Search and rescue
Bobby kept the rope tied over his shoulder and waist. One step at a time he made his way back to his truck, dragging the weight behind him on a sled. He couldn’t believe his luck, because it wasn’t luck. It was his talent and skill, a trait that went back generations. His family owned this land and there was a reason they were so rich.
Back when Lycans first came to North America a hundred years ago, they kept to themselves, stayed in the mountains. They were easier to hunt because no one gave two left nuts if a Lycan was killed and sold for meat. They saw them as any other creature, meant to be eaten. But then those damn animal rights activists got involved and nearly destroyed his grandpapi’s organization.
Lycans were humanized and consumption nearly went kaput. Until the rich got involved. The one percent were as reliable as ever when it came to sinful desires. Lycans for pets, guards, sexual partners, and yeah, Lycans for dinner hit an all time high for the wealthy and it put money back into his family’s pockets.
Sure, it was a occupational hazard. His brother was ripped apart by a pack. His sis went out and never came back only to find her body a couple weeks later with her neck snapped. His papi fell off a cliff chasing them. And his mama, well, she ain’t too sane nowadays. Always thinking a Lycan was hiding out behind her window.
Bobby was making it, though.
He was hired to find a female Alpha. At first he thought it was a conspiracy theoriest like those that want to capture Bigfoot or Unicorns. But it hadn’t mattered, the payout was enough to make him curious. She was pretty enough to earn a few high bidders so he set out with little expectation.
Then the alarm went off. Something had triggered one of a hundred cameras set up in these woods. The North Saskatchewan River, his most populated mark. Water was a main source for any animal, he was always finding something coming through to get a drink of water. Sometimes tourists that got lost and sometimes the perfect elk that could be caught and killed and fed on for the next month.
Bobby was sitting right across the river in a hideaway his grandpapi had built, when she came up onto the cliff. He was downwind, covered in chili powder to mask his scent. All around him he sprinkled the chili in large doses so nothing of his pheromones were left behind. He could have killed her, right then. He was tempted with his rifle on the ground already loaded and aimed. But he didn’t want to kill her. He wanted to trap her. The request was for a live Alpha. It was impossible to say how much a female Alpha would go for on the black market, considering there never had been one before but now, he was thinking he wasn’t getting paid enough. He could probably get a couple million for her. She was the only one of her kind. A rare blue diamond among a bucket full of sapphires.
How to trap her? Alphas never leave the company of their pack. They sleep in the center. They never hunt for themselves. Alphas were the hardest to capture even for a vet like him. In his long line of Lycan Tracking, he had only caught one Alpha. It had nearly cost him his life and he had to leave it behind. It’s like taking the queen bee out of the hive, all the others follow and being overrun with Lycan was a death sentence.
He waited, learning about his prey, and then, the answer revealed itself as she talked with a male Lycan. Her mate. He’d be the answer to his prayers.
And maybe God was listening but he didn’t really much believe in God as he believed in spirits. His Papi watching, waiting, willing to help. And sure enough, that help arrived when the Gamma was pushed off the cliff.
Now he had seen some shit in his day but he had never seen a Zeta attack like that. It had to be Papi, overtaking her body and giving him exactly what he needed.
Bobby had to be quick though. The water was fast. It wouldn’t be long till they realized one of their own was gone and they’d be searching.
He knew the flow the water, where the body would end up and sure enough, three miles away, it was washed up on shore. Alive but barely.
“Oh, thank you, Papi, we gonna be rich. We gonna be rich. Just you wait.”
He wrapped his rope around it, pushed it onto the slighe and was finally back at his truck. The bed was equipped with a big enough cage, the most expensive metal money can buy because Lycans are stronger than most animals. Another reason why he never went after Betas or Alphas. He didn’t have the proper equipment to withstand their brutal power. But maybe after this buyout, he’d upgrade.
He hauled the male up onto the bed of the truck, making sure it was still breathing. A tear to the head told him the male would need medical attention. The fall off the cliff and a ride through the rapids would have killed most animals but Lycans heal faster than any species on the planet. Getting hit in the head was another sign the spirits were on Bobby’s side. Can’t shift if he ain’t conscious.
Bobby went back to the river, pouring chili powder all the way to the truck, making sure none of his clothes got snagged on any twigs. He double checked the lock and then hopped in the car.
There was no cell phone reception out here so the whole ride back to his house he could only share his excitement with the ghosts around him. And he didn’t hold back. He was smacking the roof, hollering, throwing back several swigs of moonshine.
His cabin was about an hour outside of Calgary. Good enough to be alone but not far enough to be without electricity. He didn’t need it for himself. He needed it for the cage. It was amplified with electrical current because some of these Lycans get a little moody when they wake up trapped.
The male didn’t seem to be waking but Bobby gave it a sedative just for added precaution. There was a reason he was still alive after all these years. He didn’t take risks he didn’t have to take.
Once the animal was tucked into the proper cage and the electric current was flowing, Bobby flipped on Wifi and made a phone call. It rang just once before it was picked up.
“Knolson. I want to renegotiate the contract.”