The Battle of New Orleans (with apologies to Johnny Horton)

by Cobalt-Blue

Author's Notes:
    This continues our journey toward the modern era.  Runeclaw is becoming something of a legend among the nocturnals and the transhumans alike.  Now he must track down an old foe before it's too late.   In this issue we also discover that not only is having a shapeshifting girlfriend hot, it can be even hotter when you can shapeshift too. As always, I appreciate feedback.

    The next two years was a nightmarish whirlwind in my personal and professional life, as well as the situation with transhumans across the globe.  I could see the beginnings of what Ridvin had shown me that long night so many years ago.  I could see brewing in the winds, the warnings he'd given to me between long bouts of love-making as we said our final farewells.  

    Between my own missions that covered everything from infiltrating deep behind the former Iron Curtain to dealing with certain transhuman threats, and one or two nocturnal ones as well, to several missions into Bagdad, Mecca, and the hell holes that are the Palestinian territories.  And yes, this Heathen has been in the "forbidden city" of Mecca.  I've been close enough to that damnable black rock to want to reach out and see if I could toss it into the Red Sea.  And no, in my trips into to Romania, I did not meet Dracula- although I did meet him much later.  At that time I was there, he was in Switzerland having some pretty long discussion with King Michael, the former monarch of Romania.

     I did manage to have it out with Russian Winter again high in the Carpathians.   When I left him, he had a broken leg, several broken ribs, and was trying to stuff his intestines back into his gut.  I thought that I'd killed that over-grown cold-drake that he rides, but no such luck on either kills.  Damn it, if they'd let me do these things right, they wouldn't keep coming back to  haunt us.  But at the time the Transhuman War hadn't yet flared hot.

    On the home front a lot was happening with my friends and some of my acquaintances.  It took Jeff less than three months to modify some of his gear and restart his career as a somewhat darker Sun Dancer.  He no longer had his psionic powers, and couldn't power his sword, so turned to technology and his rather formidable fighting skills.  Taking a cue from a certain popular series of movies, he designed a laser sword, a force shield and several other high tech gadgets and reminded the bad guys in the Miami area that he was not out of the fight.  He hooked up with the first Dreamweaver again and a vampiress named Onyx and they kicked ass took names for a while.  Unfortunately, Dreamweaver died not long afterwards- at the hands of a rather nasty vampire.

    It didn't take the Corps long to find a replacement for Jeff.  This time the hero Angel Blue took up the psi-gem and sword and fought alongside his wife, the heroine Panda.  They mainly worked out of the Nashville area.  He started his career in early ninety and died in the summer of ninety-one in a battle with one of Jeff's old enemies- Red October.  Rumor had it that Panda had left the planet to have it out with the Corps.

    On the good side of things, Gates finally graduated and landed herself a job job as a patrol officer in Atlanta.  Last I heard she was doing rather well for herself and was making her way steadily up the ranks.  A new school for Transhuman kids opened in Atlanta. They called it Homeguard- based on the World War Two teen team with Challenger, Sky Dancer, Yankee Zephyr, Gate, and Northwind.  It looked like things were going pretty well for them too.

    As for the Pacifica school out in California;  well right after the Gulf War, they went to Kuwait to help put out the oil fires, and clean up the environment.  They got involved in some kind of dust up with somebody over there.  It would be years before we figured out that they had the first conflict with the newly formed UNIPACT Prime. (As told in A Gathering of Gatherings)

    About three months after that the UN unveiled its new transhuman UNIPACT Prime.  It consisted of Sentinel- whom I understand got his ass handed to him by Challenger-, Shift- who turned to be the key to their coming reign of terror-; Nocturne; and Growl.  The last two were ferals.  Nocturne was a bat-like sonar using creature that could fly, and Growl was a werewolf wannabe.  He would also become a dangerous killer.

     Of course during the Gulf War itself, I found myself being used as a tank hunter.  The running joke was that I could chase them all I wanted to, but I couldn't keep anything I caught.  I killed sixteen tanks by myself- and yes, I killed some of the crew.  This was war. Never got much of a chance after the war to relax. That was when I ended up chasing down one lead after another looking for various transhuman and nocturnal bad guys.

    Mom, Dad, and Wynn moved to Sweden during this time too. Mom was getting a chance to put her archeological skills to use as she became one of the primary archeologists on the dig at the Temple of Upsula.  Of course she was a hell of a lot more accurate than the others working on it.  She had been to the place when she was a girl.  Dad was going stir crazy.

    This was also a time when two heroes would appear that would have their roots so far in the past and the future that to this day, I don't understand all the ramifications of who and what they are: Midean Knight and Mindbow.  Their initial run as operatives was rather short;  they first appeared on the scene in June of ninety-one and by October of that year, Mindbow was dead- at the hands of Kamal Khan.

    Myself, I'd just finished with that mission into Romania I told you about, and I'd just gotten out of a week's stay in the hospital at Bethesda.  I'd left Russian Winter in bad shape, but I wasn't feeling so good myself.  My regeneration usually takes care of most wounds fairly quickly.  But that dam dragon, Rus had left me in pretty bad shape.  His rime frost was worse than Isstonn's, and it was taking me a while to get over some of the damage he'd done.  Norsemen don't like dragons for a reason.

    I'd finally gotten a bit of leave-  a month to be exact, and was getting ready to hop a flight to Heathrow when I got a tap on the shoulder from General Presley's aide.  Leave had been cancelled.    I put my bags down and looked at the ticket I'd paid for out of pocket and started swearing in Old Norse. I was to report to the General's office immediately.  This was getting ridiculous.  I understood the needs of the service and all, but I was beginning to wonder if they understood the need for a little R and R.

    I caught a cab over to the Eisenhower Building to the DNA's headquarters where they were temporarily sharing office space with another agency.  As I entered I saw someone familiar, an agent I'd worked with on a couple missions in the past.  He was tall, and in his late forties and very handsome.  Too bad he was so straight that it made my hair hurt.  He was leaving the building as I was coming in.  Nodding to me he said, "Lieutenant Greenbough."

    I gave a quick nod back and said, "Colonel Austin."  I then jogged to catch the elevator up to the general's office.

    His secretary was outside and looked up to me as I entered.  "Go on in sir.  He's waiting for your."

    "I strode in to the office and asked, "General, I was just about to hop a plane to London.  I've got a month's leave coming and I was planning on spending it drinking warm port and making love to the most beautiful blonde in the world."

    "Do I know her?" a very familiar voice came from across the office.  

    I looked over to where Emory was sitting next to a blond kid who looked like a  young Kevin Bacon with glasses.    I smiled broadly and said, "I don't know if you would or not.  I met her several years ago when she spent a few months with my family.   She's about your height, your build, your hair color, and your eye color.  You may know her.  Emory Northmore?"

    "Okay, that's enough Lieutenant Greenbough.  Now as you can see the young lady in question is here, and we've got a mission," General Presley said.  

    At this point I turned to him and said, "Something to soften the blow, General?"  I looked over at Emory and said, "I'm supposed to be on leave, General.  You know that thing that I've been able to take only once in the past five years, and still ended up working for you.  Same deal.  I do this mission, and my leave gets restored."

    Presley looked over at me and smiled. "I'll go you one better, boy.  You finish this mission, and the US Government will pick up the tab for the an all expense paid leave in New Orleans after it's over."

    "In writing, General," I told him with a smile.  

    "In writing Lieutenant," he said.  Then turning back to the kid, he said, "This is one of our newest recruits for the DNA, Kenneth Tyde also known as Midean Knight."

    I looked at the boy and said, "My condolences on your recent loss, son."

    He smiled weakly at me and replied, "Thanks."

    "But that's the problem Trey," Emory said.  "She's not dead.  That was why I was called in.  She's been separated from her body, sort of trapped on the astral plane."

    "Okay, what's this got to do with me?" I asked.

    "Her body has been stolen," the boy said.  "We can't rejoin her without her body, and Kamal Khan has that."

    I whipped my head around toward him and asked, "Kamal Khan, the weretiger?"

    He nodded to me and said, "Yeah, he broke into the morgue and stole her body.  He's planning some kind of horrific ritual on her, Lieutenant Greenbough.  I need your help."  His eyes darkened and for just a moment, I could see the tinge of madness around them.  "But whether you give it or not, I'm going to go to New Orleans and get her back."  He adjusted his glasses, and something seemed wrong with his hands.  Then I realized that he had six fingers on each one.

    Pushing that to the back of my mind, I said, "New Orleans?  That's going to be difficult.  The vampire chancellor of that city is engaged in a a war with Chicago. It's getting pretty nasty right now. For Emory or I to go in there we need to at least inform Chancellor Leger that we're there.   Technically, my Commission gives me all the rights I need to do it, but it's better not to throw my weight around."

    "I don't give a damn about nocturnal politics Lieutenant," he said in anger.  

    "You should," I told him.  "If we irritate the Chancellor, he can make our job that much harder.  Sometimes it's better to work within the system. It causes fewer problems later."

    "Glad to hear you say that, Lieutenant," the General said.  "We've already booked you the Govenernor's Suite at Hotel Orleans.  You've got a meeting with the Chancellor at eighteen hundred hours tonight."

    "General it's nearly noon now," I said.

    "I know, Lieutenant.  There's  a perfectly working clock on the wall over there.   Miss Northmore will be your transportation there.  In the meantime you are going to need a little more information, so sit down and stop acting like a teenager caught trying to slip out of the house in the middle of the night."

    "Yes sir," I told him and sat.

    He pulled out three dossiers and handed one to each of us.  "Here's what we know.  Kamal Khan managed to steal Tabitha Steele's body after supposedly killing her.  We all thought she was dead, but Midean Knight here discovered that she was trapped outside her body.  The only way she can contact anyone is in a dream state."

    "Dream state?" I asked.  "With all due respect, General, could this be some kind of wishful thinking?"

    General Presley smiled and shook his head, "That's why I asked MI-6 to loan us Agent Northmore here.  She confirmed it for us."  I nodded and he continued.  "We know he's hooked up with a small pack of werewolves out of Baton Rouge and has enlisted the help of two of his fellow Richelieu Factor operatives: Serpenterra and Cat's Claw."

    I chuckled, and said, "Serpenterra huh?"

    "You know her?" Ken asked.

    "Yeah a friend of mine and I stopped her and Neutron from kidnapping Doctor Green.  It was purely by accident that we were there.  But I can tell you this, she's one mean green feral.  She's a cross between a Gorn and a Sleestack on steroids, and worst of all she's a terrakinetic."

    "What about Cat's Claw?" Emory asked.

    "No idea what her real name is," General Presley said.  "She's one of the highest paid and most successful assassins since Robert Kilpatrick.  She has some kind of regeneration factor, and like Scalpel has a mesh of syntenol armor woven under her skin.  She still feels the kinetic force of an attack, but slashing and penetrating blows are ineffectual.  She has heightened senses, and wears detachable razor sharp syntenol claws.

    "Syntenol has a high silver content,"  Ken said.  "Is that going to affect you, Lieutenant?"

    I shook my head and said, "No.  I'm a mage cat, not a regular werecat.  I'm affected by something different."

    I felt something flutter against my mind shields and looked over at the boy.  I let my eyes shift into their normal shape, released part of my beast, and said, "Don't do that again.  I know when I'm being scanned and I don't like it."

    To the kid's credit, he didn't cringe like most people do- even psis.  This kid wasn't just a psi, he was a nocturnal too.  "Sorry," he said.

    I turned back to the General and asked, "Just tell me where Kamal Khan is."

    "We think he's set up shop just inside the boundaries of an dilapidated old plantation: Hotel Africa," he said.

    "Oh, this just gets better and better.  I've heard tales about that place.  It's where Lady Ashleigh Grey supposedly met the final death at the hands of a hunter.  Most people who go in there, don't come out," I said. 

    "If it were going to be easy, Lieutenant I would have used someone else.  But I need Tabitha's body returned and I need it rejoined with her spirit.  To do that, I need Runeclaw," he said.

    I nodded and asked, "Who's mission leader?"

    "You are," he told me.

    I nodded again and said, "Okay.  This is how it's going to go down.  We'll meet with Chancellor Leger tonight.  Let him know what's going on and get him to pull his own people as far away from the fight as possible. We'll go in just before midnight.  Emory, you keep the werewolves off our backs.  I know you've dealt with that before."  I looked over at Ken and said, "I need you to deal with Serpenterra."  He started to protest and I held up a hand and said, "I need you to take her out, while I deal with Kamal Khan, and I need you to do it quick.  While I'm carving our rogue weretiger into kitty chow, you're to grab your girlfriend and get the hell out of there." Turning to Emory I said, "And then you're tot get all three of you to safety and do what ever it is you have to do to get her mind and body back together.  I'll deal with the clean up."

   Ken turned to Emory and asked, "Is he always like this?"

    She smiled and said, "Kid, you have no idea. You should have seen him on the Night of the Howls.  I think even the Gods themselves were just a little afraid that night.  There's a reason that Trey Greenbough's SEAL team has the highest success rate in history."

    Ken nodded and said, "You talk about Kamal Khan like you've met him."

    I know I had to have scowled at him when I said, "I have. About two years ago, he was raping and killing women in the Miami area.  Sun Dancer and I tracked him down.  Just about had him down and out for the count."

    "What happened?" Ken asked.

    "I got abducted by aliens," I said with a straight face.

    "Okaaay," Ken said.

    I smiled and said, "Anything else we should know, General?"

    "Yeah, Lucien and Geran are not currently in New Orleans.  Last we heard they were taking care of some of the nastier nocturnals that were released when you and Russian Winter were smashing up the Carpathians last month."

    "Oh great," I said.  "Now they're gonna' bust my ass for not cleaning up after myself.   When are you people going to let me finish what I start?"

       The meeting went on for another hour or so as we hammered out the details.  Finally, we were ready to leave.  As usual, Emory's teleport spell went smooth as silk.  Mine always make me just a little queasy in the stomach, but hers was perfect.   She looked around at the suite and smiled.  There were two bedrooms, a main living area as well as a small kitchen.  Looking up at the clock on the faux mantelpiece we realized we had about six hours to kill before we could meet with Leger.  

    "Look, I'm going to go downstairs and get something to eat," Ken said glancing over to the large bedroom.  "Then I think I'm going to catch that new Highlander movie that just came out.  You guys look like you could use some time to catch up."

    I grinned at him and said, "Just be back here by five.  I want us all together when we meet with Doctor Leger."

    "The Chancellor of the city is a doctor?" Ken asked.

    I grinned and said, "Last I heard, he even still practices medicine."

    "That's just wrong," Ken said leaving the suite. 

    As the door closed behind him, Emory smiled up at me.  "I saw your parents last month."

    I grinned and said, "And I saw your Uncle last month too.  He kept suggesting diamond brokers to me."

    She chuckled, "At least your parents were a little more subtle.  But under the circumstances they had to be.  Wyn is driving them to distraction."

    "Oh?" I asked.

   "Yeah, he's taken to chasing pixies," she said. 

  "Has he caught any?"  I asked pulling her to me, relishing the feel of her soft body against mine.

    She grinned at me as she reached up and put her arms around my neck.  Kissing me lightly on the lips she said, "Yea, It took almost a week for his skin to finally fade back to normal from the bright blue it had turned.  Evidently he doesn't want to hurt them, he just keeps trying to shake pixie dust off of them so he can fly."

    "So he can fly?" I asked.

    "Yeah, your folks showed him the Peter Pan movie, and now he's convinced that if he can catch them and get their dust he can fly."

    "This is not  going to end well," I said picking her up and carrying her to the main bedroom.

    "We'll see," she said as I kicked the door closed with my foot.

    Laying her down on the bed, I began to kiss her gently.  It had been several years since we'd seen each other.  We'd both taken other lovers over that period, and in one case taken the same lover at different times. That was part of our agreement.  When the time came we would be together, but until that time we were both free to find our pleasure where we could.  What we shared between us was something that beyond a normal relationship.  It had been decided for us as much at we had decided it for ourselves.  It had been sealed in the pain and blood and the aftermath of that one long night following the Night of the Howls. I just didn't know how deep and how strong the seals were until our first born.

    Her fingers began to pull at the buttons of my shirt, and I could feel her need growing as the link we shared flared to life under each other's touch.  I kissed her, reveling in the taste of her mouth, the scent that was hers, a scent that I could find no matter what form she took.  There was another underlying scent there too, the scent of desire.

   I too began to gently undo the buttons of her blouse as I kissed down her creamy white neck and nibble at the points of her ears hidden under her hair.  I could feel the silk of her lacy bra as my hands slowly massaged her breasts.  I slipped a hand under it and gently ran my fingers across the nub of her nipple and felt it grow hard under my touch.  She moaned softly as I nipped my way down her neck and then across her collar bone.  Finally, pushing the material out of the way, I latched onto the nipple with my mouth and began to suck playfully.

    Meanwhile she'd managed to get my shirt open and my undershirt out of my slacks so she could run her own hands up the length of my back.  Her touch was soft, and hot and and needful.  Reluctantly I let go of her nipple and sat up, straddling her body, my knees on either side of her hips.  I tossed my shirt to the side, and then pulled my undershirt over my head and flung it away as well.

    I rolled off her and and undid my web belt and dropped my trousers and briefs.  She raised an eyebrow at the splotches of healing raw skin along my right side where I'd taken one of Rus' cold blasts.  "What happened?" she asked.

    "Dragon," I said.

    She smiled and gently ran a hand down the healing skin.  Her touch was hot and gentle at the same time.  I watched as it made the semi hard length of my dick began to stretch out the front of my briefs.  She giggled and began to undress herself.

    I watched in amazement as she made the simple act of taking off her clothes into something graceful, and erotic.  When she was down to just her silky pink panties, she turned away from me, bent over and pushed them down, exposing her backside to me.  The shape of her butt rounded out from the slight indention at the top and came around in an oval on each side, finally meeting at the point of her sex, forming the perfect valentine- Freyja's symbol.

    I could see the smoothness of her lips, where she either trimmed, or was naturally bare of hair.  The prominence of her mound split by the slit from which a drop of moisture was beading up.  I could smell her desire, her readiness from where I was standing.   I dropped to my knees, and worshiped at the altar that My Lady had prepared for me.  I ran my tongue along her slit, tasting the heady flavor of her juices as I reached out in front of her and cupped one of her firm breasts in each hand.

    She wiggled her butt as I inserted my tongue as deeply into her sex as I could; loving the taste, the heat, and the silken texture of her body; loving the woman herself. I sat simply supplicating myself to the greatest treasure the Gods had ever given me, pleasing her as my offering of thanks to them.  It was long before she was thrusting back against my tongue, and  began moaning softly.

    She spread her legs and leaned forward on the bed to give me better access.  I dropped the breast in my left hand and reached around to the front of her sex and and found the little nub at the top of her opening, just below the silk -ike light blonde curls of her pubes.  I dipped my finger into her hot wetness to to moisten it, and then began to tug on it, and roll it gently between my forefinger and thumb as I drove my tongue deep in side her.


    In a few moments she began to thrust hard back against my face, and with her hand ground my fingers against her clitoris.  Suddenly a shudder ran through her body and I heard her voice in my mind.  *I want you inside me now, Trey! *

    I smiled and stood up.  Lining the head of my uncircumcised cock up to her opening, I slipped inside her gently.  But she would have none of that. She pushed back hard, impaling herself on my eight inch length in a single thrust.  I could feel her pussy suddenly contract against my dick in several convulsions.  Oddly enough, I wasn't even close yet.  I began to move slowly inside her in long sensuous thrusts, pulling out until just the head of my dick was inside her and then pushing back until I felt my low hanging balls press up against her pubic mound.  I looked down and marveled at the sight of my length buried in her body, my coppery pubes nestled against her creamy butt.

    Something inside me just reached out to her.  I felt a joining of our minds and souls as well as our bodies asI moved in and out of her in a slow rhythm.  She seemed to be going through one orgasm after another, as I simply enjoyed the feeling of being inside her; the feeling of her hot velvet wetness engulfing my length.  I loved the feeling as my foreskin was pulled back and the corona of my dick's head rubbed against the skin of her insides.

    I don't know how long we made love like that.  I know I could feel her shuddering in pleasure under me for almost the whole time.  Finally, I felt the pressure in my balls begin to build,  I could feel them pull tight up against my body as I reached the same apex she seemed to be riding since we began.  My thrusts became harder, faster as she pushed to get me deeper inside her.  Suddenly, I  was over the edge unloading deep inside her.  She moaned again we collapsed on the bed.  

    Now, Emory barely weighs a hundred pounds, and I'm well over two, so I rolled off her and felt my dick slip from inside her.  As I pulled myself up onto the bed, she snuggled up against me like a contented kitten.  I ran my fingers through her soft hair and said, "That was different."

    She smiled up at me and said, "I know.  I've been on the brink of that orgasm since General Presley told me that you were going to be on this mission."  She pulled herself along my body and said, "Seriously, Trey.  It's been too long."

    I nodded and kissed her as I wrapped my arms around her small frame.  "I know"  The feelings we'd just shared, the love making we'd experienced was very different from any of my other lovers- well not quite, but he was now in the Halls of the Lord of the Earth and well beyond my ability to reach.  It was special, more intense, and touched me on a much deeper level.  "But what can we do? We both have our duty.  Right now all we can do is steal what time we can and treasure the moments.  Eventually, we'll be together as we promised each other."

    She nodded and snuggled her body up against mine.  "I miss having a lover who knows what I want without my having to direct him or her."

    "Her?" I asked raising an eyebrow.

    She smiled up at me and said, "You're not the only one who can walk the other side of the fence."

    "Really?" I asked. Then I did something I'd never tried before.  I reached along the link we shared.  Much to my surprise, I found an image I hadn't expected.  Evidently Alec wasn't the only lover we'd shared.  She knew details about Gates Murphy that could only be known from direct contact with her body.  "You like Amazons, huh?" I asked.

    She blushed and reached up and touched the side of my face.  "I don't have a lot of mass.  I'm always going to be somewhat on the small side, even my male forms.  The large female does have a certain attractiveness to me." 

    I grinned and said, "Really?  Sort of like me and smaller males?"

    She nodded and said, "Yeah, but you can take a smaller male form.  I can't take the large male or female form."

    I let my mind roam hers.  I wasn't about to disrespect either her or Gates, but I thought I could kill two birds with one stone.  Back in Miami when I was in Leighanne's form, I had considered letting things go a little farther with the boy that kept flirting with me.  At the time I had a job to do, and I didn't think it would do Leighanne's standing much good in the local community so I curbed my more prurient interests.  But this could be an opportunity for both of us.

    I slowly put a composite image together; tall, very tall, well muscled- but definitely female- large busted.  Remembering a few times when I'd sat down and watched Robotech with Kevin, I added a slight twist.  I didn't know if I could pull it off or not.  Pink hair wasn't found in nature, but I gave it a try.  I got the image good and strong in my head, and then released the hold I had on my body that kept me from taking my normal mage cat form.  As I started to become that, I thrust myself into the image in my mind.  I felt my body change.  I'd rarely taken the female form in the past, and every time I did, I always discovered something new to fix.  It took me a few seconds, to transform and then a few more to make various adjustments, but when I finally looked down my body, I realized I could have given Lynda Carter a run for her money as Wonder Woman.

    I looked over at Emory and said, "You once told me how far you were willing to go to keep me.  I figured, I'd show you I was willing to go just as far."  I smiled and pulled her over to me and kissed her gently.  

    The female sexual reaction surprised me.  I felt the nipples on my ample breasts begin to harden, and I could feel something different down below as the lips to my sex rubbed together.  She kissed me and then pulled back.  "In that case, there's something I would really like to try."

    I felt her mind reaching down the link we shared.  I could feel her rifling through my memories.  She seemed to find what she wanted and the smiled.  She held up a finger as if to shush me, and then her body began to flow.  Her mass didn't change very much, but her form definitely did.  Her hair shortened, and became a sandy blond, and her normal ice blue eyes faded to a soft brown.  Her face became just a little sharper, and pronounced.  Her torso became more angular, and her breasts melted back into her body to form a rather attractive male chest, that was not quite fully developed.  

    As I looked over the form she'd take, I realized that it bore a remarkable resemblance to the young teen boy in Miami that had given me his number when he thought I was a thirteen year old girl.  I looked down between the legs and found an impressive cock there, that looked just a little bigger than it should be on a teenager.  Emory smiled at me from the new form and asked, "Do you remember that spell I taught you?"

    I nodded and began singing it softly drawing the runes on my lower abdomen.  When I knew the power had built to the proper level, I released it onto my own body and looked over to where Emory was now stroking the ten inch cock on the body she was wearing. The sight of it sent something surging through my nether regions. I realized I was getting wet. I did notice that she at least understood my preference for uncut.  "I always liked doing that," she smiled over at me.  "Masturbation for boys is much easier for boys than girls."

   I just smiled and nodded as she crawled over the top of me, her head facing down toward the small triangle of fuchsia hair above my sex.  At the same time, the massive cock she'd conjured up for this form was waiting above my face.  I didn't hesitate, I reached out and slurped as much of it into my mouth as I could.  The feelings generated as she buried her tongue into my pussy was something I'd never experienced before.  It sent shivers all the way through the core of my body in places I had never felt before. I could feel her part the lips and dip into the hole beyond.  I could feel her rub at the little nub that felt sort of like a small cock, but completely different too.  

       I reached up and began to play with the set of smooth balls that kept coming down behind the shaft driving into my mouth.  I was very familiar with how to handle a set of cock and balls, I'd been doing it for years.  As I fondled and played with them, I reached back and ran a finger along the little rosebud of an opening behind the two orbs.  Suddenly, I  felt Emory stiffen along my body.  I could tell that she was very close to cumming again.  

    She pulled the dick out of my mouth and turned her body around so she was laying between the juncture of my legs, the cock well away from my reach.  I smiled to myself as she resumed licking me.  Again, it was a set of feelings I'd never felt before as a wave of emotional pressure began to build inside me.  She took me close to the top and held me there.  Then she climbed my Amazonian body until she was propped up on her hands looking down at the huge breasts that floated on my rib cage.  I could feel the hardness of her cock at my entrance.  With a smile she reached down and pushed the head of it down and into my waiting body.  

    The feeling of fullness as the ten inch dick entered me was very different from the few times I'd taken Ridvin in my ass.  It was less of an invasive feeling and more like wrapping my body around something that was supposed to be in me.  She pulled and and began thrusting into me, in long slow strokes like I used for her.  I can't say that I could tell much about the shape of the dick, only that I felt full, then empty, then full again.

    I pulled my legs up and wrapped them around the back of the form she was wearing and then reached down and grabbed a double handful of seemingly teenage ass.  It was hard and muscular and felt just right as it pistoned the cock on the other end deep inside my pussy.  I felt the emotional tension in my body build again somewhere deep behind the area, Emory's cock was pounding me.  I found myself pulling harder and harder on her trying to get her that cock deeper and deeper in side of me. Suddenly it crashed down around me, and a powerful wave of emotional release washed across my body.  It started somewhere deep in my lower torso and just flowed out all over my body.  I'd never felt anything like it. 

    I looked up into Emory's brown eyes and smiled.  I could feel her still thrusting into me, her broad shoulders were trembling, her mouth opened in a little "oh" shape as she emptied her balls into me.  I watched as she looked down to me, smiled, and rolled off.  I suddenly felt a great urge to cuddle.  I pulled her much smaller frame to me and wrapped myself around it.  I ran my fingers across the bare chest and kissed lightly at the top of her head.  I was rewarded with a soft snore.  I briefly wondered if she fell asleep with Alec, the last time she was in New Orleans. It seemed that every time she took a male form, she fell asleep as soon as she got off.

    We lay like that for at least an hour, just holding and cuddling each other in these forms.  Finally, she woke up and seemed to be a bit confused about where she was and how she ended up in bed with an Amazon.  I let my body shift back to its normal form as her eyes cleared of sleep. "Just how long have you been up?" I asked her.

    "Not counting catnaps, about twenty eight hours," she said.  

    I smiled and told her, "Then maybe you need to shift back into your your normal form and get some some sleep.  I'll wake you at seventeen hundred."

    "Only if you stay with me," she said pulling me back down and snuggling in against my chest as she slowly morphed back into her normal sexy self.  The experiment was fun, and made for some interesting play, but in the end, this was the way I preferred both of us- as ourselves.  Yes, it was fun play make-believe and even experiment- something we both could do much more than most couples, but it was Emory that I knew I loved.


    We finally made it down to the hotel's restaurant to have dinner and to meet with Doctor Leger just a little bit before six.  I noticed that the restaurant's host kept giving Emory and I guarded looks.  I simply smiled as the three of us settled into our table in a private diningroom overlooking Lake Pontchartrain.  After placing our orders, we waited.  I could tell Ken was anxious to get moving, but it wouldn't be a good idea to go off into the bayous half-cocked.

    It wasn't long before a thin very elegant looking blond man came to our table.  He had piercing blue eyes and looked to be in his mid to late twenties.  I could sense that he was a very special breed of vampire.  No wonder Chicago was losing the war with him.  He was not bound by the sun.  "Bonsoir, monsieur, mademoiselle, garcon," he said elegantly.  "I am Doctor Garion Leger, I have been informed that you wish to speak to me."  His English was without a trace of accent.

    "It's good to see you again, Doctor Leger," Emory said.

    He gave her a close look and then smiled broadly, "Miss Northmore, it's so good to see you again."  He indicated the fourth chair at the table, and asked, "May I sit?"

    "Of course," I said.

    "You must be the famous Trey Greenbough," he commented.

    "Infamous more like it," Emory said.

    I nodded and indicated Ken, "And this is Kenneth Tyde.  We have a situation we'd like to discuss with you."

    "I thought as much," he said sitting down.  "One of my councilors has informed me of some squatters, should we say, outside the city. They are occupying an area that I'd prefer to be left untrespassed upon."

    "Kamal Khan is a rogue weretiger.  He's wanted for the rape and murder of nineteen women in the greater Miami area.  He's accompanied by two other operatives of Richelieu Factor as well as what believe to be a small pack of werewolves out of Baton Rouge," I told him.

    "Therein lies where our goals converge, Lieutenant Greenbough. The werewolf pack poses certain political difficulties for myself, and an acquaintance of your own, James Williams.  They've allied themselves with my political enemies in Illinois.  I would gladly see them removed from the area," he said as the waiter delivered our wine.  He took it, checked the date and vinter and smiled.  Then much to my surprise, he poured all five of us a glass.   

    "Your tone however, Doctor Leger, suggests that you have some reservations," Emory said as he handed her a glass.

    He nodded and sighed.  "You're correct my dear.  I have some very strong reservations.  The area where Kamal Khan has taken up residence has proven to be a very difficult place for most nocturnals to travel.  I only know of four who can travel there unmolested by the spirits themselves.  It is a place where reality bends and warps.  It is a place where I am told that even the rules of magic are..., How was it that Mrs. Cashatte desribed it to me... wonky?  Oddly enough most normals are left unmolested but highly confused."

    "Why is that?" I asked.

    "That is a personal matter, Lieutenant.  Suffice to say, I'd rather see the area disturbed as little as possible.  Please don't take this wrong Lieutenant, but you have a certain reputation.  You tend to break things;  weapons, vehicles, people, buildings, mountain ranges.  I would only ask that you attempt to leave any structures, any growths that you might encounter disturbed as little as possible.  Powerful forces are going to come into play there in the next ten years or so.  I do not wish what is there to be disturbed before its time."

      Well, he did have a point.  I wasn't exactly subtle when it came to a fight.  I smiled and said, "I understand, Doctor Leger.  We'll treat the area with respect and reverence."

    He smiled at me and said, "You surprise me, Lieutenant Greenbough.  I wasn't expecting quite this level of sophistication for the man who has half the American nocturnal community scared witless."

    I laughed and said, "I don't know about that doctor.  I'm a simple man with a very direct manner, and a commission from my Goddess.  I simply try to fulfill that commission in the easiest way possible."  Sighing I added, "But I'm also an officer, and I hope a gentleman. I treat everybody with the same respect I demand for myself."

    "Fair enough, Lieuteanent," Leger answered as he sipped his wine.  I tasted mine in return and found it to be quite good. "I will instruct the local pack leader to ring the area, and make sure nothing escapes.  None of my people will interfere with you."  He stopped and thought for a moment, "But to be honest, there is one for whom I cannot speak."

    "Who?" I asked.

    "Michael Grey," he said. "He haunts that area, and in many ways, he's a force unto himself. He considers the area his home and his territory.  He has been very disraught over Kamal Khan's presence and it has been everything we could do to convince him to let you handle the situation. I understand you've met him.  He likes you in his own way, and  I know he's fond Miss Northmore.

    "You knew I was coming?" I asked.

    "He knew.  He said that the spirits told him," Leger answered.  He put his wine glass down rather deliberately and said, "Lieutenant Greenbough, I learned a long time ago, not dismiss Michael when he talks of the spirits.  He is intimately connected to them in ways that nobody understands. They listen to him, and they tell him important things.  If he says they knew you were coming, then I have no doubt that it's true."

    "I understand.  He's a strange one, but mostly harmless I think," I commented.
    "Don't ever make the mistake of thinking that Lieutenant.  Michael Grey may appear to have the mind of a child, but I promise you, he's a force with which to be reckoned.  Never underestimate his power, Lieutenant."

    I nodded.  I'd come to suspect that much myself.  There were strange forces working around and through Michael Grey, and I knew enough about Seidr to consider him an important lynchpin in the coming conflicts.  Exactly what his role was, I didn't know, but I knew it was important.  "I'll keep that in mind, Doctor.  Can you give us some directions as to how to reach Hotel Africa?"

    "I can do you one better Lieutenant, I can supply you with transportation there.  I'll have my associate, Francis Boyd take you out there.  As long as you're finished at least an hour before sunrise, he can also bring you back here."

    I turned and gave Emory a questioning look.  She nodded and said, "You can trust Frnak Boyd.  He's a little off kilter, but his heart is in the right place."

    "What do you mean a little off kilter?" I asked.

    "He's convinced that his life, his situation as a vampire is all a dream and that he's still in a coma back back in 'Nam," the doctor told me.  "He's a loyal companion, and has been a great help to me when it comes to dealing with our situation in Chicago.  He's also helped me clean out a great deal of the illegal drug traffic through New Orleans.  He's rather intense about that particular subject, and doesn't even bother to eat them.  He simply blows them up.  He says he's trying to get the perfect shade of orange in the fireball."

    "A vampire who likes fire?   I know how your kind reacts to fire.  That's not sane at all," I told the doctor.

    "Frank is just different," Emory said.  "As long as he knows you're one of the good guys, you're safe with him."

    "I appreciate the help, Doctor.  When can we leave?" I asked.
    He grinned at me and said, "I'll have francis and the car waiting for you right after yoru meal.  Never let it be said I sent men," he smiled over at Emory and added, "or women, as the case may be, into battle without a hearty meal."

    "Thank you, Doctor," I said.

    "No, thank you, Lieuteanant.  With you taking care of this matter, I am free to deal with other problems."

    The trip into the bayou was almost surreal.  Adding into the mix that we were going there at night, and it became even more so.  The old abandoned road that wound its way toward Hotel Africa had all but grown over, and the swamp was threatening to reclaim it.  Great water oaks hung low over it, and as cliche as it sounded, Spanish moss seemed to cling to everything. 

    Frank Boyd turned out to be a dark haired man with grey eyes who appeared to be somewhere in his mid-thirties.  There was an easy laughter in his eyes that one didn't expect to find in a vampire's.   He was a man who seemed to be enjoying what he considered a break from the reality of the Vietnam War. 

    When we were deep in the bayous, he looked over at me and said, "Doc says to drop you off right at the perimeter of the place."

    "That's right," I said.

    "Look, Mikey hangs around out here.  I'd appreciate it if you kept an eye out for him.  Keep him out of trouble if you would," he said.  "He's not really all there and sometimes is a little too trusting if you know what I mean."

    "We will," Emory told him.

    "He also says that you two are responsible for what happened to Alec," he said neutrally.

    "Depends on what you mean by what happened to him," I replied carefully.

    "I mean you two are the reason he grows fur and a tail every full moon," he said.  I remained silent.  "Look, I'm glad for the boy.  He was headed the wrong way down a one way street.  Becoming a weretiger was the best thing that ever happened to him.  Just wanted to thank you for him," he said.

    I let out a mental sigh of relief.  Verbally I said, "Alec simply tries to make the best of whatever situation he's in.   If I helped him in any way, I'm glad for it."

    "You'll do, L-T, you'll do," he said.  He stopped the car and said, "This is where Garion said to wait for you.   Hotel Africa is about a mile on down the road- usually."

    "What do you mean usually?" I asked.

    "Things don't always measure out the way they are supposed to around here.  Two men can walk down that road and come out together and never leave each other's side, but their watches will have completely different readouts.   Just be careful."

    I smiled as we all exited the car.  Ken dropped the long pea coat he'd been wearing and I was surprised that he'd somehow managed to change in the backseat of the car.  Gone were his jeans, button down and tennis shoes.  Now he was wearing a strange body suit of scale-mail like material.  On his chest was a gold metallic articulated breast plate and shoulder guards that seem to merge with scale mail.  The articulated stomach plates disappeared into a large belt with a blue binary starburst on it.  The legs were made of the same blue scale with a long gold like loin cloth.  The boots and gloves matched the loincloth. The neck of the getup merged up into a mask complete with a set of blue tinted bubble-like visors.  I could see that his corrective lenses had been ground into the material.  At his hip hung a piece of metal that was about a foot long and vaguely shaped like a series of metallic bubbles jammed together and then flattened to about an inch thick and maybe two and half inches wide.  

    I looked over at Emory and she shrugged and said, "I wondered what all that wriggling around was about."

    He turned to us and said, "Not everyone can summon their accouterments with a simple spell. Some of us still have to change."

    I nodded to him and then looked back to Emory and said.  "Maybe the boy has a point.  Maybe our working garb would be more appropriate.  We are going into a battle based on magic, and symbols are important."

    She nodded and I saw her form shimmer to be replaced by her mage-garb.  She looked over at me and I shrugged and released my will that held me in human form.  I felt my ears melt up to the top of my head,  my tail began to bunch up in slacks, and my coloring shifted to something more cat like.  Reaching down, I pulled my traveling kit out, removed any identifying marks from my clothing and then removed them down to the belt and loin cloth I usually wear under my clothes.  I tossed the clothes into the car and dropped my traveling kit into the pocket in my belt.

    "Jeese guy, don't you think a few more clothes would be appropriate?" Midean Knight protested.

    I grinned over at him and asked, "Why? They'll just rip off when I change into my battle form."  Looking down, I said, "This meets the requirements for modesty and gives me freedom of movement."

    "Don't you get cold in that get up?" he asked.

    I smiled and said, "I'm a cat.  I have fur."

    "In the most interesting of places too," Emory said with a hint of mischief.

    "That's more than I needed to know, Avalon," Midean Knight said.  I noted that he'd been trained well. We were in working gear so it was code-names.  As young as he was, he was at least a professional.

    I turned and headed back up the road saying, "I'm going to scout ahead."

    I'd grown up with a whole pack of werewolves as friends.  I learned a long time ago, all the little tricks required to sneak up on them, and I put them all to use.  As I drew closer to the clearing that I knew had to be up ahead I slipped off the side of the road and shifted down to my housecat form.  When I finished changing, I looked up and saw a swamp owl giving me a curious look.  "Don't try it" I hissed at it in the darkness.  "You won't like the claws."

    I padded further down the side of the road until I reached the first sentry.  As a werewolf, he wasn't much to speak of- barely out of being a cub.  I somehow got the feeling that he'd never had a proving rite, like my friends had. He hadn't yet shifted, although I could see the moon peeking through the overhead canopy.  I could see the nervousness in his body, and could feel it in the air.  For some reason, he was fighting to stay human.  

    I slipped up behind him and flowed into my human form.  He'd never have to worry about a proving rite now.  I sort of felt bad for him, but this was war, and he'd sided with the enemy.  I wanted to take the time and stake him before I moved on, but was afraid that the smell of blood would alert the others.  Some werewolves- those just a few generations away from being true breed, but not so far as the mutts, sometimes would rise again as something infinitely more deadly if they were killed and the moonlight struck their bodies: a free willed Damned vampire.

    I flowed back down into my house cat form and padded into the clearing surrounding the old plantation house.   It was surprisingly well preserved for being abandoned these last hundred years or so.  Even the grass looked like it was afraid to grow and encroach upon the sanctity of the dwelling.  And a dwelling it was.  I could sense a great power asleep somewhere deep within its walls.  More importantly, I sensed a great stench surrounding the clearing: sorcery.  I could smell the stench of those who traded the blood and souls of themselves and others to dark forces for power.

    It was as if the sorcerous stench was being held at bay by the presence inside, yet at the same time was containing what was sleeping.  There was something else too. I couldn't make out what it was.  I shifted my vision to magesight and saw something extraordinary.  Whatever forces were at play here, had created an area that could be be described as a muted mana-field.  Any spells cast in this area would be significantly reduced in power, and some would not work at atll.

    I quietly reconnoitered the area, and noted eight points of sorcerous power that seemed to form the web around the place.  Appropriately enough, they were at the cardinal and secondary points on the map.  Someone was playing at magic while using sorcery.  *Avalon, theres an field around the place.  It suppresses magic,* I sent down the link I shared with her.  For some reason, sorcerers always seemed to underestimate the power of psionics, and those Emory had in spades.

    *How?* she asked back.

    *I would say that some kind of artifacts have been buried around the place.  At the edge of the field, it reeks of sorcery.* I told her.  *You and Midean Knight be careful when you come up the road.  I took out one of the sentries but there are definitely others around.*  I quickly shut off our conversation as I rounded the corner to the back side of the old house.

    Set there in what would have been the old slave quarters I saw on a raised dais, two altars erected, and the body of a nude raven haired girl laid out on one of them.  Two brass bowls full some burning liquid was at either end of the altar.  A small table was set up with several implements of ritual off to the side.  The second altar was empty, but I could smell old blood on it- human blood.

    Serpenterra and and Cats Claw were both standing at the foot of the dais directing several people on where to stand guard.  I ducked under the floor of one of the buildings and watched.  I felt something slap at my right haunch, and something wet in my fur.  Looking around I could see the cotton-white mouth of a water moccasin.  It was rather confused by the fact that its fangs weren't penetrating.  It struck again, and I launched a claw out and crushed its head to the hard packed earth beneath us.  I wriggled the claw slightly and felt it slice through the bone of its neck.  It would take a few minutes to die.

    I looked back out from under the building and saw Kamal Khan come out from one of the other buildings.  He was dressed in long white robes that were belted at the waist.  He was wearing a medallion with a strange set of inscriptions I couldn't quite read.  His face was a mess.

    The entire right side of his face looked like someone had dug chunks of flesh and bone out and then cauterized the wounds with a hot poker.  The eye socket was empty, and the nostril on that side of the nose was missing, leaving a gaping wound.   Evidently, his weretiger regeneration factor couldn't handle wounds done by the psionic energy of a Gem Corpsman's psi-sword.  I smiled at that thought remembering what else Sun Dancer had cut away in that attack.  He would be raping no more women.

    *Avalon,  I'm in position.  If we can hit them now, we can get them before ...,  uh oh..., no time to wait.  I'm going in now!*  I couldn't wait for them to get here.  One of the werewolves had begun to set up the second altar- with an infant. 

    I came out from under that building at a full run and launched myself at the werewolf holding the baby.  In mid air I shifted form again, this time flowing into my natural magecat body with the ears, tail, and claws.   Scooping the baby out his arms, I launched myself off the werewolf's shoulder, my back claws biting deeply.  Tucking the infant close to my body, I landed on one hand and vaulted over onto my legs.

    I hit the nearest water oak and scrambled straight up it, scaling it ten and fifteen feet in a leap.  Reaching the top, I found myself looking straight into the eyes of a familiar form.  Michael Grey stood hanging onto one of the limbs and smiled at me.  "I won't let anything hurt her," he said with so much sincerity I was tempted simply to hand the babe to him.  Then I remembered that he was a vampire, and he did have the mind of a child.  I hesitated a moment and he smiled, "I promise, Robin.  I won't let anyone hurt her, and I won't hurt her either."  He smiled again and said, "You're one of the good ones, Robin.  I won't lie to you."  The use of my given name sort of shocked me into action.

    I had to make a decision.  Did I trust this kid or not?  Finally, I handed the infant over to him, and much to my surprise the she stopped squirming and looked up into his eyes and started cooing softly.    Something told me I made the right decision.  I looked at him and said, "Hold on to her and this tree very very tightly, Michael."

    He nodded to me and cradled the girl tightly.  I looked down and then leapt out and past the limbs toward the altar.  In the distance I could see Avalon engaged with several werewolves.  Her lighting bolts weren't as powerful as they normal were, and were only dealing with one thropus at a time.  Her telekinesis and telepathy was as devastating as ever.  

    Midean Knight however was an awesome sight to behold.  He was dancing through the werewolves, the deep violet of his mindblade slicing and dicing wherever it hit.  His movements were like a well choreographed dance, and I began to realize that the level of combat I'd seen Sun Dancer reach was only a pale reflection of the grace and ferocity of a warrior of the House of Midean.  He was cutting his way toward the back of the yard when Serpenterra and Cat's Claw took off at a run to intercept.  

    I would like to take credit for planning it, but I can't honestly do that.  It was simply a lucky break on my part. Cat's Claw's trajectory was taking her on an intercepting course with my descent.  I simply took advantage of it.  At the last minute, I shifted forms and hit her in the shoulders with bone shattering force.  She went down like a sack of potatoes.   Her internal armor may protect her against slashing and impaling attacks, but it was was useless against the sheer impact of ton of weretiger hitting her from a hundred ten foot drop.

    I turned and watched as Kamal Khan began to shift into his battle form.  Back behind me, I heard a blood-curdling scream of pain, but didn't dare turn my attention away from Khan.  I growled, he growled and he began to circle toward the girl on the altar.  I leapt and landed between her and him as his claws raked past me.  I could feel him trying to press past me, to get to the body.  I leaned forward and drove a clawed hand into his lower abdomen and raked upwards.

    My claws caught on something and became entangled.  He roared into my ear and bit down on my shoulder.  I felt his fangs sink deep into my flesh as he began to chew his way through my shoulder.  I drove a spear hand attack, claws firs, into the side of neck.  As my hand penetrated, I reached up and wrapped my fingers around the lower jaw bone and pulled down hard.  He made a gurgling roar as I ripped out the entire left side of his lower jaw-bone, and dislocated the right side.   Stepping back, I pulled his upper jaw free of my shoulder and felt the blood begin to run down the front of my chest.  

    Something slammed into the back of my thigh and I felt fangs bite deep.  Something had happened to Emory.  The werewolves were not being dealt with.  A cold anger came over me.  Time to end this pissing contest.  I flicked Isstonn down into my hand from the bracelet I wore and growled "Vaxa!"

    The Jotun blade was sluggish to respond growing only at about half her normal rate.  Still I pounded her hilt first down into the werewolf's skull.  I heard a satisfying crunch as I split his head and skull open.  Then a quick upward thrust and I caught Khan squarely in the chest.  He looked down in confusion at the blade piercing his heart.  I smiled and yanked it down hard, splitting him from chest to crotch in a single stroke.  As the blade came free, I twisted it sideways and swung. 

    In a single three hundred sixty degree turn, I sliced through his thigh bone and then whipped it around and removed his head from his shoulders in a single motion.  Turning back I saw something flash out of the corner of my eye.  I spun around with Isstonn just in time to slice through empty air as Midean Knight pulled the Tabitha from the altar.  "Get her and Avalon out of here!" I growled.

    He looked up into my eyes and nodded.  He must have seen the rage that was still burning there.  It was a rage that was not going to be quenched until every werewolf in the pack was dead.  He swallowed hard and then high-tailed it back to the front of the house, his girlfriend slash sister in his arms.  

    I don't know what came over me.  I've never felt my beast that strong.  It was a white hot rage, that was not going to burn itself out except through blood.  I could feel Emory trying to reach me through the white haze, but it was no use.  I went through twenty-five werewolves that night.  Many of them tried to run but could not get past the edge of the property. They tried to hide in the buildings but the same wall of force pushed them back onto my waiting blade.   It was as if an invisible force was stopping them.  In the end, it was less of a battle and more of  a slaughter.  

    When it was over and mind was once again my own, I sank to my knees, exhausted.  My limbs were shaking, and I was covered from head to toe with blood.   A short raven-haired woman stepped through the wall of sorcery and smiled at me. She had bright blue eyes, and a body that was ripe with a sensuality that stirred other lusts inside me.  She smiled over and touched my head with her cool hand.  "It's over now.  I return you to your mistress and thank her for your services."

    I looked up and said, "I don't understand."

    "The girl you saved, Tabitha, is my granddaughter.  Her and her brother are the last mortal issues from the first love that my husband and I shared.   I could not let her perish.  I could not let the Children of Eve win.  I had to borrow the children of another Goddess.  Your Lady and I came to an agreement."

    "Who are you?" I asked, my mind still in a misty haze. my body refusing to respond to anything but the simplest of commands.

    "I am Lilith, the first wife of Adam, cursed by Yahweh as the first Forsaken Vampire for the sin of wanting to be equal to my husband, for the sin of enjoying the the love we shared," her voice was bitter. She reached out and touched the side of my face.  "Fear not young one.  You are not a child of Eve. You are the Child of Ask and Embla, I hold no animosity, and a great deal of affection for your people."

    "Why?" I asked.

    "To save my granddaughter and my grandson, to save the potential for the return of their race, the Mideanites to the universe if not to this world."

    "And what did My Lady get in return?" I asked.

         She laughed and asked, "Not what you get?" 

    I shook my head.  "What I did today, I did because my Lady wills it.  It is my commission to stand between humanity and those that would the free enchain."

    She smiled and bent down and kissed the top of my head.  "She, and one other got my aid in the coming war.  She got an ally that will be six billion strong in the future.  My children will return to the Earth, not those that I've stolen from Eve, but my own children.  The Children of Kiera Atlan will return, and will unite with those of your Lady, and with those who belong to no Gods, and they will forge a road to the stars."  She stepped back, brushed the blood from my brow and said, "And you helped us take that first step this night, Robin Hunter Greenbough The Third.  For that I am in your Lady's and your debt."

    Then she was gone.  When I finally managed to stumble to my feet and out onto the road I noticed several holes inter-spaced neatly around the yard.  Someone had dug up what was creating the magic suppression field.  When I made my way back to the car, I found Michael standing there with the rest of my party.  The girl from the altar was also standing with her arm around Ken, wearing the pea-coat he'd abandoned and looking almost as confused as I was.  

    "Trey!" Emory shouted and ran over to me.  I could see various scratches on her, but she seemed to be okay.  I was far less worried about her contracting lycanthropy now that I knew she was a carrier for ailuranthropy.  "Are you okay?"

    I nodded and leaned against the car.  It wasn't until Ken handed me my slacks that I realized that I'd somehow lost my loin cloth in the fight.  I think the werewolf that bit me in the thigh ripped it off.  Pulling them on, I commented, "I think one of them was related to Bart."

    "What ever would make you say something like that?" she asked.

    Because he tried to bite me in the ass," I said.

    Suddenly Emory's face lit up with a smile and she started laughing.  The others just stood and stared at us for long minutes.  It really wasn't that funny, but it filled the emotional void I had after all that release of anger and rage.  Sometimes it's good to replace anger and rage with laughter.