No matter what time of day or night it was, Harriet was to be determined to annoy Smati. Or at least, it seemed that way sometimes. Sure she knew there was something important going on with the other saints, but Smati actually had some important intelligence for Harriet this time. Stuff that REALLY couldnt wait until tomorrow, no matter what the elf at the door said. And so, shed rather unceremoniously let herself into a meeting of the saints. She was quiet about it, Harriet was going to be mad enough with her barging in like this. Quietly melding with the shadows, the were moved around the room until she was behind the drow. Quietly and unobtrusively she placed the intelligence she had managed to gather on the table, then slipped back into the shadows. Moving back the way she'd come, the were paused at the door, looking back once at the room; one didn't often get to see so many important people gathered in one place. Her gaze paused as it fell on one individual in particular, and her eyes widened. It wasn't possible. No, she'd heard rumors that it was but she just couldn't believe it. She'd thought him dead after five years of searching. He, his brother, and their father. All had been lost to her. The only one she'd ever found was their father, though, his mangled body barely recognizable. He was here though. Her son was here. Smati stood frozen, hand on the door, staring at her son.
The other were was talking with one of the other saints, not seeming to notice her there. He had long black hair and was in good shape. He was in a tattered PDF kevlar jacket and had golden eyes. The only female drow in the room looked down and opened the folder that Smati had put there. She offered the were a small nod before starting to talk with another fighter.
Smati blinked, snapping out of her trance. He was here, but he'd probably known she was alive for years. She hadn't exactly kept her presence within the organization quiet. He could have contacted her any time, but he hadn't. The message that sent was clear: she wasn't wanted. Turning, she quietly opened the door, taking only one glance back at the child she'd thought was lost forever. Moving quickly, before she could make a fool of herself, the female were shifted, and ran, the door closing silently behind her.
She was upset again. It seemed to be happening more and more frequently as of late. Maybe it was because she was spending more time with humans and less time with animals, but she could feel herself becoming more tame and less feral every day. And the tamer she became, the more susceptible to human emotions she was. She was starting to think that was a bad thing.
Heading for the stairs, Smati climbed towards the surface as fast as her legs would take her, hardly noticing those that plastered themselves against the walls in order to get out of her way. She knew she wasn't supposed to shift inside base because it freaked people out, but they'd get used to it. Or at the very least, she didn't care at that moment. They could all die. No..strike that. She was surprised to find that she didn't really want them to die. Slowing her pace a little she started to form a plan, something to take her mind off of her problems and help her 'people' at the same time. She'd act on the intelligence she'd given Harriet herself. It was only one company, how hard could it be?
When she finally reached the surface level, the were took a sharp turn to the right, jumping fifteen feet to the nearest ledge before turning and jumping two more times, coming to rest at last on the entrance to the tunnel. A quick jog later and Smati found herself in the city. She wished she could see the stars more clearly, the things she'd overheard talking had said the company was coming from the south. Well, she knew the general direction of south, that would have to do. Turning she headed down a slight incline in the street, loping easily towards the incoming enemy. The uneasiness that had been plaguing her mind was gone now as she trotted through the still night air, tongue lolling out the side of her mouth. Being out an about always made things better, and the prospect of killing drove her worries far from her mind. This was going to be a good night after all. Stationing herself at a familiar cross street, Smati shifted back to her human, leaning against the wall to wait for her intended targets. She couldnt wait for this to start.
She hadn't been waiting for five minutes when the first she heard the rhythmic tramping of feet. Just like clockwork, she thought with a sly grin. She slipped into the shadows, shifting into wolf form at the last second. The human form wasn't as good at fighting, but her wolf form couldn't blend. Smati waited until the troops had passed her; there were more than she'd thought there would be. A lot more. She was sure she could handle it, though.
"Hey, you hear something?" a legionnaire jackalhound asked.
The one who'd spoken fell without a sound, his skin oozing a clear substance.
"Hostile detected!" another legionnaire shouted. Almost instantly, the legionnaires fell into form and Smati was spotted.
Dashing out from her spot, the were charged, dodging bullets as best she could. She managed to get close enough to tear at one of the legionnaires throats, teeth and claws sinking into the Kevlar like it was nothing. Satisfied this one would never rise again, Smati was off to her next victim. A hail of hot lead and brass tore into her knee at that instant. A small helicopter-like vehicle buzzed overhead. It flew over her before turning around, moving in for the kill. Eyes flashing a hot red gold, Smati turned and looked at the machine, blinking once before turning away. The helicopter-ish thing exploded.
When the bullets didn't appear to be doing much to her a legionnaire started shouting, "NITRATE!"
Smati lunged at him, tearing at his throat. Damn, if they started using silver this was going to be tough. A pair of legionnaires took aim at the werewolf and fired. Bullets that were hollow with silver nitrate in them tore through the air, before a cluster of bullets hit her. A scream tore from her throat as she shifted rapidly between forms several times until the majority of the silver was concentrated in her hair. Some of it had still gotten past her defensive spells, though; she could feel it in her veins, burning away at her insides. Ignoring it as best she could she drew her own side arms. Though she hated using them, she did carry guns for occasions like these. One shot from each of her hand guns hit each of the two weapons firing at her, splattering the insides and outsides with molten metal, jamming it.
The legionnaires retreated behind the safety of an APC before the turret on the vehicle aimed right at her and a burst of fire came from it. Another cohort of legionnaires ran ouf ot another nearby APC and took aim. "NITRATE!" one of them shouted and they quickly loaded their metal storm assault rifles.
"Shit..." Smati ducked into the ranks of another unit, knowing that this wouldn't stop them from firing, but hoping the mass of bodies would at least slow the bullets down. She hamstrung several of the legionnaire, keeping them between her and the rather large vehicle that seemed to be bearing down on her. The silver was starting to wear on her, though, and it was beginning to dawn on her that maybe this hadn't been the smartest idea after all.
The legionnaires quickly readied their gladiuses, hammers, hand axes and sabers before swinging them at her. A bullhound drove his gladius into her and it sent a violent electric shock through her. before she could do anything, he had pulled it out and retreated, getting his handgun ready. The wounds weren't closing as fast as they should have, Smati noticed absently as she dropped to her knees under the assault. Must be the silver. She almost smiled as she realized that she really had bitten off more than she could chew this time. At least she'd die in battle, though, and not in some pansy arsed accident, or worse in bed of old age. Still, she wasn't going down without a fight. She pulled her own hand guns and fired at the bullhound who'd stabbed her, purposefully aiming for his face.
His head exploded in a shower of blood. Something that the handguns could never do. An RPG flew into one of the APCs and madness ensued as the legionnaires started firing at a group of nearby rebels.
"Don't you dare forget about me!" Smati jumped the nearest legionnaire whose back was turned to her, ripping out his throat. If they were going to kill her, they'd better damn well do it now, or else they'd regret it. She'd make sure of that. She'd made another mistake though, the legionnaire she'd just assaulted was a hellhound. The wound that would've been fatal to most beings just went to infuriate the creature. It howled before sinking its fangs into her collar. Smati did the only thing she could think of under the circumstances. She whispered something in his ear; moments later his blood exploded. The creature roared before falling, his body twitching horribly. The were fell with him, weak. He'd shattered her collar bone, and she was pretty sure that he'd punctured a major artery in there somewhere as well. She wasn't going to just give up and die though. Painfully she dragged herself up again, looking for another, perhaps slightly easier target. Another legionnaire fell to a burst of bullets penetrating his armor.
"Fall back!" someone shouted. With that, the legionnaires started moving towards their surviving transport before beating a retreat. It was over.
Damn it! The were's legs gave way as the fighting came to an end. She couldn't believe that was it. She wasn't going to die in battle after all, only as an afterthought later on. Damn it...
A pair of orcs walked over. One had a an RPG while the other held an assault rifle ready.
"Damn, Smati..." one of them said. "What the hell were you thinking?!"
"Was only one company," She murmured almost incoherently, "Didn't think it would be that bad."
"Any group going through this area now have silver nitrate handy just in case you show up!"
"Good to be known..." She collapsed forward, unable to keep herself even in a kneeling position.
"What happened?" someone asked.
"Smati 'ere!" one of the orcs said, "Thought she could take on an entire century!"
"Only one company," She murmured again, still slightly conscious.
"Great..." It was Kasar.
Though she knew who it was, Smati didn't turn her eyes to look at him. He didn't want to acknowledge her; she wouldn't make him. Let him think she was a little closer to the end than she was. It wouldn't make any difference in a few minutes.
"I got it from here guys."
"Yessir," the orcs said.
She couldn't look at him, not when she knew what she'd see there. She knew he probably thought she'd abandoned him, his brother, their father and the pack. Damn the alpha for dying before he could tell the rest to retreat. She was so tired, though, she didn't know if she'd have the strength to look anyways. At least she couldnt feel the pain anymore. Maybe if she just took a little nap shed be able to look at him. Or not. Smati smiled, she wasn't going to fool herself; this really was the end. Well, goodbye then. She let her eyes drift shut.
He knelt down and pulled out a needle, before injecting liquid gold into her. It would help heal the wounds and remove the effect of the silver nitrate. A few minutes passed and Smati's wounds started to heal once again. About ten minutes after that she awoke. "Ow..."
She found herself in a Stryker. They were going back. She sighed, she already knew that Harriet wasn't going to be happy about this. And it wasn't even her fault this time. Well, it mostly wasn't her fault. Maybe. Okay, so it probably was her fault. Damn, she was going to be kept on base for days for this one. Experimentally she tested each of her limbs, noting how sluggishly they responded. Maybe spending a few days indoors wasn't such a bad idea. She hoped it wasn't more than two, though. She'd be healed after that.
"You never said you had kids girl," Mora Gorebag said.
Smati blinked, "Kids?" How had they found out? She hoped she hadn't said anything as she was dying that had tipped them off that Kasar was her son, though that would be just like her. She tried pushing herself up off the floor, but found that she couldn't, so instead she rolled over onto her stomach to look around.
"Kasar told us," Ryan said.
Smati blinked. "He did?" Well that was unexpected. She looked around for her son. He wasn't there. The realization surprisingly hurt worse than knowing he didn't want to talk to her. But at least he'd told them she was his mother. She closed her eyes again.
What seemed like moments later, Smati opened her eyes again. "Okay!" someone shouted. "get the wounded on stretchers and to medical!" She recognized the shouter as Kasar this time. The Stryker's rear door was open and resistance fighters were coming in and out while the others helped a few wounded out and onto stretchers or makeshift wheelchairs. Growling at the attendants who tried to put her on a stretcher, Smati shifted and limped out under her own power, though she did favor her rear right leg. It seemed significantly heavier than her left, and she wasn't sure why. Well, it would be better in the morning, of that she was sure. Now if she could only get back to her room, she'd just sleep this off.
"Oh, no you don't!" Harriet said.
Smati winced, but couldn't work up the energy to run.
"You are in deep shit this time girl... Go to the medical wing and get yourself checked out. Looks like you took a pile of lead in that leg."
Smati's replying whine sounded distinctly like "I'm fine" as she continued to limp towards her room.
"Mora, Gora, get her to the medical wing."
If she'd been feeling more up to it, Smati might have tried to make a break for it at that point. The two orcs took her and started towards an elevator with her. Of course she couldn't just let them carry her, so she put up a token resistance. Smati was ashamed to admit, though, that she couldn't have broken free if she'd wanted to. The elevator started going down. Feeling tired again, Smati decided to rest her eyes for just a moment.
Smati opened her eyes again. Her first thought was to wonder why she was laying down. Her second was to wonder how long she'd been that way. Deciding that neither were really important at the moment, Smati rolled over, shifting so that she hit the floor in wolf form. A stifled yelp escaped as she landed on her bad leg. Damn, she'd forgotten. It didn't hurt as badly now, though, so she had an excuse. Bending the leg experimentally she decided that it hadn't really been damaged by the fall. It would still need to heal some, though. Obviously. She turned towards the door; sleeping in her own room was much better than sleeping in the med wing.
"Where do you think you're going?"
Smati flinched. Damn it. She was NOT going back in that bed again. Even if it meant sleeping on the floor. Half heartedly she tried to limp to the door.
The voice finally registered and she froze, closing her eyes against the wave of emotions that shifted her involuntarily back into human form. "You actually want to talk to me?"
"What were you thinking? Going after a century detachment like that?"
She sighed. "I didn't think it was that big. I thought it was going to be about half the size it was."
"You supposedly got that intelligence. You should've known what you were up against!"
She shifted, trying to take weight off her injured knee. "I thought it was a company, you know, fifty, sixty guys? Thats what it used to be, at least."
Kasar sighed. "What are you doing here anyway? Last I heard you were in Europe."
"I came over after an incident in Madrid. Got tired of demons." She closed her eyes. "I've been here for years, though."
"Ah..." He shrugged. "So... you just forget about us?"
Smati glared. "I looked for you, all of you, for years over there. I thought you all were dead, especially after I found," she'd almost said what was left of, "Your father."
"What about him?"
"Demons don't kill cleanly."
"What about Salat?"
"I found out he's alive the same time I found out you were."
Smati was embarrassed to find she couldn't stand while in human form. "Damn it..."
"On the floor?" Smati was having a hard time keeping the shame and frustration of being so helpless in front of her own son from her voice.
"If you want."
Grabbing at a bed stand she started to pull herself up. "I don't."
He moved to help her.
"I'm fine," she gritted out, forcing herself to stand and put weight on the leg. "Just need to get back to the room."
He shrugged. "Do you know how much lead was in you?"
"No." Her tone stated she didn't care to know either.
"You had about two pounds in you! Your SBL was through the roof, you could've died.
"I know, okay? Do you think I don't know? That I didn't think when I closed my eyes after the battle that I wouldn't open them again? I knew, okay? I knew halfway through that I probably wasn't going to make it."
"Christ, you're stubborn..."
She'd never admit it, but she was close to tears, "What'd you expect? You've known me for how long?" Her leg was starting to wobble under her. She'd have to shift soon if she wanted to remain standing.
Kasar forced her into the bed. "Look. They couldn't get it all out, so you're best staying here for observation until they're sure."
"No." Her struggles were weak at best, "I don't want to be here. I'll sleep it off back in my room."
"You could die!"
"I'm almost nine hundred years old, of course I could! Besides, what do you care?"
"You're still my mom..."
The tears she'd successfully hidden until this couldn't be held back any longer. And Smati cried for the first time since she'd found Ohier's body.
He gently rubbed her head as she cried. "There there... Now rest..."
The were found she couldn't do anything but obey as the exhaustion came back again full force. She hoped that he would be there when she woke up.