The two girls were just happy to see them leave - why the Hunters had come in the first place didn't matter one bit to them. And they hoped they would never see them again. All they really cared about was finding a way of giving Morgan back what the Hunters had taken away from her: her supernatural connection to the mystical force they knew only as... the Tigress!
Once they returned to Beth's house they began to consider what could be done about it.
"But what about all those shapeshifting books you have?" Beth asked excitedly.
Morgan shook her head and looked at Beth forlornly, "Those aren't books about magic or lycanthropy. I mean, they are, but in a New Age kinda way, not a literal way. They're books about the mind and the shape of one's soul. The people who wrote those books would laugh if someone ever told them that shape shifting was more than just a symbolic metamorphosis of the inner-consciousness."
Beth's head dropped. "You mean, they're useless?"
Morgan smiled warmly, "No Beth, not useless. They taught me a lot, about myself, about what I'm capable of - what I'm made of. I know that you're freaked out about this whole weretigress thing because of the way its changed your friends; Amy and Wendy and Miriam and Diane. The spirit of the Tigress overwhelmed them and it took over. I can understand how that frightened you. But I've spent years studying Wicca and shape shifting and altered states of consciousness - it was almost as if I had been preparing for the moment when I got bitten and the essence of the Tigress entered into my body. Like I told you already, when I change now the Tigress doesn't replace me, she fills me. Unlike your friends, I've learned how to unify my two selves, the human and the tiger. And that would not have been possible without all those silly, pretentious, self-important books. But, like I said, they're not books about magic that we can use to somehow change what the Hunters did to me today."
"And with the antidote in your bloodstream," Beth said bitterly, "having one of the other weretigresses bite you again won't do a damn thing. You're immune to them now."
Morgan nodded sadly. "So what do we do?" Beth asked, her hopes for Morgan fading quickly away. Morgan lifted up Beth's face and then kissed her tenderly on the lips. "We stop worrying about me," Morgan said, "and go find your friends. They're still weretigresses and the Hunters are still out there and, as far as we know, so are Theresa and her flunkies. Your friends need our help."
"Charlie Leader to all team members, report status," the voice came over all the com-radios. One by one all of the members of Charlie Team called in. Unlike Bravo Team, Charlie Team was recon only - no combat. There were eight members on the team, as well as the Leader and his two assistants, and all of them had their attention focused on Beth and Morgan.
As Beth and Morgan left Beth's house and headed for Amy's, little did they know that they were pawns in a game with very high stakes.
"Scope-One to Charlie Leader," the early evening jogger whispered into his cellular headset, "the targets have just turned south on Arlington."
"Scope-Five to Charlie Leader," a drunken man sitting on a park bench said into his whiskey bottle, "targets in view, maintaining surveillance."
And so it went on and on and on...
Thu May 30 00:27:27 2002