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Savak: The Search - Part Three


by zephandolf

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A full moon gazed from the heavens upon the thick jungles of Mystery Island. The pack had gathered in a clearing that evening after searching most of the day. This was the pack's third day on the island, and thus far, they had come across neither hide nor hair of Kaylee. On top of that, traveling through the thick jungles on Mystery Island proved more troublesome than Savak thought it would be. He and everyone else were used to traveling over open grasslands. Though Savak had visited the Haunted Forest once or twice, he had never gotten used to weaving around the thick trees and massive bushes that barred his path. When noon rolled around on the first day, Savak came to appreciate his decision to bring Lilia along. She lived in the jungle most of her life, so she was used to it. If it hadn't been for her, they wouldn't be making any progress at all.

     By the third day, they had covered all the recent hot spots for the disappearances. No one found anything out of the ordinary, much to Savak's disappointment and relief. It was clear, though, that they were getting nowhere. Savak was starting to wonder if Kaylee was on the island after all.

     On the night of the third day, the pack gathered in the clearing for a late dinner. Once they had all finished, Savak moved to the edge of the clearing, looking through the trees to the sea. He was quickly captivated by the moonlight glaring off the still waters that surrounded the island. Of all things mystical in beauty, the moon had to be one of the most beautiful. Unfortunately, he did not take the time to enjoy the sight. He had too much on his mind. The medallions, Kaylee, and his task bound between the two; he was starting to become dismayed.

     As he sat there, deep in thought, Jessie walked over and took a seat beside him. They both sat in silence for some time before Jessie spoke.

     "What are you thinking about?" she asked.

     "A lot of things," Savak replied eventually. "These last few months…everything's changed, it seems."

     "Our pack's leadership has changed hands," Jessie pointed out. "Things are bound to change. Everyone's going to be treating you differently." She smirked at him, nudging his shoulder. "Come on, don't be so down. Things aren't that bad, are they?"

     Savak shrugged. "I don't know. But it's more than the fact that I'm leader now. It just that…With the medallions…" He paused, trying to find the words to express his thoughts. "We've been here for days," he continued. "We've wandered the island from end to end, finding little to nothing related to Kaylee. It's as if that shadow Lupess…I've felt as if she's here, but she never was." Sighing, he turned to his mother. "Would Murgoh do this? Would he go out of his way to chase shadows?"

     Jessie was about to reply when a wail broke though the jungle. Savak's fur bristled as he heard it. He barely noticed everyone else had grown uneasy. Moving across the clearing, Savak stood next to Gerthen. The old Lupe glanced briefly at Savak before he spoke.

     "I don't have to tell you this," he said. "But there's something out there."

     "What was it?" Savak asked.

     "I don't know," Gerthen admitted. "But whatever it was, it was close."

     Savak nodded, twitching his tail thoughtfully. "Kosek," he called. When Kosek approached, he continued. "Kosek, we're going to see what's out there. Gerthen, Jessie, watch our guide."

     Savak padded forward a pace when he noticed Kosek hadn't moved. Turning back, he saw Kosek was still where he had stopped, giving Savak an irritated expression. Savak was about to call the yellow Lupe once again when he finally moved, joining Savak at his side.

     "Let's get this over with, then," he whispered to Savak. Though none-too pleased with his attitude, Savak nodded, and both Lupes left the clearing.

     In the jungle, the two Lupes separated slightly so they could cover more ground. Neither caught the scent of anything unusual for some time. Then Savak came across a faint scent. The jungle scents had already begun to mask it, but it was clear enough. A Lupe had passed by here moments ago.

     "Kosek!" Savak called. When Kosek reached him, Savak prodded where he found the scent. "A Lupe has been by here. Whoever it was, it went that way." Savak looked out into the jungle. He couldn't see far, but the land started to look a little more rugged.

     Pressing on, both Lupes followed the trail as it led them into a less thickly grown part of the jungle. Breaking through the bushes, Savak stopped short, suddenly finding himself at the edge of a steep-sided ravine. Peering over the edge, he was surprised at its depth. If anyone fell down there, they would have a hard time getting up again from this end of the ravine.

     Kosek also looked into the ravine as he came to stand next to Savak. "Well," he said. "I wouldn't want to fall down there."

     "Neither would I," Savak agreed. He shook his head. "Come on, let's…"

     "Hello?"

     Savak and Kosek both fell silent, looking down into the ravine. Savak didn't know if he had heard it or not, but it sounded as if it came from far below. Then it came again.

     "Hello? Is anyone up there?"

     "Do you hear that?" Kosek asked.

     "Yes, I do," Savak said, sniffing the ground. "It's coming from the ravine, which is where our friend the Lupe went, apparently." He looked down the side of the ravine intently. Then he started making his way down, slowly.

     "What are you doing?" Kosek asked, moving after Savak. Savak nearly whirled on Kosek, but he had to keep a good footing.

     "Stay there," Savak ordered. "If I can't get back up, I'll need you to get the others." With that, the white Lupe continued his way down the side of the ravine.

     "Hello?" the voice called again.

     "Hang on, I'm coming," Savak replied, his words nearly cut off as one of his hind paws slipped on a patch of loose dirt. He occasionally looked up the ravine to see how far he had gone. In the low light, he could hardly see Kosek's yellow pelt against the starlit sky. The top of the ravine was far above him. As he reached the bottom, he doubted he would manage to get to the top again. He pushed the thought aside, concentrating on finding the Lupe.

     Padding along the bottom of the ravine, Savak finally spotted the Lupe, hidden in the shadows of a large fern bush. The Lupe saw him too.

     "Who's that?" the Lupe asked. "Who's there?"

     "A friend, I hope," Savak said, stepping forward. Now that he was close, he could tell from its scent that the shadowed figure was a Lupess. But somehow, the scent seemed familiar. "What are you doing down here?"

     The Lupess didn't reply for a moment. Savak couldn't tell whether she didn't trust him, or she was too embarrassed to reply. "I…Something out there…something startled me. I…I ran from it, but I…I didn't see the ravine. Then…" Her voice trailed off. Savak was about to speak again when the Lupess stood up, her movements stiff. As she rose out of the shadows, Savak nearly gasped her name.

     "Heysha!"

     Standing before him, Heysha's blue pelt was covered in soil. Her charm-laden gold necklace was a dead giveaway, though. This Lupess was no doubt the same Lupess that helped Savak free the pack several months ago.

     Though Savak recognized Heysha, the blue Lupess didn't recognize him. She was trying to peer at him in the dim light. "Who are you?" she asked. "How do you know my name?"

     "Heysha, it's me, Savak," the white Lupe replied. He padded forward slightly, but halted when she drew away from him. "Remember me?" he asked. "You…you and Lukas helped me free the Lupe pack from that factory."

     As she glared at him, a light of remembrance overtook her look of suspicion toward him. "Savak?" She limped toward him slowly. Savak stayed where he was, letting her take in his scent. "It is you!" she exclaimed. But then she hesitated. Sitting down, she tried to remain dignified, though it was far too late for that. "What brings you here?"

     "I was going to ask you the same thing," Savak admitted. "What's a pampered pet like you doing deep in a wild jungle like this in the middle of the night? And alone at that?"

     Heysha hesitated once more, her ears lying low. "Lukas has…We, Lukas, Jason and I, were traveling through the jungle with a tour guide when…" she fell silent. It was clear enough to Savak that something was wrong.

     "What happened?" he asked.

     "They…the guide turned on us," Heysha continued. "He and a few others attacked us…I managed to get away, but…"

     "They were taken?" Savak asked. Heysha nodded sadly. Savak felt deeply for Heysha, but he was puzzled. "Who would want to kidnap them?"

     "Savak! What's going on down there?"

     Savak turned back along his path. He'd forgotten about Kosek. Though the Lupe disliked him, it was good to know he cared enough to ask if he was alright.

     "It's alright, Kosek," Savak called back. Then he turned to Heysha. "I think we should get out of here. Can you walk?"

     "I…I can try," Heysha said, standing up again. She took a few steps forward, then looked sadly to Savak. "I don't think I can climb the side of the ravine though."

     Savak nodded. "Alright, we'll have to find another way out. Stay here," he said, moving back to where he climbed into the ravine. He could barely see Kosek at the top, waiting for him. "Kosek," he called. "Get the pack and tell them to follow this side of the ravine to the sea."

     "What?" Kosek yelled back. "What for? What did you find down there?"

     "An old friend," Savak replied. "She's injured. I can't bring her up the side. I'll meet you and the pack at the end of the ravine."

     Kosek was silent for a moment before calling down again. "Alright, Savak. I'll tell the pack."

     Savak stood there a moment, even after Kosek disappeared over the top of the ledge. Then he went back to Heysha, who had sat down again on a patch of moss.

     "Alright, we're following the ravine," Savak said.

     "Which way?" Heysha asked.

     Savak gestured with a paw. "That way, toward the sea. The pack will meet us there. It shouldn't take too long. Maybe a day, if you're up to it."

     "That is, if I'm up to it," the blue Lupess sighed. "Alright, we might as well go now, and…ahh!"

     Heysha tried to stand again, but her legs collapsed under her. Surprised, Savak moved to her side. "Are you alright?" he asked earnestly.

     "I think so," Heysha said, pushing herself onto her stomach. "I twisted my leg when I fell down here. I'll try again, we need to get going." She tried pushing herself to her paws again, but Savak held her down this time.

     "You're not going anywhere tonight," Savak said. "Not in your condition."

     "What do you mean? You said that the pack would be at the end of the ravine tomorrow!"

     "They can wait. I told Kosek that you were injured." He lay down beside her. "We can take as long as you need. Don't worry, we'll get out of here."

     Heysha just looked at Savak for a moment. Then she nodded and laid her head down. Savak watched her for a moment, then turned his gaze up to the moon overhead. They had first met when he lost his family. Now they met again when she lost hers. He couldn't help but think it ironic. Shaking his head, he looked down at Heysha again.

     "You helped me find my family," Savak whispered. "Now I'm going to help you find yours."

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Savak: The Search - Part One
» Savak: The Search - Part Two
» Savak: The Search - Part Four
» Savak: The Search - Part Five
» Savak: The Search - Part Six
» Savak: The Search - Part Seven
» Savak: The Search - Part Eight



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