[Author's Note: This is a story I wrote as a supplement to an adventure we had in a LARP game when I was running I2T. You will see familiar names throughout for tribes and such. I don't own those, that is all White Wolf's. Neverthe less, this was an ending to one chapter and a beginning of another. Enjoy]
The Abomination Factor
Alexander was always the fastest. Untested against other Silent Striders, his abilities shone brightly amongst those not of his tribe. He left on foot praying the eye of Gaia would lead him home quickly. In, part he felt an unnecessary burden. He lay the blame for the freeing of the Seven Great Evils squarely on his own shoulders. He could not let that burden slow him now. He raced against all odds not knowing what he'd find, but dammit! He would be the first to find it. All he knew was what he had seen.....one of their own, turned into a lethal weapon and sent to destroy their home. Alexander wouldn't be too late this time.........
The night sang its quiet lullabyes calling those in its grasp to sleep. Having just laid its blanket over the young caern, the night mists settled in for the evening. Wyrmbane, in his Lupus form, felt the tickle of the tree's teardrops on his cold wet nose. He had stayed behind at home to stave off the infectious poison currently coursing through his veins. He was not alone, Nairth and Meshal were out collecting food or running tasks for the caern. He longed to join them, but could barely stand on his own. He heard the crack of the underbrush. His heart lept as he knew he soon would not be alone. His eyes afixed to the form of Nairth just beyond the fire pit. He called to Nairth. He wasn't moving, just standing there. Wyrmbane crept to the other side letting the flittering flames warm his coat. Pulling himself to the far side of the he looked up and......
Alexander heard howls. Tortured strained howls. Who was at the caern. Names shot through his memory. As each dived off his tongue, he was able to mentally cross their names off the .......WYRMBANE!!!!! He recognized the death throes of his comrade. He felt the rage within swell and burst forward, even faster now. His muscles burned with fever as they stretched and tore giving their all to push Alexander even further faster.
She finally knew the truth. Her father was the boogey man. A monster feared by his own kind. How much of a monster could he be? What could they have done to him to make him even greater a terror. She felt sad, and angry. Anger was something she had felt a lot of lately. Her father had given her the sharktooth necklace she wore. She was better able to feel .....no no....command the rage side of the Garou. She was able to direct it. She let a little bit more loose as she raced with the others to get back to the ....
CAERN! It was just ahead... Alexander felt more sure-footed than ever as the last couple of steps were within his grasp. WHACK! It was as if he hit a brick wall.....or more the wall had hit him. It was fast. Fast as anything he had ever seen. Horror poured over Alexander as he looked up. If he was going to die....it wasn't going to be alone. The truth was scarier than fiction. He saw the bodies of Nairth, Meshal and Wyrmbane strewn across the caern entrance. He heard the ticks and whirrs and clicks of the oncoming predator. Its fire red eyes were burning a hole through Alexander's soul.
Then calm reassurance powered him to his feet as he heard from behind " Get up Alex....."said Jason. "You're in the way of us kickin' that thing' ass!" The Sept had made it. Now they were going to stand and die as one if need be. They were for the first time, united against a common foe. The Sept readied itself. Tendrils whipped from the darkened shadows lashing out at the Sept members, driving them apart and attacking all flanks. Johnny roared with the vengeful might of a Get of Fenris, leaping to the fray without thought or concern. Mumford drew his guns unleashing their twin firepower in the direction of the beast.
This was the easy part, the part that the Garou, most Garou knew what to do. Driven by instinct they fought on towards the heart of the monster, almost all. Joseph Cross was still a young Garou, unsure of himself and a little hesitant to throw himself blindly into battle. This wasn't exactly his forte, battling mystical creatures....he was a thinker, a doer....this was beyond the scope of anything analytical....in short.....it was impossible.He stared at the eyes, the inferno red eyes of the monster, never knowing such terror before. The monster lashed out at him.....Tendrils snaking and charging in his direction he froze. He wondered what the end would be like, he wondered if would hurt. As the beast's serpent-like appendages coiled down at him, almost licking his face.....he felt a rush and then impact! His eyes fluttered, and then opened....he was whole, he was alive. A wide grin stretched across his face and a small laugh jumped from his lips in disbelief....
"Get up, Cross!" commanded a voice. "Get up and get back to the back with the others!" It was Black Jack. He had tackled him out of harm's way, saving his life. He was not going to spoil his second chance. He started to race to the rear of the assembled Sept, with Bill Jackson, Megan, and Shessomaru. Then he stopped, and turned. Black Jack wasn't a warrior, but he had thoughtlessly risked his life for me he pondered. This weighed heavy on the young Garou's shoulders. He turned back again, grappled a branch from a tree, wresting it from its moorings and turned to run back to the battle. If death was his fate......So Be It!
Bill, accompanied by his tigers, had moved to a higher ground to get a better perspective on their foe. He saw Loveless peer from Goreface's tent. He had donned the gauntlet and hammer wielded by Goreface, but left behind on his pilgrimage. "Aww What the HELL!?!?!" Loveless stammered. "I'm the only one who can lift these, but I don't even know how ta use them!" At that moment, tendrils shot up at the two Gangrel. Their pointed edges tore at the Gangrels' clothing and ripped their flesh. As the tigers lept to their defense...Jeremy grew his claws ..."Now these....these I know how to use!"
Raynn and Kincaid were struggling with the monster's viper-like arms. Luana had accompanied them to the left side of the flank, and was standing there.....just standing there. "Luana! Get the Hell outta .........mmmmphhh!" Raynn cried before being enveloped by tentacles. Luana didn't heed his call. She just stood there staring at the crimson eyes, like two burning holes pouring forth from his soul, staring at those eyes. Just days earlier, she believed she had saved his life. Allowing those butchers to take him with them. How could she have known. Whatever the past, now this.....this thing was no longer her father. This thing had to die, and she would not falter to deliver the finishing blow.
The beast reared back on its hind legs.Fully extending itself before Luana, she came to the full realization of what horror is. Two sets of horns adorned the beast's crown. Its mouth gaped open with an overextended bite followed by three grasping lower jaws and two tongues. Large spikes spread across his shoulders. Little thorns sprouted forth where hair used to be. Hands had become nearly all claws. His tail, now barbed and laden with a balled spike at the end. Most foul of all....two mouths on the upper torso granshing with fangs and vomitting horrible horrible tentacles. Its howl pierced the Sept's souls. It had swatted the major body of the Sept's force aside. Now it was just picking off the single fighters piece by piece, not allowing them to form a capable offense. The Sept was in disarray. Hope gave way to frustration. Frustation gave way to desolation. Truly this was the Sept's darkest hour.
"HALT FOUL BEAST OF THE WYRM! YOUR STEPS DISGRACE THE HOLY GROUND UPON WHICH YOU TREAD! PREPARE FOR ANNHILATION!"
It was the voice of a commader, a King, and a saviour. All eyes paused in the midst of pitched battle, turning to the high ground. There stood Simon Taggert, Pride of Tears Past, UNNAMED THEURGE, Duncan, Alabaster MoFear, and Goreface. By Gaia's grace, they had not left yet. Taggert looked down at Goreface, perched in attack position...."What are you waiting for? Go get him Alpha....." No sooner had the first word left his lips, Goreface was off and running towards the ledge. Catching himself for a second he lept straight at the creature with all of his might...
"GOREFACE!" screamed Loveless as he spun throwing the hammer of the Sept into his warpath. Catching it with one hand Goreface followed through with the momentum slamming the mallet into the face of the abomination. The bones on one of the lower jaws snapped and shards of exposed fang burst forth from it's mouth. The blood that rippled forward was a calling to all of the Garou. Not just Warrior or Storyteller, or Philosopher or Mage or Jester, but all. And they responded... Kincaid followed Goreface's example by railing against the monster's scaled back. Johnny and Mumford advanced from the right, as Raynn and Little E came from the left. Fangs and claws gleamed as they slahed and tore at the beast.
Then one of the mouths spewed forth more wretched tentacles, surrounding the frenzied Alpha, covering him in a black liquid. The thick viscuous substance hindered his movement and the thing pitched him away. It raised its tail to strike Luana, who was still standing her ground. Rebecca jumped in Lupus form, snatching Luana by the nape as Valkyr deflected the tail's blow. Doing so left her open to the grasp of the tentacles which immediately siezed her, wrapping and squeezing covering her mouth and nose. Her muffled howl caught the attention of the elder Pride of Tears Past. As his eyes skipped through the battlefield, he saw Valkyr's form grow limp. "NOT THE PROPHECY!!!!" he cried as he lept forth, full bore in Crinos cleaving into the creature. Tenaciously he wrenched the body of Valkyr from its hold. As she recovered he turned to face the thing again, but the tendrils had recoiled, and shot forward in a symphony of death. They pierced him again and again leaving holes throughout his body. His chest exploded, and his heart fell to the ground.
"He has fallen, as was foretold." said UNNAMED THEURGE as he glanced toward Simon. Simon nodded. "The Battle is not lost, the tide is changing...."
Goreface was vomitting black spew. He fumbled around grabbing his hammer once again. Cursing himself for not being strong enough, he prayed to Rorg that he be delivered in battle. "Need a hand Alpha?" came a voice from behind. It was Ra-Mose. "Fear not, Bloodletter. We are one in the same in this fight.." he said with a wry smile, helping the Alpha to his feet. Together they charged back into the fight. Pulling a little ahead, Goreface was stopped by Ra-Mose.
"Wait, we need a plan." said Ra-Mose." Charging head first hasn't gotten us anywhere. We need an anchor, one who can keep the main part of this thing busy while we take out the rest of his weapons, then attack as a whole. "
"I'll do it." said Goreface. "Its my job as Alpha to take to task anything brought before the Sept. If this is my final task....then it is one by which much glory will be told." He turned to face his Sept. " What I do, I do for all my brothers...in Gaia....in Roorg....in blood."
"Hate ta steal yer thunder Braveheart....." said MoFear. "But I think someone has beat ya to it...." A howl sounded from behind as the Sept turned to see a large wolf form.....Hispo but only bigger leap from beyond the trees and lunge for the throat of the monster. Both thrashed violently about on the ground.
"C'mon boys..." cried Valkyr......"There is glory to be had for all!!!!" The Sept charged toward the two great beasts.
"Wait young one." said THEURGE holding the shoulder of Shessomaru. " I have need of you here. I need one of our kind to help me. I am about to weave a particularly dense ritual. One in which my spirit may be swept in the rolling tides of the umbra. I need you to help me, to ground me. To serve as a lightning rod for my astral form. Come we must move with haste." Shessomaru nodded with eager anticipation as they prepared their part in the grand scheme.
Jonathan Taggert walked over to his grandfather, appearing out of the umbra. " Its done, he's here....but how did you know?" He asked.
"In time Johnathan, you will learn all of the ways of the spirit." said Simon. " To be honest. I didn't feel it. With him, I would have felt it."
"So whats the plan now?" Johnathan continued.
" The Theurges are going to open a portal. We will banish that thing to the atrocity realm. "
The Sept was obliterating the monster. Their rage fueled by the ferocity of the giant wolf's attack. Invincibility rode their shoulders, braced their weapons and confirmed their wills. They moved without flaw, countering every offense, pushing every advantage. Faith was on their side and fire lit their spirits as their fight rose to Gaia like battlefound praise. Their howls chorused in unison declaring the imminent demise of their foe. Their pacing was adept, their footing flawless. Images were already working themselves together as a story....no a legend was being formed. This was not just about their daily battle with the wyrm. This was their home, and any of them will be damned if he would foul it for one more second.
Shessomaru looked on in wide eyed appreciation as THEURGE moved about the physical, verbal, and spiritual components of the ritual simultaneously. He was firmly planted in both the Umbra and the real world, serving as a focal point for THEURGE. The portal opened. and THEURGE's spirit form wrestled with all the banes trying to exit it. The bane spirits were overcoming him. Shessomaru concentrated....lending his will to the effort. In the umbra, thunder rocketed across the sky and the bane spirits scattered. Grandfather Thunder stood over the two theurges in protection. "Give the word boy! Tell them to bring it through now!"
"Its ready!!!" yelled Shessomaru.
"NOW! Change now!" screamed Simon to the giant war wolf.
Bones snapped and muscles stretched as hair slunk back into its pores. The form of the giant wolf was changing. It gave way to the form of a giant man....It was MAKO. One hand encased in a steele cast, the Talon reared back and shot forth the artificial hand into the maw of the creature. Its many teeth clanged on the metal gauntlet Instead of standing about in amazement, the Sept roared to his side pressing against the beast....pushing across the threshold to oblivion. All except one little girl......
One little girl stood to the side, eyes filled with tears. The tears of joy battled those of fear. He wasn't dead. He was there...in living color, for now. "Mako!" yelled Simon. "You have to push it all the way through!" NO! She thought. If he pushed it all the way through.....he would have to go with it. She would lose him again.
She ran to him, at the heart of the battle. "You can't do this!" she cried. "You can't leave again!"
"Someone get this stupid bitch outta here!" screamed Mako. Lowering his head to thrust harder, he looked over to her again. " Don' worry none girl. I don' die none too easy....see ya 'round." Joseph felt a push in his soul. With agility he wasn't used to possessing....or using, he awkwardly bounded towards Luana tackling her out of the way. Tears streaming down her face, she pounded against his chest for him to let go.
The beast held on by one arm. "Do it Taggert!" said Mako, a smile on his face. Simon conjured forth a blazing klaive and brought it down on the remaining appendage. The two toppled back into the umbra. The theurges collapsed in unison. The portal closed with a clap of thunder, knocking all to the ground.
Jason was one of the first to his feet. He started helping the others up. The blast only stunned them. One by one they rose and cheered. They hugged each other in boisterous celebration filling the caern with hearty laughter. Alexander grabbed a pen and his papryus, chuckling quietly he began to write. Johnny grabbed his guitar and let loose on it. Each took turn in praising each other's' efforts. Raynn and Mumford brought forth the vats of libations for all to have. The dead were tended to, and the fattest prey were brought forth for the preperation of a feast.
Luana stood off to the side silently, just watching the empty space that now inhabited the place where the portal was. Joseph watched in silent desperation, wanting her to feel right again.
"You will be staying for the feast honored Elders?" requested Goreface of the four elders left.
"No, and neither will you Alpha....come, we have your first task to get to....someone has to go in and get Mako out of the atrocity realm......grab your hammer." said Simon. Goreface looked back at Valkyr, Jason, and Rebecca and nodded, picked up his hammer and joined the elders. "The rest of you....if you need our council, call my grandson, Johnathan." Simon nodded to Johnathan in approval and left through the umbra.
The celebration lasted four nights.
The click of hard rubber soles against stainless steele floors were the only sound echoing through the hollowed chambers of Pentex Inc. A man in a white lab coat entered a survey room above a specimen. "Dr. Fomori" said Dr. Callister. "We have confirmation about specimen 1. It has been destroyed....or transported off map....9:48 hours."
"Thank you Dr. Callister." responded Dr. Fomori. It is also unfortunate that we seem to have lost the big wolf. Any solutions on how that came about?"
"No sir. The guards have still been in comas since the break in. No sign in improvement either."
"Unfortunate....very well, I trust the upgrades and flaw device have been serviced on this one?" said Dr. Fomori pointing to the lab below.
"Yes sir, all the data was coallated and the flaws were serviced."
"Excellent......" said Dr. Fomori closing a folder that read 'Abomination version 2.0'.