Chapter Four (Almadynis)
I am now writing everything. If there is any grammer or spelling errors, they are my fault.
When Xander’s eyes opened, it wasn’t to the sight of his bedroom ceiling. It wasn’t to the sight of the basement ceiling either. It wasn’t a sight he recognized, so he immediately began to panic. In Sunnyhell, there were way too many things that would LOVE to take you home for dinner or after-midnight snack. So, in true Xander fashion, he jumped out of the makeshift cot like a pop-tart quickly; on his feet and ready to run at a moment’s notice. Or that was the plan anyway.
What actually happened was he jumped to his feet and then fell on his ass, groaning softly in pain. He was even familiar with this kind of pain. He had a concussion. Wonderful.
The voice that came, while familiar, wasn’t what he was expecting. It was the low growly clicking of Scar. “Lie down, Xander. You are not yet well enough to stand.” And that so wasn’t a question. Xander climbed back into the makeshift bed of piled up multi-colored furs on a metallic platform and obediently lay back.
He looked around the room and saw on the far wall several skulls of demons with the spines attached, but no ribs. It was kinda gross. All of them were rather impressively cleaned though so it wasn’t so much of a visual ick as much as a oh-my-god-what-he-had-to-do-to-get-them-that-way ick. The demon skulls and spines were very obvious, just as the two human
skulls and spines stood out among the collection. He swallowed; his voice hesitant and soft as he spoke, “I thought you couldn’t kill humans.”
Scar had seen his ooman notice his trophies and hissed slightly at the question, making Xander flinch. It wasn’t that he was angry at Xander, but more the situation that put those particular trophies on his wall. They had both been unworthy prey, but the circumstances around the kills had made for an honorable and prideful display. “I made an exception.”
Xander licked his lips as Scar came over to his side with a freakin’ huge knife made of a metal he’d never seen before, with a curved spine to it that was intimidating all by itself, and designed in such a way that it fit Scar’s hand perfectly. He did NOT want to be on the receiving end of that knife—because he was pretty sure that was the knife that had made those spines and skulls detached ornaments—and spoke again. “What did they do?” Translation: what made you make an exception so that I can be sure to never ever, ever, ever do it.
Scar paused, not quite sure how to explain what had occurred in such a way that an ooman could understand. Perhaps oomans did not have the same cultural rule that all Yautja were brought up with. But, because it did involve the suckling, he tried to find a way to answer. After several moments of thought, Scar finally gave up and said the closest approximation he knew of. “They threatened a suckling of my clan.”
Of course, Xander heard this answer and his brain immediately began to freak out. There’s another one of these things?! A child?!
So, trying to act innocent even with Scar kneeling beside him with a huge knife, he continued the conversation. “Where is this suckling? Am I going to meet him? Or is it a her?”
Scar blinked. His mask was several feet away, along with his armor, so Xander saw the reaction. “Are you capable of bearing life?”
“Uhhh…noooo.” Xander was confused by the sudden seeming shift in conversation.
“Then you are male.”
“Yeahhh.” Xander decided his head hurt too much for this much of a confusing conversation and dropped the issue. He leaned back and shut his eyes against the light and dizziness. He made a small, almost inaudible sound of pain that even he barely registered.
The yautja noticed. He had known the cause of Xander’s pain from the start, with his own mask’s ability to scan life forms for disease or injury. But a yautja cure for such an wound was not for an ooman. Which left only two options: time or that which only a yautja would give to Clan. Scar nodded once to himself as he made the decision. He laid the knife against the smallest finger of his opposite hand and pressed gently. Phosphorescent green blood immediately welled to the surface.
Knowing ooman’s cultural aversion to their own blood, let alone yautja’s he placed the knife on the floor and then used his dominant hand to hold down Xander and pushed his bleeding finger into the suckling’s mouth, careful not to touch the tongue with his fingernail.
“Drink.” He commanded. And he would be obeyed in this.
Xander had ignored the alien until the point he felt pressure on his chest. It wasn’t overwhelming, or even restrictive to his breathing, but it was very much there
. His eyes popped open just in time to witness the pinkie, with neon-glowing green liquid dripping off of it, coming toward his mouth. His teeth clenched tight even as his eyes grew wide. His arms came up to clutch at the invading wrist, trying desperately to pull it away. His strength was nothing against Scar’s, which he knew already but panic had reduced his logical processing to almost zilch, and all his tugging did was make the finger press deeper into his mouth, past his lips and onto his tongue.
Xander tried to shake his head to throw off the hand at his mouth, but that hand and arm held too much strength for him to fight off at this angle. He tried to kick, but Scar was too far forward for that to do any good, all he did was move a few inches before the pressure on his chest increased slightly. He tried to buck his torso to one side or the other, but with Scar’s other hand firmly on his chest it did even less good than his kicking.
After several seconds of futile efforts, Xander stopped his struggles and lay quiet. That did NOT mean he was drinking anything!
If Xander had known what he was seeing—since although he did speak the language of the yautja, he did not know the culture or the body language—he would have understood that he was testing Scar’s patience. If he had known this, then he probably would have just swallowed to escape what was coming. But he didn’t know.
Scar had about had enough of the ooman’s pitiful fighting when Xander stopped. But the suckling still did not drink the healing blood of the yautja. He growled a low warning. Sucklings knew well to submit to the Warriors of the Clan. Apparently this one had missed the lesson. A few more seconds of waiting for the ooman to swallow and that was as far as Scar’s patience would allow such a dishonorable action to go. Even sucklings knew better.
Using lightning-fast reflexes, his dominant hand went from holding down Xander’s chest to holding his neck. He saw the suckling’s eyes widen, knew the moment the information registered. Scar gave the command again and when it was not instantly obeyed, he began to slowly exert pressure on the very fragile neck. Barely two seconds passed before he felt the skin beneath his hand move and contract. Scar immediately pulled away and went to his armor and weapons. After he ran his tongue over his wound to seal it, he turned back to the ooman. He observed the position and body language with disapproving eyes. He waited another minute before he spoke; for while he definitely didn’t like the ooman’s attitude, he also knew the ooman was a suckling and as such needed specific care.
It was time to set down the rules.
Xander was curled up, facing the wall, and shaking. When it had dawned on him that Scar wasn’t going away and he would keep squeezing his neck
until he was obeyed, he had swallowed. The liquid, which was more than likely alien blood, hadn’t tasted bad, just odd. It was the situation and experience that was the most disturbing. The way that Scar had done it, dispassionately and deliberately, had frightened him. Xander had begun to trust Scar more than anyone else. The alien was attentive, honorable, and actually taught him, expecting him to fight and win
. No one else had ever done that for him.
But this…he didn’t know what to make of this.
Suddenly, he heard Scar’s voice. It was a low growl, like always, but this time it was also very commanding and it didn’t leave any room for argument. “You are not yet a warrior, Blooded or un-Blooded. As such, you will obey me instantly in all things. If I give you a command, you will follow it instantly without question. Especially if we are on a hunt. Questions come after hunts. You will not fight me unless we are training. I will teach you the ways of the Clan. You will learn.” An unspoken or else
hung in the air. Scar continued after a short pause. “You will sleep and train here. If you require anything, you will immediately inform me. If you are injured, you will immediately inform me.
“If you disobey any command I give, you will be punished. If you continue to disobey, the punishments will increase.”
There was another pause. “Do you understand, suckling?”
Xander nodded his head against his chest. “Yes.” was his quiet reply. He knew that he couldn’t fight Scar anyway. If he did, he really doubted he would like the consequences. But all of Scar’s demands were like a parent’s rules for a child. Stern, unforgiving, but with the safety of the child in mind. The same way you smack a child’s hand before they put it on a hot stovetop. Speaking of… “What about the Scoobies and my parents? Patrols?”
Scar’s reply held a note of hot anger, but Xander had the distinct feeling it wasn’t directed at him. “Your parents are no longer a threat. You will return here after your Scooby meetings. You will not hunt without me. Understood?” Once again, the commands were more along the feeling of a parent, concern about a child who didn’t yet know any better.
“Good. Now, you will sleep.”
Xander didn’t think he could immediately follow that command, but with the hand-on-the-neck incident so fresh in his mind, he closed his eyes, got as cozy as possible and began to relax. Before too long, he was asleep for truth.
Scar knew that the ooman wasn’t asleep yet, but he did know that he was trying and that was enough. He knew that sleeping on command was a skill that was learned, not an instinct. Not even sucklings could do it at first. For now, it was enough to try. The room was a comfortable temperature for both oomans and yautja. The sleeping place was very agreeable with all of the demon furs and skins he had cured.
Scar put on his mask and flipped the screens to scan for ooman injury and let out a soft satisfied grunt when he saw the last vestiges of the wound heal before his eyes. Yautja blood was powerful; a great healing agent for other species. It was something they almost never offered, except for Clan. Scar took the mask off again, confident in his decision to heal the suckling.
With another look to be sure all the traps were secure and ready should an intruder attempt to enter, Scar shook out his hair and made his way to the sleeping platform. He had not slept in three sun-cycles, taking the time necessary to obtain the needed food, shelter, and needed tools and traps to facilitate a safe temporary home. It was time to submit to the urgency of dormancy.
With Xander facing the wall, it made it easier to slip onto the fur-covered platform. Sucklings were to be protected. Scar lay on the bed, wrapped one arm around his ooman’s waist, and closed his eyes. This way, the suckling would not roll off and harm himself, and if anything did get past the traps, his back would be the only available target. Sucklings were to be protected.
Well, what do you think? Reviews are love! If you don’t review, I think you no love!