The Wolf Stones; Chapter One, Fire in your eyes
"Come on we need to do this fast!" I yelled to my brother, as we ran through dark infested meadow after meadow.
"I'm coming, shesh!" he yelled back and started to run faster.
"We have to get this over with before morning recruits," I thought to myself. If the Headest found out that we were gone for the night we would be screwed.
I looked up to the sky and saw that the moon was flying closer to the horizon; we were running out of time.
Soon we reached our destination, a large field filled with sheep. Off to the side laid a big red barn and a house. All of which belonged to Shepherd, a man with a heart as hard as radiated steel and a soul as easy to move as Terricotta Mountain. You never messed with Shepherd, for if you did you land yourself in rehabilitation for months. Yet week after week Luke and I would run here from the Orphanage to steal sheep. It was for a good cause of course, our freedom.
"Cut the rope," Luke whispered breaking my line of thoughts.
"Okay," I replied then pulled my knife from its holster. Luke and I had either found, stolen, or were given the weapons we owned, of them all the knife was my favorite. Its blade was made of radiated steel, which is when the steel has been modified so that it will not break or even dull, I could toss my knife into a nuclear explosion and the metal parts would still be as new as ever.
Flipping the knife in the air I twirled it so that it would fall on the ragged rope that held the wooden gate to the sheep shut. I turned around and pulled the door open with ease and caught the knife when it bounced back up.
"Told you I could do it, radiated steel can do anything," I said mocking Luke as I put my knife back. He rolled his eyes then shoved me aside. When outside the Orphanage we fought like anyone else, ignoring the fact that we were twins.
I clambered in after him and grabbed the sheep closest to me. Why are the sheep a little taller? I turned it over and tried to grab its front hooves. Suddenly the sheep jerked away and its front hove struck against my check bone. My face burned and red spots littered my eyesight. I drew my breath short trying to hold the pain down, but my eyes began to fill with tears. Cursing, I grabbed the sheep again and pulled of the metal slabs off its hooves.
"Just as I thought," I said out loud.
"What?" Luke asked surprised looking over to me.
"He finally noticed he was missing some stock!" I said chuckling. We had been stealing Shepherds sheep for years and he must have finally realized that every week he would be short a few sheep. He had started to put L.A.S.T, or otherwise known as Location and Status Transmitters, on his sheep.
"Look on their hooves," I told him. After I said that he flipped the closest sheep upside down and started to trace the outline of the L.A.S.T.
"Were did he get these?" Luke asked in awe.
"I have no idea!" I replied not sure what to say. This kind of technology was owned by Global Order of Government, they only sold it to certain people because of how dangerous it could be. L.A.S.T.® could find anything, anywhere. Also, it could tell the person who had planted it, what everything around the metal was like.
"It's not like G.O.G is just passing this tech. out to everyone who wants it" Luke said. I nodded in response, thinking. I looked back to the barn and Luke started to pull off the metal pieces from his sheep.
"He'll be able to tell," I finally said.
"Tell what?" Luke asked puzzled.
"Tell that the sheep are missing, if the metal doesn't then he'll come snooping around to find out why" I told him.
"Huh," he responded and I could tell he was thinking.
"Well, what if we put the metal on some other sheep?" he asked. His face lit up, and I smiled.
"Yes that will work!" he answered himself.
"Oh how proud the Officer Trainers would be, we are such great problem solvers!" I said sarcastically and rolled my eyes, doing so I spotted a light out of the corner of my eye. My heart skipped a beat and my smile turned upside down.
"Luke, grab your sheep and run!" I said as I picked up my sheep and ran for it.
"Wait! What?" He shouted to me as he ran. I saw two sheep in his arms.
"Hey, you two, stop!" a ruff voiced yelled out from behind us.
"Don't stop, keep running, sis!" Luke said as he burst ahead of me. I looked over my shoulder and instantly regretted it.
"Get back here!" The Shepherd yelled his face red from running. Anger shone out from him. His dark brown hair, that matched his shirt and slacks, was splattered to his skin by sweat. The pitchfork in his had gleamed in the faint moonlight eerily glowing.
I looked away and started to run faster. My breaths came out in short rasping gasps, and my heart was beating too fast to count. My legs burned and longed for me to stop but I didn't. I had to stay off the end of that pitchfork.
Everything started to blur together as blood rushed to my head. I had to stop or I was going to pass out. The woods were only meters away; if I could reach them I would be safe.
My lungs continued to burn as I listened, trying to hear a thing besides my rapid breathing, heartbeat and foot fall. Nothing. I slowed to a stop feet from the cover of the wood and turned around. I dropped the sheep and bent over trying to breath.
Looking up I saw the faint outline of the Shepherd walking back to the house. Slowly the lights inside turned off one by one.
"Hey," someone behind me shouted, gripping my shoulders. I grabbed their wrist and turned, twisting it so their body was forced down.
"Ow! It's just me!" Luke said trying to get up.
"Don't ever do that again," I said scowling down at him.
"Yes, yes" he replied. I pushed him down further and tears of pain started to gather in his eyes.
"Promise?" I commanded.
"Yes! I promise! Just let me go!" He begged, and I let him go. He stood up and rubbed his wrist as if it were on fire, served him right.
"How 'bout we just go watch the sunrise we have an hour to kill before we have to be back at sector cabins," he asked
"Okay," I said and started to walk up the hill.
We walked on till we reached the edge of the field where we sat down to watch the sunrise. Slowly a shaving of light pierced through the dark rim of the horizon growing in size. Joy filled my heart and I reached over to grip Luke’s hand. He grasped my hand firmly, and we watched from our perch the beginning of a new day. Light danced off droplets of dew on the soft grass making it seem as if the ground where on fire.
As I look over at my brother I saw the sun rising in his eyes, making him light up, and smiled. This I would savor forever.
* * *
~“Fire! Everyone run!” a voice yelled from somewhere behind me.
People were running knocking into me all were yelling or screaming tumbling away from the line of fire that was approaching fast. I turned and started to run but the ground moved as if it were a conveyor belt. I turned back around and realized running would not help, the ground stopped moving. I watched as the small fire turned into an inferno that grew to the size of a tidal wave. Arrows of smoke found their way into me and my lungs stung with pain that racked through my entire body.
Then fire hit, engulfing me in flames, something was wrong though. I looked down my clothes billowed around me looking like the embers of coal dancing around me. I waited for pain to come but it never came. A small tingling formed in my feet that spread across my body, rippling into waves. Then I was falling, plummeting down through the darkness, ashes flying off my body I tried to rip the clothing off, but it remained. I ripped at my arms but every cut revealed magma flowing in my veins until my skin hardened over then turned soft. Adrenalin and fear overpowering my mind I tried to fight, to resist, to stay alive.
I kept falling until my body hit water. Steam filled the cave and the light, my body’s light flashed off. My heart stopped and I felt my body sink further and further until…~
Sweat drenched my body, I sat up.
"It's just a dream," I thought "just a dream" I tried to move but my body was stiff from the night before. Yesterday was horrible, I had been sent to Headest because I fell asleep in one class and was, as she said, lethargic in all my classes.
I sat for an hour getting chewed at about how if one officer let down the others the 'ladder' of trust and government would topple over on the rest of us. More than half the time I wasn't even paying attention.
After that I had been confined to the M.O.T., or otherwise known as mobile officer trainer, where I had the information from my classes taught through a network system. After repeats of two of my classes got I got bored and hacked the M.O.T. so it would appear that I had gone through all my classes. It was simple to do. All the officers in training knew how to do it, even the youngsters who were just starting their training.
I got out of my bed and pulled on my uniform. I had been here the longest of my sector cabin and so it was my duty to rival everyone.
I got down on my knees and pulled my Laptet® out from under my bed. Placing my hand over it I turned on the holographic projector. I slid my fingers in the air, making the pattern code.
"I think I'll play Susan's favorite, today" I said to myself and signaled for music. I flicked through the songs till I got to the songs from the 19 hundreds.
"Michael Jackson" I told it and a bunch of songs started to play in my head. I deleted songs until I was down to one song, Thriller. Susan loved this old fashion music; it was all she listened to since the Musical Officer Trainer taught us about music from the 19 hundreds.
The song continued to blare in my head. I swiped my finger on the hologram to rewind it. I paused then touched the speaker button.
The song started off quite then it got loud enough that everyone in our sector cabin was wide awake.
"Let me guess, today we have to raise the flags" Joel, one of the boys, called out from under his covers.
"Yup, because we all know that it's an honor for our cabin to have to job of raising the flags on Monday!" I said, mocking Headest.
"Ugh!" Sam, the second oldest, sighed. I hated having to wake them up, it broke the silence that only night gave me.
I stood up and moved over to the six to ten areas, where they were still sleeping. Poor kids, they weren't used to waking up early.
"Wake up," I said softly and they started to stir. I walked back to my bed and turned off my laptet®. I pulled my boot on and walked to the door. I watched the boys wake up and get dressed. Soon we were all ready to go.
My first class was Citizenship, so Susan and I got to go visit our friend who we had been helping since we got assigned to helping at the Hob.
Before we headed out I grabbed the wool from the sheep we stole two nights ago, and Susan grabbed the berries that she had found. Walking to the Hob was great but walking through it was sad. People dressed in rags lined the street, most of them old with no job. Susan and I always tried to help them because we knew that one day we could be right among them.
"Looke! Howv nise ta seev youv!" a voice garble behind me, I turned around a smiled when I saw Jacob standing there. None of us knew how old he was but he was always friendly, even if he was a little crazy at times.
"Hi Jacob," I said calmly patting him on the back. "How have you been?"
"Goov," he replied smiling.
"We're here to see Wooly could you go tell him that we're here?" I asked him nicely.
"Okay!" he said and waddled off. I turned back around and ran to catch up to Susan.
"You're always so nice to him!" she said happily. "Yeah, well sometimes it's just good to hear him talk now that he's getting so old," I replied. And we turned the corner to face the Hob.
* * *
A bag of wildfer berries bounced against my legs about to break. Although I really did not care whether or not they did break for in that happy moment my worries were gone.
But then that moment ended. Happiness was sucked away leaving doubt and despair. This feeling was caused by green. Not the nature green, but instead the dead and hopeless green of G.O.G., Global Order of Government. Every G.O.G. officer wears a plain starchy white uniform with green patches on their upper arms and across their backs that read “G.O.G. Officer”. The sight of them makes me sick and angry. It was because of them that we are stuck here instead of living wild.
~ “Grab them!” someone had shouted as I ran away from the G.O.G. Orphanage. Children were running in all directions. I could see flames leaping around then someone grabbed my arm yanking me towards the woods. My shin hit something after the person and I were far into the woods. I could feel myself fall then it was black just black…
I could see a figure, hazy, looming in the distance. I tried to get up but could not. Screaming in frustration I moved back and forth try to escape whatever bounds were holding me back. Then I started to cry, tears fell down my face and I could feel water around me.
I looked down and saw that I was lying down in a small puddle, it grew bigger and bigger then I could feel waves thrusting my helpless body around, I felt sore, sore and very tired. Then something wet and cold hit my hands looking at them I could see water swirling and bubbling in my hand. I freaked out and tried to get it off my hands. But all that my efforts resided in was the water turning a dark blue and green color and started to swirl faster and faster. It kept going on... and on..... ~
The Officers had found us lost but did not know, and did not care if we had parents. They brought us to the orphanage and labeled us “Dangerous and Destructive”. No one was allowed to see us, but I do not think anyone wanted us. We were younger than one at the time, but by the time we had planned out our escape we were six. It started out with a small flicker of light upon Luke’s finger, and then it grew to the size of a tennis ball. From there it continued to grow and very fast. We did not know how it got there but all I that know is that we still don’t understand it. But our plan failed.
All I know is that the fire glistening behind those gray eyes is part of our only hope for survival.
* * *
“Just don’t look suspicious.” I whispered to my sister. I could see her muscles tense and a frown stretch across her face. She was reliving memories, I could tell by the way her eyes seemed to gray. I wanted to hug her and tell her that those memories were just dreams but they were not. They were real. As real as life itself. We kept walking, trying to look like we fit in. As we walked pass the GOG officers only one of them, who looked only a couple of years older than us, paid any attention to us. I could see him sneering at us.
“Here’s the wool, Uncle!” I could tell that Susan was feeling better when she called out:
“I think someone dropped this bag of berries at the unloading station!”
A voice from farther in shouted, “Oh! Those are mine!” Susan walked over to the booth that I now recognized as Sally’s and handed the wildfer berries to her. I could see a flash of silver as Sally hugged
Susan in thanks, and next thing I knew Susan was back over. She grinned and I could see a shining, silver piece of Dichalca in between her seemingly perfect teeth. Her dirty blond hair sat gently on her shoulders and her freckles stood out against her pale face. Her green eyes were always the first thing that caught someone’s eyes. Mine were just a pale gray, not entrancing like hers. Turning back to the booth I wondered what was taking Wooly so long.
Leaning over the booths table I could hear murmuring behind the closed curtain. Rapping my knuckles on the wooden frame, I wondered who was in there. I knew it could not be just Old Wooly because there were two voices. The rasp hard one of Wooly, and a smooth calming yet frightening one. My instincts told me to get out of there but curiosity got the best of me. Moving in even closer my hand almost on the flap, I peered in, looking around trying to spot the creator of the voice. All I could see was Old Wooly's back turned to me, blocking out whatever was behind him.
"The children....." the voice said, "I need to see them..."
"Of-f course s-sir" stammered Wooly and with that he turned heading straight towards me. Scrambling away just in time, I was able to rush back to Susan's side, nearly knocking her down, before he saw me. She gave me one of those nasty frowns that she likes to take time to perfect (mostly on me). And turned to face the coming old man who had been our companion for our entire lives. At times he could be our only shoulder to rest on.
This was because of the tests. They had us scanned, pricked by sharp needles, had our hair plucked so they could examine us. It had all started when we were three and became legal wards of the G.O.G. We had to go through all of these tests because of one incident that occurred when they drew our blood to find our genes and figure out who we were. They had discovered that mine was burning hot inside my veins and that Susan's was freezing cold. This was just the start of our troubles.
As Old Wooly came closer I could see that he was uncomfortable and fearful, yet happy and calm. His face muscles kept twitching but a smile kept its place on his face. He patted me on the back then turned to face both of us.
"There is someone here to see you, children"
* * *
The words seemed to jumble up then plop out of his mouth. I wasn’t sure that I heard it right. His pale face acted like a mirror for the sun and his white beard was tumbled around mixed into his hair, which he barely had any of. Now that he was up close I could see that his skin was a pale white and the muscles under it were throbbing as if he were in pain.
“Are you okay?” I asked looking over to Luke. He saw it too, something was wrong, very wrong, we had to get out of here now.
“I am fine children, just follow me.” he said then turned and started to walk towards the booth entrance. That’s when I knew something was really wrong with him. Wooly had never called us children; he always called us by our names since he thought we were close enough to adulthood to not be called kids or children anymore. The other part that bugged me was how he said there was someone to see us; no one asked to see us. I stared at his back trying to figure out what was wrong, until someone jerked me to face them. Instinctively I shoved them away and moved my hand to my knife ready to draw it if they made any move.
“Just calm down will you!” I heard a familiar voice say; I looked up and saw that it was just Luke. Sighing I plainly asked:
“What is it this time?” I rolled my eyes and waited for his answer.
He looked around to make sure no one was listening then said, “Don’t do it,”
“Do what?” I questioned not entirely sure what he was talking about.
“Don’t go in, I don’t trust him,”
“For crying out loud how can you not trust him? After all he’s the reason we’re still alive!”
“I heard him talking,”
“Well no duh! He’s partially insane!” I said raising my voice above a whisper.
“No, not to himself to someone else. There is someone else in there, Susan!” I stared at Luke in surprise and reality sank in. Someone, someone was behind those curtains and they wanted Luke and her. Never, this had never happened before. My mined blanked out and I felt fuzzy, away from everything else. Then I was flying.
I was soaring, up and over the trees, the world lay spread out beneath me. My hands outstretched looked like wings, the wind pushed against my skin giving me a buzzing sensation. Closing my eyes I could hear the calls of nature beckoning me to join them.
Then a large crashing sound bore down on me. My body was being flipped every which way. Then the pain reached me, it felt as if a million bees were stinging me each one sending poison into my body, slowing me down. My body fell but I couldn’t do anything. I was frozen in mid scream, being beaten by the wind. I opened up my eyes to see thunder clashing, and to see the stings were just caused by rain, rain that was biting into me.
A gust of wind pushed me around hurling me head first towards the ground. It was all too much. My face felt hot and I realized that I was crying. I could not stop my fall, only death was the end, my future. Tears continued to fall, blending into the rain. And I gave up. I gave up to the wind and rain, falling limp just waiting for my helpless body to hit the ground.
I could hear a shrill scream over the sound of the wind. Then I found that it was mine, my last breath escaping my lungs trying desperately to fly away, to live. But it did not escape and ended up falling, being pushed down by the wind alongside me. There was no hope.
“Susan,” a voice said.
“Susan!” I opened up my eyes to see Luke’s face staring down at me.
“What?” I groggily mumbled. I pushed myself up, propped on my elbow.
Looking around I could see that I was in a booth-tent. How I got there I did not know.
“Is she all right?” an entrancing voice called out. My eyes ran around the room trying to find the mystical voices source.
“Yes, she’s awake now,” my brother replied.
“We will need her help if we are to succeed,” My eyes darted to a corner of the tent, where a man was standing in the shadows. He caught my eye and stepped out into the light.
His face was beautiful, bright like a morning sun. His bright blue eyes glimmered from the streams of light in the tent. It was a face you could only love. His clothes on the other hand were just plain weird. He wore what looked like an expensive sheet wrapped around his body, it was held up by a golden leave on his shoulder. Around his neck he wore a gold necklace with a green stone on the edge.
“Who are you?” I asked confused by his presence. Why was he here? What did he want with us? What should I do?
“I am Malco, the Alpha wolf of the Elster Clan, Son of Timera and Spactor and I am here to bring you home.”
* * *
“What!” Susan yelled. I couldn’t believe it myself. In one day our old friend Wooly had gone insane, my sister collapsed, and now a beautiful crazy man had come telling us he was here to bring us home.
Before Susan had woken up he had mentioned that he needed our help, but at the time I had figured he just needed to trade with us. Not this!
“I am here to bring you home,” he repeated.
“We don’t have a home,” I said confused.
“Yeah, we live here, not wherever you are from,” Susan interrupted, starring daggers at the man. Boy, if looks could kill he would already be laying crumpled on the floor dead. I could just see it. His eyes closed hands at his side. Face emotionless, grim and beautiful, never to speak a pretty word again.
“I am not forcing you to come with me children. I just advise it because they will come after I leave. I have news of your parents as well.”
“Wha...Who?” I couldn’t seem to finish the sentence, I was drifting. Those eyes, they looked so calm. I want to be calm, to go with him. No! Wait, where was this coming from! My mind snapped back to reality and I could see that Susan was lost, her eyes blankly staring at the man. Her mind must have drifted off too, but how? Had this man changed our thoughts?
“What did you do to her?” I screamed running to her side. Lifting her head I stared into her eyes, trying to catch her attention.
“Agh!” I erupted. Her body, it was freezing cold. Too cold, the kind that burns, cold. And her eyes, they were dark blue with what little green still remained swirling around inside. I watched in horror as her lips started to turn blue. I kept staring, trying to move my hand to her face, but it would not move. Everything around us had frozen; the man however was not affected. He continued to slither towards us.
“I had no other choice,” he said, continuing to move forward. “She chose not to come.”
Rage filled my mind, and a small flicker of heat flamed up in my stomach, spreading across my body. Closing my eyes I took a deep breath, and then let the rage out. It came out as a hearty shout leaping around the room, and then a bright flash blinded me.
Screams and sirens filled the air. Smoke filled my lungs, and a cough was heard.
“Impressive, but I’m afraid you cannot stop me, Luke”
* * *