It was night in the small town. The few surviving villagers stayed huddled in their homes, sure they would die. The events of the previous day had dashed what little hopes they had left for survival.
Tsu ran quickly through his home, gathering up the required chemicals. He had snatched a few hairs off of the woman, Foxx, during the commotion earlier. He cursed himself repeatedly for the foolishness of his ill-fated gamble, knowing that he'd have a hard time convincing anyone to listen to him ever again after that debacle. Hell, he'd be lucky if they didn't kill him.
Suddenly, there was a scream from somewhere in the village. Some other poor soul dead. Tsu thought grimly, continuing his work.
Then something strange happened. There was another scream. And then, shortly afterwards, another. Followed by yet more. Tsu paused in his work, pondering what was going on. Before he could realise what was happening outside, the potion he was mixing began bubbling and turned dark red. Tsu looked at it grimly. She's a werewolf. He thought. He was just wondering how he was possibly going to convince anyone of the truth of this fact in the morning when the front door burst open. He ran into the hallway to investigate, foolishly forgetting to bring any kind of weapon with him. A jolt of fear ran through him at what he saw.
It was a werewolf, its claws, muzzle and fur soaked in blood. Tsu stepped slowly backwards, the wolf snarling at him. Suddenly he realised what the many screams he had heard earlier meant. The wolves were killing off all of the few survivors, obviously feeling their numbers were enough to allow them to triumph.
As the wolf stepped into the candle-light of his home, Tsu could make out more details. Bright blue eyes gleamed at him, a cold yet clearly inteligent mind studying him. The claws of its feet clicked against the stone floor as it advanced towards the candlestick-maker. Its silver fur, soaked with blood, shone in the light. Its long, furred tail flicking from side to side as it approached slowly, taking its time.
To Tsu's surprise, the creature wasn't all that large. He'd envisioned it in his mind as being bigger. Tsu backed up against the wall, half paralysed by fear. He wondered idly just who his attacker was. Remembering the results of his test, he decided to hazard a guess.
"Miss Foxx?" He asked. The creature stopped, surprised, then nodded slowly.
"You're here to kill me, I take it?" Another nod.
"Well," Tsu said. "Before you kill me, I just want you to know that -" Suddenly Tsu darted through the door into the kitchen, hoping that his sudden run mid-sentance would catch Foxx off-balance. It half worked. While it certainly caught Foxx by surprise, she herself had been preparing to strike just as Tsu ran. The result was that the wolf slammed head-first into the wall where Tsu had been standing.
The candle-stick maker ran through the house, the dazed werewolf persuing him eagerly. Tsu ran into his study where he kept all of his chemicals, and slammed the door behind him. Though he doubted it would hold.
He looked around franticaly for something he could use. A weapon, a method of escape, anything. Then his eye fell on the containers of chemicals, and the circumstances of Staplic's death the day before flashed through his mind. He gave a sort of mental shrug. Nothing to lose at this point. He thought.
He grabbed a large wooden bowl, and began pouring every chemical he could find into it. He had just finished and grabbed a candle with which to light the concoction when the door burst open, Foxx snarling cruely as she realised that her prey was cornered. Then she sighted the bowl Tsu was holding, along with the candle in his other hand. Feeling an instinctive sense of danger, she turned to flee just as Tsu, hoping strongly that the mixture wouldn't just extinguish the flame, thrust the candle into the bowl.
The results were, to say the least, impressive.
* * *
A figure crept quietly towards the church as the sun set. Slowly, the attacker reached the main doors. Then, meat cleaver in hand, he kicked the doors open with a loud crash, expecting little resistance from the old priest.
The candles were still lit, and there was a strong smell of incense in the air. The attacker walked boldly towards the altar, which was bathed in moonlight streaming in through a skylight above it. He had just reached it, when a voice called out from behind him.
"Hello, Stitch." Father Deep said, seeming to materialise out of one of the gloomy corners of the church. "I take it you've come to kill me." He said casualy, gesturing vaguely at the cleaver Stitch clutched.
"You don't sound surprised." Stitch commented emotionlessly, watching the old priest walk towards the moonlit altar.
"I'd suspected you for some time now." He said. "It was you who killed the judge, yes?"
"It was." Stitch confirmed, following the man down the aisle.
"And the unfortunate butcher?"
"Yes. That was me as well."
"I thought as much." Deep said, reaching the altar and halting just before it. "Because of your family, right?"
"Because of what they did." Stitch snapped. "I tried to warn them, and they did nothing to help me! It was only when they were in danger themselves that they started to give a damn about what I said. They didn't care that my wife and child are dead, they were just worried for themselves!"
"And you consider this to be...justice?" Deep asked, looking at him curiously.
"I consider it revenge." Stitch retorted. "So let's just get this over with nice and quick."
"Yes," Deep replied casualy, circling the altar. "I'd figured you'd come after me once you realised."
"Once I'd realised what?" Stitch asked, confused. Deep looked at him in surprise.
"Oh, so you haven't figured it out yet?"
"Figured what out?" Stitch snarled, fed up with the old man's talk.
"Why, who it was that killed your family, of course." Deep finished circling the altar, standing just behind it now. Stitch watched him for a moment more, then the truth struck him.
"You!" He gasped. "You're one of them!"
"More than just one of them." Deep corrected. "Their leader."
"But...how?" Stitch asked, still surprised. Deep was the last person he'd expected to have been one of them, though now all the pieces certainly seemed to be falling together.
"It was a few weeks ago." Deep replied. "I was returning here from a nearby village, where I was doing missionary work. I was attacked by a strange creature. I survived, and I realised that I had been given some strange abilities. At night, I'd transform into this new creature, a werewolf. At first I thought it a curse, and begged God to relieve me of it. But then I realised the truth."
"What truth?" Stitch asked warily, feeling his pulse begin to rush.
"That I wasn't cursed, I was given a blessing."
"A blessing?" Stitch snorted.
"Yes! A blessing! Surely God had gifted me with these powers for a reason, and I soon realised what it was. He had chosen me to punish the unrighteous of the world. To hunt them down and teach them the error of their ways. I decided to start small, using this town and the sinners within it as a kind of practice run. I converted two others, the butcher and the woman, to my cause. They were reluctant at first, but soon realised that my will was to be followed."
"So you started killing people off in the village." Stitch said, fury building within him. "So what was your plan for once you'd finished with us? Go on to the next village and start killing them? And then the next village, and the next? You've certainly got your work cut out for you."
"That was my first plan." Deep agreed, nodding. "But my second plan took into account the sheer size of this world."
"And that plan is?"
"I'm going to go to the nearby villages. But I won't kill them. I'll convert them. They'll be forced to obey my will, and within weeks I shall have an army at my disposal. Once that's done, no amount of human soldiers could stand in my way. I shall drive the wicked off the face of this world, and create a new, righteous world to be inhabited by my kin."
"You're insane." Stitch retorted, stunned by the magnitude of the priest's plans. "And it'll never work anyway. You can still be killed. I proved that when I struck down one of your followers."
"Yes, the death of the butcher was an inconvinient setback to my plans. But not a major one. Tonight, I shall finish what I started here and kill off the handful of survivors in this town. Then we shall move on to our next target. Even now Foxx is murdering the last of them in their sleep. I believe she was going to save Tsukiyumi for last."
"Then I guess I'll have to kill her, too." Stitch said grimly. "Unless killing you will remove the curse?"
"Not at all." Deep said. "Even in the highly unlikely even that I die, I believe my kin shall live on to fulfill my legacy."
"Well, there's just one way to be sure." Stitch growled, hefting the cleaver.
Suddenly, there was a massive explosion from somewhere in the centre of the town. The two of them whirled around to look out of the open doors, watching as a massive greenish-purple ball of fire rose up into the sky. As it faded, burning shards of debris rained down on the town, setting fire to virtualy every building. The night sky glowed red as the village began to burn. As they watched they could hear loud wooden thumps on the roof, signalling that some of the debris had hit the church. Stitch could smell smoke as the wooden roof began to smoulder with surprising speed. He looked back at the priest and laughed.
"You know, somehow I doubt Foxx will be joining you in your new world order." Deep snarled at him in fury.
"Enough of this." He growled, stepping forward into the moonlight surrounding the altar.
Stitch almost dropped his cleaver at what happened next. In a scene of indescribable wrongness, Deep's body began to change. Standing in his place was not and old priest, but a large grey-furred wolf, yellow eyes glaring hatefully at Stitch. With a howl, it leapt over the altar towards the farmer, claws stretched out before it.
Stitch dropped to the floor, and the wolf sailed over him. But Deep was quicker to recover, spinning gracefully as he landed and launching himself once more at Stitch. The farmer just barely managed to roll out of the way, and swung the cleaver wildly as he rolled, the cleaver delivering a glancing blow to the wolf-priest's shoulder. The creature yelped and jumped back out of range as Stitch jumped back to his feet.
There was a loud crack from above them, and the two combatants were forced to scramble backwards as a burning section of the rafters fell from the roof. It hit the ground with a massive bang, sending burning shrapnel flying across the church, setting fire to the priceless tapestries and wooden pews around them.
Stitch ran for the door, trying to get out of the burning building, but the wolf got there first, leaping over him to block the farmer's escape and swinging a claw at him. Stitch just barely ducked it and struck back with the cleaver, but the priest slid nimbly out of range. With a howl, it leapt at him again. This time, Stitch wasn't luck enough to dodge it.
The wolf-priest slammed into him, sending him flying backwards. As he hit the ground, the wolf on top of him, Stitch rolled backwards, planting his feet in the wolf's chest and using the momentum of the impact to send the wolf flying off of him into a statue of one of the saints. Deep yelped as he hit it head-first, staggering back to his feet, dazed.
Stitch scrambled back upright, but saw that the doors were now blocked by burning debris. He looked around franticaly for antoher exit, and spotted a staircase leading up to the bell tower. He ran for it as fast as he could, the wolf-priest in hot persuit. He managed to reach the stairs by a miracle, and began running up them. Suddenly, just as he reached the top, he felt something grip his ankle and yank. He fell backwards, barrelling into Deep, sending them both tumbling down the stairs.
By a miracle, Stitch managed to grab the bell's rope as he fell, arresting his fall but swinging him out into the air with nowhere solid to place his feet. The bell began ringing loudly as his weight yanked the rope. Stitch almost lost his grip as the rope was yanked again. Looking down, he could see that the wolf-priest had also caught the rope and was climbing steadily towards him. Flames had started to rise along the exterior of the tower, the fire spreading unnaturaly fast. In a moment of clarity, Stitch realised that there was no way out. Even if he killed the monster, he would perish in the fire. He knew what he had to do.
He climbed as fast as he could towards the top of the tower, the ringing bell getting almost deafeningly loud as he neared it, the wolf quickly catching up to him. He reached the top just as the priest caught up with him, grabbing his leg and piercing the flesh with its claws. Stitch yelled out in agony, barely keeping his grip. But it didn't matter to him any more. They were high enough now.
He brandished the cleaver, still clutched in his hand, raising it up so the the wolf-priest could see it.
"I'll see you in hell!" Stitch snarled as he swung it, cutting the rope that held them to the bell neatly. The rope cut, Stitch and Deep plummetted towards the blazing foot of the tower, the wolf-priest shrieking in fury. Stitch didn't scream. As he fell, he knew that his death was for the best. He had saved dozens, maybe even hundreds or thousands, from suffering a brutal death. He was smiling contentedly as he hit the ground, landing on top of the werewolf's corpse, the blow shattering his skull instantly. The tower, still burning, collapsed soon afterwards, sealing their bodies in a makeshift tomb where they would never again be found.
"You've all been selected for this mission because you each have a special skill. Professor Hawking, John Leslie, Phil Neville, the Wu-Tang Clan, Usher, the Sugar Puffs Monster and Daniel Day-Lewis! Welcome to Operation MindFuck!"