That was not something I wanted to hear in that moment. He sounded angry and I could guess why. Since we’d defeated them, we’d seen Cabal soldiers a few different times—guarding armored trucks, working for the Nine, and now working for the government.
We had not seen them working together.
Lee had set them up for a trap and put them in a situation where they had a choice—agree not to fight us for a year or die.
They’d chosen to live, but it wasn’t hard to guess that they’d lost confidence in their leader and gone off to do their own thing. It wasn’t as if he was the leader they’d followed since the Roman Empire fell. Lee had decapitated that guy and I’d taken his head away and dropped it in a small lake, preventing him from regenerating.
That was Prime’s father. If you thought about it, Prime had been doubly traumatized by us—first by losing his father and then by having his band of brothers that he’d been working with for thousands of years break apart.
Viewed in a certain light, you could argue that it was all my fault.
Personally, I’d want to point out that thousands of years of murder on behalf of a secret group of immortals would be discovered and stopped at some point.
Could he really blame the rest of humanity for not wanting to be manipulated, killed, or controlled?
I might have said that, but we didn’t get to talk. Prime had probably been planning to kill me for years and this was his first chance. He didn’t waste it.
He pushed himself off the floor with enough strength that he came down on two feet and reached me in two long strides.
Given time, my dad might have helped Prime see that he didn’t hate me. Instead, what he felt to be hate was displaced anger at a situation that neither he nor I could have controlled or predicted.
Of course, Dad wasn’t here and Prime didn’t seem to be ready to talk about his problems. He ran toward Dayton and Jody, our rear guard, a rear guard that worked okay for fungus, but would not be my first choice for Prime.
To their credit, they recognized who he was and dodged out of his way. Maybe he recognized them too because he took a swipe at each of them.
Jody had blurred far out of his reach and the punch met only air. Dayton dodged his first swipe, but he didn’t leave, backing away from Prime’s fist, but staying close enough that he could stab Prime if Prime went for me.
I had enough training with knives to see it and Prime had thousands of years more. To be fair, when we fought them Prime and the Cabal’s elite reserve units had been too lazy after years of being near invulnerable to worry about knives.
In the last few years, Prime had been humbled more than once and he wasn’t taking any chances.
He lunged for Dayton in a blur. Dayton dodged him, tagging Prime’s arm with a knife. Prime, however, like most supers with money to spare these days, was wearing a costume that was proof against my killbots and Dayton’s knife.
Dayton’s other knife, however, made use of the fact that Prime wore no mask or cowl, cutting into Prime’s neck.
I missed whether he hit the jugular or something else, but it spurted. You could argue that he’d attempted to kill Prime just then, but he hadn’t. Being near invulnerable, strong, and regenerating at an alarming pace were Prime’s core abilities.
Despite losing blood, Prime struck back, hitting Dayton and knocking him backward. A normal person would have died. Dayton leaned back, allowing the punch to brush his chest, but not taking it full on.
It had enough force to throw Dayton anyway, but Dayton turned the force into a backwards roll. Despite his agility, he had to leap and push himself away from the wall to avoid hitting it. I recognized the move. Haley used it.
All of that had taken place so quickly that I didn’t have time to move, much less respond. The only reason I had time to turn around was that Daniel had used telekinetic force to lift Prime into the air.
It would have been nice if that were the end of the matter, but it wasn’t. Prime knew how to handle telekinetics. Moving his torso with enough force to get his feet near the ground, he pushed off, hitting the ceiling with his hands and pushing off it to hit the ground running—toward me.
The wound on his neck had stopped bleeding by then and I’d pulled up my arm to aim my laser at him. Like Jaclyn, the Cabal’s reserves didn’t regenerate as quickly from cauterized wounds, the kind you’d get from lasers or a fire.
I might be able to kill him, but did I want to? We could use his help for this fight. I had to say something that might hook him.
“We can free your people from the Ni—“ I began, and then he hit me.