The Orphans of Cerberus

BY : Fetherhd
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 1711
Disclaimer: Square Enix holds all rights the the FFVII world and its characters. This is a not for profit fanfiction

The Orphans of Cerberus Chapter 4

Vincent scrambled to his feet when Yuffie flew past him and stumbled into the beast. Her body blocked any shot he might have made, and he could only stare in stunned amazement as the creature took the young ninja's blows without retaliating. Of course...it had to be smart enough to figure out that if it hurt the girl, it would not make it out of the bar in one piece. The concern that Yuffie might get hurt was literally blown away, when the beast gathered her up close, and holding her gently against its strong body, it thoroughly cleaned her tear streaked face. The man had to re-adjust his thinking on the animal's intelligence when it turned the young woman and gave her a slight push back towards her shocked friends. The gunman clearly understood the hand signs the creature made. ..I am so sorry...
Valentine stepped forwards and pulled Yuffie in, helping her to stand and holding her close against his chest. He could feel her shaking.
"What the HELL, Vinny..." was all she said as she rested her forehead against him. He glanced at Tifa and motioned towards the upstairs with his head.
Yuffie jerked back,
"DON'T you dare, I want to know what the fuck is going on and SHE has all of the answers."
Vincent pulled her back close,
"Don't you think this would be a little easier if you had some clothes on?"
This was whispered in her ear. He felt her stiffen in surprise.
"Fine..." she whispered back, "but ONLY because Reno is here."
The ex-Turk studied the creature as it finished working on its forearm and, slipping out of the shredded cloak, it transferred its attention to the long gouges running down its bloodied golden sides. He very much wanted to take the young woman back upstairs but was hesitant to leave the bar. Reno, Rude, and Cloud MIGHT be able to stop the beast if it tried to leave. But Valentine knew that it would NOT get by him.
Crimson eyes flew wide when it looked up at him in exasperation, swallowed a mouthful of its own blood, gagged a little, and then the hands fluidly signed,
"Go with your mate...I am not leaving."
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Ice was not surprised when it was the golden clawed male who took possession of the girl. Alphas had an insatiable need to protect and possess their chosen mates. She could tell he was being torn by both instincts. The man's indecision about staying or going exasperated the female and she finally stopped her first aid, (she had to clear her throat anyways, getting anything...including her own blood and saliva down the ravaged thing was still making her gag and cough) and signed that he could go, she would stay put. (for a while, anyways.) The female could tell by the stunned widening of those odd colored eyes that the male clearly understood her. Two of her precious silver laced knives appeared in his hands and he handed them to the sky eyed, yellow maned male. (And how DID he get that mane to stand up all spiky like that?) CRAP! Evidently the hunter/killer had realized their significance. Lifting the crimson wrapped woman easily, he took her back up the stairs.
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Ice finished her other side and gave herself a quick shake, she could feel all but the silver tainted wounds slowly closing up. The female looked up to find three sets of eyes staring at her. Feeling very self conscious, she licked the blood off of her lips and swallowed hard without thinking. That triggered another coughing and gagging spasm. DAMN! If she thought she could get away with it, she would kick the red eyed male's rather attractive (Even if it WAS tailless) ASS for adding to and aggravating the old injury.
The fiery maned male edged forwards and placed the glass of water that had been forgotten in his hand on the floor between them. He remained crouched with his weapon in his hand and studied her with eyes almost as pale as hers as she approached and picked up the glass. He seemed surprised that she could drink from one, but her lips and tongue in this form were as mobile as when she shifted to human. Ever since Sergeant had saved her, she had preferred to drink from a vessel of some kind. You never knew what kind of creepy crawly might end up in your mouth if you lapped your water up like an animal.
The cool liquid helped soothe the painful spasms and in relief she signed,
"Thank you."
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Yuffie had to admit that being carried by Vincent could become a really bad addiction. The gunslinger's arms were strong, and she could feel the muscles in his chest flexing as he carried her for the second time in as many days, up the stairs. For all of his enhanced strength he was incredibly gentle, even with that lethal looking claw and... OH ...MY... GODS...there was blood on it.
The ex-Turk stopped at the top of the stairs,
"Are you okay Yuffie?"
The girl gave a short laugh that almost sounded like a sob.
"Oh I am just peachy keen Vince. Just cause I could turn into a slavering beast from hell at any minute...I mean... what do ya think...Why wouldn't I be fine?
Oh great... Yuffie couldn't BELIEVE she had just said that to Vincent, loaded up the ASS with no less than four killer demons, Valentine.
"Hnnnnn...Yuffie, I am pretty sure you weren't slavering."
Vincent could not have sounded more serious. (Which is saying something because the gunslinger ALWAYS sounded as if the world were coming to an end.) The ninja just about had a heart attack...Did she just hear the man with no sense of humor attempt a joke? GODS... things must really be bad if he were doing that just to cheer her up. She looked up and caught a slight quirk on his pale lips. Taking advantage of the situation the young woman surreptitiously snuggled into him, enjoying his unique smell of warm skin, gunpowder…and… what ever was that wonderful cologne he was wearing? Striding into her room, The ex-Turk carefully set her down and turned his back on her.
The ninja giggled, for all of his life experiences, Vincent Valentine was such a prude.
"Umm... whacha doing Vin?"
The gunman gave a long suffering sigh.
"I am WAITING for you to get dressed Yuffie, so we can go back down stairs."
"Oh... I was just wondering." It was probably a good thing that the gunman couldn't see the cat that got the canary grin on the young woman’s face. Yuffie quickly shed his warm cloak (but not without burying her nose in it for one more whiff of HIM) Then she dug out an outfit with lots of buttons. Getting everything pulled on, she cleared her throat.
"Hey Vin... I can't seem to get my sore, stiff fingers to get this buttoned. Could you give me a quick hand?"
She kept her face deadly innocent. The ex-Turk turned and froze like a chocobo caught in a spotlight as he saw her lacy bra and soft underwear exposed by the open clothes.
"Yuffie..." he growled.
She smiled at him and wiggled her bandaged fingers.
"Really Vin... I am not jerking ya around."
The smile slipped a little when in one long stride he was in front of her. The raven haired ex-Turk started buttoning her shirt from the bottom up. Yuffie could not control her slight twitch when his fingers and his claws lightly brushed the soft skin over firm muscle of her stomach. Vincent’s pale features were totally still as a warm knuckle brushed her breast on the last button, but when she glanced up at him, his eyes were like two smoldering carnelian coals. Slipping his hands smoothly down, he caught the flaps of her shorts and tugged her hips closer to him. Those wonderfully strong, slender fingers slipped under then tickled along her waistband, making her swallow against a suddenly dry mouth, before he closed that button. His eyes never left her face while those agile fingers dipped, snagged the zipper and slowly zipped it up. Yuffie wavered on legs gone suddenly weak.
Vincent caught her by the shoulders to steady her, concern replacing the heat that had been evident in his crimson eyes. (Damn... traitorous legs.)
"Are you sure you are feeling up to this Yuffie?"
His voice was not as smooth and much deeper than the norm. Unfortunately, the young ninja just KNEW he was talking about going downstairs to find out more about what was going on, and not the scenario that had played through her head for a brief minute.
She smiled sweetly at the poor man.
"Actually Vinny," The girl savored the little wince that escaped the man's control at that particular nickname. "Since I warped into that weird beastie, I actually feel a lot better."
Yuffie grinned wickedly at him as she slipped by and headed for the door.
"Even my hands, arms and FINGERS are feeling GREAT!"
The sound of his growled "Yuffie!" was music to her ears as she headed back down the stairs.
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Vincent just stood for a moment, his eyes not leaving where Yuffie had last been. He was so screwed. The little vixen was going to be a force to be reckoned with. Just when had she changed from being almost a child to being a woman who KNEW how to stoke a man's desire? The man was aware that the young woman was not hesitant when it came to going after something she wanted. But the fact that she was coming after him had the gunslinger really concerned. And WHY had his body reacted with such abandon? He did NOT have feelings for Yuffie Kisaragi ...did he? Vincent’s hands clenched and unclenched as he worked to get himself back under his usual cold, emotionless control. What the HELL had he been doing? He knew better then to allow that kind of desire to roll through him. Between the rage from earlier and the woman's DEVIOUS igniting of his passion, his ability to control the creatures he hosted was seriously compromised.
He could feel the Galian beast pushing up in response to his heated feelings and what worried him more was when the more powerful Chaos growled
"COME ON! WHAT ARE YOU JUST STANDING HERE FOR, FOOL. GO AFTER THE WENCH AND LET US GIVE HER WHAT SHE WANTS."
The gravelly voice deepened to an evil, lustful purr.
"I REALLY THINK THAT YOU AND I SHOULD...DO...HER. AND NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER, IF YOU CATCH MY DRIFT. AFTER ALL... AGE COMES BEFORE BEAUTY."
The dark chuckle that followed was sinister.
Chaos was close enough in human physiology that the ex-Turk had no doubt that the demon was very capable of raping a weaker being if he was given the chance. Valentine's stomach lurched at the thought of Yuffie trapped in the dark demon's depraved clutches. He knew she would have no chance of escape. Keeping that horrendous vision firmly in his head, he had no problem purging the residue of passion that was left out of his mind and body. Before he followed the young woman back downstairs, he returned his cloak to its customary place on his shoulders and scooped an item off of the night stand by the bed. As he descended the stairs, it was with the beginnings of a plan forming in his now calm and collected mind.
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Ice sat quietly, sipped her water and just observed. She did not fail to notice that the spiky maned male moved closer to her with those lethal silver blades held loosely in his hands. Watching him test their balance and nod appreciatively to himself, she had a feeling he knew how to use them. The flame haired one was between her and the window, the big dark male shifted to where he could move to block the door if need be. So far, other than the surprise attack from the golden clawed male (which she could understand) these had NOT reacted as Sergeant had trained her to expect. They had not attacked her immediately out of fear, and seemed to be using the brains that humans always bragged about having, but rarely seemed to use when the unexpected popped out at them. Elegant ears twitched as she picked up sounds from the back room where the other female had disappeared to. And they rotated fully around when they caught the sounds of someone coming down the stairs.
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Reno couldn't help but stare, as the beast sat quietly and just watched. It almost behaved as if it was human, watching them with just as much curiosity in its tilted silver eyes, as he was sure was in his own. Reno caught the glint of metal at the tip of one mobile ear as they turned, tracking Tifa in the kitchen. He knew he was looking at one of his late employer's genetic experiments. Reno had done many questionable, even horrible things in his career that he had been ordered to do and had always been able to put them out of his mind. He had known of the human experimentation that was being conducted by Shinra, but had never let it bother him. This was not as easy to disregard. Even Valentine, as badly as Hojo had screwed him over, was still, in essence, a human being. His demons were separate entities that, when they manifested, were definitely something different than the man that hosted them. The Turk shifted uneasily, trying to come to grips with the fact that the animal sitting there, quietly waiting, was one and the same as the beautiful woman he had followed with the intention of bedding. She had been very easy on the eyes. If he had passed her on the street he would not have known there was anything "different" about her. The red head usually didn't care to worry about things, but he couldn't help but wonder how many more of these monsters were just wandering around amongst them. GODS! They already had proof that at least one of them had a taste(in more ways than one) for human flesh. The beast’s silver eyes left him as the long muzzled head turned to watch Yuffie come back down the stairs. Reno felt some relief. Yes, the girl was as annoying as hell, but he was glad to see that, at least for the moment she seemed okay.
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The silver eyes watched the youngling come down the stairs, the wave of pheromones coming off of her caused the female to wrinkle her nose. The male followed shortly and as he went to join the woman in the kitchen, Ice couldn't keep her ears from flattening, the skin around her eyes and her lips relaxed, she huffed softly. It was as close as she could come to a laugh when in this form. The scent coming off of the man was even stronger in sex pheromones than that of the girl. The female glanced slyly at the young woman's slightly flushed face, she was pretty sure that the young female, like herself, was untouched when it came to sex. Ice wondered why the alpha male had not claimed her yet, it was VERY evident that he wanted to.
The man returned and studied everyone in the room, then he strode over to the large table they had all been sitting at when she arrived. He pulled another chair over and made a quick motion with his hand, in invitation for her to sit. Ice watched him closely for a moment, she had seen just how fast he could move and had it proven just how dangerous to her health he could be. Ice wasn't sure she wanted to be any closer to the male than what she was already. The fact that she could see very little of his face did not ease her mind any. She hovered in indecision for a moment then was surprised when the young woman sat down on one side of the chair reserved for her and the red headed male took the other. With them there as a buffer, she cautiously approached and hopped up, to sit gingerly at the table.
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Vincent watched in amazement as the beast jumped into the chair he had offered and sat in it much like a person would. She primly folded her hands in front of her. The illusion of humanity was ruined though when her tail, which seemingly had a mind of its own, slipped up and occasionally stroked along the table cloth before disappearing back under the table. The ex-Turk had to suppress a slight smile as Reno's red eyebrows did an unconscious dance every time that happened. Valentine waited until Tifa came out of the kitchen carrying a tray loaded with cups and the makings for tea, then he seated himself as Cloud joined them. Rude stayed at his post in front of the door.
The gunman gestured at the young woman who was seated next to the silver eyed female. (MUCH to Vincent's displeasure, she was way to close to the creature for HIS comfort)
"Yuffie, you have already met. I am sure she would like to know if you have a name."
Yuffie flashed a quick, hard look at the man. She would prefer to speak for herself, but this time she held her tongue. The silver eyes flashed to gray as the creature blinked her inner eyelids.
Her hands flowed through the simple phrase,
"Sergeant called me... Ice."
The female glanced at the red head next to her curiously. The tail appeared, slid along the tabletop and softly brushed the back of his hand. He snatched that hand back as if it had been burned.
The man stuttered out.
"Yo... everyone calls me Reno."
The female’s ear twitched as Yuffie murmured. "Amongst other things."
Vincent ducked his head a little as Reno just glared at her. Keeping her tail to herself, Ice glanced at each person in turn and waited politely for them to give her their names. First Cloud, then Tifa and Rude self consciously introduced themselves and watched in amazement as Ice translated each name to a sign as if fixing them in her mind. When that disconcerting direct silver gaze met his crimson one, Vincent understood why the others had seemed uncomfortable, it felt really...odd... to be politely introducing oneself to what looked like an animal.
Clearing his throat, he overrode his discomfort,
"I... am Vincent Valentine. We were hoping that maybe you could answer some questions for us?"
Those tilted eyes slid away from his but she signed,
"I will answer what I can."
Yuffie jumped in before Vincent could continue. She felt she had the right to get some of her questions out of the way before the ex-Turk got too carried away with his. Ignoring his barely concealed sigh of exasperation, she pinned the female next to her with a hard glare. And was startled when Ice immediately looked away in discomfort.
"Why did you kill Dex and not me?"
The silver eyes returned to meet her own squarely and the female's hands moved through a complex dance. Yuffie glanced at Vincent in exasperation but was startled when it was Reno who translated.
" She says, that the young male was too badly infected by the time she arrived for her antibodies to do him any good, so she had to...," the red head's voice faltered here,"... euthanize him."
Yuffie felt Ice physically cringe when all six sets of eyes pinned her with hard angry stares. Her hands flashed through the next statement so fast they were difficult to follow. This time it was Vincent that spoke,
"He was already dead, his body just didn't know it yet, and if left to finish the "Change" he could have infected many more before his body gave out."
Yuffie shifted away from the creature, her eyes had gotten huge.
"WHAT! Am I going to die?"
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Ice froze, anger and fear were rolling off of everyone in the room. ALL of the potentially dangerous Alpha males were staring hard, in ANGER, at her and her instincts overrode her intelligence for a moment. She dropped her eyes, tucked her head and pulled her hands up against her cinnamon maned chest trying to make herself appear smaller. Her tail coiled tight around a leg. She felt the red headed male next to her jerk and he snarled a curse. The female didn't even dare to breath. It was the dark haired, quiet woman who came to her rescue.
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Tifa nudged Cloud hard,
"Stop it. Can't you see you are scaring her to death."
She also poked Vincent and glared at Reno. Then glancing at Ice she slowly and quietly poured everyone some tea.
She kept her voice low and soft,
"If I remember correctly, you like yours with honey and lemon?"
She almost smiled when the silver eyes flashed up and then looked away as Ice gave an almost imperceptible nod. Tifa remembered reading somewhere that some animals misunderstood a smile as a threat, so she kept her face very still. As she fixed the creature's tea exactly as Vincent had instructed her, Tifa hoped that the ex-Turk had gotten his calculations right. She didn't want to be the one responsible if this backfired. She got some odd looks from everyone but Vincent as she gave all but Rude a steaming cup, but they all went along with it. As their attention shifted to Tifa, she noticed that Ice gradually relaxed. Reno leaned over slightly and spoke to her in a quiet voice and the creature twitched, looked down, and gave the man an apologetic, flat eared look. Her tail appeared back on the table and she trapped it under one hand for a minute.
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Vincent sipped the tea that Tifa had given him and waited for Ice to relax enough that she was willing to look at everyone again. He was secretly pleased when the beast sipped at the tea and seemed to find nothing amiss. Good, maybe she would drink all of it. That would certainly make things easier.
He waited until she swallowed her mouthful and set the cup down.
"Is Yuffie's life at risk?"
He translated her answer for the rest.
"No... I had hoped that my antibodies were given soon enough that they would cure the virus. Evidently I...was wrong. She will not die, but she WILL continue to change as the virus overcomes my antibodies and reaches saturation. Her body does not have the ability to produce her own defenses against the Change"
Well, talk about taking the good news with the bad. The ex-Turk did not say this out loud, and he hoped he kept his distress from showing. Ice must have picked up on some of it because her expressive ears flattened and she looked away from his face and concentrated on drinking her tea.
"Is your...miscalculation... the reason that Yuffie Changed into something different than the lab tech?"
Valentine worked hard to keep the words soft and non-threatening. The silver eyes blinked at him and the look on the long face was most definitely bewildered. Reno flipped his phone open, and leaning towards her, ran the video that he had shown them earlier. Ice's ears flattened so much they disappeared into her mane. Somehow, she flattened the mane too, sleeking her outline. That, the color change from silver to gray in her eyes and a soft huff that blew out her cheeks and fluttered the thin lips, all translated into severe unhappiness.
She flashed a confused glance at the gunman,
"He was bitten?"
"No… he was careless. He managed to cut himself on the teeth of the male you killed."
The beast blinked, and her flexible hands answered his earlier question.
"I do not know why the youngling did not experience a second generation Change. Shinra never managed….." The female seemed to catch herself then she nodded at Yuffie, who was definitely looking freaked out, "I think she will experience a first generation Change every time now. Even so...SHE MUST NOT BITE OR LICK ANYONE while she is in this form. The other... unfortunate... one went through a second generation Change. The virus would have eventually killed him but he would have bitten and infected as many as he could before that happened. He did NOT bite anyone... did he?"
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Reno shook his head and closed his phone as all the eyes at the table turned to him.
"The three people that got bit all died from their injuries. I am pretty sure Rufus ordered that extra precautions be taken where the corpses are concerned."
He felt the Ice's tail brush his leg and jerk away. At least this time it didn't wrap around it like a damned serpent. The long, thin thing was surprisingly strong. The red head found himself wondering just what one could do with... His mind shied away from the thought when he realized were it was going. DAMN! Everyone was right. He was SUCH a pervert. He noticed the creature's broad nostrils twitch in his direction and her ears rose a little as she sipped at her tea.
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Yuffie was barely controlling the panic that was spreading through her. She was going to keep changing into the THING that she had become before. What if Ice just disappeared or something? Without the creature's injections, would she, the White Rose of Wutai turn into a beast and STAY that way? That is what it sounded like to her. The young woman glanced at Vincent, taking some small comfort in the fact that the gunslinger seemed to be relaxed. He glanced her way, catching her eyes in his own red gaze. He gave a slight shake of his head and a small smile of encouragement. Yuffie felt the tight band of fear ease a little. The man looked as if he had things under control. He would make sure this turned out all right.
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Ice couldn't control her noses twitch as she caught the smell of randiness coming from the flame maned male. (Reno... amongst other things, she reminded herself) Her ears twitched up and she had to hide her expression in her cup as she wondered what the "other" things were. Did these males NEVER get any? She found that hard to believe when all of them exhibited such dominant traits. The subordinate males, like Titan, were the ones who suffered without. That is what made them so damned unstable. Her tea was almost gone and Ice, who had a terrible sweet tooth that she NEVER got to indulge, ran her strong, broad tongue over the bottom of the cup, licking up the honey that had not dissolved. This cup had been a little more bitter than the first cup she had been served here, but Tifa had compensated, much to the females delight, by adding more honey.
She glanced up as Vincent cleared his throat(Now why did he look so pleased) and asked,
"Can this ...virus... be cured?"
Ice gave a noncommittal shrug,
"I don't know."
The female watched those odd colored eyes narrow a little with a sudden feeling of unease.
The crimson cloaked male tapped his gleaming deadly claws in a restless tattoo on the table top.
"What are you?"
She answered him honestly,
"Other than a …failed...experiment, I don't know"
Ice was being honest, she did not know how to lie. She could remember very little of her life before waking up, damaged, in Sergeant's not so gentle care. He had not felt it important to inform her of her shadowed origins. The most he had ever told her was that She and her siblings were failures as ...specimens... and evidently there had been a lot of people who had not been very happy about it.
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Cloud leaned forwards a little, he had remained quiet and just watched as Vincent did most of the questioning.
"Vincent...as much as I hate to admit it, we are going to have to get Ice to Rufus's labs to get a handle on this."
The swordsman realized when he saw the gunman wince that the man was very aware of this fact. When he glanced at the creature he realized why the ex-Turk hadn't mentioned it before. Ice had become very still, her silver eyes were narrowed and those thin lips were pulled back to partially expose very LONG... sharp... canines. Her hands rippled through one short motion and the fact that she slowly shook her head made it very clear that she was saying, "NO!" in no uncertain terms. She started to push back from the table.
Vincent made a gentle, placating gesture with both hands.
"It's okay Ice, we won't take you anywhere that you are unwilling to go."
The words were soft and steady, and the silver eyed female studied the man for a very long moment.
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Valentine met Ice's frightened stare evenly, forcing himself to stay relaxed. He only needed to keep the creature still and in the bar for a little while longer. There... the ex-Turk saw the inner eyelids flick across, dimming the silver and then not totally withdraw back behind her outer lids. He hadn't been sure if Yuffie's pain killers would work on the female, but considering their potency, he had been relatively sure that a four or five of them, crushed for fast absorption, would do the trick. He only hoped he hadn't overdosed the thing, they needed it alive.
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Ice held her position for a moment, she almost believed the crimson cloaked male. Then a wave of dizziness rolled through her. All of a sudden she remembered a lesson that someone had taught her BEFORE she had been subjected to...euthanasia. Human beings were VERY capable of lying. Bringing her feet up to the edge of the table, she pushed hard and somersaulted over the back of her chair. As she landed, another wave of sick dizziness made her stagger. She didn't hesitate as she shot for the door. Rude moved to intercept her. Ice gaped at him and increased her speed as much as she could, a heavy weight was pressing her down. Still she managed to launch herself at him, only to get hit from the side, as the flame haired male (Reno ...amongst other things...she sluggishly reminded herself.) tackled her before she could reach his partner with lethal teeth. Ice tried once to regain her feet but just couldn't get any of her musculature to cooperate. She managed to blink as the crimson cloaked one tightly looped and buckled leather over her mouth, effectively muzzling her. She could feel her hands and feet being restrained in the same manner by the others and her mind screamed in fear...NO!NO!... at them until darkness descended and all consciousness left.


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