Major Roslin bathed under the cold cascade of water. Her hooves were firmly planted on the slippery rocks below as the small waterfall pounded down, washing away the smell of metal and male musk. She hated having been stationed with these men. She was the only female in the whole platoon, and it drove her nuts. But then again, if it weren't for her, they'd have lost the last few fights with the humans. Damn humans!
The water pounded at Roslin's knots in her shoulders and back, bringing a soft groan from her. They'd been fighting the humans for the last year. The humans kept saying they only wanted the unused land on the southern most continent, but everyone knew they'd soon want more then that. It was obvious considering how long they'd been fighting. All monoshifters of human decent hate their predocessors. They see humans as filthy, greedy, worthless, and weak creatures made by an evil god. And then Monos, the God of the monoshifters, reached out His hand to Earth to transform only those who were worthy and had no greed or evil in their hearts. At least, that's the mythological version. What it really was was nothing more than an alien virus that had fallen from space on a comet. It had space for two strands of DNA, and when it latched on to one, it latched on to the next one of any similar species and combines them to create its perfect host. The host can change back and forth between fully one creature or the other but the default form becomes one that mixes the two. It must always find a humanoid host and an animal host.
So Roslin figured her anscestors were a hunter and an unfortunate deer who became dinner. Her parents had long hammered into her mind that humans were bad and evil, and thus far nothing had proved Roslin's prejudice wrong. In fact, this recent war only reinforced it.
As she finished up, Roslin took the towel she had brought with her and held it over her head as she shook her body. The water sprayed everywhere around her, which was why she had to make the towel higher then the spray. She then rubbed herself, trying to dry as much as possible before having to put the armor back on. She hated armor on wet fur. Unlike the wolves, deer didn't like fighting with M.A.S. machines. The Moblie Armor Suits felt constricting. So they wore armor that resembled the ancient knights, but with different metals and new upgrades.
She was rubbing her creme colored belly when she heard a twig snap. Her large, ripped, pierced ears perked immediately. Her black, pierced nose flared, and her huge golden eyes scanned the area. The short hairs on her body stood on end and her short, white tail jerked erect in alarm. She was about to leap for her gun when a wolf emerged from the bushes. He seemed somewhat disoriented and confused.
Roslin hurriedly wrapped the towel around her body as she barked at the wolf that was easily twice her size. "You there! What do you think you're doing? There's a war going on! Where'd you come from? There aren't any villages near here." She narrowed her large round eyes at him, staring at his green ones. Green was rare among wolves. And his fur was a bright red. He had a white chin and his paws where white, but he was otherwise the reddist wolf she'd ever seen. His fur was somewhat curly, which was an odd feature she'd never seen before.
The wolf blinked at her a few times, as if he couldn't understand her. Then he mumbled something and pointed behind him. "What was that?" Roslin took a step closer, still tense. " ... join the war..." was all she heard from the young wolf, and she snorted. "Well, you look like you could use a few years more to grow, but I suppose we can use every hand in fighting off those parasites. Head north for about a quarter mile and go to the big tent on the hill. If anyone gives you trouble, tell 'em you already talked to Roslin. I'll be there to deal with your paperwork soon as I'm done here. Off you go!" She waved her hand to dismiss him. Dispite how confused he looked, he gave her a decent enough salute and headed off the way she'd pointed.
As she strapped on her armor, she thought about the encounter. The young wolf was little more than a boy, maybe no more than 18. And it wasn't so much confusion on his face as concentration, as if he was listening to a language he'd just learned and trying to remember all the words as she spewed them out at him. She shook her head, sure that it was just that he was scared and probably forced to join by a stubburn father who cared more about family pride than his son's life. Oh well, it wasn't her problem. She'd only lost a dozen men under her charge, and that was spread out over more than three dozen fights, most of them just squirmishs. The humans seemed like they were getting tired, and just wanted to prevent the monoshifters from killing them all. Their ships had left them, driven away by otter ships. Roslin really had no desire to slaughter them, and would rather wait for their ships to come back and get them. So the boy had a good chance of surviving under her command.
Roslin made her way back to camp and marched up to the command tent. The soft black paws on her planning table was not what she had been expecting. The black form that melted into the shadows of the tent corner was obviously well muscled, and the golden eyes that stared out at her from that darkness sent chills down her spine. The only part of him really visable was the red collar around his neck that boasted all his awards and metals.
Roslin saluted ridgely, looking straight ahead. "General Desire, sir, I was not expecting you, sir!"
She heard the purr of his wicked amusement and it made all her hairs stand on end. More than likely he was here because the humans had not yet been wiped out. The general was a cruel panther, and that was how he had gotten to the top, by not caring about the charges below him and sending them all to their victorious, but tragic deaths. If ever there was a metal for killing more of the army while hiding behind everyone and barking commands, he'd be the first to get it and add to all those other shinies around his throat.
"I rather like what you've done with the place, Major. Given it a 'feminine' touch." He batted at a golden scarf hanging from the top of the tent.
"Just thought it'd give the place a more home feel, sir. I'll have it removed immediately." Roslin could just leap over the table with her knife drawn and place it between his ribs. If only, if only.
He purred that evil purr again. "No, no. I think it's fine. It keeps the men from missing home and not getting to the real business at hand." His soft voice turned hard as his paws slipped to the floor and his black form oozed out of the shadows, his broad, unmarred face very suddenly inches from her scarred and knicked muzzle. If only she'd had warning she'd have removed her piercings. She'd learned her lesson the first time she'd lain eyes on him not to have them in his presence. She resisted flicking one of her scarred ears where it was obvious a few of the pierces had been torn out.
"The humans are still threatening the western flank! They're spreading out onto the land, and from what we can tell they look like they're digging in and getting ready to settle! And you know why?" Roslin steeled herself. "Because a cute little doe decided that she was going to raise up the ranks by raising her fluffy little tail for all the superiors and then slack on the real work once she got where she wanted to be. Tell me, Roslin, are the men here so satisfied with you that they don't want to get this war over with and come home?"
Roslin grinded her teeth. What a snake! Killing him would be such a pleasure. But she had to speak, no matter how choked with the anger she was. "The humans are putting up more of a fight then we thought, sir," she spat the word. Her ears burned with anger at his words. She had once been a little tipzy with a superior officer and Desire had found them in the back alley at an awkward moment. But that was certainly not how she had made her rank.
Desire showed his pearly fangs in a cruel grin. He knew he'd struck a nerve. "I expect the whole battalion to up tomorrow first thing at sunrise for inspection. If one person is missing than..." He stood straight and let the sentence trail. She knew what would happen. He'd have her shipped back to the capitol and he'd toss her into a court marshal.
Roslin saluted as Desire moved toward the flap. "I wonder if other areas of your body are as pierced as your face?" He said it softly, and Roslin knew that if he saw them on her again she'd likely have another scar to explain to the newbies. Desire vanished out the flap silently, like the panther he was.
Roslin grabbed the nearest thing she could and threw it against the ground. The ancient telescope shattered at her hooves. "f$%k!" She knelt down to pick it up when some large white hands reached down as well. She looked up to see the young red wolf. He didn't look into her eyes. He picked up the pieces and stood up with her. "Thanks," she said as she took all the pieces from him and set them on the table. "I'll guess you heard all that."
The boy didn't really make any movement. "Some of it," he said simply, though she caught a bit of an accent. Obviously he must be from one of the outer villages that had come up with there own language. Yeah, that was probably it. And in order to join the army you had to know the common language used by all the monoshifters. He'd probably just learned it.
.... There is more of this story ...