The figures in front of her stirred from the fire and she could make out the sound of a bestial growl before she activated the sound dampers.  She tossed two grenades into the fire ahead of her as she began to run into the crowd.  The flashes danced across the night sky and she could see the effect of the sound waves as the Nightspawn fell to their feet around her clutching their ears and heads.  She stepped forward amidst the crumpled bodies of the Nightspawn.  The fire has dissipated and in the center laid Alcyone, now the remnants of her Night People garb was burned away revealing a slick green leotard underneath.  She had indeed led her into a trap.

Crystal looked around and carved into each of the spires was a throne and sitting in each of the thrones was the same man.  He seemed to be molded into the spires themselves, almost as if they were a part of him.  She quickly took note of the different varieties of mutations around her.  Each one of these creatures was mutated in some way.  She knelt down and took samples from several of them to compare once back on The Complex.  If this was all they had, then one attack squad could easily destabilize the continent.  She had already done it alone.

The question was now weather to stay or to retreat and try to make it out of range before they came to.  Alcyone would know the path she took and be able to track her, so it might be in her interest to allow them to regain consciousness and then intimidate them with another attack before leaving.  This would set in their minds that she could not be stopped by them.

This would also allow her to extract more information from them before she returned.  It might also be a good idea to kill one or two of them as insurance.  This would put the fear of god into the so called gods.

Crystal dragged all of the bodies to one side; this would allow her to stand before them so they could not surround her.  It taxed even the enhanced strength of her body suit to move some of the more massive creatures.  There were twenty mutants including Alcyone,  The dead man she killed before would be number twenty one assuming he was a member of their clan.

As the first mutant began to moan and began to show the evident signs of consciousness, Crystal released the trigger lock once again and the laser sight of her rifle sprung to life.  She drew a bead on the massive bulk of the beast that was awakening.

“Stand down lavation, or you will be joining your big handed friend I left back in Brisbane.”  The beast rolled over on its side facing her and let out a terrifying roar.  Crystal stood unfazed by his display.  The laser sight fixed it right between its eyes.  It unfolded and flapped its massive dragon like wings but remained where it was.

Alcyone began to shift from her position.  She held her head trying to force consciousness back into her mind.  Her pulse pounded in her head drowning out all other stimuli.  Her ears rang in a deafening tone matching the wince of pain throbbing in her temples.

The laser sight shifted from the lavation over to Alcyone as crystal palmed another sonic flash grenade in the palm of her left hand.  Alcyone looked up and saw crystal and smiled.

“You came!  I knew you would.  You are the chosen one!”  She steadied herself to her feet and turned to look at the other Noghtspawn.  “You beat them all; you are indeed a mighty god.  I will take you to Atlas.”

At the sound of her words the massive lavation rose and screeched a guttural cry.  Its wings spread to reveal its massive full size as it towered over Alcyone.  She gave a cry and her hair caught on fire as flames burst from her eyes.  The huge beast snapped its jaws toward her only to draw back sharply as a plasma blast dissolved half of its face.  Alcyone cried out in shock as she saw the blood of the beast pulsing out of the side of its face.  It gave another cry, much weaker due to its diminished features and Alcyone pushed her hands outward.  Crystal saw the flame reach out and engulf the beast which was crying out in agony.

Some of the other Nightspawn were awakening due to the cries of battle.  They awoke to a world of anguished cries and fiery death as the smoldering husk of the beast collapsed in on itself falling over and crushing two of the other Nightspawn.

“Come we must awaken Atlas!”  Alcyone rushed toward her and pulled Crystal with her towards the center of the spires.

Her eyes blazed as her hair caught on fire once again; the hollows of her skull were cast in silhouette making her head look like a burning skull.   Four tendrils of flame rose from her and reached out towards the spires.  One of the Nightspawn rose and rushed toward them.  Crystal quickly took and bead and brought him down with a single shot.  He caught the blast right in the neck causing his head to be thrown back tearing away from the remains of the tendons connecting it to his body.

The sight of the decapitation caused a stir of panic in the other Nightspawn, but they rose from the ground and began to circle them.

The ground beneath them began to shake as the sand began to shift beneath her feet.  Crystal could see the Nightspawn drawing back now as a whirlpool began to form in the center of the spires drawing all of the sand down into it.  Its circular motion was spreading outward towards them.  Alcyone only looked upward concentrating on maintaining the flames on the spires.

The Nightspawn gave a little ground but still blocked off any avenue of retreat.  Crystal felt her feet come out from under her as she fell back into the swirling vortex of motion, being drawn down into the whirlpool.  The flame ceased as Alcyone fell into the sands somersaulting backwards head first towards the center of the vortex.

                Crystal kept a firm hold on her rifle as she struggled against the pull of gravity, but the ground gave way beneath her and she saw the world turned completely black as the sands closed over her head.