Moonlight filtered through the high trees in the Colorado mountains, glinting off the bloody ground and broken bodies tossed across the natural carpet of the forest. The attack had been swift and deadly.
“Watch out,” Angus yelled to Asia as he dodged a sharp blade flying toward him from one of the rebels. The inability to mental-ink with his teammate proved a challenge at moments like these. Leaping forward, he landed a blow into the male’s jaw, sending him soaring backward, crashing into a large pine tree. A loud, cracking sound signaled the contact before he bounced, and landed in a broken heap on the ground.
Angus crouched low surveying the scene. Damn, they weren’t supposed to kill them all. The plan was to allow one to live. He would then use his chameleon bracelet and change into one of the rebels to gain entrance into the inner workings of the outlier’s organization.
Seeking Tyrese, the other teammate, Angus’ gaze landed on Asia’s fight. She feinted to the left all but taunting the much taller wolf. Some might wonder why she hadn’t shifted to her largest hybrid, but after working with her on previous assignments he knew her mid-form to be her deadliest. Half wolf-half human, standing on two legs, she moved with the swiftness of a fired bullet, her punches delivered a similar impact.
The rebel howled and charged her. They always charged.
The sing of her long blade, ended with the head of the rebel flying into the woods. Before Angus could speak, a scrambling sound caught his ear. The putrid scent of fear assailed his nostrils. Tyrese, son of La Patron, walked through the bushes in his hybrid form, holding a struggling wolf in his long talons.
“Will he do?” Tyrese asked Angus through their link.
Pleased their plan remained intact, Angus sniffed the rebel. He sighed at the smell of urine and terror wafting from the small wolf. Not that he blamed the poor fool. As the sole survivor of the bloody massacre, in which the victors were outnumbered three to one, he had reason to be afraid.
“Yes, we will make do.” Angus reached for the shaking wolf, exhaling as his fingertips touched shaking limbs. Immediately, Angus’ chameleon bracelet tingled. Energy flew down his arm and out his fingertips, warming him. The wolf shook violently and then stilled as Angus took on its body and memories.
Disoriented, his body realigned. Angus stood still a moment longer, acclimating himself to the new form and cataloged the new set of memories. The inner workings of the chameleon allowed him to store information from every exchange somewhere in his brain, like a database he could draw on again. To remain alert and handle the information, he required double the amount of energy. His litter-mate, Silas, La Patron, joked about the increased food allotments required to keep Angus going.
“This guy’s life sucked,” Angus told Tyrese while Asia secured the area. “Low on the pole. He had no plans to return to the rebels, and isn’t really committed to their cause. Seems they have some kind of draft in place for those who haven’t given allegiance to Alpha Chase. No wonder he’s been having a lot of attacks, this fellow has been fed wrong information about both Silas and Alpha Chase. I’ll alert Silas to the propaganda going on about him while you two head back to Denver.”
Tyrese nodded, careful not to speak, although they didn’t sense anyone nearby, they refused to take any chances. The wolf now looked like the form Angus used earlier, anyone seeing them will think Angus died in the battle. That was important to their strategy in case someone watched them arrive in town.
Angus watched them go and settled into his role of a lone survivor. “Silas?” Angus lay on the ground.
“It’s over already? How many were there?” Silas asked through their link.
Angus swallowed a chuckle. “Twelve, maybe fifteen, I’m not sure. But I am alone now. This wolf was told lies regarding half-breeds. The rebels stir up anger by over-stating Jasmine and her son’s roles in the nation.”
“They say my mate is ruling the Alphas through me?”
Angus shouldn’t be surprised Silas knew the rumors, as head Alpha he had eyes and ears everywhere. “Yes and that she seeks to destroy full-bloods. Some of Corrina Griggs messages, but these are not her followers. These rebels simply hate half-breeds and vow to destroy them whenever they see them.”
“So using Tyrese as lead worked?”
“Yes. He allowed them to sense his human part and foolishly they attacked.”
“You need to find the core of the rebels. Killing misinformed wolves would displease the Goddess. We will determine another strategy to provide correct information so they can choose. Get the name of their leader, their power structure, locations and who’s funding them. They are killing half-breeds in the name of patriotism and that cannot continue.”
“Yes, Sir. I will remain on my cold belly until someone comes looking and rescues me. Hopefully they will not kill me,” Angus said.
“Dying at this point wouldn’t get me the answers I need. So stay alive to finish your mission,” Silas said and Angus heard the laughter in his voice.
“That’s me, doing my part for the cause. Just take care of my baby.” He missed his pet, Byte, but using him as an extra layer of protection for Silas’ den was a worthy job.
Silas snorted. “That mutt won’t let the kids out of his sight. Security has complained twice today that Byte chased them away from the nursery door.” He paused. “I appreciate you allowing him to watch my pups, especially with the increased rebel activity. He adds a measure of comfort to me and my mate, thank you for that.”
Angus thought of his pet dog and smiled. “Yeah, well, as Jasmine says we’re family and all that. Plus, he grew attached to them pretty fast. I’m not sure he would have left with me anyway.”
Silas laughed. They both knew Byte would follow Angus into the depths of the underworld. “Get me that information and then get back here. Asia and Tyrese need your help in setting up KnightForce.” Silas disconnected.
For hours, Angus lay still. His thoughts calm, acclimated to the game of infiltration through years of service to his former Alpha. His nose itched. Lifting his head from his paws, he scanned the area for the source of unease.
A whizzing sound, followed by burning pain in his thigh, caused his back to arch in agony. Angus howled in shock as his world dimmed.