ember_eleven: (teenager)
[personal profile] ember_eleven
[ooc: The following comes straight from canon. I didn't write it at all. It's just what happens right before Ember comes back to Milliways]


**There's more at risk than just them! Look at him! He's too valuable to kill. Just as we're his greatest prize, he's mine! To have a human as good, as wily, as strong, as honorable, as wise as he is on our side is something I won't risk!**


**You still say "don't kill?"**


In the white silence of a winter wood, a frozen tableau stuns the Howling Rock Wolfriders. Driven beyond reason by the capture of Pool and Dewshine, Scouter has challenged Ember for the chief's lock - and won!

Tyleet softly sends to him, **Jial...* Scouter reaches for his lifemate, not taking his eyes from the fallen Ember. "I didn't... didn't expect..." he whispers hoarsely.

"What? To win?" asks Mender, stepping in to heal Scouter's wounds. "You should have thought of that, wolf-chief, before you challenged." Feeling the word enfulf him, Scouter softly breathes, "Chief..."

"That's right. Now we're YOUR litter to lead." Pike, the eldest, gathers Scouter's hair back into a lock and binds it with a leather thong. "Hold still! You'd best get used to wearing this."

Marked with the emblem of all Wolfrider leaders since Timmorn Yellow-Eyes, Scouter feels all eyes upon him. "This isn't what I wanted," he says. "But I've dug my den and must live in it."

Turning to Mender, Scouter explains, "There's no other way, packmate. We've got to trade you to the Still One so you can heal Dewshine...make him give her and my son back." Knowing this may mean his death, Mender gravely nods. But Scouter's next order astonishes him.

"Good! Soon as you're sure we have trail between us and him, snap his heelstrings as you did to his hunt cubs. Then make it permanent!"

Tyleet's lock-send bursts into Scouter's mind. **But we promised! Cutter, in his worst trials, never broke faith with humans like this! Where's my good Jial... already strangled by the chief's lock?**

Scouter whirls on her fiercely, shouting so all can hear, "He's human! A human who's tricked us and makes it clear that he wants up dead! The Way is the Way! When a new chief fairly wins his place, you obey without question!"

With that, Scouter strides back to the clearing where Lehrigen awaits. Silently, the elves fall in behind the new, inwardly terrified chief, leaving the conquered Ember abandoned in the snow...

...for that, too, is the Way...


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April 2005

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