Supernatural Weapons & Arcane Tactics
Supernatural Weapons & Arcane Tactics
The Sorority Snow Bunnies on Death Mountain
The loud thumping of club music reverberated through the cold snow filled parking lot as Rabi Adam Stein, expert in religious studies and heavy weapons operator, finished performing last rites for the local deputy and walked back to the rest of the team leaving the young man pinned to the side of the van. He dangled a foot off the ground suspended by a ski pole rammed through his chest and into the vans side panel. “This confirms that whatever we’re after isn’t human.”
The Chief, Captain Albert Card the teams leader and sorcerer, stepped out of the back of the tactical truck, “you sure?”
Adam looked at the deputy while donning the armored vest they’d ordered to fit his seven plus foot frame. “I couldn’t do that.” After fastening the vest in place he took a moment to pull the old iron Star of David from the inside of his red turtle neck and let it dangle down his chest.
The Chief considered this for a moment. “Maybe so, but let’s wait and hear what Wells has to say.”
Dr. Griffin Wells, the teams scout and forensics expert, stood and walked back to the group as if he‘d heard them say his name. He removed a pair of latex gloves and tossed them in a waste drawer in the back of the truck. “I know it’s not exactly good news, but he’s not a cop.” Wells grabbed his regular gloves and pulled them on over his hands.
Douglas Wulf, close quarters fighter and wilderness survival expert, tossed Wells his sawn-off shotgun and stepped to the back of the tactical truck, “you sure?”
Wells gave a soft noise from behind the mirrored visor of his helmet. “Other than the fact that his badge is missing and patrol car is nowhere to be seen, and to be fair the killer could have them as trophies. Deputy Johnson,” Wells made air quotes when he said the mans name, “according to his name tag, has a few discrepancies in his uniform. There’s no patch designating the city or county he’s working for. He’s wearing sneakers instead of boots. His handcuffs are made of cheap aluminum instead of steel. His side arm is a squirt gun filled with tequila. And finally, his pants are tear away. So either he’s a stripper, or the local sheriffs department is a lot more fun than the ones back in Chicago.”
Wulf nodded, “fair enough.”
Wells turned to the Chief, “I also don’t think he’s been dead for more than thirty minutes.”
“That means our targets probably still close.” the Chief looked at Wulf, grab two of each for everybody; standard, Teflon, and silver.”
Wulf looked at the Chief, “Any idea what this is?”
The Chief looked worried for a moment, “No. The research our client gave us is pretty thorough but it’s only deals with the annual killings that happen in this area, there was nothing about the killer.”
Wulf turned and moved to the front of the truck and grabbed the required rounds, stuffed them into ammo bags, three different colors of tape wrapped around the base to quickly identify them; black for standard, white for silver, and green for Teflon. After he’d set up an ammo bag for each of them from the stores in he handed each team member their own bag.
As he did everyone prepared the rest of their kit, every member of the team was wearing matching sets of tactical armor with glowing runes carved into the chest, back and down the arms and legs. Each person had either red or white runes, it had something to do with their individual personalities, Blake was never very clear on exactly how it worked. He did know the green line of runes that circled Wulfs chest piece was there for everyone else’s protection. Each suit had a visored helmet and built in respirator, only Blake and Wells visors were mirrored, the Chief never wore a helmet.
Blake Lagoona, trained in aquatic operations and a gifted sniper, the teams final member watched these events from one side trying to stay focused, having been raised in the gulf of Mexico he wasn’t used to this kind of cold and it was making him lethargic. He needed a task to focus on, and got the Chiefs attention, being unable to talk had required a few adjustments on the team when then needed him to communicate. Blake quickly spelled out a message using the sign language he’d learned, (where do you want me at for this one Chief.)
The Chief watched Blake’s hands move, “I think your going to stick with us for this one. We don’t know where the target is and sending you off alone in this situation could just get you killed.”
“And Blake, don’t call me chief.”
(Sorry Chief.) Wells snickered.
Once everyone was outfitted and ready, the Chief called for the team to move to the house. The team fell into an easy formation with Wells with his sawn-off shotgun took the lead. Blake watched the rear with a military grade assault rifle, he had a detachable scope tucked into a pocket on his vest incase he needed it, for close quarters it just got in the way. The rest of the team fanned out in the middle; Adam to the left with an assault rifle and an automatic shotgun slung over his back, the Chief was in the center with an old fashioned pump shotgun, and Wulf covered the right with a selection of pistols and knives.
They approached the ski lodge the runes on their armor giving an eerie glow to the house. Set at the bottom of one of the many man made ski resorts within an hour of Chicago proper the house was huge three stories of glass and natural woods with a wrap around porch. Four expensive cars were parked out front, covered in snow showing that the girls of Delta Omicron Gamma had been there since at least early afternoon.
Wells reached the porch and crept up to the front door raising a hand to signal the team to stop. Blake stepped forward, placed a hand on Wulfs shoulder and turned his back on the scene so he could watch behind the team. Blake assumed the team was having a conversation using the sign language they all learned to talk to him. After a few moments, Wulf tapped his hand and Blake turned and began moving forward into the house behind the rest of the team.
As Blake reached the door, he felt a moment of pity a long blood trail led into the house and up to the body of a young girl lying on the floor. It was sad to see, the look on her face, a mix of terror and pain. She lie their in a pool of her own blood her head twisted and lopsided where her neck had been snapped. A large gash in her shoulder where she been impaled through what had once been a very pretty red silk nightgown. She was then drug into the living room and tossed into the midst of a party. Discarded liquor bottle and pizza boxes were scattered around the room.
Silence descended on the house as Wells turned off the music. The group of them stood in the room surveying the carnage. The Chief was about to say something when a chorus of young women screaming echoed from out of the back of the house. The team formed up with a practiced ease and moved towards the screaming.
As they moved from one room to the next constantly approaching the screaming women, they came upon one ghastly scene after another. A den filled with animal pelts and hunting trophies where a young woman dangled from the antlers of a large bucks head. A spacious kitchen where another victim lay on the floor her head crushed inside the door to the refrigerator. As they moved out onto the porch they saw the contorted body of young being drug behind an unmanned snowmobile where it had slammed into a tree.
They heard another scream this one from the woods to the side of the house. The team moved quickly into the woods Blake watching the shadows for the unknown assailant. The team broke into a clearing and found a group of women, clad only in nightgowns, their bare feet turning blue in the snow, attempting to get away from a large man in bloodstained white parka. They were attempting to keep a large five hundred gallon propane tank and log pile between themselves and the killer. One of the women tripped over a lose piece of wood and stumbled to the ground. The man grabbed her by the hair and slammed her up against the large propane tank. As the team approached he raise a large climbing pick above his head and prepared to bring it down on the poor woman.
Blake stopped moving, aimed down the barrel of his assault rifle and fired two shots into the mans shoulder. Other than being thrown off balance the man ignored Blake’s shots. His arm came crashing down, but Blake had done enough and the man missed the woman and struck the propane tank instead.
Wulf got to the man, and using his momentum jumped into the air and drove two of rune covered knives into the mans shoulders. The man didn’t even buckle under the weight of Wulf climbing his back, he simply released the woman and swung the pickaxe over his shoulder and hit Wulf with it. The runes on Wulf’s armor flared where the pickaxe struck it. Realizing that his target wasn’t going to be that easy to deal with the man struck at Wulf again, and again while moving in quick jerks in an attempt to dilodge his new target. Wulf kept his grip on the knives and held on for dear life.
Wells had run forward and grabbed the woman and began dragging her to safety. The other women were scared and confused, they began to panic and looked as if they were about to bolt into the woods when the Chief got to them, He started to calm, speaking in soothing tones. It took a moment for him to get all of their attention but they visibly calmed and began follow him to safety.
Just as the man managed to get his pickaxe inside one of the open areas on Wulfs armor Adam got into the mans reach and jammed the butt of his gun into the mans gut forcing him to stagger. The man took a step back and using the pickaxe pulled Wulf up and over himself and hurled Wulf over the propane tank. He then turned on Adam reached up and drew one of Wulfs knives from his own shoulder and held it in his off hand. Adam and the man began circling one another each sizing the other one up. Blake kept his sights on the man looking for a clear shot, not wanting to shoot into the melee unless it was absolutely necessary.
The two titans clashed, Adam holding both of the mans wrists in an attempt to stop himself from getting stabbed. The man, a head shorter than Adam was still managing to push Adam back and away from himself. With a quick jerk the man got his hands out of Adams grasp and toke a swing with the pickaxe, forcing Adam to release the other hand and back away quickly. His back slamming into the propane tank.
Wulf rounded the corner, and Wells got the woman into the rest of the group as the Chief led them toward the back of the house and the safety and warmth of the kitchen. As Wells turned to enter the fray the man swung the pickaxe at Adam once again Adam, managed to get out of the way but the pickaxe scrapped the side of the propane tank releasing sparks.
Suddenly the Chief cried out, “everybody run.”
The team started moving without even knowing why and they sprinted towards Blake. With his view Blake saw the sparks catch the propane that had been leaking from the hole made earlier and lowered his gun waiting for the explosion. As he did, he saw a young woman at the back of the pack trip in the snow and fall down. Blake was running before he realized he’d started, and as the tank ignited with a dull whomp he was passing the man and scooping the woman up in his arms and running past the tank in the opposite direction. The force of the explosion sent the tank up into the air, and knocked Blake and the woman forward into the snow. Blake turned his body so that the brunt of the fall was absorbed by his armor. Logs from a wood pile set on the opposite side of the tank began slamming into the ground around them. Blake rolled over and shielded her body with his own. The woman cried out in terror, and Blake could barely blame her, had the ability been his, he may have joined her.
As the last of the debris fell, Blake stood and saw the man struggling to get out from under the remnants of the exploded propane tank. He quickly lifted his rifle and took aim done the barrel, and then stopped himself from reflexively pulling the trigger. The end of the barrel was covered with mud and leaves from where he slid on his back. He grabbed the mud and pulled it from the end of his gun, but couldn‘t be certain he‘d cleared the barrel enough to fire.
He looked at the woman, he needed her to stand and run, but how to tell her. In a moment of frustration he moved his hands reflexively, (I need to know if your all right, but I don’t know how to ask you.)
The woman, her eyes still filled with fear, stared at him then slowly moved her hands, (I’m fine.)
Questions flooded into Blake, but he didn’t have time to ask them as he heard the bulk of the ruined propane tank shift behind him. (We have to run now.) he helped the woman up and took her hand leading her through the woods towards the front of the house and back to the tactical truck, and the weapons.
They moved into the woods to get cover from the man, even though Blake felt the runes on his armor would tell the man where they were, at least the trees might get in his way as he ran after them. They neared the clearing with out any problems, Blake stopped her at the edge of the woods and scanned the woods behind them. He knew they’d have to run through fifty feet of open ground to get to the truck and wanted to make sure they had a fairly clear shot.
He turned to woman and got a good look at her for the first time. Her long brown hair framed her oval face and hung down well past her shoulders. It even fell down her front somehow preserving her modesty in the shear satin nightgown she wore. He looked into her blue eyes and saw tears there. (Are, you okay.)
She moved her trembling hands, (my feet, they hurt so much.)
He looked down, and noticed that like all of the other girls she wasn’t wearing anything on her feet which had started to crack and bleed in the cold.
(I’m sorry, there are blankets and clothes in the truck, once we get there, you’ll be fine…I’m sorry what’s your name?)
(Don’t worry Julie, you’re with me, and I’m going to make sure everything will be okay.)
Blake turned and surveyed the area around them once more and then quickly motioned for her to follow him out to the truck. They jogged across the lot and as they reached the truck, the man stepped out from behind it and swung his pickaxe at Blake’s head. Blake ducked quickly, and lost his footing in the snow. He was still holding Julie’s hand and when he went down he took her with him.
The man with the pickaxe stepped over Blake, raised his pickaxe, and swung at Julie’s head. Blake grabbed Julies wrist and drug her towards him through the mans legs. She gave off a little cry as Blake pulled her into his arms. Blake pushed off the ground and rose up to his feet and drug Julie with him. The man now stood between them and the safety of the house. Making the only decision he could Blake turned and ran. With the music playing earlier he hadn’t heard the sounds of the machinery, but now he could hear something running just over the next rise.
They crested the ridge and Blake felt the air cut as the Pickaxe passed by his head and embedded in a nearby tree. Blake pushed through the foliage keeping Julie with him, and fighting against the trees that now seemed to push against their escape.
When he finally broke free he saw the source of the noise, a ski lift. Set near the bottom of the slope and within walking distance of the house. It may be their only hope. Blake looked at Julie and she smiled at him through the pain and the tears. Blake picked her up cradling her in his arms and carried her to the ski lift. When they got closer he was thankful that she was focused on him and missed the dead body of some poor skier dangling from the bottom of one of the seats as it rose into the night sky and passing away into the darkness.
Blake moved the two of them into position and as the chair moved around he sat them both down up on it.
Blake gave a sigh of relief as the car lifted off the ground and began rising up the mountain. He looked at Julie, (are you still okay?)
(I think so, I’m so cold.) Julies head started to dip forward, Blake grabbed her and shook her awake.
(Stay with me.)
Julie moved her hands, but it wasn’t in any pattern that Blake could read. She began mumbling, and he picked up a few words, “sorry“, “cold“, and “mother.”
Blake shook her, he tried to keep her awake, knowing that sleep meant the end. When the mans gloved hand gripped the back of the seat, he almost missed it. He rose up over the back of the lift chair and pulled his pickaxe up ready to swing.
Blake grabbed his rifle and in one swift motion shoved the barrel against the mans hand and pulled the trigger. The barrel exploded as the bullet tried to force its way out through the mud and dirt Blake had been unable to clear. The man’s fingers exploded under the weight of the blast and he lost his grip. As he fell backwards, he swung the pickaxe one last time clipping Blake’s shoulder and pushing him forward in the seat. Blake slipped backwards and out of the seat and for a brief moment dangled over the precipice. His hands scrambled for something to hold onto, but everything was cloaked in ice and frost.
In a moment of panic he jammed the jagged and busted end of his gun forward into the lift seat. It pierced the formed plastic and gave Blake a chance. Using everything he had, he pulled himself back into the chair.
* * *
TWO WEEKS LATER
Blake entered the central office from the locker room. (You wanted to see me Chief.)
“Blake, Mrs. Lawrence contacted me today, she’d like to know when you’ll be back in town.”
(Sorry about that.)
“I don’t care what you two do outside the office. We have a purpose, and if she endangers that, I will make her go away.”
(I understand. It won’t happen again Chief. I’ll contact her through inner net.)
(Oh, okay. How’s our client?)
“He’s fine. His sister was among the survivors. There’s a hell of a cover up at that mountain.”
“The local LEO’s are calling it an accident, due to a faulty propane tank.”
(Why would they do that?)
“My guess is tourism, people don’t visit a mountain where folks die every January 18th.”
(We learn anything else?)
“Not so far. I’ve got Christine scanning the net, if it’s out there, she’ll find it.she’ll find it. Of course it may be immaterial that drop off the ski lift may have killed him.”
(You think so.)
“I would feel better about that idea if we could find a body. Wulfs covered that mountain with a couple of the men from Refuge and hasn’t managed to find any sign of him.”
(Well if we learn anymore I’ll be in my apartment. Later Chief.)
“Blake, don’t call me Chief.”