Ch 32: Team Congo #2
Disclaimer: Xander, Buffy, and anyone or anything else that pertains to BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon. Dracula belongs to the estate of Bram Stoker, or Francis Ford Coppola, or someone I think.
Larry Talbot, the Frankenstein Monster, and some others may belong to Universal Pictures.
NCIS belongs to Belisarius Productions, and CBS.
Ghost rider belongs to Marvel Comics, Dimension Films, Crystal Sky Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, and Sony (Whew!), and was played to perfection by Nicholas Cage!
OCs belong to me, and as always I remain…the man behind the curtain.
Ch 32: Team Congo #2
Recap: (Team Congo made up of Jamila Hathor, Mexican were-jaguars Jorge Lopez and Santiago Moreno, Elizabeth Bathory, Hanna Ashford (dhampir), Daniel Osborne, Laura Lee Boyle, and three of the lesser Heartsblood were-pack leopards (Geoffrey Dylan, former African Safari Guide, Paul Ngani, Zimbabwean Civil Servant, Gillian Foster-Stephens, former London Zoo keeper).
The first of the enemy to be taken out were the two were-leopards. They were easy meat for Jorge and Santiago. The two were-jaguars moved so silently that the enemy cats did not even know they were there until it was far too late. The walls of the old fortress were in very bad shape gaping holes patched with little more than woven mats of reeds were very easily breached. The jackals and leopards were no match for The Nighthunter warriors, and the fell predictably easy. That was, however to be the only easy fighting.
Jamila squared off with the Cheetah-Bast, Haptuset, in the center of the fort’s small parade ground. Jamila’s Sabertooth was larger and more powerfully built than Haptuset, but she was also slower, and not as agile. The battle was therefore one of equals.
Elizabeth still in wolf form attacked the half-ogre witch. She was hoping to disguise her true nature until the last minute. She too had witchly magic, during her life it had been as black as night, now it was almost white magic, almost but not quite.
Hanna stood before her one time fiance her expression showing her obvious sadness at his fallen nature. To be sure the feelings that she had for him in the past were not about to effect her readiness to destroy him if needed, but she still held hope that she would not have to do so. That hope died when he began to laugh hysterically, stripping off his bandages and clothing. These proved to simply be a mere shell loosely held together with something like Velcro, something of his own invention.
Oz, and Laura Lee stalked over taking positions on either side of the now wary dhampir. Both werewolves began sniffing the air to catch the scent that was quite evident to their sensitive noses.
Laura Lee let out a yelp and a slash mark appeared as if by magic on her muzzle. Hanna attacked and began to grapple with an unseen foe. The Invisible Man was strong, far stronger than most sane men, but he was no match for the strength of a dhampir. The only thing that evened the odds was his invisibility, and the crystalline blade that he held. In the end it was Hanna and Daniel’s enhanced senses that brought him done.
Oz charged where the scent told him the man was, bowling him over. Hanna knew where he was when she heard him hit the ground. They did not kill him, they subdued him, and bound him while he was unconscious.
Meanwhile in the center of the parade ground Jamila was joined by Jorge, and Santiago. The were-Jaguars attacked her with claws and teeth. Sadly their aid was only to be of brief benefit. The gigantic cheetah attacked Jorge first, her teeth sinking into the back of the jaguar’s neck at the base of his skull, snapping the spine and killing him instantly. A swipe of her huge paw tore a huge ragged hole in Santiago’s side breaking his ribs, and exposing one of his lungs. A second pass of her slashing claws killed him outright. Jamila took advantage of the sacrificial diversion created by the jaguars to viciously attack her younger sister sinking her saber-like nine inch fangs into the exposed side of the cheetah’s long neck. The attack missed the jugular vein and while it was not fatal, it was debilitating, slowing her down. Haptuset turned back to her older sibling once again slashing with her sharp claws which connected devastatingly. She did not get a chance to immediately follow up her attack, however. One of the Nighthunter were-leopards, Gillian sank her teeth into the young Bast’s throat on the opposite side, tearing out a chunk of flesh as she was roughly thrown off by the larger cat’s violent reaction. Jamila took that opportunity to slam her huge paw into her opponent’s head. The power of that strike knocked the cheetah down, and the sabertooth immediately ripped out her throat ending the fight once and for all. It had been a costly victory, however, Jorge and Santiago lay dead, and Gillian was dying her back broken, her skull fractured. What’s more Jamila now realized that she had lost her right eye, and most of her right ear to her sister’s claws. The older Bast briefly mourned her youngest sister, but knew in her heart it was absolutely necessary that she die.
At the same time that the other battles were going on Elizabeth, and Lyudmilla commenced their fight. The witch initially thought she faced an albino were-wolf. She was disabused of that assumption when the wolf dodged a swipe of her staff by becoming mist. The mist solidified into the tall beautiful form of the redheaded vampire. Elizabeth was everything that Lyumilla was not: tall, straight, beautiful, and aristocratic. The half-ogress lost no time in casting her first spell, but she still did not know exactly what she faced. Vampires should not to her knowledge be able to appear during daylight hours when the sun was high, and vampire should not be proficient in witchly magic. To be sure prolonged exposure to the sun would burn Elizabeth, in her human form, but the redeemed vampires of the Nighthunter Group did have some resistance to the sun’s rays. Spell after spell was cast by both of the opponents, and each was blocked by a counter measure of the other. Both were tiring badly. The sun WAS starting to take it’s toll on Countess Bathory as well, and the jungle heat was beginning to wear on the Russian witch. Elizabeth now knew in her heart that the Russian witch was a stronger mage than she was. She also knew that she dare not let the half-ogress win. She finally came to a reluctant decision. She dove into the strong gnarled arms of the damned Russian witch. The half-ogress caught her in a crushing bear hug, and Elizabeth muttered her final prayer, followed by her final spell. Instantly both combatants burst into blue-white flames. The flames only burned for a few seconds. When the flames went out Lyumilla, and Elizabeth were gone, only their ashes remained!
Jamila knelt by Gillian’s side, the look in her eyes said that she knew than the young zoo keeper was dying. The violence of her fall had shattered her spine in too many places for her regeneration to heal, her ribs were broken, and her lungs punctured.
Jillian, Jorge, Santiago, and her good friend Elizabeth were all gone. They had gone to their final redemption of that she was sure, but she mourned them all the same. Hanna, held the bound form of Doctor Robert Griffin, the Invisible Man, He was the only enemy survivor. Oz held Laura Lee close and both of them were crying. Soon they were joined by Paul and Geoffrey, their dead were collected, and using handcarts found at the fort were ferried back to the Range Rovers. Explosives were set and the fort was destroyed once and for all along with the bodies of it’s former occupants.
Their return trip to Atlanta was a solemn, and sad return indeed.
Author’s Note: This one is short, sad, and to the point. Yorkshire is next.