VALENCIA NOIR

ACT XI SCENE II

The stage known as the warehouse became a scene of chaos, death and fear as Seth’s sandstorm continued to rage on. The Egyptian demigod disappeared like a column of sand in the wind, having fun with random attacks of fire blasts, sand strikes…and a deadly combination that left the unfortunate twisted and dead in glassy coats that turned them into sculptures. The angel, werewolf and all the gangsters were trapped in this unnatural whirlwind of death, unable to anticipate who would be next to fall and never rise again. There was a chaotic scramble as everyone tried to find a way out, find Seth or find their companions. Fighting against these panicking bodies, Dexter was able to find his partner Tyler after much searching and bruises. “Tyler!? Tyler!?”

“Mr. Dexter! I can’t see anything!” Cyrus shouted from on top of his head.

“Just stay there, Cyrus! Tyler!?”

“I’m right here, Dexter buddy! I can hear you! That’s about all I can do right now!” The detectives grabbed a hold of each other to help keep on their feet and try to guide each other through the sand. They could barely see anything beyond the occasional outline of a moving body and a blast of heat. “We need to get out of here! We’ll be sanded down to nothing if we’re not burned up or encased in glass!”

“I know! I’m trying to think! Wait-Where’s Tayte!?”

“I don’t know! I can’t smell anything with all this sand! Just forget her! It’s every man for himself!”

“I can’t just-“A blast of sand knocked them both down and forced them to fall right on top of a group of running people. Somewhere between the shuffling of feathers and fur, Dexter found himself face to face and on top of the woman he had been worried about. “Tayte!”

“Dexter?!” And both of them were caught under a dog pile of the three Fallon brothers and one werewolf detective. “Get your fat asses off of me!” Everyone moved but were quickly back on the ground as a volley of fire balls came flying over head, quickly followed by a rain of hot specks of glass formed from the sand above their heads. She didn’t notice Dexter covering her from the falling glass. She was too busy focusing her anger on something else. “Laurent! This is all your fault, you ******** a*****e!”

“My fault!? How’s it my fault!?”

“Because you can’t put a leash on your d**k and keep it from planting itself in someone new every night!”

“Or bother to ask if the poor girl has connections with a guy that wants us dead or behind bars!” Donny shouted over the whipping sands.

“Your a** is mine if we live, you know that! If not, I’ll be kicking it all throughout Hell!” Nicky snarled.

“Oh sure! Blame me for everything going wrong tonight! It’s not like YOU all haven’t done anything to Seth too!”

“WE ARE BLAMING YOU, YOU ******** b*****d!” The harpies would have jumped their eldest brother then…if it wasn’t for the psycho sand storm pushing them all down. Meanwhile, the detectives were looking for a way out of this mess. They looked all directions…before they noticed a break in the storm. It was around what looked like the top of the building. They saw through a sandy lens the rafters that sat along the ceiling…and pipes. It was a long shot…but it was worth the try. The Fallons felt the two sleuths slide out and leave their group, their outlines disappearing into the storm. They were working their way to the towering crates that made the arena, slowing scaling the makeshift walls while fighting against the sand and the fire. They made it to the top and that was the last that the Fallons could see before the sand got faster and blasted them all along the floor.

Dexter and Tyler were bracing and balancing themselves on top of the crates, watching the sands above for an opening. Said sands were already beginning to scrape and destroy the wood, threatening to have it all collapse at any moment. Before the pair could be whipped off the top of the wall, they saw another opening in the sands that could have lead to the ceiling. “TY! THROW ME!”

“RIGHT!” On the angel’s cue, Tyler grabbed a hold of his arm and started to swing his partner around. When he had enough speed in the swing going, the werewolf let the angel go and watched him fly towards the ceiling. That was when the weakened crates gave way under his weight and he was blown away by the sands. Dexter couldn’t look back then. His wings opened up to give him another boost, his eyes fighting to keep sight on the pipes. Bringing his hand up above his head, he summoned up a katana and let it fly before he was blown away by the sands. The katana flew like a lazy bullet, escaping the sand storm and making a beeline towards the ceiling. Time almost slowed down then. The blade inched towards the ceiling, the tip burying itself into the concrete. It missed hitting the pipes…but it did tap the nozzle of a fire sprinkler that was obscured by the sand. It was this stroke of good luck that caused all the other fire sprinklers to go off all over the warehouse. Like a spring rain that brought life to the desert and softened the winds of death, the sands brought in and controlled by the demigod started to lose their razor sharp edges and melt away into puddles of mud in the blast of water. The storm died then, with the dancing flames with the wills of malevolent imps disappearing in the shower. Once getting over the shock and terror of the sand storm, everyone looked around the warehouse for either one of two things: The way out of this death trap and away from these war mongers…or for Seth. By the time the fire sprinkler was tapped by Dexter’s sword, Seth saw what was going to happen and fled.

Dripping wet like half drowned dogs, the gangsters started to pick themselves up. Half were collecting their dead and making a break for it, the others were gathering up their resources to make a half human dart board out of the traitorous Seth. The Fallons were such a group that was ready to pursue the demigod…before Tayte turned back to grab Dexter from along the wall in a pile of wet sand and Tyler from the wreckage of crates. “Let’s go murder a demigod!” She declared while nearly dragging the two boys behind her. Ares had already disappeared with his own men and Saria’s medical crew was already gone by the time everyone was running out the doors. Beyond the walls of the warehouse…it was chaos. The people that were just there to gamble were scrambling all over the place, blocking the way out with their cars and getting into arguments with the gangsters that were looking to escape or go after Seth. The demigod and his men had just escaped the docks, their cars speeding off into two different directions. The detectives were beginning to get their heads back together when they felt themselves get tossed into the back of someone’s car. “AAHH!”

“MOTHER-!”

“Laurent, you better not lose him!” Tayte said as she slid into the backseat with Dexter and Tyler. They were in Laurent’s car! “Get to it! You have a lot of making up to do here for your screw up!”

“Hey, here’s an idea-everyone just shut up about that and focus on killing Seth when we find him.” Laurent challenged as he got behind the wheel. For the time being, it looked like his position and respect as the oldest in the family was being seriously threatened by this. Nothing that couldn’t be remedied by a merciless revenge killing…

“He’s right…we can belittle him about this later.” Donavan said as he started to climb into the car. He stopped when he saw that Nicky wasn’t joining them. He was going off on his own, quickly taking flight with midnight black wings. “Guess he’s off on his own!” Donny ducked into the front seat with Laurent.

“He won’t get far! Eclipse will hurt him down for the right to make Seth’s bones into hood ornaments.” The mere mention of her name sent Eclipse and her vampires streaking across the sky, her shadows doubling as a glider of sorts…coupled with tentacles that whirled and twirled like the blades on chainsaws.

“That’s means we could still have enough time to get him for ourselves!” That was when Laurent slammed on the gas pedal and sent the car flying down the docks, speeding past the other cars and anyone or anything that got in his way. The sudden acceleration made Dexter and Tyler slam back into their seats for a couple of moments until they could sit upright.

“Does-Does Laurent always drive-“

“Like a psycho?!”

“It’s why we’ve never been caught while in a car.” Tayte said, able to sit up right along with her brothers despite Laurent’s speed and sudden sharp turns that sent the angel and werewolf into different directions very five seconds. Along with being demons of the sky, it looked like the Fallons had a certain reputation for being demons on the road.

“Real men are able to use their abs.” Donny said as he sat like the car was merely creeping along the road instead of blazing down the pavement.

“So how are we supposed to find that b*****d Seth?!” Tyler asked while on the floor of the backseat with Dexter. He felt himself get grabbed by the back of his shirt and pushed over the front seat between the Fallon brothers two. “Hey-Hey! What the hell?!”

“It’s the only reason why I bothered to drag your mangy flea bitten wolf a** along!” Tayte declared while giving him one last kick to the butt that sent him over into the front seat-despite the protests up front and from Dexter. “Get your head out there and start tracking him down!”

“Alright, alright, fine! Easy on the goods, toots!” Tyler said while rearranging himself in the front seat and sticking his head out the window. “Move your a**, Donnybear!”

“I can stab you in the spine from this position, just so you know.” Donavan snarled as Tyler leaned over him to stick his head out his window.

“Ty, be careful while sticking your head out-THERE!” Dexter felt himself get pushed down to the floor by Tayte-and was quickly joined by her for an attempt at a private moment. “Ah…what…what are you…” The angel was already bright red as the harpy parked herself on top of him.

“You really did it. You proved that it wasn’t me after all.” Tayte whispered to Dexter’s face. “I didn’t think you could pull it off…You have a way of surprising a girl in a big way.” She looked…really happy as she said that.

“I-I-M-Me and Tyler…still need to present the evidence to the police…B-But everything we have suggests that you didn’t do it…you’ll be off the hook once this is over and we turn Seth in to the police.”

Tayte couldn’t help but chuckle in her throat as she loomed over Dexter then. “I doubt there will be anything left to turn over once we’re through…but it’s still cute that you think that.”

“Uhhhh…”

Meanwhile in the front seat, Tyler was trying to catch Seth’s scent as Laurent’s car roared down the street. It was hard to track something moving this fast and so far off the ground but the werewolf was determined to make it happen! He wanted revenge for all the crap he and Dexter had been put through so he was sniffing and listening as hard as he could for the runaway demigod! Though after a few seconds of this, instead of the scent of the demigod, the werewolf caught onto the scent of something else…something that made every inch of his fur stand up and shake. It was agitating his animal instincts and telling him something BAD was following them. And he knew just what it was from the whispered stories he heard… “Guys…guys…GUYS!” He flipped over the front seat and into the back, accidently landing on Dexter and interrupting whatever moment he and Tayte had going on.

“HEY! ******** WOLF!”

“OOF! Tyler! What the heck are you-“That was when something harpooned itself onto the car, shaking it as it sped down the road until finally the unknown force pulled the leather top off its hinges and threw it along side of the road. Laurent’s car was slowly being surrounded by black cars with their tops flipped down. With their own roof now missing, the Fallons and the detectives saw who was in the black car closest to them…and what pulled the roof off. Standing on its backseat, wearing red and brown leather…with a mass of squirming red tentacles on her back…was Asthore Wildhunt. Her father was driving them both, long red hair blowing free…and the rest of her kind were in the surrounding cars…armed with magic and the skills of the best hunters in the city.

“WILD HUNT!!!”

“LAURENT, PUNCH IT!”

The oldest Fallon didn’t need to hear this from his brother twice before slamming his foot on the gas and speeding out of the semi circle that the fey were trying to form. The word about the Hunt was once you were surrounded in ANY WAY…you were done for. Dexter and Tayte sat back up with Tyler in the back seat, watching as the Hunt and tailed after them, Asthore and her father leading the pursuit. “Where the hell did she get those things on her back!?”

“This is bad, this is bad! This is really, REALLY bad!” Dexter chanted as the cars got closer to them.

“Don’t go wetting yourself just yet, angel cakes! I’m not about to let this be the way three of the Fallons go out!” Laurent declared while reaching for the glove box. He pulled out a pistol then and started to shoot behind him, one hand still on the wheel. Donny followed his example by reaching for the piece under his seat, Tayte pulling out a shotgun that was resting in the back. With the three Fallons shooting, the angel and the werewolf had to take cover on the floor and cover their ears as the harpies tried to hit the pursuing fey. Asthore’s father wasn’t allowing them to land a single bullet on the vehicle or on Asthore as she stood on the backseat. With skills most inhuman-and just as impossible for most magical creatures-he drove through the storm of bullets with the rest of the cars following his example. Any bullets that got close to the car or to Asthore…it looked like they were bouncing off of an invisible force field. It was certainly enough to make the Fallon shooters mad and start aiming for vitals. This didn’t go unnoticed by the detectives that were ducking under their fire.

“Wait-Wait! Tayte! Guys! Don’t-Don’t kill Asthore!” Dexter begged them as he took cover on the floor.

“She and her dad started it, we’re finishing it!” Tayte shouted as she fired off another round from her shotgun.

“Then how about not using those God damn guns!? It’s like you’re firing them off into my eardrums!” Tyler shouted with his hands clamped over his wolf ears.

“Suck it up, p***y!”

“Okay, lady! That’s it!”

“Ty, settle down! This isn’t the time to-AH!” Asthore’s father had gotten behind Laurent’s car and started to slam into the bumper. Asthore used this as her chance to climb over the front seat and begin crossing over towards Laurent’s car. The tentacles on her back braced her and kept the fey upright as she took smooth strides over the hood of her father’s car and moved towards Tayte in the backseat. Even though her eyes were covered by the cloth used to hide her blind eyes, there was still an undeniable heat that could burn holes in the fabric…and they were directed at Tayte. The harpy saw this…and responded by aiming her shotgun straight at Asthore. “Tayte, don’t!”

“Nothing personal, Asthore!” She pulled the trigger as a red tentacle swung at her hands to knock the firearm away as the others went in at different angles to capture her. Tayte held onto the gun as it misfired and snapped her wings out to knock the extra limbs away. The struggle to fight on top of the two moving cars began for the two young women. As they fought, the Fallon brothers continued to keep the fey from surrounding them and trapped them with Asthore…a failing effort as the bullets ran out as they got in close. As the fey moved in, they were watching Asthore…who was silently chanting something under her breath. As she fought against Tayte, the chanting continued and things…slowed down. Like bodies in motion while in water, everything that moved made a wave that hung in the air, took on a form familiar to its original source but taking on a life of its own. That was what was happening to the cars and the bodies inside them as they moved independently. The hundreds of thousands of different movements bred dark waves that were flung into the space trapped by Asthore’s chant. They hung…and they spun up…and then fell down to the ground where they exploded on impact and reformed into something new. What they formed into…started to run and move along the cars, reaching, grabbing…clawing with razor like edges. These things…were beautiful…before turning monstrous. They would tear up the car, kill everyone inside…and hunt the guilty all the way down to Hell.

“Nothing personal…Miss Fallon.” That was the only thing Asthore said as the monsters started to take a more solid form and over take the car.

“As-Asthore! Asthore stop!” Tyler finally managed to say, fur standing on edge and claws buried in the leather of the seat.

“It’s us! Dexter and Tyler! Tayte’s innocent! We can prove it!” The angel’s words couldn’t reach the fey and the harpies were starting to panic though they wouldn’t show it. They needed a way out…her monsters were starting to show teeth! That was when he felt Cyrus move around in his hat until he materialized again in a mist. “Cyrus!”

“MISS ASTHORE, PLEASE STOP THIS! I BEG OF YOU! YOU MUST STOP THIS!” The ghost shouted to the fey while placing himself between her and Tayte. He looked terrified…but maybe that was what got through to Asthore. As soon as she heard his quivering voice, her concentration broke and so did whatever spell she was casting to make her beasts. They started to fall apart and splatter over the road as she realized who it was that was calling out to her. The mask of single minded determination broke to reveal shock and disbelief, the kind of horror that one experiences when someone learns of their terrible secrets…and for a moment, a pain that love brings.

“Mr.Gilmead? …Cyrus?” With her concentration broken and emotions all over the place, it was easy for Asthore to lose her grip on the two moving cars and fall backwards.

“Asthore!!!” The ghost lunged forward to try and catch the girl…only to fly right through her, straight past the hood of the car and into its engine. The fey kept from falling into the street with the help of her tentacles and her father as the engine rattled around and suddenly die because of the ghost. Their car slowed and spun around, causing the other fey to break formation and go to their aid. That gave Laurent the opening he needed to shake off whatever affect Asthore’s spell had and gun it down the street. The Fallon siblings and the detectives also felt themselves return to normal as they put more distance between themselves and the fey.

“That-That was…That was Cyrus…that was Cyrus’s ghost…wait. You two nitwits had Cyrus the jockey with you this whole time?!” Tayte finally shouted at Dexter and Tyler.

“How long did you have his ghost with you?! You could have exposed Seth as a scheming rat fink days ago with him!” Donny added to this, sounding just as mad as his sister.

“Ghosts’ testimonies can’t count in court! And Cyrus didn’t know anything about Seth or who could have killed him! His memory was missing details in his murder!” Dexter said in their defense as Tyler got back to tracking down Seth.

“Take the left up at the corner!” The werewolf told Laurent.

“Right. And if you put any more holes in the seat leather, I’m going to fix you like a poodle!” The Fallon car had gotten about two blocks away from the feys’ hunting party. Around then, the sound of police sirens started and the cars were quick to appear in the rearview mirrors. Where the Hunt had failed, the police were determined to succeed. “Damn it! s**t is going to keep piling up tonight, isn’t it?” At least with the police he had plenty of experience shaking them. Laurent made a sharp turn down an alleyway, knocking down trashcans and sending cats jumping out of the way. The police tried to follow but the narrow entry way stopped them from going in all at once. Filing in line and finding a way around the block would buy the escaping gangsters and stowaway detectives a few vital minutes. Officers with the means of flight and speed got out of their cars to find the escaping felons with their natural gifts. They were getting over the buildings and back onto the streets with the Fallon’s car in their sight. They weren’t able to escape Laurent’s sight either. “Damn. How many bullets do we have left for these squares?”

“Not many, especially for the shotgun. If they get close enough, we could take them hand to hand.” Donny replied, checking in the glove box and under the seats for ammo. “It would help if we had Nicky with-“A crackle of lightning made everyone duck into their seats as a streak of lightning flew over their heads. “WHOA! What-What was-“

“You got to be kidding me.” The angel and the werewolf knew what that was-and it decided to land on the back of the car with a handful of lightning and handcuffs in the other hand. It was none other than Raphael.

“Laurent Fallon, Donavan Fallon and Tayte Fallon, you’re all under arrest! …Oh ho! And I guess Dexter McBane and Tyler Levion are now officially under arrest too! You two are finally going to pay for all the-“

“RAPH, JUST SHUT UP ALREADY!!!” Dexter and Tyler couldn’t take it anymore as they shouted this, sprung up from their seats, swung their fists and socked the arrogant angel right in the face. He never saw it coming and was sent flying back in the arms of his flying officers as the car sped away from them. Despite how he would feel about this later, it would be seen as a save by the detectives for the Fallons were ready to plug Raphael with bullets without so much as beating an eye. “That was for my cousin Reisen you arrogant son of a b***h!”

“And that was just because you really cheese me off, you little punk!” Dexter and Tyler celebrated this and high fived each other before they realized something. “We’re REALLY going to pay for that later, aren’t we?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Well, color me impressed. I never thought you two would have the stones to punch out a cop.” Tayte said, looking amused by what she just witnessed.

“Well, he’s hardly a cop…”

“If you can’t make it as a detective after this, we could definitely use you as some hired muscle.” Before either could protest this offer, Tayte saw whose car was ahead of them on the street. “There he is! That’s Seth’s car!” She was ready to take flight and bomb the car when everyone saw the vampires running along the tops of the buildings. They tried to attack Seth’s car but were met with bullets and fire balls. Eclipse kept sending her people after him, her harsh glance turning to the Fallons down below. She was ready to send some people to slow them down and claim Seth’s live as her own…when she was suddenly dive bombed by what looked like Nicky. Needless to say, the priorities of the vampires shifted from collecting Seth and deflecting him from the other gangsters to defending their boss from Nicky…though from the way they were fighting, it didn’t look like either one needed help. “I swear to God, those two can’t go more than a week…” Tayte sighed.

“What’s up with that?! I thought he wanted to kill Seth!” Dexter asked.

“They have a weird love-hate thing going on. They hate each other but love to fight.” Laurent said.

“I bet Kristen can’t be too happy about that kind of relationship…”

“Where the hell is Seth running to?! There’s no place in town he can hide anymore!”

“…I know where he’s going! Ty, remember where we crashed the other night?!”

“…the docks with the cargo ships! He knows a ship that goes to Cairo!”

“He’s going to buy passage on that ship! He’s going to skip town now that his plans have gone south!”

“Which way do I need to go?! There’s no way I’m letting that b*****d escape so easily!”

“Take the next right and step on it!” With Dexter and Tyler giving him directions, Laurent took to the streets with everything his car was capable of. There was no sign of any other pursuers or rivals in the race to claim Seth’s life but they could hear the chaos caused by that race. The police had their hands full capturing the other gangsters looking for the demigod as sirens screamed in the night. The Hunt was as good as gone for the time being and there were fights and accidents going on between the gangsters moving too fast and having none of the skills to control such speed. So far it was looking like they would get to the wily demigod first…but Seth was still a wily demigod. Even if they could get to him, there was no guarantee that their little group was going to win. The car continued to make its way to the docks where cargo ships were resting for the night, the smell of salt water and rust growing stronger on the wind with each passing block. The little group could already see Seth’s car pulling into the dock area and right up to the ship that made regular trips to Egypt. It met up with the second car that went different ways at the casino and everyone started to pile out. It was dark as Laurent’s car drove onto the dock but it looked like Seth’s men were carrying something in a sack…two things to be exact! The Fallon brother didn’t believe in being subtle as he drove up to the ship, slammed on the breaks and spun the car around to a complete stop with a squeal of the tires! “Okay…I think that shaved a few years off of my life…” Dexter said as his stomach lurched from the ride. Tyler was in pretty bad shape too as the Fallons piled out of the car and towards the ship. They were going to fight with whatever they had on them.

Seth was beginning to walk up the gangplank when the Fallons arrived on the scene. “I’d hate to say goodbye like this but it’s about time I visited home for a while. I will leave you with some friends of mine!” Seth’s gang didn’t waste any time in charging the Fallons and the shaky legged detectives with knives, pipes and a whole assortment of weapons that really didn’t deserve that much attention to describe. They certainly didn’t help much against the Fallons and the sleuths that fought alongside them…or at least attempted too. The harpies were all sporting very bad moods and needed something to take it out on and Seth’s goons were just the release valve. Dexter and Tyler were slightly horrified, amazed-and amused-at how fast they were able to plow through these men…and how creative some of them got with their dispatchment. Flung off the docks, weapons turned against them, limbs popped out of place or torn off entirely…and Tayte-oh Tayte was one for surprises. While fighting a rather large man with an especially long knife, she quickly reached down…between her breasts…and pulled out a very small red handgun which she used to pop several shots into this man’s chest. It was enough to get Dexter and Tyler’s attention as they tag teamed on the weaklings of the attacking group.

“…you be careful while reaching down there, Dex.”

“Shut up!” They tossed the last of Seth’s group into the drink to swim away in defeat. “It’s not the time to be talking crazy…” He was still blushing.

Despite having the better part of his gang defeated or killed, Seth still looked calm and cool as he stood on the gangplank. “…you lot have a hard time saying goodbye, don’t you?”

“Spare us the childish crap, Seth! It’s over!” Tayte shouted, pointing her little gun at the demigod. “You made a big mistake trying to screw with the Fallons and an even bigger mistake trying to frame me! It’s the last you’ll ever make.”

“Turn yourself over to us and we’ll promise you an open casket face for your funeral.” Donny said.

“We just can’t promise you that much for the rest of your body.” Laurent added. He was especially mad at Seth.

“You can’t do any of that! We need to turn Seth in to the police to clear Tayte and avenge Cyrus’s murder!” Dexter protested.

“Yeah! And to mention clear our own names! So get in line, kiddies!” Tyler added. With the group dividing itself into two like this, the situation could have gotten messy…if it wasn’t for Seth beginning to laugh then. “What the Hell is so funny!?”

“Seeing you all bicker about who gets me when really I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to get on this ship, sail back to Egypt and take up an early retirement while setting up a new base of operations in Cairo. There’s nothing any of you can do to stop me now.”

“That’s a lot of talk from a guy with nothing to back it up! It’s over, Seth!”

“Not until I say it’s over.” Turning around and looking upward, Seth drew everyone’s attention to the crane that the ship used to bring aboard heavy cargo. There was something dangling and squirming on the end of the hook as the heavy machinery moved it over the water’s surface. “Why not take a closer look at what’s on the other end of that and tell me that things are still over?”

Dexter, Tyler and the Fallons looked at the crane’s hook. After fighting with the darkness of the night, they saw what was dangling on the hook and why Seth still felt so confident. “SVETA! REISEN!”

“GIRLS, NO!”

Seth had his boys in the second car go after Sveta and Reisen at the church. They were kidnapped, bound, gagged and then left to dangle on a hook like a couple of worms! Wrapped in chains with heavy cinderblocks around their ankles, the homunculus and angel looked terrified as they looked down at the detectives and gangster companions. From down below it was easy to see that they were trying to call for help under their gags. “It was hard for my boys to go after the little red head hick, what with her being a filthy werewolf…but from your expressions, I can see that these two are enough to secure my escape.”

“Seth, you let them go and you let them go right now!” Dexter demanded, feathers in his wings shaking in fury.

“If you hurt Reisen I won’t hesitate to rip your head off and shove it up your a**, you mother ******** coward!” Donny challenged with a snarl in his voice. Tyler shared a lot of the same sentiments but only a lot dirtier.

“Seth, don’t do this! These girls have nothing to do with our problems or what happened with Serena. Let them go and we’ll settle this right now, one on one!” Laurent offered. He knew he was partly responsible for causing this…but he wasn’t going to let his little brother suffer by letting his girlfriend pay the price.

“Let them go? …well, if you insist.” The demigod let out a whistle and the crane started to move again. Sveta and Reisen struggled and squirmed under their chains as they were positioned over the water. The fear in their eyes grew and their muffled screams could be heard as the hook released them…and they plummeted into the cold, dark water below with a heavy splash. The sound echoed through the night and tore through it like tissue paper. The water barely had time to start rippling before the rippling anger, terror and disbelief drove everyone to act. With screams of their own, Dexter, Tyler and Donny rushed over to the dock’s edge to rescue their girls before they could drown. Laurent and Tayte were rushing Seth to murder him as an act of revenge-for those drowning girls and their own misfortunes. Seth had fire balls in both hands and was flinging them at the detectives and the charging Fallons. The rescue party was likely to be burned and the harpies weren’t going to evade in time. The demigod had a smirk on his face that said that he had won. The smirk didn’t stay on his face for long. It was replaced by a…puzzled look, as the sounds of something whistling through the air got louder and louder. In the darkness, it looked like…two birds flying through the air. And one bird threw something at the water that whistled as well. It hit the water and caused a series of small explosions near the ship that blasted walls of water up onto the dock and nearly washed everyone into the bay, forcing them to hold onto whatever was around like rats at sea. “What-What the devil was that!?”

Landing on the edge of the deck, the two figures were less like birds and more like people…well, at least one of them was. At first it was hard to make out, but the dangling detectives could see black wings on the taller figure…and the color purple on the shorter one. Dropping something that…looked like a broom, the purple one ran over to where the girls were dropped and started to wave its hands over the water. Following its hands, the water started to swirl and spin faster and faster, building up like a tall column until it bent over the docks and spat out Sveta and Reisen in a heap of water and chains. Pulling themselves up at last, the boys saw who it was that saved all of them from being burned. “Saria? Yorukage?”

“Sveta! Sveta, hold on, kitten!” The hood of her cloak flew back as Saria ran over to Sveta, pulling the gag off of her mouth so she could cough up the water in her stomach and breathe properly.

“…Saria…I was so SCARED!!!” Sveta started to cry, huge tears forming in her eyes before she started to bawl unceremoniously and threw her face into the witch’s shoulder. She cried and cried as the witch tenderly held her. Yorukage was already pulling back the gag on the angel girl and working on her own chains when Donny ran over to them.

“Donny! I thought-I thought-I’d never see you again!” Reisen couldn’t help but cry too.

“It’s okay Reisen, I’m here now. I’m here.” Donny held her too as Dexter and Tyler ran over to the girls. They had hugs of their own and needed to break their chains before anything else. Yorukage stood by, helping in any way he could think of before he noticed Seth pulling himself back up the gangplank and slowly backing away. Tayte and Laurent were currently occupied with recovering from the sudden near drowning so he acted. Throwing a handful of his own summoned cherry bombs, they exploded near the demigod’s feet and forced him away from the ship.

“You aren’t going anywhere.” That voice flashed through Seth’s mind. The crow demon wanted to do more…but a sudden stampede of harpies, an angel and a werewolf beat him to it. He could see the look of panic on the demigod’s face as everyone charged him and he tried to summon a flame. Being as sopping wet as he was, he couldn’t get a spark going so he tried to run up to the ship. Tayte flew over his head and stopped him, swiping her talons along the side of his face and forcing him to fall backwards into Laurent. Her brother grabbed a hold of Seth’s shoulder, punched him in the stomach and flipped him back onto the docks with a heavy crash. Despite being stunned, he still fought back as Dexter and Tyler jumped on top of him with a shout. The struggle lasted only a few moments before Seth was on his stomach, arms pulled back behind and handcuffs slapped onto his wrists as the angel and werewolf sat on top of him.

“Seth Tarik…you’re under arrest…for extortion, illegal gambling, racketeering…conspiracy to commit arson…and aiding and abiding the murder of Cyrus Gilmead… and probably a bunch of other stuff I don’t know about…”Dexter panted, sharing Tyler’s beast like smile as they both sat on the demigod.

“Give him to us now, Dexter.” Tayte demanded as she stormed up to the demigod.

“We can’t! You’ll just murder him and no one will be able to get justice!”

“They’ll get more justice with his spilled blood than with him continuing to live in a cell.” Donny growled as he joined his brother and sister.

“Living in a cell will be better than death! It slowly kills your mind and soul, take my word on that!” Tyler argued as he and his partner picked themselves up and stood between Seth and the Fallons.

“Let them kill him! He deserves to die for what he did.” Saria argued as she held the shaking homunculus girl. “If you can’t let them do it, then give the job to me!”

The group was pretty close to breaking out in a fight again over who gets Seth and what’s to be done with him. Tempers were getting hot and short after such a long night and no one wanted to back down. If it wasn’t for the sudden arrival of a small group of gangster cars, it would have come to blows. Everyone looked at each other and came to an unspoken agreement: Fight everyone else and decide who gets Seth once the fight was over. The gangsters rushed the docks with all intent of taking out everyone that stood between them and smashing the demigod’s skull open. If it meant taking out the Fallons at the same time, then it was a win-win for everyone! The invisible forces that separated one gang from another disappeared as they rushed the docks and those same forces that separated gangster from law enforced vanished as well. The blood lust was thick in the air with each step taken…until one car came rolling along that made everyone stop in their tracks. The violence and anger that came from the person in this car…it was beyond anything most mortals could feel. Everyone saw who this violent energy was coming from…and made a break for it.

Ares emerged from the back of the car as the gangsters bolted at the mere sight of him. Despite how calm his face was, the fire in his eyes couldn’t be ignored. The only ones that remained on the docks as he walked as the detectives, the Fallons and their strange little party of friends, acquaintances and common enemy. They were too scared to move…especially when they looked at the water and saw Ares’ reflection. The night sky was no longer dark on the water’s surface but burning like it was lit on fire. Ares was no longer wearing his dark suit but garb from his days in Ancient Greece when he was worshipped as the god of war. Battles most violate and savage raged around him as he walked towards the group, the conflicts changing and evolving throughout time up to the modern day. Nothing was hidden, no details were fixed to dull the effect-Ares wanted everyone to know why he should be feared. He had lived through it all, seen it all…and knew all means of inflicting pain. Ares walked right up to the group, looked them square in the eye and said just one word. “Move.”

No one could argue with that. Saria grabbed Sveta and both flew off on her broomstick. Yorukage had enough sense to take flight with the witch as Dexter, Tyler, Reisen and the Fallons ran back to Laurent’s car. THIS was the ONLY circumstance when it was okay for a Fallon to run from a fight! That left Seth alone with Ares. The god of war looked down on the Egyptian demigod with eyes burning red hot with hatred, ripped his handcuffs off and pulled him to his feet. He wanted the fool to have his hands free…not because it would do him much good but because Ares wasn’t one to kill a man with his hands tied.

As Laurent started the engine, Dexter looked back at Seth and Ares. He was going to murder the guy, if not something far, FAR worse. “A-Ares! What-What about Tayte?! The Hunt will just go after her again…and Cyrus still deserves justice for his murder!”

The god turned around and looked at the angel with a glance that showed both his anger…and his old age. “Go home. Take this as a life lesson-you can’t always get what you want…and things in this town come in shades of grey.”

“But-But…”

“Go. Leave things to me.” With those last words, Laurent pulled the car away and floored it. Everyone looked back at Ares and Seth abandoned at the docks, too scared to think about what was going to happen to the demigod. He may have deserved some form of punishment…but it was hard to say whether or not this was deserved. Dexter and Tyler couldn’t help but feel…slightly defeated by this new development. All of their hard work, blood and sweat…down the tubes because a god wanted revenge for his daughter. Where that left everyone else that suffered because of Seth-Tayte, Cyrus, the Fallon brothers, Kirk, Sveta and Reisen…even people like Asthore-the detectives weren’t sure. They weren’t sure how this was going to affect their case either…but past experiences said that it wasn’t going to end well. As the car sped away into the night, there was a strange new air to it. Much like after a bomb is dropped or a major riot is squashed, all the energy was sucked out of everything and left it feeling tired. Dexter and Tyler were certainly feeling tired…more tired than they’ve been feeling in days. Everyone was suddenly feeling tired as they settled into their seats and tuned all noise out. The angel couldn’t take much consolation in the fact that Tayte was leaning up against him, or the werewolf in seeing that his cousin was now safe from harm.

For as long as I could remember, I always thought detectives were supposed to get their man by the end of every case. Their hard work would be rewarded with an arrest that gave everyone what they needed and that would be that. I wasn’t sure how this was supposed to get people what they needed…it was looking like a pretty lousy ending. I thought about what Ares said on the ride back into town-about things sometimes showing up in shades of grey. Maybe this case was one of those things. It was heartbreaking…but in a city like L.A., maybe it was something people needed to get used to. Detectives were supposed to be hard boiled as it was and Tyler and I were as soft as they got…but I held onto the belief that things would still be alright. That-despite what was going to happen to Seth-the people whose lives he wrecked would still find a way to fix what was broken and move onto their happily ever after. As we all drove away into the night…I really wanted to believe that… And I would make that happen. No matter what…Tyler and I would make that happen. Somehow, someway…it would happen.