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 The split

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Ryue
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Number of posts : 166
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PostSubject: The split   Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:16 pm

Chapter one

The Phantom





The high canopy only allowed the sparsest scattering of moonlight to reach the soil below, and none of it touched the fleet-footed shadow. These paws knew their way around every trick, every twig. They never betrayed him. This was his hour, and this should have been done a long long time ago.

The winds shifted then, gusting through Kriz's fur from behind and pushing his scent into the woods ahead. His paws froze where they stood. Not like it would have made much of a difference, Kriz knew what he would have to do, but instead of continuing forward he swept to the side and walked horizontally against his destination. The winds would shift again soon, and maybe this would be a better angle anyway. The chill gusts continued to catch Kriz broadside, though, even as the moon reached it's peak and it's pale light broke through the unguarded spaces between neighboring trees. The wind was far more patient then this hunter.

The wolf's large form wheeled around and dove irritably towards the place he'd so long wanted to...visit wasn't the proper word. Regardless if the wind was with or against him, he would wait no longer. His lope powered him through the shrubbery with wide, aggressive strides. The baying of hounds reached his ears a distance off, marking his pursuers position even as the wind fought off the scent. Two, three, five, seven, he could possibly make out more if the sound didn't blend into one long howl.

Surprise was out.

Kriz's lips drew back impishly, his teeth dull in the shadows as his stride slowed to a trot then gradually stopped altogether. Maybe surprise wasn't COMPLETELY out.


____________________________________________




It was too quiet when the large dun tracker finally broke through the last bush. Noah froze, his eyes wired to the darkness and his ears swiveling to every tic. There was only the briefest of pauses before the large pack of his subordinates busted through the greenery on either side of him. Their noses caught the strengthened scent, and their enthusiasm amplified; the end of the hunt was near. Excited bays shook the darkness as they lunged, a single body, for the woods opposite them.

There was a squeal from the back of the pack, and with a responding uproar of snarls the whole pack body spun to a stop. There their crouches froze, hackles still on end. The remnants of snarls and slowly developing dumbfoundment mingled oddly on their faces. Even the snatched dog's terrorfied snarl had vanished. It's stomach was turned up and it's eyes blank as it gawked up at the lead. Noah's sharp yellow eyes were electric. He slowly lifted his weight from the dog he had pinned, and those in front of him shied back from the palpable fury. Their aggressive stances were dropped completely, but so was their attention to the wood. Being with this bunch was as good as running it alone!

Rage flared, and Noah snapped his still belly-up captive around the throat. The thrashing sent dirt into the wind, and the yelping; terrorfied, hysterical. The pack dropped again into snarling, confused crouches around the entirely one sided fight; Attack? run? stay put? Their leader had never done this before. They had never seen him so angry.

Everything went still then. The enraged snarling quieted into a low rumble as the lead froze, and the victim dared not move. "Dead," the rumble was quiet enough that even the mauled dog so close to those deadly jaws could barely hear the word. "And dead. You to. And you. All dead." His voice lifted, dangerously calm, as he addressed each dog in turn. The half-circle of faces remained blank. What was someone suppose to say to that? "Pay attention!"

A jolt leapt through the gathered dozen, but their gazes only grew more intent on their suddenly dangerous leader and less focused on the real danger which lurked close enough to sear the irritated lead's senses. Stupid useless puppies! Noah didn't sense a shift in his expression, but something the others saw in it sent their hackles on end again. They shifted slowly away from him. The slobbered but otherwise uninjured captive could do nothing but bear his belly in surrender and hunker unobtrusively. He felt it then, the tencings of a snarl along the bridge of his nose.

Then his weight lifted permanently from the still shocked captive and the pack of nitwits was left standing dumbfounded, alone in the small swath of moon dappled shade. "Follow!" the bark came from a distance behind the bush they had not so long ago came from, and it left no room for argument.



____________________________________________




That was...interesting. Baffled, curious, entertained, and very baffled eyes blinked out at the sight of the now retreating dogs. Tracker dogs where suppose to track, not retreat. Then again, after witnessing the performance of those suicidal idiots with his own eyes, Kriz seconded the leader's decision to pull out. Even with their obvious inexperience in advanced hunting, however, Kriz had to breath a silent sigh of relief as the last of the drooping tails dissapeared through the shrubbery. Idiots as they were, twelve against one--thirteen counting the leader--was just slightly more then this fighter desired to face.

The placement of Kriz's paws was thoughtfully silent as he slid slowly and carefully from under the bush where he had tucked in cover. The leader was...smart. That was unacceptable. He knew something; or would if left enough time, and that was even more unacceptable. Kriz was already going to get reamed by his own side once he returned, and he didn't need it from this...dog.

He turned his nose into the wind and inhaled searchingly. Leaves, grass, soil, moss, lake, the musk of deer, and a possible thunderstorm in the near future, but no scent of pursuit from his end. Maybe they hadn't noticed his absence yet? Or maybe the wind was hiding them, as he also couldn't smell the hounds, though he knew they couldn't be far. Normally it would be enough to know that the winds were against him, but with that too-smart dog in mind, Kriz needed to know EXACTLY which way the winds where heading. A quick tongue across the nose was enough to pinpoint the angle. He trotted a few yards to his right before starting forward again in pursuit of the retreat. Maybe he couldn't smell the dogs, but he would make damn sure they couldn't smell him either.

This might even work out for his benefit; a personal escort, it didn't get much better then that. With his nose made useless by the unfavorable winds Kriz felt uncomfortably directionless, but he turned his eyes to the ground and tuned his ears to the woods. Stealthy as they were no doubt trying to be, they were dogs, and as such were clumsy to the wilds of the woods. Their sounds were easily tracked.


____________________________________________






Noah had so hoped to be wrong. Best case scenario was that he was a paranoid old field hound who had been on one too many hunts. He would have preferred paranoia. But he could sense--even as the smell faded--that danger remained close. This wasn't just a wolf hunt, and there were more dangerous things in the woods then cattle killing lupes. The hackles rose along the bridge of his back even as he worked to keep his pace calm and steady. He was cold.

He hardly even noticed the nervous ripple which ran through his trailing ranks at the sight of the lifted hackles. They didn't understand, and so they feared the wrong thing. The best thing to do was to get back to the town as quickly as possible and reach cage and safety. He hastened his pace into a quick lope, and after a glance back to affirm that the others were following suit, he quickened it again into a gallop. He didn't need to look back to hear the thunder of four dozen paws behind him. Such loud and clumsy creatures. Noah almost slowed to a walk again just to aid their stealth, and would have if he hadn't remembered that their hunter probably already had the group in it's sights. He considered the unyielding unease to be a confirmation of that thought.

 
____________________________________________

 

Kriz glided swiftly and smoothly across the soil. Even at this speed his paws knew just where to land, and he made his passage with little more then a whisper across the leaves. To anyone listening out, Kriz's pass could have been a darting squirrel. Outwardly his posture remained focused, and he flew through the woods like a confidently aimed arrow. His "pursuers" weren't that hard to track, as with their increased speed came increased noise. He didn't even need to strain his ears to hear them anymore. Inwardly he thanked them for being so oafish.

The trees were thinning now though. Fewer and farther apart, some just starting to grow out again from saplings, but most were stumps of ranging freshness. He glided to a stop under the cover of one of the rare trees big enough to cast a large enough shadow. Even the shade of it was tattered, and Kriz's eyes turned up to see many of the branches sawed off or stripped. The large bulk which was Kriz moved to the shade cast by the trunk, the only shade which was large enough to cover him.

He could see them, from the corner of his eye, the whole pack dissapearing into the shade of a large dark building, and he let them go. He was at the town, barely a miles run away, the dogs had done their job.

With that team so fresh from the run and so shaken up another wouldn't be sent for a while. Long enough at least, for him to cross the runnable stretch and reach the human grounds. He cast one more glance to the tree who's shade he borrowed. There would be little shade after this point; with the trees in such dishevelment, moonlight spilled cold and free across much of the man made field. Added to that was the state of the returned dogs. human eyes would no doubt be looking out every window for signs of the very such white streak that him dashing across the open space would create. Patience would be the only other option, but...well...that wasn't going to happen. And so, Kriz decided that the only other choice would be to make up his own option. This was easier in theory.



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The Merc

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PostSubject: Re: The split   Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:25 pm

Whoa Nelly. I haven't finished reading it yet because I'm multi-tasking and doing some other stuff but this is pretty good. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The split   Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:45 pm


Thanks. This is just a random story that I pulled from the air. The official one I'm working on is sitting on the back shelf as I try to pull myself out of this annoying bout of writers block. I figure just writing and not worrying so much about character and plot and world may help. So that's what I'm doing. I have no idea where this will go, but I figure it will be a fun vacation.
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PostSubject: Re: The split   Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:47 pm

That's an interesting point. Well, I look forward to seeing your literary productions in the future.
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PostSubject: Re: The split   Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:59 pm


Thanks. I plan on working on a bit each day, alternating between writing and art. If I can at least get into the writing mode enough to write out as much per day as I could before my writers block then I should be able to finish one chapter every two or so days.
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