Immediately, Grey and Elle fell to their routine. Elle distanced herself from the rest and started emptying clips into the heads of those closest with vicious accuracy. Those that advanced past her barrage fell to Grey's bladed staff as he guarded her to make sure she was safe. He hardly ever missed and on the rare chance that he did, the supposed attacker's eyes rolled up in their heads as a bullet buried itself in their skull. They learned a long time ago that the best strategy to surviving the onslaught of the newly Changed was to stay in one position and let them recklessly charge in. In this manner they were able to conserve their energy and endure. What made this strategy somewhat more efficient was the new addition to their ranks.
Kyra weaved in and out between their attackers slicing every bit of flesh her dagger could reach. This caused a lot of them to stagger in their rampage, providing an opportunity for either Grey or Elle to swiftly dispatch them. Kyra continued to provide them with crippled targets but as the fight continued to drag on, Grey could see the bloodlust taking a hold of her. Soon her dagger did more than just hinder. More often than not it dug into sides and slit throats while she wore a satisfied smile after each kill. Grey had no time to worry about it however for more werewolves were pouring in from the rest of the town and Kyra's actions were helping thin their numbers.
It wasn't long before Grey realized that their usual tactic of staying in one spot just wasn't going to cut it anymore. If they didn't want the fight to drag on for too long they were going to have to jump into the fray. He gave Elle a nod and she holstered her rifle and pulled out her pistols. With a snarl, he charged in a smashed his staff into the chest of the nearest werewolf. The bladed end found its mark into the calf of a woman who roared in pain as a bullet passed through her open mouth.
It wasn't long before they found themselves surrounded by lifeless bodies as they tried to catch their breath. Grey was about to return to his human form when he saw Kyra walking towards one of the bodies with a glint in her eye. He followed her gaze and realized that there was still one werewolf struggling for breath. She stood before him, raising her bloody with a triumphant smile.
"NO!" Grey yelled as the dagger struck down. It was seconds away from its mark when he heard a loud bang followed by a pained yelp and the clattering of metal on wood.
"What the fuck was that for?" she snarled at Elle while holding her bleeding forearm, her weapon forgotten on the floor. Grey breathed a sigh of relief at her quick thinking and started making his way towards Kyra.
"Relax. Just wrap it up and it'll be good as new."
"It still fucking hurts! Why'd she stop me?"
Grey frowned. "Was he trying to kill you?"
She gave him a confused look. "What does that have to do—"
"Was he trying to kill you?" he repeated.
"Look at him," he said softly.
"Look at him and try to justify yourself!"
She looked down reluctantly and he saw the blood drain from her face. He was hardly older than any of them, probably close to Kyra's age from what Grey could tell. He was gasping for breath as he coughed up blood. What they noticed most of all was that he was afraid. Tears flowed down freely as he uttered one word. "Why?"
And then he was gone. It was as if that one word contained what little life he had left. Grey sighed and knelt down to close the boy's eyes. There wasn't much else he could do. He rose and turned to face Kyra.
"They may have been mindless monsters, but they were people once like you or me. Try not to forget that Kyra."
She just continued to stare at the body without responding. Grey patted her on the shoulder with another sigh and walked over to Elle. He knew it was hard. He had to go through the same thing in the beginning. Before it had been so easy to just let the animal loose. To kill anything and everything. Reining himself was a constant battle but he had to if he wanted to retain any sense of humanity he had left.
"I'll start looking around," he told Elle, "and try to find anything we can use. See if there's anything you can do for her."
"Okay. Be careful Grey."
Grey made his way into the other nearby buildings, searching for supplies that they could use on their journey. Mainly he sought out a few extra clothes and some food that would last for a while, but nothing that would weigh them down too much. If they wanted to get to where they were going as fast as possible, they would have to travel light and pick up anything else they needed along the way. Something he noticed though as he went from house to house was the fact that each one he walked into was completely deserted. And it wasn't as if it was all abandoned recently. It felt more like the inhabitants were just there. Puzzled, he made his way back to the others. He found them piling the dead in the center of the room. Grey was actually taken aback at how many there were. Had they really killed this many?
"Grey, there's something that's been bothering me for a while…"
"What is it Elle?"
"Don't you find it strange that Liam keeps finding newly Changed werewolves wherever he goes? I mean, we can't be all that common that he just happens to run across enough to hinder us. There are at least twenty of them in this pile if not more!"
"I never really thought about it," Grey frowned. "But now that you mention it, the number of them that he keeps sending our way has been increasing. And since there's no one else in town, we have to assume that everyone who lived here is now in this pile that tried to kill us."
"How is that possible? I may not know a lot about your kind, but an entire town turning just in time to meet us is just impossible."
Grey nodded as he looked at the pile. It was hard not to see the faces now that they weren't twisted in rage. Their ages spanned from the elderly to children. It made him sick but he didn't notice it before during the attack. Something wrong had happened here.
"This is all wrong," Kyra suddenly said, causing them both to look at her. "How could this happen? Who would do this? Why?"
"We're going to find out," Grey answered putting a hand on her shoulder comfortingly as he suppressed a shiver when she echoed the young man's last word. Anger began to simmer as he thought of Liam doing all these things but he reigned it in. now was not the time. The sound of clinking glass made them both turn and saw Elle holding several bottles of assorted alcohols. Most of it she was pouring onto the pile of dead bodies. The rest she just flung haphazardly everywhere else. When she saw them looking, she paused.
"What? We can't just leave them here for someone to find," she reasoned. Kyra just shrugged and walked outside. Grey watched Elle work for a while and got an idea. He jogged after Kyra and found her just sitting on the front porch.
"Kyra I want you to help me with something."
"What?" she asked dejectedly.
"Find anything and everything flammable around here. Booze, gas, you name it."
Kyra tilted her head. "What for?"
"We're going to burn it all. Everything."
"Down to the last floorboard," he confirmed.
"But why? What good would that do?"
"Elle is right. No one should have to find what was left here."
Kyra just gave another shrug and ran off to find what he asked for. To speed things up, he ran in the opposite direction and began gathering what he could. After several trip over the next twenty minutes they accumulated a vast assortment of flammables. By this time, Kyra's mood had lightened somewhat at the prospect of burning things, to which Grey breathed a sigh of relief. It would do them no good if one of their own was demoralized after her first fight. Although to be honest, neither he nor Elle fared any better themselves.
"What's going on here?" Elle asked when she finally exited the building.
"We're going to burn things," Kyra said gleefully.
Elle raised an eyebrow. "Oh really?"
"Yeah! Grey got the idea from you. He said that no one should have to find the mess that was left here. It's kind of a good idea doncha think?"
Elle shifted her gaze to Grey, who stared back innocently.
"Hey I had good intentions. Don't blame me if she's enjoying herself."
Elle rolled her eyes and smiled. "Whatever. Let's just get this over with already."
Over the next hour, they went from house to house, dousing as much of the inside as they could. When they finally finished with the last, they made their way back to the inn where there were a few bottles left. They emptied out one onto a rag and filled it with some gasoline before shoving the rag through the bottle's opening. They repeated this several more times until they had quite a few molotov cocktails ready for use. Grey took one and looked at the inn. Knowing what lay inside made his stomach turn. He turned to Kyra and handed her the bottle.
Kyra beamed as she took the bottle from him and lit the rag with the Zippo lighter that she found. After muttering a quick prayer, she flung it through a window where they heard it smash against something. It didn't take long before the flames began lapping up the interior of the building as it fed on the alcohol that Elle had been spreading around. In minutes the whole building was consumed. Grey gave a silent prayer before gathering what bottles he could carry. They lit several others this way that they weren't sure would catch from the flames of the inn. Before long they were looking at the town from a distance as it became nothing more than a blazing inferno.
"You gonna be okay?" Grey asked Kyra when they started moving again."
"Yeah," she replied. "I'll be fine…I think. It's just gonna some getting used to I guess.
"It doesn't really get any easier though."
"Then we'll just have to deal, " Elle piped in, throwing her arms over their shoulders. "Together."
"Together," Grey nodded.
"Together," Kyra grinned.
"Yes you too Swissy," Elle said as the raven perched on Grey's shoulder.
"You know, you always seem to disappear whenever there's trouble," Grey said as his eyes narrowed accusingly. The bird looked at him…then slowly looked away as if to say "I have no idea what you're talking about" and began to preen its feathers. Kyra giggled and Elle poked it with her index finger.
"If you're going to lead us to trouble, you might as well get started. Where to bird-brain?"
It stopped its preening and cocked its head, one of its milky white eyes staring at her. With another caw, it flapped its wings and took off. Grey's eyes followed its progress before he turned to his companions, a smile breaking on his face.
"Shall we ladies?"
Not waiting for a response he dashed after the bird. Without thinking about it he morphed into his wolf form, feeling the cool earth beneath his paws. It wasn't long before he felt the presence of two other wolves join his flight. To his right he saw a wolf with light brown fur with streaks of blonde mixed in. To his left was one with brown fur so dark it almost looked black.
Thanks for waiting Grey. You're such a gentleman. Elle's voice dripped with sarcasm.
Not my fault you two have such slow reaction times.
Don't lump me in with her. I'm probably WAY faster than you both. Kyra rang in.
Care to put bullshit where your mouth is?
Grey…that's disgusting! Elle wrinkled her nose as she move around a tree.
Against you? Sure! You might actually be a challenge. But Elle…
What's that supposed to mean?! You saying I'm slower than both of you?
Well…if the stiletto fits…
Bitch it is so on!
Who are you calling a bitch bitch?!
While they bickered, Grey took the opportunity and bolted past them. It only took them seconds to realize what he had done.
Grey that's cheating!
Yeah that's not fair!
What's that? You'll have to speak up cuz you're so far behind!
He jumped over a fallen log just in time to avoid someone from snapping at his tail. His lips pulled back into a grin as he yipped in amusement. The others joined him as they raced through the forest, filling the silence in with their wolfish laughter.