I tried to get some sleep as well, but that horrifying image stayed planted in my brain for years to come, but it would only become worse. The black veil of the stars had fallen over the sky and the Voidlands were still as barren and desolate as usual. Leo still dreamt away as his mind traveled to distant lands of unseen imagination. However, closing my eyes had no effect on my brain to start thinking of ways to escape out of this cave, but at least I knew I wouldn’t die in vain, Leo was my main priority now, for the Defiance.
Leo leapt up in action as if ready to fight off one hundred Goblins. He held his tightly in his clutch as he peeked over both his shoulders rapidly, breathing heavily, looking for something to kill. His eyes were wild with the inferno that now fueled our enemy, bent on rage and power. But then his eyes relaxed and his shoulders shlumped as he realized that there was no danger to shoot with his pistol or throw one of those gadgets at it and do whatever it did. Leo looked down at me with a stern expression.
“Oh.” he stated. “It’s just you. To be honest, I completely forgot you were here. R-Ryan. Right?”
“O-rion,” I said matter-of-factly with a scowl.
“Well same thing!”
He lightly chuckled but then was serious all over again.
“I’ve thought up a plan.”
“Great!” I exclaimed, eager to learn his devious plan of escape. “What is it?”
“It’s gonna involve a lot of blood and a lot of killing.”
I didn’t want to have to endure any more action for one day, but it seemed that my options were very thinly whittled down, so I hesitantly nodded in agreement, trembling with anxiety.
“First,” he started, “we have to wait.”
“For what?” I nervously asked with hesitation.
“A live Goblin.”
“Why?”
“Because they’re the bait!”
I paused for a little moment to process the sudden rush of bloody adrenaline.
“Define bait for me.” I asked reluctantly.
Leo rolled his eyes.
“Okay.” said Leo straight-forwardly. “We can’t go any deeper into their den because we won’t be able to blend in very well now won’t we? So we need a Goblin to come to us so we can kill it and quickly throw it outside of the cave.”
“So what’ll that do?”
“Weren’t you listening before?” he asked while exaggeratingly bonking his head with his fist and scowling. “If anything, anything, big enough to be sensed as “suitable” for a meal, takes one step outside of the cave, the entire place is thrown into chaos and before you know it Goblins have gone so mad with hunger that they’ll kill each other, friend or foe, for the smallest morsel of a bite! So, I propose that we use their chaotic frenzy as our advantage.”
“I think I know where you’re going with this.” I said, almost wanting to throw up from the sheer dread I felt.
Leo nodded.
“And let me tell you,” I said. “I’m not gonna like it.”
“Which is why we have to do it!”
“Why? Why the hell is there no other option?!”
“Well, because I believe working under pressure is one of the most crucial learning standards, and also, we don’t really have any more options. We can’t possibly fight off all of them with guns. We have an extremely, extremely, limited food and water supply. And all these trinkets I got on my belt are tools, holograms, and flashy-blinky thingies.”
“Okay.” I said in disgust. “But I see a flaw.”
Leo looked at me curiously.
“How are we gonna sneak to another safe zone without being followed by the other Goblins who will be “feasting?”
Leo pointed at me with a glint in his eye and he snickered. He pulled out a raddy, chrome-colored flask from his topmost pocket among many, many other pockets, and a single match deep within his layers and layers of cloakage. He presented them gleefully before my eyes.
“I’ve only been saving these for a last resort but I believe that this seems like the most opportune time.”
I looked at them in awe, my eyes glistening with wonderment at how he had held on to these crucial resources for so long.
“I’m gonna need you to watch my back while I start the fire. If anything seems like it has the slightest assumption that it has to kill me, make that bullet fly through its head!”
And with that, we waited silently in the corners of our hole and patiently waited for our ticket of exodus.
I held the scope of my rifle that could sense the heat signature everywhere around the cave. I squinted down its glass tube and pointed it slightly outside of our “door” towards the back of the cave. My scope was entirely filled with red as the hundreds of Goblins crowded in the back, hibernating like bats. I stared in fear at the sheer numbers of beasts that lurked in the depths of our new “home.”
I kept peeked every so often outside into the abyss that lay before me to see any movement from any of the Goblins. Then, after three or four hours, I saw one of the red specks from the back of the cave creep slowly to our side.
I swiftly crawled to Leo’s side to wake him up, for he had slipped into another doze.
“Leo!” I whispered as loudly as I could. He suddenly shifted as his eyes perked open as I violently shook his arm. Leo’s eyes were still dreary and slow, but after a long series of grunts and groans, he was finally awake.
“Leo!”
“What?”
“There’s a Goblin right outside! I think it’s-”
Leo put his pointer finger once again up to my lips mid-sentence and glared at the entrance of our personal cave. He pulled out a long, shimmering knife from within his cloak and stalked to where the Goblin would emit from.
A white, spindly hand clasped at the ceiling, and was followed by the rest of the hideous figure of the Goblin. It slowly creeped its way across the entire span of the ceiling, its gaping maw drooling across the entire floor.
After a few short grunts and tiny squeals that emanated from its mouth, it continued to span the wall of the cave, until it reached the far back wall, opposite of the entrance. Leo gradually made his way towards the horrifying creature that stayed put on the back wall. It cocked its head towards Leo’s position and made a gruelingly low gurgling sound. Its jaws snapped in short succession, but Leo kept moving forward, knife tightly gripped in his hand, ready to slice through anything that moved past his face. The Goblin edged its hind legs downward, getting ready to pounce.
Leo lunged like a lion, but as silent as a coyote, prowling the hills. He grabbed the creature by the throat, making sure it made no noise to wake the others from their dormant sleep. It writhed like a worm within Leo’s clutches as he held it down and steadied the knife in the middle of its throat, but it still was determined to make an alarm with its screech. The beast tried to claw at Leo’s face but he was too quick for it. It was over in a flash as the blade simply slid along the Goblin’s throat and its writhing ceased and the gurgles of attempts of screams had been silenced.
Leo took a deep breath through his mouth and exhaled lightly and turned his head towards me with a stern expression. I only stared, seeing what this man could do was a little too much for me too handle. Under his humorous and light-hearted personality was a cold, relentless killer, trained for combat, and unyielding.