William's Introduction to the Tribe

by Dustin Evermore and Ryan McCollough

As William paced the room, like a cat, waiting for the time to arrive, he began to think. Thinking of things that have transpired, and things yet to be.

Tonight I will be going to someplace special, he thought. I will be visiting those who believe in my mistress, as much as I believe in her. To me she is the Lady Mika, and I will do anything she asks, for I am William Wallace. I am a Bastet, a werecat, and the new Bear Warrior for the Tribe. I am one of the chosen, to help protect the Lady Mika and her people.

It was time for him to leave, time to go meet the tribe.


Mika arrived at William's apartment, careful as ever not to bump into things or trip over things. As she acclimatized herself to her new body, it was becoming more and more natural to her to get around. A lot of height had been added, a lot of it in the legs, and it required an adjustment period.

He knew she was there before she had even knocked on his door. He opened it.

"Will. I'm glad to see you tonight. You remember what tonight is?" she asked.

"Mi'lady Mika, it is always a pleasure to be with you." Will said with a smile. "Tonight I am to be introduced to the tribe, as your new Bear Warrior."

She chatted as they headed down the stairs, out to the street together. "And you're the lucky man who gets to drive." She sighed, "With everything else that has been happening, I've never had time to learn to drive this past year. Maybe you'll have to show me sometime. That or a motorcycle. They look like so much fun."

"Yes, I can teach you to drive, and anything else you may wish to learn from me. Although right now I don't know how to ride a motorcycle." he sighed. "It can't be that hard to learn. But there are other things I know. I am well learned in modern ways of war, along with other combat techniques."

Soon the two had piled into the car Mika had borrowed from February for the evening. "It will be just us tonight, Will. I have February busy with her studies of course, and Strong Bow is. Busy. But the elders will have assembled by the time we arrive at Haven." Haven was the term she had begun using to refer to the land on which her tribe of people had settled. It included something of an underground fortress, making the name especially appropriate.

Mika gave William careful directions as the made their way out of town. She wanted him to remember the route well so that he could make his way to and from there during the day. Once Celeste had fixed up Mika's BMW, he would be able to use that car during the day to get around as necessary.

It took awhile to get out of the city proper and out into the country.

As Will was driving, he was feeling a bit anxious, and was unsure as to what was going to happen.

The drive was beautiful in its own way, passing farm land, taking various dirt roads, and woodlands as well. The cat inside William was just wanting to get out, to run free through the countryside. To feel the thrill of the hunt, stalking out your game, and then pouncing for the kill.

"Lady Mika, how much land does your Tribe own?" asked Will.

"I believe it's just about a mile on a side. A roughly square plot." They approached a driveway off the road. "This is it. You can turn here. Why do you ask. William?"

"I was just curious. I was wondering about running space for myself, for when I am in the form of the cat." William paused, and then asked, "Lady Mika, when we are alone, may I have permission to speak freely?"

"Certainly William. I value your thoughts, too." Mika looked at him carefully. "As far as running space, you will have some here. But be very aware of the limits. Beyond the borders of our land, I cannot protect you from the Werewolves. If they scent you, they will hunt you."

William parked the car, got out and opened the door for Lady Mika. As she got out, he offered her his arm, as it was the gentlemanly thing to do.

"So to where shall I guide you?" asked William.

Mika smiled at his thoughtfulness and took his arm. "I decided that the meeting would be a private one this evening. Since it is close to dawn, after the council has met with you, they can take you around when the sun comes up."

She gestured toward a large, prominent hill. It was covered with grass, healthy and new-looking. There were a few small trees and bushes, but they had obviously been planted only within the past year. "This is the hill I built with the help of faithful members of the tribe. This is the first example of something I can do that the other members of the never do. I can harness the faith of my followers to magnify my power. They do not need to be instructed in the actual use of the magic, they need only believe it will work. This place is a monument to the power of their faith."

At Mika's gentle urging, William led her up the hill. Several times she had to lean heavily on his arm for support when she tripped over some small clump of grass or slope. A middle aged man, whose hair was graying but still looked strong and healthy, met them part way up the hill. He carried a torch to light the way.

"Mahpiya Winyam. It is good to see you. Although your body has changed appearance, you are as beautiful as always."

"Flatterer," she told him, but didn't hide a pleased smile. "Two Bears, this is William."

He turned and looked at William. "Pleased to meet you." He stuck out a hand to greet the newcomer.

William accepted the hand, and said. "Pleased to meet you as well, Two Bears."

Two Bears shook hands firmly and released William quickly. His eyes hesitated on William's face for a moment.

Mika intervened. "He is not full-blooded, Two Bears. But you will shortly see that his spirit is."

Two Bears nodded. The explanation was enough for him. He turned and led the two the rest of the way to the entrance, which was a stone door carved in the solid rock heart of the hill.

Once inside, Two Bears moved to walk behind and to the side of Mika and motioned for William to do the same. They would be close enough they could catch her if she fell, but it was more appropriate for her to enter the council chamber on her own power.

The long tunnel was mysteriously light by glowing stones set in chest-high niches along the wall. No heat radiated from them, yet there was more than enough light to see by. Soon, the trio entered the chamber. There were a two older men and two women seated in a circle around a sunken firepit which contain even larger, glowing stones.

Three spaces remained. Two Bears sat down cross legged on a one of the three small mats, leaving Mika to sit in the middle of them and William to sit on the right. Mika sat down, but leaned too far.

William quick to act, deftly caught Mika, and aided her to her seat. As he had her in his hands, he let out a slight purr, from deep in his throat, before he also sat down.

"Thank you William." A pipe was passed around and everyone took a puff. The pipe was also offered to William.

William accepted the pipe graciously, took a puff, and passed it on.

Mika continued. "Everyone, this is William. William, this is Red Doe, Mathieu, Cloud, and Willow. He is an extremely rare find and an important addition our people. He has asked to be a part of what we have and I have decided to sponsor his application. There are legends about people like William, tales of skinwalkers and shapechangers who existed in the old days before the Europeans came. Now, the skinwalkers who originally inhabited these lands have been hunted and killed by shapechangers who followed the Europeans here, and such legends soon came to be thought of as mere fantasy. Tonight, William will speak to us and tell us what this power of his is. He will also tell us how he will help the tribe when he is a member."

"As the Lady Mika said, I am, as you would call, a skinwalker. When I choose to, I can take the form of a mountain lion. If you will permit me, I will show you know what I can do." After saying this, William stood, and begins to transform. He did it slow, as to not startle anyone, and changed from man to cat.

Gasps echoed around the chamber. Mika raised a reassuring hand.

When the change was complete, there stood a very large mountain lion. In this form, he went to each member that was there and, very catlike, nuzzled at their cheek and neck, followed by a deep purring. He did this to Mika last and a feeling of great warmth come over him.

After he made his rounds, William went back to his place, and changed once again. This time, he chose the form of the half lion, half man.

With a deep growl to his voice, William said, "This is the form I take in times of war, or when it is the three days of the full moon."

With that, William started to transform back into his human form. "Excuse me for a moment, this takes a lot out me when I go between forms in such a short period of time." After William was done, he sat back down. "As for other skills that I know, I have various military training that I believe could be of some use."

All was silent for a moment and Willian could smell the fear lingering in the air. Yet there was another feeling present, as well.

"You see," said Mika, "your old legends are true. There are indeed skinwalkers. It is a very real power. William might be said to be a Bear Warrior for this tribe, yet he is obviously no bear."

Nervous chuckles spread in the room.

"Cloud, I know you have questions on your mind. Please speak them."

The man in question looked at William briefly and then looked to Mika. "Can this power be taught to us?" Many nodded their heads in agreement. This was a valuable power, one that could make the tribe safe for all for a long time to come.

"I do not know. William?"

"I wish I could teach you all this power, but this is something that can't be taught," he said with a frown. "I was born this way, my memory is not what it once was, so I don't know if I got this from my mother or father. This power can only be bred, but it will be a rare child who will attain this power."

"But I will tell you all this now, I will put my life down for the protection of everyone in the tribe."

"Are there any more questions?" asked William.

"Are there others like you?" asked Willow. "And is this power dangerous to people around you?"

"There are others like me, hence I would not be who I am today. But so far during my life so far, I have yet to encounter another like me." said William. "So it seems I am a rare breed indeed. But to answer your second question, I will not lie to you, I can be a dangerous person. Fear not, I have control over my powers, and it is only during the phase of the full moon, will I need to be careful."

"I do not wish to alarm you by telling you all this. I knew the Lady Mika from a previous life. I have come to her now to seek her aid, and to also help protect her from her enemies." said William with a bleak smile.

Mika nodded and looked around at the others to see if they had more questions. Red Doe spoke up. "Have you found a wife yet? If your power can only be inherited and people like you are so rare, you should think about your future. There are many young women here to choose from. Many of them have had hard lives, but they are good people. Some of them would be very interested in a man like you, William."

Mika chuckled, "Since he is only just now joining, that question may be premature, Red Doe. Still, it's something you should think about, William. Since you could be the last of your line, you have a duty to protect it."

"That is something to think about," said William, " as of now I have no wife. My life up to this point has been on a very dangerous road, and I would not want to those who I love in that kind of danger. But to preserve who and what I am, I see it as something necessary. I mean no disrespect with what I say, it is just that I have had very little love in my life." William said that last with a sadness to his voice.

One of the men chuckled softly. "You'll have to forgive Red Doe, William. She has a tendency to meddle in the personal affairs of others. If Mika her was mortal and not a spirit of power, I daresay she'd be busy trying to find a suitor for her as well." The others laughed at that, while Red Doe made a sour face at him.

After things subsided a little, Mika spoke. At the sound of her voice, chatter in the room hushed immediately. "Thank you all for taking the time to meet William tonight." There were murmured 'of course Sky Woman' and other polite replies. "In the future, I would like William to visit here often. He knows a lot about how to defend oneself against people and evil powers who might wish to do evil. He can help with personal training and tactics, while Two Bears establishes a solid emergency evacuation procedure. While Strong Bow is away on a mission, my Apprentice will continue to arrive from time to time during daylight hours to help and learn where she can."

Soon after, Mika dismissed the four elders. She turned to William. "This underground complex is my haven against the world. It is a stronghold dear to my heart. Deep within here, I lay asleep when the sun takes to the sky, protected by the bones and flesh of the Earth herself."

"A well protected area indeed Lady Mika." said William. With a sniff, William could tell that others were approaching.

Five women entered the chamber, some with flowers in their hands, others with combs, cloths, water and soap. They stood at the far end of the council chamber waited to be called.

"These women have volunteered to help take care of me before I go to rest each night. Many times in the past several months I have come home hurt, bloodied and sometimes reeking of foul things. They ready my earthly body so that when I rise again tomorrow night, I will be fresh and unsullied by the mark of combats I so often am drawn into in defense of myself, my friends, and my followers. One day these five Maidens will be mirrored by the five Bear Warriors of this Clan." She used an Indian word for 'whole family' but it translated well to Clan.

"When I rest, I become one with the Earth's Bones. I become one with stone. I am telling you these things so that you understand that if you should need me, should some dire situation mean that you think you must find me during the day, I do not leave behind a body to be found as do Kindred like me. In this place I am secure and cannot be touched unless I wish it."

"I can sense that you are one with the earth, for I can feel that I will someday know how to ask the earth for help. But that is aside from the point, I am keeping your maidens from you. Do you wish me to stay or go?"

"In time you will have the freedom to choose. But for now, it is still suspected you may still have enemies about. You should return to your apartment in the city and always be careful you are not followed when you come here. Give it some time for things to calm down and you may be able to travel more freely. I wish also to put in place more security to protect both of us from those who would track us and hurt us in our home."

"I will endeavor to not be followed." said William. "Will you need a ride back to the city tomorrow night?"

Mika smiled. "No, I will have Two Bears take me in. The less the traffic back and forth from here, the better, I think. I will see you at your apartment when I need you again."

"If that is all Mi'lady, I shall leave you till night."

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Credit and thanks go to Jason Monroe, Brian Pint, Ryan McCullogh, Josh Holt, Tom Welch, Holland Erickson, Lisa Hartjes, Curtis Eckerman and all those who participated consciously or not.  And of course...the Partyman R.I.P.