Everyone heard the baby cry in the wilderness and eyes went wide when that cry dropped to a guttural, thunderous roar. It was only moments before Roland’s elf eyes spied the night creatures on the road. There were three of them. They came to the edge of the clearing in front of Phoenix’ house and paused in the face of the barricade.
Phoenix let three globes of fire and light escape her hands. They drifted slowly into the sky and acted like flares, suddenly setting the whole scene to light. The night creatures spread out as if to approach the barricade on all three sides, but Katie and Lincoln did not wait. They opened up with their high powered rifles, set to multi-shot. They saw the bullets strike home, but it hardly slowed the night creatures as they charged.
Lincoln kept up continuous fire until the creature leapt over the boxes. It knocked two aside and crushed one and headed straight for Phoenix. But when the creature came down from the top of the barricade, it felt Baran’s spear penetrate its throat and pop out the back of its head. Alone, Baran might not have penetrated the skin, but the creature’s own weight killed it. It collapsed, even as Baran’s shaft snapped and Baran was knocked to the ground with a broken rib.
Katie also kept up her fire, but when the second night creature leapt the barricade, Lockhart managed two slugs from his shotgun. It was not as effective as the big spear point, but it caused the night creature to stop and shake its head when it hit the dirt. Katie spun and finished the work with six rapid-fire shots to the back of the creature’s head.
Boston only had her Beretta, but she kept up a continual stream of fire as Roland beside her fired Lockhart’s police pistol. The third creature was leaking blood from multiple holes when it leapt over the barrels. Roland added his knife which he shoved deep into the creature’s hide. The creature hardly slowed as it bumped the elf out of the way. Roland fell back into Boston before he turned and covered her.
Phoenix rose up and the fire danced in her eyes. It focused in her hands, shot fire straight to the night creature’s head and turned the head to a charcoal cinder in a flash. Everyone had to look away from the light. Everyone felt the heat, and Baran, Roland and Lincoln all sustained first degree burns just being near. But then it was over.
Phoenix collapsed and had a hard time catching her breath. Baran dragged himself to her, one hand holding his rib cage. Boston and Katie met where Phoenix gasped and tried to help her to her feet, but Phoenix was too drained. Then they heard the growl and every eye turned to see the rear guard. Night creatures always sent a scout out front on a hunt and always had one in reserve.
Katie, Lincoln, Lockhart and Boston all lifted their guns, but that was where they stopped. No one could move, or take their eyes from the creature who sat and seemed to have gotten the message that there was no hurry. Even Baran was stuck to the ground and only Phoenix could drag herself to the barricade for a good look. The creature saw her, but paused to lick its paw like a disinterested cat.
Curiously, in that moment a cat came to the edge of the clearing. It was much bigger than a housecat – more bobcat size – but it had the look of a housecat. It sat, front legs straight to the ground to watch the show and otherwise it remained still, apart from a small twitch in the tail.
The night creature took note, but ignored the cat. It looked ready to charge, but first that lioness they all heard earlier in the night came bounding right past the watching cat and headed straight for the night creature. The creature ignored the lion. Either it was unaware of the danger or it had dealt with lions before and found them inconsequential. That was a mistake.
The lioness roared as it sank its fangs into the back of the night creature’s neck. The night creature looked surprised, if it can be said a creature can look that way. It tried to bite off the lioness’ front paw, but its terrible jaw simply passed through the paw like it might have chomped down on smoke. The lioness’ back legs reached from underneath and took the night creature to its back. The lioness ripped out a huge chunk of the back of the creature’s neck in the process. Then it tore out the night creature’s throat.
Avalon 2.1: Intervention … Next Time …