WOLVES OF ARCANUS

(Story Arc One: Galactic Intervention)

Chapter 1: Arrival

Author's Note: The further I got into this story, the more I realized I needed to make it three story arcs. The titles of each arc are : Galactic Intervention, New Lives, and Homecoming. I hope you enjoy this piece which is the longest I've ever attempted. There will be lots of sex, space battles, magical fights, etc. Hope you stay with me through the whole adventure.

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In a galaxy far, far away, a race of wolves fought a battle for survival against a vicious enemy from space. The insectoid creatures had nearly succeeded in taking over their people and their planet before the invaders were finally eradicated and their ship destroyed.

After recovering from the creatures deprivations, their council decided no other world should suffer such a calamity. They were honor bound to hunt these things down and destroy them wherever they were found, sending a message to the species that their kind was not welcome anywhere in the galaxy and should return to their own planet.

Over the next century, the wolf race of Arcanus sent their specially trained warriors out into space in ships that traveled at light speeds to hunt the Tibican. Their modus operandi was to scan any inhabited planet that possessed the criteria sought by the Tibican; a moderate climate, industrialized but not yet in space, and lightly populated.

If the Tibican were there, the planet was searched for any survivors. They would offer their aid and destroy the creatures either for them or with them. On other planets that had been visited but had driven off the dangerous insects, they would send an insertion team to gather intelligence on how the planet survived the attack and that information was added to their data banks.

They never made contact with the inhabitants of these worlds, allowing them to remain blissfully ignorant of their visit, as they moved on to the next world. They would stay as long as a month or as short as a planetary day depending on what they found.

During their years of travel, the Arcanians were contacted by representatives of the Galactic Community which consisted of many universes banded together for commerce and protection. They were asked to join the community but it took the Arcanian Council a few months to decide if they wanted this honor. When they did agree, the decision was never regretted as their race benefitted from the commerce with other worlds that shot their technology a decade ahead in all fields.

As part of the community, they were asked to add something more to their mission...keep their eyes open for other worlds that could be an asset to community. After contact was made and the planet was deemed worthy, they were to ask them to join. As a reward for any world that took the offer, the Arcanians earned more privileges for their own world. So far the Arcanians had been very successful in their new role, adding more than six new worlds to the community, the Wotan succeeding in signing up two of those worlds.

Being in space for years at a time can be hard so to keep their crews healthy, Arcanian captains would stop at worlds very similar to their own to take shore leave. Sometimes a few would find mates among the inhabitants and brought them aboard to join the crew. This made for a very mixed breed of crew that brought diversity and new ideas which were of benefit to the Wotan.

The wolves, being a very gregarious species, would have sex with nearly any race if it was anatomically possible, having no hangups about alien species mixing their genes with their own. That's because it turned out their genes were always dominant.

They were muscular, powerfully built, tall, morally honest, sexually skilled, cunning, and very intelligent. They had only one name, having no need for a first and last as some worlds did.

To be as successful and thriving as they were, they'd developed methods of cloaking their ships when necessary (either hiding from a hostile force or remaining incognito when orbiting a world) and used medical methods to hide their true appearance, if required, when planet side.

Sometimes they got lucky when the inhabitants looked similarly enough like themselves to not need disguises to walk safely among them. These were the best worlds for much needed shore leave.

This was true on their next stop. A planet with the right criteria for a Tibican incursion was located in a small solar system with only six planets and one sun. The Wotan eased into orbit around it, cloaking themselves from the planet's primitive satellites and observatories. For the next twenty-four hours they scanned the sparsely populated world, known as Aristal to its inhabitants.

Captain Ing listened to the reports of his officers during a meeting held after gathering all the information they could from space. The Tibican, called Ci-Kat-A by the natives, had visited this world but it had been over a year ago and they had succeeded in defeating the invaders. This meant an insertion was required to determine how they'd managed it and to insure none of the insects had managed to hide somewhere on the planet. Depending on what they found, it looked like shore leave would be possible as well. That would be a bonus.

He looked toward his officer that dealt with the insertion teams, Major Wieland.

"Wieland, send down your best team and have them investigate the possibility of shore leave after they've completed their mission," he ordered. "The city..." he paused to glance at his computer pad again, "...called Megakat by the inhabitants, is the insertion point. We are fortunate this world has a form of canine called Kantin which we seem to resemble rather closely so disguises won't be necessary."

Major Wieland grinning happily. "Now isn't that a lucky break. Let's hope we get an all clear for shore leave, we sure need it."

The other officers sitting around the table nodded in full agreement.

"I second that, sir. The crew is dangerously over stressed and I'm concerned about their mental state after what we've recently been through," Tennar, ships medical officer, added. Worry making him look older than he was.

The Wotan had run afoul of a hostile race and had to fight their way out of that solar system, suffering serious damage to their ship and many injuries to the crew in the process. It had taken weeks of work to repair the damage and the crew was still recovering.

"Yes, I'm well aware of that, Tennar." The Captain sighed. "All we can do is hope for the best. You have your orders Wieland and two hours to get the team sent off."

"Yes sir. I'll get right on it."

"Excellent, you're all dismissed." He got to his feet and pulled down his uniform shirt. His officers quickly rose to their feet at the same time and left ahead of him while he followed more slowly, making for the center seat on the bridge.

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In his spacious quarters, laying on his comfortable king-sized bed, Lt. Kam was attempting to catch up on his reading, one of his few pleasures. A female might have been a better distraction but he'd just been involved with a she wolf some months ago and it had ended rather messily so here he was bored and horny. Not a good combination.

When he went off duty, he'd heard they'd entered orbit above a possible Tibican stopping point. He prayed they'd be sending down a team soon and, of course, he hoped it would be his. They were on the roster as the next away team but the Captain was within his right to alter that if he so desired.

Sighing, he tried again to focus his attention on his book when his comm whistled. His heart leaped with excitement as he slapped at the comm key.

"Lt. Kam here!"

"Lt. Kam, report for mission briefing, ASAP. Bring your kit!" Major Wieland's voice growled out.

"Yes sir." Kam responded. Yes! My wishes have come true! Grinning widely, he rolled off his bed and hurriedly began to change his clothes. He pulled on a non-descript coverall of dusty blue that went well with his blue-gray fur pelt and medium length, black hair. He grabbed his always packed kit bag and exited his quarters, hustling down the hall to the turbolift.

He was the second to arrive in the briefing room and smiled broadly at his engineer, Genus, a burly wolf with a golden pelt and reddish-gold hair. Genus nodded amiably as Kam took a seat beside him, dropping his kit by his feet. The door zipped open again to reveal the other two members of his team. A she-wolf named Tara with beautiful tan fur and copper hair and a male red wolf named Donar with hair of gold. The last person through the door was a huge grey wolf with nearly white hair. This was Major Wieland.

"Alright folks, here's what we know. The planet below us is called Aristal. It's at pre-space level of development and is a mostly populated by felines. They call themselves Kats and here's where we got lucky, there is a smaller population of creatures called Kantin that look close enough like us to let us slip in and mingle without need of disguises." He paused a moment to read his notes on his computer pad.

"The largest country with a population around 1.6 million is called Megakat City. This is where the battle against the Tibican occurred. The inhabitants called the creatures Ci-Kat-A so remember that when you question them. They apparently drove the things off completely leaving no survivors so they are no weak race. You know what to do. However, there is an additional order for you by the Captain. This one you'll enjoy...see if we're able to take shore leave here."

Cheers of joy greeted his announcement.

"Yes! Here's hoping it is!" Kam exclaimed.

"We're in agreement on that but remember, don't let your understandable need for shore leave blind you. Please keep your heads about you and investigate closely for hidden danger before you tell the Captain it is safe for us there," Major Wieland warned but couldn't help smiling at the team's undiminished enthusiasm. He couldn't blame them. If it was allowed, he'd be going down with them. The view from up here showed a beautiful, unspoiled world...perfect for them to enjoy.

"We'll try, sir," Kam said cheekily.

As team leader, he was allowed some latitude in his behavior. Major Wieland could slap him down for that comment alone, but ignored it knowing the reason behind the lieutenant's rather reckless attitude. The mess they'd left in that unspeakable solar system had badly frightened and upset the whole crew, they deserved a little good luck about now. "You're dismissed. Happy hunting!"

Still grinning like a group of pups, the team rose and headed for their shuttle bay. Stowing their gear aboard the sleek looking space craft, their behavior immediately became more serious. Each took their seat for the flight down. Kam was the pilot, Donar co-pilot and navigator, Tara was the comm and medical officer and Genus was weapons and engineering.

They ran through preflight quickly and professionally then Tara asked for launch approval. Receiving it moments later, Kam lifted the shuttle from the deck and slowly floated toward open space as the space doors yawned open.

Taking an elliptical course, he soared around the planet until they reached Megakat City's airspace. It was night and their shuttle had a cloaking device on so they were invisible to the city's defense system.

"Hmmm, they have a fairly sophisticated system in place for what appears to be a rather peaceful looking city. I wonder why?" Genus asked more to himself than anyone else as he studied the reports he was getting from his instruments.

Kam frowned at that information, something about it felt wrong.

"Could it just be because of the attack by the Tibicans?" Tara asked.

"No, because that was more than a planetary year ago, according to Major Wieland's report. This just seems a little over the top and it's not all focused toward space. Only a small margin of their attention is there, the main focus is around a variety of heavily guarded facilities," Genus said slowly.

"Hmm, I'm not sure I like the sound of that. We'd better find out why. Genus, when we land, focus your attention on finding what's behind their excessive security measures," Kam ordered as he prepared to land their shuttle.

"Yes sir." Genus grunted, downloading the locations into his personal computer he carried.

With a minimum of fuss, Kam landed the shuttle in near silence within a copse of trees. He'd chosen a heavily forested area that seemed to see little in the way of traffic by the inhabitants and was just north of the city.

They grabbed their kits and checked their comm units that resembled watches. Inserted behind their ears were universal translators that made it easy to speak with the many races they encountered. Each carried a small hand weapon that fit in their palms. It was a very powerful neuralizer that could knock most specious out cold but at a higher setting it could kill. That was something they tried hard to avoid.

They debarked and looked around, sniffing the clean unrecycled air appreciatively while Genus secured their shuttle.

"Okay, remember to check in every four hours. Meet back here by tomorrow night. Stay alert, stay safe, and good hunting," Kam said in parting.

The others nodded then took off in four different directions.