Magi Saga Book 4 Chapter Excerpt

Here's an excerpt from book 4 for you. This is chapter 1, or more accurately, Prologue 1. 
This has yet to be fully edited. 

Prologue
Minsk, Belarus
Jan 7th

The air whipped by her as Liz dropped the forty or fifty feet from the rooftop, her hair flying out behind her in golden waves as the gee forces she pulled left her stomach behind. With a sickening crack, she landed on the shoulders and neck of one of the group of German gun runners who had scattered to the winds at the start of their attack. He dropped to the floor and went limp, but she knew from a quick glance that although she’d broken a number of bones in his body, he still lived. 
Gunfire peppered the ground around her and ricocheted off of her Aegis force shield with pops and whines. Moving quickly she ducked behind the truck with the crates of guns in the back as she watched their guest team mate, Rebecca, move round one of the Russian buyers vehicles opposite her in a smooth crouched hustle, Rebecca’s Magically enhanced MP5 9mm Submachine gun with attached silencer help up and ready. Rounding the van Rebecca let off a controlled three round burst at the first man she saw, two to the chest and one to the head, dropping him to the floor. 
Another man popped out before her, only for Rebecca to repeat the process without fuss or problem. 
Rebecca looked like she meant business, both in her actions and in her look. She wore a one piece black catsuit covered in straps with a gun strapped to her leg and two blades to her back. Everything she wore seemed to be Magical. 
Movement caught Liz’s eye from the left side of the Russian group, further across the rank of cars from Rebecca, and watched almost in slow motion as a man saw Liz and raised his gun. He had a clear line of fire from the left side of the Russian group of cars, across the gap to where Liz crouched next to the German groups Pick up Truck. Liz braced herself, only to see the man’s exposed hand explode as Rebecca put a bullet through it from over twenty foot away. Rebecca moved quickly, checking her corners and soon walked round to find the man leant up by the side of the car he hid behind, holding his ruined hand. She put two rounds through his head without any hesitation and continued on, sparing one quick glance to Liz as she moved. 
Rebecca had been assigned to their group at the last moment by the Magi Council. Apparently she came from the Arcanum, the organisation of Initiated – people who knew of Magic but were not Magi – who policed the cross over between the Mortal or Riven population and the Magi. Within the Arcanum were a number of Black Ops Agents, who were used when things got a little out of control, Rebecca was one such agent. Because there would be a strong Initiated element to this mission, the powers that be saw fit to send Rebecca. 
Liz wondered if this might have been as much to keep an eye on them as much as it might be to help them. 
From the other side of the row of cars the Russians had brought, a man appeared and looked out into the space between their vehicles and the German group they had come to deal with. Liz, crouched in the shadow of the truck and wearing all back, seemed to be hidden, and she watched as he checked around before focusing on the three handcuffed men sat huddled on the ground between the two groups of cars and vans. They’d been brought by the Russians, apparently to sweeten the deal, but as the fight broke out, they’d been left in the mud. 
The man, who Liz now recognised as the one who had been leading the negotiations for the Russians, took a couple of steps forward and raised his gun, aiming it at the three men. 
Liz reacted and worked her Magic quickly, erecting an invisible Aegis around the men that would act as a force barrier. As the man fired, the bullets bounced off the shield leaving the men unharmed. 
‘What the hell,’ the man said in Russian. Liz could now speak and understand most languages in the world, thanks to some clever Magic her mentor had once cast on her, implanting the knowledge into her mind. 
Liz didn’t wait, she ran forward at a blistering speed, taking advantage of the man’s confusion as he looked at his gun wondering how he’d missed. He looked up a moment before Liz’s knee slammed into his nose as she jumped at him. With a satisfying crunch, the man whipped backwards off his feet as blood exploded from his nose all over her black leggings. She landed behind him, turned and with a quick twist of Magic in his mind, he fell unconscious. 
Looking up, past the three terrified looking men, she could see Xain and Orion doing their thing with the German Initiated. Orion ran up and over a van, jumping off in a flip, firing his guns as he did it while Xain took on several at once, his sword in one hand and a futuristic looking pistol in the other. His movements were graceful and fluid, but also lethal as blood and limbs flew here and there. 
Beyond them, the side of the warehouse exploded as a huge metal gas tank flew through the wall, widening the hole that was already there. 
The attack had begun with Balor, the huge gargoyle-like Scion who worked with Xain and Orion, swooping down from the night sky in a grey blur and slamming the one attending Nomad Magus through the side of the warehouse. 
Now Balor stepped back through, walking through the flames with a roar as he waded into the waiting men who had opened fire on him. 
A faint noise and a feeling of foreboding made Liz duck and look behind her as a gunshot rang out, aimed for where her head would have been. A shiny black blur then appeared next to the man who had just fired on her. It was Rebecca, she appeared from nowhere, kicking his gun arm up and away from Liz, his gun flying high, and following it up with a keen blade that she buried in the man’s gut several times in quick succession. 
She caught the gun as it dropped and put one round between the man’s eyebrows, dropping him like a ragdoll. 
Two other men appeared next to Rebecca, but she knew they were there. Liz could only watch in awe at this quite small girl as she calmly moved between them at a speed that was difficult to follow and quickly killed them both without breaking a sweat. 
Finished with these two, she picked up her own gun again from where she’d slung it, and paused. 
‘I’ll finished the rest of these off, you get the hostages to safety,’ Rebecca said without looking at Liz before she raised her gun to her eye and moved out. 
Liz nodded, and moved over to the hostages where they crouched in the dirt. With a quick working of Magic, their cuffs dropped from their wrists. 
‘How did you?’ asked one. 
‘Thank you, thank you, thank you,’ said another, but all of them looked relieved and tired but also scared. 
‘Come with me,’ Liz said in their native Russian, and she led them out of the line of fire to the gap between two warehouses. ‘Get in here, come on,’ she said. 
They moved quickly but were all clearly in pain and struggling with their movements. 
‘Who are you guys? Why were you brought here?’ 
‘They hate our lifestyle, Russia is a dangerous place for us,’ he said. 
‘Us?’ Liz asked, confused. 
‘We’re gay,’ they said. 
‘Aaah, I understand now,’ she said. The Nomad Magus that had been watching the deal, who Balor had hit at one hundred miles an hour belonged to the Children of Pain Coven, a Neo Nazi Nomad Coven who operated in eastern Europe. Run by a Nomad called Demitriov who had been very active in the Second World War on the side of Hitler, they were known for their right wing views. 
Their Intel had said that a Magus called Hans would be in attendance, she wondered if Hans would be still alive. 
‘Stay here,’ she said, and moved quickly towards the warehouse Balor had been in and the hole he’d made in its wall. She reached it without incident and looked inside at the terrific mess that the Scion had made. Factory Machines lay in a huge tangled heap directly in front of Liz where Balor had been brought to a stop. No body lay in here, although there did seem to be a bit of blood. 
Liz furrowed her brow in consternation, had Hans got away? 
A shadows fell over Liz, turning quickly she whipped her hand out, only for it to be caught in a huge and unyielding fist. 
‘He Ported away,’ Balor said as he released her arm. 
‘Sorry,’ she said, feeling embarrassed for lashing out at him. 
‘Don’t be, reactions like that could save your life one day. Much like they saved Han’s life today,’ he rumbled, his voice sounding like the grinding together of two boulders. 
‘We stopped the deal though, and saved the lives of three innocents, the day wasn’t a total loss,’ Liz offered. 
Balor looked down on Liz and smiled. ‘As you say.’ 
‘Speaking of which, I think you should make yourself scarce, so we don’t scare the Mortals,’ she said as she looked over the now quiet battlefield. Xain and Orion moved through the German Gun Runners vehicles, looking for any stragglers, while to Liz’s right, she saw Rebecca walked away from the Russian buyers side, scanning the area as she walked. 
‘Agreed,’ Balor said. His great wings spread wide, he launched himself into the air and with a couple of beats of those bat-like wings, he’d disappeared from view. 
‘Heads up,’ came a voice from above. A moment later Stephen Loomis dropped to the ground by Liz’s side and stood up straight. ‘Well done, you were impressive,’ he said. 
Stephen wasn’t a fighter and had only come to watch and offer some Magical aid if there had been more than one Magus here. He also watched the perimeter and kept other Riven away from the fight with a mixture of sound dampening and illusions. They were lucky this time and Stephen wasn’t needed during the fight, but Liz could see the fading Magic around the scene of the fight that had been Stephens doing. 
‘Thank you,’ Liz said, ‘did you have any trouble your end?’ 
‘Kept a few workers away from you and diverted them to safer routes, nothing too stressful.’ 
‘Good,’ Liz said. 
‘One moment,’ he said, and concentrated for a second. Liz felt the Magic roll out from him and consume the Weapons in the crates nearby. Liz watched with her Magic sight and saw the items inside the crates erode and quickly fall to ruin. They were useless now. 
‘Good thinking,’ Liz said. 
Xain and Orion had walked up to Liz and Stephen by now but still remained on alert, watching their surroundings. 
‘I think we’re finished here,’ Xain said. 
Liz watched as Rebecca walked up to the gap between the warehouses and spoke to the hostages who were down there. 
‘You’re safe now,’ she said in Russian. ‘You’re in Minsk in Belarus and you’re free to go. Here,’ she said, and offered them a roll of paper money. She finished with a few pleasantries and moments later Liz could hear the men run off down between the Warehouses as Rebecca walked towards them. 
‘Shall we leave?,’ Xain asked. 
Everyone agreed saying yes, apart from Rebecca, who only nodded. 


With a whip-crack of air, Hans appeared in a dimly lit tunnel, a puff of dust kicked up from his sudden appearance slowly settled around his feet. 
The tunnel had rock and earthen walls held in place with wooden support beams, from which hung the occasional lamp. 
He staggered for a moment and called on his Magic, feeling its power sweep over him and heal the broken bones, cuts and internal damage that had been caused to him by the gargoyle Scion that had taken him by surprise. He leant against the nearest support beam and caught his breath, feeling steadily better. After a few minutes, he called on his Magic and sent his senses hundreds of miles from Warsaw to Minsk and looked upon the scene he had just left. Barely a couple of minutes had passed, but the fight was all over and the Arcadians were leaving. 
‘Scheisse,’ he muttered as he stood tall and cancelled the Magic, buttoning up his now magically restored suit jacket. 
Walking forward, he passed through an Aegis and the main entrance into the Sepulchre of The Children of Pain, the Coven house of Demitriov, the leader of Hans’ Coven. 
The inside of the complex had a clean and utilitarian look to it with its concrete walls and its nineteen forties stylings. The Sepulchre wasn’t huge, but easily and comfortably housed the entire Coven and guests when needed. Located beneath Warsaw, close to the controversial death camp that the Nazi’s had here, this had been Demitriov’s home for as long as Hans could remember. 
Several corridors later, Hans reached the door to his Masters office and knocked. 
‘Enter Hans,’ Demitriov called out. 
Hans walked inside and closed the door behind him before walking over to the front of Demitriov’s desk. Old habits died hard he supposed as he watched Demitriov finish what he had been writing with a Fountain Pen. 
Hand written notes and documents were still used within the ranks of the Magi, both Nomad and Arcadian, for when you have lived for hundreds of years doing one thing, doing anything else seemed unnatural. 
Hans waited, feeling very uncomfortable and not looking forward to Demitriov’s reaction to his news of the Arcadian attack. Before long, his master looked up at him with a questioning look on his face. 
Demitriov kept his hair cut short the whole time, and today wore a suit cut in an old fashioned manor with a single gold swastika pinned to his lapel that gleamed in the light from the desk lamp. 
‘Report Hans, don’t keep me waiting. Did the ruskies go for the deal?’ 
‘I’m afraid there was no deal. We had a problem…’ 
‘What?’ Demitriov asked. 
‘Arcadians, the Legacy I think, they interrupted the deal. I was forced to flee the scene or die,’ Hans said as he looked upon his master, his now clenched fist starting to shake and pure rage filling his face. 
‘Verdammt!’ he roared as he lifted his fist and slammed it onto the desktop in anger