Last time, our heroes entered the Valley of the Spirits, where they were attacked by undead wolves. Snake was knocked unconscious and the last remaining wolf gathered itself for the deathblow.
The wolf leaped . A steel blade flashed out, skewering the beast from side to side. Its momentum carried it forward, ripping the sword from Dr. McCoy's hand. The wolf landing with a thud on Snake. But the deadly jaws did not clamp down. It was dead.
McCoy rushed over the Snake. She was unconscious and bleeding heavily from bite wounds across here body. Pulling out his medical kit, the doctor applied salves to her wounds and bandaged her up. He then waved some smelling salts below her nose. Snake awoke with a start.
"Is this heaven?" she asked, as if in a daze.
"No," chuckled the doctor as he breathed a sigh of relief. "This is Pennsylvania."
Snake nodded, her wits returning to her.
"Thank you for saving me, doctor." she replied.
"Think nothing of it." stated McCoy. "Now rest for a bit."
With Rufus standing guard over the group, McCoy continued his ministrations over Snake. After a short rest, she stood, a bit unsteadily.
"Let's go." she stated.
"Do you think that's wise?" McCoy queried.
"Aye," stated Rufus. "Stay here. McCoy and I can continue the mission while you rest."
"Oh no," Snake retorted. "I'll not leave you short-handed."
The doctor started to protest but Snake cut him off. "Besides, what would happen if something attacked me while you two went off? No, there is strength in numbers."
Rufus shrugged. "She's got us there." So the three of them set off again on their quest to rescue Franklin.
Shortly thereafter, they came to a large clearing in the woods. In the middle of the clearing stood a small log cabin. Behind it was a larger structure; apparently a barn.
Despite the protests of her compatriots, Snake decided the sneak to the cabin and peer into the window. She managed to make it to the building. Raising her head slightly, she glanced inside. There were two figures. One was a young, nicely dressed man, reading at a desk. His back was turned to the door. The other was an elderly man, bound and gagged and sitting on the floor. He was bald on top of his head but had long locks on the sides. Franklin!
Snake returned to her partners. "He's in there."
The heroes decided to rush into the cabin and free Franklin. They sneaked up to the cabin door. Snake and Rufus would enter while McCoy would guard the door. On the count of three, Rufus bashed open the door. He and Snake rushed in, weapons brandished.
"Don't move!" Rufus ordered the man at the desk, whose back was turned to them.
The man raised his hands and stood. He turned to greet them.
"Ah, you made it." he stated."I was wondering if you would get this far. Pity that your efforts will have been in vain. Dr. Franklin . . ." at this point, the man gestured with his head to the bound man on the floor. He continued "Dr. Franklin has been enjoying his sojourn in the woods and has no interest of returning to that petty rebellion."
"I do believe he'll be coming with us." Rufus declared. "Considering that it's 2 to 1, and you are unarmed."
The man laughed. "But the power of the Master is more than your petty weapons can handle."
He took off his coat and spread his arms wide. Rufus and Snake froze and stared in disbelief as he seemed to grow in stature. His clothes began ripping and fur sprouted all over. His jaw elongated, wicked fangs extended from his maw, and his fingers transformed into claws.
Will our heroes defeat this hideous foe and rescue Franklin? Find out next time!