by John Nation
One of the richest men in the world declares war on Sheriff Johnson and the Pack.
|It was almost ninety minutes before she was back in her room. Sara was already waiting for her. They gave each other a kiss and then Miranda called Stan Chitwood. When he answered she said, 'Stan, Sara and I have decided to take your advice and leave the area for a time to keep away from the gang. We will be back in four days. Meantime, keep a close eye on Montgomery. I will want to know his location when I get back. Also, be a dear and do more research into Robinson for me.'
'Miranda, thank you for being careful. You are the best employer I have ever had and I do not want to see anything bad happen to you. I'll have everything you asked for waiting for you when you return.'
Miranda thanked him, then she and Sara left to get away from the city.
Rick Johnson was half asleep when the sun came up. Tonya was beside him, softly running her fingers in his hair. 'Sweetie,' she whispered. 'Eddie and I have to take off for a few days. You know the reason why. Please stay on the estate until we return. If you were harmed, it would make me cry. I do not know if I would ever stop.'
The Sheriff nodded his head and started to drift back to sleep. He was exhausted from being with Tonya all night long.
As she left the room, Tonya glanced back over her shoulder. 'Sara will be back soon. I'll get her and we'll have a m'nage a trois.'
Instantly, the Sheriff was wide awake.
Diane woke when the first rays of the new day touched her face. She was up at once and as wide awake as the Sheriff. She was disappointed the men she could still hear a hundred yards away had not tried to do her harm. It was not all bad however. Today was Premoon. If she could work it right, it would be possible to have the people following her stay until evening. When the moon rose and she transformed, she would have a ready meal waiting. The best part about that is it would be people the world would not miss instead of some innocent person that never did anyone any harm.
She dressed and was out the door. Again she made sure the people trailing her did not lose sight of her. She stopped at a restaurant for breakfast. Soon after she gave her order to the waitress, one of the people trailing her came in and took a seat in the far corner, facing her. He had a newspaper in his hand. Diane observed he never took his eyes from her unless he believed she was looking in his direction. Then he would stare at the newspaper.
From the restaurant, she drove to the mall. She purchased a couple of items, but did not have time to do any in depth shopping. It was almost noon and she had to leave to get to a less populated area before nightfall.
Again she drove slowly, making certain she was followed. She passed through French Town, but instead of turning down the dirt road to the cabin, continued on the highway.
'Colonel, she is not heading back to her home. She is taking a different route. Her destination is unknown at the moment. We will inform you the instant she stops.'
The Colonel only took a second before responding. 'She is going to meet the others,' he said. 'Stay with her and make positive she does not see you or she might not go to them. Me and Cobra Two and Three are on our way to join you. Keep us up to date on your location. We should be with you in about an hour.'
'Roger, Colonel. She will never know we are behind her.'
What a bunch of losers, Diane thought. How can anyone be so clumsy and honestly believe they know what they are doing?
She saw the vans and trucks in her rearview mirror, about a half a mile behind her. She was elated when an hour and a half later, an even larger group joined the one tailing her. Then she shook her head and laughed when one of them stalled. It seemed to her the truck ran out of gas. 'Morons,' she said.
She pulled over to a gas station, even though her tank was still three quarters full and filled it. She went into the store and bought a bottle of water. She lingered ten more minutes to give them time to get their problems taken care of.
She sat in her car, glancing in the rearview mirror. She figured they had solved their problem when one of the trucks raced around the bend in the road. It slammed on its brakes when the driver saw her. It took all of her willpower to keep from laughing out loud and letting them know for certain she was aware of them when the van behind the truck locked its brakes to keep from rear ending the stopped vehicle. It was less than three inches from the bumper of the truck when it stopped.
Satisfied she regained her followers, she continued her journey. By the time it was an hour before moonrise, she was in a scarcely populated area. Twice before she had used this site for her transformation so she was aware of the terrain. She pulled her car to the side of the dirt road and got out. She could hear the convoy as it got closer. This time she did not want them to see her. At least not yet. She was a hundred yards into the deep woods before the first vehicle stopped next to her car.
The Colonel watched from a distance as a team of his men advanced on the car. Soon it was surrounded and the men called in.
'Colonel, the car is empty. It looks like she abandoned it. She vanished. The ground is damp and there should be footprints, but the only thing here are car tracks and our prints.'
'Pop the truck,' the Colonel ordered.
Ten seconds later, they were looking into the trunk. 'Not here,' they reported.
'All units, move in.'
Two minutes later, Diane's car was surrounded with trucks and vans. The militia members moved to the edge of the woods, seeking any sign of her. They had not gone far when one of the men shouted out, 'Colonel, I have something.'
Guyer hurried to see what his man found. He shoved his way past the men staring at the ground. In front of him were the clothes worn by the woman they were after. They were neatly folded and sitting on top of a rock.
'Why in hell would she take her clothes off?' one of his men asked.
'When we catch her, we can ask her,' the Colonel said. 'No more playing around. Team leaders, gather your men and start a coordinated search. Cobra One, take the left flank. Spread out as you move, but stay close enough to keep in contact. Cobra Two, you have center. Cobra Three, the right flank. I want you to remain silent. Not a peep until you see her. We need her alive so she can tell us where the others are. It's about thirty minutes until the sun goes down. I want her delivered to me before then.'
Diane was three hundred yards from the militia as they made plans to catch her. There was a pond next to her and she did something she had seen several times in the movies. She found a hollow reed and entered the pond. She went far enough so the water covered her head. She held one end of the plant in her mouth and the other end was one inch above the top of the water. She watched the outlines of her pursuers as they passed by the pond. Two minutes later, she was behind them and came out of the water. She moved as a shadow as she reached the man at the far right of the formation. Soundlessly she put her hand over his mouth. Before he could shout out a warning, she snapped his neck. She tucked his body under an arm and took off.
The leader of Cobra Two was at the front of his team. They were five hundred yards from their vehicles when he motioned for all of them to become still. At once his men kneeled to the ground, forming a circle so they could watch in all directions. He congratulated himself on their training. It was good working with professionals.
While they guarded him, he crept forward, advancing on something out of place a short distance in front of him. It could be the woman they were after. It took a minute to cover the ten yards. He was careful not to make any sounds to give his location away. He placed a hand on a small bush and slowly pushed it to one side to peer through.
It was all he could do not to scream out. Nine inches in front of his face was a member of Cobra Three's team. His pistol was stuffed into his mouth. The only part of the weapon visible was the bottom of the handle. The outline of the rest of the weapon was easy to see in his mouth and throat.
He motioned for his team to move forward to him. 'Casey's dead. Somehow, she got the drop on him,' he whispered.
'Damn. How the hell could she have done that?' one of his men asked. 'Casey was at least double her size.'
'It doesn't matter how she did it, we have to make sure she does not do it again. Stay in twos. Each team keep the other in sight. Wilcox, get to the Colonel and tell him what happened. Get his orders and get back to me.'
One of his men moved away, hurrying towards their commander.
Cobra Two took up defensive positions and waited for his return. For two minutes the only part of them that moved was their heads as they constantly scanned the area around them for any signs of danger. The only sounds they heard was the chirping of the crickets. The silence was broken when one of the men from Cobra Two screamed out, 'SHIT! What the hell is happening?'
The rest of the team spun at once towards him to see if he had spotted the target. They saw him staring in shock at the bush three feet in front of him where Casey's head still lay, the pistol still in his mouth. Next to him was the head of Wilcox. His pistol was also stuffed down his throat. The butt of the revolver could be seen between his teeth and the tip of the barrel was sticking out from his throat. As they stared, a small stream of blood spilled from the end of the weapon.
At once the man that first saw the head leaped to his feet. He flipped his weapon to full automatic and lay down a blanket of fire in front of him. Within five seconds the rest of Cobra Two was at his side, joining him in flooding the area in front of them with bullets.
They were reaching for the third magazine before the Cobra Two commander was able to regain control. 'CEASE FIRE!' he shouted for the fifth time. 'Fire control,' he yelled. 'You've wasted half of your ammo and the only thing you've killed is a tree.'
By that time, several people from both Cobra One and Cobra Three were there, trying to find out what was going on. The Colonel was running to join them.
'WHY IN HELL ARE YOU SHOOTING?' the Colonel shouted. 'You just let everyone two miles in all directions know we are here.'
'No option, Colonel,' the Cobra Two commander stated. 'Somehow, our target took out Casey and Wilcox. Here's what's left of them.'
The Colonel examined the heads for several seconds before saying, 'The rest of the group is here with her. There is probably a lot more of them than we know about. Form into four man fire teams. If anything moves, first make sure it is not one of us, then blast the hell out of it. We have lost two good men. We will not lose any more. It is time to get serious. You can see they are. Lock and load and move out.'
The Colonel was just completing his instructions when a scream from the other end of their line spun all of them around. They raced as a group to where one of them was screaming for mercy and for God to save him. When they reached the site ten seconds later, they saw neither request had been granted.
The man was still alive, but he would not be much longer. Both of his arms and both legs were stacked neatly above his head. Blood oozed from the stubs where those appendages were ripped away. 'Please,' he whispered.
One of his teammates pulled out his pistol and put him out of his misery.
'They have to be in the area in front of us,' the Colonel said. 'They would not have time to have traveled far from here. Jones, you and Stevens set your machineguns up here. Each of you send a thousand rounds into the area. Move them around, covering every square inch.'
The men set up two M60 machineguns. A minute after the Colonel gave them the order, both opened fire into the area.
A hundred yards in back of them, Diane watched as they fired their weapons. She looked to the horizon that had a small bright area that marked the spot the moon would rise from in five minutes. Fifteen minutes after the Premoon rose, the sun would sink below the horizon and she would transform. She did not want to be in range of the weapons when she did. When she transformed, her Wolf would howl into the air as it always did when arriving each night. She turned and ran. In five minutes, she would be over three miles from them. They would be close enough to hear her howl, but she would be out of range of the weapons. As the Wolf, she would circle around them and finish what she started as a human.
She reached her goal of three miles and watched the moon climbed into the sky. Three miles behind her, she heard the militia as the resumed their hunt for her. Fifteen minutes later, the last slice of sun sank under the Earth. She fell to the ground and curled into the fetal position. Thirty seconds later, she was back up. As the Wolf, Diane was ten feet tall and weighed twelve hundred pounds. From a distance, if a person could see her and live, they would tell of seeing a gigantic tiger, for that is what her coat looked like. She did howl, a wolf howl that cut through the growing darkness.
Her Wolf looked around and sniffed the air. She knew there was a large group of men close to her and headed for them at once. As she moved, Diane warned her that they were heavily armed and dangerous. She told this to her by sending a series of pictures into the Wolves' mind. The Wolf saw the weapons the humans carried in her mind and saw lightning coming from them. She knew lightning was dangerous and she should take care around these things the humans carried.
Diane sent another message to her Wolf. Usually, she would lead her Wolf to a lone human she selected for one reason or another to be the one she would feed on. After that, she took great pains to see no others were harmed. This time the Wolf received a different message. Basically, Diane told her, 'Have fun.'