I awoke again.
This time, to the odd sensation of –no pain?
I've always said, "If I wake up and not in pain, I'll know I'm dead."
I opened my eyes. The patches were gone. Hospital room, standardm on each.
There was a dry erase board on the wall, with "Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital" printed at the top, and the names of the nursing care staff. In big red letters, the words
RESTRAINT PROTOCOLS!" was printed and double underlined.
I moved my arms. The links of the shackles rattled on the bedrails. I lifted my feet. They were similarly chained.
"Hmmph" was all I could say.
"A Promising start, Mr. Falkyn." Said an unfamiliar voice.
I lifted my head. There was a guy in a cheap black suit, sitting in a chair near the foot of my bed.
"Promising start?" I echoed. "Am I hallucinating?" I stared at him. "You look like one of the extras from "Men in Black"
"Close" he chuckled. "Actually, please don't laugh, but I'm Agent Ben Coulson, from the FBI Special Situations team in Buffalo." He smiled. "To answer the obvious next question, no I don't have a brother named Phillip."
I smiled back. "At least you're not Agent Franks, with a Glock full of silver bullets."
He chuckled. "Ah, you've read Larry Correia, too." He frowned a little. "Actually, I do indeed have a Glock 10 with sintered silver composite rounds." He shifted. "You've passed the first test, just fine."
"First test?" I said. "Oh, right, I didn't wake up a psychotic, homicidal lunatic."
"Indeed" said Agent Coulson, "and yes, you are a werewolf, blood tests and the healing factor proves it."
"Healing factor?" I said.
"Yes." Said the Agent. "It's been less than 24 hours since the attack, you suffered massive trauma, you should have died." He laughed. "In point of fact, you did flatline twice. Once in the ambulance, once in the emergency room. The E.R. doctor was discussing possible amputation of your left arm at one point."
I looked at my left arm. Still there.
"Ah well." I said to no on in particular. "That makes four times."
He tilted his head. "I've flatlined twice before. Got stabbed on J street in Panama City, darn near bled out, but my buddies dragged me to Gorgas Army Hospital quick enough. Second time was getting shot in Iraq in '03"
"hmm." He said. "You're a vet?"
"28 years worth." I replied.
"Want to go back?" he asked. "No need to worry about bullets or blades anymore, unless they're silver."
"Uh." I said. "Old guy?" I said. "As in, "I've already hit 62 and ready to collect social security?"
"That was last week." He smiled. "I got a friend who is going to WANT to talk to you."
"Anyway," he said, standing up and unlocking my shackles. "we still need to check out what KIND of werewolf you are?"
"Kind of werewolf?" I asked, rubbing my wrists.
"Type Zero" he said, sitting back down, "is the person who does not survive the attack, or the resulting infection – or else survives the infection with no further effects."
"OK?" I said, "well, I survived."
"Take a good look at your left arm" he advised, "that's the arm that looked damn near chewed through, hanging by a few tendons and ligaments last night."
I looked at it. It didn't look any different than I remembered it.
I looked again. My scars were missing. Not only was there no scars from last night, the place a Tutsi bandit hit me with a machete, back in '96, that was gone too.
"Damn." I whispered reverently, not blasphemy, but…
"Not truly." He said. "I don't know your faith, but damnation is a matter of your own soul." He shrugged, "I don't know what you believe, but in Special Situations, the soul is not any a matter of discussion. It exists."
"I have about a million questions." I said slowly. "Where do I start?"
"Well," he drawled, "Let's continue with werewolf 101, shall we?"
"Right." I agreed.
"Type two is where you are right now." Said Agent Coulson. "Type one is a raving, psychotic, homicidal maniac. You're not one of those."
He smiled. "Type two, you're a normal person, usually increased strength, stamina, healing – and during the three days of the full moon, you're a psychotic lunatic killing machine."
"Scheisse." I breathed.
"No sweat" he assured me. "Standard policy is that you simply report to the FBI Office – in your case, at the Federal Building in Buffalo." He said. "We've got cells, where you can rave and struggle to your heart's content."
He frowned. "Don't report, we declare Code Silver, and hunt you down, hopefully before you kill anybody. Silver bullets, no appeal." He said, his voice harsh.
"We have a secret Presidential finding of Fact, signed by FDR and renewed by every President since then, that as long as you are registered and don't kill anybody, this is just a disability, and is covered by Social Security."
I smiled happily. "No sweat," I replied, "I'll be there."
"Well," he continued, "there's type three. That's a person who converts to a wolf, but a big wolf. Conservation of mass applies, so we're talking a 200 pound timberwolf…but not crazy psychotic. More like a huge timber shepherd."
"Wow" I said.
"Type four is pretty much as type three, but the individual has human intelligence in a wolf body." He added. "There are about a hundred of those."
"Type five is something we've only seen three cases of." He said. "We call it the Wulven. A humanoid being with wolf aspects, super senses, but human intelligence."
"Darn" I said, laying back and staring at the ceiling. "That's a lot to take in."
He pulled some papers out of his briefcase. "Standard Non-Disclosure Agreement." He stated, "I'm sure you're familiar with these?" he said dryly.
I chuckled. "I used to have a TS/SSI." I replied. "I used to be a Tactical Deception Officer at Kunsan AB."
He replied, equally dryly, "OK, Air Farce. And an Officer."
"I was an NCO for ten years before that." I stated.
"A mustang." He laughed. "I'm getting to really like you." He said. "What did you retire as?"
"Major" I said proudly.
He whistled. "Not bad." He said. "I was Air Force enlisted, but I've heard how much the Air Force hates Mustangs."
The door opened. "And on that note," the new fellow stated, "How do you feel about going back on Active Duty, Major Falcon?"
"Whoa." I said, "We don't know what type I am yet." I whistled. "You haven't a clue if I'm any better than a Type two."
He stuck out his hand. "Barton" he said, " Jim Barton." He looked at Agent Coulson. "DARPA has come up with some refinements this month." He said. "You're coding out as a type four, maybe a five."
"Uh huh." I agreed. "Eric Falkyn." I said. "Major, Air Force, RETIRED." I put an emphasis on the last word. "What's the catch?"
He chuckled. "My kind of guy." He said. "Trust No one."
"In God we trust," I replied, "Everybody else, keep your hands where I can see them."
"Eric," he said, "to paraphrase a line from one of my favorite movies," he said, "I think this is the beginning of a be-yoo-tee-full friendship."
Chapter 05 Back to Basic