False river- Airport tower
Arriving upstairs to find a well-dressed man with dark slacks and a white button up dress shirt surprised the group and he turned around face hung in a state of annoyance. One Man stood guard in the tower, a lone survivor maybe. Upon closer inspection, however, Hunter saw blood on his dress shirt, cuffs, caked up blood on his chin and the unmistakable eyes of an animal. That is when he saw the bodies on the floor, opening his eyes to the carnage around him.
The air traffic controller remained perfectly still as if sizing up the situation, then he exploded forward in a fit of rage drool spewing out from his fangs and oversized mouth. Without a moment’s hesitation Jenkins and Capt. Rogers pulled out their service revolvers and opened fire.
The well-dressed man stumbled falling on his back coming to rest on the control panel and Hunter sprang into action.
“Check the control room, we have to barricade the door,” Hunter barked out orders to Terrell then motioned for the two men.
Hunter checked his pulse, “you guys got lucky! This abominable beast is newly infected so normal bullets brought him down… let’s hope these slugs stay put until the full Moon’s cycle is over…”
“Fuck it!” concealed from small of his back Hunter pulled out a machete and made quick work of the dead man’s neck slicing his head clean off, looked over at the group, and smiled, “just to be sure.”
Terrell opened the break room door, “Hey, I found a table that we can use to block the door, can anybody help me?”
Hunter systematically began to lob off all the dead attendants’ heads. He separated the heads from their bodies and put them in a neat, organized pile. Capt. Rogers upended the table until it rested flush along the door. His usually healthy pink face turned green sickness over taking him as he saw the morbid scene taking place. Suddenly struck with the familiarity of the position of the corpses the hairs on his neck stood erect, the pieces were all fitting together now. He and Detective Jenkins saw the monster responsible for the arson and vandalism now standing before them all coated with blood, he was undoubtedly the man responsible for the decapitations.
The villains had been systematically infecting tiny towns and neighborhoods. Hunter had been pursuing them but by the time he had a good lead the group had vanished. Although he found newly infected stragglers who stayed behind and chopped off their heads, hoping to stave off an outbreak before it began but he had failed.
Hunter had paused mid-swing to look over at Capt. Rogers. They silently stared at one another for several seconds, but it seemed like an eternity until Capt. Rogers nodded in grim approval. Hunter nodded as well, as if to say, I know what I’m doing is wrong, but it is a necessary evil, before he broke Rogers’ stare and carried on.
Jenkins’ checked the time on his watch, quarter to four, the onslaught of red rain beat down upon the windows, they were safe in the tower for now... A silent war raged on, no shots or explosions, tooth and claw dominating where only fifty feet below him no one was safe. Those that walked about under the full moon’s powerful spell no longer human, a hybrid form of man and beast, humanity all but drained from them. They were under full control of Aticus’ bloodline, the alpha. Looking down below Tasha could see three airport employees’ bodies. They were dead sprawled out in the open a constant reminder of the terrifying and hopeless situation the group had been placed in.
They were safe for now, Jenkins told himself once more. The door was made of steel, there was a table up righted with several chairs against it blocking the stairway to the tower itself. They huddled in a corner together. Susan, Terrell, Tasha, Latoya and Hannah huddled close together under the control systems panels. Captain Thompson (named for the surname of his great-grandfather a great source of ridicule when he was growing up) Rogers, Detective Jenkins and the stranger called Hunter stood back-to-back. They could only survive there for the time being without food but another day was coming upon them which meant new hope, possibly new beginnings. Rogers watched Susan sob her face buried into her hands, shaking uncontrollably as her body not used to the unusual conditions and psychological trauma at hand. Tasha and Hannah watched as the blood rain fell while Terrell worried over his brother’s absence, fearing the worst, denying in his heart what he knew was probably true.
“Well at least the boy succeeded in getting the generators working.” Hunter shook his head, fearing Tyson had surely died. He adjusted his binoculars to see the building about 150 yards from the tower itself, “we can probably make it to the chopper if anyone wants to give it a try.” No one seemed overly enthusiastic about that proposition.
“They run a hell of a lot faster than any of you can!” Jenkins’ ghost snapped “you’d have no chance.”
Rogers nudged Jenkins’ chest to get his attention, “look at this!”
Rogers pointed out beyond the tower Jenkins looked to see one shadowy lunatic on all fours more beast than man leading the procession of three humanoids, the lunatics standing upright following behind. They were naked, filthy, all coated with caked up blood and on the path to the tower. Out from the overgrown thickets before the eight-foot chain link fence that circled the entire airport emerged two more shadowy figures and one dragging his knuckles like an ape, they were attracted by the faint but unique smell of life holed up in the tower.
Hunter turned his binoculars to see the encroachers, his face crumpling with distain. He thought all may be lost until he turned and saw the speaker system. His eyes lit up, wheels turning in his brain as he looked over at the emergency broadcast system.
“Can anybody use this?” Hunter impatiently thumbed his fingers on the controls. A slow rhythmic tapping of first, culminating in a fast chaotic beat.
Jenkins felt a cold chill as Philip repeatedly poked him in the back as he whispered, “you know how to work this dad, when I died you spent time in the 911 control center riding the desk while they were investigating you…”
“Yes…” Jenkins said meekly sliding over.
The detective inspected the electrical board briefly before pressing one of the buttons. There came a click which resonated through the speakers then buzzing all about the room. Rogers watched the advancing lunatics and noted they were gaining more to their group as they shuffled closer.
Hunter impatiently intertwined his fingers and ringed his hands as his heart quickened watching the detective flip the switch of the speakers from internal to external as he found the switch that turned the sirens on. A harsh wailing resonated from the tower immediately stalling the drooling maniacs but just for a moment before they advanced forward again.
“Shit! How do you increase the volume on the speakers?” Hunter hit the control center with his fists.
“Here!” Jenkins impatiently yelled sliding the dial up to maximum.
“I don’t think it’s working the fangs are still coming!” Rogers yelled as he counted more than ten of them until they passed beneath the tower windows where he lost sight of them.
Hunter studied the controls intently until he had gained the confidence to take over the controls, “I got this!”
Hunter pushed past Rogers and Jenkins who freely relented, taking control of the situation. He thought for a moment, then went over to Tempo control and slid the lever all the way up to maximum. The slow intermittent and persisted whine became a continuous ear-splitting cry as sirens wailed on without a break.
The group scurried back upon their feet when they heard a loud boom, boom, boom a pounding on the metal door. Terrell clung to Tasha who clung to Hannah and Latoya with Susan protectively hugging them all. Hannah stared wide eyed at the door, tears still wet on her face.
“They’re trying to get in!” shouted Latoya and Terrell at once.
Hunter grunted in frustration trying the last knobs and buttons that he could find, “Aha!”
He found the lever for the frequency and slowly turned it up. The siren’s higher pitch made the wolves waiting near the Hangar and the lunatics at the tower impulsively howl out and the banging on the door stopped. This pleased Hunter immensely as he turned the frequency dial to an even higher pitch. Domestic dogs in the adjacent neighborhoods began to cry out as he turned the dial as far as it will go. The warning sounds of the tower horn still persisted to wail out outside assaulting human ears but canines could hear it also, house pets and feral dogs alike could feel the frequency in their bones. Lunatics and beasts close to the tower were physically injured, eardrums bursting blood spurting from ears.
“Look!” Susan pointed out the window a nervous smile began to creep onto her cracked lips, “I don’t know who they are but they are going away!”
Hunter turned to survey the scene. Susan had been right. His gamble paid off instead of frying the system when he turned up the frequency he succeeded in stopping the fiends in their tracks. Three lunatics were in full view of the window. Their inner ears had ruptured and bled. Dizzy even the fur covered powerful beast on four limbs now a naked puny man on two legs stumbling about retreating for shelter as an invisible wall of sound circled and enveloped the tower. Susan, Jenkins, Rogers, Terrell, Tasha, Latoya, Hannah, and lastly Hunter all offered a welldeserved collective sigh of relief.
Amy reluctantly awakened from some sort of a lucid dream-like state from the consistently resonating sirens somewhere in the distance to find herself lost in the middle of the woods. Feeling numb and pausing for a second in the middle of an incredibly close cropping of Cyprus trees she stretched her extremities. She began to feel odd, like covered with pins and needles. Every muscle in her body sore yet oddly refreshed, as if they were clay or silly putty moldable, bendable and stretchy like she had just been through a workout. She knew she had been asleep yet her mind rejuvenated swimming in some sort of orgasmic bliss enough that she so badly wanted to repeat the experience like she needed a drag on a cigarette, she wished she had a cigarette when a sudden awareness came over her. She didn’t have anywhere to keep cigarettes! She was completely nude from head toe. Her cheeks flushed with this thought and she found herself moving toward the source of the dreadful noise.
She began to feel cold now her wet red hair pasted to her forehead but the thick canopy of trees filtered out the rain. She tried to stay modest keeping an arm near to her exposed breasts to conceal them while navigating the treacherous terrain. She began remembering the events that had gotten her here, remembering as if her lucid memories were an out of body experience. She remembered everything but instead of using rational thought and blinding her powerful body she released control to pure instinct.
Amy couldn’t help but think she could learn how to control her powerful new form if Devon instructed her in the ways of the wolf, Devon! Where was Devon?
She could remember suddenly, being tied up, having her throat slit from ear to ear… lifeblood spilling from the gaping wound and almost dying then hearing Devon’s desperate call to action. She heeded her sire’s orders, a powerful urge to survive coming up over her, breaking her bonds and letting loose her rage and vengeance upon the woman that so grievously injured her.
She remembered killing her captor before running off to the woods obeying Devon’s frantic pleas to flee.
“De…” The pain in her throat had forced her to stop for moment.
Her fingers inspecting her tender but healed throat she fell down on her knees with a splash. She squinted at murky mud the hazy reflection revealing the gaping hole in her neck had sealed just a pink scar remained.
The coarseness in her voice surprised her when she continued with a shriek, “Devon!”
She staggered up and continued propelling herself forward toward the source of the sound. Eventually her ears began to hurt, her equilibrium faltering she had to stop to steady herself. Her legs however, feeling weaker with every step she took as the sirens blared louder and louder. One agonizing step more and her legs collapsed in the mud. The tears welled from her eyes, her hands cupping her ears she cried in pain as blood ran out from her ears.
AJ had also escaped from Viddarr’s bloody Moon party before the bloodshed had begun. He had wandered through the woods, trying to shield himself from the torrent of rain until he discovered the nude stranger, Amy, down on her knees visibly in pain. He had watched her concealed in the bushes until he had confidence no harm would come to him and approached her.
“Hey!” AJ yelled, “Are you hurt?” He timidly placed a palm on her bloody backside.
She whipped her head around physically tensing up eyes widened with fear as he questioned again, this time softly in a more comforting tone, “are… are you hurt?”
She paused for a moment checking her body for marks or abrasions, cheeks reddening acutely aware of her nakedness as she replied, “no, it’s not my blood…”
Her red hair had camouflaged the dripping blood soaked into her scalp AJ’s cheeks began to flush as well his eyes tried to deliberately avoid her bloody, but firm breasts, nipples standing firm from the damp cold.
“Are you cold?” AJ did not give her time to respond taking off his jacket so he could remove his T-shirt and giving it to the beautiful red haired stranger.
Amy stayed silent just shaking her head yes, gratefully accepting his gift, his concert t-shirt enveloping her like a dress. It radiated heat from his body still, and she sighed as she felt it. Shrugging on his thin jacket he tried using his smartphone again; hoping to get a connection but nothing, still no signal. Listening very closely, he could hear only a faint, strange howling. AJ offered his hand and gratefully accepting it she got up on her bare feet.
“I am going toward the source of the sirens; would you like to go with me and get out of the woods to shelter?” AJ asked.
She simply responded with only one word, “yes.”
AJ treaded ever onward avoiding several nude human lunatics that were now in the fetal position hands protecting their heads until Amy could not take it anymore suddenly stopping clenching his hand with a death grip, “what is wrong?”
AJ saw fresh blood dripping from her ears as she answered, “I can’t go any further, it hurts!”
AJ moved wet red luscious locks so he could see her injured ears more closely. Just then a thought crossed through his mind like a hand smacking him in the face. Being in a music band he had procured his fair share of earplugs and his fist delved deep into his jacket pocket emerging with several plugs the consistency of putty.
“There you go, sweetie.” AJ fit the putty-like substance into her ears molding it with his thumbs until the substance made an airtight seal, silence enveloping her.
AJ gently cupped his hands to her ears and coaxed her hesitant and trembling body forward until she started to walk on her own power. AJ embraced Amy’s limp body to gain foot by grueling foot onward toward the siren sounds.
The hazy light of the full moon between gray clouds had almost set over the tree line when the couple finally burst forth from the thicket. Amy’s bare feet finally stepped onto the cold pavement leading toward the highway as AJ peered toward the airport tower in the distance. The rain had suddenly stopped the eye of the storm now upon the whole False River Airport, the source of the ungodly noise, like a beacon for survivors.
“We made it!”
AJ looked into Amy’s eyes full of agony, however AJ’s eyes were filled with hope and opportunity as he knocked on the tower door with his knee; he did not remove his hands protecting her ears, knocking on the door with his knees again.
“We made it!”
Hunter had lost himself deep in thought of whether or not the intercom to the outside world could be fixed five claw symmetrical marks gouged deep in the metal and wiring didn’t hear the banging on the door, but the others did startling them and spurring Detective Jenkins and Capt. Rogers up and into action.
“They must have broken through your defenses!” Philip whispered in his dad’s ear while he and Rogers ran halfway down the stairs their guns in hand.
Capt. Rogers’ heart began to race, “When they breech the door, don’t hesitate to fire!”
Detective Jenkins nodded his knees locked both arms extended both hands braced the cold steel with trigger fingers firmly on the trigger and braced himself for the inevitable. Capt. Rogers had flanked him, an invincible barrier guarding the steps up to the control tower.
“Hello? Is anyone in there? Please let us in!” AJ shouted his voice breaking and hoarse as a consequence. “Should we help them?”
“If they were lunatics they would growl not ask for help!” Philip whispered, a cold chill coming over Jenkins.
A clanking squeaking sound echoed through the halls as the door burst open AJ thrust his hand in first, “don’t shoot!”
The commotion had gathered a crowd as Susan stood at the edge of the stairs clutching Hannah who held Terrell’s hand, “What’s going on?”
Susan answered her own question peering at AJ who was shirtless with only his suede jacket on and unbuttoned, now ruined by the rain. Her eyes squinting in jealousy as she noticed the woman that almost wrecked her marriage, Amy, though she feigned obliviousness so their marriage would continue she couldn’t hide her feelings of envy, jealousy and rage at seeing her here suddenly at the bottom of the stairs.
Capt. Rogers inspected AJ then the disheveled woman who wore a shirt as a make shift dress. He quickly recognized the red haired stranger. He had found Amy and he carefully inspected her for injuries seeing she was covered in crusted blood until he realized it had apparently run from her scabbed up inner ears, and he sighed with relief that she was virtually unscathed until the uneasy realization came over him whipping his head around to see his wife standing on the stairs.
A cold chill ran through his body as he whipped his head back and forth between Amy and his wife locking eyes on them both. The information he had been force-fed by Hunter coupled with actually seeing the Doctor go through the accursed change he quickly deduced that Amy had been infected.
“They’re all dead!” AJ mumbled to himself, “All my friends are missing or dead!”
Capt. Rogers trained his gun upon Amy’s redhead.
“Don’t let him shoot her!” Philip gestured to Capt. Rogers’ gun, “you have seen the Dr. and his infliction, they are not all mindless beasts bent on evil… He is just getting rid of a personal problem!”
Phillip turned to face his father, locking eyes, “Please Dad, do it for me, you have to stop him!”
All the familiar and painful images went through his mind of the night he shot his son and he found his hands involuntarily gripping Rogers’ gun before his mind had registered his movement.
A Shot echoed throughout the antechamber missing Amy’s head by just a quarter inch the stray shot ricocheting off the wall.
Detective Jenkins shook his head at Capt. Rogers, who lowered his head sulking. He holstered his gun and stepped aside so AJ and Amy could go upstairs to the control room.
“Thank you,” AJ gently acknowledged as he nudged Amy upstairs so she could rest, “thank you again.”
Susan’s sobs intensified at a higher pitch than everything else as she looked at her husband and Amy. It seemed so final now she thought they were trapped. The power cords ran underground so the werewolves had no way to disable them but getting out there was the trick that seemed a daunting task.
Hunter watched in nervous anticipation as the sun peeked out from the horizon. He looked over at Hangar 3; the white furred werewolf, Montezu, who had been calling all the shots, was gone now. Several wolves strolled about standing sentry to the doors and he noticed one particularly sinewy grizzled wolf with nasty cuts on its forelimbs.
The dance had begun; the line had been drawn in the sand. He had tried to get a hold of Dr. Atkins and check in but was unable. He knew in his heart it was not the end, far from it, the bloodshed had only begun. He looked around and counted the people in the tower. The line had been drawn and they either needed to escape or make a final stand.