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Storm Blood is a 2017 short story written by Peter J. Wacks and David Boop, published by Titan Books as part of the anthology Predator: If It Bleeds. It follows a squad of National Guardsmen attempting to rescue civilians in the path of Hurricane Katrina who come into contact with a ferocious mythological creature — and the Yautja that is hunting it.

Plot

As Hurricane Katrina bears down on New Orleans, a small National Guard squad attempts to rescue a few final survivors from the rising floodwaters before they must retreat to the shelter set up at the Superdome. They encounter a crashed SUV, the female driver of which lays sprawled on the hood, apparently crushed and impaled by a fallen tree. The soldiers rescue a young boy from the vehicle and, with time running out before the hurricane hits, head out in their Humvee. As they drive, the squad's leader, Sergeant Lejeune, investigates the video camera that was locked in the unconscious boy's hand.

Viewing the footage recorded on the camera, Lejeune witnesses a chaotic firefight in a nearby bayou the previous day, during which a group of unidentified men fire at a hulking wolf-like creature whilst also being attacked by a large invisible figure. As the men are killed, the last orders the survivors, the little boy holding the camera and the woman found dead on the jeep, whose names are revealed to be Frankie and Ro, to flee. Turning the camera off, the members of Lejeune's squad dismiss the footage as an elaborate hoax. Unsure, Lejeune rewinds the tape and plays it from the beginning.

The tape reveals the group seen in the firefight filming an episode of their amateur reality show named Cryptozoid Crackdown, in which they investigate rumors of strange creatures across America. Lejeune fast-forwards through the crew's unimportant bantering, resuming the footage when she sees a campsite covered in blood and eviscerated organs. As she watches, the film crew find a traumatized Frankie amidst the carnage, caked in mud from the bayou. When they question him, he reveals that his father was killed. One of the team asks if he was killed by the rougarou, the mythical beast they are chasing, but the boy claims it was "something else". At that moment, the Humvee is struck by a large object and crashes.

Back at the SUV, Ro awakes beneath the tree on the hood — her wounds more superficial than the National Guard squad realized — to find the invisible figure responsible for the slaughter in the bayou standing over her. Ro tells the creature she is only interesting in saving Frankie and, to her surprise, it spares her, even passing her a tracking device to help her find the boy. Before she can question its assistance, it disappears. She creates a makeshift sling for her injured arm from the SUV's seat belt and sets off after Frankie.

Meanwhile, Lejeune's squad is under attack from the object that struck their Humvee — the rougarou, a huge, wolf-like beast. They shake the creature off but realize they cannot outrun it in the rising floodwater. With the storm wall of Katrina approaching, the squad instead elects to go to ground. They break into a supermarket and begin barricading the building as best they can — and are stunned when Ro crashes through the door in an airboat. One of the soldiers recognizes her as the woman they had left for dead at the SUV, and she explains that she is after Frankie, warning the National Guard that they are not safe.

The rougarou crashes into the store and kills one of the National Guardsmen before gunfire from the others forces it to retreat back outside. Realising their current location is not secure, the squad relocates to a nearby church. As they attempt to barricade the building's doors, they are attacked by both the rougarou and the Yautja. A frantic three-way confrontation erupts inside the church, during which most of the National Guardsmen are killed. However, Lejeune and Ro manage to force the rougarou outside, whereupon the Yautja kills it and tears out its skull and spine. The Yautja glances at Ro, before disappearing into the storm.

Lejeune and Ro survive Katrina and are rescued by a helicopter once the hurricane has passed. As they fly away, Ro ponders why the rougarou pursued Frankie, what the Yautja was and why it let her live. Considering how her story would be received, she destroys the tape from the camera and throws it out of the helicopter into the floodwaters below. Meanwhile, at the corner of the cabin, Frankie opens his backpack and pulls out the tiny rougarou cub that he had collected in the bayou before his father was killed.

Trivia

  • Storm Blood is one of several stories in Predator: If It Bleeds to feature real historical individuals or events as a framework for its tale — aside from the backdrop of the real Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans, the rougarou is a genuine legendary creature in Cajun folklore, said to prowl the swamps around Acadiana and Greater New Orleans. It is most often described as a creature with a human body and the head of a wolf or dog, similar to the werewolf legend.
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