"Gyaaah, whoa, ahhh yikes!!" I stammered as I desperately tryed to find my balance on my house's wobbly broken shingle covered roof. "Oh Man I hate coming up here." I said through my teeth as I felt a cold chilling breeze come whooshing through my and send a chill running through my entire body. "The sooner we get this done the better in my mind." Chase said as he very slowly made his way over to the edge of the roof and began to scoop fallen leaves and black gunk out of the gutters. " Ugh, Looks like something Catera made in the kitchen." He said as he promptly plopped into a white plastic bucket beside him. "Heh yeah, that little sister of yours really isn't the best cook out there." Jinja chuckled. " I think she could be good. If she learned that smoke alarm isn't a timer!" Arabelle added as Jinja grinned and the two of them exchanged a high five. I chuckled and got to work on my own section, scooping out this gunk was rather hard to do honestly both physically and having to look at it. It was hard physically because it was sticky like glue or tar almost and once it smushed up onto something it took an awful lot of force to get those objects seperated again. To look at it was even worse and then that came with it stuck in the leaves, sticks, abandonded animal nests, and occasional huge rotton apple core that a squirrel had left up here after raiding my mom's trees. " Oh nasty! I can feel it squish even through these gloves!!!" Said Bren from the other side of the roof. None of us wanted to touch the gunk with out gloves not that it would really help. " It stinks too." Luna muttered trying to use the clean part of her glove to hold her nose shut. "Hemm smells sort of like my Mom's jambaliya. "Dax grinned. I would have to remember never to eat his mother's cooking.
Once we got the worst of the gutters cleaned out I flew directly into the shower to clean up, Bren whined about that a bit but hey, my house my shower man. As I stood drying off I was also listening to a news report on the radio. "Local Residents of Lebanon Ohio claim that they awoke early Sunday morning to see thier high school Football stadium all but torn apart. Bleachers were crushed, the playing field was scarred up and dug into, several parts of the main building structure also seem to have been, as some say Bitten into by seemingly large animal like Jaws. S.T.O.R.M. officially released a press statement today stating that the damage was because of a natural gas explosion that occured late into the night, Fortunately there have been no cases of human deaths reported." I rolled my eyes as I slipped a clean shirt over my body If anybody honestly was dumb enough to believe that then they were 10 kinds of crazy in my book, The damage had been because of a fight we had with S.T.O.R.M. They had un earthed a good sized deposit of Essence outside Lebanon and were trying to ship it out in secret by hiding the containers in a secret room at the stadium. Of course we couldn't let them get away with that so we had to intervine, but I suppose things got a little out of control and we may of trashed the stadium a little. Who was at fault was kind of a gray area really. "Ahh, squeaky Clean." I said as I exited the bathroom and started down stairs to see what the others were doing. Chase and Belle were sitting at the table playing cards, Jinja was reading a magazine on the couch, Dax was next to her sharpening his pocket knife, Blake and Catera had gone out on a date tonight, Shea had to run back home to Texas for her cousin's wedding and Beyal had gone with her as her guest, Luna was Playing on her laptop, and Vakuso was off with Jeredy and Jon ace scouting out areas they thought there could be large essence deposits. "Things always get so Boring lately after we have a big battle, Never thought I'd actually be wanting one of our enemies to attack us but pretty much anything beated cleaning out black gunk from your gutters.
"Whatcha doin?" I asked as I hung my head over Luna's computer screen and made her jump when I surprised her. " Well right now I'm trying to keep my heart from beating out of my chest." she said panting a bit "But before that I was doing some reasearch for My dad." " Hemm, Really, because it looks more like you're playing some kind of game to me." Said Chase as he joined the two of us and peered over at the screen. Luna blushed red, Unable to come up with anykind of retort but that was what she was really doing she hoped that none of the others would ask though. "It's more then just a game ok! It's well, it's kind of a social site too." As I took a closer look at the screen I was kind of surprised to see a character who looked fairly close to Luna in the game the other player's avatar kind of looked like Me but with Chase's hair style and Jinja's color, the bigger shock came when you saw that they were battling each other using Monsunos in the game though. " Where in the crag did this come from?!" I asked " Dad made it, He set it up as a sort of under the radar information network, It's shielded from S.T.O.R.M.'S computers so they can't hack in and find out we made it but its also a place where people can report on anything strange going on in thier towns or nearby. We thought we could use it as a way to collect information and get the drop on S.T.O.R.M. and Eklipse." Luna explained as she continued to play her match. "And I gotta admit the game is fairly decent." she shrugged. " Guess It would be hard to step down after experiencing the real thing." Belle laughed. I was kind of tempted to try this game out now but before I could say anything A beep sounded from Luna's computer and a little message bubble appeared.
' You're a really good player, much better then any of the others on here. I hope you don't mind If I ask this but, are you by chance one of them? One of these real ones? You hear about them in the news a lot lately.'
Now seeing this message pop up really raised a lot of red flags in my mind this had do not answer written all over it. For all we knew this person was an undercover S.T.O.R.M. agent or one of Doctor Klipse's goons that was trying to pull us into a trap. We all just stared at the screen for a while not sure really of whether to reply to the message or not until finally Luna ended the battle and opened a secure chat with the player. "Becareful sis." Chase said. "I know, I know." She tryed to be as aloof as she could with her reply not wanting to tip the hand against her. Before long the player sent us another message. ' I just wanted to say I don't believe that you're the bad guys that S.T.O.R.M. makes you out to be, I have heard lots of rumors that you keep them and other groups from doing nefarious acts. but more to the point If you are one of them I want to ask for your help. Some strange things have been going on around my hometown for a while and you guys are the only one I think can be of help.' "Heh We're so being punked, this has to be Jeredy or Jon ace screwing around with us." Dax said with a grin. "Dude, seriously have you ever known Jon to play a computer game? " I said "And dad has got like no Video game skills at all. Trust me I know." Chase added. " Ask them what they mean by strange things." said Jinja. Luna nodded and quickly typed up her response. A while later we had a link to a news story that we hoped would answer our growing mound of questions.
The page was mainly focused around a town called Silver falls which was mainly farm lands and woods for the most part most of the people out there raised livestock and cattle or grew crops but just recently they had been experiencing something rather strange going on animals such as goats, pigs, dogs, and even in some cases young cattle had been turning up dead almost completely stripped clean no meat at all left on the bones. In that area though they didn't have big powerful predators like bears, wolves, or cougars the worse they had were coyotes and bobcats neather of which they believed to be responsible There were a few video reports and people claiming what they had seen but so far law enforcement hadn't been able to make the connection to any sort of animal just yet. Many were calling this thing , what ever it was the "Silver falls monster". "I am telling you guys we are being punked so hard this is like all the bigfoot stories and reports you hear there's nothing out there but Coyotes." Dax said. " I gotta agree with Dax, this sounds kind of far fetched to me." Jinja nodded shivering soon afterwards realzing what she had done. I wasn't convinced however, I was looking at one of the clearer pictures of a dead goat there were a set of puncture wounds in the neck that just didn't fit right to any animal I knew. 2 deep holes like a canine tooth of a predator would leave, then 4 smaller holes directly above and below those ones. No animal had teeth like that in this part of the world. "Piff, Looks like S.T.O.R.M. is also interested in what ever is going on out here." Belle said pointing to a smaller article that mentioned a growing presense of S.T.O.R.M. units in the area, her eyes flickered with irratation and anger, and I was instantly reminded of what the organization had done to her and felt a wave of sorrow sweep over me. " I say we go, If nothing else to see what the hell S.T.O.R.M. is up to." Chase said punching his fist into his hand we each nodded in turn, Silver fals was kind of a long ways off and since we weren't at full strength we had to play this smart we were going to investigate not to fight.
Within the next few days we were on the road and heading for Silver falls to see if we could shed any light on this so called Monster. While Luna arranged a meeting with this player who we later learned was named Candice, Chase and the rest of us focused on gathering what supplies we would need and figuring out as much as we could about this creature. "You guys really think this monster is is real?" asked Jinja as she drove the van down the high way, dodging in and outside of traffic. " Well up until now the only monsters I really believed in were Monsunos but it's pretty clear that this isn't a Monsuno, from the pictures it was way too small even Whipper and Cecile were larger in height and size then it was. However it did seem to be fairly big, about 8 or 9 feet long I would guess and covered in thick fur. "Any chance we could just be going after a bear or a wolf?" asked Bren. " Hemm I don't think so. By all accounts The bears and wolves were wiped out over 100 years ago, You'll get a black bear around here every now and then but not very many and they never stay long." I didn't believe this was a bear, or a stray Monsuno someone was controling because if it was a Monsuno these kills would have very few remains, actually no one ever mentioned did Monsunos need to eat at all, From the first moment we crossed over into Silver falls township you could feel the heavy atmosphere that was hanging in the air, you saw people on the streets buying things like barbed wire to string up along thier fence lines, motion sensitive cameras, high powered hunting rifles... this beast was a worry to them and they were bound and determined to defend themselves. "Ok were are we suppose to meet this girl?" I asked stepping out of the van, " She said she would meet us here soon enough in her last text message said to look for the girl with the leather jacket and red hair." Luna said. After about a half hour Candice finally showed up on a bike, she was about our age maybe a year and a half younger then me with red waist length hair, green eyes, snow white skin . she was clad in a black leather jacket, a red undershirt with a skull plastered on it and torn blue jeans. I could tell right away that Dax was quite taken with her as he was giving her a considering eye.
" I take it, you're Candice?" I asked reaching my hand outwards for a hand shake. " Yeah I am, and you guys are part of team Coretech ehh? Heh I was kind of expecting older people you guys are like in your late teens early 20's like me. "Actually I'm 26, I just look young." Dax said trying to sound cool, Arabelle whacked him upside the head as she groaned, " You'll have to forgive Dax, He's kind of a moron. I'm Arabelle, this is Chase, Jinja, Bren, Zak, and Luna. We're here because you said you needed help." "You said something about a Monster or something killing animals around town?" I said. Candice nodded and pulled out her phone, scrolling along the surface as she did so. " This is what it did to one of my dad's best pigs the other day." she said handing us the picture, I don't even really know how to discribe it other then totally ravaged, the rib cage had been eaten from the inside and out, no flesh left on there at all accept for a few stray scraps the blood was all over the place something had been chewing along the hind quarters and down the legs right along the tendons. In the neck too were the same 6 holes in the same pattern as the previous kills. "I've talked to other people who have had animals killed by this thing, what ever it is, they say that they have seen it out in the forest and along the hill sides towards night time and dusk." Candice said. "Hemm so it's nocturnal and carnivorous. heh feels like I'm a character in a horror movie." I thought to myself. I couldn;t help but feel drawn back to the picture on Candice's phone totally deaf to the conversation the others were having.
"Something killed this pig, and from the looks of the attack seane it was pretty aggressive at that." I thought " I can take you guys back to my dad's farm he can show you where the attack took place and even the body."Candice said. "Wait! Get down!!" Chase said pulling her back into the van with the rest of us following. If we hadn't of managed to get out of sight in time we surely would of been recognized by the soldiers in the S.T.O.R.M. van that was crusing down the street nearby, not far after them came 4 other men each of them armed with a high powered hunting rifle and a bandolier which held a selection of ammo. "No controllers or elites among them." I whispered not seeing any cores on their bandoliers clearly Charlemange wanted this mess cleaned up as quick as she could with out having to send her full forces in. This just complicated things further for us Once the cost was clear we let Candice take us back to her farm we were eager to see the pig's remains up close and first hand as we cruised down the street I kept a close eye on the dense forests that were lining the hillsides and along the sides of the roads. None of us could afford to be reckless with what was out there. If only we knew, that this thing was unlike anything we could even imagine.