Erik would never be sure why he had decided to take Far’ling with him to raid the warehouse. He didn’t even think about it as he was strapping the elven blade to it’s small of the back sheath. Like all Imperial soldiers and operatives, he knew his way around all sorts of bladed weapons. That said, Erik was always preferred putting bullets on target than getting in close with blade in hand. Still, there was something right about going after Arem with the ancient blade instead of his AK.

The two combatants landed on the roof. Erik could feel Arem’s rage emanating from the elf like an aura. Erik thrusted down with power as he felt the slight shift in the elf’s emotions. A lance of red energy erupted from the end of Arem’s sword where Erik had been standing an instant before. A little push of power and Erik landed next to an aerial. Far’ling sliced through the aluminum frame like it was paper. Erik caught the metal rod with his power and launched it like a ballista bolt at the elf. Arem brought up his sword, glowing with a brilliant white and effortlessly sliced the projectile in two.

Erik hadn’t waited to see the effect of his attack. He was busy snatching up a set of patio furniture and hurtling the pieces at the elf. Arem casually sliced through the table, the two chairs, and the umbrella before getting smacked in the face by the flower pot. Arem stumbled back as the clay pot shattered on his cheek. Blood trickled down from a half-dozen small cuts.

“That was a cheap shot, Erik,” Arem growled, “I expected something more dignified from you.” The elf unleashed a blast of emerald green. Erik rolled to the side, easily avoiding the magic. He was surprised when pain still flashed through him. Damn, what kind of spell had that been? Whatever it was, Arem looked winded from casting it. Erik must have pissed off the elf more than he thought.

“This isn’t a fencing bout,” Erik said, as he stood up. “This is a fight.”

“Very true,” Arem said. The elf materialized in front of Erik, who barely had time to parry the elf’s snaking thrust. Damn glamor, Erik thought as Arem pressed his attack with a series of blinding slashes. Pain and blood blossomed on Erik’s left thigh and forearm as he missed a pair of attacks. Erik stepped in and used his own sword to push Arem’s rapier out. Then he punched the elf in the chest with a telekinetically-enhanced fist. Arem flew back and slammed into the building’s HVAC.

“That was just cheating, Erik!” Arem complained through grunts of pain.

“If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying hard enough,” Erik shot back.

“Oh, I quite agree,” Arem said. Erik barely felt the smugness from the elf before the gate opened behind him. A dozen orcs rushed the Avalonian psychic.


Anne placed the glowing red dot on the wolf barreling towards her and squeezed the trigger. The stubby Russian assault rifle bucked and the wire stock slammed back into her shoulder. The wolf whined in pain as the bullets hit and sprawled across the street. Anne pivoted to the next wolf.

“Take out the damned sorceress first!” an unfamiliar voice boomed through the street. Anne instinctively turned to the voice, barely remembering to swing her rifle with her head. A hulking man-wolf stood where the largest wolf had been a moment ago. I don’t care what Veronica says, these are werewolves! Anne thought. Suddenly realizing what the man-wolf had ordered, Anne spun back to the team’s spell slinger.

Veronica was on the ground, cradling what looked like a broken left arm. Three wolves were trying to pounce on her, but Veronica was deflecting each blow with a shield of shimmering gold energy. Anne brought up her AK and aimed at the nearest of the three wolves. Before she could pull the trigger, a hammer blow landed on the back of her head. Stars exploded in her vision, even through the helmet. Stunned, Anne barely remembered to roll before another clawed fist landed next to where her head had been. She looked up and another man-wolf stood over her. Well, this one was clearly a woman-wolf. It snarled in rage and cocked it’s fist back to strike again. Then it’s chest exploded from three gunshots. The body slumped to the ground as someone picked Anne up.

“Kurt?” Anne asked, trying to clear her head.

“Sorry, it’s just me,” Jason said. “Can you stand?”

SILVER! That human has SILVER!” the leader screamed, pointing at Jason and Anne. Jason swore under his breath as three other wolves sprang at them. Anne managed to get her AK up and hip fired a long burst. Much to her surprise, two of the wolves fell to the ground. The third knocked her to the side as it lunged for Jason. Anne stumbled as Jason let go of her and slid away from the snapping jaws of the wolf. He brought up his pistol and fired twice. The wolf yipped in pain and then fell unmoving to the street.

“Turn around, they’re not down!” he shouted at her pointing back to the wolves she’d taken down with her AK. Except, they weren’t down, or even wolves anymore. Two more of the man-wolves now stood where the wolves had been a moment before.

“AVALON, RALLY!” Kurt bellowed over the din of the battle. Anne could see the tall German dragging a limp Samantha back to an alley.

“Cover me, I’m going for the girl,” Jason said, “Aim for their heads.” Before she could ask, Jason darted towards Veronica. Anne fired at the two creatures until the magazine ran dry. She fumbled as she tried to remember how to get the AK mag out. The two man-wolves were suddenly looming over her. Anne let go of the assault rifle and drew her Glock. The larger of the pair backhanded her with enough force to spin her completely around before Anne felt to the hard asphalt. Pain radiated from all over her face. She was pretty sure her jaw was broken. As she looked around, Anne could see that Jason was lying unmoving next to a similarly still Veronica. With an incredible amount effort and pain, Anne rolled her head over to where she’d seen Kurt. He was on the ground next to Samantha. Dale was facedown on the street some fifteen feet from the pair. A pair of soft leather boots walked up to her.

“You idiots,” Arem snarled, “Look at her!”

“You said alive, nothing about her being intact,” one of the man-wolves snarled back. “We lost five of our pack to this one and her friends!” There was a swishing sound and Anne felt a warm wetness cover her. The head of the man-wolf that talked back to Arem landed on the ground next to Anne with a meaty thunk.

“Now, you’ve lost six because of your stupidity,” Arem replied coldly. “Get them all in warehouse and clean up this street. We have to get her fixed up and ready for the ritual. Otherwise she won’t survive the trip back to Meliandre.” Pain flashed as two sets of hands roughly lifted Anne. Thankfully, the pain went away as she was swallowed up by blackness.