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Witches: Darkness Forged

Akieen Cloud

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This will contain mature content, readers be warned.



        Nayomi sighed as she set the papers down on the desk in front of her, she'd been here most of the night and to be honest she had no more of a lead then she did before. Chiron had helped a great deal, there was no doubt about that...but they were still going in mostly blind, and it made her more then uncomfortable. Pinching the bridge of her nose she pulled out a cigarette and lit it, her zippo illuminating the small span of her facial features for a mere moment. Leaning back in the chair, she blew smoke towards the ceiling like she always did, her thoughts running rampant, her frown getting deeper the more she thought.

"You frown to much, you'll get wrinkles ya know."

She started slightly, her having been so deep in thought she had missed the person entering the room.

"Jesus Clyde...don't do that..."
"It's what I'm good at Blayze, they don't call me Phantom for nothing you know."
"They call you Phantom cause you can camouflage your self. And just because your great grandmother used to be a top operative around here doesn't mean you get special privileges. Now, what do you want?"

"Hey, my grandmother was a saint. And I have some info for you on the area your heading to."
"I said you great grandmother, and what info?"

Sticking the almost spent cigarette between her teeth she reached for a pen and a flipped one of the papers Chiron had given her to the backside giving her a blank sheet to write on.

"Hey Lilly was a kind hearted person I'll have you know."
"I get it Talon, tell me what you know!"

He smirked as she let out a low growl, a clear sign of her patience wearing thin.

"There's a small town round abouts 10 miles from that village your being sent to, which by the way is Omish country."
"Oh goody. So there's a town huh?"
"Yup, and apparently there's 3 missing persons reports from that town in the last 20 or so years."
"Gods alive, how long has this been going on?"
"Well, first there was a older man, a woman's husband I believe that went missing, he just left for work one day and never came home, a few years after that is a middle aged man, close to 30 I'd say, same thing, left the town and never came back. Now the last one is the most disturbing."

Nayomi looked up at him, he had long since taken a seat adjacent from her, chewing on a piece of gum as he rubbed and pulled on the short, thin beard around his chin as his thoughts seemed to over take him as well.

"About 6 months ago there was another report made, this time about a little boy; no older then 4 or 5 I think, the mother had let him out in the front yard to play, which was fenced in mind you. Close to half an hour later she hadn't heard him come back in or heard the neighbor's kids come to play so she went to check on him...nothing."
Nayomi frowned as she crushed the spent cigarette into the almost overfull ashtray next to her.

"Nothing, well not completely. There was a small clue, nothing anyone normal could go off of at least."
"What was it?"
"The family dog was laying dead in the yard, now this dog was apparently only a few years old her self. Still fairly young according to the reports, yet when she was found, she looked as though she was nearly 12."
"Abnormally old for a dog..."
"Yeah, that's what I thought too. Autopsy report showed that all the organs, bones, and blood vessels seemed to have been shriveled to almost nothing. Almost like something had sucked the life right out of the dog. They eventually just admitted the woman into a psyche ward and called it a day. Thought she was just insane or something."
"Sounds off to me."
Clyde nodded slowly.

"Yeah I thought so too, never occurred to me it might mean something but I thought you might want to know."
"Not overly helpful, but at least I have a small lead now. There's only so many things that can do that right?"
"Only one kind I know about. Demons."
Nayomi nodded as she lit another cigarette, her expression thoughtful. 

"Thanks for the info Talon, I'll see what I can make of it."

He nodded and gave her a mock salute as he headed for the door, he paused briefly in the door way and looked over his shoulder.

"I also heard from a little birdy that if you and your team pull this off, you'll be promoted to Alpha. Rumors are spreading like wild fire lemme tell ya."
"I highly doubt we'll get Alpha for just this one mission Clyde. But can you do me a favor?"
"For you beautiful? Anything."
She rolled her eyes and blew a plume of smoke towards him.

"Stop the rumors. I don't need anymore pressure than what I have on my team for this. It's been over a years since we've been in the field."
"Heh, yeah, how's ol Commandant feel about it?"
"He's not happy I know that much."

Clyde nodded slowly.

"I'll see what I can do, and Blayze..."

Nayomi looked up meeting his green eye, a shiver ran through her; she hated his eyes...they seemed to pierce right through her.

"Try not to slip up this time would you?"
Sighing she nodded and opened her laptop; she knew she would never live that one incident down, not by her team, not by the agency...not by anyone. How could she to be honest? She knew what would happen if she pushed her self to far...but she did it anyway. He frown returned as her thought drifted back to that single mission...the one that nearly ruined her career. being a shape shifter isn't the greatest of talents the HDF has. She shook her head and stood pacing, the smoke billowing from her lips like a small steam engine. 

It was night, pitch black and cold...she had phased to see better, hear better, get a better idea of what they were looking for. The den had been said to be abandoned for years yet signs of life lingered here and there, the vampires had far from moved away. When the fight had started everyone was in perfect sync, no one missed a beat, til they were over whelmed. Orders had come in for evacuation, Nayomi's pride couldn't stand a retreat and so she ignored it, stayed and fought. She knew, when her vision began to turn red...she knew what could happen, what was happening, yet she still pressed forward. It wasn't until it was to late that she tried to stop, tried to quell her instincts but the wolf was to far gone. One moment as herself became another trapped inside the beast, terrified all she could do was watch from the inside as the wolf went rampant, friend, foe...none of it mattered. She ripped through everything in her path. Oh the mission was a success alright, but her injured team caused an uproar.  They were desked the very next day.

She shook her head free of the thoughts and sat back down crushing another cigarette out with a vengeance, not this time. She had better control and she was better trained now, not this time. She knew how much a field mission must mean to her team and she was far from willing to let them down again. Rising from the seat she grabbed her jacket from the back of her chair and slipped it on, stuffing the remaining pack of cigarettes and her lighter in her jacket pocket she grabbed the papers and left the small office, hoping to never again be there for that amount of time. Her watch beeped at her, screaming that the mission was starting and she walked door to door, knocking lightly, letting her team know it was time to go. She reached her destination in the hanger, an old, wizened man drapped in a deep blue cloak greeted her with a crinkled grin.
"Wolf. it's a beautiful morning."
"Smells like it Cloak, smells like it."
She matched his smile and leaned on one of the agency vehicles as she looked at the man, he had been here longer than she had, no one knew just how old he really was or how he had lived as long as he did. Rumors flew about the base that he had once been part of the infamous Alpha team over 50 years ago, having aided Commandant and Commander Athens to a victory that saved the world. But rumors were just that, rumors and who knew that the tall tale was actually true or not. 

"Are you taking us today Cloak?"
"No no, to conspicuous. You'll be taking the jet to your mission today. And might I say good luck. If you'll excuse me, I must meet with the Commandant."
She nodded, pulling out another cigarette and lighting it as she waited for her team, a trifle thought filtering through her mind as she did.

'...I should cut back....'

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The sun has yet to wake from its slumber to light the sky when the knocking came, a clear sign that Delta team was to be packed and headed out for their mission to begin.  Victor stirred in his sleep, not wanting to awake so early and leave his comfortable spot on the bed, unfortunately for the soldier, he wasn't alone in his suite.  A delicate hand planted on the soldiers broad shoulder, gentle and warm as it shook the muscled soldier with as much force as it could.


"Victor, I think that was your squad leader, it's time for you to leave.  Big brother, get up...ugh"  The gentle voice of Rebecca awoke the soldier from his slumber, groaning at the awakening that needed to happen whether he wanted it to or not.  Victor shook his head and sat up from his spot, his feet touching the cooled carpet of their apartment as his hands placed themselves on the edge of his mattress.  Footsteps could be heard padding around the apartment, Victor yawned as he heard his younger sibling grab some items and place it next to him.  "Your suit, and boots Victor.  Everything is ready"  A slight distressing tone could be heard in her voice as she walked away, turning on the lights and opening the window, the sun was now on the horizon past the woods.  Victor took his time, feeling out his uniform before placing each item on one at a time.  His blue hand guards, top and shin guards.  Then his white shorts and tactical belt along his waist that carried his cell phone and had a couple pouches to carry bottled water.  Once fully dressed, the soldier grabbed his keys and made his way to the door, before pressing the unlock controls to open the door; Victor felt the same delicate hand of his sister oh his massive arm.  The soldiers dim colored blue eyes looked down towards the direction of the heated human where shallow breaths could be heard from.  


"Rebecca, I'll be back.  You don't have to worry about me."  Victor smiled and said softly to his baby sister, placing his large hand atop of her head, lightly patting down on her hair.  The young woman stepped forward and hugged her older brother tightly, she was rather quick for her size, it caught Victor by surprise when he had to catch his balance by placing his other hand on the wall.  The faint sounds of sniffling could be heard below the giant.  


"It's been so long since you've been away, and you know I worry when you're out in places that's unfamiliar"  Gentle tears fell from her eyes, Victor's body repelled them from her face as they danced in the air around her head, she opened her eyes to view the wonders of his powers in effect.  


"Rebecca, I'll be alright.  I'm with trusted members of my team and we look after one another, no matter what.  I'll be back in time for your birthday party sweetie, no one should be turning 16 without their family nearby."  Victor faintly smiled, rubbing his sisters back lightly, she only shed more tears of sadness.  "It's time for me to leave, I don't want to be the last one to meet the team."  Victor knelt down and placed a soft kiss atop his sisters head before pressing the security console, the door slid open, inviting the cool air from the corridor inside their apartment.  Victor placed his hands on the wall as he made his way towards the hanger.  After a couple of turns, the soldier was able to navigate without the aide of the wall.  Other the night guards here about to switch shifts to their morning counterparts, the building would be lively with soldiers soon as they wake and go about their day.  The soldiers who passed by Victor knew of his handicap and addressed themselves as they passed by, Victor said his greetings as he made his way to meet his team members.  Rebecca sat herself down on Victors unmade bed, looking down at the text she was about to send to Dassem, a team mate of Victors that she's known since for a couple years now.


"Bring him home alive...for me..."


 Clicking the send button, she closed her phone and began to dress in her school uniform.  Walking to her room, she merely phased through the door and began her morning ritual.  Victor could hear the echo of his footsteps dim as the fetal hallway turned concrete, indicating he was now in the hanger area of the base.  The doors slid open as he approached, the heavy aroma of smoke filled the soldiers nose, making the man squint his face slightly before moving closer to the source.  Stopping mere inches from the source of the smoke, he could feel the heat from the cigarette and the body heat rise form a smaller, more toned and at its top peak.


"Victor, you're early for once.  Good to see.  Do you have everything you need for this one?  It's not going to be a walk in the part like what we've experienced before"  Blayze huffed a thick stream of smoke in a single funnel from her lips, making sure to aim away from Victor in a polite gesture.  The soldier nodded as he felt his utility belt, his pockets were full with his items, but the man felt two full bottle waters on his side, almost stunned he didn't notice them before.  His sister was good with her powers and quickness.  It brought a happy smile to the man.  


"Had some encouragement to get up and going, are we going to be briefed in more detail once we're on our way?"  Victor asked, his feet on the cold concrete, he sensed another close to the two.  It made the man look towards the direction where a powerful force was standing.  


"Yes, don't you worry about that.  We're not going in...eh....blind on this one"  She spat out after a moment of thinking about the terminology.  Victor chuckled for a moment.  "This is Commander Cloak, hes a Veteran member and a council board member."  Victor felt embarrassed  for a moment before standing at parade rest in front of his superior, the elder man simply walked towards Victor, placing a firm hand on the mans shoulder.  


"No need soldier, relax.  Usually I would be transporting you, but for the nature of this mission you'll be flying manually without HDF powers.  More will be explained when the rest of your team arrives."  Cloak removed his hand and vanished from Victors sensory range, Cloak had vanished from his spot to another location.  Blayze tossed her spent cigarette butt to the side and blew his last smoke cloud before speaking.  


"Go ahead and get get on the plane, I need you rested for recon when we get there."  Victor nodded as the hatch to the airplane opened on command, the echoing noise of the metal helped the soldier find the location to enter.  Climbing the steps into the plane, Victor felt the smooth leather of the seats as he picked a spot and sat down, feeling the leather seat handles and listening to the rumble of the engines as they started up.

Edited by Shwa
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A wallet sized black and white photo stared Chiron in the face, though the edges were burned and much of the photograph was ruined from time and the heat it was exposed to. He could see half of the face of a young girl, pulling a smaller boy by the hand who seemed to look concerned. He heaved a sigh as he put the photograph back to where it came from, closing his wallet shut and placing it into his empty pocket after uttering a few words. His crimson eyes raised to the ceiling as his thoughts escaped him. He was the most recent addition to Delta and hadn't been in the field much due to what HDF classified as "instability in severe cases" so it was a wonder that he was even in the squad now. With or without the information past what he had gained in his own time, he already knew this mission would not be a cakewalk, especially working with three other squadmates who he didn't know personally. He only knew Nayomi briefly from working with her before, but other than that, she was just another coworker.

Chiron exhaled slowly and closed his eyes as he started drifting into meditation before a knock came on his door. "I suppose that means it's time to go," he said to himself as his eyes opened again. He rose to his feet, pulling his long sleeved dress shirt on, buttoning it up halfway and pulling on his black jacket over top of it. He pushed the door open and could see that there was another squad member already ahead of him. He couldn't recognize him from behind, especially since he was already about out of his plane of view. He glanced to the door he came out of before closing it shut behind him and heading after the man ahead of him to make it to the hangar.

"Ah, you must be Sir Magus, then?" a voice spoke from behind him as he almost reached the hangar. Chiron glanced over his shoulder, slightly startled by the sudden voice behind him. "My apologies. Cloak is the name. Just wishing you all the best of luck on today's mission."

Chiron, recognizing the name, turned and bowed at the waist politely. "Of course, commander. My thanks."

"Cut the formalities, please. Just go bring our men back. And come back alive yourselves," he said before disappearing as quickly as he appeared.

Chiron nodded, turning back toward the hangar. As he made way in, he caught sight of the jet they would be boarding. He spotted Nayomi outside of the plane, putting a spent cigarette out and looking up to see him approach. "Good, you're on time, Chiron. Ready to go?" she asked with a smile.

"Aye. I suppose we'll be further briefed during the flight?" Chiron asked, walking up to her but resting a hand on the rail of the steps.

"Yeah, like I said to Victor, we won't be going in blind on this one," Nayomi responded with a nod. "Go get comfortable. It's going the be the last bit of relaxation we'll see for now," she chuckled.

"Right. I'll do just that," Chiron bowed his head as he started onto the jet.

"Didn't you bring any supplies, Chiron?" she asked as he stepped inside, only to see him smile over his shoulder and disappear inside the jet.

The shadow mage took a seat, looking to the man he remembered as Victor after having a better look at him. "Pleasure to meet you again. Just wish it were on better circumstances," he said with a shrug, glancing toward the windows.

"Yeah, but it can't be helped. This mission is pretty serious. You ready for this?" Victor replied, turning his head toward him.

"As ready as one can be. Are we still waiting for one more then?" Chiron asked.

"Ah yeah. No worries though. Dassem'll be here any time now. You anxious or something?"

"Yes, I suppose so. Just haven't done much field work these days. I feel like I've been doing nothing but R&D lately," Chiron closed his eyes, a chuckle escaping him. "I just hope my skills haven't dulled too much." Edited by Kayin Cloud
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Nayomi nodded to herself as Chiron joined Victor in the jet, if there was one thing she was glad for, it was that her team was at least somewhat sociable. Unlike Echo team...who talked to no one. As if drawn from her very thoughts the young woman in charge of Echo entered the hanger, a smirk on her features letting Nayomi know that she was about to start trouble and sure enough her high pitched voice rang out across the hanger.

"Well well, look at this. Delta finally getting a field mission! How lucky are you dog breath?"
"Not as lucky as you think Jolt."

The woman scoffed and flipped her hair over her shoulder, sending small sparks of electricity along the strands; her control of electrical currents gave her respect throughout most of the women operatives, but her looks gave her respect with most of the men; which wasn't to far of a stretch for her looks to be honest. She had copper skin her yellow eyes looking wild and untamed; her shapely figure and jet black hair matching nicely...Nayomi on the other hand, Nayomi just disliked her. 

"Was there something you wanted Evea?"
"Oh nothing, I thought you would just like some words of encouragement. That's all."
"No doubt for only the guys?"
"Oh how'd you know?"
"Cause...for some reason you hate my guts?"
"No see I don't hate your guts. I hate your looks. Besides me in this base people say your the most desierable woman that works here."
"Some how I doubt that."
"Well no one has seen you with anyone, most people think your deformed in some way. Either that or that men you run with are all-"
A low growl erupted from Nayomi, she took a step towards Evea and bared her teeth, her canines standing out against her teeth. 

"They are my pack. I watch out for them and they watch out for me. They're my family and if I hear anyone saying anything negative about them in ANY shape or form they WILL answer to me. Got it Evea? Now if I'm not mistaken I outrank you and I want you out of here and out of my range of smell and sight."

"The commandant will hear of this."
"I'm sure he will. Now if you excuse me. I have work to do."
Without waiting for a response she turned and walked away, going under the wing she began to check the wiring and made sure everything was in working order, the voice behind her made her jump, the echo of her head hitting the wing resounded through the hanger.

"Jeez, sorry Nay. You alright? What are you doing under there?"
"I was making sure everything was alright before we left. What are you doing here?"
"I came to wish you luck and farewell. What are older brothers for?"
"Besides being annoying? In all seriousness Jack, look after Alm would you?"
"Our little brother will be fine. I won't let anything happen to him."
He extended his hand, his thumb outward and allowed a small flame to come to life from his skin as she stuck a cigarette between her lips.

"Heh, thanks Pyro,"
"No problem Canine."

She shook her head and looked past her brother as another man entered the hanger.

"Right, there's Dassem. Means it's time to go. I'll be back in a few days, or weeks...who knows with this mission. Either way you and Alm look after each other, alright? He always has a peanut butter sandwhich while he does his homework, get him up at 0500 so he can get his shower before school. Don't make him broccoli and don't let him over do it on the pepper. No sugar or sweets an hour before he goes to bed, and no milk before his training. Got it?"

Jack blinked rapidly before turning his sister around and pushing her towards the entrance of the jet.

"Jack did you hear me?"
"I got it Nay. I'll take care of him. Promise."
"And no parties. I always clean up after you two I don't want to have to clean that."
"No parties, right, yeah, got it. Just go before you late woman!"

She sighed and wrapped her arms around his shoulders hugging him tightly.

"I'll be back."
"You better be, cause if not, we'll starve. I can't cook to save my life."
She chuckled and entered the jet with another sigh, looking back as Dassem settled not far from Victor.

"Alright guys. Time to go. You guys got everything? Yes? Good." 

Walking to the cockpit she inputted the coordinates and hit auto pilot, walking back to the others she took a seat and reclined it back.

"Get comfy fellas, we got about 2 hours flight."

The nodded and got settled in as the turbine engines roared to life fully, the hanger doors opened and the jet took to the air. 

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Dassem sat on his bed with a single light on, having hardly slept since receiving the news about the mission and finally being able to be out in the field once more. His program would be on hold for now, until they could get a suitable replacement who would follow his curriculum properly, but that was the least of his concern these days. His duty to the HDF always came first, but he was forever bound to the Demos clan as well and they were an intricate part of this organization and they had left their mark on him. He was dressed in only his pants as his rope of hair hung over his face and his eyes just looked at the floor for several minutes, he looked up when he heard his phone go off. Standing up he walked over to his end table and picked up the phone, he saw who the message was from and slid the bar to pop up the message.


"Bring him home alive...for me..." He stared at it for several moments, those words burning into his memory before he tossed the phone on to his bed with a soft bounce. He went to work, gathering up the uniform he had been given by the Demos family, sliding on his fabric shirt and strapping on the vambraces. He wore the traditional garb that the Demos family had gifted him when his life became intertwined with theirs; it had been odd at first for him, all of them dressing in their mystic garbs and archaic ways. But, it didnâ??t take him long to grow accustomed to it, even though he had spent many years in camies and ballistic vests. As time went on, he wore it willingly, finding their markings and rune magic was more than enough to stop bullets as well and he fell into the trend when out on missions. At home, he had a different uniform that felt both comforting and foreign whenever he wore it around the base. For now, the feeling would be forgotten as he finished dressing and laced up his boots before looking up and to the weapon given to him years ago.


â??You have been so quite all this time, I hope your song hasnâ??t withered and died while housed in your prison.â? Dassem said softly as he lifted the sword by its scabbard and secured it to his belt, after which he strapped a knife to his boot before throwing on his cloak, another article of clothing given by the Demosâ?? that he readily wore. When he was done he made his way to the hanger, but made one quick stop at the armory picking up one last weapon and storing it in a satchel he had requested. After that, there were no further delays as he wound his way through the building until he was about to enter in the hanger when he was pulled aside by a shadowy hand. The touch alone getting him to stop as he whirled on the person with his hand reaching for the blade at his side, the face was the only thing stopping him from swinging.


â??Cloak, by the Nine! You know better than to sneak up on me like that, I could have run you through.â? Cloak kept his face hidden and his body motionless for several moments.


â??That is always possible Dassem, I am glad to see you are still sharp as you were when they put you on leave.â? Dassem released his grip on his blade, but left his hand on the pommel. The Demos family talked of Cloak more then was coincidental, he was something of a legend around the HDF and more so with the clan. He had been told stories about Cloak, some seemed reasonable while others were so farfetched that it seemed to be true for the fact they couldnâ??t have happened. Dassem was always cautious around Cloak, if even half the things he had been told were true, this manâ??s roots went deeper than anyone could conceive.


â??I have a task for you, First Sword.â? Dassemâ??s brow twitch for a just a moment, the formal use of his title was rather disconcerting in this place. It was usually saved for the manor of the mystics, or when someone thought to make a point with him. In any matter, this was a serious situation and the HDF operative was a rather serious man.


â??What do you need? I am about to be off on a mission, if you have anything for me I hope it can wait until after we are done.â?


â??Your mission is what this matter concerns, I need your eyes and ears on this one First Sword. You are to report back when this mission is complete, and I want your full evaluation on this one.â?


â??All of my reports are very thorough, you will have to read them along with everyone else sir.â? Dassem was about to turn away when Cloak grabbed his arm.


â??No, it is not a simple matter of being thorough. I need every detail, no matter how small; I need to make sure everything is going as it should be. I simply ask that you give me another, verbal report when you return. That is all.â? Dassem stared at the man, trying to look through the shadows of his hood before looking down to the arm and pulling his out of the others grasp.


â??As you wish, I will deliver a verbal report to you when we return. Now, I must depart; make sure my cadets are ready for when I return.â? He turned away then, not willing to hear anymore from Cloak, he didnâ??t need to know anything more and he was glad to be out of his presence. Walking into the hanger he saw the rest of the team and made his proper salutations and quickly boarded the aircraft, his mind taking in everything for his report later as he took a seat near Victor, and then looking over the new member of Delta. This was going to be an interesting trip indeed.

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Nayomi yawned, her voice keening out a whine as small tears of boredom escaped the corners of her eyes. Standing she went and looked at the time left on the flight and felt her heart jump.

"10 minutes til landing guys, gear up!"

She walked back to the cabin and began to gather the few things she had brought with her. She never carried much do to the fact that when she changed she was her own weapon. Her senses were already heightened due to the wolf inside her. Clipping her locator onto he belt she pulled her headset from her small satchel and wrapped he wire around her ear and popped the ear bud in, shifting it til it was comfortable. She looked around and noted that the others were doing similar as well. Nodding she felt the jet begin its downward ascent and held onto the back of one of the seats. 

"Alright, I'll fill you in on what I found out from Phantom about this. The village we're supposed to be investigating is in Amish country, to get there we'll be landing in a town a few miles away and walking from there. This town is relevant in our mission seeing as they have had 3 missing persons reports in the last couple of years."

Victor's voice sounded from the back behind Dassem. A question she was prepared for.

"How is it relevant? Has something happened to these people?"

"It's my belief that something has yes. The last person to go missing was a child, the family dog was found in the yard where the child was playing sucked of life."
Dassem frowned deeply.

"Something sucked the youth from the dog. The owner said she was only 2, but when she was found dead in the yard the dog looked at if she died at 12. I strongly feel like these and the village are somehow connected."

Chiron crossed his arms over his chest and frowned.

"Only one thing could do something like that. But it would be almost impossible for it to exist on this plane."

"That's what I thought too, then I rethought it again, A temptress demon fits the bill perfectly, but the only way they can maintain on this plane is by feeding off of another source. But this source has to be alive, and innocent. What better then a child to do that?"

Victor spoke again.

"You think the child is still alive?"
"Honestly, I don't know. All I know is this, the village apparently was burned down over 100 years ago, somehow someone has brought it back along with the people who died. Everyone in the town died int he church, it was somehow locked from the outside trapping all the townspeople inside and burning them alive. The whole town is there again somehow and all the people who were in it are there too. From my understanding they aren't a threat, they just walk around not realizing they're dead. Mindless corpses basically. Our goal is to go in and see what's causing this and put a stop to it if we can. Our secondary goal is locate and retrieve Alpha and Beta teams. Both of which were sent here as well and never returned."

The jet jarred as it landed heavily on the run way, Nayomi flipped her locator on, watching as the others did as well.

"Stay close to one another, keep with in headset distance and make sure if you find anything you call the rust of us. No one goes in alone and no one starts anything. For the time being this is strictly a passive mission at the moment. But if we are engaged, we will engage back."

"Is that in our orders?"
She looked at Dassem, her eyes hard as she stared at him.

"No, it's not. But I will not allow any of you to come to hard understood? If we are attacked we will fight back and we will retreat."
Victor shook his head.

"Isn't it something like that got us stuck behind desks in the first place Wolf?"
Nayomi crossed her arms, looking towards Victor to see his pale eyes focused in her direction. 

"In this case I don't care. Just because the people in this village are said to not be dangerous does not mean it'll stay that way and I won't just sit back and watch as a whole village decideds it wants to have us for dinner or something alright? If something happens we fight to get out and nothing more unless given other orders. I'm not doing this all by the book, our first thing on the list is to go around the town out side of the the Amish village and see what information we can get on the place and to see if any of the others can through here as well."

The all nodded.

"Alright, locators on? Headsets connected?"

Getting nods from the others she turned and opened the hatch to the jet and walked out first, her nostrils flared slightly as she took a deep breath, scents filtering to her from all sides. 

"Alright, nothing out of the usual for now. I think we should split up and see what we can find, just make sure your within range of the headsets. Dassem, you take Victor and head left, Chiron and I will head right first and see what we can find in the town. Meet back here in an hour and we'll discuss what we've found. Also, like I said before make sure you keep an ear out on any info on Beta and Alpha."

With that being said she gave the other men a salute, which Dassem returned, Victor simply nodded in her direction. She turned and walked away, Chiron matching her stride as she head Victor and Dassem head the other way. 

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Victor could hear the footsteps of Nayomi and Chiron vanish as they departed, only masked by their own as the two men now wandered to find their set location.  The soldier couldn't be any more happier that their mission was in the wilderness, his bare feet was used to the small twigs and grassy landscape rather than the hash conditions of the city or beach.  Victor's body would be able to sense more around his range thanks to the ever moving wind or rustling of a trees and grass nearby to guide him.  The two men walked side by side as they went uphill sightly at a slope, ever keeping cautious of their surroundings, Dassem more than ever as they made great strides.


"I'm glad we're finally out of desk duty, I've almost forgotten what it feels like to be a true field agent had it not been for some gym training here and there.  I'll admit, my nerves were getting tired of the base."  Victor smiled as he reached for one of the water bottles attached to his belt.  


"You have to get out more often.  Since we were put on that punishment I've noticed you've stayed in the base and never left.  Not even headed to the nearby town to party like all the others do.  Hell Victor, even the privates go blow their paychecks on payday down there.  Some people might question you..."  Dassem spoke, hearing his team mate chug some water before the water bottle came into his side sight, an offer for some nourishment.  Dassem shook his head politely.  "No, thank you.  Plenty on the way over here."  Victor nodded as he clipped the container back to his hip side.


"I don't see why they would.  I spend my time doing what I please and that's about it"  Victor looked to his right, hearing a couple of field mice scurry across the way, but they were heading the opposite direction of the two men.  The hill they traveled on seemed to be inclining more and more.


"Come now, even I find it odd that I see your sister more than I see my team mate."  Dassum's breaths increased as the two took a small breather for air.  Their journey has ended as the two made it to the top of the hill, about an hour had already passed since they've split from the group, but the two men had hardly noticed as they conversed with one another.  Their view was amazing, nothing but full leaved tree-tops and wilderness as far as the eye could see.  Victor could hear nothing but rustling and a distant echo of hawks as they flew from their nests and into the bright blue sky for their leisure.  


"I guess I'm just more social with people I know.  You know it's hard enough for me to get around, much less make friends around the base.  I just like to usually stay in and read."  


"You gotta get out more often friend, it'll do your body good.  Take now for instance, you've been smiling the whole time"  The man smirked at his friend, Victor blushed slightly, not even realizing how excited he was to be outside of the base.  The two laughed for a bit before surveying the rest of the area.  It would seem that their route took them to the hunting grounds area of the village, there were plenty of game and wildlife that roamed about freely with little to no care as the two men walked past.  Victor knelt down and placed his hands on the dirt roadway, moving it left to right as the dust rose slightly.  

"There's a large river down in the valley, we can follow it upstream for a bit.  That would be the wise move."


"Agreed, but let's check in with Nayomi beforehand.  It's already been an hour."  Dassem commented as he reached for his headpiece.  "Nayomi, nothing new to report on our end, just a forest meadow.  Victor sensed a river so we're going to be walking upstream of it for a while to see if we find the village."


"Understood, you're breaking up somewhat so that means the range is getting greater than we had imagined.  Report back in the next hour or unless you find anything related to the mission."  Her voice was faint if not understandable, the transmission signal was at its limit, but both heard their orders and nodded.


"Copy that, Dassem Out."  The older man placed a firm hand on Victors shoulder, giving it a light squeeze as Victor took the hint.  Standing from his spot and clapping his hands free from dirt.  "Good find, there's a slope down the ways, let's take it down and head for the river."  Dassem lead the way as Victor followed, they were able to make it down to the meadow with ease.  The two traveled through thigh high grass, making their trail visible where ever they stepped, it wasn't for too long before they had reached the raging river.  The water rushed past the rocks as if it had been trapped for centuries on the other side, the fish swam and the nearby bears hunted for their prey.  


"Dassem...there's a bear next to us, isn't there?"  Victor questioned, his toes tugging on the blades of grass.


"Yes, I'm surprised you knew what it was when it's at least half a mile away."  The men both stared at the bear as it hunted for leaping fish in the river, receiving it's own bath in the same process.  "However, it's a little odd that..."


"...that it's not giving us a warning cry?  Or coming after us for a meal?  Yes, that's what I was trying to get at as well."  Victor lead the way this time as the two men began to walk upstream, Dassem kept his hand on his sword as they passed by the bear, but it was if it had hardly noticed the two men at all.  Even in plain view.  "That's not normal, that's not normal at all.  That had to be the most passive bear I've ever encountered"  Victor shouted slightly over the rushing water as they passed by, the noise soon died down as they were at least a mile away from the bear.  The gentle currents of the water trickled lightly on one side of Victor while the wind brushing past the trees rattled on the other side.  


"I think we're onto something then, maybe wildlife has been affected as well from this temptress demon.  If that's the case, at least you have your element for combat right next to you."  Victor smirked at the comment as the two men pressed on North of the river.

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Nayomi's hand was still clamped down over her left ear.

"Dassem, do you copy, Dassem. Report! Dammit they went out of range. I was going to tell them we'd regroup and check it out together. I don't want them running into anything on their own."
"They can fend for them selves Nayomi. We need to try and gather information on Alpha and Beta."

She nodded slowly at Chiron's words, knowing they were true, but knowing 2 other members of her pack were now 'missing' and potentially in danger didn't sit well in the bottom of her stomach. They continued walking, the static in her ear eating at her nerves til she pulled the bud out of her ear and let it hang. She looked down the road and took a deep breath.

"Smells like there are some people this way. Maybe we can figure something out. You have the photos?"
Chiron nodded and pulled out two photos of the prior teams who came to the area. As they walked a little more ways ahead Nayomi noticed that some of the people who were outside were retreating back into their homes.

"Do we look that intimidating? I mean I know black is kind of a morbid color but sheesh..."
It wasn't until she heard a young girl behind her mother's legs that she knew what the problem was.

"Mommy they're dressed like the dead people...are they dead too?"
Nayomi cleared her throat and spoke loud enough to be heard.

"I'm sorry to disturb you, my friend and I have come looking for a few of our co-workers that were here a few months back. We haven't heard from them in a while and were wondering if any of you might have some information that we could use..."

An older man stepped forward, his white hair and beard making him look almost feeble as his sun spotted hands clutched the cane he used as aid to walk.

"My dear, who exactly are you looking for. I might be able to help you."
Chiron handed her the photos, which she showed to the old man.

"These 8 people. Have you seen them? They came here a few months back to study the wild life near an old demolished village around here and we haven't heard back from them."
"My girl, those people left for the village just over that hill around 8 months ago, they never returned. I'm sorry for your loss."
"My..loss? What makes you think they're dead?"
"Young lady, no one who goes over that hill ever comes back. No one."

Nayomi felt her blood turn to ice as she followed the old man's finger as he pointed in the very direction Victor and Dassem had gone."
"C-can you tell me why?"
"The devil has raised his playground in that old village. More and more people go missing every month, each one of them on vacation in these parts. Some of them hiking in the hills...they all go to that village...none of them come out."

"What exactly happened there? Do you know?"
His weathered face took on a deep expression as he seemed to be sucked into his own thoughts.

"My great grandfather used to tell me stories, about a woman, no older then you, who lived in that village. She was special, able to make things grow in ways no one else could. Now a days we'd just call it a green thumb. Old lady Mithers is the same way ya know. Her plants are always bigger and prettier then any one else's. But this was back in the old days, where they believed in witch craft, So the lady was hung she was, hung right next to the church in the branches of the old white oak that still stands there. Story goes she sold her soul to the devil in order to get revenge, he let her come back to the dirt and while the town was in worship she burned the church down to nothin. No one left live what my great grandfather said."
"So what makes you think it's come back?"
"We hear them. Screamin, howling, wailing. Wanting nothing more then to die and rest in peace, only she won't let em'. She keepin em' live only soulless. They's can feel, see; everything. Knowing they ain't supposed to be live, but not knowing they be dead either. Caught in an eternal living limbo as it were."

Nayomi nodded hastily and grabbed Chiron's arm pulling him with her as she began to back away from the crowd.

"Thank you so much for the information. If you'll excuse us, we best be going now."
"Good idea little lady. The farther you are from this place the better. Who knows long we'll be round for."
A young woman clamped her hands over her daughter's ears and frowned at the old man.

"Hank! Dang nabbit old man, why do you always have to talk like that?!"
"What I thought you all said you were movin?"

Sighing the woman looked at Nayomi.

"Your not really here to study wild life are you? You and your friend don't look the sort. Are you here to figure out what's going on down there?"
Nayomi saw how she held her little girl and sighed as her thoughts went to her younger brother.

"Yes, we are. Is there anything you can tell me?"

"May god be with you..."
Nayomi smirked and crossed her arms over her chest as she cocked her left hip to the side, her smirk revealing her canines as her crystal eyes sparkled.

"You might want to pray for them sweetheart. They'll need it."

With that Nayomi took off at a sprint up the road heading in the direction Victor and Dassem headed. As soon as they were out of sight she phased, it was seamless and almost beautiful as her hair darkened and covered her back, morphing to her limbs which stretched and popped here and there, with in seconds a large wolf stopped in front of Chiron, her voice growling out from between her sharp teeth.

"Get on."

His eye brow raised as his face turned downward.

"Excuse me?"
"I'm faster this way. Now stop arguing and get on."
"I can-"

She snapped her teeth at him with a growl and nodded as he scrambled on to her back holding handfuls of the silken black fur.

"Hang on tight"

With a bound she was gone leaving puff of dust in their wake where her massive paws hit the dirt. Within no time she had caught Dassem and Voctor's scent.

"Chiron, are they within range of the headsets?"
"Not yet."
"Dammit, keep trying while I follow their scent. They could be walking right into a trap and not even know it."
"Victor would sense it."
"A whole village of dead people and a revenge bent witchy temptress demon against two are not good odds."
"They are next to a river Nayomi. I would feel worse for the enemy then those two."
"Of course it is."

She growled but said nothing more as she bounded along the trail left by her team mates.  

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Chiron was still a little offput by riding on top of a giant wolf. He figured there were faster ways to travel, but in the same merit it would be possible to spot anything amiss moving like this. A sigh escaped him as he looked up, ducking a low branch. I truly hope you're on their trail and not just trying to decapitate me, Nayomi... Chiron thought, shaking his head. He closed his eyes, keeping himself practically flat against Nayomi's back, focusing on hearing the loss of static on his headset. For a while there was no change but his eyes opened sharply as he heard something in the static. He knew Nayomi wouldn't have heard it, shaking it off. "You alright back there, Magus?" Nayomi asked, feeling him tense up suddenly.


Chiron cleared his throat. "Just fine. Thought I felt something is all," he replied. "Nothing of concern. Still getting nothing but static though."


"That's something of concern, Chiron. Just keep trying okay?" she asked as he stride only lengthened with the concern of her team fueling her.


"I understand, Nayomi. I will," Chiron said and straightened as he could hear the static drop briefly. "Dassem and Victor, this is Chiron. Do you read?"


"Hey, we're still in one piece. What's going on?" Dassem replied, although the connection was still choppy.


"Glad to hear it. Just passing along the intel we gathered. Are you two still near water?" Chiron asked with a small grin.


"Yeah, Victor's still locked and loaded if that's what you mean," Dassem replied with a chuckle.


"Good to hear it. Unfortunately, Alpha and Beta can be assumed dead. According to reports by the townsfolk, they passed through and headed to that village and never came back. Also you're headed in the very same direction. Be on guard, you two. We're going to make an attempt to regroup and Nayomi is hauling ass to catch up. Also there are rumors of a dead 'witch' seeking revenge. There's no proof, but that means little in our line of work," Chiron finished. His eyes narrowed a bit. "It very well could be that this demon and this witch are one and the same. No matter what the case may be, we shouldn't make a move until we've regrouped. We've got your trail, so try not to move too hastily if it can be helped."


"Understood, Chiron. You two be careful too. The way the wildlife has seemed to be this way is certainly concerning," Victor stated, the connection seeming to be much less statical than it was.


"Why, what do you mean?" Chiron asked, blinking out of his dark expression.


"Well, we essentially just walked past a bear who was fishing with not even a warning for us to leave. Almost as if it didn't even notice us. Not completely sure what to make of it yet, but if we figure it out before you do, we'll be sure to let you know," Victor stated, sounding as if he were still trying to figure it out while he said it.


"Hm... we'll keep an eye on things on our end. Thank you for the intel," Chiron nodded. "Are we close, Nayomi?"


"It smells like it. Just make sure you hang on. With any luck it should only take us a few minutes," the wolf responded, glancing over her shoulder briefly.


"Alright, you two. We'll be expecting you soon then. Best of luck," Dassem said, his words as clear as the reception should normally be.


"Likewise," Chiron removed his hand from his headset and held back onto the wolf's fur. "Well, while we're trying to gain ground on them, I'll try and make something of... What in the Nine...?" he cut himself off as they passed a few trees. "Nayomi, did you see that...?"


"Not really, what'd I miss?" she asked, still focused on the trail of her squadmates.


"The trees back there seemed to have withered to nothing. No sign of damage. No sign of rot. Just...death. The bark was practically all there was left of those trees. They looked almost empty inside. I'm wondering if this so called 'witch' has a bit more ground than we were expecting," Chiron said, still looking behind them. "Either way, things are getting more complicated than I had hoped between the wildlife and the foliage. Either the demon is taking life from more than just people or we have more than one problem on hand..."


"Well, our primary goal is to deal with what's going on in the village. It's not in the mission to figure out things with this 'witch' who was only assumed to be a witch. For all we know, this was coincidence. Let's just focus on our goal. Just a few more minutes and we should find the others," Nayomi replied, though Chiron could tell she was just a bit concerned about it herself.


"I understand..." Chiron said, sighing softly. Let's just hope my gut is wrong about this one...

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The two soldiers continued on their way up river, figuring their team leader and Chiron would be able to catch up to them without straining themselves much on the travel.  However, the shades of the trees became more sense, even though the sun was at its peak i the sky, not a cloud in sight...the omen was not of a good one as Dassem seemed to notice the change.  Victor kept his senses sharp, standing close next to the river's ledge to prepare for anything bad that would happen, if their source from Nayomi was right, they were walking towards the village where the demon temptress would be.  The thought alone made the water manipulator , on edge, but there was something else bothering the man, the water itself was was....not as it should be.  Sharp rustling sounds could be heard in the bushes to the left of the two men, instinctively  Victor's arm gestured a strong stream and aimed it at the bushes.  Dassem watched in awe at the speed of the attack from his ally, his own sword.  However, Dassem was the first to notice the attack had no effect, even on the bush, taking a strong stance and peering towards Victor.


"What happened there?"  Victor stood straight himself as he raised an eyebrow.


"What do you mean?  I shot at the thing that was over towards the bush..."  Dassem walked over to the foliage, kneeling as he noticed the branches had no impact, the dirt below had no collision mark from the water attack.  "Dassem?"


"That's not water you're controlling my friend.  Whatever it is, it's a lie"  Victor seemed a bit shocked at the news, everything his body was telling him was that the element was true to its form, and acted on command.  "Something is more amiss than it appears Victor, I think it would be prudent if we met the others half way.  This is not a good situation for either of us."  Dassem turned to his friend, placing a hand on his shoulder, Victor pulled away as he made his way towards the edge of the ground, staring emptily down into the water below.  


"How can this be?  It moves and sounds like water.  I just don't understand"  The man grunted, but his anger was subsided as the clear liquid slowly evaporated before the two."  Dassem took the hint and grabbed onto Victors arm, rushing the two back towards the way they came to meet up with their team mates.  "Dassem!?"


"Make a run for it, trust me if you could see what I'm seeing you'd run as well."  Dassem huffed as he aided his team mate, the river's water rose into the air and collected into a giant sphere.  It was at this moment when the clouds appeared in the sky, blackening out the land below, almost pitch as the two soldiers continued their retreat.  Dassem reached for his earpiece in quick haste.  "Nayomi, where the hell are you two?"  Nothing but static could be heard on their end.  Victor finally gained his footing, running behind his partner in sync patter as not to bump into him.  


"Why can't they hear us?  It should be good enough to work if they're on the way."  Victor reached for his earpiece as well.  "Chiron, someone answer us dammit!"  The soldier was beginning to worry, having his senses altered by whatever force was around them made the man uncomfortable.


"Compose yourself Victor, just keep on running an-"  The senior soldier lost his balance, the land rose before the two, tripping them both as they rolled on the ground over and over with the momentum they built from their mad dash.  Both men groaned when they finally stopped, feeling their scrapes as they tried to gain their composure, but too little too late as the aqua sphere launched a similar attack Victor did earlier down onto the two soldiers.  Once it collided with the ground, a large explosion launched the two men into the air, launching them towards the woods.  Dassem maneuvered himself to land on a tree branch, his sword in his hand as he peered upwards at the darkened sky and the aqua sphere.  Victor landed on the ground harshly, rolling before any damage could be done to his body as he stayed on his hands and feet, sensing his surroundings.  "Victor, are you?"  The younger soldier grunted as he grabbed for hit water bottle, popping the top open and feeling the water surround his body.  


"I'm alright, but somethings not right with the land around here...I think it's more than the animals we passed earlier."  Dassem nodded, leaping down from his perch and next to his partner, kneeling and placing a hand on Victor's shoulder once more.  


"Agreed, but right now let's worry about staying alive.  The others should be here soon."  With a sudden turn of the wind, the sunlight pierced through the black clouds, seemingly vanishing the darkness as more and more shinned down, only leaving the aqua sphere hovering in the air.  But like the clouds, the sphere itself vanished into this air, as if it never existed. Dassem peered in wonder at the sight, but retained his stern face as he sheath his own sword and stood, helping Victor to his feet.  Victor shifted as he stood, sensing something heavy coming towards their way hard and fast.  "What is it?"


"Nayomi and Chrion are near, w-we should meet up with them and compare notes."  Victor summoned his water back to his container, shaking his head slightly.  "What was all of that about?"

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The pair had covered quite a bit of ground and the river was in view now. "Victor, Dassem, do you read me?" Chiron asked with his hand pressed to his earpiece. "Hello? Are you two there?" he asked again, sounding a bit more panicked. With a frustrated sigh, he let go of his earpiece"Dammit! I think we lost connection to the two of them again. I hope they're alright," Chiron said, looking ahead.


"Just give me a minute and we'll find out. Watch your head by the way," she said, charging clear through a bush.


"Nayomi and Chrion are near, w-we should meet up with them and compare notes."  Victor could be heard from the other side along with the sounds of water.  "What was all of that about?"


As if on cue, Nayomi and Chiron emerged, Chiron noticing the two startle with their sudden appearance. "What happened, you two? You look as if you've seen a ghost," he said, jumping down from Nayomi's back so she could resume her feminine appearance. "What happened when we lost connection back there?"


"Well, what happened is that we figured out that there's a lot more amiss with this place than we originally thought. As you can probably tell from behind me," Victor said, pointing back to the emptied river. Chiron and Nayomi both stared in disbelief. Victor recalled the events for the two, Chiron obviously trying to mull this over in his mind. "I suppose we're fortunate enough to have been able to avoid any major harm."


"From what I can gather, little of this land is at all as it seems. It is nothing but a manifestation, likely created by our demoness at large. And from the sounds of everything going on, it's safe to say that this demoness used to be our witch from the stories that the townsfolk told us," the blood mage paused, stroking his chin in thought. "In which case...we can't assume anything here is real or false from now on. We have to keep our wits and stay on our guard," he raised his right hand, reaching over his own shadow. "Our next move out to be to make our ways to the church and put a stop to this madness at once. But I suppose that is truly a decision for our squad leader..." Chiron said, gaze landing on Nayomi.


"Yeah. That's definitely our mission. But how do you suggest we get there without being killed on the way there? We more or less know our way, but it doesn't mean we'll get there any faster. And no offense, but I don't think I can carry all three of you..." Nayomi replied, crossing her arms under her chest.


"I'm aware, Nayomi. That would be where I come in. I think the time for being inconspicuous is done with now. The demoness likely knows we're already here after all," Chiron said, lifting his left hand to his mouth and biting down sharply on his thumb. Blood ran down into the palm of his hand and a drop landed on the shadow cast by his right hand. "Gather around me, all of you." The others stepped closer and when they did the shadow expanded into a circle which seemed to literally flip the party upside down. As they looked up, they saw nothing but void, Victor's senses were unable to feel anything. Below their feet, they could see the world they came from. Except they could see how it truly looked...dead. Nothing was alive in that forest near the river especially. "I apologize if any of you get motion sickness..." and before anyone could reply, the party was standing at the edge of the village that was burned to the ground as the darkness jaunted them back into the physical realm.


"Okay...never do that again without proper warning... I think that just gave us whiplash..." Dassem said, rubbing the back of his neck. "Not exactly used to travelling in whatever fashion we just traveled in."


"I do apologize. I don't exactly command the speed of shadows unfortunately. At any rate...here we are..." Chiron said, seeing the church in the distance. "And I don't like the feeling of this place one bit..."

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The first thing Nayomi noticed was the smell, it was sulfuric and putrid, the second was the sound of crying. She zoned in on it instantly and made her way further into the town's entrance, There on the ground sat a boy, no older then 10.

"Are you lost young one?"

Nayomi knelt down next to him, his smell was normal, he was a human and it confused her why he was even here. 

"I lost my friend. She said she'd be back for me soon but it feels like it's been forever."

More wails of dismay came from the boy as he covered his eyes and rocked back and forth, Nayomi stood and looked around, her gaze landing on Chiron as he walked up beside her.

"What's up?"
"Something is off with the boy...he is thin."
Nayomi looked back down at him and noticed her team mate was right, the boy was thin, and pale. He had bags under his eyes which were blood shot.

"Kid, how long have you been out here?"

He looked up and frowned.

"Who are you? Your not supposed to be here. Clair will get mad."
"Clair, my friend. She told me to stay here, that she'd be right back but she hasn't come back yet."

As if on cue a small orange tabby cat trotted up to the boy and rubbed along his side.

"Clair your back!"

The boy reached down the scooped the cat into his arms hugging her tight.

"Of course I am child. What did you think I had left you?"

Nayomi looked at the others who all had a shocked look on their faces, Dassem blinked a few times before he pointed at the tabby in the boys arms.

"The cat talks?"

Piercing green eyes landed on the team, and Nayomi felt the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. Low growls emitted from her chest as she slowly moved in front of her team. The cat stared her down, ears pinned to its skull as a hiss rendered from his mouth, the eerie voice full of anger now.

"The likes of you are not welcome here! Leave at once!"

Nayomi bared her teeth as her senses went wild, the danger and tension so think in the air she was sure even the others could smell it.

"We're not going any where Kitty. Not til we find who we're looking for."

Another hiss, louder this time as the tabby's fur stood on end.


The young boy turned then and ran into the village taking the cat with him, Nayomi shook her head and looked back at her team.

"I think it's safe to say this is the place alright. Let's check it out. No splitting up this time, stick together."

With that, she phased, the large black wolf now standing where she stood, Shaking out her fur Nayomi walked slowly into the village, Victor walking up next to her.

"Is it wise for you to parade around an Amish village as a gigantic wolf?"

Sighing Nayomi shifted once more and rolled her eyes. 

"I suppose not, just feel safer that way, I can sense things...better...?"

Her words failed her as they suddenly found them selves in a crowded street, people shuffled everywhere filling the streets and the sidewalks...the sound was almost like constant sand paper being in use as they moved as one. Their movements were slow, and sluggish, and all of them...every last one of them, wore black. 

"Well...that's not creepy..."

Nayomi covered her nose as the smell became stronger, brimstone and ash, sulfur and decay clogged her senses and made her cough slightly.Catching sight of someone familiar she motioned for the men to follow her, pulled on Victor slightly as she moved, they followed her til she had caught up to the man. He was tall, thick built and clean cut, the other 3 realized who it was as well.


He didn't respond.

"Alpha agent Brick this is Delta agent Wolf speaking do you hear me?"
She reached out and placed her hand on his shoulder turning him around, she released him as soon as he faced them, His skin was pale, and slightly green, his eyes were milky white and filmed over and Nayomi could smell the death on him.

"Dassem, make the report...Alpha and Beta...have been confirmed dead."

"R-roger that."

Nayomi watched as Brick slowly shuffled through the streets, and as she looked around she found she could see the other 7 missing members of the two teams, all in black, all shuffling through the streets...and all presumably dead. Nayomi shook her head to try and clear it, the sight of Brick still throwing her off.

"Alright, so there's one objective down...I think it's time we go to the church and see what we find."
She led the way through the sea of people, trying her hardest to take shallow breaths, the close they got to the church the stronger the smell became; as they walked up the stone steps the tree next to the church swayed catching her attention. The tree looked old, almost ancient, the white bark gleaming in the dim light of the day and it seemed, very out of place in the dark town.

"Chiron, remember what the old man told us? About the girl and the oak tree?"
"Yes, I recall. Do you think that's the tree?"
"Sure fits the bill wouldn't you say?"

He nodded as they walked up the steps more and stopped at the doors of the church.

"Alright guys, stay close to each other and be prepared for anything."

They all nodded and slowly Nayomi opened the doors, the creaking was loud, and echoed throughout the empty building, her eyes scanned the dark interior; the dusty rafters, the old benches and there, in the middle sat the young boy from the entrance.

"Well...I think we might have found a clue scooby..."

The boy looked up, his eyes narrowing as he stood.

"Leave, Clair hates when other people are in here but me."

Nayomi crossed her arms and frowned.

"Is that so? Well you can tell Clair I think we need to talk to her."

The tabby slowly walked out from behind the boy, her voice calm and almost soothing. 

"What do you want?"

Nayomi felt the hair on the back of her neck stand on end again.
"We're looking for someone. I think you might know of her. You see she's a demon, but I also think she might be a witch and we-"

Nayomi felt the wind knocked out of her as she hit he back wall, falling to the floor she shook her head and stood slowly.

"Not. Cool."

The tabby had grown in size, now the size of a large dog, her fur on end, purple aura waves rolling off the beast slowly; her green eyes glowing dangerously.

"I am no witch! Nor was I ever! Those fools were to narrow minded to see that I had a gift, a knack for the earth and they killed me for it! I wasn't even a woman!"

Nayomi walked back to her team mates assuring them she was fine, a small trail of blood oozed from beneath her bangs from the lump on her head. 

"So you killed them? Hardly seems like something a girl could go through with."

"I'm not a girl anymore, you know that. I made a pact and now I have all the power I could wish for. No one can stop me."
Nayomi looked back at the other to see them all checking their equipment, preparing for a fight.

"I think we'd like to challenge that."

The demon in cat form chuckled slowly as she walked around the boy, the group tensed, expecting the worst, her next words sank Nayomi's stomach.

"You see, my life force is connected to whomever I'm feeding off of at the time. Right now, it's this boy. He's been perfect, young, full of energy. He could last me another year, maybe two if I fed him properly. So you see, to kill me. You must kill him."

The others seems to wilt at this as well, none of them having the heart to kill an innocent child in order to complete the mission. Nayomi looked to the only person she could think to have an answer.
"Chiron, anything we can do?"
"I would have to think. Can you buy me the time?"
She nodded, giving the Dassem a nod as well, watching as he put a hand on Victor's shoulder.

"Consider it done friend."
Phasing Nayomi looked at the two men standing with her.

"Don't hurt the boy, go only for her. But make sure you don't do damage to her, remember her and the boy are linked. If we hurt her we'll hurt him."

Getting a 'roger' from both men she charged, fangs bared and growls echoing through the empty church. 

Edited by K.G
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As Nayomi charged the temptress it seemed savage and fearsome, but to Dassem's ear it was lacking in something that was needed for rending flesh from bone. She would charge, and she would would fail in her attack. It was part of her plan, but it was a plan that would hardly see any fruition and without Chiron involved, this would get messy. The link would need to be broken between the two, something he would of heard numerous times from any member of the Demos family. But, that wasn't his area of expertise, he wasn't a mage or a sorcerer or a rune lord, he was just a soldiers whose talents lie in his sword. And now the sword at his belt, came to life as it moan and tried to set its cry's free from its metal bound prison. It wanted to taste the blood of the demon, to peel her skin away and bite deep into the muscle, severing tendons and ligaments. Leaving the hell spawn crippled and pleading for it's life, asking for a deal to be struck or a bargain made over its worthless existence. He placed the flat of his hand over the guard of the sword, realize he couldn't pull it just yet and instead, pulling the satchel over his head and reaching in to pull out two cylindrical objects.


"Hey Witch! See how your magic does against this!" Dassem roared as he yanked the pins off the two canisters and sent them flying past Nayomi.


"Cover your eyes Wolf!" He roared as best he could before turning his body away and clamping his hands over his ears, Victor quickly shielded his ears from anything and Naymoi managed to shield herself enough for the canisters to fly past and stop in mid air before the demon.


"You think this enough to stop me? I will eat-" Two loud bangs rang through the room, lights exploding in the air as it left a ring echoing in the empty church. Dassem wasn't sure Chiron had covered himself, but he was pretty sure he heard the warning. The demon screamed a she covered her eyes and tried to rub the blinding light from. Nayomi took the opportunity to strike, lunging forward as she crashed her body and full weight into demon and striking her with the flats of her paws. The attempt to spare the body was obvious, she was doing everything she could to hold her at bay without hurting the body of the boy. Their bodies were a twisted mess of limbs and fur, thrashing about as one tried to dislodge the other, and it ended as was to be expected. The demon hurled the body of fur and muscle away from itself, tossing her into the pews with a loud crash and a growl from the massive furred form as she rose on shaky legs. Dassem left the satchel on the floor as he approached the demon, his eyes focused on the monster before him as she showed her rage in her face.


"Allow me to buy some time, I am sure I can hold her off for now." He heard a laugh rise from her throat, the sound of it was a mixture of pleasure and twisted hatred.


"Foolish human! You will burn like the rest!" Her hand lashed out, fire spewing from her palm that twisted like liquid in midair. The world greyed for Dassem, everything seemed to halt as he saw what was to come. The way it would fall, how it would strike, the trajectory of the blast and the several that would follow it afterwards. It took only seconds for him to see it, but even less time for him to react as he shifted out of the blast, his body moving fluidly as it splashed behind him, avoiding each splashed spark as the next one came at him. It was all as he had seen, easy to dodge and move as his body twisted and turned and flipped through the air to out maneuver her blasts as he steadily advanced. Her anger grew with each missed missile, and the attacks became more furious until finally he was standing before here and caught her arm, preventing her from flinging another missile.


"Power only matters if you can hit me, but you can't seem to hit the broad side of this church, let alone a single human." She roared with a hallow sound erupting from her throat as she swung at him with her clawed hand. Dassem moved out of the path, releasing her other arm as she swung at him again, her claws trying to tear into him as moved out of her path as quickly as his body would allow. He was doing well but her strength and speed were quickly adapting and his was starting to fail as her swipes drew closer and he was losing space to avoid her. It was over when he felt the claws crash into his cloak, the runed surface reflecting the hit before he threw his arms back, his cloak flying open and pulling itself free before she swiped again at him. This time the claws tearing into his armor, having already built a resistance to the runes and sliced his armor with ease before her hands coming down on him. His vision could see it coming, kneeling before her as she hissed with satisfaction as she could see that her prey was vulnerable. That was, until she heard an inhuman sound wail, the sound of both a cruel laughter and joyous pain emanating from the same source. The demon's eyes drifted to the blade, the sound unnerving but her eyes followed it's edge to the man standing to the side with the blade in hand and widened for just a moment as she saw the same piercing blue eyes staring her dead in the face.


"Time is a cruel mistress, bending to no man, simply giving us direction in our time of need." The Dassem on the ground kneeling drew his blade and moved to swing the weapon. But before it could make contact, the man and his sword blurred and became a shadow of his former self before melding into the standing to the side.


"Hear the screams, the laughter witch? It craves your blood, your soul is it's prize and it want's to taste the darkness within you." Dassem pushed her hands away with the flat edge of the blade, she swiped at him again as he batted the clawed hands away with the flat of his blade before spinning away from her.


"Could we make some progress on the child link, I don't know how long this will last."

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As the others clashed with the demoness in order to contain her, Chiron was far too focused on trying to come up with any ideas. He was running into a lot of dead ends since he didn't know the child. Had he known the history of the boy, he may have been able to do something to convince him to willingly let this "friend" of his go. The demoness could only feed strongly on an innocent soul, and he knew he personally wouldn't fit the bill. Certainly there must be away to break the bond of this demoness with this boy. There...could be a way... his thoughts were suddenly disrupted by Dassem's plea for Chiron to speed things along. A small bit of irritation came to his tone. It wasn't toward Dassem, but toward the fact that he couldn't draw a good solution, other than one... "My apologies, Dassem, but I am a mage. I am not a miracle worker. This is, however, something I think I can manage. However, it all depends on the strength of the demon's will...and how willing you all are to strike me down if worse comes to worse," Chiron said, not sounding like this was going to be a good plan in itself.


"What, a lowly human thinks he can overwhelm me?! By what means?" the demoness cackled, allowing herself some room between herself and Dassem before having to avoid being grappled by Nayomi again, just narrowly escaping Victor's attempt to pin her as water formed at her feet. She barely managed to avoid having her feet frozen to the ground. She lashed back at the aquakinetic, finding only air and went after him again just to be deflected by Dassem's blade again. "Out of my way."


"Whatever you're going to do, do it soon, Chiron!" Nayomi growled as she tried to land on the witch again. The two wrestled again, only for Nayomi to be pushed out of the demon's way.


"So be it then..." Chiron said, lifting his hand over his shadow. "I suppose I couldn't have expected not to summon you while dealing with demons, but it's time now," he said before a dark glint came to his crimson eyes. His shadow became darker than usual before an amorphous shape of a shadow rose to his hand for him to grasp it. A long metalline staff appeared in his hand before a black scythe blade tore out from the end.


"What in the hells...?" the demoness said as she saw the mage disappear into his own shadow and emerge from hers with shadowy tendrils pulling her into the shadow along with Chiron. The room was silent in the absence of the two, while in the dimension Chiron took the witch to, she resumed her original appearance. The young woman who became demon looked lost where she was, looking for the man who was responsible. "Come out of hiding, you coward! My bond with the child won't be severed by taking me to another plane. I'll simply find my way back through the bond I've created.


"Have you ever heard that shadow moves faster than light? How do you expect to escape here fast enough before you're caught again? Regardless, that isn't my point..." Chiron replied as he appeared in her view. She lunged for the mage only to find herself bound by a set of black chains. "You'll release that child, demoness. Or you'll be forced to do so."


"And how will a mere mortal force a demon of my power to release the only thing binding me to that plane?!" she spat, grinning devilishly.


"I was praying you wouldn't ask..." Chiron sighed, closing his eyes before they opened, only now there was nothing...only void in his eyes. "And I was hoping you would," a different, darker voice escaped Chiron's lips and a smirk came to them. The puzzled look on the demon's face only made him laugh maniacally. "You're just clueless now aren't you? Well, I will spell it out for you. I am the owner of the scythe this man holds. Once in a while, I'm allowed to have my fun, but I understand I have to be...nice..."


"Who...are you? Are you a demon or-"


"No...I wouldn't call myself a demon...but then again, I'm no longer alive...just call me a verrrry dark soul. And while your bond with that child is clever, the one I forged with this one when he was a child seems to provide a bit more longevity for me, despite the small costs. Now, what say you and I make a deal, demon?" he said, grinning for further emphasis.


"Wh-what kind of deal? What sort of bond do you have with this man?" she asked, curious of what he meant exactly.


"It's a very long story, but let's just say thanks to him I'll be able to stick around much longer than any demon has been able to keep a hold on the material plane. And you very well could have the same benefit, not to mention more power..." the man said, slinging his scythe over his shoulders, holding the other end of the chains with his free hand and tugging them until she was face down against the ground. "That or I could just have all of the fun I want and disregard the boy. I know the mage would hate it, but I have no problems killing a young boy to destroy anyone who declines one of my offers..."


"What...choice do you leave me then?" "Clair" replied as she manged to lift her head to look up.


"Make your bond with my soul instead and remove your bond with the boy, and I'll let you live and do what you please. Not to mention a bit of power to go with it. More than any youth could ever grant you. Besides, I have two souls for you to draw from if you count the mage here," he replied with a laugh.


"I...I accept your terms..."


The two rose from the shadows after what seemed like a few seconds' time. Chiron fell to a knee and supported himself with the scythe with both hands clutching it. "I-it's done..." Chiron said, gasping a bit, but sounding like himself.


The witch laughed aloud as a gust of wind snuffed out all of the lights inside the church. "All of this power from a man who isn't even alive anymore?! No wonder your magic is so tentacious, mage. But now I think it's time to see what these new powers can do. Perhaps starting with this young child!" she shouted as a ball of black flame rushed toward the child who screamed only before disappearing from sight and appearing next to Chiron. "Come now, did you really think I'd just roll over and leave after that?"


Chiron's eyes narrowed. "She's stronger now, but...she's fair game..." he said, giving an approving nod to his squad members. I pray this doesn't cost me my own life...this wasn't just my idea... he thought, straightening himself out as the others got ready for the real battle to come as the fire burned a hole in the church floor before extinguishing thanks to Victor reacting before they were turned to ash.

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The smoke from the doused fire began to filter through the room with its heavy streams, it made the air leave a nasty taste of wood and dust particles, slight coughs came from all members as they formed around the now strengthened temptress demon.  The young boy who she controlled earlier fell to his knees, shaken by the release of her spell before falling to his side onto the church floor, his body drained and spent of what life energy he had been consumed of.  The members of Nayomi's squad were at least thankful they were able to spare one life, even a child's since they were too late to save their fellow comrades from the same fate as others before them.  Nayomi made small strides with her body to place herself in front of the boy, her fangs bearing in the sunlight through the small cracks of the church's structure as they beamed down upon her form.  The demoness simple looked at her hand, smiling wickedly as she clenched and opened it repeatedly at her leisure.  


"It was a fair trade, no mere human could ever grant me such a feat, my thanks to you spell caster"  Clair smiled towards the group, almost with lightning fast reflexes, she swiped her hand and launched multiple black fireball towards the group, marveling at her new found strength.  Dassem was able to use his time abilities to move out of the way from his attack, once back to reality he witnessed the blast collide with the church wall, the collision made the aged brick crumble to ash as the building rocked.  Nayomi huddled her massive body over the young boy, taking the impact at full force on her upper back.  Her fur blew as the gust of wind from the explosion, a painful growl could be heard by the other members as she hunched over the boy, still ready to fight.  Victor  was able to barrel roll away from his attacker, only within an inch as he felt and heard the fire ball pass by him and explode the front door, dashing forward the soldier made his way towards Chiron.  Extending his arm, Victors final amount of water from his bottle launched forward, the liquid was able to collide with dark fireball, negating the attack, the explosion still blew Chiron's body back slightly as he covered his face from the heat.   Victor grunted as he knelt down where Chiron would have been, feeling with his palm on the ground, growing worried when his team mate couldn't be felt.  


"Chiron!?"  Victor gasped, using both hands to feel the ground, the smell of smoke and growing heat blocking his senses lightly, a light groan could be heard behind the soldier.  Victor turned his head towards the sound, hearing more fireballs being launched from the demoness as Dassem charged for her.  "Are you alright?".  Chrion coughed a couple times, finally standing on his own two feet before ducking once more to avoid a blast.  


"Whoa!  Yeah, thanks for the quick save Victor.  Listen, get the child out of here.  We can't keep protecting him while fighting Clair at the power she's at right now."  Victor nodded, reaching for his belt quickly and grabbing onto his last bottled water his sister packed for him and popped the top, letting the water surround his body once more.  A sudden shift in their fluid form turned from liquid to ice, surrounding the two team mates as a dark fire blast collided with the ice shield.  The two men grunted at the shock from the collision.


"Guys!  Are you alright?!"  Nayomi shouted.  

"Yeah, we're fine Wolf.  Where's the boy?!"  Victor shook his head slightly, feeling a small headache trouble his mind.  


"Over here"  Dassem's voice echoed in the air, towards Victors 9 o'clock mental map.  Both men rushed from behind the ice shield, going their separate ways as another fire blast broke through the ice shield, shattering the ice to tiny pieces.  Making great haste, Victor slowed down as he felt another heat source close to him, kneeling down and grabbing onto the boy, cradling him in his arms.  "Take the boy and head out, make it quick Victor.  The door is close by."  Victor nodded, feeling Dassem's hand on his bulky shoulder, standing quickly as he dashed towards the way Dassem pushed him towards.  More roars could be heard from their team leader Nayomi as she rushed Clair, Victor could feel the echoes getting stronger and stronger with his steps, letting the soldier know he was close to the door of the church.    He could vaguely make  someone yelling towards him, Victor turned his head slightly as he placed a hand on the door, but his body was shoved violently through, a black fireball connected with Victor's right shoulder blade.  The soldier crashed through the door spinning, holding the young boy close and tight as they both rolled onto the dirt road before stopping, Victor groaning and he laid on his back.  


"Victor?!  Are you alright?"  Nayomi could be heard through his head set, the constant ringing made it hard for Victor to establish who it was, the gash on his head throbbed with pain more and more as the seconds passed.  Slowly, he reached to his ear piece and responded.  


"Y-yeah...I'm still here.  What happened?!"  The man groaned, sitting up and placing his hand on the boys face and then arms, making sure he wasn't severely harmed.  "The boy is still alive, breathing lightly, but alive".  


"That witch knocked Dassem aside and launched an attack on you while you were almost out.  I thought you heard Chrion call out??"  Victor shook his head, falling back down onto his back.  


"No..I mean I thought...but...."  Victor groaned slightly, thankfully he was under a tree that provided shade.  

"Just stay put, I smell your blood from here...that ***** will pay and we can head home."  The echo of Nayomi's roar could be heard from Victors spot.  The soldier managed to crawl towards the tree and hunch himself up to sit straight, holding the child tight.  


"Good luck guys, I would help but I'm outta water"  Victor smirked and laughed slightly, feeling light headed as he concentrated to feel his surroundings, extending his senses to play the vibrations and noises in his mind of the battle happening inside the church.  The extension of his power would be much, but there was a familiar sense that came from scanning the area. A soft gasp escaped the soldiers lips as he opened his eyes slowly, looking around with his grey shaded eyes.  "There's a real river around...."  Struggling to get up, Victor hunched against the tree with his remaining strength, holding the boy in his arms as he began to walk towards the source of water.  

Edited by Shwa
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Nayomi was furious, growling low in her throat she circled the demon, her form hunched down ready for attack, she waited, watching the others; as soon as Dassem lunged she watched as Clair dodged easily, and launched her self forward. The growl echoing sounding more like a roar from a bear as she hit the demon broadside, twisting her body she landed on Clair, her weight pinning her down for a moment. She looked down and saw a flicker of fear through the eyes staring back at her, not hesitating she bent forward, aiming for her throat. A yelp came from her a dark shockwave of energy hit her in the stomach, the yelp turning back into a growl as she finished her attack latching her sharp fangs onto Clair's arm. 

"You filthy beast!"

Nayomi wanted to cough, she wanted to choke on the taste of the rotten blood in her mouth but held on none the less, growls echoed from her throat as Clair swung her massive form around, Chiron and Dassem could see the muscles under her fur bunch and tremble as she tried to pulled the demon back down to the floor with no luck. Daseem came from his stupor and lunged for the demon again only to stop as she turned putting Nayomi in the way. He frowned as Nayomi growled out to him.

"If you have to go through me, do it dammit! She has to die!"

He stood for a moment, his sword lowering but his frown staying as Clair laughed wickedly.

"Aw how sweet. The bonds of companionship. It'll be the death of you!"

Nayomi felt her fur ruffle as if a wind was blowing, she could taste the power welling up in the demon's blood and let go, tackling Dassem to the floor as a dark bolt hit where he had been standing just a moment before, she looked down baring her fangs at him in anger.

"You had a chance and you didn't take it! What's wrong with you?"

"You were asking me to kill you in the process!"

"My life is meaningless compared to the ones she's taken and will continue to take if we don't finish her off here and now!"

With a shove of her weight for emphasis she stumbled off of the man and began to prowl around the demoness once more. Clair cackled again, her hand covering her mouth in a mocking manner.

"You care deeply for your team don't you beast. Let's see if they feel same."
Nayomi felt her muscles tense, she could feel her body tremble but couldn't move, her teeth ground together as she tried to move, tried to speak, but nothing was happening. Then panic rose in her chest as her vision slowly began to become clouded with a red haze. Clair was some how calling the natural wolf out from within her phased form, she was making her feral. Her growls grew in volume and intensity as she tried to fight, sheer will power was all she had and she could feel it slipping, until a loud crack sounded throughout the church as Chiron stood behind Clair, his hand smoking slightly from a blast he himself had sent towards the with turned demon. Clair turned and glared at Chiron, a mistake she would soon regret. Nayomi felt the pull loosen and managed to snap out of it, hunching down she launched her body at Clair, her weight once again through the woman to the floor, only this time Nayomi didn't give her time to react as she hunched down ready to bite through her throat and kill her for good. The voice that echoed through her earpiece is what caused her to stop.

"This is Victor, we have a problem. The villagers are converging on the church."
Nayomi felt the air rush from her body as she was thrown back, her paws catching the floor in time to stop her before she hit the back wall of the church, and probably going through it.

"What do you mean?"
"I mean all of the dead villagers are almost at the church!"

Clair high pitched laughter made her attention shift as she looked up, low growls coming from her chest.

"They have come to save their master. Let us see how you fare against them."
All at once the church collapsed, they were surrounded, hollow eyes, sunken skin and breaths of death as the sea of people shifted back and forth.

"There are so many...this is over half of what we saw coming in..."

Dassem nodded.

"There's over 3 hundred of them..."

He grunted as one lunged froward grabbing onto him, he reacted instantly pushing his white hot blade through the person's chest, straight through his heart. What made them uneasy was what happened next. The man stood from the ground and took his place back among the sea of people.

"They can't be killed...we have to kill her to end them"

Nayomi nodded at Chiron's words.

"Alright, we have to do this properly. Daseem, you and Chiron focus on the bitch, I'll do my best to keep them off of you."
"There's to many of them Wolf."
Nayomi looked over at the two men giving them  wolfish grin.

"Then you better make it quick."

Without another word she threw her self into the sea of people, teeth gnashing and growls sounded as she battled on her own drawing their attention away from her team. 

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Things hadn't improved with Nayomi's dive into the ocean of bodies and lifeless corpses walking around. The demon had taken the opportunity to bolster her defenses and strike at the pair, Dassem having to duck and dodge, moving out of the blasts of her hellfire that want to burn his skin away. His runes had saved his life so far, but with his armor already compromised by her claws and the scorched runes fading out, he was running out of options. Chiron was doing his best, hurling his own power back but the connection between the two was doing something Dassem wasn't able to identify. She seemed resistant to his attacks, even ones that hit seemed to be less effective then they should have been. The First Sword charged forward, his blade in hand as he dodged another blast and tried to close the gab, only for her to vanish once more and to reappear further away.


'This is not working, where is Victor when I need him?' Dassem twisted through the air as a bolt of black energy ripped through the air past him, his sword still screaming and howling with rage and desire. All he needed to do was sink the blade into her ribs, anywhere would do, as long as it found its way home she would be done for. He was, however, skeptical on what would happen to Chiron if he ripped the soul out of this witch, it was something he couldn't worry about now as his windows of opportunity continued to narrow down and Dassem was losing out on chances without more distractions. And then the light bulb went off in his head, his eyes quickly drifted to where his satchel had been laying and he searched for a brief second before he saw it budding out from the rubble and he knew what he could do.


'They wanted to me to keep it hidden, i'll keep it hidden.' Dassem bolted towards his satchel, off at an angle from the witch and tried to stay low. He was almost there when he felt something latch on to his leg, unable to see the witch he hadn't been able to see her movements. What had latched on to his leg started to burn before it yanked him back, his free hand gripping the derbies, tearing into his palm though it mattered little to him. His other hand clenched the sword tightly as its scream grew in volume, even when the wood scored his knuckles, only for the marks to vanish with the howls growing in magnitude. Lifted into the air, Dassem struggled to find a away free but was jarred out of his thoughts when he flung through the air and skid and bounced across the hard ground. He grunted as he rose, steady even though he was a bit dazed.


"By the nine! Chiron, where was the warning for that one?"


"I tried to tell you, but that damn screaming is impossible to talk over!" He understood enough of what Chiron said to know his sword was getting restless, it's hunger was getting worse. He needed to get to his satchel, at any cost. Gritting his teeth, he charged for it again, this time keeping the witch in his line of sight. Her moves becoming predictable as he twisted and turned, moving quickly as the sword fed his body and kept him in fighting condition. He reached the satchel once more and this time scooped it up, running past and skidding to a halt only to be forced to duck down and then roll away as a whip of energy lashed out at him with hatred and malice.


"Human! You are pathetic! Fight me you worm!" She roared at him as she tried to lash out once more, Chiron putting up a defense quickly that diverted her lash, but she was back at it as she fought the shadow mage as Dassem quickly rummaged through the bag with only one hand. His fingers gripped around the canister, pulling it out as he happened to look up at the time to see the black whip coming back at him. He wasn't able to dodge it this time, his sight of it was too late as he was already moving to throw his sword into the air to deflect it. A roaring coming from his lips as he swung the blade with all the strength he could muster. The edge met the whip, the two forces colliding together in a spark of light before the blade finished its arc and the section of whip tore away and evaporated in the air. A scream of pain came from the witch, while the blade seemed to let out a hideous laugh. She gripped her arm as she showed her fanged teeth and her eyes glowed bright with rage and power.


"You will regret that, now die!" She lashed out with power once more, Dassem moving out of the way but was smashed with another force, hidden behind the first blast that sent him sprawling to the ground. Rising slowly, using his sword to give him leverage but only able to rise to one knee and his head hanging down as he caught his breath. He was recovering quickly, feeling the sword push him harder and harder into the fight to reach what it wanted most. He couldn't let go of it until he killed the witch, or until she killed him and even then they would have to cut it out of his hand. He looked up then as he saw a figure standing near him, his blue eyes staring into the dark ones of Claire.


"Seems you aren't as formidable as you might have thought mortal."


"And you aren't nearly as smart as you play to be, Witch." She let out a grow as she reached her hand back, power building over it as she prepared to strike him. Dassem watched her the whole time, his eyes focused on her hate filled face, every curve and wrinkle that was created as she clenched her teeth, furled her brow and let out a scream. He saw it then, the smallest detail most would have missed, but something he would always catch, the smallest dew drop of water hanging in the air for longer then it should have. And then it struck, like a hammer hitting the anvil with the force of a raging river, the water smashed into her and crashed down on her as it broke her concentration. Any sounds she made were drowned out by the water, the sword was all he could hear now as he looked to see Victor standing not to far off. The water obeying his will as he used it to swirl and move around her with precises movements and practiced power. Dassem took hold of the moment, thank his friend in his mind and knowing he would have to say something more later, as he reached into the satchel and pulled free the first canister and pulled the pin with his teeth and dropping it at his feet before reaching in and pulling out another one.


Spitting out the pin he pulled free the second canister, smoke pouring out of the first one as the next one dropped and smoke billowed out as the first. Pulling out one more, he repeated the process and released the last one as the smoke ate up everything around it. The wind being dead in this place allowed the smoke to remained stationary, Victors river water falling away leaving Claire to cough as she gathered her bearings. Seeing only Dassem, she prepared to strike again, but when she reached back, she felt a firm hand grab her arm, her head snapping back to see the same cold blue eyes staring at her. Reaching with the other hand, it was quickly held in the same grasp, blue eyes staring at her as she felt more hands reaching out and grabbing her and holding her back. He body trying to struggle against the unrelenting force, the hands were no longer countable to her as the bodies uses their strength and weight to over power her and force her to her knees. The smoke held out still, though it would only last for a few more moments, it was more then enough time for Dassem as he suddenly appeared before her with his sword firmly in hand.


"For what I do today, I condemn you to a fate worse then any I know of, but your crimes seem to fit the punishment." He pulled the sword arm back, the point directed toward her chest, dead center of her rib cage. She tried to thrash and fight but was held fast, it was a fight that would end with her fighting to the end.


"You will pull the wagon, and when you do, give the Patriarch my regards!" He thrust the sword forward, the tip piercing her body and passing through her body with such force that it cut clean through the bone. She wailed for just a moment, Dassem yanking the blade free as the hands released, all the forms vanishing and the sword went silent with its victory still on its tongue. He sheathed the blade and took a deep breath, the smoke was starting to dissipate, leaving Dassem to catch his breath as he felt the new weight settle in to his bones. Another soul for their sword, another night to live through, he could only hope that everything was done with as Claire lie lifeless on the floor.

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Nayomi huffed as she liked the dark, old blood of the corpses from her chops, her muzzle and chest coated in it, she tackled another to the ground and tore through his throat, a loud growl issuing from her that died slowly as the others began to fall about her. She let the growls die slowly as she looked about before a dogged smile spread on her features. She sat on her haunches and began to lick her fun clean as the others slowly made their way towards her.

"Good work guys. We should be able to head home now."

She turned as footsteps sounded behind her, her hackles grew in volume as the 2 team leads of Alpha and Beta shuffled forward, Barkin 's voice sounding hollow as he looked down at Nayomi. 

"Alpha team leader? I thought they were supposed to cease functioning after she died."

The hollow voice continued.

"These ones were to eliminate the mistress's enders."

Nayomi growled more, turning she snapped her teeth as her team stepped forward to intercept the 2 dead team leads.

"No! You'll get your selves killed. I'll handle them. I've fought them before and I know how to fight them."

Victor and Dassem frowned as she planted her feet on the ground, her growls rising in volume as she circled the late team leaders. Barkin shuffled towards her and she bared her fangs dangerously. Throwing his hand forward Barkin shot a string of white lighting towards her that she dodged and yelp as a shard of iron lodged it's self in her shoulder. Nayomi looked towards the woman who threw the metal and growled more.

"Asari...the metal bender..."

Without another thought she dodge their attacks, moving in quickly to Asari first and tearing her throat clean, halting her movements forever. Withing a 20 minute radius she had killed both Barkin and Asari much the same way. Sitting on her haunches she gripped the metal shard still in her shoulder and pulled, her fanged teeth screeching against it harshly. Phasing back to her human form she sighed and pressed her hand over the bleeding wound on her upper arm.

"We should get back...call for an extraction and let's get the hell...where's Chiron?"
Victor and Dassem shrugged. Dassem speaking up.

"I think he's still in the church."
Sighing Nayomi walked towards the church, leaning on the door frame she had her eyes as she spoke at first.
"Chrion, we're about to g-...what are you doing?"
She had opened her eyes part way through her sentence and blinked as she saw the white haired man stooping over Clair's body with a semi large vile of what looked like her blood. They stared at each other a few moments, Chiron's face remaining passive.

"Magic source. Blood mage and all Nayomi."
"Riiiiight...and you NEED her blood?"
"I would like to be able to handle some of the spells she used, therefore yes, her blood is required."
Nodding slowly Nayomi simply stared at him a few more moments as he slipped the vile into his jacket pocket and straightened himself out.

"Is there an issue?"
"Nope...just freaky that's all."
"My apologies."
She waved him off and walked away listening as he followed suite.

"Don't apologize. We all have our little quirks. I mean I'm a giant wolf, Dassem has a sword that screams, Victor is blind and you-"

"It is not necessarily a quirk Nayomi, it is needed for magical properties."
She continued as if she hadn't heard him, still walking ahead of him with out stopping.

"Collect blood from dead people. Nothing to be ashamed of."
"I am not ashamed of it."
She turned, walking backwards as she smiled at at him, her hand still pressing on the bleeding wound on her shoulder.

"That's good. No reason to be shamed for something that makes you unique."
"Yet you just called it 'freaky'"

"Didn't say it wasn't freaky, I mean seeing it actually 'done' is freaky but what can you do."

Reaching the others she saw one of the teleportation operatives waiting for them. A light blue fog surrounded them and within moments they were standing in the hanger of the HDF. 

"Alright guys welcome home. Settle back in, I have to report to Hale. I'll let you all know when our next mission is."
They all nodded and left going their respective ways. She halted Dassem as he turned.

"Hey, First Sword."

He turned meeting his blue eyes with her's, she gave him a small smile and a nod.

"Good work out there today."

He gave her a nod back.

"Make sure Victor is taken care of Dassem. He was torn up fairly bad."
"Speak for your self Nayomi."
She looked at her shoulder and shook her head.

"This is nothing. I'll meet you guys back at the hall after I report in."

He nodded once more before he left for his personal dorms. Nayomi walked slowly, the blood slowing the a ooze as she walked til she reached the office she was looking for. Rapping on the door once she heard the Commandant's voice.


Opening the door she entered and saw a young man standing behind him, his skin was dark and his sandy blonde hair was cut short to his scalp, his dark eyes bore into her as she stepped through.

"Sir, I came to report..."
"Do not mind this man, he has only come to give me information. What is your report?"
"Alpha and Beta are dead sir. I killed Barkin and Asari personally."

Hale folded his hands under his chin thoughtfully as he looked at her, the wound on her shoulder clotted completely now.

"I see, anything else?"
"Sir, the situation is handled. The demon was taken care of by First Sword Dassem."

The young man behind the Commandant raised an eye brow slightly.

"How did he accomplish this?"
"I'm not sure sir, I was handling her minions. From Victor and Chiron's notes there was smoke and they were unable to see exactly how it was that he killed her."

The young man's face relaxed, and he stepped forward giving a slight bow.

"Hale, it was good to see you. I'll return if I hear anything else."
"I thank you Mr. Demos. It was good to see you as well."
It was then that Nayomi could see faint marks on his skin, almost looking like road maps as he stood infront of her.

"Likewise Hale."
"It would be so much easier for you to relay this information if you were to join our ranks."
He frowned and shook his head slowly.

"I've told you before. This place is nothing but a box of pain for what it did to my parents. I'll never live within these walls as long as I can help it. Good day Commandant."

Nayomi watched him leave and looked back at the Commandant.

"What was that all about?"
"There is unease in East Asia base. They are seeming to be under the impression we're building an army."
She frowned and shook her head.

"That's ridiculous."
"Indeed. Also there is something else I would like to speak with you about. Do you recall the Elite team?"
"The original Elite team? Who doesn't, they saved the world. We all do what we do because of them."
"Do you recall their final mission?"
"The final run in with Set. Of course."
"Yes, after that a few of the left over gods remained, formed human lives and settled down peacefully."
"We believe you are a child born of one of these gods."
"I find that hard to believe."

"Don't; your brothers are only half your siblings, your father we believe is Anubis. He came to this plane with his sister Baast."
"And this has what to do with me exactly?"
"We're not sure of that just yet as this information has just reached us. But I think it is within your best interest to know of this."
She nodded slowly.

"Thanks for that."

She left without a single word, looking for the one person who could tell her the truth. She found him in the library as she always did, plopping down in the chair across from him she watched as he simply turned the page of the book he was currently reading.

"Chiron, I need a solid favor from you."

He lowered his book slowly and looked at her.

"And that would be?"
"I need you to read my soul?"
"I would- Wait, do you have any idea how dangerous that is Nayomi?"
"I didn't think so. Is it important?"
"I don't suppose so...I was just told that I might be the daughter of Anubis...:"
"Slightly important. Or is this something you would like to know?"
"Something I would like to know?"
 He sighed and put his book down slowly, his red eyes meeting her blue ones.

"Give me five minutes."
She gave him a triumphant smile and sat quietly waiting for him to finish with what he needed. It didn't take long for him to find what she was looking for and as he came from his looking he met her eyes once more.

"It is true. But I can not see any kind of danger in this information."

She nodded and looked at her phone as it buzzed lowly.

"Thanks a mil Chiron. We apparently have another mission already. Seems we're heading to the southern temple of light. Guess there's been some kind of disturbance between the people of the temple and the people of the village it's built in."
"What kind?"
"Seems there have been reports of village people going missing and being found dead weeks later with their hearts cut out. The people are threatening to destroy the temple."

She looked up at him and sighed.

"No rest for the wicked?"
He nodded slowly as they rose from the table and headed for the war room for their debriefing.  

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Victor sat at the edge of his bed, deep in thought as small padding sounds vibrated ont eh carpeted floor of his housing unit.  Hunched over slightly, the muscular soldier knew what was going to be coming next from his little sister, her gasps were enough to give a clear sign whern she saw Dassem lead Victor back to his quarters and Rebecca there to witness the bruise adn cuts on her brother.  The man sighed as he felt another, lighter, weight crawl onto his bed and move towards his back.  A warm hand placed itself over one of Victors shoulder, the icy sting came next from the cream in the same hand.  Victor grunted sharply as the cool lather absorbed into his skin slowly, almost as if the area was being stung by an army of bee's protecting their hive from an invader. 


"Dammit Rebecca!!  That hurts!"  Victor tried to scoot away from his sisters hand, but she held him firmly with her free hand while rubbing the lather over her siblings wound. 


"I konw it does, but I told you this is the only thing your body can absorb without hurting your insides.  You know what your powers do with opposing elements of natural water."  The young girl spoke smoothly as she rubbed the salve over and over against the affected area, slowly the sting began to lessen little by little as Victor's breathing turned light.  "I'm just glad it wasn't worse that this"


"Well, good thing I found an actual river nearby the battle grounds, it was able to heal minor cuts but not everything before I noticed the undead walking towards my team mates."  Rebecca grutned at the news before giving her brothers broad shoulders a gentle message. 


"I told Dassem to make sure you come back alive, but next time I'll have to make sure to tell him to bring you back without injuries like this" 


"What do you mean you told him?"  Victor raised his head and turned slightly, though he could not see his sister, he knew she was staring into his dull grey eyes.  The temperature she produced rose slightly, it made the soldier a little curous even more.  Rebecca had to catch herself, smiling as she swatted Victor's injured shoulder with a laugh, only gaining a groan from the soldier.

"Nothing!"  The girl smiled adn chuckled slightly, Victor stood from his spot and made his way towards the bathroom, feeling the tile floor of the doorway entrance, he was able to navigate from there.


"You can be a pain at times, ya know that?"  Victor growled, only getting a mean smirk and tongue stuck out towards the soldier from his sister.  The man made his way, closing the door behind himself in the process.  There was a light knocking from the main door, Rebecca stood up herself and made her way towards the entrance, sticking her head through the metal and shocking the daylights out of Dassem.

"Becca!!  For the love of the Gods will you stop that!?"  Dassem sighed as he composed himself, Rebecca only sighing as she phased completely through and stood in front of Dassem.  Victor finished his duties and left the bathroom slowly, not feeling the heart beat of his sister, or sensing her movements anymore inside their apartment.  Victor sighed as he placed his hand on the wall, slowly walking as he made his way towards the kitchen, finding the bar stool and taking a seat.  There was an odd sound Victor could never put his finger on to describe, but it was when his sister used her powers to phase through objects.  The soldier turned his head slightly, keepinghis eyes closed as he concentrated.  It was his sisters heart beat, but also another.


"Dassem?  That you with Rebecca?"


"Yes, we have another mission Victor.  I hope you're feeling up for another one"  Dassem nodded slowly, Rebecca didn't say a word as the two spoke.


"So soon?  It's a little sudden, they have other teams to take care of things like this."  Victor sighed as he shook his head.

"True, but now that Alpha and Delta are gone, we're pulling doubles until we can find a replacement or new team to fill in thier spot.  You know that's never an easy thing to do since most veteran members are either on the Council or already situated with thier own swuads.  Besides, I thought you were excited to go back out into the field"  Dassem smirked, receiving a light punch from Rebecca on the arm for his remark.  Victor chuckled lightly as he stood.  "Besides, these orders are from the top, from the Commandant himself, and you know no one refuses his missions around here for good reason."


"I hate it when you quote me.  Alright, let's get going then."  Victor stood from his spot and made his way out, Dassem was about to do the same before being stopped by Rebecca pulling on his robe.


"Go ahead Vic, I gotta speak with Dassem for a moment"  Victor groaned and turned slightly at his sisters voice.


"Don't tell me its about the injuries.."


"No no, otherwise I would have said it openly, duh"  The girl smiled, Victor smiled back as he just shrugged it off, placing his large hand on the doorway and leaving. 


"Just make sure he's not late, Wolf is very punctual with missions.  Catch up with me when you're finished your talk Dassem, but be quick about it.  You know how much of a chatter box she is"  Victor smiled before ducking down, avoiding an apple thrown by her sister.  "Right on cue"  The man smiled as he shuffled away.

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Nayomi sighed lightly as she entered the war room only to see Hale stand at the front of the table waiting for them.

"Blayze, good to see you on time as usual. There's been a change in plans."

Nayomi frowned and crossed her arms over her chest. 

"What do you mean, whose taking this mission then?"
"You have been promoted to Beta team, Charlie is taking over Alpha and heading to East Asia to try and ease the situation there, the current Foxtrot and Echo teams are taking the positions of Charlie and Beta.."
Nayomi turned and looked as she heard shuffling coming from down the hall.

"Vic, good timing."

She walked over and linked her arms through his leading him into the room and over to a chair, once he was seated she turned back to Hale.

"So what are we doing if we're not going south?"
"You'll be heading North into Canada. There have been sightings of unknown creatures in that area who are threatening the nearby residents. Your mission is to go and investigate. Engage if necessary and report back."
"Do we have any information on these creatures?"
"They enjoy the dark so you'll be leaving tomorrow night via transportation agent. Fog should be able to get you there safely."

"Is there anything else Hale?"
"Yes. You'll be in the wilderness, make sure to keep an eye on one another to keep each other safe. It is untamed in this area and who knows what you'll run into. This area is said to be a breeding ground for all types of creatures and monsters. Be sharp and do not let your guard down."

She nodded, looking up as Dassem entered the room, his eye brow rising slightly at the sight of the Commandant.

"You a little late Dassem, I told you not to let Becca keep you to long."

The man in question looked about the faces of his teammates before letting them settle on Nayomi.

"We've been reassigned. We're going to Canada to investigate a monster sighting in the area. There are no details according to Hale."
Dassem once again looked at the Commandant.

"I find that hard to believe."
Nayomi nodded as she crossed her arms and shifted her weight so she was leaning on the table.

"Yeah, join the club."
Hale pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed.

"Your enemies have been said to be pale humanoid looking creatures that apparently feel no pain and know no fear. At first the sightings weren't enough for us to investigate but as of late there have been reports of sightings at least 3 times a week. Enough for us to take notice. There is no room for argument for this mission. You leave tomorrow night, take this time to rest, gather anything you need and gear up."
Nayomi frowned and let a small growl rumble low in her throat.

"Easy for you to say, you don't have a team that's injured and worse for wear!"

She clenched her fists in anger as the Commandant shook his head slowly.

"This is not up for discussion Blayze. You will be going and those are your orders."

With that he walked from the room Nayomi followed him out into the hall, making sure to close the door behind her.

"Sir, about the information you gave me earlier. Did it come from the man who was in your office? And I'd like to speak with you about it a little more. It's still hard to believe and I'm exactly how to react."

"I'll call you to my office after you return from this mission and give you more detail about it. As of right now it's not something I think you should worry about. The information was docile to begin with. But I thought I would share with you the origins of your power so to say."
She nodded slowly, her frown still in place.

"But why now? I mean...why tell me if it's not relevant to anything?"
"I'm sure it will eventually be relevant. But as of now. I'm sorry to say I know nothing more til my informant does."
"The man in your office?"
He nodded and placed his hand on her shoulder.

"When I know something more Blayze, I'll be sure to call you and tell you as well."
She placed her hand on her hip and sighed.

"But sir...how did you know?"
"My informant has been keeping track of the Egyptian gods that remained on this place in peace in case they ever decided to get out of hand again. The HDf took care of them once many years ago, since allowed them to take on human lives and live peacefully we are responsible for their actions. You seem rather calm about all this."

She sighed and waved him off.

"As I said...I'm not sure how to react to all this. And now your telling me that we've been reassigned...none of it makes sense Hale."
"I am sorry Nayomi. I can't tell you anymore then that about the reassignment. But I give you my word, if and when I find out more information on the news I gave you, you will be the first to know."

She nodded slowly, her head beginning to pound slightly from the stress of everything. 

"I'm honestly shocked you believe me so easily."
"My powers are nothing like either of my brothers, but just because I'm so calm about this doesn't mean I believe you. It'll take a lot more then what I have to convince me."

Hale nodded slowly.

"Even though you had the mage check your soul?"
She growled low in her throat making him put his hands up.

"I meant no harm Blayze, just curious."
"I suppose I'm so calm because of the fact that no matter who my parents are I know who my family is. But I do have one question for you Hale. Are there others...like me?"
"All around you. Most of them are kept confidential. The young boy from the Russian base, he is one as well. He is the son of Maat. Is this shocking to you?"
She nodded slowly, then shook her head.

"He is a prodigy, he mastered his powers of sand manipulation before he was at the age of 10. So no, I'm not so surprised."

"What if I told you there is another in this base who is also a child of one of the gods turned human?"
You know her, she is in the newly appointed Alpha team. Sara."
"The telepathic? I never would have guessed."
"Of course not. The gods who had children turned human and lived a normal human life span before they returned to their plane. Your not any more powerful or dangerous then anyone else on your team."

She nodded again, but looked up at him as he cleared his throat.

"I did not tell you for you to stress over it Nayomi. I was being respectful by allowing you to know. Do not dwell on it any more then you have. It makes you no different then you when I told you."
"I still don't understand why? Why did this information come to you, to me, now?"
"My informant is much like the rest of his family, they come and go as they please. Very mysterious the Demos family is. No one can tie them down and no one can ever ask them to be timely with their information. I am sorry to throw this on you."
"Is there something your not telling me Commandant?"
He sighed and walked over to her placing his hands on her shoulders.

"Some people who know of the children of the gods fear that they will try to use their offspring to come back to this plane and try to rule the planet as Set tried to do years ago. Others of us are hesitant to believe that. If that were the case they would have tried to do so much earlier. So just let it go for now Nayomi until I hear more on the subject won't you?"

She nodded slowly and put her hands in her pockets. Sighing she turned and returned to her team and pressed her fingertips to her forehead.

"Alright guys, you heard the man. Vic you should go to one of the healers and see if they can move your healing along a little more. We should get what we need together and get some rest."

Dassem stood, his face showing that something was on his mind.

"You got something to say Dass?"
He nodded slowly.

"It's been bothering me since we got back. How is it that you took down Barkin and Asari so easily? We all know the ranking system. The team leads all fight for their rank and order in which they choose their teams. Since we were Delta I think it's safe to say that you lost...yet you took Alpha and Beta down without an issue at all. How is that? And what was that all about?"

Nayomi sighed, her eyes closing slowly as she noticed Chiron and Victor focusing on her now as well.

"Your right Dassem. That is how the ranking goes. And your also right that it would make sense that since we were Delta that I should have lost that fight. I would like to tell you that I did lose, that I just read their moves that easily...but I'd be lying to you. I didn't lose that fight, actually I won it. I was able to read the leads of all 3 teams ahead of us. Alpha, Beta and Charlie all lost to me. My size, seed and weight over powered them easily. I chose my team first, I had read all of your files carefully, making sure we could all work together. Making sure we would look after one another and that our powers and personalities wouldn't clash. I was right in picking you 3. And the information I was discussing with the Commandant is classified."

 They all nodded accepting her answer on her conversation with the Commandant but Victor frowned and griped his chin in thought.

"But if that be the case, how is it we have been in Delta all these years? Is Delta not the lowest ranking mission team in the base? We're only a step above the 2 training teams of Foxtrot and Echo."

"It was an order from the Commandant, the top ranking team was to be placed as the lowest ranking team. Time Gazer, our seer, apparently told him that he would be losing Alpha and Beta. Therefore he decided to make his best team his last. That would be us."

Sighing she shook her head.

"Alright, you have your answers. Let's get some rest. Dassem make sure Vic is taken to Stitch to see if anything can be done. After that make sure you both get rest."
They gave affirmatives  as she walked away, this time she headed to the training room. Her mind a jumbled mess of thoughts.  

Edited by K.G
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"One of these days maybe she'll stop asking me favors. She's our team leader, she could just as easily issue orders to me. The gesture is pleasant, but unnecessary," the pale-skinned man spoke to himself quietly as he read the book in his own solitude again. "I suppose that's just Nayomi. Better to request than force someone to do something, hm?" he spoke again, eyes narrowing.


"You say this though you willingly force me to be your strength because your own is insufficient!" a voice familiar to Chiron came from within his mind before the man was standing in the realm of shadows, seeing a mere outline of a man in front of him, crimson eyes boring into him with a glare.


"Silence yourself. I figured out the only reason you made that pact with the witch. Surely you didn't think I wasn't prepared for you to gain her strength should she perish traditionally," Chiron returned the glare.


The figure remained silent before a wide gleam of a white grin came from where his face would be. "Come now, Chiron. Why ever would you think I'd do that to you? Cert-" he was interrupted as a bright light appeared around Chiron's fist, staggering the figure. "AGH! Stop being so unreasonable!" it pleaded toward the blood mage. Chiron extinguished the light, staring at the figure. "Ugh...F-fine... I know you aren't stupid. I've known you since you were a mere child after all..." he said, catching his breath and looking to the mage. "Can we just call it even after that one?"


"For what reason should I be so foolish? 'Because of all of the power I give you and ask nothing in return' always seems to be your response and it's getting old. You must know by know I know how to make the Doom Sickle rightfully mine..." Chiron said, still furious at the soul who stood before him.


"What are you talking about? That isn't possible, so stop your bluffing, Magus," the figure chuckled with a grin. "If you knew how to do it, you would have done it by now. Or would you just miss me too much?" he asked before loosing a chorus of maniacal laughter.


Chiron shook his head, closing his eyes and when he reopened them, he was back on the material plane. He closed the book he was reading it, returning it to its rightful place. He was then behind Nayomi in an instant as the two headed to be briefed for the next mission. Chiron looked to his comrades after receiving the same update with this mission. He wasn't sure what to make of it, but he was still very exhausted mentally from the fight with Clair. He glanced to Dassem, sighing softly. He was grateful to him and his sword, for if not for that, Chiron might have been lost as well. He would be sure to thank him for it in time, but he didn't think now was the time. The squad was dismissed and Chiron was even less at ease after hearing the Commandant's comment. It wasn't the threat of the gods' return, but his own situation. He only had a grasp on what had to be done in order to gain full control over the Doom Sickle, but he knew it would take more research. But now was the time to go rest his mind. He slipped through the shadow he cast on the wall, returning to his own room through the shadow plane.


Chiron took a seat on his bed, laying back and staring up at the ceiling. He shook his head as it was flooded with memories of his childhood, closing his eyes tightly. If only... Too bad I can't go back to that day. He sighed as he usually did, rolling onto his side. "Supposed to relax, Chiron. Just...relax until the mission," he said to himself, eventually dozing off into another empty dream.

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"That was just a mess, might as well have thrown a hammer on our heads." Victor grumbled as he walked behind Dassem, the blind soldier keeping pace easy enough. Dassem didn't bother guiding him with touch, simply uttering short commands to keep him on the right track.


"It was a long time coming, they had been holding out on us for many years now and it was about bloody time they came clean." Victor raised a brow at the soldier, though Dassem couldn't read the expression, he could feel the questions boring into the back of his head.


"Don't play games with me, you didn't know jack about this whole Alpha, beta, delta switch garbage."


"Turn left." Both of them made the turn, Victor still waiting on the other to speak up.


"No, I didn't actually know. But I had a suspicion that things were uneven within the ranks. You don't give a member of Delta their own special forces training program, no matter how good they are." Victor nodded as he came up on Dassems left.


"You are right, but no one can deny your strength when it comes to fighting." Dassem let out a snort, his eyes focused only on moving forward as he let his peripheral take in the details on the sides.


"Hardly, I am just talented at fighting. We've been given liberties other squads never received, you may never noticed because you shake yourself up in your room all the time, but I certainly did."


"I may be blind, Dassem, but I notice things as well. Rebecca makes sure I keep on things enough. Speaking of Rebecca, what did you two talk about?"


"Right." Taking the turn easily, Dassem could see the signage for the med ward as he mulled over the question.


"Not a whole lot, just how you can't seem to walk ten steps without getting hurt in the field." Victor gave him a shove, a small smile on both of their faces. Dassem's expression returned to its neutral look quickly as he reached back and tied his air back in a loose pony tail. His memory flitting back to his conversation with Rebecca.




"Go ahead Vic, I gotta speak with Dassem for a moment." He wasn't sure what was going on, his eyes shifting between the two as he thought it may be about the sorry state Victor had returned in.



"Don't tell me, it's about the injuries..


"No no, otherwise I would have said it openly, duh"


'Damn, I was sure it was about his injuries. What does she need me for?' Dassem watched as Victor disappeared from sight, leaving Dassem and Rebecca alone. The solider feeling slightly uncomfortable being left alone with Rebecca, she was a pleasant girl and certainly heard things spoken of her amongst his younger recruits. Words he was quick to stifle with harsh training lessons, which was typically more satisfying then he would admit to anyone.


"What is it you wanted to talk about?" Dassem said as he got to the point, holding his hands behind his back, Rebecca simply shook her head at him.


"You need to relax when you are home, please sit down with me." He let his relax as he looked to the chair as he pulled it out and seated himself, Rebecca sitting beside him  as she showed him a kind smile.


"I wanted to thank you for bringing victor back, alive and relatively well." Dassem just shrugged before speaking.


"I was just doing my job, you had requested he comeback alive. And truthfully, he saved my life as with his excellent timing even in the grim moments that followed." Suddenly Rebecca's hand was over his and he was slightly thrown off at her soft hand upon his calloused knuckles.


"Dassem! I was stressing over Victor so much, I didn't even think about how you are doing."


"I am fine, trust me. I'm in better shape then Victor is, I will make sure he is taken care of before we leave." He saw her face light up, her eyes seem to sparkle in the light and her cheeks were slightly rosier then they had been just a moment ago.


"Thank you Dassem, I appreciate you taking care of my brother." She leaned over the table and planted a soft kiss on Dassem's weathered face, the First Sword unsure of how to react, only able to give her a small smile and a nod of his head.


"I do what I can, I must be going now. If you need me to do anything else, you can reach me anytime. Have a good evening." He rose from his chair, Rebecca doing the same before she followed him out. When he turned around from opening the door, she had her arms thrown around him and gave him a tight hug, squeezing his ribs as all he could do was hug her back before leaving her alone.




"You are the least informative person I know Dassem Ultor, I would have a better chance of getting information from a badger." Dassem nodded to himself.


"That sound's about right, the badger would also smile more for you. Though that could be right before he sinks those pearly whites into your face." Victor gave him a face, placing his hand against the wall as they reached the door to the med ward. The raised bumps and dashes reading exactly that to Victor.


"Seems we have arrived, I will be waiting for you out here when you are done." Victor shook his head at Dassem.


"I'll be fine, I'm blind, not stupid. Go on and get some rest, I promise I'll be able to walk back on my own."


"Very well, I will come for you in the morning then. Rest well Vic, we have more trouble ahead of us." Daseem departed with those final words and tried his best to move through the hallways unnoticed. It became apparently clear that he would receive no such peace as one of his drill sergeants approached him with updated dossiers and material. It wasn't long before several others found him and posed more questions, updated information, training program updates, location details, and many other things he needed to deal with. Dishing out orders quickly, direction his sergeants one at a time, some received answers for their questions, others left with questions from Dassem himself they needed to answer before moving forward. He was surrounded by three sergeants as he continued to walk, his eyes switching between the papers and files presented to him and the only slightly busy hallway. He rounded the corner to his quarters when he stopped dead in his track, his eyes now focused on the man standing to the side of his quarters, his head turned away and looking off somewhere else before he turned to look at the First Sword.


"The rest will have to wait, put non-vital papers on my desk and the rest I will address in the morning before I depart again. Dismissed." All three stood at attention and saluted in unison before disappearing with files in hand. Dassem walked forward, coming to the man and then passing him as he unlocked his door. Dassem entered the room and the other followed without a word spoken between the two of them.


"I didn't expect to see you here, considering how much you hate this place." Dassem said as he peeled off his armor and tossed it on the bed. The other man crossed his arms and leaned against a support pillar in the large apartment, his eyes never leaving Dassem.


"I don't hate this place, I just don't see the purpose it serves anymore. Not when so many people die for nothing." Dassem smirked at that, but the smirk was mocking and rather angry.


"You certainly know Neos, that's fair enough to say. How are my sisters?" Neos didn't move and inch as Dassem unbuckled the bracers and tossed them aside as well before moving into the bathroom and turning on the cold water.


"They are doing well, Valerie found out last week that she is pregnant, as is Misha. They are quiet excited about the whole thing." Dassem drentched his face and neck with cold water, shaking his hands of the excess as he used a nearby towel to wipe away the remaining water.


"I bet they are, what is this, second, third kid? Just breeding them left and right over there in the Demos house. How are your boys taking the news?"


"Rather apathetically, they seem to have coped with the other five running around these days." He pulled his shirt off and tossed it into a hamper basket of to his side, looking at himself in the mirror as he saw the bruises and cuts on his body. His hands were mark free, however, and the rest of his body was healing just as quickly. The sword at his belt still hung there, forgotten by its master as he cleaned himself in the easiest manner.


"I'm sure your wife is rather happy to see more small ones, rebuilding the great house of Demos. You'll have your own army at this rate." Neos didn't say anything for a time a she moved of the wall, navigating to Dassems room and taking a seat in one of the few chairs in the apartment.


"Hardly, and army would not be the wisest idea right now. Aren't you going to ask about Nicholas?" Dassem walked out of the bathroom with the towel thrown over one bare shoulder.


"I almost forgot, how is he and your daughter doing? I bet they are making kids as fast as my sisters." Neos leaned forward then, his elbows on his knees, lacing his fingers together before leaning forward, Dassem picking up on the change of mood from the man. Dassem walked over to the glass bottle holding a brown liquor, a whiskey he had taken a fancy too when they were last in Ireland, pouring himself a small glass before taking a sip.


"The is... unfortunately not the case. We found out that Carleen is unable to conceive children, some sort of genetic problem. It has been hard for all of us." Dassem felt his grip tighten on the glass, his teeth gritting before he forced another sip from the glass.


"The Demos clan thrives, more runelords running around and ready to wreak havoc on the world with all their great gifts. Mean while, the Ultor line falls to the wayside and burns out." Neos looked up quickly.


"That is hardly what is happening, there are many things they can do to conceive. It will just take time First Sword, just have patience." Dassem whirled his head toward the mystic, an anger flaring in his eyes that few had seen.


"I am patient, I have had nothing but patience with you and your family. I took on the title, the duty and carry the burden so that I my brothers and sisters don't fall into the same fate as our grandfather and our father! I have patience but the rewards for it are out of my grasp, and I am tired of it. I'm tired of it!" Dassem roared as he turned and hurled his glass at the wall, the crystal colliding and shattering into a brilliant cloud of twinkling shards and sprinkling on the floor, his chest rising and falling quickly.


"It is all for bloody nothing! I gave your family everything, I gave my loyalty, my trust, my sisters, my brothers and what have we gotten in return? The death of one brother for your family and the damned sword that never is satisfied." Neos took all of the rage and anger from him, letting him vent it out in his righteous rage.


"A sword that you have yet to take off." Dassem realized then that he was squeezing the handle, his eyes traveling to the unassuming form before removing it from his belt and setting it down against the wall. Walking over to his bed and sitting down with a hard thump, his elbows on his thighs as his head hung now, his strands of his ropy hair dangling before his eyes. Silence hung the air between the two men, neither moving or saying anything as they let the dust settle. Neos was the first to move as he walked over to the where the shattered pieces lay, reaching out and summoning his power as the glass reconstituted itself in an instant. Walking over to the whiskey, he poured one glass, then pulled another an pour that one as well before picking up both glasses and turning to Dassem, holding out one to him. He reached up and grasped the glass and held it in his hand without doing anything else as Neos took a seat beside him.


"I know what we have asked of you is beyond difficult, it is something I questioned for a while. But, in the end, you have proven time and time again, that you are the only one who can truly bear the sword and the weight that comes with it. You are trusted as First Sword for a reason, never forget that." Dassem turned his head ever so slightly, seeing the man out of the corner of his eye. The marks on his skin showed faintly, the sign his father had granted him when he was born, his true power showing though few could really understand it. Neos held his glass out, Dassem responded in kind by tapping them together gently, giving off a clear ringing sound before both men brought the glass to their lips and finished the drink in one swift gulp. The familiar burn running down Dassems throat and warming his insides, it was far smoother then other whiskeys, but it certainty did the job.

"Things will work out Dassem, but for now I need you stay vigilant. I know you used the blade on the witch on your last mission, I did hear you used the smoke to keep the secret of the sword, and the secret to the true extent of your gift."


"Of course, I did what I had been told when I first took the pledge as First Sword. Another is chained to the cause, it's hunger grows all the time and it gets harder to find stronger souls to feed it." Neos nodded, understanding all to well what the weapon needed, what was required to keep the secret moving in that lost plane.


"I understand, it's demands grow all the time. But, there is something in the works right now, and right now, I suggest you use it only when you deem it worthy, not when the sword wants it. I'll rely on you to make the call from now on, I trust you." Dassem didn't look to Neos, simply stared at the sword propped against the wall, silent and plain.


"I'll do my best, Master Demos. Take care of my family." Neos nodded, rising form the bed before walking over the tray holding the whiskey bottle and setting his glass down. He started for the door, stopping when he hit the threshold and turning enough to look back at Dassem.


"Things are changing, there are events happening right now that have left us in a difficult spot. Things will get more complicated, and when the time comes, I will need you to make an impossible choice. When that happens, life will change for everyone. Be ready." Neos remaine din the doorway for just a bit longer, before speaking up once more.


"They ask about you, all the time. Any parting words for them?" Dassem kept staring, fiddling with the empty glass as he slowly turned it in his hands.


"No, better they forget me for now. Better their children never know Uncle Dassem, they should only know me as Dassem Ultor; First Sword, Knight of High House Demos and of High House Shadow. Maybe they'll grow up on better stories then I did." Neos didn't say anything more as he walked out the door, closing it behind him and leaving Dassem alone once more.

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Victor sat down on the cold counter top of the examination room of the med ward, if he were able to see the environment, Victor would be able to compliment the facility for it's superb job at keeping things steralized and clean of dirt and germs.  The smell of fresh alcohol and cleaning chemicals filtered through the man's nose as he waited in his hospital pants, gowns were only worn for pre-op surgery not instead of soldiers wearing whatever they cam in with.  Victor's personal injuries could be seen from a distance, but he injury on his shoulder blade stood out the most from his small cuts and scrapes.  The med ward was surprisingly empty in the afternoon, but after losing two teams in one mission, the silence was to no surprise to anyone, members of the base were still mouring their loss as the funeral preparations were underway.  No doubt covered by the Commandant and his subordinates.  Distance footsteps could be heard coming closer and close, they were light and almost invisible to Vicotr's senses, no doubt a delicate woman weaing shoes that made it easy for her to work in, or she was well experienced in picking up her feet.  The door opened to Victors right side, his head stared down at the crisp white tile flooring as the new echo of a heartbeat rang as clear as day to the soldier.  Once it closed, the footsteps echoes with a light click once the heel of the foot landed.  The voice shocked him the most.


"Good afternoon Mr. Monroe.  I'm Doctor Taylor, I'll be filling in for Stitch while he finishes examining the boy yourescued a couple hours ago."  The comment brought Victor to raise his head towards the sound of the feminine woman's voice souce.


"Still he's being examined?  I would have thought that process would be done by now.  Is everything alright with him?"  Victor gripped the counter's edge with both hands firmly, pushing himself up as his feet planted on the floor, towering over the doctors frame with ease.  A warm touch of a smaller hand placed itself on his forearm as Doctor Taylor escorted the soldier to the examination bed, helping the man find a spot as he sat down without a fuss, thanking the woman for her assistance.


"Normally we run tests on humans and send them on their way with one of our covert agents, wiping their memories of their experiences clean of recent events before shipping them back to the human society.  However, with so much exposure to that creature you killed on your last mission, he's been giving some off readings on our monitors.  Stitch thought it best to infom the Commandant about the findings, he ordered for agent "Raven" to do a soul diving.  Turns out, whatever that temptress was doing to the boy was being done to her as well."  Doctor Taylor placed her latex gloves on both hands, examining the small bruises and cuts on Victor's chest, then examining his tender wound on his shoulder blade, whistling at the swelling and bruising.  "Well the ointment that was placed is doing well, but we can do better and much faster too."  Victor grunted as her covered fingers grazed the area around his wound, hissing lightly through is teeth, the pain had lessened much since being helped by his sister, even though that part was as painful as the injury itself.

"Doctor, what did you mean about the boy?"  Victor rolled his shoulders slightly, getting use to the discomfort.  Doctor Taylor walked over to the nearby counter and grabbed a few needles and small viles from the cubbord. 


"The boy is a meta like us"  The news came to a shock as Victor gasped suddenly.


"Well, it's a good thing he's safe and sound.  But I wonder, how many more besides our team mates have we lost to that monster."


"I couldn't say, it's not often powers devolope during adolescence, only rare occasions or if the child is from two meta's themselves, "pure bloods" as I like to call them.  Your sister and yourself I would say are "Pure Bloods, along with other members, even some from your unit.'  Victor thought about Nayomi and the others, nodding at the doctors words as her body heat once again stood at Victors side, a cold, small cloth wiped across his shoulder wound before the air dried the liquid quickly.  Victor sniffed a little at the scent.


"An alcohol wipe?"


"That's correct, I'm going to be giving you a small sedative, unfortunately it's the only thing your body will accept in time without repelling the liquid inside the syringe.  You'll feel a little drowsy afterwards so I would recommend that you go straight to your room and relax, I'll put in your file for 12 hours rest before being active for another mission."  Doctor Taylor wasted no time, making sure the syringe was clear of bubbles with light taps on the glass before slowly injecting the needle close to Victors wound.  The giant soldier gripped the mattress hard, the sudden pain a surprise as he yelped lightly, breathing heavily.  His body could feel the foreign liquid enter his body slowly, his own powers trying to repell the medine, but to no avail as the final drop was inserted and the needle withdrew from his skin.


"Damn!  Way for the warning doctor."  Victor groaned, once again the area was cleaned with an alcohol wipe before the doctor moved to dispose of the needle and her gloves, washing her hands to finish her duties. 


"I'm sorry, just natural for me to go in and poke.  It's kind of my job"  She gave a faint smile and chuckle, her voice almost echoes in intensitiy as Victor shook his head from side to side, the effects of the medicine was working quicker than he would have liked.


"Tell me Doctor, what's going to happen to the boy now?"  Victor said lazily, Doctor Taylor noticed the change in his composure.


"He'll probably be adopted into the organization like other strays that are found.  Go to schooling with the other children of the base and once his powers mature, he'll be given the option to use them for the organization or live in secret amongst the humans.  Standard proceedure now."  Doctor Taylor helped Victor to his feet, keeping a firm stance as the soldier almost lost his balance.  "Ah I see, the medicine that was absorbed from your wound is also reacting with the medicine I just gave you just now."  Victor only nodded, feeling to light headed to multi-task talking and staying awake, the doctor was kind enough to walk the soldier back to his quarters, holding the muscular soldier up without any near falls as they entered his living space.  Empty and dark, the air conditioning flowing freely as the door opened, bringing a smile to Victors almost drunk like state. 


"Sorry, I'm a fan of the cold weather"  Doctor Taylor shivered slightly as the two entered, Victors bed was in the living room area, letting his sister take the rooms for her personal needs, both master and guest bedrooms.  Doctor Taylor slowly sat Victor onto his bed, lifting the soldiers feet and covering his body with a thin sheet, placing her small hand on the mans forehead. 


"Good, no sign of fever.  Rest up Victor, see me if anything else comes up"  Victor only nodded lazily, feeling the doctor's weight rise from his bed, her light steps became distant as it left his quarters, the door shutting firmly.  Victor managed to reach his phone from his pocket before hitting his speed dial for Nayomi.  The rings were short before an answer came from his team lead. 


"Speak quickly Victor.  I don't mean to rush you, but I'm in a meeting."  The soldier merely shook his head before rolling to his side, getting the pressure off of his wounded shoulder.  


"Nayomi, the boy....he's a meta.  Me-eta is here in the base.  D-did you..."  Victors hand that held the phone dropped onto his mattress, the phone lightly bounced on the sheets before stopping mere inches away from the mans hand.  The medicine took it's toll, knocking the giant soldier out as he breath deep and heavily, welcoming the slumber as his chest rose and fell at its leisure.


"The boy?  The child from the mission?!  Vic?!"  Nayomi's voice rose slightly to get his attention, no one responded to her questions.  Doctor Taylor re-entered the med ward, seeing her superior Stitch waiting for her.


"Stitch!  There you are, I already took care of Victor from Nayomi's group, he's resting in his quarters now."  The elder doctor nodded before handing a file to Taylor, the woman looked puzzled as Stitch only smiled.


"You're promotion was sent through, my dear.  Congratulations from the Commandant for all of your hard work and diligence."  Doctor taylor almost jumped through the roof of the med ward with excitement, but only giggled and opened up her file to read the good news.  Stitch only laughed at the spunk girl's joy.  "Trust me, you've earned it and deserve the new code name granted to you."  Taylor read the bottom section of the second page, smiling so wide she thought her face would tear in two.


"A warm welcome to our new senior medical staff personell, Elizabeth "Touch" Taylor..."  The more Doctor Taylor read, the more she smiled.

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Nayomi flipped her phone shut and looked up at the few people she was sitting with, she sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose.

"Blast it all...Go ahead and finish up what you were telling me Clyde."
The man nodded from across the table and her with a small smile.

"The team getting to you?"
"No you are, I was in the middle of training when you barged in and demanded that I meet with you and Jen. What's going on?"

He nodded again, the young woman on his right placing her hand on his shoulder.

"As I'm pretty sure you've heard we're being sent to the East Asian base?"
"Yeah, rumors fly around pretty quick, everyone knows of our promotions to Alpha and Beta. So what's up?"
"Did Hale tell you anything about it?"
"Just that things were pretty tense that way, why?"
"Tense is putting it lightly. Apparently they think the Hale has bribed the high council to give him the rosters before any other base and allow him to choose the strongest operatives."
"But that's not how it works...they may get the rosters but we apply for which base we want to be at after get graduate from the academy."
"For those of us that go yes, but what about the ones we find? The strays that are raised in the bases?"
She tapped her chin thoughtfully for a moment.

"I still don't get it. Where did the idea of this come from?"
"Who knows, The Northern and Eastern Asia HDF bases have always seemed to be on edge around each other."
"So why tel me?"
"Cause I have a feeling you guys are gonna have to come bail us out. But besides that we're being sent on a double mission."
"That's insane, they're not even giving you time to rest?"
"Apparently they feel we'll be able to negotiate with the EA base with no issue and be able to move on to the second mission with no hiccups."
"Sounds a bit far fetched to me..."
Clyde nodded and put his hand on the woman's as she squeezed it lightly.
"Jen has a bad feeling about this one and I do too."
"I can understand that...I don't exactly have a great feeling about the one we got either..."
"What did you get?"
"Something strange going on up in Canada."

Jen's eyes grew wide and she began to move her hands furiously, her fingers snapping as she motioned to Nayomi and then her hands began to move again, faster if possible.

"Jen says that she's heard her father talking about that one from time to time. He's not all that thrilled with it, Said the reports he's been getting have been more and more dismal by the day...says last report that came in...game wardens found...a grizzly? A full grown grizzly bear..."

Clyde caught Jen's hands as she continued to sign and held them still as his own eyes grew slightly wide.

"Your sure Jen?"
The woman nodded, her face a shade paler than it should have been.

"What'd she say?"
"The game wardens found a full grown grizzly up that way torn to pieces."
"What like ripped open?"
Jen shook her head, her hands moving again, Clyde speaking the words for her.

"No, as in...pieces...entrails, head, limbs...nothing was near anything else it should have been with..."
"Like the bear it self was mauled?"
Jen nodded, her eyes closing as she finished her gruesome description. Nayomi nodded and sighed.

"I'll keep that in mind. Thanks Jen, Clyde. You guys be careful on your next mission."
Clyde stood and shook her hand before pulling her in for a rib crushing hug.

"You too Nay. Take care of that team of yours."
"Same to you. Jen thanks again for the heads up."
She watched as Clyde put his arm around the Commandant's daughter and kissed the top of her head the flashed Nayomi a wide grin.

"Being the son in law of the Commandant has it's perks neh?"

He let out a gruff chuckle as the woman elbowed him in the ribs, her brilliant green eyes catching Nayomi's before she smiled and nodded allowing Nayomi to leave. She was concerned for her friend and his wife, more so since Jen's powers limited her from speaking when she could...being able to produce high pitched sonic booms from her vocal chords was tough to control. Sighing she made her way through the halls til her nose picked up the scent of the med ward, walking in she spotted Stitch and hailed him.

"Hey, how did it go with Vic?"
"Taylor took care of him, but the boy you brought in from your last mission...he's unique."
"Go on."
She followed the man as he led her through the ward to a clear glass window that looked into the room that held the boy. Nayomi looked in to see the boy sitting in a hunched position against the wall, his knees tucked to his chest.

"He's scared Stitch, get him out of there."
"We can't do that Nayomi...I'm sorry."
"What's going on? You said he's unique what did you mean by that exactly?"

Nayomi looked back at the boy and gasped as her vision was flooded with images, she could smell pines from a forest and feel the cold bite of snow against her skin. She took a deep breath and sighed as she closed her eyes before opening them again to find she was still in the med ward.

"What was that?"
"He make people see what ever he wants. What did he show you?"
"A forest in the winter. I could smell the pine trees and even feel the snow as it fell. That's incredible."
"Yes, he can over write your sensory systems and make you feel, smell, see what ever he wants you too. We've never seen anyone this young with an ability as powerful as his."

She nodded and sighed.

"He's terrified Stitch. Let me take him home with me. He's around the same age as Alm, I'm sure they'd get along just fine."
The man shook his head sadly.

"We have to keep him for observation.We need to make sure that the demon's power has leaked from him entirely and that he's not being influenced by it in anyway. I'm sorry."
Nayomi growled before planting her hands on her hips.

"Tell that to him! He's the one whose locked up by the very people who were supposed to save him. Apologize to him!"

Gritting her teeth she willed her self to calm down before she followed Stitch away from the window, her eyes lingering on the boy as she did.

"How is Alm's training going?"
"His physical training is going well, his other training he is excelling in."
"That's good news. How far has he come along?"
"He managed to reset a couple of broken ribs the other day with no mishap. So fairly well I would say. Another year and I think he should be more then ready to join the rest of here in the med ward."
Nayomi nodded.

"Good, as long as he never sees the field like me and Jack."
"He'll see his fair share of things Nay."
"Yeah but he'll be safer here. Where all he'll have to do is patch people up. And I know you guys are gonna need him considering Scalpel got reassigned to The Flat."

Stitch nodded and led her to the door.

"Any thing else Nay? How's your shoulder?"
She waved him off and rotated her almost healed shoulder.

"Just fine."
He leaned forward and looked at it closely.

"The wolf takes good care of you."
She rolled her eyes and turned walking away as she waved at him, walking through the halls she let her mind wander from this to that, she was worried about Clyde and his new Alpha team and she was worried about her own team as well. She pinched her nose and rapped gently on Victor's door smiling as his sister poked her head through the door. Her abilities always getting a rise out of Nayomi, she chuckled and raised her hand in greeting.

"Hey Bec, wanted to check on your brother and see how he's-"

"Fine, no thanks to you."

Nayomi sighed, it was always the same with her.

"I didn't ask him to get hurt you know, I told him to get somewhere safe. It's not my fault we were pitted against an evil demon woman who wanted nothing more then to suck out our souls. Literally."

Victor's sister frowned up at her and huffed.

"He's resting."
She finished phasing through the door and stood in front of Nayomi now, her arms crossed, still clearly upset at the condition her brother had come home in.

"I heard you have another mission tomorrow."
Nayomi nodded and leaned on the far wall across from the younger woman.

"That we do. I hear it's gonna be a doozy too."
"Will he come back like this again?"
"I'll do my best to keep it from happening. From what I've been hearing I would rather do this on my own and not risk the others at all. But I know the big wigs won't go for it. But I promise. I'll make sure to keep him alive."
"Dassem already gave me that promise."
Nayomi nodded, she had a feeling Dassem and Vic were closer then most people thought.

"Alright...I promise I won't get him killed. If it's me or him I'll choose me and let him live. Deal?"

A sigh was all that was heard from the woman as she turned to go back to her living area.

"He's all I have. Your their team leader. You need to take care of them."

With that Nayomi watched as the girl phased back through the door, tapping the wall next to the door she sighed and pressed her forehead to it knowing they couldn't hear her.

"I'll make sure to take care of them...all 3 of them this time...no foul ups."

Walking away she felt as if she had a million other things to do and not enough time to do it in. She still needed to swing by Chiron and Dassem's to make sure they were both alright and fit for the next mission. She jumped as her phone range, her brother's number flashing on the screen.

"Yo Jack, what do you need big brother?"
"Are you gonna make it home tonight or are you gonna be roaming the base all night?"
"Most likely with the way things are going right now? Roaming why?"
"Wondering if I needed to pull something out for you to cook or go and get something from the mess hall."
"Mess hall would be the wise choice. brother."
She heard him chuckle and let out a defeated sigh.

"Mess hall it is."

With a shake of her head she hung up her phone and knocked lightly on Dassem's door, she looked up at him as he opened it and could instantly smell the whiskey on his breath though she could clearly see he was far from drunk.

"Rough day?"

He remained quiet and she held up her hands before looking him over, her sense of smell picking up on a few scratches he needed to tend to.

"Have you been to see the healers yet?"
"I don't have enough injur-"
"Dassem, I've heard bad things about the next trip. Have you seen them or not."
He shook his head.

"Alright, do me a favor before we leave and go see them to make sure your fully fit for the next run. I have a feeling we're gonna need to be at 100%"

He nodded and closed his door as she walked away. She couldn't tell how long she had been walking but it had led her to the roof of the building and as she looked out towards the coming dawn she took a deep breath and let it out, the voice behind he making her jump.

"Had a feeling I'd find you here."
She shook her head and slid over allowing for the person to sit next to her.

"Leo, good to see you as always. What have to good spirits been saying this time?"

The man shook his head, his pale blue hair swaying as he did so, she looked over and saw his bangs covering her face.

"Don't hold out on me."
"It's all been a jumble to be honest. But something does seem to be in the works. Just stay on your toes for a while Nay."
She nodded, her gaze shifting to the rising sun as he leaned back on his hands. His skin was pale and he had almost an other wordly glow to him as the pink rays of light hit his face.

"It must be hard, to hear the voices of the dead that have yet to move on."
He shook his head, his face solemn now as he took looked into the sunrise.

"No...none of them move on...they stay hereto watch over the next generation. Not a single one of them has found peace..."

He rose from his spot and left her, her frown a sad one as she thought of all the operatives that had died over the years never finding solace or peace. She sighed and lay down on the roof, her eyes drifting shut as sleep finally took her.

She woke with a start, her skin feeling hot as sweat coated her skin, she'd slept the day away, looking at her phone she let out a sting of curses and lept from her spot sprinting towards the edge where she jumped, the wind from the fall feeling good on her skin as she closed her eyes and let the feeling take her. She landed softly on the balcony a few floors down and strode inside, no one there to see her stunt she jogged from the large room and down the hall. Slipping into her quarters she grabbed a quick shower before gearing up herself and making her way down the hall towards the briefing room. The doors opened and she sighed as she took notice she was the first one there. Taking a seat at the long table in the room she reached over and took the pot of coffee made for them and poured some into a Styrofoam cup, taking a ginger sip she looked up as the door slid open, the Commandant walking, his face was pasty and dark circles could be seen under his eyes.

"Rough day?"
He nodded and took a seat pouring a cup him self as they waited for the others to arrive and get more details on their mission.

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The freshness and purity of the water system inside the base was something Victor enjoyed the most, standing naked in his large shower cube as the soldier merely stood in the center of his bathing chamber, slowly waking up from his medicine treatment.  His apartment was equip specially by the controllers of the base, magical users who made great mechanics and engineers to enable mystical water to  touch Victors skin without any harm to his internal powers.  The soldier began to turn lazily, making sure the hot water soaked his back and wound, almost completely vanished besides some slight redness from his body temperature rising from the condensed steam of the water.  Taking a pre-soaked rag from the hanger prepared by his sister, the soldier began to scrub his body and face from the previous days dirt and grime collection.  Rebecca had already left for the morning to attend to her schooling in the civilian sector; along with the other teens who chose to expose themselves with normal humans rather than stay in the base cooped up on a twenty-four hour rotation.  It was a smart move, she would be spared form following orders that were not to her liking if then time came down to it, and Victor already knew his sister was a hot head for the two of them when she had her say about things.  Lately though, her personality seemed to take a change slightly, Victor made a mental note to concentrate more on it when time permitted.  Until then, he would have to worry about his own responsibilities with is team and his job to HDF.  The water of the shower seemed to intensify slightly, the pressure fluctuating ever so slightly, usually a clear sign that Victors powers were beginning to spring to life, and a clear sign it would be dangerous to continue his bathing.  Taking the hint, the soldier rinsed himself off before turning off the water with a single push of a button on his wall unit.  Shaking and wiping the excess liquid from his body, the soldier reached for his towel and made sure to dry himself off completely before making his way back to the living room where his uniform waited for him, along with new canisters of water packed for his upcoming mission.  Once suited up and ready, Victor left his quarters and began his trip towards his destination.


"Reminder to all agents of Alpha and Beta Units, your mandatory meeting with the Commandant begins withing the hour..."  The overhead monitor echoes the words three times before shutting off, it was a good thing for the announcement for Victor, he didn't know where they were to be meeting since he had slept the whole rest of the day yesterday.  Usually he was the first at the meetings besides their team leader Nayomi.  The soldier reached for his pocket and brought out his phone, speaking softly, still trying to wake up and get adjusted to the morning day.


"What time is it?"


"Approximately 0743"  Victor nodded as he placed his phone back into his pocket, noises in the corridors rose as soldiers made their way towards their respected areas.  Some soldiers merely walked around Victor as he took his time, thinking to himself in his own world, others stood at attention when he passed by, saluting at the experienced soldier in their spot.  Truth be told, Victor was the least ranking officer in his unit, but thanks to the new commendation they were to be getting thanks to the commandant, they would be getting rank and a large status boost from here on out.  The massive soldier merely nodded when he felt still figures to the side of him, keeping his eyes closed, a slight headache arose out of nowhere on the side of the mans head, throbbing lightly until it became a bother to the man when he had to stop.  A young soldier noticed the pain effecting the larger man as he spoke quickly.


"Sir, is there something troubling you?"  Victor shook his head sightly, hand placed against the wall, the coolness bringing a slight comfort to the man, but still the pain throbbed more and more, vigorously at that.  


"I don't know, haven't felt anything like this before."  Victor kept his eyes closed, but he could faintly see light colors, colors he's always heard of, but never though he would see in his life thanks to his condition.  One quick jolt of pain brought the man to his knees, heavy grunts seeped through the soldiers teeth as more colors and shapes entered into his view.  Victor reached into his pocket once more, getting his phone as he dialed his speed dial buttons once more.


"Calling Dassem Ultor..."  The automated voice spoke, rings followed quickly, but to no avail as the line went dead, at least it did to Victor.  His senses completely cut on and off one by one, making the soldier feel sick and somewhat vulnerable as he leaned against the steel wall of the med ward.  The younger soldier and others were speaking and trying to help up the soldier, but Victor didn't even realize they were there at some points as he stayed on the ground kneeling.  On the other side of the med ward walls, the young boy their team rescued was standing on the other end, through thick layers of steel and metal, he placed his hand where Victors was on the other end and projected his powers.  The boy simply stared at the wall, puzzling the doctors and scientists who peered at him and wrote their notes down on their papers.  


"Hunter, what are you doing?"  Stitched asked behind a glass mirror, the boy ignored the doctors words and simply smiled lightly like any child would.


"Saying 'Thank You'."  The boy whispered, focusing more of his energy through the barrier as it crept into Victors body without his permission, his own powers seemed to be negated as the flashes in his eyes continued without rest.  From the shadows, two firm hands placed themselves on both sides of Victor's broad shoulders, pulling roughly as the blind soldier fell onto his bottom, his hand releasing from the wall from the force.  Everything seemed to go back to normal, for Victor's senses at least, as he panted heavily trying to gather his bearings once more.  Feeling the multitude of heat and heartbeats surrounded the man.  The two figures excused the onlooking soldiers and informed the group that everything was fine.  Victor finally feeling better as the voices were clear enough to be recognized.


"Chiron?  Dassem?!  When did you two get here?"  Victor felt two arms lace under his shoulders, helping the massive soldier to his feet.


"Didn't you hear me answer Victor?"  Dassem questioned, before he could continue, the elder soldier peered to where Victors hand had been previously, a deep impression on the metal wall made it mark now as Chiron inspected the mark.


"I-I can't say I did.  I don't know what just happened...but it wasn't something I liked, not one bit."  Both men nodded nodded to one another before they looked back towards their ally.


"Probably just a small headache, but you've been here for 45 minutes from what the other soldiers have said.  Chiron got here before I did before we pulled you down for....a wake up call."  Dassem smiled slightly, Victor only shook his head lightly, feeling embarrassed.  "Anyways, head to the war room, I'm sure Nayomi is waiting for us.  We'll catch up with you soon; Chiron and I still have to grab something to eat.  We'll bring you a muffin from the mess hall."  Victor merely nodded and rubbed the back of his head lightly.  "Oh...two lefts, and a right for 5 clicks my friend, then you'll be there."  The two men watched as Victor made his way towards the War Room, once he was out of sight, they both turned and looked at the wall where Victor's hand impression was.


"He wasn't using his full strength, nor any of his abilities.  A mutation?"  Chiron questioned, hearing a gruff come from Dassem as the swordsman inspected the area closer.


"I hope you're not taking me for a fool Chiron, we both saw what others could not when we arrived, that wall was like a magnet and Victor couldn't free himself."  Chiron nodded at the statement.


"I know, I was hoping that wasn't the case.  We both felt the presence of the demon temptress we slain...but it was different this time.  More untrained and immature."  Chiron placed his hand around the Victors hand impression.  "What do you think happened to Vic?"


"Something we have no knowledge of, that's for sure.  We'll bring it up to Wolf.  But having that power around, untrained, could be dangerous to any of us.  At least we know where it is, the med ward lock down unit."  Dassem rolled his shoulders slightly, Chrion nodded.  


"You're right, but we have a mission to get to.  Let's go, this will be a project for later"  Both men maneuvered around the steel wall carefully, feeling dark energy lingering in the are around the hand print.  On the other side, the boy named "Hunter" frowned, removing his own hand from his wall and going back to his bed, sitting Indian style and closing himself off to the voices that asked him questions from the safety of their monitor room.

Edited by Shwa
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