Well, that settled itself rather nicely, didn’t it?”
Kara was back in her office, reclining in her leather chair, her legs clad in ankle length boots resting on her desk.
Fred sat on the other side of the desk, adjusting his square glasses, while reading out the case file to Kara.
“Yes, I guess so.”
“A werewolf, hungry, hunting down whatever it could find. It must have been hunting the trolls. Nothing else could have forced them out of their natural habitat and into town. Nothing else could drive them to such madness. And the wyvern last week too.”
Fred absently stroked the stubble on his chin, while he pondered over Kara’s words.
“I suppose that must explain it. No other reason for the goblin killings three weeks back either. Let’s just hope that that is the end of that.”
Kara smiled. She couldn’t help but think that Fred had been wrong before.
Her phone rang.
“Ms. Freeson, This is Ryan Hammett, from down at the Forensics Department. I hope you remember me.”
Kara nearly burst out laughing. Boy, did she remember him! She’d been hoping that she’d have to talk to Ryan soon.
“Of course, Ryan. Something you wanted to tell me?” Kara couldn’t really keep the anticipation out of her voice.
“Well, it’s about the dead werewolf they brought in yesterday. They told me you had been running the case.”
“Werewolf, huh? Yeah, it was me on that one.” Kara’s face had dropped almost imperceptibly. Across the table, Fred coughed, but it sounded awfully like a chuckle.
“Well, I ran some tests, just as a formality. Turns out there a few…interesting facts you might like to know about the deceased. Maybe you can come down here and have a look see?”
“Sure, I’ll drop by right away. Give me twenty minutes.”
Kara put the phone back in her pocket, and then glared at Fred. Fred started to speak but Kara cut him off.
“Don’t say a word.”
Fred went back to reading the file, trying to hide the grin on his face.
“Well, maybe I can teach Ryan something about priorities in person.” Kara thought to herself as she walked out of her office.
PRADA’s Forensics department was hidden behind a butcher shop in central Manhattan. Kara parked her black Corvette across the street, keeping a lookout for anyone following her. Then, she walked right through the front door of Antonio’s Meat Shop, and didn’t stop till she reached the big refrigeration section at the back. The door buzzed open for her, and she walked into a waiting room. Ryan Hammett was waiting for her there. She took a moment to admire Ryan’s athletic build. Ryan smiled at her, his light brown eyes twinkling.
“Thanks for heading down here. I don’t think this will take very long. If you could follow me, please?”
Ryan led her down an elevator that led to the actual forensic laboratory underground. He led her into one of the cubicles. A naked body was lying stretched out on the steel table, lying on its back. It looked remotely human, but covered with matted grey fur and blood in some parts. Some of the skin seemed ripped, and putrid. The stench was awful. Ryan didn’t seem perturbed at all. He went over to a table on the right and picked up a small file and showed it to Kara.
“If you look at these reports, Ms. Freeson…”
“Please, call me Kara.” Kara cut in.
“Yes, well, Kara, according to these reports, you shot the werewolf. I did find two silver bullets in its belly. But you didn’t kill the werewolf.”
“Of course, I did. I watched it die. I saw them carry it away.”
“No, I mean, you didn’t kill it. You might have aggravated the process, yes, but when it ran into you, it was already dying.”
“I can’t say that I follow you.”
“Let me try to explain. When you found it, it was probably already in an advanced stage of Lyc-V regression. As you know, the Lyc-V virus takes over the bodily functions of the host it infects. If something, like silver or aconite serum, kills the virus strain, these functions are terminated, effectively killing the host.”
Ryan paused, then gestured towards the stiff.
“As you can see, the John Wolf you brought in, had lost fur in many parts of the body. We can safely assume that it must have entered a state of extensive stress for it to have transformed at this time of the month. But, its abilities were being restricted. Have a look at these.”
Ryan pointed towards the bullet holes in the werewolf’s belly. Kara kept looking for what Ryan was showing till she realized that the bullet holes were the problem.
“That isn’t right, is it?”
“No, given the extreme regenerative capability of the Lyc-V virus to manufacture new host cells, even with silver bullets, those entry wounds should have healed up quite a bit. They shouldn’t even be visible. I’ve never seen a wound stay on a werewolf like that.”
Kara’s analytic mind had clicked into overdrive.
“So something was slowly killing John Wolf, even before I shot it?”
“That’s what I think. I’ll try to run some tests on the corpse, see if there’s anything else I can dig up. Maybe I can find traces of what killed it. It might be something we could use.”
“You do that, Ryan, thanks a lot for this information. It might be more important than you think. So, please keep it to yourself. I’m going to go find out what could possibly do that to a werewolf. Report to me as soon as you find something.”
“Sure thing, Ms. Free…I mean, Kara.”
Kara smiled and walked out. But by the time, she reached her Corvette, her face had quickly turned grim, as her mind clouded with thoughts.