Whiskey coughed and spluttered her way through the cigarette, she felt like her lungs were cursing her with every breath. It was only in her mind but it made her lose focus on what she had seen. The bodies and blood.
She never liked the smell of tobacco smoke, it was the reason she stayed away from the alleyways at her old high-school.
“Well at least smoking isn’t the worst thing I’ve done today.”
“Murder detectives all used to smoke back in the day whether they liked it or not.” Mr Red said after having said nothing for a while.
“Before they invented nose plugs I guess. You were right, this at least makes me think of something less terrible.”
“Come on Sam!” Alix’s shout reached down the corridor to them. Whiskey and Red looked at each other then Red bounded down the hallway. Whiskey looked at the burning paper in her hand then looked around, hesitating isn’t a strong enough word for what she was doing.
“Just throw it, these halls are magically protected.”
Whiskey was still frozen in place. She couldn’t just throw rubbish around, let alone something on fire.
“Damn it Sam!” Alix was screaming this time. It pierced Whiskey’s mind breaking whatever mental conditioning had been preventing her from littering. She released her grip and let it fall, she ran after Red.
“Alix? Sam!” Red was gone from Whiskeys view but he could hear him clearly as she leapt forward with every step.
“Sam!” Alix screamed again her voice turning hoarse. Whiskey made it round the corner, Alix was sitting on the ground holding Sam’s limp body. “Red! Red she’s hurt!”
“Alix, what’s happened?”
“I found her. Like this. She’s breathing. Her arm is broken. Her back. Her back is broken too. She’s not healing. Why isn’t she healing?” Alix’s voice was much quieter than it was before.
“Her curse is gone, temporarily. This is some strong blood magic.”
“You can fix it right, blood magic isn’t as strong… right?” Whiskey got down on her knees next to Alix.
“As strong as soul magic?” He had guessed she meant, Whiskey nodded. “Yeah, but only Isaac and David studied that. You haven’t trained in transfiguring a human have you Alix?” Alix shook her head hurriedly “And if there was a ritual that could fix this Sam would be the one to ask.”
“So what do we do?” Whiskey asked quietly almost in a whisper. “Could we get Isaac or David to help?”
“It would take too long to fix this and if I know them they’re probably already helping someone else.”
Whiskey’s thoughts ran wild.
“She’s human now, for how long?” It felt as though something in her head had clicked into place, her eyes widened.
“A day, two maximum.” Red replied
“And she’ll heal once she has her curse back?”
“To perfect health.”
“Alix can you pick her up?” Alix nodded saying nothing. “We’ll take her to the hospital.”
“They’ll ask questions.” Red said “We can’t draw attention”
“People who come into hospitals with bullet wounds draw attention, girls who may have fallen down the stairs get politely dealt with.”
“So i’ll be staying here then?”
“People are presumptuous and you are rather… large. No drawing attention right?” Whiskey got up finally having a plan.
“Alix take Sam to the nearest hospital, me and Whiskey are going to track down anyone else who needs help.
“Yeah I guess that’s fair.”
The observatory was drawing close. David had started to walk, all the running he was doing started to make him remember how human he was.
He stopped suddenly, then slowly put himself into a fighting stance.
“Hello David. Sensed me coming did you?” David flicked round bringing up his arm for a block, a thin long sword hit it with a twang. “That’s quite the arm you have there.”
The attacker’s clothes were small melted patches. Half his face was the wrong complexion and tighter than rest. His hair missing in places and too long in others.
“That’s quite the face you have there. I don’t think we’ve been introduced.”
“My sincerest apologies, I am Radu I lead the Vampyre army laying siege to this Refuge.”
“What Vampyre army? You’re the first one I’ve seen since I got here.”
Radu slashed his sword down again hitting David’s arm again with the same effect. David threw a punch with his free hand, Radu jumped back to dodge.
Now that his soul bound arm was free he swung it forward. Radu quickly bent over backwards to dodge again. He flicked his sword at the same time, aiming for the closest leg. David jumped over it and grabbed it with his enchanted hand.
“Well you are quite spry for someone your age.” Radu licked his lips as he spoke.
“I could make the same quip except you’re probably younger than me. However we seem to be in a stalemate.”
“You may have misread the situation then.” Radu bit down on his tongue and spit blood into David’s face. David didn’t let go but did start to bring his other arm up to wipe away the fluid on his face. “Oh it’s too late for that.”
David felt his legs go numb and his face started to burn.
“What have you done?”
“Seriously, didn’t you guys know I was a blood mage.”
Whiskey wasn’t going into the main bar area anytime soon but luckily anyone that was still alive in there had already been taken to a makeshift triage room they had.
“Why don’t you guys have some medical facilities?” Whiskey asked as they scoured the hallways. “Surely most cursed don’t want to go to a human doctor.”
“We do get complaints. But healing magic isn’t something that many people study.”
“Why not? It would surely come in handy?”
“Anyone with Cain’s curse wouldn’t have even wavered with the injuries Sam had.”
“But what about people without a curse that use magic?”
“Magic holds them together as well, they’ll heal most wounds quickly even ones magical in nature. Some have said that Mages are stronger than the cursed simply because you have to kill them quickly if you want to succeed at all.”
“So let’s say that Isaac got hit by an Afreet’s slow burn, what would happen to him?”
“Oh he’d be dead after a while, unless David got to him.”
“But he surely he could save himself.”
“As far as I’m aware Isaac doesn’t know any healing magic at all. David and Reese are the only people I can think of that know magic like that off the top of their heads.”
Whiskey went quiet, she was thinking. She knew that she still had many questions to ask about the Refuge in general but they all seemed insignificant now.
“Do you know any magic? You never mentioned…” Whiskey trailed off wondering if it was an impolite thing to ask.
“I don’t have a focus no, I don’t do much field work. Being a Chimera is enough for me.”
“Chimera of what exactly?”
“Oh right, sorry science has taken that word out of context for me. So you can turn into a lion-goat-snake? That’s pretty cool.”
“Yeah, I thought so.”