U.O.T.W. Chapter 250 Manhunt

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    Author’s note: The chapter has not been edited except for odd mistakes and errors therefore the content may change at a later date although the plot will remain the same. The content you read now is as I written it in 2014-2015. I hope this fact doesn’t lessen your enjoyment.

    As always, should you see an error or something you feel is off then by all means let me know?

    Sotek Loyal Hound of Hircine

     

     

    Ever so slowly, Rikke got up as she watched the door. She trusted the general but this was way out of her comfort zone. Reaching down, she picked up the sack and carefully opened it. Inside were a lock pick and a silver dagger. She gulped quietly as her gaze fell upon the door. Cautiously she walked slowly and deliberately towards it.  

     

    Rikke held the lock pick up to the lock then slowly she started to manipulate the locks and pins. Only now was she truly thankful that Aela and Sotek taught her how to pick locks when they killed the dragon which resided on the mountain above the imperial camp by Ivarstead. One by one she progressed until she heard a satisfying click. She opened the door cautiously and peered through the gap. Outside two guards stood there looking straight at her.

     

    “That’s it”. One guard loudly called out, causing Rikke to freeze. She was expecting them to seize her so she was totally unprepared for what he said next. “Time for lunch, let’s go”. Then without another word the two guards headed off away from her in the totally opposite direction to the mess hall.  

     

    She crept along the passageway towards some steps which led her up to a small tower. From there she could see the courtyard which was unusually empty except for two guards tending to a black horse; her horse, Midnight. By the look of it they had only just finished saddling him. The guards fed him a hand full of oats then they untied him and proceeded to leave the courtyard via the main gate, leaving the gate wide open and the horse behind.

     

    Rikke climbed down the tower using some vines that had slowly over the years embedded themselves in the stonework. She wondered why the general had made it so easy for her escape and she honestly felt like she could just walk out if she wanted to. A single high pitched sound echoed across the yard as she whistled out a note. Midnight, her horse, immediately came towards her as she ran to him. Jumping up, she mounted him then they turned and slowly trotted to the gate. Suddenly soldiers poured into the courtyard from every direction as alarm bells rang out, every direction that is except the gate itself. She dug her hells in as Midnight broke into a run.

     

    They galloped away from the pursuing mass of guards and entered the streets. She tugged on the reins as the general shouted out.

    “Shoot her! Bring her down”. But to her surprise not one arrow was fired. She rode past him as his side stepped, allowing her safe passage. Within moments she was approaching Solitudes main gates. 

     

    She was surprised yet again by a supply wagon which had tipped over in the gateway, partially blocking her path. As soldiers tried to move the wagon she realised at once that the main gate couldn’t be close; it was stuck open. She spurred on her horse and they bolted as fast as they could.

    “Come on baby, don’t let me down”. She whispered to midnight. He snorted loudly as if to reassure her then he sped up as he galloped as fast as he could and headed directly towards the cart. Rikke held her breath as he jumped at the cart only just managing to gain the height to leap over it but with a pounding of hooves he had cleared it and they were running down the mountain side towards freedom and a life on the run. She turned back to see if anyone was following but there was no one, they had got cleanly away.

     

    “What the hell am I supposed to do?” She stated as she looked around the terrain. She spoke loudly as she tried to raise her spirits up. “Sotek, you bastard! Where the hell have you got to? Where in oblivion will you go?” Spurring on her horse, she turned south and proceeded to head towards Whiterun and the plains. 

     

    By the time Aela had awakened, it was dark.  Night had set in but with it the coldness of the mountains. Despite this, she felt hot sweaty and shaky as she tried to remember exactly what had happened. Pulling off the fur that had up to now covered her, she gazed down at her foot expecting her ankle to be misshapen and the pain to return with a vengeance. But instead her foot looked fine; the skin was somewhat red around her ankle but other than that her foot was ok. Besides her she saw her boots laid out along with her armor. She found herself laying there with one of Sotek’s shirts on. She sat up then just stared at her toes as she wriggled them, still expecting pain to set in. 

     

    “Hey, are you ok?” Sotek asked as he fed the fire some more wood. He bought over several plants which he had just collected, and then he started chewing on them. After several seconds he spat out the plants into his hand and covered her ankle with the chewed up paste.  

     

    Aela cringed, initially from the look of the gunk but then she also flinched from the pain as he rubbed in the plants. Her ankle started warming up as the plants began to work on her injury and penetrate the skin.

    “That’s gross! Seriously, that’s just yuck”.  

     

    She then looked around at their surroundings. The two moons had started climbing as a mist started to form around them. Far to the northwest, in the skyline, the moonlight lit up the castle of solitude.

    “Where are we? Sorry, yes I’m ok, thanks for your help”. She said softly, giving him a smile. 

     

    Sotek looked across to her and smiled.

    “Thanks? You don’t need to give me thanks. You would do the same if it was me. Eat; then we’ve got to get you on your feet and see if you can use that ankle of yours”. He handed her a wooden plate with two cooked pieces of fish on it. “In answer to your question, we’re south of the marshes”. As he spoke, his voice trailed off. He ended up sitting quietly next to her while she ate. 

     

    She finished her meal then held his hand.

    “What aren’t you telling me?”

     

    He gave out a long drawn out sigh then took a deep breath as he tried to explain their predicament.

    “Aela, everything has gone upside down. My plans lay decimated and I can’t see a way out. I’m sorry”.  

     

    He sat there watching her hand, her fingers wrapped around his own as she tried to give what comfort she could.

    “This isn’t your fault. Oh Sotek, stop trying to control everything and stop trying to bear the load by yourself. We’re in this together. Let me help, share the load with me. You can fix this... no, we can fix this. All we need to do is be there for each other and we can make this right. The first thing we need to do is get word to the Harbinger, we’ll work out what to do from there”. 

     

    Sotek nodded then gave her a small smile. She smiled back at him, but then his smile turned into a sadistic one. As he spoke he pointed to her ankle.

    “Actually, the first thing we need to do is get you back on your feet”. 

     

    Aela looked down at her ankle; she looked back at Sotek then nodded.

    “Ok, let’s try this”. He got up then helped her up to her feet, or rather her foot, the injured one was dangling in the air a good few inches above the ground. She stood on the one foot shaking her head at him. “Sorry, I’m sorry I can’t. I can’t, it hurts; it’s going to hurt too much; I know it is. Damn it all”. She cursed, shouting out. 

     

    Sotek smiled reassuringly at her.

    “Come on, just try. Just gently ease it to the ground. Look, I got you. I won’t let you go”. 

     

    She grimaced at the sheer thought of it as she tried lowering her foot.

    “You won’t let go? You promise me?” 

     

    “Yes, come on”.

     

    She lowered her foot again. Just the ball of her foot touched the ground then she immediately pulled it up, shaking her head violently.

    “I can’t, I’m sorry I can’t. It hurts, I can’t; I’m not ready”. She pulled herself away from him and literally collapsed on the ground. She grabbed the fur and started wrapping it around herself as she fought back a few tears, all the while she stared at her foot. 

     

    Sotek gave a loud sigh causing her look up at him. She quickly turned away when he looked back at her.

    “It’s ok, we’ll work something out”. He stated, but inside, he knew they couldn’t stay where they were. “I’m going to look for a cave or something where it’s safer”. 

     

    “No! Damn it, help me up we’re in this together. Get me up”. Her voice was full of resolve as she grabbed hold of him, but the moment when she had to step on her foot, the resolve vanished, rapidly replaced by fear, pain, but most of all anger. “Damn it, no. You fucking bastard! Why the hell did I follow you up there? You cause nothing but grief and problems. Right now I should be at home in Jorrvaskr, safe and warm. Because of you, I’m stuck here like some bloody retard! Fuck off, go on, get out of here”. She picked up a stone and threatened to throw that at him as well. “Fuck off, go back to where you came from! Go on, scram! You’re like a bloody puppy without its bloody mother! Get out of here; I’m not your bitch of a mother, fuck off”. Aela snarled angrily leaving him little choice. Sadly, he turned around then left the camp and headed off into the night. 

     

    Aela moved closer to the fire then just sat there watching the surrounding area and quietly listened out for anyone or anything that could prove to be a danger. About an hour later she heard movement. It sounded like horses coming towards her position. She had thought about dousing the fire, but the flames gave her some comfort.

    “I’m here you bastards! Come on, where the hell are you, you Imperial bastards!”

     

    As she shouted out, she struggled to get to her feet. She still stood on her one foot while the injured one barely touched the floor. Suddenly a dead deer was thrown across the camp and landed near her, making her scream out with shock.

    “You fucking bastard! Sotek what the hell are you doing here? She shouted angrily as she hobbled towards the campfire just to see Scarface standing there in the shadows.  She breathed a sigh of relief as soon as she recognised him. “You made me jump, I’m sorry for earlier. I just lost my temper”.  

     

    Sotek changed back but kept his distance.

    “Lost your temper? Aela you’re always losing your bloody temper. I know your scared and in pain, but that don’t give you the right to lob bloody stones at me. We’re in this together, you remember that”. He stood there glaring at her for a few seconds but when Aela’s eyes showed how genuinely sorry she was, Sotek walked up to her and held her in his arms. “Forget it. At least you’re trying to walk. Red needs to eat and besides, with Red eating you never know it might actually help with your ankle”. 

     

    “What are we going to do?” 

     

    He gave her a quick kiss on the top of her head then ruffled her hair.

    “First off, Red needs to eat. Then we’ll head to Whiterun and see the Harbinger. Scarface is faster so he will carry you. Either way, we need to get to Whiterun and away from Solitude”. 

     

    “You messed my hair up you moron”. She stated, and then she started to laugh. She gazed down at the dead stag then changed. Red tested her leg walking on it but it gave her no pain at all. Within moments she started feeding off the dead stag, tearing great chunks off of it as she fed. 

     

    A few minutes later, Red walked several yards past the tree line where she listened out for any sign of movement. She sniffed at the air a few times, and then Sotek walked alongside her.

    “Imperials on horseback; several of them to the east and the west. We can’t stay here, we got to move”.  

     

    Aela changed back. She stood there next to him for several seconds while she enjoyed the taste of deer blood in her mouth; the taste and texture of the warm flesh.

    “Why?” 

     

    He looked around with surprise at her.

    “Pardon? What?”

     

    “Why do you put up with me? Seriously, I wouldn’t! I’m a bitch! But you do; why? What game are you playing?”

     

    “How do you expect me to answer that?” 

     

    “With honesty”. 

     

    Sotek smiled to himself then gave a slight chuckle.

    “Ok, how about this. It’s the sex, you’re a great screw”. 

     

    She stayed there for a few seconds taking in what he said until she looked at him standing there with a massive grin on his face.

    “You prick”. She said laughing. She threw a punch but he dodged it then he moved out of her range. 

     

    “Seriously, tell me why”. 

     

    “You’re my soul mate. You always have been and always will be, despite the imperials, the rebellion, Daedra. You’re me, a part of me, like I’m a part of you”. 

     

    She held him tight in her arms then gave him a long kiss.

    “Soul mates? It’s funny but it feels right. We are, aren’t we?” 

     

    He nodded slowly.

    “Yes, we always have been. Since birth, or rather since your birth and my hatching”. 

     

    With that Aela laughed.

    “I can imagine you being tiny. You’re trying to break through a shell. I’ve got visions of two feet breaking through it at the bottom then the whole shell lifting up and running along the ground into a rock”. 

     

    Sotek frowned but then he laughed as he pictured Aela as a baby.

    “Yess? Well I can see you crying for hours, wanting a feed. From your birth no one could walk around bare foot in case you crawled up to them and bit them on their toes”. 

     

    She laughed as she imagined the scene then she threw a punch at him catching him in the arm. She started beating him up, throwing several light punches at him, catching him in the arms and the chest. 

     

    “Oww, stop it. Mercy!” He couldn’t help but laugh as he pleaded with her to halt her assault.  

     

    “Say sorry!” She demanded, but he just shook his head. 

     

    “No! You kept trying to eat the children... Harbinger said so!” 

     

    “You bastard!” She increased the power she was hitting him. Her blows speeded up as well. “Say it! Say you’re sorry”. 

     

    “Never”. He shouted until Aela bit him on the tail, causing him to holler out. “Oww! Bloody hell that hurt! See? I knew you tried eating everyone”.

     

    With that he pushed her off. She sprawled on the ground then sat up, smiling at him.

    “I’m getting to like the taste of Argonian tail. You can sleep first tonight”. Then she evilly flashed her eyes at him.  

     

    He held his tail defensively.

    “Yea? Like hell I will”. Then he stroked his tail, making Aela laugh even more so. “There, there! You ignore the evil wolf child”. 

     

    She got up then looked around even more.

    “My ankles sore but I can walk on it. Come on; let’s get the hell out of here”. 

     

    Sotek transformed then Scarface slowly walked up to her, jokingly snapping at her backside.

    “Hey, you cut that out! That’s not funny”. She jumped up on his back then dug her heels into his sides and tried to spur him forwards. “Giddy up”.

     

    Instead of obeying her command, he turned to face her and growled. “Oh wow; you’re touchy aren’t you? Giddy up please?”

     

    He turned to face the front then suddenly shot off, throwing her off his back. She landed in a pile and began shouting at him.

    “You bastard you did that deliberately! Come here damn you”. She yelled out at him angrily but he wasn’t fazed in the lightest. He walked up to her smugly; giving her a wolfish grin which even she felt was a bit unsettling. “Don’t look at me like that, it’s scary”.

     

    Scarface stopped then lowered his shoulder, allowing her to get back on. She climbed on his back once again then gently dug her heels into his side.

    “Let’s get out of here”. He moved slowly forwards then rapidly gathered up speed. Soon enough they were well on their way heading towards the plains. 

     

    By early morning, Scarface had reached the plains. His pace had slowed considerably while Aela was sprawled out on his back. Her arms and legs hung over his perspective sides while she slept. The moment she started feeling tired he had slowed down enough for her to rest. He also changed their route considerably and he now took the smoother trails, allowing her to sleep as much as possible. The sun broke above the mountainside lighting up the plains like a flare but there was still a thick mist that covered the most of the plains towards the north. Scarface picked his pace up slightly, but after an hour or so the mist was gone.

     

    He crept along the tree lines as he saw Imperial riders cross the plains. Three horses came to rest where his and Red’s home were. The troops started pulling the camp apart then set light to the straw and within moments their home was decimated. He seethed in anger as he smelt the column of smoke but he moved away before Aela awoke and noticed.  

     

    Soon enough they reached the old bandit lair, Halted Stream Camp. Sotek had initially thought about holding up there but with the presence of the guard tower nearby, he decided against it. Scarface trotted past, ignoring it as a possible refuge when Aela started waking up as the sun gathered warmth.

     

    She slid off his back and landed squarely on her feet.

    “How the hell did we get here? You poor bastard, you ran all bloody night didn’t you?” She walked along his body up to his shoulder, gently feeling the fur on his back with her hand, and then she hugged him around the neck. “So what’s the plan? We can’t stay here”. 

     

    Sotek changed back. He stood right up and stretched, out, loosening his joints and muscles.

    “Oh wow, head rush”.

     

    As he started to topple, Aela grabbed him and helped support him.  

    “You need to rest up. Where the hell are we going to go?” 

     

    He gave her a sneaky smile.

    “Oh I know where, but the real question is; how are we going to tell the Harbinger?” Sotek led her away from the camp and headed towards Whiterun’s northern wall. From there they followed it as close to it as they could, using the eastern rock face of Whiterun’s plateau for cover. On three separate occasions they had to hide as imperial troops rode past, scouring the landscape for them. After a good few hours they arrived at a cave leading under Whiterun.

     

    Aela looked at it completely confused.

    “How the hell did you know about this? I never knew it was here! Where does it go?”  

     

    “Climb the ladder and you will see”. Taking point, he led her inside. The tunnel they found themselves in smelt dry, and were surprisingly clean. Aela couldn’t see any trace of fungi or remains in the tunnel what so ever. Within a few minutes they saw some unlit torches.

     

    Aela sniffed the air once more and struggled with what her senses were telling her. Everything told her where she was but she couldn’t believe it. When she saw the shrine bases she knew. There was her small statue of Hircine and what looked like a stone bowl.

    “Oh crap! We’re here, Hircine’s shrine? We can’t stay here, it’s not safe”. 

     

    Sotek laughed quietly.

    “Of course it’s safe, it’s Hircine’s shrine. Unless you’ve upset him lately, if not then it’s perfect. Now all we got to do is somehow let the Harbinger know where we are”. He opened his backpack and produced a piece of parchment, and then he dug out a piece of charcoal. “Any idea what to write?” 

     

    She shook her head blankly.

    “Nope but we have to be careful; who knows who may find it”. 

     

    He thought for several seconds then started scribbling. In no time at all he had finished.

    “There! That should do it”. 

     

    She laughed quietly.

    “Ok you smug bastard, answer me this. How are we going to give him the note?”

     

    “Simple”. He smirked, gloating at his plan, “We wrap it around a rock and throw it at him, or rather throw it over the wall”. 

     

    She snatched the note from him and picked up a small rock.

    “I’ll throw it! You’ll probably get it stuck in the guttering”. Then they headed back outside.

     

    She stood near the wall and threw it, but she threw far harder than she intended. All they could do was watch as it cleared the roof of Jorrvaskr and flew across Whiterun. Moments later they both heard a shout from Heimskr, the Talos priest.

    "Oi!  That bloody hurt! You kids; stop throwing rocks”. 

     

    One of the young street urchins protested.

    “We didn’t throw anything”. 

     

    As he shouted at them he pointed to the rock.

    “Oh no? Then what is this?” Only then did he notice the parchment wrapped around it. “Oh my! What is it?” He unwrapped the note from the stone and read it. After confusingly scratching his head, he made his way to Jorrvaskr, holding the parchment in his hand. Heimskr knocked on the door then opened it as he called out. “Ermm Harbinger? Kodlak? Are you here?”

     

     

Comments

3 Comments   |   The Wolf Of Atmora and 5 others like this.
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  August 18
    "She dug her [heels] in as Midnight broke into a run."

    "Within moments she was approaching [Solitude's] main gates."



    Well at least it hit Heimskr and not some guard, I highly doubt he'd give it to Imperial s...  more
  • Aela The Huntress
    Aela The Huntress   ·  July 22
    Hahaha.... You can see the paper just before it hits him...
    • The Lorc of Flowers
      The Lorc of Flowers
      Aela The Huntress
      Aela The Huntress
      Aela The Huntress
      Hahaha.... You can see the paper just before it hits him...
        ·  July 26
      You can shoot but when will you learn to throw? :D