The Next Epidemic
Balto has now become the sled racing champion and must go out with his team and save a town. While he is gone, Steele tries to win Jenna over and become her mate, but Jennaís best friend Sage has her heart set on Steele as a mate. Sage becomes mad at Jenna because Steele likes her, and runs to the outskirts of town. Steele chases her and makes her feel better, then he begins to fall for her while Jenna is still somewhat worried about Balto being out in the harsh weather. When Balto comes back, He and Jenna have their first litter of puppies. Along with Kaltag and Duchess, and Steele and Sage.
By: Spirited Wolfdog (Jenna)
On an early January morning, Balto howled as he neared the town. He was just a nose ahead of Steele. Balto slightly picked up the pace, and luckily the rest of the team was able to keep up.
Kaltag continued to run with his injured paw that was bitten by Steele in an attempt to stop Baltoís team.
Steele cringed as he tried to pass Balto, but he couldnít find the strength in him. He snapped at Baltoís back leg.
Balto jumped, causing Steele to miss. He gracefully landed on the soft snow.
"Donít let him stop you Balto!" Yelled Star.
Steele growled viciously at Star, but for once, Star showed no fear, he always felt safe around the heroic wolfdog.
"It didnít work before Steele, and it wonít work now." said Balto. Steele has tried to snap at Balto a few times before, but it never worked. The malamute still hated Balto more than anything, for taking away his fans, his girls, his Golden Collar, and his glory. Steele was willing to do anything to win that back.
"Weíll see about that!" Steele yelled.
He stared at the Golden Collar that was once his, and was now around Baltoís neck. Steele was desperate to win the collar back. He yearned to see Balto wearing the big tan belt collar with a silver buckle and silver ovals that was around Steeleís neck. Steele lunged forward, causing the second dog on his team to go flying. He was determined to beat Balto, to impress Jenna.
It was neck and neck with Balto and Steele as they raced to the small path between the cliffs.
Steele snapped again, but Balto managed to dodge it once more.
Balto was desperate to go as fast as he could, but it was too fast for the team. But he knew what he had to do. Balto bolted as fast as he could to pass Steele.
"Balto! Slow down!" Star yelled. "Hey, your going too fast!" Yelled Nikki.
Balto turned his head back to the team. "Hold on!" yelled Balto. He turned ahead and ran until Steele was alined with the last dog on the team, then slowed back to the original pace.
Balto moved away from Steeleís team so he couldnít snap at the last dog, as they entered the small path between the cliffs.
The two teams exited the path. Soon after, the 3 mile marker was shot into the air.
Jenna, her sister who was Kaltagís mate named Duchess, Sylvie and Dixie were all lying down as they waited for the teams to come through.
Jennaís new gold bandana, and Duchessís new purple bandana blew in the breeze as they waited anxiously.
"Baltoís gonna win for sure! Donít you think Jenna?" Rosie said as she petted her beautiful husky.
"Jenna barked as if you say "You bet!"
"I sure hope so, Iíd hate for Steele to be the champion again." Jenna said.
"I hope the team and Kaltag ok, you know how Steele likes to snap at members of the other team." Duchess said with a worried voice.
"Yeah, he has a habit of doing that, but Iím sure theyíll be fine. Everyone knows that Balto is the fasted dog in Nome. Iím sure theyíll win." Dixie said.
"We canít promise anything about Kaltag though." said Sylvie
"Thanks Sylvie, just what I needed to hear to make me feel better!" Duchess said with an angry voice.
"Yeah Sylvie, stop it." Dixie said.
"I do hope that Balto wins, but I wouldnít mind if Steele won either, is pretty hot." Sylvie said as she smiled.
"Thanks a lot Sylvie!" Jenna said sarcastically.
"Come on Jenna, I know your not going to tell me that you donít think Steele is just a little dreamy are you?" said Sylvie as she walked up to Jenna
"Thatís EXACTLY what Iím saying!" Said Jenna.
Just then, the 2 mile marker was shot up into the air. Everyone cheered and the dogs barked with excitement.
"Steele is still the dreamiest dog Iíve ever seen." Dixie said.
"I know, isnít he?." Sylvie said as she licked her lips.
"Yeah!." said Dixie.
Sylvie and Dixie leaned on each other and collapsed to the ground with their tongues hanging out.
"Will you guys stop it? Itís really annoying!" Jenna yelled.
About 2 minutes later, the 1 Mile Marker was shot. Everyone cheered louder, and the dogs ran around in circles and barked.
"Theyíre almost here!" Duchess yelled.
"Come one, lets go to the finish line!" Yelled Jenna.
The four dogs ran past the finish line as fast as they could. Dixie showed up a little late due to her short legs.
A few minutes later, the town heard a howl that was close by. It was Balto!
"Theyíre cominí!" a man yelled.
Just then, Balto and the team rounded the corner. Everyone cheered when Balto howled as he jumped.
Steeleís team was close behind, and gained on Balto.
"Go Balto!" Jenna yelled.
"Come on Balto!" Yelled Duchess.
Steeleís team began to move faster, but Balto didnít notice because Steele was still behind him.
"Hurry Balto!" Yelled Baltoís musher, Gunnar Kassen.
Balto looked back and gasped as he saw Steele gaining on him.
Balto looked forward and Bolted. Gunnar almost fell off, but he managed to hang on tight enough.
Everyone cheered as Balto was about to cross the finish line.
Balto made the finish, and everyone cheered and screamed as the dogs barked as loud as they could.
After the dogs were unharnessed, Baltoís team hung around the finish line to suck up all the glory from the crowd. Everyone clapped and cheered at Balto and his team.
Steele looked sadly at Jenna, knowing that he would never have a chance with her. He followed his team to his team house with his head hanging and tail tucked.
Balto and his team, Sylvie, Dixie, Duchess, and Jenna went to the old mill to hang out with the other dogs. There, they found some of the dogs of Nome waiting there.
"We saw you win the race, congratulations Balto!" said Doc the St. Bernard.
"Thanks, but you have to congratulate my team too." Balto said as he looked at his team.
"Oh of course, congratulations to all of you." Doc said.
"Good job Balto." Jenna said as she nuzzled Baltoís thick soft coat as Balto sniffed and licked the top of her head.
Balto, Jenna, Duchess, and Kaltag lied down with the rest of the dogs.
Kaltag licked his injured paw.
"Oh no, did Steele bite you?" Duchess asked as she looked at the paw that was lightly covered with dried blood.
"Yeah, not to long before the race was over." said Kaltag
Balto looked at Kaltag. "Why didnít you tell me? I couldíve slowed down for you." Balto said.
"Because I didnít want to take the chance of losing just because of my paw, besides, thatís exactly what Steele wanted you to do." Kaltag explained. Then he continued to lick his paw.
Meanwhile, the towns telegrapher was sending messages everywhere so everyone will know that the town hero of Nome is still the racing champion since he was put on the team. "Balto wins first race of season. Stop. Town hero keeps Golden Collar. Stop. Nome. Stop." Said the telegrapher as he sent the news in morse code. Morrisís legs and ears continued to move to the beeping sounds on the code. This dog was getting really annoyed by this.
"Balto must be the greatest dog in history, huh Morris?" Said the telegrapher as he patted the spotted bulldogís head.
Morris got up and squeezed half way through his doggy door and barked the message to Doc at the Old mill.
"Yes, the message is being sent everywhere." Doc said as he turned to Balto. "Youíre the racing champion." He added.
Balto and Jenna smiled.
The dogs started yelling and barking as they cheered for Balto. Balto put his ears back, tipped his head up and howled his famous howl as loud as he could. Everyone cheered and barked louder as Balto made this beautiful sound. The dogs continued to cheer, then suddenly they all started howling.
Meanwhile, Steele and his team, Max, Buck, Duncan, Sarge, Apex, and Ranger were in their team house. They heard the commotion going on at the Old Mill. Steele looked out the window at the Old Mill and saw the dogs inside. He turned around and jumped off the couch and walked back to his team who was also listening.
"I canít believe them, it makes me sick! Whatís so great about that wolfdog?" Steele growled.
"I know Steele, I donít get it either." Said Duncan, who was the fourth dog from his team.
"Yeah, and I canít believe Jenna chose him, I mean it just doesnít make sense, who would want a wolfdog for a mate?" Said Max, who was the second dog on the team.
"Who wants to have a litter of wolf pups?" said Buck, who was the third dog on the team.
Steele looked out the window. "Well all I know is, Balto is stealing Jenna from me! Letís go!" Steele ordered.
The team got up and followed Steele to the Old Mill. The dogs walked in as they were greeted by the others.
"Hey there Steele." Said Togo
"Hey." Steele said as he smiled
The dogs lied down and joined the rest of the group. Steele lied down next to Jenna, but not too close, so Balto wouldnít suspect anything. The dogs talked about the race and what happened. Obviously, Steele exaggerated a lot, but Balto always corrected him. The dogs continued to talk for quite a while.
Just then, a dog that Jenna and Duchess used to be best friends with walked in the door. She has not been here for the epidemic of the town, or when Balto rescued it. She was a friend that moved away to America, and has now moved back. She had the same figure as Jenna and Duchess, with floppy ears that flopped over to the front. She wore a hunter green bandana, and was a yellowish dark tan on top, and light tan on the bottom. Her name was Sage.
Jenna heard a familiar voice coming from the door way.
"Jenna? Duchess? Is it really you?" Sage asked.
Jenna and Duchess stood up and turned to the door way, and what they saw nearly knocked them off their paws! It was Sage! She moved back to Nome, Alaska, and was so happy to see her friends again!
"SAGE!" Jenna and Duchess said together.
They ran to Sage and they all jumped around and barked.
"Oh my god, what are you doing here?" Jenna asked with the biggest smile on her face.
"My owner moved back to Nome, so here I am!" Sage said.
"I donít believe it!" Duchess yelled.
"Neither do I! This place hasnít changed a bit! Everyone is still here! She said. Sage looked around and noticed Balto. She was puzzled when she saw the half breed stray surrounded by everyone. She gasped as she saw him wearing Steeleís Golden Collar.
"Why is Balto here? And why is he wearing Steeleís collar?" She asked.
Well, a while ago, a deadly sickness called ĎDiphtheriaí spread through the town, and almost all the children were sick, including Rosie. Steele lead the team to get the medicine, and on his way back he got lost, so Balto went out to find the team ,and he brought back the medicine, and he became a hero! So now heís on the sled team, and Steele was put on a new one, and Balto is the defending racing champion!" Jenna explained. She said all of this quietly so Steele wouldnít get mad when he heard it.
"I guess something has changed." Sage said. "Oh right! I remember now, Balto was all over the news." she added.
Sage sighed and thought about Steele for a moment. Sheíd always liked Steele, and loved that he was the champion, and now he wasnít. It made her even more upset that Steele only liked one dog, and that was Jenna. Sage was always trying to win Steele over, but it never worked.
"Sage, whatís wrong?" Duchess said anxiously.
"Nothing." She said quietly.
The three dogs walked up, and joined the rest of the group. Jenna and Duchess sat down as the team and dogs of Nome all greeted Sage, and welcomed her back. Sage looked sadly at Steeleís neck. It pained her to see that he wasnít wearing the Golden Collar anymore, he was wearing was a tan belt collar with silver ovals, like the golden collar.
"Hey Steele." Sage said as she walked up and lied down next to him.
"Oh, hey Sage." He said. "Howíve you been?"
"Pretty good, you?" She asked as she tilted her head.
"Not so good ever since Baltoís been taking all the glory." Steele cringed at Balto. "He never shouldíve interfered, I couldíve gotten the team home." said Steele.
"Oh Iím so sorry!" Sage said as she leaned her head on his neck.
Steele realized that she was coming on to him yet again. "When will she understand that I only like Jenna and no one else?" Steele thought.
Steele and Sage carried on the conversation as the others talked about other things.
"I can tell that thereís something else on your mind too." Sage said.
"Yeah, but Iíd rather not talk about it." Sage failed to notice that Steele looked sadly at Jenna as he finished his sentence.
Sage took her head off Steeleís neck and faced him. "Somethingís been bothering me too." She said.
Steele looked at her. "What?"
"Well, itís mostly a girl problem but...Iíve never had a littler of puppies, and it makes me sad that a lot of other girlís have." Sage said. She rested her head on the cold wood floor.
Steele widened his eyes. "Is she asking to have puppies?" Steele thought to himself. "You read my mind, that was bothering me."
Steele looked and smiled at Jenna. Sage noticed that he still liked her. She looked away to hide her tears. Steele looked back at Sage.
"Sage, are you ok?" he asked.
Sage whipped her tear and turned back to Steele. "Yeah, Iím fine, I just thought I heard something." She said trying not to have a crying voice. "But I have to go, my ownerís probably looking for me." said Sage. She stood up and ran out the door as she shed another tear.
"Sage?" Jenna said. But Sage didnít answer, she continued to run. Jenna got up and started to run. Steele realized this would be a good time to bring Jenna to a private spot. He jumped up and stood in her way.
"Steele!" Jenna yelled.
Duchess ran out the door and chased after Sage.
Jenna ran around Steele to get to the door,
"Let her go." Steele said. He crabbed her bandana and held her back. Jenna tried to pull herself out of Steelís grip, but she couldnít, and she wasnít about to slip her bandana off because she didnít want to leave it behind and have to go back and get it.
Balto stood up. "Steele let Jenna go!" he yelled. Steele growled at Balto. Balto growled back and revealed his wolf-like fangs. He pushed Steele causing him to let go of the bandana. Jenna ran out the door and followed the tracks left by Duchess and Sage.
Steele tried to follow, but a few of the dogs blocked him.
"Just leave it." Togo said.
Jenna found Sage crying in the boiler room while talking to Duchess. "Whatís wrong?" Jenna asked.
"She explained it to me." Duchess said.
Sage cringed at Jenna. "What did I do?" she asked with a puzzled face.
Sage ran out of the boiler room and to her house.
Duchess walked up to Jenna. "Sheís kinda mad at you, and itís really not your fault." said Duchess.
"Then whoís fault is it?" Jenna asked.
"Itís no oneís fault." said Duchess. "Just give her some time, Iím sure sheíll be ok in a little while." she added.
"But I want to know whatís going on!" yelled Jenna.
"Jenna, calm down, letís just hope that sheíll tell you everything at her own time. Plus, she made me promise not to tell you." said Duchess.
"Why would you promise that?" Jenna asked.
"Because sheís our friend!" yelled Duchess.
"And IíM your sister!" Jenna shouted.
"Iím sorry Jenna, I just canít tell you." said Duchess as she looked down.
Jenna cringed at Duchess and stormed out the door and ran to the mill.
She ran inside. "Is Duchess here?" she asked anxiously.
"She was, but she went home." Togo said.
Jenna sighed. "But sheís mad at me, and I didnít do anything to her! I wanna know whatís going on!" Jenna said.
Togo walked up to her. "Iím not sure, but it might have something to do with Steele." Togo said.
"What makes you think that?" asked Jenna
"I was watching them, and when Steele looked at you, she started crying. I donít know why, but she did." Togo explained.
"I think your right, it MUST have something to do with Steele." Jenna said. "Thanks" she said. She gave Togo a friendly lick on his muzzle and ran to Balto to tell him what Togo said.
But before Jenna could say a word, a terrible thing happened. Morse squeezed half way through his doggy door and barked as loud as he could with an urgent message. The dogs listened to the message and gasped when they heard it. The message said that another town was infected with a deadly sickness, and Nome was the closest town that had the medicine, they needed help!
"Oh no." Balto whispered as he lowered his ears.
His ears perked right back up as he heard Gunnar calling all the teamís names. "Letís go!" Balto yelled.
The team ran out the door and barked all the way to the team house.
There was another problem, the town needed help, and quick! And the town was hundreds of miles away, and the only possible way to get the medicine there was from a sled team, because the weather outside of Nome hasnít been so good lately. The stricken town knew just who to turn to. Balto.
When the dogs arrived in front of the team house, they saw Gunnar packing a bunch of supplies that seemed like it was for a long dangerous trip, and other mushers bringing out the sled and harnesses for the team.
Gunnar finished packing and called the dogs inside. They went in and walked to their food bowls and ate.
"Whatís going on?" Star asked.
Kaltag sat on Starís head, then let him go a few seconds later.
"Kaltag stop that!" Balto then turned to Star. "Didnít you hear Morseís message? Thereís a town far away from here with an epidemic, weíre the closest town with the medicine, and we have to bring it." Balto explained.
"That is the most terrible, the most awful, the most dire, the most horrendous, the most dreadful, the most profound--" Kaltag was cut off by Star.
"Thatís bad!" said Star. Kaltag bonked him on the head. Star fell to the ground with his tongue hanging out as Nikki shook his head.
"Kaltag, quit it!" Balto yelled.
Balto and Kaltag took a few more mouthfuls of food until Jenna and Duchess came running into the team house.
"Balto!" Jenna yelled.
"Jenna? What are you doing here?" asked Balto.
Duchess nuzzled Kaltag as Jenna spoke. "Are you leaving today?" she asked.
"Iím not sure." said Balto. "But I know that weíre leaving really soon, it sounds really bad, and they need our help." he added.
"Kaltag will you be ok?" Duchess asked anxiously.
"Donít worry, Iíll be fine." Kaltag assured.
"Iíll make sure of that." said Balto.
That night, all seven dogs: Balto, Star, Nikki, Kaltag, Diego, Shep, and Ryle were harnessed and ready to go, with a crowd of people standing around.
Jenna was standing next to Balto while Duchess was standing next to Kaltag.
Jenna nuzzled Balto. "Are you sure youíll be ok?" She asked.
"Donít worry Jenna, Iíll be fine. I made it the last time didnít I?" said Balto. Jenna smiled and licked his nose a few times.
"Are you sure youíll be alright?" Duchess asked Kaltag.
"Iím be fine, stop worrying." Kaltag said as he nuzzled her.
"Ok." said Duchess. Duchess licked his muzzle.
Gunnar Kassen stepped onto the sled.
"I have to go." Balto said.
"Iím gonna miss you so much." said Jenna as they nuzzled one last time.
"Iím gonna miss you too." He said. Balto licked Jennaís muzzle and eye a few times as she laughed. Jenna always loved it when he did that.
"Iím gonna miss you." Duchess said to Kaltag.
"Iíll miss you too." said Kaltag. He licked Duchessís nose and muzzle, and nuzzled her once more.
"Balto! Go boy!" yelled Gunnar. Balto looked back, then ahead and ran off as the crowd waved and cheered. Jenna and Duchess stepped back and looked sadly at the team as it disappeared into the mist of snow.
Duchess didnít notice when Jenna ran off to look for Sage. She ran to the boiler room, but the only dog in there was Steele, sitting in front of the heater with his head resting on the floor. Jenna figured that Steele might know something about Sageís strange behavior, since he seemed to be a part of it. This was the first time in a long time that Jenna has ever been happy to see Steele. She walked in, and up to Steele.
"Hey Steele." she said.
Steele picked his head up and looked at her. "Hi Jenna." Steele said.
Jenna lied down next to him. "Steele, do you know why Sage is acting so strange?" Jenna asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, she just ran out of the mill today, and was in the boiler room with my sister, crying, and when she looked at me, she cringed and ran off, and I havenít seen her since."
Steele thought for a moment. "I donít know." he said.
Jenna sighed. "I donít know what else to do! Sheís my best friend, and itís like sheís mad at me for no reason!" Jenna said sadly.
Steele nuzzled her. "Itís ok Jenna." he said.
Jenna was to upset to care that Steele was nuzzling her. She leaned on him and rubbed her head against his thick, soft, beautiful coat.
Steele smiled. He finally had Jenna all to himself, and Balto couldnít interfere at all!
Just then, Sage walked in the doorway and saw Jenna and Steele. She lied down, backed away slightly, and watched what they were doing.
Jenna stood up and moved closer to the heater. Steele did the same. He playfully pushed her muzzle with his nose. Jenna thought that he was just trying to cheer her up. She laughed and pushed his chin up with her muzzle. Steele stood on his hind legs and wrapped his arms around her neck. Jenna ran and a circle as Steele hopped along with her, then let go when she stopped. "We havenít played like this since we were pups." Jenna said. "Yeah, we had a lot of fun." said Steele. Jenna jumped over his back and Steele spun around towards her. Jenna walked under him and walked to his front side and ran her tail under his chin. Steele laughed, then knocked her on her back. He lied down on her, and licked her eye and muzzle a few times. Sage began to tear. Jenna smiled as she remembered how they used to play all the time when they were pups. She licked his cheek and laughed. Steele hopped off. Jenna stood up and stood still as she looked out the window, listening to the wind howl. She began to worry about Balto being in that harsh weather that was ahead of him. Steele smiled at the fact that his plan was working. He quietly sneaked behind her and lifted his two front paws.
Just then, Sage ran into the room. "STEELE!" she yelled. Steele quickly came back down and looked at her.
Jenna turned to Sage. "Sage, Iíve been looking all over for you!" Jenna said.
Sage ran out the door, crying harder than ever. Jenna began to run, but Steele grabbed her bandana. He let go a few seconds later.
"Let me go, Iím the one she wants to talk to." Steele said. He ran after Sage and chased her all the way onto Baltoís boat.
"How could you Steele?" Sage yelled. Steele had nothing to say.
Sage lied down and covered herself in Baltoís blanket. Steele got under the blanket with her and lied down. He nuzzled her neck and licked the top of her head, trying to calm her down and make her stop crying. They eventually fell asleep there.
Steele was the first to wake up the next morning. He looked at Sage, and a strange feeling took over him. He felt different about her. The same way he felt about Jenna, but still liked Jenna more. He still had his heart set on giving Jenna her litter. He walked onto the dock, put his 2 front paws on the edge of the boat, and watched the water glistening in the sunlight.
Sage woke up and saw Steele looking at the water. She got up and walked up to him. "What are you looking at?" she asked.
"Nothing." said Steele.
"Come on." said Steele as he took his front paws off the edge of the boat. "Letís go get breakfast." he said. Steele ran towards his team house, and Sage followed.
The two dogs ran into the team house.
"Hey! Itís Sage!" said Ranger, who was the 7th dog on the team.
"Hey sage, howís it goiní?" said the 6th dog named Apex.
"How are ya doiní Sage?" said Buck, the 3rd dog.
Steele smiled. His new team has known Sage for a long time, and they missed her a lot.
"Pretty good!" Sage said with a smile.
Steeleís musher put down a spare bowl for Sage and filled it with food. Steele and Sage ate next to each other.
An hour later, the dogs of Nome, and Steeleís team (but not Steele) were talking about Balto.
"Jenna, donít worry so much, Baltoís a hero, and the lead dog, he can get the team through any kind of danger." Dixie said, trying to calm Jenna down.
"Yeah Jenna, I mean sure there are a lot of dangers out there, but so what? Balto got through every single one of them. He pretty much proved it when he got back when he saved the town." Sylvie said.
"No he didnít! The bear wouldíve killed him if I hadnít show up, and if the bear hadnít killed him quite yet, he wouldíve been stuck under a completely frozen over lake if Muk and Luk hadnít gone down and saved him, and he wouldnít have climbed up that cliff if Borris and Kemo didnít make Balto believe that he could!" Jenna explained. The dogs were speechless, they realized what Jenna was saying was true.
Jenna rested her head down.
"But heís still a hero." Duchess said.
"Donít worry, Iím sure that The team can help." said Sarge, who was the 5th dog on Steeleís team.
"I know Balto well, he can definitely do it! Iím positive!." Said Togo. Togo was a good friend of Baltoís, he knows more about Balto than any human or dog in Nome. Even more than Jenna knows about him!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Day 1
The next day, Balto and his team were running along a field of snow, on their way with the medicine. Suddenly, Balto stopped.
Kassen shouted, "Hike on Balto!"
But he refused to continue. Kassen got off the sled and went around to see what was wrong, but Balto had stopped before the team went onto a frozen lake which would have spelled the end for the team and the hope of getting the medicine to the town. Kassen noticed that one of Baltoís paws was wet and knew if it froze he would never run again. He quickly unhitched Balto and rubbed powder snow onto his paw until it was dry. The team then continued itís journey.
"Balto, slow down, weíre getting tired!" Kaltag yelled.
"You just rested a few seconds ago!" Balto yelled as he looked back at the team.
It wasnít long enough! Just slow it down!" Yelled Diego.
Balto looked ahead. "You guys, we have to get this medicine through as fast as possible!" said Balto.
"Yous donít care about any one of us do you ,dere, Balto?" said Nikki.
Balto slowed down a little. "You know thatís not true." Balto said.
"Thanks...a lot...Balto." said Star as he panted.
Balto sighed. "Weíre never gonna get there in time at this rate." he thought to himself.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Day 2
The next morning, back in Nome, Steele had woken up in the team house, still exhausted from the day on the town he spend with Sage the previous day. He ate breakfast and rushed to the mill to look for Sage.
"Hey Sage!" Steele said.
Sage got up and ran to Steele. They nuzzled and smiled at each other.
"Hi Steele." Sage said with a smile. They sat down and joined the rest of the group, that was lead by Sylvie on the latest gossip of Nome.
Meanwhile, Balto was trotting along with the rest of the team, taking a shortcut through the territory of a wolf pack he met a few months ago. Though he did not realize it until he caught a scent. Balto stopped and sniffed the air.
"Balto! What are you doing?!" Kaltag yelled.
"Yeah, why did you stop?" asked Star.
Balto sniffed a few more times. "Kamots." He said quietly as he slowly walked.
"Did you say Kamots? Is this his territory?" Kaltag asked as he looked around. Kaltag was with Balto when he met the wolf pack, so he knew the pack well. But thatís another story.
"We canít let the pack see us, Gunnar will freak." Balto said to Kaltag.
"Are yous talkiní about a wolf pack, dere?" Nikki said.
The whole team burst into whispers to one another. "SHH!" Balto said as he looked back at the team. He continued to quietly walk through the snow as the wind picked up.
Balto was walking beside a small cliff that he had to go around, and the cliff ended just up ahead. Just then, a huge grizzly bear appeared from behind the rock and stared at the team. The team froze in their tracks and stood perfectly still, they were too scared to move.
"Back up." Balto whispered as be backed away. The team did the same until the sled got in the way.
The bear roared and charged at the team. Balto turned around and ran as Star and Nikki went flying, and eventually landed on the ground to continue running. Balto ran as fast as he could, and even though he knew it was too fast for the rest of the team, he knew it could get them away from the bear.
Balto tripped over a snow covered rock which he thought was just a small pile of snow. Balto flew forward and flipped over as the team bashed into each other. The sled crashed into the dogs and Gunnar fell off and rolled away. The bear caught up with the team and stood on its hind legs. Right when it was about to tear them into pieces, 8 wolves jumped on the bear and knocked it down. They growled and barked as they attacked the vicious animal. 4 other wolves came and helped the team up.
"Kamots!" Balto yelled as he saw that very wolf standing right in front of him.
"Howíve you been Balto?" Kamots said.
"Pretty good." Balto said.
Kamots and the other 3 wolves ran to the bear and attacked it. The wolves cornered the bear up against the cliff and growled fiercely at it. They all jumped on the bear and bit, kicked, cut, and slashed it. The bear broke out and limped away as fast as it could. The wolves ran after it as they barked. They howled when they stopped the chase.
The pack watched the bear disappear and walked back to the team as Gunnar watched in disbelief.
"Thanks a lot you guys." Said Balto.
"Yeah, I donít know what wouldíve happened if it werenít for you." said Kaltag.
"No problem." said Lakaya. Lakaya was the alpha female, and Kamotsí mate.
Kamots had a very thick shiny coat. He was grey mixed with some brown on top, with white on the bottom including his face.
Lakaya was a very beautiful wolf with glistening amber eyes. She was grey but mostly white on top and white on the bottom including her face. She wore a cerulean blue bandana that was given to her by a woman on the team of people who took care of the pack since they were pups.
"Itís getting dark, would you guys like to stay with us?" Lakaya asked.
"It would have to be ok with Gunnar, our musher." Balto said as he looked at Gunnar who was slowly walking to the wolves.
"Follow me." Balto said to Kamots.
Balto lead Kamots to Gunnar. Gunnar noticed the blue bandana that Lakaya was wearing, so he knew that they must have had some human contact. He put his hand out to Kamots. Kamots sniffed the glove and licked it. Gunnar smiled and laughed.
"I guess thatís a yes." said Balto with a smile.
The team walked to the packís den and lied down. Then, 6 wolf pups ran out of the den.
"Hey pups!" Balto said.
"Did you miss us?" Kaltag asked.
"YEAH!" said all the pups at the same time.
There were only 4 pups. Sheyo was a girl who looked just like Kamots. Lakota was a boy with dark grey all over mixed with brown with white paws. Mukoyo was a boy who was mostly white with a grey dorsal striped and a mostly grey tail. Lacona was a girl, and looked just like Lakaya, except she had grey around her eyes.
"Balto looked at the team. "Guys, these are the wolf pups." he said.
The puppies ran to the team and started playing all over them. The team started laughing and talking.
Gunnar passed around food to all the dogs on the team. The team stuffed their faces with food, they were starving. They had only eaten once in the entire day, and it was already 8:00 p.m.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Day 3
The next morning, Gunnar gave the dogs breakfast, and said goodbye to each wolf of the pack. And took a picture of them so everyone will believe this truly unbelievable story! He harnessed the dogs and continued his journey. The wolves howled as a goodbye to the team and Gunnar.
A few miles later, it was there! The town of Tanana ! Their destination! Balto howled as the other dogs barked. The people of the town put on their jackets and ran outside to find the source of the howl. It couldíve been a wolf, it couldíve been Balto. They cheered as Balto ran through the town with the medicine. He stopped in front of the hospital and the doctor came running out. Every one in town petted Balto and the team as the doctor and nurses brought the crate of medicine into the hospital. Gunnar went inside and was treated to food and drinks as the dogs were unharnessed and brought inside to meet the sick children and adults. They were also treated to some food and water.
The telegrapher of the town sent a message to Nome, saying that Balto has arrived with the medicine.
Back in Nome, the telegrapher was translating the message as Morse listened very closely
"Tanana, Balto arrives with medicine. Stop. Town is overjoyed. Stop. Team and musher are resting and eating. Stop. Balto is a hero again. Stop. Tanana. Stop." said the telegrapher.
Morse squeezed through his doggy door and barked the message to the town.
The teams and dogs of Nome were in the mill lying down, completely silent. Sage was lying down with Steeleís neck over hers. The dogs stood up and perked their ears when they heard the message. They barked and jumped around with joy when Morse finished the message. Jenna was the happiest of all, She jumped and barked as loud as she could. Every dog in Nome was celebrating. Except for Steele. He growled and walked out of the mill with his head hung low.
Sage stopped jumping and barking when she noticed that Steele was gone. She looked around and ran out side. She saw Steele slowly walking towards the team house.
"Steele!" Sage said as she ran towards him.
Steele stopped and looked back at her. "What?" he asked.
"Where are you going?" asked Sage
"To the team house." Steele said as he continued walking.
"Why? Whatís wrong? You should be happy, Balto made it to the town." Sage said with a puzzled look on her face.
"Well Iím not! I used to be the lead dog and genuine here of this town! And now he is! No one even knows that I exist anymore!." yelled Steele. He trotted towards the team house.
"Well now you know how Balto used to feel! No one knew he existed either!" said Sage.
Steele stopped in his tracks and thought for a moment. He realized that Sage was right.
"And plus, he was teased by you, Nikki, Kaltag, and Star! So he had it worse than you!" Sage yelled as she stopped in front of him.
She nuzzled him as he nuzzled back. "You donít have it as bad as he did, you donít live on a ship wreck, youíre not shunned by the town, your only friends arenít a goose and two polar bear cubs. Youíre the lead dog of a team. The only thing thatís different is that your not a genuine hero anymore." Sage explained.
"And that doesnít matter to me...because I love you." she said.
Steele widened his eyes as if heís had the biggest surprise of his life. He nuzzled her and licked her face. "I love you too." he said. The dogs licked each others noses and walked into Steeleís empty team house. They walked inside and laid down in front of the fire. Steele stood up and rolled her on her back. He laid down on her and licked her muzzle and eye. Sage laughed. She stood up as Steele hopped off. They pranced around the room, licked and nuzzling each other.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Day 4
The next morning, Gunnar harnessed the team, and they set off back to Nome. The grateful town of Tanana waved and cheered as the team left for home.
"Good job, dere, Balto!" Nikki said.
"You are the most heroic, the most fearless, the most amazing, the most epic, the most formidable, The most fidelital--" Kaltag was cut off again by Star.
"Youíre the best!" said Star.
Nikki bonked Star on the back, since Kaltag couldnít reach him. Star managed not to fall so the team could keep running.
About an hour later, the wind had picked up, and it was snowing much harder. The team could barely see 5 feet in front of them. Ryle, the last dog on the team, couldnít even see Balto!
"Balto! Where are we?" Star asked loudly so Balto could hear him over the loud wind.
"Iím not sure, I canít see anything around me!" Balto yelled.
"You mean weíre lost?" yelled Kaltag.
"I donít think so, Iím following my senses, I think I know where we are. We just have to keep going straight for a while." Balto yelled.
Just then, an extremely strong gust of wind came and lifted the entire team and the sled.
"WHOOOAAA!" yelled the whole team. The team ans sled fell to the ground, and almost every bit of supplies strapped to the sled was unstrapped and fell off.
"Whoa, Balto!" yelled Gunnar.
Gunnar stepped off the sled and began tying all the supplies back into the sled.
Balto got up and Shook off the snow. The rest of the team got up and shook, and sat. But Kaltag collapsed shortly after he shook.
Balto ran up to Kaltag.
"Kaltag! Are you ok?" Balto asked
Kaltag slowly got up. "I-I think so, but my shoulderís killing me!" he yelled.
"Can you run?" Balto asked
"I donít know." said Kaltag.
Balto looked at the team. "Ok, listening up! Iím not sure of where we are, and Kaltag is hurt, so weíre going to walk for a little while to get some rest and to be sure that we donít bump into anything or fall down small cliffs!" Balto yelled. The team nodded at him.
Gunnar finished packing and got back on the sled. "Go Balto!" He yelled.
Balto trotted back to the head of the team, and continued on, walking.
Meanwhile, Back in Nome, the teams and dogs of Nome were in the Old Mill talking about the severe weather that the team had to run right through to get home.
Steele and Sage walked into the mill to join the conversation. They lied down and looked at Jenna. She was sitting next to Doc.
"Iím sure heíll be fine." Sylvie said.
"Yeah, Balto can handle any kind of weather, he did it before, he can do it again." said Duchess.
"Iím not worried anymore, I donít know why I ever was in the first place." Jenna said with a smile.
"All the dogs lifted their head and smiled.
She looked at Steele and Sage who smiled as Sage rubbed her head up and down on Steeleís neck.
"What are you two smiling about?" Jenna asked
Sage picked up her head. "Nothing." Sage said.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Day 5
The next day, the weather was somewhat better. The wind calmed down, and the dogs could now see in front of them, but it was still freezing cold, and snowing pretty hard. Unfortunately, Balto didnít notice that he was walking over a frozen lake. Star shuddered as he heard cracking below him. Nikki stopped when he felt water soaking his paws.
"Guys, come on." Balto said.
Nikki continued. When the sled got to the ice, it started to crack. Balto and Star fell through the ice, and the rest of the team slipped and collapsed. The team yelled and barked the entire time they were in the water. Kaltag fell in, and the cracks made itís way under the rest of the team. They fell in and struggled to keep their heads above the water. They swam to the solid ice so they wouldnít pull the sled in. Balto climbed out, as Star was half way out. Star slipped back in, pulling Balto along with him. Balto got back out and pulled Star out onto the ice. They pulled the team out one by one and Gunnar pulled on the sled so it wouldnít fall in. Balto led the team to land, and they stopped to cath their breath.
"Balto, why did you lead us onto that frozen lake?" Kaltag asked.
"I didnít know it was there!" Balto yelled.
Gunnar got off the sled and covered all the dogs with powder snow. When it dried, Gunnar got back on the sled.
"MUSH BALTO!" yelled Gunnar.
"Come on, Mush!" Balto yelled. He continued to run.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Day 6
The team was only a few miles from the town. The team cheered for Balto, for being such a good leader. When they got a visual of the town, Balto howled as loud as he could. The townís people and dogs went rushing outside to the track where the team would come in. Jenna went running and saw Balto and the team. She barked and jumped with joy! The town cheered as Balto and the team entered the town. They stopped in front of the hospital where they were unharnessed and brought in from the cold. Jenna and Duchess ran up to Balto and Kaltag. They jumped around, barked and nuzzled each other. Their puppies ran up to them and climbed all over them. They all stood at the entrance of the hospital as everyone clapped and cheered.
The dogs of Nome walked up to Balto.
"You know, your not to bad for a wolfdog...good job Balto." Steele said. He smiled at the hero.
Balto smiled back and looked at the crowd of cheering people. He was so happy to be home.
It was a miracle, Balto and Steele had finally become friends!
A few weeks later, Sage announced that she was pregnant, and Steele was the father! And to everyoneís surprise, Kaltag and Balto we expecting Duchess and Jenna to have their puppies too! Every dog was so happy for them. But Steele was the happiest, he was finally getting a lot of attention again. A few months later, the puppies were born, and Steele and Sage were one of the happiest couples in the world.
When the new puppies were 5 weeks old, it was time to introduce them to the teams and dogs of Nome.
Balto and Jenna had a litter of 6 puppies. There were 3 girls named Aleu who had lighter fur than Balto. She had brown fur with light brown fur around her eyes, face, stomach, under her tail and legs, and dark brown ears. Nellie, who was very close with Aleu, looked like Jenna, but she had red paws. Kiara looked just like Jenna. And they had 3 boys named Nanook, who looked like Jenna, but with a red face and white muzzle, and Dakota, who looked like Jenna, but had white tips on his ears, and Dingo, who looked like Jenna but had a red stripe down to his muzzle, and most of the fur on his legs were white.
Kaltag and Duchess had a litter of 5 puppies, 3 girls named Ginger, who was a darker than Kaltag, and had a white chest, and paws. Sheila, who looked just like Duchess, and Ally who was tan with brown paws and a brown tip on her tail. And 2 boys named Shadow, who was dark brown with white tips on his ears and paws, and Duke who looked just like Kaltag.
Steele and Sage had a litter of 5 puppies, 3 boys named Demon, a puppy who looked just like Steele, Blaze, who looked like Sage, but was darker and had a dark tan blaze down his light tan face, and Dodger, who was black with white paws, ears, and chest. 2 girls named Akira, who looked just like Sage, and Kali, who was black with a white face, ears, chest, legs and tail.
The team, dogs of Nome, and Balto and Kaltagís puppies played with the new pups.
So once again, Balto has saved a town, and became an even bigger hero. Steele had finally found a mate, and now has a litter of puppies! The dogs of Nome lived out their days happily at home. It couldnít get any better than this!
Sheyo, Lakota, Mukoyo, Lacona, Ginger, Shadow, Duke, Shila, Ashley, Demon, Dodger, Blaze, Akira, Kali, Nellie, Dakota, Nanook Kiara, Max, Buck, Duncan, Sarge, Apex, Ranger, Shep, Ryle, Cody, Duchess, and Sage are all © to me! But you are free to use them without my permission. (not just the names, the character AND itís name)
I named Dakota after my 6 year old Golden Retriever that we had to put to sleep Dec 17th 2003. I loved him more than anyone and anything in the world. I miss him so much.
The sequel to this story is called "New Hero in Town" personally, I like "The New Dog in Town" better than "The Next Epidemic" The sequel has already been finished, and I am currently thinking of and typing up the third one. The title is still unknown. And I already have an idea for the fourth one called "The Journey Home"