The New Dog in
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read this. Following this preface is the fanfiction that I wrote. It is about Balto, the movie about the noble wolfdog that saved the children of Nome, Alaska in 1925. My story is actually a continuation of other peoples Balto fanfics. I understand that many of you reading this may have no idea who some of the characters are and it doesnt help if you havent seen the movie. I will give a short description of each character that wasnt in the movie. I will also give a short, short summary of the movie and every characters status. If you have any questions on one of these characters or a character from the movie, please email me at Error! Bookmark not defined.. Okay, lets get started.
Ill start with the movie summary it will be easier to follow everything else if I do that first. Alright, to start out, Balto is the outcast of Nome because he is part wolf. All of the humans shun him and the dogs harass him and make fun of him. For these reasons, he lives on an old fishing trawler in the movie. He lives with his friends Boris, the Russian snow goose and Muk and Luk, the polar bear cubs. The only dog that doesnt seem to hate him is Jenna, a beautiful rust colored husky. But Balto doesnt realize she likes him for his spirit he thinks he has no chance with her because he is part wolf. He doesnt want to be a wolf, but he cant be a dog either. Jenna had no mate, and all of the dogs in town were crazy about her and wanted to be with her. Especially Steele. Steele is a black and white championship sled dog. He is really bossy and loves to show off and brag about his victories. He is always followed by three dogs: Nikki, a really built malamute, Kaltag, a smart, witty husky, and Star, a small, weak husky that hangs around the other two to make himself look bigger. In the movie, Balto also has a crush for Jenna. He finds himself speechless when he runs into her in one part of the movie. Well, Jennas owner, Rosie, is a little, 8-year-old girl. She gets sick in the movie, as do many of the other children in the town. Balto approaches Jenna one night, hoping to start and conversation, and perhaps to get her to go on a little walk with him (a doggie date). But when he asks her, she seems to be distracted by something inside of a building. He asks whats wrong, and Jenna responds that Rosie is sick in the hospital with a fever and a cough. She asks Balto what could be wrong with her, but Balto doesnt know. He does know a way to find out though. He leads her to the boiler room and by taking out the hinges, they get in. Once they are under, Balto shows her how to make the Northern Lights appear. They almost touch noses, but then the doctor comes into the room above and explains what is wrong with the children. It seems there is a diphtheria epidemic going around, and they are out of the antitoxin. As the story continues, the town holds a race to see who will be on the sled team to get the medicine. Balto sneaks in and wins, but when Steeles master, who is also the musher of the team, comes to examine Balto, Steele steps on his paw and makes him growl. The musher says he cant trust him because hes part wolf and proceeds to the other dogs. Later that night they leave for the medicine. But, once they get the medicine, on their way back, they get lost in a blizzard and fall down a steep, icy slope. They are stranded at the bottom. Meanwhile, in Nome, three children have died already, and Balto is very worried about Rosie. So he leaves Nome with Boris, Muk, and Luk in search of the team. Balto marks their way by scratching bark off of trees. They have a run in with a bear in which Jenna show up and prevents it from killing Balto. But as Balto tries to lure the bear away, he falls through ice into a frozen lake. Muk and Luk rescue him by overcoming their fear of the water. It turned out that Jenna injured her paw so Balto told Boris and the bears to take Jenna home and that he would go on alone. Jenna gives him his bandanna and Boris leaves him with his best quote ever: "A dog cannot make this journey alone, but maybe, a wolf can " Balto continued. To shorten things up he found the team, and after a short tussle with Steele in which Balto refused to fight which lead up to Steele falling into a ravine and Balto leading the team the right way. BUT STEELE ISNT DEAD!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! You find this out because, well, he moved once he hit the bottom, and then he climbed out and promised that Balto wouldnt make it home. He intended to keep this promise by getting out ahead of the team and marking all of the trees so Balto would get confused. Balto does get confused and leads the team right onto the edge of a cliff over which Balto falls after making a daring leap to catch the medicine. The scene switches back to Nome, where Steele shows up with Jennas bandanna. He tells all the dogs that the entire sled team had dropped, frozen. Then Steele says that he went on alone, dragging the medicine behind him, and then Balto showed up and demanded to take the medicine himself. He tells Jenna that Balto wanted to be a hero to her so much. Then he says that Balto just couldnt handle the crate of medicine and falls over a cliff. Steele then says that Balto told him to give the bandanna to Jenna and to take care of her. But she doesnt believe him and leaves the old mill where they all were and goes home. She sits with Rosie for a while, then goes up to a hill behind Nome with a lantern and some broken bottles. She sets it up like Balto showed her in the boiler room that one night, and creates the same effect. Then the scene switches back to Balto. Since this is going too long, I will shorten this part. He pushes his way out of the snow, and meets a wolf. He ignores it. But then notices the medicine is sitting unbroken a few paces away. He gets up and howls. The wolf comes back and howls with him. Then Balto begins climbing up the cliff, dragging the medicine behind him. He gets back to the top and the team congratulates him before getting on their way. On their way back, Balto is put to several tests of his leadership. He must choose the correct path, get the team over a breaking bridge of ice, escape an avalanche and navigate the team through an ice cave that is crashing down upon them. They finally make it home successfully where Balto becomes a hero. The children are saved. Balto and Jenna nuzzle, and Balto knows that she loves him now. Steele is banned from town and Balto and Jenna become mates.
Okay, now that I have given you the not-so-quick summary of the movie and all of the characters statuses, Ill explain the characters that you may be confused by.
First of all, one of the first dogs you will be confused by is Band. He was a pure white malamute that somehow ended up in Nome. He hated wolves and any part wolf hybrids. Therefore he had an intense hatred for Balto. Band thought Jenna was the most beautiful dog on the earth the minute he saw her. He became enraged when he found out she was a wolfdogs mate. His advocate, Bitey, was a quiet dog. He was small, but had a large build. Bitey did whatever Band told him to. He is named after his painful bite that he is infamous for. What happens is that Bitey will bite someone, then grind down his teeth until the bones in the limb are crushed. Ouch. This happened to Nikki in one of their confrontations. Okay, enough on him. Anyway, Band made several attempts to kill Balto and get Jenna to himself. He even kidnapped her once for two reasons: bait to get Balto to come, and to try to get her to like him instead of Balto. But he failed in both. Eventually the good dogs of Nome got together and put an end to them both. My story begins a little bit after this has happened. Still confused about Band and Bitey? Im really sorry I couldnt explain better, so you had better check out the website at the end of this story and read the trilogy of Band and Bitey by J. Wolfman.
Now, another character you might not be sure of is Tricksy. She is another character from another fanfiction. She is also half wolf. She got lost in the woods one night and was rescued by Balto. After making Jenna think that Balto was doing things he shouldnt have done with Tricksy, the playful dog tells Jenna the truth and moves into Baltos old home (the old trawler you see in the movie). She falls in love with Kaltag and moves in with his family. They have puppies. She is very proud of her wolf heritage and even took a "training course" with Kemo.
Now that I mentioned Kemo, I should explain him. He is the large, white wolf you see in the movie that encourages Balto to reveal his wolfishness. Kemo is Baltos half brother. Humans massacred his pack and he was shot. Balto helped bring him back to health and he now lives in the woods behind Nome.
Jenner and Kala are Balto and Jennas pups. Jenner is an ambitious puppy that cant wait to be able to explore the world. Kala is a more cautious pup that is often getting mixed up in Jenners adventures. She warns him continuously, but he doesnt listen. This gets the two puppies lost in the woods during a blizzard once but thats another fanfic too.
Now I will finally start the story I hope you enjoy it and please send any feedback you have to the email address above.
The New Dog in Town
It was the day after the defeat of Band and everyone was settling back to normal life. Balto was out for his morning run when he ran into Steele. The big black and white husky was watching Kaltag and Tricksy. He looked upset. Balto asked what was wrong, and Steele seemed to snap back to his normal self. "What of that is your business, Balto?"
Balto shook his head and walked away. Someday, Steele would get over the fact that Balto, the wolfdog and ex-outcast of Nome, had saved the town and that Steele, the once praised, admired champion lead dog of Alaska, was banned from town for trying to kill him. But until then Then he came back to Steeles problem. What could it be? Thats it! Steele wants a girlfriend!! Balto thought.
As he trotted back to town from his daily morning forest walk and chat with his half brother, Kemo, Balto noticed three sleds pulling a family and their stuff. There was a large, white female husky running behind it. Another family moving in? Since when did Nome become so popular? He went to investigate, but he heard Rosie calling him. He reluctantly turned and headed home.
A few days after Steele, Balto, Jenna and a few other dogs had finally rid the world of two evil dogs, Band and Bitey, all of the dogs were at the old mill. Balto and Steele were telling the story of how they killed Band and his advocate to the other dogs. Steele, of course, was exaggerating. "See, I had him on the ice, and then we both fell through! But I clawed my way to the surface while Bitey just sank like a rock. I was nearly a goner!"
Balto rolled his eyes and the other dogs laughed. "Hey, Im serious! I really did go through the ice!!"
"Yeah, just like you jumped that 50 foot wide crevasse just to get to Bitey." The other dogs laughed some more.
Steele looked embarrassed. "Okay, okay. So maybe I didnt go under the ice. But I did force Bitey onto it. And he did go under," Steele said indignantly. "Yes, you did do that, Steele," Jenna said. And thank God for that. Maybe we can have some peace and quiet with those two gone, she thought.
Suddenly, a low female voice came from the back of the mill. "Honey, if I was you, and he was harassing me like that, I woulda torn that bastard up!"
Everyone fell silent as the large, white husky stepped to the front. She grinned at the gaping mouths of the other dogs. "Yep, Im new around here Hehe I see you all seem interested in my slight build". She flashed another grin at the dazed males of the group. "My names Thunderbolt. Lemme tell you my story. Ive lived with my master since I was a young pup. Hes a hardy boy of 18. We used to live in Anchorage. James, thats his name, loves to go sledding and entering races. Im his lead dog. His parents decided to move here in Nome because his mother wanted to move to a quieter town with an interesting history. Besides, her and Jamess little sister have been dying to meet the ever famous Balto." She shot a glare in Baltos direction, as if it was his fault they moved here. "I seemed to be the only one that wasnt satisfied. Even though I may have my fellow sled dogs as company, I had to leave my little gang of dog friends, which pissed me off, cause they were the best. Well, I gotta go, see you all later."
After most of the dogs left, Jenna took Dixie and Sylvie aside and talked to them about the newcomer. "We should take her on a tour of Nome. Shes probably upset about losing her old friends. We could attempt to be her new ones," Jenna said. Dixie replied, "No way! Havent you been listening to the way she talks?!? Shed probably try to take over us! She and Steele would make a good pair, they are both so bossy and braggy." Jenna thought about this and took it to Balto that night.
Back at Balto and Jennas home, Jenna asked him what he had done that day. "Well, I happened to notice that Steele was looking upset; he was watching Kaltag and Tricksy with a sort of sadness in his eyes then I realized he must want a girlfriend!"
"Well isnt that a coincidence!" Jenna said. "Dixie, Sylvie and I were talking about Thunderbolt just a little bit ago, and we all seemed to think that her and Steele have a lot in common."
"Thats not exactly a good thing," Balto said. "But you are right. Maybe we can do something to get them together". They nuzzled each other goodnight and then dropped off to sleep next to their pups.
The next morning, Balto and Jenna discussed how they could introduce Thunderbolt to Steele and how to just generally get her used to the town and vice versa. They decided Balto should go find her and talk to her. Before he left, Jenna came up to him and said sternly, "Now I dont want any stories about you and Thunderbolt like the one Tricksy told me." Balto grinned and said, "Now why would I ever have to do something like that, when Ive got you?" Jenna smiled and they kissed. Then Balto left in search of the cocky, new dog.
Balto found Thunderbolts scent on the street and found her house fairly easily. He went around back and saw her sleeping in her yard. He cleared his throat and she awoke, startled. She bared her teeth at the sight of the dog she didnt even hear approach. Then she recognized him from the night before. "So you must be Balto that wolfdog that saved this town awhile back, huh?" she said with distaste.
Man, she reminds me of Steele not too long ago Balto thought. But he forced his trademark grin and replied, "Yeah, thats me."
"So why are you here?" Thunderbolt asked. "Dont you already have a mate? That weak, little rust-colored husky, right?" Balto wasnt too happy with Thunderbolts rendition of Jennas description, but replied, "Yeah, thats her. Im here to help you out, you know, because youre new here and all Id be glad to tell you about the town, show you around, introduce you to some lonely dogs" he said with a hint of slyness.
Thunderbolt replied, "I dont need help from a half wolf like you. I can find my own way around this dump, and I am perfectly capable of picking out my own mate." She smiled in a way that gave Balto the idea of leaving, which he gladly did.
When he returned home, Jenna was playing with Rosie out in the backyard. Rosie spotted Balto, and ran over to hug him. "Hi Balto!!" she said. Jenna laughed as she saw Balto looking uncomfortable while Rosie hugged him tightly. After she let him go, Jenna came over to him and nuzzled him. Balto said, "How can you stand that!?! She nearly chokes me every time!" Jenna laughed again and replied, "Youve gotta let the humans do that if you want a roof over your head!" Balto chuckled, then Jenna changed the subject.
"So why are you back so early, not that Im disappointed," she said slyly. "But I still thought it would have taken you longer to do the things you said you would do." Balto frowned, then sighed. "We were right. She and Steele could be twins. I can tell she already hates me because Im part wolf. Shes stubborn too, wouldnt take any of my help." Jenna sighed in reply. "Someday they will all see, Balto." She smiled. "If only they could see the real you instead of just deciding to hate you for being different." Balto gave her a warm smile and nuzzled her. Then they went inside together.
"Daddy!" Jenner and Kala shouted in unison as they saw Balto walk through the door. They ran over to him saying, "We havent seen you since yesterday evening! Where have you been all morning?!?" He replied, "Oh, just walking around." He ruffled Jenners fur and nuzzled Kalas head. "So what have you two been up to?" Balto asked the two pups. Jenner spoke up, "We were exploring the yard, and I smelled a cat! I was gonna go chase it, but Little Miss Goody Two Shoes here said she would tell on me if I left the yard." He glared at his sister who stuck her tongue out at him. Jenner charged her and they began to wrestle on the kitchen floor. Balto laughed and remarked to Jenna, "Thank goodness we have Kala to look after Jenner when we are gone." Jenna laughed also and added, "Shes quite the fighter too, look .shes got Jenner in a neck hold." The two dogs chuckled at their pups, then Balto went to get a drink of water.
Jenner came into the room where Balto was and sat down next to his father. "Dad, when can I go out on my own?" Balto replied, "Your mother or I would be glad to take you out whenever you want as long as we arent busy or too tired." "But I wanna go on my own!" the young pup protested. "Its a dangerous world out there but dont worry, your mother and I will let you know as soon as we think you are ready." Balto said.
"What were you really doing all morning?" inquired Jenner. Balto chuckled and said, "I guess I cant fool you anymore." "Yeah, I smelled a weird dog on you, I sure hope its not another girl dog. Mom wouldnt like that." Balto looked at the ball of fur in front of him with an amused expression. "Well you certainly inherited my nose. But you are right. I was with another dog. And yes, a girl dog. But before you get any crazy thoughts in your mind, it was a new dog that moved in. I offered to show her around and introduce her to some other dogs." Jenner got a look of disgust onto his face. "You mean you wasted all morning showing a dog around town!?! You could have been playing with me!!" "Actually, I didnt even get to show her around." Balto sighed. "You probably know by now how the other dogs used to hate me because I am part wolf, right?" Jenner replied, "Yeah, of course. But wasnt that a long time ago?" Balto smiled, "It wasnt too long ago. But anyway, she just doesnt like me because I am half wolf. And by the way, I am not doing this just to help her out. I was going to show her around as part of a plan to help another dog that deserves it he does now anyway." "Who? Who?" Jenner asked jumping up and down, "Tell me!! I wanna know!" "Okay, okay," Balto chuckled, "But you have to promise not to tell." Jenner nodded his head furiously. "Okay. Its Steele." "Steele!?! But I thought he hates you?!?" Jenner exclaimed. "Well, he used to. But now we get along just fine. And I know he deserves this because he saved me a few times when Band was around." Balto explained. "Oh. Okay. But next time try to save some time for me." Balto smiled and said, "How about now, Jenner?" The pups face lit up and he replied, "Okay!!" The two raced each other outside and played in the snow until Rosies mom called them in for dinner.
The next morning, Balto was up early as usual. He crept out the back door silently, as to not wake up Jenna or the pups. He began a brisk trot to the forest at the edge of Nome. He didnt smell Kemo as he approached the treeline, and he couldnt see his half-brother either. He kept his brisk pace as he continued into the woods. He wasnt worried; he didnt sense any danger at all. He just wanted to get some of Kemos advice.
After about ten minutes into the woods, there was still no sign of the white wolf. So Balto tilted his head back and let out a howl. Within a few seconds, his call was answered by another pack. But it didnt contain Kemos howl. He waited for Kemos distinct voice to rise, but he didnt hear it. Then suddenly, he was ambushed from behind!! Something landed on his back, and he rolled in the snow. As he whirled around to meet his attacker, his eyes met the face of a smiling wolf. "Gotcha again Balto. Thats the fifth time this month." Balto rolled his eyes and playfully pushed Kemo. Then Baltos face straightened. "Whats the matter Balto? You look serious about something," Kemo said. "Yeah, Ive just got a little bit of news, and I wanted your advice on something," Balto replied. "Okay, so whats the news?" Kemo asked. "A new family moved into Nome. They have a female husky. I had the pleasure of meeting her two nights ago at the mill and I went to visit her yesterday morning." Kemo raised an eyebrow. "I hope you arent well you know cheating on Jenna." Balto cut in abruptly, "No, of course not!" "Just checking," Kemo said. "Anyway, she could be the exact duplication of Steele." Balto said. "You know. She hates me cause Im part wolf." "But aren't you and Steele buddies now?" Kemo asked. "Yeah. But you know how he used to hate me for being part wolf, right? Well she is the same way. She is also very braggy and she has a large build. She said she was the lead dog for her master's sled team. This morning I offered to take Thunderbolt, as she is called, on a tour of Nome to get acquainted with other dogs and perhaps to get her and Steele together. I think he deserves a mate. He risked his life to save mine when Band was around. Besides, no other dog is gonna go for him." Kemo laughed and replied, "Not with that aura of cockiness around him, he won't. Hehe, I'm beginning to get a picture of this dog. So she and Steele are perfect for each other, huh?" Balto answered, "Yeah, but I'm not sure she would accept my help in getting them together. They would have to do it on their own or she would have to accept the help from one of the other dogs in town." Kemo nodded and replied, "I agree with your thoughts. It wouldn't be wise to get onto that girl's bad side with the way you described her." Balto nodded in agreement and the two howled together before going their different ways.
As Balto trotted back toward town, he spotted Kaltag with his puppies. He approached them and the puppies ran to him. "Balto! It's Balto!!" they cried out. Balto laughed and stepped over them to Kaltag. "What's up, Balto?" he asked. Balto said to him, "Can we have a quiet moment?" as he motioned to the puppies. "I just don't want the word to spread." "Sure thing, Balto." Kaltag said to his pups, "Hey you guys...can you go inside with your mom for a little bit? Balto and I need to talk." "Okay Daddy!" After the last of the pups had gone in, Kaltag turned to Balto and asked, "So what's the secrecy about?" Balto replied,
"Remember that new dog from two nights ago at the mill?" "That big, boastful one?" Kaltag asked. "Yeah, her. I went to talk to her yesterday morning. And don't get any suspicious thoughts in your mind...cheating on Jenna is the thing that is farthest from my mind. But anyway, I wanted to do the polite thing and show her around town and get her to meet some other dogs." "So what is so secret about that?" Kaltag asked. "Well, Jenna and I, and I'm sure other dogs as well, have noticed that Steele has been acting a little oddly. He's been looking upset about something, and after I attempted to talk to him and after watching him, we figured out that he must want a mate! I mean, he's the only one that doesn't have one or doesn't like one. Even Nikki had one for a little bit." "You're right about that, Balto. He just can't seem to get one. All the girls around here can't stand him after what he did to you." Kaltag said. He added, "And that new dog did seem to act just like him. Hmm. We will have to work on that one, buddy." "Okay. Thanks Kaltag. I'll see you around." Balto turned and went home.
When Balto reached his house, the smell of bacon made his mouth water. As he stepped into the kitchen, he was greeted by three things: Rosie, at the table eating, Jenna, who was eating with the pups, and his food dish, which was full of dog food and some bacon. He ran over, bolted his food down, and sat down next to Rosie. "Now Balto, don't expect any extra food from Rosie," her dad warned. Balto dropped his ears and slunk back to his food dish. Rosie's mom laughed. "Balto, you really are a dear. Here. I have some burnt bacon you can have." Balto's ears perked up and he ran over to her and sat down at her feet. She chuckled and tossed the bacon to him. It was gone in less then five seconds. Jenna frowned at him and said, "Balto! You're teaching the children bad manners!" Balto grinned and replied, "Hey, they gotta learn how to get more food if they want it." Jenna scowled. "I was referring to the way you wolfed down your food. Jenner may try and then he could choke!!" Balto looked sternly at Jenner and said in a serious tone, "You would never do that now would you?" Jenner looked at Jenna and said, "Um...no...hehe...of course not." Kala spoke up then. "But Mom! He already did that!! When you weren't ho--" Her sentence was cut short as Jenner tackled her. As they rolled on the kitchen floor, Balto laughed, but Jenna frowned. "One day, Balto, he could really get hurt!" "Okay, okay. Jenner!!" he said sharply. The pups stopped wrestling and the little pup looked at his father guiltily. "Your mother is right. I don't want you trying to eat all your food in four or five gulps. Like I do," Balto added. "Okay Dad," the pup said in a hurt voice. "But one day I'll be able to eat my whole dinner before you even sit down, Dad!!" he added. Balto frowned, then smiled at the ambitious pup.
"Looks like Balto is reprimanding Jenner," Rosie's dad mentioned. Rosie's mom laughed. "He certainly does seem to have an air of authority around Jenner and Kala." Rosie added, "He wants them to grow up to be good dogs. That's why." "Yes, darling. You are right," her mom said.
As Steele stepped outside his home that morning, he was feeling the worst he had felt since he was banned from town. He looked down the street into Kaltags house and sighed as he saw Kaltag and Tricksy nuzzle each other and look lovingly at their pups. Steele looked up at the sky, as if waiting for a sign but nothing came. He continued down the street and headed toward Nikki's house.
As he approached Nikki's home, Steele spotted the large chow lounging on the porch of his house. He walked up and Nikki opened his eyes. "Hey dere
Steele. What are you doin' around here?" Nikki inquired. "I just wanted to ask you a question." Steele answered. "Okay. Shoot." "Well you see...I was just wondering...how did you feel after Minski left? I mean...I'm just curious." Nikki looked at the black and white husky oddly, then replied, "Well, I felt really upset the first few days. I was cryin' for her tah come back. But den I realized dat she wasn't gonna come back, and dat I would have tah get over it. And I did, slowly." Steele thought about this for a moment, then asked, "Don't you ever think about
finding another mate?" "I used to. But now I don't. I just think about Minski and dats all I need. I would feel bad if I got another dog. It would kinda be like betrayin' her." Steele nodded his head and turned around. As Steele walked back down the street, Nikki looked at him and wondered, What is up wit him?
"MUSH!!" James yelled to his dogs. Thunderbolt panted as she strained against the harness. She growled at the sting of the whip. "COME ON, THUNDERBOLT!!! MOVE IT FASTER" the young musher yelled to her. She barked commands to the dogs behind her: "Pull harder Jackie! Get off my ass Parker! C'mon Max are you a wheel dog or a pussycat?!?"
Steele halted at the sound of the powerful female voice shouting out commands in the nearby woods. He wandered to the edge of the trees to find the sled team that was practicing. Suddenly, he looked to his right and saw the form of a powerful husky leading a pack of dogs and an older teenager through the trees. He stepped back, in awe, and he realized the lead dog was the husky from the mill the other night! They rushed past him in a blur and as he watched the receding flanks of the team, he thought, Wow. She was incredible! As he stumbled back home, partly dazed, he thought about the new dog some more. A few nights ago, I just thought of her as an obnoxious newcomer. But now I realize, I was the same way...and I still am sometimes. She really isn't that bad...at least to me. The other dogs must not like her, just like how they didn't like me when I was like that. But I know how she must feel. In fact, we have so much in common, we could be mates!!! With that thought on Steele's mind, he walked home with a new sense of energy and normalcy.
In fact, he almost became completely identical of how he was before the whole Balto-sledteam-diptheria antitoxin event. He passed by Balto in town and the way Steele acted surprised Balto. "Hey Steele. You look like youre feeling better," Balto said politely. But Steele replied with, "Get out of my way, wolfdog" and pushed past Balto.
As Balto watched Steele continue down the street, he thought, What the heck happened? I thought he and I were friends now! What could have happened to change him back to his rude, spiteful self? Balto pondered what Steele might have done or what might have happened to him to change him so abruptly as he headed back toward his home.
While he was deep in thought, Balto accidentally ran into a small husky. He excused himself, and then saw the smiling face of Star. "Hey Star. You sure look happy," Balto remarked. The scrawny husky smiled more and replied, "Yeah...I just got Dixie to actually talk to me! Well, actually...uh...she kinda did the talking...and uh, I just kinda stood there...heh...I was kinda nervous, and I think she left after I fainted." Balto laughed. Star had been crazy for Dixie for a long time, and whether she knew it or not, he still got jittery around her and had never had the guts to ask her out. "Maybe if you stayed conscious and actually talked back, you might have a chance with her." Star blushed and nodded his head meekly. "By the way Star, did you happen to see where Steele was about 20 minutes ago?" "Yeah. He was coming out of the woods. I think he was watching that new sled team practice back there." "You mean the one owned by the kid from that new family in town?" Balto asked. "Yeah. That's it. That new dog is the lead dog, I think," Star said. "Okay. Thanks Star. See you later. And good luck with Dixie!" Balto continued onward to his home. So that's what happened. Steele finally saw Thunderbolt in action. She must have been
impressive considering the way he looked. I bet he's already fallen for her!! He must be acting the way he used to so she wouldn't think of him as just another
wimpy town dog! Baltos sharp mind had figured it out. He went home to think about it.
James steered his team back toward his home. He kept them at an easy pace - they had just run 20 miles. As Thunderbolt led the team at a trot, her
mind wandered back to the run. She had to admit...Nome did have some nice trails and a beautiful forest. Then the image of a dazed black and white husky came into her mind. Wasn't that the annoying dog that was bragging at the mill a few nights ago? I wonder if he is on a sled team and was trying to spy on us?!? Either that or he is just following me because he likes me. Ugh. I can't stand dogs like him. If he tries to impress me in the least bit, I'm going to just beat him in whatever he does to embarrass him. Thunderbolt laughed at the thought of
the entire town watching Mr. Hotshot getting beat by a new dog.
After the practice, Thunderbolt went into town to find the dog she saw in the woods. She was going to blame him for spying on her team in front of the other dogs and see how he reacts. She spotted him talking to four other dogs. She ducked behind a building and strained to hear their conversation. "You know that new dog?" "You mean Thunderbolt?" "Yeah. I saw her and her team running a practice today. Man, she can run! And the way she commanded her team reminded me of the way I used to." "You mean when you would curse
at us and tell us dat you always knew what youse was doin'?" "Uh...yeah..."
So that son-of-a-bitch is trying to tell his buddies he runs his team like I do, huh? I'll show him... Thunderbolt jumped out from the building and walked over to the dogs. "So you run your team like I do, huh, Steele? I thought you didn't even have a team after you were banned from town because you tried to kill them!" "Hey, I didn't do that to kill my team. That wolfdog just left me to die while he took off with my team. I did that to kill that mutt and to get the dog I wanted!" "But you didn't kill him, did you? You didn't get that bitch, did you? No! You were shamed and rejected from town." Nikki, Kaltag, Star and Tricksy were just staring at the two, dumbfounded. Thunderbolt then said, "I bet I could get rid of that wolfdog. I could do that and show you that you are just another dog full of hot air." She then turned and walked away. Steele yelled to her back, "If you think you can get rid of him before I do, then you've got another thing coming!!!" Nikki, Kaltag, Star and Tricksy looked at each other and gulped.
After Steele stormed off in his own direction, the four dogs looked at each other again and began to talk about what to do. Star spoke up first, "We should go to Balto and Jenna right away! They and their puppies could be in danger!!" Nikki nodded his head in agreement. Then Kaltag mentioned, "Looks like Thunderbolt has transformed Steele back into his old self! I didnt think he would ever go back to that, but he did. And to think Balto wanted to get Thunderbolt and Steele together! Now they are, like, total enemies!" Nikki and Star were puzzled at first. "Balto was trying to get those two together? That would make the mates from hell!" "Yeah, I know," Kaltag said. "But he thought Steele deserved a break and that Thunderbolt seemed like a perfect mate for him. You guys all know how Steele was acting strange. Thats cause he wanted a mate!!" "Wow. So dat explains why he asked me how I was feelin after Minski left," Nikki commented. "And now Im bettin he doesnt feel the same about Thunderbolt - one minute love-struck, the next minute, seethin with rage," Tricksy said. "Wow. I had no idea," said Star. "Well, we should go tell Balto to be careful." "Right, Star," Kaltag said, nodding his head. "Okay...now we should also have someone keep an eye on Steele and Thunderbolt, just in case. Okay, lets have Star go and find Balto and his
family. Tell them that they are in danger and explain what happened." "Right," said the little husky. He ran off in search of Balto. "Okay, now Nikki, you keep an eye open around Steele, and Tricksy and I will keep alert for Thunderbolt. Try to get any other dogs that would be willing to do a little reconnaissance on those two. Okay, lets go." The dogs went their own ways.
Balto heard the frantic panting of a dog approaching his home and he looked up. As Star collapsed at Baltos feet, he began talking in fast, incomplete sentences. "Balto...pant pant...be careful... Steele....Thunderbolt...betting on you...Jenna and pups...in danger too..." "Whoa, whoa Star. Calm down and get a breath. Now what were you saying?" Star struggled to get to his feet and took a few deep breaths. Then he related the entire story that he and the other dogs had witnessed not too long ago. Balto just shook his head and replied, "So Thunderbolt is to blame for turning Steele back into a monster. And to think I was trying to get them together! Now they are both out to get me." He cursed softly. "Ill have to run. I dont want Jenna and the pups in danger." Star got wide-eyed at the notion of Balto leaving. "But then we wont have anyone left to take charge against those two! Theyll take over us all! We can hide you!!" But Balto just shook his head and smiled sadly. "Kaltag can lead you guys. He is really smart." Balto's face straightened. "Okay, Star, heres what I want you to do. The next time you see Steele or Thunderbolt, and they ask you where I am, tell them I ran into the woods because I was afraid. Im going to tell Jenna and the pups to stay inside until the danger is gone." "Balto...I cant! I wont tell them youve ran away! You cant take them on alone!" "Listen Star! I want to lure them out into the woods. They will fight each other to get to me and perhaps one will kill the other. If none of us return within 10 days, then send out a search party. Kaltag will handle the rest. Go! NOW!" Star ran off to find the two dogs that were set on killing Balto with one last fleeting glance at the brave wolfdog that had saved the town once.
Jenna smiled at Balto when he came in and the pups ran over to play with him. But their smiles and laughter faded at the grave look on Balto's face. Jenna came over and asked worriedly, "What's wrong, Balto?" Balto looked at Jenner and Kala and asked the pups to please excuse them. They went into their room and Balto closed the door behind them. Jenna just looked at Balto with a worried look. "Listen Jenna, I've only got a little time before I have to leave. So just listen." She nodded her head. "Okay. Now Star just told me that Thunderbolt had turned Steele back into a monster. They are now both intent on killing me." Jenna gasped. "I told Star to tell them that I ran away. I'm going to leave you all here. You and the pups need to stay inside...you guys could be in danger too. I really have to go now....I'm going to miss you so much." Jenna started crying and Balto nuzzled her comfortingly. "How could they do this??" she sobbed. She looked up, her beautiful, fiery eyes now filled with tears meeting his brown and yellow eyes. He kissed her and wiped away her tears, smiling gently.
"Please don't tell the pups...not yet anyway. Let them get suspicious of where I am, then you can tell them. And whatever you do, do NOT let Jenner out of your sight. If I know him, he will try to follow me. He could get killed because I am hoping to lure Thunderbolt and Steele away into the woods, and they could hold him hostage to get me to come out. That's why you and the kids have to stay indoors, and try to get one of the members of the family to stay with you at all times. I'm leaving now...please try to stop crying before the pups see you." He sighed deeply, and walked toward the door. "Balto..." she whispered. He turned around. "Please...please come back..." He walked back to her and said, "Remember what I said when I was getting ready to go find the team alone?" She nodded. "Well, that's what you need to remember when you think of me: I'll be back, I promise... And keep your bandanna...the pups and our family will get
suspicious....I think I can make it without it." He smiled again and turned toward the door. "Good-bye Balto..."
After Balto had opened the door and walked out, he told Jenner and Kala that he was going out for a little and to not worry about Jenna. Of course, as soon as he left, they ran to the room and asked her what was wrong. "Nothing you guys...nothing at all..." She attempted a smile and the pups looked at her curiously.
As Thunderbolt headed back to her home, she was planning how to get Balto when a small husky ran into her. She spun and growled at him, and he cowered on the ground, whimpering at the sight of her teeth. "What do you want??" she spat out. "Wait a minute...aren't you a friend of Balto?" her voice
changing from vicious to sweet in a split second. "Uh...yeah...of course... everyone is!!" Her temper flared at this, but she kept her cool. "So do you know where I could find him?" "Um...actually, he said he was going to run away into the woods for awhile...he didn't tell me why though...." So the half wolf found out about our bet... "Okay. Thank you....uh..." "Star," he said. "Yes. Thank you Star." Then she smiled evilly and continued on her way.
Inside Kaltag and Tricksy's house, Nikki, Kaltag, Star and Tricksy were planning on what to do. "So Balto just told you to "accidentally" tell Thunderbolt and Steele that he was running? And you did it?!?" Tricksy asked. Star replied, "Yeah. He told me he was going to lure them away from town and hopefully one will kill the other and then he would find a way back so we could arrange a search party to take care of the last one." "He's crazy. He'll never make it back alive," Nikki commented. Star said, "I said the same to him, but he would risk his life for Jenna and the pups." Kaltag nodded his head. "He is a very devoted father and husband." "So, what will we do?" Star asked. "I say we wait until both Steele and Thunderbolt have left for the forest, then we arrange two parties to follow them and eliminate them if necessary," Kaltag suggested. "But Balto said wait 10 days before sending anyone!" "We can't wait that long. Kaltag is right. We need to wait for the two dogs to make their moves, then we act quickly," Tricksy said. The other dogs agreed on that, and then they went to watch for Steele and Thunderbolt to begin their hunt for Balto.
Steele sat in front of the fireplace, thinking about how he could beat Thunderbolt to Balto. This time he wasn't going to kill him for Jenna; he knew
she wouldn't come near him. He was going to do it for two reasons: he was part wolf, and wolves were dirty, low-down creatures that deserved to die and also, he
had to prove to that new bitch that he was the best in everything. So...if I want to be sure to get Balto first, I either need to find out where he is hiding out, or get him to come with me. Let's see...how did Band do it..... He's dead now, and to think when he was around that I was so sensitive...but now I see things his way...and Balto needs to DIE!! So...to get Balto to come to him, Band used bait...Jenna! I'll have to find her...and the pups!! Hah hah...I'll have him in no time!!
Meanwhile, Thunderbolt had different plans... Let's see...Steele will have two major advantages over me...He has known that miserable hybrid longer than I have, so he will know what he is thinking. Also, he will know these woods a little bit better, since he was banned into them after failing to kill Balto. So...if I want to beat him to the kill, I will have to use my secret weapon...ME!! He will have no idea that I used to be a tracker. I can use my nose and my endurance to find that wolfdog. Ha...I'll even kill some wolves along the way so I can show Balto the blood of his family...then smear him with it while he is dying so he feels the evil of his parents' mistake.
Balto was taking advantage of all of the knowledge he could gather. He took intricate trails so, just in case they picked up his scent, they would
be going in circles for a while. He kept pressing deeper into the forest in the hope he could meet Kemo or a wolf pack that could help him. Finally he met up
with a small pack of wolves. The alpha male approached him and asked who he was. Balto identified himself and the alpha male smiled. "I knew your father very well. We were good friends. I want to ask you something. Did Kemo survive the massacre of his pack? "Yes," Balto replied. "In fact, I helped him regain his strength. He lives in the woods near Nome." The wolf nodded his head. As the other members of the pack came up to him, the alpha female asked Balto, "So what brings you way out here? Are you planning on living like a wolf?" Balto shook his head. "I'd love to, but I now have a mate and two pups in town. In fact, I am here because I want them to stay out of harm's way." The wolves looked at him curiously. He continued. "Did you happen to meet a black and white husky back here a while ago?" On of the younger wolves stepped forward and replied, "I was out scouting for a den and I spotted a black and white dog scrounging for food. He never saw me, and I could tell he was a sled dog by his harness." Balto nodded. "That was Steele. To make a long story short, he and
another female husky are competing over something." He gulped. "Me. They made a bet to see who could kill me first, and I left town to lure them away from
my family." The alpha wolf growled. "We could find them the minute they come into these woods and tear them apart." Balto gave a short smile, but said, "I
want to give Steele a chance, at least. I know the other dog, Thunderbolt, can probably never have her hatred for me end, but I know Steele can, because not
too long ago, we were friends." Balto shook his head sadly. "But he changed back to his evil self when Thunderbolt pressured him into this bet. And I know
he will do anything to prove he is the best." "I see," replied the alpha male. "We could kill this Thunderbolt and allow this Steele to live, but it would be a bad decision." Balto shook his head again. "Not yet anyway. If you kill her, Steele will spread the word that wolves killed an innocent dog." "But the other dogs won't believe it if you tell them. You are a hero!!" "That is true..." Balto pondered. "And some of the other dogs also know that Steele is out to kill me...hmmm..." He sighed. "Also, the humans that own Thunderbolt will come hunting for you. I just don't want to take the risk. I have a search party for me that will come out after 10 days...I'll tell you what...If you happen to find me in danger...or dead...then kill Thunderbolt. She can't be allowed to be loose after something like that. Her power will grow and she will become very dangerous." Balto sighed. "I hate to make these decisions...I just hate sentencing people to death." The other wolves nodded. "We understand," said the alpha female. "We will do as you wish." Balto smiled. "Thanks guys. Now do you have someplace I could stay at for the night...I need a rest." Another younger female wolf spoke up. "I know the perfect place! There is a den that is nearly impossible to find!" she said excitedly. "And, if the leaders permit, we have some caribou if you are
hungry," she added, looking at the alpha pair. They smiled. "Of course he can have some. We have plenty." "I'm very grateful," Balto said. "It's our pleasure," the alpha male said.
Back at Balto's home, there was a small amount of worry among the humans and the dogs alike. It was dinnertime and Balto wasn't there. Jenna, of course, knew he was probably deep into the woods by now, but the humans and the puppies had no idea. Rosie and her dad were outside, calling for Balto, and her mom was asking neighbors if they had seen him. The puppies were sitting in the kitchen with Jenna. "Mom," Jenner asked, "is this what you and Dad were talking about earlier?" Jenna looked uncomfortable, then replied, "Of course not. We were just planning a surprise for you two. The puppies eyes lit up. They began jumping around and saying, "Oh! For us!! That must be where Daddy is! He is getting us a treat isn't he?" Jenna attempted to keep back tears and said, "Perhaps..."
"Where could he be, Mommy?" Rosie asked. Her mother sighed, and answered wearily, "I dont know sweetheart, I just dont know."
Meanwhile, Steele was thinking about how he would go about his business of getting to Balto before Thunderbolt did. "Lets see, how did Band do it when he wanted to kill Balto? Thats right, he used Jenna as bait!! Hehe in fact, now that I think about it, Band and I have a lot in common at least when he was alive. Its too bad I wasnt thinking straight when he was still around I cant believe I helped Balto kill him! Oh well, he is gone, and I can finish his job for him! Now, how can I get to Jenna hmm since the humans at his home are probably going to be looking for him for a while, there will be plenty of chances to run in and grab her! I just need to find a place to hide out near his house so I can be ready to attack! Then I can send some wimpy dog to find Balto and tell him the bad news!! Hahaha!!
On the other side of town, Thunderbolt was also planning how to get Balto before Steele did. Now since Steele has known Balto longer than I have, and since he was banished into these woods not too long ago, he will have those two things as advantages. But Steele and Balto have no idea of my secret weapon .me!! They dont know that I used to be a search-and-rescue dog and that with my nose, I could find Balto in no time!! Haha I bet Steele couldnt find his own ass with his nose!! She told one of the dogs on her team that she would be leaving for a week or so. Thunderbolt told her to assume the position of lead dog until she returned and to get the team to try their hardest to keep the boy and his family from looking for her. She then took off into the woods with thoughts of killing a few wolves along the way on her mind.
A gentle lick woke Balto from his fitful sleep. It was the young female wolf that had pointed out the den to him so he could rest. She smiled and said in a gentle voice, "Its early morning. We thought you might want to leave soon." She made a gesture toward the front of the den and added, "There is plenty of caribou meat there. The alpha pair have told me to tell you to eat all you can." Balto grinned and said, "Now I cant turn an offer like that down, can I?" She giggled and shook her head.
After eating as much as he could to the point where he could still make good time on the trail, he went outside and met the alpha male at the entrance. "After you mentioned you had two dogs after you, we took shifts guarding the den." Balto replied, "Thank you very much. And I am really grateful for everything you all have done for me." "It was the least we could do for a fellow wolf in danger. And yes, we dont care if you are only part wolf, we still think you are more wolfish than dogish. If that is a real word." Balto smiled and said, "I consider that a complement. Thank you. I really must go now, I hope to see you and you pack again." "Same to you, Balto. And remember, if you are ever in trouble in these woods, just howl. There are other packs besides ourselves. They, Im sure, would be glad to help you. And use your wolf instincts whenever you dont know what to do. Your father was a great wolf and Im sure you inherited some of his talents." Balto smiled and said goodbye. He was soon invisible within the trees.
"Come on, Rosie! Were going to go look for Balto!" "Okay Daddy! Let me get my coat!" Jenna came up to Rosies mom when she heard this and began whining. Rosies mom put down the boot she was about to pull on and scratched Jenna behind the ears. "Whats the matter, sweetheart? Do you miss Balto? Dont worry, Im sure well find him." She put her other boot on and walked toward the door where Rosie and her dad were waiting. Jenna ran over to them and began whining louder. "Dont worry girl, we wont be gone long." Rosies dad gently pushed Jenna back and closed the door behind him as they walked out. Jenna jumped onto a chair and looked out the window. Jenner and Kala came in and as they spotted their mom looking out the window, whining, they asked what was wrong. She looked at them and jumped back to the floor. "Nothing, my dears. Just stay here with me, okay?" Kala was perfectly happy to lay on the kitchen floor next to her mother, but Jenner was curious about his moms behavior. There must be something wrong why is she so anxious to have the humans around and to have us right by her? Suddenly the back door burst open, and a large, black and white husky came in. "Well well well, if it isnt Jenna and her precious pups. Dont worry, Im not here to hurt anyone. I just want you, Jenna. As bait. To get your cowardly, half-wolf mate." Jenner snarled and said, "My dad is no coward." Steele looked at the puppy that was now a ball of fur pointing in all directions. "Shut up you little mutt. Do you know that because your mother made the foolish decision to mate with a wolf, you will be tormented your whole life!?!" Jenner growled the best he could for being a puppy and replied, "Im proud of my dads wolf heritage!" Steele decided that there had been enough chit-chat and it was time to carry out his mission. He leaped over to Jenna and grabbed her by the scruff of her neck. Jenner then launched himself and Steele, yelling, "You cant have my mother!" Steele shook the ferocious puppy off and kicked him into the kitchen table, knocking him unconscious. "NOO!!!" screamed Kala, thinking Jenner had been killed. She charged at Steele. He dropped Jenna, and whirled around. He then lunged at the puppy, got the back of her neck in his mouth and prepared to break it. Jenna cried out, "NO!! Please Steele! Spare her life!! Just take me and leave them alone!" Steele narrowed his eyes, and instead of crushing the puppys neck, threw her up and across the kitchen into the sink. He then took Jenna roughly and ran out the back door.
"Mommy! MOM!!" Kala cried out. But Jenna was gone. She pulled herself to the side of the sink and jumped down to the floor. She saw Jenner crumpled up under the table. She ran over to him, tears in her eyes. But then he opened his eyes, and looked around. "Alright, where is that traitor!! Dad said he was his friend! Ill rip him apart!!" "NO Jenner! You cant go after Steele! He is bigger than you and you would get yourself killed. Besides, hes long gone." Jenner shook himself and asked, "Where is Rosie? And her parents?" Kala shrugged her shoulders and answered, "I dont know. I guess they are still out looking for Daddy." Jenner nodded and remarked, "Well we know that he is hiding somewhere and Steele wants to find him and kill him." The puppys eyes then lit up. "We have to go find him!!" "NO!!! We have no idea where he is! He could be anywhere in those woods. Remember the time we got lost?? We were lucky Dad found us. And we might not get so lucky next time!" Jenner grumbled and said, "I hate it when you are right." But Jenner still might have gone to find Balto had Rosie and her parents walked in at that moment. "Dont cry Rosie. I know Balto is around somewhere. Well find hi- " Her words were cut short when she notice the back door was torn open.
"Oh my God!! What happened!?!" Rosies mom exclaimed. Rosies dad noticed the tracks in the snow and said, "Wheres Jenna?!?" They then did a check of all the rooms, but couldnt find the rust-colored husky anywhere. Rosies dad then said grimly, "Someones stolen Jenna. But by the looks of the tracks outside, it was by another dog. A big one too." Rosie then piped up while looking at Jenner, "Hey, look at the bump on Jenners head!!" Rosies mom bent down to examine it and said, "Thats a nasty bump there. Whoever, or whatever, took Jenna must have hit the poor thing, or thrown him across the room. Rosie then began crying. "Mommy, what are we going to do?? Balto and Jenna are both gone now!!" Her mom tried to comfort her, but she wouldnt stop crying. "Now now, Daddy and I will call the police and tell them everything. They will look for Jenna, and Im sure they can find her, okay?" "O-okay M-mommy," Rosie sobbed.
Thunderbolt was bolting down the rabbit she had just caught as fast as she could. She had found the faintest trace of Baltos scent and didnt want to lose it. She was only about 20 minutes into the woods, and Balto had almost a 2-day lead over her, but she still felt like he was right there near her. As she was finishing off her meal, she smelled something that was kind of like Baltos scent, but stronger in a sort. Then it disappeared. She immediately realized the smell was a wolf, and that it was doing a fairly good job of staying out of sight and smell. She looked around, but didnt see any movement. She then yelled out to the trees, "Come out and get me, you bastards!!" But nothing moved. She sat back down, satisfied.
After she had eaten the rabbit, Thunderbolt got back on the trail. She had spent more time then she had hoped for, and since it was snowing, Baltos scent was getting fainter. Also, the same scent she had smelled earlier of a wolf was getting stronger, and she could detect different ones now. So now I have a pack of wolves near me that I cant even see. Great. But I can handle it. Hell, Im Thunderbolt, right? After thinking this, her confidence grew a little, but she still had that nervous feeling in the back of her mind that told her she could be ambushed at any moment, so she kept alert.
Soon she couldnt go on without getting some rest, so she found a small cave, tested it for any other occupants, found it empty, and crawled in. She fell asleep after a few hours of worrying about the wolf pack. Stupid wolves
"Now listen Star, I want you to go find Baltos wolf friend. I think his name is Mokey or something. Tell him to get a message to Balto that I have Jenna. NOW!! Oh yeah, and just in case you decide to tell some of the other dogs where I am with Jenna, at the first sign of any threat I feel, the bitch dies, okay?" The little husky was shaking violently, and answered in a quavering voice, "O-o-okay St-steele." Star ran from Steeles hiding place toward the woods to find the big, white wolf he sometimes heard howling with Balto.
Star spotted Kemo at the edge of the woods, looking into town. Kemo saw Star and asked, "Who are you? Arent you one of Baltos friends?" Star nodded, and began to tell Kemo what happened. "See, Steele kidnapped Jenna and he told me to tell you to get the message to Balto, or she dies. He said to tell you to get a message to Balto telling him that if he doesnt come into town within 6 days, he will kill Jenna." "That son-of-a ." Kemo growled. "Please just tell Balto! I dont want to see Jenna dead!" Star pleaded. "Okay," Kemo said gruffly. "But you need to tell me where Steele is I promise I wont go after him, I just need to know." Star nodded. "It is under the hospital, you get there through the boiler room." "Thank you " "Star." " Star. Now go tell Steele that I agreed to tell Balto." Star nodded again and ran off back toward Nome.
Kemo turned toward the woods and walked into the forest a few paces before tilting his head back and howling a message to Balto and any other wolves within hearing range.
Balto woke up the next morning to the howling of a pack of wolves in the distance. He listened, and what he heard caused him to jump to his feet and run back in the direction he had come from the night before. He cursed himself for not thinking about what Steele would do. Of course he would take the easy way and bring Balto to him!! But then he stopped dead in his tracks. He couldnt just go full speed all the way to Nome Thunderbolt was probably already on Baltos trail. He cursed himself again. Lead dogs usually had good senses of smell, so there was a good chance that Thunderbolt would be hot on his trail. He would have to travel carefully and with alertness. It would be helpful to meet another pack of wolves, he thought.
"I hate to do this to you Jenna, but I have to get food and some water." "Please not again, Steele. I promise not to make any noise." Steele smiled and said, "Sorry, sweetheart. I just cant trust you." He moved closer to her. "If only you would have chosen me instead of that wolfdog. You would be helping me to kill him." Jennas eyes burned and she slapped Steele. "Okay, bitch. Time to go to sleep for a little," he growled. He cuffed her behind the head and she went unconscious. Thank you, Bitey. I learned a lot during your time here. Its a shame I killed you you would be useful now.
Thunderbolt suddenly perked up her ears as she smelled the scent she had been tracing get stronger. Balto was closer! And she figured he must be moving closer by the way the scent kept getting stronger. She began to get excited and anticipated her kill.
At the same time Thunderbolt had sensed Balto, Balto had done the same for her. He also had one of the best noses in Nome, and had even "found" Thunderbolt shortly before she "found" him. Since he would have the slightest amount of advantage, he would have to use it right away. He could tell she was to the east about 150 yards. He turned north and headed at a brisk pace for about 50 yards. Then he turned east and bolted in a straight line that he hoped was parallel with her. But he wasnt far enough away.
Thunderbolt smelled the scent suddenly getting stronger to her left. She snarled and strained to hear the slightest sound. Balto was doing his best to step with caution while running as fast as possible while trying to keep his bearings on Thunderbolt. But he just couldnt do all of that at once. As Balto looked to his left to try to spot the bloodthirsty husky, his large paws stepped on a dry stick. It snapped under his weight. It surprised him and alerted Thunderbolt. She strained her eyes into the trees, and then she spotted a brownish grey figure. It was Balto!! She licked her lips and silently headed toward him. But Balto had also seen the white husky, with a little bit of difficulty because of the snow, but he did see her. And she looked very determined to get him. He forgot about stealthiness and ran flat out. He could hear her behind him, but he was losing ground. She was faster! But Balto had more endurance. Most would think that Thunderbolt would have more because she was a sled dog, but wolves can run for days on end without slowing, and Balto had that quality. He just had to stay ahead. But he hadnt eaten since he had met the wolf pack. And that was three days ago. But Thunderbolt had had another rabbit that morning. He would weaken before she did. He had to find help.
Jenna was nibbling on some sausage Steele had stolen. Steele was gulping down some steak. He looked at her with disgust, then said, "Are you going to eat that or make a sculpture out of it? She glared at him and said, "Im not hungry." "Still worried about Balto? Dont worry, hes on his way I got a message from a reliable source."
Indeed, Steele did get a message that Balto was on his way. A wolf searching for food had spotted Thunderbolt chasing down Balto, and had ran back to his pack with the message. They had howled the message through the forest until it reached Kemo, who told Star to go tell Steele. But he didnt include the fact that Thunderbolt was right on Baltos trail.
Balto panted as he thrashed through the underbrush with Thunderbolt about 60 yards back. He had gained a little ground after she had tripped in a hole Balto had hardly missed. She had the slightest limp and wasnt gaining on Balto like she was earlier. But Balto was very weak from not eating. She was still strong.
Balto felt faint as he ran in a direction he hoped was east. His vision became blurred. Then he just collapsed in the snow. He looked behind him, thinking to see Thunderbolt ready to kill him. But there was nothing there she had stopped to rest her leg, having knowledge that Balto was so weak. He licked up some snow to get a little nourishment. Then he smelled Thunderbolt. He turned around and saw her running right at him. He braced himself and thought, This is it. Ill miss you, Jenna. Ill fight to the end for you Thunderbolt snarled and leaped at him. Under better circumstances, Balto would have dodged her. But he wasnt quick enough. She hit his shoulder and he slid across the snow. She growled and leaped at his throat. But he was just strong enough to roll away. She slashed at his back leg as she flew by and tore it to the bone. Balto whined and dropped into the snow. Thunderbolt smiled and walked over. She bent over to tear his jugular out, but he weakly snapped at her. It was still powerful enough to do damage. He caught her in the shoulder and gave her a gash that surprised her enough to give Balto time to try to get up and run. He got about 10 yards before she jumped onto him and forced him down. She tried to flip him over, but he was struggling for his life. "Oh just give it up Balto! You cant win! I told Steele I was better!! He isnt even around now! Ill bet he got lost trying to follow my trail "
Balto closed his eyes and whispered the word that had kept him alive this far: "Jenna " Thunderbolt opened her jaws and lowered her head
"AHHHHH!!!" Thunderbolt cried out in pain. Balto opened his eyes Thunderbolt wasnt on him anymore. She was lying on the ground in pain she now had a gaping wound on her side. She looked around in fear and confusion. Balto spotted what she had missed in her thirst for the kill a pack of wolves surrounded them and one of was them was a few yards from Thunderbolt, glaring at her with anger. The alpha male said to Balto, "One of our scouts saw Thunderbolt chasing you and we came as soon as possible." At Baltos confused look, he explained, "We heard from Lefrak, the alpha male of the pack you met earlier, about the two dogs after you. Well, one dog after you and one holding your mate for hostage. So we came here to help."
"I WONT LET STEELE WIN!!!! ILL KILL BALTO IF ITS THE LAST THING I DO!!!!" At these words, Thunderbolt leaped at Balto, but in a flash, she had three wolves upon her. She went into a fury and caught a wolf in the back of the head. She shook off the other two and ran over to the wolf she had hit. "This is what you will get, Balto!!" she screamed and tore out the wolfs throat. She then turned her bloodstained muzzle toward the other wolves and said, "Go ahead kill me!!" The wolves looked toward Balto, who was looking at the dead wolf with remorse, and then he nodded.
As he turned away, he heard Thunderbolts dying screams and then silence. A few moments later, the wolves approached him and looked at the tears in his eyes curiously. "Why must there be so much death to make things right?" he asked. The wolves didnt know how to respond, and the alpha male came up to Balto and said, "We do not know. But we do know that one half of your problems are solved. Now would you mind helping us bury our comrade?" Balto looked up and said, "Id be proud to."
After Balto and the wolves had buried the dead wolf, they headed back toward Nome. The pack told Balto that they would accompany him until he met Kemo. As they started down the trail, Balto took one glance back at Thunderbolts body. He shook his head sadly and continued.
Back at Nome, the other dogs had found out where Steeles hiding place was, but hadnt dared to go near it. Kaltag had tried and the next thing he knew, he saw Jennas neck in Steeles powerful jaws. No one had tried to compromise since that incident. The humans at Baltos house were trying to get over the loss of the two dogs, as was the rest of the town. Jenner and Kala were barely eating. Balto was missed everywhere and many of the children missed Jenna. Jenna just prayed every night that Balto and the puppies were still okay.
When Balto and the wolf pack met Kemo at the edge of the woods, Balto thanked the alpha male for his graciousness and asked him to say hello to Lefrak if they happened to meet his pack. The wolf agreed, and they left. Balto turned to Kemo and asked for any news. Kemo told him what had been happening. "One of your friends, Star, comes up here nearly every day to tell me anything that happens. So far, Jenna is still alive, but the dogs suspect Steele is getting anxious." Balto nodded. He said, "Im going to go straight to him and confront him. Ill try my best to tell him Thunderbolt is dead and that he doesnt have to be his old self." Kemo said, "Okay. Steele is holding Jenna captive under the hospital. Good luck Balto." "Thanks Kemo. I hope to see you again." Balto then ran off toward town.
It was nighttime, and Balto was glad for it. He would rather not have any dogs or humans notice him yet. He snuck over to the boiler room and eased the door open. This is where I took Jenna once I remember that night so well. But he couldnt reminisce now. He went into the duct and walked silently in the darkness.
"Balto. So nice of you to join us." Steele stepped forward so that he was standing in the light from a vent in the hospital floor. "Listen to me, Steele. Thunderbolt is dead. You dont have to prove anything. Since she failed to kill me, it is like you won the bet. You dont have to hate me anymore. Just remember how you used to be. If you act like that, you will be welcomed back into town. If you kill me, then you will be banished forever. If you dont kill me, but continue hating me for my wolf background, all the other dogs and humans will shun you. Im sorry if I took some of the attention away from you. But it just wasnt fair how you and the other dogs hated me for being part wolf. Please Steele Im begging you" Steeles thoughts of killing Balto were still present, but they were slowly fading. As if Balto had read Steeles mind, Balto said, "We dont need another Band. You realize you are acting just as he did kidnapping innocent dogs to kill me just for being half wolf. And you despised him when he was around. And now you are acting just like him. Come on, Steele. Just come back to us as the dog that accepts the fact that he made a mistake a while back, but now is a good friend to all." Steele then realized that it would be so much easier to live if he went back to acting like he did after his banishment. "Okay .Balto. Ill do it. But you have to promise me that neither you nor the other dogs will kick me out from Nome again. I know I made some stupid mistakes, but it was like Thunderbolt made me. She had this strange power that brings out your worst side, and it worked a little too well on me. It was like I had to do this but I see now that it was the completely wrong thing to do Im so sorry Jenna. I doubt you will ever forgive me, but please consider it." Jenna emerged from the corner, her beautiful fur coat now matted and dirty. She ran to Balto and they nuzzled and kissed. "Oh Balto .I missed you so much I thought you were dead." Then she looked at Steele with tears in her eyes. "Steele, you have no idea of what kind of torture you put me through. But I will forgive you. But dont expect me to be as nice to you as I was " Steele nodded. "I understand."
Then, five or six dogs, led by Kaltag, burst into the crawlspace. "Alright, Steele, weve got you outnumbered. Dont try anything stupid," Kaltag said with authority. Nikki noticed Balto in the shadows and said with surprise, "Is dat Balto?" Balto spoke up, "Yeah, and Im pretty much okay. Now listen you guys. Steele and I just talked. Everything is fine now. We are not going to ban him from town. I made him that promise and he promised to go back to the way he was before Thunderbolt came around." "But Balto, he kidnapped Jenna and tried to kill " "I know," Balto cut in. "But when I make a promise, I keep it. Now how about we all go outside, resolve all of our problems, and try to get back to our normal lives, okay?" "Okay Balto," the other dogs agreed.
They all headed back out. Steele pulled Balto aside before they left. "Look Balto. Im really sorry for all that I have done. I just want to thank you and well " Balto nodded. "I understand. Ive gotta go now; Jenna and I have a family waiting." At these words, Steele smiled. "Those pups of yours sure do have some wolf in them. When I came to get Jenna, they were both on me." Balto grinned and said, "Jenner, I know has a certain aura of fierceness, but Kala too? Wow." Steele then gulped. "I hope I didnt uh hurt any of them." Baltos face immediately straightened. "What do you mean?" "Well, uh I kinda threw em both across the kitchen. Balto then said seriously, "If any of them are hurt badly, I may have to go against my promise." Steele looked down and said, "I understand." "But dont worry with the way you talk, Steele, you probably only gave them a bump or two." Both dogs grinned and Balto thought, Thank God. Steele is really going to try to be the way we want him. He then joined Jenna and they ran home as fast as they could.
Rosies family was sitting around the table, mourning the loss of their two dogs. Then Kala and Jenner began barking. "Do you smell that, Kala? Its Mom and Dad!" Jenner exclaimed. Rosies mom said to Rosies dad, "Do you think ?" He didnt wait for her to finish and ran to the door, saying, "Hope springs eternal!!" He swung the front door open, and Jenna ran in, followed by Balto, who was limping because of the leg Thunderbolt damaged. "Hey you guys, Jenna and Balto are back!!!"
The next day, the entire town celebrated the return of their beloved hero and his mate. The two dogs spent the day with Steele, Star, Nikki, Kaltag, Tricksy, Sylvie, Dixie, and Boris, Muk, and Luk, who had returned from a vacation they took. Balto told them the story while Steele listened with noticeable shame. "Im glad I never met this Thunderbolt character," said the old snow goose. Balto said, "Yeah, she probably would have made you start attacking Muk and Luk." The other dogs laughed. Jenner and Kala also enjoyed the attention they got while reliving their struggle with Steele. They were now comfortable around him, and they loved it when he pretended to throw them while they were retelling their story. "See, I ran at him like this," Jenner would say and he would run at Steele. "Then he did this: " and Steele would pretend to kick the pup across the room. Balto and Jenna would smile at the pups and think thoughts of thankfulness that everything was alright now. "At least everyone is getting along again, Balto" "Yeah. Hey, Jenna, its a beautiful night out. We can leave the pups here with Steele and the other dogs and go for a short walk." Jenna smiled and agreed. Balto turned to the other dogs, who were laughing at Kala pretending to fly into a sink, and said, "Hey you guys Jenna and I want to go out for a little .would you mind watching the pups?" Kaltag said, "Of course not you two go have a good time." Balto smiled and the two got up and headed toward the door. He winced at the pain in his bandaged leg. "It might take me a little while to come back," he said to the other dogs, and winked. Jenna laughed and the two walked outside into the night.
Once they were on top of their favorite hill, they looked up at the Northern Lights. Jenna said to Balto, "Im so glad everything turned out right." Balto replied, "Yeah me too. Im really happy Steele is normal. I really hope he finds the right mate someday." Jenna looked at Balto, smiled and said, "Lets forget about Steele for right now." Balto grinned and he pulled her into a long kiss.
Confused about the plot? Or perhaps you have no idea who Band is. Then if you are on my site or another site besides Cyberwulfes, you should go to Error! Bookmark not defined. and flip through the other fanfics there.
Or if you are already on his site, just go back and read through some of the fanfics.
The movie Balto and its characters are copyrighted to
Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment
© 1995 Universal Studios/Amblin Entertainment
Tricksy is copyrighted to Yvie Schroeder.
© 1998 Yvie Schroeder
Minski is copyrighted by Bankrose and not to be used without his permission.
Kemo, Jenner and Kala are copyrighted to Cyberwulfe and are not to be used without his permission.
Band and Bitey are copyrighted to J. Wolfman and are not to be used without his permission.
Thunderbolt and Lefrak are my characters and they are not to be used without my permission.
© 2001 thelonewhitewolf
Hey, since this is muh first shot at a fanfic, dont criticize me right away. Just send me any questions, comments, suggestions and complaints. Although dah suggestions are much more welcome. Thanks for reading all dis crap and remember that Balto is more of a brownish color...not a grey.
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