Chapter One

It was all quiet in the Mountain Pack's camp. A soft, gentle breeze wafted through the silent camp. Nothing disturbed this fragile stillness, until…

"HAIL!" A young, black Pup cried in the clearing. Her wisp of a tail was up, and she was furious! "HAIL! Give it back!"

The black Pup, whose name was Thunder, was whining at her sister, an auburn wolf. Hail rudely stuck out of long tongue. This entire scene was over a mere ball of moss, which Hail batted with her paw, taunting her sibling. "Too bad, you can't have it," Hail replied snidely.

Thunder let out a huge wail, and their worried mother darted out of the nursery. She was clearly alarmed, as her fur was bristling, and her tail was straight in the air. She relaxed when she saw that Thunder and Hail were safe, and a slightly annoyed expression crossed her wolfish face. "Hail, give it back," their mother said coolly. Hail looked at her mother pleadingly, her big green eyes begging. Her mother just gave a hard stare in return, and Hail, sulking, pushed the ball of moss to her sister.

"I'm sorry, Thunder," she muttered, bitterness lacing with her words.

Thunder sniffed, and thumped her tail on the ground. Her mother glared at her, and Thunder grudgingly replied, "It's all right." Their mother gave a pleasant glance at the two Pups at that, and turned around and went back into the warm nursery.

As soon as Thunder's and Hail's mother disappeared, two new Pups quickly scurried out of the den, positively grinning. The grey, black, and white wolf spoke first.

"Geez, at it again, huh Thunder?"

"Oh, bite your own tail, Cloud. It wasn't my fault," Thunder said defensively. "Hail stole the moss from me, and I got mad."

"You better control your temper," the other wolf scolded. Hail nodded, grinning at Thunder, who flicked her tail unhappily.

"Shoo, Song!" Thunder growled. Her temper was rising again, and Song quickly noticed that. The light blond wolf cowered behind her other siblings. Cloud glared at her black sibling, and snarled slightly. "Go away, puffball."

Cloud's ears instantly flattened against her head. She did have long fur, and she absolutely hated being called that. To her, it meant that she was weak and spineless, cowardly and petty. Cloud's eyes grew downcast, and sadness swept through her, quickly followed by defiance. Her fur puffed up, her tail went up to the heavens, and she snarled. Thunder accepted this challenge of brawn, and her fur, too, went up, as did her tail, and her lips curled up, revealing two deadly sets of white teeth. Then, the two Pups collided into battle.

A giant snarling erupted into the clearing, and Thunder clearly had the upper hand. She made quick maneuvers, biting here and there, in uncoordinated patterns, utterly unpredictable. Cloud struggled at first, trying to defend herself, before she made a quick decision to accept the blows and fight back. Thunder was clawed across the nose, and her muzzle started oozing blood. Thunder's eyes glinted with fury, and she fought back, determination in her icy eyes.

Thunder reared up, exposing her belly, before crashing down on the misty wolf. Cloud let out a huge grunt, and it was certain that she was hurt. Then, two older wolves quickly entered the battle, separating the two siblings. The battle was being watched by the pack, which, alarmed, had swarmed into the clearing, only to watch with amused expressions.

"You two, at it again!" An older wolf cried in dismay. It was Stone, a skilled Claw who was known for his unmatched talent. "I might have to punish you if you two do this again!"

"Oh, have a heart, Stone," the two Pup's mother said gently. "They're a bit feisty, but isn't that what makes a great Claw?" Stone grunted silently, ears flicked back.

"Okay, that's all. Go back to your duties." A powerful looking wolf entered the clearing, his flat grey eyes emotionless. He was Rain, the Alpha of Mountain Pack. His shoulders were wide, and the two Pups cowered at the sight of him. His dark brown fur rippled in the slight breeze, and he scared the nervous Pups as he suddenly turned around and skulked into his den.

"Hey…maybe we should stop fighting," Cloud whispered to Thunder, who was scared stiff. Thunder nodded slightly, before suddenly turning and pouncing on Song, who yelped in fear. Thunder wagged her tail at her other sibling, and pinned the light wolf down. Song squirmed unhappily, and gave a disgusted yip. Hail decided to make something fun out of this, and quickly tackled Thunder, who playfully cuffed Hail's ear. Cloud, forgetting the fight, joined in, squashing her other siblings. Song, however, wriggled her way out of the pile and watched from afar, an amused smile on her face.

Eventually, the tackle fest stopped, and Hail, Thunder, and Cloud all lay on their side, panting. The sisters closed their eyes and soaked in the weak, pre-darkness sun. The light struggled weakly to penetrate the horizon, and the sky was a dark orange. The sun itself was a huge ball of red, glowing and neon, and it seemed unworldly. It was just one shade of brilliant red, and it seemed flat. It let out a bright glow, and Song looked casually at it.

Thunder then stood up and yawned, showing her white fangs. The red light glinted off them briefly, giving the appearance of fresh blood coating the teeth. Then thunder looked at her sisters playfully and wagged her tail good naturedly. Cloud's tail gave a loud THUMP! against the dirt ground, and then lay still. Thunder's ears cocked, a bright, mischievous light entering her eyes. Song and Hail sighed and shook their heads, Thunder was way to hyper for her own good, and they trotted to the Nursery together.

Meanwhile, Cloud had stood up, tail raised stiffly. Thunder's tongue lolled out, saliva dripping off of it, splattering into the dirt below. Cloud glanced at the High Ledge, where the pack Alpha stood during meetings, and Thunder flicked her tail. Then the two wolves raced forward, an astonishing feat of speed. Their iron muscles propelled them forward at a quick rate, and the two siblings raced up the tall rock, struggling for a foothold. Thunder was clearly in the lead, and she powered up the side of the rock, leaving her misty sister behind. Thunder was victorious, and she pranced atop the ledge, flaunting her win as Cloud jumped up to the top. Cloud's eyes narrowed, and she growled. Thunder stopped her wiggling madness, and twisted her head side ways, ears forward challengingly. Cloud let out another snarl, and Thunder's fur bristled up, and Thunder stuck her behind into the air. She was playing, Cloud was not.

Cloud sprung at the black wolf, and was easily knocked to the side. Cloud charged again, clumsily, and Thunder pushed her over the edge of the ledge. Thunder scrambled down the rock, worried, and reached Cloud's side in a blink of an eye. She licked her sister's shoulder, and received a slice on her nose. Thunder crinkled her muzzle, and snarled unhappily. She walked stiff-legged to the Nursery, leaving her sister behind. Cloud didn't mind, though.

The Nursery was warm and sweet. The air smelt like milk and made Thunder drowsy. She peered around the small den and found her sisters curled up into little balls next to their mother. Thunder gave a small yip, and her mother glanced up. She frowned slightly.

"You all are getting too big for this Nursery," she sighed, shifting over to make room for Thunder. "Too bad that you aren't mature enough." A good natured tone was in her voice, but Thunder's ears pressed unhappily against her head. Her mother wagged her tail a little bit, and Thunder's mood strayed away from sour. She laid down next to her family, and curled up into a tight warm ball of fur. Her eyelids grew heavy, and she soon fell asleep….