A Big Shiny Blue Marble Ch. 47byTaLtos6©
***So I'm picking up the pace here a bit and the focus will switch here and there a little. This chapter's got a little bit of everything in it, so you'll need a good comfy chair and some munchies, maybe.
All I know is in this one chapter, almost everybody has a good time as the group of werewolves continues on its eastward exodus.
What do I mean by a good time? Well, nobody goes hungry, for one thing, and they get to sing and dance and ... and ... Ok, there aren't any mosquitoes, alright?
Book of the Merren Part 18
Yuan wasn't happy as she flew through the night sky. She supposed that relationships change some as they age, almost as though each relationship has a life of its own, based on the lives of the ones in it. That was visible plainly in Rachel's relationship with her large male. Almost as soon as Simmit was pregnant, Copper was as well. Once that had happened, Rachel and Rokhanh became completely monogamous between them.
As far as the dragon side of her went, the concept was a little foreign. But the human side of her understood it very well indeed. That was why she was hurting so much now, she supposed.
She'd been looking for Luddy to ask her about something, having flown back from the mountain home of the others who were now becoming good friends. There didn't seem to be any one home. Without thinking about it, she'd gone into her bedroom, since Luddy might have been with Sheth -- one never knew. The troll loved Sheth deeply.
But Luddy wasn't there mating with Sheth.
"You will be gone from my home when I return," she said coldly to Sheth.
"You," she said to Drene as she grabbed her by the hair and began to walk, "You leave my home now."
She threw Drene at the doorway in the stone, but she missed the opening a little. She got it right on the second try however, and Drene landed among a group of boulders.
Sheth tried to speak then and she threw him out as well, changing her mind.
Yuan spread her wings, needing to fly now so that she could think. She knew that if she'd followed her heart right then, the whole cavern would have fallen in. More and more, she was coming to the idea that she ought to just move on.
He came over the ridge just above the trees, bone-tired and not far from collapse. It was dark and cold, and there were still three of them chasing him, but as weary and frightened as he'd been, he didn't know how far back they were and he didn't know if he had the time to look back there, either. He was going as fast as he could, but he was losing altitude from his weakness and he'd be in the trees any second now. He wiped the tears from his eyes, trying desperately to see. He had nothing left anymore to throw at them -- not without a long night's rest.
There could only be one end to this.
There were fires glowing out there in the distance and he made for them, giving the attempt all that he had. He didn't know anything about the figures that he could see as he flew nearer. He only hoped that the ones that he was about to crash into the middle of weren't worse that what hounded him. At least he'd be able to see a little during the last moments, so he might not smash into a tree on the way in.
Cesar stood washing in the stream down the slope from the festivities. He knew that Noriko had always had the beginnings of feelings for him, and now he was a little afraid that whatever that was had spread to Shawa. He liked them both, but he didn't have it in himself to be much more than a pretend male to them to keep other males off them. As much as he was beginning to like Shawa, he couldn't see himself with her -- he meant him. Shawa was lovely, but there was still that male equipment and Cesar really didn't know what to do with that anyway.
Frankly, he wondered what it was that they saw in him. He was just a beat-up old male to their eyes; he had to be. It was all that he saw in the eyes of other females when he saw anyone looking at him.
The truth would have startled Cesar. What all of the females saw was a large and strong male in his prime, but down on himself for the most part. He was scarred certainly, but he was still alive and not crippled. All that the others knew was that if Raul and Maria needed someone dealt with that nobody could get near, Cesar could and did - every time.
He heard a soft sound nearby and looked out into the darkness for a moment before stepping out of the stream to reach for his shotgun. More than perhaps anything, this tended to differentiate them from the usual sort of newly made creatures like them. All of them had come to themselves after being turned. Though everyone tended to be wild and uncontrollable at first, there were some like this large group, who had functional minds after the change and they knew their own shortcomings. That was why every one of them had found weapons of some sort which which to arm themselves.
He jacked in a round and then began to turn again when something smashed into him and he found himself on his back.
Cesar only had time to look once, but what he saw stopped his heart. He didn't understand it at all, but there was no time to think about it. There was a demon on him, young and frightened out of his wits, trying to tell him something in a language that he couldn't understand as he heard the whistling approach of something else coming to them through the trees.
In the large clearing near the top of the hill, the dancing and the rhythm of the clapping hands stopped abruptly as everyone heard the roar of a cut-down, 10-guage pump gun from down the slope. As they all turned, they heard its song again and then once more as a scream of agony followed that. Dozens of werewolves reached for their weapons and ran down the hill.
They saw a lone figure at first standing and cowering a little as he looked away to a spot just inside the treeline. He jumped a little as a large demon surged out of the bushes at him, but was struck down by Cesar, who almost rode the thing down with his knee on its back. When it hit the snow, the demon tried to roll over in an attempt to fight off the werewolf, but Cesar slammed the sawn-off butt of his shotgun into his eyes and tore the demon's throat out with a snarl. Blood sprayed hotly everywhere for an instant and then the demon lay still as the last of his life gurgled from his neck wetly. There was a blubbering sigh and the demon lay still.
Looking around, they saw the two others -- or what Cesar had left of them, anyway. He rose to his feet slowly and looked up at the figure who stood shaking as he looked back.
Cesar could never explain it to anyone whenever he'd been asked about it afterward, and the truth of it was that right then, he didn't know himself. But he stepped forward slowly and walked to the figure. They stood for a long moment, looking at each other as the thin, shivering gasps of the stranger floated out of him as wisps of fog in the cold mountain air to be almost blown away every time that Cesar let out a hot blast of breath as he looked at the most beautiful boy that he'd ever seen.
He was a little tall for a human, but then he clearly wasn't one, standing there naked and shivering in bare feet. The long tail told that story along with the horns sticking out of his forehead. There were the strangest, beautiful wings as well. The pointed tips stood at least three feet above the male's head and they arced downward gracefully to end in other points which dragged on the ground. Every werewolf there had seen plenty of demons in their lives, so they knew what a pair of demonic wings looked like.
This one's wings didn't look anything like that.
One couldn't tell what they were made of, really. They might have been flesh and then again, they might just as easily have been tarnished and dirty steel, for the structure and the patterns on them, but the one before them all took a step forward toward Cesar then and the wings must have annoyed him somehow -- since they disappeared from view a moment later.
The boy looked thankful and might have even been beginning to show a little happiness in his relief as he stepped forward with a quiet phrase spoken from his lips which no one understood.
But he stopped abruptly as he saw the blood which his savior wore, though most of it was not Cesar's. There were a few bleeding gouges from the struggle anyway and these seemed to bother the young male the most. He lifted his hand and the blood was gone -- all of it. Another motion healed the wounds on Cesar before the boy looked up, hopeful to have done something for the one who had saved his life, and seeing that he had, he smiled a little shyly.
But in doing what he could as his way of showing his thanks, he'd exceeded the last of his reserves and his thoughtful eyes rolled back into his head as he began to fall forward. Cesar was there and caught him gently.
Many individuals on the edges of their own consciousness at times such as these do things then -- they make simple and feeble motions, or they speak some nonsense or other. This male did both, lifting one arm slowly as though the weight of it surprised him a little and he finally got it around Cesar's thick neck as he struggled to say something in a soft whisper which Cesar also didn't comprehend. The young and perfect face pressed itself against the startled werewolf's throat then and kissed it softly.
No one there made a sound.
Noriko stared and she turned on her heel to walk away with Shawa following her instantly. She didn't say anything, but Shawa knew that she was upset. When they'd gotten a little away from anyone, Noriko began to mutter a little angrily.
"What the fuck was that?" she demanded of no one in particular, "I'da tried that a long time ago if I thought that he woulda caught me if I did."
She began to curse, using the foulest expressions that she could think of in any of the several languages that she was familiar with, but Shawa was prepared for it when she finally ran down and stood looking down with her shoulders shaking a little. Shawa acted then, and he reached out to turn the girl around. He saw the quickest glimpse of her tears as he pulled her to him.
"You love Cesar, don't you?" He asked softly, feeling foolish instantly for having said it.
Noriko nodded against his throat, "I always have," she sniffled, "For the last year, I've tagged along like some adoring little girl wherever he went if he didn't chase me off. How the fuck did that just happen? Didja see their eyes?"
Shawa touched the back of the girl's head very gently, "Yes," he whispered, "It happens. It's happened to me before. Whenever I thought that I found somebody different, they just turned out to be the same. They'd take me places and romance me. Then they'd fuck me and go home to the one they lied to me about. The one time that I thought that a guy was not like that and I really felt a lot of love, he was gone just like that when he met a real girl in one second. It happened just like that."
Noriko listened and then she looked up, "What did you do?"
"Nothing," he answered, "I hurt, that's all."
Rosa walked up then with Raul and Maria, "What happened? One minute, there was dancing and then there wasn't. Who got shot?"
Shawa tried to explain it as best he could and the leaders walked off in the direction of the stream, but Maria stayed and looked at Noriko a little curiously for a long moment as she regarded the girl's face resting there against Shawa's shoulder. Noriko wasn't crying, she was just sniffling a little and holding herself against Shawa.
Maria stepped around the pair to put her hand on Shawa's shoulder as she leaned in. "Take care of her," she whispered. Shawa nodded once but made no reply as Maria walked off.
The leaders all peered a little as they walked around the place where Cesar still held the boy up, though it was a little clear that he had at least a little consciousness, since he wasn't lying in a heap in the snow. He was unresponsive to anything that was said to him by them. He only stood leaning his full weight against Cesar with his face against the werewolf's upper chest. The eyes were closed, and there was a rather soft and sweet-looking smile on that face.
"Well we'd like to try to talk to him at least," Rosa said.
Cesar really had no words. He felt as though he'd stand there for as long as this person needed him to. He couldn't have explained it to himself let alone to anyone else. He felt the strangest things coming to him from the boy.
"I'm wondering if this is anything even a little like what it looks like to me, Cesar," Maria said, "You ought to see the look on your face."
She smiled then, seeing him in the way that she hadn't seen her cousin in so long. "Maybe you ought to stay near him tonight, but you know that Noriko is upset. That one has always wanted you."
He sighed, "I never did anything to make her believe that I wanted anything with her, Maria. I never even showed her that much. We only got along because I got tired of telling her to get lost."
Maria pointed with a smile, "And now?"
He shook his head, "Don't ask me things that I know nothing of, cousin. I've just never seen anyone -- "
"Yeah, yeah," the female smiled as the rest of them turned to go, "I know."
Cesar looked down, "You need to be somewhere where you can rest. I can feel you shaking against me. Come on," he said as he bent to pick the boy up.
Cesar hoped that carrying the young man would get his body to cooperate a little and allow his erection to pass. He was almost certain that none of the others had seen, just as he was equally certain that Maria knew - even if she hadn't seen.
But he froze as he felt the male press himself against Cesar for a moment as the boy lifted his head and those soft brown eyes held his gaze as very quiet words came from those lips.
Cesar wasn't certain of it, but he felt that his companion here was agreeing to go with him - if he could be helped and steadied on the way. It was so odd, really.
Cesar knew this and yet, he didn't understand a word. He nodded his head and the shy smile widened as Cesar watched the young male sink slowly to his knees so that he could thank Cesar in the way that he'd wanted to from his first sight of him.
There was another creature out there who sat on the branch of a tree unnoticed by any of them as she clutched the trunk, and she was more than a little relieved to see what had happened. Along with her mother, she'd been trying for a few days to find her brother, having gotten separated by the arrival of one of the largest flocks yet.
She'd only gotten the barest sense of his frenzied passing and she'd come to help. She'd have arrived too late anyway. Now it looked as though he wouldn't need much help after all, and the best news to her was that she knew where he was.
She looked up to the top of the hill, hearing the rhythmic clapping begin again. A few moments later, she heard the first of the singing voices begin, joined very shortly by others as the strange rhythms grew louder. She made sure that she was not visible and then she became rather small, so that she could flit out of the tree and move up the slope. As she drew near to the large number of celebrants, she was a little amazed.
There were so many of these ones. They chanted and sang as many of them danced. It was mostly the females dancing, she noticed as she settled down on a thick branch to watch. She wasn't certain, but she thought that she was looking at a lot of happy and rather hopeful expressions everywhere. The beat of the song that she heard was a little primal, but there was nothing simple to it, and it required many to clap and add their voices to it so that the result was rather astounding to her. She looked up at the moon for a moment and it made a little sense though she knew that she didn't know everything.
The females danced and the motions carried a little bit of a different hope to them. The one watching it all didn't know it, but there were usually more males than there were females in these populations, though it would change over time normally as males sometimes killed each other. But these ones didn't have any of that going on. They were all happy.
Every now and then a female who was unattached might make a choice for herself and go to dance before a male. He might join her in the dance, or he might not. But somewhere in there, they usually went off a little way together. As she sat and stared, she noticed that some females came back to the dance again. But there were some who came back bleeding a little from a bite, and she suddenly knew that those ones had either mated with their males, or they had each just found the male that they wished for and had mated with him and now they celebrated that happy occurrence.
She didn't know all that much about these creatures, but she was sure that her mother would, and so, as she felt the strange singing and the clapping beginning to get to her, she flew off to tell of what she'd seen.
At first, she flitted through the trees in the same manner as the smaller forest birds -- a few wingbeats followed by a little gliding as she sank, bobbing up and down as she flew. Once clear of the trees, she grew a little larger and her manner of flight changed a little, since her wings were now larger as well. As she climbed, she changed again, until at last, she looked far closer to the feminine version of her brother that she really was, borne on her large wings and gaining speed easily.
On a rocky crag some miles distant, there stood a female. She was thinking and feeling as she combed her long brown hair out and in the wind, she needed both of her hands to do it. She stood in a long gown that had come to her mind -- one of her favorites, completely strapless and backless with a fitted bodice. It had a long trail and in the wind where she stood the trail of it wrapped itself around her legs and feet a little, but most of it blew up to rise a little beside her.
She'd been spawned in a temple on a distant world, the daughter of an old and very powerful demon. There had never been many of her kind throughout all of the ages, and as time had passed, they too passed into legend, but as she began the long and slow process of dying, her mother had spawned one last time with another creature out of legend. Even so, it had taken almost twenty years of time in the measure used here for the child to grow up and for her mother to finally pass. Not long after, the daughter learned that if they had a fault at all, it was that they could be rather childlike and trusting when they were young.
That was how she'd been caught and bred the first time.
It was how she'd been traded and bred for the second time as well.
But by then, she'd learned and grown tired of it all; deciding to come to the world that she knew must exist for her. Her captors and their minions were consumed in the flames of her annoyance as she gathered her two small children and left.
Now she was here and on the whole, she liked it. But as her young spawn grew, she began to search for the race that she knew that she had been made to live with She yearned to be with ones who were like her father had been.
She liked it here, even though it had its own troubles, but search as she might, she found that there were no longer any of the ones that she searched for.
These days; she found herself beset by demons not infrequently, but they weren't much more than things which irked her a little. It made her a little sad for them as she'd observed them. It took little thought from her to deduce that they were strangers who'd found themselves here and that something had caused them to be even more upset than they already might have been.
But if she waited long enough, any who survived would sort themselves out and some would calm down. The sad part to her was that most of the fatalities which occurred due to their madness were the males. As far as she'd been able to deduce, the males weren't the least bit inferior to the females in terms of intellect. Nevertheless, they seemed to be the ones hit the hardest by this affliction and most perished before they had a chance to calm themselves and gather their wits.