God’s Light monastery, California
The sun high up in the sky; warming James’ semi-lupine form, warming his fur before the full moon could not be seen, setting in motion the conversion to a human being again. He slumbers exposed on the hard, warm Earth for two or three hours before finally awakening.
For years after his aneurysm just getting out of bed in the morning had been a chore but not this morning he sat up with relative ease. He felt a strange tingling in his left shoulder and it began to pulsate through his arm to his hand. James rubbed his eyes then his left hand, still groggy, perking up with his left fingers moving independently and intricately… pointer, ring, middle and the pinky finger for the first time since his stroke. His heart quickened, it is not possible he thought. For the first time since the stroke he braced himself with both arms and though unsteady at first he got up without any assistance. Although his useless left limbs had atrophied throughout the years and were weak, they were able to support his weight. He had to think about every movement of his left leg and arm, since the years of inactivity had his limbs complacent, but they functioned normally once again.
His stubbly cheek and chin felt sticky, his belly felt full and the palms of his hands were stained with blood. The night’s events were hazy at best and some memories he could not recall at all but exhilaration pulsed throughout his body bringing him a well-deserved harmony for the first time he could remember. He saw a half-eaten mountain lion a few meters away from him sparking last night’s events.
James thought of the mountain lion and the powerful beardless wolf-man amalgamation. No thoughts, just instinct, a pure primal urge driving him on. He had so easily overpowered the meeker lion and he consumed him. Only hunger and rest concerned him, a freedom he longed to feel again. He scooped up the lion onto his shoulders then headed back home via the hidden sloping dirt route, a disruption in the massively tall wall to the God’s light compound. He had grown quite comfortable in his birthday suit, it seemed so natural, so primal, so liberating. However, the closeness of the God’s Light compound made him keenly aware of his nakedness.
James rested his stiff leg. Traversing the slope proved difficult without his cane, but he happily passed through it back to the gardens. The town clock gonged five times, 5 AM. He stuck to the shadows of houses as he could not very well explain away his nakedness and the carcass that he held in hand. The ease of which he could sense human or animal presence flabbergasted him. He could hear private conversations coming from a dwelling, a conversation not meant for the public but easily deciphered through his modified sensitive ears. Breathing in an assortment of odors and aromas he could distinguish three distinct human beings and one dog. James closed his eyes and concentrated; one man in his 20’s exuded health, vigor, and fitness but the other one had the peculiar pungent scent of illness though still in his teens, a dangerous heart murmur revealing itself with a faint odor of decay in the sweat. He now whiffed a unique mixture of blood of the third stranger. Still a boy, puberty had not come upon him yet. He could even smell the fleas that infested the hairy dog. He could smell the skin flakes, dried blood, and feces of the fleas. His confidence rising, James triangulated the smell by wind patterns and heard the faint conversations and was able to determine that they were three blocks down and one block to the right of him.
James’ naked form simply snuck past the group and the dog. The dog scented James’ ominous presence and instead of barking it backed up in between the younger boy’s legs started trembling. He hoisted up the carcass with his left hand, smiling, as he fumbled for the keys with his other hand. Eventually finding the keys he unlocked the door and headed into his house.
James already missed the raw power that came from his transformation. Even though after his transformation he had blacked out a lot of physical memories he was able to remember the potent feelings it had brought forth. With every swipe of the knife to dismember his prized corpse to manageable parts James felt the remarkable power of last night surging forth from his body.
He got dressed in a simple gray sweatshirt and sweatpants combination then wrapped the parts in paper, opened his igloo container and put the wrapped parts inside. If the security were to stop him he hoped his lunchbox would not raise any eyebrows. Satisfied the lunchbox would pass by the security staff, if they didn’t rummage too far back, he placed the container into his backpack so he could use his cane. Although with practice he was able to maneuver the left arm again he wanted to hide his functional arm from the staff. James quenched his thirst for water for the third time and then out the door he went.
The Lucem Dei’s estate felt smaller somehow. When he enthusiastically joined Lucem Dei the acres and acres of its walled property felt huge to him. The walls that used to protect him were now smothering him and closing him in. Anxiety started to take a toll on him until he came to the church.
“Get it together man!” He said out loud pressing the button to move the altar and unearthing the trapdoors that led to the inner bowels of The Lucem Dei. With only a brief glance from the security staff at him he sauntered inside. James pressed the button on the elevator that led to So-seti’s prison.
So-seti could smell James and the fresh meat walking down the hallway before he entered the room. Her eyes fixated on his backpack where she knew the fresh bloody game had to be, her mouth was watering in expectation, but in utter confusion. She had been sustained on a diet of basic kibble, a mixture that was just shy of glorified dog food, for decades, to keep her weak and she was not expecting anything more.
James avoided eye contact with So-seti as he went about the makeshift prison cell turning dials, checking numbers, and replacing empty IVs. It was hard enough enduring new smells and the dizzying array of beeps and hums of the makeshift dungeon let alone looking upon the weakened and legless atrophied form of So-seti, who he now regarded as a majestic and beautiful creature. Too much for him to handle, his heightened senses on overload. His shaking hands turned the IV knob until the silver nitrate trickled no more. He pressed a series of buttons on the numerical keyboard. James entered a code that he had only just managed to memorize last night while distracting Dr. Atkins to override and stop the flow the silver nitrate. He could hear the buzzing of the overhead florescent lights and he could smell her salty tears, the tears of excitement and gratitude.
So-seti was truly weeping now as the incoherent fogginess of her drug induced haze lifted. The silver nitrate poison dissipating in her veins. James checked the IV lines that ran up to the wall and over to a corner away from So-seti’s shackled bed. The IVs were deliberately bolted to the corner so no staff members would be forced to turn their backs to her and risk their life if So-seti should somehow slip her bonds and attack. Her nose crinkled as she sniffed the air, breathing in all of James’s scent. He smelled different, she thought; the Wolf was now inside him and it thrilled her brittle bones. His stature and stance was different and his cane once vital for balance as he walked was now just a glorified ornament as the cane hovered above the floor. So-seti noticed his left arm still hung limp at his side but the shoulder was different, higher than before. The shoulder muscle that had been smaller the cartilage and muscle that had slipped from the bone was fuller and more pronounced now, anatomically symmetrical.
“Move ssssshoulder.” She was choking back tears when she said this. “Me knew you were sssstrong!” She knew in her heart James was now a changeling.
James froze, startled, interrupted from his busy work of straightening and filing papers but he rotated his shoulder fully then walked towards So-seti. Without a word, he raised his arm and wriggled his left fingers and with a smile, he began to get the meat out of the lunchbox and carefully unwrap it.
“I knew you had to be famished.” He said as he watched her devour the meat almost before James had finished opening it.
“Thank you,” she said as the blood trickled down her chin.
She noticed that she had just the minimal amount of shackles and more importantly she wasn’t wearing a choker, a safety precaution during feeding time that she had always dreaded.
“Come here, my prodigy. Come here, that I can smell you,” So-seti whispered, choking back her tears.
Pieces of meat spilled out as she said this. She saw a difference in his physique; He was somehow thicker than before. The subluxation in his shoulder apparent, the muscle had slipped one-inch from the bone, and the hypo flexion of his arm was obvious but the shoulder muscle was now engorged. Yes! He was now a changeling she was sure of it!
He stopped just short of her face and lingered. She tried to touch James’s cheeks but the chains tightened. So-seti breathed in his scent deeply, and then held her breath to take it all in. She had begun to feel tingly and euphoric… a sign that the silver nitrate had left her system.
In fact, she could transform and escape now but with the silver rods through her thighs she could not regenerate her legs. Making her effectively legless, underground at least three or four floors down, without legs it would be far too ineffective to attempt escape so she lay motionless for a while, then she spoke to her Savior.
“Me know the Wolf is inside you now! Tell me, exhilarating, isn’t it? Can, use your arm and leg?” She stared into his eyes but then her attention turned back to the rest of her dinner.
“Yes,” he was staring off in the distance, pleasant feelings running through his mind. “I brought you my first kill. It is a mountain lion.”
“Yes me know,” she looked upon him lovingly, “It is a strong adult lion too, me impressed.”
He opened the last of the meat and fed it to her like an ailing grandmother that he loved unconditionally.
“Your prize lion that you have so generously gave to me, a strong lion, Yesssss?” She hissed as she said this, her undying gratitude evident; James could see it in her eyes.
His eyes lit up, remembering the claws of the lion tucked away in his backpack. He pulled out three magnificent curled nails to show her.
“Your puissance very impressive. You survive your first change and the Wolf inside you is powerful.” She said as she tore a piece of meat with her teeth dangerously close to James’s fingers.
“I have some questions.” James said. He watched So-seti as she devoured the last of the meat.
“But first I have to say that I am truly and horribly sorry for the things they were doing to you.” Now, his eyes welled up and he began to cry.
Taken aback from his tone and honesty she felt the tears welling up again. “Me will teach you if you permit me, since my captivity leaves me idle and it would be great company, for so long all me had was just my own voice to keep me from going insane.”
A modest man, he did not mean to, but he glanced at her breasts. He felt a growing heat in his cheeks and a stirring in his loins. Yesterday the site of her body repulsed him, now after his change she appeared strangely more attractive to him. So-seti noticed this and smiled.
She closed her eyes and her mouth opened revealing fangs as her back arched. James could see fine black fur cropping up over the length of her body. Three pair of tiny teats sprung up on her chest and abdomen. Her claws scratching the stainless steel gurney making a screeching sound that made him shudder reminding him of nails on a chalkboard. As quickly as the transformation started the fine fur receded back into her now taunt smooth body. Fangs gave way to teeth as she licked her lips slowly with her tongue; her lips were supple again and had the pinkish hue where once a cracked sick gray had been. She deliberately tried to reach out and touch James’s face but the restraints stopped her just short of that. James got the clue and immediately made slack on the chains so she could touch his cheek.
“Am I going to be immortal too, just like you?” His hands reached up and touched hers.
It had been fifteen years since any significant gains to his weak side and he had resigned himself to living the life of a cripple with the hardships and scrutiny that comes with the stigma. But now, in this very morning he noticed real changes. He had the stamina, senses and the strength of an Olympic athlete on anabolic steroids, even his atrophied muscles started to fill out thrilling him immensely. He closed his eyes, swallowed and then held his breath before asking her a dreaded question.
“Will I be whole again?”
“No, not yet, my sweet, sweet child.” Her voice was smooth and sexy as she wiped a tear from his eye she said, “The Wolf shade is still changing you.”
So-seti craned her neck still worried that at any moment the alarm would sound alerting the staff who would rush in to secure her. She shuddered just imagining the silver nitrate solution burning through her veins as the staff pushed the plunger down. James held her wrinkled hand assuring her everything would be all right. She could see the confusion in his face so she elaborated more about the subject as best she could.
“Young lycanthropes just starting out, their wolf shades are still invading their bodies. Are separate in their bodies and minds, they’re effectively two beings until they merge. My Wolf and I were one and the
same, we merged together long ago, do you understand?” “No.” He said simply, wiping his tears away.
A noise coming from the hallway startled him and quieted for a second. He exhaled, breathing easily again; just lowly staff members chatting and walking through the hallway. His heightened sense of hearing alerted him. He put his finger to her lips to ensure her silence. As a new changeling, frustration set in, trying to home in on the suspicious noise until he zeroed in on the source. But it wasn’t this hallway where the sounds were coming from; the sounds were coming from three floors below. The noise he heard quite clearly astounded him because in the basement the walls, ceilings and floors all were soundproof. A couple of seconds more, just to be sure he wasn’t wrong that at any moment the staff wouldn’t burst in interrupting them, then he gave So-seti the signal to continue.
“Now the Wolf spirit inside of you has awakened and coursing through you, but you are not one and the same yet. Understand?” Soseti choked back a sob.
So-seti closed her eyes as James gingerly caressed her cheek. James didn’t say anything but his facial expressions told So-seti that he still didn’t comprehend what she was talking about.
“Some lycanthropes Wolf shade slumbers deep inside,” So-seti’s bony pointer finger touched her wrinkled forehead. James was still brushing her cheek with the back of his hand delicately. It had been an unfathomable amount of time since any affectionate touch and she didn’t want it to end so she rattled on, “They live their whole lives and die still separate from their wolves.”
“First, let me tell you the abbreviated version of the incipient lycanthrope, the werewolf who started it all.” James was surprised at the ease of which she spoke; she was articulate and almost poetic with the silver nitrate gone from her system, neurons making new pathways in her brain.
She had been in captivity under the ward of the Inquisition since 1800 A.D. until she moved here to the Sacred Lady of the Light on Diablo’s Mountain range and its sprawling acres of land. When she talked the perfect Queen’s English spilled out now, she had fooled everybody. James couldn’t help but laugh. Of course, they thought she was a wild beast so she gave them a wild beast. All the while listening to the conversations and probably strategizing a way to escape. He wondered how many conversations through the millennia she had overheard. He wanted to ask which people had their dirty little secrets and hidden affairs, but it would have to wait as she continued.
“I am the great granddaughter of the first true lycanthrope; my kindred are those who are a distant relation to the first werewolves. My great grandmother threw herself into the depths of the ocean. My great-grandmother, Aisos, tired of this world and faced with the fact of immortality she threw herself into the briny deep. Her body sank like a stone before she ultimately died and began to decay. She had six surviving children that set out on this world and sired more children.
The ocean began to evaporate water molecules began to condense into rain clouds, the invisible parasites lighter than water vapor began to condense too. The tiny animalcules rode the Jetstream until they condensing enough to form rain clouds and parasitic rain fell down. The animalcule invading unsuspecting villagers made humans carriers, effectively the parasite spread all around the land. But the carriers of the parasite were diluted through the years even the Wolf Cults thinned out through the millennium. The first wolf Cults spread out across Asia, two in Europe, North America, South America and Africa. Aisos’ lineage began to dilute as the human population exploded then infighting threatened to exterminate the cults, the only saving grace was that every single human in the world now had the animalcule inside them lying dormant. However, you’d have to know the secrets of the beginnings to unlock the metamorphosis… And the six packs guarded the secrets fiercely…or you must get bitten,” She pointed to her forehead right between the eyes. He was staring at her eyes, her delicate caring eyes.
“You could seek the infected out if you were so inclined. They would be colorblind but they could see a small bird 100 miles away. Some have pointed ears, could hear a whisper in a crowded room, the same length of digits on his or her fingers, those that late at night long for the outdoors, for the hunt, the outcast, the distant genetic relatives. Lucky ones are the kindred possessed of Wolf’s blood inside them.”
“Every once in a while a brave soul might muster up the courage to research the forbidden art but without the help of the packs to unlock its secrets they shall not be successful…” So-seti beheld James’ hungry eyes, eyes thirsty for knowledge, “You possessed the wolf shade and you’re lucky enough to find me to unlock the secrets within you.”
He could envision the bitten ones, their pain much more unbearable as the Wolf blood slowly creeps in and violently mutates through their veins.
“People that generally don’t survive to realize their first transformation, the lucky few feel like they’ve been cursed.”
He could just imagine that unless the biter comes to the aid of the stricken they don’t survive.
“A fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head or angry mob’s torches does the werewolf in before the year is done. If they survive without a guide they live their lives to the moon’s phases, growing older without a mentor,”
“Tell me more…”
James eyes were ablaze with expectation; So-seti lay quietly for a moment letting him contemplate the remarkable circumstances. James pushed his sweat shirt sleeves up, first the left then right before realizing his left arm pushed the other sleeve up by habit for the first time. So-seti saw the fine hairs rising, all of them spurting up and down his arms and she could hear the intensifying rumble coming from his stomach.
James remembered the broken and staggered secrets So-seti whispered to him and now he understood, “The Wolves shade rains fell down. The animalcules soak into the roots of the ash trees. They slumbered in the ash tree sap…”
“You follow, yes?” He nodded acknowledgment so she continued. “The animalcule rests in the pineal gland. As a child grows into a young man the pineal gland calcifies trapping the Wolf shade, the ability to transform an almost impossibility.”
So-seti caressed his face with her hands, “I’ve eave dropped on many a scientist’s conversations through the centuries coming up with this breakthrough. If a lycanthrope bites you the animalcule invades the bloodstream and the enzymes that were created soften the pineal gland. They awaken animalcules from slumber and fusion with the invaders… Or so I am told, ha, ha. I tell you my sweet it is a surreal experience to listen on to other people trying to explain what I am gifted with.”
“So you understand,” So-seti continued. “Every man, woman, and child had the animalcule dormant inside them at some time before the time when human population exploded. I could smell you, one of six pack’s descendants. I could be definitely sure about that.”
James finally broke their mutual stare. He looked to the door to ensure it remained closed, the hunger pains getting the best of him. “Okay I understand so far, So-seti.”
“A person could find a copy of the rituals penned down by the six packs or a person could be bitten and if they are lucky enough to survive they become a lycanthrope. That is the reason the God’s Light has a vested interest in me but I could smell with my preternatural senses that all of the test subjects failed horribly!” So-seti paused so the message would sink into James’ mind.
James’ mind reeled thinking about becoming a Wolf-thing last night but he had turned back into a puny human once again making his heart sink. He couldn’t help but imagine the God’s Light test subjects, alone, without anyone to instruct them they were stuck in limbo in most likely a vegetative state, the two halves, Wolf and human warring with each other. He thought about the people in the basement who would not survive the first night their heart exploding or like James there is bleeding in their brain. He could just imagine row after row of patients down below the God’s Light compound in a vegetative state or in a coma just like James once found himself in years ago.
A light bulb went off in his head, it sunk in, God’s Light needed Soseti for their failed experiments and they desperately needed her secrets. The guinea pigs of the Gods Light could learn from her easier rituals and be in less pain when they finally transform. Maybe even come out of their comas! She could pick and choose the staff members according to their smell. With the right mentor the person can be instructed to merge with their Wolf self instead of resisting the wolf animalcules. They could be taught to transform at will, at ease and becoming immortal of sorts, because the human side dies as the Wolf side is born again and vice versa, every time the lycanthrope morphs.
“Hungry, yes?” one look into his eyes and she could tell James’ pain, excruciating unbearable hunger that made her heart hurt.
So-seti drew closer her mouth opened. Mesmerized by her eyes James didn’t realize what was happening until their lips touched and she regurgitated into his mouth. James first instincts were to gag, to quell the peculiar feel of the warmth cud as it surged down his throat. Sticky, thick, the consistency of oat meal and sour to the taste but the cud had been condensed and concentrated… full of abundant vitamins and minerals it pacified James. Their lips locking in place suctioning together like interlock in a submarine so So-seti finished feeding him.
The hunger that racked him so severely had been quenched.
James swallowed, “Thank you.”
“You find for me the others! Now you can learn all you can about this accursed place, yes?” So-seti spoke as thick splotches of oatmeal-like dribble flowed down her bony neck.
“I will,” James said staring at her hopeful radiant green eyes, his hunger pacified.
“Thank you…” She said softly, almost at a whisper.
“You’re welcome.” James whispered.
No more silver nitrate running through her veins her pheromones began permeating through the air. James could not help it, unable to break away from her stare. Such a strange but mesmerizing creature, he thought, she looked famished herself James thought. He could count her ribs and look upon her beating heart through a brittle sternum and paper-thin skin.
Her dry lips cracked, splitting apart, bleeding her loose jowls flopped as she spoke, “see what they’re doing to our kind… so you will be ready!” He twisted his head in confusion, “Be ready?” “Did you sing my aria for me?” So-Seti questioned.
“Yes, I think I did,” James searched his memory, recalling the song coming to him like a dream. A fleeting memory, with his belly full and atop his prize, the dead lion, James’ wolf threw his lupine head back and howled out, “yes I definitely did!”
“Then my progeny will come!” So-seti flashed a wrinkled smile exposing canines.
Without any hesitation he walked over to the phone on the wall and pressed for the operator. He had a brief conversation with the receptionist to patch him into Dr. Atkins cell phone. James said in an authoritative, but deliberately stuttering voice, “Yes, Dr. Atkins, uh, um, this is James in the lower level.”
“James, what can I do for you?” The voice on the other side of the phone said.
“I’m well aware, uh, of all of all the theoretical lycanthropy myths but now, um, face to face with a real lycanthrope for the first time in my life…I would like, uh, to study lycanthropy closer with a scientist so I can better understand, um, So-seti.” James lied easily.
Dr. Atkins thought about this for several seconds. James had been a loyal employee and his disability made him no threat. Ironically the only thing that stopped Dr. Atkins from promoting James had been his disability. “It wouldn’t hurt. Tell you what James; I will call over to my scientist, Carson Milton, on the third floor in the East Wing to alert him you are coming, okay?”
James grimaced when he earned the name Carson but then glanced over to So-seti and flashed a symmetrical smile, “Thank you Dr. Atkins, I do, um, appreciate it.”
James presses the elevator button for the third basement floor East wing, conscientious to fake a limp and use his now ornamental cane as he walked into the elevator. He wasn’t sure he could stomach the experimentation of his new blood brothers; nevertheless So-seti wanted to know their whereabouts and wanted him to learn in a way that he understood, scientifically, all that he could about his new found abilities.
The elevator doors opened. James looked around the room as if for the first time. He touched the cold smooth stainless steel walls feeling the minute textures not apparent to human beings. Smelling the sterile but stagnant air had reminded him of a Lysol and alcohol mix. The flashing lights that spanned the length of the hallway always seemed too dim to him now too intense he had to shield his eyes. The glare so intense he had to squint. The bare steel walls with no pictures that can be seen anywhere magnify the reflective radiance. He smiled thinking back to the fact that only yesterday he had clomped clumsily as he walked, a consequence of his left side weakness, now he swaggered through the hallway without a sound. He stopped at the edge of the glass doors where a staff member labored away with his back to James. He did not notice the intricate arcane sigils carved into granite covering the walls edge to edge. James could smell the faint oil-based paint and strong silver smell that assaulted his nostrils coming from the decorative sword held in the arch Angel Michael’s hand; it had been painted the exact same color as the marble statue a long, long time ago. He slid open the glass doors startling the oblivious scientist who was working in the room.
“Ah, it’s you, I got a call from Dr. Atkins and he told me to expect you.” The scientist Carson motioned to the ceiling, “I guess it’s nice to have somebody to talk to. I’ve been so lonely I catch myself talking to nobody in the room and you know what they say about the person that talks to himself...” He trailed off awkwardly.
“I heard you’re only crazy if you answer yourself,” James said unaware the stuttering had gone away, as they shook hands. “Let’s start at the beginning I feel like we got off on a wrong start, I am James and you are?”
“Okay I will play, its Carson, nice to meet you James and sometimes yes, I do answer myself!” Carson pushed the wire rim glasses further up the bridge of his nose and flashed a smile, “in fact I’m in the midst of an argument with myself right now!”
Carson the baldheaded scientist said, sneering, “So the boss tells me that you need some experience in the autopsy experiments, that it?”
“Yup,” James said simply, hiding his rising disgust with the mere thought of a real-life autopsy.
“I am in charge of the brains, glands and organs, specifically pineal and pituitary. I study the parasite’s behavior,” Carson laughed.
James body shivered from every one of the countless jars that held cross-section brains in formaldehyde, the mounting smell too much for him to bear. Dizziness over taking him, he grabbed the autopsy table to steady himself dropping his cane in the process. To make matters worse, the dreadful hunger twisting in his stomach once again making him dizzy and hard to think.
“Yeah, we found the parasite by accident; first accidently found by electron microscope. We and the general population including all the doctors are not generally taught to look for a parasite. Even the general tests don’t register either unless the parasites are sloughing off. With its miniscule size it’s a wonder they caught it at all. We are studying the dwindling specimens to see how it functions, and if there is a cure to be found,” The scientist said, “We have made great strides in the study of lycanthropy. The parasite is an Arthropod with a dozen or so legs… we haven’t counted them yet, the amoebas rest in the pineal gland.”
“The parasite larvae are dormant sleeping in the pineal gland until the full moon. When the Moon is bright and full in the sky, amoebae apparently awaken from cryptobiosis and flood the blood stream maturing to adult parasites. For all our investigations the parasites are like the microscopic tardigrade or waterbear, found everywhere and able to survive even the harshest habitations throughout the world.” Carson shook his head in astonishment, “You know one out of three people have a parasite inside them. You’d be surprised to find so many unsuspecting stowaways in the human body, bacteria that live in the digestive tract, it is said almost all of the human population has the Schistosoma mansoni, a parasite that lives in the bloodstream. They do not know it’s in their body until they get dementia and a whole host of other diseases that comes with that particular infection.”
“That’s truly disgusting to think about,” not quite so fascinated James made a nauseated face.
“Through our studies we think that if the horrid beast bites you, the enzyme that the parasite puts out reanimates the dormant parasites in the bloodstream.” Carson explained; giving him more of a scientific answer than So-seti had already given to him.
“This parasite is extremely unusual. The parasite is asexual, it reproduces more amoebas in its segmented many legged body. We have been unsuccessful in definitively sizing the parasite thus far; it can only be seen by electron microscope analyzing it through supercomputer. The parasite rolls up into a ball when it’s dried out and hibernating. In ball form and dehydrated we’re unsure if it is an amoeba or a full blown adult and we waste all the samples analyzing it,” Dr. Carson said as he continued.
“I think that’s why we have some problems infecting the volunteers so we could come up with a cure. We don’t know if it is amoeba or an adult, if it’s rolled up in a ball and dehydrated, if it is best night or day by the moon’s various phases. We’re not even sure if it worked on the subjects in a coma.” Carson is silent for a moment then looked over to James and continued.
“Hey check it out, James.” The scientist patted him on his left shoulder as he filled beakers and carefully began pinching liquids from a dropper, his eyes filled with excitement. “The parasite is almost magnetic; it binds and concentrates iron, watch this!”
Forgetting his cane that fell on the floor and his fake limp James walked toward Carson putting his once lame hand on his shoulder as he watched, curiosity getting the better of him.
“Think of this as a normal human body with normal water weight.” He then proceeded to pinch the dropper until the red liquid ran out of it. “Then this is an approximate of human blood supply.”
James watched in fascination since, he had gone through the metamorphosis himself. The scientist removed a giant magnet plugged it in and then placed it three-feet from the beaker. The beaker slid over to the magnet, instantly attracted by it. James knew what the magnet represented before the scientist said anything.
“The magnet represents obviously, the moon.” The scientist unplugged the magnet for just a second and proceeded to get a faux skin and wrap it around the beaker then plug the magnet back in again. This time a dramatic difference in the behavior, the beaker didn’t move toward the magnet but the blood pressed against the glass moving in circles frantically darting to and fro.
“Exciting right?” The scientist gestured to James to wait a moment while he powered up the machines then motioned for James to approach. James stared at an image marked as “unknown lycanthrope #1”. A parasite still in stasis attached and threaded all throughout 46 chromosomes of his DNA.
“We were lucky to test this captive before the full Moon had arisen. He flew into the rage and eventually we had to shoot and kill him because he was trying to attack the staff.” The scientist said, “By the time it was over two of our staff lay eviscerated. Their livers were swallowed whole.”
“I believe the parasite feeds on salt and iron, that’s why I think that iron has such strong play in the process of transformation.” Carson ignored James, now preparing one more example.
“I think we have had a breakthrough in regards to transformation.” The scientist said with a smile, he was anxious to show James what he had found out. “Parasite larvae in the pineal gland are responsible for waking adult parasites attached to the ladder of DNA from stasis.” “I’ll just be a moment.” Carson said excitedly.
With a few strokes on the keyboards the big screen came to life. He proceeded to pull out from the freezer what look like a bundle of glands and connective tissue. He hooked it in place with wire and string until it looked like a grotesque 3-D instruction manual, a human monstrosity complete with wrinkled hydrated eyes and plasticized heart. Then he carefully removed two human arms one left one right cut off at the elbows but intact with the arteries and veins.
Carson maneuvered the 100 Neodymium 3/4 inch Magnets closer to the glandular veins with eyes and heart then he found a floor lamp and screwed in a high-powered ultraviolet light.
He unfolded his pocket knife and proceeded cutting his submarine sandwich in half offering half to James. Although disgusted at the site of the sandwich and smell of ammonia mixed with decay he took the sandwich anyway and proceeded to wholeheartedly devour it with one gulp. Carson turned the monitor so James could see it. There for James’ eyes was a plasticized human glandular system complete with eyes and a heart!
“The magnet represents the gravitational pull of the moon and the UV light represents the light of the full Moon, watch this.” Carson explained.
“Meathead,” that is what our Carson lovingly referred to the bundles of veins and plasticized arms, “magnets represent the moon. When it’s not plugged in it represents daytime, when the Moon is extremely far away. Look closer at Meathead’s arms, they are not changing.”
He turned on the electromagnet and moved the group of magnets even closer, “this represents the movement of the moon in the sky. Now it’s directly above Meathead representing nighttime. Look closer and you see the veins and arteries pulsating like a fire hose being turned on.”
“I learned with the help of Meathead and others that the human parts of the victims start to feel tired and lethargic when the sun sets because of the release of hormones and serotonin in the uncalcified pineal gland and pituitary gland, putting them in an easily pliable trance-like state. A lycanthrope’s eyes have a range far greater than humans so when the full moon is in the sky it filters the light through the eyes and into the uncalcified pineal gland effectively setting the hormones in motion to awaken and release the parasite!” Carson rubbed his bald head and continued with his practiced and well-honed speech.
“Watch, James,” Carson flipped the UV light switch to on.
An instant sheen could be seen on Meathead’s veins and arteries as the parasites awakened and a visible spike could be seen on the computer screen. James’ eyes widened in disbelief as Meathead’s pineal gland released a flood of invisible amoebas. Raisin like eyes rehydrated looking more like large grapes. Meathead’s decaying heart beat again. The dead human arms begin transforming to true wolf paws. James could not help himself he had to pat Meathead’s soft fur. Looking over at the jumble of eyes and arteries a horrible thought went through his mind, he could also wind up as just a bundle of parts to experiment with and that horrified him.
“Even in death the live animalcule somehow recognizes the full Moon light frequency.” Carson continued, “But of course we have to immerse “Meathead” in a vitamin soaked solution when we’re done experimenting or the adult parasites attached to “Meathead” will dry up and eventually die.”
James tried to shake off his horrible thoughts. He hobbled toward the waist high gray filing cabinet that he saw. Opening filing cabinets pulling out several folders and paging through reports that had caught his attention then scanning through a computer screen adjacent bolted onto the desktop. He read that the parasite’s many, many legs mimic molecules that could replicate lupine genes and chromosomes so they can bond with the host DNA.
“So-seti’s experiment led to a breakthrough as well. We amputated her extremities. Again and again, when the full Moon raises her stumps grow back,” The scientist mused. “The lycanthrope’s spine shatters and stem cells emerge constructing new lupine DNA resulting in an almost lightning quick healing factor.”
“Meathead’s heart, arteries and veins used to have a spine and skull but on the first full moon after he had been dissected before we could experiment with him the spine shattered.” Carson mused.
The scientist Carson haphazardly threw Meathead back in a solution then into the freezer and wheeled out a cart which had a flat screen TV, DVD combination to the middle of the room.
“Check this out,” his body shook with excitement he could not contain himself. “The one and only experiment that involved So-seti was recorded for prosperity. The Computer analyzes all the information and animated the information for us.
“Look, her spinal cord cracks and stem cells are able to make the Dire Wolf’s blueprint, until we amputated her legs once more. Soseti’s missing legs as she morphs into new wolf’s limbs. Eventually we amputated her legs and stuck silver rods in So-seti’s stumps to inhibit the regeneration. Of course that was long ago all before we gained custody of the beast.” Carson said proudly.
Carson put in a DVD showing a young, vibrant and wild captive So-seti. He could not suppress his feelings any longer as the tears sprang up from his eyes. James whipped his head around trying to conceal his moist puffy cheeks.
James watched the animation on the computer that showed alien DNA, presumably from a younger So-seti, chromosomes. The DNA ladders begin to polarize the individual sets tear apart. The parasite legs mimicking chromosomes attached to the ladders that were torn apart and fused together.
“The parasites in her DNA would reverse the chromosomes until she had the normal amount of chromosomes that made her a woman. No traces of Wolf remained. However, she could transform any body part to Wolf or human at will without the moon’s influence. I was intrigued by something So-seti said, ‘My wolf and I are the same.’ “Carson spoke in monotone, mesmerized by So-seti’s torture.
James could not tear his eyes away from the screen. He tried to make sense of the onslaught of data. Carson continued, “The Rome chapter of Lucem Dei would starve her and drug her so she had trouble transforming. Eventually, we learned So-seti’s DNA had one-hundred and twenty four chromosomes in a unique structure. I can only describe her unique double helix with missing ladders or half sets of runs outside the sugar phosphate backbone as two entwined roses the runs outside the latter like thorns. But eventually the unique double helix died from starvation and the lack of regeneration. Her elongated chromosomes died, no longer able to transform at will. However, the parasite larva always exists in her pineal gland and when the Moon is full would flood her bloodstream with adult parasites that mimic wolf DNA and they fused to her human DNA if we didn’t flood her bloodstream with the silver nitrate solution.”
“So far our working hypothesis is the parasite feeds on sodium, iron, and creatine and replicates. When the Moon wanes those parasites attached to the DNA go into stasis again and the larvae heads up to the pineal gland curled up in a ball and goes into cryptobiosis. It gorges itself with protein, iron, sodium and high levels of creatine, also found in striated muscle. The parasite tries to invade all the human organs until the parasite and the human are one and the same. Imagine the human DNA as a zipper. Now imagine the parasite an inside out zipper with wolf’s blood DNA in its tabs. The wolf’s blood DNA zips up with the loose chromosome bonds.”
“That’s why we found that silver, anything electrical really, being a natural powerful conductor of electricity, disrupts the parasites insertion process, since the human is basically a bio-electrical being. I was there when this particular captured werewolf metamorphosed before we shot him to death, the whole experience looked painful.” The scientist spouted off an almost exact definition in the book, titled Understanding Lycanthropy and Its Disease the God’s Light manual, while still watching the screen with interest.
Screams and wails on the T.V. coming from a tortured and miserable So-seti had him at his breaking point. James tried to calm down; breathed deeply, closed his eyes, but he could still hear her screaming. “The group had been lucky enough to draw blood from a changing lycanthrope and So-seti without getting mauled. When the moon is full the lycanthrope’s pineal gland floods the blood stream with magnetically charged iron parasites that release a torrent of hormones all at once that resemble metylenedioxyamphtetamine, Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, Psilocybin, Phencyclidine, Mescaline, and lastly Lysergic acid diethylamide. The cocktail of chemicals is the Parasite’s waste product. It awakes because of the cocktail and latches onto and invades their DNA.” The scientist told James as he carefully read the drug test results, flipping through papers.
James’s eyes widened in surprise at the report, exclaiming, “Ecstasy chemical types, peyote and PCP, are the active ingredients for mushrooms, and acid!”
“Not exactly but they’re so similar the drug tests make a positive. No wonder some volunteers have their hearts explode.” The scientist who looked hilariously like Byron scoffed to himself.
“The cocktails of drugs, amounts of which we still have yet to determine, flow through the bloodstream. The larvae come out of stasis and pineal producing Dimethyltryptamine or DMT…” The scientist hesitated as he calculated some imaginary equation, “the death drug. That’s when all hell breaks loose!”
“Imagine them as the walking rocks of the Racetrack Playa in Death Valley and ice is like the drug cocktail. The rocks are stationary, hibernating until night temperature drops making ice where there used to be hot sand. The unmovable rocks could move around now sliding back and forth with ease. The amoebas escape the pineal gland, some forming adult parasites. We understand the process in theory, the amoebas infect people and the adults invade their systems. But we have yet to successfully carry it out, all the experiments thus far are an utter failure.”
“So, what of So-seti?” James asked.
“That’s the amazing thing,” the scientist talked fast in his excitement. “So-seti could control her body of sorts. First, she could release Metylenedioxyamphtetamine, when the levels raise enough they triggered a release of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine.” Carson calmed down now, “the body then releases Psilocybin which then releases the parasite which produces a type of natural Mescaline, Phencyclidine, and finally Lysergic Acid Diethylamide in a controlled dose. Her special set of double helix, the astronomical amount of magnetized iron and her cocktail of drug-like hormones allowed So-seti to change at will. To polarize her chromosomes and fuse other connected chromosomes back together again, on and off like a light switch, made her a dangerous woman. The x-rays show her pineal gland is as hard and concentrated as iron. I think if she would have received a gunshot wound right between the eyes with a normal bullet it would bounce off.” “This is amazing,” said James.
Excitement ran through James as his heart raced to the point of arrest. You shrewd, cunning girl! He proudly thought, So-seti may be incarcerated, but she had listened and learnt all that she could about her gift that she didn’t already know before!
James said staring off in the distance as he muttered under his breath again, “So-seti is an amazing person!”
Carson stopped what he was doing and gasped, “She’s a beast! She is an abomination! An affront to God! She’s not even human! Her DNA and the parasite infestation prove it!”
James watched in horror as the realization hit him like a ton of bricks. He finally understood almost everything. So-seti had had one hundred and twenty four chromosomes before confinement instead of forty six, for a normal human, or seventy eight for a Wolf. So-seti and the wolf had merged until inactivity destroyed the unique cells in her body. He understood how stem cells behaved after they broke out of her spine. The only thing that kept her alive were the parasites inside her now, the apparition of Aisos’ dire wolf bent on survival, He almost understood everything but it he had gotten harder and harder to think rationally as his stomach reeled in pain and hunger.
What is going to happen to me, James thought, I am a beast. I AM a beast now! James growled under his breath, “She’s no guinea pig!”
“What did you say? I’m sorry, uh; I didn’t mean to strike a nerve. Tell you what, I’m going on break…you need me to bring you something the back when I return?”
“Yeah, could you bring me back another foot long sub?” James’ lighthearted mannerisms and demeanor put Carson back at ease, all though his teeth clenched and his stomach growled with hunger.
“All right,” Carson laughed.
He tapped several papers together so they would be even. He looked around the room to ensure he did not forget anything, took off his white lab coat, neatly folded it over his chair then headed out the door with a backwards wave.
Finally alone with his thoughts he stared at the freezers on the wall, one freezer particularly, the one that housed Meathead’s “body”. Then James glanced at the clock on the wall, 2:00 pm. Meathead’s misery ends today! He rationalized in his head. Meathead only had glands and a brainstem but no brain. He isn’t alive doesn’t feel pain anymore. Only the parasites cohabiting and reanimating the mass of veins that led to just his arms. He could not feel pain anymore, could he? He jerked the freezer door open; a blast of cold air assaulted his face fogging up his glasses.
When James’ glasses cleared up he carefully scooped up the remains called Meathead. He cautiously crossed just feet from the freezer door before setting Meathead down on a floor basin. He needed fire to burn Meathead so he could finally be free. James soaked meathead in an ethanol alcohol solution. White phosphorus, he thought, then immediately began working on freeing the White phosphorus from a glass container. A bright idea hit him through his fog covered mind… find the keys.
James obtained the keys in a desk by the corner then turned his attention to the glass container by the table on the adjacent wall. Embarrassment washed over his face as he easily unlocked it. He obtained a small amount of powdered white phosphorus in a glass. He hesitated for only a second to be sure that he wouldn’t be caught in the blast then threw the glass into the basin.
He stumbled back from the swift heat and flame the sudden flash hurting James’ eyes. No turning back now as he watched Meathead burn. No chance to explain this away!
“Rest in peace!” A sudden horrid stench stabbed his stomach and brought him to his knees.
James frantically searched around the sterile room. A twelve foot by six inch shelf sat almost eye level on the wall and held all the ingredients. Bottles and beakers some sealed up with corks all labeled and numbered. Powdered creatine tempted his eyes. He could see a brown large pill bottle labeled “IRON 100 I.U.”. A gallon jug labeled “PROTEIN” dominated the shelf-space.
A protein, iron and creatine combination smoothie he thought as he found himself going through bottles and jars to find a glass. James turned on the faucet turning on the water. He poured in the combination then stirred. A mound of white crystals whirled upwards like a mini tornado as it diluted to a clear liquid.
Swallowing up the homemade mixture with one gulp James’ thirst was satisfied and his hunger completely pacified again. Hastily he grabbed all the useful transportable small bottles and powders that he could and put them into his pockets. Almost out the door when he remembered one other thing he needed, the UV lamp, oh and his cane!
Only authorized to go down to the fourth floor James knew he couldn’t go down to the fifth special floors by elevator. The emergency stairwell is guarded by only a security-key, however. With his disability Dr. Atkins trusted him. The Dr. knew he would not able to navigate the stairs. But James had two functional legs now, and the equilibrium of a trapeze artist. He quickly searched for and found the keys to the stairwell behind the door on the wall hanging on a hook.
He stopped in the stairwell to get his bearings; once underground, God’s Light compound is a cavernous place comprised of a vast lobby, the elevator, stairwell, North, South, East and West wings, a carbon copy of her sister compound in Rome, Beijing, and several others dotting the landscapes. Until yesterday he had spent most of his days on the third floor, right wing, or limping off to the library. I don’t even know where my brethren are held, he thought and then he chuckled to himself, follow your nose, it always knows!
James anxiously clutched the keys that would unlock the stairwell. A moment of unease as he gathered his confidence then quietly slipped out the door. He crept slowly and quietly down the hallway until he came upon the emergency stairwell.
James flung the Oak doors open his eyes widening with shock staring at rows and rows of stretchers, every one filled with comatose patients, six unlucky volunteers laying side-by-side. He hesitantly hobbled over to one particularly miserable young man. Touching the test subject’s face, he felt so cold forcing the subject’s eyelids open, so vacant, so hollow inside.
With So-seti’s knowledge shared with him he could save them! He began to measure various powdered substances diluting the mixture then injecting the mixture directly into the comatose patient’s veins. He flipped off the light switch and plugged in the UV lamp when he heard something coming from down the hall.
“James, James, James,” a voice in his head beckons, “James, James, James.” Navigating the hallway towards the source James could smell the decay in the basement, drawing him ever closer to another room. It had an electronic security code but he checked the doorknob anyway, locked. James turned around about to walk away when he heard a beep and then a click. He checked the door once again, this time it opened with ease!
“James.” Now in the room the voice in his head spoke louder.
No furnishings in the strange room except for the twenty or so cages on the floor by the wall. No beds, drawers, or tables… not even a picture hung on the wall, just rows and rows of cages filled with… rats.
“Is anyone there?” James called out in a calm whisper. He noticed the rats all in their cages all with their red eyes trained on him. Each one moved their head’s in unison to James’ movements.
“It is Lucius, Vampyre and ally.” the disembodied voice said again, this time it had come from various imprisoned rats.
“I am James, excuse me a moment but with all my investigating I thought the Vampire and the Werewolf were mortal enemies?” Lucius laughed in James’ head loudly.
“No, no, we are brothers and we are the children of the night, we learned to get along centuries ago. Lycanthropes have toxins in their special blood that if a vampyre drinks, they would be horribly sickened. Their blood tastes unpleasant; unpalatable. We have learned long ago we have mutual prey, a mutual enemy, humankind.” Lucius said in his mind.
James examined the cages. There were twelve cages, six rats in each cage all draped with a light silver screen. Each rat in the cages stopped its incessant circling and peered at him through red beady eyes. He deliberately moved side to side, the rats moving their heads accordingly watching his every move.
“Let me out, let ALL of me out.” Lucius said in James’s mind referring to the caged rats, “I fulfilled my obligation to So-seti. I gave you to her, now let me out, I beg of you.”
Against his better judgment and slightly confused he started to unlock the cages and take off the silver screens that prevented the rats from escaping. He managed to systematically unlock all twelve cages. He rolled back the light silver screens and picked up and gingerly sat down the rats two and three at a time. Instead of running away to safety these rats pushed onto one another growing like a living pyramid as they ran into one another. The rats continued climbing up on each other.
“What the?” James questioned under his breath.
The rats seemed to get denser until all individual features were lost in the pile. The bottom circle of rats began to melt onto the floor. He took hurried steps backwards and ran toward the stairway. He felt it had been right, but he needed to flee this room for his own sanity’s sake now. He needed to seek out the one person who could calm him and then tell her what he found out.
Without a second thought he navigated the steps up and ran down the hallway. So-seti widened her eyes in surprise when James busted through the door. His hands rested on his knees trying to catch his breath.
“Vampyre… He is Awake…” Breathing in.
“I found… six test subjects,” Breathing out.
“Listen,” she said softly, “the moon will be up, before the sun sets, I feel it. And you’re not in control of your Wolf yet. You need an excuse to get out of here and get to somewhere safe for the transformation. Can you feel it coming on, the change?”
Now that she said this he could feel it coming on the sweet seduction of the change, he shook his head yes.
“The last favor, my sweet,” So-seti whispered, “unchain me.”
She had a delighted look on her face as she consciously put a hand on James’ left arm. She could almost feel the electric tingling and she heard a low growl churning in the pit of his stomach and his increased heart rate. She could feel a marked increase in in his temperature, although the temperature in the room was a constant 69°. Although his body felt hot a sudden chill came over him as he could see why new lycanthropes die before the first year is up. If it wasn’t for So-seti he probably would have had the change before he was ever out of the estate. He would be amongst the Inquisition and their many forms of torture. If he was lucky he would die, if he was not, he would live. He would be one of their living science experiments… just like So-seti. Without her he would probably not survive what is happening to him or the transformation to come.
He had enhanced senses and the beginnings of enhanced strength and balance but he was still a broken man. His side was still weak and try as he might he still couldn’t use his left hand for any intricate movement and his foot still all but useless. The Inquisition would make minced meat of him immediately.
So-seti hissed, “don’t worry, I’ll take care of you and teach you the ways my child. But now you have to get out of here!”
James quietly obeyed, unchaining her, and then with just a second glance he punched in the numbers to her prison cell door. He hurriedly walked through the hallway with his now decorative cane in hand. He saw Lucius out of the corner of his eye, a green hospital robe covering his nude form, his one good arm rubbing against his stub.
He stopped, mesmerized and hypnotized by Lucius, his unearthly eyes. Only the bang and shatter of the emergency stairwell doors forcefully opening shook him back to reality. Six patients rushed into the hallway like a tidal wave rushing down the beach. The double doors slid swaying back and forth broken from the force; James looked around at the subjects’ eyes, still so vacant, so hollow inside.
The test subjects turned their heads in unison. Their spines arched back, fine hairs protruding through their nude and emaciated chests. One subject observed James suspiciously through animalistic eyes. He crouched in the corner; his back to the wall, giving commands to the less evolved freed test subjects with grunts and growls. James could tell this subject called all the shots. The test subject that led them stood on two feet. Not yet in his true lupine form, it lacked some key components… having only a tail, reverse knee and long muzzle, looking like a thin and wiry gorilla instead. The hairy monstrosity growled at him but did not make any move to attack. The monster stuck his wet muzzle against James’ chest sniffing the length of is body, still untrusting but the monster backed off. James let out the breath he did not realize he had been holding.
Lucius materialized into So-seti’s wall and floated through the pack unmolested to her stretcher. He scooped up So-seti’s broken body in his arms. Without hands the door in her prison slowly opened as Lucius left the room while James helplessly watched stunned.
“See, I am a man of my word my dear So-seti,” Lucius whispered in her mind, no emotion whatsoever as he carefully cradled her in his arms.
So-seti yelled out her commands, her voice growing ever stronger howling… “Tempus! Filioli filiorum et filiarum lycanthrope surge! Align evertant sacer Dei Luce members. Free sanguine tuo, Mater et adolebit Seti-huius agri in terra, howwwwwwwwwwwwwwl!”
So-seti’s broken Latin lupine speech still said it all to the great prisoners of the God’s Light compound. James just roughly translated this, “It is time! Sons and daughters of lycanthrope rise up! Transform and overthrow the accursed God’s Light members. Free your blood mother and burn this estate to the ground. Howwwwwwwwwwwwwwl!”
He saw Lucius with his pallor complexion and perfectly sculpted cheeks, his brooding catlike crimson eyes blazing under the fluorescent lights. Staring into the vampyre’s eyes time seemed to slow down and stop, something inside James stirred, he felt peculiar.
“Go!” Lucius commanded, violently making a motion with his pointer finger.
The terrible hunger kicked in again, his hands clenching his stomach as if the pressure would help with pain. Something about Lucius made him feel peculiar. His whole body was in a state of flux between human and lupine when he stared at Lucius’ haunting eyes and he had to get out. He had to get out and get some fresh air a chance to cool off. The surrounding hallways were unfamiliar to James and he blacked out several times before locking in on the sweet perfume of night air too tempting a mistress the smell of freedom. Eventually James flew out the church doors stumbling down the steps. He staggered into the garden and stepped on the cobblestones before he started to feel normal again.
He saw the penlight eyes just behind the bushes by a great stone wall that protected the village. Only the eyes were visible obscured by the bush but he knew it was a Wolf and he felt its draw. A black muzzle broke through the bushes. A blue raven-black furred hybrid-wolf revealed itself instantly transmuting to a scarred attractive woman.
The transformation seamless, with her smooth skin she looked like a granite statue, Venus come to life, James thought, if he touched her skin it would be so smooth, so tender. She reveled in her nakedness and got precariously close to James. He breathed in her intoxicating aroma and he felt her alluring heat.
“Was it you who sang that song?” Tonya softly inquired.
“Yes, yes. So-seti asked me to.” James said timidly.
He closed his eyes, her physical presence too much for him to bear. Realizing with great clarity Tonya represented all that lycanthropy embodied without shackles and chains. Instead of So-seti’s wrinkled physique and decaying body he envisioned Tonya’s supple body. So-seti should be free, to heal, to regenerate and Tonya had become a living embodiment of that. He could just imagine Tonya as So-seti.
“Oung!” Tonya called the Wolf by name.
A speckled black colored Wolf with light green eyes that looked like a large foo dog with fur that almost touched the ground ambled out from the shadows.
“O-Kami!” Tonya called another one by name.
Several spirit-wolves materialized, they glowed like a bright full Moon above them. The wolves moved silently traveling right through the locked doors of the church.
The courtyard brightened as the full Moon traveled up beyond the suppression of the numerous trees. James had a strange compulsion to look up into the dazzling moon light. His body, the very nerves, muscles and bones exploded with electricity. His blood boiling as he arched his body beyond familiarity. He saw through a thick veil of fog, like a lucid dream now as flashes began to be seen through the church windows.
His human skull had burst into a million pieces then reformed itself into a mixture of lupine and man. The human bones of his feet had liquefied and began lengthening before congealing again. Tarsal and metatarsal bones stretched to ridiculous extremes; he planted his preposterously long broad feet upon the ground. Long footprints giving rise to the Bigfoot myth. James paced around the garden, his large head a monstrous creation. Lengthy pointed ears extended, a smashed snout on top of a medium muzzle, accommodating full large curved fangs. An outsized red tongue jutted out and slithered around his mouth. His thick broad neck craned to see the employees that escaped the fire were running around in circles until wolves materialized out of thin air and gobbled them up. James crouched on his knuckles. He had the skin of a Wolf and the skeletal structure of a man except for the skull and the feet.
The shadows from the courtyard danced as the light from the church fire intensified. The mounting heat too great to sustain a cohesive bond the stained-glass windows in either side of the stone church burst into dozens of deadly shards with a bang and rattle.
Carson the scientist stumbled through the heavy oak doors hands covering his mouth as he coughed up soot and debris. He ran down the steps away from the church before collapsing onto cold cobblestone ground. Carson struggled to get onto his knees and eventually he got up and dusted himself off. He smiled, burst into a chuckle, then a fullfledged laugh, he had actually made it and he survived. Carson looked up in the night sky a cold chill ran through his bones and he shuddered.
Carson’s eyes tried to adjust to the extreme glare of the inferno then the immediate and overwhelming darkness outside. The full Moon though prevalent was hidden by the trees. He heard something moving in the midst of the sunflower garden the long thick stalks and massive white flowered heads masked the wolf’s presence.
A growl coming somewhere from the garden got Carson’s attention. He instinctively patted his chest to see if he still had his concealed weapon, a Glock 10, against the pit of his arm; though he knew for a fact he had checked it in and locked it up at the end of the day.
James’ wolf abomination burst out of the sunflowers growling. Surprised, Carson fell on his ass. He scrambled to get away on his back on the cobblestone. His neck through his shoulders tightened as his white lab coat stuck on branches of bushes lining the walkway.
Carson struggled to tear his lab coat apart to free himself as James the werewolf pounced upon him their eyes locking onto each other. Werewolf saw Carson’s eyes panicky and full of disbelief. He had worked on, experimented, and even killed lycanthropes before in a clinical setting but seeing the powerful werewolf without shackles and bonds horrified him. What shocked him more than anything; however, he saw the eyes of his colleague James in this monstrous form!
As he remembered all of his brethren and So-seti’s wrinkled defeated form James saw red. He snarled at the scientist. However, the whirl of a helicopter grew closer and sound made the werewolf yelp in pain.
James’ paws rubbed his lupine ears from side to side on the ground, the pain too great for him to bear. Carson began to tear away his lab coat and twisted around until he managed to get up on his knees.
A helicopter with a chain attached to a yellow metal container swinging like a pendulum slowly maneuvered over to the burning church then opened a hatch spilling its payload. A cascade of warm lake water soaked James’ fur. The force of the falling water knocked Carson on his ass yet again.
James lunged at Carson’s prone body still stunned from the force of the water that fell from the sky. Sharp fangs snapped onto his thigh and twisted flinging him around and onto his belly.
“James?” Carson questioned, looking into the abomination’s eyes, he had seen just those eyes staring back at him just moments ago in the lab. James growled and said, “I won’t be tested like a guinea pig!”
Carson took advantage of the man-made rain and ran getting a head start toward the smoldering church. An animal instinct older than the first signs of civilization kicked in and the abomination gave chase instantly pouncing upon Carson like a lonely wounded gazelle.
“No! Please!” Carson pleaded.
Before James tore Carson’s trachea silencing him forever. The light from his eyes dimmed and the iris dilated, then fixed, but James did not stop mauling him.
The double doors swung open again to reveal Matt caked from head to toe with soot; he covered his mouth with a fist hacking his lungs out.
His lab coat practically split in half in back one sleeve gone altogether.
“James!?” Matt sputtered.
Deeply burrowed in Carson’s neck Matt could only see his friend’s eyes watching his every move. His twitching ears set back and Matt knew if he moved even slightly the predator would pounce. His furry forearms coiled so that a minor jerk would initiate a predator and prey dance, a dance old as time.
Matt did not move a muscle, Matt questioned, “James?” He called, wiping at his soot covered face.
Daring to peer close enough that Matt could get a better view but far enough away there would be no danger of James shredding Matt’s face off he stared into the monster’s eyes while James’ powerful jaws tore into Carson’s trachea.
“Yes, am friend!” James bellowed a garbled growl.
A moment of awkward silence ensued as James and Matt stared at one another …
“Change me, change me please!” Matt pleaded.
James the lycanthrope broke the staring contest first, something within him, broke through the fog of his mind, Matt had been a loyal friend. He knew in his heart he couldn’t harm Matt at all. Oung and O-Kami with his spirit Wolves emerged through the double doors of the church followed by Tonya as the structural supports gave way. As smoke bellowed out from the gutted and burned-out church the pale white faced and glowing eyes and pallor nude and blood smeared bodies emerged from the wreckage along with Lucius carrying So-seti, no surviving staff members could be seen among them.
The lunatic patient who had been crouched down giving orders to the other changelings before they escaped the God’s Light compound noticed Matt. Preoccupied Matt did not see the lunatic about to attack him but James did.
“He’s mine!” James spat drool dripping from his fangs.
Snarling James pounced as the lunatic leapt for Matt’s jugular vein. Matt only had time to put his arms up and crouch down in defense. Matt could feel the heat and smell the musk of the lunatic before James jumped after him and threw him down onto the soaked Earth, a close call.
“He’s mine!” James reiterated.
The lunatic whimpered, retreating from the powerful and well developed monster towering before him. James’ torso twisted around to see Matt’s and jumped towards him.
Matt pleaded, his hands in a prayer position, his eyes wide, begging, “Make me a werewolf, please!”
James dropped onto all fours, looking like a true Wolf now with long furry withers and powerful shoulder blades except for the missing tail. He sniffed Matt’s crotch, nestling his wet nose and whiskers against and tickling his groin. Huge shoulders broad limbs and paws crowding Matt’s legs he truly felt fear for the first time.
Satisfied with Matt’s aroma he pressed his paw firmly on the wet grass until he made an impression. Saliva from his long muzzle dripped down and mixed with the moisture of the indentation forming a pool. James looked down at the Paw impression and water saliva mixture then looked at his friend.
Without any more instruction Matt knew what he had to do. He scooped up the muddy mixture and drank it as the church smoldered.