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The Blighted [Urban fantasy series] 3
Chapter 1 part 2.
Calvin turned the corner leading to the emergency exit just as Jasmine’s Mac barked a long burst. He quickened his pace sparing a glance back. The kid and Francis right behind him looking almost as scared as he felt. Still he had hope. The situation was bad, the worst he’d been in but if Jasmine could hold them, if they could just make it to the truck. If.. If..
The floor shook as he approached the door. Jasmine’s chi blast, that should have slowed them down. Wouldn’t have killed them of course but it should have at least slowed them down. He hit the door shoulder first plowing his way out to the small landing over the poorly lit parking lot behind the building.
The sun was down; country night had descended on them. The air was cool, the most wonderful thing he’d ever felt, delicious as if he’d never tasted it before, and something was moving to his left.
Calvin swung the glock to cover but it was too late. The werewolf was already airborne. His hart skipped a beat in surprise, but there was no fear, it all happened to fast. Training took over, he fired. The bullets found their mark killing it but not in time.
The dead body smashed into the hunter knocking him heels overhead over the railing.
"Calvin!" Francis yelled, next out the door followed closely by Marshal. Calvin lay below them in the parking lot under a large tattooed man, his neck broken. "D**n.." Francis headed down the stairs to his left as fast as possible fighting back tears.
His best friend, most of his friends were dead. "Where’s your car?"
"Over there." Marshal pointed to his right, to the other side of the building at a muscle car parked behind the hotel.
Marshal jumped the railing landing beside Calvin’s body. Snatching up his Glock. "Come on." He almost ran for it, but the darkness swallowing the hundred or so yards separating him from the car just seemed to far to go alone. "Come on." he turned and waited for the wounded man with the submachine gun.
They were hot on Jasmine’s tail as she came through the door, diving directly into a front flip over the rail. She had no idea how she was going to get them out of this, but a calm had come over her as she ran. It was a deep peace she often felt in combat, a comfortable place of faith.
Her soul was saved, so she would live or she would die, either way was victory. Regardless she would fight.
The ground rushed up at her, then abruptly stopped as pain shot through her body. Jasmine heard herself scream from way to far away, she focused on healing, forcing herself back to the here and now. Back to the pain from the vice like jaws clamping on her shoulder. The armor saved the bone from being crushed and stopped all but four k9 teeth from penetrating, but they penetrated deep.
She was falling again. Well-honed combat reflexes kicked in and without even realizing it, she’d stabbed her attacker through the face.
There was howling and gunfire as she hit the ground hard on her injured side.
Marshal emptied the glock at the group on the landing after the women speared one in the head. He hit a couple; one fell in a cloud of smoke. One jumped after the women, two more dove down after him and the Christian commando.
Marshal’s mind stretched and convulsed trying to make what he was seeing not be true. He wanted to wake, pleaded to whatever powers that might be to wake him up.
"Get to the car!!" Francis yelled, grabbing Marshal and shoving him in the right direction.
Marshal looked at the blackness separating them from the car and turned back.
Francis was back peddling one arm hanging bandaged and limp, training the submachine gun on the things with his other. They stalked closer teeth bared, they seemed to be grinning.
Jasmine could feel the strength she’d got back from healing already ebbing away. The bite was too deep; she could slow the blood loss but not stop it.
One landed with its back to her. She sliced its legs from under it as she regained hers. It was too shocked by the loss to even whimper no less defend itself from the blade in the back that ended its life an instant later.
Anger swelled in her, twisting her features as she noticed Calvin’s body. She’d lost the whole team. Gunshots. No time to mourn, somebody was still alive it had to be...
Francis was in no way delusional about his chances. He was saved, victory awaited him. Still his lip twitched in snarling defiance of the beasts that rush forward in manacle anticipation of an easy kill. He’d be d***ed if they wouldn’t work for it.
He opened up with the HK catching the lead one low, the rounds peppering its forearms and shins till finally blowing out an elbow spilling it maw first on the pavement. It won’t be down for long, but maybe… if he could get his knife out he could kill at least one of them buy the kid a chance.
Francis had just managed to pull his hunters blade before the other creature came pouncing over its downed brother, plowing him to the ground.
Marshal stood shaking a few yards back; he’d stopped running when he heard Francis firing. Now the man was screaming.
He glanced back the car was still to far away, after it finished him it would be on Marshal...he wouldn’t make it…. He was going to die... unless. The knife. It was laying in-between him and his pinned protector. It was the same one the man had used on the monster in his room.
Marshal snatched it up without thinking. He just wanted to live and killing that thing was the only way that was going to happen.
Francis was screaming as Marshal charged them hunter’s blade clenched in both hands high above his head. The beasts head jerked forward and the screams ended with a wet crushing sound.
Marshal almost stopped, almost froze in his tracks. Luckily he was beyond thought, and his primal instincts knew to allow that would be as good as suicide. Instead his steps quickened, till he was swinging downward at its thick muscular neck. He hit high in its wide back, being stopped by bone hard as stone. His hart sank because the blade barely did.
Frantic he raised it to strike again, but this time he froze. Locked in place by eyes as red as the blood that matted and dripped from the things maw. Its lips curled back revealing even more, even bigger, even bloodier teeth in what could only be a smile.
Marshal struck, but it struck quicker, back handing him. Sending the star quarterback smashing to the ground 20 yards away gasping for air and grasping at consciousness.
Jasmine beheaded the one getting up, as the kid was swatted the width of the parking lot nearly into the woods. He was moving, still alive, but Francis was dead.
...Dear God I’ve lost the whole team…
The thing stalked off her dead friend heading in the kids direction. She took a second to focus on her speed then opened up on it with the Mac to get its attention. The rounds that hit tore chunks out of its body that began to heal at once.
"Get to the car!" she yelled
The women was still alive, Marshal forced his eyes to focus expecting to see a toothy end approaching. But it was headed for her. So cradling bruised ribs, and fighting for breath Marshal stumbled to his feet and ran for the car.
Jasmine stood, sword in one hand as it approached.
One left...out here anyway.
Blood seeped, all ready beginning to dampen her armor front and back..
.A Freaking pack...who would ever had of guessed.
She had never encountered a pack this large. Outside the blight capital the largest she had seen had been six strong. They were usually found alone, in pairs, packs of four to eight, or enslaved to something more powerful. The clans and cabals never let packs flourish. They made too much of a mess and didn’t clean up after themselves. She hadn’t even considered it, her uncle’s team was whipped out.
She had to get to Donavan; there was no telling what he’d walked into.
The kid was halfway to the car. The one stalking toward her stopped short...A psy flash and noise from behind.
She fell to the side and rolled back to her feet. The largest one she’d seen so far landed where she’d been standing. Suddenly there was growling all around her. A third was airborne. She dove under it, rolled and came to her feet spinning, ducking and slashing at the group of werewolves that had quietly crept up and surrounded her.
She managed to down two with a lucky strike. Before being stunned by a psy flash of being hit by a tire. She slashed out and spun helplessly, all she could see was moving brown furry bodies, and she had no idea where the attack would come from. Just that it would hit her in the back. And it did, a tire torn from one of the teams S.U.V's and thrown by the big one, knocked her sliding face first across the pavement.
Face bleeding and open, back protesting she front rolled to her feet with out missing a beat. But she was missing Talon blade.
Perceiving her weakness the predators pressed their assault. Some from the front the rest moving to circle her. She fired on them with the Mac. But in no time one was pouncing at her from the side.
She countered by charging at the one in front of her catching it off guard. Jumping focusing her power and dropkicking it into the crowed. Then spun to face the one that had pounced.
It was standing on two legs about to grab her. Jasmine was faster. Grabbing a tuft of fur on its chest to keep it from being knocked away. “YA!YA!YA!” hammered it with three rapid chi blows to the chest, turning its ribcage into so much debris. Before it could heal, or do much of anything but hurt. She followed up with a dark chi punch. “YAAA!” Destroying the things hart.
It fell backwards into a heap of smoke. She fell with it into a front role avoiding an attack from the rear. To come face to face with one that attacked maw first.
She forward flipped over the attack, grabbed a handful of fur on top of the things head used it to spin herself around so she landed knees first on its shoulder.
“YA!” A chi elbow strike, cracking the things skull, “YAA!” A dark chi elbow strike to finish it. She was burning energy way to fast but until she recovered the Talon she didn’t have much choice.
She planed on riding the creature to the ground, but a psy flash of her head being ripped off by the alpha. Made her role back wards, its massive claws grazed her face. Tearing a chunk out her cheek. This didn’t slow her. Jasmine followed threw with a back flip spinning chi axe kick breaking the neck of one behind her. She was going to finish it off before it could heal with a dark chi blow but spotted the Talon. She made for it but three moved in to block her path.
She wanted to do a dark chi blast but just didn’t have the energy. So she demanded more strength from her legs and jumped. A twelve foot vertical. It was the only way she could think of to buy the three seconds of concentration it took to do a chi explosion. It would burn allot of the strength she had left but she needed to buy some room.
As she descended more then a few of the things jumped towards her. But they reached her too late.
“YAAAA!” She let go of the wave six feet above ground right before the first one would have plowed into her. Most of them were thrown backwards or slammed into the ground.
Jasmine landed easily and sprinted for the Talon. The Alpha and a few other wolves that had avoided the chi blast charged her. She got to the blade first and turned just in time to strike out at the Alpha who stopped short and backed up snapping and growling in frustration.
The three behind him weren’t as smart, and charged right to their deaths. Side step slash, duck slash, slash slash. The three crumbled around her in red smoke, she never took her eyes off the Alpha.
The others headed her way, the alpha in the middle sat back on its hunches, snarled, and watched as the other four began to circle. She redirected some of her energy towards her inner sight, and blinked as the world came alive with auras. The Alphas eyes appeared to light up with a bright blue light. It was a psy, pretty powerful too, to mask on Amber. He was now using the same power she was sizing her up. No doubt seeing her body alive with the blue glow of her psy charge, and the Talon of Horus’s blessed blade radiating the purple glow that blight psy’s fear.
That’s why the caution. He just recognized her. “That’s right fur ball…Whatever the vampires promised you wasn’t enough. Didn’t tell you a Demon Slayer was goin to be here did they.”
The alpha answered with a snarling whine.
“I didn’t think so..” Hopefully the thing would see it was out matched and retreat. Most of its pack was dead, what good was the vampires reward it they couldn’t spend it. It didn’t. Instead the alpha let out a long loud howl.
He can’t possibly be calling reinforcements. There can’t be any more of these things out here.
Then it growled orders to the four remaining dazed creatures that spread out and began to stalk around her.
She didn’t even try to keep up with the ones circling. Just kept her eyes on the Alpha, focused on her sixth sense, and waited.
The first attack came from her left rear, she felt it a complete second before it happened. It was a fake. She faked like she took the bate, then spun back, bringing Talon down where instincts told her the real attack was coming from. It was a perfect blow, cleaving the head off the beast that lunged in as she spun nimbly out the way.
The faker came at her for real, losing its arm as it tried to claw her, and being cut in half before it could even be surprised by the loss.
She turned with a lightning high to low vertical slash to meet the diving attack she knew had to be coming. She was right, but the Alpha was also a vet. He dove far to her right, reaching out with one long arm clawing her in the solar plexus.
It was a move meant to disembowel. Her armor saved her from that, but its claws penetrated, sinking in deep. Dragging, spinning, then slamming her to the ground. The pain was unreal, but she had to get up fast or die. She focused on healing, only managing to slow the blood flowing from the gashes in her armor.
Another was on her, snapping her thigh. She screamed and sliced its face in two as it let go and tried avoid the blow.
The alpha lunged, she slashed hobbling desperately. A psy flash told her, the move was a fake, the real attack was coming from the left. With the wounded leg she couldn’t get out the way. So she turned her back on her attacker, crouched and stuck Arks blade out behind her.
Its jaws slammed shut on her wounded shoulder at the same time it impaled itself through the midsection. She pulled the blade through as much of its body as possible while collapsed under its weight. It howled, let her go staggered a couple paces trying to hold in its guts before collapsing.
Jasmine didn’t see any of this, she was fighting against the pain of the new wound trying to regain her feet. She didn’t believe she’d make it.
The sound of a souped up engine and a horn blaring caused her to look up. Directly into the alphas open jaws bathed in headlights. Both the satisfying clunk sound, and the wind from the muscle car rushing by hit her an instant before the realization of what happened. An instant too long for the kid, who was leaning on the horn. Jasmine got to her feet and managed to get the back door opened before the Alpha landed on the roof denting it.
She threw herself against the car as it jumped down at her, landed and spun claws first. It caught her in the side, in-between the armor plates, with the Talon held high. She almost dropped it, but the blow hurt so much her hands locked around the grip.
The pain was too much to scream. So she let the blade do it for her, slicing the offending appendage off. She swung again blindly, it howled out in anger, slashing the same time she did and losing its other arm. Jasmine used the pain, desperation and anger to fuel her attacks. Swinging with a skillful wildness cutting its long body twice up and down. The alpha flailed backwards before falling on its rump.
Eyes wide in fear it looked at its stumps and at her staggering forward. It rolled quickly over howling and ran off into the shadows awkwardly on two legs.
Jasmine focused on healing, watching it go. Feeling the strength pour into her system and begin to flow right back out. The world began to swim, she was going to pass out, she’d been wounded enough times to know. She sheaved the Talon of Horus and fell partially into the car.
"Jesus lady..." Marshal was in the back seat dragging her in. She was covered with blood, some of it hers. More of the things were coming out the back door of the hotel. He looked down an almost dropped her because her eyes were closed. Then noticed she was still breathing.
He glanced back out the window they were coming, he tugged her once hard all the way into the car.
Howling from way to close.
Marshal heard himself whimper as he climbed back up to the drivers seat. Mashed the gas the engine revved but the car didn’t move.
He put it in drive and pealed out just as a claw slammed onto the trunk.
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