~What’s In a Name~
“Shifter?” said the Undertaker with a smile, “I’ve known quite a few Shifters in my day.”
“Really, so it’s useless to try to find a real name from it,” Fang sighed.
“I’d say, yes. Personally I think that it’s their default name when asked,” Undertaker tapped his long black nails on the counter.
Reighn looked around vigilantly today. Everyone was there today and he was expecting profits. Arisa ran up to Fang with a unicorn figurine.
“Please, please, please, can I have it?!” she pleaded.
Fang noticed Reighn’s eyes grew wide. The item cost twenty-five dollars. Arisa couldn’t stand still. She jumped from one foot to the other. Each time Fang almost grabbed the figurine to prevent it from shattering on the ground.
“My, my, isn’t that a pretty little thing,” Undertaker smiled.
“Yeaps,” Reighn said.
“‘Ey, you have any guns anywhere?” Alister asked.
The Undertaker smiled and pointed to the back door on the back wall, “I might. Why don’t you go check?”
Eagerly Alister went through the back door. Raven was looking at a few figurines herself. Penelope was looking at a few cameras that were on display. Blue and Shadow stood outside waiting for the others to get done.
“Fa-ang!” Arisa said in a whine.
He looked at her sternly. She looked down.
“Sorry,” she said.
Fang took the figurine and placed it on the desk then reached for his wallet. Reighn looked at the bills Fang handed him and nodded. The Undertaker reached under the desk and pulled out a padded box. He fitted the figurine inside and closed the box.
“We’ll keep this here until you leave so it doesn’t break,” he told Arisa.
The girl nodded and went to go look at other things.
“She is such a doll,” the Undertaker muttered.
“Yeaps,” Reighn seemed to smile while he put the bills in the cash register.
Fang nodded briefly then got back to business, “So you knew some Shifters.”
“Yes,” Undertaker said, “I went through a few.”
“Do you know what happened to the ones that you went through?”
“No, I just never saw them again,” Undertaker laughed, “My guess is that their talents were needed elsewhere.”
“‘Ey, Fang, can I get this?” Alister came out of the back room carrying a flamethrower.
Fang sighed, “No.”
“But why?” Alister asked.
“Because I said so,” Fang said.
Alister sighed loudly and dragged his feet back into the back room. Fang rolled his eyes and looked around.
“Come on,” he called, “We’re going. I’ll be seeing you later,” he said to the Undertaker.
The Undertaker smiled, “Goodbye,” he said in a sing song voice as he waved.
Fang picked up the box and left. The others followed behind him. They walked through Transaction Square and walked home. Arisa ran through the gate with Blue at her heels. She ran on the lawn and rolled around. Fang and the others went inside.
Inside Fang went directly to the kitchen to brew some tea. He placed the box on the counter. Arisa would find it eventually. When the tea was set, Fang poured himself a cup and took a deep sip. He then went out to the patio and sat down. Arisa and Blue were playing around. Fang watched quietly. Eventually Shadow came out and joined him.
“The others want a meeting,” he said.
Fang looked up at Shadow, “Why?”
“They want a real team name,” Shadow put his hands up, signaling that he had nothing to do with the decision for the meeting.
“Well, I guess I’d be a good thing to talk about,” Fang nodded, “We’ll talk at dinner.”
Shadow nodded and went to relay the message. A little past noon, Fang went to prepare dinner. That night around the dinner table they talked.
Fang started, “So I heard that you wanted a team name.”
“A-a-all the other teams have cool names,” Penelope pushed her glasses up her nose.
“What other teams?” Fang asked.
“Well,” Alister stretched back, “There’s team Explosion, team Disaster, team Justification and then there’s team Those Other Guys ‘At No One Knows About. That last one is us.”
Fang shrugged, “At least we have the longest name.”
“Yeah, a name no one remembers!” Alister argued.
“How about team Pink?” Arisa suggested.
Everyone stopped and stared at her. After a moment she stood and hid behind Blue.
“Or not,” she muttered from behind her blue shield.
“How about the Black Birds?” Raven asked.
“Oh, genius!” Shadow muttered, “Might as well name the team The Creepy Girl Who Likes Birds.”
Raven stared him down for a few minutes as the conversation continued.
“I think we should be the Supper Dupper Awesome Team of Seven: The protectors of the universe!” Penelope stood up and posed.
“Someone’s been reading too much manga and watching too much anime,” Alister muttered to Blue on his left across the still empty seat.
“Don’t criticize the great writings of Japan!” Penelope shouted at him.
“I think she lost it,” Alister whispered again.
You bet. Blue nodded subtly.
“If you don’t like it, then you come up with a name!” Penelope sat down in a huff.
“‘Bout time y’all asked!” Alister sat back in his chair, “This is what I’ve been thinking, wait for it… The Splendid Seven.”
Immediately, everyone in the room laughed. Even Blue smiled a little. Fang rolled his eyes and sighed.
“What!? There’s the Terrific Three, the Fantastic Four, the Frenetic Five and the Secret Six. Why not the Splendid Seven?”
“Now who’s the one who reads too much manga?” Penelope gloated.
“They aren’t manga. They’re comics,” Alister defended himself.
“Whatever, we’re still not naming out team the Splendid Seven,” Arisa smiled as she sat back into her seat. She looked at Blue, “Do you have any ideas?”
Actually, I do. I was thinking that since Fang is so good at coming with plans I was thinking we could call ourselves the—
“Why even bother!? He never says anything!” Alister protested.
Blue looked at him. You little…you’re lucky Fang is sitting right there.
Only Fang and Arisa could understand Blue fluently. Shadow, Raven and Penelope could understand bits and pieces but Alister didn’t understand a thing. This was a form of common conflict between the two.
“What I want to hear is Fang suggestion, knowing him he had an idea at the very beginning,” Alister continued.
Everyone looked expectantly at Fang. Fang slowly drank the last of his tea and waited a while.
“There’s a story,” he started, “that my father first told me. There was a pack of wolves that lived in a forest far away. They did everything together. They hunted together, they lived together, and they helped each other.
“One day a bear came into the area. The bear destroyed everything it came across. The wolves felt like they had to do something to get rid of the bear before it destroyed the whole forest. So they all set out to look for it and to kill it. Sure enough, however, the bear heard that they were looking for him and ran.
“The bear ran through the forest, the wolves followed. The bear ran through the desert, the wolves still followed. The bear ran through snow and ice and the wolves still followed. Wherever the bear went the wolves were always not too far behind. Finally, the bear was so tired that it stopped running. When the wolves caught up to it asked them ‘Why do you keep chasing me? Isn’t it enough that you drove me from the forest?’
“The head wolf said, ‘Because you could have come back and harmed one of us that time. I need to make sure we are always safe.’ So they finished what had come for and then they went home.
“That’s the story of the wolf pack,” Fang concluded.
There was silence as he poured himself another cup of tea.
“Sooooo….”Alister said, “What does that have to do with a name for our team?”
Fang looked up, “Oh, nothing. I just thought that I’d share something while I had your attention.
“That wasted five minutes of my life,” Alister muttered.
“I-I-I think that Fang was trying to say something there,” Penelope suggested.
“We are the pack of wolves and we have to track down whomever we need to keep everyone safe. And we’ll go after them to the ends of the earth until we take them in of until they are dead,” Shadow answered, “And in the end, whatever happens we have to look after each other no matter what.”
“Wolf Walkers,” Raven said.
“What was that, Raven,” Fang asked.
“Our name,” she said a little louder, “I think that our name should be the Wolf Walkers.”
Fang shrugged, “I have no protests.”
“I like it!” Arisa said, “What do you think, Blue?”
I think that a good name. Blue smiled.
“You do realize he isn’t ever going to say anything right?” Alister said.
“I think the name is good,” Shadow nodded.
“I-I-I like it,” Penelope smiled.
Everyone looked at Alister waiting for his approval. He looked around and sighed.
“Fine,” he said, “but I still think that the Splendid Seven is better though. No matter what you guys say, that name is still better.”
“I guess its final then,” Fang said, “Now you all can stop pestering me about this specific topic.”
“Where is my unicorn?” Arisa asked.
Fang paused a moment, “It’s in the kitchen.”
“May I be exused?”
“Sure,” Fang answered.
The table almost instantly stood up. Everyone went their separate ways. Empty plates were brought to the kitchen for Blue to wash. Fang sat at the head of the table a little while longer.
“And there goes team Wolf Walker,” he muttered.