This is the next part and conclusion of “The Changers”, the story that has become Pack. You may have guessed it, but Irion was the first version of Daldion. Unfortunately, I used the name “Irion” in another unrelated novel, so I had to come with something new—thus was born Daldion. And as I was rather young when I wrote it, I never got beyond this:
Chapter 2: The Transformation
Once again he was in a dream, treading through the mist. He knew what was coming. The creature, the wolf. There it was, leaping down off the mountain, heading towards him. But this time it was different. In it’s eyes he saw himself reflected. But then the image changed, morphing to an image he knew well. A wolf. Devin stumbled back as the eyes blinked. Then it spoke.
“Look at yourself, Devin. Know who you truly are, and me also.”
Devin was bathed in an icy sweat. “Who are you?”
The creature reared back, surprised at the question.
“I am Irion son of Tolg. But, if you take my meaning, I am also you.”
Devin peered into Irion’s eyes. There it was, himself, the wolf.
Then he felt his body change, altering into the sleek shape of canine, a Wolf.
He felt a panic, a great fear of his new body. He screamed, but it quickly turned to a pathetic whine. He opened his mouth to speak, but the vision began to fade, turning to a bright glaring light…
Devin woke anew to the sound of beeping. His hands flew to his face as he remembered the dream. Devin felt his whole body before he had calmed down enough to remember where he was. He struggled to a sitting up position only to fall back as a wave of pain crashed over him.
He stared at the ceiling, his gaze running through the cracks of the tiling, zooming on a never-ending course, around, and around… He sighed. He was returning to the ceiling when the door flew open. Devin dived under the covers, his eyes fastened closed.
A white clothed nurse bustled in, straightening the covers. She placed a tray of steaming mashed potatoes and gravy in front of him. The appetizing smell nearly drew him out of the bedclothes, but he managed to keep himself in his supposed stupor. After a few minutes a voice ran over the intercom, ”CALLING MARY TILLMAN, CALLING MARY TILLMAN, PLEASE REPORT TO ROOM 67. THANK YOU.” The nurse glanced at the squirming body. Yes he was awake. She’d seen it before. The nurse smiled. Kids, they were all the same. However, she was wrong with this one at least. The nurse sighed and hurried out, returning to her never-ending duties.
Devin peeked out of the covers and smiled. He glanced at the food. His stomach rumbled. He hadn’t eaten for a full twenty-four fours. He jumped with relish at the scrumptious fare, completely at peace with the world, at least for the time being…
But in another diabolical mind, thing were in turmoil. In a small, dark office, in the murky corner of the hospital a man sat. He held his head in his hands, pondering his next move. If he is one of them, it is my sworn duty to destroy him. The man stood, and rushed out the door.
Dr. Retland walked in, his doctors’ coat flapping wildly with his brisk trot. He drew to a stop by Devin’s cot, first looking at the youth to make sure he was asleep. Then he turned his gaze at the various screens and displays. He stood, muttering to himself.
“If only I could get the blood test back I could be sure… no. They must be stopped. They are too much of a danger…”
He went on muttering, carrying on for several minutes. Then suddenly he stopped and looked at the prostrate form lying on the bed. His mouth curled into a sneer as the body rolled over. He began to shift towards the bed. Towering over the boy, he looked down with cruel eyes. He reached to the surgical instruments, selecting a scalpel.
Devin was shivering, drenched in cold sweat, he felt alone as the giant loomed over him. Suddenly Devin lunged from bed, sprinting to the door, ignoring the pain screaming through his body from the recent incident. He yelled, but a heavy hand clapped over his mouth. A fist struck him to the floor, the air in his body leaving in a rush. He attempted to rise, but he collapsed, falling to the floor with a dull thud.
Devin raised his head to look at his attacker. Dr. Retland glared down at him, hate filling his eyes. Devin let his head fall. It was all over. Just as he had resigned himself to his fate, he heard a voice. A familiar voice. A voice he heard many times, in a misty land.
The voice whispered, Come to me. Let us join and unite. Become who you really are… Then time seemed to slow. The scalpel came like it was underwater. And he felt himself change, morphing into the shape of a canine … a wolf.
He expected to be filled with panic and pain. But instead, he felt, excited, the hunter on the hunt. He was filled with energy, in this body he truly lived. In this body he had speed, he had power, and he had awareness.
He felt the wind as the knife flew past him; he smelled the fear of his attacker. He felt vibration as Dr. Retland stumbled and fell, and he felt the anger, the pure rage that radiated from Dr. Retland. He tasted it in the air and was afraid.
Then he heard a voice. And he remembered it. It was Irion. He took heed of the words.
And so he ran…
Chapter 3: The Meeting
Devin burst from the room, slamming into a cart full of trays and dishes. His momentum carried him across the passage, and in to the wall. He heard the serving dishes as they fell to the ground with a crash, glass and clay flying all over the corridor.
His claws scrabbled for a grip on the linoleum floor. He heard screams and shrieks as he dashed down the hall. Pandemonium erupted behind and in front of him as doctors and nurses attempted to get out of the way.
He raced down the stairs, jumping four stairs at a time. He burst in the lobby, scampering past several petrified secretaries and out into the foggy, urban night. He heard sirens in the distance and he knew he didn’t have much time.
But he knew what to do. He had instincts now. And he had a protector.
And so he disappeared into the black night…