2nd Preview: Star Wolf
Straight to it today. The second preview from book one, Star Wolf: Songs of Star & Winter.
I hope you enjoy... And if you do the cover has a magic link to the world of Amazon...
‘Dear Council, I am pleased to announce the eradication of Earth is complete. As per your request we carried the mission out with speed and stealth. We provided a quick and merciful death for all who resided on the planet. The resulting benefits will be unquestionable, as we no longer lag from the drain of resources Earth took from us. Each species will have more time and resource to look after its own planet and species. Humans were a cruel bunch, a virus on their own planet. They showed us as much by their treatment of all our prisoners. I think we can all agree we have done the galaxy a kindness, and in turn freed many of our long-lost brothers and sisters. They served their punishment.’ The Winter Tiger’s words, stood in the central podium of the vast marble coliseum, were velvet and the thousands of species in attendance believed every word; Star Wolf didn’t buy any of them. Nor did he agree with his father’s vote, a month back, in favour of destroying Earth. Star Wolf strode out of grand dome that housed The Council of Worlds’ meeting. I need a drink.
Star Wolf couldn’t argue that the bars, and refreshments, on The Council of Worlds’ planet were second to none. The current upmarket establishment he found himself drinking in was ostentatious, full of mirrors, industrial metalwork seating and décor, and grandly named Universal. It was the only benefit of having to attend these boring meetings, and yet still he came at his father’s request. ‘One day you’re going to lead our planet and you’ll need to provide our voice at these meetings. It is vital you understand the nuisances of politics and diplomacy before I pass over command to you.’
And yet the words came from a Wolf that approved the murdering of trillions of lives, from endless species, on account of the “greater good” for the galaxy.
The same speech accompanied every trip they made to the planet. Thankfully another Council meeting was completed. A night of drinking lay ahead, and then a short jump back to their homeworld, Lupus. The hangover would be unbearable if his father did his usual trick of talking the whole way back about the contents of the meeting.
‘Who cares about Earth?’ muttered River, a thickset, black-furred Wolf well into his seventh drink. His every word oozed scorn and resentment. Star Wolf always assumed it was down to River’s lowly upbringing. River didn’t come from the House of Wolves and wasn’t allowed to be referred to as River Wolf. Common Wolves went by a singular name, an archaic tradition that Star Wolf wasn’t a fan of and yet had never spoken out against.
‘I’m sure the billions of people and animals did,’ replied Star Wolf, stumbling on his stool. He swivelled to keep his balance, whilst experiencing that horrible sensation of falling.
‘Well, they’re gone now, trillions of criminals. Good riddance.’
‘That’s assuming they were all guilty.’ Star Wolf knew the truth of each animals’ guilt would never be discovered.
‘You’re always searching for a conspiracy,’ said Sky, brushing Star Wolf’s shoulder as she sat down next to the drunken duo. Sky was another common-born Wolf, not that Star Wolf cared, she carried her herself with an air of grace. Lustrous silver fur illuminated and highlighted her lavender eyes, or perhaps that was the drink. Sky and River weren’t allowed to go by the name Wolf but they were employed by the House of Wolves, at Star Wolf’s request, and thus the trio of Wolves all sported the same dark-grey uniform. The proud House of Wolves emblem — a Wolves head, teeth bared — across their tunics a permanent reminder of their allegiance.
‘Yeah, Star, leave it be. It’s done, let’s just have a few more drinks and head h—’ River slumped onto the shiny metallic bar, already snoring, the iron armour plate sewn into his tunic gently pattering as his torso heaved in wheezy breaths.
‘Agreed,’ responded Sky. ‘That had to be one of the most boring Council meetings I can ever remember. The galaxy is a dull place, isn’t it?’
‘I’d hardly call blowing up a planet boring,’ grated Star Wolf.
Sky flinched, exposing perfectly straight, sharp white teeth, as her silver features narrowed.
‘True, but those criminals got their punishment. Besides planets don’t exactly explode every week do they! I don’t think they’ll be any excitement or meetings till next month, do you?’
Star Wolf gazed out over the bar watching two Dogs and a Lizard argue over a table. ‘There’s always something on the horizon.’
The Council often met, always in the grand and infamous marble coliseum, at least once a month, to discuss all the menial items that needed tending to ensure safety and prosperity for the galaxy. Today’s meeting was no different and the elected chairman of The Council of Worlds, some fusty old grey-haired Goat, the Goat Master, rambled on at length. Even the thunderous rain on the glass dome roof couldn’t quiet his words.
He ran through predator planets and their roaming areas, food planets and equal distribution, the delivery of plants and a long list of items that bored Star Wolf to the point of nodding off. A firm jab to the ribs from his father, and leader of Lupus, soon woke him up. The scowl on his father’s greyish-white muzzle ensured Star sat upright.
‘Pay attention, Star Wolf,’ his father never called him son, ‘this is what we’re here for.’ He pointed to a dazzling, broad-chested Tiger taking to the podium in the centre of the lowest ring of marble in the coliseum.
The turnout of races had never been higher than at today’s meeting. Rumour of destroyed planets tended to draw out the masses. Seventy-five percent of the animals present were utter cowards, here out of noisiness and nothing more. They wouldn’t lift a finger to pursue justice or discover the truth. They were the well to do of their species, in their fine, heavily perfumed robes, sporting all manner of elaborate clothing. What a bunch of Peacocks. The irony being the Peacock representatives were some of the more subtly attired creatures in attendance. No, these animals would all sit back and allow the strongest species to do all the hard work.
Shame the top of elite list was the Tigers.
Star Wolf despised their smugness. A superiority complex!
For millennia the Apex predator lorded their supremacy over other species, not that anyone referred to them as an Apex predator anymore. To do so dredged up too many memories, of a war thousands of years in duration, one that only ceased twenty years ago. The original war for the universe; the Apex War was between the Lions and Tigers.
From the ashes of that war The Council of Worlds was born and brought in two decades of peace and prosperity. That didn’t mean the longstanding tension and distrust vanished, it just lay dormant.
‘Thank you.’ The Winter Tiger nodded a respectful gesture toward the Goat Master, and in turn the front rows of well to do planet leaders, including Star Wolf’s father, who bristled next to Star Wolf. ‘It saddens me to be stood here before you today, in such circumstances. In an era of extended peace the destruction of one planet, let alone, five is an act that needs addressing and fixing immediately.’ The Winter Tiger’s smooth, soft-spoken voice won over most of the Council.
Everywhere Star Wolf turned obedient nods greeted the imperious Tiger’s words. Lies. Huge rings of cream-coloured marble, with thin grey, white and black tendrils snaked their way through the cold surfaces. They housed the thousands of animals representing their entire world. As Star Wolf craned his neck to scan the subservient animals desperate for the Winter Tiger to outline a plan, and offer to execute it, he noted one creature not nodding...