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Guest Shinju Fujiwara

What We Do In The Shadows

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Guest Ronin_shinju

The voice on the phone had been quiet, feminine and accented with an Asian flavor, giving little away beyond that. She had booked a pick-up outside of town and chartered a flight over the Northern woods, stopping at a national park stations there and then Embershard Lake. She requested to pay in cash. And she wanted him there in the middle of the night.

 

The rest stop was a few miles outside of the Village, at the end of a gravel road, but it had a wide, grassy clearing to one side of the facilities. Only the flickering lone bulb marking the outside of the small concrete restrooms near the roadside could be seen in the darkness, the dark tops of the trees looming around the place. It would be a new moon in a few days and the silvered light was bright enough to cast its own shadows in the undergrowth.

 

In the middle of the little field stood a figure who seemed to absorb that luna glow and cast it like a ghostly lantern from within; they contrasted starkly against the grass by the long veil of white which fluttered in the breeze, their faceless countenance at a distance as pale as the hair. They seemed a disembodied specter, the little figure clad from the neck in black clothing which almost blended their body into the trees. A coat was belted tight around them, the ends picking up in the wind...

 

DragonBlue

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His most recent charter request had been admittedly odd. More often than not the charters he took on were just locals looking to catch a ride while he made a supply run across the state. Every now and again he'd be hired to fly some researcher out to one of the outposts he made runs to, or take a few hunters out. No one had ever asked him to make a run in the middle of the night.

 

This hire hadn't been by a local as far as he could tell over the phone. It all left him curious, but as long as the money was good Dixon wasn't inclined to ask too many questions. He'd just made sure his schedule was clear and that he was prepared.

 

So when the time rolled around he'd jumped into his old pick up and driven out to the location the woman had asked to be picked up from. Dixon tended to be a little loose with time, but he arrived about five minutes earlier than requested. The customer was visible as soon as he turned into the lot.

 

He parked on the curb and got out, slowly approaching the slender woman that was waiting. The situation only seemed to become stranger when he caught scent of her - not human, Dixon realized immediately, "You the one that contracted the flight?" he asked.

 

Ronin_shinju

 

 

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Guest Ronin_shinju

The sound of the truck through the trees told her that the pilot was early, its rumbling grate sharpening as it came off the road and she could smell the petrol fumes. She turned to watch the pick-up roll to a stop in the lot near the cubicle house, her head turned to put her face in profile with only the tip of her nose visible past the screen of her hair.

 

He earned her respect for being early, which she saw as good business manner. She was watching him closely however from behind that veil, lashes low and red eyes rooted in her periphery. In a few steps she took stock of his gait, the way he moved, his attire and even his grooming. Then there was the aroma, that seemingly ever-constant smell of wolf in this town, lingering in her nose.

 

Thus far none of the werewolves of Dawnbreak had made any aggressive overtures (with the exception of the sporting store owner) and both parties seemed locked in an uneasy truce while they decided what to do about her. She was certain word was circulating among the local packs, soon they would know what she was on sight and Shinju did not like being at the disadvantage...

 

He asked if she was his contract and she took a moment to bow to him eshaku-style, her back straight and shallow from the hips. When she straightened her eyes hit his from underneath her brow, watching his expression very carefully until she stood still once more.

"Konbanwa, Redford-san," she greeted him before she replied, her chin dipping in a nod. From just inside the lapel of her coat she withdrew a business card between two gloved fingers, its rectangle like a stark negative against her silhouette. She presented it to him, the font face up and turned towards him, the cardboard held in both hands gently at the corners. "Mhm, yes, my name is Matsumoto Shiori."

 

The card said as much. a satin-finish to the surface and the simple, black letters embossed into it. First in kanji then in English underneath. It had a cell phone number in the same font on the back and nothing else.

 

DragonBlue

 

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Those initial few moments of interaction confirmed Dixon's suspicion that she wasn't a local. Judging by the signs, she wasn't even native to the country. It made him even more curious about what her reasons for the charter were; but he had enough a sense of professionalism not to pry.

 

He took the card that was presented his way, looking it over for a few seconds before tucking it into his jacket pocket for later reference, "Pleasure to meet you Miss," Dixon drawled, shifting his weight to one side, "everything is ready and waiting at the air field, so we'll get started as soon as you're ready to get under way."

 

Ronin_shinju

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Guest Ronin_shinju

Her eyes followed the movement of his hands as he considered the card and then stowed it into his jacket, watching the white rectangle disappear from view in the dim moonlight. He shifted his stance and the pools of spilled blood darted down his legs, watching the way he went about it for a moment. It was an odd look and one that had too many possible meanings to decipher.

 

"We leave now." 'Matsumoto' decided with another little nod, this time as if she were cementing the decision. "Please take me there."

 

Despite her polite request, she did not wait idly for him to lead her and instead pivoted on the ball of one foot. The simple action of bending to gather the shoulder strap of the small carry-on duffel looked like strange mannequin balleriba performing a plié. She was fluid and confident in her skin, that could not be disguised, and the determination in her demeanor mingled with her ingrained aloofness.

 

The duffel was weighed down, the way it hung against her hip betrayed that and one arm could barely be seen, black sleeve and glove against black nylon, draped over its zipper top...

 

DragonBlue

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Everything just seemed to get more and more interesting. Dixon watched her pace away at first, gaze shifting to the bag she was carrying, obviously bearing something heavy inside. The wolf glanced around, then shifted forward to follow her back to his vehicle.

 

About three minutes later they were both inside the truck and he was pulling out onto the road, "So where're you from?" the wolf asked, testing the waters. He suspected the woman wasn't going to turn out to be a conversationalist, but he made the attempt all the same. It was an ingrained habit at this point in running the business.

 

And he was, admittedly, hoping to sate a little bit of his own curiosity.

 

Ronin_shinju

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Guest Ronin_shinju

In the relative hush of the truck cabin, while the engine rumbled like an old cat's broken purr, the young kitsune had her own questions, but she did not dare ask them. Thus far this wolf had been the most amicable of the lycans in the town; she was rue to strain that.

 

It hurt Shinju's pride to admit it, even within the privacy of her own mind, but she desperately needed an ally at the moment...

 

He asked where she was 'from', a reasonable question and not the first time she had been asked it while in America. Although her English was well-practiced, she had a very strong accent and had thus far made no move to adjust her social gestures for Western customs, thus a bow or a sidelong look drew more attention than usual.

 

"Tokyo." Miss Matsumoto replied, voice quiet where her breath misted against the inside of the window. She had stowed the bag in her lap and had both arms draped, crossed, over the top, one fingertip stroking the texture of the nylon woven strap. She did not appear hesitant to answer his questions; because the lies were nearly ingrained at this point.

 

"Are you married, Dixon Redford-san?" came her sudden and seemingly random question.

 

 

DragonBlue

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"You're a long way from home," Dixon remarked, casting a glance her way. Dawnbreak wasn't the sort of town that got many visitors. It was one of those small towns that was barely populated enough to merit a spot on a map. More often than not, new comers came in the form of wolves who'd heard rumors that the town was a welcoming haven to their kind.

 

Whether or not that was really true was up for debate.

 

Before he could ask what someone like her was doing in a town like this, though, she spoke up with a rather abrupt question that gave him a pause, "Married?" Dixon echoed, then shook his head, "nah, never settled down," he answered, briefly throwing a curious look at her.

 

Ronin_shinju

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Guest Ronin_shinju

His comment tugged at the mental stitches she had sutured over the wound in her heart; the mere mention of 'home' bringing with it anger, grief and fear. It was no accident she had found one of the smallest and most remote towns south of the Yukon.

 

However, had she known about the abomination in the forests surrounding the lake-side village, unlike the rumored immigrants, the werefox would have chosen to buy the cabin in Sitka.

 

The question in his glance was palpable, but he answered her and she believed him. Anyone else might have taken the forward question as some sort of proposition, but there was no musk to her presence. "... There is a reason why I insisted on paying you a bonus."

 

Her eyes were not for him when she said it, rather the dark trees outside the glass, her own ghostly reflection showing her still features turned away from him. It was a rather large bonus at that: fifty percent of the total fee, plus expenses. It might as well have been paid to him in a black and silver funeral envelope as far as she was concerned though.

 

He smelt strongly of spicy lycan aromas and looked of strong body, enough that was she confident he had been the right choice to take her on her hunt. She drew a line at leaving orphans or widows in her wake however...

 

DragonBlue

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The statement that followed up was perplexing. Dixon wasn't quite sure what the correlation was, but he was even more certain that something was up. He tapped his fingers against the steering wheel in a waving motion, "The offer did stand out as odd," the wolf admitted - though he hadn't been particularly inclined to question it. He didn't exactly run an inexpensive charter considering he ran the business alone and planes weren't cheap to maintain.

 

"So what exactly is all of this about?" he finally asked, forgoing his usual professional courtesy. After that remark it was starting to become too strange to ignore.

 

Ronin_shinju

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Guest Ronin_shinju

To his credit he had not simply been greedy and thought the foolish foreigner had made a gross over-estimation of tipping customs. It would be a shame if she had to put him between her and the beast...

 

Her grim predictions were kept to herself.

 

But so far Dixon Redford had been temperate, professional and had even surprised her after some of her recent interactions with local lycans. Therefore she answered him: "... There has been... something... coming from the west forest and roaming my property."

The white-haired Nippon was not being deliberately vague for once, Shinju honestly did not know what to call the terrifying shadow that had risen from the trees that night on the road. The internet provided a plethora of suggestions, of course, but saying her suspicion out loud felt as it might invite disaster.

 

"I am going to find it an kill it." she finished, at last turning her head away from the window to rest her cheek against her hand propped on the armrest of the door. Her stare was confronting, but perhaps that was because of its unnatural color and not on account of hostility.

 

Something within her was beginning to grow weary of hostility; too many teeth were at her throat in these dark days, her flesh feeling trapped between the jaws of two growling beasts...

 

DragonBlue

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She answered, though it was one that only raised more questions. There was a brief stretch of silence between them while Dixon considered what little information had been shared.

 

"Something," he repeated, "like what?"

 

He'd heard some interesting rumors going around town lately. Things that he usually would have written off as nonsense had one of the stories not come from someone he trusted. Then there had been the strange sounds he'd heard - but that had been several weeks back, and Dixon hadn't heard anything of the sort since.

 

The wolf couldn't help but wonder if the woman's mission was related to the stories of the creature.

 

Mindy G

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Guest Ronin_shinju

He pressed her to elaborate and silence soaked back into the truck cabin again for a long moment as her eyes shifted their focus, staring through his hands on the wheel. She could hear again that mournful, agonized howl echoing through the cold night air; it was a sound which woke her from her sleep slick with cold sweat.

 

Reflexively a lie was on the tip of her tongue, something disarming and dismissive, but then it occurred to her he had not simply written her problem off as a bear or bull moose...

 

"You are more familiar with the area. Tell me what you think it could be." It was not a request and she was looking right at him now, an invisible vein of tension threading itself into her spine where she sat a foot away.

 

The sneaky fox did not give up the card against her chest easily...

 

 

DragonBlue

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There was a stretch of silence between them as Dixon pondered how to answer, "I mean... I don't really know how to answer just out of the blue," he admitted, "there's a lot of shit out in these woods. The Togiak alone covers about sixty five hundred square miles and beyond that there's millions of acres of wilderness - I mean shit, there's land out here that's never been touched by man even in the local mountains."

 

He looked at her for a few moments as he drove until he had to check the road again, "But ah... there've been some pretty wild rumors kicking up around town," Dixon tacked on somewhat hesitantly. As much as he enjoyed the scuttlebutt he wasn't really the sort to spread it around. The busy bodies in town did plenty of that and a small tale could warp into something big pretty quick - that was just the nature of the beast in a boring place like Dawnbreak.

 

Mindy G

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Guest Ronin_shinju

When he looked at her she had the ghost of a smile resting in the dimpled corners of her lips, the dark burgundy of her own stare locked on him in the window's reflection. His answer, or maybe the fact he answered at all, apparently pleased her.

 

The expression was gone by the time he glanced back to the road, fading away until it was indiscernible on the canvas of her features. She blinked slowly, her lashes lowered for a heartbeat longer before Matsumoto changed position, removing her arm from the door rest and laying it in her lap with the duffel. "Hm." came a contemplative sound from her throat and then she nodded, as if congratulating him on passing a test.

 

"Tell me the rumors?" Now she was asking him, a tiny shift in the dynamic nearly perfuming the air as a bit of the tension dissipated from her side of the truck.

 

DragonBlue

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"Ah... There's been a lot of talk about some kind of creature out in the forest," he answered, "its stuff I'd usually write off as bullshit. Small town, people get bored and make shit up," Dixon shrugged, "but my cousin has a story about encountering it and he's not the kind of guy that spins yarns like that," he said.

 

He paused for a moment, recalling a few details about what he'd heard over the last few weeks, "Anyway this thing... no one seems to know what it is. Everyone says its real big, kind of humanoid but that its got this elk like head, or skull I guess. Huge twisted antlers, smells absolutely awful. Sounds kind of like something people might make up to scare kids, ya know?" Dixon glanced towards the woman briefly to measure her response before going on, "The way my cousin tells it he and this girl he was seeing then went out to the hot springs up in the slopes to fool around and it came erupting up out of the woods and chased them back down to where they'd left the truck. He said it clawed his girl up pretty good and even though she's a wolf like us the wounds wouldn't heal. Then their next encounter with it was worse."

 

Mindy G

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Guest Ronin_shinju

The pallid little woman sitting nearby listened intently, her eyes seeming to study every minute detail about him as he spoke. He was not a woman who looked right at someone as a habit, direct eye contact was both rude and challenging in her culture, but when she did turn the full weight of her stare on someone she did so with an intensity that was sharp, fleeting and left an ache in its wake. Like the slice of a razor-sharp tanto.

 

The sound of his voice took over the hush, the fox listening to the inflections of his voice, the way it sounded in his throat; partially to gauge the sincerity in his account and also to better learn his inner workings in case she needed to mentally take him apart later on. It also provided a good distraction for her own minds eye which threatened to summon the specter of that horned shadow...

 

His admission about 'a wolf like us' caught her attention, her cheek moving as she clenched her jaw. He was being open about it for the first time and although she had encountered a few lycans, none of them had come out and said it like he just had. She wondered if he trusted her or if he didn't see her as a threat. Both were feelings she would foster if it resulted in further openness from him. He had just made himself VERY useful to her...

 

"Can you take me to the springs before..." Matsumoto began to ask, intending to change her plans after hearing about the attack. But her eyes flickered to something outside in their headlights which stilled the words upon her blush lips.

 

The truck was approaching a turn off which led away into an open field standing quiet and dark in the moonlight. The shadow of a couple of buildings, one undoubtedly a hangar of sorts by the outline of the curved roof and there was a silvery strip of the runway bisecting the area. Outside the smaller structure was a black Lexus SUV parked with its lights off and only the gleam of the luna light highlighting the gleam of the ink paint.

Her hands tightened on the duffel.

 

"Do you have another customer at this time of night?..." she asked, her voice becoming hushed as she peered through the windshield at the dark and still vehicle.

 

DragonBlue

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As the headlights settled on the black SUV, Dixon automatically let his foot off the gas to let the truck start coasting. No one but his two closest cousins ever came out there unannounced this time of night, and neither of them drove a vehicle like that. His initial assumption was that someone was trying to make off with tools or other valuables.

 

The wolf instinctively started to reach for the gun holstered under the dash, "Nope," he said as he flicked the strap to free the weapon so he could draw it into his hand, "ain't no one coming out here this time of night except someone looking to cause trouble," Dixon muttered as he let his truck roll to a stop about thirty yards off, "probably some fucking lot of meth heads looking to strip the place for shit to pawn off."

 

Mindy G

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Guest Ronin_shinju

The tension was back, ratcheted up several degrees and the figure in the passenger's seat next to him was drawn as tight as a bow string; her back was straight as a steel rod against the backrest. Her head turned a fraction towards him, lashes flipping down to watch his hand slide under the dash and her nostrils flared ever-so-gently.

 

The truck rolled to a stop and she was glaring back out the front window again. The SUV was brand new, not even a license plate on the bodywork and the windows were heavily tinted. It awoke memories of nights stepping out of such a vehicle in the warm Tokyo evening and heading into a nightclub at her father's side. Such make and model were nearly uniform for most Yakuza clans in the city.

 

The subconscious comparison felt like a bad omen.

 

"And if it is not," her voice whispered, her accent drowning the words in breathy pronunciations. "I will meet you inside your hangaa."

 

A brief flare of her crimson eyes washed over him again, coming to rest on the weapon and the back up to his face even as her slender fingers caught the door handle. It opened softly and she was gone from the seat with the rustle of the duffel in seconds. Only the panel left ajar letting in the cool night air signaled she had even been there while her green tea and jasmine perfume faded.

 

Her argent crown of hair dissolved from view as she pulled the hood of the garment up around her face and then her black-clad figure was gone in the dark outside, moving quickly towards the nearest solid shadow so fast it was startling.

 

Meanwhile the Lexus was stirring in response to their actions; the back doors opened first, the moon sliding over its paint like oil as it moved. Two men got out, both dark-haired and wearing what looked like suits at first. Closer inspection would show they were wrapped in black kimono with a crisp white nagajuban marked their collars. Both were Asian and perhaps in their mid-twenties, their stern faces lending them an ageless mask...

 

Definitely not meth heads.

 

DragonBlue

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Dixon kept his gaze fixed on the strangers as they emerged into view, obviously not the typical junkie trash prone to causing trouble around town. No, they were well dressed and the same nationality of the woman no skirting towards the hanger.

 

The wolf tucked the handgun into the waistband of his jeans before pushing it open to exit. What the hell had this fox pulled him into?

 

He rounded the front of the truck cautiously and took a few strides nearer the two men, "There something I can do for you?" he asked truffle.

 

Mindy G

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Guest Ronin_shinju

As his long shadow swept over the SUV when the pilot crossed through his own headlights movement came again from the black vehicle. The dark pane of the front passenger side whirred and lowered a few inches. The interior was too dark to see the occupant.

 

As if the disembodied voice inside the Lexus were answering him, rather than the two garbed men standing outside, a stern baritone came from the open window. "?kami koroshimasu..." it said and even through the foreign dialect, it was clearly an order.

 

It seemed that was as much an answer as Redford was going to get.

In response, both of the robed men shifted in unison like a well choreographed dance, hands reaching into the wide sleeves and the whisper of steel sliding from a sheath rang in the night. The moonlight caught the glint from the straight, short tant? held against the underside of their forearms as they both slid a wooden sandal back in the dirt and raised their arms...

 

Then they were moving, indistinct black blurs as one went left and one went right, the shadows rushing towards him from either side in a wide arc. Their feet barely made sound as they dashed across the cold earth. The one on the right reached him a split second before the other, the blade moaning in the air as it cut low for his outside thigh. The second went for his gut, the stroke anticipating him bending over in pain from the first cut, if it landed...

 

And that damn fox was no where to be seen!

 

DragonBlue

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Dixon wasn't really what one would call well cultured. He was set in his ways and set in his home, rarely leaving the state in which he'd been born - and even those trips were brief and grudging. He rarely left Dawnbreak for anything more than business.

 

The disembodied voice spoke in a language that he could assume from his strange charter's declaration of nationality, but beyond that it was nothing but a garbled but harshly spoken sound to the wolf's ears. Had the two men standing on the tarmac not made such a show of drawing and preparing their weapons they could have gotten a potentially lethal jump on the wolf. As it was Dixon heard the sound of an unsheathing blade and even before either of them had raised it or slid their heels back into position he'd reached for and drawn the gun.

 

There wasn't time to do much else than that before they were moving, but it gave him just enough of an opportunity to raise the weapon and fire at the one that had taken the slightest of leads. Dixon was a decent shot. He'd grown up in a hunting culture; target shooting had been a family past time as long as he could remember. So even without time to take a direct aim he managed to hit the first man, just solidly enough to stagger them.

 

But while that first blade missed its mark the second didn't. It swept across his torso, not quite on its intended mark but still gouging a nasty gash along the very base of his chest plate. The wolf loosed a guttural snarl as he felt skin and muscle tearing beneath the blade. He staggered back a half pace from the simultaneous impact, then from sheer instinct made a blind lunge forward as though to tackle the culprit to the ground much like he would have done in his more bestial form.

 

Mindy G

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Guest Ronin_shinju

The fox he hit coming from the right grunted and staggered in his gait, lurching to the side as the bullet buried itself in the joint of his shoulder and clavicle; probably shattering the finer bone in the process. But not by the reaction of the swordsman, who kept coming, even with the affected arm hanging by his side- he merely switched the straight, short sword to his other hand.

 

It seemed nothing short of a maiming or kill shot would stop them.

Meanwhile the second attacker found his make, albeit not as solidly as he had wanted. Rather than eviscerate him the blow merely opened up a neat, red line beneath his chest. The blade was so sharp it would not bled straight away. Not until he threw himself at the assailant and tackled him to the ground.

 

The fox was quick, even among the Shifter breeds the kitsune were fast, and as a result the second blade-man recovered quickly. Hitting the ground on his back, his knees were already bent, the hard wooden sandals on his feet planting themselves right on that newly opened wound and using it to flip him off overhead onto the tarmac.

 

Meanwhile the first fox, the one he had shot, was going in for the kill while his partner flipped to his feet in a flurry of black robe and flashing steel.

 

"Sutoppu!"

 

The clarion voice rang out on the airstrip, echoing into the dark night. It came from the direction of the Lexus, sitting still and dark like a silent spectator to the scuffle. And standing in front of its bumper, with an arm leveled straight over the hood, was the albino. And she was pointing a sawn-off shotgun in her outstretched hand straight through the windshield.

 

Both foxes stopped inches from him, blades poised but heads turned towards the white-haired figure. She had raked the hood from her features and the length of her cobweb hair fluttered in the night breeze, strands brushing across that hard, ruby stare fixed on whoever was sitting inside the vehicle.

 

After a long, tense moment the passenger's door opened and another robed man got out.

 

This one was tall, standing maybe six feet and he held himself with a rigid stance. His long hair was pulled back into a ponytail and he wore a short beard trimmed to his jawline. He too wore the black formal kimono with the white collar accent, however he also wore a long black pair of wide-legged pants and the geta upon his feet were polished mahogany, the platform rungs underneath higher and more formal. His dark eyes swept slowly over the tarmac and his head turned, finally coming to rest on 'Matsumoto'.

 

On one hip hung a black sheathed katana and his hand rested upon the white-bound grip in a relaxed, open-handed touch. While she traced his every movement with the mouth of the shotgun.

"?jo..." the swordsman murmured and bent from the waist in a deep, drawn-out bow to her. She did not do the same.

 

Instead her eyes flickered in the direction of the pilot and the two foxes poised over him for an instant.

 

"Are you hurt?" she called to him, even as her eyes went straight back for that tall samurai...

 

DragonBlue

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It was a move the wolf probably should have anticipated better, given that one of his cousins had come to favor it in bouts of tussling over the years. She was less than half the size of most of her male relatives so she'd learned to compensate by using her opponent's movements against her. Dixon had that a fuck thought as the man hit the ground under him and he felt the wooden sole of the sandals kick painfully against the bleeding laceration across his chest.

 

The wolf hit the ground hard, weapon slipping from his grip and clattering a foot or so away. Dixon snarled in an expression of pain and frustration, twisting to begin getting to his feet. But the foxes were already on him with their weapons raised.

 

Had it not been for the woman's intervention at that moment Dixon might not have walked away from the fight. He watched as they froze in place, weapons still at the ready.

 

Unfortunately for the men, the werewolf didn't much care that they had stopped. His family's method of waging battles had been deeply ingrained, and in a split second Dixon had rolled to his gun and snatched it up. There would be no verbal answer to Shiori's question as Dixon took aim at near point blank and squeezed the trigger. A deafening shot echoed through the night and the nearest man's head snapped back, body going abruptly limp as it crumpled to the ground.

 

Mindy G

 

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Guest Ronin_shinju

As the gun went off her voice was drowned out by the gunshot, cracking shrilly with the urgency that shredded her words. "Iya! Tanaka!"

 

The shot opened up a spectacular exit wound in the back of the young man's skull, spraying the jam-like substance of his cranial matter into the cold night where it steamed on the tarmac. One of his fingers was still twitching on the handle of his short sword where he lay.

 

"Shinju-hime! Tomo oto!" the samurai barked in a guttural deep boom and it stopped the albino in mid-step as she made to move towards the fallen man.

 

Her head whipped around to skewer the samurai with a glistening gaze. Dixon could not have understood that the man he had just shot had grown up along side the albino.

 

"*(Is this... wolf worth protecting, princess?)" the tall stranger asked tersely, his bearded jaw set into a hard angle as he looked at the body of the dead fox.

 

"(I do not want anyone else to die.)" Shinju replied, shaking her head gently as saltwater broke from her lashes, the tear trails tinted black by her mascara. Hr arm trembled and then she lowered the shotgun. "(Why did you come, Noboru?)"

 

"(You know why...)" he said gravely.

 

"(My sister knows no mercy if she sent you to finish this.)" the albino whispered, turning her head away to look again at the dead man, then her eyes trailed to watch Dixon and his bleeding chest. "(Please, do not kill him.)"

 

"(You are my princess and my student. I will grant you this wish.)" the swordsman said with a slow nod. "(Come to the lake at midnight before the next full moon and we will settle this. You have until that time.)"

 

With a flick of his chin the second assassin sheathed the tant? into his sleeve and bowed, moving to the body on the concrete. He picked up the corpse in his arms like a child, despite the fact the man was nearly the same size and turned towards the SUV.

 

As the samurai gave a final nod towards the wolf he too turned his back to return to the vehicle. Apparently he did not think the pilot would shoot them in the back. And neither would she.

 

The body was laid in the back and the anachronistic-garbed Shifters got back into the SUV. A moment later it thrummed to life and began to roll away, circle a wide arc in front of the hangar before heading for the road, the headlights dark and the driver quiet on the throttle...

 

Which left her standing there with the shotgun still hanging by her side, looking at the mess on the ground that had once been her skulk-kin...

 

*( ) indicates spoken in Japanese.

 

DragonBlue

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