Hunting the Hounds (invitation only)
The Wolf stroked his pet's ears, muttering little nothings to the animal before rising to his full height and regarding the wolves in front of him. He was not as close to the other two as he was to the one he had petted, The Alpha, but The Alpha listened to him, and the others listened to the Alpha, and that was good enough for The Wolf's purposes.
He considered for a moment what he should do now, knowing that the Heir and his companion were following him. Lay a trap in the sewers? That would likely be effective, but he would have to make quick work of it lest he be walked in on, and The Wolf was not interesting in being quick. No, he thought; he would lead them to a place where he could take his time.
They should be honored, really; few were lucky enough to see The Wolf's lair.
Of course, they wouldn't live to tell about it.
With a single gesture, he began making his way through the tunnels of the sewer, heading homeward.
[Well if I knew that my fashion sense was such an effective weapon I'd have left all the rest of this.]
Nodding to the statement about the Wolf's whereabouts, Alfarinn walked back over to the sewer entrance. Opening it up, he called to Natt.
[You and your friends stay nearby please.]
Ravens and crows have ever been associated with battle in European mythology and while he wouldn't lay odds on one crow against a man in a fight, Natt wasn't alone. With a final check on the murder's location, he dropped down into the sewers and took a look around.
[I don't think a few extra accoutrements will hurt.]
Well, actually hurting was the general idea, but Thaddeus once again dismissed the odd manifestations of his mind and dropped down into the sewers after Alfarinn.
Looking around for a moment, he then looked down to watch as the green light moved across the screen, the map moving with it.
He nodded ahead of them, down the tunnel going north and a bit west, before starting in that direction. From a distance he could hear the pounding music of the club, though they were headed away from that particular building.
Thaddeus realized quite suddenly that they should have brought a map; the GPS could be a limited guide, but getting lost in the sewers was always a bad idea, especially in the industrial district. While there was nothing they could do about it now, Thaddeus imagined that it would be all too fitting to succeed in killing The Wolf only to be ambushed by the clanless or the Tacharans that lurked in this area.
At an intersection he stopped abruptly, his pets stopping with him, awaiting his orders. Gesturing down a dimly lit tunnel, he sent:
[Go back to the lair.]
The tunnel he had directed the wolves to eventually led to an open drainage outlet that canines could manage with ease. The Wolf could continue on the way to his home alone and meet his pets, who were already running at top speeds down the tunnel.
He continued on his way, taking his time now and wondering if his pathetic pursuers were still behind him. There were ways of checking, of course, but The Wolf was reluctant to use them just yet.
A rather large brown rat scuttling across his path distracted him from such musings, and without so much as breaking stride he snapped his wrist, releasing the claws in his glove, and gutted the rodent with one strike. It was an unnecessarily brutal thing to do, he knew.
Let them see what A Wolf does to those who stand in the way. Let the fear begin to build.
He noted the dead rat when they came to it, puncture wounds, no vampire lived very long and didn't know the sight of one, though this was made by something larger and evenly spaced. Alfarinn knelt beside it and took note of the number and the overall diameter of the weapon's entry.
[The width is too small to be anything like a trident or a pitch fork and that would have been noticed in the club. I am thinking he's wearing a set on claws..a la Freddy. ]
Alfarinn stood up and looked skyward in a gesture of disdain. Knowing his companion wasn't likely to know who Freddy was, he explained.
[He's a character from a horror movie who wore a glove with claws. Its a decent weapon and good in close quarters but it has a scare factor to it that the Wolf probably enjoys. I doubt these are blades attached to the fingers like the movie though, that's pretty impractical, likely they come over the top of the hand.]
Alfarinn gestured in illustration though he doubted it was necessary, his companion was probably able to come to the same conclusions. He did find that focusing his thoughts this way was helpful besides Thaddeus might have more observations to add.
[He could be carrying something like brass knuckles with claws attached but I'd say its something like one of those two.]
Nice of the Wolf to rid them of the rat and to let them know about at least one of the weapons he was carrying. If it was a glove then it would be harder to get away from him than most weapons. On the other hand, perhaps the fact that it wasn't so easily discarded had its uses.
Crouching down next to Alfarinn, he listened to his companion's analysis and subsequent explanation, keeping half an eye on the small screen to watch The Wolf's progress. Frowning, he stood and backtracked a bit, looking up and down the walls on both sides, up at the pipes, and seeing nothing unusual. He had a suspicion that there was an intent to the dead rat, that perhaps it was meant to be a distraction of some sort, but could see nothing of that theory in evidence.
[I wonder why he did that. So unnecessary.]
Realizing that it was just slightly ridiculous to be dwelling on aesthetics at the moment, he explained his thinking.
[I imagine you're right about the weapon. Why he would be wearing it now and why he would use it on a rat when it serves no purpose other than to be pretty damn revolting is what worries me.]
Well, to be fair the idea of said weapon being used in a similar manner on himself or Alfarinn was quite beyond worrisome, but such thoughts led nowhere helpful. Frowning in thought, he checked the device once more before looking around for any hint as to the Wolf's reasoning. The idea that The Wolf had -wanted- this mess to be seen was disturbing, but may or may not be accurate. He could have done it on a whim. He could just really dislike rats.
There was, Thaddeus supposed, only one way to find out. They were already being as cautious as they could be under the circumstances, and now had only to move forward.
Which, after a moment, was exactly what Thaddeus did.
[If he's toying with us he would have done better to keep the rat alive.]
He watched as long as he was able, keeping amusement at bay. It seemed the pair had found his little gift and were trying to decide what to make of it, but even after they moved on The Wolf continued to watch until the image completely faded.
He was not certain of what he had expected. Someone more like himself, perhaps. Apparently The Bitch's tastes had a wide range, though he could see why she liked this one. A small thing, easier to dominate, easier to control and to have power over. It made sense to The Wolf; he himself had been all too difficult to leash, and so The Bitch had moved on to this boy.
Now the tall one looked a bit more formidable, though he could see that one less clearly. Not a problem, of course, but still, a bit of caution would be wise.
And caution dictated that he needed to be moving more and stewing less. He cast out his thoughts in search of his pet, and, satisfied with his progress, began to climb the ladder.
[That's a damn good question. ]
He looked at Thaddeus and at the screen and then down at the rat.
[I can't imagine too many people who frequent the sewers to be upset by rats. The fact that you are here and you dislike them is a rarity and I doubt you'd be here if you didn't have to. That would lead me to believe he wasn't unnerved by the rat. He could just be a sick bastard which past evidence proves...or he could think he's being followed.]
Alfarinn was surprised to think he'd prefer the Wolf just being a sick bastard. Hopefully he'd be dead soon so it wouldn't matter but the idea of him knowing they were coming didn't make him very happy.
[If he did somehow know we were coming, perhaps he saw us in the club or some other way.] Alfarinn's mind wandered back to Ellis and he couldn't help but wonder if she somehow knew, would she have told the Wolf they were after him? [We have to consider that he could be leading us into a trap.]
He continued to move forward along with Thaddeus, there wasn't a whole lot else to be done until the Wolf stopped somewhere and then they could decide whether or not to confront him.
He frowned, though, as they continued to progress...and the green dot on the screen did not. In fact, it seemed The Wolf had not moved in a while, and finally Thaddeus stopped walking and held his hand out, watching the screen.
After a moment, though the mark indicating The Wolf remained relatively still, the numbers at the bottom indicating the z axis began to go up.
He bit his lip, hesitating for a moment, then continued.
[I don't want to risk losing him...but I think we should find another exit. We'll be vulnerable while we're coming up, and frankly I don't think either of us need to get into a debate over who is going to go up first. We can continue tracking The Wolf once safely above ground.]
He blended more fully now, reasoning that his general location could be discovered easily enough but not wanting his guests to know precisely where he was. He gave his instructions to his pet, which were simple enough.
[The tall one is yours, but not the throat. The little one is mine.]
[What on earth makes you think we would argue about such a thing?]
He was glad that at the moment he was ahead of Thaddeus so his companion couldn't see the grin on his face. It was exactly the kind of thing that would hold them up and quite frankly he couldn't see himself budging on the fact that he'd go first. Thaddeus could also be rather stubborn himself, a quality to be admired any other time than when he wasn't putting his life in danger.
[A good plan though.]
Climbing the ladder for this exit, he pushed aside the cover and poked his head out taking a quick look around before emerging the rest of the way. Keeping an eye on his surroundings, Alfarinn waited for Thaddeus to join him.
[So has he stopped or continued?]
He looked up and watched Alfarinn climb the ladder, finding himself quite unable to resist making a smart assed remark.
[On the other hand, there are eye pleasing advantages to going second.]
Practically on Alfarinn's heels, Thaddeus climbed the ladder and joined his companion on the surface, replacing the cover with one foot. He looked down at the GPS, then held it up for Alfarinn to see as well.
[It seems he has stopped.]
Taking in their surroundings, a residential area with several rows of townhomes, he shook his head.
[He can't have just...gone home.]
Well, that was probably an absurd thing to say; Thaddeus had supposed that such monsters as The Wolf would not do something so ordinary as sleep in a bed, live in a fairly normal if slightly run down brownstone, but that was hardly reasonable. Still, the thought seemed strange.
He wrapped one hand around the handle of Via Veritas and gave an upward pull.
[Let us see if we are expected.]
With that, he moved forward, an act of will more than anything as his legs suddenly felt quite heavy.
[Soon. A wolf will tell his pet when it is time.]
[Be careful checking out my ass, I don't want you to fall over. It is a weapon, after all.]
Smirking inwardly, he looked over at Thaddeus as he came to stand beside him. He really hoped their humor was more of a help than a hinderance but he felt that it was. Fighters and mercenaries had some of the driest sense of sarcasm you could imagine as he recalled, it was necessary in order to keep sane and calm while fighting. They would both likely be very focused when the time came for them to be, in fact he was rather wary now despite the quips.
Alfarinn looked at the device and frowned thoughtfully.
[Well that does suggest that we aren't as suspected as we thought.. but then again maybe we are.. Hell, it doesn't really change anything.]
He watched it for a bit longer.
[It hasn't moved. Have you been watching it the whole while? One would think he would wander about the house.. I don't know, change clothes, get a beer, sharpen a weapon, eat.. whatever it is that maniacal killers did in their off hours but he's not moving. So unless he's had time to get home, turn on the tv and sit down for some mindless entertainment.... he's waiting for us.]
So, it was a trap, at least to some extent. Likely the Wolf knew there was two of them, either by seeing them both at the night club or by being told that he was being followed, either way the man was confident that he could handle them both and that made him nervous. What else could he have there to make him that certain of taking two people down? Surely he would suspect that Thaddeus's companion was a vampire, Anantya rarely dealt with humans and certainly wouldn't take them into a fight.
[Do we know anything else about him that might suggest why he's so confident? He's alone as far as we know. He doesn't seem the type to call for backup.]
Alfarinn wondered just why he was leaving all this up to chance.
[Natt, fly nearby, land on one of the roof tops and tell me what you see. Bring a friend or two... don't look too interested.]
Crows were hardly an odd sight on a roof top so he hoped there would be nothing amiss about seeing one. He could also hope the Wolf did not have any inclination to kill birds as well as rats or at least didn't have a ranged weapon available.
He put a hand on Thaddeus's shoulder to stop him from going further forward.
[I'm sending Natt to take a look first.]
Thaddeus stopped walking at the hand on his shoulder, realizing that he was, perhaps, getting a bit ahead of himself and needed to keep himself together. The tension of waiting, that sense of dread combined with the adrenaline pounding through his veins, was nearly palatable, but it would all be such a terrible waste if they rushed and made a mistake at the last minute.
He considered Alfarinn's question while they waited, going through what they knew about The Wolf and trying to come up with a tangible reason other than 'he's psychotic' to explain the killer's behavior.
[Perhaps there is something about the place he is leading us to that he believes will give him an advantage? Assuming one of these houses belongs to him, he could have just about anything inside.]
Musing for a moment, he continued.
[I'm wondering if there is a way to lure him to us rather than the other way around, but somehow I doubt he would be particularly cooperative with such an effort. I suppose the only thing to do is proceed with caution and avoid getting drawn in too deep.]
He kept the thought that it was, perhaps, a little late for that statement to himself. They were already in this about as deep as they could be and had passed the point of no return some time ago, but harping on that was hardly productive.
His pursuers, he felt, would likely be able to find him; he had not been so excessively careful in the sewers as to avoid discovery, after all, and while he was currently fully blended, if they had any sort of skill at all they would know approximately where he was. He wondered with a sense of disdainful amusement if The Heir was plotting against him now. The thought caused him no undue anxiety; it was the idea that The Heir was not, in fact, pursuing him at all, that he had been deeply wrong, that was currently gnawing at his brain.
And still, they did not come.
He cast his eyes about, looking for any sign of movement, and came to rest on two crows sitting on the rooftop across the street. Looking down at his wolf, he considered asking him to frighten the two birds away for no other reason than because they irrationally annoyed him, sitting up there and staring with beady judgmental eyes, but in the end decided to let them be. Perhaps they were a good omen of sorts, or they could simply sense that there would be something to scavenge soon enough.
Not that there would be anything left of the two vampires. Not even for the crows.
[Then we are thinking the same thing and that thing is rather unsettling. ]
Normally, he'd find comfort and some amusement in their similar conclusions but he was rather hoping his companion would find some logical explanation for the Wolf's behavior that he had not come up with, something that would give them reason to still hope the man might be unaware of their presence and therefore -not- laying in wait for them.
Alfarinn kept his hand on Thaddeus's shoulder as he looked through the eyes of Natt down at the scene below. The crow's vision gave him disturbing information and his grip tightened protectively before he came back to his own senses.
[He has companions. I suppose that is why he is so confident. Wolves, Natt could only see three of them. Hopefully there are no more in hiding.]
He personally thought three was a gracious plenty and about three more than he would have liked to have around.
[I suppose there was more than one reason for his name, hmm?]
There were ways of dealing with wolves and they were numerous in the lower regions of his homeland at one time. They were beautiful animals, it was going to be a shame to kill them.
Alfarinn carefully set down the spear and then pulled off the zweihander. Pulling off his shirt, he looked along the street for an older model car not likely to have a built in alarm. Finding one that suited his purposes, Alfarinn opened the gas cap and pushed the length of shirt down inside. Once the shirt was soaked, he brought it back out, closed the gas tank and then wrapped the fabric around the spiked mace.
[Natt and I will take care of the wolves as quickly as possible if you can distract the Wolf from us.]
He didn't really like that plan but the Wolf was likely to focus on Thaddeus anyway, he was the prey after all, besides he wasn't sure how much experience Thaddeus had dealing with large predatory animals that hunted together in packs. Thaddeus was as sharp as his blade though and Alfarinn was certain that he could deal with the workings of a man's behavior, even one as demented as this one. It was still tempting to tell his lover to be careful but he dismissed the thought as unhelpful, they would both be as careful as they could be concidering the circumstances.
[We could hope the Wolf might become impatient and come looking for us but he's a practiced killer so he's likely plenty patient though I do wonder how often the hunter has been hunted. It might make him more edgy than normal. It is one thing to wait all night for your quarry but another thing entirely to wait all night to be attacked.]
He held out the makeshift torch. Their kind wasn't fond of fire any more than animals but at least they could reason past that fear.
[Got a light?]
Raising one eyebrow at the removal of Alfarinn's shirt, he watched in contemplation as his companion doused the garment in gasoline and proceeded to make what was clearly intended to be a torch.
[So much for that shirt. Though once again, I do believe I like it better off.]
He nodded in agreement at Alfarinn's plan, little as he liked the idea of Alfarinn handling three likely savage animals on his own. He imagined he could distract The Wolf well enough and was forced to admit the strategy made sense, but he wasn't quite good enough at lying to convince himself that he was able to completely set personal feelings aside.
[Very well. And I suppose it behooves us to take whatever time we need; at best The Wolf will come looking for us, and at worst we will have lost nothing and possibly unnerved our opponent.]
Wondering for a moment at a world where a psychotic killer coming after you could be considered a best case scenario, he shook the thought away and gave Alfarinn an incredulous stare at his request.
[It is entirely possible that we have both lost our minds.]
That said, he pulled out the book of matches he had retrieved from the coffee shop. It was meant as a memento, a reflection of his sentimental nature and a reminder of a pleasant moment.
[I imagine we would both prefer if I -didn't- set you on fire. Do you want my gloves?]
Alfarinn smirked at his companion's other remark and replied.
[Well, I can hardly hope my attire will effect the wolves in the same manner as we discussed earlier.]
He just hoped they weren't going to be appreciative of his taking off the stringy fiber wrapper by getting a chance to gnaw on him. He was not so foolish as to think he was coming out of this unscathed and chalked up being bitten and clawed minor issues when faced with Thaddeus's continued existence.
Alfarinn did have to smile at his lover's souveiner of a pleasant moment in the midst of all that was going on this evening. He hadn't even noticed Thaddeus pick them up but now he was quite glad that he had. It was something he was likely to do himself and he wondered if it was something similar in their personalities or if many psychometrists collected momentos that would bring them in touch with a pleasant moment in the past. It was something he would love to one day discuss at leisure with his companion when they had all the time in the world for such things.
Pondering the gloves and then Thaddeus, he wondered briefly who would need them more. His eyes came to rest on the hilt of the sword over his lover's shoulder and he smiled, reaching out a hand.
[Please, that would be helpful.]
The thoughts of their mutual ability still recent in his mind, Alfarinn thought that the strength of the sensations from Thaddeus's prior practices; the moves flawlessly executed and the confidence and focus that were likely to reside in his blade might be one more edge for his companion. His own psychometry would need to be dealt with before they were in immediate danger, images of Thaddeus were pleasing but they would be distracting in this case, once the gloves were on though the images would fade into the back of his mind after playing themselves through leaving him with a vague sense of his companion, something that would be a comfort to him as well.
And on top of all that... they were practical when dealing with a blazing mace.
((OOC: Not to be confused with Amazing Grace..though I did write a parody once called "A Grazing Mace" Sick, I know. ))
He pulled off the gloves with practiced ease and placed them in Alfarinn's outstretched hand, hoping they would fit reasonably well considering they were not as broken in as they could be. Though Alfarinn was likely a good deal stronger than him with psychometry, he doubted his companion would sense much of significance from the new gloves, but he wondered if being cut off from the sense of his weapons would prove bothersome. Even so, Thaddeus was glad Alfarinn had accepted the offer
With that, he turned to keep an eye on the street while allowing Alfarinn to focus on getting ready. In some way he felt it oddly fitting that he go into this with his hands bare, and not merely because his abilities kept him more in tune with the things he touched. If he was going to kill his brother, he felt there was some justice in doing so with hands uncovered, though in the back of his mind he wondered if this was merely a twisted self-flagellation. He supposed it made little difference in the scheme of things in any case.
[So do we wait longer and see if he comes to us or bring the fight to him?]
Natt showed him that the Wolves had not moved but who knew what internal dialogue was going on in the Wolf's head. Alfarinn wondered with a sense of amusement if the man thought the had gotten lost. He had the brief image of the Wolf coming to get them, "Excuse me, but I've laid a trap for you this way, please be so kind as to take the clues I've left next time and try not to keep me waiting." Finding it best not to share that flippant moment of dark humor, He looked down to make sure the taser was still in place and that everything else looked ready.
[I think we are as prepared as we are going to get.]
Alfarinn called to the other crows in Natt's family to make sure they were nearby, there were nine birds in all at this time, smaller than many murders and it was nothing quite like the black sky of a full roost of crows but he couldn't even began to keep up with such large numbers. Natt's family joined a large roost only at night during the cold seasons... that is when they weren't helping Alfarinn.