It is a long, hot, dry summer. News reaches the papers of a late-night bus crash in a mountainous part of the country. While travelling between two small, remote communities, the bus came off the road on a steep incline, crashing through a fence and hurtling down the near-vertical slope of a steep gorge to smash into the rocks at the bottom, where it burst into flames. Anyone on board unlucky enough to survive the horrendous descent was burned to death in the conflagration.
Twenty-two people have been killed, nearly all of them from the small town the bus was travelling to. The bodies have been taken to the nearest hospital mortuary pending identification. Local police have called in expert help from a nearby city to assist the accident investigation.
1 Mi-Go in the area want several healthy human brains for a diabolical project. Intercepting the bus on the remotest part of its route, they remove the tops of their victims' skulls and take the brains of everyone on board. The skulls are crudely repaired and the bus and its cargo of brainless dead are crashed into the ravine and set on fire to conceal evidence of the crime.
2 The crash is a genuine accident, a coincidence that draws any investigation to the site of a cave within the ravine, the entrance to which had been concealed by dense undergrowth now burnt to ashes by the fire.
Deep inside the cavern, hidden within a maze of cramped tunnels, is the grave of a sorcerer who once held the native peoples of this area in thrall until a band of warriors gave their lives to overthrow him. Shamans placed his corpse in this deep cave, surrounded by wards to guard against an evil magic that might awaken him once more to walk amongst them. But now their spells are losing their efficacy and the sorcerer's crazed spirit wanders the caverns, reacting venomously against anyone it comes across, seeking a way to return life to the shrivelled corpse that was once its home.
3 Around here lurks a small pack of werewolves. The crash occurred at the time of the full moon when one of the werewolves, mindless with blood-lust, flung itself on the bus in a savage attempt to get at the succulent flesh within. Not surprisingly this caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The werewolf was thrown clear before the bus made its final plunge into the ravine.
Although not killed, the werewolf was injured and, now in human form, is bed-ridden and weakened. Evidence of the werewolf's attack can be found in a careful inspection of the wreckage: raking claw-marks in the bodywork of the bus and bite marks on one of the corpses (the werewolf smashed through a window to attack the victim before being thrown clear).
Copyright (c) 2007 Tony Hickie