Warning: The following work of adult gay fantasy fiction is meant solely for individuals 18 years of age or older. If you are either under said legal age or are offended by gay material please leave this page immediately.
Chapter 8: The Hiding and Spying Games Are Over
“Shay, there’s a woodie approximately 25 yards from the back door. He’s hiding in the bushes at the edge of the forest. Shall I encounter him?”
So at last Shay would get to see one of those he was up against. He didn’t want to blow the woodie’s cover yet. Instead, he wanted the forest creature to somehow expose himself. But how?
“Augie, it’s time forr you to show me just what you are equipped for. I need to see this fellow without his being any the wiser. Can you do it?”
Augie turned from where he was standing looking out the rear window and faced Shay. He moved his head slowly and the small antenna hidden behind his right ear rose until it was about 6 inches above his head. The top bearing of the antenna pivoted and a green display light projected an image mid air between the android and Shay.
There in a transparent holographic image stood a creature that Shay found to be somewhat familiar, enticing, and frightening simultaneously. He might have mistaken the woodie for a small Sasquatch were it not for his memory of satyrs from Greek mythology.
“Shall I report, Shay?”
As Shay walked around the image he nodded his head in agreement. He found the creature fascinating and unnerving. He was of two minds about what he saw. The one was armed to beware and the other was disarmed for hot sex. He didn’t quite know what to make of this reaction. His past memories of earth form held no situations were Dare craved dangerous sexual encounters. This was another new experience for him and not one he could afford to misinterpret.
“This is an average young adult male of the species, Panicus terrestrius. He is approximately five feet six inches high and weighs 145 pounds. I gauge his age as 21 New Centaurian years which would make him 27 by your former Earth Plane years. He is healthy and quite fit.”
“Is there anything about his intentions you can devise by his appearance? Can you read him by his facial expression? Is he a danger to us or is he just curious?”
“The woodie male has cloaked his emotions to me. By his actions I can tell that, yes, he is curious and, no, he isn’t immediately dangerous to us as he is unarmed. But, since we are a good distance from him we are safer by default. The woodies are gifted in hand-to-hand combat. They are swift and agile. They can land a hoof through a taur’s head in one move. One should always be on guard in the presence of any woodie. Were he armed it would be a different situation for us. Woodies are capable of lobbing projectiles such as rocks with deadly accuracy. They have been known to hobble taurs and club them to death. You must think of these creatures as highly intelligent adversaries with native skills similar to those of simians. They are adept at hiding, laying traps, and climbing. This gives them great advantages over taurs in the depth of their home environment. I sense this male to be on an information reconnaissance mission. He is trained to focus on our every move and report what he learns to his elders.”
“Augie, is there a way we can give him information, mislead him, without generating suspicion?”
“If you wish we can devise a plan over the next few minutes and once it is finalized we will pretend to air out the constabulary. This will give the woodie the ability to overhear our conversation and obtain information we have tailored made for him.”
“Good idea. Let’s get going on that. There’s one thing I’d like to know. How was it you determined the woodie was out there in the first place?
“My scanning mechanism does a complete perimeter inspection every ten seconds. I was able to read his thermal signature and movement the instant he stepped out of the woods and crouched into the bushes closer to the constabulary. I would surmise that he has been spying on the constabulary since before your arrival. Based on past behavior I would hazard a guess that there are other spies placed in inconspicuous locations as well. Later, I will do a more thorough scan of the entire area around Taur’s Prairie and ferret out, so to speak, any other woodies.”
“Well, that is very impressive.” Shay couldn’t help but clap his hands together and had to restrain himself from whooping out loud. He smiled broadly and nearly giggled. Dare would have killed to have a partner like this. Augie was an invaluable tool. This confrontation with the forest folk might not be as hard as he had previously thought. Not with “stealth taur” on his side. “I’m grateful you are able to execute such maneuvers. Knowing where the threat lies physically will be of tremendous advantage to us. Am I right to assume you have other heightened android senses such as long distance hearing and seeing?”
“With the exception of a fully conversant emotional pack and what you call a sixth sense or intuition I possess heightened centaur capabilities. I can smell a minute wisp of smoke from 8.2 kilometers. If someone were to light a match I would know of it the instant it ignited. I am equipped to sense gases and toxins in air, water, soil and foodstuffs as minute as 1 part per billion. I can record whispered conversations from three thousand yards. If you wish, I can project my manual so you can read and or observe all of my capabilities at your leisure. It would serve us both if you were more aware of my capabilities and how they are utilized. It would serve me if you were capable of executing minor repairs I might need that I am not able to perform, though I am able to execute proper diagnoses readily at command.”
“My goodness, Augie, you are truly a supertaur. I am rapidly become envious of you. I almost wish I could do what you can.” Shay slapped the android on the shoulder as he would a pal.
“Have I done something to displease you, Saur?” Augie intoned the question with seriousness but no sign of hurt feelings.
“Oh no, Augie, everything you’ve done has been outstanding. Beyond anything I’d have imagined mere hours ago.”
“Then, Saur, why did you slap your hand against my form?”
“Oh that . . . that was a friendly acknowledgement. A pat on the back is a sign of acceptance and approval. I was saying with a physical gesture that you pleased me. Not displeased me. Understand? It’s a way of telling another you are happy with them. I’m surprised you don’t know that considering how much you are aware of.”
“There is still a great deal about corporal unit behavior I am not educated in. I am pleased that I have pleased you. That is part of my purpose as your assistant. There are many ways I am equipped to please you.”
Shay chuckled and grinned. “I am well aware of that feature, Augie. I will expect you to educate me as much as I might be able to educate you. Perhaps, tonight we can enter into some serious pleasure instruction.”
Augie stared into Shay’s eyes for a long beat. Shay found the stare oddly discomforting until the android broke out in a wide smile of his own. “I would enjoy being put to your use, Shay.”
“Great, great” Shay patted his assistant on the shoulder again and let his hand linger a moment on his back. Augie placed his hand atop Shay’s and Shay realized the android had been programmed to feel completely lifelike. Augie’s hand was warm and gentle. Shay was certain he’d be able to forget the fact his new partner was an android, at least for those times when he needed to.
“For now we must work on our little spying woodie problem. Let’s make his spying worthwhile, shall we?”
It had been a long trot for the taur. He was tired, sweaty and dusty from the journey out of his home mountains to this place where the forest met the prairie.
He had followed the stream from where the headwaters bubbled up through the sharp granite rocks and tumbled downward until they met other small brooks and streams and, joining, carved a small canyon down to a spot where the snowmelt formed broad pools under the shade of wooded banks. There he had caught his morning meal of plump trout and managed to snare a small rodent he later roasted. Well fed and briefly rested the centaur traveled to where the stream merged with a broad shallow river. It was the course many of his kind had followed to the Sea of Svelth, roughly two hundred kilometers ahead.
That far off place wasn’t his destination though. He had business nearby; just the other side of a small village he’d heard talk of but had yet to see for himself.
The centaur removed his bow and quiver and then his moss green cloak as he prepared to bath. He had found a bend where the water was deep enough for him to submerge his fine bulk and where he’d be protected from curious eyes by a natural wall made by a large boulder. He worked to keep his presence unknown to any of the locals, as they were always wary of strangers and too taken by ignorant suspicion.
Elmardin admired the finely defined, taut musculature of his torso. He never tired of the beauty of his centaur form. He was well aware that others would find his frequent self-admiration far too vain and unseemly. But unlike them he hadn’t always known taurhood. Unlike those who came to being taur naturally, Elmardin had found his way through potions and spells that had taken the length and breadth of his youth to learn and implement. He was something rare for New Centaurian, a taur mage with the skills of a ranger. He was at home in the woods as well as the byways and able, through his magical skills, to always take care of himself.
In his youth he had been a far different creature than he appeared to be now. Instead of four, he had but two legs and instead of a broad muscular torso that topped a fine equine hind he had a miniscule body with opalescent wings.
In those days he was able to fly and knew his world as a place of many dangers and many beauties. He had been told from the time he was old enough to venture out with the aid of his small but strong wings that his people were special and magical; that they were unknown except as legend to the great creatures of the field and forest, those large and wild ones who threatened his very existence, that all the Winged Ones must be steadfast in their efforts to remain hidden from the world of the beasts.
Elmardin remembered the first time he encountered one of the huge four-leggers. He was dumbstruck by the obvious strength of the thing. He held back a short distance and watched as the creature moved through the woods near his hive home. He wanted to follow the being and take in its rugged beauty, but he knew his duty.
This sighting was not good news for his folk. The Winged Ones would have to find a new home deeper in the woods and farther removed from the threat of newer incursions by others such as this, ones that were called taurs.
The form of the mighty taur had captivated Elmardin. His dreams were filled with more encounters with these strange brutes. It soon became painfully obvious to the tiny fey that there had been a mistake in his birthing. A taur was what he was supposed to be. He never dared share this revelation with either his bearers or clutch mates.
Elmardin struggled with his obsession to realize transformation for many sun cycles until he found that, if he apprenticed with the hive’s resident magic-maker, Denbewtal, he could learn all he needed to know to attain what he believed was his destiny. It was clear to Elmardin that he would do whatever needed to be done to find his true form and claim it, even if it meant never returning to the hive again.
As he lingered in the deep, cool pool the taur almost nodded off were it not for the sound of something rustling along the banks of the river. He immediately roused himself and moved closer to where the sound was coming from.
“Can’t a good taur get his much needed relaxation?” he mumbled to himself.
“Perhaps a good taur is worthy of relief. But you on the other hand . . .”
The speaker broke free of the vegetation, but hesitated to get too close to the deep river.
“I might have known it was you. You make enough disturbance for a herd of woodies.”
“ And were you not so smitten with yourself I would not need to break your reverie.”
Elmardin broke out in a deep-throated laugh and was soon joined by his friend, the wily woodie called Sol.
This work of serialized fiction is Copyright 2012 by G. W. German. All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be posted online or republished in any regard without the express permission of its author.