Miscommunication

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Re: Miscommunication

Postby foxelite » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:15 am

@Gada: Aw, come on... Jazz isn't that bad. She may be a cannibal, druggy and exceptionally to get along with when she's off and on her meds, but hey... what's life without a bit of unpredictability?

And so I bring forth 1 of 2 chapters I'm sitting on. The one that makes Ire almost able to liked!

Miscommunication Pt.41

Racing over hills and into the desert had left Ire contemplating her decision to just high-tail it away from Stalker. The toxic annoyance had long since halted communication with her, and the horned creature found herself pausing in the midst of the desert sands for a number of reasons. Having skid to a stop, the choking cloud of dust she created drove her to pad several paces off to the side before opening her jaws to gently lower both Tajo and Ghost o the ground below.

She'd been running and stressing over -their- safety. As respectable as her goal was, the panting quadruped could not control her anatomy. In the case of a dragon, or a dragon hybrid, stress was tied to two very important, and extremely dangerous things: body heat, and the intensity of the flames spewed from their innards. In Ire's case, she was most concerned with the former.

Even amidst the sweltering triple digit temperatures of the Chihuahuan, extremely distinguished waves of heat radiated from the vixen's frame. That coupled with the amount of steam that escaped her parted jaws coaxed her to halt and check on the live bodies she'd carried in the torrid climate of her maw.

Nose to the ground, her visored gaze analyzed the human and vulpine splayed upon the shifting floor. #Nothing too serious on the outside#. Her mind noted what her eyes received. Tajo was much easier to use as a reference, his lack of fur leaving all exposed skin easy to survey.

Aside from multiple red patches upon the browned skin of the primate, she noted nothing indicating that they were in dire need of medical attention. Granted, that changed when the drixen's ear twitched at a familiar, and shockingly close voice.

“So you're going to cook the human for me; how sweet” Stalker growled ever so bass-filled directly into Ire's right ear. The unexpected act led to a twitch of the hybrid's ear, but that clearly wasn't enough of a reaction for the unseen male. That point was driven home the moment he piped back up in her left ear, “I don't know why you're burning the traitor though, I thought you liked him or loved him or something like that.”. The female pinned her ears back in both a building rage and a futile attempt to shut out the seemingly disembodied voice. Needless to say, it just forced Stalker to project himself into both of her ears, “You can't get rid of me that easy. Just give up on them already.”

Ire snorted, a single fang baring as she glanced up and gave a visual sweep of the area around her. Sand, parched rocks and shrubbery, that is all that her eyes were met with. Her ears however, were met with further nonsense from the self proclaimed predator, “Oh, so your solution to being stressed and heated it to get pissed off and >more< heated? That's so brilliant that even I can't see how it helps!”

It was quickly becoming apparent to the drixen that ignoring Stalker was virtually impossible. Even if she did tune out his comments, she'd long established that he was willing to keep this up until she broke down and faced whatever facts he so desperately wanted her to. With that in mind she broke her silence in favor of giving the calmest growl possible, assuring the young one would hear it wherever he was, “Do you truly have nothing more important to handle than stalking me?”. Obviously used to that exact question, Stalker barked back an indifferent “Nope.”

Over the past minute or so Ire couldn't tell if her temperature had increased, decreased or just seen negligible change. Every second that this situation persisted left her battling a mixture of emotions that could spike her body heat to levels much more detrimental to Ghost and Tajo's health. Not controlling herself could easily cause even the heat radiating from her outer frame to become unbearable, let alone the scorching temperatures her maw could reach.

“Sometimes I curse my dragon heritage” the hybrid barked, though it held no anger, only calm. “This is not the first time being a walking furnace has come back to bite me.”. As to whether Stalker was listening or not was answered when the drixen received a delayed response from the male fox, “But it will probably be the last.” That ripped a confused “What?” from the drixen.

Stalker growled eerily into both of her ears alternatively, “Oh please, once your little snuggle fox is dead you won't be able to go on. I heard it all: the moping, the confessions, the 'need' to bare his kits. You couldn't go on living knowing you let him die.” Ire's attempt to retort was cut off by the male's further censure of her hopes: “Oh shut up and stop trying to talk back. We both know good and well that he's going to die. You have nowhere to go.”

Ire growled, her mind mulling over what options she did have. Much to her dismay, Stalker began to list them aloud for her, “So what are you going to do then? Take him back to our den: Aeris will kill him herself; Take him back down to our human base: they won't help the traitor, I'm sure they've been told what he's done.” The male fell silent, waiting and watching as reality set in on the hybrid. Her emotions smelled of a mixture he'd come to enjoy: anxiety; sorrow. She wasn't angry at him anymore, and whatever contempt she held only seemed to be directed at herself .

The drixen focused down to those two she protected, focusing primarily upon the charred white fur of the Arctic fox. Maybe Stalker was right, maybe saving Ghost was impossible. Every 'friendly' avenue available to her still wanted her mate dead, and it wasn't as though she was in the best of standings with her current detachment. After all, she'd prematurely bailed on being disarmed to go aid her mate. The thought of just letting him be killed while she was perfectly capable of stopping the atrocity didn't even begin to sit well with her. Come to think of it, many things that foxes did didn't sit right with her.

Stalker's voice snapped the female's ears to attention, “Come on now, don't just stand there and look at them. Hand them over and... well kill yourself for all I care. You know that's likely what you'll do once he's gone.”. Ire pinned her ears, eyes gradually shutting as she whimpered, “Why would I end my own life when that is not what he would want?”. The male was frighteningly snappy on replying, “You're a fox, Ire, your thoughts are your own and nobody else's. We're all like that, and don't sit here and tell me you're not. Selfishness is our motto.”

Her head shaking back and forth slowly, Ire felt her temperature dropping. Sorrow wasn't her preferred method of regulating heat, but it undoubtedly worked. “I am no fox,” she whimpered, “not according to Aeris.”. Had he been visible, the drixen would have seen Stalker roll his eyes. A frustrated rumble in the female's ears was all of the communication the male could give her though, “Aeris just said that to talk down to you like she does to everybody.” As Stalker continued he took note of several very 'strange' reactions by the drixen.

“You're just as -deceitful-...”

The female whimpered and splayed her ears.

“Murderous...”

She cast her slit-eyed gaze off to the ground beside her.

“Untrustworthy...”

The quadruped hybrid's shoulders slumped in depression.

“And dishonorable as the rest of us.”



The truth hurt. Ire made no response as the male's words seeped under her skin, nagging at her heart whilst freezing all outside movement. It wasn't because she was hearing this all for the first time, but because for once she couldn't just lash out at the one who brought up her faults.

Stalker broke silence once more to gnaw upon her psyche, “You act like you've never been called any of that, and we know that's not true. You should have gotten used to who you are by now, especially in your old age.”. It wasn't the 'old age' comment that made the drixen suddenly whimper loudly and shake her head in disappointment. No, that wasn't it at all.

“It's all true,” Ire whined lowly, “but it wasn't always. I used to be a halfway respectable being that could be trusted. One that could be relied on to perform her duties and uphold some type of moral standard.” Her head rose slowly to look ahead, eyes opening to reveal themselves flooded with disappointment and shame. “Ever since I dawned the title of VE I have done nothing but grow further and further from myself. “She sat down upon her haunches, forelegs resting upon either side of Tajo and Ghost. “Ever since I stepped off Scalaria and lived my life upon Antaria, I have forgotten what made me... me. I love violence, but to kill so senselessly... that developed from the deceitful, furry terrorists I -thought- I would enjoy working with.” She sighed, once more glancing down to the two below her before going on, “I did enjoy it while I was blind to how it changed me. I still had my sense of loyalty, and I applied it to you beasts. You spoke as if you were better than dogs in so many ways. Instead, all I have seen is murder and lies.”

Her forepaws dug into the sand beneath them, a very subtle ire simmering as she began to growl, “You turn your backs on one another without a second look. You abandon your allies and allow petty disputes to go on unsettled. Your entire organization crumbles due to the very values your species upholds: selfishness, dishonesty and complete disregard for morals in any fashion. If my Scaly brethren saw me now they would likely crush my skull. This is no way to live!”

Stalker may have remained deathly silent throughout Ire's rant, but the male was quick to yap the moment she seemed like she was done, “You finished? Good, because to all of your uselessly long monologue, I just have one thing to say.” He paused briefly before growling playfully, “If you don't like how we play, you could always just leave.” His growl turned to ecstatic yapping, “Hell, I encourage it! If you denounce your status right now I can kill you too!”. Ire snarled back quickly, “Kill me on what grounds?”

Stalker growled in annoyance as if he shouldn't have to be bothered to think. An answer to the female's question came quite a time after it had been asked, “Why, you ask? Well because you'd be a rogue VE. Besides, you've caused us all quite a headache, and you're in my way right now.”. Ire growled back vehemently, “More labels and excuses for vulpines to kill. You all will find as many of them as you want just to end one's life.”. Stalker snorted before offering a frustrated, “Will you just shut up and strip yourself of the title already? Aeris wants you dead anyway.”

“Aeris...” Ire growled lowly before upping her volume, “there are but two on this planet who I have ever considered worthy of being killed. One of them has already met their fate at my horns. The other currently leads a slaughter I want no part of.”. Stalker showed the barking-tongue equivalent of a disinterested “uh-huh.”. Ire ignored the rude kit before going on, “I can not possibly hold loyalty to one so heartless to all not of her immediate kin. No attempt at diplomacy of any kind; Aeris just wants an excuse to slaughter with no fear of retaliation.”. Stalker growled impatiently, though it was at least something of value this time, “So what then, you're going to kill Aeris? She'd sick an entire army on you if you so much as even joked about that.”

Ire rose to all fours, her anger, sorrow and other emotions subsiding as she growled indifferently, “If that army showed hostile intent toward me then I would destroy them to get to Aeris. She has made herself out to be a danger to me and the one I love. Not to mention an entire species that can not fight back. An entire species she more or less treats as an infestation in their own territory.”. Stalker responded with anxiety in his tone, mostly due to wanting the drixen to hurry up and give him clearance to kill her, “Yeah, yeah you and your mate voiced your opinions about all of this before. If you didn't get the message then I'll say it again: we don't care. I'm not about wholesale slaughter either, but if the ends justify the means then fuck it!”

Ire once more closed her eyes, but it seemed more so out of peace than sadness or anger this time. The lack of aggression in her response confirmed an absence of either emotion, “What ends justify slaughtering an entire race that is perfectly willing to cooperate after a show of force? They will only continue to fight because Aeris chooses not to speak with any that are not part of her hastily assembled army.”

Stalker purposely yawned in Ire's ear, though the bored fox offered a reply nonetheless, “Spare me all the drama, you didn't look like you cared the night all sixteen of us made initial contact. You know, the contact that left their forces in total submission and an entire city's worth of apes reduced to ashes. You and your mate both seemed happy to obliterate the primates then.”

The drixen snorted though remained calm, her low growl completely indifferent, “We did not wholeheartedly agree with that act, but we still both believed Aeris knew what she was doing. Our loyalty was gravely misplaced as time and time again the kitsune proved she was no more than a kit with a blood lust. She never stopped killing or ordering others to destroy. She knew she could hide it, and retaliation was futile on Earth's behalf.”

Stalker growled once more but he did find himself earnestly inquiring about one very important aspect, “Right... and when exactly did you start second guessing what you were doing?”. He didn't expect Ire to suddenly shoot back in a bass filled bark, “The moment I saw my own reaction to obliterating a town of people that didn't even have the means to stand in my way. I should have at least been ashamed for murdering such lesser creatures, but instead I felt nothing.” For a moment a somber tone escaped through a whimper, “It is as though being Aeris' pawn was draining me of any sense of values or morality I had. I-I-;” the drixen's whine crackled, a blatant realization culminated before her very eyes, “I was just a war machine to her, and that's basically what I have become.”

Stalker rapidly yapped right back at the female, the male enjoying obviously enjoying his chance to drive home a point, “Are you kidding!? All you ever were was a war-machine! An angry, angry war-machine with horns.”. He was instantly blown aback as the drixen tossed her head back and roared, none of it able to be comprehended by the vulpine male. “The hell was that for?!” the unseen fox yipped in mild panic.

Ire gently leveled her head again before growling in an oddly triumphant manner, “No... I am not a war-machine!” she blared, “I am a dragon-fox with a very short fuse! I am a warrior that has more anger issues than a room full of male dragons during mating season. I was a Black Scale before I was part of this vulpine atrocity! I killed for reasons, not for entertainment and the appeasement of a warmonger!”

Stalker growled in an attempt to silence the drixen, though only managed to be cut off entirely as she reared back and howled, “And I most importantly did not sit back and allow younglings to threaten me or those I was close to!”. Any response made by the fox was done so to himself, as Ire received no growls, barks or yaps in her ears. Not even as the drixen bent down to scoop up the two unconscious male's from the ground did she hear anything. In fact, it wasn't until she began to pad off with her live cargo between her jaws that Stalker piped back up.

“Haven't we already been over this!?” the reynard yapped furiously, “you have nowhere to go, you have nothing out there willing to help you! Where do you think you're going?!” Ire leisurely trotted away, seeming having confided confidence within herself from a plan she never spoke aloud. Even as Stalker continued to pester and follow her, the drixen did not stress.

She'd thought of something, something crazy, but is was something nonetheless.

-----

Jazz's cheek lay peacefully upon the top of Brackish's bloodied back. As promised, the Hunter had put her medicinal saliva to good use, and with the added benefit of getting to taste him they could both be satisfied. That was apparent by the pair having grown comfortable enough to sleep next to one another. Granted, whether the collie actually had a choice in the matter of being used as a pillow was unclear.

The fox Jazz KO'd earlier was kind enough to leave the two non-vulpine creature's alone when he came to. The other vulpine's that passed were sure to give the sleeping Hunter as wide a berth as possible. The amount of caution used around her showed just how well Farsight had kept her mouth shut about the entire 'cannibal' incident. Whatever the case, Jazz had become an object to avoid by all. That fact made it all the stranger when the Hunter was awoken by a vulpine hand gently rubbing at her shoulder.

It took a moment for the Hunter to actually react to the stroking upon her, though she eventually groaned and fluttered her eyes open. A bleary silhouette greeted her initially, but as she sat up and yawned her vision came into full focus.

“If I didn't know any better I'd mistake you for being cute” the voice of the one who awoke her spoke. Their tone was condescending, but too small and child-like to hold any weight with the Hunter. The mottle-coated lycan just kept her jaws parted in a gaping yawn that showed off the entire lot of her teeth. To that however, her vulpine alarm clock merely stood fast to their condescending tone, “Then we stop and look at the weapons you use to devour foxes, and suddenly all signs of cute are gone.”

Jazz snickered as she looked over the one who'd awoken her. It took but a second for her to realize it was the kit fox that had come to rescue Farsight from her earlier. They were fully clothed and armed, and behind them stood a much taller red fox male, bow drawn, arrow ready to take the Hunter's skull off at the first sign of resistance. Needless to say, Jazz's eyes lingered on the male whilst she spoke softly, “So... what's this all about?”

The kit fox stood with her arms crossed, eyes narrowed to a distrusting glare at the lycan. “Our vixen has need of you” she stated plainly, “Grab the coy-dog and follow us.”. Jazz could not help but smile and bark a playful, “Can I get a please?”. The vixen didn't humor her with even a minute response. “Let's go” the small one stated with but a hint of frustration in her voice. Thanks to the lethal aid at the kit fox's back, the Hunter found herself with no real choice but to comply.

-----

Outside in the vulpine Titan dock, Aeris was busy padding in circles around the bleeding body of the fennec fox she'd attacked, then subsequently sent out on a chore with no medical aid. Along with the fennec, she also happened to be hovering around Farsight, the currently 40-ish foot vixen diligently tending to Tilla's wounds.

“Why do I even bother with you?” Aeris growled, her inquiry directed toward Tilla. The fennec did not answer however, but silently looked to Farsight as if the medic would help her deal with the irate kitsune. “Silence...” Aeris lowly 'stated', “I guess that's the answer, huh? Just don't say anything and maybe I'll go away?”. Tilla's lips remained shut.

“Go ahead” Aeris went on, the kitsune never actually looking to the fennec vixen, “hide behind Farsight for now, but sooner or later we're going to have a word about you just blowing off something I asked of you.” The kitsune dug a claw into the compacted sand of the dock area ground: it resisted surprisingly well. “I swear it's foxes like you who drive me to kill. Why can't you be more like Koya and Farsight? I feel like they'd die for me.” While this was usually Tilla's cue for an annoying witty remark, she remained silent as a mouse in space.

The kitsune leader paused her vulture's circle for a moment as her ear rang with the sound of one of her lackeys. A single nod was her reply to the message she received from them. Upon flicking her ear to close communications, the 'tsune shot a glance over to the comparatively tiny entrance leading from the Titan dock to the den. Within seconds she spotted four forms emerge from within. “Koya.” she barked in greeting, following in suite for the others, “Dex. Jazz. Coyote.” It was a miracle she didn't snarl to 'greet' Brackish.

Koya and her mate bowed in return, leaving Jazz to wave and smile whilst Brackish stood stock still and uncaring. The border collie was just thankful to be able to walk again, though he remained sore all over.

“You are relieved,” Aeris growled plainly to the two foxes of the quartet, “I just need to speak with the dogs.” As the two vulpine's happily receded back into the den, Jazz lowered an ear to being called a dog. Aeris paid the reaction no mind however, instead focusing on the reason she'd summoned them. “I have a task for you two-” Immediately she saw Brackish turn tail and pad back into the den. She just barely caught the rumble from his throat, “I don't work for foxes.”

Aeris' jaws hung slack for a moment, eyes trained on the collie's retreating hind-quarters. “Okay” the 'tsune gradually began to growl lowly, her jaws still parted in mild astonishment, “that was... unexpected. I didn't even say what it was.”. Brackish made no attempt to respond, leaving the full-scale kitsune to direct her attention towards the Hunter before stomping her forepaw and demanding, “Get him back here!”.

Jazz wasn't quite certain if she reacted out of fear or respect, but the moment she was commanded to she whipped about and snatched the tail of the border collie. A surprised whine blared into her ears as she hoisted the dog clear off of the ground. As if Brackish wasn't 70 pounds of dog, she calmly tossed him back in front of herself like a half-empty garbage bag. He rolled and crumpled like one to boot.

The Hunter rolled her eyes prior to crossing her arms and glaring down to her future foodstuff. “Listen, dog” she started with a calm agitation in her voice, “I'm trying to get out of here, I don't know about you. How about we listen to what the giant fox has to say before we turn away and make them mad-” she paused to crane her head back... all the way back, “And potentially stompy.” The collie growled something incomprehensible as he stood back to all four paws, then shot a silent distrusting glare towards the kitsune, and a betrayed one back at the Hunter.

Aeris' throat rumbled with full bass, the 'tsune clearly not amused with the collie's antics, “I may very well still stomp on >one of you<. The nearly five-story creature flopped her rear upon the sand, compacted earth doing little to quell the shock of her weight. “Now as I was saying before, I have a problem I believe you could aid me with.” The kitsune found further elaboration hampered by the border collie letting off a forcibly intensified snarl, “Does it involve killing us afterward like usual? Or is it more along the lines of making us go get something for you, then have you snatch it and leave us for dead?”

The 'tsune raised a forepaw threateningly, her patience visibly and audibly running thin, “It would be wise of you to shut up, coyote. I would have no qualm smearing you into the dirt.”. Brackish glanced to Jazz and rolled his eyes. Whilst he once more began to pad toward the den entrance, the coy-dog snarled back at the imposing figure, “You can go ahead and try, blasted mutant! But then you'd just be left with a cannibal to do your bidding.” Jazz dropped a single ear at being called out, though Aeris merely stomped down right behind the collie. The impact caused him to stumble briefly, but the moment he recovered his slow trek back inside continued.

“Fine” growled, turning her sights on the Hunter instead, “I'm not bothering with one of those creatures.”. Much to her dismay, Brackish snarled back quickly, “I'm glad we understand each other!”. The kitsune ignored him entirely, once more addressing Jazz, “I've more important obligations to fulfill. Are you willing to help me in a bit of reconnaissance?”. Immediately the Hunter quirked her brow in suspicion, half tempted to retreat herself as she inquired, “What kind of recon exactly?”. Aeris gradually slid down to her belly whilst elaborating, “Oh, I just want you to find a certain underling of mine. She's already being tracked, but I'd like some extra assurance. She can be a bit hostile.”

“Is it Ire?” Jazz shot with narrowed eyes. Aeris growled playfully back to the Hunter, “Yes, but now all of the mystery's gone. That would have been half of the fun.”. The mottle-coated Hunter didn't seem amused, only giving a neutral growl of her own in response, “Okay, that seems easy enough, but why can't you just track her down yourself? You said you already had someone on it, and last I checked Ire was mostly still a VE.”. The kitsune stared blankly to the Hunter, but through the agitation of being questioned she humored Jazz with an answer, “All true, except Ire seems to have gone rogue after I ordered her to disarm. She took off when I wasn't looking to go save that traitor she dares claim as a mate.”

The Hunter snorted at the mention of 'traitor' and 'mate'. As if her mood wasn't already obviously soured, she sucked her teeth and struggled to hold back a surge of worry from slipping into her throat, “Oh, so I take it you weren't exactly thrilled about Ghost just up and letting the dog go? I guess I can't say I didn't see that coming.” Her mood became gradually more inquisitive the moment she thought over the entirety of what the 'tsune said however, “Now what I don't get is why Ire was being disarmed. Is it because she walked me back?”

Aeris crossed her forelegs underneath her chin before reluctantly indulging in a session of twenty questions with the one she was currently just trying to exploit, “I didn't even know she helped you; I was more concerned with the fact that she likely killed my daughter and would not dispose of her troublesome mate as proof of loyalty. Because of that, I sent another subordinate of mine out to rid me of the traitor. Well... I sent two.” Aeris glared back over her shoulder to Tilla who had now risen to a knee, the majority of their wounds sealed. The kitsune bared a fang before going on to the Hunter, “Apparently one of those two decided it was fine to abandon her orders... >again< I might add. All because of a few medical issues.”

Jazz took several stealthy sniffs, her mouth relaying what her nose suggested, “Kind of smells like she got stabbed with a sunblade. I know the scent of that weapon's wounds anywhere.”. Aeris abruptly derailed the Hunter using a yip fading to a growl, “Indeed, yes, but where was I? Right. You're going to help me find Ire and her thing, right?”. Jazz flinched at the thought of Ghost being referred to as a thing, though the Hunter recovered seamlessly to reply, “Yeah, I'll do it, but what am I supposed to do when I find her?”

Aeris yawned, her insistence on exhaling every ounce of humid air she could over Jazz drove the Hunter to avert her nose and frown. At least the 'tsune was nice enough to answer eventually, “Just provide a bit more incentive for her to give up and come back here. It's not that I'm so concerned with the lack of her presence as I am worried about the uncertainty of her future actions; my plans have been thrown off course enough times as is.” Her last 'words' were accompanied by a glare towards the Hunter.

Jazz stood firm with arms still about her chest. Her expression never broke to give Aeris a hint of submission. “Look,” the Hunter barked, “I'll do it, but I need your word that this is it. No more tasks after this one: just let us go back and have nothing to do with whatever is happening here.”

“Deal” Aeris nonchalantly shrugged and yipped. “You and that mongrel are free to go after I make sure Ire isn't planning on defecting, and she is also out of my fur. I've already arranged for a much better replacement anyway.”. Jazz quirked her brow at the 'tsune's mention of a replacement, but honestly her will to return home as soon as possible negated all further sense of curiosity.

With acceptance achieved, the Hunter had but one final question, “Alright, I'll need my things if I'm going to go track down a giant destructive hybrid.”. Aeris concurred with a barely visible nod of her skull. Not breaking eye-contact with the comparatively small Hunter, the 'tsune called back to her subordinates, “Farsight, would you kindly get the Hunter's equipment? Also, is Tilla well enough to stop being an insubordinate slacker now?”

-”Yes and yes, vixen” Farsight yipped back softly.

-”Good, because Tilla will be accompanying the dog.”

In unison Tilla and Jazz erfed a confused “What!?”. Tilla's was merely more prominent due to her being the height of a four-story building. Aeris ever so slowly rose to all fours before glancing between both Hunter and Fennec. With both of their jaws dropping in a confounded manner, the kitsune quickly explained herself: “I'm going to need to communicate with the Hunter after all, and it's not like I can just go giving out VE tech to dogs. So, Tilla, you will accompany the Hunter. Besides, you're both reconnaissance troops; I'm sure you'll get along.”

Tilla's eyes shot daggers to the Hunter, the fennec's fangs beginning to bare. Aeris was swift in shutting down any and all hostilities however, “You either do this, or you stay here with me.”. Needless to say, the fennec instantly fell into compliance like a slave shown a whip.

As the vulpine-to-vulpine issue was resolved, the Hunter interjected, “I guess that makes sense, but I just have one question then.” Aeris turned her full attention down to Jazz before perking her ears in legitimate interest. “Aeris,” the lycan commenced with a nervous slump of her shoulders, “did you have my bow brought back?”. The 'tsune's answer was not immediate, but it seemed honest, “Yes, I did. But, you will have to excuse me in not allowing you access to it.”. Jazz's fangs instantly became visible the moment she snarled back, “And why not!?”. Unfortunately, the daunting size difference left Aeris completely immune to the intimidation of the smaller female.

“Please understand,” Aeris growled calmly, “I trust you, but not so much as to let you have all of your power back. The weapon will be returned when you leave for good.”. Jazz's lips gradually sheathed her ivory blades as she relaxed and sought to retort, “Fine, but if you so much as glance at Symphony in a weird manner I'll tear your head off!”. The kitsune yipped a completely unphased, disinterested, “Okay.”.

The Hunter yapped aggressively back, though still her stature betrayed her, “I mean it! She's like my baby!”. Aeris rolled her eyes and slowly began to pad away from the emotional Wild dog. Yet, even with her back turned the 'tsune could not resist remarking, “Sheesh, you're as bad as Ire and her hunk of metal; it's just a weapon, nothing more.”

Jazz's aggressive stand petered out as the kitsune turned tail and talked her down. The Hunter's ears flattened and she sniffled to hold back an eruption of emotions. Symphony wasn't just a weapon, she was the only friend Jazz actually entrusted her life with. “You just don't know” she muttered solemnly, “You really just don't know.”

-----------
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 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:10 am

Hoo boy, strange bed fellows time, what sort of whimsical shenanigans await those three? Harmless slapstick or outright murder? I already know its murder, none the less, I cant wait to see it, keep em comin brakish, you did well proofreading this part, its not bad :D
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Re: Miscommunication

Postby foxelite » Sun Oct 30, 2016 4:58 am

@Gada: ... I had to look up what bedfellows were. And believe it or not... it's slapstick. How the hell'd you guess that?!


Miscommunication Pt.42

A half of an hour had passed since Jazz and Tilla reluctantly partnered up for the sake of Aeris' paranoia. Of course, being tasked to work with one another didn't mean they had to talk. The unwavering silence as they traversed the desert was proof of that. Granted sometimes proof could be superseded entirely by developments. In the mute duo's case, it was the sudden appearance of a child-like female voice.

“Hold!” Tilla commanded, though how much authority she actually held was debatable considering the height difference. Without the aid of her monstrous ears, the fennec vixen only came to about Jazz's waistline. Still, Tilla was playing the role of navigator and communicator. If the Hunter wanted to see home again, her best bet was to accept that she was at the mercy of one she could probably throw further than she could trust.

Only giving the large-eared female a glance out of her peripheral vision, Jazz growled with minimal interest, “What are we holding for, half-pint?”. Tilla ignored the attack on her size to focus on the matter at hand. “There” the fennec simultaneously pointed and stated, the end of her finger leading to the bustling outline of a large human city in the distance: San Antonio.

-”What about it? It's a city. We've passed like three towns on the way here and you didn't point to them” Jazz stated coldly, her agitation showing plain as day.

-”Ire. She's in there, I'm certain of it” Tilla growled back.

-”Can't be. There's a distinctive lack of smoke and fire” the Hunter quipped.

Contrary to Jazz maintaining her stone cold demeanor, Tilla allowed herself to smile and snicker at the joke before coming up with a response, “I know it seems unlikely, but scans and scents both point to her being inside of that thing.”. Jazz shrugged impatiently and sighed, “Well let's go get the crazy bitch.”. Her fennec acquaintance quickly shot the idea down, “Um, I don't think that'll work. We're pretty big, and this whole mobile stealth field thing means nothing if humans are going to just end up inside the AOE.”. The significantly larger female halted and splayed her ears at the fox's observation.

Head gradually craning back and down over her shoulder, the Hunter looked to the smaller creature as if they should already have a plan. “Well,” Jazz inquired, “do you propose we sit here and wait for her to quit sight seeing?”. Tilla once more giggled, though quickly recovered to answer her larger companion, “You're an ass, but at least you're kind of funny. Anyway, I can't think of anything we can both do at these sizes. I mean, unless you want to just say fuck it and stroll right in.”.

That thought had crossed Jazz's mind, but she pushed it back the moment images of herself playing hopscotch to avoid traffic popped into her head. Another deep sigh preceded her saying nothing of value, “I don't know. I feel like it'd be hard to not step on everyone and actually make any forward progress.”

Truthfully, Jazz expected Tilla to laugh at the prospect of preserving innocent life, but much to her surprise the fennec nodded and replied, “True. There'll be enough senseless death once Aeris stomps through here.” The fennec's ears both stood to attention as a sound in the far, far, far distance caught her attention. After a second or two of confirming the noise, she relayed another hindrance to their planning, “Sounds like Sesha and friends have the area's entire military on alert.”. Jazz perked an ear curiously before realizing she needed clarification, “What do you mean?”. Much to her further surprise, the little fennec had about as many qualms with giving away Aeris' plans as she had with hating the kitsune: “Well, Aeris sent a small team to recon the area around where she wanted to start slaughtering people. Just before the massacre began though, they would be tasked with crippling the military forces in the area, and causing widespread panic from the North down. Pretty much, Aeris wanted any evacuations to run right into the invasion forces approaching from the south. She wants her initial death toll as high as possible.”

Jazz scrunched her muzzle in absolute disgust at the kitsune's plans. “Is she fucking sick in the head?” the Hunter growled, to which Tilla replied with an ecstatic, “Yep! I think she wants so much blood as a sort of shock and awe move. She doesn't want to be seen like an invading force that can be reasoned with. She just wants the humans gone, and this entire planet for ourselves.”.

Jazz's muzzle remained wrinkled, even as she erfed, “Entire planet?”. Tilla nodded in affirmation before chipping in merrily, “The whole damn thing. She figures we have the capability to assimilate this whole rock before we ever have to worry about humans developing countermeasures.

Tilla's arms spread wide as she went on, padding around the Hunter as she did so, “I've seen the army she's massed; it's >huge<! I think she estimated a year to wipe out all major signs of human life. After that, it'd probably just be quashing pockets of resistance.”.

Jazz crossed her arms about her chest and fell to her rear in a minute dust cloud. She looked to be stewing for a moment, though after a few seconds she turned to look Tilla dead in the eyes, a feat easily achieved with the sitting Hunter still being higher than the fennec's waist. “She made it sound like she just wanted a little bit” the Hunter said to what seemed like no one in particular, “I didn't think she was going for absolute genocide.”.

Tilla nodded with wide eyes before adding her two cents, “She's fucking insane, isn't she?! That's why so many of us wanted to stop her, but even more of us apparently were willing to just go with it because she was our Vixen Elite and we were sworn to serve her. Well that, and as I found out from some of the other adults, they actually like Aeris. How the hell that's possible is beyond me.”

A sigh prompted the Hunter to cross her arms over her knees and rest her chin upon them. Jazz mulled over what the little one said, and eventually mumbled a depressed reply, “I guess it's nice that there's some loyalty among you thieves. No offense.”. Tilla giggled and tossed back a playful, “All taken, but none cared about.”. That brought a smile to Jazz's muzzle, if only for a moment. The second it faded she offered the fennec something less demeaning, “So, now that I know what I'm really running away from, how about we go drag Ire out and let me mourn the loss of billions in the comfort of my own home?”. “Right” the fennec added, “but first we still need a plan.”

Jazz forced another smile to part her lips, though just barely. She should have been happy to know home was close, yet instead she found her most joyous statement escaping her throat in the form of a whimper, “Don't worry, I have a plan.” Her whimper became a low whine as she went on, “It's a bit dumb, and involves us having to shrink to be easy targets if Ire happens to be pissed, but I like to believe she has no reason to attack me.” - “ I hate this plan already... but it sounds better than playing pedestrian hopscotch.”

The Hunter snickered, but immediately reverted to a whine, “Agreed. Now you have a collar for your little feral self, right?” Tilla nodded rapidly in response. “Good,” Jazz quipped lowly, “We're going to need it, because I'm about to become totally useless.”

----


“Watch your speed!” the familiar sound of a parental figure screaming a mixture of common sense and advice to a newly-permitted teen blared throughout the four-door sedan as it blazed a trail down a shoddily paved road. Granted it was no parental figure sitting in the passenger seat, and it definitely was no teenager behind the wheel.

Pale white fingers gripped the notched leather of the old Buick's steering wheel. Said fingers belonged to a rather portly female who looked to be in her 40's. Beside her sat a man of equal age but slimmer build. Behind the pair sat a duo that had unmistakably been birthed by the labors of the two up front's loins.

“Now Muriel, I done told you,” the man continued to yell, Texas in his voice, “we don't need to be doin' triple digits down a sixty!”. He received equal parts Texas screamed right back in his direction, “Well you tell that to all of them giant alien critters that we saw back up the road! I don't wanna be nowhere near this place when they decide to come stompin' down this way!”

The speedometer crept past 110, the old engine roaring in explicit protest to the strain. “Dangit woman!” the middle-aged male blurted, “You ain't gonna do nothin' but burn up my car!”. Meaty fingers clenched the wheel, their owner wanted desperately to form a fist. Alas, a verbal retort was all the woman could muster whilst holding the rust bucket steady at over a hundred miles per hour, “Now Henley, you know this ol' bucket o' bolts has been through worse!”

The barely middle-school aged kids in the back seats merely darted their innocent eyes back and forth between their parents as they went back and forth. That was until the 7th grade female in the back averted her eyes out the front windshield, pointed and screamed, “Dog!”

All arguments ceased, and in an instant all that was heard was a childhood-scarring “Welp, too late now!” from the white whale masquerading as a human being up front. No tires squealed to show the vehicle attempting to halt in time, and without so much as a swerve, the 'dog' standing in the middle of a county road disappeared beneath the windshield. A rationalization for why she'd just flattened an adorable pooch would have to wait till later however, as the road and ground in general also slipped from view beneath the windshield.

Forward momentum seemed to continue for awhile after the ground disappeared, only the momentum clearly wasn't generated by the four wildly spinning wheels beneath the chassis. “Muriel!” the man suddenly yelled as he took a gander out of the passenger-side window, “I think we're flying!”. His wife was quick to perform her wifely duty of making him wrong, “Now Earl, that don't even make sense!”. Thankfully Earl had 15 years of marriage experience to aid him in this argument. “Would you just look out the window, woman?!”. The human butter-stick tossed her jiggling arms over her head to help add substance to her losing battle, “I did look out the window, numb nuts, and I saw sky.”

Earl slapped his palm violently into his forehead; to think he'd even have to correct her, “Darnit, Muriel! Not the front window, >your< window!”. His loving companion sucked her teeth while peering out the driver-side window. Even if she saw the ground several dozen feet beneath her, she had an obligation to be victorious in some manner: “It still don't make sense.”

Amidst the marital mayhem the younger pair in the back seat clung to the leather beneath them like their lives depended on it. It might very well have had their current situation been caused by other forces. Thankfully, today was their lucky day in many ways, whilst potentially scarring in others.

“Hey,” Earl whispered as if the situation actually called for stealth, “I think we're moving backwards.”. His wife further let her IQ show as she slammed on the accelerator, screaming confidently at the top of her lungs, “Oh. No. We. Are. Not!”. As one could expect, the engine revved mightily, the tires whirred to life with thousands of revolutions a minute, and tunnel-vision overtook the butterball at the wheel. Yet, to all of this, Early simply questioned how the love of his life ever made it through high school.

A second in to the spinning wheels and delusions of heroism passed before Early finally placed a hand firmly upon the shoulder of his significant other, shaking his head before talking her down, “Now Muriel, you know wheels don't work if they ain't on the ground.”. That hint of logic netted him no results, so the man was driven to greater measures, namely gripping the woman's shoulder and giving her the experience of a personal earthquake. While it may have been filed under abuse in a different scenario, it was merely effective here.

Stifling another argument over spousal abuse and divorce, the grade-school girl in the back seat came to the rescue with a startling revelation. “We're falling!”. The statement piqued the interest of all enough to cause confirming views out of their respective windows. The little girl was right at best, and in need of an adverb at least. They were falling alright, but the lazy speed at which they returned to the ground was barely worth screaming over. Nonetheless, the inside of the vehicle took on the silent qualities of a vacuum.

By the time all four wheels sat still and upon the pavement, four hearts stood frozen in time. “Nobody move a muscle” the near-silent command breezed from the maw of the mother and wife. It didn't take much to convince the other three to follow her orders to a tee.

A glance out of the driver's side window showed what one would expect on a country road: some pavement, sparse tree life and a mixture of lively and browning grass. “I think we should go” Muriel whispered before abruptly snapping her attention to the hood in unison with the rest of her family. A barely audible click had drawn her gaze, whilst the others were called by the minuscule furry creature that now stood on their vehicle's hood.

Earl was first to break the ice with a whisper, though he continued to stare straight at the creature, “I think it's a a chihuahua.”. He was followed by a dual pronged inquiry from the young ones behind him, “Why are its ears so big?” Much to all of their surprise, the not-chihuahua narrowed its eyes and growled.

The man of the house flinched at the reaction but he rapidly tossed out anything to make up for the less than respectable reflex, “I uh... I think you two should apologize.”

Muriel gave a narrow-eyed glare to Earl through her periphery. “You outta' be ashamed of yourself, Earl” her hand reached over to feel for and grasp the door handle before going on, “being afraid of a little dog.” She swung the door open, her mass of arm flesh shivering with the motion. It undoubtedly grasped the creature's focus even more so when Muriel shuffled out of the vehicle with some difficulty. Her stepping on to solid ground relieved the Buick's suspension with a violent heave.

Still standing behind the open door, the mass of female rose a single arm and shooed the little pest, “Go on now, git!”. In response, the little quadruped flopped down on their rear, rose a forepaw and mimicked the shooing motion. “Oh, you little...” Muriel's fluffy visage wrinkled furiously, “don't you mock me.” the woman's eyes widened whilst the rest of her face remained locked in anger. Her new friend merely replaced their paw upon the hood, widened their eyes and gave a playful growl.

“You know what, I got something for you.”

Earl immediately took it upon himself to diffuse the situation the moment he caught on to what Muriel eluded to, “Now woman, we ain't going and shooting the damn thing. Hell, it has a collar on. Probably somebody's pet!”. His wife, till she succumbed to an inevitable heart attack, smashed a fist atop the vehicle before screaming, “Well if it's somebody's gosh darn pet, they should keep it on a leash!”. A palm once more flattened upon Earl's forehead to accent his disappointed response, “Why are you acting like nobody has ever had a pet get loose?”. Muriel was quick to retort, though she was obviously beaten in the logic department, “I-I ain't never say that. And why ain't you out here helping me get rid of this big-eared dog?!” Her furry friend yipped and growled angrily for a moment. “See!?” Earl blurted out with mouth and hands, “You done upset the poor thing!”

Muriel's fuse was more or less at its end. Slamming the car door shut, she once more shooed the golden critter, then slapped the hood in an effort to scare it off. A blank stare was its response. “You little!” the woman finally blew; if she couldn't shoot it, she'd just use her own two hands. At least, that was the plan. Even amidst several pleas from inside the vehicle, Muriel took it upon herself to ignore the threat of rabies, bites and scarring her children for life.

The woman lunged forward in an attempt to either grab or swat at the barely foot tall creature. It was difficult to tell which considering by the time her hands made it to where the creature had been they were no longer there.

Muriel growled as she came up empty handed. “Where'd it go?!” she yelled straight towards Earl. Her husband sheepishly pointed towards his scalp. “What?” the whale-woman questioned with impatience and ire. Earl once more repeated his hand motions. This time Muriel actually looked up at her own forehead. Her widening brown eyes met equally brown orbs staring down from the top of her head.

“Get off!” she screamed and swatted at the same time, hands once more coming up empty. This time she felt the multitude of tiny claws dig into her bountiful bosom. Another swipe and the agile creature was upon her shoulder, then her forearm, back, other arm, rump. In short, the spectacle of Muriel grabbing and swatting at her slippery enemy was more than sufficiently distracting to those in the vehicle.

Several seconds into the ordeal it was the little girl that found something far more interesting to grab her attention. While watching one's mother be embarrassed by a creature a fifth of their height was undoubtedly hilarious, having a complete stranger knock on your window was far more worthy of one's focus. It was just a bit more shocking when that stranger was stark nude and making no real attempt to cover themselves.

The image of a muscular, six foot brown skinned woman was now permanently ingrained into an eleven year old's mind. Orange and dark brown hair may have made them look slightly more stylish, but it did nothing to make the situation any better.

The woman smiled warmly and gave a halfhearted wave. The little one sheepishly returned said wave, blue eyes threatening to fall right out of her sockets. The older woman laughed before rolling her eyes and turning to the sweating mass of woman on the verge of passing out from her 'fight' with the four-legged canid.

“Tilla” the body-builder-esque female called, “I couldn't fit any of your clothes; you can stop playing distraction now.” She gained no more than the attention of the white-skinned hippo, the fox simply bounding up and down upon the tired woman's head.

The naked female sighed and rolled her eyes before looking to the little girl. Arms crossed about her chest, she spoke with disappointment in her tone, “She's mine if you're wondering.” Her younger audience remained wide-eyed but unresponsive. “Tough crowd” she snickered before reaching to open the driver's side door, flopping down on the leather seat. “Come on, fox, we've got stuff to do.” by now she'd been reduced to frustrated whining. She'd also gained everyone's but Muriel's full attention. Her canid companion ruffled the portly woman's hair before dismounting them. They then took a seat in front of the brown-skinned woman that beckoned them.

As one may have expected, when the chaos settled down, the inquiries erupted from all sides.

-”Who are you?” - “Why is that woman naked?” - “What do you want?”

Prior to answering anything, the orange haired woman bent down to scoop up and deposit the fox in her lap. Petting them gently, she softly answered the array of questions she'd been presented, “Well, I'm a human being with some issues, wandering the countryside with her beloved pet. Why is this one naked? Well because I don't have any clothes that fit lying around.” Honestly, Earl and the kids couldn't even tell if the naked woman was talking to herself or them. All they knew is she continued to go on and on, “If I told you what I wanted- no, needed, you'd be confused. So... I've decided to tell you anyway. I want you to provide me with clothing and transportation. If you'll hand it over, that'd be swell, but right now I'm willing to take it from you if I have to.” Her final words held quite the grim and serious tone to them.

Earl rose a finger to retort, but much to everyone's dismay, Muriel came around just in time to inject her two cents, “Now just you wait a minute, that sounded like a threat!”. The unclothed female shrugged before tossing out an emotionless, “It kind of was.”. That was enough to send Muriel well over the edge in an enraged display of stomping and shouting. “Now I'm all for giving your indecent tail some clothes, we've got some in the trunk, but I''ll be a monkey's uncle if you think I'm going to just let you start making demands!”. The darker skinned lady quirked an eyebrow before replying in a manner meant entirely to be rude, “You give yourself too much credit; monkeys are obviously a lot smarter than anyone in your bloodline.”

Muriel huffed, the woman long having gone red in the face. “You... you” she stuttered, “You get out of my car” - “Or else?” - “Or else I'll drag you out myself!” After a minute pause, the naked woman shook her head and smiled, her mouth barely needing to move to issue a challenge, “No you won't” To that, the semi-intelligent hippo lunged to snatch the woman's leg.

She was abruptly knocked unconscious by a swift heel to the forehead.

“Told you” the naked female quipped as Muriel's monstrous frame collapsed just outside the driver's side of the vehicle. She glanced back over her shoulder at Earl and offered a pleasant smile and a few kind words, “She'd not dead, but she'll be out for awhile. Now, how about we get me something to wear, and you play chauffeur for awhile?” Earl simply nodded with wide, fearful eyes. “And kids,” the woman called, “You just sit back there and be quiet little angels. Here!” With no warning, a whimpering fennec fox was thrown into the backseat between the two young ones. Her only explanation, “Play with her while me and the old guy handle a bit of business.”

----

Convincing a family of four to give a total stranger clothing: not too difficult. Getting a family with kids to turn their car around and drive back towards a potential war-zone: that required a bit of yelling. Coercing a father and two kids to just shut up, sit down and ride with their mother and wife in the trunk: that surprisingly too no effort at all. Earl had even been kind enough to rearrange the stuffed trunk space to allow room for his corpulent spouse. Apparently knocking Muriel out cold was the one action nobody was willing to take, but all had the urge to do it.

Earl had taken to the driver's seat whilst the now-clothed woman sat with crossed arms in the passenger's seat. Both children sat, cautiously eying the large-eared fox siting on its haunches in the middle of the backseat. Silence hung inside the vehicle, aside from the low hum of the engine as Earl found himself back on the highway.

“So....” Earl broke the still air with an awkward tone, “you never quite mentioned why you needed to go back to San Antonio, ma'am. You also never bothered to give us anything to call you.”. It took an entire five seconds, but the woman that basically took a family hostage responded with disinterest, “Trust me, you wouldn't believe me if I told you what I needed to go there for.”. The man driving nodded, but it was less in agreement, and more of an obvious lead-in to what he had to say next: “I hear ya'... but go ahead and try me. I've seen a lot of things I don't believe today.”. His passenger snickered but quickly reverted back to indifference when she replied, “Like a naked woman walking up to you, or weirder?”. Earl nodded in complete affirmation before adding in a verbal answer, “Well that, and a whole bunch of giant dog things!” Instantly Earl gained the woman's undivided attention.

“Where were you when you saw them?” she asked with a hint of urgency. The man was surprised by there having not been outright laughter or confusion at his confession; he issued the woman an answer nonetheless. “Well, let's see. We live a bit north of San An, and we saw one o' them crazy things up the road from where we stay, so me 'en Muriel rushed home, grabbed the kids and high-tailed it out o' there!”. His female company shot a glance over her shoulder, not to the kids, or to Earl, but straight to the fennec fox staring right back at them.

“Think we're in for an encounter with your friends?” the woman asked to her 'pet'. They nodded in agreement, “Damn,” the woman sighed before glancing over to the man and continuing, “What's the closet military base to San Antonio?”. Earl detected that hint of urgency in her voice rapidly escalating. He struggled desperately to answer, “Well, uh, you've got bases all around the area, but I mean Lackland is right in San An.”. The female returned to facing out the windshield before confidently uttering “Then go there; you're free after that.”. Against all better judgment, Earl shot back at the commanding woman, “Now just you wait a minute! I can't go getting on a military base, and I don't know how I feel about letting a possible terrorist off at the front gate.”

Orange and brown hair smashed repeatedly against the passenger seat's headrest, the woman groaning her words out, “I'm not a terrorist, and you don't need to go on base. Just put me close enough to walk.”. Earl's eyes narrowed though his suspicious inquiry was rendered null and void before It ever completely came to fruition, “Well how am I supposed to know you're not a terrorist when you done kidn--” - “Because I came up to this vehicle naked, and unless somebody planted something I didn't know about, the only things to ever go in my ass or slit were all kind enough to pull out when they'd done their job!”

Strike three for mentally scarring the two young minds in the back of the car.

Earl... Earl just stuttered, muttered, then shut up and drove. Even the kids were left speechless, and they only kind of understood what the woman just said. Tilla on the other hand, perked her ears, widened her eyes and gave a delighted tail wag. If this was the kind of mentally unstable behavior she could come to expect from Jazz, then the fennec found herself longing to preserve the entertaining partnership for as long as possible. As to whether the now-human felt the same way was up for debate. It's not like Tilla could ask her; not until the Hunter changed back to her furry self anyway.

---

“I don't get it,” the woman riding shotgun muttered, arms still crossed as she gazed out on beautiful, crowded San Antonio, “how does anyone stand to live in places like this?”. Her hazel eyes fell upon yet another pick-up truck in front of them. Two in the afternoon may not have been rush hour, but it was lively enough to leave traversing the busy streets more time consuming than the female found acceptable. Earl however, thought they were making good time.

With the kids both asleep, the driving man kept his voice to an audible minimum, “I take it you're more of the country kind o' girl?”

-”What''s that supposed to mean?” the girl asked, wreaking of frustration.

-”Just means you ain't about this city life. You'd rather be in a small town, wouldn't ya'?”

A lengthy silence preceded the woman's reply.

-”I guess so. I just think living in clans this large all the time is terrible.”

-”Living in what?”

-”Clans... communities; whatever you want to call them. There’s thousands of you lumped up in an area that should house a few dozen at most. It's too many to ever learn and trust.

Earl scratched his wrinkled forehead, the man almost completely confounded by the ludicrous accusations.

-”Well, I mean... sure I prefer small towns myself, but I don't know about all that math. Some people like the city. Some people hate how quiet the country is; don't make 'em wrong.”

The woman shot a glare out of her window, bundles of pedestrians blissfully unaware of any impending doom.

-”I never said they were wrong; I just know two things that would make me never live here.”

-”Is traffic one of them?”

-”Okay, three: Traffic, too many people in one area to know and trust...”

She paused, eyes scanning over a bus stop with at least a dozen patrons waiting. Next, a group waiting to cross the street, a horn blaring as one tried to cross early. Then, she was interrupted by Earl.

-”That was still only two. I thought you had three?”

-”I do... I just don't know if it's appropriate to say.”

-”Naw, the kids are knocked out. Just whisper and it'll be me, you and big ears back there listening.”

A brief growl came from the back seat. Earl simply widened his eyes and apologized to the fennec , “I swear your lil' dog knows English.”

-”She's a fox, and she does” the woman replied coldly, “Now stop.”

Earl quirked a brow at the sudden command. It had been a good half an hour since his passenger/kidnapper had acted so forcefully. “We still got a little ways to go” the man stated with an odd hint of fear, “you sure you want to walk it-”-”Stop... the car” the woman cut the man off with the words forced through her teeth. Thankfully Earl had no intention of confronting the she-hulk, and his foot quickly depressed the brake pedal.

“Whatever you want, miss” the man said with his hands rising in surrender, “just take what you want and go”. “Yeah,” the brown one started to Earl whilst stepping out of the car door, “thanks for everything.” The fennec quickly bound out behind her, though Jazz didn't immediately shut the door. Instead, she sighed heavily and looked Earl dead in the eyes before giving him one last piece of cold, unnerving advice “Hey. Get out of here, -now-. Go anywhere but south.” Earl began to inquire why, but the woman once more talked right over him, “If you go South, you and your entire family are going to die;” she gulped back a lump forming in her throat, “Much like everyone else here.”

“Wait!” Earl yelled as the woman shut the door. Another vocal attempt to stop her fell on deaf ears when she took towards the sidewalk. By the time Ear could curse having manual windows, the woman and her pet had already rounded the corner out of sight.

“The hell'd she mean don't go South?” the man debated with himself, “What's south that's worse than north?” He threw his car in gear when a horn blared angrily behind him. “Yeah, yeah I'm goin'” he mumbled as if the driver at his rear could actually hear him.

---

Meanwhile Jazz was busy being the center of attention on the streets. It wasn't exactly difficult to tell why either. Not only was she a light brown six foot woman build like a lean tank and dressed in a man's ragged white-T with equally ragged jeans and boots, but she was all of that whilst talking to a giant-eared fox sitting on top of her head.

“Alright, Tilla we're on the ground, small and only one of us is armed” Jazz casually chatted with the fennec on her scalp, even if she wouldn't be able to respond if the fox told her anything important. “So we find Ire, and hopefully she thinks more highly than to just step on us. That's basically our plan. We just tell Aeris we found her, hope she's not seriously defecting, then skip back to your base where I then proceed to go home.” Tilla yipped, which the woman just took as affirmation. “Good” Jazz stated with confidence, now we just have to find her.”.

The fox on top of her perked their ears and sniffed at the hot city air. After but seconds, they pointed a forepaw just off to the right of where their human steed was headed, “So that way?” Jazz inquired, only receiving another yip she assumed was a yes. “Okay... that way then.” With that, she took the fennec from her scalp and held them comfortably to her chest. She began to run, only to stop and grimace at the clunky boots upon her feet. “Eh, fuck appearances” she muttered with a shrug.

Thirty seconds later, and San Antonio bore witness to a woman that clearly ran marathons for a warm-up. Though her human form was undeniably weaker, she was an athletic phenomenon and genetically altered to boot. Barefoot on asphalt, she blazed an indefinite three and a half minute mile, never even appearing to tire as she closed the gap between herself and their target, her vulpine navigator held to her chest with one arm whilst the other swung with her run.

A minute into following subtle points of her fennec guide's forepaws, and Jazz quickly took note that she likely wouldn't need them much longer. “We're just going to assume she's in this general direction.” the Hunter stated plainly as she darted along a mixture of sidewalk and street. Eyes scanning over the police barriers and officers hindering traffic, the woman easily determined that Ire had to be somewhat close. “Seems out of place for her to be in the middle of a civil area though; I'd have assumed she'd be harassing military sectors.”

Her forward progress was suddenly interrupted by one male voice of exceptionally commanding tone, “Hey, hey, stop right there!” The Hunter went from thirty to zero within the second, eyes snapping to the source of the one that halted her. Amidst several generic white male humans in blue uniforms, the woman assumed the one with his hand out pointing towards her seemed like the one she should concern herself with. That fact established, the woman set her sights on him whilst casually petting her vulpine chest-warmer.

“So what seems to be the problem, guy?” the female casually inquired. The slightly taller officer glared though it only showed in his brow, his eyes hidden behind heavily tinted aviators. “Ma'am,” the officer kindly commenced correcting her, “please don't call me guy, and I'm not at liberty to discuss the particular matters of the situation.”.

Jazz paused, smiled smugly and tossed out a cheeky mixture of a question she needed the answer to, and already knew the answer, “Oh... so it's a fifty foot red fox with horns and scales, isn't it?”. The cop before her fell silent with his mouth still open and poised to speak.

“Thought so,” Jazz quipped, “now I'll just need you to point me in the right direction.”. Her blue uniformed acquaintance shook his head both to jolt himself back to reality and deny the woman. A full second after the head movement he reached towards his hip and spoke once more, “Wait, ma'am. Now you might know that, but I still can't let civilians enter the area.”. The female showed no pause in her retort. “That's fine, because I'm not a civilian!”.

Unfortunately for Jazz, the local law enforcement were substantially more intelligent than the back country authorities Kia had contended with. As such, the Hunter found herself dumbfounded when the man rose his brow and asked “so what are you then?”. “Um” the female let confusion temporarily get the best of her, only being familiar with a few government agencies, and not knowing exactly which one being a member of would get her past.

“Ma'am” the officer began once more, one hand outstretched while the other sat upon his holstered taser, “I'm going to ask one last time for you an your little dog to g--” Problem instantly solved, a frowning Tilla watched the policeman answer for his crimes with an electrical arc right to the chest from between her ears. It sent him to his back, dancing wildly for a moment before going still.

The human woman's eyes widened, though they did so as her feet began to take her through the blocked off street, “Is he dead?” she gasped and asked of the fox, having to glance down to see them shake their head in a scarily cute manner. “Good” she noted before coming to a halt once more due to another officer’s command, this time finding a taser already pointed toward her. His taser turned out to be much less effective than her own however. While there may have been time to check if her vulpine friend truly was just incapacitating them, Jazz did not want to risk having Ire move from her current position.

The deeper she traversed into the cordon, the less resistance she received. Several officers from the front of the barricade had attempted chase her, but none of them could hold a candle to the woman once she commenced sprinting. It also didn't take long for her to reach her destination, a place where far more police awaited her. Much to her rarely seen happiness, the female saw no eyes on her. No, the peepers of every SWAT team and beat cop were focused towards the four-story hospital a hundred feet inside the inner cordon. More importantly, all weapons were trained upon the demonic creature that stood the same height as the structure.

“Not again” Jazz uttered under her breath, the woman only taking in one fact: this was a hospital; >another< hospital. At least this one wasn't on fire, and from the looks of it Ire had no intention of changing that.

The drixen currently circled the structure, though it was less predatory and far more protective in nature. Tilla stealthily slipped from the woman's clutches as they continued analyzing the hybrid. Ire seemed, distressed, nervous.... paranoid even. For Jazz, that was more than just different for the drixen, it was downright unheard of.

Ignoring the missing fennec, the human casually shuffled her way up to the cordon's edge, orange and white barriers visually marking it but otherwise useless. She immediately gained the attention of an officer wielding a megaphone. Thankfully he caught her when she was only a few feet away, so his voice did well enough to communicate with the woman.

“Hey!” the officer called, looking between Jazz and his surrounding subordinates angrily, “who let her in here!?” A collective multitude of various 'I don't know' expressions from the surrounding force members was his only reply. He could only growl and shake his head at what seemed like utter incompetence around him.

“Nevermind,” the supposed leader of the operation snarled with a dismissive wave of his hand, “somebody just get this woman out of here!”. Having not let Jazz utter a word, one of the lesser armed police closed in on her, only to halt in his tracks as the woman screamed, “Wait! Let me through.”. The officer in charge furrowed his brow before motioning for his subordinate to continue escorting the female out. Granted curiosity did force his tongue, “Why on Earth do you want to go in there?”. Jazz pushed the encroaching officer away with a single arm before responding to the lead male, “Because I need to talk to her.”

Honestly the officer in front of her had seen and heard many awkward things in his life, but a woman putting a six foot police officer on his rear with a single one-armed push was enough to warrant even him taking a cautious step back. After looking to the shocked officer to ensure the lead set his sights back upon the surprisingly strong woman and clarified, “Wait, talk to 'her'? Her who? Don't tell me you want to get in that building and find someone.”. Jazz rolled her eyes and stomped, clearly growing impatient as she shot her words through clenched teeth, “No! I need to talk to the damn drixen.”. “The what?” the man inquired, only to have the rage-filled female explode on him, “The giant four legged creature behind you! Let me talk to her!”

The lead officer reached toward his nightstick once the woman's attitude began to border on outright hostile. To say he wasn't just as confounded as he was fearful would be a lie, and it showed in his slightly quivering voice, “Wait, wait. You want talk to it?”. Borderline hostile became blatant hostility when the woman once more stamped her barefoot, leaving a miniscule crack in the asphalt as she screamed “Yes! Just let me through; the quicker this gets cleaned up, the faster I go home, and the faster you all stop wasting your time!”. The man's hand gripped his melee deterrent still by his side. Even if he was staring down a woman that belonged on a men's fitness magazine cover, he had a job to do, and at least his mouth showed it, “I-I'm sorry but I can't let you do that.”

Obviously she wasn't going to convince the locals of anything if she just kept showing herself to be a class-A lunatic. Establishing that in the forefront of her thoughts, Jazz decided to cut out the middleman altogether. “Fine” she huffed to the officer, though before he could be redundant and ask her to leave, she glanced over to the dragon-fox in the near distance. Her hands cupped to the sides of her mouth, the woman threw every bit of vocal energy she had into one single word:

“IRE!!!”

The four-legged abomination in the very near distance perked their ears and halted their pacing.

“IRE!” Jazz called once more, this time having the drixen point their gaze directly at her. Granted, being under the focus of a near 50ft monster caused each and every officer's heart to skip a beat. The otherworldly woman found it not even remotely out of the ordinary. Even as a cloud of minuscule metal shavings sprung forth from the drixen and coalesced above them, Jazz seemed content with having their attention.

The cloud of excited gray metal particles caught the stare of every officer's weapon in sight range of it. One could not blame the police force either; the blob floated and pulsed like some massive ominous amoeba. At least it remained formless for several seconds before it dispersed and coagulated into a solid shape that all could understand: a question-mark.

“That's new” the lead male stated slowly in shock, his handgun raised at a punctuation mark. Jazz rolled her eyes at the display of fear displayed at actions she considered completely ordinary.

“It's Jazz!” the Hunter yelled, stepping forward and causing the primary officer to lean over and ask, “Wait, it knows English?”. Jazz barely spared the man a glance, offering but a one word answer, “Yes.”. Distracted with the woman, the man didn't even notice the question-mark shatter to pieces and break into dozens of smaller symbols. The Hunter paid the metal more mind than the man.

|YOU ARE HE HUNTER|

“Yeah!” Jazz responded after dropping her hands. A glance to the officer in front of her was all the warning she gave before stepping past him and proceeding straight through the makeshift barricades. If any weapons turned on her, they did not fire.

|WHY ARE YOU HEAR|

The Hunter wasn't certain if Ire purposely forgot to add punctuation, or if she figured a question was easy enough to discern. Whatever the case, she casually strode toward the hybrid and engaged in quite the abnormal conversation.

-”Aeris sent me and one of her little lackeys to track you down”

|TRACK ME OR KILL ME|

-”Track. She just wondered if you were defecting or not.”

|DEFECT NO|
|SAVE MY MATE YES|

Jazz halted her progress once she reached the edge of the hospital parking-lot; she wasn't trying to have to crane her neck to insane angles just to view what Ire had to say. “So I heard you went after Ghost.” The Hunter paused, her eyes actually showing a substantial amount of worry as she inquired, “Where is he?”

|INSIDE|
|I DO NOT KNOW IF|
|THEY CAN HELP|

-”Why here?”

|FAMILIARITY|

Jazz's eyes narrowed to the drixen's answer, only able to shrug and ask for clarification, “Familiarity? What familiarity?”. In a response clearly not directed to the Hunter, Ire snarled, pinned back an ear and glared over her shoulder. The act derailed Jazz's previous inquiry entirely, prompting a much more paranoid “What's wrong?!”

|STALKER|

The Hunter quirked her head to the side, clearly not registering the word as anything meaningful. Ire took notice with a single glance back toward the minuscule human.

|THE ONE WHO POISONED YOU|

|YOU ARE WELCOME BY THE WAY|

It took a moment to sink in, but the moment the light in her brain flickered to life, Jazz went wide-eyed. “Oh...” she uttered singularly before even thinking of what to say, “So Isis' friend, he's the one Aeris sent to kill Ghost?”

|DA|
|I SAVED MY MATE|
|STALKER HAS BEEN FOLLOWING|
|EVER SINCE|

-”He's pretty small though” Jazz quipped, “how haven't you ripped him apart yet?”

|I CAN NOT SEE HIM|
|BUT HE TAUNTS FROM AFAR|

The drixen's ears twitched, receiving another menacing transmission from Stalker. While it caught Jazz's attention, she had much more pressing questions, “Wait, so the kit that tried to kill me is padding around, invisible, right now?”. Ire never quite answered before the Hunter herself was greeted to an unnerving growl in her ears. It wasn't her usual reaction to be frightened, but she was currently unarmed, vulnerable, and out in the open. As such, none could blame her for hugging about her chest and glancing about in all directions.

As if the ominous growl had not been enough, the Hunter found herself losing all composure as she felt a warm, humid breeze wash over her bare skin. “Go away!” she screamed, only to be rewarded with something hot, soft, and rough slapping across her back. That sensation rapidly faded however, though it left the rear of her clothing drenched with... “Saliva? That bastard just licked me!”

|DO NOT WORRY|
|WHILE YOU WORK FOR AERIS|
|HE WILL NOT KILL YOU|

Shivering in both the coolness of her damp clothes, and the thought of becoming snack food at any moment, Jazz commenced a frightened power walk toward the hospital entrance. “Right,” she stated with absolutely no confidence in her safety, “but just in case, I'm going to head inside.”. Ire showed no qualms with the Hunter's plan, even leaning down her nose to offer a ride.

|HE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO END YOU|
|BUT I WOULD NOT WALK ALONE\

“Noted” Jazz said whilst seeming entirely too calm about hopping onto the snout of a man-eating predator. None found it quite as abnormal as the police officer she'd just been talking to. In all honesty the woman found her rear-most thoughts prodding her to halt Ire and let her warn the uniformed men that there was a giant invisible predator on the loose, but the repercussions of doing so may have been worse than if she simply let it be. After all, Stalker had shown no interest in them thus far, so altering variables seemed like a terrible course of action.

The brief trip upon Ire's nose went without incident. Jazz was placed softly at the front entrance of the hospital, and only spared a “thanks” before ducking inside.

From her initial survey, the woman found the main lobby to be seemingly deserted. Her human nose aided her none in determining the presence of any life. It seemed as though she'd be doing her tracking the old fashioned way.

Her eyes scanned the main room, the only interesting features being the empty seats, several of which were overturned in what seemed like mad dashes to safety. She also looked over the front desk, its dark wooden top dotted with clipboards and papers, but showing itself to be entirely unmanned. At least, it was devoid of life according to her eyes. Her hearing, human or not, was a sense much less easily fooled.

Jazz's bare soles flapped softly against the linoleum floor, the half-breed gradually making her way towards the front desk, and the source of what she'd come to believe were minute whispers. “Hey” she called softly before ever getting into arm's reach, “Is anyone here? I'm just looking for someone.” Not much to her surprise at all, the whispers behind the counter intensified with panic, but at no point did she receive a valid answer. It brought about a frustrated sigh, though her determination did not wane.

As the Hunter's palms slid upon the finished top of the wooden counter-top, she leaned over to peer down at the other side. Like she mostly expected, her hazel orbs connected with the frightened emeralds of a redhead crouched behind her workstation. “Hey” Jazz stated with an overly smug grin parting the pinkish browns of her lips, “fancy meeting you here.”. The girl behind the counter seemed to relax, if only slightly, when she at least saw that the intruder was human. The red haired girl even offered a sheepish “Hi” in return.

The Hunter raised an eyebrow at the woman still crouching behind the wooden object. “Well,” Jazz started with a giggle, “are you going to stand up and help me, or is this not a place where they help people?”. The desk-attendant peaked her head just over the counter top, hands placed upon its edge. She spoke lowly, though her eyes focused on the automatic front doors as opposed to the brown-skinned client that had addressed her, “I um. Don't you see that thing outside?”. Jazz glanced over her shoulder to the glass entrance, only seeing the paws of the drixen plodding about outside. “Yep” the Hunter replied, “She stole my boyfriend. Nasty whore, but she's the least of your problems right now.”

To say the redhead's expression changed to absolutely confounded was an understatement; she may have very well achieved a new level of face contortion after hearing Jazz's statement. The grotesque visage was only shattered once the Hunter snapped in front of the cowering girl. Instantly they stood, arms up by their head in surrender to whatever crazy held her hostage.

“Okay, look” the unnamed worker began in a panicked tizzy, “I don't know who you are, or what... >that< thing is, but just tell me what you want and leave me alone.”. Jazz rolled her eyes and stifled a giggle before letting the girl in on what she needed, “I just need the location of your newest arrival. Short lil' guy, definitely not human.”. The green-eyed attendant commenced logging back into the computer system that held the hospital's visitor log.

Nervous didn't begin to describe the frenziedly clicking girl's voice, “Oh my God, I shouldn't be doing this. I'm risking my job for you right now, lady!” Jazz simple shrugged without the first hint of concern. “Alright, we have a few entries from the past few hours. Two transfers from a military hospital, a guy that sounds pretty Mexican, and then an entry that just says 'A Dog'”.

Jazz's eyes narrowed to near-slits, though she placed the issues of mislabeled species on the bottom of her current worries. “Okay then...” she said with a shrug and an inflection that signified she'd been expecting more information, “where is the one labeled 'A Dog'?”. The redheaded woman instantly shot back an answer, showing that she -could- have saved time by just saying names and rooms from the start: “Dog is in room 312. So third floor, room 12.”. The Hunter nodded before bounding towards the elevator with only a few choice words tossed over her shoulder, “Thanks! But do me a favor and change his name to 'A Fox' if you can.”

The redhead proceeded to do nothing of the sort, quickly returning to her position crouched behind the counter. “I don't get paid enough for this.”

--------
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 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:29 am

You missed a prime oppertunity with Estus and Muriel there, they could have taken tilla in and named her courage! And jazz really shouldnt be walkin around barefoot, thats how you get hurt son! But that aside, good stuff, a couple of errors here and there but nothing too game breaking as I would say, that invisible fox problem oughtta be solved right quick lest something bad happen! Aside from death and destruction to all of course
RIP Baggy52.

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