Dead or Alive 4 - Endgame
By Kochan

Chapter II - Enter the Falcon


The storm closed in on the glass and steel forest but the Black Falcon knew no fear. Tonight, the rolling clouds and accompanying darkness were its allies.

The trio of metallic-black, winged banshees rose from the floor of the jungle, whining howls announcing their arrival. No building was spared the blinding white light they threw out on foraging. The Falcon chose not to keep them waiting, spreading its wings on launching into the mist capping the tallest towers. Its would-be predators bared fangs and gave chase from below.

The peregrine falcons were known for one trademark technique: their hunting dives. This one broke through the cover of the cloud blanket to drop square upon the head of the closest beast. Its shining silver talon plunged through inches of armour to lance deep within the demon's brain, turning its confused spin into a chaotic spiral. A quick leap brought the dark raptor to a safe distance as its kill destroyed itself in a fiery blast, remnants tumbling back into the deep.

Two hundred feet of freefall found the Falcon landing upon the adjacent tower, rubble scattering in all directions as the concrete roof imploded on impact. It dashed forth from the crater as a second demon loomed behind to rain glowing meteors upon its path. The raptor ran undaunted, dodging geysers of molten rock and scorching flame with the surface agility of a goshawk.

Another of the banshees had made the fatal mistake of descending lower ahead and the Falcon burst from the roof edge to meet it. Gravity turned its graceful leap into a deadly swoop as its gleaming blade flashed through the night once more. The demon was cleaved top to bottom, divine violet fire searing through its divided body before it lost flight and fell in two halves.

The dark raptor had long since planned its next manuever and launched a length of metal twine up, coiling it about a steel lightning rod atop the roof with the deftness of a water eel. A swift burst of speed across the tower made for its escape as the demon plummeted from the heavens and entombed itself within the building. The explosion that followed tore through several floors, belching flame, shattered glass and molten steel into the night.

As the Thunder Demon Raiju sprang from tree to tree amidst storms, the raptor leapt from the tower, uncoiling into a series of flips on weaving through the torrents of yellow lightning hurled upon it. The last beast did not relent, blue fire flaring in the darkness to punctuate twin hisses as one, then the other of its monstrous fangs streaked forth.

There was no need to look behind on evasion; the washes of heat over its back told the raptor just how close the missles had passed by. It called to the spirits to summon and grow a ball of hungry fire within its grasp before unleashing it upon its target like a dart. Utter corruption was inevitable and the demon succumbed to the flames, transformed into a winged inferno for an instant before erupting in a deafening, blinding fireball of heat and shredded metal.

Darkness reclaimed the sky as the peregrine falcon launched into a smooth glide towards the next building, talons thrown back, wings swept.

From where the unholy trio had come, more lay in wait.

No matter...it was used to long hunts.