We left when the moon was at it's highest, two ghostly forms flying side by side across the sky.
We had buried Shade at sunset, not far from the cave. We had lost a family member to death and another to Hunters. We could only get one back. And we would.
The moonlight shimmered on our wings, lighting our way with it's pale glow. I felt free this way, even if we were heading in to a fight we were on the losing end of.
"How much farther?" I asked.
"Not much. You can't miss it."
Suddenly the tree line stopped and a great dome rose up from the horizon, the metal shimmering in the pure light.
"Metal netting..." Bear landed in a tree on the edge of the meadow. "To allow in sunlight, but keep everything else out."
The holes in the mesh were very small, but I knew forms that could still get in.
"It's all electric." Bear seemed to know every thought running through my mind and had an answer before I ever said a word. "And the entire area has a cement base that rises up three feet so you can't dig under it."
"What about the gate?"
"Heavily guarded and two inch thick steel that has less than a millimeter of clearance along the ground and a solid silver speed bump that meets it."
"So how do we get in?"
"We'll have to figure that out."
"Have you been in there before?"
"They took Vivian away from me..."
I felt a jealous prick in my heart. She must be his mate. I couldn't think of any other connection that would cause him to say that about some one they cared about being kidnapped. It was foolish of me not to see it sooner. "How did you get in?"
"I destroyed the gate, but that was before the steel one...."
Thinking, I took flight, scanning the guard towers and the doors. I felt a sudden jolt in my heart. Dominic was on guard, his face incredibly grim.
I rushed back to Bear's side. "My brother's on duty."
"So maybe he will help us. Our issue right now is getting in. Getting out will be the easy part."
"And how do we get him to help us?"
I ruffled my feathers in excitement. " Become a mouse for me and you'll see."
If a hawk can frown, he did. Gliding down to the forest floor, he shifted. "Such a weak and useless form...." He grumbled.
"Oh shut up. Go out to the open grass and wait. I'll be there in a second."
The little white mouse sprinted off, the moonlight giving his fur a ghostly glow against the dark grass. Tracking his path with my eyes, I took off, letting out a soft hoot every now and them, watching my brother out of the corner of my eye. I hoped he would recognize a silver owl for what it was.
I dove at Bear, my decent silent, deadly. The mouse hardly had time to brace himself before I snatched him up in my talons.
"Ow! Watch the claws will you!" He squeaked in protest.
"Sorry... Is he following?"
I set him on the ground before settling in the branches of an elm, shifting human to wait, my legs crossed at the knees.
"You sure about this, Echo?"
"Yeah, I am."
Bear settled beside me as a hawk, his feathers ruffled with impatient squirming.
It didn't take Dominic long to find us, his hand on his pistol. "I know you're out here..." He called as he walked between the trees."
"Good." I smiled when he jumped, his startled brown eyes wide. "Hello brother."
"You shouldn't be here." He seemed anxious, but he hadn't pulled his gun. I took it was a good sign.
"You have something that belongs to us." I jumped down, landing with all the grace and prowess of a jungle cat. "We just want her back."
"The little brown-haired shifter." It wasn't a question. It was a statement.
I nodded. "We don't want to cause you harm or any Hunter harm for that matter. We just want her back, to take her home to her family. Both sides have lost lives tonight. We want to keep blood shed to a minimum." Bear landed on my shoulder, his eyes gleaming as they remained glued on my brother.
"Can we trust him?"
I nodded, reaching a hand up to smooth his feathers. "I think we can."
"Who are you talking to?" His voice shook, his eyes scared as he looked from me to the hawk and back again.
I smiled. "Would you like to introduce yourself?"
The snow white hawk glided to the forest floor, his body exploding into the great for that was Bear. He stood at least a head taller than Dominic, his massive arms folded over his chest. And he just smiled as I stepped up to his side.
"Dominic, meet Bear. Bear, my brother, Dominic."
"I do believe we've met before.... Weren't you the Hunter that attempted to shoot her just a week ago?"
Dominic swallowed uncomfortably, his eyes as big as dinner plates. "I thought you said you didn't want to hurt anyone..."
"We don't..." I walked over to my brother. "Bear is here just in case we get in trouble..."
"And how are you getting in?"
"That is why we need you, dear brother."
"Mhm... You're going to help us sneak inside..."
"And go against everything I was raised on?!"
"Either you take us in or we'll find a way to break in with an army twice the size of the one you have in that safe hold." I snarled. "And if we have to break in, I will personally inform your commanding officer that your one and only blooded sister is a Shifter you failed to detect and turn her in as a child..."
He gulped. "Alright. Fine. I'll help you get in."
"And if you give us away before we are through the gates I swear to God I will rip your head from your shoulders before any of your Hunter buddies can even draw their guns..." Bear growled, picking my brother up by the front of his uniform. "Understand?"
"Good. Echo, make sure you've got a good hiding place..."