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[Fiction] The dangerous crush.


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[Time Index: May, 2014]

The home outside Oglala wasn't large but it was nice in comparison to the small ramshackle homes of some of the neighbors. Poverty has been a part of life on the reservation since the Sioux where forced onto them over a century ago.

The home looked like it had work done to it recently. Construction refuse was lying about in heaps ready to be hauled away. The addition to the home was more like a barn. A large simple addition made of corrugated metal, with large double doors that a truck could be driven through if need be. This night the doors where swung wide open letting in the cool night air.

Over the chirp of amorous insects the steady click could be heard from inside the cavernous looking annex. The dull blue glow was the only light source inside the building. Obviously someone was working hard at a computer. Inside, the silhouette of a huge creature could be seen against the backdrop of blue. Bent over the computer and gingerly typing at a pitted and scarred keyboard with massive talons. The Nova known only as Totem typed away. Posting his thoughts and feelings to other Novas on the Opnet site he had found a few months after his birth into his new form.

A twenty-gallon bucket of what might be cherry Kool-Aid sat on a table beside the computer. Next to that a side of beef that looked half cooked as well as half eaten. The Griffin stretched out his wings as he sat on his haunches in front of the computer screen. Taking a deep breath he sighed and reached out with a huge paw to grasp the bucket of cherry flavored drink.

A girl’s giggle began to fill his room. The darkness began to dance and swirl as if alive. The laugh was almost that of girl child, but it held a hint of something far older and more sinister. Then like a snake shedding its skin, Apep stepped forth from the darkness. The fearsome reputation of this silent killer was known to all. It was almost like she could become some new bed time story for nova children. “If you don’t be good, and respectful to monstrous novas, Apep will come and get you”. The truth of that reputation seemed apparent in her posture. Apep moved across the room in a single smooth step and placed her hand over his beak. In soft whisper that seemed to come from directly inside his own ears. She began to speak in a tone that would confirm she was not here as a threat.

“They are listening to you, so do not say a word. I know you probably have a lot of questions and I will give you a few answers. I cannot give you much…yet. Some would take great interest in what I might possibly say to you. If you want to talk, really talk, about what you are and what you are becoming then you will have to trust me” She said as she steps back and stretches, in a way far too sexy for someone of her apparent age, as if ridding herself of a crick in her spine. She then extends her hand towards Totem, “So what’s it gonna be? Will you trust me?”

Involuntarily Totem’s mane bristles when the laughter began. Strange stimuli for him as having never experienced an arrival such as this. His large fuzzy ears swiveled on his head until he finally focused in on his visitor. Sniffing at the air he watched the visitor taking in every single detail about her he could. She closed in on him, and his mane flattened as he relaxed. He was hoping to see this woman and with the swish of his tail betraying him, he seemed happy she has decided to grace him with her presence.

Ignoring whatever he had been doing on the computer he stands on all fours and shakes himself out. He flexes his wings then tucks them across his back before leaning back into a long stretch, splaying out his claws letting them drag across the concrete floor slightly as he does. The Griffin moves near to the Terat studying the woman for a moment. Looking at how she carries herself and for a moment at her more reptilian and less human features. Gauging or testing perhaps if she is self conscious about them. He then covers her offered hand with one of his massive paws, careful to avoid resting his saber like talons on her. All he does is look down into her exotic eyes and nod. No words, knowing full well she meant it when she said they will talk, really talk when she is ready.

She smiles up at him as he rests his paw in her scaled hand. The scales are cold, hard to the touch, and when she grabs his wrist, the grip is surprisingly strong. The shadows extend to cover the floor beneath them. Swiftly, Apep pulls the griffin close to her as she sinks into the darkness. For only an instant, the two fall through a frigid void. There is nothing but each other, the only heat coming from their own bodies. Before the true vastness of the abyss can be realized, Apep pulls them out of the darkness.

They step onto a moist dirt floor in the mouth of a cave. The air is slightly warmer than Oglala and a bit more humid. Apep walks over to the entrance of the cave looking out over a forest filled with oak and maple, giving Totem a moment to collect himself. She reaches down into a patch of grass, and picks up a young copperhead. As it coils around her arm, she turns to Totem. “Don’t worry. I didn’t take you too far. We’re still in the states.” She looks down at the snake, petting it gently. “No one should bother us here.”

There is no panic when the darkness consumes him. But the thump of his heart beats a bit faster within his chest as they pass through the dark oblivion. Afterward he does take a moment getting his bearings. Sniffing the warmer night air and looking around focusing his senses for a moment. Finally he seems to settle his large eyes back on his host of the trip. Watching her hold the snake like one would a loving pet.

He wants to speak; he wants to blurt out a thousand questions to this auburn haired serpentine beauty. He knows he might not like the answers she will give him. Yet he holds his tongue for the moment. Maybe it is because he doesn’t really know what to say first. He rolls his head cracking his neck loudly as he does. He blinks and watches her again; it’s not going to be like talking to the others he has met, he knows this. She is a killer, but so is he, isn’t he? He killed those Michaelites. Still he looks at the little slip of a woman in front of him that could most likely thrash him harder than Ravana and give him a whole new meaning to the word pain.

Totem flinches and flexes a wing, realizing he had let himself slip off while his feral side has taken over. In the time he has been day dreaming he has walked a slow circle around the Terat slinking around her virtually ogling her with his senses and doing it most obviously as he sniffs near her, only just grazing her with the tip of his beak. He stops and shakes his head coming out of his haze of primal instincts. Instead of looking embarrassed like he feels about letting acting like an animal he simply sits in front of the snake eyed girl and peers into her eyes. “Hi.” Is all he finally manages to rumble out of his throat.

She eyes him as he circles him and raises an eyebrow as he sniffs her. “Hi?” She laughs. “Hello Totem. You have my time. We are alone; no one is within many miles of here. I believe you have some things you want to ask me?” All seriousness has returned to her voice.

“Well I guess I do. A few people your mother included said I should talk to you.” Looking somewhat hesitant he shrugs his large shoulders then continues. “You might share a perspective on things that might help me.” As his tail flicks back and forth showing his obvious anxiety he blurts out. “You have taken aspects from animals, kinda like I have. How do you control those aspects in your mind?”

“The only way I can, by accepting that they’re part of me. If you try to fight it, it fights back. You won’t win that battle. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? I guess in a way it is. That’s the beauty of it.” She says as the copperhead takes its place on her shoulders. “Is it that you are just having trouble accepting what you are becoming?”

“Well being a giant beast creature can be a problem at times. But it is mainly...” He trails off and looks away for a moment. It is easy to tell he forces his eyes back into Apep’s gaze. “My mind. A lot of the problem isn’t my new body it is my new mind. I feel the old me sitting beside something else in there. Wild eyes stare at me in my dreams. Soaring, hunting, mating, even the kill all those base instincts they make my heart pound and I feel truly alive just thinking about them.” Flicking his ear a rear paw scritches behind it for a few moments relieving an itch. “I just don’t know if there is any room for the old me in the new me and I don’t want to let go.”

She gives a small nod of her head. She understands. “You need to accept that there is no ‘old you’ anymore. There is only what you are now. And what you will become. Surely you know this, and I’m guessing that is what scares you. But Totem, there is nothing to be afraid of.” She smiles a quick mischievous grin, the grin that almost always seems part of her expression. She steps past him, staring into the darkness of the cave interior. “If you wish for any peace at all, you do have to let go. You don’t have to forget, but if you do not let go, you will find the struggle unbearable.”

The big creature hangs his head in a sigh. “I guess, I do know. But I can’t go around eating, killing or raping whenever the urge strikes.” His large eyes follow the youthful nova as she looks down the cave. “You seem to have some self control. How do you overcome the urges that drive you forward. Do you just give in to them all the time on a whim?” He is trying not to sound full of angst about his situation but it is hard to hide that from a Nova with senses like hers. He seems desperate for answers but is taking comfort that she actually came to him at all. “I have read about your rampages. Do I have to go to that as well? Am I doomed or destined for it?

For a moment, the darkness seems to breathe. It pulses with life, as if it is only waiting for a command to spring forward and fill the whole of the cave, but instantly it stills. She sharply, turns to Totem with hardened eyes and a hiss in her voice “First off, you are not an animal. You are a nova. There is quite a difference! Do not forget it.” She closes the distance between them, looking directly into his eyes. “If you want to eat, kill, and rape, then do it. You only have to be prepared for the consequences. There is nothing wrong with acting on your instincts. It is natural. But these ‘rampages’ will get you a cage, and you will be treated like an animal. What do I do you ask?” She pauses taking some of the edge off her voice and stepping back a pace. “I meditate. I do what I have to so that I do not forget those consequences. I try to direct my rage, and occasionally, yes, I do just give in to them on a whim. ”

Silence dominates the large figure for a moment. He stands and moves toward her close enough to lean his head against her side and nuzzles her with his head. “I want you...” He pauses a moment then with a cough. “To teach me. I can only ask. I don’t really know how long it will take for me to wind up in a cage either. I am not sure my direction now. I can’t, won’t turn my back on my tribe and that means I cannot go with the ideals of the Teragen of separating one’s self from humanity.” Taking a deep breath of her scent he shows no nervousness about the feared killer he is now trying to nuzzle against. “I know you could rip my throat out right now and be done with this. I know I am sounding pretty pathetic right now but all I can do is ask. Teach me or do what you will.”

Clearly amused at his affection, she laughs and strokes the underside of his beak. “There will be no throat ripping for the time being.” Her grin widens, “I like you. I might be able to teach you a few things, but you have to decide your direction, or you’ll be fumbling around lost in the dark. How cute that you are so attached to your people. You will know what to do with them in time. I wouldn’t try to tear you away from them. I myself wonder how I might feel about the humans if I were raised believing I was one. But a million what ifs still amount to nothing.” She sighs. “I can’t promise you anything. I don’t know how good of a teacher I can be. Patience is far from my strongest virtue.” She then pets his feathers fondly. “I can try.”

It is easy to notice his ears perk forward when she says “I like you.” He almost purrs from the stroking and petting he receives but his brow furrows some when the conversation goes back to humans. “I don’t think I am one, not anymore. I mean look at me. There isn’t anything human left in here except maybe my mind and even it isn’t all to human these days.” His tail swats around as he thinks. “I care for them though. They care for me. I had a horse when I was little. He was my best friend and I was his. We cared for one another. Our relationship was mutually beneficial I gave him food and he gave me a ride. I kinda feel like that about the Oglala around here now. I don’t feel it is my duty or burden. They are my friends and family and that hasn’t changed.” He sighs. “In a few weeks I will perform the Sun Dance at the opening ceremony for the Intertribal Pow-Wow. It’s one of the most important things for my people and I don’t want to lose control and mess it up because I am nervous or scared. You can give me clarity I think. You have the instincts but they do not control you like they try to me. I need that.” He looks away as his wing brushes over her back and he uses it to engulf her in an avian type of hug. “I know it would be risky for you but I would really like for you to come, at least watch.”

“Okay.” She pauses and looks at him. Just looks at him. Apep smiles again, and licks her lips with her forked tongue. “I will be there. Let me worry about risks to myself, I’m sure I can handle it. It’s unlikely that there would be an incident anyways.” Her eyes seem eager at the thought of any trouble, but she waves her hand as if to dismiss the possibility. “If I were you, I’d be more concerned with whether or not you are ready to be publicly associated with the likes of me. Think about it. You are already in a delicate situation regarding your horses” she clears her throat and smiles up at him with mock innocence. “I mean people. Being considered a Teragen sympathizer could complicate things for you.” She smiles that mischievous grin again “but I’ll be there.”

“I choose my friends. I choose those I care about.” He turns away as he reigns in his voice. There is no need to yell at her but he wants to yell for the sake of it, the beast wants him to roar and froth. “Your mother is coming. I just want you to as well. It doesn’t matter what you represent, not to me.” Once he gets a grip on himself he continues. “I can’t help but look at you and want you. You don’t scare me, I dunno maybe you should. Maybe I am fooling myself on what I feel.” Huge talons dig into the rocky soil creating huge grooves as he speaks, the weight of the emotional turmoil taking it’s toll on him. “I’ve seen the posts on the opnet, I know your are involved with others. But it doesn’t change things.” Totem looks at the small beauty again, eye to eye, not flinching. His expression is soft but determined. “So here I am standing before the Apep. The boogey woman so many fear. What am I saying to her now? Befriend me, Teach me, Screw me, Love me. God I sound like an idiot. ” With that he tenses again taking a step away. “You don’t know me but I am suddenly tossing all of this at you.. Maybe I was better off in Bahrain I am truly fucked in the head.”

Her expression is cold again. The teasing tone to her voice vanishes. “You are not fucked in the head. Bahrain is the last place that anyone deserves to be. Death is preferable. It is good that you are at least certain about some things, because you are so uncertain about yourself. Things will all fall into place. Stop letting the stress of confusion pull you down so.” She eyes the fresh claw marks in the ground, then returns his gaze. “I am glad you are not afraid of me. Let’s hope it stays that way. I have already decided not to harm you. It did cross my mind. I though perhaps I’d take your head, let the darkness dance in your insides, or maybe I would simply gut you. I’d be done with this and I wouldn’t have the trouble of worrying myself over an angst ridden baby nova. But, as I said, I’ve decided that I am fond of you. You certainly possess potential. If I can teach you, I will. If anything else is to transpire, well...we’ll see.”

It hits him like a hammer how she views him, as a baby Nova pouting and crying to her. It bothers him far more than her pondering of killing him. What’s worse is she is right, he is nothing more than a fourteen foot tall pity party and what did he do. Ask one of the world’s most dangerous Novas to come and join him in it. It’s taking her far more patience to deal with him than she is letting on now and he realizes it very acutely. Stretching his wings he paces a short distance from the cave. “I don’t know what I wanted from you Apep. I feel ashamed of myself now, what’s worse is I know how I look to you and you’re right.” His rear falls to the ground and he shakes his head. “You talk and I will listen. I will not whimper anymore.”

Hours later Totem came home. Slipping once again through the shadows that Apep brought to life. He was sore. When he thought Ravana was a good fighter to have beaten him so soundly he was mistaken. Compared to Apep the XWF fighter was a chump. She had handed him his furry-feathered butt more than a few times and all he managed to do was graze her once with a wing as he fell over.

She spoke of what it was inside him and how it might take him a very long time to master it. He knew he needed to come to some peace about that but it still scared him. He however wasn’t going to whine anymore in front of her. He couldn’t expect her to be patient with him if he kept complaining, so he would show her something else. He could be strong and silent; he could live with and come to peace with himself inside.

Making his way over to the pile of mattresses and blankets he had made into his bed/nest he circled a few times before lying down. She was something, strong and sure. She could be cold but he was enthralled with her. The way she walked, the way her power rolled off her. Her smell, it almost overwhelmed him he felt addicted. He settled in and closed his eyes, dreaming about a dangerous woman and what he would be in the days and years to come. If she didn’t kill him first.

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