The Rosencrantz Commission
Morro woke to a terrible flash in the sky. His brother, Enyd, stirred next to him. The black wolf raised his hackles at the sky, daring it to flash again, and set his head back down. Just as he was drifting off to sleep again, another flash raced across the sky, and a second later, a crash ripped through Morro’s ears. Immediately getting to his feet, he grabbed Enyd’s neck and jerked him up. He then howled at the air and sulked out of the cave. Enyd shook his white coat and followed sheepishly. The two stepped out into the pouring rain and tried to locate the source of the noise. When none came, Morrow stepped farther out, towards a pool to get a drink. Enyd followed. As they both dipped their heads to drink, a third flash ripped through the sky and was followed by another loud crash. Enyd, not being prepared for the intrusion to his senses, yipped and skidded down the face of the cliff. Morro barked, reaching out and trying to grab Enyd, but his jaws missed the younger wolf’s coat by mere inches. Enyd kept sliding and Morro had no choice but to dive after him. He can been charged with ensuring Enyd’s trial-by-fire went successfully. Morro’s own cousin had looked after him when he was sent away from the pack for a month, the least Morro could do was the same for his brother. As he slid down the cliff face, he could see Enyd his boulder after boulder and tree root after tree root. Having the ability to see before he hit, Morro avoided most of them and quickly gained speed on Enyd. But not enough speed. Enyd hit the ground with a thud, twitched, and laid still. Morro bounded off the cliff, landing on his front paws. His right leg snapped, and he let out a loud yelp, but crawled over to Enyd’s body. Licking the younger pup’s face, Morro realized there was nothing he could do. Enyd was dead and it was Morro’s fault.
Morro didn’t know how long he lay there next to Enyd’s body. He had howled all night in hopes that the pack would hear him and come help him back up. But without the pack, and with his broken leg, he couldn’t move. And he was forced to stay next to Enyd. Just as the sun started to peak through the trees, he heard a slight rustling in the leaves. Lifting his head, he sniffed the air and growled. Out from the bush, a young elf girl stepped forward. Her hand was already extended, holding a piece of what smelled like deer. Morro looked her in the eye before studying the rest of her. Slowly, his growling stopped and he dared another look at her face. What do you want, elf wimp? The thought formed before he could even comprehend what it meant. She pulled up short and a frown crossed her face. Out of her mouth, noise errupted, but it sounded like screeching to Morro. Stop screeching and give me that meat. Quickly, the girl dropped the meat, but didn’t step back. Slightly confused, but hungry, Morro reached out for the meat. I can’t reach it, fool. Slowly, hesitantly, the girl reach forward and picked up the meat.
How close can I get? The thought slammed into Morro’s head uninvited. It was a sweet sound, young, but one that had already had it’s innocence ruined.
I will not bite you, if that’s what you mean.
The girl moved in closer and set the meat within Morro’s reach. Can you hear what I think?
Only when you direct your thoughts to me, child.
What is this?
I believe your people call it telepathy. We call it the Voice. It is stuff of legend, but my great great grandfather had the Voice. His companion was a halfling, however. It appears you are an elf.
Yes, a member of the Windwalker clan of the north.
Ahh yes. Your kind have always been nice to my pack.
What did you mean companion?
The Voice is only granted to those wolves who have been chosen by The Great Alpha to share a deep connection with a two-legger. We call these two-leggers companions.
But what does that mean?
We are connected. I don’t know how, or why, but from this day forth, I will protect you as I have failed to do with my brother here.
She looked at Enyd’s body. He’s dead?
Morro nodded. He fell.
So am I.