New Life in a New World Ch. 02byjohneb87©
[Insert lawyer voice here] This story contains scenes of graphic sex and violence. No one under the age of 18 or 21 (depending on your local law) should read this story. Any characters depicted in sexual or suggestive scenes are intended to be 18 years or older. While inspired from many sources, the story and characters are original. Any similarities to any real or fictional persons are coincidental. Enjoy.
Once again, a big thanks to ShadwNinjaX for his help!
A sixteen year old John sat bawling his eyes out in the room of his best friend Terry. John had been brought to his friend's New York apartment by Terry's parents straight from school. It was already late in the evening but John had been sobbing nonstop since midday when he heard the news on what would have been an otherwise sunny, cloudless Tuesday.
"They killed them! They fucking murdered them!" John cried in a mixture of grief and anger.
Terry was doing his very best to comfort his closest friend. "You don't know that. They have search and rescue workers down there, I'm sure they will be dug out of there, as will many more people," Terry said. "Besides, they may not have even been there when this all happened."
"Then why have I not heard from them!" yelled John.
Terry looked through his door and down the hallway toward his parents who were sitting in front of the TV hoping they could give him any comforting news to relay to his grieving friend. His mother simply looked at him somberly and shook her head.
Terry's parents were watching the news, along with the rest of the world, covering the aftermath of the immense destruction that tragically struck lower Manhattan earlier that day. They watched as rescuers combed through twisted rebar, steel and concrete looking for any survivors out of the thousands of people that were there during the incident, including John's entire family.
The first thing John saw as he woke up was the unlit oil lamp on the bedside table next to him. Through his lazy half opened eyes, he looked around the small shack. The morning sun crept through the slightly open windows and the small cracks between the wood planks in the walls. He could hear the birds outside chirping and the sounds of the villagers beginning their day.
John lay naked under the cool bed sheet wearing nothing other than his dog tags. He was still slightly sore from the ass kicking session he received from Lydia the previous night that soon turned into one of the most intense love making sessions he had ever experienced. John rolled over to wrap his arm around his new lover, but only grabbed the bed sheet. He opened his eyes the rest of the way only to see the spot where Lydia was, now vacant. He frowned in disappointment as he felt the empty spot on the bed. She must have left a while ago since her side of the bed was no longer warm. He looked past the bed to the dresser on the other side of the room. His clothes were no longer scattered on the floor but folded neatly on the dresser, obviously Lydia's doing.
With a loud groan, John finally rolled out of bed and made his way to the dresser. After putting on his clothes, he gathered his rifle, vest and pistol and made his way to the door. John squinted his eyes as the rush of sunlight nearly blinded him until his eyes finally adjusted to the light. He was greeted by the cool morning air that enveloped him. He stepped out to the small porch on the front of the shack. A few lycans passing by stopped and turned to look at John as he stepped out. A few made threatening low growls, but eventually went on about their day. Considering how none of them actually tried to kill him, this was progress.
John grabbed the chair next to the door and placed it in front of the table, the perfect size for a workbench. He set his rifle and vest on the table. Reaching into one of the pouches attached to his vest, he pulled out a small cleaning kit he always carried with him. He popped out the small takedown pin at the rear of the rifle. The front and rear of the rifle separated, pivoting at the front like a hinge. He removed the bolt assembly and began cleaning the parts with a small rag he kept in the kit. John actually enjoyed cleaning his rifle, he found it rather calming. It would give him a renewed sense of faith in his weapon. In his kit was a small spray bottle of lube that he used to spray each part of the bolt assembly before putting it back together. John reassembled his rifle and smiled when he heard the satisfying click when testing it.
John set down his rifle and turned to his vest, he started to go through the attached pouches. John wore a MOLLE vest which allowed him to position each pouch the way that worked best for him. On the lower front of the vest held the magazines for his M4, three pouches each holding two magazines. He removed one of the magazines and inserted it into his rifle. He had two more magazines in his backpack and a few more pistol clips. However he would still need to try and conserve ammo as long as possible. He removed the radio pouch attached to his left shoulder and tossed it away, he certainly would not need it here. He opened up his backpack and pulled out his Ka-Bar knife and attached it to the shoulder strap of the vest where his radio was before. In one of the smaller pouches, John found his favorite paracord bracelet. It was made out of parachute cord colored in an ACU pattern in an intricate crisscross weave. If he needed to, he could unweave the bracelet and the cord would be strong enough to be put to use for any survival need.
"It looks like you are preparing for battle," said a voice next to him. John looked over to see Radulf standing on the porch as he put the bracelet on his right wrist.
John smiled, "You never know. I've been attacked twice since I've been here."
Radulf picked up John's M4 rifle, "I have never seen anything like this before."
He studied the weapon made of a dull, black metal. It felt very light like a feather to him, but only because of his lycan strength. He could imagine that for a human, it would have a bit more weight to it. Radulf believed and had witnessed magic, but he was wise enough to know that this weapon was much more mechanical. He marveled at the complexity of it, the only people in these lands that would remotely be able to grasp it's workings would be the elves far in the East. At the same time, Radulf was slightly terrified. What kind of world did John come from that would require such destructive weapons?
"I'm sure you have a few questions for me," he said, placing John's rifle back on the table. "But this is a conversation best kept out of earshot of others. Let's take a walk."
John started to gather his gear and rifle when Radulf put up his hand.
"You will not need any of that," Radulf said reassuringly. "We will not be going too far."
John set his vest and rifle back down on the table, but kept his pistol and strapped the holster to his leg. There was no way that John was going to leave completely unarmed. Radulf seemed to accept this compromise and turned to lead the way with John following.
Lydia made her way toward Anya's house to pick up some supplies for their upcoming journey. She would be taking John to see the Lady of the Mountain and it would be a full two days of traveling just to get there. She did not know much about this Lady of the Mountain, only that she was the keeper of an important prophecy. It was obvious to Lydia that her father knew what the prophecy was about but refused to share that information with her.
Three months ago, a woman dressed in a black cloak came to visit Radulf. The woman's face was well concealed but Lydia would never forget those stunning blue eyes she saw. When the woman left, her father started sending Lydia on daily patrols of the outer boarders of their territory. Her father's specific instructions were to keep a lookout for a human warrior not from these lands and bring him in alive. As Lydia reflected on this, she wondered if the mysterious woman was indeed the Lady of the Mountain and if John had a role to play in this prophecy.
Lydia felt a little bad about leaving John in bed early in the morning, but she wanted to get an early start to the day. She smiled as she recalled how peaceful he looked as he slept. It was Anya who suggested that she give in to her feelings and after an incredible night filled with passion, she was glad she did. However, she knew Anya wanted to experience John's love as well. While Lydia was fine with that at the time, she was now reluctant to give up John. The previous night sparked new feelings within her that she had never experienced before. She may have barely known him, but could already tell he had a kind and loving heart. Lydia wanted to remain with John and possibly have him as her mate.
As she turned the corner, Ulfric was standing in her path with a devious smile on his face. Wanting nothing to do with him, she looked to the ground and tried to move on past him. In an almost threatening manner, he moved to block her path.
"I know you slept with the human," Ulfric said with an insidious tone.
Lydia froze; Ulfric had been spying on them. He was cold and calculating, he would not bring this up unless he could use it to his benefit. What was he up to?
"So what if I did?" Lydia said defiantly, "What are you going to do? Tell my father?"
"No," Ulfric laughed, "I had a better idea. Your father is going to name you the new leader when he steps down, against my better judgment."
Lydia had always wondered who her father would name as his successor. Lydia was the logical choice since her family had led this village for generations, but she felt it was a long shot due to her half-lycan status. But this was the first time she had heard it sound like an absolute.
"What you probably don't know is that your father will step down sooner than you think," Ulfric continued. "I also don't think you realize just how much support you have with the village. If you take over as leader, while uneasy, the majority of the village will accept it."
For Lydia, this was a startling but welcome revelation. Despite everything she had done for the village, she had never felt truly accepted. Everything she had ever done was to prove herself to the other lycans. If she could be accepted as a leader, she could truly prove herself and bring acceptance to other half-lycans.
"However..." Ulfric's said as his eyes narrowed and a devilish grin spread across his face. "Should you take that human as your mate, I guarantee that the people will turn against you. Your human lover will be slaughtered in the street and his mutilated corpse put on display. You will be chased out of the village and hunted for the remainder of your life."
A cold fear gripped her heart. She wanted to remain with John and honestly felt that she could be truly happy with him. But her decision to stay with him would not only doom herself, but also result in a gruesome death for her lover as well. If she truly wanted to keep John, she could no longer be with her people and everything that she had worked for would be for nothing. She would be an outcast. Lydia would have to come to a tough decision, John or her people.
"Why tell me this?" Lydia asked defiantly, "Why not just chase me out?"
"Because you still have some use to me," Ulfric replied. "You will owe me for keeping this a secret, but I will collect on that later. For now, consider this as some...helpful advice."
Ulfric pushed past her, shoving her aside like she was not even there. Ulfric never made empty threats. Lydia knew if anyone could turn the village against her, Ulfric had the influence to do it. A chill ran up her spine as she wondered what he might ask of her.
Ulfric looked back at her, "If the human is not who your father thinks he is, only bring him back here if you plan on publically executing him. That will truly show which side you are on."
John and Radulf had been walking up the steep dirt path for the last fifteen minutes. They were well outside the southern edge of the village and making their way up the valley walls. The forest was thick and John could not tell just how high up they exactly were. Radulf moved at a steady but quick pace, however this was a normal walking speed for a lycan. He looked back, expecting to see the young human struggling to keep pace. But Radulf smiled when he saw John right behind him, having no trouble keeping up. John remembered the long and intense runs during training, this was no problem for him.
"We're almost there" Radulf said.
The trail then veered to a sudden right. Eventually the trail came to a small clearing at the top of a tall bluff. Near the edge of the bluff stood a single cherry blossom tree, some flowers blooming and others struggling to fully come out.
"It will be beautiful one it fully blooms" Radulf said, reaching up to examine one of the newly bloomed flowers.
John moved to stand next to Radulf. From the top of the bluff he could see all of Wolfdell directly below him, cradled by the valley. Looking directly in front of him, to the North, John could see more forest over the next hill. From the bluff, he could get a better view of the magnificent snow-capped mountains to the East. He looked back down at the village below. This was the best view that he had of Wolfdell. John spotted the two-story palace at the center of town. The buildings got smaller as they extended out toward the edge of town, finally ending at a few small farms just outside the main cluster of buildings.
Back home, John never quite enjoyed big city life. It was always too loud, too busy and too many questionable characters roaming the streets. As he spent more time away on deployment, his disconnect with society became greater. At one time before he had given up being able to reintegrate with society back home, he thought about moving to a small, rural town. Unlike the big cities, he could be alone in a quiet and peaceful environment. At the time, John felt it was his only way to regain some sense of normalcy. But he had eventually given up on that idea as well.
"This is a beautiful place you have here," John said, turning to Radulf.
Radulf smiled, "It is a beautiful place. However, from up here, you would never know that so much hate flowed down there."
"So why do lycans hate humans so much?" John inquired.
"Most lycans would ask the same thing about humans," Radulf replied turning back to John. "Neither side inheritably hates each other, it's merely the product of a misunderstanding that has lasted generations."
"Misunderstanding? Sounds like you are putting a more rosy twist on the story than there really is. I mean, how did this all start in the first place?"
"Again, your answer would depend on which side you asked. Humans would say that we attacked and killed their people when they traveled through the woods. Lycans would say that humans were trying to actively hunt us down."
"Did your people attack theirs unprovoked?" John asked.
"Perhaps a few lycans did long ago without the knowledge of the rest of the village. On the other hand, the humans could be placing blame for regular wolf attacks on us and as you discovered that's simply in their nature."
John rubbed his forearm as he recalled the wolf pack attacking him the first night he arrived to this world. He had seen those same wolves roaming around the village since he had arrived, but they were much tamer. But once they were outside the village, John could only assume that their natural instincts took over. When they saw John in the forest, badly wounded and weak, he was the perfect prey.
"I guess it's also in human nature to fear what's different," said John, "Perhaps that's why other humans tried to hunt your people down."
Radulf smiled and nodded in agreement. "However, it's amazing how a single enlightening experience can shatter all preconceived notions and completely change your outlook toward others. An experience that you and I both had."
John raised an eyebrow. Just what experience was he referring to?
"During the imp attack," Radulf answered, clearly seeing the confusion in John's expression. "John, I know when I see the heart of a true warrior. You did not care that those who were attacked hated you, insulted you and held you against your will. You simply saw others in trouble, others who needed protecting. You saw past our differences and followed your heart to do the right thing."
"So what was your experience?"
Radulf closed his eyes and looked back up at the cherry blossom tree. "Like many lycans, I once despised humans. I hated them for what they had already done to my people."
This was a revelation to John. He had always assumed Radulf had always been above the fray of hate and anger. Radulf had shown him, a human, nothing but kindness since he arrived. John found it difficult to imagine Radulf as someone who hated humans like Ulfric did. However, John knew from experience just how easy it was to let unbridled hate infect oneself.
"One night I was roaming the forest hunting," Radulf continued. "Suddenly, a loud scream caught my attention. I went to investigate and found a group of human bandits surrounding a helpless woman, they were going to rape her. While I was sickened by their barbarism, there were more of them than I wanted to confront and they were well armed. I was going to pass silently by and leave the woman to her terrible fate, but I felt something that I had never felt toward a human before."
"Compassion," John said, completing Radulf's thought.
"I saw the terrified look on her face as the bandits approached her, like predators savoring the upcoming kill. I knew right then that human or not, this was someone who needed help and I was the only one who could save her. So I rushed in, managed to take the first two bandits by surprise. After that, well, let's just say it was a rough fight. In the end, I had managed to kill all the bandits but I was badly wounded myself. As I sat there bleeding, I noticed that the human woman was still there. But she did not look at me in fear or hatred, instead, she came over and helped tend to my wounds. I did not know just how safe she would be in the human village, so I snuck her into the palace here in Wolfdell. She was only going to stay for a day or so, but then something happened."
John's eyes widened when he realized what had happened.
"I fell in love with her," Radulf continued. "I had heard about lycans selecting humans as mates before, but never understood how it could happen until then. I had never loved anyone as much as I loved her, but our love was still forbidden. I managed to keep it secret for a year or so, but once Lydia was born, the rest of the village found out."
"So the leader of the lycans takes a human mate and fathers a half-human, half-lycan daughter. I take it that did not go over well with the rest of the village." said John.
Radulf turned away from the cherry blossom tree and looked back down at the village below. "Traditionally when a lycan takes a human mate, they are exiled from our lands. I did have my supporters who stood by my decision, but there was still a coup." His white, furried ears lowered as his face saddened, "I fought, killing many of my own friends. In the end I managed to defend my name, my throne and my daughter. But I was unable to protect my mate, she did not survive the night."
"I am so sorry," John said sympathetically.
"I take it you've lost a loved one before?" Radulf asked, turning back toward John.
John nodded. "There's one more thing I don't quite get. If you won the battle, why are the other half-lycans treated like second class citizens? Why don't they have the same privileges as Lydia?"