I stood up and stretched every muscle I could before crouching down. I began to scan the forest to get my bearings.

I did not recognize a single feature but then again, I could see nothing but trees. Because it was the waning months of winter the trees were still bare, and it was easy enough to see a long distance.

“Jesus Christ that’s the last time I rest my head against a rocky mound like this!”
I didn’t even notice Peter’s comments to begin with. I personally couldn’t care less about the comfort of the mound we had rested against.

I had hoped Sarah had slept well enough, for one reason or another. I never worried about Peter’s sleeping for I knew that he was tough enough.

Although in that moment I very much doubted that Peter could rival my toughness and resolve. And not to mention my lack of emotions.

For my attitude and behavior in the coming minutes I knew that I would have to spend much time apologizing to both for things I say. But again, once my task was complete, I would do whatever it took to survive and recover afterwards.

I was going to be putting myself in the war zone. Whatever the outcome, I knew that the true force of the law and righteousness would be on my side.

I felt a pat on my left kneecap. I turned my head to my left and caught Peter’s look. I hoped that in part he could sense what I was planning to do.

If I had to convince both him and Sarah about what I need to do, I knew that I wouldn’t get rid of either of them. Out of the two of them I knew Peter would be the first to understand, and the easiest to convince.

Sarah on the other hand would be a tough nut to crack. I knew that she would follow me into the very jaws of Cerberus itself if I asked her to. I never understood why though.

I only hoped that she would understand the importance of my task and she would respect my decision if I asked her to go.

“Are you planning to take him out?”
I expected the question to come sooner or later but not so bluntly. I closed my eyes and nodded softly. I watched Peter throw his arms aside and smile broadly.

“Hey, you can count on me. I’ll do whatever you ask me to do. After what I saw him do, I’ll be glad for any plan you have. What do you want me to do?” Peter finished.

I watched him as he stood waiting expectedly. I could hear footsteps coming from behind the mound. I recognized the footsteps as belonging to Sarah, so I grew no concern.

Because her return was earlier than I had hoped, my intention to tell Peter my plan in private had ended. I heard her stop and could sense her eyes on the two of us.

Peter had settled into a solemn pose with a look on his face that could almost read what I intended to do. I looked up to Sarah who looked back into my eyes with great concern.

“Sarah, Peter has told me that whatever my plan, he would do whatever I asked him to. Would you do the same?”
I was as short and to the point as I could be. Sarah crouched down and put her hand on my shoulder.

“Yes! Whatever plan you come up with I’ll do what you ask me. I’ll do whatever you tell me!” She spoke. I reached up and took her hand in my own before continuing.

“Even if it’s something you wouldn’t want to do? If it was in the best interest of my plans and you didn’t like it would you, do it for me?” I spoke.

I looked her straight in the eyes and never blinked. I could almost sense her faltering under the intensity of my gaze. I realized she had never seen me look at her in such a deadly serious fashion before.

Never with so much sorrow, seriousness and with such a weight on my heart had I looked at any of my friends before. There was a part of me that desperately wanted them to be a more active part of my mission.

I knew that if they ran for help as I needed them to they would still be a part of what I needed to do. Win or lose, I knew I would not go down alone.

Sarah gripped my hand tightly before responding.
“You’ve been my best friend for years. Of course, I’ll do whatever you ask me to” she said simply. I mustered a smile to relax her nerves and put her at ease.

“Good” I said releasing her hand.
I stood up and leaned against a nearby tree. From where I stood, I could see both clearly, and I felt the time had come to tell them.

“I knew I could count on both of you. You have been there through the hardest time in my life. And the worst has yet to come”
I folded my arms and took a deep breath as I continued.

“Right now, we are very much alone. And we’ve got a murderer on our tail. If we stay together like this, we won’t make it”
Confusion spread across both Sarahs’ and Peters’ faces. I remained rooted to the spot, arms folded and ready to deliver my reasoning.

“I need for both of you to head for the nearest phone or populated area. Now I weigh about two hundred pounds and I even though I have been in physical training, I’m still not that fit.
“You guys are a lot lighter than me and you both can run a lot faster. And for a lot longer than I can. I need for you to run ahead and get help as quickly as you can” I finished.

It wasn’t everything that I had wanted to say but I knew that my friends would need a moment of pause and reflection on my words.

I knew that Peter wouldn’t want to hear what I had said but I knew that he would see the wisdom of it. I could see by the look in Sarah’s face that she had refused to accept my idea. She began shaking her head and before I knew it she had run over to me and grabbed my top.

“No! I’m not leaving you!” she shouted as she shook me by my top. I grabbed her shoulders and stopped her from shaking me.
“Sarah! You must go with Peter to get help! You agreed with him that you would do whatever I asked!” I said. She shook herself free of my grip and stood back.

“Why can’t you come with us? We’ve got a better chance if we stick together!”
Peter came up to where we both were standing and stood near to Sarah.

Sarah did not even notice Peter standing near to her as she looked at me. I could see her breathing rapidly and I could see the tears welling in her eyes. I cupped my face in my hands and rubbed my face furiously for a second.

“I will only slow you down. You guys have to use your speed to get help” I said. I used as much true persuasiveness in my voice as I could, but Sarah did not believe me.

“Bull****!” she said, keeping her voice down as much as possible.
“You aren’t really telling us to go to get help faster! You’re going after him, aren’t you?”
I passed glances between Sarah and Peter. I saw that Peter was simply watching and listening to whatever transpired between myself and Sarah.

I knew he understood what I needed to do. I did not know how much he understood my intentions, but I could tell he appreciated the importance of getting help.

Sarah turned away from me and began to move off. Peter started after her but I raised my hand telling him to stop. I quickly caught up with Sarah and grabbed her shoulders from behind.

“Get off me!”
She shook her shoulders to try and break free of my grip, but she underestimated how strong I had become.

I turned her around and pulled her close to me. She knew she could not hide her tears from me and began crying freely. I held her close to me and did not let go.

To Be Continued…….

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