Description: A path to a possible cure presents itself to Zach Glenn in the form of one Earthrealm's defenders. Conversation is had.
Captain Zach Glenn, United States Marine Corps, was having a long week since getting on the Butcher Case as he was starting to call it. He had done what he could for the victims, and was torn on the issue of whether or not to continue helping them in the manner that he had. The method was inefficient, temporary, and carried a significant risk both to himself and those he helped.
He had asked a meddling priestess for help, and was waiting for her to contact him with some kind of solution. Sitting and waiting grated on the Captain, however, so he decided to take a run. He was currently halfwway around his first lap of the installation, moving at a good pace.
If its not one thing its another.
Nightwolf had spent this past month getting everything prepared for the refugee Darkstalkers, the first of many to come for sure. A great hidden village had been erected to safeguard those who sought a better life away from the humans, and also to prepare them for the coming onslaught that was the invasion of Outworld. It looked like things were under control and Nightwolf thought that maybe he could take a moment respite to gather his thoughts.
He should have known better.
No sooner had he returned to Southtown he started hearing rumors of a malevolent entity ripping people's souls apart. Fantastic...
Doing his own research on the side, the shaman deduced that it wasn't the work of Jedah or Testament, it was someone completely different, which did not bode well at all. Furthermore, he couldn't reach any of his old contacts for this case, it looked like they were indisposed. Fearing the worst, and rightly so since his contacts do tend to bring all manner of trouble of themselves, Nightwolf started looking through whatever archives he could find to see if Daniel Little had any acquaintances he could talk to. Thankfully, there was one such a man.
One he had been meaning to talk to anyway.
As Zach continues to run inside the military compound he would see a most unusual sight. There's a large dark wolf trotting towards him, staring with bright eyes as he approaches. Just how in the world a wolf that big got inside the compound? And why of all people is it moving directly towards Zach?
Zach spots the wolf fairly quickly, eyes narrowing in consideration. Some people are already moving away from the animal. Others have phones out to call in animal control. Glenn, for his part, takes two steps towards the wolf. Mainly because just stopping from a full run can be tricky sometimes.
He's breathing a little hard, but the Marine regards that as a sign of improvement from the aftermath of his week. Zach watches the lupine carefully, waiting to see what it does. The last time he opened his mind to search something out, Raiden had him pounding asprin for a whole week.
Thankfully Nightwolf's presence is a lot more tolerable to mortals than that of the God of Thunder. This is part of the reason why he's the Speaker of the Society, people tend to not be able to handle the presence of a super powerful deity too well.
The wolf is a strange sight and moves in strange manners too. It seems to be completely ignoring the other soldiers around the compound focusing only on Zach. As it gets within what would be considered pouncing distance, it makes a jerking movement with its head to the side, the gesture someone makes when they want you to follow them. If that isn't enough to get Zach's attention.. maybe the wolf actually speaking will.
"Come with me." The wolf actually says in a whisper, close enough to Zach that the other soldiers won't listen. Now its up to Zach if he wants to take that leap of faith and follow the wolf or decide that he has finally gone mad.
The movements alone make Zach curious. The speaking stops him short. He's... not crazy. He doesn't /think/ he's crazy, at any rate. He looks around. Noone else heard the wolf speak, but it was fairly quiet. Zach frowns.
"And then some answers," Zach says just as quietly as he follows the wolf. "This had better be good."
We're all crazy here anyway.
When Zach complies, the wolf leads him away from the main grounds of the facility and into a hidden corner away from prying eyes. The wolf makes a few circles to make sure that no one is looking before staring back at Zach. A green mist suddenly begins to swirl around the animal and in an instant where there was once a wolf a tall dark skinned man garbed in wolf and deer pelts stands. His eyes are completely white, devoid of irises just like Raiden's.
"Zach Glenn. I've been meaning to speak with you for quite some time."
Zach watches the wolf turn the cirlce, and takes a half step back in surprise when a man takes its place. He's, well, stunned for a brief moment before he lets out a sharp exhale.
"Well," he finally says with a crooked grin. "Explains why you didn't just try the front gate."
Glenn steels himself quickly before offering his right hand to shake. "Nightwolf, I'm guessing."
The shaman steps forward and grasps Zach's hand with a firm hand shake. "You've heard of me, that is very good. Who was it that told you I would be looking for you?"
As he step back, still looking over his shoulder to make sure no one is watching them, he also adds. "And if you know of me then you must also know why I am here."
Zach looks at Nightwolf for a moment. "Raiden mentioned you," he says, suppressing a shudder from the memory of the being who considered himself a god of lightning. "Said something about an invasion," he comments. Zach's mind goes back over the conversation.
"But your timing's pretty good," he says after a moment. "I have something I need to ask you about. I think you might be able to give me an answer."
Nightwolf nods his head slowly in understanding. It was originally Raiden who had told the shaman to seek Zach out. However, it seems that now he has more pressing reasons to talk to the Marine than the invasion of Outworld. He'll let him speak first, Nightwolf has learned that its far easier to know what is going on when he simply lets the other party do the talking instead of peppering them with questions.
"I am listening." He crosses his muscled arms over his chest and waits for Zach to speak his mind.
"There's some kind of monster running around Southtown," Zach says after consideration. "He's..." Pause. This time Zach really /does/ shudder. "He's ripping apart the souls of his victims. The victims survive this, but they're left in a world of hurt. Depression, anxiety, anemia, some other physical symptoms. One of the victims has gifts similar to mine. She told me that the monster, Daniel Little's calling him the Butcher, is /keeping/ the part that he takes."
Zach lets out a sigh. "If I hadn't seen the victims, I'd have thought that such a thing would be impossible. It's leaving something of itself behind with them as well. Some kind of energy that I haven't seen before. It's..." Zach's face twists in revulsion, "Corrupt is the only word I can think of."
"This much I have heard." Because that was literally the first thing he heard when he set foot back in Southtown. A monster ripping people apart is what everyone is talking about. Nightwolf didn't know that it was people's souls he was taking though, this is a lot worse than he thought. "Hmm.." The shaman considers the information briefly and ponders some things before speaking again.
"I have encountered soul stealing demons before.. but they almost always exclusively originate from Outworld. However, without having seen this 'Butcher' myself of contacted any of the victims, I cannot be certain if this monster is from Earthrealm or an invader."
He rubs his chin before glancing back at Zach with his blank white eyes. "You mentioned that Daniel encountered this creature? Is he alright?" Knowing Daniel.. he probably isn't.
"He's not," Zach says. "The Butcher got to him to, but of the three victims I've seen, he's the best off." Which isn't all that great. "He..." Zach frowns. "I can help the victims, somewhat. But it's temporary, and not what you'd call tactically viable. I'm almost certain I've made myself a target in the process. Daniel refused my help."
And then Zach will be the lucky witness of seeing Nightwolf perform his most human reaction yet.
He goes for the double facepalm. "Blast that fool boy.." The shaman says in exasperation, is this going to be the /third/ time he needs to go save Daniel's life? "Why is this always happening to him??" After a moment of rubbing his face and shaking his head, Nightwolf takes a deep breath and stabilizes before looking at Zach again.
"It is imperative we bring at least one of the victims to Lord Raiden. With his help we'll be able to get a better understanding of what this Butcher is and thus be able to destroy him. If you tell me where I can find his victims I can seek them out."
"Because Daniel and I are very much the same," Zach replies. "We refuse to look away, regardless of what it will cost us." Zach thinks for a moment.
"I'm pretty sure you know how to find Daniel. Officer Louis is, last I heard, still in the hospital." Zach considers for a moment. The third victim... Zach's not at all sure how to find her right now. Hokkaido is a big place.
"I know, roughly, where she is at. She went to see her own people to maybe find a solution. How do I get ahold of you if I find her?" Zach asks.
Nightwolf quickly shakes his head. "No, do not compare yourself with Daniel. I can tell that at least you know the difference between being courageous and being suicidal."
"I have worked with Daniel in various occasions in the past, and though I know his heart is firmly set on the path of righteousness, his recklessness often does more harm than good." Particularly for Nightwolf, though he doesn't say that last part. "Do not fight harder, Zach Glenn. Fight smarter."
The shaman digs in his pockets and procures a pristine eagle feather which he then offers to Zach. "This is how you can summon me. Simply whisper my name into the feather and I shall come, wherever you are. Additionally, this is how my associates can also find you, if you ever see someone holding a feather similar to this one, you will know they can be trusted."
"I prefer to do both, actually. Fight harder AND smarter. It's how things get done." Zach accepts the feather, spinning it between thumb and forefinger to look at it. "Not exactly uniform," he mutters mostly himself, before gently sliding the token into a front pocket. "But I'll figure something out."
He nods once to Nightwolf. "I..." Zach pauses, almost thinking himself out of it. "Raiden mentioned something about you doing something he called 'sin eating.' That... sounds incredibly dangerous. But I think it might be a solution to what the Butcher is doing. Is that something you're willing to explain how to do to someone?"
The Apache doesn't argue the point, Zach is entitled to believe what he wishes and if he gets results that way, more power to him.
When he takes the feather, Nightwolf crosses his arms again and furrows his eyebrows profoundly when Zach brings up the Sin Eating, and how it can be taught to someone.
"To be a Sin Eater.. is something I would not wish upon even my greatest of enemies. It is something I do, because I do not want anyone else to suffer from it."
Nightwolf recognizes Zach's type, he's probably going to try and argue against it, saying he can take it and what not. But the shaman is not going to give him a chance to talk him out of it. He takes a step back and quickly shifts back into his wolf form, peering up at the Marine with bright eyes.
"Fight smarter, Zach Glenn." He says cryptically and dashes away.
Zach lets out a snort as Nightwolf leaves. He /could/ argue the thing, but now is clearly not the time for that. The Marine turns, and restarts his run. He needs to get back to his quarters and get a shower.
Log created on 10:27:26 02/11/2015 by Zach Glenn, and last modified on 23:02:34 02/11/2015.