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23 November 2017 @ 07:06 am
_Stone_ part 15  

Chapter Search

"Nicole's phone is rolling straight to voicemail." Kris hoped he didn't sound as panicky as he felt. The conference room was silent.

He switched back to Stone. "When did she leave for lunch?"

"We do weird hours. I'm off 2 to 3, she's off 3 to 4. I didn't pass her when I got back, but it's a big store . . . I didn't realize she was gone until I looked a few minutes ago, then looked for her car."

"Nicole's phone isn't . . . " Working?

"I'll head for those three houses. I can tell if she's there from two miles away . . . "

"Stay at the store I'll pick you up. Fifteen minutes."

He was already on his way out the door. Masterson was a step behind him.

"Kris—do not go charging in and warn them—I'll get the PD's SWAT team moving."

Kris managed a nod as he hit the stairs. "Nicole should have been at Wee Quiva. Get someone out to check."

Drove in cold fury, or perhaps cold terror.

At the store, Leo leaped in before he was properly stopped. "Go north on 43rd."

"I know where it is!"

"I just need to get within two miles . . . if they're not there . . . "

Kris swerved around a slow car, braked at a corner, looked, went, to hell with lights. Floored it and made a skidding left turn onto Northern on the yellow.

A quick glance at Stone as the boy's knuckles tightened. "They aren't there. No one's there. Get on 60 to the northwest. I've been tracking them. They went out into the desert a couple of times, that I know of. The last time I was out beyond Sun City when they turned off. I found where they went. I think they were setting up for their demon summoning."

Kris whipped onto the highway and sped up.

Reached and activated the phone system.

"Masterson? Stone says there's a spot in the desert they've been going to. I'm headed there right now . . . Stone, can you describe the place?"

"There's a road off highway 60. It's after the overpass and before the Veteran's Memorial Park and it goes past a big development, fancy entrance, waterfalls and stuff. After five or six miles it bends left, two miles on, they drove off into the desert to the north."

Masterson's voice sounded irritated. "You couldn't get a street name?"

"It was one of these stupid number thing. I was running. Hundred and sixty something."

And in the background "163rd. Goes past Asante."

"Masterson! Approach quietly! No helicopters until I'm on the ground. I'll sneak in close before the alarm goes up . . . " Kris shut up as Stone sat up in alarm.

"They started the ceremony when the sun touched the horizon, and said they have to finish just as the last of the sun dropped below the horizon."

Kris shot a glance at the sun, a handswidth above the horizon and concentrated on driving fast.

"Stone, get in the back seat and pull on those tabs to open it to the trunk. I think I want my guns up front."

Chapter Circle


"If I were athletic, I'd sort of shimmy right up this pole and . . . and . . . you know, like Jackie Chan. He'd make it look like having his hands tied behind him was helpful." Rachel ran out of ways to try and talk herself out of a full-on hysterical break down. It's only a few inches higher than my head. Jackie Chan would be up and out of here in ten seconds. But then he'd also beat up all twelve of these guys.

Three feet away, Nicole took a deep breath. "Kris was worried. They'll be looking for us."

"Right." Rachel stared at the dogs, running around, excited. They look just like Stone. Well, lighter colored, but the same breed, obviously. Did my picking up a stray dog condemn my sister?

And the men. They all look so much alike. Like Leo.

No wonder he was afraid of his family.

They were in a low flat spot, a circle of sand and rock, cleared of the sparse brush. A few rocks around the boundary, probably also cleared out of the circle.

The cars were parked beyond the ridge, out of sight. No sign of civilization beyond their clothing.

One man bent and lit the kindling under the larger chunks of firewood.

And what's with the bonfire? Actually not that big of a fire. More family barbeque style.

What are they planning on cooking?

Rachel shuddered and did not speculate on what they had planned for after-diner entertainment.

The sun was low . . . and suddenly every man and every dog went silent, facing the sunset.

The sun touched the horizon. A mass howl broke up into some wordless song, the dogs still howling as the men shouted. And danced and capered around the fire in an uncoordinated manner.

Shirts were being stripped off, one man pulled a long knife from the sheathe on his belt. And danced around the fire, running the blade through the flame, and dancing off, touching first one man and then another with the knife. Running the knife through the flames, trailing smoke from burning blood Lines of red marked his passing and blood dripped down arms and was flicked into the fire.

Even the dogs ran up to be cut.

And some of the dogs convulsed . . . rolled on the ground howling in pain.

Rachel stared at one. Smaller than the rest. A paw, toes lengthening into fingers, muzzle pulling back into a human face . . . A young boy, howling and uncoordinated.

Oh. God. They really are werewolves.

A cloud of red smoke crept along the ground, and was carried aloft in the fire's draft. Tentacles of smoke, curling around dancing feet, drifting, rising then blowing away in the faint cold breeze from the north. Getting nearer.

And the knife man danced toward them. Danced around them.

Rachel jerked her head around, trying to keep track of him.

The knife flicked out.

She jerked back, a stinging slash along her jawbone.

A wild uulation and knife man capered back to the fire. A swing of the knife and red sparks flew when he hit burning wood. Smoke billowed and rolled across the ground.

It's just smoke. . . really . . . The sunset's making it look so red, so solid . . .

Howls rose and the man with the knife turned, eyes fixed on Nicole.

Chapter Fight


"Lights, gun it. Hurry!" I pointed, leaning over the seat, and forced the words out as the change took hold. I braced myself, reached for the door latch as Kris floored the accelerator and snapped on the headlights. We zoomed between parked car, went airborn as we crested the low ridge. I caught a brief glimpse of what I'd seen with my eyes closed. Poles on the right, fire to the left men and dogs everywhere. One man near the women turning, knife in raised hand . . .

The car smacked down and skidded into the crowd, Kris twisting the wheel to break loose the rear and spin the car sideways into the middle of the dance.

ekuah on November 23rd, 2017 03:25 pm (UTC)
The NSA guys were still rifling through the carnage Kris's car had left behind.
Agent Wright looked shell shocked. "How could you inflict this amount of injuries to their leader?"
"By backing up the car three times." Kris said dryly.
"Just wanted to be sure after he stopped twitching."


Edited at 2017-11-23 03:26 pm (UTC)
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on November 23rd, 2017 03:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Aftermath
Hm, an FBI agent might do it, he wouldn't say it.

"He was a danger, the gang were still responding to him so I had to take him out."
matapampamuphoff on November 23rd, 2017 09:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Aftermath
"The werewolves were fighting each other. I told you about Leonard Stone. Well, that's my best guess." He looked around at the carnage. "I hope . . . I suppose we won't know until the DNA results come back. Damn!" He wobbled a bit on his feet. His left arm was imitating a mummy and he hadn't needed the EMT's opinion to know there was stitches, possibly surgery and a whole lot of physical therapy in his future.

"Right, well we caught one running away, but it was small. Four of the injured dogs are still alive, here, but they aren't friendly. And . . . Ah shit! Medic!"
matapampamuphoff on November 23rd, 2017 10:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Aftermath
Titch! Got ahead of myself there. Trust me, there's more fight to come.
mbarkermbarker on November 24th, 2017 12:46 am (UTC)
Nice to see that Kris has taken the offensive driving training, as well as the defensive stuff. I'm always surprised by how often people stop and get out of their car before attacking a mob on foot -- remember, a car is a lethal weapon, too!