Title: Wicked Child
Author: morkhan
Warnings: Creepiness, Dark!Adam, graphic violence, a humanitarian diet. ;)
Characters: Adam, with minor OCs and a few Minor Canon Hunters.
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 5918
Summary: Mommy's Special Boy steps out to greet the world with open arms and bared fangs. It's good to be Alpha. Sequel to 'Born Anew.' Dark!Adam. Season 6 Spoilers.
Disclaimer: That I don't own this hurts me. I write fanfiction to deal with the pain. CRAWLING IN MY SKIN, etc. All credit to Eric Kripke and the CW.

Author's Notes: So, this little universe seems to have sunk its foul, poisoned claws into my brain and clamped down tight. This story is a sequel to 'Born Anew,' and features copious amounts of Adam Being Bad. It was glorious fun to write; evil usually is, I suppose, especially when your characters are so fundamentally cracked that they can't help but be gleeful in their wickedness. I hope you enjoy reading this half as much as I enjoyed writing it, and I hope you are compelled to leave a review to let me know your thoughts either way. :D Enjoy!

He has never felt more alive.

Everything is just so much more. He is so much more, so much bigger, so much smaller. Not in any physical sense, of course, but… he goes further. Deeper. In every direction.

His eyes look at the sky and travel beyond the stratosphere, playing connect-the-dots with craters on the moon. Rainbows unfold into dozens of colors, more colors than he has names for. When someone talks to him, he barely hears their words over everything they aren't saying—the blood rushing in their veins, each individual pulse and breath and muscle contraction, the song of the cellular cycle. Action speaks hundreds of thousands of times louder than words, and very nearly renders them meaningless. He smells the rain hanging loose in the clouds before it falls, feels the oncoming thunder tingling in his hairs as it traces his skin with unseen fingers. He can taste with his hands, so perceptive is his touch, hear with his eyes, so fine is his sight… he can smell the future and the past; things that are, were, and soon will be. Every second he lives and breathes the air, he steals her secrets, exposes all she tries to hide, tears apart her façade and leaves her barren and naked before him. He owns this world, penetrates it in every sense with every sense.

He is dominant. Supreme. Alpha.

And it is fucking awesome.

He barely thinks about his old life. Oh, he remembers it perfectly—at least, he remembers how he experienced it, Before. Reminiscing for him is like willingly downgrading from high-speed broadband to 56k, switching from stereo to phonograph, using tin cans tied with string in place of a phone. To look at the world as he used to know it is to take a rusty knife and bleed out all her beauty.

The world behind him is boring and meaningless compared to this one. There is no reason for him to look back. So… he doesn't.

He looks forward instead. There is a lot to look forward to.

It's a little overwhelming, at first. He hears and sees and feels so much; any kind of human settlement overloads his senses and sends him dashing back into the woods where it's… well, it's quieter. It takes him a while, but slowly and surely, he inches his way towards the unsuspecting masses, learns to tune out irrelevant information and hone his perceptions from baseball-bat-blunt to rapier-precise. He is dangerous, so fucking dangerous, and sitting in a crowded bar full of people who have absolutely no idea how quickly he could have them on the ground, weeping and clutching at their stomachs to try and keep their insides from staining the hardwood. It's dizzying, electrifying, like lying atop a mountain of cocaine and just breathing.

A lady—well, no, that's giving her way too much credit. This is not the kind of place you find a 'lady.' So… a female saunters over to him in a top so low-cut that magic is the only thing that could possibly be holding her breasts in check. She hasn't taken two steps before he knows exactly what this is about. He can feel her pupils dilate, hear the blood rushing to her skin, see the fresh moisture on her lips. Her muscles are relaxed and ready, and the gleam in her eye is predatory.

Adam smiles without looking at her. There is one predator in this room. Only one.

They wind up at her place, where Adam gives her the ride of her life. Or, at least, that was the plan, right up until the end, where it suddenly becomes 'the last ride of her life.'

I didn't even really mean to kill her, he thinks to himself later as he sweeps a finger along the inside of her skull to scrape up any spare bits of stuck brain. It just kind of… happened. Ah, well. You know how hormones are—so caught up in the moment, swept up in the chemical flood that your body kind of runs away with you. Gotta remember to be more careful with those damned fragile necks.

Besides, he thinks as he sucks the remainder of her frontal lobe off his finger, at least she died happy.

He leaves no part of her uneaten. She had a beautiful body—it'd be a shame to let it go to waste.

He has to be careful. Careful in what he does, and what he doesn't do, in what he takes, and what he leaves behind. He is Mommy's Special Boy, her precious little secret, and no one needs to know about him yet. Most importantly, he is not to convert anyone until the time is right. He obeys as much as he can, because he loves his Mama and wants to be a good boy. But he is young and restless, and only able to withstand so much boredom before he snaps. And snap he does—specifically, he snaps a hunter's spine in two. The guy stalks into his neck of the forest, has the gall to aim a gun at him, and then gets all offended when Adam rips most of his face off. Breaking him in half might have been a little excessive, but really, he basically had it coming, and he just would not stop screaming. It isn't until Adam starts munching on his brain that he learns this hunter was not just a hunter—he was a Hunter. Capital-H, like Dear Old Dad, Tweedle Sam and Tweedle Dean; he was in the woods tracking a wendigo (which later tries to steal the corpse from Adam before he is finished eating, and lives to regret it. Do not fuck with an Alpha during mealtime). Adam didn't really feel bad about killing him to begin with, but when he learns this, he gets downright giddy. He's like a few of Mom's other kids in that brains are not only nutritious and delicious for him—they're also highly educational. Like eating your textbook and actually having an effect. It isn't long into his meal that Adam has a lot to chew on, both literally and figuratively.

He has to be careful. He has to stay secret.

That doesn't mean he can't have some fun while he waits.

The first time he tries it, all he has to do is rip a few hearts out and do a so-so job of hiding the corpses. It's tough to resist the urge to eat the rest of them (it just seems so wasteful) but corpses are generally among the first things they look for. From there, all he has to do is set up camp near the morgue, and wait. Sure enough, two dopey-looking guys in cheap suits show up asking to see the bodies after the police finish their investigations. They reek of alcohol and solvent, mixed with gasoline, gunpowder and the unmistakable scent of lies. He listens to them question the coroner, peering down at them from his hiding place above the ceiling tiles, and knows without a doubt that they are just what he is looking for.

He tracks them back to their hotel room. Feeling a little bold, he decides to forego elaborate stealth and just press his ear to the door to listen in on them.

"…like a werewolf!" says one.

"It ain't even half-moon, you giblet-headed dingbat," says the other.

"Well, excuse me for following the damn evidence, Walt!" says one.

"Oh, you're excused. God knows, I excuse fuckin' everything else you do, Roy," says Walt. Adam stifles a chuckle. Apparently, Hunters are natural drama magnets. He'll have to remember that; maybe he'll jot it down in a journal.

"Great, here we go again," Roy groans. "Blame it all on me. It was your idea to kill them!"

"How was I supposed to know they'd come back?" Walt says defensively.

"Well, gee, I dunno, maybe because they told you," Roy duhs.

"So, what, we're just supposed to believe the bastards that started the freakin' Apocalypse?" Walt snorts.

Adam perks up a little at this. They can't be talking about… no way… could they…?

This changes things. He was just going to bust in, claws out, and turn their necks into sprinklers. But now… now he kind of wants to play with his food a little bit. Because if they're talking about who Adam thinks they're talking about…

"Look, maybe if we just go… I dunno… apologize or something," Roy says. "Maybe they'll be all 'live and let live?'"

"We blew his brother away right in front of him. Then we blew him away. Somehow, I don't think 'sorry' is gonna cut it," Walt sighs. "Just… forget it. Let's concentrate on the case."

"I still think it's a werewolf."

"It's not a werewolf."

"Well, what else tears a body's chest open and pulls out their ticker like that?"

Adam smirks. He knocks on the door.

Inside, Roy and Walt grow very, very still. "That's him, isn't it?" Roy whispers, sounding more than a little panicked. "He found us, he fucking found us, I knew he'd"

"Calm the fuck down!" Walt replies. "Just… stay calm, okay? Let's not jump to conclusions… just… have your gun ready. I'll go get the door."

Adam knocks again.

"Just a second!" Walt says. He seems to be the more level-headed of the two. There's a little more shuffling, the sound of a gun being loaded, and then, the door opens just a crack. Adam sees the head of who he assumes to be Walt, with Roy's heel on the floor behind him at an angle that probably means he's got a shotgun ready to shoot Adam through the door.

"Who the Hell are you?" Walt asks.

"Skinwalker," Adam says.

Walt goes a little pale. He hears Roy's gun click.

"That's the answer to your question," Adam clarifies. "Skinwalkers also eat human hearts. Can't get enough of them."

Walt looks confused. "Were you droppin' eaves on us?"

Adam shrugs. "You were pretty loud." He adopts a thoughtful look, before adding. "Oh, and hearts are also used in witchcraft, certain kinds of dark voodoo, and occult rituals, but humans don't have the kind of strength necessary to just rip somebody open like that, so I already ruled those out."

A look of recognition lights up in Walt's eyes, though he's still wary. "You a hunter, kid?"

He grins. "Got it in one." He offers his hand. "Name's Adam."

Walt doesn't accept the offer. "Prove it," he says.

Adam gives him a fish-eye. "Prove what?" he asks.

"Prove you're a hunter," he insists.

Adam tilts his head a little. "Ummm… how?"

Walt starts to close the door, but Roy interrupts him. "He means 'prove you're human.'"

For that, Roy gets a pretty impressive death glare. "Way to blow your cover, dingbat," he seethes.

Adam smiles. "Nah, he didn't blow anything, I knew he was back there."

The Hunter's eyes pin him with suspicion.

"I can see your foot, dude," Adam says, pointing to the back of Roy's heel. Walt follows his finger and rolls his eyes.

"Damn it, Roy," he sighs.

"Sorry, Walt," Roy says.

Adam raises his hands in surrender. "Look, I can prove whatever you need me to, but I don't have anything with me. You guys got the right tools?"

Walt thinks about this for a second before heading back into the apartment. He reappears with a small bag, which he tosses at Adam's feet.

Adam kind of stares at the bag. "…you want me to do it out here?" he asks. "In broad daylight?"

Walt gives him another glare.

"He's kind of got a point," Roy says. Adam likes Roy. Walt's a dick, but Roy's alright. He'll kill Roy first, and he'll do it quick.

"One wrong move," Walt threatens, "and we'll blow you to Hell and back."

With that, he moves aside, and the door opens just enough for Adam to slip inside.

After all the tests are run, Walt seems a little less on-edge. Just a little.

"The fuck is a kid like you doing hunting, anyway?" Walt says after the last test is finished.

Adam shrugs. "We all start somewhere," he says. "I lost family to those… things," he says, quietly. "And now that I know what I know, I can't just sit around and do nothing." The best part about it is that the whole thing is technically true. He's just dancing around the fact that it's them he's hunting.

"We know how it is," Roy says, nodding to Walt, who is putting away the last of the silver. "My name's Roy," he adds, offering a hand, which Adam takes.

"Walt," says the other Hunter, without looking over.

Adam grins. "I'm guessing you two have had enough Disney jokes to last you a lifetime, so I won't add to the pile."

"Thank you," Walt sighs.

"Well, I'm glad I ran into you guys," Adam says. "I've been on this case for a little bit, and I think I've been doing alright, but I'm pretty new at this. I was hoping you guys would let me tag along, learn a few things by osmosis."

"We don't work with anybody but each other," Walt says simply. For once, it seems to have little-to-no venom in it. "Safer that way," he says.

"Lesson number one," Roy adds. "Family looks out for each other. Family's the only thing you can count on."

"Sorry, kid," Walt says.

Adam tries to look like he's trying to not-look disappointed. "No, no, it's fine. I get it."

"But," Roy says. "We might be able to use your help investigating." He gives Walt a significant look, which Walt concedes to.

"Yeah, fine," he sighs.

Adam tries to look like he's trying not to look excited. "Awesome," he grins.

"We were just about to go check out the place where they found the bodies," Walt says. "Bring your own shit. Don't touch any of my weapons. And don't slow us down."

The Hunter of Hunters nods. "Yes, sir," he says, surprised at how easy it came to him.

"Meet us at the Chevy in the parking lot in 5," Roy says, and Adam shoots up off the bed, a happy smile on his face.

He is dangerous, so fucking dangerous, and sitting in a room with two people who have no idea how very, very fucked they are. There's no high quite like it.

"I'll be there."

"So, uhhh," Adam starts, a little awkwardly as they ride down the road. "Sorry about eavesdropping on you guys."

"'s fine," Walt says. "Hunters gotta be sneaky like that. You got the right idea, just pointing it at the wrong critters."

"You uhhh," Adam continues. "When I started knocking, you said 'that's him,'" he probes cautiously, paying careful attention to their body language to try and note if he's going too far. "You acted like 'he' was pretty fuckin' scary. Anybody I should know about?"

Walt's jaw clenches. Roy's pulse quickens. "Dean Winchester," Walt says. "His brother, Sam, too. They're bad news, kid. Psychos, both of them, damn near ended the world. You hear those names, you high-tail it out of there, you hear?"

Adam fights the sharp-toothed grin that wants to push through his façade now that he's gotten them to admit it. Instead, he nods solemnly. "Got it," he says.

A few minutes later, they pull off the main road and onto the dirt road where Adam planted the bodies. He waits until they're a few yards away from the truck before pulling out the sawed-off shotgun he confiscated from his first Hunter-Kill, and giving it a nice, loud, dramatic cocking for good measure before aiming it at the Disney brothers when they turn around to face him.

"Son of a bitch," Walt seethes. "I knew there was something…"

"Shut up, Walt," Adam says. "You're a douchebag. And you're both stupid as Hell, just for the record."

"Wh-what's this about?" Roy asks.

The guy with the gun gives a grin. "You guys ever hear of a guy named 'John Winchester?'"

Their faces tell him all he needs to know.

"Well, I'm his son. Which more or less makes Sam and Dean my brothers. Now, I don't really like them that much, but that's beside the point. Like you said," he raises the gun towards Roy. "Family's the only thing you can count on." He isn't sure why he's doing this; he really doesn't like Sam, or Dean. And yet… he still feels this odd protectiveness towards them. They might not be his favorite people in the world, but they are still his. They're his brood, his blood, his family, and these assholes can't attack his family and not expect a little retribution.

Walt draws his gun. He's pretty fast, Adam has to admit, but the only reason he was able to do that is the simple fact that Adam has no intention of shooting either one of them. "Put the gun down, kid," Walt says. "You make one false move, and I'll ventilate your ass."

Adam takes a deep breath. "Okay, okay," he says, slowly lowering the gun, before dropping it entirely. "Fine," he says, letting it fall.

By the time it hits the ground, Adam has disappeared.

Roy draws his gun. "Shit!"

Walt looks around wildly. "Shit!"

The creature lands behind Roy, wrenches the gun from his hand and grabs the Hunter by the neck. "Hey, Walt!" he says.

He waits until Walt's eyes are fully on him. And then he twists Roy's head all the way around and lets him fall.

"Roy!" Walt shouts. "You… die you fucking monster piece of SHIT!"

He fires several shots, which Adam dances around with casual ease. Walt's muscles telegraph his every move, painting neon trajectories in the air, telling Adam where every bullet is going before Walt has the trigger even halfway down.

Of course, it's mostly just for show. He stops right in front of Walt, with his forehead pressed to the business end of the Hunter's pistol. Walt wastes no time in firing, and for all his trouble, Adam's head snaps back for just a split second, before he calmly reaches up and pulls the bullet out of the small dent it made in his skull. "Ow," he deadpans.

Walt drops the gun and tries to run, but Adam has him down on the ground with a foot on his face before he makes it even halfway to the truck.

"How does it feel, Walt?" Adam asks. "How does it feel to watch your brother die right in front of you?"

"He's my cousin, you fuckin' trash heap!" Walt spits.

Huh. That's a little disappointing. "Oh," Adam shrugs. "My bad."

He stomps through Walt's neck, which collapses with a thick, wet squish. His severed head rolls a few feet from the sheer force of Adam's footfall.

It isn't long into his meal that he figures out he's not gonna be able to eat two full-sized humans in one sitting. He really isn't sure how he manages one—no matter how much he eats, he never feels any heavier. Ah, well. Just one of Mom's many mysteries, he supposes.

So he settles for eating both of their brains for the yummy tidbits of knowledge therein. Then, he eats Roy's upper half, munches Walt's legs, and finangles the pieces into a single corpse just for fun, before burying them in a shallow grave and driving off in their truck, already thinking about his next hunt. Roy and Walt really didn't have that much to snack on in terms of hunting knowledge, but what they did have were connections. People they could go to for fake IDs, forged documents, weapons and ammo… there were even a few psychics and witch doctors in there. Each one of them the kind of person who refined paranoia from a character trait into a lifestyle, and they'd be damn near impossible to find… if he didn't already know where they were, thanks to the Disney cousins' grey matter snack.

Hunters aren't the most networked people on the planet, but they all have their connections. All Adam has to do is follow the numbers and keep connecting the dots, and soon, he'll have a very pretty picture to show Mom the next time he comes home…

Their ID forger is a guy named Freddie Vickerson. He lives in the basement of a church owned by his uncle, and has forged the place into a veritable antimonster fortress, with seven progressively thicker iron doors forming powerful layers of security, the first of which is simply whether or not Freddie knows him.

"State your name and business," the tinny voice from the intercom.

"Uhhhh, Adam Milligan," he says. "I hear you're the man to see about identification."

"I don't make cards so dumbshit teenagers can buy beer with them. Fuck off, kid," the voice says.

"That's not what I need it for," Adam adds. "I've got… other stuff I need to do with it." He pauses for a second, before adding. "Look, Roy and Walt said you were the guy to see, and I brought cash. Are we gonna do this, or not?"

There's a short silence before the first door buzzes and swings open.

The rest of the security is, of course, non-human tests, which just makes him grin. To him, iron is something in his blood that helps it clot. Salt is delicious, holy water makes excellent mouthwash, and he could probably sprinkle silver on his morning cereal (or his next helping of long pig) with no ill effects. Though he is just a bit more impressed by the penultimate layer, where he is forced to listen to what is apparently an extremely powerful exorcism from start to finish. Freddie is smart enough to know that some demons have their ways around a few of their standard weaknesses, but they almost never have protection against all of them.

Of course, any and all props he gives the guy immediately evaporate in the last layer.

"Strip," the voice says.

Adam balks. "Excuse me?"

"I said 'strip.' Take off your clothes."

"Uhhh, yeah. How about no?" He looks around the room for the camera.

"Look, I make the IDs, I decide the tests. Strip, or leave. It's your choice."

He briefly wonders if he could just smash through the last door, or take down one of the walls to get to the guy directly. "Fuckin' perv..." Adam says, before taking off his jacket and shrugging out of his shirt. "You're getting off on this, aren't you?" he continues as he steps out of his shoes and jeans, taking a short breath before finally dropping his boxers to the ground. It's fucking cold. And he has no idea why he's feeling so weird about this. One of the first things he did after he was remade and released into the world was run full-tilt through the woods, bare-ass naked. It was kind of a rush; made him feel like a genuine animal.

The silence in which he stands there… exposed to the freakin' universe stretches on way too long. "Hey! I'm shriveling up in here! Are you satisfied? Can I put my damn pants back on now?"

The door buzzes and swings open, and Adam yanks his boxers back up before going to put on the rest of his clothes. He comforts himself with the thought that he will be spray-painting graffiti on the walls with this guy's arteries before too long. Stepping into the final antechamber, he sees the greasy-looking guy, dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, sitting behind bulletproof glass. "What do you need?" Freddie says, all business.

"The full set," Adam replies. "Driver's, passport, military, FBI… hell, thrown in a first aid and CPR cert for kicks," he says.

The guy's eyes go a little wide. "The full set… that's a hefty chunk of change, kid. You sure you can afford it?"

Adam reaches into his jeans and pulls out a wad of hundreds, slamming it down on the counter. "Question answered?"

Freddie's eyes bug out for a second before he greedily snatches the offered cash. "There's only—"

"Half now," Adam says. "Half later."

The forger eyes him carefully. "Smart kid," he finally says. "Get outta here. Come back in exactly three days. Not two. Not four. Three days. If you aren't here in three days, I shred these, and keep the money, we clear?"

He holds his hands up in surrender. "Crystal."

Three days later, and he hasn't had anyone in a while. He decided to forego his normal feeding schedule to save room for this asshole, and the hunger is making him… cranky, to say the least.

"State your name and business," the tinny voice says.

He rolls his eyes. "Adam Milligan," he sighs. "I'm here to pick up the IDs I paid you to make exactly three days ago." He may or may not have purposely mocked the guy in control of the door at the end there. Whatever.

The door buzzes and lets him through.

Again, with every single test. Silver. Salt. Iron. Holy Water.

The fucking exorcism.

"We've done this already," he seethes. "Open the fucking door!"

The exorcism keeps right on playing until the end. It takes seven fucking minutes.

By the seventh layer, he is fresh out of patience.


Which is why he loses it just a little bit here.

His expression goes completely blank as he casually shrugs out of his clothes again. When the door buzzes and opens, he steps right through in all his glory.

"Whoa!" Freddie says, shielding his eyes. "Hey, kid, you forgetting something? Jesus!"

"Nope," Adam says, smiling and spreading his arms. "Just a little pressed for time. You got the stuff?"

"Yeah, yeah," he says, still hiding his eyes in the crook of his arm. "It's right here," he says, flailing around before pushing an envelope under the glass.

Adam takes a second to browse the contents. As annoying as the guy is, Adam has to admit his work is solid. "Good job," he says. "I'll make this quick."

"…wait, what?" Freddie asks.

Adam answers him by leaping up onto the counter and punching clear through the bulletproof glass.

"HOLY SHIT," Freddie says as he scrambles out of his chair and tries to run.

He doesn't get far.

The worst part about it is that Adam finds out, right in the middle of slurping his grey matter; he really was getting off on the last chamber.

Even though the guy is dead, Adam can't help but feel a little creeped out by the whole thing. He gets dressed in record time, and resolves to make good use of this little outpost.

He manages to snag no less than four Hunters before they stop showing up. Turns out, those doors are just as handy for keeping people in as they are for keeping people out.

The fake IDs make life much more fun. At this point, he has enough hunting knowledge to function as an actual hunter… of sorts. He does the things that most hunters do. He watches for the signs of monster activity—mysterious deaths, mutilated corpses, sudden upshots of suicides, accidents, disappearances—and follows them. He dives in headfirst, conducts investigations, impersonates everyone from janitors to Federal Agents. And at the end of the day, he identifies his targets, heads in and executes them.

The difference, of course, being that Adam is hunting the Hunters. And most of them never even see him coming. They think they are the Hunters, too focused on their targets to see what stalks them in the night.

Of course, that is most of them.

As time passes, they start putting up more of a fight.

The British lady—Tamara, he thinks her name was— gives him a serious run for his money. He doesn't know how she figures out that he isn't human. Maybe she doesn't. Maybe she just assumed he was a creepy stalker rapist or something. Either way, she somehow catches him in an off moment and he nearly eats a fragmentation grenade for his trouble. Not that something like that would've actually killed him, but if it had blown up on him, she might've been able to get away and blab his identity, and that would've made his little game a lot harder, not to mention get him in serious trouble with his own family. Fortunately, he manages to disembowel her before she can call for help.


She is a small sign of a larger problem. The Hunters know that something is up. Loosely connected as they are, they can apparently spread the word quick when it really matters. Sure, they don't know what he is or even what he looks like, but they know that something is after them. They're more paranoid than ever, which means he has to try harder. And while part of him welcomes the challenge, another part knows that he is dangerously close to blowing his cover and really getting on his brothers' bad sides.

He really shouldn't be surprised that one of them shows up one day to inform him of such.

It is not a polite conversation.

The Alpha Wolf jumps out of fucking nowhere in the middle of an alleyway, sinks massive teeth into Adam's neck and hurls him against the wall. He immediately pounces on the newest Alpha, ripping and tearing chunks of flesh from every part he can get his jaws on before Adam gives a snarl of his own and tosses him off. He scrambles to his feet and locks eyes with the Pack Leader, his posture an open challenge even as he stands covered in his own blood.

"You were told to lie low. To wait for your signal. This is not waiting," the Wolf growls.

Adam regards him with nonchalance. "Sorry, got a little stir-crazy, decided to help you guys out, you know, since you apparently can't help yourselves."

"Watch your tone, pup," the Wolf warns. "I will not tolerate insolence. I am not as patient as She."

He is young and restless, full of energy and maybe just a little bit cocky. He throws his arms out. "You're just jealous. I'm doing what you never could."

The Wolf is upon him again, but this time, he is ready. He catches the Wolf's gnashing teeth with his claws, holds his jaws apart as they try to close around his neck. They struggle for a few seconds before Adam wrestles the Alpha to the ground. His victory is short lived, however, as the Wolf sinks his claws into the pavement and uses the leverage to twist himself out of Adam's grasp. He chomps onto Adam's leg and slams him against the ground, before Adam kicks him in the head hard enough to disorient him. In a split second, Adam is back on his feet and charging forward, his own fangs gleaming in the moonlight, tearing at the Alpha's neck and plunging his claws as far into the beast's chest as they will go. The Alpha Wolf recovers after only a moment, smacking Adam off and regarding him carefully. The two Alphas continue to struggle for dominance even as they take a moment to rest.

"You play a dangerous game, Orphan," the Wolf growls after a few moments. "Do not expect mercy from the others when they hear about your disobedience."

"I am not disobeying Her," Adam snarls. "I'm taking out the ones who prey on us. I leave no one alive. I haven't turned anyone, and I haven't even hinted at what I'm actually capable of."

"Secrecy is crucial. If you botch this, you will spend your days wishing you could die until the next time She stirs. Watch yourself," the Pack Leader grumbles as a final warning, before leaping into the sky and vanishing into the night. Adam takes a moment to bask in his victory, feeling the rush of adrenaline that only a really good fight can bring him. The primal power he holds scratches against his veins, longs to find an outlet and escape. He winds up killing three people that night just to calm himself down.

As it turns out, he is just fortunate enough to find that one of them was the Hunter he was tracking here. Adam doesn't even know his name until he starts eating, but when he realizes what he's stumbled upon without even meaning to, he wants to get up and dance.

It's a Campbell.

Throughout the Hunting community, the Campbells are both incredibly well-known and an utter mystery. They work with no one but each other, specializing in a variety of monsters, holding lore and knowledge that other Hunters have never even dreamed of. It is this system of family-only partnership, the closed-circuit connection of knowledge that makes the Campbells reviled among the Hunters for being stingy with their knowledge, but it is also this that has enabled them to function so effectively for so long. They are one of the few true dynasties of hunting, and even those who hate them have to admit that they are among the best in the business. No one knows anything concrete about the Campbells except other Campbells…

Well, until now. Maybe chowing down on one of them technically makes him an honorary family member or something. After all, he does have their blood flowing through him, for the time being, at least…

Soon, he'll have a lot more than that. Because now, he knows the name and location of every single Campbell, right up to the tippy top of the food chain, Big Daddy Samuel, the Hunter Supreme. Once Adam sinks his teeth into that noggin… well, it'll be easier to keep track of what he doesn't know.

He raises the hunter's broken skull to his lips and tips it like a cereal bowl, slurping up the last of the juices and wiping the little bit that spills on his sleeve. He smiles as he reclines on the hotel rooftop, a good meal in his stomach and bright plans for the future on his mind. His back rests against an air conditioning unit, the bright, beautiful full moon beaming down at him. The sky shines with millions of stars that no human can see, and for a second, he feels like they are all shining just for him. The sound of the city, of human life, spins around him at a dizzying speed, and he knows that all it would take is a single outstretched hand to unravel the tapestry into a thousand threads of secrets. There is nothing but possibility in front of him, and soon, She will give the word, and his real purpose can finally… shall we say… come to light.

For now, he has plans of his own to see through. The Campbells should be an interesting bunch, to say the least, and he is positively electrified with excitement at the prospect of meeting them.

In the deepest part of his being, in the core of his cells, in the pit of his bones, the fabric of his marrow, he feels another layer of Her consciousness shudder with wakefulness before spinning into life, and his smile grows ten times wider. He knows that with one of Her countless mouths, She is smiling back.

It's good to be alive.