Savak: The Medallion - Part Eight
"Savak!" Jearii exclaimed. Her voice was distant and echoed
in Savak's mind. "Savak, wake up!"
Savak opened his eyes to find himself, yet again,
surrounded by clouds. The Light Faerie, Jearii, stood a few paces away, but
she was shrouded in mist. Savak tried to move, but he couldn't.
"Jearii?" Savak said. "Why can't I move?"
"Savak, wake up!" Jearii repeated. "Savak, you're
"Danger?" Savak asked. "What danger?"
"Savak! Use the medallion!"
"What? How?" Savak asked.
"Only when you unlock their minds will you be
"Unlock? Whose minds? What are you talking about?"
Jearii's voice started to fade. "Wake up Savak!"
"Jearii! Don't go!" Savak cried. Even as he said
it, the clouds faded, and the world around him darkened. Slowly, the vision
of Faerie Land faded back to the factory yard, where the Lupe that was attacking
Savak was moving in to finish the job! Realizing what was happening, Savak managed
to scramble out of the way just as the Lupe snapped his jaws where Savak's neck
Scrambling to his feet, Savak regained his senses.
Everything flooded back to him. He knew what he had to do.
Concentrating, Savak focused his attention on
the Lupe that was attacking him. He concentrated on a single range of thoughts:
disentangle, release, freedom, anything that opposed the binding and control
that gripped the Lupe's mind.
Savak felt his fur stand on end, not as a reaction
to hostility, but in reaction to the energy coming from the medallion! As Savak
focused the power, he could see the dark magic that was controlling the Lupe
surround him in an aura, a shadow that shrouded him. Savak concentrated on the
one Lupe, trying to release his mind. The Lupe, who was turning to advance on
Savak again stopped in his tracks, conflicted in his decisions. The aura that
surrounded him was dissipating. Eventually, it disappeared altogether, leaving
a free, but disoriented Lupe.
Satisfied, and a little tired, Savak turned
to the rest of the Lupes. Concentrating, he tried to break the ties to all of
them. At first, there was no effect. But, eventually, it was the same thing.
The Lupes fought to free their minds, the auras dissipated, and they were free.
All but one.
Savak's energy was draining, but he could still
see the aura surrounding the Lupe that jumped him. It was far more powerful,
as if Kaylee was putting everything into him!
The Lupe hit him hard. Savak fell to the ground,
slamming his shoulder. He tried to get up, but his foreleg wouldn't hold his
weight. It hurt when he moved it. He watched in horror as the Lupe rounded and
dashed at him.
Then Lukas dashed in, bowling over the Lupe.
Several other Lupes gathered at Savak's side, watching the wayward Lupe cautiously.
"Leave him alone!" Lukas yelled. "Get out of
"Savak, are you alright?" Heysha asked, dashing
over to him.
Savak didn't reply. He was still watching Lukas.
"Go on! Get going!" the Kougra commanded, moving
to drive off the Lupe.
"Lukas, wait!" Savak cried, hoisting himself
up on three legs. "That Lupe is being controlled, like the others were!"
"What?" Lukas asked. "Controlled? How do you
Savak ignored Lukas's questioning, and Heysha's
urging for him to keep still, and he limped up to the Lupe. The Lupe's expression
was fierce, but his eyes were vague. Savak watched the Lupe carefully with a
"What's this all about, Kaylee?" he asked. He
knew full well that that shadow Lupess could hear him through this Lupe's ears,
just like she could see through his eyes, and speak through his mouth. He was
certain Kaylee wasn't about to talk to him herself.
A smirk crossed the Lupe's face. "What else would
it be for but domination?" the Lupe said. "You may have won this battle, young
Lupe. But you have not won the war! We will meet again, on a different battlefield!"
Almost immediately, the dark aura surrounding
the Lupe fell away, and intelligence flowed back into the bewildered Lupe's
Savak sighed with relief and looked to Lukas.
The Kougra was eyeing him suspiciously. "Savak," he said. "What in the world
Slowly, Savak looked through the crowd of Lupes
and found Murgoh, who nodded to him in approval. Reassured by the former leader,
Savak turned back to Lukas. "It's a long story, Lukas. And now that you've seen
what these medallions can do, I suppose there's no harm in telling you about
them." He paused, looking to the gathered Lupes. "I'll tell you on the way to
the plains. These Lupes need to get back home, and I don't want to stay here
* * *
It was a dreary homecoming for the Lupes. They
were all happy to be home, free once again to roam the plains. It was only that
the weather didn't agree with them. It was a light rain, but the clouds blocked
out the rising sun, denying the ground below the full effect of its light.
As the pack scattered, each to his or her own
territory, Lukas, Heysha, Murgoh and Savak sat atop one of the hills, watching
the various packs diminish among the rolling mounds of grass. All but one pack
left. Gerthen, Kosek, and Jessie all waited at the bottom of the hill for Savak
to take the lead.
"All the Lupes are free again," Lukas said. "You
rescued more than just your pack, Savak. You should be proud."
"I didn't do it alone," Savak said. "I thank
you for your help, Lukas."
"And what about me?" Heysha asked.
Savak turned to the young Lupess. "What did you
do?" he asked playfully, dodging a cuff across the ears. "Alright, I'm kidding.
Thanks for your support, Heysha. I'm not sure I would have lasted so long in
Jason's home without you."
Lukas smirked. "Naa, you were right the first
time. She didn't do a thing."
"Come over here and say that, furball!" Heysha
"I can take you anytime, princess!"
"Alright you two," Murgoh said, looking to the
sky. "Lukas, you should take Heysha home. You could get the sneezles in this
weather if you're not used to the outdoors."
Lukas nodded. "You're right. Come on, Heysha.
Good luck, Savak. And take care of Jessie."
"And your shoulder," Heysha added.
"Goodbye, you two," Savak called back, wondering
if he'd ever see them again. As they walked off, Savak made a move to descend
to the waiting pack.
"Just a moment, Savak," Murgoh said. "There's
something I must tell you."
"Yes? What is it, Murgoh?" Savak asked, sitting
Murgoh looked down to the pack and sighed deeply
before continuing. "I've lived a long and colorful life out here on the plains,"
he began. "This adventure has taken a lot out of me. I feared it would be my
last journey, but because of your actions, I am now able to choose which path
will be my last."
The fur along Savak's spine stood on end. It
wasn't the medallion this time. "What are you saying, Murgoh?"
"I'm old, Savak," he said. "Far older than I'd
ever expected to be. This is another effect that the medallion has on you. The
longer you wear it, the longer your life will be stretched. I'm afraid I've
been stretched a little too far for comfort." He looked down at the pack again.
"I've already spoken with each of the pack on the way here. You are the last
to hear this. I'm leaving the pack to take a final journey, and I've often felt
comfortable on my own. I don't wish to make my passing hard on anyone."
"B-but you can't leave!" Savak said. "I-I need
your help leading the pack!"
"Gerthen knows as much about leading the pack
as I do," Murgoh said. "He's been my friend and companion since he was a pup."
He hesitated a moment, then leaned closer. "There is something else. Something
I need to tell you, though I was never sure how I could."
There was a pause as Savak looked into Murgoh's
eyes. "I know what you're going to say."
"You do?" Murgoh asked, a little surprised.
"You're my father, aren't you?"
Murgoh looked straight at Savak without flinching.
A smile crossed his face, and pride filled his eyes. "How did you know?" he
"You always gave me subtle hints when I was growing
up, but I paid little attention to them," Savak explained. "But then, when Lukas
recognized my scent, and then your scent, and then he recognized Jessie on sight."
He paused with a little smile. "And there's your red fur."
Murgoh nodded. "You're a smart Lupe, I'll give
you that," he said. "This is good. You'll need that kind of intelligence for
the trials that await you."
"You really have to go?" Savak asked.
Murgoh sighed. "We've been through this before,
Savak. My life's journey is at an end. But yours has barely begun. Join the
pack. Lead the pack." He gave Savak a lick between his ears. "Goodbye, son.
I'm proud of you."
With this final farewell, Murgoh descended the
hill, starting his final journey, east to the sea. Savak watched the old red
Lupe for a long time, even as he disappeared behind the hills. Finally, he stood
again and limped back to the pack.
"It's about time you came down here," Kosek said.
"Quiet, Kosek," Gerthen snapped. "Murgoh has
left us, hasn't he?"
"Yes," Savak replied. For a moment, he was glad
for the rain. It disguised the tears that were forming in his eyes. He looked
over at Jessie, who seemed to be sharing his grief, and his strength to conceal
it. "Murgoh has started his final journey. And now we must begin one of our
own. We travel west. The prey has gathered there."
Silently, Savak took the lead, followed closely
by Gerthen, Kosek, with Jessie at the rear, her head and tail low. Savak didn't
turn, but he heard as Jessie bounded up from the back to match his pace at his
"He was a good Lupe," she said.
"I know," Savak replied. "And he was a good father
too, even if it was from a distance."
Jessie's ears perked up in surprise, but she
remained silent. Savak was grateful for this. He could be alone with his thoughts
and memories for a little while as they traveled. Murgoh said that his journey
had only just begun. He couldn't help but wonder how true those words were.