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The sky was lit up by the flashes of lightning as the woman moved through the office at the Park. The small yawn was stiffled by the back of her hand, as the roll of thunder shook the earth with the recovery of atmosphere from the scorch of lightning. Danae loved storms, they always seemed to find a way to energize the soul. Or so it felt as she smiled a little and stretched. The lights within the cabin flickered as she quirked a brow. Gonna be a good one. It was her night to head up to the watch tower to look out over the forest itself. It was the season for wildfires, then again when in California wasn't it? She chuckled softly to herself while she packed up the rest of her gear, the rifle slung over her shoulder while the packback was caught up in a hand. She stepped outside, the first fat drops of rain began to fall as she lifted her chin for a moment to enjoy the spring rain.
The door was tugged open to the jeep as she set her gear inside. She'd spend a few days there, watching over the tops of the trees until Doug returned from his weekend trip. The light flashed again as she caught static on the radio. " Go fo Danae."She spoke, though the answer was broken apart with the static of lightning. " Will? " She called back as the voice vibrated over the radio once more.
" Dan, you need to get up here.. there's some strange shit going on.. " the baritone voice came back to her, though odd Will was likely the most level headed person she knew , even he had a nervous shift in his voice. She half wondered if he wasn't trying to mess with her.
" On my way. " She figured it was best not to take that chance, she stepped back into the office and grabbed up another box of shells, just in case. She locked up the building and climbed into the jeep. The flare of the headlights came to life as she headed out toward the Lookout. The road up to the Lookout wasn't paved, it wasn't a place to encourage visitors to go and mess about. The dirt road was rutted over the years it had been in use as she bounced a bit here and there. She kept her radio close at hand, just in case Will had called back. But thus far, the radio had been silent.
Her eyes flickered down to the radio debating on calling him back, then looked up just in time to slam on the breaks as the deer darted acrossed the road before her. Not one or two, but at least fifteen or so, an herd? Really? None seemed to care at all of the jeep that sat lighting their way for several minutes. She reached for the radio again.
" Will do we have a fire ? " She asked as she waited , and once the road was clear again she set off for the Lookout. It wasn't like the herds to move so blatantly, not with that sort of ergency. The radio however was silent in its return. Shit. She tore off up the road, or well as quickly as she dared, it wouldn't do her.. or Will any good at all if she hit a deer on the twisting road that lead up the mountain side.
It was several minutes more that passed as she pulled into the circle before the Lookout. The other jeep still parked there as she cut the engine and looked around. The lean forward allowed her to look up at the building that had been placed high on stilts to see over the massive tree tops. The lights up there were still on. The small shake of her head was given as she clipped the radio onto her belt. The keys tucked into a pocket of the cargo pants she wore as she reached for her gear. As she turned there was a flash of lightning, her hand on the handle of the door. The scream left her lips as the mountain goat looked in the window at her. Obviously the sound had frightened it just as much as she had been. It darted off once more as she rested back in the seat. A friggin goat.. ok.. breath. Though what were they doing down here?
She tossed open the door and stepped out into the rain while the pack and rifle were shouldered. She made a beeline for the stairs that lead upward. There were sounds of animals panicing.. shit.. the lightning must have touched off a fire somewhere.. why else would the animals be running like this? The woman began to race up the stairs , they had to have a direction. She jerked the radio again out of her pocket, the fingers absently changing the freguency to get in contact with the fire department. As she pressed the button , there was nothing but static. The hell?
If she only knew.. how true that was. She shoved the radio back in, the radio in the tower would be more powerful to get passed the storm. Tired and out of breath as she reached the top. She shoved open the door as the interior had looked as if someone had trashed it. The small frown appeared on her face, she hadn't stepped any further inside. The radio forgotten for now, while her hand removed the .45 from its holster. " Will? " She called and slowly stepped in. Why did it feel as if she walked into the horror movies she had seen?
The man was standing near a window. Though he had not answered her as she continued to let her eyes sweep over the room. The small kitchen as well as the files had been wrecked. Her hand reached out cautiously to touch Will's shoulder as the man jumped just as she had back bringing the gun back up. The blue eyes were opened wide in fear , she couldn't imagine looking down the barrel of the weapon being all that reassuring.
" Damnit Dan.. put that down! " he snapped at her. She frowned and lowered the gun to look back around.
" What the hell is going on , Will? " She asked quietly, slowly lowering the gun. He shook his head, a hand shaking as it were pushed back the sandy brown hair. Will had that appearance of one that belonged on a beach with a board in hand, not in the greens of the forestry service.
" I came back and it was like this.. " he stated then looked back out of the window and pointed. " Check that shit out.. you ever seen anything like it? " he asked quietly, handing over the binoculars. She replaced the safety on the pistol and while tucking it back into the holster she took the binoculars she stepped forward. Her eyes , enhanced by the optics, looked off in the direction he pointed. She frowned slightly .. the hell was that?
" Stampede? From what? " she asked a bit baffled, something had the animals running, not just the deer and mountain goats, but everything. She shook her head as she lifted the glass up higher searching for a fire, something.. anything that would give her a clue as to what was going on here. She caught sight of something moving, whatever it was it caused the trees to shudder. " I'm going out to have a look.. " she stated handing the bino's back. " see if you can get the chief on the phone.. I couldn't get the radio to work. " She was turning as Will stared at her.
" Are you stupid? You can't go out there alone! " He stated moving toward her. The man however stopped cold at the frosty look she gave him.
" Someone has to stay here and report this, if I'm not back in an hour or so call it. "she stated firmly before heading back out of the tower's door. Going down the stairs was somewhat easier then going up at least. The adrenaline was already beginning to surge through her, and an odd tingling sensation of something she couldn't exactly name. Will hadn't replied at all as the woman paused at her jeep for a moment to tug the baseball cap out of the back. She could deal with being wet, but she needed her eyes.
The forest itself was as quiet as it could be, given the circumstances. She tugged the phone from a pocket, she loved her cargos they carried everything, in pockets. She set it in the direction she had seen the movement. She stepped to the small shed and opened it. The fourwheeler that was used for searches or investigative missions such as this. The rip of the engine rang out in the quiet as she set off toward the oddness. The trees blocked some of the rain but not all as it came down in a cold waves here and there. Not to mention they stung like hell when slapping against her face. She would have actually enjoyed the ride where it not in the wake of such a situation. She located oen of the local hiking trails and used it to take her up toward where the animals had fled from. As she idled for a moment checking the GPS, she felt the ground shudder, more so then just that of the four wheelers engines. Gah another friggin earthquake? Had they really gotten so upset over an earthquake? She nearly laughed at herself for that very idea.. but no.. earthquakes didn't growl.
Her eyes snapped up as she sat in the pathway of another wave of animals sprinted passed her. She hunkered down close to the bars and kept her head protected with her hands just in case one thought to leap over her in its flight. Her eyes flickered to the side as she blinked a touch confused. The prey animals had fled before, those that raced passed her were coyetes, lynx , and bobcats. They seemed not to notice each other.. the growl came again this one seemed to rattle her chest as she looked up to see something moving. She shifted a bit , drawing the rifle from the holster behind her as she flipped the four wheeler in reverse. Just in case.. as she could feel her heart beat quicken. There were eyes that stared at her now from the darkness. At first her mind attempted to rationalize, it had to be a bear.. though the eyes were far to large.
It broke through the last of the greenry and growled again , its jaws were mixed with the water of the rain and slobber while the teeth jutted out beyond the jawline. Danae didn't waste time in investigating, as she rattled off a few rounds. The creature roared as the bullets struck into the massive body. Though it continued forward. Holy shit! rang out through her head as she released the brake and let the four wheeler idle backward. Her eyes locked onto the .. thing. She found herself emptying the clip of the rifle into the thing yet it contuned forward!
It's massive hand swung at her as both she and the fourwheeler tumbled. Thankfully she had managed to get out of the way of the four hundred pound ATV as it crashed into the trees. The engine continued to run for several minutes before dying out. Danae herself found herself sprawled out acrossed the ground and shook her head. In her attempt to collect herself again the thing's clawed hand reached out and snatched her up. She screamed as the ribs that had been fractured by the initial hit threatened to break. Her eyes flashed open and stared almost disbelieving at the massive maul that opened before her face. The rifle lost in the brush around them. She fought to get the handgun free from its holster. The first shot was placed directly into its face as she fell instinctively into a moment of survival only. The magazine was discharged into its face, mouth.. whatever was closest. Panicked? Who wouldn't be!!
It flung her aside agian while shaking off the riddling of bullets, she was somewhat more prepared this time as she rolled with the flight of its arm. She came up once more and snapped a new magazine into the pistol while she knelt there in the rain. There was a small blessing of the rain as it lost its footing in the mud. It gave her the few precious moments to recover .. somewhat. She felt it difficult to breath, knowing full well the ribs had given away to breaking , but that was pushed aside. Adrenaline! Thank God for that.. as she emptied another clip and sought the last she carried with her.
Even bears knew when to run away, whatever this thing was.. it was just getting more pissed off at each round sent into its scaley furred form. She used a tree to help brace herself up as she panted softly for breath. It stood slowly as she cursed into the air. Though she felt that surge once more of something.. else.. something from within. The rain began to let off a strange sort of steam and the cloud rolled around it. The woman turned her face from the sudden burst of incinderary rounds. It screamed, though it felt as if something had chilled her to the very core. The creature attempted to grasp her once more. Yet another had come to her aid, the tragic scene angered her beyond belief as the cougar came out of the trees and dug its long claws into its back. The teeth sought to find that weakness at its neck to severe the spine as it did with most of its prey.
The creature's massive hand reached behind and jerked the cougar off and with its hungry eyes still upon Danae it bit the mountain lion in half , devouring part of it while the woman screamed out. The last clip was emptied again into the creature's face. Its head finally jerked to the side as a bullet lodged itself into an eye. It had taken too much damage as it roared at her once more.. then with a stench to fill her nostrils it disappeared into the wind and rain.
" I'll remember you.. " it hissed in the darkness.
Danae turned slowly , looking for it.. waiting for it to show up again.. expecting it to jump out at her from the shadows. She hadn't heard the calls of the others as the adrenaline ran its coarse. The woman dropped like an empty sack into in the middle of the path.
What she had missed as this epic battle had gone on, was one of those flashes of whatever was in the cloud had caught the gasoline that had pumped from the over turned ATV , igniting it with an explosive bellow of flame. Danae herself engulfed for a moment in the flames though she had no consciousness to know. The cries of Will and the others moved closer to find their comrade. The rain was slowly watching away the tracks of this great monster , and cooling the skin of the woman who laid in the mud, broken.
The soft beeps brought her attention back around as the flashing lights of the ambulance made her wince. She pulled her head away from all of this while attempting to sink further into the gurney. One of the medics called for the Chief as she blinked and lifted a hand to shield the flashing lights from her eyes. Her entire body hurt like someone had beaten her with a tree.. er.. close to that anyway.
"How do you feel? " he asked quietly as Danae just stared up at him for a long moment. " Don't answer.. from what we can tell, you hit a slick spot and your ATV overturned and caught fire. You're a damn lucky woman you know that? " He spoke with a half grin and shook his head. Danae shook her head in echo as she started to open her mouth about what she had seen.. what had happened but there was something nagging at her to let the story lie. Would they believe the truth of it anyway? " They're going to take you to the hosptial, get you checked out.. don't worry about here.. Tom is going to take over for a while. You just heal up. " He stated with a light pant to her shoulder.
She hadn't the strength to argue..though her mind reeled in what she had seen.. is that what happened? No.. she had seen it. she knew whatever the hell it was, it wasn't human. What was worse? It was pissed off at her.
The next few days she was poked and proded , tested and poked some more before they would allow her to go home. The doctors seemed a little confused that with all that had happened she had only a single scar along her side. They assumed it was from the blast of the ATV, though she knew differently. It had left its mark on her.. just as she had upon it. Danae couldn't find it in herself to talk to anyone of what had happened, and spoke to her boss about a leave of absense. Why? She wasn't entirely certain, but there were a few things she had to get straightened up. And as weird as it was, she had to go somewhere.. why? She wasn't sure, but there was a place in the mountains that called to her, she saw it more then once in her dreams.
- Domain : Conjuration
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