Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Page 2591

Kareem stopped and turned. "Ah. I might've guessed. Perfect, then. You already know where to start. Confirm their trajectory through the camp and talk to everyone who saw them, especially the last person before they disappeared."

"Do you know what those things were, sir?" said Loren.

"The Mendocava," said Kareem. "They aren't exactly the reason we're here, but they're close enough. Gather as much data as you can, Lighteyes. Take notes on everything. I don't care how irrelevant it seems. Put it in your report and bring it to me by morning."

"Will do, sir."

And they split up. Loren had to hunt down a notepad. A digital one would've been nice, but those things tended to break easily on long missions like this.

In the meantime, he tried consulting Rezolo again. 'So can you explain now? What the hell are these Mendocava?'

'That is just one of many names. Void Riders. The Undying Host. The Hunters of Ardora. They are ancient beings, often thought to have left this world for good or to have simply never existed to begin with. In some cultures, they are regarded as a force of nature.'

'But what are they? You said they weren't of this world "anymore," didn't you?'

'Yes. It's said that the Void claimed them from their reapers. And rather than turning to madness with broken psyches, they came under the Void's direct control. Which is, supposedly, why they have the appearance that they do. They no longer have reapers to regenerate their bodies, and the Void, perhaps, sees no reason to fill that role for them.'

'Why would they have killed our aberration but no one else?'

'I don't know,' said Rezolo.

Loren kept pushing, but the reaper kept claiming ignorance. He wasn't sure he was buying that, frankly. Rezolo had a tendency to keep things to himself.

He soon discovered that this new task that Kareem had given him would probably take all night. It seemed like almost everyone in the camp had seen these damned riders. Figuring out who had seen them last would not be easy. And worse, he wasn't sure it would be worth the trouble.

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