*Disclaimer: I own nothing but my original characters and ideas….and the plot bunnies in the corner. Please don't sue, I'm a poor college student that has no life and way too many video games.*
"Due to the current economic situation, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off until further notice."
Nightmare Meet Reality
The cold night air burned in his lungs as his red converse covered feet struck the pavement again and again. He was so very tired, legs throbbing from his dead mans sprint, heart pounding from exertion a nerd like his self hadn't experienced since high school gym class, ears ringing as he ran down the alleyway. But he couldn't stop, no matter how exhausted he felt, because IT was right behind him, chasing him, hunting him.
He had to keep moving, keep pushing, keep forcing his body against its will. A loud thud followed by a metallic screeching echoed from behind him. IT had crashed into the dumpster that he had past just seconds before. IT was gaining on him.
A sob tore its way out of his abused throat as he forced his tortured body to go even faster. If he could just make it the Castle then he would be safe, not even IT could force its way through half a foot of steel.
He could see the Buy More now, just 300 meters away. He was never going to make it, not through an open parking lot. The Orange Orange was closer, not by much, but maybe it was enough.
The full moon lit up the abandoned lot as he sprinted for the frozen yogurt shop that masked a government operation beneath. He couldn't hear IT behind him anymore, the silence more frightening then anything else, but he refused to slow down like his body begged, not until he was in the Castle.
He never saw the shadow out of his periphery vision, but he did feel something large slam into him, tearing at his back as his head connected painfully on the concrete. Charles Bartowski, Nerd Herder by day, undercover government asset by night, prayed that his handlers, Sarah and Casey made it out okay before his vision swam black and he could keep his eyes open no more. He never did feel the teeth tearing into his shoulder as unconsciousness claimed him.
EARLIER THAT DAY
"I'm sorry General, but could you repeat that," an incredulous Chuck asked, staring at the screen General Beckman was displayed on. "It sounded like you just said 'werewolf'."
Chuck gave his customary awkward nerd laugh that was accompanied his air quotes before he cut off abruptly several seconds later when he realized that nobody shared his humor. He glanced first over at Casey who was scowling, then at Sarah whose lips were pressed in a grimace, and finally back to the General who sat emotionless like always.
"She's not joking Bartowski," Casey's clipped answer to his unasked question had him on edge.
"I assure you Mr. Bartowski," Beckman continued as if she had not just been laughed at. "Werewolves are very real; just ask Major Casey if you are not inclined to believe me. I believe you ran into a group of them in Venice a couple of years ago did you not?"
She didn't wait for the Major's confirmation nod before diverting her attention back to the whole group to finish the briefing. "The man you flashed on is the leader of a drug cartel and yes Mr. Bartowski, he is a werewolf. I need you to infiltrate the Warehouse he is operating from and grab the stolen files before Fulcrum gets their hands on them," she paused and straitened some papers before finishing. "I'll let Major Casey brief you on the lycan situation since he was first hand experience, and Major," Beckman waited until they made eye contact. "Be careful."
The screen went black as the General signed off, but it was several more minutes before any of them moved. Casey was the first to walk away from the table they were all seated behind, but it was unsurprisingly Chuck who broke the silence.
It seemed as if that was the only thing he was capable of saying but that one word held many questions within it. In the tone he used he was asking 'What the hell?' and 'Is this for real?' as well as 'What do we do now?'
"I know it's a lot to take in, Chuck," Agent Walker started, taking a deep breath to calm herself before continuing. She had never seen a werewolf in real life before and her knowledge of them only extended to what she heard in passing during her training. "But I assure you what the General says is true. Aside from what I was told by my instructors a few years back, I know next to nothing about them."
Major Casey looked up from the blue prints when he noticed the absence of sound in the room, seeing as Chuck was there it couldn't possibly be quiet, and met two inquisitive pairs of eyes that had latched onto him as if he was the Holy Grail and held all the answers to everything. Grunting in annoyance, he set the map down and prepared himself for the onslaught of questions. To avoid the impending headache, John decided to employ a strategic tactical move; the best defense is a good offence after all.
Holding a hand up to stall the nerd from talking, because once Chuck got started nobody else could get a word in edge wise until the kid had run out of steam, he could practically see him vibrating in his chair with curiosity, Casey began his lecture. "Alright, I'll start at the beginning, throw everything you know about Lycanthropes out of the window, all that Hollywood crap is bull shit. Forget everything, even you Walker." Casey sat back down and made himself comfortable. He had a feeling that this was going to be a very long conversation.
"The first thing you need to know about werewolves is that like normal wolves there are many different breeds and classes, such as Alpha, Beta, and etcetera. But unlike wolves there are only three types. A breed of a werewolf usually depicts coloring, size, body shape, and even level of aggression. I'm not going to list off any of the breeds because it is really not that important and there are over fifty.
"I'll start with classes and then move to types. Werewolves cannot choose their class, they are born into it. Rarely a Lycan can move up or down one level, but that practically never happens. The first type, like any pack structure is the Alpha. The Alpha is surprisingly not the most dangerous werewolf to run into, in fact that is one class of werewolf you pray to run into, because an Alpha is very strong, intelligent, but also confident. Very rarely will an Alpha categorize a human as a threat, but they will attack any other werewolf that isn't apart of its pack, which I will get into later so you can put your hand down Bartowski.
"The second is a Beta which is the worst to run into. Since they hold a position of high power, but not the highest, they will usually attack anything and everything they deem a possible threat including humans, animals, and other werewolves. After that is an Omega, they normally keep to themselves and are fairly calm. Omegas are negotiators, peacekeepers; they only fight if there is a major threat to the Pack. After Omega you just have the unclassified werewolves, they are called Others. You want to stay away from those. They are extremely violent and enjoy killing.
"Now identifying the type of werewolf is vital. You need to remember them and be able to classify a type immediately if you ever run into one because it could mean life or death," Casey paused to let that point drill home. "The first type is Pack. A Pack wolf is one that as the title suggests belongs to a Pack. These wolves," Reaching over he pulled out a file and handed out some pictures. The pictures held what looked like giant deformed canines in large groups. "This is a Pack, and Pack wolves are usually less aggressive and more confident because of the fact that they have others not far away to back them up if they get in trouble.
"You can usually tell a Pack wolf because it will either ignore you if it sees you, or it tries to investigate you. If you run into a Pack wolf your main priority is to get out without pissing it off or scaring it, because both reactions will end in the same result."
Chuck tore his eyes away from the unbelievable photos in his hand and caught Casey's eyes. He knew what the big man was going to say next, but he needed to hear the words in order to understand what nightmare he just walked into. "The Pack comes running?"
"That is correct," John's voice softened a little when he noticed how pale Chuck had gotten. "And if the Pack comes to aid the other, then you better be long gone by then because they will tear you apart, no questions asked."
Casey really didn't intend to scare either of them, but they both needed to understand just how dangerous these things could be. "The second type is called a Rogue. These are wolves that have no Pack, so by nature they are far more aggressive. They will attack on site. Unfortunately Rogue werewolves are far more common and this Alejandro De La Vega is most likely Rogue."
Reaching over, the Major grabbed his water bottle and took several gulps from it to water is dry mouth. He never usually talks this much and it was making his throat hurt a little.
"What's the third kind," Sarah's spoke for the first time since he started. He had almost forgotten she was even in the room.
"Bonded," When they both gave him confused looks he elaborated. "A Bonded werewolf is a Rogue that has a," Casey paused to find the right word. "Guardian… Keeper… Handler? They really don't have a word for it.
"The Handler is usually someone that the person and the wolf inside them completely trusts, and through bonding they have a symbiotic relationship, much like partners. There are very few Bonded Werewolves because the wolf is very untrusting and because of the fact that the process demands that the person they are bonding with spend every day with them until the bonding is complete. The shortest bonding took three months, the longest was two years. The only real Bonded Pairs you see are Government employed. There was a guy in my unit about seven years back who had a Handler, though I never did get see his other form."
Sarah noticed that the topic of Bonding had caught Chuck's interest and she decided to steer the conversation back onto more important matters before her fake boyfriend could start playing twenty questions. Because if he started now, he wouldn't be done for hours and Casey would very much feel inclined to shoot him, and Sarah had a feeling that she just might let him if her headache didn't go away any time soon.
"Are Bonded more or less dangerous then the other two types?"
Casey paused as if he were thinking about it before answering. "Yes and no. If the wolf is on our side then no, they aren't. You could almost classify them as harmless. On the other hand if it was playing for the other team then yes, they would be far more dangerous. Bonded werewolves have more of their humanity in the forefront then other lycans because of the fact that they have a partnership with a human; this means that they are more analytical, they think things through, and they solve problems. They don't just react to something; they actually analyze it before coming to a decision. A smart enemy is always a dangerous enemy."
"Is it true that werewolves change on the full moon," Chuck sudden question stopped the current conversation. He barely waited for Major Casey to nod in affirmation before continuing. "Then if we go tonight with the full moon a couple nights ago, then we should be fine, right?"
"Sorry, but no," Casey looked as if he wished it had been true, and found out through a hard experience that it was not. "Werewolves are forced to change during the full moon, but a transformation could be triggered through extreme anxiousness, fear, anger, etcetera. Some can also transform by will, but those are usually only the older species of werewolf."
"Great," Chuck exclaimed before he slammed his head onto the metal table. Sarah winced in sympathy, the resounding thump sounded painful. "Anything else we should know?"
"Aside from the fact that they have an excellent sense of smell, hearing, and sight, along with super human strength? No."
"What about contamination?"
The second Sarah's question had popped out of her mouth, Chuck's head flew up from the table and he looked at him accusingly while parroting her words. "Yeah, what about contamination?"
Scrubbing a hand up and down his face, Casey sighed heavily before he got into another long explanation. "Werewolves can't contaminate those who aren't already lycan by nature. It's in the DNA. Lycanthropy is a recessive gene that is carried in the blood and only emerges when the DNA of another Lycan comes into contact with it."
"Soooooo," Chuck drew out the vowel as he thought about what he was just told. "Unless there is already werewolf DNA in my bloodstream, I can't become a werewolf even if another one bit me?"
"Exactly, it would just really, really hurt. That is assuming you lived through it," Casey held up his hand to cut the computer tech off. "The only way to tell if you have Lycanthrope DNA is to get tested which both Walker and myself have and turned up negative. We can get you tested as well, but that is going to have to wait until after the mission."
A contemplative look overcame Chuck and before Walker or Casey could head him off his question was out of his mouth and out in the open. "Hypothetically, if a werewolf bit me, and I had Lycanthrope DNA, then would I become the same breed as it, and say it was part of a Pack, would I be part of the Pack too? And what about-"
"No and No, Bartowski," Casey cut him off. "Now shut up and get ready, and somebody go grab me the machete."
Chuck turned to Sarah as the Major went to the armory. "What the hell does he need a machete for?"