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Morningstar: The Malaise - 41. Chapter 41 Looking Back while Moving Forward

Wolves, past and present....

Morningstar: The Malaise

 

 

Chapter 41

 

 

“Does the wolf look familiar?” Delia asked as she entered with the tray of iced tea, ice clinking against the glasses.

The question seeped into Kellar’s awareness enough that he reluctantly turned from the painting, his gaze meeting Tobyn’s first. His own confusion was echoed in his mate’s expression as Tobyn seemed to force himself to soften, and then finally release, the tight grip he had on Kellar’s arm.

“Yes, he does, but I don’t know what the heck I’m looking at here.”

Delia placed the tray on a side table, and handed them each a glass. “That’s the way I felt when I saw you shift yesterday. You stunned all of us.”

“And now we’re stunned,” Tobyn said, his attention back on the painting.

Kellar took a long drink to relieve the uncomfortable dryness of his throat.

“Is this wolf known?” Tobyn asked.

Kellar was curious about the same thing. Who was this? “His resemblance to mine must be a fluky coincidence because….”

“I don’t think so, doc,” Tobyn, said, cutting him off. “Did you check out the writing at the bottom?”

Kellar hadn’t noticed any writing, too focused had he been on the subject, but he looked closer now. At the lower edge of the oil painting, dead center, was a small square of solid, parchment-toned yellow that blended with the sand-colored pathway depicted. It contained one word in a fancy and unusual script within its thin, black-lined borders. At first, he thought it read Gahlan because of that strange font, but closer inspection showed it was Cahlar. The similarity to his own name freaked him out… a lot.

“That’s your name, doc. Spelled differently, but it looks like it would be pronounced the same.”

“There’s very little difference to the way it is said in our histories,” Delia informed them, still standing back from the pair. “To answer your question, Tobyn, yes, he is known. He’s very well-known, especially to our pack. We all cherish this painting and the story behind it. His name is from one of the old highland dialects, and it means ‘savior’ to our people.”

Kellar didn’t miss the reverence in her voice. “That’s what Miss Sybil said my name meant.”

“Miss Sybil?”

“Yes, she’s our seer, and also our elder,” Tobyn answered. “We don’t have a keeper, so we go to her for our histories. Miss Sybil may not be a keeper, but she knows a lot more than the rest of us do. She lost her abilities as a seer because of the malaise, but is starting to regain them. Nudges, she calls them.”

Delia nodded in understanding. “We haven’t had a seer at Vega in my lifetime, and I am thirty-six. We have surely suffered for that.”

Kellar had been mulling the name over in his head. “This doesn’t make sense. It really does have to be a coincidence. Why would my parents give me his name? I always thought it possible I may be named after a grandfather or uncle, but this looks very old.”

“I think we should talk about the painting before we talk about the significance of your name, and why your parents might have chosen it. Would you like to make yourselves comfortable?” Delia directed them to share the couch while she took an antique rocking chair so large it dwarfed her. “Clarence knows you’re here, and he’ll send for you if there’s any change in Logan, so we’re in no rush.”

Kellar took another gulp of iced tea after sitting down, still feeling off-kilter. “So, who was this shifter whose wolf looked like mine?”

Delia smiled. “I think it’s more of your wolf looks like his… he came first, and that painting represents our journeys from the old countries to North America, centuries ago. Cahlar took us from a life of sickness and slavery and gave us a new start.”

“By sickness, do you mean the malaise?” Kellar asked.

“Yes, and we had no answer for it. Under the slave conditions of the clans, we did not fare well and our kind began to die off, and not just from sickness. It was a desperate situation. We were punished and even killed for not being able to shift when the collars were removed, because some Lords thought it was a deliberate refusal on our part. It wasn’t until we began to revolt and gather in isolated areas that we began to make some headway against the scourge our kind referred to as the malaise. Spirits rose, and our health improved somewhat as family units became small packs again. We began to live once more as a people, instead of as caged animals.”

Her words tempted Kellar to explain about earth mates, and why the health of these bigger groups most likely improved, but he held his tongue for several reasons.

“Unfortunately, our former captors were relentless in trying to hunt their ‘property’ down and re-collar us, when they weren’t warring amongst themselves, that is. We were, of course, worth a great deal to them in those times, as providers of the game they needed to feed their holds, but for some it was merely a source of pride to reclaim us,” Delia said with bitterness.

“Others, though, sent hunters whose only purpose was to murder us on sight because we had the audacity to kill some of their people in our escapes. And too, there were those who wanted to eradicate us because they considered us abominations. They finally had their opportunity once we left the strongholds of those who ‘owned’ us. I believe those are the ones who hunt us still.”

Kellar had no doubt she was right.

“Anyway, sooner or later, one group or the other would find us no matter where we went, and now we know why. Silver was our enemy in more ways than one.

“Many of those now-freed shifters were killed in raids over a number of years, and even though we fought back, we were still losing ground. We were determined never to be collared again, but without the resources of those who hunted us, our numbers spiraled downward. That’s when Cahlar showed up out of the blue, and got us organized. He better armed us, and convinced the hidden groups to band together, stick together, and make our way to the coastlines. At the same time, he was constantly liberating those shifters still trapped in slavery and adding them to our numbers.

“We’re talking the span of many years, decades even, before we began our voyages, but it gave us the time we needed to grow stronger and free our people. It was a lawless time, and we were often under attack while on the move. Bloody clashes occurred along the way, with deaths on both sides, yet we had no other options. Now I understand why moving in groups was so dangerous. They used their silver to find us.” Delia shook her head, looking distraught, and Kellar wondered if a keeper actually ‘lived’ the memories. It wasn’t the time to ask.

“Cahlar was a fierce warrior who never tired, it is said, and a shifter of substantial worth and power who somehow walked in both worlds. He would come and go, but he could always be counted on to show up when most needed, and in those instances, there would be no survivors left to tell of his existence.

“He booked and paid passage for hundreds and hundreds of our kind to sail to the new world, and a new life where we could flourish. He was called Cahlar, the savior, but no one ever spoke of his identity in the human world.”

Kellar was beyond fascinated at what he was hearing. “Wow. That is some story. Did he emigrate as well?”

“Not according to our histories. We are pretty certain he sent offspring, though. Daughter or daughters… I’m not sure which. Understandably, much of Cahlar’s personal life was guarded… protected by any who knew him. It had to be that way in case one of us was captured. Torture was rife in those days, and we were considered little more than dogs by those who used us. One story, or maybe I should say speculation, was that he was a human Lord whose earth mate was a shifter, and for her he went through the change. Another was that he was the close friend of a sympathetic Lord who backed him financially. Neither one could be verified, but either would explain his extensive wealth and connections.

“Another belief was his coat was given him by the earth mother so people would recognize and follow him without question… that he was chosen by her for great things. Indeed, his wolf was known,” Delia said, and Kellar sensed that reverence again, but one of her theories bothered him.

“I think you rule can out that first speculation now, Delia.”

“What… you mean about him being human at one time? Why?”

“Yes. If he was ever human, he would have known about the silver pulsing, and he would have passed that information along. I would go so far as to say he had friends who had little or no contact with shifters.”

“Because if they knew, they would have told him about this secret of the silver?”

“Exactly. Cahlar had to have been unaware of the advantage humans had. And I assume Lords who collared us kept what we were a secret, am I right?”

“Absolutely. The less that knew of us, the better it was for them. Not all Lords were evil and heartless, but many were. We were tools for their success, and they weren’t above using us against their enemies.” The keeper shuddered in disgust. “It’s not something we talk about.”

Tobyn’s grip on his hand increased as they both absorbed the horror that was being revealed. We were used to kill people….

Kellar forced his brain away from the images that thought presented. “I guess we can never be sure, but I would imagine there would be many ways to acquire wealth back then, legal or otherwise. I could see a shifter surviving and flourishing in human society if he was careful, since silver has to be pure and against the skin to feel a pulse, and it’s difficult to feel if you’re not looking for it.”

Delia began again. “You’re right… we never can be sure. We do know without any doubt he continued to send more of us over for tens of years because newly-arrived immigrants would praise his assistance in getting them to this continent, time and time again. There was a good network established for locating newcomers. Every ship was greeted, and we were always on the lookout for any shifters disembarking.

“Packs re-established themselves over here, and many lone shifters or family groups were taken in during those times. We began to live the way we used to… the way we were meant to, and it was years before we felt the threat of hunters.

“That painting was done by one of our own, after his arrival to the eastern coast of Canada.” This too was said with obvious pride. “It has been passed down from keeper to keeper, and it represents the artist’s recollection of the day he and members of his pack—this pack—boarded the ships.” Delia hesitated, and Kellar understood the pause was in tribute to the one who created this impressive gift. When she spoke again, there was a change in her tone. “If the savior ever landed on this continent, none knew of it, but there is a prophecy that’s been handed down.”

“Prophecy? What kind of prophecy?” Tobyn asked while glancing from Delia to Kellar and back again. “Our pack has no knowledge of one, not that I’ve ever heard.”

“And that’s a concern. I wonder how much has been lost to those packs who have no keepers. It’s a simple one, repeated as a message by seers said to have voyaged last to this continent. Cahlar will appear again when he is needed, and shine bright light into the darkness.”

Kellar noted the slight difference in pronunciation, with more emphasis on the ‘lar,’ but it was still his name. He didn’t know what to think about the prophecy, and he was certainly no tireless warrior. Appear? Strange wording… wasn’t it?

“Doc? Are you all right?”

“What?”

“You look freaked out. Are you okay?”

“Yeah… yes, why wouldn’t I be?”

“Ah, because of what we just heard? It’s kind of what Mom has been saying all along. The earth mother has sent you to us for a reason.”

“Tobyn, it just a weird coincidence. My parents picked a name that sounds like this guy’s, that’s all. There’s no way they’d have a reason to name me after him, unless as a tribute. I was just a baby… and the coat thing is obviously a genetic fluke.”

“Kellar,” Delia said in a coaxing tone. “Some of a seer’s most powerful visions are said to be about unborn children. If your mother was around a functioning one, it’s quite possible your name came from a reading. Your wolf’s coat, by itself, could just be happenstance as you say, but when you add that you’re a healer who can see colors, something unheard of before, and you carry the same name… well… understandably, it has the members of Vega talking about the prophecy.

“Those stories about what you and Tobyn have accomplished add more fuel to people’s hopes. And one more thing to consider; Cahlar was said to tower over all other wolves—you can see that in the painting—and I have never seen a wolf in my lifetime anywhere remotely close to your size. Have either of you?”

“No,” Tobyn answered.

Kellar sighed, his head spinning. “This is almost too much to take in, Delia.”

“I understand. It might have been easier for you to see this in a different light if you hadn’t spent much of your life in human foster-care, but maybe there was a reason for that only the earth mother knows. Maybe it was the safest place for you given the times.”

“I know I mentioned I was in foster care, but how did you know the length of time I was in it? I don’t remember saying….”

“Tobyn explained when I asked him earlier about your foster-brother,” she said with an apologetic look. “Our histories show us everything happens for a reason, and the earth mother has her ways. Remember your own words yesterday? You said the time was long past to ignore her warnings and signs. Couldn’t this painting be one of those signs you spoke of? Could this not be her way of telling us to listen to what you have to say? Did you not appear out of the blue to our kind, like Cahlar did, just when you were needed most… by Morningstar, and now Vega? We finally have protection from hunters, and you’ve told us there is still more for us to learn. Take some time to absorb what you’ve heard. It really changes nothing except for possibly your perceptions… and if it assists in people listening to you when you visit different packs, all the better.”

Kellar’s mind was whirling, but he nodded at the keeper.

“Delia? I was wondering.” Tobyn looked pensive, but Kellar suspected his mate also understood his turmoil, and need for a little time to absorb all this new information. “The painting shows wolves going onto the ships. Does that mean some of us traveled the whole distance as such? How could they have stayed shifted so long if the malaise was prevalent?”

Delia smiled. “I believe the artist took ‘painter’s license’ in order to tell the story of the shifters’ journey. It wouldn’t say much if there was only one wolf in the scene. It would have only been a wolf on a rock watching a bunch of humans board ships in a remote harbor.”

“Right. That makes sense. It’s unusual to see anything of our histories recorded in any form. Kellar thinks we should record our histories in fiction form so it doesn’t continue to get lost, and I agree with him.”

“That’s an excellent idea, considering how much appears to have fallen by the wayside. There has been debate about the safety of this painting existing, but really, the significance wouldn’t register with anyone but a shifter. The artist was very clever to paint a scene that would be seen as people and their hunting dogs going on a voyage.”

Kellar had twisted around and was staring at the painting again… at himself? He could feel his mate’s concerned gaze, but he’d managed to come to grips with the evocative depiction. He turned back to face the keeper. “You’re right, Delia. It’s a beautiful work of art that changes nothing about the mission Tobyn and I are on. I have to keep in mind we are a magical race, with seers and keepers and abilities that set us apart. My upbringing does sometimes get in the way of how I see things. I appreciate you enlightening me. I’ve been looking for answers my whole life, and maybe I have another one or two in here somewhere. As you said, the earth mother has her ways. At least I know I’m not the only one who’s ever had a freaky coat.” He smiled, and heard Tobyn’s relaxed sigh. Turning his gaze to his mate, he gave him a reassuring smile. “I should be checking on Logan soon, if just to ease Clarence’s mind.”

“Aren’t you going to tell Delia about Hutch?”

“No. We’ll let Clarence start the conversation.”

“Oh yeah. That was the plan. I wasn’t thinking.”

“I get it, babe. I’m barely able to think myself right now, but I’m okay.”

“Good. If you’re okay, then I am too.”

 

There was, as expected, no real change in Logan. He was sleeping peacefully, and Kellar was glad to see Clarence had nodded off. Knowing the strain the man had been under with Vega’s sustainability issues and Logan’s extended erratic behavior, it was a wonder he didn’t have severe health problems of his own.

Kellar was silent as he surveyed his patient, but Clarence still woke. “Back already?”

“Yes, sir. It was an interesting visit, and I learned a lot.” He hoped Clarence didn’t bring up the subject of Cahlar. He wanted to let all he’d heard simmer for a while. “I see Logan is still resting easily. Maybe you should take the opportunity to get some rest too, Clarence.”

“Oh, no. I’m good. I’m a cat-napper. Ten, twenty minutes sets me up fine.” He rubbed his face and sat up straighter. “Where’s Tobyn?”

“He’s out in the dining room with Delia and a few others. We haven’t said anything about earth mates and the matches. As agreed, we’re leaving that to you.”

“It wouldn’t have mattered if you’d told Delia,” he assured Kellar. “I plan on getting into all of it right after dinner tonight, as well as Tobyn’s offer. What did you think of…?”

A vocal ruckus from the dining room interrupted their conversation, and they both reacted instantly. Kellar, with a backwards glance to Logan, was right behind Clarence as he went to investigate.

There were six shifters clustered around two men standing in the dining room, including those who been setting up for the evening meal. What Kellar saw first was his mate’s pleased grin and he instantly relaxed.

The group parted as their alpha walked up. “We got him, Clarence. Percy and me… we got the son-of-a-bitch.” It was a beaming Ian, unknowing earth mate to Morningstar’s Joanne who was speaking.

“Who… do you mean the hunter?”

“Yup. Can you believe it?” Ian’s excitement showed in his nervous energy and his voice. “The copper works, right Percy?”

“It sure did. We walked straight up on the guy when we were out checking the new plantings. Good job Ian took a gun because I didn’t. We didn’t intend to go as far out as we did, but Ian caught a hint of elk scent, and we got to wondering….”

“How did you know he was the hunter?” The alpha came across as business-like, though Kellar detected he was working hard at containing his own excitement.

It was Ian who answered. “There wasn’t any doubt, Alpha. He was holding onto a silver medallion that was around his neck, just like we were told. He kept it in his hand as we walked towards him, and then let it go as we got closer. He was all friendly-like. I guess he never came across a shifter that didn’t pulse silver before.” Ian grinned like the cat that swallowed the canary. “Anyway, he leaned his gun against a tree. Even said he was hunting wolves and showed us two traps he had set. Silver teeth, just like Tobyn described.”

“Rather brazen of him. It’s nice to know we can get them to drop their guard. So, what happened?”

“We played it cool for a minute, trying not to freak out, so I asked him where he was from. He was really vague, basically saying he came up from the south, and then he asked us what we were hunting. Percy said we weren’t hunting anything. Then he told the hunter he was on our land, and he had no right to be setting traps on it. I was watching him like a hawk. Good job my safety was off because once he knew this was our land, I think he figured out we had to be shifters or at least friends of shifters. You could see it in his eyes. He had a confused look at first, and then it changed to, I don’t now… deadly, I guess you could say, but he acted nonchalant; turned and crouched down like he was going to fiddle with the trap. I wasn’t fooled, though. He was on one knee when he spun back around with his rifle, but I was ready. I shot him in the head before he could aim, but man was he fast. If my safety had been on he’d a gotten me dead to rights. And then Percy.” He shuddered then, and his confident demeanor faltered. Kellar sought out Tobyn’s eyes, and understanding passed between them. They knew that deadly look and speed well. “I never shot anyone before, but I just thought about Dave and Ronnie, and how that murderer killed them. He didn’t deserve to live for what he did.”

Clarence placed a hand on the man’s shoulder. “Where is he now?” he asked in a soothing tone.

The contact helped, and Ian seemed to refocus. “Right where I shot him… off the trail going to the little glade.”

“Do you think he was alone?”

“We never saw hide nor hair of anyone else, and we searched around the area before we headed back here. What do you want us to do with the body, boss?”

“If you’re up to it, find Dougal and a couple of others, haul his carcass to the closest brush pile, and burn him. Keep your guard up, though, and make sure you all have your copper on and hidden. Stay armed, but at least one of you keep your safety off. Don’t shoot one another,” he cautioned with a grin. “I’d go with you, but I don’t want to leave Logan.”

“How is he?”

“Kellar says he’s doing well. He hasn’t woken yet, but that’s to be expected. You two did a great thing today. You’ve taken a big load off my mind, and I don’t have to tell you what this means to all of us. You took a chance, but it sounds like you were smart about it.” Both men flushed at his praise. “Okay, clear out and get this thing done so we can have a celebration after dinner. I might have some more good news for you later, Ian,” he said with a quick wink.

Ian looked curiously at his alpha before turning to leave.

“You need to find the man’s vehicle, and any identification he might have,” Tobyn reminded the black-haired, Irish-looking man. “It’s probably a truck, and it needs to disappear too.”

Ian stopped and turned back. “Will do, and thanks for giving us these,” he said, holding up his neck chain and directing his gaze from Tobyn to Kellar.

Percy added, “Yeah, thanks,” before Ian continued with a serious expression.

“They’re lifesavers. Without them, that bastard would have picked us off.” Percy nodded agreement at Ian’s words. “He probably had eyes on us the whole time.”

“You’re welcome,” they both said. From what Kellar knew of hunters, he expected Ian was right.

“Yeah, so there was no identification on the hunter, but we’ll find whatever he was driving and check it thoroughly before we dump it in the old quarry,” he said, and a grin appeared on his face. “Sound like a good idea, Clarence?”

“Perfect. Dump his gun and the traps in there too, but scout the area good, and if you see or smell anything, it’ll have to wait till after dark.”

“We’ll be careful,” Percy promised.

Kellar watched the proud men strut out, with three more following them, while the others went back to the kitchen, murmuring happily. It pleased him to see the new spring in everyone’s step. “Is this quarry on pack land, Clarence?”

The alpha answered through a huge smile, finally letting some of his composure go. “That’s some damn welcome news. Ah, nope. A few miles away from our border, on a dead-end trail. The area is isolated, and the water’s about four-hundred feet deep.”

“Sounds ideal.”

“It is. A little push and whatever he was driving will be gone for good. You know… well… you guys have turned out to be good luck charms for Vega, and I want to add my thanks to theirs.”

“The credit goes to your men, Clarence.”

“Yes, it does, but without that copper, I might have lost two more members while they were out trying to do their job on our own property. It’s nice to feel safe again, and that’s because of what you gave us. There’s plenty of credit to go around. I just hope there isn’t another one out there to spoil this feeling.”

“Everyone has to stay alert, but Tobyn and I will go for a run later and put our noses to use, just to be sure. My guess is he worked alone, though… it appears that is their modus….” He stopped when the smirk appeared on his mate’s face. “Their method appears to be to work different areas alone, with each hunter setting their own traps, but it’s not something I would count on completely.”

“Why didn’t you say what you were going to, doc? Modus operandi.”

“I wasn’t going to give you the satisfaction… or the chance to make fun of me.”

“Would I do that?”

“Yes.”

The door opened again and all eyes turned. The old man, Bill, shuffled in, painfully slow. Kellar watched as Delia approached the fellow. She took his arm and guided him to a wheelchair sitting at one of the tables. Flickering, Kellar was once again intrigued by the man’s injuries.

“I didn’t know that guy could walk,” Tobyn said. “I thought he was stuck in the wheelchair.”

“It’s gotta hurt, though,” Kellar said thoughtfully. “The walking, I mean. His left knee was smashed at one time, and his ankle’s been damaged. Was he in a car accident, Clarence?”

The alpha looked to have zoned out for a few seconds. “Bill? Maybe. I’m a little sketchy on the details because it was before my time, and he’s never been able to explain what happened. All he can say is his name. If he gets excited he repeats it over and over, like he’s trying to say more, but doesn’t know how.

“We all love him. I know my son referred to him as our mascot, but that wasn’t the real Logan. That boy used to follow him up and down the rows of vegetables when he was a kid, and he always made sure to say good night to his Bill before he went to bed.

“Believe it or not, you’re looking at an old man who pulls his weight day in and day out. He can’t really get up and down anymore, but he works the gardens every day, weeding with a long handled hoe. He handles the watering too, and in the winter he sweeps snow from all the steps. These last couple of years he tends to fall when he gets tired so we make him use the wheelchair when he’s done for the day. Do you think you could help him?”

“For sure I could help the scar tissue in the knee and ankle, and the repair much of the damage from the arthritis that has set in.” Kellar found himself itching to work on his brain injury, particularly after learning new things while working on Logan. “He can’t shift, can he?” Kellar asked even though he was certain of the answer.

“No. From what I understand, he’s never been able to since his injuries. Do you know why?”

“His pattern is disrupted, and it’s because of the brain trauma, which I find very interesting.”

“Of course you do, doc,” Tobyn said wryly. “You’re in full healer mode, aren’t you?”

“Uh huh.” Kellar was continuing to study the elderly man’s colors. “If I can pinpoint the exact spot our signatures originate from, I’m wondering if I couldn’t help the thickening of Fendral’s burnt umber? Logan’s signals gave me some more information about how the brain functions.”

Clarence was looking from one to the other as Delia continued to fuss over Bill, talking softly to him the whole time. “You’ve lost me. What does Logan’s signals have to do with anything?”

“By themselves, nothing. But they showed me a kind of brain map I’ve never been aware of before. I don’t think Morningstar’s old alpha can change back to human form anymore.”

Clarence looked even more confused. Tobyn, however, looked engrossed. “You think you could help Fendral, doc? That would be awesome. There’s so much I’d like to ask him, and the fact he’s hanging around Morningstar again makes me wonder if he wouldn’t like to talk.”

“I’ve been getting that feeling too… like he’s frustrated. Maybe I can do something, if he’ll let me. The more I learn, the more that possibility exists.”

“So, you want to experiment on Bill?” Clarence’s question held no judgement, but it struck a defensive chord in Kellar.

“Experiment, no. Help, yes. And if I learn in the process, like with Logan, all the better. If I can apply to Bill what I learned from healing your son, and if I learn anything from Bill’s condition and use it to help Fendral… well, that would be very satisfying to my healer mode, as my mate calls it.” He grinned at a still rapt Tobyn, so obviously thinking of his old friend and father figure.

“The thing is, Clarence, the colors that make up our signatures are what my brother would call a closed circuit. They’re loops, sort of, and Bill’s have been severed. To simplify, the ends are reaching for each other, but they can’t join, and that makes his pattern completely unstable; the burnt umber I mentioned is the one color all shifters have. It’s why we can shift, so if I could figure out a way to join up that one strand, he might be able to shift again. Fendral’s burnt umber ‘string’ has gotten wider than the rest, and more and more, I think that’s the reason he’s stuck in wolf form. It may be a conscious decision on his part, but I don’t like the possibility he couldn’t shift back if he wanted to. Whether I could ever help him or not, I’d still like to help Bill. It must be awful to be a shifter and never be able to run your wolf.”

A quiet settled in after that. Kellar could tell Delia had been listening as well. Tobyn was the first to speak. “Do you think if you got rid of scar tissue from where his head is dented, it would allow him to get better?”

“No. Not by itself. Two shards of bone broke off from his skull and they’re implanted in his brain. They must have been driven in by whatever happened to him, and in all likelihood, there is permanent damage no matter what I could do. They need to be dissolved, and some of his electrical signals seem to go nowhere. His ‘map’ is different from Logan’s, so I don’t know if I could stimulate them or not. It’s all speculation, though, because until I know how Logan has fared, I won’t touch that man’s brain.” Kellar had been watching Bill as he sat calmly in his chair, and there were a couple of times when he suspected the man was listening, before his eyes went blank again.

Delia approached, laying a hand on Kellar’s arm. “Anything you can do for Bill, we’d all be thankful for. Taking away his leg pain would be wonderful, but if you have a chance of freeing his wolf, I hope you’ll try. I know he’s an old man, but even to be able to shift once would be worth just about anything. I know every shifter would understand that. I don’t mean to put any pressure on you… I’m just thinking about the tragedy of it.”

Kellar looked around him at all the faces before he settled on Tobyn’s. There was pressure, whether it was intended or not. He should have left this alone. Especially mentioning Fendral.

Clarence began to speak when a muted crash came from the medic room. “Logan,” he called out as he turned and ran towards the room. “We left him alone!”

“Here we go.”

“Yeah, here we go.” Tobyn was right on Kellar’s heels.

A big thank you to my Editor, Timothy, and to all those who follow this story. Please let me know what you think.

Copyright © 2017 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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Almost makes you want to be a shifter so Kellar could take away the aches and pains ... More history and another hunter. You gave us a lot in this chapter. Nicely done.

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On 01/24/2017 10:48 AM, JayT said:

Gary......I wanna know if Logan is okay!!!!!!

Next Monday, buddy :) . Stay tuned... cheers... Gary....

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On 01/24/2017 10:57 AM, dughlas said:

Almost makes you want to be a shifter so Kellar could take away the aches and pains ... More history and another hunter. You gave us a lot in this chapter. Nicely done.

Thanks, dugh. Yeah, I could use some shifter healing. We covered a lot of ground in this chapter, but there's much more to come ;) . Thanks for your support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

  • Like 3
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On 01/24/2017 11:03 AM, Kitt said:

Thanks, Sis! I appreciate the support... lots happening quickly now :) . Cheers... Gary....

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Intense! (But I had to take all the kudos back I was going to awarding you for that BAD cliffhanger!)

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On 01/24/2017 11:33 AM, IBEX said:

Intense! (But I had to take all the kudos back I was going to awarding you for that BAD cliffhanger!)

LOL. Okay, fair enough :) . Was it really that BAD a cliffhanger? Hehe... I promise I'll make it all better next Monday... had to stop somewhere, buddy... thanks for thinking it was intense... cheers... Gary....

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This was an incredibly satisfying chapter, information-wise. I was drawn into the story of the wolves' escape from salvery and their exodus to the new world. It does bring up more questions though, such as: why is Kellar named Kellar? Did his parents know of the legend? Did a seer have a vision or prophecy about him?

 

Of course, I'm dying to know how Logan is faring. I also want to know if Kellar can help Bill. I have some thoughts about Bill, but I don't really want to say anything yet. ;). I also want to know what the Vega think of Tobyn's proposal. I suspect the lure of earth mates, and the possibility of fighting the malaise will be an incredible lure. Add the idea that Kellar is likely seen as a saviour to many wolves, and I can see them following where he leads them.

 

Now hurry up Monday!

  • Like 4
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Wow, The story Delia was pretty much what I thought the painting was about. (pats self on back) :P This chapter was so informative and moved the story along and provided a mystery. What happened to Bill? Is that his real name? Are we sure that was the only hunter? And they really need to get moving. Ok, yeah we got to wait for Logan and now Bill to get better, but I'm feeling a sense of urgency here. I really hope Logan hasn't caused more damage to himself, falling over whatever he fell over. :funny: And where were can I find a healer like Kellar? This story gives me something to look forward to on the first day of the workweek. :read:

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Right...I'm not even gonna mention the end.... :X
The history Delia presented was fascinating, and yet, I really don't think the matching coats of the centuries-removed wolves is a coincidence--genetics is the key, and traits run in family lines. I think this was an ancestor of our Kellar, rather than a seer's vision to explain why his parents named him that. Names often run in families too, you know. Sure did in mine in the 1800s and early 1900s.
I hope Bill can be helped getting in touch with his wolf again, but anything at all will ease his life. I wonder if he was the victim of a Hunter?
Fingers crossed the one Ian caught was alone, and no one else knows of Vega--or Morningstar!

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Nice job Gary! The history was interesting! Now about the patient. ..do shifters have malpractice insurance? Negligence, leaving your patient ....

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Bad cliffhanger
Bad author
Bad
Bad
BAD

 

Gary, this is what you get from posting 2 cliffies in a row. You reduce readers / fans who are normally articulate, reasonable, level headed individuals to "zombie" like creatures who're going after your flesh while chanting single syllable words, drooling incessantly, with vancant eyes staring AT you ... l hope you're happy now ... :pissed:

 

Whatever has she, the Earth Mother, planned ?

  • Like 3
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hmm.. a nice bridging piece i think. Like was mentioned, it was informative. I'm in the flow now, more than I've realized when it comes to your story/saga. I'm happy G. Refresh, relax and take your time to enjoy this journey we're all on together man.

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Damn it Gary! Cliffhanger? Well Logan's awake, now how did he fare. Hopefully Kellar was able to help the poor guy. Kellar is quite a bit like a doctor if you think about it. Doctors get better with practice and new experience, and that is certainly how Kellar seems to be doing with each new case he's presented with. Will Bill's injury somehow come into play later? They said car accident, but that could just as easily have been caused by being attacked with a blunt weapon of some kind. It was left pretty vague. Will it be important later?

 

Good chapter, with a nice expansion on shifter history and what they went through in their past. Now let's bring on the next one!

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What cliffhanger? Was there one? My head is still trying to come to grips with all that history. Lots of pieces coming together but still so many questions. I think my head will explode when Delia and Sybil get together.

 

This world of yours still has a few chapters in it that I want to read - back to work...

  • Like 3
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Oh man, and a prophecy thrown in! So much to take in for this chapter - lots of information, but there is a lot that is moving, too. Your chapter title is quite apt. But you still leave us wondering about Logan and what is going on with him...and if there is one hunter, there are bound to be more. Hell, do they multiply like zombies? Get out the Pepsi!

 

Thanks for another great one, oh great one...

  • Like 4
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Excellent Gary. The history behind the picture was informative and oh, so very interesting. Of course it did leave us with more questions. I like how you're peeling it all back so rather than throw them all at you I'll wait to see how you answer them. I'm so curious about what Kellar's parents knew..
And the hunter..they keep showing up, but so far they've been alone. I'm gussing they're so confident in their skill and silver. Is this time the exception though? Are the men heading into trouble?
Then you leave us hanging with Logan.. What! You don't want to maybe gift us an early chapter do you?

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On 01/24/2017 01:56 PM, LitLover said:

This was an incredibly satisfying chapter, information-wise. I was drawn into the story of the wolves' escape from salvery and their exodus to the new world. It does bring up more questions though, such as: why is Kellar named Kellar? Did his parents know of the legend? Did a seer have a vision or prophecy about him?

 

Of course, I'm dying to know how Logan is faring. I also want to know if Kellar can help Bill. I have some thoughts about Bill, but I don't really want to say anything yet. ;). I also want to know what the Vega think of Tobyn's proposal. I suspect the lure of earth mates, and the possibility of fighting the malaise will be an incredible lure. Add the idea that Kellar is likely seen as a saviour to many wolves, and I can see them following where he leads them.

 

Now hurry up Monday!

Thanks, Lit! We'll find out about Logan on Monday. Vega is a pack with their backs against the wall... there's no telling what they'll do with regards to the proposal. There will be 24 different opinions on the subject, but what will the consensus be... is there a way to appease everybody? Bill appears to be the key to helping Fendral... Kellar is accomplishing more with his healing, but can be figure out how to shrink or thicken a strand of burnt umber? Just how much can his abilities grow? Thanks for all your support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 01/24/2017 02:22 PM, LadyDe said:

Wow, The story Delia was pretty much what I thought the painting was about. (pats self on back) :P This chapter was so informative and moved the story along and provided a mystery. What happened to Bill? Is that his real name? Are we sure that was the only hunter? And they really need to get moving. Ok, yeah we got to wait for Logan and now Bill to get better, but I'm feeling a sense of urgency here. I really hope Logan hasn't caused more damage to himself, falling over whatever he fell over. :funny: And where were can I find a healer like Kellar? This story gives me something to look forward to on the first day of the workweek. :read:

Hey, LadyDe! Good questions :) . I don't like dumping a lot of information on a reader at one time, so I'm pleased the history told by Delia went over well. I'm also pleased you feel a sense of urgency... I hope Vega pack feels the same. We'll find out about Logan, and how he's faring, in a few days... and yeah, I could use Kellar's skills about now... his healing skills I mean ;) . Thank you, my friend... see you Monday... cheers... Gary....

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On 01/24/2017 02:39 PM, Lux Apollo said:

A slower chapter, perhaps, but setting up so much for the future. :D

Hey, lux! Yeah, I guess you're right that it is slower, even though a lot occurred. We do know a lot more about what shifters have endured, and a few more pieces of a complicated picture... the future is coming up :) . Thanks, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 01/24/2017 02:46 PM, ColumbusGuy said:

Right...I'm not even gonna mention the end.... :X

The history Delia presented was fascinating, and yet, I really don't think the matching coats of the centuries-removed wolves is a coincidence--genetics is the key, and traits run in family lines. I think this was an ancestor of our Kellar, rather than a seer's vision to explain why his parents named him that. Names often run in families too, you know. Sure did in mine in the 1800s and early 1900s.

I hope Bill can be helped getting in touch with his wolf again, but anything at all will ease his life. I wonder if he was the victim of a Hunter?

Fingers crossed the one Ian caught was alone, and no one else knows of Vega--or Morningstar!

Hey, bud. Hope all is going well today at your appointment. I find it hard to comment on your comments :) . We have more of the picture now, but do we have all of it? Maybe not ;) . Whatever happened to Bill, he provides a chance for Kellar to stretch his healing skills, and maybe help Fendral... I sure would like to hear from the old grey... thanks and cheers, my friend... Gary....

  • Like 3
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On 01/24/2017 02:59 PM, Mikiesboy said:

Nice job Gary! The history was interesting! Now about the patient. ..do shifters have malpractice insurance? Negligence, leaving your patient ....

Hehe. Thanks, tim. I'm glad you liked the history... it was tough to get it out there without feeling like we were in school. Yeah, leaving Logan alone? Definitely negligent... bad Kellar :) . Thanks, buddy, and cheers... Gary....

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