Casualties

Adam was in his element as he stalked the intruders of the forest, and attacked them with guerrilla tactics. If this hadn’t been such a horrible place to be right now he might have been able to enjoy the sport of things. Adam thought so anyway as he leaped from his branch. In a fluid motion his knife lopped the head off of a strange antler thing. His Crabs crushed, carved and, pincered even more of the things before fading away into the trees again. If there weren’t so many he might have considered his contribution to the body count meaningful.

He followed the path of destruction being left by the creatures he was hunting. He also noted several bodies of mages scattered about. He didn’t know any of them personally at least. It still didn’t bring him any comfort. The trail ended around the broken bodies of several slivers and some guy in black with a ponytail. He at least took a bunch of the beasts down with him. Adam shuddered at the death inflicted in this little grove. Replacing his hunter’s mask Adam reactivated his camouflage and faded once again into the night.

~#~#~#~

In the campus Nick stood atop one of the lower buildings directing the flow of the civilians. The majority of the fighting had remained away from them, but the reports looked bad. Shifter and beast attacks have made steady progress inside of their battle lines in spite of heavy losses. While doing what they can, the planeswalkers could only be in so many places at once. And the list of casualties kept growing as time passed. Nick had even noted the names of friends of his. He never wished he was the real Nick as much as he had right now, but he wasn’t designed for this kind of conflict.

Nick was quickly jerked from his own thoughts as another howling beast pounced. In a flash the werewolf’s head rolled across the pavement of the grounds below. This creature wasn’t alone unfortunately as several more rat and wolf monsters attacked the crowd of people. Before Nick could even respond Alex appeared teleporting between each of them. He swung at one rat bashing it away from its victim. With his other hand he held a second racket in a reverse grip blocking a wolf”s attempt to sneak attack him. Silly werewolf, Alex wrote the book on sneak attacks.

Nick quickly joined him as he cast illusions to distract more of the beasts. It wasn’t enough though as some slipped through and killed more of the crowd before they were violently subdued

Nick holding a freshly removed head of a rat monster ran up to his younger counterpart. The boy has breathing heavily sporting a fresh bite mark on his left arm. He had finished wrapping the injury with a torn piece of cloth by the time he got there.

“Friend of yours?” Alex remarked on the head Nick had forgotten he was holding.

“Not any more.” Nick dropped the disgusting thing before continuing.

“That should be the last of the civilians. All we’re waiting on now is Sandra and her patients.”

“Don’t worry, I’ve sent. Zach and Chasity to help her. They should be here in a few minutes.”

“They better hurry then this is the last unsealed shelter. I don’t know how much longer we can…” The howls of packs of more of the werebeasts echoed in the distance. This group was much larger than any of the ones he’d seen before. Nick glanced at his friend. The battle was wearing on him. He had only just recently recovered from his injuries at the gym. If this kept up Alex wouldn’t survive this battle.

“Alex I’ve got an idea.” The young ‘walker looked over at him.

“I’m listening.”

“Cast that haste spell on me.”

“No.” He instantly rejected the proposal.

“Why not?”

“Because it’s not finished. The side effects would shorten your life by years. Not to mention you’d probably shatter some of your bones.”

“Well at the rate things are going my life is gonna be shortened by decades. And I’ve already reinforced my skeletal structure to deal with the stress. So just do it already.” Alex looked unsure even after his good arguments. They didn’t really have time for him to hesitate. “Just do it! It’s my choice!”

That snapped him out if it. He quickly cast his haste spell on Nick. He felt his movements and thought process increase a hundred fold. When it was done Nick put his hand in Alex’s shoulder.

“Thank you.” Without another word his eyes flashed blue as his spell took affect. Before understanding what was happening, Alex collapsed. Nick supported his weight and laid him in the ground for a moment. Then mentally sent a message out.

~#~#~#~

“277, 278, 27…Ah dammit.” Jason muttered to himself as his phone’s messaging system rang in his head. The current group of shifters were almost wiped out as he cast a barrier that encased the remaining eleven. A smaller four-legged black one with spiked feet bounced off the shield as he pulled out his phone.

Logos: Jason I need you at shelter 23. Alex went down. He’s okay, I think just unconscious from something. I’m stuck fighting these Werewolves or whatever they are. My Teams are spread to thin. Can you take him for me?

Yoshi: On my way.

Jason closed his phone, and with a flexing motion of his hand crushed the remaining shifters in the area.

“Some number.” As he ran the wardcaster slashed, smashed, and crushed his way through every beast in his path. He had rounded the last corner strangling a rat creature when he saw Nick.

The territory mage had blades covering his hands, which he used quite liberally, as he bounced around the place. Mountains of dismembers bodies littered the ground where he struck. Nick impacted with a brick wall causing it to cave in slightly. He barely seemed to notice as he spring boarded off of it into the next group. While this spectacle continued Jason managed to get a glimpse of the immobile form of Alex in the back.

Jason immediately rushed over to him while Nick held them off. Upon arrival he examined the younger mage for injuries. Other than his arm wound he didn’t see anything serious.

“Hurry up I got this. Just take him inside.” Nick yelled over while cutting a rat person in half from top to bottom. Jason grabbed his friend by his good arm and threw him over his shoulder, and began carrying him to the shelter. It was a one way trip though, until the crisis was declared over, so he needed to be careful not to walk in with him. “Look out!”

He heard Nick shout, but didn’t react fast enough as an explosion from near by knocked him down. The world around him spun as it faded away.

~#~#~#~

“Shit, Jason!” Nick yelled over to him. With all of his speed and quickened reflexes he still wasn’t able to stop Jason from walking into that Shifter’s blast radius. Several more of the red bulbous things lumbered around and exploded. The attacks were indiscriminate as werebeasts and shifters were also harmed by the attacks. With the added chaos Nick changed his hands into chains that grabbed the first of these new exploding shifters, and slammed it where he wanted. Causing more explosions and chaos.

“Jason are you okay?!” Nick yelled next, but received no response. With little other choice, he jumped over kicking a wolf that was about to bite one of them in the head, sending it flying. Looking down he saw blood trickle from a head wound he probably got when he hit the pavement.

“Shit I can’t heal this.” Resigning himself to defending this place solo Nick dragged the two unconscious planeswalkers to the entrance of shelter 23, and unceremoniously chucked them both inside.

“Now, where were we?”

~#~#~#~

“Oh God, not here. Not now.” Alex muttered to himself as he stood in an empty room. It was devoid of any real distinguishing markings except a pair of doors in the back.

“Hello Alex.” Alex turned around to find nothing, and faced forward again. His sight was immediately filled with the image of a female harlequin casually flipping from head to toe around the room. She held a pose on her hands for a brief moment then gently let her feet down to stand again. And when she finally stopped, Alex saw her face was covered by her usual black and red mask with a red heart in the black section under the eye slot. Her hat also jingled ever so slightly with each movement. “Let’s play a game.”

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