Again, the voice from the dark boomed. “Wrong, little soldier. My kindness is what the bat has seen tonight.” There was a ripple from the garden, where the voice spoke, that coalesced into ink black fur and bone white claw. Ebony followed behind it, drawing herself from hiding and standing in a hunch, towering over the crowd with ease. Her face was a young woman’s, mature but bereft of age’s touch, compounded by whisps of black fur around her collar and neatly arranged razors of teeth. Black wings were folded across her lioness body, her alien tail a pinkish color that ended in a flower-like bulb that jutted out the purplish spikes from the man’s stomach.