LINES IN THE HEATHER [P] Feb 24, 2015 0:17:59 GMT -5
Post by SONJA LUTAIR on Feb 24, 2015 0:17:59 GMT -5
Sonja had been in this city for either a few seconds or a couple of years, which is to say, about an hour. Only four minutes or so after arriving, she’d become aware of a building. Three stories, brick, sporting plenty of ivy. Striped awning over the door. A large, broken display window, and a huge chunk of the upper two floors missing. She didn’t know where it was, of course. But looming behind it was a high rise. Nothing huge, but tall enough that she could see it with her eyes and not just her head. Without step-by-step directions, that was the best chance she had. Sometimes that meant winding paths, when she had to get a clear line of sight again.
Traveling freely as a camel was already strange enough; after being trammeled in the labs, it felt almost like she was going to wake up any moment. Perhaps she should have enjoyed it. People always talked about being speed and strength as some sort of mind-blowing bliss. At present, she was too agitated to get caught up in such things.
Besides her mission, her thoughts often went to the invasive, sometimes painful thoughts of whoever might be in range. In the lab, the cacophony had been comforting in a way, even if it was full of anguish. But here, their voices were a reminded of what a place like this should have been. The streets were full of noise, but still empty and dead.
She did see a few people here and there. Most shouted after her, whether out of curiosity, suspicion, or in one case, hoping to employ her as a pack animal. She stopped for none of them, and fortunately none chased her. Getting oriented wasn’t priority right now, but she picked up what she could. Mostly, that her scent told them all that she didn’t belong to any ‘ring.’
But her mind always went back to her destination, carefully reviewing the details to keep them fresh. Eventually, the spire-topped tower was looming right over her, haloed from the sun rising behind it. Which was good; she at least knew she needed to be near the shadowed face. Time seemed to run by even faster now, as she careened through street after street, looking for the smaller building. Still, the sun didn’t move a great deal before she laid eyes on that striped awning.
The Scottish woman transitioned to human form and stepped through the doorway. Her panting filled the space as she strode between emptied shelves. She never had been that athletic, and she was really going to pay for that run once her determination was satisfied. Still, even she couldn’t pretend that was the only reason her heart was pounding, her chest tight, her hands quivering.
A battered green shop counter lined most of the back wall. Sonja rounded it and froze. The man curled up on the floor showed all signs of being who she expected. The people that ran this place were endlessly deceptive, however. She was afraid the catch was going to hit her at any moment.
A firm toe to his shoulder proved that he was solid at least. She stepped back after the gesture; even before this place, they both had reason to be quick with defensive responses. As the lump stirred her face broke into a grin, wide and unrestrained, unlike what most people would have received.
“S’ fhada bho nach fhaca mi thu, cat-griosaich.”
O.O.C. – ‘Long time no see, Fireside Cat.’