Hell Hounded, Part One
The next couple of chapters skip between a couple of different time periods. The Present time, and Six Months Ago when Dean and Vi arrived and their meeting Tai-San and the Technos. In the present the Mallrats are forced to set aside their differences as the Evil Powers set a pack of Hellhounds on Cape City and the new champions face their first trial.
(cue Sarah McLaughlin music)
The senseless killing of Hellhounds is not cool. This is a public service announcement from the Coalition for the Preservation of Satanic Creatures. Thank You.
Chapter 5: Hell-Hounded, Part One
6 Months Earlier
The first thing that Dean did upon opening his eyes was to quickly clench them shut once again, the light of the bright sun overhead too much for his unadjusted eyes to handle. He pulls himself into a sitting position, blinking a few times, and scanning the immediate area, finding himself on a beach. He slowly rises to his feet, feeling younger somehow, which is a slightly unsettling thought, at least in his mind.
He feels a slight twinge in the back of his head and knows that at least one of the others who had been at the chamber in the afterlife was nearby. He took a few steps toward the north and the feeling diminished slightly. He frowned and turned towards the ocean, stepping out a few feet into the tide. His eyes widened in alarm as the sensation got stronger.
“Of all the asinine things they’ve done to us!” Dean griped angrily as he quickly shed his shoes and dove into the surf, feeling the twinge pulsate through his blood. He felt a quick buzz and submerged himself, and propelling himself towards the figure with short red hair floating about fifteen feet below the surface. He swiftly reached her and drew her into a firm hold, then swam upward, aiming for the surface.
When he was done sucking in a few deep breaths, a quick look over the figure confirmed that it was Vi. He hastily pulls her to the shore and lays her out flat. A quick check of her vital show that she isn’t breathing, and he quickly begins applying CPR. After a few transfers of breath the redhead slayer coughs up the water out of her lungs and gasps in the salty sea-air. She sputters for a few seconds then seemingly shakes it off completely, leaving Dean envious, not for the first time, of Slayer healing.
“What happened?” Vi asks after a moment of silence.
“Asshole Powers dropped you in the ocean. Don’t know what purpose they thought that’d serve.” Dean replies.
“Like they’ve ever needed a reason to fuck with our lives.” Vi says, rubbing at her eyes trying to get the salt out.
“Point.” Dean agrees and stands, taking hold of the small redhead’s outstretched arm and pulling her up as well.
“Any idea where we are?” Vi questions after looking around the area. Dean shakes his head.
“Hopefully Tijuana.” He answers with a glimmer of hope in his eyes. Vi snorts and smacks him in the head. She only giggles when he fixes her with a Winchester glare.
“Come on Mr. Moody, I have a feeling civilization lies that way.” She begins walking toward a dirt road at the edge of the beach where the tree line is. Dean rubs the back of his head a moment then follows after her.
Present – Two days after the events of chapter four.
A few miles out of Cape City
Niri stood in a clearing deep in the heart of the forest, humming softly to herself. After a few moments her eyes snap open and the air around her begins crackling. A portal of dark energy forms and a growl is heard from within. Niri’s grin is wide as an orange furred appendage with razor sharp claws emerges.
“Come on puppies, come out and play with the meddlesome brats that call themselves Mallrats.” Niri croons, cackling madly to herself.
Connor had always been an early riser, at least as long as he could remember. Holtz had burned it into him while he was growing up, and it was not a habit he could break if he wanted to, he was too deeply ingrained with it by this point.
He had made his way out of the mall about an hour before sunrise and began his morning run around the outskirts of the city and the safe zone which consisted of the ocean side half of the city.
About forty five minutes into his run, he was brought to a sudden halt when a passing gust of wind had passed, carrying a scent that Connor had hoped to never recognize again.
He turned and began to run back the way he came, yelling at anyone he passed to get inside and pour salt over any threshold into individual dwellings. He knew sadly that most would just laugh off his warning, but he didn’t have the time to waste on the non-believers. He needed to get to the mall, get a group of the others and a bunch of guns and maybe they’d be able to head off the threat before they got into the city.
He reached the entrance to the mall in less than twenty minutes, having pushed his abilities to the limit. Faith is standing outside when he gets there, talking to a pink haired girl and smoking a cigarette. She looks over as he approaches.
“What’s wrong?” She questions, taking in his windswept appearance and his grim expression.
“Hellhounds.” Connor gasps, trying to catch his breath. “At least two dozen. They’re coming-” He is cut off by the sounds of distant screams.
“I think they’re already here. Get inside.” Faith orders. “You too Dee. Streets aren’t going to be safe today.” She turns and hurries into the mall, Connor and a bewildered Dee following closely behind.
James, Jo, Dean, Slade, Serena and Lex were at a tavern not more than a mile from the mall, enjoying a round of beer after the previous nights long patrol, when they heard the screaming that echoed into the room from the street, then the loud snarls of some unknown creature were heard as well. There was a tense silence that followed and James sniffed at the air, frowning immediately after.
“Hell-hounds.” He intones gravely, confirming what Dean and Jo had already suspected, having some experience with that particular breed of demon.
The bartender, a guy named Darius, was no stranger to the supernatural either and upon the mention of the hound he swiftly reached under the bar and pulled out two shotguns, tossing one each to Lex and Slade. They catch them easily and ready them as Darius pulls out a rifle for himself.
Jo takes her sawn off shotgun out of her ankle holster, as James and Serena pull a couple handguns each out of their jackets. Dean also has a sawn-off that has been upgraded with Techno modifications, which he pulls from his own jacket. As such, the hell-hound that crashed through the front window a few moments later found itself in a very unenviable position as it stared down the barrels of nine guns.
A muscle twitched above it’s left eye and then it’s head and the majority of its front half was blown away by the collective blasts from the various firearms. Gore and viscera was splattered on the wall, much to Darius’s dismay, which was clearly evident as he shook his head. A moment later, James and Dean move to the entrance to check the street for any other hellhounds that might try the same trick.
There were a couple that the two could see without leaving the safety of the building, munching on the bloody corpse of an unfortunate teenager. James grimaces at the grisly sight, and turns to the others.
“We got two more of the bastards out there, and at least one body too. I’m gonna send em off.” James reports, then darts out of the bar, running at the hounds and firing at them with deadly accuracy. Dean swears and runs out after him to provide cover in case there’s any more they couldn’t see from the bar.
Six months ago
Dean grimaced as the tall blond teen pointed the odd wrist device at Vi, the action mirrored by the two masked females. The Asian girl, Tai-San and the smaller blond kept their own devices pointed at him.
“This really isn’t necessary you know.” Dean insisted, drawing the barrel of the tall blond teen’s gun toward him again.
“You have been caught trespassing on Techno property. The two of you are both under arrest.” The blond teen tells them. “You will be brought before our great leader Ram and he will decide what to do with you.”
The speaker, the shorter blonde and Tai-San keep their weapons trained on the two displaced champions while the two masked girls cuff their hands behind their backs tightly.
“That friggin hurts!” Vi complained, receiving a shove from the girl that had cuffed her. She stumbled to her knees and grits out an obscenity before slowly rising back to her feet. She starts to turn to face her aggressor, but stops when the girl presses the weapon attached to her wrist into Vi’s back.
“Make any threatening move and you will permanently lose mobility in your lower body.” The girl snarls, thrusting the metal of the gun into Vi’s flesh harshly.
“Okay, okay. Jesus I got ya.” Vi snipes, mentally planning revenge as the girl urged her forward. Dean watched as she reluctantly began in the direction the girl was guiding her, the incentive being a gun at her back. He shakes his head at her, well both of their predicament.
“I’ll go without.” Dean says, starting forward and following after Vi and the girl holding the odd device on her. He was vaguely aware of the other Technos following him and grinned inwardly. [i] ‘So far so good.’[/i]
Tai-San kicked out her leg, connecting solidly with the side of a hell-hound’s head. It was sent toppling to the ground by the force behind the Asian slayer’s strike and she didn’t give it a chance to even begin rising before she pounced at it with a sixteen inch hunting knife in her hand.
She drove the black steel blade down across the bridge of the hound’s face, slashing across it’s right eye. It howled in pain and reared back, raising it’s paw to strike her. She nimbly danced out of the path of the descending appendage and spun in toward the hellhound, close enough to ram the knife up into the mouth of the beast, driving it up into it’s brain and killing it.
A second later she felt her blood pulsing with the thrill of the slay, as well as a slight case of what she had heard Faith and Vi refer to as H&H. She pushed it down and dove headlong back into the fight, quite literally as both she and the hellhound that Danni had been having trouble with tumbled to the ground away from the other slayer.
Bray fired the handgun that Vi had forced upon him several days prior and let out a triumphant yell when the left eye socket of the demon exploded from the impact of the metal projectile. He shook it off and took aim at another that was stalking after Ryan and Zandra.
The gun jerked and the bullet tore through the hound’s neck, spraying blood onto the street, and a little hit Ryan and Zandra. The latter let out a piercing shriek as she frantically began to try and get the gore off of her ruined clothes. After a few moments she realized it was fruitless and gave up. She looked down at the corpse of the hound and kicked it out of spite.
“Asshole!” she screamed at it, giving it the finger. Bray, Ryan, Tai-San, and Danni exchanged looks of amusement, which all summarily disappeared when Zandra turned toward Bray, her finger outstretched and shaking. “YOU.” She says, her eyes dangerous as she stared daggers at Bray.
“I’d run if I was you mate, we’ll be right behind you.” Spike suggested. “Hell hath no fury like a woman with entrails on her clothes.”
Bray didn’t need to be told twice, choosing to dash down the street in the direction of the mall, Zandra on his heels like a screaming banshee.
Faith led Sam, Amber, Ebony, Martin, Dawn, and Connor up to the roof of the mall, intending to use the height advantage to pick off any hounds that were wandering the nearby streets and to provide cover to anyone trying to get into the mall for safety. Each carried a rifle with scope and from the crash course Dean had given them through the mental link they all knew how to use them.
Martin was the first one to score a kill, his bullet catching the hound in the side of the head while surging downward. The bullet continued and embedded itself in the pavement of the street.
“Good shot.” Faith told him as she took aim at a hound that had come into view, carrying what looked to be a human arm in its mouth. She pulled the trigger and watched with no small amount of satisfaction as the bullet hit and the demon fell to the ground, blood poring from a hole in the middle of its forehead.
Dawn, Amber and Ebony let out a collective victory cry as they all sniped the same target, and by the time Faith saw James and a group of the others come into view, they group on the roof had killed five more.
Faith grinned at seeing that her fiancé was safe, but her eyes suddenly widened in horror as the werewolf took a step forward and was tackled by a hound that had hidden itself in a narrow alley. A shot rang out.
The two hounds outside the bar had proved little challenge to James’ hailstorm of bullets as he charged the demons. They had started at him with feral roars, but quickly fallen to multiple headshots. Dean provided cover at first, then spotted the hound that had somehow gotten onto the roof of the bar and was readying to launch itself at the unsuspecting werewolf.
Time seemed to slow down for Dean at the precise moment that the hound threw itself through the air. He raised his sawn off in a fluid motion and fired, catching the hound in the underbelly and disrupting its trajectory. Instead of landing on top of James, it impacted the concrete with a sickening crunch. James turned at the sound and nodded a thanks at Dean, then lifted one of his handguns and put a bullet in the mortally wounded hound.
Both Hunter and Werewolf turned to face the bar as Jo led Serena and Lex out. Slade and Darius remained in the bar for a few moments as they quickly boarded up the broken window with a large piece of plywood that had been in the store room and a nailgun before joining the rest. Darius quickly locked up and turned to the others.
“I’m kinda hoping you guys have a safe place.” Darius says, looking at the other six.
“Yeah we do.” Dean spoke for the group. “Soon as we get everything back to normal though, we’re getting some bars for the new window. I like to drink in peace.”
Jo and Serena rolled their eyes at him and Lex let out a short chuckle. James shook his head and then caught several scents on the breeze.
“We should move, there’s at least four more coming and I’m low on ammo.” The werewolf suggests. “We need to get back to the mall and see how bad this thing is.”
The others quickly agreed and began to make their way down the street, keeping wary eyes on their surroundings and guns at the ready. After ten minutes of walking, the mall came into sight and James catches the intoxicating scent of his lover on the downwind. His mouth waters and he loses his concentration briefly.
He lets out an involuntary gasp as something barrels into him at a high speed, and crashes into the ground with a heavy weight on top of him. He hears the gunshot and after a few agonizing moments he feels the weight slide off of him and finds that the hound that got the drop on him is dead, its back torn to shreds from a shotgun blast.
“What the hell?” James exclaims upon seeing that the shot didn’t come from Dean or Jo, both of whom look as shocked as him.
“Sorry about that.” A voice calls out from above them, and the group look upward to see a blond male of about seventeen standing on the edge of a fire escape in the alley. “I couldn’t get a good shot until it jumped out.”
James pulls himself up as the teen kicks the retractable staircase down to the floor of the alley and descends. He then makes his way over to the group in the street.
“I’m Sasha Edgington.” The teen introduces himself casually.
“James Foley.” The werewolf acknowledges after a moment. “This is Dean, Jo, Serena, Slade, Lex and Darius.”
“Nice to meet ya.” Sasha tells them.
“We should probably keep going, we’re almost at the mall.” Lex brings them back to the current situation. James nods and begins walking, with the others including Sasha following.
Just as they make it to the front entrance of the mall, a loud shrieking grabs their attention and ten guns whip towards the sound just as Bray comes tearing around the corner, a red faced Zandra right on his heels. The men all look confused, but Jo and Serena just shake their heads as the two run right past them and into the mall. A few moments later Spike leads the group of Danni, Tai-San, and Ryan around the corner and then over to James’ group.
James fixes Spike with a questioning gaze at the scene that just unfolded, but the bleached blond ex-vampire just chuckles.
“Some things are just better left to the imagination mate.” Spike tells him before entering the mall, with his group. James, Dean and Lex share a perplexed look and then the bar group goes in as well.