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ItE: The Return of Humans

Started by Allester, Dec 25, 2007, 01:25 PM

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Inherit the Earth: The Return of Humans

STORY CONTENTS: Love, Romance, Adventure

COPYRIGHTS: Inherit the Earth is a trademark of The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co ©2005-2006 The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co. All rights reserved.
        All other Characters and Story are © Allester E. Darkflame


   Allester sat on the Cliffside overlooking the ocean, his emerald eyes watching the waters edge lap at the shoreline softly with the smell of salt water brought up to his nose in a misty spray of water droplets. He watched, and waited patiently. A lone wolf as many would call him, even though he did travel with a companion. A soft gust of wind blew, ruffling the thick mane of red fur covering his body still he did not budge.

   His body, muscled like a warrior’s but also built for speed, remained where he sat. A long three-foot tail lay motionless behind him in the dew kissed grass from the afternoon storm. A vest of black leather hide hugged his muscles and caused a large collar of fur around his neck to billow out and fluff further. The bottom hem of the vest’s backside carried lapels like a butler’s jacket would. Matching slacks where held up by a belt of sturdy leather, which carried a bastard sword synched just beneath a long sword's scabbard.

   On his wrist were a pair of fingerless gloves that ended just at the wrist. His forearms bared, any eye could see that a fresh wound ran along his left bicep, a mark of exile from his pack. His upper right arm had fur dyed in a runic style, something he remembered from a dream he once had. Finally, a sound in the air hit his ears and his eyes moved and his head turn slowly. Wing beats signaled the arrival of another morph.

   A smile graced his dark lips, revealing twin rows of sharp white teeth that were all flecked in saliva. Slowly rising to his feet, standing at a tall 6’1” most saw him as rather intimidating. He watched the tree line and smiled when the source of the wing beats caught his eye.

   Down from the sky, he watched a lady bat float on an air current and lightly drop to her hind paws. Her chocolate brown fur ruffled from the air currents she had flown in on. A pair of violet eyes stared blankly at him as she moved closer with careful steps while folding her wing arms against her sides.

   “Hello Sonata. I’ve missed you.” He spoke in a soft baritone.

   Sonata smiled at the wolf, her giant triangular ears tilting towards the sound of his voice and like magic walked right up to him. “Hello my love.” She responded.

   His arms wrapped around her and held her close to him. A simple shirt made for bat’s covered her upper body, while a dress bell covered her legs. She placed her thin and small fingers to his chest and laid her head against him. Her right ear tilting to listen to his heart beat while she smiled.

   “Tell me they didn’t hurt you.” She said, giving a soft puff of breath over some loose gray fur on his chin.

   Allester paused briefly, and remained tightly in her embrace, before speaking. “I was exiled.”

   She looked up quickly at him and narrowed her eyes “You’re Alpha though, they can’t do that to you! … Can they?”

   His head nodded slowly “While I lead, and could beat any single challenger, the whole pack is another story. If I resisted, they would have skinned me.”

   Sonata’s body shivered at the thought, but then she smiled with a soft sigh. “Well, at least we still have each other. We wont have to worry about acceptance anymore.”

   Her smile seemed to melt his heart. Letting her go from the embrace, he took her paw in his, admiring how her wings tucked under her elbow. His ears barely made out the soft squeaks she made that signaled the sound of her eco-location. Watching her ears twitch in just about every direction in rapid succession. They walked side by side with slow steps since Sonata was not used to land travel, they had to mind stumps and rocks or other dangers.

   The path they walked was one drawn in their minds. Winding around trees, through bushes and at one point, tumbling into a crystal clear lake that made them stop to make camp.

   Soaking wet, Sonata trembled in the chilled air while Allester worked a flint stone against striking steel. It took several attempts to ignite the tender of tree moss he had gathered, placing several dry logs gently around the tender. Sonata smiled and scooted closer to the flames beginning to rise from the campfire, holding up her wing arms to help dry them faster.

   “Ohh this feels wonderful. This is how your pack lives?” she asked him.

   “Yes. Unlike the Gypsy foxes, we stay near our homes, but we hunt in large territories, sometimes requiring us to stay away from our dens. Every pup is taught survival skills.” He answered, picking up a thick stick and walking over to the lake where he dunked the stick in to the water.

   She watched this and tilted her head, while she couldn’t see well in the day, her night vision was much better, though still poor. She easily made out his shape thanks to the sounds he made, and when he returned to her side, she smiled and leaned against him.

   “Oh my, it’s true what they say. Wet dog stinks.” She teased him, giggling softly.

   He blinked several times and then sniffed himself “I thought you liked how I smelled.” He retorted, giving her a gentle nudging.

   She huffed and pushed him back laughing “Ohh behave you. Take a joke.” She chided him.

   Laughing merrily, neither of them noticed a falling star blazing in the sky. A sudden rush of wind, and the sight of the trees bending to one side made both of them snap from their euphoria. As Allester stood up, Sonata gripped his right arm tightly and whispered, “What was that? That couldn’t have been the wind.”

   Allester never had the chance to answer as an explosion echoed in the distance not far off. He was wary of such sounds, and his gut told him to stay away. A jerk on his arm brought his attention down to his lover who was facing behind them. “I hear voices that way.”

   He nodded and turned around “Stay behind me.” He told her. His right paw gripped the bastard sword at his hip and drew it from its sheath. His left paw gripped the long sword and drew it as well, but kept the blades tip pointed down with the blade parallel to his forearm. His steps where light and practiced like a stalkers, inch by inch he moved closer to where even he could hear the voices now.

   For a moment he remained still, his ears tilted foreword, and then he lunged into the tree line. Shrieks sounded out before three women tumbled from the hedges dressed in strange white and silver clothing. Seconds later two males followed the women out, though tumbling over each other’s feet as Allester walked out with his swords in paw.

   “Who are you? Why where you following…” he paused in his sentence. The soft fire’s glow revealed more to him then Sonata could see. These morphs where all wrong, not just for their clothing, but their complete lack of fur!

   One of the men stood up, his hands shaking in a terrified manor, out of sheer instinct, Allester bared his teeth and let out a deep rumbling growl to assert his dominance. The man seemed to recognize this and got back to his knees as he spoke “We weren’t following you, we had to eject from our ship, and we landed in the tree’s. See for yourself, our parachute’s are still in the tree limbs.”

   For a moment, Allester considered their story, though only half-heartedly since many of the things this beast said made no sense at all. Even still, the submissive gestures the male made to him said they where no threat, so he sheathed his swords at once. “Your names.” Allester asked in his deep voice.

   A long pause between the strange morphs, and then finally the other male spoke. “Captain Richard Elmar.”

   The first male followed suit “Lead science officer, Larry French.”

   Allester then looked to the three females, noticing they where toying with strange silver helmets that hugged their heads so no hair could be seen. A deep snarl and bearing of his teeth on the left side of his maw made them freeze immediately. One female already had hers nearly half off, and locks of golden hair where spilling from her head. She spoke up “Ellana Elmar, please sir. May we remove our head pads?” She said.

   Sonata finally moved beside Allester and nodded her head, restraining the wolf with a paw on his chest. While they removed their head pads, Larry stared in amazement at the wolf and bat. This went against everything he knew about animals, interspecies relationships meant they where not worried about lifestyles of their peers, freedom from segregation.

   “I’m Lieutenant Ashly Conway.” One of the woman spoke, short black hair barely shoulder length on her head.

   The final woman had black hair as well, but the straight length rolled down her back just bellow her shoulder blades. “Security Chief Linda Flaire.”

   Allester nodded his head “So most of you are soldiers.” He asked, crossing his arms over his chest as his stance shifted his legs apart, attempting to mak himself look larger and more intimidating.

   Richard started to stand, but a quick glance from Allester’s eyes made him sit down again. “We’re not soldiers. We… ohh how do I explain this to furs.” He rubbed his neck.

   “We’re Humans.” Ellana blurted out, getting glares from everyone else.

   Allester and Sonata both looked shocked, before they could get over it, the fire went out. Momentarily blinded, Allester dropped low to try and keep the scents of these ‘humans’ while Sonata’s ears perked up. All five humans didn’t waste their chance, they bolted for the tree line behind them, towards the campfires smoldering embers. He was about to chase after them when a blinding flash burst from the ground with an ear piercing popping sound that hurt Sonata’s ears.

   When the light faded and Allester could see again, he scanned the shadowed forest line and snarled “Got away…” he sighed and turned. He saw Sonata on her knees holding her ears at their bases, weeping from pain. Rushing to her side, he hugged her tightly and lifted her up. He walked to the embers and settled her into a makeshift bedding while stating another fire.

   “Humans…” he repeated. Could it be real? Or was it just another hoax cooked up by foxes like the last time.

        Both of them laid down and fell asleep with restless dreams.

   When Allester woke up, he looked around and found Sonata sleeping soundly on her side where the smoke gray logs of their fire smoldered with heat and small embers. He leaned over and kissed her on the forehead, placing his long sword near her for when she woke. She’d know he was still around, and had a way to protect herself.

   Setting off, he walked into the forest, pulling a small amount of rope from a pouch on his belt. As he walked slowly through the underbrush, his paws worked from habit a small hoop. He laid it down on the ground and began digging until he unearthed some worms. He smiled, selected four of them and dumped them into his pouch with some dirt.

   He then went about looking for some berries, and within moments he found a raspberry bush nearby to their camp. Taking a large leaf from a nearby tree, he used the rope hoop he made moments ago as a makeshift basket for some berries. It was half a day’s journey to the nearest town. They’d need their energy after all. A sound echoed in the air around him and he looked around the ground, and then up to his eye level and saw nothing.

   Finally, his eyes went skyward and he saw odd leaves covering some tree limbs with weird vines hanging from them. This time, he bolted from the danger sense he got, rushing back to the camp and forgetting about his own meal of fish he could have caught. His paws gripped Sonata’s shoulders and shook her several times until she woke up.

   “Wh… Wha?” she blinked groggily, only to have fresh berries placed into her paws as Allester took up his sword again.

   “Hurry and eat, we need to leave quickly.” He panted out, already working to hide the campfire they had made. Cutting the dead and burned pieces of wood from the fresh stuff and burying it two feet into the ground. The good wood he tossed into the forest around them in different directions.

   The berries were gone and she stood next too him, but he picked her up in his arms like they had just been married, and took off running. Using his weight to scrape his own paw prints out of the soft sand to hide them. Once into the woods, he slowed his pace and started checking trees to find the fastest way east.

   “Allester, what are we running from?” she asked, her voice sounding jarred several times as she held on to him by his neck.

   “Humans, I think they where real this time.” He responded, panting from the exertion of running with her weight in his arms.

   She blinked, took a moment to choose her words as she didn’t want to sound as if she were calling him a liar. “Are you… sure?”

   His head nodded, and finally the forest line broke with a dirt road nearby. He stopped and let her down to her feet, and then buried his nose into the dirt. Taking several breaths, and then two more before standing up and pointing down one path of the road. “This way.” He smiled, taking her paw in his again. He wanted to get in to town and quickly, report the encounter, and help to recover the humans. The only problem that stood before him now, was how would he convince people of what they saw?

~~ To be continued…

(( Many thanks to Cairn Destop for a better Proof reading then I could do. Next Chapter I'll send to him first and let him give his $25 worth... or is it cents... Hehe, just joking Carin. Thanks again though, I'll see what you say about Ch. 2 =^^= ))

~ Allester E. Darkflame
~ Allester E. Darkflame



Inherit the Earth: The Return of Humans Ch. 2

STORY CONTENTS: Love, Romance, and Adventure

COPYRIGHTS: Inherit the Earth is a trademark of The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co ©2005-2006 The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co. All rights reserved.
        All other Characters and Story are © Allester E. Darkflame
        Cairn Destop is © Himself


   The air in the 'Hedgehog Heaven' tavern was alive with the sound of laughter, music, and glass upon wood. The tavern's interior was always busy like this in the evening. Ferrets coming home from the days work would stop in for some water and food. Cairn, the Tavern owner, stalked behind a small bar serving drink orders with an experienced flick of his wrists that slid the drinks across the wooden bar top right to the appropriate patron.

   Cairn was a European hedgehog, standing a hair under four feet with his quills shaved down a small distance to be non-threatening. Wearing just a simple tan tunic and shorts with a semi-dingy apron tied around his neck and waist to cover his front and hold a couple rags in pockets on the front. Out of habit, he kept a sap tucked into a pouch on his right hip, just incase some of the patrons got out of line.

   A ringing sound roused his small ears attention, in turn causing him to turn his head to the door in curiosity. Brown eyes opened wide, and his lips curled back in a smile. "Allester!' he called out in a booming voice to get over the noise of the crowd. Even so, to be sure the wolf noticed him, he started to walk from behind the bar to greet his old friend.

   "It's been a long time Cairn." Allester responded, extending his paw to take Cairn's hand in a firm shake.

   "Twelve years, you over grown excuse for a pillow."

   "Still with the insults Pin cushion?"

   Sonata tilted her head and looked back and forth between the two males, as they apparently knew each other well enough to insult one another and laugh about it. She shook her head and finally reached both of her paws up to cover their muzzles. "Boys please... can we go someplace quieter? My ears are hurting in here." She released their maws and smiled with a slight pink tint at the base of her ears.

   "Of course Miss. Right this way." Cairn said, motioning with his arm towards a back room, his other arm ushering Allester towards it while turning his head to a hedgehog female behind the bar "Steff, would you mind watching the bar for me a moment?"

   The young girl nodded her head, continuing to wipe out some glasses fresh from a sink hidden under the bar.

   As the three of them moved into the back room, Cairn locked the door and lit a brazier until a soft glow lit the room. A simple round table with six chairs around it occupied the middle of the room. A dirty clothes hamper stuffed into a far corner with aprons overfilling the edge. Some wash water was in a bucket just to the left of the dirty clothes with a crank-style ringer next to it.

   "Have a seat." Cairn offered, taking a seat himself.

   "Thank you." Sonata said, even as Allester pulled a chair out for her and helped her sit. Cairn's eyes didn't miss this action and he smirked a little.

   "So what brings you to town, Allester?  Thought your pack got what it needed during Reznick's last visit to our fair little village?"

   Allester's ears lifted fast, word of his exile obviously hasn't spread yet. He paused and then shook his head "No. It's not that. Reznick lead a coup against me, he leads the pack now. It's just as well though. I don't have to worry about their judgment of my love life."

   "I see. Well, enough of that then, what brings you all this way Allester?"

   Another pause followed. Allester's eyes looking at the small chairs, his left eyebrow lifting and he let out a sigh.

   "Sit boy." Cairn commented with a chortle.

   A grimace crossed the wolf's face, and he sunk to his rear, crossing his legs and glaring at Cairn. "I came here because I need someone who can get the word out about something me and Sonata witnessed."

   "Oh? And what might that be?"

   "We saw human's." Sonata blurted out, then quickly covered her muzzle with her paws, her ears turning pink once more.

   Cairn's jaw dropped a short distance, his eyes staring at the young bat across the table from him, and then to the wolf sitting calmly beside her. He'd know that wolf for years, lying about something this big wasn't in his style. "Really now. Got any proof? I can't be causin' rumors people will freak over ya know."

   "We can show you where we saw them, and the strange things they left behind." Allester offered, and continued, "I also know what I saw. They had no fur on their bodies except on their heads, and wore very strange clothing. I've only heard of one species like that, Humans."

   Shifting his weight on the chair, Cairn contemplated these things. His eyes were not on his friend, but staring at an empty section of the room. "I've not gone traveling in a long time. How far is it?"

   "About half a day's travel. But that's not all. Before the humans showed up, there was a powerful rush of wind followed by a loud bang in the air. They claimed to have jumped from a ship."

   "Hmm... Legend does say Human's sailed into the stars, but I never believed they had actual ships that could fly in to the sky like that."

   "Which is why I want people to find out. If I where to try and claim this, people would simply call me a liar, trying to reclaim my pack with such a find. Will you help Cairn?"

   For a time, Cairn rubbed his chain and considered the thought. He then rose from his chair and walked to that empty space in the room and pulled away a plank. His hand reached into the area bellow, and pulled a short sword up. "Alright, show me. But this better be worth the two days I'll be gone." He said, taking off his apron and throwing it into the dirty clothes.

   Allester smiled, nodding his head and slowly rising to help Sonata from her seat. They waited by the door until Cairn had his sword on his hip and walked back to unlock the door for them.

   As they passed through the crowd, Cairn stopped to give some information to Steff before following his friends out the front door.

   The dirt road leading left, right, and straight before them were all lined with small huts or canopies where venders would normally sell their wares. Sonata smiled as she twirled around on a single leg before stopping. She smiled and looked up at the full moon hanging in the sky. "Do you think Human's really went into the stars, or did they just hide from us?"

   "I don't know... but after last night. I'm more a believer in the legends that humans traveled to the stars." Allester said, stepping off the porch and grinding his feet into the dirt road briefly.

   "Why do you do that?" Sonata asked

   "It's a tradition for his pack, they mark their starting point before a journey. Something about being able to follow the scent back home."

   "You're half right Cairn. We do it at the beginning of the Journey, but not to track it back home. But to leave our mark in history." Allester responded, smiling with a Cheshire cat like grin.

   "Oh forgive me great Wolf leader, let me pay homage to your great legend." Cairn said as he plucked a quill from his back and made a couple stabbing motions at Allester's flanks, making sure the wolf had time to dodge every jab.

   Sonata gave a light giggle, smiling at her companions. "So how did you two meet?" she inquired, starting to walk down the road leading to the right of the Inn.

   "Well, before I opened the Tavern, I was something of a traveler. I had to find the perfect spot to settle down and find my way in life. As much as I hate to admit it, fuzz butt here saved my life."

   "Saved? I recall regretting it almost immediately after I had several of your quills in my nose, arm, chest, and parts of my muzzle!"

   "I said I was sorry about that. It was before I shaved my quills, I needed them for defense back then. Now hush and let me tell your mate our story."

   "Mate?" Sonata squeaked out, covering her muzzle once more with her paws. Her ears tinted pink once more, as she looked at Allester.

   "Mmm? You mean you two are still courting?"

   A paw cupped Cairn's muzzle as Allester tried to grin and bear the comments. "Yes, I've not had the time to make a proper band for her." He said, releasing Cairn's muzzle and continuing to walk.

   "I'm still fascinated by the fact your pack 'makes' their wedding rings. Why not just buy one?"

   "Where would the sentiment be then? It would be a gift then. When you make the band you are putting your heart and soul into it."

   "Mmm... good point. Either way, may I continue my story?"

   "Yes, yes..." Allester sighed, walking beside Sonata as she wrapped her arms around his left arm, feeling him winch a little from the wound along his forearm. Her hand lightly brushed over the marks.

   "Good. Now then... where was I. Oh yes. Well, I had fallen into one of his packs traps. Ones meant for the non-sentient beings. Thankfully he outlawed spike traps or I'd be shish kabob. I sat there for a good day and a half before he came around. Rude pup he was at first, sat down right on the edge of the pit and teased me with a stick, asking if I was good to eat!"

   Cairn paused and rubbed under his chin, realizing they had walked out of range of his small village. He took in the area and marked a few landmarks to know the area. "After about two hours of poking at me, he tossed me some water and food. Then said something about needing to stay in the pit until nightfall. That's when I heard his packs howling. Terrible sound it is when you're down in a pit."

   "Really? I always found his howls enchanting and mystical."

   "Ohh they are at that, for any wolf. But imagine being in a pit, poked at with a stick and asked if you taste good. You'd feel like prey."

   Sonata giggled a little and smiled briefly "Well, that's true. So what happened after that?"

   "Well, when night came around, he used that same stick to help me out. Out of a little bit of anger, I spiked him with my backside and took off running... only to fall off of a cliff. Managed to grab hold of a small ledge, figured I was dead then. But low and behold, even wounded after my attack, he slung a rope over the edge and hauled me back over the edge back to land."

   He paused once more and smirked "How did you ever keep moving? I know my quills sting, especially with the amount I put in you."

   "You said it yourself. I'm fuzzy. Most of your quills missed my flesh and tangled up in my fur. Only my muzzle and arm took any serious hit."

   "Huh, I'll have to remember that when dealing with thick furred morphs." Cairn laughed "You're giving away your kinds secrets." He chided Allester.

   When a crossroad appeared, Allester stopped and moved over to the road sign. "Which way?" Cairn asked.

   "I put a marker on this sign. The road doesn't go to where we need to, in fact if we stay on the road I don't think I could find our last camp spot."

   "So much for canine sense of smell."

   "We could always push him into some water. He really smelled bad when he got wet last night." Sonata giggled.

   "Ar... wh... Hahah! Allester I love this woman!"

   Allester grumbled under his breath and finally pulled up his marker. "We go northeast from here." He said.

   With twin chuckles, Sonata and Cairn started to walk behind their guide. "I think we hurt his ego." Cairn whispered.

   "Yeah, but he'll forgive me. You might have to suck up."

   "Pfft, I'll buy him a drink of tea and he'll be happy."

   "Hehe, He is a sucker for sugar."

   "Are you kidding, you could have taken the pack from him just by waving honey under his nose."

   "I heard that!" Allester called over his shoulder, pointing to a forest about three hundred yards in the distance. "We should make camp here. I don't want any surprises like last night."

   Cairn stroked under his chin a moment and nodded "That's a good idea. Here. A patron found this in an old structure his team believed belong to humans. It's useful for fires." He said, pulling a silver rectangle from one of his pockets.

   While Allester gathered some tender and firewood from the area, Sonata and Cairn worked to clear a space of soil and build a rock barrier to protect the grass around them. Once Allester returned, he placed the tender in the middle of the rocks, only to watch it be snapped up by Cairn. "Wood first, trust me."

   Curious, Allester started to build the wood in a slight pyramid shape wile Cairn used that small rectangle to light the tender with ease by a tiny flame emitting from it's top where half of the thing opened up. Allester sneezed and shook out his head, "That has a strange smell about it." He huffed; watching the flames raise from the logs once the tender was placed on them.

   "That it does, but I keep this thing around for just such an occasion. Or when the stove needs to be heated fast." Cairn laughed.

   It was silent around the fire; Sonata and Allester both stared at the flickering flames. As if they where different then the flames they made through flint. "You two ok?" Cairn asked.

   "Yeah... I'm just, worried." Allester responded, noticing Sonata's head bobbing as she began nodding off. He reached over and pulled a small roll of cotton fabric with goose down stuffed in it, letting her lay down to sleep.

   Cairn simply watched he couldn't imagine what his friend was worried about. But in his mind, if he had really met humans... then there would be a good cause for worry.

   "So what is it you're going to show me, that proves it was humans?"

   "Paw prints, a weird metal that burst a searing light, and strange fabric hanging from the trees where I found them."

   "Mmm... all very good things, yes. However, prints can be faked, that material can be from another land. It's all just to uhh... what's the word I'm looking for." Cairn thought as he rubbed along his throat softly. "Ohh! Staged."

   "True, but explain the strange metal. One of them threw it at us, it let out a loud bang along with a blinding light."

   "Sounds like a Flash Grenade." A new voice spoke up.

   Allester stood quickly, swords drawn even as Cairn drew his own and looked at the shadowy figure just mere feet from them.

   "Ohh yeah... sorry, can't have the help baring their fangs." The figure said, the voice tinged with sarcasm and definitely female.

   A snapping sound filled the air from her direction, but before either male could do anything, darkness filled their vision and they slumped to the ground. The figure moved into the small fire pit and looked around at five other figures and smirked "Alright, these three will do. Perfect test subjects." She said.

   The three morphs where picked up by many hands, tied up and tossed into three different cages. A loud rumbling sound filled the air, and the figures doused the flames and buried the evidence before jumping into a strange vehicle that floated on a cushion of air to the south.

~~ To be continued...

~ Allester E. Darkflame
~ Allester E. Darkflame



Inherit the Earth: The Return of Humans Ch. 3

STORY CONTENTS: Love, Romance, Adventure

COPYRIGHTS: Inherit the Earth is a trademark of The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co ©2005-2006 The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co. All rights reserved.
        Cairn Destorp is © Himself
        All other Characters and Story are © Allester E. Darkflame


   Allester woke up slowly with a cold chill boring into his bones from bellow him. Right ear twitching, he slowly began to lift his head up and placed his paws against the surface of cold metal. "Wha-" he stopped and lifted his head up, eyes wide "SONATA?" he called out franticly, looking around swiftly. Only a moment passed, an eternity for him, before his eyes locked onto her sleeping form in a similar cage right beside his.

   He quickly moved to the side of his cage and tried to put his paw between the bars, a crackling sound emitted in the air as he yanked his paw back in pain. The bars sparked with small flecks of lightning. "Sonata, wake up." He huffed out once more, rubbing his sore paw.

   When her figure shifted and began to move, he let out a deep sigh of relief and smiled. "Good morning My Love."

   "Mmm? Morning?" she asked, rolling her head and body until she laid on her back. Her right wing-arm rose and rubber her temple. "My head feels like I hit a wall." She groaned.

   "That would be the tranquilizer wearing off." A new voice sounded, the echoing noise of heels clipping down a cement surface attracted their attention.

   A human woman walked through a glass door. Her body cloaked in a white lab coat and blouse with a black skirt hanging just bellow her knees. Her red hair pulled back into a bun and pony-tail while her blue eyes rested behind a pair of glasses. In her hands, she held up Allester swords and smiled. "I must say, these are magnificent. I've never seen a metal like this before. It's stronger then titanium, ten times lighter and more durable. What is it? How did you make it?" she asked Allester.

   The wolf remained quiet, thinking for a moment before turning his eyes on her. "Release us, unharmed, and I'll tell you."

   The woman smiled softly, her lips revealing a set of sharp fangs. "As you can see my dear friend, I like to learn things. Study them so to speak, I figured out how to genetically engineer my own DNA to give me Morph like attributes. Sharp teeth of a Wolf, Feline like grace and reaction, eyes of a Hawk. Come then puppy, you can tell me. If you behave like a good dog, I'll take you for walkies." She purred almost.

   Un-amused, especially at being called a 'dog', Allester bared his own teeth in a snarl. "Let us out and I wont rip your throat out, Omega." He barked out, using a pack mentality word against her.

   She just smiled, "My name is Kashin. Dr. Kashin, you'll remember my name doggy."

She then reached her hand up and tapped a strange pad on the cage. A jolt of electricity surged through his cage. The howls of pain he let out scared Sonata, she tried to reach for him and yanked her paw back in pain from the invisible barrier of pain separating her from her mate. "LEAVE HIM ALONE!" she hissed out.

   The woman stopped and looked at Sonata. "So strange seeing a predator traveling with two prey species."

   "Predator? Prey?" Sonata blinked, then the words hit her, "Allester would never eat me! He loves me, and I him!" she retorted.

   This information got Kashin's attention. "Really? Interspecies relationships amongst morphs? Ha Ha, I think I have a new study subject too. Ohh that's such a great idea. Breeding the perfect slave animal." She continued to talk to herself as she walked away, forgetting about her questions about Allester's swords.

   As she left the room, two bulky males walked in through another door, dragging an unconscious Cairn by the arms to a new cage. They left the same way they entered. Allester remained on his back, panting as the electricity charged in his body slowly dissipated.

   Sonata could bare to see her mate in this shape, a few tears stained her cheeks as she lowered her ears to her skull and tried to hum a lullaby he had taught her. It seemed to help. His breathing slowed, a sign of relaxation, and his form went limp. With his eyes closed, she had to listen closely, and hearing his heart beating still; she smiled and laid on her side.

   Skimming the room her eyes took in the smooth, metallic walls. The light here wasn't like candle light or the sun, but a strong yellowish glowing that hurt her eyes a little bit. The floor was just like the walls, smooth and metallic looking, but small little lights formed a pathway from one door to the other in a ninety-degree angle. She watched the room and noticed the wall with the glass doors had a glass section on the wall.

   She could see people in the room beyond the glass. They moved around and messed with several strange contraptions. "Sonata..." Allester's weak voice spoke.

   Looking over, she smiled "Hello my dear, feeling better?" she panted lightly and let out a soft humming noise barely audible to him, something to help him relax.

   His smile made her feel better, "I feel all tingly inside, and for once it's not your echoing tones." He chuckled lightly.

   "Oh come on, stop with the sappy love stuff." Another voice piped in. Cairn sat up while rubbing his head. "They asked me a lot of questions about your swords Allester. Seems they've never seen anything like it, and they didn't like the fact I didn't know anything about the metal."

   "Sorry Cairn, family secret." He chuckled lightly.

   "Yes well, it's lucky you're so adamant about that. Your pack could easily beat down armies of Elk and Boars if you wanted. Some woman kept saying those swords were unbreakable, even something called a 'Diamond' couldn't break it, but your swords cut through it."

   "My pack is small, we want for little more then to live as we do." Allester sat up and sighed. "What is a diamond?"

   Cairn chuckled "She showed me one. It's a clear crystal like thing. Supposedly the hardest substance on Earth... atleast that's what her people thought until they found your swords."

   Nodding his head, Allester started to respond, but stopped as the doors opened. That same woman they saw the night of their capture walked in. "The wolf." She ordered two males.

   They marched to Allester's cage, tapping a sequence of spots on the pad to his cage, the door opened a small distance. The two males hauled Allester from his cage and held him before the woman. "Your swords, tell me where you found them."

   Allester said nothing. The woman's face contorted in aggravation. "Tell me, or your woman dies."

   "LEAVE HER ALONE!" he snarled, pulling one arm from his captors arms. Reaching for the woman with his free arm, the other male still holding his left bicep twisted his weight and slung Allester over his shoulder until the wolf landed on his back. The male then twisted Allester's arm while planting one foot onto the wolfs chest to pin him down.

   The woman smiled as she peered down at Allester. "Tell me."

   For a moment, Allester remained silent and turned his head. As the woman brought up a small box and aimed it at Sonata, he snapped "STOP! I'll talk."

   "Good dog." She said with a sneer. "Where did you find them?"

   "My pack made them. Myself and my Mother found a mix of metal that created this metal." He growled.

   She smiled "What mix of metals?"

   "Cazmin, Alberit, and Dumiso. You need a proper heating as well." He growled.

   The woman looked irritated "I've never heard of those metals." She kicked his side, jabbing her toes into his ribs and watching him winch. "Tell me the real names."

   "Those ARE you sadistic beast." He snapped.

   She was about to kick him again, but Dr. Kashin walked out "Perhaps they don't use the names we use for metals. Or they found new types of metals. Let's set some samples out for him and he can identify them from there." She smirked.

   "Alright. But bring his female." She chuckled "Seems he loves her, the dumb beast doesn't even realize his line ends with him."

   The two males lifted Allester once more, but this time he was ready. His left foot rose and planted itself into the males face. He rolled and threw his weight into the other male and forcing the humans back against his cage. Turning, Allester only briefly saw the 'lead' human pulling out a strange object. A loud ringing sound filled his ears and pressure on his shoulder pushed him back a little.

   Both of the women stared dumbfounded at him. "What in the world? He should be bleeding." The leader commented.

   Allester looked down at his shoulder, his vest ruffled a little with a small ball of lead buried against the fabric. He flicked it off and glared at the women.

   "Ohh how amazing. The metal is woven into his clothing!" Dr. Kashin screamed with glee.

   Once more, Allester advanced on the women, but Dr. Kashin held up a hand "Stop, or she dies." She pointed at Sonata, the Leader aiming that strange weapon at Sonata.

   Immediately, Allester froze. He glared at the women and gave a snort. "Dishonorable swine. You're no better then thieving foxes and low life river rats." He barked, his arms being grabbed once more by the two human males.

   They lead him down a long corridor of metallic walls and flooring. The lighting always that stale white that burned his eyes. Every step he counted, measuring the distance from those cages to wear they lead him. Everything looked the same, and he planned on making some chaos as soon as he could.

   When they marched him into a room, they sat him down in a strange stool. Dr. Kashin walked in behind him with a small box. She sat it down in front of him and opened it. Inside wear several metals of varying sizes and shapes. Their cut and colors were a little foreign to him.

   "Now then, which metals do you use to make this." She said, rubbing his vest and giving a purr. "My, that is all muscle under there."

   His paw snapped up and slapped her hand away, one of the guards cuffed him on the side of his head. A low growl coming from him as he glared at these furless beasts. His eyes darted over the metals and he brought his hand up to feel them. "None of these are like the metals we use. This one is close, but it's far to dark." He held up a large chunk of iron pyrite.

   Dr. Kashin looked over the metal and lightly hummed to herself. "Any others close?"

   He nodded his head, picking up a silver metal "This is close, but it's far to soft and light."

   She nodded and scribbled down foreign letters on some strange parchment. "Good." She stood "Bring this one and his female to my private lab. The pin cushion needs to be put into a control cage and brought behind them. This puppy seems to be loyal to them, just like a cute doggy woggy." She mocked him, speaking in a childish tone while rubbing under his chin lightly.

   Growling, he snapped at her fingers with a deep bark that echoed in the room. Dr. Kashin's head tilted "Dangerous. Muzzle him." She ordered. Walking out with the box of metals and her notes.

   The guards hauled him out of the area, once more he started counting steps. Once he saw Sonata being dragged out into the hall with Cairn. He smiled, one of the guards behind Cairn had his blades. "Sonata, my love, Sing for me. Please?" he smiled.

   Confused, but getting the idea, Sonata took a deep breath. Allester pinned his ears to his head and Cairn barely caught on, tucking his own stubby ears down. Only a split second before Sonata let out a literal ear piercing shriek of echo location, the sound enhanced ten fold by the metallic walls and close quarters. Their captors all let go of them, grabbing their own ears in agonizing pain, but Allester felt it the most. His canine ears even pinned down heard the high pitched tone.

   When she ran out of breath, Sonata gasped for air while Cairn grabbed up Allester's swords and swung them to him. Cairn and Sonata both covered their eyes as Allester did his job as a warrior protecting his pack. Once that was done, they ran down the hall with Allester in the lead. He counted the paces back to the room they had him in, he could smell fresh air nearby. Following his nose, his mate and friend right behind him, it wasn't long until Allester lead them to a dead end, with a large grate of steel in front of them. Freedom viewed through the bars.

   "It... looks like a drain system." Cairn piped in, looking at the trickle of water at their feet leading out.

   Still not able to hear clearly, Allester's ears twitched back and forth in irritation while Sonata tried to pet them. Worry written on her face "I'm Sorry, so Sorry. I didn't think I'd be that loud." She crooned.

   "It's ok Sonata. Had to do something my love."

   "I know... but I hurt your ears."

   "They'll be fine soon."

   "Yeah, now lets get out of here hmm?" Cairn spoke up. Dropping several quills and screws from the drainage grate. "That's going to leave a bald spot." He sighed.

   As the grate fell away, the trio moved through it one at a time, Sonata first, and then Cairn; followed by Allester. With their freedom obtained, they ran down the river, using the water to hide their paw prints and most of their scent. They ran, and ran more for three hours before Allester finally collapsed, a little blood coming from his left ear.

   "Ahh... I-is he okay?" Sonata cried.

   Cairn examined the wolfs ears, pulling one nearly inside out to peer in. "I don't know. But we need to get him to a Physician fast."

   He looked around at their surroundings, and then looked up at the stars. Silent for several minutes before he smiled "Ahh, there's a town about an hour from here to the south west. I know people there, they can help." He smiled. "Uhh... stay here."

   Walking into the forest edge near them, Cairn found some long branches and dragged them back. He took off his shirt and ripped it down the middle to tie both sides to the branches. "Help me get him on this." He smiled, lifting one side of Allester's form as Sonata helped drag the fallen wolf onto the make shift stretcher.

   They each took one side of the stretcher and started to drag Allester's unconscious body at an angle towards the town Cairn spoke of.

~~ To be Continued...

~ Allester E. Darkflame
~ Allester E. Darkflame