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03 May 2017 @ 07:39 am
_Scrambled_ addition to ch 14  

***

He raided several apartments, and hauled away bags of clothes, both male and female in a spread of sizes. Cans, and boxes of dried food. Not much though. The former residents must have shopped often. Or ate out a lot.

It made an awkward burden.

He scavenged some long poles, sheets, piled his makeshift travois high and started back.

Kept seeing flicks of movement out of the corner of his eye, another dog? Or would it really be a wolf, this time? He closed his eyes and looked mentally.

Two. One a human and the other probably a dog.

He stopped for a break, stretching like he actually needed it. An illusion of himself, sitting down, as he threw another illusion on himself of grass.

He circled down wind and stalked that pair of glows.

The dog caught on first, ears up and alert.

The . . . boy snapped around and frowned. "I see you. Sort of."

Nick banished the illusion and the dog rushed him, lips back in a snarl . . .

"Down!" The boy's sharp command stopped the dog instantly. The teeth still shown, and the growl was deep enough to be nearly subsonic.

"Hi. I'm Nick." He kept a cautious eye on the dog. Black with red eyebrows and paws. Short-haired, muscles on a thin athletic frame, hound dog ears, a long thin tail tha was definitely not wagging. "Is that a Dobie?"

"Yeah. I didn't let them cut the tail off my puppy."

"A wise decision. Are you alone out here? Did your parents . . . end up somewhere else?"

Hunched shoulders. "Diego and I were in the back seat of the car . . . and then there wasn't a front of the car any more. We crashed off into the grass . . . and then . . . where we came from . . . went away."

"Ah . . . yes. By your accent you're a Oner. There a couple of places where the One World stuck, if you want to look for family or friends."

A cautious nod. Thinking. Desperate, but still cautious.

The boy swallowed. "Do you have any food? Diego and I finished off the last stuff from the trunk of the car yesterday."

"Yeah. Let me break some out before Diego decide to snack down on me."

Over cold canned soup and crackers—Diego got two—the boy finally admitted to a name. "Izgo Withione. I mostly get called Zog."

"Better than most of these stupid name codes."

"Yeah, yours shouldn't be allowed . . . Nick."

Nick shrugged. I'm notorious. Even kids recognize me. "What are you, about ten?"

"I'm almost twelve."

"Old enough to decide for yourself. Would you like to meet my family and our neighbors? I doubt you'll find family there, but I'll take you around to the next Oner area tomorrow, if you'd like."

Zog nodded.

Nick picked up his pole ends and started dragging the travois. Keeping his eyes open for more stalkers.

But nothing attacked him until he got back to the camp, whereupon too many worried women yelled at him.

Gammer stopped first, frowning at him. "Where did you get those clothes?"

"Raided some empty apartments." He waved at the bags he'd dropped. "Merry Christmas."

That got half the women off his back.

The others focused on the boy and his big dog.

"Zog is the boy, Diego is the dog. I'll walk him over to the apartments tomorrow, to look for his parents." Diego seemed to be off guard mode, so Nick looked around for the kid nearest his claimed age. "Hakim? Could you find them a place to sleep?"

 
 
 
matapampamuphoff on May 3rd, 2017 12:40 pm (UTC)
Needed Zog for a plot point later.
muirecanmuirecan on May 3rd, 2017 11:16 pm (UTC)
Hmm, we are collecting quite the family over by Nick and Gammer's group