You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive

Bones and Bears

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

No one reacted well to finding out a strange werewolf had been through the Locus at the Evert Homestead. Several of the the pack ended up staying over at the farmhouse, patrolling the grounds near the Locus in case any other intruders came by. Dana came across a signal spirit trying to get into the Locus, likely to thieve some essence, and instead of driving it off she promised it payment if it could find anything out about other werewolves in the pack’s territory. The spirit promised it would ask around the court of the Drag Lion, who it served, and returned with what it could find. Ryder ranged a bit farther on his patrols, and he discovered some young teenagers nearby had found Dana’s weed patch.

Rosie and Dana spent some time going through all the papers Ron had collected, each sort of keeping track of things separately, seemingly not entirely trusting each other. They eventually figured that Ron was looking into two main sets of incidents – a series of accidents that happened north of Pathfork in 1985, and an accident that seemed similar about two weeks ago at a strip mining site north of Closplint. He’d also pulled up about every map of the mineshafts that had been dug in Harlan county – all publicly available information that created quite the stack of paperwork.

Rosie headed back into town to catch some sleep and then hit the library to try and turn up a little bit more information. It turned out that Ron had been decently through and they already had most of the pertinent information. She then tried to make amends to Dana by replacing the tire she’d popped the previous night. This involved buying it in town and then rolling it up the highway to Dana’s farm, an effort that took her a long time but seemed to buy some goodwill from Dana.

Avery and Sharon both had jobs to tend to, and so Avery went in to her Walmart job and Sharon to the stables. While Sharon was calming down the horses who seemed to be skittish. While she was doing that, she discovered that one of the people who stabled his horse there had been gone much longer than anyone had expected. Worried that something had happened to him, she asked her co-worker and found the rider, Alan, had taken his horse Ranger up north of Holmes Mill.

Looking to blow off some steam, Ryder got on Grindr and tried to find a hook-up within driving distance – not always the easiest in Harlan County. He managed to connect with an outdoor adventurer type from Atlanta who was camping in Kentenia State Forest. He met up with the guy – Stanley – and he smelled vaguely of wolves, but himself didn’t seem to be wolf-blooded. Ryder and Stanley went hiking and had some outdoor adventures of their own, and they exchanged numbers afterwards, looking to hook up again later.

As evening came, the pack started to reconvene at Dana’s farmhouse. Dana was in the Hisil, pretty much standing over the Locus and looking on edge and angry as people found her. They all compared notes, and figured something was probably going on between Cosplint and Holmes Mill, and at the very least they could find the missing horse and rider.

The pack drove down to Holmes Mill in Dana’s truck, and then headed up a old trail until they found a horse trailer and truck that had been sitting there for some time. They started to track the horse and rider, only to find that as they got deeper into the mountains the horse and rider had been stalked by a pair of bears, seemingly (and oddly) working in concert. Soon they smelt week old blood, and found where the bears had attacked – along with a werewolf in Urshul. The meat had been devoured down to the bone, and the rider’s personal belongings shoved under a heavy rock. The pack was incensed, and Sharon was obviously affected by the death of Alan and Ranger, shedding tears for them mostly unnoticed by the rest of the pack.

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

The pack, led by Avery, continued to follow the week old trail of the werewolf and the bears. They lost the trail several times, but continued to pick back up on traces as they headed north, until Avery found a fresh scent. It was nearly five in the morning by the time they started to close in on the edge of the trip-mining operation, and Sharon clued in the rest of the pack to the presence of a trio of large predators… The pack split to try and stealthily flank their quarry, but they were noticed as they approached. The trio – two bears and the hulking dire wolf form of a werewolf in Urshul – tried to escape the closing trap, but with werewolves closing in on three sides and the open ground of the strip mine behind them, they had few options as Ryder raced forward, also in Urshul, and started to tear into the strange werewolf…

Comments

Can’t lie. I’m getting tired. Getting angry. How long has this pack been in Harlan? Since before Daddy died? Did they do it? Kill him, I mean. If not, what did?

I gotta believe it’s a pack. Lone wolves don’t survive. Don’t know how to hunt or fight or fend for themselves without an older wolf to teach ’em the ropes. So some pack has made a deal with spirits of the earth who hate how the mines are ravaging ’em. Or else I guess the wolves coulda been Claimed. Only one way to find out.

Here’s hoping we live through this.

Bones and Bears
PoMoStoryteller

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