Persephone dashed through the tunnels, her pulse racing ahead of her own frightened form. Alex lived, the butcher, who had been so close to killing her. If Marcus hadn't stepped in.... She stopped herself, preferring not to think how close she'd come to death's icy grasp.
How did he survive, and how would he "return to his job"? Xennie had done a number on his skull; he was human, that was it for him!
Sephe saw Greg in the tunnels up ahead and ran for him. He was instructing several otherkin to patrol the tunnels. He was still taking things seriously, needing to know if the Fraternity were still in the tunnels. She nearly ran into him, her tiny body trembling. Greg saw the terror in her eyes, he reached for his knives almost expecting to see several Fraternity tearing down the tunnels. Marcus, who had been standing nearby, drew his hand cannon,;the gun barrel was nearly the length of her arm. He trained it on the same hallway she came from as well.
"Greg!! The... Enid, I mean-," she panted. Greg did his best to calm down Persephone. The feline half had left her completely scattered and she paused for a moment as she regained her thoughts. She took a deep breath and continued, "Enid says Alex isn't dead yet, he will eventually come back for us." Greg furrowed his eyebrows and gave a deep growl. Marcus didn't seem to have any reaction to this, he was almost expecting this news. He was in deep thought for a moment before he spoke.
"I didn't think he would stay down that easy. Fraternity are trained to fight until we're no more," he gestured to Persephone. "Time to teach you how to use those blades, young one. I'll get Xennie in a short while. The three of us will return to my flat and recover all weaponry we can carry. At the very least the non-silvered weapons will be effective in arming the tunnels. The silver equipment," he gave a small chuckle, "Claymores are such simple mines, but effective in a pinch." They might as well leave a trap behind.
Persephone didn't say anything as she followed Marcus down the tunnel to a homemade training area. She noticed the room was spartan and had several hooks. Marcus had found a few semi-mutilated bodies of the Fraternity, and had set them up as targets. She felt her blood run cold as she looked at the macabre dolls. They were starting to smell, too, and her nose wrinkled.
Marcus looked at the bodies for a moment before turning towards her. "I know, but you need to understand what it's like to see your blades cut flesh. So you don't freeze in the field." Persephone drew her blades from the sheathes placed at her sides; they were light, serrated, and very lethal. Marcus took one blade from her, and began to teach her first how to properly hold the dagger, as well as alternate stances for different cuts. He gestured to the first dead Fraternity brother and he effortlessly began to place the dagger in each vital, explaining how to tell bleed-outs from kills, and which ones she would need to go for.
Persephone began following the instructions. The first time she felt the body give way to her blade she felt sick; the slicing felt so alien to her, even though the blade was in her own hand. She let the blade fall to the floor with an empty clattering sound; her head felt light. Persephone felt Marcus steady her as fell against him. He gently moved her over to the wall as she slowly regained her balance. Her voice seemed to be tiny in the training room when she finally spoke. She was no killer. This was not her world. "Marcus, I'm s-sorry, I'm not you. I- ... my mother." Her voice trailed off and Marcus nodded.
"I was seven when I took my first life, a werewolf was brought in. Half dead, starving, poor thing. I was probably just as pale as you are now, don't worry." He gave a small grin, "Just realize, if you need to run, then by all means run. Some of us are not meant to be killers." In one fluid motion he drew his pistol, squeezed off a single round with a loud crash. The fraternity's skull shattered with a wet crackling sound. Persephone looked at Marcus for a moment as she wondered what they had done to him, to seal his emotions away for so long. Her thoughts were interrupted as Xennie quietly came into the training room.
Sephe took note of the woman's new clothing. It seemed very suiting for the young woman, a black t-shirt, mini skirt, and denim jeans underneath. Xennie had slung the compound bow over her shoulder. She still had that glow about her that make Sephe slightly jealous, and she squirmed a bit as she remembered the sight of two bodies entangled.
"I'm ready," Xennie announced and Marcus gave her a grin as he left Persephone to what steps he'd given her. Training went on for several hours, and within that time Persephone had become slightly more familiar with her daggers. Xennie, more notably, had gotten very proficient with her bow; she was able to pick off targets at greater distance then Marcus could with his hand cannon. With a little extra training, she was able to draw upon her feral talents to enhance her sight. Several hours passed, and finally the three were eating some rations left behind by Greg. Marcus spoke up, his voice uneasy as he thought about going back to the apartment. However, they needed the weapons that were there.
"Sooner we go, the better. Sephe, you in?" The young woman shook her head.
"I'm sorry Marcus, I'd be better used down here. I can scout around and keep tabs if the Fraternity are about." The former hunter took a careful look at her. She was afraid of Alex being there and Marcus agreed she's safest in the tunnels. Enid could keep an eye on her. He nodded.
"Aye, we'll take the apartment. Just be careful. If you see Alex, don't fight him this time. Just flee, let me handle him. " Sephe nodded and gave Xennie a hug before the two departed for Marcus' old home.
The cool night air teased around Xennie as the two hit the surface. This was the first time she was back among the humans since she had shifted. Her beast anxiously pawed the ground as she finally had an open night to look upon. She desperately wanted to go running through the night, to feel the warm night breeze upon her face. However, she had a mission: This was her chance to prove to Marcus he didn't need to worry about her.
They reached his old apartment and Xennie took note that they really hadn't given him much this time around. The apartment they had shared had been more spacious, held more luxury; this was, well, as basic as you could get. Marcus didn't say much but began gathering ammunition, guns, any blades that would be friendly for the otherkin to use. Xennie sat on the couch and considered him. He had changed. His outward appearance was softer, not as frozen as the Fraternity made him. She finally decided it was time to ask something she'd wanted answered. "Marcus, why did you leave?" He paused for a moment and turned a set of daggers over in his hand before setting them into the duffel bag.
"Xennie, I, I wasn't sure about anything. I grew up with the Fraternity rules. I didn't want to see you get sucked into this world." Drawing back his jacket, he revealed a series of scars raking along his arm. "This is the end result for me, I don't think the Fraternity will let me go without a fight." Xennie didn't say anything further; she got up from the couch. Gliding over to Marcus, she wrapped her tiny arms around his frame.
"Then we fight together, I'm not losing you again." Marcus was taken aback. She was serious about fighting for him. That was a relationship, the desire and will to fight for your lover, the idea that your life is nothing without them. This would take some getting used to, as if his own beast wasn't enough. He felt that part of him, no longer hiding, but making itself known. It was unafraid of the Fraternity. In fact, it was waiting for the next time they appeared. It wanted revenge, badly. Especially against the Butcher.
Marcus wondered if they had a name for him too? Besides Enid's reference of King, that was a whole new set of questions. He didn't ponder anything further, just wrapped his arms around Xenia. They were roused by the word that sent them both into panic.
Marcus didn't think, but whirled Xennie around so she was away from the door. He reached into his duster and drew his gun. The instant the first Fraternity stormed the apartment the hunter's chest exploded from the force of the gunshot. Marcus felt the beast stir in glee; this was what it wanted. Marcus decided he'd definitely give in. Time to show the Fraternity they should be very afraid.
He took a step to the side. "Now Xennie!" She had been one step ahead of Marcus, anticipating what was to come. She had unleashed her first arrow: it caught the next member dead on. He made a feeble attempt to pull the arrow free from his chest before collapsing to the ground. Marcus had expended his own cartridge. He pulled the slider loose as the red hot cartridge fell to the ground and loaded the next clip in a single motion. Sliding the barrel back, he heard a scream and spun. Xennie had used the bow to push back a Fraternity who had closed the distance between them. Silver would definitely hurt her, a thought that made Marcus growl as he holstered the gun. He wrapped his hand around Redeemer's hilt, the blade now free. He made sure the Fraternity knew he was coming for him next. The man turned towards Marcus and drove the blade towards his chest. Marcus didn't try to parry, he swung the blade directly at the Fraternity's sword. The two weapons met in a shower of sparks, however, the short blade the Fraternity wielded shattered into a dozen fragments. Marcus' blade on the other hand didn't stop; it bit deeply into his chest.
Marcus growled as he pushed the body from the sword. That was the last of them. He wiped the blade off on the body as he hoisted the duffle bag. He noticed Xennie was gasping for breath, but he had to admit she did very good tonight.
"Good job, let's grab something to drink before we bring these back to Greg. You look a little flushed." He realized this was Xennie's first time taking a life, aside from the potential of the damage she had done to Alex. She handled herself quite well. Hopefully the next time, they would be better prepared. He knew Alexander was still out there, and he would have to fight him again, and this time, he had something to keep living for.