Battle for Freedom
It took four days of constant travelling to get to the new home of the Blended. Bethany was exhausted and nearly passed out in the centre of the camp. Stumbling to her knees and holding herself up with the palms of her hands Bethany tried to string together the words before her body shut down on her.
“Bethany – Isis – Blended... Kagu... Bonded...” Looking up at the man before her, she let her eyes flashed violet and passed out.
As she fell to her body’s need for sleep, Kagu watched as the man before his bonded lift her up and take her towards a massive tent. Following at the sedate pace, Kagu sat by the cot she was placed in, and made sure that no one took advantage of his Bethany.
As a Shifter, Kagu didn’t need sleep, just food and several short periods of time where he doesn’t have to move. As he watched the door to the tent, he listened to the people milling about. They were ecstatic that Isis had returned, and were grateful that she had Blended with an obviously strong human. They were curious about the Blood Tiger, but did not wish to awaken the obviously exhausted Blended.
Kagu sat by the bed for ten hours before his bonded woke, and moved towards the tent flaps. He growled at the nearest guard and looked inside then back at him. Seeing the understanding in the eyes of the man, Kagu returned to his Bonded and sat by her. As her green eyes slowly opened, Kagu nudged a plate of food towards her and watched as she took in her surroundings.
Bethany smiled down at Kagu and looked around the tent. It was filled with cots and fur blankets and she let a hand fall as if to prevent herself from forgetting that Kagu was still there. Eating the tender meat, Bethany noticed that there was something off in the room.
‘There are cleaning and air freshening spells done in here. It helps to stop from us getting ill, and if someone decides to have sex, then they don’t have to worry about inflicting others with the smell.’ Bethany snickered as she felt Isis’ embarrassment over their bond and whispered what was told to her to Kagu.
She was still snickering when the flaps of the tent opened and a middle-aged woman walked in. Taking in the appearance, a pang of longing went through Bethany as the woman reminded her mother. The hair was a reddish-blond, and her eyes were the same green as her own. The woman walked with an air of power, and Bethany knew that she was the leader of the community.
“Good day Bethany, Isis and Bonded. I am Tanya Lawhead and Sirona, the healer of the Blended. I hope that you are now well rested and fed?” Her voice was smooth and reminded Bethany of the small creeks and streams that had run throughout her old village.
Nodding at Tanya, Bethany rose from the comfortable cot and followed the woman out into the camp. There were several children running around and their innocence made her smile wistfully at them. She would love to have children, but it would have to wait. Kagu rubbed against her leg, and she petted him again.
As they walked further into the Camp, Bethany noticed that less and less children were in this area, and knew why when she saw him. A tall dark-skinned man was seated with many men and women around him. All spoke at turn, but she just knew that he led the camp. Kagu growled softly and Bethany squatted beside him. She felt the anger at the man and could only wonder if it was him that had hunted so many animals to get the furs.
Hugging Kagu close, Bethany kept a hand in his fur as they made their way to the circle. With so many eyes on her, Bethany left her face fall blank and let Isis take over to speak.
‘Isis, he is not to touch Kagu at all, and if he wants our presence, there will be others with us. I really don’t like how he’s looking at us.’ The look in the man’s eyes was one of lust and Bethany felt dirty under his gaze.
Seeing the look herself Isis let her eyes flash in anger. The shocked look on his face was priceless, but he needed to know that Bethany was off limits. Turning towards the assembled group Isis began to tell what she knew, and, with Bethany’s permission, how she became a Blended.
“I have seen the Order of the Lands main location of business. All of you are familiar with Las Vegas, yes? Well, that is where you shall find the leaders of the Order. They have several camps and labs where they are making Hunters and Enforcers. Bethany, my host, was to be a Hunter for the Order of the Lands, but she managed to escape.
“The Demons that are hunting us are using our brethren as enhancements for themselves. Calico was used to help enhance the eyes of the main Demon, and now he can spot us unless we are blended. IF he catches a Blended, then there will be no hope for us to achieve our goals of clearing these lands of the Demons that had overtaken the humans.” Gasps and grumbles where scattered around the circle and Isis took some time to regroup.
“The Demons are desperate to have us removed, as well as other mystical creatures of this planet. Kagu, our Blood Tiger bonded is a rare type of Blood Tiger. He is a shifter, and has claimed Bethany for his own.” Bethany’s shock and then amusement and anger were felt through their link, and Isis promised to talk about it later.
“Kagu has agreed to help us with this fight, but he will kill anyone who does try to harm his Bonded. The Demons are after the other Mysticals to make poisons, weapons, and protective gear. As they eat at this population, it will be much harder to regain the balance if we do not open our camp to the other creatures that are willing to assist. If we allow them entrance within our Camp we will have WILLING donors for poisons, weapons, healing draughts, and armour to fight the Demons and their allies.
“We can create a stronger force if we have the assistance of the Mysticals as well as the Blended. The fact that we can fight stronger, harder and faster will help us defeat the Demons. Many humans would be willing to help us as well. You see the Blended children running around, but soon we will have to have fresh blood within the camp or the talents will be lost.” Isis knew that she was getting to the council, and once she could be certain that they were allowed to open the doors to the Mysticals, only then they would have a greater chance of surviving the battles and defeating the Demons and their human allies.
Bethany watched as Isis brought the group together and smiled. It would be good to have other creatures around to help. Just the vast cultures would allow for a better understanding and remembrance of habits and lifestyles would keep the hope alive. Children could only bring so much to the world, and having others around to help with the difference would make the camp a brighter place.
“Bethany found me just after she had broken out of a Hunter grooming facility. She had been badly injured, but the fact that she was also being hunted gave us something to bond over before we Blended. Her acceptance was remarkable, but once we had Blended, I knew that she was worried that it would be a one sided affair. I hid us from the Hunters in the area as I healed her and we began to move after she had awoken. We met Kagu at a secluded pond, and he Bonded himself to us and became our hunter for food and shelter once we entered the hostile areas. He was a great asset in protecting us as we slept and gave us just enough time to recover before hiding our tracks and getting us moving again. It was because of Kagu that we got here so quickly after spotting the last area you were at.” Isis was stopped from speaking when a warrior in training came to the group and bowed.
“Forgive me Council, but there are several creatures coming and we do not know what they are.” The girl was breathless and had a worried look upon her face.
Kagu leaped up and Bethany told Isis to follow him as they made their way to the main gates. Several Mysticals were coming their way and Bethany took charge.
“Get several Medical Tents ready, they have wounded. Guards, make sure that they are not being tapped by the Hunters. Make sure to give them room!” Bethany ushered everyone back and Kagu had two children on his back as he ran towards the tents.
It had taken hours, but the Mysticals were resting in one of the tents and Bethany was wrapped around a human Kagu. He had shifted halfway through the ordeal and had demanded that the Mysticals get treatment, for they had information as well.
She had been enthralled by his tanned skin and red hair. He had been minutely dressed, only a pair of faded brown shorts was his coverings, and his eyes were still a fabulous pale green. She had sat beside him as she helped in healing the wounded Mysticals and made sure to stay in as much contact with his smooth skin as possible.
She had been worried at first, but his deep voice had brought her into the bed they were resting in now and she was content. He was lithe and muscular, thin but strong, and she loved his scent. Forests and waterfalls would always remind herself of Kagu and she fell into a deep slumber.
Isis had explained to her that Kagu wanted her safe, so he had remained a Blood Tiger for their journey as to not distract her from their target goal at that time. Bethany had agreed that it had been for the best, and that there had been no time for Kagu to show himself afterwards as she had fallen into a deep sleep and then was taken to the Council.
As Bethany slept, Isis and Kagu spoke about how the Mysticals could help with the battles and how they could get information. As they worked out the details, Kagu kept stroking Bethany’s hair, and Isis just remained close to Kagu for Bethany’s sake. He was keeping her nightmares at bay, and she refused to hinder her sleep by being petty and shying from the soothing touch.
As both spoke, they never saw the shadow lingering in the entrance as they discussed ways to ask the Council to implement their ideas.