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You know that feeling when the worst is over? When you realize you might just live through this? For anyone who’s reading this who isn’t a Hunter (and how the hell did you get your hands on this book?), say you’ve just been in a car wreck. Everything stops crashing and you realize you’re still alive. Uninjured even. Relief floods your body like a physical force.

That was what we were feeling right before a slime and tentacle covered Rottweiler literally came through the fucking wall and tore into one of the drillers. It kept shaking the guy even though he’d dropped stone dead as soon as it bit him.

I just opened up the spout on the fire hose and hit that Rottweiller bastard with a full-power blast of holy water. It began rolling around and shrieking.

“We’re surrounded,” Sam Haven said from behind me.

“Cut the water!” Milo yelled to Boss Shackleford as slime ghouls started piling through the nearest hole. “I need to go flame on!”

“Fuck this!” I shut off the valve and dropped the hose. “Flame on, go hot!”

I lifted my 203 and launched a grenade. The round hit a ghoul in the head and the explosion shredded the undead around him. But it wasn’t stopping the tide. The dark god’s tentacles picked them up like puppets on strings and put them right back in the fight.

I realized I was surrounded by a nimbus of light. Looking over my shoulder, I saw that Father Ferguson had his cross raised above his head. The undead were quailing back from it, but they were still being driven forward. The Old One did not care about their pain.

“That’s got them stalled,” the boss said. “Let’s rest in peace these sons of bitches!”

I just ignored the M-16 part of the 203 and started laying waste with the grenade launcher. Sam was right next to me hitting the masses of undead as fast as he could reload.

Then the light started to fail.

I looked over my shoulder and Father Ferguson was sweating like a pig. “Father?”

“It’s fighting me. It’s pushing back against the power of God. And it is quite powerful.”

I recalled the fragmentary scroll I’d discovered, which had eventually led us to the truth about this monster, Even the power of Buddha was insufficient against the monster of the deeps. While Father Ferguson had a lot of faith, he wasn’t more powerful than an Old One. Even a larval one.

“We’ve got to hold this rig ’til its dead!” All I knew at that point was we had to keep killing as long as it took. As long as we lasted. “We can’t give another inch!”

The undead were pressing forward, a solid wall of red eyes and grasping hands. When they got under the range we could fire grenades, we switched to kinetic but 5.56 barely pisses off wights. The vamps had their fangs out. I looked down and there was a fucking Siamese cat with enormously long incisors. It looked like a baby saber-tooth tiger. I think it might have been a fucking cat vampire. A vampire cat. Was that even possible? That was just too wrong to begin to describe. It was even sort of cool looking.

It was just at the edge of arming range for the 203 so I blew it away with a 40mm grenade.

They were getting down to hand-to-hand range and I drew my sword from the sheath. Maybe this was the battle for which the Lord had returned me to this vale of tears. At least it would be a battle to tell Saint Pete about.

As the undead closed in, I started servicing hands and arms first. Keep them from grabbing me, keep them from grabbing the Padre. Whenever I could, I slashed through the slimy cords tethered to their backs. Once severed from the Old One, the undead were quickly destroyed by the ward stone.

But there were just too damned many of them.

“We’re about to be overrun,” Boss Shackleford said, pulling out a grenade. “Seems like now’s a good time to see the other side.”

As he said that, there was a sound like thunder. A low, deep, rumbling followed by the blast of a horn. It wasn’t your normal horn. It was a terrifying sound that struck right into the bowels and said, This is evil. Run.

A massive gate opened in the floor of the warehouse and with a crackle of Fey energy, a Wild Hunt erupted in all its eldritch horror.

How bad of a day are you having when a Wild Hunt showing up is a good thing?

You might be wondering how I got myself into this predicament.

I blame, well, myself. Fully. This was unquestionably entirely my fault.

My name is Oliver Chadwick Gardenier. Call me Chad.

This is my job. I’m a Monster Hunter.


This is the last of the three memoirs Albert found in the archives. They’d been in the section damaged during the Christmas Party incident of 1995, and lost ever since. I hadn’t even known these things existed until Al brought them to me. Heck, I was surprised Chad had ever written anything other than stuffy academic papers for Oxford or strongly worded letters to congressmen.

What you are holding in your hands is the complete manuscript. The version we’ll eventually put in the library—that any regular newbie could just wander in and read— is going to have a few bits redacted for obvious reasons. Like secret identities, or any parts where the company might have kind of sort of accidentally broken the law and worked with PUFF-applicable entities, that sort of thing.

Chad wrote these so that future Hunters could learn from those who came before. Except obviously he couldn’t tell the story to the end. I started writing an afterword myself, but I just couldn’t do it. It brought back too many memories and I ended up standing in front of the memorial wall for a long time, reading names. I’m going to show these memoirs to Earl Harbinger. He and Chad didn’t always get along, but I think he needs to be the one to finish the story. People need to know how it ended. Iron Hand deserves that.

Milo Ivan Anderson

Monster Hunter International

Cazador, Alabama

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