Thomas „Aquilion” Pruski

 

THE WAR

part I- „Resurrection”

 

1

 

The sun was down, when a shape which was lying down on the tree branch, started moving. This shape was a pantherod leoper, the big humanoid cat with a yellow and black spotted fur. He wore a leathery tunic with a black empty sword sheath on his back. He yawned and jumped from the tree. He woke up other creatures: the big canidian male- he looked just like a humanoid wolf with a gray fur and white markings. He wore nothing, but he started to put on his heavy armour.     The next shape was a little vulpine female with the typical fox colours. There were also two other pantherods- the first was a tailess lynxid and the second was black leoper, who wore a sorcerer’s robe. Those characters sat around the campfire. The first person, who started speaking was the black pantherod sorcerrer

“So Aqil, what plan do we have for this night?”

“I think we have to reach the Black Claws Camp tonight. Igor I know your magic is great, but there are too many humans for such a small group as we are”- said the black spotted leoper called Aqil..

“But this is thirty kilometers. It’s impossible!”- the little vulpine female groaned.

“Dott, relax. When you are tired, I’ll give you a piggyback. But now I’m hungry. What could we eat Kirrinter?”- said the big gray canidian, now in an impressive dreadnought armour. The tailess lynxid, who wore a civilian sweater and pants stated searching for something under the stack of branches

“What do you want Aleks?” – said Kirrinter

“I have those rabbits which were hunted by Aqil last night. Or maybe you want some canned beef...”

Aleks wanted to say something, but Aqil was faster

“We have to go now. Eat something... anything. Better food will be in Black Claws camp”

Everybody was hungry, but Aqil as the commander gave them an order to go. He belonged to the Black Claws formation and  he didn’t ever bungle any operation. He took his katana and put it in the sheath on his back. Then he put his fiolacing triple hand razors on his carpus and a ruck sack on his back. He reloaded his small machine gun with a laser dative. Aleks touched his arms and took a heavy machine gun with a garnet launcher. He agitated his fluffy tail and opened a can of roast beef. It was awful. But Aqil was right. They had to reach their army camp tonight. Their hoover was destroyed by the human land mine. But they were luckily they survive it. They had stayed in the jungle for two weeks. They were hungry and tired! Stupid war! Why did humans attack the Cassat empire? Pantherod mages like Igor were saying there was a very magical place on the pantherods territory and humans wanted to find it only for themselves. Those were the words of all furry sorcerers.  But on the other hand all nations and species had their own magical clefs. And humans had a very big clef. The war lasted for thirteen years. Humans almost destroyed all furries, but this rest who survived were fighting with incredible determination. Nobody could win. There were only death and torment...

Everybody took their equipment and weapons and Aleks put out the fire. Canned roast beef isn’t very nutritious, so all the team were very hungry. It was 11 p.m. They didn’t have any transport and there could be human units there. But the Black Claws camp  was the only chance to survive.

1 a.m. The jungle wasn’t very merciful. Five creatures were going towards the north. Their fur was covered in dried blood. Their tails (especially the tail of the little vulpine female) were rugged. They were hungry. Very hungry. They had no more canned beef. Aleks wanted to hunt for something, but Aqil didn’t agree. But in the other case, in the Aleks’s armour it  would be rather impossible. After a few hours they could see the light ahead and hear the engine’s voices. Kirrinter glanced at the map There was a river ahead.

“ Maybe these are our people” asked Dott. Others could hear hope in her voice.

“I don’t think so” said Aqil “There are only Black Claws in this area. And we didn’t use heavy support. I think it’s an anti-grav transporter. Come on! We should check what the hell it is” and he ducked into the dark jungle.

    The river’s bank was very bright. On the water surface gigantic river transporter swayed. On its side there was a symbol which looked like a red fist- humans! Many of them. They were doing something on the other side of river. It looked like they were unloading something. Something big.

Aqil, Kirrinter and Igor climbed on the trees. Their protractile claws didn’t let them fall down. Aleks and Dott dived in the  high grass near the river. They activated their portable radio communicators

“Can you see them Aqil?” asked Aleks

“Yeah, this is heavy support. The predator tank and a few attack bikes.”

“Could we pass them and warn the Black Claws?” asked Dott with a dose of upset in her voice.

“No, the Predator tank is faster and more resistant than us. We have to destroy it when the transporter fly away”

Aqil and Igor slid carefully from the tree. Only Kirrinter’s claws failed him, and he fell down. When they reached  the river bank, Aleks and Dott were waiting for them with a little inflatable boat. The river was full of akaishas, little water reptiles with razor-sharp teeth, so, if somebody fell into the water...

The boat stopped on the stone bank. Igor used his magic to disperse blood thirsting creatures. They put the pontoon in the high grass and dived in. Human beings were preparing to start the tank. Two of them were smoking cigarettes and talking to themselves aloud. Probably guardians. Slash! There were only three bikers and three members of the tank crew left. Not bad. Only little forest creatures could see the moment when two human guardians were captured and killed by the silent hunter. At the same moment, on the opposite side of the glade, an armoured shape opened fire to the surprised humans. One of them, still a little shocked jumped into the tank’s cockpit and locked the hatchway. The tank was waking. The engine rumble was louder and louder. Kirrinter and Dott started shooting, but they didn’t even  scratch the machine’s armour. Even Aleks’s heavy blaster couldn’t really damage it.

“Guard me!” shouted Igor. He started incantation of the fireball spell.

“Aqil, I need your power...”

“Igor, you know I can’t concentrate... I have to guard you...” BLAST! Dott screamed when Aqil slumped into the ground with a terrible blaster wound on his chest. After a while a gigantic fireball changed the tank into a burning piece of junk. All the team rushed to help their friend, even Igor who was very exhausted, because he used up all his powers.

“He is dead, he’s dead!” Dott started screaming

“No, he isn’t” said Aleks, who checked Aqil’s pulse.

“But if we don’t do something quickly, he’ll die! Dott, Igor, try to fix him up. I and Kirrinter will search for some branches to make a stretcher.”

They’ll come back after five, maybe ten minutes. Dott was lying on Aqil’s furry, white chest, now all covered in blood. Her tail was beating against the ground in a desperate tact. Igor said simply

“He’s gone. The heart was damaged.”

He was very quiet, but he even didn’t try to hide tears.

    They took Aquilion’s cold body to the Black Claws camp. When the colonel, a tall pantherod tigron saw him, he closed his eyes and whispered

“Oh, gods, take his soul to the moon. Commander Aquilion, wherever you are, we will be praying for you.”

    The Black Claws Camp was builted on the big glade near the little lake. Aqil’s body lay in the glade center near the soldiers barracks. The moon was full and the body glowed with strange, almost magical light...

    ...Aqil remembered the shot and horrible pain. He remembered when he fainted away. After that, his soul rose above his body. He could see Dott crying on his chest and Igor, who was telling Kiri and Aleks about his death. Death! So he was dead. He (or his soul) was strangely quiet. He was a soldier and he died like one. He started thinking about future. Was this all? There wasn’t hell or paradise? He saw his body lying on the cold stone and he saw the strange glowing around it. Then he saw a full moon... His soul was transported to a strange place. It was a big glade with beautiful flowers and plants. Everything was covered with fog. The moon was full.

“I’m in  paradise” thought Aqil

After this he saw a naked female near him. She was a black panther just like Igor. She was surrounded by the moon light. The strangest thing  which Aqil found in her, was her eyes. They didn’t have pupils and looked like they were made from the stars

“The Moon Goddess” he thought and instinctively went down on his knees.

“Stand up my child” said the goddess. Aqil stood up and asked

“My Lady, am I dead??”

“Yes, you are” answered Goddess and smiled a little “But you will be alive”

“But how...” asked the surprised leoper

“I chose you many years ago. You are very special. You have special power. Your life’s flame is bigger than any others. Now your body is regenerating”

“What does it mean?”

“You are immortal now. I chose you to be my special emissary. The human empire is too big and too powerful. The only chance to end this absurd war is the Last Dragon. But he is sleeping. The person who will wake him up may have one wish...”

“O.K. I’ll do it. I’ll wake him up. But how?! Where do I have to look for him?”

“I’ll give you instructions later. Now you have to come back to your body. And I have a warning for you. You could die when you will loose your head. And there are other immortal humans and furries. And they are hunting for each others heads... But now it’s time to return to your friends” she smiled at him

“Thank you my Lady” and he smiled back...

    Aqil opened his eyes and felt the familiar pain in his chest. A little groan proceeded from his throat...

    In the middle of the night Igor relieved nature. When he came back, he heard something. Something like... a groan. He pricked his ears and gave a glance at Aquilion’s body. He was breathing!

“How could it be?!” thought Igor and jumped to his strenghtless friend. Aqil’s eyes glowed in the dark like emeralds.

“Hallo, Igor, what happened?” asked Aqil and smiled a little

“But, but... You were dead! How...” Igor was shocked

Aqil’s eyes started burning with the strange green light...

 

aqilion@poczta.onet.pl