Note: having just gone through the earlier posts, in attempt to link them all here I realize that at least three separate entries have been labeled as part 4, and the tags are either non existent or screwed. Don't do drugs or pursue a higher degree kids; it will fuck you up. Anyway, I'll fix it sll sometime today. I just wanted to get this chapter up first, because I have my daily writing on the current novel in progress to get to before I can screw with the 'technical' side of the blog. Priorities: mine are all fucked up- and my brain is only partially functional. This text will be replaced with the proper links later today and I will fix the tags.
My hypothetically sincere apologies go out to all hypothetical new readers for the hypothetical inconvenience.
The green humanoids surged forward. Thront grabbed Sursha with one huge hand. "Do what you can for me." He jerked his massive arm back and hurled her up into the air. She flew rump first for a moment, and managed one last glance at Thront as the attackers swarmed over him, and then mist gusted between them and she was turning, trying to guide her flight.
Sursha sailed upward in a tremendous arc; She spread her arms out, and her ascent began to slow; then she was angling downward. She had no idea how high up she was; the fog blocked her vision. It was like falling through an endless cloud, only it wasn't endless; it would be coming to an end any second: a frigid, wet end- or a smashing, solid one. It occurred to Sursha that she wasn't entirely happy with Thront. She hadn't asked to be hurled into space.
She saw a shadow, thin, and narrow; she lunged out for it; she missed. She hit an icy, flat and sharply canted surface with tooth jarring impact and bounced back into space. She tumbled through the air, past a mast; she caught it for an instant with her tail, damping her velocity a bit; a flock of vibrals that had been roosting on it cooed and twitched into the air.
She flew through a tangle of blue vines; she grappled at them with her entire body. She caught a vine with her tail and another with her hands. She came to a stop. The blue creepers were burning cold against her skin.
She hung motionless, but only for an instant. The vines discorperated, melting. The one holding most of her weight came apart, and she began her second descent, slower and jerkier than the first. She was able to control her fall through the vines. Shaky legged and out of breath Sursha came to a rest on the tilted deck of a wooden barge.
She sat and wheezed until her chest loosened; when she felt better, she tried to backtrack, but could not find the place where she and Thront had met the greenskins.
Frustrated she broke off her search to find shelter for the night. She slept in a half collapsed deckhouse; her small camp stove burned beside her, emitting heat but no light. She sat up well into the darkness and listened to the rhythmic and liquid, creaking noise of the Boneyard.
In the morning Sursha walked aimlessly for several hours; she moved in an expanding circle, looking all the while for tracks or other signs of her friends.
She climbed from deck to deck; it grew colder as she walked, and the mist seemed to be made up of tiny ice particles. The air was salt sharp and fresh though, and there was a peaceful silence that seemed to exist in spite of the presence of noise.
She saw several of the scuttling, white furred sphere creatures; they seemed to nest in the ice. She stopped to watch a small troop; they did indeed have circular mouths on their backs, not really on their backs though- their legs seemed to be double jointed and they flipped over at will; some moved with the sack-like organ up, others scurried about with it dragging underneath them; they all flipped back and forth; it was rather disturbing to watch; but hardly their most unsettling aspect. She watched a group of them swarm down a spar to the waters edge. Their mouths: tooth lined clenching funnels- ugly enough to begin with- popped out; that is, went from being an interior funnel to an exterior cone; a cone of contracting flesh; bristling with needles. The creatures leaned into the water whipping their inside-out mouths back and forth. One came up with a tooth-impaled fish, releasing a belching sucking noise as it drew its mouth and meal both into its body.
Sursha writhed with displeasure and walked quickly away from the rail.
Snow commenced to fall in the late afternoon; she came upon the tracks not long after. The marks in the snow trailed perpendicular her own course. They were Kal's; she was sure of it.
They seemed fresh; she ran along their length, leaping from ship to ship. She used any means possible to speed her progress, improvising as she went, her only concern was following the tracks.
She was almost on top of the two norts before she saw them.
They whirled to face her. For an instant the three of them stood like a triangle.
"Nact female," said Barin.
"Disgusting." Thane moved in closer. "Do not move, she-nact, we wish to speak to you." His snout flexed and his star shape mouth opened and closed, he spread his arms wide; and clacked his sharp, armored fingers together.