When Sue crash-lands back on Earth, she didn't know what to expect.What she found was a telepathic wolf pack, capable of reasoning and the dominant life form on the planet. The were in a fight for survival with the feral specieds of wolves, as well as the remnants of humankind.
In the first part of this, Sue learns to communicate and to travel with the pack as they fight and escape from the hunting ferals. In doing so, she fights alongside Tig, the hunting pack leader, to save both their lives.
What she wanted was to get back to the moon base to rescue her family. She didn't know how bad the collapse was.
But before she can get anywhere, she has to prove to the sentient wolf pach that she can be trusted. This means a "probe." Something no human has survived. Sue has special talents and information the wolf pack needs.
While she is preparing for this process, the wolves are fighting for their own survival as a species. The ferals know where their hidden valley is and how to get in. The Sentient wolves intend to attack first before anything can happen to them.
Within the pack itself is a conflict between Snarl, and Tig, who were both raised to lead the pack. The Chief is old, too sick to lead the hunt any longer. Snarl has something planned...
The wolves had selected an old hooman foundation for the probe site.
It was circular, and legend had that the old building was mostly for storage and sheltering livestock. Hooman's called it a "barn". Those that hunted in and around it said it was a slave building, trapping the beings within. Supposedly, this was by mutual consent, as the beings who sheltered in that barn had few defenses without hoomans around.
Those days were before the hoomans leaving in their sky-ships. Sentience wasn't widely available until after they were gone. After the plague took most of the remaining hoomans.
Today, that foundation would be for the ceremony. It would mark where the probe would take place, and where the sentient wolves and their cubs could watch in relative safety.
Or so they thought.
No hooman had survived the probe before. But this one was different. No hooman had been to the valley since the days of the hooman plague.
This was completely new.
And yet, more vital than ever. The ferals knew where the valley was. And the hooman settlements had been growing in size. Not just locally, but in every area where hoomans still survived. This news was brought by the migrating birds and insects.
Unless a way was found to communicate with hoomans and ferals, it would mean a new world war that would destroy both sides. A war that would never end until one or the other side was exterminated.
Tig-she led Soo-she up to the circle and then stopped. The wolf looked at her and sent her a faith-filled prayer for the best outcome.
Soo-she nodded in reply, then entered the circle.
A hawk flew in lazy circles overhead, riding the thermals. With a cry, she dove to earth. Soo-she ducked, but the wolves didn't flinch.
On landing with a graceful back-sweeping, the hawk alighted without a sound.
Eying the assembled wolves, the hawk bowed its head.
A shimmering covered that form, which showed a wolf when it cleared. Grey, almost white fur - it was Teacher...