[AU] The Sport of Kings

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Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:41 am
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[AU] The Sport of Kings

Post by Qoheleth » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:24 pm

Disclaimer: Owner of the Animorphs. Yes, that must be a very interesting thing to be. Not that I would know from personal experience, of course.
For a moment, it was almost like old times. Tobias had never expected to look back with nostalgia on his killing of rabbits, but nostalgia was almost what he felt as he swooped down upon his unsuspecting prey. The rush of the wind beneath his wings, the involuntary quickening of his heartbeat, the sensation of his talons making contact with lapine flesh: it was not a human pleasure, but there was little human left in him now, and it was at least the pleasure of a free bird.

It didn't last, of course. Even as the rabbit's life ebbed away in his claws, he heard the sound of running feet on the grass behind him, and two greyhounds appeared from out of the brush, followed by two human women. Or rather, two women who looked human, for Tobias knew perfectly well that the minds that governed their bodies were not those of Eve's daughters.

"Well, well," said the shorter, dark-haired woman. "Very good, Tobias. He's a beauty, isn't he?" And she extended her right hand, which was covered with a thick, leather glove.

Tobias fluttered up and alighted on it. There was no point in resisting; there hadn't been for some time. He knew from long experience that, if he tried to escape, he would be caught again; if he tried to ignore her, she would compel him; if he tried to attack her, he would regret it for a long time afterwards. Other Vissers, when they wanted to conquer their enemies, broke necks; Visser One broke souls.

"A beauty, indeed," said the Visser, stepping forward to examine the dead rabbit. "What do you think, Lanish?"

"Very impressive, Visser," said her tall, blonde companion. What was left of the human in Tobias winced involuntarily; it was uniquely painful to hear a Yeerk's words coming out of that particular mouth.

"Yes, we may have to cook this one for ourselves," said the Visser. "It would be rather a shame to just throw it to the Taxxons, the way we did with the last few." She patted Tobias on the head, the mistress of the stable congratulating a particularly clever horse. "You're a superb tiercel, Tobias, you really are. And to think that Visser Three wanted to eat you!"

"He never was a terribly original thinker," said Lanish, bending to pick up the rabbit.

"True," said the Visser. "And, admittedly, this was rather an unorthodox idea. If anyone had told me five years ago that I would spend my time as regional governor of Earth reviving an ancient form of human hunting, I would have had him killed instantly for mocking me." She laughed. "Imagine it: Edriss Five-Six-Two, last of the great falconers!"

She shook her head, and clicked her tongue to the greyhounds. Lanish rose and followed her, and the curious hunting party headed back towards the Visser's residence.