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KvsW- Casefile [006][HOGZILLA]

Not_Polybius Jan 19th, 2018 161 Never
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  1. One month later...
  2.  
  3. "Cyka! Cyka Blyat!" Chris shouted, cupping her hands to her mouth. The Russian obscenity echoed between the trees.
  4.  
  5. The sound of a baying hound was her answer, and she grumbled as she jogged in its general direction.
  6.  
  7. "Cyka! Come on, you little bastard, get over here! Because if you force me to leg it all the way over to you I swear to God I'm giving you a bath when we get home!"
  8.  
  9. The hound kept baying and howling, the sounds getting louder until she finally happened upon the source. A beagle bouncing and prancing around a hole in the forest floor, howling and barking at whatever poor creature was cowering inside.
  10.  
  11. "Cyka! You little bastard!"
  12.  
  13. The beagle stopped and sat down on its haunches, looking straight at Chris. Its ears drooped a bit and the little dog started to whine.
  14.  
  15. Chris scowled, but as hard as she tried, she couldn't stay angry at the dog, staring at her with its big, sad eyes. So, instead of venting her frustrations through yelling, she snapped her fingers tersely by her side, and the dog bounded over. She reattached the leash in her hand to the collar around its neck, and lead it back to the marked hiking trail.
  16.  
  17. "That's the last time I let you off the leash out here," she said in a scolding way. But the little dog seemed to pay little attention to her words as it bounded around her, pulling on the leash, and attempting to wrap it around her legs. She struggled with Cyka every step of the way, all the way back to the car, where Dave was waiting.
  18.  
  19. He was leaning against the hood, watching her with a shit-eating grin.
  20.  
  21. "What are you looking at, faggot?"
  22.  
  23. Dave chuckled and shoot his head. "Nothing. Had fun on the walk?"
  24.  
  25. "I am never letting this little shit off his leash ever again."
  26.  
  27. "I told you not to."
  28.  
  29. "Yeah? Well I told you-"
  30.  
  31. The little hound interrupted her by pulling on its leash and baying loudly, in the direction of a family having a picnic.
  32. Chris wasn't having any of it. She picked the unruly Cyka up off the ground and tossed him in the backseat of the car, shutting the door before it could slip out and escape. The dog got up on its hind legs and scratched at the window, but its howls were muffled through the glass. She glared daggers at the dog, but that trick no longer seemed to work as it kept howling.
  33.  
  34. Dave chuckled again and came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her. "Remember what we talked about?"
  35.  
  36. "Yeah, yeah, I fucking know..."
  37.  
  38. "You need to relax. That's the whole point of this trip, so we can blow off steam. Alright? So can you relax for me, please?"
  39.  
  40. Chris took a deep breath and let it out slowly, closing her eyes. She leaned back into him slightly. "Alright," she said, taking another deep breath, "alright... I'll... calm myself."
  41.  
  42. "Thank you." He kissed the top of her head and held her close for a couple of minutes, enough time for the dog to have calmed down as well.
  43.  
  44. After a couple of minutes of standing there, Dave relaxed his arms and allowed her to turn around to face him. She smiled at him, the anger and annoyance gone from her expression.
  45.  
  46. "Let's get back on the road, shall we?" said Dave, punctuating with a short kiss on her forehead.
  47.  
  48. She nodded and made her way around the car, over to the passenger's side, and took her seat inside. Dave followed suit and started up the car. They had traded down from the Hummer to a hatchback sedan, but it afforded them similar storage space without guzzling up as much gas.
  49.  
  50. Cyka jumped up on the center console, and into Chris's lap. She smirked and scratched him behind his ears, which caused his eyes to go half-lidded and made his tongue loll out of his open mouth, while one of his back legs twitched ever-so-slightly.
  51.  
  52. Dave pulled the sedan out of the rest stop's parking area, reaching over to quickly pet the doggo's little head before focusing completely on the road, and the drive ahead. Georgia was still a ways off.
  53. Another day and a half of driving soon followed, with Chris switching out with Dave halfway through, and a couple of stops to stretch their legs. By noon of the next day, they were pulling into the parking lot of a hotel in the midst of a city.
  54.  
  55. Dave hopped out of the car and went down to the front desk to check in, and brought back a trolley to load their luggage on top of. Chris held their beagle in her arms, petting his little head and scratching behind his ears while Dave struggled with their bags.
  56.  
  57. "So, what kind of room did you book for us?"
  58.  
  59. He fished a card key out of his pocket and tossed it to her. "I got us the honeymoon suite," he said as he went back to hefting bags.
  60.  
  61. "The what now?" She raised an eyebrow at him.
  62.  
  63. He put the last bag on top of the trolley and scratched the back of his head. "Well... there was a special deal for newlyweds being advertised on their website... so, I uh..."
  64.  
  65. "So you said that we were married."
  66.  
  67. "That's... the gist of it, yeah..." It was starting to dawn upon him that he quite possibly made a mistake. "I can go... see if I can switch it around... if you..."
  68.  
  69. "No, no, it's fine," she said with a smirk. "It's just amazing how fast you move a relationship along. You're already telling people we're married and we haven't even boned yet."
  70.  
  71. He cleared his throat and chuckled nervously.
  72.  
  73. "Come on, let's get to up to the room. Maybe we'll see about rectifying that."
  74.  
  75. Even pushing a trolley loaded down with suspiciously heavy duffel bags, he managed to beat her to the elevators.
  76. An elevator call button was impatiently pressed. A keycard was hastily swiped through the reader on its corresponding door. Bags of rifles and ammunition were unceremoniously dumped onto a carpeted floor. A doggo was placed onto the floor, where it immediately began to bolt around, amusing itself by scurrying about beneath the furniture.
  77.  
  78. Chris took a good look at the suite. It was as large as her apartment back in Michigan. But it was much cleaner. And was illuminated by natural light. And didn't reek of Hoppes #9. She preferred her apartment.
  79.  
  80. "It's... nice, I guess," she said, shrugging. She strolled over to the bedroom and sat down on the king-sized bed.
  81.  
  82. "It's $600 per night, and it's just nice, you guess?"
  83.  
  84. "Do you really want to argue about that right now?"
  85.  
  86. "...No..."
  87.  
  88. "Then shut up and climb on here with me." She scooted further up onto the bed and laid on her back.
  89.  
  90. She didn't have to tell him twice. Eagerly, Dave crawled up next to her. She immediately rolled over on top of him, so that they were face to face, and Dave wrapped an arm around her midsection.
  91.  
  92. She planted a quick kiss on his lips and smiled at him, and they spent a minute just staring into each other's eyes, their noses just barely touching.
  93.  
  94. Dave's free hand slid along the bed until it reached Chris's, upon which he entwined his fingers with hers.
  95.  
  96. "L-lewd," she said with a giggle.
  97.  
  98. Closing her eyes, she shifted her head downward just enough to make contact for another kiss, and Dave moved his hand up her back until it rested at the base of her neck, holding her there for a bit. When she broke away to take a breath, he brushed her cheek with his thumb, causing her to blush. He grinned at that.
  99.  
  100. "Come on, you know I hate it when you do that," she said, her blush spreading.
  101.  
  102. "Why?"
  103.  
  104. "Because I get all red in the face..."
  105.  
  106. "I think it's cute, though," he said, kissing her on the nose. "Just like the freckles."
  107. "Dave, come on, you know I hate the romantic crap..."
  108.  
  109. He chuckled. "Alright, fine. Let's get to the stuff you do like." He slowly propped himself up, giving her time to sit up on his lap, straddling him. He unzipped her jacket and slid it down her shoulders, letting it tumble off of the bed. He did the same with his own jacket, tossing off to the side.
  110.  
  111. She wrapped her arms around the back of his neck and pulled him in close for another kiss, longer this time. Her lips parted slightly, and soon their tongues were intertwined. She pushed deeper into the kiss, her breasts flattening up against Dave's chest. After a few more moments, she pulled away to catch her breath. Her heavy breathing and rosy cheeks told him all he needed to know.
  112.  
  113. He pulled her shirt off with little difficulty, as she accommodated him lifting her arms over her head. The shirt went the way of their jackets, straight onto the floor.
  114.  
  115. "I see you switched the multicam for tiger stripe," he said, smirking and looking at her bra.
  116.  
  117. "Yep. But don't get too used to looking at it. It's going on the floor too." She reached around and undid the clasp, letting the straps slide down her shoulders, exposing her chest to him for the first time. She turned slightly to toss the garment off to the side, but when she turned her head back to him, she found him frozen up, eyes locked on her breasts.
  118.  
  119. She chuffed. "Am I really that hot or is this the first time you've ever seen tits in person?"
  120.  
  121. "W-well..."
  122.  
  123. "You're kidding, aren't you? You can't be serious?"
  124.  
  125. "I... w-well... uh..."
  126.  
  127. "Oh god, you're fucking serious... am I the first woman you've been with?"
  128.  
  129. "...y-you too..."
  130.  
  131. Chris pinched her nose, took a deep breath, and let it out very slowly. "You know what... that's fine. I'll just take the lead then, alright?"
  132.  
  133. "O-o-okay..." he managed to squeak out, nodding weakly.She sighed heavily and took his wrists, placing his hands over on her breasts and closing his fingers around her supple flesh. Dave gulped heavily as Chris trailed her fingers along the length of his arms.
  134.  
  135. "Come on, it's alright," she said, looking at him lovingly. "Enjoy it."
  136.  
  137. Slowly, ever so slowly, he came back to his senses, and gently squeezed her breasts. She closed her eyes and exhaled at the sensation. He felt her nipples stiffening up under his palms. They weren't the only things getting stiff. On her left breast he moved his hand to have a better look, and brushed his thumb over it. Chris felt a shiver run down her spine.
  138.  
  139. He took the nipple between his thumb and forefinger, and started to squeeze it. She reciprocated with a soft moan. Encouraged, he did the same with the other nipple, and she moaned again.
  140.  
  141. "Now you're getting it," she said, biting her lower lip.
  142.  
  143. Dave got to work squeezing and kneading her breasts with renewed vigor, pushing them together and pulling on her nipples.
  144.  
  145. She leaned forward by degrees, until she was pressing her breasts into his face.
  146.  
  147. "Mmmmf," he said, finding himself smothered.
  148.  
  149. Chris giggled, feeling the vibration. "Do you like that?" He nodded and vocalized again, and she stifled another giggle. He tapped her on the side rather urgently. "What's wrong?" she asked, slightly confused. Grabbing her breasts again, he pushed her up off of his face, gasping for breath.
  150.  
  151. "Oh, right. You need to breathe."
  152.  
  153. "J-jesus... f-fuckin'... christ..."
  154.  
  155. Chris just chuckled as she let him catch his breath. "Ready to keep going?"
  156.  
  157. "Yeah... I... I am..."
  158.  
  159. "Good. Because we're just getting started." With an evil smirk, she unbuttoned her pants and slipped out of them, kicking them off onto the floor with the rest of her garments. Dave whimpered as she did the same to his pants as well, pulling them down to his ankles. In a flash, she pinned his arms to the bed and started grinding against his rock solid member.
  160. "Oh god, Chris..."
  161.  
  162. "No talking. Just enjoy it." She went at it harder, grinding through the two thin layers of fabric separating their organs. Her breathing picked up and sweat started to form on her brow and chest. "Yeah, you fucking like it, don't you..."
  163.  
  164. Dave could only whimper in response.
  165.  
  166. She reached down to touch herself, finding her panties to be somewhat soaked. "Yeah, if you like this, you're really going to fucking love what comes next..." She let go of his arms and pulled his boxers down to his hips, freeing his member. Taking a good look at it for the first time... she deemed it to be... well, she'd seen smaller. It would suffice.
  167.  
  168. She grasped it in one hand and moved down his body until her face was level with his groin. Stroking him a few times, she grinned and kissed near the base, eliciting a groan from Dave. "Yeah, I can tell, you're going to absolutely fucking love-"
  169.  
  170. She found herself blinded as a warm sticky fluid splattered onto her face, punctuated with a loud, long groan from Dave.
  171.  
  172. "God... fucking... damn it..." she growled, wiping his seed from her eyes.
  173.  
  174. Dave propped himself and looked at her, fear and embarrassment etched on his face. "Chris, I'm... so, so sorry... please... I... I can make this up to-"
  175.  
  176. "Stop. Talking."
  177.  
  178. He promptly shut up.
  179.  
  180. She got up from the bed and made her way over to the bathroom to wash off her face. Dave quietly pulled his boxers and pants back up and put his shirt back on. He sat on the side of the bed, nervously twiddling his thumbs as he waited for her to reemerge.
  181.  
  182. When she came out, he stared at the floor while she retrieved her clothing and redressed. Then she sat down beside him. He looked over, expecting to see an expression of anger or rage. But she looked calm, which took him off his guard.
  183.  
  184. "Listen," she started, taking a deep breath. "Let's just forget this happened. It was your first time... I should have been expecting that. My fault, I apologize for it."
  185.  
  186. "So... you're not mad?"
  187. "Oh, don't think that. I'm actually fucking livid," she said, with a saccharine smile, "but on the inside."
  188.  
  189. "O-okay..."
  190.  
  191. She let out a laugh she'd been stifling. "No, I'm not mad. Stop being like that. Again. My own fault." She kissed him on the cheek. "I mean, normally I'd have just punched you in the nuts right there. But you know, the anger management and all that." She took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
  192.  
  193. He still seemed somewhat unconvinced that she wasn't going to hit him in some manner, so she wrapped her arms around him and lay back down on the bed, pulling him down with her. "Let's just cuddle for now," she said, giving him a kiss on the cheek. "I'll help you work on that stamina of yours. You'll get there eventually."
  194.  
  195. He nodded slightly and put his arms around her as well, and they settled in together.
  196.  
  197. "Remember, I still love you," she said, giving him a light kiss.
  198.  
  199. "I love you too," he responded, hugging her just a bit tighter.
  200.  
  201. And so, they rested.
  202. The rest of the pair's day was spent in this manner, resting and cuddling. For the next day was to begin bright and early.
  203.  
  204. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP
  205.  
  206. In a fit of sleepy rage, Chris started slamming her fist on the bedside table, until she eventually knocked the digital clock off the top. The plug popped out of the socket, killing the annoying little noise. She rolled back over to wrap Dave in a hug and go back to sleep, but he was already sitting up in the bed, stretching.
  207.  
  208. "Goddammit... why the fuck did you set an alarm this early," she complained, her eyes still shut.
  209.  
  210. Dave rubbed some of the sleep from his eyes and yawned. He looked over to check the clock, but finding it on the floor, he resorted to his phone instead. He winced as the screen illuminated his face with blinding light. The screen read 4:30 AM.
  211.  
  212. "We didn't drive all the way down to Georgia to sleep all day," he said, yawning. "We could have done that back home."
  213.  
  214. "Then why the fuck did we come down here again?"
  215.  
  216. "Don't you remember? Hog hunting..." He set his feet down on the carpeted floor and stood up, popping his back.
  217.  
  218. "Fuck. I forgot entirely. Don't we need a license for that?"
  219.  
  220. "Nope. There's this guy I talk to online, he's got a friend with some private acres and a pig problem."
  221.  
  222. "I still don't understand why we have to get up so fucking early," she grumbled, rubbing her face.
  223.  
  224. "Have you never been hunting before, Chris?" he asked, looking back at her. "Is this your first time?" he asked with a smirk.
  225.  
  226. "Easy there, quickdraw. Don't start with me. Not this early."
  227.  
  228. "Sorry." He pulled a duffel bag out from the closet and set it on a nearby table, pulling clothes out and changing in front of Chris.
  229.  
  230. She took her sweet time, however. She stood up from the bed and trudged along to the bathroom, having a loud piss and a suspiciously long shower. When she got out, she found Dave ready and raring to go.
  231. He was decked out in his worn combat boots and heavy flecktarn jacket and trousers, with an old gas mask hanging loosely around his neck from a strap. He sat on the bed, watching TV with his lever action rifle across his lap.
  232.  
  233. "Alright, Strelok," she said, smirking at the sight and grabbing some clothes for herself. "Since you woke me up so goddamn early, what's the plan?" She dropped the towel she'd been covering herself up with, giving him pause as he ogled at her exposed body. He averted his gaze, red in the face. She didn't seem to notice and slipped an old t-shirt on.
  234.  
  235. "Uh... right," he said, clearing his throat and stuffing the spaghetti back in his pockets. "Guy I talked to. We're gonna meet him in the parking lot of a nearby outdoor sports shop. He's gonna lead us out to his buddy's land so we can meet him, then we're gonna spend the rest of the day innawoods."
  236.  
  237. "Are you sure he's trustworthy? Because you of all people should know there's a lot of weirdos on /k/."
  238.  
  239. It took a moment for the verbal jab to register. Then he narrowed his eyes at her. "Hey!"
  240.  
  241. She giggled at his reaction. He grumbled something under his breath.
  242.  
  243. "What was that?"
  244.  
  245. "N-nothing, nothing," he said quickly. "Anyway... yeah... he's trustworthy. And he'll be bringing his girlfriend along for her first time hunting as well."
  246.  
  247. "What is this, a double date you faggots set up?"
  248.  
  249. Dave sighed heavily. "No, Chris. Come on, I know it's early and you're pissy, but let's just try to enjoy this, alright?"
  250.  
  251. She grabbed him by the collar suddenly. "I am NOT pissy."
  252.  
  253. "Of c-course," he responded with a gulp.
  254.  
  255. She smirked and gave him a quick kiss, then went back to her own preparations. Dave just sighed again and lay back down on the bed as she took her sweet time getting ready.
  256.  
  257. It would be another hour and a half before they would finally set off, and the sun was already rising.
  258.  
  259.  
  260. Dave navigated the little hatchback sedan through the hectic morning rush hour he had originally intended to avoid by waking up hours earlier. While Dave squinted into the morning sun and did his best to avoid sideswiping other sleep deprived motorists, Chris stroked the head of the beagle in her lap and fiddled with the radio dial. She settled on a station playing Linkin Park.
  261.  
  262. Dave grimaced as the raspy voice of Chester Bennington scraped his eardrums. "You actually like listening to that crap?"
  263.  
  264. "It's not crap, Meteora is their best album."
  265.  
  266. "Sure, whatever. At least turn the volume down a little?"
  267.  
  268. "Fuck no. I had to listen to your Red Army Choir singalongs, so you have to deal with this."
  269.  
  270. And that was the end of that conversation. When Dave finally pulled the car into the parking lot of their destination, he could swear his ears were bleeding. He breathed a silent prayer of relief when he cut the engine off and the music stopped with it.
  271.  
  272. "Where are we supposed to meet this buddy of yours?" asked Chris, hooking up Cyka to his leash and opening the door to allow him to leap out.
  273.  
  274. "He said he'd be waiting inside. To ask the guy up front about him." Dave stepped out and slammed the door shut, and adjusted his CCW holster.
  275.  
  276. The pair made their way inside the store. It was a somewhat modest establishment. Shotguns and bolt-actions lined one of the walls, the latter no doubt all chambered in fuddy-ought-six. Fudds of all sizes and ages were busy perusing outdoor sporting wares. Most were sporting beer guts.
  277.  
  278. Dave rapped his knuckles on a nearby counter to attract the attention of a bored employee. "Hey there," he said, leaning in. "I'm looking for a guy named Alex? Is he around?"
  279.  
  280. "Eeyup. Head up on over thar," said the employee in a thick drawl, gesturing with his thumb.
  281. "Right... thanks..." He headed in the direction indicated, and came upon a mildly rotund man browsing ammunition and comparing prices on his phone. He was wearing a hat with the Georgia state flag sewn onto the front.
  282.  
  283. Dave tapped him on the shoulder. "Hey, are you Alex?"
  284.  
  285. He turned around. "Maybe? Who's askin'?"
  286.  
  287. "I'm Dave. You know, from online?"
  288.  
  289. "Oh shit, right! You took your sweet ass time gettin' here."
  290.  
  291. Dave shrugged. "Blame the lady over here," he said, tipping his head slightly in Chris's direction. She responded with a middle finger, not even making eye contact.
  292.  
  293. "Ah, don't worry about it. I know all too well how long it takes a lady to get in gear." He looked over his shoulder. "Speakin' of ladies... Sam, get over here!"
  294.  
  295. A young woman with black hair and a pink hoodie jogged over to Alex's side. Dave couldn't help but glance at her... sizeable assets bouncing around, and wondered if they were natural.
  296.  
  297. "Check it, nigga! They got Federal Premium back in stock!"
  298.  
  299. Dave did a double take when she opened her mouth. Though she was one of the whitest girls he'd ever seen, she spoke like she'd been plucked out of the ghetto.
  300.  
  301. Alex cleared his throat. "Sam, this is Dave," he said to her. "The guy we came here to meet."
  302.  
  303. She turned and extended a hand to Dave to shake. As he took it, she pulled her hand away, sliding her palm against his and slapped the back of his hand with her own, then fistbumped him, then grabbed him by the forearm and pulled him in so their chests bumped together, nearly taking him off balance.
  304.  
  305. "Sup, nigga. Name's Sam."
  306.  
  307. Dave recovered his balance and chuckled. "Uh, right. Dave, obviously. And back there's Chris." She halfheartedly waved in response.
  308.  
  309. "Well, I bet you two didn't drive all the way down to good ol' Georgia to sit around in a fuddstore and chat," said Alex, rubbing his hands together. "Tell ya hwat, meet me by mah truck in a couple minutes so we can get underway. Great to finally meet y'all in person, by the way."
  310.  
  311.  
  312. Alex slipped past Dave and headed for the door, with Sam in tow, who tapped her chest twice with her fist and pointed two fingers at him as she passed.
  313.  
  314. Chris pushed past a pudgy fudd and his wife's son on her way to tap Dave on the shoulder. He turned his head to face her. "Hmm?"
  315.  
  316. "So, we're going hunting with a buck-toothed redneck and a white girl wigger?" she asked, putting her hands on her hips.
  317.  
  318. He sighed. "He's not a buck-toothed redneck, and yeah, while I wasn't expecting her to be... well, like that, I'm sure it isn't so bad. Besides, you should see the collection this guy has."
  319.  
  320. Chris shrugged and picked Cyka up to prevent him from knocking items off of the bottom shelves. "Whatever. We're here, let's just go do it I guess."
  321.  
  322. "That's the spirit," said Dave, putting his arm around her shoulder.
  323.  
  324. "Don't push it."
  325.  
  326. "Alright, alright. Let's just get the guns and meet him by his truck."
  327.  
  328. In relative short order, Dave and Chris loaded up in the car and pulled up next to Alex's truck in the parking lot. He waved them over and Dave rolled down the window. "So, bud, what's the plan here, we're gonna follow you?"
  329.  
  330. "Yep. Few miles outside of town, got me a buddy who's got a hog problem. He's payin' for me to thin out the locals, and if ya bag any of the bastards, I'll share the bounty."
  331. "Alright man, lead the way."
  332.  
  333. Alex climbed into the truck and started it up, giving the horn a couple of toots before drowning it out with the sound of the diesel engine as he peeled out of the parking lot. They were followed closely by Dave and Chris's tactical hatchback.
  334.  
  335. Rush hour was drawing to a close, so the drive was a significantly easier task than before. Within the better part of an hour and a half, they were out of the thick of the city and well into the countryside, which mostly consisted of scattered pecan orchards and swampy forested stretches. They turned off to the side onto a dirt road, following it all the way down, and pulled up in front of a cozy ranch house.
  336.  
  337. Alex slammed on the brakes at the road's terminus, spraying mud a good distance as he skidded the truck to a stop. He wailed on the horn a few times, driving a stout middle-aged man with a beer gut out of the home. "Alex, hwat in the hell took ya so long to get here?"
  338.  
  339. "I was meetin' up with a couple of buddies, brought 'em along to help you out with yer hog problems." He gestured with his thumb at the hatchback pulling up alongside his truck, and the two people inside.
  340.  
  341. Dave rolled down his window and looked up at Alex. "Is this the place?"
  342.  
  343. "Yep," replied Alex, turning off the engine. "This is Hank's place. Go ahead and say hi."
  344.  
  345. Dave turned his head to do that but the man was already heading back inside his home.
  346.  
  347. "Meh, don't mind him. He's an acquired taste." Alex hopped down from the truck and slammed the door, followed by Sam. "Come on in with us."
  348.  
  349. Chris rolled her eyes. "Do you hear banjo music?" she asked as Dave cut the engine.
  350.  
  351. "Funny. Do me a favor, please. Don't say things like that when we go inside, remember we're on his land now."
  352. Chris shrugged and picked up Cyka and he struggled desperately to free himself and go prancing through the swamps. "No you don't, you little fucker. You're staying here with me." The beagle whined in frustration.
  353.  
  354. When they came into the home, Alex and Hank were sharing beers and laughing about something. Hank looked over and addressed them. "So yer Alex's city friends, yeah?"
  355.  
  356. Dave shook his head. "We're not from the city, we're actually from up north."
  357.  
  358. "Yankees then, sounds 'bout right."
  359.  
  360. "Hey, what's that supposed to-"
  361.  
  362. "ANYWAY," he interrupted, popping his back, "As I'm sure Alex's told ya by now, got me a bunch'a pigs infestin' muh land. Fuckers are crawlin' everywhere, rootin' up everythang, just bein' a damned nuisance. Payin' 20 bucks a head."
  363.  
  364. "Hey Hank, I've been meanin' to ask ya, if these hogs were such a problem, how come ya didn't call on Jed down tha road for help? Or the Elmer brothers?" asked Alex, taking a swig from his beer.
  365.  
  366. "Cuz none'a them jackasses wanna take the job."
  367.  
  368. Chris found her interest piqued. "Why's that? I mean, it seems getting drunk and randomly shooting oversized livestock would be something you guys around here would be into."
  369.  
  370. Dave elbowed her lightly as Hank gave her an unamused frown. "Cuz they're all afraid, that's why."
  371.  
  372. "Afraid of what?"
  373.  
  374. Hank turned to Alex. "Did ya bring 'em along to hunt hogs or are they here to ask me dumb questions all day?"
  375.  
  376. "Yeah, yeah. Sorry, I'll fill 'em in on things later." Alex drained the last of his beer and left it on the table. He tapped Sam on her shoulder, who was browsing 4chan on her phone. "Come on guys, let's get started," he said, gesturing to Dave and Chris with a nod of his head. Everyone headed back out to the vehicles parked out front.
  377.  
  378. "So, are you gonna tell us what that's about? Why are the locals afraid of a few pigs?"
  379.  
  380. "Just some stupid stories. They get real superstitious out here," said Alex with a shrug.
  381.  
  382. "Come on, tell us about it. This is kinda our thing," said Chris, coming up alongside Alex.
  383.  
  384. "Eh... it's real stupid, though. They think there's some sorta huge maneatin' hog in the woods."
  385.  
  386. "A huge maneating hog?" repeated Chris, stifling a giggle.
  387.  
  388. "Yep. Apparently a couple'a boys went out campin' and went missin' for a few days, and they found one of 'em a week later. Pieces of 'em at least."
  389.  
  390. "Christ... but seriously?"
  391.  
  392. "Personally, I think it was a bear that got to 'em, but the locals swear up and down there ain't no bears 'round these parts. They'd rather believe in stupid things like Hogzilla."
  393.  
  394. Chris failed to suppress her mirth, and even Dave smirked. "Hogzilla? Sounds like some of these people have been breathing in too many fumes from their moonshine stills or garage meth labs or whatever."
  395.  
  396. "I thought meth labs were more of a Northerner's problem," retorted Alex.
  397.  
  398. "Touche, I guess."
  399.  
  400. "Anyway, it's most likely black bears wandered into tha area or somethin'. Y'all ain't gonna be spooked by bears, are ya?"
  401.  
  402. The pair shook their heads. "Eh... we've dealt with worse." They exchanged a knowing glance.
  403.  
  404. "If ya say so." He went around back to his truck's tailgate and pulled it down. Sam hopped up onto it, and Alex pulled a Mosin-Nagant from a case, handing it to her. She worked the bolt expertly, smirking a bit as she eyed the wood of the rifle. Alex himself pulled out a well-worn AMD-65 and rocked a magazine into place.
  405.  
  406. Dave popped open the trunk of the hatchback, and retrieved his trusty Henry 45-70 Levergat, and handing Chris her favorite WASR-10.
  407.  
  408. Alex and Sam sauntered over, respective rifles slung over their shoulders. "We'll start ya off on a crash course and take ya where hogs are prolly gonna be. Then after we bag a couple, we can break off and cover more ground. Sound good?"
  409. "Yeah, sounds great. Show us the ropes."
  410.  
  411. "Awesome." Alex grabbed a couple of duffel bags from the back of his truck and handed one to Sam.
  412.  
  413. "Man, this shit's heavy, nigga, how come I gots to carry it?" she complained.
  414.  
  415. "I'm sorry, who insists on being carried through house despite havin' two perfectly good legs?"
  416.  
  417. Sam grumbled quietly and shouldered her bag.
  418.  
  419. Alex chuckled and waved Dave and Chris over. "Come on, follow us."
  420.  
  421. With the sun right over their heads the group set off into the orchards, walking amongst the seemingly endless lines of pecan trees. Chris set Cyka down and let him run about and sniff at everything, straining his leash as far as it would go. She would occasionally reign him in to prevent the beagle from choking itself out, and to prevent him from cutting off the circulation to her hand.
  422.  
  423. After a somewhat long walk to the edge of the property, they came into a clearing between where the straight lines of the orchards met the chaotic mess of the swampy forest beyond.
  424.  
  425. "Right around here looks good," said Alex, gesturing to clearing itself. "We can set up inna thicket over there, set up bait down here, and just wait it out."
  426.  
  427. "That's what hunting wild boars consists of? Setting up bait and waiting?" asked Chris, somewhat disappointed.
  428.  
  429. "Well, there's the shootin' bit too, and you might have to deal with one or two of 'em chargin' ya, but yep. But don't worry, I've got refreshments." He zipped open the duffel bag he was carrying and tilted the opening towards them so they could see the beers and gel ice packs inside.
  430.  
  431. "Alcohol and guns, what could possibly go wrong?"
  432.  
  433. "Come on, we're adults here, I'm sure you'll know when you've had enough."
  434.  
  435. Chris just sort of shook her head and shrugged. "Sure, whatever, I guess."
  436. A short distance away, Sam hefted her bag and dropped it on the ground. Alex snapped his head around. "Hey, careful with that!"
  437.  
  438. "Nigga, shit's heavy!"
  439.  
  440. "Yeah, but you don't need yer leg blown off!"
  441.  
  442. Dave leaned in. "What's wrong? What's in that bag?"
  443.  
  444. "Few pounds'a tannerite," came Alex's reply.
  445.  
  446. "It's legal to hunt with that stuff?"
  447.  
  448. "In good ol' Georgia, at least it is. Dump bait around a bucket, then when all them hogs get close, BOOM! Blow 'em to smithereens!" He laughed.
  449.  
  450. "At least that makes sitting around and waiting more interesting, I guess," said Chris, heading off in the direction of the thicket indicated earlier, Cyka in tow.
  451.  
  452. The other three set up a few piles of bait around the clearing and a couple of buckets of tannerite, then headed up to join Chris in the thicket. "Alright, all set up, now we wait."
  453. A couple of hours passed and a few beers had the chance to be cracked open and passed around before any wild boars appeared on the scene. Just a couple at first, rooting around in the piles of alfalfa and corn the group had set up around the two buckets. Then a few more showed up, and then more, until a rather large group was milling about, snorting and making a mess of the clearing. Alex peered out from behind the thicket and motioned for the other three to join him.
  454.  
  455. "Look on up there, looks like we got some company. Goddamn, Hank wasn't kiddin', them fuckers are all over." He unslung his AMD and leaned against a tree, taking aim at the nearest tannerite bucket. "We only got two buckets, and I call dibs on one. Which of ya wants the other?"
  456.  
  457. Dave looked over at Chris, looked somewhat excited for the first time that day. Smiling a little, he tapped her shoulder and shrugged, giving her all the indication she needed. She picked up her WASR and went up next to Alex, taking aim at the second bucket.
  458.  
  459. "So, uh, before we light them up, are you sure we're a safe distance away?"
  460.  
  461. "Yeah, we're fine. Should be, at least." He lowered his gun and stuck his arm out in front of him with his thumb extended, which Chris assumed was him gauging distance. "Yep. We're good. On my mark, 'cause if we don't time it right, some'a them sumbitches might get away."
  462.  
  463. "Alright, I'll wait on you then."
  464.  
  465. Alex levelled his gun once more, and counted down. "On my mark... three... two... one... shoot!"
  466.  
  467. KA-THOOMP
  468. KA-THOOMP
  469.  
  470. The ground shook, clouds of dust were thrown up, and large meaty chunks of hogs were flung into the air, showering down along with a hail of dirt and gravel a few moments later. Cyka had been curled up and sleeping, but the little dog was now baying and howling like mad, attempting to strangle itself with its collar tied around the base of a thin tree.
  471. The hogs that were not caught in the explosions but were still nearby stumbled in the general direction of the treeline, while those further away had bolted the instant the rifles had cracked.
  472.  
  473. "YEEEEEEEHAAAAW!" screamed Alex in celebration, shaking his AMD in the air. "GIT SUM, YA SUMBITCHES!"
  474.  
  475. "Fucking hell!" shouted Chris, rushing back to grab Cyka before the beagle died of self-induced asphyxiation.
  476.  
  477. Dave, Sam and Alex rushed out into the clearing to examine the damage up close and put down any hogs that hadn't died clean. Sam fixed a bayonet to the end of her Mosin. "What now, bitch nigga? Huh? What now?" she said as she set upon any hogs that didn't look totally blown apart, stabbing them in the throat.
  478.  
  479. "Easy, Sam, easy. Don't wear yerself out now," said Alex, walking over and putting a hand on her shoulder and smirking.
  480.  
  481. Chris came running over with the squirming and noisy beagle in her arms, grinning at the destruction wrought upon the porcine pests. "Okay, I'll admit... up until now, I wasn't a huge fan of this trip... you got any more tannerite?"
  482.  
  483. "Nah. Just two buckets, Sam would'a broken her back carryin' any more." He playfully slapped between her shoulder blades, which caused her to punch him in the shoulder hard enough for him to wince.
  484.  
  485. "Just two? Well that sucks," said Chris, shoulders slumping a little.
  486.  
  487. "Don't look so glum. Now we got a bunch'a disoriented hogs runnin' around, easy pickin's. We can split up and get as many as we can before it gets dark, an' meet back up by Hank's house. Sound good?"
  488. "Yeah, sounds alright to us," said Dave. "There's no special tricks to it, right?"
  489.  
  490. "Naw, just remember to keep shootin' 'em 'til they stop movin'. Hogs can be right tough sumbitches." He turned his attention to the tattered remains of the upper half of a large boar. "Y'all go on ahead, me 'n' Sam'll be here for a bit, countin' heads so we can give Hank an accurate casualty report."
  491.  
  492. "Alright then, see you back at the house." With that, Dave and Chris settled on following a set of tracks into the forested portion of the property and seeing where it would bring them. Chris let Cyka back down onto the ground, and in an instant, he was pulling her along by his leash, following a scent.
  493.  
  494. “Fucking hell, settle down you little bastard,” Chris muttered as she was all but pulled along by a beagle. Dave couldn't help but laugh at the sight, eliciting a threat of painful death from his partner and the reddening of her cheeks.
  495.  
  496. Cyka led them along until he tired his little legs out, at which point the dog plopped down under the shade of a tree, panting. Chris squatted next to the dog and scratched behind his ears, and his back leg twitched with delight. Dave came along beside her and sat down, his back against the tree, setting his levergun down in the undergrowth.
  497.  
  498. Chris looped the end of Cyka’s leash over a low hanging branch, then sat beside Dave, rifle across her lap. She leaned against him, resting her head on his shoulder.
  499.  
  500. They said nothing to each other for a while, just staring into the middle distance, enjoying each other’s company, the slightly muggy air, and the late afternoon sunlight. They were having a lot of these moments lately, where nothing really needed to be said.
  501.  
  502. Dave put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. She turned her head slightly and gave him a peck on the cheek, and wrapped her arms around him as well.
  503.  
  504. “Sorry about being such a downer on this earlier,” she said, breaking the silence. “This trip was a good idea.”
  505.  
  506. “Glad you finally came around.”
  507.  
  508. “Think we should try to bag a pig without the aid of explosives before it gets dark?”
  509.  
  510. “Yeah, as soon as you're ready-”
  511.  
  512. Cyka suddenly started to growl, hackles raised and attention pinpointed somewhere past some obscuring bushes.
  513.  
  514. “Heh, looks like we won't even have to walk that far. And you thought it would be a bad idea to bring the dog along,” said Dave, nudging Chris a little.
  515.  
  516. “He's almost given me more trouble than his little hide is worth already. Let's not call him useful so quickly- hey, HEY!” She leapt to her feet as the branch she'd left Cyka tied to snapped, and the beagle bolted into the trees. She and Dave picked up their weapons and gave chase, leaping over roots and low bushes.
  517.  
  518. “You… little… shit!” she shouted between breaths as she ran. “I'm… going… to… strangle… you!”
  519.  
  520. The pair tracked the dog, following the sound of its baying and howling as it blundered through the tall grass and undergrowth on the trail of some unseen prey.
  521.  
  522. They broke into another clearing, nearly out of breath, and found Cyka facing down a litter of terrified piglets, their collective squealing mixing with Cyka’s howling in a headache-inducing cacophony. The beagle was running in circles around them, keeping them from escaping in any direction by nipping at their legs and howling.
  523.  
  524. Chris, seething with anger, slung her WASR over her shoulder and stormed up to the frantic little dog. “You little turd with legs! Why are you always making me chase you around?” She pulled her leg back to deliver a kick.
  525.  
  526.  
  527. “Chris, that’s enough!” Dave grabbed her shoulders from behind, pulling her back so the kick missed and instead threw her off balance. “The situation doesn’t warrant this kind of response,” he said. The sentence barely left his mouth before she whirled around and punched him in the side of his head, sending him stumbling off to the side. His vision swam as he held the side of his head, blinking a couple of times. He dropped to one knee.
  528.  
  529. “Fuck… fuck… I… I didn’t… mean to…” she stammered, immediately realizing what she’d done. “Shit… Dave, I didn't mean to do that… believe me, please…” She ran to kneel beside him, tears forming in the corners of her eyes. “Goddammit, I'm sorry…”
  530. “It's alright,” he said, still reeling from the blow. “I believe you… I know it was an accident… damn… you hit hard…”
  531.  
  532. “I… I don't know what came over me… I just… lashed out... “
  533.  
  534. “It's okay, Chris… I’m not mad…”
  535.  
  536. He tried to stand up and nearly fell down, so she propped him up against her and carried him to a nearby tree so he could lean against it. She checked him over, suddenly very worried she'd given him a concussion. His eyes appeared unfocused, and he kept swaying on his feet.
  537.  
  538. “I'm fine… I'm fine, I swear… hey… your knuckles are bleeding...”
  539.  
  540. “Don't worry about me! Fuck! Let’s get out of here, get you to a hospital.”
  541.  
  542. “I don’t need a hospital.”
  543.  
  544. “Yes, you fucking do. Come on.” She put his arm over her shoulders and started walking him in the direction they came.
  545.  
  546. “Wait, the dog. Get the dog if we’re going.”
  547.  
  548. She looked back to see the beagle still growling at the group of terrified piglets, uninterested by anything going on behind him. She grumbled under her breath. “Fine. I’ll grab the little shit.”
  549.  
  550. “Don’t hurt him.”
  551.  
  552. “I won’t.” She set Dave against the tree again. She jogged back over to Cyka and was about to pick him up when she noticed he wasn’t actually growling at the piglets anymore like she thought. They were retreating into the bushes off to the side, while Cyka’s attention was pointed at somewhere within the brush itself. There came the sound of breaking twigs and heavy footfalls as the bushes started to move.
  553.  
  554. Chris grabbed the dog and pulled him back just in time to avoid a very pissed off sow breaking through, kicking up mud and leaves as it skidded to a stop, its initial charge having missed the apparent target. It let out an angry squeal as it turned to face Chris, but before it could charge again, she’d dropped Cyka off to the side and brought her weapon to bear, dumping several rounds into the hog at an almost point-blank range.
  555. It fell onto its side, legs kicking, its squeals now evidencing a great amount of pain. Chris advanced on the dying animal and emptied the rest of her magazine into its gut and throat. The animal was still twitching, but it was clear that it wouldn’t be getting back up. Chris went and prodded the body with her foot, and noticed she was covered in spatterings of hog blood.
  556.  
  557. “Ugh. Disgusting.” She turned to scoop up Cyka, finding the dog to be shrinking back and whimpering. “Yeah, you should be ashamed. Now my clothes are ruined because of you.” She leaned down to grab him but the dog yelped and sprinted off in the other direction. “OH COME ON!”
  558.  
  559. She felt the anger seeping back into her until she noticed a low rumbling noise coming from behind her. She looked down at the dead sow, which was no longer twitching and rapidly exsanguinating, ruling it out as the source.
  560.  
  561. Then her gaze drifted upwards a tad, and she noticed a large dark mass slowly advancing towards her from the forest. She started to backpedal as its features became more apparent. A massive boar, with a scarred hide, a set of jagged tusks, and beady eyes that stared through her. At the shoulder, it was easily taller than her by a couple of feet.
  562.  
  563. As she slowly stepped back, the beast continued to advance at the same deliberate pace, making no attempt to charge her. It stopped by the corpse of the sow and stared at it for a minute. Then the beady eyes focused on Chris.
  564.  
  565. She’d fucked up.
  566.  
  567. She internally cursed herself for magdumping on the smaller hog. The practice had been getting her into trouble more times than she could count now. She made a mental note to stop doing it if she survived this. She froze in place, some part of her hoping that wild boars were like Tyrannosaurs and would only see her if she was moving quickly. But the beady little eyes stayed locked on her, watching her breathe.
  568.  
  569. It snorted and started padding the ground with a large cloven hoof, like a bull staring down a matador. Chris felt her heartrate rising, and resisted the urge to run away in a panic. Ever so slowly, she reached into her pocket and clutched a new magazine.
  570.  
  571. Dave suddenly came stumbling into the clearing, clutching his rifle. “Chris, I heard shots! What happened?” The massive hog switched its focus to Dave and bellowed in rage.
  572.  
  573. “RUN!” Chris sprinted at Dave and hooked her arm under his, dragging him along. The beast charged, following hot on their heels, its footfalls causing the ground to rumble. Dave tripped over a tree root, falling down and dropping his gun. Chris picked pulled him back to his feet and forced him to a nearby tree.
  574.  
  575. “Climb! CLIMB!” The tree was angled slightly, and Dave was able to scramble up the side, with Chris following behind him mere moments before the hog collided with the tree.
  576.  
  577. It shook with such force that Dave lost his grip and footing. He slipped off the side, desperately scraping and grabbing at the bark of the tree, managing to wrap his legs around the trunk at the last second. He was left hanging upside down, his arms flailing.
  578.  
  579. “F-fuck! Help me!” The hog was circling the tree, and Dave’s head was a mere couple of feet above it, like a meat piñata, ready to be slashed open by razor sharp tusks. The hog took a swipe at him, missing by mere inches. Dave started screaming. “SHOOT HER! SHOOOOT HER!”
  580.  
  581. Chris rocked a new magazine into her WASR and leaned over the side of the tree trunk, opening fire. Several rounds pierced the flank of the boar, punctuated with meaty thunks. The boar let out an earsplitting squeal of pain and rage, and started headbutting the tree, over and over. The base of the trunk began to splinter and crack.
  582.  
  583. “FuckfuckfuckfuckFUCKFUCKFUCKSHIIIIIT!” Dave lost his grip finally and plummeted a few feet to the ground, landing flat on his back. He was knocked unconscious on impact, lying spread-eagled and defenseless a few meters away from the enraged beast.
  584.  
  585. “DAVE! GET UP!” Chris screamed at him, but he was unresponsive. Seconds later, she was screaming for another reason entirely, as the hog had succeeded in toppling the tree. She leapt off at the last moment, hitting the ground hard and rolling away as the tree crashed into the dirt.
  586.  
  587. She recovered as fast as she could, getting back up onto her knees and emptying the rest of her magazine. The weapon spat out another four rounds before a hollow click made her blood run cold. The pig thrashed about, bleeding profusely from twenty or so holes in its hide, but it acted like it was no worse for wear when it aligned itself with Chris and scratched at the dirt, preparing to charge once again.
  588.  
  589. She turned tail and ran, as the hog let out a mighty squeal and charged forth, its mighty hooves crushing everything underfoot. She sprinted as hard as she could, but it started to overtake her, and she could almost feel its hot breath on her neck. Her eyes darted around, desperately looking for any form of escape.
  590.  
  591. It seemed hopeless- until she saw it, a thicket of trees with a gap just large enough for her to fit through. Exerting herself beyond her own limit, she ran straight at it, and took a leap through the gap, landing on her shoulder in the dirt. The hog hit the trees face on, shaking them to their roots and showering Chris with leaves and twigs.
  592. It stared at her through the gap for a few moments, the beady little eyes filled with hate. Then, like before, it started smashing its head against the trees. One was uprooted almost immediately and fell off to the side.
  593.  
  594. “Fuck you pig!” she screamed as she searched her pockets for her last magazine. She couldn’t find it- it had probably fallen out along the course of the chase. A second tree was toppled, and the gap grew wider. She knew if she left the thicket, the hog would trample her in a matter of moments. But she couldn’t just wait for it to break through. She found the thickest tree of the bunch and started climbing it. She was about halfway up when it shook violently. The beast was ramming this one as well. She kept climbing, timing her exertions between headbutts, and made it to one of the upper branches.
  595.  
  596. The boar squealed in rage and frustration. Chris had no idea how the thing could take so much punishment and inflict so much on itself as well, and still keep attacking. It should have been impossible. But she supposed that it didn’t matter, since it was going to kill her within the next few minutes, given that she didn’t have the power to outrun it again.
  597.  
  598. She had to think of something, and fast. She looked down at the Überboar trying to knock down her tree. She was a good fifteen or twenty feet above it. She looked at the empty WASR slung over her shoulder. It could have made for a sturdy club, but she highly doubted a club would have been much use. Then she looked at her boot. The hilt of her bayonet was sticking out of the top. An idea formed. She conceded that it was a massively shitty idea, but she also conceded that she didn’t have a whole lot of other options.
  599.  
  600. She pulled out the blade and fixed it to the end of her rifle. “Fuck this… fuck this… I fucking hate hogs… fuck you, nature...”
  601. She stood up slowly on the branch, timing her movements with the shaking of the tree. She took a moment to align herself as she needed to, before leaping off, the blade on her rifle pointed downwards, and a war cry erupting from her throat.
  602.  
  603. She landed on the beast’s back, and her body weight combined with gravity plunging the bayonet deep into the hog’s neck. It shrieked in agony and writhed around, trying to shake her off of its back, but she held a death grip on her rifle and kept herself mounted.
  604.  
  605. “FUCK YOU! FUCK! YOU! FUCK! YOU! FUUUUUCK YOUUUUUU!”
  606.  
  607. Pumped full of adrenaline, she pulled the blade out and plunged it down again, screaming like a madwoman. The boar bucked and jumped around like an angry bull as Chris continued stabbing. The bayonet slid down into the hog’s flesh and lodged in between its vertebrae near the base of its skull. Unable to pull it back out, Chris opted to violently jerk the gun from side to side instead.
  608.  
  609. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Or more accurately, the hog’s back. Its whole body seized up and it fell over, legs extended and rigid. Chris was thrown off as the massive beast fell to the ground. It made a horrible gurgling noise for a few moments before expiring, though the body still twitched violently every few moments.
  610.  
  611. Chris got up on her knees, clutching her chest as she fought to catch her breath and the adrenaline left her system. She heard footfalls behind her, but she knew that if it were something that meant to harm her, she wouldn’t have the strength left to fight back anyway, and so kept her eyes locked on the fresh corpse of the gargantuan hog.
  612.  
  613. “Holy fuckin’ shit, Chris?”
  614.  
  615. She turned her head very slightly to see Alex and Sam standing beside her, weapons in hand.
  616.  
  617. “What the fuck… what the fuck happened? What is that thing?” Alex asked, utterly incredulous at what he was seeing.
  618.  
  619. Chris cracked a smile and chuckled raggedly. “I think… that was your Hogzilla… I just killed… heh… heh heh…”
  620.  
  621. “My fuckin’ God… the size of that… where’s Dave?” Alex helped Chris to her feet as Sam investigated the corpse, Mosin at the ready.
  622.  
  623. “Back over there,” she said, gesturing with her head. “He’s hurt.”
  624.  
  625. “Alright, well, we’ll go get ‘em and see Hank. He’s a retired veterinarian, could help some dependin’ on Dave’s condition.”
  626.  
  627. “Bitch nigga pig!” Sam gave the corpse a couple of stabs with her Mosin’s bayonet, then pulled Chris’s WASR out of the body. “Yo, got yo gat back.” She tossed it over to Chris, who caught it and put it back over her shoulder.
  628.  
  629. “Come on, let’s find Dave.”
  630.  
  631. The trio followed the trail of destroyed undergrowth back to the clearing where Dave lay. He was still unconscious and unresponsive. Cyka had somehow found his way back to the clearing as well, and they found the beagle licking Dave’s face and whining loudly. Both were picked up and carried back to Hank’s homestead in short order.
  632.  
  633. One day later…
  634.  
  635. Dave woke with a start, sitting up in a clean hospital bed, wearing clean white shirt and a pair of boxers. He looked around rapidly, taking in his surroundings.
  636.  
  637. “Hey, hey hey hey,” said Chris, standing up from her chair and moving to his bedside. She put her hands on his shoulders and gently pushed him back down. “Easy now. You’re alright. We’re both alright.”
  638.  
  639. “Chris… thank god…” He breathed a deep sigh of relief as he looked into her eyes. She smiled sweetly. “Where-”
  640.  
  641. “We’re in the hospital. You have a concussion. It’s not too bad, the doctors say that you should be fine if you take it easy for a while.”
  642.  
  643. His hand reached up to scratch the back of his head, and he felt bandages wrapped around his head.
  644.  
  645. “Don’t scratch. You had a gash back there that required stitches.”
  646.  
  647. “What about you… did you get hurt?”
  648.  
  649. “Me? Nah. Just a few bruises. You should see the other guy, though.”
  650.  
  651. “Right the… the giant hog?” He started to recall the specifics of the events of the day before, sitting up slowly this time.
  652.  
  653. Chris nodded. “The locals really have taken to calling it Hogzilla, like Alex said. Probably the biggest hog to ever be recorded. And we get credit for the kill.” She smirked at that. “I guess /K/ommandos Vs. Wild is gaining some traction in the mainstream now.” She sat down on the bed beside him and wrapped her arms around him, pulling him into a hug.
  654.  
  655. “And… we’re sure that’s a good thing?”
  656.  
  657. “Of course. Means we’ll probably be getting more job offers now.”
  658.  
  659. He shrugged slightly. “Well, I guess we were having a dry spell… how are Alex and Sam?”
  660.  
  661. “They helped me drag your sorry ass out of that swamp,” she said in a joking way. “He wanted me to tell you that he was sorry about us almost dying. And also that he couldn’t be here at the hospital since he had to get back to his job.”
  662.  
  663. “Alright… I guess I’ll just message him later…”
  664. “Sure. But first, let’s get a doctor in here to clear you to leave, then we’ll be getting home.”
  665.  
  666. “Right. Okay- wait, shit, the dog!”
  667.  
  668. Chris rolled her eyes, and pointed to a chair in the corner of the room, where the sleeping beagle was curled up. “Little shit wore himself out so much yesterday that he’s slept through most of today.”
  669.  
  670. “Oh come on, don’t call him a little shit… he’ll grow on you eventually, I know it…”
  671.  
  672. Chris sighed. “Whatever you say. Next time we go on vacation, though, we’re leaving him in a kennel or something. And next time, I choose where we go. Understood?”
  673.  
  674. “But-”
  675.  
  676. “UNDERSTOOD?”
  677.  
  678. “Okay…” he said, shoulders slumping a bit.
  679.  
  680. She smiled and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
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