From the Story Arc: Hunting High And Low

Previous Story in the Arc: Lovers Meetings by Victoria Victrix (Thursday, January 22, 2009)

Next Story in the Arc: Lone Wolf by Victoria Victrix (Thursday, January 22, 2009)

(posted Thursday, January 22, 2009)

“Be ready for a hot door,” Alexie warned. “Does that fire of yours work Underhill?”

Red paused a moment. Before he had gone off on that epic Portal-hop, he would have said without hesitation, “Yes.” But he had gone to places where it hadn’t, where he’d had to rely on firepower of a conventional sort. That lesson had been hard-won, and he wasn’t going to forget it.

“Usually,” he said.

The FBI team exchanged another look and Moira tossed him her shotgun, then rummaged out a bandolier of shells. “Trust in the spread of the gauge,” she said, as Alex handed her a second Glock from the duffle he carried.

The three of them stepped into the opening Gate at the same time, with Red and Grey a step behind them.

Red emerged into a firefight that must have erupted the moment their feet hit the ground on the other side. Grey squalled, and ducked out of the way of a gout of black energy that struck the ground where the familiar had been, tearing a bushel-basket-sized divot out of it.

Adrenaline exploded through him, energizing him, lighting up every cell in his body. ”Ignition!” he screamed, and his powers erupted in a flashover of fire.

For the next five minutes, he wasn’t aware of anything except targets. It was trivial to identify them. They were the things that weren’t a cat and weren’t even remotely human. Or, really, natural.

The four of them made a back-to-back square with Grey in the middle, clinging to Alexie’s duffle. Moira and Hosteen alternated bullets with, he assumed, spell-casting; certainly they would look at or gesture at one of the horrors trying to eviscerate them, and the thing would explode or fall to bits, or its head would vanish. Red just kept tossing fireballs, occasionally reverting to close-in work with a gout of fire formed vaguely like a sword or a club. They were holding their own—but they weren’t making any progress.

They’re going to wear us out— he realized, with a sick feeling in his gut, when he heard Alexie scream ”Light!”

“Cover me!” Moira snapped, and pulled something off her belt.

A flashlight? WTF?

She snapped it on, whirled, and passed the beam over Alexie.

Now, Red had heard Vickie tell him, more than once, that her father was a werewolf; and there had been a hint of that back in their apartment. He did not, however, expect this….

In the blink of an eye, what had been a man turned into a 180 pound fur-covered cruise missile.

It moved with unnatural speed and agility, wolf muscle and sinew and teeth and claws backed by human intelligence and years of training. It didn’t so much attack their enemies, as herd them, straight into a withering barrage of fire laid down by Moira, Hosteen, and once he understood what was happening, Djinni. When they no longer needed to guard their backs, they were relentless and lethal.

And then it was over. The five of them stood, panting, in a ring of rapidly disintegrating Unseleighe bodies.