Outcome of Chapter 7 Plot Hinge: Sergio Martinez won his fight against Matthew Macklin on March 17th. As a result, the boxing fans in Buenos Aires are going to flood the street in celebration and cause Agent Coghlan to miss his shot.
A deafening roar filled the night air as crowds of people poured out of the bars and onto the street. Will whipped around just as a wild eyed man crashed into him and wrapped him in a tight bear hug. They found me! Will thought, fresh panic setting in. The reek of alcohol and hysterical laughing though quickly convinced him that this man was not one of the Windigos.
The laughing man suddenly went silent however and his arms around Will went limp. As the man crumpled to the ground, his drinking buddies howled in delight and pointed at their friend who clearly couldn’t hold his liquor.
They must not have seen what Will saw: a small dart protruding from the back of the man’s neck.
Will had a sneaking suspicion that dart had been intended for him. Elbowing his way through the dense crowd and with a mental map of the city in his head, Will headed for a side street. Once clear of the revelers he broke into a dead sprint. The buildings whizzed by in a blur as Will pushed through the pain in his body.
By the time he arrived at his destination his legs and lungs were on fire. Leaning against a stone building, Will sucked wind as he attempted to catch his breath. From the shadows Will scanned the area. The Port of Buenos Aires stretched out in front of him, the dark silhouettes of cargo ships dotting the harbour.
The next part of Will’s plan was the tricky bit. How to stowaway aboard one of the ships? Emerging from the shadows, Will strolled as casually as he could toward the high, chain link fence that separated him from the boats. Arriving at the fence, Will looked around, ever so nonchalantly, to see if anyone was watching.
Will put his right foot on the fence and grabbed hold of the metal links above his head. Here goes nothing, he thought. He made it a foot off the ground before the shouting of a security guard stopped him cold. Gun in hand, the security guard raced toward him. Will hopped off the fence and held his hands up, squinting as the man’s flashlight blinded him.
The pudgy security began speed talking in Spanish, gesturing wildly. Every time Will attempted to get a word in, Pudge bowled over him angrily. After a few minutes the security guard reached for his walkie-talkie and Will’s mouth went dry. If the Windigos were listening he’d lead them straight to Will.
With adrenaline surging through him, Will balled his fist. But half a second before he could attack Pudge, another man suddenly appeared from the shadows and stepped in front of Will. “BYAH!” the security guard exclaimed, clearly startled by the man’s sudden appearance. A flash of anger crossed Pudge’s face but was quickly replaced by a wide smile when he realized who stood before him.
Hugging each other, the two men proceeded to have an animated conversation, both seeming to talk at the same time. Will didn’t understand a word of it. A few minutes later Pudge slapped the newcomer on the back, waved goodbye and headed back the way he came.
The newcomer turned to Will and extended his hand. “Gable Dunham,” he said in a booming voice. “Pleasure to meet you.” Gable was a bear of a man. He stood several inches taller than Will and was nearly twice as wide. An unkempt, scraggly beard and bushy head of hair reinforced the image. Will reached out his hand and winced in pain as the bear crushed it in his mighty grip.
“I’m Will,” he said, rubbing his aching hand.
Gable pointed at Will’s blood-stained shirt. “Got yourself into some trouble, did you Will?”
“I, uh,” Will stammered, unsure how to explain his current predicament.
“Relax, boy,” Gable said, dismissing the issue with a wave of his hand. “We’ve all had our share of problems. None of my business.”
“Then why’d you help me?” Will asked.
“Hah!” Gable barked in laughter. “Don’t know. Suppose it’s ‘cause I spent the better part of my twenties in jail and gotta bit of a soft spot for wayward souls. You running to someplace Will? Or just trying to get away from here?”
Will hesitated. “Canada,” he replied after a moment.
“Well tonight’s your lucky night, boy,” Gable said, smacking Will in the shoulder and nearly knocking him to the ground. “Turns out there’s a ship leaving for Canada in the morning. And I just happen to know the Captain. He’ll be at the pub later tonight.” Gable pointed to a grimy building facing the harbour. “Come on. I’ll buy you a drink, we’ll play some cards and I’ll introduce you – see if we can’t get you a ride outta town the honest way. I know Captain Dirge is under a tight budget, but we’ll see if he can squeeze you in somewhere.”
Will weighed his options and realized he didn’t have many. Besides, after five days with Dr. MacGregor, Will could definitely use a drink. “Sounds like a plan to me. Thanks.”
“Thatta boy!” Gable said. Bending down he opened a small backpack he had with him. “But there’s no way I’m letting you meet the Captain wearing that.” Gable tossed a t-shirt at Will. “Here. A souvenir I bought for my nephew. It’ll be a bit tight, but at least it’s not covered in blood.”
Will took off his filthy shirt. As he was putting on the clean one, Gable pointed to Will’s bare shoulder. “The Mark of Ma’chavu,” he said, his mouth hanging open.
Will furrowed his brow until it dawned on him what he was referring to. “My tattoo! You know something about it? What’s the Mark of the Moo-Moo?”
“Ma’chavu!” Gable snapped. “Show some respect, boy! Sweet fancy Moses! How can you have the Mark and not know what it means?!”
“I’m sorry,” Will replied, trying to keep the rush of excitement in check. “Please! What’s the Mark of Ma’chavu?”
Gable stared at Will. After a few seconds a smile crossed his face. “I tell you what. You beat me at cards tonight and I’ll tell you all about that tattoo of yours. Deal?”
“Aye, aye,” Will said, pulling the t-shirt over his head. He looked at the image printed on the front of it: a cartoon crocodile doing the tango with a monkey. “This is better than the shirt I had on?”
Gable gave another booming laugh and started walking toward the pub.
Plot Hinge: Price of Oil
This is a special week in RUN, with the launch of Gable’s Memory Match game. Check out the bonus content info below for more details.
For this Chapter’s Plot Hinge we turn to the price of WTI crude oil. The rising price of oil affects shipping and transportation costs that have an impact throughout the supply chain. We’ll use the price of oil to determine if Captain Dirge has enough money to bring Will along with him.
- If the price of oil is below $105 per barrel at noon (EST) on March 26, then Captain Dirge will have enough money left in his budget take Will on as part of the crew.
- If however, the price of oil is above $105 per barrel on March 26, then Captain Dirge’s budget will be stretched too far as it is and he won’t be able to take Will, stranding him in Buenos Aires.
Bonus Content: Gable’s Memory Match Game
We’ve got a special treat for you this week! Luke VanOsch and his team over at Snowball Inc. have developed a fun online game for Plot Hinge. If you successfully match all 9 pairs of cards in the memory game, you will beat Gable at cards and get a password you can use to unlock bonus content.
This week’s bonus content: Gable tells Will what he knows about the Mark of Ma’chavu.
Chapter 9 goes live on March 29th! How do you like the story so far? Feel free to leave comments below, share your thoughts on my Facebook page or email me your questions and ideas. And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe in the top right of the screen to receive email notifications whenever a new chapter is posted.