Last time, our heroes set off into the wilderness to find the kidnapped Ben Franklin. They were attacked by and defeated zombie Indians. Later, they encountered more Indians, but these were quite alive, and friendly. They escorted the party to the entrance to the Valley of Spirits. To get to it, though, they had to cross a chasm spanned by a dead tree.
Rufus volunteered to cross first. He dropped his gear and, with a rope trailing behind him, slowly eased his way upon the log. He made it about halfway across when his foot slipped on a mossy patch, He fell, landed on the log, then began to slip off. Desperately, he clawed at the log. His fingers gripped the bark but his feet swung off the log. He hung suspended over the roaring waters in the chasm below.
Snake rushed to Rufus's rescue. Nimbly, she raced across the log to Rufus, grabbed one of his hands, and began to pull up. Unfortunately, Rufus's weight seemed to much for her. However, with her holding one hand, Rufus was able to swing one leg back up onto the log. With Snake's aid, he managed to crawl back up.
As Rufus clung to the log, Snake took the rope and dashed across the rest of the log. She tied the end to one tree and Dr. McCoy secured the other end to another tree. The rope now formed a handhold that made it easier to cross. With the rope secure, the party managed to get themselves and their gear across the chasm.
They now spied a narrow path through the woods the sloped downward, between two steep peaks. The entrance to the Valley.
As they marched down the path, the surrounding forest was unnaturally quiet. That is, until they heard the howling. It came from in front of them, down the path a ways. It was answered by another howl forward and to their left, followed by one to their right. Undaunted, our heroes continued on. They turned a corner and could see down the path for a distance. Suddenly, three wolves bounded out of the trees. But these were not ordinary wolves. Their flesh was putrid and their eyes glowed a malevolent red.
"First zombie Indians and now zombie wolves!" exclaimed the doctor. "What evil is going on here?"
The middle wolf howled, then they bound up the path toward them. Rufus leveled his rifle and fired. It struck one of beasts but it continued its forward rush. Rufus tried to reload but the beasts were too fast. He dropped his rifle. All three heroes pulled out their pistols and fired. The shots struck home, but again the beasts would not fall. The leaped upon their victims and a heated melee ensued.
One wolf clamped its jaws upon Rufus's arm. With his tomahawk in his free hand, Rufus struck the creature, cracking its skull. It fell, leaving Rufus's arm a bloody mess. Meanwhile, the doctor managed to dodge the attacks of the second wolf. He unsheathed his sword and stabbed at his foe. The blade sunk deep into the beast's flesh, and it too fell to the ground.
Snake was having considerably more trouble. The wolf jumped upon her and knocked her to the ground. It then lunged at her throat. She block its powerful bite with her arm, but it clamped on and began to shake her. She began to scream in pain and stabbed at it with here knife. Her blow was erratic and the wolf was unharmed. It released her arm and went for her throat, Snake managed to fend it off, curling into a ball to protect her vitals. Still, it chomped down on any area of exposed flesh. Blood flowed freely onto the ground. Snake fell into unconsciousness. As she lay prone, the wolf readied itself, then lunged for the death blow!
What happened to Snake? Stay tuned for the next episode to find out!