Out Now

Howler

The bomber dipped, breaking through the clouds. They lit up amber, orange, and red, illuminated by the fires and explosions from the battle below. Searchlights stabbed up into the night sky, but the bomber flew through them invisibly, thanks to Cecil’s carefully painted runes and sigils on the great metal beast’s underbelly.

Kirk stood at the back doors, letting the wind jerk him this way and that. Bursting shells sent waves of pressure at him, buffeting the bomber even through the protective charms that had been cast on it before take off.

“Can you hear them?” asked Cecil. The warlock felt no need to announce himself. Even in the middle of a full scale war, he had no doubt that Kirk had heard him coming. “Can you hear the humans?”

“Yeah, I hear them,” replied Kirk. “Smell them too.”

Clinging onto a safety strap, Cecil edged gingerly to the open back doors of the bomber.

“You sure you want to be back here?” asked Kirk. “You can’t fly without your pitchfork, Cecil.”

“And you can’t fly at all,” replied the warlock bitterly.

“Don’t need to fly,” said Kirk, stepping confidently to the very edge of the doors, he feet hanging over the lip into empty space. “I land on my feet.”

“That’s cats.”

“Whatever,” said Kirk dismissively. “You’ll see soon enough.”

The bomber dropped suddenly, sending Cecil scrambling back along the length of the safety harness.

“I’ll be glad when this over,” Kirk said, raising his voice over the bomber’s now straining engines and the growing howl of the wind. “We can all go back to our rightful places.”

Cecil smiled, a little queasily. “That would be … nice.”

In the roof of the bomber, a large green light flared.

“That’s my queue,” said Kirk, and turned back towards the open doors.

“It’s the right thing you know,” shouted Cecil over the din of the bomber and the battle below, “It’s the right thing, what you’re doing. The humans, they’re just not ready, and if they keep digging …”

“I know,” Kirk called back, tightening the shoulder straps on his uniform. “And even if I didn’t, I won’t remember a thing tomorrow. Just a little hangover and a few bruises. Nothing a clean uniform and a hot shower won’t fix.”

Cecil knew he was lying. It was one of the things that a Warlock could always tell.

“Then I’ll see you in Berlin!” shouted Cecil.

Kirk raised a hand, a movement as close to a salute as he was ever likely to give anyone, and stepped out of the plane. Cecil listened intently, and smiled as Kirk’s own howl grew loud enough to drown out the engines, the battle, even the artillery.

For some jobs, only a wolfman would do.

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