PART 3

Heero looked at Zechs Marquise in shock. He had learned the man's secret
when they had met years ago. After all, Power called to Power. And while
Heero wasn't a lycanthrop, he wasn't totally human either.

"The Were Leopards have him?"

"Yes. And they intend to use and torture him until there is nothing of his
spirit and strength left."

"Over my dead body," Heero growled.

Zechs could not quite suppers a shudder at the Power in those angry words.
It was easy to see, if one could feel another's Power, why the Council
feared Heero Yu.

************

Silent as shadows, the two moved through the night. They had one more
person to see before they could go after their captured friend.

"She saved me when I was first infected," Zechs told Heero. "I would have
bled to death from my wounds. She also has no love for the Leopards. They
became her enemies long ago."

Heero nodded and they entered the small country house. A breath of Power
washed over them and both froze at the soft voice.

"Don't move."

Heero felt the woman move behind them and a hand quickly searched him for
weapons. Then the same was done to Zechs.

As she moved away form them, the woman asked, "What are you doing here with
an Ormalen, Ulfric?"

Heero stiffened. "How do you know of my fathers people?" he demanded as he
turned to face her.

"I've had encounters with them. Not the most pleasant Race in existence.
At a guess, I'd say you're half human and can take an Ormalen form if you
wish. Also you probably have their physical strength, speed, and healing
rate."

Heero gave a small nod. As a half blood he would never be accepted by
either race fully, but since he could pass for a human, he could hide what
he was here.

Two years ago a vampire City Master had tried to make him an unwilling
servant. In retaliation he had burned him using his Power. Four months
later the Council had discovered his presence and tried to dispose of him.
They had not realized the extent of his Power or even what he really was.

They would not make that mistake again.

As he thought this he carefully assessed the woman before him. She was
petite with lightly tanned skin. Black hair came to just past her shoulders
and burgundy bangs framed her face. Her eyes were a light aqua blue, and
had slitted pupils. Her Power was evident, but Heero could not place what
Race she hailed from.

That was disturbing. He had always been able to identify if a person was
supernatural or not. And what kind of being they were. So why couldn't he
do the same for her?

************

Trowa awoke to the searing pain of melted silver dripping onto his chest.
His voice to hoarse to scream, a pained whimper was all he could manage. He
had been raped over and over by the members of the Pard, beaten and
tortured, branded and burned with iron and silver.

He prayed for death, to tired to fight.

He wondered if Duo and the others would miss him. He wondered if death
would be as so many claimed, a paradise. Or if it would be oblivion. Dimly
he regretted not telling Duo how he felt. But that feeling only lasted a
moment before the pain became his world again.

************

Heero cursed silently when they reached the Pard's strong hold. The place
was crawling with sentries. The prusian eyed youth bowed his head and
summoned forth an illusion of Mobile Dolls. To an observer, it would appear
that the hideaway was under attack. Hopefully it would buy them the time
needed.

Zechs and Heero shifted at the same time. Muscles that shouldn't have been
there flowed and bones shifted. Where once had stood two young men now
stood a tall black were-wolf and a humanoid creature in equal height.

The Ulfric gave Ormala-Heero an amused look. In this form he was nearly six
feet tall, had long dark brown hair streaked with blues and greens, and two
horns curled from his forehead, over the top of his head, to the back of his
neck. The horns were delicate. Thin in appearance, seemingly transparent.

Elongated and webbed ears extended from the sides of his head, and large
bat-like wings spread from his back. Over all he had an appearance that
gave testimony to the legends that called his fathers people the Dragon
Lords of the Sea.

A breath of Power drew their attention to the young woman Zechs had insisted
they bring along. Jeans became a mid-thigh skirt and sneakers became calf
length boots. Her loose flannel shirt became an armored chest plate and
short under tunic. Flowing, seemingly fragile, butterfly wings colored deep
teal, sky blue, and purist lavender adorned her back.

Just as quickly as this change happened, a second took place. Fur sprouted
over her body and the colorful wings darkened and changed into black raven
wings. Her body changed into a large black cat like creature in chest armor
and shin-guards. The skirt and boots had vanished as if they had never been.

Zechs raised a brow and growled, "Are you done with the theatrics, Lady
Azrial?"

"Well, I couldn't go in out of combat form, now could I?"

************

Once inside the strong hold, they moved quickly and quietly. Most of the
Pard were occupied with the illusion, but that wouldn't last. They needed
to find Trowa and get him out of here. They moved deeper into the main
building and finely, after a seemingly endless number of empty rooms, found
the battered and torn pilot.

His back was a mass on half-healed flesh, blood sluggishly oozed from deep
gashes along his sides and legs. Blood and semen dripped from his most
private of openings. Heero felt his chest tighten in horror. There were
burns on his chest that weren't healing, meaning they had been inflicted by
extremely hot or melted silver.

"So you've come at last."

The three would be rescuers turned to the source of the amused voice to see
the Alpha of the Leopards.

Drevan Harris was dressed in what could only be described as a Dominant's
bondage gear. Black leather pants so tight they seemed to be painted on,
with a chain belt over black thong lacing in the front. The legs were
tucked into laced up high calf boots. His chest was bare save a tattoo of a
dragon on his breast. A leather riding-crop, studded with tiny silver spikes
was clutched in his left hand.

Zechs was the first to speak up. "You have taken what is mine. I gave This
Were-Cougar my protection."

"It matters not a wit. He is mine, and you will all pay with you're lives
for this intrusion." With a gesture, Harris brought out his enforcers.

Azrial stepped out of the shadows then, and all eyes fell on her. Covered
in coarse black fur, ebon wings flexing slightly at her back, and an armored
chest plate on her top, she was a sight to see.

"And who is this?" The woman at Harris' left asked. "Another one of your
freakish allies?"

"My name is Azrial Nogomi. And you should have left this little Cat alone."
That said, Azrial summoned a crimson-bladed sword and attacked.

She swept forward in a blur of black, faster than the Leopards could react.
She was mildly surprised and very pleased to see Ormala-Heero moving just as
quickly, a blade of blue fire in his hand. She made a mental note to ask
about THAT later. Everything she knew about the Ormalen stated that their
Power was water elemental in nature.

While they kept the Leopards busy, Zechs freed Trowa and lifted him into his
arms. The boy stirred briefly and gave a low whimper of pain before
succumbing to unconsciousness once again. With the two shape-shifted
warriors covering his back, the Ulfric carried the uni-banged youth to
freedom.

Once clear of the den of sadism, Zechs handed his precious burden to his
Geri (second in command) and turned back to the main building. His two
friends came bounding out moments ahead of the Leopard King, and split up
once clear of the building.

"Harris!" The blond man snarled. "I challenge you!"