Ouroboros Spine There's something wretched about this
February 20, 2021, 04:02 PM
Raimo
Moonglow
Zeta


Someone else of the masculine persuasion had climbed the spine after all. Raimo found the trail while tracking the deer paths and followed it to where the snow was compressed by Kukutux' hideaway. It trailed off from there, but the presence of another man gave rise to Raimo's apprehension.

It could have been the husband returned to his women, or someone new. Either option was detrimental in Raimo's mind 鈥 and he knew he would have to find this stranger to learn more about them and their intentions.

Off he went, winding across the spine with the mixed hope he would not be set-upon by a possessive, defensive, or wounded beast. He was a hunter, not a warrior; but if need be Raimo would focus his bulk and his physicality in the defense of this mountain he had chosen as his haunt.
February 21, 2021, 04:10 PM
Zane
Moonglow
Theta
Zane hadn't exactly climbed the spine, but he had been ghosting around it. 聽He'd not settled on if he'd join or not... but he'd also had no luck hunting that day. 聽So he hadn't needed to yet.

Besides, he still wasn't a fan of heights.

So far he'd been in luck, not running into this other dude while he was there. 聽He had no interest in a fight and very little interest in making nice with anyone who was bidding for power. 聽Zane was as allergic to giving orders as he was to taking them.

His luck was about to run out, though, because as he stalked the base, he was on a collision course straight for Raimo.
February 22, 2021, 06:38 PM
Raimo
Moonglow
Zeta
The stranger's scent grew more prevalent as Raimo stalked along. It wasn't the scent that disturbed him in the following moments; the figure of the man took shape and Raimo could hear him traipsing about the place as if he belonged. It took Raimo a few seconds to recognize that the stranger was not as high on the mountain as Kukutux' secret camp, however, he could not ignore that the stranger had indeed sought her out at some point. He had gotten close and then slipped away before Raimo could interject; but he was here now, trailing the man along the lower paths.

Raimo did not know how to proceed. He did not want to drive this man away if he was close to the women because that would further incite them against him. Knowing that this man was not welcomed by Kukutux (or so Raimo judged based on his route of egress) gave Raimo some hope for his own future. This might have been a survivor of the starfall event.

The hunter decided to bide his time. He slipped across the snow with the pantherine lurk he often employed for targeting dinner, drawing up close to where the stranger ambled. He paused to watch the stranger a moment before issuing a warning: Unless you plan to pull your weight, you should hurry your way down the mountain.
February 23, 2021, 12:08 AM
Zane
Moonglow
Theta
Of course.聽 Zane whirled, unsuspecting, when the other man spoke, and his ears flattened at the words.聽 He didin't bother to hide his annoyance.聽 Immediately he figured this was the guy who the other chick had mentioned, the hunter who had already 'asked for shit' and apparently taken the only favors being offered before anyone else could get a guarantee.

How about you mind your own fuckin business, huh?聽 He shot back, testing the waters.聽 He'd expected the guy to be bigger, and that surprise made him cocky.聽 It still wasn't a good move on his part, but if Zane was going to get a boot in his ass, he'd rather have it happen now.聽 If you got a problem, that's on you, not me.聽 Dude didn't even know his name and was already pressin a special sort of power trip at him.聽 Where did he come off with that shit?聽 Incredible.
February 23, 2021, 12:28 AM
Raimo
Moonglow
Zeta
The man's attitude would have suited a yearling, not the creature he looked upon now. While Raimo could not judge the true age of the man he saw the self-assured manner of his response and general heft and health of his body, which in tandem with his scent gave him some indications. The last thing Raimo wanted was a fight with someone older and more experienced; then again, perhaps this man wasn't willing to put his hide on the line for the two women, not in the way Raimo was.

The mountain and its inhabitants are my business. He shoots back. We only have a problem if you choose to stay without expectations. That is on you. Raimo's posture shifted to something a little loftier. He prowled alongside where the man had been walking, not yet reaching to snap at his hocks or prompt him to leave. The hunter had to at least pretend the stranger had a choice in the matter.

So... What say you? Raimo watched him, his gaze impassive, the only warmth found in the glimmer of one eye.
February 23, 2021, 02:29 AM
Zane
Moonglow
Theta
If you are looking to up your numbers, you're聽shit at it, Zane shot back breezily. 聽Chasing away a guy like me before you even know my name, let alone what I'm willing to offer. 聽You think I'm gonna stand here and聽"prove" myself when an asshole like you h'ain't given me a damn reason? Fuck that noise.

He flipped his tail. 聽You chase me off, you can tell her why I left. 聽Doesn't make a damn difference to me. 聽It was his last bid, an attempt to see who would be swinging weight here. 聽If it was this guy, he was out. 聽If it was her, might be worth hanging around. 聽At least she'd softened - this prick was insufferable. 聽If his head were screwed on any tighter he'd be lookin backwards over his own ass.

聽He didn't prop himself up for any kind of dominance, but he didn't submit. 聽Instead he simply stood, small smug smile on his face, and waited.
February 23, 2021, 10:29 AM
Raimo
Moonglow
Zeta
The truth of the matter was, Raimo hoped this man would leave. He did not want him among their number because he would be competition 鈥 older, more experienced, and with a backbone that he lacked for himself, this stranger could prove to be a contender if he stuck around. If this single conversation could drive the man off of the mountain Raimo would continue to egg him. From the sounds of things he was successfully getting the job done.

Raimo was a little bit irked that he was not listened to, though. Even if he wanted this man gone he couldn't stand it when his words were not taken for what they were; he huffed, frisking his tail as he raised it. We need hunters. If you choose to stay then that is the work which must be done. If you are not willing to work for your place then leave. He would not force the man to submit, either in posture or will; this was a choice for him to make.

Clearly they could use more able bodies, but equally so Raimo was not keen on this man lingering beyond what was necessary 鈥 and in his mind they had overstayed their welcome by far. Stay and hunt for us, or leave. It is not a trick question or some kind of diabolical riddle. Your choice. But if he did stay, there was no telling how long Raimo could hold off on the inevitable fist-fight that they were destined for.
February 23, 2021, 12:17 PM
Zane
Moonglow
Theta
If the dude was going to attack, he would have already. 聽Apparently he wasn't chasing him off. 聽Which was a good enough deciding factor for Zane, who shrugged.

I think I'll do what I feel like. 聽He'd been hunting, and intended to keep doing so, but this asshat didn't need to know that. 聽Maturity had never gifted Zane the ability to take orders well.

How about you get off my back and worry about yourself. 聽Go yell at a rock or something. 聽I got shit to do. 聽Like napping, he thought with a wide yawn.

He'd take a peek around for something to eat first, sure, he wasn't completely useless. 聽And聽he wasn't going to rely on some sick woman or this idiot to keep him alive; he knew better than that. 聽Guess we got beef now.. Well shit. 聽This wasn't turning out much better than the last place, if he was being honest, but his competitive side was showing. 聽If this guy so clearly wanted to boss him around, then he was going to do everything he could to undermine it. 聽

We'll see how long he lasted here.
February 23, 2021, 12:23 PM
Raimo
Moonglow
Zeta
Raimo would keep an eye out for signs of this man's worth, because so far he showed little promise. His nonchalance was not going to keep anyone fed and it bothered him to allow this kind of person access to the mountain, and potentially to Kukutux or Sialuk. If they both decided he was better to have around than himself, Raimo would be the one forced from the mountain. He did not want his story to end in such a mundane manner.

However Raimo knew he had already out-done the stranger; he had fed Kukutux, brought her pelts, done his best to work alongside Sialuk and earn the favor of both women. This newcomer had a long ways to go before he could uproot Raimo; if the time came that they were truly at-odds, Raimo would not allow anyone to take his place.

There are game trails along the western slopes I have not visited in some time, Raimo offered. He would rather make sure this man had ample opportunities to show his true colors. Start there. With that, Raimo slipped through the trees to leave the man to his own devices.
February 23, 2021, 12:36 PM
Zane
Moonglow
Theta
Zane watched him leave, then gave a low聽sound in his throat. 聽Whatever bro. 聽He'd go the opposite way, and stubbornly he did just that.

The kid would either catch on or wouldn't that giving Zane orders was like yelling at a stubborn cow to move. 聽He was more likely to sit down than he was to comply. 聽If this chick and her daughter (who Zane hadn't met) wanted to fall in line, cool.

All Zane wanted to do was not freeze to death, catch a few babes as winter turned to spring, and laze about without fear of repercussion when he felt like it.

Wonder what she'll be doing once spring hits, Zane thought idly as he jogged away, mind drifting to Kukutux. 聽She really was a lovely little thing, and it'd probably ice this guy's dick pretty good if Zane got some and he didn't. 聽Might be worthwhile.