A Werewolf Among Us

Free A Werewolf Among Us by Dean Koontz

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Authors: Dean Koontz
hold them all in. Thus the dream and the stalker in the dream. You have forgotten whom the stalker represents, who that was in real life, or have pretended to forget. I feel strongly that...
    The bio-computer sensed the attack even as it began, and it did not complete the admonition.
    St. Cyr screamed, though his throat was so constricted that no voice could come out, only a thin hiss like a prophesying snake.
    He felt as if he had been invaded, violated.
    There was something inside of him, something crawling so deep inside of him that if he did not cast it out immediately, it would draw even deeper and become inaccessible.
    You are suffering from a form of paranoia common to all cyberdetectives…
    He took a step.
    He could feel the creature stirring within him.
    He was certain it was creeping inexorably along his spine, anxious for a permanent seat in the center of his brain.
    … who occasionally feel that the symbiote is not a symbiote at all, but that you are harboring a parasite .
    The only thing he wanted was to cut it out of him, dig down into himself, find this creature and cast it away. He did not think he could manage this with a knife alone, but he decided that was his only hope.
    Remove the shell. Rest. Relax. Remove the shell.
    He had his fingers around the shell and was prying at it.
    I am no parasite. Be calm. I only use the personal, first person pronouns because my thought pulses are transformed into words in your own brain, and you are the one who chooses the first person.
    His whole chest ached.
    He saw light behind his eyes, growing.
    Be calm. I am not even a personality, only a source of data, a system of correlation, a machine for making linkages. Remove the shell. Throw the switch, remove the shell, rest.
    While the light grew behind his eyes, he found the switch, turned it off.
    He pulled the shell away from his chest.
    He ripped loose the two male plugs.
    Behind his eyes the light burst white, yellowed, turned orange, then settled into dark browns, in which he slept like a caterpillar nestled in a cocoon.
    The sleep was fitful, but at least he did not dream. And though the paranoid siege had drained him, it had also served to make him forget all about the nightmare, the broken road, and the stalker…

    He woke at eleven, took a long bath, dried himself, decided against breakfast, drank a glass of Scotch on an empty stomach. The liquor hit hard, but warmed him. At noon, he realized he could no longer postpone the inevitable, and he hooked up to the bio-computer once again.
    It had nothing to say.
    At the telephone, he found the number for the nearest Worldwide Communications office and sent off a light-telegram to his contact on Ionus, an industrial detective named Talmud. That done, he placed his second call to the Climicon data banks. When the taped voice requested his purpose, he spoke slowly and clearly, to properly key the machines: "Data requested. Why did Climicon issue directives for the extinction of the wolf once native to the Kline Range? Why did it not require the extinction of the wild boar native to the same region? Answer as one question."
    Thirty seconds later, the Climicon computer said, "Heavy data. May we stat it, or do you require a vocalized report?"
    "Stat it."
    Another thirty seconds passed before the long yellow sheets of paper chattered out of the slot in the base of the telephone stand. There were six of them.
    "Terminated."
    "Thank you." He hung up.
    He carried the papers to the easy chair by the opaqued patio doors, palmed the glass panels into transparency again, and sat down to read. The first sheet dealt with the wild boar: Climicon's study of its ferocity and the determination, after exhaustive research, that the species should be maintained, though in smaller herds than was natural for them. The boar, it turned out, was a coward as well, toothed and clawed to little purpose when it came to a confrontation with anything much larger than itself; it preferred to run away

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