The Birds Of Prey Book One: Rise

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Chapter 4: Motivations

"We can stay here; a friend of mine left this house in my care but I just haven't bothered to move back from the woods," said Carl.

Fabiana's jaw dropped; the house in which they were staying was a private property, isolated from most of the urban center that was Vancouver. It was large enough to easily allow seven people to be comfortable.

"So...why do you not live in this fancy house?" she asked.
"When you spend a lot of time in the wild and surviving off the elements, you don't really miss the fancy stuff," replied Carl.

She shook her head as they entered the house.

"There are five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a large kitchen, a living room, a study and also a pool area out back so make yourselves at home," he said.

Mili whistled loudly.

"Who would've thought that some random hermit in the woods actually had good tastes," she said.

Carl rolled his eyes and turned around.

"Go ahead and get yourselves ready because we're taking the car to town instead of flying," he said.
"Why?" asked Fabiana.
"You don't want to attract any unnecessary attention to yourselves; if they find out that you're an Eagle, there'll be hell to pay and you can bet your ass that I won't be sticking around to help you," he replied.

Fabiana sighed deeply as she took her bag upstairs. Mili followed suit but before she went up the stairs, she turned back to him.

"Do you really think this will work?" she asked.
"We won't know until we get changed and let's try our luck," he said.

"Sounds like you actually miss civilization," said Mili.

He made a sound half way between a scoff and a hiss.

"Too many annoying people in the city; forest animals are far better company than idiots who don't know how to drive," he replied.

He removed a key from his jacket and opened the door.

"You two go ahead and get settled in; I'm going to see if any of my old friends are around and if they can help us," he said.

Before either of the girls could reply, he flew away.

"I guess we finally had a reason to make this trip," said Mili.

"Considering we've been meaning to come here for a few months, I'm kind of glad that we met him," replied Fabiana with a nervous laugh.

Mili placed her bags down in the house.

"I don't know about you but I'm definitely liking this house; it's a good break from the crappy dorms on campus," she said.

"It's a break from my apartment which can barely fit just me," replied Fabiana.

The girls dropped their bags on the floor.

"Dibs on the master bedroom," snickered Mili.

Fabiana rolled her eyes.

"Let's get going; we shouldn't keep those guys waiting,"

"So are you going to tell me the real reason why you're helping us Nathaniel?" I asked.

He took another gulp of coffee and cleared his throat.

"To be honest with you, it's not just because of the friends I life's just not been going great since day one," he replied.
"Explain yourself,"

He wiped his mouth with a napkin.

"I was born in dad was Bronson Jaggernaut who you probably know as one of the oldest Hawks alive," he began.
"The Hawk that had almost non-existent aging as his gift?" I asked.

He nodded.

"Well what you didn't know was that he was a financial moron and he ended up building up a massive debt...with Miles Baneford,"

I took a gulp of my tea and looked back to him.

"When I was five years old, Miles sent people to find my father and when they couldn't find him, they took my brother and I instead as payment for his debts...for the next ten years, they experimented on us, as if they were attempting to make something better and stronger than Eagles...because that's all Baneford cares about: being the strongest,"

He raised his right hand and revealed the black glove I noticed before.

"This...was my brother's and it's all I have left of him,"

His fist clenched and I noticed the silverware on the table begin to vibrate. I noticed his eyes had turned amber.

"Let's not draw any attention to ourselves...calm down," I said.

He slowly let his hands relax and the silverware ceased movement.

"That bastard had my mother and my brother killed...I want revenge," he said.

I nodded slowly.

"You'll get it...but the priority now is to get numbers on our side and any Eagles still alive will be a valuable asset so for now, we have to be patient," I explained.

He shook his head.

"All of us are strong...I can tell that the Vulture from the alleyway is no ordinary girl and that friend of hers with the glasses is by no means a weakling either," he said.
"It's better to have numbers than for us to attempt anything and then be soundly killed off; I have no intention of dying until I see Miles dead at my feet," I said.

Nate clasped his hands together.

"What did he do to you...Carl was it?"

I nodded.

"He disrupted the balance of nature by making Eagles extinct...not to mention he's killed a lot of my friends and put me in exile," I replied.

He sighed deeply.

"So that's why everyone seems to be coming to Canada huh? Because it's actually feasible to hide in plain sight here?" I asked.
"No one fights out in the open here because everyone's afraid that the Vultures will seek them out and kill them...that's why there's almost no crime around here but this Ogre fellow appears to not give a rat's ass about that," he replied.

I shrugged.

"When the girls get here, we'll see what we can come up with," I said.
"Are you alright?"

I snapped from my gaze as I looked at the waitress.

"Sorry about that, I guess I just zoned out," I replied.
"Do you want a refill of tea?" she asked.

I smiled at her and nodded.

"You seem really deep in thought today everything okay?" she asked.
"I'm fine Patrice; just trying to figure out a plan for my projects," I replied.

She seemed to buy what I said as she took the cup from me.

"I'll be right back," she said with a smile.

She zipped off as I turned back to the two men who had come in a few minutes ago. They seemed a little shady; one of them had a sword on his back and the other was dressed on a muscle shirt and had a clear British accent which were definitely things I wasn't used to seeing here in Canada. I also felt my silverware begin to vibrate once one of those men started to get angry. After hearing every word they said...they could only be Hawks.

"Why the hell would Hawks want to help the Eagles? What would they gain from helping us?"

"Here you go Leon!"

I took the cup from her with a smile as she also handed me the paper.

"Did you hear about the murders a few days ago? The 'vigilante' who calls himself The Ogre is back again," she said.
"Yeah I'm fully aware...I find it strange that he's practically the only source of crime out here and for some reason, he doesn't seem even remotely phased at the fact that the Hawks can send a kill team to hunt him down at any time," I replied.

She sighed deeply.

"The fear of the Hawks is something that's plagued the world for far too long...I honestly don't think it's been better off since the Eagles were killed off," she explained.

I gestured for her to have a seat.

"What makes you say that?" I asked.
" boyfriend was an Eagle," she replied.

My eyes narrowed and I shook my head.

"I shouldn't have asked," I sighed.
"No it's alright...I guess I just don't get to talk about it much so I'm not over it,"

She was a really sweet girl, trying to pay her way through college with this job at a cafe. I had been coming here for nearly a year and she was always the one who served me. She even made most of the food herself despite it being more work for her. Who would've thought that a human girl could be so kind?

"So you're saying that you'd support the return of the Eagles?" I asked.
"I do...I've met a lot of them and not a single one was even as cruel as Baneford makes them sound," she said.

I closed my eyes and concentrated on the impulses in her brain which I could feel. She wasn't far off from breaking down; talking about her boyfriend really shattered her spirit and I couldn't afford to bring attention over here. I placed my hand on hers.

"You're a good person Patrice...keep going because I know one day, you'll find happiness again," I said.

She seemed deeply appreciative of my words and immediately hugged me. I awkwardly returned it as she once again, smiled a bright smile.

"You're a good man Leon,"

She slipped what felt like an envelop into my hand.

"A good friend of mine told me to give you this...he said to give it to you if I trust you and now...I really do," she whispered.

Before I could reply, she walked away. I looked down at the paper to see an address along with a message.

"Kit Matthews. You want answers to what happened in the Americas and by now, I trust that you have become good enough friends with Patrice for her to have finally given this letter to you. Meet me at this address and I will answer everything you can ask."

I put my jacket on and clenched my fists as I made my way outside.

"Maybe...maybe I can finally find out what happened to everyone and maybe I can finally find the reasons why this all happened,"

Perhaps now...there can be hope for our return.
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