THE WOLF FOLK SERIES
THE ADVENTURES OF JEREMIAH TATE
A STORY OF A BOY COMING OF AGE IN AN
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 is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced by any means without the express, written permission of the author.
From Book 9; The entire assembly rose in honor of the young wolf Prince among them, whose brilliant star shone on them all. At the close of the Conclave, Franklin said to his son, "Jeremiah, meet with me tomorrow, there is much to discuss and I wish to make changes to our Family. Now, go you back to Charlotte and try to ease Peter's feeling of being left behind on your recent adventure."
RESTRUCTURING OF CHARLOTTE SEPT
Lord Alpha Wolf Franklin arrived bright and early the next day and took breakfast with his son, Jeremiah, and his advisors. Accompanying the Alpha Wolf were his senior accountants and his War Leader.
After breakfast, they all retired to Jeremiah's conference room, where Franklin began by telling them that Charlotte Sept was to become a SubClan. All the property surrounding Greystone Manor was to be razed and a business center and warrior dormitories were to be constructed. Much of the business interests of the South Eastern Clan were to be transferred to the new SubClan and, when he retired, Charlotte would become the new headquarters of the Southeastern Clan.
Franklin said, "I am 1500 years old and have ruled for nearly a 1000 years. It is time I shed some responsibility and took pleasure in my life. I have two sons to carry on for me while I learn to rest and relax."
Peter was again standing beside his brother, the two had reconciled their differences the night before.
The accountants placed a Transfer of Funds receipt before Jeremiah showing a transfer of $500 million into his accounts. All the heads of the various clan businesses gave their Oath of Loyalty to Jeremiah before they made their reports; there were businesses both local and international.
Jeremiah confirmed all the leaders in their positions and promised to visit each of their areas of responsibility in the immediate future.
The last to report were two old friends, Senior Deputy Chief Wild Ox and Warrior Leader, Deputy Chief Running Bear, both from the Cherokee Nation. These last two were special friends from his childhood and would forever be close to his heart.
After the meeting, Franklin spent the rest of the day enjoying the family that surrounded Jeremiah and he sat down with Joseph and Paul, telling them of their heritage.
The next several months, Jeremiah and his entourage were busy consolidating their administration over the Clan's many businesses and also the business of the Sub-Clan.
When Franklin told Jeremiah that he was slowing down, he meant everything. The scheduled Fall Conclave was to be completely in the hands of Jeremiah. Jeremiah asked Chub to continue as his Proxy and his first appointment was to elevate his cousin, Chub to a Wolf Prince of House Ced.
Jonal and Tosco reported nearly every day on progress in Cancun, Maya Clan Cancun was growing rapidly and would soon exceed 5,000 members. Their territory now extended from the southern borders of the Mexico Clan down to the Panama Canal.
A small outpost had been established on Guatemala and a larger one in Costa Rica.
A single family had asked to become a Sept in Belize and Jonal had authorized the purchase of land at the small town of Rockville. Jonal asked that Jeremiah come to install the new Sept.
There was a small airport nearby and they were making plans to go and install the Family Kellison Sept the very next week. He had told Jonal to lease a small plane for the Cancun Alpha's use, perhaps with an option to buy when revenues built up.
An important development was the reopening of a Clan Goldmine in the jungles of the Yucatan, it would begin to show a profit very soon. He reported that the clan herds were now profitable and they were marketing meat, under their own label, through the Mexico Clan until they had sufficient market share to build their own slaughtering plant.
The more Jeremiah thought about it, the more appealing a trip south sounded. He looked at Peter, and he agreed. He was going to have to leave Chub behind this time so Peter could travel with him. The pace of business that now was channeling through the offices at Greystone Manor was too great to leave untended.
Peter could have done it, but he was still a bit touchy about having been left behind the last time, so Jeremiah was not about to ask his brother to stay behind again anytime soon.
He chose Tecito to be his traveling Proxy, the young man was proud to have been asked and he went to Peter for training. Tecito was growing fast, he would soon be a teen and his wolf could be seen shimmering just below the surface. It had already made one appearance that might have been a fluke because there had been no further appearances since that one time.
He had been a small child, but Jonal had seen to it that he got plenty of nourishment when he had stayed behind in The Yucatan, the boy was nearing six feet and very slender, but he showed promise of having broad shoulders and a bull neck typical of his race. He was also at the top of his classes scholastically and he spoke English, French and Spanish fluently, as well as several of the native languages of his homeland.
Jeremiah had made him Junior Wolf Prince of the Family Ced, the boy positively glowed as Jeremiah announced the appointment. John and Paul stayed behind, they needed to complete their studies as Jeremiah told them that they were next!
They again took 50 of Jeremiah's Warriors as a ceremonial guard, although, Chub saw to it they were all armed to the teeth. The flight south was leisurely, after stopping in New Orleans to refuel and take on one of Jeremiah's favorite meals for lunch, Shrimp Etouffee, they proceeded on to Belize, after stopping in Cancun to retrieve Tosco.
When they landed at Rockville, the Family Kellison was arrayed before the bottom of the accommodation ladder. Charlotte Warriors lined the steps of the ladder and Tecito stood on the landing, "ALL HAIL, WOLF LORD PRINCE ALPHA LEADER OF THE PRINCIPAL CLAN OF THE AMERICAS ARRIVES, HEIR TO THE FAMILY CED, FATHER TO THE FAMILY JEP AND FAMILY GAL, LORD ALPHA WOLF OF THE CHARLOTTE SUBCLAN TATE, AMBASSADOR PLENIPOTENTIARY TO THE CLANS OF THE AMERICAS GREETS THOSE OF THE FAMILY KELLISON OF THE ANCIENT FAMILY GAL."
He was so excited to be his Papa's Proxy, he nearly added, "And my Papa.." He caught himself just in time, but, when Jeremiah grinned at him, his face turned beet red, he had been caught! Jeremiah never mentioned the incident, but Tecito remembered it for the rest of his life!
Tecito beat Jeremiah's staff on the landing at each step Jeremiah took down the ladder. Mopayu, the Father of the Family Kellison, knelt before Jeremiah and kissed his ring before offering his oath of allegiance to the Father of Family Gal.
The family came forward to embrace this legendary Wolf Prince and showed him around their holdings with pride. They were farmers and their fields and orchards were filled with ripening fruits and grains.
Peter took off on his own examination of the Family Kellison and what he saw impressed him greatly, "Brother, this farm is well managed, their pack await you at the equipment barn. All look well and fit and are standing proud to introduce you to their children."
As he was led on inspection of the Clan's farm, Jeremiah did see happy children at play, although, as soon as they saw Jeremiah, they knelt and rendered him honor.
As he was led to the main house, he was impressed at the neat, two story stone building that was obviously new. It had a fortified wall around it and steel bar gates. He asked, "Wolf Leader Mopayu, are you concerned for your safety here?"
The man replied, "No, Lord Prince, but we must consider our future. Should those around us turn against us, we must be ready to protect ourselves and our folk.
Jeremiah nodded in agreement and came around to the back of the house. There, the children were gathered to welcome him to their home. The little girls sang a song and danced for his pleasure. The boys showed their proficiency with swords and drilled in formation with their spears.
The older teens demonstrated their use of firearms and Gorlu, the oldest Kellison son stood at attention, saluting Jeremiah and recited off the numbers under arms and those held in auxiliary. He then introduced his Officers and they all knelt in honor, giving oath to Lord Alpha Wolf Jeremiah of the SubClan Tate and also to their Local Alpha Wolf, Lord Prince Tosco.
Jeremiah was so impressed with the young Wolf Warrior, he grasped the teen's hand and said, "Young Alpha of the Family Kellison, I name you Captain and Warrior Leader of this Sept."
Mopayu was startled, "My Lord, Sept?"
Jeremiah smiled, "Yes, Sept Alpha Wolf Mopayu, I name you Sept Kellison of the Maya Clan Cancun."
There was dancing and celebration far into the night, the Kellison Family had no idea they would be named a Sept. That would give them jurisdiction and responsibility over Wolves throughout the nation of Belize!
TROUBLE IN PARADISE
The next morning, Jeremiah was awaked by Peter pulling his blanket off of him and telling him to hurry, there was trouble.
Just then, the alarm bell began to ring, calling everyone to the front courtyard. Jeremiah ran down the stairs and out onto the front porch, where he found Sept Alpha Mopayu and Young Sept Prince Alpha Gorlu holding a bleeding and badly hurt man in their arms. The man was definitely a wolf and did not appear to be a member of the Family Kellison.
Mopayu said, "My Lord Prince Jeremiah, this wolf tells a terrible tale, please, come with us that he may tell us more."
Jeremiah assisted the family members in carrying the injured visitor into the house, where warm water and clothes awaited him to sooth his hurts and clean the blood from his body.
Peter sent, "That boy is MAYA!"
As soon as the young man had been cleaned up, Jeremiah sat beside him and said, "I am Prince Jeremiah, Father of the Maya Clan Cancun, Ambassador Plenipotentiary to all the Clans of the Americas. Please tell me what has happened to you."
The boy replied, "I am Tortu of the Family Sarepedes. We have only just heard of Family Kellison, we live near Tres Leguas on the border of Quintana Roo, Mexico. We have been attacked by raiders attempting to make slaves of us to carry their drugs. We have beat them off, but my Papa has been wounded and I fear another attack will finish us."
Peter was already summoning the Wolf Warriors of SubClan Charlotte and Tecito was standing by, armed with his rifle and sword. Gorlu was summoning his own Warriors, his Wolf barely under control.
Jeremiah looked at Mopayu, "Lord Alpha Mopayu, will you allow me to lead your Warriors along with my own?"
The man replied, "Lord Prince, we are yours to command, leave me a few for home guard and you take the remainder, along with my son and heir, Gorlu."
In just a few minutes, all the Wolf Warriors were in formation before Prince Jeremiah, "Warriors of Charlotte SubClan, Warriors of Kellison Sept, we go in rescue of our brothers Sarepedes. Arm yourselves and report back as soon as you are ready."
When all the Warriors had returned, ready for war, Jeremiah and Peter led them out at a miles eating pace that only wolves could endure.
It took them two days to reach the border with Quintana Roo and they swooped into the village of the Family Serepedes, near Tres Leguas.
The Village Alpha was heavily bandaged, but he hugged his son Tortu. He looked upon the warriors standing before him, "Not since the great breakup have Wolves come to assist other Wolves, Welcome to our village. Refresh yourselves and rest from your trip. Food is available, we ask only that you help us."
Tortu brought Jeremiah to his Father, "Papa, this is Lord Prince Jeremiah, heir to Family Ged, Father to Maya Clan Cancun, Father of Families Jep and Gal. He is our Patron and Protector."
The Chieftan tried to rise, but Jeremiah held him saying, "Lord Alpha of this Family, stay at ease, we shall protect you and yours as we would our own. These raiders shall not have your folk, this foul deed shall not, MUST NOT happen."
He motioned to Tecito and Gorlu to come forward, "These are my lieutenants, princes of your and my folk. We make plans now to make war upon these fiends, Prince Tortu, please join us in command."
Tortu beamed in pleasure at both being named, Prince and also invited to share command with this famous Wolf Prince from the North.
They placed sentries around the village and sent out patrols to locate the camp of the raiders. They were located next to the border of Quintana Roo.
Tecito invited Tortu to join him as they made war on the raiders.
Gorlu and Peter remained at the village to protect the wolf folk living there and Jeremiah let the two younger wolves command the raid. He reminded them to let none escape, bring only the leaders back alive.
It went against Jeremiah's grain to let others go in harm's way while he stayed behind, but he knew that both the young wolves needed the command experience without him standing over them.
He paced around the camp with Peter laying there watching him. Jeremiah sent, "You are laughing at me, aren't you?"
Peter replied, "Yup!"
Gorlu was laying up against a tree watching the interaction between the two brothers. He had only younger brothers and no Wolves as a brother. Jeremiah had explained to him about his brother, Peter, but it was still new and strange to him.
Just then, Jeremiah heard both Tecito and Tortu sound recall, so he went to sit at his ease, as if he had every confidence in the world about how Tecito and Tortu were handling the attack. He could "hear" Peter laughing at him through a tight connection!
They goose stepped three terrified looking men into the wolf camp. The biggest, tried to bluster and shout his way out of trouble, he screamed at Jeremiah, "Call your dogs off, we are important men!"
Jeremiah said, "My Dogs?" as he let his eyes go smokey red and his wolf canines dropped down in full sight. The man collapsed in fright as he saw his doom in those blood-red eyes. Jeremiah stripped the information from their minds and then casually extended a claw and slit their throats.
He told the warriors to go hang the men upside down in a tree, where they could be clearly seen, he added, "Strip them of all their clothing, that they might hang there as the animals they are." The criminals would hang there until their bare bones fell to the ground, no person OR animal would go near them! The "Wolf Scent" would remain in that place for generations of human kind!
He then sent to Peter, "I think we need to pay a visit to their bosses after dark tonight!"
The warriors rested after their jaunt to eliminate the gang of raiders, Tecito knew that Jeremiah was going to do something and he was determined he was going along. For the rest of the day he stuck with Jeremiah, not letting him out of his sight.
The warriors rested for a few hours, then they cleaned their weapons and refilled their ammo bags, ready for the next go-round against those who would hurt their folk. When the Wolf Warriors went to war, there were few who could oppose them and none who could best them in battle!
After supper, Jeremiah called his two commanders and asked them to pick a squad each of their finest warriors, they were going to pay a courtesy call on Señor Alberto Guzman.
Tecito knew then, what was going to take place. He advised Tortu to collect his biggest and tallest warriors while he did the same. The two squads reported to Jeremiah, not one of the warriors were under six feet, nor any less than 225 pounds! Had any humans been present, they would have known immediately that the ancient legends were correct!
Jeremiah had obtained where Señor Guzman was to be found from his henchman's mind, they went to a small compound hidden in the deep jungle and, just as it was getting dark, they crashed the door open and streamed into the small building. In the gloom, the warriors' eyes were glowing red and their white teeth looked more like daggers!
Señor Guzman was just sitting down to his table when Jeremiah grabbed him, a warrior flipped a rope over the rafter and knotted it around the raider chieftain's feet. He was then hoisted upside down, along with his two companions.
The men were screaming and cursing, when they spotted Peter, their screams became hoarse and frightened. Peter's eyes were glowing bright red and his fangs were dripping saliva that reflected the red from his eyes!
After Jeremiah had drained them of all useful information, he motioned to the warriors and both squads brought forth their wolves. The whole building was filled with fabled creatures from HELL!
The three raider leaders were jibbering in fear, Jeremiah grinned at them as he brought his own wolf forth and calmly slit their throats. A pool of urine and blood collected beneath each man as they bled out and died. They were unable to scream and, as they died, their faces were frozen in a rictus of fear! Those who would discover the bodies would take one look at their faces and run screaming into the jungle and never return.
They left the bodies hanging as a warning to leave the folk of the Serepedes alone. He left a warning note pinned to the leader's shirt that next time, all would die a like death.
They left, leaving the door to the cabin hanging open, but there was no forest animal brave enough to come near what the wolves had claimed as their own prey. The place reeked with wolf scent that the animals recognized. It had been thousands of years since their kind had encountered the wolf folk, but they recognized it immediately and ran in fear.
Not so Alberto Guzman's older brother, Tomás. He ranted and raved, but could convince no raider to go with him to avenge his brother's death against Los Lobos del Noche! In fact, Tomás Guzman had to recruit new men from as far away as Mexico City, all his own raiders quit and went into hiding. He swore revenge, but was never able to find out who or what had killed his brother.
His aura as a leader was badly tarnished and, within a few months, his gang fell completely apart and such were the rumors, none could be convinced to take their place.
Tortu began taking charge of the Family Serepedes and he swore fealty to Tosco of the Maya Clan Cancun. With two successful Families in Belize, more began to migrate and before the year was out, there were 1500 members of 4 Family Clans allied to Maya Clan Cancun.
The Maya Clan Cancun began regular shipments of gold to the offices of Banco Nacionál in Cancun. Rumors of a bonanza began circulating, drawing the less savory of Mexican society to the area. They tried following the vehicles as they returned from delivering gold to the bank, but they regularly found their tires slashed or spark wires missing.
The quantity of gold started a frenzy to learn from where it was being extracted. Rumors of the assay value began circulating and people flocked to the area, trying to discover the source of the gold.
One group attempted to kidnap a couple of young members of the Clan, who had accompanied the warriors delivering the gold. They snatched two teen Wolves from in front of the Banco and the Warrior's rage was so awful, townspeople shuddered every time they saw the black SUVs pull up to the bank. The bodies were hung from the highest building in the city, where no one could figure out how they were put there and none could retrieve the bodies until they had disintegrated and fallen to the ground.
Rumors were passing around about Los Lobos del Noche (Wolves of the Night) and got additional strength from some happening down in Quintana Roo. Despite that, the lure of gold was powerful and it was only a short time before it attracted the criminal element.
Jeremiah delayed his return to Charlotte to see what was going to happen, he did not have to wait long. There were helicopters crisscrossing Clan lands and prospectors were found washing sands from the many streams of the area. Many would relate being chased by enormous wolves or come back from a panning expedition to find their camp torn to shreds.
That slowed the faint-hearted, but made no dent on the confirmed gold seekers or the criminals. Gold is a mighty lure that knows no morals. They just tried harder to discover the source of the bonanza. Bribes and elaborate presents brought no information, nor did threats, Those who attempted to carry out the threats, disappeared without a trace.
They tried bribing young children, offering huge rewards to adults and finally, kidnapping and torture. Two young boys crawled back to the village, their backs a mass of crisscrossed whip wounds, their finger nails pulled out and on one, his ears cut off.
Peter had to sit on Jeremiah, so great was his anger. The Wolf Folk began following the adults who were attempting to get the clan's children to tell where the gold was. They would "visit" those folk in the middle of the night, rousing them from a sound sleep in a nightmare of angry wolves surrounding their beds, eyes glowing red and fangs dripping saliva.
Most were frightened away, except for the most hardened criminals. It was becoming a war, one the wolves could not afford to lose. They formally put their lands off limits and outsiders were told that whatever happened to them while trespassing on their lands was strictly their own responsibility.
Many outsiders were coming back from travels in the jungles with nightmare tales of monstrous creatures and blood curdling experiences to tell about. Some had the grievous wounds to back up their stories.
Still, the lure of gold was powerful. The wolf folk were reluctant to kill the trespassers, but they had to do something. Jeremiah was the one who came up with a good cure, NIGHTMARES!
He collected as many of those who had the Ancient Power of Persuasion and parked them around the main routes that the gold seekers were using to invade their lands. Soon, stories began circulation of demons and nightmare creatures inhabiting the jungles of the Yucatan, snakes large enough to swallow a grown man whole, blood sucking demons waiting behind every tree and monstrous creatures inhabiting the night.
The gold fever was severely dampened, there was always some who would chance almost anything for wealth, but the more skilled users of the Power of Persuasion could lead such a person on such a procession of chases, when left, they were so far into the trackless jungle, many never made it back to civilization and those that did were never the same again. They brought tales as they gibbered in fright that told of awful creatures, monstrous beings and carnivorous trees!
This did not stop the fairy tales, after a few beers, many could tell a wonderful story and, if there were any wolf folk about, they would sit with a grin on their faces, enjoying the fanciful story. The skill of the storytellers far exceeded the skills of the Wolves in their Powers of Persuasion!
The Maya Clan Cancun was making rapid strides, their village was clean, modern and had many of the conveniences found in homes of "city folk". They had television, radios, hot and cold running water, modern clothing, refrigerators and some even had automobiles and flush toilets!
The several government agencies sent inspectors around to see if they were benefiting from criminal activity or narcotic trafficking, but there was none of that among the wolf folk. There were a few in the government who knew of the wolves, but they considered their knowledge a sacred trust and never betrayed their wolf friends. If nothing else, the benefits far outweighed and profit they might accrue from betraying their friends. Those who were loyal found a lifetime of security and, in a land of constant political upheaval, a safe refuge for one and his or her family was worth far more than a few bundles of nearly worthless banknotes.
Jeremiah finally felt he could leave, that the Maya Clan Cancun was more than self reliant, they had taken in the new Septs of Belize under a "guardian relationship" and, as it was nearing time for Tosco to return to Charlotte for his University Schooling, Jeremiah brought Tecito back to Jonal. He had left as a young teen and returned to his Papa a fully grown man, as big and powerful as his Cousin Tosco and fully trained as a War Leader by Jeremiah and Peter.
Tecito had some strong ideas on how to govern the growing Clan and he was anxious to put those ideas into practice. He was tired of business leaders becoming rich off the efforts of their people, his first idea was to start a banking system just for the wolf folk.
As Tosco boarded the Red Wolf with Jeremiah, Tecito was starting to put his ideas into actions.
Jeremiah had been away for two years, he was anxious to return to his home. He had been in constant communication with his staff, but things like a Conclave and others that required the presence of the Alpha, had been delayed for his return.
His Father, Franklin, had semi-retired and was determined to stay that way. He was ready and willing to give Jeremiah advice, but he was no longer willing to fight in the front ranks.
It had been on Jeremiah's mind for several months that Paul and Joseph needed to return to their people and help them survive against the religious bigots that were terrorizing their people.
Both the young Princes agreed and they started taking accelerated courses at the University to help ready themselves for the rigors of managing a far flung civilization. They knew they could count on help from Jeremiah, but they also knew that he would demand much of them and they were determined to earn the trust that Papa Jeremiah had placed in them.
Jeremiah was on the move much of the time, not only their own businesses required his attendance, he also consulted with other Clans to help solve their problems as well. Tosco was working as hard as he could, he was taking classes during the day and three classes at night! The Maya Clan Cancun Empire was growing by leaps and bounds and needed him back as soon as possible. Jonal and Tecito were doing a great job and they kept him informed, but it wasn't like being there.
He was also in contact with Gorlu and Tortu, they, also, were doing a great job with their people, both Septs were growing rapidly. Since both were farmers, they had combined their businesses and were shipping fresh tropical fruits worldwide. All of the teens that Jeremiah had rescued seemed to have the Ancient Power of Far Speak! They would discover they had even more of the Powers of The Ancients as they matured.
Gorlu got a bee in his bonnet to try raising wine grapes, nobody ever thought they would do well in a tropical climate. He was advised to stick with the white grapes and his wines were beginning to catch on, demand was heavy throughout Central and South America and he had sent a trial shipment to the United States.
As it happened, his broker sent the entire shipment to Charlotte, North Carolina and, by the time Jeremiah found out about it, the wholesaler was down to only three crates remaining. Jeremiah bought all three and left a standing order for more whenever they had any.
It became the standard wine at Greystone Manor. Even Franklin could be enticed to come to Charlotte whenever Tres Laguas wine was available! The Wolf-Folk were not heavy drinkers, it was impossible for them to become drunk on alcohol as it had no effect on them. They did, however, enjoy the taste of a good wine with their meals.
With Tosco's help, Paul and Joseph were able to contact the remnants of their folk to let them know that help would be coming soon. They worked feverishly to complete their studies and make themselves qualified leaders of their clans. They studied tactics with Chub and Jeremiah, politics and leadership with Peter and finance with the accounting staff.
Jeremiah began laying in a supply of weapons and tools to be delivered to the north, along with crated foods, clothing and medicines. He had gold coins struck as commemorative gifts, but they each contained one ounce of pure gold and could be used as currency should the need be great. Each Wolf returning to the Northlands would be given fifty of the coins and their Princes would each bear a thousand coins to help fund the restoration of their clans.
Spring finally came and both Joseph and Paul were frantically studying for finals. They had exempted several classes and would be eligible for their degrees in May.
They both took High Honors and marched down the aisle with their head held high and their families clapping wildly in both love and honor.
They began packing that night.
Jeremiah will continue to nurture the Wolf Folk, he expects serious problems in the North as he assists Paul's and Joseph's people in reestablishing their clans. He won't be disappointed, and both Joseph and Paul will rise to the occasion.