Coyote and Mitzi led the way through the snow with my brother and a large retinue following. The wind had picked up and the temperature was dropping fast.
"Typical Minnesota summer," Garth mumbled.
"Mr. Frederickson?" Jackson said, "This is some really old blood magic. The worst kind of evil."
"This storm you mean?" Garth responded. "That means my brother is still alive. He tends to bring out a killing fury in bad guys...Also as usual it means he's bitten off more than he can probably chew."
The cold and the hunger were getting worse. I could smell the tastiness of my wife's blood. I just 'knew' that it would get rid of the freezing temperatures...
"Robbie..." she muttered shivering, "This hunger...."
"I know Harper. Just hold on for the calvary. Just a little bit longer."
My jaws were starting to ache, I wanted to leap and tear and rend like a wild beast. My prey was here, why was I holding back?
Agent MacCafferty jogged easily through the woods stripping off portions of his disguise as he went. John Sinclair was too well-known to law enforcement to risk showing his face near any sort of crime scene. However, we had called so he would show up. Somehow.
The first sign that help had arrived was the sudden intense scream. It sounded like a kid I had known that had fallen in a grain auger when I was growing up. All tortured and knowing that they were doomed.
The hunger fog snapped out of my head. Whoever had just died, they had to have been the one maintaining it.
"Harper! Dan! Get ready!"
There were the howls of pissed off Lobox, gunshots...but not that many and the laughter and yells of...girls?
"Garth!" I yelled "They're wendigo!"
Out of my sight there was a grand melee underway, with Faith and her friends gleefully charging the much larger monsters. As the snow began to fade I saw a brawl of epic proportions with my brother and Veil in the center of it. At that point I knew I couldn't sit this one out.
Running down the Serpent Mound I scooped up one of the fallen wendigo's spears and using it as a pole, vaulted over one to land next to my big brother.
"I see you found the place alright," I said.
"Yeah...brought some friends by too."
"I can see that. They all look like they should be doing their homework not fighting evil."
"They have to do that too..Hi I'm Buffy, Dawn's big..." there was muffled laughter from a bunch of the girls, "...as in older sister." She was not much taller than Harper to be honest and was a bottle blond with a weird looking axe.
"Mongo. Pleasure to meet you Buffy," I ducked as she swung and split a wendigo in half with one hit.
"Yeah...I understand this isn't your normal style of massacre, but that's cool. We wouldn't want to get messed up in yours either."
"Thanks...I think?" her tone of voice was airhead, but I was reasonably certain it was an act. I leg swept a wendigo and chopped it in the throat before separating its jaw from the hinge points with an elbow. The snow had stopped by now and we were fighting in puddles of bloody slush. I saw Chant destroying wendigo with some of as my brother puts it, 'Mystical Ninja Bullshit'.
"You called John in?" I looked accusingly at Garth. He shrugged.
"You used the 'V' word. When that gets called everybody gets called."
"Yeah...I guess you're right," some of the wendigo were trying to make a break for it so I whistled and got Coyote's attention. Then it was just a matter of pointing.
"Did I tell you I'm glad you brought the puppies?" I asked.
"Not yet. Truthfully, I don't think I could have kept them back."
"No, I was in trouble so they would be a running in."
"How's my sister in law?" he asked looking up towards the mound. She didn't get hurt. We lost a Deputy though."
"The Sheriff's okay?"
I nodded, "And he's the kind of guy that will keep his mouth shut."
"That's something at least..." we continued fighting until they were all down. Buffy and Faith...Who names their kid Buffy anyway?...had formed teams and gone after stragglers. Then I heard Coyote howl.
Veil, Harper (who by this time had joined us), Dan, Veil, and John joined me in heading towards the sound. We were recrossing the woods that we had run through last night and wound up outside the grove were the Deputy had gotten killed. His body was gone though.
I walked into the grove only to get almost bowled over by the stench of death. When you kill thirty five people there will be a lot of emptying of bowels and, recent time excluded, it had been warm.
All the heads had been stacked in neat piles. Probably in some manner of religious significance. I didn't care. I...we had known all of them. They were our employees and our friends. A few minutes later Buffy and Faith joined us.
"Damn..." was all Faith could say.
Buffy patted me on the shoulder, "You knew them didn't you?" I nodded. "Sucks...we got their killers though. Every last one of them."
"Where did they come from?" Harper asked.
"Wendigos?" the bleached blonde asked rhetorically, "Spell usually. It says it grants power and it sure does that. The downside though...well. Some demon had some fun. Dropping off a scroll or a charm with a stupid human."
"So this was a demonic practical joke?" Chant asked. "Where's the joker?...I'd like to shake his hand one last time."
Faith shrugged, "This many Slayers showin' up, they're long gone. We'll keep an eye out for them and when they pop up again, we'll make sure to let you guys know."
"Look," Buffy said, "We know government types that will keep this from becoming the evening news. Maybe a suicide cult or something."
"Close enough to the truth," Veil said.
"Yeah...let's get you guys back to the animals."
"Thirty five people..thirty six including Deputy Cully..." Harper said sadly.
"More than that," Chant said, "They had to have been eating somebody before the circus showed up. Sheriff any reports on disappearances around here?"
"There's always a certain amount of people who just vanish and we never find the body...We'll bring the forensics in though. Check all these bones."
We headed back towards the police line and the caravan, I wondered how I would tell our people's family's what had happened. Just a goddamned joke...