Chapter 4

~ Present Day ~

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Curren sighed. His past nights had been spent in eerie exile, while Jim erased the threat opposing him. The Ape Clan only tired him, now. He used to think of them as a threat, and finding the dead Pack bodies in Kate's apartment was hard, but after it was all explained and straightened out, it worked.

She was here, now, sleeping against his bare chest. His Queen, not theirs. Jim had left her out of the rest of the proceedings, telling her to sleep. She was back-up. Otherwise, Aunt B was heading a group of them, including Derek and Raphael, and another dozen or two.

They could handle themselves. Couldn't they? Damn doubt. Always there . . .

Kate stirred . . . false alarm. She rolled over, out of his arms, out of his warmth, with a thin white blanket wrapped around her naked form.

Temptation almost overcame Curren, but in the end, he just stared at her, glad that the games of cat and mouse had finished. He brushed a lock of hair out of her eyes, to reveal the gleaming face beneath – that was the last pleasant memory for awhile . . .

An urgent nock rapped out on the door; after consent to come in, Jim entered.

Curren had gotten up, piled Kate high with blankets, and had thrown on a pair of Pack issued sweatpants.

They stood in the doorway, to prevent waking Kate.

"Aunt B's asking for her, Curren – we need her. You know as much as I she would hate to find out you wouldn't let her. Plus, she has just as much at stake here then any of us."

"What's the reason, what's so special and important? Huh? Why do we have to wake her?"

"Because," started Jim, as he slumped against the doorframe, "Derek needs someone on his tail."

"And why Kate?"

"Because B knows she can trust Kate."

"But she has Raphael, why would she need another she could . . ." Curren's face went sour as he predicted the words about to be spoken to him.

"Raph's dead, Curren – they sliced him up into cubes, and sent them to B this morning, an hour ago . . ."

Curren wavered momentarily; Raphael was a trusted Pack member, a high valued one, and he would be missed, most heavily by Andrea.

"I see-"

"You two pussies going to ask my opinion?" Kate interrupted, as she climbed out of a mountain of sheets. Grabbing one of the longest, she wrapped it around her chest and knees.

Jim shied his eyes way, as Kate walked forward.

"Well, Kate, what's your opinion?" antagonizingly questioned Curren, as he glared at the wall; pure hated leeched off of his body. Quite a drastic change, for so short a time, but the Royal pair were not known for being on eachother good side fifty per cent of the time, or forty, or in this case twenty . . .

"I accept – I'll take the Chopper. Have it be fueled, Jim, and tell them to expect me within the hour."


"Yes, an hour."

"Their kinda . . . um . . . three states away."

"Fine, I'll need a briefing – get it done."

For once in his life, Jim stepped down. This was one fight he wouldn't win, or at least contribute to; as to Curren . . .

"You will-" Jim ran before he could hear more, more of their squabbling. After a quick smoke, he went on his way, to get everything organized.

"How much farther?" shouted Kate, from an altitude of 20,000 feet, to the Pack member piloting the Copter.

"Two miles yet, just relax hun'," she replied, "we'll be there any moment – it'll be done in no time. Want to go over the plan once more?"

"No," Kate quickly answered. She knew what she needed to do.
Tail Derek, help if needed, if not, stay on the sidelines. Simply enough, right? Well, lets hope.

As they passed over a stream, Kate looked down; a huge field, with low grasses, and few trees. Most were oaks. Maybe a Willow now and then, around the streams. The one beneath was the fifth stream Kate could remember traveling over.

The breeze shifted Kate's long hair, as it seemingly swam in the air – her black jumpsuit fit her well. Black cord was clipped to the base of the helicopter, and within a moment, Kate could rappel down it and help Derek within twenty seconds.

Sadly, she was just in time to see it happen, the tragedy which she was about to witness.

As a blurred image came in view, in the dim sunset, she made out Derek.

Derek tensed. His hackles rouse as he searched the night before him. His nose caught the scent a millisecond before it happened.
A furry lump of fur raged forward, muscles turning as it ran on its hands and hind legs. Matted hair hung from his entire form. Brown fur. A squished in face which looked dumb and brooding.
Derek lunged at the brute, his body morphing into that of a timber wolf. Gray fur spread the length of his body, and his jowls grew. He was too tired from running to go into Warrior form.
They both collided, Derek's claws raked against the Apes face – the Apes huge slabs-of-meat-for-hands coming together to squeeze the life out of Derek's body.
Derek lunged his ferocious jaws into the Apes neck, biting away at the soft flesh, making his way to the lungs underneath.
The Ape, in turn, yelled a painful scream out of primal instincts, then wrenched the wolf off his neck and threw him across the field to a tree.
The tree was a low branched Ash. The field in which they had finally found themselves was a littered with thigh high grass, weeds and roots to trip over, and stones on which to fall and bruise with. There were few other trees besides the Maple tree, being only a small grouping of Ash trees. The sky overhead was littered with bright stars, and a crescent moon lit what it could.
Quickly, Derek got out of the tree. He leaped down to the ground with little effort as he ran once more to meet the Gorilla.
Coming out of nowhere, with a massive fist, the Gorilla slammed Derek's head. He stopped for a moment, to assess the damage.
The young wolf's head looked badly damaged, and blood leaked out of a gash.
The Gorilla smiled, his body rippling as it changed back to human. His features where sharp and bold. His black silk hair was held in a cow-lick, and his face looked boyish as well. Burgundy eyes peered through his eye-sockets.
He wore a poorly tailored suit, and as he knelt done beside Derek - his own wound forgotten - he brought a knife out from somewhere inside his suit.
He slid the pale blade across Derek's unconscious face, and his eyes filled with insanity. He licked the blade once, than brought it back down to Derek's face . . .

The man looked up, suddenly aware of the helicopters noise. He took a fleeting look at it, to estimate the people coming . . . it could be one, it could be seven – either way, he wasn't staying long enough to find out.

Slitting Derek's wrist, the Ape man ran along on his journey, hoping luck was on his side.

Kate rappelled down, right on top of his medium sized head, knocking him to the ground.

His suit tore as he fell, ripped on a particularly nasty rock; throwing it off, the man retook his footing, and launched himself forward, running as fast as his legs could carry him. His silhouette is still rumored to be seen, from the precise angle . . .

Kate hurried over to Derek, as she shrieked. He was dead.

"Derek!" she yelled, as she went to her knees, kneeling next to him. Instantly, she took out her R kit, and threw the wrap around his wrists and head. As she did such, the Copter landed down behind her. The two pilots stepped out, a first aid kit was held in ones hand, and the other's hand was occupied with a .22 rifle.

As one rushed to Kate's side, the other took off shots at the escaping Ape. They were potshots – couldn't have hit in a million years.

Kate sat back; she would just get in the way.

After a moment, the lady spoke.

"He's alive, barely-"

"Derek! Wake up, wake . . ."

"He'll take another moment or two," peacefully responded the medic/pilot, as it tried to calm Kate down.

Kate retaliated by smacking Derek awake, to which he responded with a boyish grin.

"Why Kate, never thought . . . I'd see . . . you, again . . . for a few . . . years," he responded, winded.


"Hell, Kate; it would . . . catch up . . . with us eventually."

Shrugging her consent, Kate stepped back from the whole thing. She gazed around, her eyes finally fell on the tattered suit. On impulse, she went to pick it up. As she did so, a scrap of paper fluttered to the ground.

Picking it up, Kate read the address. She recognized it – it was her's. Great – wait a moment . . .

She hadn't been to her apartment for day, what could be lying in wait for her? Within a day, she would know, and that was a promise!

"Curren dear?" asked Kate, on her phone.

"Yes?" he cautiously replied.

"Could you send over one of your transports, hun'."

"What's the problem?"

"Oh, nothing," Kate said, as she hid a smirk, "I just have a load to get off, and thought you were the person to give too . . ."

Kate disconnected, knowing he'd come eventually.

As she turned around, eight Apes lay on top of the other, each tied to the other. In all, they looked like a huge, smelly, furry, rubber band ball, with all of their different colors . . . Agh, to much touchy feely.

Kate turned to the door, where she saw the two pilots and Derek grinning back at her.

"He'll be here any moment," she assured them, as she contentedly took a seat in silence . . .

~ Kalen Bloodstone ~