I woke up as irritable as I’d gone to bed, but pushed it aside as I dug through my work clothes. Dark clothes that wouldn’t catch on anything or reflect off of light. I rebraided my hair and after putting on my boots, I headed to the kitchen. Chef had already packed a week’s worth of food and drinks. I grabbed a thermos of coffee and took the food then headed out to the truck. I disabled the ward and jumped inside. Tying down the food and setting the thermos in the front console, I double checked everything inside and outside of the truck making sure everything was in working order. Stepping back out of the truck, satisfied with my inspection, I sat on the bumper and sipped some of the coffee. Ben came ambling out in a better mood and we chatted as I waited for Gaia to show up. She came running out of the doors, worry etching her face.
“I’m so sorry, Nyx,” she said breathless. “I was talking with Mother.”
“It’s fine, Gaia. Just get in the truck,” I said and stood up.
“Be careful, Nyx,” Ben said.
“I will,” I said giving him a hug. “I’ll let you know when we get there.”
“Alright,” he said and walked back into the house.
I watched him until the door shut and then went to the driver’s side and climbed in. I turned the ignition and as soon as it had warmed up, we were heading cross country to the rendezvous spot. It took us a better part of the day getting there, but we arrived safe and sound. I clambered over the seats and began to turn on the equipment, letting it warm up.
“Hey, Big Ben, it’s your favorite Goddess of the Night, read me,” I said in to the comms unit.
“Read you loud and clear, beautiful lady. You arrived safely,” he replied,
“Like a newborn in swaddling clothes, we’re wrapped up nice and tight.”
“Good. How’s the ‘quip looking?”
“Beautiful. Everything appears to be in working order. We just literally got here, so I’m not ready to fly the girls yet. I want to head up the ridge line with Gaia and get a better view of the shield and an eye account of the area.”
“Sounds like a plan. Let me know.”
“Will do, big bro. Nyx, out.”
Gaia laughed from her seat up front and I looked over at her with a quirked brow.
“I don’t remember you ever speaking like that. Joking,” she explained.
I grinned, “It’s not something there was a lot of time for back then, was there? Now, I take the fun where I can get it. Keeps me from ravishing all the poor lonely farm girls out there.”
Her eyes widened in shock and I laughed. She joined in as she realized I was joking.
“I know we’re a horny bunch, but I do have morals, Gaia,” I said, smiling. “Come on, feel like a run?”
“I thought you’d never ask.”
We climbed out of the truck and shifted as we ran to the ridge line. Stopping at the crest, we took in the view.
Do you see the shield, I asked Gaia.
See how it curves from the pinnacle until it reaches the ground?
Like half of a globe.
Yes. Now, we’ve been told that nothing can get in or out. I believe to stray on the closer side of caution and assume that is not so. We may not be able to get in, but things may be able to get out.
Like bullets, missiles and things like that?
Exactly. We treat if as if it is something to avoid. We can’t risk getting too close.
Do you think we could still be out of range of their weapons if we go to the next ridge down there?
I looked at where she pointed out and doing some calculations said, Yes. We should be, but don’t let your guard down for one minute. We’re coming into their territory now. We act accordingly.
She nodded and we ran down the ridge and up to the top of the next one. When we stopped, we were close enough to hear voices clamoring in fear. We’d been spotted. I stopped Gaia from turning around because I wanted to see what they would do.
Why are we not running? Do you not hear them?
I hear them, Gaia. We are still out of range of most man-made weapons. Be still a moment. Watch. Listen.
The alarms and shouting drew us outside the hall and we took off running for the gate.
“What is it,” I yelled at a passing guard.
“Wolves,” he hollered back.
“We need eyes,” Raven shouted and turned away and ran off to her lab.
We continued running and then we were all climbing the gate tower that overlooked the surrounding area.
The guard handed Bellamy and me each a pair of binoculars. I looked through them and was surprised to see two wolves just sitting there. One was massive and completely black. The other was its opposite, but only slightly smaller. Bigger than normal wolves. As we watched, they did no more then watch us as well.
I turned my attention away from them when I heard someone running up the stairs. It was Raven and she had a small drone in her hands and a video screen.
We made room for her and set about getting the drone ready for launch.
“I thought you told us that nothing can leave the shield once it was up,” Bellamy asked.
“Nothing can. No projectiles of any kind just like none can enter from out there,” she said as continued to set it up. “Monty and I’ve modified this so that it has a shield of its own and can interact with the bigger one allowing it through. Don’t you want to get a closer look?”
“Well, yeah, but…”
“Then let me do my job, Bellamy.”
Soon, she had the drone airborne and she flew it closer to the shield wall that was directly opposite of the two wolves. We all peered at the small screen as she zoomed in on them. They just sat there, taking everything in. Occasionally, it looked like the black one was pointing things out to the smaller, white one. Even to the point of using it’s paws to point them out.
“They’re acting like they’re having a conversation and the black one is pointing things of interest to the white one,” Raven said fascinated.
The black one would occasionally look up at the drone and one time it winked at us.
“Did it just wink,” Bellamy asked as he leaned closer.
“It looked like it. I’m gonna send the drone out of the shield now.”
We watched as it began to cross through the shield, the video messing up a little, but then it was through and flew closer to the wolves. The white one saw the drone approach and it raised its hackles, but the black one laid a paw across its shoulders and nuzzled its ears, calming it. The white one calmed and the black one let go.
The black one walked closer to the drone and seemed to look closer at it. It turned its head back to the white one. The white one nodded and seemed to relax more.
“What are they doing,” I asked, puzzled by their behavior.
“They’re studying us,” Octavia replied. “Look at how their heads are constantly moving and their noses move in the air. This is the first time that we’ve come across a pair that isn’t trying to get inside. These two are smarter.”
Suddenly, something pinged against the drone’s shield, rocking it slightly as the big one shook it’s head as if it was hit.
“What just happened,” Bellamy asked.
“It threw something at the shield,” Raven said, not understanding what happened either. “Whatever was thrown hit the black one in the head. But, it doesn’t look pissed. In fact, is it shrugging at the white one?”
Looking, it did appear that the black one was shrugging as the white one shook it’s head at the others idiot idea. The black one walked back over to the white one and with it’s tail high in the air swished it back and forth like a woman would do if she wanted her attention to be drawn to her backside.
“Is it sashaying,” someone asked.
“I was just thinking that,” I said in disbelief. “What the hell are these wolves? They’re acting like people. Like us.”
That was a stupid idea, Nyx, Gaia said as I came to a stop by her and sat looking at the compound again.
Didn’t hurt to see what would happen. It’s just a video drone. It’s not dangerous.
Hmph. We’ll see about that.
I looked at her with a grin and said, Ready to try something else?
What did you have in mind?
Well, seeing as you were called by the Order and you accepted. Wanna try something that only members of the Order can do?
What is it?
It’s something similar that the Pakstoka can do. Communicate with all pack members. But what the Order does is something different, but similar. The Order can communicate on a more spiritual level. More in tune with our connection with Mother Earth. A more primal level of communication. It’s a connection that once given can never be severed.
How do you know about this? I have only begun learning about it.
When I was younger, my uncle was Called and we spent many nights discussing what it is a priest or priestess provides to all weres. Not just those within a pack. So you wanna give it a try.
What would I say?
Just let them know that we know they are alive and that Pakstoka is working on a way to bring them all home. Tell them to be strong and have faith. Maybe not those words, but something of that nature. The words have to come from your heart and soul, Priestess.
How do I do it?
Alright, close your eyes. Deep inhale, slow exhale. Deep inhale, start feeling the ground beneath your feet, slow exhale, Deep inhale, feel yourself beneath the ground you sit upon, slow exhale. Deep inhale, reach further into Mother Earth and find your personal connection with her, slow exhale. Keep breathing slow and steady and reach beyond yourself and search for others like us, calling them gently to you. That’s right, just like that. The Mother will provide you the strength to reach those within our small circle. You provide the will to bring them within your open arms. Can you feel them gathering?
Good. When you feel that all have been gathered, speak. Let the words flow from your soul. Let your love for them flow from your heart. Let them know they’re prayers have been heard.
Brothers, sisters. I beseech you to listen with an open mind and open heart. You have been found. Pakstoka has found you. Your Priestess has found you. Have faith, my children, for we will bring you home. Have strength that you will run free in the forest soon. Have love knowing that Pakstoka and the Order love you all in return. Be at peace, my brothers and sisters. For you are no longer lost. You are no longer alone. We are here.
Good. Now gently release them from your arms. Like the wind carries away the seeds of the dandelion. Let them flow to their own connections with the Mother. Good. Now thank the Mother for providing you strength as you slowly return from her and travel back through the ground and out of the ground and into yourself.
She opened her eyes and there was so much love and peace in them that it made my heart sing with joy.
Mother Earth has provided, how will you show respect, Gaia?
She looked between her paws and bent down until her nose touched the ground. As she slowly raised her head a single bloom began to grow. As it grew, it blossomed into a beautiful white rose.
Perfect, Gaia. Mother Earth thanks you.