My team and I have destroyed a brood of Dream creatures, those looking something like a cross between a turtle, armadillo, and salamander, and recovered quickly thanks to Hachiko’s healing ofuda and Angel’s biokinetic talents.
My own skills at ‘housecleaning’ have proven useful too, as a casualty of our relaxing interlude of combat, whom I’ll just call ‘Poodle Girl’ had just, well, mysteriously exploded in the truck that she sought safety in while we fought off the creatures.
I suspect I know why, but that’s neither here nor there for me to question. Mine is but to do and make things die.
It was…rather messy…but not impossible to deal with. The inside of the truck is now spotless, no incriminating bloodspots or messy bits to muck up the upholstry, so it’s all good.
We’ve just received a message from Angel’s boyfriend Jonathan, in a transmission from a local radio station, something about saving him from the clowns, when I see something out of the corner of my eye, and after a brief mental exchange with Angel, I follow it. I’ll regroup with the team by the time they arrive at the radio station, clowns or not, this is odd and worth looking into.
Three cats, or something very much like cats, but with a rather pronounced intelligence in their eyes and manner of reacting, looking at me as I approach them, not at all timid, but carefully sizing me up as they watch, without a bit of fear. I must be careful not to project my own human qualities onto them overmuch. They look at each other, then back to me, and the large one, looking rather like a Persian with orange, grey, and white fur, opens her mouth for a brief chirp followed by a few trills and a mew.
Somehow I understand. This one must be a telepath, or perhaps I know her language without recalling that I know it. Either way, I step forward with my hand out, offering it for a sniff, followed by a nudge as the matronly Persian head boops my outstretched fist.
These are no ordinary cats…one need not be a biased ailurophile to think them every bit as intelligent as humans — personally, I suspect even more so. I open contact with Angel for a bit, keep her updated on my situation, then switch my attention back to the cats.
These are felines de la Lune, Dreamlands mooncats, something tells me. They are not just cute fluffy pictures with humorous captions. Wait. Where did I get that from? Probably thought-bleed from Angel. I push it out of my mind as irrelevant.
What are they doing here?
The cats are looking for the granddaughter of the Persian, herself a colonel in the cat’s army hailing from somewhere called Ulthar. I file that away for later reference, and ask them where they last saw her.
It was near a field not far from here, a place travelled recently by barghests entering your world. We have seen no sign of her. Will you help us?
“Good queen and colonel, I’ll gladly help, on one condition; that if and only if we are successful at recovering your granddaughter safely you help me rejoin my fellow humans quickly. If not, you owe me nothing; I shall avenge your grandaughter and seek my teammates by my own means. Honor demands it.”
Fellow humans? The old matron purred, I wouldn’t be too certain of that… You’ll learn in due time, Sergei Ilyich Romanova. For now, I thank you for your offer and accept. Will you leap with us then?
A puzzling response, the first part of that. I’ll find out what she meant some other time.
The mooncats brace their paws against the tree branches, lowering their haunches as they aim skyward, and I follow, synchronizing my leap with theirs, marvelously being swiftly carried along with them in their passage through the still nightdark air.
We’ve a kitten to rescue, or my name’s not Sergei… Or is it?…