Mini-Scene: The River[Primary setting: Land of the Cats*, c. 3000 B.A.E.]OF NOTE:
Story is set in the Ancient Period. While this story is later in posting than any previous one, it actually is earlier in the timeline of the Kitarian Universe - the first story to be set in the Ancient Period (well before 0 A.E. - by comparison, the "current year" - for most of my roleplaying purposes with my characters - is 3310 A.E.). The Kitarian Timeline is just as much of an open framework as everything else within - feel free to plug your own ideas in, if you so choose.
Story is told from the "first-fur" point-of-view. This is a first in the Kitarian "canon." Like his player, Fenny's writing is meant to be pensive - when he's not too busy being silly. =;o)****************
Deep within the mists of time - when I was only half my age, as well as half my rank-of-tails (a social status ranking among us kitsune) - I was alone amongst the trees and the cool waters running cross the land.
For the first time on this side of the Gateway - in the Land of the Cats - I prepared to carry out a tradition** I had performed for almost 100 years in my homeland.
Tonight.. was also the first night I would be seen in such a manner.
"Fenny!" the cat-warrior Misty called out, in the stillness of the night. "Fenny, what are you doing out here?"
Never before had I a need to deal with company during this custom - a youkai, much less a mortal. How in the world would she respond to such an alien practice?
And furthermore.. How had she been able to get so close without my knowledge? I am a kitsune, after all - I should be able to detect sneaks, as well as be a sneak.
Could it have been the feeling in my heart then? I had felt it before.. but it was never quite the same.
Was it love?
Could love be so strong, as to blind mortal and youkai alike?
I certainly know now, but I could never have known then. After all, I had never been in love before..
..How could I have known that she - a mortal - and I - a youkai - would mate?
How could I have ever dreamed that she would give me a family.. a true home..
..A guest among mortals.
My thoughts were broken with a warm paw upon my shoulder, my 5 fox-tails bumping up against leg-plates.
"I'm surprised you're down here," Misty meowed.
Puzzled, I yerfed in reply, "Why would that surprise you?"
"Well, you haven't exactly tried to hide yourself from us." The femme-fighter then picked up and stroked one of my tails, teasing gently at its tip. "Not like some of your kinsfurs." She giggled.
I think my temperature must have risen ten degrees in that moment. "Heh.. eh.. I suppose not. Many of my people are like that.. but I try to use kitsune-youjutsu*** for more productive ends, whenever I can."
Misty smiled, and then said something I've never forgotten: "Courage does not always drive the blade of a sword, Fenny - it comes in many forms. One of them is following not the old, worn trail of those who came before you; but to instead break a new wood - following the call of your own heart. Because you never know - your trail may be the one preferred, by those who come after."
Time has shown me that it was not my heart - but hers - that truly was the greater. Not for thousands of dawns and twilights would I find another heart which shined so brightly - and even then, it was a quite different glow.
Youkai may live forever, and wield incredible magical powers.. but it is mortal who possess the greatest power of all -
The greatest powers of love.
"You're awful sweet, you know," I yerfed, blushing.
"Why's that? Hehe.. I've never been considered all that sweet."
"There are many places we go, where the local population tends not to be too happy - particularly if our true nature is found out."
"Well, I must admit, there have been a few odd tales involving minor mischief, and the occasional kitsune flushed out by one of our Clerics. But," she looked coyly at my tails, "never one with 5 of those. Besides.. you've been up-front from the start. I couldn't imagine you being anything but nice."
I blushed while stumbling for words. "Thank.. er.. thank yo.."
She interrupted me with a kiss - our warmth becoming as one. Being in physical contact, I could not help but reach into her mind.
"Fenny.. stay, or let me stay.. but never leave me again.. I would never seal you.. but I wish you could be bound to me.." her thoughts said.
"If you stay with me.. you do know I will outlive you. I can never really grow old, the way you might want from a mate."
"Always modest unto the last.. I worry about you outliving me - but not for the reason you think -
I don't want you to have to feel alone, my unique fox."
"That is inevitable.. so we might as well enjoy the time we have..."
At that moment, the psionic link broke, and we found ourselves looking into each other's eyes.
So warm were her eyes.. that my kitsune-bi**** was an iceberg in comparison.
I know, from then on, she would melt all coldness within my heart.
* Land of the Cats: Known as Felicia Prime after the advent of interstellar technologies, the Land of the Cats was reachable, in ancient times, via a magical portal connecting it and the homeland of the Kitarian kitsune. That place was sometimes referred to, in kind, as the Land of the Foxes.
** "Tradition:" Though Fen's romantic encounter this evening prevented him from getting to it, the tradition referred to is a release of stored energy. After becoming a Paladin, Fenny began to absorb large amounts of power directly from the Sun - following the ideals of Christianity, he would feel quite guilty wasting all this energy - and it has to come out sometime. Therefore, he releases it back into nature - where it would have gone, if he hadn't tapped it. This takes quite some time, and requires an opposing element - in Fenny's case, Water - to neutralize as much of the discharge as possible.
*** Kitsune-youjutsu: Literally, "fox-magic." This is a general term for Fenny's magic (as well as any kitsune's) - but in particular, that magic which is native to either himself (as a demon), or his people's lore. He will use this magic for his own purposes - generally day-to-day needs, or low-level opponents (the Paladinic Code - which governs acceptable behaviour for Paladin - allows the use of non-Sacred magic, as long as it is not used for evil). This is an observation of the principle, "God helps those that help themselves." He almost never refers to Sacred Power - that granted to him by his training as a Paladin, or through his sword Salvadore - as youjutsu, or a jutsu (a single spell, or act of magic).
**** Kitsune-bi: Literally, "fox-fire." This is a native jutsu in Fenny's repertoire - his fire-casting ability. This can range from a tiny warmth - allowing him to become a living "electric blanket" to comfort other furs - to a raging inferno, capable of causing mass casualties in battle.
Short Story: Fenny & Justin v. TerroristCare to guess the score? =;o) [Primary setting: Earth; our reality, c. 200X A.D.]
One bright summer day, Fenny the Paladinic Kitsune, and Justin the wolf-pup, were visiting the World of Men*.
While walking near the Empire State Building, Fenny noticed a man fiddling with an odd device, through the open rear doors of a large van.
"Hi there," Fenny yerfed. "Whatcha doin' there?"
"Trying to make this thing work," the man said - with a thick accent.
"What is it?"
"A tool, built by the infidels. It's brrrroken."
"Infidels?" Fenny wondered, headscritching.
Suddenly, Justin used the Soul Ball** to privately psion to Fenny, "You see that book by him?"
"Yes," Fenny replied silently.
"I've seen that sign before.. it was at the museum. I think it's what the humans use to warn about radiation."
"Really? I best take a closer look at that thing in his van, then."
Unbeknownst to either the man or the wolf, Fenny used a magical technique - one that he uses to examine matter, before synthesizing a duplicate from his stored energy.
"Uh oh," the fox silently yerfed.
"What is it, Fen?"
"Trouble. But.. I think I remember how to disable one of these. Our civilization had something like this about 1,000 years ago. It's called a nuclear bomb."
"Bomb? How big?"
"Enough to kill just about everything living in half this city."
"We have to stop it, then - you're sworn to protect mortal life!"
"Already ahead of you, Justin."
The fox put a paw behind his back, rubbing two fingerdigits together.
Justin, at that moment, suddenly felt his bag get heavier. "What did you just put in my bag?
"I'll show you later - but the city is safe. Let's go."
II.: Two Hours Later
The man - now alone - stood on top of his van, while screaming like a banshee:
"PRAISE ALLAH - DEATH TO YOU ALL!"
He then pressed a large, red button on the control...
Finally, something happened.
A silly voice recording - set to replay on loop - came from the bomb:
"Bang! Hehe! You're dead!
Bang! Hehe! You're dead!"
Then, a much louder voice:
"POLICE! Get on the ground... he's got a gun!"
This was followed by a very real bang - but not the one the man had hoped for that day.
III.: Back to Fen & Justin
Justin opened his bag. "What are these?"
He looked upon several canisters - each marked with the nuclear trefoil - and a little round disc.
"The cans are the uranium fuel for the bomb - sealed in shielded, strong containers. Don't mess with 'em. You can - in fact, please do - mess with the disc. It's the locking device for the weapon."
"Oh neat! It's got a combination lock here," Justin yipped, beginning to play with the digits - followed swiftly by a click. "It won't move anymore."
"You physically locked it up by entering the wrong code - which is what I hoped for. It's useless now, except to the United States Government - whom we're going to take this stuff back to."
"I wonder what happened to that man? He still thinks he has a bomb."
IV.: Bellevue Hospital, New York City: With Heavy Police Presence
Barely conscious a few hours after major surgery, the would-be radical martyr could be heard mumbling, "That damned infidel.. the infidel with the fur.. I'll never make it to Heaven because of you!"
This was followed by the man screaming:
"WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY BOMB?!?!"
* World of Men = The one you have your tail(s) plunked in right now. =;o)
** Soul Ball: Kitsune of legend have a small ball, varyingly called a "soul ball," or "star ball." In some stories, it appears to be an ordinary child's toy; in others, it glows with a magical aura. Fenny is no different; however, in the Kitarian Universe, there's a twist - it is a tool of subjugation. Whoever holds Fenny's Soul Ball can force him to do things, or initiate private psionic (i.e., telepathic) conversation, even if the holder is a mortal without psionic powers of their own.