Blood and Flame

Eris snapped the neck of the guard like a twig. Glancing to the left and right she saw her sister's were making short work of the other men. As promised the guard at this portion of the compound barricade was light and poorly equipped. The girl had been true to her word it seemed.

Within moments they were through and running freely through the compound. Seven of them, black clad daughters or midnight bringing death to all who beheld them. One of the afflicted shambled out in front of Eris looking up in time to see the sharp blade that severed his head from his shoulders but too slow to evade his doom. It was a mercy. For those that the plague did not kill instantly there were weeks of mutation and pain ahead before the inevitable end came.

They could hear the sound of conflict ahead now as Skyriders, gang members and militia men clashed. Three soldiers rounded a corner ahead of them and spotting the group readied weapons and began to fire. A lucky shot took one of her Sisters in the eye and she fell in a clatter of limbs. The remaining rounds were not so lucky, some piercing flesh but none of them mortal. Within a moment they were on the three men.

Eris took the man in the centre swiping his rifle aside and thrusting her blade into his eye socket, an even trade for her sister. She grinned with sudden fury and spat in the man's face as he fell. She dabbed her finger in the blood running down her cheek, his not hers and licked it clean. The sharp taste of iron filling her mouth.

She started forward, her remaining sisters running ahead of her with the other two soldiers having been dispatched with similar efficiency.

A voice sounded in her mind and she came to a sudden halt. The others doing likewise. They heard him as well as she. Their master was calling.

"The rebels have him, they take him to the extraction point." A vision of a location flashed in her mind and once again she was running, now leading the way.

They dispatched several more groups of soldiers along with several of the invaders and the inflicted as they moved through the compound. Then just ahead they came to a wide courtyard near the eastern edge of the barricades. Three airships were slowly descending and the yard beneath was becoming crowded with those waiting to board the vessels.

She saw him then, the High Inquisitor. He looked like death walking as he was dragged along between two muscled goons. She raised he hand and her sister's slowed to a walk as they approached the group. One of them looked over and nudged his companions.

"Who the bloody hell are you supposed to be?"

"Who cares." One of his companions chortled, "they look good for a tumble."

"You have no class." The first man groaned.

"What? Just saying like I see it."

Just then several soldiers ran into the yard and opened fire. The Skyriders returned the favour and a pitched battle began. Shots rang out from above as crewmen took shots at the soldiers below. Eris gave a signal and three of her Sisters joined the fray.

"Bloody hell." The first of the two men swore as he watched the women at work. When they came back moments later to throw six severed heads at the feet of the men Eris saw something she liked in their eyes. Respect and fear. She eyed them each in turn.

"I am here for him." She pointed at Edward who looked over at them in sickly confusion.

"You can bloody have him." The taller of the two men spat and he made to push Edward forward. The other held fast and dragged the Inquisitor back.

"Boss said to keep hold of him." He said.

"I could take your hand and allow you to follow your orders." Eris hissed brandishing her long knife. The man let go.

"Like he said, you can have him."

There a sharp scream and a deafening roar as one of her Sisters was shorn in half by a projectile fired into the square. She threw Edward on to two of her companions and whirled around to see where the attack had come from. They were all thrown to the ground then as one of the airships exploded into a ball of fire and shrapnel.

The earth shook and debris rained down as Eris clambered to her feet. She saw militia men pouring throuh the distant gates and amidst them the First Citizens dread war machine rounding its barrel for another attack.

"Take him." She screamed to her sister's and watched as they began to scramble away into the compound with Edward in tow. Then as the din of battle was raised around her she turned to fight.

They had been betrayed and for that she would have blood. Blood by the gallon.

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