Meanwhile Part Two
On the I-90 near Chicago
The horrible sucking noise finally died away as the creature finished removing the last of the meat from the finger bone it was holding. Casually it tossed the remains out of the driver side window of the rustbucket speeding east along the highway. With great delicacy, a long, sinuous tongue poked out from beneath too many sharpened teeth and removed the blood from it's clawed fingers on its free hand, as the other gripped the steering wheel, guding the machine at more than ninety miles an hour down the asphalt river.
Beside it, in the passenger seat, rested what was left of the hitchhiker. The heart had been removed first, as always, and the skin had been stuffed into a bag for proper assimilation later. The legs, torso, and head still remained attached, but the arms and organs had already been consumed, along with the brain, extricated from the hole it had punched in the man's skull. He had been older, the meat gamey, but satisfying enough to keep it sustained while it pursued its true prey.
The girl had escaped, and it had taken the skinwalker several days to discover where sh had disappeared to. With any other potential target, it would have abandoned the chase and settled in for something else, but it needed
the girl's powers so badly. As it was, without them, it had had to bend far north
avoided the Mississippi entirely, along with all the other rivers in its way. But once it caught up with her, and took her, it could circumvent the ages old curse placed on it by the shamans, and finally take its revenge. And after that? Who knew? Maybe it would go see what it could find in the Old World!
It turned its head, currently a terrifying mishmash of coyote and the hitchhiker himself, to look at the remains of its last victim. In a horrible, mangled, and distorted voice, it said, "What do you think, my friend? Which nation should I terrorise first?"
It paused a beat, one lupine ear cocking as if it was listening, and then burst out into laughter. "You're right, of course! I should make sure they all
pay!" Twisted knuckles gripped the steering wheel, tight enough to dent the rubber and slightly damage the metal underneath.
"They will all pay for this curse," it growled, staring ahead at the road with mucous-encrusted yellow eyes.
An office building in Lost Haven
Ophelia's smile gave the same feeling to observers that a tiger's face might when they spotted it peering through the bushes at them. Her occidental eyes narrowed slightly and she listened to the voicemail on her answering system, then set the handset down and leaned back in her chair. Perfectly manicured black fingernails tapped out a staccato pattern on the glass surface of her desk as her mind raced furiously. Behind her, clouds had begun gathering, viewable through the floor-to-ceiling windows in her office. InGen had been good to her, and it got the loyalty they had bet on from her.
After less than a week, the detective had gotten back to her, letting her know that the girl had been snatched up by a local study group. He had also let her know quite a few personality details on the subject, probably more than he should have, but he had sounded very overworked. Understandable, considering the climate of the times. Nonetheless, she was pleased to find out how acerbic and restless the girl was. They might not be able tyo contact her at the facility she was in, but it wouldn't be long before she left it either out of personality clashes or boredom. Either way suited Ophelia fine.
Fingers swiftly typed out a few emails from her discreet account. As those order went out, agents would begin watching the place, and monitoring the comings and goings of every person that frequented the place. A further thought, and another amended report, and they'd watch everyone who visited even once. She might have asked higher ups for clearance, but she had been told already in no uncertain terms to use whatever resources necessary to bring the girl in without
tipping her off as to what they wanted.
She could have gone for a smash and grab. It would use less resources and be faster, but her employers knew when they set her on this task that wasn't her style. Given the option (and she was sure to get the option, she would engineer it to be so), she would convince the girl that InGen was the only available group that could solve her problems. At this point it was simply a matter of time.
Ophelia pressed a button on her intercom with one long, slim finger. Amy's voice immediately chimed in. "What can I get for you, Ms. Yamato?"
"Go out and get us some lunch, Amy. And a bottle of something delicious. It looks like a celebration is in order tonight."
The coast of Maine, in a large tidal cave
Sebastian stood, leaning on a cane of magically worked driftwood, and reviewed his work. Behind him, Abraxus chittered in his native language through the silver mirror hanging on the wall, a recent acquisition.
Arrayed in front of the necromancer were two score servants, reanimated from human corpses and enhanced by magic and material. While they wouldn't pass as living humans, they were stronger and faster than those weak living creatures. In addition, unlike the Fetchbeast he had sent out earlier, he had rigged the same sort of system he had in the harpy, albeit in a much more roughshod fashion than the creation that had nearly destroyed him. These were more stable, at the sacrifice of a good portion of their intelligence. But unless they were utterly destroyed or magically interrupted, these would last as long as necessary, until he disposed of them himself.
Arranged in front of them were a dozen reanimated pigeons, another twoscore of rats, and five cats. These, while no stronger or faster than their living counterparts, were constantly beaming their sensory inputs to Abraxus, serving the double purpose of scouting for him and
keeping the demon familiar too distracted to plan against its master.
"Go, my servants. Find the harpy. Bring me more materials. Bring me information as to the state of the world above. Destroy those who would oppose me."
The creatures shuffled out towards the mouth of the cave, revealing the workbench and the piled extra materials to make more. Abraxus had been busy, and after the first few zombies had been built, the flow of materials had become steady and satisfactory. Before, in the shack, Sebastian had been content to do his research and build his single servant. But now, with much of his humanity stripped away from the 'healing' of his injuries, he knew that he was superior to those in the city above, and his place was to rule them, not slink about in their shadows at the edge of civilisation.
Abraxus turned slightly, and the mirror reflected the demon's grin at the back of it's "master". Soon enough, his influence wouldn't be necessary. The man was nearly gone already.
Interpol offices, New York
Emily sighed, staring at the cork board suspended on the wall at one end of the office. The plan had been to track the criminal across Southern California, but situations had exploded out of control across the US with these "chiens
", and they had been reassigned to help out the US in dealing with it. Later on, when everything had calmed down, they would reorient on their target.
This had led to the cork board, which was nearly eighteen square feet and covered in maps, notes, pins, and threads. All of the information they had gathered over the last forty-eight hours. And it isn't close to being enough,
Emily though. How had they gotten so big so fast?
She knew from her cirminology classes at the university that radicalisation could go unnoticed for decades before finally swelling into a terrorist plot, only manifesting in tiny patches that were easily explained as lone crazies until threads were put together. But metahumans hadn't been prevalent nearly as long as other issues that usually led to such organisations.
It was terrifying to her, and not just for personal reasons. Her own digging had found that Zoë had manifested her own powers as well before disappearing, and Emily was beginning to think that perhaps her sister wasn't dead. No bodies matching her description, no eyewitness accounts, nothing
that provided evidence of a death. Her parents had said it was useless, that her sister was gone. Her brother got angry whenever she broached the subject, and her grandfather, the one closest to Zoë before she had run away, only wiped tears away and turned back to his crops. More and more, however, Emily had become convinced her sister still lived. And so she had spent her spare time and what little money she had digging into the circumstances of the fire that was her only lead.
Now, however, she was too busy to do anything on that front. The Hounds demanded all
of her attention, and whatever other threat they posed to her as a secret metahuman, too many innocent people were being killed, and even more thinking this sort of behaviour was justified. It had to be stopped now