THE WOLF FOLK SERIES
THE GLORY YEARS
A STORY OF AN UNCOMMON FAMILY
Charles W. Bird
Charles W. Bird
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This story may not be reproduced, copied or redistributed without my express, written permission.
Several thousand years have passed, Lord Tosco has succeeded his Father as King of the Wolf Folk and, both former rulers, Jeremiah and his Father, Franklin, live on in retirement. The position of Lord Alpha of Family Ced is vacant. The Americas, with only a few notable exceptions, are Regencies, governed jointly by a Wolf Folk Lord Regent and a Human Governor. Those few exceptions, Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia are failing states. Only Venezuela remains a nation, just barely. The other two are mostly wild, uninhabited lands and cities gone to ruin.
Two young men, one a Wolf and the other, a human are born in an insignificant corner of North America. Those two young beings will be the future and the culmination of all the generations as the Great Wheel of Life ends its rotation and begins life anew.
A FRANTIC CALL FOR HELP
Lord Wolf Regent Alexis of Columbia mind-called Tosco, King of the Wolf Folk and reported strange war ships off his Pacific Coast. They had lost contact with the small town of Noqui and its airport.
He told King Tosco that he had sent a plane to investigate and the pilot reported that airport appeared to have been bombed. The pilot could see flames in the small town, but, when he tried to investigate he was met with anti-aircraft missiles of an advanced type and he had barely escaped being shot down!
Alexis said, "Lord King, we have had no trouble here for nearly a thousand years, we have no forces to repel whoever has attacked us."
Tosco replied, "I will come myself, I will bring Warriors with me and we shall discover what is going on."
Alexis thanked him and said that he would call out the militia and get them ready.
He turned to his aid, Warrior Leader Blue Feather, a Cherokee-Wolf Warrior, and told him to gather up the militia and issue them arms.
He said, "Blue-Feather, my friend, I am afraid we have dropped the ball and let things slide. Now, we are unprepared. We must catch up quickly, the King and his troops are coming to our aid. We must not shame ourselves or our folk, Columbia has a proud history and we must not fail her!"
Blue Feather ordered the alarm bells to be rung and the Militia forces, both Human and Wolf-Folk, were seen hurrying along the streets to the Great Square of the Revolution, the traditional mustering place of the Militia.
Sadly, Alexis was right, the Militia was unprepared to meet the challenge. The officers and senior sergeants were elderly and their weapons had all seen better days.
Blue Feather stood on a box so that all could see him, he shouted, both by voice and mind contact, "We are faced with a foreign invasion, the port city of Noqui has been taken, by a force from where we do not know. The King is coming to our aid, but we will be shamed by our militia unless we act immediately and clean up our act. Go home, beg your sons and daughters to come to our aid! Ask your nieces and nephews to join us, ask your neighbors and your neighbors' children to help us in our time of need."
There was a clatter of feet as those gathered for Militia duty responded to Blue Feather's plea.
An hour later, nearly three thousand young folk had gathered, more than half of them were young Wolf-Folk.
He sent to all of them, "May the Great Lord of Wolves, Above Us All bless, you for coming to help, we must hurry and form up our Militia. Please choose your leaders from among you and we will provide you with weapons from the armory this day!"
By darkfall, Blue Feather had three battalions of warriors, all armed and able to muster in approximation of military order. He sent them all home with instructions to gather the next day for training.
Fathers, Uncles and Grandfathers worked throughout the night training members of their own families and those of their friends and neighbors, so that their people would be proud of them.
Three days later, The Red Wolf and six other Wolf Folk planes were setting down at the National Airport.
These were not the same planes of the same names as those of their ancestors. These were modern, up to date war planes, nuclear powered aircraft. They traveled across the skies at two thousand miles per hour at the very edge of space.
Each plane could carry a payload of a thousand warriors. It would be crowded, but within the design limits of the aircraft!
The door of the Red Wolf opened and The King's Page, Prince Kenneth, stepped out, carrying the Green Banner of Family Ced. He led the Pipers from the aircraft, followed by the Lord Keeper, Prince James and the King's other Page, Prince Richard, who was leading the Wolf Cherokee Warriors.
They descended from the Red Wolf and formed a barrier of warriors, armed to the teeth with modern projectile weapons and their traditional spears.
Prince Kenneth called out, "ALL RISE, LORD KING TOSCO OF THE WOLF FOLK ARRIVES. PIPERS, SOUND KING'S CALL!"
Tosco descended the steps in time to the wailing notes of the pipes. He was followed by the King's Own Troops. These troops were the elite of the elite, the finest Warriors of both the Human Kind and the Wolf Folk on the planet, a position so coveted that young Warriors were known to have committed suicide if they did make the grade!
As the Warriors marched off the planes, Prince Kenneth called out, "FORM BY COMPANIES, COMPANY C IS HONOR COMPANY! OFFICERS AND SENIOR SERGEANTS, REPORT FOR KING'S DUTY!"
He twirled his staff and called out, "DUTY COMPANY IS COMPANY F, COMMAND COMPANY CAPTAIN, TAKE POSITION AT THE HEAD OF THE COLUMN!"
Warriors and their officers came pouring out of all the aircraft parked on the runway and when they had all formed up, Lord Keeper James raised the Great Sword of Truth and called out in a voice that carried all over the airport, "WARRIORS OF THE KING OF WOLVES, PASS IN REVIEW!"
He led the troops across the tarmac, wheeling and turning so that the assembled crowd could see each and every Warrior.
Boys, both Wolf and Human marched besides the Warriors, drool of envy running from their mouths. They saw the Warriors were little older than themselves. The Recruiting Officer was going to be very busy over the next several days!
James led the Warriors around the parked planes and back to the Red Wolf, where the King and The King's Own Warriors were waiting.
He stood before his King and called out, "KING TOSCO, LORD OF THE WOLF FOLK, THE GREAT SWORD OF TRUTH DEMANDS THESE FOLK BE PROTECTED FROM THE INVADERS ON THEIR COAST. THE EYE OF SCOTLAND TELLS ME THESE INVADERS MEAN TO CONQUER US ALL AND SET THE BONDS OF SLAVERY UPON OUR FREE FOLK. LEAD US, KING OF OUR FOLK THAT WE MIGHT REMAIN FREE AND WITHOUT THE HEEL OF SLAVERY HEAVY UPON OUR NECKS!"
The King's Warrior led King Tosco to be seen by the crowd. He stood before them and said, "PEOPLE OF COLUMBIA, THOU ART FREE AND THY LAND SHALL REMAIN FREE. THESE INVADERS SHALL NOT HAVE THEE IN SLAVERY, NOR THY LANDS IN FIEFDOM. I HAVE THREE THOUSAND WARRIORS TO DENY THEM HABITAT AND FORTY THOUSAND MORE WARRIORS IN RESERVE, ALL EAGER TO PUSH THESE INVADERS INTO THE SEA!"
King Tosco gathered all his advisors and the local Commanders and they went into huddle aboard the Red Wolf.
After he understood what Prince James and Lord Regent Alexis had discovered, he sent for the Force Commanders. Squire Tomas was the Air Commander, he was a Human, but his reflexes were as fast as those of a Wolf.
Tomas understood what his King wanted and he ran off, screaming for the fighter pilots to follow him.
Seconds later, fighter aircraft began lifting off and screaming into the sky, they were last seen racing towards the western horizon, their afterburners glowing red hot in overload.
They had lifted off heavy, their bomb racks were loaded to capacity.
Next, wave after wave of jump copters loaded with shock troops took off, a thousand warriors ready to drive the invaders off the soil of the Regency.
Last to go charging off, were the ground troops, air barges lifted whole companies of Warriors and headed for the coast, taking the local Militia Warriors with them.
Tosco found a chair to sit in and he smiled, looking at Alexis and his Human Governor, Alfredo Marquez, he said, "Now, we wait, it shall not be long. Those whom I have sent cannot be stopped, the invaders will be driven into the sea and drowned. Then we will find from where they came and cauterize that place that no more infection will poison our world!"
King Tosco continued, "Now, tell of your land and what we need do to make your folk more secure."
They went over several plans and one interested Alexis and the Governor. King Tosco had suggested they form a battalion of Pathfinders, younger Wolf folk and humans to act as scouts and emergency Warriors who would patrol the large country.
King Tosco said, "That way, problems will need not wait for discovery. They will be found and nipped in the bud before they become serious."
At the time, Tosco did not realize what he was starting. Inside of five years, every Wolf Regency would have their own Pathfinders and they were to become the premier fighting forces of the civilized world!
The Pathfinders sucked up thousands of unemployed young folk, giving them pride in themselves and their Regency. It was to be a common cry, "Send for the Pathfinders"!
The invaders were repelled and King Tosco made a personal middle of the night visit to the Chairman of the Chinese People's Government. When he departed, the Chairman was a shaken man, he never revealed what the King of the Wolves had said to him, but he had his bedroom searched each night, before he would enter the room or go to sleep!
Unfortunately, that did not deter those who reported to the Chairman from picking and prodding for weakness among those who lived in peace on the American Continents.
The Pathfinders were sent for regularly!
THE PATHFINDER WARRIORS
Lord Prince Jonal found himself in command of The Pathfinders. He gathered to himself some staff members from the Wolf Folk of Cancun. Young Maya Wolf Warriors came at his call and assisted him in building the Pathfinders.
Those Maya Wolf Folk were skilled in clandestine war, they had kept gold seekers from their lands for thirty-five hundred years, without ever needing to go to battle! Their Dream Casters were so skilled that they could turn a determined gold seeker into a jabbering monkey in a single night!
When Jonal asked them to come, most were delighted as they had not been able to use their skills in many years as stories spread about the terrible things that inhabited the jungles of the Yucatan!
Most of their fellow Warriors soon began calling them The Brain Devils and troublemakers would run and hide whenever they heard that a Squad of the Brain Devils was headed their way!
The Pathfinders were not a large organization and Jonal detailed only one company of Pathfinders to each Regency. Just one squad of that company would be "Brain Devils"!
The Mind Devils, their official name was Mind Warriors, lived and worked separately from the rest of their company and they had developed a patch for their uniforms that was unique unto them. It showed a wolf's head with rays of lightning erupting from the top of the head.
Every young human and Wolf on both American continents, who had a shred of ability, was down at the Recruiter's, being tested to get into the Pathfinders, especially, the Mind Warrior's Squad! The Wolf Folk were known in other parts of the world, but they preferred to live in North and South America.
Two such younglings, Dillon Caruthers and Jeremy Rush made it a hot race to the Recruiter's Office. Dillon was human and Jeremy was wolf, they had been "best buddies" since they had been toddlers.
They lived alone, together, in the poorer section of New Orleans and they promised each other that, somehow, they would get out of "Swamp City" and have a better life for themselves.
Over the years of their young lives, they became very close, whether they were mates or not, none knew, but, an attack on one would bring the terrible wrath of the other and there were few in their area that would dare to face them.
They rarely had to protect themselves, but they were always dragging an attacker off a younger child, and, as a consequence, they were very popular among the younger children living in their area.
These were all things that a Recruiter was trained to look for.
When the two showed up at the Recruiting Station, the Recruiter was smiling in secret glee. He instantly knew that he had two candidates for Mind Warrior training!
Such an event was of such great importance that the Recruiter was required to notify Lord Jonal immediately. Lord Jonal happened to be in Houston, so it was a short flight to come to New Orleans and visit with the two youngsters as soon as they completed their tests.
When he arrived, Recruiter Warrior Leader Donald of Highcrest could hardly contain himself. He handed Lord Jonal the younglings' test results, his hand were shaking in excitement. Lord Jonal exclaimed, "Lord of Wolves, Above Us All, I have never seen results like these two, WHERE ARE THEY?"
Donald replied, "I sent out for food for them, My Lord James, they apparently have not been eating regular. They were expelled from their homes as their fathers could no longer feed them. They have been living on the streets, My Lord."
Jonal could sense the two nearby, the young wolf, Jeremy Rush had a powerful mind, capable of more than Jonal had ever experienced, but it was the human boy's mind, Dillon Caruthers, that staggered him. Never in his long life had he come across a mind like that, Human Kind OR Wolf Folk! This boy's mind was capable of reaching out and destroying physical objects, breaking them down to their component atoms!
He rushed into the room where the two were wolfing down large quantities of food the Recruiter had brought for them. They looked up and saw the Great Warrior Wolf, a huge sword hung from his waist and a giant green jewel hung from his neck on a silver chain. The jewel was flashing a brilliant green light and, they were pretty sure it was actually moving, like it was jumping!
They saw the man's excitement, his wolf was phasing in and out across his face and they actually saw fangs extrude from the man's mouth! They knew immediately that the man was a Wolf Warrior of high rank, maybe even a Prince of Wolves!
Jonal sat down beside them and asked them their names and then he asked, "Young Warriors, would you come with me to Cashiers, I want you to meet the King!" Both youngsters started to stammer, "Wwwwwwwaarriors? KkkkkkKkkIng?" they managed to bleep out.
Jonal smiled and replied, "Yes, WARRIORS, both of you ARE WARRIORS OF OUR KIND! You both have a gift of unheard of mental powers and I want you to meet our King so that we might begin your training as the most powerful Mind Warriors of the Planet!"
Both younglings were in danger of fainting, finally, Dillon got his breathing under control and asked, "Can me and Jere stay together? Our families rejected us because we uuuuuuuu we, uuuh,…."
Jonal smiled and interrupted the frightened boy, "Dillon, are you trying to tell me that you and Jeremy are partners, that you love each other?"
The boy got red in the face and looked down at the floor as he replied, "Yessir, we will leave immediately. We are sorry we caused you such distress."
The two boys stood up and started to leave. Jonal stood and placed himself in front of them, preventing them from reaching the door. He gathered them up in his arms and said, "Younglings, we do not want you to leave, you two are jewels in our Crown of Warriors. I have been around for nearly twenty-nine hundred years and I have never come across anyone with your gifts, you two are the most powerful beings living, perhaps to have ever lived!"
Dillon had tears running down his face and Jeremy was doing his best to sooth his friend. Dillon stammered, "But I am only a human boy, not a Wolf."
Jonal replied, "No matter, your mind is one of the two most powerful minds living today, and the other one is standing right beside you. If being Human distresses you, we can convert you and make you wolf, all you need do is ask us."
Dillon looked up, through his tears and asked, "Would you do that for me, a junk boy, a trash boy from the swamp parts of New Orleans. I am not even sure who my father is, Caruthers is my mother's name and she tossed me out on the street as soon as I turned sixteen."
Jonal made an instant decision, one he had only made once before, but, he knew it was the right one." He said, "Younglings, will you both be my sons? I will give you a home, feed you and raise you as my own sons and, Dillon, if you so wish, I will convert you and keep you both as mine own sons forever!"
Both youngsters' eyes were running squirrelly, but they both managed to nod their heads in a yes, they did not trust their mouths to form the words.
Jonal said to the Recruiter, "Call my pilot and tell him to get the White Wolf ready, we are flying to Charlotte as soon as I can get these younglings dressed in new clothes and we can get to the airport!" He took the boys to the closest clothing store and had them fitted out in the best the store had to offer, from caps to shoes!
They were both thanking whatever Supreme Being there might be, that they had bathed in the men's room at the park before they had come to the Recruiter's office. Jonal's Wolf could smell the younglings and knew they needed hot water showers and lots of soap, but that could wait until they got to Cashiers and had met the King!
A NEW WOLF, A NEW PAIR
The two younglings had never been close to an airplane, let alone ride in one. They were as jumpy as two crickets on a hot plate.
As soon as the plane was in the air, Jonal's Steward brought them large plates of shrimp creole over rice and all the milk they could drink.
The Steward, Carstares McLouden, a Highland Scottish Wolf, asked them if they wanted a Flaming Sword. Neither youngling had any idea what that was, but is sounded kind of interesting, so they both said they would like to try it.
The Steward winked at Lord Jonal and went to prepare the dessert for the youngsters. He brought out a large silver tray that had a pastry on it shaped like a sword. He set the tray on the cart and proceeded to pour a liquid over it and then touch a match to it. The liquid caught fire and burned with a short, blue flame as it caramelized the sugars on the surface of the pastry and in the liquid, which was a high grade brandy from Lord Jonal's own private stock!
He cut the pastry in half and served each youngling a half with a flourish, saying, "A Highland Flaming Sword, young sirs, eat and enjoy!" As they were finishing, Jeremy leaned over and whispered to Dillon, "Don't lick the plate I don't think that is polite here."
Both the Steward and Lord Jonal, being wolves, heard every word that was said. They had to go into the Steward's Pantry and bite their fists so the younglings would not hear them laughing!
Jonal had contacted King Tosco and told him what they were bringing home with them. As the plane landed, they saw a large, black SUV drive up to the accommodation ladder and a man got out to open the door for them. Jonal smiled, King Tosco was giving the younglings the "Royal Treatment"!
As the four of them got into the car, the driver pushed a button and the green banner of The House of Ced came up on both front fenders!
A large SUV, full of armed Warriors, preceded their vehicle down the streets of Charlotte to the highway that led to Cashiers, it had a flashing red light on its roof and all those who were Wolf and many who were of the Human kind, bowed to the car as it raced towards Cashiers!
The younglings' eyes were on swivels, trying to take in everything as they passed by at a very high speed. Finally, they both gave up and sat there, numb and each holding the others' hand.
Jonal leaned over and whispered in their ears, don't worry, King Tosco puts his trousers on just like the rest of us, one leg at a time, he also eats the same stuff we do and, I know for a fact, he does NOT like chocolate pudding!" Remember, I have known him since he was a small child.
Neither of them knew what chocolate pudding tasted like, they had never had any!
Will King Tosco like the two younglings? Will Lord Jonal keep his promise to Dillon and make him Wolf?