The Fox's Lament

By Randy Healon

Scifi / Other

Greif

The Raven

10:41pm

It was at the current time Lament wished his fag ship wasn't so god damn big, though fast for a dreadnought class ship...it was nothing compared to the small ship that his peruser piloted. Her attempts to stop the massive craft were in vain as it's shields were far stronger than her ship's weak lasers. Lament pleaded over and over to MEL to get clearance for a hyperspace jump, he wasn't sure why but he'd pissed Kursed off to a broad no level by taking the sword. Kursed however knew the sword's true purpose, what it was and what it did, she'd simply been brought up to believe that it didn't exist, that it was some sort of fairy tale, but now she knew better...it was real and he had it...

Lament was relief stricken when he heard the announcement...

"Warp jump clearance acquired...destination Home..."

"Good good good...Sauria is very good just go. And prepare to land she'll be looking for this ship. I don't know why but she's got a serious hard on for that sword."

Kursed was forced to pull her ship back as she realized that Lament's warp engines were lighting up, the shock wave created by a warp jump wasn't incredibly powerful but, you didn't want to be too close when a ship of any kind jumped into hyperspace. The aftermath within any range of less than 40 meters had the same effect as a very weak EMP, not enough that an EMP was cause to worry as all ships were equipped with fail safe mechanisms that would simply shut down most of the ship's systems, the problem then was getting everything back online.

"CAM track their path! Do NOT let that son of a bitch get away!" Kursed yelled as she turned her ship to get to a safe distance.

She was overcome with distress as the huge ship disappeared in a heartbeat...

"CAM please...for the love of god tell me you were able to get a fix on their path..." Kursed pleaded.

"Affirmative...warp jump signal only strong enough to reach a distance of 1,200,000 lightyears."

"Are there any planets at that exact distance from here?"

CAM went silent for a moment, "Affirmative...planets Aquos and Sauria are at the moment at equal distance from our current position."

"I know where he's going...plot a course for Sauria."


(Meanwhile in hyperspace...)

Lament let out a sigh of relief, the last thing he would have wanted was for her to finally get up the gall to board his ship...then he'd have a pissed off vixen and a fucked up arm to deal with, he began to question his path in jumping out the window but his questions still remained...what was so god damn important about one fucking sword? Contempt with the fact that at least at the moment he was safe, Lament went to the science lab that was on one of the lower decks, where he could study the weapon much more clearly. He realized at some point that it was wrapped in a sheet of some kind, something Kursed had most likely done to keep suspicions down. Although with the amount of blood covering her blue fur and white clothes, Lament was amazed she didn't attract more attention than she did...but then again they were both running pretty fast.

He was amazed at how dusty the room was...but then again he hadn't had a scientist on board in over five years so, it was relatively unused. Lament walked over to a table and brushed away some of the glass tubes and equipment, laying the object in their place. He pulled away the sheet slowly; Lament had never seen such a blade, it was a bit longer than the one he carried, but it's blade was double sided and luminescent, damn near see thru, it's hilt looked normal enough until it was examined upside down. The handle was shaped like a reaper who's scythe was held at an angle so that the blade curved underneath him forming the hilt, the scythe's long shaft forming a sort of crude knuckle guard, all about it was writing in tiny runic symbols. He ran a small scanner over the weapon's handle several times, and then he plugged the device into a small nearby computer which began to analyze the script on the weapon...

"Computer...see what you can do about translating that..." Lament called to the ship's computer.

He then took his attention to the blade, there had to be some sort of explanation to why it was clear and luminescent, he knew of no metal that could do such a thing. He placed the blade under a small square machine that uses a type of gravity field to test something's density...the test took a few minutes but the readings came out wrong...

"15.38 grams per square centimeter?...that can't be right..." Lament said looking over the readout again and doing the test again...

The results were the same...whatever it was made of had a surface density nearly five times that of diamond. Nothing on record was so dense but, here was the proof sitting right in front of him; there was only one other test that needed to be done...reading the thing's energy level. Lament took out another scanner and turned it on then began to walk back toward the weapon. The device in his hand let out an odd sound before catching fire, Lament, scared shitless, threw the scanner to the ground and stomped out the flames...

"Holy shit!!!" He shouted in surprise, "What in the fuck is this thing? It's a good think I'm headed to Sauria...Belladonna should know something about this thing."

After concluding his tests on the weapon Lament headed toward his room, he placed the sword on small sword rack that normally held his own sword and headed for bed, stripping down to his boxers before climbing under the sheets. He'd had a long day, and was in a bit of pain still from his swan-dive into the trash cans at Panther's place, but overall the more powerful urge to sleep overruled the pain and he faded into a deep sleep...


(En route to Katina via hyperspace...)

Kursed had found it nearly impossible to get a direct hyperspace route to Sauria but, in the end got an idea and instead decided to head to Katina then get another clearance pass to Sauria from there. At the moment however she was in need of a shower, the blood that covered her face and most of the front of her body. As the hot waters washed away the remnants of her actions she thought back to the moment she'd read Panther's mind, finding only the thoughts of raping her as well as the memories of doing so to a number of other young girls...she was proud of the fact of what she'd done to him, he had deserved every second of the pain, and didn't deserve what she'd removed...She'd heard of men living through the amputation of the body part before, but judging by the amount of blood that covered her she was pretty certain he was dead, if the shock hadn't killed him the blood loss did. She couldn't help but wonder how many had fallen to his tricks before, the cat's charming demeanor was the perfect cover for what he truly was...

Soon there was no trace of him left on her deceivingly delicate body, she still had a hard time with the thought though...

"I still can't believe I actually did that." She shuddered.

After her shower and a few fits of brushing her fangs...she tried to go to sleep, but her body and mind wouldn't allow it. There was just too much to think of, and on top of that she was still hungry as she didn't get much to eat with her...date, her main thought however was of the sword. That one object could solve all of her troubles in one fell swoop...but just as she'd gotten her hands on it that bastard snatched it right out of her paws. She hated the fact that she couldn't read his mind, but since she had been saved she discovered a lot of people with a will strong enough to keep her out, Fox was the first person she'd met able to block it out...it was one of the things that most attracted her to him, she had no way of predicting him. The more time she spent with Fox the more people like him she met, but of all of them Lament was the worst. His willpower was unlike anything she'd ever encountered before, it gave her a headache anytime she even tried to touch his mind.

She cured her hunger before going to the bridge, she was still awake when she reached Katina, but after setting up a course for Sauria she nodded off in her captain's seat. Her dreams were...surprisingly pleasant as she saw herself with the sword and Fox, with her entire life finally having meaning again. It was the kind of dream that she sorely missed...


(Planet Sauria...5:09am)

Lament was woken up by the rocking of his massive ship as it...for the first time in years...landed on solid ground. The Raven landed in the only safe place for such a large ship to land in a manner that would not leave it in the open or damage it in any way, well at least not seriously. Moon mountain pass seemed like the perfect place for such a landing...sure a few rock formations would be ruined but for the most part the place was out of the way of most travelers. Unfortunately Belladonna's place was some distance from where he was; he made sure he had all of his weapons on him, including Lovithar, and headed out. It was a pretty good walk from where he was to Cape Claw...but he had no choice but to walk it...

As he made his way into Thorntail Hollow he saw something that made his heart drop. A familiar blue ship landed on the far side of the hollow...which was unfortunate as that was where he needed to go. As he watched Kursed depart from the ship with her spear in hand, as well as a noticeable blaster holster strapped to her right thigh, Lament quickly hid behind a large rock formation. Unfortunately for him several shots from a blaster struck the boulder he hid behind...

"GET YOUR ASS OUT HERE LAMENT!!! I JUST WANT THE SWORD!!!"

Lament laughed out loud, "YEA!!! SOMETHING EXTRA FOR YOU TO TRY SHOVING UP MY ASS RIGHT NEXT TO THAT SPEAR!!!"

"YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT THING IS CAPABLE OF...THERE'S A REASON THE CERINIANS GOT RID OF IT!!!"

"AND YOU'RE TELLING ME THIS WHY?!! AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER YOU'VE BEEN TRYING TO SKIN MY ASS ALIVE!!!" Lament yelled across the field.

Lament stepped out from behind the rock with his own blaster aimed at her, "LISTEN YOU IGNORANT FUCK!!! WHOEVER THIS SYRUS BLAKE IS...YOU CAN BET YOUR LIFE HE HAS A REASON FOR WANTING IT!!!"

"WAIT A SECOND!!! YOU GOT THAT MESSAGE TOO?!!!"

"WHY DO YOU THINK I'M NOT TRYING TO KILL YOU RIGHT NOW?!!"

"YOU'LL FORGIVE ME IF I DON'T BELIEVE YOU!!!"

Kursed put her blaster away, "I CAN RESPECT THAT!!! BUT AS OF NOW THIS IS A BIT BIGGER THEN YOU AND I...WHY DID YOU BRING IT TO SAURIA?!!!" Kursed asked walking carefully toward him.

"A friend of mine lives here...nobody knows Cerinian culture better than she dose..." Lament answered with his blaster still fixed on her.

"You? Friends?"

"You know that would have hurt a lot less if you didn't sound so shocked." Lament said, "She happens to be the top researcher of anything having to do with the Cerinians."

Kursed seemed a bit offended, "Excuse me...I happen to be a Cerinian..."

"Yeah well...so is she..."

Kursed frowned a bit, "You gonna get that thing out of my face now?"

"I don't know...after seeing what you did to Caruso back there I'm hesitant enough just standing this close to you."

Kursed scowled at him, "Look I hate saying this but...even you have morals...trust me he had it coming."

"Trust is an elusive thing you know..." Lament said following her with his blaster, "...it tends to run off as soon as someone tries to kill you. We had a deal remember?"

"Yeah we did...and I fulfilled my part of it..." Kursed smiled, "...we got the girls out. You simply failed to clarify where we were taking them, docking bay seemed far enough for me."

"Alright I'll buy that..." Lament said, "...but if all of what you've said is true...then this Syrus guy wanted us both to go after this thing for a reason." He finished holding up the sword.

"Agreed...lets go see your friend...where is she?"Kursed agreed walking away from him.

He wasn't sure whether or not she meant business until she turned her back on him, to a thief this was the ultimate sign of trust as in the older days they were referred to as backstabbers, "She's got a small shack in Cape Claw near the old force point temple."


Lament was needless to say cautious of the vixen, he made sure to keep her in sight at all times...not that she blamed him she actually found it a bit flattering that he was so threatened by her. It was hours of walking before they came to the small forested area in the Lightfoot territory. Where they stopped for a moment, Kursed and Lament seemed to notice it all at once. There were no sounds; no birds, or any other creatures...just the eerie, salty breeze that flowed into the area from the cape ahead. Kursed turned to say something only to find that Lament was gone, she began to cautiously back up toward a nearby tree...

"Lament..." She half yelled half whispered, "...where the fuck are you?"

A slight scream rushed past her lips as something latched onto her tail effortlessly pulling her into the tree. As soon as she was sitting on one of the tree limbs Lament's paw clamped her muzzle shut. He drew his face close to hers...

"Shhhh..." He hissed to her.

"What the hell's going on here?" She asked.

Lament pointed to the place they'd walked in from, where there were now a small number of Sharpclaw soldiers, "The Sharpclaw took this territory over about a year ago..." He pointed out as the stubby little armored dinosaurs headed into the nearby village.

"What happened to the Lightfoot?"

"What was left of them Migrated north..."

Kursed gave him an odd look, "How do you know?"

"Remember when I disappeared about a year back?" Lament asked, "Well this is where I was. They helped me out a while back so I kind of owed em one. I held off whatever Sharpclaw I could while the tribe made their way to the new village."

Kursed didn't say anything in reply, she had an image of him that had been set when she heard he had killed Fox. She figured he was completely emotionless, but here she found that he'd assisted an entire tribe from being wiped out...

"Coast is clear...lets go..." He said jumping from the tree.

"Enlighten me why are we hiding from these freaks? We've both killed them before, that party was no more than ten..."

Lament shook his head, "Yeah true...not to mention the several hundred or thousand on the other side of that wall." He said pointing toward the old Lightfoot village.


The rest of their trip was uneventful, Lament had begun to feel a bit less cautious as Kursed was obviously not planning on doing anything stupid at the time. He even began telling her about the many things he'd done while on Sauria. Soon enough they came across a small wooden shack near the massive temple set up on the beach. The stone entrance to he temple was carved in the shape of a massive Krazoa head; the shack was small and obviously hand built, it seemed to be abandoned. A small rope hung from a hole just near the door, which Kursed grabbed and pulled. She was caught by surprise as Lament pulled her out of the way just as a bamboo spear lodged itself into the wall where she'd been standing...

Lament examined the spear, "Huh that's funny...It used to be an arrow." He said, "YO! BELLA...OLD HAG...YOU HERE!? IT'S ME LAMENT!!!" He shouted.

"Where else do you think I'd be you ugly little son of a bitch..."

"YEAH I'M PRETTY SURE SHE WAS!!! JUST LET ME IN!!!"

The door swung open on it's own, there was a powerful smell of incense and different herbs as the two walked inside the dark hut, which was much bigger than it seemed. Kursed looked around noticing that there was a Cerinian staff hanging from a wall; a large stack of cards decorated a round table in the center of the room. As she looked around a figure walked up to them from the shadows, whoever it was was wearing an old gray cloak and hood. The figured hugged Lament before retreating to a seat at the table...

"Lets see it then..." She said in an aged voice.

Lament took out the sword and set it before Belladonna, "Do you know anything about it Miss Donna."

The hooded figure moved her head slightly toward Kursed, "You must be...Kursed yes?"

"Yes..."

"Well it's nice to know that the Cerinian line doesn't end with my old tail...and Bella will do dear."

Bella ran her hands back and forth above the sword a bit, before very briskly ordering Lament to make some tea...

"You know for a bitch as old as you are you sure do like giving orders..."

Bella laughed, "Only orders for a bitch like you to follow now snap too it..." She said, "...now then what do you two know about this weapon?"

Lament decided to go first as he started working with the tea, "Well...it's called Lovithar, humans had something to do with it's creation, it's blade is more dense than diamond, and it's storing up a shit load of energy..."

"And you my dear?" Bella asked turning to Kursed.

"Arlex and my mother often told me stories about the sword when I was young..." She started, "...they said that when Cerinia was still young. Humans tried to help our people with our development as a people...but after a time some humans thought we should be slaves and started forcing us into slavery. That led to Cerinia's first and only war...it lasted 60 years, but in the end a new treaty was formed and the Cerinians and humans made two swords together to finalize the treaty Lovithar and Danithar. The two swords were given to the tribes one to a human and the other to a Cerinian...it was said that both swords were made with powerful magic but nobody knew what exactly they could do..."

"You are well studied..." Bella said, "...but the truth behind the swords was the fact that they were one part of a two part spell each. They were meant to right terrible wrongs by allowing a body to physically enter the spiritual or ether realm, you Lament are curious as to what they are made of...this luminescent material is called Etherialite...only magic can create it as it is the same material that our souls are composed of. Each blade took the combined strength of 20 spell weavers to create...as well 10 souls were willingly sacrificed to power the swords. Soon the humans of Cerinia left the planet...at that time both our tribes were very advanced in our technology. It was decided that it would be best for the tribes to separate, and shortly after the human tribe left we Cerinians cast aside our technology. The swords were kept by their keepers, and secretly the tribes hid their true purpose..."

"And what was their purpose? Little use could come from just walking into the Ether realm." Lament said passing out cups of tea.

"The reason they can allow one to enter the Ether is so that one spirit can be given a second chance..."

Kursed's face lit up, "It can bring back the dead?"

"In theory yes...but, it was unknown whether or not it would work...they were never used."

"What is the second part to the spell?" Kursed asked.

"A large stone dais on a round alter bearing the same inscription as that on the weapon...Allow thy passage to the realm of spirits...right the wrongs that were not meant to be..."

"Listen you two..." Bella said, "...you can stay here for the night but...no fighting of any kind, not even a harsh word. Understood?"

"Perfectly...I'll leave the sword in your care for now." Lament said walking out the door.

"What's wrong with him?"

Bella turned her head toward the sword picking it up, "If my guess is right...and it usually is he's visiting her grave."

"Grave?"

Kursed walked outside only to see that Lament was nowhere in sight, Belladonna walked by and pointed toward the well leading to the Lightfoot village, she quickly made her way to the well and as she entered the hole in the ground she could hear something until she walked to the edge of the wooden planking on the sides of the well...

"Hey..." Lament's words echoed all the way up to Kursed, "...sorry I haven't visited in a while Kursed has been riding her chases right up my ass. It's getting harder to keep going; the more I see her, the more she reminds me of you...and the more I just want to let her end it...but the last thing you'd want is for me to give up...but I swear that if I ever find the one that did this to you...he'll suffer. What Kursed did to Panther...I swear it'll look like a routine surgery by time I'm done..."

After that his words faded into choked sobs...Kursed couldn't listen anymore and headed back toward the hut until several minutes later when Lament approached her.

"Hey do me a favor..." He said trying to avoid eye contact, "...if Bella asks I needed some things from my ship in Moon Mountain Pass."

"Sure."

After Lament was gone for some time she made her way back to the well and found her way to the bottom; the bottom of the well mounded up near the middle, where a single gravestone sat surrounded in fresh roses that Lament had planted on the grounds, the perimeter of the small area was surrounded by water. The gravestone was carved with words though some were faded...

'Your spirit will live on in the hearts of those you leave behind...'

The name was completely illegible for some reason, but for the most part for some reason she had a hard time looking at the grave. Lament and her...they were the same, driven by the same goal, but why didn't Lament hunt down her killer?

"Why would he just sit here and cry over a gravestone?"

"Because she wouldn't have wanted me to kill for revenge?" Lament's voice echoing from above startled her, "Now if you're done invading my private space...I brought some food back with me."

Kursed made her way back up to where he was, "How did you get back so fast?"

"Arwing...you know flying machine, fast..."

Kursed sighed, "Yeah I got your point smart ass."

The two walked together toward the hut but, Kursed couldn't help herself...

"What happened?" She asked.

Lament stopped and looked out to the ocean's horizon, "I don't know...it actually happened about four years ago...we'd split up...for some reason, can't remember why...Hah...Shows you how important the fight was. I spent a long time looking for her but, one day I heard that her ship was reported as being shot down. There wasn't even anything left to bury...but that was before all of this...she would have wanted me to move on...what about you?"

"Pretty much the same story actually...accept the fact is that I know who killed the one I loved..." Kursed said walking away, "...I've been after him for the last four years."

Lament quickly caught up with her, "For what it's worth I'm sorry. My line of work you end up killing a lot of people..."

"I'm sorry too...I'm sure that you were a decent person before she died."

"Gee thanks..." Lament said with a chuckle.

"You know Lament...in a sick kind of way I've always respected you..."

"Not much to respect..." Lament replied, "...but the feeling's mutual. You're fighting for something you believe in."

Soon they were back at the hut, "Don't think this changes anything...you're still my enemy when this is all over."

"You're still my enemy now...but everybody needs a break now and again."

Kursed laughed to herself, "Nice philosophy..."


Lament handled the cooking for the night, the two ladies didn't seem to object. Kursed had finally gotten to see Belladonna without her hood on, the filaments were missing from her eyes making them pure white with blindness, her fur showed slight signs of old age, the light blue of her fur was lined with slight amounts of gray. After eating Belladonna admitted that she needed to get to bed. Kursed followed her into the hut and soon walked out to find Lament sitting on the wing of his arwing examining Lovithar closely...

"Something wrong?"

"I was just thinking that these swords could fix so many problems...it's too bad you're people only made two of them."

"You could find the dais and bring her back you know?"

Lament shook his head, "No...the dead are dead...this sort of magic could only lead to more problems. She wouldn't want me to cling to the past like that..." He said with a sigh, "...No, I'll just live on fighting until the day you finally take me out with your own skill."

"Good..." Kursed replied, "...it wouldn't feel right if you just gave up and died. It would feel too much like assisted suicide than actually killing you."

"What about you then..." He said handing the sword down to her, "...You could save that lost love of yours."

Kursed ran her fingers along the blade, "I could...but no...you're right...death is a part of nature. This weapon, or tool is a perversion of everything my mother and Arlex ever taught me..." She tried to hide her tears from her enemy, "...but I'd give anything just to see him again, or hear his voice...feel his warmth."

"You know there's no measure to how sorry I am..." Lament said, "...I made you what you are, when you were probably a very nice person at one time. I ruined your future...I guess her death was just karma catching up with me."

"Well good night...and be ready to run in the morning." Kursed said.

"Good night." Lament replied...


(The next morning...)

Kursed woke up on a small cot, she'd been tucked in with several thick blankets. As she remembered that she was there with Lament she rushed out the door of the hut, his arwing was gone, as well were his things and the sword. She smiled, for the main reason that she'd seen it coming. Kursed thanked Belladonna and made her way back to her ship far off at the Hollow.

"CAM lets get out of here. I know where he's headed. Set a course for Papetoon."

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