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Return to Part III
Your search team discovers a werewolf carcass hidden under some carefully-placed pine branches in the Black Canyon. Find out where things go from here in this fourth installment of the Beast of Bozeman.
A cursory on-site examination of the werewolf carcass reveals it to be a female. Probably turned three to five years ago. The fur is matted with blood under the right shoulder.
Your team quickly trusses up the carcass, which, even with decomposition, weighs well over 500 pounds. And then you drag it out the same way you came in: down to the river and up into the hills.
|An FVZA scientist performs an autopsy|
on a werewolf killed near
Fortunately, you make it back to base well before sundown. You wrap the carcass in burlap, put it in the back of your pickup truck and bring it to town, with Earl talking in your ear the whole way.
"I'm willing to bet dimes to dollars that the carcass was the mate of the one that's been giving you trouble," he says. "Werewolves mate for life, and they don't take kindly to someone breaking up their happy marriage."
You take the corpse to the medical examiner's office and lay it out on a slab. Under the eerie glow of the lights, you unwrap the body, holding a handkerchief to your nose against the stench. Seeing a werewolf up close, even in death, gives you a sense of its power: the enormous fangs, the gaping maw, the muscular shoulders, the huge claws—it's a perfectly-formed killing machine. Nothing—no grizzly bear, no lion—can match it.
The autopsy reveals that the werewolf has been dead a month or so. When you open the chest, a bullet falls out and clatters on the slab. Looks like it went right through the heart. When you open the abdomen, you make a shocking discovery: the wolfwoman was pregnant.
Ravenous with hunger, you join Earl at the Olde Tymer's Cafe on Main Street for beers and burgers.
While you wait for your food, Earl tells you about a werewolf case he worked in the Pacific Northwest 13 years earlier.
"We got reports of an attack on this logging camp northeast of Seattle," he says. "It was right around the Fourth of July. Had to take a dirt road way up into the mountains to get to the camp. When we finally arrived, I tell ya, it was the worst thing I'd ever seen. A dozen bodies, strung up in the trees. Their flesh was just...in ribbons. There was one survivor. He was hiding up in a tree. He was so scared, he'd pissed himself. We finally got him to talk and, turns out, the night before, the loggers had had themselves a little party. They were lighting firecrackers, shooting guns in the air. Eventually, they all fell asleep, passed out or whatever. That night, a couple of werewolves paid them a visit. You might say, they were in a foul mood. One by one, they hunted them down and killed them."
"Why did they kill them?"
"Who knows? Maybe they didn't like the noise from the party. Maybe they didn't like the logging."
Earl leans close, like he's sharing a secret. "To this day, I think it left that one guy alive so he could tell other people what happened. Werewolves are smart like that. When they kill humans, they're usually trying to convey a message."
You sit in silence, wondering if that could happen here in Bozeman, when Lottie, your favorite waitress, approaches.
"There's a call for you, hon'," she says.
You pick up the phone by the front register. The voice on the other end is that of a local cop, and he's panicked. "I'm outside the medical examiner's office," he says. "Something's in there! Some--some kind of beast. It's tearing the place up!"
Your face must be ashen when you return to the table because Earl knows immediately.
"It's here, isn't it?"
You hurry to the office and load up on shotguns, rifles, grenades, tranquilizer guns, tear gas and anything else you can get your hands on. Ten minutes later, you and Earl are standing in front of the medical examiner's office with a terrified cop and an even more terrified security guard. The office, set on a quiet street a block from downtown, is dark and eerily quiet.
The four of you stand there, looking at each other, wondering what to do—when suddenly, you hear crashing noises from inside, followed by a deep, mournful howl that chills you to the bone.