Blood Moon Event

BLOOD MOON - Empire State Building

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Nov 11, 2019 - 5pm (Blood Moon Event)

Outside and up the Empire State Building

(possible Sigil location! - open to all to make their own story!)

 

Only a quarter of an hour ago the moonrise bathed the city crimson. Many took to the Empire to get a better look at the unexpected phenomenon from the observation deck and its antiquated public telescopes. But excited chatter has turned to screams as the observers got a first look of death stampeding into the city. Coming down the streets pound the oversized paws of what feel like hell-spawn. Lycanthropes come like a waterfall up and over the lower buildings. Dozens... more... beginning to claw their way in and up the outside of the Empire State Building. More running past it to find other bastions to decimate.

 

Hell on earth has started.......

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Those who looked down from the heights of the towering structure would see flashes of light and color as mages below battled the creatures rampaging through the streets. Towen was on the observation deck with others. He'd taken to coming up here on the night of full moons--it was a safe enough space and he was still able to see the sky--maybe remember a time when a full moon didn't mean danger and loss of life. 

 

Tonight? Well, tonight was different. The moon was a bright red. Something was off. Something was definitely off. Towen looked around the crowd, noting the shock evident on people's faces as they peered over the edge to spy weres climbing the building sides. This wasn't safe. He hadn't prepared for this, and definitely had not intended to show everyone there that he wielded magic. Quickly, Towen pushed someone aside to use the wall of the building as a flat surface, hastily drawing out talismans meant to seal the boundary of the observation deck against any entrance from outside. It wouldn't protect the whole building, and they were still in danger of something coming through one of the walls or elevator shafts, but the beasts wouldn't make their way over the ledge if he could help it. Within a minute, Towen had crafted a ward for each corner of the deck. Now he had to place them and hope no one moved them. 

 

[Towen] LISTEN UP, EVERYBODY. [/towen] The towering man's voice boomed over the heads of the crowd. [towen] If you see one of these papers, DO. NOT. TOUCH. IT. They should keep the deck safe long enough for the beasts to lose interest. [/towen]

 

Scraps of paper were held up in plain view of the fifty or so people around him, and Towen jostled his way to each corner to set the talismans. They'd last two hours if beasts didn't strain them. After that, he'd have to make new ones. This was shaping up to be a long night. 

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Unnuk found herself at the top of the Empire state building on this particular night. She wasn't here for the full moon like the others, just as a typical tourist. However upon seeing the blood red moon and hearing the cries of the wave of lycanthropes, lost in their bloodlust she knew in her heart the night had taken a serious turn.

 

"☶ LISTEN UP, EVERYBODY.  If you see one of these papers, DO. NOT. TOUCH. IT. They should keep the deck safe long enough for the beasts to lose interest. "

 

She heard a man shout. She turned to look at what he was speaking about, and wished once again she had been gifted with the second sight so she could see what he was talking about. 

 

She believed that his powers were real though, not suspecting him of being a pretender like some scam artist might try and do. No scam was this elaborate or required this many participants. But she also wasn't going to leave matters to him alone. 

 

She was forced to make a tough choice. Guard the ledge overlooking the city, or guard the door. She doubted they lycans would be able to climb so high up an almost sheer surface, but she did figure they could easily make their way inside. From there it was a simple matter of using the stairs to get to the heavily populated area.

 

"I need everyone to move. Clear a circle!"

 

She shouted, drawing a silver knife from her coat. Most of the crowd either heard her, or saw the knife and gave her the distance she needed. Then she sat lotus position and drew the blade across her palm. With her other hand she produced a Scrimshawed claw from a bear. She wiped the blood across the engravings and it began to glow softly like the norther lights. She placed this at her feet and began to chant in her native tongue. After a minute the claw's glow began to shift and whirl its way to the door. There, just inside of the magical border the other mage had created a truly great and massive polar bear stood. It's body wasn't truly physical, but it had a physical presence, and was able to interact with this side of the veil. Switching back to English she bowed over the claw and began to speak, her voice radiating with a hint of power.

 

"Great Bear! I Unnuk, you humble and faithful servant do lend you a taste of my life force. In exchange I charge you with guarding these people and this area from the wolves that now prowle outside our door from now until the crimson moon closes its mighty eye. They seek to hunt and to consume the flesh of man, but in this they shall fail, for no wolf can stand up to the might of the Great Bear. He that is second only to the creator of us all, Nulliajuk . Do you accept my trade?"

 

The bear did not speak, but instead lifted his head to the sky and loosed a silent but fierce looking roar. Rising up onto his hind legs as he did so. His roar ending the bear landed upon his forelegs once more, the observation deck shaking slightly with his strength and weight. His ever watchful eyes turning back to the doorway with a determined expression upon his muzzle.

 

Her deal now accepted Unnuk felt strength drain from her limbs. Bear was always tough to bring out, but he would be worth it this time. She then turned her attention upon the people around her. Some staring at her in shock and awe.

 

"Does anyone...have any food or water? I need...to recover...some of my...strength." 

 

She asked, her voice just barely loud enough to be heard, even in the stunned silence of the on lookers. 

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Okay so why but why would any self-respecting girl be on her knees under a desk in a dark office in one of NYC’s most prominent buildings? Before the reply comes with its usual wealth of sexual innuendo- it was not any girl. Lian was presently securing the small device which would work a transfer of files for an employer who paid well enough to keep his little paws less dirty but needed to get those bits bytes and pieces needed to be able to throw some dirt. This would be why she was here. Night had been her choice, because during the day you ran too many risks. Night led to most people heading to the observation area and doing what date night did. Looking out over the city.

 

 

 

Nimble fingers twisted the last bit of cord and tucked it into its compartment when her peripheral vision caught something. Lian leaned back to peer past the cubicle and stopped fidgeting with the cables a second to merely stare. The odd gleam had been what amounted to moon rise, not out of the ordinary until you noticed the color. The windows usually dark or bright dark under the moon had a weird almost pale blood color to the glass. Fuck..turning to shove those loose cables she crawled backward out from under the desk and towards the windows carefully. What would cause that was a source of curious care, even more considering all things since the sky had decided to shit on itself, it definitely could not be good.

 

 

 

Large hazel orbs studied the window as she slowly placed her hands upon the carved wood and rose. Holy……shit….and Jesusjumpedupinasidecar….Below there was movement. From where she stood it looked a lot like a wave of dark masses that spilled along the street and into the walls. Lian took a long hard breath as she spotted the flank of this wave slither crawling up against the building she was now in. Logic dictated that whatever it was, and as it became clearer beneath the bloody slivers, they could burst into this very stone and mortar structure. Pivoting on silent boots, she moved swiftly to her pack and began to make her way back out into the hall. Screw security they were gonna have enough to handle if she was right.

 

 

 

The hallways were lit but there was already a faint flicker from the area of the elevator hall. Okay so repelling down the few stories was gonna be a bad idea…and now the elevators might be a problem. Standing there she lifted her hand to rub the bridge of her nose in thought. Of course the same nose that was beginning to pick up smells that rang familiar. Heavy earthy musk. Not merely male but not just female either. Faint fecal echoes.. … …. ….mother of….

 

 

Weres…lots of honking damn weres…

 

 

She was sure fear would be a precursor. It was the nature of the beast-pardon the pun- but she lacked the time to think about fear. While a shifter in her own right, Lian was nowhere new the size of what she had spotted clamboring up the building. Logic says you have to use your wits. She adjusted her pack to slide it around and dig inside. Her fingers closed about the pistol grip of 'wits'.

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Magic.

 

Some unholy being was here with him. At least it confirmed the public didn't know who he was, even if they knew a mage killer had been operating unchecked for several years. That, in and of itself, was a miracle... they hadn't found him after all this time

 

That... That was a bear. OK then. They now had a bear from an astral plane... It seemed imposing... and yet entirely tame.

 

The mage who'd summoned it collapsed, requesting food or water. Interesting... this must have been quite a powerful beast or an incredibly weak mage if it took as much out of her as his own reality warping abilities took from him. 

 

Enough distraction. These creatures of satanic origin were nearly upon them. Towen's talismanic barrier would hold... he hoped.

 

Using the moments of peace, Towen looked around. [Towen] Does anyone know of a safe location? Someplace we could defend more easily? Exact locations only, please. [/towen]

 

The voice rang out again, and people looked to him. Perhaps they would know. Perhaps they would speak up. Perhaps... perhaps they might not believe him. He didn't even know if he could do it, but he'd try. What was it, after all, to create a bridge? He'd managed to keep things out. He'd managed to let things pass through... he'd even managed to send people into the depths of hell with a simple boundary. Why would it be impossible for the Afrikaner to link two doorways?

 

Arma. Maybe ARMA could help them... but he'd never walk into that office... and certainly not the Order. Shit... The Vanguard, maybe?

 

Towen's train of thought was shaken apart by the sounds of lycans launching themselves against the boundary he'd created. Fierce swipes pushed against it and propelled the offending creatures backwards with a burst of what looked like electricity. Many latched on to other buildings far below... but they kept coming. It was Pyrrhic in nature.

 

The barriers were still holding, but, looking down, there were hundreds more beasts climbing the side of the Empire State Building. Towen swallowed his hatred and went to the side of this other mage. [towen] Can your beast truly hold that door against an onslaught? [/towen] He asked, voice low.

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Unnuk shook her head and looked up at the man speaking to her.

 

"He will hold off many...that is the strongest spirit my people can summon. Once I get my strength back he, along with my silver knife will be able to defend that doorway. For a time at least...Their numbers...they are so many I doubt we can hold out forever even if I had access to more power. What about your barriers? Can you focus and strengthen specific areas? Or is it a general cover all?"

 

Unnuk got up to her feet. Her energy was returning on its own...but slowly. She picked her knife up, and moved to stand next to the bear. Her body shimmering with blue green light, like that which made up the bear, as she spoke an invocation in her native tongue. Bringing about speed. She had gone to St. Louis to visit one of the few remaining zoos. She had managed to sneak in and make physical contact with most of the animals there, giving her many new powers. This time she was invoking Cheetah. For his great speed. She could have called on a stronger animal, but strength didn't matter as much, when you where half the size of your opponent and they had claws and fangs. While she only had skin, and the clothing she wore. No, she would dodge and dart around, making small nicks and cuts as she went through their lines. The silver would do most of the work. But she hoped it didn't come to that. With any luck at all the barrier would hold, or the Great Bear would occupy them enough for them to realize that they should move on to easier prey.

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Righ..ttt.. okay so her fingers tugged out the pistol and bent down to shove it in the small area of boot left against calf ( she usually kept it there anyway but who know slicing wires was gonna need a gun?) and then dug back in for the small box of ammo that she used sparingly. The gun was loaded with its usual shinies but the box had about eleven silver rounds. In her line of work you had to be prepared for everything and while silver was not her best friend there were other races it really sucked for. Those would be the masses of monsters scaling the building and probably stomping through a few of the floors. She tucked that box into her other boot and tossed the bag. Less to carry if she had to duck and run.

 

 

The flickering lights of the elevator area continued to do so, this meant the elevators might have been taken, or at least damaged by big hairy claws. Lian was stuck deciding to head for them or try and hold some sort of position where she was, neither idea was swimmingly wonderful but if she tried to head out and down she was gonna be nothing more than a worm on a hook for hairy nasty fish. When she had checked her planner- dying was not on it today. Thus it would have to be either find a way out or fight. ( again neither choice had much to show in the column of ‘pros’). Lian kept to the wall divider and slid into the closest office slowly walking backwards until she was ass against a desk. It was dark and quiet but that was only momentary really. Every good story usually begins * on a dark quiet…* of course this was not a story and she was not gonna be rescued by some dashing guy on a horse.

 

 

However, she was not going to just wait for the big hairy things without checking out what she had on hand. Every desk had the usual, letter openers, staplers…STAPLERS..well hell those might be useful- listen the best ideas can come from everyday things, its why they tell you being in your own house is usually more dangerous to yourself than walking down the street- also paperclips, and the usual crap pencil pushers kept lying about. After listening for any click clack and heavy breathing outside, she began to quietly rifle the desks. The one that was closest to the large door at the back was her home base, on it she piled what loot she found, well except the jerky, she managed to gnaw on that. Thing about weres for the most part, when they changed into bipedal pains in the ass, they lost their ability for logic. Eat, kill, maim, mate, scrape, mark things, tear things…that was the extent of their intellect. This was a plus when you are a five foot nothing wisp of trouble that definitely still has their intellect. Even shifted she held on to her own unique flavor of madness.

 

 

So far she had a plethora of staplers, letter openers, a pocket knife, super glue and several boxes of tacs. It was then that the faint smell of reeking fur hit her and she scooped up the tacs and pranced over to the front area on cat feet. Carefully she began to spread the little pointy pain givers about with a faint tinkle of their metal bodies hitting the tiled floor. She did this in a line leading to the right because she needed to be able to utilize her base by the door ( escape route ya know). Once she had used up all the little boxes she lifted her fingers and placed them against her lips. A shrill whistle broke the heavy air and she twisted and dove behind the base desk snatching a few glue containers.

 

 

There was two large grunts – translation *food there* and the scraping became heavier and faster towards the entrance where she had snuck within.

 

 

Hazel eyes locked with calm precision upon the shadowy entry as the first hulky beast stumbled through……..wait for it…..wait for it…….

 

 

Humans have lego issues….thumb tacs on paws *SUCK*

 

 

 

Lian knew that though she might duck and dodge well, in means of size and strength the two ( so far within the room stepping on pointy objects and objecting) had her. But small meant quick and she was adept at thinking on her feet. Killing them was not on her mind, but slowing them down, injuring them or even incapacitation was always a plausible choice. She also knew they had noxious bites, something to be added to the list of * dont let that happen* She was well aware that even though the pain was not something enjoyable, they would bear it. She would have to be quick. 

 

Down along her spine that lick of the devil began. Adreniline. 

 

Was she a thrill junkie?

 

Naw...

 

Maybee..

 

okay so yea...and yet it always kept her alive. That and she was just too stubborn to let death hold all the cards. ( well plus never play cards with Lian. She cheats)

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Shit... This is why he didn't work his magic in public. The questions from other mages... and there were definitely a few up here. Normally he'd just execute them all, but tonight he probably needed their help. Weres were nothing to ignore.

 

[towen] Each talisman is a node. If one goes down, the two closest connect instead. Half the platform is in danger if a single one fails. [/towen] That wasn't exactly true, but it was the best way to strengthen a single segment without sacrificing the power of the others. [towen] I can make more, but they start leaking mana as soon as they're finished. [/towen] It was the one weakness in the mage's powers, and the very same reason he had developed more powerful spells that didn't require his continuous manufacture of talismans.

 

The barrier buzzed yet again as another wave of weres flung themselves against it like a bug zapper. A scream rang out across the platform for the first time in a few minutes. One of the bystanders had stepped back as the outstretched paw of a beast pushed through the barrier. Towen left before the strange woman could reply, and raced through the crowd, checking if the woman was OK before working on producing a second talisman to serve as almost a battery backup. 

 

As he moved away from that corner, Towen checked on each side in succession, hearing similar reports of the beasts pushing through. The talismans had lasted only a half hour... this was not sustainable, and no one had suggested a secondary place. At this rate, he wouldn't even be able to shuttle people through to another location unless a suggestion came soon. 

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Unnuk stood at the "front" of the observatory by her bear. Breathing slow and steady. She watched as the barrier shimmered and a wyr's paw reached out towards her. With her enhanced speed she flung her blade out, slicing up the creature's arm from wrist to elbow in one smooth strike with her silver blade. The wolf withdrew its arm and howled as the barrier became a more solid surface once more.  She hated injuring them, but at the moment it was them or her. This time she was choosing herself. 

 

⦓ How long can you keep the barrier up? ⦔

 

She called out as she checked on her bear. He was breathing heavily, ready and almost itching to fight, but they had not actually crossed the barrier so he wouldn't attack until they did. 

 

Seeing the desperate look on the faces of those around her Unnuk shouted out to the other mage

 

⦓ Should we try the basement? Their should only be the service access door once we are below ground. It might make it easier to defend these people. I doubt we can make it on the streets, and even if we did...we'd just be over run in seconds. ⦔

 
She wasn't even sure they could make it to the basement, but it was a better shot than anything else. Best case they only had to defend on small door way, meaning dealing with one wolf at a time. Worst case they all, or most of them were attacked or bit on the way up. Even still, if they could save some lives it was better than fighting here and everyone dying like sheep caught in a pen.

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Lian knew that the shuffling sounds and growling snarling reek age that was the two shambling about on pointy things was not indicative of good humor. Directly across at her eye level from beneath this desk (cheap desks really…blame the government) was the holy grail of misdirection….a fire extinguisher. Bless you safety rules! There was no point in really trying to pretend they did not smell her- Weres especially like this have really good sense of smell. Her hand slid down and she tugged out that little bit of ‘Wits’ and cupping the butt, tugged off a well-aimed shot at the bright red canister. As expected the sounds of both the retort and the air disruption had both Mutt and Jeff turnabout from stomping on the painful points. Their turn about meant a wonderful face full of canister blow. The second the bullet left the chamber she was scrambling from her hiding place and darting for the very door they had entered.

 

 

 

The explosion caused a slight shock and pain to the faces of Mutt and Jeff, this gave her moments before something huge and stinky slammed into her blinded by the face full of fire preventative white stuff. With a snarl, she was shoved into the wall near the entry doors and knocked breathless while she dug into her pocket for that super glue tubes. Lian wrestled with her position to keep clear of the snout that was swinging about above her head and the cap of the damn tube. It finally gave up and she dropped her weight downwards to avoid the body weight and squirted the gooey shit on its haunches before scuttling on all fours towards the door and stumbling up and out. She yanked the door shut as the second one was tearing at the offending canister for spitting on him and his buddy. The visual of number two sticking to everything made her feel warm and fuzzy as she limped towards the stair well. If these bastards were climbing up her tail was going down the stairs and finding a base level. Thankfully she had not been high up on the floors- those offices were twice as secure and less filled with useless shit. Thank heavens for useless office supplies…they are her friend!

 

 

 

The sounds of rage and lots of yowling followed her progress down the hall towards the door to the stairwell. Thing is huge hairy nasties might climb the walls and the outer building but they damn sure are not smart enough to think ‘ jeesh stairs guys its faster ‘ so Lian shouldered against the door frame and grabbed the latch just as the sound of the door she had just left crashing against the walls. Lian never looked back as she dove through the metal door and began to limp, skip, limp down the steps towards a safer place. Or at least a better area to build on escaping from. Being up stairs did not look to have a good ending. About the best to hope for would be she could counsel her shots with what she had left, and maybe make a little headway towards exiting this damn block.

 

 

 

When she got clear of this, she was gonna head to her employers place and kick him in the taint with a damn sledge hammer…it was not gonna change things but she was gonna feel a hellofalot better about this mess. 

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"☶ I'll open up the gateway then. You and the others pass through and I'll stay here as a distraction. "

     The other mage responded to Unnuk's suggestion.

 

[unnuk] Alright...[/unnuk]
 

Was all she could manage to say. She figured staying up here alone would be suicide but their wasn't much she could do to stop him, and if he was a strong as she thought he might be, he could buy the people on the deck time to escape.  Just then she head the sound she had been fearing most. The barrier shattered, the kinetic barrier breaking into thousands of shining pieces. 

 

She was immediately glad she had boosted her speed, and that she had summoned the bear. The wolves poured through the doorway, a seething river of teeth, fur, and fury. Her bear spirit swung its massive claws back and forth, throwing wolves off the edge of the building, as she darted back and forth slashing and cutting where she could. The knife sadly wasn't real silver, just highly polished, so all she could do was slow them down while the healed. 

 

Behind her the other mage was moving the citizens through the barrier, but it was a bit slower than she had hoped it would be. She wouldn't give up though. Jumping back behind the bear for a moment she sheathed her fighting knife and removed her three bone handled throwing knives. Each enchanted with a returning spell. From the cover of the bear she through the first one, then the second. As she through the third knife she called back the first to her hand. Throwing that one she called back the second, repeating the process over and over, juggling the knives, calling them back into her hands a moment after the sunk into their target. Once in awhile she missed, but the wall behind the wolves caught the knives, keeping them in range for her to call back. She was, at this moment a machine gun of blades, her enhances speed allowing her to through faster than her regular body ever could. 

 

One wolf made it past her bear, she rushed forward and slammed into it, driving her shoulder into its solar plexus, her speed granting her extra force to drive it back. Her blades sinking in under its ribs. A scant moment before its claws landed on her she back peddled and recalled her blades. They weren't great for stabbing, but they did in a pinch, and she was definitely in a pinch at this moment. 

 

Howling the wolf stood up on its legs. It rushed her, its muzzle covered in spittle and blood. She charged it back and at the last moment she drops to her thigh and "baseball" slides under it. Swiping her daggers at the tendons of his legs. The wolf, as it feel kicked out at her, slamming into her rib cage. 

 

Stars spun in her vision, and before she could correct herself a hand grabbed the back of her shirt, pulling her backwards. 

 

"☶ I said get through the portal! "

 

The other mage said as he threw her through. Her last thought was to call all her daggers back to their sheaths.  The last vision she had of the rooftop was of her bear spirit beginning to fuze out. He couldn't actually be injured, but too many swipes through his form would dissipate him. Then, everything went dark.

 

She landed with an;

[unnuk] Umpf! [/unnuk]
 
The sudden shock of the hard floor bringing her back into consciousness. She looked around, the basement was large, but other than a freight elevator and a single door she couldn't see any other way in. Thankfully the power was still on.
 
[unnuk] Bar the doors. Put the heaviest stuff closest to the door. [/unnuk]
 
She ordered, with as much authority as she could manage at the moment. The people began moving to pile whatever they could find in front of the two entrances. 

 

She cancelled her speed enhancement. To much longer and she'd be acting like a cat. She already had a craving for heavy cream that wouldn't go away until she indulged it. 

 

Back on the roof her bear continued to fight, swinging and biting for all he was worth. The spirit knew it was going to fall soon, but he had been summoned and given an order, and he would follow it as long as he could. The little huntress had entrusted him with this task, she had placed her faith in him. His thoughts faded away as another wolf charged him, He roared his fury and leaned in to clamp down on the wolf's neck, his powerful arms ripping into the soft tender skin and fur of his belly. As he attacked another wolf tried to bite his leg, its jaws passing through his form.  He threw the corpse of the dead wolf in his mouth to the floor. But there was always another to take its place. The next wolf came and he raked his claws across its muzzle. Knocking it to the side as he followed up with another swipe, connecting with the side of another wolf's head.  Again he cocked his head back and roared up to the blood red moon. The blood that passed threw his body energized him but he was taking more and more hits now. For each swipe, each bite he gave he received three more.

 

The bear was aware of the other human on the roof with him, but he couldn't spare the attention. The human seemed to be holding his own against the onslaught. His magic strange and foreign to the bear. Normally he would try and sniff it, he and his kin loved to learn. Now though...with his energy leaking, and his form fuzzing in and out he made his last moments count. He reared up on his hind legs, taking two big wolf clearing swipes before dropping back to all fours and beginning his final charge. He used his immense size and power to push and knock the beast back and to the side, some falling, others managing to catch themselves before the plummeted to their deaths. As he reached the door his body began to twinkle light stars in the night sky, and with one last roar of fury he winked out. His spirit returned to the ancient astral plane of his people.  

 

Back in the basement Unnuk shuddered as she felt the bear spirit return to his home. Such a large and powerful spirit passing back into the veil always caused a ripple through her. 

 

[unnuk] Let's hope the doors hold...or that they don't find us. [/unnuk]

 

She said out loud, as she looked around. A few minutes passed and she found a craft services cart, a bit of food still on it. It was cold but at this point she would take whatever she could. She ate quickly and as cleanly as she could. She felt the energy surging through her body as she quickly metabolised everything she consumed. Her body craving the energy. Feeling almost back to regular she pulled her summoning bone from her coat again. This time bringing forth a dozen mice.

 

[unnuk] Spread through the vents and anywhere else you can. If the wolves come down this way, Run back to me and raise the alarm. [/unnuk]

 

She would normally pay them honor like she did with the bear, but they were lower in the hierarchy than she was, so it wasn't absolutely necessary. The mice scampered off to do as she ordered, and after about five minutes had passed she sat down in the lotus position. She trusted her spirits but she wasn't going to put a mouse's speed against that of the monsters above. 
 
She closed her eyes, and began to breath with long slow meditative breaths. Her senses expanding to alert her to all the wild-life within her range. All but 2 of the mice were in range. Starting with the closest mouse she joined her astral self with his, piggy backing onto his senses. The world suddenly becoming different as she saw, smelled, heard, and felt what the mouse felt. Back in the basement it would look as though she were asleep. This particular mouse was in the air vent directly across from the basement door, and she could see through his eyes that at the moment nothing was threatening them. She repeated the process with the other 9 mice she could reach. Each set of eyes and ears showing her nothing but calm and quiet. Except for the last mouse, which revealed a woman limping down the staircase. 
 
Unnuk mentally cursed, and using her Animal Empathy she encouraged the spirit mouse to go to her, and lead her to the basement. The mouse hesitated but eventually scampered down and began tugging on the female's pant leg. It's little blue and purple body of light a stark contrast to the dimly lit staircase.

 

(OOC: Reference for the mouse https://www.pinterest.com/pin/121456521178017513/ )

 

She left the mouse to do its job. It would do all it could now to get her to follow, but if she didn't then it was on her. She kept flicking back and forth between the mice she had left keeping a constant surveillance up, and mentally praying to every God and Goddess of her pantheon to keep her, and these people safe.

 

(Parts featuring Towen where written with permission.)

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Lian paused and turned tossing a glance over at the length of dark stairs behind her. With an almost absent shrug she bent and slid her hands along her leg humming beneath her breath as she pulled those energies towards a mend. Not enough to exhaust her (at the moment a bad idea really) but enough to lessen the ache. Later she would do a better job, but right now she just needed her mobility. Taking a huge breath she straightened up and dug in her pockets for the last few glue tubes. Whether it would be of any use, or not, it gave her a warm fuzzy feeling to turn completely and coat the stairs, stepping down and backward leaving slick shiny attach-me liquids for whatever decided to follow.

 

 

 

Okay not as impressive as a shooting match but reality means you weight the amount of ammunition and your own strengths against a foe. It is easy to assume force is always the answer, but it never truly wins the day against whatever climbed up the Weres’ tail and set a fire. (she was, of course, aware that damned candy apple moon had a whole lot to do with this) Once the tubes were empty she slowly returned to a frontal descent and continued downwards towards what had to be a base level.

 

 

 

While she carefully stepped down, she jerked the gun sideways to glance at the normal ammunition. She knew that the silver would be better, but she wanted to hold off until she had to hold them off. Her aim was damn good. The head shots were a given cause she could not waste the bullets. Not when half the true worlds’ were beasties were decidedly determined to throw a kill everyone party.

 

 

 

A tug on her ankle and she swung the weapon down waiting before shooting until she spotted the day glo mouse. [storm]Well…Mickey you are a far away from home…I take it you are the calvary?[/storm] Well, she was aware of what it might be, so she was gonna err on the side of it was one of the good guys. With a shrug she withdrew her aim and motioned forwards [storm] You lead, I figure you know where we are going little guy[/storm] She adjusted her own steps to avoid crushing the phosphorescent fellow and followed, though she continued to scent the air and watch the area. Just because most of the hairy thugs went up did not mean they did not have a few that decided down was more fun than the Empire crawl.

 

 

 

When she reached the bottom, a faint huff of air had her stop in mid step and turn slowly. Well F… okay so sometimes being right sucked hugely. There scratching against what looked like a big door was one of those thugs. Obviously, it was determined to get in, and this focus had meant it had not caught her scent yet. Lian knelt even slower and dug out one silver bullet to replace the one used on the helpless canister upstairs. As she brought it up knelt still as a stone, big hairy and smelly turned around with a gaping maw of teeth spittle and probably some undetermined meat source. She did not breathe, just a focused stare as a digit tugged the trigger and sent the silver missile out of the barrel with a retort that echoed just prior to its cleave into the between the eyes space of big and nasty. The roar was possible the loudest thing she had heard all night. But the splash of brains against that door was so satisfying that it paled the sound. Lian waited for it to fall – gotta love silver- before she and the mouse of the house made their way closer towards that door.

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With everyone gone, Towen stood alone on the rooftop. It would not be long before the barriers he had left began to fall. Well, perhaps he could use their failure to his advantage.

 

With less meat standing atop the building, Weres had no reason to climb. The few that did would be launched down. Any sentient being would avoid that route. Too bad these lupine creatures didn't. Too bad for them. 

 

Towen sat down, listening to the howls nad growls as the decreased load meant this set of talismans would last far longer. It would not be for nearly two hours that another barrier broke, and Towen took up a position to defend himself against attackers from that side, stabbing the stragglers through their skulls with his spear, deflecting their strikes with his shield.

 

It took very little for Towen to hold his ground, equipped as he was with resilient weaponry that would not be shattered by the paws and jaws of even these empowered beasts. When it became apparent that three or four werewolves would arrive, Towen made a decision. He leaped from the top of the building, extending an invisible line from the windowsill of the floor below, creating a temporary boundary made physical. The process was repeated every two floors, Towen rolling as he landed so he could more easily stomach the falls.

 

52 rolls later, Towen was on street level, feeling somewhat sore from the constant collisions with illusory ground.

 

He found himself face to face with a snarling beast, and dodged backwards as a paw flew over his head. Finding himself a bit worn out from the constant activation of his powers, Towen drew his blade, blocking yet another strike and bashing the beast with the flat of the claymore, using his shoulder for increased power.

 

The beast staggered slightly, and Towen took the opportunity to swing his blade up across its belly, leaving a clean cut... a boundary to be exploited. Towen rejected the healing ability along that line and watched as the beast collapsed to the ground, dying of blood loss. He took off once more, making the adrenaline fueled trek back to his well fortified home down by Canal and Mott, fighting off weres as best he could along the way.

 

~Towen Out~

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It was not often that somebody like Gavin declared a situation hopeless, but even he had to admit that this was pretty damned close. Government forces were completely overrun by an army of lycanthropes. Each one of those things was big and strong enough to smash most vehicles into inoperability and fast enough to catch them. Going into hand to hand with one of them was suicide even for most physically empowered humans, let alone people with normal human strength. The damn things were insanely strong, and if they were only a bit smarter it’d be damn near impossible to fuck with one.
 
Literally the only upside was that when a lycanthrope turned, it lost all intelligence. They didn’t use tools and could not come up with coordinated strategies… which funnily enough is probably the only reason anybody was even alive at this point in New York City. He could tell people were still alive because of all the faint screaming in the background, though Gavin couldn’t exactly do a lot to save them at the present. The night was still young, and he had already used two of his three obscuring wards and blew through most of his ammunition. He had only two eight round magazines left for his pistol, one comprised of standard ammunition and one of silver that was currently slotted into the pistol. He was assigned a rifle earlier, but abandoned it after running out of ammunition very early on.
 
Everyone knew the full moon was coming up, but at the absolute worst one or two dozen lycanthropes were expected to pop up throughout the city but certainly not a full blown invasion of hundreds. Gavin still had his radio on his belt and an earpiece in, but he had lowered the volume to nothing for the most part in order to hear and react to threats more quickly around him. Nothing useful was on the radio so far anyway. It was all just requesting backup and help from literally everywhere at once. There was no help coming for a while, probably until after the damned crimson moon was gone. Until then, the slaughter of civilians was going to be unchecked and the combined government forces were going to either rout or just do their best to secure tiny areas from the fuckery outside.
 
At the present moment, things were about as good as it got. The last disruptor ward managed to lose around six of the damn beasts, and the street immediately ahead was pretty clear. Along the way here, he had picked up a few stragglers. One of them was a police officer who had his car smashed in that Gavin managed to save, who was using his more plentiful ammo to shoot out the street lights when they were attacked. One of them was an older guy and his high school aged daughter that ran out of their house when they saw the cop outside hoping for some safety due to the horrible sounds they heard near their back door. Gavin gave the daughter his phone with instructions to keep trying to call the numbers he gave her, but she has had no success so far. The old man had his own phone, but was trying law enforcement instead with the same lack of success. There was so much magic being slung around the city that it would be hard for the phones to work a lot of the time even if a lot of the telephone lines were operational… which they probably were not.
 
No harm in trying, though, and at least the act made them do something other than be completely panicked. Gavin himself looked fully the ex-military meathead that he was. Black leather boots, city camouflage pants, and of course the obligatory black cloth motorcycle jacket. All of his clothing was stained in blood by this point, which made him look more serial killer than public servant, but some things could not be avoided at this point. In his left hand, he held one of his karambit knives in a reverse grip with his index finger in the safety ring. In his right hand he had his SIG P210, the wooden grips still nice and comfortable even after all this time holding it there. The 9mm round it fired didn’t do a lot, even with silver rounds, unless he hit some very specific areas but it did tend to slow the beasts down for long enough for him to finish them off with magic.
 
Normally he would have his sabre out when performing this much magic as a way to focus himself and let loose the energy more easily because he really did not like spoken word magic against most enemies. Against mindless enemies like lycanthropes, however, the sound of the words didn’t exactly warn them so there was no detriment for doing it the old fashioned way. They were headed for the Empire State Building at the present, not because Gavin thought it was safe or anything but to give the others a target to keep moving and focus on. Getting out of the city on foot was going to be damn near impossible, and getting a vehicle more than a half mile was more of a dream than a reality. Staying in one place to get surrounded was suicide, especially when the damn lycanthropes could smash down damn near any barrier. Six hundred and fifty pounds of muscle and rage wasn’t held back by much, let alone most doors or home security systems.
 
Coming across from 35th street, Gavin heard a crash like something heavy slamming against the ground. He quickly signaled his group to stay put while he sprinted around the corner to see what was happening, and caught the tail end of a humanoid figure sprinting out of the area. It was clear that the lycanthrope’s heavy body slamming against the concrete caused the noise, and Gavin signaled the officer to lead the others over since the coast appeared to be clear. Soon after, however, the sound of snarling was heard loud and clear from inside the national landmark.
 
“Officer, if yah woul’ be so kind as to clear the street of the lights.” Gavin suggested in his rather unique blend of southern drawl and Irish brogue. The young officer obliged, and several gunshots rang out in the streets as the snarling and growling intensified. The noise likely drew them over more, but Gavin still had enough left to fight them off unless there happened by some cruel twist of fate to be a huge number in that building.
 
Two of the hulking beasts came out of the shattered windows of the ground floor, and immediately rushed towards Gavin. He was roughly twenty feet ahead of his group at that point, but thankfully with the electric lights in the area out he had more than enough shadow to work with. He holstered his pistol and drew his already bloody sabre as the beasts approached, sprinting towards him at scary speed. Gavin knelt down on the ground and placed his left palm, karambit and all on the ground as he barked out: “Stad!”
 
With that, the shadow in two specific areas coalesced and formed two long stakes less than five feet away from where Gavin was kneeling and too close to the jaws of the beasts for them to maneuver out of the way. They impaled themselves on the stakes at full force, and the angle jammed the point right near their brains. From there, the ARMA Sergeant simply hacked away at each of their necks until they were decapitated since the spike in their brain left them essentially paralyzed. More blood spurted out to further cover the man’s outer layer of clothing, and when the deed was done he turned back to those following him.
 
“The buildin’ should have some supplies, let’s see if we can scavenge some junk on the first floor real quick. First aid kits, if we can get ‘em. Ah’ll sweep through the rooms, just stay behind and search the cleared areas. Need tah find a place tah rest for a bit, but this isn’t it… so we need to get in and out until we can find a space with a few exits we can bunker in until we can catch our breath. Find some meds if yah can find ‘em, painkillers would be fuckin’ wonderful right about now. Y’all can stop with the phone calls for a bit, ‘cause Magic fuckin' Johnson just ran by and fucked up the whole goddamn area for a while. When I call out ready, Officer Wheeler ‘ere will come in with 'is handy dandy flashlight and we can see if there’s anythin’ in ‘ere.”
 
With that, the man sheathed his sabre and pulled out his pistol once more. In the building he wouldn’t have much room to swing the sword around, so he’d have to expend more magic for any fighting inside to finish them off. In truth, he had absolutely no idea what in the world he was doing at this point. He had no idea how any other group was managing, and had managed to expend a huge chunk of his energy fairly early on. This made it so he couldn’t do any more of the really fancy tricks without huge consequences, so he had to solidify as little shadow as possible outside of complete darkness. Luckily, most of the lights inside the ground floor seemed to be smashed so it was plenty dark inside the building.
 
The first floor seemed to be empty, aside from some corpses, and there was a door that was marked stairs. Gavin chose to ignore it during his first run-through, which was a mistake. Opening one of the doors, he slammed against something metal that was partially blocking the other side and produced a large amount of noise. He paused immediately afterwards and listened for movement, and certainly heard it. He could not figure out where it was coming from at first, but soon found out when the door to the stairs was broken off its hinges from a tackle from one of the hulking monsters. It began to turn in the opposite direction of Gavin, to the outside, so he shot at it to get its attention. The silver bullet to its upper back didn’t do a lot other than that, but it did turn around and charge towards Gavin. The beast was an enormous wolf-monster, just like the others. Well over seven feet tall, muscular as all hell, and with jaw strength that shatters the bones of the part it bites in an instant.
 
What was really weird, though, is the monster was covered with this white foam for some reason. Since it was so close and Gavin had no idea how many of these things were left or would be attracted by the noise he chose to just fire in the face of the monster with three shots as fast as the soldier could pull the trigger. He hit one bullet in the werewolf’s open maw, causing blood as well as drool to come out while its tongue lolled in anticipation of the kill. He hit one bullet on its left cheekbone, and finally the third in the bastard’s right eye. That last one caused the beast to recoil backwards and clutch its face for a moment, which allowed Gavin to aim and fire in the other eye socket as soon as the hands moved before barking out “Stad!” one more time to impale the head of the monster and keep it still.
 
His ears still ringing from the gunshots, he holstered his pistol for the time being and set about to hacking the damn thing’s head off. As its head hit the ground, Gavin looked the thing over and found some interesting wounds on the creature. Its feet seemed to be covered in thumb tacks that were somehow inserted in the feet. Some accountant went out like a hero to make that happen, but soon enough he heard sounds of movement coming from the stairs once more. In response, Gavin pulled out his firearm once more and trained it on the stairway entrance only a room and a half over and yelled over to make sure any more monsters coming out of that area would run towards him. Four silver bullets left, so he had to make them count.
 
“Come on, yah fuckin’ pox bottle! Ahm goin’ fer the world record in wolf huntin’. Step up!”

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There is went. That shiver along her senses that paused her step and had the slender female turn slightly to lift her head and scent the air, parting lips to let the air redolent of mangy reeking refuse, burnt fur, blood and cordite bring a thoughtful expression-which was followed by a quirk of brow as she heard the feet ( now elephants in the Empy building overrun with smelly oversized eating machines!) and gun fire. There beyond the stairwell door the smells and sounds swelled. There were she had left the two fire extinguisher yetis, there where tacs and glue had bought her ass time. But then again mangy eating witless monsters did not fire guns. See that took thought. That was what made werewolvies and their other werethingers different from most of us supernatural types. When they changed into heaving drooling masses, they lost the ability to reason.

 

They had little to no intellect, they had no means to an end thought patterns. They knew eat-shit-feed-kill-maim-sleep-shit-shed-kill. You kinda get the gory picture? This made them both dangerous and stupid. The problem with most face offs- is panic sets in, fear. They are big and usually not the type to heed the word *stop*. The thing is, for all that their brains are useless, they are a weak spot. Making a head or heart shot with silver or at least a good combustible bullet was the best way to stop the progress of their pattern. Lian knew this, she also knew as she stood there, something, something that pulsed with madness coupled with that moon that was not really like your run of the mill moon out there had created a recipe for true shit cake. It was driving them sort of to run together. Were’s were not pack animals in spite of their animal of change. Wolves for instance ( she was a shifter and part of her was very canine ) were pack animals in their own way. For Lian this manifested in usually adopting people and things that she deemed as ‘pack’, this of course made up of friends and connections of the years, this was what substituted for pack in her world.

 

 

Were’s however saw each other as a meal, as something to subjugate. This is where pack becomes moot. Pack is just another word for meal. Lian understood this, just as she grasped that with them moving in a flow towards the building earlier was a sure sign of something wrong and twisted. They just don’t hang out together. The fact they were moving as a herd or pack mentality was alarming because that amplified the dangers. ( this goes back to the fear principal. Lian failed to get that when she was born. Maybe next Christmas?)

 

Her hand adjusted its grip on her pistol and she rolled that shoulder slightly. If anything was getting chased in this direction, glue on the steps notwhithstanding for a diversion, she was going to have to take those shots – which was gonna piss her off-she was trying to manage her bullet count. Breath left her body and a stillness poured over her momentarily as the wolf focused to the hunt. Or in Lian’s case, the shot or shots she would have to take with expert aim. Missing was not an option.

 

 

Then as she lifted those hazel eyes to the entryway a churlish voice thick with masculine flavor belted out some sort of feckin remark about killing and stepping, and the head shook slightly. “Step up my ass! Don’t you dare shoot me dammit, I am not one of those damned freaks” Right and she was not eating anyone. It’s a well known fact in the world of wolves, humans tasted like ass plain and simple. Well that and she was not some monster trying to chew off flesh. “Friend or foe ?” Her luck it was gonna be some pencil pusher security guard who suddenly got a Dirty Harry complex…..

 

 

Did she feel lucky?

 

Every damned second of her life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A couple seconds passed, and nothing happened except Gavin’s ears kept ringing. Damn it, is this the day that God decided to piss on him and give him tinnitus? Just because he left the damn ear plugs at home because this night was supposed to be boring and he forgot them did not mean he deserved a life-long irritation to add to his long list of the same. Granted, life-long might be five minutes at this point but an injury was an injury.

 

When the phone lines finally worked again he was going to get absolutely screamed at. They had training on what to do if the situation escalated, but damned if Gavin paid a lick of attention to that overview. He wasn’t entirely sure he was even there, because if they weren’t doing roll call there was no point in him being there to hear Lycanthrope 101 with a bunch of civilians. There was probably an emergency rendezvous point somewhere random and dumb that he was supposed to go to in case of trouble, and if he paid attention in the training he might have even known where it was. If for some godforsaken reason it was the Empire State Building, he was going to fully play his movement there as intentional. His luck wasn't that good, though, was it?

 

But it was too late for that now more than likely. The radio chatter would just be a chaotic mess at this point with no useful information coming through. Just when he moved his left hand to turn up the volume, though, he heard a female voice yelling from the staircase. She had a weird accent, not yankee but something else Gavin did not recognize. She yelled for him to not shoot her, and the soldier couldn’t help but roll his eyes. How the hell was he going to shoot her if she was in the stairwell and he was outside with no line of sight? There was, sadly, no such thing as an annoying seeking bullet so that was out of the question.

 

The woman yelled again while Gavin was trying to think of a response that wouldn’t get himself shot, asking if he was friend or foe. To this, the man just sighed and holstered his gun. If a civilian so scared out of her wits that she can’t figure out the damn monsters can’t talk is still alive and that close it meant that no danger was around.

 

”Ahm gonna git the rest o’ mah team in ‘ere and try an’ get some supplies. Do yah got a safe space set up close or do yah need to move out?... Sittin’ ‘round with no cover is jus’ askin’ tah die.” there was a short pause as Gavin pulled out his other karambit and started spinning them both in his hands just as a nervous habit while walking towards the door opening and thus towards the exit. ”If yah ‘ave any food, that’d be fuckin’ awesome by the way. Tacos would be great. The crunchy ones, none o’ dat soft shelled shit. Also, do me a favor an’ don’t shoot me when I pass through in two seconds. Ah’ll be back in a sec. Don’ die in the meantime. Remember, no soft shell.”

 

He momentarily sped up from his usual walking pace to get past the door quickly. He wasn’t going to waste valuable and very limited energy blocking the door under the assumption that terrified civilian would shoot anything that moved. He wasn't entirely sure that the cop was ex-military, so decided against hand gestures and decided to just walk outside and talk. Too risky in case he misunderstood and either didn’t do anything or fired shots.

 

The cop was the first one to react and move over, and thankfully it seemed like nothing happened since he went in. The officer briefly asked what was up with the gunshots, and Gavin responded by raising his voice a bit so the others could hear.

 

”Lycanthropes inside probably. None left on ground floor though. Possibly more in building up high, but I can guard the stairway. At least one survivor, I’ll see if I can’t get her up here without shooting me while we’re at it. I don’t know if the survivor is armed, but sounded like a civvie so stay away from the stairwell unless yah wanna get twitch fired on. Ah’ll try and get in’tah contact with some guys on the radio while we’re pokin’ aroun’ too. Let’s go.”

 

Three others in that group. A late-middle aged man and his high school aged daughter, and a younger police officer. So far, they were too spooked to really question anything that Gavin did which made his job a lot easier. Funny how easily people were willing to trust a random dude covered in blood just because he walked straight, talked loud, and wasn’t drooling.

 

Less than two minutes later, Gavin was right back at the entrance to the stairway. He made sure nobody else was around, and he was out of line of sight of anyone on the other side. He was standing upright, still twirling his twin karambits to have something to do with his hands. He hadn’t turned the volume on his radio up, partially because it was unlikely to be clear because of the suspected recent magic usage… but mostly because in a situation this bad it was almost better to have no idea what was going on. If everyone in the city was dead, his entire organization wiped out… did he really want to know that right now? Better to just keep moving and doing things rather than let fear and anxiety catch up to you. And keep talking stream of consciousness to the confusion of everyone around you and the comfort to yourself. Y’know, the normal stuff.

 

”Alright. Ahm back. Any idea ‘ow many furries there are in this convention or nah?”

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Lian rolled her shoulder and cocked that head listening to the words coming down from the very masculine fellow. Well hell, either militia or police? Either was possible and since she highly doubted anyone had suddenly realized there was a few missing bits of important information -ya know since everything just went straight into the doggie shitter-she was not really worried about getting arrested. Not that she had ever…okay maybe once…or twice. “Well I think there is a safe spot behind me, I spotted a big door…cant promise tacos and who the hell does soft shells? Anyway I probably have something in my pack” to be honest, she was sure she had a few protein bars and twizzlers..( dun judge). She was fair, if it was not one of those damned Lycanthropic meat heads, she was all about sharing is caring. Whichever Mister personality was, he probably was armed. “No worries, I sure as hell aint wasting ammo” Wisdom-use it wisely or lose it stupidly.

 

 

 

She glanced back at the brain splatter and pile there by the door. Well, they would not be eating anyone anymore at least. Thing is, it seriously was weird to see two let alone a herd of those beasts working in unison. It was unheard of and just damned impossible. To work like a group or cadre of crunchies, they had to use intellect. Lycanthropes don’t get that, they have a brain, its just mushy and full of grim thoughts. Equal opportunity digestive things. Definitely not logic or strategy. The weird feeling that kept running along her spine told her magic of some sort was stirring, not the usual kind that she got used to after the sky had its day, but something that felt much thicker. Couple that weirdness with the red moon and it can only spell a connection of gigantic proportions- to whit-Lycanthropes with brains eating the city.

 

 

 

Since it got less chatty, she turned her grip about on the pistol and checked it again. The glue was still shiny, probably gonna have to warn Mister Taco that it might be best to skip two steps, nothing spells friendship like gluing some poor guy to the stairs. It had been merely amusing diversion had it been needed. Fact is she was not going to just waste her own stash on random bad tempered dogs if she could use it in a more effective way. Destruction only works if it is encompassing. Well and it was a matter of pride that she hit what she aimed at. She heard another step above sort of and chuckled.

 

 

 

“Well I took two down but from where I was, it looked like a damned army. If it’s a convention then they came to the wrong place for the hookers…oh and watch the second and third steps, they are glue” Listen sometimes a girl has to think with what she has on hand. Wits have kept her alive, and wits were gonna continue to be her best back up. People came and went but your mind was always there, ready to give you the most outrageous ideas and also cheering you on when you commit them. She really doubted she looked deadly to whomever was gonna come down, ripped jeans, briused up a bit and looking like the cat drug her about. But of course this was how she usually looked when she was deep into work. She just hoped that whoever had sent the day glo mouse was still alive, she was pretty much banking on some survivors down there holed up in what had to be a safer place than anywhere else in this building.

 

 

Security would have been overrun pretty fast, lets face it who prepares for such an attack , let alone even expects it. Anyone who has to deal with moon leds, you know that full moons are a sucky time to do business, it can wait till the phase is over and they are human sort of again. But this magnitude of mangy mutts in the city and on a rampage but with a purpose-because of their actions and movements with such focus-was something that both should be feared by most and also made her curious as hell to know what exactly caused it because anything that powerful was something to get a look at. ( okay yea, pillage the village sort of thought form) Everything after all has a purpose.

 

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There were some words Gavin was hoping to hear when he asked the question of numbers, but ‘army’ was not one of them. Before he left, there was something mentioned about a door behind the woman that was probably worth checking out as long as nothing ran down the steps. The damn stairway still had its lights intact for some reason, or at least most of them, but if a rush of lycanthropes happened to run down they might actually have a better chance in a smaller space than just running outside, at least for a small stretch of time.

 

”Ah’ll be down ‘ere in a minute to check out the door. If it’s nothin’, we’ll just get movin’ on. Gimme a sec.” he communicated before turning back and locating the cop. It wasn’t hard, funnily enough, since he was nearby listening in anyway pretending to search through a counter.

 

”Officer.” Gavin started, to make sure he wasn’t misreading and the guy was going to pay attention. As he said that, he sheathed both karambits and pulled out a portable ward from his belt to hand the guy. His tone was a bit softer than usual, but still firm and clearly a voice that was meant to give orders rather than start a conversation. ”Ahm gon’ go down there for a bit, if shit hits the fan jus’ twist the cap and trow. Smoke grenade tat makes the fucks lose yer scent. If tey come from the outside, toss it and run down the stairs. If tey come from the stairs, toss it and go outside. If you hear gunshots, leave. If civvie ovah tere is right and tere’s a safe spot down there, I’ll post up a big ass arrow in front of the door so y’all know to come down. Got it?”

 

The officer nodded his head, and the soldier clapped the man on the shoulder before heading back to the stairwell and passing through. Now, at this point Gavin looked anything but friendly. Black leather boots, a black cloth motorcycle jacket, and city camouflage military-style pants were damning enough, but add a very noticeable amount of blood splattered all across his clothing and it was probably not a stranger’s first inclination to assume that he was a good guy. He had a holster with his pistol inside on his right hip, and a sabre in a sheath on his left. His left hand was across the hilt of the sabre to ensure that it didn’t just collide noisily with every step on the way down, and his karambit sheaths were hidden under his jacket for the time being. No use walking down a set of stairs to a scared civilian with weapons drawn looking like he did now, that was definitely a recipe to getting shot.

 

”Let’s check out the door.” he enunciated as clearly as he could as he made his way down the stairs, his steel gray eyes trained on the woman at the bottom. When he got to the last turn, Gavin opted to just lean over and jump the last set of stairs to the bottom because he wasn’t about ready to lose his boots to a miscommunication at this point. He landed on the ground with a bit of a thud and some of the more recent blood spatter fell off of him and onto the floor. Absolutely disgusting, that was, and he could still feel some of it dried up in his hair.

 

His left hand still rested on the hilt of his sabre, but he tried to do it in as non-threatening a manner as possible. With his right hand he extended it because even in apocalyptic situations people needed to have manners and introduce themselves with handshakes. It didn’t matter that his hands were dirty as hell from dirt and mud and blood. It was just how things were done.

 

”Sergeant De Luc.” he said, gruffly. There was no use in going further than that with strangers, especially when artificial light was still surrounding them. The last thing he wanted was a knife in his stomach in a position where he couldn’t retaliate for being close enough to 'those damned mages'.

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Hazel eyes wandered up and watched her new ‘friend’ stride down. Yup, military type, smelled about as good as she did. Well, killing things tended to have that splatter, and contrary to the telly shows it stunk when it was Lycanthrope innards or brain bits. Obviously, she moved to let him make the last leg- or leap down to avoid her slight amusement ( diversion) because again- wits. Pretty big fella and obviously already seen some action top ground. Lian was not surprised or shocked- let's face it you do what she does and he actually looks normal. This, of course, means she probably had a pretty frigged up way of life. But it was never boring.

 

“Think I had a shaman or something sent a little message out before you tore up the floor up there. That is why I was heading down to check for who ever was still human” yea you can get the sickness, disease, infection, whatever they called it when those nasties bit ya. Of course, if they eat you that whole infection thing won't matter unless some rat or something eats your infected carcass. All the ingredients of a good horror movie right there.

 

 

When he got down so as to have her look up, she struck out her own hand and took his without a concern for the mess. This was her job so it was par for the course, she just did not get the cool uniforms and shit. “ Lian. Good to meet ya Sarge. Welcome to hell” What an understatement. Her grip was firm, for such a wee thing she was always judging handshakes and eyes. Body language was something akin to sure-fire signals. No matter what the mouth said, that language unheard told you volumes. It could keep you from trusting the wrong person or getting shot in the back.

 

 

When she released his own larger hand, she reached into the small pack at her hip and dug about bringing out the promised protein bar. “Okay so it is not a taco, but better than hoping for something safer to toss in your stomach. The door is down here, sorry for the bodies…they kinda pissed me off” Yea she had no patience for the meat head bouncers. It was obvious they had wanted to scratch that door down, why was a toss. Either they wanted to eat the poor people or there was something more hiding in the base level that no one but the dogs knew about. “Only saw those two when I got down here, most of ‘em where crawling through windows and the elevator shaft when I managed to duck down here. They had busted into one of the offices in a small group. They were hunting”

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Unnuk had finally managed to recharge a good portion of her power from what food was left in the service cart. She made her way to the door and saw the girl she had seen from the mouse along with another man. Both looked like very good people to have down here with the civilians.

"Hey! Can you guys hear me?" 

She called out.

"If you can take the service elevator down one floor. It'll put you in here with us. The wolves shouldn't be a problem as long as the door closes before the catch up to you! If you don't wanna risk the ride I suggest climbing down."

She called out as loudly as she dared. She didn't want to draw to much attention to the area. The gunshots were already bad enough. 

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The girl had less shock than expected. Probably either seen bad enough to be numb or was a veteran of police or military. He didn’t recognize her, but then again there were a lot of people at ARMA he would not recognize by sight so maybe that as well. Ripped up clothes, it looked like the woman was running for a while. When she mentioned the shaman, Gavin just nodded his head slightly. In a situation like this, it was probably beneficial in an ideal world to just out that he was a mage and give orders… but y’know, some kinds of fanatics look at the end of days only as an opportunity to drag some of their most hated infidels down to hell with them instead of even trying to survive. The soldier had also gotten the absolute shit kicked out of him far too many times by smaller women to even think about underestimating someone due to their appearance. Especially when his energy was not nearly enough for a prolonged fight.

 

When Lian shook his hand and introduced herself, Gavin couldn’t suppress the smirk on his face. She was definitely either a lunatic or a veteran, and to be frank at this point either one of those was fine. Even better still, she decided to hand over a nice protein bar. Not the most tasty things in the world, especially that brand, but there was absolutely zero chance of Gavin complaining at all. He opened the thing up and devoured it greedily without a word, figuring that if it was poisoned it was just his time. He needed the energy to sustain any sort of fight, and this risk was more than worth getting it.

 

As Lian started to explain the situation, Gavin froze momentarily and reached for his firearm instinctively when he heard a noise from down below. It was a voice from another woman, telling them both the ways down. That was fine and dandy, and the soldier was about to open his mouth to say something when he was interrupted by another noise, louder and more immediate. One of the doors a bunch of floors up was just torn open, and the sound of heavy footsteps on the stairwell god knows how many stories above was loud.

 

And continuous. One set of footsteps. Then two, then three. It kept coming, and they kept coming down. They smelled prey, and were ready to claim it. They were racing down the stairs, and within a minute easily they were going to reach the ground floor. Holy shit, how many of them are in this building? Gavin couldn’t keep count with how the noises and echoes blended together, but he had to act now. He moved over to the elevator shaft and smashed the key that would bring the damn thing up one floor to meet them.

 

”Lian, this is very important, so please listen. When this here elevator comes up, I want yah to jump in an’ close the door as quick as possible. Then I want yah to press down, so it goes down to the bottom floor where the others are. Before the door closes, ah’ll try to slide mah pistol an’ a clip of normal rounds in the door. When yah get intah the elevator movin’ I wan’ yah to destroy every single light inside of the damned elevator. This is very important. I need the elevator in complete darkness when it comes down tah the bottom, okay? Go on ya shit. We’re makin’ it outta ‘ere.”

 

Gavin had four silver bullets left, and spent all of them shooting the lights out of the ceiling of the stairwell. He moved towards the open door and started screaming: ”Wheeler, take the civvies and fuckin’ run! Ah’ll stall them. DO NOT TOSS THE ‘NADE. I’ll hold them off for long enough for you to escape. You have two minutes, fuckin’ shove off yah yankee cunt!”

 

The soldier kicked closed the door, then, as glass and bits of the lights fell down all around him. When the elevator came up, he threw his 9mm into the elevator with his last clip of normal ammunition for Lian. Eight rounds, more than enough to take out some lights if she actually did it. If she did, it meant there would be absolutely no blood trail leading to the other survivors. If she didn’t… well, it would be a little dicier. What he was planning to do certainly wasn’t orthodox or advised, but it was the way he could think of to make sure the hounds didn’t just smash down the elevator and kill everyone down there. Gavin needed something to mask the scent, and in this area specifically.

 

There was a few stray lights still flickering, and with a word and a gesture Gavin cut the cord on those until he was in complete darkness. The slavering, growling, and charging mass was getting close enough to be deafening, but they were not in eyesight yet. Just before they did, something clicked in Gavin’s head and he adjusted the plan at the last moment to use less energy. If he had to teleport, chances are whether he was out of danger or not he would be unconscious at the end of it. He could just jump down the shaft instead, and it would allow him to stall longer at the cost of his joint health.

 

That was a trade he was willing to make, and at that point he didn’t even notice what state the elevator was in. He sprinted to the back of the room and decided to enlist a bit of help to focus himself. Gavin was not a particularly religious man, but at a time like this it was not the time to make enemies. Psalm 23:4 was one of the few that he had memorized, so it would have to suffice. Steel gray eyes remained locked on the stairwell, waiting for the first rush of lycanthropes to run through.

 

”Fiú dá siúlfainn i ngleann an dorchadais, níor bhaol liom an t-olc agus tú faram le do shlat is do bhachall chun sólás a thabhairt dom.”

 

By some miracle, or act of God the lycanthropes did not come into leaping range until Gavin was finished with the prayer. He immediately slammed his palms into the ground with a wail of ”Balla na Geallta!” which brought multiple rows of spikes both in the space in front of Gavin and in front of the door out. It left him with enough breathing room to make a break for the elevator but he did not do so immediately. He needed to keep the spikes up long enough to mask any scent around, and the impact from the fall would likely be enough to shatter his concentration.

 

There were two thing in particular that were amazing about lycanthropes in general, their amazing regeneration ability and their complete lack of a sense of self-preservation. These went hand in hand, because one allowed the other to exist. These monstrosities were damn near fully impaled on some of these spikes, but recovered quickly and fully just to pounce once more. Some of them bite into the spikes and their regeneration was paused, but most of them just suffered superficial bleeding wounds with fur and muscle tissue being thrown around every which way. Each time one pounce on Gavin’s wall of spikes, it took extra effort to maintain its shape against the impact. It didn’t take long for him to realize he could not maintain this for the two minutes he promised, but he would get as close to it as possible. The strain was more than he expected, but the plan itself he hoped was sound.

 

The general idea was to make sure the lycanthropes cut themselves up enough so the entire ground was soaked with their blood, fur, and muscle tissue. This part was already being accomplished, with their repeated and ineffectual attempts to kill Gavin or breach the door through the spike wall. The soldier’s general thinking was that if the room was absolutely drenched with lycanthrope blood, guts, fur, and other body parts it would be damn near impossible for them to smell or detect anything else. It would also be mighty hard for them to hear a damn thing over the frenzy that would occur when the spike wall wore off, especially with more lycanthropes seemingly heading down. In front of him now was about a half dozen, though it was kind of hard to tell with all the movement. On the way was God knows how many more, so Gavin had to finish this pretty fast.

 

The lycanthropes were probably attracted down here in the first place to the smell of people around, so hopefully eliminating that smell would prevent them from finding the basement area. There was also the chance that the people down there would mistake Gavin falling down for one of them and kill him, but he liked his chances of surviving a gunshot wound better than fending off six – now turning into seven with a new arrival lycanthropes in an actual fight rather than just the lowest energy stall he could manage. The stakes made it so he did not have to manufacture anywhere close to the surface area of a wall or something similar, which conserved energy in a nice and sneaky way.

 

The soldier soon found himself at the edge of the elevator shaft, looking at about a floor’s worth of falling over a very narrow area. This was going to hurt, and could possibly be fatal if he smashed his head on the way down. ”Alright, Becks… Let’s see if’n I ken ‘member how yah taught tah fall… Yer gon' be so pissed when yah see how fucked up I come back to yah.” he muttered to himself as he took one last look over to the lycanthropes and the growing pool of blood on the ground before deciding he couldn’t really stall any longer. There was more of them coming, he could hear the doors smashing open on different floors as well. God damn it, this really was hell on earth.

 

Right before the fall, Gavin made the decision to prioritize magic over his physical well-being. He needed to accomplish two things aside from landing without dying: making sure the sound from his fall was localized enough that it did not extend to the lycanthropes up above and causing as much blood as possible to spill before the magic ran out up top to make sure the stink of their own kind was overpowering enough that none of them followed him down and finished him off. The impact would make damn sure he couldn’t keep the shadow solidification going a story above, so he had to make that blood splatter before he landed. To achieve that end, he muttered to himself ”Claíomh suas.” while making the requisite movements, fall safety be damned to make the stakes turn into blades and move upwards until his concentration broke, which would be momentarily.

 

From that point, a moment before impact, he muttered to himself: ”Ciúin.” and did his damndest to maintain that concentration to ensure his impact was as localized as possible. He was so focused on it he barely had time to put his arms in front of his face when he impacted the top of the elevator in a crash, denting the top of the thing slightly. The wind was completely knocked out of him and he was probably bleeding a bit, but thankfully his head managed to not bash against the walls of the elevator shaft and kill him. The howling up in the stairwell where he was previously became deafening very quickly, but the fact that one of them did not immediately jump down to smash him meant that his strategy maybe worked.

 

The bit about his own safety fell apart within moments of that, when Gavin crawled over to the little door at the top of the elevator that he was banking on to get down there. Turns out, it was locked and had a little keyhole that he couldn’t exactly do anything with at the moment. Probably to stop idiots from getting on top of the elevator, funnily enough, but at this moment the ‘safety feature’ may have just doomed Gavin to be dog food. As soon as he realized his mistake, he stopped moving and remained as completely still as he could. The moment one of those animals dropped down, Gavin would he killed or crippled from the impact more than likely and a goner. The only thing left to do at this point was lie down and silently pray, given that his last minute and greedy shift in plan may have just fucked him over for the last time.

 

The smash on top of the elevator would have been heard by everybody on the bottom floor, because Gavin did not dampen the sound downwards… only upwards. He had no real way to self-identify without making more noise, so he made the decision to just stay silent and hope he didn’t get shot at. Funny how these things worked, and this was a prime example of why the Sergeant was absolutely never allowed to come up with the fancy battle plans that his Shield unit came into battle with. All Gavin knew how to do was string together moments as they came, and at some point his lack of solid planning came back to bite him in the ass. Luckily for him, at least, adrenalin was still pumping in strong enough for him to not feel any pain from that fall. He wasn't at zero percent yet, but he didn't have enough energy left to fight off one lycanthrope let alone teleport at this point without actually killing himself in the process. He saved energy, sure, but it sure as fuck wasn't worth it at this point because he could get absolute jack shit out of it.

 

The real question, though, was why the fuck was he assigned to help local law enforcement today? If he lived through this, he would personally strangle the pencil pushing bastard who put him on this assignment. Why the fuck didn’t the eggheads at HQ know that something was going to go this insane tonight? Fucking red moons and lycanthrope packs, how the fuck did this all go without any warning? Who the fuck could possibly stand to benefit from this hate orgy of violence?

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Lian, this is very important, so please listen. When this here elevator comes up, I want yah to jump in an’ close the door as quick as possible. Then I want yah to press down, so it goes down to the bottom floor where the others are. Before the door closes, ah’ll try to slide mah pistol an’ a clip of normal rounds in the door. When yah get intah the elevator movin’ I wan’ yah to destroy every single light inside of the damned elevator. This is very important. I need the elevator in complete darkness when it comes down tah the bottom, okay? Go on ya shit. We’re makin’ it outta ‘ere.”

 
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The ruffled head bobbed an approval of the bar’s demise. They were not tasty but in her line of work they helped. She was not human, not a single bit, and she needed protein. It was really that simple. The smell of magic was very heavy about Sarge but she was cool with that, after all she had a few tricks herself. The sounds above echoed shortly after the smell hit her acute senses and she followed his own gaze up as she lifted her hand to flash fingers to imply many. Okay a shit ton really. In her head she counted the ammunition again she had as well as canted to the muse voice that came from below. Before she could offer the fact it was probably the mouse lady, Sarge caught her attention and to his words she gave it, though her own ears were counting steps. The lot would catch a few trips in the glue and buy precious moments but as he made sure to impress the need to get to the elevator and the rest she merely nodded and turned to measure the distance to its doors. That familiar spark traveled up her spine and an almost gamin grin of pure joy lit those features. Yea…junkie…

 

 

She followed him to the elevator walking backwards slightly and watching behind with that pistol held in a careful manner. Every shot had to count. Nothing yet burst upon them so she glanced to him before lunging into the elevator “See you on the other side partner” she slid into the box as the doors slammed and the thing rocketed downwards. The clip clattered near her and she scooped it up and prepared to unlight the way. If he wanted dark she could and would do it. Her nightvision was expert. Well….wolf…night vision …good stuff. She never had to wear one of those damned miner lights or carry a flash light much. Less to tote less to lose or have some sort of clue grafted from. Smart waif is good waif.

 

 

As she steadied her stance and took out each light, she also listened to the above noise, even from her descent she could pick out the smell of blood. At least it reeked of Lycanthrope and not humanistic. That meant so far no Sarge steak for the beasties. The darkness fell hard and she braced as the floor of the elevator slammed down and shook her through her boots into her very bones. JEESHSUS…She released a long breath and then holstered her own weapon to dig out a blade small and sharp to help achieve pressure to pry the doors apart.

 

 

While she worked she felt the tingle of warning again and paused as her fingers had pushed the doors enough to slide through. Some thing large struck the top of the box and once more shook it like a small earthquake. Damm…Lian released the doors and lifting one foot drug up on the wooden accent rail along the half way point in the wall of the battered box. Carefully pulling her other foot up she angled herself so she could use her pouch strap on one of the busted fire extinguisher holders as a brace for her hips, and reached to twist on the little key holder latch. If a Lycanthrope fell in, she was gonna blow its damned head off, if it was something else..well scent would really decide if she shot or not. Which lead to her leaned back and sniffing, sniffting enough to smell the mud and blood of her new ‘friend’. Lian held the edge of the security door or emergency exit thinger while her other hand dug for the lock pick. It took a few seconds once she worked it and the thing fell open to reveal the back of what had to be a body. Yea it was alive. Well sorta. Her hushed tones whispered “Sarge…get in here “ and she dropped the pick and reached for her weapon.

 

 

She had a small opening between his shoulder ( it looked like his shoulder anyway) and the opening. Obviously, if he fell, the rest might think about stomping down here. Fudge kittens! Well hell, shooting ducks in a pond backward right? Lian slid her wrist with a twist past him and held that pistol steady once more trying to get his attention, “Get in here, I think the monsters like going down” Hazel eyes swept back up and she hoped he was conscious enough to drop down, then they could get out of this box and blow it. Hopefully with a batch of those nasty things inside. Hopefully without blowing them up.

 

 

Did she mention explosives…yea she was not just stealing some information tonite ( well before the Lycanthropic meat heads burst in ) she had been leaving a message for the director. Listen sometimes small booms with little messes make a real important impression. She was not sure the why of the thing- just it paid well and frankly she lived for challenges. But right now that pay out really did not mean much because even if she got it, she would have to probably split it with some Lycanthrope who ate the guy….

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