Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Threshhold Agents; They're What's For Dinner
If you hear strange growling in the woods at night, it might be the stomachs of creatures better left forgotten. Thus was the case on that fateful evening in the Spring of 1922.
A logging camp in the backwoods of the Pacific northwest had to shut down operations unexpectedly. Several of the workers had turned up missing, and no amount of searching turned up any clues, save one. An impossibly ancient building made of dark stone was found deeper still in the woods. The architecture resembled that of medieval Europe than anything else, which in and of itself was baffling. Two mysteries were now at hand; first and foremost, the missing loggers needed to be found, or at least there fates determined. Secondly, the structure found needed to be investigated, cataloged, and its origins ascertained.
Threshhold agents were dispatched immediately. Two teams of agents with different specialties were to converge in Seattle, then take locomotive to the last stop on the line, then ride by flatbed truck, and eventually horseback from there to the abandoned logging camp.
One team was a combat specialist team, with expertise in xenobiological conflict resolution. They came prepared for anything, hefting a 1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, a Thompson Submachine gun, and led by whip wielding, 1911 pistol sporting character.
The next team had combat individuals on hand as hand, but also a scholar who specialized in dark age and medieval histories. The leader of the second team was also well versed in the arcane writings and forgotten tomes of the old world.
It wasn't long until the agents were able to get to the camp itself, and thanks to directions from the logging search team, they found the structure as well. Its stonework was impossibly old, and it was covered in runes and glyphs that would be unknown to most. The scholar was making good headway translating some of the symbols that were reminiscent of a Byzantine derivative. That's when the agent teams heard the howls, and movement crashing through the woods.
It sounded like they were surrounded, noises coming from all around them. The agents spread out and prepared, not being daunted by the noises, or the animalistic growls. They did have trouble pinpointing the beast's direction. Or was that "beasts", plural? The answer came quickly as an agent rounded the bough of a large tree and locked eyes with a large creature standing upright twenty yards away. It was the shape of a hunched man, a large hunched at that, covered in fur, and had the head of a snarling wolf or dog. It was an animal, through and through, yet it also had a cunning about its gaze that spoke of something greater within.
The agent fired off his Thompson, but to no avail as the beast charged him, long canine teeth gnashing, and large, powerful hands ending in wickedly sharp claws. To the agent's credit, he did not lose his nerve as the beast closed in hand-to-hand combat with him. He threw his Thompson to the ground and drew his stag handled Bowie knife from under his coat to defend himself. Unfortunately he was no match for the beast who towered over him.
The leader came running to aid his fallen agent and came up short seeing the carnage. He knew immediately what foe he faced and cursed himself for not being properly prepared. His hunch had told him a rogue Sasquatch was in the area, he didn't consider a Werewolf. He fumbled with a belt pouch with one hand as he ejected the magazine on his pistol with the other. As one magazine loaded with lead bullets hit the ground, another magazine with silver bullets was seated in the pistol. He was quick, practiced, and flawless, but not quick enough as the Werewolf closed with him next. He held his own, moreso than the Thompson agent, but in the end the Werewolf powered through the leader as well. The strength, the teeth, the claws...all more than a match for a man, no matter how well schooled, experienced, or not.
The other team of agents couldn't act as backup because there was still movement in the woods, they had to guard the flanks. It was difficult for them to hold their ground as they heard the gunfire, and the screams of fellow agents. As they rounded another of the large trees they too were greeted by a sight unfamiliar to most humans. This was no Werewolf however. Standing nearly twice the height of a man, with twice the thick fur of the Werewolf stood this newcomer to the fray. Whereas the first adversary had an elongated snout, this one had a head and face more akin to a man. This "missing link" wasn't unknown to the agents though, and as the Sasquatch bellowed its inhuman roar, all but the scholar held their ground.
While the second team came to grips with the Sasquatch, the surviving member of the first team squared his shoulders to face the Werewolf. He fired off round after round with his BAR, wounding the creature, but not killing it. Like the two agents before him, the heavy gunner put up a brave fight, but it was to no avail as he became the third to fall.
The Sasquatch was as formidable as the Werewolf, and its thick, fur-covered hide seemed to repel the agents' bullets. His large, lumbering arms seemed to swat agents aside left and right like dolls. It was as if there was nothing they could do to stop them. Of what is known of Sasquatches they are mostly solitary creatures, not prone to outward violence. This one however had an odd bent to it, and had they not been fighting for their lives, the agents might have noticed the excessive foam at the missing link's jowls. It had been bitten by the Werewolf, was rabid, and was slowly becoming a hybrid Were-Sasquatch.
The agents saw their doom as both hulking monsters linked up. One-on-one, each team might have had a ghost of a chance with their foes, but with the first team out of commission, the second team now faced both creatures at the same time. The scholar fled.
The scholar wasn't fast enough, and was yet another to fall at the claws of the Werewolf. The agent who excelled at dueling pistols was next to fall, but he was still in the fight firing blindly from a prone position and kicking out with his feet. He didn't know that he was the last agent still conscious, nor did he know that both creatures bore down on him.
As if they were two children at the dinner table fighting over the last bit of cake, the two hulking monsters tore into the last agent. He screams were cut short and echoed throughout the woods where no other human ears would hear. The mystery of the ruins would remain just that, unknown. As for the missing loggers, they must have shared a similar fate.