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View character profile for: Erin Aisling Thorne
View character profile for: Jemma Evilian
View character profile for: Callum Thorne
View character profile for: Elenwen Grove
View character profile for: Luke MacTiernan
View character profile for: Emlen Grove
View character profile for: Branwen Thorne
View character profile for: Kaylara Eldsteen
View character profile for: Ragnar Lothbrook
View character profile for: Thomas Mcallister
View character profile for: Aki
View character profile for: Cerulea Mistral Galva
View character profile for: Mishka Doshkov
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View character profile for: Nina Maldova
"I can think of a few jokes about Druids and bushes, but I'll refrain for now." Her eyes were bright with laughter as she sat down beside them, patting the ground beside her for Ragnar to join.
"Your boy is doing well. Doc says he'll need some rest, and maybe some more minor healing, but he'll pull through just fine." Looking at the work Erin had been doing she asked, "And how goes this? If you need anything further, we may have it, or we can get it."
Cal and I exchanged a smile of relief at the news of Emlen. "This is going fine," I told her, rubbing the ink into the last few marks of the triskele. "See? Done already." I released the thorn I'd been holding, which sprang back into its bush and set down the bowl of ink. Callum took his hand back from mine and checked my handiwork.
"So, any word on Círdan yet?"
"You are going to be my student, for now. I will not be teaching you how to fight, but how to win a fight. " Her smile grew slightly. "And quitting is not an option once we start."
I grinned back at her. "It never crossed my mind."
"It would seem Kaylara has you well trained in courtesy at least. Very well boy. You may join. And that girl beside you as well, should she wish to. "
You should, Lea, advised Mistral.
Cerulea smiled. "I will, Lady Myrine."
I glanced at Myrine, Thomas and Cerulea in sequence. "Great. Now can we get started?"
Nina's team had been lucky when the ambush came. They'd been tracking an ekimmu that had somehow found its way to the Czech Republic and were in the hopes of re-releasing it elsewhere when the ambush came.
Initially Nina was terrified, until she remembered this was the kind of thing she would have to deal with in this kind of career. She never managed a killing hit during the perhaps hour long skirmish, but several of the ambushers went down under her fire. When the shooting stopped all of the enemies were down, though not all killed, and only one Hunter had been injured - just a simple bullet to the shoulder.
"Come on, Nina," called Nathan, the Huntsman she was apprenticed to. "We need to go. Help Emil."
She did as she was told, trying to stanch the bloodflow from Emil's shoulder. He was just barely a year older than her but had become a Huntsman two years previous. Now he tilted his head back against the wall of the van and closed his eyes as she administered first aid.
Nina began wondering if the ambush they'd faced was the only one that'd occurred, or if fellow Hunters had suffered worse wounds than Emil.
Milán, on Andrej's orders, had given Mishka a rather severe lesson. There was dried blood all over her face and neck from her nose, one of her eyes was blackened and her left wrist was broken, but that hadn't stopped her from nicking her cell phone from Andrej's jacket when the opportunity occurred.
Now she dialed Luke MacTiernan's number clumsily hidden in the small closet of her room. It took two rings for him to pick up.
"Luke. Listen, I don't have much time -"
She took a deep breath, then exhaled. "Luke, I'm sorry. I've betrayed your trust."
His voice turned steely. "What are you talking about?"
"I'm with the Syndikát Zrádců. It's a branch of the Illuminati, a syndicate of infiltrators. I don't know who's in charge currently, but -"
"You lied to me?"
She felt tears sting her eyes.
"Please, Luke, I had to -"
"How long has this been going on?"
"Not since before we met. I swear, that was genuine."
Silence from the other end. Then:
"I believe you. Why are you telling me now?"
"There's a trap being set up for the Thornes. They're targeting your Circle and the Hunters as well. Something's recently happened here in Czech - I don't know, but innocent people are dead. Just... warn them. The Thornes, the Circle, everyone."
She heard footsteps outside in her room. "I have to go."
Mishka deleted the call from her history and hid the phone in a loose floor board. Less than a minute later the door was wrenched open by Ivona.
"Co tady děláš?"
The witch stared at the wall opposite her. "Plakat, Milenka."
Ivona sighed. "Better you cry in private than show weakness, but better not to cry at all. Get up, Jaroslav needs to see to your face and wrist."
Mishka nodded numbly and stood (with some assistance from Ivona), then followed the woman out of her room. Thank the gods I could tell Luke.
"There's a trap being set up for the Thornes. They're targeting your Circle and the Hunters as well. Something's recently happened here in Czech - I don't know, but innocent people are dead. Just... warn them. The Thornes, the Circle, everyone. I have to go."
Mishka hung up. I bolted from the kitchen, trying to find my way around the Camp and ran right smack into Elenwen.
"Woah, Luke, what's wrong? You look terrified."
I glanced around us. "The Thornes. Do you know where they are?"
"No, but -"
I was already off and running again, ignoring Elle calling my name. Branwen cawed and flew in front of me, landing on a tree stump. "Why such a rush, Irishman?" she croaked.
"Your children, where are they?"
"Follow, young one."
I followed. Conveniently Kaylara and Ragnar were with them. Branwen perched in a treebranch above while I tried to catch my breath. "Mishka just called me - there's a trap being set up. For you," I gasped, gesturing at the druids. "Illuminati are targeting the Circle, the Hunters, everyone, to get to you. Something's just happened in the Czech Republic and people are dead."