(((If you would like something to listen to as you read...Lacuna Coil "End of Time" is a Good theme)))
I had been walking for most of a day and have managed to kill some sort of rabbit looking thing. I get the impression that I can eat it from whatever knowledge was dumped into my head. I carry it tied to the bag as I move.
I hear a waterfall in the distance. I’m almost there. I have been having difficulty adjusting to the heat that the two suns kick off and figure that I will camp at the waterfall for the night.
As I pass a couple of trees, a growl makes me jump and a cat of some sort leaps down near me. Reflex wise, I move quickly and evade it. The cat is at least four feet long and a tail that splits into two in the back. I see a pouch down in the lower belly region and can assume male. He looks to be slick in his fur and has spots of purple down a teal coat.
I drop the bag and drop to my knees. I make eye contact with the cat as he stalks around me and I reach out into his mind.
I should be afraid but I am not.
I find myself touching the cat’s mind and seeing what I figure, it is a young male. He is less than a year old and lost his mother to a larger predator. He really doesn’t want me; he really wants some of my kill. Rabbont, I suppose it is similar to a rabbit. I find a spot in his mind and I begin to mold it through this power that the kidnappers gave me.
The cat suddenly becomes submissive and comes to me. Did I somehow tame him with the powers of my mind? If I did I guess I fascinate myself. He rolls over, showing me his primordial pouch and my hands lower to rub his fur. In his mind, am I mom now?
I reach back with the Swiss army knife and use one of the small knives and cut loose the large foot of the kill and hold it out to him. Slowly the cat gets up and takes it from me gently and starts to eat. “You enjoy that, kitty.”
I grab my bag back to my shoulder and continue until the waterfall. It is so clear in the water that I can see the bottom easy enough. Slowly I remove the halter, leggings, and boots and I wade out into it with the nearly empty canteen to refill it.
On the way back to shore, I am greeted by the same juvenile two tailed cat. I stay in the water a moment, but he walks up to the edge and manages to reach me with his head, giving me a greeting of a head butt. “I guess I made a friend in you. I’ll call you Leo, since you remind me of the leopards back home. The biggest difference is you are purple and teal.” He chuffs at me in approval. “Leo it is.”
I go back to my bath in the water.
Morning had finally come and I step out of my house to take it all in. My home is a building of prestige and the only other one that rivals it in this village is the Priestesses of Gaia temple. Both places are made of the clay and black stone of the mountain that has gone quiet. The main difference is that mine can be added on to should I claim a mate where the Temple is sound and has cells for the few infertile young women who take up that role.
The whole village itself varies in structures from the two largest building of my home as Alpha and King of my Tribe and the Temple building. The rest are various clay buildings, huts, and the like depending on their status.
The Tygerian people are my people. We all have stripes of various colors and our skin has a barely noticeable layer of fur on it that insulates our body heat. The males have claws that can extend at will and be used as weapons. The Beta Tribes men of the people mate all the time however. They are lesser hunters, citizens, and warriors if needed. The Alpha Kings like me are usually tribal leaders and seek a particular breed of female and it shames me that they had been taken for grants so much that few live still if any. I speak of the Omega Huntress. I don’t know if the Alphas got weak or if they got too aggressive, but the Goddess Gaia has punished us by taking them away from us leaving very few if any. Our stripes are supposed to change when we find our mate, this has not occurred in years.
I take a deep breath and look to the sky as the first sun enters the sky and begins its journey to seek his Omega Moon and sigh. I am the last of my blood line and if I die with no heirs, this tribe will no doubt be conquered by a neighboring one. It will all end.
As the Beta lesser hunters gather behind me in the town center, I close my eyes and say a small prayer to the Goddess Gaia that I am able to find what it is that my people need most. My voice echoes over the men as I find words after, “The Winter was foreseen by High Priestess Algona to be early this year. Our store house is down and needs to be filled before the first storm of the season so that we may survive. So today we hunt, nine of you will take to the surrounding area and search for the herds of Ker on the Plateau. The rest will guard the Village.”
High Priestess Algona raises her hands, “Dearest Mother Gaia, please bless our hunters with abundance in their hunts so that we may survive another winter in your loving care and let…”
A loud boom cuts off the benediction.
All eyes go skyward and watch as something grows in the sky and then streaks pass the village to the south, right to the Indigo Plateau. It is named as such for the grass that grows there is blue.
I didn’t intend on heading out today and do things in the Village, but whenever one of these off world-er crafts come and Gaia brings them down through our energetic atmosphere, I consider it a blessing that we need to achieve before the other tribes do. We can get metal, wire, and other such novelties off these wingless crafts.
I turn toward the men and raise a hand. “There is a change in plan for the moment. We are going to find that and perhaps hunt after.” I point at the original nine I intended to send out. “You will continue the plan to hunt but after we seek that craft.”
The priestess nods, “Gaia grants you bounty, Alpha King Stryde.”
I nod at her blessing and return to my large dwelling and change clothes. I won’t dress casual but appear like my hunters in the leather pants attire that they wear. I grab a canteen of water and return to them.
Like the next thing to beasts that we are, we rush off as a group to the south. My people are faster than most of the tribes, though I am faster than the Betas.
It is nothing for us to descend from the rise that our Village is on and down into the plateau. These are our lands and we know them better than anyone, none better than me. The grasses here turn from green to blue as we run. We stop at a small water hole in the heart of the Plateau and I note what we are nearing.
The Craydel Forest is ahead and I note some smoke that is rising. Within an hour, we are there. On the ground is a burned ring and even the trees it is closest to is singed.
“Did the craft get taken this fast”, asked Zeta. He is a brown haired and skinned Tygerian. His stripes are down his arms where mine are down my arms as well with the addition of the ones on my torso down to my hips and on my legs…the mark of an Alpha as it compares to his Beta. My stripes are also black where his are brown.
“I will have to read the location to know fully what is going on, Zeta. It seems odd that we see it and we get here to see it gone. Tell the others to hunt Ker and whatever else they can fine. Then you join me there.”
“Yes, Alpha”, he salutes as he heads back to the hunters filling canteens to tell them.
I walk slowly toward the ring of burn.
It should smell like char and perhaps it does. But I am picking up on something else. It smells of dew on a perfect morning. I always loved that smell, but this is more intense and it is coming from the spot in question.
I ignore it for a moment as well as the sensation that I feel and measure the scene in my head a moment. The ring is about nine steps across in diameter and perfectly rounded. I have seen something like this before. They are usually cylindrical crafts and they burn until there is nothing left after discarding their cargo.
Someone took the cargo quickly from this one and it went up right after. It is no matter to me; I will read what has happened and find the culprit.
I drop to my knees in the middle of the cooled ring and allow my eyes to close. My hair rises slightly and I go into a trance on the sight as energy dances down my body and stretches over the site.
Images flash through my mind: Gaia brought us someone from the stars. They fell to this spot in the craft. The craft gave its spoils to this person and then they fled as the fires consumed it. I will my mind to follow the path of who this little starling is. Everything rushes quickly and then I find myself at the Moon Falls, a water fall that feeds streams that captures the image of the moon in the waterfall.
My heart skips a beat by what I see. She stands in the water, this voluptuous woman that cannot be anymore then to my chest in height. Her skin is pale and doesn’t have the thin layer of fur that mine does. She dunks her hair briefly in the water…that light brown mane but when she stands I have full view of those wondrous breasts and a glimpse at a mound of fur on her lower torso. Her eyes look to be a blue green in her surroundings as she cleans herself.
My groin aches suddenly and I groan in my vision.
It is then that she turns and locks gazes with me it seems. I feel a flutter of a wing in my link and I realize that it is her that everything has come from. The morning dew scent is coming from her. I feel the need to touch her.
All at once her hair streaks a dark blue and solidifies to claim every hair on her body almost like it is a response to the arousal I feel.
Then the link is shut down. She has shut it down. What an amazing little kitten she is.
Zeta is at my side when I come out of my vision.
I sit back bringing myself back to my Alpha control.
“Alpha, your stripes have changed color.”
I look down on my arms and chest to see what he is excited about. Indeed my stripes are the same dark blue as her hair. My hair is also now dark blue. Of course it makes sense. She is Omega, it has to be the only explanation and we recognized in the link.
I stand and fix myself before I look to my subordinate. “You go hunt with the others, I have a different prey to hunt.” I pat his shoulder briefly, “An Omega is out there waiting on me. Go hunt with the others and make sure everyone gets back home. I will hunt her alone.”
He grins at me. He knows the type of hunt that I am implying. It means that there is going to be an Omega Queen when this hunt is done. He salutes me, “May Gaia guide you to her post haste; happy hunting, Alpha.”
“Have a bountiful hunt, Zeta.” He launches himself back to join the hunters with those words.
I crouch a moment to smell the scent of morning dew again…it is mixed with some citrus as well. I take it in fully before I head further south along the forest edge. I will find her.
(((What will happen when they meet, stay tuned for Huntress Part 3))