The two cars came to a stop in the alley behind the club. Even before they left the vehicles could Katie hear screams and fighting and she knew that whatever she had faced before, would be nothing compared to what would great them on the other side.
They exited the vehicles and followed Alaric as he sneaked up behind the wooden fence. He glanced above it, took a calculated guess and turned to the others, a determined glimpse danced in his eyes.
“Talia, Katie and Dante,” he said quietly and pointed at each of them, “you’re with me. Izzy, Zak and Mike, you’ll go to the left. Nessa, Johnny and John, you’ll go to the right.”
“Shouldn’t someone go from the front?” Vanessa asked where she was crouching beside Zachary. “They could escape.”
Alaric shook his head, “Lila has rallied as many of her sisters as she could and I can hear that some of Adam’s flock are arriving shortly. They’ll take care that.”
“I let Jake know as well.” Isobel cut in where she was crouching beside Gabriel, “I guess he’ll take some of his clan to join the fight as well.”
Katie looked from Vanessa to Alaric to Isobel and back to Vanessa again. What did they mean with flock? And clan? It sounded almost as if Adam was an animal and that this Jake was a member of kind of tribal society. What had she stumbled into?
“Are you ready?” Alaric asked and looked at them intently. A unified agreement went through the group and he gestured to them to go to their positions.
Katie studied those that were left. Melissa held a metallic object that Katie guessed was the whip she had seen earlier. Gabriel had pulled out his gun and cocked it, patiently waiting for Alaric to give the signal. Alaric on the other hand held a beautifully ornated sword, which seemed oddly medieval for a modern day fight.
Katie felt that she didn’t want to be worse than the others and so she reached inside her jacket and pulled out one of her pistols and cocked it, feeling the heaviness of it in her hand.
“Here.” Gabriel suddenly said and handed her a magazine clip that held a type of bullets she had never seen before, “They should do the trick.”
Katie smiled her appreciation and took the clip, replacing the one she had with it. Alaric suddenly gave the signal and they all stood and jumped over the fence, a war cry rising to the sky.
When Katie landed on the other side, she froze. The scene before her was a carnage, demons pouring in from everywhere, fighting people she had never seen. Some of them transformed into giant beasts and she almost tumbled backwards when one of them landed just a few feet from her.
All the hunters had engaged the fight as had several other persons whom seemed way too comfortable with their weapons. Lila had arrived as well, together with several other women whom Katie guessed where her sisters and the way they wielded magic made the scene almost seem beautiful.
“Katie,” Gabriel called to her as he ran towards her, his hand extended towards her, “come on, we need to find Adam!”
Katie woke from her trance and took Gabriel’s extended hand. They ran towards the back door, shooting at the demons who tried to stop them. Gabriel was strong and fast and Katie had a really hard time keeping up with him, even though he held her hand the entire time.
Once they reached the door, Gabriel opened it and ushered her inside before closing it behind them. The club was eerily quiet and Katie looked at Gabriel with a mixture of fear and surprise. He gestured to her to be quiet as he led her through the back, past Adam’s office and towards the door that led to the bar.
“There’s no point in lying, dog.” A dark, raspy voice echoed from the other side of the door, “Now tell me where she is.”
“Never.” Adam’s familiar voice replied firmly, “I’ll never betray the vow I made.”
A hoarse laughter echoed throughout the building, “Does your vow really matter?” the man asked and Katie and Gabriel could hear footsteps walking around, “Especially since the person you made it to is dead?”
Adam grunted in frustration and seemed to struggle against something, “The vow was made under a locking spell,” he hissed, even though they could hear the smile in his voice, “even if I wanted to break it, I can’t.”
A sinister laughter could be heard as the footsteps came to a halt, “Then all I have to do is to find the person who cast the spell.”
This time it was Adam’s laughter that echoed, “Good luck with that, mate.”
Katie looked at Gabriel, ‘We need to do something!’ she mouthed, nodded towards the door.
Gabriel gestured to her to wait, “Adam can take care of himself.” he whispered quietly.
But as soon as he had said those words a ruckus broke out on the other side of the door and they both stood, their weapons in firm grips. Gabriel held up three fingers and started to count down, and when he reached zero he threw the door open and they ran into the large room.
Katie soon realized that it was a terribly bad idea, seeing as Adam was tied to a chair in the middle of the room and seven men were standing in a circle around him. Katie quickly glanced at Gabriel, whom seemed to have come to the same realization as he swallowed heavily.
“Well, well, well.” The man, whom had spoken earlier, said and clasped his hands in excitement, “This was a nice surprise, bringing me the prize just like that.”
“Damn it, Gabriel!” Adam growled from his place as he struggled against the binding, “She was to be kept from this!”
Katie glanced between them, not really comprehending the situation. Why was she to be kept from the fighting? Or rather, why did Adam want her kept away, while Alaric wanted her in it?
The man chuckled when he studied her, “This is new for you, isn’t it, girl?”
Katie frowned, “What do you want?” she asked and lowered her gun, slowly making her way towards Adam, “Why attack Inferno?”
“We were looking for something.” the man said, “But your friend here refused to tell me where to find it.”
“And what was it you were looking for?” Katie countered as she reached Adam’s chair, “It must’ve been something really important.”
“Oh, it is!” he replied with a wide smile, “It is the one thing that can finally turn the tide of this damned conflict.”
“Oh?” she pondered as she slowly brought her right arm behind her back, reaching for a dagger she kept there, “And what’s that?”
“The Red Queen, of course.” the man stated with glee, “Who else would it be?”
Katie brought out the knife and with one swift move had she cut the ropes that bound Adam and barely had she taken a step back when he was on his feet, and in front of her eyes transformed into something that resembled a wolf.
The beast growled in a fury Katie had never heard and she stumbled backwards in fear, but it wasn’t interested in her, it was focused on the man whom had tied him up. Gabriel ran up beside her, kneeling as he tried to help her to her feet.
“Do you truly think your dog will protect you, Katrina?” the man said and laughed hoarsely, “We will never stop!”
“Adam might not be able to protect her alone,” Alaric’s voice suddenly boomed in the room, “but he’s not alone and if you’re coming for her, you’ll have to go through all of us.”
Katie glanced over her shoulder and saw Alaric step into the room, followed by the hunters. She then noticed movement in the corner of her eye and as the turned her gaze towards it, she noticed that the second store balcony crawled with people as well and as they jumped down she could see that they weren’t entirely human.
Alaric and the others stepped in front of Katie and Gabriel, forming something she could only call a shield and they seemed battle ready.
“We are the Shadowrunners,” Isobel said and stepped forward, “we are the protectors of the Queen.” she then gestured to the people that now surrounded the enemy, “And we are not alone.”
“You make a grandiose entrance,” the man said, “I’ll give you that. But do you truly believe you’re the only ones with allies?”
As on cue more people appeared in the room and began to become so crowded one wouldn’t be able to swing a cat without hitting someone. Katie felt how her heart began to race and she wondered if anyone would be able to make it out of there alive.
Alaric tightened the grip of his sword and turned to Vanessa, “Bring them to safety.” he said in a calm tone and she nodded, sheathed her daggers and walked up to Gabriel and Katie, helping her to her feet.
She then ushered them the same way they had come, leaving the rest of the hunters behind. Katie tried to fight them, she didn’t want to leave the others, especially since she didn’t know if they’d make it out alive.
“Come on.” Vanessa urged them on as they hurried out of the building, heading towards the cars.
“We can’t just leave them!” Katie hissed and tried to escape their grip, but they were too strong for her.
“They can take care of themselves.” Vanessa stated as they reached the fence, “And you are not the only one leaving a loved one behind!”
“We thought you’d try to escape.” a raspy voice said as they were about to jump over the fence, “And we can’t have that.”
All three of them turned around, ending up face to face with two men and two women. Vanessa glanced at Gabriel and gave him a short nod before walking towards their opponents.
Gabriel on the other hand grabbed hold of Katie’s waist and almost threw her over the fence, only to follow barely a second later. He grabbed hold of her hand and pulled her towards the cars, opening the passenger door on the car closest to them.
“Get in!” he muttered as Katie hesitated, “We don’t have all day.”
“We can’t just leave her.” she muttered back, “We have to help her!”
“Vanessa can take care of herself.” Gabriel stated firmly as he almost forced her inside and slammed the door shut, “Besides,” he continued as he jumped in behind the steering wheel, “you’re the one we need to protect, not her.”
“But that’s what I don’t get.” Katie sighed as Gabriel stepped on the gas, “Why are they after me?”
Gabriel glanced at her as he pulled out on the street, heading straight towards the sanctuary, “You really don’t get it, do you?” he asked, a slightly amused tone to his voice.
“What is it I’m not getting?” Katie uttered in sheer frustration, “You people have been talking in riddles ever since I first met you.”
Gabriel hesitated for a moment, “Not riddles.” he said after a while, “But if you can wait for a moment longer, Alaric will tell you once he gets back.”
“And if he doesn’t?” Katie asked plainly, “Am I then doomed to guess for eternity?”
“No,” Gabriel said hesitantly, “then I’ll tell you.”
Katie sighed deeply, glancing at the man beside her. “Fine.” she muttered and rested her head against the cool window, watching the city quickly pass outside it. “I’ll hold you to that.”