Published: November 5, 2018
It was a warm summer day when Alcatraz finally decided to seek out Neka, his adopted daughter, for some long overdue combat training. Tensions were rising again, and with Merrill returned to them the Lord of Aryn feared retaliation from her former captors. Everyone in Aryn needed to be ready. Including one particularly peaceful wolf. He saw her lavender-grey pelt in the main den site and made his way over. “Neka,” Alcatraz said, “Are you available this afternoon to train?” His voice was polite, though there was an edge to it. It wouldn’t be the first time Neka evaded a session, but this time Alcatraz would be adamant. Even if she did have an assignment with Lawson or Hani today, Alcatraz planned to pull her from it. This was more important right now.
Coming from the den entrance, the young she-wolf yawned before shaking the dirt from her fur. She had just woken up it seemed and was still somewhat half asleep, sleeping in was starting to become the norm for her, as well as being unable to sleep at night. Oblivious to the wolves around her, it was no wonder she was so easily startled yet again by her adoptive father. Jumping, and turning to face whom ever just addressed her with wide green hues, in shock for a moment though she quickly settled once she realized whom it was.
"Oh...umm...I believe I have more training with the masters today" giving a faint smile, to be polite. Though deep down inside she really didn't want to do either training. She just wanted to go find a secluded quiet place to drown in her own mind. Yes, she just wanted to really be left alone. When she was away from the world her mind wasn't so hard on her, it was when she was surrounded by her 'family' that her thoughts really grew dark and gloomy. She didn't quite understand, but she just felt better away from everyone...
" Ummm....maybe after though" softly she spoke to try and give her father reassurance of this training. She dipped her head before lowering it, pinning her ears to her skull as she tried to weave past her father in the direction she assumed the masters were in.
Alcatraz frowned at her reaction to him. Jumping in shock, within her own home? He wondered if there was something the matter with the pale she-wolf… at least she seemed to relax when she realized it was him. He didn’t mind being intimidating but he would rather not be that scary!
He could see through her smile that she didn’t want to do this, but Alcatraz was resolute. He stepped to the side, barring her path as she tried to slip around him. “I will inform Masters Hani and Lawson that you are occupied. Our training is just as important, and it’s been put off for far too long.” He didn’t wait for her to argue as he flicked his tail to beckon her and set a course for a nearby clearing where they would have the space to train, asking a packmate to inform Lawson and Hani of Neka’s absence in her Courser training. He glanced over his shoulder to make sure she was following.
He...he stopped her! Dead in her tracks! She couldn't help but look up at him like a dumb struck doe. Though her head lowered immediately as she looked at the ground" Yes father, I understand" there was a hint of unsettling anger in her tone that she tried to hide but couldn't with it bubbling at his intrusion into her ' training'.
No way to escape this now, she would just have to go with the flow of things, maybe after this he'll finally give her some peace. So the charcoal she-wolf obeyed and followed him, though still unsettled by this she kept her head low and ears pinned back.
" Where do we start?"
Alcatraz’s yellow eyes darted sideways to Neka when he heard the anger churning deep within her voice. She was obeying, though, so he didn’t acknowledge it as he lead on. Though he was feeling a bit unsettled as well. He had never heard Neka speak like that before. If given the choice, Alcatraz would always prefer a wolf bite their tongue and obey their Lord when given an order, as opposed to open defiance. That’s what a subordinate does. But in this case he actually wasn’t so sure which he would have preferred from Neka…
He pushed it out of his mind when she asked where to start. They had reached a good enough clearing that was frequently used for this purpose, free of hidden rocks and roots, so Alcatraz turned to begin. “A good way to start,” he began, “is simply gaining experience. Knowing what it’s like when a wolf is coming at you. Respond as your instincts tell you, we will work from there.” It was Alcatraz’s plan to just go for it without warning. He often started that way, jumping right into it to get the other’s adrenaline flowing. But he decided a gentler route might be most effective with his daughter. So instead, he stood his ground and asked, “Are you ready?”
She followed her father to their training field, the entire trek was short but to the young female it felt like an eternity just getting there. Looking down at her paws watching each paw roll over the other, not even bothering to look at her father. She was too bothered and irritated at the persistence, she had been patient and humble for far too long, there was only so much a modest wolf could take before finally reaching a snapping point, and she was starting to slowly tread to that point.
Though she quickly shot back to reality, lifting her skull slightly so her eyes could look at her father, though her face remained expressionless. She knew not how this training would go, or even how to do such a training. It was something she never wanted to do or even had interest doing.
" I am ready when you are" she spoke calmly this time around, settling her irritation down a notch.
The only thing she could think of was standing her ground firm. Planting her paws firmly into the earth beneath her, as she watched her father closely...what was he planning to do...
Alcatraz dipped his head in acknowledgement of her answer. She stood firm, her eyes fixed on him, waiting. “Respond as you will,” he said again. He was often surprised at the instincts of wolves he trained. Some were more apt than he would have imagined, sometimes without the individual even knowing it. Sometimes a bit of help was needed to think of strategies for defense if the individual’s talents did not lay in fighting. Alcatraz knew that Neka was a talented wolf, she was training hard to be a Courser. He hoped that she would use some of these skills today. Though whether or not she would he would see shortly. He moved, lunging toward her and aiming to tackle her head-on, his speed and power checked so not to injure in the case his assault landed fully, though certainly not gentle either.
She was ready for this, right? A part of her felt that she could do this and there was nothing that could prevent her from doing so, and yet there was a bigger part of her that doubted her. Staring her father down as she seemed to brace herself, trying to think what he could possibly have in store for her in today's training.
Though she didn't think he'd get full on into it like that, and it seemed as if time was against her and there was no time to properly react. The only thing she could think of was to fall...fall to the ground and roll over submissively. Using her own paws to press into him and keep him at some distance.
This was a wolf...not an elk or boar....how could her courser training possibly coincide with a defense training. She was built to hunt and to care for others....not to hurt..or defend. Her ears pressed against her skull firmly, she knew right there and then she was a disappointment and this was a response he probably wasn't looking for.
" I...I don't think I can do this...."
Alcatraz hit her and there was almost no resistance. It was startling easy, in fact, and he may have been leaping on a fern as his daughter rolled under him, her paws pressing into his chest and belly to keep his weight from boring down too closely. He frowned down at her, his pale yellow eyes narrowed and glittering with displeasure. “You don’t think? Yet you will not even try?” he growled, getting off her and stepping back to let her regain her paws. He looked at her seriously. “You are quick and agile, capable of dodging, surely. Why not evade?”
It's not that easy that's why, when faced with certain situations and having to make quick decisive decisions was something she really was having trouble grasping. Hunting was one thing, but this...this was an entirely different scenario all together to her. How can she explain to him, her father, this? How she felt, what was going through her mind, while he forced her through this training.
She understood the dangers he was trying to prepare her for, she understood the war that was going on. She just didn't like how everything was being force taught to her against her will she felt. She rolled over back onto her paws, she heard every word he spoke...but it was his growl that truely set her off...something in her just finally snapped. Maybe this was the straw that finally broke the camels back.
Her head snapped to his direction a growl seeped through her clench teeth.
" yes...I am agile and quick...but I can't go running forever....and I'm not strong like you or Nero...or cunning like Aivar" claws digging into the earth as she looked to her paws....here it was..." I'm....nothing..." I'm worthless...not worth the time you're putting into this training, not worth acknowledgements. This training was a waste of both of our time... I'm only good at hunting...providing.
She was done with this. She huffed lightly before turning her back to her father, and ran from him.
When defiance sparked in Neka’s pale eyes and a low growl rumbled from her throat, Alcatraz’s tail went up as a warning to her against insubordination. “I’m… nothing.” The sternness in the dark Lord’s yellow eyes was replaced by confusion. “Neka…” he murmured in dismay, but the she-wolf was already turning, and then she ran from him. How could she think such a thing…? Alcatraz never had been an attentive father emotionally, he wasn’t very well in tune to the inner workings of his children’s minds. So when it was revealed that an undercurrent of insecurity and inferiority existed beneath the surface of his seemingly perfect daughter he was quite startled. Unwilling to let them part in such a way, Alcatraz went after her.
Run...run...run from it all little she-wolf.
Each paw rolled over the next pushing her forward, she dare not look back. Either way she saw it she was in trouble. Her ear swiveled back, as she could hear the sound of her father trailing behind her.
skidding to a halt, she turned to face her father for just a moment. She couldn't even look at him...as her lips curled to show her mouth of daggers.
" LEAVE ME ALONE!"
She could only hold up her ferocious behavior for only so long befor tucking her tail. Yet she still held no gaze upon Alcatraz.
She sighed softly " I...I just need to be alone ...can I go now...please?"
The dark Lord skidded to a halt as Neka whirled around, flashing her sharp white teeth and yelling at him to leave her alone. He couldn’t imagine doing as she bid. He had never seen Neka act this way, it was simply not acceptable! How had this happened? Why could she not see her worth? She was a fine hunter, a beloved member of Aryn, and very diligent! She shouldn’t feel this way. And of course he still hadn’t forgotten how little progress they had made with her training. But with this new layer of complexity added, Alcatraz felt quite lost of how to handle the situation.
Neka quickly melted from her aggressive behavior, and Alcatraz just looked at her a moment, before finally saying. “You are more than your abilities, Neka...” Every wolf was valuable and all important under the eyes of The One. A wolf contributed their skills to the pack, but they contributed their personality as well, and their companionship, and their mind. They all had a place. “But there are times when we all need to do something, even if we don’t want to, for the safety of our pack. There are times we all struggle, even Aivar and Nero and myself. There is no shame in it.” He had a feeling that both he and Neka had had enough today. He sighed tiredly, turning from her. “You may go.”
She herself couldn't believe her attitude just now, how could she turn her fangs into the direction of one of the wolves who raised her. No matter, her gaze still feel to the earth beneath her paws as her ears would press harder against her skull with every word the earthy male spoke.
'More then your abilities'
More then my abilities? Then why does it feel as though I'm walking in a circle,never ending and yet going nowhere. The young she-wolf would only take a deep breath,and slowly release it from her lungs. What did he know about how she felt, he belonged here. At the end of the day there was that nagging feeling that she didn't belong here.
' I'm nothing'
Yes, she was nothing...nothing held her here. Should she ever disappear...no wolf would miss her.
Once her father told her that today's lesson, a failed attempt at one, was finished she eagerly turned tail without hesitation. Slinking away before the massive male changed his mind and made a quick exit towards the nearest shelter of forest she could find.
She needed to run.