Date: July 6, 2011
Shemri and Sora are in hot water, but what happened to their pets? Let's find out…
"Hunting the Predator - Battle of the Beasts"
Open Plains [Land of Wind]
The long grass of the plains rises easily 5 feet tall, and it is a truly beautiful sight with the blowing wind. The grass swirls and ripples like eddies and waves on a lakes surface as the wind blows, and the golden stalks in the sun almost glow with a good natured light. The sweet smell of the plains is adrift in the air, and many travelers will stop to rest amidst the stalks for a night.
To the south lies a rising mountain, with a barely visible narrow path beginning up its massive height. Far to the east lays a narrow path, following a small river out of the stalks of grass, and into some distant trees.
While Shemri and Sora are being treated to the dubious hospitality of the Pride, their respective animal companions, Shiikaa and Megami, are left to fend for themselves. Shiikaa in particular has sustained some injury during the fracas, from the teeth of the atoneko Kizu. He always did like to play rough. ^>.<^;
After distancing himself from the battle, Shiikaa stopped to lick his wounds and consider his options. Shemri and her team-mate have been captured, so rescuing them is priority one. How to do that is the question. ^e.e^ Slipping into their encampment would be easy, if it weren't for Kizu. It'll be tough getting anywhere near the pride without him smelling something. Even past that, Tategami will surely have set a guard on Shemri, so freeing her without causing an alarm will be very tricky. Doing all this on his own is going to be — no wait, maybe that bird could be of some use. Where is she anyway? ^c.c^
Megami is a little tired but relatively unharmed. Of course, one good hit might leave her on the ground. She was trained to fight with Sora, whose job it was to make sure her hawk wasn't too vulnerable. Sadly, Sora is tied up and apart from her partner. Megami will have to go it alone. But Sora isn't worried. Megami is the smartest falcon she knows. She won't rush in blindly for no reason. And of course the pets could work together to help their owners. As Sora and Shemri talked with the women, Megami had already returned. She circled dangerously low with her Soaring technique, keeping in the light of the fading sun so it'd be hard to look directly at her. Even up high Megami is careful to stay upwind, where it'd be hard to catch a whiff of her.
After staking out the layout of the camp, Megami flies back till she finds Shikaa. She makes sure the coast is clear before fluttering down onto a tall boulder and flapping her wings several times just to get the cat's attention. Then she hops to face the direction of the camp, and waits to see how the cat might act.
Shiikaa looks up when Megami arrives. Ah, it's you. Been having a nice time flying around? Maybe you'd like to do something productive, like — oh, what's that? You found something? Well then. Being mostly recovered, Shiikaa gets up and heads in the direction Megami indicated. You know, I've never had to work with a bird before. I won't have to sing or anything, will I? ^e.e^
Megami focuses her raptor eyes on Shiikaa with startling intensity. She'd sit there in silence for an uncomfortably long time, as if sizing the cat up. Will this one be a helper or a hindrance? Well, it'd be dangerous to go alone. Perhaps having two will make all the difference. Then, Megami dives off the boulder and swoops straight at Shiikaa. But before getting within reach the falcon swoops back up and circles towards the camp. Rather than going in a straight line, she angles around it to keep downwind. And she'd glide slowly, to let Shiikaa keep up.
Whether or not Shiikaa did come, Megami would barely take any time waiting around the edge of the camp. Just a little while, in time for Kizu to be a little apart from its company. She drops fast as a bullet, but silently not towards any of the women. She'd aim at the cat, not to slash it, but to fall like a rock and knock it out. Then, she'd glide back up, to see what effect her attack might have triggered.
Kizu is out patrolling for danger to the camp. Actually, he really only cares about Tategami, but since Tategami's in the middle of the camp, it appears functionally the same. Being the hulking brute that he is, Kizu subconsciously takes an intimidation approach to his patrols: he's not so much watching for trouble as trying to cow any potential problems away with his mere presence. Thus, it comes as a great surprise to him that anything would not only attack on his watch, but also choose him as its target. Unfortunately for Megami, Kizu is a bit too hard-headed to be knocked unconscious. He shakes his head to clear it, then looks upward. Big. Bird. Me EAT big bird. >.<^
Shiikaa, meanwhile, has been lagging behind Megami a bit. Cats aren't built for distance running, after all. XP He watches Megami assault Kizu while catching his breath. Oh, great, just had to make a move already. ^>.<^; Well, nothing for it now, just have to hope it works.
While Kizu is busy thinking murderous thoughts up at Megami (and hardly realizing he has no means of getting at her), Shiikaa fires off a small sphere of wind chakra, striking Kizu in the side. Hey, musclehead, over here! Kizu turns his head. Small. Cat. Me EAT small cat. >.<^ Hmmm, kind of a one-track mind, eh? Kizu lopes after Shiikaa, taking him further from the camp.
Hadn't she slowed down for the cat? Megami is surprised to see Shiikaa a ways behind after she flaps away from Kizu. Shiikaa shouldn't have dawdled, he should've tried to keep at a good pace! Oh well. When Kizu gives chase after Shiikaa, Megami circles around and aims right at Kizu. Or more precisely, right at Kizu's backside. Megami aims to hopefully knock Kizu unconscious or, failing that, knocking it even further away from the camp. This time Megami wouldn't go completely into the air after the attack, but skim forward lower to the ground for a few yards almost tauntingly before pulling back up. All of Megami's moves are fast and precise, but the falcon is trying very hard to keep out of Kizu's reach.
Shiikaa peers at Kizu. He took the bait, good!…I think? ^c.c^; Well, better than alerting the whole camp. Despite his single-mindedness, Kizu has too much fighting instinct to ignore Megami after taking a hit from her. Kizu darts sideways and avoids the strike from Megami. ME EAT BIG BIRD! >.<^ With Megami now being the closest target, Kizu lunges after her. Shiikaa comes charging in and slashes at Kizu. Kizu responds with consistently good reflexes, turning suddenly and slamming Shiikaa into the ground with a meaty paw!
*WHOOSH!* Shiikaa disintegrates in a puff of wind. Kizu stops and stares at his own paw in perplexment. Me…smash small cat into nothing? c.c^
Megami makes a fast target for Kizu, but that lunge still hits her in the tail feathers. She wobbles, veers precariously, and barely manages to gain a few feet of altitude. Fortunately Shiikaa has distracted Kizu long enough for the falcon to get airborne. But the cat had quite literally ruffled Megami's feathers. Megami circles around after the attack, putting her back to the sun. If Kizu turns to look he might be blinded by the sun, but Megami is still executing an obvious divebomb. However, rather than following through and slashing at Kizu Megami snaps her wings once she gets close. A burst of wind would be aimed down towards the cat. Whether he is unbalanced or managed to dodge the hawk, Kizu would find Megami a moment later slashing at her and gliding past. It's a risky move, but they're taking perilously long to deal with the mangy thing.
Kizu is still dumbfounded by his newly discovered ability to make things go poof with a swipe of his paw. Suddenly feeling the approaching danger, he attempts to use this power on Megami! But of course the falcon doesn't come within range, and the attempted counter leaves him feeling more wind chakra. This is followed by a painful raking of talons, and all this abuse is finally starting to tell on the atoneko. As Kizu wobbily turns to chase Megami, Shiikaa (the real one this time) comes running in. A stiff breeze propels him bodily into Kizu's jaw. Kizu gives a low moan and collapses. x.x^
Shiikaa pants a bit. Okay…guess I'll bury him up to his neck, that should keep him contained. At least now we can observe the camp and make plans without worrying about being sniffed out. :P