it's a pirate world

POSTED: Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:52 am

(4260 >_>) Backdated to Jan 7.

Eris is by Kiri, a gift from Sylvey!

The coal-furred woman had for some time believed Salsola was not making proper use of its aquatic resources. Yes, the dock and boat were built at long last, and all the wonders upon Isle Haute were theirs to harvest, but there was still more to be had from this land of salt and marsh. Their tawny-furred Liliya had spoken of the river as possessing a certain kind of magic. Eris had spent many of the most recent weeks near that river, forsaking her former haunt of Shibboleth's gravesite, at least for the moment. The dark woman would never really cease visiting that forlorn cliff on the edge of their territory. Even now, hardly three days passed without Eris spending at least few hours of the night in vigil. She rarely remained for the dawn any longer, but the strength of the place to draw her away from her comfortable bed and out to that razor edge of their territory frightened her still.

The dark woman padded in the direction of the coast, meandering along through the snow. It crunched beneath her feet as she went, and Eris felt its coldness against the pads of her feet. It was no matter -- the boat would insure she remained dry, after all. The dark woman could always simply have Khirot cross and save herself -- and him -- the trouble of being ferried back and forth to Isle Haute, but Liliya had worked tirelessly to deliver this gift to Salsola and Eris intended to make use of it, regardless of whether it inconvenienced Khirot or not. The sable woman soon found herself hearing the ocean, the distant noise growing closer. Through the sparse trees and dead underbrush, the sable coyote saw the waves and the strait, relatively calm compared to the larger bay. Some of the swiftest tides were found just off of Salsola's coast, at least to the south -- this would be a good thing, Eris thought, should anyone seek to harass them by way of water.

The dock, beautifully constructed as it was, extended out into the water. It showed different heights during the tide, and the coyote woman saw by the water's height it was most certainly high tide. She stepped onto the wooden planking and walked gingerly to the end of the dock, clanging the large bell mounted on the outermost post. She rang it several times and then ceased to do so, as the chain had begun moving. Khirot was quick and obedient, and it was for this reason the flaxen jackal hybrid had been granted free roam of Isle Haute. It was certainly true their Slave of the Salt might be partaking of the psilocybin stash in the night or plotting some grand takeover. Eris, for her part, did not think this possible in the least. Their petite hybrid had served them faithfully since he had been procured from Freetown, and he had acclimated to his duties almost as easily as Molcaxitl. Eris almost envied Salsola for their possession of such an obedient and good slave as Khirot, and then stuffed her jealousy away.

She had Molcaxitl, and better yet -- she had Larkspur. He was not her slave, of course, but she was the dominant pair in the relationship, and he was bound to serve her. Still, Eris had found herself growing fonder of her silver-tinged man in the days since his return. Perhaps it was simply her joy of Basilaris -- she knew the child was half Larkspur's. There was no doubt in her mind, for her romps with others than her mate were infrequent, at least these days. Her children and her pack had kept her too busy, and it was only now, as Ataxia, Artemisia, and Harrow neared their sixth month and Eris had only Basilaris and Salvador to care for, the hybrid could relax. Her life had seemed to settle somewhat, and despite the still-healing marks on her pelt, the coyote was content with herself.

She would never be content with Salsola, however. In Eris's eyes, there were always improvements and expansions to be made to their thistle kingdom. The coal-furred hybrid had considered expanding their claim and pushing northward. She enjoyed their river border far too much to relinquish it, much a danger as it was now with the new pack to the north. There was nowhere to go but north -- but perhaps -- west? The coyote had considered this; it was perhaps possible to construct a set-up similar to this island boat, now rolling slowly across the strait and toward her while manned by Khirot. Eris did not know how wide or how deep the canal between Salsola's land and the other land was, exactly, but she was sure someone could tell her -- namely, the tawny jackal now apparent through the afternoon fog.

Khirot smiled and bowed his head when he saw who he served, though he did not speak. The boat drifted to a stop and Khirot extended his hand upward to help his dark Auxiliary into the boat. Eris, who had come with the express purpose of placating the slave and insuring he was happy on his island -- and, of course, obtaining valuable information from him -- grinned at him. Khirot, dear, she said. How good of you to attend to me so quickly. The compliment was delivered simply, and before the jackal could respond, the dark woman swept herself into the punt, able to do so with Khirot's aid due to the simple gloving he wore on his hand. Did you make that? she inquired, curious. The slave looked embarassed, then, and his ears and tail both swept low, a guilty look immediately crossing his face.

I ask... Mol... Molkee... M... the jackal said, grasping for the name. Eris supplied it and he nodded, grateful but not repeating the name for fear of being unable to repeat it. I ask to make, then mine flesh... it... not touch, he said, still appearing guilty. Eris might have punished the slave for having kept the item without permission under any other circumstances, and Molcaxitl would certainly receive punishment upon her arrival in the ruins, but for such a noble cause and at such a crucial moment such as this, the coyote simply shrugged, shaking her head at the jackal disapprovingly, though a gleam in her eye suggested levity in the situation.

You know you must ask before keeping things, Khirot! But you have asked for this item for a good reason, and it is well that you did it, I suppose, the coyote said, shrugging her shoulder. Take me across. You've upset me, Khirot, the dark hybrid added sourly, reclining back against the rear pole and turning her head to the mainland and the dock. The slave hesitated a moment, appearing utterly flabbergasted and ashamed with himself. Go! the dark woman snapped, now unable to help herself. If she had given him too much freedom on this island, she might rescind it. Perhaps Darijus would like to be left alone for a while -- they certainly had no concern of their mangled slave escaping, after all. Khirot, now dejected, moved slowly toward the chain and began to pull them across at a pace that impressed even soured Eris. The birr as the cable whipped through the circular holes fitted on either end of the boat droned in the dark woman's ears, and she found her displeasure abading.

The mistress and her slave cut through the fog quickly, and Eris soon found herself unable to see the mainland through the soupy mist. She turned her head in the direction they were headed and soon saw Isle Haute looming, its impressive cliffs rising from the gray ocean and silvery fog. When the boat's bottom scraped against the beach, Khirot stepped out gingerly and held out his hand to his mistress, tawny ears still laid flat against his head in submission. The dark woman frowned at him and stepped past him entirely, stepping in the cold ocean without a care in the world. She stood on Isle Haute with only this minor dampness to her fur, and peered toward the long pond. The tide was in, but it would soon recede, leaving the pond cut off from the ocean. She might have Khirot build them a fire -- but first. The dark-hued woman had not seen their caves and psilocybin stores, and she wished to do so immediately. She peered curiously at the small lean-to of Khirot, tilting her head, but paid it no mind beyond this look.

Accompany me. I wish to see the mushrooms, the woman said, and the jackal nodded, stepping forward. Eris frowned and recalled she had, in fact, told Khirot it was fine for him to cease answering her when she spoke to him, barring any direct inquiry. And, for this visit -- respond to me when I speak. The jackal quietly yelped his assent to this command and proceeded in directing her to the caves. They moved along the mountainous island quickly and silently, for Eris brooded over what to say to Khirot and how to extract the information she so desired from his mind, if indeed it existed there. The slave had proven integral in the construction of the boat and docks, after all. There was no wrong in utilizing what ideas may come to a slave -- they did not belong to the slave, after all, and the master was free to make use of them, in any case. They passed through a sparse and winter-bared forest, and the coyote inhaled deeply, smelling only birds. This did prompt her to speak to Khirot. What do you eat?

The slave pondered this question but a moment as he tramped along beside her, occasionally stepping forward to push branches from her path. Feesh. Bird. No meat here. These words were spoken confidently, with little fluctuation in his steadiness or clarity of speech. Whatever had frightened him earlier had abated, apparently, and the sable-shaded coyote thought his turn of mood peculiar. Perhaps it was due to the brightening of her own mood. Now, she was drawing close to the source of her power, and already she could smell the faintly earthy scent of the mushrooms, even through the damp and icy cold of winter. The hybrid saw ice crystals here and there, but on this part of the island, at least, there was no snow. Eris did not find it necessary to reply to his comment, but she now saw the necessity of giving Khirot land game now and again. Though he was a slave, there was no use in dead slaves, and Eris did not believe in mistreatment of her slaves any longer. A happier slave seemed to perform better, though of course, there were always those stubborn ones who refused to accept their fate and could not be trusted with the slightest benefit or leniency.

The coyote saw the shallow caves, cut into the cliffs themselves, and she strode ahead of Khirot quickly, trotting into the closest of the bunched caves. She ducked her head inside and peered about. The temperature was warmer within the moist and damp caves, but not by much. The island as a whole was not so very cold as the mainland, it seemed, but the dark woman still worried for her crop, and she would soon send Molcaxitl to Khirot so he might attach pelts to the entrances of some of the narrow-mouthed caves. The wide-mouthed caves would have to be left to chance, but such a prolific crop could be obtained, Eris did not think it mattered much. Mushrooms grew quickly and did not require much special care, though now the dark woman saw the advantage of a pelted flap over one's door. Such a technique might even be employed in her own home someday.

Eris bent forward and plucked at a few small caps, inspecting them as she went. She discarded a few, throwing them into a pile -- perhaps others would do the same and they'd have compost before long. Khirot, she called, and the slave stepped forward to her side, murmuring a yes to adhere to her earlier command. Do you see where I've thrown the discarded ones? If you kill a fish or a bird, take what you do not eat and throw it here. Cover it with dirt -- the darkest dirt you can find on the island. Do you understand? The slave thought about these commands a moment, and smiled broadly. He spoke his understanding and assent, promising to do right by her command in shaking and stuttering English. Eris returned his smile with a fainter one of her own, and she promptly turned back the way they'd come, intending to head for the little shack that must certainly serve as Khirot's home. The firepit there would do quite well, and she thought the tide might provide a lovely bounty of fish for her to catch in that pond.

When the pair arrived back on the beach, the obsidian-hued woman commanded Khirot to build a fire, and trotted toward the water. Sure enough, faint silvery shapes darted beneath the water. They grew frantic as she neared, zigging and zagging back and forth as she waded into the water. The woman remained still, however, and a few moments later, the fish seemed to forget her presence in the water altogether. She cast only a murky, faint outline of a shadow, as the sun was dulled by the overcast skies and fog alike. The smell of smoke already wafting in her nose, Eris flicked her hand through the water at a particularly large fish and landed it expertly on the beach. Khirot, she commanded in a booming tone that seemed more fit for her Boss than herself. This was all the instruction the slave needed, for he scrambled forward on all fours, dropping a packet of matches as he went for the fish, pinning it beneath his forepaws. This process was repeated several times, and Eris had provided a meal for herself, this slave, and all the mouths to feed back in her cave.

The dark woman, wet nearly from head to toe with her hunting venture, walked from the water and shook herself, running both hands through her hair and shaking her head to rid herself of excess water. Hunting was not Eris's forte, but she had taken to fishing far easier than hunting land game, perhaps because the prey was so stupid and abundant. Land animals required far more work, and fishing was simply easier for Eris. She walked toward the glow of the fire through the fog, her chartreuse eyes already gleaming with it, and stretched onto the rocky sand in a rather catlike manner. The strong scent of cooking fish flesh filled her nostrils, and Eris breathed deeply of it, exhaling a sigh of contentment as she looked toward Khirot.

The dark woman was just in time to perceive his gaze darting away from her form, and she smiled broadly, wondering how long it had been since Khirot had been with a woman -- if ever. She knew pitifully little about the man's former history other than that he had worked for shippers. As the fish cooked, Eris thought to make idle conversation with the slave, and turned her intense gaze upon him with curiosity. Khirot? The voice she used now was soft and low, very near to a purr. The inky canine simply could not help herself when she perceived attraction on the part of another, and it was so delicious to tease a slave such as Khirot -- he could never have her, after all. The slave looked up in surprise from the meal he cooked over the fire on a simple metal grid, perhaps a former part of a shelving unit.

Mistress? came the response, careful. Eris drew her eyes away from him and looked to the fire, though she kept her peripheral vision on the tawny jackal.

Tell me about your life -- who you served before Salsola. The jackal seemed entirely taken by surprise at this inquiry, and nearly jabbed a filet of the fish through the metal. Why are you so loyal? You don't seem entirely like some of the others -- not quite so broken, she said. And yet -- you do not seek to leave, and you accept your place readily. Why is this so? The hybrid spoke at length and rapidly without consideration of the man's comprehension of her words, hoping to confuse him into the most honest possible answer. The jackal, silent for a moment, appeared in deep contemplation. Khirot was a canine of simple intelligence -- his skills were entirely learned, and Khirot performed them with such mechanical precision, the hybrid thought it could be little other than simple repetition which had given Khirot over to such skill.

Never... hard master, the slave said. Pet to first master, then Marisol family. No others until here, the man explained. Eris remained silent but nodded, prompting the jackal to continue. Marisol family give... give... gift? Gift, I think maybe wrong word. Gift for good slaves. Good meats, smokes, and... woman, yes. Slave-woman, but woman, the jackal said, the tone of reminiscence clear in his voice. The coyote tilted her head at this and smiled faintly, nodding for him to continue, if there was anything more to be said. Is... is my place. Is where born. Brother Tharot try to escape -- brother Tharot no more, Khirot said, shrugging. Eris, satisfied with this answer, did not nod, but looked instead to the cooking fish. Khirot separated it on two different rocks. They were small and flat, but they held the heaps of steaming fish well enough. The slave had made only one dish, and Eris was halfway through the meat -- not so delicious as Molcaxitl's, but passable -- when she noticed. Swallowing what she had just taken into her mouth, the coyote licked her chops and tossed her head to the slave.

Eat, she commanded, giving him no leeway to protest, and the slave did so, but looked at the dark hybrid every now and again, his face now stricken with panic. He was clearly disused to the idea of dining with his master, and certain her retribution would come sooner or later. It did not, however, and when Eris cast her makeshift plate aside, Khirot did the same, licking the last bits of meat up in one swallow. The slave set his rock down quickly and swallowed, as if he hoped she did not notice he'd eaten. The hybrid, still reclined on her back, stretched and placed one hand on her belly, though not before trailing it between her breasts, ample as they were with milk for her children. Once more, she caught that look of Khirot's -- utterly mournful and desirous, but too knowing of his place to so much as acknowledge these gestures she made before him.

Perhaps you will be rewarded as these Marisol canines once rewarded you -- should you give me information I desire, the coyote said. She had no idea who she might give over to Khirot to satisfy his urges. She would not subject Molcaxitl to such a thing -- the woman seemed utterly traumatized by most anything dealing with sex. For days after the birth of Basilaris, Molcaxitl had performed her daily duties in a stupor, and she'd screamed once on the very night of his birth. Khirot's look was one of interest, although Eris was pleased to see a faint, rudimentary sort of caution appear on the slave's face as well.

What mistress want know, mistress know.

Eris smiled at the simplicity of this response, and considered her words carefully. Tell me how to unlock the magic of water. Do you know, for example, how I might contrive to make something like this pond? Is it possible to trap fish in such a manner? Can the river and ocean be harnessed in a better way? The coyote needn't promise rewards for Khirot, and the man had said as much. The dark woman considered his emerald-colored gaze, which carefully avoided her own piercing chartreuse eyes, and was pleased to see him recalling things of his past again.

The river has tide. Build... ah... ah... presa or diga. So sorry, not right word. The man's suggestion was alien to her, and the sharp look she gave him prompted a quick addendum to his suggestion. With rocks and net, maybe net -- build so fish swim over with long tide, but when short tide come, they stay in place. The coyote tilted her head and nodded, now having a better understanding. Khirot, however, seeing his mistress was unfamiliar with the concept, had stood up snapping a twig from the pile of firewood stacked neatly within his home. The man approached her with an anxious look, and with a confirming nod from Eris, approached the Auxiliary. Khirot sketched waving and long lines into the earth. River, he said, and then proceeded to draw several small dots in the shape of a V across the river. Presa. Tide come, fish swim in. Tide leave -- fish trapped, easy to catch. More easy, if nets here, the man said, gesturing for each point and scratching a straight line over the dotted v-shape to indicate netting.

Eris, fascinated as she was with this concept, did not feel Khirot's gaze nor catch him openly regarding her form with a look of hungry desire upon her face as he spoke. She looked for a long moment at this crude drawing in the sand and turned her gaze toward Khirot, who had moved his eyes elsewhere in time for her to miss even the aversion of his gaze. This is more than I expected. Where did you come across such technology? she inquired, interested to know for curiosity's sake. Khirot shrugged a shoulder and shook his head.

Many family do where I come from. Many slave of Marisol, build presa before build ship. Not Khirot -- but simple, any can build. Khirot build? the man inquired, standing and moving the respectful distance from his mistress once again. He settled back to his haunches on the other side of the quickly dying fire and set to restocking it. Eris, still deep in thought, did not hear his question, and Khirot dared not ask her again. The dark leader seemed stormy and unpredictable at best. While Khirot had never experienced a bad master or poor treatment before, he thought such might be in store for him here if he misbehaved, and the honey-furred slave did not wish to experience any sort of punishments. He was subject to the whims of his masters, and if they chose to hurt him for sport or pleasure, so be it -- but Khirot would make sure not to mar his good rapport with these masters on his own account.

No, no. I must embark on this project. Salsola needs to see its Auxiliary do work, after all. The coyote's response was muttered and mechanical, and she stood, heading back toward the boat without calling for Khirot. The slave looked at the fire for a moment to ascertain it was not too close to his cabin, and scrambled after the woman, just barely arriving at the boat in time to offer his hand once more. But once again, Eris stepped into the ocean rather than contact the golden jackal. They passed the journey in silence, and Khirot did not move at so blistering a pace this time.

Eris contemplated deeply as they went, and she came to the conclusion that it would be easiest to treat Khirot with a woman who was quickly disposed of thereafter. Slaves were not intended to engage in sex, after all, and it would not do for the poor girl who had to endure Khirot to spill the beans. She did not have to reward him, and the dark hybrid thought it might be best to withhold this particular reward, at least for the moment. It was good to hold things over others, and she should not relinquish a free opportunity to do so, even if her hold was on one so simple and low as a slave.

The boat bumped against the dock and the sable Auxiliary looked up in surprise, cocking her head to one side. She smiled broadly and stood, once again clambering out without Khirot's assistance. She turned back toward the jackal, however, and spoke. You've performed well, Khirot. Your services may be rewarded in the future. I will send Molcaxitl to you, but she will not accompany you to the island -- she'll have several pelts, and you'll cover the mushroom caves with them. Comprende? This was one of the few Spanish words she knew the meaning of, and the hybrid used it sharply with Khirot, showing a decidedly sharp smile to the yellow hybrid. The jackal nodded earnestly, but did not respond verbally, as they'd left the island and her command had extended only to her visit. Eris now stood on the mainland. This small deference was not missed by the shadow-furred woman, but Eris chose not to acknowledge this added show of respect and turned back toward her ruins without a further word to Khirot.

Dead Topics