A couple of weeks back I woke up before my alarm clock. Usually I need to visit the toilet or my mind just wanders off again until the alarm clock wakes me. This was a different morning. I sleep very often with a slightly open window for fresh air. And only when the cold comes drifting in and I feel like my toes will freeze off I close it completely. But it was somewhere in October and the temperature was really not that cold yet. The thing, or rather sound that intrigued me was a strange gurgling sound that came from outside.It was around six in the morning and there is usually very little sound in my neighborhood. So this sound that came from outside was very strange to me. It did not sound like anything that I could identify. Like water or any car or machine that I know of. So I made a little story about what it could have been.
It’s the first published story in the storyworld that I’m building. Enjoy.
A large raven landed silently on the railing of the apartment building. He avoided being caught in the light of the near lamps and perched in the shadow.
Hurr enjoyed the quietness of the early morning. It wouldn’t be long before the humans would dominate the streets and he wanted to be well on his way by then. There weren’t to many places where he could enjoy the silence. Especially during the day when the sky seemed to be the best place to find it. Luckily he wouldn’t be out among the humans for a couple of days after he delivered his report. He would enjoy the luxury of a fine drink with his fellow officers bleating about their accomplishments while he tried to ignore them. Hurr hated this planet.
He didn’t think it would be this different when he’d signed up for this mission. Most of his people signed to explore new places, hone their transformation skills and subsequently boast about them against anyone willing to listen.
For Hurr, it was a chance for power and recognition in the Armada. But he’d sadly found himself stuck on a polluted, overcrowded world dominated by a primitive species who hadn’t even properly left their own solar system. There wasn’t much recognition to be found here. For that, he had to be in a warzone.
“Dreaming on the job?” The sweet voice catched him off guard.
Hurr turned to see the black cat slowly approaching: “You’re late”.
She smiled: “What if I was watching you from a distance? Deciding if I wanted to eat you or not.”
He eyed her wearingly. Clearly, she was playing with him. With her slowly wagging tail and her mesmerising eyes….
He snapped out of her eyecatch and opened his wings, showing his stature markings that flashed dangerously. His eyes burned with fury: “Do not play me like a fool, Lowborn. We are on a mission: report!”
The cat hissed, acknowledging that she overstepped and carefully took a position that would allow her to respond immediately to any threat. Aerr knew that Hurr was dangerous. Even for one with limited transformation skills, he still had the power to kill her instantly if she was not careful.
“Well,” she started: “It is very much a divided planet. It will take time before they evolve out of planetary habitation, though technology seems to improve fast. These improvements blurr reality, and the people find their enjoyment in the consumption of media. While some are more fanatic then others, most have a real addiction in their escape into media.”
“So it is not so different from the city planets. I thought so. The way to the people is found through media. What else, cat?”
She chose to ignore his stinging comment. Aerr was never happy when she was addressed in her taken form. But she knew the moment that Hurr was appointed as her messenger superior that he would keep their relationship ‘professional’.
She continued: “The human from the case. I studied him. He has gentle behaviour, but a heavy heart. From what I can see in his eyes he doesn’t feel at ease. Like he’s lost meaning.”
Hurr cocked his head, slowly processing her message: “Meaning, of what?”
She sighed: “He’s lost meaning in life. Like he lost a piece of himself. I caught his eyes last week and he feels like someone who is searching for something.”
Hurr remained silent for a second: “That matches with our latest intel. Since his return to Earth he’s lost all trace of Dragon energy in and around him that was recorded earlier. Our readings of his body after return and the weeks following showed that he lost the power source or gave it away.”
Aerr stared past Hurr: “It’s sad to see such potential wasted, though. These people can be valuable allies.”
Hurr snapped at her: “be careful with your sympathies, cat. When the time comes, he may turn out to be an enemy of the Empire. He has sided with them before.”
He paused for a moment: “But, I will make an extra note of this in the report. You make a valid point to consider.”
Aerr blinked surprised: “Thank you, I just want to be of good service to the Lord Commander.”
“And He will be pleased with your findings on such short notice. Keep going like this, and you may receive a more…difficult challenge.”
She bowed slightly as a thanks.
“Next report in two weeks, cat.” Hurr folded his left wing to his chest: “For the Empire!” He jumped off the building and flew north. Only a incidental shadow cast by a city light betrayed his alien form.
As Hurr in disappeared in the distance the cat smirked at him: “Yeah, for the Empire.”
When she made her way to the edge of the railing a light blinked on in an apartment below. A familiar face looked through a window. Aerr thought on Hurr’s words. If she eventually wanted an out of her current life, this poor soul could be the key she needed. But for now, that was not important. Aerr knew that she would be playing a dangerous game if she’d go with it. So she had to plan this carefully.
She waited until the human left his apartment to go to work, some time later. Aerr had already moved out of sight when he came out of the door, so she would not be seen. He stopped for a moment and scanned the building, like if he was searching for something. When the man saw nothing he walked away.
She looked at him, smiling. He probably heard their conversation, but that didn’t matter. Their native tongue sounded like gurgling to other species, so even if he had an active translator chip he could not understand them.
She jumped on a garden wall while making her way down. She had to catch some breakfast before the humans would take control of the streets. Maybe that stray cat she encountered earlier had enough meat on him to satisfy her for the moment.
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