James’s Note: Here is where we learn that magic comes with a price, which is a theme in the Witcher Man’s world. We also answer the burning question of, “What the hell was that?”
I stumbled to my feet and staggered to the other side of the car, looking for Damien. I found him crumpled against the alley wall, just starting to come to. His head was bloody from an impact I knew would have smashed a human’s head like a cantaloupe. In his case, the brain damage was already healing. I wondered if a little brain damage might do him some good.
Damien growled, climbing to his feet, “What in the hell happened?”
“Aside from us almost being murdered by a semi-mythical super werewolf, not a lot. Don’t worry, he was marginally less scary than me.” I smiled, a faint glow still visible from behind my lips.
“What the hell is wrong with your eyes?”, Damien asked in confusion as much as concern. I started to respond with something witty, but instead I collapsed to the ground, shaking violently, and coughed up a great gout of blood.
About ten minutes later Damien and I were loaded into the back of a junior pack members sedan. We sped through the streets of houston heading to the home of a friend of mine. Damian had wanted to call an ambulance, but I convinced him that was only a good idea if he actually wanted me to die. Luckily, he didn’t. At least not until I had finished his alpha’s business. So instead, he called someone to pick us up and I gave them the address of someone who could help me.
As we drove, the coughing began to subside. This wasn’t actually a good sign, as I had also started bleeding freely from the eyes, nose and ears. Damien, myself, and most of the upholstery in the sedan were covered in my blood. Damien was subjecting me to a barrage of questions, which I was gamely answering. I figured that, if nothing else, it would distract me while I bled out.
“Yes”, I said,” that thing is technically a werewolf. Although in this case, that’s more of a loose classification. Unlike your type, it has no ties to the Moon whatsoever, which is why silver does precisely squat. Its ties to lupus lupus are symbolic at most. That’s why it has several key features wolves lack, like the ability to switch between quadrupedal and bipedal locomotion, and fingers that end in Bowie knives. It’s cycle of transformation is also completely different. Rather than being tired of the Moon, it is tied to its adrenal system. It transforms when angry or afraid. Basically, don’t think of this as a werewolf, think of it as the Incredible Hulk with claws and a tail.”
“They’re born as a result of a rare dormant gene becoming active. They usually don’t begin transforming until late puberty, although some are late bloomers. I’m relatively certain there weren’t any in this country, so this guy must be really new. He probably has no idea what he is. The French call them Loup-garou and they are dangerously close to unstoppable.”
“Well fuck”, said Damien.
I couldn’t have agreed with him more.