The Enemy

June 14th, 2008

Shayd, Blood Fang, and Odin spent hours and hours in the wee hours of June 14th after the bars closed looking around and identifying what they’d like to claim as their territory. After discovering some signs of other neighboring packs, the trio discovered there was still a huge swatch of unclaimed territory they could make their own.

To do that, of course, they would need a symbol as none of them really relished the idea of trying mark every block with scent. Their neighbors had instead used graffiti to mark old buildings, telephone poles, sidewalks and whatever other permanent fixtures were handy to indicate the boundary of their territory. It seemed like a good idea, so the three put their heads together and after rejecting some early ideas, settled upon a symbol that had an eye with three thunderbolts across it. They went and purchased spray paint from a Wal-Mart and went to work.

Many hours later the three had finished marking their territory. It really was huge for just the three of them, but they decided they’d grab as much as they could and if they couldn’t hold it all then they wouldn’t feel too bad about giving some of it up. They also knew that it was unlikely they’d be able to really control the entire city park with included zoo and museum of natural history. It was just too big and given the numbers of people that visit it, it would be too hard to keep out all other werewolves. But they could still heavily influence the area. The territory they chose cradled the easter end of City Park and wrapped around the southeast corner. This would give them access to the most desirable portions of the park.

The new territory also included some seedier areas near their southern border along Colfax Avenue. This included Shayd’s apartment as well as her place of work. Further north, however, was considerably nicer housing and Odin was able to spot some places for sale. It shouldn’t be too difficult for him to sell his current place and set up in the new territory, he decided.

The mood of the three was at a high point after they completed their work. The playful banter and obvious attraction Fang carried for Shayd added a dangerous spice to their interaction but they kept things from overheating and getting into trouble with Odin over it.

Later Odin received a call from the Silver Syndicate. After discovering from them that they’d decided to claim the territory around the place he’d previously told Odin and Fang they might find Shayd, Max Roman invited them all to stop up at his office because he had some information about that territory he thought they’d find useful.

They did go to the Argentum Building. It was the tallest building in Denver and Roman’s office was at the top floor. He was pleased to see the new pack and their visit gave him an opportunity to meet the new werewolf they’d found. Shayd was rather intimidated by the setting, however, and said little at the meeting.

But Roman had a good bit to say about the recent history of Uratha in the area the new pack had chosen. In fact, he was even aware of where a Locus once was. He described what was once an old sharpening stone. It was an ancient wheel-shaped stone that first appeared in the area with the first white settlers, though he was certain the stone had history from long before that. He gave them address of an old bar that had used it as a centerpiece to their establishment which was, in turn, also named The Sharpening Stone.

The group, pleased to have an opportunity to gain a locus — just what they needed in order to really establish themselves — set out immediately to locate it. They found the bar had been closed and condemned by the city some months ago. They investigated the building through the back door (which they managed to pry open) but discovered it was already occupied by another supernatural creature!

This furred, human-rat hybrid thing ambushed Odin as he came into the main room of the old bar itself with sudden fury and a blinding light coming from its eyes. Showing surprising dexterity, it leap away from its surprise attack and used its incredibly sharp talons to race up the wall and onto the ceiling. The battle was joined!

Fang was a hell of a leaper. He attacked by grabbing an old stool and swinging it like a bat as he leapt high into the air. He connected and the rat-thing reacted with a hissing scream. Shayd too the opportunity to shift into Urshul form and leap at it, but the thing was wily and she couldn’t get her teeth on it. Odin prepared to do battle.

The thing leapt down amidst Odin and Fang, attacking them both at once with tail and claw. But now the new pack had their chance. While it twisted away from Shayd’s attempt, it could not avoid all their attacks. It took damage from both of them, but Fang’s clawed attack from his Urshul form drew blood.

This turned out to be very, very bad for Fang. The blood immediately infected him and he grew instantly, violently ill! As his body hemorrhaged through every pore and orifice, he lost himself to his Rage. This time, however, it drove him to survive and there was no longer anyway to do that by remaining in combat with this creature. Fang transformed reflexively into his war-form and fled outside. Odin fought on, but Shayd, seeing her new packmate so badly hurt and fearful he would not survive when he shifted to human again, raced after him.

In doing so, Shayd defied Odin’s shouted request to ignore that and concentrate on taking down the beast.

But the beast was hurt, too, now and took advantage of the fact that two of its foes were now disengaged. The cowardly creature fled out the back, hotly pursued by Odin. Their chase led them down alleys and into the sewer system where Odin at last caught up with the creature again and sank powerful claws into the virulent thing’s hide. Blood spattered everywhere, even onto Odin’s face and eyes where it immediately did its grisly work on his body. While Odin howled in pain and retreated in a mad rush, the creature made good its escape.

Shayd found Fang in the park, curled weakly under a bush. Luckily she did her “trick” to them, the one that preserved their clothes when they shifted so they would have them once again when they shifted back to human and this saved them considerable inconvenience in navigating their way back from the park.

To Shayd’s relief, Fang had not squandered his power early in the fight, which meant he’d had the strength to heal much of the damage before he lost his war form and shifted back to human again. Blood Fang had been weakened and hurt almost to the point of immobility. Shayd helped him back to the old bar where they met up with Odin, who’d been hurt almost as badly.

Bitterly, Odin told Shayd in no uncertain terms that had she followed his orders they might have defeated that thing. She was defiant, and defended her position that she would not allow a packmate to fall. Not again.

With some reluctance, Fang thanked her for seeking him out and trying to help him, to save his life. But he agreed with Odin. She should have written him off and stayed with him to defeat the monster.

Angry and sullen, Shayd brought up the next point that had not yet been addressed. She told them that she needed to know who was really in charge here. Was it Fang? Or was it really Odin? Or could she run things the way she saw fit? She didn’t want to be in a position to have to decide between the two of them, and neither of them were willing to consider her as the alpha.

Nor would Fang simply turn over control of the pack to Odin, despite whatever his personal feelings were. He felt strongly the alpha should earn his rank in this pack.

Shayd needed to go home at this time so that she could be ready for work. After that, the two men escorted her to work where they stayed, healed and watched her dance once more. They knew that once her shift was over, they had work to do.

So it was that the three returned from the Night Life strip club and returned to Shayd’s place. There, in the back alley with the small basketball court, having recovered from their wounds, the two men got to their fight for dominance of this pack. Both knew they were fighting mainly to appease Shayd, but somehow they felt they must appease the attractive siren with this gesture.

But things got out of hand. By the end of their fight for dominance, each had pulled every dirty trick they knew on each other. No one had laid down the rules for the fight or for how long they would struggle, so they held nothing back. What Fang had intended as a fight in which Odin would win, soon degenerated into a tooth and claw slug-fest that soon had Shayd screaming at them to stop before they killed each other.

Suddenly, sensing that the fight was down to the final blow, Fang withdrew. He knew that the next blow struck would down either himself or Odin — and it was even possible it would result in one of them dying. Therefore, Fang capitulated, declaring himself beaten and that Odin would be the alpha in name and in fact.

Shayd felt terrible. She knew they fought because she had demanded someone take the role of leader. And she knew one of them had nearly died because of it. She brought them up to her apartment where she again helped them tend wound, and offered beer and whiskey. She then apologized for being such a royal bitch to them about it, and offered to thank them the very best why she could.

They almost let her. She’d knelt before them and had teased their zippers open, clearly ready to provide them oral service when Odin stopped her, much to Fang’s great relief. For Fang’s part, he knew that he couldn’t help his lusty drive and attraction to her and that he would not let things end with just the enticing gift she offered and he feared what would result from that. Odin, too, was tempted but wisdom prevailed and, telling her he was unsure the consequences, he told her she would not be permitted to go through with this and instead said that for them, simple contact would have to be enough. Never sexual contact.

And so the new pack settled down once more, only this night perhaps there was just a bit less tension in the air and a bit less uncertainty as to their future.

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