a fire in you somehow. Somewhere."
Zoe could all but hear him wiggle his eyebrows up and down suggestively at her through the phone.
"Dad! He's just a friend!" she protested.
"Well, I would like to meet this friend of yours. When I finish this deal, you bring him home for a family dinner," and Dante Silvana disconnected.
Zoe sputtered, dumbfounded by her father's order. But then she remembered her mission and pressed the accelerator down, thinking about the danger Dave might be in.
Bob and Sebastian pulled up to an old apartment building.
"This is it," said Bob.
"Let's get this over with."
They entered the apartment building and climbed the stairs to the second floor.
Sebastian knocked on the door and they waited.
After several more knocks with no response, Bob grew impatient.
"Outta the way!"
The muscular henchman kicked the door in.
"Hey! Remember the boss said don't rough him up or anything!"
"It's just a door," said Bob with a shrug.
They entered the small apartment, the odor of rotten-garbage assaulted their senses from the kitchen area.
"This reminds me of the projects and that shoebox we lived in," said Bob.
"He's not here."
"Wait for em?" asked the big guy,
"Nah, the trash hasn't been taken out for a while. I'm thinking he hasn't been here in days."
"I bet that old biddy knows something. We should go jam her up."
Sebastian grimaced, "Let's just talk to her and the other neighbors before we jump all the way to roughing up old women."
As the duo left the apartment they saw two big guys in windbreakers coming down the hallway looking directly at them,
Bob and Sebastian moved so their hands were close to their concealed weapons.
One of the newcomers addressed them in a deep voice.
"Tell your boss, the kid is under Silvana's protection. Got that? Now fuck off outta here!"
"Let's go," said Sebastian to Bob.
Bob stepped into one of door sized men's personal space, puffing up, about to say something inflammatory.
"Let's go!" Sebastian said sharply, grabbing Bob's arm.
"We just gonna let those guys run us off?" Bob asked in a disgruntled voice as they walked down the stairs. His volatile temper and poor judgement were liabilities in their work.
"The boss ain't gonna be happy."
"We're not here to start trouble with another organization, Bob. This actually works out for us. We know who has the kid. The boss can talk with Silvana."
Knowing Lone would see to making sure Mrs. Clementine was taken care was a load off his mind. He returned his attention to matters in Conquest.
Dave considered doing the Death Knight Rank up challenge, but remembered [Life Cleaver] was still on cooldown, so it would have to wait.
Dave opened the teleportation gate and walked through it to the Undead Frontier.
He went to the temple and found Delvina sitting gracefully with a hand under her chin on a throne.
"Delvina, I need your help."
"What can I do for you, young draugr?"
"Are there units that specialize in healing the Undead?" asked Dave
"Healing is a specialty of the human and Light races, our undead nature cannot be sustained using Healing."
"Some of my troops heal when they are attacked with magic, isn't that healing?"
"Yes, hexing magic. The undead are aligned with the dark arts, and what hurts the living revitalizes the dead."
"Okay, hexes work fine with the undead, but not on the dunlords. Is there a way to heal them?"
"The dunlords are of the Dark, but they aren't Undead, their bodies are rich with vitality. If you want to heal your dunlords or any other type of living troops under command of the Undead you will have to find those who belong to a Holy order, take them prisoner and enslave them."
"That works. Where do I get them."
"Conveniently, I have a task for you that will put you in a position to acquire some Light prisoners.
"I am listening," Dave's nose twitched, it was the scent of another quest!
"There is a radical movement within the Holy Church faction that is planning something big. A certain head priestess is traveling from Moria to the Eastern kingdom by carriage with a group of Holy clerics and a contingent of Church warriors escorting her. The priestess is the only person who can perform a very specific ritual to wake an Arch-Angel that is hidden there.
"The King does not wish such a creature to walk among us once again, either here in the Underworld or above.
"Raid the Carriage, kill or capture the cleris and warriors of the Holy church. But the head priestess must be brought to me alive, she will be used for my own purposes."
Dave could feel Delvina's glee even through the veil covering her face.
'She's head of the King's Inquisitors, I feel pity for the poor NPC who falls into her tender mercies.'
Catch Them and Break Them!
Delvina has tasked you to raid a caravan of the Holy Church on its way to the Eastern kingdom.
Requirement: Capture the Head priestess for interrogation.
Capture and enslave other church members to do with as you see fit.
Dave nodded at Delvina and headed back to the teleportation gate.
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