- February 3, 2021
The Alpha Chapter 7
“Lies are cages in themselves.”
“Don’t let him get away!”
“No, don’t shoot him!”
“Hey, I think he’s waking up!”
“Blue, shut up and leave him alone.”
“Fine, I’ll leave, I don’t know even know why you’re growling at me, Caypha.”
I wake snarling and growling, looking to clamp my jaws on the closest piece of flesh. This happens after being tranqed, I grow… feral. It doesn’t matter what it is, what it tastes like, I just want blood, and more often than not, I have it.
As teeth find themselves on my back, it seems others would have mine first. I try to throw them off, but my strength isn’t what it used to be. I’ve grown into an old alpha, older than any other I’ve heard of. This challenger is younger, but not too young, experienced, but not too experienced.
He aims to throw his weight atop of mine so I roll with him, and turn to go for a bite, but he’s already pulled away. So young and quick. This isn’t a large alpha, might even be a beta, or a-
“You’re not a challenger,” I growl at her.
The female stands before me, ready to pounce, smelling of the one who attacked me. I sense no fear, but annoyance from her. “No, I’m not, I’m taking care of an old geezer,” she insults me.
“Grrrrr.” Growling and craning my taller head does little to intimidate her. She’s a brave kill at least-
It’s hard to pull me away from a fight, but my surroundings do more than just that. They are near will shattering. I run from the female to the cement wall, I see the ledge above me and I leap to try to run up it, to get my claws or even my teeth on the ledge.
I try to climb up, I have to reach!
I come crashing down back to the ground on my back, with a heavy slam. “Raaaaaaahhhhh!!!!!” I scream and howl.
“What’s wrong with him?” I hear another wolf come and ask the female as I howl and growl, writhing on the ground in angst and rage.
“He’s realized where he is, he’s definitely from the outside,” the female tells him.
“No, Blue, not cool, wild ones always cause trouble.”
“But look at him, Caypha, he’s gray, he’s old, he actually got to be old, and look at all of his scars! Where do you think he got him?”
“I don’t care.”
“Look at the one from his eye to his lip, do you think he can see through it?”
“Doesn’t matter, he has a nose.”
“What about the burn on his back? He’s gotta be pretty tough.”
“Only means he cries more outside of a fight than during.”
“The claw mark on his side is huge! Must be from a bear, or maybe even a tiger!”
“He didn’t beat them… wait, how would he have met a tiger?”
“What about the arrows and the holes?”
“That means the same thing it means with any wolf.”
“He’s been beaten by Man.”
“RRRRRAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!” I scream into the sky, waking up the rest of the pack.
How could it have happened again?! How could I have been captured?! I scream and howl at the moon, demanding my answer as to why I am here!
In a forsaken zoo!
As I grow out of breath those wolves I woke come down, and aside from the two I heard before, there are two more.
Another male, clearly a beta by his size and the way he answers to the alpha female named Caypha. “Is this the new guy?”
“Yup,” she answers.
“Why can’t the new guys ever be quiet?”
Another female comes down from the large rock in the middle of the enclosure. She steps in front of the female named Caypha to inspect me from afar. This seems to be most of them. I should greet them to define the best means of escape.
As I stand the other female makes comments about me, “He’s a big one,” while narrowing her eyes at me with suspicion.
I retort to her, reminding her that I have the best ears here, “And you’re a beta female.”
She lets out a growl, complaining that, “He’s an ass too.”
I ignore her, along with the beta and omega males to speak to the alpha female. “Alpha,” I identify her, “how many are your pack and where is your mate?”
“Alpha?!” the beta male barks.
The female laughs, “Hah! Mate, Caypha, yeah, that’s funny!”
Caypha narrows her eyes, but otherwise she doesn’t flinch. She’s not the largest female alpha I’ve met, but that happens when captured by Man. She is lithe and clearly capable, so it matters little.
She asks me, “How do you figure that I’m the alpha?”
“Were you not the one who attacked me? The alpha should be the first one to defend the pack from an outsider, and outside of the omega,” I say with a glance towards the small red omega, named Blue, “these two betas clearly weren’t prepared.”
“Excuse me,” the female snarls at me, to no effect, “I have a name!”
“Shut up, Febe,” Caypha snaps at her, proving her alpha status as the beta called Febe does little more than glare. “To answer your other question, I have no mate, not that it’s any business of yours.”
“Good, I don’t have to kill him,” I answer and begin scoping out the enclosure.
“Excuse me?!” Caypha yells in shock, losing her composure. She certainly is a young alpha.
“Your mate would be the alpha male, I cannot have a challenger, I would have had to kill this non-existent mate.”
“You think I would mate with you?” Caypha growls, and grows defensive as if I would mount her out of season.
Even if it was in season, I remind her, “It doesn’t matter if you would want to, I have no desire to mate with a female, I have enough pups, now I desire only freedom.” I turn away from her, leaving her with the truth that, “Not to mention, you’re clearly not my type.”
“Oooh,” the small one called Blue, possibly even a pup, spurs Caypha. Why she does not dominate or punish him is beyond me.
“Shut up, Blue.”
I walk away from these clearly tamed and domesticated wolves. I would go as far to think that they were all born here asides from Caypha, especially considering the omega isn’t even a gray wolf but a red one. He’s gray colored, but he is a different breed from us. Shameful that Man would treat us as if we were the same.
But the enclosure is less so compared to other zoos. It’s large, too large, and contains a pool of water to drink and swim in. This is definitely a popular zoo, lots of males and females of Man, making it harder to escape, but it will be done.
“The old man really is incorrigible,” the beta male tells Caypha.
“I can’t fathom where Man finds them, Cade,” Caypha complains to him.
They complain all they want, and based on conversation, recruiting this pack of domesticated dogs is a waste of time. They won’t know anything about escaping, they likely want to stay here.
I taste the water to check for any of Man’s chemicals.
It is surprisingly clean. There is a slim chance of there being a vent to escape from, but maybe a hole that could be used to drain the water. Man would have to move us to refill it. During transport is the best time to make an escape.
“Hey, old man!” I can tell by the highness in its bark that the wolf calling at my back is the omega red wolf.
Caypha orders him, “Leave him alone, Blue!”
“Do you got a name, mister?” he asks as I look down at him. Yes, he is certainly a pup, to call him a wolf would be an insult.
“You should listen to your alpha,” I warn him.
“Caypha? Nah, she’s nice, how about you, do you have a name?”
“I am alpha, that is all you need to know.”
“What about that claw scar? Did you get that from a bear?”
His incessant questions infuriate me, and I scare him off for good by snapping and growling at him with the threat of violence. “Would you like me to give you one to match?”
His curiosity and brazenness disappears in the second before he runs away. “Stupid omega,” I grumble as I turn back to the water.
“You didn’t have to do that,” I hear Caypha tell me, her voice followed by her footsteps. I groan at having to deal with these useless dogs.
“That,” I begin to remind the young alpha, “is the only way for him to learn his place, learn how to be strong.” She still continues to talk as I look for the vent. I think I’ve found it…
“Things here are not like they are out there,” she tries to tell me, but as I’m clearly doing something, I ignore her. As I try to find my place again, she yells at me, “We don’t have to do things that way anymore, old man!”
“Grah!” I snarl to the moon. Having found the vent and having heard enough of this female’s nonsense, I turn and snap at her, “If you want your omega to always to be lazy and weak like your betas, then sure you don’t.”
She hesitates before yelling back, long enough for me to walk to the edge to dive into the water.
“They’re not my betas!” I hear her yelling as go under, “Gaaaahhh!!!” I don’t know if she’s screaming something or just screaming, but either way, it couldn’t matter less to me. I’m getting us out of here, or at least me if those cowards want to stay.
The pool isn’t too deep, at least not for me. I swim and paddle my way to the bottom to where there looks to be a vent by the difference in color. When I get there the feeling under my paw tells me that I’m right. In fact, the feeling under my paw tells me that it’s rusty.
It seems not everything in this zoo is well taken care of. Heh, heh.
I try smacking it first, to see just how bent it is. I feel it nudge, in fact. I feel a piece of it break away. It’s an older version based on how it folds in and out. They like to control it, to filter the water, but there shouldn’t be any water filtering in right now.
I suppose I don’t know for sure it’s older, could just be made poorly, but the rusty ones always looked like this, in and out of the water.
I’ve been down here a long time, but I listen for swirling of the water to be sure. It takes only a moment to hear the water flowing into the drain faster than it should, and in the morning not only will there be less water, Man will have to fix it, or else lose their pets.
I swim back to the surface before my old lungs really start to burst. I’m not lazy or beaten down, but I’m not as young as I used to be. I surface with a gasp for air, and paddle myself back to land slowly, making sure not to push it. The burn in my chest will get almost unbearable if I do.
When I climb halfway up, I see the pet pack together talking, having yet to have gone back to sleep.
The omega, named Blue, despite having this gray color as a red wolf, comes trotting down all excited. He’s already forgotten my threat. They really don’t come with brains like they used to.
Caypha barks at him to come back, but he ignores her, unconsciously though it seems. Instead, he barks at me as I pull myself out of the water. “Hey, old man, I think we figured out your name.”
“Hmmm,” I grumble to myself, this pup clearly has a hearing problem, “I told you, I am alpha, I need no other name.”
“Yeah, well, we remembered that Man has been talking about a new wolf coming for a week now, and we figured it was probably you, so you’re going to hear it a lot.” He tells me like I care, like I should be excited with how his tail wags. I’ll show him how much I care about what Man calls me. I shake off the water and splash it all over him. “Hey! You got me all wet!”
“I care so little, and even less for what Man calls me,” I tell him, walking past the omega, aiming to get away before he annoys me too much. I’m rather tired, too tired to press my paw down on his head.
“Yeah, you seem like an Odin,” Blue mumbles at me, and I didn’t quite understand that last part. I mean to scare him with my glare over the shoulder, but instead he takes that as an invitation to talk more. “Odin is the name they’ve been calling you, something about it being ironic.”
Odin? Ironic? I turn away from him, so I can find myself a place to sleep away from these pitiful excuses for wolves. But the name Odin? That’s what Man will call me… Sounds like something I’d eat.