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Savak: The Search - Part Four


by zephandolf

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The light from the late afternoon sun filtered into a dim illumination through both the gathering clouds and the overhanging leaves. Savak and Heysha moved slowly through the shadowed depths of the ravine. The white Lupe tried his best to support his injured friend as she limped along. Though her leg still hurt, she was doing a lot better than she was the night before.

     As they passed another turn in the ravine, Heysha sat down. Savak stopped next to her, giving her a concerned look. Though she was hiding it well, she was clearly in pain.

     "Are you alright?" he asked.

     "I'll be fine," she said. "I'm just tired."

     Savak nodded. "Okay, we'll stop here for a while."

     Heysha nodded slowly, lying down on her stomach. Savak sat down next to her, looking out along the jungle. Though he couldn't see the sun, he could tell that night was drawing close. The air was cooling off. The jungle was growing silent as the creatures of the day hid away from their nocturnal predators.

     "You never did tell me why you're here on Mystery Island," Heysha said, breaking Savak's train of thought.

     "What?" he asked.

     "Why are you here?" Heysha repeated. "You're pretty far from the plains."

     "I know," Savak admitted, trying to think of a good response. "Strangely enough, I came here to look into the disappearances on this island."

     "Really?" Heysha asked. "Why?"

     Savak had to think about this. Though Heysha knew a little about Kaylee, he was pretty sure she didn't know the power of the medallions. She was with him by the factory, but after a brief fight with some Lupes that were being controlled by Kaylee, Heysha's Kougra housemate Lukas asked him to explain what had happened. Savak gave in, but he told only him. Not wanting to spread word of the medallions any further, Savak decided to be as vague as possible.

     "I'm…looking for someone," Savak finally said.

     "Well, at least it's not your pack this time," Heysha said. "So, who's missing this time?"

     "It's not so much that she's missing as that she's gone into hiding," Savak admitted. "I'm hunting for that shadow Lupess, Kaylee."

     "Not that Lupess that captured your pack a few moths ago?" Heysha asked. Savak nodded. "But why? You got your pack back and foiled her plans. What else do you have to deal with?"

     "Her," Savak said shortly. He looked up at the clouds above them. They were completely overcast. As he gazed up, a drop fell on his nose. Shaking his head, he stood up again. "It's starting to rain," he said. "And night is falling. We should find shelter."

     Savak started walking away, looking for a thick shrub or a cave or somewhere where they would be mostly dry during the storm. He heard a grunt behind him as Heysha stood and followed after him.

     "What do you mean 'her'?" she asked as she caught up. ""Isn't it enough that you beat her? What else is there to do?"

     "I can't explain," Savak said bluntly without turning to her. "Believe me, I wish I didn't have to do it."

     Savak pressed on even as Heysha stopped. What she said next caught him off guard.

     "It's about the medallions, isn't it?"

     Savak stopped in his tracks, turning to face Heysha. "How do you know about them?"

     "Lukas told me a while ago," the Lupess explained. "I'll have to admit, I had to pry it out of him." She limped over to Savak, looking him square in the eye. "You want Kaylee's medallion?"

     "I want to get rid of Kaylee's medallion," Savak snapped. He regretted his action when Heysha flinched, then added in a calmer tone, "An item with that kind of power is dangerous in anyone's hands."

     "So what would you do with it?" the Lupess asked.

     "I would bring it…" He stopped himself, wondering if he should tell her about Jearii.

     "Bring it to who?" Heysha asked. Savak sighed, figuring she'd find out one way or another.

     "The light faerie, Jearii," he said. He pawed at the medallion around his neck so that Heysha could see it clearly. "She created this medallion to counter the effects of the other medallion. I assume she knows how to destroy it, or that she'll figure out a way. I can't be sure."

     Heysha nodded. "That explains a lot."

     "And you'd better not tell anyone!" Savak whispered harshly. "Too many people know about this already."

     "Alright, fine!" the Lupess said. "It's not as if I'm in a position to tell all of my friends."

     Savak smiled. "Come on," he said. "We should find…"

     He stopped mid sentence as he spotted a spectral figure sitting on a ledge up the side of the ravine. The Ghost Lupe was watching them intently with his penetrating red eyes. Savak didn't know how long he had been sitting there, but he knew he had to get away before the ghost decided to do something rash.

     "Back away slowly," Savak told Heysha. He looked back briefly and saw the Lupess was frozen in place, staring at their unexpected visitor. "Heysha!" Savak growled. "Come on, let's go."

     Both Lupes turned from the ghost, heading back along their path. Looking back, Savak saw the Lupe jump from the ledge, following after them. The fur rose along Savak's spine. "Faster," he whispered. "He's coming after us." Heysha limped along as fast as she could. Savak couldn't help but feel a little impatient with her, even though her injury was not her fault. He urged her along as best as he could.

     Then he spotted a cave on the ravine wall. He wondered how he didn't see it before, but urged Heysha in that direction all the same. When they reached it, Savak stopped at the entrance, nudging the Lupess inside with his paw.

     "Get in and stay quiet," he said.

     "What are you going to do?" Heysha asked over her shoulder.

     "I'll think of something. Now get in there!" He shoved her inside, taking a seat at the cave entrance.

     It didn't take long for the Ghost Lupe to reach him. He stopped when he spotted Savak at the entrance. His tail twitched thoughtfully, watching the white Lupe as he stood hunched, tense and growling.

     "What do you want?" Savak asked. "Why do you keep following me?"

     The Lupe said nothing, but padded forward on silent paws. Savak continued to growl, but he was coming to the opinion that this Lupe was going to ignore him. "Stay back!" he warned. The ghost didn't acknowledge his warning and kept his pace. When he was nearly upon him, Savak jumped forward, ready to fight. He bit at the ghost, but only bit air as he passed through the spectral form. Surprised, Savak barely managed to land on his feet. Whirling around, he watched in horror as the Lupe entered the cave.

     "No!" he exclaimed. "Heysha!"

     Savak dashed to the cave, poking his head in time to see the Ghost Lupe reach for Heysha with his paw. Heysha was trying to back away from him, but she was up against the wall.

     "Heysha!" Savak jumped forward, only to run into an invisible barrier. Shaking his head, Savak looked to the Ghost Lupe, who had turned his direction a moment. And for that moment, Savak knew the Lupe was keeping him out.

     "What are you doing?" Savak demanded. The Lupe didn't answer, and Savak was left to watch helplessly as he reached out with his paw again. His despair faded quickly as he watched the Ghost Lupe touched Heysha's injured leg. A warm glow surrounded his paw as his paw pressed against her. Then as he removed his paw, the glow slowly faded.

     Heysha, as soon as the ghost's paw left her side, collapsed to the ground. Savak wanted to run to her side, but he knew the barrier would keep him out. As he tried considering what few options he had, the Ghost Lupe stepped away from Heysha, moving out of the cave. As he passed Savak, he looked at the white Lupe with what almost seemed to be an expression of amusement before he left them alone, moving on to wander the jungle once more.

     Once he left, Savak turned to Heysha, padding quickly to her side. He nudged her gently.

     "Are you alright?" he asked.

     Heysha raised her head. "I…I'm fine!" she exclaimed, a bit surprised. "My…my leg doesn't hurt anymore!"

     "What?" Savak looked at Heysha's leg. "Do you mean that…?"

     "Yes, he's healed it!" She stood up and walked about the cavern. "It's as if it's never been injured!"

     Though he wanted to say what he felt, Savak was feeling too many things to express. He stood for a moment, speechless, until he looked to the cave entrance. "Why do you think he helped us?" he wondered.

     "Who knows," Heysha said, sitting next to Savak. "Maybe he felt sorry for me. That Lupe is known to do many things, both good and bad." The end of her sentence was cut off by a big yawn. "I'm tired. I'm going to get some sleep while I still can."

     Savak nodded carelessly as he continued watching the entrance. The fact that the Ghost Lupe was there at all had him worried. Was it something about him that attracted his attention? Was this spectral figure following him? Or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time? These thoughts and many more swam about Savak's head even as he curled up next to Heysha, making an attempt at getting some rest before they set off in the morning.

     * * *

     Dawn broke over Mystery Island, its light still hindered by the gathered storm. The pattering of rain continued relentlessly until the rising sun encouraged the clouds to disperse. The rain had nearly stopped by the time Savak and Heysha stepped out of the cave. A shaft of sunlight broke through the leaves nearby, and Heysha took a moment to bask in it and stretch her stiff legs.

     "What a lovely morning," she said.

     "Yes, it is," Savak replied, taking in the morning scents. Most of them were still foreign to him. The Lupe sighed. "I miss the plains."

     Heysha walked over and nudged Savak with her shoulder. "Come on," she said. "You'll be back there soon enough."

     "Maybe," Savak said, sitting down. "I just want this whole thing over and done with. I don't even want to deal with it."

     "Then why are you here?" Heysha asked.

     "Because there's no one else who can do this." Savak looked to Heysha. "This is my responsibility. I can't easily put this on anyone else's shoulders." Taking another deep breath, Savak stood again. "Let's go," he said. "Now that your leg is better, we can make good time to the end of the ravine."

     The two Lupes continued along the ravine in silence. Savak barely noticed Heysha at his side as his thoughts remained on the plains. He grew up there, learned to hunt, track, and survive in the endless grasslands. The more he thought about it, the more he felt uncomfortable with the jungle around him. He forced himself to go on, silent and unyielding. He didn't even realize he was tensing up until Heysha spoke.

     "Savak," Heysha said as they walked. "Are you alright?"

     "I'm fine," Savak said bluntly, pressing on.

     Heysha nodded to herself, then changed the subject. "A…about last night…"

     "What about it?" Savak asked, half turning to her.

     "Well, you were willing to fight the Ghost Lupe to protect me."

     This finally brought Savak to a stop. He looked at Heysha uncomfortably. "I…I would do that for anyone."

     Heysha shrugged, moving past Savak. "If you say so."

     Savak flicked an ear before following after the Lupess. "What are you getting at?" he asked when he caught up.

     "I don't know," Heysha said. "I was just thinking…" She shook her head. "Nevermind, it's not important."

     Savak wanted to inquire further, but he was sure he wasn't going to get anywhere doing so. Instead, he and the Lupess continued along the ravine, neither saying a word to the other.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


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



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