Lisa sent Aurora and two of her elves to Sara. It was a gamble, but Aurora assured her it was not such a risk at elf speed. As soon as they entered the building, Aurora took off up the emergency stairs while Lisa assigned floors and sections of the building to her groups of three. The downstairs reception area was empty, until most of the groups moved out.
A spear came from nowhere and struck one of the elf maidens in the middle. It did not penetrate the armor deeply, but the elf fell, and moaned from the pain, and the others stared at her. Lisa looked in another direction. She quickly calculated the angle and estimated the distance while she clicked the rifle she was carrying from semi-automatic to automatic. She sprayed that distance with half a clip. They all heard the sound of pain and the surprise.
The ghoul materialized, unable to remain invisible. It was already leaking purple from several places when it became a pin cushion for elf arrows. As it collapsed, it deflated like a bogy beast until there was only a slight green and purple smudge on the floor.
“According to Mindy, one down, nine to go,” Ashish said. “I do hope they are not here in the hundred.”
Back in the accounting office, Rob Parker looked up at the sound of gunfire, but then he assumed the guns were with the good guys. He hoped they got one. He spoke to Ellain, the elf assigned to his group. “How do we find them if they are invisible?”
“So invisibility is a mixed bag,” State Trooper Canelli commented.
“That is why they like the dark. They can see perfectly in the dark and it often gives them an advantage when they become visible to fight.”
“I was wondering why we are looking for invisible creatures,” Rob Parker said.
“They are clumsy and without grace. We look for the trail of things knocked over and listen for things bumped, if we are quiet.” Ellain put a finger to her helmet where her lips were hidden and she expressed her seriousness in her eyes, what could be seen in the light of the exit sign.
Rob Parker merely nodded, but Canelli said, “Makes sense,” just before he threw a hand to his head. “What is happening? Ghouls!” He shouted and began to fire at Ellain and Rob Parker. He looked frightened beyond reason. He looked possessed. Ellain’s shield and armor deflected two bullets as she moved toward the dark, but the third hit her in the hip and she went down. Rob Parker took a bullet in his shoulder before he got behind a desk.
The State Trooper continued to fire in new directions like he was suddenly seeing ghouls everywhere. But there was one corner he avoided and it was in Rob Parker’s line of sight. When he saw the filing cabinet wiggle in the dim emergency lighting, he opened fire. He hit something that moaned. An arrow from Ellain followed from where she had pulled herself into a dark corner while Canelli was firing in every mad direction.
Rob Parker saw a visible claw clutch at an arrow which appeared to be hovering in thin air. It was a direction, and he emptied his gun while Canelli put both hands to his head and screamed. The man spun around twice before he collapsed. The outline of the ghoul against the emergency lights did the same thing.
“Ellain,” Rob Parker called.
“Make sure it is dead,” Ellain responded, but the words sounded weak.
Rob Parker reloaded and became very aware of the bullet in his shoulder. He hated to abandon the State Trooper and a possibly still living ghoul, but in his mind the elf maiden came first. He holstered his weapon, roared at the pain in his shoulder and scooped up the maiden. He crashed out the doors and headed straight for the front reception area.
Upstairs, Sara and Paul heard a knock on the door. “Don’t answer it,” Paul whispered sharply. Sara responded in her normal voice.
“Priestess,” one of the women spoke. “Lady Lisa asked us to come and defend you. I am Lieutenant Aurora and my companions are Moria and Sunshine.”
Paul got up and looked over Sara’s shoulder. Sara smiled up at him. “We got elves,” she said.
Paul did not return her look. His eyes looked glazed and suddenly he pushed her aside and pushed toward the door, but the elves blocked his way. He shouted. “I’ve got to get out of here. I have to get out of here.”
Sara grabbed him and turned him enough to kiss him. It only took a moment for him to return her embrace and kiss her back. The elf maidens grinned in only the way elves can grin, until Aurora shouted, “Guard duty,” and shut the door. Sunshine and Moria grumpily turned to face the big room.
Lisa was in the basement. She took it upon herself to try and get the lights back on, but the basement was very dark and the emergency lights were few. Somehow, in the dark, she got separated from Ashish and Mirowen. Now she felt fingers crawling around her mind and she did not know how to fight back.
“Oh! I’m glad to see you, you have no idea.” The fingers seemed to leave her mind.
“You know it is dangerous to be alone here.”
Lisa nodded and asked, “Where’s Mirowen?”
Ashish looked back. “Coming,” he said before he changed his mind. “I lost her too.”
That did not sound right. Lisa had a question. “How did you see me in the dark?” She certainly did not see him until he was right on top of her.
Ashish put a hand on her shoulder, and he had a strong grip. “That does not matter now.”
Lisa knew that Ashish was not a touchy-feely type and not nearly that strong. She pealed the hand off her shoulder and watched Ashish’s eyes go wide with surprise. She hit Ashish in the face as hard as she could, thinking if it really was Ashish he would feel it in the morning. Suddenly Ashish arched his back. He had an arrow sticking out of his spine. Lisa needed no further evidence. She turned Ashish, grabbed his chin and broke his neck even as she feared she was killing her partner.
“Lady,” Mirowen shouted to her.
“Lisa,” Lisa heard Ashish’s voice and began to cry. By the time they arrived, the ghoul on the floor was gone to a purple spot. “I think I found the circuit breakers,” Ashish said, but Lisa could not stop crying. It was a little walk and a little work to get the lights back on in the building. That was when Latasha and Jessica arrived, and Jessica had been thinking that whole time.