A mention to Lenka's story is in here. Just look for the first part of talk between Skyril and Jodi.
Anyway, this is Part 2 out of three for the epilogue. Then the real story begins.
The bullet was instantly whipped away, and Israel never saw it touch the ground. It wasn’t the bullet that he was waiting for, and he braced himself as the wave of blue energy erupted from the barrel of his gun. The energy, faced with no-where to go but the ground, acted as a mini-explosion, sending the van hurtling over the car blockade. It glided for a while, and then arced dangerously down towards the road.
“Ah shi-” the van smashed onto the asphalt, cutting off Israel’s voice. They drifted side to side as he struggled with the wheel, trying to straighten their path. He finally swung it back into line, put it into gear, and drove off, leaving the blockade far behind them.
Their footsteps crunched on the pine needles beneath them, alerting each other of their presence. There was no need for stealth, yet one of them was a shadow through the trees, and the other’s glowing yellow eyes stayed in the safety of the bushes.
Overall, there was ten of them, all called to the same place, all exceptionally good fighters. They knew each other from legends and from stories around the campfire. They were the other team, the separate division, called upon when the skeleton detective wasn’t available. Six elementals, two adepts, one shapeshifter and a vampire. It was a good team.
As they got closer to the silver van and the man in the jacket leaning against it, they prepared themselves for the upcoming ordeal. Yes, they had been asked in a time of need from this person, but they still had a chance to turn back and walk away. No-one did. Israel respected that.
They stopped four metres away from him, and only then did Israel stand properly. The shadow in the trees dropped from the trees, smoothing out her ninja outfit. The young woman beside her, a con-artist with dual Sais tucked in her belt. She scowled at the dramatic appearance. Then the creature with yellow eyes emerged from the scrub and then she really jumped back in fear. The wolf kept padding along, and then it’s yellow eyes turned silver and it’s pelt was replaced with jeans and a black jacket. Her ruff turned into brown hair that fell down to her human shoulders. “So,” asked Skylara Wolfbane, now fully formed. “What’s up?”
“Yeah,” added Jodi Harte, presumably recovered from her fright. “I got people to con, and I don’t have time to stand around doing nothing.”
A young woman with purple streaks in her hair spoke up. “Hey,” she said to Jodi. “Didn’t I try to arrest you once?” A few heads turned. They hadn’t heard from Skyril Oblivion in years.
Jodi bit her lip. “Well…um…”
Mary Hiashi, the ‘shadow’ from the trees, pulled out a mini book written in Japanese and started turning the pages. She couldn’t care less for pointless banter. On the other side of the clearing, Kallista Pendragon slipped Skul-Candy headphones in her ears.
“Would you two just shut up?” said Nicolette Croga, and all of a sudden there was a knife in her hand.
“Put it down, Nicolette,” said Israel, trying and failing to regain control of the situation. An eagle swooped in, landing on the bonnet of the van. It morphed into Aquila, and she laid back against the windscreen. “The area’s all clear, Israel,” she said, drinking in the sunshine. “And why are this lot making so much noise?”
Before Israel could answer Skylara butted in. “Ah, so you’re the newbie who calls herself a shapeshifter. I knew you’d look stupid, but I could never imagine this.”
Aquila frowned. “Hey, watch it. I bet I’m smarter than you. And way more experienced.”
“You delude yourself, child,” Skylara seethed. “I am more powerful than you could ever imagine.”
“Oh yeah? Your main form is a wolf, for God’s sake. I mean, anyone could do that. In fact, wolves are like puppies. Positively cuddly.”
In a flash, Skylara’s wolf form sprung through the air, colliding with Aquila. She morphed into a fox, and the two animals growled at each other.
Dragona Pine, who had been staying out of the meeting until now, stepped forward with a fistful of flame. The man next to him, Sarthacus Bolt, held out his arm and Dragona hit an invisible wall. “Stop,” he said. Dragona just turned around angrily, and Darkane Claw fell to Sarthacus’ defence, drawing two long blades from their scabbards. Things were on the edge of chaos.
There was a large crack and everyone froze. Bridget Whiplash stood in the middle of the clearing, bullwhip in hand. She cracked it again, and slowly but surely, weapons were sheathed and flames extinguished. Bridget had that effect on most people.
All present could see the deep, angry red Bridget’s eyes were. Then, in a voice as soft as silk, she spoke.
“Please,” she said, her eyes burning fiercely. “Shut the hell up. Israel, if you would like to continue?”
She moved to stand next to him, glaring at them all. Kallista stuffed the headphones hurriedly in her pocket and Mary closed her book. Aquila got up, dusting herself off, and muttered something that sounded remarkably like ‘twitch’ in Skylara’s direction.
“Alright! Well, before we start ripping each other up like before, I need your help.” Israel had resumed talking and everyone looked at him. “As of today, I have been cast an outlaw for rescuing and holding a wanted person from the Sanctuary. So if you do agree to help me, technically that makes you outlaws as well. Any one of you can leave. I won’t think any less of you.”
No-one left. A slight breeze rustled the branches of the overhanging trees.
“Good. Because, to tell you the truth, I would have thought the person who left was a coward. No offence.”
“What I want to know,” asked Bridget, her eyes now-thankfully-returning to their grey-green colour. “Is why you have a man sitting behind your car.” She sniffed the air. “No, wait. A scruffy haired man.”
“Ah, well, you see-”
“I’m not scruffy!” came a voice from the back of the van. Lewis Ryker stepped out, his arm’s folded and his hair as wild as ever. “It’s-exciting, is all. And…cool.”
“This is Lewis Ryker,” said Israel, his head in his hands. “This is why I need your help.”
Skyril watched as Lewis swaggered over to Mary, a look in his eye. Then he snagged his foot on a root and fell face first in the mud.
“With him?” Skyril said. “I think you’re gonna need a lot more help than us…”