The Chosen, Chapter 3E

“And I should trust you, and your friends, after ambushing and kidnapping me?”

The Islander showed no consternation at Wolf’s challenge, as he rose to his feet. “My name is Ukhala. But you may know of me by another name.”

Wolf studied his face a moment, then recognition bloomed in her eyes. “Cobra.”

“Yes. That was what they called me, when I was in Yungen’s gang.”

“You betrayed — ”

“You’ve no doubt been told to kill me on sight.” Ukhala bit from his apple again, leaving only the core.

Wolf turned her head, and spat on the ground. “Is that why you want to lead me to Yungen? Taking care of unfinished business?” Ukhala chewed, his face calm; Wolf snorted a laugh. “I guess it’s true what they say, about your life on the island.”

Ukhala swallowed. “Archipelago.”

“Didn’t know that’s what you called it.”

“Ahhh!” Ukhala tossed the apple core aside. “The ignorance of you people is amazing. An archipelago is a chain of islands. Each island in my homeland is a nation onto itself — I would tell you the name of my island, as well as the others in my homeland, but experience has taught me such information would be lost on you.”

“You must be Cobra. Your arrogance is still a legend among Yungen’s gang. Guess it comes from your aristocratic background.” Ukhala gave only the slightest hint of surprise, as Wolf lifted her chin towards him. “You close your mouth when you chew, and don’t speak until your mouth is clear. In our land, only nobles have such refined manners, and I’m guessing that among your people, in your archipelago, the high and mighty also take pains to distinguish themselves from the great unwashed.”

“Very well.” Ukhala folded his arms across his chest. “Now that — ” His head snapped abruptly to his left. Wolf flinched in the same direction, then turned back to Ukhala, wiggling two fingers downwards. Ukhala nodded, concentrated a moment, then held up all five fingers of his left hand, clenched his fist, then held up three more. Eight sets of footsteps, and by Wolf’s estimate, they were approaching, and but a few minutes away.

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