They sat around the kitchen table, uneaten food in front of them. Grady’s hair was still wet. While she had been showering, someone had ordered Chinese. She wasn’t hungry and, judging by the untouched food, nor was anyone else. Amy was arguing that they had to leave the house, while Rose was arguing that they had to stay. Grady wasn’t paying too much attention. The argument wasn’t going anywhere. In a few minutes someone was going to step in then they could have a reasonable discussion.
Realising no one else was going to stop them, Grady cleared her throat and started speaking, she didn’t raise her voice, she just kept speaking until the others stopped.
“Running is useless at this point, it knows we’re here, what if it can track us? We need to fortify this place. You guys are useful, you can do stuff, we can’t. You have to understand that that puts us in a dangerous position. If someone or something gets past you, we’re pretty much screwed. I propose we have some kind of escape route planned out and a rendezvous spot, that we can meet up in after a day has past. That way if something gets past, you lot know to scatter and we know to run too. We meet up in a day, then find somewhere else to bunk down. Unless, of course, you have a plan to go on the offensive?”
She looked around the table, no one spoke.
“I’ll take that as a no.” She turned to Ed, “You need to help us form a plan, you know it better than we do, you know what it can and can’t do. You guys can discuss it yourselves, Amy and I will probably only slow things down. Once you’ve figured out what you’re doing, tell us the plan, so we know when to fall back, or run or whatever. You seem certain we’re safe for the rest of the night, so in the morning, I want you to explain your plan to us. If you don’t have it by then, we’re leaving. Simon and Joey will be leaving with us too.”
“You can’t make that call.”
“Well, no one else seems to be willing to. We can’t sit around waiting to die. Figure out a trap or something. I know our chances are supposed to be better with you guys, but frankly, after tonight, I don’t see how. Sure you protected us, but if there were more of them, you could have easily been overwhelmed. I’m sorry.”
“She’s right. Though I think you should take Joey and go without me. I’ll meet up with you later. If Joey is careful, you should be safe and, if you are followed, he’ll be able to protect you.”
Grady nodded, to her Simon had confirmed that they were going to lose.
“I’m going to leave you guys alone now, plan. C’mon.”
Grady stood and together the three of them left the room, carrying a plate of food each. They went to the living room, Grady knew they wouldn’t be able to sleep for awhile. She picked at her food, as did the others.
“Well shit. That went well.”
“Better than we could have hoped.”
“I’ll make an escape tunnel for them. It’ll be like a maze. Only they’ll be able to use it. Once they’re through it should seal itself again.
“Assuming I’m not trapped.”
“Well, how about this plan? We can’t attack outright, it’ll slaughter us and we can’t set a trap, it’ll expect that. What the hell should we do?”
“We should attack.”
“Were you listening? It’ll kill us.”
“Maybe. Maybe not. Look you’re so convinced we’re going to die, well that’s what it thinks too. It wouldn’t expect a frontal assault. It’d be a surprise, we might be able to take it.”
“And what then? Once we’re done, what do we do?”
“We have the locket, we can use that to trap it again.”
“Are you sure? It was pretty damaged.”
“Yeah. It should work. We don’t have anything else to use, so it will have to do.”
“Ok, so how are we going to attack? If we go all in at once, it might distract it, but it makes us all a target, and if we go one at a time, we’ll be too easy to pick off.”
“We could go in teams of two, two distract, while two wait in reserve until needed. If there’s an opening, the reserves go for it.”
“Ok, great. So how do we get it to a place we can attack it?”
“We could try calling it out.”
“It’ll sense a trap.”
“Ok, how about we duel. One of use agrees to it. One on one. Then we ambush it.”
“Is that possible?”
“I think so. I don’t see why not. It can’t attack us directly. It can send other things to do it. We can attack it.”
“What if we’re stopped?”
“Well, then we wait until the duel is over and swoop in. It’ll still be an ambush. The only concern is if we can’t fight it during the duel, we’ll have played our cards too early.”
“And who’s going to duel?”
“I’ll do it. It’ll expect me. It killed my wife, tried to kill my son. It wouldn’t be shocked that I want to duel.”
“Ok, good. So during the duel, one of us has to attack, we need to make it seem like it isn’t us though.”
“Brett, that has to be you. It won’t recall quite how human bodies react to pain. You’ll get away with it.”
“Ok. We tell the girls you’re calling it out. I’m going as support, they’re going to leave through the tunnels in case there is a sneak attack and meet us the next day. If we don’t show we’ll tell them to flee somewhere. I’ll say I’m going with guns or something. How I don’t want Rose to die. They seem to accept I’m a bigger part of this group than theirs. They’ll believe it.”
“Ok. We’ll explain everything to them in the morning. In the mean time we’ll have to prepare.”