It's also been up on Fanfiction.net for a little while, and just now posted at Marvel Omega (with cooler formatting)
FF here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7362163/2/Werewolf_By_Night
and MO here: http://marvel.omegacen.com/wbn2.html
Or just read it all here (This version and the FFdotnet one should be the edited ones, just language, the MO one should be the unedited version, but like I said it's just censored language):
”We've got the power that we can't control
It's in our genes, body, and soul
We've got the future but it's lost in our past
We've got lust and we call it romance
“We've got the beast in us all.”
The Beast in Us All - Inkubus Sukkubus
Werewolf by Night #2
The Beast In Us All
by Alexander Ritter
"So.. maybe we should get to know each other better? I think we're going to be together for a while."
Jack Russell glanced over at the source of the voice, originating from a naked man with dark hair, sitting inside a cage to Jack's right. Several hours had passed since Jack and three others had been loaded into the back of a semi truck bound for Alaska. Everyone was in their own cage and all were still naked.
The man with the dark hair looked around at his companions. "Should I start? How about I go first, the rest of you can join in whenever you want?"
The man in the cage to Jack's left grunted in annoyance.
"Maybe some of us were enjoying the silence?" suggested the man. He had light hair and looked to be the oldest.
"The silence is driving me crazy. I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time together, so we might as well get to know each other, right? What do you think, friend?"
Jack noticed that the young man directed the question at him.
"I'm not your friend," said Jack.
The young man turned to look over at the cage that contained the lone woman of the group. "How about you? What do you think?"
She had her back turned to the group, and was sitting down with her legs hugged to her chest.
"You're wasting your time with that one," said the older man. "She hasn't said one word the whole time. You'd have better luck talking to the wall."
"Fine. I guess I'll go first then," said the younger man. "My name is Kevin and I'm a werewolf."
"What is this?" scoffed Jack. "A $#%ing alcoholics anonymous meeting?"
"Judging from the smell, you should consider going to a few," said the older man.
"As I was saying," continued Kevin, ignoring Jack and the old man, "several years ago I was on a camping trip with my wife. We were attacked by a wild animal. At least, that's what I thought at the time. My wife was killed in the attack. I managed to chase the animal away after bashing it's brains in with large rock. I almost didn't survive my injuries. I was in a coma for a couple of days, when I woke up, they told me my wife had died."
Kevin paused for a moment to collect himself. He still had a hard time containing the emotions that rise up when he relives that moment.
"Afterwards, I went home and tried to rebuild my life. The doctors told me they didn't think I would have ever woken up from that coma, they said it was a miracle it only lasted two days. My injuries healed incredibly quick after I returned home. A few nights later, I started having blackouts. I'd have these weird dreams about running in the forest, then I'd wake up the next morning naked in the park. It didn't take me long to put the puzzle together and figured out what happened."
"How did you end up here?" asked Jack.
"When I figured out my condition, I spent years learning everything I could about werewolves, becoming something of an expert on lycanthropy. I devised a way, with a combination of holistic medication and metaphysical meditation, to control myself during the full moon. When Dredmund approached me with his offer, I was thrilled. I thought I'd be able to help people to manage their condition like I had. However, I sensed something sinister under the surface of what he was telling me. I changed my mind, then he had his buddy assault me, now here I am with all of you."
"Great," said the old man, sarcastically. "I'm locked up with a new age nutcase."
"So you saw right through Dredmund's "utopia" spin?" asked Jack.
The young man nodded. "I'm good at reading people. It's like a sixth sense, I can usually figure out what someone is all about right away."
"Oh yeah? What am I all about then?" challenged Jack.
"You? You don't trust anyone but yourself, and you're not at peace with yourself."
Jack looked at the young man in disbelief.
"Ah, what the hell do you know anyway?" sneered Jack, sitting in the back of his cage, arms crossed.
"Judging from your reaction, it sounds like he's go you figured out pal," observed the older man.
"I'm not your pal any more than I'm his friend," growled Jack.
"Would anyone else like to share?" asked Kevin. He had an optimistic tone to his voice as he looked back and fourth between his companions.
"What the hell, I'll play along," offered the older man. "The name's Holt, and I'm a werewolf. When I was a kid, I dropped out of school to get a job to help support all of my brother's and sisters, since my mom couldn't do it by herself. I eventually got married and was planning on starting a family of my own after I finished up serving in the US army."
"A couple of days before my tour of duty was over, my wife disappeared. I returned home and spent weeks trying to track her down. The police didn't turn up anything, but I found out what happened on my own. She had been attacked and "turned" by some Vampires. She wasn't my wife anymore, those #$%ers turned her into some sadistic, twisted version of the woman she once was. She wanted me to join her, but.. I killed her."
Jack and Kevin looked at the old man, listening intently to his story.
"I loved her, but I had to kill her. When I was done with her, I killed those responsible for turning her into that monster. I dedicated my life to hunting and killing vampires, killing as many as I could find. With nothing left to live for, my new mission consumed me. That's when I decided to hunt down and kill a werewolf. Something I only attempted once."
"So you tried to kill a werewolf," guessed Jack. "You found out that you bit off more than you could chew. The werewolf kicked your ass, but you survived and ended up with the curse."
Holt laughed. "Not exactly. I don't think you're going to like where this story is headed."
"You already admitted trying to kill werewolves. How much worse could it be?" challenged Jack.
"I didn't try to kill a werewolf. I did kill a werewolf," said Holt, wryly. "I incapacitated him, then skinned him alive. His pelt is still hanging on the wall of my cabin in Wisconsin. After I killed him, I ate his heart, and took his power for myself. That's how I gained this curse."
Jack was shocked. "Why in the world would you willingly do something like that?"
"I didn't give a #$% about werewolves. I hated Vampires, my personal mission was to kill vampires. I had some close calls in my day, almost didn't make it out alive. I wanted to give myself an edge. I was willing to kill one werewolf in order to turn myself into a more efficient vampire-killing machine."
Jack just shook his head in astonishment.
Holt smiled. "Dreadmund came to me, spouting that new age crap about a werewolf utopia. I told him to get the hell off my lawn. That's when he sicced his Ricky Ricardo sidekick on me. I put up a hell of a fight, trashed my whole damn house. Dreadmund got a cheap shot in, using some kind of impact grenade. Stunned me so his flunky could finish me off. Now I'm here with you guys."
Kevin glanced from Holt over to Jack. "So how about you? What's your story?"
Jack smirked. "My name is Jack Russell.."
"Like the dog?" interrupted Holt.
Jack gave Holt a dirty look. "Yeah, that joke never gets old. Anyway, my name is Jack and I'm a werewolf. I wasn't attacked by a werewolf and I didn't eat a werewolf's heart. My family bloodline was tainted with a curse, when I turned eighteen, I started turning into a furball on nights of the full moon."
"Through the years I've had times where I was completely out of control, and other times where I was in full control. Right now, I've mastered my condition during most of the month, but have no control during the nights of the full moon. I gave up looking for a cure, settling for trying survive the full moon every month without killing anyone, or getting killed myself."
"I get the feeling that you're leaving something out," said Kevin.
"I'm leaving a lot of stuff out," countered Jack. "This could be a two week trip and I still wouldn't be able to cover everything. The important highlight is, I've crossed paths with Dreadmund before. It wasn't pleasant, so I don't know why he thought I would willingly help him. I told him to buzz off, and he didn't like my answer, now I'm here telling my life story to a group of people I've only known for less than a day. I really need a beer."
Kevin notices that the girl is kicking the bars of her cage. She is blond, and looks to be the youngest member of the group. She had been curled up in her cage for the whole trip up until now.
"That's not going to work," said Jack. "These cages are silver. If they were steel or iron, we could bust out of here. But silver makes any object "normal" to us."
Jack pointed at the rune shaped scabs on his chest. "Same reason these damn things are taking so long to heal. If it had been a normal knife, instead of silver, we could heal the cuts quickly."
The girl sighed and stopped kicking the cage. She leaned back and looked over towards the three men. "My name is Alice," she began, "and I'm a werewolf."
"She can speak!" exclaimed Holt, with mock surprise.
"Can it, jackass," snapped Jack. "I want to hear what she has to say."
"I don't know why I am the way I am," said Alice. "I think I was just born this way. One morning I woke up and my husband was dead. His throat was torn open, one of his arms was missing, his stomach had been ripped apart, and there was blood all over me. I couldn't remember what happened. Not exactly anyway. "
"In my mind I saw flashes and shadows of what happened. I spent the whole day locked in my bathroom, curled up in the bathtub, praying to wake from the nightmare. The next night I lost control again. I woke up the next day and found out that "the beast" had finished it's "meal." It had dragged my husband's half eaten carcass into the bathroom and finished him off. That was my first time."
All three men stared at Alice, as they tried to come to terms with what she just told them.
"My husband is one of the thousands of unsolved missing persons cases. I've spent the last couple of years locking myself inside a mausoleum every time the full moon rises. I hate the wolf and I want nothing to do with it. When Dredmund came to me, I told him in no uncertain terms that I was only interested in a cure. I tried to run away from him, but as you can see, that didn't work out so well."
"I think I liked it better when she didn't talk," said Holt.
"I noticed something," observes Kevin. "Alice, Holt, and myself are all widows. For each of us, it's either because of, or leading to, our curse. Is that what you left out of your story?"
"I've never been married," said Jack. "I've had some bad relationships but.." Jack trails off as he goes through the list of past relationships and realizes he does have something in common with these people. There is a story he could tell them, but he's not ready to share it with anyone. Not yet, anyway.
"You got real quiet there, Terrier," said Holt. "Something you want to share with the rest of us?"
"It's not really any of your business," retorted Jack.
"Whatever it is, it can't be any worse than Alice turning her husband into a buffet," offered Holt.
Alice looked despondent and crawled back to the far side of her cage. She pulled her knees to her chest and started to cry.
Jack shook his head. "You're a real piece of work, you know that Holt?"
"So I've been told."
"I think show-and-tell time is over," said Jack.
Holt shrugged and sat back in his cage. The group continued their trip in deafening silence.
Dredmund Cromwell and Hector Perez walked down the streets of Yakutat, visiting every resident of the town, one at a time. The door to door mission had taken the better part of the day. Dredmund was once again wearing a deep purple suit and tie, while Hector was dressed in a black t-shirt with blue jeans.
"I'm getting tired of having to hide in this fleshbag form," complained Hector.
"It will not be much longer," assured Dreadmund. "Cease your annoying whining. We can't have you parading around in your true form until we have converted the entire town. Once the pack is complete, we will be free, and there will be no need for any of us to hide in this form ever again. But until then, we have to blend in. There aren't a lot of people left to convert, our journey is almost at an end."
Dredmund and Hector walked up to the next house. Dreadmund knocked on the door, and a few seconds later, a woman opened the door and peered outside at the pair. Dredmund smiled.
"Hello, Miryam. I would like to talk to you today, about allowing your savior to set you free."
The woman shook her head. "Only my step-mother calls me Miryam! Everyone calls me Mary, thank you very much. I'm already set with my religion, I'm not planning on switching. If you've got a pamphlet, I don't want it."
Mary began to shut the door, but Dredmund blocked it with his foot.
"I can set you free."
Mary looked angry and opened her mouth to complain, but froze once her eyes meet with Dreadmund's. She slowly opened the door and allowed Dreadmund and Hector to enter her home.
"See now?" asked Dredmund in a soothing voice. "That was easy. I can save you, Miryam. I can set you free. I will make you greater than you can imagine."
Dredmund reached into a satchel that Hector was holding, pulling out one of the gemstones he had empowered with werewolf blood. He pressed the gem into Mary's throat. The gem becomes embedded in her neck and glowed with a faint light. Mary started to shake and convulse as the werewolf transformation overtook her.
Suddenly, a man walked into the room. He was shocked to see two men in his house, and a large wolf wearing his wife's dress.
"What the hell is going on in here?" he managed to shout.
"Christopher," said Dreadmund, calmly, as he started to walk towards the man, holding up a reddish colored gem. His smile sent a chill down the man's spine. "I would like to talk to you about allowing your savior to set you free.."
Several miles outside the Yakutat city limit.
The driver of the semi truck had pulled an all night drive. He should have stopped to take a nap at some point. He had talked himself out of stopping, reasoning that Dreadmund was very demanding, and his cargo was just to dangerous. The sooner he finished the delivery and put his cargo in someone else's hands, the better.
The driver's vision started to get blurry. He shook his head and tried to re-focus on the road. A few seconds latter, he started dozing off again. The loud noise and sudden vibration of the highway "rumble strips" snapped him back to consciousness, making him swerve back onto the road. He was relived to have survived the close call, when a herd of caribou ran across the road. The driver jerked the wheel to avoid hitting the caribou, but he turned to sharp, causing the semi to jackknife and tip over.
In the back of the semi, all of the cages were violently tossed about as the semi flipped and rolled down the highway. The back doors of the semi broke open, forcefully ejecting Jack and his companions. The cages rolled and bounced down the highway, as sparks flew from the sliding semi. The chaos ended as the semi slowed to a stop, and the cages came to their own resting points along the highway.
"What the hell just happened?" yelled Jack.
"Now I know what a sock in a washing machine feels like," quipped Holt.
Jack noticed that the chain holding his cage door shut has been broken. Jack kicked the door open, and walked out onto the road.
"It feels good to stretch out. It was really cramped in there."
"How about helping the rest of us?" demanded Holt.
The door to Kevin's cage has been broken open. The bars on Alice's cage have been bent enough that she was able to squeeze out between them. Holt's cage seemed to be, unfortunately, mostly intact. With the remains of the semi burning brightly only a few feet away, Jack and Kevin tried to bust open Holt's cage.
"The door, the chain, and the lock are all still in great condition," observed Kevin.
"How about back here?" asked Jack. "These bars on the back side are sort of mangled. Do you think you can get out this way?"
"Not a chance," said Holt. "Maybe blondie over there was able to wiggle out of her cage, but I'm to big."
"We can't bend these silver bars any wider either," said Jack. "How about we try pushing it somewhere safe and figure out how to open it later, when we're not standing next to a ticking time bomb?"
"It's the best plan we've got right now," agreed Kevin.
"Well quit jabbering about it, and get me out of here before I get flame broiled!" demanded Holt.
Kevin and Jack tried to push the cage, but it doesn't budge. Jack transformed into his werewolf form, Kevin followed suit. They tried pushing it again, but don't have any better luck. They could get it to move just a little bit, but at the rate they moved, it would take several minutes before they had it in a safe range.
"Should it be this hard to move?" wondered Jack.
"If it was some other kind of metal, we could just lift it up and carry it. It's silver, so our enhanced strength is useless. To us, it's a "normal" heavy duty cage, like you said before. Plus, the cage isn't sliding because it's getting stuck to the melting tar of the road!"
"We're almost getting it to move. Alice! Come over here and help us!" yelled Jack.
Alice shook her head. "No."
"No?" repeated Jack. "What do you mean "no"? Holt is going to blow up if we don't move this cage! We've almost got it, we need you to help us!"
Holt grabs the bars of his cage and yelled at Alice. "Get the #$% over here and save me! I'm not going to die like this!"
"You don't understand!" Alice yelled back, with tears in her eyes. " I can't let the beast free by choice, I won't! I'm sorry!"
Alice turned and ran away into the woods.
"Are you guys just going to stand there gawking after her, or are you going to save my bacon?" demanded Holt.
"Maybe if we try and "roll" it inside of sliding it?" suggested Jack.
Suddenly, a loud explosion erupted from the semi. The flames rose higher and got closer to the cage. Bits of flaming debris came raining down from above.
"That's it," said Kevin. "The gas tank is about to blow! There is nothing we can do now."
Holt closed his eyes and sighed. "It's fine boys. I know you two tried everything you could. You gotta save yourselves. Just promise me you'll get a good shot in on Hector for me, ok?"
"Yeah, you got it," agreed Jack. "I'll give him a good one, just for you."
Jack and Kevin bounded off towards the forest just as the semi's gas tank exploded. Holt was coated in gasoline and started to burn. His lycanthrope healing abilities tried to heal the burns, but they couldn't heal the flesh faster than it was burning away. It healed just fast enough that Holt's agony of burning alive was prolonged far beyond what it should have been.
Kevin and Jack entered the woods and found Alice sitting there, holding her hands over her ears, trying to drown out the sound of Holt's screaming.
Jack shakes his head at Alice. "I can't believe you refused to help save him. He could still be alive right now, if you would have helped us!"
"You don't know what you were asking me! I can't let the wolf out. I can't control myself, bad things happen when the wolf comes out."
"Worse than a man burning alive?" asked Jack.
"You don't know what it's like."
Jack grabbed Alice and made her look at him in the eyes. "I don't know what it's like? You think I don't know what it's like to be out of control? You think I don't know what it's like to hurt the ones I love? You think I don't know what it's like to hate myself for something I didn't choose? I've been through hell and back more than once, don't tell me that I don't know what it's like!"
Alice pushed Jack away.
"Hey come on man," said Kevin, putting a hand on Jack's shoulder. "I know we're all stressed out, but give her a break. She's new at this. She's scared."
Jack remembered what it was like for him, when he first had to deal with the challenges of being a werewolf. Jack had been a scared kid trying to deal with the consequences of having an uncontrollable beast trying to burst out of his skin, but he had people to help him in those times. His sister, his step-father, his friends Topaz and Buck. Alice had nobody to help her, she had been dealing with this darkness by herself the whole time.
"I'm sorry. Listen, I really do know what you are going through, Alice. I'm going to tell you this from experience, there is going to come a time when you have to let go of your fears if you want to survive this. I was scared to, but I'm here today talking to you, because I got though all those dark times. Kevin and I will be right here to help you, ok?"
Alice nodded her head.
"The first thing we are going to have to do, is find civilization. We can decide on our next move from there. We'd cover more ground faster if we.. you know.." Kevin looked at Alice, leaving it unsaid that being in lupine form would be much faster than traveling in human form.
"That's not going to happen," said Alice. "I'm not ready yet. You two can go ahead and leave me behind if that's what you want to do. You don't have any obligation to me."
Kevin looked at Jack to see what he wanted to do.
"We're not leaving you behind," said Jack. "We can just walk together for now. That's fine."
Kevin motioned towards the highway. "I think it would be best to stay off the main road for now, the three of us running around naked is gong to draw to much attention. We can just stay on the inside edge of the forest and follow the highway. "
The trio began their journey, walking off into the night.
Dredmund and Hector arrived at city hall, where the entranced citizens of Yakutat have gathered.
"This is a grand sight," said Dredmund. "My first congregation of disciples. They will witness my ascension to godhood during the black moon. Then, with that power in my possession, we will be able to spread the gift of the wild throughout the world!"
Behind Dredmund, Hector was talking on a cell phone. Hector had a concerned look on his face as he hung up the phone. "Hey, Dredmund. I think there's a problem."
Dredmund's mood changed from elation to concern. "What is it?"
"Your chosen inner circle is on the loose. Seems there was an accident during transport. One of them is dead, the other three are missing."
"We have to find them before the black moon!"
"Ah, what do you need those guys for anyway?" asked Hector. "You've got me. You already made enough stones to convert the town. You told me that once you obtain these godly powers, you'll be able to convert people on your own, without the need for our mixed blood."
"Hector, I am grateful that your eyes have been open from the start. You are my first and most important disciple. But the rest of these chosen children are important to me as well. I want them to bear witness to the dawn of a new age. I may not be able to control their minds, but once they see what I become, their eyes will be open to my glory. They shall willingly convert and accept me, as will the world. On the night of the black moon, this world dies, and my new world will take it's place!"
Jack and crew fail to stop Dredmund, who turns the world into werewolves. You don't think so? Well, next issue Jack and Dredmund stand side by side as allies, that is a fact. Also, there is no "Werewolf by Night # 4" being released directly after next issue, so all bets are off!
Bark at the Moon
So, this time I would like to tell you what my three favorite Werewolf by Night story arcs are, so you know where I'm coming from.
Number 1) Len Kaminski's Marvel Comic Present's stories in the early 90's. In issues 54 to 59 & 98, Kaminski reinvented Werewolf by Night taking him out of the 70's era and changed him going forward into the 90's. He gave Jack more control over the wolf, had him clash with Silver Dagger and Sabertooth, and introduced the Braineaters. This new look and attitude continued on in Morbius & a Werewolf by Night solo series later on.
Number 2) Doug Moench's "Marcosa House" story, Werewolf by Night 33-37. Apparently based on a novel and movie called "Hell House", this story was Jack, Lissa, Topaz and a couple friends in a haunted house, with visions of madness and torture. It was 70's stories like this that made it a horror comic and not a hero comic.
Number 3) Paul Jenkins Werewolf by Night/Strange tales in the late 90's. Really gritty and dark. I really enjoyed this run, but it was almost to cynical and depressing for my taste, AND it never got finished, so there were a lot of questions left over. I would have liked to see how everything wrapped up!