Disclaimer: Not mine. I'm just playing. I'll put'em back when I'm done.

I don't know the town of Cameron, Louisiana, so anything and everything about it is fictional in my head. A few titbits like street names might correspond with the actual town, but that's as far as it goes. I'm working under a creative license where everything goes. This story is not meant to offend anyone from Cameron.

Rating: PG-13 with a few NC-17 parts which will be clearly labled and can be avoided. For parts 3 and 7, the NC-17 parts are separate from the story. For part 14, the text in red should be avoided if you don't want to read about forced sex with a pretty high gross-out factor.

Spoilers: Season 2 up until Tall Tales. Anything after that is AU.

Synopsis: Sam and Dean stumble over a cult in a small town in Louisiana and get in over their heads. They get help from an unexpected source. But not everything is what it appears to be.

Author's note: The idea for this tale came to me after watching Mystery Spot and it's been growing ever since, so now I have no other option than to write it. It's the Trickster's fault. He made me do it. Blame him. :) This is just one of these stories where I had the beginning in my head and anything beyond that was up for grabs. You wanna blame anyone, blame my muse. She's the creative one in this team. :)

Ten miles south of Springfield, Missouri

"Louisiana?" For some reason, their destination puzzled Sam. "What's in Louisiana?"

"Cameron, Louisiana to be more precise." Dean glanced sideways at his brother. "And it's a case."

Sam frowned and gazed down at the newspaper clipping Dean had handed him earlier. "How do you turn this into a case? A guy goes missing in some little backwater in Louisiana and you think it's our kind of case?" He glanced back at Dean, obviously confused.

His confusion in turn confused Dean. "Of course it's our kind of case. Did you even read the article?"

"Let me repeat. A guy goes missing in Louisiana and you think it's our kind of case?" Sam obviously doubted his abilities to find a plausible case. "And yes, I did read the article and it doesn't say anything special."

A quick glance at the article in Sam's hands revealed to Dean why Sam was so puzzled about this. "Perhaps if you unfolded it, you would know that there's more to it than just a guy disappearing." The suggestion was laced with an appropriate amount of sarcasm and the somewhat stunned look Sam gave him made it hard for him to not laugh out loud.

Befuddled, Sam fiddled with the newspaper clipping and unfolded it, realizing only then that there indeed was more to it. A hectic blush crept into his cheeks and Dean almost couldn't stop the overwhelming urge to smirk.

"And you got a full ride to Stanford?" He huffed indignantly, putting it on thick. "Jeez."

"Shut up," Sam muttered in reply.

For the next few minutes he remained silent while reading the rest of the article and Dean started humming to himself, vowing that he wouldn't let Sam live this down for quite a while. It was rare that he could catch Sam in a blunder like this and other people always tended to lean toward the stereotypical perception that Sam was the genius and he the dumbbell and Dean just relished the times when he could prove that he was just as sharp as Sam. Well, okay, he wasn't that into books and bookish knowledge, but he knew how to get the job done.

"Okay, so maybe this is our kind of case," Sam finally said and looked up to stare out of the windshield for a moment. Then he glanced at Dean. "A cult?"

"Seems like it. They've obviously had issues with cults before down there. And Cameron seems to be especially plagued by overzealous, religious bigots." Dean glanced at his watch and pursed his lips. "I'm hungry. I could eat."

It was a statement that Sam heard far too often, if his previous complaints were anything to go by, but Dean didn't care. He was hungry and didn't believe in denying himself anything in that department.

"I could go for some pie," he added and flashed a grin at his brother, who was just sitting there while staring at him with that well-known expression on his face; the one that could make Dean doubt his own sanity on bad days. "What?" he asked.

"Dude, we ate about an hour ago. Where the hell do you put it all?" Sam sounded equal parts exasperated and confounded.

Dean shrugged. "I have a fast metabolism. What can I say?"

Ten minutes later they pulled over at a diner and Dean got the pie he wanted. Sam settled for a cup of coffee and just sat and watched his brother for a moment. But he said nothing.

"So," Dean said between mouthfuls. "This cult."

"If it is a cult." Sam always had to be so damned logical about everything and Dean rolled his eyes.

"It's a cult, okay? I checked up on it," Dean said and put the fork down. "This cult has existed for as far back as written records go in that area. And, according to this site I found, someone brought it over from Europe somewhere."

Sam eyed him, obviously impressed without wanting to show it. "Okay, so what do they do?"

The thought of what he had read up on last night made him glance down at the remains of the piece if pie before he pushed the plate away and focused on his brother. "Human sacrifice. And that's all it says. Any details about this cult are pretty sketchy to say the least. Which is why we're gonna have to pay Cameron, Louisiana a visit to dig up something more."

Sam rested his elbows on the tabletop and leaned closer. "You think this is demon related?" he asked, purposefully keeping his tone of voice low to avoid being overheard.

Dean copied his posture and leaned in too. "Maybe," he agreed. "Cults usually worship stuff, don't they? I mean ... if they're satanic in nature, this might be big."

That claim made Sam frown. "For whom? Us or them?"

"You're the geek. You figure it out," Dean countered and leaned back again. "According to this site, they've been keeping pretty much to themselves for all those years, but something changed after Hurricane Rita in 05. Half the town was destroyed back then and since then, outsiders that get too close to Cameron have disappeared at irregular intervals."

"Don't you mean regular?" Sam queried.

"No, because there's no real pattern to it. Cameron hosts this Fur and Wildlife thing in January and the town's obviously booming at that time, but nobody's gone missing around that time. I checked the dates for some of the missing people and there's no connection to lunar cycles, dates or anything." Dean wiped a hand over his lips, his thoughts going in circles. The more he thought about this, the less he liked it. But that was exactly why it was their type of case.

"So ... why would they step it up now?" Sam asked.

"No clue," Dean admitted. "Which is why we're gonna have to take a closer look at this."

Sam eyed him, the normal signs of opposition evident in the way he sat. "I don't know, Dean."

"What's not to know? Are you gonna be happy with people dying left and right, being sacrificed to whatever warped deity these morons are into?" Dean sometimes couldn't make much sense of his brother's attitude. Sam was all for saving people and he did his bit when they were in the thick of things. But it was the start-up that seemed to cause him trouble most of the time.

"No, of course not, but ..." Sam paused and chewed on his lower lip for a moment. He considered it. Dean could almost see the gears shifting in his head. Then he finally nodded. "Okay, fine. Let's go to Louisiana then."


The following evening
Cameron, LA

The motel was nice and clean, the room spacious enough to not feel cramped without it being overtly huge. Dean arched his back, rolled his shoulders and sent a long look around the room before dumping his duffle on the first bed.

"Nice," he said.

"Better than most places," Sam agreed and didn't even try to stifle a yawn. "Man, I could sleep for a year."

"We're on a case. No sleeping until it's done." Dean smirked when Sam sent him a withering glare.

"You're not actually suggesting that we start on this case now, after having driven for twelve hours straight?" He sank down on the edge of the second bed, bleary-eyed enough to make him look like a little kid again.

"You used to have a sense of humor, dude." Dean sat down, untied his boots and kicked them off, then shoved his duffle to the floor, scooted back on the bed and stretched out on it.

"Yeah, and you used to know when to quit," Sam countered grumpily, then frowned at his own words. "Then again ..." He left the sentence unfinished and yawned heartily again.

"Why the hell are you so tired? I'm the one who drove all the way," Dean said and propped himself up on his elbows.

Sam rolled his eyes. "Yeah, but only because you wouldn't let me drive. Besides, do you have any idea how boring and draining it is to sit next to you while you listen to the same damned tape over and over again?" He rubbed his left ear. "I think I'm going deaf in this ear," he added.

With a snort, Dean dropped back on the bed again and draped an arm over his face. "Just about as boring as listening to you going on and on about stuff I've already read," he growled into the crook of his arm.

"Oh yeah, I forgot. You don't do research." Sam sounded decidedly grumpy now.

Dean pulled his arm away from his face and squinted at him. "Go to bed before you turn into a real grouch," he suggested and sat up again.

"Bite me," Sam countered, grabbed his duffle and vanished into the bathroom.

Dean merely grinned. "You're so easy," he muttered to himself and got ready for bed.


Sam stared at his reflection in the mirror over the sink for a moment, then sent a quick look around the bathroom. Not your typical motel bathroom, this. The walls were clad in dark wooden panels, the sink was mud-green and so was the toilet and the tub. The floor was covered in dark-brown tiles. It all looked fairly new, but that could be because of the destruction of this town three years ago.

He gripped the edges of the sink and again faced himself in the mirror for a moment. Something about this case went against his grain, but he couldn't pinpoint it and he didn't want Dean to think he was having another psychic episode or something. He hadn't had a vision in a while, which was a blessing. But he still couldn't shake the feeling that this case was about to go south quickly. And they hadn't even started on it.

The owners of the motel seemed nice. Too nice, all things considered. It reminded him a bit of that Pagan god deal where Dean had almost gotten himself sacrificed to that scarecrow thing. Dean had mentioned that the good people of that town had seemed overtly friendly. And Sam was beginning to believe that they were up against a cult here. At least everything pointed to it.

He let out a light sigh, dropped his head and closed his eyes. If only Dean could be serious for five minutes, they might make headway, but as usual Dean was cracking jokes left and right, making fun of the situation rather than going about it seriously.

"Hey, geek boy. Are you about done in there?"

With a sigh, Sam raised his head and glanced at the door.

"I swear, you take longer than any girl."

With a light shake of the head, he straightened up, grabbed his stuff and opened the door. "What's the rush?"

"Get out of there. I gotta take a leak," Dean countered, shoved him aside and disappeared into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.

Sam loved his brother. There was no arguing that. But sometimes he just hated his guts too. Especially when he was in this particular mood. "Jerk," he muttered and went to bed.


The following morning

After a not too impressive breakfast, Sam and Dean were off to take a look around the area and before long, Sam ended up in the library. He had actually expected Dean to take off and do something else, but for once Dean seemed inclined to help him with the research rather than ditch him.

"Newspapers are always a good source of information," Dean said, winked at him and strode over to the information desk.

Sam followed him. He could only agree with his brother on that sentiment. But of course Dean would be attracted to the girl behind the desk as well and he instantly started flirting shamelessly with her. She didn't seem to mind the attention, though.

"Did you have any specific newspapers in mind?" she asked when Dean would finally let her get a word in edgewise.

"Uhm ..." Dean glanced at Sam, who watched him with arched brows and said nothing. If Dean wanted to take the lead on this, he would damned well have to come up with the right answers too.

The look in Dean's eyes shifted and he glared at Sam for a second, then he turned his attention back to the girl. "We're doing a paper on murder statistics all over the State and just need to check the last couple of years," he said brightly.

The girl eyed him for a second. "That's a morbid thing to write a paper about," she said and looked it up on her computer. "I'll show you where you can find them," she added and rose to show them the way.

The newspapers were in the basement and they got strict instructions not to remove them from there and to put them back in place when they were done.

They spent the next two hours going through newspapers without finding anything specific and Sam was beginning to think that his bad feeling about this was because it was a waste of time. "There's nothing," he finally said, leaned back on the chair and pushed all ten fingers through his hair. "Not a single mention of a weird disappearance."

"Same here," Dean agreed.

"Did you find any mention of this supposed cult on any other websites?" Sam eyed his brother, well aware that he was reluctant to get his hands dirty on research if he could avoid it. Sam sometimes suspected that one of the reasons Dean loved to have him around was because he did the research without moaning about it.

Dean made a face. "Well ... I didn't really ... check other sites," he admitted.

Sam mostly felt like throwing something at him. "We drove all the way down here and have wasted two hours on research into something that might be make-believe?"

"Might be?" Dean growled. "This is not make believe. People have disappeared down here over the years and since 05, it has escalated. I don't know what these geeks are up to, but there's definitely something weird going on here. Something that's our kind of weird."

"If all you've done is check one website and read one newspaper article, Dean, then that doesn't prove anything," Sam countered, a bit exasperated.

"Not one article. I've found several from different newspapers," Dean countered and he sounded a bit miffed. "These people disappear. There's no trace of them. That's not normal."

"Dean, no offence to your brilliant deducting skills here, but this is Louisiana. There are gators out there. There's a lot of places out there where people can go missing and get eaten by the wildlife. It's not that uncommon," Sam said. "Look, man, I get that it's weird. I understand that it strikes you as something that might be up our alley, but I just don't see it."

"Let's go talk to the locals," Dean said, rose and walked away.

Sam just sat there for a moment, then rose, put the last newspapers back where they came from and followed him back upstairs, only to find his brother engaged in conversation with the girl behind the info desk again. Sam shook his head and continued onwards and out of the library.

It took a moment before Dean caught up to him. "What's the rush?"

"We're not here to find you a date, dude," Sam countered.

Dean grabbed his arm and pulled him to a stop. "What the hell is the matter with you? Ever since the deal with that trickster, you've been up in arms about everything."

"Ever since?" Sam countered and grimaced. "Yeah, I guess I have," he then admitted and let his shoulders sag a little. "But you've been uber-annoying since too, so ..."

With a roll of the eyes, Dean let go of Sam's arm and sent a quick look around the area. "Seems like his kind of magic takes a while to wear off, huh?"

"Maybe," Sam muttered. "Look, Dean, I wasn't gonna say anything, but ... I have a bad feeling about this case."

That caught Dean's attention like nothing else could. He turned back to face Sam, the look he gave him scrutinizing. "You had a vision?" he asked.

"No, no visions. Haven't had one of those in ages." He pensively rubbed the bridge of his nose for a moment. "I can't put a finger on it, Dean. I just ... maybe we should just leave this one alone."

Dean just stood there for a moment, then he grimaced. "Sam, we're here, okay? As you said before, we drove all the way down here. We might as well take a look around, see what we can find. Maybe someone knows something about it and is willing to talk. If it gets too rough, we'll bail."

Sam considered it for a moment, then shrugged. "Sure, fine," he consented.

Grinning in response, Dean clapped a hand onto his shoulder and gave it a light squeeze. "You worry too much, Sammy," he claimed.

"No, Dean, I don't worry too much. You can't worry too much. Let's just ... be careful. And no flying solo on this one," he countered.

Dean raised both hands in surrender. "Okay, no sweat," he said and sent another look around. "Let's find someone to talk to," he added and headed toward what was probably the center of town.


It took the rest of the day for them to scare up anything even remotely worth while, but eventually Dean found an old geezer, who was willing to share what he knew over a whiskey at the local bar.

What he told them was pretty much the best lead they'd been able to find all day. "So ... you're saying that this ... group of people meet up once in a while out in the forest somewhere to ... what? Worship?" Dean asked.

"Pretty much," Hank agreed and beckoned for another whiskey. "Weird folk. They didn't used to like outsiders much, but ever since that bloody storm three years ago, they've changed their tune."

Sam, who sat on the other side of Dean, leaned a little closer. "Do you know what they do out there?" he asked.

Hank shrugged. "Probably sacrificing rabbits and crap to whatever the heck it is they worship out there. They claim it keeps the town safe. If you ask me, they're not doing such a bang-up job of it. First the storm in '57 that killed nearly three hundred people and then that damned storm three years ago. If you ask me, whatever deity they're paying homage to out there is pretty much pissed off at the whole lot of us."

Dean gave Sam a saying look, which his brother chose to ignore. "You wouldn't happen to know where they meet, would you?" he asked.

Again Hank shrugged and downed the contents of his glass, then smirked unsteadily at Dean. He ordered the guy another shot of whiskey. Hank considered the glass for a moment. "Rabbit Island is where they're holed up," he finally said. "Out in the lake. It's a smallish island. Can't miss it." With that he downed the whiskey again, got up and walked away without looking back.

Dean glanced at Sam, who arched both brows. "Well, it's the best lead we've had so far," he said. He had to admit that this whole thing was beginning to go against his grain as well. Not that he would say that getting the information they had now had been easy to come by, but it still felt like things were going a little too smoothly.

"If the cultists share his belief that this deity is ticked off at them, that might explain why they've stepped it up," Sam said quietly and gave the bartender an innocent smile when he moved closer to where they were sitting.

"Yup," Dean agreed, slipped off his stool, grabbed a handful of Sam's jacket and hauled him off his stool too. "Time to go," he added and pushed Sam toward the door.

Sam didn't object, but waited until they were outside before stopping. "What?" he asked.

"Too many people paying attention to what we were talking about," Dean countered. "Let's find a way to get to this island."

"Are you serious?" Sam glanced off into the distance, obviously uncomfortable. "Dean, one thing is if we're on the mainland and can get away if necessary. But our chances of getting out of there are narrowed down considerably if we're on an island."

"When the hell did you turn into such a wimp?" Dean countered a little aggressively. "Dude, you've been fighting me every step of the way on this one. What the hell is this all about? And don't tell me it's a gut feeling, because I don't buy that."

"I'm ... just worried, okay?" Sam said and made a face.

"Screw worried. You're scared of something. What? Did you watch the movie Frogs one time too many? You think the wildlife's gonna come after us if we upset their serenity?" Dean countered sarcastically. "Dammit, Sam. Tell me what the hell is going on here."

"I don't know. Okay? I just have this gut feeling that we should stay far away from this, that it's ... I don't know. I can't explain it. It's like a ... vibe." Sam was obviously trying his best to explain why, but it made little to no sense to Dean.

Dean eyed him for a moment, then grabbed his arm and shoved him forward. "You can have that vibe on the way all you want. We're going," he said. It wasn't so much because he in general felt like disregarding Sam's advice. In the past, listening to Sam had always panned out. But this was different. Sam couldn't explain himself, couldn't define why sticking with this case was such a bad idea and that in and of itself convinced Dean to go the other way. He couldn't explain why he responded that way either, but he was so convinced that this was something they needed to do that he disregarded everything else.


Close to Calcasieu Lake

Shifting his gaze from the calm-looking water of the river that would lead them to the lake to the rickety boat, Sam had never been more convinced in his life that this was the one they should walk away from. The closer they got to Rabbit Island, the more anxious he became and the less Dean wanted to listen to him. Dean had reached the point where he had threatened to duct-tape his mouth shut if he said another word, so Sam had opted for the only response to that and that was silence. He had considered refusing to go, but he knew that Dean would go without him and that made him even more anxious. So, against his better judgement, he tagged along and kept his thoughts to himself.

Dean paid the guy who was renting them the boat, then came back over to where Sam was standing. "That thing doesn't look sea-worthy," Sam said and gave Dean a sideways glance.

Dean eyed the boat, then shrugged. "Good thing we're not going to sail it on the sea then," he countered. "Grab your stuff. I wanna make the island before dark," he added and strode back to where he had parked the Impala.

Sam remained where he was for a second, then sighed heavily and followed his brother. "Dean," he said when he reached the car.

"No, you don't," Dean warned and held up a roll of duct tape. "I'm serious. One more word on this and you're shutting up for the rest of the day."

Sam glared at him, but decided not to push his luck. The way Dean was acting right now, he would end up hogtied and gagged in the back of the car until Dean came back from this horror trip and he wouldn't risk that.

They grabbed what they might need, got in the old speedboat and at this point Sam was hoping that Dean had no idea how to sail. Knowing his brother's affinity for anything with an engine, though, he figured that Dean probably knew how.

It took Dean two tries at the cord before he got the outboard motor running and seconds later, he steered the boat out into the river without the slightest jitter in course.

"Are you afraid of sailing?" Dean suddenly asked.

Sam glanced back at him. "No, of course not," he countered, a little taken aback by that question. "Why should I be?"

"No reason. I was just wondering if your bitchiness right now had anything to do with that," Dean countered and flashed him a smile that made Sam roll his eyes and turn his attention back toward the upcoming lake.

"I didn't know you could steer a boat," he said after a moment, having to raise his voice over the noisy outboard motor.

"There's loads of stuff you don't know about me," Dean countered with a grin.

"I guess," Sam agreed quietly.

A moment later they left the river behind and hit the calm waters of the lake. Rabbit Island was in plain view, but Sam still didn't feel happy about this. Of course, if this wreck of a boat should decide to sink, they could easily swim the rest of the way, but Sam would rather avoid that. The water of the lake didn't exactly look like it was meant for swimming.

It took them a while to cross the expanse and the water level at the bottom of the boat did rise a little during the trip, but not enough to warrant any further concern, so Sam kept his mouth shut about it. But he did keep a firm grip on the edge of the boat the entire way.


Rabbit Island

The island wasn't very big when it came down to it. It seemed to be around one and a half miles across and most of what they could see of it was water. The little bit of dry land was what they were standing on and that couldn't be more than a mile across. Most of it consisted of marshland, while the eastern side was covered with sporadic trees.

"Nice," Dean commented and glanced at Sam, who looked like he'd rather be at a circus right now. "And completely devoid of people," he added.

Sam made a face. "I think we've been had," he countered.

"Let's just take a look around," Dean countered, well aware that Sam was very much in favor of throwing in the towel and heading back to the main land without looking back. But Dean had a feeling they were in the right place and he wasn't going to leave here until he found out if he was right. "It's not like it'll take long," he added and started walking.

As suspected it didn't take long to cover the dry land of this island. Dean was beginning to agree with Sam that they'd been had when he came to a stop back where they had pulled the boat up on land.

"Dean?" Sam called.

He glanced around and spotted his brother between the trees. "What?" he called.

"There's a ... staircase going down here," Sam countered.

Dean jogged over to him and stopped next to the barely noticeable hole in the ground. It was camouflaged well. "Stairs, huh?" he asked and eyed the stone steps leading down into the bowls of the Earth.

"Looks like you were right," Sam said with a light shrug. His shoulders seemed to get stuck in a raised position and he made no effort to lower them.

"Let's take a look," Dean said. "You got the flashlights?"

Sam swung his backpack off his shoulder and dug out the flashlights, handing one to Dean. Then he made a sweeping gesture towards the steps. "Age before beauty," he said, attempting a joke that fell flat because he sounded worried.

Dean abstained from taking a stab at him for that one, switched his flashlight on and started down the steps. Sam followed him a moment later and they descended into darkness, the only light that of their flashlights bouncing off rocky walls.

Counting steps wasn't usually something Dean excelled in, but for some reason he did it now and counted one hundred stone steps before the stairs ended in a fairly straight tunnel doing off into the distance. "Okay, this isn't normal," he said and came to a stop to shine his light down the tunnel. "This tunnel is way longer than this island."

"It's likely that the island is only a small part of a rocky outcrop under water," Sam mused.

Dean glanced back at him. "Do you always have an answer for everything?" he growled.

Sam shrugged. "Could also be an optical illusion," he added.

"You're an optical illusion," Dean muttered and started walking again. "It's damned near frigid down here," he added, well aware that Sam would probably explain that one to him as well. "And yes, I know, it's because it's rock and we're underground and all that jazz. Spare me the explanations, professor."

"Did I say anything?" Sam countered, sounding a little miffed. "You're just in a wonderful mood today, aren't you?"

"I'm in a great mood. You're the one who goes all willy-nilly over this case," Dean said and barely stopped himself before he ran smack into the wall at the end of the tunnel, which took a sharp turn to the right. "Son of a bitch," he hissed and eyed the wall as if it would lash out at him.

"Maybe you need glasses," Sam suggested.

"Shut up," Dean countered and shone his flashlight down the next part of the tunnel. "This place is freakish," he added.

"Really?" Sam's tone was dripping with sarcasm. "Look, why don't we just call it a day and get the hell out while we can?"

"Why don't you just zip it? I still have the duct tape with me, dude," Dean shot back, turned around and shone the flashlight up in Sam's face. He squinted and held up a hand to shield his eyes against the light. "Still having that bad vibe?"

"Try disastrous vibe," Sam corrected him and pushed the flashlight out of the way. "And stop shining that thing in my face," he added.

"You're cranky like hell, dude," Dean said and returned his attention to the bend in the tunnel. "We've got a job to do and I'd say we're on to something."

"Yeah, an old tunnel on a deserted island," Sam agreed.

"If that's all it is, then why are you so jittery?" Dean countered and started walking again.

Again Sam lingered for a moment before he followed him and Dean got the impression that the kid really was worried about this. It wasn't just a fancy idea. Well aware that Sam had an ability to predict things, Dean decided right there and then that he would be extra cautious. Just in case Sam's bad vibe panned out.


After a few more bends in the tunnel, it suddenly opened up into a big, wide cavern the size of a small stadium. Dean had come to a stop and just stood there and stared. There was light coming from somewhere up above, indicating that there probably were a few holes in the ground leading into this cavern directly, and the distant sound of running water suggested that some of the holes were close to the lake. Despite the waning light, though, most of the cavern was dark.

Sam ran his gaze over the cavern, seeing all the signs of a place of deranged worship right from the stone altar with the shackles attached to it to the weird carvings on the walls to the statue behind the altar of what looked like a three-faced woman.

"Welcome to Whoville," Dean said quietly. "What deranged deity do you think they're worshiping down here?"

With a nod toward the statue, Sam took a step in that direction. "That one," he said.

"Yikes," Dean exclaimed. "Three faces? That doesn't look entirely comfortable."

Sam scanned the area around the altar in search of anything that might provide the proof for what was going through his head right now and he fixated on a rostrum off to one side which held a book. Without paying attention to Dean's comment, he strode over to it and held the flashlight up to get a better look at the cover.

"What have you got?" Dean asked and turned up next to him.

"Their bible," Sam guessed and flipped it open.

"What the hell are those supposed to be?" Dean asked and eyed the first page, which was inscribed with symbols rather than discernable letters. It took Sam a moment realize what he was looking at.

"Runes," he finally said.

"Runes?" Dean leafed a few pages ahead. "Their bible is written in runes?" He sighed. "So much for learning anything from the good book," he added, then glanced at Sam. "Unless you can read runes, that is?"

"No, I can't," Sam said and grimaced. "Kinda wish I'd learned how now," he added.

"Yeah, well, you try to figure that one out, geek boy. I'll take a look around," Dean countered, grinned and trailed off over toward the statue.

Sam watched him go for a second, then looked up at the oversized statue of the goddess. "I know you," he muttered, then returned his attention to the unreadable bible. "Dammit," he added and closed the book, took a step back and eyed the rostrum for a moment. It was a cabinet rostrum and when he tried the doors underneath the platform holding the book, they opened willingly and disclosed a similar book. "Two?" he muttered, took out the second book and eyed the cover only to smirk with satisfaction. "The translation," he said quietly, put it down on top of the other book and opened it. He skimmed over the first few pages and felt anything but comforted by what it said. "Maiden, Mother and Crone," he read. "The three-headed goddess." He frowned while wrecking his brain over which of the multitude of evil-assed goddesses this one could be. Runes indicated either Keltic or Nordic. He wasn't entirely sure which one, though. "Hey, Dean," he called and glanced over toward the statue. "I found a translation of the book. Looks like this might be Keltic or Nordic in origin."

He leafed through a few more pages before he realized Dean hadn't answered. Turning a little, he swung the light cone from the flashlight over the semi-dark area. "Dean?" he called and stepped around the rostrum while continuously scanning the cavern. "Hey Dean," he tried again. "Dude, this isn't funny. Where are you?"

"What?" came the reply finally from somewhere behind the statue.

Sam let out a quiet sigh. "I said I found a translation for the book. What the hell are you doing back there?"

"Just looking around," Dean called back. "Knock yourself out," he added.

Sam shook his head and turned back toward the rostrum when he heard a sound like something soft hitting the floor over in the direction of where Dean was. "What are you doing, man? Don't destroy anything," he called and swung the light back that way. "Dean?"

He took a step forward, toward the statue, when he heard a rustling sound somewhere behind him. He turned just in time to see the bat being swung at his head before the lights went out in an explosion of pain.