The quiet itself was enough of a warning that it hardly shocked us when the mass of black forms rose in their hundreds from the forests below. What shocked me was the sheer numbers they had sent out; maybe they expected more of us? Or perhaps they were just showing us how many beasts they could just throw away as spares.
It would only be a few more seconds before the fastest flyers were on us. I took the moment to wonder how many of the occupants of this helicopter would make it out of the stronghold alive, if any. Considering how horrendously outnumbered we were the realistic chances of any of us making it more than five minutes currently stood at about One Million to One at best. It’s funny how your instincts take over you when you’re in serious danger of being ripped apart by demonic claws. As the helicopter was suddenly rocked and violently shaken by the first strike I swiftly grabbed Layla around the waist with one arm, pulling her into me, it felt cliché but what did I care I was about to be killed. She looked shocked for a half second before I drew her lips straight up to mine. Her entire body stiffened sharply before she melted into the kiss, for a brief moment the outside world did not exist, there were no monsters, there was no war, there was no midair battle and imminent death, there was just us. Nothing more.
The cabin suddenly hurtled around to the left as the helicopter swung on another impact. Layla and I were flung apart, slamming against the side of the chopper. As we slowly supported ourselves upright again we noticed the state of our surroundings. Blood was splattered all around us, well what I could only assume was a demonic form of blood, it seemed thicker than usual blood, and a lot darker. Everyone else seemed to have had the sense to grab onto something to steady themselves. Theo who was closest to the door was covered in it, with an expression of horror, whereas Katha was eyeing it with an almost fascinated stare. Slowly she reached out and wiped a finger of it from Theo’s disgusted forehead. She gently rubbed it between her forefinger and thumb before letting her tongue get a tiny taste of the substance. Theo promptly opened one of the tiny windows and hurled. To tell the truth I was pretty horrified myself until she spoke with great thought as if she were trying to remember something.
“Hard to tell but If I’m right we need to take them down with fire.”
I’d seen a lot of strange abilities and things but I was more than a little bit lost right now.
She smiled “If I’m right the way the van helsings have mass produced these beasts is pretty unnatural even for daemons ....” The cabin swung again and a new splatter of blood came through the few open windows, once again coating the weak stomached Theo. “... its given their blood a couple of qualities we might be able to use to our advantage.”
“Katha always was fascinated by magical properties. Ever since she dragged me into the Library basement at two AM for an ‘adventure ‘ and found some creepy old books.” Theo weakly spoke as he stuck his head in through the window for another moment.
Katha looked at her mothers disapproving glare.
“What? Nobody was ever going to use them! I’m sure they don’t even know their gone. It was years ago! Is this really the time to be mad at me for it?”
The cabin was thrown around again before Layla could answer. The slower fliers were coming fast at us now, soon they would be hitting us in their hundreds. The fire weakness might have been why so many of these creatures weren’t sent out into the main battle on Peace Island. They would have been hoping to weaken us first before they could outnumber us with lesser defences.
“Princess Gloria?” One of the smaller archers seemed alarmed. In the madness I had almost forgotten about her and Thalion flying along next to us. It was hard to think about anything other than finding Morgan and getting her out alive.
“Where are they? Is she hurt?” I kept my eyes on the ever approaching horde of beasts.
He stuttered as he spoke, like he feared my reaction which was not promising at all
“They... disappeared. From what I can... can sense, they uh, well they went towards the stronghold.” Quickly he backed off as far as the small cabin would allow.
“THEY WENT WITHOUT ME?” I suddenly found myself bellowing at nobody but the horde stretched out in the sky in front of us, more had arisen from the forest since we arrived and the sky seemed almost grey with them. “HOW DARE THEY NOT TAKE ME TO RESCUE MY OWN DAUGHTER!” I was so furious words could not describe, I’ve always had a temper even over the little things but this was over far too many lines. I bet it was the elf’s idea. My wings begin to form as my entire body began heating up. Now it wasn’t just the small elven archer backing off, the whole cabin seemed to force themselves back into the walls away from me.
“I’m going after them” I screamed storming towards the nearest door letting my full wing span open up.
“Mike!” The voice was originally so soft I paid no attention to it in my rage.
“Mike!” It called again. Just as I was grabbing the handle a flaming hot hand was on my wrist. “MIKE!” It was commanding enough this time to stop me for a moment. Layla stood there with a look of desperation in her eyes. “If you leave now they will see you, think about it. You’ll give away Gloria’s position.” She was shaking as she stared up at me, attempting to make me see sense even in my current state. “They are the only shot we have of saving Morgan now, the rest of us might as well already be dead.” She shot at glance at Katha before her eyes started filling with tears, yet she still managed to keep the commanding tone in her voice “The biggest chance we can give them is to hold the beasts off, kill as many as possible and distract them enough to give Gloria and Thalion time to rescue her. I know its all you want right now, but you can’t go after her if you want her to live. We need you in this cabin Mike, none of us are commanders, and Morgan needs you here to.”
The tears burst through just as she spoke the last word. There was nothing like the sight of a crying woman that could melt my heart down and stop my anger. I folded my outstretched wings around her and held her sobbing form for a few seconds before the cabin crashed around again. She was right, of course she was. She was risking her own child’s life for the sake of Morgan’s because she believed in us. The least I could do right now was give them both the best shot I could. We would go down with a fight.