Chapter 2: RetributionEdit

They stood alone in the town, the only sound the wind breathing slowly along the road. The night sky was clear and the moon and the stars were so bright that it was like daylight. The full moon created an eerie light, bouncing off the stone walls and projecting large shadows that appeared to have a life of their own. The town was deserted, apart from the pets; the Dark Army.

There had been no pets for a long time; the town was now Nature’s. There were weeds in gardens that had been carefully tended to, cracks appeared in the paths and the houses were falling apart. This place had been a large and important trading town, but then Goodman’s men appeared.

The town had been supplying nearby villages with food and water after a particularly harsh harvest. Many of the nearby villages had been too poor to survive alone. The mayor complained to the SAWAT leader, asking for support. That was enough to seal the fate of the people. Many were killed, and survivors fled to Dark Army areas, scarred emotionally by the vicious attack.

Goodman was ruthless, yet when Eagle confronted Shadeshooter in the house, he had been in disbelief. Only by coming to one of the many scenes of atrocity could he accept that a man he had aspired to was a tyrant. Determined, Eagle vowed that Goodman would suffer, just as the townspeople had, so that the world would be free of such horrors....

Unbeknownst to Eagle, he was being watched by someone. This person stood in the shadows, watching the leader with unease. Why was he here, in the old ruined town? The hidden man put a hand on the hilt of his knife. But then more animals came into view, and the man hesitated, knowing that revealing his presence now would be suicide. So he withdrew back to the shadows...

The leader was lost in his thoughts. This town was so similar to the one he had grown up in, and had met a similar end. The breeze was picking up, a high pitched whistle that chilled his spine. There had been too much suffering in this war; a petty war. Thorn (one of the characters if you remember) put his hand on the leader’s shoulder, a reassuring grip. There was still hope of ending this war.

There were 6 pets in all, two pairs in conversation with each other, one pet trying to light a fire but to no avail. The wind kept putting it out, even when he cupped his hand around it. The sixth pet...was nowhere to be seen! A hand was placed on his mouth and a gentle “shushing” noise was made. Instinctively, he drew his knife and plunged it backwards, where it met the soft flesh of the sentry behind, who then cried out...

The shout of pain permeated the silence of the ruins, echoing and bouncing off the stone. The squad leapt to the assistance of their ally. Yet when they came to edge of the clearing, where the line of trees began, the Dark Army realised that they were too late; Wolfen was sprawled out on is back. A pool of blood spilled out across the ground, staining the slightly brown grass a deep shade of red. Wolfens’s skin was already turning a chalky white and his eyes were beginning to glaze over. Eagle knelt down to his friend, knowing nothing could be done to help the man who was like a brother to him. Eagle was just able to hear the last words as Wolfen struggled to breathe. And then, with one last gasp, Wolfen’s body shuddered and he was no more. Their new campaign had barely begun and already their number had been reduced. (FYI, this is the FIRST death of the team of 6)

They spread out in every direction, alert and efficient, hunting for the animal who had killed their own. Even with their experience, they were unsuccessful. Returning to the site, they built a pyre, and as he watched the flames wrap around and then consume the body, Eagle knew that the person was long gone. Dismayed, they continued on their path towards the SAWAT kingdom, one eye on the road, one on the surroundings, wary of every noise.

His suspicions were confirmed. Before he had fled, the pet had been able to get a clear a view of the leader. It was Eagle; the pet whom he had once known, and had also ruined his life. Such a coincidence to find him again. He wouldn’t squander the opportunity, Eagle would die this time. The very thought of it excited Erin. His thirst for blood needed to be quenched, who better than his former friend?