Archive for category: Badmoon Rising

Badmoon Rising – Chapter 17 – Answers, Questions, Answers, Death

30 Mar
March 30, 2013

Farmer and I kept the Mexican standoff for a few, long moments as my mind processed the bombshell Farmer just dropped on me. Elizabeth was alive! I looked into Farmer’s eyes, needing to see if there was any deception, and terrified that there might be. Farmer just kept his eyes steady, almost as if he knew what was going through my mind. There was no deception in him. Elizabeth was alive! All of those emotions I had carefully packed away flooded through my mind. It took most of my reserve to holster my pistol before I dropped to the floor. The pack warrior rushed to try and catch me. All of that deep, dark fear that tormented me had crystallized into a relief and joy so strong my mind just could not cope. I had seen others overcome by emotion, but I never truly understood what was happening to them. Now I did, and I would never dismiss them again.

“The Lady-Apparent’s alive?” I managed to force out. Farmer knelt down next to me. There was no emotion on his face, nothing that I could grasp on to see what he was thinking. Read more →

Badmoon Rising Chapter 16 – Laying the Groundwork

15 Feb
February 15, 2013

“What the fuck do you mean it’s in Tampa?” I asked, straining to keep from stammering out my words.

“According to these tracking documents, the emissary’s report was part of a batch of documents that was sent to the University of South Florida, for storage,” Vanessa explained, motioning to the display on her laptop, “From the address, the university is in Tampa.” Read more →

Badmoon Rising – Chapter 15 – Welcome to the New Job, Same as the Old Job

13 Jan
January 13, 2013

At the State Guildmaster’s suggestion, we stopped into a men’s clothing store where I changed into a more respectable looking outfit. My jeans were replaced by tan slacks. An oxford blue button-up shirt and a tie were also his doing. I kept my boots, mostly so that I could easily carry my new back-up piece, a Glock 30, but I did have them shined so they didn’t look quite so rugged. My HK45 was in a small of the back holster, covered by a dark blue sports coat. As I looked in the mirror, I could hear Bradon laughing from the grave. He was amused anytime that he managed to get me dressed up.

I watched the city go by as the State Guildmaster drove me to my meeting. Thankfully, he let me ride in silence. I didn’t feel like talking. I thanked him for the ride as he let me out at the coffee shop. He just nodded, told me to call him when I was done, and then drove off with a wave. I stood in front of the building a moment before going in. The Java Spear was a hangout spot for the students of the nearby Florida State University. The rich smells of the various coffees and teas flooded me as I opened the door. The central walkway was bordered by two raised drinking/dining areas, each holding roughly ten tables. Large picture windows framed the areas. The walkway continued to the counter where three twenty-ish humans were waiting on customers. Off to the side of the counter the walkway continued into a back room. I could see Blackhawk standing next to the doorframe. I walked up to the counter, bought a cup of generic tea (I hate coffee, but tea is at least drinkable) and joined Blackhawk in the room. Read more →

Badmoon Rising – Chapter 14 – The Only Constant is Change

16 Dec
December 16, 2012

I woke up from my nap in the back of the Suburban as Nick pulled into a grocery store. I shook the cobwebs from my mind and pushed through the immediate flash of longing pain. If this was what was going to happen every time I woke up, I wasn’t sure how long I could go on. Nick looked back at me with that same disturbing sympathetic look. I shot him a challenging look, but his face didn’t change.

“Let’s go, Ranger, we need provisions,” Nick said, nodding to the grocery store.

“If Ranger wants to stay here, I’ll go,” Hangman offered with a note of confused sympathy in his voice. I grimaced and started to move. I was getting that vibe that Nick wanted to get me alone for a bit. Usually, it was because Nick wanted me to tone down my tactics. Nick always thought that I did things a little too much on the spectacular side. This time, however, I didn’t think that Nick wanted to talk about my tactics. There was something else on his mind, and the only clue was that sympathetic look on his face. Read more →

Badmoon Rising Chapter 13 – Sometimes Even I Think I’m Cursed

06 Dec
December 6, 2012

The ride under the stars was refreshing. Hell, getting out of the Manor was refreshing. It wasn’t the carnage that bothered me. It was trying to get a grasp of something completely new to me. The more I looked back on the few interactions between Elizabeth – I couldn’t believe how natural it was to call her by her packname instead of the Lady-Apparent – the more I saw, or hoped to see, the early flickers between the two of us. At the same time, my mind was also busily slapping down those lofty aspirations with reality. Completely out of character, I reached out to another lycanthrope in need and probably got what was a normal response that I was blowing completely out of proportion. To make matters worse, the two lycanthropes I normally went to for these sort of things weren’t available. The Guildmaster was far too busy helping Elizabeth – the Lady-Apparent, dammit – gather the packs and restore some order to the chaos that the witch-hunters wreaked upon our society. Nick, on the other hand, was being far too amused by my blubbering to do anything but give me an almost malicious smile. So, when Sneller asked us to check on the Guildmaster’s wife, I jumped at the job. Almost literally, but I managed to keep some of my normal composure. I don’t think Nick was fooled at all.

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Badmoon Rising – Chapter 12 – There Are Worse Things Than Being On Trial For My Life

17 Nov
November 17, 2012

The blackness faded as I opened my eyes slowly. The world slowly came into focus. I looked around the cell. Something was wrong, out of place. Then, it came to me. Everything was black and white. I had shifted to wolf form in my sleep. I hadn’t done that in years. Shedding forms during sleep was something pups dealt with in the beginning of tysach. I shed my wolf form for true form, feeling my body extend as I emotionally triggered the transformation. My senses became sharper and integrated themselves, making the environment around me more complete. A scent floated into the cell. I looked at the door, where the Guildmaster stood with one of the marshals. The Guildmaster was in human form.

“Hello Marcus,” he said, guardedly, “I assumed that I was one of the three that you would want to see.” By the rules of rhiazen, I was allowed to see three and only three lycanthropes before going to see the lord or lady. I could talk to them as many times as I wanted, but only those three. The only other lycanthropes that could talk to me were the lord or lady (in this case it would be the Lady-Apparent), the marshals guarding me, and the lycanthrope who would speak for the opponent, usually the opponent himself. I guessed in this case it would be Smythe. I nodded to the marshal beside the Guildmaster. He slid the door open to allow the Guildmaster inside. As soon as the Guildmaster was in my cell, the marshal slid the door shut and walked back to his position by the staircase. I noticed that the two of them had leaned their rifles on the wall instead of carrying them. Their guard was relaxed. I placed it on memory, in case I needed it later. One of the things they drilled into me during my training as a hunter was that information was important, because you never knew when you might need it later. I filed that thought away as the Guildmaster sat down in front of me. Read more →

Badmoon Rising Chapter 11 – There’s a Dark Cloud For Every Silver Lining

17 Nov
November 17, 2012

“It’s nice to see that you managed to almost get yourself killed,” the Guildmaster growled as I walked into his office. As soon as Nick and me returned to the Guild, I’d been rushed to the infirmary. A lot of that had been hunters scrubbing out the remains of silver that contaminated my wounds and then letting my body take over. From what Nick told me when I woke up, it had been a close thing. I could feel that my body was still putting itself back together, but I was more or less operational. The Guildmaster’s expression told me he wasn’t happy that I went out with Nick, and even less pleased that I managed to almost get myself killed. I kept my face neutral and sat down in my normal chair.

“What the hell were the witch-hunters doing in West Tampa? I asked, completely ignoring the Guildmaster’s chiding remark. He growled a bit, but picked up a manila folder off of his increasingly crowded desk. The anger drained from his face to be replaced by a worried expression. The expression disturbed me. I knew that as the Guildmaster’s personal hitter, I was one of the few hunters that the Guildmaster could be totally honest and open with. It was one of the reasons that the personal hitter was usually a close friend of the Guildmaster. Still, it was disconcerting to see my leader look like he didn’t know what to do. Read more →

Badmoon Rising Chapter 10 – Easy Jobs Are Never Easy

30 Oct
October 30, 2012

The border between Hillsborough and Pinellas counties was odd in that part of it ran in the middle of Tampa Bay. It made pursuits sometimes interesting, because the laws governing crossing into a neighboring county “uninvited” were very strict. Even amongst friendly counties, the penalties for the offending lycanthrope could be very harsh, up to and including, a silver flogging. Leeches, on the other hand, had no compunctions. Their council system was city-based, not county-based like that of the lycanthropes. Their power was a matter of what each council could grab and hold. So, even though the Pinellas Hunters Guild warned my Guildmaster that some TCV vamps were “recruiting” in St. Petersburg across the bay, we couldn’t go over there and wipe out the “press gang.” Lady Thames declared that Pinellas was neutral, and she wouldn’t tolerate a hint of the fighting on her soil. From what I was told, she tried to stoke the Clearwater Council into attacking their rivals working in St. Pete, but the vampires had been unable to find their opponents. At least that was what they told Lady Thames. The Guildmaster of the Pinellas Chapter wasn’t convinced, but he wasn’t able to set his hunters on the interlopers. Lady Thames was being strict on the neutrality issue. Read more →

Badmoon Rising Chapter 9 – Leeches on the Left, Ghouls on the Right

23 Aug
August 23, 2012

The Tampa Bay Times Forum was a massive structure in the Channelside District of Tampa. It was well within leech territory, but many lycanthropes went there to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning play. Hockey in Florida always seemed bizarre, but I had to admit that it was fun watching humans bash each other around while speeding around on the ice. While the Peace was in effect, there was a kind of understanding between the TCV and Lord Vollen. The lycanthropes could attend functions at the Forum as long as the lycanthropes left promptly afterward and did nothing that could be construed as hostile to the vampires. By the same token, the TCV took responsibility to ensure that its members didn’t harass the lycanthropes or cause problems. It worked out fairly well. As far as I could remember, there had been only one problem. I resolved that one by removing the leech in a violent and lethal fashion. It was one of those jobs that I got to do because I was the Guildmaster’s personal hitter. Read more →

Badmoon Rising – Chapter 8 – Be Careful of What You Wish For

14 Jul
July 14, 2012

One of the things that took me a long time to get through my skull as I was coming up as a hunter was that not all of the jobs were difficult or required an inordinate amount of firepower. Some were very simple. Even important jobs could be very simple and accomplished with minimal equipment. As I grew in experience, I also came to the realization that those jobs – important and simple – were the ones that hunters wanted the most. Granted, dramatic and harrowing adventures made great stories for the packs, but the as professionals we knew better. The simpler, the better. This was why I was happy when the Guildmaster assigned me to take out the Bleeders’ armorer. Read more →