Miscommunication

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Re: Miscommunication

Postby foxelite » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:42 am

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Out in the crisp, blazing desert air, confusion had spread amongst the three vulpine creatures that had been called back at their leader's behest.

As much as those massive golden ears meant that her listening ability was second to none, Tilla always found herself being the first in need of commenting on the situation: “Okay, so we're here; where's Aeris?” The exact 'here' that she referred to was the above ground dock they used for storing, mounting, and repairing all of their equipment of the Titan variety. In short, if it could easily crush a man by sitting on top of him, it belonged in the general vicinity.

The ground was not paved in the area. Being on the surface, the sand in a approximately 300x100ft area had been compacted heavily. Its shear level of compression had left the area to appear as a noticeable, eight-foot indentation within the shifting earth. Of course, that sort of pressure upon the sand left its particles hardened enough to provide a solid floor. Even as the four-plus story beings padded about within the football field sized imprint, not one noticeable mark was left by their paws or claws.

At the front of the docking area, (closest towards the center of the base itself) lay a multitude of utterly immense metal containers, each at least 50ft long and almost a quarter of that wide. Having an obvious, hinged door on the front, it could be inferred that these were used as individual lockers. It became even more apparent that these were vulpine lockers, due to the fact that each was shut tight with a digital eight-digit combination lock. Lying length-wise at the front of the docking bay, the lockers were stacked in two rows of ten reaching over twelve stories in height. Though there were only 16 actual users, four of them had alternate sets for their four-legged selves. Aiding in acquisition of items on the upper shelves, both metal columns could be raised and lowered into the recesses of the docking bay.

What seemed like a metal walkway lined the perimeter of the bay. Currently flush with the recessed ground, the unpolished dark gray surface was truly only the summit of a much larger fabrication. Hidden beneath it was a web-work of catwalks and extending walkways. They were only raised when on-sight maintenance was necessary upon a Titan, and that maintenance required a 'normal' sized maintainer. In all truth however, the general preparation and outfitting of a feral Titan was simply done by an up-sized partner of the bipedal persuasion. Those already on two legs could easily outfit themselves.

Ire had taken a seat upon her haunches, idly watching over the two younger foxes that she'd been placed in charge of. She found their idle chatter mildly amusing, especially since she'd had them holding their tongues for the past twenty minutes.

-”Stalker,” Tilla began with a suspicious erf, “I'm -really- starting to think we're all getting more than a nip on the ear here.”

-”Gees!” Stalker shot back with a low bark, “I thought I was the one blowing things out of proportion; I'm almost convinced you think Aeris is really out to kill us.”

- “I wouldn't doubt it;” the fennec growled lowly, “I don't put much of anything past our so-called leader.”

- “I thought you always liked Aeris? She was the only person that could actually make Isis do something 'not' involving us.”

- “Yeah, that was nice... but it's not like she wasn't putting us together >on purpose<; it's just that it happened to work out that way most of the time.”

- “True” Stalker solemnly erfed.

- “I just always wished our vixen would have actually talked to Isis about how abusive she was.”

- “She did get on Isis's case every once in awhile, but let's face it... every time just ended up with Aeris not wanting to hurt Isis mentally or physically.”

- “Remember the time she stabbed Isis?” Tilla yipped with a sporadically appearing joy, coupled with a perk of her ears, “That may not have solved any of our problems, but at least Aeris finally actually... did something.”

- “Yeah” Stalker yipped back with his own borderline indifference turning to mild glee, “But our vixen was also torn up about that incident for like a month.”

It was not until then that Ire butted her way into the adolescents' conversation, offering them snarling piece of advice, “The both of you, do you not know where you stand?! You speak as though no ears could be within distance of your chatter!”. To that, Tilla and Stalker both turned their gazes towards the quadruped, preparing a dual-pronged response yet never quite getting anything but a surprised gasp to escape their throats.

“Oh no... let them go on” a pleasant, almost downright elegant bark sliced through the ears of both young and old. “I do so love you're little stories and comments, Tilla... it's why I'm always asking you to--” the light elegance was lost momentarily, replaced by little more than anticipation in the air. When it did return however, the beautiful demeanor strongly contrasted what came of translating, “Oh wait, I never ask for your dimwitted little comments, or your delusional stories.”

Even after several seconds, it became clear that none of the trio had pinpointed just where the sounds originated. In all reality, the delicate voice seemed ubiquitous. Granted, that is not what brought Tilla to cautiously step backward; no, the miniscule vixen was far more worried about -what- was being said as opposed to the inability of her perked ears to pinpoint its source.

“Scared, little fennec?” the voice continued in a disturbing growl, turning the heads of all who struggled to process its omnipotent feel, “That's such a shame; you seemed to think it perfectly acceptable to mouth off at me when we were miles apart. You even continued to do it when you thought my presence still distant.”

“Come now,” the seemingly disembodied being went on, “why suddenly do you stand their slack jawed and trembling? Perhaps if you learned to watch your tongue this well all of the time, I would not be contemplating your untimely demise.”

“>AERIS<!” a sudden vicious bark, trailing into an equally heart-racing growl, erupted from Ire, “Do not threaten the young one's life over a few words!”. Unfortunately, that instantly transformed the elegant barking into a hate-filled growl, “And >you<, Ire, “I would not speak if I were in your position!”. The drixen's ears shot to the sky as she snarled in response, “And what position is that!?”. Omnidirectional voice still in full swing, Aeris growled fervently, “Why don't we ask my daughter, you mutant freak.”

Miraculously, Ire did not react to the insult as one may expect. Completely disregarding it, the hybrid shot a visor-tinted glare at the fennec fox just a few relative feet in front of her. Though she maintained a wide-eyed Tilla as her target, Ire's 'words' undoubtedly directed themselves at the unseen kitsune “Aeris, you can not for a moment believe that foolishness passed on by your youngest of operatives?!”. A heavy atmosphere began to overtake the docking area as Aeris fell suspiciously quiet. Prompted by the silence, Ire began to pace closer to the younger Elites, turning her back to them as she growled lowly, “Do not put anything past her” towards both Stalker and Tilla.

“Come, Aeris” the hybrid stated through a continuing low growl, “show yourself; you need not hide to lecture.”. To that, Tilla and Stalker stared to one another before concurrently vocalizing a shared thought with eerily congruent yips, “I don't think this is a lecture.”. As if on cue, the two foxes, and their partly reptilian acquaintance, found themselves both greeted and answered in a manner most unpleasant.

Directly nose-to-nose before Ire appeared Aeris in all of her quadrupedal glory. Though a rushing of air several feet away laid claim that 'something' had moved, there was no unveiling, no black figure, and most of all... no warning. Nose-pad pressed firmly to Ire's, Aeris had simply put, appeared out of thin air.

The physics defying stunt caused even Ire's eyes to widen, her own frame scurrying several awkward steps back before finding her hind-quarters pressed against against the fennec fox's chest behind her. What had been a single shocked step backward for Tilla was turned into the large-eared canid's petite body stumbling backward. Unlucky for the fennec, she was only given two steps of leeway before the wall of metallic lockers behind her bellowed out in protest of her movement. With a singeing pain coursing through her backside, the fennec came to a forcible halt as her back impacted the containers. Aside from snapping his attention to the painful yip tossed out by his fennec companion, Stalker did not seem quite as phased by the sudden appearance of a 40ft kitsune.

“Cute,” Aeris growled lowly as she watched a walking battle-platform react in fear for the first time that she could recall, “but not cute enough to exalt you above responsibility for your crimes.”. “Aeris please!” Ire barked out, her demeanor more respectful than scared or enraged, “I have not slain your daughter; I only defended myself as I saw fit.” Facts spilled from her maw, Ire could do no more than narrow her gaze as Aeris took but one ominous step forward. Rather than focus upon the kitsune's eyes, Ire's vision roamed the multi-tailed vixen's current armament.

Much like Ire, Aeris's four-legged self was adorned with a black vest, its edges lined in gold, about their upper body. On closer inspection, the vests sported many raised plates, seeming to be used as light armor. A closer look, however, revealed a number of blue, glowing circuit-board patterns upon many of the plates, indicating that they were not merely dormant protection. At the base of her neck was a black collar characterized by some of the same raised plates with their odd patterns. Even with the short, metallic spikes lining the familiar accessory, Aeris's collar was none-too different than that which adorned every other titanic vulpine that had walked upon the Earth. Of course, aside from also sporting a translucent pair of blue visors, this is where equipment similarities ended entirely.

Running down the length of each of her five tails were three thick rings of some soft material. With each massive fluffy tail being just as long as the 'tsune's actual body, the three rings compressed the pillowy fur well enough to streamline the drag-inducing appendages. Of course, what the rings did not cover, bulged out where it could. Aesthetics aside, the streamlining mechanism's true purpose became clear as Ire's eyes befell the tips of the 'tsune's tails. The top of each was adorned with a black angular holster; how they were connected left the drixen disturbed, for what kept the holsters attached to the tails did not wrap around the fluffy appendages themselves. No, the metallic clamps locked right into the bone of the kitsune's tail. Whether she experienced pain from the connection was not of concern to Ire however; she was only focused upon the end result of the entire frightening setup.

Tails currently displayed in a fan-like pattern, each proudly displayed a long, narrow, double edged blade. Narrow hilts nestled within their respective 'holsters', the blades all held a noticeable light-blue glow along their outermost edges. Clearly, with their length comparable to almost the entire kitsune's main body, the weapons were not meant to actually be sheathed in the hilt-length holders. In fact, it was questionable as to whether the blades were meant to ever be sheathed.

Descriptions aside, the five blade-wielding tails stood high and swayed ominously behind the 40ft creature. Level with Ire, and even Tilla, Aeris completely dwarfed the four-legged form of Stalker, leading the black fox to slink backward in her mere presence. Perhaps the fanned out position of the tails gave the kitsune the appearance of more mass than she truly had, but Ire also found herself feeling far less in control than usual.

“Well then,” Aeris barked in her most elegant of tones, “it seems like either I've got a dirty little liar, or I've got a -different- dirty little liar.” As she finished, the 'tsune's eyes befell Stalker, then gradually rolled themselves over Tilla. Not bothering with allowing either of her subordinates to speak, the kitsune continued with a growl of ever-increasing aggression, “But maybe, if you all happened to be keeping up with recent events, you would know that I do not have >TIME< to play games and solve mysteries!”.

Ire found herself slowly regaining her nerve, even placing a fore-paw forward as she growled respectfully back to her legal superior, “My vixen, I simply ask that you consider the facts!”. Aeris tilted her head as she snarled back at the drixen, “What facts!?”. To the brash inquiry, Ire whined “The Arc-crosses we wear! They keep record of when they are fired, why not check such things!?”. The kitsune's eyes narrowed to near slits as she met Ire's own desperate gaze. “A good idea,” the 'tsune growled angrily, “but it is suspicious that you would throw this out so hastily.”

“I agree;” Tilla yipped from her new position of sitting upon the ground at the foot of the lockers she'd been rammed into “it's almost like you were prepared with a defense.”. “Indeed” Aeris barked, leaning forward to press her nose to Ire's.

The sole hybrid of the group found herself withdrawing her foreleg in order to lean away from the encroaching canid of comparable size. “I am simply attempting to clear my name!” the drixen yipped earnestly, “I have done nothing wrong, and I aim to prove it!”. Aeris snorted before turning away to walk in a tight circle; tails still curled high, it seemed to be her version of pacing in frustration. The latter became further emphasized as the kitsune growled in a highly irritated manner, “I don't have time for this shit! I could go looking through all sorts of records, but I've got a damn invasion to lead!”

“I understand, my vixen” Ire growled lowly, ears drooping upon her skull, “Perhaps we should postpone searching for your daughter's murderer.”. “Not so fast!” Aeris rapidly retorted with a vicious snarl, “I've got my own way of handling this little matter!”. A curious head-tilt preceded Ire's inquiring erf: “what manner do you propose?”. Aeris suddenly fell silent once more.

“I've got a feeling I know where this is headed” Tilla suddenly yipped from behind the drixen once more. Aeris merely snapped her eyes to the fennec fox without uttering a sound. The time for words had long passed in the 'tsune's mind, and it was now time for action.

The kitsune's two outermost tails gradually curled further forward, reducing the elegant fan of tails to but three behind the 'tsune. Of course, as the two tails pointed themselves slightly further out to their respective sides, their purpose became clear to all eyes.

Released from their holders, the blades upon the two outer tails jutted out violently, though they paused eerily in mid-air, several relative feet from their parent appendages. Seemingly being held by invisible hands, the swords hovered at a slant equal to that of their respective tail-tips.

“What do I have in mind?” Aeris asked rhetorically; the fact that it was done through a growl only furthered that point, “I'm going to do a bit of rapid interrogation.” Her two sword-controlling tails both rose before twisting their tips inward, bringing the magnetically-possessed blades over her head and crossing them; tips towards the ground, the weapons barely hung themselves just beyond the 'tsune's nose. “And whosoever does not tell me what I want to hear...” the kitsune growled, though paused as the ends of her tails straightened over her back, bringing the sharpened summits of her weapons to 'stare' at those before her. “Well,” she yipped through her narrow-eyed gaze, “I will make a -point- out of making an example of you.”

Seemingly ignoring the threatening pose, Ire snarled and stepped forth, uncaring of the kitsune's attempt to break their minds: “I will gladly go first!”. From behind her intrepid frame however, a dual-pronged whine erupted; once more, Stalker and Tilla's responses synced up in a manner that may have been entertaining under different circumstances, “PLEASE, GO AHEAD!”

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Brackish
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Q/C/C/F?

At some point, Stalker was going to jump in Tilla's arms whilst Tilla yelled "ZOINKS".... but I decided against such thing.
Yeaaa.. Collie too lazy to update his name.. so yea.. BRACKISH LIVES.

http://www.furaffinity.net/user/xbrackishx/
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Re: Miscommunication

Postby Kusanagi » Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:37 am

I stick to my belief that all the foxes will be dead by each other's hand about one month after the invasion, well aside from Ghost because he is a fluffy ninja.

In other parts of the story Jazz trying her damndest to join the Axe crazy club, but doesn't have the heart to pull the trigger...yet...

No Logan bits, so I can't poke fun at him.

Hope the quick updates continue!
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http://giantessworld.net/viewuser.php?uid=27873 (something new has been added :o)

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Re: Miscommunication

Postby gadabout » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:38 am

Well hell, looks like things are going down in the desert, some blood may be spilt and someone might turn into shaggy from scooby doo. Though that big from farsight had me shakin my head, gosh... everyone needs to chill out >:I

Anyhoo, good stuff laddie, I need more >:o
RIP Baggy52.

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Re: Miscommunication

Postby RaddaRaem » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:46 pm

Holy crap, and to think, I thought Jazz was counted amongst the ranks of the more sane and stable characters. Tempted to think now she just happens to put in an effort to maintain a convincing front, whereas most would not.

I think I'll take Kusanagi's prediction a few steps further and ponder if this invasion is even going to get off the ground. At this rate, sounds like the best thing humanity can do is absolutely nothing. Vulpine leadership will tear itself apart without even needing any outside prodding in no time flat.
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Re: Miscommunication

Postby foxelite » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:41 am

.... Second page? I THINK NOT!

But really, I had 9/11 pages of this written back in January. Talk about a lazy dog.

Miscommunication Pt. 38
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Being held at gunpoint had long since become the staple situation that no soul in their right mind ever wanted to experience. The thought of having another being holding what was basically one's life just inches away from one's eyes is far more troubling than many would even want to fathom. A predicament of such fated doom could bring the most stalwart mental defenses crashing down from about one's mind, leading those who held their fate before them to easily pry for whatever it is they so desired. Whether they wanted money, access to power, or just information, the threat of imminent fatality had proven its usefulness since the beginning of time. And it is with that mindset that Aeris had taken to employing this tactic, though her choice of weapon was far more likely to decapitate than blow one's brains out.

From behind blue visors, Aeris's gaze flicked between possible targets. Lingering first upon Ire just a relative foot before her, she soon snapped to the large-eared Tilla, who stood to the back right of the hybrid. As her focus lingered upon the fennec fox, the two blades hovering before the 'tsune eerily began to face their tips towards them. It was not until Stalker became the focus of the kitsune's deadly stare that her weapons faced away from the shivering fennec.

Eyes wide as he was black, Stalker's emerald gaze seemed to waiver between veneration and outright dread for his multi-tailed vixen. A cautious step backward enforced the latter however, and the curl of his tail between quivering hind legs only sealed just what feeling was winning the war within his mind. His pathetic demeanor continued, even as Aeris finally turned her eyes and blades back upon the drixen just in front of her.

“Ire,” the kitsune began to growl, the blue, heated tips of her blades hovering dangerously close to the hybrid's red-visored visage, “since you are so eager to speak, and you're likely a lying scaly murderer, I guess I will start with you.”. The hybrid's brow furrowed as her eyes virtually became slits of pure hatred. Aside from an incoherent low growl however, Ire did not respond to the insult from her so-called superior.

“Good” Aeris snarled lowly as she allowed herself to take but a single step forward and lean into the nose of the hybrid. The cool moistened pad of the 'tsune's contrasted heavily with the wet, yet noticeably well heated black sponge of if the hybrid's. While not hot enough to burn by any means, its temperature was uncomfortable enough to force Aeris to withdraw the tip of her muzzle but an inch. In order to keep a dominating presence however, the 'tsune's two indirectly sword-wielding tails curled forward just enough to force the floating blades but inches away from both of Ire's shielded eyes. As one may have come to expect of the hybrid however, she made no motion to give Aeris a noticeable reaction.

Seeing Ire's intrepid display left the kitsune with quite the sour taste in her maw, even going so far as to suck her teeth in a very disrespectful, and surprisingly human-like, fashion. “So,” Aeris began in a low growl once she affirmed the hybrid was game to stare at her through narrowed eyes for however long they needed to, “where -is- my daughter, Ire? What were her last whereabouts according to you?”

Ire made no motions beyond baring a single fang whilst she growled to the multi-tailed annoyance she'd been forced to call her leader; “I left your daughter to the east in the desert.”. Aeris found her own eyes nearing slits as her ire grew proportional to her curiosity. Growling in a low, yet ever increasing, volume the kitsune inquired, “You 'left' her? What do you mean you left her?”. Ire continued to show no signs of increasing aggression besides her fang, even as she rumbled her piece to what had become but a mother of ashes; “Aeris, your daughter attacked me after a conversation about the way she treated her subordinates. Apparently she did not believe that her caustic demeanor towards the two who were not... actively seeking her backside, was in no way an issue. I had personally watched her run the black youngling away for merely disagreeing with her. On that note, I've seen her and her mate assault these two in manners that had no place in a professional operation of this kind.”

Perked, white ears upon Aeris's head showed that she was in fact listening to Ire, yet the kitsune's comprehension was questionable as she retorted in a defensive snarl, “And what does this have to do with the murder of my kit?!”. Ire could only snort before she was forced to explain herself in a further bit of almost casual growling, “What I mean, my vixen, is that your daughter was not showing herself to be an adequate leader to her peers, and I merely called her out on it.”. Aeris's eyes shut tightly as tremors visibly began to overwhelm her frame; as if that weren't enough, the blades just before Ire's eyes also began to tremble.

“You've got five seconds” Aeris growled through her angrily trembling “to tell me something worthwhile before I rearrange that face of yours into something just a bit more tolerable!”. Ire still showed no visible alterations as she wrapped up her explanation, having affirmed just how alike Isis was to her mother when it came to patience and understanding. “Well,” the drixen barked softly, “long story short, your daughter did not approve of me asking her why she acted in such a way to drive her friends away. She then began to berate me for speaking to her of such things. She called me several names, then had the audacity to strike me several times--” - “And you killed her?” Aeris suddenly interjected with an oddly low snarl. “No” Ire yipped; “then she attacked me... and that is when I taught your daughter the error of her ways. I may not have killed her, but it would be a lie to say I did not leave her scarred for life.”

Aeris angrily snapped her nose to her left, breaking eye-contact entirely with the hybrid, though her blades remained fixated upon the partially scaled creature. Sapphires hiding behind eyelids jammed shut in rage, the kitsune barked each trembling word in what seemed like a completely individual manner; “So, you're telling me... that you thought it was fine to just... just... beat the shit out of your leader's offspring?!”. Ire was quick to yip back in defense of her statement, “Your daughter outright attacked me!”. The kitsune however, seemed to be having none of it, even going so far as to pull back her tails and raise their respective blades into a strike-ready position. “Ire,” Aeris yipped, though soon faded into a trembling growl, “you are aware that you are an armored battle platform, and Isis was both unarmed and unarmored?”

To say Ire did not know where this was going would be an outright insult to her surprisingly high intellect. Sure the drixen was hotheaded, but by no means was she an idiot.

A reverent whimper by the hybrid was accented by a droop of her black furred ears; “I am aware, my vixen, but that does not mean she is incapable of causing damage within arm's reach.”. Aeris snorted, her lips curling back just enough to give onlookers a glimpse of the ivory daggers sheathed within her maw. A low rumble from her throat gave Ire an answer she'd not soon forget; “Drixen, whatever damage Isis could do to you would only serve to make your face a bit easier to tolerate.”. Almost instantly, Ire retorted with a complete turnaround in her submissive demeanor. Vicious snarl showing parted jaws with two sets of slobber-coated, fear-inducing weaponry, the hybrid laid herself briefly into the kitsune; “Aeris! What do you gain with this kittish humor?!”

The kitsune never bothered to face Ire, even whilst she growled out an unnervingly soft reply, “I assure you, scaly, I am not being humorous.”. Ire's head recoiled lightly as she struggled just a moment for a sensible response, finding it in the form of an irritated rumbling of her own; “What is it you gain from mocking my appearance then, kitsune?”. “Ire” Aeris suddenly barked with an ominous growl to back it up, “you will refer to me as your vixen.”. The hybrid showed no sign of pausing to think as her ears began to sweep back upon her skull in a building ire; “Perhaps I am no longer seeing a reason to do so” she snarled.

Aeris's head snapped back to face Ire nose-to-nose, the 'tsune even jamming their pads together once more as her teeth bared in full to mirror the hyrid's own full-fanged visage. Unfortunately, Ire's upper fangs extended a full relative inch more than Aeris', leaving the multi-tailed vixen completely outmatched in the horror department. That did not however, stop her from yapping out a rage-infused “ Then maybe I should -give- you a reason to call me by my rightful title, you sub-sentient iguana!”. “Again!” Ire snarled with the added flare of a boiling saliva strand splashing upon Aeris' muzzle, “you once more resort to but immature name-calling! While I can't say she deserved death, your daughter undoubtedly deserved as much disciplinary action as you yourself obviously evaded! Lest she become any more like you.”

Ire found her field of view consumed entirely by the 'tsune's countenance for several seconds. It was after those very seconds however, that Aeris finally stepped back, growling lowly all the while. Whether the kitsune's rumbling vocals were of defeat, rage, or some bubbling concoction comprised of both, Ire could not even tell. The hybrid knew only to flinch ever slightly as Aeris suddenly snapped her two hovering blades back upon their holders before whipping around.

All five tails curled high, Aeris began to pad away from Ire and the two younger foxes behind her. Just barely exiting the end of the Titan dock, the 'tsune dropped her tails to the earth in a thunderous gust. Though it kicked up a sizable jet of stinging sands, all sent hurdling in the furry/scaly trio's direction, none of them made any motion to react.

“You drop your tails as though to show disrespect to the likes of us” Ire yipped, her tone having grown noticeably victorious in nature. Unfortunately, as Aeris continued to show her backside, she also growled a most unpleasant retort by Ire's standards; “Ire, drixen, scaly, iguana... monster...” the kitsune began softly, her nose pointed to the sands, “whatever you prefer to be called. I shall go with 'abomination', for your mother and father should be slain for crimes against nature.” Ire's sudden snarl was made mute as Aeris barked it into oblivion, “HUSH!” But seconds after asserting her position to speak, the 'tsune continued in a throaty rumble, “I may not have authority to have those that birthed you killed, but I do have the authority to do with -you- as I wish. That includes giving you orders as I see fit... and saying them in whatever manner I wish.”

“Understood” Ire growled, though she just as soon found herself overshadowed by Aeris' own rumbling, “Good, but that leaves me with making a decision. A moment ago, I thought I may simply behead you, though my better judgment still demands that I consider you an asset. Of course, you truly are beginning to toe that line, and as such I believe I am going to need you to prove your loyalty.”.

The blood-red eyes of the drixen narrowed to enraged slits, as she barked out an offended, “What would make you doubt my loyalty as is!? I have done all that you have ever asked of me, Aeris!”. The kitsune remained with her back to the hybrid; tails merely gathering dust from the sandy earth below, she responded in her more recent vocal manner, “That is good, so this should be nothing new for you. And even better, I will strike your name from my suspects in Isis's death.”. Ire's ears did not perk at the 'tsune's proposition, for she had been around foxes long enough to know one must hear >all< before reacting to a bushy-tailed thief, murderer, and cheater's so called 'deals'.

“What would you ask of me, Aeris?” the hybrid half growled, half erfed. To that, Aeris eerily craned her head to peer over her left shoulder. Eyes glimmering in the daytime sun, the kitsune spoke her piece in entirely too casual a growl for what it was she suggested; “Ire, I only ask of you to... contend with your treasonous mate. His blood will earn you my favor... and prevent me from having to resort to more... drastic measures to deal with you.”

“Aeris” Ire yipped lowly, the hybrid's entire frame becoming little more than a jelly filled noodle, “I can not just kill him.”. Aeris had begun to idly drag her tails along the ground behind her, allowing the blades at her tail-tips to sift through the upper layers of sand. The shifting granules of tan earth were the only sound to reach Ire's ears for what seemed like ages, for her vixen seemingly refused to speak. Had she been able to, the hybrid may have very well burst into tears as she awaited a possible alternative. Unfortunately, what eventually crept out of Aeris's throat was anything but a more favorable option.

Still peering over her shoulder, Aeris allowed a deep rumble to crawl from her throat “If you will not slay him, then I shall do so myself. Then I will have you stripped and abandoned.”. Ire's ears dropped in synch with her head; nose to the ground, the hybrid permitted her throat to form a sound most foreign to her: a whimper “But, Aeris, my vixen, I can not simply destroy my own mate!” The drixen's nose pointed sharply to the ground as her eyes jammed shut, almost as if she had just been struck through the heart. Continuing to speak in a sound so rarely to pass through her vocal chords, the hybrid went on, “I understand that what he did was wrong, and I should have convinced him otherwise, but he did not do things out of spite!”

“I could honestly care less about his reasons, Ire” Aeris barked, her ears having perked since the hybrid's metallic demeanor had begun to collapse. The 'tsune pressed on through a growl that grew unnecessarily vicious, “I only know that he is a threat to me, -my- operation, and inevitably our-- my entire kind;” the kitsune snorted as she contorted her nose and added but one snarl to the end of her explanation, “Close... I almost made it seem as though you were one of us.”. The comment's weight alone finally forced Ire's legs out from beneath her, the hybrid smashing limply into the ground head first with a sandy thud.

“I do not understand, Aeris” Ire whimpered up from her pitiful position, “if you have such resentment towards me for what I am, why even bother electing me to serve beneath you?”. The kitsune paused for a moment, then yipped a simple “Because” before once more startling both Ire and the duo locked in fear behind her.

Aeris' sentence only continued after she'd completely appeared to defy the laws of physics once more. One moment she was still glancing over her shoulder with significant distance between herself and Ire, yet the next there was but an influx of wind to where she'd been sitting, and the 'tsune herself was standing just over Ire's defeated frame. Staring down upon the horned beast, the kitsune finished her thought, “I did not willingly elect you. My mate figured we may need an individual with a much more intimidating presence, and the fact that you -somehow- hold the honor of being a VE made you an easier candidate to suggest to our Fox-Elite.” Her nose leaning down to the hybrid's ears, Aeris added in a playful whispering growl, “I personally wanted an actual dragon... but you were cheaper. I guess you get what you pay for.”

Scarred, quite ugly, but most of all broken, Ire simply -was-. She found herself with no will to devour Aeris for what she suggested, nor could she find what usually fueled her to at least defend herself. “Aeris” the hybrid forced out through a weak whimper, “I can not do what you ask of me. If you must, send me away.”. The kitsune's tails began to wave about independently behind her, though as they danced about about gracefully, they also avoided crossing their weapons with one another. If the sway in her tails was not enough to give away just how Aeris felt about Ire's suggestion, then the ecstatic bark and open-mouthed expression was more than enough to aid; “Oh, goodie! You can start dismounting right now then!”

Blood red eyes glanced up to meet the sharp light blue windows to the kitsune's soul. For once, what lay behind the beautiful sapphires spoke of far more ill intent than what lingered within the ruby orbs of death and destruction.

“Now,” Aeris began with yet another pleased bark, “allow me to talk to my younger cohorts; I'll call Farsight out here to strip you down once I've spilled their blood.”. As Ire rose to weakly pad aside, both Stalker and Tilla fed Aeris a fearful high-pitched whimper.

---

A loud series of high-pitched yelps found Brackish startled out of something that at least masqueraded as a pleasant slumber. Eyes having all but burst from their sockets, ears-tips jumping to the ceiling, the collie went from bleary eyed to fully attentive in but a fraction of a second. Fight-or-flight overcame his as he leaped to all fours upon the matted table he'd been operated upon. Heart racing, the canine barked frantically, and incoherently to the dimly lit room around him whilst reflective sapphires searched for a culprit.

“HEY!” the yelping that had awoken the collie was suddenly replaced by a surprised yipping, “You're standing!”. Brackish was entirely too busy searching the shadows to even respond in an intellectual manner; the male simply yapped out a confused and frightened, “Wait, who's doing what with who now!?”. To that, the voice that had awakened him merrily yipped once more, “You're standing up!”

Perhaps dogs truly were as dumb as every fox had made them out to be; at least, Brackish was proving their case when he erfed, “What are you talking about?”. Immediately, the two-tone canine found himself assaulted with a sudden pounce from the shadows. Fortunately, said pounce came in the form of two furry arms grasping about his abdomen; unfortunately, that same loving motion threw the collie's panicking mind into an outright tizzy. “Get >Off<!” he snarled, attempting to buck as the two vulpine arms squeezed to him tightly. All of his motions were negated however, as something slightly more massive and warm pressed against his side.

Falling to a whimper, the collie's mind began to settle, though his body still jerked and twisted in every possible attempt to break free of clutched of... of. “Wait?” Brackish erfed as each of his senses seemed to snap back to life at once. Ceasing the bad attempt at playing a rodeo bull, the canine curiously craned his head. As he did so, the stiff fibers of his neck popped and cracked uncomfortably, each one seeming to proclaim its own opposition to movement. He ignored his muscles in the name of curiosity, eventually finding his vision over his shoulder and beholding the shrouded form that had taken such a liking to him.

A feral grin breaking apart their sharpened muzzle, the half-lit visage of a blue eyed vixen stared to the border collie. Their cheek was plastered to his side, sharing warmth yet simultaneously aiding her arms in keeping the startled mutt still.

“I was going to come in here to complain!” the fox yapped ecstatically, her vocal assault prompting the collie to fold down his ears, “But then you stood up and, and-.” She stuttered for a moment before resorting to a fit of panting that seemed to fit better with the average domesticated dog stuck outside on a hot day. Brackish was quick to take advantage of the vixen's momentary thought, growling his own piece in a manner that spoke of only minor aggression, “I think I would have preferred you complaining. Can you let me go now?”. The collie was met with a whimper and a pair of arms clenching ever tighter about his body.

“I just, I just--” the female half whimpered, half yipped in an outright pleading manner towards the collie, “I just need to hold something, and... and you're warm and--”. The vixen found herself abruptly cut off as Brackish unleashed a booming snarl, forcing her to shrink back but maintain her hold upon him. The collie's untranslatable vocals were of course, followed by an erf of curiosity, “Hey! What the hell is wrong with you?”

The vixen's eyes drooped in the dim light, any reflectivity from her icy orbs was diminished by her lids. Whatever gay mood she'd been holding on to was whisked away as the collie suddenly interrogated her. “N- nothing” she stuttered through a whimper, the black triangles upon her skull stealthily slinking through the darkness until they'd hidden themselves within the ebony hairs of her scalp. Brackish called her out immediately in a rather indifferent bark, “Don't lie, fox”. The female retorted with an incoherent whimper whilst she hugged herself even tighter to the irritable coy-dog. “It's just,” she began through a weak whine, “I'm a little bit shaken up is all.”

Brackish snorted as he found what little sympathy for the vulpine race that he had welling up inside of him. With an annoyed erf, the collie inquired “Shaken up about what?”. A response from the vixen was slow in coming, though after several seconds of silence and glancing to anything but the collie, she whined out a pitiful “You know that Hunter female?”. The collie yipped a quick affirmation before the vixen continued, “Well, I went to talk to her, and it was going well, but then she tried to eat me!?”

“Come again?” Brackish barked, a confused inflection tacked on to its end. The vixen whimpered but a brief elaboration, “I asked her a few questions, and before I knew it she was drooling and had me pinned. Then, when I tried to run, she yanked me back and... well she almost broke my tail. “. The border collie she addressed fell suspiciously quiet, then shot his glance ahead of himself before erfing cutely, “She knows the whole dog-eat-fox thing is a joke, right?”. The distressed female nodded, even if the dog could not see it; she whimpered for vocal aid, “Yes, she mentioned it. But then she admitted to being a cannibal.”

For a moment, the room stood eerily quiet, not even disturbed by an errant breath from either individual within it. That quiet atmosphere was only torn asunder as Brackish lowly growled, “Well damn; that's some deep shit.”. He was immediately greeted to the vixen yipping out an affirming “I know!” Unfortunately, she just so happened to continue, “That's why I'm happy you're already standing! That means we can get rid of the both of you.”

Brackish found his head tilting in the low light as the vixen spouted off about 'getting rid' of him, though eventually he allowed himself to give her the benefit of the doubt. It didn't seem as though there was any ill intent, so why instigate a hostile interrogation when one seemed so unnecessary? At least, that is what Brackish would have asked if he were not black-and-white, part coyote, and named Brackish. Much to the vixen's dismay, all of the latter facts were however, true.

“Wait a minute” the collie growled, his ears folding back upon his skull as he muddled over the idea of what 'get rid of' meant, “What exactly do you all plan on doing with us anyway?”. He quickly found himself released of the vixen's grasp, even hearing her shuffle back a step or two. “Something wrong?” Brackish erfed as he used his new found freedom to turn about and sit upon the table. Each of his legs groaned, popped, and cracked as he moved, yet the collie passed it off on his lack of movement in hours... if not possibly days.

The vixen shunned eye-contact, jamming her own shut shamefully as she whimpered a weak “I don't know.”. The collie before her did not seem outwardly angry at her, yet she seemed to shrink back as if he were about to maul her at any moment. Noticing the vixen's position, Brackish laid himself back down upon the table, though continued to face the feeble creature. His actions netted only minor results, for the female did little more than open her eyes slightly.

“I've got no intention of hurting you” the coy-dog barked softly, “I just want answers.”. The fox before him whimpered incomprehensibly before slipping a single finger between her lips. They glanced off to their side in a manner that could only be described as embarrassed, though the nervous nibbling upon the digit between her incisors gave way to several uncertain glances in the collie's direction.

Eyes narrowing, Brackish growled lowly once more, though was certain not to allow himself to show any true aggression, “What are you hiding?” He extended his neck to seemingly examine the vixen closer, though the act forced her to take a guilty step backward. “I- I” she stuttered in an attempt to yip out a response, though eventually something comprehensible came in the form of a muffled snarl, “I really don't know, I swear.”.

The blank, narrow-eyed visage of the collie spoke wonders of just how much he didn't buy the vixen's story. Unfortunately, he knew that this was not an individual he could pressure without having them likely flee. Granted, that did not stop him from growling out a notable point: “I see how it is. I'm stuck on an operating table and you get to ask me a few dozen questions; I answer the majority of them. Now I ask a few simple questions, like 'what's going to happen to me', and I can't get anything out of that yappy throat of yours.” The male paused momentarily before baring a fang to snarl out an unpleasant, “Typical fox.”

“I need to go” the vixen suddenly whined, her entire stature having gradually deteriorated into a broken mess. In sync with her declaration, she hugged herself and swung her body to face away from the dog. Before she could step away however, Brackish barked a high-pitched “Wait!”. The exclamation perked the vixen's ears and halted her, yet she did not speak. The collie continued in a low growl, “Can you take me to the Hunter?”

“Are you trying to get eaten?” the vixen erfed ever so solemnly, her nose pointing to the ground. She figured that the collie had better reasons for wanting to contact the cannibalistic monster held within the depths of the subterranean complex, yet she knew that -she- would have to lead him to the Hunter's location.

Brackish once more stood upon the table, though as opposed to being stationary he lifted a fore-paw and tested his weight upon three legs. Whilst he glanced at the floor and judged his distance in an environment with virtually no helpful lighting or landmarks, the dog growled to the vixen once more, “Of course I don't want to be eaten; I just want to talk to her.”. He was given a sharp growling response by the vixen as he began to lean over the side of the table, “I'M NOT GOING NEAR THAT PLACE!”.

The sole pair of vulpine ears in the room were suddenly greeted to a sound that most foxes would relish in: a loud thud followed by a sudden fit of canine whimpering. The vixen was not just any fox however, and she instantly whipped about, blind eyes wide as she bore audible witness to the pitiful ball of darkness-enshrouded fluff lying in a crippled heap upon the floor. “Oh my,” she yipped, “are you okay?”.

Brackish wasn't quite sure how to answer her question. As he'd readied himself to pounce from the table's surface, he'd felt just a hint of pain in his back limbs, and a bit more in his front. None of it seemed excruciating however, and of course he had already proven that he could stand. Unfortunately, as he sailed through the air for what was only three feet, he felt fine, putting his mind at ease. The moment his fore-paws pressed into the compacted sand however, the collie's mind threatened to shut down entirely as a surge of pain, suffering and screaming agony assaulted every nerve from his nose to tail. The sudden rush shattered whatever hopes of landing the collie may have had. Legs reduced to jelly, the border collie's body became a furry accordion, folding into itself and forgetting entirely to decompress.

To all of his unfortunate luck, and to the vixen's heartfelt inquiry, the collie could do little more than whine the pathetic equivalent of an “Ow.”

Brackish found himself rapidly descended upon by his vulpine caretaker, her padded fingers grasping, poking and prodding over every inch of his frame. Whatever came into contact with her dainty digits was gently straightened out and massaged. Even more surprising, the shivering vixen erfed a sincerely concerned “Do you feel alright?”. As he was kneaded and flattened, the collie whimpered in response, “Depends on your definition. On one paw, I've got more than enough pain coursing through me to warrant being put down; on the other, I'm fairly certain I can stand back up...” The dog paused before whimpering the end of his sentence, “in a moment or two.”

“Shouldn't have moved” the vixen growled, “You're not fully healed by any means.”. Brackish glared to the feeble two-legged creature before him, not even quite sure if she could tell in the unnervingly dark cavern. A subtle rumble from his throat helped to drive his point vocally, “I'll be sure to keep jumping off of my to-do list, but I'm fairly certain that I can walk just fine.”. He was instantly shot down by a painful nip upon his ear, gaining a yip from him, followed by a growl almost as inaudible as his own, “I'm not risking that; you just stay right here, okay?”

“Eh,” Brackish began to shoot back at the vulpine nurse, the rumbling in his throat returning to communicate, “no. What I -am- going to do, is walk out there and find my ticket out of here. Look, it's been lovely having you poke around inside of me and all, but I think it may be time for me to start planning on going home. I've had about enough of this place.”

“I can't let you do that, though!” the fox suddenly yipped in a bursts of ear-wilting volume; “I'm not showing you where she is, and you need to heal more anyway!”. Brackish could not help but twitch an ear at the outburst, yet he was more than ready to retort in a stable array of quiet barks, “I can find her, fox. Trust me on two things: for one, sniffing out the one thing here that doesn't smell of fox, or coy-dog, can't be too hard; secondly, if you'd seen the kind of damage I've recovered from in the past few days, you'd know that I'll be fine walking around with a few broken limbs and lacerations.”

The vixen did not respond to the collie immediately, rather she stepped back and released him. Standing to her full height, she once more hugged to herself and whimpered something that could not be translated. In the room's poor light, the back-and-forth shifting of her narrowed eyes went unnoticed by the collie, though her slumped shoulders and ground-shackled gaze were a dead giveaway to just how she felt. The latter is what forced the canine to pin his ears and growl an inquisitive, “You want to tell me what's really going on here?”. Unfortunately, that question once more drove the vixen to action.

“We're done here” the female suddenly whimpered, pivoting away from the collie before once more heading towards the dim light of the entryway. Barring another hiccup in her escape, she quickened her pace this time around, swiftly disappearing into the hallway at impressive speed.

Brackish was merely left to blink several times in both astonishment and curiosity. Not only had the vixen's rash disappearance left him confused, but her refusal to answer virtually all of his questions left him with a feeling in his gut that he knew all too well. It could not be classified as simply fear or anxiety, or even outright distrust; no, what poked and clawed at the collie's insides was something far less common to the average non-Antarion citizen. This was a feeling that was best described out loud, and Brackish was more than happy to growl it aloud with not a single soul around to hear it.

“Foxes... bloody... foxes”

---

Whilst motives were completely ignored and beaten around underground, on the surface Aeris was determined to bring any and all motivations to light. Unfortunately, most of that light threatened to be blocked out by opaque crimson rain.

Ire had been forced to watch on in horror as Aeris took to 'interrogating' both Tilla and Stalker simultaneously. The kitsune's methods were far less clean with her younger cohorts however, and it was beginning to pluck at the strings of even Ire's heart.

“So you left her to die!?” Aeris snarled, though her vocals were muffled by the thick black scruff of Stalker's neck. The ebony-furred male found himself uncomfortably hoisted into his vixen's jaws, her teeth all threatening to crush his windpipe as the rest of his body hung several relative feet off of the ground. Even if both vulpine creature's were upon four legs, Aeris was over twice the size of the toxic reynard.

Stalker gagged and sputtered in an attempt to respond, though to no avail. His body kicked and writhed, hind and fore legs attempting to sink their claws into some part of the 'tsune, yet not once could his short limbs make meaningful contact. It was obvious that the kitsune had no intention of actually getting an answer from the poisonous male, especially when her vice-grip about his neck tightened to completely cease his airflow.

As the smaller quadruped squirmed and suffocated, Aeris glanced over to Tilla. Of course, glanced 'down' at the fennec may have been a better choice of words, for the large-eared canid lay before the 'tsune in a crumpled heap. Multiple, cauterized puncture wounds littered the fennec's torso, even showing signs of having damaged several vitals in the female's upper abdomen.

While Aeris's heated weapons ensured that the smaller fox's wounds were not going to drain her of blood, the 'tsune's assault had left Tilla groaning and upon her back. Movement was nigh impossible due to shear pain and sliced muscle fibers, and that left Aeris to place a paw heavily down upon the little vixen's covered belly without the first hint of resistance.

Claws of razor-like persuasion intentionally found their way into an open wound upon the fennec's abdomen, pressing into it gradually with ill intent. The act brought a pitiful whimper in place of the usual snarky or disrespectful remark. Aeris however, was more than happy to growl awkwardly through the suffocating Stalker, “And you... you abandoned her out of fear.” An upward toss of her head was followed by a brutal downward thrust and parting of her jaws. The violent motion released Stalker, but only to slam him into the golden vulpine female beneath him.

A combined squeal erupted form both Stalker and Tilla as the toxic fox collided painfully with his perforated companion. Their collective vocals were only accentuated by the loud slap of their fur and flesh seemingly attempting to meld. Audible descriptions aside, the entire ordeal left the ebony furred male splayed out on his belly atop the fennec, gasping needfully for even the dry desert air. Tilla merely found herself with clenched teeth and eyelids jammed shut; it took every connected nerve she had left not to lash out at Stalker. The impact may have harmed him, but it had briefly brought her to a new level of pain and suffering. Internal organs tore where they'd been punctured, their wounds once sealed yet ripped open upon the impact.

As Stalker gasped and Tilla agonizingly shook her head as if to plea, Aeris merely slid her claws deeper into the wound she'd chosen earlier. 'Gently' curling her digits, then extending them, she raked the smaller Vulpine's inner wound. With each of the kitsune's motions, the large-eared fox clenched their teeth and eyes harder, attempting to hold back a full fledged wail of pain.

“I see you're still as stubborn as ever” Aeris finally growled, her two unconnected blades gradually finding their way back to their respective tails. “It'd be a shame to waste that stubbornness” the 'tsune continued to growl lowly, aggression not quite noticeable “But I see no point in keeping you around if you're going to murder out of shear spite.” Ire snorted at the hypocrisy, though it went seemingly unnoticed by Aeris. The 'tsune went on in a closed-mouth growl, “So, I want but one truthful answer from you: who killed Isis?” As she inquired, the ''tsune leaned forward, her forepaw slipping even deeper into the fennec's wound, almost disappearing entirely within.

Half barking, half yelping in pain, Tilla hastily pointed to the drixen behind Aeris, “I ALREADY TOLD YOU!”. Oddly enough, Aeris was quick to reply in a snarl, “And yet she denies all too insistently for me to believe she single handedly destroyed my daughter. The drixen has already been punished under suspicion...” the kitsune leaned her head down over Stalker and closer to the clenched visage of the injured fennec, the breaths from the larger creature's nose washing over the large-eared female's cheeks, “You however, leave me wondering just whether or not this little debacle was more of a team effort.”

At last, Aeris backed off of the fennec, her nose pulling away as she stepped back, her forepaw matted in blood as it returned to sand once more. Growling lowly and with but minor aggression, the 'tsune began to pace around the downed female and her toxic companion, “Now assuming this was a group effort, I believe it is only fair that I give you all the same chance to redeem yourself.”. Immediately, Ire rose to all four of her paws, her lips twitching as if to curl up in full. Through a low, but threatening bark the drixen snapped at the multi-tailed female, “Aeris, you can not be serious!?”

A pause preceded the kitsune's reply to the hybrid near her; within that time, she merely looked them over in a very unamused manner. “Ire,” Aeris yipped softly, “Quiet whilst actual foxes speak.”. The hybrid's response was little more than a closed-mouth growl that could not be translated, and it was not certain whether she was truly backing down or not.

Aeris gradually turned her head back towards the two younger foxes splayed out before her, the 'tsune's tails majestically outstretched with but the slightest of curls, allowing her weapons to dance behind her in a most elegant fashion. “So, Tilla, Stalker” the 'tsune lightly growled once more, “I will offer the same proposition I gave to that abomination over there. All you must do is hunt down the most traitorous creature within our midst, and I shall pardon you of all suspicion. Or perhaps you would like to be further interrogated?” The 'tsune flicked all five of her tails upward simultaneously, each of their blades dismounting their holsters before floating about eerily above them. The most subtle of sways in her tails was mimicked by their respective weapons, leaving even Ire to contemplate her chances in an duel. At least, Ire contemplated it for but a second, though the thought of failure to the multi-tailed annoyance was rapidly replaced by visions of herself feasting upon kitsune flesh.

Tilla's eyes met Aeris' as the fennec finally forced her own open. Though pitiful, and with barely parted lids, the large-eared female forced the eye-contact. “Stalker,” she whined weakly, “do we do it?”. The male atop her had regained his breath, yet Aeris' bite had left him with limited movement in his neck. As such, he did not bother to raise his head as he let loose his answer in a barely audible growl, “Well, it's that... or be diced into rations. Of course we do it.”

Aeris did not need Tilla to relay the weak message, her ears were pivoted well enough to catch exactly what was said. “Well then, it's settled!” the kitsune barked as she gave Ire an awkwardly ecstatic stare, “You two will slaughter that treasonous insect, and Ire... you will prepare to disband immediately. No questions? Good, I like no questions. I will have Farsight come up to aid the lot of you as soon as possible. In the meantime, I'm going to go spill some blood.”

---------------------
Brackish
-------------------------

Murder it.
Yeaaa.. Collie too lazy to update his name.. so yea.. BRACKISH LIVES.

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Re: Miscommunication

Postby Kusanagi » Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:54 am

Seriously, dead by their own hands. That prediction is looking pretty good right now. If I'm the Mexican military I take the technology and run. Let the kill each other off completely then think about world (North American?) domination. :lol:

Poor Logan doesn't seem equipped with a healing factor yet though, so looks like more healing chapters in his future.

Alright lets see if we can't see the next chapter before August. :D
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http://giantessworld.net/viewuser.php?uid=27873 (something new has been added :o)

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Re: Miscommunication

Postby foxelite » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:13 pm

Hah, next chapter before August ?! Hell no, you're waiting 2 years for it X.x

But seriously, I have FINALLY finished transcribing notebook to digital text, and now I am capable of pushing out 3 chapters wordy chapters (maybe more depending on how these all break up). It also means I can actually start WRITING again, as opposed to just transcribing.

For now, I leave you with the first of these.

Miscommunication Pt. 39
-----------------------------------

Hallways; why was it that he always had to wake up and traverse hallways? That thought was all that Brackish seemed to be able to force through his mind as all four of his legs stumbled through a maze of barely lit halls connected to unlit rooms. Of course his vision was more than just a little bit cut out to contend with the low light situation, but that didn't do him much of any good when it came to actually finding his way around a complex network of tunnels that were made specifically to confuse intruders. Granted, he wasn't so much an intruder as he was a prisoner. A prisoner in excruciating pain at that.

Indeed, as the coy-dog pressed on, led only by the occasional hint of non-vulpine scent, he found himself forcing back the urge to just give in to the pulses of agonizing rejection both his forelegs and torso gave him. Every impact of paw-to-floor sent a surge up from his pads through the entire respective side of his body. He'd initially forced through it without so much as a noticeable twitch, or peep. A moment in and he'd simply settled for a low growl to power through the pain. Several moments after that, the collie found himself making no true progress, though that growl had grown in volume.

By the time Brackish glanced and sniffed into the eighth empty chamber of sand, he'd graduated to showing visible signs of injury. With the 3ft wide entrances of rooms being only about 10ft apart, the coy-dog knew he'd only made it about hundred feet when his right foreleg buckled beneath his own weight. It caught him completely off guard, as was easily evident when the dog's right cheek planted itself into the compacted earth. For the nonexistent bystanders who's vision could not grant them an image in the terribly lit atmosphere, they would undoubtedly catch wind of the defeated whine that erupted from the collie's throat.

Rear-end still standing, the coy-dog found himself looking like a half-sunken ship on ice. Both forelegs had merely collapsed beneath him. His right had of course gone first, whilst his left had attempted to support him in his sudden time of need. Obviously, it failed entirely in its duties. That physically left Brackish little more than a pile of black and white fur with two broken legs. Mentally, the coy-dog was a gradually spiraling wreck.

If there was ever a time to just give in, Brackish was certain he'd found it. Neither of his forelegs even bothered to respond to their nerves commanding them to move. To make matters worse, the furry obstacle could not ascertain whether his new nerves -actually- weren't responding, or if it was all just in his head. Honestly, the former thought forced a high-pitched howl from the canine; whether the howl was out of mental agony, or an actual plea for help, was anyone's guess. Granted, if the latter was his goal, then then coy-dog's appeal was rapidly answered.

A female voice spoke softly out from well ahead of the helpless coyote-mix: “I'm not a... wait, yes I am a specialist.” The voice seemed confused for a moment, but they did cause the border collie to perk an ear in surprise before going on, “So as a specialist, I am definitely going to say that that was -not- a fox whining.”

Brackish found himself in what seemed like no mortal danger at the moment. As such, the collie seemed all too casual in giving the unknown figure a quick bark and growl amounting to “You'd be right, mysterious figure who doesn't much smell like a fox.”. To that, the out-of-sight voice merely snickered. Its verbal sounds were quickly replaced by the vibrations of soles against the compacted sand floor. The rhythmic beat grew slightly louder as the collie found himself being approached in the dim light. Granted, by the time the figure had slipped out of the room she was in, and entered the hall, he was instantly able to identify her.

“Well” Brackish erfed, his body still a totaled mess yet still capable of forcing his eyes to look up, “You're a lot shorter than I remember you.”. In response, the female figure just ten feet from him paused and giggled through a half-closed muzzle, only tacking on a cheeky retort a full second later, “Well you... wait... no... you always did look like death.”. The border collie's mind began to sort through a list of possible replies in an attempt to defend himself yet, thinking back on the past few days, the collie really had looked like death... >a lot<.

With the coy-dog locked in silence, the feminine figure took it upon themselves to close the gap before sliding down upon their rear. Considering Brackish was in too much pain to fight back, if he even wanted to, it was of no surprise when the mottle-coated female merely reached forth, grasped the collie by his hind-quarters, and pulled him into her lap. What resistance she did receive was only in the vocal form: a series of erfs, whines and agonizing whimpers brought about by the injured coy-dog's sudden forced movement. That all settled however, once the female had positioned the large four legged canid to sit at the split of her spread legs, his head pulled up to rest over her shoulder. As if being man-handled wasn't bad enough, they had the audacity to pat his head consolingly.

“You could have asked” the collie growled with no aggressive intent. In response, his two-time savior found herself rolling her eyes in an extremely exaggerated manner; “Yeah, yeah, a thank you would be nice” she stated in a somewhat annoyed erf. Brackish paused as he seemed to contemplate for a moment. It was not until several seconds passed that he bothered to inquire through a curious head-quirk and a pitiful whine of minor pain “What exactly would I be thanking you for, Hunter?”. Almost instantly, the collie was given a growl that spoke of mild irritation from his bipedal acquaintance, “How about you thank me for saving your ass, and carrying you out of harm's way, -and- almost dying for you?”

To the sudden explosion of reputable actions, Brackish was forced to truly ponder in silence. Mulling over the past few days once more, he delved through his memories in search of the Hunter's claims, eventually ending up with anything but what she wanted to hear. “So” the collie began to growl lowly, his tone casual, “all I remember is seeing you that one time you came to try and save me, but we ended up having to back down. After that, I remember a breakout attempt, but I feel like that failed entirely.”. It was at that moment that the collie crossed a line he did not know existed.

Eyes widened, muzzle going slack for a moment, the Hunter found her previously gentle hands suddenly clenching the two-tone mutt's ears. Yanking them painfully, she brought the collie nose-to-nose with her, that slack jaw rapidly transforming into clenched, bared teeth on full display. No longer was the female's growl a vibration of possible irritability, no, it suddenly flared into a sound usually preceding the complete mutilation of another soul. “I didn't -fail-!” she snarled, only to return to her infuriated reverberations that weren't much quieter, “I fucking got you out! I fucking kept you alive, treated your sorry tail!”. By now, Brackish had gone completely wide eyed, his sapphire peepers fully revealed and vulnerable to the piercing eye-contact of the upset Hunter.

The rage filled growling continued, and with Brackish's ears still firmly held up, the collie undoubtedly heard every waking 'word'. “I came back just for you! I fought a fucking -child- just for you! “I got poisoned and almost died thanks to you! I wouldn't even fucking be here right now if you weren't -you-.”. To that, Brackish couldn't decide whether to whimper at the insult, or let loose his bladder in outright fear. No vocals of his own came however, not until the female stood to her full height.

Still clenching the collie's ears in her fingers, the Hunter shuffled to both of her feet, hoisting 70 pounds of coy-dog by two extremely uncomfortable points, and leaving him to dangle almost two feet from the ground. That action alone forced a high-pitched whine from the mutt, yet it did nothing to appeal to his sudden assailant's better nature. The dog swore he heard a good portion of his ear tissue begin to tear, yet even as he began to kick, whine and force through the pain in the rest of his body, the Hunter refused to show any sort of mercy. Instead, she only heightened the volume of her growl, and dug the claws of her fingers into the smaller creature's ears.

“Fucking ungrateful bitch!” she snarled, her glare slicing the collie's sapphire eyes with a laser-like focus, “You're not -worth- anything! You're not helpful in anyway! Why the hell am I stuck here? Right, because -you- fucked up!”. A single frantic swipe of the coy-dog's forepaw knicked the Hunter's chest, the damage non-existent, yet her reaction did not show it. In a furious explosion of muscle movement, the female's arms rose, still partly curled to hold the dog, before rapidly thrusting downward. Releasing her two-tone prisoner mid thrust, she succeeded in slamming him back to the compacted earth at her feet.

Brackish landed in a crumpled heap upon his belly, the concussive force being enough to force the wind from his lungs in one painful yelp.

“The fuck do you get off hitting me!?” the Hunter blared from over the gasping mutt, his response no more than further heaving. Apparently, that was -not- what the female wanted to hear. Not aiding in the collie's situation at all, she delivered a heavy heel to the back of his neck, planting it there to pin him as if he wasn't already disabled. The act only further complicated the collie's attempts to grasp whatever breath he could from the dry air about him.

“I could be home right now!” the Hunter snarled, her own chest heaving out of anger as opposed to necessity, “But no, I'm off confirming that two dumb dogs, already known for fucking up everything they touch, >fucked this up too<!” As if Brackish's pathetic mixture of gasping and whining wasn't enough of a victory for her, the female rose her foot only to stomp back down upon the collie's upper back. Unfortunately, he hadn't enough breath to even give a sizable whimper of pain. The growling from above only continued as he was assaulted seemingly for existing, “I was hoping it was just going to be a simple scout, ignore the locals, and maybe get lucky with both of you mutts being carcasses by the time I got to you.” Her weight returned to the back of his neck as she tossed her hands out as if to plea, “But noooo! >You< had to be captured alive!” The growl slowly began to lose some of its intensity as the female went on, “But at least one of you tried to make this process easy.”

Through labored breaths, the collie heaved, choked, and finally expelled a coherent whine, “W-What are you talking about?”. The Hunter paused, her growling even ceasing for a moment as she glared down to the fluffy pile of black and white. “What do I mean?” she erfed rhetorically, “I mean that at least the bitch had the courtesy to get offed before I got here.”

To that, Brackish merely fell silent, jaw forced shut by his position on the ground, yet losing all involuntary tension. His entire frame seemed to suddenly dull, no longer feeling the pain of his bones and flesh. No, all of that physical discomfort soon forwent his nerves in favor of forcing a burden far greater upon them: the mental anguish of a broken heart.

Even without a vocalized response from the collie, the wild dog could comprehend his reaction. Unfortunately, sympathy did not seem to be on her list of current concerns, as denoted by a continued rumble from her closed lips “Don't go all pity party on me now, you should have known that crazy bitch couldn't keep herself alive.” For a moment, the Hunter lifted her hind-paw from the back of the collie, allowing him to emit a proper whimper, though it did not seem to translate into much of anything. It was however, enough to bring a roll to the Hunter's eyes whilst she finally planted her paw back upon the sand. “Fine!” she barked, “I guess I'll leave you to your pity party. You're lucky you're my mark; the other dog was yours, so I'm not even remotely responsible for its well-being.”

Brackish did not respond. The collie merely continued to lie in a distraught heap with barely any signs of life. Eventually, his silence paid off. The Hunter snorted after her last comment; what she needed to say had been said. Pivoting upon one foot, she turned away from the collie and headed back in the direction of 'her' room. The coy-dog was of no use to her; he merely needed to be kept alive for the time being. Assuming Aeris kept her word on letting them return home, the mottle-coated female was confident that she could at least return home without a mission failure. Greater still, she could just put thoughts of all those she'd had the unfortunate experience of befriending behind her. As she pivoted ninety degrees to begin entering the downward sloping threshold to her room, the Hunter settled her mind upon but one goal: returning home with no true blood on her hands, and with her mark still alive and well.

Well... alive anyway.

------------------

Carmen... Carmen thought she had seen it all in the past few days. She'd been in a helicopter reporting a giant alien dog. She'd been in that same helicopter when a car was thrown in its direction. She'd witnessed said dog be almost completely blown apart by the military and police, then saved by another giant dog. On the same token, she laid her eyes upon the horrors of those who'd been in the way of that very same canine, the slaughter that it truly was at ground level. Then, to make matters worse, she'd become a casualty of yet another dog with entirely too much height. The latter fact meant that she now knew what it was like inside of a German shepherd's stomach, and even if it was too dark to see anything, that was a smell and feeling she'd never forget.

Yet, all of that was only the beginning. Now she could say she'd been thrown in jail, talked with an alien, and even had a foiled prison-break scheme with said alien. On top of then seeing a giant being shed its size, in a most gruesome fashion, the reporter now had more than enough to warrant her entry into the nearest insane asylum. Unfortunately, her life was not finished tossing more stones into the already tearing sack of the woman's sanity.

A small ranch home out along the borders of what used to be Del Rio is where Carmen found herself. She'd already slept to her mind and body's content, then found a bathroom, delighted to also stumble upon running water and a working shower. As if life were actually looking up for once, the home even sported a wardrobe filled with all of the womanly items Carmen could desire. Well, at the very least, there were two or three outfits worth of female clothing, but honestly Carmen was more than happy to exaggerate even the most minuscule of positives after her last few days. After all, this was the first time she'd had a proper shower and change of clothes in at least three days. The girl was ripe, to put it nicely.

While she may not have liked the short sleeved plaid T-shirt, or the white blouse beneath it, Carmen found her options quite limited. The denim jeans she found fit her at least, though they seemed just a bit baggy on her skinny frame.

After resolving all matters relating to hygiene, the female human made her way to the kitchen of the small home. The entire two-bed one-bath structure had its walls painted an inviting, if not bland, cream color. The kitchen was just barely large enough for the rectangular, six-person table that sat in the midst of it, though with the removal of several chairs, one could comfortably access the fridge and stove without much hassle. Simple, dark gray hues adorned the laminated counter tops, and the home's white back door sat nestled into the wall near the one of the table's ends.


It was the back door that the Mexican woman stepped over to, turning the golden knob before moving herself out upon the back porch of the modest structure. A light drizzle tapped rhythmically upon the tin roof, accentuated by the gray overcast of the clouds above. Whilst Carmen could not even tell if it was morning, noon or night, she had far too many points of interest to even allow the thought of sleep to slip into her mind.

Upon her the first knock of sneaker soles to treated wood, the woman gained the attention of two males, though not for the usual reasons. One was but a short Mexican man resting upon a wooden bench beneath the overhang. Adorned in a white T-shirt and pants two sizes too large, the man looked over with little more than a wave and a low “buenos dias.” Honestly, the more Carmen looked over the man, the less she understood how he was such a high ranking official in any military. Of course, General Tajo's success wasn't exactly attributed to his dashing good looks and sense of fashion. Either way, she returned his vocal gesture out of sheer respect.

Greetings exchanged, Tajo gradually took to staring off at the expansive green field that this home claimed as its backyard. Dead silent, Carmen followed in suite, though it soon became clear that neither of them were focused upon the beauty of the nutrient rich grasses that stretched off into the remarkably flat distance. No, both Carmen and Tajo's eyes lay upon the bloody heap of white fur just a dozen or so yards in front of their current position.

Perhaps the night when this all began had steeled Carmen's constitution, or maybe the woman had been exposed to so much crazy, disgusting and outright unbelievable that her mind simply forgot to be squeamish. Whatever the case, she gazed upon the bruised and beaten body of her white-furred saviour without the slightest hint of a contorting face or negative body motion. The saviour in question was the 6 foot Arctic fox curled up, sleeping upon the mat of green blades. What stalks of short, soft field lay closest to him were stained a darkened shade of what used to be crimson.

“Do you think he will be alright?” Carmen softly inquired in her native tongue, the woman assuming that the General knew the question was directed at him. For a moment, she thought that he might not have heard her, or that he was possibly ignoring her, though those thoughts were quickly extinguished once a male voice responded lowly from behind her, “I believe he is just sleeping: I'm almost certain he's not in danger of bleeding out however.”. Carmen allowed her gaze to roll over the giant wounded creature, her head slowly beginning to shake back and forth in disbelief as she took in a sight that was far more awe-inspiring than it was gruesome. “I thought it was all a dream” the female uttered, almost not even reaching the man's ears. Proving once more that his hearing was impeccable, Tajo hummed briefly, rocked back in his seat, and offered the reporter a comforting truth, “Considering what I've gotten used to seeing in the past year, even I must admit that last night was unbelievable.”

With a heavy sigh, Carmen crossed her arms and proceeded to walk over to where Tajo currently sat. Relaxing considerably, the woman turned about and gently settled herself down upon the wooden bench. However, before she could utter a word, the General went on, his tone almost seeming as though he was reminiscing of years past, “Heh, when he told me we were going to fly away, I figured he must be crazier than I previously believed.”. “He still is crazy!” Carmen interjected with a huff. “Ah...” Tajo began once more, “but I am beginning to think that his craziness is the sole reason that you and I are not in the belly of any beasts.”. As if on queue, Carmen tensed up before cringing. Immediately, Tajo shot her a curious glare through one raised brow.

“Is something the matter?” the General asked quizzically. Carmen offered yet another sigh before replying with mild irritation, “It is just you mentioning being eaten; it brings back the worst of memories inside that mongrel.”. The male was forced to think for a moment as he turned back to face the slumbering vulpine creature. “Ah” he began, raising his finger as if to make a point from something Carmen already knew, “You mean the German shepherd. I am still amazed you were alive when we found you.”. The woman growled before waving the man and the topic on, “Can we >please< not talk about this?!”. The reaction drug a chuckle from the General, though he obeyed the request and set the original topic back on track: “Right, right, where was I?” The man could not help but continue smiling as he went on, “Oh yes, I thought we were doomed to a terrible fate, and perhaps his talk of flight was simply humor to cover for overwhelming fear. I mean, how could I know he would actually sprout wings?”.

The mere mention of the last word was enough to cause both humans to fall silent and lock their eyes upon the four-legged mammal before them. Indeed, one did not usually think of wings when thinking of furry creatures, though the two large, feathered appendages drooped down upon either side of the alien were undoubtedly wings. With the fact that said wings seemed more appropriate for a bird of prey, rather than a fluffy, four-legged canid, it was of no surprise that either primate still found themselves completely flabbergasted at the peculiar sight. Granted, the fact that they were not stunned by the 6ft Arctic fox spoke wonders about just how much they'd grown used to passing off as normal.

“It is only fitting that his wings be white, Tajo noted aloud with his arms gradually crossing about his chest; “he made for quite the guardian angel.”. Carmen snorted at the remark, her own arms tightening about her chest whilst she lowly blurted out a contradictory reply, “Well perhaps neither of us would have to have been saved if it weren't for him and his kind to begin with!”. To that, the General shrugged, his shoulders remaining raised as he retorted in an indifferent tone, “Perhaps. But of all of his kind, he has proven to be the most reasonable.”

Carmen glared towards the man, her eyes narrowed to near slits as she forced words through clenched teeth, “Reasonable? He helped those murderous dogs, and broke one of them out of prison.” The woman paused for a moment before tossing her hands in the air to 'yell', “>Your< prison!”. General Tajo was indeed forced to bring a hand to his chin, fingers stroking the stubble of several unshaven days. “Hm” he began inquisitively, “You may have a point there, but in general he seems less callous and hateful than the others. The rest of them seemed ready to end any life at the drop of a hat. He may have had his own agendas, but I feel as though they did not directly threaten others.”

A response from the female was temporarily put on hold as the fox stirred. After several seconds, the human's anticipation faded, for the white-winged creature returned to its healing slumber.

Without skipping a beat, Carmen picked up where the man had left off, her finger raised to aid in making a point, “Does not threaten others? If he had not done such foolish things, he would not have almost died! I believe putting us in harm's way counts as threatening our lives.”. Tajo once more shrugged before offering a retort and a light chuckle, “How true, though it is merely unfortunate that you were caught in the crossfire. That being the case, you were indirectly threatened. And let us not forget he also saved your life... twice.”

Carmen merely huffed once more, the female standing and stepping away from the man and the bench. “I would consider almost being murdered by those seeking his death to be a direct threat to me!” the woman forced angrily through clenched teeth. Once more however, Tajo had a quick answer to the woman's growing ire, “I will let you have that, though you seem ready to denounce him at any moment.”. Carmen shrugged, her eyes closing as her voice softened, “I would not say I want to denounce or abandon him, but I do not feel safe around him.”. “Oh?” the General quickly shot back with a smile, “and would you feel safer not having a giant flying fox around as you are potentially hunted down by other giant dogs and foxes?”. To that, Carmen briefly fell both still and silent. Arms about her chest, fingers nervously toying with the fabric of her shirt, the woman stumbled about her mind. She did not fumble for an answer however; no, Carmen found her inner thoughts manifesting upon her tongue in the form of a question. Ever so gradually glancing over her shoulder, the female's demeanor screamed of fear and anxiety. As her words spilled forth, her tone of voice held true to her body language: “Wait. Do you really think they are still hunting us?”

Not bothering to offer any candy-coated responses, General Tajo merely gave several slow nods of his head.

-----

To say Stalker and Tilla looked the part of assassins would be more than just a petty lie. As the duo trudged on over barren earth, barrages of windswept sand, and a sun that knew no mercy, neither seemed fit for the journey, let alone the task at hand.

Whilst Stalker's head hung low and stiff, facing the sands with physically forced interest, it was Tilla that would draw most attention from nonexistent on-lookers. An arm about her abdomen, another about her chest, the fennec covered the few puncture wounds upon her that threatened to bleed. Fortunately, there seemed to be no crimson stains beneath the material of her tunic-like apparel, though upon short removals of her arms, the fox did spy deep reds upon her golden coat. All of that said however, Tilla's issues spanned far beyond open circuits of the biological kind.

It was now the fifth time that the four-legged Stalker found himself burdened beneath a weight not his own. Just like the last four instances, his head painfully craned to the side in an effort to look behind him, though the action failed not even a quarter of the way through. Whether the inner crunch was his spine or his brain-stem, or even just muscle, was a puzzle not worth currently solving. Head and nose pointed to the baked grounds of the desert, the the male flexed his four legs, braced his back, and adjusted as well as he could to the weight of the forty foot female who's outstretched hand braced her full mass down upon his backside.

Being the fifth stop for this exact purpose, Stalker found himself further burdened with lowly growling back up at the fennec using him as a crutch, “Tilla, I think it's best you let me go alone. Your condition's getting worse, and that alone is reason to go back to Farsight.”. His fennec companion snapped her teeth and growled indignantly, yet a true vocal response did not follow. Instead, Stalker merely felt the load upon his back gradually increase with no signs of halting. “Tilla,” the fox barked, trailing off into an increasingly frustrated growl, “you don't need to be here.” His frustration manifested into a noticeable ire as he was answered with little more than an additional burden.

Ears flattening to his skull, the black furred male mulled over his options whilst simultaneously tuning out the pitiful whining that had replaced his ally's stubborn rumbling. “Okay,” the male began whilst all four of his vulpine legs sagged in protest, “if you're not going to get yourself help, I'll get it for you.” Surprisingly, that was all he needed to get his golden-furred companion to make something other than indecipherable undulations with her throat. Granted, still through a whimper, Tilla only managed a weak “No.”

While it wasn't much Stalker's ears perked at the single coherent 'word'. His response was briefly interrupted by two dull thuds, and the vertical force pressing into him becoming substantially more perpendicular. As Tilla's ever-faltering frame collapsed to its knees, the vulpine creature supporting her was forced to awkwardly stumble their quadrupedal self sideways. Head and shoulders just barely cresting the back of her ebony crutch, the weight of the entire fennec's torso pressed heavily into Stalker's side.

“Tilla!” the male finally outright barked furiously, “I'm getting help. We're not that far from home; Farsight could have someone out here to get you in minutes.”. The attempted retort from the tan fox was both ignored and overshadowed by a flick of his left ear, and another bark. Of course, the male no longer spoke to the female trying her damnedest to tip him over. “Farsight,” the irate, yet sincerely worried male yapped to what seemed like nobody in particular. For the fennec, only being able to hear one side of the long-distance conversation made it all the more awkward.

“Took you long enough to answer” the male snorted to the tech-savvy vixen on the other end, “Look, Farsight, I need a medevac for Tilla.” Stalker fell into a low, mildly threatening growl as he continued with the runt, “Hold on for what?!” A growing agitation in his throat's rumbling quickly dissipated, “Oh... I didn't know you could just... tell so much about us like that.” Stalker ever so gently lowered himself to his belly, the fennec upon him sliding down in concert until at last he went from furry crutch to fluffy pillow. “So you'll send someone?” A brief 'erf' interrupted the growling, though it swiftly returned, “Thanks, and it's all because Aeris wouldn't let us heal before going out on this trek through the desert to kill one idiot.” With that, Stalker paused briefly, no doubt interpreting a reply from the talented vixen back home. Once he found his opening in Farsight's babbling, he ended the conversation with an abrupt “goodbye” bark, and a flick of his ear.

Still unable to crane his neck more than a few degrees to either side, Stalker's 'words' were merely growled to the Earth itself, “Alright, it's done.”. Air sucked and blown through teeth clenched in agony, Tilla forced already strained breaths between the gaps of her incisors: “why would you do that, idiot?”. To her pained whimpers, the male erfed with an erect state overtaking his ears in surprise, “Why? Because I'm not going to let you slow me down, and get yourself killed.”. His concern was met with an ungrateful fist pounding into the fur of his back.

“Dammit!” the vixen half growled, half hissed, the male's fur before her taking the full brunt of a spittle assault, “did you even once think what Aeris would do to either of us if we return so suddenly with no mark?”. Her shadowy ally gave little thought to what rolled over his tongue, “I fucking know what'll probably happen!”. Instantly, another flurry of saliva rocketed from the clamped jaws of the tan vixen, “Then why the hell would you send me back then?”. Stalker took no time raising his low growl into a gargled, bared fang roar, “Because you have a better chance of surviving Aeris than Ghost!”

-”How do you figure?!”

-”Because Aeris won't kill you!”

-”I beg to differ!”

-”Well I know the truth!”

-”What truth!?”

-”That Aeris hates us, but she needs us!”

The duo's volume rose faster than their lungs had the capacity to cope wit. Unfortunately, a brief stint of peace partially disturbed by frenzied gasps for oxygen, was all the reprieve given to the environment before the vocal inferno once more ignited. Like a match in a lake of gasoline, the arid open desert exploded with a deafening array of barks and yapping. To make matters worse, the injured Tilla sported the louder of two infuriated voices. As if every aggressive contraction of her diaphragm wasn't sending her careening towards inevitable shock via pain, the irate vulpine satellite parted her jaws with the reckless objective of shutting Stalker down.

-”You think she needs us?! Are you fucking stupid?”

-”No!” Stalker furiously barked, the sand beneath his muzzle quickly caching together as it soaked in his unchecked slobber.

-”Sounds like it! You know good and well Aeris has no qualms...” the fenenc clamped her teeth down as her nervous system plead with her to cease the self mutilation. Not surprisingly, she continued after but a second of telling her nerves to suck it up and quit crying. “Dammit, she has no qualms killing any of our group... except... except Ivan and... Isis.”

This argument was proving completely illogical and counter-productive in the recesses of Stalker's mind, however the adolescent -could not- lower his tone or convince himself to back down. He may have long discovered that life was about choices, but he was beginning to realize that he wasn't always completely in control of which path to trod down. Perhaps it was testosterone, pheromones, or just a seldom seen sense of overt competitiveness, but Stalker's foremost thoughts, and what actually escaped his throat, sharply contrasted one another.

“Well Isis is gone, and we haven't heard from Volt!”. Tilla shot back an unnerving bark that faded into a weakening growl, “And that somehow makes us any more favorable? Face it, if nothing else, she'll just have us replaced with some other foxes willing to lick her asshole without question!”. Stalker desperately wanted it to end, but his jaws continued to fill the desert with aggravated vibrations, “And maybe we do deserve to be replaced, but not murdered! Aeris knows this.”

The large eared fox rolled over upon her back. Basking in the sunlight, still clenching about her abdomen and chest, the female allowed the excessive heat and cosmic light to aid in masking the agony of her wounds. Even with her relaxed position however, her incessant yapping continued, “You say she knows, but how do -you- know she knows?”

Stalker's barking fit came to an almost adorable halt in the form of a head tilt and an 'erf'. “I...” he choked on an attempted bark to respond, forced to fall back on a stuttering growl, “I guess because... because she would have killed us back there.” A stroke of confidence struck him as his true thoughts, and those of his adolescent mind finally decided to share the task of operating his vocal cords, “Ire; you, me... she doesn't like us for sure, but if she truly wanted us dead then all of our heads would be her's already.”

Eyes gradually losing the war with the relaxation level of their fennec wielder, Tilla found herself ever so gently drifting off as her skull slowly sank into Stalker's back. Her once thunderous yapping rapidly found itself replaced with less aggressive strings of growling, “That might make sense, if she wasn't sending us out to go kill somebody she doesn't like. Maybe she's just letting us solve her problems first... or hoping Ghost solves two of her problems.” As if it wasn't clear enough, the girl added in her own cheeky yip before Stalker could reply, “You know, those two problems being us.”

Emerald eyes rolled at the unnecessary clarification, but the ebony furred male was more than happy to give a minute growl in response, “Maybe she is just hoping we both get offed in the process, but I'm certain she is more so hoping to get rid of Ghost. From what little I've seen and heard, I'd say he's the worst kind of traitor there is.”. Tilla tossed up a hand before promptly slapping it back down upon the perforated abdomen hidden beneath her uniform. What was going to be an impatient gesture proved far more painful than expected, though she managed to whimper out what she had intended to say, “And what pray tell makes him anymore traitorous than the rest of us?”

Stalker shrugged as best he could in his four-legged form whilst lying down. “I don't know really;” he began in a very mild growl, “probably because his loyalties to everything are questionable. He'd probably throw his own mate into a hail of enemy fire if it would save his ass. Wouldn't even tell her first.”. After but a brief pause, Tilla giggled, though that ceased the moment another twinge of pain weaved its way from her diaphragm to every other part of her torso. She was however, able to offer a snarky yip, “Stalker, every single one of us would be dead silent about using the other as a shield.”.

To that, Stalker merely erfed. True as it may be, he... well honestly it was just plain true. Forced to accept that fact about his own species, the ebony furred, virulent male finally relaxed himself. He need not force Tilla to struggle through further communication. His entire goal had merely been to defuse the unnecessary argument and calm her nerves for the inevitable: she was going to be leaving him alone to contend with a threat that challenged multiple opponents of far greater caliber than he could ever hope to be. Perhaps, in the far corners of his mind, locked away behind cobwebs and walls of dust, the male wanted to do something uncommon by vulpine standards: he wanted to be their shield, as opposed to the other way around. Not because Tilla was his mate, which she wasn't, and not because he had an undying loyalty to the mission, or to Aeris, or anyone for that matter. No, Stalker was merely being completely un-stereotypical for his kind. He was looking out for someone he considered a friend. In all reality, most of his species could never attest to even having such a thing, much less being willing to sacrifice for them.

Those thoughts warming his heart and mind, Stalker stared off to the horizon. Whilst he awaited the fennec's evacuation, he knew deep down that he could very well be taking his final breaths.

----


Two full hours had passed since Carmen first commenced speaking to General Tajo. After a slow adjustment, she was not sure if she'd learned not to get quite so offended, or if the General had merely established how to talk to her, able to pick and choose words for the sake of not igniting her easily confirmed case of PTSD. As proof to the latter, Tajo had not seen Carmen so much as fidget uncomfortably upon the bench where they both sat. Of course, it didn't take long for them both to cringe as their savior awoke.

Perhaps if Ghost had shown some common decency by moving out of sight, he wouldn’t have caused both humans to cover their mouths with a fist before casting their gazes anywhere but in the direction of the Arctic fox. It only took one wet snap, and a crimson spray for Tajo to know what was to come. Quadrupedal form still splayed out in a resting position, the fox's first order was to shrink his six-foot tall frame. While he could complain that any size-shift was painful, at least he had not grown to full height. Whether he simply knew he could carry both humans without becoming any larger, or if he did so for the sake of not becoming too large of a target during the escape was anyone's guess.

Unfortunately, the only guesses tumbling about in Tajo or Carmen's mind was how long it would be before the vulpine creature stopped being so audibly mutilated. Even if their eyes could shut and avert their gaze, no amount of finger based ear plugging could silence every moist squelch, crack and crunch of the shrinking alien. Thankfully, it was over after little more than ten or so seconds. At least, the primates both believe it to be over.

It's not as though Ghost was making an effort to repulse his human companions, but as they both opened their eyes to the sight of a bloody(ier) fox surrounded by small bits of meat and standing in in a thick puddle of his own life juices, they all but hurled their nonexistent breakfast from their stomachs to the wooden boards at their feet.

And to think... the fox wasn't even done.

At his foot high four legged state, the Arctic fox cracked his neck with a rotation in both directions. A vigorous shake of his limbs followed, each of them sending miniscule droplets of fresh blood out to further corrupt the land surrounding the battered vulpine fighter. It was that much that Carmen and Tajo could successfully view with minimal issue. The moment Ghost's ribs, elbows and pelvic bones all split out of his skin marked the perfect time for both humans to resume averted gazes and finger earplugs.

Thankfully Ghost was not quite as out of practice as Brackish, and in but six short seconds he was hunched over, even more bloodied, upon hands and knees in his bipedal form. Granted, it was not till the panting fox worked up the strength to bark at the humans that either of them dared to so much as peek.

It would be considered impolite for either Carmen or Tajo to comment on how Ghost appeared. The words that danced about in their minds held no positive connotations: weak, pitiful, defeated. Indeed, snowy white fur lay almost entirely matted down in every possible shade of red. His nose turned to the ichor-flooded grasses beneath him, the fox gasped and wheezed between pained coughs. As if he didn't seem close enough to keeling over, the otherworldly male's sputtering cough sent flurries of crimson hurtling from his maw, and occasionally delivered what looked to be an organ.

Amidst the ostentation of suffering, Tajo remained undisturbed, yet Carmen once more adopted a posture of waning fortitude. Whilst she cowered for the sake of her stomach, the General beside her rose to his boot-covered feet. Plodding along with heavy thuds of rubber soles to hardwood, the Earthling male proceeded with a slow and deliberate approach towards the bloody hunk of what barely constituted as a living organism.

By the time Tajo reached Ghost, the violent attempts at hacking up a lung had ceased. Even so, the gargled rushes of air pulsing in and out of his parted jaws were more than enough cause for alarm. Even if the General had seen his fair share of combat injuries, he couldn't attest to having ever walked through a pool of bodily fluids thick enough to seep into dirt, lay a quarter inch deep upon a dry porous floor, and sport a diameter threatening five feet. Even more unnerving was the fact that the creature from whence the pool stemmed was still mostly alive.

A single finger rose to adjust the tinted glasses upon the bridge of his nose. With a hesitant step, the man allowed his boot to sink into the coagulating ooze. Several chills ran up from his feet through his spine as the hard rubber of his soles splashed down, leaving a crimson imprint filled with ridges. A second step placed his entire footing upon the disturbingly scarred Earth. Only after adjusting to the mildly viscous fluids he stood upon did Tajo glance down to the fox and inquire, “Are you going to be alright?”

Clenching his fingers into the seemingly mutilated earth, Ghost erfed in response before remembering just what species he was talking to. “Yes” he replied, deep, sultry Spanish accent partially gargled. Replying with a shrug that betrayed the concern in his voice, Tajo uttered further inquiry, “Would you like help?”. A low growl preceded Ghost's seemingly irritated reply, “I just... just need water.”

The General's eyes gazed over the multiple lacerations slicing their way erratically over the fox's back, sides and legs. The sight left him pondering if water truly would be enough to keep the alien alive. “Hmm...” the man pondered aloud, “Perhaps you should come inside; you could use a better place to rest than the ground.”. The fox's blood soaked tail fell limp between his legs and upon the saturated earth. “I” Ghost stuttered, knowing he would not even have the strength to argue, let alone physically resist the human's will, “I think that would be best.”

Tajo once more adjusted his glasses before presenting an outstretched hand to the downed vulpine warrior. It was only then that Ghost even bothered to break his stranglehold stare with the soiled blades of grass. A gradual crane of his neck eventually allowed his eyes to meet the reflective black lenses that covered each occulus of the General. Jaws slack, red hues dominating every inch of his countenance, the arctic fox panted, wheezed, and struggled to so much as lift a single hand to embrace Tajo's. The moment he rose his five-fingered support, his frame wavered: slashed abs tightened and clenched, whilst the upper most portion of the pectoral on his raised arm suddenly surged forth with pain. The combination sent the black pads of his palm splashing back down into the crimson lake beneath him. A pained whine accompanied his failed attempt.

Thankfully for the fox, Tajo had suspected his body was too weary to do much of anything useful, and in a show of gratitude the human bent down, hoisted up the canid's arm and slung it over his shoulders. “Inform me if there is too much pain” he spoke dryly Standing up with the vulpine deadweight, the man forced his mind to accept the horrid feeling of bloodied fur against his arm and neck.

Ghost may have been able to stand with the human aid, but his less than five-foot frame forced the primate to hunch slightly. Of course, aside from that minor issue, the pair found 'walking' to the porch easy enough; a less disgusted Carmen even offered to hold the door open for them.

----

The late morning sun threatened to bake every organism that dared to call the desert its home. Yet, as his paws cracked and fissured the parched, rocky earth, Stalker placed the gaseous ball of light as far back in his thoughts as it truly was in space. The young fox had far more pressing matters to attend to, though he counted himself thankful that what he sought was in no way difficult to find.

He needed no tracking equipment to find the Arctic fox in question. Well versed in the art of stalking, locating and dispatching of any and all types of prey.

While they may have had different standards than the dogs and wolves they so despised, the Vulpine Elites also demanded that one 'earn' biological enhancements. While Jazz had mentioned her class-5 status, and had the fact relayed countless times by Ghost (and eventually Tilla), Stalker had not once concerned himself with the fact.

Memories of the fear and disgust he was shown by most of his peers threatened to overcome his thoughts. He stemmed the tide of yesteryear's issues, but only enough to let them play out in his eyes like a home movie with no sound.

The VE's always adored stealth; foxes simply weren't ever going to win in a battle of pure strength with their... fellow canids. Stalker's focus on tracking and stealth was often seen as a hindrance however. He'd never proven himself with a blade, and he was the worst shot with an arc-cross his instructors had ever seen. In truth, that meant that he very well should never have earned the right to be amongst the ranks of any force bearing the name 'elite'.

The male's paws found themselves trampling more shrubbery and pockets of grass now. In the near distance he could see the sand, rock and desert shrubs give way to fields of dry grass. The sky ahead looking to provide substantially more cloud cover than his current position.

“So even without their blades and their bows, they couldn't pass the final tests against me” the fox growled playfully to himself as memories continued to play out before him.

Indeed, as much as those in his class kicked and beat him; as much as they scorned his name and labeled him useless, Stalker defeated them in all competitive trials. Of course, it helped that all of the final trials were held in the completely untamed forest regions of Antaria's miniscule VE territory. While others would skulk about and attempt ambushes, virtually all of the trials had a tendency to end in swordplay. Stalker's however, ended with his opponent psychologically broken.

“What's the point of stalking if you don't let them know they're doomed from time to time?”

Had he not been in his feral state, Stalker would have smiled and cackled at an image from the past creeping into his mind's eye. A small fennec vixen sitting at the base of a tree. Her back to the base of its trunk, the large-eared female's knees were pulled to her chest. A twitch beset her eye, and both massive ears lay splayed out in distress upon her head.

“Such stupid skills I worked on, they said” Stalker growled playfully as he mocked his peers of times long gone. “Why size-shift silently? It's supposed to be for shows of force... they said.” The male's tail wagged slowly behind him as he remembered all of 'their' ridicule. “Why ask for augments to your olfactory senses? They're already keener than a dog's. His mockery continued as the grass beneath him grew ever more green, “Why go through so much effort to focus your hearing... your scent tracking...” his playful growl grew infuriated briefly, “Why not work on something useful, like your strength? Why do you only struggle for evasion?” He slowly reverted back to a lighter rumble as the mental image of the familiar fennec flashed within his mind.

Oh, Tilla” the fox barked softly, his tail kicking up quite the gale behind him, “you'll never know how much it pains me to know I almost made you fail. 'Psychologically unfit' they labeled you. Everything you'd been trained for suddenly became useless... how could you not break down? Your blade, stolen; your attempts at stealth, foiled like a kit's game; your belief that I truly would devour you, a credit to those six hours of constantly changing size, finding you and licking over you ever so slowly... over and over again.”

The image finally concluded with Tilla's forfeiture in a mixture of anger and fear. “Mostly fear, if my nose is accurate in its recollection... and it most always is.”

Images of 'the others' played throughout his head, all of them ending roughly the same. All of them aside from a malevolent little red fox vixen that made it her primary avocation to torture him throughout his schooling career. Her... “I'll never forget her taste: fear all over, sweat on her pads, a complete lack of anger and nothing but regret beyond that. A shame the trials are not to the death... I may have done more than partially digest her.” A feral grin did its best to part his lips, the fox's mind gradually wrapping up his in-flight movie.

“Right,” Stalker barked, a lewd expression having overtaken his visage, “time to get down to business.”

->>>>>>>>>>>
Yeaaa.. Collie too lazy to update his name.. so yea.. BRACKISH LIVES.

http://www.furaffinity.net/user/xbrackishx/
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foxelite
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Re: Miscommunication

Postby foxelite » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:15 pm

-------

It wasn't her house, it wasn't her house! Carmen frantically paced back and forth in the diminutive household turned refuge hospital. At least Carmen believed that hospital was the correct terminology. A niggling perception of her better judgment told her that the 'patient' in question was not human however, and perhaps she should call this a vet instead. Whatever the case, the looney bin was where she was headed if she didn't calm her nerves.

The linoleum floors of the kitchen were first to feel the wrath of Ghost and Tajo's revolting wake. A trail of streaked crimson paw prints lay parallel to equally colored boot prints. The trail continued over carpeted floor, leaving near permanent stains ground into the seemingly well kept cream colored material.

“Could you not at least take off your shoes!?” Carmen blared as she shadowed the pair through the cramped hallway. Not surprisingly, Ghost merely growled whilst Tajo ignored the woman's gripes in full. Not even the convulsive arm motions of the female did anything to gain either male's undivided attention. “Well fine!” she screamed with a stomp of her own shoe-sporting foot, “But the dog bathes first!” Whether she knew it or not, Carmen's decision to yell in Spanish saved Ghost the the trouble of correcting her misappropriated words when it came to his species.

The General came to a halt in the hall that barely stretched wide enough to accommodate him and the fox at his side. To his right was the bedroom Carmen had fallen asleep in. To his left was the full bathroom, complete with a shower and tub. Whether it was his pride coaxing him into forgoing the woman's wishes, or perhaps the knowledge that the fox desperately required rest, Tajo's slipping sunglasses pointed to the bedroom.

Immediately upon noticing the General's attention focused on the room that had nothing to bathe the vile creature, Carmen planted herself in the bedroom doorway with crossed arms and a soul-piercing glare. “Bath!” she spoke with irritation abound in her tone.

This was the part where both gentlemen rolled their eyes and succumbed to her whims. At least that's how the Mexican female believed events would transpire. The reality was much less... graceful.

Ghost could only understand a few of Carmen's word, but even in his bloodied state he was able to comprehend the situation. A tap upon the General's shoulder with a claw was enough to cause the man to glance at his crusty red visage. Pointed muzzle put to good use, the Arctic fox leaned the short distance to whisper in his ear. Whatever was said, Tajo nodded in full compliance to. The act did however, leave Carmen quirking a brow as the two males plotted against her less than two feet away.

“What are you two plan--” Carmen's inquiry was abruptly cut short as Ghost disengaged his helpful hold on the General and swiftly stumbled forward into the woman's flabbergasted embrace.

“Well,” Tajo began with a laugh and a shrug, “he said he'd either lay on the bed, or lay on you.” He could do no more than crack a Cheshire grin as Carmen's hands were tossed into the air to avoid so much as grazing her fingertips upon his filthy fur. Unfortunately that did nothing to stop the 4'8 vulpine male from falling into and hugging about the upper portion of the woman's torso. His cheek ever so conveniently flattened itself upon her pillowy, average bosom.

The sole female mouthed words that never quite achieved the status of being aurally perceivable. Saucer-sized eyes darting back and forth between the grinning man and the fox midget soiling the clothes she wore, but didn't own, Carmen frenziedly gyrated her fingers. What was she supposed to do? She couldn't just toss the half-dead vulpine male... not in all good conscious anyway. In all honesty, Ghost weighed almost as much as she did, and possibly a bit less. On the same token of how to react, the woman noted that Tajo had stepped back just out of range of possibly being slapped.

“Bajar de mi, lajar, bajar!” Carmen finally screamed. Ghost may not have known much Spanish, but pretending to know even less warmed his heart. The warm human body could yell and scream for him to get off all it wanted to; he'd already made up his mind to hug the human being into submission.

“Take the bed!” Carmen bellowed as her eyes began to mist and tear. Ignoring the fact that he was probably traumatizing her by slathering her in his crusty, blood soaked fur, Ghost offered his reply through a soft giggle, “Are you kidding? I can't walk over there.”. Of course the female knew it was a ploy, but honestly she just wanted to be rid of the vulpine nuisance.

As she took but two steps backward into the room, the tops of the fox's bruised and sliced feet drug painfully along the carpeted floor. While Ghost could have easily withstood the pain for just a few more seconds, why not yelp and whine in agony? He gave himself no time to ponder the statement and instead leaped before he looked.

The sudden outburst of agonized noises brought Carmen to a wide-eyed, half deafened halt. “What is wrong!?” she blared down to her passenger. Ghost silenced his cries of pain in favor of whimpering. Shifting his head so that his chin rested in the valley of the female's chest, the vulpine con offered a pitiful excuse, “Dragging my feet over the floor is reopening my wounds.”. Carmen, seeing where this was headed, promptly snarled back, “Well then maybe you should walk.”. The fox gave a swift, yet brief shake of his head, tone wreaking of weakness, “I've no more energy to walk. It is but a short distance; perhaps you could carry me?” On cue, Ghost's eyes widened, ears splayed cutely, jaws parted ever slightly whilst bringing forth the most imploring whimper ever conceived upon Earth.

No, she was stronger than this! That is at least what Carmen's mind tried its best to perpetuate. Those massive, warm brown eyes of his meant nothing as she gazed down into them!

Her arms began to quiver and fall.

Oculi of twinkling reflective auburn shades... so standard and plane!

The woman's trembling arms gradually began to level off, outstretched over the fox's shoulders.

The slight nervous tremble in his lower jaw: did he think she was stupid!?

A hug slowly began to form, her soft mocha skin gently down upon the stiff crusty fur of the naked male's back.

Whimpering; so much like a true youngling torn from its mother and forced into the presence of a predator: how pathetic.

She squeezed herself to him warmly, not minding at all when his padded fingers slid over her sides and gradually rose themselves over her shoulders. From there, he hugged about her neck.

So tired, battered and beaten, those ears lying down upon his skull sporting nicks and bite wounds. All of those wounds occurred for the sake of rescuing her: rescuing her from a mess he brought about on them himself.

Her eyes locked passionately with his own. Fingers sporting no fur gently caressed their way down the lacerated backside of her vulpine savior, not coming to a halt until the longest of her digits rested just above the fox's glutes.

His embrace was so warm, relaxing. The furious nature of his fights the night just past seemed like little more than fantasy. To think, this is what risked its life to save her, yet now clung to her in desperation. Perhaps she should just pay back a debt of gratitude.

Her conscious mind said nothing to try and prevent the inevitable this time. It just kicked back and watched as the female fell victim to one of the most powerful forces used upon humanity: the power of cute.

Against every single one of her better judgments, Carmen leaned down, brushing her cheek along the side of the male's muzzle as her palms slipped beneath his rear. Proving that he was indeed the lighter of the pair, she interlocked her fingers beneath his muscular cheeks and hoisted the shorter creature clean off of his feet. In response, Ghost whined whilst he lifted his legs, curling them about the female's waist to secure himself and make it easier to place him upon the mattress.

Tajo stifled a fit of laughter as he bore witness to the grandest display of guile he'd ever seen from any of the otherworldly creatures. “Bravo...” he muttered under his breath, “Bravo...”

---

Stalker paused as he crested a hill of luscious green grasses. Completely hidden in his cloaking field the adolescent fox analyzed the area. The hot dry breeze blowing over him left the male pondering how he could potentially have his nose tricked by a crafty target.

“Unlikely” he growled to himself as his eyes rolled over the multitude of low hills along an otherwise flat landscape. “Sure beats inhaling sand” he once more growled lowly. Indeed, it did appear that the earth in the area was much more hospitable to plant life. The fields of green, with patches of yellow and brown seemed to continue on for the foreseeable future. Of course, as he closed his eyes and took air into his nostrils, the male knew the distance he needed to travel was minimal.

His eyes gingerly shut whilst he sorted through the olfactory data his nasal inquiry acquired. #That's a lot of blood# the male thought to himself, #It's definitely vulpine.# Once more he inhaled, just to have two comparative samples. #Undoubtedly Ghosts's blood. He's injured... badly.#

Whilst his initial assessment seemed rather unimpressive from even a dog's point of view, the Class-3 VE with the strangest array of biological augments let his sniffer show off just a bit. As he began to plod forward towards his target, he took a tertiary sample of olfactory information.

#So he's in a house of wood... easy enough to just burn him out then.#

Stealth field briefly flashing off, the male allowed a weak bolt of electrical energy to tear from the tip of his ear to a patch of brown grass in front of him. As it burst into minimal flames, he confirmed that his collar had not been harmed when Aeris nearly snapped his neck.

#He's with two humans. Male and a female. That General guy and the female I'm not sure why we held captive in the first place. Both of them are fairly unharmed: light scratching and bruising. One of them helped Ghost, presumably after he downsized then bi-shifted.#

Stalker's thoughts caught on a peculiar detail, though only for a moment, “Apparently Ghost has wings. At least these are definitely feathers I'm picking up.” He pressed on, knowing to expect a house at any moment. #Neither human's armed, like it would matter. Ghost's tunic is still in the house somewhere... and so is his glove and bow. Doesn't matter though, he's not moving anything in his condition.#

Just seconds later the black fox stood atop the shallow hill overlooking the modest ranch home in scenic nowhere. A skinny metal windmill stood just behind the structure, no doubt being the only source of power for the lonesome homestead. It alone brought several ideas to mental fruition, but Stalker cast them aside. #I'll keep this one simple.#

---

The scene inside of the humble abode had died down considerably. After bringing Ghost a glass of water and even going so far as to tuck him in, Carmen retreated to the bathroom with another outfit to replace the gory mess of attire she'd initially taken.

Tajo fumbled about in the drawers and cabinets of the kitchen. Exactly what it was that he searched for was a mystery, but obviously it was not pots, pans, plates or anything that actually belonged in a kitchen. Whoever lived here had been well on their way to becoming an ascetic. The General began to come to that conclusion as he noted a total lack of a microwave, television, and home computer of any kind.

While all of that would undoubtedly leave him bored and hungry later in the day, the General had far more pressing concerns. After sifting through both bedrooms, the bathroom, living room and kitchen in full, Tajo flopped his rear on the living room couch in defeat. His shoulders slumped whilst he stared to the carpet below in sorrow. “I guess,” the man began solemnly in Spanish, “I guess they do not smoke or barbecue in this home.” Glasses resting on top of his head, the man's eyes were clearly beginning to mist over.

Tajo's thick, well-worked fingers made their way to his breast pocket, unlatching the sole button to retrieve what lay inside. A half-empty box of cigarettes rose out with his meaty digits. Flipping open the top revealed that 'half-empty' was an overstatement; three measly sticks lay within, and yet the man could not be angry at the number. Three cigarettes was three more than he could light and use currently.

He'd checked everywhere inside, yet no sources of ignition existed within the relic of a home. Not one lighter, tinder box, piece of flint, or even just two random rocks lying about. It was like sub-humans called this place home, or maybe it was why the owner had not shown up in the last twelve hours. Granted they may have returned to the sight of a giant, bloody, winged animal in their front yard and figured staying in a hotel for a few nights wasn't such a bad idea.

Whatever the case, the General cursed the owner's name before sliding his sticks of cancer and tar back into his pocket and closing it. How on Earth anyone lived without fire was beyond him. As he walked towards the front door through the kitchen, the man even noted the complete lack of a stove. Clearly the windmill out back was necessary only for lights, and likely the hot water. The continuing thought sickened him to no end.

The man flipped his sunglasses to the bridge of his nose and proceeded outside to the front porch to sulk in incombustible misery.

---

Carmen peaked her head back into the room with the fox. He was out cold in the now-filthy bed. She would have to get over her aversion to allowing the dirty, bloody, disgusting, shedding –. Well, he was lucky he was cute anyway.

Seeing him soil linens in a home she was basically borrowing irked her to no end. The moment the cunning rascal was back on his feet, she'd force him to bathe.

Leaving the door cracked, she proceeded to follow a trail of opened drawers and cabinets to find Tajo. She scoffed at the bloody trail of prints the males had left when they entered. To think that such a respected man like Tajo could have such little respect for well kept flooring. She did nothing about it however; the woman merely poked her head out of the front door to spy the General eying nothing but the continuing fields in the distance.

The woman offered a halfhearted “Are you okay?” to the man before even stepping foot outside. She received nothing but a frustrated groan in response. Carmen closed the door behind her and plopped down beside the disgruntled man. “What is wrong?” she inquired, looking to him earnestly even if he did not break from his thousand yard stare to nowhere. Eye-contact or not, at least Tajo sighed and responded to the question, “It is nothing. I simply can not find a lighter for cigarettes.”

Carmen nodded to the man's worries, only able to console him with hopes for the future, “Well maybe when he wakes we can try to find somewhere to buy things.”. The General narrowed his eyes behind his tinted frames as he gave clearance to a small hint of frustration in his voice, “And what money do you propose we use?”. Admittedly, the female was blown aback at less of the man's tone, and
more the fact that she had not even considered the lack of funds either of them sported. She had been a prisoner for all of this, and he had left a great deal of his belongings behind in the structure that threatened to collapse upon the both of them.

The woman slapped her back against the wall behind her, huffing in irritation. Slowly crossing her arms, Carmen made a grave verbal mistake. With a defeated sigh of her own, she bellowed several of the most accursed words to ever exist in an inquiry to the world at large... no matter what language they were spoken in.

“How could it get any worse!?”

Tajo glanced over to the woman, if only for a moment to inquire, “Do you feel that?”. Carmen narrowed her eyes and attempted to detect any changes, though she came up with a dumbfounded “No.”. The General cautiously began to stand, his nerves on edges as his voice began to hint at subtle suspicion, “The air; it has grown much more humid, and smells odd.”

Following the General's cue, Carmen rose from her seat, crossed arms partly unfolding to touch at her delicate forearms. The female glanced down as she felt over her limbs, soon concluding that her skin did indeed feel far less dry than it had moments ago. The temperature had also grown rather unbearable, though it did not seem to actually be substantially warmer. Confirming the General's suspicion, Carmen took but a single whiff of the now-moist air. “Ew” she muttered at the subtle odor that permeated her nostrils, “It smells like bad breath.”

Tajo blindly reached to his side, requesting the woman's hand physically and vocally, “I believe it is time we go back inside.”. Carmen glanced down upon the offered hand, the worry in her voice rising with each spoken word, “Why do you think that?”. The woman's question was answered by a shaky response from the man, “Because we are being watched.”. Still not having actually taken the hand, Carmen asked of the man, “Watched by whom?”. A mixture of irritation and fear rang from Tajo's throat as he simply snatched the female's hand and answered “By the ones who still hunt us.” With that the man bolted to the front entrance, clueless damsel in tow.

The wooden door slammed behind the pair of Mexican nationals with a violent crash that sent Carmen into an outright tizzy. “What was that about!?” the woman loudly demanded, only to be ignored entirely whilst Tajo set about closing every window in the one-story home. His frenzied escapade left Carmen tapping her foot angrily. Not only had she been answered in riddles outside, but now the General found it more appropriate to make the house as stuffy as possible whilst continuing to ignore her.

The sole female found herself trailing the man with her arms held out pleadingly, palms to the sky. Her volume had increased, but not to levels that were too irritating to tune out for the greater good. “Would you just tell me what you are suddenly so scared of!?” the woman plead, her tone toeing the line between desperate and just plain whiny. Granted, it did apparently get the job done.

Beads of sweat having formed on the older man's forehead, his sudden glare directly aimed at Carmen all but forced the woman's eyes clean out of their sockets. A stern jolt of his arm sent his finger pointing out of the last window he'd... secured. He had no intention of breaking the female down, but he could not help but raise his voice in anger brought on by fear, “What do you think is hunting us?! Is last night not still ingrained in your mind?! We just went over this recently; the threat from last night is not over!” Every word spoken coincided with a positive increment of his irritation and a horrified step back from the cowering woman.

“I- I” Carmen stuttered, her arms having adopted a defensive position in front of her tender visage. A sentence never quite formed, even in the deeper reaches of her mind. The woman nearly peaked out from behind her protective limbs and whimpered Thankfully, even Tajo had enough feeling in his heart to realize his explosion had been a tad too forceful. As such he stepped back and recomposed himself.

A flip of his glasses atop his short haired head preceded an apology.... and that, in turn, preceded several explicatives.

The entirety of the structure around them rattled and quaked as both humans were forced to toss their hands upon their ears. A deafening *snap* left the both of them reeling in agony. The aurical throbbing left communication down to pure body language. Unfortunately the two assaulted primates were still too busy stumbling about like drunken bees attempting to communicate.

Carmen turned her eyes to the General long enough to see him point and mouth something. She was never one to read lips and with but a confused shrug she snapped her head in the direction the man pointed.

They stood at the back of the hallway, furthest away from the kitchen at the other end. The kitchen however, is precisely where the General pointed, and it didn't take so much as a middle school degree to figure out why. The thick black cloud, its accompanying orange tendrils leaping from floor to furniture, spreading with little intent of ceasing.

“Fire...” both Carmen and General Tajo mouthed, though neither's hearing had returned.

Orange glow flickering in the pairs of primate eyes, the two humans stood completely flabbergasted at the sudden realization. That all changed however when Carmen found her wrist grasped tightly. Before he'd even comprehended just how she was moving, her surroundings had already transformed into the small guest/kid's bedroom at the back right of the hall.

If they wanted to relive their childhood, perhaps now was an excellent time to do so. An entire chest of toys sat at the foot of the single bed, and a book case adorned the wall just by the entrance to the room. None of that seemed to be the General's focus however; all the female-dragging man saw of importance was the curtained window on the left wall. It may have only been a small window, but it was just wide enough for even the broad shoulders of the male to fit through.

Tajo released Carmen's wrist, only to point sternly to the window. Making eye-contact as he gestured, the General made a rash assumption that she understood. Immediately following the extension of his arm, the man darted back past the reporter into the hallway. Almost just as quickly, he was halted by the woman gripping his forearm. A hint of rage in his eyes, the male glared daggers back at the woman.

Carmen's eyes wreaked of fear and uncertainty, yet even the almost puppy-like stare into Tajo's eyes made him question his objective. The man forcefully tore his arm from the woman's grasp, combining the very sane motion with an infuriated set of pointing jabs toward the window. A firm, yet oddly gentle push from his other hand sent the woman back pedaling into the bedroom.

In all honesty, Carmen didn't quite care for either male. That being said, the thought of being alone was a far less desirable scenario when compared to just contending with their company. Still, she found her eyes lingering upon the safest exit pointed out by the General. The least she could do was have it already open by the time he returned.

The likelihood of Tajo returning actually seemed quite high as he bolted into the bedroom containing their vulpine savior. The fire seemed mostly content with spreading up the dry studs in the walls rather than flaring up the entirety of the slightly moist floorboards. Considering it was a one-story structure, Tajo figured a rising fire would not mean much anytime soon. Unfortunately, it was the source of the fire he needed to concern himself with.

He found Ghost still tucked into his bedding. The reynard was undoubtedly wide awake however. His vulpine eyes stared widely up at the thin layer of black smoke spreading over the ceiling above him. Whether Ghost was going for humor or stark seriousness, Tajo couldn't tell when the fox opened his maw, “I'm just -assuming- you're here to whisk me out of this nightmare.”

The General made no motion to laugh or inquire of the fox's statement. Darting to his bedside, the man began untucking sheets with haste, all the while sweating and giving off the occasional cough. It was as he did this that the situation collapsed from a stably constructed tower, to a hastily constructed, two-legged stool with termite damage.

Another crack ensured that he would suffer permanent hearing loss, though that could be dealt with at a later date. A far more pressing matter, Tajo discovered, as that the gray cloud above his head began to grow much more rapidly. The ambient smoke lingering in the air of the combusted homestead also thickened considerably. All of these factors combined forced Tajo to fall to his knees and drag Ghost unpleasantly to the ground.

The fox fell upon the carpet in a discombobulated heap of splayed limbs and fur. Even if the move made sense, the Arctic fox could not help but whimper in pain.

“Sorry” Tajo offered to the crumpled heap of a fox. Ghost gave but another whimper, never translating his words into a human language but knowing good and well humanity probably interpreted every sad noise at face value. Had he actually spoken the flagrant words, he may have well been left to die on the floor.

Thankfully Tajo was none the wiser.

The General fell to all fours, the asphyxiating cloud now just above his prone frame. By the mercy of some divine being, the man's eyes affirmed that the fire had not blocked the bedroom doorway. Of course, he hadn't even begun to count his blessings when he crawled out of the threshold into the hall. The sight that awaited him was nothing short of a nightmare.

Heat blasted from both ends of the hall. The room once designated a safe exit now lay behind a veil of dancing orange and black. Every second that passed brought that veil closer to the doomed duo.

Ghost, who'd managed crawling all by himself, tugged at the sweating General's shirt for attention. The moment he had it, that very same hand was used to point weakly at the unscathed bathroom across the hall. As the human looked ready to question the suggestion, he was silenced by a rumble and the groan of wood above them. While he was still half deaf, and also wasn't an engineer of any sort, Tajo took one educated guess that the rafters overhead were feeling the brutal effects of the fire.

Into the bathroom the General hastily crawled, his exposed skin threatening to boil and blister from the radiant heat alone. The cooling sensation of untouched tile flooring brought a brief smile to his ash laden countenance. The bathroom bore no current signs of fire damage. The walls had a slight dark shade from intruding smoke, but that didn't seem the least bit dangerous in comparison to what crackled just outside the door.

The General quickly shuffled his stocky frame into the tiled room, not sparing a glance behind himself until he sat coughing at the edge of the bathtub on the far wall. The view back at the door consisted of the trailing Arctic fox letting off the occasional whine as his bloodied fur was lapped at by the more daring tendrils of fame. By the time he managed to pull his torso over the bathroom threshold, the tips in many patches of his fur coating held an unpleasantly charred appearance. Worse still, the pair of vulpine legs that breached the threshold were toasted to a flaky golden brown. Yet, as the fox growled in pain and anger, the only word he could come up with for the moment was an indifferent “Ow.”

Tajo dropped completely prone upon his belly, hacking up something violent. “So,” he began, smoker's voice made all the raspier in the smoke filled environment, “What do we do now?”. To that, Ghost pondered for just a moment, then offered a cheeky, out of place quip, “Well, my friend, now we wait just a little bit longer to die.”

Had it been anyone else they surely would have scolded the fox for such ill humor. Tajo however, had been contending with Ghost's sense of humor since the day he'd begun working side by side with him. With that in mind, it was not different to see why the man chuckled in such a dark scenario. Even adding to the fox's joking, the General opening his breast pocket to retrieve one of his three remaining cancer sticks With a smile adorning his ever darkening face, the man shrugged and began to climb back toward the door.

“Well,” Tajo snickered, oddly unphased by impending doom, “I guess I did ask for a light.” His eyes befell the flames that now licked at the unwavering tile. He knew good and well it would burn his fingers off to try and light the cigarette barehanded, but like the good tactician he was, General Tajo turned a working bathtub faucet and a towel into the perfect oven mitt.

Basking in his own glory, the human accepted a gently applauding clap from Ghost whilst taking in what would likely be his final puffs of victory.

---

Carmen... Carmen found herself in quite the predicament. Rational thought clearly had not been used in concocting a spur of the moment plan that thrust her from the scene of the arson into the arsonist responsible.

After fleeing through the open window the woman made it all of six steps away from the crackling structure before being forced down to her chest with an unstoppable force upon her back. It took a full ten seconds of screaming bloody murder for Carmen to cease her flailing and crane her head back. As much as the back of her mind knew what had pinned her, the visual confirmation sent her into a squealing tizzy. Her panic, the outward motions anyway, ceased as a bright flash and deafening snap of close proximity thunder erupted just overhead.

What... or whoever had her pinned wasn't currently looking down upon her like she'd imagined. No, the creature looming overhead stared back in the direction from whence she came. Even if the deafened woman hadn't seen just where the thunderous strike came from or went, he mind was more than capable of piecing together the obvious. Tajo and Ghost weren't behind her, nor would they be capable of following her. She simply had to accept the almost vomit-inducing realization that she was now alone. At least, she was alone with a 20ft tall black-furred man-eating monster that now slowly turned its gaze down upon her feeble frame.

Its large emerald eyes met her own brown occuli when she dared to crane her neck and stare up at it. It: it may have had its jaws shut, but Carmen knew what lay behind the ebony lips of the alien creature. Fangs over a foot long, teeth that were no doubt already giddy to gnash her entire body into an indistinct paste of reds and whites. Or was this one just like the last filthy mongrel, gulping without the sense to chew its food?

Whatever its intentions, the woman hissed and cursed at the beast in pure Spanish. She didn't care if it understood or not, she just wanted this nightmare to be over with.

Tears began to stream from her eyes as a concoction of anger and fear overtook what was left of her mind. Yet, as she flailed, wailed and spat at the oversized being, Carmen failed to take note of its sudden disinterest in her. It was not until a bass-filled rumble reverberated down the foreleg that held her and into her chest that she ceased to asses the odd situation.

Several seconds had already passed amongst her tantrum, many of them involving closed, teary eyes on her part. With that in mind it was no shock that Carmen silenced herself in surprise as she took note of where the monster's nose and eyes pointed. Their vision focused off over the horizon blocked by the shallow hills of green. The growl it emitted deepened, even after the woman was released from beneath its sweaty, dirt-laden pads.

Ignoring the stains on her back, and the stiffness in her body, Carmen climbed to her own two feet, eyes focusing in the same direction as the two story creature. Whatever had stolen its attention couldn't be good, not from the way its growling worsened, fangs visibly baring. Granted, as she contemplated fleeing, the reporter couldn't help but wonder just what had it so riled. She spotted absolutely nothing, but perhaps she merely did not have the proper vantage point to see over the hills.

A minute or so of the fox's pacing soon led to the enlightenment Carmen had been waiting for. Unfortunately, as that very same answer came charging over the hill and down toward the blazing home, the woman wished she could have staid in the dark forever.

---

“The hell does she want?” Stalker growled, his teeth and gums bared against his own will.

He'd no intention of hurting the lone human female that fled from the death trap he'd created. If anything he owed her for exposing an escape route, the likes of which he was certain no longer existed. Unfortunately, whatever lewd, crude and playful plans he had for his accidental aid were flushed away the moment he picked up -her- scent.

Paddling off of and away from the fleshy primate below, the shadowy fox lay his narrowed gaze upon the disturbance. His impeccable sense of smell had long identified the culprit, and his sight only confirmed the data from his nose : No Arc-cross, just wearing her vest and collar... and chain.”

Stalker stood perpendicular to the approaching disturbance, still a safe relative distance of a football field away. In a slightly less common attempt to communicate at distance, the male flexed his jaws and gave a high-pitched howl “Couldn't stand to see him die, I take it ?!”. Ignoring the human girl covering her ears in pain, Stalker watched his target tear through the open fields with blistering speed. Not a single attempt at responding was made.

His lips shut as he stared out to the approaching demon. “Fine,” the ebony furred fox half snorted half growled, “be that way...” he fell silent for but a second before finishing his thought, “And I'll just be mine.” With that, the male's body became a featureless vulpine form that seemed to devour every photon of light it contacted. Almost as quick, he vanished completely into thin air.

---

For all of her training to control her emotions and expressions on camera, Carmen now held the award for the most horrified face in human history. Jaw threatening to dislocate and tumble to the floor, eyes fully exposed to the elements with their lids peeled away, hands up to her ears in a useless effort to cease further damage to her auditory senses, and a blaring scream that even a banshee could tip its hat to: that was Carmen's total reaction to the surreal scenario unfolding around her.

Beings large enough to swallow her whole now disappeared without a trace. Others in an even larger size category rocketed toward her like a rocket powered freight train. Thunderous slams of their paws sent the surrounding Earth into a panicked array of convulsions that beat against the natural rhythm of the woman's inner organs, leaving her a stumbling, hyperventilating mess.

Not until the sole rational brain cell she had left bellowed did Carmen turn tail and flee in the opposite direction of the abomination headed her way. She made no motion to halt, even after breaking rule one of being chased: don't look back. Granted, what she saw did calm her nerves just a hair. The immense creature had ceased following her, stopping just short of the collapsing home. As much of a relief as it was, it wouldn't compare to looking back from miles-upon-miles away.

---------
Brackish
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Yeaaa.. Collie too lazy to update his name.. so yea.. BRACKISH LIVES.

http://www.furaffinity.net/user/xbrackishx/
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foxelite
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Re: Miscommunication

Postby foxelite » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:59 pm

It's going to be sad when I'm not just posting and proofreading. Granted, I think it will actually be nice to write for real again.



Miscommunication Pt. 40

Skulking about in silence and artificial shadow, Stalker padded just a few relative feet from where he once stood. The subtle change in position accounted for something he hadn't even established as fact. #Did she even notice me?# he asked himself for the third time since the horned monstrosity came into view. He knew he'd had the advantage of standing next to a burning building, partially concealing him in the waves of heat and smoke. That didn't excuse the fact that he was a 20ft red fox with black fur standing in the middle of an all green field however.

#No way she missed me# the male concluded within, #I'm certain she's just ignoring me# He let his invisible gaze analyze the hybrid creature's actions: having come to a complete stop before the flaming building, they immediately took to whining. #Not Ire's usual reaction to anything,# Stalker noted, ever so gradually closing the distance between himself and the droxess.

Keeping his eyes focused upon her, Stalker evaluated her scent and body language. #Desperation, like a wounded animal#, she continued to emit a high-pitched whine between bouts of rapid sniffing, #Anxiety, like she knows she's already too late.#

Ire's forepaw curiously tested a wall of the burning structure, the blazing vinyl and wood easily began to give at her most effortless of pushes and scratches.

Stalker's inner evaluation pressed on whilst the timber of the distraught homestead groaned under its own weight: #She doesn't get infinite chances; increased feelings of anxiety show that she knows that.# He loosely followed as she began circling the blob of orange beneath a pillar of black and gray. #Looking to pinpoint the little bastard. Her being fire resistant at least leaves her protected... yet she doesn't seem too concerned with her own safety; not if she's ignoring me.#

The male perked his ears as he listened for life within the cacophony of crackling, splintering and energetic roaring. What seemed to be a nigh impossible task for Ire was accomplished in but a second-and-a-half by Stalker. He knew where they were, what their vitals were like, and most importantly, that they were still breathing. Struggling, but still breathing. #Pfft, you're smelling but the timbers and ash aren't you?# Stalker mentally chided the whimpering hybrid from behind his protective cloak of invisibility, #Class-8, and all of the barriers broken were to what? Strength? Speed?# The fox snorted before allowing a low menacing bark to leave his throat, “Typical!” No sound made it beyond the male's own ears however.

Stalker settled down enough to keep himself from clawing at the dirt in frustration. If she was ignoring his presence, he wanted to keep it that way. Besides, seeing the feisty drixen so close to breaking down in sorrow was as rare a sight as they came. Even rarer was to see Ire without the city-raizing monster of an Arc-cross that usually adorned her back.

#Bet she wishes she had the bow... at least it had sonic attachments that could put out the fire#

As if responding to part of the male's thought, Ire ceased her frantic search to instead step back, pin her ears and literally scream/howl directly at the wooden structure.

#Of course she has sonic-tech on her at all times, you idiot...# Stalker berated himself, common sense slapping him across the cerebrum like an imaginary brick, #yeah, just like >you< and every other fox for a thousand miles!#

Whilst the male assaulted himself, Ire had clearly taken a gamble with her actions. An explosion of untranslatable sound rocketed from her parted jaws. Like a fan in a wind tunnel, her amplified howling blasted into the burning building. The smoke dissipated violently, a wall of hurricane force wind cutting a swathe clear through the obstructing cloud. The fires that burned inside and out quickly laid down and gave in to the gale force winds, bringing the hybrid closer to a happy ending. Much to her well known dismay however, a happy ending was not guaranteed.

Stalker watched intently as Ire threatened to finish the job for him. The irony would do his psyche well, and reporting back to Aeris may have been much more entertaining if his report ended with the drixen killing Ghost for him.

The timbers of the home had taken more than enough punishment, From being dwindled away by flames, smashed to splinters by massive paws and now exposed to winds they couldn't withstand in their most pristine condition. They did nothing but groan in protest for a second before allowing themselves to be taken.

Rusty nails peeled away from their long time homes, the planks they held following in suite. The charred shingles of the roof tore away and took flight in rapid succession. Immediately following, the A-roof moaned, too weak from fire to avoid peeling away in an array of explosive snaps, rafters twisting beyond their limit as the roof tumbled through the current. Without the roof, the wall nearest Ire took the brunt of her air powered assault, splintering at its ties to the foundation and toppling over akin to a structure made of Popsicle sticks. The walls within followed its lead, though the most destructive vocal assault ceased as the opposing wall toppled and flew.

Stalker stood rather unphased, simply analyzing the distraught home... though it now resembled more of a dirty concrete slab. Granted his eyes only scanned for one particular detail: the very same one that the drixen searched for in frantic desperation. Of course, a single inhale through his nose gave Stalker a multitude of information Ire could not hope to gain. # Under the wall, both barely breathing, both unconscious.”

Ire had at least picked up their scent, rapidly sniffing the toppled wall before gradually nosing it up and flipping it off of the two downed males. Though her senses were quite keen, at her full quadrupedal height of around 40ft, she was incapable of telling whether either body was alive. What brief spike of joy may have come to life in her was quickly dashed once she realized this.

#Again# Stalker muttered in the comfort of his own mind, #brute force gets one only so far. What happens when you actually need precision and intellect?#

The droxess had leaned her ears back, once more resorting to a whine. Swiveling the furry triangles upon his head to listen in on the mournful sound, Stalker noted an actual message from the horned creature: “Don't die.” It was almost enough for the male fox to want to record. Never had he seen Ire fall as limp and weak as she did now. Her nose fell to nuzzle the minute body of her lover, lapping at his motionless body as her whine transformed into a pitiful set of whimpers: “I told you we were bordering on outright treason; why didn't you stop? Why didn't I stop?”

Truth be told, Stalker had no idea Ire and Ghost were anywhere near as close as they were, a fact that the ever more depressed female drove home through closed eyes and a frenzied lapping over the male's motionless form.

“Wake up.... Wake up. Please, Ghost... Angel... Snowy... Snuggle fox. I understand why you wanted to do what you did, but I told you it would only bring us grief and sorrow.” Her entire frame slouched before lying completely upon the ground, curling about the unmoving creature she poured her unusually warm heart out to, “Now I am wanted for murders I did not commit. I am being stripped of the only position I have ever held as dear to my heart as being an accepted member of the Black Scale on Scalaria, though neither that, or being an accepted VE have anything on the position of being in a special place deep within your heart.”

Stalker began to fidget as Ire's depression threatened to overflow his nostrils. #Didn't think she had any emotions other than anger.#

“Please, do not leave me, Angel. I need you. What else do I have to live for? I'll surely be stripped of VE status if Aeris says a word, and I simply do not have the resources to return to Scalaria. You-- our plans and dreams for the future... what of those?” Stalker was almost ready to breath a sigh of relief in hearing the brokenhearted female take a break, only to growl as her whining and whimpering gave way to an outright pitiful howl.

“I always told you -never- when you asked about kits, but it was only out of selfishness. I want you for my own, but now what do I have to remember you by? I- I was so stupid... so thoughtless. Now I am to be left with nothing but memories.”

#Maybe I should put the old hag out of her misery# Stalker thought with a roll of his eyes that could never be seen; #Still, neither of the little bastards are dead... yet.# The ebony fox sighed in frustration, a low growl taking his thoughts to audible levels, though the sound made it only to his own ears, #I still have to kill him, but grandma ugly over here's kind of in the way.#

Whilst Ire continued to spiral further into depression, howling out regrets mostly centering on her lack of kits, the undetectable male behind her began to pace closer.

#I'm really not that sorry about this# he quipped in his own skull, though the thought was in relation to the drixen. A slow, monotonous lick of his unnaturally sharp fangs precluded a self-inquiry of devious proportions, #So, hybrid, do I just paralyze you... knock you unconscious... or do what Aeris might do to you anyway?# He mulled over the prospect of actually contacting the kitsune to ask what his plan of action should be, though every time her face so much as tried to manifest in his thoughts he felt the pain in his neck amplify. #Uhg, maybe I'll just settle on the paralysis, that way Aeris gets what she wants, and nothing more.#

Having made up his mind, Stalker hovered his parted jaws over the grieving female's back. Curled up as she was, Ire unwittingly made herself a bit harder of a target to bite cleanly. The ball of fur and scales twice his size drove the virulent male to find purchase upon the hybrid's muscular reptilian tail. After acquiring his target, a small patch of fur that looked to have minimal scales, Stalker all but unhinged his jaws before gradually descending towards his goal.

A master of stealth, the toxic vulpine inhaled deeply, holding it as not to blow his plans with a gust of hot moist air. Like a deadly mix of cobra and surgeon, his fangs slipped effortlessly through the fur and tissue of Ire's hide. Not once did the hybrid seem to flinch, even as Stalker worked several 'natural' muscles at the back of his maw. Venom glands: two of them, each at the rear most point at his top set of teeth. Each was internally segmented to hold different toxins, the likes of which he could voluntarily select.

Unlike most, Ire had nothing to fear from the potent venom from the fox's saliva alone: it had no effect on other foxes, though very few had been informed of its selective nature.

A single squirt was injected into the target site, the fox slipping his fangs out completely unnoticed.

#And right about now..# he mentally narrated as was normal for him, #you're going to take notice.#

Ire's eyes widened behind her slit visors, a sudden limpness in her tail causing her to snap to attention. Stalker merely continued to explain the ensuing carnage to nobody but himself.

-#One appendage dead in the water.#

The drixen motioned to stand, though only one of her hind legs seemed to receive the message, forcing her into an unstable three-legged position. She erfed in total confusion and shock.

-#Those lungs of yours may hold out... but#

Before Stalker had finished his thought, Ire's other hind leg fell, driving the vixen to her haunches, dangerously close to smothering General Tajo beneath her flank.

-#Now let's see: you upped your heart-rate when you perked up, so these should come all at...#

Ire's forelegs collapsed

-#Once.#

Knowing she was no longer a threat, Stalker padded around the female uncomfortably flopped upon her belly and chin like a spent dog. His quarry still lay unconscious just to the side of the drixen. His eyes fixed on Ghost, paws plodding over to him methodically with full intent to draw out the coming assassination. He may not have had a bloodlust that made him enjoy tormenting the innocent, but he would not begin to deny taking joy in destroying those he felt deserved it.

His stealth systems began to deactivate in the usual sequence, the male growling lowly down to the unconscious fox with disgust, “You've cheated death more than enough times since we've been here old timer. You should have died during the first encounters we had with rogue Mexicans using what we offered them against us. I saw you and Kage go at it, and even if it was a cheap shot he had a blade to your neck in the end.” He glanced over to Ire and snorted, “But of course this ugly -thing- jumps in and stops everything.”

Stalker rose his forepaw over the broken, charred, and unmoving body of Ghost. “Brute force isn't usually my thing” the ebony furred assassin reminded all parties present with a playful growl, “but exceptions to the rules are what make life so sweet.” His black-furred paw began to drop, ebony pads raining sand, grass and dirt down upon the Arctic fox below. “Unless of course, you being an exception means you're just a traitor!” Stalker forced a vicious array of barks, subsequently dropping his paw to end the troublesome pest once and for all.

---

The sickening squelch, the pops and cracks of a skeleton pushed to its limits, both Stalker and Ire knew it all too well. While Ire had likely experienced it far more than he, due to her more brutish nature, Stalker would never deny having just trampled a target or two when they weren't worth torturing anymore. Besides, sometimes that warm crunchy splatter was just the power trip he needed to temporarily blur out the reality of being a complete shrimp of a fox in the face of most. Much to his dismay however, this was not turning into a power trip so much as a sudden fall from power.

“But...” the toxic male strained to erf, growl or make much of any sound for that manner. What he did manage to force from his throat came out weak and garbled, “B-but... how?”

Much like Aeris, Ire stood twice Stalker's size, and it came with little to no effort to clasp her jaws completely around his neck. Contrary to the kitsune, she had no need to torture the kit though, and for the second time today Stalker found his body hoisted painfully by the neck and thrown without the slightest hint of meaningful resistance. Luckily Ire was 'nice' enough to hurl him sideways instead of straight down. But, to his further dismay, his soft, light frame flew roughly six relative feet, crashing into and sliding on top of the decimated remains of the home that once stood.

His fur did a decidedly superior job in protecting him from the shattered glass and splintered wood as opposed to the two sets of teeth Ire had clamped down upon his neck with. It did nothing to ease the pain from the wet crack: the one that undoubtedly came from his spine and neck musculature taking its second beating in less than two hours.

Whilst he whined and growled in agony Ire set about surveying her downed lover. She did not humor Stalker with an answer to how she stood upon all four legs after receiving a dose of paralyzing venom that should have had even her down for at least an hour. Only after nuzzling at the limp body she assumed wasn't dead did she even snarl in his direction, “I assume you are still going to try to kill him?”. Still sorting his way through what was hurt, and what was likely broken, Stalker whined back a pitiful, “Well it's what I'm supposed to be doing isn't it?”. Ire barked back an ominous, “Yes.”. To that, Stalker retorted with an annoyed growl of “Then that's what I'm going to do.”

Ire's gaze narrowed to near slits behind her visors, crimson eyes behind translucent red that only amplified the hybrid's name. Her body twisted to face the younger creature in full. “Perhaps” she growled with a bared fang, “you would reconsider now that you may actually have to fight me... as opposed to trying to merely sabotage my means of locomotion.”. The jab at the male's tactics were enough to cause him to stand shakily upon his legs. His neck screamed in submission, and falling for Ire's bait to fight her head on was a death sentence.

A response was slow in coming, so slow in fact that Ire gave up waiting on the battered male in favor of snarling a demeaning, “Go home!”. Surprisingly, Stalker's head snapped from viewing the ruined earth to making wide unwavering eye-contact with the drixen. In a fit of aggressive barks, he half reminisced, half verbally assaulted: “No! I'm so fucking sick of hearing that!” Ire recoiled slightly at the outburst, but otherwise allowed the adolescent to vent, “They told me that all throughout training, throughout graduation, throughout my career!” Ire rolled her eyes at the one-and-a-half year VE in front of her daring to call his paltry amount of service a 'career'. Still, she allowed his fit to continue, “I got it everyday from Isis since we got here. I got it, and electrocution, from Ivan every time I so much as looked at him! Even Tilla said it!”

This wasn't exactly the first time Ire had contended with an individual being angrier than herself, and in a brash move she turned away. Going about nuzzling Ghost and thinking how best to transport him and Tajo , the drixen all but completely ignored the yapping kit.

“Ignore me then!” Stalker howled loudly, “Everyone else does... everyone else always does!” the adolescent howled once more, though his excessively high pitch made it almost impossible to take seriously. The rise onto his hind legs before stamping his forepaws back upon the ground only served to further how adorable he looked whilst throwing a tantrum. Confirming that it was just a hissy fit, the smaller vulpine creature's howls crackled with gargled whining, “You're just as bad as the rest of them; you want to see my tail between my legs as I run away!”

Ire had her nose dipped to the ground preparing to try carrying General Tajo in between her jaws first; if it turned out to be a bad idea she could still at least sleep at night if he was killed. As Stalker irritatingly stated what he thought she wanted, she felt total obligation to correct him in a casual growl, “No, kit, I do not want you to flee with your tail between your legs, I want you to calm down so-” - “So you can get your little mate out of here safely!” Stalker abruptly sliced through Ire's growling with a spittle flinging set of barks. Though to his surprise, she remained calm with a quiet affirming yip.

The black furred fox settled down to a closed mouth growl, staring to the female in near-silence for several seconds. Once the brief peace faded his fangs slowly crept back into view, soft growl holding an ominous tone to it, “Alright, so you just want them safe, and I just want them dead.”. Ire nosed at Tajo as she halfheartedly growled back, “A difference in wants and needs. Two clashing opinions: the start of an irrational fight to some; the beginning of a primitive debate for those of us who know what problems violence does solve.”. Whether Stalker heard any of what Ire said was a mystery, for his retort came in the form of a shadowy veil and subsequent invisibility.

Ire's ears perked as she stepped defensively over Ghost, and haphazardly Tajo. Lowering herself, her ears pinned back, lips curling to reveal her lethal fangs. “Nothing” she snarled to herself. She was immediately rewarded with Stalker's voice just inches from her ear, “What's wrong? Can't see me through the visors?.” The drixen swiped at the disturbance with a forepaw, only to come up with air.

“Not even close” the low growl of the male rang in her opposing ear, prompting yet another fruitless swipe. The rumble in her throat began to grow at an alarming rate, the female rapidly losing to her short fuse. Barely remembering to form words, she angrily beckoned the young one, “Why do you play these games?!”. Her answer came in the form of a playful yip just in front of her, “Oh it wasn't meant to be a game.”

Ire's gaze sharpened to near slits, her attention drawn to a familiar silhouette. Not completely unveiling himself, Stalker's featureless frame stood staring back at the hybrid. He was not to her immediate left, right or even in front of her. No, the wily kit stood upon the hill overlooking the leftovers of the home.

“But If you really want to...” the adolescent's playful growl rattled her ears as if he were not hundreds of feet away, “let's play a game.” The voice suddenly projected only in her left ear, “It's my choice, and I choose my personal favorite.”. Ire took the opportunity of knowing his distance to grab both Tajo and Ghost gently between her jaws.

“And you're already losing” the fox playfully barked, How are you going to make it anywhere knowing I could walk up on you undetected and slam those chompers shut? Unless, secretly you do just want to taste your mate's blood rolling over your tongue. I wouldn't put it past the likes of you.”

The hybrid slid the pair out from her jaws, only to be jokingly grilled further by Stalker, “Oh, so now you'll just leave them down there for me to smear into a bloody stain? You're too kind!”. The drixen's eyes closed as she growled fiercely in rage, her now empty jaws clamping together tightly, trembling as her upper and lower jaw attempted to collapse right through one another. Her heart began to race as the younger fox confidently berated her from afar. She couldn't catch him, not while he was capable of becoming completely invisible to her. Granted, that thought prompted her to try her own stealth.

“Cute” Stalker's voice yipped into the disappearing ear of the hybrid, “But I've got every frequency code algorithm Aeris permits us to use; plus several more she doesn't.” He melted off into an ominous growl, “Basically, I still see you, but you'll never see me.”

Ire shook her head slowly whilst her nose pointed down towards the saliva slicked bodies of those she currently tried to protect. #He's smart,# she thought, #probably smarter than me on many accounts. But still, he's young and running on hormones and emotions.# The drixen inwardly giggled, her feral form incapable of doing so out loud, #Kind of like me right now, but probably less aware of it.# She began to weigh her options whilst her 'assailant' seemed content with babbling nonsense, #Honestly, he knows what to do no matter what I try.# Her jaws gradually began to part, leaning down to once more scoop up her cargo, #But who's to say he'll catch me in time to do so?”

That train of thought ended with the female situating her edible goods upon her tongue, just out of harm from her teeth. Though they were still inches from one wrong movement of her jaws swiftly impaling them, Ire was confident in her abilities; so much in fact, that the hybrid turned tail and fled. She simply knew the little one could never keep up with her.

“I like chases” the hybrid heard rattle in her ears, “but where do you think you're going? Aeris will kill him if you bring him back, and well... nobody else will take care of him.” Ire attempted to ignore the voice as she thundered back in the direction of their base. She knew he was right, yet now was not the time to face facts. Now was the time to keep herself sane. Stalker truly was getting on her last nerve.

-----

----

Life had been better back when his days consisted of chasing vixens, bitches and the occasional human female while ducking every summoning party that hunted him down to serve his military duty. Well... ducking >almost< every summoning party. He wouldn't be splayed out and broken on a hard sand floor if he'd avoided all of them.

Ever since his confusing, brutal encounter with Jazz, Brackish could rattle off several more injuries caused by those who had roamed the halls over the past hour or so. A surly little bipedal vixen had come down the hall from in front of him, grumbling something about her mate having to finish himself now. She'd originally left the collie inwardly snickering. That changed the moment she stopped beside him, looked down, yapped something angrily about coyotes, and proceeded to kick him swiftly in the side.

Following the awkward incident, he was kicked in the face by what he assumed was the earlier vixen's mate. Though he whimpered at the impact, the thought that the male fox 'should have finished' brought enough humorous relief to ease the coy-dog's pain. That pain later returned in the form of a highly irritated male red fox that looked to have been through hell.

Charred and browned from head to toe, the irate vulpine looked younger in comparison to the two before. He also seemed deftly silent, not uttering so much as a growl before baring his teeth and kicking the helpless canine. Again... and again... and again.

Brackish wheezed in further agony as a black-furred heel drove down into his back, the collie certain his spine should have broken after the first four. This had been going on for the past two minutes. First the stomps to the forehead, then more kicks in the side, and finally his new assailant had settled on trying to drive their heel into the ground. Apparently there was a border collie in the way though.

Driving every ounce of will into his burning lungs, Brackish plead with the violent youth, only having a moment between strikes, “What is -wrong- with you?!” The pitiable whimper earned the collie no more than a swift heel to the top of his muzzle with no verbal explanation. Yet, jamming the coy-dog's muzzle shut against the ground didn't stop him from whining, “Would you cut it out?!”

Much to the collie's blurry surprise he was finally answered, yet even if his vision and hearing were fading he could tell something was amiss.

“Yes,” a voice barked back in response, though the direction seemed all wrong. “Yes, he -will- knock it off” the voice growled, and though it may have sounded like any other ominous growl to the human ear, Brackish instantly picked it up as feminine. That didn't bring him the slightest bit of joy, but it did wonders to halt the unpleasant battering of his frame.

“That's a good fox” the female let rumble from behind shut lips, “Now stop looking like you want to fight me.” Brackish was far too beaten to lift his head, though his scrambled eyesight and hearing gave him enough of an inclination as to what transpired. That initially consisted of just having his muzzle released from beneath vulpine soles. Then there was the familiar sound of a blade coming unsheathed: it was a notably short noise, suggesting a very short blade.

“Okay,” the female voice Brackish assumed was the Hunter erfed confoundedly, “you drew daggers... because I told you to stop kicking the mutt?” There was no response, though the border collie caught movement from the vulpine out of the corner of his eye. It was too dark, and his vision too injured for the coy-dog to make out specifics, but an obvious scuffle began to take place.

Through sound alone the border collie picked out two swift swipes that were too closely spaced to have been from a single weapon. Both attacks made contact with nothing but air. They were followed by what seemed like flesh to flesh contact, and just as quickly that gave way to more shuffling of feet. Surprisingly that brought about an abrupt climax consisting of two small thuds followed by a significantly larger one.

The Hunter's voice came about in an erf which fell off into a whine “Oh dear, I think... I think I broke him.”. It was impossible for Brackish to confirm much of anything from the position, though with some clever eye movement he did manage to see a body upon the ground. There was no doubt in his mind that the unmoving figure crumpled upon the floor was both vulpine and still breathing, but a complete lack of other motion said a great deal about their health.

The border collie whimpered, “The hell'd you do that for? Now they'll probably kill you and me.”. The Hunter snickered at the motion, though her eyes remained fixated on the unconscious body at her paws. Eerily enough, she growled in a playful tone, “Kill me and you? Pfft, maybe you. You're the coyote here;” she paused to plant a footpaw upon the defeated fox's muzzle, turning his head sideways whilst she pressed down and continued, “I could snap the kit's neck and still get you killed.”. In utter shock, Brackish perked his ears and erfed, “Are you even the same dog that tried to save me?”

Jazz kept her foot planted upon the vulnerable vulpine muzzle, though spared the shattered collie a glance. A devious grin and shrug preceded her unnervingly casual rumble of a reply “The bitch who found you that night, only to have to put you back in a cage.” Her paw rolled over the KO'd fox's snout, parting their jaws as she went on, “I had to put you back in a cage and go about showing up later to retrieve you in some crazy unplanned assault that almost got me -and- you killed.”. Brackish quickly barked an interjection, “But it didn't get either of us killed!”. Jazz immediately snarled at the disruptive dog, “But it got us in this mess!”

If he could have flinched, perhaps he might have, though he instead had to settle for flattened ears and a whimper, “Yea, but I'm sure this is easier to get out of than you think it is.”. Once more Jazz snapped, “You're missing the point! If I'd have just done it right the first time I'd be back home already!”. A perplexed erf preceded the collie's nervous inquiry “Wait, what are you referring to as the 'right' way? You were handling the situation quite peacefully from what I remember.”. That brought about an instant response from the irate Hunter, “I know. That >was< the problem.”

If he wasn't having trouble understanding the situation before, the border collie was certainly locked in an infinite loop of confusion now. Struggling between an erf, a growl and a whine, the dog tried his best to sort through the insanity: “Wait, I-I-. Didn't you -want- that all to go over peacefully?”. The Hunter nodded, only to further dig the coydog's pit of confoundment with her retort, “Yeah, foolishly enough, I did. Should have just squashed them all and grabbed you.”. Brackish once more shot back a perplexed, “And you're sure you're the same bitch!?”

“Yes!” Jazz snarled, “Why do you keep asking me that!?”. The collie found no hindrance in explaining himself, “Maybe it's because the only other time I saw you you seemed like a borderline pacifist.”. It was impossible for Brackish to see it, but the Hunter's eyes rolled before she even bothered to defend herself, “Oh please, you saw how that worked out. Besides, plenty of individuals wear masks from time to time; you're just seeing me without mine.”. Once more the border collie snapped back softly without pause, “That may be true, but that doesn't make what's under the mask any less ugly.”

There was a moment of silence, and Brackish was almost certain he heard the female recoil and whimper before rapidly transforming into an aggressive junkyard dog, “What the hell'd you just say?!”. Considering he had come to terms with death the last four times it had rapped on his doorstep, Brackish made no effort to filter what rattled out of his throat, “I said what's under the mask isn't necessarily going to be pretty;” before Jazz had whirled about to face him, the collie jammed another paw into his grave, “basically, I'm saying this isn't a good look for you at all.”. The jaws snapping and teeth baring the Hunter began to reply with probably should have forced him to shrivel up and go quiet, but clearly the border collie had no concern for her threats.

“You! You-” Jazz sputtered, her speech flipping wildly between her native tongue and English, the two of which didn't even follow the same grammatical rules, “You stupid you dog! Shut, dog... mouth-”. She continued, but Brackish was immediately reminded of his first conversations with Marcus. That face, coupled with the incomprehensible slurring of -two- languages left the coy-dog to sit and listen without even bothering to understand the female's tirade. “Scalies and fucking shit, dogs! No one... drugs--”. By three seconds in, Brackish stopped listening entirely.

The flurry of nonsensical rage culminated in the last thing the collie wanted to occur: a question.

“Do you see where I'm coming from!?”

His eyes had already closed, though with a perk of his ears he growled out a halfhearted response, “Of course.”. Jazz quickly proved she wasn't all brawn, snarling softly to the male, “You weren't even listening.”. Brackish yipped a weak, cheeky “nope” in reply. That may have netted him a kick to the muzzle, but he frankly couldn't be arsed to care about pain anymore.

“You have a death wish, don't you?” the Hunter half erfed, half growled. She received no answer, prompting her to repeat herself in a tone suggesting the next step was curb stomping the mutt into oblivion. Whether that was even capable of rousing Brackish soon came into question, as the collie did speak up, but it wasn't even remotely rushed: “I don't have a death wish, but apparently death's trying its damnedest to get a date with me... and I can't decide which one of you bitches is crazier.”

It may not have been the response she was expecting, but her reaction was also nothing in the league that Brackish expected either. Losing all sense of aggression, the Hunter broke into a disheartened whine, “You think I'm crazy!?” Her tail drooped in genuine sorrow whilst her whine grew higher in pitch, “Everyone thinks I'm crazy!?” she finished with a whimper, “It doesn't matter how I am around them.”

A sniff of dry air and loose sand sparked the border collie's attention far more than the emotional roller coaster happening in front of him. #Salt?# the male inquired inwardly, #that's probably going to explain a lot here.# Completely cutting off the sudden pity party, Brackish erfed, “Just out of curiosity, do you happen to be part human?”. Jazz's sulking was abruptly halted in a surprised gasp. From angry to sad, and now terrified, the Hunter whimpered back a soft question of her own. “What makes you think that?”

It took Brackish all of half a second to vocally prove that his nose was worth more than his bite, “Easy” the collie barked, “you're exceptionally emotional, and I smell salt.”. Jazz growled weakly to combat the collie, “What's your point, mutt?”. He responded swiftly, “My point is... you're crying.”. The Hunter instantly shot back a whimper of “There's sand in my eyes!”. The collie shot that down gracefully with but a cheeky bark, “Nope, that's all emotional tears.”

An unpleasant silence wafted over the halls as Jazz stood dumbfounded over the unconscious fox. Her ancestry had been deciphered by >two< individuals today, and she usually prided herself on keeping it a secret. Jaw slack in disbelief, she stuttered in plain English, “I-I, no.” Her body began to crumple, first falling to her knees and soon flopping upon her chest, arms limp down her sides. Having made no motion to face the collie, her head now lay upon the belly of the unmoving vulpine body. “I guess I really am terrible at hiding it” she muttered woefully, “When I'm like this anyway.”

Brackish couldn't tell if he was being baited or not with the Hunter's last statement, but he erfed a half curious “Like what?” regardless. Apparently he'd fallen for the worst kind of bait, as Jazz answered with no more than an irritating “Don't worry about it.”. Following that, the border collie wished calling the female a bitch wouldn't have just been proper terminology. For the sake of venting however, the male at least snarled in frustration.

The Hunter sighed, an apology for leading the canine into a dead end may have crossed her mind, but she never vocalized it. Instead the distraught female sought to change the subject, “So... I've been thinking.” The collie didn't seem interested in asking what she wanted. Jazz continued anyway, “I've been stuck in this hole for a good few hours, and nobody's brought me anything to eat.”

-”I haven’t eaten in like two or three days” the collie growled plainly.”

-”Yeah,” Jazz whined, “but you're just a useless Class-2 coy-dog; I'm a Class-5 Hunter with a perfect success record and a metabolism like a quarter-titan.”

-”Ouch” Brackish whimpered to the slight on his person.”

-”Anyway, I'm sick of listening to my stomach, and I'm sick of being left in the dark.”

-”So you're going to give in and eat me?” the collie growled.

-”No,” Jazz continued to whine solemnly, “I have this fox here for that.”

-”Disgusting;” Brackish snarled, get to the point.”

The border collie heard the female snap her teeth angrily though she immediately fell back into whining. “Have you ever tried one of them?” She didn't wait for a response, and her whine gradually altered into a gentle growl, “No, no you haven't. You've probably been hiding with your pack of coyote idiots most of your life. The only good thing I ever heard about you was your ability to live with coyotes and still manage to come out not attacking foxes on site.”

It was too dark to see, but Brackish rolled his eyes, “That's only somewhat true,” he rumbled weakly, “I served one of my military terms before this one. Just a bunch of boring guard duties and having a non-lethal fight with a pack of Scalies.” He paused, eyes closing before he concluded his piece with a whimper, “Lost a hand to a dragon's breath though. I guess the one good thing about serving your term is almost always having a medic around.

Jazz snorted, her finger claws slowly dragging down the apparel on the fox's chest. The black cloth-like material tore surprisingly smoothly at her razor sharp finger tips. Whilst she went about the idle motion, her growl grew ever more aggressive, “Lost a hand? Had a medic around? Oh yeah, that's bad. Now try being on Scalaria for five years! A quarter of my life spent being pretty much a pet and a slave for a bunch of giant scaly bastards while being half crushed under their stupid planet's stupid gravity!”

Brackish replied with but an “ouch” before being cut off by the vocally rampaging female. Jazz's claws began to trace another line through the fox's clothing whilst she went on, “That entire planet is hell. All of them are... are...” A minor pause preceded her transformation into whimpering. “No” her ears fell back as all signs of anger vanished, “They're not all bad. Some of them were nice: nice being they just treated us like slaves instead of their personal stress relief.” Her whine lowered significantly, “You ever seen what an unmated T-rex is like during their season?” The coy-dog didn't even begin to answer, but Jazz gladly went on “It's ugly...” she trailed off into the silence, though even Brackish could tell she wanted to go on.

Having all but passed out from fatigue, depression, and lack of any restful sleep, Brackish's throat rumbled at an almost inaudible tone, “Well I'd assume it sucked, but what does that have to do with your sick habit of eating your kin?”. Jazz's claws began to slice at the fur upon the reynard's chest, never motioning to draw blood. She was clearly collecting her thoughts when the border collie beckoned her to attention, “Well, bitch? Let's hear it.”

A feminine sigh reached the coy-dog's ears, soon broken up by the Hunter sniffling wetly. Even if he rolled his eyes at the thought of her crying once more, Brackish listened intently once Jazz piped up and spoke in English: “They... they didn't feed us enough. Not for what we went through – what >I< went through.” Her voice began to crack as she went on, her eyes staining the fox's belly with tears, “When they... everyone found out I was part human I took so much shit from my peers and my captors. I can't change into my four-legged self, so I didn't fit in the pens everyone else was in. Their pens weren't bad mind you, but just because I had to stay in one of the guard's quarters I was seen as being 'special'. I can't blame them for that, everyone had every right to find at least something to direct their hatred at. Besides, they didn't -all- act like they hated me all of the time.”

The Hunter rolled over on her back, staring up to the virtually unlit ceiling. Her moping and reminiscing rolled on, “My captors though, they were different. I was 6 foot 2, female, soft, and furry. You can imagine how I spent most of my early nights till those bastards went to sleep. Hell, some of them just made me... made me stay in human form. I couldn't tell if I was being raped or murdered on those nights. There was always too much blood to tell if I'd live. Always.”

Brackish gave but a cute yawn followed by a whimper; “Get to the cannibal part already.”

Jazz growled but obliged, “Fine. Scalaria wasn't all bad. Not physically anyway. Doing menial labor and maintenance on their equipment was difficult under their insane gravity, but thanks to having just been pushed to class-4 for strength and endurance meant I was putting on muscle from the get go.” She sighed, her voice gradually began to wreak with regret, “It also meant I was getting just outright voracious. It was painful at first, and though they didn't hesitate to use me, my captors were usually concerned with my health.”. The coy-dog couldn't help but interject, “I'm sure they were. Wouldn't want their cuddle toy wasting away now would they?”. Jazz once more ignored him, though several horrific dog-murder scenes did flash through her mind.

After a brief silence following the collie's interruption, the Hunter picked back up. “They cared enough to ask what was wrong with me, and when I explained my hunger issues they said they only gave out the rations they were supposed to. If I wanted anything else, I'd have to hunt it down myself.” Her eyes roamed over the unchanging sands of the ceiling, longing to do anything but finish her thoughts. Much to her dismay, her mind refused to just let it go, and she quickly forced herself to burst into a sobbing fit as she finished, “I couldn't even -think- about trying to take a bite out of one of them! I thought I could just tough it out, but then... then-” The female sniffled something fierce, seemingly ceasing on purpose.

Brackish was having none of it. He may have been in no position to make demands, but rarely did he ever accept whatever his position granted him. “Dammit, female! Finish it up already!” the collie snarled weakly in frustration.

Jazz whimpered as if she weren't currently the only individual in the hallway that was capable of actually making anyone do anything. Breaking down completely to the collie's whims, the Hunter wailed “They brought me food the next night. After all of that, they looked like they were taking pity on me, right up until I leaned in and smelled the hunk of dripping meat they tossed my way.”

-”Dog?” Brackish inquired.

-”No. It was a red fox that simply didn't make it on the planet. Rather than just toss his corpse to some feral beasts, or bury the body they decided to eat the bastard.”

-”Scalies aren't even remotely related to us” the collie growled, “at least I can let them eating an Antarion slide. You didn't have to take part in it though.”

-”I didn't!” Jazz screamed, voice crackling madly, gargled by mucous and saliva, “Not immediately anyway. It took hours of staring at the same blood soaked leg for a mixture of its scent, my aching stomach, sore muscles and just plain curiosity to finally get the better of me.”

-”Hours? Oh yeah, I'm sure it was so painful starving for a few hours.” the collie growled with clear contempt, “You should have had greater willpower--”

Brackish quickly found his eyes opened and world filled with stars. The Hunter had used her limited mobility while prone to drive her heel down into the insulting border collie's skull. He clearly heard the bones upon his head crack under the force, and his hearing barely picked up the Hunter's screaming through the fog and ringing in his ears.

“I don't need you to tell me about willpower! I don't need anything from any dumb dog! It's comments like that that turned me into this!” Brackish could not inquire about any of Jazz's rant, his body too shocked by the blow to the cranium. In his silence the Hunter continued to yell in a terrifying mixture of sorrow and rage, “It was dogs that pointed out the vulpine blood on my breath! It was dogs that ridiculed me just like you! Foxes.... the foxes just looked at me weirdly and kept their distance. One... one even understood where I was coming from.”

Still, Brackish was reduced to a listen-only position whilst Jazz's somber tone began to overcome the anger once more, “One fox made everything alright. He made me feel like I was still at least liked by a few. Every dog... every wolf: they all just ridiculed me further for befriending a fox.” Her tone fell dark for a moment, the Hunter pausing for an unintentional dramatic effect.

“I guess I should thank them for the hatred. It made them all the easier to kill and eat.” The Hunter licked over her lips slowly, her eyes trained on the tenderized hunk of dog meat that couldn't get away. Her voice took on an eerie and foreboding tone, “I killed and ate several foxes, don't get me wrong, but I consumed -dozens- of wolves, dogs and coyotes. After the first four or five I stopped feeling bad about any of it. My muscles weren't aching, my stomach was full, and once aversions were dealt with I just admitted that Antarions tasted fucking delicious.” Brackish only coughed up a red mist as Jazz went on, the Hunter beginning to crawl over to the dog.

On her belly, Jazz shifted so that her nose rested upon the injured collie's cracked head, inhaling deeply. “I bet you're delicious, you mouthy mutt.” Her tongue gave the dog an unwelcome slurp right where she'd kicked him. As the collie cringed the Hunter whispered into his ear, “You're lucky you're my mark, otherwise you' be a dead dog. Instead, I'm going to compromise and just lick your wounds so we can get out of here.” The moist pad of her nose pressed down on the collie's outer ear, her breath flooding into his auricular cavity... along with a promise that forced Brackish's eyes wide open.

“I'm going to get you home, coy-dog, but when all is said and done, you and that mouth of yours are -dead-.”

Her emphasis on the last word wasn't even necessary for the coy-dog to feel a warm, damp pool form beneath him.

------------
Brackish
--------------
Yeaaa.. Collie too lazy to update his name.. so yea.. BRACKISH LIVES.

http://www.furaffinity.net/user/xbrackishx/
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Re: Miscommunication

Postby gadabout » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:04 am

ALLRIGHT! That took m a long time to get through, and while I still hate all the fuzzy creatures in this story, you made me hate the one I hated the most a little less and the ones I hated not such a whole lot, damn you people and your cannibalism!

That aside, the first post of yours was great! I found maybe one or two errors while the second post was a right mess, clear evidence that you rushed the proofing a bit there so I suggest you take another look at it once you got time and are of sound mind and body :I

Third post was like the first tough, good and alright and I still wanna see what happens next so get back to your writing you coy little bugger >:I
RIP Baggy52.

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