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    Headstall
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Morningstar: The Malaise - 40. Chapter 40 The Art of the Deal

Mirrors and magic....

Morningstar: The Malaise

 

 

Chapter 40

 

 

The whispering creak of the door had Kellar opening his eyes. It was the fourth time he’d heard the subtle, barely-there sound since he and Tobyn had retired to their too-small cot. He understood Clarence’s compulsion to check in on his son, but there had been no change. Kellar, facing Logan’s bed, had flickered constantly over the last six hours of catnapping. It was a rough estimate of the time passed, based on his tracking of the sun’s filtered light that seeped through the blinds.

On this surreptitious visit by the alpha, he chose to sit up. Tobyn had slept soundly, his breath a constant at the back of Kellar’s neck, so he didn’t feel too badly about disturbing him. His mate murmured a good morning, and then sat up too, looking around with a slightly vacant expression. Kellar grinned as he watched comprehension dawn on the man.

“Clarence? It’s fine. We’re up now; you can come in. Are you good, babe?”

“Yeah, I slept great. I always do with you. Didn’t know where I was for a second.”

“I could see that.”

The door opened further. “Is he okay?” Clarence’s voice was strained, and that drew Kellar’s attention.

Standing up, he held out a helping hand for Tobyn. “Yes, he is. There’s no reason to worry,” he assured the anxious father. “Near as I can tell, Logan is doing well. He hasn’t woken yet, but that doesn’t concern me because those pale areas are regaining the surrounding color.”

“The pale areas around the tumor?” Clarence was staring uncertainly at his son as he asked the question.

“Well, where it used to be, yes. I’m convinced his brain is resting and healing. It could be hours, even days yet, but that’s to be expected, going by the medical journals I’ve read. With what I’m seeing in his colors, I believe I can relax, and grab a shower and something to eat; I’m sure Tobyn could use some food about now.” He grinned at his mate who was still rubbing the sleep from his face.

“You’re right about that,” Tobyn agreed.

“So you’ll sit with him for the half hour or so, Clarence?’

“Of course. What should I do if he wakes?”

“I doubt he will, but if he does, just keep him calm and send for me. Don’t let him get up before I return. If he needs to, have him use a bed pan. We won’t be long.”

“He looks so peaceful… thanks for putting my mind at ease.” Sitting in the chair at his bedside, Clarence laid his hand over Logan’s. “You’ve done so much for him already. Take all the time you need, boys; Logan and I will be fine.” That contact had been precisely what the man needed, and Kellar smiled at the sight of father and son before he and Tobyn exited the room.

 

Forty-five minutes later, they returned to the main building from their temporary accommodations in a small but charming house, refreshed and ready to face the day. After a quick and delicious breakfast, Tobyn stayed to talk to Delia and a few others while Kellar headed into the back to see his patient. “Has he moved at all, Clarence?”

The man, despite his earlier words, looked relieved to see him, and Kellar smiled once again at the sight of a father holding his son’s hand. I doubt he let go of it the whole time. “He pulled his legs up a bit and put them back down. I don’t imagine it means much?”

“Maybe not, or it could mean he’s starting to respond to outside stimuli.” Kellar inwardly smiled, knowing Tobyn would have rolled his eyes at his choice of ‘doctory’ words. “Let’s see if he’s becoming more aware. It won’t hurt to make it a little brighter in here.” Walking over, he opened the wooden slat blinds a half-inch wider, suffusing the room with mellow daylight. “There. We’ll find out if that has any effect on your son. Have you been talking to him?”

“Yes. I’ve been telling him stories like I did when he was a kid. I don’t think he hears me, though.”

“You might be surprised. I’ve read a lot about coma patients and the effect voices can have on their brain waves.”

“He’s in a coma?” Clarence asked with noticeable apprehension.

“Relax, okay? It’s not a coma in the conventional sense. It’s possible he’ll sleep for days, but it’s just sleep. The body sometimes shuts down during the healing process.”

“Yes, right; I see now. That makes sense. I know you did a lot of work on those light signals or whatever.”

Kellar gave the sitting man’s shoulder a squeeze before he crossed to the other side of Logan and spoke. “That was pure instinct on my part… something new for me… but I feel sure it needed to be done. I’ve learned to trust my healing. So… with the precedence Logan’s condition took, we neglected to fit your members with copper necklaces. Maybe we should do that now so everyone is protected?”

“Already taken care of. See?” He pulled his own chain into view. “We did it over in one of the lumber sheds this morning, after you and your mate conked out. Everyone is excited about what they’re going to mean to our safety.”

“Oh. Well, good. Any problems?”

“Not a one. It took no time at all. Tobyn explained to Delia exactly what to do when he was making the first tea for Logan yesterday. Typical Delia, she took it from there, and got everything organized. We did the ones who could shift, first, and after that it was a breeze to figure out sizes. I don’t know what I’d do without that woman.”

“Are you and her…?”

“Oh, heavens no. She’s like my much younger kid sister, and she loves Logan as if he’s family. We all rely on her, not just as our Keeper, but because she has a good head on her shoulders, and everyone, myself included, goes to her for advice.”

Kellar nodded, pleased with the clarification. “I can see that in her, and it’s a relief to know all the Vega members are wearing the copper now. That leaves one more matter to take care of. We still need to have a discussion about the importance of earth mates. Is there a chance of calling another meeting? Tobyn and I think it’s important that you and your pack have the whole story as soon as possible.”

“We’re all wondering what you meant about earth mates being the key to our survival, so of course I’ll call a meeting.”

Tobyn chose that moment to enter the room. “Good, because there are some very curious and intense shifters asking me questions out there, and I don’t think they like me being mysterious.” He grinned at Clarence.

Clarence gave a weak smile in return. “I’m going to level with you guys. Vega is in a terrible state, and our members need to grab onto something. Even with the copper solution, we still have big problems, and a lot of that falls on me as alpha. We’ve had members leave, well, like Denver for example, and many have been letting go of hope, especially after our last two losses. For the first time in years, I see a difference in the atmosphere around here.”

Sighing, he continued. “This is hard to admit, but I want to be open about what we’re facing. Business-wise, Vega has taken a beating because we no longer have the manpower. We’ve lost some big, long-standing contracts, and we’ve had to let some leased tracts of forest go for the same reason of not being able to fulfill our obligations. The ironic thing is we now have members standing around because we just don’t have enough mature trees on pack lands. We’re behind in the nursery program on our own property by about five years, and I hate the idea of harvesting trees too soon. We’d never catch up on inventory that way, but we might be forced to. If we hadn’t lost those leased resources to our competition, we would have been perfectly sustainable, but we did, and now we’re facing some tough years ahead. Everyone knows the situation, and when you add that to the hunters and our malaise, you guys came at the perfect time.” The man looked over to his son before hanging his head.

“Maybe we should tell him about the necessity of mates first, doc?”

“I agree. Let him be the one to explain it to his pack. He’s their alpha, after all. Unless you want the spotlight again?”

“Hell, no.”

“Clarence?”

The preoccupied man raised troubled eyes.

“Kellar and I were just talking.”

“You were?”

“Ooops.” Tobyn shot a quick glance at his smirking mate. “Ah, earlier, I mean… about possibilities.”

“Good save, baby.”

Tobyn ignored his amused mate. “Anyway, instead of a meeting, how about we explain to you what we meant about the importance of earth mates, and then you can bring all the information to your pack?”

“All right… if that’s the way you want to do it.” His gaze returned to his son. “Maybe we should go into my office for privacy, but is it okay to leave Logan alone?”

“I’d prefer someone sat with him. Maybe Delia would be available?”

Tobyn chuckled. “She’s going a little crazy out there worrying about how he is.”

Clarence sighed, shaking off an apparent gloom, and grinned. “That doesn’t surprise me. I’ll go ask her.”

 

They took seats across from Clarence, in the comfortable office, and Tobyn began to explain about earth mates and the mist they produce. He had the alpha’s riveted attention, so he even touched on how they were beginning to feel the earth mother was guiding them in their mission to save shifters.

Alpha Stanley remained quiet after Tobyn finished laying out the most important piece of the puzzle that was the malaise. Eventually, the man spoke. “So earth mates produce the magical energy we need, and closing off our packs brought about our own demise? Heavens. We’d never be aware of any of this if you hadn’t been blessed with the ability to see these colors. I see why you think the earth mother has her hand in this. Miraculous,” he muttered quietly, as if to himself.

Kellar stayed silent and allowed the man to sort through it all. Reaching beside him, he took Tobyn’s hand in his. The physical need for each other was something they both accepted, like the need for air.

“So, without earth mates, we’re essentially doomed? This malaise will only get worse?”

“Yes,” Tobyn said.

“And we don’t have a single pair. How many would we need for Vega to get turned around?” Clarence leaned forward, resting his elbows on the desk in front of him.

“You’re up, doc.”

I know. That’s a difficult question to answer, sir.” Here we go again, Kellar thought. “Morningstar has three pairs now, and we know that while things are improving, it’s not enough. Given years, it might be, but our energy levels are extremely depleted. If we want a reversal of fortune, as in health and children, and longevity, we need more. Most of our pack still can’t shift at will, whereas the earth mates can. You have to keep in mind that each pair produces only so much energy in a day.”

“I get that. So, you men are out in search of mates, and Vega is your first stop. Do any of our patterns match with your members?”

“Yes, they do. Five, as a matter of fact.”

“Five!? That’s….”

“Unbelievable,” Kellar finished for him. “I understand it used to take a lot of travel for earth mates to be located, so the fact there are five matches in packs so close to one another shows us once again the earth mother has given us a way out.”

“I can’t even begin to… you’re certain?”

“Yes, sir. There’s no mistaking the matches. I should mention I never forget a person’s signature colors once I’ve seen them.”

Clarence still had a look of disbelief on his face. “Am I one of the five?”

Kellar felt a squeeze from Tobyn’s hand. “No, but your son is.”

“Logan? Logan has an earth mate? Oh, that’s wonderful. Is she…?”

“She’s amazing, and beautiful,” Tobyn jumped in and answered. “And she’s my best friend. Logan is a very fortunate man. I think she’s just what he needs,” he continued with a grin. “She'll straighten him out good,” he sent to Kellar, who snorted agreement.

“What’s so amusing?” Clarence asked.

“Oh, ah, she’s a strong woman, is all. She won’t take any guff from your son.”

Clarence smiled then. “Let’s hope she gets the chance to straighten my boy out. I’d enjoy seeing that.”

“She will. It’s still early yet. We just have to be patient.” Kellar said.

“I know. I have more faith after hearing what I just heard. It’s wonderful to know you two have been feeding him this magical energy since you got here. So… who else?”

“Delia. Her pattern matches a good man named Hutch. He’s single. There’s another match between your guy, Ian, and a woman named Joanne. She’s married, but she and her husband have already made up their minds to accept earth mates if they are found. They want to do what’s best for the health of the pack.”

“Most of our pack members feel that way, according to my mom,” Tobyn added.

“Rightly so, even if difficult to contemplate. So, two more?”

“Yes. The lady named Dot is earth mate to one of our pack leaders. I hope she likes to fish because Ingram would rather do that than just about anything else,” Kellar said with a grin towards his mate.

“I don’t believe she’s into fishing, but she lost her husband six or seven years ago to an illness. It was probably cancer because he slowly wasted away. It was a horrifying ordeal for Dot. She’s been a changed woman ever since. She used to be so outgoing before he started going downhill. One more?”

“Tobyn, what’s the name of the big guy that….”

“Dirk. He works our marina, summer and winter. He’s been a bit of a loner for the past few years.”

“Yeah, sorry. His name slipped my mind because I’ve only seen him once. His earth mate is your Sarah. Is she married by any chance?”

“No, not married. She was, but her husband was one of those that disappeared; he didn’t leave like Denver did. We figure hunters got him. She had a baby that was stillborn back when she was younger, so I’m happy to hear she’ll finally have something good happen in her life.”

It was silent for a few minutes as Clarence swung his seat around and stared out the window. Kellar could see from where he sat the alpha had a nice view down a sun-dappled dirt road.

Without turning back, he asked the million dollar question… one that could make or break their plans. “What do you see happening here?”

Tobyn, glancing at Kellar, took over for this part. “I guess the ball is in your court, Clarence. I have a proposal of sorts, but the bottom line is you control how things proceed. Of course, your members need to know about the existence of their fated mates, but I think you’ve already figured out that dividing them up hurts our chances of defeating the malaise.”

Clarence slowly spun his chair back around, and blew out a long breath. “Yes, I have, but we can’t afford to lose a single member, and I’m sure Morningstar doesn’t want to lose anyone either.”

“No, we definitely don’t. We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I want that for Vega too. We’re in this together, sir. Can I make our proposal to you… one you can think about? I have the blessing of our council to speak for Morningstar.”

“Absolutely, Tobyn. Let’s not stand on ceremony, and don’t worry about offending me. I’m a reasonable man.”

“I know you are, sir. So, you said earlier, you need time for your forests to mature, right?”

“Ideally, yes. We need the inventory before we have any hope of winning back some of our lost contracts. As it is, they may already be gone for good. Our reputation has suffered, and rightly so.”

“Okay. Morningstar could give you that time. We have about five-hundred acres of mature forest. We have clean-up crews that manage and replant where required, but except for our own need of building materials, we don’t harvest, other than dead trees for firewood. We’re not experts in forestry like your pack, but I think we do a decent job of managing what we have. Our saw-mill is an old relic, but it handles our needs all right.”

“What are you saying? Do you want to lease us your forest?”

“No… I mean… remember this is just a loose proposal, and you can add your input. I’m suggesting we combine our packs for the near future. We desperately need people to help run our operations. I guess I should tell you more about Morningstar. We have an extremely busy year-round Marina with lots of campsites. Forty plus, and ideally, we should be adding more. The ice fishing in the winter is damn near as busy as the boating and fishing in the summer.

“My point is, it makes us a lot of money, but we need help. A shortage in manpower has affected us too, but like you, we can’t hire humans. We also have a full service garage that Denver runs, and he could certainly use more people. He has to turn away business… a lot of it. Our store on the highway is a going concern. We order in whatever anyone in the area wants, and it’s the same story there… they’re short-staffed. Our customers come from miles around, and we’re always struggling to keep up with demands. We’ve had to scale back our livestock and farming division because of that same shortage. Of course, we don’t have the members to feed like we used to, but we are set up to produce so much more.

“So, what I’m saying is that Morningstar has jobs and homes, tons of homes, for all the Vega members while you wait for your forests to mature. In the meantime, if you still want to continue with producing lumber, we have resources you’d be welcome to. Is your equipment movable?”

“Ah, some is, and some isn’t. Our best planer happens to be mobile. We’re able to mill finished lumber anywhere, but….”

“Please understand, I’m not suggesting you give up Vega and merge with us… unless you would want to. You could still keep it in operation if you chose, with maybe a rotating crew or some kind of variation… that would be up to you. But, we have to look at the big picture here, whatever is decided. All the earth mates at one compound would kick the malaise’s ass. Am I right, Kellar?”

“My best guess is yes, absolutely right. Eight pairs should return all shifters to optimum health. Our women would be able to bear healthy children again, which would mean we’d eventually be able to repopulate both packs. Our lifespans too, would go back to what they were in the past. There would be no more malaise, and in a year or two we’ll have a ninth pair.”

Clarence raised his eyebrows in question.

“We have two boys who will soon have their first shift, and they are fated,” Tobyn explained.

Clarence slowly nodded. “Another sign from the earth mother, it seems. You are suggesting we leave our homes, though.”

“Yes, but….”

The alpha held up his hand. “Relax, son. The benefits to your proposal are clear. I do understand the need to think differently in these times, but it’s an unsettling situation to contemplate. It’s not something I will decide for my pack, but it’s something I can influence. There’s a lot to consider, but the truth is, Morningstar is a stronger, more economically viable solution than Vega. We never diversified like we should have. I saw no need until it was too late. I ignored the writing on the wall.”

“Clarence? I don’t know whether our pack would accept you as our alpha, but I can guarantee they will accept you as one of our leaders. Ingram has wanted to step down for a long time, and you could take his place until such time as you decide moving back here is what you would want. Your experience would be valued by us all.”

“Thank you, Tobyn, but being a good alpha is doing what’s best for your pack. I would have no problem relinquishing control to others if I determine it’s for the best. And while I may welcome a leadership position if we do this, I don’t want it at the expense of another.”

“If that’s the case, there’s no reason we can’t have a group of four. I’ll talk to my mother about what she thinks.”

“You do that, and I’ll try to digest all of this. I don’t want you to think I don’t appreciate having an option, because I do. Right now, though, it’s hard to focus with Logan’s condition still an unknown. I will say this. I glimpse a future that wasn’t there before, and I’m not going to be the one to get in the way of it. We alphas did enough damage when we made the decision to close ranks and isolate our packs from others.”

“I think we should check on Logan now,” Kellar said, standing up. The meeting was essentially over… they’d accomplished what they’d set out to do, and he could tell Tobyn was pleased with how it went. It was up to Vega pack now. “Good job, babe. This could work.”

“You too. I think you’re right. Clarence is a reasonable man. I doubt all alphas are like that.”

“I think it may depend on how desperate the situation is, and this one is definitely a dire one.”

“True. You’ve become quite the diplomat, you know?”

“If I am, it’s because I’m watching Elinor’s son, and he’s a natural.” Kellar grinned at his mate as they filed out of Clarence’s office and headed for the clinic room.

There was no change in Logan other than the strength of his colors. In Kellar’s estimation, they were improving slowly but steadily. As patient as he normally was, he was anxious to see if that meant Logan’s brain functions were returning to what they were before the tumor had taken them over. Delia hovered on one side of his bed while Kellar spent some time reassuring Clarence once again as he reclaimed his son’s hand.

“You and Tobyn should go for a walk around the compound. Get some fresh air,” the alpha suggested.

“That’s a good idea,” Tobyn agreed.

“Kellar, I was wondering if I could talk to you about something. Both of you of course, if you wouldn’t mind?” Delia asked, now that he’d finished talking with Clarence. “We could walk over to my house. It’s close by, and there’s something I’d like to show you.”

“The painting?” Clarence asked.

Delia nodded, and then so did her alpha.

“Yes, they should see that.”

 

Kellar was extremely curious as they left the building making small talk about the weather. Delia’s house was five minutes from the meeting house. Following Tobyn through the door, they accepted Delia’s offer of iced tea before entering the spacious living room. His eyes traveled around the walls and stopped at the artwork hanging over the long low couch. Stepping closer, he was both mesmerized and shocked by the main subject of the old painting.

Tobyn’s sharp intake of breath at his side infiltrated Kellar’s rapt attention, but he couldn’t look away. He was too engrossed in staring at the back of a huge wolf sitting on a rock. The massive head was turned toward whoever the painter was. Below him was a limitless body of water… an ocean… with two sailing vessels moored a short ways from shore. A stream of people were walking down a steep, boulder-strewn path, away from the big animal. A number of them had wolves at their sides, who could be explained away as dogs to someone who was human. Some of those people and the accompanying wolves were in small boats transporting them to the bigger ships. It was clearly representing an exodus of some kind, with the big shifter wolf appearing to oversee the event. After quickly taking in the scene portrayed, Kellar’s eyes returned to the main subject. His throat dried as he studied the large, blue-eyed specimen whose back, face, and tail showed that he was one half white, and one half dark-brown, the colors perfectly divided down the middle.

“Holy crap,” Tobyn exclaimed. “That’s you, mountain man!”

Kellar forced his dry mouth to work. “Never thought I’d see my wolf in a painting. He sure looks like mine, doesn’t he?”

“Identical. Even his eyes are the same dark blue.” Tobyn answered, gripping Kellar’s arm as they continued to stare.

What the hell did this mean?

A big thank you, to Tim, Robin to my Batman. Please let me know if you enjoy this chapter. Thanks for your time... cheers....

Copyright © 2017 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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Interesting how Mother Earth is telling them the way to fight the malaise is to come together and work cooperatively while increasingly our political leaders are becoming more isolationist and divisive. We should be listening more to Mother Earth. We should make this story required reading for everyone. Loving the silent conversations that only we are privy to. Interesting how some of the married shifters will give up a relationship to find their earth mates. Lots of valuable lesson today. Wish there was a love button to press instead of only like.

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A dawn in the making? Keller and Tobyn seem to have worked a miracle in Logan, and that may speak louder than anything they can say at any meeting. But what is the meaning of that painting? I am all eyes and ears to know...but will not speculate!

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That was a good length and full of good stuff. Nice Gary. I like their melding for a bit ideas so everyone gets back on their feet!!

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That painting is what intrigues me more than anything. If it is Kellar in the painting, what does it mean? Can we fast forward to Monday?
Jay

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Hmmm, well that explains the reaction to Kellar's wolf. I'm certain you will explain the painting further in the next longererer chapter.
I like the sensable approach to merging the two packs for the commonwealth of both.
I am curious that the two members of Vega that are earthmates did not recognize one another as such. Seems odd after the quick recognition of those back at Morningstar.
Nice informative chapter.

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Not so much a cliffie but more a tease for the next chapter, this painting has me intregued. You have created an intricate world here with lots of pieces coming together. Once agin it was nice to see the relationships and the depth of those, father and son, bro and sis, there is a real sense of community here.

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"What the hell" is right! I think you just cranked things up another notch! So many unanswered questions. I hope I can sit still until next week. A big thank you for this terrific story! Jeff

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What a chapter. :2thumbs: I loved the temporary merging of the packs idea. But the painting.... I've got two ideas about it. 1st it's prophetic...a vision of the future or 2nd it's a painting of the past....the big wolf is Kellar's father...grand-father or some ancestor and this is a depiction of a past exodus from another country. Delia is the Keeper of the history right? So that kind of makes more sense to me. OR.... I could be way off base. :rolleyes: I would say 'who knows' but YOU do, right? LOL. This makes Mondays a better day than the Momma's and Poppa's said it was....way way back when I was a young kit. :gikkle:

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I think the idea of temporarily merging the packs is probably the best solution for the long term viability of both packs. Who knows, maybe they will decide to ultimately permanently merge the packs, living in both areas interchangeably. I have to say I really like Clarence. He's an amazingly farsighted alpha, who knows things have to change, even if that means he might lose his alpha status.

 

Although I know some of the couples have talked (specifically Joanne and her husband) this is going to be tough, unless they really don't love each other. Having the hypothetical idea of leaving your spouse for an earth mate is one thing, but reality could be messy. Hopefully Joanne's husband also has someone out there...

 

The painting intrigued me and I have so many ideas floating around in my head about what the meaning could possible be, and how it could potentially impact Kellar and Tobyn's mission. There are a lot of possibilities and plenty of imagery to speculate on.

 

Now bring on next Monday!

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What the hell did this mean, indeed! I love all the little and not-so-little mysteries you use to entice us along without leaving most chapters as a cliffhanger. The temporary merger solution is what I had expected them to discuss; now to see if they can make it a reality.

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What the hell did this mean ?

 

A cliffhanger, that's what this is ! NO ! Why are you doing this to us ?
(Running blindly round in circles, whimpering in pitiful sounds ... waiting a week is a tortuous endeavour ...)

 

OH, the painting ... obviously Kellar comes from a heritage of heroes (saviour with a lower case s) saving his race, yes, no ?

 

Yay ! Petey, I agree with your views, a great review !

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There is a possibility for married couples who later find earth mates besides divorce and starting over. At the begining of the story, accepting same sex mates was difficult for Morningstar, and Vega was also sceptical, if not as vocal as Logan. Pack members came around once, and they will again. I can see a polyamorous household working should Joanne really love her current husband in spite of not being earth mates.

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On 01/17/2017 09:29 AM, Petey said:

Interesting how Mother Earth is telling them the way to fight the malaise is to come together and work cooperatively while increasingly our political leaders are becoming more isolationist and divisive. We should be listening more to Mother Earth. We should make this story required reading for everyone. Loving the silent conversations that only we are privy to. Interesting how some of the married shifters will give up a relationship to find their earth mates. Lots of valuable lesson today. Wish there was a love button to press instead of only like.

I love this, Petey! I never thought of it that way, but it works. And I'm all for making this story required reading :) . I'm pleased you like their thoughtspeak... it adds a new dimension I can play with, and it makes them stronger as a team. Thanks so much for the kind words and the wonderful review, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 01/17/2017 09:37 AM, Parker Owens said:

A dawn in the making? Keller and Tobyn seem to have worked a miracle in Logan, and that may speak louder than anything they can say at any meeting. But what is the meaning of that painting? I am all eyes and ears to know...but will not speculate!

A new dawn? Possibly. It all comes back to the fact this is a magical race with it's own requirements to flourish. Kellar and Tobyn appear to be tools for the earth mother. I'm glad the painting has you wondering, Parker... some long laid threads are starting to come together... thanks for your wonderful support... cheers, my friend... Gary....

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On 01/17/2017 09:54 AM, Mikiesboy said:

That was a good length and full of good stuff. Nice Gary. I like their melding for a bit ideas so everyone gets back on their feet!!

Hey, tim. The melding makes sense, but it is a huge thing to contemplate. There are good people in Vega, so we'll see where they land. Thanks for the kind words, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 01/17/2017 10:10 AM, JayT said:

That painting is what intrigues me more than anything. If it is Kellar in the painting, what does it mean? Can we fast forward to Monday?

Jay

Monday is only a few blinks away, buddy. I'm glad I have you thinking about that painting... yes... whatever does it mean? :) .... thank you, Jay... see you then... cheers... Gary....

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On 01/17/2017 11:23 AM, dughlas said:

Hmmm, well that explains the reaction to Kellar's wolf. I'm certain you will explain the painting further in the next longererer chapter.

I like the sensable approach to merging the two packs for the commonwealth of both.

I am curious that the two members of Vega that are earthmates did not recognize one another as such. Seems odd after the quick recognition of those back at Morningstar.

Nice informative chapter.

It does, doesn't it? People were blown away when Kellar shifted, but as shifters, they were too polite to say anything at the time. Yes, we will learn about that painting... at least the history of it in a new longerer chapter :) . I'm glad we cleared up the Earth mate thing, buddy... lots of info to take in at one time... I appreciate the wonderful support... cheers... Gary....

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On 01/17/2017 11:27 AM, Bucket1 said:

Not so much a cliffie but more a tease for the next chapter, this painting has me intregued. You have created an intricate world here with lots of pieces coming together. Once agin it was nice to see the relationships and the depth of those, father and son, bro and sis, there is a real sense of community here.

Hey, B. Yes, the pieces are coming together. I'm pleased you get how caring shifters are as a race. They don't deserve the wrath of a jaded sect... sound familiar? And, hey, I love teasing you ;) ... thanks for the wonderful support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 01/17/2017 12:55 PM, JeffreyL said:

"What the hell" is right! I think you just cranked things up another notch! So many unanswered questions. I hope I can sit still until next week. A big thank you for this terrific story! Jeff

Thanks, Jeff! I'm so pleased you like what I'm trying to do here. It's so gratifying that you're itchy for the next one. And trust me, there are still more notches to be cranked :) . Cheers and thanks for the kind words... Gary....

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...as weird as this sounds, this semi-cliffhanger felt refreshing. The exodus reminds me of a similar scene of the elves exodus in lord of the rings ^^

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Amazing! The story behind the exodus being supervised by Kellar's ancestor will be thrilling to learn. And it will shed much light on the history of shifters.
Now that you seem to have the longerererer thing down pat, we need to collectively work on you for twice weekly postings. Monday is far too far away!

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On 01/17/2017 01:21 PM, LadyDe said:

What a chapter. :2thumbs: I loved the temporary merging of the packs idea. But the painting.... I've got two ideas about it. 1st it's prophetic...a vision of the future or 2nd it's a painting of the past....the big wolf is Kellar's father...grand-father or some ancestor and this is a depiction of a past exodus from another country. Delia is the Keeper of the history right? So that kind of makes more sense to me. OR.... I could be way off base. :rolleyes: I would say 'who knows' but YOU do, right? LOL. This makes Mondays a better day than the Momma's and Poppa's said it was....way way back when I was a young kit. :gikkle:

Awww... you're still a young kit, LadyDe. I just love your speculation, bur I ain't gonna bite :) . The merging seems like a viable option, doesn't it... but will Vega members think so when all is said and done? It's tough to give up your home. We'll see... on Monday... the best day of the week ;) . Thanks for your awesome support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 1/16/2017 at 9:39 PM, LitLover said:

I think the idea of temporarily merging the packs is probably the best solution for the long term viability of both packs. Who knows, maybe they will decide to ultimately permanently merge the packs, living in both areas interchangeably. I have to say I really like Clarence. He's an amazingly farsighted alpha, who knows things have to change, even if that means he might lose his alpha status.

 

Although I know some of the couples have talked (specifically Joanne and her husband) this is going to be tough, unless they really don't love each other. Having the hypothetical idea of leaving your spouse for an earth mate is one thing, but reality could be messy. Hopefully Joanne's husband also has someone out there...

 

The painting intrigued me and I have so many ideas floating around in my head about what the meaning could possible be, and how it could potentially impact Kellar and Tobyn's mission. There are a lot of possibilities and plenty of imagery to speculate on.

 

Now bring on next Monday!

Hey, Lit! I'm glad you like Clarence. I don't like to generalize, but many shifter stories have alphas that are unreasonable, and that works well for those stories, but I wanted to show an alpha that is a really good guy... not power hungry, or someone who rules with an iron fist. In this universe, it would have gone against the integral goodness of shifters in general. The thing about existing couples, we have to remember that the malaise have robbed shifters of true hope and happiness. It's weird to say, but with limited numbers, love has been tainted... many relationships are more about convenience... hence, the dissolution of marriages or relationships are not necessarily the ordeal they might otherwise be. I hope that makes sense. To put it another way, I believe Joanne and her husband can stay supportive FRIENDS, and that's not to belittle their caring for one another. As far as the painting, you'll have to wait till Monday :) . Thanks for your awesome support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

Edited by Headstall
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On 01/17/2017 07:40 PM, hohochan657 said:

What the hell did this mean ?

 

A cliffhanger, that's what this is ! NO ! Why are you doing this to us ?

(Running blindly round in circles, whimpering in pitiful sounds ... waiting a week is a tortuous endeavour ...)

 

OH, the painting ... obviously Kellar comes from a heritage of heroes (saviour with a lower case s) saving his race, yes, no ?

 

Yay ! Petey, I agree with your views, a great review !

Hehe. A cliffhanger? Nah... a tease maybe :) . About the painting? Patience must be endured, and I know it's hard, but you can do it, buddy ;) . And yes, Petey's review was awesome! Thanks for making me smile, and for the continual suppport, hohochan... cheers... Gary....

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On 01/18/2017 01:32 AM, Kitt said:

There is a possibility for married couples who later find earth mates besides divorce and starting over. At the begining of the story, accepting same sex mates was difficult for Morningstar, and Vega was also sceptical, if not as vocal as Logan. Pack members came around once, and they will again. I can see a polyamorous household working should Joanne really love her current husband in spite of not being earth mates.

Hey, Sis! These shifters are tradional, but for sure change is needed. Who knows how some will handle personal upheaval if a mate is found for one of a couple. It is against the nature of earth mates to share their other half, the connection is so strong... but each situation will have to be handled by the individuals... it is an interesting new dilemma for packs in general... we'll have to see what they can handle. Maybe there is a possibility for some to create a different kind of household... thanks for your interesting thoughts, Kitt... there will be trying times ahead... great review, and I thank you... cheers... Gary....

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