11 January 2012

Chapter 5: A Dish Served Cold

(Chapter 1) 
(Chapter 2)

Palmer, Alaska:

Val heard the phone ringing before she even got the office door unlocked. "Hold your horses, hold your horses," she muttered to herself as she plopped her bag on the desk.  "Good morning, MHI Alaska."

The phone crackled in her ear. "Val? Rick here. We're mopping things up in Sitka; no injuries. But I'm hearing reports of something in the Valley near you. Have you gotten any other calls?"

"No, Rick, but I just walked in. Let me check the voicemail, and I'll get back to you. Take care."

She started the coffee pot, then went back to her desk and pressed "play" on the phone.  "You have ... seventeen ... messages," it announced.

The first message was garbled, and she couldn't understand what the man's voice was saying. But the screaming in the background was loud and clear.

Oh, crap, she thought. No rest for the weary.

* * * * *


"Rick, did Val know anything?" Jim asked.

"Not yet, but ..."  Rick was interrupted by his cell phone ringing. He glanced at the caller I.D. "It's Val calling back. ... Hello?"

"Val here. We got a lot of messages about something breaking into cabins between Glennallen and Copper Center, during the night. Most of the reports made it sound like wolves or bears, but one guy claims he saw a moose with red eyes. Sound familiar?"

"It can't be Harvey; I killed him myself," Rick said.

"So you guys heading up there?" Val asked.  "Yeah, we'd better. This is starting to sound like the '70s all over again," Rick replied.

"So Rick, you've mentioned Harvey before, but I never heard the whole story," Tom said. "Are you gonna clue us in?"

"Okay," he said. "Let's get Jamie on the phone. Find out when she and Sandy will be done playing in Angoon. Then saddle up and head back to the airport. We're going to Copper Center ... and I'll tell you about Harvey on the plane."

* * * * *


Jamie and Sandy looked at ... well, whatever it was that was making the ground shake. The thing was massive, surrounded by a dark shadow that made it difficult to see.

"That thing's freakin' huge," Jamie said. "What do you think it is?"

Sandy shook his head. "I thought the humpback was big, but this ... thing ... could eat it for lunch. So what do you think? Do we need backup?"

Jamie grinned fiercely. "Not yet. I want to get in the air and try Daddy's wolf guns on it."

He shook his head. A lot of the Hunters were gung ho, but Jamie was a real fire-eater. She was the first to volunteer, and usually the last to leave ... and by far the most ruthless monster-killer on the team.

There was no one he'd rather be there with.

* * * * *

30 miles south of Copper Center, near Willow Creek, Alaska:

The door shook again. They had all the furniture in the small hunting cabin piled up in front of the door, but each impact seemed to push the stuff back a couple of inches.

Thud. They looked at each other with something close to fear in their eyes. Rifles already loaded, they had their backs to the opposite side of the cabin when the nine inch razor-like claws came through the wall like it was cardboard, and dragged them kicking and screaming into the snow. 

The screaming didn't last long, but the bloody trail of clothing scraps, intestines and other soft tissues seemed to go on forever.

* * * * *


"Can't you make this thing climb any faster?" Sandy asked. He was gripping the door frame so hard that his knuckles were white.

"Baby's doing the best she can, Sandman. You should learn to relax," Jamie replied with a grin.

Sandy tried to grin back, but the smile fled like it was in unfamiliar territory. "Easy for you to say. You're not the one who's going to jump out onto the ... um ... whatever, with dynamite."

"I'd jump, but someone's gotta fly this plane. Daddy would have my butt for breakfast if I bend it."

Sandy shook his head. Details of the large creature - that's all it could be - were easier to see from the air. "We seem to be saying it a lot today, but what the heck is that?"

"I don't know, buddy, but let's see how it likes .50 caliber machine guns with this new sintered silver ammo. It just arrived from Milo's workshop ... or armory ... or whatever he calls it."

"Little of shop of goodies, maybe. I'm glad Milo's on our side," Sandy said.

Jamie leveled the plane's flight. "Hang onto something. The recoil shakes Baby pretty hard."


DISCLAIMER: I do not own MHI or any of its characters; those are owned and copyright Larry Correia. I only claim the ones I've created. And a BIG h/t to Mr. Correia for creating such a wonderful universe in which to play, and for his kind permission to use his concepts here.

A h/t also to Jenny S., who contributed a couple of crucial ideas to improve this short story and the book cover & team patch above. Her help has been invaluable, both here and in my first book.


Stephen said...

I need to cut and paste and print the story, with your permission of course, and take it home and read. I'm two chapters behind. Well done.

Rev. Paul said...

Of course, Stephen; I write this for myself and for my friends. Please feel free.

Anonymous said...

Read the latest chapter(s) and they are very good. So when do we get to find out what is in the water??????