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The Animal

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26 Re: The Animal on 6th November 2011, 13:37

Smallpox? Next time Rome should let me read these damn reports before I come here. Gross I hope I didn’t catch it. I forgot how you can catch it. But this doesn’t explain it; I mean yeah maybe the two boys that died in the hospital had some king of smallpox, but the kids in the mountain? Animal attack… hold on Mandy said a stranger showed up and then everything went wrong. The stranger I haven’t even asked for a description of him, damn I have to go back to her.

“I need a copy of your report and also of the patient files. And like I said before I have to examine the two deceased patients and the bodies of the other four victims.”

I don’t like this Doctor. I can’t even say why. And I seriously start to dislike this job. It sounded easy yesterday, but today we have a dying girl and two dead boys that died on weird pox, and then we have still the attack at the mountain. All this doesn’t fit together.

“And I also need to ask Mandy a couple more questions I have after I read your report, but this has time until I saw the other victims.”

Elenna stood up and nearly moaned in pain.

Screw you boys both of you. There is a reason why I didn’t want to take any weapons with me.

The knife that was hidden under her blazer just cut her at her hip. With a quick movement she checked how bad she was bleeding, but luckily not much. Elenna took a deep breath and said.

“So where do I get the copies from and where do I find the other victims?”


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27 Re: The Animal on 6th November 2011, 13:39

Maeglin

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Rawson had parked the hulking van a ways down the street. Because nothing said breaking and entering like a big, scary, ugly rental van. And Rome shot Elenna a text: Scoping out the Thompsons, nix the interview. Will let u know if we see anything. Let us know if u get in2 any trouble.

They walked determinedly through suburbia, keeping up the FBI appearance, knocking on the door and waiting for an answer. There was none, as expected. Romulus had just pulled the home security system keypad off the wall and was fussing with wires when Rawson tried the door with a gloved hand.

It was unlocked, and swung open with a ominous squeak.

Romulus shrugged, replaced the security pad, and gladly let Raws take point as they stepped inside.

"Hello? Anyone at home? FBI!" Rome called, in case anyone was still inside. A glance over at Raws told him that his brother was livid, giving him the what the hell are you doing? look. Rome mirrored the look, as he noticed that Rawson already had his piece drawn: what the hell are you doing? he countered, throwing his arms wide in a silent plea for a return to sanity.

A few seconds as they struggled each to stare the other one down, then a simultaneous whatever, as they gave up and continued to move through the house: Raws heading left to check bedrooms, Rome heading right to check front rooms and kitchen.

He literally almost stepped in it. Blood. Rivers of it, oceans. Two mutilated corpses, torn apart.

Rome bit down a girly shriek and the urge to vomit. In a shaky voice, after a long moment of attempting to pull himself together that wasn't really working, he called: "Uh. R-Raws? I think you're gonna want to--" Strike my last, "I think you should see this." He knew he was dangerously fixated on the amount of blood that covered the room, but he didn't really care. He couldn't even process it, really.

Hopefully Rawson would be able to do something more than just stand there in horrified shock.

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28 Re: The Animal on 6th November 2011, 13:40

While Elenna entered the morgue her cell vibrated in her pocket. The text she got was from Rome, of course who else would tell to let him know if she is in trouble. With a smile she answered.

I’m fine, but to take the knife with me was a bad idea. Just going to check the bodies out. Be careful. Xxx

Elenna looked up from her cell and smiled at the assistant of the pathologist

“Hello I am Agent Elenna Walther from the CDC. I need to see the bodies of the college students that died at El Malpais and the two that died on complications due to infection. I hope Dr. Kaplan had given notice of my coming? I don’t have time for long discussions.”

Poor boy I am a little mean just tell him orders and I didn’t even ask for his name.

“Yes she did Agent. The bodies are right here. Do you need help?”

“Do I look as if I need help? No, I can handle that alone.”

Damn it, I will never finish this. There are six bodies to check for evidences, six. That is so not fair; Raws and Rome have the job that isn’t really work.

Elenna sighed.

I guess I go from died more or less in one piece to the more piece bodies. Which means…

“Hello Byron and Lloyd Schwartz let’s see what you can tell me.”

After two hours Elenna reached finally the last one. She had collected from the five bodies samples from stuff under their fingernails, their teeth and from the soles of their shoes. The victims that died in the dessert had missing organs like the liver and well the other stuff that was left was mush. But the heart wasn’t missing, noticed Elenna with a relief.

“Urgh that looks nasty. Poor guy, it must have been hurt to get skinned I just hope your were already dead when this happened. But my boy you are not the only one. You friends had the same fate. But that really starts to be weird. What is this friggin powder, it is everywhere on all the other five students as well.”

Not long after that she finished to take the samples and went back upstairs to ask Mandy for the description of the guy that showed up at their camp. She had all the samples cataloged in her bag.

I have to get the files; I hope they are now copied.

Elenna knocked at Mandy’s door and entered it.

“Hello Mandy, it is me again. Sorry that I have to bother you again, but it took some time until I understood what you told me. Can I ask you one more question? How did the stranger look that came into your camp?”


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29 Re: The Animal on 6th November 2011, 13:41

Mandy looked up. What a weird question for a disease agent to be asking...

"Huh? Oh, I dunno. A big Indian guy, you know? Native American. He just came and sat down and was all creepy, but I don't think it has anything to do with..."

"What did he talk about?"

This is sounding more like a police investigation. Maybe the guy had had a dog that killed everyone? But why isn't she asking me questions about whatever's gotten me sick?

"I don't know, some creepy ghost story. Like about a Skin Walker, I think. I don't remember."

"And then?"

"And then the light went out! And everyone started screaming and running and dying! I don't know!" she was crying now, hysterical. "Just go away, please. I don't want to talk anymore..."

When Mandy looked up again, the woman was gone.

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30 Re: The Animal on 6th November 2011, 13:41

The house was only middle-class, average. Which was disappointing- the door wasn't even locked. So much for getting some good experience out of this. Currently, Raws was going through the bedrooms. There was a safe behind the wedding photo over the wooden bed in the master bedroom. It was woefully inadequately protected. Disappointing, really. Especially given he wasn't on a job, and whatever was in there probably wasn't all that valuable.

He was rifling through their household documents, having picked the lock with a handy paperclip from the desk. Idiots. Best way to get to know someone was through their receipts and tax records. Amazing what you could learn from unhidden money trails.

"R-Raws? I think you're gonna want to-" Whatever is brother had been saying abruptly cut off, and Rawson instinctively pulled out a gun. "I think you should see this." Okay, good. His brother wasn't under attack. But something was definitely off with his voice. Haphazardly dropping the folder he was rifling through on the desk, Rawson swiftly and quietly made his way t the first floor, crouching next to a partially opened door and looking for movement, before making his way in, gun drawn.

Rome was standing on the edge of a pool of gore, which appeared to be the Thompsons. So much for clean living. When he stepped forward to touch his brother's shoulder, Rome looked almost exactly like he had after they got rid of Andre- after the fight with their mom.

"Dude, come on," Rawson said. "Snap out of it Romie." He was glancing between his brother and the rest of the room. Hair one way, hand another. Bones sticking out of a mass of reddish goo with bits of black and white. "Well, I guess hey had enough of all four humors," he quipped. Rome didn't look unimpressed- he didn't look like anything. And he turned back to the gory sight in front of them. "Rome, come on. 'snot that bad. Figure out what's been left here, and we'll get the hell out of this place, alright?"

Rawson headed over to the left, where some of the larger body bits were. A sparkle suggested she still had a ring on what was left of her hand. Or somewhere in its general vicinity. He felt Rome come up, but his brother was staying a few steps back. Crouching down, Raws saw shards of ceramic on the floor. A coffee mug, it looked like. Whatever had happened here, it was swift and unexpected.

"Totally unexpected," Rawson whispered to his brother. "This thing moves fast."

"You're mumbling," Rome called from the opposite corner of the room.

Aw, frack!

"Rome!" Shout, duck, roll. Slide. That was unexpected. And damn- now he looked, and smelled like dead Thompson. So much for the 'cheapish' suit. "Gorram!" He had a brief second to realize that this thing was disgustingly fast.

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31 Re: The Animal on 6th November 2011, 13:41

Maeglin

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Rome didn't like blood and guts. Who did, though, really? Only a very few people, like Raws, weren't bothered by them, could function in spite of graphic scenes of gore, but there was a reason Romulus was training for a tech position in the military. He just wasn't the fighter his brother was. People with their insides on their outsides just bugged.

Raws was trying to talk him through it. For being as awkward and introverted as he pretended he was all the time, Rawson had a surprising ability to keep his twin calm. If it hadn't been for Raws' voice--not what he was saying, really, he wasn't able to listen, much--Rome doubted he could have moved from that spot other than to throw up.

Rome was especially bothered by the scene because the last time he'd seen two murdered parents lying in their own blood in their own home, they had been his own mother and father. And they had died by his hand. By a demon's hand, sure, but he had been there, too, had actually felt his father's pulse stop, had actually gotten his mother's blood on his face.

So this...this was a little too close to home.

He could see the couple, surprised, knowing only that their daughter had just gotten home before they were surprised by something that moved too fast to see. Maybe they were dead before they knew what hit them, but maybe not dead before they saw their spouse fall, too, and maybe the thing was using their daughter's face to kill them. He could hear their screams, confused, short, cut off, not knowing what to think at their own child's fingers ripping through their flesh before...

"This thing moves fast..." Rawson said, but what Rome heard was somehow, You don't belong here.

The hairs at the back of his neck jumped to attention. But maybe he was hearing things: "You're mumbling," he said, trying to nag but only succeeding at sounding as frightened as he felt before a blurred shape--might have been humanoid, might not--moved at Rawson.

He shouted "Raws!" at the same time Raws shouted "Rome!" back at him, and Rawson ducked and rolled expertly--unfortunately right into the mutilated corpses, but the cops weren't going to find anything useful from those, anyway. Romulus was slower than his brother to react by only a fraction, but the creature was faster. It changed direction mid-leap as it realized Raws was prey too quick to bother with and instead lunged straight for Rome.

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32 Re: The Animal on 6th November 2011, 13:42

They had screamed. Screamed and bled and crawled across the floor as he ripped them apart. Hadn't seen it coming. There was nothing this side of the fiery gates that was faster than a Skin Walker. The shock had been so severe the screams had stopped abruptly. The Shadow-That-Walks had fed on their flesh and gorged itself on their blood. As it removed their skins, it heard a car pull up outside. It finished with the man and donned his skin and clothes, leaving the woman's carcass to rot.

They entered the house. One of them seemed accustomed to the sight of the dead. The Alpha. The underling seemed openly repulsed. The Shadow-That-Walks was unsure of fear, but it knew the weak one was repulsed. It could deal with him later. It moved from the kitchen, a blur of movement, its eyes glowing like burning coals. A spring of its feet and it took to the air, spotting the Alpha's weapon for the first time.

That changed things. No sense in attacking the heavily-armed one and risking dismemberment by automatic weapon when there was easier prey. And judging by the scream of the easier prey, crushing the weak one would make the strong one slip a little.

It buried it's talons in the plaster on the ceiling and used the new-made handhold to redirect itself towards the weak one, spreading its limbs to minimise the chance of escape. It twisted in the air to gain some extra momentum, swinging its fist straight for the weak one's head. The weak one seemed to see it coming, leaving the Shadow-That-Walks to punch a chunk out of the doorframe behind him.

It vaulted the weak one as the Alpha opened fire, disappearing into the dark house. This fight would not be won by brute force alone.

Think, Skin Walker. Free your mind to the chaos.

It renewed its attack from a fresh angle, the house's open plan giving it plenty of choices. It launched itself at the weak one again, both feet impacting on his chest before rolling to it's feet and disappearing into the darkened house as the Alpha moved to cut off its retreat, or pre-empt a new attack.

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33 Re: The Animal on 6th November 2011, 13:42

Oh no he didn't! Rawson swiftly put a new clip in his gun, eyes trained on the doorframe.

Rawson was beyond pissed. First, because his danger sense didn't recognize something that was fracking feet behind him! Somehow the thing had given him the same vibes as Rome, who he'd been expecting to find behind him anyway. Second and third, the underhanded, cowardly, sneaky bastard had switched to attack his brother in mid attack. Coward for backing away from a fight when he brought up his gun after his little gore role, and eviler still for having the gall to attack Romulus in front of him.

"Rome, what pieces do you have on you?" Best to figure out what they had now. He still wasn't sure exactly what they were up against- it wasn't like anything they'd come across in the past year. The thing was bloody fast- if it had a gun stashed somewhere they would be seriously metaphorically screwed. Joy. Fights were, perhaps, the best thing in the world... but not when you go in unprepared against an unexpectedly strong opponent with any number of tricks up his sleeve. Especially when your opponents habitually ended up breaking the laws of god and physics.

They needed to get out of the house. To regroup, and (as much as he hated to admit it) research what would kill this thing. Though bullets might work this time- that would explain why it avoided going close combat against him and switching to attack the apparently weaker opponent. Most importantly, they needed to be alive long enough to take it out with minimum damage to Rome. And himself.

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34 Re: The Animal on 6th November 2011, 13:43

Maeglin

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"This isn't Bad Boys II, Raws!" Rome reminded his brother as he watched him pursue the shapeshifter-thing--wearing Mr. Thompson's skin, he now saw, literally--around the house. "Real people don't exchange snappy dialogue when they're being attacked by a frakking--ahhh!!!"

Rome had lain prone where he had fallen probably longer than was necessary, in shock if nothing else, but when the creature lunged for him again, at least he had his Glock 22 out by the time he rolled out of the way--barely. It clawed his shoulder, definitely ripping the suit, but he was pretty sure his skin was unscathed. Which pissed him off, actually, more than it should: he could heal, but the suit was a goner.

Still, he rolled away just enough to prop himself up on an elbow and take aim. He fired, and the creature recoiled and howled in pain, though Rome guessed he didn't hit anything vital because it just kept coming.

Also--crap! He had a magazine of silver bullets, just not currently loaded. He knew enough about the supernatural that silver was a pretty surefire bet, especially versus shapeshifting entities, though it usually had to be a shot to the heart or left kidney or something theatrically ridiculous like that which only Rawson had any hope in hell of making.

As Raws again distracted the thing--though it seemed to have figured out that he was the easy prey and was zeroing in on him--Rome continued his roll behind the sofa to change out his clip. Silver bullets--score!

He poked his head out from behind the couch long enough to shout, "Okay, bring it, b*tch!" before opening fire.

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35 Re: The Animal on 6th November 2011, 13:44

While Rome and Raws had their fun, Elenna had some of herself.

Phew, I never know what to do when girls start crying.

Elenna got out of the elevator and turned right to followling the signs to the micribiology lab of the hospital. She needed to find out what this weird powder was. The best way to do that was in a lab.

Elenna smiled while she looked at her CDC ID.

"This thing is awesome, Rome. I wish you would had made it a year ago. The nurse was scared when I said to her that I need to do some test with the collected samples."

Microbiological laboratory. Biological hazard. Do not enter

After using the door buzzer, a moment later the opened.

Wow when all guys in this lab look like this I'll wanna work here, he is freaking adorable!!!

"Hello, how can I help you?"

"Hi." whispered Elenna before she realized that she was on duty here, not for pleasure. "Hello I am Agent Elenna Walther from the from the Center for Disease Control I need to run some tests and I was told I can do that here."

"Right Dr Kaplan called and informed me. I am the head of this lab Jared, come in."

I so hope Jared helps me with the test to find out what this powder is.

But not even with Jared help, it made her dizzy how close he came, Elenna could really figure out what the powder was. So her next idea was to go to the library and give Bobby a call.

"Give me a call, Elenna as soon you know what this stuff is. Okay?"

"Sure. See you later Jared."

Elenna sighed when she had to leave Jared eh the lab, but she had to work. Back in the Mustang and after she took off the horrible shoes and the knife, lucky her the cut at her hip was just a small, she called Rome.

Beep beep beep beep...

"What the hell Rome answer your damn phone, what if I am in trouble, what if the shifter attacked me? Okay I'll try Raws."

She dialled Raws number only to receive the same as a moment ago.

Beep beep beep beep...

"Seriously guys, what are you doing?"

The last number she called was a number she knew by heart.

"Hey Bobby, it's me Lenna."

"Damn it girl, can't you pick up a damn phone or had you lost my number? It's been nearly two month since your last call. Where the hell are you and what are you doing?"

"Bobby, relax I am fine working on a case. Sorry I didn't call, I was busy. BUt I am not just calling to say HI."

"Of course not. So what do you need this time?"

"We are hunting I think a shapeshifter, and there are 6 dead students and they all had this weird powder on their bodies. Two of the students died after the attack but it is a little weird."

"Let me look at some book, but in the meanwhile you could call Tex Mosely maybe she can help."

"Tex Mosely? I think you gave me her number when I left you, right? Yeah I give her a call. The boys aren't answering anyway and I have no idea what else I can do."

"What do you mean Rome and Raws aren't answering? What the hell are the doing? I thought they take care of you?"

"Bobby, I can do that pretty good on my own. I am not a child anymore. I call you back. Bye."

"Of course girl, I just don't mention how many times the two safed you. Bye."

"Gosh I feel like a receptionist."

Elenna flipped through her phone book to find the number of Tex, a number she never phoned before.

What am I gonna say to her?

"Tex. Shoot."

"Hello I am Elenna Fee, a friend of Bobby's. He gave me this number and said when I need help I can call it so here I am I need some help. I am working on a job right now. I think it is a shapeshifter, but there are some weird things about this one."

As always when Elenna was nervous she talked a lot.


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36 Re: The Animal on 6th November 2011, 13:45

Tex Mosely ignored the first few strains of Stone Temple Pilot's Wicked Garden that told her the phone in her pocket was ringing as she wrestled with the sagebrush which was refusing to get along with the marjoram. She wiped an errant strand of hair out of her face, replacing it with a smudge of dirt, and pulled her phone out of her pocket.

"Tex. Shoot."

She was about to hang up on the girl who sounded like she was all of twelve years old and babbling nonsense until she heard her mention the name Robert Singer, and suddenly it made sense.

This was that kind of call.

Tex listened to the girl's story, waiting until she was finished before speaking.

"Shapeshifter, huh? Well, check the local lore, that's not much to go on. Never hear tell of any shapeshifters using poison, but I'll work on it. A powder huh? No, no, no, don't give me any of that, I ain't no chemist, girl. I'd need to take a look at it, but I'm guessing there's not enough time to send it to me. I'll see what I can find and call you back. I can reach you at this number, yeah?"

Tex sighed as she hung up the phone. It didn't look like she was going to get any gardening done today.
Meanwhile . . .

The Skin Walker was enraged at this point. Not only had these worms shot at it, they seemed intent on ruining it's plans for the ... rituals. No sense dressing it up. They'd lost all sense of ceremony and simply become ritual. Still, an exciting ritual though. Like decorating a Christmas Tree. Or so the Skin Walker imagined anyway. It payed homage to something far older and darker.

It launched itself through the window of the room where it was taking cover. Of course, the crash drew the attention of the Hunters. All part of the idea. It shed the man's skin and returned to it's true shape. Tall, powerfully-built. Far more suited to direct combat. But it bore something even more fitting. It carefully folded the father's skin, fully intending to return for it as it reached into a quiver and drew out a black, shaggy skin and draped it over it's hulking shoulders.

It bore down on the house on all fours, great, loping bounds closing the distance faster than it should have. The Hunters turned at the sound of another window shattering just in time for a monstrous Black Dog to pin the weak one to the ground, exhaling a choking cloud of dust as its spitting, gnashing jaws snapped inches from the young man's face.

The roar of an automatic weapon cut short the attack as those jaws moved to crack the weak one's skull like an egg. The Skin Walker yowled and leaped backwards as the silver bullets seared it's flesh, smoke rising from the hissing wounds. Missed the heart, but wounded nonetheless. It leaped through the window as the howl of sirens reached it's ears, bounding off.

It would let the Corpse Powder do its work on the weak one, then return for the skin of the strong one after it watched its companion die.

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37 Re: The Animal on 6th November 2011, 13:45

Well, Romie found a gun. Joy. Now the hard part would be hitting whatever part needed to be hit. Assuming silver would actually kill the thing, not just aggravate it. Rawson shot at the thing again. Even if his bullets weren't the 'magic' material, getting holes drilled through them tended to at least cause creatures to pause. He brought up the gun, following it's movements for a moment, and waiting for a likely head shot.

Eww, gross. Poor skin. Nasty thing. Yuck. And what the hell? Did it just spit on his brother?

"Dude, you just got spit on," Rawson shouted over the sound of firing as they continued to shoot through the broken window at the creature. As it bounded off and the brothers stopped firing, Rawson heard a disturbing sound. Frack. Sirens.

"Frack. Cops. Come on Romie, we gotta get outta dodge right now." Rome was rubbing at his face and coughing. Rawson grabbed his brothers arm and ran towards the back of the house, ready to head for a neighbor's yard.

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38 Re: The Animal on 8th November 2011, 16:51

Maeglin

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Romulus Remington had never been so monumentally grossed out in his entire life. It was one thing if creepy crawly nasty skin-changing creatures were out for your blood and wanted to eat your spleen, but it was another thing entirely when they got gross and spit on you.

It wasn't even spit, though, really, just a white powder it coughed into the air around his face. But it was sticky and hard to wipe off, making him sneeze and cough.

And it smelled disgusting.

"Holy frakking Mary mother of gorram rutting..." Rome coughed as he rolled over onto his side to try and clear his lungs, eyes, nose, mouth and throat. He realized with a start that the thing hadn't actually killed him, and that was somehow more worrying, but he staunchly ignored the implications. When he looked up, Raws was peppering the lawn with lead and the creature was bounding away, gone before he even got to his feet.

With a curse that almost had Rome entering a defensive stance, Rawson grabbed hold of him roughly.

"You okay? Did he get you?"

"No, man, Fido just frakkin farted on me with his face. God, and it smelled worse than your gym socks, dude."

"Come on, we've got to get out of here," Rawson said, tugging him to the back exit.

"What? Why? Raws, what about the--"

Rawson wheeled on him. He was doing the worried-angry-intense thing that scared Rome more than a little and made him willing to do anything to calm his twin down. "Do you hear the sirens? It only looks a little suspicious with the mutilated corpses here, but anyway I'm not on the FBI's most wanted list, so if you want to stay..."

"Okay, okay! Geez, dude, whatever. We'll go." Rome holstered his Glock under his jacket with a last mournful look at the people they couldn't save and followed Rawson out to the back. They hopped the fence into the alleyway just as cops cars screeched to a halt outside the house.

Rawson was standing at a manhole cover.

"No way, dude, that's gross!"

"Like we're any better already? Just get in--I don't care what you smell!" Raws tried, a Star Wars reference as a last-ditch attempt to get his brother to comply.

Rome pouted.

Raws flashed him a rare grin. "Come on, dude, it's like the Ninja Turtles."

Rome brightened at that, mainly because it recalled fond memories of trick-or-treating with Raws dressed as the TMNT--he had been Michelangelo, Raws was Raphael--but the main motivator was the police pounding through the house at his back.

"I'm going to regret this," Rome tried in a bad impression of C3P0 and launched himself down into the sewers.

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39 Re: The Animal on 8th November 2011, 16:51

Well. This wasn't necessarily a great idea, but they'd make do. After setting the cover back into place above them, Rawson pick the right tunnel (as that was in the general direction of heir hotel) and they started down. On the plus side, cops were not likely to chase them through here. On the minus side, it was very dark, and his keychain light and phone didn't help overly much. It was also wet and damp. And smelled- ugh. Better not to go into details on that.

"I hate you," Rome told him bluntly. Sheesh. If that's the thanks he gets for saving their collective butts...

His phone beeped. Then, a few meters later, it beeped again.

"Rome, guess what?" He didn't wait for his brother to respond. "Whenever we're under an exit, the phone's gps system works! So we can tell where we're going!" And in his excitement he almost tripped. Almost. Ugh.

"Can you just get us back to the hotel soon?"

"Dude, at least you aren't soaked in drying Thompson gore."

"Fair enough."

"All we need are some nunchucks and turtle costumes!" Rawson jumped into a ninja pose.

"I hate you."

They slowly made their way north and east, covered in spit and blood, dirty water and decaying matter and whatever else found its way onto them. Now, they just needed to get out in the parking lot, make it into their room without being seen, and no matter how much Rawson loved his brother he was definitely claiming first dibs on the shower.

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40 Re: The Animal on 8th November 2011, 16:52

The Skin Walker crouched, letting it's body recuperate. It tensed, muscular pressure forcing the bullets from it's chest and shoulders. The silver burned just as much on the way out as on the way in. He was sure the Hunters hadn't aimed to hit him inside the Black Dog's body, but these worms had managed it somehow. It was time for another change of shape. The Skin Walker shed the hide of the Black Dog, folding it reverently and returning it to its quiver. It then removed a choice hide from another pouch.

The Skin Walker donned the hide of a Werewolf, growling and familiarising itself with the Werewolf's fine-tuned senses. It shuffled to its feet, padding through the suburbs and tracking the prey by scent. The sirens had long since arrived at the house/battleground, so the prey had likely also escaped. The Skin Walker froze as it heard a voice below.

"All we need are some nunchucks and turtle costumes!"

"I hate you."

The Skin Walker grinned and lowered its animalistic head, strong canine teeth bending the manhole cover out of shape as it wrenched it free. It slid silently into the sewer, descending from the ladder to the effluent flow without making a sound. Its greyscale vision performed admirably in the dark as he closed on them. The weak one was even the closest. Silent as the grave, the Skin Walker slid through the effluent and launched itself at the weak one.

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41 Re: The Animal on 8th November 2011, 16:52

Maeglin

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Holy crap! Rome tried to say, before a great pressure slammed him in the back and he ended up eating a mouthful of sewer water. No question what had brought him down. Not when he was still running on an adrenaline high.

When Rome resurfaced, far more choice words were on his mind.

"Why you--" but the sound of Rawson's automatic shooting right near his head! censored him.

He leaped to his feet as fast as he could in the sludge, and drew his gun. Probably only four silver rounds left. He'd have to make them count.

Rawson had ducked the creature's lunge--it was a larger, bigger wolf-dog, now, if that was possible--of course it was possible, it was a shapeshifter, hello!--and run to stand beside him now.

"Raws, catch!" Rome shouted for his attention, and, safety on, tossed his Glock at his brother. Raws barely reacted fast enough, but still managed to catch the thing and toss his own gun to Rome to use. If those four rounds had to count, maybe Boba Fett should do the shooting. "Silver. Four," he informed his twin, and proceeded to lay down cover fire.

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42 Re: The Animal on 8th November 2011, 16:53

Seriously?! Could our luck get any worse? And how dare that fracker go after Romie again. Although, at least he went into the water and not into a wall or onto the thing's claws..

Raws was particularly unimpressed by the shapeshifter this time around. Clearly, it didn't understand the rules of combat. You don't follow your enemies down into the storm drains, and you definitely don't attack when they're covered in half dried blood and human bits, trying to get home to a show. It was just dishonorable. And you definitely didn't attack Rome while Rawson was right there.

Rawson tossed his twin his gun, and caught Rome's Glock. Unfortunately shooting straight meant he wouldn't be holding onto the keychain light or his phone. The only light was coming from Rome's gun. It was like being back in real combat, in a night fight with no gear. Rawson felt himself flowing back into combat readiness. Forgot about his brother to his right.

Four shots. Traditionally head shots and heart shots will kill creatures, though some have a weird mythology like going for the achilles tendon. Try for two in the head and then switch to torso shots. Light. Now. Looked like a graze, but got a nice sound in response. Second shot might have hit- the thing certainly froze for a moment. Double tap to the torso region; no time for niceties. At least one of those is a definite hit.

Rome was still firing a rain of regular bullets at the thing.

"Glock's out Michaelangelo. Time to move!"

Note to self- underground isn't that bad a place to fight, though the resounding sounds from firing aren't particularly pleasant... what are the odds we could start using silencers?

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43 Re: The Animal on 8th November 2011, 16:54

Meanwhile...

Tex frowned at her library as she flipped on the lights. One bulb immediately sparked and blew out, and the few that held revealed mainly dust. How long ago had she moved into this place? Certainly not enough time for crap like that to happen.

But, then, entropy kind of came with the territory when she was around.

She could use a little help around here, occasionally. Keeping the library in order, the armory stocked, and Lord knew she wasn't a cook like her more nurturing sister. She'd gotten a good impression from the girl who called, and she was looking for new boarders since that last Team of Hunters had never returned from that poltergeist job... Frankly, Tex needed the company. The place was like a morgue without people coming round regular. Just because she was the Crone didn't mean she liked that Death was one of her elements.

But for now, Shapeshifters, shapeshifters...

She plucked a book from the shelf with a bony hand, long fingernails painted black. A cloud of dust followed her, but she ducked out of the way of it and threw the book onto a rolling cart. Another followed it, and then another, and another. All different shapes and sizes, all of them old and very heavy. Many in different languages.

After an good deal of searching, Tex found what she was looking for: the Shapeshifter Compendium, which was just chiefly an enormous list of shapeshifting types. Tex had never read it all the way through--they were all similar enough, and a silver bullet to the heart usually worked--but it was nice to have for reference. They had to know what they were dealing with precisely--anything from valkyrie to werewolf to kitsune was possible--though from the location she had her suspicions.

She flipped ahead to her guess and read up on it. This Compendium was more of an encyclopedia, and tended to be brief and unhelpful except in the most general terms, but this was a start, and confirmed her suspicions.

Tex pulled out her phone and sent a text message to the last received call, already labeled Elenna Fee:

Try SKIN WALKER lore. Hit the library. More info as I get it. Silver bullet to the heart, as standard. HH

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44 Re: The Animal on 8th November 2011, 16:55

Elenna was sitting in the Mustang, feeling safe and not so weird in her outfit anymore.

Well Tex said she calls me back so I guess I just have to wait. I could get changed or not.

She opened her blazer to see that her white blouse was bloody she carefully checked how bad it actually was.

"Damn it. This is worse than I thought. Well I can't do more than put a bandage on. I don't have anything better to do while I wait for Tex to answers."

While Elenna waited she wrote to Rome a text message

Call me when you are done whatever you do, I hope you are not doing what I think you are doing while I work my ass off. Just for the record I am okay, haven't met the shifter but I am still bleeding don't ask why. XXX Lenna

After she had bandage her hip she just waited in the car. When suddenly her phone vibrated.

Try SKIN WALKER lore. Hit the library. More info as I get it. Silver bullet to the heart, as standard. HH

ANSWER

Thanks, you are better than Bobby said you are.

"Okay library ."

She didn't have to drive long to it. Before she entered Elenna checked once more that no blood was visible.

Skin walker lore, let’s see.

Elenna found some books and sat down with them.

This looks like the library I met John a long time ago, before... Damn it, I have a job to do.

Elenna went into the world of books and a banished all thoughts of a long time ago.


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"I hate witches! Spewing their bodily fluids everywhere. It is insane! No, downright unsanitary!"
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45 Re: The Animal on 8th November 2011, 16:56

“I’m special agent Allison Wesson, this is my partner David Smith.”

They both flashed their badges as they ducked under the crime scene tape. The house looked like the suburban dream complete with a white picket fence—out of place in the standard stucco housing around it. The house had been the first in the neighborhood and the people who built it were from out of state—back East if she had to guess.

Allison walked across the manicured lawn—not the most efficient use of water in the desert. All the other houses were xeroscaped—desert brush and rocks. She shook her head. If they hated the desert so much why move in the first place. She noticed the car in the driveway—probably a job—a good job.

Death and decay assaulted her nose the moment she approached the open door. Allison took her last gulp of fresh air and then regulated her breathing so as not to be affected by the scene waiting for her. It didn’t work.

She had seen double murders before—gruesome decapitations, hangings, slaughters, ritual murders, rape—but nothing could prepare her for what she found in the kitchen.

“Oh my god.” David turned around with his hand over his mouth. “This man is sick.”

Allison surveyed the kitchen. Something was wrong—aside from the two skinned bodies oozing out over the tile floor. The Remington murder had been gruesome, the fire at the bar even more so, but this—serial murderers followed a modus operendi and this did not fit Romulus Remington, neither had the bar for that matter. He had a partner, of that she was sure, but even with a partner, this was a whole new level of perverted.

The place was a mess, sign of struggle everywhere. There were bullet holes in the wall.

“Do we have a probable cause of death?”

The Medical Examiner looked up at her with his eyes crossed.

“You’re joking right?”

“I don’t believe so. Can you at least tell me if they could have been shot?”

“No. There’s no sign of entry wounds. There also isn’t any sign of struggle around the bodies. This one has been moved postmortem, but not from dragging. If I had to guess something or someone fell on the body.”

“The other victim?”

“No. Whoever it was, was able to get up and run out of the room.”

She nodded her thanks and followed the blood trail into the living room. Here the blood trail was run over by at least two more sets of prints one human—so the accomplice—and the other, canine?

“Smith, did you see any indications they might have owned a dog?”

“No, but let me check the back yard.”

She nodded then focused on the signs of struggle while he left. So the murder happened, and someone else walked in? Nothing made sense on this case. Why would Romulus kill the people in the bar? Why would he travel to New Mexico, a place he had no connection to, to kill an innocent family he didn’t know? Who in their right mind would name their child Romulus? She sighed and started writing notes.

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46 Re: The Animal on 8th November 2011, 16:57

Maeglin

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Meanwhile, back in the sewers...

"Roger that!" Rome replied, laying down cover fire in case the thing decided to attack again. The light on Rawson's gun caught the flash of teeth and an animal reflection in the eyes. It looked to Rome like it was grinning. Then it sniffed the air, turned around and ran back the way it had come, splashing its way down the sewers.

"He's rabbiting!" Rome informed his brother excitedly.

"Reload," Rawson, never one to waste an opportunity, ordered, and just as Rome hit the release he was there with a replacement magazine. "Here, we're out of silver," he added, handing the Glock back to Rome.

"Did you hit him?" Rome asked, once again exchanging weapons.

"What kind of question is that?"

"Okay, sorry. It just looked like he had suddenly somewhere better to be, is all."

"The question is why he was going after you," Rawson eyed him hard.

"Well I am the most attractive one in the room. He was probably jealous."

Rawson rolled his eyes, good humor returned. "Yeah. Not so much now. You smell like a toilet."

"And you look like one, so we're even."

"Shut up and start walking."

They traveled a few minutes in silence. Rome pulled his phone out of his pocket--luckily his hip pocket, so although it was dirty and moist, it hadn't gotten water-logged and still worked. "If we can get a reception down here maybe we can call Elenna for a ride, but I'm guessing we'll have to walk if she's still busy. Oh, wait, hang on."

As they walked under a manhole cover, or some other opening, his phone flashed: (1) New Message. He opened it:

Call me when you are done whatever you do, I hope you are not doing what I think you are doing while I work my ass off. Just for the record I am okay, haven't met the shifter but I am still bleeding don't ask why. XXX Lenna

"Ookay, sounds like she's busy."

Rawson was looking over his shoulder. "She's bleeding?! 'Don't ask why,' what the frack does that mean?"

The Remingtons shared an uncomfortable glance.

"Maybe it's a girl thing?" Rome hazarded.

"Trying not to think about it. Let's go."

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47 Re: The Animal on 8th November 2011, 16:57

Thank the gods.

Rawson heaved a sigh. They had made it to their room without attracting unwanted attention... but only barely. Due to providence and good fortune, his car was still quietly tucked away near the hotel. And while the majority of the things they'd need daily were in the van, parked in front of a crime scene, there were still a couple sweatshirts and rags in the trunk.

Admittedly, a little girl may have spotted them in the parking lot. Fortunately, parents tend to ignore children's exclamations after telling their kids pointing is rude, and not to do it. Didn't the American public learn anything from the movies? How bout the kid on the train in Superman? But that was beside the point.

"That was disgusting," Rome said as the door closed. Rawson was uncomfortably reminded of the recouping in the hotel following their parents' deaths, covered in blood and just hoping Rome would be alright.

"Ya think?" Jack's catchphrase from Stargate, complete with extra sarcasm. Rawson glanced at his brother. He looked muck covered, tired, and had a look of post battle shock and lethargy- but not bad, given the circumstances.

"You'd better give your witch girl a call," Rawson reminded him. Rome immediately reached into a pocket, looking down as he pulled out his phone.

Sucker.

Rawson lunged for the bathroom door. After all, all's fair in love and gory drainpipe grossness battles. And he wanted first dibs on a shower.

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48 Re: The Animal on 8th November 2011, 16:58

Maeglin

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Rome let Rawson think he had tricked him as he darted inside the shower, locking the door like it was going to stop him if he really wanted in there. Instead of getting angry, however, Rome settled for rolling his eyes, calling his brother something that began with a D and ended with ouchebag, and stripping down to his boxers to wait for his brother to finish being a girl. At least the guy was okay: Rome hated himself for losing track of the fight, but since they had gotten back to the hotel he'd surreptitiously made sure his brother hadn't been injured in the fight, and was in fact so relieved that he appeared unharmed he would have given him anything.

In fact, he might have actually been the one lucky to walk away from this, and he tried to check his back for any signs of injury in the reflection from the TV, with inconclusive results. The worst that had happened to him was a seriously bad case of dog breath in the face, thinking of which made Rome suddenly sick to his stomach. He felt very truly disgusting all over, and as the adrenaline wore off, so did his need to be macho about this.

So as the shower turned on in the other room, Rome leaned over and vomited into the kitchenette sink. He washed it down with cold water, wetting his face and scrubbing his hair until most of the stench had gone. Rinsed his mouth, stood up, looked around. There we go. He felt better already, even managing to stuff his ruined suit in a plastic bag, tie it off, and dump it into the trash without even gagging. He threw open a window to air out the room, waving and grinning at some bikinied babes who sat sunning themselves at the pool two floors below, and then turned back to his phone.

He called Elenna's phone, but it rang until he got her voicemail. Hoping she was still doing some delicate work and not just ignoring him or getting herself into trouble, Rome left a message:

"Yo, Lennie, it's Rome. Me and Raws just got back. Uh. Hehe, yeah. Good times. Tell you about it later. Hope you're okay. We're gonna get cleaned up and then head back out. Gimme a call, let us know where you are. Or head back when you're done, whatever. Catch ya on the flipside, babe, laters. Look after yourself. Don't talk to strangers. Out."

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49 Re: The Animal on 8th November 2011, 16:58

The Skin Walker dragged itself from the sewers, shedding the disintegrating Werewolf Skin and letting it fall, useless, into the stream of effluent below. It darted to the trees - its chest and shoulders bleeding. It had been lucky. But the Hunters had been lucky too. If not for the silver, they would be dead. The Skin Walker approached the house - hoping at least to retrieve the skin it had left outside. As it approached the hedgrerow, crouching low, it spotted a far more worthy prize. It saw the badge and the gun. Federal Agent. Well ... at least things were looking up. It lurched from the bushes, much faster than it should have been able to move.

The Agent put up a valiant fight. He landed a punch. And another. Scrambled away. Tried to call for aid. But the Skin Walker had him the second his back was turned. There were ways to break a neck without the help of superhuman strength. This was not one of them. This was a Hollywood Neck Snap. No damage to the skin was the key here. The Skin Walker dragged the body towards the drainage ditch behind the house, through another hedgerow. Once out of sight, the Skin Walker drew a stone knife and began its grisly work.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nope. No sign of a dog ... the smell of the bodies might have attracted a stray though," David announced to Allison as he returned to the house, wincing and covering his eyes as a torch flashed across his face, "Any leads in the house, Allison?"

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50 Re: The Animal on 8th November 2011, 16:59

Maeglin

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Romulus relished in the cool water running down his skin as he scrubbed himself clean of gore, sewage, and sticky dog breath. Raws had used up most of the hot water, but it was hot outside, too, so he definitely didn't mind.

He stayed under the water longer than was necessary, and soaped and re-soaped himself a few times before his stomach rumbled awkwardly. Probably those tacos at lunch--the salsa was killer! So after toweling off and taking the Browns to the Super Bowl, Rome exited the bathroom now dressed in clean-ish jeans and his brand new Captain America t-shirt.

"So are we still FBI agents or what?" he began, pulling the sticky "MEDIUM" sticker off of the t-shirt and sticking it to the back of Rawson's shirt. Rawson sat going through their bags, in inventory mode, loading mags, field-stripping a few of the guns to check them.

"We haven't got much silver left. Need to look into that. Only a few magazines, in .44, .50, and the 5.7."

"You wanna take the P-90 out in the middle of the afternoon?"

"Well, I'm sure as hell not leaving it at home when there's a shapeshifter running around like he owns the place, Romey."

"Whatever, dude." Rome took the two mags of silver .50 cals, loading one into his Desert Eagle and the other into the pocket of his sleek leather jacket. He then set to putting his pack back together after his brother had made a mess of it. He unearthed his mother's rosary, and, in a flash of sentimentality, put it into his pocket. He shoved his wallet in his back pocket, donned a shoulder-holster, flicked on the safety and rested his gun against his chest. "I think we should keep our badges around. Suits or no. We could be undercover or something, you know? Maybe can get a few questions answered easier that way."

"Sure," Raws said, not really listening. That was fine, Rome wasn't listening to him, either. Admittedly, mainly because he wasn't talking, but that was about par for the course with Rawson V. Remington. He watched his brother finish loading up his own Desert Eagle with the .44 cals, but paying closer attention to the obnoxiously deadly-looking P-90.

"Dude, I can't believe you want--" Rome stopped himself. It wasn't worth it. His phone beeped, and he glanced at the text message from Elenna:

Sorry I didn't answer. In the library. Meet me here whenever you're done.

"Look, lets head to the library, meet up with Elenna. I know, I know, research, your favorite part, but we'll just look around for a few hours, see if we can dig anything up. Then we can hit up some local dive and grab a drink. Or, you know, three." He winked, and followed Raws rolling his eyes out the door.

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