The Preparation I
The Way of the Wolf
Part 3: Wolf Hunt
*** Summary: Willow may be done with our favorite were-wolf but the PTB have grand plans, you might say galactic plans, for him. ***
*** Spoilers: Season Six of Buffy and Season Six of SG1. Everything I said for the previous two stories counts for this one as well. This story reconnects with SG1 at the season six finale. Then we do the whole left turn again. ***
*** Disclaimer: If someone is offering Oz or Jack, I'll take them and run. But no, no one has. So they belong to someone else with the rest of their respective universes. No copyright infringement intended. I took everything ever said about the Furlings and expanded it. ‘Our Territory,’ its customs and its many natives are my own creation. ***
*** Warnings: A little language here, a little more violence there, a little depressing everywhere else. This is set in season six, people. If you count OC’s, then there’s character death. We have finally hit the battle scenes. ***
*** Distribution: Twisting the Hellmouth ***
*** Author’s Notes: If you haven't read WotW I and II, I'd suggest you do so. Thanks to all those who reviewed, the quality of reviews was outstanding. This is for you and for Randi who recommended all of my stories to a new reader of the genre. (Are you nuts? Even I wouldn’t do that!) And for my Marine, love you!
This story started with a challenge. I had been flirting with Furlings being were-wolves, but had nowhere to weave it in. My beta casually mentioned having Cassie meet Oz and the story was born. Halfway through, she threw in another challenge: Make Furlings allergic to the Stargate. It’s hard to fight an intergalactic war with technologically regressed Furlings but without the Stargate?
Thus, Buffy and Spike. Have no fear, this is still an Oz fic, not a B/S fic. The other problem I kept running into was keeping a plot moving with people that don’t talk much, (We’re back to the overly influenced by radio drama again), and I get antsy if OC’s have more fic-time then the cannon characters. Thanks again for the reviews and Enjoy! ***
Grij’er grinned into the dark night. For once the Unending Beyond did not trouble his dreams, nor did uncertainties whisper in an odd meter.
Grij’er stood and reached for his prophecy book. He had started keeping the book by his sleeping pallet. He wrote the first line and then glared. His handwriting was sloppy. He had written the words much too fast. Kinta’mi would never approve. Grij’er set the quill down and stoked the fire for hot tea.
Once he had calmed sufficiently, Grij’er returned to his book, crossed out the line he had written and started again.The Wolf Pack will assemble,
For now all members are known.
The assembled Wolf Pack will hunt,
For now the prey is found.
The hunting Wolf Pack will kill,
For now the weakness is seen.
The Wolf Pack will reign.
For not even Anubis can stand against an assembled, hunting, killing, and reigning Wolf Pack.
Grij’er grinned, white teeth gleaming in the dark. The Hunt had begun.
The two Other Masters glared at each other in contempt. Both were shorter than the average population. Both were wiry, both were stubborn, and both were confused. At first, each one had been pleased when the Wolf Master had summoned him for assistance, but now they viewed this meeting with suspicion, if not out-right anger. Was the Wolf Master going to order them to give up a two-thousand-plus year grudge?
Each group had clung to the grudge with fierce determination.
Master Likk’op, the Others Mage, took this grudge very personally. His sister had been in the University and had been killed in an accidental explosion. Likk’op had never been given many of the details but he knew that his sister had not been happy in the weeks leading up to the fatal blast. Prenti’po had whispered one night of the harassment and the teasing. If she made a mistake, it was due to her Mage background and their haphazard habits. If she did right, as she often did, and advanced, others would say that she was given preferential treatment in an attempt to mend fences between the University and the Mage Grove. She had wanted to quit and return to the Grove. It had been the last conversation he had had with Prenti’po. Likk’op had demanded she continue at the University so as not to shame their family name. Had that been his true reason? Or had he enjoyed watching a mage-borne out-think those who had been groomed for the University from a young age? It had been proof that a Mage could achieve more than the University scholars at their own experiments.
Prenti’po had returned to the University with her head held high. A week later, Likk’op had the grisly task of carrying her body parts up the mountain to be buried next to their parents.
Master Hatr’er knew and mourned for Prenti’po as well. To him, she was a gifted student. Her Mage background had given her a unique view on life that had found a solution to difficult problems more than once. He had been about to choose her as his next apprentice when her life had so tragically ended. Master Likk’op had spit in his face when Hatr’er had asked to visit her burial mound.
Hatr’er had never had a chance to properly mourn a student who would never become an esteemed colleague.
Now the two men faced each other outside the door of the Wolf Master.
“Please come in.”
Both whirled to stare at the shorter man. Who was Master Oz really? Had they done the wise thing by strong-arming him to join the council of the Others? Master Oz was standing at the door watching them, still and observing. It was just as well that they had not said a word to each other. It would have been shameful to snarl like children in front of the Wolf Master. Master Likk’op straighten his back and entered the cabin. Master Hatr’er nodded at the young master and followed.
Master Oz had placed three chairs around the small wooden table. Both of the Masters noticed that the Tauri wolf had not replaced the ancient furniture that had been included in the old cabin. Master Likk’op chose the chair furthest from the door, Master Hatr’er the closest. Master Oz was left in the middle. He sat and gazed at each of the men in turn. Master Hatr’er was confused and he felt akin to an apprentice in about to be scolded by his master. He had not entertained such feelings in a decade.
Master Oz finally broke the silence. “I need books.”
Both masters were confused. With an unconscious instinct, their eyes met across the table to confirm that the other was just as clueless. This was Master Oz talking. He had access to the Temple of History. The temple housed books upon books, multiple libraries. Of the many intellectual fields, the University and the Mage Grove had recovered the least of the Old Knowledge. All Hatr’er or Likk’op knew could be summarized in one of the bottom shelves of one of the libraries in the Temple. Surely Master Oz found that to be true?
He must have.
Master Hatr’er finally spoke up. “Master Oz. I do not understand.” He glanced at Master Likk’op, saw the other Furling sneer and felt his hackles rise. As a University Master he knew that the first part of learning was acknowledging that one did not understand.
“For the Tauri,” the Bitten One explained.
Master Likk’op snorted in contempt. The Tauri had been openly suspicious of the Mages and their capabilities. They only held an academic interest in the Old Magics. They did not believe enough to learn the practical aspects even if Likk’op had been willing to teach them, which he wasn’t. Likk’op had been surprised that they did not use the Old Magics that Master Oz had assured him existed on Earth. Those who did not use magic when it was available were fools in Likk’op’s eyes. Master Hatr’er had spent much time with Major Carter and Jonas Quinn. Those two were not fools.
Master Oz was still talking. “Master Hatr’er.” Hatr’er was suddenly paying attention. “Choose a few books that have theoretical scientific information that the Tauri have not learned yet. Give them to Master Likk’op to be magically translated into the Tauri langauge, English. I’ll trust your judgement on the content.”
“Of course, Master Oz.” Already Master Hatr’er’s mind was whirling with options. What would be too much information? What were the Tauri ready for? Had Master Oz discussed the venture with Master Malt’en, the Other Master Judge?
Master Oz nodded toward the door and the two men knew they were dismissed. Master Hatr’er led the way, opened the door and exited without looking back. He would have to pick the books quickly. If he dallied, Master Likk’op could blame him if the books were not completed before the Tauri returned to Khams.
Master Hatr’er, too, was deep in thought. He knew that the translation spell was very complex and needed time to complete. He would not place either of them in the position for potential failure and dishonor. Master Likk’op, too, had much to prepare. He had duties to delegate and ingredients to gather. Likk’op would have to find a book or two to practice with. The translation spell was part of the Old Magics, a spell that he had never attempted before. Why would he? The entire planet of Furlings spoke the same language, or mostly, he corrected himself as he remembered his most recent conversation with Master Terid'li of the Rugged Mountains. He had not realized that the Rugged Mountains had bastardized the beautiful language of Khams
. The translation spell dated from the times when the Furlings regularly exchanged information with the Asguard, the Ancients and the Nox. In one way, Master Likk’op was looking forward to attempting the spell. The spell and the reason behind it would be a challenge worthy of an Other Master. He was proud that the Spyang Sku ngo
had just assumed that the Mages could succeed at such a new, complex spell within the time allotted. The Mages would not disprove the belief.
“Argh!” Jack slammed the phone down in frustration. He wanted to pound something but his desk would only hurt his hand.
Colonel Jack O’Neill saw his second-in-command standing in the doorway. Instantly, the stress of the situation dissipated. “Come in, Carter,” he said.
She motioned to the phone. “Problems, sir?”
Jack nodded. “Hammond sent another team to get more plants and seeds and such from Tibet, but they’re having no luck whatsoever. It’s not for sale in the markets and they are running into problems with the government. Red tape multiplying like bunnies.”
Carter spoke. “Not exactly stuff you can order from a seed catalogue, sir.”
Jack leaned back in his chair and shrugged. “I know. I tried that first and then passed the job to an airman.”
Carter’s eyes widened. “That wouldn’t happen to be Airman Olsen?”
Jack looked up warily. “Yeah.” He knew when bad news was coming his way.
Carter handed over a few papers in a manila folder. That was a thin folder, not at all what he had hoped for. “Airman Olsen stopped me in the hall, sir, and asked me to deliver these to you. Since I was headed your way.” Olsen knew that Carter was the best messenger for delivering bad news to Colonel O’Neill, if the rumor mill was to be believed.
Jack flipped through the scant information. “He didn’t find anything either.”
“Not much. He took the liberty of ordering some of the plants. Ironically, he had the most luck on occult websites. We’ll have to check viability.” Carter paused. “I’m assuming the retrieval team can’t find the old man and the young girl either.”
Jack snorted. “Nope. And they’ve been all over that mountain. They can’t find anybody to help. The botanists warned us that hunting down plants was a grueling, time-consuming job, especially when you have to go find it in its native habitat. We really lucked out when SG1 went to Tibet. At this rate, we may not have enough plants to trade when we’re allowed back on ‘Our Territory.’” Jack tossed the file folder down in disgust. “You know when Oz first set the amount of plants to be traded for ore, I thought he was being very generous to us. Turns out he was just being realistic. We are going to earn every pound of ore we trade for. I have a feeling that the higher-ups will postpone the trip until we have something to trade.”
Sam wavered over her words but finally said, “Sir, for some reason, the Furlings still want us there in about a week. A lot of amazing things can happen in a week.”
Jack looked at Carter and smirked at her optimism. “Hammond is the one who will have to convince the President of that. Thank God, I’m not The Man.”