Morning came, and with it the screaming headline about the abduction of Eddie Poole’s nephew, in which local biker gang leader Big Lou was implicated. The byline was of course Nora Clarke’s, and she was at home asleep after pulling an all-nighter. and Los Locos Lobo were patrolling the streets looking for payback. Callahanand Drake decided to deal with this trouble head-on, arranging a sit-down with Big Lou at the junkyard. Kojiroand Sorcha remained behind at the tea house, since Callahan got a hot tip from a cold shade that Brian Poole was en route to that location in a hurry.
There was considerable tenseness at the junkyard, where the Lobos were acting even more like a feral psychotic pack of animals than usual, which brought out the animal inside of Drake in response. Add in Big Lou’s extreme irateness about the way his face had been clawed up by a giant wolverine, and it was a bona fide powder keg. Even so, Callahan managed to convince Big Lou that the best way to handle the situation was to let Callahan find out who was actually pulling the strings on this mess. They had a deal, Callahan and Big Lou had a truce, and he was free to just walk out of there.
That didn’t apply to Drake, however, despite his initially trying to decline Big Lou’s invitation to step into the chain-link arena the lycanthropes maintained out back of the office. Long story short, the talk ran out and there were a couple of animals rolling around on the floor trying to rip each others’ throats out.
Meanwhile, the blind swordsman and the wizard managed to intercept and detain the terrified teen, and also retrieved the secret stash of smuggled shit he’d been trying to skip out with. It was a modest-sized bag of fungus.
The boy wasn’t talking, being too terrified of his mysterious principal, and they were in a hurry, so Sorcha decided to cut to the chase by opening her third eye. This had interesting results. The bag was a festering morass of oily black evil, seething and twisting between realities. Some kind of hallucinogen intended to open the very worst doors of perception. The boy chose that moment to bolt, and Sorcha turned to look his way before closing off the Sight. What she saw wasn’t pretty. James Kojiro, seen through the Sight, had life force bubbling up through him like a fountain, but his most distinctive feature was the blood that drenched him head to foot, blood that seeped constantly out of his sheathed sword.
Brian, on the other hand, had a spectral wolf-corpse trailing him, an abominable monster evidently raised and bound by sorcery, and fed upon souls. A literal hellhound on his trail.
Callahan managed to use some revolver diplomacy to get the two of them out of the lycanthropes’ den in one piece, moving very slowly while maintaining constant eye contact with the predators. Once driving back, the car’s radio switched over to the frequency only Callahan was tuned to, and his late informant warned him that Eddie Poole was en route to the tea shop. He hit the gas.
Eddie Poole busted in, demanding to know exactly what the fuck was going on. There was considerable yelling. When Callahan and Drake pulled up, they joined in. The kid finally gave up a name.
Poole was persuaded to join in Callahan’s plan: roll up to Old Man Wolf’s desert shack in force, with the Lobos, and fuck up his shit.
This plan was put into effect.
Of course, Callahan’s real goal was encouraging Poole and the Lobos to weaken themselves in battle as a way of destroying themselves. It seemed to pay some dividends almost immediately, as Big Lou’s vanguard took the brunt of the ghost-wolf pack assault on the desert road leading up to the old man’s shack. Los Lobos, together with a furious four-pawed Eddie Poole, started ripping up the spectral pack in a chaotic melee. Callahan’s big steel boat of a car pressed onwards.
Kojiro, however, gave in to the demands of the bloodthirsty sword in his hands. The scent of battle in the air swept him along with it, and so he leaped out of the moving vehicle and tried to ride atop it, slashing all around him.
He fell off pretty quickly.
Callahan, meanwhile, tried to ram his car head-on through Old Man Wolf’s wards. This didn’t work. The car was rendered hors de combat, and its occupants set to work breaking down the spirit wards, which took the form of wooden posts adorned with animal bones and skulls, and to the ghost sight took the form of flocks of skeleton crows and other ghost watchers.
Kojiro, meanwhile, realized he needed to rejoin his friends. The most expedient way to do this was to borrow the unmanned Harley at his feet.
The wards went down just in time for Kojiro’s blind motorcycle rampage to hit. This was this good news.
The bad news was that Sorcha’s plan to shut down the wards was to turn the whole zone into a slurry of quicksand, toppling the bone poles. It worked like a beauty, but the unintended side effects left Callahan’s punched-up Plymouth and Kojiro’s borrowed bike sinking in the mire as the blind man pinwheeled wildly through the air. From below, they could hear the very angry voice of Big Lou demanding to know where the fuck his motorcycle was.
At this point, the ghost wolves descended. Old Man Wolf defied his guests, and lashed out wish sorcerous power, which Sorcha dealt with by knocking his damn house down.
Unfortunately, magic wasn’t the only arrow in Old Man Wolf’s Quiver. It turned out he was a skin-walker as well, as our heroes found out when an impossibly huge wolf burst from the wreckage of his hut and started wrecking shit.
Serious injuries were sustained, and Drake’s pyrokinetic abilities lit a lot of things of fire, but when the dust settled the old man’s wolf-skin had been stripped off him and burned, and Callahan had him in his sights.
That’s when the Soulgaze hit. For just a moment, Callahan was struck full-force by the essence of who Old Man Wolf was, and beheld the shadow of the thing that walked behind him. He ended up passing out.
At that point, Kojiro calmly took the old sorceror’s head.
Poole and Big Lou were not ignorant of Callahan’s true intent, and were not pleased, but their mutual enemy had been destroyed. Lou, however, still has unfinished business with Drake (and also Kojiro, now), which he intends to settle under the next full moon’s light.