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    WolfM
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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.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

The Alpha - 3. Dark Days

Dorian faced the shimmering water from the resort’s terrace, while his delegation hung back to avoid his moodiness. His thoughts drifted to Alpha Wagner. His former alpha would be disappointed in the way he had acted towards others, especially the neighboring packs he’d seized. The last few days of the congress had been brutal. Many people were surprised when he endorsed the suggestions of others in the meetings. They were good ideas though and deserved proper consideration. It was the first time he had participated in a discussion like that. Thoughts of his long dead alpha faded away as his mind returned to the present and the latest events at the congress.

Nearly everyone attending had witnessed the execution of the former lycan council president and two of his subordinates. They all knew what was going to happen. Or at least they thought they did. Something like this, though extremely rare, was usually handled by breaking the neck of the accused. It tended to be quick and though somewhat violent, it also would have been fitting for the crimes the men had been convicted of. A few people vied for the best position to watch the spectacle.

The young turnling who bested him in the challenge stopped one of the acting co-chairmen of the congress from carrying out the sentence. There were murmurs through the crowd wondering what the holdup was. This new wolf had, along with his mate, shown great power in the council chamber when they both not only went hybrid, but burst into flames before the gathered alphas. It was the young one who carried out the execution without placing a single paw on the accused. All he did was place his hands on the ground. The way the Wolfsbane with its frighteningly beautiful blue petals grew and flowered around the men was terrifying even to Dorian. Watching another wolf breath in that pollen until it killed him had some wanting to flee. Most of all, the tears in the boy’s eyes at having taken a life had an effect on the witnesses. It was something Dorian wouldn’t have given a second thought to just a few days before and something he hoped to never see again.

While his unfocused gaze was directed towards the water, his mind drifted to when he witnessed the assassination of his beloved alpha. It was the second time he had lost his leader. Everything seemed to be going well in the pack. There had been no border disputes in the years since Alpha Wagner merged the two former rivals. There were agreements with many of their neighbors that worked to the mutual benefit of all. Overlapping territory in a few places was deemed a neutral buffer by all parties. Wolves from either side could enter those areas to hunt or run, and authority was overseen jointly. Aggression in those areas was strictly forbidden and would be dealt with harshly to protect the peace.

Ever since the day of the challenge that created the Pit River/Modoc Pack, Dorian had steadily risen in the ranks. Some thought it was because of his actions defending the new alpha. He worked hard and made his way through school while training with the Hunter Corps. Through two years of college, he held a job with a logging company. Starting with the most basic grunt jobs, he made his way to crew foreman. Likewise with the hunters, he eventually rose through the ranks to make captain, one of the senior-most members in the Corps. To top off his accomplishments, Alpha Wagner named Dorian a junior advisor to himself and the pack council. These were all exceptional achievements for someone only in his mid-twenties.

Coming from a family that had been little more than cannon fodder for their previous leadership, this was a major success and brought prestige to the family. The rise in influence by clans like Dorian’s was sometimes met with resistance by those who held high status in the old pack. The current leadership attempted to be fair in how they handled their members and rewarded those who served the people. But there were always some who resented the loss of their status.

The family of Dorian’s best friend had fallen dramatically in the years since the merger. They did not openly oppose the alpha, but with family members having chosen to leave after not pledging allegiance, they harbored hard feelings. Instead of working for the betterment of all, they remained focused on themselves while doing only what was required for the pack.

******

It was during a pack meeting in midsummer. Dorian sat with his mother instead of standing with the other advisors. Her mate of the last several years, Marshal Holms, was on the council. He served as a senior advisor to Alpha Wagner before the merger. The man had taken a shine to Sarah Jackman the day she made her little speech calling out her fellow pack mates. He was good to her, and she was happy for the first time since the loss of her original mate. The pair had imprinted on each other and were as close as any pairing could be. Since Dorian didn’t need to stand with leadership that day, he decided to keep her company.

The meeting was about half way through when the first of five gunshots rang out. It all happened so fast no one knew what was going on. At the sound of the first shot, Dorian instinctively pushed his mother and sisters to the ground, shielding them from whatever the threat was.

After the last shot, he raised his head to survey the scene. Reaching for his radio, Dorian issued orders to the hunters. “Shots fired at the meeting from long range. Sounded like it was between eight hundred to one thousand yards south east of us towards Mount Burney. Get all available hunters and trackers into that area now.” The gravity of the situation slowly set in. “We have people down here. Medical assistance required immediately.”

As the members looked toward the alpha, it was apparent he and several of his council were dead. Some people could be heard crying while others tried to comfort them.

The training Dorian had gone through with the hunters kicked in full force, and he took charge. Seeing the remaining leadership in shock he grabbed four of his men. “You two, get the council to the stronghold and protect them with your lives. The rest of you get these people out of here. Get them back to their homes. We’re too exposed and vulnerable right now. Everyone needs to get someplace safe.”

Without even a thought that a captain of the hunters was giving orders, the council followed his instructions. Dorian’s step-father remained unmoved. He stood frozen and expressionless as if he were a statue. Blood and other bodily matter covered his face and shirt. It was evident one of the bullets had passed through his shoulder after hitting its initial target who had been standing in front of him.

Ripping his shirt off and shredding it into two pieces, Dorian put pressure on the wound. “Marshal, sit down and wait for the medics. Let me know if you get dizzy. We’re gonna take good care of you.”

His mother refused to leave and rushed to her husband wiping his face. “You’re going to be just fine. Stay with me. I will not lose a second mate to anything but old age. Do you understand me?”

Marshal nodded slightly as Sarah continued to clean his face.

“Mom, I need to see to the others ‘til the medics get here. Keep pressure on the front and back for me. Tell me when the bandages get soaked or if your arms get tired.”

She nodded and took over as he assessed the others who were injured. Within a few minutes, medics arrived and began tending to the wounded.

“Captain, we found where the shots came from. Good estimate on the location. Trackers are following the scent towards Hat Creek.”

“Report in every ten minutes. Call Mount Burney lookout and find out if they can see anything.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“I need two hunters not in the pursuit to join and protect the council at the stronghold.” After an extended pause, he broadcast one final message. “To all hunters, Alpha Wagner has departed us for the eternal hunt.”

There was a long silence before anyone responded.

Understood, sir.”

The trail was followed for several miles before it led to a set of tire marks. Even the trained noses of their best trackers were unable to follow the fading scent from the truck used to escape. The nearby fire lookout tower watched the truck as long as it could, guiding wolves as they attempted to head it off. A description, along with a partial plate, was relayed to hunter command. Once the truck hit the highway and headed south, it didn’t take long until it was out of sight.

******

In the days immediately following the assassination, the surviving leadership was in chaos. Different members were vying for control, and it seemed the pack was quickly dividing into camps behind their favorites. Some of the wolves were strong, while others would never be anything beyond an advisor. As far as Dorian was concerned, all that mattered was showing proper respect to his fallen alpha and finding those responsible for the murders.

Marshal remained in the hospital away from the infighting. The wound would not have normally been a major issue except silver bullets had been used in the attack. With it having passed through one body before hitting him, the damage was greater, and the doctor had to work to remove as much of the silver shrapnel as he could. Simply shifting to his wolf would not fix that injury with the poisonous metal in his system. Dorian still remembered the pain from the foul metal entering his body. He knew it might be some time before his stepfather could shift at all. This effectively took Marshal out of the running to replace the alpha, not that he wanted or would accept the position. He was happy to advise and work for the pack. Leading it was not his style. Besides, he wanted to spend time with his mate.

Dorian appeared before what remained of the council to report on what they knew. “The gunman was a wolf. Those were custom-made, silver hollow point 7.62 NATO rounds. This guy was a professional. He used what would inflict the maximum damage to the target. Escape was made via a waiting truck so we believe there were at least two directly involved. His scent faded too quickly in the wind once he got to the highway. All we know is he headed south. We have a description of the truck and a partial plate. Our guys in the Highway Patrol are checking any possible matches that come up.”

“So you’re saying you have no idea who killed the alpha, beta, enforcer, and two other members of the council?”

“I think it was pretty evident from what I said that we don’t know at this point. It’s been two days, and we are all doing everything we can. Most of my guys haven’t gotten much sleep on the off chance this was some kind of move against the pack. I’ve got all available resources patrolling the border and as many investigating as I can spare.”

“Get back to your duties.” The disdain was bitterly evident in the man’s voice. “We’ll discuss this matter further as well as the hunter’s lack of protection that led to this. Your organization is a complete failure.”

“What the fuck did you just say? Don’t even try to lay blame for this on the Hunter Corps not doing its job.” Dorian was seething. “My men bust their ass to keep our people safe. Until you get off your ass and walk a patrol, shut the fuck up with your accusations.” His eyes flashed and his fists were clinched so tight the knuckles had turned white. “I want to know when you’re holding the memorial for Alpha Wagner and the others. You need to show them the honor they deserve.”

“That’s not your concern. First we need to choose another alpha so we can move forward. Once we decide who is strongest on the council we’ll let you know. In the meantime, you have work to do. Now get to it.”

“The hell it isn’t my concern and you can screw yourself on giving orders to me or any of my guys. My alpha was murdered in front of me along with several of our leaders. You guys are all that’s left of the council he set up. I can’t believe you’re too busy bickering over who will replace him to honor the men we lost. Maybe instead of looking outside the pack for the assassin, we should look at the council members who survived.” Dorian was barley managing to hold his anger in as he moved nose to nose with the mouthiest of the leadership, his hand grasping the man’s throat and his eyes flashing again. “Now, you will notify the pack we are holding a memorial tomorrow at sundown. In accordance with tradition, Alpha Wagner’s body will be prepared for cremation on the funeral pyre as will the bodies of those who died with him. You will send a notification to the neighboring packs that their alpha or a representative will be invited to attend. Make clear any attempt to take advantage of this situation will be met with the full force of the hunter and warrior forces. Is that clear, Councilor?”

“Yes, Captain.” All the men present ever so slightly dipped their head. From the tone Dorian used, they didn’t even consider arguing.

“One final item. You will respectfully ask Luna Wagner if it is her wish to have his ashes interned here in Burney or in his birth place near Mammoth. Regardless, hunters will escort her and his remains to wherever she specifies. Oh, and I will notify the Mount Burney lookout tower myself about the funeral pyre. We don’t need forest service accidentally sending a human to investigate.”

Copyright © 2020 WolfM; All Rights Reserved.
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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.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

On 2/26/2020 at 8:56 PM, mikedup said:

Wow, excellent chapter this I did not expect, this is getting better and better, I can't wait for more, Dorian really imposed his will without even trying, he took charge when it was needed.

I would say it's a case of natural leadership raising to the top.

On 2/27/2020 at 12:20 AM, chris191070 said:

Excellent chapter and not what I was expecting. Dorian certainly showed them who's boss, don't get get on his bad side.

LOL! Agreed!!!

On 2/29/2020 at 6:55 PM, Nightlit said:

To be frank though? I actually think the council was RIGHT to an extent. Regardless of how difficult the job is? It IS the enforcer's job to ensure that something like this doesn't happen. So Dorian IS partially at fault. And the fact that he won't even ADMIT that he has some culpability here? Is a sign he's starting his downward spiral. And the fact that he WASN'T sitting with the council at the time, even if it was because he was sitting with his mother, and thus it was likely innocent and incidental? Is also something to note. Whether or not you assume he was in collusion, it might make someone wonder whether he'd have let that happen if he was sitting at the table that night, rather than in the "safety" of the crowd.

If I understand the hierarchy, Dorian was a lead Hunter. Hunters fall under the auspices of the Enforcer. His step-dad was a senior advisor, while Dorian was only a junior advisor. With dad sitting as councilor, there was no need for Dorian to sit there.

Therefore, despite the accusation, Dorian was not culpable in any manor. The councilor was out of line in trying to shift blame.

Meanwhile, Dorian acted to restore order and unify the pack. Something the councilors were neglecting. Perhaps on purpose.

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On 2/29/2020 at 5:55 PM, Nightlit said:

I'm not entirely sure that paying respect to departed leaders is the most important thing. I personally think establishing order IS the most important thing? But that's ALSO irrelevant as the pack council wasn't doing that either! Infighting and grabbing for power is generally not a good way to establish order, while paying respects to dead leadership? Actually CAN help in that regards. Even if it doesn't directly address the issue at hand? It can give people something to rally around aside of the chaos until things settle down.

To be frank though? I actually think the council was RIGHT to an extent. Regardless of how difficult the job is? It IS the enforcer's job to ensure that something like this doesn't happen. So Dorian IS partially at fault. And the fact that he won't even ADMIT that he has some culpability here? Is a sign he's starting his downward spiral. And the fact that he WASN'T sitting with the council at the time, even if it was because he was sitting with his mother, and thus it was likely innocent and incidental? Is also something to note. Whether or not you assume he was in collusion, it might make someone wonder whether he'd have let that happen if he was sitting at the table that night, rather than in the "safety" of the crowd.

Not sure how I missed responding to you, Nightlit. Paying respect to the fallen is a stabilizing force. It gives the people focus during a time of transition. There is leadership of a sort, and while it's not unified behind the scenes, it is non the less present. The remainder of the council focusing on who they think should lead, while ignoring the needs of the pack to come together in this tragedy, could destabilize the entire pack while fostering division and rivalry. Possible leading to fractures that cause a breakup and weaken everyone.

The Hunter Corps is like a police force. They are not the pack enforcer though. That position is ultimately responsible for the alpha's safety. Just like with a police force in any city, they can't be everywhere and see everything that's coming. A criminal can always find a gap. Dorian's position didn't require him to set with the leadership. He was likewise off duty when the shooting began, but took command of the situation as soon as it happened to resolve and hunt down the assailant. Had he been standing with the leadership, odds are a bullet would have found him.

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On 1/22/2023 at 12:30 PM, WolfM said:

Not sure how I missed responding to you, Nightlit. Paying respect to the fallen is a stabilizing force. It gives the people focus during a time of transition. There is leadership of a sort, and while it's not unified behind the scenes, it is non the less present. The remainder of the council focusing on who they think should lead, while ignoring the needs of the pack to come together in this tragedy, could destabilize the entire pack while fostering division and rivalry. Possible leading to fractures that cause a breakup and weaken everyone.

It can be, but it can also be a distraction. People grieve in different ways, and some people don't grieve at all. I don't really think the pack council was really doing that for the pack, or for unification. They were doing it because it's tradition and because it's what they needed, but that doesn't mean that's what the pack needed. I'm not saying that it ISN'T what the pack needed, just that I don't think the needs of the pack really were what was motivating them at the time, which is a problem.

On 1/22/2023 at 12:30 PM, WolfM said:

The Hunter Corps is like a police force. They are not the pack enforcer though. That position is ultimately responsible for the alpha's safety. Just like with a police force in any city, they can't be everywhere and see everything that's coming. A criminal can always find a gap. Dorian's position didn't require him to set with the leadership. He was likewise off duty when the shooting began, but took command of the situation as soon as it happened to resolve and hunt down the assailant. Had he been standing with the leadership, odds are a bullet would have found him.

Well, it's likely no one could have STOPPED what happened, but, that doesn't change what I said. Sure, a criminal can always find a gap. But you could use the exact same logic to say a defender can find a hole in a criminals plan. The important thing here is accountability. Dorian wasn't being accountable to the part he played in what happened. Was it his fault? Of course not. But he wasn't just an innocent bystander either. It would not be a leap of logic for someone in the pack to see this as a failure on Dorian's part. And whether or not one personally agrees, it is a justifiable position.

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What an impactful chapter! Holy... I still got goosebumps from the five gunshots. My phone feels like it weighs five pounds right now! 

Oooooh, Dorian's alpha side is starting to show... I need another bag of popcorn.

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On 2/11/2023 at 6:47 PM, astone2292 said:

What an impactful chapter! Holy... I still got goosebumps from the five gunshots. My phone feels like it weighs five pounds right now! 

Oooooh, Dorian's alpha side is starting to show... I need another bag of popcorn.

Thank you, Astone. Dorian's training and nature show through when it's needed. Your physical response to the shots is a huge compliment.

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Well Dorian is a stick of dynamite with a truly short fuse as we have seen with his stupid fight with Ethan. I loved seeing him getting his fury ass hand to him! But here he is in control and for the pack it is a good thing that he is! And the council seem to think of only one thing, personal power.  They best have a care or they maybe end up joining the fire!

 

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15 hours ago, Albert1434 said:

Well Dorian is a stick of dynamite with a truly short fuse as we have seen with his stupid fight with Ethan. I loved seeing him getting his fury ass hand to him! But here he is in control and for the pack it is a good thing that he is! And the council seem to think of only one thing, personal power.  They best have a care or they maybe end up joining the fire!

 

Mmmm. Furry ass. Oh, sorry, my mind was wandering. ;) I'll avoid while not avoiding the comments I could make about Dorian blasting off early. He's always had an anger issue, but through his work and people like Alpha Wagner, he learned how to channel it into something useful. He learned from his mentor to focus on the greater good, which earned him his place as a junior advisor to the alpha by the age of about 25. That control over his temper still has it's limits, and when his surrogate father dies, don't mess with him. :) 

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