Crickets chirped in the cool night air, a full hazy moon stood high above the earth casting it's rays down onto the forest below. From inside an old barn a brown owl awoke from it's slumber, it turned it's head and gazed toward the outside of the barn door before it let out a screech and took off out of the barn, high into the sky it flew it's shadow blocking the moonlight as it sored. Then it folded it's wings and dived down into the forest spreading them out once more as it dodged the tree branches as they swung passed him. It's hackles lifted as it smelled the scent of prey coming closer and closer and just as it was about to swoop in for the kill a massive claw came up from beneath him. The owl fell stunned crashing towards the ground. It hit the ground with a thump and struggled for a few moments as it tried to regain it's barring's but it's throat was quickly slashed open by sharp fangs. Earth-child picked up the owl and dragged it over to his cave. His breaths wheezing from his chest as he walked. His eyes flashed in the moonlight they were a dull light blue and his muzzle had grown white with age, he could no longer see the forest around him. His eyes had finally faded just a few months before and now he relied only on his scent. He could walk through camp just fine without his sight but it was nevertheless hard to not be able to watch his pups grow. But he could hear it in their voices. Lukos had a nice firm voice with a howl that was enough to send shivers down his spine and Skotos though quite and shy had become a great hunter in his youth. Earth-child was proud of them both and he was sure Luna would have been proud of them to. She had died from whooping cough a few months ago, even now as he dragged the prey into the cave he thought of her smile. He had become sick only a few days after she did and they were able to save him in time but Luna….
Earth-child sat over top of Luna's body gazing down at her. He could hear breaths as the gurgled in her chest. He closed his eyes shaking as he stood over her a tear fell down his cheek as he waited to here the news from Frozen-paw. His heart felt as though it was going to pound out of his chest when he saw the Healer finally come padding in. "Well?" Earth-child barked. The grey young male gazed down at the ground and muttered, "It doesn't look good Earth-child, the infection as spread far deeper then yours did and her lungs are seemingly starting to rot. I must say that I've never seen anything like it" Earth-child looked at the spot where Frozen-paw had stitched her up and could see the puss oozing from the stitches. "It's best if you spend as much time as you can with her, she's not going to make it much longer" Frozen-paw then turned and padded out of the cave. Earth-child fell to his paws and wrapped his paws around her his body shuttering as he broke into sobs. Then he felt her move and quickly raised his head "Hush Baxter" she rasped her eyes fading in and out. "It's time for me to go, you were the best mate any wolf could ever have" she whispered. Earth-child couldn't control his trembling as he looked into her eyes. "Please take care of the pups until they are old enough to fend for themselves. Especially Skotos he's…" she leaned forward and whispered softly into Earth-child's ear then leaned back down on the ground. "How do you know this?" he asked turning his head to the side "Because I know them better then anyone" she muttered her breaths started to slow. He sat for a moment wishing he could kiss her just one last time but alas he couldn't risk catching another round of sickness so instead he just watched her as the life faded from her eyes and she died at his paws.
That night never left his memory his heart was in too deep of pain to go on forever. Death could only strike an elemental by mistake, not by age. When Earth-child was baptized into the Elemental pack he was granted the gift of the everlasting life but it was when he saw his true love die he knew he wanted to join her in the Spirit pack. He then confessed to Lupus his wish and the great wolf god understood his need and granted him the curse of aging once more. And now his bones ached and his breathing was a struggle he could no longer bare. This was the night, but he had to wait for just the right moment to tell Lukos about his brother. But this moment was not the time. He was too tired, so he finished his meal the groomed his fur before curling up on the floor. His eyes opened and closed slightly with each breath as his blind gaze stared up at the sky just outside the cave. At first out was a tingle that formed in his paws that soon started to make its way up his body it spread filling his entire body with a comforting soft warmth He hadn't felt so comfortable since he lay under his mothers belly when he was a pup. His lungs crackled then stopped moving his heart stopping just a short time after, he twitched and shifted feeling his soul detaching then he pushed up with his legs and burst out of his body. He felt the pain leave him and he felt his youth come flowing in, for a moment he felt confused because he couldn't feel the ground beneath his paws but relaxed when he saw he was floating just a few inches above it, 'Is this what it's like to die… why was I so scared of this?' he thought as he stepped away from the spot where he lay. Then it hit him, his whole life he had spent inside of a shell. From the moment his soul had come to life from the great light and flown thoughtlessly through deep space as a white glowing mass of cavernous energy and sweet fiber of ectoplasm he had been chosen to become a seed, and of the thousands of seeds that had flowed into the womb of his mother he alone was the chosen one. The start of wolf-kind and the leader of his pack, he had since been in a cocoon, his eyes blinded with the blind ignorance the world had struck him with. He thought that there was nothing passed his cocoon but now he had been engendered with the strong gnosis that life did truly stand beyond death. That his struggles and fights were not cursed with vanity but were strongly consequential that death was not an everlasting spinning darkness that all mortal creatures were doomed to be devoured by but instead it was a remarkable step in the life of the body. Earth-child padded out of the cave into the cold night air lightly walking across camp toward the Guard's-cave where his son lied fast asleep close to the opening. Lukos looked so peaceful curled up on the floor, Earth-child slowly knelt down and picked up his son and dragged him out of camp. "Umm, what's going on?" he groaned his eyes blood-shot from the rude awakening "Just relax Lukos I'm taking you to the violet cliff outside camp we need to talk. The young grey wolf closed his eyes again for a few moments then opened them once more turning his head and looking at his father "Dad, why are you in spirit form is this a dream" Earth-child ceased to answer and instead just continued walking. Soon the grass started to become taller and from beneath it young violets and Sasha Daisy's started to appear. He set his son down in the grass near the edge of the cliff and then they sat a few moments gazing over the cliff at the tall snowy mountains that scraped the luminary's of the heavens the moonlight casting down on both of them. "So, dad why are we here?" Lukos asked then Earth-child gave a sigh "My son, you have become a great and mighty Guardian of our pack. Your training as gone well and you are a son that any father could only dream of having. This pack has flourished since the great battle all those years ago but something dark is in your future. Only the one closest to you can prevent your fate" Earth-child muttered. His son now looking at him in curiosity clearly his father's words had caught his attention, "Your sister who still visits me in my dreams has warned me of what is to come and it is something I would rather continue my existence not knowing but now I do" Earth-child was now gazing in his sons yellow eyes "Tell me father" Lukos barked. "I can't son, you must follow the path of that the moon shall give you then ascend the hills of darkness to reach the light, amongst the light find the shadow and he will point you towards the damned. Then defeat all who hold you back and save them who are in danger They are your only hope" Lukos stared at his paws and he then came to the realization of what was happening and he closed his eyes tight as tears welt in them "Don't leave me Dad, please" Lukos whimpered his pelt shivering. "I will never leave you my child, as my mother never abandoned me so shall I never abandon you" Lukos hugged his father for a few moments before the heavens crackled open above the valley. Lukos looked up and saw thousands of wolves gazing down from the heavens towards them, his jaw fell as his father let him go and leaped into the air running up towards the clouds. Lukos lifted his head in a long loud howl and Earth-child glanced back doing the same. The winds blasted from heaven and the trees swayed as if they were caught in a tempest then the light vanished along with his father they light ceasing to be in a mere twinkle of a star. Lukos gazed at the stars for a few moments before his ears perked as the noise of shuffling came from behind. He twisted his body and turned to see his brother coming padding up behind him "How much did you see?" Luko's asked. "Enough to know what has happened" Skoto's muttered before he padded up to his brother and hugged him bursting into tears. "O, my dear brother, first our sister then out mother and now this, behold how shall we continue in life. Of what value does this life mean to us?" his brother wept. Lukos gazed up at the sky holding his grief within his tear ducts "Based on what my father has said this is the start of something else" he whispered burring his muzzle into his brothers shoulder.
Lukos's claws shoveled through the dirt as he dug, sweat poured from his forehead as he kicked the dirt out with his mighty paws. The ground was cold and damp beneath his pads and the mud was clumping up in his fur. He stopped for a few moments his tongue lolling from his jaws before he proceeded to dig once more. It was both painstaking and emotional digging his father's grave. Lukos shuttered at the thought of this hole being his fathers resting place until the great uprising of the future. The thought of maggots devouring his father and mold seeping deep into the marrow of his bones was enough to make him cringe. Surely his father deserved better then that, but death was his father choice and Lukos fully respected that. Luna was waiting for him and he had been waiting for her and now once again they could finally be together till time indefinite. Lukos had always dreamed of such a romance, one that was so strong that he would be willing to give up his life just for the sake of seeing her. It boggled his mind the thought of feeling such affection towards another living thing. He normally saw the world as dark and corrupt, a lonely place where you could not trust anyone fully except his own god. But amongst the deception and lies he knew stood an honest soul waiting for him, a misplaced stranger, a fire amongst the cold icy tundra of a deranged and crumbling world. The pack had since changed after his father's death. A sense of panic and disorder had mixed itself into the sorrow and pain that had over come the camp like a plague. The wild tempest of emotions had manifested itself in the forum of riots and disorder that could only be controlled by the guards of the camp who would often half to use their powers to control the crowds. The guards were set up in the den based on each power they had. Five groups for each element: Earth sat on the far left, Fire, near the middle, Water in the center, Air to the right and Spirit to the far right. The ones who could control the spirit element were commonly visitors from the Spirit pack who would some and spend a few months guarding the pack only under sworn oath. The oath would be made after at least seven years of experience and the guard would have had to have successfully exorcised for demons before getting the rank of a spirit pack Guardian. It was a hard rank to get and their were only about ten quadrillion guards in the spirit pack and that was reasonably small considering the infinite amount of souls that lived beyond the vast hedge rows of the aeon of light. Lukos dug a few more inches before he stopped his sides heaving heavily, when he stepped out of the hole he felt his heart sink to his paws as he saw the long rows of pack members waiting to watch their leader be buried. He pulled himself out daring not to look into the eyes of his pack mates at the risk of his heart being torn from his chest. Light snow started falling as the silence fell over the pack. Not a bird chirped no did even a blade of grass rustle as Lukos went and sat down in the left row. Finally after what seemed like a lifetime he heard the sound of something dragging. Lukos glanced up and saw the guards holding Earth-child over their shoulders his head down as he was carried, Lukos weak from digging the hole lacked the strength to contain himself turned away and started to weep. They dragged Earth-child over to the hole and then placed him down into it his body rolling down into the hold with a few light thumps. Then they started to take all the dirt that Lukos had dug out and placed it back into the hole then placing a stone over top. Then the guards lifted their heads and let out loud long howls into the night air the rest of the pack joining in, then after all of the howling had ceased everyone started to split up each one going back to their caves. But Lukos couldn't move he just sat in the snow and stared at his father's grave. 'I promise father, I will fight for this pack for the rest of my life never again shall we go to war again like we did when you we're alive. Lukos's memories the day of the great battle were faint but the faint bits that still lingered in his mind in the remaining fragments of a nightmare. "Never shall it shall it happen again" Lukos muttered.
Life seemed to pass like a nightmare For Lukos, sometimes he would sit and forget about his very his own body and instead leave his conscious mind and just hover outside of himself. Watching as he followed his daily routines of washing and eating sleeping and starting again. But he could tell in seeing his cold dead eyes that had been host to a mind, that had been raped so violently with such bitter pain and now ceased to conceive any evidence of soul left within him except for the cracking of bones and shifting of marrow that stood as the only sign of life inside the cold dead shell of his body. His stomach rumbled as he left his dead raising his head and yawning as his nerves trembled with the brief signs of life in welcoming the warm mid-winter sun. His paws lightly crunched as he waded through the snow across camp, he had eaten his last catch the night before and now he was ready to go out and look for some more. "Hay!" a voice wrung from behind him and he turned to see his friend Moon-petal coming towards him. He gave a reluctant grunt and turned away not wishing to speak to anyone at the present moment, "So how's a going Lukos. Have you been feeling any better?" she asked padding along side him. "No Moon-petal I haven't if not worse, every night I dream about him and every night a long to see both my parents and my sister by my side" he muttered softly walking toward the entrance of camp. "You're just grieving Lukos trust me it will pass, it was like when my mother Wind-whisker died I was a mess but my wounds did heal over time". Lukps nodded wryly wanting to change the subject "So I'm going hunting do you want to come with me?" he asked looking at his friends blue eyes. "Sure, I'd love to" her smile glistened as she bounded ahead of him playfully. He loved her child like personality but yet he also hated her for it. He deep down wished he could be as innocent and pure like his dear friend, no matter how old she got she behaved like a pup, but he had seen in passed times her more feisty. She was a strong guard and a clever one at that… when she wanted to be. At other times all her cares were tossed in the river and she frolicked in the world leaping and becoming amused at the merriest butterfly. As she danced around in the snow as he walked he gazed back down at his paws and once more lost himself in thought. The refreshing snow against his warm heated skin was almost orgasmic in comparison to the cold unpleasant misery that had been stabbing in his stomach like an ice pick. And he closed his eyes embracing the cold like a soft summer stream and the thoughts of a brook made him hungry. He thought about fresh massive salmon making their way up stream, their fins swaying in the current as they tried helplessly to climb the steep falls that made their way up the mountain. Catching them was almost sometimes too easy and he would often be able to just scoop one out of the water with a quick swipe of the paw. His mouth watered and he was almost lost in the ecstasy of the hypnotic flavors of fish when a strange hum blasted him out of his thoughts. He shook himself as his mind came back to the real world the noise was growing louder. "From whence doth this noise come?" he turned looking left and right as the strange hum penetrated his ears. "Look! It's coming from the sky" Moon-petal was pointing up to the sky and Lukos glanced up at where she was pointing. At first it's red glow made it appear as if it were a star but as it grew closer he could not help but mistaken it as a comet. Behind it was a dark black trail of smoke that was filling the sky as the object fell. The horrific realization pierced Lukos's heat, this thing was coming straight at them!. "Moon-petal run!" he screamed turning and dashing out of the way of the falling object but when he turned and saw that his friend did not move but instead stood entranced by the object he dashed back over to her and pushed her out of the way just as the nose dug into the ground right where she was sitting. Medal and glass shattered in all directions large chunks crashing all around the two panicked wolves. Moon-petal screamed as fire fell from the trees and the world around them was enclosed in darkness. When Lukos opened his eyes he thought he had been cast to the abyss, fire and smoke covered the ground and the scent of blood stung the air. He coughed as the smoke was ejected from his lungs and he woke his friend who was asleep beside him. From in the soft howling wind and crackling of flames Lukos swore he heard something. "What happened?" Moon-petal asked as she came to her paws, Lukos didn't respond only because he could not find the words to do so. From within the smoke came the soft whimpers of pain Lukos's ears lifted "There! I heard it again" he barked. Lukos turned and padded to where the sound was coming from. Behind the wing in a cold shivering heap lay a young dog, his fur coat was stained with blood and his tongue was flopped to the side and his eyes were tightly shut. Moon-petal came walking up beside him "Is he dead?" she asked. Lukos bent down and sniffed his flank "He's just unconscious" he replied. The dog was black and white with golden paws and a white mane, a fine looking creature to spite being a human's pet. Then suddenly the dog awoke and gazed up at Lukos and Moon-petal his eyes widened and he flinched to the side "Don't eat me please, I, I just want to go home" the dog yipped. Lukos lied down in the snow "Don't be absurd we just came to see if you were alright," Moon-petal leaned forward and groomed the dog's wounds "Does that feel better?" she asked innocently. The dog looked up and he gazed at Moon-petal and his tail thumped slightly "Y, y, yea it feels great" closing his eyes and allowing her to groom him. Lukos gazed at the scene before him and he gave a faint growl, Moon-petal belonged to him, she was his friend not the friend of this mangy mutt who had just decided to appear in the territory. But suppressing the jealousy that clawed at his stomach he barked "We have some herbs back at camp if you would like us to help you with those wounds of yours". The dog then stood "No sorry, I can't leave my…. Owners" he trailed off as he saw his humans lying dead in the snow. "No!" he barked over to the male and started licking him "Wake up Jackson, please wake up!" he wailed. "Why isn't he waking up" he sobbed before dashing over to the female who was not much different. He limped away from the bodies of his owners whimpering like a pup the dog looked as if he would die right before his eyes. Lukos remembered the stories about Mac, the dog who had lead the elemental pack through the hardest of battles and in his dying words had for told his fathers future. Maybe this dog would do the same. But the dog looked nothing like how he envisioned Mac, this dog was scrawny and a roughly medium size. He looked as if he had been pampered like a cat with no sense of how to survive in the wild. But to spite the shadow of doubt that this pitiful creature could survive in a pack Lukos knew that there wasn't a chance in hell that this dog would survive in the cold certainly with the clearly broken back leg that he had. "Alright, I want you to come back to camp with us I promise you we can heal your wounds" his trembling as he shivered from the cold wind that was now blasting in removing the last remaining warmth beneath his fur. Moon-shallow and Lukos picked up the dog and held him over their shoulders and started to carry him back through the forest, the dog panting and whimpering as it tried to walk. Soon they arrived back at camp it was so silent that the only noise the penetrated the cold dead air was the soft pitter-patter of snow as it landed on the ground. "Frozen-paw!" he called as his aching shoulders collapsed under him sending all three of them toppling over. The grey male came dashing out of the healer's cave and bounded up to them his face stricken with age "What do we have here?" Frozen-paw grumbled inspecting the dog who flinched away slightly as the healer true close. "He fell from the sky in a bright red object his humans were dead when we found him" Lukos barked, Frozen-paw looked at the dogs paw and asked "What's your name son?". The dog was now shivering violently "E, E, Elmo" he replied his voice shuttering "Well Elmo lets head over to my cave and see if we can get the paw fixed up," he grabbed Elmo and placed the dogs right paw over his shoulder "I'll take it from here" he added. Lukos sat and watched as Frozen-paw carried Elmo into the Healer's cave with Moon-flower flowing behind him and Lukos sat alone in the middle of camp as the snow fell around him.