Location: Smithy's drug and grocery store, Las Vegas
From triumph to despair.
An anguished cry of grief and rage escaped Katarina’s lips as she saw Ben collapse from his multiple bullet wounds. She could practically smell the silver in the air, vaporising from the spilled blood of the werewolf as his vitae gushed from the fresh injuries the Hounds had inflicted upon him. Katarina could see them advancing slowly, cautiously… a tactic that would be their undoing - caution in the face of overwhelming force would only lead to total annihilation. Not that the overwhelming force had reached them yet, but Katarina cared little for the mortal obstacles that barred her path to her paramour. She instinctively knew her magic would be too slow to react in time - she lacked an appropriate missile attack that would stun or kill his assailants immediately… but then she had an idea. In less than a second, Katarina took hold in one hand, one of the assault rifles of the fallen Hounds that had met such a terrible, gruesome end, and in the other, tore the armoured vest - and webbing attached - from the Hound that she had *not* torn in half. Following that, Kat, with full force, shoulder-barged her way through the aisles that blocked her path to those hateful fiends, with not even the screeching of twisted metal and crashing of goods as they fell from their shelving masking her bestial roar that accompanied her charge against the Hounds. Far too late did they anticipate such a charge, and before they were able to raise their weapons against this new threat, Katarina was on them. She aimed her charge to knock the first into the latter two to stun them and give her an extra few vital seconds with which to wreak her bloody havoc.
Her charge utterly stunned the trio of Hounds that had approached Ben. The first was thrown towards his comrades, a flailing mass of limbs that knocked the others to the floor, their rifles tumbling from their grips. Katarina was closest to the second, and leapt upon him, her fingers like talons, grasping at her prey. The Hound’s body armour was of little defence as Katarina straddled the Hound’s chest, easily batting away his feeble attempts to defend himself. She wrenched the Hound’s head to the side, and sank her fangs into her prize - his exposed neck. She drank deeply, her body flushing with new energy - and knowledge. The rifle in her hand. An M16A2 assault rifle, firing 5.56 NATO. Old US Army stock, but no less effective. The vest would stop much of the kinetic energy - Level III body armour. Good enough to stop most ammunition types in use in the modern day. She could use that information later… Before the others could react, Katarina swung her rifle up and pulled the trigger twice. The staccato bark of the M16A2 shattered the air, Kat’s ears ringing from the din. Her shots found their marks, with almost inhuman accuracy - truly, she had drunk deeply from her prey! The shots she had fired both penetrated the helmet of the Hound that she had not charged - there was no surviving that. The third and final Hound had by now been able to regain his senses somewhat and attempted to lunge for his gun - to no avail. Katarina pulled the trigger twice more. ‘Double tap.’ something in her head said to her as she did so. The technique she had drained from the Hound she had fed upon - the shots impacted the Hound once again twice in the head, penetrating the helmet and no doubt killing the man inside.Ben
ignored the violence that the vampire was enacting upon their attackers, quickly moving to where the werewolf was laying. He didn’t know why things were suddenly on the defensive, nor did he particularly care. He
was immune to whatever the bullets were that had made the golem hurt and was shattering through whatever magic the witches had. The bullets that had hit him, after dealing with those men with the riot foam, had only shattered on his now nigh impenetrable skin. He would have to come back here and grab the ammunition and those strange necklaces the men wore. It seemed to protect against the magical attacks of the Fey, and perhaps would do so with the magic of the witches.
Picking up the werewolf, he sprinted towards where Freya was taking cover. The remaining riot foamers were either dead or to far away to stop him, and his body was immune to whatever fire that could be sent against him by the others. He could afford to be reckless. His sister smiled at him as he dropped the golden werewolf nearby. ”See? That wasn’t so hard. Now see if you can’t get whatever their firing and wearing, and then help the witches. They appear to be struggling.”Ben
rolled his eyes in response, looking at the softly growling werewolf. ”Try to bite my sister, and I’ll throw you back out there.”
Benjamin just growled then snorted. As his head laid down, his attention focused on breathing and moving. His adrenaline had died shortly causing the numbness to vanish, every wound burning past the surface. Each time he tried to rise, his
weight brought him back down and more blood oozed from the holes in his flesh.
The next attempt left him weaker than the last one.
Freya shooed her brother. ”Go. I can handle him.” Ben
shrugged reluctantly, leaping through the smoke and illusions again. With her brother off on his task, Freya turned back towards the werewolf. ”Hey, easy there. You’re hurt and struggling is only making it worse.”
She spoke gently, soothingly, moving carefully closer to the werewolf. ”You need to give yourself time to rest. None of it looks lethal, though I admittedly know nothing about werewolf physiology, so all you need is time to use your considerably powerful healing ability to recover. If you don’t you’re just going to lay there hurt even longer, and no one wants that now, do they? Just be patient for a bit, and then we can start seeing about you walking around yeah? Can’t help anyone if you bleed out on the floor.”
At Freya’s touch, Benjamin shuddered. His blood coated her fingers nearest the wounds causing him to whimper in pain, his sound more akin to a scared domestic canine than a proud wolf. Gradually his body managed to still,some of his side pressed upon her knees, as his peripheral vision caught sight of her.
A deep, injured voice echoed in her head. A sense of youth and strength mingled with worry and instinctive need. A need to protect his pack, his family. ‘Can't heal or move. Something’s wrong. Pack needs to survive. Pack is life.’ ”Well that’s great, but if you die because you won’t give yourself time, then the pack isn’t going to survive either. So I suggest you stop thrashing.”
Benjamin started to ease his struggles. His body fell back to the ground and settled down, the pack’s survival enough to make him listen.
Katarina, meanwhile, had been focusing on the rest of the thugs that were attacking them. She was able to make out several dark shadows through the insipid smoke clouds that hung around the area, remnants from the smoke grenades that had been the hallmark of the beginning of the attack. She raised her weapon to open fire, but hesitated. She didn’t know who they were or whether they were friendly - they could have been the witch, or the Frenchwoman, for all she knew. This moment of uncertainty cost her dearly - whilst she was attempting to identify one of the figures, another raised their weapon and fired two shots. The first missed, ricocheting off a nearby metal aisle and generating a veritable shower of silver fragmentation that bounced around all over the place, several striking Katarina and burning holes through the leather jacket she was wearing, burrowing into her flesh. The second struck her in the left thigh dead-on. She screamed in agony and dropped to one knee as the blessed silver burned and charred her unholy flesh, a torrent of blood erupting from the wound and staining her jeans as it did so. She was now also aware of searing pains in her face, as rivulets of blood dripped down her neck and into the lining of her jacket. Had she been shot in the face? Surely not... Even as the silver tried to do its work, Katarina’s undead constitution rejected such a metal, ejecting it with some black sorcerous force, such that the silvered tip fell to the floor, smoking as it reacted with the remains of Katarina’s blood. Gritting her teeth, Kat returned fire, striking the Hound twice in the chest, dropping him to the ground. She knew that his armour had likely taken the brunt of the round impacts, but it was the best she could have done given her situation.
She looked over at Freya, and her stricken love, Ben. Immediately, all thoughts of retreat, or withdrawal, or anything other than heated anger were erased from Kat’s mind. They had hurt him, no, crippled him, and she was going to kill every last one
of the bastards who had done so. [i][color=921111]Fight for him, Kat. If nobody else, fight for him.[/i][/color] She gave another roar of rage as she got back to her feet, ignoring the searing, stabbing pain in her thigh as she did so. At the same time, she strapped on the armoured vest she had been carrying. It wouldn’t protect her from much, but it would do the trick - the ammunition was more important. Kat switched over her M16A2 to fully automatic fire - single shots wouldn’t be sufficient in such close quarters. She spotted another figure in the mists and smoke, and instinctively pulled the trigger, a burst of fire spraying across the figure, complete with individual clouds of blood droplets. The figure crumpled to the floor like a puppet with its strings cut. [i][color=921111]Scheisse, that was a civilian! Ach, well, collateral damage. Acceptable casualties.[/i][/color] She looked back over towards Freya and Ben, and shouted over to them. ”Get him to safety! I’ll hold these untermenschen off as long as I can!”
She noticed the Frenchwoman opening a portal off to the side - an escape route! Pointing to it, Kat nodded to Freya. “Over there! Go!”Ben
reappeared, carrying a few clips and two necklaces from their, now dead, assailants. He was even bloodier and his clothing had even more bullet holes in them. ”This was all I was able to get. The witches are making a portal to bail, and we’re leaving with them.”
He handed his sister the stolen loot, and picked up the werewolf. ”Come on, kid. Lets go and see if those witches can’t fix whatever’s wrong with you.”
Freya herself was busily putting up the clips and the necklaces, standing to follow her brother. ”The vampire is gonna cover our retreat, so I suggest we start leaving now.”
Her brother reached over, and pulled her to his side. ”Stay right here while we move. I don’t want you getting shot.”
She rolled her eyes, but obeyed, moving with him as Ben
slowly made his way over to the portal.
Katarina kept glancing over at the Dovers, and the stricken Ben, as she watched for any targets that showed themselves. A tactical withdrawal was in order - the Hounds had evidently retreated somewhat after the golem had enacted its own rampage against them in defence of the witches, and possibly as a result of their own rising casualties. Perhaps Katarina’s usage of their own weaponry against them had also played a role - maybe they weren’t used to vampires with assault rifles? She made this a mental note for the future; always carry a gun of some kind when out and about on the streets of modern America, for you never knew who was opposed to metas and who wasn’t. Thirst
simply wouldn’t cut it (no pun intended) in the modern world as a weapon - she needed a gun. Perhaps she’d simply take this one. Out of the corner of her eyes as she limped towards the portal, she spotted a Hound struggling to his feet, clearly in pain. The same man that she had shot earlier and whose body armour had evidently taken most of the impact. Wouldn’t make that mistake again. She raised her rifle and pulled the trigger twice, the now-familiar bark of the M16 ringing in her ears as the gun let loose. She struck the Hound in the head, a cloud of red and odd pink chunks flying into the air, but she was unable to admire her results for long, for she came under a hail of gunfire in return, though much of it was inaccurate. Yet the old adage rang true once more - sling enough shit at a wall and some of it will stick. Kat saw the shot too late, and tried to throw herself out of the way, but her reflexes, as fast as they were, were insufficient to dodge a bullet travelling faster than the speed of sound. It impacted along her left side, the silver metal tearing open another gash in her skin as it tore across the surface. The pain from her wounds was almost unbearable, the smell of her own blood filling her nose and fogging her mind.
She dragged herself back to her feet and over to Ben’s clothes - rifling through his jeans, Kat saw several possessions that seemed important - a small card bearing his likeness, his ‘phone’ which she had seen him using earlier, and his wallet, which no doubt was very important to him. She stole a glance over at the portal, and then back to the Hounds’ direction. She reloaded, her movements slowing from the silver affecting her bloodstream, and her perception slowly dulling - the thick white smoke clouds were persistent to say the least. My god… hurry up… I can’t keep going much longer…
Not that she would admit it in front of Ben. He was all that mattered to her… and until he was safe, she would fight. She didn’t really know why, but… she didn’t care.Ben
finally reached the portal, throwing the injured werewolf through without a second’s hesitation. Freya turned back to the vampire and shouted, ”Vampire! We’re leaving!”
Then jumped through herself, Ben
followed suit. He personally wouldn’t have even bothered warning the woman, but that’s why Freya was the one who handled diplomacy.
Finally! It was time to beat a hasty retreat. Katarina dragged herself back to her feet and looked over to the portal, just in time to see the larger of the Dover twins throw - yes, throw - Ben through the portal’s gate. Kat seethed with rage - how dare this whelp, this animal, treat her injured love in such a derisive and uncaring manner?! He was critically wounded, and this brute simply saw fit to throw him about like a doll?! No matter. That would wait for later. Kat limped as fast as she could over to the portal’s entrance, and with a last burst of gunfire, she dove through, just as a return fusillade peppered her last location...