I get back to the Tesseract campus, thankfully with no werewolf on my tail (lol). I meet up with Paul and Elsa and report on what happened. They, unfortunately, weren’t able to find anything of interest themselves, so we sit back and consider our next move.
That’s when we realize Isaac is missing.
We search the compound. At the edge of one of the parking lots, we find some fresh tire tracks where some sort of larger vehicle peeled out into the road. Nearby, we find a dropped iPhone and a random shard of metal, which we identify as silver due to the fact that Elsa has an aversion to it.
The iPhone is locked, and thus by all accounts useless, but then Paul tries something.
(Chris: “I hit ‘Emergency Call,’ press # three times, then relock the phone, which should glitch me to the address book where I can see recent calls!”
Jason: *Jaw. Drops.*)
Unfortunately, as baller as this move is, it doesn’t get us much useful information. We take the phone to Paul’s head of security, a dour man named Klaus who doesn’t much appreciate my snarky sarcasm. He suggests that we use Tesseract’s impressive telecommunications networks to track the location of Isaac’s phone directly. We do that and see that he is somewhere up in the Santa Cruz mountains. We immediately head out, me on my bike and Paul and Elsa in his Tesla.
On the way through the mountains we get separated and start finding our own way to the location Isaac was last identified at. Paul and Elsa arrive in the area first. They hide the car off the road a ways and make their way through the forest toward Isaac’s location. As they approach, they see a clearing, with Isaac, Alejandro, and a bunch of doods. Isaac is talking with Alejandro and doesn’t seem to be under any form of duress, but they keep themselves hidden and scope the place out further anyway. There’s a small fleet of cars parked in the clearing nearest the road, including a couple vans. At the other end of the clearing is what appears to be a large cage…with an unconscious figure lying inside it.
Now, I too plan on taking the stealthy approach to the location, but when I arrive in the area I have an unfortunate incident with a coyote that necessitated the discharging of firearms (don’t worry, the coyote was fine). I figure that now that the element of surprise is lost, I might as well do this thing balls-out. I rev up the bike and ride all the way down to the end of the road.
Alejandro, Isaac, and all the doods look up as I approach. I stop at the edge of the clearing.
Alejandro: “Who the fuck are you?”
Me: “FedEx delivery.”
Alejandro: “What? You ain’t no fucking FedEx, what the fuck are you doing here???”
Me: “Hey man, if you don’t want to sign for it, that’s fine–”
Alejandro: “I ain’t signing shit!! Now, you tell me who the fuck you are, or get the fuck out of here!!!”
Me: *exasperated sigh* “Fine, I guess I’ll just go back to the depot, then. Too bad too, cause it’s quite a big package.” *grabs my crotch.*
Alejandro’s face turns furious. He pulls out his gun and shoots out the front tire of my bike, screaming the usual “Don’t you know who I am???” bullshit. Irritated, but rapidly realizing that I perhaps have gotten in out of my depth, I climb off the bike and walk over to where he tells me to. A bunch of his guys search me, taking away my gun, but leaving my whip. During all this, I still don’t acknowledge Isaac at all, nor he me. (Perhaps I was hoping he would pull out some sort of double-cross and rescue me. This was obviously before I got to know him better.) Alejandro directs his men to lead me across the clearing, toward the cage.
Paul and Elsa see my exchange with Alejandro and the men lead me to the cage. They decide that rescue might be in order. They slowly make their way toward the parked cars. Elsa climbs her way into one of the large vans. She crouches low in the seat-well and starts working on hotwiring the thing.
The men lead me to the door of the cage. One unlocks it and gestures for me to go inside. Since it’s just me against many armed men, I decide to comply. I wordlessly step into the cage. They lock it behind me.
Alejandro, at this point, is launching into full Bond-villian mode, waxing confidently about his own power and prowess, saying that he had other plans in mind for the evening’s entertainment but pehaps this change will be just as exciting.
At first I don’t notice the other figure in the cage, since it’s dark and he’s unconscious on the floor. One of Alejandro’s men comes up with a cattle-prod and jabs the man through the bars. He jerks, sits up, then groans and climbs unsteadily to his feet. He looks at me with eyes slightly unfocused.
But once the eyes settle on me, they focus up right away. And the focus is obviously full of crazy.
For the second time that night, I’m rocked by a brief concussion of displaced air as the figure in front of me erupts into a giant of a werewolf.
I take a step back. Alejandro’s men are yelling and jeering. Alejandro himself is standing with his arms folded, a pleased smirk on his face.
The werewolf is growling as he advances, obviously taking pleasure at my increasing terror. If I’m going to act, I know I have mere moments to do so. In a flash of insight (aka, people in the room reminded me) I remember that I still have that small shard of silver we found in the road back in the suburbs. I reach into my pocket slowly to grab it, sliding it between the fingers of a fist.
My only other weapon is my bullwhip, which the men probably thought was only for show. Ha, as if. Though it might not do much against the werewolf…. Nevertheless, it might work as a temporary distraction.
I unclip the whip from my belt, grabbing the handle as the rest of the length snakes to the ground. The werewolf is close enough now, its muscles tensing as it finally prepares to strike.
CRACK!!! In one smooth motion, I lash the whip across the werewolf’s face, cutting a small gash across one eye. It howls and cowers, pulling its head down instinctively to protect it. Which just so happens to pull the head into my range.
I clench the shard in my fist and step forward into a brute punch, throwing the entire weight of my body into it. I smash it in the forehead, right between the eyes.
Driving the shard of silver clean into its skull.
The werewolf pulls back, staggers momentarily, then collapses. Fully, completely, dead.
Around me, the crowd goes silent. There’s a brief murmur as everyone simultaneously takes a step back. I turn to look at Alejandro. His face is white, gaping in disbelief.
And that’s when Elsa finally gets the van started up.