Subj: [FFML][HD] Plucked from the Pride
Date: 01-02-06 12:47:11 EST
From: email@example.com (Laurence H Woodruff)
This is my first post for any fanfic ever. I don't know how it's going to
go. I hope it's not too long. I expect to tie it in to the other stories soon.
It was a scorcher. Gooshaki couldn't concentrate on the hunt. The sun beat
down hard this time of year. He simply wanted to curl up and bask in its
intensity. Unfortunately, he was too young for that, especially at this time
of year. As the summer equinox approached preparations had to be made in
Cosmo Canyon. Soon, they would celebrate the festival of renewal.
Meditations, song, dance, plays, and feasts were prepared in honor of the
circle of life and death. Each year those that were eligible formed bands
of three. Each band was to seek out and return with a gift for the
festival. Many returned with food, usually of some sort of game. Some
however, returned with stories, tools, new found resources, and rarely,
This was the first year he was allowed to go on the great hunt. Gooshaki
turned 70 this spring and with that age came new responsibilities. He
inherited a crystal necklace from his father who said It was worn by a
great warrior of the tribe once. Gooshaki hadn't taken it off sense it was
bestowed to him. The sparkle of the crystal neckless contrasted with the
rest of Gooshaki's body. He was a burnt orange color. He had a thin
mane/beard under his face, and the only distinguishing marks on his body
were three deep crimson stripes. One running from each eye and his snout,
all the way to the tip of his tail.
When he was younger he always idolized the Great Hunt. He was mystified
that the older cats of the tribe left for days on end, and returned
dragging the greatest of antelopes. The elder shamans tended the bonfire
and a feast was prepared. It always excited him so.
Today however, Gooshaki was not excited. He was actually afraid. He had
never been so far from his home before. He had only his older brother,
Haroki, and his uncle, Garounu to comfort him, and both of these cats had a
tendency to be impatient. They had trekked through the high savanna grass
for 2 days, and they had seen no sign of any herd of any hoofed prey. The
three cats walked through the grass single file, to hide their numbers, and
each day they took turns leading.
Gooshaki led yesterday, so he took the rear today. He was bored and his
mind wandered. He had been staring at his brothers tail for hours and was
very disinterested in his task. If he didn't know better, he would have
offered to catch one of the many rabbits that lived around these parts and
call it quits. As he was looking around for something furry, he thought he
saw something move far to the left of him, in the grass. He stopped, but his
brother and uncle kept walking. If it was game, he didn't want to frighten
it, so he did not call out to his party.
Instead, he stealthily moved toward the source of the motion. It continued
erratically. As he neared it, he thought he heard flapping. Hoping it was
an eagle, a bird revered by his tribe, and who's feathers are said to be
bringers of luck, he crept ever so quietly to a small clearing where the
grass thinned. As he poked his snout through the clearing. In it was a
small pool of water. On the opposite side of the pool were tracks.
"Excellent. Now we're getting somewhere," he thought proudly. He would have
followed them immediately if it wasn't for the flapping noise he heard again.
Within the pond there was a small jam of logs, sticks, and twigs. A white
dove, VERY uncommon in this part of the world, appeared to have its foot
caught, wedged between two of the logs. Naturally, Gooshaki, hating the
suffering this living creature was waded into the pond. His burnt orange
fur became darker as it became wet. he kept his tail above the water
though, lest his tongue of flame catch fire, requiring him to spend many
hours meditating on its rekindling.
When he reached the dove, it quit moving, scared stiff. "You need not worry
little spirit. I am here to help you." Pushing the logs apart with his paw,
the dove became free and flew out above him. It hovered above his face,
facing him, and then the oddest thing happened. Gooshaki was sure he saw the
eyes of the dove, flash a brilliant, bright, piercing emerald green. The
dove then immideatly turned and flew at a fantastic speed along the tracks
at the end of the pond.
Motivated by the reverence of his people for flying spirits, he left the
pond and chased after it. It wasn't until many hours later that he caught
up to it. It had made a nest in a small tree. Gooshaki, realizing his
fatigue, curled up under the tree and fell fast asleep.
"Edward, do you see that?"
Edward dropped his spoon into his bowl of beans, left it near the campfire,
and walked over to Braydon who was peeking through a telescope. "What's
over there Braydon?"
"I think it's a firecat but I'm not sure, check his tail." Braydon passed
"It's a firecat alright. The trip to this continent wasn't a waste after
all. I'm sure we can find someone wealthy up north who would want one."
Edward called for the rest of the group. Soon, after putting on some pants
and crawling out of their tents, four others arrived.
As soon as he got there, the last of the new four spoke, quite irritably,
"What's going on now? You dragged us all the way down here to this
continent where it's hot as hell, you force us to march through deserts,
and jungles, and now that the day is done, you call us out of bed! What do
you want now Edward? What exotic beast have you seen now?!!"
"Our trip has paid off, There is a firecat under the tree about 500 yards
to the north." As the four looked, even in twilight they could see the
faint glow of the cats tail.
"Men, I don't think this will be easy. This is a noble beast with quite a
bit of ferocity in him, but imagine the pretty penny he'll go for in one of
the big cities."
It wasn't long before a plan was drawn out.
Gooshaki awoke with a start. He opened his eyes to see the world through a
tightly knit mesh. He swiftly pivoted around and his quick reflexes and
keen observational skills alerted him of the situation. He was surrounded
by 6 men. evenly spaced around the tree. One had thrown a net at him. Two
were carrying what appeared to be metal clubs. One had a bamboo like shaft.
As soon as he was oriented he acted. The mesh was of hemp, and already was
beginning to burn near his tail, a point of shortsightedness on the part of
the bandits. As the net began to loosen tongues of flame danced onto the
grass, and soon a small ring of fire began to spread outward.
One of the men tackled Gooshaki from behind. Despite being flatfooted and
somewhat restricted in movement, the great cat was much stronger than the
man. Writhing, Gooshaki merely rolled over, crushing the wind out of the
mans lungs. They were both entangled in the net, and the heat of the small
but threating fire was growing.
The other men were shouting. One of the men carrying a pipe lunged forward.
Gooshaki, lying on his back, exposing his belly, realized the tactical
error of his move. Before he was struck he rolled again. He hoped the new
aggressor would miss and strike the prone man on the ground, but to no
avail. Gooshaki was struck, and struck hard on his right leg. He heard the
sickening snap of broken bone and soon blood began to seep out in a quite
Gooshaki yaouled in pain and the flame and the end of his tail flared.
Feeling nothing but anger and fear, he was blinded by rage. (He had had his
limit, so to speak.) He wriggled out of the net and charged the pipe
carrying man. Gooshaki knocked the man down, landing on his chest. Growling
a very low, guttural growl, Gooshaki looked the pinned man straight in the
eyes. The expression on the mans face let Gooshaki know that this man knew
every vicious thought going through the cats head.
At that moment Gooshaki felt a sharp pain in his butt. He yelped and lost
his footing on the pinned man. He fell over onto his side and immediately
began feeling quite drowsy. He couldn't move, but he could still hear.
"DAMMIT! It sure as hell took you long enough Braydon!" said the recently
pinned man as he got up.
"Sorry Edward, I couldn't get a clean shot while Grayson was under him. And
the fire, and the net and all..."
"I told you guys to dart him BEFORE you threw the net! Why must you be so
incompetent!?! Nevermind. we now have quite the treasure. We'll load our
new cargo and head north to....."
Gooshaki was out cold.
I hope to tie this story in with the others soon.