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?
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…*
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!
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!
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!
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!*
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!
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!
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!
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.*
Fluffy still sat on Evangeline’s shoulder! It shook, ruffling its feathers!
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.*
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!
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!
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!”
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!
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.”
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!”
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!
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!*
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!
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.”
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.
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.*
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.*
Ciara: *Shoot Evangeline! That was the plan!* Kill anything that gets in the way sounds like a good idea to me.
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!*
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.
The raven took off and flew down the corridor! It turned sharply to the right–and disappeared through a wall!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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)!
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!
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!*
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.
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!
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!
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!*
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!
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…?
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!
“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!
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.”
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?!”
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!
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!
The woman looked up and watched him fly into the air–only to get knocked unconscious when he landed on top of her!
Gabriel: *Finally got free! He fell forward!*
Ciara: When the hell were you going to tell me you could that! *Ciara practically shouted!* …Damnit, Nevermind and carry him.
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!*
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!
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!*
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!
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!
Ciara: *Ciara jumped over after them, eyeing those demons on the wall…. But more concerned about about the frozen lake!*
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!
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!*
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.*
Back at the hotel, Gabriel was tucked into bed with Evangeline and that white bird for nurses!
Ciara: *Ciara had the grace to remove her guns and weapons… Yet when did she pull out that fencing sword!* Oh Leon….
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!*
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!*
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!
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!!*
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!
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?