The northern lights came to oversee the mission from the night sky, with aid of the full moon. If one stared into the aether long enough, they could see a winged woman, hovering in the air, a fairy to be exact, although they preferred to be called Seelie. Night vision goggles covered her eyes, and a Bluetooth headset covered her ears.
"How does it look from up there?" Warren asked. He and the remaining members of the Arcane Seekers trudged through the ankle-deep snow, spring may have come to Alberta, but Fort Vermillion didn't get the memo. Not that it matters with the town under siege by ravenous dog people called Adlets. Which brought the Scald Crow to a remote location.
"We're clear. How are you doing?" air rushed against Therias microphone as she floated through the air. It didn't hide the worry in her voice.
Warren trudged forward with his pistol blades drawn. The queen had described them correctly, they were unwieldy and unbalanced. Still, he relished the chance to test them out. The area cooled significantly, and the chill wind nipped and bit into his exposed skin.
The rest of the team was not handling the cold so well. Except for Grace, as a former pirate queen, she was used to being prepared for the unexpected. "Come on you big babies, do you want to be shown up by the whelp?" She teased.
"He can have all the credit, I can't feel my fingers and toes," Jack's chattered, and he blew on his hands.
"Where do you think the humans are?" Herne asked as he tried to catch up to Grace. Herne acted differently around Grace, and Warren suspected it was because the sniper had feelings for her. She was quite stunning before she opened her mouth and swore.
Warren pondered the question, and picked up the pace, "Well if the Adlets know where the people are we can bet the place will be surrounded. If they haven't the people might take the high ground for better defense," a fresh clump of snow entered his boot. He quickly shook his leg to remove it.
"Enemy spotted dead ahead, it's a large group, a little more than ten, definitely less than fifty," Theria's disembodied voice cried.
"We are not taking on that many without the help of the Scald Crow," Jack stated.
Warren halted his position, and knew the Eidolon was their best chance, "Archon how long can you stay active before I completely lose my mind?"
It took the spirit creature several moments to formulate an answer. A man shrugging, and then a timer set for ten minutes switched to nine and down to eight.
"You don't know for certain?" Warren knew half of the equation lay in knowing his enemies. Time was not on their side. I would take a bit of daring to achieve their goals.
"Theria are you coming down?" Warren asked, "I think the eidolon is our best chance to get at these people."
"No, I think I should stay in the air to make sure the enemy doesn't converge on your location," Theria replied. "I'll come to the ground when you mount the assault."
Grace smiled at Warren, "There you go again coming dangerously close to earning my respect, whelp.
Herne and Jack entered the huddled, their misty breath floated upward into nothingness as they blew on their frigid digits, "I assume we have a plan?" Herne cradled the Dragonuv rifle in his hands.
"Does it involve the Scald Crow?" Jack asked eagerly.
"You are not driving Jack," Theria shrieked. "You sat in the driver seat pushing buttons and making explosion noises. The last thing we need is you playing with the toys the transport came with."
Everyone clapped their hands against their ears, "Okay I'll leave it alone," Jack stuck a finger in his ear and wiggled it. "Man you sure know how to pick them, Whelp."
"I like her just the way she is, Jack," Warren's voice filled with pride. Despite their earlier difficulties, he still wanted to make his situation with Theria work.
"Thanks, Warren, I appreciate that," Theria said.
"I agree with Jack, the Scald crow is probably our best chance to grab the mutt's attention. I also like the idea of Warren making the first contact with the trapped humans. Theria what kind of building are the humans hiding in?"
"I don't know there are big yellow vehicles outside..." Theria started to say.
Warren instantly knew where the humans would mount their defense, "You're looking at a school, Theria. I know where they would hide for protection two. The only place without windows, The gymnasium. They also have reinforced steel doors that are difficult to get in."
Grace nodded, "The mutts are waiting them out. Warren you will infiltrate. Herne and Jack will come in with the Scald Crow and thin the herd. We'll hold the position long enough to get the yellow hunks of metal running."
Herne took Jack by the shoulder, "Come on, we should get going."
Grace looked skyward, "Theria?"
"Fly around the building and see if you can find a decent point of entry. I want this to be quick and painless if possible. Once Warren is in I need you to get the yellow things going."
"You mean the buses?" Warren raised and eyebrow.
"You have so many names for the mechanical beasts I never know what to say," Grace said in a semi offended tone.
Warren and Grace kept themselves hidden while they waited for Jack and Herne to come back with the Scald Crow. "Warren, I think I understand why we have to do this now."
"Care to elaborate?"
"The Adlets didn't have to attack the humans. But they chose to, and they mean to keep doing it."
A touch of pride hit Warren, "Yeah, that's about the size of it."
"Why do you think they haven't attacked us yet?" Grace asked. Her pistol and Cutlass were in hand.
"Who knows, I'm not an Adlet expert," Warren replied.
Grace shifted her weight, "Do you see any sign of the Scald Crow?"
"I can see the headlights, they are maybe five minutes away...We have enemy movement converging on your location."
Grace burst from the bushes, "Are you ready to test the eidolon, whelp."
Archon created a picture of a man punching his palm, and Warren smiled, "We both are ready to send these dogs to the pound."