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    WolfM
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Embers - 12. Embers 12

Sorry for missing New-Chapter-Monday this week. Mother Nature had other plans for me. Better late than never.

“Bloody copper.” Noah hissed. “We told him we needed to stay on Kings Highway.”

“Well, he said there was an accident or something blocking the road.” Lucas carefully watched ahead to help Jaxon avoid obstacles. “Bitching about it won’t help now.”

“We could have pushed it out of the way if need be. Might have dented the roo bar”the heavy, tubular metal guard protected the front of the trucks from brush or wildlife like kangaroos running across the road“but we’d still be on a B road. Now we’re stuck crawling through narrow tracks and that fire looks like it’s getting awfully close.” Jaxon leaned forward to see the tops of the hills through the windshield.

“He wouldn’t have sent us this way, if it wasn’t safe.” Lucas’ statement had his three truck mates looking expectantly at him. “I hope.”

“You might want to work on sounding a bit more convincing, mate.”

“Those flames look about fifty yards away and moving in fast.” Brandon turned away from the window. “That’s what, about 46 meters?”

The caravan of trucks turned a bend on the one-lane dirt road and came to an abrupt stop.

“SHIT!”

Everything in front of them was alight. The orange flicker was awe inspiring and terrifying all at once. The stunned silence in the cab was only broken by the radio crackling to life.

“Looks like we get to run the gauntlet, Luc. Any chance we can turn back?”

“The small trucks can turn around, but there’s been no place wide enough for the big ones for at least a kilometer.” He looked in his mirror. “And the fire’s cut across the road behind us as far as I can tell. We’ve got three choices, as I see it. Wait here for daylight and hope the winds don’t let it get much closer to us. Maybe be able to see where we’re going. Other options are drive forward or try backing up ‘til we can turn around. That last one isn’t something I want to do in the dark. If it is burning over the road now, it wouldn’t be any better than going forward. Waiting doesn’t sound like a good choice to me as we have limited water.”

“Bloody, fuckin’ polly.” Noah groused.

Brandon smirked at the Aussie’s name for the police.

“We’ll push through then. GPS says it’s about five kilometers until we’re back to Kings Highway.”

 

“Just so you big trucks remember, us little guys don’t have cabin protection if we catch fire.”

 

“Don’t worry, Thomas. We’ve got a Cat One front and back of you guys. We’re aiming our remote monitor’s at you now. No way we’re letting you burn.” Lucas glanced back to see Noah handling the joystick.

“I’ve got ‘em. Too much heat around to get a good read on infrared, but I’ll cool ‘em off, if I see it get worse.”

Lucas picked up the microphone. “Lead the way, Joe.”

“Right. No matter what’s burning we don’t stop unless we see people.”

 

The trucks inched forward, never gaining much speed, as they entered the burning trees. Silence reigned among the four men as the minutes ticked by. Bumps and ruts in the road jostled the equipment in back and made the suspension groan under the effort. The intensity of the flames increased with each agonizingly slow yard.

“I don’t like this, boss.” Jaxon’s hands shook on the steering wheel.

“Can’t say I do either. We’ll get through it.” Lucas tried not to look towards the roaring inferno. “If I ever see that cop, I’m going full wolf on him.”

“We’re at least moving. No trees have fallen and blocked us.”

“NOAH!” The shout came from all directions. “Don’t jinx us.”

“Damn, I can feel that through the glass now.” Brandon held his hand about six inches from the window.

“GPS says we have about another one and a half kilometers to go.” Lucas turned in his seat. “How’re the other trucks doing, Noah?”

“Ares just opened up on Glades, and I’m gonna give Tilly a spray.”

“Think it’s time for the heat shields, boss.” Jaxon reached down to his right.

“Yeah, it is. Brandon. Door pocket.”

“I know.” Brandon and the others pulled out what looked like a thick car sun shade. He took one last look at the violent storm raging mere feet from him before clipping it over the side window. The radiant heat off the glass felt less intense to the men, but the inside of the truck was still getting awfully warm.

“On the bright side, if a window explodes now, we won’t get a face full of glass.”

“That’s one of the things I like about you, Jax. Always looking for a silver lining.” Brandon leaned as far from the window as he could.

“Gotta show you Americans we rural Aussies are a happy lot. Can’t have you going home and telling people everyone down under’s a downer.”

“Newcastle’s not fuckin’ rural, ya damned dingo chaser,” Lucas joked as he turned towards Brandon. “It was nice seeing you work things out with Ethan and Aiden. Still not sure if their betas were all that happy with you. The sexy, tall blond especially.”

“You want to bring them up now? Joe’s leading us through a tunnel of fire, and you want to talk about those guys?”

“Sure. In case we burn up, don’t you want to feel better by saying they weren’t as bad as you thought?” Lucas’ smirk bugged the hell out of Brandon.

“Ugg… Hopefully our end’s quick. And I get to watch you go before the fire gets me.”

“Hey, do we get bragging rights that one of our pack beat an Elemental in a fight?” Noah dodged Brandon’s hand.

“I didn’t exactly beat him. He admitted to giving up.” There was a heavy sigh. “Okay, they weren’t as bad as I thought, and I wouldn’t mind having them around now. Even Darius was cool when I talked to him. Maybe they could put out all this around us. Just as long as it’s you guys pummeled with large hail this time for bringing them up.”

“My arm did get broken. But see, it wasn’t so hard to admit.” Lucas appeared to try not to laugh. “Oh look, we’re coming out of the fire. Just in time.”

“What’s that phrase Oliver was teaching me? Rack off, Lucas.”

“I may be an arse at times, Brandon, but I did manage to distract the three of you for a while at least.”

The trucks made it back onto a paved road, and eventually came to a stop, when they reached a roadblock. Several took the opportunity to get out and inspect the vehicles for damage, as a patrol officer approached. “Where’d you guys come from? We didn’t get word of anyone coming down the road.”

“Guy on the other end sent us down the side roads. Put us right in the middle of the fucking blaze.” Now that they were past the danger, Joe appeared pissed. “He could have gotten all twenty of us killed. Tellin’ us the road he sent us down was clear.”

“You didn’t come down the highway?”

“No, the arsehole said there was an accident blocking the road and put us on a narrow, dirt two-track to go around it. Took about an hour and a half to work our way to here.”

“Bloody, fuckin’ hell. We closed Kings Highway because it was burning on both sides. Would have been safer for you guys to stay on it.” The officer ran his hand through his hair and picked up his radio. “Find out who sent five fire trucks around the eastern roadblock of Kings Highway a couple hours ago. I want his sergeant to contact me immediately.”

“Will do, Chief Inspector.”

 

“I’m sorry about this. Are you all okay?” He was now moving around shining his flashlight on the men and trucks, checking for damage or injuries. “I’ll make sure the guy’s busted back down to constable by morning. If not fired.”

“Looks like we’re all fine. Gonna need to repaint some of the trucks when we’re done.” Joe extended his hand to the man. “Thank you, Chief Inspector. Must be stretched as thin as us on bodies if they got you doing traffic duty. Is the road safe the rest of the way to the A1?”

“Yeah, it’s clear for now. Where you guys headed?”

“Staging in Mogo.”

“Good luck. Hopefully we all make it through this summer.”

“If we don’t run into more cops like we did earlier, we just might.”

******

It was daybreak when the Mutts finally arrived at the staging area. There was a flurry of activity with trucks and buses coming and going. Helicopters could be heard, indicating the day’s battle was well underway.

“We expected you lot hours ago. What happened?” The man ticked off the truck number as he stood beside Joe’s open window.

“Been a bad night. Just point us where to park so my men can get a little shut eye.”

“Down on the left. Local commander will want to talk to you once you’re settled.”

Joe could not stifle the yawn. “I figured.”

It only took a few minutes to get the rigs shut down. Joe and Lucas headed off to the command tent, while the men pulled out their bedrolls, and hunkered down in the shade of the trucks.

Brandon grabbed his notebook from his pack and began jotting down things from the previous nights harrowing experience. He did not think those images would vanish from his mind for quite some time, but he wanted to write them down while the memory was fresh. In the depths of his mind he could feel the wolf nudging him as it got close.

“Would you give me a little room please?”

The whimper surprised him.

“Hey, it’s okay. Did the fire scare you that bad? I can feel your tail tucked.”

“Yes, I wanted to run to someplace safe. I tried to stay quiet so you could focus.”

“C’mere. Lie down next to me. You’re shivering.”

“All I can see are the flames outside the windows. That heat.”

“We’re safe now. I’ve never felt you get this way when we’re on the line.”

“We aren’t trapped in the truck. There was no place to escape. I could feel how uneasy you were and it made me afraid.”

“I was too.”

“Thank you for letting me cuddle. I know you prefer when I stay away.”

“Believe it or not, I’m starting to like the feeling. Being away from Austin, you remind me I’m never actually alone.” As tired as Brandon was, he smiled as the wolf moved ever closer in his mind. “I have a question for you. Why didn’t you tell me we’re an alpha?”

“You’re trying to distract me. I didn’t know.”

“I don’t need to distract you since we’re out of danger. How could you not? It’s what you are.”

We are. It’s not just me you know. Neither of us exists without the other. My instincts only cover so much. We didn’t get to learn this stuff from a pack either. Remember? Well, we did but someone wasn’t paying attention.”

“Sorry. Sometimes I think you should automatically know this stuff and just never told me.”

“You wouldn’t talk to me so I couldn’t tell you. I knew we were different, but wasn’t sure why.”

“Thanks for not biting Ethan’s neck. It kinda felt good punching his nose, but I’m glad we didn’t hurt him too bad.”

“Him showing submission was enough. I still think we should have mounted. His scent said he wanted it. His mate sort of did too.”

“Don’t start. You’re as bad as him and that Casey guy.” Brandon’s mind fell quiet for a few moments. “Do you know why we don’t have an alpha’s scent like they mentioned?”

“When we kept getting attacked I figured out we smelled different from the others. I learned to hide that and we got into fewer fights.”

“Thanks for protecting me. Wait, you can mask our scent? I’m sorry I shut you away for so long, even though you were always helping in your own way.”

“No worries. We’re finally talking at least. No one said I couldn’t alter how we smell. The knowledge was ingrained in our deepest instincts, so I used it.”

“I’ll have to talk to someone about that and learn more.”

“Hey, can I put Austin’s legs on my shoulders when we show him what we can do? I think he’ll like the other wolf. And it would be fun watching his face as we mate while furry.”

“Great. Now we need to take care of something before we’ll get any sleep. I hope the showers are private or someone’s getting a show.”

Once back to the truck, Brandon had barely laid his head down before he was softly snoring.

******

There was a lot of growling as the men stood and tried to stretch out the kinks in their tired bodies. Each went through his usual ritual for starting the day, even when they had slept away most of the daylight. Another briefing, like so many they had gone through before, followed by more wait time. With assignments handed out, Joe and the men could only sit around as they rechecked their equipment.

Firefighters from multiple crews boarded buses with the Mutts rowdily claiming a large portion of one for themselves.. The drive from the staging area felt like it passed in no time. It was another two miles on foot to reach this newest beast the team was sent to battle.

“It’s been months, and we’re all tired.” Joe had his men circled around him. “Everyone’s to work in pairs. If you or your partner need a break, you both pull back. We’ll get through this like we have every other time.”

It was his usual speech before attacking a fire. The men gave a somewhat enthusiastic response, before they finished the hike, and got down to the grunt work of the job.

“You four with chainsaws, follow that other crew who’s marking the trees to take out for the fire break.” Lucas directed the men, as Joe spoke to another crew chief. “The rest of you, drag the debris into piles. Try not to take more than the humans can carry. And if you see anything smoldering, call for someone with water. Brandon, you’re with me.”

There was no longer any concept of time. To the Mutts, it came down to awake and fight or sleep. Each day was much the same as the previous one, an onward push to beat the flames, or remove its fuel.

Through the smoke and heat they held the line. Using picks, rakes, shovels, and chainsaws they fought. More men followed them to spray down the areas they had just worked, hoping to extinguish smoldering coals, and prevent a flare up. It would only take a change in wind for an ember to take flight and spark someplace else. For every advance the men made, the fire showed its unpredictability. Both warring sides refused to yield.

After nearly fourteen hours, the men hiked out, being passed by fresh replacements. Back at the staging area, people headed for the showers or the food line. Others collapsed on their bedroll or curled into in a ball to cry themselves to sleep.

Brandon sat on the rear bumper of Brutus and leaned his head back. “I’m tired.”

“That wolfish stamina not getting you through the day anymore?”

“Go away, Lackie.”

“What? I can’t hang out with my best bud?”

“Not when I’m this tired.” Brandon barely opened his eyes to look at Lachlan. “And since when are we best buds? Thought the guys on your rig had that honor.”

“They weren’t the ones who ran out into the hail storm to pull me to safety.” He let out a heavy sigh. “I never got a chance to say thank you. What you did… Breaking your leg, and it sounded like your ribs too. You saved my life.”

“I just acted faster than the other guys. Not like I had to deal with broken bones very long. Think that’s the best part of being lycan.”

“Maybe so, but on the drive over, Oli and the others told me what you did. How you moved before they even saw I was hurt. We’ve just been so damned busy since we got here I hadn’t had time to talk to you.” Lachlan fell silent for several moments before raising his hand and looking at the wrist. “I know you’re tight with the guys on your truck, and you have your pack in the US. But what you did for me, I’d be honored if you’d share the blood bond with me, and become my brother.”

“What’s a blood bond?”

Lucas walked around from the side of the truck, his facial expression was neutral. “I don’t know if you Americans do it. It’s basically the sharing of our blood. Something Jax, Noah, and I had planned to offer you. So you always know you have family and a pack here. Each wolf, or cat in Noah’s case, scratches their wrist. You grasp the other’s arm, so the wounds touch, and let the blood mingle. In this country, that makes you brothers by bond. Other places have something similar for differing reasons.”

“Would anyone get upset if we do this?”

“If they do, it might be because they also want to be brothers with you too.” Lucas whistled for Jax and Noah to join them. “This is your choice, but you already have a place in my pack and family no matter what. And you’ve been my younger brother since I picked you up in Sydney. Would be nice to make it official though.”

“Okay. It’s something I’ve never done with anyone in my pack, but they never suggested it. I’ll do it with you guys. I guess the closest is when I mated Austin.” Brandon immediately blushed.

“Concentrate on your index finger claw.” Lucas watched as his younger friend did as he was told. “I doubt you’ve ever done this before, so it might take a little… Or not.” He smiled and shook his head. “Must be the alpha in you. Now, since you’re an alpha, you get to lead on this. Scratch Lachlan’s wrist enough to draw a little blood. Careful you don’t cut too deep. Then do the same to yourself.”

When that had been done, Lachlan grasped the American’s arm so their wrists were held together. “By the sharing of our blood we join as family. You will always be my brother and have a place in my pack if you’re ever in need.” He let go and watched as Lucas and the other two also shared the bond with Brandon.

******

There had been nearly a week of preparation as the winds continually shifted the direction of the coming nightmare. But it was time well spent in hopes of saving another town. Luck finally ran out and the men had to face their nemesis. For three agonizing days, the fire moved ever closer to the structures and refused to change course.

“FALL BACK!” Dozens of men heeded Joe’s command as a shift in the wind drove the flames towards them. “Today would be nice, ladies. Move your bloody arses.”

“Chief Nevin, regroup on the south-east side of Mogo. Now we see if we can hold the town or not.”

“We’ll hold it, Commander. My men haven’t lost a foundation yet, and we’re not gonna start today.”

“Not funny you old dog. This is gonna be a long day, and it’s only 0220. Looks like everyone’s out, so get moving.”

“Aye, big boss man.” Joe and the men knew this was coming. Their trucks were already staged beside the buildings they were assigned to protect. Nearly twenty hours later, the flames had burned around the small town, but thankfully not through it.

Orders over the radio had the men loading up as quickly as they could.

“Mutts, fall back to the wildlife park.”

 

“You heard the man. Get a move on it. That fire isn’t crossing Tomakin Road. We’ve got beasties to protect.” Joe jumped in his rig as the others speedily followed.

Additional crews had their trucks inside the animal park while the Mutts were lined up on the road. Hoses and auxiliary pumps were in place between the Tomaga River, nearly a thousand feet away, and the five rigs. With each vehicle well supplied with water, all the hoses and monitors were opened up, spraying into the trees. Behind the men, more crews kept water pouring over buildings and animal enclosures. It took nearly eighteen hours to keep the inferno at bay. Even with duty rotations, the men were reaching their limits with exhaustion.

As midnight approached, and the flames crawled east, the order once again came across the radio.

“Fall back to Malua Bay positions.”

 

“Joe, I’m getting tired of hearing that.”

“We all are, Luc. But at least most of these have been to set up for the next fight and not because we lost the town.”

“Still, he needs to expand his vocabulary. It’s a fuckin’ redeploy.” Oliver stowed the last of the gear before climbing into the cab of his truck. “And yes, I know I’m fuckin’ cranky, but I’ve barely slept in the last seventy-two hours.”

******

Dark columns soared skyward, blocking out the late evening sun, as it hovered over the horizon. Grey ash danced through the air, creating an eerie summertime blizzard. The chalky substance covered everything and made breathing without a mask nearly impossible. As dusk passed into night, flashes in the clouds caught the men’s attention. Lightning bolts crisscrossed the tallest smoke spiral. Some of the light display was bright enough to illuminate the dark cloud from the inside. It was an ominous warning of the horrendous beast fast approaching. Flames could be seen to the north and more to the south. The western sky glowed orange. The men had fallen back as much as they could. The ocean was at their back and there were no boats coming to evacuate anyone.

Once again, hoses were laid out, and the trucks were ready for the ensuing battle.

“Alright, we know what’s coming, and that our backs are to the wall this time. It’s been a long week without much of a break in days. We’ve got trees that are going to burn to the west with a couple hundred houses behind us. After that it’s the beach and the bay.” Joe was trying to rally his men one more time. “If it gets into the houses, we might not be able to stop it, and could lose the entire town. The trucks and property are expendable. Your lives aren’t.”

“We’ll hold the line, boss. Won’t we guys? We’re the unruly Mutts and tonight we’re taking down our prey.” Lucas did his part as beta perfectly.

“Thanks, Luc.” Brandon glared at his friend. “I’ve told my wolf to stop calling the fire that several times and you go and do it. I hear his fuckin’ laugh in my mind.”

“Wish those friends of yours were here, Bran.” The deep, booming laughter from Oliver carried over the surrounding noise.

“They’re not my friends.”

“By Aussie rules, any two guys who knock the crap out of each other, and then sit down to talk, are friends.”

“Whatever. Guess it wouldn’t be bad having them around.”

“And speak of the devil.” Lachlan pointed to the group moving in their direction, donning Rural Fire Service gear.

“Nice of you to join us.” Joe wiped his brow.

“Hey there, all flash no substance. See you waited until the hard work was done before coming back.” Brandon went back to checking his gear. “Could have used you guys for cutting the fire breaks.”

“Sorry we’re late, Scrappy-Doo. We got here as quickly as we could.” Ethan moved towards Brandon and Lucas. “A couple other spots had us tied up since we saw you last.”

“Wait. Did you just make a Scooby-Doo reference about me?”

“Yep.” Ethan gave a tired smile.

Joe shook Aiden’s hand and then Ethan’s. “I’m glad you’re back. We’ve had to redeploy,” he glanced hard at Oliver, “several times already this week. With nothing but water behind us, I’ll take any help we can get. Where’d they have you working?”

“In Victoria. Not sure I could pronounce the name of the place even if I could remember it. The people in charge were going to send us to Kangaroo Island, but called it off just as we boarded the helicopter.” Aiden adjusted his helmet. “It feels strange wearing this. We requested to get back to you guys as soon as we could. Last night was spent working the northern flank of this fire. We tried to get it to burn back on itself, but nothing we did worked. We had better luck working in the south.”

“It may feel strange to wear, but trust me, it protects your head from large hail.” Brandon side-eyed Ethan. “What’s your plan this time?”

“Chief Nevin…”

“I told you to call me Joe how many times?”

“Fine.” Ethan sounded a little tired. “Joe, we’re going to do our best to take some of the intensity out of the fire. I’ve got plenty of water around me to work with, but I’m still scared of a repeat from last time. The hail thing hasn’t happened again, but I’m not sure I want to risk anyone getting hurt. My jaw still aches from someone punching me over that.”

“Ethan and I talked about this most of the way here. I’m getting better at controlling the flames each time we do this. But for whatever reason, once in a while, all hell breaks loose.” Aiden waved his friends over. “If you need more help manning a hose or anything else, Trevor, Casey, Darius, and Cody are at your disposal. Even our driver, Dainen, said he wanted to help.”

“Right, you five. We’re going to add you into each truck’s rotation. When the burn hits, we don’t know how long it’ll last. You’ll be handed a hose when someone needs a break. Hold it tight. You’re not used to it, and they aren’t as easy as the garden variety. Whatever you do, don’t let go of it. It’ll dance around like a pissed off snake and be just as dangerous. Point it at the glowing orange stuff and listen to who you’re working with.” Joe divided up the new recruits. “Judging by the last seventy-two hours or so, this is going to be bad. If I tell you to head for the bay, drop whatever you’re doing and move your arse. That goes for everyone here.”

“Yes, sir.” Was the collective response from the Mutts and Aiden’s crew.

******

The conflagration grew ever closer and larger, consuming everything in its path. The intensity of the blaze caused its own weather to form, magnifying the wind’s strength, and sporadically forming a vortex into flaming willy-willys. Fire lightning continually flashed through the immense columns of smoke.

Brandon stood on the roof of a house with his hose in hand. As the chalky ash changed to embers the order was given.

“Open ‘em up.”

Every hose and nozzle available on the trucks was spraying. Around two hundred firefighters had mobilized to protect the seaside towns, and they gave their all no matter how undermanned they were. The fire crowned in the trees, sending flames high into the air. Helicopters and water bombers made pass after pass to assist ground crews in what felt like a hopeless battle.

“This feels weird.” Ethan focused on the inferno bearing down on them. “I don’t know what’s different here. It’s not like any fire I’ve felt since I learned what I can do.”

“I can feel it too, Pup.” Aiden’s eyes were a fierce red as he stood with his mate. “It’s like it has its own energy and refuses to give up.”

“Forget about the flames.” Ethan looked behind them. “Focus on the embers. Keep them away from the houses.”

******

As the first rays of sun broke above the eastern horizon, the remains of trees a mere fifteen feet from the ocean smoldered. Brandon looked to his left and received a thumbs up from Lucas. Two houses to his right, he got another from Lachlan. While there was nothing green left in sight, every house the Mutts were protecting still stood.

“I didn’t think the night was ever going to end.” Oliver sat heavily on the ground. “But we did it.”

“You okay, All Flash?” Brandon grasped the blond’s arm as he moved beside him. “You’re not too steady on your feet. Maybe you should lie down, Ethan.”

“Awe, you do care, Scrappy. Yeah. I think I’m fine; a little tired maybe. I’ve never used my gifts that long. Watching you and the other guys work is impressive, Brandon. You’ve earned my full respect and friendship. Hopefully, in time, I’ll earn yours.” Ethan took a step and stumbled. “Maybe I should sit or something.”

“Alright guys. I know you’re exhausted, but rotating shifts of one hour each.” Joe addressed his men. “Two men per truck, keep an eye on hot sports. Call out if you need help or can’t stay awake.”

“After running salt water through the pumps all night, I’m gonna need to tear them down and replace all the seals once we’re done here.”

“Jax, you’re never happy unless you’re rebuilding something.” Joe yawned and stretched, as he sat on the step of his truck.

“I mean it, Joe. That shit isn’t good for them. All our pumps will need service before we deploy again. Last thing we want is to blow one out while we’re fighting.”

“Relax and take a break, Jaxon.” Lucas rested his hand on the man’s shoulder. “We’re just messing with you. If you say they need service before we go out again, you’ll get the time to do it. But first, you’re gonna follow Brandon’s and Ethan’s lead, and get some sleep.” He pointed to the small figures curled up together under Brutus.

“Who would have thought something so small could snore so loud.” Aiden could only grin.

Copyright © 2021 WolfM; All Rights Reserved.
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Is Brandon's presence interacting with Ethan' and Aiden's powers?

It seems odd that their powers are different when in his area.

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42 minutes ago, Thomas Haworth said:

Is Brandon's presence interacting with Ethan' and Aiden's powers?

It seems odd that their powers are different when in his area.

They are attempting things they had never tried before 

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4 hours ago, dughlas said:

It seems strange to listen to Brandon and his wolf "talk". They really seem two distinct individuals rather than two parts of one whole.

Good chapter.

Thanks Dughlas. Most all the lycan in my world talk to their animal in one way or another, but it's more seamless in nature. They all have a dual personality of sorts where depending on which body they're in one or the other will take control. The closer the tie between the two sides is, the more they blend to both sides. Brandon has always kept his animal at bay as much as possible. For him, it is very much two souls inhabiting the same body.

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4 hours ago, Carlos Hazday said:

The hellish drive down the side road kept me on the edge of my seat when I first read the chapter, and once again just now. Forget the lycan aspect, I'm in complete awe of firefighters who risk their lives to protect others. Now, if All Flash could stop mucking around and get his shit together... 😁

The fact I could get that response from you twice says I got across what I wanted. :)

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4 hours ago, drsawzall said:

A well written chapter, worth the wait, full of suspense and interesting connections!

Loved the following comment, spot on, made me laugh out loud hard!

“Chief Nevin, regroup on the south-east side of Mogo. Now we see if we can hold the town or not.”

“We’ll hold it, Commander. My men haven’t lost a foundation yet, and we’re not gonna start today.”

Thank you, drsawzall. I first heard that comment from someone that worked for a volunteer fire department. They had two antiquated trucks and maybe a dozen personnel. He knew anytime they got called to a house fire, no matter how much they trained or how hard they worked, the foundation would be all they could save.

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3 hours ago, Kitt said:

It takes a special breed to run in while everyone else runs away. 

Thank you, Kitt. :hug:

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2 hours ago, Thomas Haworth said:

Is Brandon's presence interacting with Ethan' and Aiden's powers?

It seems odd that their powers are different when in his area.

I'm just going to point to Nightlit and Kitt's comments :)

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1 hour ago, Nightlit said:

I'm going to guess it's not that their powers are different, so much as this is the first time they've been in a situation where nature is fighting back. All the times they used their powers in the previous stories, things were calm. The most that the thing they were manipulating was doing was water being in a steady flow.

This is an uncontrolled raging inferno. A force of nature that refuses containment or control. And fire doesn't just burn, it alters everything around it. Most storm fronts are caused by varying combinations of air at different temperatures and pressures, meaning a fire that large directly affects them. And who knows how that might interact with overtly supernatural powers, so even the hail could have been caused by the fire, in a direct or indirect way, and the reason it didn't happen again is because Ethan and Aidan were more practiced, careful, or simply because the exact properties of every fire are unique.

It's a reminder that, no matter how powerful Ethan and Aidan are, they are not more powerful than the totality of nature itself, which is ultimately what they are up against.

You perfectly describe the conditions and difficulties in this. The heat from the fire amplifies the wind, which fans the flames, which increases the intensity of the fire. The micro-weather systems around the blazes are as unpredictable as the fire itself. Throw in a firenado or smoke lightning and it gets even worse.

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1 hour ago, Kitt said:

They are attempting things they had never tried before 

❤️ Yep, something Ethan and Aiden said at the start.

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6 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

Are you loving the speculation? :P

 

Of course. It's one of my pleasures from writing. :)

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1 hour ago, WolfM said:

Thank you, Kitt. :hug:

No, thank you and all the other firefighters who come to our rescue regularly.

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45 minutes ago, Kitt said:

No, thank you and all the other firefighters who come to our rescue regularly.

Seconded!

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Crazy good chapter, intense seems inadequate to explain everything that happened, that they saved the houses is great , the change of focus on the embers is good idea, kill the embers and you stop the fire from restarting, strange but awesome interaction between them

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Excellent chapter, flowed really well.  

I hope the cop at the other end had not sent any civilians down the way the mutts had to take...

Glad to see they were able to hold the line against fire and save the houses.

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42 minutes ago, mikedup said:

Crazy good chapter, intense seems inadequate to explain everything that happened, that they saved the houses is great , the change of focus on the embers is good idea, kill the embers and you stop the fire from restarting, strange but awesome interaction between them

Thank you, Mike. :)  If you can't safely battle the flames, go to the next best thing. It's a busy chapter, but they held it together. The crews around those towns really were amazing.

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10 minutes ago, centexhairysub said:

Excellent chapter, flowed really well.  

I hope the cop at the other end had not sent any civilians down the way the mutts had to take...

Glad to see they were able to hold the line against fire and save the houses.

Thank you, Centex. :) Thankfully that polly didn't send anyone else down that road and kept people on the safe side of the roadblock.

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I live on the East Coast and grew up in the Midwest.  I’ve never had to deal with the devastation from the fires of the West Coast.  I’ve seen the images in the movies, on the news and in the papers and felt very sad for everyone involved, but it never hit me to a visceral level.

Your description of the devastation and fear did that.  I really felt as if I was riding along with the guys on that horrible side road.  I just can’t imagine what I would actually do. I felt the fear rising and had to remind myself that I am safe in my home next to my husband with my dog curled up in my lap. (In a side note, I hope that cop who sent them down that side road loses his job and gets blacklisted.  He almost cost the lives of the entire crew!)

My admiration and respect for the people who can actually do that kind of work was already quite high, but it just sky-rocketed.

Thank you for, not only an enjoyable story and visits with old friends, but, a masterful description of the horrendous conditions of the fires suffered by Australia and the West Coast.

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