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CRAZY BRINDLES, NEWS AT 11


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#1
Soleks

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It was the first time Soleks had laid eyes on the human settlement – a strange mar on the landscape at the base of the mountains, lights burning in houses like fires in the night, thick with unusual and enticing scents. So, this is where the humans went when they weren’t trompsing through the wilderness like drunk boars. Interesting.

The yearling mutt had followed the scent trail of a young man and his hunting dog down from the mountain. It was the furthest he had ventured from the home territory claimed by Hitora and Raidon, inexplicably drawn to the lights and the sounds of people – calling their children in for the night, the sweet aroma of home cooked suppers wafting out open windows, the clatter of shops being closed up and people heading home.

His ears twitched as he lay on the hillside, cast in the shadow of the sinking sun, belly pressed against the cool earth, hidden amongst the taller grasses and low hanging branches of an uncut trail. It wasn’t until the lights inside the houses began to turn out for the night that he roused from his hiding spot, shaking his coat out and beginning his decent towards the little village. He crossed the road, the pavement feeling warm yet underneath his paws as the landscape gradually began to change from wild and unruly to tamed and manicured.

He skirted along the sides of buildings and the edge of fences, not quite sure where he was going exactly, or what he wished to achieve… but going there none the less. There were so many smells in this place, it was downright distracting. More than once he saw the opportunity for what could have been a downright easy meal – but Soleks wasn’t interested in free food. Half the fun of eating, after all, was hearing your dinner scream as you crushed the life out of it.

 

 

 

 


 


 

 


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#2
Bunny

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The night had begun to descend upon the village in the same way that it did every single evening for as long as Bunny could remember. The light of the sun began to dim, the lights on the streets and within the homes began to flare, and the humans began to make their ways home. For the most part, Bunny really didn't care whether or not her humans came home every night. Her sole need from them was for the food that they provided. However, if they ever dared to be absent she would still practically fly into a rage. It wasn't that she wanted them there, it was that she didn't know where they had gone. Those humans belonged to her and this was her home and her town. Any dog that resided here could tell you that. Bunny made quite sure that others knew of this claim and she defended it viciously... for the most part.

While she laid claim to the entire town as her own, Bunny didn't often go out and defend it. Honestly, she didn't need to. The few dogs that had dared challenge her - her brother the most consistent of those - learned their lesson real quick. But, for the most part, she didn't wander around looking to bully other canines, not unless they dared to lay paw or teeth upon one of the precious stuffed rabbits that she collected. She was far more of a danger to a young child's stuffed doll or ice cream most days, really.

Some days, though, the desire to just leave it all behind was there... at least for a little while. Bunny really had no desire to run off into the woods like some scatter-brained idiot but there was only so much simpering and cutesie nicknames that a dog could take. Her ears swiveled back behind her, listening to the noises that the humans made inside of the house. With a disgusted snort and a quick shake of her body, the Kai Ken mix trotted towards the back end of the fence where there was a loose plank. The humans either never noticed or never got around to fixing it, which suited Bunny and Nafzgar just fine. It provided them access to the outside. It was a slight squeeze, but not a tight one and within a few seconds the mixed breed was out of the yard and onto the sidewalk.

With another brief shake, the white and red brindle female began to trot down the street, tail raised in confidence, her golden orange eyes sweeping over the familiar locations of the village. She was hoping for some small child to wander by with just what she wanted, but that was an idle wish; she knew the likelihood of that, especially when the light was dwindling, was not very high. In fact, there were very few interruptions or distractions as she trotted along, supremely confident in her abilities and in her still-to-be-thwarted dominance of the dogs (and most of the humans) in the village. There was nothing, so far, in her life that had been able to touch her.

It was as she was making her way across a crossroads that she saw the stranger. He was taller than she was, heftier, but that never stopped Bunny in approaching other dogs or even in bullying them. Even the largest of dogs had backed away beneath her onslaught before - usually because she became a whirlwind of insanity and teeth and not one of them wanted to or knew how to deal with that. The hackles along her neck and upper back raised some, but that was the only initial sign that she had noticed the stranger and noticed that he was a stranger. "I've never seen you around before," she spoke up, diving right into the heart of the matter. Bunny very rarely believed in things such as 'hellos' or 'pleasantries'. After all, she wasn't here to make nice with a stranger - not unless they gave the proper amount of respect.


#3
Soleks

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The pavement was warm under his feet – holding in the heat of the day, even as the air started to cool. He lingered at a crossroad, head dipped down, scenting a dark stain on the cement when his ears pricked to the sound of a voice. His head whipped up, attention refocused as Bunny came into view. Female. Confident, very confident. Dominant. His weight shifted across his paws, ready to move if need be, a slow grin curling across his muzzle, tail fanning out behind him… never arching higher than the top of his hocks though. Soleks was a lot of things, but stupid wasn’t one of them. This wasn’t Hitora’s territory; any rank he held was moot here. His head dipped slightly, not submissive, but rather neutral and non-aggressive. The most offensive thing in his body language was probably that damned grin of his.

“Because I’ve never been around before,” he answered, velvet smooth. His tongue snakes out across his muzzle and he draws a step forward towards Bunny – he’s curious. Her coat is wildly splashed in color like his, and her fearless approach draws him in like a moth to a flame. “You must be in charge around here?” He cocks his head to the side as he draws closer, stopping just short of her, nostrils flaring – wanting to know her scent, but not foolish enough to stick his neck out for a closer sniff; not yet at least.

 

 

 

 


 


 

 


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#4
Bunny

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The female's golden orange eyes stared at the stranger intently. A slow grin moved its way over the other dog's muzzle, a curling sort of a grin; the kind that promised insanity rather than something amusing. In everything else, though, the strange male at least was displaying more respect than most dogs that saw her. Many of them saw her youth, her lack of bulk and the toys that she sometimes carted around with her as a sign that they could just ignore the proper behaviors. Those dogs never stuck around for long. This one might just make it a little bit longer, provided he didn't say anything too stupid. Bunny had been known to even be friendly once in awhile, but it was a rare thing. Certainly far more dogs had felt the slash of her fangs than saw the wag of her tail.

The smaller mix watched the dog as he admitted that he had never come here before. Well, as usual she had been correct in identifying a stranger to her town. As Soleks took a step towards her, the hackles raised more and the edges of the black muzzle lifted to reveal the white rows of quite sharp and quite practiced teeth beneath. But he seemed to have some sense because even though he had come nearer, he stopped and did not intrude any further. Not only that, but he correctly identified that she was the one who was in charge in this town. So many other dogs wanted to challenge that notion but not this one. Interesting.

"Yes. This is my territory." Though she was intrigued, she did not grant this strange male the permission to come closer. Not yet. Bunny was far too crafty and wise for that. Her greatest asset was the speed with which she struck and the red haze of rage that filtered over everything when she was pushed to that point. Getting in close meant that she could be pinned by a stronger foe. Besides, he hadn't done anything to earn himself the right to get in close besides be observant. Her eyes narrowed just a little bit as she observed the brindle stranger. "No one comes into my territory without my knowing about it."

There was nothing sly, no honeyed poison words like there was with her mother - a fleeting canine that she hardly remembered except in confirmation that she had been mother's favorite - but the radiating of power and dominance from a smaller figure was definitely a familiar link. "What's your name? And what brings you into my territory?"


#5
Soleks

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That crooked grin continues to pull at the corners of his lips as Bunny repeatedly slips in the mention that this territory is hers. She was fiery, sharp, and to the point. He liked that. Preferred it over the docile compliance of most canines.

"Soleks," he informed her, revealing nothing of his heritage or current alliances. He was at the outer fringes of Ohu's territory here, dangerously close. As far as he knew, she could be allied with the dogs living in the mountains in some way. He rolled a shoulder forward, dipping his head a little lower in passive submission to the brindled female, but by no means willing to bare his throat. "I was curious, about the humans. They must belong to you as well, hm?" He quirks a brow, tongue slicking out across his muzzle briefly.

His ears sway back, listening to some far off sound -- jingle of keys, car door slamming, muffled voices the next street over -- before they whisk forward to return his full attention to the Kai Ken mix in front of him. "They only used to come to the mountains to hunt boar and bear," he elaborates, picking his words carefully in an attempt to set up the situation to glean information from the female. "Last season they came to the mountains to hunt dogs. You must know a fair amount about the dogs that live in the mountains, yeah?" Of course, Soleks was only a yearling, he knew only about the human's attempt to eliminate the feral dog population through word of mouth and overheard conversations. But he used it here as a lead in to deciphering Bunny's knowledge and link to the dogs of Ohu.

 

 

 

 


 


 

 


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#6
Bunny

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The bright golden-orange eyes narrowed just a little as that grin stretched further over the male's face as she reminded him quite forcefully as to who this town belonged to. Her senses were always keenly aware and always searching for someone to be making light of her, for someone just trying to humor her. There were many ways to switch Bunny from a fairly normal (if dominant) dog into the nightmare that her brother knew quite well. Mocking or humoring her was one of those. If anyone dare look down upon her because she was small, because she was female, because of her name - because of anything - she would teach them a lesson that they would never forget.

"Soleks," she repeated the name with no small bit of curiosity, tasting the flavor of it on her tongue. It was not like any name she had heard before but she decided it suited the brindle male. As she watched, the other dog lowered his head just a tiny bit. Not enough to be at a disadvantage, not baring his throat towards her, but enough to acknowledge who the more dominant of the two currently was. That was excellent behavior so far as Bunny was concerned. She spent so much of her life convincing the idiot dogs of this town who was in charge that it was a breath of fresh air to have someone, a strange no less, recognize it without her having to resort to tearing into him. The mix tilts her head just a tiny bit, not enough to take her eyes off of Soleks but enough to shift her attention just enough - as if she were looking for the humans that he indicated. "I own everything in this town," she clarified for the stranger. Yes, she did own the humans... but at the same time, she only cared about a specific pair of humans. "But I only concern myself with two of them. The rest aren't worth my time." Not that she cared about her humans. They were incredibly stupid, though they ruled the house and they insisted on treating her like a puppy, on calling her 'Bun-bun' which usually sent her into fits of rage. But she certainly wasn't going to mention that nor was she ever going to allow another dog to take them from her. They were her humans and she didn't share what was her own. Not with anyone.

But then Soleks was speaking again and she turned her attention outwards to listen to his words. Bunny was very old and she didn't concern herself much with the goings on outside of her little piece of the world. She vaguely remembered the talk of a year ago, vaguely remembered the way some of the dogs thought the humans might turn on the town dogs. Bunny was not a hunting dog, however; she was bought to be a pet and had little to do with the other dogs of the village unless it was in teaching them a lesson. Her ears pricked just a tiny bit as he mentioned dogs that lived in the mountains and for a moment she debated with herself. She did not like appearing ignorant, did not like lacking information that someone might use against her... yet Bunny was crafty when she wanted to be and when she wasn't under the throes of her very great and vivid anger. As much as a lie might gain her respect, a lie could earn her animosity and disdain as well. And she had a feeling that she didn't really want to lie to this male. She didn't fear him, for the Kai mix feared no one, but she felt as if he might leave if he caught her in a lie - and she certainly wasn't done talking to him yet.

"Very little," she finally responded to his question. "I have only heard stories of both." And that was what the had sounded like. The dog hunting was more real for her than the supposed legends of Ohu and its denizens. Why would so many dogs choose to live together up in the mountains? Didn't they know how boring that was? The life was down here, in the town, and she couldn't imagine wanting to live with a whole pack of dogs. She didn't even want to share her home with her brother. Or her town. Maybe it was best if those supposed dogs up in the mountains stayed up there. They certainly couldn't have her town. "Do you know much of it then?"



#7
Soleks

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"I own everything in this town," the Kai Ken mix clarified for him. "But I only concern myself with two of them. The rest aren't worth my time." This time his jaws parted in a wide grin, as if this comment pleased him in some way. And it did. He liked her attitude. It makes some of the stiffness in his posture loosen; tail giving a brief sway back and forth. Soleks didn’t have much opinion on the humans – he had never had any sort of close contact with, a feral dog in the truest of senses. He knew they stunk something awful, and they were useless at covering their tracks when they trompsed through the wilderness. The fact that for the most part they aren’t worth the time of this self proclaimed Queen of Humantown only confirms his suspicions that they were fairly useless creatures.

He cocks his head to the side slightly at Bunny’s admission that she knows little of the dogs in the mountains. His jaws snap shut and he slides his forepaws forward, almost assuming the posture of a play-bow of a normal, sane dog. It drops his whole figure even lower than Bunny and he cranes his neck to the side a little more to gaze up her, his eyes flashing with a glint of something between mischievousness and malice. “I know they killed my father,” he informs her without any flicker of emotion. It was simply a fact. He didn’t remember his father anymore.. he just remembers that it was a pack of Ohu dogs that attacked them on that snowy day and mauled his father to death, and it was Rhyzik that found him in the snow, and Hitora that raised him and showed him the ways of the world. The brindled leader need not ever worry that the piebald male would ever doubt the implanted belief that the Ohu dogs were responsible for his father’s death – it was so deeply ingrained in his psyche by now that it might as well be the truth.


”I know they’re up to no good,” he elaborates, his body still arced in its submissive gesture of supplication, he dares to push the limits, leaning forward towards Bunny. He wants to see how close she’ll let him get, how much she’ll tolerate him in her space, and what she’ll do if she doesn’t want him there.

 

 

 

 


 


 

 


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#8
Bunny

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As Bunny revealed her stance on the humans of the town and on the town itself, it curiously caused some relaxation in the posture of the male. The brindled tail waved back in forth in the air and that grin contained to show on the other dog's face. Bunny actually had to wonder just what about that was so pleasing. Most dogs, when she imparted that information to them, either laughed at it or were only pleased because they wanted to try and wrest what was hers away from her. Both of those types ended up running fast with their tails between their legs. Especially the ones that laughed. There was no quicker way to send her into a rage than to laugh at her. Bunny did not appreciate being looked down upon at all. This strange male had so far won points because he had respected her claims, hadn't laughed at her, and he hadn't seemed like he wanted to take anything from her. If he was only curious about the humans than he would quickly learn his lesson as to how useless they were and most likely leave. She uttered a little snort to herself, giving a brief shake. There was always one way to test just how smart he was, though. "If you have any doubts, you just ask the other dogs in this town. They'll tell you that everything belongs to Bunny." It was an infuriating name. It caused her no end of grief. If Soleks was stupid enough to laugh at it then she clearly did not need to waste any more time on him (except to teach him a lesson).

Her golden-orange eyes narrowed some more as the brindled male dropped down some. It wasn't quite a submissive gesture but neither was it one of play (not that Bunny demeaned herself enough to play with strangers). It was in this posture that he chose to impart the fact that the dogs up north, the supposed legends, had killed his father; that they were up to no good. Bunny knew some of the vague legends, that the dogs that lived up north were supposed to be some kind of pack of angels that never did any wrong but she had hardly ever believed in either that or the legends. She had never met dogs that were like that. She had met all kinds of stupid dogs, cruel dogs, scared dogs and lazy dogs but never any that wanted to rush out and do good. So if there were dogs that existed up north she highly doubted they were some sort of shining beacons of light. And she wasn't sure what he expected by imparting this information to her. Sympathy? Was he looking for revenge? Or was he just telling her for no reason? She had met a fair few dogs who liked to drop information with no relevance. Perhaps that was it.

But all thoughts flew out the door when he started inching closer to her. Bunny was not a dog that enjoyed others in her personal space; not unless she had invited them there. Most of that was because she spent so much time fending Nafzgar out of her personal space. It had built up a distrust of anyone being too close to her, because they were probably going to try some sort of trick on her. She knew Nafzgar and most of his moves by now. She didn't know what a stranger might do. Her ears shifted back some, the black of her muzzle lifting just a little to show off the white fangs resting just beneath. A warning. But he was apparently intent on getting closer and pushing his limits. When he had come too close for comfort her head snaked forward, as quick as any viper, and her teeth snapped at the end of his muzzle. It was a narrow miss and if he had been just an inch or two more forward his nose and end of his muzzle would probably have been scored and bleeding. "I didn't say you could come closer," she snarled the words out. So far she had liked this dog, but if he insisted on pushing the limits that like would fade fairly quickly.



#9
Soleks

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Bunny. That was her name? He quirked a brow upwards slightly; who on earth would name their offspring after a rabbit, a prey animal? He didn’t see any amusement in it, it just tickled his curiosity. Quite the enigma then, wasn’t she? “Queen of Humantown, named after a little rabbit.. I like it.” There was no mocking undertone in his words, the more he thought about it, the more clever it seemed.

She lashes out sooner than he expects, and he jerks his head to the side instinctively even if her snap was never meant to connect. The hackles between his shoulder blades lift, but it’s an involuntary reaction. His body stiffens in posture a little again and his ears twitch forward as he draws back, out of her space – for now – and out of the ‘play bow’ pose. He gives a quick shake of his coat to settle his hackles and inclines his head to the other side.

If this had been on land ruled over by Hitora, his reaction would have been much different. But he is no fool, and he is not about to stir up too much trouble with the leader of another territory. His actions affected not just himself, but his pack. “Ah, and what would one have to do to earn that pleasure?” And yet, at the same time, he struggles with leaving well enough alone. For the moment, his interest in gaining additional information about the Ohu dogs has slipped his mind.. he’s more intrigued by the nuances of the female in front of him.

 

 

 

 


 


 

 


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#10
Bunny

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The hackles along her back, shoulders and neck began to stir at the shifting of the male's eyebrow. Little did he know it, but it took very little to push her past the brink of 'dominant and suspicious' to 'I am going to cut a bitch'. Though his tone held no mockery in it, she was a past master at seeing and hearing mockery where there was none. Bunny existed as a brightly burning flame of anger and rage most days. It was part and parcel of her entire makeup. Most days it would never occur to her to not fly into a fit of rage over something simple. "It certainly wasn't my choice of names," she snarled the words out. The humans had named her when she had been small and it had stuck. It was their fault she had a collection of stuffed rabbits - mostly ones that she had stolen from children around the village - and that she reacted so viciously to those that might mock her name. It was much harder commanding the respect that she deserved with a name such as that. "And it's not their town. It's my town. If I am to be queen it's queen of my town." It was only that statement, which had pricked at her dignity, which had really saved the other dog from this time actually feeling her teeth.

Soleks at least shows some of his desire to live another day (although that thought might have been some delusion of grandeur, given their size difference) by drawing back some when Bunny narrowly missed his nose. In truth, she honestly couldn't have said whether she meant to miss or not. She did like his sense so far, but she equally usually had very little control over herself once she was pushed to lash out. She would hardly feel bad if she had hit him. In her mind, he would have deserved whatever was coming to him. He was the one who had come too close without her permission, after all.

She eyed him disparagingly as he spoke again. She was almost tempted to turn her nose up and walk away. After all, he had an awful lot of nerve and who was he? Some backwater dog from out in the wild. She certainly didn't need to give him any information or her company. And yet, at the same time, he had asked. And while that spoke of having a great amount of audacity, so far this male had been the only dog she had encountered that knew how to act around her (with minor exceptions) and treated her as the ruler of this place that she actually was. That certainly earned him a little bit of consideration and marginally faint praise. However, in considering her words she actually had to give pause once she actually thought about them. She had never before considered any dog worthy of spending time with her, unless she counted her siblings... and even then there was a limit. Nafzgar spent far too much time trying to best her, to pin her and wrest her rule from her. Reitora lived in another home and was not quite as bloodthirsty as either of her siblings. No other dog spent any amount of time with the Kai mixes. They certainly didn't encourage friendship or love with lesser canines.

"Well, perhaps we'll see what one might have to do," she finally settled on. It wasn't really any information. It really didn't give him much hope either. But, at the same time, it was more allowance than she had given any dog at the moment. If he continued treating her this way and didn't press his luck then she would probably allow him more liberty than she had ever allowed any other canine before. If he didn't listen to her and respect her, well, then they would dance and there would likely be blood. And he would probably be very surprised at how sharp and fast her teeth were and how dangerous she could become.






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