Our heroes have reached Santiago, Chile. But there is a strange car, with three men inside. Whose side are they on? Are they the INTERPOL agents Bruce called, or the criminals who chased them around the world?
"I'm tired of running. If it's Evan's men, let's make our stand. Here and now!" exclaimed Lilac.
Bruce nodded grimly. Both were armed, thanks to the INTERPOL agents who rescued them from the compound.
He and Lilac calmly leveled their pistols at the driver as he emerged.
The man carefully raised his hands. A big bead of sweat trickled down from behind his ear, all the way to his collar. "I have a message from the Boss. He was released on bail an hour ago."
Lilac scowled. "What is it? We're done with this, and won't be making any deals."
"He says thank you for helping Grady after the crash. The Boss heard the whole story while he was detained. It's over, he will not pursue the Goddess. But the offer is always open if you change your mind."
The nervous man slowly backed up towards the car, got in, and burned rubber. Bruce and Lilac were alone. They looked at each other in disbelief.
"I think it's over..." said Lilac, sounding doubtful.
"Maybe... but we'll need to be careful. It could be another trap. Let's wait here, but be ready for anything."
Lilac nodded. "It would be wonderful to just spend a day cataloguing my specimens, without worrying about men with guns!" she exclaimed.
Bruce grinned. "I wouldn't mind a day to practice my aerial maneuvers without someone trying to ground the chopper."
Lilac rolled her eyes. "Oh, come on. I could see how much fun you were having, showing off in front of those agents."
Bruce blushed. Then he chuckled. "I saw you having some fun of your own, when you were trying to get my neck broken during that blasted horserace across the English countryside."
Lilac beamed, her eyes shining with excitement. That was fun," she admitted.
He shook his head. "Let's try not to have that particular type of fun in the future, please?"
She turned her back so he wouldn't see her evil grin. "That's fair," she replied in the most convincing voice she could muster.
His eyes widened, but he decided to quit while he was ahead. Anything else would only add fuel to the fire.
A few minutes later, another unmarked black car arrived. This one contained five men, all on high alert.
Bruce and Lilac had their weapons trained on the vehicle.
The driver lowered his window a crack. "Please lower your weapons. We're from INTERPOL."
Neither of them moved a muscle. Bruce did attempt a smile though, before he spoke. "I'm sorry, we just had an unwanted visitor a few minutes ago. Can you please have one of your men provide identification?"
A harsh voice spoke from the back of the vehicle. "Yes, as long as you give me your word that you won't open fire."
Bruce nodded. "I give you my word, your man will be safe unless he draws a weapon."
A few seconds later a man in a kevlar vest approached with caution, announcing that he was from INTERPOL.
He stopped about fifty feet away, and tossed his badge underhanded. Then he slowly backed away towards the car, hands up.
Bruce retrieved the badge, and after close examination of the object, he visibly relaxed. Then he lowered his pistol to the ground.
Lilac tucked her gun in her belt, and put her hands on her hips. "I'm just going to stay here for a minute. I know it's over, but I have a few things I want to take along."
He nodded. "It really is over this time. And it's all thanks to you helping Grady. Not many people would have made that decision..."
Bruce walked forward, hands up and a huge grin on his face. When he got close to the car, he thanked the men.
After a brief explanation Bruce returned the badge, shaking the hand of the officer who had gone out to meet them.
Then he motioned for Lilac to join him. "Hey Lilac, let's go have a pizza!"
"It'll go great with the leftovers," she agreed, carrying bags of plant samples and fruit.
Bruce laughed. "I never thought you'd find anything that you would consider the equal of pizza!"
She smiled. "I'm always looking for new things..."
The end of Goddess of Darkness
Cover image made in Canva Pro using their gallery