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30 September 2011 @ 09:54 pm
The way of the warrior Chp 5, (6/14), R, Sam & Dean Winchester  
The way of the warrior, chapter 5.

“Ok, how do you want to play this, Dean? Split up or check the place over together.” Sam asked as they loaded up with extra salt cartridges. Dean was checking his sawn off. He snapped the gun shut then checked his flashlight was in good working order. He placed his hand on the lid of the Impala’s trunk and looked out at the darkened construction site. They’d gotten back to the motel, changed into something more comfortable, as Dean had said in a very suggestive tone of voice. Sam had responded by calling him an idiot, and throwing his dirty socks at him. Dean had staggered, clutching his throat, pretending to choke. Now in the cool of the desert night he stood there in his jeans, boots and many layers of shirts and he was thankful for the warmth of his leather jacket.

“I think we should stick together, Sam. After all, we don’t know exactly how many ghosts are out there yet. Have there been any reports of sightings at night?” Dean watched as Sam ran through his own equipment checks. Once he was satisfied he put his stuff in the bag and stepped away from the car. Dean pulled the duffle bag out of the trunk, and zipped it closed. He slung the bag over his shoulder.

“None, as far as I can tell. Doesn’t that strike you as a little odd? I mean, these ghosts have been seen in broad daylight, yet none of the security guards have reported anything.” They were walking towards the chain link fence as Sam spoke.

Dean shrugged, “Not necessarily. Your average security guard on a place like this rarely leaves his warm hut if he can help it. The ghosts could be having a damn party and they would never be seen, or perhaps there is something here that Daryl wants to keep a lid on. Blame it all on the protesters but he knows he’s got a little ghost problem. Maybe he’s told his security to keep quiet about it.” Dean raised his hand and Sam stopped moving.

There was a beam of light moving through the site - a security guard on his rounds. The brothers remained perfectly still, waiting for the man to pass by. Sam nudged his brother in the back, “So security guards never leave their huts?” There was amusement in his voice, Dean just scowled at him.

“Yeah, well, it looks like Daryl employs the only security guards in the world that actually do their jobs. Ok, we’re gonna have to keep this quiet. I say we go over the fence here. The guards won’t be able to see my girl where she’s parked then we take a quick look around see if there is anything weird. Then we come back here for the grand tour tomorrow. Ready?” Dean asked and Sam nodded, throwing the duffle bag over first. Then both men scaled the fence, and dropped over the other side. They sprinted for cover, in case there was another guard doing the rounds.

“Now what, Sam? Where have they had the most problems?” Dean asked quietly as he kept a watch for their flashlight wielding friend.

“According to the reports, most of sightings have been by the actual hotel building. There have been no reports of human remains being found. But if Daryl is desperate to keep the construction going, there is every chance that he kept quiet, and just disposed of the remains.” They made careful progress to the unfinished building, both of them remaining vigilant.

They reached what would one day become the casino’s entrance. They walked inside and paused. Dean opened his duffle bag, handed Sam his shotgun and flashlight then picked up his own and zipped up the bag. They made their way toward the concrete stairs. As they started climbing them Dean spoke to his brother, “I know Daryl’s a dick, but do you think he’d go that far just to keep the construction under way? And did you see his face at the bar when he saw our friend appear?” He spoke softly in case there were guards nearby.

Sam hefted his gun and swept the area with his flashlight as they moved in tandem up the stairs. As they reached the first landing, he answered Dean’s question. “To be honest, I’m not sure if Daryl would go that far. But I know when he saw that ghost in the bar, it shook him up pretty good. And what about Amber? She had hold of that medicine pouch pretty tightly, and she was muttering something all the while he was there.” Sam paused, allowing Dean to step through into the corridor.

They walked along the unfinished hallway, looking into shells of rooms, Dean slightly in front of Sam. He threw a comment over his shoulder. “I gotta admit she did have a hell of a hold on it. Kind of reminded me of you with your teddy bear...who was it now? Ah yes, Mr Snuggles. I can remember how you yelled the place down when dad made you get rid of him. What were you at the time...sixteen?” Sam growled, and then shoved his brother in the back, ignoring his laughter.

“Seriously though, do you think she could have summoned it? She might be desperate enough to try stopping Daryl’s theme park that way.” Dean walked on, watching for the tell-tale flickering of a ghost.

“It’s a possibility that the ghost was summoned there, all of the sightings have been here; nothing’s been mentioned about the town. Shall we go up?” Sam motioned with his flashlight towards another flight of unfinished stairs. Dean nodded and started upwards. Sam looked behind them to see if there was anything either human, or not following them. Happy that for now they were alone, he turned back and watched his brother climb the stairs in front of him.

He remembered the confrontation with the ghost at the bar; it was the way the ghost had looked at his brother. It had been an assessing look; Sam had felt as if the ghost had been weighing Dean up as an adversary. Just before it vanished, Sam had seen a half smile appear on that stern face, as if Dean had measured up to the ghost’s high standards. God, he hoped he was wrong. The last thing they needed was the ghost of a Native American warrior wanting to try his hand at taking Dean out. They had enough problems already with the special kids deal, without that as well.

Sam wasn’t concentrating fully on the rough staircase as he climbed. His head was still full of what happened at the bar. He never noticed the debris on the stair he was about to put his foot on. The second he stood on the step, the small pieces of concrete shifted and Sam’s ankle gave. He was thrown forward, landing hard on his knees. He hissed in shock as his arms jolted from the brunt of the impact, and he lost his flashlight in the fall. It rolled away from him until it came to rest against the wall. Dean heard the sound of Sam falling, and he spun around, gun raised, ready to fire.

“Sammy! Are you alright?” Dean was about to start running back to his brother when he realized what had happened. He relaxed and lowered his gun. He saw his brother was staring intently at the wall, “Ok there, Sam? I can appreciate the audition piece for a slasher movie. You know the whole falling-over-while-being-chased-by-the-deranged-masked-killer, but falling up the stairs? Man, that’s lame even by your standards.” Dean cocked his head to one side, expecting a scathing comeback. But Sam didn’t appear to be paying attention to him.

Sam put his hand in his pocket and pulled out his pen knife then opened up the blade. He began to dig at something he could see, just beneath the partially plastered wall. When he’d reached out to grab his flashlight, he’d spotted something. Now as he worked it free of the plaster he could see it was a leather bag which bag dropped to the floor. Sam folded his pen knife back up and put it back in his pocket. He picked up the bag and straightened up; he was still several steps short of the floor above. He turned the bag over, and wiped at the material, trying to clean the plaster dust from it.

As Sam wiped the bag, the temperature dropped rapidly, and suddenly, flickering in front of him was a ghost. The ghostly warrior stood over him. In its hands was a rifle and the rifle was pointing right at him. Sam gripped the bag tightly in surprise, and jerked back in shock at the sudden appearance of the apparition. The movement caused him to slide down a couple of stairs on his front; he was reaching desperately for his gun when he heard a familiar war cry, “SAMMY!”

Then a shot rang out and the ghost was fragmented by the salt round. Dean ran down the stairs to where Sam was still lying, trying to get his bearings, his hands reaching out for Sam’s shoulders. Gripping them tight he pulled Sam up, his eyes travelling up and down Sam’s body, “You ok there, Sam? Where the hell did that guy come from?” Dean’s eyes darted around the hallway, his flashlight swinging back and forth.

Sam was still reeling from what had just happened when he remembered the leather bag in his hand, “Dean, shine your flashlight down here.” The beam of light quickly illuminated the bag, and they could see the outlines of beads on the leather. “What the hell? Is this a medicine pouch? I found it buried in the wall.” Sam looked back to the top of the stairs. As one they raised their guns and moved up the stairs together.

They looked down the now empty hallway, and Sam reached out and grabbed his flashlight. He shone the light onto the hole where the bag had been, then Dean spoke “Shit, Sam, you don’t think that’s what caused the ghost to appear do you? Because if that’s the case, how many more of these are there in the walls?” Dean looked up at the wall, as if he expected to see a war party riding out of it at any second.

Sam shook his head, “I’ve got no idea, Dean, if the bag’s the cause or not. But I think we should get out of here, in case the shot brings security running.”

Dean held out his hand and helped Sam back to his feet, weighing up their options. They could wait it out, dodge the security guards and try to find out if there were more bags in the walls. But he knew that would be a bad idea. For a start they had the Feds breathing down their necks. Being caught on a construction site at night, armed, would take a hell of a lot of explaining. Gaming commission agents or not. Secondly, just how would they explain all the holes in the walls they’d have to make? Somehow Dean didn’t think Daryl would buy that termites had done it.

“I’m with you, Sammy. I say we get out of here and check out the bag back at the motel. Then you and your gigantic brain can get to work on our little mystery here.”Dean led the way back down the stairs; they moved quickly in case security was on its way. They had just reached the ground floor, when they heard the sounds of footsteps. Sam reached out, and pulled Dean further into the shadows just in the nick of time.

Two men came running in; they were younger and fitter than the average Rent-a-Cop. Sam watched as they ran up the stairs towards the source of the noise. They stood and waited for a few seconds, they could hear the sounds of the men as they moved above them. They were just about to step out from their hiding place, when the two security guards came down the stairs.

“See, I told it was nothing, Alex. Who the hell fires a gun in a half-built hotel? Have you been watching The Sopranos again?” The voice sounded exasperated with his colleague.

“I’m telling ya, Steve, it was a gunshot. You don’t think it was one of the ghosts, do you?” Steve looked around nervously as he spoke. Alex stopped walking, and spun around, shining the flashlight full in his partner’s face, making him throw his hand up in front of it.

“Ok, that does it! When we get back to the hut, I’m confiscating your Red Bull. A ghost fired the shot, dude? You’re spending way too much time, listening to all the crazy that’s been goin’ on around here. Come on, I better not be missing CSI.” Alex strode off, leaving Steve trailing after him.

“Interesting. Sounds like there has been nothing happening at night. Come on, Sam, let’s go. I want to check out that bag.” Dean spoke quietly in case the guards were still close by.

Dean let Sam lead the way out of the half-built hotel. He had Sammy’s back and was making sure that they would get off the site without any further problems. Soon they were back at the fence. Dean threw the bag over the fence and he and Sam followed it. Sam reached the bag and picked it up, looking back into the darkened site.

“All quiet now. Come on, Sam, let’s get out of here.” They walked to the Impala and loaded the bag in the trunk and drove away. At the fence the boys were watched by several silent figures. As the lights of the Impala vanished so did the ghostly watchers.

Dean walked over to the table, put down two mugs of coffee and sat down. He pushed one mug towards Sam then he rested his hand on the stock of his shotgun. Sam was frowning at the bag in front of him, reading something on the lap top. Sam glanced over at Dean sat with one hand on his gun, and drinking his coffee with the other. Sam smiled, “Aren’t we being just a little over cautious here?” He worked at the knot keeping the bag closed.

“Hell no, Sam. Look! All you did was brush some plaster dust off the bag and suddenly we had a ghost standing over you, aiming a gun at that shaggy head of yours. So this isn’t being over cautious, it’s just a sensible precaution. Well, what we looking at, Sam? Are we talking a hex bag or what?” Dean nodded towards the bag.

Sam sat back and stopped working on the knot, “No, not a hex bag, more of a medicine bag. They were used in Native American cultures. Usually they were personal, containing spiritual items and totems from a person’s life. But they could also be made for other purposes. According to this website this beadwork is a powerful spell. It’s Cherokee in origin, and the colour of the beads is important. Red denotes success and black is death. Add in the use of a medicine wheel and there is some serious magic at work. Now I just need to get this open.” Sam pulled at the cord one final time, and he whooped in triumph as the bag opened. He looked inside and frowned.

“What’s wrong, Sam? Ain’t there anything in there?” Dean craned his head forward to try and look inside the bag. Sam poured the contents on the table, a small pile of dirt landed on it along with...”Shit! Is that a piece of bone?” Dean looked at the dirt, bone, and dried herbs that now sat on the table in a pile.

Sam licked his lips, and ran his fingers through his hair. “Dean, this is bad. As well as the bead work the spell would have been worked with a drum chant. And if that is dirt from the canyon, and it’s a piece of bone from a warrior....”

Dean sat up straighter, knowing what Sam was about to say. “Shit, Sam, you know what we got here. It has all the ingredients to not only summon a spirit but keep it in place. Someone is summoning the ghosts, I hate to say it. But what’s the betting that the bag you’re holding ain’t the only one in Daryl’s five-star hotel? Just think. Not only do you get cable in your room, but hot and cold running ghosts on tap too.” Dean had yet to look up from the dirt and bone.

“I don’t think I like the odds of you being wrong. I’d be more surprised if this was the only bag. Man, I knew that Amber was desperate to stop Daryl, but to do this? Dean, if those bags are left where they are, after the hotel is finished the ghosts could be summoned at any time. Look, setting up the bags takes all the hard work. After that it’s just a matter of a chant, calling on the ancestors, and making a few offerings. She could call the ghosts at any time. We’re going to have to warn Daryl about this. We don’t have a choice, Dean. We have to tell him about the bags.” Sam rocked back on his seat, frowning as he spoke.

Dean sat, thinking. His gut was telling him there was something off about this, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. “That’s gonna be a fun conversation. I can see it now. Hey, Daryl, we’re here to discuss your gaming licence. And by the way, you’re gonna have to rip the plaster off the walls, because Amber’s planted medicine bags inside them, and she is using them to summon ghosts. I gotta admit though, she’s smart. Talk about playing the long game.

I bet she’s got a man on the inside, putting the bags in the walls then she summons them to disrupt the work. But if she was real smart, she’d stop now and wait for the casino to be finished, before summoning them again.” Dean took another drink. It was shame really; he kind of liked Amber, but she couldn’t go around doing stuff like this. Once they’d dealt with the ghosts then he and Sam would have to go and talk to her.

Sam sat and listened and thought about what Dean said. “I see. Wait for the hotel to be opened then start summoning the ghosts again. That would empty the place real quick. I’m pretty sure it would put even the most hardened gambler off his game of blackjack.” He tapped at the table, looking at the bag’s contents.

Dean nodded, “Yeah, it sure would. Then again, some people would love it. Hell, Daryl could sell the whole haunted hotel experience. I’ve said it before, Sammy. Demons I get but people are crazy. Ok then, Sam, how come when you took it apart, we didn’t get a repeat performance of earlier? A visit from our warrior friend?”

Sam looked back at the screen, “The only thing I can think of is we’re too far away from the canyon here. Also if the land has been blessed by a shaman, then it’s still part of ground, sacred to the ghosts. And somehow I doubt the motel falls under that category. Apart from that, I got nothing, Dean; I was half expecting it to appear myself. You know you have to admire Amber; I mean, it takes guts to do what she’s done.” Sam looked up at his brother.

“Why’s that, Sam?” Dean asked, puzzled.

“Well, think about it, Dean. She’s had to go into the canyon and actually disturb the remains of the warriors to get hold of the slithers of bone, and the dirt, from where they are resting.” Sam switched off his lap top; he looked over at Dean who seemed to be lost in thought. “What’s wrong, man? I’d thought you’d be pleased that we’ve gotten to the bottom of how ghosts are appearing.” He wondered what was on Dean’s mind.

“It just doesn’t feel right, Sam. You saw Amber tonight when Daryl accused her of abusing the ancestors - she went ballistic. I just can’t see her grave robbing to get what she wants. The only thing is, I can’t think of anyone else, with either the ability or the knowledge to pull this off.” Dean slid his coffee cup back and forth.

Sam thought about what Dean had just said then inspiration struck, “What about Albert? After all, he is the Shaman; if anyone’s got the power then I think Albert is much more likely to be the one behind it.” Dean still didn’t look convinced, and if Sam was honest, neither was he. It just added to the mystery at the Casino for them to solve.

Dean looked up, “Ok, we have another suspect then, Sam. Although he didn’t seem too happy about the sabotage on site, that Amber and Co. were responsible for. Albert setting ghosts on Daryl and the crew seems way over the top. Look, let’s hit the sack, and talk to Daryl tomorrow at the site. We might want to look into a way to keep the ghosts quiet, while we go bag hunting of a night. How’s your plastering skills?” Dean asked and Sam grinned at him.

The next morning at the site, the boys stood looking around, then Daryl appeared and walked over to them. “Good morning, gentlemen. Welcome to the Casino. Please can you put these on?” Daryl was beaming at them, as he handed them two hard hats. They accepted the head gear and slipped them on. When they had gotten up this morning Dean had gone to get breakfast while he left Sam doing research. When he’d gotten back they’d eaten then he’d hit Dad’s journal to find the original appeasement ritual Dad had used before.

While Sam had been searching for something to keep the spirits quiet, Dean had been making a list of everything they would need. Just in case they had to perform the appeasement ritual at the burial ground, if their original idea of clearing out the medicine bags failed. Sam had reported he hadn’t had much luck; it looked like they would have to find where each individual bag was placed. Then deal with one ghost at a time. Neither of them had liked the thought of that, as they had no idea how many bags had been planted. Plus the ghosts would not stand by quietly, while they despatched them.

Now they were walking through the site with Daryl, who was telling them about how magnificent the casino and hotel would be when it was finished. Sam was listening intently and Dean was looking around the site. He was watching the construction when he realised what was bothering him. Why were the ghosts appearing outside, when the bags were sealed inside the walls of the still growing hotel? Dean was sure none of the sightings were inside of the building. How were the ghosts getting out here? Dean stopped and he was trying to figure out this latest part of the puzzle, when he heard Daryl’s voice. “Mr Coverdale, please don’t stand there. You know how dangerous construction sites can be.” Dean turned to face Daryl; he could see Sam looking at him as if to say ‘what’s wrong?’ Dean just smiled.

“Sorry, Mr Gray Bear. I was just watching the work. I just love to see buildings grow, don’t you? So much potential, anything could happen with a new building. You can put your own mark on the place.” Dean saw a quick flicker of disquiet cross Daryl’s face, then his smile returned in full force and he guided Dean back towards Sam.

As they walked, Sam leant into his brother, “You just stopped dead, dude. Did you see something? Because you know we’re naked out here.” Dean knew what Sam meant; they’d decided to leave their weapons in the Impala’s trunk. All Dean had on him was a flask of holy water, which wouldn’t be much use if the whole tribe were suddenly to appear.

“It was just the opposite. It was what I didn’t see, Sam. You told me all the sightings were out in the open. No one has seen anything in the hotel; all the bags are inside, right? How the fuck are the ghosts getting out here? Because we both know they should be tied to the bags.” Sam looked around and realized what Dean was saying was right. Shit, now what were they going to do?

Sam looked over towards the gate, and groaned at what he saw, heading their way like a tornado. “Dean, we got incoming, twelve o’clock.” Dean looked over and, approaching at speed, was Amber, along with several of her friends.

Dean sighed then rolled his neck and shoulders, to try and ease the tension that had begun to build; his body chose that moment to remind him that he still had bruises. Dean flinched slightly and he saw Sam’s face ratchet up to the protective puppy look. He shook his head and winked at his little brother. The last thing he needed was Sam going all ‘House’ on his ass, while he was trying to stop Amber and Daryl killing one another. And just maybe bringing a few ghostly friends along to the party.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Daryl roared, as Amber walked over to them with a smile on her face.

Amber came to halt by Dean; she ignored the now red-faced developer and waved at the construction workers who were gathering on the scaffolding to enjoy the show. “Morning, guys! As it’s Friday, how about a treat when you finish? Come over to the Tavern tonight, and the first beer is on the house.” The men all whistled and applauded, and she looked at Dean and winked at him.

Dean had to admit she had style; it’s damned hard to stay mad at the woman who was a part-owner of the only bar in town, and who’d just offered a round of free beer.

Daryl stood, watching his crew with fists clenched, “What the fuck are you playing at? Offering free beer?” Daryl stepped up close to Amber; he became aware of the fact that Dean had matched his step. That he was ready to intervene if things became physical.

“Why, Daryl, you told me to step into the twenty-first century, and you know you’re right. I think it’s time we buried the hatchet, and what better way than to have your guys over for a beer? And besides, you don’t think they’ll just stop at one, do you? A girl’s gotta eat. Now how about letting us come on the tour and you can show me why this place is so wonderful?” Amber’s smile had grown broader as she spoke.

Dean looked at Sam and smiled, the smile was returned. He watched as the startled Daryl suddenly found himself being escorted through his own construction site, by the woman who was trying to close him down. The brothers fell into step behind them, as Dean listened to Amber talking. He thought Amber wanted to bury the hatchet all right, but she wanted to put it right between Daryl’s shoulder blades.

Then she looked over her shoulder, “Why, gentlemen, you should be walking with us not behind us. This is the first time I’ve ever been inside the site. I felt I should rectify my reticence at visiting. I just wanted to experience the site like you. And be convinced as to why exploiting our heritage, by turning it into a theme park is such a wonderful idea.” Amber’s voice was silky smooth, but it was wrapped around a core of steel-like intent.

Daryl pulled his arm free of Amber’s, “Oh, so now we getting to the bottom of it! I should’ve just called security and had you and your friends thrown off the site. God knows what you’ve got planned. For all I know you’re getting ready to send another truck careering through the site. Once wasn’t enough? Not enough devastation? No one hurt? Come on, Amber, don’t just stand there. Tell me.” He smirked at the irate woman.

Amber bristled at those words and stepped right into Daryl. “Listen to me, you sanctimonious jackass. For the last time, we had nothing to do with that. I’m betting it was one of your guys being negligent, and blaming us.” Amber was just about to get even closer, when Dean rested his hand gently on her arm.

“Please, Miss Moonhaven, Mr Gray Bear. Why don’t you both calm down? Surely we can talk about this calmly.” Both Amber and Daryl shot Dean a scathing look when he spoke to them.

Sam winced. He didn’t envy Dean trying to play peace maker to those two. Then he noticed one of Amber’s friends. When Daryl had been yelling about the truck, they had suddenly looked a little guilty. That guilt had gotten worse, when Amber had proclaimed none of her friends were responsible for what happened. Sam felt like smacking himself around the head. An inside man, of course! The guy knew who the inside man was, and he could’ve let the brakes off the truck. Then planting medicine bags would be child’s play by comparison. Now it was just a matter of trying to figure out who it was, and getting him to tell them where he’d put the bags.

He was just about to tell Dean what had happened when he heard even more commotion; Albert had appeared on site and was making his way over to the two yelling combatants. Sam was impressed with how Dean managed to move out of the way of a low flying elbow from Amber as she continued gesturing animatedly during her row with Daryl.

Albert inserted himself between the two of them, and glared from one to another. “Enough! This has gone on too long now. It’s time for you both to put a stop to this. Amber, take your friends and go home. Daryl, you and I need to talk.” Amber went to speak, but Albert just raised his hand to silence her.

Amber nodded, “Yes, Grandfather. I’ll see you back at the centre.” She turned to leave, and Albert turned to speak to Daryl.

“What can I do for you, Grandfather?” Daryl asked, bowing his head respectfully. At those words, Albert tensed slightly and Amber whirled round.

“Don’t you dare fucking call him that! You don’t have the right to call him that.” Amber stormed over and once again they started arguing - this time they were yelling at each other in another language. Dean watched as Albert raised his eyes skyward in a universal gesture of frustration. He looked down and saw Dean and Sam. He walked over to them. Dean looked back at the arguing couple and then back at Albert. He quirked his eyebrow and gestured towards them with a nod.

Albert waved his hands in a gesture of defeat, “I’d say smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, because now they’ve started on this, they could be at it for hours.” Albert crossed his arms and watched what appeared to be a familiar sight.

“What did Amber mean by Daryl not being able to call you grandfather?” Dean was intrigued by Amber’s reaction to the greeting.

Albert looked at Dean, his eyes full of sorrow, “Not too long ago I had two apprentice Shaman under my wing, so to speak. Amber was one, Daryl was the other. Daryl is naturally gifted, but lacks the patience to unlock his gifts. Then the outside world and the lure of money became too strong, and Daryl walked away from his studies. Amber hates the fact he abandoned me, more than the fact he walked away from her.” Dean was shocked to hear this; Daryl hadn’t seemed the type. In fact if it hadn’t been for his name, Dean would have had Daryl down as your average sharp-suited business guy. All image and no substance, but it just added to Amber’s motives for summoning the ghosts.

Dean was about to tell Sam what Albert had just said, when he noticed that his little brother was no longer by his side. Sam was talking to a couple of Amber’s friends. He seemed to be engrossed, and Dean was just about to speak to Albert again, when he saw a movement out of the corner of his eye that caught his attention.

Dean’s head snapped around, and his heart accelerated, suddenly there were more people on the site. Not just people but Great Bear’s warriors. Dean did a rapid count. By his estimation there had to be twenty armed ghosts. “SAMMY!” It was then he realized he wasn’t the only one who had spotted the newcomers. Daryl and Amber had stopped arguing, and were looking at the figures, and Albert went tense beside of him.

Sam looked up at the sound of his brother’s cry. He saw Dean then turned his head to follow where Dean was looking. Sam gasped when he saw the ghosts, standing there silently. It was as if they were waiting for something. Then a final figure appeared. It was the ghost from the night before; he stood taller than the others. He might have been shorter than Dean, but what he lacked in stature his presence more than made up for it. “Oh crap, Great Bear?” Sam hadn’t realized who it had been last night, but now it was obvious who stood at the head of his men.

The stand-off continued and now Daryl and Amber had turned to face the chief. Dean began to edge forward slowly, motioning to Sam to remain exactly where he was. Dean had drawn level with Amber and Daryl; he slid his eyes over to look at them. Daryl was stood there, opened mouthed, muttering something over and over that he couldn’t make out. Amber was holding her medicine pouch again, and she seemed to be chanting. Damnit! Dean had to get to her before she did something stupid - like tell Great Bear and his men to attack.

Sam was ready to move if Dean needed him to - he’d also seen the way Amber was chanting. He decided to move, to try and get level with Dean. He walked slowly towards them from the other side. He was getting closer to Daryl, and he heard him uttering the same words over and over. He was puzzled by that then something made him look over the heads of the ghosts. Some of the construction workers were panicking, getting ready to run.

Dean was just reaching out to touch Amber, when one of the warriors spun around. Sam saw what was happening. He felt helpless to stop what he knew was going to happen. He did the only thing he could, “STAND STILL!” Sam bellowed at the top of his voice, just praying that the men would do as they were told. But seeing the ghostly warriors had proven to be too much for some of the construction crew. One man bolted for the gate, and the warrior who had spun around, raised his rifle and fired. Everyone watched in horror as the running man collapsed, clutching at his leg, blood pouring from between his fingers.

Dean could see the warriors gearing up to attack, “Everyone take cover now! Sam, go and get the guy to safety. Now, Sammy!” The tone in Dean’s voice had Sam sprinting for the fallen man before he even had time to think.

Dean’s mind was racing. How the hell could he distract a bunch of ghost warriors from massacring everyone on site? Judging by the expression on their faces, pissed was an understatement. Dean saw that the construction crew had taken his warning to heart, and now there were bodies diving behind whatever cover they could find. He could hear the sound of ghostly rifles, and the pings of ‘bullets’ as they hit He needed to keep the ghosts’ attention on him, while Sam got the injured man to safety. Dean looked around desperately and then he grinned. Just a couple of feet away was a nail gun. Ok, no salt rounds but nails had iron in them. Dean knew they were screwed, if he couldn’t distract the ghosts long enough for Sam to get that guy under cover.

Dean spun on his heels, and snagged the gun as he sped past, just dodging a ghost bullet. He glanced at the scoring on the wood. Crap! They might be ghosts, but the bullets did real enough damage. It had to be what Sam suggested. This was still sacred ground and the ghosts were still powerful here.

Dean had halted behind an oil drum, took a deep breath, and stood up. He glanced around. Everyone had taken cover except for Amber, who was stood right out in the open, still chanting. Dean swore softly under his breath. Great! Now he had two people to worry about - Sam and Amber. Dean started to run; he just hoped this would work. He ran past Amber and started to fire the nail gun, feeling the gun recoil as the nails fired. The projectiles didn’t have the same velocity as bullets, but they were having the desired effect. There was just enough iron in the nails, to make the ghosts flicker and disperse. Dean was aiming the gun with deadly accuracy. He knew he only had seconds before the ghosts returned and he was in trouble. He could see that Sam had reached the fallen construction worker, and was dragging the man to safety.

Dean threw the gun away and turned to make for cover then he saw Amber was still where he’d left her. “Amber, goddamnit! Get out of there.” Amber was still chanting and she was face to face with the ghost from last night. Dean remembered Great Bear very well. Changing direction he ran towards her. Suddenly a ghost appeared behind her, and raised his rifle. Dean put his head down and ran faster; if he fired at that distance Amber was dead for sure.

When Dean had issued the order for Sam to grab the construction worker, he’d moved on auto pilot, sprinting past the warriors without slowing, knowing that Dean had his back. When’d reached the man he was pale and shaking with pain. Sam slipped his hands beneath the construction worker’s armpits, and dragged him to cover. “Are you ok?” Sam had to ask. He saw the incredulous look on the man’s face. “I know, stupid question. But are you alright?” Sam recognized Norm from last night; he looked shocked.

“What the fuck just happened? They’ve never turned up like that before. How the hell did I get shot?” Norm said through gritted teeth. Sam moved closer and pulled his hands away from the wound. Sam had seen plenty of bullet wounds before. Unfortunately there had been too many of them on Dean for his liking. It was a clean wound and Sam suspected that when it was checked, there would be no bullet in it. Then it hit Sam. Why the leg? These men would’ve been excellent shots; all of them could fire from horseback, and bring down game or even a soldier without any trouble. It was as if they had been following orders. But who had issued them? Amber...it had to be. Sam moved away from Norm. He had to get to Dean and warn him. He stood up just in time to see Dean’s charge with the nail gun. Sam didn’t know whether to applaud him, or strangle him for being so reckless.

Dean was just making for cover, when Sam saw him change direction. He saw the ghost appear and knew exactly what Dean was going to do. Sam began to run towards them. He had to help any way he could.

Dean’s desperate sprint took him past the still figure of Great Bear and he carried on into Amber. As he reached her, he tackled her to the ground. A shot rang out and Dean twisted them both to the side, grunting as he felt something slam into his side. Then he groaned as he and Amber hit the ground.

Sam continued to run. “DEAN!” His shout was full of fear. He’d seen the ghost fire and Dean had jerked as he’d carried Amber to the ground. As suddenly as the ghosts had arrived they were gone. Sam didn’t care about that right at that moment; he had to get to his brother now.

Amber was lying on the ground, stunned. She had no idea what had just happened. It was then she realized there was someone lying half on top of her. She turned her head to see who it was. Damn! It was that idiot, Dean Coverdale. “What the hell? Get off me, you moron. Do you know what you’ve just done?” Amber was wriggling to try and dislodge the large man off her; she swung her elbow sideways into Dean’s ribs and was rewarded with a moan. Amber grinned at that sound - that would teach him. Then Dean was getting off her. Actually his giant of a partner, Sam, was helping him to his feet. He had hold of Dean’s elbows, looking into his eyes with concern. Dean pushed Sam away; he was speaking softly to him.

Dean turned to her and held his hand out, “Do you need any help getting up, Amber?” She smacked the hand away, and started to get up.

Albert appeared by her side and helped her to stand. She stepped away, “Do you know what you’ve just done? You’ve just pissed off one of the most powerful war chiefs ever. That was Great Bear’s spirit. You clattering over here to rescue me has just made matters worse.” Amber put her hands on her hips and glared at Dean.

Dean shrugged his shoulders, and his face paled. Amber noticed that Dean had his left arm pressed tightly to his side. “Sorry about that, Amber, but the next time one of Great Bear’s warriors wants to shoot you, I’ll just ask you politely to move out of the way. I think someone had better get Daryl out from behind the cement truck, and take that guy to hospital.” Amber’s jaw dropped. She spluttered in shock, as Dean turned away and began to walk towards the gate.

Albert watched as Dean and Sam walked away, noticing how Sam hovered protectively by Dean. He could see Dean was hunched over slightly, walking slower than before. Then he heard the sound of Amber’s friends running over to her, “Oh god, Amber, are you alright?....of course we were worried, you got blood on you.”

Amber looked down in shock. Smeared along the left side of her shirt was blood, and there was blood on her elbow where she had hit Dean. She was just about to chase after him, when Albert put his hand on her arm. He shook his head, “Amber, you know what you have to do, and you have to do it tonight.” Amber’s eyes grew large, she bit her lip. Albert could see the fear in her eyes. He wanted to help her so much, to go with her. But in the last few nights, he’d been dream walking. In his dreams he had seen what was to come for Amber. That this was part of her journey onto becoming a Shaman, but he could not go with her. This was her path and she had to walk it without him.

Albert had been shown this by his animal guide, a sleek fox that he’d encountered at the end of his vision quest, that had marked his entry into the world of the shaman. He still wore his totem, the claw of a fox that he’d found at the place where he and his guide had met.

Now he followed what his guide had shown him - that this quest was for Amber alone to complete. But Albert’s heart had been put at ease because he had been shown something else in his dreams. Amber would not be alone. There were going to be two warriors with her. Brothers, and as he looked over to the Impala he saw Sam, guiding his brother, Dean to the passenger side.
Then Sam stood patiently until Dean handed over the keys. Sam opened the car door and Dean slowly got inside. Albert silently wished them all well, for he knew he had not been shown everything that was to come to pass. But he knew that Amber would be safe in the hands of the young men, who drove away in their sleek black car.

Chapter 6.

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: nervousnervous