Submitted Date 01/05/2020

Chpt. 1

By the inhabitants it was pronounced News-port. Most people who never heard the name pronounced called it New-sport. The name had to do with the newspapers that were shipped into the port back in the 19th century. San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Tribune, and others were shipped into Newsport before continuing their journey into major cities in the North West. During World War II the city was a major port again for news of the Pacific fleet and the war in Asia. Today it was a moderate sized city with it's major piers closed down fifty years ago. A vacation spot with access to the Black Mountain River and the ocean. Relying mainly on tourism.

Tourists who disappeared without a trace in Newsport caused a great deal of concern. It didn't matter that some of these tourists didn't even know how to say the name of the city right or not. Anything bad for tourism was bad for the city. Disappearing tourists tended to put a damper on tourism in general.

"Ten individual tourists in nearly a month." Andrea pointed to the latest article in the Newsport Register. "It must be vamps."

David shook his head. "Not so soon after we killed an ancient vampire. If this was another vamp the vampire community itself would have destroyed it or the group if there was more than one."

"You think it's a person doing this?" Andrea dropped the paper on her desk.

"Could be a gang." David said. "There is no evidence of supernatural intervention. That means it goes to the regular murder squad until they dig up some evidence to the contrary."

"They haven't found any evidence. These tourists are on the cameras, in the grid, walking down the street with plenty of people. They go down a dark alley with no cameras and they are gone." Andrea paraphrased the latest report.

Chpt. 2

Homicide didn't answer to the Supernatural Task Force, unless it involved paranormal elements. So far, the disappearances weren't considered to be the result of any supernatural element. There was evidence. A shoe, purse, a little blood from claw marks on the pavement. Not the claws of a supernatural creature, but the marks of human nails on the pavement. Still, it didn't necessarily point to supernatural elements.

David looked at the computer screen. He was looking at a microscopic view of a fiber found at the crime scene. There was data beneath the image that could only be translated by a scientist. David waited for Nora Fetcher to explain. She was the police forensic biologist. Beside her was another woman who was said to be the forensic department's 'fiber expert'.

"What you are looking at Lieutenant is a filament of spider silk." Lora explained. "A very large filament."

"Meaning that there is a giant spider behind it." David said. That would possibly qualify as a supernatural element.

"Possibly not much different from the giant locusts that hit the plains states forty years ago." It was before their time. Neither of them had been born. "There was the giant

spider in Arizona, the giant ants in New Mexico, the giant praying mantis and others. It wouldn't be surprising if this was another one of those."

"Not really supernatural." David said. "Can you give me any further evidence that this isn't a ordinary spider, despite it's size. Giantism can be caused by radiation and other factors that have nothing to do with the supernatural."

"Lets say that it qualifies as beyond the norm." Lora said. "It may not be paranormal. It is not a normal phenomenon either."

"Keep me informed." David simply didn't have enough evidence. "If there is something other than abnormal giantism associated with this spider, I'd like to be kept informed about it."

Chpt. 3

It was a tourist that was the first actual witness of an attack. Having heard someone scream he peaked into the alleyway where he heard the scream. Not knowing that the best policy was to ignore anything like a scream in this city. He wished that he had heard of the unwritten rule.

"It was a homeless man. He was caught in some sort of web that was pulling him in. Like Spiderman's web. You know, the thick one." Said the young man. Some of the homicide detectives laughed when they heard the young man. "He was pulled across the alley and into a open manhole. He was pulled in by the web. When the guy disappeared the manhole cover slammed shut."

None of the homicide squad took him seriously. It was the joke among them that Spiderman was the perp in this case. Fake wanted posters with Stan Lee's character appeared around the station house. David saw the poster. He decided to take some of the interview seriously. With the evidence of the spider silk combined with the recent interview he thought there might be a possibility that this was a paranormal creature.

"So you think there is a Spiderman running around killing people. I thought Spiderman was one of the good guys." Andrea found it humorous. "Isn't that copyright infringement or something like that."

"It might not be Spiderman himself, or even anything resembling a man." David explained. "You remember the giant spider that was killed in Arizona, the giant ants in New Mexico, the giant rabbits, the giant wasps. Between the 'Food of the Gods' that was invented in the 19th centuy, the radiation exposure and experiments of the fifties and sixties, the genetic experiments after that we are lucky there wasn't a lot more of them."

"You think it's a mutation." Andrea felt that it might make sense. "Does that mean that we have the case now?"

"Not enough evidence." David explained. "Only enough for us to get involved. I'm thinking that it may be some sort of mutated trap door spider. The problem is that giantism is not classified as supernatural. Our field is supernatural creatures. Not mutations. That doesn't mean we can't stay informed on the investigation in case there is a supernatural element."

"You're telling me that we have to wait." Andrea didn't like waiting for a case. Things had been slow since the death of the ancient vampire. She was hoping for some action.

With the theory that this was a giant spider, the case was handed over to animal control and the biocontainment squad. The Biocontainment Squad handled illegal vampires and other contagious supernatural elements. Of course, animal control wasn't thrilled with the concept of trying to exterminate a giant spider.

A search of the sewers where the last victim disappeared revealed a dried up husk wrapped in a cocoon of webbing. That brought in the army reserve to search the sewers. As the army reserve searched the tunnels they found a total of twenty corpses. Some of them were homeless, the rest were the missing tourists.

Chpt. 4

"I understand the homeless." David was thinking out loud as he read the newspaper. "How are the tourists being caught by this thing. What are they doing in a back alley."

"Prostitution?" Andrea was surprised that David didn't think of it. "I mean, that or drugs."

"Ten tourists all of them druggies." David shoot his head. "No, it doesn't figure. If it was a prostitute what happened to the prostitutes. I mean, no matter what sex the prostitute is they aren't going to ignore a client being dragged into a manhole by a giant spider."

"I suppose a screaming prostitute running out of a alley would attract attention." Andrea thought about it. "What if the prostitute is the spider. I mean, like a fey."

"I hate to think we've got a bunch of fairies running around." David had dealt with the fey before. They were terrible practical jokers.

"Fairies tend to be such divas though." Andrea said. "I mean, I don't know if they'd stoop to the level of preying on the homeless."

"That's true, fairies do tend to prey on the beautiful people." David had to admit. "Even the unseelies or evil fey tend to attack beautiful people."

"Maybe we should pay a visit to the seelie court and find out what they know." Andrea wasn't sure where the court would be, but there were ways of finding out.

"Carlos would know where to look." David didn't look forward to dealing with the fey. They tended to be a pain in the ass.

"I'd figure you'd know where the court was being held. I mean, you are a werewolf." Andrea had only found out that David was a supernatural when he transformed to fight a ancient killer vampire.

"I'm a werewolf. I'm no more a fairie than a vampire is." David would not be associated with the fey. He refused to believe that he would be a part of that group. "I'm real. Solid. Fey are more ethereal. They always appear human, but most of them have this dreamlike quality to them that we shapeshifters don't have. Besides, the fey have a twisted sense of humor that is flat out dangerous."

"Oh, be fair, that's just the unseelies. Seelies are okay. I mean they play practical jokes, but they don't do it out of pure meaness. They don't like to hurt people." Andrea had dealt with a few seelies. The general consensus was that all fairies tended to be nasty, but the truth was only a few of the fey made the rest look bad. "They would want to know if there were unseelies in the city."

"Assuming we have fairies in the city. I suppose we should find out what kind." David sighed. He had to admit that it was necessary to contact the Seelie Court.

"We know there are. They might be low key, but I don't see them not inhabiting a city like this one. I mean, most fey are urban these days." Andrea said.

David knew there had to be fairies in the city. No one liked to admit it, but fairies were everywhere. Most people think that fey only haunted the wilderness, rural settings, and maybe some small town. The truth was, many fairies loved the city. Especially the malls. They all had one thing in common. They all had something about them that seemed unreal. Fantastic.

Chpt. 5

David found it disturbing that he could smell something that wasn't actually real. The scent of the fey was something a bit flowery. Newsport Mall was built in the early seventies. Replaced by the larger California Mall outside the city. Although the nearly half empty mall was filling with stores again, it was still not a popular as the California Mall. This made tracking the fey scent easier.

It was the strongest scent. That of sour wine or butter. David wasn't sure which. It led him to a closed wine bar. Being so close to the Napa Valley, wine bars had been popular twenty years ago. When the malls started closing ten years ago the wine bars closed with them.

Buttery Spirits were known to move from the old abbeys and nunneries to the malls, only to find that they were once again living in structures that would be abandoned with the advent of the internet. David figured if he was going to talk to a fey, a buttery spirit wasn't so bad.

David had the management open the old wine bar and assured them he would close up afterwards. Once the janitor who had opened the gate to the bar left, David sat at the

bar. He could certainly smell the Buttery Spirit in the bar somewhere.

"I can smell your sour ass." David said. "Come on out."

"You can kiss my sour ass too." Said a formless voice. "Why should I talk to a skin walker?"

"I'm not a skin walker, I'm a lycanthope." David figured that the fey knew the difference. He just said it to annoy him. "I don't need a magical animal skin to transform."

"Why should I bother with a lycanthope?" It was unnerving to hear a voice, but not see the source.

"There is an unseelie in the city. I want to locate it." David watched the Buttery Spirit take form. A short, stocky man with a aged face of a man of eighty.

"You want to talk to the Seelie Court. Hoping to find the Unseelie Shadow Court. I will call them here. Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you if they decide to help." The Buttery Spirit disappeared again.

Chpt. 6

It was possible that there were dozens of people who weren't willing to perform their business with prostitutes in a back alley. None of them would be particularly suspicious of such an invitation. If it hadn't been for the tourist warnings, this person might not have lived long enough to report the activity to the police.

"Asian female, five foot two, black hair, brown eyes. Jade earrings. Too short, red, faux leather skirt. white blouse, red high heeled shoes. Black fingernail polish and lipstick. Goth eye liner and mascara. Carried a small red purse." David read off the description to Andrea.

"Could be any of a number of prostitutes in the city." Andrea wasn't sure if this was a real lead.

"It's probably nothing. Just nerves. Tension about the back alley murders. People are seeing serial killers left and right. Besides, there aren't many women serial killers. I thought it was determined that this was a giant spider."

"Army reserve cooperating with biohazard squad and animal control made a thorough search of the drainage system of Newsport. They found a number of dried husks of people. Wrapped in cocoon webbing. They didn't find a spider. Which means that the spider either doesn't make it's lair in the sewers, or it is possible that this is some sort of fey or other creature." David explained.

"You mean the spider could be making it's lair somewhere besides the drainage system? That means it is only using the sewers as a means to hunt it's prey." Andrea didn't like the implications. "A trapdoor spider, even a giant one make's it's lair in one place, it waits for prey to come to it. It doesn't hunt it down."

"This would simply a unusual intelligence. Possibly supernatural." David said. "The police commissioner and mayor are giving the case to us."

"You still think it's a fey." Andrea wasn't sure what kind of fey took spider form.

"A type of skinwalker I suspect." David remembered what the Buttery Spirit had called him. "I think the fey community may even know about it. Even if they don't know who it is."

David sat in the old wine bar with Andrea. They waited for the Buttery Spirit.

David smelled him before he saw the nasty little creature. It appeared behind the bar. Andrea nearly jumped off her barstool. He smiled as he noted Andrea's startled reaction.

"Ain't no unseelie doing this." The spirit said. "I done talked to the seelies and the unseelies all about the city. Unseelies, they don't want trouble like that. They do bad things, true enough, but they don't like the attention that killing and feeding on mortals bring."

A seelie was a good, or at least apathetic, fairie. Unseelies were the bad ones, practical jokers whose tricks hurt, maimed, killed. They were also the ones who brought bad luck, misfortune, and made shady deals concerning souls and enslavement. Unseelies fed on mortal bodies and souls. They were nasty little creatures who were not necessarily evil, but not anywhere near good.

"And a unseelie wouldn't lie. Would they." David said sarcastically.

"Vampires and skinwalkers lie all the time." The Buttery Spirit said. "Only the vampires take their role these days seriously. They don't want the old times again, with the hunts. Well, neither do the unseelies. As for skinwalkers like you, well I guess most people don't know about you. I mean, you never told anyone until you had to."

"I'm a lycanthrope. I don't use or wear a skin to transform. It's a natural ability, not a spell." David reminded the spirit. "Unless you want me to kick your sour ass you won't refer to me as a skinwalker again."

"Ohhh, I'm so scared." Sour Ass said back.

David let his face shift a little. Hair sprouted, canines enlarged. The bone structure in the face changed. "Boo." David said in a rough voice.

our Ass jumped back. "Not funny." He said. With that he disappeared.

Chpt. 7

"You still think it's an unseelie?" Andrea said as she drove them back to the station house.

"It might be. It could be a prostitute with a large pet spider that she is feeding her clients to." David was sitting in the passenger side thinking about the possibilities.

"A spider that escapes now and then to eat homeless people." Andrea remembered the report about the spider web that dragged a homeless person to his death.

"Gotta keep the thing fed." David reasoned. "Maybe she was having a bad day. Pet like that gets hungry it might bite the hand that feeds it."

"Asian female. Age unknown. Five foot two. Wearing a pink minidress, white pumps, white purse, and white and pink baseball cap. Black hair, brown eyes. Pink nail polish, pink plastic hoop earrings." David read the report from his screen. "Suspect attempted to lure a tourist back into an alley for sex. The intended victim was afraid of being mugged. When he rejected her the female began to exhibit 'vampire like abilities'.

"Define vampire like abilities." Andrea replied.

"According to the intended victim, it had golden glow to it's eyes. The face shifted to something ugly. What that means isn't made clear." David shook his head. "It doesn't sound like a vampire. Not even an ancient one."


"We found an ancient recently." Andrea remembered the encounter that David revealed his true nature as a supernatural creature. "Maybe the ancient ones are waking up or some such thing."

"No. I don't think that the ancient ones care anymore for our society." David said. "We've become too high tech for them. I think the one we encountered was bored, so it came into the city and drummed up a little excitement."

"That leaves a fey, skinwalker, or lycanthrope." Andrea was sure there were more possibilities, but these were the one's she was aware of.

"My guess is a unseelie." David felt it was a strong possibility that someone in the unseelie court had gone rogue.

"We need to find it. Whatever it is. Fast." Andrea said. "We don't need whatever it is driving away tourists."

"I'm working on it." David smiled. From her reaction you would have thought she was the senior detective. "I think that I'll have to take a little jaunt by myself. No offense Andrea, but you don't have my abilities. Or my supernatural connections."

"As long as you tell me what you find out." Andrea said.

"You'll be the first to hear my report." David hesitated for a moment. "Boss."

"About time you realized who was the boss."

Unseelie courts were held in gritty, dark, dirty places where many mortal who were not unsavory tended to avoid. Mortals who came to these places were insane, tended to the darkness, or were homeless or otherwise avoided society. These mortals were often servants of the unseelies. They tended to do the dirty work that the unseelies didn't dare involve themselves with. There were others, such as prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers. All

"We found an ancient recently." Andrea remembered the encounter that David revealed his true nature as a supernatural creature. "Maybe the ancient ones are waking up

or some such thing."

"No. I don't think that the ancient ones care anymore for our society." David said. "We've become too high tech for them. I think the one we encountered was bored, so it came into the city and drummed up a little excitement."

"That leaves a fey, skinwalker, or lycanthrope." Andrea was sure there were more possibilities, but these were the one's she was aware of.

"My guess is a unseelie." David felt it was a strong possibility that someone in the unseelie court had gone rogue.

"We need to find it. Whatever it is. Fast." Andrea said. "We don't need whatever it is driving away tourists."

"I'm working on it." David smiled. From her reaction you would have thought she was the senior detective. "I think that I'll have to take a little jaunt by myself. No offense Andrea, but you don't have my abilities. Or my supernatural connections."

"As long as you tell me what you find out." Andrea said.

"You'll be the first to hear my report." David hesitated for a moment. "Boss."

"About time you realized who was the boss."

Chpt. 8

Unseelie courts were held in gritty, dark, dirty places where many mortal who were not unsavory tended to avoid. Mortals who came to these places were insane, tended to the darkness, or were homeless or otherwise avoided society. These mortals were often servants of the unseelies. They tended to do the dirty work that the unseelies didn't dare involve themselves with. There were others, such as prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers. All could become unseelie pawns who dealt in the criminal element.

Dave had no fear of these dark corners of town. He was much more dangerous than any servant of the unseelie. It was unfortunate that some of the unseelie servants didn't know how dangerous David was. It left him with little choice.

"You are in the wrong place STF man. We know who you are and we don't want you here." There were twelve of them. A mixture of races, nationalities, and all of them members of the same gang. They carried pipes, bottles, knives. They didn't want an easy kill, or they would have drawn their guns.

"Then you know I'm a lycanthrope." David said to them as they circled around him. Cutting off any escape.

One of them charged. It was a waning moon. David was nowhere near his full power. He didn't need his full powers to deal with these punks. They were all mortals. Slow, non-supernatural, mortals who had no special powers.

Black claws sprouted from David's hands and one of those hands sliced the boy's face. The boy reeled back with five deep gashes across his face. David smiled at the rest of them. Revealing elongated canines. David's face had elongated as well, into something more snout-like. Not as impressive as the full lycanthrope form that David could have taken during a waxing or full moon.

Two more charged at David. One had a pipe he swung at David. David was stronger and faster than any mortal in this form. He took the pipe from one of the boys and hit the one with a knife with it. Then swung the pipe back around and smashed the other boy in the face. One of the boys drew a gun, David was on the boy and tore him apartbefore he could use it. The other boys watched their friend torn up by claws and teeth and took off.

David did mostly cosmetic damage, but the boy would have scars all of his life. Perhaps the scars would turn the boy's life around. Either that or the encounter would cause the boy to turned further into the darkness. Perhaps it would make him a loyal unseelie servant. Decadent and cruel. It was hard to tell how these things could change a person.

David left the bleeding body of the boy in the alley. He called the paramedics. He didn't feel like being delayed by questions or having to go back and feel out a report. David's cell phone records would show he made the call, but if he had to answer for that he would do so later. Right now David knew he was on the right trail.

Unseelies have a smokey, with a slightly underlying scent of almonds. Of course cyanide smells like almonds, so it's only natural that poisonous spirits like the unseelies had a similar smell to poison. Not all unseelies smell the same, but most of them had that smokey or burnt smell. Some smelled like sulfur or some other unpleasant smell.

It came off the wall, out of the shadows. It charged at David. David threw a handful of salt at it. Salt had a wonderful affect on many supernatural creatures. Usually hurting them when it touched them. The shadow thing hissed and withdrew. David was sure now that he had the attention of the unseelies.

"We don't have to do this the hard way." David said. Knowing he was being heard.

"MMmm, so delicious a creature." Said the ultimate bedroom voice out of the

shadows. "What do you want, David of the STF."

"No creature like this spider creature can function in the city without your knowledge. Most people don't believe in you, or think you exist." David said. "You know that I know of your existence and certainly believe you are behind a majority of the deep, dark problems of this city. I don't come after you, because your organization is too large, too complex, and will just be replaced if I did manage to close you down."

"Mmm, I know you have a point to this conversation." The bedroom voice seemed all around David. Whispering out of the shadows.

"My point is that this spider creature is creating a situation where people may not just believe in you, but choose to do something about it." David explained.

"Let them come." The voice had turned into a hiss. "We welcome the resulting chaos."

"That is one possibility, or we can eliminate the threat to your existence, instead of having an all out war between the unseelie and the mortals. If the mortals go to war against the unseelie court, the seelie court won't help you, and may take advantage of the situation to hurt the unseelie. Vamps will side with the mortals as well. As for the lycanthropes; you know that we have been at war with the skin walkers for years, and most of them are unseelies."

Whispers echoed in the shadowy alley as the unseelies argued about what to do. David noticed that the unseelies had been calling up their close servants. Homeless, deformed, addicts, prostitutes, and a few other outcasts of society. Most of them were armed. David knew that he would have to be very careful, until he was away from the

growing army of unseelie servants.

"We know the thing is here. It is not unseelie. Not of the unseelie court. It is not skinwalker. It is a outside influence similar to the fey, but not fey. That is all we know." Said the bedroom voice.

A crowd of homeless and other social outcasts had gathered at either end of the dark alley. David changed again. With stronger muscles, claws, and agility. David climbed one of the alley walls to the ceiling. Away from the unseelie court and it's army of dark, broken souls.

As David came out of that dark section of the city he spotted a homeless person on the street. It was not one of the unseelie servants. David took a ten dollar bill out of his wallet and gave it to him. He hoped the old man would buy food or something he needed. Not waste it on alcohol. At the moment David didn't really care. He was just glad to see a homeless person whose soul hadn't been taken over by the darkness."Similar to the fey, but not fey." David said after relating his story to Andrea.

Chpt. 9

"Fairies are essentially European creatures. By that they may mean that it's a type of fey from a non-European culture." Andrea wondered which culture it could be from. "It could be Orisha, genii, or some other type of cultural creature."

"African, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Asian, Indian, Australian. There are a lot of possible origins for this thing." David turned to his computer.

"Have you sold your soul?" The computer asked. "Only those who sell their soul to Satan may use the internet."

"I'm a lycanthrope. Technically; I am already damned." David replied.

It was the Satanic Virus. Since it's introduction into the internet, those mortals who wished to use it had to sign a contract to sell their soul to the devil. Or Satan, as the case was here. After the signing of such a contract the mortal was given 'free' access to the internet. One of the ways around the Satanic Virus was not to be a normal mortal. Like David who was a lycanthrope. The virus already considered such entities as demonic. True or not, it was a way around signing the silly contract.

"Look up fairy spider, spider entities, and supernatural spiders." David went down the list that appeared on his screen in bold Gothic font. Jorogumo stood out among the names.

"A sort of spider demon representing a prostitute. A goblin spider. Fey, but not truly fey." David said to Andrea. Showing her the picture.

"A shape changer, but not a skin walker or lycanthrope." Andrea realized what the unseelie had meant. "It's Japanese in origin, so it's not outside the realm of possibility. I mean, after all, we have a large Japanese population all through California."

"Jorogumo is Japanese, perhaps we should find some Japanese shaman to inform us as to how to kill it." David said. "My powers are near their weakest point with the New Moon in a couple of days. It will take a few days to regain some of those powers. If the Jorogumo has to be killed by something magical or in some special way, we should find out."

"It must suck to depend on the phase of the moon for your powers." Andrea said. "You might not like skin walkers, but they don't depend on the phase of the moon where

their powers are concern."

"Well, there is something that would suck more." David smiled at Andrea.


"Being mortal."

"Screw you and the werewolf you rode in on."

Chpt. 10

David found a Buddhist monk by the name of Robert Devi. He practiced in a multicultural Buddhist temple. The catered to Japanese, Chinese, and Indian Buddhist beliefs. As well as a few more obscure Buddhist beliefs. Robert called in Jun Kane as a Japanese mythological consultant. She was also a Buddhist monk.

"Jorogumo is a Yokai or goblin of Japanese folklore." Jun explained.

The three of them were sitting in a modernized oriental office. There were touches of different oriental cultures. Robert sat behind a glass and metal desk. Matching tables sat along the four walls with Buddhist cultural statues. On Robert's desk was one of the newer sleek computers that looked like a flat screened television.

David had to wonder if Robert had to sell his soul to get on the internet, or if Buddhists, like himself were immune to the virus. His attention reverted back to the lecture that Jun was giving. "A spider who reaches four hundred years old is supposed to ascend into official goblin or Yokai status. She becomes the size of a large dog or small pony. At this time she can project the image of or shape change into a beautiful woman.

"As for killing it. Well, you are a supernatural creature, like she is. You should be able to kill her as efficiently as she can kill you with her own powers." Jun said. "Just as

you have the powers of a wolf, with claws, canines, strength; she will have the strength, agility, and determination of a spider. She will also have poison and the web as part of her arsenal. She can kill you."

"I'm at my weakest point of my powers. The moon is just beginning to wax. Is she going to have a similar advantage of disadvantage." David asked.

"She is going to be vulnerable to cold, fire, and a religious person can possibly banish or kill her with scripture of their religion. That person has to have very strong faith." Jun said. "According to tales from the Edo period of Japan the Jurogumo was driven off in such a way by a Buddhist monk."

"Thank you. This is valuable information." David was about to leave.

"There may be a way to avoid this conflict by contacting the Tengu or goblin chief. He would most likely be dwelling in the mountains outside of town." Jun quickly added. Which stopped David halfway out of his chair. He lowered back into it. "I can help you find the Tengu. I am also a local osho or shaman."

David looked over the woman dressed in a yellow Buddhist robe. She was quite attractive. Her muscle tone indicated she was physically active. Jun appeared to be intelligent. David had no doubt that she was a formidable opponent. On the other hand, Jun was most likely not experienced in doing actual battle with the spiritual entities he had fought. David felt he could use Jun's spiritual help and guidance, but he wasn't willing to subject her to something she had no actual training for. A physical confrontation with a spiritual entity.

"I'm willing to accept your help in finding the Tengu in the mountains." David realized that this kind of mission Jun could be useful in. "If I must fight the Jorogumo, then I will do so alone."

"I could help you with that as well." Jun sounded confident.

"I appreciate that, but this is going to be different from a spiritual battle. The STF often confronts supernatural creatures on a physical level. Shaman's often deal with supernatural creatures on a spiritual level." David didn't want Jun to be offended. He was merely concerned with her safety.

"What makes you think that you can deal with the Jorogumo only on a physical level?" Jun sounded a little angry. "Don't be so arrogant that you can't accept help. I may need to be there to deal with the Jurogumo on that spiritual level. Or do you think I can't handle it because I'm a woman. I hope that you aren't trying to 'protect' me as a woman."

"I wouldn't insult you by implying you need to be protected." David liked the direct way that Jun confronted him. "I am a member of the STF and my job is to protect others from these forces that may exploit or abuse them. You are a civilian consultant and part of the society I protect. I have no intention to expose you to unnecessary danger."

"I am exposed to spiritual entities everyday." Jun wasn't angry at this point. "Do you think I don't know the dangers. It's because I know these dangers that I offer my help. You see, I serve and protect society as well. As a spiritual consultant, osho, and Buddhist monk. I have no intention to get into some physical confrontation with this creature. I will stand back and let you distract it while I hit it with a spiritual attack from a safe distance."

"Good." David said. "We understand each other. I do the physical and you do the spiritual from a safe distance. Under those conditions I'm more than willing to accept your


Jun showed no emotion. No triumph. No smugness. In her eyes though, David saw a certain pride. Jun had won this argument. With dignity, Jun stood and left the office after promising that she would lead David to the Tengu the next day.

Chpt. 11

Beyond Newsport were vineyards covered Eastern Hills that turned into the forested mountains of the Northern Coast Ranges, David and Jun drove across Inland River through the Eastern Hills. As they neared the mountains Jun had David stop the car and they began to walk towards the mountains on foot. Jun had traded her yellow monk robe for hiking clothes. Despite the colder days, the clothes were rather clingy and David had a hard time keeping his eyes fixed on the path.

"Monk." David said to himself. "Chastity and all that stuff. Keep focused."

Jun led David to a cave in the mountainside. He wondered how Jun knew where to find the Tengu. There were mortals with special supernatural abilities. Witches, psychics, and mystics. It was possible that Jun had such abilities. Allowing her to sniff out the supernatural much the way that David could use his sense of smell to locate his prey.

David began to smell a earthy, musky scent as the went deeper in the cave. There was that smell of death that worried him. Death, decay, fungus, mold. Those smells were distinct as they went deeper into the cave. There were other smells. That of water. Limestone. They emerged from the cave passage into a larger cavern.

Something stayed in the shadows. "What do you want in my court?" Came the voice from the shadows. A gravely, deep voice.

"Great guardian of the mountains. King of the Yokai, please grant us a favor." Jun said.

"Why?" Said the Tengu.

Jun swung her backpack off. She began to pull out some items. A carton of cigarettes, a bottle of Canadian whiskey, some cans of sardines and tuna. She lay them on the cavern floor outside the shadows. Jun added a five pound bag of rice to the other offered items.

"I offer these treasures to the great king of the Yokai. All I ask in return is to know about the Jorogumo who has gone down to the city." Jun backed away from the offered items.

"Against my wishes." The Tengu said. "We stay to the mountains. We hunt in the mountains, we capture animals. Not mortals. Too many mortals, we want no trouble with mortals."

"I understand. What I need is to get her scent." David said. "If I can get her smell, I can hunt her down, and possibly stop her. I regret I may have to kill her."

"You have permission to do what must be done. She has defied me. Go to the lake four miles East of this place. Call unto the lake for the Jorogumo who lives there. She will awaken. From her you will obtain the scent you need." David could hear the shadowy creature withdraw. "Do not get too close to the lake. I do not know that she won't try to kill you."

Chpt. 12

It was not a large lake. It sat in the middle of a tiny valley. Surrounded by woods.

Staying about ten feet from the shore, Jun and David began to prepare to summon the Joromugo. They stood in a circle of salt. Jun laid the gifts outside the circle. Rice, sugar, and wine.

"Here me, oh spirit of the spider, a bring to you gifts of rice, sugar, and wine. I ask you come forth from the lake and speak to us." Jun sat down and waited. David stood near her, ready to act, if necessary.

One of the most beautiful women David had ever seen appeared on the shore naked. "Why do you summon me?"

"A Jorogumo had moved into the sewers of the city." Jun explained. "We wish to know what you can tell us that we can use to protect ourselves."

"Why should I betray our secrets to strangers who wish to slay one of my own?" The Jorogumo began to approach.

"Because I'll kill her anyway. Then, I'll wait until my full powers and come back and kill you." David wasn't particularly political or diplomatic where lives were concerned. "Your own is killing people in a city I am sworn to protect and serve. I can't have that."

Jun stood. "We have the permission of the Tengu to do what we must. Will you help us or not?"

"I will not help you kill my sister. I warn you. Do not return to this place. Do what you must, but if you return here I will kill you." With that the Jorogumo disappeared.

David would not have left the creature any gifts, but Jun insisted on letting the Jorogumo keep her gifts. David had gotten what he wanted. He got the scent of the Jorogumo. He could use that scent to track down the Jorogumo in the city. As for this one.

He wondered if he came back at full power, if he couldn't kill it. David had no doubt that the creature most likely had killed a number of campers, tourists, and other mortals. David doubted he could simply let the creature live knowing what it was doing.

"We should leave now." Jun walked quickly towards the valley exit. "If I were you, I'd not come back for the Jorogumo here. Even at your full powers you might not defeat her. She is a very old spider. The Tengu won't appreciate it either. Despite the Jorogumo's powers it is no match for the Tengu, so it obeys him. It is only hunting animals, not people."

David hadn't considered the Tengu. It seemed so aloof from the real world. All the same, David had no doubt that if he killed one of the Tengu's court the Tengu would kill him. It was a strange creature who's powers David could not comprehend nor did he wish to find out.

Chpt. 13

Despite the cold fall day the sewers were warmer then being outside. About twenty degrees hotter. David, Andrea, Jun, a vampire known as Methos who was familiar with the sewers. David had taken him along so that they could split up and Methos was a fairly stable vamp. Not old enough to be completely sociopathic, yet able hold his own as a supernatural. Carlos, a elder vampire, recommended him. David had relied on Carlos before when tracking the ancient vampire. When it came to self interest, Carlos was reliable. Carlos had a interest in any supernatural that might cause problems for vampires.

Every supernatural event is usually blamed on vamps. At some point the creatures do become sociopathic, narcissistic, and apathetic in some ways. That did not make them the complete bane of human existence. Most of the time they find it in their own self interest not to harm mortals. Harming mortals usually resulted in the near extinction of the vampires. No vampire wanted to go through the Great Hunts that have occurred throughout history. Nearly causing their extinction.

As Methos and Andrea searched the opposite direction, Jun and David worked their way through the warm, muggy tunnels. Their radius was about eight feet. Built around the turn of the 19th century. Reconstructed in the early, middle, and late twentieth century. There was a three foot ledge on one side of the tunnels. Metal grating connected the ledge as the tunnels crossed each other.

David got the scent. It was faint. Acidic, sour, and a almost bleach like smell. "Andrea, Methos, come back in this direction. We will be waiting for you at intersection M1 and E2." David looked over at the red letters telling them where in the complex of tunnels they were.

It didn't take Andrea and Methos long to locate David and Jun. Methos could smell the scent as well. It was distinct enough if you knew what you were looking for. David and Andrea led the way. Methos might be a vamp, but he was not as experienced with the supernatural as Andrea, or as powerful a supernatural creature as David.

Jun dressed in worn jeans, a flannel shirt, and bandana didn't look at all like a Buddhist monk. Methos, in his long black trench coat, black t-shirt, combat boots, looked every inch the gothic vampire. As for David and Andrea, they were dressed in black uniforms and both armed with AR-15 assault rifle. They carried four flash bang grenades each. They also wore assault helmets and body armor. If something happened, both David and Andrea would be the ones to physically confront the Jorogumo.

Following the scent, David led the way. Behind him was Andrea. With a flash bang grenade in her hand. Ready to use it. Behind her was Jun. Methos carried a Browning automatic. He watched their backs. David found the source of the smell. Spider sacs full of eggs. They located and destroyed twenty sacs with ten eggs in each cluster.

"They would have broken open and produced spiders about six inches long." Jun said. "I hope we got them all, because if we didn't there will be hundreds of these things that will continue to grow."

"I'd rather get the monster that is laying the eggs." David was disappointed he hadn't found the Jorogumo.

Kyle Gallens had gone out to with several other business men he had met in a convention at the Newsport Hilton Hotel. They had decided to hit the downtown area. Nine men total, one of them Kyle, had gone club hopping. Most of them between forty-five and sixty. All of them dressed either in cheap suits or cheap, bright colored tourist shirts and jeans.

According to the reports of seven of the men, Kyle couldn't make a report. Another man had run off. He had not been found. His testimony wasn't needed. The group of men had gone to Sea Wall Square. An area that was the remnants of a cobblestone pier. It now served as a sea wall, hence the name. The sea wall was about fifty feet high. A square about four hundred feet across. The main library and several statues decorated the Sea Wall Square. It attracted tourists who wanted to see the ocean at night. It had been a cold night, so both the regular tourists and the locals had stayed home.

They hadn't the common sense to get out of the cold. Laughing, joking, admiring the view of the ocean, the men had a few bottles of booze with them. One of them was smoking a joint. Pot was legal in Newsport. Just not using it in public. At first the men had thought Kyle had fallen off the wall. It wasn't until after they heard the screams that they realized that Kyle had been dragged over the wall. The men promptly ran away. One of them called 911 after hiding behind the library building. He was the only one who waited until the paramedics and cops arrived.

After learning the facts of the event from John Vodsky, who was the one who called 911, the police checked the wall, from top to bottom. They didn't find the body of Kyle. At the bottom of the sea wall were outlets from the drainage tunnels. A paramedic shined a light down one of the tunnels. He saw some movements. Radioed the other cops and paramedics that he had found something. He went into the tunnel with his partner, they disappeared before the others they radioed got there.

Two police officers went into the tunnel outlet and found the dried husks of three men. Their bodies were taken to the morgue. All of this was in the report. Medical examiners had not added their own reports. They were still examining the bodies. David figured they would conclude that death was like the other bodies found in the drainage system. A biochemical agent that dissolved flesh was injected into the bodies. What was left was a hollow husk. Dehydrated from the chemical agent.

Chpt. 14

"Sir, sending the guard back into the tunnels is asking for trouble. They are not trained or experienced in this kind of work. This spirit has already killed a paramedic. Not to mention some eleven tourists and fifteen homeless people. Who knows how many more." David was in the Police Commissioner's office. Along with the District Captain. Andrea was there too.

"The mayor is insistent. So is the Governor. There is no evidence that this is some sort of supernatural creature. Unusual perhaps. A giant spider seems more sensible then a Jokumongrel or whatever it is that you called this thing." The Commissioner said.

"If the Jonogumo isn't recognized for what it is, your searchers may find themselves dead." David told the Commissioner. "I agree that we need to flush this thing out of our drainage system, but we need to be smart of it. We need to let the people going in there know it's a supernatural creature. We also need to let them know that it is dangerous."

"Lt. Rigby. Can you brief these men as to what they may encounter? Either a giant spider or this Japanese goblin." Captain William Glade knew better than to take David's information lightly.

"That won't be necessary." Commissioner Floyd Emelin had been trying to close down the Supernatural Task Force. He felt that the STF's duties could be transferred to other departments.

"Sir, with all due respect, I think it is." Will Glade said. "If this turns out to be some sort of supernatural creature, it could be a fiasco."

"In that case Commissioner, the blame could be on your shoulders." David said bluntly. "If the STF isn't involved, there will be no consequences for us."

Floyd openly cursed. Floyd didn't like showing frustration in from of lackeys like Rigby and Glade. He didn't even know why the woman was at the meetings. She seemed to be some sort of secretary. With her notebook, writing in it on occasion. Floyd didn't think they needed a secretary during this meeting. He didn't like someone taking notes about what he said or did.

Reluctantly, the Police Commissioner agreed. Floyd hoped the thing was a fiasco now, so that he could blame the STF and finally get rid of the worthless department. He called the Colonel in charge of the army reserve unit that would be conducting the search for the spider. He informed him that he was assigning the Supernatural Task Force Lieutenant to assist him. He called the local dog catchers and informed them as well.

Animal Control didn't use rank. There were titles, but no ranks. Alice Theodore was the Manager of Newsport's Animal Control Department. She was meeting with Colonel Roger Jackson and Supernatural Task Force Lieutenant David Rigby in the library at Seawall Square. Alice was used to coordinating with other departments. She was also used to being dismissed, disrespected, and ignored. When she met the two men in the library she had expected all of these senarios.

"Welcome, Miss Theodore." Colonel Jackson said. He introduced himself and the rangy, tall, thirty something man who turned out to be David Rigby. "Lieutenant Rigby was telling me that he thinks our giant spider is actually a Japanese goblin spider called a Jonogumo. If his information is correct this operation may prove more difficult then we originally thought."

"We've known about the vamps for over a hundred years, fairies for nearly as long,

nd giant mutants for nearly over sixty years. These foreign spirits are new to me." David said. "What I do know is that they exist and are dangerous."

"If this giant spider turns out to be this goblin spider does it matter?" Alice asked them.

"A giant spider is a spider. Capable of acting and behaving as a spider, with the same vulnerabilities as any other spider." Colonel Jackson said. "Except we can't simply smash it with a rolled up magazine. A intelligent spider, capable of turning into a human being, and possibly immune to some of our weapons, that does change things."

"This creature is also a serial killer. It has been killing mortals for possibly four hundred years." David said. "It has modified it's hunting style for the modern city. It is possibly immune to mortal weapons. It is in defiance of it's local Tengu or master. It recently hunted it's prey in a open, obvious manner. It killed a paramedic in open defiance of authority."

"it has nothing to lose." Alice concluded. "If we go into those drainage systems we will be cornering it. It will fight ferociously with no regard for it's on life. That is true with any animal, but intelligence will prove a big factor in this. Unlike a normal animal it can think, use strategy, and most likely has a backup plan."

"You are correct." David said. "It will most likely stalk us as we begin to hunt it. Now, I don't know if it can take more than one female form. Nor what it's spider form might look like. I do know that it's form will be Asian. It is possible that it will use that to entrap our people. Even though they are aware of it. I don't know if this creature might have some ability to charm or paralyze it's victims."

"What bothers me is why it would so openly attack another person." Colonel Jackson said. "It worked in the shadows. Hunting only homeless and tourists. Until two days ago when it attacked someone openly. I'd like to know why it changed it's tactics."

"Over confident." David Rigby answered. "It could be the thrill of being caught. Some criminals hope they will get caught so they can brag about their crimes."

"She assumes the form of an animal. It is possible that she thinks or reacts as that kind of animal would. In that case the main motivation factor that would change it's behavior is hunger. It could also be she is suffering from disease."

"Why would she be hunger, she seems to be feeding pretty regularly." Jackson didn't believe the hunger angle. "Now, disease or some other sickness might make sense."

"You are thinking something like rabies? Or is it possible there is some emotional or intellectual factor. I tend to think of behavioral motivation as a reason for changing tactics." David said. "I don't think that a creature like the Jonogumo can even catch a disease."

"Hunger is a great motivater. It is possible that her prey has become wary of her, so she has lost an easy food source. It is now necessary for her to hunt more aggressively and further afield." Alice added.

"Alright. For whatever reason, she has become more aggressive." Colonel Jackson said. "What is she going to do when we go into those tunnel's full force."

"She's going to resort to concealment, stealth, killing through assassination." David concluded.

"He's right. The spider is a aggressive killer, but it's known for it's concealment and stealth." Alice said. "It also uses it's web as a security and early warning system. Once someone trips that security system the creature will attack swiftly. It will use that same webbing to trap it's victims."

"From both legends and customer testimony we know this creature can use it's webbing to capture and draw in it's victims. Possibly so it can make the kill with a poison bite." David added.

"Once the creature draws in the victim it could begin wrapping the victim in the webbing. To eventually consume later." Alice told the two men.

"Thank you. This allows us to coordinate our efforts better. Knowing what to expect from the animal helps us as we search." Colonel Jackson knew he had to send this information down the line. How the spider would hunt and defend itself.

"Colonel, this creature is more than an animal." David said. "It can take the form of a woman. A attractive one. It can attack in that form. With weapons."

"I'll make it clear to my men." Colonel Jackson said.

Chpt. 15

One hundred years ago the concept of attacking a supernatural creature would have seemed ludicrous to the United States Army Reserves. That was before Sir Arthur Doyle proved the existence of the fey. By the use of spectral photography. Today, most people still doubt the existence of the fey, but there were other supernatural creatures such as vampires that the public knows exist. Until recently the lycanthropes and skin-walkers were thought not to exist.

In another universe Colonel Jackson would have rejected the very concept of there being a shape changing spider in the drainage system. In this universe of ultimate possibilities, it was just that, a possibility. One that Colonel Jackson needed to take seriously. Just as vampires had been a possibility over a hundred years ago, that some people never took seriously. Society suffered from it. Newsport would not suffer because Colonel Jackson didn't take a possibility seriously.

Police Commissioner Floyd Emelin didn't care about society. Society was a tool he used to succeed. His political goals were paramount. Society cared only for itself, so the individual members of that society needed to care for themselves. Floyd Emelin learned that early in his life. So, it didn't matter who in that society got hurt as long as Floyd Emelin succeeded.

At present, Floyd Emelin wanted to succeed in his goals as Police Commissioner. One of those goals was to close down the Supernatural Task Force. The department was unnecessary as far as Floyd was concerned. It's tasks could be performed by other departments. Besides, the Lieutenant in charge was a supernatural himself. How could he be trusted to defend society from his own kind.

Floyd realized that despite his contempt for his society, he needed that same society. He played on the politics of it. Played the individual members of society to do what he wanted to achieve personal power and personal gain. It didn't matter who got hurt. People got hurt everyday. Someone was going to get hurt no matter what happened, so Floyd might as well make sure he was the one who benefited from others being hurt.

Floyd hoped that by making David Rigby subservient to Colonel Jackson he would

be able to keep him from succeeding in killing the giant spider. It didn't matter who got hurt. Colonel Jackson was a military man, he would take charge. He wouldn't believe in this nonsense about a goblin spider. It didn't matter if it was true or not. Floyd hoped it would be true, because if this mission was a fiasco. Floyd could blame it on David Rigby and Colonel Jackson.

Floyd was about to be disappointed. David Rigby might be under Colonel Jackson's command, but Jackson did not consider Rigby to be 'subservient' merely a advisor under that command. He expected to have his orders followed, his command respected, and to be informed. Something that Floyd didn't understand about leadership. To lead you needed to respect those who were under your command. If you didn't, you couldn't expect them to succeed.

Chpt. 16

Colonel Jackson divided his men into teams. Most of the teams were army reserve men. One team was not. It consisted of Lieutenant Rigby, his Sergeant Andrea Meadows, a Buddhist monk, a vamp named Methos, two army reserve men, two uniformed police men. Colonel Jackson himself would be in the command center. As would be Police Captain William Glade. Alice Theodore would be there too. This was team one of twenty teams numbered one through twenty.

It was team eighteen that first encountered the creature. As Rigby warned, the creature shot out a web and drew the victim to it. It ambushed the team member from a access tunnel. Using it's web to pull a fully armed soldier down the tunnel. That trained soldier managed to brace himself and fire the M-16 rifle into the darkness of the tunnel.

Team Eighteen consisted of eight members. Those other members were not idle as the man was pulled into the tunnel. They were startled by the occurrence, but recovered quickly. Charging down the tunnel after their colleague. All of them were firing their weapons into the dark end of the tunnel. The creature abandoned her attack.

Team Fifteen was the next one attacked. She appeared in a female form. Ran down a tunnel. The team followed slowly. Cautiously. Teams Sixteen and Fourteen coordinated with Fifteen. Trying to block off the other tunnels out of the area. Team one with it's supernatural support moved towards the area.

She fell from the ceiling in giant spider form into the middle of teams Fourteen, Fifteen, and Sixteen converged in a three way intersection. All of the teams were issued full battle armor, this was what saved the men from being killed. One thing that neither Colonel Jackson, Alice, or David expected was that the creature could spray venom. Two men were paralyzed. Some would have been bitten. The creature tried to drag one of the men off, when a woman from another team caught him. Holding on until members of the three teams could help them.

Team Eighteen and Seventeen were not aware of it, but they were isolated from the other teams. The three teams between them and the other teams were in chaos at the moment. Regrouping after the attack. Only team was was moving in their direction. That team was to first encounter they three teams that were regrouping. At the moment team Seventeen and Eighteen were on their own.

Seventeen was the first to be attacked. They found they were down one member. That caused them to turn around and retrace their steps. Naturally, the radioed Command

Center. Eighteen was redirected towards Seventeen. Team One continued on to Seventeen's position. Teams Fourteen, Fifteen, and Sixteen had regrouped and followed Team One.

The second member of Team Seventeen had disappeared so fast that the rest of the team did not have time to react to it. She had taken spider form, she had came out of a cross tunnel, snatched the member up, and carried her away. The team member had been found halfway down the tunnel. She had fought off her attacker, managing to avoid the sprayed venom and the poison bite.

"It's incredibly strong." She told her team members. She was covered with sticky webbing, that stiffened as it dried.

She was fortunate that the webbing had not dried before she struggled out of it. Or the woman would have been encased. Team Seventeen did not search any further until Team Eighteen joined them. Team One and Teams Fourteen, Fifteen, and Sixteen soon came on the scene. That was where David Rigby picked up the scent.

David took only his own team with him. The rest of the teams were told to return to their independent searches. Colonel Jackson objected at first. "Colonel, I can smell it's scent strongly, but all of these other people will interfere with that scent. I need to have a minimal team to search for it. Besides. Your teams have shot at it. Three of them were taken on at once. They couldn't manage to catch it, wound it, or kill it. You need to let me do my job."

Chpt. 18

The moon was waxing at this point, David's powers were still increasing. David's ability to track my scent was already greatly improved. Not that he was as good as any bloodhound, but he could smell this particular creature. She smelled peculiarly like almonds. There was also an underlying smell of acid, dust, and glue.

When he was close enough, David sprouted claws, and canines. His face elongated a little, hair covered some of his body. His eyes saw into the infrared and ultraviolet spectrums. He lost some of his ability to see color, yet he could easily see in the dark. He pulled a flashbang grenade from his vest. Motioning to the others to be ready to cover their eyes when he used it.

A section of the drainage wall gave way and Methos was grabbed and pulled in. Methos was not without his own natural weapons. Vamps in his stage had claws and a nasty bite. Before Methos resorted to those methods he unloaded a clip of silver, especially blessed bullets into the creature. She screamed and let Methos go.

Jun stepped into the passage before David or the others could stop her. Standing next to Methos, Jun invoked some sort of spell in another language. Some mortals could use magic, David didn't know that Jun could. She got the creature's attention. It shot a web out at Jun. David managed to step in the way. The web began to pull him to the creature.

David allowed the web to pull him straight towards the creature's mouth. Once it was close enough David drove a clawed hand into one of the creature's multiple eyes. Digging his hand deep into the eye. The creature threw him back across the tunnel. Seeing that David's claws affected the creature Methos charged at it. Injured. The creature spit poison at Methos. The paralysis poison had no affect on Methos as he charged at the creature. He dodged a web and was on the creature's blind side when he jumped on the monster's back. Methos reached around the creature's head and clawed at the other eye.

The creature bucked Methos off it's back and scuttled on eight legs down the tunnel. It met Team Seventeen on the way and simply plowed through them. Wounded, the Jonogumo could care less about feeding or defending it's territory. It wanted away from the two creatures that had caused it such pain. Methos had scratched the surface of the other eye. It was practically blind. Fleeing in terror.

David was the fastest. He ran around the members of Team Seventeen who had been bowled over by the Jonogumo. Moving quickly down a cross tunnel that the Jonogumo had dashed down into.

He stopped when he saw the shadowy figure that stood over the Jonogumo.

"I warned you not to do this." The Tengu said. "You disobeyed me. For this you will be punished. Your powers are stripped from you for four hundred years. Just as you had to wait four hundred years before to obtain these powers, so you shall wait another four hundred years to regain them. Such is your punishment for your crimes against the mortals and me."

Chpt. 19

"Nephila Clavata. A type of golden orb spider. Poisonous." Alice said. "Glad you didn't get bit. I think it's blind, although that doesn't change much. It can still sense by smell and touch."

"What are you going to do with it?" David asked. Looking at the spider he had found and put into a evidence bag.

Getting the thing into the bag wasn't difficult. Methos had simply picked it up and tossed it in. The monster had bit him, but it didn't seem to be able to poison him. Jun insisted on poking air holes in the bag. David hadn't cared if the spider had died. It was barely alive when he gave it to Alice to examine.

"It will be euphonized as an invasive species." Alice had transferred the spider into a plastic, cage. "It doesn't seem to be any different from any other spider at this point."

"The Tengu may not like that." Jun said. "He had ordered it's punishment. To spend four hundred years in this form. We wouldn't want to make the Tengu angry."

"What do you think we should do with it." Alice was indifferent about killing the spider. It had murdered innocent people. At the same time that was it's nature.

"I'll take it back to the temple with me." Jun was dressed in her yellow monk robes now. "I can assure you we will take precautions to make sure it doesn't escape."

Jun was driving back to the temple in a SUV that the temple loaned to monks who needed to travel outside it's confines. "I don't know why I stuck my neck out for you, sister. At least you will have the chance to survive those four hundred years until you can get your powers back."

The spider in the plastic cage didn't answer. Jun reverted to her other form for just a moment. Staring at the spider with beady black eyes. Jun's hair had reddish highlights. She smiled to reveal long canines.

"That is assuming I don't make a meal out of you before that time." Jun laughed. She wouldn't eat her sister, but her sister didn't know that. "After all. We aren't really

sisters, just come from the same homeland."

Jun felt a little regret with torturing her sister at that level. Then Jun remembered the people who had died needlessly at her sister's hands. Maybe after four hundred more years as a spider, the Jokogumo would learn her lesson.



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