Chapter 1- Death of a Warrior
I quickly awoke to someone shaking me and calling my name. “Coyote, Coyote! Wake up!” the voice urgently said. I looked up and saw a man with black hair staring back at me, his green-blue eyes showing grief. “What’s the matter, Soul?” I asked.
“Flint’s dead,” Soul replied shaking his head.
“What! How did that happen?”
“Apparently he was out on his rounds with Scarface and Jaguar then another gang attacked them, and stabbed Flint in his back. We’re holding the funeral downstairs.” Soul added as he exited my room.
I sat up and shook my head in disbelief. Another member of the Wolf Pack dead. Well, then again, I shouldn’t be surprised; after all, no one survives for long in the Lost City.
I quickly smoothed the wrinkles on my black T-shirt and blue jeans that I had slept in last night. I brushed back my long silver hair with my hands, straitened my necklace with a wolf on it, and went downstairs to attend the funeral.
Gathered in a candle lit room, around a short wooden table on which the body was placed, stood Soul and two other people that any human would shy away from. One of them wore black sweatpants and had strange blonde hair that had a leopard-like pattern on it; as if he had dyed it in certain spots. He glared at me for a second then pulled the top of his blue hoodie over his bowed head. The other sixteen-year old wore a gray shirt, a black windbreaker and blue jeans. He had his black hair in little spikes, like a hedgehog’s bristles. The most striking thing about him though, was he only had one pale green eye. The other eyelid, the left one, had been sown shut with a red thread that ran diagonally across his face, stopping at the bridge of his nose.
The one-eyed person walked over to me, bowed his head and said “Greetings, Coyote. How are you today?”
“I am doing well, Scarface,” I replied bowing my head in return.
“You mean you don’t even miss Flint?” the person with the spotted hair snapped.
“Of course she misses Flint, Jaguar. We all miss him,” Scarface sighed bowing his head in sorrow.
“However, life must go on and we must hunt for food soon, so there is little time for mourning,” Soul added. Jaguar just glared at all of us as he and Soul carried the body away to be buried.
As soon as Flint’s grave had been made in the front yard, and the burying prayers recited, our gang, the Wolf Pack, left our ramshackle house to scrounge for food. Since neither human nor animal had ever found the Lost City, every gang had to rely on the dumpsters for food. The dumpsters were filled once a week by green garbage trucks that for some strange reason kept stopping here. Soul, who had the power to look into the spirits of people and animals, said he once tried to look into the soul of the truck to see who was driving. Surprisingly, there was no human in the truck.
As our gang made its way to the edge of our territory, our feet crunching in the snow of mid-winter, we knew something was up. Sure enough, when the Pack reached its destination, we found the cover of our dumpster thrown open, and scraps of stale food tossed in all different directions. Our only food source had been raided by an enemy gang!
“Looking for food, Scarface?” a deep voice laughed. Our leader turned to see Ace, leader of our archrivals, the Scorpions, and his five cronies lounged against a brick wall munching on our food!
“You dare cross into our territory and steal our food, Ace?” Scarface growled.
“Yes, I dare. Oh, and by the way, how is Flint? The last I saw him he had my dagger in his back,” Ace said smugly.
At this comment Jaguar roared and lunged at the Scorpion leader, his nails transforming into razor-sharp claws. “Jaguar, stop!” Soul yelled, but he was too late. Ace’s arms transformed into sharp-edged wings. He ran forward and slashed at Jaguar’s arms hard with his wings. My comrade leapt back with a howl of pain, his arms bleeding badly. As Jaguar snarled and rushed forward to attack again, I made my move. I bolted and using Jaguar’s back as a springboard, leapt high into the air. Ace laughed and cut Jaguar again, not seeing me coming from above. I only saw the leader’s horror and pain as I drove my obsidian dagger deep into his right wing. The tyrant screamed and jerked away, tearing his bleeding wing even more.
“Scorpions, attack!” yelled Lukas, Ace’s second-in-command. A young girl with black hair charged forward, and swung a crowbar at Scarface. Scarface grinned, grabbed the weapon, and snapped the crowbar in half as if it were a toothpick. His attacker yelped in surprise and raced out of the fight.
“Coward,” Scarface muttered.
I heard a high-pitched whistling noise and threw myself to the rough ground to avoid the knife that had been thrown at my throat. Lukas rushed toward me, unsheathing an extra dagger that he had on his belt. I met his blade with mine. I ducked a blow aimed for my neck and tried to cut Lukas’s stomach, only to have him jump away and kick me on the side of my head with his right foot. I yelped as pain exploded in my head, and staggered back, stunned. I tried to duck another slash at my throat, but I wasn’t quick enough. My attacker’s blade sliced open my forehead and blood trickled in my right eye. I snarled and desperately tried to swipe the stinging blood from my eye. Lukas grinned and swept my feet out from under me with his leg. All the breath went from my body as I hit the hard asphalt. The impact also jarred my obsidian knife from my grasp, and it skidded out of my reach. As he raised the knife for my death blow, Lukas smiled and asked “Well, any last words?”
Suddenly, a flash of light color slammed into Lukas. I got up and grabbed my knife as Lukas tussled with his attacker. I raced to the battle and slashed Lukas with my dagger multiple times while he was grappling with his enemy. “Curse you, Coyote!” the badly injured Lukas howled as he fled.
“Scorpions retreat, retreat!” Ace yelped as he also fled, his wounds gushing blood. The remaining Scorpions turned tail and fled, leaving the Wolf Pack to tend to their injuries.
“Well done, my warriors,” Scarface said.
As Scarface spoke, he noticed a ten-year old boy and girl trying to sneak out of the alley. “Hold it! Who are you two?” Scarface snapped. When the boy and girl turned around I was amazed at how identical they looked. They both had brown hair and green eyes, and were both dressed in blue T-shirts and jeans. Except for the girl’s hair being longer, you could barely tell them apart.
“I-I’m Sarg, and this is my sister Lisra,” the boy stammered. “We just got here and heard about your gang. We were hoping to join you.”
Scarface smiled and said “Well, I don’t see why not. After all, you saved my life, and your sister saved Coyote.”
At that news Sarg and Lisra both grinned. “However,” Scarface continued, “the Lost City is the only ‘safe’ haven for clones with special powers, like yourselves, because it is unseen or ‘lost’ from the human world. The other clones, like you, have broken out of dangerous, evil science labs, bent on cloning humans from all over the world. If you ever go into the outside world you must never tell anyone of the city’s existence. If you do, the humans will find this place and make it their own, and all the clones will be killed. Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir,” Sarg replied. Lisra simply nodded.
“All, right then, I say we collect some food, and then head for home,” Scarface said. Everyone nodded as they began collecting moldy food scraps from dumpster.
“Wow, you guys really live here?” Sarg asked as he took in the dust-covered steps, broken chairs, boarded-up windows, and rusted doors.
“Yes we do live here. The stairs lead up to the bedrooms and the door on your left leads to the kitchen.” Soul answered.
“You mean I get to live in an old house? Sweet!” Sarg shouted, rushing upstairs.
“Pick a room that you like, but make sure it isn’t occupied,” I yelled up to him.
Jaguar rolled his eyes and mumbled “Great, we’re living with a hyperactive person.”
“Hey, what’s this?” Lisra called over to us. She was standing in front of the broken, blackened fireplace staring at a big, white rectangular piece of cloth.
“Oh that’s just the Wolf Pack’s flag.” Scarface explained. “The black wolf in the middle means determination. The blue words on the outside are Spanish for ‘we fight, we live, and we die together’. We chose that saying because everyone in the Wolf Pack is extremely loyal to each other.”
“Wow,” Lisra whispered. Suddenly, there was a huge crash upstairs.
“You might want to get up there and tell your brother to keep away from Jaguar’s shield collection, before Jaguar finds out,” I advised as Jaguar stormed upstairs muttering to himself. Lisra bolted for the stairs, determined to save Sarg from Jaguar’s wrath.