The island had been battening down for the blow it was about to take, the boats out in the ocean where sounding their horns to warn other sea fairing of the coming gale. The high pitched tones of the alert service on the radio turned down real low as to not to wake the baby proceeded the NWS warning that was going out and the sky was already dark. It was going to be a hell of a gale it seemed but that was barely a trouble at all for the Cajun standing on his porch sipping coffee. The real storm was inside his house, curled up an sobbing softly as her body burned with a fever that was not going to break, at least not till the ‘infection’ set in completely and the horrible truth would be revealed to the patient on the next full moon. Remmy sighed and picked up his mug and finished the coffee and just watched the storm clouds over head.
He had been down in town when Audrey and Harry had tended to the girl, found torn up and bloody out in the woods, it was obvious what had done it but the girl did not know, not yet at least and he really did not want to be the one to break that news to her. To make it worse the girl was mute, it was hard for a terrified teenager to gather their thoughts and get them all scribbled down on a note pad after a traumatic attack like she suffered so it was slow going, but to make matters worse the girl had a haunted look anytime he came into the room. At almost 6’6 Remmy was an imposing figure to say the least, but anytime a pretty girl was around the Cajun charm he could put off was enough to make a nun rethink her vows. He was always soft spoken and smiling the few times he was in the room with the girl, but the look in her eyes said it all.
She was terrified of him because he was big, and tall, and dangerous…..just like the one who did this too her. She was brave thought, every time she looked up at Remmy she tried to smile because Audrey said Remmy was a good one, he was going to keep her safe. But it was still in her eyes, that terror. Remmy the man just smiled and said something flirtatious like he always did with a pretty girl, but the other side of him, deep down in the dark stirred and growled. It wanted to find what put that fear in the girl, and tear it’s heart out, slowly. He pushed that down because it was listening to that voice that got him suspended from his job, as well as putting a serious dent in the elk population on the last full moon. The spirits where restless, the other lycans on the island as well with all the troubles and the weird spell that went over the town the last full moon. Maybe this gale was the spirits acting out, or just mother nature giving them a reminder that she was bigger than all of them.
From out of the dying light of the cloud covered sun he saw a familiar figure making its way down the road past the small general goods store with a big first aid bad slung over his shoulder. Harry Longfoot, fellow lycan, boss, and generally nice guy was making his way towards his home.
“Ello Harry” he called out in the thick Cajun accent as the younger man nodded and came up the steps, a sort of tense smile. It had only been a few days ago that Harry had to spin doctor some damage that Audrey had caused upset over the strange spell blocking the lycans, an then Remmy blowing up over the argument he had with Audrey over it an killing a herd of elk. Harry had to give Remmy a suspension and juggle a lot of things to kind of clean up the mess, all while the Rangers tried to figure out what decapitated a hiker earlier in the week.
“Hey Remmy…..so how’s everyone?” Harry asked as he settled the strap of the first aid pack and just standing there waiting.
“Oh..ya know…woman gonna be the death of me some day” he said with the casual drawl and a wink.
“So…the girl in there….rogue attack” the younger man said and Remmy just nodded looking out at the forest where the rogue was likely hiding out.
“I know I suspended you…but” Harry said looking through the window seeing Audrey tending to that poor girl. “He’s got to be stopped Remmy. It has to be quick, and it has to be clean. It’s going to look bad if he’s not stopped, and I don’t want to ask….”
“No” he said looking at Remmy “You don’t need to ask Harry, I take care of it, we can’t let this go, not with how everyone outside is thinking about us lycans. You go on take care of the girl, I’ll be back when it’s over” was all he said and Harry just nodded, and as he walked by, he patted Remmy’s shoulder and stepped into his home.
He could hear the younger lycan talking to the girl in the one sided conversation, his lovely Audrey suggesting that they head upstairs where it was more private. Remmy liked Harry, in some ways the younger lycan was like him when he was younger and a bit more innocent. But that was decades ago, just thinking about it caused him to think as to what his age was going to be this year 70, no 71. Seventy one years old, with a pair of mates an children, his grandfather had a huge family by that age, the old dog was still kicking at the ripe young age of 147 with no signs of slowing down, Remmy had a lot of catching up to do it seemed. Harry had not seen the kind of things he had seen in his long life, let alone done some of the things he had to do to get this ripe old age.
This is not something Harry should have to do, or worry about. He thought to himself. He’s got a job, responsibilities of trying to keep the lycan community safe and protected, not to mention his own lady trying to put a collar on him and get him to settle down. All lycan’s by nature are killers, we run in the wood, hunt and eat what we catch. But this was a bit different, killing one of your own changes you and maybe it was something the young man should not have to do, not yet in his life. It was not the first time, won’t be my last. He pushed away from the railing of his porch and was about to head down the steps when his thoughts broke up as Audrey came out to see him.
“So….you’re going out tonight?” she said looking up at him with those green eyes of hers. He smiled and pulled her into a hug, hissing her red hair as he ran his hand up and down her back.
“Oui mon cher….is best done fast. The storm gonna be hitting soon, gale gonna make it impossible to track scents. Rogues usually not the smartest, deepened too much on instinct an senses that won’t help them in weather like this. Don’t wait up….may be late tomorrow for I get back” he said and kissed her.
She sighed as he pulled away from her and stepped off the porch. “Be careful” he said softly and all Remmy did was give her one of those smiles “You know me petite…..always” he winked and slipped out into the night.
Before long he made it to the Ranger station shortly after sunset going in through the side door to avoid anyone in the office or waiting area, everyone knew he was on ‘vacation’ from the job till next week and they didn’t need to see or know what was going on. Ducking into the men’s locker room he unlocked his and pulled out a heavy pack as well as some cloths. Stripping down he quickly changed into the heavy hiking boots and camouflage fatigue pants and black long sleeve Henley style shirt, before putting on the gun belt with the long holster and speed loader pack and the taking the hand cannon out to check it.
Smith and Wesson had designed the Model 500 for the sole purpose of being able to fire the huge .500 Magnum round, the biggest commercial sporting pistol round ever made. The gun was big and heavy to counter the recoil, something a lycan really did not have to worry too much about, and he carried it because if he ever was in a situation where he may have had the need to stop a charging bear in the woods, this was the one gun that would get the job done. In this hunt it would not kill a lycan but it would slow them down a lot trying to heal all that damage. He slide the gun into the holder and the put on his heavy coat and then the hunting pack before he left the locker room and slide into the back storage room that he had put the armory in.
Federal Forest Rangers had to qualify in a wide range of weapons, sometimes it was part of the job that you may have to stop a dangerous animal an sometimes that called for a different tool for the job. Their office had the usual rifles and shotguns you would expect to need for dealing with wildlife, or if the need arouse wild humans acting a fool in protected lands. But after there was some creepy reports of a psycho clown in the woods, the decapitation and all, Remmy had gone and dug up a few pieces of hardware he had put away thinking that those days in his life were long gone, funny how that never seems to be the case.
He pulled out the key and unlocked the one gun safe off to the side that the rookies all pointed at and speculated what could be in there. He had joked with one of the new guys it’s the place they kept the rocket launcher for when the rabid grizzlies come into town, the guy almost bought it. In truth it was where he kept some nonstandard fire power just in case. He only gave the spare key to Harry telling him if anything ever got really out of hand don’t hesitate to open the safe. He swung the heavy door open and reached in for the long black case to the left, pulling I out and locking the door back so he could check out the rifle.
Unlocking and flipping open the case he pulled the matte black M24A3 out and hefted the gun up to his shoulder. A no nonsense simple long rifle that had served the US military for decades, he worked the bolt and then pulled the small box magazine out and set it aside as he looked through the scope and checked a few other things out satisfied that the rifle was ready to go. He was not young an dumb like the old days, getting up close and personal with this rogue would not undo what he did or make anything better. The beast has to be put down, ego was not part of the equation, and a gun that could drop a target from over a thousand yards. He reached into his hunting pack and pulled out a small black box, rubbing his thumb along the worn leather box as he hesitated a moment before he opened it up.
It was lined with black silk, his grandfather always told him he believed silk was a pure element and it would help ‘lessen’ the effect of keeping these items close. Probably just superstition but he never second guessed the old wolf, he had rarely ever been wrong. Inside the little silk cradle lay five hand loaded and handmade .338 Lapua Magnum rounds, the bright silver tips gleamed a bit in the light of the room. He selected two of them and pushed them into the small box magazine and then locked it back in place in the rifle and slung the gun over his shoulder putting the rest of the ammo back in his pack. He took a moment to collect himself, the human side of him always said that it was not easy what he was going to do. He had to keep remembering that, it’s not easy to end a life. He had to hold onto that because the alternative was the other part of him would win, and then how could he say he was no better than the monster he was about to kill. He could hear some of the rookies in the main room talking, good nature conversation about the weather, how Thomas lost $5 to Candace for betting on the loosing team, just people living their lives. Back home Leera was likely on her computer redesigning some drone or something she was fixated on trying to get a bit more performance out of it or lighten the weight. Audrey would be cooking up a storm an trying to convince Harry to call Lili over to have dinner in an effort to try and help the poor girl Amaris feel safer with people in a normal environment and the babies would be sleeping next to each other in the big baby crib. Life needed to be protected, no matter the cost. The rain started to come down hard, driven by the gale force winds slamming into the building and making the people inside get a bit worried about the storm. Remmy strides out into the rain and wind, pulling the hood of his coat up, his dark yellow eyes glowed as he let some of the rage and fury of his own wolf within slip out and take hold, time for them to hunt.
Hours later that night
WERE IS SHE! She has to be out here! I mean I bite her…I clawed her! She was broken and bleeding and she did not die. Not like the last one, she was pretty, she was nice, but she died. No this one she lived and then someone came along and took her. But this time she is alive and that means she is mine! MINE! That had to be how it worked, you bite them and then they get like me and they have to be mine…all mine!
The raving mad man was hunched down in the driving rain soaked into his fur as he lifted his head trying to catch the scent of his ‘mate’. A few months back while backpacking on the mainland he had been attacked and torn up by a huge wolf and when he came too he was different, he was better! All those other people are just soft and weak now, not like he was not he was powerful! But this storm was scattering all the scents, he could not find her and he needed her, or maybe another one, more than one! Wolves always moved in numbers so he needed a pack.
The lycan took off running through the forest heading from the deep forest towards all the cabins and homes on the edge of the forest. He would find more people, maybe among all those people at the big nomad camp, plenty of people there to pick from. He reveled in how fast and strong he was now, so much different than what he used to be. He was nearing a fire towers the rangers used set up on the edge of a hilltop to keep an eye on the forest, he avoided them for now. Some of them had guns, but they also had radios and that means they could call more rangers.
The lycan gave the tower a wide berth and kept to the tree’s and foliage in case someone was up there. It would not take very long for him to make his way down the mountain. He was about to take off running when he heard the crack of a branch and cast his head from side to side, sniffing the air but growling that he could not get anything because of the gale force winds. He was about to take off when he saw something move off to the left. The sound of a metallic click alerted him that a hunter had found him!
With a snarl he hurled his huge form into the bush’s and slammed into a tall man unslinging a rifle. He slammed into the human and swung his huge clawed hand into the man’s chest sending him back into a tree with and the rifle off into the forest. The lycan went to rip the man’s head off with a backhand only to splinter the trunk of the pine tree he has been slammed into. Somehow the man had gathered his wind and moved out of the way extremely fast. With a snarl turned to face the tall man as he pulled out a large handgun. He leaps at the man just as the gun fired, the thunderclap sound of the gun deafened his sensitive ears, the bullet tore into his thigh as he bowled the human over and snapped his jaws on the man’s shoulder delighting in the loud cry of pain the man made as flesh and bone gave way with a loud snap of bone. He shook his head from side to side to side shaking the man and tearing him up and feeling the wild rush of the kill…..and then that gun roared again.
The bullet punched through his chest barely missing his lung and heart. The huge bullet plowed a massive hole through the lycan and made him let go of the prey and howl in pain. He shoved away from the wounded man as the gun came up again. Before it could fire again he leaps into the forest running off on all fours from the man and his gun.
Idiot….IDIOT! Getting old and slow Remmy. Day dreaming and not paying attention and you let some rogue get the drop on you and crush your shoulder. You ever let everyone find out the grandpa jokes won’t end.
Remmy leans against the tree watching the rogue run off down the mountain as blood runs down his arm soaking the forest floor. He looked at the ruin of flesh and bone that was his shoulder, shattered bone sticking up out of the skin. “Merde” he cursed under his breath as he holsters the handgun and grits his teeth. Reaching up with his good hand an shoving at the bone trying to force it all back under the skin as he can already feel his body trying to heal up the damage.
The pain whited out his vision as he felt the bone move, weakly raising his left arm up to grab on a tree branch and then lean back with all his weight and pushed more. The wet sound of the bone being pulled back into place was drowned out by the grunt of pain as he bite down on his lip till he tasted blood. After a few moments the bone was mostly in place and he dropped to his knee gasping through the pain. When he opened his eyes they were bright yellow, a deep growl escaped his lips as his skin crawled. He wanted to chase the bastard down and rip him apart. He stumbled forward a few feet and his hand slammed into the rifle where it had been slapped.
Curling his hand around the gun he closed his eyes trying to swallow all that rage and hunger, the blood lust to show this stupid puppy what a REAL lycan could do. He pushed himself up lifting the rifle and stumbling off towards the fire tower behind him. This location was not in the rotation right now so there was no one to witness anything. He wandered over to the edge of the ridge and dropped to one knee looking down into the valley, scanning for movement as he removed the lens cap on the scope and then grunts in pain as he lays down and sets up the gun.
Stupid man….stupid…….hope he dies! He’s not worth keeping, he does not need to be powerful like me! Damn pistol, fucking cannon, but that hole is already closing. He was unstoppable! Unkillable! He was going to rule this island! As soon as he got off this mountain he was going to teach them all to respect him. Maybe he would try to find the family that belonged to that hunter he just ripped apart and rip them apart as well.
Remmy worked to reign in the anger, slow his breathing and heart rate and put the beast back in its place as his shoulder pulled itself back together. He scanned the hillside and valley, his yellow eyes drew in the moonlight and turned the landscape into a well-lit landscape before him as he clicked the safety off and raised the gun to his good shoulder as he slowed his breathing even more as he scanned the land. He focused on some movement, quick and purposeful as it takes off in a mad run to get away from him. In the driving rain and win he sighted down the scope, finger slowly curling around the trigger as he started to lead the target as it ran away from him. The wind gust and he trained the long barrel as he figures the windage and distance, his heart and breathing slowing even more as he focused through the scope and his fingers applied more pressure.
The rifle jerked as the bullet rocketed down range at 3300 feet per second at the lycan. He watched as a few heartbeats after the gun fired the silver bullet slammed dead center into the rogues back, the kinetic energy sending the creature slamming down into the ground sprawled out. He pulled the bolt back as the brass casing popped out and landed in the damp grass next to him and he slides the second round and corrected his aim down the scope. He watched the lycan push himself up on his hand, trying to recover from the hit. He focused at the back of the skull, watching as he dropped again an went still in the grass. His finger on the trigger he watched and waited, far removed from his target as the rain beats into the both of them, two bloodied and wounded beings but one fatally. After a few more moments he watched as the huge hulking form melted and shrunk down to a trembling naked human form that made one more feeble attempt to stand and then went still forever.
Remmy let out the breath he was holding and dropped his head into the grass. His shoulder throbbed in pain, slowly pushing himself up to his knee and engaged the safety and slings the gun over his good shoulder and scooped up the brass shell casing. It took a few minute to make it down to the body as the healing was taking a lot out of him. Sliding down a hill and then trekking across a field to the stand of tree’s the rogue had made his run out of and came to rest sprawled out in the rain. He stopped and rested against a pine tree and looking at the body. Lean and skinny and pale even before the bullet got him, probably late teens. “Fucking waste” he said as he did not want to feel sorry, but who is to say this boy could not have been led down another path. But then there was a poor girl back at his home that would not get a chance at a ‘normal’ life anymore.
He shifted the pack around a bit and grunts in pain, the shoulder was going to be a bitch for a while. He was already tired from the hunt, worn down to the bone from the injury and having to heal it so fast and he still had a lot to do before he could drag his tired ass home. He managed to get into a small outer pocket on the pack and fish out the old tarnished hip flask he kept for emergency’s like this. Pulling it out an unscrewed the top as the smell hit him like a hammer. Filled to the brim with his grandpapa’s special homemade Bayou Moonshine even in a gale force wind you could smell this stuff for a mile. He saluted the body “Safe journey to whoever will have you Monsieur” he said under his breath as he lifted the flask to his lips and took two long drinks, the booze hit him like a cold shower and he shook it off and put the flask away. He was about to push away from the tree when he saw he was not alone.
In the low branches of a pine tree across from the body the big bright eyes of a Great Horned Owl stared at him in the night. The owl stared at him, unmoving like a statue, the only sign it was real was how the feathers would move in the gust of wind. Owls where messengers of Death and many indigenous people believed they where harbingers of ill omens. Remmy watched the owl as it shifted a bit on it’s perch and watched him.
“So…. you call out da boy’s name eh? Came to collect him? Or maybe you think you try to call Remmy now too?” he said to the bird. Those big eyes made a slow blink as he focused on him and watched. They stayed like that for a few minutes, just staring as the world moved around them. Finally, the owl just blinked again and flapped his wing and resettled. He just laughed and shook his head “Not tonight eh?” he said as he went over and carefully gathered the body up and with a grunt slung him over his shoulders. “Come on son…. time to go to your final rest” he said as he walked back into the deep woods, deep into the place that most feared to go these days with the spirits all upset, but he did not care. The only place he could take the body where it would not harm the lycan community was in those deep dark woods, where no one ever dared to go but the brave. He never saw it…. but the owl actually smiled as Remmy walked away and took flight into the night to follow…. she had a soul to guide after all this night,