Eight's long night brought with it sleeplessness and much thought. या did the amount of thought come with how much there was to think about? In any case, the young भेड़िया laid his head down for the evening but little sleep was had. The अंतरिक्ष between his ears was abuzz. His ears rang from the silence of the cold night as he pondered over the last two weeks, the last few days and even earlier that day.
Until just hours prior he had so much worry weighting on his shaggy shoulders. Now, he had only decisions to consider. He had a direction, intent. He had hope again in his heart.
This was the first time he could recall since his travels began that he didn't think of his family while left to his mind. They had not faded from thought, they simply found their place of rest in his mind. Finally.
As he lay in the entrance of his small dugout den, he searched for जवाब until the wee hours of the morning. Frost began to bite at the tips of his ears and nose. He'd lay his head on his paws या in the dirt and keep still for a while, then his green eyes would pop open, glinting in the moonlight. He would shift to his other side and stare at the silhouettes of trees before closing his eyes again only to repeat the process moments later. He wasn't tired this night, and even if he were, his mind wouldn't have any concept of sleep nor rest. It was nice to know that he wouldn't need to be awake for morning hunts, He was chosen for Night duty, helping Stern along on his first दिन back on the job.
Through it all, he laid plans, plotted and created scenario after scenario in his mind as he lay awake, each time he'd go over it in his head the plan would modify या change until he had forgotten the original plan entirely.
Finally, with dawn approaching its light to the horizon, turning the sky very dark blue in the distance, Eight found his eyes heavy and his mind quieting rapidly. He inched further into his dugout, away from the cold and fell into a restless sleep.
The दिन went on as usual without Eight. Three morning hunt groups were sent out, just as every day. The other pack members would do their specified work. Alpha's would train the future promising members of the pack in the eastern fields, The मांद, डेन mothers would watch the pups close to the मांद, डेन in the front field, Betas would patrol and खोजिए for areas of expansion, and general shenanigans would take place where the Omega's saw fit.
The sun hung bright in the sky today, almost completely unobstructed द्वारा the clinging cover of gray as was the norm for this time of year. It wasn't quite winter yet, but Autumn had certainly seen its end on the earth and the days were turning quite cold, even with the sun's rays beating down so.
Eight slept uninterrupted for a great deal of the day, as he knew he would. His own private मांद, डेन was away from the places that most activities were held, off in the wilderness. Even if someone were looking for him, they're vision would be too obscured द्वारा the dense trees and evergreen undergrowth to spot him unless they knew where to look.
He took his time rising this day, mind still thick with thoughts of हाल का memory. What would he take care of first? Well, that answer was easy. Breakfast.
Shortly after some leftovers, what could only be described as "Unburied Meat" at this point, Eight made a beeline directly to his west, where Zen and the others were so well known to reside during the waking hours.
After a short time he arrived near his destination, but heard no disturbances as per usual. No yipping, scuffling, playing, laughing - nothing. He trekked on into the clearing, ears perked up, and nose sensing around for what he could gather. But for the feint scents from earlier in the day, his फ्रेंड्स were as ghosts to this place. It was odd to see it so empty. Surreal even.
He sat there just on the outside edge of the clearing he'd come to know so well and looked over everything, green eyes scanning, surveying and taking in every bit of information that he could. At firs this thoughts were somber, Had he been away so long? Is this what he now came back to? An Emptiness that he surely left in his wake?
- No. There were tracks. Relatively fresh, perhaps a few hours old leading further west. Two sets were larger, belonging definitely to the Twins, Grunt and Darriel. One set smaller than the others... Zens, if his guess was correct. But no others accompanied them.
He sniffed around further for a few moments, there were definitely no signs of the others, but he knew that those who were there trailed off, gradually leaving the woods and into the field.
He stood again and shrugged to himself. No better way to find what you're looking for than to, well, LOOK for it. A simple observation, yes, but its obviousness only made it that much और true.
He began to follow the trail in its direction, nose close to the ground and eyes constantly searching for the wake that the larger bodied twins left and only made it a short distance before voices were heard. He stopped and raised his head, ears perked up and tail starkly still. It only took moments for some figures to become visible through the foliage.
The voice came first though, distinctly Zen speaking. The सेकंड that replied, creating an undiscernable conversation was little Mingo. There was a third with them too, One of the twins.
Eight stopped and stood aside from the trail, waiting for them to come nearer.
"....I know it SOUNDS like a good idea, and I'm not saying that it isn't, but Benson and his ignorant cronies really aren't considering the long term ramifications and CERTAINLY not the nature as to whether या not his so-called 'triumph' would outweigh the full effects and consequences."
Zen's semi-nasaly voice could be heard the most prominently, speaking intelligent, long worded points. He stopped though now as he noticed Eight and exclaimed out of full surprise,
"Eight! An old friend's face greets us from the trees! How have आप been, Sir?"
Eight smiled warmly, "I've been..." He paused and looked up for a moment, pondering, "Complicated." He grinned and chuckled.
Zen laughed along with him, clearly pleased to see him. The others were smiling along, tails wagging in excitement of Eight's return.
"My compatriots and I were just heading back to "The Grounds", care to accompany us?" Zen asked Eight, taking a few steps in that direction.
"Of course, lead on!" Eight smiled and filed in just beside him as they traveled back the short distance to the silent area Eight had just been at.
"So, where's बकाइन and..." Eight paused for a moment, looking back to the present Twin, making sure to inquire about the right one, "Grunt?"
"Ah, they had some endeavors to attend with the predominant," Came Zen's reply, "We all did, really. We're just back sooner."
Eight took a moment to ponder, shaking his head and waving his paw in front of him as though to signal to stop. "Wait, wait, wait..." They each sat around one another, "Business?" Eight asked in disbelief, "You mean to tell me that आप were attending Omega 'Official Business'?" Eight grinned for a moment.
Zen looked to the others for a moment, they each had a chuckle before he turned his attention back to the shaggy haired Beta.
"Tell ya what, Eight, m'friend," Zen started in a very 'un-zen like' sentence, finishing up in his usual fashion, "These two scoundrels were just about to start a little lunch hunt. I'll send them on their undertaking and आप and I can have ourselves a little tête-à-tête, hmm? A little palaver."
He motioned and without hesitation, the other two stood.
"You want us to grab आप something to?" Mingo asked as they headed deeper into the woods.
"If आप chance upon anything." Zen replied, turning his attention back to Eight.
"Well," Eight started, watching as the others disappeared into the forest, "Where do we start?".