Word count: 2033
Features: Qannik, Tael, Taliesin, Oki Koishina
Mentions: Nilak, Zelda, Maleficent, Briar, Vali,
Italics are the Tokota talking to each other or themselves
Tael huffed as Oki strapped his saddle bags on his back... a damned pack mule for this mission, great. He slumped down onto his hind end and pouted, taking only slight comfort in the soft chuckle and the ear scratch from his handler. Oki turned away from the dark brown Tokota and turned toward his tundra partner, strapping his tack into place.
Tael grunted, stood back up, and sulked away. He laid down in a shady patch of grass and continued pouting. Why can't I be ridden?
He whined. His ears twitched, his brother was approaching... great. Not that there was anything wrong with his brother joining him. but Tali tended to be a pouty baby when he was forced into something he didn't want to do.Good grief...
Taliesin mumbled as he stepped up to his darker sibling. He to, was loaded down with gear. He didn't say anything else and his eyes were steely, but his hunched over posture and slightly lowered ears spoke clearly what he was thinking... This fucking sucked.I know right?
Tael looked up and watched his brother flop down and lay down next to him. It was interesting to see his brother with any sort of tack on, usually he fought tooth and nail to it being anywhere near him... Zelda must have talked him into it. Hmm.
Taliesin lowered his head down to his paws and stared out to the meadow before them, his piercing silver eyes not really focusing on a particular thing. Tael scooted closer and laid his head across his brothers neck and settled in for a short nap.
Oki watched his two brown Tokota slunk off to the meadow and shook his head, poor things hated tack, but they needed the training... and a little distance would certainly never hurt Tael, he was starting to get on the neighboring village's nerves with his persistent flirting with the other animals. "Alright buddy, I'll put the bridal on when we are ready to leave." Oki stroked his partner's nose and pushed the toko's large head away "Go say your good buys, I'm sure Briar and Yakone will be very upset when uncle Qannik leaves."
Qannik padded away to find the two youngsters mentioned. They were probably playing together inside the house. Baby Yakone was absolutely fasinated with the newest Tokota addition to the family, Qannik chuckled at the memory of the two babies meeting. The two had connected immediately, it would not surprise the tundra Tokota if Yakone pushed to be Briar's handler when the two grew up.
Entering the house Qannik made his way to where he could hear the babies babbling and yipping at each other. Qannik smiled and stepped forward, giving a nod of greeting to Aga and Maleficent. Yakone was being held up by her mother and Briar was sitting between Maleficent's strong front legs. The two babies were talking to each other... about what was well beyond any of the other room's inhabitants.
Aga amiled back at the white beast "Hey there Qannik" she pulled Yakone up and held the baby up to Qannik's face. Qannik snorted and touched his noes to the baby's belly, making the girl squeal in joy. Briar scrambled up and stumbled over to the larger Tokota's paws, jumping up, asking for attention. The little white tokota was showing signs of getting seal-like spots, all the better to further mock Domino with.Getting ready to go?
Maleficent stood up and stretched her back. Briars' going to miss her goodnight stories.This trip has to be done if we want to keep up the treaty with that tribe.
Qannik's lips pulled back slightly in anxiety. That tribe... was just full of something bad, something that made his fur rise. This tribe had recently settled temporary near his home and demanded his handler to make this crazy journey, just so they would keep the peace... Hopefully they would keep their word. The thought of whatever they were turning on them left a terrible taste in Qannik's mouth.
Maleficen't sharp blue eyes studied her leader's face, seeing the angry fear in his eyes. She leaned down and gently picked Briar up by the scruff. Just come back alive idiot, as much as I love him, Dom is not suitable to lead our group of misfits.
She walked past the tundra Tokota and made her way outside with her adopted pup, most likely to get some sun bathing time in.
Qannik sighed through his nose and gently licked Yakone's noes before turning and following Maleficent out of the house. Rather than go to the sunny patch he made his way to the blacksmith, where he had saw Vali and Ila go earlier. He wanted to say good buy to the girl, he didn't know how long he would be gone.
Just as he stepped up onto the smith's porch the door slammed open and a solid ball of tawny fur slammed into Qannik's chest. Vali
he grunted out in discomfort. That was a paw in his stomach and dammit that hurt.Uncle Qannik! Are you almost ready to go? Please don't go I would miss you!
Vali was practically rolling on him now. Well... I guess you should go, but can you talk Oki into bringing me? You get to have all the fun. I never get to go!
Qannik chuckled softly and let vali crawl onto his back, draping herself over the tack his handler had put on him. Vali
he said softly, looking over his shoulder at the excited tawny shedding fur all over his previously clean tack. You're shedding all over me.
Vali giggled and slid off her uncle's back. Sorry uncle Nikki.
She jumped off the smith's porch, looking over her shoulder. Come on! Lets go for a walk while you wait for Oki to be ready. I think I saw him going to pick up the jerky Miss Johanna making.
The two of them met up with Zelda and Nilak. The two of them had just herded the cows back into their respective pens. Nilak gave a quiet hello and nervously made his way forward, stopping at his comfortable range of three yards away. Zelda stepped ahead of him and immediatly started whining about how lame and unfair it was that she wasn't going on the 'epic adventure' that Qannik was going on.
While Vali and Zelda were agreeing and complaining at each other about how unfair it was that the boys were having all the fun. Qannik stepped up to Nilak, getting into the other Tokota's personal bubble. You be brave for the pack alright?
Nilak's ears set back and his shoulders hunched anxiously, but he nodded his head.
Just as the sun hit the middle of the sky, signaling midday is when Oki gathered up his three chosen partners for his task. "Alright guys... Lets get this done." All day Oki had been fretting about this trip. Constantly cheeking Tael and Taliesin's saddle bags and making sure all of his needed supplies were accounted for. He had even made sure to bring a bow, something he disliked having to use in combat, but his gut told him to bring it. "Come on." He swung himself up onto Qannik's back and nudged his sides, signalling him forward. Tael and Taliesin followed over their leader and handler.
About five miles outside of the village something made the Tokota's ears swivel around and a sharp growl escaped all three of them. Oki turn to where his animals were facing and his face hardened at the darkly cloaked figure at the forest edge. Oki slipped off Qannik's back and headed toward the figure, ignoring Tael's anxious whine.
"What are you doing here?" Oki asked the figure sharply. He was not in the mood to deal with this person. Something about made Oki's heart feel like it was encased in ice.
The figure chuckled darkly and removed their hood. "Was wondering if you were actually going to make this trip or not. I am eternally grateful that you have decided to." Sarcasm dripped from every word. The man's golden eyes pierced into Oki's own blue ones.
"I do hope you make it back alive boy, I think we could be real good friends when you return" He chuckled again and retreated back into the forest, disapearing into the darkness. Oki shivered, suddenly realizing how Vali felt when he stepped near this forest.
He stiffly turned back toward his Tokota and made his way back over to them. Quickly throwing himself onto Qannik's back he urged the small group into a run. Making his way to whatever would make that man leave his village alone.
They ran, and ran. Ran away from the dark figure, and more importantly, their home. Running to what may or may not be a total goose chase. Running to what could be a trap. What they were to look for, they didn't know. A solid description wasn't given to them, all Oki knew is that it was some kind of totem. And from the little research he did on it, it was an evil totem. Located in the middle of a giant, uncharted forest. Why these rouges wanted some lowly animal handler to go this this thing was beyond him. All Oki knew is that he needed to get this done so his home and family could be safe.
Day turned to night and Oki motioned for the Tokotas to stop. He slid off of Qannik's back and went to setting up camp, pulling off the heavier parts of the trio's backs and turning them loose so they could find themselves some dinner. The Tokota meandered around the campsite, serching in tight, paranoid circles. They wanted to make sure their handler would be safe before they left. When they were satisfied they went about tracking their kill, a deer had walked through recently. Easy enough.
Oki sighed as he searched though one of his packs for some bottled stew his mother had made him. He uncapped the stew and brought the bottle to his mouth, taking large gulps of the luke warm broth. Chewing a chunk of fish that had come with the broth he stared into the fire. Something was going to happen... what Oki didn't know.
Tael sighed after he tore out a part of their kill's skin, swallowing it he stared at his brother. Taliesin was eating, but his shoulders and back were stiff and his ears were swiveling around. Everything okay?
Tael asked. Taliesin's ears twisted around to his brother, then back to the forest around them. Tael himself couldn't pick up what his brother could hear, but whatever it was... it was unsettling. Qannik!
Tael snapped out sharply.
Qannik looked up from the femur he was gnawing on, looking at Talisein's tense posture. What is it?
He asked sharply. While Qannik had a knack for sensing danger, Talisein seemed to be a pro at it... Annoyingly the younger Tokota needed to be asked about it or he would keep his mouth shut. Talisein?
Taliesin's ears lowered and he growled softly. Something is following us... Has been since we left our territory. I don't like this Qannik. Something is wrong.
Taliesin stood up. We should get back to Oki, he shouldn't be alone right now.
Qannik stared at his youngest companion in amazement... it's been a long time since this pup had said that much at once. shaking his head he too stood up, only slightly upset that he had to leave his delicious deer femur behind. He nodded at Tael and took his spot in front and lead his companions back to where their handler had set up camp.
Once the three Tokota were back they immediately settled themselves in a perfect fluffy barrier around their handler, protectively -and adorably- surrounding him in a warm protective circle of fluff. Oki chuckled bitterly, knowing his animals could scene the danger in the air better than he could. He gently stroked the bridge of Qannik's muzzle as he finished up his fish stew.
Hopefully this feeling of dread was just a side effect of being away from home... hopefully.