The Truth About My Work (pt.4) - The Tyler Hutton Case
While 2014 came and went and Christmas was celebrated, and then fading into a new year altogether, I had no idea what the year of 2015 would have in store. I wish I could relay the events that unfolded while I was in Edmonton as though they were important - in the first 3 months alone, I would track down and kill a total of 6 different U.A.P’s, of which I began to notice certain patterns relative to what I suspected to be 3 different breeding pairs, though couldn’t confirm. Meanwhile, somewhere on the west coast of British Columbia, a young man was dying horribly.
Tyler Hutton was a mauling victim of a U.A.P the year before, yet miraculously had survived despite severe traumatic injuries to his neck, face, and upper torso. So much in fact, that within the timespan of a month, he was back home being monitored by someone within the government’s need-to-know basis about this ordeal. In late January, after experiencing terrible aches in his muscles and bones, as well as uncontrollable fits of rage (that’s what I was told during a meeting in late Feburary, as you’ll come to understand later), he was taken back to the facility in British Columbia for observation. What happened in the span of 2 weeks must have been so painful, so scary, and so horrific, I cannot imagine the horror this young man went through in his final days, yet there was video proof.
Within a couple of days, he would have to be constantly sedated to be controlled at all. X-rays showed that his bones were shifting with great tension, and blood tests revealed what would end up being called Lycenthosis, though at the time nobody could figure out what the hell it was because all the white coats thought it must be something that had already been discovered. There was a desperate scramble for answers. A lot of false leads, and a lot of thinking inside the box. Meanwhile, Tyler Hutton only got worse. He died on the 15th day after being brought back. By then, he didn’t resemble the man he used to be at all. His skull had begun to elongate into a sort of muzzled shape, his hands had changed completely into a mess of pudgy rounded pads, his jaws had broken sharp teeth, where a visible canine was protruding through his upper lip, and worse yet, his tailbone and broken through skin. He died convolting and bled out all over the observation room he’d been locked in. The white coats, as I’d be told later in the year, had just watched it happen.
So, by the end of Feburary 2015, we knew that there was a species of unknown animals viciously killing people, and that their bite could pass a pathogen into the human body that would cause the host to die a horrible death slowly. Fun, right?
As far as anyone knew, any case prior to Tyler Hutton didn’t actually exist because, without a doubt, someone would have heard about it. The autopsy on Hutton’s body revealed his internal organs had been slightly repositioned by, what was to become an inaccurate theory, a bulging of the spine and realignment of the ribs. None of it made sense but his innards were essentially not where the guts of a human being should be. It was also discovered that his lungs were bigger, as well as his heart, though the exact details of that occurance were never specified in detail.
Flying back to Edmonton from Ottawa after the meeting, I fell into a deep sleep where what I’d seen in the video played for all of us attending replayed over and over. The young man bashing his head against the wall, biting himself, vomiting blood, crying out in pain. They were brief clips of footage and sound that still haunt me to this day.
By the end of March, more people had died, a couple new outbreaks in attacks had occured on the border of Manitoba and Ontario, and more trackers like myself were recruited albeit with a better briefing on what they were getting themselves into than I had experienced. The situation was changing though. Theories of where this disease had come from, and what it had potentially done to its hosts, which ultimately could very well effect other species. Hell, maybe it had been transferred to wolves naturally, and the end result was the animal we were now dealing with. It didn’t explain the tattoos, it didn’t explain the DNA mystery, and it didn’t explain how it was spreading to all regions of the country, including as far south in America as northern California. Fort McMurray would begin to experience another bout of attacks soon enough again, too.
My work continued through the spring, while both Canada and America put their top teams of biologists, doctors, specialists, you name it, into figuring out what the hell was going on. It was our country that recognized the Lycenthosis as a totally brand new disease and named it as such for its terrible transformative abilities to the human body. The Americans, though, were the ones that made the breakthrough of all breakthroughs during a string of attacks in Oregon. Two hitchhikers were brutally mauled, yet survived when a trucker saw the attack happening and, with his sidearm, shot and killed the U.A.P after unloading an entire magazine into it. Both victims were treated for their wounds and held for careful testing and observation. Their names were withheld from the information package sent to us, classified as T.S ( Top Secret). Myla Gohtz and Derek Blythe were held, and within 6 weeks, were no longer themselves as the same terrible effects of Lycenthosis took hold. Derek died, Myla did not. In May, I was once again called to a meeting with senior top officials in Ottawa after whispers and rumours that some big conference between top brass in Canada and the U.S had transpired in N.Y State. No one knew what we were in for.
During this meeting, another video was played. For the next 40 minutes it went through the process of the two young Oregon hitchhikers god awful ordeal. It showed the moment Derek Blythe died - he had, for lack of a better term, gone completely mad and bit his tongue off, whether on purpose or by accident, nobody could tell because of the intense convulsing he was experiencing. Myla Gohtz, by the end of the 6th week of observation, went through “complete transformation” as the narrating official called it. There wasn’t one person in the room that didn’t gapsp when the video showed a closed room, three padded walls, one reinforced glass wall for observing, and inside that room, laying on the floor, panting desperately for air and seemingly exhausted, bloody, wet, and grey, was a U.A.P.
Defying all science, logic, biology, whatever you want to call it, everything began to make sense, all the while not making any sense at all, and the term ‘Werewolf’ started getting tossed around a LOT afterwards, for obvious reasons. Everyone sat quietly. The video stopped. Nobody in the room said a goddamn thing.
So that’s what we had by June, 2015. The brass urged us not to use the term ‘werewolf’, insisting we refer to them as U.A.P’s until further notice. In standard fashion, nobody was ever made aware of what happened to Myla Gohtz once she changed. I suspected the americans would run all kinds of tests on her (it?) and hopefully some of that information would works its way into our weekly email briefings on the situation. But now the stakes were even higher for us trackers. We were the ones expected to find these things and kill them, already at terrible risk to ourselves, but with the knowledge we had about what awaited if we were attacked and survived, either was we were as good as dead. Some trackers resigned.
I’d passed along my observations from the winter regarding the fact that the three pairs of animals I’d tracked down seemed to be in some kind of courtship akin to a breeding pair, which was passed along to all the other trackers as well as the top brass, and while I never heard anything more on the topic from Ottawa, other trackers, in secrecy, mentioned that they’d been noticing the same thing, and the increased danger it posed.
The number of killings began to sky rocket. Here we were, half way through 2015 and the nightmare only showed signs of getting worse. In July, 2015 I was taken out of the field, as the area in and around Edmonton had gone quiet. By now, in Alberta alone, there were more than 35 different hired guns tracking U.A.P's in places most of them had never heard of until this began. Across the country, I remember hearing the number of us being somewhere close to 250, but I can't confirm that. "Outbreaks" where popping up all over the place, then be tethered under control, only for another one to spring up somewhere else.
July and August I spent back home in Owen Sound, yet never fully at ease. I kept myself in the loop with the goings-on within 100km of home, carefully watching for any reported animal attacks, missing hikers, things of that nature. When a cottager walking his dog was mauled to death in late August on Manitoulin Island, a few hours north and a two hour ferry ride away from where I live, I took notice. Ultimately it proved to be a Black Bear attack, the bear was shot and killed after it stalked two Sunday morning joggers, but again, I couldn't seem to shut my mind off. How was this going on? How was the general public not aware? How could the number of killings be increasing? Most of all, how could this be going unnoticed in majer city centres?
By September, about a week before schools opened, I recieved orders to fly to Kenora, a town on the border of Ontario and Manitoba, and meet with Adrian Cuza. Adrain was born and raised in Kenora, moved with his mother and stepfather to Ohio, joined the Army Rangers after dropping out of college, and had served overseas, but it was his knowledge of the town that proved to be a major asset. Add to that the fact he'd killed 13 U.A.P's in that last 9 months alone, and had made some terrifying and incredible discoveries.
Adrian had been commissioned by the Canadian government just as I had, but feeling that field studies were useless based on the nature of the animals, he'd begun to study them himself. Frankly, he was obsessed. He'd even trapped one, drugged it at great risk to life and limb, and hauled the damn thing back to a hangar on his father's property. Adrian's biggest discovery had come a couple months before after he'd trapped a very large male, killing it, and then killing a female the very next night in the same area. He'd used old trapper methods and utilized large grip and hold traps, the kind one might use for bears. In any event, knowing the effects that a bite or scratch would have, he took his blood samples, photographs ( a huge no-no, if you remember my mentioning) and preformed full inspections. He found that the female was lactating.
Close by, he found the den, and inside of it, four hairless, groaning, disoriented pups - something that had never been documented until that exact moment. Another breakthrough, and he wasn't sharing it with anyone. There was no protocal as to what we were supposed to do in such a situation, so he made his own, and dispatched the young ones. As I entered the hangar a few hours after my arrival and introduction with Adrian, he led me to where their corpses were preserved, piece by piece, in large jars.
Truly ugly goddamn things, worse than the parents. I will not forget sitting around a resin foldout table, drinking a beer, me on one side, Adrian on the other. Him flooding my mind with all this knowledge of these things, so far beyond anything I'd been able to piece together so far on my own. In a dark corner of the hangar, Adrian had a lifesize replica mount of an adult U.A.P, customized to the exact scale of the biggest one he'd ever shot. On a cork board near a fridge, he had pictures of various victims who had been killed by them in Kenora and the surrounding areas.
"We don't get accurate reports for what's going on out there on the Reservation lands. They don't keep us in the loop. But we do hear through locals that people are going missing. That's as best as I can tell." he told me.
"Were you briefed on the effects a bite can have?" I asked.
"Sure, I saw the video, but suspected that might the case a few weeks prior to the brass confirming. I trapped one up near Rainy Lake, fuckin' thing was covered in tattooes. Great tattooes. Like, the kind someone who is so fuckin' into tattooes would get. The whole backside was nothing but tattooes under the fur. I started putting two and two together right about then." he said.
I slept that night, but awoke in the morning wondering. I wondered about alot, but mostly I wondered how long before the entire world knew what was going on.
The answer would come shortly.