Blood in Siberia
Chapter 5: Yantis, Attacked!
"So I'm supposed to believe," Howard was saying as he drove on both sides of the road, "that Darlian overheard a bunch of pigeons say that a werewolf blew into town, who's looking for the Untouchable, and that we should leave Texas because of it?!"
"Howard! Jesus Christ!" I was sitting backwards, with my arms and legs wrapped around the seat. My seatbelt was also tied a few times around my body. Howard, when he was absolutely livid, drove like all men his age did: badly. "Will you pick a side of the road, please?! God damnit!" I buried my face into the headrest, and mentally counted down the seconds I had to live. When my life didn't flash before my eyes, I looked back up and thanked God that we didn't hit the stalled tractor. "God, I can't take much more of this..."
"If he doesn't know who or where you are, why leave?" Hilde asked, staying on topic. She was as calm and collected as ever. Of course, Howard's driving didn't bother her. She was so used to her own screwed-up driving, that he could've driven us right into a shit-filled ditch and it wouldn't have even fazed her.
"Because that doesn't mean he won't find out," Howard put in, driving widely around a hole in the road that wasn't even the size of my foot. "Whoever he is, he has no business looking for Duo. If he has a bone to pick with Wufei, that's who he needs to see." He was silent a moment. "You know what's really bothering me?" He looked at me. "San Antonio is not far from here. Wherever he came from, he managed to narrow it down to Texas, then to San Antonio. If he doesn't know your name, how is it he's in a nearby city?"
I thought about that. "I don't think it's unknown where Wufei lives or works. His office is in downtown San Antonio. Maybe that Were went to his job? Besides, Wufei has a general idea of where the other Packmasters are and what they do, so I bet the reverse is true."
"But why look for you? Wufei has been very adamant about keeping you a secret." Howard totally nailed a family of skunks crossing the road. I swear to God, I saw one of the skunk's widened eyes look at me in shocked outrage as it flew past my window. "I know Wufei told that troll to spread the word that he has an Untouchable. But I find it odd that this Were, whoever he is, is spotted a little less than two hours from your house."
I held on tighter as he drove off of the road and across a pasture. The cows watched us disinterestedly. "Well, Darlian said that the Were has been looking for me for a month. More than likely, he just now narrowed it down to San Antonio."
"Then it won't be much longer before he narrows it down to Pike Creek," Hilde put in at last. "Darlian's right Duo. You should leave. We should all leave--"
"The hell we are!" Howard snapped, and drove out of the field to get back on the road. I thought I heard something metallic fall off and spin. "I am not leaving my life because of some god damn oversized critter!" Howard turned towards me, with one hand pointing a finger at me while the other rested on the steering wheel. Unfortunately, that hand wasn't being used to steer. "We're going to find this fucker and nail him! Then, we're going to tell Wufei to piss off!"
"Howard!" I screamed, in what I was sure was the highest soprano in existence. The truck had gone off road again and was heading directly towards a phone pole. "Will you drive the fuckin' truck?!"
Howard easily gained control, and brought us roughly back on the road. When I was sure I had finished chunking in my pants, I decided to point out why that was a shit idea. "Howie, that won't work and this is why: this guy has manhandled a bunch of shape-shifters to be his entourage." God, I was thirsty. Arguing and being scared shitless was hard work. "What can we do against them, huh? What are three humans going to do against a bunch of shifters and a werewolf on a mission?" He remained silent, so I continued. "And Darlian said he wasn't a punk. Whoever this is doesn't play around. He's killed a lot of... creatures that had loyalties to the Shenlong Pack." I shrugged to myself as I loosened my grip on the seat. "The Were knows that doing so could cause a war, yet it doesn't seem he's concerned about it."
"But that war would be between the werewolves. It wouldn't concern us, would it?"
Eureka! "Hilde, you're a damn genius!"
She raised an eyebrow at me. "Tell me something I don't know."
"What are you thinking, Duo?" Howard asked in resignation. He knew I was up to something.
"I bet that's why he hasn't found me yet," I said excitedly. "What do you wanna bet that he's looking for a werewolf to be the Untouchable?"
Howard snorted. "My life savings."
"Exactly! Quatre told me that they consider humans to be at the bottom of the food chain. So has Darlian. It wouldn't even occur to the Were that a human could be the Untouchable."
"Be that as it may, what do you want to do, Duo?" Finally, Howard was talking and driving like a sane person.
I sighed. "I say we stay here." I held up a finger to stall Hilde's protests. "No Hilde. Running won't solve anything, and I don't want to do anything that will attract attention to us."
"But living across the road, literally, from a Packmaster's house, is not conductive to avoiding attention," Howard added, raising an eyebrow at me.
"We'll be ignored because we're human, Howie. The supernatural want to keep their existence a secret, and parading around our house in wolf form would not be the way to do that. And since when did 'conductive' become a part of your vocabulary?" He smacked me in the forehead. "Ouch! Howard!"
"I obviously didn't beat you enough when you were a kid," he said smugly. Bastard. "But Duo, that won't work. Wufei and the others have a bad habit of coming over whenever they damn well please. It would be hard to stay out of the limelight if whoever is looking for you sees one of the werewolves, or Quatre, hanging out at the house."
"That could be seen as us being neighborly to them," I answered after a breath. "I don't think that would raise suspicion if we play our cards right. The best way to hide is to be in plain sight."
"Okay," he agreed. "Hilde?"
"Alright, it's settled. We'll stay here." He sighed. "What about Wufei?"
"I'll tell him," I said, turning around in my seat and settling in.
"Are you sure that's the right thing to do?" Hilde asked. "Maybe this mystery werewolf is acting on Wufei's behalf."
"I don't think so," I said slowly. "For one, if he were one of Wufei's Weres, he would know better than to come gunning for me. Two, Darlian made it sound as if this guy just popped out of nowhere. And three," and this bugged me a lot, "he said the guy looked 'blatantly nonhuman.' There isn't anyone in Wufei's Pack that couldn't pass for human." Ain't that the truth. I had the nosebleeds to prove it.
"But why didn't Darlian call and tell Wufei?" Howard asked. "That bothers the hell outta me more than anything else."
In all honesty, that bothered me the most too. "I don't know Howie, but I'm gonna find out."
The sun had long since set by the time we made it back to my house. I was so tired, and had been hurting so bad, that I just wanted to be left alone. So you could imagine the irritation I felt when I saw a giant, meadow green Hummer sitting in our driveway as Howard pulled up. There was a long body lounging on the roof, facing the moon. What the hell?
"Hey, that's Trowa's baby," Howard said, referring to the Hummer. "What's he doing here?"
"Beats me," I said, simmering down. Now that we were closer, I could see that, yes, it was Trowa's lanky form stretched out on the vehicle. He waited until we were getting out before he slid to the ground. Quickly but quietly, he made his way towards me.
"Hey Trowa," I said politely, walking briskly to meet him halfway. "What's going on? Is something wrong?"
"Yes," he said, staring at me.
Oh yeah. I forgot how chatty he was. "Well? What happened?"
He looked me over. "You smell, you're hungry and you're hurting. Go shower and eat. I have some preparations to make before we talk."
"Okay," I said, barely containing the snottiness in my voice. See, Quatre and Heero were the only two... um... beings of the supernatural persuasion, that I had no problem being an absolute ass to. It was a mean thing to say, but true. Trowa, even though he seemed cool, was still a complete unknown to me. I was going to behave until I knew, with certainty, that he wouldn't eat me. "I think an hour will be enough time."
"Yes, I agree." Trowa then climbed into the Hummer, revved it up, and drove through my backyard to Wufei's. Thank god my sister hadn't planted a garden back there. She would've been Pissed Off.
"I'll get some food going," Hilde said, charging up the stairs. She was in the house within seconds.
"Come on Duo," Howard said, dragging me along. "Get some rest while you can. I have a feeling that this is going to be bad."
"Yeah," I said with a sigh. "I have that feeling too."
Fuck! I just wanted this day over with.
We had finished dinner and were cleaning up when there was a knock at the door. True to his word, Trowa came back in exactly sixty minutes. Howard let him in, and the Alphagué immediately made himself comfortable on the couch. I planted myself next to him, sitting Indian style with my hands resting in my lap. Howard, making sure his deaf ass wouldn't miss a word, sat on the coffee table. Hilde remained in the kitchen, but I could see her shadow near the doorway.
"Wufei has gone to Dallas for a client," Trowa began immediately, drawing my attention away from Hilde. "He will be gone for a few days." He looked me directly in the eye. "I have been left in charge of the Pack until he returns."
I shrugged. Why would I give a shit who's in charge? As long as he didn't expect me to obey him, we were cool. "Fine. Whatever. So, what's the problem?"
"Yantis has been attacked."
Howard and I looked to each other in surprise, then back to Trowa. "When was this?" I asked.
"This morning, at sunrise."
Damn! Those vampires didn't stand a chance! "Are there any survivors?"
"Roughly half survived," he said with remorse, and I didn't think it was the kind of remorse that one had because someone died. He seemed remorseful that more didn't die. I pushed the thought away. "Those that were destroyed were too stoned to hide from the sun, or from the attackers." He shrugged slightly at me. I shrugged back at him, even though I didn't know what the hell we were shrugging about. "Quinze and Trollé arrived at dusk, and informed us of what has happened. They said that there were three shape-shifters total, but only two were attacking the vampires. One had left to do some scouting. But all three were being supervised by a werewolf. An Alphagué, they think."
Oh my god... "It's him," I whispered to myself, then turned to Howard. "Howie, it's him. The one Darlian was talking about!"
"Darlian!" Trowa shouted--well--said loudly. "When did you talk to him?"
"Today!" I started stumbling over my words. I wanted to tell him everything at once. "He heard from some pigeons that an Alphagué came into town and manhandled some shifters into obeying him. He's supposedly looking for the Untouchable."
"Yes, that's what the vampire told me also." A thought flitted through his eyes. Of course, I couldn't read it. Damn. "What else?"
I mentally ran through our conversation. "He went through San Antonio about two days ago... he's gunning for me... and I should leave town. That's it, really. Most of our talk was possible conspiracy theories as to why the guy is here."
"I see." He stood. Howard and I stood with him. "Quatre and a few of the Maguanacs are relocating the vampires, and the troll, to another location. You won't be able to see him for a day or so. Heero will be running interference from the house. The rest of the Maguanacs will be spraying hydrogen cyanide from here to the city limits, to rid the area of the vampires' scents, so please don't be alarmed. We don't want this Were getting a trace of where they went for help." Howard and I nodded in understanding. "We're also erasing your smell on our property too Duo, just to be on the safe side." He turned to leave. "Don't come by until myself or Wufei says it's okay, and if you need anything, notify Heero and he will see that you get it."
Wow. Sounded like Trowa had everything under control. I was a bit overwhelmed by all of the activity. "Uh, okay."
He gave us a sharp nod, then walked out the door. In a rare attempt to be a good host, I walked him to his vehicle. Howard followed a step behind me. "So, what are you going to do now?"
"I'm going to Yantis to investigate the damage, and to see what else I can find out." He opened the door and got in.
I leaned on the door. "Hey, why don't I come with you? I could possibly pick up something."
He looked at me with his too-green eyes. "No."
I balked. "What? Why not?!"
"It's too dangerous. After tonight, you should not be seen near us until the Were is killed." He started the Hummer. "Stay here. Don't leave unless you have no other choice. If you do have to leave, go to Heero. He will protect you." Without another word, Trowa drove through my back yard again, circled around my house until he came upon the road, and roared into the night. I stood where he left me, staring at his fading taillights in complete shock.
"Who the hell does he think he is?!" I shouted to the moon. I was flaming pissed! "Who do these werewolves think they are?! Who are they to tell me what to do and what not to do, huh?! I am not a pet, god damnit! I am the fuckin' Primus!"
"Duo, you're talking to yourself," Howard explained to me in a bored tone of voice. Hilde came outside just then, wondering what all of the ruckus was about.
"I don't care!" I yelled, jumping up and down. "I don't care I don't care I don't care!"
"Yes, I can see that," he said patronizingly, as if humoring a crazy person.
"Howard," I said in a warning tone. "Don't do that. I'm not in the mood."
Howard snorted at me, then went back into the house. Hilde hovered a moment, before she went back in as well. I remained outside, inhaling the night air in an effort to calm the hell down. It wasn't working.
This day was the day from hell. Since Wufei left town, I've been shot at, hit by a car, beaten, and sexually assaulted. Then I find out that some Were, who wouldn't know me from Adam, was after me, and was forcing creatures to be under his command while killing others who had Shenlong loyalties. And now I was supposed to sit the rest of this shit out?
I had three words for that. No. Fuckin'. Way.
I went inside to find that Howard and Hilde had gone to bed. Good. After making sure that the house was secure, I went back outside to get the duffelbag and the .44 Magnum from Howard's truck. Tossing the duffel and the gun into the passenger seat of my car, I hopped in, lit a cigarette, and quietly pulled out of the driveway, onto the road.
Look out, Yantis. Here comes Duo Maxwell, clairvoyant extraordinaire.
To see Trowa's Hummer, click here. Trowa's is the H2 model.