Bluewolf felt, rather than heard, the commotion caused as Capin made his exit. It did nothing for his disposition. He’d very nearly come to grips with the possibility of being deaf for the rest of his life when Jamie had made the prognosis that he was actually healing, albeit slowly. An odd thought crossed his mind as he pulled on his gloves and prepared to step outside: Perhaps the more complicated the injury the longer it took his accelerated healing to work. Logically it made sense, but it required him to be patient. Unfortunately patience was something he and his friends were in very short supply at the moment. Stepping through the doorway, he felt another impact, this one much closer. He looked over to see the sprawled body of a cultist lying next to his steps. There was something strangely reassuring in that sight and he glanced up, giving Capin the high-sign before the Dapper Detective streaked off into the false dusk.
The street lamps were on set timers, but the growing darkness had triggered the sensors on nearly every home up and down his block. One hundred watts of light pooled out toward the street at regular intervals, providing little else than to increase the depth of shadows for his attackers to spring forth. Bluewolf picked up the pole-axe of the fallen cultist and stepped into the street. The first attacker rushed in from his left rear flank. He didn’t bother to turn, instead flipping the stout handle of the pole-arm up at the last possible moment, catching the cultist square in the bread-basket. Alive as his senses were, Bluewolf actually felt the whoosh of air as it rushed from the man’s lungs. The man fell to the pavement, gasping for breath beneath the stylized jackal mask. A sharp crack to the base of the skull drove the man into unconsciousness.
They came two at a time next. Charging in from opposite directions and howling – a sound made more animalistic through the masks – they came. In a single motion, Bluewolf side-kicked, catching one opponent in the knee, and undercut the other opponent’s staff, slipping the butt of his weapon up under the mask. Slight vibrations traveled through Wolf’s leg and hand as both men dropped to the ground, one clutching a shattered knee, the other out cold with a broken jaw. That was as much success as the amassed cultists were willing to grant.
En masse they came, surrounding Bluewolf and pressing ever closer. Still, there were several cultists down before they managed a first strike. The second came even faster. The third and fourth seemed almost instantaneous. He was simply too tired and their numbers too great. Running wasn’t an option. He needed to delay them for as long as possible, keep them away from Kaye, Jamie, and Vivian. A solid blow brought back the ringing in his ears, nearly driving him to the ground. He drove out with a side kick, connecting with something solid when hot pain burst over his body. Almost instinctively he reached out, catching the anonymous knife-wielder’s wrist and twisted. The satisfying pop of breaking bone vibrated up his arm. Then a new scent washed over him – the scent of his own blood.
Bluewolf felt his strength ebb quickly as he dropped to his knees, a hand clutching his side. Like piranhas swarming in frenzy the cultists fell upon him. The blows rained down like a hail storm now, punctuated here and there by the bite of knives. Bluewolf felt his grip on consciousness slip away to the black.
“То достаточно! That’s enough!” A dusky voice cut through the din. The cultists parted as Blacksheep strutted through them. Two men lifted Bluewolf from the pavement, his head hung slack. Blacksheep knelt down, grasped Wolf’s chin, and raised his bruised face to hers. She brushed her lips across his, and then let his head drop. “We return, the master will have need of this one.”