Heron Lake Plateau Steady hands just take the wheel
All Welcome  December 17, 2018, 10:45 AM
Wildfire
Approved Members

Kiwi had planted a seed in her mother's head (however unwittingly), which had taken root, sprouted and even begun to flower over the past several days. But before she remotely considered taking action—heck, before she even approached leadership with her proposition—Wildfire knew she should consult someone else, somebody whose guidance she could trust. Two wolves immediately came to mind. They weren't impartial third parties, though Wildfire knew they would help her make the best judgment call.

Padding to a comfortable spot on the lake shore, not far from the little island some called The Roost, Wildfire tipped her head toward the clear blue December sky and howled softly for her Uncle @Elwood and Aunt @Finley.
December 17, 2018, 11:02 AM
Finley
Firebirds
Honoree
"I mean, we could always start looking outside the pack for someone..." Fin suggested as she strolled alongside her mate. They were on the topic of Eljay again. Maybe it was because she'd really enjoyed meeting her grandkids at the Sunspire a few months ago, or maybe it was because she literally had NOTHING else to do, but she was being a little obsessive over this project to find her eldest a mate, even though I'm not sure she's gotten Eljay's consent yet. But whatever.

Before Elwood could respond to her latest suggestion (not that Fin hadn't made it a hundred times before already), the pair heard Wildfire's call. Fin frowned and cast a glance at her mate that said wonder what this is about, as usually when Finwood was summoned together, it meant something was up. He shrugged, and they turned together to weave their way across the Plateau to where their niece sat waiting. Finley greeted her with a nudge before dropping onto her haunches, trying not to wince at the sting of pain that twinged through her hip.

"You rang, princess?" she prompted with a smile.

 
December 17, 2018, 11:29 AM
Wildfire
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She realized her heart was beating pretty hard in her chest. Wildfire licked her lips and took a breath, trying to summon calm and patience while she waited. She managed to achieve some level of zen by the time her godparents arrived... at which point her heart rate accelerated again. Thinking thoughts was one thing but she was about to put them out there in the world. Was she really ready for that? Had she thought this through thoroughly enough?

She wasn't entirely sure, though as her chestnut eyes swept over their familiar grizzled features, Wildfire decided she was going through with it anyway. "Hey, thanks for coming," she said, sweeping from her haunches to her feet to tuck her smudged snout beneath each of their chins in a gesture of respectful greeting. Her black tail waved slowly behind her before she stepped back again. She meant to take a seat, yet her body hummed with such nervous energy that she decided to stay on all fours. She did motion for her godparents to make themselves comfortable if they liked.

"I wanted to talk to you two about this ridiculous idea I had, see if there's any merit to it whatsoever." Wildfire's eyes met her uncle's first, then her aunt's. She could tell she had their full attention. She drew in a steadying breath. "Okay, here goes..." She exhaled, then began. "I've talked to you both about some of this but I'll go over it again just to make sure I haven't forgotten to mention anything, starting with our plans to visit the caldera in the spring. I'd still like to keep those plans. But I want to come clean about something. I was thinking about not coming back after we visited. I was thinking of leaving the Teekon Wilds altogether, finally doing some traveling after all this time. I've spoken to the girls—Kiwi and Sequoia anyway—and they would come with me.

And, actually, when I brought it up to them, Kiwi inadvertently put an idea in my head. We were hanging out in the copse a little east of her when she told me she liked it there. And that made me think. It's not just that I'd like to travel, part of the reason I was thinking of leaving is because the plateau seems awfully crowded, especially with breeding season just around the corner. Maybe I'm wrong but I feel like it's going to become a madhouse in the next month. As much fun as it'd be to hang around and watch the flood of puppies, I do worry about the strain on resources and don't want to contribute to that strain.

And then there's Drageda,"
she continued, stopping to draw in another steadying breath as her heart thudded dully against her breastbone. "My eldest son came here and threatened to come back and kill us. I knew they'd be upset when we left, I wasn't actually expecting them to hunt us down as traitors. They know exactly where we are—I told them where we were going—and now I feel as if I've put a target on all of our backs here. I understand that you'd all likely go to bat for us and I appreciate that but I still don't want to put anyone in danger. You guys moved across the wilderness just to avoid war, I don't want to risk bringing another to you. And, quite frankly, it would be safer for us too if we went somewhere else.

So, to tie all of this together... Kiwi mentioned that she liked the copse. It's far enough away that we would be safer there but close enough that we could be allies. Actually,"
Wildfire confessed, chewing at her bottom lip and letting the next part out in a bit of breathless rush, "I was thinking we could be branches of the same pack, or sister packs at the very least. Then we'd all be safer, with more space and resources to spread out, all while being near enough to..." Why were the words "build an empire" suddenly flashing in her mind's eye?
December 17, 2018, 11:41 AM
Finley
Firebirds
Honoree
Fin was quiet as her goddaughter spilled the beans on this grand plan she had schemed. I'm going to summarize her reactions with bullet points because I'm on my lunch hour at work writing proposals and presentations and that's where my head is at.
  • She had a moment of anxiety over the idea of Wildfire, Kiwi and Sequoia leaving the Wilds after their trip to the Caldera;
  • She wondered what the copse was and if she'd ever been there;
  • She wondered which one Kiwi was again;
  • She hadn't thought of how crowded the Plateau was and how many couples they had, but it was a good point. There were three of them, assuming Colt got over his damn self and came back to be with Niamh (she hasn't read that thread yet);
  • She remembered the son Wildfire referred to and wasn't surprised at the threat. He'd been a fucking weirdo. There was too much Betty in him;

And finally, the heart of it. She wanted to settle in the Copse and start a sister pack of sorts with the Redhawks. "Okay..." she started, since it all sounded.. Well, it sounded okay to her. But Fin was a little confused still, "Are you saying you plan on leading this new pack? How would you do that and travel outside of the Wilds...?" She glanced at her mate, wondering if Elwood's far more capable brain had woven more of the story together in his head than she'd managed in hers.

 
December 17, 2018, 11:59 AM
Wildfire
Approved Members

Finley reacted first, with a protracted, "Okay..." Wildfire could now hear her pulse thunder in her ears as she waited with bated breath for whatever came next. Her eyes skirted sideways to see Elwood's expression—he appeared to still be processing the information she'd just dumped on them—and then back to her godmother as she posed two very astute questions.

"I—yes," Wildfire answered to the first. As a youth, she'd never aspired to be a leader. She'd even actively avoided it in her time (sorry, @Floki). But she'd enjoyed her time as a Bandrona in Drageda and she'd even made plans to resume the mantle before the latest batch of pups had waylaid her reprisal. Now she was nearly four years old, a mother twice over, and something about this simply clicked. Of course, that wasn't to say she wasn't nervous: she was very. But excited in equal parts.

"This would put a kibosh on leaving the wilds. I'd still like to go to the caldera in the spring, as well as get out more in general, especially since I'm a scout by trade and it's been a while. But there were three reasons for leaving the wilds: one was to avoid the overcrowding at the plateau, another was to avoid Drageda's vendetta. This takes care of those two. And I think that I can find a good balance with the traveling, once we're established."
December 17, 2018, 12:58 PM
Elwood
Firebirds
Honoree
Elwood was a good listener, and today was no exception. He had listened -- and offered his own thoughts -- in regards to finding an Eljay a girlfriend, and he had shifted gears and refocused his attention on Wildfire after she called for her godparents and they arrived in her presence. There was a lot of back story behind her proposal, and he carefully took note of each detail as she explained her ideas, Finley asked clarifying questions, and then Wildfire answered those queries.

Throughout the ladies' brief exchange, Elwood remained quiet as he mulled things over in his mind. He didn't see any reason why Wildfire shouldn't go ahead with her plan; at the core of it all, there was the fact that the Blackthorn and Redhawk families were only continuing to grow, and would eventually expand beyond their current ranks and capacity. What better way to ensure the legacies lived on than to form a nearby sister pack?

In what was a somewhat uncharacteristically-Elwood reply (simply because it was, well, simple), he shrugged and said, "Honestly, that sounds like a good plan to me." He didn't know yet what it would mean for himself and his immediate family -- would they go or stay? -- but he couldn't think of a single cause to hold Wildfire back.
December 17, 2018, 06:13 PM
Finley
Firebirds
Honoree
Fin nodded slowly as Wildfire answered her questions. She had been afraid for a second it was one of those situations where Wildfire would get them all excited and sold on the idea and then add an oh by the way, I want you guys to lead! Which would not have gone over well. She hated retirement, but when it came down to it, she would choose it over being in leadership again. She liked her role as the wise, beloved old crone that people came to for entertainment or comfort or advice. She didn't want them to come to her for decisions anymore. That shit was stressful.

But like her mate, she saw nothing wrong with this plan. She didn't really think much of Drageda's threat, but the overcrowding was certainly a concern. She had no plans to stop making babies and she rather doubted Raven did either. Plus, Wildfire was going to probably be having Eljay's soooo...

"Yeah, I agree," Fin replied, smiling a secret smile to herself, "There aren't any other packs that way, are there? Good lord, I haven't been out in a while..." She paused, deciding on something more important. "But.. It'd be just the three of you? Alone?" Fin asked, her brows knitting in concern. The thought of them out there alone gave her a big ol' sad.

 
December 17, 2018, 06:26 PM
Wildfire
Approved Members

Aside from the concerns Finley raised, neither one seemed to have any qualms about her idea. As a matter of fact, Elwood said it sounded like a good plan. Wildfire's heart fluttered in her chest like a bird. When his mate agreed with him, it burst into fire. A huge smile bloomed on the redhead's face, her chestnut eyes going wide (and a little watery, of course) as she realized her plan wasn't as outrageous as she'd imagined. It couldn't be, not if her godparents vouched for it.

Her aunt had a couple more questions, which Wildfire was eager to answer. "Not as far as I know. If we run into any issues staking a claim in the copse, I'm sure there's somewhere else around here." Was she trembling? She was literally thrumming as she realized she was talking as if it was not a question of if but rather when, not just a maybe but a probably. Her godparents were backing her. Supposing her sister and brother-in-law didn't shoot her down, she was really going to do this!

"I've thought about that," Wildfire added in response to Finley's other inquiry, "and I think we'd be okay. I'm pretty confident that I could support all three of us, if I needed, but Kiwi's a hunter too, with lots of promise. I know there's got to be a good variety of game in the copse, else I wouldn't even be considering it." She paused, lips pursed, and decided to voice a thought she'd of course had during all her pondering about this very subject. "I don't want to steal able bodies from the Redhawks ranks but it might make sense for a few to go with us, considering the crowding issue. I can't imagine @Buckshot would stay without us, so that's at least one other. And I'd love for Bat to come. And then maybe..." But Wildfire didn't want to be selfish, so she stopped there, though there was a glimmer in her eye as she gazed at her aunt and uncle.
December 17, 2018, 11:01 PM
Elwood
Firebirds
Honoree
The more Elwood thought about it, the more he approved of Wildfire's idea. Granted, his first choice would be to keep here here, with the rest of the Redhawks on the plateau -- but he knew how worried she was about Artaax and Drageda, and this was certainly a better option than her leaving the wilds altogether. He could keep an eye on her and protect her as he had promised, but she would feel a little more freedom and hopefully a little less stress.

Wildfire continued to elaborate with more prompting from Finley. Naturally, Kiwi, Sequoia and Buckshot would go with her; they were something of a package deal. She expressed an interest in taking Bat too, and even seemed to be considering asking other packmates. If they were truly going to be sister packs, they could spread the family across the two groups, allowing for more autonomy and space while still remaining a tightly-knit community. Her final sentence trailed off, but if Elwood wasn't mistaken, he thought she was hinting at her godparents joining her as well.

He raised his brows slightly and glanced at Finley. He wasn't opposed to it, but there were a lot of logistics that would need to be worked out first. "Well, we're here to support you in whatever you need us to do," he said, and he meant it -- however it would play out over time.
December 18, 2018, 08:43 AM
Finley
Firebirds
Honoree
Finley ran through their ranks in her mind as Wildfire answered, considering who would go and who would stay, if given the chance. She didn't get far in her consideration. It actually landed on leadership and just stopped right there. She hadn't stuck around for the whole fight between Towhee, Quixote and Phox, but she'd caught snippets as she'd bailed. Towhee was upset, likely over Niamh's demotion, and Phox apparently was just pissed that he and Towhee weren't in charge. It was all quite silly, really. But silly as it was, it did mean there was a rift between those in leadership, and this could give an opportunity to split the parties. But would that actually be wise? Hell if she fuckin' knew.

"Agreed!" Fin chirped, completely missing the significant look her goddaughter was giving her. She didn't really need to see it for her own wheels to be churning along the same routes already. She seriously hated the Plateau, and she knew Eljay did too. It was the perfect excuse for the three of them to follow Wildfire to the Copse, the real reason obviously being so she could trap the two of them in romantic situations. It would be like The Parent Trap, only the parents would be the ones trapping. But Finwood's participation in this new wing (GEDDIT??) of the Redhawks might come with a mass exodus from the ranks. She and Elwood were just so beloved, Fin couldn't imagine any of her kids (adopted and birthed from her own special bits) not following them. She's very humble like that.

"Have you talked to Raven about this yet?" Fin asked, curious as to what the former alpha would think about this plot.

 
December 18, 2018, 10:41 AM
Wildfire
Approved Members

Although Finley seemed lost in thought, Elwood picked up on the inference and she beamed at his offer of support. Wildfire didn't know what she'd done to score such wonderful godparents, though she was immensely grateful for them. She had been absolutely right to consult them first and foremost. Even if they'd told her to put the idea aside, she knew she would feel the same way. Wildfire felt she could trust their judgment implicitly in any given situation.

"Thank you," she whispered to them both, now struggling not to cry happy tears. She blinked a few times, managing to keep them at bay, though her eyes were shining. "No, you two are the first. Now that I know this might actually work, she's up next. If she's half as supportive as you two, I'll be thrilled." She huffed a laugh.

Neither one had actually said they would come with her and Wildfire opened her mouth to ask outright, only to close it again. She shouldn't push the issue right now. She would give them time to think about it. Everyone would need some time to adjust to the idea, then consider all the logistics. There would be some pain points—not everyone was going to be a fan of this plan—and it was going to take some time, maybe even quite a bit of it, to really see this thing through.

Suddenly but softly, Wildfire pushed herself into the space between her aunt and uncle, black tail waving as her neck arched over each of theirs in turn, a loose hug of gratitude. When she stepped back, Wildfire offered, "If you two are up for it, I'd love to take you to see the copse sometime."
December 18, 2018, 10:27 PM
Elwood
Firebirds
Honoree
Finley asked a question that caused Elwood a moment of consideration. What would Raven think of this? And, by extension, how would Quixote feel? He couldn't imagine Raven being anything but supportive of her sister, but Finley had filled Elwood in on what she knew about Quixote, Towhee, Niamh and Phox, and he had no idea how that would potentially sway anyone's opinion on the matter. Even as these thoughts crossed his mind, however, he stilled them. It wasn't important what any of them thought, because what it came down to was that Wildfire was an adult who could make her own decisions, and she felt that this was her best course of action.

He smiled as Wildfire abruptly moved to embrace them, and he returned the gesture earnestly. She stepped back and offered to show them the territory that she had her eye on, and Elwood nodded. "We'd love to see it soon," he said. "And if there's anything you need from us -- just let us know," he added. He wasn't sure what all that would entail, but whether or not he and Finley actually made plans to accompany Wildfire, they would help her as needed.
December 20, 2018, 06:34 PM
Finley
Firebirds
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Fin had somehow totally overlooked how emotional her goddaughter was getting over all of this. Probably because she was too busy brainstorming about her own secret plots and kind of hoping she and Elwood could get out of here soon so she could start plotting out loud with him. All that's to say that when Wildfire suddenly (in her mind anyway) moved forward to embrace the pair of them with shining, wet eyes, Fin was a wee bit startled.

Elwood, fortunately, was Elwood. She looked over at her mate as he offered more words of encouragement and support, curious as to what she'd missed Wildfire saying while she'd been sucked down into the devious, then surprised, and finally confused black hole in her mind. All Fin could do was smile bigly and nod at her niece, and try super hard to keep her thoughts in line until she could unleash upon Elwood in private.

 
December 20, 2018, 08:33 PM
Wildfire
Approved Members

Elwood's acceptance of her offer stirred Wildfire's tail. She glanced between the two of them, so immensely grateful that there were two such wonderful wolves in her life she could always turn to in times of need, whether that was a home or just a listening ear. Peregrine and Fox were long dead now (can y'all believe it's been two years?) but Elwood and Finley had risen to their role of godparents rather remarkably, even for those who'd been long grown themselves.

"I'm going to see if I can find Kiwi and Seq, then I'll go talk to Rave about all this. Thank you again. I'll come find you about seeing the copse." Wildfire favored her aunt and uncle with one last adoring smile, then a nudge each, before she excitedly spun on a little red heel and went trotting away, her heart throbbing with excitement for what was to come.
December 30, 2018, 10:00 PM
Elwood
Firebirds
Honoree
Wildfire's excitement only seemed to grow, and she decided to seize the opportunity and go talk with Kiwi, Sequoia, and ultimately Raven about her plan. "Good luck," Elwood called after her, although he didn't really think she'd need many of his well wishes. It would likely just be a matter of setting the whole thing into motion.

As she moved out of earshot, Elwood turned to Finley and they began to talk in low voices as they moved in the opposite direction, shoulder to shoulder. (Your guess is as good as mine as to what they were saying!)