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Rated: 18+ · Novel · Fantasy · #2317352
Carter finds himself almost dead again and being attacked by werewolves.

*TowerG* Tower Floor 10

The four leather-armored-clad women panted hard as they sprinted into a dark recess of the ravine they call home. They could hear the unholy howls of Dire Wolves from above as they drew near, which brought terror to their trembling bodies and minds.

"Why in Nature's name are they all riled up?" asked Sadie as she pulled off her mask, exposing her golden curly hair and youthful face. Her large brown eyes flitted around in the darkness as panic amassed inside her. The Lost Tribe had survived in this ravine for a long time, and she knew every part of it. She knew the schedules of all the creatures above down to the second. But something had changed, and it was spooking all of them.

"Is it time for the Ascension?" asked a rather tall woman, barely able to crouch far enough down to fit into the cave's entrance.

"The Ascension again, Carson?" said another woman huddled towards the back.

"Maybe it's time we can go back, Captain Willis," said Carson as she placed her head down. She grabbed the back of her mask and had trouble pulling it off. Carson's demure face glowed in what little light there was. Her shoulder-long brown hair was matted down with sweat and grime. She was grasping at straws because this life was starting to get to her.

Captain Willis was more pragmatic and didn't hold her breath while talking about "Ascension to the top of the Tower." Carom was an asshole. She knew it, and so did Carson.

Another loud noise, followed by a howl, sounded through the ravine. The women tensed up for a moment.

"Something is going on up there; it doesn't necessarily affect us. We have to wait it out," said Captain Willis as she pulled some Manna out of her pocket. Her mask slipped off, revealing her long, green-tinted blond hair and angelic face. She had been without a "cleaning" for too long and smelt it. She placed the food in her mouth and chewed.

Imsolo pulled off her mask, revealing her white, short hair and dark-skin, thin face. She was a formidable warrior and knew how to stay calm. "Should you be eating that? Won't they smell it, Captain?" asked Imsolo with a glare that was almost insubordination.

"How would they smell it over her stink?" said Sadie, not realizing what she said. Captain Willis gave her a dreadful look.

"I mean our stink!" corrected Sadie with a short smile.

"She knows what you meant," said Carson as she pulled out her food and water. She pulled out a little book and started reading out loud.

"The Great One of the Tower bided us to do his bidding, sending his warriors to the Great Ravine. Free the Tower from the oppressive Despoiler and bring blessing to our Tower. But the Evil one was never found, and the summoned warriors grew restless. The begrudged call was given to return, but the mission was unfulfilled. The support door was found to be locked, and they were denied the ability to travel back to paradise. Half the legion attempted the climb, insurrectionist to the cause, and traveled the Tower's many floors only to return in defeat. Their faith and warrior skills were lacking," read Carson.

Captain Willis wanted to tell her to shut up, but the others took solace in the words. She knew Carom didn't want them anymore, like a toy doll you outgrow. It was easy to send them on a mission to find a myth: the Human Despoiler. The legion of warriors was gladly ready to defend the Tower's way of life from the one person who could destroy it. To help Carom was life itself. Then he deserted them here, on this forsaken Tower level.

"The chosen Lost Tribe returned to the ravine to ingeminate their mission of killing the Despoiler and find love in the eyes of their Tower Master. The Ascension will happen," finished Carson.

Sadie tightened her lips and asked, "What if it's the Despoiler above right now?"

"It's been a century," said Captain Willis.

"You've stopped believing in the Despoiler, haven't you?" asked Carson.

"We are more apt to find a key on a fellow support citizen than we are to find the Human Despoiler," said Captain Willis angrily. She hoped they could capture some other poor zealot following Carom's commands and follow them back up the support staircase. Carom isn't a nice person, but the amenities of the top level are what dreams are made of. She looked down at her hand, holding Manna, and cringed at her present existence.

"I'm fine with either one," said Imsolo. She grabbed some clay off the wall and rubbed it onto her cheeks.

The howls above were starting to get louder and closer. Sadie grabbed her mask and placed it back on, hoping she could stay hidden from the Dire Wolf's view.

Imsolo pulled out her tootle, a musical instrument used to combat the Dire Wolves and held on to it with tight hands.

Boom! A loud sound of something or someone falling to the bottom of the ravine.

"That's our cue! Let's go! We have a few minutes before they recuperate from the fall!" screamed Captain Willis as she threw down her leftover Manna and placed her mask back on.

They ran out of the cave's entrance like they had done this a hundred times before. Carson blew on her tootle a piercing note only the Dire Beasts could hear, and the other Lost Tribe members held their swords in the air.

Eight small hands grabbed Carter's heavy, unconscious body and dragged him roughly along the ravine's floor. Someone sat on his chest with a crude dagger held tightly against his neck. Carter's floating spirit stayed anchored to his body as it moved so that his spirit wouldn't get sucked out of the Tower. His body was in rough condition, and he needed to repair it.

The faces of his abductors or maybe saviors were obscured behind makeshift masks.

A loud, unholy howl echoed from all directions of the ravine. His coroners stopped pulling his body and looked around.

"What in Nature's name was that?" asked Sadie through her tight mask. She held her sharp knife close to the intruder's neck, just in case the dead person woke up. The intruder was a big one.

"I don't know, but let's get back to base," said Captain Willis.

"Can we just drop this dead body?" said Imsolo.

"No, it's still alive," said Captain Willis.

"Look at all those deep wounds. She won't be for long," said Carson.

"Just do it and double time," said Willis. Grunts came out of the three women, and they started pulling again.

Carter's body hit a jagged rock and bounced up and down, making the too-close, too-sharp knife cut across Carter's neck. Blood started trickling out, and the person sitting on his chest placed their hand over the bleeding cut to try to fix her mistake.

"Oh, Nature," said a panicked Sadie as she looked around.

Carter's spirit looked down and saw the blood starting to pour out of his neck between her red-covered fingers.

"It was an accident," shouted Sadie as his body came to a halt, and he felt all the little hands release him.

"What was an accident, Sadie?" asked one of the other hooded people.

She lifted her hand, and the group all gasped. A steady stream of blood leaked out, and Sadie placed her hand back on Carter's throat. The smell of death was in the air.

Carter saw the blood pooling on the ground, and he placed his hand on the wound and started to heal it. Sadie's hand obscured the glowing white light.

"Why did we give the knife to Sadie? She always does this. Remember my finger last week?" said Imsolo.

"The intruder was dead already," said Carson.

"Shut up, Carson," said Captain Willis. Another loud howl came to her ears. It had been a long time since they had seen a new face. Even if this person was dead, she wanted to take her back to the base.

Carson played her tootle again.

"Just leave the body here. She's already dead," said Captain Willis.

"Captain, I didn't mean to do it," said Sophie as she stood up from Carter's body, holding the bloody knife.

"Let's go before Fenrir or those other things return to eat this poor bastard," said the masked leader, Captain Willis.

The group left as fast as they had appeared. None of them took a moment to look back; if they had, they would have seen a glowing white light illuminating the dark ravine.

Even if it was a mistake, they still left me to die. The thin-line wound that was so deadly slowly closed up, and Carter returned to healing the rest of his body. The howling of wolves echoed down the ravine, making Carter take notice of his vulnerability. He integrated his spirit back into his body and stood up. He looked around the deep ravine and saw hundreds of small caves dug into the side. He looked cursory into each one, and time finally ran out with an alarm of a howl. He fell flat, slid into a small crevice, and slid to the back. It wasn't more than two heads tall and ten heads wide. It was tight, and he started feeling claustrophobic. He closed his eyes to calm himself down. He turned his head toward the sliver of an entrance of the cavern he had squeezed into. Patches of light from the sky above lit up random spots on the ground, allowing him to see. His breathing slowed as he heard footsteps nearing. The entrance light flickered as a large animal passed his vision. Sounds of sniffing and growling reached Carter's ears, and he held his breath, hoping the creatures would pass him by.

His trail of blood gave him away. The first Dire Wolf stuck his head into the small cavern Carter was lying in. Its teeth started snapping a few heads away as it couldn't quite fit into the entrance. Loud barking, growling, and snarling hurt Carver's ears and sent fear through his body. Three other of his canine friends joined in. Their claws dug into the hard clay, allowing them to inch closer every second. He took his sword out and tried to thrust it at their heads. He could not get enough power behind the sword; it was ineffective.

A panic surged through his body as the creature's claws ripped into his shoulder, and the gaping jaws were only a few inches behind. He didn't have anywhere to go, but his body was still trying to flee. Carter thrust his body several times against the back of the wall, pushing the unmovable. The solid hits of his shoulder finally produced a hole, which grew bigger until it engulfed him, and he disappeared.

He fell, flinging his hands repeatedly until he hit a hard surface. The air flew out of his lungs as his sword echoed a metallic clang. The light flowed in from the Carter-sized hole that was just made. The light flickered with moving shadows, calling attention to the four growling wolves blocking the light. Carter reached for his sword and felt fear in his bones. He looked around the small cavern and noticed the remains of several humankind. A glint of a long weapon caught his attention.

A large howl sounded, and the light flickered again, gaining radiance. A loud shriek of pain from one of the wolves reached Carter's ears as he grabbed the long weapon and pointed the sharp tip toward the wolves.

"This will reach farther," thought Carter.

The light flickered some more as the heads of the wolves started disappearing from Carter's dimly lit view. Elongated and exaggerated growls, snarls, and wails reached an apogee that ended in silence.

"Did that group of women from the ravine come and save his ass?" thought Carter.

Another howl, directed at Carter, entered the cavern as a signal that something was coming. He dropped his sword and held the javelin's point towards the gap. The noise of dirt falling to the ground and a blind snarl alerted him to the presence of something bigger than those Dire Wolves.

He slid his way to the back of the 50-head-wide cavern and involuntarily didn't blink. His eyes had gotten used to the dim light, and his pupils covered his whole eye. The dirt flew from the gap as something passed through the too-narrow space and landed on the ground. It was a wolf-like creature with large breasts and hips covered in bristled hair. Its teeth-baring face was covered in blood and drool. Walking towards him on all fours, it scrapped its sanguine-colored claws across the floor.

Carter was still lethargic from his wounds and held the javelin pointed at his adversary. The she-wolf disappeared and reappeared next to Carter. Her sharp teeth clamped down on Carter's shoulder and buried in deep. Carter instinctively jabbed an end of the javelin into the beast's thigh. A bright light lit up the cavern where the javelin went in. The she-wolf released Carter, letting out a series of howls that portended immense pain as she fell to the ground. The howls slowly became a woman's screams, reverberating through the cavern. Carter righted himself on the back wall and readied himself for another attack. When he looked over, a naked woman was on the ground, trying to dislodge his javelin that was stuck in her thigh.

She pulled it out and let another volley of screams come out. The javelin fell to the floor, creating a metallic tempo of sharp noise. She looked up at Carter and said, "Where am I?" between loud groans and moans.

Realizing that something had changed, Carter looked around again for the she-wolf. Nope, he wasn't mistaken. She was the wolf.

"I was going to say at the dinner table, but that has changed. You're not going to eat me, are you?" said Carter as he started healing his many wounds.

"Oh, Nature. Master sent me to the floors? He must be desperate," said the bleeding woman.

Taking a wild guess, Carter blurted out, "You're a werewolf?"

"It's an archaic name. We are called Lupuskind, but yes. Call me Phoebe."

"I'd rather not. You just tried to kill me," said Carter as he reached over and picked up his javelin. He pointed it at Phoebe.

"Your silver weapon will not work on me in this form," said Phoebe.

"If I jam it between your eyes, it will," said Carter as he pointed the tip at the bridge of her nose.

She gave him a narrow-eyed look as if he was stupid. "I pose no threat to you now. There is no need for further engagement," said Phoebe.

"I'll be the judge of that, Phoebe," said Carter as he stood up.

Phoebe removed a vial from her purse and drank it. The wound on her leg started to grow white as whatever she drank took effect.

She pointed at his shoulder, which was still glowing white. "Did I do that to you?" she asked as she shuffled several heads over.

"Yes," said Carter.

Phoebe started shaking her head. "Now that's a problem. Healing's not going to fix it. You're like me now, infected," said Phoebe.

Another howl came from outside the cave, filling Carter with feral anger and fear.

"The Dire Wolves are back," said Carter, pointing his javelin at the entrance.

"I killed all those stupid, weak Dire creatures. That noise is something worse...my sister," said Phoebe.

"Did you get off your leash?" said Carter, trying to make himself feel better.

"That's not funny. We're both in danger. She won't recognize me in her current form. You need to stab her with your silver weapon," said Phoebe as she scooted to the back of the cave.

Carter's heart started pounding harder as he watched the small entrance. He felt pain coursing through his body, and he fell to his knees, dropping his weapon.

"What are you doing? Grab your weapon," screamed Phoebe.

It started with muscles tearing and then his bones cracking. He let out a scream, but it stopped in his throat. He was changing, and it hurt like hell.

"Oh no," said Phoebe as she ran over, picked up the silver javelin, and aimed it at Carter.

It only took a few moments, and he was standing on all fours, looking through the body of a giant wolf. His brain was being trampled with rapacious thoughts. He fought them off as best as he could, but all he wanted to do was kill.

A thud on the ground in front of him announced the arrival of Phoebe's sister. It stood for a moment and watched Carter as he stood still. A wide sneer and teeth bared greeted him before the creature shoved her face into his. Teeth sunk deep into his snout, and he pushed her backward. A little yip came out of him as he stood still again. He didn't know what to do. This was all new to him.

She jumped at him again, and he flipped his claws out and tried to cut her. She was too fast and bit into his front leg before he could hit her. She pulled out a chunk of fur-covered meat and stepped back.

"Cleo! Cleo! Please stop. It's me, Phoebe," screamed Phoebe, still holding the javelin.

Cleo, the werewolf, wasn't phased at all. Her brain was feral, and she only wanted to attack. Carter was the same way but kept his sanity for some reason. This might have been the problem why he was getting his butt kicked.

He staggered backward after the last four bites, and claw strikes started to take its toll. He looked back at Phoebe and saw the javelin. He couldn't fight Cleo directly; she had too much experience fighting like this, and he had none. He reached back, and Phoebe recoiled and pushed out the javelin at him.

"Stay away!" she screamed.

Carter grabbed the silver javelin from her hands and held it as best he could. Pain coursed through his paws as the silver inflicted damage. Cleo's snarling face remained unchanged as she didn't comprehend what the weapon could do. She ran towards Carter with fast reflexes as he held the javelin straight at her, and it stabbed her in the chest. Her teeth sunk into Carter's face as the silver caused her to recoil. She released Carver's face with her jaws and pulled back, howling to the sky in pain.

Carter dropped the javelin to the ground and started snarling at Cleo. His brain told him to pounce on her now while she was vulnerable. He held back and waited.

Another howl turned into a scream as Cleo fell to the ground, returning to her human form. She sat on the floor panting, bleeding from her chest, as she looked at Carter with a mixture of anger and fear in her eyes.

"Well, go ahead then," said Cleo to Carter.

Carter looked back at Phoebe and then back to Cleo. His anticipation of attacking was building up, and he had difficulty not attacking something.

"Kill. Kill," yelled his brain. His aggression was building up, and he needed to vent it. He turned towards Phoebe and let out a growl. Her face was covered in fear as Carter held his body back. Several loud howls came from the ravine behind them. Carter turned his head.

"Oh, for Nature's sake," Cleo said as she crawled beside Phoebe. She picked up the sword that Carter had left on the ground and held it tightly.

A small smile grew on Carter's werewolf face as he jumped into the entrance hole and scraped his way to the ravine. The darkness in the small cave was filled with growls and barks for the next few minutes. Phoebe and Cleo held each other as they watched the entrance. The room became quiet.

Carter fell to the ground and landed on all his paws. He looked around the small cave and quieted his head. He was covered in bites, gashes, cuts, and puncture wounds. He never felt so alive. Aggression, freedom, and overpowering strength rushed through his veins as he stood quietly.

"Kill us already," screamed a voice from the darkness.

Carter looked over at Phoebe and Cleo and slowly moved towards them. Is it considered crawling? The fight was all out of him, and he was ready to nap.

He fell to the ground and lay there watching the two women. They were both holding their wounds and watched him intently.

Phoebe lifted her shaking hand and moved it towards his head. She placed it on top and started petting Carter.

"How is he controlling it?" said Cleo as she moved in closer, encouraged by her sister.

"I don't know, but he's almost like a giant dog," said Phoebe as she itched between Carter's ears.

He was enjoying the attention as his eyes started to close. His healing spell began to glow as it traveled around his body. The women stood back for a moment and wondered what was going on. The white light traveled up their bodies and started to heal their wounds, too. They looked at each other and started laughing.

Carter fell asleep and dreamed what werewolves dreamed about. Bathing women in ponds.

He woke up in the dark cavern alone, naked and human again. He was a little fuzzy about what happened before falling asleep but remembered his transformation into a werewolf. He remembered constantly fighting for control and not wanting to do that again.

He dressed with another set of clothes from his haversack and ate Manna. Phoebe and Cleo had left his weapons on the floor, including the new silver javelin, and he gathered them up. His foot accidentally kicked a small object, making a metal sound on the floor. A coin! These dead people had treasure! He opened his bag and sucked up the small amount of coins in the room. To his surprise, the coins from last night's fight outside the cave flew in, too.

With a slight smile, he exited the cave and entered the ravine.

"Look what we have here," said a voice behind him.

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