Pic from ~ mthart.com.au
Tuesday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
Dugger, my Dingo Shapeshifter makes a return appearance in this Flash Scene. Since his last appearance was without a heroine, in this scene Dugger finds the woman who wags his inner tail like no other.
Warning, though: Violence ensues.
The Dingo Man and His Time-Sliding Sharpshooter
Reeling with dizziness, Symone pushed to her feet, her training as a warrior instinctive. What appeared to be a tall-tree forest whirled crazily before her blinking gaze.
Familiar smells hit her nostrils. Only a year ago, she and her posse had routed out the last of the Global League infestation in the Montana Territory. Thus, ending the occupation of North America.
But, what the frant? Why was she here? She resided in the Arizona Republic.
Symone swung her Long Gun from her shoulder as she'd done thousands of times, automatically positioning her trusty weapon in one smooth motion.
True, she still couldn't sight worth a good damn. Her eyes refused to focus.
Bang! Symone realized why. It hit her the same way she routinely blasted her targets, in the absolute center.
That straight-from-hell idiot had shoved her into the time-sliding device as a practical joke. Then Mr. Nerd had stumbled against the panel array activating a vortex.
Frant it! Who knew where she'd ended up, exactly. And, on what Earth? How was she...?
Hearing the telltale snap of twigs, Symone whipped around, and took aim. Even though her head spun nastily, her vision cleared enough to see three helmeted heads above the brushy tangle of foliage.
Enemy scouts not fifty feet away! They moved at a stealthy pace parallel to her position. Without thought, Symone took her shots.
One, two, three. Dead center. Her target had been the penny-sized bare patch of flesh left exposed beneath their ears.
Symone glimpsed them drop from sight, then whirled behind the nearest tree trunk. A young oak, it barely concealed her. Hearing their lifeless bodies thud against the ground, she raised her Long Gun, and prepared to fire again.
Likely, the rest of the squad were nearby. Adrenaline flowed through Symone like a storm-fed river as she waited.
Her ability to cast a sixth-sense net deployed. Yet, Symone observed none of the other mercenary soldiers before her mind's eye.
Instead, she wheeled around at the sound of a man's casually approaching footsteps, as if he hiked a trail. How her psi net had missed him...but he wore no helmet.
"What the frant?" she murmured, staring at his down-under gear, his Crocodile Dundee hat.
With his large blade sheathed, and no other weapon she could detect, Symone lowered her Long Gun, but slowly -- once he halted, some twenty yards from her.
"You saved me the trouble, Sheila."
"Aussie," she tossed toward him. "What are you doing in the northern hemisphere?"
Dugger didn't recognize the design of any garment the gorgeous human woman wore -- from her leg-hugging, charcoal-colored boots... her leggings made out of a fabric that resembled chestnut suede... and the dark green corset-style jacket. But he bloody well appreciated the tight way the thin materials trapped her figure.
Nor did Dugger recognize the rifle like weapon she held on him like a right expert for several long moments -- which irritated the spit and piss out of him.
'Right expert', he mocked himself. Holy dooley, hadn't she just dropped three of his prey with only three shots. And her weapon had been near as silent as he'd ever heard. There'd been only a soft whine with each bullet fired.
Dugger continued roving his gaze over her, and his inner dingo yipped with excitement, then panted fast. On the edge of voluptuous, her athletic shape grabbed both of his balls and squeezed like a nutcracker.
"Yeah, Aussie. Name's Dugger. I'm spending time with a good mate...and huntin' down the bad blokes." He gave her a large toothy grin but didn't move. "What's your name, Sheila?"
"You're not one them, are you?" She jerked her head toward the three corpses, then eyed him with a gaze that knew how to interrogate his soul.
"Like I said. You saved me the trouble. Yeah, put an end to five more of their miserable hides not half an hour ago."
Dugger watched her eyes flicker. He couldn't quite tell the color. Only that they were pale in contrast to the dark rich auburn of her hair -- pulled back in a severe chignon.
"Do they disappear here?" she asked.
Thrown off by her dispirited tone, Dugger hesitated, scrutinizing her face. "Can't tell if the implanted microchip fries them to ash or signals one of the cloaked, black ops aircraft, and they get beamed up. Something science fiction like that anyway."
Her shoulders drooped as if her world had ended, and she leaned against the tree trunk. Dugger noticed, though, that she held her strange rifle, ready to lift and fire at the slightest provocation.
"Symone," she uttered moments later, not directly looking at him. "My name. Where am I?"
Dugger wasn't fooled. He knew she carefully watched him from her peripheral vision.
"Symone, lovely name. This is Montana. We're near a town called Talbot's Peak. That help?"
Her voice was so fragile, Dugger leaned forward and cocked a dingo ear, but made bloody certain he kept his feet rooted. She could nail him before he took one righteous step.
"How can I help, Symone? Know my way around here a bit. My good mate, Dante, has a place you where you can put a leg up, have a proper drink and a rest."
After a resigned sigh, she turned her gaze on him, and he witnessed her wary apprehensiveness. "Stratospheric sharpshooter. Do you have those here?"
"Stratospheric sharpshooter." As it clicked in his brain, Dugger asked, "Is that what you are?"
She gave a slight nod, and Dugger had cause to wonder if tears filled her eyes. They appeared more shiny.
"Sharpshooter I get. The way you...what's stratospheric mean?"
"Means I'm able to target the enemy from copters or solar platform vehicles. And make the kill shot."
Her dull low voice came to him on the rising afternoon breezes.
"Well then, I don't intend on ever being your enemy." With his curiosity fierce as the outback sun in Summer, Dugger asked, "Where are you from, Symone?"
"You probably won't believe this... I'm from another Earth. By accident," she added, her tone so depressed Dugger's heart reached for her.
"Another Earth?" was all he could manage to bloody well say.
"In a parallel dimension." She moved restlessly, but didn't leave the tree. "Ever hear of a time-sliding machine?"
Dugger knew he blinked like a bat suddenly caught in the glare of an auto's head lamps. "Time-sliding?"
"I'm not supposed to be here. It was a practical joke gone bad. Really bad."
"Right then. It's time to trust someone, isn't it?"
Her gaze cut toward him, and Dugger felt it like a thrown blade. No woman had ever managed that one with him. Maybe they bred them different on her Earth.
"Since your enemy is my enemy," he drawled in an easy tone, "we have that in common." When she didn't raise her rifle, Dugger took a few steps toward his beautiful sheila. "Come on, let's get out of here. No use making ourselves targets."
As if he'd finally said something she could accept, Symone eased her posture. Straightening from the tree trunk, she lowered the odd rifle to her side. "There's a safe place?" she asked, a bit of hope in her voice. "A really safe place?"
"Yeah. Me and some friends have been picking those drongos off like ripe fruit hanging on a tree every time they enter our territory." Dugger kept walking toward her.
"I don't think I have choice, do I?" She moved to meet him with slow uncertain steps. "Stranger on a strange Earth," she wistfully added.
Gray, pale gray... the mist at dawn, that was the color of her eyes. "You can tell me all about yourself, Symone. About your Earth. And I'll return the favor. Tell you about this Earth."
She moved beside him, and Dugger figured it was best if he simply led the way. "We're not far from my vehicle."
"On my Earth the war is over with the Global League. We won in the northern hemisphere." Her soft haunted voice penetrated Dugger in a way he hadn't experienced before.
"Here. The shooting war has just begun. What about the southern hemisphere on your Earth?"
She didn't answer for a long while. "They lost. We were working with the Resistance, building them up."
Dugger didn't like what he heard. But he decided fast as viper's strike that forewarned was forearmed. "You're like an angel, Symone. A gorgeous guardian angel."
She said nothing. Dugger knew in that moment, he would prove it to her. She was his angel.
Have a Magickal Shapeshifter Month of May!
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~