Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Serial Novel - The Hunt

The lioness sniffed the air. Lovac was near. Zna slowed him down by giving him a false scent trail to follow. The hunter was fooled for only one hundred ticks or so, but it was enough for her to find what she was looking for.
The only way she would be able to keep the thirty tick advantage Mister required would be to run the hunter through the ‘Hole’. Most lionesses did not want to risk the hole. Most hunters didn’t either. The Ministry did not have vids that could follow into the area. If she and the hunter went into the hole, the only way the audience would be able to follow the hunt would be through the biological cameras imbedded in each of their skins. It would be less exciting than watching the big bad hunter chase the sensual exotic lioness, but it would serve her purpose. Mister did not say he needed a good show. He only needed a thirty tick advantage.
Zna raised her head to the wind. Her whiskers twitched. Lovac was nearing.
This hunter is good. I wonder if he is good in bed as well. Spirit Leana, what am I saying? Zna snorted in derision. Of course he is good in bed. Has a high sperm count as well I bet. Otherwise he wouldn’t be the most successful hunter. I wonder how many lionesses have simply let him catch them. I wonder how many half-breeds he has sired.
Zna walked into the mouth of the hole. She could only take a few steps without it closing around her. She only needed to take a few steps into it to accomplish what she wanted. Pressing down with her foot, allowing her claws to sink into the soft ground, Zna made a foot print. She then stepped away from the track into the hole. Moving to the side the lioness again stepped into the soft soil. This time the prints barely made any impression. She moved several steps forward into the hole in this manner.
Leaping with all the strength she could muster, claws extended, Zna caught hold of the edge of the hole. The ‘Hole’ was really a cave entrance. About fifty steps into the cave was a field that was black. No light penetrated it. No sound came from the cave. Lionesses and hunters alike who passed through the field were lost for hours at a time. Very rarely did the biological cameras record anything but darkness. The times the cameras did, the images were erratic, frightening, and bloody and filled with sounds that came from the depth of hell itself. The lionesses and hunters that came out of the Hole were never the same. Some went insane. Some simply didn’t care what happened to themselves. Others became violent and uncontrollable. Then there were the ones that made it back whole.
Zna had a secret. She knew what was on the other side of the field and how to battle it. Her mate and she had ventured into the hole when they were young. Stupid, foolish, dangerous, and very informative. As far she knew, no one else, lion or hunter, had ever gone into the hole.
Zna never ventured into the hole during a hunt. She never needed to. All Mister needed on previous hunts was for her to avoid being caught and mated. This time he wanted a thirty tick advantage.
For Bescjen’s sake I have to lead the hunter here. I don’t like what it does to people, but I can’t risk not having the thirty tick lead and losing Bescjen. I will emerge unscathed. Lovac will not.
Finishing her leap from the leading edge of the cave into the trees above, Zna scratched first one then another and then another tree further and further from the hole. the scratches were deep and obvious. Moving among the branches without a sound, Zna moved back to the first tree she leapt into. She pulled herself into a small package, curling her tail around her body, crouching on a smallish limb. her breathing slowed to less than a whisper. She watched, waiting for the hunter to come, to show himself, to fall into her trap. The lioness waited for her prey.

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