Canada – Wilderness Cabin Resort – Dusk
The heavy door on the faux log cabin opened, and Willow and Rowena entered, still in their Mr. and Mrs. visage. Willow put the computer bag she was carrying down on the desk and slumped into the chair. With a sigh, she let the glamour spell fade.
“Are you all right, hon?” Rowena asked, putting a duffel bag down on the quilt-covered bed. She dropped a fast-food bag on the table and went over to Willow. She began to gently massage her wife’s shoulders.
“Yeah,” Willow replied, putting her head back and closing her eyes in pleasure. “Just need to rest a bit. Not used to all that continual spell-casting anymore. I must be losing my touch.”
Rowena continued her massage for a few minutes, and then Willow looked around the cabin. “Say, this isn’t so bad for the Great White North.”
“Enough Canuck jokes, you,” Rowena scolded.
Willow smirked and unzipped the computer bag, pulling out the laptop and power cord. She turned on the machine and wandered over to the television while it booted.
“Think we get CNN up here?” she asked, turning on the TV.
“Sure,” Rowena said. “How else would we Canadians get our war briefings?”
“Hey!” Willow said. “Enough Yank jokes, you.”
“Looks like we’ve got wireless internet, too,” Rowena said, ignoring Willow’s jibe and glancing at the computer. Immediately, Willow abandoned the TV and started typing on the computer.
“Let me get the spider running again, and then maybe we can eat?” Willow asked over her shoulder.
Rowena was squatting in front of the mini-bar, looking through the various Lilliputian bottles and half-sized cans of soda. “Sure…want something to drink?”
“Gods, yes!” Willow replied. She continued to work at the computer and then, with a final flourish, said with satisfaction, “There! That’ll run on its own for a while.”
Rowena mixed the drinks at the table and then started to pull food from the bags.
“Baby?” Willow interrupted. “Can we eat outside?”
“Outside?” Rowena said doubtfully. “No glamour, remember, hon? And you need to rest.”
“I know,” Willow said. “But really, except for a neighbor or two, we’re in the middle of nowhere and I…I really would like to see the stars tonight. It’s amazing what you take for granted. Please?”
Rowena thought about it. “Okay,” she said with a smile. “A night under the stars with you sounds good to me.”
Willow smiled and grabbed the drinks.
Wilderness Cabin Resort – Porch – Later that Evening
Willow took a sip of her drink and looked out at the woods. The couple was sitting on a pair of Adirondack chairs resting on the wooden deck side by side. The remains of their dinner lay in a crumpled greasy bag, and above them the lack of city lights made the budding starlight even stronger and more noticeable.
The woods surrounding the cabin were dark, however, except for a single light post illuminating the road. About two hundred yards away was a similar cabin with the same run-down porch. Like theirs, the other porch was lit with a single low-wattage bug light.
Willow gave a happy sigh and then said with a wry grimace, “I feel guilty.”
“Why?” Rowena asked. She was holding Willow’s hand in her lap with one hand and caressing it with the other. It was as if she were making up for not being able to touch Willow for over three months.
Willow glanced at her wife. “I’m feeling very happy being alone with you…here.”
“And this makes you feel guilty?” Rowena asked with a smirk. “Would you rather be back in jail?”
“No, thank you!” Willow replied. “I’ve had enough of the pen to last me a lifetime. No…I’m feeling guilty because I should be wishing that Alex and Jen were here with us.”
“We’ll see them tomorrow, honey,” Rowena said softly.
“I know,” Willow said. “A-and it’s great. For now, though, just being here…it’s like it’s a–”
“Second honeymoon?” Rowena asked.
“Yeah…well, except for the part about being a fugitive from justice.”
Rowena laughed and then got a gleam in her eye. “Wellll…if this is a second honeymoon, do you want to reenact the wedding night?”
“Oh yeah,” Willow said. “You betcha, eh?”
“You’re mixing your accents again, dear,” Rowena laughed. “Come on.”
She pulled Willow to her feet as the door on the other cabin flung open and two women walked out, stumbling together to squeeze through the frame, as if they didn’t want to let go of one another. The pair was giggling.
“Oh my Goddess!” Willow whispered, shock in her voice.
“Is that…?” Rowena asked, also stunned into immobility.
“Sorry,” one of the women said, noticing they weren’t alone. After a few seconds, the women on the other porch looked at Willow and Rowena, and both of their faces broke out in recognition.
“Harmony?” Willow gasped.
“Luna?” Rowena said at the same moment.
Military Warehouse – Same Time
Gwen looked down another long row, picked up a clipboard hanging from a string tied to a nail pounded into the shelf, and looked at it. She shook her head and gave a weary sigh.
“This is not working,” she complained in a low voice. “We’re never going to find the Council’s stuff. I feel like we’re stuck in an Indiana Jones military warehouse nightmare.”
Shannon chuckled softly as not to be heard. “I’ll bet they’re hiding the lost ark in here.”
“We’ll probably find it before we find what we’re looking for,” Andrew said. Then his eyes lit up, as if a brilliant idea had occurred to him. “Heyyyyy, if we can find…”
“Forget it, Andy,” Lorinda said, and Andrew huffed out a sigh.
Grace stepped forward and took the clipboard from Gwen. She shuffled through the papers for a few moments and then looked around the large space. She thought a moment and then dropped the clipboard so that it returned to dangling from its string. She looked up and began to point at various areas , her mouth moving silently.
“I think they did move stuff since Jeff did his last reading. This way,” she said confidently, and walked on.
Gwen looked at Andrew, who shrugged, and then the team followed the watcher.
Grace periodically checked the markings at the end of each row and then finally headed down one, striding with purpose. She pointed to a section filled with crates and triumphantly whispered, “Here!”
Andrew pulled the inventory sheet attached to one crate and read it. “Yes!” he said, pumping his fist in the air. The group collectively shhh-ed him. “Way to go, Grace!’
“Let’s get to work,” Gwen ordered, then added, “and fast.”
SUV – Same Time
Jeff pulled another card from his tarot deck and placed it on the folded seat next to him, where other cards were laid out in a pattern. Kennedy and Kadin were sitting in the front. Both women were carefully watching the warehouse where Gwen and her team were searching.
“Shouldn’t they be done by now?” Kadin said softly from the driver’s seat.
“Let me check,” Kennedy said. She keyed the mic. “Come in, away team.”
“Away team?” Kadin laughed. “Andrew’s rubbing off on you, kid.”
Kennedy rolled her eyes at her girlfriend as the radio crackled to life.
“We read you…what’s up?” Gwen asked.
“Status report, please?” Kennedy replied.
“We found the books and are selecting those we need and can carry,” Gwen reported. “No problems.”
“Acknowledged,” Kennedy said and clicked off the mic. “Well, all’s well so far.”
A gasp came from the back seat. Kennedy and Kadin turned to look at Jeff.
“Oh no, it’s not,” Jeff said.
“Gwen just said they’re okay,” Kennedy said.
“That’s not the problem,” Jeff said, staring at the cards. “Something’s wrong…very wrong.”
“Where?” Kadin asked. “At the Giles house?”
“No,” Jeff replied. He turned another card. “Damn! I know where we need to go. Make a right at the end of the alley.”
Kennedy goggled at him. “Are you crazy?” she practically yelled. “We’ve got a team inside. We’re not abandoning them. We have to wait.”
“If we wait, it’ll be too late,” Jeff said, and then he thought a moment, his eyes frantically scanning the road. “Never mind. I can get a cab on Duvall, one’s gonna pass here in two minutes.”
“Jeff!” Kennedy said.
Jeff grabbed the handle of the door and pushed it open. He quickly reclosed the door and took off for the end of the alley.
“What the hell?” Kennedy complained before looking over at Kadin.
“Stay with him,” the hunter said. “I’ll wait for the others.”
Kennedy swiftly exited the vehicle and raced toward the seer.
Reteesk’s House – Same Time
“I say, would you care for some more tea?” Reteesk asked S’Retniw.
The other Vl’Hurg was about to answer when the front door flew open with a crash. Hugh was closest to the entrance, playing, and Reteesk yelled in outrage as a large group of demons poured into the apartment.
“Hugh!” Reteesk warned, as he leapt off the couch and ran toward the little golem boy.
The demons reached Hugh first, and Reteesk cried as two of them picked up Hugh, each grabbing one of the boy’s arms. With a roar, they pulled, and Hugh was torn apart, microcircuit boards and pieces of hard clay falling to the floor. A third demon fell on the remains of the corpse and started to shred it into smaller pieces. Reteesk screamed in an unintelligible language and started to charge the demons. S’Retniw pulled him back with a cry.
“No!” he said, grabbing Reteesk by his arm. “Come with me!”
The two ran toward the rear of the apartment, with the invading demons close on their heels.
Military Warehouse – Minutes Later
Andrew pointed at a crate and said to Lorinda, “This one, please.”
The slayer grabbed the top of the crate and, with a screech of nails against wood, pulled it off. Andrew and Grace started loading books into an already full sack.
“Come on,” Gwen prodded. “We can’t take all of them.”
“I know,” Andrew said with frustration, still grabbing books. “I just don’t know which ones we’ll need. Jeff should be here.”
“His sight only goes so far,” Lorinda said, pulling the lid off another crate. She glanced inside. “Hey! This is from my dorm! Those bastards!”
She started to pull out personal items. Gwen took a look inside the crate and grabbed the slayer’s arm to stop her. “You don’t need that stuff.”
“How would you know?” Lorinda sneered. “Just because you’ve been too charged up to get it on with anyone in years, the rest of us haven’t.”
Gwen’s eyes darkened, and Grace quickly pulled Lorinda away. She shoved a stack of books in the slayer’s arms. “Here, pack these up.”
“Friendly Species of the Underground,” Shannon said, as she read the title of a huge book that was over twelve inches in thickness. “I’m pretty sure they won’t need this.”
“Take it,” Grace ordered. “Everything I’ve picked here, we’re taking – no arguments.”
Shannon just shrugged and tossed it back into her box. Gwen had grabbed one of the other boxes when the sound of many feet approaching echoed in the large room.
“That’s not good,” she muttered. “Okay, that’s it. Everyone get a box. We’re out of here.”
Shannon pulled Andrew away from the crate, but he managed to snag two books and place them under his arm. She forcefully pulled him along as the team followed Gwen to the entrance. As they left the row, they could see soldiers pouring into the open area. Gwen had turned to run in the opposite direction when more soldiers moved into position behind them. As a last resort, the team backed up into the row they were in. They raced along the row, but soon came to a dead end.
“Trapped!” Lorinda said. “Nice going, Electrina. Now what?”
Gwen ignored the slayer as the soldiers cut off their only way of escape. She looked up, but the stacks and shelves reached to the ceiling. A loud double-“whumph” sounded from the soldiers, and two canisters rolled near. Shannon kicked them away, but the gas lingered, causing her to cough. More canisters followed.
“Knock-out gas!” she said, putting a hand over her mouth and nose. “We don’t have much time.”
Gwen keyed her radio and yelled, “We’re trapped. We need backup…now!”
Gwen’s eyes widened when Kadin replied, “Sorry, I’m all alone out here. Ken and Jeff took off.”
“What?” Gwen yelled. “What do you mean, they took off?”
“The seer said they had to be somewhere right away,” Kadin answered. “Uh, the end of the alley just got blocked by a really big army truck. I suggest you guys find a way out, like right now.”
Gwen cursed under her breath and clicked off the radio. “That son of a bitch!”
“Hey!” Grace said. “They probably couldn’t help anyway. And if Jeff said they had to be somewhere, then they had to go.”
“Yeah,” Lorinda said. She grabbed a smoking canister and flung it back toward the soldiers. The small area they were crouched in was quickly filling with gas. Grace suddenly stumbled, and Shannon had to prop her up.
“I got an idea. I got an idea,” Andrew said, quickly and with much excitement. “Gwen! Zap me!”
“What?” the thief looked at him with confusion.
“Your electricity,” he said. Already his hands were weaving into a pattern, and a mystical glow started to form above them. “On my mark…send a bolt to me. And if this doesn’t work, tell Tracey I love her and to have a great life.” Gwen looked reluctant. “Get ready!” Andrew insisted.
Gwen finally nodded and closed her eyes, waiting for Andrew’s signal. The high priest faced the warehouse wall.
“Now!” Andrew cried.
Ozone suddenly replaced the sickly sweet smell of the knock-out gas as Gwen let her electricity fly toward the mage. Before the thunderbolt reached him, it swerved into a mystical pattern, hovering in the air. For just a moment, the pattern held, and then it released into a deafening clap as Andrew hurled it toward the blocking wall. With a shatter of cinderblock, the wall blasted apart into shards no larger than a coin.
Before the dust cleared, the team escaped with their books through the opening to the alleyway.
“That was mega-cool, Andy,” Shannon complimented as she ran next to Andrew and Lorinda. “How did you know you could do that?”
“I didn’t,” he replied honestly.
Coming up swiftly behind them were Gwen and Grace.
“So Tracey’s his girlfriend, I take it?” Gwen asked Grace. Grace only nodded as they ran down the street as fast as they could with the load they carried. “Damn, it’s true…all the good ones are either taken or gay.
Reteesk’s House – Same Time
Reteesk and S’Retniw crouched inside a small room. There was banging at the steel door. Chunks of plaster and dust fell from the ceiling. It was apparent that the metal barrier wouldn’t hold out for much longer.
“I say,” Reteesk said, “when I saw that Jodie Foster movie, I thought installing a panic room would be a good idea. Now, I’m not too sure.”
S’Retniw looked at him and sighed.
SUV – Moments Later
Kadin jumped out of the truck and opened the back hatch as the team approached. She quickly darted back to the driver’s seat. The team piled inside, tossing in their stacks first and then jumping in as well.
Gwen reached up for the hatch. She pulled it down and then immediately shouted, “Go!”
Kadin took off at a decent speed, but made sure not to squeal the tires or attract attention. The rest of the group moved around and over the seats trying to get situated for the journey.
“What the heck did you guys do?” Kadin asked as she sat behind the wheel. “My ears are still ringing.”
“Andrew blasted a way out of the warehouse,” Gwen said, more than a little respect in her voice.
Andrew had now taken shotgun. “Do I need to do it again to clear the alley?” he asked, looking at an approaching security vehicle that stopped. Both doors opened, and two guards stepped out, guns drawn.
Kadin grinned and said, “Nah, a couple rent-a-cops ain’t gonna stop us. But you might want to hang on.”
With that, she slammed her foot on the gas.
Andrew shielded his eyes with one hand, peeking out through his fingers as he wrapped his other hand around the safety bar above the window.
Kadin went to the right, and the driver of the security vehicle began to open fire, with his comrade soon joining him. The passenger side mirror shattered, and Andrew ducked.
“Hang on!” Kadin cried, as she bore down on the vehicle’s open driver’s side door.
Seeing that Kadin wasn’t stopping, the driver dove back into his vehicle. Kadin took his door off as she moved between the stopped vehicle and the cement wall of the alley, losing her passenger side mirror in the process.
After clearing the security vehicle, she swerved left and then right until she reached the end of the alley. She cut the wheel sharply to the right as more shots followed the SUV. Kadin cleared the first turn to arrive on a larger street, racing as fast as she could.
“Sorry about your car,” she said to Gwen, glancing at her in the rearview mirror. “You might need a new mirror…and a paint job,” she added sheepishly.
Gwen grinned as she glanced back to look for more signs of pursuit. “Ah, it needed it anyway,” she finally answered playfully. Then she turned around again and put a hand on Kadin’s shoulder. “Great driving, by the way. Where’d you learn how to do that?”
“Jack of all trades,” Kadin replied with a grin. She glanced over at Andrew, who was looking a bit pale. “You okay, Buddy?”
Andrew hunched down into his seat. “Between the magical drain, nearly being electrocuted, and then playing demolition derby…I think I need a nap.”
Kadin chuckled and patted him on the knee.
“Don’t fall asleep,” she told him. “We’re not in the clear just yet.”
Vacant Parking Lot – Moments Later
Jim opened the door of Giles’s Jeep and stepped out as Gwen’s battered SUV came into sight.
“What the hell?” he sighed, upon seeing its condition. He then motioned Kadin over toward him.
From inside the SUV, Kadin waved at Jim, and she watched him nod and climb back into the Jeep.
“Get ready, guys,” Kadin said, pointing through the windshield at the waiting Jeep. Her passengers began to round up the books they’d gotten.
Vacant Parking Lot – Moments Later
Gwen’s group raced out and began to put the books inside Giles’s Jeep haphazardly. Once the last book was in, Gwen quickly closed the hatch and hit it twice, saying, “Go!”
Jim took off and gave a wave to the group from his window. Gwen then turned to her team.
“You guys split up – no more than three in a group. Keep a low profile and don’t go anywhere yet that the cops might expect us. We don’t know who they’ve seen or didn’t see, but we will soon enough, I’m sure. Once you’re no longer suspect, head back where you’re needed. I’ll get rid of the SUV.”
A cell phone at Andrew’s hip went off, and he looked down at it.
“Aww,” Andrew said as he looked at the phone. “Giles has ‘Light of my Life’ programmed in for Becca’s name. Isn’t that sweet?” he asked no one in particular.
“Remember the accent,” Gwen told him as he opened the phone set on speaker.
“Yes, luv?” he announced in a bad, overly dramatic British accent.
Lorinda and Shannon both rolled their eyes at each other, but said nothing.
“You’ll never guess what I just heard on the police scan, Sweetie,” Becca began. “They have an APB out on Andrew.” He looked nervously at the group. “They’re saying there was a break-in where all the books were held and some items were stolen. They think others were involved, but they don’t have confirmation on that yet. You might want to get back here. I’m sure that pesky Mr. Carter will be returning.”
“Uh, bloody hell…All right. Love you,” he said and then hung up. He turned to Kadin. “What am I gonna do? How am I gonna get out of this? What if–?”
Kadin gave him a slap across the face. It wasn’t hard, but not entirely gentle either.
“Calm down,” she said in a composed voice. “I don’t want to have to do that again.”
“Owww, I don’t want you to, either. That hurt,” Andrew whined as he rubbed his face.
“So much for the super stud, huh?” Grace remarked to Gwen.
Wilderness Cabin Resort – Porch – Same Time
“Look who it is!” Harmony proclaimed, as she and Luna bounced over to Willow and Rowena’s porch.
“This is a nightmare,” Willow muttered under her breath.
Harmony turned to Rowena. “Hi, I remember you. You’re Willow’s fiancée, well, wife now, right? Rowanna or something?”
“Rowena,” she replied. “Nice to see you again. You’re both looking well.”
“Why thank you!” Luna preened. “But honestly, we always look hot.”
“I heard you had left the States,” Rowena persisted.
“Yes, we had to run,” Luna gave a theatrical sigh. “We’re fugitives, you know?”
“Yes, I know,” Rowena said with mock sympathy.
“But, then again, so are you,” Harmony said. She pointed to Willow. “I saw you on the news. You looked positively awful in your mug shot. Not as bad as you did when your mother was still dressing you, but close. I felt so bad for you, I was going to send you the most recent issues of Vogue to cheer you up.”
Rowena gave a sickly smile at her wife, but then turned again to the two blondes. “Can I get you something to drink?” she asked. Willow looked at her in astonishment. “I’m sorry I don’t have any blood for you, Harmony, but would a regular drink do?”
“Why yes!” Harmony said. “That’d be lovely.”
“You can’t come in!” Willow suddenly cried, blocking the cabin door.
“Willow!” Rowena admonished. “That’s not polite. Besides, this is a motel – the invitation thing won’t work here.”
Harmony smiled at Willow. “I like your wife, Willow,” she said. “She’s sweet.”
Willow sank back into her chair as Rowena disappeared into the cabin. Harmony and Luna perched themselves on the porch railing and looked at Willow expectantly. Willow tried to return their smiles, but it morphed into a grimace. “The Goddess has a sick sense of humor,” she muttered under her breath.
A minute later, Rowena returned, this time carrying more tiny bottles of alcohol and cans of soda on a makeshift tray. She set the tray on a small table and quickly fixed drinks. Luna took hers and drank it with a gulp. She handed it back to Rowena, who refilled it.
“We’re in the second largest country in the world,” Willow continued to mutter. “Almost four million square miles of vast nothingness. Four million! And we run into them? I don’t get it.”
Rowena slapped Willow lightly on the knee as she sat down again. She shoved Willow’s refreshed drink into her hand and whispered, “Be nice!”
Willow again looked at her in astonishment, but Rowena ignored her and turned to the other couple.
“So,” Rowena began. “I trust you’re not going to turn us in?”
“Oh, no!” Luna said. “We certainly don’t need the reward out for your wife. My mother left me quite well off, you know.”
“Yeah, nice of her to fall out of that window before she spent all of your inheritance,” Willow said.
“Wasn’t it, though?” Luna replied, oblivious to the sarcasm. “How is your mother, Willow? Such a nice woman!”
Willow stared at her and said nothing.
“And anyway,” Luna continued, “if we turned you in, I’m sure you’d turn us in, and then where would we all be?”
“In jail?” Harmony asked.
“Exactly!” Luna said. “So since we’re in the same boat, why shouldn’t we be friends?” She paused. “How’s Skye?”
“Still a vamp,” Rowena replied. “She was a good babysitter, but then she said she had urges to eat our kids now and then, so, really, I haven’t seen her much lately.”
“That’s a shame,” Luna said with a sigh.
“I heard you had children,” Harmony said. “The National Enquirer said they were spawned by the devil. Is that true, because that’d be something of biblical propositions?”
“You mean biblical proportions,” Willow said evenly.
“Yeah, right, so…?” Harmony prodded.
“No, they’re Xander-spawn,” Rowena answered with a grin, while simultaneously squeezing a warning on Willow’s knee.
“Is he still a geek because, wow, I couldn’t believe how great he looked at your wedding.” Harmony laughed and then stopped at Luna’s glare. “Not that I care about men anymore,” she added, and Luna’s frown turned into a smile. “Of course, there are some men, though, like Brad Pitt,” she mumbled. Luna raised an eyebrow. In a louder voice, Harmony added, “But, come on, he does have a few girly features, you gotta admit.”
“Xander’s fantastic,” Rowena said. “Actually, he and Buffy are dating now.”
At first, Harmony said nothing, and then she forced a grin to her face. “You don’t say? I’m sure they’ll be perfect together,” she replied, then quickly took a drink as if afraid to add more.
“I don’t think I can take any more of this,” Willow shook off Rowena’s hand and stood up.
“Hey, how about another drink?” Rowena said, jumping up and positioning herself between the odd couple and her wife. She pushed Willow from behind until the witch was seated again. Rowena continued to smile at Luna and Harmony.
“Why, thank you!” Luna said brightly and held out her glass for a refill. “We can trade outlaw stories.”
Willow pulled Rowena down and whispered to her. “As if lesbianism wasn’t scary enough, we now have something else in common with Harmony and Luna. Can we wrap this up soon, before I hurl?”
Rowena grinned. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”
Willow gave a reluctant and defeated sigh. As Rowena slipped back inside, the witch plastered a fake smile on her face. “So…” Willow said once they were alone. “How ’bout those stories? You go first.”
Luna immediately began rambling. “Do you have any idea how much a wig costs? And I’m not talking fake Halloween plastic slash nylon crap. I mean really nice wigs that look real because, honestly, who wants to wear something that looks like a cat’s hairball? I know I sure as heck wouldn’t, right Sweetie?” she asked Harmony.
“Totally,” Harmony agreed.
Willow’s eye twitched slightly, and she held her temple as if fighting off a migraine.
Reteesk’s House – Moments Later
Kennedy and Jeff stepped gingerly over the broken threshold of the front door. Jeff gasped when they saw the parts of Hugh lying on the floor. Then they heard the sounds of the demons trying to break into the room at the back of the house.
“We’re too late,” Kennedy said.
“No, we’re not.” He started toward the rear of the house, but Kennedy pulled him back.
“Slow down. Plan this out,” she ordered. She keyed her Bluetooth. “Kennedy here, we’re at eleven fifty-five Sinclair Place. Is anyone listening who can provide backup?”
She listened for a moment, then said, “Oh, thank you for sticking it out with us, Amira. Copy that.” She then turned to Jeff. “Amira’s team is on the way.”
Cleveland Street – Same Time
The radio crackled to life as Kadin stopped at a crosswalk. “All units, proceed to eleven fifty-five Sinclair Place for immediate backup,” Amira’s voice said.
“That’s Reteesk’s place,” Andrew said.
Another Cleveland Street – Same Time
Grace, Lorinda and Shannon walked along together. Grace held up her radio and listened.
“I’ll bet that’s where Jeff dragged Ken off to,” Grace said. Her face was still mottled red from exposure to the gas.
“We’re not too far. Let’s go,” Lorinda said. She started to jog and motioned them to follow.
Reteesk’s House – Minutes Later
The house suddenly shook with the blast from an explosive. Kennedy dropped the circuit board she was examining. “What is it with demons using conventional weapons these days?” she asked. “Haven’t they got any pride left?”
“They’re through his protection. Time’s up,” Jeff said, and started for the back of the house. Kennedy went to stop him, but at that moment, Amira, Casey and Siobhan entered through the front door, their automatic weapons held at the ready.
“In the back,” Kennedy pointed.
“Two friendlies are hiding in the inner room,” Jeff added quickly.
Amira nodded, and the slayers rushed past Jeff, pushing him aside. He stumbled, and Kennedy reached out to grab him and slammed him against the wall.
“Wait,” she ordered. “Don’t wanna get caught in the crossfire.”
As she spoke, the sound of gunfire filled the air.
Street Outside Reteesk’s House – Same Time
As Grace and the others arrived at the house, a blast from above blew out the windows and showered glass onto the pavement.
They all ran into the building as the sound of gunfire echoed to the street.
Reteesk’s House – Moments Later
Kennedy finally allowed Jeff to enter the rear of the house. Dead demons, shattered by the bullets, lay strewn about. Jeff picked his way over them and through the blasted door into the panic room.
S’Retniw lay in a bloody heap. It was apparent that the demon had died protecting Reteesk when the demons blasted through the door with the explosive. The smell of cordite filled the air as Jeff made his way to the other Vl’Hurg lying on the floor.
“Reteesk?” he asked. The demon was badly wounded. Jeff stripped off his jacket and folded it, then pressed it over a badly-bleeding wound in Reteesk’s side.
The demon opened his eyes at the touch. “Young Mr. Lindquist,” he said. “Nice of you to come by…please excuse my lack of…of hospitality, but I seem to be indisposed at…at the moment.” With that, he passed into unconsciousness.
“Call Dr. Miller,” Jeff ordered Amira. “Tell him we’ve got an emergency.”
Amira nodded as Jeff went back to examining Reteesk. Grace and the others then arrived inside to see the carnage.
“Oh, man,” Shannon sighed.
“Are you okay?” Grace asked Jeff, concerned.
Jeff looked up and nodded. “But we need to move out before the cops get here.”
“Yeah, outrunning the cops sounds good to me,” Andrew agreed. “The heist didn’t go exactly as planned,” he added to Kennedy.
Kennedy motioned with her head. “Go on then,” she told the group. They quickly filed back out, not needing to be told twice.
“Can you heal him with magic?” Kennedy asked Jeff.
“No, but I’ll try to buy him some time.” He looked back to the demon. “Damn, I wish we had Willow. She’s much better at this emergency stuff. Hang on, my friend,” he told Reteesk.
Fade to Black
End of Act Two