Night Hunt

A Rurislovan Story

By George Woodruff


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The moon shone bright, full and red as it crested the horizon. A harvest moon, Carlos thought as he and Akula moved cautiously through the woods. The rest of their party moved with comparable clumsiness, though the nightlife barely noticed the humans that moved with them. The humans had managed to scare the leech out of the city and out into the wilderness, but Carlos and Akula surmised that this was the beast's natural haunt; here they were on its home turf. Akula suspected that a cabal was actually at work here. He hated cabals, they were usually well organised and even though he and Akula would be a surprise, he knew that the locals would be at risk.

He had hoped that they'd have been able to get the authorities to let them work alone, but no luck there. Politics and egos always interfered when they did this kind of wet work. He hated working away from home, but in this case, the Americans were sticklers.

Far off a howl split the night and the radio in his ear crackled.

"What the fuh..."

"Quiet, maintain radio silence!" he hissed. He could hear the soldier audibly gulp not fifty feet from him. Ahead he could see the building where the cabal was probably basing its operations from; it looked like a derelict and deserted house. The kind kids would use for parties. He could smell it. The odours of decay, mixed with the stale smells of urine, beer, tobacco, marijuana and sex. These kids were probably the feeding stock of the cabal.

Akula caught his attention. She'd seen a loupe, a rogue lycanthrope. She pointed out the beast as it slunk cautiously toward the crumbling edifice. He was a big bruiser and he'd killed recently. Sheep by the smell of it, and he was horny too, his half human form vibrating with a lusty desire that was perverted by his sadistic inclination. Akula would have to stay in human form so as to not get shot by one of their colleagues this night. Carlos thanked the Divine that they were both wearing body armour.

He heard a soft snap and a muffled oath, and then there was an explosion. Some poor sod had tripped a sentinel mine. The house became a hive of activity. Hot bodies of loupes and the icy coldness of leeches registered on his vision mixed with the less turgid auras of feeding/breeding stock humans.

As the soldier died in a hail of shrapnel, the rest of his cadre cursed and broke radio silence. Cacophony and confusion filled the air and the airways. Carlos and Akula relegated the discordant sounds to a mental back burner, attending only to information that came across that might be of value. In seconds the night was alive with gunfire and the standoff had begun. This was what he had feared. He was about to start toward the house in a fifty-foot leap when he sensed a trapdoor about to open before him.

Akula was already racing towards another tunnel opening when the leech popped cockily out of the hole ten feet before him. He leapt and ripped the bloodsucker's head off his neck. He saw a couple of more down the hole and without pausing to consider, dropped an UV/phosphate grenade down the rabbit hole. Screams were silenced as the grenade did its work, flooding the tunnel with fire and light that scorched with the radiation and fire of a small sun.

He looked up in time to see Akula similarly dispatch another bunch. Well that was about a half dozen they'd just dispatched. A rustling in the wind alerted him to the incoming attack of a loupe and reached out and snapped its neck, not even bothering to look at the body that slowly transformed back to that of a high school football linebacker. He executed his leap and was on the roof.

He felt the structure give way and tucked in his arms as he plummeted through the shingles and rotted boards. He landed in a three-point stance that prevented him from falling further and batted away a human that was locked in the throes of ecstasy that overcomes those who are food for leeches.

"You're fast for a human," growled the leech.

"And you're slow," Carlos growled as he closed with the bloodsucker.

"You're a vampire?" came the startled response as he cuffed his opponent like a sow would a bear cub.

"And you're a leech, I can't abide leeches!" Carlos let his hatred flare as he twisted its neck and ripped its head off, showering the room in its black blood.

"TRAITOR!" came a shout from across the room.

"No!" Carlos growled. "Your kind are the traitors!" And he closed with the femme fatale that had just raced up the stairs. She fought like a hellcat and was strong for a leech. She must have been one of the elders, perhaps a century or so older judging by her hairstyle and makeup.

Akula meanwhile was racing down another tunnel, having killed the two loupes that had tried to use it to flank the humans that were laying down a suppressing fire around the house. She head butted her way through a recently turned leech that had started down the tunnel and burst out into the cellar of the house. A spray of hot lead met her charge and she grimaced and howled as a few bullets found the chinks in her body armour.

"Oh shit, she's one of us!" a voice cried as she leapt across the room and tore a leech in half. Another tried to shoot her point blank but she slapped his weapon aside and drove her hand through his throat in a karate chop. Black blood sprayed as the head sailed across the room in a ragged arc.

"No," she commented to the rapidly decomposing corpses. "I've got ethics and morals you filth."

She bounded up out of the cellar and batted aside a stoned pregnant girl that was wandering about in a stupor. She raced across the room and began to bludgeon those who were firing on the soldiers outside the house. The third one didn't go down and she ripped the leech's head off before he could turn and fire on her.

"What the fuck!" came a growl and she turned and looked eye to eye with a grizzled loupe, the alpha male in all likelihood.

"Time to atone, gramps!" she growled.

"Who the fuck are you!" he snarled.

"Your Angel of Death!" she replied as she sent him flying across the room. He recovered and rebounded off the wall and grappled with her.

"You've got spunk little girl, I'll..." His tirade stopped as she lifted him high above her and sent him flying into a structural wall. "What are you!" he gasped.

"I'm pure!" she growled, her face elongating as she bared her fangs. Fear entered his heart for the first time in decades as he realised that this young looking woman was also a werewolf and obviously stronger and of better lineage than he was.

"But?" he stammered in confusion as she cartwheeled into him and put her foot through his chest.

"Too late!" she growled. "Time to die!"

The gunfire had stopped; the soldiers outside had been under orders not to fire if there was no attack from the house. Upstairs she could hear Carlos fighting with another leech; she could also hear someone skulking about on the intervening floor. About her the feeding/breeding stock was moving sluggishly or cowering and crying in abject fear. She moved like lightning, silent as thought she tracked the skulking figure. She couldn't make out what it was at first then revulsion swept over her she realised it was a hybrid.

There on the second floor she found the thing. Mangy fur, rank with blood and viscous fluids, eyes mad with the crazed look of one who was neither fish or fowl, or in this case, loupe or leech. It looked at her and two emotions expressed themselves simultaneously; hatred and salvation. Without pause she closed with it. Driving a stake deep in its heart while her silver blade opened its jugular.

"T'anx," was all it said as it died.

She shed a tear for its pain as she heard Carlos come down the stairs. His body armour was clinging to him in a mess of black blood and shreds.

"Hybrid?" he asked. She nodded. "Poor thing, when are they going to learn, you can't combine the two, they can't handle the conflicting desires." Akula looked at him and then smiled.

"You look like you had a wild time. Did she bust your pony?" He laughed and then activated his radio.

"House is secured, come in and clean up the innocents."

Later that week they were airborne, heading back to Europe and home. They compared notes and read over the reports. The authorities had leaked a false story to the press about a cultist sect that was practicing ritual cannibalism and holding sex orgies. The pregnant girl's foetus had been aborted; it was another hybrid and would have gone just as mad as the other. Akula sighed as she thought over the situation. Carlos pretended to not to notice, knowing that she preferred to be left alone when she was thinking of such things. He closed the dossier and then his eyes. It would be a long flight and he'd feel jet lagged at the end of it. He was getting too old for this he thought and then laughed inwardly.

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Night Hunt ©2003 by George Woodruff

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