In the first part of this, Sue learns to communicate and to travel with the pack as they fight and escape from the hunting ferals. In doing so, she fights alongside Tig, the hunting pack leader, to save both their lives.
The wolves had selected an old hooman foundation for the probe site.
It was circular, and legend had that the old building was mostly for storage and sheltering livestock. Hooman’s called it a “barn”. Those that hunted in and around it said it was a slave building, trapping the beings within. Supposedly, this was by mutual consent, as the beings who sheltered in that barn had few defenses without hoomans around.
Those days were before the hoomans leaving in their sky-ships. Sentience wasn’t widely available until after they were gone. After the plague took most of the remaining hoomans.
Today, that foundation would be for the ceremony. It would mark where the probe would take place, and where the sentient wolves and their cubs could watch in relative safety.
Or so they thought.
No hooman had survived the probe before. But this one was different. No hooman had been to the valley since the days of the hooman plague.
This was completely new.
And yet, more vital than ever. The ferals knew where the valley was. And the hooman settlements had been growing in size. Not just locally, but in every area where hoomans still survived. This news was brought by the migrating birds and insects.
Unless a way was found to communicate with hoomans and ferals, it would mean a new world war that would destroy both sides. A war that would never end until one or the other side was exterminated.
Tig-she led Soo-she up to the circle and then stopped. The wolf looked at her and sent her a faith-filled prayer for the best outcome.
Soo-she nodded in reply, then entered the circle.
A hawk flew in lazy circles overhead, riding the thermals. With a cry, she dove to earth. Soo-she ducked, but the wolves didn’t flinch.
On landing with a graceful back-sweeping, the hawk alighted without a sound.
Eying the assembled wolves, the hawk bowed its head.
A shimmering covered that form, which showed a wolf when it cleared. Grey, almost white fur – it was Teacher…
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