Disclaimer: I’m ad-libbing from memory on stories that happened almost two years ago. If there’s errors, let me know and I’ll ammend them.
Disclaimer 2: This chronicle is for mature audiences only.
The group continued North, Valentina taking the lead in her truck, followed by Anthony, and the rest of the nascent pack in the bed of Jake’s truck. They travelled in silence, not knowing how to talk to each other, wondering if they could put their lives in the hands of the person sitting across from them. Each had come from packs, real packs that bled and fought like family. They had each felt like an outsider amongst those packs. Each felt that undeniable desire to be a pack, to feel that tight knit trust, but none knew how to even begin building that relationship.
“Crap,” Jake muttered to himself seeing the gas tank needle fall into the red zone. He had meant to get gas earlier, but healing shotgun pellets out of his face must have distracted him. Up ahead, he saw a gas station.
Val pulled off to the side of the station when she saw Jake’s turning light flash. Anthony followed suit.
“I’m gonna go and pay, one of you put 87 into it?” Jake had wanted to make it an order, but it came out as a request. He had wanted to try and start flexing his authority in his new pack, but too much of his old pack crept into his voice. He had hated being the omega of the pack, he didn’t want that to happen again.
“I’m hungry,” Troy spoke suddenly and jumped out of the bed of the truck. He noticed a SUV at the other set of tanks. ‘Wow, they must have been doing a ass load of off-roading,’ he thoght to himself. The truck was caked in a whitish road dust. The longer his gaze rested on the vehicle, the more he noticed. There was a definite leak dripping from the under carriage, and one of the side windows was broken. He walked over to check it out.
Inside the station, Jake was paying the attendant, but kept an eye on the group in the back. There was something off about them, clustered in the back around the small camping section. Exiting, Jake saw the group moving towards the front counter, each one of them had an armload of small propane tanks. Jake shook his head, it wasn’t that long ago that he was just like them, a punk kid looking to get his thrills. Looked like they just got out of a fight too, some of the group were sporting bruises and glass cuts.
Back at the SUV, Troy felt things were reaching wierd levels. There were glass shards thoughout the backseat and the area around the window was blistered, like it was exposed to a get deal of heat. Inside, there were camping propane tanks scattered around. He was also glad the he was in his human form. Even with such a weak nose, he could smell natural gas mixed with blood and urine. Something was definitely wrong here. Troy tossed a glance towards the others at Jake’s truck. Ken noticed and stopped pumping the gas, which got Elisha’s attention. Troy looked towards the station, saying Jake’s name in a low grunt when he saw him exiting.
Jake looked over to the urgent Troy, then back into the station. He mangaged to look in time to see the attendant come crashing through the front pane window in a blast of fire. This brought everyone’s attention to the fore. Val ducked out the side of her truck, half expecting the rest of the station to go up in a ball of fire. Anthony, having never shut his car off, put it in reverse and floored it, thinking along the same lines as Val.
The group of strangers came quickly out the door, arms still loaded with the propane tanks. The leader yelled at Troy in a gibberish that took him a moment to identify, the First Tongue, the language of the spirit world. He had heard it only a handful of times and knew it was wrong to hear it this side of the Gauntlet. “Ridden!”
One of the possessed strangers dropped all of his tanks save for one. He uncapped it, sending a jet of flame to blast Troy away from them, “Uratha!” It called in warning and in hate. The group quickly piled into their vehicle and sped off.
Troy jumped to his feet, drawing his gun. “No fucking way,” he yelled as he opened fire on the SUV. Elisha stepped up to Troy’s side and joined him in his attack. One of the tires exploded from the gunfire. The spirit, unused to driving, panicked, jerking the steering wheel. The SUV whipped to the side and then flipped over, filling the night road with the sounds of crushing metal.
The spirits slowly pulled their broken bodies from the wreckage. Their stolen host bodies broken. Their only thought was escape, until they saw footsteps approaching.
The SUV had come to a stop not far from Anthony’s car. He called upon his blood and shifted into the stronger near human form. His jaw shifted, reseting itself to fit his growing teeth. An added bonus, and the real reason why Anthony shifted form, was it enabled him to speak more clearly in the First Tongue. “What are you doing on this side of the Gauntlet?”
“We must run,” it answered in the same gutteral language, “it is dangerous, escape.”
Anthony reached into the SUV and pulled out an empty propane tank. “Get into here,” the young werewolf ordered, “I’ll keep you safe until we get out of this area, if you promise not to try and escape.”
The spirits looked at each other, they knew that the Uratha were the enemy, bent on keeping them out of the physical world, acting as if they were lords of both sides of the Gauntlet. But they also saw that they were broken, escape would be next to impossible unless they returned to the Shadow, the spirit world. That was something they were terrified of doing. The Uratha had the command of the situation. First one, then another, until all of the spirits exited their host bodies and entered the propane tank.
Anthony tightened the tank tightly as the rest of the group reached him. “Do you plan on letting them go,” Ken asked.
Anthony smiled, “Eventually,” and walked back to his car.
Photo is taken from here.