For mortals, the Blood Moon is the end of days. A belief they have held in their hearts that when the Blood Moon arrives, Hell Fire will swallow the world. Of course, for many mortals this is mostly superstition.
For non mortals however, the Blood Moon is an event not to be missed.
A sign of strength for vampires and werewolves since the dawn of time, many fight to prepare for the coming Moon. For the rest of time they fight among each other, gaining hierarchy and trying to wipe each other out.
Survival for the Blood Moon is key, but sometimes just living another day for non-mortals is strength in itself.
You don't have permission to post in this thread.
Trey was standing in a space that was highly likely to be his final moments. His partner, his friend, was in Helena’s control. Anton was lost in a mixture of guilt, withdrawal, and loss of hope and Raven... he wasn’t even sure Raven was there. Everyone else either found disgust in his presence, wanted him dead, or was commanded to bring about his execution. Others might have surrendered, maybe even begged for it to be over quickly but Trey was staring directly at the monster who had tormented him and everyone he cared about for years. While he was weak and injured, he wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of taking away his pride. He had very little of it left... he wasn’t going to surrender it to Helena.
At least until she started to reveal the truth. Once again Trey’s doubts had led to so much chaos. He believed Raven was a monster. He lost faith in Sirhan. All this time the real monster had been right under his nose and he was so distracted he lost his ways... it was far too reoccurring. The Alpha was starting to wonder if his own downfall would be the rebirth of The Resistance. Only he couldn’t let Helena know that. Not now...
[+purple “I may not be the smartest leader, I may have made fatal errors, I may have let you beat me too many times but there is one thing you’re not understanding Helena. You beat me, you outsmarted me, but those twins... they’re smart. They may have been caught by you, tortured, but they’re resilient. That’s a true Resistance. You can take me down, but i can guarantee you those twins won’t be so easy.”] Trey snarled in response as he heard the full array of secrets.
He may have lost trust with Sirhan and destroyed any relationship that could ever exist, but he had to hope that somehow if he didn’t survive this that The Council wouldn’t win this. If Sirhan went down, then there was no longer any strong Pack’s with the right values in the city. Everything would crumble...
[+brown “No Trey. The real reason they are resilient is because they have something Helena will never have. Connection. Humanity. Pride. Something you lost too.”] Tink interrupted as she made her reveal, though she shared the same determination in her eyes as Trey. She didn’t fear Helena, in fact she embraced the upcoming fight for survival.
[+brown “Can see your pretty little features didn’t stick as well. Odd how much can change. You really are melting away. Thank you for giving me all the hope I need for Amber. Now you’ve just given The Resistance something they lost - Purpose.”] Tink grinned and as the order came for Amber to attack, Tink had no fear in her eyes. Instead as she made her first lunge, Tink timed perfect to slide directly under Ambers legs. She didn’t have to worry about fighting too much. The Vampires who came with her were keeping the other wolves at bay, she just needed a few others in the fight.
[+brown “Trey, snap out of it, grow a pair, and fight.”] She ordered and it seemed to snap him right out of it!
Then her attention turned back to Amber. She could keep avoiding the attacks... Tink was a strategist, a forward thinker and, a talent she always had was her use of parkour. So long as she could keep avoiding the attacks, perhaps she could break through to Amber.
[+brown “Amber I know you are in there. This isn’t your truth! You know who you are and you have a lot of hidden truths. You’ve been scared! I’ve been watching and you have been so scared of speaking up, but that’s who you are! If you do this, if you keep this up, this isn’t your truth. You’ll be a slave to the lies Helena is forcing onto you and I won’t stand back and watch you fall like that! Not today. Come on Amber, this is your Tink! I’m here, I’m alive! You wanted to speak didn’t you, when Trey called you out. What did you want to say? Come on Amber, speak the truth! Wake up from this lie!”] Tink spoke up, avoiding another attack by side-rolling out of the way. She was targeting the one aspect she knew about Amber: she was real, she was honest, she was fiery and determined. Those traits weren’t lost, they were just buried under fear.
[+brown “Remember when we made The Resistance. We argued for days about our ‘mission statement’. You snapped, you scolded me and Trey for bickering because you said ultimately it was to do what was right! I trust you. I know you’ll do what’s right...”] Tink spoke and she did something even she didn’t expect. She stood completely still, opening her arms for Ambers next move. She trusted Amber. She believed there was her friend in there. That trust may take away Tink’s life as soon as it was rediscovered by everyone else, but she was willing to take that risk for her friend.
Anton hadn’t moved since the fight had begun. He pinned himself against the wall of the arena, clawing at the back of his neck and watching the blood bath from the corner of his eye. He had done the unthinkable. He had destroyed his partner and he was watching her die. He had beaten her, snapped her leg, tortured her, messed with her trust... all for drugs... drugs he hadn’t got yet. Drugs he was still waiting for and... damn it why was he obsessed with the fucking drugs? He was literally itching his skin away with his broken wrist, not caring for his own damages or Raven’s because that need just wouldn’t go away. He was obsessed and losing everything he had good around him. Hearing Helena’s orders, his nails dug deeper into the back of his neck and he opened his mouth, letting out a silent scream as he keeled over. Why was she torturing him with these decisions!? Raven could barely move! She was dying! What did Helena expect her to do!?
Unfortunately Helena had made one terrible mistake. She hadn’t followed up her side of the deal. With Anton’s obsession came the withdrawal. He was sweating, shaking, desperate... he was torn between the need to care for his partner and his own greed. It made an odd combination with his mental state - one that was done. One that was over everything she had forced onto him. He was injured, so was Raven, but perhaps there was a way to somehow get out of this once and for all. With withdrawal he had his first sobering thoughts and he shakily pushed himself from the wall.
[b “You want her to follow my fucking orders?”] Anton sneered, laughing a pain filled laugh as he staggered by Raven’s side. Perhaps it was the fight back from the rest of the Resistance, or maybe it was just a final moment of insanity. What he would do next would probably get them killed, but his patience was finally drew thin.
[b “Raven... kill the witch with me.”] He ordered, glaring at Helena.
Nexus snarled, putting a sharp hand on Helena’s shoulder as he watched the scene taking place.
[+green “This is an embarrassment.”] He whispered in her ear, turning around and storming out through the only door they could escape through with all other exits blocked. He was done. He had seen enough. She couldn’t even keep a junkie under control.
Helena peered down at Trey as if he were worth no more than the filth beneath her boot. She watched the proud Alpha stand strong, despite his injuries, while the rest of her pets surrounded him waiting for her command to kill. But Helena wasn’t ready to end her fun just yet. She had been toying with Trey for years now, and she had far too much invested just to end it all so quickly.
Helena watched as Trey called out to his packmate, with Amber chained and wounded. Amber hadn’t been with Helena for nearly as long as the others, so her loyalty to the witch was still largely based on fear and submission. Where wolves like Leo and James would do Helena’s bidding just because she ordered it Amber needed to be broken in again. Not that it was much of a challenge. Helena was an artist when it came to breaking the spirit of a wolf.
Amber slowly raised her head off the ground, hearing the clinking of the chain around her own neck. She stared at Trey, almost looking as if she wanted to say something, before something in the distance caught the wolf’s attention.
Helena heard a sharp yelp and whimpers coming from Anton’s room and knew he had done as she commanded. Soon, the wounded Wolf was dragged into the arena. As soon as Anton released her, Raven shuffled away, trying to support herself on three legs, with her back left hanging at an awkward angle. Whatever trust Raven had started to build back was shattered along with her leg, leaving her far too wary and defensive to let her guard down in the arena. But it was clear, as the blood dripped from her saturated fur, that she wasn’t going to last much longer.
[#ff00ff “Trey, I see you’re as clueless as ever!”] Helena laughed as he immediately jumped to accusing Raven. It seemed all the Alpha could see was that Raven had turned murderer and attacked his own loyal pack, when in fact, it was his own pack that attacked her! The irony was almost poetic.
[#ff00ff “I suppose there’s no harm in letting you in on the secret. You won’t be leaving here alive either way. No Trey, Raven here is actually innocent. She hasn’t killed a soul! Your friends James and Leo, however… their paws aren’t quiet as clean. Too bad you left Leo unattended back at your base. You left him in the medic area, didn’t you? Along with Lexi?”] Helena grinned, knowing Trey would understand the threat. Knowing she had wolves on the inside meant no one was safe! Leo could easily kill Lexi or manipulate her into leaving the pack unprotected! But that wasn’t the only secret Helena had to share.
[#ff00ff “It’s funny, really. You were all so very careful not to say anything incriminating in front of Piper’s microphone, and yet when she left the room, you were more than happy to brag about your successes and failures to your pack! Leo told me your little secret, Trey. I know Dustin Kane is alive and I know you sent him away after breaking your alliance. Don’t worry – I have pets inside the Sirhan pack as well. Your little friend won’t be a problem much longer.”] Helena promised, wanting Trey to know that both Dustin and Lexi were in danger and there was nothing he could do about it. Even if he did somehow manage to escape and try to warn Dustin, the Pup wouldn’t believe a word he said after their last fight!
Everything was working according to Helena’s plan, until a new voice entered the scene. Helena was careful to keep her expression unchanged, not wanting Nexus to think of this as another failure. She had to play this off as no concern, or he’d start losing faith in her! Fortunately for Helena, she always had another card up her sleeve.
[#ff00ff “Tink, how lovely of you to join us! I always warned you that your love for these filthy, dog-breathed mutts would get you killed. It seems t didn’t stick. Let’s fix that, shall we?”] Helena threatened, raising her hand to hear the vicious snarls and snapping teeth of her own pets escalate in anticipation of a fight.
[#ff00ff “You’re right, Tink. Amber isn’t completely lost. She was only in my care for a couple months, meaning she – of all my pets - is actually still saveable! A little care and compaction, some trust and reassurance, Amber might have actually had a chance to move past everything I put her through. Which makes this so much more fun! Amber! Kill the Fang and don’t stop unless they kill you.”] Helena ordered. With a touch of a button, Amber’s chains fell away and she leaped to her feet, snarling ferally at her two Alpha’s, with no touch of recognition in her eyes, just like Raven. Whatever had happened between Amber leaving the Den and now had shattered the red wolf’s mind once more making her a slave to the witch. Without any hesitation, the injured wolf ran at Tink, lunging towards the Vampiress’ neck.
[#ff00ff “Don’t just stand there Anton, order your own little bitch into the fight! And if she doesn’t obey you, give her a good shock from that collar of hers. You need to teach your mutt to follow her Master’s orders!”]
[+green “Miracles? Ha, I’ve been alive for a very long time and I have yet to have seen a miracle yet. In fact the world is rather boring... we’re always waiting for...something... I’ve been waiting since the Kane’s were removed from the chair, I suppose I can wait a little bit longer for this ‘miracle’”] Nexus mused at Helena’s confidence having heard such bold words before. There had been so many who had tried to step up and join his side with the three other Council members, yet none nearly had the showmanship that this Vampire possessed. Nexus would usually never bother with such antics - no other Vampire had gripped his attention but there was something about Helena that was starting to attract him. Perhaps it was just her cruel and merciless nature against anyone who was not a Vampire - The Council had lost its way. Far too many creatures roamed and it was thrilling to see someone taking action. Even if that did mean standing in the same room as a hybrid and a human.
[+green “Weak, fragile, and emotional she may be Helena DeVil but she has still outrun you. I’ll trust you when we have less mistakes. Listen to me, I have a belief in you and that’s a lot more than I ever had for Draven. The others admired him but to me he was out of his depth... you however, I just hope you don’t add up to be the same.”] Nexus explained, hoping to inspire something within Helena to really show her worth. If he was going to pass on his vote of confidence, he didn’t want to make a fool of himself. The political power of The Council was fragile in its current state and he wasn’t going to be thrown under for trusting the wrong Vampire.
Anton was trembling on his hands and knees. His broken wrist was tucked against his chest, the pain now more awake as the drugs were fading. He wanted to scream out but his throat was so swollen, all he could manage was a gurgled whimper. His skin was a ghostly pale, almost matching back when he was a Vampire! Though the most terrifying aspect was despite how beaten the human was, it was how alive his eyes were. He had been lost within his own high for the past few hours, but now everything was heightened, more alert. He could feel intense pain, he could feel the weight of everything he had done and then there was the desire for another fix. With everything that was going on and everything he had done, his mind was fixated on that drug! His forehead was covered in beads of sweat and his bloodshot eyes stared desperately at the table ahead...
When Helena touched his cheek, his nerves were so sensitive he flinched. Even her voice hurt...everything hurt and he just needed something to take that edge off. However her manipulation came with those words... they did have a deal, he did need the drugs, he wanted the pain to stop and he just needed that fix. It was easier when the world was numb. Now he was sobering up which meant he was in control of his decisions... he’d be aware. The idea terrified him more than he ever wanted to admit and as Helena gave her orders, his wide eyes just stared down to the ground as he froze into place. What choice did he have? It was that or they could kill her... reluctantly, Anton squeezed his eyes shut and nodded. He nodded in agreement to the drugs, to the fact he desperately needed them and that he would do it... he would torture his partner.
Nexus smirked at Anton’s surrender, watching as the human crawled towards Raven, but a better show awaited them. Hearing that Helena was going to have her fun with Trey, Nexus gestured towards the door with a wave of his hand.
[+green “Please, don’t let me stop you. I’ll happily watch your efforts.”]
As they headed down the corridor there was a strained and tortured cry from Anton, followed by a satisfying ‘snap’ that brought a pleasant smile on Nexus’ lips. She really did have them all like marionettes... dancing to her song...
Trey had been surrounded by the wolves but he put up one hell of a fight. As he arrived in the arena, he had three deep claw marks across his rib cage and his tail had been split revealing the bone. His front leg had been bitten and there was patches of fur missing, but he was still standing strong. There was no sign of fatigue, no pain... instead just a burning determination to end this which was aimed straight towards Helena. At least until he saw the familiar red wolf in the corner...
[+purple “I’m here for the truth... so my conversation with you is over. Try and kill me but i have fought larger battles than these pathetic wolves. Amber! Amber look at me. I’m here for you!”] Trey called to her but as he did, just as Helena said, Anton arrived dragging Raven with the little strength he had.
[+purple “Anton? What the... what are you doing!? She’s your partner! Damn it can’t you all see she’s controlling you! Anton you know Raven would want you to fight back. Did she... Amber did she do this? Did Raven bring you here? Did she kill... “] Trey shouted up, trying to piece together everything that had happened but it didn’t make sense! None of it made sense! He didn’t know who to trust, what to do!
[+purple “Helena you want to kill me you kill me yourself you coward!”]
[+brown “Or how about we make this a fair fight...”] A unfamiliar voice broke out across the room. Nexus was just about to call for guards but as he did, the doors around the arena suddenly slammed shut. There was an eerie silence that followed as everyone tried to figure out what was happening and then, from the top balcony, multiple figures all wearing black jumped from a great height and landed perfectly around Trey. Each of them was wearing Resistance armbands, and each wearing black masks to cover their faces. That was until the one who spoke standing in the middle removed her mask, finally revealing a long lost leader: Tink.
[+brown “You thought you killed me didn’t you Helena? When you first took Amber i was standing in the way... you see Nexus, she couldn’t even get that right.”]
[+brown “Not now. Get over yourself Trey. Amber... look at me.... you remember my voice, don’t you? She isn’t completely lost Helena, you know that. So what are you going to do?”]
[#ff00ff “With all due respect, Sir, I may work miracles, but miracles still take time. Ten years ago, a wolf as strong willed as Raven would have taken months to break, but now I can have her submit to me within a week. She may seem unruly now, but that’s only because the process is just beginning. And as for Anton - he just needs a little more work, that’s all. It only took me a few hours to get him to turn his back on his friends, beat his partner bloody, and be willing to end her life.”] Helena explained with full confidence, not wanting Nexus to think she was nervous at all about his doubts. True, it caught her a little by surprise that Anton would try to kill the mutt and himself within only a few hours, but that was just a small set back. Helena could work with this and prove herself to the Council no matter what it took.
[#ff00ff “Equal to the chair? Forgive me Sir, but I think you’ve been misinformed. Lexi may have the Kane bloodline, but she is nothing like the former Councilman. She is weak and fragile, easily manipulated, and far too emotional. I had Lexi under my care for less than a weak and she broke in a matter of hours! Trust me, Sir, she is not Council material. But she does have her uses.”] Helena explained, hardly threatened by the young vampires after what she’d seen. Lexi had been obedient to her once, and it wouldn’t take much to solidify that control again. If anything, she wanted Lexi brought here just so others could see for themselves why Helena was a far better fit for that seat in the Council.
[#ff00ff “Yes, that brother of hers is frustratingly resilient. I thought he was dead until my pets came back to me with some interesting news. The boy is alive, but incredibly weak and he just severed the only alliance Sirhan had. As for the father… Elijah Kane would lay down his life for his children – I recommend we take full advantage of that.”] Helena agreed.
As Anton was kicked over to Helena’s feet, Raven gave another growl at the human’s treatment, but she was easily silenced with another shock. Watching the two unwilling victims gave Helena an idea. Nexis wanted a show – proof she was gaining control and Helena would give it to him. She knelt down next to Anton and gently caressed his check in a flirtatious manner. She leaned in to whisper in his ear, his tone just as enchanting as ever, despite the fact that her features no longer matched.
[#ff00ff “Anton, you and I had a deal. You’re not trying to break that deal now, are you? I’m going to need to see some proof, Anton. I bet those drugs are starting to wear off, right? You feel the pain starting to seep back in, you feel the itch, the need for a fix? I’ll give you what you want, but I need you to prove you’re not going to betray me again. That mutt is not your friend Anton. She’s a beast that needs to be put in its place. So I want you to grab one of her legs and slowly twist until the bone breaks. Cause her pain, make her defenceless, and I’ll give you what you crave.”] Helena promised, knowing that if he didn’t get another fix soon, he’d start feeling the effects of withdrawal. This way, Anton would have a hand in torturing Raven, he’d show to be obedient to Helena, and Raven would be punished for her empathy. It was a win-win.
[#ff00ff “The Alpha? Must be Trey. This will be fun!”] Helena smirked excitedly. She had been taunting Trey for years, stealing his wolves, corrupting them, forcing them to fight against their own pack. She loved the defeat in his eyes every time he lost another wolf, and this time would be no different!
[#ff00ff “If you would like to see a demonstration of how I can break these mutts and bend them to my will, then you’re going to want to see this.”] Helena said confidently, snapping her fingers. Five wolves from all different packs stepped out, coming to a halt in a neat line in front of Helena.
[#ff00ff “Lure the Alpha into the area so we can watch. Beat him down, but don’t kill him yet. I have a special pet in mind for that. Oh, and Anton. As soon as your broken the bitch’s leg, I want you to drag her back to the arena. Leave the muzzle on. Your Alpha friend thinks Raven’s the one who killed his packmates. I think it’s about time we set him straight, don’t you?”] Helena ordered, sending the mutts away to do her bidding. Trey would soon find himself in a scrap with Helena’s pets, attacking then bolting towards the arena in an attempt to guide him there. Once he arrived, all five wolves would take their place surrounding him in the center of the arena. On the far side, was an injured red-wolf, with a metal collar and chain around her neck, to keep her restrained.
[#ff00ff “Trey! It took you long enough. Are you here for a rescue or revenge? I’ve got your little Beta, Amber here. As you can see, she’d a little worse for wear. Or, if you prefer, something a little more bloody, I’m having Raven dragged in as we speak! You might have actually had a chance to save them if you’d been smart enough to bring your pack. But now? You must know you won’t be leaving here alive, Trey.”]
[b “Y-You bas-bastard... kill...I h-h-have to kill...I....”] Anton gargled as he was choked on the ground, his eyes desperately focused on Raven and he reached out his unbroken hand towards her. If he was sober he would have taken a greater meaning from what he was witnessing. He could see Raven was trying to defend him, but nothing further was taken from it. Nexus however could see the breaking down of the barriers Helena had been trying to create. Somewhere deep down within that Mutt’s core, she had the ability to feel the need to protect the human who had almost beaten her to death. That was a failure...
Nexus was a vampire with a reputation. His very name was one that was already written across the Council’s history. He was there for its beginnings, watching the abandoned underground transform into the elaborate piece of architecture they stood in today. He watched the Council turn from a handful of Vampire’s debating over a wooden table lit by candlelight, into the political championship of power and dominance it was today. He didn’t start with any power. Nexus was actually a mere servant, a name unknown and lost within these dark corridors until the Blood Moon. It was a ear that went down in history and one of the greatest victories the Council had seen and it was all thanks to Nexus... the young Vampire at the time should never had stood out in that red moonlight yet his actions that day defeated 8 out of the 10 major Pack’s in the city at the time. From there he climbed up the ranks - starting as a war strategist for the Council, then finally making his first seat and wearing that red cloak, but like Helena now. It didn’t take long before he earned the seat every Vampire dreamed of. He was one of the chosen four. One final step away from that throne within the Council, only everyone knew that seat would never be empty. Not while their current leader was still strong. Still... there was hope.
So for him to be standing in the pits, with a drugged up human under his foot and a tortured victim - it wasn’t his usual visitation. He stood in silence, observing Helena as she got the Hybrid under control and his only movement was a slight shift in his weight as he forced the hell of his shoe further into Anton’s throat, silencing his desperate attempts to scramble away. It looked like Anton’s eyes were going to pop from his skull with the force and his lips were quickly turning blue, but Nexus showed no mercy.
[+green “If you had come sooner, I wouldn’t have this filth staining my boot. Breathers...humans... disgusting really aren’t they? Quite pathetic...”] Nexus spoke, snarling down at Anton who was clawing at his shoe, his veins bulging around his head and throat and the wound he created, now shedding with more blood.
[+green “If they weren’t our main source of survival, I’d have every Vampire slaughtering the rats. They’re the plague. Turn the wrong one and you have a challenge on your hands forever...”] With that, Nexus finally lifted his foot up and kicked Anton with such strength that came from him mastering his Vamperism, the human flew straight up and directly under Helena’s feet, coughing for a desperate breath.
[+green “Do not lie to me Helena. This is not control and these were the lies Draven said before his untimely death. He turned Anton, we wanted a puppet and now Draven is dead. That means this Breather is now your responsibility and all I’m seeing is a failure. How can you fail so much with an addict? He’s an addict and you can’t even control him! He was about to slit your puppets throat so do not tell me you have this under control. The Council is becoming a laughing stock and don’t think your cowardice in the war went unnoticed Helena. You want that seat next to me, I expect more.”] Nexus warned her firmly, looking her up and down before a sinister smile spread across his lips and he laughed his warning away. Not that it was a warning to underplay. Nexus was a Vampire who did not waste time with failures and the moment he saw that downward spiral, he would take matters in his own hands. To him The Council was the power house of the supernatural world and it’s was quickly becoming a laughing stock.
[+green “So what are you waiting for? You have those puppets, get them dancing. I want chaos Helena. I want your next presentation to The Council to be a story of utter chaos... those Mutts, like her, begging for death...”] Nexus grinned, showing his side of his political views... he was a Puritan. Vampire’s were the only necessity and every other creature was scum. He would slaughter them all if he could. He took great pleasure in watching them suffer and even had humans locked in the vault of The Council chambers as an extra food supply. After all, they were only another meal...
[+green “You really want to bring Lexi Kane to my attention when she is equal to the chair? You really do play a dangerous game... they warned me about you. I would love nothing more than to see the Kane girl. Purely for the destruction of Sirhan... that brother of hers and her father need to be destroyed. She’s our leverage...”] Nexus planned but his attention was quickly diverted back to Anton, watching the waste of air crawl onto his hands and knees. Well, as much as he could. His wrist was snapped at an unnatural angle, his throat and wrist was still losing blood and he was still high out of his mind!
[+green “Either he goes down to my feeding bank, or you find a use for him. As for your Mutt, she showed empathy. She defended him. I want that fixed. I want her to be a puppet, like you said. Or are the others as equally as useless as her? If so, you don’t have anything Helena and that makes you useless to me...”]
[i “Sir! Forgive me for interrupting but we have an intruder. Six guards have already been murdered at the main entrance. Distinctive Resistance band on his upper front leg, we believe it might be the Alpha.”] A servant quickly intervened, keeping his head low as he spoke to the two Council members.
[+green “Excellent. A real opportunity to prove yourself Helena! If we get him, or kill him, two of the strongest Pack’s in the city will be on its knees. Now, that is the chaos I would be inspired to see from you. Or are you done? From this sight, it looks like you haven’t got much left to demonstrate... “]
Leo knew Amber’s disappearance would set Trey into action. He had already lost so many of his pack, but losing Tink was by far the most traumatizing. He wouldn’t dare risk that pain again by losing Amber. But even Leo wasn’t prepared to his Alpha’s insistence that he go alone! Helena had instructed Leo to stay under cover and create turmoil from within, isolating the Resistance from their allies and breaking the strong bonds between the major players. He wasn’t supposed to kill Trey, but if the Alpha went after Raven alone, there’s no way he would survive the Council. If he did find Raven, he’d be deep within the Council’s territory, right in Helena’s grasp. His fate would rest with the witch. As much as Leo didn’t particularly want his Alpha dead, he wouldn’t dare fight against Helena to protect him.
[#996633 “I didn’t believe it at first either, Alpha, but I know what I saw. Anton said that Raven wasn’t herself anymore… that there was nothing left of her to save. He didn’t want to risk her falling into Helena’s hands so… he said he’d [i set her free]. Anton would rather Raven be dead than feral. Alpha, I’m sorry. I wish I could have done more…”] Leo said, bowing his head in fake regret. As he was pulled away to the medics, Leo cast one last glance over his shoulder, watching as his Alpha ran out unprotected. He just hoped Anton had done what he said and killed Raven already. The last thing Leo and the others needed was Trey finding out the truth that Raven was innocent!
Back in Anton’s chamber, Raven was in the same condition he left her in. Her bleeding wounds still untreated and bleeding freely over the floor of her cramped little cage. The belt tied tightly around her jaws, taking away her best form of protection, and the odd tremor that racked her body from sheer pain and exhaustion. When Anton walked in, Raven opened her eyes and watched him, not even having the energy to raise her head. Still, out of self-preservation or maybe one last show of defiance – a low growl rumbled in her throat, warning him not to get too close. Raven flinched as she felt the human grab her by the neck, but with her jaws firmly tied shut and no strength left in her limbs, Raven didn’t have the ability to fight back.
The wolf showed no sign of recognition, other than the clear distrust in her growl. It was clear that she still didn’t see him as her former partner, only the man that beat her into the ground with his belt. She flinched again as he grabbed at her head, expecting more pain from this human, but was shocked to find his touch was gentle. His hands stroked her fur, giving Raven a feeling of soothing comfort, something she hadn’t felt since the moment she was brought to this dark, unforgiving place. And thought she could never forget the pain he had caused her, she found herself relaxing into the feeling of his hands in her fur. Raven could feel her strength leaving her. Without any treatment or access to moonlight, she wouldn’t be able to last much longer. She knew she was dying, slowly, painfully, and she would take whatever small mercies she could get. So as Anton rested his forehead against hers, Raven stopped growling and closed her eyes in peace.
When Anton finally left her to walk towards the table, Raven rested her head on the ground, watching him carefully. Was he going to cause her pain again? Was that why he chose the knife? It confused the wolf even more when he held the blade to his own skin, and Raven couldn’t help but whimper at the blood that dripped from his neck. She watched as he walked back over to her, gripping the blade in a foreboding manner. This human was going to kill her. So much for peace and comfort…
But before Raven could feel the final, lethal strike, a new Fang entered the room. Raven could tell just by his scent that this was someone she couldn’t trust. His scent was old and frigid, like a long dead corpse that somehow hadn’t started to rot. Raven started growling again as he approached, but her fiercest reaction was when the Fang took the human down! He was clearly hurting the human who, moments before had offered Raven the only real reprieve she’d had from the pain. So in a fierce show of resistance, Raven snarled at the Fang and pushed herself up onto her shaky legs. Anton had freed her from the cage, but the belt was still tightly around her jaws, making her nearly defenceless! And yet, here she was, standing in front of this Vampire with a violent snarl tearing past her sealed teeth. The sight of a broken, half-dead, feral wolf standing to defend the human that had nearly beaten her to death, was certainly a meaningful sight… or it was until a high pitched sound resonated through the room, causing Raven to crumble to the ground in agony just as she did in the arena.
[#ff00ff “My apologies, Sir. Had I known you were already here, I would have come sooner!”] Helena announced, stepping quickly over to the others with a small remote in one hand and a metal collar in the other. She knelt by Raven for a moment, clamping the collar around her neck – tight enough that if she were a real wolf she would have had trouble breathing! With that done, Helena silenced the noise and pressed a button on her remote, sending a powerful electric shock through Raven’s new collar just as a test – making sure everything was working well to control her new pet.
[#ff00ff “I assure you, everything is under control. Just as I promised. I have spies in every pack in the city – several have already been working from within to isolate and destroy the packs. And as an added bonus, I managed to find some information on Lexi Kane. I know the Council was particularly interested in dealing with her personally. Elijah Kane just suffered the loss of his son, leaving Lexi as the only remaining heir. I would be happy to have my pets collect her and bring her to you, Sir.”] Helena offered respectfully, yet her tone also conveyed a charisma and confidence – always wanting to impress the Council and earn her place among them.
Lexi didn’t think they would ever get out of this. Piper’s transformation back into human was painful to watch. Lexi hadn’t felt her lungs expand since she was turned, and she thought she would never experience a fresh breath of air coursing down her throat again. Yet watching Piper choke, she winced at the suffering. Their plan couldn’t have imagined this sort of outcome at the beginning. It was supposed to be an easy job! Sneak in, grab the drugs, get out. When Dustin found out just how much it went wrong he’d probably shoulder most of the blame for letting them go! Lexi promised she would look after Piper and Baxter and now she was battling between trying to build up Piper’s strength and stopping Baxter from making his first eternal mistake!
Baxter was far from the timid little boy he was only minutes ago. His throat gargled with thirst and switched into an animalistic, savage screech in between. His blood red eyes were wide and his fangs were fully extended, his jaws continuously snapping in the direction of Piper. Lexi had no choice but to use her whole body weight to keep him pinned to the ground, fighting against his first natural survival instincts. If Lexi made one mistake, she wouldn’t be quick enough to stop a newly transformed vampire from slaughtering a nearby human. When your own heart didn’t beat anymore and the echoes of another rang through your ears for the first time, there was nothing like it... it was instinct. She remembered already craving the feeling of blood against her lips, her fangs, her throat even though she had never experienced it before. The next few hours would be hell for both Piper and Baxter, but if they didn’t do something then one of them was going to be dead!
[+orange “Piper you’re coming with us. I can manage... don’t you dare be stubborn now. Piper come back! PIPER!”] Lexi screamed, watching as their trio was broken only a couple of hours after it was formed. Normally Lexi would have been as stubborn as she was accusing Piper to be and chased after her, but she still had a writhing Baxter fighting under her body weight and he was becoming more desperate as that heart beat and pulse grew with distance.
Lexi didn’t have a choice. She wouldn’t be able to get Baxter to move without him feeding, she wasn’t strong enough. Biting her lip, she lifted up her wrist before using her own fangs to slice directly across the skin, forcing her own supply to spill out.
It was seconds of distraction causing her own injury, which led to Baxter clamping his jaws around her wrist with such force, it caused Lexi to cry out. He was draining her quickly, but his savagery distilled and it was her opportunity to get the two of them back. The police sirens were getting closer and Lexi didn’t doubt that Nico would still try and take his final chances to get his revenge if he could.
Forcing herself and Baxter up from the ground, Lexi still had Baxter clamped to her as she started to head back to Resistance territory, completely unaware of the drastic changes in partnerships, trust, and objectives which had changed in the last few hours...
[+purple “We’ll wait till they are at their weakest... sunrise, just before too many humans expose themselves, we’ll surround them. One final push...”] Trey was explaining his plans to his strategists around a large map of the city. It was a typical image of The Resistance, one that had been missing for a long time and one which had been lost within the chaos. There was a fiery determination in Trey’s eyes. They had been holding back for far too long. They had to make a move, make a difference... prove The Resistance wasn’t a pack lost because of their Alpha’s betrayal. How little Trey knew about the betrayals happening behind his back...
[i “Trey it’s Lexi and Baxter!”]
[+purple “They’re brother has gone. Tell them...”] Trey started, his eyes hardly leaving the map until the last second when he saw the scene. Lexi was being held up with supportive arms by two Hybrids, her eyes darkening and her body trembling on the verge of turning Savage. Her pale arm was stained with her own blood and deeply bruised from the force of Baxter’s jaw. Though there was no further blood dripping from the wound, showing just how much Lexi had sacrificed.
[+purple “Get her to the medical bay.”]
[+orange “N-No... P-Piper...they got... I need Dustin...”] Lexi begged but Trey shook his head, waving the Hybrids away with the palm of his hand as they dragged Lexi for an urgent resupply of blood.
Baxter had gone through another complete change. He had turned from brutal savage, back to a boy filled with panic and confusion. His jaw, chin, and chest was covered in Lexi’s blood and he was alert and aware. His transformation was complete. His hair had turned white, his skin was cold to the touch and his eyes were still a sharp blood red from his initial feed. Though as two Vampire’s held his arm on either side, he was shaking out of pure fear! He didn’t really know what had happened, or where he was, or what exactly why he was covered in blood. His memory was blank but he didn’t have his friends around to ask too many questions! Then there was the bullet wound in his neck. His feeding had completely scarred over the wound, leaving a scar from his uncle on one side, and the scars from Lexi’s fangs on the other.
[+purple “He needs time to get out of the shock. Keep him away from Lexi, and make sure Lexi doesn’t go near him. I don’t know what Dustin is planning and until I do, she won’t be leaving this base.”] Trey ordered but as he did, Candy made her first appearance since the chaos all started! She walked down the stairs, her face still, emotionless and her body stiff. She had been hiding away, unable to think of the possibility of the truth Anton almost revealed... she had kept it hidden for so long but she also knew exactly what she started and how much everyone wanted to rip her apart for her actions!
Yet it seemed a lot could change in a few hours, one of those being the death of her little brother...
[+pink “What the fuck? Baxter? What did you do to Baxter!?”] Candy hissed, sprinting over to her brother and ragging him from the Hybrids arms and pulling him close. It was the first sign of actual protective contact Candy had shown, but she was looking at a corpse!
[+pink “What did you make him do!?”]
[+purple “While you were hiding upstairs a lot has happened Candy. I have no idea what...”]
[+blue “Nico, he.... am I dead? Lexi? Piper? There was a cure, the cures! Where are the...”]
As Baxter rambled in his panic, the Hybrid approached with the bag Lexi had been carrying with her. It seemed she did better than what she revealed. Inside were three syringes filled with the cure. He handed them to Candy, who instinctively reached for one and held it straight to her brothers neck.
[+blue “No! No Candy you...am I? So that’s what happened... Candy you can’t. You know you need all three for you to replicate more. That’s our only chance...”] Baxter explained, putting his hand over his neck as a shield but also feeling the fresh bite mark that protruded his skin. They saved his life...
[+pink “I owe nothing to these bastards Bax. As far as I care, they all just got you killed.”]
But before the discussion could go any further, Trey’s nightmare was only just beginning. He had gone from losing an ally, to collecting a bunch of injured who were on Sirhan’s side, to watching his very own stumble in covered in blood!
[+purple “What the hell is going on!? Guards, take those two to the medic bay but DO NOT let them out of your sight! Keep those cures secure! Leo, what happened!?”] Trey called, rushing over to his friends side and putting a hand on his shoulder. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Raven had done this!? Again? He lost another... Trey bowed his head and a tense silence filled the room as Leo explained his story. Mickey was dead, Leo was barely hanging on, and now Amber was missing.
[+purple “I won’t be risking anymore lives Leo. I’m so sorry about Mickey, I know you were close. We’re going to put a stop to this, once and for all. I promise you, no one else will fall at the hands of Raven.”] Trey swore, carrying a much darker look to his eyes, one that matched the night he attacked Talon,. The poison of all the lies and deceit around him was building up. He was losing who he was and perhaps now was the time to make that stand. He had lost too many of his Pack and now his best friend was missing.
[+purple “I will get Raven myself.”] Trey announced, standing up straight and addressing his Pack.
[+purple “I have watched too many of you fall. A strong Alpha doesn’t stand back and watch his Pack fall apart.”] He called out and no one dared question. The only person who would dare address the fact that Trey was insane for taking this on by himself was Amber, and she wasn’t around! Though as Trey armoured himself up, he froze at Leo’s final reveal...
Anton was going to kill Raven? No. It didn’t make sense. Even as messed up as Anton was, he wasn’t one to act against his partner in such a way. The reason he kept on fighting was to keep her alive!
[+purple “Are you sure? He wouldn’t... it doesn’t make sense. He wouldn’t kill Raven and I don’t want her dead! Not yet. Not until I see her. She’s our leverage against Sirhan! We need to know why she is attacking the Pack’s! Leo are you sure about this!?”] Trey asked before shaking his head. It didn’t matter anymore. He would stop Anton making the worst mistake of his life, and handle Raven himself. No Council was going to stop him.
[+purple “I can’t waste anymore time. Leo, to medical now. I want search parties out for Amber. No one is to follow me, do you understand?”]
And with that Trey turned into his wolf form and left the safety of The Resistance and straight towards the dangers of the Council.
Anton had somehow managed to stumble his way back to the Council territory but there was a different look to his eyes. Behind the haze of drugs that clouded his vision and bloodshot eyes, there was a genuine pain. The voices in his head were screaming between one another, arguing between right and wrong. He had a deal, he was supposed to keep her alive by any means necessary so long as she didn’t suffer at the hands of the Council! Yet Raven never wanted to be a puppet... she craved her freedom, to feel the danger of what was happening around her. She couldn’t even feel that right now. Amber and Leo’s voice repeated in his mind, only aggravated by the concoction in his system.
Arriving back to his chamber, he closed the door behind him and stared at Raven’s cage. Helena would be back at any moment to check his progress. He didn’t have much time. The very thought was the only sobering thing Anton was piecing together. It was his only clear thought. Staggering over to the cage, Anton fell against the bars and had to use them to keep himself propped up as the realisation hit him. This was it. It was the end. This is what a friend would do. It was the right thing.
[b “Raven... it’s over now... it’s all going to be over....”] Anton whispered through the bars, his face beamed with sweat pressing against the bars to feel the cold against the heat. He wanted to know he was still alive, that he could do this. Opening the door, Anton grabbed the back of Raven’s neck and started to pull her out. He hadn’t bothered to remove the tape from her jaws, so he had no risk of biting, but he was sure she still would have been too exhausted from the beating. As he pulled her out, too high to think of any other dangers, he knelt down in front of her and put his hands on either side of her face. His eyes were barely able to stay focused on hers but his hands gripped her tightly, desperate for her to give him an answer. He needed something. A confirmation he would never get to know that his last dying action would be right.
[b “We’ve been through so fucking much. Yeah, we have. Me and you. Partners. Fucking partners. Till their end.”] He whispered, again not making much sense in his ramblings but there was a connection. A small moment which ended as he rested his forehead against hers, and stroked her fur.
[b “I’ll... see you .... see you on the other side....”]
He stayed next to her for a few more moments before finally standing up and staggering backwards to the table filled with all the items Helena wanted him to torture Raven with. It was perfect. He could end this quickly, for both of them. Out of all the options he had, Anton simply grabbed a knife and held it up against his own neck, slicing it quickly enough to cause a paper thin cut. It was sharp. One slice deep enough would end it all for Raven in minutes...
Then all Anton would do was finish of the rest of the drugs, slice his own neck and wait for one of them to take him out.
[b “We’re coming Talon. You’ll be with your sister again... we’ll... ha, Draven! Draven you son of a bitch, I’ll be with you too. Away from all this! Away...gone... gone forever...”] Anton mumbled, his hand trembling as he approached Raven. One quick slice. It’s all he had to do. He could end her suffering, her misery, she could be remembered as a hero and not a slave.
Anton was close enough, the blade tilted down and ready to rip up against Raven’s neck as he knelt down by her side.
[b “Thank you for the chance...”] Anton told his partner, the one person who never gave up, who continuously gave him a chance to live, a chance to be her friend, a chance to feel...
Though before he could slice that blade upwards, he felt his wrist bone snap out of place forcing the blade out of his hand and an ear piercing scream of pain that even the drugs couldn’t stop. Then his head slammed against the ground with a black boot pressed into his neck, restricting his airway as he clawed at the cold tiles beneath him fighting to get up. He had to finish this! He had to finish her misery!
[+green “Helena really has let her standards slip when she can’t even do any better than Draven. He couldn’t keep you in control either, could he Anton?”] The male’s voice spoke up.
A vampire was stood on top of him, though this wasn’t your typical vamp. He was wearing an elaborate red cloak, the symbol of authority for any council member. Across his neck was a thick gold chain with the council’s emblem hanging from it, marking him as one of the four of the elite. Well... one of the three... the third seat had never been filled and it seemed by Helena’s victims, it never would.
[+green “You know what I hate about you Anton? You have been a test for everyone who should have taken their seat next to me and yet you always seem to beat them. It’s the only reason we turned you. Helena should consider herself lucky I was around to stop you to give her another chance. If you slit your friends neck... tut, tut, it would have been game over and quite frankly, I get bored very easily when there isn’t anyone to play with.”] The Vampire spoke, pulling out a pocket watch to see the time. Helena was supposed to be here. He had come to inspect her work and everyone knew you shouldn’t be late for Nexus, He had sat as an Elite for hundreds of years with no one taking his place. He didn’t have the patience for lateness, or for failures...
Piper didn’t have time to think of the consequences: whether Baxter hater them for taking away his humanity, whether Candy would be furious for risking her little brother, whether Baxter’s new transformation would cause them more challenges in the near future, none of that mattered to Piper so long as there was a chance the boy could survive this. She couldn’t have Baxter’s death on her conscience! When Lexi agreed and sunk her fangs into the human’s skin, Piper had only seconds to allow the relief to sink in before the pain and panic took over and they hastily made their escape.
Without the heightened sense of smell, sight, and sound, Piper felt like the entire world was muffled. Her human ears were so much duller than she remembered, hardly able to catch Lexi’s instructions over the pounding of her own heart. Even as they made it outside, The world seemed dim and bland, nothing like the vibrant nightlife she was accustomed to.
Piper’s near suffocation was enough of a distraction, forcing her entire attention on the task of keeping herself alive! But as soon as her lung shook off their long months of unused and allowed her to take in a crisp, full breath, Piper recognized her mistake. She heard the inhumane sounds behind her and turned to see the craze of bloodlust in Baxter’s undead eyes. In an instant, Piper remembered the day she turned. The burn of thirst in her throat, the overpowering, tantalizing scent of blood in the air, the siren’s song of a healthy pulse, luring her in for the kill! Eli had to practically strap her down and force feed her just so she wouldn’t run off and kill someone! And now Baxter was going through the same thing and his perfect meal was mere feet away, heart racing from adrenaline, and body aching so bad she could hardly move. A brief flicker of thought crossed Piper’s mind that maybe she should just let him feed. She was the reason he was in this mess after all. But Piper had never been suicidal. She was a survivor – a fighter. Like a cockroach, she would live far longer than the rest of the world would ever want her to.
Piper had always been clever. She could understand people, manipulate them, play any act that was needed of her, and often rely on her quick mind to work her way out of trouble. It was the only reason she managed to live this long by adapting to her circumstances. Right now, she was far too weary to outrun a vampire, too weak to fight, she had no allies to help her, no safe house to hide in, and no contingencies to fall back on. She needed an escape and she didn’t have many options. Piper heard the sirens in the distance, alerting everyone that the police were quickly responding to the chaos at Nico’s lab. It wasn’t ideal, but barred cells had a convenient ability of keeping threats out just as much as they were designed to keep criminals in. If she got herself arrested, Baxter wouldn’t kill her, Lexi could get him back to the den, and the humans would have proof that Nico’s “monsters” were really just regular, human teenagers freaking out on his wild drugs!
[#aa0000 “You just saved me Lexi, looks like we’re even. Get him back to Candy before you get into any more trouble. And DON’T come after me! Like I told you before: Every girl for herself!”] Piper hissed, sounding mean and cold, but in her own way warning Lexi not to risk herself for Piper. The human teen doubled back, staggering as fast as she could back towards the facility! She barely made it within sight of the lab when a cruiser screeched to a halt in front of her and two officers climbed out of the vehicle.
[i “It’s one of the kids from the security footage!”]
[i “Kid, put your hands on your head. You’re coming with us.”]
[i “Wait, I know this girl… Isn’t she that runaway from a couple years ago? The one who skipped out on her foster home?”]
[i “Looks like you have some explaining to do kid.”] The officers bantered back and forth, snapping a pair of cuffs on Piper’s wrists. The girl didn’t say a word through any of it, but she did cast a glance back towards the trees, hoping Lexi took the opportunity to get Baxter out of there. In a world of monsters and mayhem, vampires and wolves, packs, and covens… who knew Piper would wind up a fragile human in the back of a police car?
As far as Leo and Mickey were concerned, Anton was just speaking jibberish! Neither could pick apart the intoxicated rambling and find any sense in what Anton was saying, but Amber was a little more understanding. She saw the guilt behind his unfocused eyes and the conflicting rationale in his muddled mind. He had done something to Raven. He hadn’t killed her, as far as Amber could tell, but he had definitely hurt her. But that was where the conflict lay. He had Raven’s blood on his hands, yet he truly thought it was his own way of saving her! That was something Amber could use. One thing was certain, she couldn’t let a feral Raven cause an even greater divide between the packs. Besides – Trey had ordered her to bring Raven down. He may have wanted the Sirhan Beta captured alive, but since that seemed impossible, this was the only way Amber could see to eliminate the threat.
[#224466 “That’s right Anton. Raven’s not herself right now. You saw that, didn’t you? The Raven that you knew – your friend and partner – she’s gone Anton. She’s in pain. She’s alone. But you can help her, can’t you? You can set her free? You have to kill her Anton. We’re all better off if Raven’s dead.”] Amber told him.
[#777777 “You sure that’s wise, Amber? Trey wanted to bring Raven to justice, but to have her killed by her own partner…”] Mickey argued. Having never experienced the horrors of being Helena’s prisoner, Mickey still had a more innocent view of the world. He would fight and kill for his pack, but this just seemed like senseless murder in his eyes. Shouldn’t they at least try to bring Raven in peacefully first? Or at least don’t force Anton to do it himself! If he ever did come down off this high, he would never forgive himself! That is… if he even survived. The way he was talking, it seemed Anton had no intention of surviving his encounter with Raven.
[#996633 “It has to be done, Mickey. Trey wanted Raven dead.”] Leo growled in response.
[#777777 “No, Trey wanted Raven brought in so he could decide for himself! You might be willing to go against our Alpha’s orders, turn your back on a former ally, and watch two best friends tear each other a part, but I want no part in it. I’m going to tell Trey what’s going on. He has the right to know.”] Mickey insisted, splitting from the group and heading back towards the den.
[#996622 “I’ll go talk some sense into him Amber. You make sure Anton doesn’t screw this up!”] Leo volunteered, sprinting off after his packmate and leaving Amber alone with Anton and his chilling prediction.
[#224466 “We’ll be next… We knew we’d never be able to escape Helena for long. Take it from someone who knows, Anton – a wolf would rather be dead than broken. You’re doing Raven a mercy if you kill her now. I just hope that Alpha of yours smartens up. Or we’ll have to do the same with him.”] Amber muttered, not too worried as she figured Anton was too far gone to understand the underlying threat. As he wandered off towards the Council, Amber turned to follow her packmates, catching the frightening scent of blood in the air.
It was hours later when Leo limped back to the Resistance den. As soon as he crossed the territory line, two of the Resistance vampires were at his side, helping the injured wolf back inside. He had bite marks all over his body, including one very deep one at his throat. His light coloured fur was streaked with blood and dirt, with patches missing in sections of his pelt. When he finally hobbled inside, he fell against the wall and shifted back into a human – looking even worse without the fur to hide his condition.
[#996633 “Alpha! Alpha it… it happened again!”] Leo called out urgently as his friends helped support him towards the med bay. He insisted on making a stop in to see Trey, carrying a traumatized expression.
[#996633 “We went looking for Raven, like you said! We found her near the Council territory and we tried to bring her in like you wanted... we thought a Feral Wolf was scary, but a Feral Hybrid? She was so strong, so fast, and… ruthless.”] Leo explained, even his breathing was shaky, but it was hard to distinguish between the pain and the deep routed sadness.
[#996633 “She tore into Mickey’s throat… Almost did the same to me! I tried to save him, Alpha, but he… he’s dead. Mickey’s dead.”] Leo choked out convincingly. His act was flawless and it truly looked like he was grieving his friend, partially because he was! Leo and Mickey had been close years ago, before Leo was captured by Helena. But years of torture, had broken the once strong, loyal wolf, and now Leo was just as much a puppet at the others. Even to the point of killing his former friend!
The truth was sickening: When Leo chased down his friend and realized Mickey was dead set on telling Trey everything, Leo had no choice! He needed Trey to trust him and Amber if they were ever going to fulfill Helena’s commands! Mickey casting doubt on their actions could get them banished from the pack! So Leo did the unforgivable: he waited until Mickey’s back was turned and he attacked, ending up scrapping with the other wolf in a fierce, life-and-death battle. Leo had just managed to get the upper hand and snap his jaws down in one last fatal strike, killing his former friend in cold blood, but having his own fair share of injuries as well. At least that bit would help sell his story.
[#996633 “Amber tried to intervene. She’s smaller, faster, but not nearly as strong as Raven…she was a mess when the Hybrid was done with her. Raven dragged her off… I’m not even sure if she was still alive.”] Leo admitted, bowing his head in grief.
[#996633 “Anton showed up just after Raven left. He said… he said he’d do it, Trey. He said he’ll put Raven down. He ran off after her and sent be back here to tell you what happened. He said he’d kill her, even if he died in the process.”]
It was a mask, and Baxter was able to see straight through it. Piper had a terrible history, filled with dark secrets, and moments before he was brought up to his fate he witnessed just one of her many hidden stories. Baxter had been around his sister long enough to know that the way someone acted, wasn’t always truly who they were. He sympathised with Piper. She made a mistake, one with a hell of a lot of guilt tied to it and the confessions she had to decide to speak carried an even heavier burden. For a split second, and for the first time in a long time, he actually thought he could do some actual good for someone. It was different than what his family had put him through. His Uncle tried to make him do ‘good’ by being an experiment for his sick and twisted mind. His sister made him believe that there was no good in the world, but he could help her survive in the life she had got mixed up in. With Piper he could actually see himself making a difference. He could help her understand her own thoughts, maybe even help her talk about them? Or just be there to listen...
But the moment never came. His last moments were a world of pain which his sister tried to protect him from and then, in an instant there was a flash, he choked, and he fell to the ground.
He couldn’t even process his own thoughts, or what was happening. His body immediately went into shock, his eyes wide and his body frozen in someone’s arms. He could hear a voice, but couldn’t quite tell whose it was. Every second that passed he felt himself growing weaker until finally... everything went black.
[+orange “Piper, what are you talking about? Not again? What? Piper you need to... PIPER SNAP OUT OF IT!”] Lexi snapped, not knowing what else to break the girl in front of her out of her frenzy. It terrified Lexi! Piper was usually the cold one. She never expected to see a single shred of emotion and yet here she was, watching everything pour out of her! Did Piper really care this much? Was it just another... no... it wasn’t an act. She promised herself she would trust Piper more than what she was giving her credit for. Then there was the transformation. Lexi wasn’t around to see exactly what had happened, but Piper was turning quicker than any transformation she had ever seen before! Lexi was surprised Piper was even able to have enough strength to hold her friend with the rate she was witnessing!
[+orange “I know it hurts but we have to get out of here! We won’t leave Bax, I promise but we have too get out.”] Lexi continued to urge, trying to get some order in the chaos. In her eyes, it was already too late for Baxter.
Though as Piper suggested biting him, Lexi’s eyes opened wide with fear. She never wanted to turn anyone without their consent! In such a short space of time she had witnessed so many relationships break down due to random transformations. It wasn’t just saving a live - it was a total readjustment! Then again, she couldn’t just let Baxter die!? Could she? He would become her Blood Brother. He would be bound by a power far greater than any other force to respect her, as she would to him. He would be duty bound to tell her all his secrets, as she would to him. It was a close link... Anton rebelled against Draven, but his force wasn’t as strong with Helena. Even she was able to pull him into situations he didn’t want to face . It was a bond not to be taken lightly, but if Lexi didn’t make a decision then it would be too late!
The bite had to happen just at the cross between life and death. If Lexi missed that crossroad, then the final pumps of the heart wouldn’t spread the venom around. Closing her eyes, she put her hand on Baxter’s shoulders and taking a deep breath, she leant forward and forced her fangs into the side of his throat. Even as a fully fed Vampire it took all her strength not to feed on his blood. The venom left her fangs and travelled straight into his body, going straight to the heart... the effect was instant. Baxter’s skin went colder than death, his skin turning so pale it was transparent. It would take time, but the venom was in... if it worked, Baxter would wake up a Vampire.
As Lexi pulled away there was blood travelling all down her chin and dripping down her neck and chest. She looked distant for a second, her hands trembling with her actions but she didn’t have time to reflect. As Piper’s voice cut through the chaos and she heard the footsteps, she instinctively grabbed Baxter’s arm and mirrored Piper, carrying half of him over her shoulder and guiding him out of the lab. The journey however didn’t last long. As Piper collapsed, Lexi almost fell with the dead weight of Baxter! She was exhausted from using her own venom turning him, but as she watched Piper become more human she grit her fangs!
[+orange “Damn it Piper, Baxter needs you! Fight through it! Fight...”]
Lexi felt the dead weight start to rise and in her shock, she turned to see Baxter. He was standing on his own feet, but he looked like a zombie. His mouth was agape, with his newly formed fangs already showing and his muscles twitching.... but there was one terrifying factor they didn’t consider... his eyes were dark and crimson, his throat was gurgling with hunger and in what would have been in the moment of a heartbeat, his attention snapped to Piper like a crazed animal he lunged towards her!
Baxter was a newly transformed Vampire. Their first survival instinct for their transformation was to turn Savage!
Lexi was quick on her feet. She was able to grab Baxter’s wrist just as he lunged forward and pulled him back, throwing him down to the ground and jumping on top of him to wrestle.
[+orange “Piper you need to get out of here! He’ll keep hunting you down! We don’t have any other blood! He can hear your heart, it’s beating isn’t it!? You need to leave, NOW!”]
Anton could hear words, but it wasn’t making any logical sense. Everything was overlapping... He fucking wasted Raven? It didn’t make sense? Did you not tell us?
What were they saying? He didn’t kill Raven, did he? No. That wasn’t the plan! He was just doing what he wanted. He was keeping her alive away from Helena! He was protecting her. He had to do it. He had to see her blood on his hands because that’s what he promised! Why was her screams mixing in with the words? What did he do!? There was a clear panic in Anton’s eyes but he was so high he couldn’t even run to his escape. Every step he took forward, he fell two steps back! If he wasn’t clawing at his ear to stop the haunting sounds of his partners pain filled cries, he was clawing at the fresh track mark on his arm. He should have had more. Silenced the voices. Silenced the scream. Silenced the pain. Everything would have went black.
[b “Shut up! Shut the fuck up! She’s not... no didn’t...I didn’t kill her... I.... no, I felt her bone crack, heard the scream... the bloody fucking scream won’t shut the fuck up!”] Anton cried. He had gotten himself in some states but the trauma mixed with his drug use was showing a side to the drug dealer he’d never want to openly reveal. It was a mixture of insanity, raw emotion, fear, panic, hurt... even back when he was a user before he relapsed, his highs would have been Anton laughing away his nights or just simply collapsing in the streets. This high had taken him to a much, much darker place. One that decided to choose what to focus on. So when Amber spoke about putting Raven out of her misery, it was the first time his blood shot eyes finally focused on her. It was the first set of sentences that made sense.
[b “But I made her a deal... I was doing it because it’s what she wanted. She would have wanted me to do this, right? Maybe... I can set her free?”] Anton asked, staring at Amber as best he could as he swayed on the spot. He could set her free. Then he could join her. They were partners. He could take the rest of the drugs and if he didn’t overdose, there was many weapons in that room that he could swiftly end it with for both of them. Helena wouldn’t be able to react in time. Maybe that’s what Raven meant all this time? She didn’t want to suffer in the hands of Helena. She wanted Anton to join her, away from all the pain...
As the others argued Anton seemed to go back to staring through them, but it wasn’t that. His mind was calm for a split second... it seemed right. He could end it all. All the suffering. It never would have been an option Anton would have considered if he was clean, but he was far from it. It was his first high in months and it meant that any thoughts that were fed into his mind could easily be twisted. His potential execution didn’t even register. Amber had done her job. The seed was planted. It seemed blissful and the screams seemed to go quiet. All he had to do was kill them both.
[b “Is this so you know you can be free too? You’ll be next....”] Anton spoke up to Amber, referencing her fate. It was the cleanest and most chilling sentence he had said since they met. There wasn’t long left for Amber and the other wolves. Helena would turn them against their Pack’s soon and there was no escape.
Without another word Anton started to try and make his way back to the Council. He could end this once and for all...
Piper could feel the drugs mixing in agony. The first wanting to drive her into that savage rage, while the second attached everything that made her a vampire and forced the life back into her body. Her heart gave a feeble beat – its first in over a year! And with it came a shock of pain that shook her entire body, like a jackhammer forcing its way through cement! Her muscled, infused with fresh blood for the first time in months, ached and spasmed, forcing Piper to back away from the fight as her body twitched and faltered with every step! The pain… Pier had been through some hellish things in her past, but even her own death didn’t hurt as much as this! Was this what Anton and Raven experienced? Or was this so much worse because of the drug that turned her savage? Either way, Piper didn’t know how much more of this she could take!
Why the hell was Baxter still here?! He needed to get out! He needed to escape before more guards came! He needed to leave her here and get himself to safety! Why the hell wasn’t he moving?! Piper briefly wondered if the boy was suicidal, but his broken words gave an entirely different rational… one that Piper hadn’t even allowed herself to consider. He didn’t want to leave her? He didn’t judge her? He was her [i friend?] Piper felt a tear run down her face that had nothing to do with the pain. There was only one other person in her entire life who had treated her this way and that was Dustin. The thought that someone else actually cared whether she lived or died or that there was someone who didn’t just write her off as a bad person as soon as they knew the truth… someone who actually thought she was worth saving... the thought was so strange and foreign that Piper didn’t trust herself to believe it. She turned to Baxter with her mouth agape, about to ask [i why] he would even bother with her, but as soon as she turned to see that slight smile, the sharp bang of a gun broke through the chaos and Baxter fell.
A panicked scream echoed through the hall and it took Piper several seconds to realize that the scream came from her! She lunged at Baxter with the very last of her vampire speed and caught him before he hit the ground, instantly putting pressure on the bullet wound before he lost too much blood. The last bit of savagery that was still clinging on made her eyes grow dark with blood-lust, but Piper squeezed her eyes closed and ground her teeth together to control the urge to feed. She let the pain turned to rage as she heard the cruel taunting of the Hunter and when she opened her eyes again, there was nothing but pain-fueled hatred behind them.
[#aa0000 “You better not miss, you son of a bitch!”] Piper threatened, letting Nico knew that if he didn’t kill her now he would most certainly regret it. The loud clash of the vent and the relief of Lexi’s heroic arrival allowed Piper to turn her attention back to Baxter. She laid him on the ground so she could use both hands to stop the bleeding, but her own body was working against her! The savagery faded, only to give way to the pain of the cure. Her senses were dulling and her muscle spasms grew worse, leaving Piper struggling with the simple act of slowing the bleeding!
[#aa0000 “Stupid, so stupid! He tried… and then he… He shouldn’t have even been here! He… Fuck! Not again!”] Piper’s state would have come as a shock to Lexi who had only ever seen the girl composed, even when she was in the middle of a battle! But there was no act or con going on now, this was real, genuine panic! As far as Piper knew, she had just got another of her friends killed! This was exactly why she didn’t want to get close to anybody! Either they would end up hurting her or she would end up hurting them! Baxter and Lexi didn’t deserve this, why the hell didn’t they just leave Piper while they had the chance!
The only thing that seemed to interrupt Piper’s mumbling was a sharp pain in her teeth. Her hand flew to her mouth, feeling every agonizing second of her fangs slowly retracting back into her gums. The cure was affecting Piper far faster than it effected Nico or Raven, even with Piper’s attempt to slow it down… the savage drug must have kicked the cure into overdrive, rapidly speeding up the process! Soon Lexi would be stuck here with two injured humans! But the feeling of her missing fangs did give Piper an idea. Baxter would probably hate her for this but maybe that was for the best. Obviously, it was far too dangerous for Piper to have friends. Baxter and Lexi would be safer if they never saw her again!
[#aa0000 “Bite him! Lexi, BITE HIM! If he’s got venom in his blood when he dies, he’ll turn! If Nico can made a cure, the Candy sure as hell can! She’s a genius! She can turn him back if he wants; she can save him, but only if there’s something left of him to save! Bite him NOW!”] Piper demanded, no longer capable of turning anyone now that her fangs were retracting.
The loud bang of doors being crashed open and herd of footsteps rang through the hallway. Piper forced herself to her feet, grabbing Baxter’s arm and pulling it over her shoulder, expecting Lexi to do the same.
[#aa0000 “We gotta get him to Candy! Trey’s got medics; they’ll help him, won’t they?”] Piper asked in desperation, even with the dread that settled in her newly beating heart. Trey and Raven made it clear what would happen to Piper if she returned empty handed, and since she used the only cure she found on herself, she had nothing to bargain with. Unless Lexi had somehow managed to grab the antidote before she came to the rescue, Piper knew she was about to pass up her one and only chance for a clean slate. It would be too dangerous to break back in and steal more drugs, but without them they were condemning Anton to life as a human, and destroying any chance Piper had of earning their forgiveness.
Just as they made it outside and hurried across the property line, Piper felt her lungs painfully restricting. Her need to breath kicked in before her lungs fully started functioning again, giving the girl the terrifying and agonizing experience of suffocating! She knew it would only last a few seconds, but in the meantime, Piper had stumbled to the ground and clutched her chest, no longer able to support Baxter.
[#aa0000 “G-go… G-G-GO!”] Piper choked out, willing Lexi to run and get Baxter someplace safe. At this rate, Piper would only slow them down! They were still quite a ways from the Resistance, but the border of the Sirhan territory wasn’t too far away. If Lexi could make it there with Baxter, surely her brother’s pack would help!
[#996633 “He’s fucking wasted, Amber! He’s not gonna tell us anything.”] Leo growled, scrunching his nose at the stench of the human’s toxin-filled blood. This whole show of hunting Raven down was pointless. Leo knew she’d be with Helena by now. James wasn’t the only one who got the call about framing the mutt. Helena wanted that Beta taken care of, and failing that, she would have dragged the half-dead feral back to her workshop to twist her into an obedient killing machine the way she did to the rest of the wolves under her control. Leo would have killed Raven himself if Amber had given him the task, but she chose James instead, forcing Leo to keep playing his part in the Resistance. Trey was faltering more and more – the Resistance wouldn’t last much longer. But as long as he stayed loyal to Helena, he might have a chance at surviving all of this.
[#224466 “Anton, you’re not making any sense. Where is Raven? You.. you did what to her?”] Amber asked confused. Did he just say he smashed her head? Anton was a fuck up when he was stoned, but he’d never full out attack his partner, would he? Maybe he was more out of his mind than she thought? This could be a good thing. Trey was hell-bend on bringing Raven in, but Dustin made it clear he was willing to start a war over this if Trey killed his Beta. What if there was a way to get Raven completely out of the picture without it being Trey’s fault?
[#224466 “Anton, did you kill her? Did you kill Raven?”] She asked. She wouldn’t have been surprised if he did, considering the amount of blood on the humans clothing.
[#224466 “You know she’s gone, right Anton? Raven is Feral. There’s no getting her back now. You need to put her down, Anton. Put her out of her misery. You know that’s what she would want, right? You know she’d rather be put down than to hurt her own partner. You’ll do that for her, won’t you?”] Amber said carefully, calculating her next move. As long as Raven was in Helena’s custody, there was no way they’d be bringing her back to Trey. But Amber didn’t want to disappoint her Alpha again. She needed him to trust her and it seemed the only way to do that was to give him exactly what he wanted: eliminate the threat.
As Anton continued rambling, however, Amber started growing a bit concerned. These were dangerous mutterings. It sounded like Anton was accusing Amber and the others about still being Helena’s pets. Suggesting that they were still under her control, ready to attack from within and kill their own packs. If Trey heard something like that… he already didn’t have a lot of trust in Amber. If he heard they might be sleeper agents, waiting for the perfect moment to attack from within, well… they just became the threats to be eliminated! Leo seemed to recognize this too.
[#996633 “Amber? If Trey heard this…”]
[#224466 “He’ll get the wrong impression, I know. Trey’s too untrusting right now. He’ll never believe we’re innocent in this. But what the hell are we supposed to do?”] Amber countered, not liking the dangerous tone Leo was taking on.
[#996633 “He ran off on his own, got himself drugged up, and wandered out into the night, well aware of how many monsters out here want him dead. If it’s not us, it’ll be someone else. We should end this, here and now.”] Leo suggested.
[#224466 “No. If Trey ever found out…”]
[#996633 “Who’s going to tell him? We can’t risk Anton wandering back to the pack. We need to end this, now.”] Leo argued, taking a menacing step towards Anton, only to be stopped by a fierce growl from Amber.
[#224466 “Kill Anton and Trey will have no reason to believe we’re innocent! He’ll smell the human blood on us the moment we walk back into the den!”] She snapped, not wanting to risk giving Trey any further reason to mistrust her. Instead, she turned back to Anton, figuring he was probably too wasted to care that they had just been arguing about murdering him right in front of his face.
[#224466 “Anton, you have to go back to the Council. You can’t go to the Packs, understand? You remember what they did last time, right? They made you sober up Anton. They forced you to be clean! You remember the detox, right? No one wants to live through that again. Go back to Helena. Go back to Raven and put her down. Then you’ll never have to feel pain ever again.”] Amber insisted, trying to steer Anton back the way he came.
Nico had nothing left to lose. He watched his family get killed and he tried his best to do right by his niece and nephew. Charlotte was doomed from the beginning and she turned away from his open hand… her life was going to crash and burn. She was destroying it herself! Then came Baxter. There was so much hope for the boy. He would have turned into an excellent chemist, a boy who would have changed the world if he just listened to his Uncle. He just had to accept the experiments, hang on a little longer and they would have made history. Nico resented that his nephew ended up so weak, far from understanding that the small amount of pain he had to endure would end thousands of years of human misery. He would be saving humans from going missing in the night. The unexplained deaths. The naivety of his own species! Yet he turned his back on that and for what? His sister? Fear? A friend… he watched his mother and father get killed and yet he still couldn’t put his mind in the right place. Well, Nico would watch him suffer, he would let him fall. It was the evidence he needed. Besides, perhaps he could plant it against Piper if she didn’t make the right decision.
Though just as Nico was a man with many aces up his sleeve, he didn’t anticipate the girl with the attitude. Before he could do anything he watched as the syringe was plunged into her leg. Nico screamed out, slamming his hand on the desk in anger but he didn’t follow out… instead he hung back, watching the young Vampire slaughter his guards.
Baxter however was crumbled to the ground. He had been part of experiments and suffered mild beatings. He even ended up in his sisters drug world! Yet nothing was as severe as what had just happened to him. His body was broken. His face was either purple from the amount of bruise and covered in blood. His wrist was snapped in a unnatural position and each breath was a struggle from his smashed up ribs. He was trying to defend his body with his arms which were now taking just as much of a beating! There was a small pool of blood under his head where he had taken a more severe kick. Just as his vision was starting to darken and he thought he couldn’t take much more, the sudden and sharp pain stopped. His body was still throbbing but there was no more impact.
He didn’t understand what had happened at first. Part of Baxter wished it was all over and he had just slipped away. It was selfish and perhaps the thought of a coward but he couldn’t take it anymore! The last thing Baxter expected was to hear Piper calling out for him to run. Was he still alive? As if Piper’s voice had given him the strength to fight through the pain, his swollen eyes opened to see the Vampire fighting viciously above him!
[+blue “P-Pi-Piper… d-don’t…. Y-you need to…”] Baxter tried to call up, crawling up to his hands and knees but as he tried to get any higher, he fell back onto his palms. He wasn’t strong enough for this, or brave enough… he never should have let them come… but there was something in Piper’s voice. She thought he judged her for her story. She knew that he had found out the truth in what she told his Uncle. How could she think that? It was a shock, she had a lot to explain but his sister had done bad things and he knew it didn’t come from a bad place. How could he be so quick to judge Piper? She was here fighting for his life, trying to make a difference. Why couldn’t she see that in herself?
When she turned with those ferocious eyes, Baxter flinched for a brief second, waiting for that kick or strike but the moment he did, he stared at her with the same sternness.
[+blue “I-I’m not… n-not l-letting you d-destroy yourself be-because… y-you’re sc-scared….but I d-don’t ju-judge… you’re my fr-friend…”] Baxter admitted, finally pulling himself up to his feet and shuffling with just enough strength to stand by her side.
[+blue “Y-You’re not that person an-anymore…”] He whispered by her side, trying to show a smile on his broken face, even in the face of danger and then he fell.
There was a loud bang, his vision instantly went black and his blood splattered all over Piper’s neck. There was the smell of smoke and Nico stood, holding in front of them with the gun in his hand.
[+red “He should have learned to pick better friends. Fortunately the clip can be edited Piper. The world will know you murdered my nephew.”] Nico grinned, turning the gun on her but just as he did a sharp weight kicked down on the back of his skull as Lexi jumped from the vent, slamming the heel of her foot down against him.
[+orange “BAXTER! Piper! What the hell happened!?”] Lexi screamed and as Nico went to turn the gun, she slipped a blade from her belt and slit it across his wrist. The gun fell from his hand but he wasted no time. While he had the chance, he made his escape, sprinting away and allowing his remaining few guards to stand in his way. With the last few guards remaining, Lexi fought her way through to Baxter and Piper, until finally she made it to her friends and collapsed by Baxter’s side.
[+orange “Bax!? Bax he’s… no, Piper he’s not breathing! He’s not… we need to get out of here! Piper I can’t on my own! Damn it Piper what happened!?”]
The world spun. It faded in and out. It felt distant… everything felt distant. There was a tingling in his fingertips and each step didn’t quite hit its mark. Even Anton’s breathing felt weightless. All the guilt, the pain, the anger, the fear, care, friendship, loyalty: those fucking feelings which he hated to feel, they were gone. They were the only things that tied him down. An permanent anchor on everything he ever wanted, or needed. At least this way he could forget what he had done. What had he done? There was blood, howling, now he was walking… no, he knew, he wasn’t high enough. He should have taken something stronger but at least for now it took away the dread. He would have to go back, beat her again, make his best and only friend beg him to stop without even the human words to do so. He wondered what would take him first: drugs or insanity. It was a line he had tested historically, but not with so much intensity attached to it.
Anton wasn’t aware of how long he had been walking for. His only luck was that his desperation to pump drugs into his system saved his life. Raven’s bite wound had still left his arm exposed, but the tourniquet above the wound where he had injected himself was restricting the blood flow. No doubt he would have already collapsed by now if he wasn’t for his addiction. If any other person had seen him, it would have been a horrific sight. The side of his face from his ear to his cheek was completely scratched and torn from where he tried to tear the sound of Raven’s howling pain away. His arms were covered in a mixture of his own blood and Raven’s, and then there was the look in his eyes. He was awake but not truly there, with the white of his eyes slowly disappearing with the thickening and reddening of the veins beneath.
His only plan was to get back to his home. Take another hit and get wasted silently before he had to return. Instead, the same plan that was interrupted last time was interrupted again. As the three creatures surrounded him, he continued to spin around on his feet. Was it three? No, four… five… more? No, three, definitely three… or so he thought. Anton’s hands instantly went up to his head, tugging at his hair in frustration.
[b “Why are you all in the fucking way all the time!?”] Anton hissed, referencing to his earlier blockade of Helena. Not that these would know. He barely knew who he was talking to.
Amber’s words against Sirhan hardly reached the stoned humans ears, but as soon as she mentioned Raven his stance completely changed. He went from a stumbling mess, to a stiff, cold, threatening figure. A smirk crossed his lips and just the instance his persona changed, it changed again, bending him over in hysterics.
[b “No one kills three of the Resistance! Aha! You are fucking funny! The three, four… six… shit, my head… however many, you’re all screwed. I smashed her head. Smashed it. Watched it crack and split. She’s in there. She’s never going to be the same like you… yeah you…little puppy…”] Anton’s ramblings wouldn’t have made much sense. He would have just been acting like the high lunatic he appeared but his attention turned, pointing his finger to Amber.
[b “Maybe they’ll get Trey. Yeah…I’m not that high, I know. She’ll do the same. Turn you into her little puppet, get Trey to beat you to shit every day and every night…. Heh, I’ll help him forget because that sound… that…”] He was trying to explain. He was trying to tell Amber about Helena, the power she had, what she had ordered the other wolves to do to Raven and what was eventually going to happen to her. Instead he could hear Raven’s whines again as it broke through his clouded mind. He needed to get away from this. He needed that extra high.
[b “Now fucking move! She’s probably listening to me… going to get you next… have you kill the Resistance, have Trey torture you, hear your screams… have it echoing… echoing… no. You’re already weak. Raven was not changed yet, unlike you….the others who tried to kill her. Your kind, her puppets, tried to kill Raven. Now I’m killing her.”] Anton finally explained in the clearest way he could, clawing at his ear once again and attempting to stagger through the pack of three
[b “Just let me go! Let me through! You’re all going to kill the ones you love. She’s won. The bitch she’s… she’s won…”]
Piper glared intently into the eyes of the Hunter, daring him to make the first move. She could feel her mind slowly losing control, the rage and hunger building in her mind, but she didn’t care. So long as she got the chance to tear her fangs into that bastard, it would be worth it! Or so Piper thought. With the loud bang behind her, Piper turned to see the frightened eyes of the reader. Baxter didn’t deserve this! He’d already been through enough! And Piper had promised she wouldn’t get him involved! Damnit, why didn’t Baxter just run when he had the chance!
Piper rapidly tried to think of a way out of this, but there didn’t seem to be any options. Even if she stayed in here and turned savage, the best she could do would be to kill Nico, but then she’d be out of control in a confined room with blood on her hands and that footage would be released to the world! They’d send in a team to kill her anyway, and she’d have no way to escape. Baxter would die for nothing. But if she went out there, she was releasing Nico back into the world. She’d still expose the vampires and would she even be able to save Baxter? Or would she get lost in her own Savage fury and just kill him herself?! Usually Piper was a strategist, but with the drug coursing through her veins, slowly turning her savage, Piper didn’t have the clarity she needed for this! There was one inkling of a plan that came to mind, but there were still too many variables and Piper just wasn’t thinking clearly enough to work out the details. Still, it was her only option at this point. Nico didn’t know about Lexi, so she still had an ace up her sleeve.
[#aa0000 “You drugged me! You son of a bitch, YOU did this to me! Go ahead, release that tape! The world is going to see you for what you truly are.”] She hissed, slipping something from her sleeve. It’s a good think Piper was a thief as well as a con artist. No one noticed as she slipped one of the syringes off the conveyor belt in the other room. She had intended to bring this back for Eli, but on the verge of going Savage, she had no choice but to use it. Piper knew from watching Anton and Raven, it took a while before the cure fully kicked in. She’d still have her vampire speed and strength to fight those men, but if she was going to pull this off, she needed to be human by the end of this. If that video ever got released, Piper hoped to prove that Nico was the monster here. That there were no such things as Vampires or Werewolves, just a sick, twisted man who injected drugs so powerful, it made innocent people attack like beasts! She already had the video proof that Nico injected her before she attacked him. Now she just needed to ensure she ended up a human, and if they killed her in the process… Baxter better be fucking grateful!
Piper backed towards the door and placed her one hand on the lock, before jamming the syringe into her leg, making sure it would be delayed in getting to her heart - buying her time. Then she burst through the doors and attacked. Nothing made Piper more upset than seeing a child beaten down by an adult. She’d been in Baxter’s position far too often in the past, but now, she had the power to do something about it! She leaped onto one man’s back, ripping his head back and sinking her teeth into his ear, tearing it right off his head! With the blood and pain distracting him, Piper moved on to the next and the next, using her speed, strength, and razor sharp fangs to cause as much damage as possible and get these fuckers away from Baxter!
[#aa0000 “Get the hell out of here Baxter! NOW!”] Piper shouted as she lunged for the next guard. His pleas reaching her ears, but not with the desired effect. He knew… he knew her story was true! It wouldn’t be hard for him to make the connection to Dustin! Even with his promises that he’d keep her secret, it didn’t matter because HE knew! He knew she was a coward! A horrible person! A terrible friend! He’d never forgive her, NEVER trust her!
Piper backed up, standing protectively in between Baxter and the injured, bleeding guards. By this point, the cure in her system had finally reached her heart, finding the Savage drug Nico had injected her with and mixing – badly. A sharp, crippling pain gripped Piper’s heart, nearly taking Piper off her feet! The cure was painful to begin with, but clashing with the Savagery that coursed through her veins, it was like the cure was kicked into overdrive! Her veins bulged beneath her pale skin, her muscles spasmed, and real, genuine tears leaked from Piper’s eyes. She thought she’d have more time! She thought she could last until Baxter could escape or until Lexi could find them, but if Baxter didn’t get the hell out of here right now, Piper wouldn’t be able to keep this up! They’d both be at Nico’s mercy!
In a desperate effort, Piper cast a hard look over her shoulder to the beaten teen, and forced as much anger and intent into her expression as she could, wanting to terrify him .
[#aa0000 “You know what happens to people who trust me! So get the FUCK out of here before you’re next!”] She spat viciously, willing herself to stay on her feet, separating Baxter from his attackers until he could find the strength to escape.
Amber flinched at Trey’s growling accusations. To know he wouldn’t believe her was a crushing blow. Amber had always been the voice of reason, the voice of truth, even when Tink or Trey would rather not here it. In the past, even if it was a truth they didn’t want to face, the Alphas would respect her, trust her, and let her say her peace. It gave them the information they needed to make fair and objective decisions, and it gave Amber a place and a purpose within the pack. But now… what was her purpose if Trey didn’t believe her? What was her place in the Resistance if she couldn’t be trusted? Maybe Helena was right – she didn’t belong here anymore. In only a mere few months, Amber had lost her place in her pack and the witches words were flooding back to her mind, taunting her with the truth that she didn’t belong here anymore. No one needed her, that’s why no one saved her. At least as Helena’s pet she served a purpose…
The old Amber would have voiced these doubts aloud, sought reassurance and acceptance, or even asked Trey if he really meant those words the way Amber was perceiving them. The new Amber was far too afraid of his answer, so she held her tongue, only speaking to confirm his orders. He wanted obedience – the very thing that was beaten into Amber with every lash and cut and burn over the last few months with Helena.
[#224466 “I will not disobey you Alpha.”] Amber replied, bowed her head before shifting back into her wolf form so she could track down Raven’s scent, consequently also making her far more susceptible to her Alpha’s commands. She would obey her orders. She would eliminate the threat.
Amber took two others with her – Leo, another of Helena’s escaped pets, and Mickey. They tacked Raven’s scent until it led towards Council territory and knew there was a good chance that Helena had found their target first. But another familiar scent in the air caused Amber to change her tactics. Trey ordered her to find anyone connected to Raven in order to hunt the traitor down, and who had more of a connection to Raven than her former Hybrid partner?
She led her small hunting party after the semi-human scent Anton left, noticing that his own was heavily masked by the stench of Raven’s blood. So either Anton had already killed the Feral, or he’d tried to help her. Either way, with that much blood, it was likely that raven was severely injured. It would be easy to take her down once they found her.
[#224466 “Anton? Where is… are you high?”] Amber noted once she found him, observing the stagger in his step that wasn’t there before.
[#224466 “Sirhan truly is doomed. With an Alpha like Dustin, and Betas like these… We’d be doing the pack a favour to put them out of their misery.”] She growled. An idealist pup as Alpha, with a junkie and a feral traitor as Betas… Sirhan may as well surrender now. They won’t survive the week!
[#224466 “Where is Raven? We are under orders to bring her in to answer for her crimes. No one kills three of the Resistance and walks away unscathed.”] Amber growled, circling Anton so that she, Leo, and Mickey were surrounding him.
Nico snarled with Piper’s questioning. Whatever she was here for, whatever she was trying to achieve, she certainly was playing the game with the wrong man. He almost bought it. A terrified little girl almost turned… it would have been the perfect specimen. For the first time in a long while he would have had the perfect experiment and demonstration subject. Now she dared question his intelligence! He hung his hopes of changing this world for the better on a string and then she snatched it away. Not only that but if there was any connection to his nephew, it was one he would pick up in a flash. So the moment she dared question his name, thus questioning Nico, the former chemist found it hard to keep up his own act as much as Piper was!
[+red “I suggest you don’t play games little girl… you know my nephew. You know where he is!”]
While he waited for her to explain and his grip started to tighten, so did his glare. He was usually one for taunting these beasts - they had the final laugh by giving him the scars on his face, so he usually would make sure these beasts had his voice as their final haunting memory! Only this girl was testing his patience. He could hear the desperation to try and explain but it didn’t ease his actions. His hand stayed in a vice like grip around her throat, listening to her explanation…
Baxter on the other side of the fence was running for his life. With his cover blown and the guards sent out on the hunt, it didn’t take long before they were hot on his tail. He was sprinting as fast as he could, only briefly turning his head to see that the gap between himself and the guards wasn’t closing at all! He could feel himself gasping for air out of sheer panic. He couldn’t be caught! He couldn’t go back to that monster! Though just as that fear was racing through his mind, Piper’s voice echoed through his ear piece. Everyone else would have heard a convincing lie but Baxter heard the intent… there was history behind that voice. While the sobbing would have been a perfect act, he could hear the hints of emotion and the weariness of stepping back into the past. Piper wasn’t telling a make belief story, she was telling the truth! There was too much detail, too many facts that existed. If she made it from the top of her head, there was no way she could fill in that many gaps! Even as a skilled manipulator! If it was true then it could only be about one person…
Then, the ground hit his chest. His mouth hit the dirt. He gasped out, turning to see his foot has twisted in a branch. He was so distracted listening to Piper’s truth, he forgot about his running! Before he knew it the guards had each of his arms, pulling him from the dirt and pulling him back towards the fate he was desperate to avoid.
[+blue “No! No! He doesn’t… please I’m…”] A sharp punch to his gut and a hand slammed over his mouth quickly silenced the panic as he was dragged back for a family reunion…
Inside Nico’s office however the hunter wasn’t easily fooled. Whether her story was true or not, he had no intention of caring any longer. He would soon discover the truth if his nephew was brought to his attention but for now he had himself a Vampire. A blood-thirsty Vampire who could clearly put on quite a show! He was fully prepared to risk everything… his family, his reputation, his life… whatever it took. Though just before he had the opportunity, his eyebrow raised as Piper’s expression suddenly transformed from timid little girl, to an over confident brat!
It happened in a flash. He felt the sharp pain in his neck and his reaction kicked in instantly. He would not allow that Vampire venom to enter his system! Able to dig the needle into her neck, he felt Piper release and stagger in front of the locked door. His hand instantly shot up to to the new wound, squirting with blood between his fingers. Instead of fear of concern for his injuries, a wicked smile spread across his face and a cruel laugh.
[+red “The thing with monsters is they think every human is always scared to lose it all. Well the thing is little girl, I’m prepared to risk everything…”]
A large bang slammed through the wooden door behind Piper and against the glass was Baxter’s face, already showing the signs of a minor beating. His eye was black, his nose was busted up but it was nothing compared to the fear behind his eyes. The guards held him still, trying to desperately openly the door but keeping Baxter as their shield.
[+red “How about this instead: If you do not open that door, the moment you launch for me, I will have my nephew taken for an experiment. I have Vampire venom, I can do the exact same to him with what I was intending to do to you! I will kill him. He was destined to help me uncover the truth and he knew that meant death. Didn’t you Baxter? You haven’t joined them have you? You haven’t joined the beasts side!?”] Nico shouted through the door, not at the least bit phased by the fear in his nephews eyes. As the guards failed to lock the door, they ragged Baxter away from the glass and threw him down on the ground.
[+red “Thanks to you, his screams are about to get a lot worse…”]
And they did. It started with the coughing and spluttering of a beating but then as the seconds passed, Baxter’s screams rang through the door and his pleas of mercy increased.
[+blue “Make it stop! PIPER! PIPER PLEASE!”]
[+orange “Piper I’m too far away! It’ll take me a few minutes to get back. Help him!”]
[+blue “PIPER I won’t tell anyone! Ah! AHH NO! I won’t! It’ll be our secret! Please, I can help I can…”] Baxter pleaded with her, letting her know that he knew the truth, he wanted to work with her, he wanted to be on her side. Only then, the beating got so extreme, his voice couldn’t even carry words anymore. Only extreme pain.
[+red “You have your choice Piper. Stay here and kill me and by the time you exit, Baxter will be dead. Or, save your precious little friend… either way, you’ll be unveiling the truth. I have a camera in here, filming, with footage being sent directly to a source who can show the world… every girl for herself? I wonder how selfish you really are…”] Nico grinned, pulling out the key to the door and throwing it between them. Piper only had seconds. Seconds until she turned savage and seconds until Baxter was beaten to his death…
The world narrowed and everything in the outer circle of Anton’s vision turned black. His ears rang with Raven’s pain filled whines, and the repeated blow of the metal buckle continued to circle his senses. He forgot where he was. It was a haze. He could see his broken partner on the ground, beaten by his actions, attempting to crawl away. Then he could feel her blood. At the time, in the moment, he couldn’t feel a thing. The adrenaline took over and his actions carried no weight. Now he was done and he was standing there he could feel Raven’s blood. It was splattered on his hands, his forearms… he could even feel where it projected to his own face, sticking to his skin and marking him with every strike he made.
Yet none of that compared to the air bubble building in his throat. He tried to swallow it away, even tried to take a bigger breath of air but he choked. His chest tightened and his airways didn’t want him to take a full breath. Why couldn’t he breathe? Why was it affecting him so much? His eyes were wide and his hands were shaking violently.
Meanwhile his senses wouldn’t let him escape what he had done. With everything else blocked and as he stared at Raven, the details of her wounds intensified. He could see the muscle fibres pulling away, the tears in the fresh wounds. He could see how the thickness of the blood altered between each gash and how that blood flowed out of each individual wound. Yet it was nothing compared to the pain in his voice. His bloody hand crawled up his neck and to his ear, scratching the lobe and closing his eyes tightly with each whine.
He wanted to make it stop.
It had to stop.
His heart hit his chest like a punch and the sweat was building up on his forehead. Was he panicking? No. He did the right thing. This is what she would have wanted. Why would he care!?
Helena’s clap didn’t even break through until she finally spoke.
[i “This is who you really are”]
Anton was the monster Raven thought he was. He scarred her with the evidence. His blue eyes continued to follow Raven until she was dragged away and until Helena finalised her instructions.
He didn’t turn to look at her. He waited until she left, until he was alone for a brief moment and then…
His breathing choked and spluttered around the chamber and his hand instinctively reached for his chest, gripping tightly onto his shirt while his other hand continued to grip his ear. All his human senses were overwhelmed and there were panic filled tears filling his eyes. He couldn’t understand, he didn’t want to understand and there was only one way to force this to stop. To make it all go away and to do what he set out to do. Keep Raven away from Helena through any means necessary…
Staggering towards his room, Anton barely took in the surroundings. Instead, as if like a natural, his instincts took him straight to the pouch by the bedside. He didn’t even take the time to examine what was inside. He ragged it from the table and managed to get himself just close enough to Raven’s cage that he collapsed against the wall, his back sliding down and his knuckles turning white as he gripped the bag. He hadn’t even realised he clawed so desperately at his ears, the side of his face was dripping with blood.
[b “It’s… it’s what you wanted. Right? This. You fucking wanted this you stupid… stupid fucking…”] Anton growled, shakily preparing what he needed as he spoke to Raven. She didn’t know who he was, what he was saying or why… it was a side of Anton no one had ever saw. Even himself. It was the most humane, the most real, yet the most broken.
His hand grabbed the lighter, burning a power on a spoon. He hadn’t shot up in so long. He avoided this for the honour of the Pack. But what honour did he have now?
[b “I can’t…I can’t do this…awake….sober…. I can’t… you told me to do this! To make sure she didn’t! Raven… you… understand? Tell me you understand!”] Anton barked, continuing to burn the powder down into a liquid but as he did and he didn’t get an answer from Raven, he kicked his foot against the bars in frustration. His body slipped down further, falling him further into the ground just as he finished preparing his drug. Pouring it into an empty syringe, he grabbed the nearby tourniquet and tightened it against his upper arm.
[b “If I do this it’ll make it all go away… it won’t be me… no, no I can’t feel if I have this. It’ll take it away… take it all away…”] Anton whispered, putting the syringe between his teeth and slapping his veins. He never forgot. It was a habit that was engrained in his brain. One he escaped for so long but he could see the tools on the desk. He could see what Helena expected him to do. He couldn’t let Raven fall into Helena’s hands. With that knowledge, he took the deepest breath he could in the midst of his panic, grabbed the syringe, and plunged it straight into his veins.
The clear liquid in the syringe turned crimson as he emptied the drug into his system. He didn’t even bother pulling it from his veins. Instead he sunk back, letting his eyes cloud over and his head slump back. His erratic breathing completely slowed down, the panic in his eyes dissipated and his tensed up body relaxed… after a few minutes, the Anton that felt everything, turned into an empty shell…
[b “It’ll make it easier Raven. So much easier. I have to do this. You’ll never forgive me but I’ll have kept our deal… I won’t hurt… a deal is a deal…”] Anton slurred, turning his eyes to the cage and letting his fingers crawl up the bar. He almost wanted to reach in and risk resting his hand against her again, but instead he gripped the top of the bar and forced himself up onto his shaky feet. These drugs would calm him down but when he was back, he would use the stronger more intense stuff to help his torture.
[b “You should rest.”]
And with that, Anton made his way out of the Council building. He needed his space for an hour or two before he came back for when he did, Raven’s nightmare was only just beginning.
Trey watched Dustin go with complete disgust washing over him. He had so much hope for the boy. He truly believed he could make a difference and now his true colours were reflecting. He learned to be an Alpha from a reckless fool who carried very little morals… Trey might have made his mistakes, he might have his unforgiven sins but he wanted to save this city. He wanted peace. Dustin was walking towards a path of destruction out of his own arrogance and pride. If that is how he wanted to act, perhaps it was better to let him walk away. Trey had wasted far too much time trying to join the Packs together. The Resistance was stronger without them.
[+purple “How can I believe someone who cowers at my every word? Am I that sort of Alpha? I make my hopefuls walk away and my friends fear my actions? Don’t try and justify what kind of Alpha I am Amber, not when you will not join my side. Whether that be as a fellow Alpha, or someone who simply doesn’t disobey me.”] Trey growled under the frustration of everything that had happened,
[+purple “We have no time to wait for Lexi. Get out there and find anyone connected to Raven or any clues. The peace between Sirhan and Resistance is over. We bring her in, we see her state and we make our decision as a collective. Meanwhile I am going to strategise an attack against the Council. We have waited long enough.”]
Piper clenched her teeth when Nico rested a gentle hand on her cheek. The gesture was meant to be comforting, but made Piper want to snap the man’s fingers. She didn’t like to be touched, especially when the gesture was so obviously insincere. And as the touch moved lower, resting on her neck, Piper’s instincts were screaming at her to get away! If she had a heartbeat, it would be racing – alive with panic and disgust. She had to throw her whole focus into the man’s questions in order to keep herself from lashing out and blowing her cover!
[#aa0000 “Baxter? Is that… is that his name?”] Piper asked, distancing herself from the boy as soon as she realized her mistake. She thought at first the link to Baxter might soften the man’s judgement, but now she could see she was very wrong. She opened her mouth to spill out some sort of excuse, but the hand tightened painfully around her throat, catching Piper completely off guard!
[#aa0000 “Y-your s-son? No! I didn’t… he’s still back there!”] Piper wheezed out, her hands clutching at Nico’s arm, to steady the hand around her neck, ready to pry him away if necessary. He could hear the panicked voices in her ear and knew if she didn’t get a handle on this soon, the others would stupidly get involved!
[#aa0000 “J-joined them? No! No he wasn’t… He was a prisoner! The monsters are holding him hostage! I met him when they captured me! After they bit me, he… he tried to help me escape! He told me to come to you!”] Piper tried, trying to come up with some excuse for why Baxter wasn’t here. If she had to, she’d send the hunters on a [i rescue mission] to fight the Joker’s Pack. That’ll teach those bastards to mess with her friends! Or, erm… acquaintances!
Piper could see her act was slipping. Nico wasn’t as gullible as he looked! IN order to save this scam, she was going to have to try a different strategy. Piper trembled as she remembered the incident… the most convincing way to lie, was to base your story on the truth.
[#aa0000 “We were sneaking out, but they saw us! Those monsters, they were… they were taking about killing some family! Even the kids! The boy… he wanted to get closer, to hear what the monsters were saying. He wanted to warn the family, to help them! But… the monsters caught him… they spotted the boy and… and I hid! I was so afraid! I just hid there while they took him. I heard them arguing over whether they would… would kill him or turn him… He was calling out for help! He knew I was there and he was pleading, begging for me to save him but I… I was too scared! I just hid and watched… one of the Vampires jammed a needle in his neck and his eyes glazed over… that was the last I saw of him, ok?! I’m sorry! I’m so sorry I didn’t help him! Please don’t kill me!”] Piper sobbed, but this time there was honesty in her eyes. There wasn’t a trace of deception in her face, because her story was true… just not about Baxter. Piper secretly hoped that Lexi and Baxter were too distracted to notice. Maybe with Lexi, she could lie and say she made the whole story up, but Baxter would know. He’d know how much of a selfish coward she was. He’d know she really did leave a boy to die at the hands of those monsters.
Piper thought maybe her sad story might throw the Hunter off the truth, but he seemed determined to find Baxter. The pit in Piper’s stomach grew as she remembered promising the boy he’d never have to get involved. Piper just had to hope by some miracle that he wasn’t caught! Especially since Nico seemed to have some pretty twisted plans for vengeance! A drug that would turn her savage? Piper didn’t have the best self-control at the best of times! With that drug, she could slaughter Lexi and Baxter without a second thought!
All at once, Piper’s composure changed. Her tearful, sobbing instantly died and was replaced with a smug, challenging look that was far more familiar for Piper. She could feel the tip of the syringe at her neck and realised it was now or never. She really didn’t like this plan, but it was the only way she could think of to keep the other two out of danger!
[#aa0000 “Alright, fine. You got me! Guess I can drop the cry-baby act now. You gotta admit, I had you fooled for a while there. But I made a teeny tiny mistake that blew my cover! That’s ok. You made a mistake too: you locked yourself in a room with a savage vampire!”] Piper said. In one fluid motion, she lunged at Nico, sinking her fangs deep into his neck. As she did, she could feel the needle dig into her neck and knew she’d have seconds before the drug took effect. Reluctantly releasing the man’s neck, Piper leaped across the room and stood in front of the locked door, barring Nico’s escape, so that if she did turn savage, at least she had a good shot at killing him!
[#aa0000 “You better have a cure for that drug, Human, or you’re going to end up a part of your own experiment! And as for the others? Well, as far as I’m concerned, it’s every girl for herself!”] The statement may have seemed self-centered, but Piper was referencing the very last thing she’d said to Lexi and Baxter – that if things went wrong, they would have to get themselves as far away from here as possible and leave her behind. It was a warning – get out now while you still can! She just hoped Lexi could get to Baxter before the guards did!
Helena watched with twisted delight as Raven viciously attacked her former partner. Despite Anton’s pleas, there was still no recognition in the animal’s eyes. She was nothing but a rabid dog at this point. Even as she released her jaws and backed away, it was clearly nothing to do with protecting Anton. Raven was a wounded, frightened beast, just trying to survive. Her best chance right now was to keep distance between herself and her would-be attacker, but if Anton took one step too close, she would not hesitate to fight for her own survival. Of course, if she did kill Anton, Helena wouldn’t get the satisfaction of watching him suffer. So for her own malicious reasons, she turned on the high pitched squeal to force the beast to cower in front of her, mercilessly watching the wolf writhe at Anton’s feet until the human could make his decision.
As much as Helena hoped Anton would show his cruel side, eve she wasn’t expecting a show like this! Raven was still pinned down by the sound, completely unaware and unprepared for the first strike. The thick belt and heavy metal buckle slammed into the wolf’s head, catching her directly over her right eye. The cut was deep and painful, leaving the blood to drip down into the beast’s eye. With the sudden pain, Raven’s instincts once again pushed her to fight. She raised her head and snapped at Anton, clashing those deadly fangs in an attempt to catch the weapon. Instead, the second strike caught her across the jaw, almost shattering the joint! A pained yelp rang out and before Raven could raise her head again, the third strike clipped her on the top of her nose.
Raven was already weak and severely injured. As the belt struck again and again, the wounded creature was helpless to defend herself. Soon, her only option was to lower her head and turn her back, trying to protect the most vital areas from the unforgiving lash of the belt. Each strike cut through flesh and fur, leaving welts and lacerations all over Raven’s body. The final strike was all the wolf could take – crumpling her to the ground with no strength left to even stand. The blood had stained the ground beneath her broken form, her fur was wet and matted with thick, crimson blood, and every exhale was laced with a high pitched wine, proving every breath was agony.
A slow clap echoed through the arena as Helena praised such a merciless act. [i This] was the Anton she remembered! Cold, cruel, empty, without a thought for anyone else! This was what Helena had been waiting to see! She snapped her fingers, cutting off the torturous squeal, but Raven hardly reacted to the absence of the painful sound, far too broken by her other injuries to notice.
[#ff00ff “Now [i that] was entertaining! I don’t know why you try to fight it Anton. [i this] is who you really are!”] Helena praised. She waved her hand, motioning for two vampires – new recruits of the Council – to step in. One grabbed Anton’s discarded belt and wrapped it tightly around Raven’s jaws, pulling with a sharp, tight tug until he heard her whimper. The belt would serve as a make-shift muzzle for now, to ensure she wouldn’t bite – not that she had the energy to do anything like that at the moment. The two vampires then grabbed raven by her legs and dragged her roughly from the arena.
[#ff00ff “I’ll give you your old room back Anton – the one you would have had if you’d cooperated with Draven in the first place. Raven will be taken there for you to train. I’ve already stocked your room with all the tools you’ll need to break her, as well as your old favourite fixes. You’ll be allowed to come and go as you please Anton, but your pet stays here until I’m satisfied. If you’re gone for more than a few hours, I’ll assume you’ve left the mutt for me to deal with. One way or another – the Raven you knew is gone. Better get used to it.”] Helena told him, keeping her word and leaving Anton on his own in the arena.
The two vampires dragged Raven back to Anton’s room just as Helena ordered. The room was simple, feeling more like a dungeon than a living area, especially with the table lines with various tools and weapons that would make anyone wince. On the small table next to Anton’s cot was a leather pouch, filled with syringes, a lighter, and various vials – some filled with liquid, some powder – all of which would be familiar to the former dealer. In the corner of the room was a metal cage, uncomfortably small for a wolf, but used as such regardless. Raven was roughly shoved into the cage and locked inside with no care nor concern for her injuries. The vampires had followed their orders; the wolf could bleed out in that tiny crate as far as they were concerned. With their job done, the vampires left the room and Anton was free to do what he pleased.
Dustin was shirt-tempered and impulsive. Arguing back and snapping off insults was typical for the young Alpha, so when Trey’s words left him completely silent, lacking any retort, you knew a line was crossed. The young Alpha’s eyes narrowed into dangerous slits, his breathing slowed and shallowed to an almost undetectable level, and the anger fled his expression, leaving only a cold, unnatural hatred that had never crossed the young boy’s expression before.
[#ff6622 “At least this kid is [i trying] to step up. Face the truth Trey: there is no true Alpha here.”] Dustin stated in a chilling tone, eliminating all respect he once had for the other Alpha. When his father stepped in, Dustin accepted his support, but his gaze was unwavering and strong, not at all matching the weariness of his injured body.
[#ff6622 “Stop pretending you’re doing this for the [i good of the pack]. You want Raven dead, just like you wanted Talon out of the way. You’re vengeful and cruel, no better than the Council, and Sirhan would rather die than ally ourselves with the likes of you.”] Dustin’s words cut sharply through the tension, giving one last unforgiving glare before he hobbled out with the support of his father.
Amber watched the boy and his father leave, not fully expecting Trey to turn on her next. Her eyes were wide with surprise that he was placing the blame on her. Once again, Amber felt the two sides of her mind arguing with each other. Her brutal honesty wanted to burst out and contradict her Alpha. Explain how she was only trying to help and how she never meant for anyone to get hurt. But the submissive side beaten into her by Helena had her drop her gazed and bow her head to her Alpha. Whatever his orders, whether she agreed with them or not, it was her duty to follow them.
[#224466 “Of course, Alpha. I’m sorry. If I may… You’re not a poor Alpha, Trey. The boy… he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s not ready to be Alpha and he continues down this path, it’s only going to get him killed. He was wrong to turn his back on you. Maybe once Lexi returns, she can talk some sense into him? Until then, I’ll gather the Pack for your orders, Alpha. We will find Raven and put her down before she can cause any more damage, and we won’t allow Sirhan to get in our way.”]
Despite his own timid nature, when Piper reacted the way she did Baxter let out a small chuckle which he instantly hid by covering his mouth with his hand, as if laughing was almost a wrong-doing. It still didn’t stop the sound, nor the light in his eyes and it was the first time he had friends his age since his sister had taken in him, who wanted to joke around! Even in the face of the mission ahead! Yet as with everything, it didn’t last. While it might have slipped Lexi’s attention, Baxter did catch onto the instant switch in character from Piper. He didn’t make it obvious in his own expression, instead he continued playing, but he could see how terrified she was of getting too close. He remembered her in school and while she was often causing trouble, it wasn’t too different then. She only created bonds for mischief… maybe she actually needed a group who had faith in her.
They didn’t have long until the mission had begun and Baxter was listening in to both Lexi and Piper’s conversations.
[+blue “Lexi did you hear that? Piper has just been close to the cure’s. You need to divert your attention to there. Piper, you need to keep playing the game. He’ll keep you alive so long as you follow his beliefs, ok? Just a bit longer now.”] Baxter instructed and despite his fathers voice making him shudder and knowing the pain he could cause Piper, getting that cure was their main priority.
Nico didn’t respond to many of Piper’s questions. To him it was a terrified little girl who needed his talents to help her recover. Only, it would be a waste to do such a thing. He needed those who were bitten in the past to test his cure and for it to work. Now the need for that had passed. He had mastered the chemicals to revert the effects of Vampire and Wolf venom, so why waste what he had been so desperate for? A show piece. If he could show the city he wasn’t a mad man, his reputation would be restored, they would be on his side, and then they would e out in force to eradicate these creatures once and for all. Piper was what he had been trying to capture and she walked right into his grasp!
[+red “I am going to help you dear. So, so much… you have to be brave. I can cure you but first you have to show everyone else that what you have been turned into is real. If you walked to anyone else, they would have laughed, wouldn’t they? They would have turned you away! Did I laugh? Did I turn you away? No. I accepted you. I brought you in, I have the cure, but first you have to do what is right. It’ll be hard, you might never be looked at the same, but you’ll be making history. You’ll be changing the view of every human and they’ll know these monsters exist!”] Nico spoke with passion, his hand gently resting on Piper’s cheek as her tears rolled across his knuckles.
[+red “You’re going to help me little girl. You are… that boy? He told you… there’s only one boy who knows how to gain access to this lab nowadays. How do you know Baxter?”] Nico asked, his hand suddenly slipping from her cheek and resting just on her neck.
[+red “Where is my son?”]
[+blue “Piper what are you doing!?”]
[+orange “Piper you need to get out of there. I’m… I’m just above the conveyer should I go to the office?”]
[+blue “No stick to the task! Piper please don’t!”]
Only it was too late. Nico tightened his grip on Piper’s throat and lifted her from the wheelchair, throwing her onto the desk.
[+red “My son joined those freaks! He left me! Oh but you think a hunter doesn’t know the truth? I might be a chemist, but I’ve learned a lot about people. He’s close by isn’t he?”] While keeping Piper pinned down, he pressed his hand on a speaker on his desk.
[+red “Guards, close down the grounds and find my son.”]
In an instant the facility was flooded with all of Nico’s hunters and personal security, each searching the area. With Piper locked in the office, a cruel smirk spread across his face as he lifted up the syringe he had set in place.
[+red “You think I’m a fool don’t you? I’ve worked with Vampire venom for a long time little girl and I know the effects. You see this syringe? It’s going to make you savage. It’s going to make you thirst for human blood. My son always helped me with my experiments and maybe he’ll help me with my final one. We’ll find him, we’ll bring him in, and we’ll see if the venom in your body is what I believe it is. A new Vamp, this wouldn’t effect. They’ll be savage naturally, but I feel you need some encouragement. Once you’ve attacked him, which he deserves for betraying me, perhaps we can take his body and yourself to the city for the world to see exactly how dangerous you monsters are.”] Nico grinned before once again lifting Piper up and throwing her back down on the chair, this time aiming to tie the straps down to keep her place. While he did, he had the injection ready in his hand and close to her neck and through her earpiece was the sounds of Baxter’s cries…
It wouldn’t have taken much longer for Anton to fire back at Helena with his sarcasm… usually. He knew there was very little hope with the actions he decided to take, he had no strength to fight and after being Helena’s prisoner before, the only thing that kept him going was pissing the bitch off as much as he could. Before he could, a rippling roar cut him short but not from who he expected and then, his own screams took over his vocal chords.
It all happened so fast. He felt what he could only describe as razors ripping through his skin and before he could see the extent of his injuries, his entire forearm was covered in crimson blood which dripped down his fingertips. Anton stumbled back until his back pressed against the wall, his shaking arm instinctively lifting up to his chest to try and slow the blood pouring from the wound. Despite the agony and the instant blood loss, his wide eyes shot to Raven, watching as she kept her stance, snapping at hm for any wrong move that he made. This wasn’t his former partner, this was a monster!
[b “God fucking.. argh! Damnit Raven it’s me! It’s me! Anton! Jesus fucking Christ what have… argh! Fuck! Raven snap out of it!”] Anton called, desperate for his own life but for Raven’s sanity for her to get out of this feral craze. Unfortunately he could see there was something going on beyond the power of his words alone. He wasn’t looking at a friend who carried that challenging look, or even the glare when he dared challenge her back! No… it was inhumane, lost even.
[b “What have you fucking done to her Helena!?”] Anton shouted up through chattering teeth as the pain intensified as his adrenaline started to slow down. With everything he knew Helena was capable of, the only plausible reason in Anton’s mind was that she must have done something. The witch had turned so many wolves into her puppets in the past, she must have done something to Raven.
The last thing he expected was to hear how the cure which could have potentially saved him from his own fate, had destined Raven to this. With her humanity stripped, she was nothing but a feral beast ready to kill anyone who crossed her path. She was nothing but a wolf! His eyes turned back to his best friend, watching as she shakily stood around him, attempting to be as intimidating as possible and still ready in a posture of attack. If he made one wrong move he was certain Raven would rip his throat out, and wouldn’t have any recollection that she just murdered someone she cared about.
[b “You aren’t touching her… “] His voice was low, threatening, feeble even with the state he was in, but there was a thought pattern behind his words. He had to do something. They may have not left on best terms but he wasn’t about to watch Raven become the witches slave!
Unable to hear the sound, he gritted his teeth as he watched Raven crumble to the floor, no longer threatening him but instead trying to protect her ears with whatever was causing her pain. He was surprised Helena wasn’t taking her chance to end Anton once and for all. It was the perfect opportunity for her to do so and she had crossed his path on far too many occasions. Instead, she invited him to another one of her games. It was something he had come accustomed to far too well, but nothing prepared him for the offer she was making. He couldn’t help but let a painful laugh slip his lips with the attempted offer.
[b “We may have walked away from one another, but if you think I’m going to torture her…”] Anton started, but as he continued to watch Raven’s struggle and saw the intensity in Helena’s eyes, he knew how real the offer was. He couldn’t make the sound stop, he couldn’t protect Raven or speak to her, and he promised her no matter what their alliance he would NEVER let her be Helena’s pet. Instantly the cocky, arrogant, self-centred Anton froze with his struggle, his eyes purely focused on his friend and the pain of the decision clearly showing in his eyes. He had no drugs in his system to take away the emotion or rationale… instead he was forced to do the one thing he hated in his life time as a human. Make a decision, with no impacting factors, apart from using his own morals…
It made him feel sick. It made his body shake more than what the pain could. It made a lump grow in his throat and made him squeeze the wound in his arm so hard that more blood flowed onto his other hand and trickled down his uninjured forearm, matching it to the bitten one. He couldn’t let her fall under Helena’s grasp. He had to prove to Helena he could torture her… that he could control her. While Raven struggled down on the floor, he reached for his belt and slipped it from his trouser loops, gripping the end tightly and allowing the buckle to drop to the floor. Clenching his jaw, he gave one last hateful look to Helena before lifting the buckle up and cracking it down on Raven.
Each time the force getting stronger.
The ‘whip’ of the leather, echoing through the walls.
He kept going, intending to show Helena just how much he could torture Raven but as he did, the pain intensified in his eyes and the decision he made. When he finally stopped, he dropped the belt to the ground with his arms hanging loosely to the side, his own blood slipping down to the ground as he just stood there, his back to Helena. His eyes were almost empty, almost… the only sign of life was the intense blood shot nature and the anger filled tears that rimmed his eyes.
[b “I’ll have the blood on my hands. She’s mine. I’ll break her.”] Anton spoke, standing as the perfect image of what Helena wanted. A broken man with his blood, mixed with his partners, showing just that he intended to follow through with what she said.
[b “You give me my drugs and I promise you I will have her as a follower by the end of the week. If I can’t feel, then I’ll do this. She is mine. That’s our deal.”]
He had to do this. Raven would never want to be tortured under Helena’s hand. He’d spare her from that. Even if he had to do it himself.
[+green “Fangs? Those Vampires, Dustin, were out keeping an eye out on Raven because you were too injured to instruct your men or know what the hell was going on! I sent them to protect her because she almost turned feral in these walls! Good reason isn’t a concept to her when she turns and if she has fully changed…”] Trey didn’t want to think of the consequence, but what choice did he have? Raven was now a danger and she had already murdered three good soldiers from The Resistance. He had to stand his ground. He had to protect his followers and if Raven was the cause of blood shed, he had to end it somehow.
[+green “Yes we have all murdered Dustin but right now she is still currently against everything in her path! If we can’t change her, then I’m sorry Dustin but we have to eliminate the danger. We’re too fragile to be killed by our own. Talon would have done the same. He banished enough of you, he fought enough of you and why? The Pack comes first and that is the decision a true Alpha has to make! Not a kid trying to step up to the plate!”] Trey barked and the moment the words left his mouth, his eyes fell and he turned his back on Dustin and looked at Amber with hate filled eyes. Again the pressure was mounting up and it was taking over. As Dustin’s father walked in, Trey nodded in agreement.
[+green “I think you’re making a wise choice. The alliance between Sirhan and Resistance is over. If Lexi returns, I’ll send her to your territory. Now leave.”]
He couldn’t keep fighting Dustin’s corner any longer. He had spent so long looking in the direction of trying to get every other Pack to join his cause, he had forgotten about his own. When Tink was alive she reminded him of his mission, his purpose. They had been so distracted. Yet as Dustin took Eli’s arm and made his exit, there was a pit of regret that hit Trey. He found Dustin when he was at his lowest and now he was losing him again in the same state.
[+green “Now he’s gone, I need my pack to believe in my orders! Starting with you Amber. I gave an order and you… I get I’m a poor Alpha, so much so it’s probably laughable what just happened between me and Dustin but you all people. I need someone to have faith in me! Now start showing it Amber!”] Trey lectured but as soon as he finished, he walked over and put a hand on her shoulder.
[+green “We can’t trust any other Pack. We do what we used to do and win this war on our own.”]
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.