AN: Sorry to those that had difficulties reading the last chapter. There seemed to have been an issue when I posted it. This has been fixed. Thank you to those reviewers that brought it to my attention. I also wish to apologise for not posting this chap yesterday but RL got in the way and as always thanks to my Beta's. The story would not be this good without you.
"Fuck me, its Xena and Rambo's love child."
After that lovely comment, a lot more were thrown around until Charlie weighed in on the remarks with one of his own, "Now, remember boys, this isn't all I've got; just what you need, and can carry. I've a few things back at home that I want to test. But haven't been able to yet since it's too dangerous and I haven't had a volunteer yet. You keep this up and I might just not care if you're a volunteer or not."
That made everyone shut up.
Charlie glared all around, and then said, "Now, listen up because you're going to want to know this shit..."
Charlie proceeded to go over all the new weapons, as I started helping them suit up. Seth was to be my fearless steed, and Collin and Brady my guard dogs; it was decided that the twins had the best arm of the three. Seth was last to be ready, but that was because he had to phase first and would lose the ability to communicate effectively.
As I was gearing up Seth, I went over the weapons again with my team, especially the grenades. The twins were the only ones to have them. I had also told Seth that if I had to dismount for any reason, to stay near me. And if I whistled, it meant I wanted something he was carrying. I told all three of them that two whistles meant get the pack to us without any delay. We all agreed that whistling would be the easiest to recognizable way to communicate in the heat of battle, especially with the supernatural hearing that the wolves were blessed with.
Sam had us set up at the main entrance, but further back from the front line. The scout really did sing for them, and we had Intel on the layout of the warehouse. That made it easier for Sam to plan.
Leah and her group were stationed at the back entrance. The newborns in transition would be awake by the time we got there, so every wolf, bar my group and Leah, were armed with crossbows. Leah and I had the long bows and a torch to put in the ground so that it would be easier to light the arrows. The basic plan was to wound and light up as many as we can, as quickly as we can, then pick off what would be left.
When we got there, it looked like the count was down by a far bit; we put it down to infighting. It was almost a detrimental mistake. The plan went off without a hitch in the beginning, but then our assumption came back to bite us in the ass. The missing newborns were not dead, they were out feeding, and returned during our attack.
Most of the wolves had been busy picking off survivors, leaving my group to take on the five missing newborns. I was able to get Seth to rush over to them, and took two heads off with my katana before they could react. We had the last three surrounded. The twins phased, and took on one, Seth another, leaving the last to me.
It was a hard fight, the element of surprise lost. My Sais only gave him shallow cuts; he was too fast to get a solid blow. The small wounds slowed him down enough to give me a fighting chance, but I couldn't find the opening. Besides, I was tiring quickly, and saw the others were not faring much better. I no longer thought that those three were newborns. I gave two short whistles, we needed help. Fast.
Paul and Jared were there in seconds, taking out the boys' opponents, thus providing the distraction to gain the opening I had needed. The vampire turned his head to see his comrade fall, and my sword was swift to take his head. As soon as it was all over, the adrenaline left my body, and I collapsed in a heap to the ground.
I was suddenly aware of all my injuries. That bastard was playing with me, I just knew he was. The fucker's blows were hard enough to really bloody hurt, but just shy of incapacitating. They definitely hadn't been newborns. I was too injured to ride Seth back alone, I think he broke one of my wrists, so Paul hopped on too, and steadied me till we got back.
Our destination was the Clearwater's house; we needed Sue to doctor our war wounds. I was treated first as the pack had no bones that needed resetting. Sue's reasoning was, "You don't have their healing."
Couldn't argue with that; so I ended up with a few fractured bones, some busted ribs and a little internal bleeding. Sue really wanted me to go to hospital for the internal bleeding, but at my refusal, settled for her being able to watch me like a hawk.
I was to remain in her care and stay on bed rest until she was satisfied that I was healed. It wasn't too hard to do that; I lived with her anyway. The whole personal hygiene thing was going to be taken care of by Leah.
After the war wounds were healed, or mostly healed in my case, there was a bonfire to celebrate the victory.
Charlie was made an official honorary tribe member for his work on the arsenal, though that wasn't the publicly recognized reason. We moved the arsenal to a secure location on the Res, and it even had a lab set up for Charlie. As per his request, a few limbs and torsos were saved from the war for Charlie to run experiments on.
He was warned about the venom, and wore acid proof gloves when handling any vampire parts. He started buying the gloves, and other acid proof protective gear, in bulk from a wholesaler, when he found that after twenty-four hours the venom ate through them. The look on his face was priceless when he left them on the bench after using them only to come back the next day to find them half gone.
We sold the Forks house and moved permanently onto the Res.
A few weeks after my 21st birthday, I was ducking out to Newtons' to pick up a new polishing stone for my katana, and had subsequently left all my weapons at Sam's place where I had been in the process of cleaning them. It was then that Victoria found the perfect opportunity to kidnap me.
She couldn't have picked a more fortuitous moment to do so. It was the first time since Laurent's visit that I had not been armed in some fashion; Charlie would have killed me himself, if he could for that oversight. I was alone, and unarmed, it was the perfect moment.
No one had seen or heard from Victoria in quite a while after the war, so we had assumed that she had gone up in the first rush of the flames. It was an assumption that proved to be fatal, not only for me, but for many innocent people.
Victoria was cunning when it came to choosing who to grab; to use for my psychological torture. Charlie was first; taking out the weapons man. Paul and Sam were next; eliminating the best strategist. She then went for the best fighters, followed by the rest of the pack, next was the imprints, and then Renée and Phil and so on, and so forth, until no one was left.
I was suddenly again back in the present, telling the story to the Quilletes, "...This continued until she had taken anyone she knew I ever cared about. Many of the tribesmen were spared because she wasn't aware of my bonds with them, or for whatever reason. I will spare you all the horror of what was actually done to them; suffice it to say it was beyond anything you could ever imagine."
I paused unceremoniously, and then continued, "It took her three years to get everyone, and every day I was in utter agony, physically, mentally and emotionally. One of her favored torture techniques was to bite me, and then remove the venom about ten minutes later. It started the process of turning me. What was only a process of three to seven days, took well over three years for me. 90% of the scars covering my body are from this particular brand of torture."
And then, one fateful day, during her 'visit' she had unbound me for whatever purpose she had in mind. She became distracted by something outside, and it gave me all the opening I needed, and dreamt of having every day for those three long years.
"...Before Victoria even knew it, her head was torn from her body, and in my hands."