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Greystoke Industries - Night: Two Nights Before the Next Full Moon...
High above the noises of the city, a detachment of armed guards gathered on the roof of Greystoke Industries. Covered in sleek black body armor, each individual's body remained hidden. All that could be seen were the savage glow of their feral eyes through their face masks.
The leader among them was older than the rest. Nearly two hundred years old, he was a battle-hardened immortal - a lycan. Having bee turned directly by the alpha himself, the blood of the ancients or "First Wolves" ran through his veins.
As he walked around the perimeter, he only stopped for an instant to either sniff the air, listen to his surroundings, or to peer into the distance.
With a silent nod of his head, the immortals surrounding him stepped into formation. The leader then reached up to his earpiece and said, "Clear for landing..."
With that, the sound of a small military jet could be heard in the distance. Though it had been circling the area for a few minutes, it finally made its gradual approach towards the roof - stopping directly over the rooftop landing area in hovering mode.
When the landing gear gently touched down upon the roof, the rear loading door opened and more armed guards exited the craft. As they lined up along the sides, a man with a cane appeared on the ramp. His long coat flowed in the wind as he made his way down from the craft.
There were no lights on the roof, as each individual could already see in the dark. Making his way toward the man exiting the craft, the leader of the rooftop detachment dropped to his knee. "My Lord..." he said, keeping his head bowed towards the dark figure which approached. Truth be told, the leader had no idea what to expect from his lord. It had been years since he had even laid eyes on him, or since he had even stepped foot in the Western Hemisphere.
"You've served me well." the dark figure said, placing his hand gently upon the leader's shoulder. "Stand up... It's been too long, my old friend..." With that, he brought the leader to his feet and the two embraced as brothers.
For the first time since the events of Madrid, William Greystoke had returned to New York...
Making his way down to the penthouse suite, William and his comrade sat next to a roaring fireplace. At that point, the fireplace served as the only light source within the room.
It revealed the subtle aging in William's face. As he took his seat, he was able to lean his cane against a nearby table. Never before had he ever needed such an object, but it had become necessary. His hair, once a rich dark brown, had faded into grey.
"What happened over there?" the detachment leader asked. "...not just in Madrid... but everywhere? What happened to YOU?"
"It's a long story..." William replied in a weary tone. "It's just fortunate that we are nearing the next full moon... but there's no benefit in looking to the past though. We need to concern ourselves with what lies ahead."
Without saying a word, a member of William's detachment entered the room with an inoculation device and a bucket. Loaded in it was vial that appeared to be blood. Taking the device with an almost trembling hand, William raised it to his neck and pulled the trigger - shooting the solution directly into his blood stream.
He suddenly shot straight back in his chair, his body shaking in physical pain. As his comrade immediately rushed to his aid, William raised his hand - signaling his loyal subject to stand down.
William's veins all appeared the raise near the surface of his skin - black in appearance under his flesh. His eyes suddenly changed into a feral yellow color and took on the appearance of an animal. At that moment, his veins began to recede and return to their original appearance, his face began to lose its aged appearance, and his hair began to darken.
Quickly grabbing the bucket, William leaned over and retched into it - coughing up a vile black liquid... tainted blood. He then sat back and took a deep breath. His features continued to revert to their former look as his breathing became more steady.
After a few seconds, William stood up from his chair without the assistance of his cane. All had returned to its normal state except for his eyes. They maintained their feral state and glowed.
Slowly turning his back on the fire, William walked towards the large windows which overlooked the city of New York. After looking over the city for a moment, he turned and said, "We have work to do..."
Undisclosed Rural Location - New York State - Night
Though it was so densely populated, there were still certain areas of New York which were still rural in nature. Long and winding roads, mountainous regions, and densely wooded areas could still be found. Nestled into obscurity among these wild settings was a large mansion - a compound, in fact...
Several years prior, the mansion and its assets had been "acquired" from its previous owner by William Greystoke. For years, it had remained hidden from the outside world and was heavily guarded by an army of immortals. Now, it served as a base of operations where large amounts of weapons and other military-grade equipment could be stored. It also served as a training facility where immortals would hone their skills to become some of the finest killers on the planet - perfect predators in every sense.
A full moon permeated the night sky. All immortals on the ground below could feel its power - becoming stronger, faster, and more aware than they already were. Indeed, this was a perfect night for a lycan. Wounds would heal faster, their senses would be stronger than ever, their speed would be greater, and their strength would be multiplied.
Outside the compound, companies of immortals prepped helicopters for transport - securing equipment and distributing orders. Among them, William walked alongside his half-brother, Duncan. As he had anticipated, Duncan had tracked him down. Already, they had gone over the schematics of their target and had formulated a plan to deal with it.
Throughout the years, both private and government agencies had procured samples of meta-humans, mutants, extraterrestrials, and more... including immortals such as lycans. These creatures were imprisoned and then either killed or enslaved to the good of "science." In reality, most agencies wanted one thing - weapons. The thought of his kin being subjected to such treatment did not sit well with William. Even worse, he could not allow these parties to successfully create weapons that could be used against the Lycan Underworld. Without a doubt, these agencies had to be dealt with permanently; and more importantly, a clear message had to be sent to all those who might their hand at similar practices...
Dawning the mantle of the Hunter, William turned to his half-brother and said, "I want you and your kin to enjoy this, brother... They deserve not only to die, but to SUFFER for what they've done..."
The plan was simple:
- Infiltrate the compound without raising the alarm.
- Gain access underground.
- Liberate any immortals on the premises.
- Unleash Hell.
If alarms were raised, the entire facility would be placed on lock-down. That meant that all the lower levels would be sealed off and that, most likely, all lycan subjects would be slaughtered.
In order to avoid that, William and Duncan would each lead a team of their immortals into the facility and make their way to the lower levels. From there, they would slaughter all in their path and free their kin. After that, several helicopters would approach then over one hundred immortals would drop in from the sky and storm the compound. From there, they would remind all of mankind of the reason they originally feared going into the woods...
Unknown Air Space
Eventually, William and Duncan's helicopter neared the targeted facility, but they were still nearly two miles away. The area around the enemy compound would densely wooded and mountainous - not too differently from the area which they came from. Heading in on foot would attract less attention than an air drop.
"This is our stop." William said to Duncan. "My group will approach from the west while yours comes from the east... I hope you haven't forgotten the taste of blood, brother..." With that somewhat joking remark, William and his detachment leaped down from the helicopter onto the ground below - each landing without making a sound. Immediately, they began to make their way through the trees. Each of their suits of body armor was equipped with a device that negated thermal sensors while still allowing motion for a small window of time - less than an hour. Otherwise, the body armor itself would negate thermal vision if the wearer remained absolutely still.
Just before heading off into the trees, William looked back over at Duncan. "Make them pay..." he said under his breath. He knew Duncan heard him. Turning away, the Hunter and his detachment activated their thermal blockers and disappeared into the trees.
"You're right..." William replied. "It doesn't matter whether you have our father's name or not, nor that you were born after me..." Just then, all surrounding lycans lowered their weapons away from King Peter's bastard. "You're my brother, Duncan." he said. "Customs be damned. We fought and bled alongside each other in the past; and now more than ever, we need to fortify our house and take what we're owed... the world..."
With that, William's immortals began to surround the weapons cache and prep it for transport. Within minutes, the crate would be air lifted to a secure site, the munitions would be fully disarmed, and the silver would be liquidated and either re-purposed into new weaponry or liquidated.
"If you're interested, assemble a team of your finest warriors and meet me in New York in three days..." he said. "You'll know where to find me, brother..." Suddenly, three small jets flew into formation above them and began to hover. With one last parting look, William faced Duncan - his eyes glowing their feral yellow color through his mask as he did so. Turning away, the Greystoke Legend crouched low to the ground and gathered his strength. Large cargo doors on the jets slowly opened up as they hovered.
In the blink of an eye, William's body shot upward like a bullet towards one of the hovering jets. As he rose up, his foot touched the threshold as he calmly entered the hovering air craft. Following suit, each of his immortals did the same into their appropriate jets. Walking back over towards the edge, William removed his helmet and looked down at his half-brother, Duncan. His eyes never lost their glowing color as he did so. Slowly, the doors of the jet closed and it rocketed off into the night sky.
"Do you think he'll come, my lord?" one of his immortals asked.
"He'll come..." William replied. "He'll come..."
"Aye," William replied. "Hello, brother..."
So many thoughts were racing through William's head. First, and foremost, was the fact that he had not heard from his half-brother (a bastard of his father) for decades. After the assault on the lycan strongholds across Europe by the combined forces of Nazi's and vampires, William gathered the lost remnants of the empire - his kin. However, his half-brother, Duncan, was unheard of and nowhere to be found. Only distant whispers and rumors hinted at the fact of his existence.
"It's been a while, hasn't it..." he said, slowly stepping to the side. Carefully, he positioned himself between Duncan and the munitions cache. "By the looks of things," he began. "You have either done something very good, or you are preparing to do something very bad, Duncan..." Though Duncan had announced himself, the Lord of the Lycans had not yet instructed his immortals to lower their weapons.
"So tell me," he said. "What exactly are you doing here, and why have you not revealed yourself until now?"
Though William was older and held the blood right to rule the lycans as a true alpha, the blood of the Greystoke Legacy ran through the veins of Duncan as well. In fact, if Duncan had been born before William, the powers of the alpha would have passed to him instead of William after King Peter's death.
Once an alpha died, their powers would pass down to their offspring directly - starting with the eldest. If an alpha had no offspring, their powers would pass down to the eldest surviving sibling, and so on and so forth. For this reason alone, William had not instructed his immortals to lower their weapons.
Lycans control whomever they turn - revealing that the original powers of the alpha descended from the first true lycan and that William's grandfather, Malcolm Greystoke, was the first to truly harness and develop it centuries prior. An alpha's powers would only manifest themselves once their predecessor had died. From that point, an alpha would be able to assert control and dominance over their entire Lycan Underworld.
Only the siblings and offspring of the reigning alpha were exempt from control. For this reason, William was unable to control Duncan directly. Duncan's fellow immortals were a different story entirely. As William's eyes turned into their feral yellow color, Duncan's immortals slowly raised their weapons against their lord - unable to control their actions until the Greystoke Legend released them. Despite whatever loyalties of agendas they may have had, they still answered to the law of the pack and the true Lord of the Lycans.
Looking Duncan directly into his eyes - his own eyes still glowing through his mask as he did so, William said, "So tell me..."
Greystoke Industries - New York
High above the city streets, William stood at the window of his office and looked down over the city. The day itself was coming to an end as a rose-colored haze permeated the Western sky. However, dark clouds gathered in the East. The leaves in the park below were beginning to move back-and-forth gently and to turn upwards. As he peered into the distance with his keen immortal eyes, William could see a feint flash of light. "A storm is coming..." he thought to himself.
Just then, his door opened and his advisers entered the room. They were, in fact, his closest advisers - all of them immortal as he. Some he had turned himself. Others were purebreds, born immortal. Some had just entered William's service decades ago; and some had even served his father, King Peter.
Over the past decades, old ammunition for German and Russian origin had begun to flood the market. Because of its rarity, it was often bought in bulk - either by private collectors of surplus Eastern European arms or by dealerships to sell individually to the aforementioned private collectors.
However, forces within the old Axis Regime had certain batches of munitions contain a mixture of lead and silver nitrate. In a rather keen display of engineering prowess, the Germans knew that the softness of lead allowed bullets to be spiraled down the rifling of barrels - achieving greater range and accuracy. The trace amounts of silver, on the other hand, were meant to cause death to immortals. By mixing the silver nitrate with lead, they had managed to bestow lycan-slaying weaponry with a vastly greater range and more accuracy.
During most of the Second World War (after the initial fall oft he Lycan Empire and the death of King Peter, William's father), part of William's goal was to hunt down these large caches of ammunition, destroy them, then to separate and liquidate any silver used. Once the silver was extracted, it could then be solidly fused and sold to further William's personal war efforts.
With the resurgence of old Eastern European arms on the market, collectors and suppliers from all over the world had been hunting for original ammunition. Although some of the cheaper rounds had expired over time, most rounds were still highly functioning and good for resale.
Needless to say, plenty of marked munitions caches with the silver mixture in the rounds had surfaced. The dead giveaway to a shipment of mixed silver nitrate rounds - the absence a "jacket" on any of the rounds. The rounds themselves would appear to be simply lead.
Any parties interested in putting the weapons to use would need to be dealt with. Therefore, Greystoke and his council had begun tracking and hunting down possible caches so that they could be dealt with. Those who were attempting to use the ammunition for its original purpose were also being dealt with - permanently.
"My lord," one of the council member said. "Scouts report that a munitions cache has just surfaced, but that..." he hesitated for a moment. "Humans are not guarding it..."
"Vampires?" William asked.
"No, my lord." the council member replied. "They appear to be... lycans... but not our own... None of our detachments have are in the area... Their leader seems rather... familiar though..." With that, he removed a photo for the dossier he had carried in and handed it to William.
Upon seeing the photo, William immediately stood up from his chair. "Who else knows of this?" he inquired.
"No one, my lord."
"Good... Assemble a force and order them to converge on the area... I'm going in. You know that I must."
With that, William cleared the room and sealed it. As he activated a console on his desk, the room began to transform. Walls began to turn - revealing large a various array of weapons and other combat-related equipment. Finally, the floor opened up and the mantle of the Hunter rose up...
Unknown Air Space
Within a few hours, four mid-sized air craft entered the air space the reports carrying nearly one hundred immortals - all armed to the teeth and battle tested. They were, without a doubt, some of the finest fighters on the planet. As the cargo doors opened up, the Hunter made his way towards the edge and looked down. He could see the compound from the reports.
Taking flight, he then dove out of the plane - followed by his personal detachment thereafter. His body shot through the air like a bullet - falling thousands of feet in rapid succession. What some might have called a leap of faith, William saw as a fine calculation. Using his keen eyesight, he looked for an area in which to land before he even jumped. He then controlled his descent - maneuvering his body through the air and timing everything. Finally, his body sharply twisted mid air as he assumed a proper landing position.
With that, the Greystoke Legend flipped forward and landed safely upon his feet in a crouched position - creating a small crater around him as he did so. Rising up from the ground, he clenched his fists tightly and tilted his neck from side-to-side. Small tremors could be heard all around as his immortals landed near their lord.
Indeed, the true Lord of the Lycans had arrived... and a ghost from the past was waiting for him...