10 The War Begins

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Chronicles of Cold Winter - Chapter 10 The final chapter of the Chronicles of Cold Winter. This one is twice as long as the other chapters. I hope you guys like. Any and all feedback is welcomed and appreciated.


"Hey, Vince. There is motion on the roof across the street. Go check it out, will ya?" The fat, elderly eagle walked up to the front security/reception desk his feathers sticking out in different directions, the scent of powdered sugar donuts stained his breath as did the residue on of the donuts did the front of his uniform.

Vinnie leaned forward. His tongue slithered out into the air. He instantly regretted catching the eagle's scent on his tongue. He wrinkled his nose. "Why me? You go." His scaly skin reflected the light making it look wet. His fangs dripped venom back into his mouth as he talked. "I checked out the last intruder. It was a newspaper."

Edward almost grinned. "Because I'm an old bird about to retire and you're young. You can climb up those stairs easier than I can. Besides, you're the keymaster tonight, remember. They were assigned to you." His lengthy belt strained as he sat down, his belly threatening to pop the belt open and pressing it against the arm rests of the chair. "Now do I have to put you on report again for not doing your job, or are you going to go?"

Vinnie's tongue slithered out into the air a couple times as he looked at Edward. The old bird was right. The master keys had been assigned to him for the night. 'I just had a pit of seven neonates, I don't need this aggravation, but I need this job.' He gave in to protect his paycheck for his family. He got up and made the trek out the front door. As he opened the door to step out, he was greeted by a grey furred bear walking up the few steps at the front and he held the door for him. Vinnie's tongue flicked out instinctively to let him sniff the air around the bear. The bear was wearing a large buttoned up over coat, a patch over his left eye, and a large hat. The bear had a gruff voice as he entered, "Thanks".

Crossing the street safely, he pulled out his keys. The master key opened the doors in both buildings so it was easy for him to get into through the front door. He stepped up to the lobby desk, leaned over the terminal behind the counter, and signed in using the universal passcode. This technique brought up the security system fast and he was able to check out the roof. There was a light colored fur up there still looking over the edge. Vinnie's tongue snaked out of his mouth again as he thought to himself, 'Great. Another jumper.' He shook his head. Tapping on the keyboard he unlocked the doorways up to the roof through the staircase. 'He had to get up there before the building closed. Why didn't the other guards notice him before they left?'

Walking to the side door of the lobby, he looked at the floor when he heard his boots sloshing. Looking down, he saw the puddle of water coming from under the janitor's closet door. He shook his head again thinking it was a water leak. 'This building has some lazy ass employees here.' He entered the emergency door and started climbing up.

At the top of the stairs he opened the last door, propped it open to keep it from closing behind him, and stepped onto the roof. "Hey, whitey. You're not allowed to be up here." He walked a few steps closer slowly not to cause the fur to get startled and jump. "This roof is off limits to unauthorized personnel. I'll need to see your pass." The other fur stood there, one foot paw on the side of the roof, the other resting on the roof. He turned his face to see Vaughn walking up behind him. Vinnie stopped to not threaten. The other one swung a paw out. 'He's going for a gun!', was the last thought went through Vinnie's mind before the bright flash of lightning hit him and froze every cell in his body instantly.

Minutes later the fur opened the bottom door of the staircase. He looked at the puddle on the floor from the janitor's closet. Opened that door and looked in. The automatic light turned on inside illuminating the two guards frozen solid inside. The fur grinned and his paw started to glow as it had on the rooftop and he swung at each of them, shattering them both as he had done to Vinnie. He's grin widened. "Oooooh I love this power." He looked at his paws as the glow dissipated, his long, sharp, black claws were retracting back into their normal position.

Baron's grin turned into a grimace as he snarled at the building across the street where he saw Gentry enter. His bare footpaws padded across the floor to the front door. Within reach of the door he stopped. His fur over his entire body sparked towards the door, freezing it and breaking it from the frame. It fell outward and crashed on the outside. The glass shattering all over.

As the glass settled in front of Baron, the echoes continued for longer than they should have. He looked at the front of the Omar building. The lights flickered, glass was shattering out from the lobby. A couple uniformed furs flew out landing in the street. Inside the entrance he could see a bear in an open overcoat run behind a pillar on the side to take cover from whatever was happening. The bear looked directly at Baron and seemed to recognize him. Gunfire resounding from deeper inside seemed to distract the bear.

He was curious, but his instincts stopped him. Almost whispering to himself he nodded, "Curiosity killed the cat. Stick to your plan and find the secret entrance. That commotion will keep them off your back for a bit at least." One vehicle sped by, a van that parked at the far corner of the building, but there were no other cars moving on the street. He ran across fast and down the side of the building.

The street light on this side of the building was blowing, leaving the entire side completely dark, with only a little moonlight shining down. But Baron could see clearly, his tiger eyes adjusted fast. He continued to whisper to himself, "Where is that door?" He felt around on the side of the wall, but he could not distinguish a door there. As he stepped down the way, he noticed that his footpaw as sitting on something uneven, and he could feel the slight different temperature in the slabs of concrete. It was a difference so miniscule that only a fur sensitive to temperature changes would notice it.

Bending down to study the sidewalk, he remembered that it wasn't a door as much as an elevator. "Ahhhhhh yes." He turned his menacing grin up towards the top of the building. "I'm coming for you, you evil kitty." He looked around at the uneven slab. It was well camouflaged, as just another part of the sidewalk. It was not clear how he was to open the door from the outside, if it were even possible. Every muscle in his body tensed up as his fur surged and flooded the area around him with bolts of blue lightning. He concentrated the bolts to the slap beneath him, freezing it. He didn't stop once it looked frozen, he kept pouring on the cold, ensuring the entire slap was going to be affected all the way through.

He felt it crack before he heard it. Somehow, he could feel it falling apart from the inside out. The first crack he could see emerged on top, splitting the concrete down the middle. It collapsed in and he fell straight down, twisting his body around to ensure he could land on is feet, he surged his fur in all directions to freeze anything or anyone that might be around. Landing safely three floors down under the street level on a metalwork catwalk. "Hmmm. A catwalk. How fitting for me to land on it."

"Oh, it wasn't by accident, Baron."

The voice caught Baron off guard. He looked at the next level down towards the origin of the voice. Seeing its owner he roared. "GENTRY! I've been looking for you." He jumped over the side of the cat walk landing a few feet in front of Gentry. The ocelot started back at him. "You have a lot to answer for."

"Yes. I know. But before I give you those answers, I have one thing to say."

"What?" The anger fell from his question the same as the saliva dripped from his fangs.

"Welcome home." Gentry tilted his head in an odd manner, one paw motioning down towards the pods all around them, his fingers making a strange pattern in the air.

Flashes of memory assaulted Baron's mind. He roared in pain as it all came flooding back. He gripped his head and fell to his knees. The accident in the lab, the experiments he had to endure here in this building, the brainwashing, the genetic manipulation, the fights with Kalt and the military, how he almost killed Kalt in the tuna cannery, but they were knocked unconscious instead when part of the processor exploded and landed on top of them. The memory of him waking first and seeing Gentry next to him as he was being wheeled away by medics. He remembered being told later that they planted evidence of his death where Kalt would find it when he woke up. The body of another white tiger was thrown in to the chopper close to where Baron could have fallen in when the explosion hit them.

The memories kept coming, nonstop, faster and faster until all went black.

Looking back only once at the car before he crossed the street, Tag adjusted his hat. Stepping across the curb, he focused on making sure he seemed normal and not out of place which was how he felt. The weapons under his coat were secure, but heavy. His only chance was to get all the way to the lobby desk before he was recognized and hope that there were not too many guards around.

Stepping up on the curb, across the public sidewalk, he was concerned when a large reptile in uniform stepped up to the other side of the door. Tag didn't stop and mounted the few steps leading up to the door. The tongue that flicked out of the reptilian's mouth let Tag know he was a snake. He saw the guard's badge, making out his name, "Vince Klortho". The guard held the door open and nodded at Tag, "Thanks."

Tag didn't stop, but casually walked towards the front desk. He could hear the door close behind him. Glancing back he could see that Vince was on the other side of the door walking away. On both sides of the lobby were four large columns. Between each was a bench and stemming out from the columns were couches and chairs all set up neatly in little circular shapes to give the appearance of an inviting sitting area to be friendly with others. However, none of the seats looked like they had ever been used. Reaching the front desk he looked at the rather large balding eagle behind the counter.

Edward squawked at Tag, "What do you want?"

"I got business on the 15th floor." Tag's voice was steady and he knew his expression was. His thoughts were focused. He knew he wouldn't give himself away unless they needed more than just a regular ID.

"All those businesses are closed at this hour." Edward grunted as he struggled to stand up, his girth pulled the chair off the floor a few inches before it plopped back down. "Are you sure you have business here?"

"Yes. The office manager is still waiting for me." He looked at his watch. "I'm running a little late, so if you could just buzz me in, I'd appreciate it."

"No can do. You have to fill out paperwork to go upstairs after hours. Your buddy up there should have told you that." Edward pulled up a clipboard with a paper form. He pulled out a pen from his front pocket and dropped it on the form. "Fill this out. While you do that, I need to see your ID."

With just a seemingly annoyed grunting huff, Tag reached into the pocket of his coat, pulled out a wallet, removed the ID he was to use, and handed it to the bulbous bird. Edward sat back down, the chair groaning from holding up the weight. He used the mouse and keyboard to input information into the system from the ID. Tag picked up the pen and filled out the top part of the form.

"That won't be necessary."

Without looking up, Tag set the pen down. "I see you recognized me, Gentry."

The ocelot walked up and leaned on the counter. "How are you, Tag? I'm surprised you tried such a silly disguise."

Tag removed the hat and the eye patch. "The fur color was the hard part, but we managed to figure a way to change it." Edward stood up again with the same troubles, this time unsheathing his gun and pressing the silent alarm to alert the other guards in the building. Tag continued, "I had hoped to get further up into the building before I was recognized."

Gentry laughed and smiled wide. "Well, I would have hoped your plan was that good. I'm a little disappointed that it wasn't." Faking looking around for someone else, "Though, I am surprised that you are alone." The doors around the lobby flung open as more guards from around the building came into the lobby. Gentry stood up grinning wide still focusing on Tag, "Ah, Agent Tag, your guides have arrived." His focus switched to the guards, "Ladies and gentlemen, please see to it that Agent Tag here makes it to the brig safely and without any trouble. Please provide him with anything that we can, within reason of course. He is an honored guest after all and should be taken care of with all due respect." Gentry bowed to Tag. When he straightened up he looked out the front lobby doors. "Oh, I see you are not as alone as we had thought."

The front lobby doors crashed in as Misty walked slowly through the entrance. The guards turned towards her. No breeze was around, yet her long hair flowed as if on the wind as did her shirt and mini skirt.

"Hmmmm, Edward, be a good bird and take care of this situation for me. I have another visitor coming to see me in a few minutes and I need to get ready." Gentry slowly turned, placing his paws behind his back, he walked towards the back of the lobby. He heard Edward squawk an order to Misty to stop and stay where she was. Gentry took hold of the knob on the rear door of the lobby and turned it. A loud crash of glass echoed through the lobby as he stepped through, he didn't even look back just sighed. "It's going to be costly to remodel the lobby after this."

Back in the lobby, Misty was floating close to seven feet off the ground with her arms crossed over her chest. Uncrossing her arms fast, a concussion wave from Misty knocked everyone to the floor except Tag and blew out the front windows of the building, launched the furniture against the walls, and cracked the columns. Tag used a ripcord to open his coat and let the blades he carried inside drop, but they did not hit the floor. They stopped midair. He stepped back from them and ran towards the front door of the lobby, taking refuge behind a column next to the front doors. He looked out and saw a white tiger standing outside a busted door at the building across the street. Before he could be sure he recognized him, gun fire erupted deeper in the lobby drawing his attention. When he looked back, all Tag saw was the tiger's tail disappearing out of sight on this side of the street.

One guard tried to bark orders, but his attention quickly become focused on the floating blades as they swirled around the room seemingly on their own above the guards keeping them pinned down to the ground. The guards fired at the blades trying to knock them down from the air. One bullet slung past Misty and caught her on her arm, grazing her enough to cut her open.

"You shouldn't have done that!" Misty's voice rang out echoing into the ether. The guns ripped themselves out of the guards paws and were imbedded into the walls around.

As they all stepped out of the van, the gunfire was easily recognized as it reverberated from the front lobby of the Omar build and back off the walls of the surrounding buildings. Dack and Dakota stepped up to look at the situation fast, and Ghosty followed fast but cautiously with a mixture of fear and curiosity. Davy stepped out of the side door in the van and watched them go as he pulled out a couple guns of his own from the van and readied them fast. He closed the door behind him taking one step towards where they were walking in before something caught his attention off to the side.

Turning to get a better look at the movement, he saw a tall white dog in a black tank top and black pants running up to the rear of the building. His heart pounded heavy and he smiled. Glancing at the others, he thought they would be safe, but he knew that the white dog was alone and might need help and he ran after the dog.

Tag looked back at misty as the orange and red aura formed around her. She hovered in the air, glowing and growling at anyone and everyone. "Oh dear Aslan. They have unleashed her anger. May you protect us all." The guards themselves lifted off the ground and crashed heavily into the ceiling before they came falling down with the force of gravity. The computers on the desk crumbled and ripped open. The couches and chairs peeled themselves of their leather exterior and the fluffy insides exploded into a floating debris field. Movement made Tag look towards the street again. His stoic façade falling a bit as he smiled wide at the raccoon and big bear cautiously approaching the front of the building. There was a younger bear cub with them as well carrying a couple thin bags draped on each of his sides.

Dack stepped in front of Ghosty and looked around for Davy. "Stay behind me, cub, until we can get you some place safe to work." Some glass and wood fell through the air out of the broken lobby windows, bouncing off of Dack easily.

Ghosty nodded at him, still scared of what he was involved in, but he was going to be brave and do the job his friend had asked him to do. He watched Dakota jump up into the air, spin a few times to avoid other flying debris, land on the ground, roll away, then spin around as he stood with his back against the same column Tag was against.

"Agent Tag. Ah see ya still have thu same rapport with the soldiers here as ya did at thu base." Dakota grinned at him. "Nice smile though. Ah'm happy ta see ya, too."

Tag shook his head, his smile fading fast. "You're an ass, Dakota. Did I ever tell you that?" He looked back into the middle of the lobby, the debris was landing and so was Misty. He looked back to Dack and nodded at him.

Nodding back, Dack stepped up to Tag and Dakota, Ghosty directly behind him, looking in awe as he saw Misty gently and slowly touch ground again near the guard station, the blank and lost look on her face was evident even to him. The big bear regarded her then Tag, "Is she going to be ok?"

Looking eye to eye with Dack, Tag shrugged. "I've never seen her lose control like this before." Glancing back at her he sighed, "No sudden movements and be ready to jump for cover." He stepped out from behind the column, holding his paws up and out to show that he was not threatening as he walked slowly up to Misty. The others followed slowly, letting Tag lead and remaining as non-threatening as possible.

An echo of her voice resounded through the air before she spoke. "He's here. The Baron of evil", she pointed to the floor, the eerie echo of her voice continued before and after each word, "Gentry just found him", she turned to face the back of the building, "The protector is at the back door and the lover is following." She tilted her head sideways as if looking around something, "A new player. The magician approaches as well. All are focused on this building. This building. So full of those that came before us, filled under and above with empty thoughts of long sleep."

Dack gave Dakota a look and the coon shrugged. "Tag? What is she talking about?"

Holding up a paw he waved the others to wait and be silent.

"The war. The war never really started." Her echoing voice seemed to close in and drown out the light all around. "It has been staved off for centuries, but now it's time. Time to reveal the truth. To let the furs know the truth."

The sound registered with Tag at the same moment the blood hit him in the face. He watched Misty fall to the ground, her shirt soaking up most of the blood spilling from her chest. Footsteps behind them came fast. Spinning around they could see the new wave of helmeted guards coming at them, this set in full swat body armor. Dakota grabbed Ghosty and pushed him down and behind the counter before he summersaulted backwards. More gun shots rang out. As he flipped, Dakota counted seven more guards. He launched throwing stars, three of the four hit the guns causing them to jam permanently, the fourth missed the gun as the fur moved and lodged itself through the breast plate of her body armor and half way into her breast knocking her back twisting to the ground.

Dack stood his ground as the bullets tore through his clothes but bouncing off his body. He regarded Tag and Misty behind him, "Get her to safety. I'll give you as much cover as I can."

Tag nodded as he picked her up off the ground moving her behind the counter. He saw Ghosty sitting under the desk typing away on a laptop connected to the building's network. "What are you doing, cub?"

"Already hacked into the security system. The silent alarm will alert another crew if not turned off in time." He tapped three keys dramatically. "And now that won't happen. It will assume that it was cancelled and the threat was neutralized. Now turning off the rest of the security system for the entire building, including the camera system."

"Wait!" Tag worked to stop Misty's bleeding. She was breathing heavy, she was awake and going into shock. "Take over the cameras and look for anything unusual." Ghosty nodded and started typing commands again. "Ok, Misty, this is an order...", She looked at him almost angrily, "... you have to stay awake and help me. You've already lost a lot of blood and need to concentrate to stop the bleeding for me. Ok? Use your power to keep the blood from flowing out." She nodded at him, closed her eyes and concentrated. The blood slowly stopped hemorrhaging from the bullet wound. She looked back up at him, unable to talk. "That's my girl. It won't be long and we'll get you some medical attention." He smiled at her but it faded fast. "No. It won't happen that way. Stop talking like that."

Ghosty stared at them for a moment. He watched her expression change moment to moment as though she was talking but she wasn't saying anything, but Tag was replying to her.

"I can see it better than you can, it's not that bad, and... Ok so you can see what I see and know what I'm thinking, but give me something here, girl. I'm trying."

The moment Dack had Misty behind the counter he took a fast run towards the door. The three in front of him watched the big bear steamrolling towards them and deflecting their bullets. Immediately scared they tried to retreat backwards only to trip over a broken couch in their way. Dack picked each one of them up and tossed them against the wall hard, knocking one out.

Dakota had closed the distance between him and the other guards still standing. Dodging a punch from one of them, he ran up the wall next to them, stood on it, jumped from it, grabbing the outstretched punch, flipping him over and onto the floor, landing with his knees on the floor. Scissoring his legs closed he popped the fur in the ears with his knees, cracking the helment in half. A second fur grabbed Dakota from behind in a headlock and pulled him from his downed teammate. The third one still standing was coming up fast, his fist recoiling to take a punch at Dakota.

Grabbing a baton from his belt, Dakota smacked it on his own leg. It extended its full three feet before it was brought up to dent the second's fur's helmet, releasing his grip on Dakota's neck a little. The agile coon did the splits and dropped to the ground, slipping from the guard's arm. He looked up to see the third fur's punch connect to the chest of the second fur. Dakota smiled as he flipped the baton up into the crotch of the third guard. The second staggered backwards as the third closed his legs and bent over. Twisting the baton in the air again, he knocked the front helmet shield off. The third fur was a young leopard. Dakota took pity on him but didn't hesitate one second as his free paw met the leopard's face with a punch that lifted him off the ground a little and back to the ground unconscious.

Rolling forward the little coon planted is free open paw on the ground and did a pawstand examining the status of the second fur he was fighting. The fur was just regaining balance and reaching for their own baton from their belt. Dakota nimbly spun his legs around and dropped them, pulling himself up to his footpaws standing in fighting stance in front of the oncoming fur's baton. He parried the baton strike with his own, stopping it just inches from his own head. The other fur pulled out mace and sprayed Dakota in the eyes. He pulled back and screamed.

Dack heard Dakota scream, but he was defending himself from two of the other furs he was dealing with to keep them from getting back to Tag and Misty behind the counter. He grabbed one by the helmet and lifted him off the ground, swinging him at the other in hopes to knock him back. The other guard he was fighting dogged it with seeming easy movements. The one in his paw grunted and groaned, his helmet strap keeping his muzzle closed. Dack released him at the height of the swing sending the uniformed fur into the air and down to land on the ground with a thud that took his breath away.

The last of Dack's opponents was fast. He was able to dodge Dack's punches and grabs, but he was not able to get by him to get to the desk. He just wanted to keep the big bear busy until more reinforcements arrived, though he was sure they should have been coming in any second now.

Dakota tried to clear his eyes. He felt something hit his face, not once, but three times. The hits were hard and solid and echoed of hard plastic. He could taste the blood spilling out in his muzzle and down his throat and knew some of it had splashed out. Crashing to the ground belly first, his paws pulled in under his chest, still almost blinded by whatever he had been sprayed with, Dakota played opossum. He lay there unmoving, his eyes closed and burning, breathing heavy but steady. He felt a paw grab him by the headfur to pick him up off the ground a little and a boot touch on his right side. He was sure he heard the other one step up on his left side. He had to chance it.

Lifting up fast he reverse head-butt the fur above him. He felt something crack and the fur behind him gave out a muffled yell as he fell backwards to the ground his legs on top of Dakota's. Dakota rolled over and flipped up, his vision blurry but clearing. The fur didn't their helmet on anymore. The coon could see the blood rushing out from under the furs paws that were covering their face. One really good punch to the fur's face and they were out cold on the ground. Dakota surveyed fast and saw a large bear, that he assumed was Dack, punching a fast fur that kept dodging his movements. If he could see better, he'd go over and help his big bear daddy, but he would just get in the way right now. He could tell where the counter was and he stepped behind there to see how things were there. Up close he could make out his friends better. "How goes everythin'?"

Tag shook his head. Dakota couldn't tell, but the tears were slowly coming out of the gruff bear's eyes.

"I apparently won't be making the celebration party when this is over, but it's scheduled to start fifteen minutes after." Misty tried to smile, but coughed instead, blood spilling out of her muzzle and a little slipping of the large chest wound she had.

"Misty...", Dakota took her paw in his, "Ah'm so sorry."

"It's fine, Mr. Ryngs. I'm happy I was here to serve you all." She smiled as best as she could. "But, you...", looking into Tag's eyes, "...you've been a father to me since as far back as I can remember. I want you to know that I'll miss you the most once I'm gone to Aslan."

"Hush now, Misty. You'll be happy forever soon and won't have this mean old bear ordering you around. Relax. Everything is going to be good soon." Tag wiped away a tear.

She smiled. "I don't know the last time you used my name, Tag." The tears came out fast and free from Tags eyes.

Ghosty didn't know her, but he couldn't help but cry. She was there drying in front of him and the he could see the family bond between her and the big bear kneeling over her.

"There is something you need to know about Gentry, Tag. He doesn't really know what he's doing. He's working for someone dangerous who wants to..." The loud thud against the counter made them all jump. The last guard, a cheeta, was standing above them leaning on the counter, his fangs bared and dripping with saliva. Without hesitation, Tag pulled a gun and aimed it at the cat before the cat fainted. Misty's blood dripped from Tags paws making it difficult to hold the gun steady in his shaking paws.

Dack appeared behind him picking him up. "I finally caught the fast bugger." He dropped him to the floor and walked around to kneel down near Misty and see how she was. "How is she?" Tag looked back down at her. Dakota's eyes were clear, but only for a moment. Ghosty looked at her in response to Dack's question.

Misty's eyes were open staring ahead at the wall, the blood she was holding in was gushing out of her chest. Her breathing had stopped and all tension in her body had left. She was out of pain and had no more stress to worry about. In her beliefs, she was now in the next world. The world of Aslan where she would be happy forever.

Standing up, wiping away the tears, Tag stood there looking at her. The blood still dripping from his paws and the gun getting sticky from it. There was a look in his eyes that Dack had never seen before. It scared him a little. Dakota took a jacket from the back of the chair and covered Misty with it out of respect.

Ghosty tugged on Dakota's pant leg a little and pointed to his computer and sniffled. "I think I found Davy. He's with someone." Dakota bent down to look at the screen.

"Tag, its Kalt. He's here." Dakota stood up.

Tag nodded.

The commotion was familiar to him. He ran up and watched as the door opened and closed ahead. People were running out of the building in a line, one security guard was filing people out to the street and yelling orders at them. It was impossible to see what type of fur he was because his helmet was down, but he was very authoritative in his instructions. Watching more he knew that would be a good way in. The door was open, relatively unguarded, and from the looks of it the staircase inside would take him up, hopefully to the top floors where he might find Gentry. It was a chance he might find more resistance inside, but he had to risk it. Going around front by himself would be suicide for sure. This would give him a fighting chance. He ran across the street, his fur standing on end and glowing slightly as he ran up to the sentry at the back door.

The guard pulled out a gun and aimed it at Kalt. A flip of Kalt's paw covered the gun in a bolt of blue electricity and froze the gun solid around the fur's paw. Kalt grabbed him by the breast plate and gave him a solid elbow hit to the face. The guard collapsed against the door he was holding open and didn't move. Kalt looked in at the few furs inside the door still. They were dressed in business attire. "If you want to live I suggest you all get to wherever you are supposed to go for safety." He stepped out of the way to let them out and pointed the direction the others he had seen going before.

"KALT!" The white dog spun around, bending at his knees, paws up and surging with power, ready to strike as someone ran around the corner of the building. "KALT! It's me. Davy."

Kalt lowered his paws and opened his arms and gave Davy a big hug. Davy hugged the big dog tight. It was that moment that he knew he was happy to see Kalt but not loving that he was in his arms. His love for him was there but not the same as before. He loved him but not in love. He pulled away a little and stared into Kalt's eyes. Kalt was smiling at him and happy to see him, but the happy turned to concern. "You ok, Davy?"

"Ya. I'm fine, Kalt. I'm just really glad I saw you. Dakota and Dack are up front taking care of something there. Want to go join them?"

The white dog thought about it for a moment. "No. Dack and Dakota can protect themselves and any innocents they run across. I'm heading in this way. I need to get to Gentry and put a stop to whatever he has going on."

"Then I'm going with you." Davy cocked his gun in a show of bravado.

Not wanting to disrespect him, Kalt nodded at him, "Ok. Follow me." Kalt ran inside and up the stairs flight by flight with Davy following. On the fifteenth floor, the level was blocked by a door with an electronic combo lock. Kalt moved Davy back, lifted his surging paws. Before he could do anything, the door unlocked and opened slightly.

A radio on Davy's uniform squawked.

"Hey, Davy. Ah see ya found our missing dog. Give him a good slap from me, will ya?" Davy smiled big at the sound of Dakota's voice over the radio. Kalt grinned only slightly. His mind was on the job.

"Dakota...", Davy answered back, "... can you tell me where this staircase goes?"

"No he can't, hon. But I can." Kalt gave the radio a weird look as Ghosty's voice came from it. Davy could hear some sniffles as he talked. "It leads up to level 30. You can only get to the upper floors by the elevator from there. I can't find an emergency exit or another way in on the blueprints."

Davy noticed Kalt's questioning look and waved a paw at him. "Is the elevator coded or anything?"

"Yes, but I will have that taken care of before you're there." His voice choked up a little bit as he spoke.

"Ghosty? Is everything ok?" Davy could feel that he was genuinely worried for the bear cub.

"This is Dakota again." Dakota paused for a moment. "Misty is down. Permanently." The radio went silent.

Davy and Kalt stared into each other's eyes, their frowns growing wider and down. Davy searched for something to say. Before he found any words to say, Kalt threw his head back and howled loud, the howl echoing all the way down to the bottom of the stairs. He faced down the stairs as lightning erupted from his chest and crashed downwards repeatedly, shocking everything it touched. Davy stepped back to the wall and held up a paw in front of his face instinctively. When it all stopped, his tanktop was burned and smoking, parts of it melted to itself. He tore it off and threw it to the ground.

He turned to the scared bunny, "WE WILL AVENGER HER! GENTRY WILL PAY!" He opened the door and stepped quickly through it on his way up the rest of the stairs to floor 30.

Breathing heavy Davy tried to release the tension he had from being so frightened. He stepped through the doorway and could only see Kalt's shadow as it sped up the stairs. His thoughts were about how Misty was gone and how he didn't want to lose anyone else tonight. "Damn it, Kalt! WAIT FOR ME!", he yelled up the stairs in hopes that it might do some good, but he didn't expect it to. Kalt was now angry and when he became this emotional, reason and logic sometimes didn't matter.

Davy mounted the stairs as fast as his bunny legs would take him. He knew he was the faster of the two and he'd catch up easily, but he had never seen Kalt this upset before. So much had happened to the big dog in such a short period of time and now it was all coming out. Davy was scared he would lose his friend completely to rage and he would do something drastic that he would never recover from. He never knew the white dog to be unfair or to cause undue harm if he could avoid it, but he never knew him to have just one single focus for all that rage before. This was new. This was primal. This was scary.

Before Davy knew it, he caught up with Kalt. Shortly after that, they were at floor 30. As before, the door had a combo lock, but it was already hanging open. They assumed that Ghosty had unlocked it for them. Stepping through, they looked around as they took a moment to catch their breath. It was a typical office area full of desks, chairs, and computer. On the far wall was a set of four elevators. They crossed the floor fast to the elevators. The first three had normal up and down buttons. The fourth had a key card reader. Kalt looked at Davy and pointed it out.

Grabbing the radio again, Davy pressed the button, "Ghosty? Dakota? Anyone there?"

"Ya. We're here. Ghosty sees where ya are, but he says the code is taking a bit longer than expected. Give him a moment." Dakota kept the line open. In the background they could hear the cub talking to himself and they recognized some computer terms, but could not understand what he was saying. "By thu way. Tag and Dack are on their way ta ya." Davy and Kalt nodded as if to say they understood. "Lastly, Ghosty has said that the building seems ta be completely empty. It's as if they were expecting something ta go wrong tonight."

A look passed between Davy and Kalt.

"AH HA!", Ghosty's voice came over the radio just a moment before the elevator doors opened. They stepped and looked at the dials inside and the doors began to close. "You need to go to the top floor." Static started to feed through the radio heavily. "There are no camera feeds from here on out so you're on your...", the radio cut out completely as the doors closed.

Davy sighed heavy taking the opportunity to relax a bit to properly prepare himself for the possible fight to come. He examined Kalt. It was not the first time he saw the white dog shirtless or smelled his scent, but it didn't hit him like it had before. Kalt's chubby belly heaved in and out as he breathed heavy from the exertion, anger, and excitement. He knew talking to him would just enrage the dog more.

Kalt pushed the button repeatedly a few more times. "Come on. Stupid slow elevator." The buttons lit up one at a time. The elevator seemed to be moving well, but the floor indicators were slow to change.

'Ya. He's not going to be willing to talk and anything I say will just make it all worse and make him defensive towards me as well.' Davy sighed to himself. He noticed the white furred ears on the fur next to him turn towards him taking in all his sounds. He lifted the gun in his paws and checked it over yet again quickly to be sure that there was nothing to go wrong with it.

The elevator stopped and the door opened.

The elevator stopped at the twentieth floor and opened. Tag and Dack looked at the elevator indicator. Tag pulled out his radio from his pocket, "Dakota? What's happened to the elevator?"

"Ghosty is working on it, Tag. He says someone has cut the power ta the elevator generators after the doors opened." There was a pause. "He says the power cables ta the elevators are frozen. Literally frozen."

"Baron."

"WHAT?", Dack and Dakota both asked at the same time.

"I thought I saw him earlier outside the building, but I was not sure it was him." The elevator car shook. A sound rebounded through the elevator shaft from above the car. Dack and Tag quickly step out of the car. The top ceiling of the car caved in as two heavily iced cables fell inside. Another snapping sound came from above at the same moment the car dropped from sight down the flights below. When it hit, the sound of the crashed made a loud thoom that made the two bears wince. Flashes of light and frost filled the open shaft from above them. The sound of crackling lightning filled the air and their fur started to stand on end a little.

Dack knocked the smaller bear next to him back onto the office floor and turned around. It was the first time Tag had seen the expression of pain on the big bear's face. The area behind him sparked and crackled as ice formed around him in a solid block, from his back to his front.

A satisfied sigh came from behind him as Baron stepped to the side. "Now that is my best work so far." He looked at it like he was studying a priceless painting. "I wish I had a picture of this. The big invincible bear. Frozen solid." He smiled big and turned his gaze to Tag laying on the floor. "What do you think?"

"I think you are still a sick bastard, Baron." Tag tried to sit up a little.

The white tiger with the blue stripes jumped like a jester towards Tag and knelt down really close to him, his fur glowing slightly and sparking a bit. "Sick? I feel just fine. My mind has been opened and I now know the truth, Tag." He leaned in next to the bear's ear to whisper, "Do you want to know what it is?"

"Yes." It was probably going to be nothing important, but Tag had to chance that he was just cocky enough to let something slip. "Tell me this truth you know."

Continuing the whisper, he brought up his paw in a fist, it surging with power. "Just this." He jumped away from Tag, swinging his fist back far and bringing it to the middle of the frozen Dack as he had many times to other furs. Parts cracked off and fell in all directions.

"GACK", was all Baron could say as the big bear grabbed him by the neck and picked him up off the ground.

"That wasn't a nice thing to do, you sod."

Baron grabbed on to the wrist of the paw around his neck, shocking and freezing it.

"ARGH!", the pain was hitting Dack again. He flipped Baron into the air and tossed him hard to the back of the elevator shaft. Baron's body erupted in a large bolt of blue lightning and flowed up the conduits along the shaft.

Dack turned to Tag. He broke off the ice from his arm and reached down to Tag. "Do you think he's gone for good this time?"

Tag shook his head. "Doesn't matter to us right now unless he comes back. We still need to get up twenty more floors." Tag looked down the shaft. It was frozen the entire way down, though he didn't know if that had just happened as Baron fell or if it had happened when Baron arrived. "If we see him again alive, we'll know then." He motioned for Dack to follow him as he ran towards the emergency staircase door.

The floor was lit, but the light just seemed to disappear between the round nodules along the walls. It was bright enough to see so Davy and Kalt stepped out and looked around.

"Welcome to my home, Kalt, Davy. I'm happy to have you here." Gentry sat in a large rounded chair that was bigger than him up on another level up. He was calm, one paw holding a glass of wine and the other one was petting what looked like a round ball of white fur in his lap.

Kalt growled his fur surged in the air. "GENTRY!" Showing all the rage inside him, he surveyed the area to find the fastest way to get to the ocelot. "You will answer for your crimes! NOW!" To the left was one flight of stairs along that wall, up to the catwalk then to the other side to the right stairs then back along to the side of the room Gentry was sitting. There was no way Kalt could jump up from one place to the other so he'd have to go the distance. His pace was fast but deliberate, like a predator hunting its prey. There seemed to be no place for Gentry to go.

"Answer? Sure. But do you know the right questions to ask, doggie?" He dropped the white feral cat on the floor. It scampered around behind the chair and disappeared somewhere into the wall. "See, the answers have always been there inside you, mutt. But what you really don't know are the questions you need to be asking."

Kalt didn't talk back. He kept on his trek, mounting the first set of stairs to the midlevel catwalk.

Davy slowly followed Kalt and looked around at the surrounding area more than Kalt was. Inspecting one of the round nodules on the wall he noticed that it pulls out. It only took a second to recognize it as one of the cylinders he found Baron in on the plane. It was cold and there was someone inside. He wiped some of the condensation and frost off the window of the cylinder so he could see inside better. What he saw in there was strange to him. From what he could see it was a semi-hairless monkey. But the face didn't fit the structure of any primate he had seen before.

"Like, why were they interested in you at the base and all those others that were like you? It's a pity none of them were as stable as you, though. We would have had a great army if they had been. Next to none in fact. Hmmmm?", Gentry stayed calm and didn't seem to be bothered that Kalt was coming for him, but his attention was drawn to Davy. "Ah, so curiosity got the bunny not the dog or cat this time. I see you found one of the humans."

Davy's eyes widened as he stared at the human male, or what he assumed was male, in the tube. He stepped back slightly suddenly fearful of the sleeping animal in the cylinder. Kalt stopped and looked back at the cylinder. He couldn't see inside from that angle to see the human himself, but he saw Davy's reaction and he knew it must be true. He studied the wall closer. There were so many nodules sticking out of the wall and each one of them could each hold a living creature, human or not. He looked at Gentry and growled again.

"Ahhh you understand, mutt." Gentry pulls out a small box with a red cap on the top. Removing the cap revealed a simple red button. "See, I press this small button and every one of the humans in the tubes will vaporize." He pulled out a smaller device from the same pocket. "Just like this." He pressed a button on the second device. The cylinder in the top high corner of the wall popped out and sparked. A horrid scream came from the creature inside. Seconds later the top of the cylinder fell almost a thirty feet to the floor and the creature inside fell out into a pile of burnt flesh and bone still screaming as it landed. "A simple demonstration that I can't repeat unless I do it to all of them."

Kalt grinned. "You won't do that. You need the so called humans in there for some plan of yours. You've already played your trump card, Gentry, and you have failed."

Gentry put a paw to his face and leaned forward obviously feigning surprise. "Oh. Really? Have I been that stupid? Oh my." He leaned back and laughed out heavy and hearty. The laughter continued under his speech, "Oh, doggie. You must think I'm a complete idiot. You see... unlike you...", a claw extended from a finger he pointed at Kalt, "... I don't think with my heart. I use my head." His laughter subsided. "This bunch of humans is just 96 of the total 3000 that I have in this building. The others are under the foundation and in the floors below this one." He held up the box again. "So come get me if you want. But the closer you get, the closer I want to press this button and kill all 95 humans left on this level. And the longer I hold the button down, the more the signal will reach the other floors and repeat the same action. Do you want the deaths of so many living creatures on your mind."

The elevator dinged and the doors opened. Everyone watched as the white tiger stepped off the elevator. "Well, if it isn't my exboyfriend." Kalt's heart broke as it had years before. It was Baron. As true as anything else, Baron stood there at the elevator, his fur all white and blue as Kalt had last seen him when they were bitter enemies. Baron held out his paws. "What? Don't I get a hug? Even just for old times sake? Maybe you might let me bend you over and get this..", he rubbed his crotch, "... inside you one more time?"

Kalt couldn't say anything. He was lost. He wanted to run to Baron and hug him yes. But he knew he couldn't be trusted. He wanted to kiss him to hold him to find a way to help him. But at the tuna cannery, he realized that there was no redemption for Baron and that the fur he once loved and cared for was gone. For a brief moment he remembered Baron as he looked and acted when they first met all those years ago before college. He pushed the thought aside as fast as it had come to him.

"I'll come up to you and see if closing the distance will help." Baron's body surged with power. A bolt of blue lightning connected between the level he was on and the midlevel catwalk. His body lifted up and followed the arc taking him to the side of the cat walk. He lifted one leg over the rail then brought the other one with him. The bolt disappeared. "A new trick I learned recently thanks to my maker." He bowed towards Gentry.

Turning to gaze behind him, Kalt saw Gentry quietly clapping his paws together. He stood up and walked behind the chair he was in. "Uh, kitty? You won't be long I hope. We still have work to do." He walked through the wall as if it wasn't there.

Kalt spun around and blocked a punch to his face. He was ready for a sneak attack.

"Well, you still have some good moves, baby."

"I'M NOT YOUR BABY!" Kalt kicked Baron in the belly, pushing him back a few feet.

Baron flipped his paws out next to his sides, his claws popping out as he did. The grin in his face caused him to drool on the floor. "I'm going to get inside of you again one way or another. By cock, fang, or claw. It's your choice, baby. Grawrrrrr" He sprang forward growling in the air, his claws and fangs bared for blood.

Kalt crouched and surged. His idea from his encounter by the beach worked once, it might work again. He sparked into the air, a wall of ice formed between him and Baron. Baron crashed into it and clawed at the wall trying to slice his way through. Kalt stood and pushed towards the wall with his paws, the lightning from him uninterrupted.

Baron jumped back, pulled his glowing paw back and swung at the wall shattering it into tiny pieces. Kalt fell back as if hit by a cold wall of force. Baron stood up, letting his power subside. He was the first to hear the clack of the tumbler in the gun. He leaned back to avoid the bullet but it still caught him across his chest giving him a minor flesh wound.

Kalt looked at Davy who was still staring through the scope getting ready to fire again. Switching his focus to Baron, he could see that Baron was powering up to freeze Davy. Kalt only had one choice. He flipped his right paw towards Davy and blasted at him. The lightning from Kalt hit him and knocked him back before Baron's bolt hit him. The bolt hit the wall behind where Davy had been and created a block of ice inches thick. With his left paw, Kalt sent a freezing bolt at the catwalk and up to the next level creating a thin strong bridge, and used his right paw to send a freezing bolt towards Baron. He jumped to his footpaws as the blast hit Baron square in the face pushing him down to the catwalk on his back. Looking over at Davy he could tell that he was ok. He climbed onto the bridge he created and up to the next level.

Stopping to stare at Baron as he stood he smiled purposely. "What's the matter, kitty? Did the little doggy make you not land on your footpaws?" He laughed as Baron turned to him snarling. "Seems you don't have what it takes to take down this doggie. Do you, kitty? I mean, if you did, you wouldn't be down there and I up here going after your boss." Kalt ran down the level towards where Gentry had disappeared. "But I guess you're not up to the challenge, little kitty cat."

Enraged by the taunting Baron jumped onto the bridge and up to the next level.

Kalt stopped at the chair to taunt some more. "Ohhh maybe the little kitty cat has some spunk after all? Hmmm maybe not." Kalt's thoughts were of keeping Baron focused on him as he took him away from Davy. He couldn't protect Davy from Baron's blasts forever. At least one was going to get to the bunny and kill him. He had to get him out of the area and alone where they both could fight and not hurt anyone else. Just like the cannery. But this time, it really would end. One or neither would survive.

Kalt wagged his tail as he edged back slowly. It went through the wall like Gentry did. It wasn't real. As Baron came closer, Kalt ran through the wall and saw a spiral staircase leading up to a door. He ran up it, his boots clanking on every step. Baron clanked on the steps as well when he started up only a quarter of the stairs behind Kalt.

Davy wished Kalt luck, but his own thoughts were of a geeky cub downstairs, how he almost didn't have the chance to get to know him better, and how much he just wanted to get back to him and hug him tight while telling him how he felt. But he had a job to do and that had to come first. He watched as the white furs disappeared into the wall behind the chair and he heard clanking of footpaws on metal. He looked at the walls of humans in this room and thought about all the ones Gentry said were down below as well. He looked at the one that Gentry had killed. They were not safe while the ocelot had any control over their lives.

The door at the top of the staircase was unlocked and Kalt opened it, finding himself on the roof. Gentry sitting on the side. "Ah You found your way up here. Good. Where's my kitty?" Baron jumped through the door catching Kalt firmly in the back and tackling him. One of his paws wrapped around Kalt's arm and dug their claws into the front of his shoulder. Kalt howled as he was punctured and tackled to the ground. Baron slammed Kalt's head into the roof hard sending him into unconsciousness.

"That's my good kitty. Now put him in chamber one and you get into chamber two." He pointed to the two large glass enclosures off to the side of the roof at the base of the antenna spire. Baron picked Kalt up, not able to carry his weight easily so he stumbled a couple times but he made it to the chamber and locked him inside before Kalt regained his senses. Baron walked to the other chamber and closed it behind him.

Kalt shook his head as he came to. Standing up he tried to open the door but it wouldn't budge. He pounded on the glass but couldn't break it. He surged his fur to blast at it, but the surge quickly grew out of control and blasted up towards the top of the chamber. He saw the same thing happening to Baron. Their power was being pulled out of them somehow.

Gentry flipped a few switches and twisted a dial on the control panel for the chambers. The energy being pulled out of them was being shuttled into the tower above them and it started sending out visible waves of energy into the dark night sky. Kalt looked out at Gentry who was smiling wide. For a moment he could swear that Gentry was standing in front of a coyote, but after he blinked he saw that Gentry stood alone.

Down below, inside the building, Valdreg was looking around at the damage and death that has occurred by Kalt and his friends. A flash of an image of this happening to El entered his head. He turned to leave the building to go home to protect the fur he loved, when he was stopped for a moment. As the energy flowed above him, he felt its power and heard its message.

In the midwest of the Americas, Savver, a lion-wolf hybrid, stood back to back with Xids, a bear-wolf hybrid. Savver's large lower fangs glistened in the moonlight around his muzzle as his blue headfur and Xids' light brown headfur flipped wildly in the wind as they swung their swords through the shadows creeping at them from the underworld trying to take them down with them. As the waves of energy flowed above them, they felt its power and heard its message.

In the southern area of what was once called Florida, Gray, a red wolf-husky hybrid, practiced his fire control secretly in the woods behind the military base where he was stationed. Though the wind was still around him, the stripe of red fur on his head, down his back, across the top of his tail was seemingly on fire, his dark gray fur laying perfectly still as the red whiffed on his body. His red eyes shined as two beacons in the dark. As the waves of energy flowed above him, he felt its power and heard its message.

In Mexico, Pierre, the puma that saved Davy's life on the plane, a water tentacle flowing around him, and he was wondering why and how he could control it as he wanted. He felt alone yet connected to something bigger. As the waves of energy flowed above him, he felt its power and heard its message.

Deep under the water of the Atlantic Ocean, Talia, a shark, swims lazily out of the grotto, her finned paws making her agile and fast in the water as she swam. It was surprising to her that no feral sea creatures were around. It was as if they all fled. She felt the water shiver all around her and the ocean floor opened. The water rushed in sucking her down into the fissure. She let her spear go and grasped at the ocean floor as the rushing water pulled her into it. She fell through and rode the water fall down. As the ocean continued to spill in above her, she rolled up on a beach. She looked far above her as the fissure closed sealing the leak. She looked across a lush grassy field and up towards a temple made of marble and stone. In front of her was a stone carving that matched the symbol of the necklace she wore around her neck. She touched the symbol. At that moment, the waves of energy flowed above her, she felt its power and heard its message.

Similar occurrences happened hundreds of times all over the world. As the energy made its way from one point to the opposite point of the world, it awakened all the demigods and the mages to who whey were and that the war of the gods had begun and they would be the pawns on this world. As the waves of energy flowed above each one, they knew its power and heard its message.

On the roof, Kalt and Baron felt the energy flowing above them, they felt its power and heard its message. Centuries ago, the old gods had strengthened the borders between the pantheons trying to keep the new one from gaining power. But tonight those borders were destroyed. The pantheons could no longer keep the war of the gods away and the new faction had succeeded in bringing it to life, after centuries of trying. It took Kalt and Baron's power to bring it out. One, the son of a natural witch and a powerful god, and the other, created from the first.

"I'M IN! I'M IN! I knew there was a connection somewhere." Ghosty patted himself on his shoulder. He found a firewalled and concealed virtual backdoor into the upper mainframe. "Whoever made this was good. Almost magical." He checked through the system thoroughly. "It's not so much programmed, but forged." As he kept working through the system, he was able to feel his way through it more than think his way. The code he was seeing was very complex, but it seemed to flow in and out of him. He could feel it in his head coming through his paws.

Dakota stepped back from Ghosty. Looking down at the young bear cub, the white patch on the left side of his face giving off a purplish glow. "Ghosty? Are ya ok?"

Turning his head to look at Dakota slowly, almost robotic in nature, his paws typing away at the keys as if he was still looking at the keyboard, "Yes. All is fine." His voice vibrating in his throat giving off a metallic sound. "Just taking this programming in to understand it. It's very intricate. Almost has a life of its own. It even has its own agenda."

"Its own agenda?"

"Yes." Turning his head towards the laptop screen he continued his work, "It wants to show me something, and it needs my help."

"Ghosty, ya need ta stop before this goes ta far." Dakota bent down and reached for the cub's paws, but something grabbed him by the shoulder and tossed him back against the wall. Catching his breath he could tell he was unharmed, but Ghosty kept working.

"Can't stop. Must finish it. Must bring them out. Must complete it. The real war is here and we will need help." He paused and smiled. "I'm here, Love. All is fine. I'll take over now." Ghostly tapped out one word on the keyboard slowly and deliberately before he robotically looked to Dakota again. "Fenris."

Back upstairs, Davy looked over the cylinder that housed the human Gentry had killed trying to learn anything he could from it. "Damn. I wish Ghosty was here, he might understand this."

From no speaker that Davy could see, he heard Ghosty's voice resound across the floor, "I'm here, Love. All is fine. I'll take over now."

"Ghosty?"

"Fenris"

The cylinders in the wall of every room in the building slid slowly and steadily. Each stopping half way out to keep them from falling down. The thawing and awaking process had started. Davy looked in the tube of one of the humans inside as they started to stir inside, the fluid around them draining away. They choked and sputtered the fluid out of their lungs and wiped it from their eyes. Moments later, as they looked out at Davy they shook their head and pulled away from that side of the tube.

Davy looked at another one and another. Each person inside was going through similar reactions to waking up and seeing him. He stepped back as the first tubes opened up and the humans inside sat up. "Oh boy. So much for humans just being myth."

The humans high above looked down to try and see how to get down, but they sat there trying to wake up. One at the bottom stepped out of their tube on shaky legs. Davy stepped up to keep them from falling down and steady them. They looked at him and put their hand up to his face. His paw grabbed it and held on to it gently. "Whoever you are, everything is ok."

"Pre... Pres.. President of...", the human was trying to speak, but having some difficulty getting his words out.

Just take a seat here and relax." He helped the male sit down on the floor against the wall. He turned to look when he heard frightened screams come from some of the other humans. The empty cylinder slid completely in to the wall. The next one in line slowly moved sideways to take its place, followed by the others next to it. Studying the wall more, Davy could see that they were all on a track. As one human evacuates their own tube down below it will be removed and the others will be brought down to fill in the open space. Just looking at the whole wall and finally seeing how detailed it was made Davy step back in awe. It was genius. His only thought was that it wasn't built, but forged.

Then the thought hit him. The other humans are probably waking up as well. The building was going to be full with confused, and if the human tales were true, violent people very fast. They could have a major fight on their paws if the authorities were not brought in soon.

The elevator door opened. Two bears stepped out and looked around at everything. Davy stepped up to the shorter one, "Agent, Tag. We have a situation here." Tag nodded as he stared at the humans.

Gentry laughed. And so the war begins, and in the end, I'm going to be king.

Baron fell to his knees in the chamber he was in, his strength being pulled out of him. Kalt's knees were beginning to falter as well. He looked at the power around him as it was drawn out of him in steady waves. All over his body, his fur was surging, glowing, and sparking. All but his paws.

Raising his paws, he looked at them. They were not affected. The power drain was down his arms but stopped at the wrist cuffs he was wearing. He looked at them closely. He had not seen it before, but there were runes written around the symbol on the cuffs in a spiraling circle. The plain cuff had them as well even though there was no symbol on it. The more he looked at them, the more they stood out. He stared at them as his power drained more and more and he knew he was going to pass out soon from exhaustion. He didn't know how to read runes, but they felt important.

Loyalty honor sacrifice - beware to those that fight the kalt vetur

He didn't understand their meaning. Two words. Two words stuck out at him. They were familiar. They were something he felt deep inside. Something that was him.

Kalt vetur

It was his name. Kalt Vetur. Then it came to him. The rest of the phrase fell in to place and he said it out loud, his voice small and weakened.

Thunder cracked across the sky.

A rush of energy filled Kalt as he sat up, his voice gaining some more strength and he repeated the phrase, "Loyalty, honor, sacrifice - beware to those that fight the cold winter."

Thunder cracked again, streams of lightning filled the clouds above.

Another rush of strength filled Kalt and he stood up. He looked out at Gentry who was staring at his gages, not understanding why Kalt's energy was returning to him and his machines were losing power. He repeated the phrase, correctly this time. "LOYALTY HONOR SACRIFICE - BEWARE THOSE THAT FIGHT THE KALT VETUR!"

The bolt of lightning struck without warning on the rooftop. Gentry was thrown back into another fur that was on the roof he had not seen. Both were knocked through the doorway and fell down the spiral stairs. Gentry was the first to his feet. He looked at the coyote standing up next to him, but shook his head and ran up the stairs as fast as his legs would take him.

It was so bright on the roof as the lightning continued to stream down, Gentry had to shield his eyes from the light. It was a continuous bolt from the sky to directly above Kalt where it split in two bolts that emptied into the two cuffs on Kalt's wrists. The sound of a continuous thunder strike echoed through the entire building, shaking everything and everyone.

Kalt himself was floating entire footpaws above the roof in the air, held up by an unseen force, his fur shining brighter than ever before. A cold wind bringing in snow heavily into the city, centered on the roof of the Omar building.

Baron was standing up next to Gentry, shielding his own eyes from the bright light. The coyote came out of the doorway. He put his paw on Gentry's shoulder. Gentry turned around to regard the fur. He leaned in to speak in the ear of the coyote in the lab coat and he raised his voice loud, "The snow blows white on the roof tonight, Doctor Nusiea, I'm glad you are here, but we need to be evacuating I believe. Not a footprint of me to be seen."

The coyote nodded and stepped out of the way to let Gentry go down the stairs first. Before he left, the ocelot looked at Baron pointed at him then at Kalt and nodded. Baron understood. The door closed behind him and he stood there on the roof looking up at the floating dog above him. It was to be him or Kalt, but only one or neither would survive.

Gentry stepped down to the bottom of the stairs as Tag walked through the fake wall. "Agent Tag. Well, you are much harder to kill than I remember."

Pulling a gun, the gruff sounding bear aimed it at the ocelot. "At this range, Gentry, I won't miss and you won't survive. Don't make me pull the trigger."

"Tisk tisk tisk, Tag. You know I'm not a fighter." He grinned very wide and put his paws behind his back.

Tag didn't flinch. "Get up facing against the wall. I'm going to cuff you and we'll let the authorities decide what's going to happen to you."

"Now now, you silly ol' bear. You know that I'm the authority in this city. I control it all." His grin turned up even farther in a grin Tag had never seen before. "I even control who lives and dies sometimes." A singular movement of Gentry to the left, he spun clockwise, his paw pulling a dagger out from its hidden scabbard under his shirt. He flung it at Tag. Tag pulled the trigger and the bullet grazed Gentry's arm.

"NOOOOO!" Doctor Nusiea screamed from behind Gentry as he saw the dagger hit its target. "You idiot. You're impetuous and unthinking. He was the key to winning the war. Now my plans will have to be altered."

Holding his hurt arm, Gentry snarled at the coyote, "Your plans? Doctor Nusiea, I know you are intelligent, but you work for me."

"No, you puppet. You've worked for me all along." He dropped the lab coat on the ground. "And up until a bit ago, you never even knew I existed." Before Gentry could say anything else, Coyote turned to mist and entered into Gentry's nose and flowed inside him.

Dack came through the fake wall. Gentry turned to look at him. The big bear saw the knife hilt deep inside Tag's forehead. His close friend of years was dead. His rage grew as did his weight. The floor below cracked as he took each step towards Gentry.

Gentry wanted to run. He wanted to say something. He wanted to move, but he couldn't. He stood there until Dack was right on top of him, fist pulled back ready to punch him into the next century. It was then that Gentry felt his body moving, but not the way he wanted it to. As Dack's full force punch was inches away from connecting, Gentry felt the power of a god flow through him. He moved out of the fist's path, grabbed Dack by the shirt, kicked his footpaw out from under him and fell backwards pulling Dack down as well.

The big bear, having increased his density dramatically at the start of his charge was near to half a ton in weight. The direction Gentry had pulled him was dropping him down on top of the ocelot without any way for either of them to stop it. Gentry felt the back of his lungs open and the mist inside his body puncture a hole in his back to evacuate before they touched the floor. The godlike speed and strength were gone. In the last second before the extremely heavy bear landed on him, one more thought from the god came to Gentry's mind. "You are no longer part of my plans and I don't need you getting in the way."

The lightning stopped coming down and the thunder disappeared. Only the wind and the crackling of the power around Kalt even made a sound as it held him in the air. Kalt looked down at Baron. "BECAUSE OF YOU I'VE BEEN LIVING IN A KINGDOM OF ISOLATION!"

"ISOLATION? HA! I'M THE KING BECAUSE OF WHAT'S HAPPENED!"

The wind howled and swirled around them as a storm. Kalt couldn't keep it in, though the heavens knew he was trying.

"I've had to keep everything hidden, not letting anyone in. Let letting them see. Being the good boy I had to be. Concealing and not feeling. Not letting them know. Well, now everyone knows."

"What do you care what they are going to say? Let the war rage on. I've distanced myself from everything and it's all so small. I have no fears now, you can't get to me at all! I can see what I can do.", he pointed to Kalt and the power he could feel emanating from inside him, "No limits. We've broken through. There is no right, no wrong. No rules for us. We're free." Baron jumped at Kalt, claws extended and fangs bared.

Kalt grabbed Baron by the wrists as they both fell to the roof, Baron on top. He was able to keep the tiger's fangs from making contact. They both growled and snarled at each other. Kalt's claws, though not as long or sharp as the tiger's, were still weapons to be watched. They rolled around on the roof trying to claw and bite each other, their legs attempting to kick the other off, but each were well balanced and knew the other's fighting style. Bolts of lightning erupted out from the brawling duo. Each bolt shocking or freezing its contact point. The cold wind picked up as the blizzard conditions worsened on the rooftop. At times, each got a good claw strike on the other. Each lost fur and some flesh. Their fur coated in each other's blood. It was then that Kalt could feel it. It was coming for him. He managed to get a foothold on Baron's stomach and push him away.

It was only a moment later that another lightning bolt struck Kalt and pulled him off the roof to float in the air. He's thoughts were not of how it was all happening, but of what he was to do next. 'Here I stand and here I'll stay while this storm rages on. I can feel my power through the air and down into the ground.' His fur surged brighter again. He could feel the waves of lightning pouring through him.

The icy fractals formed all round his body as armor crystalized round the cuffs to his paws, up his arms, over the top of his torn and ripped shirt, flowing from below his neck down his belly, over his crotch and legs down to cover his boots. An ice blast of cold he had never felt before filled him internally to his core as he touched down on the roof again. 'This is it. We can't go back. The past is in the past. I have to let it go.' A tear came to Kalt's eye and it froze on his cheek fur. 'I have to let him go. The dawn of the war is breaking and he has to be stopped before it breaks. It's time I let him go. My Baron, the perfect boyfriend I once had is gone.'

Baron seethed, his paws dripping blood from their claws and ready to draw more from the dog in front of him. "You keep showing me what power I have buried deep inside. Let me show you some I already know." His paw surged with power and he blasted at Kalt with the same use of his powers that he'd frozen the snake on the roof across the street. The icy blast whipped at Kalt, but was deflected outwards into the wind. When Baron stopped this attack, he growled and used his other paw to join with another blast at Kalt. The same results. Baron looked at Kalt and knew he was not going to be able to beat him.

Kalt's own paw surged with power, sparks growing out from his palm and forming into handle with a large ice axed hammer at the end.

Baron smiled as his own tears flowed and froze on his face. His flashed his claws at Kalt as he sprang at him, snarling as he did.

Kalt swung. The crack sounded like thunder to anyone that was nearby.

"There's a lot of humans and furs downstairs that want explanations. Ya want me and Dack ta take care of all that for ya?" Dakota stood there, his paw held in his big bear's paw.

The white dog looked at the city as the morning sun bathed it in its warm glow. He enjoyed it's warmth a little as it washed over him. He looked at the cuffs on his wrists and smiled. The runes had vanished completely again. His hammer and armor had cracked and melted as soon as he didn't need them anymore. Other than him and Baron, no one had seen him at his most powerful. He didn't know if he could do it again and he knew he could tell them all about it and they would be in awe. But he decided to keep all of that to himself. He told them all about the war of the gods and how this was just the beginning.

"What do we do now, Captain?"

Kalt looked back at the bunny that asked him the question and smiled again for a moment as he saw the young bear cub the bunny was holding on to. He turned to look out across the city again. "Here we stand, in the light of day. Let the war wage on. We will do what we can to stop it and to save as many lives as possible. Nothing has changed. It's gonna be a cold life for a while, but the cold never bothered me anyway.

"Ha ha ha ha, ya...", the old and fat mouse sat at the bar and drank another shot, "... I never had thought humans would work out so well in our society after all. It's been a year since we found out they existed."

The rhino standing next to him nodded. "I heard there is a place down in Antarctica that is a tropical savage land with dinosaurs and everything and that's where they are from."

The husky behind the bar shook his head, "Na, you're both wrong. They are a military experiment that went wrong centuries ago and they were just woken up."

"Honey, you have just as much an imagination as these jokers." The german shepherd behind the counter looked at his husky lover from his blue eyes. His brown furred paw in the sink as he washed a couple of the dirty glasses the mouse and rhino had already used.

The husky looked at his husdog and smiled happily and raised his arms up to hug the gshep he had married recently. His attention was drawn to the big window out front as it frosted up completely and the temperature of the bar dropped dramatically, all within a few seconds. His expression changed drastically and he stopped the hug before it started. A large white canine was there standing on the other side of the window, but he couldn't see who it was through the frost. His heart pounded. He was both scared and curious. The fur on the other side of the window walked slowly along the sidewalk outside.

The german shepherd saw where his husky was looking and he looked at the window. "That's weird." He reached for the towel but the husky was out from behind the bar and out the front door before he could get them dried.

Furs walked down the street, those walking outside of the bar looked at the frosted window as it dripped from the melting ice, but didn't say anything.

The brown gshep came out of the bar. "Dylin? Everything ok?"

The husky just looked around.

"Dylin? What's wrong?"

"Nothing. I just thought I saw something."

He grinned and wrapped his arms around his husky. "Oh I see. The AC goes freaky on our third day open and you want to act all crazy so I'll send you home." He kissed the Dylin's neck as the husky's paws rubbed on his arms. "Come on. Let's get back to work I'll check out the AC and make sure it's working fine."

"Ok." Paw in paw they stepped towards the front door of the bar.

The gshep stopped and pointed to the thawing window. "You never told me why you picked that name and insisted on that."

The husky looked at the window. The white and blue streaked letters made him smile as he read the name and tagline. "Apollo's Bar. Even the gods need to drink." He looked at his husdog, kissed him as they walked through the door. "I'll tell you someday when it's safe." The laughed loud and turned away.

"When it's safe?" The gshep stepped inside after the husky.

With them inside, Kalt stepped up into the light a bit and smiled. "I'm happy for you, Apollo. Don't let that dog go." He stepped back into the shadows and walked away.