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Previously: where to start? after echo touched the windstone(or windrock, interchangeable), her mark glowed black and her change date became much sooner. secret estimated about a week and a half, but to be safe, her execution has been rescheduled to a week from that day.
"want to talk?" frost sat by echo, who was hunched in the corner trying to process.
"no." frost hadn't cared at all when secret shortened her time.
"All you care about is your stupid pack."
"yeah. that is and will always be my priority. 1,2, and 3. but i do care about other things. and your part f my pack responsibility." frost was so tactful... compared to a battering ram.
"Thanks." she turned away further.
"ok. but just so you know, ill always have your back."
"except when your friends are about to kill me."
"my pack comes first. that's different. and it's more complicated than you think. do we give our loyalty to the pack overall or to secret? if we do it for our pack and to protect the magic, are there moral boundaries? if it came down to sacrificing the pack or sacrificing the moon and magic, which do we choose? it's not so straightforward. we all have to answer those questions. pine attacked you because his allegiance was to the pack, not secret, and he thought he was doing the best for the pack." that wasn't an excuse. and clearly both frost and secret said no to the moral question.
"what about you?"
"i don't know. i need to decide right now. I'm in a complicated situation that i can't explain, and it comes down to whether i do what's best for the pack or follow Secret. if i do, then i can't say what she'll do to me. ill never be welcome again, and... nevermind." echo glanced around. nobody heard that.
"what is it?"
"i cant say. but as to you, this doesn't really change anything, just hurries them. and didn't you say it felt like a slow death?"
"it's not the same."
"why not? it is virtually identical to your previous problem."
"you're being emotional. if you let it go and look at the problem logically, you would realize that it ultimately is irrelevant. what would you d with the extra time?"
"live. i could spend it to the fullest, doing crazy things and enjoying life. and emotion is a strength. i don't know why secret stopped it out of you but it's hurting you. you can use logic to see triggers, yes, but without emotion, you can't understand me, because you don't know what it's like to feel. you don't understand why i want to feel joy and sadness, and even fear and pain for as long as possible! i was feeling fear, and confusion, and wonder, and i was even starting to feel a little happy, and i was appreciating every breath. you don't understand how huge death is! i know you would love to die for your pack. great. but I'm not you, the wolves don't even like me, and i never asked for this stupid mark to begin with!"
"emotion is weakness. if you care too much you cant do what you need to defend what you love. besides, not everything here is as it seems. including death." what did that mean?
"what do you mean?"
"do you think i can tell you?" frost caught secret's eye who was watching them carefully.
"ill leave you to your mopping then. but if you do want to 'live life t the fullest' then you can still check out the magic with me."
"Is there literally anyone else available? that rock? a pup? a lion? anyone?"
"you could have just said no."
"ok." could she try to sneak out? but no, frost was right, at least in some sense. if she hadn't before she shouldn't now. besides, according to just about everyone it was in her best interests not to change, except maybe the lions, who thought the wolves were weird idiots it seemed. but they also kidnapped her and by all wolf accounts, they were bloodthirsty brutes bent on destroying the moon and wolves. to be fair, she had heard them mention the moon falling so the sun could reign forever. but then what next? did she just sit here and cry for herself? she glanced at secret, authoritatively telling two wolves too do something. was it just her or were the wolves a centimeter taller? why did the wolves keep changing height?
"What if she's going to change tomorrow?" Truth shouted at secret, seemingly out of the blue, tho they had been having a conversation.
"Are you questioning my judgment? I've seen it before. her mark is dark enough that she has just over a week left. when it turns black she'll change. it is not black. i know what I'm talking about." secret sounded as formal, dignified, and composed as ever. what was it with alphas and emotion?
"what if you're wrong?"
"I'm not. and to be safe, even tho it's probably a week and a half, I'm only waiting a week. not that i have to explain myself to you."
"Why not just kill her immediately anyway?"
"i don't answer to you." secret raised her chin higher and meet his gaze until he looked down.
"I'm sorry i questioned you secret." she nodded and he left(that's healthy and normal for wolves, she was just asserting her dominance). frost was watching truth out of the corner of her eye, and quietly spoke to secret, who nodded. it was probably important, but echo didn't dwell on it.
what did frost mean? how was death any different here than in the real world? was it just to a wolf? was reincarnation a thing? or did something different happen to wolfwalkers when they died, and it was different for echo? what did the windrock have to do with anything? were the lions good or the wolves? were neither, or both? and why did the wolves' height keep changing? she sighed. why bother asking, she would never get answers. she only had 6 days left, and it was night, so she was going to sleep.