Midnight Realms

Capturing the Tiger

Articles / Midnight Isle
Date: Feb 11, 2011 - 04:56 PM
Night, of course. It was always night, or at least it felt that way. Rook was a pale figure on the midnight dark sands, a ghostly vision silhouetted against the moonlit waves. Puffs of fragrant smoke curled around his head as he paced. Time was quickly becoming an unwelcome whore. His boots were thick soled, black, well worn. Work boots, and they crushed the obsidian particles into powder with a piercing crunch as he stormed back toward the boat. The small dingy swayed in the waves, its rope held captive by a kinked palm tree.

Y'lissa, a tough scrapper of a woman was perched in the boat. The opposite of Rook, her hair was black and cropped short. Her skin dark. Her features more wolfish than gracefully feline. "Rook, calm down," she coughed. "You've sucked down two of those cigars in the past hour. Everything is fine. Just delayed."

Rook shook his head, his long icy hair had been tied into numerous braids, beads and sliver clasps adorned the hair at various lengths. "Something is wrong. It never should take Smiddy this long." He pulled the short smoke from his mouth and exhaled, sending another pale cloud circling upward. "I've had a bad feeling about this drop since it was offered to us." Smuggling was Rook's chosen art form, and he was excellent at it. His own boss, he owed money to very few, so any payment went straight into the pockets of his crew and himself. This particular drop was going to be a sweet payoff. He never asked why the vampires were needed, he didn't give a flying *****. But he knew the way into Midnight Isle, and he knew the way out again. And he never messed up.

So what was taking his crew so long?

"That's it. I'm not wasting another moment digging a ***** trench in this beach. I'm going after them." He tossed his cigar into the waves and headed off toward the tropical jungle.

Y'lissa lept forward, racing off the small boat's bow. "Rook! Wait! Just.. be careful!" The last was shouted toward the foliage, for the boss was already gone.

Regretting now that second cigar, Rook tried to shake clear his senses of the smoke. It was calming, helped his nerves, but it also numbed his sense of smell. Not that he could smell more than plants and vampires, the damn island was overflowing with so many of both that the stink of them seeped into the air. Born a therianthrope, Rook lived his whole life on the Isle of the Damned, the place of exile for his kind. Good enough reason to kill as many of those heartless leeches as any, far as he was concerned. Perhaps if he got enough, his people wouldn't be treated as animals any longer.

Shifting was second nature to him, white fur erupted on his skin, on his cheeks and face came stripes only a shade darker than the rest of him. His green eyes turned feral, pupils elongated into slits. His senses came alive in the dark jungle. And he became aware of the scent of blood. "Smiddy?!" He ran through the thick tropical underbrush, over logs and around palms, following what must be the scent of a kidnapping gone wrong. One more turn and then --THWACK! -- a dart pierced into his shoulder. Thwack Thwack, two more hit him, chest and ribs. "Smid.....Fuuck?" He fell down to one knee, the toxins quickly swarmed in and shut his body down. Someone else rushed toward him, but he couldn't lift his head.

"I told you it would be easy." A woman's voice, one he knew. The last sound he heard was his body hitting the moist ground. Then darkness.



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