Note: This is the sequel to Blue Fire. The herds are basically the same (I mean of course, cross out Icewind) so I haven't included the list of characters again. If you don't understand my horse terminology (it's complex) there's a list of terms at the beginning of Blue Fire. If by some chance I use a term I didn't explain, feel free to point that out to me. Hope you guys enjoy this! Untamed We are wild 02:20, November 16, 2014 (UTC)
Please comment XD
Chapter 1 Wisp Edit
Storm, Eclipse, and Sirocco were racing the setting sun. As Sirocco wisely said, going into the Wastelands was stupid to begin with, but going in after dark was exceedingly stupid. They reached Redstone Rocks, the last mesa before the Wastelands, at dusk.
"There is no way I'm going in there at this time of night." Eclipse stated.
Storm had a nasty thought. "What if we have to stay in there for more then one day?"
Her two friends chorused, "Don't even say that!"
Storm shrugged. "Okay, but you know it's a possibility."
"I know, I know." Sirocco muttered. "Still you haven't heard all the stories about this place that we have."
"That," Storm yawned. "Is probably a good thing."
The night wind gently blew around the three weary travelers, washing away the heat and dust of the day. A desert owl watched them with unblinking eyes, as they relaxed, dropping off to sleep, but not laying down. No horse in their right mind would make themselves so venerable this close to the Wastelands. However the owl wasn't the only watcher. The other set of eyes belonged to Wisp, daughter of Thunderstrike, leader of the Mesa Climbers.
Wisp was a very light blue roan, so light her mane was gray, not black. She was younger then the horses she watched, and had the personality of a sunbeam. She was a bright, happy child, talkative, outgoing and extremely friendly. Now, just as Storm had slipped into repose, Wisp leapt from her hiding place and whinnied,
It is never nice to be surprised in the dark when you are almost asleep, but to be surprised in the dark when you are almost asleep near the Wastelands is terrifying. Eclipse, Sirocco, and Storm reacted classically. They jolted awake, yelling.
Wisp stepped from the shadows "It's just me!"
Storm sighed with relief. "Guys, it's only a horse!"
The little roan filly giggled. "Of course I'm a horse! What else would I be?"
Storm eyed this new arrival suspiciously. "What's your name?"
The filly giggled again. "Wisp! What are your names?"
Sirocco answered. "I'm Sirocco. This is my sister Eclipse, and our friend Storm."
Wisps eyes were wide. "Ooohh! You're from the Canyon Dwellers. I've seen you! I have, I have!"
She seemed quite pleased with herself.
Storm nodded. "You're right Wisp, we are from the Canyon Dwellers. We're looking for a black horse that might have come by here. Have you seen him?"
Wisp giggled, "Oooh I have!" She suddenly sobered up for a second. "But he went in there!" She said, indicating the Wastelands.
Sirocco looked sick.
"There's no denying it now."
Eclipse nodded. "He definitely went to the Wastelands."
"But why?" Storm asked.
Eclipse shook her head. "You don't know our father that well. He may actually blame himself."
"Our job is to make him see it wasn't his fault." Storm stamped a hoof.
Sirocco had grown suddenly silent. "What,"
He paused, biting his lip. "What if it was an accident?"
Eclipse whirled around, furious. "How dare you think that! It's not Panthers fault, so there!"
Sirocco flattened his ears "I was just saying .."
His sister snarled. "If that's all you can think to say, don't!"
Storm dove between the fighting siblings. "Stop it you guys! This isn't going to help!"
Eclipse backed away angry, but Sirocco just looked sad.
"I'm sorry Eclipse."
The liver chestnut snorted. "Just don't think that again! It's not dads fault."
A giggle brought them back to reality.
"Oooohhh You're fighting! I know it! I saw you!"
Wisp seemed to think the whole situation was a great joke. Storm didn't feel like laughing.
"It's not funny."
"Ooohh it is though! It is!" The filly, to young to understand the seriousness of the problem, collapsed into happy giggles. Her laughter was infectious, and instead of continuing their argument, Storm, Eclipse, and Sirocco found themselves joining in. Sirocco was the first to sober up.
"Oh Ha-ha, but it's not a bit funny you know."
He turned to Wisp. "Look miss, you'd best get back to your herd. Us travelers need a rest Ok? We've got a long day ahead of us."
Wisp did a happy little crow hop. "Ok! I'll see you later!" She galloped away, giggling.
Storm yawned. "Oh for half of her energy."
Chapter 2 Into the Mouth of a Dragon Edit
The next morning, the three travelers were up early, despite the previous nights interruption. Unfortunately, the Wastelands were farther off then they seemed. It was mid-day before they actually reached their objective, which, upon closer inspection, was grimmer then it's descriptions. The sand really was black, and it absorbed the suns heat, making the air hot and sultry. Chunks of dull black rock dotted the landscape, which was barren and lifeless. The air smelled of sulfur, dust, and surprisingly, fire. Storm took a deeper sniff, but the charcoal smell was gone, as if whipped away by the thin breeze, which did nothing against the muggy heat. The atmosphere was so hot and depressing, no one felt like talking. They continued on in silence, fighting their weariness, their worry, and especially, the visions of their own, lovely canyon.
The hours drug by agonizingly slow. The air was void of the pretty birdsong Storm was used to, in it's place was silence. Not a nice silence, like in the early morning when you are all alone and you can here the occasional howl of a coyote. No this silence was oppressive, void of life, and energy, broken only by the dull clop-clop of the horses hooves. At length Eclipse finally sighed.
"What's the plan?"
The sound of her voice was lovely compared to the unbroken silence they had been listening to for hours.
"I'm not sure."
Sirocco stated. "But it might be better that way. After all, we have no idea what we got ourselves into, have we now?"
"No." Storm admitted. "Everything we know is lore and legends. How do we know what this place is really like?"
Sirocco looked like he'd been hit by lightning. "Exactly! How do we know there even is a beast? How do we know their is no water here? We don't! Come on! Don't give up yet!"
Inspired by Siroccos brave words, the three friends continued on in silence once again.
Bravery only lasts so long, and Storm, Eclipse, and Siroccos ran out the time night fell. According to the tales, the beast hunted at night, and while what Sirocco had said was true, they didn't know the thing existed, they had no proof it didn't. The good thing about dark was it brought relief to the heat, the bad thing was it brought out sounds. Storm was beginning to think she liked the days silence better after all. Now the air was filled with scurrying and screeches, and who knows what sorts of animals they belonged to. Also, thirst helped to diminish their spirits considerably. The night wore on. Storm had given up looking ahead, for she knew there was nothing to see. She focused instead on her hoof falls trying to keep her eyes open as she zoned out to everything besides clop-clop, clop-clop, clop-clop. Suddenly a sound came from Eclipse, a unearthly noise, somewhere between a cry and a squeak.
"Oh look look!"
Her companions jerked their heads up and their eyes open to see a blessed sight. At the foot of a large black rock, lay a crystal pool.
Storm didn't remember running toward the water, but she must have, for the next thing she knew, she had her muzzle in it, drinking, drinking, drinking. The pool was shockingly cold, and it felt lovely as it slid down her throat. Finally Storm backed away from the water with a sigh, to see Eclipse settling down, but Sirocco still drinking. Something whispered 'stop' in the back of her head, but she was to tired to listen. She sank to ground, and slipped into dreamland almost instantly.
Chapter 3 Murder! Edit
Spots had taken his job of watching Sandstone very seriously. He was however, disgruntled because Sandstone had not gone anywhere. Right at this moment, the young horse was grazing discontentedly beside the river, desperately wishing his leader would go somewhere. Spots thought about how Sandstone had driven Storm out, and he smoldered,
"Ooooooh Sandstone you coyote! Take that! and that! and that!"
Spots leapt about stomping the ground, which was, by the way, extremely void of Sandstones presence.
He sighed, "whew. There, he's dead."
The young horse suddenly put on the most innocent face he could muster. "Oh hi Star!"
The colt put on a stern look, (in effort to appear like Star) "Did you just kill Sandstone Spots?"
Spots returned to his innocent look. "Uhh, no, I don't think so."
"Oh but I think you did." Spots argued with himself, (of course, pretending to be Star.)
"No I think I would remember that." The colt stated.
"Is that .."
He began, before cutting himself off, "Nope!"
"I think that's ..."
"Do you know where .."
Spots might have continued in this manner for quite a long time, if he had not been interrupted by a shout.
"Brushfire!" Dreams voice sobbed.
Spots jerked his head out of his make believe argument, remembering what the lead mare had looked like a few days ago. He ran toward the rest of the herd, to see a crowd of horses gathered around Dream. Spots wormed his way through the tightly packed bodies, to see Brushfire lying on the ground. Sandstone pushed his way through to were Dream was standing.
"What have you done Dream?"
Dream was appalled. "It wasn't me! I was grazing beside her, and she just collapsed!"
Sandstone arched his eye brows. "Really? Brushfire was perfectly fine, and she suddenly dies? That doesn't make much sense."
Spots opened his mouth to protest that Brushfire had most certainly not been fine, but a whisper sounded in his ear.
"Don't say anything Spots."
"Featherwisp?" Spots whispered.
The albino murmured, "It's for your own good. Just watch, but don't drag yourself into it."
"But Dream .." Spots protested.
Featherwisp flicked an ear back ever so slightly. "That can not be helped. But the Canyon Dwellers need you Spots. Don't throw your life away for something that you can't change anyway."
"Throw my life away .." Spots began, but Sandstones voice interrupted.
"For what you have done Dream, you will be killed. Star?"
"No don't kill her!" Cyclones voice cried out.
Sandstone pinned his ears. "Hmm what have we here? A horse who challenges their leader?"
He raised his voice. "Listen all of you! I have decided to make some changes. Changes that will help us all in the years to come. Instead of one lead mare, we will have a council."
"And who is to be on this council?" Featherwisp asked drily.
Sandstone held his head high. "Star! You will be head of the council."
He looked behind himself. "Just before this tragic incident, two lone horses came to me, asking to join us. Meet Carp and Breeze!"
A grullo and a red roan came forward.
Breeze, the grullo, dipped his head. "Me and Carp would be honored to join your herd."
"Wait! You drove Storm out because she was a lone horse! Why would you let these two in?" Dream cried.
Sandstone silenced her with a cold look. "You have no right to speak here murderer. Breeze and Carp will be on our council, and I am sure they will do well. Now, back to this wicked creature, who would dare strike down Brushfire. Carp, kill her!"
The red roan approached Dream, but she wheeled around and ran.
"Catch her Breeze!" Sandstone ordered.
The grullo leapt into a gallop from a standing start, and flew like the wind. However, Dream did have an ally, and that was the fact she knew the terrain, while Breeze didn't. The grullo was almost upon her, when he went down with a strangled cry, his hoof in a rabbit hole. Dream crested a ridge and was gone from sight.
Chapter 4 Prophesy Edit
Storm wandered through a green pasture. This puzzled her, for she last remembered being in the Wastelands, and they were most certainly not green. A familiar voice rang from behind her.
Storm turned, the hairs on her spine bristling. "Mother?"
Sure enough, there stood her mother, her gray coat sleek and whole, not bloody like the last time Storm had seen her.
"Mother! but .. but . h .. how .." Storm gasped.
Smoke blinked, but did not answered her daughter.
"As storms and wind are found together, together they must fight.
Sun and moon are intertwined 'neath coat as dark as night.
While speckles may seem weak indeed, great power do they hold.
Gentle breeze and star flecked scales keep secrets yet untold."
Smoke turned to go, but Storm cried, "No wait mother! Don't leave yet!"
Smoke looked sad. "I must go for now dear one, but I will always be with you."
She whickered, "And you may see me again, who knows? Good bye Storm, I'll always love you."
"Wait!" Storm shrieked as her mother began fading. "Wait mother, please!"
Storm tried to reach Smoke, but something black filled her vision. She gasped as an eagle flew up in front of her, and a voice whispered,
"Remember the eagle Storm! The eagle knows the way!"
Storm reared as thick mist began swirling around her legs, engulfing her in a cloud of fog. She could hear numerous voices in the distance, but they were unclear and fuzzy. Then one got louder then the rest.
"Storm, you are chosen. You must decipher the riddle! You and you alone can do it, or understand it's meaning."
"Who are you!?" Storm howled, but received no answer. Suddenly Eclipse's voice rang from somewhere, although it sounded distant and far away. Still, she detected the frightened note to it.
"Storm! Storm wake up!"
Chapter 5 Resistance Edit
"Spots!" Featherwisp called.
"What?" Spots asked.
"Meet me by the burnt ash." She ordered. "Hurry."
Spots glanced ruefully at his meal of second rate grass. "Oh all right."
Spots hurried toward the burnt ash. The old tree got it's name from it's smoke-stained bark, blemished long ago in a fire. It hung from the canyon wall at a somewhat crazy angle, and sometimes Spots wondered why it didn't fall.
As he approached the burned ash, he realized Featherwisp wasn't the only one there. Coyote, Aurora, and Hawkseye stood beside her, waiting.
"Spots." Featherwisp said, "We are here to continue what Dream started."
Spots cocked his head. "Huh?"
"What all did she tell you?" Aurora asked.
Spots looked even more confused. "Huh?"
Coyote blinked. "Well?"
Spots stared from one horse to the next, utterly baffled. "I .. well ..err, She didn't tell me anything."
"She must have." Hawkseye insisted. "She told us she'd made you our spy."
Spots mouth dropped open. "Really?" Suddenly realization kicked in. "Ohhh so that's why she wanted me to follow Sandstone when he left the herd!"
"Is that all she told you?" Hawkseye asked.
"Yep." Spots answered innocently.
"Spots listen to me." Featherwisp ordered. "You do not realize how dangerous this situation is. Sandstone is up to no good, and if he isn't stopped, horses will die from his treachery."
Spots was dubious. "Treachery? What are you talking about?"
The older horses stared at him, dumbfounded. "You can't see it?" Aurora gasped.
"Can't see what?" Spots asked.
Featherwisp shook her head. "Ok, ok. I'll explain it to you, because Dream obviously didn't. We believe Sandstone is getting ready to start a war with the Mesa Climbers and the Desert Runners. Such an atrocity has not happened in over a hundred years, and we can not allow it now."
Spots shook his head. "But, how can Sandstone start a war when he's driving all his fighters out?"
Hawkseye sighed. "Oh poor, silly young one, can't you see? He's driving all the fighters out so he can replace them!"
Chapter 6 Disaster! Edit
"Storm! Oh Storm! Wake up! Please wake up!"
Storm blinked her eyes open to see Eclipse standing over her. "What's wrong?" She asked.
Eclipse shuddered. "Oh Storm do something quick! Siroccos sick! Really sick!"
Storm heaved herself to her feet, to see a terrifying sight. Sirocco was rolling all over the ground, in dire agony.
"Sirocco!" Storm shrieked, and in the next second she knew exactly what was wrong with the colt.
She gasped, horrified. "It's colic! He's got colic! What do we do?"
Eclipse stood frozen for one awful second, before she neighed, "I know what to do, help me Storm!"
From that second on, Eclipse was in complete control. "Storm you get on that side of him, I'll be on this one. Get him on his feet, now!"
Sirocco moaned as Storm shoved him roughly onto his hooves, and Eclipse ordered, "Sandwich him in between us, and walk!"
As they paced, Storm snorted, "It was that water he drank. It was so cold, and he drank to much, to fast."
Eclipse glared at her brother. "Oh Sirocco you ninny! Why in the name of horses would you do such a stupid thing?" Sirocco didn't answer, and his friends hadn't really expected him to. The moon shone down on the fillies as they paced endlessly, Sirocco in-between them.
Storm hadn't known pacing was so difficult. It isn't, I suppose, when you only do it a little, and you aren't obliged to continue on and on, never stopping, never resting. What's more, Sirocco was like a dead weight, for he hardly walked, just allowed them to drag him about, this way and that, for what seemed like eternity.
Storm was asleep. She was still walking, yes, but she was asleep. Her own hoof falls had lulled her into repose. It was an odd sort of rest, for Storm knew she was asleep, and yet at the same time knew she wasn't. Her sleeping mind muddled her thoughts into a royal mess, and Storm began imaging things that weren't. She saw her mother in front of her, calling to her, but much to Storms frustration, she couldn't make out Smokes words. Just as she had about reached the gray mare, the lovely apparition morphed into a screeching eagle, whose cries hurt Storms ears. The bird flew strait toward the filly, turning into wisps of wind a second before it would have hit her. A star flecked fish leapt out of the mist two horse lengths away, before diving back in, just as it would do in water. Suddenly Storm felt something move beside her and snapped her eyes open.
"I'm Ok! I'm ok!" Sirocco insisted as he staggered free of his friends.
Eclipse snapped at her brother, "You'd best be glad of that coyote brain, you just about killed yourself!"
"Did I?" Sirocco asked Storm, who sighed,
"You did." Before laying down, utterly worn out.
The last thing she heard was Eclipse's yawn of, "but we mustn't go to sleep you know, we really .. must .. not."
Chapter 7 Spots has an Adventure Edit
Spots kicked a tuft of brown, trod-on grass in disgust, thinking about what Hawkseye had told him.
"I shoulda seen it earlier." He muttered to himself.
"Should've seen what loser?" Flight snickered.
Spots flattened his ears. "Oh go away you sniveling rat."
Flight snarled "Oh yea? Who's gonna make me freckle face?"
Spots did a half rear. "Me!"
Flight gasped as Spots struck out, catching him in the shoulder. The cowardly bully loped away, whining about what a terrible creature Spots was.
"Loser." The appaloosa muttered under his breath before turning away. The next second he was on alert and excited. Sandstone was inconspicuously walking away from his herd. After all, what with his dumb old council, Sandstone had no obligation to stay with his herd. I mean, why should he? This act wouldn't have normally attracted much attention, but it certainly got Spots dander up. Sandstone was finally leaving! It was Spots big chance!
Spots shadowed Sandstone silently. While he did not make a sound, his whole being was filled with uncontrollable excitement. Sandstone wandered past the burnt ash, along the river bank toward Fish Island, a tiny island in the middle of the Leaping Fish river. He was so slow and calm, Spots began to think he really wasn't going anywhere special, when a shadow disengaged itself from the many reeds on the bank. Spots stared. He couldn't help it. He didn't think a horse this small existed.
She was shiny black, with a white star on her forehead, and she moved like a tiny breath of wind. One moment she was in the reed bank, six horse lengths from Sandstone, and the next, she was directly in front of him.
"What do you want of me?"
Sandstone snorted. "I want you to follow a old albino mare who's blind in one eye. Whenever she leaves my herd, watch her, and tell me where she goes."
The black horse nodded. "Yes sir. Does this mean I can stay in your canyon longer?"
Sandstone looked at her with contempt. "For now." The palomino turned and trotted away.
Spots watched Sandstone leave, and for some reason was drawn to the little horse standing dejectedly on the bank. His mind screamed, "No she's Sandstones spy!" but he felt like he had to reveal himself. He stepped from the small outcrop of rock he was hiding in.
"Who are you?"
The black horse started, whirling around, and Spots was surprised to see that her face was youthful. She was a filly, maybe even younger than himself. She stared at him with piercing dark eyes.
"Who are you?"
Spots paused for a second before answering, "Spots. what's your name?"
She stared at him as if evaluating his purpose. "I am Night."
"Why are you working for a weasel like Sandstone? Why would you do that?"
Spots didn't mean to ask those questions, but he did.
Night gave him a long stare. "I have no home Spots. When you live a loner, you have to do things you wouldn't normally do. Out there, every day is a fight for survival. You don't have any idea where your next meal is coming from. You don't know if you'll have water to drink, a place to sleep, or anything. Now when you find a nice place like this with food and water and shelter, you do what ever you have to do to stay there. Do you understand?"
Spots felt odd, having this younger horse telling him things he didn't know. Under normal circumstances, he would have thought she was a prig, but it was extremely difficult to think of Night as stuck-up. She was so cold, emotionless, and to the point, Spots couldn't think of her as anything but a professional.
Night looked around a beseeching look in her eyes. "I must go. You won't tell Sandstone you saw me, will you?"
Spots was shocked. "Oh I won't do that! I thought you'd tell on me!"
Night gave him a stare. "He told me he'd kill me if anyone saw me!"
It was Spots turn to stare. "He said he'd kill you!?"
Night nodded. "Yes. Don't tell!"
Spots shook his head. "You misunderstand. Many of our herd dislike Sandstone, and I am their spy. We plan to expose his treachery and overthrow him. Maybe, someday, if that happens, you could come live in our herd forever!"
Night stared at him again, before answering, "I think I would like that. Goodbye Spots."
"Goodbye Night!" Spots called into empty air, for Night was gone.
Chapter 8 Victory? Or Defeat? Edit
Storm awoke to the unbearable heat of the Wastelands. She squinted up at the sun, assuming it was around ten in the morning. Sirocco slept peacefully, worn out by last nights ordeal, while Eclipse grazed on some sparse grass by the pool. Eclipse looked up as Storm got to her hooves.
"So you're awake sleepy mane?"
"Why didn't you wake me sooner?" Storm griped.
Eclipse shrugged. "Didn't see any point. We can't leave without Sirocco, and he's in no condition to travel."
Storm sighed. "Oh that's great. Just great. We're stuck here, in the open with plenty of water but not enough food, surrounded by all kinds of creatures, (Who knows what they eat,) and with a sick horse! Swell!"
"I'm fine!" Sirocco's voice interrupted the conversation as he stood. He tried to take a step forward, but stumbled and nearly went down.
"Oh no you're not!" Storm argued. "and we'll stay here until you are."
Eclipse nodded toward the pool. "Get a small drink and eat something. Then rest, and we'll see how you feel next morning."
The day wore on endlessly. It was twice as bad as before, because there was nothing to do, not even walking. The friends tried to liven up the atmosphere by talking, but it seemed like the air of the Wastelands made it hard to think. It made your body tired and your thoughts muddled, so that conversation was pointless. It was as if that whole place was dead, and it wanted to make any visitors the same. Just as Storm was nodding off, a voice exclaimed,
"Eclipse? Sirocco? Storm? What in thunder are you three doing here?"
The three young horses jerked awake, to see the one they had been searching for.
"Panther!" they cried joyfully.
The black horse was thinner and more ragged then when they last saw him, but that could only be expected. Eclipse and Sirocco ran to their father, gasping, "You're alive!"
Panther smiled. "Yes, and how is your mother, and the herd? Is Sandstone a good leader?"
Eclipse quickly filled him in on what she knew. "Dream is fine! But .. the herd isn't the same with out you. And that filthy coyote Sand, well he's awful! Just plain awful!"
Seeing Panthers worried look, Sirocco snorted, "He banished Storm! Just cause she wasn't born in the herd!"
"Not to mention, I think he's up to something bad. Really bad." Eclipse insisted.
Storm whinnied, "But you can stop him Panther!"
Panther looked shocked. "What?"
Sirocco was nervous. "Well, that's why we came all the way here. So we could bring you back."
"You didn't start that old rock fall Panther! I know you didn't!" Eclipse declared with feeling.
For a second, Panther looked hopeful. "You do?"
Eclipse stomped a hoof. "Of course I do!" You'd never do a thing like that!"
The black horse hung his head. "Eclipse, it was an accident. I was negligent, so I deserve to be banished. I'm sorry."
Sirocco gulped, "But father, if you don't stop Sandstone, who will?"
Panther hardened his eyes. "Son I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do."
Siroccos eyes grew dark as he snapped, "But what about Storm! What does she do? Does she wander around for the rest of her life?"
"I don't know. but I can't go back. I'm a murderer, and I deserve what I'm getting." Panther argued. He turned around. "You need to go home. Tell your mother I love her."
"No! Father wait! We don't have a home!" Eclipse cried, but it was futile, for her words fell upon the cloud of sand Panther left behind as he ran from the ones who wanted to save him.
Chapter 9 Discerning Edit
The remainder of the day was spent in silence. Sirocco was furious that his father had cared so little. Eclipse was stunned that her father had ran away from them. Storm was occupied by the terrifying question of, "Now what?" As the sun was setting, Sirocco walked away a short distance and sat in stony silence.
Eclipse nudged Storm. "Go talk to him would you? He'll listen to you better then me."
Storm shrugged. "Alright."
She walked up to Sirocco. "Well .. Now what?"
He shook his head. "I don't know. It doesn't really matter anyway."
Storm flicked her ears back. "I know how you feel Sirocco, but we can't just give up. Our herd .. well they need us."
Sirocco curled his lip. "No they don't, they don't even like us."
Storm stomped her hoof. "Yes, they do! My mother came to me in a dream, the night you got sick and gave me a prophesy. I haven't the slightest idea what it means, but she wouldn't have given it to me if there wasn't something we could do."
Sirocco shook his head. "She gave it to you."
"You were the one who invited me into the herd! You and Eclipse welcomed me even if Flight and Amber didn't! You helped me loose my stutter! You followed me when no one else cared! With out you two that cougar would have killed me!"
Storm snapped. "Now after you and your sister went to all that work for me, do you think that I'm going to say, "That prophesy is for me and no body else?" No! Mother gave it to all of us Sirocco, so there!"
Sirocco looked mildly interested. "What was the prophesy?"
Storm nodded. "Now you're talking sense, I just hope I can remember it. It was something like,
As storms and wind are found together, together they must fight.
Sun and moon are intertwined 'neath coat as dark as night.
While speckles may seem weak indeed, great power do they hold.
Gentle breeze and star-flecked scales keep secrets yet untold."
Sirocco looked down. "Hmm, Storms and wind .. I wonder if you are the storms."
Storm gasped. "You could be right! And wind .. wind ... Your name means wind!!"
She looked baffled. "But, I don't see anything about Eclipse in it, do you?"
"No .." Sirocco began, "No WAIT! Sun and moon are intertwined! An eclipse is where the moon passes in front of the sun!!"
Sirocco looked determined. "We've got to get home!"
Storm raised an eyebrow. "What'll we do when we get there?"
Sirocco shook his head. "I have no idea. But we've got to get home."
Chapter 10 Easier Said Then Done Edit
Sirocco and Storm loped back to Eclipse, who perked her ears up. "What's the plan of action eh? Looks like you guys have got one."
"We sure do!" Sirocco exclaimed exuberantly. "We need to get home!"
Eclipse pricked one ear and laid back the other, giving herself an exasperated look. "Right. And how exactly do you plan to do that?"
"That," Sirocco began excited, until he remembered that they were all either banished or deserters. "I don't know." He finished lamely.
"You two, the most important thing is to get there!" Storm interrupted.
"What?" They both chorused.
Storm rolled her eyes. "We are in the Wastelands! Have you forgotten? You two of the tall tales? Well I can't forget. And if you haven't noticed, the two nights we've been here, there has been some kind of predators out there. They seem to hunt in packs, at night. Oh by the way, we've got two hours before dusk."
Sirocco gulped. "Lets get out of here!"
"Hurry! I can see Redstone Rocks!" Eclipse exclaimed.
Storm gulped, remembering how much time it had took them to get to the spring on the way in, but she didn't voice her thoughts. Sure, they were trotting now, but still. There was just no way.
Darkness fell, and the three escapers were forced to a nervous walk. So far there had been no sign of an attack, but as Eclipse rightly pointed out, the animals normally started their hunt about three hours after dark.
Sure enough, three hours after sunset, the first howl was heard. It was joined by another. And another. And another.
Sirocco swallowed. "Is it my imagination, or are the howls louder then last time?"
"Of course they are!" Storm exclaimed, breaking into a trot. "Its only natural!"
"Why?" Eclipse gulped as she caught up with Storm.
The roan filly lengthened her stride. "They're closer."
"Run!" Eclipse exclaimed.
"No don't!" Sirocco whinnied. "Save your strength. When I say run, then run! Ok?"
As time passed, the howls grew closer and closer, until it was quite plain they were being hunted. Eclipse, Storm, and Sirocco had a hard time holding themselves together. While horses can see in the dark quite well, it is hard for them to see in absolute blackness. The friends could only gauge their pursers positions by the howls, for the moon had gone behind a cloud, and the night was truly black. Suddenly the moon came from behind it's cover, revealing the form of the hunters, great dog like animals, only twenty horse lengths away!
"Run!" Sirocco screamed.
Chapter 11 The First Report Edit
Spots hurried back toward the herd, determined to find Featherwisp. However, it wasn't Featherwisp he met, but Carp. Spots didn't know or like the red roan very much, so he tried to keep going, but Carp whinnied,
"Wait a minute! I don't know your name yet!"
Spots sighed. Because of Amber and Flight, he had come to dislike his name.
"I'm Spots." He mumbled begrudgingly.
Carp grinned. "You look it."
The stallion realized he'd made a mistake. "Hey now Spots, I didn't mean anything!"
Spots flattened his ears. "Why are you talking to me anyway? You're on Sandstones council, and I'm still a trainee."
Carp shrugged. "Oh I don't know. I guess I'm bored."
He paused. "By the way, what do you think of the council? It must be a shock for you."
Spots was instantly on alert. "Oh it's not that bad. I've got to run, though. It was nice talking with you."
Spots turned and hurried away before Carp could ask more prying questions.
"Featherwisp!" Spots whispered desperately. "Featherwisp where are you!"
The albino materialized from behind a boulder. "Keep your voice down colt. What is it?"
Spots gulped. "Well I followed Sandstone when he left the canyon, and he went and talked to this little black filly, like younger then me."
Featherwisp perked an ear. "Go on."
Spots had the feeling Featherwisp would get a bad impression of Night.
"Well you see, Sandstone threatened her, and told her she'd better follow you if you left the herd, or she'd get it."
The albinos eyes hardened, and Spots hurried on. "But you see, I went and talked to her, and she's nice! She doesn't want to do it!"
Featherwisp's jaw dropped. "You went and talked to her! Sandstones spy?!"
"Yea, but .." Spots began, but the mare wasn't listening. "You little fool! What would posses you to do something so stupid?!"
Spots could feel this was not going very well. "I just .."
"You just??" Featherwisp gasped. "You just decided to have a little chat with an enemy? You just might have destroyed this whole rebellion?"
Spots tried to patch up what he had ruined. "I'm sorry .."
Featherwisp nodded. "Oh you're sorry? That makes everything perfect!"
She snorted. "I thought you had more sense."
The mare snorted. "I guess I was wrong."
As she turned to leave, Spots whinnied, "Wait, what about me? Do I still follow Sandstone?"
Featherwisp's eyes were hard. "No. I think we need someone more responsible."
Spots stared after her, dumbfounded. Someone more responsible. Featherwisp had no idea how much those words had hurt her former spy.
Chapter 12 The Hunted Edit
Storm ran. The three horses thundered across the sand panting, gasping, completely terrified. Their pursuers followed them tirelessly, relentlessly gaining on them with every stride. Storm didn't know how much longer she could hold out, but she was determined to run til she dropped.
All of a sudden, one of the hunters made a flying leap onto her back, bringing her down with a ground jarring thump. Storm writhed franticly, but the thing was heavy, and she was already tired. Eclipse saw what happened, wheeled around, and galloped strait toward Storms attacker. However storm knew her friend was to far away to do anything.
There was an angry squeal as a hoof slammed into the dog like things side, and Storm struggled to her feet, to see a light colored horse fling itself into the ranks of the pack. Sirocco had realized what had accord, and was charging toward the hunters.
"Sirocco you idiot!" His sister screamed as he rushed by them.
She sighed and hurried help, with Storm in her wake, but the predators had all but fled, for the light colored horse had them on the run.
Sirocco stared at their rescuer, shocked. "Who are you?"
The horse flicked her forelock out of her eyes, and the younger horses gasped, "Dream!?"
The creamello smiled. "You seem surprised I could do that. I was second to lead mare you know. Do you think I got that title by being a sissy?"
"No but .." Sirocco stuttered.
Dream blinked. "A lead mare must fight just as hard as her lead stallion, maybe even harder. She is the protector of her herd, and their safety comes first, before hers. Many think a lead mare does little. Well then they have never seen one in action! When the lead stallion falls, the lead mare takes his place. I say all that to say, I was trained well."
Chapter 13 A Fish Out of Water Edit
Fish sighed. His father didn't sound to happy.
Fish gave Crystal Oasis one last rueful glance as his father yelled,
The silver dapple colt shouted, "Coming father!" as a sorrel stallion trotted from behind a rock.
The sorrel, whose name was Jump, looked quite put out.
Fish tried to look innocent. "Did you need me sir?"
Jump huffed. "Need you? I'll say I do! I've been looking everywhere for you young horse."
Fish looked down. "I'm sorry sir, honest I am, but I just had to get away for a while. You know .."
"No I most certainly don't! Why in the name of the great stallion you want to be alone all the time I can't understand. One thing I do know however, is that this has got to stop."
Jump stamped a hoof. "I wanted a son who'd amount to something, not an addle brained dreamer!"
Fish held back his tears determinedly. "I'm sorry sir, I've tried. I've tried really really hard, it's just .. well .. I am what I am. I can't change that."
Jump wheeled around. "Oh you can't is it? Well you can and you will. Next time I want you, I expect to find you."
"What do I need to do sir?" Fish asked.
Jump snorted. "It doesn't matter anymore. You're to late."
As he stomped off, he snapped, "Your mother named you well. You are a fish. You're a fish out of water!"
Fish stared at his reflection in Crystal Oasis, his tears dripping into the clear water. In reality, he was a very handsome silver dapple colt, with a coat that shimmered like a million stars. However all he saw was the hateful words of his herd, Jumps stern disapproval, and the fabrications of his own mind. So what he saw was far from reality. He sniffed.
"Why do I have to be so different?"
He stomped on his reflection, snorting angrily,
"It's not fair!"
He sighed as the water returned to it's normal state, and his face peered up at him once more.
"Still I shouldn't be mad. They're right after all, I'm so different, I really am a fish out of water."
Chapter 14 Alone Edit
Spots stared at the crushed, brown grass at his feet, and he felt sick. Why was Sandstone leaving the herd in one place for so long? It hurt him to see the horses he had known for so long being starved, for after a few weeks of malnutrition, the effects were becoming visible. However, Spots could do nothing. He had been reduced to a spectator, unable to help his herd. But a spectator, unnoticed and unhindered, can be extremely dangerous. Spots was gathering all the information he could, and he was seeing very disturbing things.
Number one: Carp, Breeze, Star, and Sandstone did not look starved.
Number two: Carp, Breeze, and Star kept watch at night. They said it was to make sure no one bothered the herd, but Spots had the feeling it was to keep horses in.
Number three: Cyclone had simply disappeared. Ever since the day she apposed Sandstone, no one had seen her.
Spots sighed. But what did it matter? Featherwisp had fired him, and he really had no friends since Storm, Sirocco, and Eclipse had left. He was alone. And he hated it.
"It's not fair!"
He whispered, bitterly acknowledging that nothing was fair anymore.
Suddenly, his ears pricked up. Maybe, if he could redeem himself in Featherwisp's eyes ..
That was it! But how?
Then a flash of inspiration ran through him. He knew! If he could convince Night to spy on Sandstone, Featherwisp would have a new, better spy then Coyote! It might work!
Chapter 15 Unannounced Return Edit
"Where are we going Sirocco?" Storm asked.
Sirocco grinned. "Fish Isle, the island in The Leaping Fish River. No one ever goes there, so it'll be safe."
"That's good. I hope you're right Sirocco. I really hope you're right." Eclipse muttered.
The four horses got into the canyon without being seen, for, as Eclipse wisely said, the herds rarely checked their borders. They waded across the shallow rapids, the water swirling at their feet.
"Whatever makes it run so?" Storm asked.
Sirocco laughed. "These rapids lead up to Rainbow Falls. Don't ask me why they've got such a harmless name, like a lot of things in life, they're very deceptive. Rainbow Falls is actually two falls, that create rainbow spray before crashing onto treacherous rocks many horse-lengths below. Pity the one who falls over them."
Dream snorted as she climbed onto Fish Isle's banks. "That's the understatement of the century. Look, you three, we'd best get set up."
"Right." Sirocco acknowledged. "Let's get the lay of the land."
It didn't take long to explore Fish Isle. The island was around a mile long and half a mile wide. It was densely wooded, except for a lush clearing in the center. It was here that Dream, Storm, Eclipse and Sirocco set up camp. Dream smiled as the three young horses fell to eating.
"I know you're hungry, but now we must train."
"Train?" Sirocco asked. "For what?"
Dream flicked her cream forelock out of her eyes. "Train to be invisible."
Chapter 16 A Long Shot in the Dark Edit
Spots wandered along the river's banks, hoping to find the elusive filly he had met before.
He sighed. Finding Night was going to be hard, seeing how she could appear and disappear at will.
The colt jumped as Night's voice rang from behind him.
The black filly had a confused look on her face. "What are you doing here?"
Spots shrugged. "Looking for you."
Night shrank back. "Me? Why?"
"I need your help." Spots explained.
Night was suspicious. "Why? What can I do to help you? If Sandstone finds out .."
"He won't." Spots reassured her, with confidence he did not feel.
Night did not look convinced. "What do you need me to do?"
"I need you to spy on Sandstone for me." Spots explained.
Night flattened her ears. "What? Are you mad?"
"Please Night, he's killing us! My herd is dying!" Spots begged.
The filly snorted. "And if I start spying on Sandstone, what happens to me eh?"
Spots was desperate. "Oh please do it Night! I know you can! You know you can!"
Night whirled around. "I know nothing of the sort."
"Night .." Spots began, but she was gone.
"Storm. I can hear you."
Storm sighed as she showed herself. "Dream, you are impossible! How am I supposed to sneak up on you? You hear everything!"
Dream smiled. "Not everything Storm, but a lot of things."
She raised her voice. "For instance, Eclipse is trying to approach us silently from behind, and Sirocco is failing to hide behind that stone that happens to be smaller then he is."
The two siblings came out from their hiding places, grumbling.
"Mother, how are we supposed to do this?" Sirocco groaned.
Dream laughed. "How about if I try a sneak up on you three? That way you might see how it's done."
Eclipse nodded. "Sounds good to me."
Storm and Sirocco stood in the clearing, listening intently.
"Is Dream as good at sneaking up on creatures as she is at hearing them sneak up on her?"
Storm asked quietly.
Sirocco nodded. "Yes."
Storm looked over at Eclipse, who was hiding in an outcrop of trees, waiting for Dream to show herself.
"Well this should be interesting."
Sirocco sighed. "That's an understatement. Look I'm going to see if I can find out where Dream is."
Storm watched the colt disappear into the undergrowth. The next second she sensed a presence behind her and turned, expecting to see Eclipse. Dream stood a few paces away, an amused smile on her face.
Storm sighed. "How do you do that?"
Dream beckoned Storm over to her. "Watch how I walk."
Storm scrutinized the creamello's hooves as she nickered, "Your problem is you shuffle your feet along the ground, making it very easy for you to be heard. Pick each of your hooves well off the ground, before setting them down carefully. Remember, this is not to gain speed, but silence."
Storm did as she was told, and although it felt very strange, it worked. She could barley hear herself.
Dream smiled. "Now you know that, try and sneak up on Sirocco. He's looking for me in the trees over there."
Storm could vaguely make out her buckskin friend's golden coat through the dense undergrowth. She started toward him, but as she entered the trees, her hoof came down on a twig. Sirocco looked up, surprised.
"Oh Storm. I didn't think Dream would step on a twig."
Storm snorted playfully. "Alright wise one, let's see you do better!"
Dream stepped in between the two. "Come on, let's go get Eclipse and practice. We don't have much time before you'll need to do this in real life."
"Real .. life?" Sirocco gulped.
Dream looked at him oddly. "Sometimes you surprise me son. I'm training you to be able to go anywhere you wish, and not be heard or seen. We must uncover Sandstone's real intentions."
Storm cocked an ear. "Which are .."
Dream didn't look around. "I can not be sure, but I think he plans to fight the Mesa Climbers and the Desert Runners, taking their land for his own."
Chapter 17 Words from the Dark Edit
Storm stood at the Leaping Fish's bank, her fore hooves in the clear water. Sirocco stood in the river, waiting impatiently as Dream gave instructions.
"Me and Eclipse are going to spy on the herd. You and Sirocco are going to explore the upper grasslands. Normally I would say you would have no cause to worry, but things are so strange now anything could happen. Be on guard."
"Is there anything we should look for?" Storm asked.
Dream nodded. "Anything out of the ordinary."
The four horses split company, Storm and Sirocco going up the canyon, while Dream and Eclipse went the opposite direction. Storm had never seen this part of the canyon before, so Sirocco led the way. They traveled in silence, using the deepening shadows to their benefit.
Storm followed her friend quietly, but as they neared the upper grasslands, Sirocco begin to get rather careless.
"Sirocco hush! Remember what Dream said?"
The colt laughed quietly. "Don't worry Storm, if the herd's all the way down by Fish Isle, Nobody would be up here!"
"Shhh!" Storm ordered as she pricked her ears up.
"But .." Sirocco began, stopping as Storm slapped her tail in his mouth.
"I said hush! Listen!"
Sirocco perked his ears has a quiet voice sounded from behind an outcrop of boulders. It was unintelligible from where they stood, so the two friends crept up to the rocks silently.
Storm could see the speakers from her vantage point, and she immediately recognized Sandstone. However, the others were foreign to her. Sirocco's whisper sounded in her ear.
"I don't know many of them, but I recognize the sorrel. His name is Jump, and he's from the Desert Runners. And I think the blood bay is Red, from the Mesa Climbers."
Storm nodded. "Well let's listen."
Sandstone's voice rang out,
"Friends, the time is near! The Canyon Dwellers are too weak to fight us!"
Storm and Sirocco looked at each other in dismay as the horse called Jump spoke up.
"Be that as it may Sandstone, The Desert Runners and Mesa Climbers are still strong."
Sandstone smiled. "Maybe so Jump, but when Thunderstrike finds his sweet little daughter murdered with the scent of a Desert Runner on her, do you think he will hesitate to take war to them?"
The blood bay spoke up. "It is a good plan Sandstone, to have the Mesa Climbers and Desert Runners fight while we decimate the Canyon Dwellers, but what if they do not kill each other off?"
Sandstone looked behind himself as a small blanket appaloosa mare walked to his side.
"That's where Littlebrook and her herd come in."
Jump lashed his tail. "Why do we her and her scruffy band? She doesn't even have a proper herd! There's no lead stallion!"
The horse called Littlebrook leapt at him, lashing out fiercely with her fore hooves. She watched with satisfaction as Jump reared back, becoming unbalanced and collapsing to his side with a ground jarring thump.
Her voice rang out softly in the silence. "You are lucky to have nothing worse then an aching shoulder and side. I've killed horses for less, and if you had not reared, both your forelegs would have been broken."
Jump lay where he had fallen, his sides heaving in disbelief. Littlebrook turned away with a careless flick of her tail.
"Sandstone, is this imbecilic really useful to us?"
Sandstone curled his muzzle, replying at last.
He nodded to the blood bay. "Red, you know what to do. Get Wisp away from the herd."
The palomino flicked his tail at Jump, who was just getting to his feet. "And you go deal with the little brat."
Storm and Sirocco looked at each other in horror as the meeting broke up. The two horses crept away from the spot, before Storm whispered,
"We can't let them kill Wisp!"
Sirocco nodded. "I know! But how .."
"You tell Dream, quickly! I'll warn Thunderstrike!" Storm ordered.
Sirocco touched his muzzle to hers in farewell. "Alright. Good luck, and be careful! You're the only friend I've got."
Storm returned his gesture. "I'll be alright. You watch your back, ok? I want to find it in one piece when I see you again."
She trotted off as Sirocco's final whinny reached her ears.
"The Great Stallion be with you!"
"And with you!" Storm neighed over her shoulder, before setting her face toward the land of the Mesa Climbers.
Chapter 18 Will You Believe? Edit
Storm's hoof beats sounded small and insignificant in the black night. It was the moon lay behind a thick cloud bank, so the landscape was lit only by stars, which twinkled like a million lights. Under normal circumstances, Storm would have stopped to enjoy the scenery, but now was not the time.
She made it to the rim of the canyon before any real trouble started. As she progressed however, she realized she was faced with a serious dilemma. While she knew the canyon lands fairly well, she had never traveled into the heart of the mesa lands. In the darkness, it was hard for her to navigate, and this slowed her pace considerably.
It is true that horses can see quite well in the dark, but they have their limits. Storm was pushing hers now, and did not dare break into a gait faster then a trot least she stumble and injure a leg. That would not help her, and it would not help Wisp.
She found herself wishing Sirocco and Eclipse were with her. They would know what to do. Even if they didn't, the three of them would put their heads together and come up with a plan.
But no, she was alone. Was that her destiny? To be a lone horse? It wasn't fair! It wasn't even just!
For some reason, Sirocco's words echoed in her mind.
"The Great Stallion be with you!"
Storm knew time was not on her side, but she paused anyway. The horse looked up at the stars, whispering,
"Great Stallion, they say you rule all things, and no force of nature dares disobey you. I need your help, for the lives of many hang in the balance, and I can not save them alone. I don't even know where the Mesa Climbers are, and I can't see to get there if I did. Please Great Stallion, please help me! If not for I, then aid me for those who serve you!"
At first nothing happened, and Storm looked down in discouragement. As she looked up, however, she noticed the clouds were thinning.
The moon peeped out, creating a steady stream of silver light that led of into the horizon. Storm didn't hesitate. She ran along the shimmering moonpath, her soft hoof falls barely breaking the night stillness.
Sirocco's breathing was panting as he splashed through the shallows toward Fish Isle.
"Mother! Eclipse! I need help! Storm needs help!"
The golden buckskin waited for either his mother or his sister to appear, but neither did. Sirocco was confused. He thought Dream and Eclipse said they would come back here when they were done spying on the herd.
The colt turned to see a leopard appaloosa behind him, and his heart leapt.
Spots ran forward.
"No way! You're alive! And you're back!"
The younger colt crow hopped happily.
"They said you were dead, but you're not! Oh this is great! It's just plain Awesome!"
TBC~ Untamed We are wild 02:20, November 16, 2014 (UTC)