Fishing For Fun and Profit (attn: Ambrose)
Ran had scouted around the back alleys of the industrial district the previous night. He wished he could say he'd never been here but he recalled doing exactly this not too long ago, working with Hana. He despised this area just as much now as he had then, but he had to admit this area of Nachton was pretty much ideal for getting away with literal murder.
The evening shift had long since ended; those who worked in the factories and warehouses here during the daytime hours had already gone home. The people on the streets here now were a motley mix. Some were the unlucky night crew of said businesses, but not as numerous as during the day. Some were junkies or alcoholics, here to frequent the liquor stores and smoke shops. In the shadows between buildings Ran's sharp eyes had already caught numerous drug deals and more than a handful of quick and dirty fucks against a wall, wads of bills hastily exchanged and condoms or even needles discarded in the dirt.
Fuck, he hated this area. He stayed where he was, slumped against a brick wall, blended enough so that no one took notice of him, waiting for Ambrose. On this occasion Ran dressed mostly to blend in. He wore a pair of dirty grey joggers, black trainers, and a black sweatshirt with the hood pulled up. He had his hands tucked into his pockets. His blue hair peeked out of the front of the hoodie, and he wore neon green glowing contacts with a cat's eye pupil. No one would notice him until he wanted them too. Soon enough Ambrose would get here and Ran could hook up with him and tail him while he hunted.
They would either catch someone, or they wouldn't.
He did his best to ignore the hairs on the back of his neck that wouldn't lay down and the prickel between his shoulders that insisted he was being followed. He just waited quietly and alertly for Ran to relay his position.
"On the way."
Ambrose muttered softly before punching the address into his phone's GPS. Sure he had half an idea where to go but now was not the time to fuck up. He double checked the map and directions carefully committing them to memory while rubbing the back of his neck and absently trying to decide what the hell was making his instincts go weird. He hadn't felt like this since... damned... since the last time some punk called him out.
He started the car and headed to the address Ran had given him. He didn't say anything else though, there was always the chance, however remote, someone might overhear him and it was better to be safe than sorry.
"Well. What do we have here?" The voice was soft, threatening, and in his ear. He wasn't born yesterday; the only thing that could catch him while blended was a vampire somewhere around his age or older, with perception.
They'd been waiting for something like this to happen.
He made sure his ear piece was active, and dropped his blending. "Oh, hi."
He tried to turn to see who was behind him, but the cold and apparently sharp thing bit into his neck, drawing blood. The woman bent closer; he could feel her breath on his neck. Something warm and wet pressed against his skin. She lapped up a drop of blood.
"Oh hell no," Ran said. In a flash, he turned and slapped her hand away, dropping into a defensive crouch. She glared at him, standing just one step up, a dark-skinned woman who looked about his age. Looks were deceiving for their kind.
Everyone in the basement was quiet. Then, the human Ran had followed blurted out, "This isn't the one I attacked! This is a different one entirely."
The dark-skinned woman smiled. "I know this one," she said. "You've done well, pet. Subira is going to be very happy with him."
Ran felt a slight chill at the mention of the name. He hated Amir's Creator with a passion. Even more, since learning what she'd done to Amir and what her probably end game was. If these vampires were organizing because of Subira, there was nothing amateur about it - and he was in trouble.
"That's funny, we haven't been introduced. Who the fuck are you?" Ran watched closely for any sign of wavering attention; he needed to get out of here, which meant getting past this vampire and back up the stairs.
"Of course we've never met," the vampire said. "I know who you are though. Subira and I have been friends for a long time."
"That's great, gotta go," Ran interrupted, hoping to catch he by surprise. He lashed out with his hand, and when she ducked he lunged over her, shifting forms.
He wasn't expecting her to be prepared for that though. Quick as only one of their kind could be, she snatched his tiny foot and yanked down. His leg wrenched, and to avoid having it broken, Ran instantly shifted back. His full weight dropped on her and they tumbled down the stairs, Ran landing on his back and pounding his head on the concrete floor.
He shoved the vampire off of him and swung to his feet, overcompensating and stumbling toward the stairs again, catching himself on his hands. He vaulted up, shifted forms, and burst into flight, only to have something metal slam over him, trapping him. A garbage can or something.
There were shouts and general commotion as he shifted again, his head stuck inside the garbage can. He flailed for a second; something wrapped around his legs. Ran shifted once more, scooted out of their grasp, and fluttered out from under the garbage can before it hit the ground, but there were seven people after him now, and one small bird in what was basically a mosh pit didn't have much chance.
Something hit Ran's head again, and he was lucky his brain didn't go flying all over the place. He crashed into the stairs face first, in human form, and before he could right himself again, yet another hit to the back of the head made sure it was sleepy-time for the moment. He saw nothing but black, and had the vague fleeting hope that Ambrose wouldn't take too long.
But as he didn't have anything currently on, Reginald always seemed to find ways to keep himself busy. The first was some casual digging in to the lovely woman Hoang had met at the Arch and the other was a little reconocance on Ambrose. It rankled him slightly how well the cowboy seemed to be doing, although most of it also seemed to be due to the lovely young woman on the Friesian. That was extremely upsetting to Reginald. There was no way, at least to his mind, that such a beautiful genteel and obviously upper class if not nobel woman would allow herself to be involved with the former gunslinger and outlaw.
And so he'd taken to watching Ambrose. These recent excursions to the industrial area to hunt seemed just the ticket. Gambling this was his regular habit, feeding from the dregs, Reginald had quickly pulled a few strings and enlisted a few "volunteers" and managed to get some detours in place in the guise of road work. If Ambrose went anywhere but directly back to the manor he'd be neatly herded into a deadend and fairly well trapped.
He waited patiently on a neat by rooftop and was quite gratified to see his trap sprung. The only question would be how Ambrose would react and if he was prepared enough.
"I'll fucking recalculate you."
He finally growled back at the damned thing. He might have been slightly more mellow about the situation but he'd been listening to Ran. What was clearly one side of a conversation neither he nor his partner had planned on and it was sounding less than ideal.
The hair on the back of his neck was on end again. He was screwed he could feel it. Ambrose was becoming more and more convinced this was a set up. He would have turned around but there was a big hulking SUV behind him and no good way around. Were those damned little specks this well organized? Had they been too transparent?
And.... Dead end. Some days Ambrose hated being right. He made sure Ran could hear him,
"Shit. .... ... Don't die. I've got traffic problems."
If by traffic problems one meant not being able to turn his borrowed car around in a narrow alley, an SUV that could double as a tank behind him and three hulking goons getting out of it, yeah he has traffic problems.
It was probably a bad idea but Ambrose got out of the car doing his best to look cheerful and laid back.
"Hey fellas. Looks like we've got a bit of a mess here. Can't trust the beaucrates running us into a dead end can ya. Think you can back up far enough for us both to turn around."
He knew what the answer was going to be but thought it was worth at least trying to talk this out if they could do it -fast-. Failing this he knew exactly where one of his guns was and how fast he could get to it. Two he could take out before they could get to him the third might be a trick but he'd probably be able to make it.
The first thing he discovered as he opened his eyes was that he was in a darkened room. Pitch black, in fact. He lifted his hand and hit something solid; metal or plastic. Shifting, his heart began to pound as he realized he'd been locked in a box of some sort. It was unpleasant. He didn't do small spaces.
"Ambrose?" he tried to mutter into the earpiece he wore, but his second realization came then. His earpiece had been removed, along with every weapon he'd had on his body. Being Amir's child, that was a substantial number.
He reached up and pounded on the top of the box, shouting.
"Hey! What the fuck!"
He hadn't expected an answer, but sure enough there was a noise outside and the top of the box swung open. Ran squinted into the sudden light, and came to realization number three. He was in a freezer. It wasn't plugged in, obviously, but sure enough it was an open-top chest freezer. He peered up at the person above him, the vampire who had discovered him.
"Welcome back, little bird. It's so nice to see you. Maybe you could make this whole process easy for me."
"It's not likely," Ran said bluntly, and was rewarded as the vampire reached behind her, whipped her hand back around, and stuck her arm in the freezer.
There was a rapid tapping noise and Ran jolted against the freezer wall as 50,000 volts coursed through him. Everything froze; the room whited out for a moment. His muscles locked, his jaw clenched, and it felt like an eternity before he could even blink again.
"Now," said a voice above him, "are we feeling more cooperative?"
Ran gritted his teeth. "About what? What the fuck do you even want?"
"Manners." Another jolt.
"Are you fucking kidding me," Ran said when he could talk again.
The vampire smiled kindly. "I assure you, I am not."
She had an accent he'd heard before; between it and her dark skin tone he placed her from somewhere in Africa. That in and of itself was a concern.
"What do you want?"
She smiled and tilted her head. "See, that was much better. Now tell me where Amir is."
Even if Ran hadn't practiced for a scenario like this, he'd have answered the same way. He frowned. "My Creator is dead."
Well, repeated electric shocks probably wouldn't do much lasting damage - right?
Not wanting Ambrose to get any ideas and hopefully keep him feeling trapped and helpless Reginald squeezed off a warning shot hitting the wall within arm's reach of the cowboy. He chuckled quietly to himself as he heard Ambrose say,
"Yeah somehow I thought you'd say something like that."
No one ever said uneducated meant stupid. Ambrose had good instincts and was quick on the uptake. Reginald wondered how long he could hold the other man at bay with the threat of the unknown before Ambrose did something rash, based on previous experience his guess was not long.
"Yeah somehow I thought you'd say something like that."
Momentary freak out (and he would deny having a freak out) over Ambrose took stock. There were at least four of them, three where he could see them and one with the high ground and who could probably keep him pinned down damned well. He could still risk a more direct assault but he didn't know if he had humans, vampires or a mix. Although, this seemed damned well organized for a group of "vampire hunters" that sent some idiot kid after him with a half assed stake. Sure it could be them but that didn't feel right to him.
He wasn't a tempting enough target for some random punks or even a gang to put this kind of effort in. That traffic detour... that smelled vampire to him there was just something about it that gave that feel probably not clanless either. As no clan had a reason to pick a fight with him it was personal. Only one vampire he had this big a grudge with too...
Ambrose ground his teeth. He didn't have time for this shit. He tried command, first addressing who he took to be in charge with as much power as he had.
"Take your pals and get your vehicle out of my way -now-."
"He said not to do anything you told us."
Fuck. Had to be him then, well better than average odds any way, Reggie had command too and it was probably the only way he'd trust this lot or get them tondo what he wanted.
"God damnit Reg I do -not- have time for this! Move your goon squad!"
He bellowed certain his cousin would be in ear shot, if not able to watch, the trap he'd lay unfold. There was another shot, this one closer, Ambrose felt some bits off the wall shatter off and hit him.
"If not now when?" Came the laughing reply.
"Tomorrow, next Tuesday, a year from tonight I don't give a shit but I've got one of your order I'm looking after and you're screwing him."
Ambrose growled in a low menacing voice. He really didn't enjoy being on this side of ... whatever it was they had... but he'd ordinarily play it a whole lot cooler. Not knowing what was going on with Ran was making him more direct than he usually was with Reginald.
"So let me get this straight," Ran said for the fortieth time or so, "you're here from Africa because Subira has some weird idea that my Creator is alive and well and what, plotting revenge against her for thousands of years of fucking with his mind?"
He shook his head, or as much as he could, the way his muscles were seizing. "Never happen. Really hard to do when you're a pile of ashes. Mara kept them, by the way. They're in an urn in her room at the Manor. You should totally check that out."
The resulting shock was worth it. Ran grunted when he tasted blood after this one. He wasn't really concerned though. As far as he knew, they couldn't kill him with shocks. It would be really nice if Ambrose would fucking show up, though.
The woman pulled the taser away hissed at him again. "You're going to talk. I know he's alive. And you're going to be a fun little message to send back to him by tomorrow night."
She slammed the freezer top shut again and Ran fought against the instinct to pound against it. If they knew the tightness and darkness of the freezer were far worse for him than any sort of electric shock, they'd use that. That was the last thing he wanted or needed. he had to maintain a cool head, and being locked in the freezer was the thing making it worse.
Ambrose would get here, like the cavalry he was, and together they would be able to work their way out of this.
Ambrose's next statement made him laugh and Reginald made no effort to conceal his amusement at the outrageous lie.
"Oh come now Ambrose we both know since the day Damaris got her fangs in you you've been afraid to serve the clan and now you expect me to believe you're a what? A guard dog?"
Damaris and Margaret talked and he was a nosey sort and had learned all about Damaris intending Ambrose join The Hunt and the fact that Ambrose had been balking for over a hundred years.
It did cross his mind to wonder if Damaris was in town, she'd caused him trouble before bailing Ambrose out of trouble. Just further proof Ambrose was a mistake, Margaret had never had to babysit him to such an extreme.
Reginald took aim and let loose another shot, it struck satisfyingly close to the other vampire's feet. You did have to give Ambrose some credit, no matter how grudging, most people, human or vampire, would have flinched; not Ambrose. The cowboy stood his ground and Reginald would swear Ambrose was using each shot to narrow down his location.
"Don't worry, I've made arrangements for you. The utility closet over there is unlocked. You're welcome to cower there until someone comes looking for you."
Assuming someone did. Perhaps the lady he'd been with in the park. It might be interesting to see if any feelings she may have for him would survive this game.
No matter how fair a jibe that was, it pissed him off. In all the years they'd fucked with each other Ambrose had -never- made a claim like that. He'd have thought it would have carried some weight with Reginald. The bastard was pretty contentious when it came to a job.
The second shot had been enough for Ambrose to know where to look for Reginald. He took a risk and employed some perception and found the bastard. A quick look at the clock in the car's dash confirmed this wasn't the time or place for negotiations. Fuck, if you wanted to make an omelette...
He might have only one leg but he was still a vampire. Ambrose quickly grabbed his old reliable Peacemaker out of the car and without a second thought shot the thug closest to him square in the chest before any of the men could react. The human crumpled to the ground and Ambrose knew good and well the man was dead. He must have surprised Reg too because even though his cousin took a shot it only caught him in the shoulder. It had been a while since Ambrose had been shot and damned it still hurt like a son of a bitch but it didn't stop him or even slow him down much.
He grabbed the next nearest pulled the man in front of him like a shield while wrapping an arm around his throat and firing once at Reggie. It would have been a hit too but his asshole Limy cousin did know how to use cover and was pretty quick.
"Unless you want a few more bodies to cover up I'm leaving. You've wasted enough of his time."
Yeah it wasn't subtle, yeah someone was going to have to cover this up and yeah the ballistics from his Peacemaker would be odd and God help them all if it was one of the three silver bullets he carried. But he wasn't fucking around.
"They move -now-."
Ambrose growled with such intensity he could tell the remaining two humans were rattled. If Reggie didn't cooperate they were taking the SUV.
He shifted to bird form and settled into a corner when he was alone, hoping Ambrose didn't take too much longer to get there. Why it was taking him any length of time at all, Ran didn't know. Ambrose had been right behind him. Still, knowing that these humans were working with Subira and her kin, Ran knew they were more organized than the average thug.
Since he hadn't wavered from his initial position on the whole Creator thing, they'd eased up for a few minutes. He took the time to take stock; he was fine, although he was feeling some of what he suspected were effects from the repeated voltage. His muscles were jumpy, and the burns around his piercings a little sluggish to heal the last round or two. So he wasn't in top form, but he also wasn't doing too badly - if he could just get the fuck out of this freezer.
The top opened once more and he flew as far up as he could to get a look out into the basement. He appeared to be in the corner under the window. The window was cracked open a bit; if he could overpower them and break through the grate he'd be home free.
Intending to give it a shot, he attempted to shift quickly back and press the grate up in one smooth motion, but his muscles didn't want to obey. His shift was slower than he'd anticipated and by the time he raised his human hands up again, the woman was back. He'd heard them call her Anika or something.
She smiled down at him. Quick as a snake, she reached down and grabbed his hand, trapping his fingers against the grate. Then with a sadistic smile, she squeezed. And squeezed.
Ran didn't give her the satisfaction of a noise as she broke his fingers, but he couldn't stifle a grunt as she released him and then lifted the grate to shock him once again.
His eyes rolled back in his head; he was pretty sure it was involuntary that time, but he couldn't be entirely sure.
As he quickly dropped to the ground, just barely avoiding a particularly good shot (one he didn't think Ambrose was capable of) Reginald was forced to reconsider. As absurd as it seemed Ambrose might actually be telling the truth.
He said simply before lithely hopping over the edge of the roof and sliding down the fire escape like a firefighter with his rifle slung over his shoulder. He moved as quickly as possible fully aware that Ambrose could very probably put at least one bullet through any part of him while he was so exposed. The thought made him shudder slightly, even the oldest vampire could be more than slightly slowed down by a shot to the head.
Once on the ground, hands clearly visible, Reginald approached Ambrose and the men he'd commanded. Without further prompting or discussion he altered the commands. He directed the two men to drive to a specific address and not leave it until he said otherwise. He then tossed the body in the back of the SUV and told them to leave. Ambrose didn't try and stop him and willing released the chokehold he'd had on the one.
"It is a warehouse I own. No one will notice or question them."
Reginald explained briefly and then simple seated himself in the sedan Ambrose had been driving, the rifle neatly stowed where he could simply grab it.
It was as simple as that. If he had picked a bad time to fuck with Ambrose, if he had put another Anantya at risk he was going to go with Ambrose and try and correct his poor timing. He simply didn't comment about the sudden turn of events or the blood rather freely flowing from Ambrose's shoulder and staining the white dress shirt.
"Mind if you're trying to pull one over on me.."
He simply got in the car flipped it around and drove, definitely too fast but not so absurdly fast as to bring ninty seven highway patrol officers down on them. He'd fucked up enough killing that thug. At least Reggie had his head on straight and had grabbed the body. It wouldn't explain the blood but it was better than nothing. He was going to have to think more like a vampire and less like a gun slinger, he couldn't leave a trail of bodies.
They got to the address with very little conversation or delay and Ambrose had the good sense not to come to a screeching hault or even stop right in front of the house. He did, however, study the house enough to see it had a basement and he'd put good money on them having Ran in the basement.
"You're going in the front and you're staying upstairs. And none of your subtle sneaky Night bullshit, you're a decoy. I want as few people down stairs as possible. If you're in over your head shout, I'm not leaving you high and dry. But once you have their attention I'm going down stairs to find out what's what."
Ambrose didn't leave room for argument or discussion. This was his show and he was running it. Surprisingly Reginald didn't argue. Hell he even left his gun, Ambrose wouldn't do that but he understood why Reggie had.
When he left the car Reg simply and boldly walked up to the front door. He apparently tried it and found it locked and since he was trying to attract attention just kicked it down.
"Huh. Didn't think he had it in him."
Ambrose muttered to himself before exiting the borrowed sedan and heading to the now open door. He gave Reg a few minutes to get all eyes on him and then just walked in, trying not to attract any more attention. Luck was with him as he saw a kid come up from downstairs and go looking for Reginald. Somehow the kid didn't notice him and Ambrose went down stairs.
He went slowly employing perception as he went, listening hard for heart beats. Four, three human one and one either a really chill human or vampire. Great. Reminding himself now was not the time to just drop people and leave the bodies he barged in going for a surprise factor.
It sort of worked. The first person he went after must have been human as a good solid punch to the gut seemed to knock the wind out of him and he sagged to the floor gasping for breath. That wouldn't last but he'd take what he could get as the next thing Ambrose knew he was being jumped by two others and was doing his best to throw them off him, into walls, get a punch in whatever worked.
Ambrose was not a terribly disciplined fighter, he was primarily a brawler. Granted he'd spent some time training with Damaris and a few others senior members of The Hunt and he'd gotten better and learned how to compensate for his leg more but it was fast and furious down and dirty as he did his best to disable not kill.
The taser ceased suddenly and he slumped back in the freezer, temporarily unable to move while his chest heaved and his heart pounded at a rate he surely hadn't experienced since he'd been alive. He waited for the sparks to clear from his eyes and after a few seconds they did. It was then that he realized he was alone... and the freezer top was open.
He scrambled to right himself, the ringing in his ears quickly fading, being replaced with a commotion from out in the living room of the basement. As he threw himself out of the freezer he landed in an uncoordinated heap on the floor, laughing with relief. From the sounds of things, Ambrose had finally arrived.
Ran rolled to the balls of his feet, wobbled, and realized the taser had had another unexpected side effect...
He felt amazing.
His pounding heart was delivering blood to his body at a rate faster than he was used to, and it was exhilarating. His muscles still didn't want to work properly and his head was pounding in time with his raging heartbeat, but it didn't matter. He exploded wildly out of his temporary prison, bursting into the larger area of the living room and grabbing the first person he saw, flinging them aside to reveal Ambrose.
"About time!â€ He grinned at his partner, ignoring his bloodied face and half mended fingers.
The scene around them was an all out fracas. Ran was delighted by it. He kept his eyes on the two vampires in the room, one of whom was engaging Ambrose. The second was caught behind one of her own human pals but she was already coming toward him.
Ran didn't miss the sound of the basement door opening. Another person came carefully done the stairs, someone Ran didn't know. Narrowing his eyes, with a little push, he sent the man's foot skittering out from under him, then swept the second one out as well.
He was frankly thrilled to see Ran join the fray. Less because he was desperate for back up and more because it meant Ran hadn't been offed while Reg had been fucking with him. Granted his partner wasn't looking his best he was looking kind of wobbly and the blood behind the contacts was a concern but if was moving and mouthing off it probably wasn't fatal. And thank God for that, he didn't care to deliver bad news to Rashid.
Managing to slam one of his opponents into a wall hard enough to dent the sheet rock, and thus deciding this one was a vampire, he couldn't help but grin back shaking his head a little ruefully.
"Sorry about that. I was unavoidably detained. I'll explain later. Glad you're still kicking."
About then there was a crash that he hadn't caused. A quick look around and he found Reggie in a heap at the bottom of the stairs. Ambrose couldn't help but laugh even as he decked another kid. Given the way the boy's arm fell he'd managed to either dislocate the shoulder or break the arm. Hey he wasn't killing people, no one said kids gloves.
"Easy there," He said remembering Ran's hand jive demonstration and jumping to a conclusion, "Slick is on our side."
There really was too much going on and too many people to keep track of to have much of a conversation. That didn't bother him, hell Ambrose was having fun now that he knew Ran was alive, but he did need some information.
"What the hell did we stumbled on?"
Also known as who did he hit next. Well at least Reggie was back on his feet and hitting back and better yet not gunning for Ran.
He kept an eye on Anika, but the other vampire was between him and her and he was a little wary of shifting right now, with so many flailing bodies in this space, given how well that had gone for him before. He shot a look at Ambrose when he mentioned being detained. "Traffic was bad, huh?"
Ambrose also informed him that the vampire on the stairs was one of theirs, momentarily giving him pause when he did a double take and took a huge shot to the jaw from the second, yet-to-be-named vampire. Ran decided to call him Bob.
"What the fuck did you do, summon him with a grimoire or something?" Ran didn't know there were any other Anantya around here tonight.
Then, from the corner of his eye he saw Anika withdraw. She shouted in Lango to Bob, "Kill them if you need to. Meet me later at the hideout."
"Shit," Ran said. "She's gonna run. Set phasers to kill, Ambrose, they're doing the same. I've got to go get this bitch. I'll also explain later."
Anika had run toward the small window which was propped open above the freezer they'd stored him in; he groaned as she smoothly shifted into a bird about the same size as him and headed out. He gritted his teeth, forced his shift to happen quickly, and shot out the window after her.
Fortunately, he had the presence of mind to immediately veer to the right as he exited to house. She was disgustingly fast, diving the short distance to where he'd almost emerged, her small, curved talons biting into gravel as she rose again and uttered an angry screech.
She appeared to be a small hunting bird, like a shikra - a small goshawk native to Africa. Given that she'd spoken Lango, which was native to Uganda, the shakri made sense. Random trivia floated through Ran's bird brain as he executed his own roll and gained altitude. She rose with him, catching up, and the two of them shrieked at each other, reaching out with claws and buffeting each other with their wings. She only had a couple centimeters on him, but she was built to hunt and kill small mammals - and birds.
Back down being a relative term. He had not expected to be jerked down them by his ankle and certainly did not appreciate the fall. It did cross his mind for a split second to hope it hadn't damaged the suit he had on and he did notice one of his cufflinks had somehow popped off. Antique too. He would have complained but, as he swiftly and gracefully regained his feet, he got his first look at the man Ambrose was talking to and decided a lost cufflink was a sacrifice he'd make.
Given Ambrose's discussion with the blue haired... gentleman... the cowboy had been telling the truth. Shocking. Not that Ambrose would be telling the truth but that he would have actually joined The Hunt. He was less impressed with the cowboy's fighting style but at least it was effective, more or less any way.
When one of their apparent targets and their blue haired clanmate both altered form and disappeared out the window he scowled.
"Damned shape shifters."
He'd had some challenging run-ins with those who could take on an alternate form. Yet he still didn't envy the gift.
"Go, follow them I'll finish this up."
Reginald didn't think they necessarily needed to kill those in the house and if they did it could happen just as well after all the information was gathered. What he did know was that Ambrose was the better and faster shot. If any one was going to hit a target small enough to get out those windows it would be Ambrose.
He didn't even hesitate when Reg told him to go. Ambrose barrled up the stairs without thinking about it, the first time such an occurrence had happened since he was mortal, and charged out the door.
Damned those were small targets. Still between perception and more than a lifetime of shooting Ambrose was certain he could at least wing the other vamp.
"Fly boy! Get me a shot!"
He was already tracking the two birds and getting used to the speed. Shit, even he was going to have to work on this one and he damned well didn't want to hit Ran especially as Ran had already been through a fair bit tonight.
At the top of their arc, Ran shifted and lashed out with his hand, grabbing Anika. He tried to squeeze and break her neck, but she also shifted, breaking his hold instead. The pair fell, both shifting back as they did, claws inter locked, wings extended, beaks stabbing at each other. Anika tie away from Ran and attempted to flee, but he surged forward and dug his claws into her back. She shifted and shook him off, then shifted again and gained altitude. He couldn't do it quite as far as she could, falling behind as they rose.
Their battle continued over the rooftops, never getting too far away. Whenever Anika tried to flee Ran would desperately pull her back. They shifted wildly; in mid air, in mid plummet; they were hard to follow.
Anika had the advantage of being well rested though, and if not having been repeatedly subjected to high voltage. Even though Ran hadn't sustained any life threatening injuries, he found his energy flagging. Apparently his rush off energy had a finite duration.
Still, he did his best to get Ambrose a clear shot. It didn't matter if the bullet hit them both but Ran would definitely prefer to stay out of its way if he could.
Shit. He hadn't been ready for the shift to human and then back. Ambrose -really- hoped Ran didn't expect to be caught before he hit the ground. Once they were birds again he drew and kept his weapon trained on the hawk. If he concentrated his perception with everything he had he could keep on her, mostly. They shifted back and forth again and again and Ambrose started to get a feel for it. Not that there was rhyme or reason to it, sometimes it was a couple of seconds of human bodies plummeting to earth, sometimes more sometimes less. The constant was they went back to being birds. Fine he'd shoot the birds then. The harder shot but they obviously both wanted to stay in the air and they were spending more time as birds than humans. If he fired -just- after they shifted back to their alternate forms he'd have the best chance.
Finally realizing he had as clean a shot as he was ever going to he fired four times in extremely quick succession. Each shot moving just a little further along the trajectory the vampire birds had been taking. There was one last shot in the peacemaker, he'd save that. He wasn't sure why though, bullets were extremely rarely lethal to a vampire. He did, however, have a backup, something more modern and with a larger clip if need. Honestly even if he hit her square in the chest (he hadn't even attempted to shoot a bird in the head) they might only drop her out of the sky. She could still be an issue. Reggie had better get his ass back up here fast if that was the case.