14.3 Black Knives

by Matt P.

The Border, P.D. showed up with two patrol cars and a van. They were relatively new and well-maintained, but even if they had been dinky and under-maintained they would have been the most glroious caravan that Walter had ever seen. Out of the now slightly dented car that had hit the Faerie came Leah, and the Alexanders elder and younger. Out of one of the previous cars came a couple more patrol officers that Walter knew, and the Van had two members of a SWAT team in the back. There were ten officers, which matched the back up that Ninja Grandpa had brought.

“Walter, what the hell is going on?” William Alexander barked, in a rare display of broken calm. “We got reports of gunfire and strange crap, and every single student and teacher fled in to the night…but none of them remember what happened.” He had his pistol in hand, and a grimmace on his face as he took cover behind the open door of his car.

“Apparently it’s a goddamn Faerie invasion, Boss, and you’ve got great timing,” Walter said as he ducked behind the car door with the older man. “Morgan and Tania are fighting the big man, and we’re keeping them from being swarmed.” He looked back over his shoulder at that, and the whirling speed-fest that was the fight against Oberon. “Frankly I’m not even sure we could contribute to that one if we wanted to.”

“Walter…” Alexander said, a grimace creasing his weathered face. “We got reports from inside the school…and someone remembered Antigone having a fit before it all started. Where’re the girls?” His voice was strained.

Walter felt his own grimace forming, as his eyes flitted to the school door. “They’re inside. When I left them they were safe, but I don’t know where anyone is coming from in this damn fight. I don’t know if they’re safe, but if they aren’t…then that’s where the rest of the fight is.”

William Alexander looked at the door for a scant second before he nodded gravely. “If that’s the fight is, then that’s where we are. I don’t know what we can do about the end of the world, but we can protect a school and anyone stuck in it.” He gave a fierce grin to Walter at that. “Rangers lead the way?” He quoted with a raised eyebrow, while he pulled a shotgun from the back seat of the car and handed it to Walter.

Walter checked the shotgun to make sure it was loaded, and then nodded back. “Semper fi,” he quoted in return. Alexander looked over his shoulders at the other officers and the SWAT Team, and nodded.

“Alright, we’ve got a goal—take back the school. And in our way…” Alexander gestured at the nine faeries watching them warily. Some of the arrogance had definitely been wiped off their faces, although they still clearly liked their odds. “Time to stop the invasion, boys.”

**** ****

Ryan Aquino was holding his own, but Siobhan desperately wanted to know where all the people who were fighting him were coming from. Because he was surrounded by two men and a woman, and he was dodging for all that he was worth. Blood had splashed on his face from a cut on his brow, and he was favoring one arm. He was damn good despite it, but it was clear he was being worn down—and that was before three more people came out of a classroom.

“Just three more thinnies in here…” One of them reported, apparently having not noticed that there was a fight going on until he reported. The woman stopped him with a hand, and then gestured to both Ryan and the emerging Siobhan and Antigone.

“I think we found em,” the woman said, and as one they began to walk forward toward the fighting. “I’ll take out Titania’s favorite, and you both take out the girls.” The woman pulled out what was a very mundane looking iron knife wrapped in electrical tape, and then a second, and then launched herself in to the fight with Ryan. The other two men drew short swords that seemed to be the same make and accoutrements, and in a flash they were moving toward the two girls.

Siobhan stepped out in front of Antigone protectively, but what stopped the two men was a growling that came from one of the side rooms. The Eisenhund stepped out of it, blood splattered on the iron protecting it and a fire within its eyes. “Oh fine, it gets to be scary, but the fifteen year old who pulled a magic sword out of her own chest is boring? Come on, jackasses, fight or get off the pot.”

They decided to fight, charging at Siobhan with their weapons at the same moment that the Eisenhund leapt at the.

**** ****

Morgan had fought her father before, but it had been over a century since the last time they’d tried to kill eachother. Normal families probably don’t say that, she thought fleetingly around a well-executed parry. While both of them had lost a couple of steps since the days when they were actively leading a war from the front lines, it seemed like he had lost fewer than she had. Or maybe it was that we had an army, and had worn him down, and weren’t ambushed…

The differences were somewhat staggering. It had been one hell of a fight before, and it was one hell of a fight now…but his trick with the portals might just be enough to cost them the day. “So what’s your end-game here, pops?” Morgan asked. Her sword continued to lash out blindingly fast, forcing him to back away from an assault on Tania. He seemed to be focusing on her. Because she’s been fighting the longest, she thought. It made sense, to try to take out the more tired sister and then turn to the fresh one. “You can tell the odds as good as I can…and if we weaken you enough then even a mortal with a shotgun can take out a High King.”

Oberon turned in one fluid motion, and his sword was almost a living thing. It protected its master by dispelling Morgan’s blade, although one strike had come perilously close to sneaking by and opening up Oberon’s side. “Do you think that I would leave it that much up to chance?” He asked as he hopped back to give himself some breathing room between the two sisters. “That my plan would come down to a swordfight in a school?” He sneered at them both. “Do you think for one second this isn’t what I wanted?”

Morgan paused, and cocked her head to look at her father. “You are so full of shit, you know that? Of course it was, you said as much in Nightmare. You wanted us to get caught there, so you could do something here. Ergo, my being here with a can full of whoopass is a flaw in your plans. You even said it a second ago…” She laughed as he scowled at her, like he had suspected his posturing was unassailable. She also saw Titania maneuvering back and around, trying to get a line on Oberon’s side. “You could never fool me with your posing, father—I always saw too much of you.”

Oberon’s face fell with sorrow for a moment, and Morgan’s smirk turned sad as she remembered the filthy and defiant girl who had finally found a way for herself and her sister to Faerie. “Perhaps you did, my Aoife, and perhaps I wish you hadn’t. It is not posturing, child…I will change this battle, and end it. And if you stand against me, you will not live to see my mercy.”

Morgan shook her head, circling around so that to speak with her, Oberon would have to turn her head away from Titania by a few inches. “Your mercy is going to get too many people killed for it to be worth it. And destroy the promise we made when we brought the Border here, and be foresworn.” She lifted her chin. “My father taught me some things are worth dying for, and some things are not worth living with.”

Oberon’s eyes, which had been meeting hers so boldly, slipped away at her last words. The sorrow that had seeped in to his face finally made their way in to his eyes, and they could not meet hers for a heartbeat. He seemed about to say something, but it was in that heartbeat Tania struck.

Her sword lunged for his ribcage, and the force would have rent a lesser man in half if it had been driven home. But Oberon had not grown to the age he was by not suspecting traps, and while the sorrow never left his face he did not let his daughter kill him. He spun with the silken grace of a lunging snake, batting Tania’s sword aside with such force that it flew off and scattered across the stones. His left hand lashed out and grabbed Titania by the throat, lifting her off the ground.

“Shit!” Morgan cursed, and launched herself as well. Her sword struck out toward the arm that held Tania, and it bit in to the flesh before it was battered away. As she did she started to draw the needle-like goidte dubh from where she had concealed it. She lashed out with it toward him and he saw it coming, his own eyes going wide. He grunted and almost dropped his captive from the pain and the fear of seeing the slender weapon and suspecting what it was.

But the one time High King of the Faeries was not without his wits, and he lashed out with the arm holding Tania. She crashed in to Morgan heavily, the goidte dubh plunging into her leg as Morgan went sprawling. The magic did nothing, since it wasn’t tied to Tania at all, but it still hurt and she cried out in pain. Morgan cursed in pain as well as she rolled up to her feet.

“I told you I would change this fight, Aoife, and I will—and the world with it,” Oberon told her ominously as she stood up. He dropped his own sword and pulled something out from his cloak. Small and needle-like, it shone with a fiery inner light despite being pitch black in color. “I am not the only person who ever lost a sword, my daughter…and you are not the only one who knows how to make a goidte dubh.” He held it up in to the light for just a moment, long enough for Morgan’s eyes to open wide in abject terror, before he plunged it in to Tania’s shoulder so deep it all but disappeared.