Another slow day in the shop. Slow is good. Slow means no trouble. These days, I like no trouble. What I don’t like are the two suited men who are making their way into the shop.
From the look of them I can immediately tell they’re on someone’s payroll. Not a good sign. As they approach, I grip the handle of the shotgun I keep behind the counter, right next to my bug-out bag. Have I been found already? “We’re looking for info on some missing local girls,” one of them says and holds out some pictures. Huh. Okay. I take my hand off the shotgun and take the pictures from him. I recognize one of them as a local, comes into the shop regularly. I tell them I overhead her on the phone, something about a club. Nothing I’m sure they don’t already know. Having nothing else to tell them, they make to leave. Without even thinking, I ask if there’s a reward. There is, and it’s sizeable. Enough to make me ignore the hair rising on the back of my neck. Okay, I’ll play.
After they’re gone I go to the computer I keep in the back room and get online. I want to dig up some info on these girls and this club, and my contacts are the ones who can get that done. After a couple hours I get what I’m looking for. Not much on the club, but turns out one of the girls escaped somehow and is back home. I pull her address, close up shop, and head over.
Her place looks quiet enough, so I go ring the bell. She’s home, and is willing to talk. She’s a bit guarded at first, but I’m able to get her calm and telling me her story. And what a story. Says she went to this club, and at some point in the night she winds up in a car with four guys. Doesn’t really remember how she got there. Bet I can take a guess. She must have been on something, because the story goes downhill from there. She starts talking about people changing into wolves, and floors disappearing, and then she’s rescued by another wolf person? Right. As she’s just about finished she mentions the wolf guy had a friend, and left a card, which she hands to me. I don’t recognize the name, or even the profession. Aeromancer? What the hell is that?
So after the girl’s place, I’m back needing some more information. Who is this Aeromancer character and how are they involved? I hit up my contacts again, but they don’t prove much help. Hardly anything on this guy, but it does turn out a professor friend of mine might know him. So I head down to his office and see what he has to say. Seems the professor does know the guy, but doesn’t really know much. Or doesn’t want to tell me much, I get the feeling. But he does mention the guy was headed to Macon to check some things out. So, field trip.
I hop on a bus and take the hour ride to Macon. About as opposite as Atlanta can be, I get off the bus on a dusty little street in this small town. A cafe across the street should be a good place to inquire about any local strangers. Sure enough, there has been, asking about any thing strange in town. They tell me the same thing they told him, an old lady down at the trailer park has been complaining of wolves. Wolves again? Wolves aren’t local to the area, so they figure she’s starting to go senile. But I can already feel that something isn’t right.
At the trailer park I do a quick case of the perimeter first, but don’t find anything interesting. I then head over the old lady’s trailer and give a knock on the door. She’s inside, and tells me she’s been seeing wolves out on the field behind her house each night for the past several nights. I go and check out the spot and sure enough, there are oil stains from a vehicle that’s been parking there. Seems likely they’ll be back again tonight, so I set about making a nice hiding spot to surveil from.
Night comes and a few hours go by. Then sure enough, a truck appears on the road and comes to a park at the same spot. After a minute, I can make out three shapes moving towards the truck, coming from the direction of the park. Eventually I’m able to tell they’re wolves. Coming from the park. They jump into the back of the truck and take off, but not before I grab the license plate.
Back at my hotel room I have my contacts run the plate and come up with a name and address. Something tells me I need to play this one careful. Even more careful than usual. I’m risking everything by sticking my head up. And that thought is enough to bring back the old rush. Putting it all on the line and hoping for the best. For my sake, I hope the odds come up in my favor this time.