Sitting in a small chair in their room Elseron held his chest plate on his knees, one arm wrapped through into it, searching for the huge lumps and bumps of the inverted dents. When he eventually found one he'd push them out with strong fingers, but this one was being a pain! Pushing hard the effort on his finger tips sent small lances of pain through his wrist, 'Come on!' he muttered through clenched teeth. With a sharp snap the dent bounded out and set back into its original shape, I didn't do that...Looking up he saw Atlas sitting on her bed, looking over at him with twinkling eyes. 'Thank you Princess but don't over exert yourself.'
'Els I could rip apart this building molecule by molecule,' she said lazily turning the page. 'One little dent is hardly going to deplete me of energy.'
'Even so Princess we must be ready to move at a moment’s notice!' he warned putting the ancient relic down onto the floor beside his pualdrons and vambraces.
'I know...' she lowered her book and looked to the plain brown wall, her golden eyes dancing in thought. Although the link between them permeated everything it was sometimes hard to distinguish individual thoughts or feelings, which forced Elseron to ask.
'Are you alright my Princess.' she looked to him then.
'I should have listened to you,' looking deep into his eyes she seemed almost angry. 'I was such a naive fool! You warned me! Even before we came here you warned me how dangerous the upperworlds would be but I disregarded you, I ignored over three centuries of battle experience when you were right all along. You're always right.'
'I was wrong about Elve, about Phaedos.' he smiled to her slightly. 'I'm not always right my Princess.' She didn't smile; she just stared at him, hard. As if she were searching for an answer to some great mystery in his face.
'If we get back home,'
'When we get back home.' he corrected.
'When we get back home I want to make you my right hand.' she said it with all the force and authority of the Queen she was. She could do it, but to do so would go against millennia of strict tradition and scriptures. The Grand Council were the ruling monarch's right hand; the Lord Commander could never, ever hold another place of power.
'Princess!' he blurted out a little more loudly than he had intended. 'The Royal Council will object, there would be political uproar. A Grand Knight can never become an advisor.'
'You're not just any Royal Knight though Els, and the Royal Council is just a bunch of old politicians who sit about discussing taxes. Their only focus is to fill their own pockets not to protect Atlantis, and besides. I am Queen and my ruling is final.' her tone told him that she certainly wasn't about to budge on the situation, Me...the Royal Advisor...I'd become Lord Elseron then...'Els if I have learnt anything by coming here, it is that I need you at my side. You have always been my Guardian, but up here you have been far more than that and it finally made me realise just how much I need you.' she smiled at him softly. He couldn't help but to smile back at her, And I need you just as much as you need me my Little Princess. He'd intended on saying that to himself.
I heard that. Her voice said in his head after along with a wave of humour. Laughing together the door to her room suddenly burst open. Elseron jumped to his feet with a hand dropping to his axe, but it was only Dante.
'We've got a Lycan patrolling outside.' he said quickly. Running from the room he smacked Dante on the shoulder and pulled him along with him shouting,
'Phaedos guard the Queen!' the distant affirmation of his order was little above a pin drop as the two hulking men jumped down the steps three at a time. Phaedos had killed all the cameras except for those in the elevators, he said the stairs didn't have camera's but the foyer did, however in his own words 'fried' the control centre for their cameras so the hotel was essentially blind to their presence. It had actually been Phaedos's idea to go to a cheap road side motel but Dante had refused saying, 'Where is the last place the Lycans are gonna' look? In the middle of nowhere or in a fix star hotel in the middle of the city?' It had seemed so logical but obviously it hadn't worked as well as they'd hoped. 'You said Lycan, is there just one?'
'Yeah, he's miles outside the Blood Claw's district though...they must have familiars around the city.' rumbled Dante as they hit the third floor.
'Humans that want to become Lycans, they call themselves Legionnaires, they do the Lycan's dirty work like disposing of bodies and hiding evidence so if it goes wrong they take the fall for it but their Lycan master gets off.' His mind running Elseron suddenly stopped.
'What are the chances that one missing Lycan would raise more suspicion.'
'Not high, Lycan's are killed by humans who don't want them on their streets all the time.' said Dante stopping by his side, looking down at him with yellow eyes, the blue flecks in the irises sparkling.
'And a missing familiar?'
'They wouldn't even notice it...' Dante smiled broadly. 'I like the way you think old man!' Running down onto the bottom floor the two men slowed to a gentle walk as they passed through the crowded foyer. Elseron was thankful now that Phaedos had hacked the computer system and set every room on the fifth floor as booked; it gave them chance to move Atlas every night and now gave them chance to interrogate a Lycan and his underling in private. Reaching the revolving door they stepped through into the crowded street, Elseron covering his axe with his leather jacket as Dante took a deep sniff of the air, muscles tensing as his olfactory systems worked to pick out the specific scent of Lycan. 'He's round an alleyway at the back of the hotel with a human...'
'You take left I'll take right.' Elseron said looking at the two alleyways that connected to the pavement.
'Good. Fists only on this one old man, any axe strikes and they'll know it was you.'
'Same to you.' nodded Elseron moving deftly trough the crowds of commuters making their way to work or the shops. Darting into the alleyway Elseron rolled his shoulders and cracked his knuckles, it depended on which way the wind was blowing if the Lycan smelt them coming. But he could always hope...A roar shattered through the alley followed by a girlish scream. Running now he rounded the corner and found Dante in his human form wrestling with a strawberry blonde wolf, a small man was running from the two beasts. He was still looking back when he charged into Elseron, hitting his muscled chest the man crashed to the floor then looked up at him with watery brown eyes.
'Oh Jesus...' Grabbing him by the scruff of the neck Elseron punched him square on the jaw. It took just one hit to knock him out.
'Help me with this naked idiot would you?' boomed Dante. 'We'll carry them up the fire escape.
The room was cold and dark with just a single light glowing above the Lycan's head, his unconscious naked form was bound to a chair with several chains and padlocks Phaedos had found in a store room. As he woke up his locks of ginger hair fired upwards sharply, his yellow eyes scanning the room. With a grunt of effort he tried to transform but found himself unable, he tried again and again until Elseron stepped from the darkness with axe in hand. 'Wolfs bane, it's coursing through your bloodstream stopping the mutations in your DNA from taking effect. Amazing plant.'
'I will murder you when I break free of these chains.' the Lycan hissed still trying to transform.
'Sure...look,' Elseron pulled one of the arm chairs into the light and sat across from him. 'You're familiar is telling my friends what he knows; now it's your turn. Does Fenrir know where we are?' The Lycan sat in a composed silence for a while before rocketing forward and spitting into Elseron's face.
'Screw you!' Elseron wiped the spit from his eye and stood. With a mighty crunch his fist collided with the Lycan's face, knocking him to the floor with a splatter of blood.
'You know I'm actually trying to be decent here and do the right thing.' Lifting him back upright by the chains the ginger wolf spat out a massive mouthful of blood that looked to contain a gleaming white tooth. 'You're not getting out of here alive. But you can still have a quick death. Clean...dignified. If you insist on being uncooperative however...well...they're many techniques I have learned throughout my years to make people talk.' Elseron gripped his face and forced the ginger wolf to look at him. 'Does Fenrir know where we are?'
'He will soon when I tell him...I'll capture your precious whore Queen, ravage her! Rape her! Over and over, I'll tear her limb from limp, peel that milk white flesh from her bones, lick her blood from her open wounds!' Gripping him ever tighter around the face Elseron eventually let him go.
'So be it.' With a sharp jab Elseron sliced the man’s chest with his axe before turning to the adjoining door.
'This some kinda’ good cop bad cop?' laughed the ginger man.
'Not really.' opening the door Arisa stood there in a new red dress, fang extended, eyes thirsting for fresh blood.
'Wait...Wait!' roared the man as Elseron left.
'Keep him alive Lady Kayne...but feast.' he said to the small woman, she nodded and leapt onto him. He shut the door just as the sound of his scream cut the air. 'Fenrir doesn't know where we are,' he told everyone as they sat around Atlas's bed. 'But he told me that he's looking to hire a hired gun. Some kind of vampire killer.'
'So he knows you're working with us Melody,' smiled the Queen. 'It was only a matter of time.'
'Fenrir will come after you know Melody, personally. You made him look a fool, he will want revenge.' warned Elseron.
'Let him try.' muttered Dante. Cracking his knuckles menacingly.
'That aside,' said Atlas. 'It is clear we are safe here for the time being, so we'll stay until we can regain contact with Pilot and tell him of our situation. He may have a more permanent safe house we could stay at.' I know you don't trust him Els, but Phaedos does, that's enough for me. She said to him.
'Agreed.' Nodded Elseron rising from his chair. 'Everyone get some rest, I'll stand guard.'
As always. Atlas smiled at him.