Alliances: Part Two
THE EXCITEMENT AND cheer of the townspeople had left me strangely melancholy.
As I sat upon my horse, overlooking a desert plain, I allowed myself the bittersweet
pleasure of remembering days long past. It was a practice I tried hard to avoid,
reminiscing. However, in the cold atmosphere of the night, my thoughts strayed,
and I made no attempt to curb them. I had been standing on the cliff lost in
reflection for some time when a sudden movement caught my attention. I quickly
snapped back to the present and looked down at the plain, where a white rider
on a mud brown steed was tearing across the landscape, followed closely by three
dark figures. The scene did not sit well with me, for the pace of the white
ride's mount was too panicked, and the way the dark riders followed, too fierce.
It was obviously a chase. Curious, I rode down the hill and followed at a distance,
determined to stay out of sight until I knew more of the situation. We had not
gone very far before the front rider, a white Lupess, halted on a small ridge
and whirled to face her pursuers. She drew a small knife and raised it high,
the blade glinting dangerously in the moonlight. Her pale green eyes flashed
menacingly as she challenged,
"You won't take me without a fight!" I was surprised
by her bravery, and though she was small, it was obvious that she would make
a worthy adversary. Her opponents however, did not seem impressed.
"I think we can handle it," one of the dark
riders laughed as he stepped forward. I recognised the voice immediately and
let out an involuntary growl. He was the same black Lupe I had fought in town
a few hours ago.
"Perhaps," I said bitterly, stepping from my
place in the shadows, "you would not be so eager to battle if the fight was
a bit more even."
"You!" the bandit spat as he swiveled to face
me. He let out a snarl, but seemed much less confident than he had a minute
ago. His gaze shifted from me to the Lupess and back again, weighing the odds.
"Well?" I questioned. The outlaw turned to face
me, his countenance full of hate.
"She isn't worth it!" he snapped. With that,
he gave a quick jerk of his head and the other outlaws galloped away. "This
isn't over!" he warned before taking off after his companions. I watched them
fade into the night before returning my attention to the white Lupess and was
rewarded with a rather amusing scene. She still had her dagger raised threateningly
above her head, but a look of utter confusion now graced her face. Her brows
were furrowed and her mouth was partly open, her train of thought totally derailed
by the sudden turn of events. I chuckled to myself and turned my horse around,
ready to depart once more.
"Wait!" the Lupess managed to shout. "Where
are you going?"
"I wish I knew," I said over my shoulder before
cantering off into the darkness.
I had not been riding very long before I became
incredibly drowsy and let out a wide yawn. After all, it had been a busy day,
and a Lupe can only take so much. Looking around, I saw only the flat, desolate
landscape extending for miles; not a cave or crevasse in sight. Since I did
not have the energy to search for a shelter, I shrugged my shoulders and dismounted.
One night out in the open wouldn't kill me. Besides, it would be dawn in a few
hours. I whistled merrily as I untacked my horse and haphazardly set up camp.
I yawned again before lying down and curling up in my sleeping bag.
"G'night, boy," I said to my steed before I
drifted off. However, my slumber was restless. I tossed and turned, for my dreams
were troubled. I stood in utter darkness, while a voice screamed from somewhere
nearby. Yet, no matter which way I turned, I could not find where the cry was
coming from. The more I tossed, the shriller the scream became, and other voices
soon became audible. They were harsh and cold, coming from all around. With
one final toss, I bolted awake, but the shrill voice had not stopped. However,
I now realised my mistake. It was not a scream, but a panicked whinny. I turned
around to find three outlaws trying to subdue my horse, who had been trying
in vain to warn me of the danger. I snarled in anger and was about to rise when
I took a good look around. No less than twenty rugged looking Lupes stood glaring
down at me, evil smiles on their maws. A low chuckle came from my left. I looked
over quickly and was once again confronted with the bandit from town.
"I told you this wasn't over!" he gloated. The
whole pack of outlaws laughed while they fingered their weapons. I growled softly.
I had been incredibly stupid to camp out in the open, right in sight of anyone
who happened to pass by. The bandits were still laughing when a gruff voice
rose over the crowd.
"Shut up, alla ya!" Every Lupe fell silent,
and they shuffled about to make a path for the speaker. The Lupes in front of
me moved aside, revealing a very large stone alpha with a long scar running
down the right side of his face. "Now, whatta we got here?" he said mockingly.
He looked down at me and, for a second, seemed to almost falter. His eyes flickered
and he paused. Yet, it was gone in an instant, and he turned sharply to the
outlaw from town. "You know this lowlife, Blazer?" he questioned sharply.
"Yes'sir, this here is that Lupe from town I
told ya about. Lone Star, they call 'em." The stone Lupe laughed and smiled
"Lone Star, huh?" He laughed again. "Well, Lone
Star," he sneered, "word is you've been pickin' on my boys here." He stepped
forward menacingly. "Interfering with the little business we have with them
locals. Now, I can't have some hero mucking up all my plans, can I?" All the
Lupes chuckled evilly as the stone Lupe drew a fire sword from a scabbard at
his side. "I guess I'll just have to teach you a little lesson…"
To be continued...