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Posted on Wed Oct 4th, 2017 @ 2:33am by Commander K'Niras Sh'howul

Mission: S01E01 - At the Brink of Night
Location: Crew Quarters
Timeline: Present

Nurar and S'yakr were his older brothers and Desiss was his cousin. His brothers weren't older by much, mere minutes, since they were littermates, but Desiss was older than any of the boys. She was a large female that had a tuft of hair on the top of her head that resembled the "mane" of the males. K'Niras hadn't grown a mane yet, even though his brothers teased him about it, Nurar was the only one that had any sort of beginnings of a mane. The four kits had escaped their watchers for the afternoon. Not that they were supposed to escape, but with upwards of twelve kits to watch as well as do whatever was needed around the house, it wasn't that hard for four of them to go missing for an adventure.

It wasn't hard for them to find places to explore without really going that far. Even in a city as large as Mrowan. The Caitian people believed in preserving their jungles and living with nature, rather than clearing it to serve their purposes, but the pockets of jungle that were all over the city were very dense and held a wide variety of plant and animal life. Nearby K'Niras' home, there was an area that was reserved for hunting. This meant two things. The wild area was rather large, since most game animals required large territories and two, the area was also packed with game animals. Most of them were grazers, but there were definitely more challenging animals in the jungle as well. Wild boar, wolves and bear could all be a problem for four young kits in the area. Birds were also a risk, as well as snakes.

Despite the dangers, these were still native Caitians, albeit children, but they knew better than to do a lot of things in the jungle areas. They knew which plants, animals and amphibians were dangerous. They knew how to be quiet, how to stalk and listen. S'yakr was even a fairly good tracker for his age and Desiss had just been given her first real spear. They were all armed with knives, as was their custom. K'Niras had had his knife since he was born. He was very comfortable with it, but Desiss was the only one with a spear. It was exciting for her and for them.

Nurar really wanted to try the spear, even though he wasn't old enough to be given a real one, but Desiss wasn't having it. It was her spear and she was going to use it first. The question was, what was she going to use it on? At the edge of the jungle, the side of the area furthest from their home, there was a pasture-like area of grass and there were often quite a few of the grazing herds there most of the day. Of course Desiss didn't want to go find a smaller animal, she was determined that she was going to kill herself a grass eater and the boys were gonna help her.

They had made it to the edge of the dense trees and had crept forward on their bellies to look out at the grassland from under a bush. Nurar and Desiss were silently shoving each other around in the dirt as he tried to get her spear and she tried to shove him off. It wasn't much of a problem for her really. He was too little to do her too much damage, but he was clever and fast and she was overconfident. Their tussling served no purpose and was starting to frustrate the other two boys. K'Niras finally shoved his brother back when he rolled into him for the third or fourth time. "Will you two cut it out!" he demanded in a tone that was so low, most species couldn't even hear it.

Nurar elbowed him in the side, hard. "What do you know about it, runt?"

"More about it then you. You're gonna scare them all away!"

K'Niras was right too. Even though the kits really weren't making all that much noise it was still enough to alert any sort of super sensitive prey species. The nearest herd was comprised of a smaller species, sort of like a Terran Roe Deer. Their heads had started to pop up, right as Nurar and Desiss had started fighting. Now, most of the herd was looking in their direction and the biggest male had snorted several times, letting the rest know to be on alert. Apparently they hadn't smelled the kits because they had yet to take any sort of action other than to stop eating and look.

The kits quieted down and lay still under the bush, staring out at the herd of deer and not making a sound. Not even a tail twitched. Some of the herd had started to calm down and return to eating, but the male stayed on alert. Once he calmed down maybe they could figure out some sort of plan. They were so caught up in being still and willing the herd in front of them not to run away, that they were not paying any attention to anything else around them. When the wild pig hit them they had no idea it was coming or where it had come from.

The wild pigs weren't huge, but they did have sharp tusks and serious attitudes and they took offense to almost everything. The pig bowled the kits, running roughshod over them and wheeling around for a second go. Kits scattered from the bush and deer scattered as well. For some reason the female pig decided that K'Niras was the worst threat. She chased him down. He didn't give up easily, but he had always been the smallest and despite his efforts the pig was slowly gaining ground against him. Finally finding an option he circled the angry pig around a section of fallen trees and then dived into the end of a hollow log.

The pig was infuriated. Not easily fooled she knew just where her target had gone. She also knew that she couldn't reach him now. She bashed her tusks and head against the log, snorting and squealing and stomping her feet, over and over, each blow causing the rotten log to splinter further. For awhile K'Niras was afraid that he might be trapped in the log forever or that the pig would somehow finally manage to break through the log and smash him. She screamed in frustration and the sound of it chilled K'Niras to the bone, making all his fur stand on end.

The pig stayed there, rooting and pounding at the log, for almost 2 hours. K'Niras lost track of time. Even after the pig was gone, he was too terrified to leave the log or look to see if she was really gone. Matter of fact, he stayed there all night, tightly curled inside the log. Back at home, his siblings were finally forced to tell their parents that they had run and then returned without him. They were in trouble and their father, Caturs and their mother, Nohie were both out looking for K'Niras where the kits had told them they were earlier.

It wasn't the first time that a kit was lost and it wouldn't be the last. It was hard to curb the natural curiosity of a Caitian child. His parents were only worried that he might be injured. Wild pigs were dangerous and more than capable of killing a Caitian child. They were also very tenacious and stubborn and smart. Caturs, however, was an excellent tracker and hunter. He was certain that he would find his smallest son and he was correct, within an hour of starting their search he located the terrified K'Niras. He pulled the log gently apart to get the frightened kit free.

K'Niras had fallen asleep. Panicked most of the night that the pig would return, he finally fell into an exhausted sleep in the log. When his father pulled it apart K'Niras was sure it was the pig. He hissed and spit and fought with his claws until he realized that what had ahold of him was his father. Caturs took the onslaught of his frightened son with good humor. "Woah boy..." he said softly. "I've got you..."


K'Niras woke with a start. He was drenched in sweat. It was so real he could still feel his father's arms around him. He closed his eyes and let himself fall back into his bunk. To this day he was still terrified of wild pigs. It took him many years to even be able to hunt pigs and he still couldn't deal with them. Even an image of one could make his stomach tie itself in knots. He lay in his bunk and tried to lose the feeling of panic over his dream to meditative breathing exercises.



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