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But You Didn't Have To Cut Me Off [Rocket, open]


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#1
Cross

Cross
  • Ohu
  • 31 posts


Today was one of those days where Cross could really feel her age.

Her bones and muscles ached after a long patrol of the Ohu border. It would take more than Ben's gentle coaxing and pleading to deter her from her steely resolve. The care and maintenance of the sightless Great Dane mix was not too much for the Saluki to handle; for after all, if anyone knew their way around Ohu, it would be Ben. But it was during those moments when Ben felt too proud to ask his mate for help, or when the responsibility could be placed on the shoulders on their son George that Cross could finally find time to relax and spend a moment to herself.

If only that was the case.

Instead she felt restless and uneasy. Were there enough soldiers on guard? What if there was an emergency? Her limbs began to quiver and her tail swished impatiently. It would often be Ben’s place to remind her that their time had come, and that it was time for the old fogeys to step aside in order to usher in a new generation of legends. Besides at her age, she would only get in the way.

Unfortunately, it seemed that her body didn’t listen to reason.

One particular afternoon she slipped on a steep slope, spraining her slim front foot. She never heard the end of it from Ben. However as much as he admonished her, she could tell by his speech and manner that he understood and reciprocated her feelings. What the two of them wouldn’t give to be the spry young warriors they once were; bounding across the grassy terrain and throwing caution to the wind. They would be untouchable; impervious to neither man nor beast.

No. She must rid herself of these vain imaginations. She shut her eyes even more tightly, determined to get some much needed rest. Still her mind ran wild, thinking upon the possible horrors and misfortunes that could possibly be preparing to launch an assault on her beloved Ohu. What kind of soldier would she be if she weren’t prepared? It may be time for the younger generation to achieve greatness, but that doesn’t mean she was out of the fight yet!

“This is how it always happens” she sighs.

She struggled to get up, feeling her ancient bones cracking and snapping with every subtle movement. She shook vigorously, her silky feathered fur gleaming in the sunlight, splaying about in all directions in a controlled frenzy.

She craned her slender neck, taking deep inhaling breaths to catch the scents of any would-be intruders into her nostrils.

Nothing.

To Cross, it all seemed fine, but her body would not relent. Almost like a reflex, she quickly broke into a canter, the keen eyes of the sighthound were vigilant, combing the tall grasses for sudden movements of prey or intruders. When she was younger, she moved with exceptional grace, almost as though her feet were always suspended in the air. Now in her age, she moved with only half the refinement she had in her former years.


Word Count: 518
For Chiaki - Made by Klomonx


"I am a female. I can manage through sorrow and hate, but I suffer when I hear a crying child."

#2
Rocket

Rocket
  • Ohu
  • 3 posts
It seemed like such a long time ago that Rocket had crashed into Ben, and briefly met him and Cross, when he was on his way, with his brothers, to spy on the Ohu pack with his brothers for Hougen. Hougen. He was glad that bastard was dead. He had ordered his brothers killed because Rocket had left. It was wrong, but everything Hougen had done was wrong. Sometimes, the borzoi wondered why he had ever been an underling of a dog so uncaring, but he hadn't known what he knew now. He and his brothers had thought Hougen the stronger dog at the time. Rocket knew better now. Strength through heartlessness and cruelty was not the kind of strength he would ever follow again.

It felt good to be out on patrol with other dogs. Rocket didn't mind the boring duties. Boring duties, such as routine patrols, meant that all was calm. He didn't miss the fighting, and the brutality of war. He was quite content with their paradise. But he knew such a place would always be a target for dogs that wanted to inflict their own pains and misfortunes on all dogs, for reasons unknown to Rocket.

His keen eyes fell on Cross, who seemed to be having a difficult time, but, as usual, was doing her best to not show it. She was a strong dog, that was for sure, and a proud dog. Still, Rocket walked over to her as she struggled to rise to her paws, bones creaking with old age. "Are you alright, Cross?" he asked her, his brown eyes showing his concern. He knew she was proud, but she was old, and she needed to be careful.

However, Cross shook out her fur, her long, feathered ears flapping, and then sniffed the air. Rocket opened his mouth to speak, but Cross had already broke into a lope and was off scouting ahead. Rocket sighed and shook his head. He supposed it was no use to try and talk her into taking it easy. He'd probably have more luck talking a bird out of flying.

Still, Rocket, like Cross, was a fleet-footed sighthound. He sprang after her, his legs eating up the ground beneath him quickly as he raced to catch up with her, and once he was at her side, he slowed to match her strides. Rocket felt quite safe here in Ohu, and was perhaps a bit too complacent. It was easy to live in the moment here. As he ran alongside Cross, he remained silent, enjoying the feel of the air blowing past him and ruffling his gold and cream fur. Out of respect for her, he remained silent, but at the same time, keeping an eye on her to make sure she was alright. If she wanted to talk, she would, and he felt that she would, even if she told him to stop worrying.

Rocket let himself relax into his jog, looking for movement in the tall grass that might hint at some intruder, or prey even. He wouldn't mind a good hunt right now, and he wouldn't mind sharing his catch with the patrol, either, even if it was as little as a rabbit. He cleared his mind from the thought of hunting, blinking his eyes and bringing himself back to reality. He glanced at Cross, hoping she hadn't caught him with his attention lapsing, and then let his eyes gaze far out, and slowly letting his gaze scan back and forth, until he was scanning near them, and then let his gaze search farther out again.

#3
Cross

Cross
  • Ohu
  • 31 posts


She kept her stride at a loping pace, eyes ever vigilant for possible intruders. It did not take long for the Saluki to notice a form rushing to her side. Cross was impressed. Even in her old age, her speed and endurance were worthy of her breed. It would take another nimble Sighthound to keep in step with her this way. Curious, she turned her neck to get a better look at her new companion. Ben’s mate beheld a Borzoi, massive in size and lean in form.

Cross met Rocket during the days of Hougan’s reign over Ohu, though only briefly before all pleasantries were abandoned for the fires of the battlefield. He was a mature and cool-headed Dog, always more willing to talk than to fight. From what she has seen, the Borzoi was a valuable asset to Weed and his cause; a hard worker and an excellent scout; Rocket was easily welcomed into Paradise.

It wasn’t until after the war the Cross heard about Rocket’s story. He and his brothers Jet and Missile were spies for Hougan, commanded to single out the young Leader and do away with him using their deadly triple attacks. Thankfully, their plan failed due to Jerome’s interference and Weed commanded his loyal bodyguard to stand down, offering mercy to the trio. Jet and Missile ran back to Hougan to give a report while Rocket volunteered to stay behind and watch the Ohu group from afar. As he watched Weed lead his forces using kindness,the remaining Borzoi Brother had a change of heart and asked to be part of the Ohu resistance, offering his services as runner and scout to the Leader. He wasn’t trusted at first, but over time, he became a valuable ally and friend.

Jet and Missile however, were not so lucky.

Weed was still alive, and in Hougan’s eyes, the Borzois had failed in their mission. The brothers who came to give their report were treated like prisoners and executed. When Rocket heard about this, he cried out in immense pain, vowing to exact revenge on anyone who laid tooth and claw on his brothers.

It all seemed like so long ago. It happened when Weed was just a pup, and now the Leader was having pups of his own. But Ohu’s lady fighter knew that grief over the loss of a loved one is something that someone carries around for a lifetime. As they silently strode in-step, Cross wondered if Rocket still thought about the brothers he lost to that bloodthirsty Great Dane. Did he miss them? Did he still send prayers to Heaven for them?

The ancient Saluki understood, for she too lost someone dear to her. Her only daughter Minnie was still so young and vulnerable despite the fact that she was built more like her father. George never got over the fact that he wasn’t watching his sister as he should have and found her stranded on a rock amidst a rushing river. Cross will never forget the tears that erupted from George’s eyes and the wailing as he told his parents that Minnie drowned…and it was all his fault.

Enough! Cross wanted to say something, anything, to divert her mind.

"Good afternoon Rocket" She called out after some time I could always use some good company when I’m on patrol, but I can’t imagine why you would want to spend time with the elderly. A nice male like you would do better running with ladies who are much younger. Maybe one will let you catch her.” She chuckled warmly.


Word Count: 593
For Chiaki - Made by Klomonx


"I am a female. I can manage through sorrow and hate, but I suffer when I hear a crying child."

#4
Rocket

Rocket
  • Ohu
  • 3 posts
Rocket continued to keep pace with the elderly, white saluki, though she said nothing. They ran on in silence, with only the sounds of their paws slapping the ground, their legs whipping through the tall grass, and their breathing as the immediate sounds. Fainter sounds that Rocket paid attention to were the sounds of the birds, the trees creaking in the wind, insects, and other various sounds. It was a beautiful day, peaceful as usual, and it made the patrol enjoyable, not that the borzoi ever resented his duties as an Ohu soldier. Rocket was proud to be a soldier, even if the duties could be dull, he really didn't mind. He didn't mind the dullness of peace. The war had made him appreciate being able to relax and enjoy the tranquility. He would be glad if there never was another war while he lived.

Cross spoke, finally, coming out of her own thoughts and pulling Rocket from his. "Good afternoon to you as well, Cross," he said between breaths, and as smoothly as he could while he was running along. He blinked his eyes warmly at her, but then, when she mentioned running with younger ladies, he felt his ears warm with embarrassment. If he had been human, he would have blushed, but he wasn't, and instead and ducked his head shyly and laughed nervously.

"Well, it's really not bad running with someone with more experience than me," he said, looking up at Cross again, his eyes warm. He had tactfully made sure he didn't call her elderly. In his mind, elderly generally referred to an old dog that could hardly move, at least, that was his interpretation of it. Cross, though up there in the years, was far from being a crickety old lady just yet. Though she was definitely more frail than the younger dogs, and less spry, but that was fine. It made Rocket appreciate Ohu even more. In a pack like the one Hougan had, the weak were not allowed, were not cared for. Only the strong survived, or were allowed to survive. Cross wouldn't be running a patrol with him, and probably wouldn't even be alive in that world. He shook his head, trying to shake the dark thoughts from his mind. It wasn't like that, he didn't have to worry about it.

"I haven't really seen anyone that's caught my eye yet, either," Rocket admitted, not really sure why he felt comfortable talking about such things with Cross. Perhaps it was just that she was so much older than he was, and seemed so very motherly. Her kind expression seemed so open and understanding. He wouldn't dare speak up like this around the other soldiers, who he'd no doubt never hear the end of it from. He wasn't a very talkative dog anyways. He spoke when he needed, and sometimes more than that, but he was content to sit back and listen to the conversations and laugh, though more often than not they'd drag him into it somehow or other. He didn't mind, really. That was the way soldiers were. A bunch of guys being crude and joking in their own ways with one another. But still, Rocket liked to keep such silly thoughts to himself.

He let his eyes sweep out over the area, reminding himself that he was on a patrol and that, although he was having a conversation with Cross, he had to be able to focus on the patrol as well. He couldn't slack off. He didn't want some odd ruffian to get in and cause trouble on his watch. It would not only be a total embarrassment, but it would also be potentially dangerous. What if an assassin got in? Rocket suddenly found his mind getting sucked into the familiar worries of war. He still wasn't fully recovered from it, and probably never would be, though he did his best to move forward. He sniffed the air carefully, sorting through the scents, and keeping his eyes moving, searching for movement.

#5
Cross

Cross
  • Ohu
  • 31 posts


Cross and her Borzoi companion kept in stride as they made conversation, neither of them abandoning their original intention of patrolling while doing so. The afternoon sun blazed fervently, lending a golden sheen to everything it touched. The seemingly endless sea of grassland that stretched out before them was bordered by the pointed blue peaks of mountains in the distance, glazed with a blanket of snow resting on the rocky crags. A warm breeze swept across the landscape, bending and bowing the tall grasses and wildflowers to their will.

Rocket’s reaction to her suggestion amused the aging Saluki. His eyes widened in surprise and the way his words caught in his throat indicated that the statement caught him slightly off guard.

“I haven't really seen anyone that's caught my eye yet, either.” he said bashfully.

“That’s perfectly alright dear, you’re still young. You have a lot of years yet to find someone to spend your life with” Cross smiled.“Take your time in getting to know that special someone, because let me tell you, choosing a mate is a lifetime commitment. The best couples are the ones that stand by one another, no matter what happens.”

Ohu’s lady fighter couldn’t help but think about the Great Dane mix that stole her heart.

“You’ve met Ben, but you may not have known that he wasn’t always blind.” She sighed. “When it happened, it took a lot of getting used to. He was just so stubborn! He refused to let me help him with even the littlest thing.” Cross chuckled. As much as his bullheadedness infuriated her at times, to this day he never lost the charm that enamored her to begin with. “Eventually it got easier, and our relationship is all the stronger for it.”

She could feel her lungs working slightly harder for that extra bit of air as they plodded along together. Fortunately for her, the breezes soothed her brow, making her feel just a bit more comfortable during the long patrol. Cross found that it was pleasant having a talk with Rocket, even though she seemed to be doing most of the talking. He had a quiet air about him, perhaps more apt to listen than to speak. The Borzoi seemed like the kind of Dog that was easy to get along with, and a valuable friend.

“Yes, Ben and I have been through so much together. I couldn’t ask for a better life mate. You know, there was a time in my life when I had nothing; then I met Ben and all the Ohu soldiers and suddenly it all became clear where my place was. To find a mate means to find a partner that can show you the way when you feel lost. One day Rocket, you’ll understand and it will be the most wonderful feeling in the world…oh listen to me! I can still be a hopeless romantic even at my age. I certainly hope I didn’t overstep any bounds, sometimes I can just go on and on.”


Word Count: 505
For Chiaki - Made by Klomonx


"I am a female. I can manage through sorrow and hate, but I suffer when I hear a crying child."

#6
Rocket

Rocket
  • Ohu
  • 3 posts
Rocket felt rather strange talking about females with Cross. It didn't really have anything to do with talking to Cross, but the subject itself wasn't something he was entirely comfortable with. Still, he wasn't so uncomfortable as to break off the conversation, he didn't really mind too much. He hadn't really thought to much about finding a mate, really, but Cross was right. It was something to take his time with. Well, maybe one day he'd find a female that complimented his rather quiet, friendly nature.

“You’ve met Ben.”

“Mm,” Rocket nodded. He had met Ben. He still remembered crashing into him when he first went to spy on Ohu.

“But you may not have known that he wasn’t always blind.”

Rocket looked over at the white Saluki, eyes curious. He was sure that the Great Dane hadn't always been blind, most dogs weren't born blind, and with the way Ben acted, it would seem very obvious that he hadn't always been blind. However, Rocket had never even wondered what had caused the blindness, and when Cross didn't mention exactly what caused it, Rocket, though curious, wasn't sure if he should ask about it.

“I can understand that,” he said slowly. “Or I can imagine it would be hard, anyways. I can't imagine what I would be like if I went blind.” He was thoughtful. It would be terrible to lose his sight. He wasn't sure he would be a stubborn as Ben, but then again, their personalities were poles apart. He wasn't sure he'd like the idea of having to be dependent on someone for some things either. Sure, a dog had his nose and ears, but still, you could still run face-first into a tree. “I'll bet that was one of the hardest battles you've ever had to fight,” he said at length.

He could relate to her when she said she felt like she had found her place when she met the Ohu dogs. He had, too. That was why he was here, after all, and not dead like his brothers. It never really occurred to him that if maybe he had gone back, his brothers might still be alive. With how ruthless Hougen was, he merely assumed that if he had gone back with his brothers, they all would have ended up dead anyways. He was glad of the choice he had made, glad he had met Weed and the Ohu dogs, and glad he finally felt truly like he was living a purposeful life.

“I certainly hope I can find someone as kind and strong as you, one day, Cross,” he smiled at her when she said that she could still be a hopeless romantic. He supposed most females could be. He wasn't, of course. He was still a bachelor, and among all the males, crude and obnoxious as they could be, he didn't much think romantic thoughts. He hadn't really meant for the conversation to head in the direction of mates, but it was all right. He would let Cross talk about anything, and being the kind dog that he was, he would engage in the conversation with her.




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