Kurt automatically tried to teleport and was rewarded with a pain exploding behind his eyes and crushing his chest, and only barely was able to dive clear of the beast's attack. Hitting the ground hard, he gracelessly scrambled to one side, grunting from the cramping of his foolish attempt to 'port as he forced himself to get to his feet.
“Kurt!” Bobby shouted from somewhere on the other side of the camp.
“I'm all right!” He lied and swung to face the creature.
Gott in Heaven...
He'd seen many an abomination of nature, science and magic in his days as both X-Man and leader of the Excalibur, but this monstrosity seemed to be plucked from a nightmare. It was a wolf, or once was, huge beyond reason, easily as large as a horse. Its eyes were black pits of shadow that flickered with something that wasn't quite a color, and wasn't quite light.
Its flesh and fur hung in rotting ruin from blackened muscle, white bone jutting through its festering meat in places, and greenish slime dripped in viscous strings from its bared fangs.
Shadow clung to it unnaturally, despite the glow of the campfire. And the shadows that were permanently part of his own aura suddenly felt wane and unclean. As if the hellish wolf was tainting the night itself.
He never wanted to cross himself so much in his entire life.
He couldn't spare the movement, but he was already speeding through his third Hail Mary as the wolf landed directly in the fire, scattering embers and casting the camp into bear complete darkness. It swung its head between the two of them, its low growl setting Kurt's blood to ice. He wanted to retch, and his vision swam as he raised his blades, shifting into a defensive stance.
Bobby yelled something, a series of nonsensical syllables that raised Kurt's fur with goose-flesh and sent a hot shiver down his spine. The campfire roared up around the wolf, the flames white and blue and so bright, Kurt instinctively brought his arms up to cover his face.
He lowered them cautiously, and blinked away tears as his light sensitive eyes stung from the assault on his retinas. The Wolf was frozen in fire. The blue flames curled up and held the monster motionless, as if caught between the ticks of the clock, the flames did not flicker, just held time place around the undead thing.
He felt a hand settle on his shoulder, “Hold still.” Bobby's whispered against his ear, and cupped his cheek, turning Kurt's face toward his. He leaned in and pressed his lips to Kurt's, and exhaled.
Cold rushed into Kurt's lungs, cold unlike any he'd ever felt.
His eyes went wide as his swords fell from suddenly numb fingers...as ice began to spread like lace over his fur, frosting his skin beneath, and for one frightening moment...he was sure his heart had stopped beating, frozen in his chest.
He gasped as warm air replaced the bitter cold, and the frost melted, sinking into his fur and running in rivulets from his face and down his back beneath his uniform.
And then, the pain was gone.
Just...melted away with the ice.
Even his teleportation prickled at his mind, restored as if he'd never overtaxed himself.
Bobby just smiled and released him, “I can't ice up myself, but I still have a few tricks.” He picked up Kurt's swords and pressed them into his palms, “We only have a second or so before that spell wears off, and we have to kill it. Its a dread wolf, sent by them, and it will hunt us tirelessly, tearing through everything – and anyone -- in its path until it makes its kill.”
Kurt nodded, “I take it you've faced one of these befo--”
The fire roared, as did the dread wolf, and Kurt whirled toward it, vanishing in a puff of brimstone, just as it lunged. He reappeared above the monster, swords slicing through the air as he brought them down in a wide arc, twisting his body as he did so. The thing was too fast, and darted to the side with an agility that belied its monstrous size.
Everything slowed to a surreal dance, the clearing spinning around him as he 'ported in and out of existence, only barely aware of Bobby moving as well, swinging his own blade that hissed whenever it struck the beast's rotting hide.
The wolf roared, lunging and slashing at the air with its dripping maw, unable to sink tooth or claw into its prey. Kurt vaulted from a tree-branch, flipping over the thing's back, and drove both swords into its neck. He landed perched on the sword hilts that jutted from behind its massive head and -- steeling himself for the strain – teleported.
Taking the wolf's head with him.
He flung the head into the remains of the fire – just as Bobby leveled his sword at the flames, and a blast of cold ripped through the headless body of the wolf. It frozen instantly, and then turned gray.
Wind whipped through the clearing as the wolf crumbled into dust, and was carried away into the night.
Panting, Bobby jogged over to Kurt, who stood staring into the fire. The magic had destroyed the head as well...along with his swords.
“We'll get you some new ones.” Bobby patted his back.
Kurt looked over at him and laughed, “Better my swords be consumed by magic than me consumed by...that, Ja”
“Ja...Come on.” Bobby took his arm and steered him toward the trees, “Let's go catch my horse and get the hell away from here.”
“Where will we go?”