• Published 3rd May 2012
  • 9,704 Views, 204 Comments

With Teeth - TritiumAge00

HiE - The tale of a man displaced through space and time. A man and his strangely alluring canines.

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A Meeting Across Eons

Chapter Two

A Meeting Across Eons

The sound of crinkling leaves and gentle movement in what appears to be a heavily laden blueberry bush some 60 feet ahead quickly brings your focus back around. The accompanying gasp; the very human gasp from somewhere just out of sight, gets you moving before you even realize it. A thousand thoughts are cascading through your mind as you burn a path that would make any speed walker proud. Astronomically improbable scenarios be damned, this had to be Terra! Despite the staggering odds against it being as such, you were grateful. Who were you to question the fickle nature of quantum mechanics?

You are smiling like a moron by the time your hands brush through the bushes almost heavily sagging branches. A greeting begins to form on your lips, but the sight just beyond literally renders you quite thoroughly speechless. A yellow horse some two feet tall at the shoulder is staring back at you with enormous teal eyes. Its sides are adorned with matching embroidered saddlebags which have been stuffed to overfill with a variety of herbs and flowers. With gaping mouth and the sound of your pulse drumming through your ears, you try to process the fact that this horse, more of a pony really, is cowering behind a mane of rose pink hair and despite the protests of your common sense, has unfurled a pair of silky, feather adorned wings.

As your mind desperately tries to make sense of the impossibility cowering before you, said impossibility decides it doesn't much care for you either and starts backing away from you as quickly as its trembling limbs will allow. By the time your mouth manages to reconnect to your brain, the decidedly pegasus pony is already some 20 yards away and blurring into the foliage despite its starkly contrasting color scheme.

"Wait!" you hear yourself cry out. This may be completely ridiculous, but you'll be damned if you lose contact with the first obviously sentient creature on what you quickly conclude is not Terra. Last you heard, there wasn't a race of fashionably minded pegasi living on your species' home planet.

Breaking into a sprint you race forwards trying to keep sight of the pony's trail. Given its diminutive stature, there isn't much to go on, but regardless you carry on. The occasional snapped twig or tiny hoof prints keep you hopeful.

Some fifteen minutes later you find yourself panting and doubled over against another of the forest's towering trees, your lungs protesting and heart painful in your chest. The damn air must be thinner here. Either that or the artificial gravity on the station had been much lower than 1 G as advertised.

Making note of the sun's track across the sky, you realize there will only be perhaps another two hours of useful daylight. You also realize that giving chase to a flight capable native of this world through dense terrain and no sense of direction was probably the crowning achievement in your dumb ass hall of fame. How the hell did you expect that to work out? Even if you had caught up to it, what did you plan to do? Yell at it in the hopes it would understand you? Hell, given your xenological training, what guarantee did you have that despite its frail appearance, there weren't rows of dagger sharp teeth just waiting to shred you like pulled pork hidden within its maw?

Yeah. Smooth move Einstein. Your battered psyche disregards the fact that you've been rationalizing fear of what appeared to be an completely harmless, adorably proportioned pegasus. Hell, it was pretty obviously terrified of you. Probably thought you were going to eat it, especially after chasing it for the better part of a quarter hour. Groaning, you slide down into a sprawl against the rough bark of the tree, wiping your forehead as you go. Well, shit.

After a five minute rest filled with a tasteful amount of muttered grumbling and general bitching, you get to your feet and dust off the seat of your uniform pants. Since it looked like you were spending at least the night in these woods, you decide it wise to find a suitable spot to sleep. None of the small caves and sinkholes you had blurred past earlier looked suitable for your six foot medium build, and you'd be damned if you were sharing the ground with God knows what manner of creeping nightmares.

Turning around and peering up into the canopy, you realize you've left yourself with more or less a single solution. The trees on this planet are some of the biggest you've ever seen, most climbing easily two hundred feet into the sky. Their strong, uniform web of branches looks like it was custom made to keep you safely out of the jaws of any slithering nocturnal terrors. This was gonna' be cake. Besides, how hard could spending the night cocooned in nature's loving embrace be? With resolve sufficiently bolstered, you grab hold of the lowest branch and start climbing.

The irony of your fear of heights becomes painfully obvious almost instantly as you cling desperately to your leafy bed some fifty feet up. You've spent just enough time drifting through the expanse of space to conveniently forget all about it. Thanks a lot brain, you're a real pal lately. If the adrenaline coursing through your veins was an indicator, it didn't look like you'd be getting a lot of sleep tonight. You figure the best way to distract yourself from the crippling fear is to gaze up at the comforting familiarity of the starry sky.

They were all wrong, naturally. None of these constellations were on any star chart you had ever seen. How was that even possible? The constellations stretched across millions of light years throughout the universe. If they weren't apparent here, in any configuration, then you must have jumped off course much further than a mere 100 light years. Were you in another galaxy altogether? Impossible. Jump gates were capable of almost instant transmission of matter and energy across truly vast distances, but even the furthest stretches of humanity had only managed an outward trek of 15,625,000 cubic light years.

Oh God this wasn't helping at all! Suddenly, your the suit's holographic display activates in a blur of activity. It seemed like every program and system had simultaneously activated on their own accord. This had literally never happened in your years of experience with these systems. It's even playing back a track from your favorite group's latest album. What's better, it's doing so at full volume, effectively silencing any bugs within a square mile of your perch.

"Why the hell is this happening to me?!", you yell while desperately trying to initiate a system reboot.

"Go on the adventure of a lifetime they said!" - No effect

"Go where no man has ever gone they said!" - You're fairly certain the device just flipped you off

"Great benefits package they said!" - An additional sound file is now playing back a corny laugh track, presumably at your expense

"And the best part?", you begin "is that we've never lost anybody on a jump! Ever!" At this point you can almost feel your brain killing itself in your skull. "Well, guys what the hell happened, huh? What the fuck happened?!" As these last four words escape your mouth with what you hope passes for appropriately dramatic flair, you realize the unit has returned to its normal standby mode. You also realize that you effectively just screamed like a psychopath while likely alerting any and every potentially deadly creature of your exact location. Strike it up for the home team guys! Ten points Gryffindor! Shit.

Right on cue, a deafening throaty roars rips up from the base of the tree you've been having an existential crisis in. With your eyebrows well into your hairline, you peer down and feel your mouth go dry. Some form of monstrosity, apparently three quarters African lion with what can only be the tail of a scorpion, is doing a damn good job of tearing a path towards you upwards through the dense branches. The term 'manticore' drunkenly stumbles to mind, but something breaks in your head as your brain effectively jumps out an open window.

"GO ON AN ADVENTURE THEY SAID!!!" Oh Goddammit it's licking its chops now.

"SPACE! GALAXIES! ORION!" Yeah, today was definitely one of those days.