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24 November 2017 @ 10:58 am
_Stone_ part 16  

I popped the door and charged the man turning toward Nicole, turning back, eyes widening as I leaped, body slammed him to the ground, teeth in his throat. A horrible gush of hot salty blood. I jerked back, jaws clenched and ripped his throat out. Twisted away and screamed as the knife hit my shoulder, scraped down the shoulder blade. I staggered away from the dying man, the knife clattered away and I jumped a dog heading for Rachel . . .

I could hear shooting, dodged the swipe of a clawed paw. Oh claws, right. I clenched my toes as I returned the swipe. The dog yelped, and I dived to rip at its throat. It turned and fled.

I vaulted to the hood of the car, pounced on the man coming up behind Kris. My jaws crushed bone and the hunter reeled away clutching his arm.

I spotted two men heading toward Rachel and charged at them with a roar worthy of a lion. Grabbed one by the shoulders, curled to get my hind legs up and clawed down his back and legs, dropped him and jumped the one turning back, a flaming firewood club swinging.

The dog-form was ill-suited for karate, but my reflexes got one foreleg up to save my head. I stood and chomped down on his face. Hard. Released him as he tripped and fell. Bolted behind Rachel, teeth to the rope holding her arms, then scramble to intercept a dog heading for Nicole . . .

Rachel threw herself forward, legs still tied to the pole, but she reached and grabbed the knife. She curled to slash the rope at her feet.

No shooting? I rounded the car to find a wrestling pile of men . . . I dived teeth first into a bare shoulder, rip the hunter out of the scrum. Leap on top of the struggling heap. Claws front and back, and two hunters turned to fight me.

Kris rolled loose, jumped for the car and grabbed the second pistol.

A yelp from the far side. I scrambled up and around. Nicole had the sacrificial knife in one hand and Rachel was swinging the flaming club at a dog. I leaped on top of it, jaws to the neck and felt it go limp as I severed its spine.

"Get in the car!" Kris yelled. Two more shots.

They dived for it. I body slammed a staggering bloody hunter . . .

Then the car was moving, jerkily, one tire burst, trailing oil. It stalled out at the edge of the circle.

And there was nothing between me and the fire. And the red smoke.

A curling tentacle . . .

I am imagining that, because of that story. I do not believe in you.

I imagined laughter, words . . . But I believe, and that is all that is needed. Come to me, Hunter and I will show you pleasures beyond imagining. I will show you the greater Universe, things those little humans never dreamed of. Dance with me!

I shuddered and backed away, my eyes tearing in the smoke, making everything . . . strange.


I jolted around, dodged the rock a Hunter tried to brain me with. Two more dogs rushing in.

Heard two snaps of a gun and one dog collapsed.

I leaped for the man. Took him down, but he grabbed my throat and started squeezing. I brought the claws into play and he screamed as blood flooded his face and I got the back claws into his belly and he flung me away.

The second dog was just a pup. It turned and fled.

I staggered, looked around. No one attacking. No one left to attack. I backed away from the smoke . . . the last of the sun sank from sight.

The car headlights came on.

There was no smoke. No voices.

I could hear more cars, and a helicopter.

Kris leaned into the car and grabbed his keys, stuff from the back seat, the rifle. "You two stay here. Stone, come with me, quickly." He led the way the rest of the way up the little ridge. Grabbed my ruff as I staggered up to the parked cars, and pulled me behind one.

Oh. Nicole's car.

Kris popped the trunk. "Get in. Otherwise someone's bound to shoot you." He threw his armful in.

I got my front end, in. He grabbed and heaved the rest of me in. Closed me in. I heard his running footsteps, the cars, megaphones. Bright lights through every crack.

The cavalry had arrived. Probably just as dangerous to me as the Hunters. I put my head down and tried to not whimper in pain.


She was the last person to get treated. The . . . surviving werewolves had needed both lifesaving care and restraint. The guys in the NSA jackets, especially that Dr. Reid, had been positively gleeful at capturing some of the gang alive.

There was a helicopter circling the desert with a spot light, looking for fugitives.

Stone, did you get away? Or, horrible thought! Did Kris take you out of sight and kill you?

There were lots of white sheets covering dead bodies. Human, and Canine.

Or are they all werewolves?

She and Nicole had been separated and questioned.

The kidnapping had been straightforward—she'd parked beside a tan van, gotten out of the car, the van door had slid and she'd been jerked inside.

What they'd wanted was the details of what they called the dance.

Anything, any words, the rhythm.

She had a nasty feeling they wanted to give it a try.

Then she'd been left to wait for the medics to finish the more damaged. Including Kris. Who apparently knew the head NSA guy.

She eavesdropped shamelessly.

"The werewolves were fighting each other. I told you about Leonard Stone. Well, that's my best guess." Kris 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 from what Rachel had seen there were a whole lot of stitches, possibly surgery and then 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!"

Rachel jumped and grabbed as Kris folded.

But he didn't totally black out and the overwhelmed EMTs stuck him in the front seat of the next ambulance to leave.

Then it was her turn.

Rachel held still while the medic cleaned her face.

"Just skin deep. I'll put butterfly tabs on it now, but they've got some really neat gizmos that'll do a better job, minimize scaring, so don't skip the ER." He looked over his shoulder. "We've sort of run out of ambulances for the moment."

"No kidding."

She'd listened, picked up bits and pieces, snatches of conversations, orders and reports. Something about "The Albuquerque pack," "heavy weapons," and "fire and explosion."

She could sort out Nicole's voice, still talking about her carjacking and kidnapping, but Kris had been taken to a hospital over his own protests.

The Medic sat back. "There you go. Remember, ER. Tonight. Well, technically, it'll probably be tomorrow morning before you get there. All we have to do is figure out how to get you there."

Rachel winced as she tried to smile. "Oww! Yeah, we used up a lot of ambulances. But Nicole's car is here, if they don't need it maybe we can get ourselves there."

She stood up, the Medic hovering as she wavered. She nodded that she was all right and headed for her sister, in amongst the mixed group of NSA, FBI and a couple of boggled looking State Troopers.

Nicole grabbed her in a bear hug. Held her off to examine her cheek. "You need to see a doctor and I need to find Kris."

Rachel looked beyond her. "Do you need anything more from us? Can we take Nicole's car? It's parked up there . . . The keys . . . "

mbarkermbarker on November 25th, 2017 12:06 am (UTC)
I know, NSA and FBI may not get much practice on real crime scenes, and this is a big mess, but... are they really going to let the two main victims run off by themselves? At least have the State Troopers object, and get told that Kris will make sure they are available or something? I just know there’s a real tendency to hold victims, witnesses, and perps pretty close...
matapampamuphoff on November 25th, 2017 04:12 am (UTC)
Yeah, not to mention letting them drive away in Nicoles's car that was hijacked. But I can't think of a better way to get Stone out of there.

I may need Mr. Wright to be keeping the troopers out of there.

This story is getting more disorganized as it goes, however at one point I make the point that the Weird stuff division is where the problem people get stuck. They get to investigate UFO abductions, Big Foot sightings, and chupacabras. AKA, they're really excited to have some real live actual werewolves. . . so they may not be as professional as one would hope.

I'm half thinking Mr. Wright needs to get eaten by a werewolf, and Kris Kovac take over. Poor fellow.
mbarkermbarker on November 25th, 2017 01:32 pm (UTC)
What if one of the NSA or FBI guys volunteered to drive them out and get them taken care of... and then on the way, explains that he ... thinks Kris is right? Or actually takes them to meet Kris? Or... someone helping them escape seems more likely... oh, wait, they could be arguing about it by the car, and then some of the young werewolves break loose, and everyone runs to take care of that, then while their attention is on the dogs breaking out, Nicole and Rachel drive off? Which could easily lead to a chase scene, if you wNt to have one of those? I like the rebel NSA guy better, though.