With judicious use of the radio and my natural ability to be a sneaky little bastard, I managed to scout much of the building without being seen. Now, however, I was cornered in a small room that apparently had a goddamn board meeting going on outside.
“Jake hasn’t reported in, does anyone have a 20 on him?”
“No sir, he was last assigned to check the generator wasn’t he?”
“Does anyone know what Smith is up to? I thought he was holding off a potential threat across the avenue.”
“I haven’t been able to reach him by radio sir; however he often turns it off when he’s facing off against someone who requires his full attention.”
“Cut the chatter.” This voice held authority, something I was accustomed to hearing in my own voice. Hearing someone else use it to the same amount of advantage… put my hackles up for lack of a better term. Here was someone else who was a pack leader, and the animal part of me cried out to put him in his place.
“Jake hasn’t reported in. I believe he is dead, and I imagine Smith has shared his fate.” The voice snapped, cutting across the other voices and even seeming to make the ventilation system stop running. “She is here you idiots! Our target is here and we don’t have the slightest goddamn clue as to where to start looking. You know what she can do if we don’t stop her.”
“Boss, you can’t mean that. If she was really here wouldn’t she have given herself away in at least some small way? We have the entire complex under surveillance.”
“Yeah, if she was here, we’d know.”
“You fucking MORONS just don’t get it do you?” The ‘boss’ was losing his cool now, “This isn’t some fucking amateur this is the goddamn Angel of Destruction we’re talking about. She doesn’t take prisoners you dipshits, she strikes without warning and leaves no trace of her targets. We brought these bitches here to make sure we could catch her, she has a thing for not hurting innocent women, but if we don’t lock it down right NOW the mission fails.”
I froze, knowing that it was pure luck that I was waiting within earshot. I forced myself to relax, allowing my breathing and heartbeat to completely stop. This was a trick Hex had inspired me to try. After all, if someone was looking for anything other than a corpse this would throw them completely off my trail.
“Boss, are you sure we should be allowin this? I mean, I hate beaners as much as the next guy but hell… I seen what them things are doin out there. It aint’ right.”
“None of that matters. If we get the Wolf, her keeper will come and we can exact our revenge.” His voice became feverish,
“She must pay, surely the Master is not gone for good. If we enact his vengeance he will come to save us!”
“Yeah, you know the Master wanted to cleanse the humans. He wanted to eliminate the ones who couldn’t evolve to a higher form. That’s why he used himself as the first test subject, to prove he was worthy.”
I wasn’t sure whether to come out guns blazing, try and sneak away or keep listening. Curiosity won out in the end and I snuck closer to the door in order to try and get a look at the group. Besides, I still didn’t know where Svenka was. With any luck these assholes would let slip where their captives were being held. There was a clink and a hiss.
“I smell something.” The Boss’s voice had a euphoric quality to it. He must have shot himself up with that glowing sludge. “She’s here.”
“Renyovalia, where the hell are you?” Cor’s voice broke into my mind, forcefully enough to make me flinch. “Never mind, I can feel you now. You need to get out of there!”
“Come get me. Fast. They’re on to me.”
The shadows next to me elongated and twisted, reaching out to grab my leg. I admit to making a most undignified squeak of alarm as I was unceremoniously yanked through nothing.
“What the hell was that?” I demanded, glaring at Cor. “Where were you, why didn’t you respond? I thought you were dead.”
He coughed and took off his jacket, holding it out to me. I realized I was totally naked. I took the jacket and put it on, holding out my hand expectantly. When he looked at me with slightly panicked look on his face I grinned.
“I want your sidearm, not your pants.” I accepted his .45 and looked around the room. “Where the fuck are we and why did you ditch my gear? I’m sure it wasn’t just for an eyeful.” His jacket barely covered my hips. I resisted the urge to tug it down.
“I can’t bring other things with unless I am able to focus on them individually.” He said, “My clothes and my weapons are all familiar to me… but in a moment of stress all I had time for was you.”
“Huh. Well that’s interesting.” I said, checking the action on his pistol. “They’re bound to wonder what a plié of clothes is doing in that room. Never mind that, where did you bring me?”
“We’re in a storage room on the second floor.” He said, “This was as far as I could get without raising an alarm. Do you know where the… where your… where she is?”
“I don’t yet. They set this as a trap for me Cor, this isn’t going to end well for anyone.” I tore open a cardboard box and found medical scrubs in tidy plastic wrapped packages. A short search turned up pants that fit. I didn’t return Cor’s jacket.
“Why don’t you just start breaking things?” He asked, “Then when they show up you can just… destroy them.”
“Because I don’t know where Svenka is.” I said, “I can’t just go around blowing shit up without knowing where they have her.” I ached for a cigarette, but of course they were back in my flak vest. Not that smoking would be a great idea anyway; it’d give us away.
A crash sounded loud enough to quiet us completely.
“Was that a door being kicked in?” I asked over the Mindlink.
“Yeah, I think so.” He responded, moving to stand on one side of the door. I ran to the door and jumped above it, holding myself up by wedging fingers and toes into cracks and corners.
I held my position for a few minutes, and heard boots approaching.
“Go.” A quiet voice said, and the door was slammed open. Three men leaped into the room, scanning with flashlights mounted beneath the grips of sub machineguns. Even as they saw Cor, I shot each of them point blank in the head. His .45 was not silenced and the sound was truly shattering in such a small space.
I barely saw a pair of small projectiles fly through the door and I dropped from my perch, left hand batting the first of the grenades out the door and right foot hitting the other with a crunch that would have made me flinch if I had been focusing on it. The second one clipped the door frame and barely bounced back into the hallway before they both exploded.
The force of the blast sent me spinning into a pile of boxes, although I managed to escape most of the damage. The men in the hallway weren’t as lucky.
“Come on Cor, it’s on. We just have to kill our way to the hostages. Looks like we’re using your break shit plan after all!” I ran from the room and threw myself on the one remaining guard who was apparently shaking off the effects of the shockwave from the explosions. Judging by his scent I identified him as human. He died with my fangs in his throat.
I barely paused to grab his gun on the way by, my hunting instinct was up and I was out for blood. My initial feeling of wrath toward those who dared touch my family had died down to glowing embers, but now I fanned it to a bonfire’s flame again. It was time for these impotent little bastards to pay. They weren’t going to get away with messing with The Angel of Destruction. My reputation was earned with blood and fire. It was time for them to learn exactly how I had forged that reputation.
“Find her!” I shouted through the Mindlink, “Steal their gear, take one of their places and for fuck’s sake keep me apprised of where they are!”
“How am I supposed to do all that?” He demanded, obviously still shaken by the sudden turn of events, or perhaps the violence, or maybe just the explosion.
“Get a radio. Sweet Christ, do I have to tell you how to do everything?” I ran down the hallway, surprising a group of guards coming down the stairs.
My nails were sharp as daggers, shredding through Kevlar and flesh with equal ease. Blood and worse splattered the stairwell and I ran down, bare feet leaving a trail of carnage that even a child could follow. The only difference was a child would know not to follow it.
“She’s gone down the North stairwell.” The voice crackled over the Mindlink, Cor had simply turned his confiscated radio on loud enough to transmit loud enough for me to hear.
“Roger, follow at a discreet distance. Do not engage target until la Sonraisa arrives.”
My knowledge of Spanish wasn’t complete, but I recognized that bit. The sunrise. My skin shivered in the memory of pain.
Was this the bastard they’d sent to kill me? Was he the reason my Svenka had been taken from me? I was ready now. More than ready.
When I reached the bottom of the stairs, I kicked the door completely off its hinges, watching in satisfaction as it shattered the arm of the man who had been reaching to open it. A flick of the wrist removed his head from his shoulders, silencing his screams of pain. I absently licked his vitae from my fingers as I strode confidently through the spray of aortal blood.
“Wait!” The warm rain spurting from the remains of the man’s neck painted my face but I hesitated at that voice. Miranda stood at the base of the stairs, looking at me with wide, innocent eyes.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” I demanded, “I told you to wait outside of town where it was safe!”
“Please.” She looked imploringly at me, “Just wait.”
I hesitated, and that was almost my undoing. For just a moment, her face flickered and I dove back through the door. A blast of brilliant yellow light seared the exposed flesh of my left leg as I rolled free. It took much of my blood reserve to repair the damage… this was what had created the artificial sun that had nearly killed me before.
“Ren get out of there!” Cor’s voice screamed over the Mindlink and at the same time I heard the voice through his radio.
“Move in! Corner her, she can’t be allowed to escape!”