We pulled to a stop just outside the gate, bailing out to take positions along the road so we could cover Shake’s attack. We were all outfitted with the same basic gear; AR-15 rifles with starlight scopes we’d bought, they were Russian surplus. I turned mine on, the big scope amplifying the limited light of the moonless night. I could hear Scrape hammering away on the big gun, firing at anything he could see. They’d made it a hundred yards or so in when we heard the tires go, and the truck started to skid until it stopped in the shallow ditch. “Cover them,” I yelled as we opened up.
The border guards were already dead, but wolves were pouring in over the hill towards them. We couldn’t fire effectively at that range, but the silver in our bullets would hurt them even if it wasn’t a killing blow. The machine gun fire continued for a few seconds until it stopped, and I could see him struggling to reload, his right arm hanging limp at his side. We did the best we could, but without that big gun they couldn’t hold the Pack off.
I put the truck in park, knowing it was knocked out of commission. We hadn’t expected spikes, but at least we still had cover. I could hear the rounds going over us, and Scrape firing the big gun over the cab. When he stopped firing, I knew something was wrong. I looked back, he was struggling to reload, his right arm wasn’t working. “You hurt?”
“Broke my fuckin’ arm,” he said. “Can’t get this reloaded.”
I looked out, I could see the shapes approaching. “Bail out the back, run for it,” I told him. “They’ll cover you.” He didn’t argue, he hopped over the tailgate. I saw him running, holding his arm to his side. One of our cars started up, driving through the busted gate to go get him.
“Come on, you fuckers, come to Daddy,” I said as I watched them approach. I had steel armor around my cab, they couldn’t get to me easily and I couldn’t get out quickly either. There had to be twenty or thirty of them out there, and they were smart enough to use the truck for cover, figuring they wouldn’t fire on their own man. “Fire on my position, I’m protected,” I radioed back to the guys as my hand hovered over the switch.
“You sure?” Viper was worried.
“Those popguns can’t penetrate this plate. Duck until after the boom.” The rifle fire stopped, which caused the wolves to surround the truck and try to get in. When they were all around or in front of me, I ducked down then turned the detonator switch. There were a bunch of little explosions, all so fast together it made for one big one.
I looked up and smiled. The area around the truck was a pile of blood and gore, my homemade Claymores had done their job. The few that hadn’t been taken out were quickly shot by the riflemen behind me. I waited until the noise stopped, then got on the radio. “Any more out there?”
“Nothing yet, and the others have already crossed the border.”
I looked around, I was a sitting duck with no explosives or guns. I unlatched the sliding bolts that held the right side of my protective plating in place, allowing it to drop onto the seat. Sliding across, I took out my Glock before I pushed the passenger door open. Looking around, there was nothing moving, so I went around to the back and got back in the bed. I unlatched the M240 from the mount, setting it on the tailgate along with the remaining ammo can. Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out the white phosphorous grenade and pulled the pin, tossing it through the broken back window of the cab.
I jumped off, grabbed the gear and made it five steps before the grenade went off. The night lit up as the burning metal set the truck ablaze. I ran back towards the gate, seeing the guys lit up by the blaze behind me. All of the sudden, I heard screams and shots. “WOLVES,” I heard Viper yell.
They’d been flanked.
We stood together just outside the border, the sixteen of us waiting for the clock to count down. When it was less than a minute, I gave the signal to shift. Moments later, I was surrounded by wolves of all colors and sizes, none as large as my black wolf. As soon as we heard the gunfire in the distance, we knew it was almost time.
We had to wait a few minutes before we could go, to make sure the reinforcements went the other way. I paced back and forth in front of my men, counting down in my head. When it finally was time, I turned and took off, my men following close behind. We thundered across the prairie, our paws tearing up dirt and grass as we bore down on the Pack House.
We heard an explosion in the distance, and the sound of rifle fire. Viper was doing his job, and now it was ours. Our group split in three, two veering off to surround the main house while my group went right to the front door.
The first opposition showed up as we broke into the clearing around the house. A dozen wolves had formed a line in front of us, hackles up. They had no chance, I could see the fear in their eyes and their bodies as we approached. These weren’t the fighters, these were the old, the young, the injured. “Stop in front of them, do not attack until I say,” I sent to my men.
“The back is unguarded, we are holding position,” Abaddon said.
I shifted, drawing myself up to my full height. “THERE IS NO NEED FOR FURTHER BLOODSHED,” I thundered. “ALPHA STANTON, I AM GABRIEL. I CHALLENGE YOU FOR THIS PACK.”
The wolves in front of us sat down, as did mine, while we waited. Nothing happened. Finally, one of the wolves in front of me, his black head flecked with grey, shifted and stood before me. “The Alpha has refused your challenge, he said he will not accept a challenge from someone who uses humans in a sneak attack.”
“What do you think? You are a worthy adversary, your age and your scars attest to your life. Will you die to protect a coward?”
The man knelt down on one knee. “He is not worthy of my life. He is an evil man, I was protecting the women and children. Give us your word they will be safe, and we will stand aside.”
“I have no interest in harming the innocent, I’m here to take out the cancer.” I put my hand on his head, feeling is allegiance shift to me. “Show me to where he is hiding.”
Our men shifted behind me, my group staying with me while the others made sure no one would escape. The old man led me into the house and up to the office of the Alpha. The door was locked. “He had it reinforced, it’s basically a safe room,” he told me.
“Fine, we’ll do this the hard way. Gather the other Pack members in the front, they can shift their allegiance or renounce their Pack ties at their option. He won’t be an Alpha for long if his Pack abandons him, and they should.”
One moment we’re reveling in our victory, the next we’re being torn apart by werewolves. I stayed in the SUV, window down as I struggled to pick up the dark forms in the night. Scrape was in the back seat, his gun in his left hand. I could see almost nothing, just the flashes from pistol fire. It seemed like forever, but probably was a minute before it was quiet again. “Who’s wounded,” Viper asked.
A few shouts went out. “Load them up, Scrape, you get them back to DeWalt.” The doors were opened and I saw the guys as they came in. Dagger was being helped, he had a shirt tied around his left calf, it was already soaked in blood. He was gritting his teeth in pain as he hopped in the passenger seat.
“Move over, Scrape.” I recoiled as I saw who it was, and what he looked like. Viking was shoved onto the seat, his head in Scrape’s lap. He had a shirt tied around his neck, his right hand had been bitten off at the wrist, and he had bites all over. The bandages were soaked, and he wasn’t conscious. “Get going, Stain, he doesn’t have much time.”
I didn’t have to hear any more, I tore out of there like I was being chased. I almost rolled the SUV when the tires hit the pavement, but then I righted it and accelerated. I screeched to a halt behind the ambulance, jumping out to get the door.
Vivian was already waiting with the gurney, and Snake and I slid Viking out of the back seat onto it. I couldn’t believe how much blood there was. We moved him to the back of the ambulance, where the interior lights could show what was going on. She checked his wrist, then his neck. I saw her use her stethoscope, then she shook her head. “He’s gone,” she said. “Take him out.”
We pulled the gurney back out and latched the legs, then Snake and I picked him up and set him on the ground next to the ambulance. We covered him with the now blood-soaked sheet. “Who’s next,” Doc said.
“Dagger is,” Meghan said. She had placed a combat dressing on his calf and was applying pressure as he sat in the open door. I pushed the gurney over and Snake picked him up and laid him on his stomach. Meghan kept the pressure on as we moved into the back of the ambulance.
As soon as he was in, Doc gave him a shot that knocked him out. Between her and Meghan, they had an IV started. I went back to my vehicle, opening the door for Scrape. “You all right,” I asked.
“He’s gone,” he said as he stared at the body on the ground. “He died in my lap.”
I looked past him, the seat and floor were soaked with blood, he was soaked with blood. “Come on,” I said. “Let’s get you moved.” I helped him stand up and walked him to the ambulance, setting him down on the bumper. “Doc, his upper arm is broken,” I said.
“Sling is in that cabinet down there,” she pointed. I dug around and found the blue sling; it hurt him, but I got his arm into it. “Just don’t move.”
“No shit. This is all Shake’s fault, hitting the ditch like that.”
I grabbed a few towels from under the seat and went back to the car and the puddles of blood. I felt like that scene in Pulp Fiction where they are cleaning Marvin’s brains out of the back seat; it was gross as hell. It had to be done, though, and it was better than worrying about Dagger.
I heard engines approaching and tires squealing. “Doc, we got more wounded!” The lights lit us up as they pulled in, and they were almost on top of us when I realized something was wrong. “THEY AREN’T OURS,” I yelled as I reached for my pistol.
One car stopped in front of the ambulance, another behind my car and men poured out and shifted to wolves. I started firing, I got two. I was shifting to the third when I was tackled from behind. I heard a loud snap, all too late I realized it came from me. My vision went fuzzy and I prayed God would understand as I faded to nothing.