“Ah, so you’ve actually met your grandfather in person?” asked Miles.
“Must be a different guy, then. The man I’m thinking of died about forty years ago.”
‘Unless he somehow survived,’ amended Overra.
Miles laughed lowly. “That would be awkward, wouldn’t it?”
Dunstan was curious now. “Who was the man you were thinking of?”
The Cpt. General took a second to respond. “He was a lunatic. The kind of person that the world is better off without.”
The abrupt severity in the other man’s voice did not escape Dunstan’s notice. “What was his name?” Dunstan asked.
“It’s not important. Best to just forget about people like that.”
Dunstan sensed something contradictory in that statement, but he decided to keep his mouth shut. Miles acted like the most laid back boss in the world, but the fact remained that Dunstan didn’t know the man very well. He’d rather not get on his superior’s bad side by asking too many questions.
Finally, something new caught his eye. Another figure darted across the street in the same location as earlier. Dunstan raised his binoculars in time to see it happen a third time.
“You see that?”
They waited, but there was no other movement.
Such was the thrill of being a watchman.
Personally, Dunstan didn’t mind the long periods of nothingness. Coping with tense downtime was a skill, like anything else. The trick was to think without getting lost in thought, to wonder without daydreaming.
And in spite of the man’s earlier claim, Dunstan could not imagine Cpt. General Miles doing this job. And this notion was soon reaffirmed for him.
“They could be luring us into a trap.” Miles allowed a beat to pass. “I’ll go check.”
Overra melted back into his body, and then Parson leapt away in a gust of wind that made the armored walls shudder.
Dunstan could see the man going to work, tearing through the air like a missile and falling upon the enemy’s location with just as much force. An explosion of air crushed four buildings at once and flung their remains up from the ground. Broken trees and vehicles and slabs of concrete tumbled down the road together, and Miles just hovered there in the middle of it all, waiting.
After a weighty pause, the storm hit him. Crowds of metal spikes, audible gunfire, visible distortions in space even from this distance, and all manner of flaming chaos came for the man at the same time.