It wasn’t snowing, a fucking miracle this time of the year, but the wind whipped through the mountain passes, whirling the the snow up around them and making it damn-near impossible to see each other, nonetheless any Drachman patrols making their way through. They would be outnumbered, blind, and ill-equipped to handle any sort of fight - he knew he could take out ten of the Drachman bast-soldiers, by himself, but he had no idea about his companions fighting skills.
It was a suicide mission - the General had said so scathingly, hiding the vaguest of worry behind a gaze of ice. He’d insisted regardless, saying that even if her time at Briggs had been short, she’d been one of the Briggs men. Also, wasn’t Mrs. Curtis a close ally?
That had done it, gaining him a nod, supplies, and the use of one of the Fort’s exits into Drachma.
Buccaneer still wasn’t sure why he’d been so insistent.
The moment Mr. Curtis had been discovered attempting to bypass the fortress… He’d had a feeling. And then, finally when they’d managed to get out the reason for the attempted trespass…
“Izumi went to find that alchemist, Karla Chernikova, who went missing. She’d heard that she’d been kidnapped and imprisoned by the Drachmans. I haven’t heard from her. It’s not like her. I need to find her.”
Something in him had sunk at his words, and he felt a disconnect, the rage and and anger and sudden inexplicable fear at what could have happened to her -he’d been captured by the Drachmans, he knew their cruelty first hand, and towards someone they felt was a traitor? He could only imagine the worst- being buried deep within, hidden beneath stoicism.
He had known that she was going on a particularly long mission, they’d discussed it at length the last time they’d met, but he’d had no idea…
Drachma? Were the higher ups trying to get her killed?
He’d known that prejudice ran strong within the military, especially from the higher ups, and had felt that prejudice first hand during his first few years at Briggs. He’d been sent out on a suicide mission along with his unit, to retrieve meaningless intelligence. They’d been ambushed, his unit killed and he captured and tortured. The General at the time had decided against a rescue mission.
‘Fucking Xingese half-breed mutt’
He’d been rescued, instead, by a certain blonde upstart First Lieutenant, defying orders. He’d lost his arm in their escape across the border, but he’d survived, no thanks to that fucking General.
He’d been tortured and his men murdered in front of him. He still had scars from that encounter, long, straight white stretches of scar tissues along his abdomen and thighs. He was certain that if he’d been there longer, his treatment would have gotten far worse.
He wasn’t even sure how long Karla had been imprisoned.
‘Ever played with a knife before?’ he asks casually, flipping the dagger Karla used in her alchemy between his fingertips, blade and handle clicking against metal fingertips. He runs his other hand up her bare thigh, calloused fingers slipping underneath her skirt easily. She’s bound, eyes wide, but she looks entranced, aroused, and most of all..
He growled harshly, pushing any and all thoughts away, and instead pushing forward, through the wind and snow, towards what appeared to be a natural shelter at the base of one of the mountains, not far off from where rumors had said she’d originally been imprisoned.
What’s that, at the base of-
Something in him lifted, even as his hand went for the gun at his belt and he shrugged the rip cord of his Crocodile into easy reach.
He looked over to his companion and nodded, and then broke into a run.
They’d been traveling for hours, through snow and wind and biting cold, but Sig couldn’t feel it. He couldn’t feel the weariness deep in his bones, the cold chill settling deep within his very soul.
Izumi was gone. She was gone. Missing.
Nothing mattered but finding her.
Out of the corner of his eye, Sig saw Captain Buccaneer nod. Glancing ahead, he noticed the rocky outcrop, along with…
He burst into a mad dash alongside the Captain, nothing on his mind but making sure his wife was safe.