Journey to the Top

Outside on the streets of New York City humans didn’t know about the war going on between supernatural races.  They didn’t know about vampires and their bloodlines.  They didn’t know about the various therian packs around the world much less the types of therians there were – bears, lions, wolves and almost every predator known to man.  Maybe even some not known.  They didn’t know that dragons lived among them – as part of them.  They didn’t know about the magic around them – the most fantastical world and they were blinded to it.  

As we walked I thought about how it would be to not see this world.  I looked to Alex who had barely touched on the surface when he’d come here at first, and now, he was one of us.  Part of the bigger whole.  I couldn’t imagine how hard it must be to join this world.  But then again I can’t imagine not living in it my whole life either.  I wondered how life would be different if I hadn’t become Cesari, if I didn’t spark out of fear and violence and I joined this world like a normal hunter’s child.  

I would have had my brothers my whole life.  I might have met Alex sooner.  But there really was no point in thinking about what coulda been.  I wouldn’t be here right now, in this moment if everything hadn’t happened to me in the past.  And I was happy.  Alex was by my side and we had a loving family.  It might not be the type of family most American live for, or even any supernatural family but I was happy with mine.  It had taken years to find it and make it mine.  But it was now – mine.  And I wasn’t going to let it go.

And with each step I felt more pack, more dragons, I felt the vampires below.  We didn’t have to walk far.  Most of the humans were completely oblivious to what was going on.  The doors to the AU building were locked but that was a trivial thing.  The AU building never closed so this was a precedence and it gave us a little hope that maybe there would be no collateral damage.  I sent my magic wide through the building unlocking all the entrance so my people could flood the place.  This was a war, and I wasn’t about to lose.

A man stood standing in front of Atlas and I recognized the back of his head.  I’d worked with him before.  He’d been on my side then.  

“I just wanted to let you know, Nox.  This isn’t personal.” Walker said as he turned around to look.

I laughed.  “Killing me? Isn’t personal?”

“What’s this?”  He nodded to the crowd gathering behind me.  “Can’t fight your own fights?”

“Witnesses.”  I said.  “A display of loyalty.”

“You think this will scare them?”  He asked.

I shook my head, “It’s not meant to.  They are showing me they got my back no matter what.  It’s more than I can say about the Venatori.”

Walker sighed and changed the direction of the conversation.  He didn’t agree with them either. “You won’t make it to the council chamber.”

“I will.”  I said.

“You have to go through me.”  He said and drew a gun that pointed at my head.  I stopped where I stood and frowned.

I really didn’t want to hurt Walker, “I don’t want to hurt you.  But I will if you fire that gun at me.”

Like the word triggered his finger, he pulled and the gun went off. I heard the crowd gasp as the bullet hung in the air.  It hung halfway between the two of us.  Stuck in a pillar of solid air.  I walked up to the bullet and it fell into my hand as the air around it dissolved into the gas that it was.  I sighed, “Walker, didn’t you learn anything working with me?”

He looked at me with a sort of fear and then he turned his gun and fired at Alex.  He knew my weakness.  Ant pushed Alex out of the way and took the bullet in his left shoulder.  He hissed and bared his fangs. There was no point in giving away all our secrets today. The blood dripped from the wound and you could see the bullet working its way out like I had done earlier in the day.

Alex surprised me as I felt his mental blast. It rattled my bones as his emotions and thoughts powered through the Venatori’s shield and Walker flew backwards.

I looked back at Alex with a smile, but his eyes were wide he hadn’t meant to do that.  We all had a little bit of work to do.  Raw power was nothing if you couldn’t reliably use it.  Even I needed help.

Walker had tumbled over the barrier that separated Atlas from the rest of the lobby.  He leaned against the base of the man and stared at us in fear.  He lowered his gun again and fired at Alex.  He was going to take what I most loved.  And that was not going to happen.

But Alex was on it before even Walker tried again.  I felt the command, “Sleep.”  It took everything in my will power to not obey.  But Walker, with his shields already down from Alex’s blast, drifted off to sleep collapsing to the floor with loud clatter heard through out the lobby.  

Several others fell victim to Alex’s attack.  But it had been the right thing to do.  I really hadn’t wanted to kill Walker, there was so much potential there, and the Venatori had banked on that.  Which meant that every step of the way I was going to have to fight someone I didn’t want to hurt.  

I pulled out my phone and called Sage.  He picked up with a tired voice, “Yeah.”

“You still have access to the AU building?”

“Yeah.”  He said.

“I need the Wicked Truth to make all the elevators an express from the bottom to the top only.  No getting on or off until top or bottom.”

“Okay.  That’s not a problem.”  Sage sounded like he was getting out of bed and moved to his computer, which was in his basement which was unusual, but I didn’t ask then.  I’d have to check on my best friend when this was done, “Alright, Nox.  It’s done.  I don’t know what you are doing but be safe.”

“I will do my best.”  I said then hung up.  Ant and Alex were already waiting by the elevator doors.  When I joined them Ant pressed the button and stood in front of us – always the body guard.

Ryan, Adrian, Darwynn, Dom, Alec and Valentina waited to piled into the elevator with the three of us along with a dragon who I didn’t know his name.  He smiled at me, “Driver.  I’m your liason to Reginald and your Dragon advisor from hence forth.”  He laughed softly, “Though it’s really been since you took the Last Phoenix, I never saw reason till today to make myself known.  I apologize.”

I laughed.  “A pleasure Driver.  We’ll have to do introductions when this is over.”  I said as the doors to the elevator opened.