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This story is No. 7 in the series "The Military Option". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Captain Summers is cleaning up a problem in Northern Texas

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > ClassicsbatzulgerFR1899,68828523,20718 May 1224 May 12Yes

Tracker

"Walsh was the loon who wanted to weaponize demons right? Didn't you kick her ass in Paris Buff?"

"Kind of. She lost pretty much everything. Colonel Haviland was running the military side of her operation at Huachuca. Anglerfish was one of her smarty-pants guys. We have to call Dutch and tell him what's the what."

"I'll go get the phone, you stay inobvious," Boyer took off at a trot for our SUV as I stepped behind a small grove of mesquite and tried to become one with the foliage. The moment I stepped back there I felt like I was being watched.

Dropping silently to a crouch I drew my Sig and screwed on the suppressor. I didn't see any movement as I carefully scanned my firelanes. Closing my eyes, I listened and sniffed the air carefully. I've fought invisible killy-things before and contrary to popular belief, I do actually sometimes bother to pay attention.

The smell of drying blood and rotting meat was blowing towards me from the bodies. Whatever it was, was probably approaching from downwind. That gave me a better idea of its intended attack vector at least. I carefully moved to cover that bearing and focused on the grass. Looking for blades that were not moving in time with the wind.

Right on cue I saw some bending of the grass, as the what ever it was tried to circle to come at me from the side. It was about twenty meters out and moving slowly and carefully. I kept my attention apparently focused on its original path while my eyes behind my sunglasses were tracking its actual movements. When it got to ten meters out, I smoothly turned and put three sub-sonic rounds into where I guessed its torso would be. It didn't yell or scream. Just let out a kind of low hiss and I saw it taking off by the disturbed grass in its wake. I emptied my magazine in its general direction and after quickly reloading, waited for Boyer to get back.

He found me policing up my brass and after sniffing the air, dropped to one knee and drew his own pistol.

"Where?" he asked.

I pointed in the direction it had taken off in, "It's completely invisible and really quiet...Even when shot."

"You hit it?"

I nodded. "At least twice judging by the impact sounds."

"So it's bleeding?" Boyer started grinning.

"I hope so."

"Want to go for a walk?"

"Sounds good. You call Dutch?"

"Yup, he's grabbing the first available transport along with some back-up. A General usually trumps a Colonel," Boyer finished attaching the suppressor to his own pistol, "Shall we go?"

I took the lead, moving carefully across the scrubby grass till I found the place where it had been standing. As soon as I got close my sense of smell vanished. I rubbed at my nose, but it felt like it had gone all tingly.

"I think I know why the tracking dogs freaked. This thing's BO shuts down the olfactory sensors."

"Invisible and unsmellable? Not good Boss," Boyer looked down at the ground and then crouched. "Buff, check this out!"

I knelt next to him and looked where he was pointing. The grass was transparent-ish in places. He reached over and rubbed the missing bits and watched as the grass disappeared and the tips of his fingers went clear.

"Oh yeah I hit him. This thing's blood is invisibility making too," at least we were learning something.

"Try backing off Buff. Maybe your sense of smell will come back?"

I stepped away about ten feet and slowly my nose stopped doing the itchy feeling, "That's why I'm glad I made you my aide. Always with the good ideas."

Boyer grinned then frowned, "How we going to track it? Lack of grass blades is hard to spot at any speed."

"I'll go parallel and as soon as my nose starts itching I'll signal you to check the ground. The fresh blood is what caused my nose to give out. I'll stay clear."

"Better than nothing I guess."

We started slowly across the barren ground. We got a bearing pretty quick and then it was a methodical walk; checking every time I sneezed. It had taken a zig zag course that would have given a dog or any other scent hunter fits. After about a mile, the path headed towards a gully that looked like it might be a seasonal creek bed.

I saw Boyer signal the query for 'Ambush?'

I nodded and signaled him to swing wide to the south so he would be downwind of the gully. As he moved away I holstered my pistol and drew my knife. When I saw he was on the other side of the gully, I closed my eyes and listened as hard as I could.

I rely a lot on my speed and strength, but the Slayer gives me much better than normal senses. Not quite as good as a vamp and not even close to as good as a were-'s; but they are heck of a lot better than a regular human's. Right now vision and smell were kinda screwed, so I was down to hearing, touch, and taste. I wasn't really keen on licking around to find it, so I was really left with only two senses.

I didn't hear much at first except the sighing of the wind across the grass. I took a careful step forward...then another. Stooping down I scooped up a handful of the dusty soil, then I rose and kept moving forward. I heard a faint scrape of claws on stone. It was ahead and to the left. My nose started itching so I knew I was close. I stopped and slowly opened my eyes; facing the area I knew it was lurking in. I waited till the breeze rose slightly and dusted the powdery soil into the air.

The flecks floated along and stuck to an invisible figure, outlining the upper body of a huge apelike creature.

"Gotcha..." I whispered, "Sucks fighting tool-users doesn't it?"

It tensed and got ready to spring.
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