The presence of the guardsmen slowed her down. She couldn’t risk them spotting her too early, lest Benjamin escape while the two wasted their time on her. She dared not use any flux to pass them either, because she did not want to tip Benjamin off to her presence. She had no intelligence on how sensitive he might be.
Instead, she had to tail them as they worked their way around each corner. Rounding the third such, she saw Benjamin in the distance, opening a metal door. She shot a mental call to Ooe, who returned and settled on her hand. Her command of “Sifash!” deactivated the specter, returning it to a white feather once more. She fixed the totem to a flux form tie she kept woven into her hair for the purpose as she waited.
The time stretched as the guardsmen went through their entry drill at the door. Once they finally vanished into the building she allowed herself to expend power again. In a few seconds, she covered a hundred yards and flashed into the warehouse behind them.
The enormous structure half-filled with stacks of loaded shipping pallets echoed with the percussion of running steps. Benjamin remained in view, but had already covered most of the distance across. The guardsmen pursued hard, but still had a long way to go.
No workers were in the building, and the only illumination was dim security lighting. Forklifts and other handling equipment waited unused in various places, slowing her survey. She spotted a way parallel to the path the guardsmen took across the warehouse and dashed down it as Benjamin reached a secondary structure built inside the warehouse at the far end.
Rogan had been able to provide her nothing as accurate as GPS coordinates from the other side. From what she had to work with, she could only estimate, but they were nearing her best guess for the location Rogan had sent her. She had to catch up without delay. She allowed herself the luxury of another kinetic boost.
The guardsmen swung their heads her way as she passed them, their eyes growing wide, and she felt some regret for the new worry she brought to them. They could not possibly know she was on their side. But she could not concern herself over it now. Benjamin had seen her. He stepped behind the metal office door, using it as a shield, and aimed a hand weapon at her.
She dove to one side, rolling into a ball as he opened fire, and a noise like thunder echoed inside the warehouse. It was an Earth-manufactured weapon. Firearms were common enough where she came from, but such overpowered handguns were rare on other worlds. On the edge of her vision, she could see the two guardsmen diving for cover as well. By mid-roll, she had already touched another unen tied into her hair, an owl feather. She heard the bullets striking the pallet behind her as she woke the spirit within the object.
The bullet strikes on wood and metal and the response fire at Benjamin from the older guardsman rattled her voice into action.
“Sasfa manarh!” she cursed aloud, before discipline returned and she held her tongue as she faded from view.
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