From the journal of Devlin Monroe
The people often label non kinfolk humans as “mortals.” It is a distinction meant to create separation. They are not part of our world, they are inferior, and they are prey. Though in the truest sense of the word, each and every one of us is mortal: from the oldest and wisest wolves, to the most ancient and amaranthine of worms. Death is the only promise this life makes to us, and none of us can hope to escape its consummation. We are all tiny motes of dust swept onward by the inexorable rush of time. The joke is that, even though we’re made well aware of this bargain early on in life, we never stop being crushed by it. Every time we have to come face to face with death, it takes a piece of us with it.
Today, I had to say goodbye to my VP. My packmate. My dear friend.
Luc was a Rahu of distinction. He was a fearless warrior, a skilled soldier and tactician. He believed in this club, and devoted himself to the pack. He was my brother, and now his struggles have ended. His story has been told, and he may rest. For the rest of the pack, we now carry the weight of the life that was lost in defense of our territory. Territory that I have been, thus far, too weak to hold.
It happened too fast to really process. While the club was busy having a shootout with the Brujos, Luc had headed back down to Ukiah to help our spirit allies endure the coming onslaught. I told him to be careful, but I had a bad feeling about the whole thing. Still, the spirits down there had risked much to help us topple the Hangman, and we were honor bound to offer any aid we could. Then, earlier today Cornell comes stumbling into our trailer at the crack of dawn, carrying Luc on his back. We could tell right away that something was wrong. Human senses aren’t acute enough to pick up on it, but living flesh and cold flesh have two completely different scents.
Cornell explained how they were ambushed Wincott’s men, and though they put up a good fight, their main enforcer showed up and instigated a death rage in Luc that would be his last. The Third Third had paid a dear price for taking Luc from us, however we are not like a normal pack. We are a club, and a brotherhood. We are one wolf, and the loss of our VP is like a vital part of our body being severed. It will take time to heal, and we will always bear the scar.
Our work continues, however. So after providing Luc his final rites, we rode down to Needles to hunt down the Deadwood press. As we approached, Cornell kept seeing markings from the local pack, claiming the territory. My plan was to be in and out of this shithole before anyone could even notice, but the pack was uneasy with that idea, so we rode out to the actual Needles monument to try and introduce ourselves. Something had already went down, however, and whatever pack had been there was long gone. I take to no pleasure in saying so, but whomever they are, they weren’t strong enough to hold their territory. Were it not for Wincott’s hubris, I might have suffered the same fate.
With the local pack out of the picture, we were free to seek out our mission without any Uratha interference. We headed to a local touristy watering hole, and questioned the barman about our target, Wendal Merch. His house was just around the corner in the “affluent” district of town. Okay, if you say so.
We went to investigate and ran into a wall of dickhead cops. Either they were on the take from something else that goes bump in the night, or they just thought we weren’t respectable enough to walk their vaunted two-floor Victorian cul-de-sac. Doesn’t matter, they might as well be flies buzzing around roadkill. I do my best not to punch any of them. The sergeant passively threatens us by mentioning all the backup he can muster. “You call anyone you want.” I say. I leave out the “I just hope you have enough hospital beds” part.
We approach Merch’s house, and can see clearly that it’s been broken into already. Walt decides to announce this directly to the police sergeant so as to give them probable cause. I swear man, good lawyer, terrible criminal. Luckily Dudley Do-Right was so far up his own ass he didn’t interfere. Instead he starts hassling some bum while I crack the lock to Merch’s front door.
Of course the place has been ransacked, and of course Merch is missing. Doesn’t matter, we’re after the press, and the silver. We bounce. While we’re getting ready to leave, Walt redeems himself by getting some intel from the bum, who must have unknowingly witnessed the break-in. The bum fingers some redneck meatheads who frequent what the locals call the “Night Camp”. It’s basically just a black market bazar. At the same time, Dee overhears the cops confirming backup over the radio, which is our cue to leave. We ride out, grab some chow and wait for night to fall before we check out this camp.
Sure enough, we find the culprits in the Night Camp, hiring day laborers or something. I approach them in a stance that is decidedly not diplomatic. I don’t care. Just hours ago I buried my friend, and then spent the afternoon being annoyed by the 5-0. I needed to dish out some pain. Thankfully, team redneck was not forthcoming. The dude I was talking to tried to back off though. Sorry son, it’s not going down quietly tonight. I launch an attack and the pack quickly follows suit. A few punches in and the asshole I’m fighting starts using his glowy vampire bullshit. “Good” I think, real good. That means we don’t have to hold back. All these fuckers are already dead. I shift to Dalu and unleash hell. By the time we’re finished with them, the place looks like a charnel house, and the humans have completely lost their shit. We hear sirens in the near distance, and we know that our time in Needles has come to an end.
Thank the Father for Brooke, though. He had enough sense about him to squeeze some information from one of the leeches during the scuffle, and one that I dropped was holding an annotated map. That’s as good as we’re gonna get. We hop on our bikes and burn rubber into the night. I really hope this leads somewhere, but if not, at least we rid the world of some scumsucking worms.
I’m going to need a lot more whiskey before this storm has passed, and a lot more people are going to have to die; but I will reclaim my territory. I will repave the roads, and rebuild on top of our enemies’ bones.
Arada estha, for the fallen.