Scott always found packing difficult. It was even more difficult when all he could really take with him was a small messenger bag. He knew that he couldn’t be weighed down by trivial things. Which is why, of course, along with a change of clothes, his costume, and provisions, he packed some comics for light reading.
Being a werewolf came with its perks, like being able to use heightened senses and agility to navigate your dorm room without waking your sleeping roommate. It was funny. For the entire year, Wayne knew nothing about what Scott really was: A werewolf. Half-nephele, a sky nymph. For all intents and purposes, the gods’ hired man and plaything.
He just slept peacefully, ignorant of the real goings on about the world. Scott’s face fell slightly. He felt bad for his best friend at school. Within a few minutes, Scott wrote out a letter to him, leaving it folded on his desk. He was taking a risk, and who knew whether Wayne would even believe him, but he came clean about everything, explaining to him why his roommate would be gone for a time…if he would even be back at all.
In normal jeans and t-shirt, Scott stepped outside into the coming morning light, still dark but brightening by the hour. He listened intently to make sure that no one was moving in the vicinity, then removed his sneakers. Simultaneously, Scott leaped into the air, letting his tail and fur grow while leaping up onto the rooftops of the university.
It felt good to stay transformed, moving freely and swiftly through the morning chill. He fled the campus grounds, moving through the surrounding suburban neighborhood silently, following the train tracks into the city. The city would hold the best promise for transportation, and the first thing Scott needed was to know where he was heading. Where does one even hold the war between Heaven and Hell?
Scott reached the city limits, beginning to weave his way across rooftops and up sides of buildings. When the sun rose in the east, it cast a blinding amber glow in the metal and glass of the New York skyline. The light blue of the sky began to descend upon the atmosphere, except, that is, around the sun itself.
In the east, an unnatural, blood red glow spread like dye through water into the sky. “I’m gonna take a stab in the dark, here,” Scott muttered to himself, “But I’m guessing that’s where the war is, and that the war’s already begun.”
A flapping, similar to wings but far louder and closer, sounded behind Scott. “You are correct, Scott Wolfenson.” Scott spun, claws springing from his fingertips. He bared his teeth and crouched, preparing himself against the sudden stranger.
What he saw, however, caught the air in his chest. He let his jaw fall slack, his limbs heavy. The boy standing before him on the rooftop was Scott’s height and age, but slightly bulkier. His skin was paler than Scott’s human form, the raven hair poking from beneath his bright blue beanie contrasting his complexion. His hoodie was a deeper shade of cerulean, with a spray-painted black bio-hazard sign on the front. The sleeves were cut off at the bicep, and it clung to his frame well. His black jeans hung at his waist, strapped there by a studded belt, leading down to thick skater sneakers. Around the boy’s neck hung a top-of-the-line pair of DJ headphones, connecting themselves to the ipod in his hoodie pocket. The tips of his hair that extended over his forehead were dyed neon blue. The boy showed no emotion as he spoke, “The war is upon us. The time to choose sides is nigh.”
Scott stood up, fighting the fluttering feeling in his chest at the sight of one his best friends. “…Bruce?” He narrowed his eyes. Bruce had been Scott’s best and longest friend, but something about him was off.
Bruce shook his head. “I am not Bruce Marx. I am simply acting through him at the moment. Your friend is an ideal vessel for my kind.”
The idea settled in Scott’s mind. Something was using his most beloved friend’s body against his will. A growl broke free from his lips as Scott held out his hand. The air grew colder, and a swift breeze picked up, swirling Scott’s fur and Bruce’s hoodie around in the gale. “Who are you and what do you want with Bruce?” He snarled.
Bruce held up his hand, another wind battling the gale Scott had summoned, cancelling it out. “Calm yourself, Wolfenson.” Scott could tell from the look on Bruce’s face that whatever it was inside him wasn’t happy. “I am not your enemy. I hope that you will become an ally of mine.” He took a step closer to Scott, standing tall against the rising sun. “I am an Angel of the Lord.” Scott glanced down and saw the shadow Bruce made. In the shadow, two massive bird-like wings extended from his shoulders. Scott couldn’t pretend that he wasn’t the slightest bit uneasy, maybe even scared. He’d never faced an angel before. Demons and Monsters, of course. But not Angels. The Angel continued. “I am on a mission from My Father. He has taken notice of you and your talents…Cryo-Wolf.” The Angel cocked Bruce’s head to the side, as if he was observing a strange creature.
“Listen Wings,” Scott said, “A lot of gods have noticed me. I’m already on loan to the Greeks. Mr. High-And-Mighty is a little late.”
The Angel twitched ever so slightly, obviously offended at the insult to his God. “He knows of your allegiance to those pagans. But he also wishes to offer you a deal.” The angel held his hands behind Bruce’s back, standing up tall, completely uncharacteristic of Bruce. “He knows your goal is to keep the war from affecting the other pantheons. He is simply offering you a way of doing that.” Scott narrowed his eyes and turned his head, trying to figure out what the Angel was getting at. “Join us. Pledge your services to Heaven. Prevent the war from exploding out of control by winning it for the side of eternal good.”
Scott crossed his arms, shifting his weight. “And why should I do that? Who says the war is a good thing at all? I have no stake in it.”
The angel shook Bruce’s head, an amused smirk playing on his playful lips. “Your ancestors have done terrible things. But you are different. You are good, at heart. We can see this. Serving in His Calvalry is the highest good of all.”
This time Scott was the one to smirk. “I don’t know, man. I’ve heard what your God is like. Wrathful. Smiting. And some of His followers are, pardon my French, Batshit crazy.”
Bruce’s muscles bulged, the Angel was getting annoyed. “Our Father is powerful. But he is also loving. He wants to win this war for his children. He does not want them to die. Listen,” The Angel extended his hand to the streets stories below. “They already begin to panic.”
Scott’s ears twitched as he listened closely to the streets below. From radio and newsstands he heard the broadcasts of a disaster in the Sahara desert, of two armies fighting and tearing the earth up at their feet. News spread by word of mouth, and Scott could feel the panic rising amongst the population.
“The war has already started. I myself would be fighting for the glory of the Lord, but he called me out of the fray to speak to you. He takes interest in you and hopes you will join our side.”
“And using Bruce as a meat-puppet is just to try and entice me over, right?” Scott snarled. He was still angry that the angel would do that.
The Angel shrugged. “A form that evokes strong feeling in you is the ideal form for bargaining, of course.”
Scott looked away to compose himself. “He won’t be harmed when you’re done with him, right?” He added quietly, almost as a condition of his agreement.
The Angel nodded. “He will not remember a thing. Does this mean you agree to take up our cause?”
“No.” Scott answered quickly, setting his gaze back on Bruce. “I’m not joining your side. I do, however, promise to fight for what I find right. Whether that agrees with you or not is not of import.” Scott said adamantly. “Deal?”
The angel shuffled uncomfortably. “It is a start.” He sighed. “But in that case, The Lord has a task he wishes you to undertake.”
“Not very likely,” Scott said, turning toward the building’s edge.
“He wants you to confront Kiara Sullivan.” Scott paused mid-step. “Yes, he thought that would catch your attention. The Queen of Hell has fled the front line. He wishes you to isolate Kiara and take her out. Can you manage this?”
“Will you take me to her?” Said asked suddenly, spinning around as he did so.
The Angel smirked. “That is a yes.” Bruce held out his arms, the flapping of wings dominating Scott’s ears, a bright light causing him to shut his eyes.
When he opened them, he stood amidst crowds of frantic civilians, all of them with dark skin and screaming a language Scott didn’t recognize. The Angel was nowhere to be seen, but he had miraculously changed Scott into his Cryo-Wolf costume, torn pants, hoodie, and all. Quickly, Scott put on his mask, effectively turning him into Cryo.
The sky had turned a foreboding red, and at times the ground shook. Cryo took that as a sign that the battle was not far away. He quickly climbed a nearby building, much at the fright of nearby civilians, to take a look around. To the east, the source of the evil rose. That’s where the battle was. As he looked around, Cryo saw the Pyramids and Sphinx in the distance. He was in Cairo, Egypt. He guessed the river surrounding the island he was on was the Nile. Kiara was around here somewhere, but where?
The answer came in the form of mortal peril.
Cryo heard the rumbles of architectural instability from a nearby bridge. He was off, racing through the crowds on all fours. They leapt out of the way, screaming at the sight of him, as if they already didn’t have enough to deal with in the possible end of the world.
He reached the bridge just as the ground trembled again. One of the pillars cracked and toppled, nearly falling onto a group of helpless people had Cryo not been there to catch the weight. The civilians fled, and Cryo tossed the pillar into the Nile. The bridge wouldn’t hold for long. And the reason was floating above them.
“Found you.” He muttered.With a strange feeling of nostalgia, Cryo-Wolf looked up at the battle-ready form of Kiara Sullivan.