Sharon’s Note: People have the potential to be incredibly heroic. They just aren’t always smart about it. Warning: For want of a nail. . .
“Give me a second, and I’ll let you know.” I said out loud.
“What was that, Joy?” Mike was suddenly at attention. He was the team leader, and took his responsibility seriously.
“Hey guys, I just got in and haven’t had a chance to look at stuff. Report.” I started clicking through all the reports for the night. Marion had a short fuse, but he always did his paperwork.
“Were out at Weeping Lake National Park. Those pig bodies we found out here last month were confirmed to be werewolf kills. Looks like someone if trying to manage their beast by letting hunt somewhere safe. We didn’t find anyone entering the park, but this place is huge. The plan is to just let them run tonight and then scoop them up in the morning to have a heart to heart about proper werewolf safety.” I nodded as Mike went over a fairly standard plan.
“Ok, guys. I’m making a call. Arm up. Let me do just a last sweep for possible threats and I’m sending you to back up Shanda’s team. They have a definite werewolf.” I did one more glance at the map of the park to make sure I wasn’t leaving anything vulnerable. It was a risk to just leave a werewolf running around a national park, but I wasn’t about to send my team into a forest after a werewolf alone. It was a death trap.
“By the time you give the go, we’ll be ready.” Mike chuckled. He sounded ready for some action.
I’d looked over the maps for this park before. During the summer, the park was usually pretty busy with campers and people renting the various pavilions. It was September. Technically it was still plenty warm enough to camp, but nobody did this time of year. School was in session and hunting season was months away. I didn’t see any notes mentioning rentals or anything like that. There was a cluster of buildings that used to be a summer camps by the man-made lake, but they had closed down in . . . wait a second.
Yesterday I had gone grocery shopping. I always glance at the fliers in the window in case there’s a local gun show coming up. There had been a colorful notification in the window mentioning the camp. I checked the social media pages for the camp, since any event they had would be posted there. My heart stuttered as I read a posting announcing a family reunion being held all weekend at the camp. Tonight was the second night and on the posted itinerary was a moonlight hike. Oh, hell.
“Mike, we got a problem.” I was looking for more information as I spoke. “Someone dropped the ball. We got people at the summer camp.”
“Well, crap. Ok. We’ll get over there and defend the camp, then.” Disappointment laced his voice.
“You can defend everyone who’s in the camp.” I laughed bitterly. “Some of them decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and go for a moonlight stroll.”
“No.” Mike’s voice perfectly portrayed the dread I was feeling. “Shit. We have to go in after them.”
I sat up straighter in my chair. “No you do not. Trying to go after a werewolf in the woods like this on the full moon is suicide. You’re going to get your team killed.”
“If any of them don’t want to go in, they can stay and guard the cabins. I am not going to let a bunch of civilians, probably with kids, get turned into dog food.” I could hear talking away from the headset. They were arming up.
“God damn it, Mike! This isn’t protocal!” I hissed, trying to think of something that would work.
“If we were good at following rules, we wouldn’t be hunters.” Ethan chuckled and I could hear the rest of the team join him.
“Everyone is helping Shanda’s team. If you go out there, there won’t be any backup.” I closed my eyes, heart in my throat.
“Those people out there don’t have any back up.” Mike sighed. “No one but us.”
I started to protest again, but the coms went dead.