Chapter 1: A Tale is Told
The story that everyone had been chasing for so long was finally about to be put together. Everyone gathered around Adam, Kenya, and Humphrey who now had enough strength to sit up.
"Okay," Kate said. "So you remember what happened to your parents now?"
"Yeah, clear as day," Humphrey replied.
"So," Garth said. "Let's hear your story."
"Okay," Humphrey replied. "It started like any normal day. We were all sleeping comfortably in the family den. Kenya was sleeping next to me and Adam was over a little bit by Mom and Dad."
"I was woken up by Humphrey," Kenya said. "Because he was lonely and wanted to play. So, we went outside, but not too far away from the den as was a rule laid down by our parents."
"It wasn't long before our parents and I woke up to start the day," Adam said.
"They called us back to the den just when our grandparents were arriving to take Adam off for Alpha school while the rest of us went for an early morning walk," Kenya said.
"We were about a mile out from the pack," Humphrey said. "When we came to a small clearing in the woods and decided to rest and then head back."
"We were just starting to go back to the pack," Kenya said. "When a pickup truck pulled up and two humans got out. They shot our parents with these weird darts," she said.
"Tranquilizer darts," Humphrey said.
"What?" Kenya asked.
"Those were tranquilizer darts. Trust me, I know."
"They quickly fell asleep on the ground, leaving us helpless," Kenya continued. "The humans then came for us. They grabbed me first and put me in a cage in the back of their truck. Humphrey was backed up against a tree and soon, he was in a cage right next to me. Our parents woke up, but it was too late and the truck drove away."
"Mom and Dad came rushing back to the pack about half an hour after they had left," Adam said. "Humphrey and Kenya weren't with them and they looked really scared. They talked to grandma and grandpa and told them what happened."
"They decided to hold a pack meeting to try and figure out what to do. About an hour later, we heard the sound of four or five trucks approaching the pack borders. Grandpa, who was the leader of the pack, sent two scouts to see what was going on. We heard a gunshot. Only one came back."
"He told us what we all feared to hear. He said that him and the other alpha had snuck to the edge of the territory to where we heard the truck and hid in the bushes. They saw a half a dozen pickup trucks pull up and stop. Then, a large number of men got out carrying guns. They started turning back to come and warn us when one of the men must've spotted then through the trees. He fired his gun and killed one of the scouts."
"Not long after he finished telling us what happened, we heard the trucks coming in. Grandpa ordered the strongest alphas to stall the humans to buy time for the omegas and pups to escape, and the rest of the alphas would protect the wolves that were escaping. Despite being omegas though, Mom and Dad insisted upon helping to cover the evacuation."
"Grandpa stayed behind while Grandma led the rest of the pack to safety. We eventually got a safe distance away from the pack and found this sandstone cliff. We started digging out new dens for the pack. Days went by and none of the alphas we left behind came back, our parents included."
"Our grandfather was the leader of the pack, so our family was at the top of the pack. Both our parents were omegas and I was the only alpha out of the three of us, so after our grandfather, I was next to lead the pack, but that time wasn't supposed to come for another 15 years or so. After the attack on the pack, everyone looked to me to lead them. They looked to a four year old wolf pup, a young alpha pup that had absolutely no training to lead a broken and tattered pack out of great trouble."
"It took many weeks and many months of hard leading and difficult decision making, but eventually, I was able to bring the pack together to build these dens that you now see," Adam said, finishing up his part of the story.
"After the humans took us from our parents," Humphrey began again. "They drove for about ten minutes when suddenly, there was a huge bump when the truck hit what I can only assume to be a large rock and my cage fell out of the back. It rolled around the ground, throwing me around until it eventually hit a large tree, throwing me into the side and knocking me out."
"I was out cold for a few days at least. When I woke up, it was night and I was hungry, confused, and most of all hurt."
"When Humphrey's cage fell off the truck," Kenya said. "I was heartbroken. He was my older brother. He always looked out for me and now I couldn't help him."
"We drove for about ten minutes when the truck stopped in a small town. The man brought my cage into a large building with a bunch of other animals that I've never seen before. He opened the cage door and I ran out, thinking I was free, only find myself in another cage."
"Days passed and they gave me this round, chunky food that took some getting used to. Humans came in and took some of the strange animals out of the cages and they never came back. Eventually, I was taken by a middle-aged man. He put this band around my neck and attached a rope to it. I had to go where he went and I didn't like that at all."
"He took me to his den and he yelled at me for going to the bathroom on the floor. I had no idea what he was saying, but I knew I wasn't supposed to do it after he grabbed me by the skin on my neck and shoved me into another cage. The first few years were very rough and even after I figured out what and what not to do, life was still horrible."
After Kenya told her story, Humphrey finished telling his. He told about living on his own in the forest for nearly two months. He told of a friendly woodland creature he had met while in the woods that even stayed with him for a few days until it too, met a grisly fate. He told of the storm, meeting Kyle, and his year spent in Owen's pack. And he eventually told of his banishment and his discovery by Cando and Hutch. He told of the many peaceful years he spent living in Jasper and even told the story of his and Kate's adventure in Idaho for all who didn't know it.
All the while, Marcel and Paddy had been sent back to Winston to tell him that everyone was fine. But they found that the pack was in chaos. When they returned, their faces said it all.
"Guys," Kate said. "What's wrong?"
They said nothing at first, and then Marcel said eight words they never wanted to hear.
"Jasper has been overrun by the Rouge Wolves."