After she got back to camp, she curled up with her bear family, and proceeded to sleep the night away. As winter passed, she spent her days in much the same way. Between hunting and meeting with the wolves during the day, and sleeping curled up between three bears at night.
As winter came to a close, the frozen ground beginning to thaw, and her bear family began to wake from their hibernation. The wolfling she’d saved the fall prior came around bright and early the morning of the first Spring. At first, the bears were apprehensive, as the Spirit expected them to be. She chuckled softly to herself and shook her head, as the youngling excitedly attempted to play with the cubs.
She expected this Spring to go much the same way the last did, with nothing interesting happening. However, before Summer could begin, she heard unfamiliar noises; footsteps that didn’t belong, and sounds that shouldn’t be here. Sounds she used to hear daily, however many moons ago.
She motioned to her Friends to stop and be quiet, and even though the younglings were rambunctious and playing, they seemed to understand. It was around this time the wolfling’s parents came around, and she noticed other wolves stalking silently around her little clearing.
She nodded at the Alphas before climbing up a nearby tree, jumping from branch to branch as the sounds came closer.
“This is unexplored territory,” said one, not that she could completely understand what those sounds meant anymore.
“Yea, but doesn’t it seem… weird?” said another.
“What do you mean? It’s perfect for logging,” said the first.
The second shook his head, she noticed, and said “It seems like this part of the forest is far too quiet, in comparison to the rest. Like the animals here are warning us to leave.”
The first just shrugged, and they both turned to leave. She let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding as she went back home. The wolves seemed to have disappeared from their hiding spots as she dropped deftly from the tree branch. The younglings were playing as rambunctiously as they had before, and everyone seemed to have calmed, though it wouldn’t be long before that ‘calm’ turned out to be a false sense of security.
As Spring turned into Summer, and Summer began turning into Fall, there were more noises; more footsteps and hundreds more sounds that didn’t belong.
She climbed a tree and made her way to the noise, the wolves, bears, and other animals running below her. While the wolves and bears were with her, running towards the noise, the others, the deer, birds, and other smaller fauna, ran away from the noise.
Horrified shock spread over her face as she saw smoke billowing from these things, and she recognized the voices of the people from before, the ones she couldn’t understand.
Though what they’d been talking about before became clear as she saw people begin cutting, chopping, and sawing her Forest apart. This Forest she had come to love over the last hundreds of moons, this Forest she now calls home.
As she began to lose herself, a harmony of growls and howls came from below her; though, it probably sounded like a cacophony to the Invaders. As her Friends began to yell, she stayed silent, simply readying one of the spears she brought with her. With all the strength she had gained over the moons, she launched it perfectly at someone on the ground, their blood staining the green grass below as they fell over.
Shortly after the first, she launched a second before readying her bow and arrows, glad, for the first time, that she had something to defend herself with from this position. As they began to fall down or run away with injuries, or fear of being injured, the wolves and bears ran in, adding to the chaos, injuries, and as she would find later, deaths.
She hoped this would be the first and last of these Invaders, but as time would prove, her hopes would get dashed.
Everyday after that, more and more noises could be heard from her clearing. At first it was just footsteps, then it was loud BOOMS that resounded through the Forest, as the Invaders began quelling the ‘animal resistance.’
It was a losing battle on both sides, as the death counts quickly rose. She did what she could to thin their numbers with her spears and arrows from the treetops she jumped across.
As Summer turned into Fall and Fall turned into Winter, and bodies were left strewn throughout the Forest, the Invaders stopped due to the harsh conditions, and Spirit took this season to set traps to thwart not only more Invaders, but also any of the weird things that billowed smoke and darkened the sky.
She looked down from the treetops, tears falling at the sight of the Friend bodies littering the ground, even though they’d died helping her protect the Forest, she’d rather they not had to die at all.