Well, this was an unfortunate situation. The snow was falling so thick that it made the eyes strain to see more than ten feet ahead, and finding any scent trail with two feet of snow on the ground was next to impossible. Especially since the Alaskan wilderness was so expansive. Everyone once in a long while, she thought she smelled a brief trace of some creature's old and stale scent. But every time she thought she found a path to the town that was her destination, Brooklyn Page was forced to lift her nose after losing the scent trail yet again. Damn blizzard. She hadn't known how horrible snow could be before this little excursion. For a town smack dab in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness and consisting mainly of supernatural critters like herself, the surrounding area should had been thriving with different smells. So that meant she wasn't quite close to the town yet, since the scents were few and far between. She cursed in her head and flopped onto the snow, taking a brief rest. The whole "finding the Alaskan pack and stating our case" mission was beginning to look futile, because she'd been on the move for weeks. Her pack promised to follow her after one or two months, or once they got a call from Brooke beckoning them. So normally she'd have nothing to worry about. Except that her pack did not consist of full werewolves and was almost completely vulnerable when they weren't on the move. It consisted of only seven full-bloods, but contained fourty-six half-werewolves, a hybrid breed frowned upon in the supernatural community for their supposed "violent instability" that made them a "danger to the world around them, humans included." She'd show them violent all right, those bastards, but she wasn't truly unstable. Usually. It really depended upon the time of the month and the situation. Bright blue eyes scanned the wall of falling snow. To even show the other werewolves that hybrids were not dangerous, she would first have to make it to the town alive, and her pack would have to remain safe. There was only a certain amount of time they could skirt other packs' territories without getting caught, and she was taking too long to find them a safe place. It wasn't just time she needed; it was a miracle. And she wouldn't get a miracle by sitting like a dog in front of a fire. In the few minutes she'd rested, a two-inch layer of snow had coated her fur, making her short grey and black fur appear flawlessly white and fluffy. She shook it off, but she still managed to look white when some of the snow stuck to her fur. It weighed her down, making it even harder to plow through the thick snow in search of that unlikely miracle. Brooke wondered if her pack was starting to regret sending her instead of an older wolf. The majority had agreed on sending her, claiming that she was persistent and dominant enough to be successful in finding them a home. But an unspoken suggestion she sensed was that she was also expendable enough. If she was killed, her pack did not lose any great asset. Half-breeds didn't require any dominant hand to keep them calm, as far as she had seen. Losing one of the ten dominant wolves was no big deal. So she really wanted that miracle right about now. A day later as the blizzard died down, she did find a miracle. Well, it was a miracle for her, but for someone else it was... not quite fantastic. Probably, no one liked being murdered and left in the snow, and as she approached the dark masses lying twisted there under a thin blanket of white, Brooke understood that it was definitely a murder. From what she could see, there were holes in the bodies, and the snow had melted under warm blood before the blood froze. From the smell of them, still somewhat fresh, and the fact that they weren't completely buried under snow, she thought they must have been killed less than a day ago. One had been a full-blooded werewolf, and that surprised her. They weren't easy to kill. The other was human. A woman and a man. Revulsion was a dull and sour rolling in her stomach as she stared at the bodies. It was a human feeling, that revulsion. It was safe. But it was overpowered by a very unsafe need. It wasn't normal for Brooke to crave raw flesh, though she did order her steaks rare. Her hunger gripped her in a vicelike grip without warning. She should have seen it coming; she hadn't had any substantial meal in... too long. Any other wolf would have noticed the growing appetite, but her pack had a point when they called her determinedly blind. If she had a mission, she saw nothing else. Even hunger. Even pain. Not until it was taking over her. Wow, she was stupid. So incredibly, hilariously stupid. Brooke shook her head violently, trying to displace the urge to chow down on the corpses, which was probably unhealthy for her anyways. Her eyes caught sight of something that made her internally groan. Or rather, she saw a lack of something. There was no moon. No moon meant less control. For a few minutes, she refused to rip her eyes away from the sky, hoping she might forget about her hunger. Absently, she wondered why the pack hadn't noticed the death of one of its members. Packs were all close-knit. Even if they all hated each other, pack members were connected on another level, knowing when a member was very far away or dead. Then the wind shifted, blowing into her face from the direction beyond the corpses. Her head whipped down to stare at dark figures approaching, filling her wet nose with scents that stirred a very unwelcome panic. There was no moon. She was starving, with the scent of blood and meat and strange werewolves around her. One of the three figures was closer than the others, and she heard the sound of a gun's safety being disabled. She couldn't shift in less than three minutes, not with the new moon, so there was no way she could speak to the wolves getting closer. She saw a brief flash of a police uniform under their coats. They would assume she was a wild wolf unless the wind shifted in their direction and showed them that her scent was both werewolf and human. But the wind wasn't changing directions, and one gun was already pointed at her. Maybe if she forced her change to be quick, she could shift faster. So she summoned the remains of her energy, preparing for a painful change. She'd done it once, so surely she could do it again. She laid in the snow, steadied her panic and shoved back instinct, then shifted. It was a grotesque twisting of flesh and bone and muscle, made no less terrible by the speed of it. A thirty second change made it a record, but she felt like she'd been hit by a freight train, then boiled, then shoved into ice water. Her eyes snapped open, now warm brown streaked with gold instead of her wolf's pure blue. Her human body, naked and apparently pissed at being put through a painful change, refused to do more than twitch. But she could scream. "Don't shoot!" she screeched."Don't shoot me!!"