Attack on Arrowhead
Warrior Trainee Nathan Storm’s POV
Near Two Harbors, Minnesota
October 9, 2000
Sleep wasn’t coming easy in the rear seat of the bus.
There are good reasons why the junior wolf in the pack is stuck sitting here. The noise from the rear diesel and the fumes are the worst here. Unlike the other seats, the back row doesn’t recline. Finally, my spot is across from the bathroom door. Door slams and flushes are nearly constant. The odors are even worse. Sure, the bathroom vents outside, but that isn’t enough. Put forty guys in a tour bus, feed them greasy food for nineteen hours, and you have a blast zone.
I sat up when Beta Miller sat by me, waiting for Bill to get off the shitter. “How are you holding up, Nathan?”
“I’m good, Beta. Nervous, but good.” I barely qualified for this raid. I’d turned eighteen and qualified as a Warrior Trainee status last month. Today would be my first real fight, and I was nervous enough to have my stomach rolling.
“I’m putting you with Alpha Todd’s guard. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open. Don’t do anything without direct, and then do exactly what he orders.”
“What will I be doing?”
“Officially, you are guarding the Alpha’s back. I don’t expect much of a fight, though. Stay close and learn, boy. You’ve got decades before the Alpha trusts you with more.”
He wasn’t kidding. Some of the men on the bus had been Warriors for a hundred years. “I won’t let you down, Beta.”
The door opened, and Bill headed back to his seat. Beta Miller put his hand on my shoulder. “I know you won’t, Nathan. You’re just like your Dad when he was young.” Dad was my hero. He died in a rockslide when I was fifteen. My Mom then killed herself to be with him.
I’d been living in the Pack House ever since, throwing myself into my training to hide the emptiness in my heart.
I used the bathroom as we drove north on Highway 61 towards the Arrowhead Pack land. “Shit before you fight, or you’ll fight like shit,” my trainers said.
The Alpha was in one of the 12-passenger vans in our convoy, along with two thirty-foot moving vans. Beta Miller handed out maps of the Arrowhead land, and the Alpha laid out the attack strategy. “We initiate the attack from the eastern boundary, running straight for the Pack compound with Alpha and Bravo groups. My group will go to the Alpha’s home while the Beta group herds the rest into the Pack House. Charlie group comes in from the south, spreading wide to ensure none can escape. Delta group approaches from the back side of Arrowhead Lake, sweeping along the shore and forcing the defenders back to the Pack House. We don’t expect many guards near the edge of the territory since we have the element of surprise. If you run into one of them, take them out quickly, and the rest of you keep going. We need to meet at the Pack House before they can rally a defense.”
I’d be with Alpha group, running hard to keep up with Alpha Todd. I’m sure he’d want to take out the Alpha himself so he would have authority over any survivors.
“Rules of engagement, Alpha?”
“Kill all of the males and females beyond breeding age. We’ll bring the females home with us.” A few warriors were grinning at the potential for fresh young pussy in the slave quarters. “Once we have control of the Pack House, the trucks will enter to load the prisoners and the spoils of war. The drivers will be watching for cops and monitoring the police frequencies. If you hear the ABORT order, return to your vehicles immediately and drive away. Understood?”
“Make me proud, Warriors of Bitterroot Pack!”
My bus pulled off the county road and parked a few minutes later. Our trackers verified no humans were around, so we stripped and walked off the bus. We all shifted before forming our groups and waited for the Alpha’s order.
The Alpha ran hard for his target, with six of us struggling to keep up. Alphas were bigger and stronger than other wolves, and the first wolf we spotted turned and ran. Larry ran him down while we kept going.
As we charged into the clearing containing the Pack House and Alpha’s Home, the Arrowhead Pack was in chaos. Alpha Todd charged directly at the Arrowhead Alpha as he desperately tried to rally a defense. The two crashed together, fur and blood flying in a brief and vicious fight. I made sure none of the Pack wolves could come to his rescue.
When Todd ripped his throat out, the Pack defenses fell apart. I heard a scream from inside his home, and I knew it was Luna Joanna as the mate bond broke.
Alpha Todd howled in triumph, then shifted and stood over the dead wolf. Around him, our warriors took down the defenders with skill and brutality, just like in our training.
“Nathan and Carl, go around the back and make sure she doesn’t get away. She’s pregnant, so she’s got guns or silver.”
I ran to the back door with Carl, who shifted and broke the window to get at the lock. “Not even bulletproof glass,” he said. “Fucking Pack thinks no one can touch it.”
We heard a shotgun going off inside. “Go,” Carl said as he pulled the door open. I ran into the kitchen, my nails scraping on the linoleum floor as I turned for the living room. I saw Luna Joanna standing in the center of the room, shooting a twelve-gage out the open front door. I ran and leaped for her arm as she fired her third round. I grabbed her right elbow in my teeth and squeezed, crushing the bones as I bit down. My weight pulled her forward, and I scrambled away after we crashed to the floor. Her shotgun skidded in front of the door as the other wolves rushed in. Carl had shifted back and grabbed her left ankle while the two survivors from the doorway got her left arm and right calf.
Luna Joanna struggled where she lay face-down on the floor, but she couldn’t escape what was coming.
“Hold her,” Alpha Todd said from outside. He stepped over the dead wolves on the porch and looked down with disdain at the woman on the ground. Her chance to kill him was gone now. “Your mate is dead.” She stopped struggling as she fought to push back her rage and sorrow. “Your Betas, your warriors as well. Your safe house is surrounded, and its defenders lay dead or dying on the grass outside it.”
“You won’t get away with this, Todd.” She spit at his feet, and I growled at the disrespect.
“I warned your father what would happen if he turned down my proposal, and he should have known better. You refused me, but your daughter will not be able to. Where is she?”
My Alpha laughed. “A couple of years ago, that was the plan. Find her.”
Carl and I shifted and searched the house while the other two controlled the Luna. I could smell her and the baby’s scent upstairs, but no one was hiding there. “The kid isn’t here, Alpha,” Carl reported.
“The bloodline rights are to be mine, Luna. Turn over your daughter now, and I’ll spare the ones in the safe room.”
“Never. My family line is not going to mix with your craziness.”
“Fine.” He looked at the wolves holding her in place. “Nathan, go to the Pack Garage and bring back a gas can,” he sent me. I ran for the door. “Break her arms and legs, then burn the house. The rest of you, with me. The truck should be here in a few minutes.”
“MAY LUNA CURSE YOU AND YOUR LINE TO ETERNAL HELL!” I could hear the Arrowhead Luna screaming and the snap of bones as I reached the garage. I found a can by the riding mower and headed back.
“She will be mine.” The Alpha walked out with his warriors, heading for the safe room and the Arrowhead women and children. I had my orders, so I started to spread the gasoline around on the furniture, floors, and drapes. I tossed the container into the kitchen and grabbed matches from the fireplace. “You never should have rejected him,” I said as I looked at the doomed wolf.
“You never should follow an Alpha like that,” she replied. She was dead as we crossed the line; I told myself that I was just the instrument. I lit the match and tossed it onto the carpet.
The fire quickly spread as I turned and headed for the front yard. A minute later, her screams finally stopped. I waited until the home started to collapse on itself. Thankfully, Alpha Todd had thought ahead, getting a burn permit for a bonfire. If anyone called 911 about the fire, we were covered. I walked off to join the others at the safe room entrance.
It took an hour to break through the door, only to find dead women and children inside. The Blessed One wasn’t among them.
Alpha Todd was seething; none had escaped our wolves, but we didn’t get what we came for. “Burn it all, load up, and get out of here.”
I was one of the first on the bus, quickly dressing and taking my spot. As we drove away, the adrenaline crash hit. I started to shiver, and my breath got short. I closed my eyes as I did my breathing exercises until it passed, then tried to sleep.
It didn’t go well.
My dreams were of Luna Joanna as she burned. I woke up to her screams, the smell of burnt flesh in my nose.