16 June, 2025 – Dubai, U.A.E.
The battle continues. Seamus engages a small group of soldiers, Cole as a werewolf draws fire, and John suppresses snipers on the nearby rooftops. Jamie, Hugo, and Daphne pop back into the world of the living behind the police lines, and Daphne opens way out of the roadblock by hotwiring one of the patrol cars and crashing it into another under covering fire from Hugo.
Mike uses his ability for suggestion to great effect, causing one enemy to fire on his compatriots and another to drive one of the APCs up to the door of the building.
The party piles into the APC and races out of the neighborhood, pursued in the air and on the ground.
It was a complete chaos. This was not fighting, not that she had any experience with it, but to her, fighting was less guns, fewer armoured cars and helicopters. Perhaps urban warfare was more appropriate. But no matter, it was chaos. She could, between the sound of guns firing, hear men shouting, someone screaming, and in general, sounds that she usually only heard in movies or on the news.
At least the werewolf had gone outside to eat soldiers, rather than attacking the people inside the building. Small mercies. She could hear roaring and screaming from the outside as well. She actually felt a bit sorry for the men outside; most of them were probably just doing their job. They probably had friends and family who loved them, and they had most likely just been told that they were fighting the bad guys. Given the monster outside that was currently ripping them apart, it was somewhat hard to argue with that.
What worried her was that it seemed like the default solution to problems had become violence. Granted, the Technocracy had not seemed much interested in talking, but it bothered her nonetheless. Especially that she seemed to be willing to accept that it was necessary; she had seen quite a lot of people violently killed in the past few days, and she had pretty much shrugged it off.
An armoured vehicle, one with a big gun mounted on it, screeched to a halt in front of the door, and Mike was yelling for them to get in. Margaret was not really eager to trust the man, but at this point, she doubted he was going to try something. She grabbed Emma, mainly because she was closest, and headed towards the car, trying to stay between Emma and the men with guns. She was not certain why she did it, especially considering Emma was probably the person in the group that would be hardest to kill. Shielding Emily would have been a lot better, but Emma had been next to her, and Emily had not.
They piled into the armoured car, and the man behind the wheel started driving back towards the street. He clearly was not a good driver; he actually managed to run over one of his comrades, and it seemed like an accident, not something he did on purpose. Then Mike told him to get out of the car, and he did, as Hugo came running up to the car, taking over the driver’s seat.
And then, seemingly out of nowhere, Daphne came rolling or falling over the hood of a car, and, with a sword that suddenly appeared in her hand, cut down the man in front of her. As the fae climbed into the vehicle, no one seemed to worry much that she was pretty much drenched in blood. Margaret tried to remember not to breathe, just in case.
They drove away from the apartment building, only stopping to pick up Jamie. Then there was a thud on the roof, the car shook, and they could all see a clawed, furry paw. Of course. Margaret looked around, trying to figure out what the quickest way out of the car was, just in case the beast decided to rip the roof off the car.
The paw soon became a hand, though, and after a few moments, a naked Cole came climbing into the car. Another thud, and John joined them too, and the car raced down the street, other cars and a couple of helicopters pursuing them.
Margaret wondered if any of the others felt bad about this. A lot of people had most likely died back there; one or two had been run over by one of their own people, controlled by Mike, something that did not seem to bother Mike much. Not to mention the things he had already done, making herself and at least a couple of the others do, or want to do, things against their will. Daphne had run a man through with a sword that she had just called out of thin air, and almost seemed to enjoy it. And Cole, well, he was a werewolf. It might not be fair to hold it against him, since it seemed he had had as little choice in the matter as she herself had. Still, he was a werewolf, the kind of creature that she suspected all dogs wanted to be. Or actually were, if given the opportunity.
And then there was John. Who was clearly very deadly, and very different from what she had expected. Of course, the circumstances under which she had met him were vastly different from those under which she had met Ezra. Perhaps in another setting, he would be more like Ezra. There was also the very real chance that Ezra would have been much like John, had it been him here. But the fact remained, John was dangerous, possibly the most dangerous of them, and that did say something.
It was impossible not to wonder if the first of their group to die, and it did not even occur to her that it might not happen, would be killed by one of the others in the group. Some of them seemed a little bit too cavalier about the safety and well-being of others in general.
The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on.
-Catch 22, Joseph Heller