The Preparations – Part 6 of 7

Good day all! I hope you’re all ready for the penultimate part of this series. However, if you missed last week, you can find it here, or better yet, you read the first installment here. I hope you enjoy this!

Kevin and Amanda sat down on a white sofa in the dimly lit room, across from an old man in a green rocking chair. After staring at them for several minutes, he began to speak.

“Well, you’re probably wondering who I am and how I know about your secret. I am Alban Jager. I’ve been around you werewolves for a very long time, tracking them down. You could say I’m a wolf hunter.

“I’ve been tracking down one particular wolf for some time. However, he slipped past me a few months ago, and came down here. I only arrived a few weeks ago, and was rather pleased to see him dead. He wasn’t a particularly good werewolf.

“However, then I found out he had attacked several people, of which you were one of the poor souls. This is a huge problem, though. Usually, there is only one werewolf at a time, but here there is an entire pack. I fear that, given enough time, you may all manage to convert the entire city. We must find a way to stop that.”

“Is there some kind of cure?” asked Amanda, leaning forward.

The white-haired man pursed his lips, but did not answer. “Ordinarily, I would hunt them all down one by one, but there seem to be far too many werewolves now for that.”

“Surely you’re not thinking of killing them all?” Kevin said.

“Of course!”

“But isn’t there another way?” asked Amanda plaintively. “Is there no other way?”

Jager rose from his chair, walking over to the copper sink.

“There may be a way,” he said quietly.

“Tell us!”

“There is a legend of a mixture, a concoction, a potion, that, when ingested, will cure such an affliction as lycanthropy.”

“Will it work?”

“I don’t know. No one in living memory has ever used it.”

“Why not?”

“Because it requires two very important, very rare things: an access to precious metals, and the werewolf’s blood.”

“I see.”

“Can you teach us to make this thing?” Kevin asked.

“I will help you, yes,” replied the old man. “But I make no promises about it at all.”

“That’s alright. It’s just…killing is our last resort.”

Jager pursed his lips. Kevin wasn’t sure if it was a frown or a smile. Either way, the old man disappeared from the room, coming back moments later with a very old, very large book in his hands. Sitting down in his green chair again, he opened it, carefully turning the ancient pages, until he came to the place he wanted. Kevin watched him as he read to himself, wondering what this potion would require besides his blood.

“I see,” Jager said at last, looking up. “It will take until the next full moon for it to finish.”

“Well then, we should begin at once!” replied Kevin.

Although the concoction required a month to brew, that didn’t mean that they needed to work on it every day. Especially since some of the materials were so hard to come by. Honestly, who just carries mercury around? And yet that element was vital to the first step of the process.

Here, they were required to dissolve small amounts six other metals in the mercury: lead, tin, silver, iron, copper, and gold, in that order, before adding in organic compounds that Kevin hoped would ease the potential toxicity of the metals. Then they let that sit for about three days.

In the meantime, while not spending time with Jager creating this cure, Kevin talked with Stephen and Amanda and the other werewolves, largely about getting their blood. The new ones, especially Darla, were suddenly taking him very seriously.

“It was awful,” she told Kevin one day shortly after the full moon. “I mean, it was like a dream, and I had no control over my actions, but…I killed people. Am I a murderer?”

“No, you’re not,” he consoled her. “Don’t blame yourself for it. Just try to not do any damage, or at least minimize it.”

“How?”

“Well, I went out into the woods and hunted deer.” He leaned in close to her. “But there may be a cure.”

As he had expected, the werewolves ultimately fell into one of three camps: the first were with Brandon and Riley, who didn’t care for it at all; the second would have had a common mind with Kuro, in that they saw a use for their “gift”, although they weren’t loath to a cure; the last sentimentalized with Kevin in finding a cure as quickly as possible and, if it failed, finding a way to minimize the killings. Most of the new generation, Kevin was pleased to learn, were part of this last group, and gladly gave their time to helping create the concoction, whether they believed it would work or no.

“It’s always worth a shot,” one older werewolf said.

As it was, the cure itself was hardly a problem worth worrying over. With several people helping out, including Kevin, Amanda, Stephen, Darla, Jager, and the other werewolves siding with them, the work went smoothly and quickly. After the new moon, the first phase was complete, and they began the second, dissolving portions of the concoction in pure water.

No, the real issue was talking with Brandon and Riley’s group. It felt like last month all over again. They wanted nothing to do with him, after what had happened last transformation, so he was relegated to sending over some of the new generation to spy on them. Brandon and Riley wanted nothing to do with the cure either, figuring last full moon to have been a waste, and desiring to once again wreak havoc on the city.

It seemed to Kevin that the only way to get their blood would be to force it out of them. He really doubted he could do that as a person, but feared drawing blood from them as a wolf after the death of Kuro. However, the more he thought about it, the more, once again, it seemed the best option. The problem was that, this time, Brandon and Riley wouldn’t come unless they had a good reason to – namely, to kill someone. Now, Kevin could provide himself as that someone, but he alone wasn’t enough to differ their attentions. He would need others. Perhaps they would have to use that party strategy Kuro had come up with anyway.

By a week before the full moon, the mixture had entered the third phase. Now they had begun cooking it slowly over a fire. Kevin watched Amanda in Jager’s house as she stirred the mixture in its container. During the first phase, it had taken on a black color. During the next phase, it had been white. Now, it was pink, and seemed to be growing even more red.

“It looks good,” said Jager, strolling over to investigate it. “Just a week more, add the blood and a little more heat, and we should be golden.”

“You mean it should be gold in color?” Amanda asked.

“No, it’ll be red. I mean it will be finished and ready for consumption.”

Amanda turned back to the mixture.

“So have you figured out how you’re going to cure Brandon’s gang?”

“Yes, I think so. You remember Kuro’s idea?”

“Don’t you dare think of it.”

“Brandon and Riley will only come if they think they can kill people,” Kevin pointed out. “It’s the only way – since they’d never come just for me.”

“Are you going to sacrifice yourself?”

Kevin didn’t answer. He merely looked out of the window, toward the horizon, where the black night and the red sunset collided. He wasn’t quite sure sacrifice was the way to put what he was planning. He was planning to live, to be cured. But he had no idea what would happen. He was just certain that it would be his last night as a werewolf.

Part 7 here.

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