Niabi watched a man figure jump off the roof, unnoticed by the hunters. They were pointing and jeering at something else, it seemed. She crept forward. The blood scent had followed that man figure. He had to be the other wolf, she was sure of it. Before she could run to where he had hidden himself, however, a dark wolf jumped out from behind the barrels with a growl. Niabi barked. Brother!
His fur was slicked with blood and his legs were trembling, but the other wolf turned to look at Niabi, his eyes wide. Niabi saw one of the hunters turn, his shotgun rounding on the other wolf, and she threw herself at the man. "Shoot her, augh!" the hunter screamed as Niabi sunk her teeth into his shoulder. Bullets rained down into her flank like drops of magma and Niabi howled, pulling away. Still, the hunter continued to scream, and when she turned, she saw her brother had him by the arm.
Niabi growled. Don't fight, brother! Run! The others had their guns at him now. He wasn't paying attention to her. Niabi sprang at the nearest hunter, snapping down on his gun hand. The huntress still had her gun on the other wolf and Niabi knew there was no way she would able to save him in time.8/5/2011 . Edited 8/7/2011 #211
All hell was breaking lose now. Instead of running, like she had wanted him to, he'd gone and changed into a wolf and started attacking. And then another one had come from nowhere, probably to keep its pack from dying off.
Smooth, Hailey thought. Still, she couldn't resist a fight.
"Hoi, leave some for me!" She jumped down off the roof, landing on the shoulders of the huntress who'd shot her earlier. "You don't make a good landing mat, lady," she said, stepping off her her crumpled form. A man next to her shot her and she sighed.
"Shooting at me? How original!" Hailey went on to punch the man in the stomach while her body made it's adjustments to the bullets that were hailing her skin, spitting the bullets out the same holes they had entered. The man keeled over and she kneed him in the face, and he swung back and hit the ground. She turned to the others hunters.
"Would you knock it off? You're getting holes in my shirt and I really don't like that."8/5/2011 #212
(A/N: I'm writing this during my lunch break. Why? Because...)
Alicia gently rolled up the newspaper and laid it on the rotted wooden table, next to a half-finished bottle of some of the most disgusting lager that she'd ever tasted. She grimaced as she took another swig, her stomach growling as the warm, bathtub concoction burned its way down her throat. She placed the bottle down to notice the bartender staring at her with curious eyes.
"Aren't you curious?" the bartender started, his rough and sun-beaten appearance not matching the tone of his voice, which hinted of refinement.
Alicia squinted her eyes. "It's not my business."
The bartender smirked as he shuffled a few pieces of paper behind the counter. Alicia continued directing her primary vision at the chaos that had erupted outside, keeping the bartender in her peripheral sight. Her right hand was out of sight, on the far side of the bartender's vision and concealed behind the long, black coat that was draped over her chair.
"You probably should have made it your business, Ms. Selek." the bartender continued, Alicia noticing the tip of a long rifle that the man had pulled from behind the counter pointed in her direction. A small picture of her face appeared on a piece of paper that the bartender had pulled from his pocket, the word 'WANTED' imprinted in bold red ink.
Alicia sighed and closed her eyes. She figured someone would notice her eventually. The Altiga Group had put a $4 million price on her head, a minute amount compared to the investment they made in using her as a test subject.
"So how do you want to do this...?" Alicia started, not bothering to give the bartender her primary attention. "Dead or alive?"
The bartender stood in confusion. His shot had burst forth from the barrel, but didn't seem to have any effect. He didn't have time to speculate on the reason why, however, as the jolt of another shot ringing in his ears became the last noise he would ever hear.
Alicia rose to her feet and put on her coat, clenching her smoking pistol tightly. The remains of the bartender's head were splattered all over the counter. But the soiling was unable to deter her from noticing the same jagged crimson cross tattooed on the man's arm. You see, the only ways to kill a Crimson were to take their head off completely, or pierce them between the eyes with something, since that was where the vessel of their soul was stored. It was something done to them during initiation into the band, and made them bloody difficult to kill if one didn't know that little fact. Or, if you were an Alpha, you could wound and harvest their being straight from their head, but that's for another time.
They found me, I guess?
She glanced outside at the racket of gunshots and what appeared to be wolves battling it out with the Crimson hunters. She nodded, knowing that it wouldn't take long for word to get back to the Altiga Group of her whereabouts if it hasn't already, after which they'd send one of their own Alphas after her. Eradicating these Crimsons, she figured, wouldn't hurt.8/5/2011 . Edited 8/5/2011 #213
Just as I'm ready to take an old-style bullet to the face my problem takes care of itself. A brown haired girl comes hurtling off the nearest roof and lands right on top of the gun totting lady. She quickly climbs off of the woman paying me no heed. She says something I fail to catch as I watch the nearest man turn and shoot her. For a moment my heart jumps to my throat, but the girl she doesn't seem fazed in the least.
"Shooting at me? How original!" She says sarcastically and than quickly deals with the man who had shot her in the first place.
The bullets continue to fly and finally my brain catches up to the situation before me. Two wolves who aren't wolves along side the brown haired woman are fighting the armed men.Just looking at the two wolves I can see they aren't fairing all that well. They need some help and I guess it wouldn't hurt to help a little. Okay well maybe not just a little, how about I just open up one big rift and pull us all into the nothing. There I can let the armed ones turn to nothing and keep these three alive. It's risky but I don't have the precision to just pick and choose in this dimension. Okay now Draden, focus, one big rift. You can do this.
I scream at the top of my lungs and create a rift big enough that everyone fighting in the dust is instantly sucked through. One moment the dusty town is before me and the next the white nothingness stretches on forever and goes nowhere. It's just better not to think about it, I remind myself. Every time I think about it my head hurts. Wait I still have all those armed people to deal with. The clearly dazed armed men don't stand a chance the moment I stop maintaining their existence. Without so much as a noise they all cease to exist as if they didn't exist at all.
With the armed men dead the fatigue of opening such a big rift falls on me and I have to sit down. I hope these people are reasonable, I need their help.8/6/2011 . Edited 8/6/2011 #214
((OKay, for the sake of this DP, I call for a character convention. XD Things have spiraled waaaay out of hand here. So, to keep away the spam, please, everyone move to the Break Room for a sec so we can work this out. Thank you.))8/6/2011 #215
(A/N: This post writes Alicia out from the DP)
Turning from the counter, Alicia took a step towards the creaking saloon doors. Her mind was determined, but suddenly she found herself stopped dead in her tracks by an all too familiar feeling.
She glared at the chaos outside and her body froze. If this were the olden days, she wouldn't hesitate to step through those ruffled wooden panels, fire up some Slipstream and be done with it. But that was then, this is now.
Why aren't you moving?
Maybe...maybe the Crimson's hadn't reported her yet. She didn't know if that was reasonable or not, all she did know is that it was her cowardly defense mechanism taking over, something that had stained her mind since her errant capture had broken her once impregnable confidence.
She fought with herself to move and get the job done with. But the thought that maybe she miscalculated scared her stiff. She thought she'd gotten over this, but her hand was trembling against her will.
Perhaps it was better to lay low after all, she figured. If she stepped out there, then the ensuing dead bodies would for sure be evidence of her presence here. Perhaps she could slip away like she always did, and leave the trace of her presence a rumor. At least the bartender was killed without any Slipstream use.
Letting out a deep breath, she acquiesced to her uncertainty, muttering under her breath at herself before sneaking out the back door of the saloon.
Coward.8/6/2011 . Edited 8/6/2011 #216
The huntresses gun trained on me and my instincts pushed me on, as always:
I changed from wolf to jay, causing her bullet to miss the mark. I fluttered, wing wounded, and changed back to wolf as I hit the dust. The pressure from the fall fell partly on my leg. I recovered as quickly as I could, and went back--my kin, gnawing on the hand of the hunter, stopped to bark, universal: no.
The huntress smiled, "Different tribe, same tricks," she hissed, aiming as I growled.
My kin hit her hard from the side, sending her down to the dust and clamping on her gun arm, similar to what she had done to the hunter. I saw he wasn't dead but didn't question why she would leave him, this was her land, her rules. But still, I wanted to attack.
The hunter moaned and cursed, and the huntress was silent, perhaps unconscious. Our spirit on the roof was busy with her own, but they were too distracted to bother with us for the moment.
I moved and my kin blocked me, and then she started down the street. Follow.
No, no, I whined, and limped back to my barrel to gather my clothes. I had to have the tourniquet. But as I limped, I knew for travel I would have to stay human. My high pain tolerance muted the pain, but when I made it to my clothes I almost collapsed when I shifted. With a groan, I started reached for my shirt and jeans. The violence at my back was of little importance, I trusted the spirit, wholly.
I became aware that my kin had returned, quite bravely, dodging the fray. "Kla, kla," I said, shaking my head, "mak'ru sh'ma trie jes q'ue..." I motioned for her to go.
She didn't seem to understand.8/7/2011 #217
"Kla, kla," the man said, shaking his head. "Mak'ru sh'ma trie jes q'ue." He shooed at Niabi, but she tilted her head at his foreign language. It definitely wasn't Osage, or English.
Still, he was of her kind, though she couldn't find any tattoo identifying his tribe. Niabi huffed, her gaze burning with urgency. Hurry! I will carry you.
A bullet blazed over her head and she crouched, seeing for the first time the human woman. She was taking bullets like they didn't hurt, and Niabi watched one hit her in the shoulder. "Come on now!" the woman said. "You're really putting a dent on my style." The bullet that had gone into her shoulder hit the ground, whole and un-shattered.
Niabi's ears perked. This was the demon the huntress had shouted of. One that could withstand bullets without harm. Niabi whined and turned back to her brother. That demon was distracting the last standing hunter. If her brother would just get on her back and stop trying to push her away, she could get them out before the other hunters woke up. She wagged her tail hard and shoved her head under one of his arms, attempting to haul him onto her back manually.8/8/2011 #218
Hailey rolled her eyes. "Sheesh, I'm standing four feet from you and you hit my shoulder. Don't you ever aim for like, the heart? Or the stomach? Although that takes longer to kill folks, so I'd understand why you'd avoid that, but even then, can't you hit the head?"
"You talk too much!" the last hunter shouted, shooting yet again.
This time the bullet embedded itself into Hailey's stomach, and she laughed. "Oi, haha! That one tickled!" Her skin spat out the bullet, and she fished it out from underneath her shirt. "I don't like being tickled, though." With a strength and accuracy that only she could muster from her abilities, she threw the bullet back at the man, watching to make sure it hit the mark between his ribs. She had turned away before he collapsed to the ground, dead.
With the rest of the hunters unconscious, she looked around. The man she had encountered earlier had been awkwardly slung over the back of the wolf, which he looked none to happy about it. In the distance, a small dust cloud was coming. She calculated they maybe had five minutes...
Hailey trotted over to the wolf, who growled at her. She held up her hands where it could see them. "I know we're not like, friends or whatever, but if you're hurt I can heal you..."
The wolf continued to growl, and she couldn't read the man's expression.
She shrugged. "You might want it, really. There's about six more guys on horses coming our way from the West, and I figure we've got about 4 minutes at this point. If you don't, that's cool, I can split and leave you guys to die cos of broken legs or whatever they'll do to you."8/8/2011 #219
The spirit spoke in Angle, and though I was swooning in pain I understood she had the ability to heal me. I slumped and slid off the back of my kin, hitting the dust for what felt like the hundredth time. I must have been covered in it. "Yes, spirit, Nyt'a, heal me..." the blood gushed, and the world faded.8/8/2011 #220
Niabi pushed her nose against her brother, but he didn't stir. His injuries were far graver than she had imagined. The hunters had probably shot him with a silver bullet. That had to be why he wasn't healing on his own.
"Okay, now you've got about three minutes," the woman said, her eyebrows coming together. "Last chance before I split."
Niabi growled at her, but even she could hear the wild screams of the horses. The rest of the bounty group would be upon them soon. Too soon. There wasn't time to think. How could she possibly trust this demon with her kin? She growled again. If the demon hurt him, Niabi would kill her, and then they would run. With a huff, she took a step away from her brother and the demon smiled. Niabi bared her teeth. I'll kill you if you try anything funny.
The demon woman knelt down next to Niabi's kin to assess the damage. There was a holler in the distance, and Niabi's heart jumped. They really had to hurry.8/9/2011 #221
Hailey scanned the man's body quickly, trying to locate all the points that needed fixing.
"It's not good if you're unconscious," she murmured. Morphing her finger into a needle, she pressed it into his arm. Slowly, her own blood circulated into his and she cradled his head in her other hand. His eyes fluttered open for a moment.
"I need you to trust me," she said. "...And to stay conscious for about ten more seconds, that would be really great."
Even without saying anything, Hailey could feel the mental block fall away. She quickly connected her mind with his nervous system, pinpointing each injury with ease. In most cases, she would move around so she could see what she was doing, but they didn't have time. The wolf next to her growled as the thundering of hooves got louder.
Relying on instinct, she felt his skin thread back together. She continued to pump blood into his arm, and the speed of his breathing was increasing.
With his skin closed and blood replenished, she disconnected from his spine and pulled her finger from his arm. He sat still for a brief second before sucking a huge breath and sitting up in confusion. She sucked on her needle-finger thoughtfully as he realized what had happened.
"I would've fixed the bruises too, had I any time. But obviously, I don't. Holy mother of the moon I'm famished! That's what I get for helping you lot, shrinking an inch to replenish my own blood and I'm still hungrier than a bear. Sheesh! You owe me a cow!"
There was a shot and Hailey jumped in front of the man. Catching the bullet with her thigh, she frowned at the oncoming group of horsemen. "D'you mind?" she yelled. "I just fixed him, he doesn't need any more holes in 'im!"8/9/2011 #222
Nyt'a... The spirit saved me. I came to, and saw her first, and then my kin. Alive!
The spirit was shot, but absorbed it easily, she spoke in Angle and I took note.
I said a short prayer, very quick. "Spirit, thank you! What is your will?"
"Excuse me?" she said.
The hunters reigned their horses in and took aim.
"We go!" my kin shouted, she took my arm and yanked me to my feet. We ran as the bullets flew, and bit the dirt behind one of the buildings, dodging out of the way.8/11/2011 #223
Niabi changed back to her human form while the demon woman healed her brother. The gunshots to her side had stopped bleeding at the very least, but they were going to take longer to heal in her human form. Still, she couldn't go on waiting like this not able to converse properly. While she wriggled back into her dress, a gun was fired. Niabi crouched. The demon jumped in front of Niabi's kin, catching the bullet with her leg. "D'you mind?" she yelled. "I just fixed him, he doesn't need anymore holes in 'im!"
Niabi furrowed her brow at the demon. Why had she done that? Another bullet whizzed past Niabi, shattering a window. She cursed while her brother thanked the demon. The hunters were upon them now, their frothing horses rearing and pawing the air. She grabbed her brother by the arm. "We go!" She dragged his bewildered form away, ducking as bullets rained down on them. She didn't look back for the demon woman.
They slid behind a building, the woman with them, and Niabi clambered over her to see the hunters. They were coming after them. "Move!" she shouted, grabbing her brother again and scrambling for the next building.
"Don't forget me!" the demon said, jumping up as well.
"Git back here, wolf!" one of the hunters shouted. Pounding hooves and cracking gunshots filled Niabi's ears. She slid back into the open and threw herself and her brother into a saloon. She flew up a set of stairs, he stumbled over them.
"Get in!" Niabi growled, shoving the demon woman in as well. She closed the door. They were in some sort of room. "That," she said pointing at the bed. "Use it to barricade the door." She could hear the hunters outside, hollering and whooping like they had a raccoon up a tree. She supposed they did. They were going to need a plan.8/11/2011 #224
"All right," Hailey said, as they shoved the bed towards the door. "So you guys are safe for now. But what d'you want to do now?" She looked between the other two. The man shrugged.
"We need a plan," the woman said.
She nodded. "Obviously."
The woman looked upset.
"First things first, unless you want me to call you Mr. and Mrs. Wolf, I think a name might be nice. I'm Hailey, a metamorph and demon, apparently." She jerked her thumb at the door. "Also, the hunters aren't in any hurry. They know we're not really going anywhere."8/13/2011 #225
I followed my kin and the spirit into a safe place, and felt relief flood over me. We were alone for now...
As they spoke I zipped and buttoned my jeans and decided to leave off the blood stained shirt.
The spirit introduced herself as Hailey. I tried to think of any spirits, of river, of tree, or earth, named Hailey, but decided she must be more obscure. I was no expert, at any rate, of any of Achitophel's written historical lore, so I didn't let it bother me. I figured she already knew my name.
There was a drawn awkward pause and I looked to my kin. Knowing I didn't have to fake a witch Angle accent, I relaxed and spoke with the Sh'marook. "I'm called Carwin," I said, "of the a'Wol family. Part of Tokalu and leader of the last stand. Ah...I'm Sh'marook, shapeshifter. From a place the humans call Lugosi. This must be the Mainland, is it? Rough place..." I smiled, but no one returned it.8/18/2011 #226
Niabi stared at the man that she thought was her brother. A wool? Is that what he had said? She didn't even try to think about the other things he had spluttered. Confusion turned into fear and her lips pulled back in a snarl, even though she knew the look wasn't quite as frightening in human form. Niabi took a step back, toward the demon woman. Hailey, she had called herself, a metamorph. Whatever that was. Hailey had to be trustworthy. She could heal things, after all. And she didn't seem to be anything other than what she claimed herself to be.
"My name is Niabi," she said. It seemed a bit un-welcoming not to say her name, seeing as how they had been kind of enough to tell her their names. "My people call ourselves Children of the Wolf, but others have called us abominations, werewolves, and monsters..." She looked at the man, Carwin. Now that she could get a good look at him, he was nothing like the men of her tribe. His body was like that of a young boy's. Weak. She couldn't see any of his muscles.
And he was pale, like the strange settlers of this Western land. She wanted to growl. He was not of her kind. Perhaps he could take the form of a wolf, but he was no brother of hers.8/18/2011 #227
There was a banging on the door, and Hailey turned around from the spot she was sitting. "I was never one for knock-knock jokes."
"Open up!" said the voice from the other side of the door. Hailey could sense the glee in his voice. "If y'come out all quiet like we won't hurtcha... much."
There were snickers accompanying his remark.
"You and what army?" she called.
"Wouldn't take much to wrangle down three of ya, I reckon. Y'haven't really got much of a choice in there!"
Hailey sighed and turned back to the room. Niabi was staring down Carwin.
"So..." she said. "Ideas?"8/25/2011 #228
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