A HUGE HOWL OF THANKS! To everyone who stopped by during the Earth Day Blog Hop.
Warning: This flash scene contains a dose of gratuitous violence. My dark side took over. But don't worry, the hero from down under still wins. And, oh yes, apologies to any Aussies for the admittedly clumsy use of your slang words.
The Enemy Almost Within
Covered by the darkness of night, Shere Khan twitched his tiger nose, and stared through the thick tangle of forest brush. The noxious odors of the Global League's soldiers filled him with a mighty rage.
However, the wisdom of his long life kept him still, and observing. His ninja scouts had not been mistaken.
Shere Khan had not wanted to accept their dutiful report. He'd traveled a great distance through the deepest forest and partway up the mountainside to discover the truth for himself.
A silent growl vibrated his throat and his tail tip slashed the air. For a century now, the Tiger Yakuza held in their possession, a negotiated contract with the European cabal. Now the vile Machiavelian pirates violated his territory.
Shere Khan burned hot as white fire, his muscles tensing, ready to crash through the stand of brush. Only knowing now was not the time to make his move stopped him. Even so, his claws flexed as he envisioned shredding all twenty of the foul, soul-perverted humans who dared soil his territory.
'Summit,' he growled inside his mind.
Shere Khan despised the idea, yet he well knew a summit meeting with the werewolf, Dante, would be necessary to protect Talbot's Peak and the surrounding territory. A unified and superior force would be required. Ah, yes, a temporary alliance, assuming the powerful alpha could persuaded.
Dante's strong alliance with the superwolf, White Fang, and his lover, the cat goddess, Z'Pasha, would prove to be a major obstacle. Continuing to stalk the elite soldiers' movements with his gaze, his further thoughts were rudely interrupted by the pungent scent of canine.
'Terrible threat, eh mate?'
Dugger slid his words inside Shere Khan's mind like the deft slice of a knife. He knew knives in his human form. Especially the Crocodile Dundee model.
"Dingo," Shere Khan snarled once he spun around, facing Dugger.
With his usual icy cool, but with his hackles raised, Dugger stood his ground about thirty feet away from the Tiger Yakuza leader. Dante had given him a crash course in the major players before agreeing to his troubleshooting scout-about.
Ever since losing several of his human friends to the cruel killer mercenaries, Dugger had made it his personal mission to track wherever the Global League placed its demonic army. The instant he'd known there was a planned takeover of the wild lands surrounding Talbot's Peak, he'd contacted his motorcycle-riding mate, Dante.
Hours later, unseen by security and the crew, Dugger hopped a transport plane as his dingo self, and left his native Australia. He'd been panting like a right stud anyway to visit the Interspecies Pleasure Club. Yeah, two birds were almost within the snap of his jaws.
Now he and Shere Khan stared at each other like TV Western gunfighters. Neither he or the white tiger blinked. Yet, both of them kept one ear cocked toward the Global League squad. All the while their animal eyes blazed at each other instead of pistols.
Alerted by suspicious sounds, then running steps in their direction, he and Shere Khan whirled around by tacit agreement. The fight was on. Already weapons fire flashed toward them.
Mad as cut snake, and with his blood on boil, Dugger burst into a run slipping through the wall of brush. Fleeter of foot than Shere Khan, and more agile, he positioned himself opposite the obviously enraged tiger.
Not expecting to be attacked by a dingo and a white tiger, the squad halted and with their backs to each other, fired at random. At first, he and Shere Khan circled at full speed, avoiding the spray of bullets.
Even with their special ops training, the soldiers were unprepared for a wild-animal tag team. Dugger dashed in and out, leaping, crushing the wrist of his hated enemies with one bite.
From the corner of his eye, he watched Shere Khan charge. His massive jaws broke arms like twigs.
Once the squad had been disarmed and their blood saturated the forest floor, Dugger searched for any vulnerability. On instinct, he ripped through their uniforms with savage fangs. No mercy lived inside him as he ended their earthly lives.
Dugger knew rogue soulless killers when he tasted them. And he'd tasted a lot of them recently. The Global League had declared war on the human population of Earth -- a ruthless war most of humanity knew nothing about.
As his sides heaved with exertion and triumph, Dugger watched Shere Khan fling the leg he'd just torn off with a primitive vengeance. After a roar that reverberated throughout the forest, the tiger turned glowing eyes on Dugger.
'You, dingo, and I have a common enemy,' Shere Khan mind-communicated. 'They will send more of their warrior hirelings to conquer us. Soon.'
'Yeah, spent a deal of time tracking their bloody arses, and watching 'em. Warned Dante about the roach-like infestation coming his way.' Dugger kept his gaze keen on the Tiger Yakuza leader, but relaxed his posture as if they were speaking over a couple of coldies.
Shere Khan regarded him with a shrewd and fierce eye. 'What is your personal interest in Talbot's Peak, dingo?'
'Just arrived from down under to give a bikie pal a helping paw. And you know the Pleasure Club by reputation.' Dugger gave him a wink, then a brief grin of his canine lips.
After giving Dugger a short stare, Shere Khan shook his huge head, an indication he felt no immediate threat. 'Perhaps you will deliver a message to your pal, Dante.'
'Yeah, yeah, what is it, oh great tiger one?'
The massive white tiger's eyes flamed for an instant to be replaced with a glint of amusement. 'I wish a summit meeting. Does not a formidable enemy make strange bedfellows, even when considering the numerous and varied carnal opportunities at the Interspecies Pleasure Club?'
'Can't argue with you on that point. Yeah, I'll pass your message along.' With that Dugger spun on his hind legs, and began an easy, ground-eating trot.
Life had taken a damn ace of a turn, and he was already feeling at home in Talbot's Peak. After a bit of conversation with the biker werewolf, and a long curled-up snooze, Dugger planned on doing some serious exploration of the Pleasure Club.
So far, time hadn't been on his side when it came to the amenities Dante had offered. Now that he'd decided to stay on, that was about to change. Dugger grinned and broke into a lope.
Happy Sun in Taurus!
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~