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The Gate Saga

033 Rescuing Gabriel

Despite being afraid, Evangeline is leading the way to Anthony secret place in Alaska with Ciara and Leon for help. Ciara had reluctantly agreed to let Leon come along if he didn’t get himself in trouble. When they reach an odd little cabin, Evangeline insists it’s the right place despite everything seeming normal. Leon impresses (and shocks!) Ciara with his ability to be “bad ass” in a fight. It had never occurred to her before that he might have skills despite him being on the run.

Finding the elevator down in to the building, they discover it’s some sort of giant laboratory and storage place for Anthony’s pets and experiments. The white raven that Evangeline has been calling Fluffy helps her open the seal to the room Gabriel is in. Down a long corridor lined with capsules, they can see many of Anthony’s former failed experiments, many of them baring a striking resemblance to Gabriel. At the end of the corridor is Gabriel on table, a doctor and a woman. Ciara kills the doctor while Leon handles the woman. They get Gabriel lose and escape the building quick.

On the run outside they are nearly eaten by the creature under the frozen sea water, but are shocking rescued by the gargoyle looking demons that were ‘sleeping’ outside the perimeter of Anthony’s island.

Back home at the hotel, Evangeline stays in bed with the unconscious Gabriel so he knows she is there. Ciara grills Leon about his ‘skills’ and he explains that he has a hard time controlling his wolfyness once he starts fighting. He doesn’t want to hurt Ciara. Ciara suggests that she’ll be keeping him away from danger and fights from then on.

It took several hours to get a plane ready. Opting out of taking any of those Oracle newbies to get themselves slaughtered. More hours still to fly across the continent to Alaska, to a reasonable location looking for that island on a frozen lake.

Ciara: *If they didn’t need Evangeline to do the actual finding, Ciara would have preffered leaving her behind. On the bright side, one blind woman was less trouble than having a host of Oracle hunters doing something stupid. She looked over at the frozen lake and the island in teh distance.* …We have to cross over THAT?

Leon: *Looked over at the island!* … This is the place? -12:33 Nov 24
Evangeline: It’s frozen really solid, so we can just walk right over it. *Not that it made the idea sound any better. But she’d walk over an ocean if she had to. Evangeline very carefully walked forward.* There are wards on the island, but I can take care of them, of course! Then, um… there might be a little fighting. -12:35 Nov 24

The white raven still sat on Evangeline’s shoulder, ever vigilant!

Ciara: A little fighting? *Between Evangeline and Leon she was going to have her hands full. Following after Evangeline, Ciara pulled out one of her guns to have ready. There was likely to be wild demons outside…*

Leon: *Wolfish grin! Fortunately, he was able to get a couple of slender lighter blades to use. They felt better than the large sword Evangeline had given him. Just to be on the safe side, he had that sword strapped to his back. Gabriel might need it later!* Yes, ma’am. -12:41 Nov 24

Everything looked serene! And at least the wind had died down! But the pilot had warned them to be careful of thin ice, especially at this time of year!

Evangeline: *Evangeline didn’t have any weapons… at least not any weapons she could carry! Thankfully being dressed for frozen weather and good shoes spared anyone from slipping over the ice. Last thing she wanted to do was crack it and go under. She was concentrating carefully on making sure they were blocked from detection.* Fluffy can help us once we get inside. -12:47 Nov 24
Leon: *Glanced over at Evangeline.* Um … Fluffy …? *He looked at the bird.* -12:49 Nov 24

Ciara: *…She named the damned bird Fluffy? Ciara wasn’t even going to ask! She kept her eyes on everything around them, spying for any pouncing danger!*

Beneath the ice, something rather large shifted under the ice!

Leon: *Glanced around. He could have sworn he heard something … But whether it was his nerves or a real threat was a good question!* -12:52 Nov 24
Evangeline: I was going to call him Gabriel, but then we’d all be confused! *Ice Monsters!! Wait, no, that’d be silly. It was more likely… well, that wasn’t important. But Evangeline walked herself a little faster. It was down there, it wasn’t going to get them.* We better hurry, anyway. -12:52 Nov 24

Everything stayed serene and calm but the closer they got to the island, the stronger the tremors in the ice got. Once a tremor was so hard, that it cracked the ice in front of them!

Leon: Definitely the welcome committee … *He murmured as he saw the ice crack and something long and black move beneath it! It was about the size of Sherman and he had a feeling it wasn’t as friendly!* -01:03 Nov 24
Evangeline: *Evangeline couldn’t let herself be afraid! They should be able to make it!* Now is a good time to run! *Evangeline placed a hand over the raven to hold him steady, and dashed fowards across the ice!* -01:04 Nov 24

Ciara: *Running on cracking ice… But once she saw that shape under the ice, yeah, that was probably the best idea! Ciara chased after Evangeline, holding her gun and ready to shoot on sight!*

Leon: *Started to slide–er, skate!* All this for some cabin in the middle of nowhere! -01:06 Nov 24

The ice they had been standing on a moment ago cracked! On the bright side, the thing was so large that it took some time for it to turn around once it had gone past them! However, it made sure to crack as much ice as it could as it past by!

Leon: *Definitely didn’t want to know what the hell was under them! Of course, he wasn’t about to think that if this was what was outside … what could possibly be inside!* -01:10 Nov 24

Up ahead was the shoreline of the island! And the cozy cabin just beyond some toppled pillars, ruins of whatever once lay there!

Meanwhile up in the sky … it was a plane, it was a bird … Then it got closer … It was a swarm of big winged demons!

Evangeline: *Evangeline slipped, but she was dashing forward quick again! She couldn’t let her concentration be faultered or that shield would waver and they’d be having much more to worry about than ice monsters and… flying demons?!* Ms. Grey, something above! -01:14 Nov 24

Ciara: *…Ciara should have packed more ammunition. On the bright side, she could always swipe that sword from Leon!* Just keep running. Make it to the trees before they spot us!

Fortunately the demons hadn’t spotted them yet! But it appeared that this island was a roost of some sort for them!

Leon: *Reached the shoreline and the trees and moved close to what used to be a wall! Now it was toppling but it was almost as tall as he was! He peeked over it and saw the cabin at the dead center of the island still some distance away!* -01:21 Nov 24
Evangeline: *Grateful to have at least made it this far, Evangeline leaned against the wall to catch her breath! She would have to disable wards as they kept moving!* -01:24 Nov 24

The demons were getting closer and the first of them had begun to land using the top of the walls and what were probably towers as perches!

Ciara: We’re better off sneaking past this wall without those demons catching sight of us. *This was a regular fortress of doom, wasn’t it.*

Leon: Not to doubt your abilities, Evangeline, but how much experience do you have with deactivating seals? *He asked, curious.* -01:28 Nov 24
Evangeline: It might be better if you didn’t know! *Resting her hands on the wall, that would be the easiest place to get through… There was a place to climb over or to crawl under… Gates if they were brazen. Across the yard was empty space, but the cottage was sealed very well!* -01:32 Nov 24
Leon: Things under the ice, demons in the sky … I hope whatever they have inside are more friendly. *He mumbled as he glanced around and then ducked when one of the demons happened to look his way.* -01:34 Nov 24

Fluffy still sat on Evangeline’s shoulder! It shook, ruffling its feathers!

Evangeline: *Evangeline pat Fluffy softly on the head as she eased down the wall a few feet. There were some crumbled rocks here, enough for them to get over with ease. She ran a finger down the empty space as if she were slicing open a hole! Evangeline hopped over, keeping a hand on the wall.* They won’t see us… not yet. *She whispered!* -01:39 Nov 24
Leon: Right. *He followed after Evangeline. A part of him mused that he was following a blind woman–Focus! Focus!* -01:42 Nov 24

There was smoke coming out of the chimney of the cottage! The door opened! An old man stepped out and scratched his ass as he glanced around lazily!

Ciara: Leon… *Ciara muttered softly, that wolfy amused look was on his face, and this was hardly a time! Looking back, there was their footprints in the snow, even if Evangeline was keeping them hidden… As soon as someone noticed, there would be trouble.*

Leon: *Stopped! Wolfy sheepish grin! He scratched his head.* Sorry! *He winced, reminding himself he wasn’t going to be a hassle! He was going to pull his weight, damnit!* -01:46 Nov 24
Evangeline: *An open door! …And an old man? That doesn’t seem right… But if they distract him, it’ll make slipping inside much easier. Evangeline dug around in her pocket until she pulled out a piece of candy… Rearing her hand back, she chucked it across the snowy yard to clonk the guy with it!* -01:50 Nov 24

The man had turned around and was heading inside when he got hit by something! Thinking it was a rock, he turned but when he saw the candy, he picked it up! He opened it and sniffed it, then popped it into his mouth!

Evangeline: *Evangeline stomped her foot! He wasn’t supposed to just eat it! She was digging in her pocket again for something else!* -01:54 Nov 24

Ciara: *Rolling her eyes, Ciara had a better idea. She pulled a silencer out of pocket and screwed it on to the edge of gun… She aimed at the mailbox down the walk away from the cabin… And shot it! That should be noticable!*

The man blinked, still chewing on the candy! He wandered off and then they could hear cursing as he saw the mailbox!

Leon: *Sniffed the air! He moved his head left to right!* I know this smell … -01:57 Nov 24
Evangeline: I thought he would go looking for a candy thrower! *Whispered Evangeline, as she dashed quickly for the open door.* -01:58 Nov 24
Leon: Evangeline! *He whisipered loudly but it was too late! She was gone! He dashed off after her!* -01:59 Nov 24

Ciara: *Ciara was behind them quick. Leon might not be a wolf now, but he looked all bristly and that didn’t bode well!*

What a cozy little cabin! There was only one room that functioned as living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen! A tub with a small table for a bowl of water in one corner. The bed in another. The fireplace against the wall opposite the door and a back door beside it! An old fashioned stove in the other corner and a pair of rocking chairs in the last corner! The most startling of all … there was a woman with her back to them at the stove! She turned! She was obviously the man’s wife! Round and short, rosy cheeks, curly hair! She smiled! “Ah, company! What a pleasant surprise!”

Evangeline: *Evangeline looked confused for a moment. This was where Gabriel should be but… She had to remind herself that nothing is ever what it looks like when it comes to Anthony Carnatelli!* I um… We’re looking for someone…? -02:04 Nov 24
Leon: *Skidded to a halt behind Evangeline! He flashed a wolfish smile at the woman as he moved beside Evangeline!* Hello. -02:05 Nov 24

Ciara: *Not one for being friendly when she knows damned well this is a load of crap, Ciara stood behind Evangeline and Leon with her gun raised and ready to fire.* Evangeline…

The woman’s smile never faltered. “Oh? No one here, dearie, except me and my husband. You must be mistaken. Oh my, what a pretty bird you have there.”

Fluffy, in the meantime, was getting skittish. It moved from one leg to another, shifting and it flapped its wings!

Evangeline: *She understood the situation, but that didn’t make it any easier for her to want to shoot or attack people!* There is much more here and we have to look around… -02:08 Nov 24
Leon: Sis, why don’t you go sit down and check yourself. Excuse us. *He took Evangeline by the arm and led her to where the rocking chairs were.* You start looking. Cissy and I will do what we have to. *He whispered before he turned away.* -02:10 Nov 24

The woman tilted her head. “Whatever for. What you see is what you get, sweetie.”

Ciara: *Ciara growled softly. What was she going to do, ask them to nicely hand Gabriel over?! Ciara kept her gun aimed at the woman, sorely tempted to go ahead and shoot!* Why don’t you stop spinning sugar, and show your real face, sweetie.

“Ma!” a voice came from outside! “You won’t believe what happened to our–Hello.”

Leon: Sir. *He was already behind Ciara and had turned around so he was facing the man.* -02:13 Nov 24

The woman blinked and quickly raised her hands. “I don’t know what you’re talking about! You come here, intruding and then … then imply things!”

Evangeline: *Evangeline was now about as restless as Fluffy. Shifting uncomfortably in the chair. But she reached out with her mind… to feel over the cabin, to find it’s real walls..!* -02:14 Nov 24

Ciara: You have a nice collection of gargoyles outside. Must cost a fortune to feed them. *There was a click of her gun, a very threatening cocking of the pistol to make a point.*

How clever! The cabin was very real! And so were the walls! But apparently there was something beneath it!

“PA!” the woman shrieked!

“No one threatens my wife and gets away with it, Missy!” the man shouted! Except he growled out “Missy” and by then his voice was deeper, louder. He was growing, too, growign fur and growing muscles and a tail! A hybrid were!

Leon: *Growled and launched himself at the man while he was transforming! He tackled him with such force that they flew out of the cabin and landed in the snow!* -02:19 Nov 24
Evangeline: *Ignoring the commotion, Evangeline felt further… Somewhere there would be a door leading to the building underground!* -02:19 Nov 24

Ciara: *Tempted to look behind her and see what mess Leon was getting himself in to, but Ciara kept her eyes forward and gun aimed!* Don’t you move, lady.

The woman looked like she was about to go for Ciara’s gun but she kept her hands up! She gave Ciara a haughty smirk. “My husband will tear your lover to pieces.”

The door that led underground happened to be in the center of the cabin, right under a rather large rug! The switch to activate it was farther away! The fireplace’s poker leaning against it!

Ciara: Oh? Would save me the time of doing it myself. Large grocery bills, you see. *Ciara stood poised, waiting for the wench to move… And silently urging Evangeline to hurry the hell up!*

Leon: *They rolled around, exchanging blows with the man still transforming! Somehow he managed to get on top of Leon until Leon pulled his legs up and kicked him away! The man slammed against the wall! He was already on his feet and drawing one of the blades! The man charged forward–and impaled himself! Leon made sure the sword was nice and deep and watched as the were transformed back into a man! He slung the body over his shoulder and marched back into the cabin, dropping the body at the woman’s feet.* Here. Now you have enough meat to last you the winter. -02:27 Nov 24
Evangeline: *Evangeline was up and out of that chair, moving across the room to get to that firepoker! …making sure to give the others a wide berth!* -02:29 Nov 24

Ciara: *That broke her poise. Ciara blinked down at the body with surprise, glancing over at Leon in shock! …She couldn’t even think of something to say!*

That did it! The sight of her husband’s body triggered her own transformation, bristling fur and sharp fangs! She launched herself at Leon!

Ciara: *Sudden movement, but her reflexes were quick! Ciara was firing that gun in an instant!*

There was a CLICK as that firepoker went down! The rug disappeared! The floor opened and an elevator rose up, doors opened!

BANG! The woman’s body jerked and then she flew … landing feet away from her spouse’s corpse! She reverted back to human form with a hole in her chest!

Evangeline: I found it! *Evangeline said! …Only now realizing the pair was dead. A small hint of regret, but they were trying to keep Gabriel…* -02:40 Nov 24
Leon: What are you packing in there, a grenade? *He looked over at Ciara before turning to Evangeline.* Congrats. Let’s get going. *He moved for the elevator.* -02:40 Nov 24

Ciara: You could call it that. *Said Ciara, still giving Leon an odd look as she stepped in to the Elevator!*

The elevator looked like any other elevator … Except this one had an odd choice for floors. The button at the top said “T” probably for “top.” The next button was 60F, 61F, 62F, and finally “B” probably for “basement.”

Leon: *Scratched his head, looking at the panel.* Um … Any clue on which floor we go to? *He saw Ciara giving him that odd look.* What? What did I do? -02:47 Nov 24
Evangeline: Er… Which one, Fluffy? *Evangeline hovered her fingers over the buttons… None of them wanted to search several floors!* -02:51 Nov 24

The raven tilted its head at the buttons. It didn’t do anything until Evangeline’s fingers hovered over the button “62F”. Then it leaned to one side, putting the weight on one foot and thumped its other foot on her shoulder repeatedly.

Evangeline: *Evangeline pressed the button and stepped back! Another deep breath! So far it was going pretty smoothly, right Fluffy?* -02:55 Nov 24

Ciara: You’ve done quite a bit so far. *Ciara muttered, moving in the elevator to keep her gun ready at the doors for when they open.*

Leon: That’s … a bad thing? *He blinked as he stood beside the doors.* -02:57 Nov 24

It was both good and bad that the trip was actually faster than it seemed at first! Although the elevator went down so fast, that they all had to brace themselves!

Ciara: No. *The sudden movement of the elevator cut off any other comments she might have had.*

Evangeline: *Evangeline placed a hand on the wall!* You surprise Ms. Grey with your manliness sometimes, Leon! -03:01 Nov 24
Leon: Really? *He had time to flash a wolfish grin! Then he blinked!* Wait a minute. What’s the plan for when we get down there? -03:03 Nov 24

Ciara: *Shoot Evangeline! That was the plan!* Kill anything that gets in the way sounds like a good idea to me.

Leon: Somehow I’m not surprised by that idea. Evangeline? Do you have anything? -03:07 Nov 24
Evangeline: Not really…? Oh! Well, I am to lead in the right direction with Fluffy and remove any seals. …and kill anything that gets in the way? -03:08 Nov 24
Leon: *Looked over at Evangeline.* You know, Gabriel is starting to rub off on you. I add my suggestion that we do what the movies do, we knock out a couple of security guards, use their uniforms and sneak around as much as possible. Killing anything that gets in our way as a last resort. -03:11 Nov 24

Ciara: That’s a fine idea for wasting time. Would you like to have tea and cake with them later? *Grumbled Ciara… This was hardly a movie!*

Evangeline: …I do like that idea better! It’d be wretched having to jump over bodies everywhere! -03:15 Nov 24
Leon: At least someone agrees with me! Last time we checked, taking on entire armies by ourselves was not something recommended by anyone, no matter how insane. -03:16 Nov 24

Ciara: Fine. We’ll play dressup. But don’t you have fun with it!

The elevator slowed … then it drew to a halt. BING! The doors opened … revealing pure white corridors brightly lit that branched off into different directions. It was a maze! The thing that stood out was how eeriely quiet it was.

Leon: This … is creepy. *He muttered, sticking his head out, checking out the doors scattered here and there. He stepped out and looked at each door. They were all identical except that each wore a tag at the top with the number 62 and a Roman numeral.* -03:23 Nov 24
Evangeline: *Evangeline wasn’t feeling too keen on mazes… She stepped out from the doors carefully.* Okay, Fluffy… Which way are we going? -03:26 Nov 24

The raven took off and flew down the corridor! It turned sharply to the right–and disappeared through a wall!

Evangeline: *Evangeline was following afrer Fluffy quick! …And nearly ran herself right in to the wall, having been more focused on Fluffy than the lab itself!* -02:17 Nov 25

Strangely enough, Evangeline went through that wall! Proving that it was a false wall, an optical illusion! It led to another corridor and even more doors on either side! Still no sign of anyone, enemy or otherwise!

Leon: *Following behind and keeping an eye out. He blinked and stopped when he put his hand through the false wall!* Wow. Now there’s something you don’t see everyday. -02:19 Nov 25
Evangeline: Ack…! *Well that nearly tripped her! It felt a bit strange stepping through it… but she continued following Fluffy!* -02:20 Nov 25

Ciara: That woman is a trainwreck. *Ciara muttered under her breath, stepping through the wall after Leon tested it. Her gun was still poised… This place had to have some guards or something around here somewhere. It’s too quiet.*

Voices and footsteps! It sounded like a couple of people were headed their way and coming right behind them! By the sounds of the soft clicking and thuds, they were guards and the clicking and thuds were the sounds of their guns bouncing against their hips!

Leon: Oh hell. *He glanced behind him and began trying to open every door he came across of in the hopes that one of them was unlocked! Or something!* -02:23 Nov 25

Ciara: Don’t just open random doors! *She hissed quietly!* There could be anything in there! *Ciara turned around to keep ready aim, as she walked backwards!*

Meanwhile the raven had come … to a dead end?! Nothing here but a blank wall and a black and white checkered floor!

Leon: Do you have a better idea? *He whispered back!* There could be anything out here! *But he stopped trying to open random doors! He came across one marked "BROOM CLOSET" but now that Cissy had mentioned it … Maybe it wasn’t such a bright idea to open this one up, regardless of what it said on the door!* -02:26 Nov 25
Evangeline: *Evangeline trusted the white raven, and dead end or not this was the right way! Placing a hand on the wall, she pressed out with her mind… What is the difference here!* -02:29 Nov 25

The raven returned to Evangeline’s shoulder after having pecked at the wall a few times!

Ciara: Shoot to kill came to mind. *Ciara muttered softly.* Evangeline. Someone is coming.

When Evangeline touched the wall with her mind, something appeared on it! A rather large seal, very complicated and sensitive! There were a series of points in it that would trigger something if even one of the points were messed with! And the seal wasn’t very stable … It kept shifting which probably made it very tricky to work on!

Leon: *Sweatdrop!* Yeah, that’s exactly what I want carved on my headstone. "Leon Santos, the wolf who got shot and killed." *He mumbled under his breath. The thought of a headstone made up his mind and he opened the broom closet! He poked his head through but even his wolf sight couldn’t see through the darkness!* Some broom closet … *He huffed!* -02:34 Nov 25
Evangeline: But there is a wall in the way! *Crickets…! This was complicated and near impossible! But she had to try… it just meant working fast enough to unravel multiple points at once before it shifted…* -02:35 Nov 25

Ciara: Then hide you stupid wolf! *Looking over her shoulder, that blasted psychic was messing with the damned wall. Ciara waited, ready to fire!*

The raven shook itself, ruffling its feathers before tapping its beak on Evangeline’s shoulder! Tap. Tap. Tap-tap-tap! Morse code! “I will help you.”

The talking and the walking got louder! And louder … and louder! They were almost on top of the four of them (counting Fluffy, of course)!

Leon: *Turned around!* I’m not hiding without you! Or Evangeline! *He whispered back!* -02:48 Nov 25

Ciara: Christ. *Ciara snagged Evangeline by the back of her collar, pulling her away from the wall to shove her and that bird in the closet! Then she was stepping inside and dragging Leon in with them!*

It was awfully dark inside and the door closed firmly behind them! They stood in darkness for awhile until the lights came on–and they found themselves in a room as large as a warehouse! And inside of it were very large cages that went as far down as the eye could see!

Evangeline: *Only a quiet eep from Evangeline before she could even reply to Fluffy! …This wasn’t a closet!* -02:52 Nov 25
Leon: … Oh crap. *He muttered when he realized the cages were occupied! Most of them were asleep but the large figures inside were beginning to awaken and glowing eyes turned toward them!* -02:52 Nov 25

Two of the guards walked past! They stopped by the broom closet but only long enough for one of them to remark that they still hadn’t changed the signs on the door! The other guard snickered and mentioned that one of these days, some poor fools would wind up becoming those creatures’ next meals! Poor morons!

Ciara: Great hiding place, Leon. *Hissed Ciara, trying to keep her voice low enough from catching attention!*

Leon: So now you’re gonna blame me?! *He whispered as loud as he dared!* I think it’d be a good idea to leave now. -02:55 Nov 25

Ciara: *Ciara had some different ideas, but just between her and Leon there was no way they could destroy everything in here… Oh, but next time though! Mr. Carnatelli’s little storage unit was going to get a big surprise! Ciara pressed her head against the door to make sure those guards had left!*

It’s all quiet! The guards were gone!

Ciara: *Ciara opened and peeked out the door.. coast was clear for now, but who knew how long before someone else showed up. She snagged Evangeline again and returned her to the damned wall.* Do whatever you’re doing quick.

Evangeline: *Rushing this wouldn’t be the best of ideas! Evangeline returned her hands to the wall.* I need a little blood for me and Fluffy to manage… -03:06 Nov 25
Leon: *Stepped forward.* I’m no wizard but I’ll give my blood. *He cut his arm and pressed the wound to make the blood swell.* -03:08 Nov 25
Evangeline: *A brief startled look. Poor Leon! Evangeline quickly wiped that away though, lightly brushing her fingers over the cut on his arm and pressing her hand back to the wall!* Okay, Fluffy… We’ll be very quick, but careful. -03:12 Nov 25

The seal appeared on the wall again! It had rearranged itself although at the touch of blood, it began to contort and twist and change shape!

… Suddenly the seal froze in place! Evangeline could probably feel it trying to twist and change but something was keeping it in place!

Evangeline: *This was good! With it still, she could unravel! Evangeline pulled each symbol of the major points in to front few… Concentrating hard, she pulled the threads of each at once.* -03:19 Nov 25

Ciara: *Ciara was eyeing Leon again, holding a decent position near on of the doors incase anyone came from behind them, or if they faced something nasty behind that wall! When the hell did Leon start acting like a badass!*

With the points undone, the seal deteoriated and left behind a large, heavy, iron door!

Leon: *Blinked in the middle of binding up his arm when he caught Cissy looking at him with that expression on her face!* What? -03:31 Nov 25

Ciara: Nothing. Nothing at all. *Now that she thinks about it, he HAS to have some sort of skill or he’d be someone’s collared wolf be now! ….Now she was really giving him a look!*

Evangeline: *Despite having Fluffy’s help, unraveling that was exhausting… But Evangeline took another breath, pulling the latch on the iron door and trying to push it open!* -03:35 Nov 25
Leon: *Isn’t so confident about that "nothing" reply of hers! He walked over to Evangeline.* You should stand back, Evangeline. Gabriel will kill me if anything happened to you. -03:35 Nov 25
Evangeline: *Evangeline almost said ‘He wouldn’t!’ but then, she suspected Gabriel probably would! Even if it was Leon! She nodded and stepped back away from the door!* -03:37 Nov 25
Leon: *Deep breath as he took hold of the door!* And behind door number one … *He pushed it open!* -03:38 Nov 25

A blast of cold wind came rolling out! It was cold and dark in there! Another large room but gray and metallic and on either side rows of giant glass tubes with bodies floating in them! Real science fiction like! There were no lights except the ones illuminating the capsules!

Leon: *Swords drawn, he stepped inside first and looked around! He caught the scent of blood but … it was everywhere! So was the stench of decay and death! Definitely not something featured on "Home and Garden"!* -03:41 Nov 25

Ciara: *Ciara hadn’t been creeped out by anything… until now! This was bonifide disturbing! She followed behind Evangeline, looking at the capsules and not being able to turn away!* What the bloody fuck…?

Evangeline: *For a moment, Evangeline didn’t want to move forward! It was too scary! Too much evil! But Ciara was prodding her forward, and this was the way to Gabriel…!* Such a horrible place… -03:44 Nov 25

The raven wasted no time in flying further into the room, straight down the rows!

If that wasn’t creepy enough, all of the bodies in the capsules looked exactly like Gabriel! Except that they were all misshapen in some way! The further they got into the room the less grotesque the deformities! All of them had the manticore brand on their backs!

Evangeline: *Evangeline followed Fluffy, no stopping for any of the other capsules. They were all empty shells with painful imprints of former exstinguished lives… Gabriel would be one of these if they didn’t find him!* -03:50 Nov 25
Leon: … I think I hear something. *He whispered behind his shoulder as they came to the end of the capsules to where a bunch of machines were set up! He motioned for them to get behind of the large machines and poked his head to see what was going on!* -03:50 Nov 25

“Tsk tsk tsk! The Master will be most displeased! After all my preparation and you still cling to that false hope someone will come and save you! Being away for so long has made you soft and weak!” a high-pitched voice cackled!

Ciara: *Pulling Evangeline out of site, Ciara too peeked around to spy. …Why did the bastards always taunt their captives?*

The raven perched on Evangeline’s shoulder!

Evangeline: ..! *Evangeline wanted to pounce out right now…! But it wouldn’t be smart… She tugged on Ciara’s arm urgently!* -03:56 Nov 25

Gabriel: … Go. To hell. Agggh! *He clenched his teeth as another jolt ripped through him! He could barely keep his eyes open or his head up. Blood dripped from one corner of his mouth and he had multiple wounds from where they’d stabbed, kicked, sliced him! He panted for breath as the jolt subsided!*

“You called me here to watch you gloat to him?” someone else replied, this one a woman. She was walking around, long black hair and a whip in one hand. “You are pathetic, doctor.”

Leon: A whip. Mind taking care of the scientist while I go for the woman, Cissy? *He asked softly.* -03:58 Nov 25

The scientist rubbed his hands together, smoothed his hair back. He looked awfully young to be a scientist but … insanity didn’t discriminate with age! He pushed his eyeglasses up his nose! “Nonsense! You just don’t recognize genius! I brought you here to witness my crowning achievement! He’s so close to the edge that a little push will make him fall into an empty shell! It will be marvelous!”

Ciara: My pleasure. *Ciara, in classic fashion stepped out from behind the machine in full view. She didn’t waste time trying to catch attention or a quirky one liner, she’s aiming at the scientist to shoot and kill! BANGBANGBANG!*

The woman was about to reply when a woman came out of nowhere and shot the doctor dead! Her whip was already flying for the woman! “Intruders?!”

Leon: *Ran forward and stopped in front of Ciara! He put his hand up and let the whip coil around his arm!* In the flesh. *He grinned and gave the whip a nice tug!* -04:03 Nov 25

Gabriel: *Was strapped to a table that was tilted up with needles in his arms! He’d been getting electrocuted by the wires on the cups attached to his body! His arms were strapped over his head and his legs were strapped at the ankles!*

The woman was caught by surprise and her whip flew out of her grasp! She growled and ran forward, already throwing more of her knives at him!

The raven flew up and landed on Gabriel’s arm. It started to peck at the buckles but was having little success!

Evangeline: *Evangeline dashed out to Gabriel’s side, fumbling to undo the buckles!* Ms. Grey! -04:07 Nov 25
Leon: *Dropped the whip after loosening it! He held his sword at an angle and deflected the knives!* Mother always told me never to hit a girl. *He said as he watched her coming at him! At the last minute he stepped to the side and held his arm out, intending to clothesline her!* -04:08 Nov 25

Ciara: *Just because Leon said he’d take of the woman, it didn’t mean she wasn’t going to keep an eye on him! …Ciara kept her stare at the two as she moved to the other side of Gabriel to get him off the table.*

The woman wasn’t able to stop in time and got clotheslined! She fell to the ground with a THUD! Her legs flew out and she jumped to her feet getting into a defensive stance and beckoning him with a finger!

Leon: *With both swords out, he threw them up and the blades got stuck in the ceiling! He ran forward and jumped up, grabbing onto the hilts and then dropping down! In mid-air, he curled up into a ball and landed right on top of her head in a standing position!* -04:12 Nov 25

The woman looked up and watched him fly into the air–only to get knocked unconscious when he landed on top of her!

Leon: I don’t know if she was talking about psychotic bitches, too. *He scratched his head and put his hands down in time to catch the swords as they fell from the ceiling! He put them away and went to help get Gabriel out!* -04:14 Nov 25

Gabriel: *Finally got free! He fell forward!*

Evangeline: Gabriel! *Evangeline caught him, and nearly dropped to the floor in the process! Luckily Ms. Grey was there to help carry the weight.* -04:16 Nov 25

Ciara: When the hell were you going to tell me you could that! *Ciara practically shouted!* …Damnit, Nevermind and carry him.

Leon: *Innocently blinking at Ciara!* Uh … Yes, ma’am! Come on, Gabriel! Time to blow this hellhole! *He moved to put one arm over his shoulder and one of his arms around his body.* -04:19 Nov 25

The raven flew around the room and perched on top of Evangeline’s shoulder!

Ciara: Quickly as possible without looking back. *She muttered to Evangeline… Leon was going to have some explaining, later. Gun reloaded and ready, she led the way down the hall!*

Evangeline: *Worried to death, but she couldn’t check on him until they were out! Evangeline pat Fluffy softly, pulling her focus to making sure they wouldn’t run in to a trap!* -04:31 Nov 25

So far so good! But there were more guards roaming about now and more frequently!

Ciara: *Ciara was trying to get them out as unseen as possible, but didn’t hesitate to shoot and kill anybody that got in the way!*

The guards went down pretty easily, revealing that they were, for the most part human! Fortunately the roaming guard parties were far in between and Ciara made good use of the silencer!

Leon: Hang in there, Gabe. We’ll get you back and you’ll be good as new. *He murmured, more for his benefit than Gabriel’s! Evangeline would kill him if anything happened to him!* -04:39 Nov 25

Ciara: *Humans for staff too, that was a surprise… Then again now better way to make people like Evangeline second guess killing anyone! Thankfully Ciara didn’t have that problem! With the way back to the elevator cleared, she ushered them inside!*

Evangeline: Outside will be the most difficult, Ms. Grey… Those flying demons… *Evangeline was sure she didn’t have to remind, but she had to make sure!* -04:43 Nov 25
Leon: *Stepped into the elevator and quickly pressed "T"! He stood against the wall to give both him and Gabriel more support!* -04:44 Nov 25

Ciara: I am aware of that, Evangeline. Just keep running until you reach the plane. *Making sure she was fully reloaded again, before stepping out of the elevator when it reached the top!*

Everything was exactly the way they had left it! The demons were much more comfortable now and there were more of them!

Leon: *At the mention of running, he scratched his head! Gabriel was out cold now so he had little choice but to sling him over his shoulder!* -04:51 Nov 25
Evangeline: *A deep breath! With Ciara’s signal, Evangeline made sure to focus on shielding them from detection as best she could… but Gabriel isn’t even concious anymore! She struggled to keep attention as she ran across the empty face to reach the hole in the wall!* -04:53 Nov 25

The raven was still on her shoulder and it appeared to know when her attention was turning away from the shield because it would tap her shoulder with its beak!

Every so often one or two of the demons would glance over at them and it would look like they were caught! But then the demon or demons would turn away!

Evangeline: *She’s focusing, she’s focusing! At the hole, she ran her finger down the empty space again, opening up the barrier! She slipped through, waiting for the others!* -04:59 Nov 25
Leon: *It took him some effort but he managed to slip through! He found it a bit more difficult with someone slung over his shoulder but hey, he couldn’t complain!* -05:00 Nov 25

Ciara: *Ciara jumped over after them, eyeing those demons on the wall…. But more concerned about about the frozen lake!*

Evangeline: *The lake… Evangeline had almost forgotten! She only hestitated a moment when reaching the lake’s bank, before she stepped carefully on the ice and moved as quickly as was reasonable!* -05:05 Nov 25
Leon: *Stopped at the shore and looked over in the direction of the plane!* Okay … Two down. One more little obstacle to go … -05:05 Nov 25
Leon: *Deep breath! He moved in after Evangeline, wondering about how the ice would fare now …* -05:06 Nov 25

Ciara: *On the bright side, they could swim. ….At least she hoped Evangeline could swim, because it was going to be a bitch dragging a psychic out of frozen water while shooting at monsters! Ciara was right behind them!*

The ice creaked under Leon’s feet! On the other side of the island, the form beneath the ice heard the sounds and swam over to investigate!

Leon: *He was moving too slow for his own comfort! But the last thing he wanted to do was take an ice cold bath! Not to mention, he doubted even Gabriel could defend himself in the condition he was in!* -05:09 Nov 25

Ciara: How far do you think you can throw him? *Ciara asked… Seriously, even! Leon was carrying too much weight and didn’t want to see him go under either! She’d save him before that stupid vampire!*

Evangeline: Don’t you dare…! He’s injured enough as it is! *Evangeline glanced quickly over her shoulder, making herself slip in the process! She paused, hoping she didn’t crack the ice to badly!* -05:12 Nov 25
Leon: Cissy! *He blinked! She couldn’t possibly be–Oh wait! She was …* -05:13 Nov 25

The raven began tapping on Evangeline’s shoulder. “Keep going. I will return.” It flew up and back the way it had come!

Meanwhile the thing under the ice approached them! The ice began to shake again and tremble!

Evangeline: *Evangeline wasn’t sure where Fluffy was going, but she was back on her feet and running again! They were almost there!* -05:16 Nov 25
Leon: *Damnit, that thing was back! He put an arm around Gabriel to keep him in one place as he started moving a bit faster now, trying to keep lessen his weight by spreading his legs a bit in between strides!* -05:17 Nov 25

Ciara: They’re both going to go under at this rate! *Save-The-World vampire or not, Gabriel wasn’t on the top of her priority list! *

As if things weren’t looking bleak enough, the monster finally reared its head, breaking through the ice behind them! It was your run-of-a-mill giant lake serpent! Big mouth, rows of teeth, frills around its face, and angry eyes! Its roar shook the ice!

Ciara: Don’t turn around! *Ciara turned back to aim and fire her gun at the beast! That likely wouldn’t do much beside piss it off, but hopefully keep it too distracted to strike!*

The lake serpent roared again and went for Evangeline, intent on grabbing her with its teeth!

From behind the serpent, the sky was darkening! Those demons were in the air and flying toward them!

Evangeline: *Monster breath! A small startled scream as she zigzagged, slipping and then skidding across the ice!* -05:28 Nov 25
Leon: You don’t have to tell me twice! *He yelled!* Evangeline! *He saw her slide across the ice!* -05:29 Nov 25

The monster took out a bite of ice instead! It lifted its head and tossed its head left and right, sending chunks of ice falling and flying!

The raven returned and began pecking at the monster’s eyes and trying to claw at it!

Ciara: *How the hell did Gabriel deal with rescuing this woman! Ciara kept running, and dug in to her coat! There was a grenade in there somewhere!*

The demons finally arrived but instead of attacking Evangeline and party, they attacked the serpent instead! One of them swooped up Evangeline and carried her off away from the serpent!

Evangeline: *Evangeline was covering her head to sheild from ice one moment, and grabbed the next…! This was NOT a pleasant way to fly!* Ms. Grey!! -05:34 Nov 25

After Evangeline, two demons swooped up Leon and Gabriel and another swooped up Ciara! The others were still keeping the serpent busy and the raven returned to fly with the demons carrying the humans, were, and vampire!

Leon: Whoa! *He blinked and gulped as he looked down after getting swooped!* A wolf was never meant to fly. *He muttered under his breath.* -05:36 Nov 25

Ciara: *Ciara was about to shoot the damned things, but she got the hint quick enough!* Bloody hell! You could have warned us, Evangeline!

The monster was roaring behind them, snapping at the little pests only to have them fly away!

They were travelling faster now! As soon as they got to the clearing where the plane was, the demons landed and placed them gently on the ground. The raven landed on Evangeline’s shoulder.

Evangeline: I- I didn’t know! *…and she still wasn’t sure! Evangeline was having a hard time pushing that fear away and concentrating on the moment! Back on her feet again she felt a little dizzy!* -05:40 Nov 25
Leon: *As soon as he was back on the ground, he was on his hands and knees, kissing the dirt and trying to hug it!* Sweet, firm earth! How I’ve missed you! Earth! Ground! Firm ground! -05:40 Nov 25

The demons took off into the air and back to the island! The monster had gone back under the ice awhile ago!

Ciara: Quit kissing the ground and get on the plane! *She took Evangeline by the arm to usher her inside! Last she needed was to have to carry her arouns too.*

Leon: *Gave the ground a few more kisses, spat out some dirt and leaves and stood. He picked up Gabriel again and climbed onto the plane!* -05:44 Nov 25

Back at the hotel, Gabriel was tucked into bed with Evangeline and that white bird for nurses!

Leon: Another rescue mission deemed a success! *He made a v-sign and struck a pose!* -05:49 Nov 25

Ciara: *Ciara had the grace to remove her guns and weapons… Yet when did she pull out that fencing sword!* Oh Leon….

Leon: Hm? *He turned to look over at her and gulped when he saw the sword!* Now, Cissy … *He put his hands up and started to back away.* Let’s um … uh, talk about this. You know, like civilized adults? -05:51 Nov 25
Evangeline: *Evangeline let fluffy sit on the headboard, and curled up in bed with Gabriel. Awake or not she wanted to make sure he knew she was there!* -05:52 Nov 25

Ciara: Fencing is very civilized. It’s not my fault you don’t have a foil. *Ciara dashed around the sofa, swinging the sword at him!*

Leon: Ack! That’s not what I meant! Why the hell are you chasing me around for?! *He jumped onto the sofa and jumped off, landing neatly and whirling around to face her!* -05:54 Nov 25

Ciara: For someone that runs around yelping for help, you can sure fight just fine! When were you going to tell me about THAT? *Swish! ….Ack! Now there was a nice gas in her sofa! …Ciara growled, pouncing on teh sofa to hop overit after him!*

Gabriel: *He was in almost-but-not-quite comatose state! When she had asked earlier, the raven had informed her–through Morse code again–that because of the extent of his injuries, Gabriel had drifted into a deep sleep. He would be out for awhile but would be as good as new once he woke up!*

Leon: *Blink! He dashed off again, around the coffee table!* How does that change anything?! -05:57 Nov 25

Ciara: It changes plenty! *Damn that cooties wolf, he was good at dashing and she didn’t want to damage anymore furniture! Ciara set aside the sword, springing after him! She’d strangle him with her bare hands!* I worry about you and you can take care of yourself, you idiot!

Evangeline: *Oh dear… Ms. Grey was really mad this time! Leon probably should have told her that he learned a lot escaping those agents. Evangeline kicked her shoes off in the floor and pulled up the blanket. She’ll just have a nap and let them work it out!* -06:02 Nov 25
Leon: Yikes! *He ducked and tried to seek cover behind that suit of armor some diplomat had just sent her!* There’s nothing wrong with worrying about the wolf you love! -06:02 Nov 25

Ciara: There’s plenty wrong when I have to worry about some stupid psychic and her boyfriend! *Growling, she spotted him crawling for the armor! Ciara pounced!!*

Leon: *Poked his head out from behind!* See? And you didn’t have to worry about me! We’re all fine! *He ducked behind the armor and dashed out the opposite direction from her!* -06:06 Nov 25

Ciara: You can whip the devil out of people like a freaking Navy Seal, Leon! *Ciara scooted around the armor, …then reached down to the floor and yanked up the rug out from under his feet!* Why don’t you defend yourself, now, badass!

Leon: Oooff! *Away went the rug and out went Leon’s feet from under him! He landed on his back with a thud!* Um … Because it’s you and I could never bring myself to hurt you, on purpose or accident. -06:12 Nov 25

Ciara: *Ciara jumped on him and pinned him, but paused before wringing his neck!* I kill things as a second career and you’re worried about hurting me?

Leon: *Blinked up at her as if that was the most silly question in the world!* Of course, I do. It’s perfectly natural for me to. -06:16 Nov 25
Ciara: *Now she wasn’t sure if she wanted to hit him because he left some details out, or because he says stupidly nice things she didn’t want to like hearing. …She opted for sitting on him and debating about it.* Is that so. -06:19 Nov 25
Leon: *Soft sigh!* It’s true. I can fight and do a bunch of other things. But if you think about it, if I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t be here. I left out those details because I don’t like talking about it, or thinking about it, or mentioning it in any way. I’m … not even quite sure about half the stuff, I do. -06:21 Nov 25
Ciara: Don’t you think it’s better I know and can do something about it, instead of you surprising the hell out of me? -06:24 Nov 25
Leon: I’m very sorry. I don’t fight a lot to tell you the truth. I only do it when necessary and only for short periods at a time. Everytime I fight for say … ten minutes, I black out and when I come to … Let’s just say the results aren’t pretty. -06:26 Nov 25
Ciara: *She huffed slowly…* In that case, no more missions for you. You’ll stay at home and out of trouble. -06:28 Nov 25
Leon: *Wolfish grin!* Thanks, Cissy! I promise I’ll make it up to you! I’ll wash your car, clean the carpet … um, even eat that mushy green stuff! -06:31 Nov 25
Ciara: *Ciara crossed her arms and frowned. She still wasn’t getting off im either!* What about play fighting or practice? Do you avoid that too? -06:33 Nov 25
Leon: *He scratched his head.* If I’m play fighting or practicing by myself, it’s not so bad. That blacking out stuff only happens when I get into anything one could consider fighting, even something like practice. -06:37 Nov 25
Leon: You know, with someone else. One or more people. *He added after some thought.* -06:38 Nov 25

By Diala

Alarice and Diana have a severe addiction to Oracle, while running naked through Shadowstar, Desire of the Deep and anything else they dip their hands in to.

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