Thread: [NSW-Fic] The Squad
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:26 AM   #26
machievelli
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Lopez

Humans created the term 'bad hair day'. They don't even begin to understand it.

Dealing with a Vampyr is a bad hair day for a Were. I could smell him when he arrived, and for any Were that is a bad hair day. I am sure Asher has told so much about us.

Back during the time since the schism, we, the Were and Vampyr, were the terrors of the night and battle to humans.

We were designed for battle; animals with a human mind capable of terrorizing the ranks of an army. Every form of predatory animal was used in our creation from the Tarantula to the polar bear, and facing us armed only with copper bronze or steel blades took courage.

Yet with the schism we became legend. Our commanders saw no need to fight the human wars. We bowed out of their wars, and they repaid us by making us nonexistent.

Most of what you know of my race is myth. Ifr you have seen the movie made from the Twilight book Eclipse, you will remember the werewolves as wolves larger than the dire wolves of the Pleistocene era, weighing in at 240 pounds. But were are limited by their own mass; I weigh 180 pounds, just under 90 kilos, and my cougar form is that weight. But don't let that fool you; a 90 pound doberman pinscher is able to take down a man my size.

We also do not have an intermediate form. I can not turn into a cat-man, only into a cat or man. We are affected by silver as portrayed, an attempt by our original masters to make us more governable. We also do not breed true across species bounds. If a female werewolf were to bear my child, the child would be wolf, not cougar.

The moon had no more affect on us than it would on you. I can change at will and am not forced to change. The primary difference between us and normal humans is our reproductive cycle is linked to our animal. Were-spiders actually lay eggs, and all of us are glad they do not breed as normal humans do or there would be a few million more of them every year. My own wife is on the cycle of a southwestern cougar which means when she is pregnant the cubs are born 91 days later and she would have three years before she is ready to breed again.

For centuries we hunted the woods, eating the animals that lived there. But men came, and we had to hide.

The alliance between the Were and Vampyr began then. Those who have seen the third Underworld movie, Rise of the Lycans understands what happened. The Vampyr needed someone to watch over them when they slept during the day, and we... we needed someone to protect our litters and pups during the night. It was not a slave/master relationship, and we did not have sexual relations with them.

Round about 1916, that ended. The Vampyr had done enough planning among humans to create the idea of the blood bank. We parted with barely a sigh.

But still, our servitude rankled the elders of my race. There were older Vampyr who still looked down on us. We tend to get irritated because they are so urbane; so upper crust they should make pie shells out of them. Whereas we are considered brutish animals. As a member of the local police, it didn't bother me that much. I had my own life to lead.

Asher looked at the crowd. “I do not drink...wine.” As expected the old chestnut from the first Dracula movie drew a groan. “Barkeep, I hope you have Newcastle on tap.”

“We do, sir.”

“Then a pint of that, please.”

I started to turn as a young woman with bright red hair came up into the bar. She moved, and I shouted, “Gun!”

*****

Vrumugan

Even before the Shift I was born to fly. When I was six my parents bought me a kite, and every windy day I was outside flying it. I had dreams where I could change places, and I flew instead of the kite, my arms spread, glorying in the sheer thrill.

A lot of the Dragons, Angels and Demons were pilots since aircraft were invented; we are all natural fliers, and even without our true forms, we still had that inate ability. We are never happier than when we're in the air, and the faster the better. Now they believe a lot of the pioneers of aviation were also of our breeds; Da Vinci, Lillienthal, the Montgolfier brothers, the Wright Brothers, even Daedelus.

And let's not forget the women, Hanna Reitsch, Marie Marvingt, Amelia Earhart, and the entire 586th Fighter Regiment during WWII which included two aces; Lydia Litvyak and Yekaterina Budanova, all women right down to every support person.

If you don't believe me, look at the warriors and test pilots of history. They are either hard drinking people, or teetotals, skirt chasers or holy joes, with only two things in common, fast cars and even faster planes. Someone in the press noticed the numbers of each breed that were either older pilots and aces, and present pilots, and retired Major General Chuck Yaeger was awakened from a sound sleep at five AM. They were all disappointed that he had not changed. After all, making the first supersonic flight with two broken ribs, and needing his fellow test pilot and flight engineer Jack Ridley to jury-rig a lever to close the canopy sounds Draconian to me.

I was a Marine pilot, flying Blackhawks at first during the Gulf War, but I was way too aggressive for that. Not many pilots got a Silver Star because when his chopper was shot down, he grabbed the Marymount M60 off his craft and went hunting for the son of a bitch who shot him down. I got him too. I think I'm one of the only combat pilots in history who got a reprimand and a medal for the same action.

They transferred me into SuperCobras because the damned Navy Secretary and Navy never acquired the Apache Naval variant. It's all good though. The mechanics and brass hated me because I would bring my birds back with damage not only from enemy fire but FOD as well. But I never had to buy a drink if the ground pounders knew I had flown cover for them.

I got RIFed during the Clinton Administration. When the president and his clique decided to 'build the Peace', they did it by ripping off the Military budget without reducing it.That's why the modern miltary is so small, and the reserves and National Guard are so big; enough people to fight a major war, but at the same time, only a small core being paid fulltime. Defense on the cheap I call it. When I was offered a commission, but only if I went reserve, my answer to my squadron commander Charles 'Bulldog' Carlyse was not only obscene, but physiologically impossible.

So I was separated whether I liked it or not. There was an opening in the Las Vegas Air Support Unit, and I jumped at the chance. A number of helicopter pilots are Dragons instead of Demons or Angels; I think it's because we're airborne predators. Remember the saying they have? That you can't escape the Eye in the Sky? I had a pursuit once when the thieves changed vehicles four times, yet I never lost them for a second. I just knew which car they were in. When it's a Dragon at the stick, you have no chance to get away.

Have you ever had a dream where you feel like you're trapped? Like maybe in a coffin? I was off when the Shift happened, both good and bad, because I was home in bed. For some reason, unlike the were, Dragons do't just change into a man-sized lizard. In Dragon form I am over fifty feet long with a forty foot wingspan. One minute, I'm in my studio apartment, dead to the world, the next one wing had grown right through the wall into the apartment behind mine, my neck and head had ripped through the wall of not only my apartment but the opposite wall of the next apartment where my head was, and my tail and legs had ripped through the next two apartments from the foot of my bed.

I don't know who was more pissed, the tenants who had to relocate, the manager who had to fight it out with the insurance company who wanted to label it an act of god, or me because I was thrashing around trying to get free. The only good thing about when it happened was my apartment was on the third and top floor.

As you remember, that night was a nightmare for just about everyone. I''m still trying to get free when a Metro squad car screeched in, and two officers are firing into me with their sidearms and shotgun. Luckily Dragons are pretty much invulnerable to anything smaller than a high powered rifle, but getting shot stings big time. When they tapped out, as they were reloading, I shouted at them like you see in the movies when cops draw down on other cops, and the targeted individual screams he's a cop. Fat lot of good it did; the sons of bitches just kept unloading on me.

So I stooped like a hawk, landed on their car, purely by accident mind, and smashed their guns. One was screaming for backup when his partner changed into a lion, and leaped onto my neck. To me it was like having your newly acquired kitten decide your neck is it's worst enemy, and only my self restraint kept her alive as I peeled her off. That kept me alive; because she had ridden with her partner for five years, and she'd never even hinted at her own dual nature.

We had a screaming match they heard four blocks away, because when a dragon gets pissed, he doesn't talk softly. Think of the cartoons when a character blows a bugle in someone's ear and both eardrums leap out the other side of their head. I might have been forced off the force that next week like so many others if some crazy guy hadn't changed at the same time, and decided that if he was a Dragon, he should have a hoard.

One quick warning. Never ask a Dragon about his hoard, or mention gold to them. And definitely don't ask them how Virgins taste. The only one who will hurt you worse is a Troll if you comment about Billygoats, mainly because they can hurt you instead of killing you. We don't get hung up on collecting precious metals to sleep on, or whether we like virgins for din-din. Jut a word to the wise.

Anyway, among the frantic calls for help was one where a Dragon had smashed into the Excalibur, and was ripping open the cage where the day's receipts were collected. I grabbed the two cops in front of me, and flew across town with the human officer still bleating about not only dragons but people turning into lions as well. I landed outside, told the assembled cops to get SWAT back up with hunting rifles, and plowed into the casino.

The fight didn't last long; he was a teenage kid a third my size as a dragon, with no training at all in fighting. Think of a kid slap fighting while they keep their heads back to protect their face. I took him down in about five minutes, though they had to rebuild the front of the building. They needed a flatbed trailer with chain come-alongs every five feet to cart him off. A few weeks later, one of the first Mages to discover her powers offered to return the prisoner to human form. I tipped my tankard, er, barrel at Danika. She returned the salute.

The fight was live on the news, from both the ground and the air. When the Casino reopened, they'd hired a pair, one boy, and a girl to do an aerial fight show every night, along with a young wannabe actress who played a virgin about a week before we protested the stereotyping. We finally agreed to allow it as 'a mythological representation', which ended with both the Dragon now in human form, and the girl taking a bow.

Hollywood didn't wait very long to follow suit. Casting had already been done for movies like Van Helsing and The Lord of the Rings, but If you watch Constatine, every one of those extras who played demons in the face off before the climactic scene were real demons who pretended to allow themselves to be doused with 'holy' water, causing their demonic faces to be revealed. Peter Jackson, who directed the Lord of the Rings trilogy used real Trolls, real Goblins, real Elves, and real Dwarves when he started making the Hobbit Trilogy. There was even a big name actor who specializes in being the villain as Smaug.

We're the only shapechangers required to go in human form most of the time. Think about it, could I get a table at a restaurant as a Dragon? Besides, a big body has big appetites. That was part of the reason I was a Dragon tonight; the Deputy Sheriff was buying the dinner and drinks, and after a full cow and all the beer I had drunk, I was feeling mellow.

He'd bitch. Big deal. I voted for the other guy.

I love Guiness. I was trying a barrel of their new Black Lager when Lopez shouted. If it had been a group of civilians, it would have been bad. Everyone would have looked at Lopez with 'what the hell?' thoughts as the gunman, or in this case gun-woman started blasting. Even with a bunch of regular cops it would have ended with dead and wounded on our side.

But the Squad was made up of a lot of people who had been in combat before, or those with preternatural reflexes. Both Andiel and Lilith were moving to intercept her, but our skipper ended the argument. Oh he isn't really fast, or super strong or anything like that. He just turned, his right hand flicked as if he were throwing away some litter, and his sword leaped across the intervening distance, slamming down the barrel of some huge pistol, splitting it like the legend of Robin Hood's famous shot. The point stopped less than an inch from her face.

Before she could drop it the angel and demon were just there, grabbing her by the arms. She fought back, and I was surprised. Either of them can stop a car in it's tracks, sixty to zero in oh my god whiplash time. But she was flailing around, making them lift and move as she struggled. As she did she was screaming in some language I had never heard.

Art walked over, and replied in the same language. It's a little known fact that Paladins get what might be called an automatic translator from their gods. Like Elizabeth Moon's Paksennarion, it used to be that Paladins roamed around the world righting wrongs. How can you take sides in an argument without knowing what the people are saying?

Then Art stiffened, turning to look at Asher. “What does she mean, 'father'?”

Asher looked embarrassed. “I did not know she was still alive.” He admitted.

“You and I will discuss that in the morning. You,” he turned back to the woman, “just bought yourself a night in the cells.”

“Captain, Sunlight hurts me.” Asher reminded him.

“You're right. I am not used to working with most of the races represented. I am sorry. That means we had better take care of it tonight.” He looked at the team around him. “Loki, Danika, which of you is better with a truth spell?”

“I am, Captain.“ Danika replied softly.

“Then come with me-”

“With us.” Lilith replied. “I don't trust this one as far as I can throw her.” Ardiel nodded.

“Fine. With us. The rest of you, I know you're all having fun, but the open bar just closed.” There was a groan from a lot of throats at that. “I only allowed it to go so long because the Deputy Sheriff was buying, and I expect to catch flak about that thanks to a couple of you.” He speared me with a minatory look. “How many is that, Vrumagan?”

I looked at the half empty barrel. “Three?”

He looked at the bartender. “Try six. You are not driving home.”

“Skipper, I'm hurt.”

“You're not flying either.”

Damn. I stared sipping to make it last as they left.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile

Last edited by machievelli; 03-20-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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