MbN – A Walk in the Woods

The interstate wound along the valley floor, ascending between scars in the rock at either end, only to descend into the next valley. It was an unnatural taint upon the otherwise verdant belt of old maples, poplar, spruce and pine that shrouded each of the peaks. Without the roadway, travel would have been limited to horseback in most places, and hiking in the rest. Effort had been made to preserve some of the range, leaving it untouched by the hand of man, but not enough was being done elsewhere. It was only through strong laws and close ties with the human kin in positions of influence that the Adirondacks were kept free. This was, without a doubt the most powerful stronghold of the Garou in the North-East. Outside of the Caern of New England, it was also seen as one of the most populated.

Luca knew this much, but he failed to understand why he had been directed to trespass into such a hostile environment. Garou could sense the presence of Cainites from a distance, no doubt like a spider could feel the vibrations of a fly in their web. The curse of Caine was unnatural, and therefore set their world into a disharmony. While Luca respected the Garou, the respect was limited to the manner in which a hunter respected a bear. They could be vicious if you were unprepared and caught unaware, but if dealt with properly at a distance, Garou were merely savage beasts.

Of course Luca was prepared for this trip, he carried a rugged Kalashnikov with two hundred rounds of silver hollow points, a 1911 with another 50 rounds, as well as a silver bladed bayonet. Even his clothing had silver thread woven among the fibers. It had started as a joke many years ago, and it was a small consolation should he get that close to a Garou’s talons, but it had given him the precious seconds he had needed once before to save his sângerete when all else had failed.

With luck and no small measure of skill he would not need to depend upon silver thread for this mission. It was purely a mission of reconnaissance. He was to watch for disturbances in the packs of the Adirondacks, and not to engage unless absolutely needed. If he spotted nothing within sixty days, he was to hike back out and make his way home to report. His sister had been given identical orders by His Eminence, but was to watch over the packs of Maine. Crina normally traveled faster than he, so she was better suited to cover the distances needed, but she was also more brash and may need backup. While Crina knew her business, Luca hoped that she would just follow orders. This was a strictly ‘off the books’ sort of mission, and the Cardinal would not be able to bail either of them out should they find themselves in trouble that they could not handle on their own.