Red Flow the WatersMature

The cavalry, such as it was, had arrived. Greg had received the call from Orion, one of the werewolves he'd asked to keep an eye on things. They had their differences, but he knew he could count on Orion to check on Xenia, make sure she was coping ok. He was good with werewolves, just not with anyone who wasn't otherkin.

Orion had passed on a simple but effective message: "They're here. It's time." From that, Greg interpreted that the Fraternity was in the tunnels. And that Marcus was as well. So Greg made some calls of his own, most of them even with his cell. A few had to be made by other means, but not everyone felt as comfortable with human society and technology as Greg. Some of them tended to disrupt technology.

It was only 10 minutes later when Greg arrived, a couple large knives hanging from his belt and his body already changing as he walked into the tunnels. It was no time to be nice about things. He could see the group already there, wolves he knew and trusted, each with their chosen weapons, from guns to swords and even a small rocket-launcher. That particular choice got a glare from Greg and he snorted as the were hung his head and let out a sigh.

"Told you he wouldn't let you. Wanna bring down the city on our heads?" A few shoves ensued, but mostly everyone was tense. They were waiting for the last of the rescue crew, but nobody wanted to wait. Almost everyone knew Persephone. Most knew someone else who made the tunnels their home. Casualties could be mounting.

"Greg. 'Bout time. We need to move. Alexander is down there. The Butcher." Nobody had asked Alexander if he wanted a nickname, and nobody particularly cared if he liked it. It was, however, deemed rather appropriate by the otherkin.

"They're coming," Greg growled, the scent of blood tugging at him. His control was finely tuned, but even he was having problems holding himself together. It smelled like a slaughter house, and damned if that smell wasn't sweet to them all.

A throat cleared, and the weres moved aside in surprise. "We're here. Let's go. There are a few debts to be cleared tonight." The voice belonged to a young woman. Her name was Enid, or at least that was as much as any otherkin who was not fey knew. She was most often seen in the subway and had, in fact, seen Marcus there. Debts to be paid.

Her hair held something of the look of twigs and bark, her skin was faintly shaded green. Lips too red, teeth just a little too sharp. All the angles of her face looked like they could cut. She was beautiful, but dangerous. With her came others. Some looked human enough. Others could have climbed out of the sewer drainage system itself. It was rather probable one had, considering the smell. The Fey had arrived to lend their aid.

The werewolves took point, Orion and another two acting as scouts. Beneath their feet the cement was sticky and the occasional footfall caused a splash. Then they saw the first place Marcus had encountered a group of the Fraternity members. Pieces of bodies littered the ground. Scraps of cloth mingled. Most of it was fairly unidentifiable even to creatures that were quite familiar with carcases.

"Well fuck. Nothing here to fight. Not even any pieces bigger than a steak. Barbeque, anyone?" The comment echoed, and rough laughter followed it, but most were too tense to follow it up. The blood, the meat, it put hungry looks on the faces of the weres. And on the faces of a few of the fey. Not every story of fairies was a pretty one, and those that weren't were much more likely to be true.

"Keep going," was Greg's terse order. The carnage was impressive, although it didn't surprise him considering Marcus's training. Despite a very careful eye, Greg saw very few bodies of otherkin mingled. Orion had done a good job of getting them out, at least as many as he could. But not Persephone. Not Xenia. Those thoughts tightened Greg's jaw and he felt a growl build in his chest. Instead he wrapped a clawed hand around the handle of one of his knives.

They moved more quickly once they realized that they were not going to run into much opposition. At least not yet. Blood dripped from walls, and in one place one of the fey paused to push at a chunk of flesh with a toe, flipping it over to discover the shreds of a cheek and lip. "He is quite the weapon. It is time he fought for us. I wouldn't mind following him around, cleaning up after him." The grin could be head in the voice, and Greg glared at Enid who grabbed the boggart by its throat. A squeak was all it could manage, but when she dropped it it scurried back, out of sight behind others.

Sounds of battle, finally. It sped their steps, although the weres were still careful. No surprises. Not now. Just let them be in time.

They heard a scream of pain and Greg waved them all into a run. Around the corner, and they saw Alexander hunched over Marcus. they heard his invocation. Then they heard a sound of mindless fury as the blade in his hand disintegrated. Marcus slumped to the floor, the beast assured that he was safe enough for the moment.

Debts to be paid.

Every scrap of metal that was not iron fell from Alex, eaten away. He turned, his clothes the wet black that comes from fresh blood that has started to dry. Rents showed meat where bullets had shredded his armor.

"No!" he snarled, ready to take on all of them. "I will not be denied. He will die for his sins, for letting the bitch make him one of them. For failing in his duty."

The sound of a metal pipe connecting with the side of his head rang in the silence. "I am not a bitch, and I didn't do this to Marcus. You did." Alexander slumped to the concrete, his head oozing blood and tiny shards of bone white in the mass of meat and hair that had been the side of his skull. Xenia stood behind him, her body trembling, clutching the pipe she and Persephone had found with white knuckles.

Greg was the first to react, and his bark of laughter was cruel in its glee. "Alexander, the Butcher, finally at our mercy. We will show him exactly how much we have."

"No. There's been enough killing." Xenia's voice was strong, even if she looked like a light breeze could blow her over. The scent of terror clung to her, but determination blazed in her eyes. "Marcus needs help. We have to get him out of here. Just... leave Alex. His fate will be in God's... hands." It felt odd, speaking of God. She had always believed, or at least sort of believed, but if the Fraternity served God, she wanted no part in it. She wasn't too sure what others believed in, but for the moment, what she believed in was Marcus.

Greg growled low in his throat, the others around him bristling at the thought of this baby giving them a command. What did she know? She hadn't lost people to this murdering bastard. She was so new.

"She's right, you know." The voice of reason came from Enid, a surprise to Greg. He turned, his anger dropping down a couple notches as he looked at the fey with one eyebrow raised. "If you don't tend to the hybrid he is not going to make it. That would be a shame, don't you think? And now that our debts are paid and left to the fate of those who watch such things, we will be going." With that the fey melted into the shadows, a few of them with resounding footfalls. Not all would leave the tunnels, not with such a feast laid out for them. But they would be gone long before the Fraternity could send in another crew.

Xenia had knelt beside Marcus, tears pooling in her eyes as she looked at the wreck that was his body. His duster was shredded, the red glistening with blood. His body had changed, not to the shape of a wolf as hers had, but to that man-wolf shape that Greg and the others wore. She had heard the woman refer to him as a hybrid, whatever that meant. But he was one of the monsters too now.

Swallowing thickly, Xenia lifted her head, meeting Persephone's eyes over Marcus's ruined flesh. "He might make it. Might not. But he's strong, gonna take a whole lot to kill him. If anything can." She said nothing about what being a hybrid could mean. But she knew, and she looked to Greg, meeting his eyes. Marcus had become the weapon. It just remained to be seen whether he would destroy all those around him or only the Fraternity for their sins.

Carefully, Greg hoisted Marcus's body. The doctor was almost the same size as the man he cradled, but he made it look effortless. Silently, he turned and led the way out of the tunnels, a soft growl enough to discourage those who glanced at Alex's body, considering remaining behind to finish the fallen monster off when Xenia was out of sight.

Just once, Xenia glanced back. She saw the blood beginning to pool around Alexander's body. Knew the contribution she had made, that she might have killed him.

The beast within her was distinctly hoping she had removed the threat that was Alex. The smell of blood choked her, though, and she slipped an arm around Persephone, helping the girl hobble out now that she had returned to looking like a very battered human teen. She was afraid for Marcus, afraid she would never get to talk to him again. Her beast rumbled within her, its bloodlust still thrumming within her, and she knew one simple fact.

For Marcus, she would slaughter the whole world. Anything if it would keep him safe.

The End

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