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.
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Arriving at the Den, it didn’t take long for the remaining Pack members to spring into action as soon as the smell of blood hit the air. Medics were waiting at the door, extra fighters came out just in case and in a place that was running out of morale it seemed those who remained were fighting until the end. As Tink and Trey arrived however, that sheer look of determination turned into shock. Firstly there was the rumours... they had heard so many different stories of betrayal and yet here was their Alpha holding Raven and Amber close, bringing them to aid! Then there was Tink. They all mourned her death! Before the questions could start, Tink pulled herself from the wolfs back, gripping her wound tightly to try and contain the little amount of blood she had left.
[+purple “There’s time dropped jaws and questions later! Move it!”] Tink ordered, watching each of the medics immediately scramble to each patient. However as one approached Tink, she shook her head and raised her hand in resistance. She had to check on everyone else first. She was on the edge, barely hanging on, but she had to put everyone else first and as she heard the thud on the ground from Amber, she staggered over and gently rested a hand on her red-furred friend.
[+purple “Stop. Stop it. I’m not dead. We’re here, together and you’re my sister Amber but you stop this. We have a lot to talk about but i need you to focus on anything but the guilt.”] Tink ordered to her friend, but there wasn’t much time for comfort. With Amber’s warning on Leo, Tink went to spin around to join Trey in stopping him, but as she did she collapsed with her blood loss. Fortunately a medic was directly nearby to catch her.
[+purple “T-Trey you don’t kill him! D-Detain him i-if you can!”] She ordered but it was too late, Trey was already sprinting into the Den.
Nearby Anton was struggling against two Vampire’s who were restraining his arms as Raven was being taken inside for immediate medical treatment. She needed exposure to moonlight, blood, organs, and professional medical help if she had any chance of fighting the next few days!
[b “Let me go! I need to fucking be there! I need to help her! And Dustin... they’ve got Dustin! He’s going to...”] Anton was shouting, but before he could fight any further, one of the medics injected him with a small amount of morphine which immediately reversed his withdrawals and put him in a trance. It probably wasn’t fair but with Raven’s blood all over the human, there was no telling what happened out there! If Anton had tried to murder her, which in theory he almost did, they couldn’t trust him. They also didn’t have the order from their Alpha to start any medical treatment on the potential traitor to start battling his addiction, so instead they pulled him towards one of the lockable rooms. There was no windows, no furniture inside he could hurt himself on apart from a mattress on the floor. It would give them enough time to treat the others and then perhaps they could find a clearer story about what happened! Unfortunately Dustin would have to hang on a bit longer... if he was still alive...
[#FF8C00 “No Leo you’re right, we need to get going. I’ve abandoned my twin brother far too much and he needs support. I’ve almost lost him more twice before - I can’t risk losing him again. You’ll help me protect him? You’ll make sure nobody touches him?”] Lexi asked in desperation, falling straight into Leo’s trap! She had just lost Piper and if anyone would know where she was taken to, it would be Dustin. After just losing one friend and being forced to turn another into a Vampire, she couldn’t lose her closest bond! After all the attacks on her twin recently, there was absolutely no reason for her to doubt. Beside’s, Trey had already killed one Sirhan Alpha. With Dustin now stepping up, what if it was all part of his plan? If it wasn’t for Baxter and Candy’s arrival, she probably would have already been out the door!
[#FF69B4 “There you go Baxter. We weren’t going with them anyway. I need to get you away from here and you’ve got yourself in enough trouble. Come on you annoying brat...”] Candy huffed, tired of this trade in conversation. As Leo grabbed Lexi’s arm, Candy grabbed her brothers and started to force him out of the room. Usually the timid boy would have accepted his sisters decision, not daring to have the bravery to resist but there was something different this time. He had seen the dangers that his friends had gotten themselves into and just how close to death they had been. He had seen the risk and he couldn’t just stand back again! His cowardice was the reason it all went wrong. If he was braver then Piper might still be around and Lexi wouldn’t have been forced to do something she instantly regretted!
[+blue “Lexi he’s lying! You trust me don’t you? He’s using your brother to play on your emotions to do what he wants. Candy I can’t....”]
[#FF69B4 “Stop getting involved and move it!”] Candy snapped in intervention, shooting a sharp glare at Lexi for pulling her brother into another situation!
[#FF8C00 “No he’s... Baxter is he...? Leo I thought you cared!”] Lexi hissed, trying to pull her arm away but Leo’s grip was too tight!
Just as Candy sharply pulled her brother, prepared to abandon Lexi to whatever her fate was, Trey came bursting in with his teeth bared and a fierce and threatening growl rumbling from his throat.
[+brown “Leo I am giving you one chance as your Alpha. You let her go, you come with me, and you become our prisoner. Or I do what I need to do and rip you apart here and now. I know what you have done. You betrayed each and everyone of us! Let he go!”] Trey demanded, pacing forward and snapping his teeth as he spoke. Leo had a matter of seconds to make a decision. Trey was strong, fast, and when he used his brute strength he was lethal.
[+brown “Lexi he isn’t on your side. He has never been on your side!”]
[+blue “Lexi Trey is speaking the truth! He hasn’t betrayed you!”] Baxter shouted up, fighting against his sister to try and stay for as long as he could!
There was a clear hesitation in Lexi. She wanted to get to her brother and make sure he was safe! If Baxter didn’t turn up when he did, she would have no intention of trusting Trey. Biting her lip, she nodded towards one of her new best friends and in an attempt to try and get away from Leo and open up an attack for Trey, she lifted up her arm and bit down her fangs on Leo’s hand, immediately trying to drain some blood and use some of her venom to force him away!
Raven could hardly feel anything besides the pain. She wasn’t sure how she was still conscious and a part of her longed for the chance to slip into that numb abyss to escape the torture for just a little while longer. But another, strong part of her pushed her to fight. Maybe it was her Wolf’s survival instincts or the responsibility of a Beta, but for whatever reason, Raven struggled to keep herself awake despite the pain. She knew she wasn’t safe yet and that there were others here that needed protection. She was in no shape to help those around her, but she would do anything to help lessen the burden on those who remained.
The voices around her were still muffled and distorted from her severe concussion, but she could pick out a few that were familiar: Anton, Trey, Tink… of course that didn’t help to clear things up in his muddled mind. One of those was supposed to be dead and the other two had been actively looking to kill her over the past few hours. Raven didn’t remember everything from when she was Feral, but a good chunk of it was coming back to her in flashes. It was strange: like looking at herself from the other side of a mirror. She knew it was her, but had no control over her actions. She did, however, remember Trey’s aggression towards her at the Resistance Den and the fact that five of his pack came looking to kill her . She also remembered Anton’s part in her torture. The confusion shift between him looming over her with a bloody belt in hand to him gently stroking her fur and muttering soft reassurances. She remembered the gun against her head, the violent snap of her leg in his hands, and those words… even before she turned feral, Anton wielded his words like a weapon against her. So why was he here now? Why was he shaking under the burden of her weight when he could have easily passed her off to the Resistance with a clear conscience?
The mystery behind her former partner’s motives was giving Raven an even stronger headache, so she pushed it to the back of her mind. She was too weak to fight anyway, so for good or bad, she would just have to wait to see what Anton had planned for her.
As the group stepped out into the moonlight, injured wolves each wined in relief. Raven turned her face towards the comforting glow, letting the healing light seep into her battered skin. The extent of her injuries was severe and she would need hours if not days under the moonlight before she would be out of danger, the moonlight did seem to be fading some of the smaller bruises and knitting back the shallowest of cuts. Even her breathing slowly started to even out, no longer coming in short sputtering gasps. She still had a long way to go, but one thing was clear: getting Raven into the moonlight saved her life. Even Amber began to stir after several minutes of soaking in the moonbeams. By the time they neared the den, the red-furred wolf was fighting to open her eyes.
Amber was weak and disoriented, but she recognized the fur of her Alpha and knew she was back with her pack. That fact both relieved her and terrified her! Amber had tried to fight Helena’s compulsion and did a much better job than her other rescued packmates, but in the end she too had let the witch get her claws in. The combination of drugs, beatings, and shocks drove Amber out of her mind and forced her to attack her own Alphas! At first, Amber thought she may have been hallucinating or remembering wrong when she thought back to the fight and tasted Tink’s blood on her fangs, but as she blinked her eyes open, and saw her formerly-dead Leader riding another from their pack, the chill of reality set in. Tink was alive… and Amber almost killed her! By the time the group set foot in the Resistance’s den, Amber started to panic. She squirmed, rolling off of Trey’s back and hitting the ground painfully hard. She couldn’t be here! She was a traitor! They shouldn’t trust her! Why didn’t they just leave her for dead?!
[#005500 “N-no… No! I didn’t… I didn’t mean… I.. Tink...”] Amber stuttered, hardly able to get the words out with her head still spinning from her injuries. She wanted to tell them not to trust her, to banish her right now before Helena could force her to do anything else to hurt them! But as she peered around at the familiar wolves and vampires of her pack a far more urgent threat struck her.
[#005500 “L-leo! He killed them all! Alpha, you h-have to stop him! He’s going after Lexi!”]
Leo knew he was running out of time. So far it sounded like he had Lexi’s trust; foolish, gullible child. It would be too easy to lead her away from the safety of the den and back to the Council. Leo had heard the orders his Mistriss had given to Shayd. The pup, Dustin, was as good as dead, and with Lexi delivered to the witch’s hands, there would be no one left to oppose her. After losing one twin, Eli would never risk losing his daughter as well, and he would bow to Helena in a show of submission that none from the Council had yet to drag out of him. Maybe his mistress would even reward Leo when he brought her the girl? Maybe he wouldn’t be beaten and starved like the rest of her pets! Maybe he’d be her partner, not her slave!
[#776677 “Your brother, he’s fine as far as I know. He and your father left hours ago after Trey kicked them out. But he’s not safe, Lexi. Trey is hunting down Raven as we speak – he wants her dead and you know your brother will try to stand in his way. Who knows what Trey will do to your brother if he tries to protect Raven? Don’t worry about the rest of the pack, I can sneak you out the back. No one will even know we’ve gone! But we have to leave now!”] Leo argued, trying to rush the young girl out the door. He thought everything was going smoothly until the human and her newly turned little brother arrived. Leo didn’t like the way the boy was looking at him and the questions he asked made Leo nervous.
[#776677 “Honestly kid, I don’t care if you come with us or not, but I figured you’d be safer with Lexi. You and your sister were recruited by Anton, right? I don’t want Trey trying to use you against the Sirhan, but if you’re leaving with your sister, then that’s fine by me.”] Leo said, not wanting to waste the time convincing him. But this whole meeting was taking far longer than expected and soon Leo could hear a commotion in the main hall announcing that Trey and Tink had returned. Their time was up!
[#776677 “That sounds like Trey! We have to go now, Lexi! Don’t worry, I’ll bring you directly to your brother; you can trust me!”] Leo lied, not realizing Baxter would be able to see the deception in his tone. To add to his urgency, he reached for Lexi’s and arm pulled her towards the back exit, ready to leave with her before the others could intervene.
They had both faced death on numerous occasions. Anton had witnessed many people die, he had seen himself and Raven on the brink of their own lives but each time that edge was getting closer. Not only was it getting closer, but it seemed death wanted to greet them both in the most gruesome and excruciating ways possible. When he was knelt by Raven’s side and his hand touched her neck, his eyes widened at how quickly her own blood covered his own palm. As he pulled it away to examine the severity, his own fingertips were already dripping with the amount of blood exposed from her wound. He might have been on a come down from the drugs, but the reality of how severe this situation was, snapped him back to a strong reality. His partner was dying, with most of the injuries by his own hand. The blood now on his skin was the perfect symbolism of what he had done. Helena hadn’t even played much regarding Raven’s injuries! She might have been the instigator but every wound was Anton’s decision, and Amber’s attacks were the final blow. Now all he was relying on was a strange toxin, provided by a stranger, with no guarantee of what would happen.
So the moment Anton poured that liquid every uncomfortable human feeling twisted inside him. The nausea, the anxiety, the pounding headache, chest pains, shaking nerves... it was nothing compared to the suffering Raven was enduring but selfishness, Anton resented that he felt this way. He hated everything about the fact he stayed and somehow had enough care that he couldn’t just run away.
Watching Raven’s body break and snap, he didn’t bother to turn to see the horror in the other Vampire’s eyes. For the entire time he stared at Raven, watching every wound split open and that pool of blood grow even more underneath her. He could get her out if she turned human, but the question was would she survive the transformation? With every sickening snap he could see every laceration widening, the fibres of her tendons shredding away and exposing the wound further. It was as if his eyes were determined to focus on every single detail of her bloody and broken body, scarring Anton’s mind with the images he wouldn’t be forgetting soon... not without another shoot up.... While the sounds of Raven’s breaking body took over the sound of the room, Anton was silent. Even as Tink and Trey barked at him to move, and to leave Raven to get picked up by the others, he remained frozen by her side as if in a trance.
When it all finally came to an end, Raven’s blood had pooled so deep that Anton who was knelt by her side, had his knees soaking into the puddle that had crept towards him. His jeans were stained and parts of his clothing had splatters from where it had shot from her wounds. His own eyes finally dared to look at Raven’s, expecting to see all signs of life to be disappearing at a rapid rate but instead, his own eyes narrowed as if trying to focus and taking a double take. Was that... she was opening her eyes? She was looking at him? They didn’t carry that controlled and clouded gaze that Helena seemed to summon on her puppets. Through it wasn’t the small amount of life in her eyes that caught Anton off guard, it was when she said his name.
He wanted to say something back. He wanted to say something that would make a difference, that would give her some hope and some reason to fight but how could he? He broke her. He was the one who beat her, knocked her down, continuously worked on Helena’s side to try and keep her alive but with each action he was taking away Raven’s survival. Instead, despite his broken wrist, his desire for another hit, his come down, his fucking exhaustion from being a pathetic human, he slipped his hands under Raven and lifted her up. He blood was pooling down his shirt, and within moments it was hard to tell who the blood was coming from!
[+purple “Anton, you don’t have to... let us take her.”] Tink ordered, waving over one of her own but as the Vampire got close, Anton shoved him away.
[b “I’m doing it...”] Anton hissed, as the Vampire made a second attempt to try and take Raven from his arms, he gave a much more forceful shove and a menacing look crossed his face.
[b “I said I’m fucking taking her and no one is stopping me! Come near me again and I’ll snap your fucking neck!”] Anton growled, pulling Raven closer to himself and taking a defensive step back.
[+brown “Ok! It’s ok Anton but we need to leave. We’re only trying to help. Tink come on. I’ve got Amber.”] Trey intervened, wanting out for all of their sakes. Tink was bleeding out, Amber was barely surviving, Anton was losing his mind and Raven didn’t have long left at all!
The group made their way out without any more threats from the Council and it wasn’t long before the exit of the tunnels were coming closer, and the shine of moonlight started to reveal itself. Trey sprinted out with Amber, wanting her in the moonlight as quickly as possible and Anton was hot on his tail. Once Trey was outside, he let out an Alpha’s howl, calling out for any Resistance wolves who could get to them as quickly as possible to aid in their travel. Tink needed an urgent blood supply and despite how she was keeping a brave face, Trey could see that she was close to becoming feral which as a Vampire, was the last few survival signs.
Anton however kept Raven close, only stretching out his arms in some attempt to expose her to the moonlight more as they stepped outside. He knew it would need hours of rest, but it was those initial bursts of light that would make the difference. His wrist was bursting in pain, his body was starting to hit the peak of withdrawal and his face was covered in drips of sweat while his body shivered, but the one thing keeping him going was his focus and persistence on Raven.
[b “I’m here... I’m here Raven. You’re not dying because of me. You’re better than that. You hear me? You’re better than that! I did it because I couldn’t let her control you. I did it because I had to so don’t you dare throw that back and die.”] Anton pleaded through gritted teeth, already rationalising his actions in his mind which brought a twisted look on Tink’s face, but Trey shook his head to stop her from arguing back. Anton’s thought processes never made sense, but it was his actions that spoke volumes. He was still trying to keep Raven alive.
Then just on cue, more Resistance wolves started to make their appearance. Some couldn’t believe that Tink was alive, while others sprung to action upon seeing Amber in a broken state. Tink used to last of her strength to jump on the back of one of the wolves.
[+purple “I hate to rush but we really need to get back. Anton, hand her over. We need to get back, get everyone healed and get moving to Dustin. Remember, he’s still at risk. We need to hurry.”] Tink reminded, not focusing on his care for Raven as she spoke as she knew it might cause Anton to refuse further. Instead she played on his other thought of focus. Somehow, it broke through to Anton and he started to make his way to one of the wolves, gently resting Raven on top while another wolf approached to pick Anton up.
[b “You watch her. You hear me? Don’t let her die.”]
[+purple “We won’t Anton.”] Tink assured and now that they had the resources to get back, Trey lead his pack back towards Resistance territory with the intention to quickly deal with Leo as soon as he was back...
Lexi had been stuck in the medical bay for hours, attached to an IV bag of blood. All she wanted was to check on Baxter and her mind was also on Piper. Dustin was never going to forgive her once he found out that Piper was taken away and Lexi just let her go! She was also the reason Baxter was now having to live the life of a Vampire. As Leo walked in, Lexi was sat crossed legged on the bed and looking out the window, so lost in her thoughts that Leo’s voice caught her off guard. Her head snapped around, almost too quickly that as soon as she saw Leo, she shot him an apologetic look.
[+orange “Hey Leo, sorry... yeah I’m feeling a lot better. We’ve all been through Hell and back recently. Do you know if Baxter is ok? Candy didn’t look too happy...”] Lexi asked, biting her lip as she did; she wished there was another way but if she didn’t turn Baxter, he would have died! Not that Candy would see that. All Candy saw was that Baxter was turned into a monster.
[+orange “Wait, Trey did what...? Is Dustin ok? Leo is my brother ok? You must know something more? Of course I can trust you but surely the rest of the Pack just won’t let me walk out of here and you’re still injured.”] Lexi spoke back, completely convinced with Leo’s act. She was so exhausted and had so much on her mind, there was no opportunity to even consider doubting!
[+orange “I don’t know if Candy will let Baxter come with us... she was really angry. I think she’s...”]
[#FF1493 “Angry? That doesn’t even cover it Lexi. My brother should never have been put in that situation. We are leaving and you won’t be seeing us but he wanted to see you before we went.”] Candy cut in, walking into the room with a bag on her shoulder and an impatient look on her face. A very sheepish looking Baxter appeared from behind, already showing the effects of his transformation. His shaggy hair was white, his skin was pale and cold to the touch, and there was no rise and fall of his chest.
[+orange “Bax. I’m so...”]
[+blue “Don’t. I just... wait a minute, are you ok?”] Baxter asked, immediately picking up on the worried look on Lexi’s face.
[+orange “Leo has just told me that we have to leave. We can’t trust Trey anymore and I’m worried about Dustin. He was checking that we should all go together but if you and Candy are leaving then I guess you’ll be safe. You just need to get far away.”] Lexi explained as she slipped off the bed, gingerly pulling the IV from her arm. As she did, Baxter continued reading her face before turning to Leo.
[+blue “Why do you want us all to come with you? And why such a rush? Trey would have no leverage with us against Dustin, so why do you need all three of us?”] Baxter asked, not trusting Leo at all and already reading the lies, but he had to be careful. If he openly spoke out, he could be putting them all in danger!
[#FF1493 “Who cares Baxter, we’re not going with them. Say your goodbyes and lets get going.”]
[#ff00ff “Take it back? No! Even after all these years, you still haven’t learned your lesson, Trey! I doesn’t seem to matter how many of your precious Resistance I kill or corrupt, you always think you’re going to miraculously save everyone in the end. Well, it’s about time I prove to you that your pathetic attempts at heroism will only get your friends killed!”] Helena snapped back, no longer harbouring any interest in bargaining with the Alpha. Shayd was her oldest and most loyal pet. He was her strongest weapon - Bloodborn destined and trained to become the Alpha of one of the most feared packs in the city! He was nearly three times the size of the little blonde pup, with enough raw muscle, honed skill, and ruthless power to overtake Dustin in seconds! And the best part? That stupid pup probably trusted Shayd! All he would see is the rescued older brother of his own trusted Beta! He’d probably follow Shayd to his grave without even a hint that something could be wrong!
It seemed that trusting Helena’s pets was a common weakness among this group. Tink willingly opened herself to Amber’s attack and was now being torn into by her former best friend and Anton was currently staring down the feral gaze of his own partner!
Raven was snapping and snarling as she made her approach, looking hell-bent on sinking those sharp fangs directly into Anton’s frail human neck. It wasn’t until the last second when her true target was revealed. Helena cursed, furious at this unexpected turn of events! She had forced Anton to torture that wolf, how the hell was she still trying to save his life?! Her only saving grace was that this betrayal wouldn’t stand for long. Amber was badly injured, but she was still in far better shape than Raven. By the end of this fight, that troublesome hybrid would be dead and Helena would have one less enemy to contend with… at least, until the Old Man showed up. Helena made her escape before she could see what happened, but she highly doubted the hybrid could have survived. Even with the Old Man’s intervention, the wolf was clearly dying.
It was a testament to her condition when Raven didn’t even stir as Anton approached. She lay deathly still, with the only sign of life coming from the shallow, laboured breaths and the shaky rise and fall of her chest. It was a reflex, more than anything – with her vampire blood, Raven should even need to breath, but her feral instincts wouldn’t stop the painful wheezing breaths that shook her core. Raven was bleeding heavily from her torn neck, the her fur was wet with sweat and blood from her fight. The welts and gashes in her back from Anton’s beating were reopened and her back leg jutted out at an unnatural angle as she lay there. But for a wolf who was always very defensive, especially when she as injured, she didn’t even stir when Anton approached. As he stroked the fur on her neck, Anton would be able to feel the sticky residue of blood and the torn flesh beneath her fur. A closer look would reveal a frightening splatter of blood by her muzzle, indicating some internal injuries as well. Helena was right, Raven wasn’t going to survive much longer. At this point, sheer survival instinct alone was keeping her breathing, but soon even that wouldn’t be enough.
As the strange liquid seeped into Raven’s mouth and trickled down her throat, the hybrid began to sputter and choke. The wet, rasps of breath seemed to struggle more now and the wolf hardly had the energy to swallow down the liquid! It took several seconds before the drug took effect, but when it did… the results were horrifying.
Raven’s body violently jerked and twisted, her bones snapping and muscles tearing so painfully, it brought the poor creature out of unconsciousness just to experience the torment. The sick crack of bone and torn flesh was so loud, it almost drown out the painful yelps of the hybrid as her body contorted and twisted, breaking itself into pieces. For any of the vampires in the room, it might have appeared as if the Old Man’s drug was killing her in the most painful way possible, but both Trey and Anton would know better. This wasn’t torture… it was transformation.
Soon the patchy fur was receding, leaving torn and bruised flesh in its place, and Raven’s canine form soon twisted and reformed into that of a human. She was left in her ripped jeans and tank top hanging loosely on her form. The back of her shirt was shredded, revealing the deep, angry gashes that littered her raw and beaten skin. The injuries that looked terrible on the wolf looked even worse on the human. Her neck was torn and shredded into ribbons, her arms were littered with deep bruising and fierce bites, and her broken leg looked even more mangled with the joint no longer hidden by her fur. The violence of the transformation ripped open any wounds that had started to heal, leaving the young woman lying in a pool of crimson. When the transformation finally ended, Raven had just enough strength to open her eyes, seeing the human sitting before her and - for the first time since turning feral – she recognized who he was!
[b “A-An-ton?”] She choked out, her voice as broken as her body. In true Raven fashion, she moved her arms to her side as if trying to lift herself up, not caring that she was still fighting for survival with every feeble breath. Fortunately, it would be a lot easier dragging a human out of here than a wolf, so they at least had a chance of getting her home. But if Raven was even going to make it home, she needed exposure to the moonlight. Right now, that would be her only chance at surviving this.
Back at the resistance, Leo got the call that his cover was blown. If even one of those wolves or vamps made it out alive, they’d know he was no longer loyal to the Resistance and that he was the one betraying and murdering his own pack. Leo needed to get out of here, but his Mistress wouldn’t be pleased with his cowardice if he just ran. No, he’d need a way to get back in her favour… and he knew the perfect thing!
[#776677 “Lexi? Feeling any better?”] Leo said, stepping into the room. He had already been treated by the medics, now sporting several bandages to cover his wounds from his fight with Amber. Of course as far as anyone else knew, it was injuries from his struggle with Raven!
[#776677 “Lexi I… I don’t want to seem disloyal, but… well, being a prisoner of Helena gave me a fresh perspective. I don’t agree with what my Alpha is doing, so even if I have to go behind his back I have to clear my conscience. Lexi, he ordered us to keep you here, away from your brother. Trey and Dustin fought… they broke the alliance between the Resistance and Sirhan and now I’m worried Trey’s going to use you as leverage. You need to get out of here. You, the human, and the new vampire, you all need to leave. If you come with me now, I can get you out of the territory unseen, but you’ll have to trust me. Can you do that?”] Leo asked, pretending to care about her wellbeing, as well as Candy and Baxter’s. If he could get they to follow him out of the protection of the pack, he could kill the human cook and her little brother, taking out two of Sirhan’s newest allies, and then hand deliver Helena’s greatest rival to her! All he needed was to get Lexi, Baxter, and Candy out before Trey and the others got back!
Trey was battling between keeping his attention on Helena and fighting for his own survival. The moment he stood to try and keep his focus on Helena, it seemed another power-hungry Council guard was literally jumping on his back, trying to rip his throat apart! Tink’s extra reinforcements were definitely buying them time, but that was it. With Helena’s control over his best friend and Raven, with Anton losing the will to defend himself... they were only surviving to listen to Helena’s taunts for longer. Just as Trey ripped another vampire from his back, he turned just in time to see Helena holding the familiar device which caused his entire body to tense. For a brief moment, within the chaos, Trey had frozen on the spot - shell-shocked with what he just made Helena do.
He just sentenced Dustin Palmer to death.
[+purple “Take it back! I said take it back!”] Trey screamed a bloodthirsty howl, the agony of his decision wrenching from his heart with the realisation of how he pushed Helena’s insanity too far. If he could, he would have leapt up on that balcony and ripped her apart! Before he could however, he was pulled back into the fight. For now Dustin was on his own again and unless by some miracle they survived this; The Resistance and Sirhan would be destroyed.
The despair in Trey’s voice was enough for Tink to risk everything to get her friend back. She had only heard the rumours of how much the pack’s had been falling apart but now she was witnessing it first hand! There was a fresh look in Anton’s eyes, behind the bloodshot gaze, glaring between Helena and Trey with utter hatred for what they had just forced upon Dustin; but there was still no strength to fight. Trey was crazed; not fighting tactically like he used to but like a rabid dog! Raven was barely standing but it was Amber who had her full attention. She had full faith that if she could somehow get through to her friend, if she could get her to come back to reality, then half of this mess would be over! Amber had the strength and smarts to beat Helena’s control and as Tink opened her arms, there was a smug smile on her face. She could see Amber was listening to her words. They might not have been sinking in but she could tell there was a partial recognition. All she had to do was keep talking and maybe, just maybe it would inspire Anton as well! He could do the same with Raven. Both of them together could get their friends back and then the fight would switch in the power dynamic.
Instead, all the moment proved was how much Tink had missed. Things weren’t as simple as they used to be and as Amber fell to the floor with the click of the remote, Tink didn’t even have time to drop her arms as the concern grew! Even her quick reflexes weren’t quick enough for what happened next. As she blinked, when she opened her eyes she saw a flash of red fur in front of her and then her own agonising scream filled the arena. Her hands instantly shot up to Amber’s neck, trying to pry the wolf off her shoulder but she just wasn’t strong enough! This wasn’t just a single bite. Amber was moving her fangs around Tink’s muscles, ripping and pulling! There was already a free flow of blood covering Tink’s right hand side and an artery had already been burst, shooting a spray of blood across the room. If Tink didn’t free herself in the next few minutes - she was going to die the moment she had brought herself back! Though Tink had no fear for herself... she was more determined to survive to protect Amber from the guilt!
[+brown “Argh! Amber! Amber listen! This isn’t you! This isn’t... ARGH! TREY! Speak... Amber you need to hear my voice! Listen to my voice!”] Tink begged between the pain, collapsing to her knees as Amber’s weight dragged her down and the blood loss was making her weaker and weaker. Now all that was left standing was Trey who was fighting for his life and Anton... they were doomed...
Or, so Tink thought.
As Anton turned on Helena, there was a slight moment of hope. He was fighting back! Deep inside Anton however, there was a deep and terrifying lack of fear. He was numb. He saw no purpose without the drugs to numb the pain and as his mind cleared, he was feeling the full impact of what he had done. Anton knew he was always destined to die in the hands of the Council. It was a fluke he survived Draven’s attacks... so as Helena made her orders, Anton simply turned his head to watch as Amber and Raven approached.
[b “It’s ok Raven. It’s ok...”] Anton whispered with a shaky and withdrawn breath, with no hatred or anger as she stepped forward.
The blood she was covered in, her own, was due to his hand. This was the revenge she deserved. He couldn’t save her and he couldn’t bring her back. As the two wolves growled, ready to rip him apart, Anton closed his eyes and took a deep and steady breath. It was the most composed he had looked for weeks. Almost peaceful amongst the chaos.
He felt a strong force press against his body, his breath taken from his chest and for a moment he thought that was it. His final breath. His final moment. The addict who died a coward.
Only instead he felt the cold force of the concrete against his body and the sharp pain of bruising already growing on his side. His eyes snapped open as his broken wrist hit the floor again and he only had time to look up to see the bloody battle between the two wolves! Raven had saved his life? She didn’t kill him. Instead now he was left battling with what he could do!? He couldn’t stop them, he couldn’t fight...
Instead his thought process was broken as another figure stepped into the room. Anton stared for a moment, rubbing his eyes the next... had he taken something? What was this old guy doing? Why had Helena run away from some old man!? In a brief moment just from his arrival they had been saved by this mysterious stranger. Even the Council guards retreated as the Old Man made his arrival. Anton was still on the floor as the imposing figure made his approach, staring up with sheer confusion, gratitude, and even for Anton... a slight tremble of fear... he didn’t trust the Old Man, nor why he had came to their rescue but he wouldn’t get a chance to question what had happened. As he was handed the purple bottle and he pointed towards Raven, Anton gripped it tightly in his good hand and quickly crawled over to his partner. His hand went straight up to the fur on her neck, stroking it gently but shakily.
[b “You should have fucking killed me...”] He whispered, staring at the bottle as he did. What if he was giving her a drug? What if this would do something she would hate him for? Not that when she regained consciousness that wouldn’t happen anyway. He beat her. He tortured her. If this old guy saved them, surely Anton had to take the chance with this bottle...
Opening the top, Anton poured the liquid down Raven’s muzzle with his own breath caught in his throat. He wasn’t strong enough with his own condition to get her out and he hoped that somehow, this was a miracle in a bottle.
Tink, despite her rapidly bleeding shoulder, didn’t hesitate rushing over to her friend. She quickly rested her hand on Amber’s chest, feeling for a heartbeat and instantly let out a sigh of relief knowing she was alive.
[+brown “Trey we need to get out now!”]
[+purple “I’m on it. Tink... don’t pull that sort of shit again...”]
[+brown “I don’t regret it Trey. I almost broke through. I know it works. Just... get her up and let’s get back.”] Tink ordered but as she stood up, she almost instantly collapsed again! Luckily her own reinforcements were quick to catch her as Trey, in his wolf form, nuzzled his neck underneath Ambers body and rolled her onto his back.
[+purple “Anton we need to get going.”]
[b “Not until I know Raven... and shit, Dustin... you fucking got Dustin kill-“]
[+brown “He hasn’t yet! We don’t know anything about Dustin but if we waste time here then he will be dead. Trey, get Amber back to base and get all the soldiers you need and head to Resistance territory. We need someone who can break through to Shayd... “] Tink started planning, despite her own blood loss, but stared at Raven on the ground... she was the family link, but she was barely breathing as it was!
[+purple “We can plan on the way. Come on let’s go!”]
<<I'm sorry this took almost a month! But to make up for it, I included a special guest!>>
Helena peered down at her prey, finding Trey’s continued resilience amusing. Hadn’t he learned by now? It was hopeless! He had no chance at protecting his pack now that Helena’s pets had infiltrated their ranks, and as for those twins… Helena had them right where she wanted them.
[#ff00ff “Trey, how many times do I have to prove to you that my threats are real? I have crumbled entire packs, slaughtered countless wolves, enslaved alphas and betas alike! You think those two brats are safe? I didn’t want it to come to this, Trey, I had plans for those twins. But if killing one of them is the only way to prove to you that I’m serious…”] Helena took out a small device from her cloak – the same one she used to communicate with the traitors in Trey’s pack. She hesitated, for dramatic effect, wanting to relish in the growing dread in Trey’s eyes.
[#ff00ff “Shayd? How’s my favourite pet?”] She cooed into the device, answered by the deep, familiar tone of the former Sirhan Alpha.
[#776677 “I’m here Mistress. The pup now trusts me. He’s released me from holding. What are your orders?”] Shayd’s calm, damning voice range out clearly across the arena. Helena knew this would be satisfying. Her eyes flickered over to Anton, knowing he had been close with the boy, and back to Trey, soaking in the potential anguish of a mentor losing his student because he couldn’t keep his own damn mouth shut!
[#ff00ff “Kill the boy. No witnesses. I want Sirhan to welcome you back as their new Alpha when this is all over.”] Helena commanded, adding that last bit to emphasize just how much power and control she had over their friends. Whatever hope or doubt the others had would soon fall and Shayd’s gruff voice sounded once again:
[#776677 “Yes, Mistress. Consider it done.”] With that, the line went dead as Shayd went off to carry out his orders. Helena knew that killing off one of her bargaining chips was a gamble, but the boy was pretty much useless at this point anyway! After all, she had thought him dead only hours ago. It was time to fix that little oversight.
[#ff00ff “Humanity, pride, connection… hardly a match for teeth, fangs, and muscle, wouldn’t you agree Tink? The boy is no match for Shayd. And in the pup’s death, the rightful Alpha will take his place in Sirhan, and your little allied pack will belong to me.”] Helena was smug and overconfident, her smirk never faltering, even as Tink boasted that she’d given away the secret to saving Amber. She was technically right: strong bonds, deep connection, a personal exchange – if she could make Amber remember how close they were, she would no doubt snap out of her Feral state, but only if she calm down and overcome the adrenaline. Amber would have to slow down and relax enough to clear the primal craze from her mind and focus on why she remembered these people and why she shouldn’t hurt them. It would take time – something Helena had no intention of giving her.
Amber was injured from her fight with Leo, and wasn’t nearly as swift as she usually was. As Tink dodged her first few attacked, Amber didn’t have the energy to keep pace. The exhaustion was slowing her down, just enough that Tink’s words started to break through the surface. For Amber, it was like her entire body was submerged in water as she strained to hear the muffled voice of her Alpha break through the surface. She knew there was some reason and purpose to the voice, but nothing was clear enough for her to understand just yet. Still, it was enough to make Amber pause and lessen her growling. She peered at Tink and Trey with a flicker of familiarity… before her entire world erupted in pain.
With a click on her remote, Helena send a fierce shock to Amber’s collar, stunning the wolf out of her momentary weakness and sending a new surge of adrenaline through her blood. The pain, fear, and anger overwhelmed Ambler, drowning out any recognition she had started to build for Tink or Trey. As Tink stood there and opened herself up to Amber, all the red-furred wolf could see was her prey. With a vicious snarl, Amber lunged at Tink once again, sinking her fangs deep into the vampiress’ shoulder. She ripped and tore into the cold flesh in what had the potential to be a very serious, if not fatal attack if no one stopped her! Helena lusted for the moment that Amber would make her final bite. If she killed one of her own Alpha’s, she’d never recover from the guilt! She would be a slave to Helena forever, just to escape the pain and shame of killing one of her closest friends!
[#ff00ff “Once again, you underestimate the power I have over your little friends, Tink. She will kill you. And if one day she ever does break my control, she will remember ever grueling second of it! She’ll remember the taste of your blood, the smell of your torn flesh, and the look in your eyes as your life slips away. Even if I can’t break her forever – the knowledge that she kill you certainly will.”] Helena smirked. That confidence wouldn’t last, however. As Nexus turned his back on her, portraying his disappointment, Helena’s smug grin twisted into rage. With all she’d worked for, all she’d done in order to break down the very fiber of the wolves and rebuild them into her perfect obedient pets, now her hard work and accomplishments will be cast aside for the sake of one, pathetic human’s defiance? That was the last strand of Helena’s patience. She had wanted to control Anton, to prove she could succeed where Draven failed, but he wasn’t worth the trouble he caused.
[#ff00ff “First, you destroy my face, then you destroy my credibility with the Council! No one makes me look bad and survives! Amber! Change of priorities! I want you and Raven to tear that human to pieces! KILL ANTON!”] Helena ordered.
When Anton first asked for Raven’s help killing the witch, the wolf flinched away from his approach and whimpered, expecting more pain. After all – he had beaten her into the ground with his belt, and after showing her some kindness in the cell, he then broke her leg with his own bare hands! But once Helena gave her own order, some semblance of fight returned to Raven’s eyes. She used what little strength she had left to push herself up on her three working legs. She turned her back to Helena, looking to Anton with a deep growl building in her chest.
On the other side of the room, Amber stopped before she could do any fatal damage to Tink. She turned her eyes and her blood-soaked muzzle towards Anton at Helena’s request and started stalking towards him. Now Anton was in the middle of two snarling wolves, both looking like they had the intent to kill. When Amber was close enough, she darted for Anton. At the same time, Raven mustered her remaining strength and surged forwards towards her former partner. But just before making contact, Raven slammed her side into Anton, shoving him to the ground as she met Amber’s attack full force!
Both wolves were badly injured, both exhausted and worn, yet both seemed to be fighting for the death. Raven, despite all the pain and torture Anton had caused her still fought to defend him, while Amber, completely overtaken by Helena’s orders, would kill anyone who stood in her way! The two were locked in a fury of fur and teeth, blood splattering the ground where they fought. Raven was in far worse condition, but her natural skills and fighting ability kept her on par with Amber’s quick, sharp attacks. One thing was certain – if someone didn’t separate these two and find a way to stop them, Raven and Amber were going to tear each other apart!
It was then that in the midst of the chaos, with wolves and vampires fighting to the death and former friends and allies ready to slaughter each other, that a new entity entered the room. A cloaked figured with his head shrouded in a dark hood, with only the length of his long, snow white beard visible beneath, entered the arena, walking with slow, confident steps towards the battling wolves. His one hand was concealed in the pocket of his robes, while his other gripped the tall, twisted wood of his walking stick. When he was a mere few paces away, he reached up and lowered his hood, instantly received a shocked and somewhat wary gasp from Helena.
[#ff00ff “You!”] She spat, clearly the only one in the room to recognize the old man who simple stared at her nonthreateningly. Despite his seemingly passive nature, Helena looked spooked. She retreated with a wisp of her own cloak, leaving her victims and pets alike to fight to the death in the arena.
The Old Man then looked towards the two injured wolves and raised both his hand and his walking stick as if he were a wizard, preparing to cast some kind of elaborate spell! But instead, he simple brought his stick down on the fighting wolves’ heads, knocking both unconscious with a swift, yet strangely gentle strike. With Amber and Raven collapsed at his feet, both bloody and weak, frail and injured, the Old Man turned his mysterious gaze to Anton. He reached out his hand, revealing a small vial of purple liquid to the human. Once Anton took it, he then pointed his wrinkled, shaky finger at Raven’s unconscious form. Without any instruction… without a single word at all – the Old Man turned and walked away in the same, slow, confident steps leaving the room in a state of confusion. No one knew whether the Old Man was a friend or foe, nor what was in the vial he gave Anton. The only thing that was clear was if Trey, Tink, and Anton had any intention of escaping, now was the time!
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...
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