Saturday, July 15, 2017

When Worlds Collide - Chapter Eight

Ky heard the mournful cry of Vita and the three yearling black wolves as soon as he entered the gate. He answered and followed their howling. They all converged in the meadow. The young blacks huddled around him, rubbing and nuzzling him for the sense of comfort and security his older wolf-self gave them.

Their minds were full of random images. Men in black with weapons. Small arrows and both Jak and Nila being tied and muzzled.

Ky broke away from the youngsters and went to Vita. She was older and was distraught, but calmer. Her mind was torn between the desire to keep tracking Jak and Nila or to return to the den and Nila’s pups. Ky learned from her which direction the men took the alpha pair. He was not surprised to find it was toward the professor’s gate. He licked Vita’s muzzle and whined to tell her he would take care of tracking them. She should take the three blacks and go back to the den.

The young female did not need to be coaxed. She was relieved to have Ky take over the rescue of Jak and Nila. She barked her orders to the blacks and nipped at the oldest who thought to disobey her order and follow Ky instead.

Ky loped off following the trail of the humans bearing the alpha mates of the pack.

*****

Prus came up beside Commander Hawkins as he led his men toward the gate. “We’re being followed,” he said under his breath.

“Yep, for over an hour now,” Riley said from his position behind the Commander. He was taking his turn helping the professor carry the white wolf.

Nat’s head swiveled around on his shoulders looking for who was trailing them. He stumbled, and in the process almost pulled Riley down with him and their wolf burden.

“Watch what you’re doing, Doc!” the K9 expert barked. “This beast is heavy enough as it is without having to juggle her.”

“Sorry,” Nat muttered. “Who’s following us?”

Hawkins held his hand up to signal them all to stop. Stone and Younce, carrying the big male wolf, walked up beside Nat and Riley. The men all immediately put down their heavy ‘wolf-burdens.’

“I’m pretty sure it’s our original target, Sir,” Prus reported.

Hawkins didn’t even glance the direction of the large gray wolf. He had also spotted it earlier and was just waiting until they were far enough away from the woods that the animal/man couldn’t run for cover.

The Commander kept his voice low. “Let’s all stay alert, but we’re going to take a break. Younce… I think you need to take a leak.” He nodded toward a small clump of vegetation to their right. “Take up a position there. First opportunity, I want you to take the shot.”

“How will we get them all back to the gate?” Nat asked. He was exhausted from helping carry the two wolves they already had. He hadn't bargained on being the muscle on this mission.

Younce started to wander off toward the bushes, as Hawkins answered. “Wouldn’t you rather have what we came for initially? Both of these animals came awake over an hour ago.” He indicated the captive wolves with a nod of his head. “Neither of them have changed into humans, even though that would give them the advantage of trying to talk their way out of their situation. I am beginning to agree with Prus. I think we just have two large wolves here. But, I am pretty darn sure, that the one following us is the one we saw in your office footage.”

“He has that tell-tale white tip on his paw,” Riley added.

Hawkins looked to the Professor for approval. He was in charge of his men, but the doctor made the call as far as what specimens they were taking back. Hawkins wasn’t happy sharing command, but it had been his orders to defer to Clayborne’s advice on the matter.

“Of course, you’re right,” Nat agreed. He looked almost longingly at the she-wolf. He hadn’t realized how much he hoped that she was a shape-shifter too. He really could have made history having a mated pair to study and write treatises on.

‘Alright then,” Hawkins said. “Let’s just hold here for a little while and see if he makes a move. Stone... Prus... why don’t you take a smoke break to our left. Riley, you stay with the Professor and the wolves. I am going to scout up ahead.”

No matter which direction their large gray wolf approached, Hawkins felt he had him covered.

*****

Ky immediately fell to his belly in the tall grass when the group of humans stopped to rest. He wasn’t kidding himself, the tall blond man in the rear knew he was there and had told the leader of the group. Ky could see all but the Professor were armed, and he knew from the pups about the tranquilizer gun, so he didn’t want to make himself an easy target.

He watched the group spread out. They were ready for him. There were too many to take on and there wasn’t enough time to get help, even if he could figure out who to ask. The party of men were only about another hour from the gate. He had to make his move soon or Jak and Nila would be lost to the mundane world. The pups would die and the pack would be broken. It was all his fault. That was the thanks he got for being a good Samaritan.

The more he lay there watching them, as they casually took up their positions to capture him, the more he thought that the only way to save the pack’s alpha pair was to turn himself in. Make a trade for their safe release. The Professor wanted him. He was sure of it. They didn’t need pure wolves. They were looking for the man who shifted in the scientist’s laboratory. The monster they encountered that the professor had so many questions for and, no doubt, so many tests to run on.

Ky could only imagine what they would do… and none of it sounded the least bit appealing or even tolerable. But, he had to rescue Jak and Nila. They were innocent and their pack, and pups, needed them.

Ky made his decision and as he lay there in the grass, he morphed into his human form, the Indian that Nat first met in the woods. He lay there on his stomach, his heart beating hard in his chest. He was scared, but also hopeful. He escaped before. He could do it again. Maybe not as quickly, because they would be better prepared, but he was smart and they would slip up. He knew how to access the gate now. If he was lucky, they would keep him close to it in the lab. He would give them the impression that he was being cooperative and eventually they would lower their guard and he would escape.

Once free again, he would get his courage up and talk to Raven about contacting Nayenezghani to have him post someone on the gate to keep the mundane humans out. He tried to calm himself thinking the vampire, and his coven, normally did not feed on shape-shifters. They didn’t like the idea of possibly tainting their people with the shifter’s unusual blood. Perhaps Raven could even be convinced to lead some of his people through the gate and obliterate the people who knew the access secret to The Realms. Raven was very territorial.

With that in mind, Ky rose from his position in the grass and started toward the team of mundanes.

Photo courtesy of whitewolfpack.com
I would love to see Adam Beach play Ky if this story was made into a movie.
Adam Beach (born November 11, 1972) is a Canadian First Nations actor. He is best known for his roles as Victor in Smoke Signals, Tommy in Walker, Texas Ranger, Kickin' Wing in Joe Dirt, U.S. Marine Corporal Ira Hayes in Flags of Our Fathers, Private Ben Yahzee in Windtalkers, Dr. Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa) in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Chester Lake in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Officer Jim Chee in the film adaptations of Skinwalkers, Coyote Waits, and A Thief of Time. He is currently starring in Arctic Air.

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