The Time Has Come...

Ginnie sat in the back of the van, humming Cabbages and Kings softly to herself. Her Merc escorts sat across from her giving good body guard blank face. She'd forgotten their names and that was never good, but she just couldn't seem to keep any extra information in her brain. This whole thing was so monumental for her that erroneous details kept getting lost.

Brock! That was the guy on the left. He had been a Merc for just over twenty years and a vampire for just a little longer than that. He'd been an army calvary man, that was born from linebacker stock. He was a huge wall of a man and so muscled when he'd died that even his muscles had muscles. In other words a perfect bodyguard for The Cobra. The other guy called himself Tag, no one knows why, he'd been a Merc with Tach for all one hundred and seventeen years of his vampire life. He could have been Brock's twin, had they been born in the same era.

As the van slowed, she began to go through a mental checklist of her weaponry. She was dressed for business in a neat pinstriped pencil skirt, matching jacket and garnet red silk blouse. Her jacket had been cut to hide the bulge of her shoulder holster, and at her back she wore a tiny .22 in an inner pants holster. On her left thigh there were three knives in a tight little row and on her right thigh was a garrote and lock picks. In her briefcase were three bomb pens, and most of the normal detritus found in most briefcases were incendiary devices of some kind, even the little stapler was even a triple shot .22, in hers

In the clip in her hair was a small pin hole camera, another was in the handle of her briefcase and and another was in the watch around her wrist. She had a device inserted in her ear, so tiny that no one would be able to see it, to hear the people on their frequency. In the lining of her bra was a microphone, there was one in the clasp of her diamond tennis bracelet and if all of that failed she could activate a secondary set in the toe of her sensible left shoe.

The men in front of her were equally well armed and wired. They were loaded for bear and hopefully none of it would have been necessary. The dark van came to a halt in a dark alley way some four miles from the meeting point. It was well with in the range of their equipment, but hopefully outside of the notice of the people they were meeting.

The front doors slammed, and then the back doors opened. Brock and Tag got out and scanned the area like good bodyguards, then Tag turned and held a hand out to Ginnie. She took it, noting that he was smart and offered for her left hand so that she was free to draw her gun if she needed to. Alec had moved to the limo to check it over, it was one of Tach's and Brock would be driving, but one can't be too careful.

Ginnie stood framed by her bodyguards and the dome light from the van watching Alec and Shay prepare for the coming evening, and was struck with such a feeling of foreboding that she had to close her eyes and take big breaths through her nose.

Ginnie 16 years ago
Ginnie reached a hand out to catch the pad as it slid with in range. She looked down at the number and tried not to chuckle. She wasn't in this for the money, but that particular sum was not going to even begin to cover her losses. Well ok, it did, but she wasn't going to give in that easily, it would alarm them.

She wrote a much larger completely unreasonable price beneath his, and slid it back across the table. ]The gentle static that had been in Ginnie's ear since she'd put in the ear piece very suddenly went out. Alarmed, but not worried, she slid her tongue over the sub-vocal mic attached to her back left molar, nothing happened. She groaned inwardly. This was not good.
Tobi Emiliano 16 years ago
Tobi was bored within seconds and antsy to have his internet back up in less time than that. Nothing interesting was happening (‘interesting’ being defined as chaos and mayhem in Tobi’s mind) and they were probably going to spend –forever- talking in there.

He shifted his focus to the other windows nearby, bored of watching Thanos and some hottie through binoculars and hoping someone might be getting undressed elsewhere. If they were, though, it wasn’t anywhere he could see. Looking back at the window to see if they were any closer to being done (after an entire 15 seconds he would hope some progress was made), he frowned when he heard a howl in the distance. They had a wailer on the perimeter, wolf of course, and he was calling, signaling to the others. Even to him it was a chilling sound – he couldn’t imagine what it was like to people who weren’t used to it.

The anticipatory grin stretched wide across his face – maybe there would be some excitement after all. It was just a warning call, but everything might be inches away from going terribly wrong.

Thanos 16 years ago
Things were going well, Thanos thought. Of course, Cobra’s counteroffer was absurd, but his initial offer had most likely left something to be desired. While it was still more than The Deed had paid, Thanos knew that they were playing in a different league from the start. He knew they had sacrificed some capital simply by looking professional, but in his mind it was worth it. They were after respect, legitimacy, not cash.

Unconcerned, he wrote down another figure and turned the pad around, but before he could slide it across the table, he heard the howl. It was just one howl, a warning; there was no reason to overreact and he would continue the negotiations as though nothing had happened, but even so a sense of foreboding washed over him. There was an uncomfortable pause as the sound faded away, but Thanos waited until the room was completely quiet before speaking, his hand still firmly on the paper they’d been exchanging.

“Something. Troubles me.”

He paused, then leaned back in his seat, releasing the notepad and letting it skitter across the table. Once again, he slowly and deliberately reached into his coat pocket, making sure everyone saw what he was after – just his cigarettes, kept in a leather case. He pulled one out, placed it between his lips. With the same care, he pulled out a zippo with Ganesha painted on one side.

He wouldn’t light up just yet, though – instead, he rested the lighter on the table and took away the cigarette, holding it between his fingers and gesturing as he spoke.

“I am having misgivings. Concerns. Perhaps you will want to give us just a –taste- of what you have to offer,” he rasped, nodding slightly toward the folder. “As a sign of good faith.”
Loretta Emiliano 16 years ago
A single howl. Only a warning, but not one to be taken lightly. Loretta was ready, she had been ready for hours, but now she felt spring-loaded, ready to explode. The target was perfectly in sight – it would be a beautiful shot, a ghastly beautiful spray of red that would paint the wall like a Pollock.

The Jiro, Loretta thought, was such a tease. She knew he would wait and wait, giving the signal to shoot only at the last possible second, but skirting ever closer all the while. Loretta was practically salivating with anticipation.
Stranger 16 years ago
Jason was there for one reason, and one reason only; he was a wailer, and when he wanted to, he could make a fuckload of noise. Didn't do much good to see shit go down if you couldn't tell nobody. Not that he was liable to pick up on anything funny - that was his buddy's job. Bob Marley and the Wailer, the rest called them. Not because his buddy, Lloyd, was Jamaican or a Reggae star or anything - no, it was because Lloyd smoked a lot of weed before he became Vyusher. Jason guessed that the paranoia some potheads get stuck with his pal. The guy just seemed to know when a predator was near, or prey for that matter.

He knocked his muzzle into Lloyd's side, his way of saying 'what's up', when he noticed that his partner's hackles were up and a low growl was rumbling deep in his chest. Jason bent down to the ground, sniffing, puzzled. He didn't see anything, but Lloyd obviously had picked up on a scent. He sniffed the air, still not seeing what the problem was, but something wasn't right.

Slowly, Lloyd began to creep out from under the car parked across from the warehouse, until he could stand fully upright. Jason quickly followed him, still not sure of what he was smelling, but Lloyd seemed to know - he was not sniffing or searching, but headed in a very specific direction and apparently assuming Jason was right behind him.

And then suddenly he knew. He knew there was someone there, an intruder, even if he could not see him. His nose told him, and he had trusted his nose all his life.

He threw back his head and cried out a warning into the night, just as Lloyd took off toward his target. He knew that only three things could hide like that; one of their own, one of the Other Wolves...or the Mulo. For a split second he considered giving a second howl, for any of those three were bad news under the circumstances, but Lloyd was getting ahead, and he hadn't actually -seen- anything. Boy would he feel dumb if the guy was a human hiding behind another car.

Instead, he took off running, right at Lloyd's side, all the while trusting his nose and his brother in arms to lead the way.
The Voice 16 years ago
/ooc We lost some posts in the restore - this is probably the simplest way to get them back up, just smack me if you have objections.


Slipping through the perimeter had been a bit easier than he'd anticipated - none of the watchers seemed to be on alert. Winding his way through the alleys, Alec began to congratulate himself as an eerie, canine keening rose on his trail behind him. Eyes widening beneath his goggles, Alec's blood ran cold.


They were supposed to be fairytale creatures, and now they were going to eat him. His pulse raced, pupils dilated, and then he remembered a very, very important fact - he was the invisible predator here. They could apparently scent track him, but they could not see him. Well, apparently it was time to see what silver did to werewolves.

For the first time, perhaps ever, he was thankful for something Ellis had done. Showing that crucial hint to him could turn the tables here dramatically.

Grinning viciously beneath his mask, Alec prepared to fight his way to Ginnie or die trying. Wondering for a moment where his courage had come from, he pulled back a manhole cover and dropped down into the storm drain. Beneath the lid, he affixed a tiny concentrate in a pull apart aerosol...the mixture of anise, garlic oil, skunk musk and fiberglass would seriously put a cramp in anything scent tracking that opened the cover...and the standard plastic scent masking it would ensure the trap was delivered.

Quickly heading to the next cover, he exited and proceeded toward his goal.


Shay snapped out of her fog, at the sound of the howl. Somehow while she sat and tried to hear as much of what was going on around her, she found her mind wandering to her life with Ginnie, and Alec. Unsure how long she'd been like that she looked at her watch and breathed a sigh of relief to see if had really only been seconds.

"What ARE they doing...and what was that noise...a wolf?"

Not an expert on dogs, Shay thought the howl sounded too...big...for a dog. But were there wolves in Nachton?

A tenseness seeped into her bones, and she half stood up in the van. Something was happening...she could feel it...feel...fear. Sitting back down she blew off the sensation at first, laughing as she realized the fear was her own.

Then it hit her again, and she KNEW something was wrong.

"Goddammit Shay! Pull yourself together!"

'Great!', she thought...'now I'm talking to myself, again.'

Smacking her hand against the dead console, Shay grabbed some binoculars and peered into the darkness. From what she could see, nothing was moving, at all. Yet still the feeling of dread persisted.

"Come on this thing over with...NOW!"


Ginnie watched the blond man take the pad, then crooked a finger at Tag. The giant body guard bent his body so that his head was in line with her own. She spoke into his ear, barely more that breath with sound.

"This is a systems check. Base if you hear me respond." She counted to two with no response. "Shit. Ok Tag nod your head and stand back up."

He did as he was told and it was then that a lone howl split the air. Ginnie froze. It wasn't until Misio spoke that she remembered to breathe.

"We seem to be of the same mind then."

She watched as he pulled a cigarette out, put it to his mouth and then thought better. Good, she hated cigarette smoke, but she wouldn't ask him not to light it, that would be rather snobbish of her.

""I am having misgivings. Concerns. Perhaps you will want to give us just a -taste- of what you have to offer, as a sign of good faith."Â?

Ginnie lifted one eyebrow at the man that called himself Misio, at the man that represented people that had taken out one of her more trusted families, and thought of that howl and the things Alec had told her.

"Perhaps you should have our communications put to rights." She smiled with one corner of her mouth. "As a sign of good faith."


For a moment he could smell it so clearly - the thick scent of fear. This was no human, Jason knew, but he did not dare declare their prey Mulo, not yet.

Their trail ended at manhole, which presented a problem for two wolves lacking in opposable thumbs, but nothing insurmountable. After a second of frustrated pawing, the pair proceeded further down, to a storm drain that would allow them to wriggle through without lifting anything. Jason gave three sharp barks, calling for backup, then followed Lloyd down.

At the bottom of the sewer, they took a moment to acclimate themselves, quickly discovering that the trail went on in both directions. Obviously one was just backtracking to the manhole, but it was good to explore both options, in case there was misdirection at play. Lloyd, ever-confident of where he was going, continued on while Jason took the back trail, quickly confirming that it was what it seemed. Before he could turn around to join Lloyd once more, though, he heard noises up above - the backup had arrived. He barked to get their attention and heard a man's voice in response; not everyone was in wolf form for precisely this reason. The manhole cover lifted...

...and then his nose was a world of pain and scent. He yelped, the sound echoing over that of the cursing and barks above, then yelped again when two men and one wolf dropped down, landing almost on top of him. There wasn't time to worry about what had just happened; they had to get to Lloyd, as he was the only one who could still lead them to their prey.


Thanos answered Cobra's smirk with a tilted head, his lips pressed together as though he were fighting more expression.

"Communications?"Â? He picked up his lighter once again. "For what purpose?"Â? He looked over his shoulder at the Legionnaires, as though hoping they could help answer this mystifying question. "You are not cops, yes? FBI?"Â? He made an open handed gesture. "Surely you have nothing to fear from our little group! Perhaps you require communications so your boss can tell you what to say?"Â?

He smiled now, a knowing, condescending expression, and flicked the lighter open. "We were led to believe that you were...the boss. Is this not the case?"Â?

He could not torture the snipers forever, he knew. He had heard the commotion below and knew he must end this before everything spiraled completely out of control, and so he lit his cigarette at last, illuminating the room in a flash of flame before snapping the lighter closed. He had only seconds now before the entire room would be riddled in bullets - he used those moments wisely, taking a long drag of smoke and rising to his feet.

"Perhaps we cannot come to an agreement after all, if we cannot speak to the one in charge. So unfortunate."Â?


The Jiro was going to make her absolutely insane, Loretta thought, and she would have believed this was his entire goal in toying with his lighter if not for the fact that he couldn't possibly know she was down here, lying in wait for the signal to shoot.

And then he was opening the lighter and -not- closing it again, and he was flicking up a flame, yes, and the flame was coming closer, yes, closer to his cigarette...

She made a little sound, half between a laugh and a sob of relief, when he closed the lighter, leaving behind the glowing red ember at the end of the cigarette. Taking a final, steadying breath, she aimed, fired, and aimed, and fired.

Somewhere out in the water, another shooter did the same.


Only Jason knew which way Lloyd had gone, and so he was the first to find him, leaping and growling at another manhole further down the line. It was clear that he was attempting to dislodge the cover with his head, and failing miserably. One of the human-formed Vyusher quickly climbed the ladder while the others, who had learned their lesson, backed away. All except Lloyd, who was still jumping and snarling, oblivious to everything save his trail. Jason had to bite his leg to get his attention, then shove him bodily toward the others.

This time the cover opened without incident. Lloyd, with his impressive jumping ability, was out in a flash and running down the street, leaving the others to catch up as they could. The human-formed pair made it out with little difficulty but the wolves had more trouble. Jason in particular had never been good with ladders, and soon found himself alone at the bottom, jumping and scrambling and sliding and falling.

He'd never seen his partner so fixated on a target that he could leave Jason behind like this. He whined, feeling bereft and imagining Lloyd sinking his teeth into their mysterious prey seconds before another cruel trap was sprung.

Desperately, he jumped, found footing, scrambled up, and this time managed to get his front paws out. And now hands wrapped around him, pulled him out, and while the voice spoke harshly in his ears, all Jason could think was that someone had come back for him.

Together, they raced to catch up to Lloyd, who even now was nearing his goal.


Ginnie really just wanted to hand him the folder and leave. She was suddenly very tired and wanted nothing more of this, but then the cocky little bastard smiled at her like she was a lowly errand boy. Her first instinct was to snarl and rip his throat out. Her second, and much more rational thought was to laugh. This she did.

"The only person higher on this food chain is the Almighty and I don't think you or I are going to have a face to face with Him anytime soon."

The laughter still bubbled in her chest as she watched him light his damned cigarette. He took a long drag and stood. This time she caved in to the first instinct and stood as well. Behind her she heard cloth rustle and steel slide against leather.

Ginnie opened her mouth to speak when a soft high pitched whistle split the air and a thunking noise threw her left shoulder back. She looked down and saw the hole in her suit jacket. Another one joined it, pushing her into her guards.

Pain like nothing she'd ever felt before ripped through her chest, bowing her to her knees. They'd shot through the Kevlar. "Fucking armor piercing, sniper rifle. Fucking assholes." Another shot hit her in the side of the head and she went to the floor.

Ginnie felt the first bullet lodged halfway into the vest and half way into her back, the second felt like it was trying to chew through her spine. Her head felt like someone had smashed open her skull with a sledge hammer. Her brain registered the sounds of Tag and Brock falling, but she was unable to do anything.

Her left arm began to tremor as her body worked desperately to repair the horrific damage done to her heart. She lay sucking in air, staring at the ceiling, nothing in her life could have prepared her for this kind of pain. That blond bastard was going to pay.


"Fucking Hell!"

Shay screamed, as the world around her seemed to explode into dog barks, and gunshots, and her fears were stoked to raging fires.

Looking at the unresponsive communications console, she began pushing every button, flipping every switch, and turning every dial she could move.

" goddamnpieceofshit!!! WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Nothing was happening except that Shay was becoming more and more frantic with each passing second. There was something ungodly going on out there, and she now knew it was more than just was...unimaginable.

Unable to do anything but sit, since she didn't know where Ginnie was, or Alec now for that matter, Shay started shaking. Wrapping her arms around herself, she was chewing her lip raw with worry.

Still futile in her attempts to get anything in the van to respond to her touches, she was growing both angrier and drastically more afraid with each passing second. There was nothing in her thoughts that directed her fears at herself, but her anger was evening dispersed between Ginnie and Alec for leaving her there, alone, and for her easy acceptance of the role she was now stuck in. She might as well have stayed home for all the help she was at the moment.

Forgetting about everything but the desire to know what was going on, Shay opened the door to the van, and stuck her head out into the night air. The act did nothing to wizen her up, but the night air helped clear her head a little, and lessened her feeling of claustrophobia.

Funny...she never recalled being claustrophobic before.
Alec Devereaux 16 years ago
Practiced at evading animals, Alec made his way rapidly down alleyways, over obstacles, through open windows and out the doors of the poorly secured warehouses of the district. He couldn't outrun them, but he could make it very difficult indeed for them to follow. Razorblades on window ledges, spray adhesives on debris in the alleyways and carpets, tiny caltrops over pavement for those without shoes. He doubled back to the location he had selected to shuffle off his pursuers - an open warehouse he'd cut straight through.

A single canine form, favoring a paw but moving quickly despite the tangle of clothing stuck to its rear legs, moved directly below him. Silently, Alec left his perch, arms stretched far far behind him as if he were the decorative piece on the bow of a very dark ship, timing his perfectly. At the last moment, he snapped his arms forward with all of the strength that he could muster, forcing the silvered combat knives into either side of the hairy beast's neck. It had turned its head at the last moment, despite the impossibility of hearing him. Perhaps predators did instinctively recognize one another. Landing heavily on the very soft fur was still a bit jarring - the still form beneath the skin was highly toned muscle and dense bone.

Quickly cleaning the blades on the still creature, Alec added a silver needle into one of its eyes and back into the brain. He didn't know much about them, but the chances of healing that were about zero. Nodding, he sped out from the warehouse - his pursuers would not be far behind...though he was almost there.

Jarring, he gasped involuntarily. There had been gunshots. Distant ones. With much closer impacts. The fight was well and truly on. Double checking the positioning of the Browning that Ginnie had turned him on to, he finished the distance to the enclave.

He'd not thought about it much before, but there sure was a large killing field in front of that building. Not good. Glancing back, he saw the shadows of his distant pursuers growing closer. Not good at all.
Thanos 16 years ago
Thanos kept well out of the crossfire as the bullets shattered windows and sank into flesh. He watched unflinchingly as Cobra and her team went down, even when blood sprayed over his clothing. His comment was lost in the barrage of sound.

“Perhaps sooner than you think.”

And then there was quiet. The snipers did the Legion credit – they were truly excellent shots. Cobra and her men were downed in seconds, and while something lingered in the back of Thanos’s mind, a nagging sensation that they had all gone down rather stubbornly, he couldn’t think of it as any less than a job well done.

Now it was time to clean up and get down to ground level, where, from the distant sound of it, the conflict still raged on. Thanos drew his weapon and walked around the table, bringing bodies who were very much alive into view.

The snipers hadn’t missed – he was certain of that, and even if he had doubted, the mess of blood at the back of Cobra’s head was enough to tell him that she had indeed been hit. Yet her eyes were still open, filled with righteous wrath – they’d succeeded, basically, in knocking her down and pissing her off.

There could be only one explanation. Thanos took a step back, aiming his 9mm at Cobra’s head and roaring over the ringing in his ears.


Behind him, his men mobilized, drawing their weapons and preparing to unload them on the enemy. Once again, the sound of shots filled the room as the Vyusher attempted to subdue the mulo, the walking nightmares before them. Thanos continued to shout orders over the din, telling the soldiers to keep to the doors. They needed an exit plan; by the end of this, the warehouse was going up in flames.
Shay 16 years ago
The momentary silence scared Shay even more than the initial gunfire had, and she pulled open the van door, looking out into the night.

Furious because she didn't know what was going on, or where Alec was, and was still convinced something horrible had happened, she wanted to dash out into the night, and find someone...anyone...who could give her answers. Yet the gunfire soon began again, so she stayed rooted to the spot, even pulling the van door almost closed again.

"Damn you Ginnie, and Alec. Why didn't we bring more men? Where are need to come back here...NOW!"

Her words were tinny and hollow, as they sat on the air without response.

Had they brought along at least one other guy, Shay could have sent him out now, to search for information on what had gone down. As badly as she wanted to leave herself, she had to wait , and be ready for when Ginnie and Alec returned. Alec had said they would probably be on the run, and Shay had to be prepared.

Yet her sense of foreboding was increasing, and her promise to wait was becoming more and more fragile with each passing minute.

Closing the door without making much noise. Shay pounded on the communications console in one last futile attempt to jar it into working, then climbed into the driver seat. The vehicle sat, idling quietly, as her eyes traversed the darkness around her. One slight movement was all she waited for...hoped for...prayed for...and she would get them out of there.
Ginnie 16 years ago
Ginnie's lips curled back from her teeth in a hiss, as the asshat neared her. It was very eighties B-movie of her, but she was too pissed to care. Her right arm reacted slowly to the command to reach out and strike the mother fucking snake, so it was only half way to him when the bullets from the nine mil created more blinding pain, right between her eyes.

It took only one more bullet through her brain to send her into oblivion. She floated in a sea of blacks and grays and from somewhere far far off she felt her body jerk and spasm as no less than four clips from semi-automatic weapons spilled into her. She'd known the darkness of rage, the red nirvana of passion, and once when she was still human the blackness of drink, but this darkness was new, and light and felt so good.

She no longer had to think, or remember to breathe, there was no time here and she hoped to stay for a very long time. Life was good here, there was no pain, or fear, but there was also no joy or love. She felt sorrow then. However, somewhere in the back of her mind she remembered that if someone found her and gave her starving body blood soon, she'd heal.

Then...then she'd find Mr. Aryan Poster Boy with his stupid Eastern European accent and kill him with her own two hands, then she'd hunt down his entire network, family, friends, business associates, the kids from his second grade class and she'd kill them all. Oh he would pay. And then she'd find out what the hell he'd called her right before he put that first bullet in her head.
Loretta Emiliano 16 years ago
Loretta hadn’t missed – she knew this. She’d felt it in her shoulder, seen it with her eyes – she had struck home.

Why, then, was her target still moving.

Her heart stuck in her throat for a moment as Thanos walked slowly around the table, but she quickly came to her senses; the Jiro never rushed into anything, and he, too, saw that their targets were quite alive in spite of multiple gun shot wounds. She watched as he shouted something to the team and once again opened fire on the enemy.

What was she doing?

Flipping onto her back, she set down her rifle and picked up her bumblebee, checking to make sure everything was in place before flipping back over once more. She aimed the rocket, rested her finger on the trigger.

She hadn’t planned it this way, but the situation was so perfect that it could have been plotted by a mastermind. No one knew she was here, save the Legionnaire, and he could be coached, bribed, killed…the possibilities were endless. She could hear him now, explaining to Vaughn while she coldly looked on.

‘There were Mulo! I fired, and the Jiro didn’t make it out in time…it’s a terrible tragedy, but such things happen when fighting the monsters…’

It would be so easy.

Her arms broke into gooseflesh.

“So easy…”

She realized her hands were shaking, and swallowed hard. Of course she wouldn’t fire until all the Vyusher were out.. It was just a fleeting fantasy, and if it left her with adrenaline coursing through her veins, well, she would need it for the fight ahead.

/ooc Ginnie
Alec Devereaux 16 years ago
The sniper fire ceased, and Alec drove for the door ahead of his pursuers. Inside the building, above his position, there was a shout, and a second surge of gunfire.

None of the weapons were Tacharan.

Adrenaline coursed through his system as an utterly unfamiliar rage swept through him. He'd seen the blood lust sweep over the members of his clan...this was not it. It was something older, more visceral. Primal. Slamming open the door with a strength he had assumed that he could never possess, Alec was greeted with sidearm gunfire. The two in the room had spun to shoot, and missed by fractions. Leaping into the face of the first, Alec plunged the knives into his body, one into his gasping mouth, the other up under the ribs. Twisting and punching forward, he shoved the combat knife farther up into the torso of the man, whose screams turned only to bubbling sounds as his lungs filled with his draining life essence.

To the credit of the other sentry, he paused only a moment. His compatriot was clearly not coming back from his wounds, so he opened fire on the tangled pair, hoping for a wounding shot on the intruder. Something fell out of the tangle as he fired into it - sparing a glance, he dove for cover behind a planter as the flash grenade went off. Rolling onto his back, he watched a form leap through the smoke. Aiming, firing, he knew he had his target, which was confirmed by the heavy landing. Standing, he moved to confirm the kill...only to see his partner.

Two knives entered his body. One between the vertebrae in the center of his back, clipping his spinal cord. The other downward, beneath the clavicle, entering his heart. He didn't last long enough to feel the twin pricks of fangs on his neck as well.

As the rich fluid entered Alec's mouth, he took a large swallow, and immediately regretted it. Spitting as much out as he could, he immediately thrust his gloved fingers into his mouth to induce vomiting. What the hell were these people on? Was werewolf blood naturally poisonous? Retching out mouthfuls of bile and blood, the surge of adrenaline left his system. Coughing, he heard movement from overhead. He needed to continue - there could yet be time to make a difference, or to die trying. Pushing himself to control the gag reflex, he shot the lights out with a fallen weapon, then relaxed back into his chameleon form, blending with the darkness, covered by the mingling scents of smoke, ozone, blood and vomit. Scent tracking here would be a nightmare.
Tobi Emiliano 16 years ago
Ooooh. That had to hurt – point blank shots on top of sniper bullets. What the hell happened? Did the snipers miss? That’d be some drama, he hoped, but then he looked again. They were still moving, there was –no way-…unless they were Mulo. Thanos was opening the door, pushing one of the guys in his guard out, but there were still two locked in struggle and a third was gesturing frantically as he pushed the conference table on its side.

Tobi continued to watch the action, completely absorbed in what would happen next, until he realized that he had an assignment. If things went pear-shaped, he and the others in boats were supposed to help with the exit.

Reluctantly putting down his binoculars, he headed for the cockpit to guide the boat to their nearest dock. He should be there first, as the snipers still had another job to do, and he didn’t want it to look like he was standing around gaping. Because he wasn’t. Anymore. It soon became a moot point, though – the lights in the warehouse went out, and the show was over.

Tobi hoped it was their guys that turned out the lights.
Thanos 16 years ago
There was a reason Thanos had never joined the military, though it was probably secondary to the fact that he had been on drugs most of his young life and the army wouldn’t have taken him if he begged. He could make the kill, and he could make the judgment call, but there was some small part of him that just wanted to stand back and watch it all slide away. He’d never simply been able to do his duty, follow orders and think later. That tendency to think got him into trouble.

The Legionnaires did a decent job of keeping him out of it. They didn’t give him so much as a second to stand over the bodies and make the next decision; training took over and he found himself pushed, numbly but still barking orders, out the double doors. The last of his guys was busy using the conference table to block the exit and contain the explosion to one room.

And then everything started to slide away.

The lights going out weren’t the worst of their problems – vision was far from their most reliable sense. No. It was the fact that some people just would not go down.

A large hand closed around his ankle. Thanos stomped viciously on the wrist and kicked where the mulo’s face should have been, but whoever it was had already moved away. Shots were fired, yelling, swearing, and then he was being thrown back against the wall. Snarling, he lunged, but it was one of his guys holding him back, shouting, half dragging him away from the conference room.

There were still guys in there. But Thanos wasn’t as young as he used to be, not like these soldiers with their 16 hour a day training. He didn’t stand a chance, but a high-pitched whining sound was nearly enough to turn the tables as a surge of strength went through him.

It was the sound of a rocket, screaming through the air. Someone had fired, shot their rocket while, oh god, there were still guys in there…

“Sorry, Jiro…”

His back hit a railing – when had they made it to the stairs? He didn’t even remember passing through the door. An emergency light flickered weakly overhead.

Vaughn’s face was looking back at him. Younger than he’d ever known him, a sure sign that he was seeing things, but so god damn present, so real…

…that’s when a fist connected with his jaw, and his mouth exploded with the taste of his own blood. And then he was pushed, and falling, falling through the open stairwell, changing as he fell, twisting and shifting and falling.

He would never forget that last sight, that of the Legionnaire, himself again, no longer wearing Vaughn’s face, hitting the deck with his hands over his head just as the top floor exploded in sound and flame.
Loretta Emiliano 16 years ago
Loretta hissed through her teeth in annoyance when the lights went off, but she was careful to keep the launcher where it had previously been aimed. She could hope for another signal, but odds of that happening were slim. It was sickening now, to think that seconds ago she had fantasized about blowing up the room with everyone inside.

Of course, that wasn’t how it would happen. Her last sight before the window went black was the Jiro and his men getting out of the room. They knew what to expect.

She counted to sixty, slowly, or at least it felt slow. She didn’t realize she was going much too quickly, that they would just barely have time even if everything went perfectly.

And everything had not gone perfectly.

She pulled the trigger, and waited, and watched. She did not draw away or close her eyes at the flash of light that followed, though it was powerful enough to blind her, if only temporarily. When she adjusted to the new, flame-filled light, she let out a gasp.

A silhouette was neatly cast in the window, black shadow against red fire. It was impossible for her to tell if he was Vyusher or Mulo; she hadn’t paid close enough attention to who was joining the Jiro. It was not, she realized, the Jiro himself – his nose was too thick and flat, his body to broad.

She knew, in that moment, that she wasn’t going to get away with it, and the worst part was that she didn’t even think she could explain why she had insisted on getting in the boat.

Then she pulled herself together and began to pull the tarp away from the top of the boat.
Ginnie 16 years ago
As her drifting darkness deepened, Ginnie began to pray. She spoke the "Our Father," the Rosary, the Creed, a prayer to Saint Peter and one to Saint Christopher, then she started a prayer of repentance. Two hundred and eighty-three years carries a lot of sin to repent from.

As she relived her centuries old life, she heard the unmistakable whistle of an RPG in that far off land occupied by her body. It was followed closely by her most favorite sound, explosion. Funny how the thing she loved would be what finally killed her. Some would call it ironic, but irony is dying by her own RPG and since she didn't sell that kind of weaponry, that wasn't possible.

Flame engulfed the room that her blood starved body occupied, it roared out over the table, down across the floor and swept along her body. She never felt the searing heat, as she floated in her darkness praying. She never felt the roof give way and land in a flaming ball atop her. She never felt the secondary explosions as water heaters, and other gas powered appliances gave up their fuel to the fire. She never knew that the darkness had ended on a last thought of her family.

My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.
~Emily Dickinson
Shay 16 years ago

Knocked forward in the van, banging her head on the steering wheel, Shay didn't know if it was force from the actual explosion, or the tightly wound coil of fear and apprehension inside her, that propelled her. In any event, it took her a few seconds to get her bearings, at which time she threw open the van door, and jumped out. Her eyes wide with fright, a shiver of dread wiggled quickly down her spine as the fire ball kidnapped her attention.

"Oh my god! Ginnnnnnie!!! Alec!!!"

Her eyes filled with tears, and her throat swelled in pain, as she stood there wringing her hands. She had to do something, but she wasn't sure what, and that, coupled with her growing despair that something terrible had happened had tossed her into a quagmire of intense panic.

Should she run forward, and hope she found her way to wherever Ginnie and Alec had gone? Should she get back in the van, and drive it forward, hoping her parents would meet up with her, and she could drive away from this god forsaken place? Pulling the van door open, with a force that almost removed it from the body of the vehicle, Shay hopped up and looked to the communications console, only to see it still dark, unblinking, dead.

"Goddamnit! This isn't right! I need to do something, but don't know what! Shit shit shit!!!"

All alone there in that dark part of the compound, Shay had never felt so alone, frustrated, or useless in her life. She wanted to cry, she wanted to shoot something, and she wanted Ginnie and Alec to return and end the growing nightmare. Unfortunately she wouldn't allow the first option, she was afraid the second option would be dangerous for both her and the two people she loved most still out there somewhere, and the third seemed less and less likely with each tick of the clock on the dashboard.

So, instead of just sitting around, Shay climbed back into the driver's seat, close that door (leaving the side van door wide open), and started driving forward toward the fire. She WOULD find Ginnie and Alec, and they WOULD be safe, and all of the WOULD leave this place together...NOW.
Alec Devereaux 16 years ago
There had been motion in the darkness, and Alec had struck it, again and again until it grew wet and then still. Moving through the blackness that was only momentarily punctuated with flashes of gunfire, he struck or sliced at anything that moved. The scent of his lover was not on this floor, so all things could be ended. The conscious thought he had spent the last few years developing was retreating into a cooler, darker place as he moved invisibly through the darkness, quietly bleeding all that he touched, struggling toward where Ginnie should have been in the building. She should be pursuing her quarry, her attackers. Something was desperately wrong here, everyone knew it was getting worse.

The whistling sound was an irritation, then more alarming as he gained the second floor. There, the bodies of the assigned guards, riddled and draped in their final posture. Another form, unmoving beyond them. Frozen, he stared from his position, too shocked to acknowledge the creeping dread within him, too disbelieving to recognize the face. The stairwell he'd fought so hard to reach was suddenly filled with light, and then simply gone. The sound recognized too late. The flash of explosion, the rush of air, the impact of being crushed between rubble and more solid masonry as the walls between him and the point of detonation gave way and rushed toward him...the creature in the darkness screamed a hiss of pain and anguish and loss.

Perhaps hours, perhaps seconds later, another explosion shook his body into awareness. There was no light, no warmth. Hope had died. Love had died. His body, broken.

Deep from within, something pushed forward. Survival. Rage. Movement was pain, but there was now light coming from above, and heat. Death. Run.

Wrenching one arm free, he looked at the other - twisted at the wrist, seemingly melded to the wall in a tangle of bent supports and sticky ichor. Bracing his right foot, he pulled with all of his strength, screaming as he tore flesh from bone and broke free of the snare. Standing was impossible - his left leg also a bloody ruin. Crawling across the rubble, he headed away from the fire, uncertain of where he was or where to head.

The scent of cold air came to him, and he followed it to an electrician's service hatch. Taking a blade, he tossed it into the outlet opposite him - no spark. Popping the hatch, he crawled inside and wound through the partially collapsed tunnel as best he could. The tangles of dead cables helped him along as he slid through them, over them, yanking his way toward the smells of tar and oil - the street access point.

Throwing himself upward against the metal shutter, it popped loose. Feebly struggling back upright, he pushed again with his shoulder, opening the hatch and struggling to the pavement with his one reasonably good hand. Glancing over his shoulder, he found that he could not see on that side. Turning further, he looked again. The meeting room was gone. The entire second floor was a blasted out ruin, a portion of the stairwell still intact - the central pillar running beside it had spared a corner of the stairs. Likely his life, as well...for all it was worth, now.

Turning over again, Alec coughed. His own blood splattered from his mouth onto the pavement through the destroyed face mask he'd been wearing. Flopping away, he tried to move toward the storm drain. He could escape that way.

He'd failed. His love, his family, his clan. Fingers too weak from blood loss struggled to fit into the manhole opening. Muscles too strained, too depleted to function failed to lift the cover. Looking back, he rolled to his side. Willing forth an apology, he rasped in his native tongue

"I am sorry, my love."

Fluid from his eyes caused ripples on the inside of his charred goggles as his body failed to respond to his desires. Laying on the pavement, he saw the outline of a vehicle heading toward him. He idly wondered if it would be family come to save him, or an enemy to give him blessed release.
Shay 16 years ago
"Oh my god...ALEC!"

Shay was driving at a gnat's pace, unsure of where the alleys led, or where to begin looking for Ginnie and Alec. She thought she sensed Ginnie earlier, but that feeling was now gone. Still learning her new life skills, she was getting better at picking out voices, and a lot of sounds. However, when she became nervous, anxious, or aggitated, all those learned abilities became a bit jumbled. It was something she was aware of, and something she knew she'd need to spend more time learning to overcome. Nothing that would help her now, unfortunately.

She had seen a couple dark shapes darting out of doorways, and across her path, but knew they weren't Ginnie or Alec. Turning off the headlights, seemed a good safety precaution at first, but after nearly running something over, she changed her mind and flipped the knob. That was when she caught sight of her father, lying still on the road ahead of her.

Her heart jumped, and almost caused her to lose focus, as did the tears that sprang to her eyes. Alec, alone, meant bad things. Alec not moving meant even worse things, and try as she might, to keep a hopeful mindset, Shay was failing.

The van sped up, only to screech to a halt alongside the prone man. Shay threw open the door so hard it came back and smacked her on the side, but she was unmindful of anything beyond Alec. As such, she dropped to her knees and winced only briefly as the asphalt dug into her knees. Her hands gently removed the headpiece, and her heart dropped lower. So much blood!

"Okay Daddy...I'm going to pull you into the van...I'm going to try and be careful, but I'm sorry if this hurts."

Her tones were soothing, but she couldn't keep her voice from breaking. That he was in such bad shape, and alone, told her more than she cared to know, but enough to give her the momentum she needed. She had to get Alec to safety, and make sure he was going to be okay, before she would be able to hear the whole story, and begin to mourn her mother.

Reaching underneath him, and putting hands in both arm pits, Shay lifted him from the waist up. She hoped his legs and lower body weren't terribly injured, as they would have to bear some movement in getting into the van. But at least she had the strength to offer his upper body some comfort.

Backing up into the van, through the open door, Shay moved as quietly and gently as she could manage, and once she was able to lay Alec on the floor, between the seats, she scrambled back to the driver seat, closing the side door, and driver door before she floored the vehicle, and flipped around to head back the way they'd come earlier that night.

Not at all sadistic, Shay still wished she could hear an occasional whimper from Alec, to at least let her know he was alive. What she had known would be a long night, just became even longer, and she silently prayed she would be able to do whatever he needed, to be able to see the nights to come.

(Shay and Alec out)
Tobi Emiliano 16 years ago
Tobi was barely docked when he saw it – a streak of silvery light in the darkness, headed his way. He tilted back his head and sniffed, a loud, wet snuffling, but he was upwind, and the briny scent of the water filled his nose.

There it was again.

He waited, and watched, hoping it hadn’t been some hopeful mirage. When the explosion hit, Tobi was surprised to feel a tug that closely resembled anxiety; were all of their own out? Now he wondered how long he should give them. The snipers were still a good distance from the docks – were they just slow, or did they know a lost cause when they saw one?

This, he thought, would make a great post modern short film. Tobi wasn’t used to self chastisement and so did not know what to say to himself when he realized that he was actually sort of enjoying the suspense. His enjoyment turned to a slightly queasy feeling, though, when he thought about what he would say to his pack when he came home empty handed. Maybe he wouldn’t have to do the talking…but no, it would have to be him. He was the son of the Alphas.

Out of the shadows, a silver shape burst out of the shadows and ran straight for the boat.