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Chapter 15: Quarry



Serje couldn't summon up any sympathy for Tonja, no matter how hard he tried. It was as though his heart had melted away, no empathy, no grief, no concern. Over and over, he concentrated on her suffering, on how miserable she looked, at how many scratches and bruises covered her slender body but could feel no emotions for his best friend. Had it truly come to this? Was this a result of the beast merging with his consciousness? Was he now completely heartless? Ruthless and cold-blooded even toward someone who meant so much to him? Had Serje murdered so many, that he was now immune to human guilt, remorse and empathy?

Serje felt like a reptile: cold, unfeeling, impassive and heartless.

The idea was frightening to Serje. He was assailed by fear, his failure to feel sympathy swooped at him like a bird of prey within his mind. As his thoughts faltered, the Werewolf's travel speed was also equally impacted. Serje knew that he should not be lingering or hesitating. Tonja needed to die. Afterward, he would be free.

As much as Serje wanted to continue on to the abandoned mind, a part of him was devastated at the realization that he may have become an unfeeling monster. His payment for the dark ritual was his eternal soul not his humanity. How could he possibly go on living after all this was over? What life could he look forward to without human compassion? As a cold serpent, Serje could only strive for predatory behavior toward his fellow humans in his bleak future. How could he ever find love? How could he ever become a caring father while being devoid of basic human feelings?

Serje had arrived at a crossroads within himself. He could continue on, completely ignoring the loss of his humanity, embracing the idea that he could function within society as a cold-blooded person, a true Machiavellian. On the other hand, Serje could try something else, right at this moment, that could change the outcome of his future like maybe setting Tonja free. He wasn't sure.

Serje wondered that after Tonja was killed, if the beast truly left him, if the dark mark faded from his palm and the wolf skin belt ceased to function, then could he gain his empathy back? It was possible at least but a serious risk to wait until after Tonja was dead to find out.

Serje's mental link with his wolf companion was suddenly cut off. The wolf had been killed.


Serje was going to have to take the risk and go through with his original plan. There was really no choice in the matter now. He was facing the group of pursuing hunters alone. With Merte and his wolf companion gone, Serje was the last survivor up against numerous powerful enemies. He'd been relying on the fact that perhaps his wolf companion would slow his pursuers long enough for him to finish the job and allow him to flee the area after he'd dispatched Tonja.

Dropping all other thoughts, Serje focused on getting to the abandoned mine and finishing off Tonja as soon as possible. Over uneven white blanketed hills and thick pockets of bleached trees, the Werewolf fled toward the abandoned quarry.

Everything was riding on the fact that after Tonja was killed, he could be free. Did he really need to run all the way to the mine? Couldn't he just stop and mutilate the girl right now, putting an end to her misery?

The Werewolf slowed its pace yet again then stopped and released Tonja.

She fell face first into the fluffy new snow and sat up, wrapping her arms around herself and cringing from the looming monster that stood over her. Snow clung to her face, her eyes were full of tears, her cheeks reddened and swollen not only from crying, but from the biting cold. Her filthy nightgown was soaked and clung to her like a second skin, her drenched hair was matted and dirty. Tonja stared at her killer, “Serje, is it time? Are you going to kill me now?”

Serje felt nothing but he could not bring himself to hurt her any further. The Werewolf stood motionless, a growl forming deep within its throat, slightly trembling with the need for blood. It was as though unseen bonds were holding him in place, not allowing him to kill the girl.

Tonja reached out her hand and touched Serje's massive, clawed fingers. Her hand looked so small and fragile compared to his, hers was pale and cold like a small ceramic dove. Tonja said, “I know you're still in there, Serje. I love you and even if you kill me, I forgive you for it. I will die not hating you. I just wanted you to know that.”

Serje still felt nothing. He wanted to kill her quickly, to just get it over with and stop her from speaking to him any further. He was going to feel guilty enough over her death as it was. Serje was sure of it. The more Tonja spoke, the worse he was going to feel after she was gone. Still, he couldn't bring himself to hurt her.


The Werewolf ripped its hand out of her weak grip causing Tonja to pitifully fall forward, face first into the snow again. She sat up weakly and met his hellish blazing eyes, her lips blue, shivering from the merciless cold, “Its okay, Serje. I'm ready.”

Serje wanted to tear her throat out. He wanted to crush the life right out of her. What was stopping him? Was there still some remnant of his humanity so far removed from his consciousness that he was unaware of it?

Tonja gathered herself up, kneeling before him. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes, waiting for the end to come, waiting for death to claim her. “I love you, Weirdo,” She said with conviction, “I always will.”

You miserable bitch!

Serje grabbed Tonja off the ground and tucked her under his arm. He continued on to the mine which was still quite a distance away. Maybe by the time Serje reached the abandoned quarry, he'd lose enough of his remaining humanity to complete the ritual and finally, kill Tonja.


* * *


Jewel was freezing. She had dressed warm with thermal underwear under both her pants and her shirt with a long thick jacket to cover her upper body. Her boots were waterproof so thankfully, her feet were warm but her legs were soaked through. She was wearing gloves and a scarf and she was still shivering, teeth chattering as they hurried through the drifts and the snow covered brush.

The snow was only a few inches deep but since it was mostly dry, it was clinging to them like glue, weighing them down, slowing their pace, soaking through their clothing.

Jewel's thoughts drifted to poor Tonja.

The girl had been abducted from her bed. She was probably wearing very little clothing and in this climate, Tonja was probably half-frozen to death. As cold as Jewel felt, she could only imagine how badly the girl was suffering, if she was still alive at all.

Jewel began to think about the kid that had committed unspeakable violence on numerous young women, Serje Niko. From what she heard from Tonja and upon meeting his kindly grandfather, Serje was a good kid who had travel down the wrong path. Serje had made a mistake and was now about to pay for it with his life. Jewel felt a tugging sense of guilt that they were heading to the mines to kill him. He was only a seventeen year old boy.

As quickly as turning the page of a book, Jewel's mind settled on Sephon who was probably wounded in his fight against the spirit wolf. Although he assured her that he was fine, Jewel was still concerned. Sephon could literally be missing both of his legs and he would still tell her that he was fine just so that she wouldn't worry. Of course, that meant that no matter what Sephon told her, she would stillfret.

Emotions building, Jewel felt tears forming in her eyes. Poor innocent Tonja. The misguided and doomed Serje. Lastly, Sephon who could be mortally wounded, lying on the cold ground in the middle of the empty woods and waiting for death to claim him. Jewel hastily wiped her tears away.

Jewel already felt that she was the weakest link in The Three. Anything she could do to dispel this feeling in her mind, had to be forefront in her actions. She had never seen either of her companions frightened, they never complained while on the job, regardless of the miserable weather or locations. Jewel had definitely never witnessed either Logan or Sephon openly cry so she refused to let them see her crying.

Sephon was more sympathetic toward her, understandably so, since they had been in a relationship together. Logan was more like a gruff, strong, impatient older brother to her. If Logan caught her crying right now, he'd probably punch Jewel in the arm to give her a reason to cry. Sephon, on the other hand, would try his best to comfort her which would only make her feel worse.

One thing both men had in common, however, was their complete and sometimes overwhelming protective nature toward Her. As far as the other male in the group was concerned, they held their own and rarely involved themselves in each others problems. If one got into a confrontation with someone, the other stayed out of it. But if anyone, particularly a male, ever messed with Jewel, even in a joking manner, Sephon and Logan both rushed to her aid faster and more aggressively than a mother bear over her cub. The quickest way to piss either one of them off was to mess with Jewel. She knew this and it made her feel good. Sometimes.

Most of the time, it was nearly smothering. Still, Jewel felt accepted and cared for, protected.

Jewel watched as Logan effortlessly traveled over the uneven and sometimes slippery terrain through the snowy forest in front of her. Even in his professional dress attire, Logan seemed to flow over the uneven terrain like a specter, expertly traversing the difficult ground with little resistance. He was wearing boots under his slacks, which probably helped. Still, Jewel had to hurry to keep up with him, she was panting and straining in effort. Logan also seemed to know where to go without her telling him, even though she had the exact coordinates in her laptop.

With her cold gloves, Jewel quickly wiped her eyes again, making sure that no tears lingered.

Logan stopped suddenly and turned back toward her, his face inches from hers. He glowered at her, “What's wrong?”

Jewel was surprised, “What?”

“You're too damn quiet,” Logan growled at her, his silver eyes were watchful, scanning her face for any signs of stress. Jewel felt as if his gaze was boring a hole into her skull.

Jewel decided to act tough. She pretended he had ruffled her feathers, “Make up your damn mind, Lo! Half the time we're together, you complain that I talk too much. Now that I'm quiet, that irritates you too?”

Logan grinned at her briefly but then frowned, “Yeah. You're right. I should be happy you got all quiet all of a sudden but I'm not. Now, what's wrong? Worried about Sephon?”

Nothing ever got past Logan. Jewel decided to admit her emotions, just a little. Maybe it would be enough to satisfy him, “Yeah, I'm a little worried.”

Logan's eyes never left her face, “Sephon, you copy?”

Sephon's response over the radio was immediate, “Go ahead.”

“You need a band aid, you Wuss?”

Sephon chuckled, “Probably but I'll manage.”

Logan said to Jewel, “See? Nothing to worry about.”

Jewel pressed the issue, “He's alone and the temperature's dropping.”

Logan sighed. Over the radio he said to Sephon, “You need us to wait up for you, Shithead?”

“No. I'm only a few minutes behind you.”

Logan mussed Jewel's hair affectionately and then turned away from her, continuing up the trail. Over the radio, he said, “Copy that, Sephon. Hurry your ass up. You're getting slow in your old age.”

Sephon responded, “You're older than I am, Shithead.”

“Lies don't become you.”

Sephon answered, “Denial doesn't become you either.”

Jewel felt a little better. She was glad Sephon was okay. Logan was joking with him over the radio for her benefit. He was demonstrating that Sephon was fine. If he wasn't, the jokes wouldn't be flowing between them so easily.


* * *


Tonja had never been in so much pain. The cold was numbing parts of her body, but singeing others with a fiery agony. Serje had finally brought her close to his body and it was warming her slightly but the cold wind leeched the heat right out of her body.

Tonja prayed that Serje would make her death quick and painless. She had suffered enough. Any further torture was unnecessary. Tonja had given up on the idea that he would spare her and had accepted it. Serje was lost, far away from her reach and she could do nothing to save him. Her death was certain.

Before lifting her close, Serje had been dragging her along. Her legs, arms and body were being scratched, scraped and stabbed by the heartless forest. Although the wounds were all shallow, they stung like fire because of the cold.

The snowfall was intensifying, falling down in a heavy torrent, piling up quickly on the trees and brush. The ground was completely covered, looking like a beautiful wintry wonderland. Cursory thoughts of Christmas flashed through Tonja's mind. The smell of baking gingerbread, peppermint candy canes, fresh holly and wonderful evergreens decorated in front of a warm fireplace, filled her with a sense of warmth and happiness.

Tonja's respite was short-lived. She was brought back to her cold reality when Serje plowed through a thick bunch of bushes, covering her with freezing wet snow.

They had reached a precipice and down below, Tonja could see a few buildings, fencing and rusting metal equipment.

They had arrived at the old mine.

Serje huffed and went straight down a treacherous cliff, easily clamoring down the steep edge of it, gripping the rock with his free hand and clawed feet. Within a few seconds, they were outside the perimeter fence which Serje broke through, leaving the mangled fence in a wiry twisted ruin, and they pressed on toward what looked like the main building.

The large building served as both office space and employee common area plus a large open bay probably used for repairing damaged equipment. Serje squeezed through the doorway, and pulled her roughly behind. Thankfully, he shut the door behind them, at least keeping the freezing wind out. It wasn't much warmer inside the building, but at least Tonja was spared from the biting gusts.

Serje dropped her on the cold concrete in front of him. He made no moves toward her.

Tonja painfully got to her feet. Her entire body was aching but she managed to hobble toward the offices, looking for anything to wear or at least dry herself off with.

Serje knocked her down with a quick swat of his massive arm.

Tonja fell onto her side and curled herself into a ball, crying in agony, “Serje if you're going to kill me, please make it quick. Don't prolong it. Don't make me suffer anymore. Please.”

Serje loomed over her, his yellow fiery eyes gazing down at her. He hooked one of his clawed fingers into the back of her nightgown and ripped it completely lengthwise then tore it off of her body leaving her in only her bra and panties.

Tonja got angry. She glared at Serje, “No! Don't you dare!”

Serje licked her bare skin, his long hot tongue traveled up her thigh and along her flank.

Tonja swatted him across the muzzle, “Fuck! Serje, no! If you're going to kill me then get it over with! I'm not your fucking toy!”

Serje seemed angered that she struck him but the massive monster moved back slightly, snarling at her.

Tonja got to her feet. The idea that Serje would entertain the idea of sexually molesting her, enraged her to a new height of pissed off. She screamed furiously at him, all of her rage and frustration coming to fruition, “You are not going to have your way with me, Serje! I'll forgive you if you take my life, but if you lay one hand on me in a sexually way, I'll fucking haunt you! I'll make your life a living hell! I'll even give you nightmares so you can't get a decent night sleep for the rest of your life! I swear to God, I will!”

Serje turned away from her, maybe in shame, Tonja wasn't sure but she grasped the chance. She turned and hurried into the small offices.


* * *


Serje still couldn't bring himself to kill Tonja. It was as though some invisible force, some unseen power was still staying his attack, protecting her. Since he couldn't kill her, Serje decided to at least enjoy himself with her beauty. She had almost been his girlfriend, after all.

Tonja was curled in a fetal position. Through her thin nightgown, Serje could see the curve of her hips, the full roundness of her buttocks, the tautness of her thighs. Although her arms were mostly covering the front of her body, Serje still saw the swell of her breasts, the cleavage that was formed by her lying on her side.

His heart raced.

Serje used his razor sharp claw to remove her nightgown and then he licked Tonja's cool bare skin, the sweet flavor of her skin sent shivers of ecstasy throughout his entire body.

Tonja suddenly slapped him across the face.

Serje was stunned at the force of the blow. Tonja was so petite, her strike should have been slight and ineffective against him but he felt it burning the side of his face.

You stupid bitch!

Tonja was completely irate. She got to her feet, screaming at him.

To his horror, Serje realized he could no longer understand what she was saying. Just minutes beforehand, Tonja was speaking to him and he could not only comprehend her words but he could also communicate back mentally. Now, he had no idea what she was saying. Turning away, Serje tried to think of something to say to her using his mind as he had before.

Tonja! I really don't want to hurt you but I have to!

No response but at least Tonja wasn't screaming at him anymore.

Serje tried again to communicate with her.

Tonja! I need to know if you can hear me! Please say something!

Serje waited in vain for Tonja to answer but heard nothing. His fear mounting, he turned back around.

Tonja had vanished.


* * *


Sephon had no problems tracking the group at first. Their trail was obvious through the snow but as more heavier flurries fell, a lot of the trail was disappearing under a blanket of white. If he had been twenty minutes or more behind them, their trail might be so covered over that Sephon would actually have to take time making sure he didn't take a wrong turn.

It was snowing heavily now, fat flakes floating down to the earth like a relentless army of white cotton balls. The snow on the ground was getting deeper and harder to move over. Sephon was in excellent physical condition but his breathing was hoarse, the cold air was burning his throat and his heart was hammering in his chest at the exertion of trying to catch up.

Sephon reached an area where the overhead trees were thick and held most of the snowfall high in their branches. The snow on the ground was much thinner and he hurried through the thick grove watching for deadfall. The last thing he needed was the weight of the piling snow to bring a dead tree down on top of him.

After traveling at least a hundred yards, Sephon realized he had lost the group's trail.


Sephon's first instinct was to backtrack and look for the spot he had overshot his companion's path. Instead, he looked around and saw what looked like an old road heading in the direction that he needed to go. The road probably headed directly to the abandoned mine, there was no other reason for it to be out here. It could be a shortcut or it could take him on a winding stretch, adding time to his travel.

Sephon decided to risk it.

He climbed up the steep embankment and reached the blanketed road. The snow here was thin but melting into a soupy mud, probably from residual salt used during past winter road clearings. Sephon hurried down the road to what he hoped was the quarry.

Every time he was out in seclusion with nature, Sephon's mind eventually drifted to his father, who had taught the ways of the Hopi people, taught him to fish, hunt and track. It was his father who had given him the sacred knife, Kwewu Naayawi, namedin the Hopi language. The knife's name loosely translated into Wolf Killer or Wolf Fighter.

Through tribal rituals and blessings, Kwewu Naayawi had become a lethal weapon to protect the tribe many generations beforehand. Sephon had asked his father about those old stories but his father had refused to tell him about the old legends. Somehow, the tribal history of Kwewu Naayawi involved Sephon's family and Werewolves.

Sephon's magical enhancements were wearing out. The animal trait blessings that he had bestowed upon himself before battling the spirit wolf, were waning. Without the magic strengths, Sephon suddenly became too weak to continue on. He sat down on a tree stump, resting himself and he sipped more water.

His magic reserves were dangerously low. Sephon's body was too weakened to channel more mana. If he tried to revitalize his magic reserves now, he'd probably pass out from exertion. He was going to be stuck not relying on his spells for a while.

Although the animal blessings had expired, Sephon's healing magic was still flowing powerfully through him. He could feel the tickling heat of it within his blood, repairing his body on a molecular level. Sephon sipped more water. It was only a matter of time before he would become strong enough to continue on.


* * *


Tonja wasn't sure why Serje turned away from her, but she grasped the opportunity and fled from the main room into the smaller office spaces. The offices were partitioned off from the main warehouse with a thin framework with smaller cubicle style partitions within. Above the partition, there was no separate ceiling; Tonja could see all the way up into the high rafters overhead.

She found a long insulated jacket, close to what a fireman would wear, hanging on a hall tree in the first office. Tonja snatched it off the hook as she passed and put it on as she ran, zipping it up tight. The jacket was freezing at first, but she could feel herself getting warmer immediately since it was dry on the inside. In the pockets of the jacket, Tonja found a pair of wool mittens and a pair of thick soled socks. Hastily, she put all of the items on and was relieved to find herself getting warmer by the minute.

Tonja raced through the cubicles, trying to be as quiet as possible, running on the balls of her feet. She noticed a ladder at the end of the offices leading up to the high ceiling. She had no idea why there were catwalks in this building, but she may be able to get out of reach from Serje at least for a while.

Tonja climbed up the ladder.

Once she reached the first catwalk, Tonja looked down. The huge Werewolf was still in the main part of the warehouse just standing there. What was Serje doing?

No matter. She didn't have time to worry about him.

Tonja searched the upper area of the warehouse for a means of escape. She didn't see anything but an even displacement of the catwalks, dividing the warehouse space below it like a grid. There were catwalks along each of the four walls, including one to her left that was directly over the entrance to the office, then another that split the room down the middle. One long catwalk ran lengthwise down the center.

Tonja looked back down at Serje. He was still just standing there. Maybe if she stayed where she was, didn't move and stayed quiet, Serje would think that she ran back out into the cold. Maybe, he would chase after her and she could stay here as long as she could. If she could last until morning, Tonja would be safe or at least that's what Serje had told her.

What had he meant by that? Tonja wasn't sure and she was confused as to why that thought had preoccupied her now. She realized that by squeezing herself close to the wall on the catwalk that she couldn't see Serje, which meant that he couldn't see her either. She could hide here, at least for the time being.

The catwalk Tonja was crouched on was twelve feet or so off the ground. Normally, she'd be safe from anyone on the ground level but the Werewolf was so tall and its arms so long, that it could easily reach up and pluck her from the catwalk, like picking a delicate flower.

Tonja couldn't see Serje anymore but she heard him snarl and when he broke through the thin partition, sending glass and wood hurtling through the air, she nearly cried out in surprise. Tonja could see through the open ceiling of the office that Serje had moved behind her. If he looked over his shoulder, right at that moment, he could spot her, so Tonja moved forward as silently as she could, hoping the thick jacket she was wearing wouldn't rustle, praying the catwalk didn't creak or groan under her weight.

By moving forward, Tonja was once again out of his line of sight. She was terrified. She had no idea what Serje was up to. No doubt, the Werewolf was looking for her, hunting her. Tonja wanted to close her eyes but she didn't dare. Her heart was pounding in her chest so hard, she was afraid that Serje would hear it.

Tonja risked a peek over her shoulder and didn't see anything. Serje wasn't in the office area anymore. Her breaths were becoming ragged, Tonja covered her mouth, trying not to make the slightest sound. Although minutes before, she had succumbed to the idea of being killed, she had given up all hope, Tonja now clung to the slim possibility that she could actually survive. She wanted to succeed. She wanted to live.

Serje's long arms appeared in the center of the room, grabbing the catwalk and pulling himself up so that his head was eye level with her. She could see the side of his face.

Tonja held her breath.

There was a high large window toward the ceiling that let the bright blue moonlight shine through, even though the sky was overcast. Serje face was directly illuminated and for the first time, Tonja could see the large grotesque wolf head clearly. The ears were too large, thrusting up from the skull like pointed sails. The large snout was wider that a normal canine's, the fangs much larger and crooked. Back toward the forehead of the creature, Tonja could see slight resemblances of a human brow, and eye sockets since the silver fur was thinner around the face.

Serje slowly turned his massive head toward her, the smoldering yellow eyes burning like lantern flames as he caught sight of her. Serje growled menacingly, showing his teeth, drool dangling from his lower jaw, ears folding back flat against his skull. Tonja could see the corners of his mouth were curled upward into an ugly smile.

Serje looked like he was about to perform a pull up and lift himself onto the catwalk but instead he froze suddenly, ears shifting up and moving. Serje sniffed the air and growled again. He dropped to the ground and as soon as his feet made contact, Tonja heard gunfire.

Bullets smashed through the windows on the bay doors, whizzing through the warehouse at Serje who flattened himself low to the floor to avoid being shot.

Tonja screamed for help.

Serje glared at her then ran toward the side door to the warehouse where they had first entered. He smashed right through the side of the building, demolishing the door and the frame.

Tonja heard a man shout, “Captain, he's on the move! He's heading right toward you!”


* * *


Captain Dragomirov had been bringing up the rear when the three of them, he, Jewel and Logan, made it to the abandoned mine. Logan quietly barked instructions telling the Captain to take the front of the building, Jewel to go to the right while he went left. Since the building was built against a cliff there were only three sides to approach it from.

Captain Dragomirov was nervous and frightened but mostly, he was wore out. He did not engage in regular physical training, as he should, and the rapid travel through the snowy woods left him light headed and gasping for air.

The Captain armed himself with the handgun that Sephon had given him, checking quickly to make sure it was loaded and that a round was chambered.

The abandoned quarry was much bigger than Dragomirov thought it would be. The actually pit was nearly three hundred meters deep and almost 2 kilometers across. The haul roads, which had once served as a roadway for large heavy haul trucks, were very wide and flanked with high rocky berms which were now under nearly a foot of snow.

What Logan had described as the front of the building, to Dragomirov, seemed more like the side of it. The front of the building was where the bay doors were, which is where Logan was headed. The only features on the building that the Captain could see on his side was a small side door and one small window.

Captain Dragomirov was about forty feet from the building. He was taking his time approaching to give his two companions, who had a much longer distance to cover, enough time to get into position. He could see a body, hanging out in front of the building by its wrists, half-frozen, dark stained snow all around it. Even in the subdued moonlight he could make out that the person had been disemboweled and savaged.

It was one of Serje's victims that had not been found yet. It was either the remains of Zhenya Teshin or Merte Janar. He couldn't tell which.

Dragomirov shivered.

Gunfire erupted to his left and then he heard Logan shout, “Captain! He's on the move! He's heading right toward you!”

The Captain felt the cold rush of adrenaline surge through his body.

The suddenly Werewolf burst out of the doorway, completely destroying the side of the building, bits and strips of wood flew as though launched from a cannon. Dragomirov could see the hateful beast running, muscles rippling under the silver fur, tongue lolling, mouth opened, snow churning underfoot, eyes blazing as its massive weight sounded like a full sized truck rolling directly at him.

Dragomirov screamed out of rage and fear, and began shooting at the damn thing, his pledge to Lieutenant Smolin still fresh in his mind. His first two shots went high and as he aimed for his third shot, the Werewolf swiftly changed direction, sprinting perpendicular to his position. Dragomirov trained his weapon on the beast and squeezed off a carefully aimed shot that was sure to score a hit. Unfortunately, the creature disappeared into the shrubs and his shot struck the trunk of a tree instead.


Submitted: March 04, 2018

© Copyright 2021 Cthulu45. All rights reserved.


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