The wind whispered through the ruins of a world gone, bringing with it the debris of that world. Dusty fragments of wallpaper, flakes of linoleum, the paint of a door, rusted off its hinges. All dead, all just memories. This wind whistled through the fur of a creature that sat upon the cold gray-green cement, tinged with algae and mold. The creature was a coyote, its fur a rusty brown, its eyes alert and amber as it gazed intently at its surroundings. As the wind whispered by again, through it's fur and past it's ears, the coyote seemed to shudder. 'Daughter....' The coyote pressed it's nose to the ground, eyes closed and ears pressed flat against it's skull, blocking out all but the wind that called to it. 'Daughter....I hunger' Its breathing quickened, darkening the concrete.
The coyote whined and flicked it's ears up, standing and raising its tail as it inhaled deeply. 'Hurry' With a sharp bark the coyote flowed forward, it's voice drifting to join the wind that called to it.
And you shall feed, Mother.
"Cal, get your lazy ass outta bed!" the shout, the first of many, awoke him with a start. Wrenching himself from his dreams Cal opened his eyes, sitting up in the semi-darkness of his bedroom. Suddenly, the lights flicked on and he cried out.
"Oh my god....why would you do that!?" He whined, squeezing his eyes shut.
"Because, I know you won't stay up otherwise." A cheery voice responded, Cal squinted as his room swam into focus. Dimly lit, white-washed walls, a bed and a dresser. Spartan by definition. The owner of the voice was short, petite, mahogany hair tied back in a pony tail, one curled strand on each side framing her pale face. A pair of large aviator goggles were perched atop her head.
"Shit Jenny, what time i-" Cal was cut off as he ducked to avoid a pack that sailed at his head from the doorway. The girl turned around, smiling as a dark haired teenager smirked at Cal. He was shorter than Cal, but his eyes were bright and his skin a rich olive.
"Thought you'd need that, bro." he called over his shoulder before walking down the hall. Cal glared after him, seething. "Fuck you, Zack!" He roared, standing up and grabbing the pack off the bed.
"Too busy with your girlfriend! Maybe next week, buddy!" Zack shouted from down the hall, voice echoing much to the dismay of the sleeping inhabitants. Cal sighed and glanced at the girl, she was rocking on her heels, army boots and coveralls seeming much too grown up for her.
"Ready yet, sleepy-head?" She asked, still smiling as Cal slid into his boots, already dressed well enough for the field. He nodded as he slid on a pair of worn leather gloves, putting his hand on Jenny back, guiding her to the door before closing it securely behind him.
Slowing her flight slightly she nosed the ground again, the wetness of her nose and breath misting the glassy surface it was pressed to. It was a mirrored surface, she was standing on a step that sat next to a wooden coffin. The top closed securely, a rectangular mirror was centered on the lid. The corners of the coffin were worn, touched by so many people. All except one, which instead of being made of wood was sharp steel; seemingly untouched by the elements and time itself.
'daughter'...the voice began again, the coyote barked and rose her paw, striking it against the steel corner, slicing into her paw, fresh blood dappling the silvered surface of the mirror. She didn't even wince, standing on her hind legs to press the bleeding paw to the mirror. Closing her eyes, as if in silent prayer.
Slowly her form melted into that of a human, long hair the same color as the coyote's pelt, her fingers splayed across the glass as her blood pooled beneath them. Inhaling deeply she opened her eyes, kneeling over the glass, staring intently as the blood was absorbed into the mirror, giving it a slight reddish tinge for a moment before fading back to clarity.
"I'm here, Mother." she sighed, lifting her hand and bending down, pressing her forehead firmly to the mirror. It flashed red again for a moment before returning to normal. She exhaled deeply, misting the glass with her breath, watching it clear and fog as her breath steadied from her frenzied flight.
'Truth...awake my child. They have come for you! Awake!'
She awoke with a start, blinking as she noted the position of the sun outside the shrine, almost dusk. She felt dazed, disoriented as an unfamiliar sound pierced the air around her, far away, but getting closer.
"I've slept for too long..." She whispered to herself, closing her eyes and falling down on all fours, body quickly returning to the form of a coyote. She jumped from the step wincing as her cut paw made contact with the ground, she shook her head and looked again to the sky, ears pressed forward.
'Flee!' With a silent prayer Truth rushed forward again, once again turning her head skyward, letting the wind that grabbed and twisted her fur guide her. Suddenly she skidded to a halt, opening her eyes, she looked around and didn't recognize anything. Frantically she looked skyward, a giant machine hovered above her, singing blades calling out destruction to her. Torture and Death...Whimpering she backed against a chain-link fence, unwilling to pass underneath the flying monstrosity.
Why? You led me into a trap...
"Do you have a clean shot?" Jenny's voice barely carried over the whop whop whop of the propellers as they sliced through the air above them. They were hovering mere feet above the crumbling remains of what appeared to be a playground; a Wilder, in the form of a coyote, cornered against a fence. It whimpered pitifully, and Cal felt a moment of regret as he lowered the rifle, aiming carefully as he squeezed the trigger. A sharp pop above the whirring of the blades as a silver dart shot into the coyote's side. Her chest rose and fell quickly, eyes widening for a moment as she tried to stand up. She walked two steps and fell, whimpering as her vision swam.
I'm sorry, my child. You'll understand soon.
Cal jumped down from the helicopter, bringing with him a net. Carefully he grabbed the Wilder's hind paws and pulled her onto it, pulling the strings together he drew out the rope it was connected to, climbing deftly up the rope ladder that swung fitfully beneath the copter.
"She's secure?" Jenny called out, Cal didn't respond. He took the hook from the end of the rope and slid it home. Making sure the clip was in place to prevent it from coming loose.
"Yeah." He said quietly. Wordlessly Jenny nodded and grinned, gazing skyward. With deft movements of the controls the Helicopter rose from the playground, the captured creature slung below them as they flew back towards the Hub.