Trouble in the High Country
The weather was starting to shift as Fall was finally taking hold, the leaves where changing and the population was thinning out save for those who were hoping to maybe hit the high country to take a chance with deer season. It was a great time of the year, on that Remmy always liked which is odd for someone who spent most of his young life in the sweltering bayous of Louisiana. For some reason the crazy Cajun loved fall and snow. The next full moon was only days away and he could already start to feel the faint prickling under the skin, the stirring of the primal creature within eager to get out and reveal under the moonlight, he tamped down on that as he had to focus on a few more important things besides running out into the forest for a quick rabbit lunch.
The young woman that he and his mates had taken in was going to have her first shift on this moon, they had prepared her as best as they could but there was no real way to get someone ready for that kind of shock, it’s something every one of his kind had to just experience and to be ready for the life you will lead after. He finished up the report he was filing and then shut down the lap top and stood up to stretch. It was just about then that the radio came to life and he could hear someone calling in from one of the ranger towers in the up country.
“Tower 4 to Base…Tower 4 to base”
“Eh now….Base to Tower 4 what ya’ll need out der” he said as he grabbed the mic and responded waiting and listening.
“Oh…Assistant Chief…umm….listen I got some signs of smoke north west of my location. I could be wrong but it looks like its outside of the area’s outlined for camping. I was wondering if I should look into it. Over” he heard the young recruit report.
Remmy’s eyes went over to the large topographic map and picked out the tower in question and looked at the North West area. “Hold one tower” he said and then picked up the clip board with the camp registrations on it and flipped over a few pages looking at the sign in’s and did not see anything that looked like it would match up. “Yeah Tower 4 we ain’t got anyone signed in for camping in your area for dis weeks. Can you give me a hearing on the smoke?” he sent out to them.
“Rodger Base….it looks to be about 2 maybe 2 ½ miles North West of the tower possible in a stand of pines”
“Okay…you all keep your eyes sharp but I will swing out der and give it a look Base out” he said and put the mic down and sighed. People wander off the trails and out of the designated area’s all the time, a minor annoyance really, maybe a small fine and a stern talking too. But it was getting to be fall and dry pine needles can start a serious fire, not to mention that was on the far end of the island and that was where a lot of the lycans liked to spend their full moon. Far enough away from anyone who could run across a pack of wild lycan’s enjoying a full moon run, the last thing he needed was someone off the beaten path camping where they should not have been getting a up close and personal visit from a giant wolf monster.
Harry was out so he slapped a post it note on his desk letting him know the grid area he was heading out too and then made a quick note in the report logs as to what was seen and that it was being investigated. He pulled a set of keys off a hook strolled on out to one of the older Jeep’s they had, it was rougher country out there and it would handle it better than those nicer SUV’s. He fired it up and pulled out to head out to the North Country. It was not a long drive and he honked the horn as he passed Tower 4 and pulled onto a small fire trail that would take him deeper into the woods and towards the smoke. He could see it himself now, just a small curl of greyish white smoke drifting up into the air.
Remmy pulled up to a small turn out on the fire road and shut off the Jeep and slide out as he looked around the area, nothing looked like there had been any activity and the road had not had any fresh tire tracks to show anyone had been up this way recently. All signs pointed to little to know activity so perhaps it was just some hikers looking to be a bit more adventurous, but then he thought back to the young lady who had been in the office a few days back saying that her brother may have been running around in the deep country, perhaps he had located the brother after all. He pulled the keys out of the Jeep and made his way into the forest heading in the direction of the smoke that looked to be about a quarter mile from the fire access road.
He wandered along in the pine brush thinking about the weekend and the full moon, pre occupied a bit about how he hoped it was going to go smoothly. Aside from a few birds and a squirrel or two not much activity here this far out. He was passing a mossy pine when he stopped and gagged a bit, the thick cloying smell of some nasty chemical’s hit him in the face and his heightened sense made it even worse. He stopped and coughed a bit as he concentrated on getting over the initial wave of nausea and then looked around to figure out what the hell it was. It was s sickly overpowering stench that was coming from deeper in the woods. He cleared his head and then looked in the direction the smell was coming from and it was in the general direction of the smoke trail.
Middle of nowhere off the beaten past on an island and a terrible shit smell. This is not going to be good at all he thought to himself as he slowly crept deeper into the pine forest. He recalled the notices and such they got all the time about how the Forestry Service was finding illegal pot grows and meth labs in national forest all the time, he stopped and unbuttoned the strap on his revolver at his hip and then headed towards the smell up ahead of him. Before long he could make out something that was a darker green than the foliage and he could hear a faint crackling like a small fire. He bent low under from pine branches and kneels down to focus on the area and some movement he saw.
He had to admit that they seemed to have a nice set up, the dark green was a heavy dark green tarp that had been strung up among the tree’s to act as a rain guard over the camp it seems, a small tent under that and then a small fire and then what looked like several cooler and plastic bottle laying about. The classes he had taken on the mainland for his certifications talked about how meth cookers liked these portable set ups, coolers with bottles of chemical’s cooking up the crystal’s and such, Forestry Service has been dealing with more and more of outfits like this all over the country. He moved a bit closer and shook his head as the smell was enough to give anyone a headache but it was worse for his senses.
He could hear the faint cough of someone in the camp so he knew someone was there. He came around a pine tree and could make out a tall lanky man in a threadbare coat and knitted cap, mixing up something on a small table and then pouring it into a 2 liter plastic bottle and then start putting some tubing and then runs it into another bottle. He stepped up into the small clearing as the man set the bottle down.
“Eh…you know dat stuff just gonna kill you right?” he said in his good ol boy Cajun drawl and smiled as the guy jumped about a foot off the ground shocked that he was not alone and spun around wide eyed.
“Is also pretty illegal, seein dat your cooking meth in a protected forest….so dat makes his a federal crime…not like a night in the county jail. Naaa dem DEA boys gonna have a nice long talk with and get you a really nice little concrete room in some federal pen” he said as he saunters up to the man. God DAMN how can he stand this smell Sac Re Blu! He groaned to himself as he was getting a migraine from this filth pile, must be the cooks sense of smell died ages ago.
“L…look man stay back!” the dude yelled and yanked a snub nosed .38 out of his cock and points it at Remmy cocking the hammer back.
“Oh come on now….you gonna compound it by pulling a gun on me?” he laughed holding his hand up in defeat shaking his head. It was going to hurt like hell if the idiot shot him but it was not going to come close to stopping him, but then the guy would wonder why after putting a few bullets in him the ranger did not go down….and he really did not want to have to dig a grave out here in the woods.
“Look boy….you in a lot of trouble cooking drugs up here in my woods. That alone I should throw you a beating that would leave you with a limp de rest of your life. But it getting late an I gotta be home for dinner or de wife gonna skin me….and if you pull that trigger and shot me with that pop gun I am gonna be mad…..and then I am not gonna beat you I tear you in half. Now you put that downright God Damn now” he growled and then saw the man look off to the left.
“Merde” he growled as he heard the sounds of footsteps. The second guy came running out of the heavy brush with an aluminum baseball bat ready to swing for the fences, the stench of the chemical was masking the men’s scents an the headache the smell gave him was not helping. The man yelled and swung as Remmy threw his arm up to catch the blow. The loud SNAP of the bat connecting with his forearm filled the small clearing as he grunts in pain as he feels bone break but the blow never connected with his head like it was aimed for. The gun popped in the man’s hand and he could feel the bullet whiz past his head.
“Damn it Billy watch it with that thing” the slugger yelled as Remmy spun to try and get both of them in his line of sight. His left arm was numb and the bone cracked good and he was about to go for his side arm when slugger comes in for another swing. He telegraphed it and it was easy to duck and move..the pop of the gun echoed again as this bullet went wide. He threw himself to the side as the bat swinger checked himself after the swing and went to try another one. Remmy kept trying to move and keep that man between him and the shooter until he had fired his six. The man swung and he jumped backed getting feeling back into his left arm as the bone tried to knit back together. The shooter, Billy ran around to get a bead on Remmy. The meth cook took aim and the Cajun jerked to the left….right into a swing from the slugger and the bat made a meaty thwack glancing off the side of his head and sending him to his knees as he saw stars.
“Damn it Skeet he seen us…. finish him off!” Billy cried as Remmy saw the hazy double image of the bat wielding Skeet step up and get ready to go for a home run.
Stop acting like a man! The boiling rage within howled at him These worthless dregs don’t deserve the life they have, the poison the sell to people. They are cancer……cull the caner from the herd The voice raged within. The bat swung down and his right hand shot out and gripped it stopping it dead in it’s tracks as he slowly stood up to his full height to look down at Skeet as the man suddenly realized he may be in mortal danger as the man he had clocked in the skull seemed right as rain. Out of the corner of his eye Billy was shocked and aiming the gun.
Remmy balled up Skeet’s flannel in his left hand and twisted the bat away from him and threw the man like a rag doll into his buddy, the gun went off and the shot went wide. “You two fuckers need to start running” Remmy said in a deep cold growl “Now” he said and gripped the bat and swung into a tree with enough force that the bark chipped away and the bat shattered. The men screamed and tore off into the woods as fast as they could. Remmy felt his chest swell, the monster wanted to chase them down….hear their screams….bath in their blood. He took one step towards them and then let out a snarl and closed his eyes and threw the bat into the forest sending it into the next county most likely as he tried to clamp down and calm himself.
“Tower to Remmy…..Come in Remmy! Tower to Remmy we heard shots……Hello?! Do you need back up Chief come in!” he heard a faint voice calling to him from his hip. The tower must have heard the gun fire. He gripped the small radio and took a deep breath “Tower….Eh is okay” he said and cleared his throat “Listen….found a portable meth lab and some cookers. They took a few pot shots at me with a pistol and took off…..relay it into the station…..and let the fire department know we have a chemical hazard” he said and looked up and saw the men fading into the woods. “You best get off the island an never come back” he growled and shook his left arm still numb from the healing.