The Two White Wolves
One Day Previously
A bead of sweat trickles down Tam Linn’s brow. All that stands between him and that dark matter is a thin screen of light. It can’t kill him
– but he isn’t immune to the sensation of hurt, of being devoured.
Precious seconds pass and he begins to feel a slight strain. Linn can call on an amount of magic that would kill most witches, but even he has his limits, although he would never admit it.
A shape coalesces in the periphery of his line of sight. He blinks and that bead of sweet stings his left eye. It cannot be. She has been away. Gone from him. Rejected him, even. It’s Yowl. Magic is about the mind, about will over matter, that you can make a unnatural force bend reality. In that moment his will weakens for the span of a second with the consequence of his magic wavering and the shield of light flickers.
A tumble of darkness flies in Yowl’s direction. Without conscious thought he throws up a dome of light around her. That act, combined with his momentary weakened resolve destroys his shield, and that tidal-wave of dark matter washes over him.
In his long years, he has been tortured. Struck. Shot. Immolated.Eaten. Regurgitated and many more. The death he experiences occurs faster than any of his previous deaths, yet the pain is relative; in the seconds it takes for the matter to annihilate him, he experiences a pain like no other.
He clothes himself in a body made from the light shed by the sun a metre away from the dome that surrounds Yowl with a certain urgency. His weakness, if you could call it that, has always been the transition from a body-less state to corporeal. Wait too long, and he risks becoming pure light.
Yowl’s presence here changes all. Fenrir and his fight has the potential to change the landscape, putting her anywhere that fight is intolerable. He waves one hand, creating a megawatt flash of light that illuminates the site of their fight, and Fenrir stumbles. The dome fractures beneath his touch and he scopes Yowl up.
He knits a glamour of invisibility around his shape and launches split-visions away from him like decoys. And then he makes a run for it. On every step he takes, he creates glamours to cover the indentations on the ground, lest Fenrir track him by the sight of footprints.
Even so, he has a daunting task before him. The decoys will lead Fenrir on a merry chase, but once they’re gone he will use that nose of his to track Tam. It will take him a moment to disbelieve the glamours that covers his tracks but once he has done that…
Glamour works better for sight, but smell is harder, and Fenrir is liable to have a better nose than most werewolves.He can feel the split-visions being destroyed, one by one.
“This way”, someone calls. Tam Linn stops, startled. Richard Corazon breezes him by. He focuses his supernatural eyes and glances around. Perenelle Flamel is walking up from a different angle, southwest of him. Jonathan Gomagog kicks a log the size of a moderate table in front of him, never pausing in his stride, moving paralell with Flamel. Merith moves with sedate pace next to Gomagog. Hermann Schwartz and Nidar Greyscale marches to the same beat, following them. All converging on the site where he and Fenrir fought.
His lips form a smile.
That gives him an idea. He envisions Fenrir in his mind. The white fur. The size of him. Those chill-blue eyes. And then he sends a split-vision of that Fenrir bounding the same way that he came from.
Greyscale and Hermann stops to stare at the large white wolf that scratches itself on a ear, sitting before them without a care. “That matches the description”, Hermann reiterates. “I had heard he was big”, Greyscale muses,”but not that big.”
Fenrir howls only to leap away. The two of them look at each other, then begins to run after him. Greyscale swallows big gulps of air, frowning as he does. Fenrir’s scent is wonky, present one second, gone the other.
Now where has he smelled that fluctuating scent before…? The process of his thoughts is derailed by the sight of Tam Linn running in the same direction. He and Hermann halts. To add to the confusion, a second white wolf runs out from the underbrush, ripping Tam Linn apart.
A Tam Linn that disintegrates into light. Ah. Glamour. Greyscale blinks. That’s where he has smelled that scent before. He stares at the first white wolf. You are not here. You’re a figment of imagination, made by real by magic. The first wolf staggers only to fade out of reality.
“Mein Gott”, Hermann mutters,” that was a glamour.”
The second wolf shapeshifts into a man with black hair and eyes a shade lighter than that of his wolf-form. Fenrir Suneater, wearing the brown overall of a prisoner in the Bastille. “A glamour”, he confirms. “Bastard tracked me to a phone-booth, one thing led to another, and we ended up duking it out here in the forest. Except he ran for some reason?”
“Tam Linn doesn’t run”, Hermann answers, the response a reflex. “That’s what the rumours say”, Fenrir offers, shrugging. “I’ll get him the next time”, Fenrir decides in a matter-of-fact voice, scratching himself. “The next time”, Hermann states, deadpan, drawing the shards of Zulfiqar.
Greyscale jumps between them. “Whoa there!” “We’re all want the same thing here. The enemy of my enemy is my friend”, he adds, eyes darting from Fenrir to Hermann.
They stare at each other; blue eyes, amused; brown eyes, intent. If this goes south…
Hermann disappear the shards into his vest with a smooth movement. “For now”, he grumbles. “For now”, Fenrir repeats.