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Gear is captured by the Shards of Darkness Patrol
Gear POV

Through my tears, I could see my previous Packmaster staring at me curiously, with an almost disdainful but bewildered look on his features. What was he thinking? Was he going to kill me now?

“Back away.” he ordered sharply. “Sir?” said a young wolf next to him timidly. Folf, I corrected myself, knowing the difference but unsure how. Vixen snarled louder and more brutishly,”I said, BACK AWAY, YOU HALF WITTED IMBECILES!!” To no surprise, the wolves retracted a safe swinging distance from Vixen, knowing his temper was his most fearsome trait. I gave Vixen another mournful look, and I could sense a deep sense of relief within those fierce burning orange eyes of his. It could’ve been a trick of the light though, because I knew of Vixen’s double-crossing standards. However, Vixen’s eyes were full of worry as he knelt down beside me. “Gear, bud. You gave me quite a scare. Come here, friend.” He held out a paw and I bared my fangs at him, still teary-eyed and helpless. I didn’t trust the situation and I guess he knew that I felt very uneasy around the others, so he commanded roughly,” Tell Shadowshard to gather his score and return to camp. That’s an order.”

“Aye, Lord.” the folf replied, clearly confused. They left slowly, muttering darkly among themselves. Once they were out of earshot, Vixen turned his attention back on me. I didn’t know what to expect next, but I had the feeling it wouldn’t be pleasant in the slightest. But much to my own surprise, Vixen’s next move was to untie me from the tarp ensnarement which I had been foolish enough to be trapped by. Vixen spoke softly, coaxingly. “Hey, look, there’s no need to be scared, Gear. Honestly, you made me more worried than angry, I thought I had lost you forever. Come. Let’s take you back to our current base, shall we?” I stood there and shook my head vigorously. This took Vixen by surprise even more than I had expected. “Why not?” he asked gently, his voice smooth and full of hurt, I refused to speak however. After a moment of silence Vixen seemed to realize I wasn’t in any mood to talk, so he sighed and said,”Alright, look. I know you’re probably mad at me for allowing you to be captured, even though I’m sure you don’t want to return to the Pack. All completely understandable. But unfortunately, you swore an oath. I can’t have you running off like that and have everyone think that’s okay. Here’s my proposal: I’ll let you ally yourself away from the Pack Rules, on one condition. Are you ready to listen?” Of course I was under no condition to listen but Vixen was daring me to say something other than “yes”, so I nodded silently. “Good. Now this must remain a secret between the two of us. Understand?” Another nod from me gave Vixen his confirmation to continue his proposal.

“Alright. Gear, I will allow you to go free of punishment in my Pack, should you choose to stay. You are an important member, since Stoneclaw’s unexpected disappearance. You don’t have to

abide by the strict rules and conduct directly. You may do as you please, being your role as a god and my Assistant Packmaster whilst my buddy Stoney is away.” I looked at him, unsure of how to react, and being that he was a fox, I shouldn’t have trusted him. But something told me Vixen wasn’t being sinister. He was simply desperate. I sighed. “I must say, you are awfully convincing.” I muttered. Vixen’s ears shot up apprehensively, “I beg your pardon Gear?”

“Nothing” I replied quietly. Vixen touched my shoulder lightly and I flinched hard.

“Easy, bud. I’m not going to harm you, I promise.” I really had next to no other options but to believe his word. I sighed again in resignation. “Come now, Gear. We’ve got dinner to eat. I’m sure you’re famished after all that running. I would be too.” A faint smile was on his lips and I wanted to run again, more than anything. He would find me though, no matter how far I traveled or as fast as I ran. He always found his prey. I shook my head and nodded for him to lead the way. He took a hold of my paw and led me back to the camp, my freedom fading with the setting of the sun and tears glistened in the dying of the light, my body as captured as my mind.

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