CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX


There was a scream of complete agony before the body separated itself, the head bouncing and rolling one way and the body going another.

Noah recoiled. "You couldn't be a little less ruthless when doing that?" He asked Tora as she circled the air before landing on the ground. She shook out her hands, flecks of blood falling to the ground. She then shrugged as she turned to Noah.

"I didn't want to risk it," she replied.

"Come on," Reihu turned around, before shifting slightly, pushing Rhuben further up his back. "We're sitting ducks here, just like we were in the warehouse, we have to find some place to take shelter." He started to walk again going at a fast pace.

"I don't think we're going to have many places to go if they heard that," Riley remarked, walking next to Reihu. "You can't have someone scream like that and not come running to see what the sound was." She increased her pace. "That and the fact that they had found us in the warehouse in the first place…it means that there's probably not many places left that we can hide."

"Not unless we get out of the city," Rhuben remarked, her face pressed into Reihu's back. "Put me down, I can walk."

"We don't want to risk you passing out again," Reihu tightened his grip on her, using his claws to lightly press into her legs, warning her. "Especially not if that thing that took your over to give us the message does it again." He stopped when a military man with a gun stopped in front of them, holding up a gun that was pointed directly at their faces. "Or that happens."

As they watched, the man was surrounded by a black-purple orb and then the orb created energy, blasting the military man high into the air, before he crash landed on the ground with a sickening crack. Reihu slowly put Rhuben on the ground before taking a step away from her, in case she was going to do the same thing to him.

"Thank you," she said quietly. She then took a breath before she turned to Noah and Riley before looking at Tori, Tora, Caos, Shadow, and Reihu, to be sure that they knew that she was talking to them as well. "If another message comes in, I'll let you know. But in the mean time, it would be a good idea if we actually tried to figure out where the others are instead of running around like chickens, blowing up every person that gets in our path." She looked over at the man that she had killed, watching as his blood continued to stain the pavement. "There's only so much longer until we accidentally harm a civilian."

"What do you propose then?" Riley asked. Her eyes were moving around the clearing, waiting to see if someone else was going to jump out at them.

Rhuben's eyes twitched as she thought about her. "I think that we should try and see if we can contact the others, since we have our powers back now." She started to bring her watch to her mouth, but Noah reached out and grabbed onto her hand.

"Depend on where the others are," he said slowly. "If they haven't contacted us yet, or at least Tapeworm hasn't…what if they got captured?" His eyes were serious. "I know it's hard to figure out, especially since the watches don't work if the recipient's powers aren't up to par, how do we know that they haven't tracked the watch or anything." He shrugged. "To figure out where we are by voice waves or something?"

"Is there anything else that you could possibly use to contact them?" Caos scratched his nose. "I mean, you guys have all of the fancy gadgets and everything, why can't you just whip up some sort of an aircraft with GPS capabilities and fly us there."

"Gee, maybe because we left all of our spare parts at home," Riley shot back, using her own sarcasm.

"Why don't you use DeathLiger?" Shadow suggested. Everyone turned to look at him and he looked straight at Rhuben. "You've got the power of darkness don't ya? So does DeathLiger. Can't he sense where some is? Maybe he can find your brothers using that capability?"

Rhuben hesitated.

"It might be too dangerous," Reihu warned her.

"It'll be fine," Rhuben said firmly. She turned her head to the side as a bright flash of light caused DeathLiger to appear on her shoulder in small form. "Can you tell us where Pat and Syd are?" She asked. "I wouldn't want you to get hurt, but at this point in the game, we're desperate."

"I'll try my hardest, my mistress," DeathLiger replied before closing his eyes, bathing himself and Rhuben in a light purple glow. The others watched as Rhuben's face screwed up in pain and she clenched her teeth together, trying hard not to let out a sound. DeathLiger's eyes shut even tighter and then they snapped open glowing completely purple.

"Patrick is with Zack, Cody, Tapeworm, Aaron, and Crystal," Rhuben said after a second of silence. "Syd…he's somewhere by himself." Her eyebrows moved into one of confusion, though her eyes were still closed. "I don't know what he's doing or if he's in trouble, but he's by himself. Though…he doesn't seem to be stressed at all, so I can only assume that he's fine."

Her shoulders slumped as DeathLiger stopped glowing and she breathed heavily, waiting to get her strength back.

"Good, now we just have to figure out where-"Tori bit back the end of her sentence as she jumped backwards. There was a zipping sound and the concrete in front of her erupted into a small circle. Frowning, she bent down and touched the spot. It was warm to the touch. Upon closer inspection, she found that it was a bullet hole.

"Don't move," Noah said quietly, holding still. "There are men all around us, and they all have guns pointed our way." His eyes shifted as he looked around. "And I think they have target identification guns, or else Tori's head would have been blasted open."

"What should we do?" Tora whispered.

No one dared to move. No one even dared to breathe. They didn't know what it was like to be hit by bullets. They didn't know how impervious they were to them. It could feel like a bug bite, or it could feel like fire was consuming them. All they knew was that if they got a hit in the head, elemental or not, they would be out cold for the rest of their lives. Any sudden movements would cause the bullets to come ripping through their flesh at any second, so they had to handle this delicately.

"Ok," Riley talked so slowly it was like her lips weren't even moving. "If you can fly or if you have a guardian that can fly, we're going to be the ones to get us out of here. We're going to have to go by air."

"Why by air?" Caos demanded. "We can all run fast, why don't we try that?"

"Because if they're with the government and they've been following us for years, they probably have the technology to make bullets that can get us as fast as we can run and pin-point in exact locations," Noah explained. "If we go by air, the trajectory of the bullet is only so far and gravity will pull them back down, harming those that are aiming for us more than us."

"Exactly," Riley agreed. "So, what we're going to do is, Rhu and I will try to distract the guys that are aiming at us the best that we can." She slowly moved her eyes around the plaza.

They were boxed in by buildings on all sides, so there were many places that these people could be hiding. She gave a mental sigh. This was going to be harder than she thought. Even if they zigzagged out of the way, they were still in such an enclosed space that they could hit each other, or get caught by a stray bullet they didn't normally see coming. This was going to either succeed with careful planning or throwing caution to the wind.

"Everyone else grab someone that's can't fly and get as high into the air as possible," Riley continued. "We'll take the guys out, so we can be sure we're not being followed, and then we'll figure out where to go from there." Her upper lip curled as her hands clenched into fists. "Got it?"

"Got it," Noah replied. His wings slowly unfolded from his back along with Tori's and Tora's. The leathery wings gently fluttered in the wind, adjusting so that they could find the thermals that they needed to use to take off at the right time.

"Ok," Riley continued to look around, her eyesight enhanced by her wolf capabilities as well as the fact that it was nighttime. "I see the main guy, he has a walkie-talkie," she slowly tilted her head to the side as she rolled her shoulders. "He's right behind Rhu and is the one giving the orders. I'm gonna go after him first."

"I can see the second in command," Rhuben commented, her eyes behind right behind Riley. "I'll go after him."

"Do you want us to take out the others or just get up as high as possible?" Tori asked, her fingers twitching at her sides. It was obvious that the tactics that Core had ingrained into their brains wasn't going to go away anytime soon.

"All right, on three," Riley insisted. DalFang appeared on her shoulder. "1…2…3!"

At the count of three, Tori, Tora, and Noah lurched forward and grabbed onto Caos, Shadow, and Reihu before they took off into the air, rising as fast as 200 mph. The down stroke of their wings along with how fast they rose caused a gust of wind to blow through the plaza. They could hear screams and blasts of glass breaking as they soared up, before hearing the sound of gunfire. At the same time, Riley and Rhuben had leapt high into the air as their guardians transformed into their full forms beneath them. Riley landed on DalFang's back and he swung to the side, out of the path of some bullets.

"Dark Fire Soldier!" Riley called. Her eyes turned to a dark, crimson red and a glow of the same color surrounded her and DalFang. She moved her arms up over her head and when she swung them back down, the aura around them erupted and sent dark fire into the buildings. One of the buildings immediately caught on fire, sending acrid smoke into the sky. As the flames raged, the shape of the flames turned the building into what looked like a burning man.

"Dark Tornado!" Rhuben glowed purple, allowing the aura to cover DeathLiger. He lifted his wings and then swung them down. The powerful stroke caused a large tornado of dark energy to go blasting towards the building that was opposite of the one that Riley was attacking.

Bullets continued to rain down around them and the guardians swung back and forth, doing their best to avoid them. The building had blown apart, but it was still standing. She could see that some of the marksmen had been killed, but the one that she had been aiming for was still alive. He turned and pointed the gun straight at her.

"Shit," she muttered under her breath. If it really was a tracking gun, there wasn't much of a chance for them to get completely out of the way. Plus, there was the fact that he was part of the government, he was trained not to miss too many times.

"Burning Mane." DeathLiger's mane turned into dark flames and as he roared loudly, it shot across the plaza, illuminating the other side, and was sent right into the window that the marksmen was leaning out of. Rhuben watched as the building imploded, knowing out the rest of the windows. Her guilt rose slightly when the building started to rumble before it collapsed to the ground, sending dust everywhere.

"Fear Fang!"

Rhuben and DeathLiger turned around to see DalFang's attack rip into the side of the building that the commander was in. The building was still standing up, two were on fire, and one had collapsed. She could hear sirens in the distance. Things could easily get worse if they got caught.

Riley's and Rhuben's hands glowed red and purple as they brought their arms up over their heads. A large black ball appeared above them and it started to get bigger and bigger as the outside ring slowly radiated a reddish color, pulsing as if it had its own heartbeat. The twin sisters brought their arms down and the ball went shooting towards Leslie at such a high speed it collided with her before she could even think to stop.

"We might want to hurry this up and get to the others," DeathLiger said as he moved to his brother's side.

"No problem," Riley tightened her grip on DalFang's fur.

"Shadow of Rage!" She and Rhuben called.

The commander screamed as a ball of black-red-purple pulsating energy zoomed towards him and expanded over his head. Once it settled around it glowed a bright purple before sliding into a black color, seeming to strike him with the energy of darkness as it did so. Then it burst into flames, causing the commander's screams to increase. He thrashed around, trying to put out the flames.

"Come on," Riley said in a low voice, her eyes still on the dying man. "There's nothing left for him." Nudging her knees into DalFang's sides, she leaned to the right, telling him to move. DalFang and DeathLiger turned and flew up into the air to greet their waiting companions.


"Even if we don't know what we're going up against, I'm letting you all know that we're not going to back down until one side have finally won," Zack said to himself, looking at the stone that was in his hand. He looked up to be sure that everyone was still asleep, hoping that he wouldn't wake them up. "And the time has finally come for that final battle." He let out a weary sigh.

"We should get some sleep before we decide what to do next," Blazen said from where he was sitting on Zack's lap.

"Sure thing, buddy." Zack looked down at the stone that was in his hands.

His eyes flashed red…


A/N: I wanted to bring in a little bit of humor and normalcy before everything basically turns to crap as the final battle gets closer. I hope you guys liked it and I'll update again soon. Also, now that I'm done with my BTR fics (except for the co-write I'm doing with Rhu and the occasional one-shots) Out of Doubt will be updated Monday and Thursday starting next week. I'm really getting into this story now.

Cheers,

-Riles