The Perpetual

By Charles Matthias


When the three of them arrived at the Cafeteria, Lapwolf was already munching down on a ham and turkey sandwich. He glared at them with his dark brown eyes as he chewed fiercely on his meal. He watched Pillow especially; who tried his very best not to stare back at the man. It would not bode well for their relationship to blow up right here and now. There had to be a way that he could patch things up with Lapwolf, but he was afraid that the only way would be to have sex with him. He didn't want things to be over between them, but he did not want to engage in intercourse, at least he knew that it was wrong to do. He wanted to do what was right, but he found even himself becoming a little excited by the idea of sleeping with his lover again.

He guiltily stared at Lapwolf whose was ruffling his curly brown mop atop his head with one hand, trying to ignore Pillow now. He sighed; this was going to harder than he thought. Both Lovewolf and HuggyBear seemed oblivious to their nonverbal communication, as they were too busy fixing up something to eat. Since they were in a hurry, none of them made anything elaborate, both making sandwiches as well. Pillow didn't bother to look as the giraffe and the bear sat down with Lap along with their food. Pillow stood at the counter looking at his options, taking his time to think them through.

The other matter that was bugging him was the death of Ascot. They had not said a word about it on the way here, and even as they were sitting, they remained silent. They were probably waiting for him to join them before any discussion began in earnest. He offered up another prayer to God seeking Ascot's safe delivery into His hands, not knowing whether the Lord would see fit to take them all into his embrace as he so often asked. He felt too ashamed of himself to ask for anything else, but instead opened his eyes once more to look at the counter, trying to push the events of the past few hours from his mind.

He finally decided to make a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. This would take him some time, time he hoped would cool Lap off some, and to give him a clear idea on what to do about that situation. He didn't really want to think about it, but how else could he manage it. He told Lapwolf no, something that he was not used to. Sure, he'd done it before, on rare occasions, but never with such vehemence, and he certainly had never told him that it was wrong. Even as he had laid there, with the feel of Lapwolf's penis inside his anus, probing the depths, giving him a feeling of immense pleasure, he could not help but remember what had been written in the letters of St. Paul, and in the laws of the Old Testament. He knew that sexual immorality was wrong, and that he had become a major practitioner of it. He had become like Sodom and Gomorrah, and he deserved every bit of destruction that he received.

He buttered the bread on both sides as he gently put the slices of cheese and ham in between them. He then put the sandwich in the toaster, and set the dial for two minutes on medium cook. He casually glanced over his shoulder at the others. Lapwolf had his back to him, while HuggyBear and Lovewolf were siting across from him. They were silent, morose; both struck by the revelation that had fallen upon them so suddenly after being released from their multiple hour confinement. And here Pillow was standing, worrying about how to fix his relationship with Lapwolf. How pathetic he was! They were mellowed out over the death of a friend, and here he was worried about whether he wanted to get back into Lapwolf's pants.

That wasn't quite how he wanted to put it, but it soon became the focus of his attention. He knew that it was wrong, but he did love Lapwolf, and he knew that Lapwolf loved him in his own way. True, Lapwolf thought that he was the master, and that Pillow was his pet or something, but at least it was love! Lapwolf was such a shallow figure, that only through love could he possibly be saved. Pillow had gained his love; he just needed to get it to expand beyond sex. Perhaps he should be willing to do some sex with the man, but on a more limited basis. If that was the case, then he could expand their relationship to be more positive and based on things besides sex and beer.

That was another thing he had to admit he missed beer. He had never been an avid drinker, and he still told people that he really wasn't that fond of it, but he had to admit that he had begun to develop a taste for it. Ever since he let Lapwolf move in with him six months ago, they usually had a drink every night. Lap drank more than he did, as he had a higher tolerance to it, but he also got drunk more often than Pillow did. Pillow could remember only a few occasions when he actually got drunk. He did not really enjoy the feeling that he had later, and avoided the pressure from Lap to drink more than he could stand.

Of course, he was of late giving into more and more of Lap's personal fantasies, making more and more demands of him than he could meet. Until just a few hours ago, he would have given into any request for sex on Lapwolf's part without a moment's hesitation. They had even begun to get into more exotic games, such as the pet fetish that Lap seemed to have. It had taken some convincing on Lap's part to get Pillow to agree to be tied up on a leash when around the house. He wasn't sure whether he was glad or not that Lap had yet to ask him to wear it while on the ship -- Lapwolf had made sure that Pillow had packed it before they left. There were other things that they had done, but Pillow was glad that Lap had grown tired of them. However, the master-pet relationship had fiercely excited Lapwolf, and Pillow had to admit he sort of got a little kick out of it himself, so they continued it.

Pillow lamented when the toaster oven let out a sudden beep. He removed is sandwich from the oven and set it down on a plate. He walked over to the beverage dispenser, and poured himself some soda pop, and then took his meal back to the table. He sat next to Lapwolf, who promptly turned to the side so as not to see him. Pillow cringed inwardly, wishing that this would stop and that Lapwolf would talk to him. He wanted the man to know how much he loved him, and how much he wished they could smooth things over again. He felt a little guilty for worrying about his relationship, especially when Ascot had just been killed. If he didn't talk about it, he knew that he was never going to get his conscious in order.

"Can you believe that he's dead?" Pillow asked, taking a bite into his hot sandwich. He had put a little too much cheese in his sandwich, and it dripped out onto his hand. He quickly swallowed the bite, and licked the stuff from his hand.

HuggyBear frowned, his ruddy complexion looking a bit droopy. He scratched his head thoughtfully, the chestnut brown hair squirming under his touch. At least he'd combed it before coming out. "It's hard to say really. I heard the news, but it doesn't seem real yet. It seems like he was just here."

Lovewolf nodded, his black hair falling down over his short forehead. "I know what you mean. I keep expecting him to walk through one of those doors and say 'Hi' or something."

"Darkwolf sure didn't take the news well," Pillow pointed out, worrying for his friend. He was right, now that he was talking about it, he was no longer worried so much about his relationship with Lapwolf. Of course, if he could somehow bring him into the conversation, it might be possible for him to make a small suggestion to him, so that they might be able to get things straightened out. Pillow kicked himself; he was doing it again!

"Darkwolf loved Ascot like a brother I think. I don't know, he's too hard to read half the time," HuggyBear shrugged before standing up, the sandwich already eaten.

"Where are you going?" Pillow asked.

"To get more, did you really think one sandwich was going to fill me up?"

"Yeah, good old Huggy's got his physique to think about now," Lovewolf smirked.

"Watch out Giraffe, one day I may be able to eat you too!" Huggy replied whimsically, winking at his lover before walking up to the counter again.

"Don't you guys even care that he's dead?" Pillow asked a bit horrified, more at his own lack of concern than anything else.

Lovewolf sighed, his shoulders slumping a bit. "We do care, it's just that he wouldn't have wanted us to mope all the time. You know that half the time Ascot was moping about, I'm certainly not going to mope over him. I mourn and howl for my lost packmate, but I do not let his death stop me from watching out for the rest of my packmates. You've got to put the living first, Pillow. I mean, there's nothing you can do for him anymore."

Pillow nodded, "I guess you're right. It just seems wrong that we would say, 'Oh, Ascot's dead, I guess we'll just move along now.' I certainly don't feel that way! I guess I'm just worried that we are not mourning enough. Does that make any sense?"

"Of course it does," Huggy called form the counter, as he prepared another sandwich -- in fact it looked like he was preparing several. "Believe me, I am saddened by this loss as well. I just do my mourning in private, you need to mourn or you will never get over it. I will mourn his loss, but I don't think I can do that when I know that there are others about."

Lovewolf looked a bit embarrassed for being so callous. "I guess I would have to agree with Huggy on this one. I don't take enough time to mourn for death. I just cannot stop for death it seems. I mean, we have some wild nights together, Ascot, Huggy, Lassie, and the rest of us all before, and we've really become close. My love was just negative in a way; I loved him because he wasn't a regular human. I just have a hard time really giving them over to my emotions. I just don't put people in my heart that easily. Ascot was there as a packmember, but no more. He is gone now, and even though it doesn't seem real to me yet, I know that even when it does, I'm still not going to feel that much loss."

Pillow nodded, understanding what Lovewolf meant. He thought the irony of his name was appropriate, the one who loves them all without question, could never become that emotional with them, at least on a deeper level. Of course, there was still one person who had not voiced their opinion, and it was the one whom Pillow was most interested in. "Lapwolf? What do you think of all this?"

"Ascot was a fucking prick, and so are you," Lapwolf replied indignantly.

Lovewolf looked a little surprised by that reaction, but Huggy was much calmer about it. "I see you haven't been taking your medication, Lap."

Lapwolf grimaced at that, and pulled out his bottles, "Fine, I'll take my medication, will that make you feel better?"

"Actually yes, and I'm sure Pillow would like you to do that too. You got the poor kid nearly crying you realize," HuggyBear pointed out. It was true, Pillow had been so stung by the words that he had felt his whole body just cave in on itself, and his eyes began to well up. He was not typically a crier, but when hurt very badly he tended to do it, almost as if it were a defense mechanism. When somebody called him names, he was usually not hurt, but when it was by somebody he cared about, then he was greatly injured.

Lapwolf popped his pills, and then turned to look at Pillow, his hard lined face softened a bit, "What's your problem?"

Pillow sighed, "I just was hoping that we could talk things over, you know, smooth things out between us."

"Like Hell."

"I still love you, you know." Pillow pleaded.

"Then what's your problem with screwing me?"

Pillow bit his lip, "Can we talk about this elsewhere, I have something I want to say in private." HuggyBear and Lovewolf looked relieved at that suggestion.

Lapwolf considered it a moment, "Fine, we can go back to our room, and this better be good."

"I know we can work things out." Pillow smiled, overjoyed to get the chance to set things right. He stood from his seat, and looked at Huggy and the Giraffe, "Can you take care of our stuff for us, we'll be in our room for a while. I guess we can check on Darkwolf while were at it. See you at the Greenhouse later."

"See you there."

Lapwolf walked out of the cafeteria at a brisk pace, leading the much happier Pillow in his wake. HuggyBear and Lovewolf sighed a sigh of relief when the two were left. Love just shook his head sadly, "You'd think that he would learn one day that Lap sees him only as a sex object."

"I know, I still don't know why he lets himself be used like that. He almost certainly has a submission fetish," Huggy speculated sagely.

"He says he goes along with it because he pities Lap, but did you see the way he looked when Lap told him off? There is more than pity going on there."

"I noticed it, I pointed it out in fact."

"Duh! Silly me. Anyway, you understand what I'm saying though don't you? I think that Pillow is more and more becoming Lap's willing slave. He may have told him off this once, but I think that with that one act of defiance, he made himself more Lap's little pet."

Huggy shook his head a little sadly, "Now that is a situation that I wish could be just ended."

"I know what you mean. Sometimes I wish Lap would just leave period. He was bragging last week that he managed to con Pillow out the sole bed at his place. Do you know what he did?"

"No I hadn't heard."

"Well, they’re playing this little pet game, and of course Pillow is supposed to be a little puppy or something."

"I thought he was a donkey?" Huggy seemed confused.

"Do you think Lap cares about that? Anyway, he put Pillow on a leash and made him sleep on the floor at the foot of the bed. Lap of course is sleeping like the master in Pillow's four poster. I hear they stopped only because Pillow caught a cold sleeping on the floor like that. Tell you what I think, I think...what was that?" Lovewolf stood from his seat, the sound of faint detonation sounding about them.

He dropped the female body to the ground, the scent of others still strong in his nostrils. He felt the blood spill over his fur where he had held her tightly to him for a moment. He placed her down, feeling exuberant and ready for more. He was doing well; the right thing was the easiest thing. Images of other things, he could see the face below him in other places, in other ways. They were ridiculous, for that was not possible. They were foolish, for his way was best, even though he did not know why.

He slipped out from the shallow recess of a closet, and stepped back out into the hall. He felt his muscles ripple beneath his fur, and the blood was strong in his senses. He lapped at it experimentally, feeling the taste flow down his throat. It was good, thrilling, moving, powerful beyond his belief. He relished it, taking in some more. However, his own nose stopped him. He could smell that some of the others were leaving. He had to do the right thing and that would require him to take action now. He could drink the juice later. He slowly crept down the hallway moving silently, exultant in his power and form.

"That didn't sound good whatever it was. I'd say a gun, I've shot enough of them myself." Huggy admitted.

"I don't like this." Lovewolf looked around, food no longer on his mind. He stepped away from the table, watching each exit. Huggy got up too, but not before picking up the remnants of his last sandwich and stuffing it in his mouth. He looked about the room as well, not noticing anything out of the ordinary.

"It might have been nothing." The Giraffe suggested.

Huggy shook his head, "That sounded an awful lot like a gunshot. I'm willing to bet it was."

"Let's get out of here then. I think the Greenhouse sounds pretty nice this time of year, what do you think."

"I agree, this place is giving me the creeps." Huggy turned towards the exit leading towards the nearest stairwell up to the third floor. The cafeteria was on the second floor, with three entrances, one on each side, and the third opposite the counter. The counter faced the front of the ship, and the third exit lead back towards their rooms. Lapwolf and Pillow has just disappeared down it only a few minutes ago, but already they were sorely missed as the two began to walk towards a different exit. Both moved slowly, not wanting to make any excess noise, and each looked behind them at frequent intervals.

When they reached the door, Lovewolf took a deep breath, then poked his head around really quickly, and then snapping it back just as quickly. He did it again, and then finally he steppe out into the hallway, "It looks safe to me," he smiled, looking back at Huggy who was watching him breathlessly. Huggy then stared in shock as the smile vanished from Lovewolf's face, which changed to one of absolute amazement. His eyes peered past Huggy, at something that was behind him, at some object that Huggy had not seen. Huggy turned around and then backed up involuntarily from the shock.

What stood looking contemplatively at them from the other end of the cafeteria could not be described better than as a werewolf. It was huge in size, at least eight feet, standing upon its hind legs, with the large black nails clawing into the floor beneath them. The dark fur that covered its chest -- in fact it was covered by that same thick, glossy fur over every part of its body -- was drenched with still dripping blood. The long billowing tail wagged a moment upon seeing them, as if it were contemplating something and had trouble reaching a decision. The large lupine head glared at the with amber eyes that almost glowed; it's large ears stood atop its head, lowering as it began to emit a low growl from its throat; they could see the large teeth as its jowls pulled back a bit, the black nose breathing in their scent, catching their trail even as they stood there, unable to move. Then, it's own paralysis cured, it began to stride towards them, and each step nearly five feet in length as the nails made a staccato clicking with each step.

Neither of them could convince themselves that this werewolf, who's physical body shamed all of their own hopes and desires, and all of their little pretending to be part of the wolf, all of their little spiritual exercises and searchings; none of it could compare to what they were seeing. The terror that is sprung up in their hearts was beyond what they themselves could have imagined, for they had always dismissed people's fears of werewolves as simple nonsense and superstitious garbage. The irony of the situation was completely lost on them as they ran up the stairs as fast as their legs could carry them.

The werewolf followed them up, nearly behind them even then. It was fortunate that there was a door to the Greenhouse right there. However, it was closed. No matter, the two slammed into it, and Lovewolf pushed the button to open the door. It didn't move. Lovewolf turned to look back at the werewolf who was slowly advancing on them, seeming almost to smile, the victory it had wanted nearly complete. There was nowhere they could run, and unless that door opened they were not going to survive.

HuggyBear beat on the panel; "Somebody let us in! For the love of God, somebody open this door!" He saw a few people who he didn't recognize in there, but he couldn't really see much. They were coming over to the door as fast as they could, one of them brandishing a red card in his hand.

"What's he waiting for?" Lovewolf asked, as the werewolf came even closer, barely ten yards away now. They could smell its breath; the scent of blood was strong, as it stood there, amber eyes, the eyes of the wolf locking with Lovewolf, who seemed completely incapable of any movement whatsoever. His whole body froze up, as his hands held onto Huggy's shirt. His eyes were locked in place, unable to move, unable to break the rapport that had been established between them. Lovewolf felt the creature somehow calling out to him, somehow begging for him to draw near. Somehow showing him that at least some form of his real existence was possible. He trembled, realizing that the wolf was there waiting for him to claim it. How was he going to resist the beckoning call?

Suddenly, the door behind him opened up, and Huggy pulled on his shirt, "Come on Love!"

Lovewolf found the rapport broken not by him, but by the werewolf, who open the door opening lunged for the entrance. Love turned and shoved his way in, pushing against the body of Huggy who was still in the way. The people at the door screamed for him to hurry, but the werewolf was already there, placing a clawed paw upon his back, and hooking his nails in Lovewolf's skin. Lovewolf cried out in pain as he was ripped back from the open door, away from the hands that were grabbing at him, and away from safety.

He stared, still alive as the creature stepped over him and jumped into the closing arapeture. The door slammed on its head, before it was beat off by something, he couldn't quite tell what. The door then closed again, and the werewolf stepped away from the door, looking about, and seeing him again. Lovewolf managed one last look at the window in the door before the werewolf stood overtop of him. He saw Huggy looking out at him, his face one of complete shock and terror.

The werewolf remained above him, and for the first time, he saw the massive sheath that hung between the creature’s legs. It was much different than he had fantasized about over the years, and he was afraid to even move. The creature looked down at him, and then dropped to all fours, the blood on its chest dripping off onto his shirt. It stared down its muzzle at him, the obviously male werewolf grinning wide. The creature reached out a thick, long, red tongue, and then lapped at the side of his face. The breath was intense, and he tried not to choke on it, but to instead let the werewolf continue with its ministrations. He laid there, the blood from his back pooling about him slowly. The wounds must not have been that deep, he realized. He might live through this, if the werewolf left him alone. However, thoughts of survival were moot. With those teeth that close to his face, all he wanted to do was not piss his pants.

Suddenly, like a flash, the werewolf, stood back up again, and then disappeared back down the stairs. Lovewolf stared after it, the form that he had always wished to take leaving with it. That it was gone, he could not believe, it had seemed so intent on them, why wasn't it going to finish what it had started? Maybe he didn't taste good? He nearly coughed at his own wit, not finding it the least bit humorous. What if, he wasn't being left for no reason; what if, it was waiting just below the staircase for them to open the door to rescue him? With a sudden start, he knew it had to be true, he was bait.

Rhodes breathed a sigh of relief when they brought the fat kid in. He had an even bigger paunch that his own, but this was not distressing. He had other matters on his mind now. For example, the kid that was still outside and living. Was it possible to save him? Where did these kids come from was another good question. Where were Corigliano and Gorecki, they should have reported in by now? Also, how could they possibly kill this beast, and where was it hiding?

"We've got to save him!" the fat kid bellowed, struggling against Jansen and Thibaudet's grips.

"We can't do anything right now." Rhodes barked at him. "You know as well as I do that the creature is just lying in wait for us to open that door and try to get him in. If he gets in here, we are all dead. We took a risk opening the door for you too, you’re lucky that we managed to save you."

"They you're just going to leave him out there?"

"If it comes down to that, yes."

"That's terrible, he's my best friend, I don't know what I'd do without him!"

"Well you better get used to the idea," Rhodes replied, not taking his eyes off the boy. He was obviously a young adult, probably in his early twenties, but he was still a boy in Rhodes eyes. Maybe if they were thirty, maybe then he would give them more respect, but not to a bunch of adolescents.

The boy turned and saw the girl in the room who seemed to be just as concerned, "Lassie, you've got to help me. That's Lovewolf out there!"

She spread her hands helplessly, "I'm sorry HuggyBear, there's nothing I can do. They won't even listen to me," she stuck her tongue out at Dutton and then gave Jansen the finger before turning back and sulking some more.

Huggy was finally tossed to the ground, where he lay, shivering, and almost crying. Rhodes looked out the door again, seeing the boy lying there, just waiting to be rescued. He wondered if the boy knew what was going, he wondered if he knew that there was nothing that they could do to help him without jeopardizing their lives. He then turned back on the fat kid who was called HuggyBear.

"So, where did you al run into the werewolf?"

"In the cafeteria."

"There was nobody else there?" Rhodes asked, a little shocked. He'd sent Gorecki to the cafeteria, either she was too late or....

"Well, our friends Lapwolf and Pillow were there, but they went back to their room."

"Shit, that's one more problem to take care of." Rhodes stammered.

"Do you want me to go down and get them back here?" Dutton asked.

"No Dutton, you're injured, I need you to stay right here. Plus, you know the security systems the best, and I need every last bit of knowledge if we are to have any hope of beating this thing," Rhodes pointed out. "I'm going to call Gorecki and Corigliano and see how they are doing. You two watch him, make sure he doesn't do anything funny." Rhodes pointed at Thibaudet and Jansen, and then at the prone figure of Huggy. Huggy stood up, brushed off his shirt cuffs, and then stormed over to the other side of the room, wishing that he could just get out there to help Lovewolf, wishing that somehow he could save his friend.

Rhodes pulled out his radio, and called up Gorecki first. He turned his back to the rest of them and spoke in a low voice. "Gorecki? Gorecki are you there? This is Captain Rhodes speaking. Gorecki if you are out there please respond, over." All he heard the entire time was static. He sighed deeply, realizing that he was going to have to admit the possibility that she might not be alive anymore, which would explain why the kids had run from the cafeteria, she had been too late.

He gritted his teeth, hoping that he would still find a signal on Corigliano. "Corigliano?"

"Yes Captain?" the prompt reply came.

He recognized the Italian's accent instantly, and felt a surge of relief washing over him. He sighed for a moment before continuing, "Where are you?"

"I'm nearly at the infirmary. I had to stay down for a while back there, because the werewolf was looking for me. I knew he could smell me but I hid better."

"Look, I don't have time for stories, you can tell them to me when you get back. How close are you to the infirmary?"

"I'm basically there. I'm going to close the door behind me." Rhodes could hear a door swinging shut, and then he heard some muffled gasps from the other side of the line. He did not need to hear anything that John would say to know that Xenakis was dead.

"It got Xenakis, and it looks like it's eaten what was left of Thordegaard. I guess Tembo too, cause I don't see his body anywhere," Corigliano reported, though he sounded very sick. Rhodes was glad that he was not viewing the scene, for the carnage left in the wake of the beast was certainly terrible, and he could imagine that it would unsettle even the most ironcast of guts.

"So it ate Thordegaard?"

"Yes, and Tembo it seems. There's no trace of the man left. Xenakis he seems to have clawed his throat out, but other than that, he looks fine, I guess for a dead body that is."

"Well, get the medical supplies and get out of there. It seems somebody else is going to have to do first aid."

"I thought you wanted me to go to the security office to get weapons first?" Corigliano seemed confused for a moment.

"Of course, that's what I meant. Don't forget to call Kilpatrick from the bridge either. If the legends are right, moving out of this orbit should be all it takes to stop the werewolf." Rhodes pointed out.

"Are you sure you can trust the legends, sir?"

"Well they said that there were werewolves, and modern science said that there were no such things. Well, now we know that modern science was wrong and the legends were right on this point. Maybe they got a few more of them right as well."

"Then you'll need silver to kill the beast. Only silver can harm them. That's what all the legends say at least," Corigliano reminded him in a shaky voice.

"I'll keep that in mind," Rhodes assured him. Rhodes grimaced then, his wide face turning sour, "Look, John, get that stuff and move fast. I think the werewolf is hanging around the greenhouse right now, but he might get bored of waiting for us to come out. Be careful out there."

"I'll be on my guard, sir. If I see the best I'll hide immediately."

"Good man. You're the only left out there you know."

"What about Gorecki?"

"I think it got her." Rhodes whispered in as low a voice as possible, almost mumbling the words.

"She's dead?"

"I think so. We are down to you and McGee left in fitting form. I don't want to move McGee just yet, so it is up to you."

"I'll do my best, sir."

"Thank you. And do please come back alive, there are six of us here, and we're all very scared. The sooner we can get weapons and get out of this orbit the safer we can be."

There was a moment of silence then, as John pondered something. "What if I go tell Kilpatrick and Penny now? That way I won't have to worry about the weapons."

"Yes, but if they left the door open, then we'll need those guns, because we'll have to fight our way down to the Engineering room. Get the guns first, just to be on the safe side," Rhodes advised.

"All right. I'll pick up as much as I can. I'll grab ordinance enough for seven people if I can manage it."

"Good, we'll be waiting for you here. I have half a clip left in my gun, but that is the only cover that we can give you."

"I understand."

"Good, now get going."

"Roger." and then the line went dead and Rhodes turned back around. He motioned for Dutton to come closer. Dutton was still cradling his arm, though the bleeding had stopped. He leaned his head over, obviously aware that Rhodes had some sensitive information to give him. He did not look the worse for where, though he was sweating a bit, probably from all the excitement and exertion.

"What is it?" Dutton asked in that serious baritone voice of his. His square face and shoulders tensed as Rhodes leaned in further to whisper into his ear.

"Xenakis is dead. Gorecki is off line, probably dead as well. Corigliano just made it to the infirmary and is now heading to the security office. The creature apparently ate some of Ascot, and all of Tembo, as there is no trace of the latter left. Corigliano is bringing enough weapons to arm everybody in this room. Do you think we can trust them all?" Rhodes whispered, then moved his own ear so that Dutton could whisper back.

"I think we can trust the scientists, and I think the girl is going to be properly motivated to help us. Leaving that kid out there has really upset this Huggyperson. I'm not too sure we should let him have a gun unless we save this Lovewolf first. I'm not sure if I'll be able to shoot to well, what with this arm. I'll stay on backup if you want."

"No, you are probably a better shot injured than these people are healthy. Also, I need to know if there is any silver on board. Remember, silver kills werewolves."

"Silver on this ship? I don't think so." Dutton seemed perplexed. "One of the girls might have brought along some silver jewelry, but as you know that's against regulations."

"Perhaps one of the scientists is using some. We need to get the manifests somehow and find out just what they are doing. It might be our only hope."

Dutton grunted, "The manifests were on the bridge. You could have Corigliano pick them up."

"Or we could just ask them. We know where seven of the scientists are, that's a pretty decent number I think," Rhodes pointed out.

"So should we ask these two here first?"

"Why not? What harm is it going to do?" Rhodes shrugged. "Besides, what else are we going to do anyway?"

"Good point." Dutton smiled.

Part VIII continued!

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