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 15; The Outer Banks Clan was prospering and new children were being born to them, they were a growing clan again, living in a favorable place to raise their children free of want and fear. John looked around him, his people's faces radiated happiness and it was obvious they were well fed and content. In the days that followed, they took him to their small village, Wolfton, and his new home there. It was not so grand as Jeremiah's home, but it was generations beyond the rough log cabin in which he had been born. His folk were prospering and he could stand on his porch and see children playing in complete safety, with no fear.
CONSOLODATION OF EMPIRE
Jeremiah's Rule of Seniority now spanned both North and South America, with a spillover into northern Asia., he was the most senior Lord Alpha Wolf of the most senior and largest Family in all Wolfdom. He had a standing army, headed by Chief Warrior Jonal, of 4,000 trained and battle tested Wolf Warriors and as many more upon which he could call upon from the various Clans of the Americas, all of whom owed him fealty. He was, in effect, the unproclaimed The King of the Wolves.
Europe was lost to them thousands of years ago and nothing had been heard of the Asian Clans, except for their own in Northern China, the Koreas and Japan, since the Great Dispersion that took place more than 10,000 years earlier.
He was building a new headquarters up in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, Greystone Manor was becoming too small and there was little additional room to expand.
Jeremiah planned on keeping Greystone as a residence for visiting Wolves and a business meeting place away from his Family and close associates, a place where he could meet with those who were not wolves.
He had also decided to make Greystone Manor a warrior stronghold and would station 2,000 warriors there, under the command of Jonal's assistant, Jeffery. To that end, Jeffery had already moved in and there were 500 Wolf Warriors in residence. The additional barracks would be completed in a matter of a few months and the rest would be transferred down from Flat Rock.
Jeffery would carry a heavy responsibility as his superior, Jonal, traveled frequently with Jeremiah.
Jeremiah had wanted his Mother, Helen, to move to Charlotte and she flatly refused to leave Cashiers. Jeremiah then insisted on a small detachment of Warriors be stationed near both his Mother and his Father for their security.
His father had retired and was living in a grand house on the coast; he had retired from being the Lord of Ced and Clan Alpha, but he had not retired from life!
Every time Jeremiah visited him, Jeremiah was subjected to tales of catching fish and boating, his adventures in golfing did not interest Jeremiah, but he listened anyway as he could see the excitement and pleasure radiate from his Father's face.
His Father had become a happy retiree, spending his time in pursuits he had never before had time to enjoy. His face had lost the haggard look and he delighted in taking his Grandson, Tosco, out for day long fishing trips on the ocean, where it was just the two of them.
It was on those trips that Tosco learned the knowledge and the skills he was to need to be heir and son to the richest man in all of the Americas and the acknowledged leader of all the Wolfkind.
As Tosco grew in knowledge and abilities, Jeremiah began taking him as he went about the business of ruling. They traveled much and Jeremiah learned to depend on Tosco's quick wit and sharp intellect.
Word of trouble came from Seoul and Jeremiah decided to take Tosco with him. It would be the first time the two had flown together in Jeremiah's new Boeing 757 aircraft, Tosco's eyes were dancing in anticipation as Jeremiah took him to inspect the new aircraft.
Since it was the first time that a Lord of Ced had ever visited Clan Wonju in all of known history, it was to be an important, historic trip. At the same time, the business of the Clan and the Family had to be maintained, Chub was to remain in Charlotte and Tosco would serve as Proxy to his Father.
Peter would also come along, Tosco, still with some of the joys of being a teen, thought he would be smart and he said, "Nice Puppy", before he could blink, Peter was standing over him with both paws holding him to the floor. Peter's eyes were glowing bright red and his teeth bared in a snarl, "PUPPY?" Tosco very meekly replied, "Yes, Uncle Peter."
It was impossible for Peter to stay angry at the boy, so he stomped off, hiding his grin.
Chub instructed Tosco in the fine points of international diplomacy and being Proxy to the most powerful wolf on the planet. It sobered Tosco when he realized that his Papa wielded more power and wealth than many whole nations. It never dawned on him that the same realization scared the HELL out of his Papa!
Jeremiah decided they would take both planes, the Red Wolf and the newly named Emerald Wolf. Jonal insisted he take 500 Warriors with him and Jeremiah was taking a number of staff and accountants in addition to his Family Members.
The day of departure arrived and they began to load the planes, the Red Wolf could accommodate a maximum of 250 passengers, the rest would have to fly on the Emerald Wolf. It would be a tight fit, but Jeremiah refused to compromise.
At the last moment, young Paul asked if he could come and observe on the flight deck. Chief Command Pilot Harley Myers agreed and the two of them asked permission of Jeremiah.
When Jeremiah understood what was behind the boy's request, he readily agreed and told Pilot Myers to instruct the young Prince, Jeremiah's own Grandson, everything he needed to become a pilot.
The heavily laden planes took off and headed west.
They stopped in Seattle for two days visiting the Northwest Clan. Jeremiah had put them back on their feet many years earlier and he was pleased to see that they had continued to thrive. He visited with Clan Alpha Beker and the local Clan treated them all to a Bar B Q supper of local salmon.
There were many wolves still groaning from overeating as they boarded the planes for the long flight to Seoul over the Great Circle Route to Korea.
There were no airports near their destination, so Jeremiah had contacted one of their affiliate companies to supply transportation for them all.
There were to be 15 large buses, 2 SUVs and 5 limousines waiting for them at the Seoul Airport. Unknown to Jeremiah, the company had also arranged for diplomatic authority for them and an armed escort, while on the road to and from Wonju.
The long, boring flight was nearing its end when land was spotted beneath them, they could hear the pilots speaking with the Seoul Control Tower. They began their descent into Seoul and were on the ground a few minutes later.
Between the preliminary work their affiliates had done for them, and Tosco's mind wizardry, they were quickly through Customs and Passport Control.
Jonal had a detail of his warriors take charge of the luggage and they were soon ready for the 4 hour drive to Wonju.
As they were gathered at the curb, waiting for their transportation to pick them up, young Paul brought a small boy in his arms, dressed in rags and without shoes to Jeremiah. He whispered in Jeremiah's ear, "Grandpapa, this boy is WOLF, and he has been terribly abused and hurt. Please help him."
Jeremiah looked at the young boy and, indeed, there was a wolf in him. Jeremiah knelt down and spoke to the child, "Do you speak English?" The boy nodded his head and replied, "Yes master, me speech Ongleesh. Yus me want, me make yous good feel."
It was all Jeremiah could do to restrain his wolf, he picked up the little boy and held him in his arms.
Tosco came running over and began reaching out to the child in his mind. What Tosco learned pushed his wolf to the surface, phasing in and out rapidly.
The limousines arrived at that moment and Jeremiah and Tosco jumped in the back seat of the vehicle with the little boy, Peter and Jonal were right behind them.
They understood the little wolf boy was being used as a sex slave, Jeremiah was so angry, his face slipped into his wolf. Fortunately, the driver and his helper were occupied and did not notice the beings from their worst nightmare sitting in the vehicle with them.
It took the combined efforts of Jonal and Tosco to calm Jeremiah down.
Peter curled up on the seat and the child cuddled up to the huge wolf and fell asleep. Tosco gently probed the child's mind, his English was so poor, Tosco had to guess at a lot of what he was seeing.
Jonal notified his troops of what was happening and the anger level on the buses carrying the warriors was near the explosion point. They got a ways out into the countryside and Tosco used his mind-magic to get the bus drivers to make a rest stop.
Jeremiah carried the boy out of the car in his arms, Tosco had convinced the child he was safe among them and he had a death grip on Jeremiah's neck.
Each warrior came and hugged the little boy, he was glowing in all the affection. They had snacks and parts of lunches among them, the child was ravenous and ate everything the warriors gave him. To him, many of the foods were strange, but he was so hungry, he was willing to try anything.
When the child was finally satisfied, Tosco again entered the boy's mind. He withdrew in such fury, he lost all control and his huge wolf emerged.
Suddenly, there was a 700 pound Timber Wolf standing there, its eyes glowing bright red and it was very angry. Jeremiah kept the boy occupied so that he didn't look towards Tosco until he could regain control.
One of the driver-helpers from one of the buses came over and knelt before Jeremiah, "Sir, know I not who be you, but wolf you be. I wolf of Wonju, me help yous?"
Jeremiah pulled the young man to him and asked, "Do you know this young child, he is wolf?" The young man replied, "Me not him know, wes much trouble have. Mine peoples scatter, destroy house Wonju try. I hide, me hear you come help. Me wait you here get."
Jeremiah replied, "Where is your Alpha Wolf, eer High Wolf?" The young man answered, "Me brother young of High Wolf. Him hurt, go hide. Me you take? Jeremiah replied, "Yes, take us there, I am Prince Jeremiah, Lord of Ced."
The youngster bowed deeply and replied, "Us family Ced, you Lord us?" Jeremiah raised the young man up and told him that he was indeed his Family Lord.
The young man went and spoke to the other drivers and then he came back to Jeremiah, "Lord of Ced, we wolves all. Us take you now, must go before dark" They all remounted their vehicles and the convoy took off as fast as they dared travel.
Instead of going on to Wonju, they took a side road to Yeoju. The road was rough and unpaved, they had to slow down and crawl along the narrow roads that were strangely deserted. They saw no people, no animals nor farmed fields. It was as if they were entering a deserted land.
The convoy turned off onto a path, barely wide enough for the buses to get through. They finally came to a stop in a clearing, there was a large ramshackle house, in dire need of repair. Jeremiah and Jonal got out of the lead vehicle and 20 warriors assembled behind them at Jonal's command.
They could sense wolves watching them from the house and the surrounding bushes, Jeremiah called out, "Wolves of Clan Wonju, Family of Ced, I am Lord Alpha Jeremiah Franklin Tate, Lord of Family Ced. We come to assist you in your troubles, send out your leaders that we may speak with them."
The Driver Helper stood beside Jeremiah, "Me HanRho, brother to High Wolf HanDoi. This Lord Wolf is our Patriarch, bring my brother out to do him honors."
Four teens appeared, carrying another teen in a fireman carry and stood before Jeremiah. They assisted the injured teen to stand and he spoke in an educated voice, "Forgive us Lord of Ced, we have been severely hurt and barely escaped with our lives. My father was slain and of the High Family, only myself and my brother, HanRho, survive. We are shamed, but all that we have, I place before you Great Lord."
Two of Jonal's huge Wolf Warriors rushed forward and supported the young Alpha Wolf.
Jeremiah sent four Warrior Wolves back into town with $10,000 in cash to purchase food, medicines and bandages for the wounded wolves. It was dark when the two SUVs returned, stuffed to roof with food and supplies.
Jonal posted his warriors around the house and ordered ten of them to roam as wolves. Taking no chances, Peter said that he would lead to wolf patrols. It would be a sorry bandit who tried tangling with Peter Franklin Tate, there were few animals and even fewer humans brave enough to take on an 800 pound, very angry Timber Wolf!
They dressed the wounds of the injured wolves and prepared a simple, but plentiful meal for all the folk of Clan Wonju and themselves.
After everyone had been fed, Jeremiah sat down with High Wolf HanDoi and listened to his story. HanDoi said, "Lord, we are peaceful folk, farmers and weavers. The Red Star Bandits descended upon us before we had a chance to even know they were here."
Jeremiah interrupted, "Red Star Bandits?" HanDoi replied, "Yes, My Lord, that is what we call the army of the oppressor to the north. We have heard rumors that he has done terrible things to our brother wolves in Sogwang-sa. We have found wolves taking refuge here in the south, even small children. They raided us two nights ago, killed many of our Elders and also my Father, High Wolf HanRol.
Jeremiah thought of the boy they had discovered in Seoul and asked Jonal to bring the child to him. When the child was brought, he hung onto Jeremiah with a death grip and buried his face in Jeremiah's shoulder.
HanDoi spoke to the child in his own language, HanDoi's face grew livid in anger and Jeremiah could see the teen's wolf struggling to gain dominance.
When, at last, HanDoi could speak, he said, "The child believes his name is SonJu. His mama and papa were murdered before his eyes and he was put to work as a sex slave and spy in our capitol, Seoul. He is four years old and, Sir Lord, he claims you as his new Papa."
REBUILDING A CLAN
Jeremiah ordered building materials to be delivered to the house in Yeoju and the Warriors set about assisting the Wonju survivors in making the old house livable. A few additional survivors straggled in as refugees and they were included.
Within a matter of days, the old house was rehabilitated, painted and the utilities restored.
The land already belonged to Clan Wonju, so they began clearing the old abandoned fields and planting them in crops that could be harvested before the winter season.
Several times, representatives of the regional authorities came and, between Tosco's mind games and HanDoi's producing the title papers, the authorities bothered them very little.
Clan Wonju sheltered the survivors of their own folk and a few who had trickled down from North Korea, they had 90 able Warriors and another 20 on the "sick list", recovering from their injuries suffered during the attack.
Most of the adult wolves had been killed trying to protect their home and children, but there were 40 older teens, nearing adulthood and fanatically protective of those who had survived. All told, 160 Wolves had survived the attack.
Jeremiah and those who had accompanied him, realized they were going to be there for a while and they lent a hand restoring the buildings and farmland that supported the local Clan.
The businesses of Clan Wonju, the cloth factory, several sewing shops and the agriculture warehouses were all closed, slowly, they were able to re-open them, one at a time. Their longtime, non-wolf employees were grateful that they could return to work, times were not good and the lost jobs were creating hardship throughout the area.
Many of those employees knew or, at least suspected what their employers were, but Clan Wonju had always treated them well and they lined up to be able to return to their jobs.
As their businesses began to revive, so also did the Clan Wonju's cash flow. The clan could again hold their heads up in pride, rather than the shame they felt and the loss of "face".
With the return of their pride also came the concern about their "cousins" trapped in the north. HanDoi and his brother HanRho closely questioned the boy, Sonju, and tried to get a picture of what had happened to his folk. The child had only a hazy memory of what had happened that terrible night, and their questioning always left the boy hysterical afterwards.
Finally, Jeremiah said, "ENOUGH. We must go there, the child must not endure more questions!" He and Jonal began to plan a way to find out what had happened to SongJu's folk.
Part 2 of this story will tell of the hardships and horror of those trapped in the north of that unhappy peninsula, a land of repression, hunger, starvation and horror.