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On the Eve of All Saints Day

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Summer passed, and Fall quickly descended on Freedom City, bringing with it cool rains and even cooler breezes. As October grew old and November approached, the city made ready for its annual Halloween festival, The Haunted Block Party. For 12 years running the inhabitants of the theater district turned the two city blocks of Broadway between 64th St. and the Beaudrie Opera House into a "fair, games, and scares" trick-or-treat extravaganza. Between the hours of 6 and 8 PM, Broadway. would be packed with hundreds of children of all ages and their families milling about, playing games, showing off their costumes, eating candy, and trick-or-treating for goodies at all of the shops, booths, and venders on the street. Every year the members of St. Sebastians' Church made their way over to Broadway and joined in the fun. They set up their own tent and handed out free water and coffee as well as all kinds of Greek treats. Their Baklava was a Freedom City favorite. It also gave the church a chance to get the word out about their community programs: very low cost daycare and the soup kitchen, as well as their larger ecumenical partnerships with other churches: the shelters for runaways, battered women, and the homeless.

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Summer passed, and Fall quickly descended on Freedom City, bringing with it cool rains and even cooler breezes. As October grew old and November approached, the city made ready for its annual Halloween festival, The Haunted Block Party. For 12 years running the inhabitants of the theater district turned the two city blocks of Broadway between 64th St. and the Beaudrie Opera House into a "fair, games, and scares" trick-or-treat extravaganza. Between the hours of 6 and 8 PM, Broadway. would be packed with hundreds of children of all ages and their families milling about, playing games, showing off their costumes, eating candy, and trick-or-treating for goodies at all of the shops, booths, and venders on the street. Every year the members of St. Sebastians' Church made their way over to Broadway and joined in the fun. They set up their own tent and handed out free water and coffee as well as all kinds of Greek treats. Their Baklava was a Freedom City favorite. It also gave the church a chance to get the word out about their community programs: very low cost daycare and the soup kitchen, as well as their larger ecumenical partnerships with other churches: the shelters for runaways, battered women, and the homeless.

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Summer passed, and Fall quickly descended on Freedom City, bringing with it cool rains and even cooler breezes. As October grew old and November approached, the city made ready for its annual Halloween festival, The Haunted Block Party. For 12 years running the inhabitants of the theater district turned the two city blocks of Broadway between 64th St. and the Beaudrie Opera House into a "fair, games, and scares" trick-or-treat extravaganza. Between the hours of 6 and 8 PM, Broadway. would be packed with hundreds of children of all ages and their families milling about, playing games, showing off their costumes, eating candy, and trick-or-treating for goodies at all of the shops, booths, and venders on the street. Every year the members of St. Sebastians' Church made their way over to Broadway and joined in the fun. They set up their own tent and handed out free water and coffee as well as all kinds of Greek treats. Their Baklava was a Freedom City favorite. It also gave the church a chance to get the word out about their community programs: very low cost daycare and the soup kitchen, as well as their larger ecumenical partnerships with other churches: the shelters for runaways, battered women, and the homeless.

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"Who wants more?"

"Meeeeee!" came the dozen voices in unison.

Agnes was holding a large plastic pumpkin, the kind usually used for trick-or-treating. It was currently filled with lots of little squares of baklava wrapped in cellophane. She was surrounded by a dozen or more children who had returned to the St. Joseph's booth for seconds on the tasty treat. Agnes was happy to oblige them. The girl was right in her element; she loved making people happy, and she loved kids. She had been on the street, setting things up and serving with some other members of her church since lunch, but now that all the kids had arrived, the fun really began.

Though Agnes wasn't really a nun (she wasn't old enough to take vows) and she wasn't an adult, the parishioners usually treated her like both. Everyone knew about her special abilities. Most of the members just figured they had a superhero-in-training in their midst, but a few "true believers" really did believe Agnes was a miracle worker, a saint, or perhaps even an angel. Standing there, holding a plastic pumpkin and surrounded by kids, Agnes didn't look saintly at all. She looked like an ordinary teenager in a pair of second-hand jeans and a hoodie, with a black kerchief keeping her long blond hair out of her face.

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"Who wants more?"

"Meeeeee!" came the dozen voices in unison.

Agnes was holding a large plastic pumpkin, the kind usually used for trick-or-treating. It was currently filled with lots of little squares of baklava wrapped in cellophane. She was surrounded by a dozen or more children who had returned to the St. Joseph's booth for seconds on the tasty treat. Agnes was happy to oblige them. The girl was right in her element; she loved making people happy, and she loved kids. She had been on the street, setting things up and serving with some other members of her church since lunch, but now that all the kids had arrived, the fun really began.

Though Agnes wasn't really a nun (she wasn't old enough to take vows) and she wasn't an adult, the parishioners usually treated her like both. Everyone knew about her special abilities. Most of the members just figured they had a superhero-in-training in their midst, but a few "true believers" really did believe Agnes was a miracle worker, a saint, or perhaps even an angel. Standing there, holding a plastic pumpkin and surrounded by kids, Agnes didn't look saintly at all. She looked like an ordinary teenager in a pair of second-hand jeans and a hoodie, with a black kerchief keeping her long blond hair out of her face.

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"Who wants more?"

"Meeeeee!" came the dozen voices in unison.

Agnes was holding a large plastic pumpkin, the kind usually used for trick-or-treating. It was currently filled with lots of little squares of baklava wrapped in cellophane. She was surrounded by a dozen or more children who had returned to the St. Joseph's booth for seconds on the tasty treat. Agnes was happy to oblige them. The girl was right in her element; she loved making people happy, and she loved kids. She had been on the street, setting things up and serving with some other members of her church since lunch, but now that all the kids had arrived, the fun really began.

Though Agnes wasn't really a nun (she wasn't old enough to take vows) and she wasn't an adult, the parishioners usually treated her like both. Everyone knew about her special abilities. Most of the members just figured they had a superhero-in-training in their midst, but a few "true believers" really did believe Agnes was a miracle worker, a saint, or perhaps even an angel. Standing there, holding a plastic pumpkin and surrounded by kids, Agnes didn't look saintly at all. She looked like an ordinary teenager in a pair of second-hand jeans and a hoodie, with a black kerchief keeping her long blond hair out of her face.

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Agnes was laughing as she handed out a second round of the treats to the kids. "You can't have thirds!" she said to an 8 year old boy dressed like the Centurion. He was actually back for fourths, but he wasn't telling her that. "There! Now go play. Save some baklava for everyone else." Agnes turned and began walking back toward St. Sebastian's tent, when she saw someone approaching out of the corner of her eye.

"Hello, sir," she said turning to face the man. She had a twinkle in her eye and an infectious grin on her otherwise plain face. "Would you like some goodies? Those are great legs, by the way."

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Agnes was laughing as she handed out a second round of the treats to the kids. "You can't have thirds!" she said to an 8 year old boy dressed like the Centurion. He was actually back for fourths, but he wasn't telling her that. "There! Now go play. Save some baklava for everyone else." Agnes turned and began walking back toward St. Sebastian's tent, when she saw someone approaching out of the corner of her eye.

"Hello, sir," she said turning to face the man. She had a twinkle in her eye and an infectious grin on her otherwise plain face. "Would you like some goodies? Those are great legs, by the way."

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Agnes was laughing as she handed out a second round of the treats to the kids. "You can't have thirds!" she said to an 8 year old boy dressed like the Centurion. He was actually back for fourths, but he wasn't telling her that. "There! Now go play. Save some baklava for everyone else." Agnes turned and began walking back toward St. Sebastian's tent, when she saw someone approaching out of the corner of her eye.

"Hello, sir," she said turning to face the man. She had a twinkle in her eye and an infectious grin on her otherwise plain face. "Would you like some goodies? Those are great legs, by the way."

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Agnes laughed again. "Yep, this is the official tent of St. Sebastian's Greek Orthodox Church. Don't I look Greek?" Agnes asked, a silly grin plastered across her face. The girl struck a pose for the man, and the blond hair of her bangs fell over her very blue eyes. Agnes stretched out the plastic pumpkin with the goodies in it toward the man. "Have as much as you like," she said. "It's perfectly safe. They don't let me anywhere near the kitchen." More hair fell into Agnes's eyes, so with her free hand, she adjusted her black kerchief.

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Agnes laughed again. "Yep, this is the official tent of St. Sebastian's Greek Orthodox Church. Don't I look Greek?" Agnes asked, a silly grin plastered across her face. The girl struck a pose for the man, and the blond hair of her bangs fell over her very blue eyes. Agnes stretched out the plastic pumpkin with the goodies in it toward the man. "Have as much as you like," she said. "It's perfectly safe. They don't let me anywhere near the kitchen." More hair fell into Agnes's eyes, so with her free hand, she adjusted her black kerchief.

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Agnes laughed again. "Yep, this is the official tent of St. Sebastian's Greek Orthodox Church. Don't I look Greek?" Agnes asked, a silly grin plastered across her face. The girl struck a pose for the man, and the blond hair of her bangs fell over her very blue eyes. Agnes stretched out the plastic pumpkin with the goodies in it toward the man. "Have as much as you like," she said. "It's perfectly safe. They don't let me anywhere near the kitchen." More hair fell into Agnes's eyes, so with her free hand, she adjusted her black kerchief.

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"Agnes," a man called from back at the tent. "Spiros just brought the last of the baklava. Let's get a―"

CRASH!

The man was interrupted by a huge crash. The tent he was standing under collapsed into a pile of canvas and tent poles. The people beneath the tent were either sent scrambling out onto the street or were knocked flat to the sidewalk. The reason for the collapse of the tent was as obvious as it was unbelievable. Standing on top of the wreckage, slobbering and foaming at the mouth . . . was what looked to be a man-sized werewolf.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

From across the street, three more of the werewolf creatures came leaping through the air. One of them grabbed a woman, jumped up to the top of the nearby four-story building, and threw the woman into the air out over the street. Another of the werewolves landed on the same rooftop, further down the street. The last of the werewolves landed right in the middle of the street just a few feet away from the unlikely heroes. The dozens of festival goers present on the street began screaming and running in every direction.

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"Agnes," a man called from back at the tent. "Spiros just brought the last of the baklava. Let's get a―"

CRASH!

The man was interrupted by a huge crash. The tent he was standing under collapsed into a pile of canvas and tent poles. The people beneath the tent were either sent scrambling out onto the street or were knocked flat to the sidewalk. The reason for the collapse of the tent was as obvious as it was unbelievable. Standing on top of the wreckage, slobbering and foaming at the mouth . . . was what looked to be a man-sized werewolf.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

From across the street, three more of the werewolf creatures came leaping through the air. One of them grabbed a woman, jumped up to the top of the nearby four-story building, and threw the woman into the air out over the street. Another of the werewolves landed on the same rooftop, further down the street. The last of the werewolves landed right in the middle of the street just a few feet away from the unlikely heroes. The dozens of festival goers present on the street began screaming and running in every direction.

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"Agnes," a man called from back at the tent. "Spiros just brought the last of the baklava. Let's get a―"

CRASH!

The man was interrupted by a huge crash. The tent he was standing under collapsed into a pile of canvas and tent poles. The people beneath the tent were either sent scrambling out onto the street or were knocked flat to the sidewalk. The reason for the collapse of the tent was as obvious as it was unbelievable. Standing on top of the wreckage, slobbering and foaming at the mouth . . . was what looked to be a man-sized werewolf.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

From across the street, three more of the werewolf creatures came leaping through the air. One of them grabbed a woman, jumped up to the top of the nearby four-story building, and threw the woman into the air out over the street. Another of the werewolves landed on the same rooftop, further down the street. The last of the werewolves landed right in the middle of the street just a few feet away from the unlikely heroes. The dozens of festival goers present on the street began screaming and running in every direction.

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Agnes let out a gasp when the tent came crashing down. All her thoughts were for the safety of her friends and adopted family who were under the wreckage. Instinctively, she ran toward the tent, but stopped short when she found herself face to face with a snarling wolfman. Agnes clutched at the small cross around her neck. The small icon had been a source of faith and strength to her for as long as she could remember, and it did not fail her this time. As she whispered a quick prayer of hope, she felt the sword materialize in her hand. More confident now, the girl strode forward and shoved at the werewolf with all her might.

"Get away from us!"

But whether because of her initial hesitation or because of the sheer dexterity of the creature, Agnes only struck air as the beast dodged out of the way. Agnes stumbled forward onto the tent top, trying not to step on the injured people who where underneath, struggling to get out.

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Agnes let out a gasp when the tent came crashing down. All her thoughts were for the safety of her friends and adopted family who were under the wreckage. Instinctively, she ran toward the tent, but stopped short when she found herself face to face with a snarling wolfman. Agnes clutched at the small cross around her neck. The small icon had been a source of faith and strength to her for as long as she could remember, and it did not fail her this time. As she whispered a quick prayer of hope, she felt the sword materialize in her hand. More confident now, the girl strode forward and shoved at the werewolf with all her might.

"Get away from us!"

But whether because of her initial hesitation or because of the sheer dexterity of the creature, Agnes only struck air as the beast dodged out of the way. Agnes stumbled forward onto the tent top, trying not to step on the injured people who where underneath, struggling to get out.

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Agnes let out a gasp when the tent came crashing down. All her thoughts were for the safety of her friends and adopted family who were under the wreckage. Instinctively, she ran toward the tent, but stopped short when she found herself face to face with a snarling wolfman. Agnes clutched at the small cross around her neck. The small icon had been a source of faith and strength to her for as long as she could remember, and it did not fail her this time. As she whispered a quick prayer of hope, she felt the sword materialize in her hand. More confident now, the girl strode forward and shoved at the werewolf with all her might.

"Get away from us!"

But whether because of her initial hesitation or because of the sheer dexterity of the creature, Agnes only struck air as the beast dodged out of the way. Agnes stumbled forward onto the tent top, trying not to step on the injured people who where underneath, struggling to get out.

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Even before Byzantine was back on the ground, the werewolves sprang to attack. The creature that landed in the middle of the street lunged forward at Agnes, trying to catch her between it and the other werewolf she was already engaged with. The beast already sanding on the tent also tried to lunge. Agnes was quick enough to step aside from that blow, but then SLICE! The creature that was coming up from behind slashed her in the back.

Near the other side of the street, the two other werewolves sprang at Byzantine. They also coordinated their attacks, but the man-machine was quick on his feet too. He dodged out of the way of the first pair of slashing claws, but was struck by the second.

The woman Byzantine had saved from falling continued screaming as she took off running down the street, and the people who were unfortunate enough to still be under the tent continued to try to crawl to safety and out from under the crushing feet of the wolfman.

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Even before Byzantine was back on the ground, the werewolves sprang to attack. The creature that landed in the middle of the street lunged forward at Agnes, trying to catch her between it and the other werewolf she was already engaged with. The beast already sanding on the tent also tried to lunge. Agnes was quick enough to step aside from that blow, but then SLICE! The creature that was coming up from behind slashed her in the back.

Near the other side of the street, the two other werewolves sprang at Byzantine. They also coordinated their attacks, but the man-machine was quick on his feet too. He dodged out of the way of the first pair of slashing claws, but was struck by the second.

The woman Byzantine had saved from falling continued screaming as she took off running down the street, and the people who were unfortunate enough to still be under the tent continued to try to crawl to safety and out from under the crushing feet of the wolfman.

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Even before Byzantine was back on the ground, the werewolves sprang to attack. The creature that landed in the middle of the street lunged forward at Agnes, trying to catch her between it and the other werewolf she was already engaged with. The beast already sanding on the tent also tried to lunge. Agnes was quick enough to step aside from that blow, but then SLICE! The creature that was coming up from behind slashed her in the back.

Near the other side of the street, the two other werewolves sprang at Byzantine. They also coordinated their attacks, but the man-machine was quick on his feet too. He dodged out of the way of the first pair of slashing claws, but was struck by the second.

The woman Byzantine had saved from falling continued screaming as she took off running down the street, and the people who were unfortunate enough to still be under the tent continued to try to crawl to safety and out from under the crushing feet of the wolfman.

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The wolf's claws raked across Agnes' back, shredding her sweatshirt and digging into her flesh. She jerked around to face her attacker, keeping the sword between her and the fierce beasts. Her back felt hot and tender, but instead of blood flowing from the wound, a bright light shown through the slashes in her sweatshirt.

"Well that's new," she thought.

Agnes jerked the sword free from its ornate scabbard, and with a quick circular motion, she slashed at both of the werewolves. A burst of energy shot out from the arc of the sword like a wave crashing on the beach. The energy from the sword enveloped the immediate area, but the white hot wave of energy, in complete obedience to Agnes' will, targeted only here enemies. As Agnes completed her spin, she was lightheaded from the exertion. She looked down at her hands as they gripped the sword handle. They were glowing with a celestial luminescence.

"This is really new."

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The wolf's claws raked across Agnes' back, shredding her sweatshirt and digging into her flesh. She jerked around to face her attacker, keeping the sword between her and the fierce beasts. Her back felt hot and tender, but instead of blood flowing from the wound, a bright light shown through the slashes in her sweatshirt.

"Well that's new," she thought.

Agnes jerked the sword free from its ornate scabbard, and with a quick circular motion, she slashed at both of the werewolves. A burst of energy shot out from the arc of the sword like a wave crashing on the beach. The energy from the sword enveloped the immediate area, but the white hot wave of energy, in complete obedience to Agnes' will, targeted only here enemies. As Agnes completed her spin, she was lightheaded from the exertion. She looked down at her hands as they gripped the sword handle. They were glowing with a celestial luminescence.

"This is really new."

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The wolf's claws raked across Agnes' back, shredding her sweatshirt and digging into her flesh. She jerked around to face her attacker, keeping the sword between her and the fierce beasts. Her back felt hot and tender, but instead of blood flowing from the wound, a bright light shown through the slashes in her sweatshirt.

"Well that's new," she thought.

Agnes jerked the sword free from its ornate scabbard, and with a quick circular motion, she slashed at both of the werewolves. A burst of energy shot out from the arc of the sword like a wave crashing on the beach. The energy from the sword enveloped the immediate area, but the white hot wave of energy, in complete obedience to Agnes' will, targeted only here enemies. As Agnes completed her spin, she was lightheaded from the exertion. She looked down at her hands as they gripped the sword handle. They were glowing with a celestial luminescence.

"This is really new."

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Byzantine clobbered the two werewolves with a one-two combination. The beast's skulls were far harder than he anticipated, and their bodies far heavier, but he still managed to deliver two sizable blows. The werewolves went flying back about 25 feet before they came crashing down to the street. The one to Byzantine's left appeared to be completely lifeless.

Agnes, however, had a more difficult time of it. As she swung her blade and unleashed its energy wave, the werewolves leaped into the air. The wave passed harmlessly under them, before they nimbly landed again on all fours. In a second the beasts had renewed their attack on Agnes, ripping at her flesh with their claws.

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