The Heretic

  Bursting from the cover of drifting smoke, they danced across the sky.  From roof to roof, the beings of fur, teeth, and crimson eyes crossed the French capital.  The sun grew dark, and their souls were cleansed of the photon filth that did halt their growth.

  The pack of the damned.  The last true Anti-Savior group that posed true threat to the Order of Mura.  Renegades of the wolfen kind, keen to maintain the long tradition of beastly murder that werewolves were famed for.

  In the air was a stench.  That stench.  A putrid justice enforced by the officials in their carriages, who crossed a hundred miles of different elements to attend what would be the slaughter of the century.  Oh yes, the feral ones would stain history red.

  "Stop twirling the damned blade Victor!"

  From the darkness emerged Mura's ebony carriage.  It was of Victorian style, with stained  red windows and long pale monster skulls jutting from every corner.  It was pulled by immense horses, both of which maintained their graceful stride even with eight legs.  They were purebred Slepnirs, an ancient variation of mythical horses that Imre Mura famously captured in Sweeden.

  Victor was bored.  Though he always was when he wasn't killing, seducing, or otherwise being an ass with his pointless boasts.  But right at the moment, his relief was twirling his enormous sword like a baton.

  "We've been wandering for hours, and I need something to keep me sharp.  Mind your own damned duties!"  He hissed back at the shorter black haired individual.

  Leon didn't care so much about it.  But then again, he wasn't nearly as close to the whirlwind of metal as Dante was.

  "Every minute I have to check and make sure that I still have all my limbs!"

  Victor snorted and jabbed the blade a few inches from Dante's pointy face.

  "Piss yourself?"

   "I will shoot you in the head!"

   "Be quiet out there!  I am trying to think!"  Odin roared from the carriage, his static silhouette standing in the red of the window, sending the candles aboard flickering.

   They shut up quickly.  Dante stroked his smooth black goatee and snorted, putting his cloak over his head.  Victor scoffed at the vanity of his pack-member and went back to his sword swinging.

  Leon had taken point.  He and Victor had been chosen as personal escorts at the meeting, so instead of his usual green coat, he was wearing a fine black suit with embroidered snakes and purple lacing across his chest.  Over that he wore a huge black cape with the warband symbol in crimson.

  A pair of blunderbusses rode in his holsters.  Silver inlaid and pearl stocks with relief art done by his sisters.  Security came from his hands drumming the handles; something in the air of Paris reeked.  It smelled of hostility and violence.  A battle yet to come flooded his senses.
  The premonition was far too accurate.  In fact, at that very moment, something was staring from the top of a new clocktower.  It's long hair billowed outward, and with it danced six sashes of blue and black.  They drifted with the polluted wind against the rising moon.

  "Leon....I've caught you at last."  She spoke with fangs of silver.

  And then she was gone, falling silent through the smoke.  Around her gathered numerous red cloaked beings that fell like rain into the streets.

 "Trouble is in the air."  Victor said, suddenly halting the carriage.

 "I taste it too.  The Wolf-Born are hunting, but they aren't of our pack."  Dante replied as he removed the musket from his shoulder.

  Odin opened the carriage door and looked out.  He stared wide eyed for a moment, "we knew they'd be here.  We continue to the meeting place.  There are not enough of us to try and destroy them."

  "Such evil plagues the city tonight.  I smell not only the heretics, but other demons.  This could be war."  Leon grimaced as he lead the horses on again.

  "No.  We are wolves, and we shall destroy these instigators.  On our pride, they shall not touch the Divinicus."  

  "As you say my Lord."  Leon nodded trudging onward into the mist of the docks.

  The Divinicus was a sight to behold.  Constructed in Avalon, the steam ship was a 32 gun Ironclad vessel that towered as high as any building in Paris.  The dock was crawling with French Mercenaries hired for this day.  They guarded every door, every walkway, and the deck of the ship was bristling with both Japanese and British warriors.

  Ronin from the far east were frequently taken in by the western division of the Soul Swords.  The discipline of the fabled samurai with half the complaints about working with Europeans.  A few men in straw hats held old matchlock weaponry along with their katanas.

  "Lord Mura.  The session has not yet begun, but you are welcome to take your seat inside." Said one smartly dressed British man taking notes on attendees.

  "I see.  Well then, I take my leave of you three.  But I leave something for you to do before."  Quickly he switched to German, "it is upon us to kill the traitor hounds.  They are your responsibility.  We must prove we will not hesitate to kill our own if they lay hands upon the normal."

  The three guards bowed as Mura entered the iron door into the hull.

  "We know what to do.  Let's get to it."  Dante waved, moving quickly down the walkway to the dock.

  "I want to gather some information for the others.  You're welcome to come along."  Leon said to Victor, who payed him little attention.

  "Nein.  I have no interest in talking with these humans."  He strode off behind Dante without another thought.

  Leon sighed.  He turned and studied who was on board at the moment.  Numerous crew men, but nothing escaped his eye.  At the bow sat a man in....English wampyre hunting attire?  Yes, all of the stakes on his belt suggested he was one of their slayers.  Outside of that, pup of a Doberman slept on his flattened knee.

  Leon swept across the deck and sat beside him.  It was certainly the least occupied place on the ship.  The man's eyes rolled sideways, and he nodded a greeting.  He looked very tired, the hunters were famed for generally having muddled sleep schedules. 

  "You need something?"  He asked groggily.

  "I noticed the dog, and immediately was reminded of something my brother had told me, you wouldn't happen to be the English slayer who uses hounds?"

  "Lots of us use hounds."  He replied, stroking the puppy.

  "I simply was curious.  I find my question satisfied."

  The man tilted his head to get a better look.

  "You came with the RechshafftenWolves packlord.  You a Lycanthrope?"

  "Fourth-breed.  I cannot change forms.  I actually did approach with another question in mind."

  "Is that so?"

  "Indeed.  The hound has remarkable senses, some almost supernatural in prediction of storm or approaching prey."

  "They move in numbers, maybe a hundred or more."

  "Of the worst kinds.  Vampyre, Lycan, and numerous other monsters on leashes."

  He grabbed a stake and spun it in his fingers.

  "My dogs smell the wafting stench of war, as do you it seems.  The Crowned Eagles are on alert, and our knights patrol the city."

  "We too search, though few in number, backup from my brethern comes soon."

  "There will be battle tonight.  Can I assume that we will work side by side?"

  Leon smirked slightly and twirled his small wheelock.

  "Oh yes.  Yes indeed."



The End

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