Alcatraz padded through the forests by the border to Morrow territory. He knew there was a pack's territory nearby, but the borders were blurry here, so perhaps he was on their land a bit. He knew nothing of the pack itself. He passed by many packs, usually not running into anyone. That was probably for the best. Alcatraz did not want any trouble.
Gypsee was currently out of Morrow territory, bringing back a kill for her packmates. She wasn't a hunter, but food seemed to be low lately. As she trotted back, she noticed the grey clouds gathering and the winds picking up. There was going to be a storm. And a big one by the looks of it! As she trotted back, she caught sight of another wolf. As the scent reached her, she knew it was a loner. There were a lot around, so she wasn't surprised. As she approached, she stayed relax, in order not to alarm him.
The scent of a fresh kill caught Alcatraz's nose. As a loner, he was always looking for an easy meal. He glanced around for the source, only to see a wolf carrying the prey. After her saw her he scented her. A she-wolf of Morrow. He sighed inwardly. She was a pack wolf and that prey she held was no easy pickings. He would not steal her hard earned prey even if he wanted to, though. He knew that she knew he was there, so he stopped to let her approach, dipping his head. "I apologize, if I am on your land, miss. The border is faint here."
he explained calmly, getting right to the point.
Gypsee approached him until she was a couple feet away, before dropping her kill and smiling at him.
"That's quite alright, i am aware the borders need doing again, i will have to tell Howl later!" Gypsee explained. She looked up at the storm clouds again, feeling the wind pick up more.
"Though i can't say with this storm coming that there would be any point doing it now, it would just wash away!" Gypsee said outloud. She looked back to the loner.
"I'm Gypsee, whats' your name?"
Alcatraz blinked in shock. She was so... friendly. She reminded him of his old pack. Trespassers on their territory had not a worry in the world. She was kind, yes, but perhaps too kind. He looked at Gypsee sideways. He felt it was his responsibility to teach wolves he viewed as soft pushovers the true nature of the world... harsh, unforgiving, and dangerous. It was just him this time, but next time who knew who would come walking along? Perhaps someone with truly treacherous intentions. He needed to scare her. "You don't know who I am."
he reminded her in a low voice. "How do you know I'm not here to murder you and slaughter your pack."
he prowled threateningly toward her. "I've seen it done."
Gypsee raised her eyebrows slightly, not moving. He didn't seem like the threatening type, but, she knew looks could be deceiving. However, she had had plenty of threatening wolves and even some death threats in Blutwald, so this was nothing new.
"So..... You're here to slaughter this pack?" Gypsee asked, raising an eyebrow again, looking at him as if he was slightly mad.
"I come from quite a brutal pack before this one. One that you had to prove yourself. almost blood thirsty to get in. No one scared me anymore" Gypsee said, lowering her muzzle and staring into his eyes. If this wolf really did mean harm, she was sure she could at least out run him to tell Howl. She picked up the kill again and moved more onto her territory, looking back at the other wolf, seeing his next move.
Alcatraz did not answer her first question at the moment. He smiled at she mentioned her old pack. "Now that sounds like a pack of wolves."
he said. He liked the idea of a tough pack that demanded a lot from the members. Not a cruel pack, though, so he truly did not like the sound of her old pack."No, I'm not here to do that."
he said, lifting his head and letting his fur lie flat. But his pale yellow eyes looked annoyed as she stared into them and he looked away as she grabbed her prey. "You are too trusting of others. All of you pack wolves are. Intruders should not be welcomed like old friends."
Gypsee dropped her prey again.
"We are trusting because we thought that other packs are too harsh. We are peace loving wolves, but we DO know how to fight. We are not defenceless. And it is not for you to tell us what we should and shouldn't do. That is up to us!" Gypsee replied, keeping an eye on him. If it hadn't been for their peace loving nature, she would never have found her sister, and she wouldn't have changed it for the world. She waited to see if he would make any other comment on how to run the pack. She had a long fuse, but she didn't like to be told what to do by a loner.
Alcatraz gave her a long look. "To each his own, I suppose. But peace-loving ways is what slaughtered over half of my old pack. They didn't even see it coming when that 'friendly' and 'interesting' group of wolves came in seeking shelter."
he huffed. "Your ways will be fine... they may work out time and time again. But it only takes one, Gypsee."
Gypsee felt sympathy toward his old pack. But she still didn't think it would change them. Yes, they were cautios of new wolves, they didn't let just anyone into the territory.
"We are a careful pack, we trust but we know when we must fight back" Gypsee replied, looking at him seriously.
"Though i am sorry to hear of your old pack"
Alcatraz shrugged, "I sure hope so."
he said. He looked away as she spoke sympathetically of his old pack, "Thank you... but I'm not. They had it coming."
he said simply, his voice tinged with bitterness. He had been the only one to be suspicious of the newcomers, but he was suspicious of everyone, so no one listened. And now they were dead.
A distant roll of thunder rumbled through the valley and Alcatraz looked up at the sky in time to feel a heavy raindrop land on his dark nose. He dipped his head down to wipe the water away with a paw.
Gypsee looked to the sky and back to the new wolf. From the way he had acted, she wasn't so sure on letting him have any shelter, but she wouldn't be living to her packs nature by turning him away.
"you don't really think that do you?" she asked him, concern filling her face. She didn't like it when other wolves suffered. But then, she had suffered too. She knew what it was like.
"Would you like shelter? As long as you do mot slaughter my pack" Gypsee smiled, trying to bring out his better side. If he had one.
Alcatraz looked at her a moment as she asked if he really thinks that. Of course he did. He hated seeing solves suffer as well, and hated even more seeing his own family suffer. That was why he felt so strongly about his beliefs... he didn't want to have to deal with it just because other wolves could not defend themselves. "Doesn't mean I like it... but they had it coming."
She offered him shelter and he shrugged at her. He was not one to accept kindness, but maybe he could stay until the rain picked up. He only liked heavy rain. Light rain annoyed him. He smirked as she made her joke. "We'll see."
he teased back.
Gypsee smiled, waving her tail and picking up the prey again. She trotted away, her head held high. She led him to a slightly thicker forest place, just within the borders. She sat down, half burying the prey to try and keep it from spoiling. She waited for him to sit or lay too, giving a slight sigh.
"So where exactly are you from?" Gypsee asked him, tilting her head.
Alcatraz followed her and sat back on his haunches, looking around him. he knew he was in her territory. It was kind of her to allow him to shelter here. He looked at her as she asked him where he was from. "Past the mountains north of here."
he told her simply. "You? Or have you been a pack wolf your whole life?"
he asked, just to keep the conversation going.
"I've always been a pack wolf" Gypsee replied, looking down at her paws, smiling slightly.
"Though i have moved a few times between packs. I'm happy here though, i cant imagine leaving this place!" Gypsee added, looking up to the other. She had never been to the north, she was originally from the south.
"Do have any other family at all?"
Alcatraz nodded. He could have guessed that from how friendly she was. "Hm."
he grunted in acknowledgement. "It's good you've found where you belong."
he told her.
He shrugged, "Not sure. Probably not by now. All but me, my mother and my sister were killed when my pack was attacked. I left them as soon as I knew how to hunt. Must be about a year ago now. I suppose they could still be around, but my pack was never a pack to... know how to take care of itself."
he said, his voice blunt and showing no concern.
Gypsee nodded, looking more at the floor. She still felt bad for him, although he didn't appear to be overly upset or concerned. This made her wonder about his personality. She thought of her mate, Regen, and who he was caring and sensitive, nothing like this wolf. She looked at him with a sympathetic look.
"Don't you want to find them?? They may need you!"
Alcatraz snorted, "Oh, they need more than just me,"
he said bitterly, "They need some sense as well."
he looked at her fiercely, "But until they get some, then there is nothing I can do for them."
he looked away, "I've done all I can."
his voice was harsh and quite and his narrowed eyes glared at nothing. He did care... he cared a lot. But they were a lost cause in his eyes, and there was nothing he could do. That fact pained him greatly, causing his bitterness, but it could easily be translated as cold apathy.
"Surely there is a part of you that feels you need to!" Gypsee replied, trying to possibly make him see sense. She didn't know. Maybe it was cause she lost her own family? She couldn't tell.
"It could mean their survival, and that is the ultimate objective!" She added, watched the rain roll in, first a few drops, but then getting heavier and heaver.
Alcatraz laughed harshly, "I barked up that tree for over a year."
he snarled, "I was the only one that learned from the slaughter. I was the only one who didn't welcome strangers with open arms! Invite them to eat, show them our pups, roll over and point out the softest parts of our bellies!"
he was exaggerating, of course, but he had always felt as if he was the only one who cared about his pack's safety. "I suggested caution, vigilance, I questioned those who came near... "
he rolled his eyes, "But they resented me, called me cruel and apathetic."
he looked at Gypsee, looking quite angry. With his pearly white teeth glinting against his black face and dark pelt, he was a pretty scary looking wolf when he was angry. "The point of a wolf pack is to work together to increase your chance and your family's chance of survival. If you lose sight of that point then all you are is a group of puppies playing in a forest"
he lifted his head smugly. His family were a band of fools. He was sick of worrying about them and being reprimanded for it. That's why he left. Let them solve their own problems.
Gypsee listened to his reasonings, understanding his anger. She saw his point and knew that welcoming anyone in had its risks. She watched his anger, studying him. She breathed out slightly, looking ahead at the rain as it fell more, a rumble of thunder in the background, matching his mood. She waited until his had finished, and with a wrinkle of her nose, looked at him again.
"I understand your anger and mistrust, and i know it must feel unfair that you were called that just for being suspicious. However you must remember, you have to rely on others judgement, you can't always being in control of a situation. True, they didn't take caution, and by the sounds of it, didn't know how to fight. You sometimes have to rely on others, even if you dont want to, or if they come in the shape of loners. They just simply didn't know better, you cannot keep resentment for the dead, its not healthy, and will turn you truly bitter. But just know, i do understand" Gypsee said, looking from him to the forest in front of her. It stretched out vastly, darkened by the rain. She shifted slightly, raising her head more. She hoped he would understand.
Alcatraz didn't look at her as he listened. She had a point, he knew that in most cases her words were true. Even in his case they were. Everyone needed someone. But he didn't believe it. "Perhaps for some... but I am in control. And I don't need anyone."
Gypsee raised her eyebrows at him.
"so your telling me, you would rather go about this world alone, forgotten and not mean anything to anyone?" she quizzed. She could hardly see this as being true, but still, she knew some wolves prefered solitude. She looked at him, concern written in her eyes. No one deserved to be this unhappy. Even grumpy wolves.
Alcatraz shrugged, "Well, it sounds pretty rotten by the way you say it. But... yes. Although I would call it self sufficient. All wolves will be forgotten. Might as well get what I can from this world while I am here. See it's sights, taste it's food, smell it's scents. If you can find someone to do that with you, then sure have a buddy. But a pack? I don't see the point. Especially a pack who cannot defend itself. You're just setting yourself up to disaster in that case."
he said, his voice getting dry at the end.
Gypsee looked down to the floor again, feeling sad.
"Then find a friend. You can't go about this world alone and shut everyone out. Find someone to show this world with!" Gypsee urged, hoping to at least try and offer advice. She watched the rain more, watching it get harder and harder, a fork of lightning striking the ground some distance off, followed by an almighty crash of thunder.
Alcatraz shrugged. He never had that urge. He liked
the feeling of having no one around after a long childhood of being dependent on those he resented. "If a friend comes around, sure. But that's not important to me."
He didn't expect a pack wolf to understand, so he did not try too hard to convince her. All she had ever known was having others with her, and she had always enjoyed it. The only experience he has had with others for an extended period of time was frustrating to him. He could finally breathe now without anyone to hinder his good mood. He knew it was a feeling that few but he could understand.
Gypsee smiled a bit, watching his expression.
"As long as your happy, that's all you should worry about" Gypsee finally said, hoping that he wouldn't always be lonely, but then if he prefered it, who was she to tell him otherwise???
"Are you going anywhere in particular?" She asked, shifting the conversation, trying to ease any tension he may have had.
Alcatraz grunted his agreement, staring off at the rain as it trickled from the trees onto the forest floor. He shrugged as she asked where he was going. "To the east."
he said simply. There were some small mountains to the east and he would like to see what the land held on the other side.
"Okayyyy" Gypsee replied, unsure of what to say next. He wasn't very talkative, so she herself decided to stop. She put her head down on her paws and watched the rain intently. She gave a contented sigh, and wagged her tail faintly, happy that at this current time, she had no chores or tasks to fulfill so she was free to do whatever.
Alcatraz looked at the female. "Have you ever been to the east?"
he asked. Maybe she could give him some insight on what he may find. She had been in several different packs she had mentioned, maybe she had passed through the east to come here.
Gypsee thought for a moment. Her first pack was sort of in that area.
"My birth pack was in the north-east. So sort of? Theres not much there, all the packs are more spaced out a bit and its all the same, unless you know what your going there for." She replied, thinking back. She couldn't remember too much, but it was enough. She knew she had several hiding spots within her cousins territory that she made to make more interesting, but then, she was only a few months old!!
Alcatraz nodded. So her old pack was that way? He would have to be careful; it did not sound like her old pack was very kind to others. "I will have to be weary. Your old pack does not sound very friendly."
he said. But he liked that in a wolf pack, except for her description made them seem a little on the unreasonable side. He disagreed with her opinion that it is all the same. He had been traveling for years and each place he had been was different and beautiful in its own way. He could not imagine ever being bored of seeing a lovely span on forest and fields from the top of a mountain cliff.
"Well my birth pack was alright. It's Blutwald you gotta be careful off, thats full of killers and blood thirsty beings" Gypsee replied, thinking back to her time there.
"But still, my birth pack does not take too well to new wolves. They interrogate you first and for quite a long time, so long, most normal wolves crack if they mean harm. My cousin is a bit weirs like that!!"
Alcatraz nodded, smiling slightly at her humor. "I see. Well, hopefully their borders are more clearly marked if they are so strict."
he said, flicking his tail teasingly on her shoulder to show that he meant no offense to Morrow.
"Ah yes, but i didn't tell you the secret of Morrow. We are ACTUALLY a band of merciless killing machines and you have crossed our paths!" Gypsee teased, showing her fangs. She laughed, wagging her tail.
"We would totally eat you for breakfast!!!"
Alcatraz grinned, bearing his large teeth in a playful snarl. "Not if I eat you first!"
he tackled her playfully, nipping her ear gently, careful not to hurt her. Playing with a wolf he just met was one thing, but playing rough was not a good idea. He pinned her down and stood over the smaller she-wolf and lifted his head, looking down at her. "Hm. I could have eaten you already, merciless killing machine."
he said with a sly smile.
"Oh really??" Gypsee stated, raising her eyebrows, laughing. She pused at one of his legs, making him lose balance on it, and rolled out from under him, leaping up and dancing away. She then leapt at him, at his side, taking them both down and tumbling around. She playfully bit his tail, being careful not to annoy him
Alcatraz staggered to remain on his paws as she kicked one of his legs out from under him. She rolled away and leaped at him, sending them both tumbling. He laughed, kicking out when she bit his tail, and hitting her perhaps harder than he meant to in the chest. He stopped immediately and turned, "Oh, sorry, I didn't hurt you did I?"
he said uncertainly. He had not played with another wolf like that since he was a pup. The only physical contact he had with others in the past year or so was the contact his teeth made with the pelt of an elk or deer. He was quite out of practice in the field of play.
Gypsee rolled around making pained noises, hunched up. She stay like that until he came over to inspect, and when he did, her eyes flashed open, and a grin appeared on her face as she leapt up and pinned him down. She grinned at him, her tail high.
"Merciless killing machine 1, Mysterious Loner 0!" Gypsee laughed, wagging her tail gleefully.
"That's a shame that's all you have!" She teased, deliberately mocking him.
Alcatraz looked up at her in shock, although he let out a chuckle as he pinned her. He had been quiet afraid that he had hurt her! And what did packs do to loners that hurt their Clanmates? This pack, probably nothing judging by how open they were. But he didn't want to risk it.
Her next comment rubbed his fur the wrong way. Alcatraz was hopelessly proud (and probably pretty insecure if he let her words effect him so much) but to hear her dare to question his power after all the hunting and training he had done to get to this point was infuriating to him. His sand-baked yellow eyes flashed with anger and he lunged forward powerfully, large jaws snapping around her neck and he twisted, slamming her into the ground and planting a large paw on her shoulder, his tail high and dominant. He was careful that his jaws did not hurt her, and he was lucky that she had a fairly light build while he had a strong one or else he may have had to yank much harder. Still, being grabbed and slammed to the ground probably did not feel exactly good. "Best not mock me."
he growled lowly into her ear, the playfulness in his pale yellow eyes gone. The dark wolf stepped off her, his eyes cold. "I ought to be going. Gypsee."
he dipped his head as a fair well and turned, beginning to trot back into the pouring rain.
Gypsee was shocked by his reaction, and as she slammed to the floor, she growled. She waited until he got off, and stood up, growling at him more. As he turned to walk away, she pinned her ears back.
"I think it best you not come back" She said after him, her fangs bared, watching him leave. She watched until he was far in the distance, before huffing and totting off.
"Strange wolf" She muttered, listening as the rain poured upon the trees above her, and the thunder getting closer and closer to Morrow.
Alcatraz heard her voice over the pouring rain the cascaded against his dark pelt, but he did not respond. He felt a tinge of sadness. She was the first wolf who had played with him since he was a pup, and the first he had made physical contact with for just as long. But he kept his eyes fixed coldly ahead of him as he walked onward. He loved the rain, but only the hard rain that refreshed him and washed over him like a cleansing bath. Not the lighter rain that just made his fur damp and uncomfortable.
He was headed closer to the thunder, deeper into the storm. At least I showed her. She mocked me, and I showed her that she would be dead if I had wished it.
That much was true, but the thought did not comfort him as much as it should have. He let out a frustrated sigh and continued on, heading to the east. Heading into the mountains where perhaps he could start again.