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#1 2012-03-17 16:39:21

Grayle
Literary Lycanthrope
From: My Desk. Duh.
Registered: 2007-09-04
Posts: 2006
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Hybreed: Call of the Wild

AKA Hybreed story part three. Revised. It might feel a little familiar to the old guard.

--------------------------------------------------------------------


   It was unusually busy in Dep:118 when Chris arrived. People he did not recognize were bustling across the floor, more stations in the cubicle maze were being occupied, and there was that certain electricity in the air produced when excitement and anticipation meet. Chris knew they recently received an increase in funding, but he had no idea it was being put to immediate use. He worked his way past the walls of the cubicles, dancing around technicians installing computer equipment. After reaching the offices at the far end of the floor, Chris turned around and surveyed the goings on. Most of these cubicles were usually empty, and it gave the floor a deserted feeling. Now at least half were occupied by unfamiliar faces.

  However, with all the sensitive information in which Dep:118 deals – much of it considered laughable by the Imperial eye – Chris wondered if Dad was concerned with leaks of information.

  “Not really,” said a voice approaching from behind and to the right. “Ray is helping with the interviews, but Jake and Shannon are scanning the applicants to make sure they’re trustworthy.”

  Chris turned to meet the familiar voice. Julie was wearing pure white clothing, as always. Subconsciously it set her apart from everything around her. Her hair was as blond as ever, her brown eyes continued to give that caring twinkle, and her meek smile warmed any heart it met. Julie was the wife of Doctor Raymond Collins, not to mention a member of the Brevish, the race that genetically begot the Hybreed. Therefore everyone in Dep:118 had no issues referring to her as Chris’ mother. Julie was also an extremely powerful telepath, which lead to the next question. However, she was gracious enough to let Chris ask it out loud.

  “So how come hasn’t he asked you to help?”

  “Oh, you know Ray. He won’t ask me since I’m not officially part of Dep:118. I think I’d have to beg before he asks on his own. Besides, Shannon and Jake could use the practice. Of course, now that you’re back I’ll probably be taking Shannon’s place anyway.”

  If his arrival caused the loss of Shannon’s help, it likely meant an assignment came up while Chris was gone. “Oh, come on! I just got back!”

  “If it’s any consolation, there were four other cases while you were out.”

  Chris thought for a moment. Four more cases would make seven total cases in one month. That was a record. “All of them were werewolf cases?”

  “Yep. One was confirmed as a lone wolf, and we dropped him off with a tribe in Alaska. Another was a full pack that apparently separated a year ago from that developing colony in The Sawtooth Mountains.”

  He whistled his surprise to the discovery of a full pack.

  Julie nodded. “Well, remember when I told you that your people were going to get really popular really quickly?”

  Chris looked at the cubicles again. “Wait – is that happening now?”

  Julie smiled. “No, not quite yet, but pretty soon. I’m really glad the Empire listened to you and Ray about your people.”

  Chris laughed. “Believe me, the Council didn’t want to; they were trying hard to make it some sort of danger to Imperial Security. But the Empress was different; she wasn’t willing to rule anything out. Once I shifted, it was like her suspicions were confirmed that we were telling the truth, you know? But what was really great was how she kept the Council from going into a panic. She slapped ‘em down like they were a bunch of kids in a daycare center. It was cool.”

  Her eyes narrowed. "Ray said it was a bit more than that. Something about shock darts?"

  Chris looked up at the lighting and shrugged.

  “So, you think the Empire is going to take the existence of your people seriously?”

  “Yeah; yeah I think they will. Still, I’m glad I only had to go through all that just once.”

  Julie’s brow furrowed, and she looked at Chris with curiosity. “What do you mean?”

  “Well, when we were on the way home Dad was telling me stories about how the world was run a couple centuries ago, what with all kinds of governments and countries all over the place, right? So I started thinking about it, and I’m kinda glad that the whole world’s under the rule of one government now. Putting me on display night after night for hundreds of governments woulda sucked. I guess it’s just another advantage for the ‘singular rule of the Empire,’ or whatever.”

  Julie nodded. “It was certainly a mess back then. The Earth was divided like a patchwork quilt, and it wasn’t that sound in the first place. Things were so much more complicated. And you probably wouldn’t have been allowed to visit them all, either.”

  Chris smirked, a hint of sarcasm lining his voice. “And you’d know all about it, wouldn’t you? The Angel of Loneliness coming to Earth even back then, mysteriously appearing here and there, benevolently guiding people out of their misery…” 

  Julie refreshed her smile. “A girl’s gotta eat, you know?” She cocked her head in the direction of Doctor Collins’ office. “You want me to tell him you’re here?”

  Chris waved his hand indistinctly. “You can if you want. I’m gonna put my stuff away and check my email.” Chris sighed. “Then, I’ll check the boards and find out where I’m heading to next.”

  Julie put her hand on Chris’ shoulder. “Hang in there, kiddo. It’ll be all right. Oh, I almost forgot; Phil is home sick today. He said he’s got the flu. There’s no need for you to get sick too, so you might want to hold off on visiting him for now, okay?”

  “Yeah, right; like the flu’s a real problem for me,” Chris narrowed his eyes. A second thought offered an explanation. “Oh, wait - unless you mean that he’s come down with yet another case of the ‘Melissa’ flu and took a personal day to get better; is that about it?”

  She returned his gaze knowingly, and a mischievous smirk broadened her lips. “I know you wouldn’t get what he's got, but you might get in the way of his recuperation.”

  Chris smiled. It was just like his mother to answer with such ambiguity. “Thanks for letting me know, Mom. See you later?”

  Julie smiled happily, pressed her hand against Chris’ arm, and walked around the corner. Chris continued on his way to his office. As he did, he started thinking about the way his life had developed a family, especially since he didn’t have one before.

Last edited by Grayle (2012-03-17 16:43:44)


To thy known wolf be true...


"Yay! We're Doomed!"  -- Gir

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#2 2012-03-23 12:59:52

Grayle
Literary Lycanthrope
From: My Desk. Duh.
Registered: 2007-09-04
Posts: 2006
Website

Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild

Chris never knew who his real parents were. He grew up in the city of Romberg as an orphan. One day he surprisingly turned into a werewolf. After becoming more familiar with his abilities he decided to use them as a crime fighter, and people on the streets started calling him ‘The Howler.’ Dep:118 approached him and Doctor Collins, whom everyone here affectionately referred to as Dad, explained he wasn’t alone. His people were called the Hybreed. They were werewolves, but they didn’t usually have the ability to shape shift back to their original form. After the explanation, Chris stayed with a tribe of hybreed living in a dense forest for a year or two and learned their ways of living – as well as the ways they should not live by.

  When he returned as an exile from that rouge tribe of his people, Chris officially joined Dep:118. Doctor Collins continued to be Dad and Julie continued to be Mom. He soon realized this was his family, these two were his Alphas of his true pack.

  Dad already had an officially adopted son, Jacob, who reaped the unfortunate rewards of genetic experimentation gone awry, a mutation cross with a Fisherman bat. Jake was also a telepath who could manipulate a person’s fears. Shannon Steele was another telepathic agent who was introduced into this family; she could influence a person’s dreams and aspirations. Once they met and ever since, Shannon and Jake acted like long-lost siblings, which only added to the family atmosphere.

  And then there was Phillip, his best friend. Chris and Phillip had been associates over ALAN, the American Licensed Access Network, since before Chris was introduced to Dep:118. Phillip didn’t have any mutation or extra-human abilities, but he was impressively good at research; he seemed to have a natural gift for it. Phillip was also a big comic book and movie fan, an addiction Chris suffered as well. 

  He cared for everyone in Dep:118 to some extent. It wasn’t that he felt distant toward them, but there was still no getting around the fact that he was the only hybreed working for Dep:118. None of the discovered hybreed ever decided to stay, and the fact started to weigh on his shoulders as much as his luggage.

  Chris put down his bags in his office and pressed a power button on his desk. A panel in the desk retracted, and out came an ergonomic keyboard with a finger pad connecting the key segments. Chris ran his fingers through his full, dark brown hair as he waited for his computer to boot. The wall across from the desk activated as a monitor screen and asked for his login information to ALAN. He typed in his codes and tapped the finger pad to submit. An indicator to the lower right told him he had twenty-five messages awaiting him.

  He clicked the indicator and scanned the messages. At least seven were from Phillip, which was about usual; a few more from Doctor Collins, a few from people he did not know. At least five more were obviously spam, so he deleted those. Three were from a woman in Dep:12 who insisted he did not fill out some paperwork correctly. She was just looking for an excuse for him to come down there so she could flirt with him again. She just wasn’t getting the hint. He marked her messages as spam and blocked the sending address.

  There was a knock on the door, and it opened without waiting for a response. It could only be Shannon. Her eyes scanned the room. His unpacked luggage did not escape her notice.

  “Hey - you ready to go?”

  “W-what?”

  “The new case; you ready to go?”

  Chris let his shoulders fall. “What’s the rush?”

  “Look: Dad’s helping with the interviews, Jake with the scanning, but I’ve been doing both. I’m getting carpel tunnel and everyone else’s headaches. I gotta get out of here before Dad changes his mind about me going with you. So you ready?”

  “Shouldn’t I check in with Dad first, get the paperwork?” There had to be some way to postpone the departure.

  Shannon gave Chris her famous annoyed look, which had a tendency to eat away at anyone’s resolve. She held up a wafer-thin transparent data card.

  Chris gave out an exasperated sigh.

  Shannon softened her expression. “Tell you what: we’ll take my craft. It’s nice and roomy, you can relax on the way. Read the case report whenever you feel like it. I’ll even spring for lunch, how about that?”

  Chris pinched the bridge of his nose. Relax? Month after month, Chris found himself going to some unknown land with a small village of people, steadfast in their assurance they were about to die because some beast out in the forest grabbed a sick lamb on the edge of the flock. So, naturally, they assume bloodthirsty werewolf. It made perfect sense, a logical assessment. Anybody would come to that conclusion.

  If it was actually a hybreed, it was always some poor dolt who didn’t yet understand they are still the same poor dolt in a different form. So, their conscious mind would retract and their subconscious would take over, acting on instinct. All they truly needed was a bit of training and teaching, and they’d be able to stay in total conscious control of either form. So Chris gave the poor dolts a quick basic training, and they’d get shipped off to a hybreed pack or tribe without so much as a see you next time.

  Chris never heard from the poor dolts again. Since most hybreed could not shift form, any shifting hybreed was looked upon as untrustworthy. They were put into a clan called Omega, and treated poorly. Chris would have been labeled as a member of that clan himself if he stayed in the tribe he found years ago. That automatic labeling as an Omega was the main reason he left and came back to Dep:118. 

  Yet since formally taking a position with Dep:118, all the cases Chris received were werewolf sightings. It was a broken record, getting old: same sightings, same poor dolts, same shipping them off to some hybreed tribe or colony before he can make a friend. Now, lo and behold, he’s off to investigate another one before he can even unpack.

  Chris just needed a vacation. That’s all. He just needed a vacation. Unfortunately, it would have to wait until after this new case. If ever.

  “All right; let me unpack a couple of things and send Phil a message, and I’ll meet you in the garage in half an hour.”

  “You can send Phil a message once we get there,” Shannon stated.

  Chris returned an emulated version of Shannon’s famous annoyed look, reinforced by his own frustrations.

  “Alright, fine; half an hour.” She left, shutting the door behind her.

  Chris was so fed-up in his own irritation that he failed to notice Shannon’s relenting.

Last edited by Grayle (2012-03-23 13:55:16)


To thy known wolf be true...


"Yay! We're Doomed!"  -- Gir

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#3 2012-03-30 20:39:57

Grayle
Literary Lycanthrope
From: My Desk. Duh.
Registered: 2007-09-04
Posts: 2006
Website

Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild

blah blah. The forecast calls for heavy foreshadowing, beginning in this segment.

--------------------------------------------------


  Shannon maneuvered the craft to the outside of the parking garage. A wall of rain made its watery way up and across the windshield as the craft emerged from the garage. The wind and rain was typical of Culmna City, as it was located at the foot of a steep mountain range. Often clouds would break upon the face of the mountains and volcanic buttes, much like misty ocean waves. The clash against the terrain resulted in heavy rain, often accompanied with lightning and thunder. It was said Culmna City was only for those who could ‘weather the weather.’ Chris was still not sure why Dad kept Dep:118 in Culmna instead of a more imperial location of the Empire, but he had found possible reasons during his tenure, though none of said reasons were confirmed.

  As the craft ascended Chris imagined how high in the Empire her contacts must be. It was a high-level craft with plenty of room, lots of bells and whistles, very stable ride, and had the look of a sports car. Most crafts tended to rock from side to side, like a canoe trying to capsize, especially in this type of weather. Shannon’s craft was not only a bit wider, but had the power to take off and ascend quickly without any instability. The rain didn’t have any effect, and the wind was hardly noticeable. It was probably devoid of the usual speed and power inhibitors as well. Normally this type of craft would be issued only to imperial officials. For a second, Chris entertained the thought that Shannon must have mentally manipulated someone’s mind to get a craft like this, but then he denied the thought. Shannon was very straightforward, sometimes to the point of being abrasive, but she wasn’t manipulative and she certainly didn’t abuse her telepathic abilities.

  Shannon suddenly announced to Chris, in reply to his musings, that the craft was a gift from her father once he found out who she was.

  Correction: she didn’t abuse her telepathic abilities often, and never by afore mentioned technique. Almost never.

  Shannon descended the craft as they came near to the outer edges of Culmna City. The buildings had more land between them in this area, the trees and brush more prevalent throughout the uneven landscape, but the presence of man still made its mark. The craft slowed as they approached the roof of a large service station, and came to a stop in one of the service lanes underneath an overhang. Landing struts expanded from the bottom of the craft and made contact with the roof. The whine of the engines gradually decreased as they both disembarked. A large mechanical arm swung out from the nearby support pillar and began probing the craft. While the analysis and any needed servicing commenced, the two agents weathered the weather and found their way to a set of stairs leading to the restaurant below.

  Shaking off the water as they walked down the stairway, they entered the restaurant. It seemed to be a tribute to another era, yet still attempted to provide as many amenities of current living as available. The décor was white and brown and bland, with a few pictures of rivers and old mills hanging in strategic places along the walls. The booth seats were a light brown and had a few cracks in the vinyl coverings. After greeting the patrons, a waitress guided them to an empty booth in a corner, looking out upon the decrepit highway still in use by the older ground-bound vehicles. There were three other patrons in the restaurant, sitting as far away from each other as they could, refusing to pay each other even the slightest bit of attention. It was a forgotten place, trying to survive in a world passed up its existence decades ago.

  Shannon ordered a chicken salad and iced tea as soon as she sat down. Chris didn’t need to look at the menu, either. When he was in a mood like this, only one thing would suffice.

  “Steak,” he replied to the waitress. “Rare.”

  “Did you want home fries, or mashed potatoes?” the waitress asked.

  “Steak.”

  “You mean you don’t want any side?”

  “No, I mean I want steak with a side of steak.”

  The waitress looked at Shannon, more for help than for confirmation.

  “He’s used to a different restaurant that has his credentials on file. If your regulations or ration limits won’t let you do it, let me know and I’ll give you our authorization codes.”

  The waitress, belaying her bemusement, agreed to try and left for the kitchen. Shannon turned her attention back to Chris.

  “Steak with a side of steak? Should I call a psychiatrist?”

  Chris looked up at her. “I’m hungry, alright?”

  “Hybreed don’t have to be carnivores. The way I hear it you only order like that when you’re feeling a bit down, but I’d call your mood foul, not down. Is this case going to be a problem for you?”

  “I’ll do the job.” He looked down at the table. “If there’s a hybreed, I’ll find them.”

  Shannon sighed. “Chris, are we going to talk about it, or am I going to have to scan your head?”

  He looked back up at Shannon, who was returning his look along with a raised eyebrow, much like Chris had seen from Dad. “Look, I’m just feeling a bit overworked, okay? As soon as I walk in the door I’m out on another case. I didn’t even get a chance to lean back. And Mom is dropping hints that it’s gonna get worse before it gets better.”

  “So, why don’t you take some time off?”

  Chris laughed. “Yeah, with Rachel already gone for who knows how long? Who will take the werewolf cases, Gareth? Lovely idea. He’ll ‘vocabulize’ everybody until they approach Dep:12 for a translator." An afterthought somehow made its way through his lips. “And then get harassed for not filling out the right paperwork.” He paused, frowned heavily and looked out the window.

  Shannon apparently noticed the sudden shift in his demeanor. “Hey.”

  Chris looked back at her.

  “There’s more to it. Once you mentioned Dep:12, you just about winced. What’s really going on, Chris?”


To thy known wolf be true...


"Yay! We're Doomed!"  -- Gir

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#4 2012-04-03 16:20:16

bdk336
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Registered: 2009-03-31
Posts: 277
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Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild

I just checked back in here after months and this is the first thing I saw, awesome.

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#5 2012-04-07 13:14:12

Grayle
Literary Lycanthrope
From: My Desk. Duh.
Registered: 2007-09-04
Posts: 2006
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Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild

Thank you very much, bdk. Hopefully the character development isn't bogging down the pace of the story, but this really does set the tone for what Chris goes through later.  Nevertheless here's more, mostly dealing with werewolf ethics. Picture that, if you can...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  He rubbed his face with his hands. Then Chris took a moment for thought as he looked at Shannon. Her resolve was chiseled in stone, as usual. Finally, he took a deep breath as he gave in.

  “Alright, fine. About three weeks ago, I had to leave for a case in Romania. I stopped by Dep:12 for a universal translator. There was this girl down there. She zeroed in on me and barely let me go with the translator. Now, she’s been sending me emails that I forgot some paperwork which I know I didn’t.”

  Shannon shrugged. “Okay, so she’s interested. You’re not? What, she’s too blonde for you or something?”

  “No, she’s… she’s just not… hybreed enough, okay? Get the picture?”

  Shannon raised her hands. “So what? If it doesn’t work, you go your separate ways. If it works out between you, you can turn her into one. Win-win deal.”

  Chris looked back at Shannon, about to debate her point, but hesitated. As with many things she said, Shannon had a way of making the most awkward suggestion seem like it was pure simplicity. However, she wasn’t hybreed.

  “Shannon, hybreed don’t go around biting humans just to validate a relationship. That would be, well, unethical.”   

  “That’s not what I suggested.”

  “I know, you suggested turning her into a hybreed if a relationship worked out. It’s still wrong.”

  “No it isn’t. It’s her choice.” Shannon thankfully added some clarification. “Look, Chris: If she wants to be hybreed, make her one. If she doesn’t want to be a hybreed, she stays human. You can still have a life with her. Look at Mom; she didn’t reject Dad just because he was human.”

  Chris shook his head. “No, no, it’s not the same. Mom can still visit her own people any time. There’s no consequence. If I get together with a human, I’d be ostracized by my own people. You know the gruff I get sometimes for being in a human pack. A human mate would only make it unbearable.”

  Shannon paused, fighting back some comment while she reinforced her composure. “Okay, well, you may be right about that, for now at least.”

  “What do you mean?”

  “It can’t stay this way forever, Chris. Pretty soon your people are going to have to interact with other races, like it or not. They’ll have to share this planet with the rest of us. All kinds of relationships will need to be tolerated; it’s just bound to happen. But even if it takes a decade or two, that’s no reason for you to force limits on yourself now.”

  Chris paused as the food arrived. “So, what if I’m just not interested in this girl?”

  Shannon shrugged. “Then you tell her to leave you alone. If she keeps at it, let Dad know. Believe me; he’ll take care of it. Or better yet, let me or Jake know.” Shannon narrowed her dark brown eyes playfully. “We could adjust her thinking.”

  Chris smirked, and took a moment to notice his food. He received his steak with a smaller steak to the side, just like he wanted. He looked up at the waitress, who had just finished putting down Shannon’s chicken salad, and was apparently waiting for a response.

  “Thank you very much. I really appreciate the, um, accommodation.”

  The waitress returned the thanks, finished her pleasantries, and departed as the two began eating.

  Shannon smirked. “Don’t be too nice. People might think your foul mood is gone.”

  Chris swallowed his bite. “It’s the extra steak; clinically proven to help with mood swings.”


To thy known wolf be true...


"Yay! We're Doomed!"  -- Gir

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#6 2012-04-10 18:46:01

Grayle
Literary Lycanthrope
From: My Desk. Duh.
Registered: 2007-09-04
Posts: 2006
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Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild




  Chris opened the case report as Shannon drove the craft out of the storm. She almost engaged the stabilizer wings and ascended above the clouds, but after they passed the mountains the storm subsided. It was always recommended to stay close to the ground in case of craft failure, anyway – this was a craft, not a glider. Still, Shannon often took the craft to higher altitudes without a second thought. Chris surmised it must be another added feature to the quality of her craft which allowed Shannon to take such risks without concern. Yeah, that must be it.

  The case came from a town called Rolling Peaks, about 150 kilometers to the south of Romberg. Though Chris grew up in Romberg, he had never even heard of this particular town before. The case indicated a farmer named Frank Halloway had decided to report losses to his heard. Mr. Halloway found the cows mutilated and slaughtered on one of the hills of his land. He could have contacted Dep:22, an imperial department responsible for business loss, or Dep:41, which had jurisdiction over wild animal encroachment. Instead, the farmer contacted local law enforcement. Since Rolling Peaks was not a large town, the local sheriff’s office was not supervised directly by Dep:5. Mr. Halloway insisted the work was intentional, and was staged to look like a wild animal did it. The sheriff decided to send it to Dep:41, who could not identify the attack or consumption patterns left on the carcasses. After the report went through a few other departments, it was ‘flushed’ to Dep:118.

  When Chris studied the pictures of the carcasses, he agreed with Mr. Halloway’s assessment to a certain extent. They depicted wide areas between the slash marks, which indicated a lengthy claw span. The tooth markings were larger than a wolf or cougar. The mutilation of the carcass was confusing, though. Much of it was unnecessary, brutal in nature. It did not coincide with a creature hunting for food. That itself alerted Chris. Hunting for the kill instead of for food was the Coyote Way, which meant their lifestyle did not adhere to the ways of his people. However, the pictures showed the work of only one creature, not the coordinated action of a pack. Therefore, this was likely just a hybreed who simply did not have control over their conscious self.

  Great, another poor dolt. Was this ever going to end?

  Chris turned off the monitor with a sigh, leaned back and looked out the window. The oncoming night and increasing height limited the view. Even so, the tops of the clouds looked soft, peaceful, and it had a drifting affect on his troubled mind. His mind revisited the conversation in the diner, when Shannon gave the example of Mom and Dad to prove difference of species isn’t grounds for avoiding a relationship. then he thought of the difficulty between Jake and his failed attempts at winning over Michelle, the object of his affections. The whole situation only confirmed Chris’ trepidation. Pursuing a relationship with a human was wrought with peril.

  And then he thought about an event almost a year ago, where Jake sat with him in a forest outside Culmna. They discussed the trouble between Jake and Michelle. Jake commented he would rather have his problems with Michelle than the difficulties Shannon went through. He also said Shannon hadn’t dated anyone since she received her telepathic abilities. Jake refused to elaborate out of respect for Shannon since she was not present, but Chris could not help but begin to wonder what she really endured.

  “I was wondering when that would come up.”


To thy known wolf be true...


"Yay! We're Doomed!"  -- Gir

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#7 2012-04-27 16:12:59

Grayle
Literary Lycanthrope
From: My Desk. Duh.
Registered: 2007-09-04
Posts: 2006
Website

Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild



-------------------------------------------------

  Chris looked over at Shannon, realizing what happened. Since they were stuck together in an enclosed cabin, she could barely avoid picking up his random thoughts. It was a telepathic challenge Mom once explained.

  “So what all do you know about my telepathic abilities?”

  Chris shrugged. “I know you and Jake are telepathic, he can control people’s fears and nightmares, and you can control their dreams and desires.”

  “That’s right; but Jake has much better control over his abilities than I do. If I’m not careful, I start affecting the desires of people around me even when I don’t realize it.” 

  “Okay, so wouldn’t that be more of an advantage?”

  Shannon sighed. “Put two and two together, Chris. You find me attractive, other guys do too. So, what do you think those guys are thinking about when they’re around me?”

  Suddenly Chris became much more aware of the risks on a personal level when one had a telepathic colleague. At least Shannon accepted he wasn’t after her, despite her being attractive. He forced himself to ignore the detours such revelation might offer, and focused on her question.

  “What kind of things to say to get your attention?” He offered meekly.

  “Try ‘how to get it into me,’ Chris.” Aggravation coerced her blunt tone. “Sooner or later my ability affects them and that’s exactly where their minds go, every single time. I just become sex meat.”
 
  “Well, can’t you control their desires again and change them?”

  “No; once their conscious mind gets involved in that way, it’s too late. Their desires get so strong it’s nearly impossible to downplay them. And if I’m in the mood too, it gets even worse. Mom’s teaching me how to affect desires that strong, but it’s not easy. As it is, every guy I meet will sooner or later be a victim of my telepathy.”

  “Oh, man...” Chris pondered the situation. “But you were able to date guys before you were telepathic, right?”

  “A few, but none of them could make it work. Jake thinks I scared them off.” She paused. “Maybe he’s right.”

  Chris sat speechless, trying to find a positive aspect for rebuttal. Jake thought of such hardships as the cost for being a telepath. Did Shannon feel the same way?

  “It’s more like a time saver,” Shannon replied to his internal musings. “I don’t have to wait until I’m dating them before finding out if it will work; I know in advance. Better yet, they get to be the victims instead of me.”

  “But it can’t be every guy, can it?”

  “It is so far,” Shannon cocked her head. “You know how some women claim that guys only have one thing on their mind? Well, it’s true.”

  “Hey now, wait a minute; I’m a guy and I don’t.”

  “You’re hybreed, Chris. Wolf instincts affect your mind. Besides, you’re part of my family and I’d clobber you if you tried anything.” Chris smiled at the comment as she continued. “Human guys have hormones and media ads and other guys prodding their thinking. The romantic ones I can deal with – hell, sometimes I have fun embarrassing them. But the perverts really piss me off.”

  Chris nodded. “I understand, it’s just I don’t see how it could be every single guy out of ten billion. There’s got to be at least one who can see you for you.”

  Shannon sighed, her exhale whispering a tone more of despair than annoyance. “Jake says I’ll find someone eventually, and Mom keeps dropping her little hints there are guys out there who’d work it out. As of yet, I haven’t found any.”

  “And even when you do, there’s no telling if they’ll be able to make it work any better than the guys from before…”

  “…Or if I’ll scare them off again; you got it.” She pointed a finger at Chris.


To thy known wolf be true...


"Yay! We're Doomed!"  -- Gir

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#8 2012-05-05 09:29:57

Oldwolf81
Member
Registered: 2011-02-19
Posts: 123

Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild

Problemsproblems


the texas octogenerian
wolf favorite animal

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#9 2012-05-06 03:43:03

Grayle
Literary Lycanthrope
From: My Desk. Duh.
Registered: 2007-09-04
Posts: 2006
Website

Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild

Thanks for the reply, Oldwolf. We're almost done with the dialogue. This next segment is a little longer, but finishes aforementioned verbal slowdowns.
------------------------------------------------

  He gave Shannon’s dilemma a moment of respectful silence, pondering the issue. Something similar plagued Chris in regard to relationships: he wasn’t convinced a human would ever understand him, let alone treat him equally. Adding Jake’s problems with Michelle to the picture made romantic situations in Dep:118 look pretty dreadful.

  And yet there were still glimmers of hope. There was the example of Dad and Mom – in fact, that particular relationship was the only one Chris, Shannon or Jake could look to for hope. It was a point she did not seem to be applying to her own situation.

  “Maybe you just need to broaden your horizons.”

  Shannon laughed. “You mean date a hybreed? You said back in the diner your people wouldn’t tolerate that.”

  “Yeah, but then you said my people would have to accept all kinds of different relationships in the future. Maybe yours will be one.”

  “Maybe yours will be one too, Chris, but would you want that outcome or would you rather be with one of your own kind?”

  Chris fell silent; her point stood fast. Even though an inter-species relationship might be possible, he would prefer a relationship with a hybreed. Shannon was saying she felt the same way.

  “Exactly,” she confirmed verbally. “Now you know.”

  “So how do you deal with it, anyway? I mean, how do you cope with the realization you might not ever find that special someone, or that every guy you meet will be a jerk, or probably turn into one?”

  Shannon looked over at Chris with surprise. He nearly apologized for his question, but her response abated his concerns. “You finally got straight to the point. Good.” She looked back toward the windshield, her expression neutral. “Truth is, other things make up for it. I got a great position in a great job. I keep my biological father at a distance for good reason, but I couldn’t hope for a better family than what I got with Dep:118. That’s enough for me. When it comes to guys, I tone it all out – if it gets bad. But if they try to act on their desires, they’ll regret it.”

  Chris laughed mildly. “I bet they will - serves ‘em right if you ask me. Besides, they got no idea what their missing out on.”   

  “Damn straight,” Shannon nodded strongly.

  Chris smiled and eased the seat back. He raked his dark brown hair over his head, closed his eyes, and let the gentle sway of the craft rock him to sleep.



Chapter 3


  Shannon woke him when they arrived at a motel on the outskirts of Rolling Peaks, the night in full force. She already made arrangements for the rooms and preceded to hand Chris a key. Chris disembarked, stretched extensively, and pulled out his luggage from the back of the craft. He picked up his bags and began to carry them to his room when his sense of smell halted his progress. Something faint upon the air caught his attention. He looked up at the open night sky, and then to a nearby mountain range to the east. His nostrils flared as he took a deep breath.

  Since he was in his human form, his senses of smell and hearing were not as intense as in hybreed form, but they were still more acute than most humans. Experience in deciphering odors also helped. When he focused, he could often catch scents most others would not even be capable of detecting, let alone recognize. He caught the fading trace of an old ground-bound diesel truck. He winced at spoiled contents in the garbage dumpster behind the motel office, and the acrid perfume someone shared with the rest of the world. He also caught two other scents. One of them he recognized: the dispersing odor of his people, carried for miles upon the wind. The other was similar to a hybreed scent, but different somehow. It was proving hard to describe, but seemed familiar.

  “What is it?”

  Chris shook free and turned toward Shannon. “I’m not sure. I think I picked up a scent, but I can’t quite make it out. It smells kind of like a hybreed, but different.”

  “A wolf?”

  “No, not a wolf,” Chris turned his attention back to the mountain range. “It smells like one of us, but there’s something different about it. I’m picking up an older scent as well, definitely hybreed, probably from somewhere in those mountains.”

  Shannon followed Chris’ line of vision, and then looked back at him. “What, you want to investigate? Now? I thought you felt burned out.”

  Chris ignored the implications. “The hybreed scent is old, and the source is probably far away. There’s no telling if the other scent is actually linked to the hybreed scent or not. Still, since we’re here, I should probably check it out before there’s no trace left.”

  Shannon nodded. “If you feel it’s that necessary, fine. You should move your bags to your room first, though. I’m not your bellhop.”

  Chris smirked and looked back toward Shannon. “I need to change clothes anyway if I’m gonna’ change other things.” He leaned in and lowered his voice. “Gotta’ make room for the tail, you know?”

  Shannon put up her hand in a gesture indicating too much information, but smiled as she turned and walked to her room.

  Chris picked up his luggage and made his way to his room. He opened the door and was welcomed by the stale, sanitary scent of bathroom cleaning agents. The room was small, yet tidy. It offered one bed, a desk, two chairs, dresser with an old-fashioned LED television on the wall behind it, and a restroom and closet on the far end. He threw his luggage on the bed. Surprisingly, it didn’t bounce back at him. He opened one of his bags and took out a black backpack. He opened it to ensure its contents and, when satisfied, closed it and slung it over his right shoulder. Finally, Chris locked the door after stepping out, and started on his chosen course to the foothills of the mountains.


To thy known wolf be true...


"Yay! We're Doomed!"  -- Gir

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#10 2012-05-11 19:36:27

SilentStrider
Member
From: Michigan, Oscoda
Registered: 2008-09-10
Posts: 439

Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild

I'm loving it so far.  The story doesn't bog down for me in the slightest, but then again my opinion is rather biased since I'm a big fan.  It's very enttertaining and refreshing to watch the interaction between Chris and Shannon.  Also the way you write makes it easy to read in a good way.  Ilook forward to reading more when ever you have more available.  smile

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#11 2012-05-14 22:13:25

Grayle
Literary Lycanthrope
From: My Desk. Duh.
Registered: 2007-09-04
Posts: 2006
Website

Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild

  Hey Strider! Nice to hear from you again. And thank you for the reply. I know I've received a few others from bdk and oldwolf, but getting responses on this site is like pulling fangs.
  I'm glad the interaction between Chris and Shannon sounds proper, but it's taken this long to get to a shifting scene. Personally I still think it's too long, so if anyone can see a place where I can trim the fat, please please let me know. Oh - and if anyone sees passive phrases, tell me - I'm trying to eliminate them.
  Hopefully this shifting sequence will reset the tone. 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After about twenty minutes of hiking, Chris looked back at the motel and decided he was out of range for any onlookers. From his backpack he removed a waist pouch and a traditional loincloth from his people. He then removed the clothes he was wearing, folded them, and put them in the backpack. He replaced his underwear with the loincloth. After putting the underwear in the backpack he belted the pouch around his waist and then hung the backpack in an acceptably hidden location high in a nearby tree.

  The oncoming chill in the air awoke a shiver in his limbs. He took a moment to look up and notice the moon nearing the horizon, waxing but not yet full. He anticipated a full moon in two days, maybe three. That was to his advantage; if the hybreed was indeed a poor dolt, then they probably think they can only change during the full moon. But then, why would he be picking up a hybreed scent now, before the full moon?

  Perhaps it wasn’t a poor dolt after all.

  Not all of his people could shift form. Even for those few who could shift, most stayed in their hybreed form, whether they were born that way or if they were bitten. No one really knew why only some hybreed could shift form and others could not. If this individual hybreed he sought was bitten but could not shift, they would likely be out here in the hills somewhere; lost, lonely, scared. Chris could understand that; he felt the same way after he first turned into a hybreed, with no idea how or why, and finally having to learn to live with it. Nonetheless he was never as happy as when he found out what he really was, and so he became determined to help this hybreed learn their heritage.

  Chris took a deep breath and waited as he mentally invoked the shift. His body grew extremely hot as his blood increased its speed through his veins and every cell in his body began to vibrate with change. An infinite number of stings ran over him as his amount of hair increased, and his current hair grew thicker. Bones and muscles ached and writhed in shape. His entire body screamed of pain for an instant; it was almost enough for him to cry out before his nervous system blocked the sensory input. Even so, he lost his balance and fell onto his twisting hands and knees. The balls of his toes became pads to walk on as his thighs shortened and his calves, shins, and feet lengthened. His nose and mouth elongated to a muzzle, yet shorter than most wolves. The outer rim of his ears lengthened and flattened. As his skull receded, his ears took a position nearer the top of his head. The tips of his fingers widened and hardened, making thick pads. His palms grew out to match the pads of his fingers, and his nails increased in length and thickness, almost at a perpendicular angle to his fingertips. He looked at his hands and flexed his fingers, watching the claws expand and retract.

  As the change finished, Chris shook the stiffness out of his limbs and reveled in the information his honed senses caught. He decided to take a moment and try to correlate every sound and smell in the area to its source. His people called this action life-linking, and they considered it a necessity for any hybreed. Chris didn’t know if it actually brought him closer to the Earthlife or not, but he cherished its effect on him.

  He took a deep breath and focused his senses. Overhead a dozen birds flapped their wings, and a few squirrels ran and hid from the newcomer. The cool night breeze caressed his fur. In the distance, joyful water danced through a brook. He felt the pulsation of a running animal reverberating though the ground. The soft, hissing rustle of tree leaves met his ears. Every sound, every scent, and every feeling rose in a silent chorus that sang to him: “Welcome home.”

  Yes; this is who he really was, and this is where he truly belonged.

  As he gave way to the greeting, he raised his head and howled his thanks. It often times seemed too long since he was last in hybreed form, and there was no harm in expressing his joy now. Besides, if there were any hybreed in the area, they would most likely either respond in kind or attempt to investigate, which would make his job that much easier.
Speaking of which, it was time to get to work.

  Chris exhaled the rest of his breath, and then inhaled deeply, raising his head from the ground slowly as he took in the air from the surroundings. There it was; the scent of his people, diluted upon the breeze but distinctly hybreed. Chris followed his deep breath with multiple short intakes, each one in a slightly different direction until he determined the source, and began his trek. As he followed the scent, the other scent became undetectable. He silently cursed himself for taking too long. In truth, he was hoping to find and follow that other scent. However, he focused on the clues still available.

  It was not long before the brush showed signs of travel. Chris was not an avid hunter, but all of his hybreed cases allowed him to acquire some level of skill at tracking. Finally Chris found prints, the likes of which could only be made by one of his people. Soon the tracks convened in a small glade, its roof open to the night sky. Chris scrutinized the prints, and soon realized there were at least three different sets, but none of them were very fresh. He sniffed the air once more. The hybreed scent was a collection of multiple hybreed, which would take longer to dissipate.

  Even so, if there were three hybreed, then it was enough to be the beginnings of a pack.

  Almost excitedly Chris searched for the trails of the other two, and found them heading to the northeast into the mountains, doubling back on their own approaching trail. Two hybreed traveled from the glade into the mountains together. So, Chris decided to follow those tracks and see if he could meet up with them. He followed the trail to a large creek surrounded by boulders, and lost the trail there among the rocks. Chris sniffed the air and found no scent to follow.

  He was not disappointed, they would meet eventually. But for now it seemed the best option was to focus on the other tracks, so back to the clearing he went.

  After further investigation, Chris found the parting trail of the third hybreed, but realized it was also not alone. There were two sets of prints. That makes four hybreed altogether – and yet not all together, since these tracks lead away from the clearing in the opposite direction of the others. It may have been a meeting of some sort, but apparently not a battle, since there were no signs of struggle.

  He followed the tracks out of the thickness of the trees, over a hill, onto an old asphalt road. He again sniffed the air and listened to the night intently, but found no traces to follow. Like the other tracks at the rocky creek, this trail also seemed to end at a perfect place to lose any pursuers. Whoever they were, they knew exactly what they were doing.


To thy known wolf be true...


"Yay! We're Doomed!"  -- Gir

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#12 2012-05-15 18:06:39

SilentStrider
Member
From: Michigan, Oscoda
Registered: 2008-09-10
Posts: 439

Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild

Oooo... Intriuging.

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#13 2012-05-18 14:02:32

Oldwolf81
Member
Registered: 2011-02-19
Posts: 123

Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild

Yes!


the texas octogenerian
wolf favorite animal

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#14 2012-05-18 19:05:28

Grayle
Literary Lycanthrope
From: My Desk. Duh.
Registered: 2007-09-04
Posts: 2006
Website

Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild


  With one eye from around the corner, he watched her exit the room, locking the door behind her. He could smell the fragrance of her shampoo, still damp on her shoulder-length auburn hair. Her jeans, blouse and jacket were not too form-fitting, meaning she would not be restrained if she fled or defended herself. She walked down to the next door on her right and knocked on it. He gauged her awareness as she waited in futility for a response. He narrowed his gaze as she closed her eyes, breathing slowly. After a moment she smiled. It should have been a warning for him. His head suddenly received a foreign thought, one that was not his. It was a simple word.

  Gotcha.

  When he looked once more at his prey, she was looking directly back at him with a mischievous grin, much like she did the first day they met several years ago. Chris smiled and began walking toward her, carrying his black backpack casually over his shoulder.

  “I’m not in there.”

  Shannon displayed her famous annoyed look. “No kidding? Well, that explains why you didn’t come to the door. Go figure.” She took a closer look at his wrinkled clothes and shortened hair. “What’s with the buzz cut?”

  Chris shrugged. “Side effect to changing back. I get to try different hairstyles.”

  “I see. You stayed out all night?”

  “Yeah,” Chris sighed contentedly. “It’s been a while since I was able to enjoy the outdoors.”

  Shannon nodded, looking at him with uncertainty. “Did you get any sleep?”

  Chris smiled sincerely. Obviously, Shannon was sensing the change in his mood. The extra steak back at the diner was a great bandage, but nothing could possibly compare with being immersed in the Earthlife. “Yep,” he replied. “Slept like a pup. Never felt better.”

  Shannon raised her eyebrow. “It’s not just that. You found something.”

  Chris nodded. “Definitive tracks. We’re dealing with a pack, but there’s more to the story. We can discuss it over food. How about if I buy breakfast this time?”

  “Fair enough. You ready to go now, or do you need to freshen up?”


  The local diner was small, but not crowded. Due to it’s location in a small town, the atmosphere radiated a cozy, welcome feeling. The service knew the customers by name, and often knew their orders as well. Even with two strangers walking in the door, the friendly air refused to dissipate. A perky waitress that looked to be in her mid-thirties offered them a table, but Chris asked for a booth in the far end of the diner. After looking at Shannon and then back at Chris, the waitress agreed and gave Chris a wink. He smiled politely and let the waitress continue with her incorrect assessment. Shannon rolled her eyes.

  The waitress led them to a well-kept booth, a speckled white table separating the chairs. Once seated Shannon ordered cottage cheese with pineapple, and Chris ordered four eggs, three pancakes, two strips of bacon, two sausage patties, a ham steak, and sourdough toast. The waitress failed to hide the rise in her eyebrows, but left to turn in the order nonetheless.

  “Wow; ranch hand breakfast. Must have been an interesting night.”

“I ran a lot and shifted twice. It takes a lot out of you.”

  During the wait for their food, Chris explained what he found. Shannon listened intently. As far as Chris knew, Shannon had only been on a handful of cases dealing with hybreed, but she got to know the subject of his people well enough after Dad expressed its importance. He paused as the waitress brought coffee for two.

  “I know we’re dealing with a pack, the clues are a bit confusing. There’s at least four hybreed; two are staying in the mountains, and two are in town somewhere. I expect the ones in the mountains can’t shift form. The other two made their way to the road and disappeared, probably shifting in order to enter the town. It still doesn’t explain why the two in the mountains are meeting up with the two around here.”

  “What do you mean?”

  “Well, any shifters are gonna be treated as Omegas. Most ‘pure’ hybreed wouldn’t bother with shifters taking refuge in a human town; they’d label them as deserters or Coyotes, and avoid them. But it seems as if the ones in town are meeting up with the ones in the mountains. It’s just not what I’d expect.”

  “There has to be more to it.” Shannon sipped her coffee.

  “That’s what I’m saying. If the non-shifters in the mountains are in control, then they sent the shifters into town for a reason, and I doubt it’s to kill some cattle. But if the shifters are actually leading the pack, it would be the first time I’ve ever heard it. If the shifters in town are working alone, then why are they meeting with the non-shifters? It’s just weird. There has to be something more.”

  “So, what’s the next step?”

  Chris shrugged. “I should peruse the town and look for signs. If there’re here, they’re bound to leave some clues by mistake. This town is too small for them to disappear completely.”

  “What about interviewing Mr. Halloway?” Shannon asked.

  Chris looked at Shannon for a moment and snapped his fingers. “Right; I almost forgot about him; too focused on the tracks. We should go see him and check out where he found the carcasses.”

  Shannon looked at him suspiciously. She suddenly had the air of a supervisor about her. Chris didn’t mind a microscope, but he despised micromanagement.

  “What?”

  “Do you handle all your cases like this?”

  Chris hardened his expression. “No. I got a little carried away and forgot about the initial report. That’s all. I know you guys found a whole pack while I was gone, but this is the first time I’ve found a pack myself. I’m kind of excited.”

  Shannon paused, keeping Chris under scrutiny. “You’re still the lead on this case, but if I have to step over you to get the job done right, I will.”

  Chris was put in charge of all new possible werewolf sightings, but Shannon had a higher rank in Dep:118. She had the right to relieve his command, and the military background to do it. Perhaps Chris should be thankful for Shannon’s accommodation.
Chris shrugged with confidence and smiled. “Fine by me. Don’t worry; I got a little sidetracked, but I know what I’m doing.”


To thy known wolf be true...


"Yay! We're Doomed!"  -- Gir

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#15 2012-06-14 18:51:52

Grayle
Literary Lycanthrope
From: My Desk. Duh.
Registered: 2007-09-04
Posts: 2006
Website

Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild

Chapter 4


  A long dirt path brought Shannon and Chris through a grove of trees and ended their journey in front of a dilapidated two-story house. Due to Imperial privacy stipulations, they were required to use the path to approach the home and not simply travel over the immobile guardians to the home’s location. Patchy groups of bushes and trees surrounded the house, which failed to save the paint from fading. Several years’ worth of leaves provided a loose ground cover with tall stalks of weeds and grass shooting upward through the discarded foliage, desperately reaching for the sun. The home itself told silent tales of golden years come and gone, yet the house remained, touched by time but resisting the progress it brings.

  Frank Halloway rocked in a chair on his porch, chewing on a weed stalk, practically surrendering to the stereotype. He stood as the craft approached. His brown heir was unkempt, but his face was sharp in its features nonetheless. The man was tall and stocky in his shirt and overalls, definitely a man who regularly worked on his land.

  Shannon and Chris disembarked and introduced themselves to Mr. Halloway. After an explanation of their visit, and also verifying their credentials, Mr. Halloway agreed to guide them to the site where he found the carcasses. Shannon’s craft followed Mr. Halloway’s truck to a location four kilometers away, hidden from the farmhouse by rolling hills. The carcasses were long since gone, but Mr. Halloway got out of his truck to show them exactly where and how he found them. Chris made a brief glance of the area, and then moved to look at a disturbed patch of weeds a few meters away. His back was toward the other two individuals.

  “Has anyone else been out here since the attacks?” Chris called out.

  “Just the sheriff,” Mr. Halloway replied. “I haven’t brought the rest of the herd out to this field ‘cause I didn’t wanna lose any more.”

  “That makes sense,” Shannon nodded. “How many did you lose, altogether?”

  “Well, I lost one about two months ago, and then three more last month, and then another two last weekend.”

  “You had your herd out here last weekend?” Chris asked out loud.

  “Well, no, not out here,” Mr. Halloway corrected himself. “I lost the last two in another field.”

  “I’d like to take a look at that location once we’re finished here.”

  “Well, I could take you over there, but the herd’s in that field. Wasn’t gonna use this one.”

  Chris noted the quiver in the farmer’s voice. Such an influx within a speech pattern usually indicated deceit; he wasn’t telling the whole truth. Still, Chris wasn’t there to be a judge of character. He was there to investigate a possible hybreed presence, and the markings in the weeds started to confirm that presence.

  “What’s he looking for?” Mr. Halloway asked Shannon.

  “He’s looking for signs of what attacked your herd.”

  “Like what? Prints from landing gear?”

  Shannon shrugged; her answer did not bother to hide her irritation at the farmer’s patronizing. “Or burn marks from the transport beam, or burrow holes, or maybe even Chupacabra droppings – you’d be surprised. We investigate the unexplained, Mr. Halloway, regardless of credibility.”

  Mr. Halloway nodded, but failed at suppressing his disbelief.

  Chris squatted and moved a few stalks of weeds out of his line of vision. Most humans wouldn’t pick up on the pattern before him. Fortunately Chris was more in tune with signs of hybreed presence. He focused on the ground, and soon found sets of four holes. Carefully, methodically, he inserted a finger into one of the holes to determine its direction and depth. His suspicion was confirmed.

  Since hybreed can walk on their hind legs like a human, the prints are often times deeper than other canines. However, many instinctively run on all fours as it can greatly increase their speed and stamina. When that is done, the claws on their hind legs often pierce the ground while they run. The holes were consistent with hybreed hind claws digging into the ground at running speed.

  Even so, the tracks left by this hybreed seemed inconsistent. They apparently doubled back on their own trail for a few meters, leaped back and forth a few times, and then continued its journey. It was very strange behaviour for an individual hybreed, especially one on the hunt. He scanned the ground one more time, and then joined the others.

  “Mr. Halloway, has your herd ever been attacked before?”

  “There was one time a few years ago, but I shot a wolf and they stopped – until now. But this thing is a lot more savage, whatever it is.”

  “I know; I saw the pictures.”

  “Well, whatcha think?” Mr. Halloway asked with only a little irony.

  Chris prepared for the farmer’s further disbelief once he replied. “Mr. Halloway, I think your cattle have been attacked by a werewolf.”

  Mr. Halloway gave a derisive laugh. “You think a werewolf is attacking my cows?”

  Chris nodded. “Yes. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was more than one.”

  “You gotta be kidding me.” Mr. Halloway shook his head.

  “No, I’m really not. I get reports much like yours every month. Almost every one turns out to be a werewolf. And the reports are growing, which means their numbers are growing. The attacks may happen again if there’s more than one in this area.”

  Mr. Halloway sighed, surrendering to Chris’ statement. “Well, if you can make ‘em stop attacking my cows, that’s good enough for me.”

  “If we can make them stop, will you call us first if it happens later on?” Shannon asked.

  Mr. Halloway laughed uncomfortably. “Yeah, I guess I will.”

  Chris offered his hand. Mr. Halloway accepted the gesture in kind, and did the same for Shannon.

  “Thank you, Mr. Halloway. We’ll be in touch.”

  Both Shannon and Chris walked back to the craft, swung the doors above their heads, climbed inside and pulled the doors back down. The closed interior allowed them to discuss the situation in private.

  “What did you find?” Shannon asked as they buckled up.

  “I found hybreed tracks alright, but it looked like they were all over the place, jumping around and rolling in the grass. If I didn’t know better, I’d say they were epileptic or something. Then again, with how many tracks there were, there may have been more than one; it was just difficult to say for sure.”

  “You found tracks of two hybreed heading for town, right?”

  Chris nodded. “Yeah, I did. But these tracks aren’t decidedly multiple. They’re too old for me to be sure.” He looked out the windshield of the craft at Mr. Halloway. “So, you think he believes us?”

  “It’s kinda strange,” Shannon reported, “He acts like he doesn’t believe us, but he really does. It’s just that he doesn’t think we really know what we’re talking about. But he’s definitely lying about the number of attacks; he only lost three cows, one a month. The rest he slaughtered for his own use. He’s padding the figures.”

  Chris smirked. His suspicions were correct. “So, what you’re saying is that his number of lost cows was a load of bull.”

  Shannon sighed. “You know, you spend way too much time with Phil.”

  Chris widened his smile as Shannon piloted the craft back down the dirt road, heading back to town.


To thy known wolf be true...


"Yay! We're Doomed!"  -- Gir

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#16 2012-07-02 22:25:41

Grayle
Literary Lycanthrope
From: My Desk. Duh.
Registered: 2007-09-04
Posts: 2006
Website

Re: Hybreed: Call of the Wild



  They decided to stop by the local market for supplies. It was easy to find since there was only one market in the whole town of Rolling Peaks. Shannon found no problems parking the craft in front of the store for the sake of convenience.

  The store was as sparsely populated as the parking lot. Chris decided to browse the aisles as Shannon picked up some essentials. As Chris passed the canned goods aisle, he noticed a unique odor, familiar but faint. He turned back and walked down the aisle, passing by a raven-haired woman looking at different types of chili. Her accusing eyes warned him to keep away. There was also a female employee pricing the canned corn. Chris noticed, thankfully, the odor peaked when he passed by the employee.

  He reached the end of the aisle, picked up a box of cookies displayed on the end cap and acted as if he was reading the nutrition label. He positioned himself so that the employee was just barely in his vision in between the shelves of the end cap.

  She seemed very involved in her work, happy not to be distracted by customers. Her hair was light brown, pulled back to a short pony tail. Her eyes were a deep light hazel. Her lips were not too full, and her nose was straight, but not to a point. It was a beauty of simplicity and elegance, yet not exotic or extreme. Although Chris found her very attractive, it was not why he studied her. Even so, it made him hope only more so that he was right.

  When a human becomes a hybreed, regardless if they are born as one or are turned when they are bitten, they develop certain mannerisms. Additionally, the Hybreed language itself is a complex combination of sounds, gestures, words, movements, and sometimes even odors. Many of the gestures and movements are based on instinctive tendencies. These tendencies often manifest as unique mannerisms when the hybreed takes human form. Chris noticed mannerisms from the employee that could be related to the hybreed language.

  What were the odds of finding one of the shifters in town so quickly? It didn’t really matter much; he needed to verify his suspicion before making a conclusion. 

  Chris put the cookies back on the shelf, and then scanned the aisle labels. He soon found kitchen accessories. He focused on three sets of silverware available for purchase, and Chris scrutinized the packages for more information. As he did so Shannon approached; she carried a shopping basket with fruit, a book, and a bottle of aspirin. She noticed the items which held Chris’ attention.

  “If you’re worried about silver, I’ve got a set of plastic ware-”

  Shaken out of his concentration by her question, Chris looked up at her. “Huh? Oh, no, I’m not worried. In fact, that’s what I’m looking for.” He picked up one of the sets, all of which were displayed in open-faced boxes. “It’s just that I hate doing this.”

  Chris licked his left thumb, hesitated, and then gently rubbed his thumb against the handle of one of the spoons. He took a moment to rub his thumb against a forefinger, waiting for some indication. Nothing happened, so he moved to the second display and did the same. After a few seconds he winced and began to shake his left hand. Chris handed the box to Shannon without waiting for her to take it. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small tube of ointment.

  “Burns, burns, burns…” he repeated as he applied the ointment to his thumb. A moment later the sensation was gone. His thumb was red and irritated, but not seriously injured.

  “What was that for? I could have got the scanner out of the craft to check for silver.”

  Chris shook his head. “I had my ointment here now. Besides, the burn says this is synth-silver. The scanner might not pick it up, but it would still have a similar affect on me as real silver.”

  Shannon scoffed. “Well you didn’t have to put your germs all over it.” Shannon picked up the two sets Chris tested. “You lick it, you buy it.”

  “Fine. Could you hand me the one I had a reaction to?”

  Shannon did so. Chris then returned to the canned goods aisle and approached the employee with Shannon in tow.

  “Excuse me.”

  The employee turned her attention to Chris, but not without a hint of annoyance.

  “I was wondering: could you tell me if this set is silver plated, or is it synth-silver?”

  Unless one knew what to look for, her reaction might have gone unnoticed. She not only hesitated for a moment, but held her breath as she stared at the utensils.

  “It should say somewhere on the box.” She did not attempt to take the box from Chris for a closer inspection.

  There was a quiver in her breath. Her head twitched, and she looked evermore interested in getting back to her pricing.

  Chris humored her hesitation and looked for himself. “I can’t seem to find it on here.” He took one more look at the employee. She was still refusing to pay him full attention, and her actions were less confident than before. “Well, I guess I’ll get the other ones instead. Thanks anyway.”

  “Sure.”

  “By the way, can I ask your name?”

  The employee looked back at Chris, but stayed silent.

  “Mine’s Chris.” He offered his right hand.

  “Gwen.” She shook his hand, but quickly disengaged and returned to her pricing.

  “What’s your other name?” Chris asked.

  “You mean my last name?”

  “No, I mean your other name.”

  The employee, Gwen, paused in her action and looked back at Chris. She cocked her head and glanced at Shannon, who indicated she was also at a loss of explanation. Gwen looked back to Chris. “I don’t get it; wh-what other name?”

  Oh, you haven’t got one?” Chris inclined his head with sudden understanding. “Okay, that makes sense. Maybe you can tell me once you get one, then.”

  Gwen stared at Chris, bemusement filling out her features.

  “Well, it was nice to meet you, Gwen. I’ll see you around.” After shooting one last knowing glance at Gwen Chris turned, made his way with Shannon to the cashier and paid for their items, then returned to the craft.


To thy known wolf be true...


"Yay! We're Doomed!"  -- Gir

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