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Ever since the challenge between Orion and Elijah something was different within the Therian Ambassador, the Kitsune yipping and kenning in a way it never had before. Something was off and even the animal in him knew it but it wasn’t frightened or weary it was alive and full of renewed energy and vitality. There was something different about his eyes as well, not his human eyes but the eyes of an Alpha. An Alpha Kitsune had luminescent eyes which were like green neon on a sign and that was still the hue his eyes took a majority of the time but he swore they had shifted to red the other day, the color of a Lycan Alpha. It didn’t make any sense but he was sure of it. Both Sariah and Sera swore his eyes had shifted to a pale green with gold and claws had extended from his fingertips when the serum to counteract the silver had been flowing through his blood stream but he had chalked it up to the stress of the entire event. Or at least he had until he saw the intention and claw marks on the bathtub after.
Whatever was happening shouldn’t be possible and yet it was occurring which caused the Kitsune to start his own research in secret not wanting to worry or burden anyone else with his issues. So far it didn’t seem like it was a danger to himself or to others and he was hoping to keep it that way. Which was what brought him to the faction house today since the building housed an extensive library of books on Therianthrope history, some of it was myths and legends and some of it was terrifyingly true. Though making your way through all of it and finding the difference wasn’t an easy task.
Parking in the drive he made his way into the warm and comfortable building which housed the members of his faction who wanted to live in a community or feel more like a pack. He was at the faction house a few times a week regardless of his research since he liked to check in on his faction and make sure they were all alright. Research did give him a whole other reason to be here though and at this point he was pretty sure that he had combed through at least a sixth of the books in the extensive library. It would be easier with help but he didn’t know how anyone would react to his current state of influx which confused even him.
It was like he was still an Alpha and still a Kitsune but now he felt this odd sense of being more. Which sounded vain and egotistical which was another reason he had kept his mouth shut. Things between the Alpha’s of the packs were rocky enough without him throwing an unknown monkey wrench in it all. Orion’s ears seemed to perk up as he listened to the goings on around him in the house, there were people currently home but they all seemed to be going about their own business which was good. Making his way to the library he knew closed the door quietly behind him trying to bring as little attention to himself as possible.
Moving towards the bookshelves he had paused on last week he looked over the spines of the books, some were titled and others were written accounts or journals with no name or author listed. Some were bound in leather, some were just bound together, others were scrolls from who knows how long ago but they all held information about the Therian species. The Kitsune had learned a lot from the texts but he had yet to learn what he was truly looking for, it was a frustrating state of affairs and though he knew Sariah would do her best to help him if he told her, he was sure it was something outside of the realm of science and her expertise.
Pulling a volume down from the shelf he moved to sit at table which sat in the middle of the large shelved room. Opening it he began to silently read to himself, mostly skimming the pages to try and get through as much of the text as possible while looking for important or key words which he so far wasn’t finding. An hour in he was reaching up to rub his temples feeling a tension headache coming on from the sheer frustration and annoyance of this all. “Because that’s helpful.” He muttered to himself as he closed his eyes for a moment and massaged the bridge of his nose.
Groaning, head pounding Ryker rolled over and just about fell clean off the bed. Catching the side just in time, he hung suspended on the edge of the mattress for a moment letting his stomach settle. The abrupt movement followed by the whoa nelly moment of nearly falling had him swallowing down bile and the meager contents of his...breakfast? Lunch? The Male had no idea what time it was, his mind vaguely recalling stumbling up the stairs in a drunken stupor. Smacking his lips he cursed the hangover and managed to put both feet on the floor.
He’d never been much of a drinker, years of watching what the devil’s brew could do to a perfectly rational person had turned him solidly off of the stuff. Once he’d joined the Navy though his fellow servicemen and his Team had taught him how good some of the stuff could taste. Coupled with his training he had learned to enjoy some of the smoother liquors but always in moderation. He’d gotten wasted all of one time, during the initial hazing into his SEAL he had drank God only knew how much and then been forced to get up the next morning to run 10 miles. The experience had left him feeling like he was dying, a feeling he hadn't thought he would ever repeat. Yet here he was.
A hot shower and some aspirin helped, his head cleared a bit though his stomach was still extremely upset with him. Pulling on a random pair of pants with a sleeveless shirt the Therian slowly walked out into the hall and down the stairs. 15 steps down and then 7 steps to the left put him in the kitchen. Using the map of the house he’d cemented in his mind he put on a pot of coffee, waiting a few moments as the smell of roasted beans filled the room. Leaning against the counter he took a moment to look around, sending who was still in the house. Curiously he picked up a familiar aura, the hue around the edges telling him who it was while the colors inside said the individual was worried and stressed.
Smirking Ryker fixed two large mugs of coffee, strolling casually into the library. Counting steps he stopped just at the edge of the table, “You know you keep frowning like that and your face is going to get stuck that way. You won't be near as handsome to your blonde friend and you will definitely scare small children.” His tone was reading and sarcastic as he held out one of the mugs, waiting for Orion to take the beverage as he didn't want to risked setting the mug down. Without being able to see what was on the table or where he could end up spilling the stuff everywhere and making a royal mess.
Once his hand was free he used other to cup his own mug, taking a healthy swallow of the scalding brew. Clearing his throat, his voice was scratchy and gruff from the drunken sleep he’d just engaged in. “Pounding the books again I see. What is it exactly you're looking for?” This wasn't the first time he had found the Kitsune knee deep in paper, the colors around him a mixture of stress, frustration, and worry.
Ryker tilted his head curiously, focusing on the very core of his Ambassador. Normally the man was a solid neon green, a ball of light that was a steady and predictable as the sun. Looking at him now though the core of the man had changed, swirling with a combination of neon green, red, and black. He imagined it was what the core of the Earth looked like, a constant swirling ball of magma, if magma was the varying colors he was observing. “Weird,” he muttered, unable to stop staring.
In the modern age you would think finding one bit of information wouldn’t be so hard to find, except when it came to supernatural things it was best not to use the wonderful world wide web. The things on their ranged from terrifyingly true to down right outlandish. Orion’s current quest of knowledge was probably something which would only be found in old manuscript since it didn’t seem like it would be common. It made him vaguely think on the things his father had once told him of their bloodline but honestly as a teen he hadn’t been listening and had other things on his mind.
There was movement somewhere off in the rest of the house but it was something he had blocked since there was always movement after all with so many people residing within the walls. Though he actually began to pay attention to the footfall as it came closer, the sound of the strides familiar and then the unique scent hit his nose. The scent of Stagg which was something he had never experienced until Ryker had shown up after his first shift at Orion’s home, more specifically in his yard. The scent of coffee clung to Ryker’s scent as he looked up as the young man entered. Thankfully he had coffee in both hands or it may have annoyed Orion. Not that he demanded or wanted anything from any in his faction but he was beginning to lose the ability to see straight it seemed and the words were swimming on the pages so he could really use the caffeine and he wouldn’t be able to restrain himself from caving to the distraction of going to get coffee.
“If my face had any intent on getting stuck this way it’s had more than enough time to do so.” He said looking at Ryker with a small smile on his lips, “My blonde friend has seen me in countless expressions of worry so I doubt she would be surprised by many of expressions at this point.” The teasing and small jokes from his own faction were more common now since things had progressed past a rumor. Ryker was very quickly becoming like a younger brother or son to Orion and despite his mild annoyance from time to time with the Stagg that just seemed to make him feel more like family. “As for scaring small child, I already tend to do that and it’s not my fault.” The Alpha aura often seeming to frighten child since it could be rather intense.
Reaching out he took the offered coffee from Ryker’s hand, “Thanks.” He replied in a sincere manner before bringing the coffee up to his lips to take a deep gulp. “Therian history. There’s….something happening that I don’t understand and I need to know if it’s happened before.” And what whatever this was since he was clueless as to what was happening to him and that wasn’t a feeling he liked very much.
Orion knew that even with being blind Ryker saw more than most realized even if it wasn’t necessarily with the eyes. Ryker’s other senses being heightened to make for his now absent sense of sight. “Weird isn’t really a positive word to randomly say. Should I be concerned over what you’re seeing?” He asked with a raised even though he knew the Stagg couldn’t see his facial expression. Orion was more than aware of the fact he was currently weird but he didn’t need anyone else seeing it and he wondered exactly what Ryker was seeing.
Chuckling quietly the ex-SEAL perched his behind on the edge of the desk, slightly facing away from the other male in the room. It didn’t matter where in the room or even in the house Orion was in, Ryker would be able to hear everything that was said and then some. He had to admit that despite how much it sucked not having the use of his eyes any longer, his hearing was incredibly acute. On top of that he had the nose as well, able to sift through scents as good as the rest of the Therians, which was a blessing in and of itself. As much as he hated the whispers and the rumors that were going around about him he at least had some of the traits that helped him fit in, even if it was just a bit. He’d never been much for fitting in before but given his new lot in life it wouldn’t hurt. He felt disconnected to his faction, accept when Orion was around.
His Ambassador had become a very good friend in a very short amount of time, more than just a friend really. The Alpha kitsune had taken him in and together they were exploring exactly what he was and what he could do. It had been disheartening and scary as hell to hear that the elder Alpha had no idea that something like him even existed, or why his Therian side had awakened now. Apparently there were no histories that gave even a hint of a White Stag or how many there had been before him, if any. Ryker had felt extremely isolated, his PTSD nearly rearing it’s ugly head and yet a hand on the shoulder from Orion had calmed him considerably and kept him from falling to pieces. His Ambassador had sworn that they would find out what was going on, fitting him with the tattoo that would forever brand him as a member of Orion’s pack. Even if none of the others accepted him, they couldn’t and wouldn’t go against their Alpha, so Ryker had inadvertently found himself a home.
Snickering at Orion’s mention of children and often scaring them despite his face, or made that was in spite of, the Stag took another healthy swig of coffee. He’d heard about the special blonde that had managed to capture the attention of the aging Kitsune though he kept in all the teasing comments that spiraled through his mind. If he’d been back with his Team he wouldn’t have hesitated to voice them all but he wasn’t with him Team and still didn’t know how much ribbing his Ambassador could take. “I guess it’s true what they say about foxes and children, the sly ones like the tender meat.” Laughing he let that one slip, taking another swig of brew and appreciating the easing of the hangover he’d been rocking.
Nodding his head as the reason for the visit to the library was explained to him, Ryker took to studying what he could see. There was anxiety and worry in the Therian’s aura as well as something else tingeing his voice. The swirling colors at the core of his being seemed to be growing brighter, more distinct even as they spoke. The ex-SEAL’s eyebrows shot up into his hairline at Orion’s question, not realizing that he’d spoken aloud. Setting the mug gently down on the edge of the desk he rubbed the back of his neck while gathering his thoughts. “I’ve kind of explained what I can see. That I can see emotions of colors around the shape of a person, and at the core of who they are a singular mixing that let’s me know what a person is and what kind of a person they are.” It was hard to explain to someone that couldn’t see, way the colors blended together and the almost instinctive way he knew what all of it meant.
“You’ve changed though. When I met you your core was a neon green and now you have swirls of red and black mixed in. It’s like the very center of your being has changed, morphed somehow. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Not that that was saying much given all of this was brand new to him, and yet he could feel that this was significant. Suddenly his mind seemed to open up, images flood through him in such a large flow that it sent him reeling. His mug went crashing to the floor as he stumbled away from the desk, hands clutching his head and eyes going pure white. He cried out, not sure whether it was from pain or fear, as his ass hit the floor and his body convulsed.
Orion was well aware of the rumors and jokes about which flowed within the faction house and the city as a whole but really he could care less. Before he had become an Alpha again and an Ambassador everyone had whispered about him and what had brought him to Evermore, about his wife and his kids and countless other topics which were private and personal to him. That however just made it easier to ignore it all now even if ignoring it just gave raise to even greater and crazier rumors. Honestly some brought him rather intense amusement but he was sure that Sariah didn’t necessarily think the same.
That was one of the many things which had caused the elder Kitsune to become rather protective over Ryker, the young man was different in many ways his therianthrope animal the only one Orion had ever known not to be a predator. Ryker was also the first blind therian Orion had ever come across but the body could only heal from so much trauma and he knew that the Stag’s unseeing eyes caused discomfort to many. It was something you had to get used to but it also was something the ex-SEAL had no control over. That was another reason Orion had been pouring over these books the past few months, he had promised to help Ryker figure out exactly what he was and his place within the Therian species but so far there was very little to go off of. The Kitsune had found a few instances where the White Stag had appeared but there was no date to associate with the appearance and there was normally only an illustration or one line as if writing more was in some way not permitted.
Hearing Ryker’s words the Kitsune reached over and flicked the younger man on the nose with a teasing smile on his lips, “Some day I’ll figure out something witty for you Stag,” Though that mention first they would both need to understand exactly what the other man was. Despite the harsh differences between Ryker and the other branches of the Therian specie he still held most of the same strengths as far as vision, hearing, strength and healing but Orion wasn’t sure what strengths the White Stag itself held. “Besides, being sly has gotten me far in life.” Which was the honest truth and it was probably one of the few things that kept the Alpha Council from falling apart since he knew when to pick his battles.
As an Alpha Orion was used to bottling his emotions and wearing a mask since much like any animal in the wild the last thing you wanted was for others to sense weakness. Which was why Ryker’s sight made him feel vulnerable since there was nothing he could hide since his aura tended to say it all in a bright a colorful manner, at least from what he understood. There were still somethings he didn’t fully understand on that one. “I’m not the biggest of fans of you being able to see so much but at the moment it is helpful.” He said listening as Ryker did his best to explain exactly what he was seeing and the difference in how it had been when they first met. “Makes sense that you’ve never seen anything like it since I’ve never seen, felt or heard of anything like this. Alphas have killed each other since the dawn of our existence and yet there’s nothing about some sort of shift like this occurring.” Orion wasn’t sure fully sure what he was anymore.
One minute the two were conversing and the next he watched as something seemed to come over Ryker his movements on a brief pause before the mug of steaming coffee slipped from his grasp and shattered on the floor. Orion had never seen such a thing as the younger Therian grabbed at his head his eyes shifting to a pure white which was unnerving to say the least. As Ryker convulsed on the floor he knew better than the hold the man down, he just hoped this passed quickly since he had very little medical knowledge or skills other than patching up wounds. “Ryker, come on, stay with me kid.” Orion said as he lowed himself to the ground and slightly elevated the Stag’s head.
Histories from times passed, eras of memories suddenly downloaded into his mind at the same time as knowledge collected over thousands of years uploaded into his cranium. It was one huge data dump, shutting down all of his functions as his body dealt with the shock. He twitched and writhed on the ground, eyes rolled into the back of his head for a good chunk of time and the only thing that kept him from passing out completely was the sound of Orion's voice. He used the Alpha's baritone as an anchor, clutching onto it with every ounce of his will while his brain fried. Eventually the convulsions eased, his breathing overly loud even to his own ears.
“What the fuck?!” he croaked out, voice like sandpaper as the male fought down the urge to puke. In the darkness that was his sight the colors he could view were brighter and more clear, his hearing and sense of smell even more acute. It seemed as if his previous view of the world had only been a small taste and something had suddenly unlocked the full potential of his being. His head pounded and his eyes hurt which was ludicrous since they were useless. Not willing to sit up just yet he lay there on the floor, taking stock of his body in a steady litany that helped to calm him.
Physically he felt like he'd just been through Hell Week, his muscles twitching and aching in that familiar way. That he could handle though, that kind of pain he enjoyed, relished in even as it meant he was pushing himself to become better. Stronger. It was his head that gave him the most trouble, his skull pounded in a way he'd never experienced before. It was just hammering, it felt as if his mind were engaged in combat and being bombarded by a barrage of explosions. “That's it kill me. One shot to the temple, quick and clean. Just put me out of my misery.”
Just the act of talking had his stomach rolling, Ryker shot up to a sit position and shoved his head between his knees breathing through his nose. Oddly the position seemed to ease some of the ache in his head, making it easier to think past the excruciating pain. Behind his eyelids he knew Orion was crunched down next to him, his colorful aura huddling close as concern flowed through the spectrum. Squeezing his eyes shut he opened them and looked up, “Dude you gotta back up with your Alpha of Alphas color explosion. Too bright,” he muttered.
For a Therian to go into convulsions while no under the influences of wolfsbane or silver was very uncommon by Ryker was violently convulsing as if his body had no physical way of handling what was happening. So Orion did the only thing he could do he just kept talking about random things, anything he could think of right now. “Hope you know it’s going to be a real pain to all coffee out of this rug.” Not that Orion really cared since it had been here longer than he had and it was just a rug. Though soon the convulsions began to subside, but Ryker was breathing as if he had just run a 5K marathon at full speed.
“Really? You’re asking me that like I somehow have a magical answer which obviously I don’t.” It was clear whatever had just happened took a toll on Ryker as his voice was scratchy and hoarse as he had spoke those three words which seemed to have taken a lot of effort. “I think you’d be more likely to tell me what just happened than I would be to tell you.” Since Orion had only seen Ryker fall and go into convulsions which wasn’t much of an explanation.
Orion waited to see if Ryker would be able to sit up or stand but it seemed that neither was something the Stagg was even attempting yet which said a lot. After such a display Orion could only imagine how Ryker felt and if they way he looked was any indication the kid was feeling like he was hit by a Mac truck. So the Kitsune just silently observed waiting for Ryker to come back to himself to try to explain what that was since Orion had never seen anything like it to be honest and he wasn’t sure it was something he’d like to witness again. “I’d rather understand what caused your misery before putting you out of it. I have never seen anything like that before and if it’s something you’re going to start doing on a constant basis I’d rather you not.” He said in a somewhat joking tone even though the display had frightened him which was not an easy thing to do.
Orion backed off quickly as Ryker shot up from his laid back position and placed his head between his knees. The Kitsune assumed that it helped since Ryker’s hammering heart rate and breathing were beginning to slowly decrease towards a more normal level. “My what?” Orion asked in mild confusion wondering if the Stagg hit his head too hard on the way down. “I’m going to grab you some water and then hope for some sort of explanation even if it doesn’t make any sense.” He said before standing and heading out of the library and towards the kitchen to get Ryker a plastic cup of water, just in case he for some reason fell into another fit. After filling the cup he headed back into the library and once more closed the door before approaching Ryker with the water and slowly pressing the cup into the other man’s hand and then backing up with his arms crossed over his chest.
“So what was that? Or do you even know?” He questioned unsure if Ryker had any more insight than Orion currently did.
Despite the way he felt the Stag chuckled out a scratchy laugh, reaching up to rub his sore eyes. “Come on, you’re the Alpha. You’re supposed to have all the answers.” His tone was sarcastic, the usual dry banter came easily to him as his muscles seemed to settled back against his bones and his head decided it wasn't going to explode. For the moment anyway. Keeping his eyes closed he still had to deal with the colors, unlike sighted people he couldn't shut out what he could see. The only time he ever got a break was during the odd times he managed to fall into a deep sleep or happened to catch the faction house at a time when no one else was around. Otherwise his “sight" was always on, always functioning like the damn Energizer bunny on crack.
Groaning he coughed, a smile unwillingly spread across his dry lips at Orion’s comment. “Is that concern for me I hear in your voice? Gee dad, didn't know you cared so much. And here all my angsty behavior has been slowly killing your old heart.” A raspy laugh rolled out of his mouth as the dirty blonde male flinched slightly at the good hearted punch the Kitsune rewarded his lip with. All joking aside he could smell the light tinge of fear that rolled off the older male, mixing with the concern in his voice Ryker could tell that something like this hadn't ever happened before and it shook the Therian down to his very core.
Barely avoiding the urge to puke he sensed his Alpha moved away, heading out of the room for a few moments allowing the Stag to recoup somewhat without an audience. Orion came back into the room, pressing a cool glass into his hand which he gratefully accepted. Taking a moment Ryker tipped his head back, letting the cool liquid slide down his throat. The water cleared the grit from his mouth and allowed his sinuses a chance to breathe freely and the cool temp calmed his mind further. Scooting back until his back came flush against the bookcase he let the questions Orion posed filter through his mind, the information slowly but steadily bobbing to the surface like buoys that had been submerged until the waves and were finally resurfacing.
Instead of blurting it all out in an unintelligible mix the ex-SEAL took the time to analyze the information, to understand it all before h finally opened his mouth. “You’ve been feeling different lately. Out of sorts but more powerful. More essentially.” He waited for some sort of affirmative sound though none came, which made no difference because Ryker could see Orion’s aura. The sudden shot of red and brown told him he’d hit the nail on the head. Nodding he smiled slightly before continuing, “That’s because you ARE more. You aren't just the Kitsune alpha anymore. You are THE alpha. The Alpha of Alphas.” The male let that sink in, unable to resist the amused chuckle that followed all of that up. “Which makes me. In a weird way, the Yoda to your Luke.” Just saying the words out loud turned his chuckle into a full blown laugh, a laugh that sounded almost hysterical as he know also knew why his life had unfolded the way it had. The knowledge that he had been the reason for so much death didn't sit well with him. Not one single bit.
A snort left him at Ryker’s sarcasm, “If I had all the answers I believe my life would be in a much better state than it has been for the past few years but sure I have all the answers. Like the secret to happiness is not having a smartass adopted stag like child.” He said narrowing his blue hues on the younger Therian in an almost joking manner but he was still concerned over what had just occurred. Not that Ryker could see his expression but he would be able to see it in the color of his emotions along with the sound of his voice. As much of pain in the butt as the younger Therian was, Orion didn’t like to see any in his faction in pain nor in whatever seizure like state Ryker had just been released from. “If you hadn’t just been on the floor I can promise you I would smack you in the back of the head.” The elder Kitsune muttered shaking his head at the stag.
“Keep it up and I will smack you.” The alpha almost seemed to growl in return, “My level of concern is fleeting, trust me. I figure if you mouth is working fine then you can’t be too bad off.” Celestial tinted hues rolled wide at Ryker’s comment, “Yes it even turned my hair silver, my children will be grateful to know they weren’t the ones to cause it.” The urge to reach out and strangle the stag was quickly rising since instead of answers he felt like he was back to trying to talk to his own son when he was teenager. Especially when the alpha was trying to take what had happened seriously since it wasn’t an everyday sort of occurrence. Therians didn’t have seizures unless their body was attempting to fight off wolfsbane or silver that had made it’s way to their brain.
The Kitsune fell silent as he did his best not to literally shake some sense into the stag, which might actually cause him to be sick and Orion was not going to clean that up. His nose wrinkling at the mere thought since he hadn’t cleaned up someone else’s vomit in years and he’d like to keep it that way. Though the silence was quickly wearing on him as he waited for Ryker to recover and get his thoughts in order. Normally Orion was rather patience but at the moment that was not the case since it seemed the younger man had knowledge that the elder one wanted.
Slowly nodding in response he listened as Ryker spoke since he had felt odd every since he had one the challenge against Elijah. At first he thought it was accepts of the untested serum Sariah had used on him but he knew that wasn’t the truth of it since tested or untested nothing could make his eyes change like he swore they had. Of course he had been the only one to see them so he had questioned if it had truly happened. “I can’t argue that fact but when you kill another alpha in a challenge you gain a bit of power but…not like this.” He said knowing that winning against Elijah was different than prevailing over any other alpha since Elijah had killed more alphas than likely any alpha living today. The Alpha of Alphas? It was something Elijah had referred to himself as often, offering any the chance to challenge him. “The Alpha of Alphas is a pipe dream created by Alphas corrupted by power, it’s not real.” Orion countered since so many through Therian history had claimed to be the top alpha so to speak.
“Did you happen to get a head injury during a bar brawl last night?” Orion asked skeptically since Ryker was making less since than usually, especially when he brought up his Skywalker and Yoda analogy. “You are aware of exactly how batty you sound right now right?”
Ryker couldn't help the wide grin that spread across his face nor the rumbling laugh that accompanied it. He knew he was pushing his luck with the Kitsune Alpha, the Male was on edge as it was and adding on a random seizing fit from the odd adoptive Stag he had been saddled with didn't help. The SEAL knew he was a handful and a half, both because he was unique and because he was blind. Mixed together he was a headache the older male hadn't been counting on and didn't need, which made his own self loathing all the more acute. The situation he was in was by no fault of his own and yet he hated being such a burden. He had joined the SEALs to make a difference, to pull his own weight and save those who needed it. Now he was useless.
As the laugh died down he took a deep breath, further analyzing what he now knew as well as what was pouring out of Orion’s mouth. “Alright, alright. Don't smack me or I might puke and neither of us wants that.” He’d been praying to the porcelain gods more in the last few months than he had in his entire life, and thankfully either the Kitsune didn't know or he was keeping his mouth shut. Either way the Stag was sure he wouldn't be able to make it to the bathroom in time so he needed to keep his stomach in check. Still, he couldn't resist adding just a small barb, “Come on now, the ladies love a salt and pepper silver fox. Or so I've heard anyway. And you need all the help you can get.”
Chuckling as another spike of red shot through the Alphas aura he held up both hands in the universal sign of surrender. Clearing his throat he took another long swing of water, setting the glass down within reach. Orion explained how a challenge works and the results which played with what he knew but there was more to it than that. Shaking his head a brought his knees up, resting his forearms on the caps and letting his wrists hand loose. Resting his head back against the bookcase the Stag closed his eyes, this lips curving into a small smile. “No brawl, at least not for a long while and I'm not crazy. Well maybe a little but that's besides the point.” He did sound batty but he knew deep down in his bones that what he was speaking was the truth. Whatever knowledge had been locked away in his cranium had just been released and he had thousands of years worth of experience, history, and wisdom rattling around in his brain. The weight settles on his shoulders and he felt infinitely old, ancient even. Reaching up he rubbed his aching eyes, the milky white irises useless in all their pain.
“Many have claimed it in the past but only a select few have ever truly born the mantle. There are a specific set of circumstances that lead up to the crowning of an Alpha of Alphas and you have satisfied them all. It isn't just the challenge that facilitated it either, with all three sects of Therians in such close proximity and each having a separate Alpha set the stage. Then there's the numbers, together the three sects make the largest gathering of Therians in history, that opened up the ability for one of the three Alphas to claim that title.” Ryker hadn't met the other two Alphas but he’d heard rumors from those who lived in the faction house. Harper Adler was a turned Therian who had stumbled into the responsibility while fighting for the life of a human. Many held her in high esteem, the lycanthropes especially for she held them all as her family and protected them as fiercely. Many of the older members thought she was too young and temperamental, which he personally felt was just the older generation misunderstanding the younger generation. He knew much less about the Ailuranthrope Alpha, only knowing that rumor had it she was quiet and timid which clashed with her position.
Sighing once more Ryker looked in the direction he knew Orion to be, “When you fought Elijah you weren't just fighting for your faction, were you? He threatened to rule over all the Therians here in Evermore which triggered the challenge to end all challenges. You won.” He waited a moment, letting all of the information sink in before he continued. “You will keep feeling overwhelmed and off balance until you acknowledge your position and solidify it with the other two Alphas. As your subordinates they owe you an oath of allegiance and access to one of their species gifts. Only then will you settle back into your skin.” There was more to it, more to his own role in the whole deal but Ryker didn't want to unload too much information on the male at once. His mind had to be reeling enough as it was.
Sometimes Orion truly thought Ryker was some lost child of his which meant he wanted to strange the younger man rather often. It was a good thing he had a lot of self-control since he was sure the Stag tested his patience on purpose which most would see as being very unwise but the former SEAL found great amusement in it. “If you puke then you’re cleaning it up, blind or not I’m not touching that.” Especially when he knew it was more likely due to the hangover Ryker was currently suffering through since Orion could still smell the alcohol which he was sweating out. It was beginning to become part of the Stag’s scent and if Orion was his father he’d given him good reason to change the, however Ryker was an adult and could make his own mistakes since he would be the one dealing with the consequences, not Orion. “I don’t need any help you little shit.” He growled back since Orion was more than happy with his current situation and being able to have Sariah in his life.
Other than the usually quip, Ryker still wasn’t making much sense and the Stag was obviously trying to sort something out and figure out the best way to explain it. Especially since Orion wasn’t fully following at the moment despite how hard he was trying. There were somethings which were just well known myths or claims that egotistical and arrogant alphas had made in the past, including Elijah himself. Granted with the numbers of kills the now fallen wolf had under his belt that rumor was one people were beginning to believe. “You can’t say you’re not crazy, then you are crazy but that has nothing to do with now. Granted you seem as crazy as you usually are so not much is different there.” Though something did seem to be different, even the Stag’s scent had changed ever so slightly and it a confusing to say the least.
“I’m sure the true Alpha of Alphas wouldn’t necessarily want to brag about it. I would imagine that would leave a huge target on their back.” Which was likely why it was so hard to find any actual cases of that happening in any written record. Giving people an addition reason to try and take you down was something no Alpha wanted but if you managed peace that was a huge matter of importance. Listening to the specific circumstances which had to fall into place for such an event to even occur his brow burrowed. “It could have been any of us then.” Granted the only alpha who hadn’t been through a challenge to get to where they were was Crystal but another had taken over for her and he was an alpha that Orion still wasn’t sure about. His intentions seemed pure but he did have a questionable past. It didn’t seem that any of them deserved it over the other, at least not in his mind. They were all the same, doing the best that they could for their own faction of the species. Harper was turned but she was just as fierce as any born alpha understanding the human side more than most but she would also put her life on the line for any of the lycans. Though that was something he hadn’t allowed her to do when it came to Elijah since he wasn’t even sure that was a fight he could win.
“Elijah is the sort out alpha would taken everything, not just the Kitsune or the Therians as whole but the city itself wiping out any and all who disagreed without a single thought. I’m not sure there’s ever been an alpha like him but I knew we would all be doomed if he got any sort of foothold in the city.” Given how much Elijah despised the other branches of the Therianthrope species other than the lycans he would have cause mass genocide. “And what would have happened if the silver had killed me? Would someone else had become the Alpha of Alphas or would that have died with me?” Honestly he was curious since he barely survived since as always, Elijah had cheated. Though it did make sense on why he didn’t feel aligned with himself for the first time his eyes shifting to shades they shouldn’t. A Kitsune wasn’t meant to have claws in their human form and yet the marks on his bathtub were rather clear from the night Sariah had given him the serum to counteract the silver. “Neither is much for bowing to anyone and I’m not the sort to ask them to.” Harper was still pissed as hell at him so he didn’t see that going over well, “First I have to make peace with the other two alphas which isn’t going to be any easy task. Accepting Elijah’s challenge gained me as much respected as it caused me to lose. Most are still of the belief it was a stupid decision to make for a pack member who’s not our own.” And yet despite that Tansy had stayed in the aftermath and helped a bit with clean up when she wasn’t given the cold shoulder.