A Heritage of Power 4: Jerik's Story 9.99:
by Fur and Fantasy
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file
Four days later, Jerik was finally coming out of the magical sedation. His back hurt again, but it wasn't the same stretching, aching pain that had hit him each time he'd moved before.
"How are you feeling?" Lady Tella asked.
"Sore, but everything feels like it's back where it belongs." He answered softly and didn't even try to resist the light touch of his Defender keeping him down. "Will there be any lasting damage?"
"Scarring, but nothing that will be a real problem," the Lynx said easily. "You will have to regrow a certain amount of the skin back there; we had to remove some of it in the process of getting at the scar tissue. You'll just want to be careful about sleeping on your back for a week or two. Now," she chuckled, helping him to his feet, "could you please convince your friends that in front of our office is not a campground?"
"They'll be quite happy to leave when I do, Lady Tella." He chuckled, checking his balance before he walked, Tomar only far enough away to keep from bumping him.
Outside, Quasma and the others were eagerly waiting for him, a distinct swell to her belly now visible.
"Is it safe to hug you if we're short?" Tessi asked him.
"Not really," Jerik told her gently. "It ran hip to shoulder."
"Okay, just take it for granted that if you wouldn't be screaming, we'd probably all be hugging you right now then," Tessi chuckled slightly.
"And that we're starting to think you can't go anywhere without getting into trouble," Remys added with a slight smile. "Your quarters?"
"Definitely," Jerik nodded, looking forward to seeing them even more than when they had started home the first time. "It's been too long."
"Definitely," Quasma smiled as they started out to the towers. "By the way Tomar," she chuckled, "steer clear of the anatomists for a while. They're of the universal opinion that axes do not make for particularly good autopsy subjects."
"If they want to complain, they can take it up with me after Jerik's healed," Tomar growled lightly. "I wasn't hunting for a specimen for them."
"Just joking," she added, ducking her head apologetically.
"Oh," he calmed quickly as they worked their way through the Academy complex. "Sorry."
"S'okay. They're not really happy with it, but they understand. Just might want to make sure you've got something handy that'll do less damage when you are specimen hunting."
"Like a longspear," Tomar agreed. "Those things have sharp claws," he added, looking down at his chest, lightly scarred beneath his fur even after his mother's ministrations.
"Or heavy crossbow." Jerik added. "Take it out at range."
"We are not going to hunt those things for a while yet." Tomar looked down very seriously.
"No, but when we do, having a plan and the right equipment would be good."
"You're crazy, you know that?" Remys shook his head at them.
"Remys, Jerik's planning on being a Blight-hunter," Tomar pointed out. "Crazy or not, it's only smart to actually know what to do when you run into the things that live out there."
"I know," Remys agreed. "It's the planning this early on that's crazy. There's a reason that people still live in Kareptis; it's one of the safest places to stay there."
"The point is to change that." Jerik said calmly. "Besides, I'm likely to graduate in two or three more years."
"So you are still planning on taking up hunting right away?" Quasma asked him as they started up the tower.
"Not full time, no." He assured her gently. "But a hunt now and then would be good practice, and get me out of your fur for a bit."
"Okay," she smiled. "I don't think our little girl would be too crazy about that early on," she chuckled slightly, putting a hand on her belly as they reached Jerik's quarters and opened the door. "They put the room in to link our quarters," she explained as they all filed in and found their spots around the low central table on couches and cushions. "Same type of doors on it as there are between the hall and our rooms."
"Nice to know that's done," he nodded and carefully settled in Tomar's forelegs and accepted the fussing he did to avoid touching his back. "So what's been going on around here?"
"Nothing too much," Tessi said easily. "Classes and lessons ... we're all well on the way to Second Circle, at least without straining ourselves to do it. Keil and Lina are out with the Guard right now, getting a little practical experience. Sounds like Keil's getting real good with his fire and acid spells," she chuckled.
"Nasty and effective." Jerik shuddered at the idea of getting hit with acid in a match. "How are they getting along?"
"In the field, or at home?" Quasma asked, shaking her head. "They're great in a fight, but you know that already. Efficient, get the job done - they're good. Watch 'em around here, you'd never believe they were the same people. I don't think I've ever seen a couple that had a harder time figuring out they were a couple than those two."
"Maybe it's a nomadic Mouse thing?" Tomar suggested. "They do have a lot of strange customs."
"Might be," she admitted. "It's just frustrating sometimes. It's so obvious they like each other, but every time somebody suggests it, you'd think Lina was pink instead of white."
"You mean like Tomar would get like?" Jerik reached back to scratch his mate affectionately without straining his wounds, getting a gentle kiss to the top of his head for it.
"Just a lot more obvious with her fur," Tessi giggled.
"Yeah," Quasma chuckled. "So, how'd it go for you guys, before the whole skin-thief thing?"
"A lot of fun," Jerik grinned broadly. "Tomar kicked tail in the hunter competitions, I beat one of the visitors in a mage-duel, the betrothal ceremony was just sweet," he tipped his head back to give Tomar's chest, the closest part he could reach, a lick. "Lots of feasting, and the pups are just adorable."
"And we found out second-hand what happens when you fall into a bag of holding," Tomar chuckled. "Apparently, it's very dark."
"It is. Kinda cold too," Tessi said easily, only just catching herself after she'd said it, blushing.
"Ooo, I think our group kitten has stories she hasn't shared." Quasma teased, her eyes glittering in mischief.
"I was only five," Tessi said defensively, ducking her head and blushing, suddenly finding her lap very interesting. "And I thought it was just a bag...."
"How did you ever fit into one when you were five?" Kennara asked with a giggle of her own, standing up and going over to ring for a Servant to bring them some snack and drinks.
"I'm a Cat," Tessi pointed out with a giggle. "It's our job to fit places we're not technically supposed to, and it's a bag of holding's job to hold things it's not supposed to fit...."
"Two things that go together a little like oil and fire, huh?" Rainbow teased, rubbing her back lightly.
"Especially when you just saw your mother put something shiny into it and you're bored," Tessi said sheepishly.
"How'd you get out?" Jerik asked.
"Mom had just gone off after putting away an amulet, so I ended up waiting a bit until Marco came looking for one of his balls and found me," she admitted. "Cured me sneaking things from cookie jars though," she giggled.
"I bet," Rainbow clicked, then cocked his head at Jerik when the tom cracked up laughing after a desperate attempt not too.
"Oh, you are sick tonight." Tomar groaned, then laughed himself after Kaul let him in on the joke.
"Marco's a dog," Tessi pointed out as everybody else caught on and started laughing. "Maybe I should have the Servants bring up something hard for me to drink," she giggled even as she buried her head beneath her arms.
"Still, keeping your balls in a bag of holding is a funny thought." Jerik didn't stop cracking up, despite what his back was telling him.
"As if nosing around for your ball and coming out with a mouthful of kitten isn't." Quasma lost it again.
"I'm missing something." Remys grumbled, glaring around at the mammals.
"For once, you aren't the only one." Rainbow sympathized.
"Just because yours aren't on the outside, don't tell me you don't know what a mammal looks like." Kennara controlled herself for a moment.
"What does ... oh, never mind." Remys looked at his Defender in exasperation.
"Should that be two drinks that can actually get us drunk then?" Tessi giggled.
"Wouldn't help," Remys muttered slightly, shaking his head.
"No, but it might make it less irritating to suffer through." Rainbow chuckled as the Servant took the various orders from the group that had been absent their leader for nearly three weeks.
"Ah, come on, it's not that bad." Tim chuckled and added sweet-cured meat to the order.
"Has anybody actually seen a drunk Gila Monster?" Jerik raised a challenging eyebrow.
"That's just it; I don't get drunk on anything around here I'd care to drink enough of to do the job right," Remys chuckled. "I'll stick to my usual, thank you."
"Mmm ... I have," Kennara chuckled. "Though we should probably leave it be at that. Gurlath brandy isn't exactly something we want to expose everybody here to."
"Ug, especially not me, or the injured guy." Quasma made a face. "The last think we need is him hallucinating."
"It's good, though." Rainbow clucked. "And fun if you don't need to be anywhere for a couple days."
"Just want to make sure you don't get a batch that wasn't cooked quite enough," Kennara shivered slightly. Remys wrapped an arm around her and squeezed her lightly as the Servant headed out.
"You found out the hard way, huh?" Quasma asked. "I wouldn't touch the stuff even if I wasn't pregnant, myself. I've seen how folks can end up when they drink too much of that stuff when I was younger. Definitely not pretty."
"Just as well," Tim chuckled slightly. "Especially since somebody actually requesting it from a Servant would be getting a very long talk with whoever their superiors are."
"So just who came up with an hallucinogenic poison as a drink?" Jerik glanced around, feeling slightly odd at being the one out of the information loop.
"Used to be a religious tradition with some shaman traditions," Quasma explained. "When they started heading into the cities, they started sharing it with other people. The Gurlath fruit ferments into something that's pretty strong, but it'll kill you if it hasn't been cooked. You cook it enough, and most of the toxin turns to alcohol. You don't ... well, let's just say that they hear the screams for a long time," she shuddered. "They got a bad batch in on payday once, when I was little. It was not pretty."
"I got one that wasn't toxic, but wasn't cooked enough," Kennara admitted. "Remys was okay, but I was having nightmares for the next two days straight."
"Sounds nasty," Jerik shook his head. "At least with most drinks the worst you get is a bad taste and upset stomach."
"Well, when there's academic debate about whether the brewers or the Assassin's Guild was more interested in getting the recipe, I think it's a good sign to stay away," Quasma chuckled slightly. "Not the sort of rivalry you usually see."
"No kidding," Tessi shook her head.
"So just how did that skin-thief get you?" Tim asked.
"He'd already gotten the hide from a Rohr who was Defender to his tribe's mage," Tomar explained. "She didn't know, and he managed to talk her into delivering Jerik a bottle of drugged wine after she finished teaching him some of her tricks for losing their duel."
"Damn, no wonder it worked." Tim shook his head.
"Don't tell me you weren't expecting some kind of inside job." Quasma chuckled at him.
"More surprised who set it up," the Rottweiler said easily. "I know some of the tribes go into the Blight, but surprised that a Defender got taken without his mage knowing. That he got far enough away, in the Blight, that the skin-thief had the chance."
"They didn't believe in being close like we do." Jerik wanted to shrug but refrained after a fraction of a movement. "I didn't ask how, but if it happened when they were camped and she was asleep, it's possible he walked far enough away and was replaced before she woke."
"Probably," Tim admitted as the snacks arrived. "Especially if he got drugged too. They're good at that sorta thing."
"They're sick bastards too," Jerik shuddered. "It's one thing to need to kill, but that one took joy in tormenting me."
"I get the feeling they'll be extinct by the time you're done." Quasma shook her head a bit, though she had to admit that it wouldn't exactly be a loss to the world.
"Because they deserve it?" Tomar suggested. "They were never meant to exist in the first place."
"*Don't say it.*" Whisper warned Remys softly after Kaul warned her of Tomar's probable reaction to saying that Rohr weren't either.
"*Technically, they aren't,*" Remys reminded Whisper, but let it drop. Really, he hadn't been planning on saying it, true or not.
"There are a lot of creatures in the Blight it wouldn't hurt to see wiped out," he said easily. "Unfortunately, some of them are actually needed around there. Not that most people would object to losing them anyways," he chuckled darkly.
"So what's actually a good thing to leave out there?" Jerik asked, keen to take advantage of a native's knowledge.
"Anything that's a legitimate predator or prey," Remys said easily. "There's little enough out there that's a decent source of food; the skin-thieves are the biggest offender on the 'no right to exist' list. They were created as spies; they don't contribute anything to the system until they die, and nothing really hunts them."
"That'll change in a few years." Jerik muttered.
"Well, for now, we can relax," Quasma said, reaching over to put a hand on his leg gently, rubbing it. "Let's just enjoy having everybody back, or back soon?"
"And Academy food." Tomar added with a grin as the Servant came back with their order.
A Heritage of Power 4: Jerik's Story 9.99: Recovering
Het Level is Low Slash Level is Femslash Level is None Herm Level is Low
14 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written February 15, 2006 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann
Setting: Herath, Star Wars (Furry)
Primary Races: Avian, Canine, Enchanted Item, Feline, Fox, Kat, Mice, Reptile, Rohr (Herm Wolftaur)
Contents: Furry. Herm. Het (M/F).
Pairings: Jerik/Tomar, Jerik/Quasma
Blurb: The gang has a long evening together after Jerik is finally released from the healers.
Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.
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