[P] A Strange Meeting
He was a poor care-taker of himself. He always had been. Cauterised wound had sense opened, the dry black crust of old blood caked against his flank, down to his elbow and gone with the black of the gauntlets of his forelegs. There was a limp to his walk, a heart beat in his shoulder amplifying his heart rate and heated against his skin. Swelling had set in around morning, after he had caught some sort of avian for his daily meal. The motion alone had stressed the injury, but the landing of heavy frame had torn the scab clear from its mounting. With each step, the laceration glossed with the rich red of healthy blood, the occasional bead managing freedom from his life stream creeping from its perch and slowly taking gravity's hold to the earth.

There was a familiar scene about him, as he had doubled back to the clutches of Gagetown. There was shelter from the weather and enemies, water and with water came easy meals. He was preparing for the long weeks it would take for him to heal without aid. To gain infection, lose it, and gain it, again. As long as there was running waters and food, he'd have a fighting change at keeping the arm. If he lost it? Well, he was as good as dead either way. His way of life wouldn't find advantage or solace without the only things his occupation valued.

Monster moved on at a slow saunter, careful not to expend energy that he'd need to heal, and cautious his surroundings. He'd consider himself a moving target from this moment, until normal living conditions rose. He was, if anyone dared to taste it, prey. Of course, prey often ran at the sight of an oncoming attacker. Shaamah wouldn't do anything of the sort. No. He'd stay, and he'd fight. Chances were, with his experience and size alone, he'd trump a green soldier, even with injury. He'd not live to tell the tale after, thought. Even a knave would be able to hit any vital spot in this massive beast, be it his last action in life.

He hesitated for a small break, looking over Gagetown in the distance. It was close enough for the day to be near through by the time he'd reach it.
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Maximilian was a victim of predators. He was a man of the mind. His body was more slender than most. His eyes darted across the land like prey. He scrunched against the land in his white long sleeve and jeans. His breath was quiet and his movements were light. He was observing the landscape and he wanted to avoid disturbing the scenery as much as possible. It was amazing how nature could be so blind to the violent as the critters carry on like nothing has happened. Max remembered such sights back in England. A soldier came in with half his face. It was horrifying to the new medical examiner. His name was Garfield. He was three. He had a mate and a pup. Max swore to that man that he'd do everything he can but he'd have to work with. While they did everything they could birds chirped happily over head. It was oddly morbid that they sang so beautifully.

Max's eye were stuck on a limping figure. It was like a soldier from his past marched across the land. He remembered the scarlet retreat. So many soldiers were struck with arrows as they fled the fight on the orders of their superior. He and the other medical examiners had to run out to collect them. The royal guards used their cross bows to kill several archers. Then came one man. A warrior. A veteran. He had fought in many battles. He was deep in the battlefield before he heard the retreat call. He finished off two warriors before getting an arrow in his arm and leg. The man was named Brent but they called him Killer. Killer limped to the table refusing help and flopped down ordering help.

Max's satchel held many of the items he had that day. Needle, thread, scissors, pincers, and a saw. Killer was a big old man with a missing piece of his lip exposing his back teeth it was intimidating. This male while scarred and damaged lacked those eye catching scars. No matter it was a life that needed to be aided. He quickly sprinted towards the injured man. The water holder swished as he ran. Max stopped immediately trying to grab the man's attention. "Excuse me sir but please allow me to help you with your wounds I promise I can heal you properly." This was a serious matter and the coyote dog was extremely serious about this issue. His face did not joke.
The steady noise of the natural world that surrounded was slowly drowned by the rising of his heart's work. The pounding of his shoulder crept up his spine, reaching out to the rest of his body and gripping his mind with its rhythmic thud. He'd overworked himself just getting here, his large frame burning countless calories even as it stood stone still. It was a cruel sort of justice for the way he made his keep, the body that fed him was the reason why he needed feeding. The monster hadn't made any connections, save one, and enemies had slowly grown in number. There was a soul or so against this earth that he'd resort to less stringent things than his hate, but nary a good impression made him seem the decently employable. Hindsight spoke for him as two-toned gaze reached passed the horizon and into the gently lingering clouds above. He should have found work, before venturing out so far. He'd not be in this mess, had he done what he had initially intended.

Through the hum of pain that sought to handicap him, a voice lifted. Instantly hackles pricked, body flung in a half-circle and vanilla fangs reached from beneath black lips. Tapered pupils darted for only seconds, the flickering image of a towering wolf-like creature creeping from his fading minds eye until they had found purchase on a gaunt man who stood a safe distance away. Braced and prepared to dig into whatever breathed near him, Shaamah let the dark threat of death rumble from the deep of his throat. A few steady breaths in, and the monster found his mind again. The voice that had startled him now echoed behind him. Beast sized up the thin creature before him. No weapons were in sight. Vision slithered around the stranger, and so it seemed, he was alone. The gangly man certainly was no threat to him, immediately. Shaamah stole another breath from the world around him. Adrenaline faded. Elbow buckled, but he had caught himself with enough time to stand tall and reroute his weight.

As Shaamah slowly returned to earth, the many battlefields of his past withering away to memory, his brow furrowed and his teeth returned to their sheath," Heal me properly..." He mouthed, before finally setting himself back into the body, to which burning injury kept. The stern look on the others maw, and the left-field offering of assistance, lead the mercenary to believe the others intentions may lie elsewhere. No one just offered aid. It was a fools trap," At what cost?" Throaty voice had since cleared of its ragged scratching from the few conversations he had so pleasantly had before, though the gruff rumbling of his tone was not absent. Simply put, a smoother grit sandpaper than he had spoken with before, but certainly not one to buff fine paint.

He certainly needed a proper bit of medical attention, more so than a blade put to fire. Something that would hold him together when he, himself, could not. Hence, rather than denying the lithe man completely, the soldier was willing to question the price of it. Could he strike a bargain, or daresay, the stranger need a bit of muscle, Shaamah could provide and be well on his way afterward.
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The other's aggressive motions were ignored. Killer was more of a monster than this beast. He had no leg to stand on. Killer proved to kill even when he had a sword stuck in his side. The man that burned off half the skin of his left arm face a fiery left hook. Max knew how to handle such brutes. He remained unmoved. Of course he would run from those actually going to hurt him. But the key he used to tame Killer was to refuse treatment till he acknowledged he needed them to help him. This one recognized his need. It would make for an easier time. Upon pondering what he could earn from this male he had only one issue.

Max had strength at heart and in the mind but he couldn't fight. At least not with real fighters. He needed a muscle to guard him on a high stakes scientific exploration. He was sure that a man that could withstand so much pain was up for the task. He just needed to be put back together. Max cleared his throat. "Smart man, I would give treatment for free but I need some muscle to help protect me and my equipment while I'm on a scientific exploration." Max walked closer. "I must request you to aid me in that venture if you are to be healed and by the looks of it this is an offer you can't refuse." Max played his cards and in this scenario he held the chips.

He prayed the other was a smart man. He didn't want to let another die. He truly had no intention of that. But his body was stone refusing to show this softness. This was life. Something he would have to learn to adapt to. But if the man fell in front of him he would save him. Even if it is life he didn't agree with it.
The stranger had yet to move in all of Shaamah's dramatic reaction, and it was the wisest thing he could have done. Coydog's face hadn't shivered a single muscle as Shaamah had calmed himself from his initial impression, and from the look on that steady countenance, he had well experienced and held certainty with a brute like this before. Fiery golden eye winced as the pounding of his crown grew with the startle that left his instinct now fading, as stranger thought for a moment after Shaamah's inquiry. The beast knew the slight man had need before his foreign voice reached between them, of what, however, was his only stipulation. Shaamah had many talents, yet not of them ranged away from combat. He was item-less, homeless and without acquaintance to offer up resources. It would only be coincidence, either that or a tasteless fate on his side, that would have him able to barter at this rate.

The other finally spoke up after a quick ahem. The situation here was falling to Shaamah's advantage. Muscle. One thing the brute was good for. He was terrible company and he lacked polite verse, though there could be a certain poetry to his disdain. But Muscle. Protection. That was his purpose. That was his born charge. Before that man finished, however, he closed space between them. As unfamiliar voice continued its course amid them, Shaamah found himself at a haughty lift of his chin and a narrowing of eyes. The stranger thought he'd have the trump in this? Ultimately, Shaamah wouldn't have the man with high regard to his belief.

"I refuse what I please, make no mistake of that," He lowered his crown, finding that his molten eye cringed again. It was his own will that kept that man's blood in his veins. The soldier knew now that there was no threat to him throughout. To need protection from an injured man had Shaamah capable of controlling where this would lead," The offer's worth rests in my ability, one that you know little to nothing of. Yet... You are fortuitous," He continued, his braced frame coming to a certain form of ease. The gates were open for him to be approached without retaliation. He'd not lay himself down, however. He was in no state to pick himself back up, nor would he have any defense if the stranger turned on him.

"Before our transaction is affirmed, I would have you know,"
Voice trudged on, losing its hum as it fell into disrepair once again. Hoarse and throaty tone filled its place," It is your word that releases me from this bond. Until that instance, I am bound by spoken contract to adhere to your stated and documented decree. I require sustenance for prolonged contracts and boarding for deals requiring your residency. In short, If you 'heal me, properly' than I shall put forth the same effort in your defense," Silence lingered from his black lipped maw to ensure that this information sank into the stranger with proper understanding," Do we have an arrangement?"
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Maximilian was a little of a demon. He had a love for playing these games. When he saw others fall under his thumb it felt like he gave the Barnet name pride. Yet he still taught them of their falters and gave them tools to correct their weakness. A game was boring if it were easy to win. This man was a beautiful specimen. One he would love to observe in battle. This curiosity gave the other some power. It was so hard to find one with discipline over their wounds. Other than Killer this man was the only other one. The offers worth rested indeed in the others ability but it also rested on Max's ability as a healer. Both were fortuitous. He would not tell the man this.

Despite earning the curiosity and respect from Max there was one thing. The game has yet to finish. But as he listed off his demands it caused Max's eyes to widen. Was he serious? Food, bed, and medical attention? This was the most simple contract. Max felt this loss was a win in the long run. Perhaps he lost this battle but he did not lose the war. In fact he gained a powerful friend through that loss. A rare flower in his garden. "Indeed we have an arrangement." Max motioned for the other to lay down. "Now I'll hold up my end here and now just stay strong cause I've seen veterans cry from this." Max retrieved a scalpel, scissors, needle, thread, bottle of alcohol, and tweezers. "Let's see what we have then."

He gave a signal to the other as a warning for pain. The tweezers were used to pull back loose flesh as Max examined the wound. He contemplated before acting. It was infected. Simple as that. It was early stages easy to save the arm. With a sigh alcohol was poured into the wound. Max retrieved three napkins he cleaned out the alcohol and infectious juices. Soon he poured the second shot in and cleaned that out. Satisfied he proceeded to pull out any fragments that were easily lodged with such wounds. Several splinters in the flesh were retrieved. Each one required a shot of alcohol to kill any bacteria left over from the wood. Max's face was motionless he was focused and saw not to try to emote. It would divert his attention to a poor cause.

Satisfied with the picture perfect flesh now gleaming a smile broke on the Barnet's face. "Your flesh is now clean inside last we just close it up ." Max nodded as he begun to sew the wound shut without another word. As the flesh weep blood he sprinkled it with alcohol and gave it one last wipe. "Just like that we are complete my friend and I promise you rabbit and deer to feed you if you also aid me in one other field......I wish to get stronger." Max was serious he wanted his body to develop and be able to defend itself.
It seemed the man knew full well that Shaamah would hold his contract in a high regard. Of course, there was always the unwritten rule that the soldier was not to be crossed, but reading between the lines often happened in the moment. Anyone who dealt in barter with labor from a stranger would know that any contract would hold stipulation, yet it was odd that this man agreed to his demands so quickly. He was lucky the beast was an honest monster, brutally, in fact. Stranger had even gone far enough to offer his services up front and center. With some rather... necessary commentary.

The man continued to pull item after item from his pack, and Shaamah followed through with the gesture. Hefty frame lowered, first his hips and then his shoulders, followed by the thud of his heavy skull connecting with the earth. How familiar this had felt. If he hadn't been so careless, he knew full well that he wouldn't be replaying this moment in his life. Yet, this mans way was much different than the girl who had cast an injury into an unsightly burn. His tools, less archaic. His precision? Well, less precise, but much more accurate. Another gesture was made to the beast, to which he turned his eyes to lay on the meticulously working nurse-man.

The sting of whatever was felt against his flesh began dull, though grew in violence. It's burn had been nothing against his previous endurances, and the bite was a welcome notion. It meant that this liquid would do it's work against the nose crinkling stench that was brewing in his arm. The first bout was cleaned, and again, the substance was poured into the wound. After, he could feel the cool touch of metal reaching into the curdled scabbing. It pecked here and there, the sting from before lapping at the wound each time. The stranger smiled a while after, a needle and thread were found in hand. A sewn wound was another familiar sensation. While many had different tactics, often the wound was sewn, if it wasn't inclined to close on it's own. This scar, despite it's size now, would barely see the light of day through the pelt of his shoulder, with thread to hold it together.

After the final sting, the beast rose easily to his paws. Stature was seated for now, as the threads stretched with every movement he made. With his work justified as complete, and a wary eye at the notion of friendship, an offer that Shaamah had been requiring for quite some time was made. His body would do well with rabbit, but deer would fill him as long as the portion was right. Yet, it came at a price that was so vaguely expressed that the beast narrowed his gaze. Tilted expression was grasped for only a moment before brows lifted in understanding.

One doesn't just get stronger. Perhaps, that would be the first lesson," Strength is opinion. One can only gauge it at the hands of another," He voiced, before finally lifting himself to stand in continued Lupus. The previously unstable posture he had carried seemed a piece of the past as he allowed the strings sewn into his flesh grip the wound with intended purpose," I can abuse your body into instinct, and instinct will carry you farther," The monster ended his little soap box persuasion. Words had never rung more true to Shaamah, in that the beast he had become came from in his bloodline, woken early with experience.
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