B1 — 27. One Day; Thrash

Time slowed in Sora’s eyes, heart pounding as she watched Eric pull his hand from Lori’s chest, sidestepping her descent to the floor.

Revulsion spread across her abdomen when Eric licked his fingers, a malevolent grin directed at his sister.

The time dilation only lasted a moment, and Kari dashed forward, her body changing to her Fenris form; her speed picked up dramatically to Sora’s gym encounter with the wolf.  Kari’s black coat bristled as her flaming amber eyes centered on her brother, glistening teeth bared in a vicious snarl. 

Eric’s body was instantly covered in dark-brown fur, half morphing into a Werewolf to run forward and meet his sister; dodging under her snapping jaws, arms wrapping around Kari’s neck, he spun and flipped her over his shoulders, sending her flying into the construction zone.

Kari slammed against a half-completed concrete wall, breaking through it to disappear with the resounding crash around the area.

His voice deepened by this partial transformation, the man laughed while shaking his head.  “I don’t even need to fully change, Sister!  You’re right, the stability I’ve gained from Aiden; it’s not even a competition with you.”

Jenny had fallen to her knees and turned Lori over in shock as Mary rushed to help Wendy.  Tears slid down Jenny’s cheeks while staring into Lori’s deadened eyes, and she bent over to wrap her arms around her body.

The werewolves around the area shifted nervously as they alternated their focus from Lori to Eric and the place Kari was thrown through.

Sora’s ears pricked at the sound of shifting rock and steel; Kari leaped back through the hole and began to circle Eric with bared teeth, her low growls resonating the air, and her dark fur was covered in dust, but Sora couldn’t see a wound on her.

Kari’s burning eyes centered on her brother with a feral intensity; Sora’s keen emotional perception was overwhelmed by Kari’s intent to kill that was absent in their fight at the gym.

Sora’s vision momentarily darted to Aiden as his fingers dug into his lap.  He can’t do anything because of what Eric ordered, but I can’t even sense his frustration with how emotional Kari is right now.

The wolf dashed forward, yet Eric slipped under her jaws again, grabbing the fur around her neck.  With enormous strength, he flung Kari into a front-flip, smashing her back against the dirt.

Sora braced herself and winced as she felt the shockwave ripple through the ground and heard Kari’s yelp.

Eric positioned himself under his sister’s head and pulled back on her throat, keeping her pinned.  She struggled against his grip, legs and tail thrashing while attempting to twist her body, but Eric wouldn’t let loose.

“Now, now, Sister!  I think it’s about time you started following my lead.  You’re not cut out for leadership until you get…”

Kari rocked forward and then back, catching Eric off guard; they both flew into an inverted somersault.  Eric managed to cling to her back as Kari bolted for a pile of steel beams and slammed her back against the bundle.

Eric’s sharp grunt could be heard throughout the site as the steel beams bent and scattered.  Slightly dazed after being choked, Kari stumbled to the side for a moment before advancing on her brother.

Sora cheered inside as Kari’s teeth came down on his torso, violently shaking her head back and forth to work her fangs in before flinging him at the same wall she’d been tossed through.  The concrete shattered on impact, and he disappeared into the interior of the first floor.

“That’s it!”  Sora grinned.  “Don’t let up!”

Kari paced in front of the hole, ignoring her shouts as the dust billowed around the entrance; she was breathing heavily, chest heaving with the air steamed from her jaws.

Sora groaned.  C’mon!  Go after him!  Why are you just waiting…

After a few seconds, she barked viciously, ending in a growl, and Sora caught Aiden slamming his fist against his lap, face white.  Her father soon pulled her focus, placing a hand on her shoulder while slowly inching them toward a break in the circle.

Oh … This could be a good chance for us to get away, but … What about Wendy?  Can I make an illusion to grab her?

With the energy she’d been gaining throughout the encounter, Sora spun the mirage to make them invisible, motioning to where Wendy and Mary were while creating replacement images to trick the werewolves.

If we can just get to the river, we can wash away our scents … I’ll have to come back and try to help Mary later…

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They both froze as Eric appeared through the thick cloud, blood flowing from several deep cuts across his thin fur, but the wounds were swiftly knitting together.

He cracked his neck and shifted his shoulders around to pop them back into place, dangerous sapphire eyes darting to Sora and her father.  “What are you idiots doing?  Make sure the Vulpes and her father don’t run!”

“Kari … Mmgm!” he shouted, diving away from another charge by his sister.  “You’re drawing my patience!”

His shirt front was shredded, and Sora was stunned at how fast the man was healing; there were only light cuts on his skin now.

Her father cursed beside her when the werewolves closed the gap, sniffing the air for them rather than relying on sight.  Sora sighed in frustration and released the illusions; she didn’t have enough energy to trick all of their minds, and it was harder than with humans.

So, Eric can really see through my illusions—do I not have enough power?  I know I don’t have enough to compel them like I did to Kari’s gang—that makes this so much more difficult.

Studying the worsening situation, Sora fixated on Aiden, still dreading the fight between Kari and Eric.  I know he’d help if he could … Monster rules are stupid!  Why can’t he break a promise?  Why make a stupid promise like that?!

Devin’s hand tightened on the bird’s shoulder, eagerly watching the fight before smirking in Jenny’s direction as she moved Lori’s body out of the ring to the fenceline.  The trail of blood falling out of the gaping hole in her chest and the organs Sora could see made her want to vomit.

Mary was taking advantage of the distraction to move the unconscious Wendy down an alley.  Oh … She hasn’t been ordered to keep Wendy inside!  She’s trying to help us out … Okay, that’s good.  C’mon … I have to find a way out of this!  I just need more energy!  Hurry up, stupid sky!

Kari’s attacks were becoming more cautious now, which kept Eric on the defensive; thankfully, it seemed he was too proud to further transform and overpower his sister.  Still, the contest worried Sora.

No matter how I look at it, Kari can’t win … Unless…

Smiling, Sora used some of her gathering energy to make several illusions of Kari that prowled in a circle around Eric.

Even if he can tell they’re illusions, I can block Kari a bit from his sight and hopefully make a small opportunity for her to strike.  I could do more, too … These werewolves won’t do anything without Eric’s permission, and they were only told to keep us from escaping.

Making her father invisible again, Sora took a deep breath of air as her energy began bleeding out.  This is reckless, and I don’t know what I can do, but there’s no way out anyway.  I can’t last very long after this … Not with what I’m about to do!  Commit!

The air in her lungs expelled in a rush as she dashed toward Eric, making her illusions pounce.  Eric hesitated as the mirage passed between them, making it difficult for him to see their advance, and Kari actually followed her lead.

Tail whipping behind her, Sora’s hair bristled with the red electricity that shot down its length, making sure no one was using the chance to attack her while twisting on her toes.  Flipping in the air, she sent the red bolt at the murderous werewolf.

The bolt hit him square in the back, causing his muscles to lock while Sora touched the ground and skipped forward with another twist, red and yellow flames birthing across her whipping tail’s length.

The combustion surged toward Eric’s paralyzed back, exploding against it and forcing the man into Kari’s gaping jaws that locked around his torso.  Sprinting as fast as she could, Sora extended her claws and stabbed Eric’s back; it was kill or be killed … Except, her nails didn’t even penetrate the first layer of skin.

Sora’s eyes popped open with astonishment.  “Uh-oh.”

She danced away as Eric savagely pounded Kari’s nose, forcing a yelp out of his sister.  She dropped him and backed away, head lowered while falling to the ground, her paws covering her burning muzzle.

Laughing nervously, Sora mumbled continued to back away, “Eh … he-he-he, can’t blame a girl for trying…”

Slowly getting to his feet, Eric shook himself out with a long puff of air, cracking his neck; the gashes across his body were already healing.  Shaking his head, the man pressed his hands against his face and let out a loud, seething growl, turning her way.

“Heh, that … electrifying attempt—is going to cost you your life … here and now, Vul…”

Kari’s bulk slammed against her brother’s body, and Sora smiled, shielding her eyes while watching him soar over twenty meters to their left and into a bulldozer; the sound of the resonating, high-pitched impact still rang in the air as Eric shakily got to his feet, stumbling to the left.

“Homerun, Kari!”  Sora cheered.  “I think that’s a record human punt—or is it a wolf punt?”

Kari snarled, rolling her eyes, but they showed appreciation.

Humming thoughtfully, Sora used both hands to brush back her copper hair.  “My lightning really seems to do the trick … How about I be the spark, and you be the hammer?”

Glancing at her former bully, Sora grinned as Kari grunted her agreement.

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Eric bore his teeth in their direction, coughing a few times while rubbing his head.  “Kari … you’re breaking my heart, Sister.  Working with a lowly Vulpes?  I need to retrain you!”

Letting a smirk slide across her lips, Sora whipped her tail around to brandish the crimson energy dancing through her bristled fur.  “Losing your cool, Wolf-boy?  Did little sis give you another boo-boo?  I can kiss it better!”

Expression twisting with contempt, Eric ran toward her.  “I’m sick of your mouth!”

He was a little faster than her, but Sora giggled anyway to further infuriate him, leading the man back and to the right.   Slipping by Kari, he was quickly gaining ground on her, and when he reached a meter away, she jumped into the air to get him off the ground and shot another bolt he couldn’t dodge.  It struck, locking his muscles.

They both fell toward the ground, but Sora did a swift backbend as Kari’s head rammed against Eric’s tased back, sending him flying over her.

Doing a back-walkover, Sora hopped on her tippy-toes as the sound of distorting steel echoing around the area.  Holding her hands behind her back, she flipped around to find a portion of the building collapse; tens of thousands of pounds of steel and concrete fell on Eric as dust billowed around him.

“Yes!”  Sora chimed.  Turning back to Kari, she whistled.  “Remind me to never take a head-butt straight on!  What’s your skull…”

She trailed off as a great cacophony erupted from the devastation inside the building, and her tail bristled with danger.  No way…

Sora jumped into an aerial twist as a steel beam shot from the dust cloud, missing her side by half an inch.  The large metal shaft cut one of the werewolves in two, breaking through the fence line and crashing across the ground to strike the side of a wall.

Turning her attention back to the cloud, she bit her lower lip.  Can he really take abuse like this?  How can we stop him if he can take that?!

Her attention shifted as her father grabbed her arm and began pulling her to the side.  “It’s time to go, Sora!  We need to get out of…”  They stopped as seven werewolves closed around them.

Sora’s tail lit with flames, and she formed it into a circle around them to blind their vision.  Making a quick decision, she grabbed her dad’s other arm and forced him over her shoulder to kick off the ground, hoping she could make it onto the nearby roof of a building.  

As she left the fire, her mouth fell open; Eric appeared before her, fully transformed into a werewolf.  His palm struck her side, sending her rocketing back into the construction site as her father flew off her shoulders.

Tumbled across the ground, Sora coughed, holding her throbbing side.  She tried to regain her bearings and look up, only for her breath to catch in her lungs when more danger signals flared in her mind—Eric was right over her, his claws aiming for her head.

Kari smashed into him as his claws reached inches from her eyes.  Falling over the dirt, Eric righted himself and launched for Kari with Devin booing from beside Aiden.

The pace of the rapidly increasing battle had Sora paralyzed.  Kari saved my life…

Her worst enemy, the bully that had tormented her for years, took another blow to her side to protect her; fighting through the pain, Kari’s jaws latched onto her brother’s arm, but Eric used his other to grab the scruff of her neck-fur, ripping it out of her jaws.

Blood-flecked the ground, but Eric’s free hand pushed under her chest, generating a colossal force that threw Kari spinning into the air.  Sora’s hands darted to her mouth as she crashed through the third, fourth, and fifth stories of what remained of the half-finished building before finally stopping against the sixth’s ceiling.

Sora could only watch in horror as Eric leaped to the sixth floor in a single bound and darted in.  Moments later, another explosion of sound sent Kari slamming through the rest of the levels to rag doll across the dirt, spraying clumps of dirt around her.  Kari struck the opposite wall to Sora, causing the wall to crumble under the force, partially covering her.

Reflexively swallowing, Sora watched in terror as the only visible parts of Kari turned from a wolf back into a human, bricks shifting as the area displaced from the excess kinetic energy; she wasn’t moving.

Stunned at the show of raw force, a quiver ran through Sora’s bones as a loud howl pierced the night, and Eric jumped off the 8th level to land between Aiden and her; his chest was heaving with rage as Devin’s claps echoed in the ensuing silence.

Eric’s glowing eyes were now yellow as they fixated on her.  Am I fast enough to keep my distance?  Not a chance…

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