“Come on team, go go go!” Sergeant Gregory Watson yelled at his team of nine. “We haven’t got all day y’know! Right; Attention!” The officer’s squad of four men (one lance corporal, Paul along with three privates new to the army [David, George and Joe]) lined up in a single, perfect line. “Right lads, we have to go to this laboratory and find out what the **** went on in there, and then we can come home, understood?”
“Sir, yes sir!!” the team chorused.
“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go team!”
As his band left to enter the truck, Gregory thought to himself, “First day in the field, never know what hit them.”
As Greg’s squad arrived at the lab, they all took a sharp intake of breath in surprise, even the sergeant raised an eyebrow; the whole thing was in ruins. “Come on lads, look lively!” Gregory commanded as he jumped from the truck.
The squad slowly unloaded from the 4-by-4, looking round in barely concealed awe and fright at the scene. The entrance door to the lab was torn off its hinges and on the floor, with a large slash along it, like a bear or some sort of large four-clawed animal had an argument with it. A tinted window made from reinforced glass was smashed through which allowed Greg and company to see into the building. Benches were snapped in two and test tubes smashed, leaving various noxious liquids mixing and fermenting with each other. But most disturbing of all was a large cage made with unbreakable steel bars; broken. The bars were bent to both sides and blood on the walls. Gregory even saw an eyeball lying on the floor with most of the optic nerve still attached. Paul started circling the enclosure, inspecting the bars and testing their strength, his expression slowly becoming more and more astonished and worried. Finally, he turned to the other four men and reported,
“No animal today should be able to break through these bars” Gregory’s expression hardened, as most animals, mammals anyway, that lived in the 25th century were at least ten times as strong as a human due to recent mutations in mammal DNA from leaps in evolution. Inexplicably though, the mutation had not affected humans A few, such as a polar bear, were invincible without the likes of a tank. “We’re way out of our depth here sergeant.”
“Now corporal, keep your thoughts to yourself, I’m the one in charge of this squad and we’ll have no mutiny on my watch! Now let’s see if there’re any survivors and head back to HQ.”
The team made its way back to the entrance. As Gregory passed a doorway, he heard a moan that made him stop dead. “David, go investigate,” he said, motioning with one hand. David went into the room to look. After a few seconds, he came out again,
“There’s a man, in a bad way, by the looks of it.”
“Well stop messing about and bring him out!” David gave the Sergeant a two-fingered salute and obliged.
Back at the base, Gregory considered the frail man in front of him. “David was right, he is in a bad way.” The guy was wide-eyed with fear. Whenever Gregory caught his eye, his look changed to one of caution. He appeared to not have eaten for days, maybe even a week or two; his skin was quite literally hanging from his bones and his clothes were so tattered they may as well not have been there.
So far, Greg was having difficulty conversing with him. The man knew very little English. In fact, he knew very little of anything. It was as if he had been on his own for his whole life. And the pictures! He drew pictures on everything (the floor, walls, beds etc), with anything he could find (pens pencils, blood...). Different scenes but every picture had a team of scientists in them. He was drawing one now. Gregory watched intently. The same again! Another team of scientists. Once the man finished, he looked from the picture to Greg, an expectant look on his face. “Yeah, that’s it Eddy,” Greg told the man, “time to take you to your room.” The man, who was now named Eddy, by Greg, shook his head furiously and started scribbling another picture down again, “No Eddy, time to go!” Gregory insisted. He picked him up and took him back, but failed to notice Eddy shaking with anger and looking at the picture, which had started to take the form of a large furry animal.
“He’s gone!!!!” George hurtled round the corner only to screech to a stop in front of Gregory. Greg raised an eyebrow at his inferior, who fumbled to stand to attention.
“At ease private. Now, what seems to be the problem?”
“It’s .... E-Eddy, he-he-he’s gone” panted George.
“What!? What happened? Out with it man!” George finally caught his breath and tried to explain, but could let a hint of urgency into his voice,
“His room is totally trashed and there’s a hole in the wall, eight-foot high, with no Eddy in there.”
“WELL FIND HIM THEN!!!!!” Gregory ran out of patience and screamed at George, he then sobered and told him, “Take Paul and Joe with you to track him. Bring him back if you can.”
“Would you look at that.” Joe breathed. After several hour of searching, Eddy was found curled up; sound asleep with large gashes on his front and flank, next to a grizzly bear which was very obviously dead. The threesome had been tracking a trail of destruction through the forest that surrounded the base and had found Eddy and the bear at the end of it. George and Joe were ogling at the prone form of Eddy and the dead form of the grizzly, trying to put two and two together and evidently getting five. Paul had learnt from the best (Gregory) and managed to remain somewhat calm and composed. He was the first to break the silence,
“Let’s take ‘im back then.”
Back at HQ, precautions were made and Eddy was placed into a larger, more secure room. The walls were lined with reinforced steel, but gaudy wallpaper was pasted over it to draw attention away from this fact. All it did was show that the people who decorated the room were attempting to cover up the fact that “nowt’s gunna get outa this ‘ere room” to quote one of these people.
Four of the men in the squad were watching Eddy through a one-way mirror.
“What’s he doing?” asked Gregory, who had only just arriving.
“At the moment, he’s shaking” replied Paul, without looking away from the man.
Indeed, Eddy was quivering on the floor with absolute pure rage. “He keeps mouthing, ‘me let out’ over and over. But with the state he’s in, he ‘ain’t going nowhere.”
Gregory considered the man in the room, then both his eyebrows rose as he observed the events unfold; Eddy started growing hair. Not just on his head, all over. He sprawled out on the floor. He screamed in anguish and fury. He then attempted to get to his feet but a sickening crunch forced him back down. Gregory glanced at the rest of his team. Joe had fainted. George and David were white with fear and Paul remained calm, though Greg could see him turn slightly pale. A bloodcurdling roar snapped the leader’s attention back to Eddy. The nails on his hands started to grow and became sharper. They curved round to form claws. This also happened to his feet. He attempted to stand up again. He managed it and shuffled over to the mirror. The team saw that his eyes were pure orange. By now he had grown a muzzle and his height had increased to over eight feet. The monster started smashing up the room, breaking the bed and flipping the table, growling and snorting in frustration. Gregory turned to his squad. The ones who were conscious anyway. “There’s nothing we can do, let’s go.” He turned and left. “Don’t forget to bring him with you” his voice floated back into the room. The squad looked at the prone form of Joe.
After half an hour, the howls subsided; which indicated he had returned to normal. The team and Gregory went back to the lab to retrieve evidence regarding what Eddy had become and if there was a cure or not etc. They went in the truck and tried to keep Eddy calm all the way. However, everyone had one hand on their guns. Eddy noticed and was eyeing them with vigilance.
When they got to the lab, Gregory was on instant alert. Something wasn’t right. He went through, checking all rooms. The liquids had been cleaned up, benches replaced, test-tubes also. He turned to his team, “we’re not alone. So go, double time, find out everything you can about this place and who was in it.” The squad scattered into the maze of the laboratory.
While his band was exploring, Gregory turned to Eddy. “What’s going on Eddy? You can tell me. Who’s behind all this?”
“You ow.” Was all Eddy managed to say.
“Hmmm? You ow? Is that what you’re trying to say?”
“You owt,” Eddy’s pronunciation of the word ‘out’ proved that he had not spent much time around people at all.
“Sir? Found something.” David reported.
“Ok, I’m on my way.” Greg replied. He followed David to a small room with a desk pushed to one corner with pages of documents littered on it. The private motioned to a document bound with a treasury tag. Gregory picked it up and started reading. The file spoke of a new secret weapon created by combining wolf DNA to humans. The resultant organism was a wolf-human hybrid with super-human strength dubbed the ‘Werewolf.’ The humans needed for these experiments had to be in the embryonic stage in order to combine the lupine DNA. The following part of the document was set out in a diary-like style:
Wednesday 12th August, 2478
We finally have the first successful experiment! His name is experiment 384 (Ex.384) and he is the only one to change to wolf form and back with no ill effects. All others have died in one way or another. We will now perfect the wolf-human DNA bonding process and produce even stronger ones! We will prosper. We will conquer!
Friday 18th July, 2487
We now have four types of werewolf! They so far include:
• The basic human-wolf hybrid
• A stronger version of this hybrid, a werewolf on steroids, if you will, nicknamed *power wolf*
• A werewolf which is the slowest, with a maximum speed equal to that of a jogging man. However, it is exceptionally strong, even in werewolf terms. This *tank wolf* can withstand an impressive amount of bullets, and I mean impressive. Its only weakness is it seems to be dazzled by bright light
• A werewolf who has the astounding ability to bend light around it so it
turns invisible. However, it cannot do this while moving as this ability seems to cause the werewolf to become very brightly coloured while moving, increasing its visibility. In addition, this werewolf is the fastest, with a maximum speed of 40mph. However, it is quite weak, on par with that of an average human. This wolf is nicknamed the *phantom wolf.*
There was also a diary entry from the current day. Gregory read on, this one was from a Dr. Laeindrm:
Sunday 28th May, 2499
We now have a full wolf army! For the purposes of a head-count, we have:
• Thirty Basic wolves;
• Fifteen Power wolves;
• Five Tank wolves;
• Ten Phantom wolves: We will claim the Earth!!
Gregory replaced the article and turned around. A man in a white coat and thinning white hair stood in the doorway with the squads’ guns pointing straight at his head.
“Good read?” he said, then winced at the sound of five guns being cocked.
“At ease men.” Gregory ordered, “Yes, it was mildly interesting, why?” the scientist’s eye twitched at the insult, but he continued nonetheless,
“If your inferior mind hasn’t gathered yet, I am Dr. Laeindrm, and I have recently gained command of this group. You see, we feel that the weapons of Britain have become somewhat... dated. So we created these new people to draw people’s attention to the fact tha....” Gregory held up a hand to stop him then tapped the file,
“Already read it, you see, I know everything now.” Laeindrm’s eye twitched once more, and a vein in his forehead began to pulse with irritation.
“If you’d let me finish,” he persisted through gritted teeth, “I’d tell you that I have an army of my elite sixty wolves scattered around this area, waiting for my command to strike. They are all perfectly trained in the art of killing a human in the shortest time possible. However, there was a single wolf that didn’t respond well to the training, broke free and slaughtered all my staff.” He looked pointedly at Eddy, “so, to save time, I shall cut short the courtesy of the stereotypical villainous way bragging and go straight into it.” The Dr. pulled out a small plastic button which he pressed. Eddy shook his head and put his hands over his ears,
“Bad noise,” he complained.
“Oh yes, that reminds me,” The mad-scientist withdrew a hand gun and a small package which he dropped releasing a thick cloud of black smoke. A gunshot sounded followed by a bullet suddenly bursting through the haze, hitting Eddy straight in the head. The force of it slammed him against the wall, where his body slumped down, lifeless. The squad’s guns started firing into the fog, but all they hit was the rest of the lab.
Greg calmly drew out his mobile and called HQ. He started explaining. However, the person on the other end gave a scream which was cut short by the sound of her neck snapping. Then the line went dead.
“Check your ammunition team, we’re on our own,” Greg said, worry starting to creep into his voice. “We’re probably surrounded, so keep together and shoot anything with fur, don’t worry about the animals, this is now a combat situation keep your distance. The wolves can’t use guns. I think.” Joe promptly fainted. Again.
A sudden roar echoed around them and cut through the team like a dentist’s drill, reviving Joe. The sound was like a cat in pain mixed with someone drawing their nails down a blackboard. The whole squad shuddered as the sound chilled them.
“I saw something over there!” Paul suddenly started shooting at a corner. A roar of pain escaped the phantom wolf as the bullets caused the animal to lose its power of invisibility. Greg went to study the form. It looked the similar size to a human. Its left paw vastly outweighed its right, due to the enlarged talons on it. It had very little in the way of muscle, but what it did have was well-toned, namely its jaws, arms and legs. “One down, fifty nine to go.” Paul stated.
“We’ll be better outside, if we are in an enclosed space with one of these things....” Gregory trailed off.
Outside, the scene appeared unfavourable. All trees were flattened or torn up. Carcasses of animals everywhere. There was a bear with six or seven werewolves fighting over it. Most of them looked like Eddy when he was wolf-like but one of them was massive, over ten feet tall with arms to match. Scenting the squad, it turned and produced a growl which started low in the throat and grew into a deafening roar that shook the surrounding area. It lumbered toward the team, which had launched into a full-scaled attack, bent on taking the creature down. But the monster’s advance was not deterred, it still plod toward them, claws stretching and it itched for a kill. Greg and his team were backed up against a wall, constantly reloading and firing. Paul bumped into something on his retreat. It was comfortably warm and soft. The corporal instinctively snuggled his back into it, seeking reassurance as he fired. But the logic part of his mind caught up with him and he turned around in time to see a phantom wolf shimmer into visibility. It growled softly and swiped at Paul. Its paw struck him square on the face and the soldier succumbed, dead body spinning from the impact. Gregory drew a pistol with single-handedly and, still firing at the Tank wolf, shot the Phantom in the eye.
By now, the rest of the wolves that were eating the bear smelled the team and were charging towards them. Greg took down all but one, which George hit. Lured from all the commotion, another Tank wolf showed up,
“****, not another one!” David yelled. Whilst shooting at the new threat, the first one jumped and launched itself at the team, grabbed David, who started shrieking in terror, and tore him in two. The dwindling members of the squad now concentrated their fire on this creature’s head, and hit their mark. The Tank wolf fell, the two halves of David’s body still clutched in its huge paws. Suddenly, an additional werewolf appeared and crushed Joe’s head before being dispatched by Greg and George. Another phantom wolf then glimmered into sight next to George, it had obviously been creeping toward him every time he looked away. It picked George up, who shoved the barrel of his gun into the creature’s snout and pulled the trigger. The suddenness of the death caused nerve twitches resulting in its claws around George’s abdomen, piercing his intestines and rupturing vital organs. He didn’t last long.
Now it was just Gregory and the Tank wolf. It reached the sergeant and drew up to its full height. Greg’s mouth dropped open in awe as the wolf swatted his gun away. Greg took a deep breath of anticipation, then Dr. Laeindrm stepped out from behind the Tank wolf.
“This one, Ex.990, is my favourite. See the rippling muscles in his arms? Enough to strike terror into the hardiest of men.” It was true; Greg’s cool and calm demeanour had depleted leaving a small, scared man in its place. Laeindrm climbed atop Ex.990. “Now, finish him and let’s go conquer!”
The Tank wolf growled with pleasure and bared his teeth. His paws reached out to Gregory, who was trying to remain composed in order to die a dignified death. As Ex.990’s claws closed around Gregory’s body, as he breathed his final brave breath he thought, “this is the beginning of the end for all humanity.”