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Subject: Hunting

The Wolf Pack
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Date Posted: 21:52:21 01/03/03 Fri

Leon dug his spurs into his horse's side again and felt the rush that accompanied the burst of speed and the animal's whinney of pain. They had been riding for about four hours now and at last the sun was up and he could gaze over the mangey heads of the rest of The Pack. They were disgusting. Greasy hair from months cooped up in the dungeons bellow Minas Tirith, clothes ragged and stained with human waste. Even The Wolf himself looked worse for wear after his years imprisonment. Now however they were free and things would change.
Curse the king, Leon though angrily. Curse him to Mordor!

"We stop here," The Wolf called, each of the pack reined in their horses and they slowed to a jagged halt.
Leon swung from his horse, tied the exhausted beast to a tree near the lake and moved to sit by the camp fire his brother was starting.

Marak grinned up at him, showing a mouth half full of blackened teeth. "You took your time, hog-face."
"I had to water my horse. I notice you didn't bother again. That animal is going to keel over any day now."
"If it does I'll steal another," Marak replied easily and fished around his pack for the sausages they had lifted from some old biddy's kitchen that morning. The sizzle of real food started Leon drooling and he reached towards the pan full of half cooked sausages greedily. "Ouch!" he exclaimed as Marak slapped the flat of the blade he was using to turn the food onto his outstretched hand. "You son of a whore! What did you do that for?"
"As ugly as you are I don't want you to die from uncooked food like Gorick did last year."
"That's very touching," Leon grimaced.
"It is isn't it?" His half brother's face wrinkled into another smile, the dirt between the cracks making him seem even more hideous in the early dawn light. His cooking knife brushed against Leon's thoat and his eyes became agates. "Now take back what you said about my mother."

Silence then..."I take it back!"
The knife was withdrawn and Leon let out the breath he had been holding onto.
"Food's done," Marak grunted after a while.
Around them the rest of The Pack had set up fires of their own in the tiny groups of people they could almost trust. Like Leon and Marak however each group had an uneasy truce. The Pack had learned early on that it was unwise to form friendships.
Leon tried to glare at his brother but the sheer bordom of not talking forced him to comment idly, "so what d'ya think of this mission?"
Marak took another bite of his sausage before answering. "Its a mission now is it? A holy mission from the all mighty gods perhaps?"
He snapped, "forget it."
The silence between them grew once more.
"Its interesting," Marak replied thoughtfully after a moment.
"How so?"
"Well, this guy lets us out of the dungeons five years too early and sends us to do something that the palace guards could do easier and faster."
Marak sighed. "You really do have the brains of a goat don't you brother. Obviously the man is not to be trusted."
"So? Neither are we."
"Precisly." His brother nodded and gestured with his knife. "I hope The Wolf knows what he's doing this time."

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