Savak: The Search - Part Six
"Kaylee!" Savak exclaimed.
"Surprised, are you?" the Lupess asked, looking
to Savak. "I'm sure you came to this island to find me. Why else would you be
this far from the plains?" She shook her paw when Savak was about to protest.
"No, you were right. I did come here to find people to control. Things didn't
go according to plan, though. Somehow, these natives…the real natives,
are immune to the power of my medallion. I guess they have a stronger will than
I expected, or they have a powerful item to guard their minds. At any rate,
they didn't like me poking around, so they decided to string me up like the
rest of the people they've been kidnapping."
Savak looked in disbelief at the chanting natives
below them. They were responsible for the rash of kidnappings that have been
happening all over the island? He had to admit, it wasn't all that far-fetched.
He turned to Kaylee again.
"Alright," he said. "You said you know what this
is all about. Explain this to me."
"It's simple, really," the shadow Lupess said.
"They're getting tired of tourists roaming the islands and disrupting the wildlife.
So they want to get rid of them. Being people of action, they decided the best
way to do that was by force. For now, all it is is kidnappings. They're ridding
the jungle of tourists, and looking for anyone sympathetic to their cause. Or
forcing them to be sympathetic," she added, nodding to one of the natives standing
below the cages. Savak looked down at the Kougra who had brought him here. Lukas
was clearly unhappy, Savak could see that. Before the Lupe could say anything,
the Kougra turned and walked away.
"They've captured his master, or as he puts it,
his 'father'," Kaylee continued. "And they told him that if he didn't help them,
Jason wouldn't live to see another sunrise."
"So why aren't you helping them?" Savak asked.
"Because they don't trust me," Kaylee replied.
"Maybe they sensed the power that I possess, or maybe they don't trust shady
Lupes. You have to admit, there aren't many of us down there among the natives."
"Yes, I've noticed," Savak said, looking into
the village. Only one or two were visible. Somehow, from where he was, they
almost seemed unhappy. He couldn't tell for sure from this distance. For all
he knew, it could be the torchlight.
His attention was drawn to a crowd that was gathering
by the tree they were dangling from. A heavily adorned Chia walked forward,
bearing an ancient looking staff. He gestured to the cages, uttering a few words
in a language Savak didn't understand. After a moment, Savak heard a strange
creaking and felt the cage slip as he was lowered slowly to the ground. Then
a native Kougra opened the cage and escorted, or rather dragged Savak to the
Chia who had ordered him down. Pulling his foreleg away from the Kougra's grasp,
Savak sat down where he was, directly in front of the Chia.
The Chia looked at Savak for a moment, then started
pacing around him, uttering his language in a low mumbling. When he came to
stand in front of Savak again, the Chia spoke. "You have medallion," he said,
his speech broken.
"Yes, I do," Savak replied, though he wasn't
sure what this Chia knew about it.
The Chia moved slightly closer, glaring at Savak.
"Powerful thing," he muttered. "Powerful, dangerous thing." He backed away and
gesturing with his hand.
In that moment, Savak heard the creaking noise
again. Turning, he saw another cage being lowered. When it reached the ground,
the cage was opened, and Kaylee was dragged out. The shadow Lupess was led to
sit down next to Savak.
"Day, night," the Chia said, pacing in front
of the Lupes "Left, right." He gestured to the Lupes. "Good, evil. Opposites.
Same, but mirror. Dangerous when fight. Must think long time. Others will wait.
Take them." He motioned with his hand once more, and the guards around Savak
and Kaylee took both Lupes, leading them away from the village.
"Where are they taking us?" Savak asked the Lupess.
"I don't know," Kaylee replied. "I've only been
snooping around for a few days before they caught…" She was cut off when one
of her guards cuffed her. The native mumbled something in his language. From
the tone of voice, Savak guessed it was his way of saying "shut up".
They traveled for some time through the jungle.
They seemed to be going uphill, though Savak couldn't be entirely sure. The
trees and brush were thick. He couldn't see more than a few feet in any direction.
No one spoke during the journey. Even the sounds of the village faded as the
Then the jungle broke again. Savak and Kaylee
were led to the edge of a deep chasm. It wasn't very long, or that far across.
But it was far enough that it couldn't be jumped. Savak leaned over the edge
and, in the darkness below, he wondered if there was a bottom to the chasm.
As he leaned over the edge, a native Kougra pulled him back, grunting to one
of his colleagues. A Chia came out of the crowd, carrying a vine. Climbing onto
Savak's back, he tied the vine around the Lupe's middle, then pointed down the
"You're kidding!" Savak protested. The native
grunted and pointed into the chasm again. "I'm not going…!" In the middle of
his protest, the Kougra shoved him over. He fell only a few feet before the
vine brought him to a stop. Knowing there was nothing he could do, Savak let
himself be lowered down the side of the chasm.
Far down the cliff, Savak set foot on a shelf
jutting out of the rock. It was only sticking out a few feet, but it took the
entire side of the chasm. Once the vine went slack, the Chia on his back untied
the vine and, before Savak could turn around, he was halfway up the cliff. For
a moment, Savak wondered if they were going to lower Kaylee down onto his ledge
He was only half-right.
A few moments later, Savak saw the shadow Lupess
being lowered onto a ledge on the other side of the chasm, with the same Chia
on her back. Like he did with Savak, once Kaylee was on her ledge, the Chia
untied the vine, then was hauled quickly to the top of the chasm. Savak watched
the scrawny native for a moment as he zoomed up the rock-face, then turned his
attention to the Lupess once more.
"So what do we do now?" he called over to her.
"What else?" she called back, lying down on the
ledge. "We wait."
* * *
Savak paced back and forth on his side of the
chasm. The sun had already passed overhead, and he hadn't seen anything from
the natives since they put them down in the chasm. He was thirsty, he was starting
to get hungry, and the depths of the pit weren't exactly warm. Stopping in his
tracks, Savak looked up to the top of the chasm once more.
"Come on!" he yelled. "What are you waiting for?
You're going to toss us off the island anyway, so get it over with!"
"You do realize they can't hear us," Kaylee said.
She had settled down on the edge of her shelf, letting her forepaws hang over
the side as she looked across the chasm at the white Lupe. "We're too far down
the chasm. No one could hear us unless they stuck their head over the edge."
"Well you can't blame me for trying, can you?"
Savak asked, knocking a small stone off the edge of his shelf. The rock hit
bottom a moment later, the sound of its impact echoing off the chasm walls.
Sighing, the Lupe laid down, flicking his ears in irritation.
"They fear us, you know," Kaylee said. "They
fear the power we have. I'll bet that if I concentrated enough, I could take
the mind of their leader and control the village through him!"
"Is that all you think about?" Savak asked. "If
you want to control something, why don't you control yourself?"
"I could control you," Kaylee said. Savak only
"You could try," he said. "My medallion overrides
yours. You'll never be able to take over my mind."
"Only so long as you wear that medallion," Kaylee
said, grinning maliciously.
Savak shook his head, looking up the chasm once
more. After a few moments, he looked down at Kaylee again. He was obviously
in no position to get the medallion from Kaylee, or do much of anything, really.
The only two options he had at the moment were to stay silent, or to talk. And
he opted for the latter.
"How did you get that medallion?" he asked. "That
is, if you don't mind me asking."
Kaylee looked over at Savak, distracted by her
own thoughts. "My medallion?" she asked, looking at the dark piece of meal hanging
around her neck. "Why do you want to know?"
Savak shrugged. "Just curious. I got this one
from my father...not long before he left the pack…"
"I see," Kaylee said, shifting into a more comfortable
position. "Alright, I suppose since there's nothing else to do." She sighed
inwardly before continuing. "I suppose it started several years ago on Krawk
Island. I grew up there, and until then, had never left its shores. My husband
had passed away that year, leaving me alone with my daughter to ward off the
buccaneers and scallywags that wandered the island every day.
"One day as I was walking on the beach, I came
across a valuable gold coin buried in the sand. Once I realized the worth of
the coin, I took my daughter and what valuables we had and paid for passage
away from Krawk Island on a merchant ship. The ship had only sailed for a few
days before we were caught in a terrible storm. The old ship couldn't stand
the constant pounding and rolling of the waves and finally broke apart. Everyone
on board was swept away by the ocean currents. I'm pretty sure others must have
survived, because I know I did. The next day, I found myself on the shores of
Mystery Island. I had nothing with me. No coin, no supplies…and my daughter
was nowhere in sight. I searched the shores for days, but I could never find
"I wandered inland, hoping to set up a new life
for myself. For a shelter, I wandered into the first cave I came upon. I stayed
there for two nights before I really started exploring it. In the deepest part
of the caves, I came upon the remains of what was once probably a Kougra. On
the ground nearby was this medallion. Its chain had been severed, but I managed
to repair it easily. It was such a pretty medallion, I couldn't put it down.
But when I put it on…the power that flowed into me…and that voice…"
For a moment, Kaylee fell silent, her eyes glazing
over. Savak almost began to worry about her until her eyes cleared again, but
seemed darker than before. "But enough about that," she said. "All I know now
is that I have the power to dominate the world, given the chance. If it hadn't
been for you, I would have done so by now."
Savak was only slightly unnerved by her sudden
change in attitude, but it was enough to keep him silent. Kaylee only laughed.
"But now this is all over, if I know these natives. I'm sure they're going to
do away with us, and I don't mean casting us out to sea."
With that final word, Kaylee moved to the wall
on her side of the chasm and curled up next to it. As she fell into a mid-afternoon
slumber, Savak stayed where he was, observing the shadow Lupess for a few moments.
There was something about her…something underneath the dark fur, and the power
of her medallion. There was something about this that was itching at his brain,
but he couldn't scratch it.
To be continued...