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Q Cell Saves the World

The Cover Story

The Introduction to Q Cell Saves the World

 

Q Cell Saves the World

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Dec 17, 2009
Posted by: Keith

Samantha and Siss hike back to the hotel from town.

Fredrick: I managed to have a chat with Ian MacGuire, looks like he in his 40’s, too big for his suit. Quite a captivating speaker. That man can talk your ear off and not say much of anything. We chatted for an hour and all I got was that he comes here once a year (about this time) for about two weeks to sell mining supplies to both companies in town. As soon as the net gets back up, I am going to check this guy out.

They go down to the restaurant to get something to eat and meet up with FB. While in the restaurant, Samantha sees Maximilian Delaney (MD) eating. He locks eyes with her and everything in the restaurant just stops, except MD and her. She then hears his voice in her head…”You did well to come here,” the voice says calmly. “You have done all that I have commanded, and I am well pleased. But now you must leave. You cannot begin to fathom the secrets of this valley, and nothing good can come from your interference.” Needless to say, this spooked Samantha.

Samantha: It must have been my subconscious evaluating the situation at hand and letting me know that something was wrong.  After all, I’d seen his picture, and knew that he owned the mine....Perhaps some chemical was getting into the groundwater. My "hunches" like that are often useful.

The supplies that they bought at the general store were delivered to the hotel. Siss’s eyes light up at the possibilities. She starts cooking up a batch rocket fuel and explosives. They manage to find some mailing tubes at the hotel. A little engineering and some bits from the food cart, a salt shaker and Siss has made a rocket propelled grenade (RPG). The only downside to the RPG was that the grenade explodes on contact, no distance safety.  And there were enough explosive materials to make another four grenades. Testing the fuse material that she made revealed about a 5 second delay for the grenades.

Siss: I could have just made a generic propellant, but what fun would that be. With the mailing tube, I could go orbital… Now that would be cool. BUT, what we need is a reliable 300 yards. Not too hot, because I don’t have any machined graphite for the nozzle and I am not too sure how well the porcelain in the salt shaker will hold up. I suppose we will see. The bigger challenge is the detonator for the grenade. It has to be sturdy enough to not explode on firing, but still go off on impact. This is tricky business at best, especially with no distance safety. The grenades that I am making are more stun than fragmentation… I really did have much to put in/around the charge. And as long as the fuses stay dry, we will have a good 5 second delay…Really should keep this stuff dry. It doesn’t mix well with water.

As the women were getting ready for bed (Fredrick had already retired to his room to check the internet connection, again) when they heard something hit the window. At first, they thought it was a branch or something hitting the window…But they realized that they are on the second floor facing a ravine and there are no trees out back. Preparing for the worst (the women remember what happened to Dr. Carmichael the day before).

Siss preps her RPG to fire. But she is extremely cautious, because if it hit the window, it would explode. She couldn’t quite see what was hitting the window. Samantha finally takes a peak and sees a large dark shape and a lot of footprints on the ledge below the window. The dark shape apparently saw Samantha looking at it and it turned and loped off leaving a trail.

They decide to wait until morning before checking out the tracks behind the hotel. They keep watch most of the night, but Siss fell asleep and didn’t wake up Samantha. They both awake early and wake up Fredrick.

Day Two in Snowflake Valley

They leave Fredrick to his breakfast…he really likes to eat… and trek around the rear of the hotel and find some rather large (18”) tracks. Using her smart phone, Samantha takes lots of pictures of the tracks and the marks on the side of the building where the psycho kept trying jump up to the window. It was pretty amazing. He had to be jumping at least 15’ straight up.

Fredrick: Shit. I am a big boy and I have to eat. Make fun of the big boy wanting to eat to keep his strength up…

Samantha tries to call the Sheriff’s office but gets no answer. She calls the hotel desk to see if they could reach him. They finally get a hold of Winona Markham (from the general store) and she agrees to go over to the Sheriff’s office.

When she finally calls the hotel back, she is distraught. There was blood everywhere and she decides to take a shot gun from the gun cabinet in the Sheriff’s office.

Samantha and Siss try to drive their SUV to town. However, the road down to the valley was very slick and they ended up in a ditch. The other front wheel finally gives out as Samantha can’t get it out of the ditch. They get their skis out and ski into town.

When they arrive, they see the front door to the Sheriff's office is missing. It looks like it was broken in to the office.  The front of the office is a wreck; and the floor is covered in blood.  There are two shotguns missing, leaving three behind. Samantha starts looking for bullet holes…and doesn’t find any. It is beginning to look like the Sheriff didn’t get a shot off. She spots the Sheriff’s revolver under his desk, unfired. She takes two shot guns and two bullet proof vests… She leaves the Sheriff’s gun under his desk where she spotted it. Siss lasted about 2 minutes before she ran out and puked. The gore was just too much.

Samantha goes and tracks down the Mayor. It is really cold out (-30F), even with the heavy snow gear, it still feels cold. She lets him know that the Sheriff and Deputy are missing, presumed dead. She shows the tracks she photographed to the Mayor and he points out the rather large claws on the feet and how they “kinda resemble wolf tracks, but those suckers are huge!”

They arrange for the local garage to go and tow the SUV in for repair. They catch a ride with the tow truck back to the hotel. As they are getting out of their ski gear they are approached by an ancient looking Indian.

He introduces himself as, “I am John Stonehill,” and then that tells them,” I must speak with you, for the Beast has marked you, and the Darkness grows stronger every night.”

After they go to the women’s room, Stonehill gives them the low down on the Beast and Delaney. He also tells them about the ‘gift’ from the Sky-Father, a disk made from the sky-metal his ancestors made from it. And how it can be used to kill the Beast and hurt Delaney. He also tells them where it now lies at the bottom of Delaney’s mine.

Samantha: It was pretty obvious that a vicious and psychotic killer was on the loose, and with no law in town to investigate, I agreed to help the Indians with their "thing" figuring that since they admitted that it was tied in with the murders it was as good a place to start as any other.

Since there are two ways into the bottom of the mine, the group opts for the abandoned mine as the more direct route. They figure it will be less of a risk (aside from it being an old abandoned mine). With the directions provided by Stonehill, they easily find the entrance. Well, after a trek through 5 foot deep snow.

Samantha tells Fredrick to keep a look out at the top. Besides, the old wooden ladders going down into the mine might not be that robust…and she saw what he had for breakfast. They don’t call him F.A.T. Bazt3rd for nothing…

At the bottom of the mine, they find the old elevator car. It is beyond repair.

As they trek down the only exit, they drag the rope that Siss attached to the remains of the elevator car. It feels like it is getting colder in the mine and it also seems like it is getting darker. They turn off one flashlight to conserve the batteries…just in case.

It didn’t take long to run out of rope. Fortunately, the tunnel doesn’t have side tunnels and it is pretty straight. This wouldn’t be too bad except for the numbing cold and that god awful stench. It smells like rotten eggs and musk… Not a good combination.

After about 200 yards or so, they happen upon two skeletons: one male, one female. The female skeleton has a locket around her neck. When Siss goes to remove it, the skeleton crumbles. She inspects the locket and finds two pictures inside it (a man and a woman) and an engraving on the back: “to Clarice Love Malcome”. The male skeleton is clutching the disk that John Stonehill described to them.

The cold, dark, and stench must be getting to Siss, she starts repeating everything that Samantha is saying and mimicking her behavior.  They take the locket and sky-metal disk and start to leave. They are almost to the elevator shaft when something panics Samantha… She bolts for the exit. Siss follows quickly behind her.

They both manage to calm down by the time they reach the top of the mine shaft. Fredrick helps them and informs them, “We got company” and points out the entrance. There is a late model SUV parked about 30 yards closer than their truck.  As the group peaks out the mine entrance the doors open on the SUV and three men step out, the mine’s enforcers. Close cut hair, black over coats and obviously carrying concealed weapons.

As Siss steps out, they draw their weapons. Samantha shouts to them, “Put down your weapon!” But they don’t listen and start moving toward the mine. So, Siss lights them up. Her rocket hits the SUV square in the grill.

Siss: Now that WAS pretty! I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get all three… note to self, bigger charge next time.

The rocket is quite effective. Blows up their SUV and kills one of the enforcers, throwing the other two about 10 feet through the air, stunning them. They tie them up in the old mine and take their shoes, radios and cell phones. Samantha figures in this weather they will take a couple of hours at least to get to a phone, if they want to brave the elements and walk barefoot back to the mining complex. She dumps the shoes, one at a time on the way back to the hotel: the left ones then the right ones.

Samantha: As far as blowing up the SUV goes, the mining enterprise had something to hide (maybe dumping chemicals that affected the population, etc). And well, they declined my kind invitation to drop their weapons.

The group made it back to the hotel without any further incidents. Now, they just have to wait for John Stonehill to show up. An hour or so later, the door to the hotel room crashes in. What appears to be a half-human, half-wolf lunges into the room. The only visible target is Samantha who is on the far side of the room. As it runs past the bathroom door, Siss takes a shot with her shotgun (and yes, she took it to the bathroom…she was making trying to make more grenades). There was no way she could have missed, yet the Beast didn’t even slow down.  Fredrick steps out of the adjoining room and takes a couple of shots with his shotgun. No way he could have missed at this range…But the Beast didn’t even slow down.

Samantha took two shots with the Glocks she confiscated from the enforcers. One shot missed, but the other was a solid hit to the chest and he did not even slow down. Samantha assumes he must be on drugs of some sort.

The Beast tears into her doing some pretty serious damage. Samantha drops her Glocks and grabs the Sky-metal disk. The first hit makes the Beast howl in pain.

Siss: Myths or not, if it is a werewolf, silver will affect it, because bullets sure as shit aren’t. So, I going to try that Silver Nitrate powder that I picked up from the general store. I’ve got nothing to lose at this point…

Siss flung the Silver Nitrate powder into the air hoping it would at least confuse the beast. Apparently the Beast was somewhat allergic to the powder. It kept pawing at its face, acting like it was having a hard time breathing… it then ran and jumped at Samantha, but missed. However, Samantha didn’t and cut off its arm with the sky-metal disk. The arm fell to the floor as the Beast crashed through the window and into the ravine. They all watched in disbelief as the Beast’s arm turned back into a human arm and hand.

Fredrick heads down to the lobby to get a first aid kit to tend to Samantha’s wounds. He tried calling but no one was answering… no surprise there with the gun shots and all. No sooner than Samantha had been patched up, John Stonehill shows up. He takes the group to meet the other shaman. As they arrive at the meeting place, the group gets attacked by yet another werewolf…though he doesn’t seem as tough as the first one.

Samantha: What werewolves??? It was patently obvious that the killers' behavior was drug induced--perhaps some PCP derivative--since normally a round to the chest from a Glock and a few shotgun blasts will calm just about anything down. And since we have been in town drinking the water and food, obviously we must be affected too.

Samantha gets hurt some more as another SUV shows up with Maximilian Delany (MD) and two more enforcers. As MD walks up, the shaman form as semi-circle in front of MD and Stonehill starts beating the drum.  MD seems to be taken back a bit and raises his hand toward the shaman. The group feels something tingling in the air. MD is totally ignoring the group. His enforcers, however, have drawn their weapons and are just watching Samantha, Fredrick and Siss.

Apparently something is going on between the shaman and MD. The beating drum falters at one point. The group decides to take action. Fredrick tries to shoot MD but misses. As soon as he moved to shoot MD, the enforcers open fire-and missed. Siss didn’t. The grenade she threw was quite effective and knocked both enforcers out. Fredrick and Siss make sure they stay down.

Samantha moves in with the Sky-metal and deals several devastating blows. With each hit, he does not bleed… darkness oozes out of him where he had been shot and cut… and that smell from the mine… With Samantha’s final blow, he dissolved into a puddle of black tar that seeped away into the ground. The odor lingers…

Samantha: And the old guy?  Well, obviously the drug induced guys belonged to him; he admitted they were his minions. I would have taken him down much faster had I not already been wounded and suffering from exhaustion and blood loss!  As for darkness pouring out of him, well, it WAS already dark outside, and there's always plenty of shadow moving around with a full moon...plus, I was already pretty weak from the other fights.

Addendum

The State Troopers finally show up with a trio of “special agents”. All is well with the world. Alphonse extends their vacation and gets them an escort to the resort. A charted jet is going to bring them home afterwards.

 


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