A/N: Hello my dear readers and welcome back to another Winchester story. This is not a very long one, but it was something that came to mind when I was writing another story and hope you enjoy it. Thank you for all the support with each story I have posted. I do like to know your thoughts, comments would be great. NC
Disclaimer: I do not own SPN and this is my own creation. Any mistakes are my own.
"S'mmy, you good?" Dean groaned as he rolled to his side to try and get up. "Sam?"
"Yeah," Sam coughed from across the room as he moved brushing debris from his body.
"You hurt?" Dean asked getting slowly to his feet letting pieces of plaster and glass fall from his body.
"No, just scraps and bruises."
"That was one nasty spirit. Good thing you figured out it was attached to that pocket watch or we could've been toast."
"I know, you ready to get out of here?"
"You know it bro, there's a cold brew with my name on it waiting for me," Dean replied as they made their way out of the wrecked house and to the Impala. He got in on the driver's side and started her up, waiting for his brother to fold his long frame into the passenger side and get settled.
"Are we staying at the motel tonight or heading out?" Sam asked as Dean pulled away from the house.
"Might as well stay and get some rest and then we can head for Bobby's for a few days."
"Sounds good, he's got a couple of books I want to look at while we're there."
"When do you not raid his wealth of books dude? You're like the biggest geek around."
"Bite me," Sam snarled at his brother.
"I would but you might like it," Dean shot back.
Sam snorted at him and looked out the side window at the scenery passing by. They had a twenty minute drive back to the motel and silence filled the interior of the Impala until Dean switched on the radio and found a rock station he liked. He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel to the beat of the music as he drove through the traffic that picked up when they got closer to the town. He pulled into the parking lot and around to the back, stopping in front of their room.
"Dibs on shower first," Dean said. He got out of the car and used their key to open the door to their room.
"Fine, why don't I go grab us some dinner while you shower and we won't have to go back out?" Sam offered.
"Works for me, I'll take the usual."
"I know," Sam said picking up the room key to leave.
"And don't forget pie," Dean called to him. "Bring me some pie."
"How could I forget after last time. You ragged me for a week." Sam closed the door behind him and headed down the street to the diner. They ate breakfast there and the food was good and it was close to their motel. Sam hunched deeper into his jacket as a cool breeze blew across the parking lot.
The temperature was dropping the closer darkness came. He glanced up at the sky watching the clouds gather and thought it smelled like rain. That wouldn't bother him; he liked the rain since it seemed to clean and freshen the air. It was the thunderstorms that he didn't care for. Sam had hated the rolling thunder and streaks of lightening since he was a kid. It made him think the sky was falling when he was young, but now he just didn't like the sudden blast of light or the shaking sound of thunder. It set him on edge until the storm would pass.
The diner was filling up fast, but Sam hoped the takeout wouldn't take too long. Once he placed his order, he took a seat at the front to wait on the food. He people watched as they came and went until he heard his name and went to pick up the bag of food and drink carton. He thanked the waitress and headed out thinking the smell of food was making his stomach growl.
Darkness had fallen and the place was cast into shadows by the street lights and lights of businesses around him. He was almost to the motel when his spidery senses went off making him scan the area wary of everything around him. Sam didn't see anything that was out of place but kept a watchful eye as he neared the parking lot of the motel.
It happened so fast all Sam could do was drop the bag of food and reach for his gun, but he stumbled and crumbled to the pavement as the fast acting sedative in the tranq dart raced through his body. He pulled the dart from his neck as he lost his battle with consciousness. A non-descript van suddenly pulled up beside him and tossed him inside and drove away without anyone the wiser. Sam was cuffed, gagged and blindfolded within seconds as the van sped away from the area. His cell was tossed out the window and he was disarmed before things settled in the van.
“Told you he’d be easy pickings,” a rough voice drawled out to his partner.
“We should get a pretty penny for this one, he’s a big one,” the driver replied.
“Hey Sammy you didn’t forget my....” Dean asked coming from the bathroom towel drying his hair. He looked around and didn’t see Sam anywhere and figured it was taking longer to get their food. He went back into the bathroom to finish up hoping his brother would be back with the food soon, he was hungry.
Fifteen minutes passed and still Sam had not returned. Dean picked up his cell and dialed him only to have it go directly to voicemail. He knew something was wrong when Sam didn’t pick up and grabbed his jacket before heading for the door.
Dean had only got partway across the parking lot when he saw a bag of food discarded and the carton of drinks spilled and stomped on. He reached down and opened the bag and knew this was their food. Dean looked quickly around trying to determine what could have happened to his brother.
He called his cell again but only got voicemail again and quickly brought up the tracking program to see if he could locate it. He started walking toward the road in front of the motel and followed it a short ways to find Sam’s cell tossed into the grass filled ditch along the road. Fear filled Dean’s mind as he tried to make sense of what he found and what could have happened to his brother. He headed back to the motel and looked around finally spotting security cameras at the office and headed that way.
The bells above the door jingled as he pushed it open and went to the desk to tap hard on the bell sitting there. It was a few minutes before the man who checked him in came to the front desk.
“Can I help you sir?” he asked straightening his shirt and tie.
“I need to see your video from the security cameras for the last hour,” Dean stated.
“What is this about?”
“My brother went to the diner for takeout and now he’s disappeared. I found his cell tossed on the side of the road below the motel and I want to see if the cameras caught anything,” Dean explained.
“Umm I don’t know....”
“Look, we’re FBI off duty, but I can go get my badge and have this place swarming with cops who’ll be checking every room and rousting everyone here or you can cooperate,” Dean told him, a tone of danger in his voice.
“Fine, fine, if you’ll step back here you can watch it,” the guy said deciding it was easier to do as he asked than have all the commotion.
Dean followed him to a small alcove where recording devices were stacked on shelves and a screen sat to the side. He waited as the man keyed up the video and let it run. Dean watched carefully and hit fast forward until he saw the Impala pull up to the office and slowed it. The screen showed him getting out to get a room and moving the car around to the back. It wasn’t too long before Sam came walking by heading for the diner.
Dean leaned in closer as he checked the time and watched for anything out of place. He saw a van pull into the parking lot and park somewhere past the camera’s view. He sped it up again until he saw Sam coming back with the food and pass by the office. Dean noted the time on the screen knowing if he had been taken it would be happening now. Sam went out of view and in the upper corner a minute later a vehicle sped away. He couldn’t get a clear view but knew it was larger than a car.
“I need a copy of this from the time we arrived until here,” Dean told him.
“Fine, give me a minute.” The guy grabbed a CD and loaded it into the computer before typing a couple of commands to copy the footage. “Here you go. Anything else?”
“No, I’m checking out,” Dean said hurrying from the office toward his room. He pulled his cell from his jacket and dialed a number waiting for it to be picked up. “Sammy’s been taken by someone. I’m on my way to your place....I don’t know...Be there soon.” He went back into the room and threw their things into their bags. He gave the place one quick glance before heading to the Impala and leaving. His mind was racing with thoughts of his little brother and why someone would kidnap him. Dean knew they needed to act fast before something happened to him and hoped their surrogate father, Bobby Singer, would be able to help.
Dean sighed with relief when the driveway for Singer Salvage loomed ahead of him. He had been pushing it hard to get there knowing every minute he wasted was that much more time the kidnappers had Sam. He parked and killed the engine before getting out and heading for the front door. It was the early hours of the morning still, but he knocked hard knowing Bobby was waiting on him.
"Don't gotta break the door down, I'm comin'," a gruff male voice growled from behind the door. Bobby opened it to find Dean pacing and upset. "C'mon on in son."
"I got some video footage of the motel parking lot where Sam was taken from," Dean started as he headed for Bobby's office. "I don't know if we can tell much, but I want to send it to Ash to see what he can do with it. We need to get the word out to be on the lookout for Sammy."
"Already ahead of you. I started calling after getting off the phone with you. Word'll be passed around so if anyone sees him or hears anything about him they'll call me."
"Thanks Bobby," Dean said. He dropped into his chair and slipped the CD into the slot before bringing up his email account. He attached the video and sent it to Ash along with an email explaining what happened and for him to rush this. He tagged it as urgent and sat back for a moment as the adrenaline rush he had been feeling started to die away.
"Any idea why someone would take yer brother?" Bobby asked as he grabbed two glasses and a bottle of Jack Daniels from a bookcase behind his desk. He poured out a generous shot in each glass before sitting down.
"None. We had just finished a hunt, vengeful spirit and nothing had gone wrong as far as I could tell. Sam headed over to a diner near the motel for our dinner and I was taking a shower."
"You didn't run into anyone on the hunt that seemed out of place or strange?"
"No, nothing like that I swear. I don't know who or why someone would take Sam. I just know we have to find him before...." Dean trailed off not able to say what he was thinking. If he said it out loud that would make it seem all the more real and he couldn't be thinking that way.
"Why don't I fix us some breakfast? Doesn't look like either of us are getting any more sleep this morning,"
Bobby said getting up and heading for the kitchen not waiting for Dean to answer. He knew he was shook up at the loss of his brother and wasn't going to rest until he found him.
Dean sat at the desk and brought up the video again and went through it frame by frame trying to catch something he missed the first time. His eyes felt like they were filled with sand as he rubbed them with his fingers. His vision blurred for a moment before he could bring them back into focus, not willing to give up yet. His brother was out there somewhere and was depending on him to find him.
Bobby came back into the room fifteen minutes later to see Dean hadn’t moved from his chair and was still staring at the computer screen.
“Won’t do your brother any good if’em you don’t take care of yourself,” he said. “I’ve got some breakfast ready, you need to eat.”
Dean raised his bloodshot eyes to his surrogate father, not able to reply. His eyes were dull and void of any emotions as he stared at him. His mind didn’t want to work right now and was shutting down. His body still ached from being tossed around by the spirit, but he was going to have to pull it together if he was going to find his brother.
“C’mon son...” he said gently taking his arm and guiding him from the chair. Bobby led Dean to the kitchen and sat him in a chair with a plate of food sitting there. “Go on now, try to eat something.”
Dean looked down at the plate, not really seeing it, but picked up his fork and took a bite. He ate automatically not tasting anything and sipped the coffee sat at his hand. He didn’t talk as he continued to finish the meal. Dean got up and moved to the living room and sat down on the couch, feeling his sluggish body weighting him down. He let his head fall back on the couch back and closed his eyes, not able to stop the weariness from taking over. His body shut down as he drifted into a light doze.
Bobby looked into the room and shook his head knowing Dean was blaming himself for Sam’s kidnapping, even if it wasn’t his fault. It sounded like Sam was in the wrong place at the right time for someone to snatch him. He didn't want to think about why they would want him of all people.
“Dean, why don’t ya lay down on the couch and rest?” Bobby told him barely touching his arm, making him jerk awake ready to fight. “It’s okay, lay down.”
Dean mumbled something incoherent, but slid down on the couch without further urging and went back to sleep. Bobby pulled a throw off the back of the couch and draped it over his limp body. Knowing there was nothing else he could do for the boy; Bobby decided to head out to the garage and get an early start on working on a couple cars he wanted to finish up today. He left Dean to sleep on the couch figuring it was better than nothing. He needed rest so he could think straight and there wasn't really anything else they could do at the moment since neither had any clue to why Sam had been taken or by whom.
Consciousness came slowly to Sam as the drugs wore off and he was able to think again. His mouth felt like it was full of cotton and beyond dry. As he blinked his eyes to bring the world into focus, he pushed up from the cot he was laying on to look around. He had to squint from the too bright lighting that made his headache worse. The first thing to strike him was solid metal door with a small door on the bottom to allow food to be pushed in. He knew this was a prison cell because he had been in them before. He sat up and let the world stop spinning before making any attempt to stand. There was a bottle of water sitting on a sink and he grabbed at it to quench his thirst.
He tried to get his muddled mind to work, and pull up what had happened to him. Sam spotted a small cooler and picked it up to check it out. He found several sandwiches and a carton of milk inside and felt his stomach grumble wondering how long it had been since he ate. He pulled at sandwich out and checked it out before taking a bite and chewing. None of this made sense and he wondered if Dean was in a cell somewhere near him. Sam opened the milk and drank some not wanting to waste it since he didn’t know when he would get his next meal. He thought it strange that he had food and wondered where he was, who had taken him and for what purpose.
He remembered going to the diner to get their meal and something triggered his hunter instincts. Then things went blank and he woke up here. His finger went to his neck and felt a tender spot there. Memory of pulling a dart from his neck came to him and he knew he had been drugged and taken by someone.
Sam began to study the room in the harsh light, taking in every aspect of it. His eyes roamed carefully over the bricks that made up the walls and continued up to the ceiling and followed it to the front of the room. That is when he spotted it. There was a small camera in one of the corners of the front wall. There was someone watching him. He was sure of it from the small red light that was on the camera.
He got up and threw his trash away and moved to the door, feeling around it but saw there was no way to open it from the inside. He moved to stand in the corner under the camera, pissed he was being watched and didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of it. He stood there for a long time trying to come up with a plan on how to get out. The only thing he could really do was wait for someone to check on him and try to make his break.
The ceiling lights suddenly dimmed, making the room feel all the creepier, but he guessed it must be night time and decided to try and rest while he could. Sam had no idea what lay ahead for him and needed to be as prepared as he could. The cot was lumpy and he had to shift several times before getting comfortable enough to doze off. His last thoughts were on his brother and if he had been kidnapped too or if he was out there looking for him.
The lights suddenly came on and Sam sat up blinking rapidly trying to focus his eyes. He wiped them and looked around as the memories came flooding back. He saw a tray had been pushed through the opening at the bottom of the door and got up to see what was on it. He found a couple of breakfast sandwiches, coffee and a bottle of water. He picked up the tray and went to sit back on the bed so he could eat.
He ignored the camera and ate the food and drunk the coffee, happy he at least had creamer. When he was done, he washed his hands and shielded himself to use the commode. He washed his hands again and stacked the trays together and put them by the door. With nothing else to do, Sam sat back down on the bed and waited.
It seemed like hours, but was just over one, when Sam heard noises outside his room. He stiffened and waited but no one entered. After five minutes, he went to the door and listened before pushing on it and was surprised to feel it give. He pushed harder and the door opened outward. Sam didn’t step out at first waiting to see if it was a trap. Only when he heard another voice, did he move to the doorway and look down the hall at the other locked doors.
“Hello,” a young man somewhere between Dean’s age and his, called as he stood in front of another opened cell.
“Who are you?” another voice asked and Sam saw another guy just below the first one who looked Dean's age.
“You get kidnapped too?” Sam asked stepping further into the hall and looking around for any danger but not seeing any. He did notice more cameras positioned for ample viewing of the area.
“Yeah, I’m Stone,” one man said stepping toward Sam.
“Sam,” Sam replied looking him over. He was well build, brown headed, green eyes and looked like he kept in shape. “And you’re...” he asked the other guy that moved toward them.
“Name’s Ice,” he stated, stoic and reserved not offering much more.
“Where do you two come from?” Sam asked, knowing from the last guy’s body language he had military training. It wasn’t hard to miss the stance, and steely eyes. His skin was dark as was his long hair and eyes. Sam was sure there was some Native American in him.
“I was in Colorado coming back from a week long hike and got snagged when I got off a bus in some no name town,” Ice stated.
“I got taken from North Carolina when I was finishing up my training for a Triathlon.”
“You were drugged and kidnapped just like me, by whom or why, I don’t know,” Sam told them. He didn’t think either of these guys knew anything about the supernatural and wondered why they were taken and for that matter why he was taken.
“I’m a foreman of a construction company. I’m not rich, why would someone target me?” Stone asked.
“Are you in the military?” Sam asked Ice, thinking that was a nickname of some kind.
“I am, eleven years now. I was on leave doing some hiking and seeing some of the country before being deployed again.”
“Look, I don’t know you, nor do you know me, but if we are going to get out of this, we will have to work together to do it,” Sam told them. “Are we in agreement?”
The other two looked at each other for a moment, and then looked back to him sizing him up.
“Okay fine, we’ll let you take the lead,” Stone said. “As long as you make good decisions.”
“Fair enough,” Sam agreed with a nod. “I’m not trying to be the leader or anything, I’m just stating facts and I want to get out of this place.” He looked around them not sure what to do. He knew the first thing was to see if they could find a way out of this place.
A/N: Sam is not alone in this bizarre turn of events. Can Dean find him before something bad happens? Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Comments are nice. NC
"Where ya going son?" Bobby asked as Dean came down with a bag in his hand. He could tell by his damp hair he had showered and changed clothes.
"I'm heading to the Roadhouse; going to talk to Ash and see if he can help. I was going to see if there were other hunters there that you hadn't talked to and talk to them too," Dean answered, pausing long enough to respond before heading for the door.
"Stay in touch and I'll do what I can from this end."
"You take care son," he whispered watching his adopted son walk out the door.
Dean dropped his bag in the back seat and slid into the Impala to head for a bar that catered to hunters. The owner, Ellen Harvelle and her daughter Jo ran the place since Ellen's husband and Jo's father was killed on a hunt. Ash had wandered in one day and never left. To look at him no one would ever dream he went to MIT and was a computer genius. Dean hoped Ash could find something to point him in the right direction in finding his brother. He cranked his Baby and backed out to head out of town and pick up the interstate south west.
Traffic wasn't heavy and Dean was making good time. He was driving on autopilot, not paying any attention to the scenery around him. He had one goal set in his mind and shut everything else out. The day wore on and he only stopped for gas and junk food along the way. It took part of the day for him to get close to the Roadhouse.
The gravel parking lot was full when Dean pulled into the lot and moved through it to a couple of spots with reserved signs posted and parked. He got out and took a deep breath before heading for the door and hopefully the help he needed. He pushed open the door and stopped in the entryway to let his eyes adjust to the dimness of the light. Dean scanned the crowd seeing familiar faces among the patrons. He headed for the bar and a familiar face.
"Dean Winchester, it's been a long time," Ellen greeted him exuberantly. “Beer?”
“Hey Ellen, sounds good,” Dean said. He took a seat at the bar and searched for the person he needed.
“What brings you to this part of the country and where’s your brother?” she asked pulling a long neck from the cooler and sitting it in front of Dean.
“He’s missing, that’s why I need to talk to Ash.”
“Awe honey, I’m sorry to hear about Sam,” she said. “He’s in the back in his room,” she nodded as she went to help another patron.
Dean took his beer and headed for the back and down the hall to a room with a sign that said, ‘Dr. Badass Is In’. He knocked on the door and called out, “Hey Ash can I talk to you?”
“What’s happening?” Ash asked opening the door, naked.
“Wow dude!” Dean cried out adverting his eyes. “Think you can put some pants on so I can talk to you? I need your help.”
“Give me...Fifteen minutes,” he said snagging his beer from his hand and turned back into the room.
Dean started to say something rude until the door was shut in his face, but not before he heard female giggling in the background. Dean arched his eyebrows and chuckled to himself. He headed back to the bar to get another beer, and wait on Ash to finish his little tryst.
Dean was sitting at the bar sipping on a beer when Ash finally strolled in giving it a quick look until he saw who he was looking for. He ambled over and took a seat.
“So what’s going on?” he asked eyeing the beer for a moment.
“Jo,” Dean waved to her.
Jo brought over a cold one and put it down in front of Ash.
“Thanks man,” Ash smiled as he sipped on the beer.
“Sammy’s missing and I need your help finding him,” Dean stated pulling out a flash drive. “Here’s some footage of where it happened.”
“Step into my office,” Ash said. He snapped his fingers to Jo who pulled his weird looking, handmade laptop from behind the bar and led Dean to the corner table. He accepted the flash drive and plugged it in. He began to type quickly moving from screen to screen.
Dean took a seat at the table and stayed quiet while Ash did his mojo. He sipped his beer and waited, trying to be patient. He spoke to another hunter who walked by and greeted him. Dean couldn’t sit there any longer and got up to head over to a hunter’s table. He talked quietly to them giving them the basics and to be on the lookout for the van and Sam. They all agreed to do that and spread the word to others. Dean thanked them and headed back to the table where Ash was working.
Since Sam thought this was as good as he was going to get, he walked down the hall and banged on the other doors that weren’t opened to see if there was anyone else around. He came back to the others after finding they were the only ones there.
“Guess we’re it, whatever this is,” Sam said walking to the barred door that led out of the place. He spotted something lying on the floor just out of his arm’s reach and jerked his belt off to use to snag it. Once he got the envelope to the bars, he pulled it through and opened it allowing the others to check out what was inside. He pulled out a sheet of paper and two keys.
“What does that say?” Ice asked waiting for him to read it.
“Hello and congratulations,
You have been chosen to participate in a game like no other. Your first goal is to make it to the designated spot where there will be food and a weapon waiting. You have thirty minutes to make it or you forfeit the cache and that wouldn’t be a good thing. Just to make it more fun there will be some surprises along the way. Good luck and don’t disappoint me.
The Game Master”
Sam read out loud and looked up at the others. He looked at the other page and saw a layout of the place and knew they were in a prison like he thought. He studied the map for a moment seeing X’s on it and determined their location.
“Well that sucks,” Stone grumbled looking around.
“Is this for real?” Ice asked in disgust.
“From the looks of everything I think so,” Sam said looking at his watch. “Before we go grab your pillow cases from your rooms. They may come in handy.” He didn’t want to tell them they would make good bandages since he was sure this was not going to be easy. After they got the pillow cases, he took the keys and tried one to unlock the door but it didn’t work. He took the other and heard the click as the door opened. “Are you guys ready?”
“Lead the way,” Ice said as Sam stepped through the door.
He glanced at the map once more before leading them down a hallway. It bothered him what the message said and was being extra careful. There had to be traps set along the way to this cache.
“Did you guys see the cameras?” Sam whispered quietly as he let the two come abreast of him.
“I did,” Ice said.
“Didn’t notice,” Stone replied.
“There will probably be traps so you guys need to watch yourselves,” Sam told them. “Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to set this up, so I'm pretty sure it’s not going to be that simple.”
As they rounded the corner, the lights dimmed ahead of them, casting the way ahead in shadows. Sam put up a hand for them to stop as he looked down into the darkness.
“Let me go first,” Sam told them as he knelt down and carefully began to feel in front of him. He hadn’t gone thirty feet when his hand brushed against a trip wire. “Hold up, both of you step back.” Being careful, Sam found the wire again and readied himself to fall back as he jerked on it. An arrow flew through the bars and would have hit one of them if he hadn’t found the wire.
“Holy crap,” Stone mumbled as Sam stood up.
“Looks like you’ve done something like this before,” Ice commented to Sam. “Did you serve?”
“No, but I’m a hunter,” Sam answered, not explaining himself. He continued to move down the hall checking for more traps along the way. He made it to the end of the hall without finding anything else to hinder them. He knew there were two more halls they needed to go down and glanced at his watch. They were running out of time and he needed to speed things up. “Give me your shoes,” Sam ordered as he pulled his off. He tossed them down the hallway at different levels, hoping to trigger any traps ahead of them. Once they saw what he was doing, Ice and Stone took turns tossing shoes and waiting for any traps to spring. “Okay, it looks good, c’mon, we need to get moving.”
They headed down the hall that had been cleared and picked up shoes along the way. Sam paused at the next corner and looked to the end where the cache was supposed to be behind a locked door. He looked at his watch and saw their time was almost up.
“Okay we’re going to get down and dirty,” Sam said. He got down on the floor on his stomach and began to crawl toward the end of the hall at a fast pace, using his hand to check for any more trip wires. “Follow behind me and stay low. I don’t think they’ll have another trap set the same way.”
“Guess we follow his lead,” Ice shrugged and got down to combat crawl quickly behind Sam. This was something he had plenty of training in and knew the best moves. "Keep your head down."
Stone looked at the two and followed suit, deciding maybe they knew better than him. Yes, he had martial arts training, and had fought in matches and won, but this was a whole new level of weird for him. He was going to keep quiet, and do what he was told and hoped they all got out of this place alive.
It seemed to take forever, but Sam was finally at the end and stood up. He pulled the second key out of his pocket to open a door revealing supplies. He let the others go in first and checked the door being sure he could lock it from the inside and get it back opened. Once he had them secured in the room, he went to see what they had.
“There’s even three beers here in this cooler on ice along with waters,” Stone commented when he opened it.
“We got subs, potato salad, and fresh fruit,” Ice said. “Guess we should eat.”
Sam looked around and saw a table with three chairs had been set up on one side of the room. They took the coolers over to it and sat the food out to eat.
“Hey here’s another envelope,” Ice said holding it out to Sam.
“You sure? I’m not trying to take over as boss or anything,” Sam told him.
“You got us this far, I think we can trust you.”
“Guys, check this out, a gun,” Stone said pulling a gun from the bowl that contained fruit. “This is a lot of good, there’s no bullets,” he complained when he popped the clip from the gun
“Check the rest of the stuff and see if they’re hidden somewhere,” Ice replied.
Sam opened the envelope and tilted it to allow one silver bullet to fall into his hand. He knew what silver bullets were used for and a cold chill ran down his spine. He looked at them with a frown, and pulled out the papers, one a letter and one a map. The color drained from his face as he skimmed the letter and looked up at the two guys who were staring at him not sure what just happened.
“We’ve got a big problem guys,” Sam said in a voice filled with dread. “But first, we should eat to keep our strength up; we’re going to need it. I‘ll explain it to you afterwards.”
Neither of them said anything as Sam folded the letter and pushed it aside. They joined him at the table and divided the food and began to eat. Though no one had an appetite, they all knew they needed to keep their energy levels up to face whatever the next challenge was going to be.
A/N: Sam is finding out that the game they are in just turned deadly and Dean is doing his best to find Sam. Comments are great. NC
A/N: We learn more about what Sam and his fellow prisoners are going to be up against. Thank you for taking this journey with me. I hope you are enjoying the read. I do like comments. NC
The food had no taste for Sam as he ate automatically. He looked to the other two wondering what they were going to think about him when he gave them the talk. Sam had no choice but to clue them in since it seemed they were going to be going up against monsters, real monsters, while trying to get out of this place.
"We should save some of this fruit for later," Ice suggested.
"And a bottle of water too," Stone agreed.
"You're right, getting food now doesn't mean we will have any later," Sam nodded. "We eat what will spoil and can't take with us."
"Okay Sam, what are you not telling us?" Ice confronted him. They had finished their subs and the beers and were sitting at the table to go over the next letter and what was ahead of them.
"There are some things I need to tell you and it's going to sound crazy, really crazy, but you need to keep an open mind until I'm finished," Sam started giving each one at solemn look. He took a couple of slow breaths as he prepared to tell them the truth about what was out there in the shadows. “I told you before I was a hunter, but I didn’t tell you what I hunted. There are things in this world that are not talked about, and most humans don’t know exist. My brother and I, we hunt monsters and protect humanity. I don‘t mean human monsters but vampires, werewolves, ghouls, spirits, witches and a lot more.”
“Hold on,” Ice stopped him looking at him hard for a moment. “You’re serious about this aren’t you?”
“Dead serious,” Sam said.
“So you’re saying the things in movies are real?”
“Well not all things, never seen a Big Foot,” Sam shrugged, trying to lighten the mood.
“You want us to believe those...Monsters are real and you and your brother hunt them?” Stone questioned.
“Well not only us, there are more hunters out there than just us.”
“So even if we believed you, why is all this important to us?” Ice probed deeper.
Sam held out his hand with the silver bullet resting in the palm of it. Ice picked it up and looked at it with a frown. He knew his ammunition and this was unusual.
“This is a new one to me. I’ve not seen silver bullets before except on horror shows.”
“So what does this mean for us?” Stone asked.
“Let me read the letter.” Sam told them unfolding it and stopping for a moment before reading.
You have made it past the first level of the game and I hope with no mishaps. Did you like my little surprise? Things are going to get more interesting now. To reach the next cache you will have to travel through the wolf’s lair, and make it out alive. You have been given all you need to achieve this task, but it is not as simple as it sounds. One of you understands the risk, don’t disappoint our viewers now. I think its time blood is shed, don't you agree? Your time will start when the lights come back on. You will have three hours to find the next safe haven. Sweet dreams and I hope tomorrow with be a rewarding day.
The Game Master”
“You know what this means don’t you?” Ice questioned Sam.
“Yeah, we’re going up against a werewolf, hopefully just one since there’s only one bullet,” Sam explained. “I think I know what this is now. We’re trapped in this place with monsters and people are paying to watch what happens. That’s why all the cameras everywhere. This is some sick game to someone and they're making money off of it.”
“To hell with this!” Stone growled as he took his empty beer bottle and threw it at the camera in the corner breaking the lenses. “Let them watch us now,” he said with satisfaction.
Sam looked around the room carefully for more hidden cameras. He got up and walked the room, checking each brick trying to location another. He couldn’t believe there would be only one and then he spotted it up on the light fixture that had a cage around it. After stepping out of its view, he motioned to the others pointing it out.
“Might as well not waste time trying to destroy them. We need to prepare for tomorrow,” Sam told them. He took a chair and butted it under the doorknob so no one could get in while they slept. He was sure if they wanted them unconscious all they had to do was drug the water or food, but that would spoil their game. Whoever this Game Master was, he or she knew about monsters and that meant there was a hunter involved somehow for them to have captured a werewolf. He just wondered what other monsters might be out there they were going to have to face.
"What can we expect from a werewolf?" Ice asked.
"They are stronger than humans and fast. You can't let it bite you or you'll be infected. I can't stress that enough. There is no cure and you would not like what you become," Sam explained in a serious voice hoping to stress how severe their situation was.
“So we need to try and arm ourselves besides the gun,” Stone mumbled looking around the room. He went to the table and pulled it out before turning it sideways. With a strong kick, he dislodged a leg from the side and checked it out. It was only a card table and the legs weren’t a heavy metal, but it was better than nothing. He worked on breaking all the legs off and held them up. “It’s not much, but it’s something.”
“Yeah, that’ll work,” Ice agreed taking two of the legs and tying them together for added strength. He swung them expertly to get a feel before looking at the others.
Before anyone could say anything the lights went out, leaving only a small emergency light on.
“Guess that means we’re supposed to sleep,” Sam sighed. He tossed blankets to the others and settled down in a corner to try and rest. “Look guys, my brother is out there looking for me and he won’t give up until he finds me. We’ve got to try and hold out until he does.”
“What makes you think he has a chance of finding us here?” Ice asked as he settled six feet away from Sam.
“Because I know my brother and he won’t rest until he does. He’s probably the best hunter out there and we have friends that won’t take kindly to me being kidnapped.”
“No ones going to miss me for at least four days,” Ice noted.
“I’ll be missed but no one will have any idea where to even start looking probably,” Stone added. “Guess we’re putting all our money on your brother.”
“Yeah, hope he’s as good as you say,” Ice mumbled before getting comfortable.
“I have faith,” Sam said. He stretched out and used his jacket as a pillow and prayed he was right.
Dean rolled over and pushed himself up in the bed as he let his mind wake up. Ellen had sent him to get some rest after she closed down the bar. He looked to the empty bed beside him and got up knowing he needed to see if Ash had found anything yet. He quickly changed and went to the bathroom before heading out into the kitchen. He grabbed a cup of coffee and wandered out into the bar to find Jo sitting up the tables and Ellen stocking the bar. After a quick look around, he spotted Ash asleep on the pool table.
“Hey man, wake up,” Dean called to him shaking his leg.
“I’m up,” Ash slurred as he sat up.
“Sure, got a beer?” he asked swinging his legs off the table and catching himself before he fell.
“You know its morning right?”
“Hey, might as well get started early.”
“Whatever; did you find anything?” Dean asked not sure how he was as smart as he was with the beer and pot he consumed.
“I did; I found the license plate for the van,” he said going to the bar and grabbing a beer.
“Great, who’s it registered to?”
“And?” Dean asked getting impatient with him. “What else?”
“It was rented by a shell company called The Wilson Group.”
“Who is that?”
“Don’t know they’re only on paper, but after following the money and paper trail around the world I finally found the mother company, Phoenix Unlimited.”
“And?” Dean asked waving his hand for him to continue.
“Their main office is located in Kansas City, Kansas.”
“That’s what I needed to know. I’ll head that way.”
“If you can get me plugged into their main frame, I will be able to search for anything about Sam.”
“How do I do that?”
“Find the computer room and plug this little flash drive in, and hit enter when the box comes up,” Ash told him giving him a flash drive.
“I’ll call when I’m in and give you a heads up.”
“It might not be easy, they do have security, but I can get you past most of it.”
“Alright, pack your bag, we’re taking a road trip,” Dean told him.
“Really? I don’t know...” Ash started.
“It’s Sam, Ash, I need your help,” Dean said. "Don't make me get physical."
“Go on Ash, we can take care of things here,” Ellen told him. She had been listening to the conversation and wanted to get Sam back as much as Dean.
“Give me ten,” Ash said heading toward the swinging doors to get his bag.
Dean pulled his cell from his jacket pocket and answered it when it started ringing.
“Dean, son, have you found anything?” Bobby asked.
“Ash may have found a lead we’re going to check it out.”
“That’s good; I’m working an angle on my end. Reached out and I’m going to see a witch and see if she can do a spell to find Sam,” Bobby told him.
“Sounds good, I’ll let you know what we find out and be careful, witches can be tricky.”
“I know, don’t worry, she doesn’t dabble in the dark stuff. I’ll call if I find anything. You take care son.”
“I will Bobby and you do the same,” Dean replied ending the call. He looked up as Ash ambled back into the room carrying a bag. “We’re out of here Ellen.”
“You take care of Ash Dean, he’s family,” Ellen warned him.
“Always Ellen,” Dean replied with a nod.
They headed out the front door and to the Impala. Dean had to bit his lip to keep from fussing when Ash plopped down in the passenger seat. That was his little brother's seat, and he didn't like others using it. He pinched his lips together into a thin line as he slid under the wheel and cranked his Baby up. He pulled away from the building and headed toward the main road.
"Oh, man, this is one nice ride dude," Ash commented looking around the inside of the Impala.
"Thanks," Dean replied. He flipped on the radio since he didn't feel like carrying on a conversation with Ash.
"Cool," Ash said. He beat his fingers to the beat of the music as his head nodded in time with it.
Dean was glad Ash settled down and didn't want to engage in small talk because he was not in the mood for it. His only thoughts were in finding his brother.
The lights suddenly came on blinding the three young men lying on the floor. Sam shielded his eyes as he woke up and groaned painfully when he moved his stiff body. He sat up looking to the others who were waking up.
"We need to get ready to leave," he told the others as they roused from the floor. "Drink some water and eat something."
They quickly had a small meal and armed themselves with what they had. Sam took the gun and loaded the silver bullet in the clip before slapping it into the gun and pulling the slide back to load it. Ice and Stone armed themselves with the table legs and tucked the pillowcases with what little food they had left back into their belts. Sam unlocked the door and looked at the map that showed the path they needed to take.
"Listen to me. Whatever you do, do not let it bite you. I need a clear shot to the heart to kill it," Sam instructed them. "Remember, if it bites you there is no cure and you will turn. Don't under estimate it, it is going to be pissed off about being captured and held in here."
"That's comforting," Ice commented dryly.
"You need to know what we're up against and how serious this is. I'm not going to sugar cost our situation."
"We get it, just don't miss," Stone insisted.
"I don't plan on it." Sam took the lead and headed down the hall toward their next destination. He stayed to one side, hugging the wall and made it to an intersection. Looking both ways to be sure things were clear, he headed left. He was in full hunter mode knowing somewhere in here was a werewolf who wouldn't hesitate to tear them apart. The others moved quietly behind him staying alert in case of attack.
The distance they needed to travel this time was twice as long and the map led them up and down stairs and through different sections of the prison. Sam didn't say anything when he saw the cameras installed along their route filming them. This riled him that someone was making money doing something like this and that there was a hunter betraying them. He hoped to find this person and make sure they paid for this. It was bad enough he had been taken but to include innocent humans was unforgivable.
The three captives were an hour into their search when Sam called a halt and everyone froze. When silence fell around them, a soft growl broke it some where ahead of them. Sam knew this was it. The werewolf was out there, blocking their way.
“Be alert, it’s ahead of us,” Sam whispered as he held the gun in front of him. He was surprised when the other two moved ahead of him with their table legs ready to do battle. They were going to distract it so he could get the shot.
“I’ve hacked into their system and put in an order for repair work so you should be able to get in,” Ash told Dean as he tapped on the keys to his laptop.
“I hate dress up,” Dean complained as he adjusted the overalls he had on for an electrician.
“Remember to take the stairs down to the basement. That’s where the main servers are for the company.”
“Yeah, yeah, I remember,” Dean growled. “I’ll leave my cell on and use the ear piece to hear you.”
“When you get there I’ll talk you through what needs to be done.”
“Just watch for guards or unwanted employees.”
“On it dude,” Ash nodded as he scrolled through the security cameras. “I’ll put the ones at the server room on a loop so they will never see you.”
“Better hope so, I don’t really want to be arrested,” Dean said. He got out of the Impala and headed for the main entrance to the building for Phoenix, Unlimited. He glanced around quickly before stepping to the desk.
“May I help you?” the guard asked.
“Got a work order for some electrical work,” Dean said showing him the clipboard he was carrying, hoping it would pass inspection.
The guard looked at it and started typing on a keyboard before looking back up. “You’re good to go. Elevators are around the corner.”
“Thanks have a good day,” Dean nodded letting the breath he was holding out. He went around the corner and saw the bank of elevators and moved on down to the door marked stairs. He stepped through without anyone stopping him and headed down instead of up. “Okay, I’m heading down the stairs,” he said loud enough for Ash to hear on his cell.
“When you get to the bottom wait until I tell you to open the door,” he whispered in his ear.
Dean adjusted the ear piece slightly and made his way down a level and waited at the door. He could hear Ash humming something and then got the all clear from him. Being cautious, Dean opened the door and looked both ways before stepping out into a hallway.
“Go right through double doors and turn left. About midway down you’ll see a door on the right. Let me know when you get there.”
“On it,” Dean mumbled following the directions and finding the door. It was marked server room. “I’m here.”
“Give me a sec...” Ash said. “Okay, it should open now.”
Dean tried the knob and felt it turn in his hand. He pushed it open and stepped into the cold room and looked around. “Damn, which one is it?” he asked seeing the rows of servers.
“Look for one that has a computer screen and a pull out keyboard underneath. Probably in the middle of the room.”
Dean quickly began looking at the servers until he spotted the screen and then saw the keyboard. “Okay got it what now.”
“Look for an USB port and plug in the flash drive I gave you.”
Dean looked at the equipment and found a port. He pulled the drive from his pocket and plugged it in.
“Now wake up the system. Tap any key on the keyboard.”
Dean hit a key and watched as the screen woke up. He saw a box in the middle of screen and answered yes to the question.
“Okay, now type this command....” Ash started going slow so Dean could type in the commands. “Now hit enter.”
“Done,” Dean said hitting enter and watching as rows of programming began to flash across the screen.
“I’m in. You can take the drive out and turn the screen off.”
“On my way out.”
“Go through the basement and take a side exit. It's the quickest way out of there.”
“I’ll be out shortly,” Dean told him pulling the drive and turning off the screen. He slipped the keyboard back into place and made ready to leave. He picked up his tool chest and headed for the door to get out of there. He cracked the door to be sure no one was out there before slipping from the room and heading back the way he came. He followed the exit signs and found a side door to slip out. Dean made his way around the building and headed back to the Impala. He stowed the tool box and dropped into the driver’s seat before speaking. “Are we good?”
“Yep, you can head back to the motel and I’ll see what I can find,” Ash said. “They never knew what hit them. Dr. Badass has struck again.”
“Let’s hope it’s worth it. We need to find Sam,” Dean replied as he pulled away from the building and headed to the motel that he had gotten a room for them. He stopped at a diner and got some food before continuing on to the motel. He wanted Ash to work on finding Sam and knew this would be better.
Dean opened the door to the room and let Ash in. He carried the bags of food to the table and divided it out. Ash sat down and pulled out his laptop again and began typing as he ate. Dean began to eat, being quiet as Ash worked. He wasn’t hungry, but knew he needed nourishment.
After finishing his food, Dean cleaned up and went outside so he could pace and get some fresh air. He couldn’t sit still any longer with his nerves on edge wanting Ash to find something. He walked around the parking lot and decided to head down the street to the convenience store for a six pack. He needed something to do, anything that would take his mind off of his brother even if it was only for a few minutes. He had pictured every scenario in his head and none of them were good.
Since he had the time, Dean called Bobby to see if he had had found out anything on his end.
“Hey Bobby,” Dean greeted when he answered. “Ash is doing his thing and thought I’d check to see how it’s going with you.”
“I was going to call shortly anyway. The witch did a locator spell but could only pen yer brother down to a two hundred mile radius. She said there’s some heavy warding going on that she couldn’t break. But it wasn‘t another witch doing it. That much she could tell.”
“Up near Amarillo and go out from there. I know it's not much to go on, but at least it closer than we were.”
“Amarillo that could put him in one of five states. Damn! I was hoping to get closer than that,” Dean growled. “Let’s hope Ash finds something, and we can pinpoint it more.”
“I’m heading for the Roadhouse to be closer if we catch a break.”
“Yeah, we’ll be heading that way in the morning,” Dean sighed. “I don’t think Ash needs to be in the same city to hack their servers. At least I hope not.”
“You take care son, I’ll see you soon.”
“Thanks Bobby. At least we’re getting closer.”
After ending the call, Dean pictured a map in his mind and tried to visualize the area that Sam was in. He rubbed his temples hard as a headache started coming on, and headed back to the room to see if Ash had found anything. If the place Sam was being held was warded then that meant some supernatural element was involved. Most humans had no idea about spells, warding, monsters or hunters. He couldn’t have been taken for ransom since they had no money. No, something else was going on here; he just didn’t know what and that's what worried him.
A/N: Sam and company are getting ready to fight and Dean is getting closer. Will the two meet in time? Thank you for joining me on this journey; I hope you are enjoying it. I do like comments if you have a moment to leave me one. NC
Sam was trying to be prepared but they were attacked at the next intersection, and all three went down. He rolled and came up with the gun still clutched in his hand. Ice was fending the werewolf off so Stone could get to his feet and they both were doing pretty good holding their own until the werewolf swiped a huge paw through the air catching Stone on the arm. He stumbled backward and went down. Ice faced off against the beast as Sam tried to get a clear shot.
"Lure his toward me!" Sam yelled moving around the space so he was facing the werewolf. He watched Ice dodge a strike and used the table leg to defend himself. When the leg broke across the beast's arm, Ice made a flying dive towards Sam as the werewolf reared up exposing his chest. Sam didn't hesitate to fire, and watched as it stumbled forward before collapsing to the ground at his feet.
“Hey man you okay?” Ice asked Stone who was clutching his arm as blood ran between his fingers.
“Here, let me look,” Sam said. He knelt down and tore away the shirt sleeve to reveal three ugly gashes.
“We’ll need to bandage them tightly, but they don’t look too deep,” Ice told him. He began to rip up the pillowcase he had and handed the stripes to Sam.
“You’ve had some first aid training?” Sam asked as he used one stripe for a pad and began to wrap Stone’s arm.
“Yeah, we all had some basic training. I read up a little more on it.”
“I think I’ll live,” Stone grunted when Sam tied the last stripe down.
“We were lucky this time. Come on we still need to get to the cache. We’ve only got twenty minutes,” Sam told them as he helped Stone to stand.
“And you fight things like this on a regular basis?” Ice questioned.
“Pretty much,” Sam shrugged. "Grew up in it, sort of a family business. I've faced worse. My brother is the true hunter of the family. He takes after our Dad."
“You must be crazy,” Stone said.
“Someone has to do it,” Sam replied before leading them down the hall ending the conversation. He stayed alert in case there were any more surprises along the way. He almost missed another trap at the end of the hall had not they stopped for Stone. “Hold up, don’t move,” Sam ordered as Ice started to step forward in front of them and into the wire.
Ice froze and looked down, seeing the wire tightly against his leg and looked both ways trying to see what he had walked into. Sam knelt down and used a table leg to carefully press on the wire to hold the tension.
“When I say so, jump backwards,” Sam instructed. He kept his hand steady before giving the command. “Now, fall back!”
Ice jumped backwards, falling to the floor when a gun went off, sounding twice as loud in the confined space. If he had been standing there or moved a fraction more, the bullet would have hit him. He got up as Sam stood and held out his hand. “Thanks. I’m glad you’re on our side.”
“It’s fine, c’mon, we don’t have but a few more minutes to get to the door and get it opened,” Sam told them. He didn't want to lose out on any of these caches, since he had no idea how long they were going to be trapped in here and have to fight their way out. At least he hoped they could find a way out of here.
Ice helped Stone move faster as Sam rushed forward to the end of the hall and around the corner. He saw the room number just below them and pulled the key to open it. Sam breathed a sigh of relief when he saw they made it with less than two minutes to spare. They were cutting it close and wondered what was in store next. When the others were in the room, he locked the door behind him and followed them to see what had been left for them this time. Sam was happy when he saw a first aid kit sitting on a table. At least they could doctor Stone’s injuries better now.
"They gave us some first aid supplies," Sam commented rummaging through the kit to see what was there. "Guess they don't want us to die too quickly." he added sarcastically.
"You know if I ever get my hands on whoever is doing this to us....Lets just say it won't be pretty."
"Yeah, stand in line, but if my brother gets to them first there won't be anything left," Sam replied. "Even if I don't make it out of here....He's going to be sure they pay."
"Can't wait to meet him," Ice said. "He sounds like my kind of guy."
Dean pulled into the Roadhouse parking lot after the long drive back. Ash was passed out asleep in the back since he had stayed up working on the laptop most of the night. He saw Bobby's beat up car parked at the side of the building and pulled in beside it. It was good to have him here to help. Dean didn't feel as alone in his search now, and that gave him a little hope.
"Hey Ash, we're here," Dean called to him as he leaned over to smack his legs to wake him.
"I'm up," Ash slurred as he sat up in the backseat, and looked around.
"C'mon, when you get woke up check your program to see if it's found anything," Dean told him getting out.
"Will do dude, just let me wet my whistle and I'll get right on it," Ash answered opening the back door and grabbing his bag before getting out. He followed Dean into the bar and headed for his room to drop his bag off before coming back out with his laptop. He sat up at a table away from the other patrons so he could check his program.
"Bobby, good to see you," Dean mumbled as he took a seat beside him at the bar. Ellen placed a beer in front of him without being asked and nodded to him. He accepted the offering and took a sip of the beer trying not to let exhaustion of the trip drag him down.
"Dean, how was the trip?" Bobby asked.
"Not sure yet, Ash is still working on it. Hopefully he'll find something in their servers that will give us a lead to Sammy."
"You look like you need to get some rest son."
"Not until I see if Ash has found anything," he replied.
"You don't know how long that'll be, why don't you try to catch a few hours and if Ash does find anything I'll get you up," Bobby offered. "Now listen to me and do what I tell ya."
"He's right honey, go on and lay down," Ellen added.
"Yeah Dean, you look like shit," Jo told him as she sat a couple of six packs of beer on the bar to go in the cooler.
"Jo Beth Harvelle! Watch your mouth," Ellen chastised him.
"Okay, okay, you don't need to gang up on me," Dean complained. He took a couple more sips of his beer before getting up to head through the double doors and back to the bedroom he was using. He sat down to tug off his boots and take off his jacket and outer shirt before stretching out on the bed and rolling to his side. His thoughts went to his brother and hoped he was okay and god help whoever took him because he was going to make sure they paid dearly. He closed his eyes as exhaustion took him under and he went into a light sleep.
"How's that?" Sam asked as he taped down the bandage on Stone's arm.
"Good, thanks," Stone told him moving his arm a little.
"C'mon, guys, we need to eat to keep our strength up. We don't know what is coming next," Ice told them as he got the food ready.
"He's right, we need to eat and rest," Sam agreed.
"There's another envelope over here," Ice said. "You can have the honors since you've been doing so well."
"Thanks, but it was a joint effort here. It took all of us to make it this far," Sam told them not wanting to take the credit since it wasn't all him. He wanted them to know he didn't want the credit, that wasn't him.
"You're a good man Sam, and humble when you don't have to be," Stone told him.
"So what's on the menu today?" Sam asked quickly changing the subject before it got to personal.
"Would you believe stew and rolls?" Ice said holding up a crock pot that had been plugged in to keep warm.
"Guess they want to give us a fighting chance?" Stone said.
"I doubt that, they don't want us to die too quickly. The longer we're alive, the more money they can make off of us," Sam explained. He sat down at the table and waited as Ice dished out the stew into throw away bowls. His mouth started watering as he got a whiff of the food. Stone broke the rolls apart, and they began to eat the hot meal.
None felt like talking as they all mulled over their situation. Sam wasn't really in any hurry to see what was in the envelope, and what they might be facing next. He knew the monsters that were out there and how dangerous they were. It was bad enough he had to do this, but with two civilians to protect too, even though they both proved themselves; it still made it hard. He just hoped Dean was getting close and would be able to get them out of here before one or all of them get killed. His thoughts were interrupted by Ice snapping his fingers near his face to break him out of his trance.
"Sorry, but shouldn't you check to see what's in the envelope now?" he asked since they were done eating.
"You're right, might as well see what's on the agenda next," Sam sighed getting up to retrieve the envelope. He sat back down and started to open it, but stopped when Stone spoke up.
"Wait, no use them seeing what we are doing guys. I say we make them guess," Stone took a chair and with Ice's help reached the camera and knocked it upward so it was looking at the ceiling instead of the room. "You see anymore?"
"Yes, there's another above the door," Sam noted and watched as they did the same thing to that camera.
"Don't know if they have the place bugged or not, but at least they can't see us," Stone stated once he had moved the other camera. "I hate being spied on."
"I agree, we make it as hard on them as possible," Ice agreed. "Now read what the letter says."
"Alright." Sam said.
You have made it through Level Two of the game. Well played. I hope you enjoyed your hot meal and are getting ready for the next level. Seems the fans like you and ratings are going through the roof and for that I will give you extra time for the next level. You will have five hours to make it to the designated spot on the map. The next level will hold even more dangerous and deadly......”
A/N: I know, I know, you didn't get the complete letter, but what fun would that be? Need to keep you guessing now, don't I? Thank you for taking this journey with me. I do like to know our thoughts, please leave a comment. NC
Dean rolled over and made his body wake up. He swiped a hand down his face and looked at his watch seeing he had slept for six hours and grumbled that no one had gotten him up sooner. After sitting on the side of the bed for a few minutes, he headed to the bathroom and came back to put his boots and outer shirt on. He didn’t need to be told that they found something from the looks on their faces when he walked into the bar.
“What is it? Ash did you find something out about Sammy?” he asked.
Ash looked to Bobby and Ellen and they both nodded their head yes to tell him. They couldn’t keep the information from him no matter how upsetting it would be.
“Yeah, I did a deep dive into this Phoenix Corporation and the CEO who runs the place,” Ash started as he pressed a few keys on the laptop. “Seems money is being funneled into accounts out of the country. But its money not made by the business that I can find, so I dug a little deeper. You know me, can’t leave a stone unturned.”
“And, what’s this got to do with Sam?”
“I found the mention of some branch company that is raking in the money, but it is not showing up in the books. I started tracing some of the payments and it led me to a website on the Dark Web. Took me a bit and I had to wrangle some money from one of those off shore accounts to pay to get into it....And this is what I found,” he told Dean turning the laptop so he could see the screen.
Dean moved closer so he could see better and began to read what was posted on the screen.
‘Welcome to Cat and Mouse
A reality game that you can watch in real time and even place bets on the participates. Watch Level One for five minutes for free to see them and if you care to continue you will pay a small fee to join and be allowed to watch each level for a price. There are different plans you can buy depending on your preferences. It’s suspenseful, dangerous, and you never know what will happen. The higher the level the more dangerous the game gets. The participates in the game are not actors; these are real people who can get hurt and bleed and even die. Don’t miss out on the thrill of the hunt. You’ll not find anything else like this on the web. Tell your friends and join us for the party.
The Game Master’
Dean's eyes widen as the next screen showed Sam stepping from a cell and looking around. Within a minute he was joined by two other guys Dean had never seen before.
“What the hell is this?”
“It’s some kind of sick game. I’m saying he’s in a prison from what we watched but it gets worse,” Bobby told him, wanting to prepare him for what they had seen.
“How could it get any worse?”
“Show him Ash,” Ellen told him.
Ash tapped some keys and move around in the menu and brought up the video of Level Two. Dean watched as it showed the three moving down a hall and coming to an intersection when suddenly something rushed them knocking them all down. Dean paled when he realized what had attacked them and couldn't take his eyes away as the two guys fought the werewolf until they were knocked aside. It zoomed in on Sam as he took the shot, killing the werewolf. He hurried to the one that was injured to bandage him before they moved out. Dean frowned as they moved down another hall and suddenly they all froze. He watched Sam doing something from a kneeling position and suddenly the guy fell back away from a gun shot. The place was booby trapped on top of having monsters, real monsters, in it.
"Can you find out where this place is?" Dean asked Ash.
"I'm working on it. Whoever set this feed up is bouncing it around the globe and using proxy servers. Give me a little more time."
"How did someone capture a werewolf?" Dean questioned.
"All I can think is there's a hunter involved," Bobby surmised.
"And people are paying to watch this shit?"
"Afraid so, Ash said there's been over two hundred and fifty thousand hits from all over the world in the past two days."
"You're kidding me, right?"
"Nope, and they're raking in the money. Seems people like to watch live blood and gore."
"And if someone dies? That's just wrong. These assholes are making money off people possibly being killed."
"Afraid so and Sam is caught up in the middle of it. Don't know who these two guys are that are with him, but at least they seemed to be holding their own for now."
"Do you have a location for this CEO Ash? I think I need to pay him a little visit."
"I can do that."
"And while you're at it, why don't you set something up to drain those off shore accounts?"
"I like your way of thinking dude. It'll be my pleasure."
"We've got to find Sam before someone gets killed. I'm going to go talk to this douche bag."
"I know Dean, give Ash some time. While he's doing that, we can search the area the witch found for any abandoned prisons and maybe we'll get lucky," Bobby told him hoping to ease some of his worry.
"Yeah, good idea."
"You do that and I'll fix us some breakfast," Ellen offered knowing she wasn't needed right now. "You need to eat something before you take off."
"I can go with him," Jo offered. "So he'll have backup, and not do something stupid."
"I don't need a babysitter," Dean growled.
“I wasn’t offering to be your babysitter asshole,” Jo spat at him. “You know I can fight just as good as you.”
“No offense, but I don’t need any help and your Mom won’t let you come,” Dean said.
“I don’t mind Dean. It might be good to have a level head along,” Ellen commented. She refused to let Jo hunt but this was a human Dean was going to see and it wouldn't hurt to have someone with him to keep him under control.
"Thanks Ellen," Bobby nodded as he got Dean to a table where a laptop was sitting. He could tell by his body language he was ready to kill someone and wanted to calm him down. "You know how you get when Sam is in danger son. Jo can stop you from doing something you'll regret later."
"We'll see, but I'm leaving after we eat."
"I'm not going to stop you. I'll put a call out to some other hunters and see who's available to help once we find out where Sam is being held. If they have a werewolf, there's no telling what else they might have trapped in there."
"We need to find out the hunter that is helping do this. I want a heart to heart talk with him."
"Not if I find him first," Bobby stated firmly. Whoever the hunter was that did this had broken the unspoken code and that was unforgivable. He was going to be sure he wouldn't be doing it again.
"Any idea what the letter was talking about?" Ice asked once Sam had finished reading it.
"Yeah, and we have two regular bullets here, good thing I kept the gun." He held the bullets out for them to see and pulled the gun from the small of his back. "Who's the better shot?"
"Probably me," Ice replied.
"Yeah, I can use a gun, but I'm more hand to hand combat," Stone added.
"Here, aim for the head; it's the only way to kill them." He handed the gun to Ice and got up to look around thinking there was another weapon somewhere in the room. Sam walked the perimeter of the room and came back. "Help me turn the table over."
Ice grabbed one side as Sam took the other and flipped the table to find a machete taped to the underside of it. He pulled it off and checked the blade to find it sharp.
"What's that for?" Stone asked watching Sam closely.
"Vampires, best way to kill them is take the head off," Sam told him.
"So then what are the bullets for?"
"Ghouls, headshot will kill them. Anything else will only make them mad."
"So we're going to be facing off against vampires and something called a ghoul?"
"By the letter that's right. I don't know how many of each but there will be at least two ghouls."
"Explain what that is, I know what a vampire is from movies."
"They are scavengers who hang around graveyards and eat the dead. They're related to shape shifters because they can take on the form of any person they have eaten. They like dead meat but will feast on living flesh too. They will take on the memories of the person too. Like most monsters, they are stronger, faster and harder to hurt than humans, but either taking off their heads or a gun shot to the head will kill them. Don't let their appearance fool you, they can look just like us and act like us," Sam explained.
"So you shoot first and ask questions later," Ice replied as he checked the gun over before stuffing it in the waist of his jeans.
"If you're keeping the machete and he has a gun, I need to make a weapon for myself," Stone told them.
He checked out the table and how the legs were connected. He took a bottle cap from a beer and set to work taking out the screws that held the legs on. Stone didn't want to break them off this time, he had another idea.
"I'm going to tie two of the legs together for better strength and see if I can sharpen the end braces to make them like a spear head. I think I can use the cinder block wall to do that."
"Good idea, it might not kill, but it may keep you from being killed," Sam told him taking another bottle cap and helping to remove the other legs.
"I'm going to go check to see if there's anything else useful in there," Ice said. He began to look in the box that the food was in for anything that could be used as a weapon. He picked up a beer bottle and studied it for a moment before going to the bars and tapping it a couple of times against them, making it harder each time until the bottom broke off leaving a jagged edge. Ice had seen some serious damage done with a beer bottle while he served and thought it was better than nothing. He also jerked the electrical cord from the crock pot to make a garrote using the sharp edge of the bottle to split the cord and tying it around the bottle neck.
Sam looked at the two men he was trapped with and was pleased they weren't freaking out over their situation and were handling themselves well. He knew Dean was looking for him and had faith he would find this place and get them out of here. He followed Stone's lead and used bloody strips of pillowcase to tie the two legs together making sure the brackets stuck out to do the ultimate damage. He was just finishing with it when the lights went out and only a security light stayed on casting the room into shadows.
"Guess its time we got some rest. I don't think they will give us much time to sleep anymore," Sam said.
"You're probably right, can't make money unless we're fighting," Ice stated.
"Should we stand watch?" Stone questioned.
"I'll put a chair against the door again. I think that will wake us before anyone could get in," Sam told them. He got up and braced the door again, feeling a little safer and grabbed a blanket to make a bed. The others followed suit and they all bedded down for however long they were given to sleep this time.
A/N: Things are getting worse now and more monsters will be showing up. Can they survive the next level? Will Dean and the others get to them in time? Thank you for reading, I do enjoy comments. NC
Dean took the information that Ash dug up on the CEO, Albert Hooper, and with Jo sitting in the passenger seat, headed for Denver, Colorado where Hooper had a summer house and where he was staying at the moment. He pushed harder on the gas as his anger pushed forward and he gripped the steering tightly.
“Hey Dean, easy does it,” Jo cautioned him. “We’ll find Sam and get him back.”
He let the words sink in and huffed out a hard breath as he eased up on the gas and loosened his grip on the wheel. Dean knew she was right; he had to get in the right mindset before confronting this Hooper guy. He already knew he’d do whatever it took to get information from the guy if it would help them find Sam. He was going to take the drive time to cull in his anger and get it under control. He glanced over at Jo and saw she was reading the papers Ash had printed out about Albert Hooper.
Jo hadn’t been around Dean and Sam much, but was still friends with them. She talked or emailed Sam weekly to keep in touch. They leaned on each other when one needed a friendly ear. Other hunters that came into the bar were dumb enough to play poker with her which was a huge mistake on their part. She had learned to play poker on her Daddy's knee and knew all the tricks.
She could feel the anger rolling off of Dean and was worried about him. Jo knew how protective Dean was of Sam and he’d do whatever he had to find him. She hoped to keep him from killing the guy, at least until they got what they needed. Jo shuffled the papers together and settled back in the seat feeling like she didn’t belong there. She looked out the window at the scenery knowing Dean well enough to know he didn’t want small talk right now. She remained quiet, but moved to turn on the radio and find a decent station.
Dean didn’t take his eyes off the road and didn’t say anything with Jo’s action. He was already mulling over a plan in his head as he discarded and added or rearranged ideas. His mind was racing as he tried to control his thoughts enough to think straight. He glanced at the gas gauge and saw he was going to need to stop for gas soon. He started checking the signs for a place. Dean spotted a sign for several gas stations and decided one of them would do. He watched for the exit and signaled his intentions. He stopped at the top of the ramp and turned right to pull into a gas station.
“Do your thing this’ll be the only stop,” Dean told Jo as he stopped at a pump.
“Fine with me. I’m heading inside,” Jo replied hopping out once he had stopped.
After turning off the engine, Dean got out and went around to pump the gas for his Baby. Being a hunter, he very rarely let his guard down and scanned the area as the gas pumped. He watched Jo moving around inside the store until she disappeared from view. After the pump clicked off, Dean pumped a little more gas before hanging up the hose and moving the Impala to the front of the store. He went in and headed for the restroom first and was going to grab a drink on the way out. Jo was coming out of the women’s restroom and nodded to him as he went into the men’s restroom. Once he was finished and had a drink and some peanut M&M’s, he headed back out to find Jo waiting on him in the car. He got in and they headed back to the interstate toward Denver.
It only seemed like Sam had just gotten to sleep before the glaring fluorescence overhead lights came back on. He got up and stretched his body as Ice and Stone did the same.
“How’s the arm?” he asked.
“Little sore, but I’ll be okay,” Stone replied as he carefully moved his injured arm up and down.
“Catch,” Ice called as he tossed apples to each of them for breakfast.
“We’ll take fifteen minutes and we’ll need to get moving,” Sam told them as he studied the map again. He bit into the apple and chewed slowly as he checked to see where the most likely place for an ambush would be. It looked like they were being led up and down two levels and around like a rat in a maze. He thought about taking a different route, but that would mean giving up the cache and he didn’t think they could do that. He had checked several different doors yesterday, but found them locked. They were being herded a certain direction and he didn’t see any way around it.
“We’re ready,” Ice said.
Sam broke from his thoughts and looked at the other two standing armed and ready to go. He was proud of them for standing strong and not complaining about anything that had happened to them. Both of them would make decent hunters with a little training, but he didn’t expect that from them. Sam knew he needed to be the expert here if they were going to make it out of this hell hole.
“Remember, ghouls head shot only and vampires beheading. Stay alert and watch each other’s backs,” Sam said as he gripped the machete tightly in his hand. He didn’t know what they were going to be facing when they left this room, but he had to think positive they would make it.
The three headed out with Sam in the lead, Stone in the middle and Ice watching their backs. Sam had set his watch for four hours giving them a window of an hour if they needed it. He was concerned how long a fight might take when they ran into the monsters that were out there waiting for them.
It had been almost two hours of walking up and down corridors and doubling back before they ended up in an area that looked like an infirmary from some of the abandoned equipment left behind. Everything in there was coated in a thick layer of dust and looked like it hadn't been used in a long time. Cabinets stood against one wall, empty with the glass doors hanging by one hinge. There was a rusty hospital bed overturned with the mattress torn to shreds and the curtains around it were ripped, rotted, and had been pulled off the rings that held it in place. Sam recognized some of the equipment from his stays in hospitals. Some machines had pieces broken off and hanging or was missing. They skirted around the stuff and headed for a door at the other end of the room.
Sam was making his way through the area when a blurred shape launched itself his way taking him down, knocking the breath from him, and the machete from his hand. He was thrown into the overturned metal bed and felt a sharp piece of metal scrapping his side making him grunt in pain but he ignored it.
He could feel the hot breath of the monster as it fought to bite him. As his arms started to give away from the onslaught, Stone was at his side swinging his crude weapon, putting all his weight behind it as he drove the bracket into the ghoul’s head. They heard the skull crack and the head caved in as the ghoul fell to the side beside Sam. Blood sprayed across Sam’s face and upper body as Stone jerked the bracket out of the ghoul’s head and swung several more times to be sure it was dead.
“You okay?” Stone asked Sam who had rolled away and retrieved the machete and got to his feet.
“Well that saved a bullet,” Ice commented looking down at the body.
“We need to keep going,” Sam told them, feeling the rawness of his side but ignored the burning and pain. He'd had much worse over the years and this was a mere scratch.
He led them through the infirmary and out another door when they were attacked again by two vampires this time. Sam was quick and beheaded one before it caused any injury. It was almost too easy of a kill. They seemed crazy and only out to feed. The other was fighting with Ice who was thrown into the wall, stunning him. His head collided with some pipes and opened a gash on his temple. Stone was trying to use his weapon, but it was ripped from his hands and the vampire was on him, trying to rip his throat out.
“Sam!” Stone yelled with his last breath trying to stop the vampire from biting him.
Sam ran to him, swinging the machete hard through the air and catching the back of the vampire’s neck. The blade cut into the back of his neck and almost took off his head. Ice rammed into the vampire’s body knocking him from Stone so Sam could finish the job and remove the vampire’s head.
They were all panting hard and covered in blood from the ordeal. Sam looked to the other two noticing blood running down the side of Ice’s face and stepped to him.
“Let me look at your injury,” Sam said. He pulled the first aid kit from the pillowcase he had dropped and pulled pads and gauze to tend the wound before they moved on.
“It’s not bad,” Ice told him while he wrapped his head. “Just a headache.”
“Yeah, head wounds look worse than they usually are. Let me know if you feel dizzy or start seeing double,” Sam instructed. “Those two were newly turned vampires that were starving for blood. They were clumsy and all they wanted was to feed.”
“What do you mean?” Stone asked.
“To become a vampire you have to be fed one’s blood and then when you start turning you have to feed on human blood. Once you have, the blood lust gets worse and if these were kept locked up and not fed it would be like they were almost rabid.”
“You mean they could have taken regular people and made into vampires?” Stone questioned.
“Yes, all they would need is a vampire’s blood.”
“These people are really sick psychos.”
“I second that.”
“Stay alert, there may be more, we’re over halfway to the next cache, but that doesn’t mean we’re through fighting.”
Sam saw the room opened up into what looked like some administrative area. There were several desks sitting around the area with a scattering of papers in the floor and spider webs hanging from florescent lights and in the corners of the room. There was a corkboard on one wall with yellowed and flaked papers tacked to it, but none were readable. It looked bleak and not a pleasant place to have worked at. He favored his left side and tried to keep it from the other two. He pulled the map out and checked where they were supposed to go before continuing on.
“So this is how the rich people live?” Jo asked as Dean drove through a ritzy neighborhood filled with huge houses that had walls around their homes and gates blocking their driveways. “It’s almost like they’re trying to keep the world outside.”
“Well most are rich snobs,” Dean told her. “What’s the address we’re looking for again?”
“It’s up ahead on the left. So what’s the plan?”
“We’ll case the place and wait until dark.”
Dean drove by the driveway and Jo took some photos with her cell. They went down the block and over a block trying to find the back of the place and found another entrance for deliveries and service workers. It had a buzzer and camera to contact the main house to be allowed access. He continued on down the street before heading around one more time before leaving the neighborhood deciding to look for a place for them to eat and wait until darkness.
“There’s a place that looks good,” Jo pointed out as Dean drove down a street that had restaurants on both sides.
“As long as it has real food,” Dean insisted looking for a parking spot near the place she pointed out. He stopped and waited for a car to back out so he could pull in. He saw Jo roll her eyes at his remark and continued. “I see a menu first before we stay.”
“Fine with me. Sam told me how you are.”
“When did you talk to Sam?”
“I call him once a week or he calls me. Why he didn’t tell you?”
“Nope, but there wasn’t any reason he should tell I guess,” Dean said. He wondered why Sam never mentioned talking to her. “So you guys talked about me?”
“Among other things. They have burgers, so are we good?”
“Yeah, I guess. What else has Sam talked to you about?”
“This and that.”
“You’re not going to tell are you?”
“That’s right. I won’t break Sam’s trust.”
“You’d tell me if there was a problem right?”
“Of course Dean, I would never keep something like that from you.”
“Thanks Jo for being a good friend to Sam.”
“Always,” she said bumping him as they made their way to a table.
A waitress came over a few minutes later as they were looking at the menus and took their drink order. She returned with drinks and took their order. Dean and Jo talked between themselves as they took their time and enjoyed the meal. Jo flirted openly since her Mom wasn’t around to stop her and Dean ate it up, but would never act on it since he had more respect for Jo and Ellen than that. It wasn’t that he wasn’t attracted to her, but she was not someone that he would have a one night stand with and having a real relationship was out of the question. In his line of work, he never knew from one hunt to the next if he would come out alive.
A/N: So now it seems the three captives all have an injury of some kind. Werewolf, ghoul, vampires, oh my, what can be next?? Is Dean going to get what he needs to find Sam? Thank you to all reading my story. I do like comments and to know your thoughts. NC
Sam looked down the hall that was cast in shadows and the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. He studied it knowing this was the only way to get to where they needed to go and knew it was a good place for an ambush. There were doors on both sides of the hall that they couldn't see into until you were in front of them. The light was dim and flickered now and then making it hard to see ahead of them.
"Guys, heads up something feels off," Sam whispered to them. "Let me go first and watch my back." He gripped the machete and tried not to favor his left side as they started down the hall. Sam was almost to the end of the hall when he was tackled and knocked into an office across from it. He went down hard on his stomach with the ghoul on top of him. Sam cried out in pain as he felt a bite on his shoulder before the ghoul was jerked off him and a gun shot echoed around them when Ice shot him in the head at close range, splattering brains and blood on the wall.
"You okay Sam?" Stone asked when he saw blood on Sam's hand as he moved it from his neck.
"It's nothing," Sam said. He took a bandana and stuffed it under his shirts. "We need to keep moving."
"How much farther?" Ice asked.
"Maybe twenty minutes, I think."
"Let me take the lead, you've been hurt."
"So are you."
"Yeah, but I think you're worse, you've been favoring your left side since the last fight."
"I'll take the lead, I'm better than either of you," Stone noted getting in front of both of them.
Ice and Sam looked at each other but didn't object to his offer.
"Watch for trip wires or sensors," Sam warned him.
"Got it," he said sweeping his weapon ahead of him before they continued. "We good on time?"
"Yeah, I think so unless we hit some other barriers. I allowed an extra thirty minutes for us."
"Good thinking," Ice said.
Before anyone could continue Stone's weapon caught a trip wire setting off a small explosive showering them with debris and dust. It wasn't big enough to injure them since they were back from it enough to just get the outer blast.
"Everyone alright?" Sam coughed as the dust settled. He had been thrown into the wall and the other two were knocked to the ground.
"Yeah, I'm good," Ice coughed and sneezed as he picked himself up and held out a hand for Stone.
"Me too. Good thing this has a long reach to it," Stone added as he let Ice pull him up.
They both brushed themselves off and cautioned a look to where the explosion had gone off.
"It wasn't big enough to do a lot of damage or kill us," Sam offered. "I think it was just for show more than anything."
"And maybe to injure us a little too," Ice said. “They want to put on a good show for those assholes watching.” He looked at the camera mounted nearby and held up his middle finger to it. “Screw you.”
"Could be. By the map the next cache should be at the end of the next hall on the right."
"I'm on it," Stone replied going in front of them and swinging his roped table legs ahead of him. He didn’t like surprises, especially ones that could kill you.
They made it to the room and Sam used the key to unlock the door. The aroma of food hit them making their mouths water with hunger. The first thing Ice started to do was move the cameras and saw there was a small cage around it to protect it. Not going to be hindered, he got a chair and draped blankets over the two in the room so they could have privacy.
Sam was happy to see another first aid kit had been provided and let Ice clean and bandage his neck and with some ragging finally let him look at his side too. It was purple, black and red and an ugly raw mark stood out in the middle of the bruises. He hissed and cussed under his breath as Ice cleaned it and applied antibiotic cream to the scrap. Sam didn’t think anything was broken at least only several layers of skin had been scrapped off. It was going to be sore and stiff in the morning, but he had had much worse and kept on fighting. Once Ice was done, Sam checked out his head wound and put butterfly bandages on it.
“How much more do you think we’ll be facing?” Ice asked Sam.
“I don’t know. The monsters are getting more dangerous and to set explosives they must really want to up the game. We just have to hold out; I know help is on the way.”
“You say that like you believe it.”
“I do because it’s true. My brother will find us. He won't stop until he does.”
“Let’s hope it’s in time.”
Stone got the food ready and they ate hungrily, devouring the meal, but saved some fruit for breakfast the next morning. It seemed there was more food than the other times and wasn’t sure what this meant. They didn’t look at the brown envelope until they were finished with their meal. Ice picked it up and passed it to Sam as usual for him to open it and read.
A buzzing from his pocket had Dean digging out his cell to answer it. It was finally getting dark and he planned on heading back to Hooper’s house as soon as Jo finished shopping.
“You got something Ash?” he asked when he saw the caller id.
“They showed another video of Sam and the other two guys,” Ash told him.
“How bad?” Dean growled as he clenched the cell in his fist.
“Ghouls and vampires, it looked like a couple was hurt, but not bad.”
“Was one of them Sam?”
“Yeah, but they’ll all still alive Dean. Bobby has found some likely sites and I’m checking them out.”
“Keep at it. I’ll call if we need you,” he said. His body language changed in the blink of an eye when he heard about what Sam was going through. He would get the answers he needed one way or the other. “Hurry up Jo, we need to go.”
“I’m almost done,” she called back and grabbed one more thing before heading to the checkout.
Dean waited impatiently as she paid for her purchases and they headed back to the Impala to leave. She could tell by Dean’s stone hard face that whatever he learned from the phone call had not been good, but didn’t question him about it. She knew when to let it be and when to push and this was one of those times you did not push. If he needed to talk, he would. She had talked to Sam enough to know some of Dean’s moods.
The neighborhood was quiet since darkness had fallen and most were in for the night. Dean found a place to park the Impala so it wouldn’t be noticed and got out going to the trunk to gather what he thought he would need. Jo had quickly changed shirts so she was all in black. She pulled her hair into a pony tail and put on a watch cap to cover it. She checked her hand gun and knives before grabbing a small backpack.
“You ready?” Dean asked.
“Let’s do this,” she replied.
They headed into the darkness and disappeared. Dean led them through the shadows and alone the back of properties until they reached the back of Hooper’s place. He cupped his hands and boosted Jo to the top of the wall and took a couple of steps back so he could make a run and jump to grab the edge of wall to pull himself up too. Jo grabbed his jacket and tried to help but almost fell over the side if Dean hadn't grabbed a handful of shirt.
“You stay behind me and follow my lead,” Dean whispered after they dropped to the ground on the other side.
“Don’t get bossy dude. I can handle myself,” Jo hissed back at him but stayed right behind him.
Dean stopped at the edge of the trees and surveyed the back yard, watching for any movement of security or dogs. He saw lights on the first floor and checked his watch before moving to a better location to watch the house. Ash had done a profile of the CEO and it said he was not married, but they didn’t know about a girlfriend or not. They settled down to wait until Hooper went to bed. Dean wanted to be sure they could take him by surprise and not have any interruptions. Jo settled down beside Dean and pulled binoculars from her pack to study the house.
“See anything?” Dean asked.
“Not really. I don’t see any signs of guards and I saw a guy walk by a window,” she replied.
They saw a car pull from the side of the house and head down the driveway and out the gate. It was a woman so Dean figured it to be a maid or housekeeper or maybe even a girlfriend. There was no other movement around the house after the car left.
“Keep watching, I figure he’ll be going to bed soon.”
Time seemed to pass slowly until the lights went out on the first floor. It wasn’t long before a light appeared in the second floor corner room. Dean checked it out and saw a balcony that would give them access to the room. He planned on cutting the power to the house that should take out the phones and he’d rewire any security system the house had so not to set it off. He checked his watch and watched as the light went out thirty minutes later. He was going to give him a couple of hours to be sure he was asleep before they made their move.
Two am rolled around and Dean decided it was long enough for the guy to be sound asleep. They crept toward the back of the house and around the side until Dean found several boxes attached to the side wall. He read the labels on the boxes and sat his bag down to pull tools out. Once he had the security box open, Dean used a light to study the guts before pulling alligator clips out and connecting them to some wires before cutting the wire between. He did the same with the telephone wires so no alarm would go out that they had been cut.
Jo followed Dean back to the side of the house and both put on thin leather gloves before scaling the lattice attached there. Dean pulled himself up onto a four inch ledge and inched toward the balcony. Jo balanced on the ledge and waited for Dean to move more before she followed. Once Dean was on the balcony, he helped Jo over the railing and they paused to regroup and listen for any foreign sounds. When everything seemed okay, Dean eased to the door and quickly picked the lock to allow them entry.
Very slowly Dean turned the handle on the door wanting to conceal the click of the mechanism as he carefully pushed it enough for it to open. It moved on well oiled hinges, not making a sound as he pushed it wide enough for them to slip in.
A lone dim light shone from the bathroom giving just enough brightness for them to see a body laying in a king size bed. Dean moved to stand beside the bed and stared down at the man with such hatred that he seemed to sense the raw emotions.
“Wha...th....” the man started until Dean clamped a hand over his mouth, pressing him down hard into the mattress and got down in his face.
“You’re going to answer some questions for me,” he growled in a menacing voice. “Pull the curtains,” he ordered Jo. “Is there anyone else in the house? Shake your head yes or no.”
The terrified man shook his head no. Dean took duct tape and put a piece across his mouth and tied a bandana around his eyes so he couldn’t see them. He jerked him out of bed and waited for Jo to move a chair to the middle of the room for Hooper to sit in. Dean turned on a lamp by the bed so he could see better.
“Are you Albert Hooper?” Dean questioned. “Shake your head.”
The man shook his head yes.
“I am going to ask you some questions and you better know the answers and if you want to save yourself a hell of a lot of pain, you better be honest with me,” Dean demanded his voice deadly. He ripped the tape from his mouth making him cry out.
“What do you want? Do you know who I am?” he babbled trying not to act scared. “I can give you money.”
“I’m looking for my brother who was kidnapped. He’s being forced to fight in some sicko game called Cat and Mouse. We traced the IP address to your company and found the off shore accounts you are hiding.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Hooper whined to get backhanded by Dean.
“Don’t deny what you’re doing. I’m only going to ask you nicely once, where is my brother being held?”
“Please, I don’t....”
Dean pulled a knife from his back pocket and popped it open. He buried it into Hooper’s thigh and twisted the blade making him scream in pain.
“Found a laptop,” Jo said.
“Call him and see if he can get into it. Go in the other room.”
“Got it,” she said. She checked the room across the hall and found another bedroom to use. Jo dialed Ash and waited for him to answer. “I know it’s late, but I have a laptop I need you to crack. Okay....Yeah....I can do that...Hold on...Yes, yes, I see it...Done...Do your thing.”
Jo left the computer running as Ash began to work his way through it. She headed back to the master bedroom and was met by screams of pain from Hooper as Dean used his knife again. He was still asking questions and was finally getting answers from him. She looked at Hooper and saw blood dripping down his arms and legs, but knew it was nothing fatal. Dean knew where and how to inflict injury that would not kill anyone but would be the most painful to them. She listened to Hooper babbling and blubbering non stop as Dean stood beside him twirling his knife as he listened to him.
“You can’t kill him no matter how much you want to,” Jo told him. “We’ll give the cops enough evidence to throw his ass in jail for the rest of his life. Let’s see how long he’ll last in his own cat and mouse game.”
Dean knew she was right, he so wanted to slice the guy‘s throat for what was happening to Sam, but pushed down those raging thoughts. “Do you have a safe?”
“Yes....” Hooper sniffed.
“Where and what’s the combo?”
“Behind the painting in the office, 658138.”
“Check it out,” he nodded to Jo who left the room. “You’re done, I’m not going to kill you, unless I find out you ever do anything like this again asshole. Everything is going to the cops and don’t bother looking for the money you had hidden, it’s gone.”
“You’re going to regret this,” Hooper wheezed out.
“We’ll let ourselves out. Know I’m not alone out there, there are a lot of us and we don’t take kindly to one of our own being kidnapped.”
“Done,” Jo said. She held up her bag letting him know she had emptied the safe.
Dean looks at the shivering man tied to the chair and slugged him one more time for good measure knocking teeth out and loose and toppling the chair over. Hooper lay unconscious on the floor as Dean and Jo headed downstairs to go out the backdoor and to the back of the property where they climbed the wall once again. Once they got back to the Impala, Dean cranked it up and drove away.
“I know where Sam is, call the others to be ready to leave when we get there,” Dean said. He now had a location and only one goal, save his brother.
A/N: It's going to be all out war by the time Dean gets to Sam or will he be too late? Only three more chapters and the epilogue and the journey will be over. Comments do make my day. NC
Sam held the envelope in his hands for a moment before pulling open the sticky flap and pulling out a letter. He unfolded it and cleared his throat as he began to read it to the others.
If you are reading this you have made it through Level Three of the game. I have to say I am impressed with your cunning and will to survive. I think you three have been the best contestants yet. Keep up the great work; the views just keep going up. You guys are my best money makers yet. I hope you enjoy the food and get plenty of rest. Level Four is going to be the coup de gras, and the hardest one yet, but I think the most exciting one.
Get ready for the fight of your life because it will be. It will be a last man standing situation. You will be given a fighting chance, can’t make it too easy for you to die; our viewers wouldn’t take kindly to that. I do have to give them their’s money’s worth now don't I? You will get an extra day to rest so you will be at your best. Oh and don’t think you can try to hole up in that one room and be safe. It won’t work. You’ll be sitting ducks and cowards to everyone watching. So what will it be? Will you go down fighting or die cowards? Your choice...
The Game Master”
Sam tilted the envelope and let bullets fall into the palm of his hand. It was enough to fill a clip for the gun with threw red flags for Sam.
Ice and Stone looked at him but didn’t say a word as they let what Sam read sink in. Ice got up and walked the room for a moment before turning to Sam. “If I’m going to die it will be fighting until my last breath. Once a Marine, always a Marine.”
“I might not be a Marine, but I sure as hell am not hiding in here when there’s fighting to be done,” Stone agreed.
“Then it’s settled,” Sam nodded to them seeing the determination on their faces. “We fight, but until then we rest and conserve out energy so we’ll be ready. This is different, there‘s no map this time. They must think this will be it.” Sam looked at the letter again as he prayed that Dean would get here in time. They really needed a miracle right about now and hoped one would come. He had a feeling whether they survived or not, no one was leaving this place alive.
“We need to scour the room for any more hidden weapons,” Ice suggested. He took the bullets from Sam and popped the clip. He expertly loaded it and slipped it back into the gun, pulling the slide back to chamber a bullet.
Stone was going through the food boxes and checking out every place where a weapon might be hidden. He struck pay dirt with the last box and found an twelve inch long, wicked looking knife. He held it up and smiled thinking this would help even the odds a little. He thought about making another table leg weapon too. It wouldn’t hurt to be as prepared as they could be. He didn’t know if any of them were going to make it out of this alive or not but he was going to fight with all he had, and he knew Sam and Ice were going to do the same.
Ice looked at the two men he was fighting with and thought he had only known them for a short time, but he would gladly give his life for either of them. He was grateful for his military training since it helped him fight an enemy he never knew existed until a few days ago. This was all new territory for him but he was a fast learner and knew the odds were stacked against them. He didn't know how the others felt, but down in his gut he knew whoever was doing this wouldn't let them go free. This was their final battle whether they won or not.
“So what else might be thrown at us and how do we kill it?” Ice asked breaking the silence in the room.
“I don’t know but most things can be killed by either a shot to the head or decapitation. There are some even these people can’t capture or control. But they might have caught other monsters besides what we’ve seen. A Kitsune looks human most of the time but can shift into partial animal form with elongated pupils and long curved talons. A djinn can release a hallucinogenic poison with its touch and feeds off their blood while the victim thinks they’re living out their most cherished fantasies. They have tattoos covering their bodies so if you see one don’t let it touch you. Shapeshifters can assume the form of any human and retain it as long as that person remains alive. When they want to change form, they shed their skin and become someone else. I doubt that a Wendigo could be captured because they are so fast so I don’t think we have to worry about them. Of course spirits or ghosts wouldn’t be something they could control either. Witches could easily escape something like this so they would be out too. Demons would tear these bastards apart if they tried to capture them. So I’m betting on what we already have seen but maybe more of them at one time,” Sam surmised.
“Okay...Didn’t see that coming,” Stone replied a little stunned with the overload of information that showed on his shocked face.
“Sorry, I know it can be overwhelming when you learn about what’s really out there.”
“I take it you’re just scratching the surface on the monsters that are out there,” Ice commented thinking Sam was trying to prepare them, but not frighten them at the same time.
“Pretty much,” Sam huffed sitting back in the chair. He was surprised that these two were taking all this better than he expected. Neither had complained, nor had they fought among themselves which was good.
“Well at least we get an extra day before walking to our deaths,” Stone stated a far away look in his eyes.
“Maybe not, we just have to watch each other’s backs and don’t get separated. Ice use the gun sparingly if the monster can’t be taken down any other way. We may need the bullets. Head shots only. Try to keep them at arm’s length when you fight. Don’t let them get you down whatever you do.”
“I guess we might as well get some rest,” Sam told them going to a camera and pulling down a blanket. He settled down below the camera where only his feet were showing and closed his eyes.
“You’ve got the right idea,” Stone agreed. He pulled another down and Ice did the same and they made themselves comfortable like Sam as far out of range of the cameras as possible. None of them wanted to make this easy for the bastards who kidnapped them.
The sun was coming up as Dean pulled into the Roadhouse parking lot and to the side to park. He got out and didn't wait for Jo as she gathered her bags from the back to take inside. He found Bobby sitting at the bar sipping on a cup of coffee and Ellen was behind the bar going over inventory.
"Good to have you back son," Bobby told him.
"You look like you need some coffee," Ellen said. She poured a cup and sat it on the bar for him.
"Thanks Ellen," Dean said. He put his hand around the cup and lifted it to his mouth to sip on the hot liquid. "I got where Sam is being held. I'll have Ash try to find some blueprints for the place so we'll have a little idea of the layout before breaking in."
"I've got some help on the way, Mackie, Caleb and Trent were all close enough to get here," Bobby said.
"You can count me and Jo in. I'm not letting this go that easy," Ellen announced.
"You know I'm ready," Jo added catching the last of the conversation. She was going to go whether her Mom wanted her to or not. Sam was her friend and Jo was going to fight tooth and nail to get him back.
"Ash and Pete can run the bar while we're gone. I'll go pack some weapons and be sure the first aid kit is stocked."
"I'll get Ash up and get him on this. I want to leave as soon as we can," Dean said.
"The others should be here within the hour and we can head out," Bobby let him know.
Dean left the room and headed to the back to Ash's bedroom. He banged on the door loudly and waited for him to get up. He could hear movement behind the door before it was opened by Ash who at least had on sweats this time.
"I found Sam; I need you to do some research on the place before we head out."
"No problem dude, I'll grab a shirt."
"Oh Ash, is there anyway you can create a virus that could be downloaded to anyone that signed on to watched that crap? I know the cops can't do anything but they shouldn't get away scott free. There should be consequences all the way around.”
“I think I can manage that and can put it on a flash drive. It would have to be plugged in to the main computer for it to work.”
“Think you can show Jo how to do that?”
“No problem dude. I’ll be right out,” he said shutting the door to get dressed.
Dean headed back out to the front to find everyone in the kitchen. Bobby and Ellen were throwing together some breakfast and Jo was sitting at the table quickly breaking down her gun to clean it before they headed out.
“Jo Beth go do that somewhere else,” Ellen fussed at her as she tried to wipe the table with a damp cloth.
“Sorry Mom,” Jo apologized gathering her things to take out to the bar.
“I’ll keep you company,” Dean offered picking up the rags and following her. He sat at the bar with her as she finished cleaning the gun. “You don’t have to go you know.”
“Why wouldn’t I? Sam’s my friend and I want to help.”
“I just don’t want you getting hurt is all.”
“Don’t worry about that, I can take care of myself,” she answered slapping the clip into the gun and aiming it across the room for a moment before tucking it into the small of her back.
Dean looked her over and could see the hunter in her. She was caring, gentle and soft spoken when she needed to be, but she had the soul of a hunter, just like her Dad. He didn't know how long Ellen could keep her from the game. He just hoped she would play it safe and not hunt alone.
“Ash is going to show you how to load a virus onto their main computer so it can infect the computers of anyone watching that crap.”
“Good idea, I knew Sam wasn’t the only one with brains,” she teased trying to lighten the mood slightly.
“Yeah, well, he’s the nerd.”
“Come on you two, we’ve got some breakfast ready,” Ellen called from the kitchen.
“Let’s eat, hopefully the others will be here by the time we’re done and we can head out. The sooner we get there, the sooner we can find Sam and rescue him.”
They found the others at the table ready to eat. Ash was typing away on his laptop while he forked food into his mouth. He was focused on the screen writing lines of text for the virus. No one bothered him since he was in the zone.
They were finishing up the meal when loud knocking could be heard at the front door. Dean got up to answer it figuring it was the other hunters that were going to help. He glanced out and saw Caleb standing on the porch.
“Hey man, glad you could make it,” Dean told him shaking his hand.
“When Bobby calls for help, you gotta know it’s urgent,” Caleb greeted him. “Luckily I wasn’t that far away.”
They both turned when a truck pulled into the parking lot and parked. A man got out and ambled their way.
“Mackie, thanks for coming,” Dean greeted him.
“Anything for Bobby. You’re John Winchester’s boy aren’t you? Sorry to hear about your Dad,” Mackie said.
“Yes, my brother is the one missing,” Dean replied. He didn’t like talking about their father and avoided the subject when he could.
“Hey Mackie, long time no see,” Caleb told him.
“It has been awhile,” Mackie greeted him.
“C’mon in, coffee’s hot and we’re waiting on one other hunter.”
They followed Dean inside and sat at the bar while Dean served them. Bobby joined them at the bar and made small talk while they waited for Trent to show. He pulled his cell out when it chimed and read the text that Trent sent saying he’d be there in ten minutes. He relayed this information to the others. Dean when to check with Ash to see how much longer he’d be with the flash drive and was told fifteen minutes max.
He went back out to talk with Bobby and decide who was going to drive. So not to be crowded and to carry more weapons, Dean wanted to take three cars, plus they needed room for Sam and the other two. Of course his Baby was coming and Ellen could drive so that just left the others to decide who wanted to drive. Dean was going to let Bobby drive first so he could try and nap before getting there since he had driven most of the night to get back to the Roadhouse from Colorado.
A/N: Rescue is on the way. Things will heat up but who will be walking away? Thank you for reading. Comments do make me want to write more. NC