Dresden Files: The GreatNorthwest

The Forest Killer, Part 2

From the case files of Roland Harper

Case File: The Forest Killer, Part 2

I called Stark about the Wendigo, and got an earful of bad news. These things are damn near immortal. They can be taken out, but given enough time, they’ll heal, or return from the Nevernever. They must be contained afterward to prevent them from causing further destruction. Stark has dealt with Wendigo in Canada, when he was working with some sort of Canadian paranormal defense force. I guess there’s a lot I don’t know about Wendigo, or Stark. Regardless, I told him we needed to hurry, so he agreed to pick up a Uhaul and meet us at my apartment. Agent Starling decided to stay behind, as did Smithe. I think he’s still trying to get lucky. I tried talking the other civilians, Ms. Smith and Ms. Sullivan, into staying behind as well, but they both seemed to think this is a grand adventure. I’ll never understand normals. They know so little.

We grabbed what we could, and piled into the Uhaul. Stark had his Glocks, and he even brought an AR-15. Stark continues to surprise me. I gave Ms. Smith a baseball bat, while Stark provided Ms. Sullivan with another automatic. She claims she’s a practiced shot. I, myself, had my usual duffle full of odds and ends, and my engraved .357 Colt Python. I’m a decent shot on the best of days, so when I do hit, I try to make it count. I also managed to round up an obsidian knife and a bag of other small pieces of the volcanic glass. Volcanic rock of any kind is the Wendigo’s only physical weakness, it’s catch, if you will. Quickly equipped, we headed west out of town, toward the Wendigo.

During the very bumpy drive to the coast range I rode in the back, drawing the best binding circle I could under the circumstances. Hopefully it would be enough to keep the Wendigo in a stasis after we brought it down. Stark thought his ex-colleagues up north would be able to permanently contain the beast, if we were successful and managed to transport it back to town. My main concern was finding Jennifer Ball, hopefully alive, so I’m leaving plans for dealing with the Wendigo to Stark.

Once we arrived in the area of my vision had indicated was the lair, we set off on foot. Surprisingly, Ms. Sullivan was able to find fresh tracks, indicating the Wendigo had passed by very recently. Armed and cautious, we set out following the tracks. Soon we came to a deep overhang in the side of a hill. Recognizing it as the lair, we set up on the side of a hill opposite the overhang. Our plan was to observe the entrance, and hopefully catch the Wendigo leaving. Little did we know, it had been observing us the whole time. The first indication we were not alone was when the monster attacked out of the shadows, rending the flesh from Ms. Sullivan’s back. She shrieked and quickly backed up against a tree. In a moment of reflexive panic, I tried casting a rote blinding spell on the Wendigo. It was to no avail. The Wendigo just shrugged it off. In response to my attempts to blind it, the beast leapt at me. A searing pain filled my world, as its claws tore shreds out of my chest. Stark then fired a burst from his rifle, wounding the Wendigo. Ms. Sullivan continued to crouch against the tree, and I was sure she was near death. Ms. Smith took a swing with the bat, hitting, but barely causing the beast to flinch.

My next spell was more effective. Using my walking stick to focus my energy, I unleashed a blast of force, sending the Wendigo flying back. It landed in a sprawl, carving a rut in the dirt. I tossed Ms. Smith the bag of obsidian pieces, and told her to crush them into the wood of the bat. The Wendigo struggled to get up, as Stark unloaded another burst into it. Ms. Sullivan finally decided to act, firing her pistol, but missed. I drew my own pistol and shot the Wendigo in the gut. I blew a fist sized hole in the bastard, yet still he got up and charged Stark. Luckily, the strange fish-man is made of tough stuff, as he practically shrugged of the Wendigo’s attack. Stark dropped the AR and drew his Glocks, for what I guess he considers “close quarter combat”. He stuck them directly up against the beast’s ribs and unloaded. By all the powers both dark and light, that monster was tougher than I could ever imagine. It was still standing, even after all the rounds we had pumped into it. What happened next came as an even bigger surprise. Ms. Smith, wielding the now obsidian encrusted bat, shoved it into the gut wound I had given the Wendigo, and tore it out with ferocity. With its guts spilling out onto the forest floor, the Wendigo finally collapsed.

Leaving Stark and Sullivan to watch the beast, Ms. Smith and I went looking for the lost hiker, Jennifer Ball. It only took a short few minutes searching around the lair before we found her, hurt and dazed, but still alive. We carried her and the Wendigo back to the Uhaul, wrapping Ball in a blanket in the front seat, and throwing the beast into the back. I rode with the Wendigo to make sure the binding held, and Stark drove us back to Portland. We dropped Ms. Ball off at the hospital, and called Earl the redneck. He agreed to meet us at Ms. Smith’s apartment, so we could confirm the job was done. When Earl arrived, and we showed him the “dead” Wendigo, he noticed something we had missed. A single diode, attached to the Wendigo’s chest. The kind used for medical research and observation. Upon further inspection we found a strange brand on the creature’s shoulder. Strangely, it matched a brand that Stark had on his flank. Stark explained it came from the lab he awoke in, years ago. A secret lab at OHSU. The mystery deepens. Did the Wendigo escape? Or was it released? What is the purpose of the secret experiments being conducted at OHSU? We will have to investigate further, but for now I’m closing the file on the Forest Killer.



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