Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Day Eight-Thirty-One: It all comes together

The plan did not, however, go quite as planned.

After a few minutes of brief consultation between Fynn and his newfound familiar - a familiar with whom he was already quite, well, familiar, thanks to their bond - Fynn confirmed that he could make a shield sufficient for their needs. It would not be easy, however, and it would take time. Time that Fynn would not have if the werewolves were dogging his every move.

Logan had a solution for that. It would leave his unconscious - and, surprisingly, immobile - mother undefended, but it would do in a pinch. 

When the pair set out into Foregone they found the majority of the city to be engulfed in flame, heating and evaporating the snow. The fires, either through their own volition or Daena’s quick work, had somehow spread to virtually every building. Even the sturdiest stone structures were now heartily ablaze, and Fynn struggled to locate a tall enough building that was not on fire too much. He eventually settled for a guard tower on the north side of Foregone, and Julius’s powers helped the lad clamber to the roof.

“Are you sure you’ll be okay?” Fynn asked timidly as he studied the warming stone walls, his hands coated in an almost gelatinous green magical field that made climbing a cinch. “Eugh, there’s so much smoke now.”

“Yeah,” Logan said, though he didn’t feel okay about the plan at all. “If mom could do it for… however long she did… I can. Gimme my air.”

Fynn grimaced, but nodded. Raising a finger, he pointed at Logan. A bubble the size of a fishbowl appeared around Logan’s head. His vision was tinged green on all sides, an effect Logan found rather eerie - I wonder if this is what it’s like when they’re looking through their normal eyes - but his eyesight was not at all impeded, and the air inside the bubble was clean and smoke-free.

“Be careful,” Fynn said, trembling. Julius, perched on his shoulder, patted the boy comfortingly. “You remember where we’re meetin’?”

“Duh. I left my mom there. I’m not stupid, kid.” Logan turned, shooting Fynn a quick thumbs up over his shoulder. “Go. I’ve got this.”

Fynn, nodding, went. And so did Logan.

The first batch of werewolves Logan found was lingering near the ruined remains of the only gate Daena hadn’t personally closed. It appeared to have caved in on itself, the masonry blown apart by a concussive blast from within. Logan assumed that a gunpowder cache inside the walls had been set on fire, bringing the portcullis down. He gave a quick, thankful prayer to small miracles of luck.

Rebounding off of a balcony and landing on the street - it was filled with slush, the snow quickly melting from the heat of the fires - Logan watched the werewolves claw fearfully at the gate, trying desperately to escape. Several were attempting to climb the heap of stone at the side of the gate, but the bricks kept slipping under their paws - and their frequent, wolfish coughing fits from the smoke didn’t help matters. Logan pitied them.

They’re just people, he thought, reaching into the slush to form a sopping snowball. He took careful aim at the nearest werewolf, trying not to peg it on one of the frayed patches of its fur. It looked to have been caught in a fire not too long ago, and was suffering a burn. Just people. Remember not to blame ‘em, old boy.

The snowball flew. The werewolf, its fear turning to animalistic anger and confusion, spun to stare at him. Logan yelled. Abruptly, as if spreading the lycanthropy virus overrode common sense, the chase was on. And it didn’t take too much howling for more werewolves to join in.

Within ten minutes of careful running - it was difficult not to get burned, even with Logan’s reflexes, and he was forced to ditch his simmering cloak at one point - the prince had well over a hundred werewolves on his tail, chasing him as doggedly as they’d chased his mother. Their chorus of song-like bellows kept bringing more and more werewolves into the chase, though they found him to be a more difficult target, as he kept leaping from building to building with supernatural grace rather than running on the streets. He nevertheless remained within sight, watching the pack grow below.

Eventually, looking incensed from her earlier failure, Antonia joined the pack. She emerged from an alleyway, brayed up at Logan with clenched claws, and took the lead of her werewolves, knocking three would-be alphas out of her way as she did. Logan smiled sadly as he watched her lope towards him, thinking of the old days.

She was a good pet, he thought, jumping out of the path of the werewolves and landing atop the only part of a postal office that wasn’t on fire. I mean, sure, she bit a dude’s piece off, but you can’t judge an animal by one little accident, right? Most of the time she was downright civil. In a boxery sorta way.

Logan looked skyward. Fain glimmers of green were stretching in a vast bowl shape over Foregone from a central point, slowly settling towards the ground. Logan had no idea how much longer it would take, but he suspected that Fynn needed at least a few more minutes to complete his work - and perhaps another hour to hold the ghostly, but solid, barrier in place. Julius would help keep him steady.

Rushing the base of the postal office, coughing and whining as much as they snarled, the werewolves began to climb towards Logan. He jumped easily away. They were still active, ready and eager to fight…

… but once the remaining air burned away and the bubble around Foregone filled with smoke, Logan knew the beasts would quickly lose their zest for the chase.

Bye, old girl, Logan thought, brushing away a tear. You were one of a kind.

And things might have ended that way, with a regretful mass genocide…

… if a certain someone hadn’t decided to join the party.

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