The quartet of orcs bellowed as they charged the two. Anne raised her sidearm, but Erik pushed it down with surprising force. Anne glowered at the strange man. What the hell was he playing at?

“Don’t bother with that,” Erik said, “Your pistol isn’t going to be enough to take down an orc. Run to the street. Wait for a van driven by a blond-haired German named Kurt. Go with him. Tell him I’ll catch up.”

“Are you insane?” Anne demanded, “I need to call this in before these things kill a bunch of innocents.” She pulled her radio off her belt. The radio was ripped out of her hand by an unseen hand. What the hell?

“Don’t,” Erik said, holstering his own pistol. With a flash, he had a thick-bladed dagger that reminded Anne of a Bowie knife in his left hand. In his right was a massive stainless revolver. “Your police will just get slaughtered if they try to take on the Dark Towers. Run, now!” An invisible force pushed Anne towards the entrance of the warehouse. Forget who this Erik person was. The question in Anne’s mind was what was Erik? Anne stumbled a couple of steps before sprinting towards the entrance.

“Arem!” she heard Erik yell before she ran out of the warehouse. Then came a thunderous roar that could only be that revolver. Forty yards until she hit the entrance to the docks. The unearthly snarl to Anne’s left startled her enough that she tripped. Stars and pain blossomed as she hit the asphalt. Her sidearm clattered across the ground. Anne turned over as her vision cleared. What she thought was two dumpsters unfolded into two towering monsters. Each stood nearly twelve feet tall with dark, gray rough skin. They looked like much larger versions of those monsters Erik stayed to fight. Instinct took over and Anne slipped her hand down her her boot and drew the small Ruger LCP. A small red dot appeared on the closer monster. Anne squeezed the trigger. Blossoms of dark blood appeared on the monster’s chest, but all the little .380 bullets managed to do was enrage it further.

Screeching tires drew Anne’s and the monsters’ attention to the entrance of the docks. A white van darted into the dockyards before pulling an amazing skew turn to stop maybe ten feet from Anne. The two monsters stood still, trading perplexed looks with each other. Maybe they’d never seen a van before? The side door of the van slid open. A tall, lanky, blond man stepped out holding some kind of belt-fed machine gun. The two monsters didn’t seem to surprise him. If anything, the new man looked resigned. This must be Kurt. He pointed the machine gun at the monster that Anne wounded.

“Nice grouping fraulein, but trolls need more than small bits of lead and copper to take them down. Cover your ears. This is going to be a bit loud,” Kurt said. Anne quickly grabbed her ears a moment before the machine gun’s roar filled the dockyards. She could barely hear the monster’s howl of pain as its chest was torn apart by the machine gun’s bullets. Was there small gouts of flame coming from it? The first monster fell, and Kurt quickly turned the gun on the second. It didn’t last any longer than its companion. The silence was deafening as the machine gun stopped firing.

“Come, fraulein,” Kurt said loudly, “We need to get you and Erik out of here.”

“He said he was going to catch up with us,” Anne managed to say as she leapt into the van. Guns of various sizes were locked in racks on the sides of the interior. Kurt gave the detective a quizzical look as he locked the machine gun into one of the racks. “He was fighting off some orcs and someone named Arem.”

“Arem?” Kurt asked, “Who’s Arem?”

“Tall guy, brown hair and scary eyes?” Anne asked, “He was leading the orcs. I think that’s what the other guy called them.” Kurt’s normally handsome features contorted into a grimace.

Schiesse,” the German cursed, “Hold on, this is going to get a little rough.” Kurt deftly wheeled the van around and darted out on to the street. He sped down the boulevard for a few blocks, took a right, and blended into traffic.

“Where are you taking me?” Anne asked.

“To my employers,” Kurt said, “They are the ones that normally deal with the dunkle Turme.”

“The what?” Anne asked.

“Sorry, the Dark Towers,” Kurt answered, “The monsters across the gate.” Anne didn’t look any less confused. Kurt shrugged his shoulders. “They will explain it to you.”


Orcs. Why the hell had Arem brought orcs to Earth? Better question, how had Arem survived? Erik thought as the orcs charged with their black swords raised above them. At least Kurt had been nice enough to put a light and reflex sight on this revolver. Not only did it help with aiming the heavy piece, but added a bit of weight to the front so he didn’t need to use as much power when using it. Erik placed the glowing dot on the lead orc and squeezed the trigger.

He felt the recoil thrum through his body. The heavy bullet neatly blew the back of the orc’s head out, splattering his comrades with blood and brains. To their credit, the three remaining orcs didn’t hesitate, but spread out to come at him from multiple angles. So, these had been up against Avalonians before. Well, Erik doubted they’d faced anything like him.

He flipped his dagger at the left-hand orc with enough power pushing the blade to launch it like a crossbow bolt. The orc gave out an abbreviated scream as the blade lanced through its eye before slamming into the its brain. It fell to the ground and slid for a few feet. The right-hand orc took a pair of bullets to the chest. With orcs, it was best to be sure. Like its brother, it went to the ground dead. Erik was brought the revolver around to deal with the last orc. The orc threw a small blade at Erik, forcing him to slide out of the way. Well, small for an orc. The blade was almost a bloody short sword. The orc sped up.

Erik felt the spike of wild magic before his revolver was torn out of his hands. The silver weapon fell into Arem’s waiting hands. Erik didn’t have time to even curse. He used a bit of power to yank his dagger back, and then sent a stronger blast at the elf. Arem stumbled back from the surprise push and accidentally fired the last two rounds from the revolver. Erik felt one of the heavy bullets whistle past his head a scant moment before a hammer slammed into his chest.

The last orc’s body slumped to the ground with the gaping hole in its chest. There was a flash of pain and Erik fell back to the ground. Damn, he hated getting shot. At least Arem killed his own orc with the same bullet. The elf pointed the revolver at Eric’s prone form and squeezed the trigger again. The warehouse echoed with the mechanical snap of the hammer landing on a spent casing. Arem let out a string of elven curses and threw the revolver on the ground. Erik winced. He really didn’t want to listen to the German when he brought that revolver home. Sirens in the distance caught Arem’s attention.

“We’ll finish this fight at a later time,” Arem promised. Another spike of wild magic coursed through the warehouse. A red hole in the air appeared just long enough for Arem to step through. Erik stood up. His chest and ribs protested the movement. It was time for him to get the hell out.