OSAMU NISHIMURA, still outraged over what he saw as the murder of young KAROLYNN KENNEDY, stomped out the front door after a heated argument with ZEBADIAH EINAR his aura flaring out of control. God help anyone who got in his way.
After a brief discussion over what to do next STACY KEENE was tasked with seeing if she could find a pattern for the attacks of SAWNEY BEAN’S cannibals that were ravaging the city. Stacy realized that she didn’t have access to the information that she would require and decided to call DETECTIVE MULLENIX and see if he could give her a better understanding of what was going on. Zeb went to take a nap. He was getting too old for this shit.
Detective Mullinex answered the phone demanding Zeb tell him what he wanted immediately (his caller ID had identified the phone number obviously) because he had his hands full. Stacy could clearly hear the sounds of a massive battle in the background and it was apparent that the Lieutenant was involved in a desperate fight and could be overwhelmed any moment. She quickly filled Roy in on what they had discovered to that point as concussion grenades and gunfire nearly drowned her out. She then asked him if he could give her the information she needed so she could attempt to triangulate Bean’s location. It was immediately apparent that the Cannibal Attacks started in the areas around the EVA WEST building and WINDEMERE PARK and spread throughout the UNIVERSITY DISTRICT and parts of CAPITOL HILL from there. The warehouse that DELILAH MONTAGUE had asked the party to investigate on behalf of THE PACK was right in the middle of the COMBAT ZONE that Roy had described.
Zeb found that the racket of concussion grenades and gunfire made sleep impossible. Perhaps he was also haunted by the presence of the body of his former apprentice in the basement. Stacy brought him what information she had discovered and they decided that they should probably meet DOZER and investigate his warehouse for further clues. At this point seeing that the old warden was exhausted SILVIO KHLORES used his connection to nature to revitalize him and keep him going. Loading into IVAN IVANOVICH’S van the group headed down to WEST SEATTLE to meet with DOZER.
The city was in chaos so it took quite some time to get to The Pack’s headquarters at a strip club called LYNN’S DEN. As they approached the rundown old building MATHEW “WOOF” RILEY noted the obvious guards watching from the roof of the establishment and even saw Listening Posts on buildings across the street. The layout made for an excellent choke point against any assault. Riley realized that whoever set it up had military experience as they had excellent fields of fire and even had a Barret M107 .50 caliber sniper rifle in perfect position to suppress any attackers. But what made the place nearly unassailable in Riley’s mind were the four werewolves that dart from shadow to shadow keeping pace with the van. Riley had a serious problem with wolves and while he managed to tamp down his near atavistic fear he was still shaken by how HUGE the wolves were and how well they were coordinated into the building’s defenses.
At the front of the building the party was confronted by a contingent of the Pack who made wildly inappropriate comments about Stacy’s derriere. Riley faced off with a seemingly ignorant hick who sensed his fear. Luckily Silvio made a grand appearance and managed to diffuse the situation getting them in to the club without an incident.
LOBO met them at the door and took them through some impressive security into the main floor of the club. They entered a raucous smoke filled room (it is a private club so it is allowed) with bikers arrayed along the walls. All of them immediately turned toward the companions and hands inched toward their guns but LOBO quietly shook his head. Everything went back to normal but the bikers kept their attention firmly on the group as Lobo led them to a back room.
They smelled the stench of burnt flesh immediately and heard a long agonized scream. As they rounded the corner into a storage area they saw a huge man beating the living crap out of a Red Court Vampire suspended in chains from the ceiling. Her skin had a strange horizontally striped burn pattern on it and was smoldering in places. She saw the companions and started to beg them pathetically for help.
At a signal from DOZER a Pack member opened the blinds which let in a striped pattern of light from the setting sun that seared the vampire’s flesh. The vampire shrieked.
“WHERE ARE THEY?!?!? WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO MOVE ON US?!?!” Dozer bellowed. She meekly said that she didn’t know. She was only turned last month and TREY WELLINGTON doesn’t tell her anything.
“I know you were only turned last month. I know that. You want to know how I know that?”
And that is when they noticed the older lady who had been watching the whole ordeal with rapt attention tears streaming down her face.
“It’s because you fed on Mrs. Sanchez’s children. A little boy and a little girl. Isn’t that right? You tortured them for days and then you killed them didn’t you?”
“Please,” begged the vampire, “I am so sorry.” She was crying pathetically.
DOZER walked over to miss Sanchez and handed her a machete. She got up grimly and stalked toward the vamp who screamed in terror. The old woman looked her in the eye and spat on her before hacking her head off. She wasn’t a very large woman so it took a while. She then broke down and started sobbing. Dozer took Mrs. Sanchez in his massive arms and gave her comfort speaking quietly to the grieving woman.
Silvio realized that this matter was quite personal to the huge man and that he must have gone through a similar tragedy. He also noted the look of disgust at the display of weakness from Lobo, the Pack’s second in command. Unfortunately, he was unable to perceive the insane gleam in Lobo’s eyes that bore a striking resemblance to the madness that overtook Kennedy.
After noting the SEAL Team Six tattoo on Dozer’s forearm Riley struck up a brief conversation with the big man and they realized that they had served in some of the same hell holes in the Middle East and Asia.
Pleasantries exchanged Dozer turned to the group and explained that several bodies were found at one the Pack’s warehouses in the U-district. He wants to know if it is a Red Court Vampire plot to move in on his territory.
“The ONLY reason I haven’t killed every fucking one of them is that LORD MONTAGUE insists that I must have proof that the vampires are involved before I move. I want you to go there and prove whether or not it is these fuckers doing this. And if it is you have to promise me you will let me know. I have to have witnesses who are outside of the Pack and I don’t trust Montague’s agents to tell the truth.”
LOBO made a noise of derision. “We shouldn’t give a damn what Monty says. We should just fucking kill them.”
He and DOZER glared at each other for a moment and then Dozer drove Lobo through a desk with a single blow telling him if he challenged his authority again he would rip his throat out. He then stomped out of the room and told the party that Lobo would lead them to the warehouse.
Lobo took the party back through the strip joint where Silvio informed a surprised dancer of her impending motherhood and out to the parking lot. Mounting up on Harleys alongside three other members of THE PACK Lobo headed to the warehouse.
Even from a block away the stench of death and decay permeated the air of the warehouse. The power was out for several blocks around them. Lobo’s three wolves dismounted from their bikes and covered their sensitive noses with bandannas. The bikers showed excellent training as they moved to the darkened warehouse with military precision once again impressing Riley. Zeb created an intense spotlight with his magics and the group cautiously entered the ominous warehouse through the open steel roll up door.
What they witnessed was a scene out of their worse nightmares. More than a score of bodies were suspended from the rafters of the warehouse. It took a moment but Stacy and Zeb eventually realized that not all of the bodies were human. In fact several of them were GHOULS. All of them showed signs of being devoured alive, the bite mark matching a human’s. It would have taken a multitude of thralls to defeat a ghoul’s supernatural healing abilities.
“Humans eating GHOULS?” said Silvio with a great deal of irony. That was when they noticed that one of the ghouls was still alive. Approaching quickly they realized that the survivor was none other than VITALY KULIKOVA. Most of his flesh from his thighs down had been stripped from his bones yet he still lived! They released him from his bonds and he managed to groan out that it was a trap before passing out completely.
At that moment the lights to the warehouse flared up and they heard maniacal laughter drifting down on them from the balcony of the warehouse. SAWNEY BEAN looked down upon them alongside a contingent of his CANNIBAL THRALLS.
“I was hoping to take care of the mighty DOZER himself but it seems he is smarter than he appears. He sent his upstart Lieutenant and his potential rivals to die in his stead. So be it. We will just have to take over the Pack the hard way. Besides, I owe you for hurting my wife. AND NO ONE TOUCHES MY WIFE! Isn’t that right dear?”
Lobo started laughing and transformed into BLACK AGNES right before the shocked eyes of the companions saying that she would take care of their business with Dozer before hitting a switch. The warehouse door slammed down locking the players inside. Simultaneously the three huge doors leading to large storage containers rolled up revealing at least a hundred Thralls packed in shoulder to shoulder. The three members of THE PACK screamed out clutching their heads as SAWNEY BEAN’S magic lashed out at them causing them to change into powerful wolves filled with an insatiable hunger for human flesh. Luckily the Winterroses gainded from Odiana protected the Warden and his allies.
Faced with his worst nightmare Riley still managed to fire off his assault rifle pinning the wolves down despite his panic. Silvio grabbed the wounded GHOUL while Zeb tried to blast a hole in the side of the warehouse with lightning. Unfortunately he hit a steel support beam hidden in the wall which ground out into the floor and gave everyone quite a shock leaving the wall undamaged. Stacy also unsuccessfully tried to use magic attempting to slam shut the doors of the containers. With a roar the savagely hungry thralls charged the group their numbers threatening to overwhelm them all.
Using the only grenade he had Riley attempted to slow the charge with no success and the wolves savaged him with their teeth. Zeb, Stacy and Silvio charged through the thralls somehow making it to through the wave of monsters into one of the containers. Again providing cover Riley managed to shoot two of the wolves down before charging into the container but was torn and wounded by several thralls taking bites out of him. They managed to slam the heavy steel doors down but the wolves shredded it with their great strength leaving the party exposed.
Silvio summoned his Fae Magics to create a large stone ivy covered wall that blocked the entry into the storage room. The Thralls threw themselves into the barrier some attempting to bring it down with force while others climbed over it. In desperation Zeb used his Warden sword to cut a hole into the wall and freedom which Stacy immediately jumped through. After some struggles she was followed by Zeb, Silvio (who was still carrying Vitally) and Riley brought up the rear. Silvio immediately sealed off the opening and the party made a mad dash to their vehicle.
They took off after LOBO/BLACK AGNES but realized that she had at least a ten minute head start. They happened upon a police officer who provided over watch for a paramedic. Zeb convinced the officer to get in touch with Detective Mullinex.
Roy was obviously exhausted and all seemed pretty quiet. He explained that they had managed to hold the line against the “rioters” and he was taking a break. Zeb told him that they needed Roy to call the strip club immediately and warn Dozer that Lobo was possessed and he needed to protect himself. Realizing how unlikely that was to actually produce any lasting results the party got back into their van and took off at top speed for West Seattle.