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NMF Reunion: Recapture Reunion - Prelude

by Arthur Pearson

    "But even a man, pure of heart, who says his prayers by night... " Whispered Kal. He'd been praying quite a bit recently. It'd been six months since the Raucous Chicken club incident. Now he was unsure if he'd ever escape these lunatics.

    Mark had accidentally got infected from Kal's claws that night outside the club. But Mark didn't see it as any sort of curse. He was beyond ecstatic that he'd become a werewolf, and Kal had been immediately repulsed. Then Kal got shot.

    When he woke up, he was in the hospital. Mark was there and suggested that they leave togeather. It seemed logical at the time - the police were after Kal the moment he left the club, why would they stop wanting to recapture him? They were out to get him and Mark. They were in this together.

    And then Mark brought Kal home to meet his wife Mary. Kal thought it strange when Mary kept fawning over Kal as if he were a slab of USDA Prime. The pain from the bullet wound kept him unclear in the head, and so he decided to seriously address it in the morning.

    The worst decision of his life. Simply going to the Club dressed as a werewolf was a close second - he had no prewarming there that he'd be turned into what he was costumed as.

    Chains clinked and Kal was painfully reminded of his situation. A prisoner. They'd drugged and chained him in his sleep. When he woke, they told him why. Mary and Mark had wanted to be werecreatures all their lives. Obsessed to the point of, well, kidnapping. Kal had grabbed the bars of the cage for the first time then. He'd demanded why Mark didn't just scratch Mary and be done with it!

    That's when they told Kal that for some reason, Mark couldn't transmit it to Mary. It was Kal alone who could do it. So they captured him to force him to transform Mary into a werecreature.

    Kal was horrified - both by his situation and by the idea that people would *want* to grow claws and fangs and fur and generally look like an evil monster.

    They forced him to change. They forced him to scratch Mary. They analyzed the process. They experimented with their fellow wackos who also wanted to transform. Eventually they discovered that something in Kal's saliva and something excreted from his claws was what did the trick. So they milked Kal's wolfman form and began charging people on the net to come and be transformed. They moved out of the city where the Raucous Chicken club was and got an apartment in the worst part of Chicago. Well, actually they just drove up and claimed one of the crack houses by marching in in werewolf form and slaughtering all of the dealers.

    And a few innocent kids. Invulnerability can make you sloppy.

    Kal tried to reason with them. He tried to shake their obsession. He even tried letting himself go mad for a couple months. They'd given him a tv and a newspaper after that. Eventually he let himself come out of the madness and keep up with current events.

    Superheroes and villains now existed in the world. Cartoon characters and magicians were no longer fantasy. Movie stars long dead and various fictional movie characters were brought to the land of the living.

    Kal finished his moment of introspection and then went through his morning exercises. After the change, his mind was altered as well as his face. In his human form, he looks like the human form of the werewolf in An American Werewolf In London. Athletic, brown hair, average height, slightly chubby cheeks. He also now exercised regularly, compulsively, keeping his young body strong.

    He didn't need to do anything to keep his werewolf self strong.

    Light had grown to full daylight strength by the time he was done. He flicked on the television and sat down for the morning news. Nothing much new there. Inspector Gadget and his partner Leon were in the news again. Shortly after the incident, the two had moved to New York because of a substantial sum of money offered by the mayor to help clean up the town. Gadget had proven himself right after the incident for having a knack for bumbling his way through a "case", and by the end, having all the "bad guys" locked up behind bars or unconscious. This nonviolent way of capturing criminals made him incredibly respected in law enforcement circles. Then again, anyone who tried to *help* Gadget was subject to various (somehow nonlethal) explosions, injuries, and comical pratfalls. Only Leon seemed to be able to hang around him for any length of time and not get squashed.

    Today they'd managed to bring to a halt a major car theft ring. As usual, Gadget took all the credit, and Kal had a feeling that it was Leon who really figured it all out. Kal blinked while watching Gadgetand Leon on the screen. Did he see a brown dog with a red collar next to Leon looking knowingly at Leon?

    Regis and Cathy Lee were on next. A special edition, the 6th month anniversary of the incident was coming up, and they were having people come on who were still looking for their lost relatives. Kal's heart began to race. They announced it, and then went to their usual inane chatter. Kal gripped the chair with his hands and felt the rage growing within him. He wanted to see it *now*!

    When the shackles started biting into his wrists, he realized that he'd transformed. Eight feet of wolfman confined by chains in a heavy wooden chair. He forced himself to calm down and wait.

    Commercials came and went. And then people came on the screen.

    Cindy. Cindy! Kal surge forward in the seat, more than just his heart leaping at the sight of the literal playboy bunny rabbit. He'd never told her what he felt. And now, after 6 *months*, she was on TV looking for him! The shackles bit into his wrists and he dimly realized that he was also kind of drooling. Fresh rabbit tastes great. But it was a distant echo that never came to dominate him.

    He could hear again. Cindy was up to speak at the microphone. She held up a picture of Kal in his suit, and what he looked like when he was human. "Hello, I'm Cindy and I'm looking for Kal. We went to the club together and got separated." Kal's mouth hung open as pumping blood flexed his flesh. She was beginning to cry. "I know he's been gone for months, that he's probably dead or lost his mind, but if he's not. If he's out there, someplace... "

    The tension built in the room and on the TV. Kal almost felt that he was actually looking into Cindy's eyes as she looked into his. She was lost, in pain, in despair, dying without him. "I want him to come back. I never told him that I love him."

    "CIN-DEEEEEEEEE!" Roared Kal. He stood and grabbed the chains that held him to the great granite block in the floor. He pulled with months of pent up rage.

    The chains snapped.

Copyright 1997: apearson@d.umn.edu . If you want to post this anywhere else, please ask the author for permission first.       Thank you

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