"Many years ago, a race was created. The Children of the Night, the unholy vampires that stalked the night to slake their thirst for blood. Loki, god of mischief and chaos, who created these beings made them superior to their human prey in every way. Stronger, faster, better senses and more beautiful than any human could hope to be.
The other gods, fearing for their human followers, created a race to defend their vulnerable humans. The Children of the Moon, the shapeshifting werewolves. Also superior to the humans in every way, the moon gave them the form of wolves that stood as tall as a full-grown man. They were strong, fast, intelligent beings and the very bane to the exsistence of the vampires.
For centuries, a war raged. Unbeknown to the two races, a secret tryst took place. A vampire man fell in love with a werewoman. A forbidden love that was not denied. And from their love, came the first of our kind. The embodiment of both of the races, hated hybrids that proved stronger than either of the races combines. 12 Alpha pairs were created to form our first Council and the heads of our packs. Gradually, we grew to form the society you see today, powerful, secret and safe. Protecting the humans from the dangers that stalk them and from the knowledge that things really do go bump in the night."
I huffed, flopping down in my wolf form as we listened to the old Storyteller weave the tale of our race. I'd heard it a hundred times before. I was 20 by our reckoning afterall. Yeah, we're basically a blend of vampire and werewolf. Kinda cool, except when its the full moon-when you are forced into wolf form, or the new moon-when you turn into a blood-crazed vampire for a while. Luckily, as the Alpha's daughter (of the ruling pack no less-not to brag or anything..) I'm powerful enough to more or less control myself and my changing. Toby, on the other hand, a mere 200 years old (the same as a 2 year old human) my little brother, was a right pain when the moon changed him. Terrible twos ain't got nothing on it.
"Imi, I like GreyWolf. He gots good stories." Looking like an overgrown puppy, Toby was also in his wolf form, as was most of the assembled pack. It was close to the full moon and we could have shifted form if we wanted to, it would have just been uncomfortable, if not downright painful. Toby used his pack telepathy (an innate ability of ours. Basically, we can read each other's minds and project these thoughts to outsiders if we choose. Its kinda cool.) to talk to me. I gave him a nudge with my muzzle to quieten him down, out of respect for the Elder.
GreyWolf Storyteller wasn't exactly an Elder. However, he was the oldest surviving member of our kind so we gave him the same respect as one of the ruling Alphas.
However, not all beings are so respectful.
All of a sudden, there was what sounded like a massive explosion coming from the centre of the village. Even in the high-tech, underground part of the Meeting Hall, we all heard it. The Alphas, closely followed by myself and Toby, then the others all rushed to the source.
As we neared the area, I cursed, quietly. There was a smoking crater several metres across right in the centre of the ring of the apparently rustic cabins that formed our village. I faced my father, the top Alpha, from across the crater. In the centre was what appeared to be an unconcious, battered-
"An angel? This cannot be." GreyWolf whispered in awe next to me. "Even I believed that they were no more than a myth."
I growled slightly. Most of the pack had raised hackles, sniffing the air suspiciously.
"What are we going to do, Father?" I directed my thoughts at him, business-like while there was a potential threat.
"The assembled Alphas and I will take him to the Meeting Hall. Take Tobias (aka, Toby. Tobias is his official name. Mine is Imogen though I will bite you if you call me that.) back home."
I nodded once and ushered Toby away from the site, leaving him with our Mother, who distracted him whilst I went to talk with the other Alphas and Betas (first and second in command of the packs). Since I was female, I would inherit the title of Beta female, unless Toby died or was otherwise unable to take the title of Alpha male when he matured. Since children are rare in our kind, we protect him over everything else, hence why I was made to usher him away sharpish. Plus, he would have probably wanted to play with the thing.
I stood deep in conversation with the group, a mixture of humans and wolves (some find it more comfortable in a human/vampire form. Don't ask me how it works) and none of us were really aware of what happened until Toby came yelping out of the Meeting Hall.
"IMII! IT TASTES BURNY! MAKE IT STOP!" He barrelled into my side and buried his face in my flank, whimpering the whole time.
I snuggled up next to Imi, 'cause her coat is the most beautifulist and softest in the pack (I know, I tested it). It looks like the moon sometimes, but when you look closer, its kinda black with white on the end. Plus, her eyes always smile at me when she looks at me. She never gets mad at me-even that time when I ruined her favorite book (it was the full moon and I got hungry. It had a picture of a deer on it). Her eyes are real pretty too-really bright blue, like the sky in summer when there's no clouds but it gets really hot.
We were listening to old GreyWolf. He's nice, he always tells me a story if I ask, though he smells a little bit funny. Imi says thats 'cause he's so old but I'm not so sure about that. Anyway, he was telling the story about where we came from. Its my favorite, I was happy 'cause I asked him to tell it specially tonight. He was just getting to the interesting bit, where he explains all about the packs and everything, when there was a massive crash outside. Everyone got all excited and ran outside to see what happened. I got a little left behind since they can all run faster than me, but when we got to the middle of the village, there was a big hole in the ground. It had loads of smoke around it, like when you put a fire out but don't do it properly. Except this didn't smell like fire smoke. It smelled a little like the time I dropped a branch from the fire near the wall and it nearly caught fire.
I got round all the people's feet who were in the way and peeked out from between Imi's front paws. In the hole, there was a man. His face looked a little squished but he had these big, white wings that looked almost as soft as Imi's fur.
I wanted to go see if they really were, except Imi said I had to go.
"Whyy? I wanna go see the man with wings. Is he a bird-man? Ooh! Are there were-birds too now? Is he one? Can I go play with him? Please, Imi, please! I'll be nice!"
I didn't like it when Imi said no, that I needed to go see Mommy now, 'cause the bird man could be dangerous.
"I'll be back in a while, okay little bit?" She said, using her special name for me.
" 'Kay Imi. Will you play with me when you get back?"
Her eyes smiled a little more at me and she nodded before she went to talk to the other grown-ups. After a little bit, Mommy told me to stay put while she went to see what was going on.
I stayed there for ages, but the bird man didn't seem too dangerous. I just went to take a little look. There was no one near the Meeting Hall so I just went in behind the backs of the two Betas that were always on guard. They never see me. Imi says that's cause I'm the Alpha's son so I can learn all the special stuff, like being really quick and sneaky and all sorts real fast, but I just think that the Betas are a little stupid. Plus they never play with me.
Anyway, I went into the hut bit of the Meeting Hall, were the bird man was all tied up. His arms were out to each side and there was rope around his middle, so his wings were all tied up too. It seemed a little mean. All he did was fall from the sky. Well, thats what it looked like any way. I'd seen birds fall before and he was a bird man (what else with those wings?) so he must fall sometimes.
There was a funny bit of paper on the table so I changed to pick it up.
"Owwie." I forgot that it was nearly the full moon, so changing was all nasty. My skin got all hot and prickly, like being stuck in a thorn bush thats on fire.
I changed back into my wolf form, smelling the funny roll of paper. It had this big stamp on it-what Imi called a wax seal once- with a cool symbol-thing on too. It smelled funny though. I didn't like it.
I think I must have woken the bird man up 'cause he was looking right at me.
"Hey! Get away from that!" He sounded kinda like Mommy when I've done something bad so I looked at him with my head on one side. Imi calls it my puppy look and it usually gets me out of trouble unless I've been real bad.
"Are you a bird man?" I asked him. He looked kinda surprised.
"Was that you?"
"Yep. I'm Toby, who are you?"
"Errm. I know, if you let me out of these ropes, I'll tell you."
I gave him my puppy look again. "But Imi said that you could be dangerous. She wouldn't let a nice person be tied up. Are you dangerous, bird-man?"
"No, no, not at all. Would you mind letting me out and passing the scroll there? Then I'll tell you who I am, hows about that?"
"Will you play with me too Mr. Bird man?"
"Sure, just let me out, please?"
"Okay"I said happily to him, wagging my tail. He seemed nice. I picked up the funny paper to give to him, except a load of dust came up from the floor and I sneezed.
Something snapped and suddenly there was a horrible, burny taste in my mouth, like eating ashes except a million times worse tasting. I ran off to find Imi while the bird man looked like the world was going to end. I just went to hide in Imi's fur, like when there's a loud storm.
"Make the burny taste go away!" I whined, while all the grown-ups ran off to the Meeting Hut. Imi made me tell her what happened, then made me go home while she made everything okay again. She always fixes things, 'cause she's the best sister ever.