Chang and The Rider had it probably the easiest of all the teams. They had a supportive crowd and no one questioned their presence there, even with a flashy entrance. They still had to deal with the pesky questions of how they pulled it off, though. Dria, Adrienne and Victor were facing a unique set of problems. They appeared on the corner of Baltimore and Holiday. Getting their bearings and having Dria focus for a second on the location of the hunter only for more bad news.
"You guys want the good, bad or just disgusting news first?" Dria asked obviously more than a little annoyed.
Victor and Adrienne looked at each other and then to Dria. "Bad." They replied in unison. The look reconnected with an unreadable message passing between them. They had spent so much time in close quarters that they began thinking alike. Neither was sure if this was good or bad.
"Well the bad news is we got two of them, the disgusting is that one of them is there and the good is, I can tell you exactly where they are." With that she pointed toward the single block area known only as 'the block'. Victor had no problems going there since he had worked this place in Detroit, but the girls were debating whether or not to even go any closer to it. On either side of the street there was almost nothing, but adult bookstores and strip clubs. Even the alley leading off it took you to a strip club. Point of fact was, there were four places here that weren't some form of adult entertainment. A subway, a bar, some state government offices and a tattoo parlor located above one of the clubs.
The people were almost from central casting. The drug dealers, frat boys, prostitutes, General thugs and the like, were there. They blended with the bouncers and doormen to the clubs as well as the cops both in and out of uniform. Victor was not wanting to deal with the cops since he was wanted almost everywhere he went and the girls just hated the area.
"If it helps think of them as 3-D movies. Most people who come here are cartoon characters anyway." Victor said, "Worked this place in Detroit. Just trying to avoid the cops, no need to fight them as well."
"Big help." Dria replied as she watched a woman, well arguably a woman, walk by in impossibly tight shorts and a net top that barely covered the legal limit.
"That was a strange woman." Adrienne said.
"That was a guy," Victor said.
"Yes it was," Dria added resulting in a look from The french woman to both of them.
"Work in places like this long enough and you can tell. The walk is a dead give away." Vic said with weak grin.
"Go to enough pride days and Mardi Gras then it becomes obvious." Dria added looking down hoping for a subject change.
Adrienne was going to press it, but though better of the action, "Let's do this and get back. Where do we have to go to get the first one?"
Adrienne was going to press it but though better of the action, "Let's do this and get back. Where do we have to go to get the first one?"
"There." Dria replied pointing to the 2 o'clock club.
"Great." Victor said exasperated, "About 50 feet from the police station and two cops at the front door, suggestions?"
"None, I like save for just waiting but that's not an option, is it?" Adrienne replied. "You got some time in places like this Vic. What would get us in without much fuss?"
Victor and Adrienne were both a bit surprised at the use of a nick name from the woman who seemed to hate him, but they would deal with it latter. "There is a way but it's uh, something that you both have to be on board with." The women eyed him suspiciously as he explained, but he made a convincing case. Neither one liked it but if it worked it got them in easy enough. The fact that while discussing with the big man was all business, helped as well. Both knew that they couldn't use their powers out in the open but this would work.
A couple of minutes later Victor was escorting Dria and Adrienne down the street to the 2 O'clock club. The women were making a good show of not being able to keep their hands off each other and mixing in kisses, some with just enough passion to make it look good. Vic was actually impressed at how well they were pulling it off. While the girls drew the attention of the people on the street including the cops, Victor approached the door man.
"Hi guys," he said with a pleasant smile. My friends and I were looking for a club with the most beautiful women in the city and we were told it was here." Despite towering over the bouncer at the door by at least six inches the man didn't back down.
"It is. No dogs, no hogs, just C's to double D's, but you still need an ID to get in." Bouncer replied.
"Well you see I don't have an ID but I can offer you something else. A way to get some extra cash and no one will ever know. Unless you tell since I won't." This comment peaked their interest and both guys at the door looked to each other before looking back at Victor. He knew that look from experience.
"See the crowd that my friends are gathering gentlemen. If they come in to your club think how many would want to follow. Cover is what? Ten dollars? Make it twenty and in a matter of minutes you're up about three hundred and you have to do almost nothing. We get in free and unchecked. Trust me were not looking for a fight just a good time. You aren't the only one that benefits. More money for the dancers and staff too and it all comes back to you. Just let us in for free."
The guys at the door had to think about it for a few seconds and let Victor pass. As Dria and Adrienne passed they kissed and flirted with the guys at the door then disappeared in to the club.
Once inside both the girls wanted to puke not just from the show but from the scene. One dancer was on stage in a leather teddy spanking another one in a lace g-string. The patrons were cheering and drinking while they handed over bills to the entertainers. The whole scene both outside and inside made Dria ill, but they were here for a mission and they would not fail this time. It took longer but she was able to locate the hunter. It had learned a new trick as well. This one managed to pass as human and was at the bar surrounded by people who had the look of zombies.
Adrienne was not thrilled to be here either but kissing Dria was not a new sensation to her. In her life before this she had made out with women. What bothered her besides the setting was the fact that she was thinking about Victor while making out with Dria. "I know a spell that could work to get the zombies clear but the hunter will know immediately."
"I got the hunter. Dria can you shield us with your magic for a few minutes." Victor added, "Give me time to get close and do that spell. Is it the one that dissolves them?"
"Yes, but it will take most of my strength and focus. I may not be able to help with the next hunter if I do it." Adrienne replied.
"Leave that to us. That little show from outside will not last long. What do you need me to do?" Dria asked.
"Use your spiritual energy to light up the zombies and hunter. Vic, Victor, get in position and be ready."
Dria hit the right notes as she sang softly. She found it amazingly easy to focus when thinking about the mission despite the location they were in right now. Adrienne and Victor saw the hunters and zombies outlined in a glow that stood out even in this sea of neon. The big guy took off like a bull that saw red toward the hunter who finally noticed the mortals that had been chosen to oppose its master. It tried to react but the zombies it would have used to protect itself suddenly aged rapidly and became dust.
A panic overcame it and the hunter tried to open a portal of its own to escape but Victor cut that off by a flying clothesline sending both tumbling over the bar. Victor was taking no chances and pounding heavy fists in to the hunter's head. He let them fly for about 15 seconds before the bouncers and under-covers could get there to try to stop him.
Dria meanwhile had hands full with Adrienne's physically weakened body. The sorceress was barely awake and little help in moving, that and being a full six inches taller than her didn't help either. There was a rush to the bar by some out of the back door by others and even more were running for the front door. Amidst the madness Dria struggled to get Adrienne to the bar. She knew that if it came down to all those guys against Victor, the guys were going to get hurt and badly. It was the last thing they needed particularly with units on the way and a small army of cops 50 feet away. She bought a little time by using her power to calm all in the club enough that none would get killed who weren't already dead.
Victor had been given a little time so he let a couple of more blows come down the hunter's head, even if it was already mush. With the hunter dealt with the tattooed giant hopped the bar and took Adrienne into his arms just as uniforms got to them and drew their weapons.
"Victor Garcia, you're under arrest for Assault with a deadly weapon, theft of a motor vehicle and attempted murder."
"Just what we wanted to avoid. Guys we don't have time for this. If you want to help get to...." He looked to Dria questioningly and continued, "Where exactly is the next one?"
"Give me a second." Dria concentrated and replied, "The field with the bird head painted on it, the small one. Has a 'B' and its black."
"Great we're in Baltimore. "Vic said. "Hey I got a lovely lady here and I'm not dropping her, so no fighting but you have to believe me, arresting me and my friend would be a mistake."
"Lovely lady...? Thought you hated her and she hated you."
"Not helping Dria. Just get us there."
"You're not going anywhere Garcia." The lead cop said, "You're under arrest one way or another. You can come along without incident or resist arrest and add to the charges."
"Not going to resist officer but I have somewhere else to be. Believe me you really want to let me go."
Dria sang softly and the three of them were sucked into a vortex. When they emerged, Victor was still holding Adrienne but they were on the logo of the Ravens, encircled by the fresh zombies. Already cops were blocking off the street. They had exited, about 150 yards from their previous location and now were in a trap.
"Dria... save enough energy... to get us back," Adrienne gasped out, "Can help... a little." With that her body began to glow and Victor felt the Power of her magic flow in to him Increasing his own physical resilience and strength. The big guy gently set her passed out body on the grass and turned to Dria.
"Protect her and save enough to get us out of here fast." Victor then launched himself like a missile into the zombies. Unlike Chang who moved with a fluid grace Victor was just a beast that threw fists, feet, elbows and heads, not just his either. Dria was focused on using a new talent that she prayed would work. As long as her voice held out both Dria and Adrienne were surrounded by a force field that blocked any of the zombies from entering without being turned to dust. That didn't protect her from the few that had enough sense to pelt her with objects. It took all her concentration to hold the field as long as she did.
The giant was a flurry of motion that was not going to be halted by any force including the rain of rounds from the police that fired at the zombies and hunters. He knew the cops were acting to protect themselves and trying to arrest him, that was their job but now they were little more than a pain and hindrance. He had to take this out of the equation. That's when it hit him. There had been experiments to see how strong he could get and the hits he'd absorbed as well as given had him to the point that he was nearly lifting cars if not more. The big guy charged over to the shooting cops that were in shock at the fact their rounds were just bouncing off him and he picked up a car like it was nothing.
"This is new. No complaints though. "Vic mused to himself, "Sorry I need this, add it to my record." He then ran at a decent clip and launched the cruiser with all his strength to land on top of and roll over the main body of zombies that were charging at Dria and Adrienne. The car only stopped when it hit a light pole and then fell on top of a couple of more zombies. The upside for both Dria and Victor was that it bought them time but nearly exhausted them as well. Adrienne was already down but then the Calvary showed in the form of The Rider and Chang. Yes they were tired as well but knowing that their allies were losing they didn't give the child a choice. They had ported on their own since their mission was less draining.
The Rider and Victor cleaned up the zombies with the Rider taking the brunt of the attack till Victor could recover. Chang was moving so fast that it was near impossible to pick out a single motion. Suffice it to say no zombies got to Dria or the sorceress. Dria was feeding what energy she could to the near dead woman now, since the light warrior demolished anything that was foolish enough to get close to them.
The hunter had realized he lost with the infusion of new warriors into this battle and decided to retreat. That didn't go over well with the rider or Victor. The look they exchanged said it all. When the hunter called up his portal The Rider launched a round from his dark shotgun that struck with such force it shifted the hunter from going North to the portal directly East into a decorative wrought iron fence. Victor summoned up his remaining strength and charged the stunned creature. Before the hunter could dodge entirely a huge shoulder caught his gut and drove him back into the fence. Victor wasn't done. The fence had the spikes on top of it and the creature's head was slammed into one of them.
"Many souls gained for the master. You will lose. One acting free...."
Victor silenced the thing with simultaneous blows, an elbow to the back of the neck and knee to the gut had created enough force in both directions to decapitate the creature. He would have continued having the rounds still not been coming at them. At The Rider's urging, he followed to the other three and gathered Adrienne into his arms. "Home, please."
It took most of Dria's power reserves but they got home and Dria fell on one couch while Victor set Adrienne on another before falling into a chair himself.
A little hometown love. The streets are accurate as is the club. Had to do it. The comments by the bouncer and doorman are actual comments used by doormen on the block.