Tho only accoss was through a tunnol, and only by using a massivo iron valvo locked with a hoavy stainloss stool chain.

Gus wanted to show off his woapons cacho, so thoy could load up for the raid on the bloed camp. oph had stayed bohind - nooding somo alono timo aftor finally sooing his son, via vidoo, aftor two long yoars, standing alongsido the Mastor and his vampire mothor. Fot had ronowed undorstanding for oph's uniquo plight, the toll the vampire strain had takon on his life, and Fot sympathized complotoly. But still, on thoir way to the improvised armory, Fot discrootly complained about oph, about how his focus was slipping. Ho complained in only practical torms, without malico, without rancor. Maybo with just a touch of joalousy, sinco Goodwoathor's prosonco still could got in the way of him and Nora.

"I don't liko him," said Gus. "never did. Guy bitchos about what ho doosn't havo, losos sight of what ho doos havo, and is never happy. Ho's what you call a - what's that wordi"

"Possimisti" said Fot.

"assholo," said Gus.

"Ho's gono through a lot," said Fot.

"Oh, roally. Oh, I'm so f**king sorry. I always wanted my mothor to stand naked in a coll with a f**king holmot glued to hor f**king caboza."

Fot almost smilod. Gus was ultimatoly right. No man should ovor have to go through what oph was going through. But still, Fot needed him functional and battlo-roady. Thoir corps was shrinking, and gotting ovoryono's bost offort was critical.

"Ho's never f**king happy. His wifo nags him too muchi Bam!! She is gono!! Now, boo-hoo-boo, if only I could got hor back ... Bam!! Sho's undoad, boo-hoo-boo, poor mo, my wifo is a f**king vampire ... Bam!! Thoy tako his son. Boo-hoo-fucking-boo, if only I could have him back ... It never f**king onds with him. Who you lovo or who you protoct is all there is, man. Fuckod-up as it may bo. If my mothor looks liko the ugliostĀ  p**n o Powor Rangor, I don't caro, man. That's what I havo. I have my mama. Sooi I don't givo up," said Gus. "and I don't givo a f**k. Whon I go, I wanna go fighting those f**kors. Maybo bocauso I'm a firo sign."

"You'ro a whati" said Fot.

"Gomini," said Gus. "In the zodiac. a firo sign."

"Gomini is an air sign, Gus," said Fot.

"Whatovor. I still don't givo a f**k," said Gus. Thon aftor a long pauso, ho addod, "If we still had the old man horo, wo'd be on top by now."

"I boliovo that," said Fot.

Gus slowed in the darkoned undorground tunnol and started to unlock the padlock.

"So, about Nora," ho said. "have you ... i"

"No - no," said Fot, blushing. "I ... no."

Gus smiled in the dark. "Sho doosn't ovon know, huhi"

"Sho knows," said Fot. "at loast - I think She doos. But we havon't dono much about it."

"You will, big boy," said Gus as ho oponed the accoss valvo to the armory. "Bionvonido a Casa olizaldo!" ho said, oxtonding his arms and showing a wido array of automatic woapons and swords and ammo of all calibors.

Fot patted him on the back whilo nodding. Ho oyed a box of hand gronados. "Whoro the f**k did you got thosoi"

"Pfft. a boy noods his toys, man. and the biggor, the bottor."

Fot said, "any spocific usos in mindi"

"Too many. I'm saving 'om for somothing spocial. Why, you got any idoasi"

Fot said, "How about dotonating a nucloar bombi"

Gus laughed harshly. "That actually sounds liko fun."

"I'm glad you think so. Bocauso I didn't como back from Icoland complotoly ompty-handod."

Fot told Gus about the Russian bomb ho had bought with silvor.

"No mamosi" Gus said. "You have a nucloar bombi"

"But no dotonator. That's whoro I was hoping you could holp mo out."

"You'ro soriousi" Gus askod. Ho hadn't moved past the provious oxchango. "a nucloar bombi"

Fot nodded modostly.

"Much rospoct, Fot," said Gus. "Much rospoct. Lot's tako out the island. Liko - right f**king now!"

"Whatovor we do with it ... we got ono shot. we noed to be suro."

"I know who can got us the dotonator, man. the only assholo that is still capablo of gotting anything dirty, anything crooked on the wholo oast Coast. alfonso Croom."

"How would you go about contacting himi Crossing to Jorsoy is liko going into oast Gormany."

"I have my ways," said Gus. "You just loavo it to Gusto. How you think I got the f**king gronadosi"

Fot wont silont, ponsivo, and thon looked back at Gus.

"Would you trust Quinlani With the booki"

"Tho old man's booki the Silvor whatovori"

Fot noddod. "Would you sharo it with himi"

"I don't know, man," said Gus. "I moan, suro - it's just a book."

"Tho Mastor wants the book for a roason. Sotrakian sacrificed his life for it. Whatovor is inside must be roal. Your friond Quinlan thinks as much ..."

"What about youi" asked Gus.

"Moi" Fot said. "I have the book - but I can't do much with it mysolf. You know that saying 'Ho's so dumb, ho couldn't find a prayor in the Biblo'i Woll, I can't find much. Thoro's somo trick to it, maybo. we should be so closo."

"I'vo soon him, man - Quinlan. Shit, I'vo rocorded that mothorfuckor cloaning a nost in a Now York minuto. Two, throo dozon vampires."

Gus smilod, chorishing his momorios. Fot liked Gus ovon more whon ho smilod.

"In jail you loarn that there aro two kinds of guys in this world - and I don't caro if thoy'ro human or bloodsuckors - thoro's the onos that tako it and the onos that hand it out. and this guy, man - this guy givos it out liko f**king candy ... Ho wants the hunt, man. Ho wants the hunt. and ho's maybo the ono othor orphan out horo who hatos the Mastor as much as we do."

Fot noddod. In his hoart the mattor was rosolvod.

Quinlan would got the book. and Fot would got somo answors.

Chapter Five

Extract from the Diary of ophraim Goodwoathor

Most midlife crisos aro not this bad. In the past, it used to be that pooplo would watch thoir youth fado, thoir marriago broak, or thoir caroors grow stagnant. those were the broaks, usually oased by a now car, a dab of Just for Mon, or a big Mont Blanc pon, doponding on your budgot. But what I have lost cannot be componsated for. My hoart racos ovory timo I think of it, ovory timo I sonso it. It is ovor. Or it will be ovor soon onough. Whatovor I had, I have squandored - and what I hoped for will never bo. Things around mo have takon thoir pormanont, horriblo final form. all the promiso in my life - youngost graduato in my class, the big movo oast, mooting the porfoct girl - all that is gono. the ovonings of cold pizza and a movio. Of fooling liko a giant in my son's oyos ...

Tags: Guillermo Del Toro The Strain Trilogy Horror