The Last Hunter Ch. 01byJoedoe1025©
Authors note: All characters, organizations, creatures, and events are fictitious in nature and are not meant in any way, shape, or form to represent any entity in reality. All similarities are purely coincidental and should be disregarded as a fictitious work of writing. Any characters who are involved in or conduct in sexual acts are over the age of 18. The chapters of this story also may contain graphic, or disturbing imagery and should be read at your own risk.
A secondary note: characters used from Whitesabertooth's Kiss of the Moon series of stories and events in reference to those stories are the property of whitesabertooth, the universe I use is the same universe she has written it and is used with her express permission. This is my own spin-off of events from a new perspective and does not reflect the views of whitesabertooth.
Hey guys, I just wanted to thank you all for the overwhelming amount of views and positive feedback. Before I start this next chapter I wish to clarify a few things for how things will operate as to postings and such. This story is going to be comprised of small chapters (well 8 pages in Microsoft word but none the less...) this is because of a few things, mainly the time it takes to write each chapter. I was originally going to push for 12-15 pages a chapter however my writing style and the events I've got planned out for each chapter won't allow a overwhelming amount of pages but considering it took me a month to figure out this chapter I had to rethink my strategy. Know that this will also keep the quality you all seem to appreciate, and in the long run the chapters will come faster (every 2-3 weeks, kinks not withstanding)
Secondly I want to just reassure everyone that I do in fact have whitesabertooths permission to use her universe (as stated in my disclaimer) and that the story might not make a lot of sense right now, but in the end it all will, so be patient, enjoy the ride, and without further ado, here's chapter one!
The Last Hunter Ch .01 Fever Dreams
Joe felt somewhat detached from his body as his mind slowly began to resurface. He could feel him being dragged along the ground on top of something, with a fierce burning sensation coursing through him whenever he was jostled. He weakly looked about to see that the forest was slowly going by but could tell that whoever was dragging his broken body was taking him up to his cabin. He felt a surge of pain as the stretcher ran over a large rock and groaned in pain. All motion stopped as he felt eyes focusing on him from behind. He tried to move but his body protested with another fiery shock of pain. He felt the front end of the stretcher lower as and saw motion outside the side of his peripheral vision as a canteen was gently raised to his lips. He drank carefully feeling pain anytime he took a large swallow. The canteen was pulled back and he felt a finger press against his wrist, checking his pulls before the figure went back to pulling the stretcher. Joe oddly enough didn't feel any fear, or anything for that matter, just a soothing calm as his mind drifted back into the darkness of slumber and dreams.
Micah watched her charge drift back to sleep, the man was a bloody wreck, and almost certainly would go into shock if she wasn't diligent on checking him. She shook her head a bit to clear her long brown curls from her face before she picked up the end of the impromptu stretcher she had fashioned out of sticks and what remained of the man's clothes, save his boxers. She kept dragging him along, following the sent trail he had inadvertently left behind when he stalked her captors. Time seemed to drag on forever as she kept moving, stopping only to check his pulse. Damn it, this would be so much easier if I could shift. She thought to herself, as her stomach rumbled loudly; a stark reminder that her captors hadn't fed her in the three days they had been dragging her along forgotten logging roads and game trails after being kidnapped after getting off the bus in Missoula.
Motherfuckers could have at least given me a sandwich or something. She gritted her teeth as she dragged the stretcher over the ridge and was welcomed by the sight of a small cabin and corral of animals. She almost jumped for joy before a moan escaped the lips of the man. Hang on just a bit longer... She pulled him into the cabin gently, searching shortly for a first aid kit before patching him up as quickly and thoroughly as she knew how. She now regretted not having paid attention to the lessons the pack healer tried to teach her after her parents insisted she learn some of his skills.
She worked quickly and in silence, carefully cleaning and stitching his deep lacerations and carefully bandaging the punctures from where the wolf's teeth had bitten down hard. The more she worked, the more dire his injuries became apparent, tallying up to at least four broken ribs and completely shattered scapula and clavicle, and more flesh wounds and lacerations than she cared to count. Goddess of the moon... how is he still ALIVE? She asked silently to herself after she finished, laying him in the only bed in the entire cabin. She looked at him closely, for the first time really noticing his features before shaking her head. Focus. I can't afford to get distracted. She looked at him closer before she finally got up and walked to the small kitchen to raid whatever he had in the fridge. He's really handsome though... She idly thought before she began feasting on what was in the fridge.
Joe crashed through the brush and stumbled, his body rolling to keep from hurting himself as he hit the ground only to get back up and take off running again. He looked over his shoulder to see the burning red eyes still right on his heels as they ducked and wove through the forest. Joe pumped his short ten year old legs as hard as he could, hearing the snarls and the roars of the creatures that dogged his every step. He tripped over a root and fell hard, his face slamming into the dirt as he panicked, sprawling to get back up.
He stopped dead in his tracks as he heard one of the creatures get closer to him, he turned slowly to see a huge and menacing monstrosity of man and beast as it snarled and walked closer, its red eyes almost piercing deep into Joe's soul as his lips upturned into a menacing grin of sharp fangs. Joe cried out, "Stop, Please stop, leave me alone.... I don't wana die!" his tiny voice echoing across the forest. The creature kept approaching, almost within reach stopping only a fraction of an inch from him.
It stood there looking up past Joe, and he turned to see a great red fox standing there, growling at the beast its gleaming white teeth bared in a vicious growl. The monster snarled and charged the fox, which artfully dodged and sank its fangs into the arm of the beast, causing it to howl in rage. Joe watched in awe as the fox jumped to and fro, scratching and biting the creature while dodging its counter attacks. The deadly dance seemed to go on for hours, the fox easily running circles around the enraged beast. The monster slowly but surely retreated to the safety of the forest leaving Joe and the fox in the clearing, its yellow gold eyes looking at him before it pressed its snout to his head enveloping them both in a brilliant white light. It's time to wake up.
Joe groaned and looked about the room, just as the young woman walked in carrying a tray of broth and water. Joe tried vainly to sit up before the pain in his body forced him back down to the pillows. "Don't try to get up, you'll bust open your stitches." The woman said as she cautiously raised him, using a pillow to prop him up. Joes head swam for a minute before he focused on the food in front of him, his stomach growling loudly. "Mmmhmm I thought you might be hungry." The woman chuckled as she raised a spoonful of broth to his lips. He ate it eagerly, his mind slowly starting to process what it was seeing.
"Who are you and how did I end up here in my cabin?" he asked as he realized the bed he was laying in was his own, the woman however only looked vaguely familiar, almost as if she were in a dream...or horrible nightmare. "I'm Micah," the woman said introducing herself as she feeds him another spoonful of broth, "and as for how you got here, I dragged you on an a stretcher up here, it was the closest place I could set you down to work on stopping your bleeding." Joe processed the information a bit as he continued to be fed, his brain vaguely remembering the pain of being jarred and rocked across the ground in something.
"Well now you know who I am, how about you tell me what your name is?" Micah asked as he finished the last spoonful of broth. Joe thought for a moment, trying to focus his mind that just wanted to curl up and sleep, now that he was fed. "Joe Aster." He said with a mighty yawn, she laid him back down and covered him with blankets as his mind was claimed by the sleep his body was demanding.
Joe was walking down a long corridor, his saber hung at his side as the guide led him down to the depths of the compound. His combat boots made barely a sound on the cool concrete as he felt the cool chill of being deep below ground through the small military style cropped hair. They stopped at a pair of large steel doors, with gentle writing scrolled around the emblem of the order. Joe looked close and read the inscription. Walk with our savior with your head held high, for thy judgment is that of the human race. He knew it as a quote from the first and only true master of the order, Victor Van Hellsing. He looked at his parents and his young sister, their smiles bright but tainted only with a bit of fear for him. He hugged them close. "Don't worry. This is what I've been training for, I'll come out alive." He said to them soothingly before he stepped back, only to see them gone. His eyes looked around, but he didn't see them, and felt hurt that they didn't even say goodbye. He shook it off, and looked at the door again, this time the hairs on the back of his neck raising, feeling like he was being watched before he took a breath and opened the door into the ring....
He looked about the small coliseum; all he could see was a small ray of light that shone down on a small figure in the center ring. He walked slowly, his ears straining in the deafening silence of the area. His mind screamed at him to turn around, leave and never return. He silenced the quiet voice as he came to the small crumpled figure. The young were looked at him, her eyes hollow and accusing through her tangled red hair. Joe felt a pain in his chest, as he slowly realized who this girl was as a small tear escaped his eye. The girl stood and growled at him, slowly walking towards him, her eyes changing to a deep, glowing red as she snarled. Joe stood there, and watched as the girl grew, her human form slipping as a snarling beast stood before him, the same that had plagued him in the forest.
Joe shook his head as his mind battled his guilt. "Please, I don't want to kill you. Just go away." The beast roared as it walked towards Joe, who retreated in a vain attempt to escape. The monster snarled as it got closer to its prey, its long deadly claws ready to rend the human to shreds. Joe felt the cold wall behind him as he looked for an escape, but there was none as the monster grew closer, its red eyes burning. Suddenly it stopped, dead in its tracks as a lone howl was heard. Joes mind suddenly cleared, no longer afraid of the beast as it looked at him in pure rage. He drew his saber, brandishing the weapon as it became cloaked in a faint light. The monster lunged forward, moving in for the kill as Joe's shout was heard, meeting the beast head on...
Joe stood over the body of the young girl, her eyes looking at him pleadingly in defeat. Joe gripped the hilt of his saber harder in indecision, he could hear the faint roar of the bloodthirsty crowd as it taunted him, crying for the girls blood. Joe took a breath and looked around the crowd, seeing the shadowy forms of the Order officers moving with excitement. His eyes slowly came to rest on a lone fox sitting in the crowd, watching him; her eyes seemingly burrowing into his soul, almost asking him what he was going to do. He looked down at the girl who clutched the stub that once was her arm as it tried to stop her bleeding. He knew this girl was doomed, and if he didn't kill her they'd both be killed. Survival of the fittest the small voice in the back of his head whispered as he swung his sword in its deadly arc, severing her head from her body.
Suddenly there was nothing. Joe stood there in the black recesses of his mind, somewhat aware that he was dreaming, but yet not dreaming. He could hear faint movements but could not see where they came from. "Hello?" he called to the inky blackness. When no answer returned to him he began to walk, no direction in particular and soon he could make out a faint shape in the darkness. He walked closer, squinting to see before the fox bounded in front of him, her hackles rising as she snarled at him. Joe stumbled back, falling promptly onto his ass as the fox trotted over to him, looking at him in the eyes. You should not be here. Her mind flashed at him. His body trembled as the words seemed to echo in the space around them."Where is here?" he asked honestly. He didn't understand where he even was. He's coming, it's time for you to wake up. The fox pressed its snout to his head and the whole world was gone in a brilliant flash of light.
Micah was sweating bullets as she pulled herself out of Joes mind, never in her life had she seen such troubled nightmares than the ones Joe was having. She carefully got up from the small wooden chair as she moved into the cabins living area before she plopped down on the couch. She groaned a bit as her half-healed ribs protested such a rough landing but she didn't care, her mind was focused on other things. Goddess Luna above, what have I gotten myself into? She thought silently to herself. It had been a week since Joe's botched attempt to save her from those thugs, which means a little over a month since she slipped away from her pack to explore the world. Daddy always said the world was dangerous outside the pack, but I never realized this much shit could hit the fan. He's gonna be even more pissed now though. She rubbed her eyes a bit as she shrunk at the thought of her father finding out about this mess.
She laid there on the couch for a bit, her small but moderate build fitting it like a glove as she stretched gently as not to anger her ribs any further. She stared at the ceiling aimlessly with her brown eyes as her mind turned over what she knew. More than a few times after he had passed out she had gone through the cabin top to bottom, going through his possessions to learn as much as she could about him, and turned up almost nothing. The fire in the hearth burned low, crackling every once and a while as she closed her eyes and thought over his dreams she had watched unfold in his mind. He obviously had some kind of past... but she couldn't discern what could be past experience or just terrible nightmares. All she knew is that his newly forming beast was fighting to claw out of him and she had to do her best to keep that nightmare of a creature from his mind until he was healed.
Her ears picked up the sounds of Joe waking up, hearing the growling of his stomach. She chuckled a bit, I swear he could out eat a were. She got up and reheated some stew she had cooked the night before on the stove before walking into the bedroom. "Morning sleepy head, how do you feel?" she asked cheerfully. Joe looked at her as he blinked the sleep from his eyes and studied the room for a moment before throwing the covers back. Micah gently caught him as he tried to get up. "Whoa, you need slow down there. Your wounds haven't healed up yet." At least they shouldn't be, she thought quietly. Joe grunted a bit under the strain. "bathroom," he said. She nodded in acknowledgement supporting him to the small bath room and sitting him on the toilet before walking out to give him some privacy as she checked on the stew, which was nice and warm as she dished it up.
Joe flushed the toilet and washed his hands and face carefully and hobbled out of the bathroom and was almost to the living area before Micah swooped in and supported him. "Settle down Joe. Let me help you." She told him softly as she gently lead him to the couch. "Sorry, just needed to move around a bit, and get out of that bed for a bit." He replied calmly as he gently sat on the couch.
When Micah was sure he was ok, she brought over a bowl of stew to him and a small canteen of water. "Eat and drink all of it. I heard your stomach growl from here." She chuckled a bit. She knew any normal person wouldn't have heard but to a Were it was loud enough to be heard from almost any room as long as it was quiet. Joe attacked the meal with gusto even before she finished her sentence, barely taking time to chew between mouthfuls. "Slow down or you're going to make yourself sick." She chastised lightly, and Joe slowed down a little bit, but in the span of a half hour, not only did he finish that bowl, but second and third helpings as well.
He sat back when he finished with a contented sigh and looked at Micah. "Sorry bought all this miss..." he paused for a moment before flushing a little as he realized he forgot her name. "Micah, Micah Viden," she answered, waving off his botched attempt of a apology, "and don't be sorry, I knew that you'd need a lot of care when I dragged you up here. You didn't force me to help you." Besides, how else am I supposed to repay you for saving my neck, she thought quietly, shivering at the thought of where she could have ended up. "Are you cold?" Joe asked with slight concern, he noticed her shiver and hoped that she wasn't coming down with something serious. Micah shook her head, "I'm fine, just a bit tired. I'll take a nap in a while." Joe nodded, as he gently stretched a bit, wincing a bit as his body protested.
"How long have I been out for?" he asked as he rubbed his ribs a bit. Micah leaned back against the wall as she thought. "About a week, give or take a day. Not surprising considering how banged up you were." She said. Joe rubbed his temples slowly trying to piece together what happened in his head. "Try not to think about it for a bit, for now you need rest." She said as she walked over to him, before stopping dead in her tracks. Joes eyes had snapped open and narrowed before he looked at his bandaged arms. Oh shit. She thought as she could smell his panic. "Calm down Joe." She said slowly, coming a bit closer. Joe looked at her in recognition, his mind had finally snapped all the pieces together as he recognized the woman he had saved a week ago. "You.... You were being held captive by those thugs...." He said slowly as the images started to slash through his mind, he started to shake as he realized what had happened his eyes going wide as he shook his head in disbelief. "Oh sweet savior above.... I've been bitten.... That means...."
Micah gently tried to take his hands but he shot up escaping her hands. "You have to get away from me...." He said looking around in panic, his mind reeling from the realization that he was infected. "Go, run before I turn into.... Into... one of those THINGS." He started to tear at his bandages in panic his heart racing. "Joe, you have to calm down." Micah said sternly, not budging from her spot, "nothing bad it going to happen." He shook his head in disbelief, he had seen what happens to people who got scratched or bitten by were, and how they turn into those nightmares of creatures before they went on rampages. "Bullshit, I'm infected." He said angrily, he paced and looked at the door before he bolted. "JOE!" Micah shouted chasing him as he ran out of the cabin, stumbling off the porch before picking himself up. Joe ran as hard as he could into the forest, stumbling over roots and smacking into low hanging branches as his body screamed in pain.