U.O.T.W. Chapter 264 An Officer and a Rogue

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    Scarface rapidly closed in on Red. She ran as hard as she could but her hind leg was slowing her down. With just a few seconds gap she swiped out with a paw, claws tore into flesh as she lost her footing and tumbled to the ground.

     

    Thanks to Red, Scarface saw his chance. He leapt over Red who fell hard to the ground then brutally bit out, attacking the neck of his target. His fangs bit deep into the tissue and muscle as he tore as much flesh and fur as he could. He swiped out at the chest three times. Each blow smashing through bone and fur with equal ease. Seconds later the sabre cat fell to the ground by Scarface’s feet, dead.

     

    Two minutes before, it was the hunter until it unwisely decided on Red as its next meal. It struck out at Red’s hind leg, marking her for its kill, utterly failing to see her for the threat she really was.

     

    Scarface tore open the chest then dragged the carcase over to Red who had by now got to her feet. She hobbled over to the dead sabre cat while Scarface watched her carefully. Red ripped into the body hungrily eating any flesh she could rip off. The wound in her hind leg started to heal over due to Red’s frenzied feeding.

     

    She got back up to her hind legs then howled out across the plains. Scarface walked just behind her as he howled out with her, their two voices echoing across the plains as one. Moments later, sensing they were near their home, Red broke into a run. She knew it was destroyed but she had to see it. She had to know how bad the damage was.

     

    As they approached, Red was expecting to see nothing but ash and debris but as they neared it she made out several skin screens. Four of them positioned just under the eastern side of the outcrop. She saw the fish rack set out by the stream as well. As she entered the camp she passed the laid-out campfire, unlike last time this one had stone boulders set around the fires perimeter. But best of all she saw the straw laid out for bedding. She dropped to all fours and walked over the straw. She was further surprised when she found that the ground had been levelled. Where before she could feel the slant of the earth beneath her paws and indeed sometimes find herself at the bottom of the slope, this time it was flattened out.

     

    She laid down smiling as Scarface walked on his four paws behind her, he laid on his side and rested his hind leg and front paw on her. This caused her to back into him so she could feel his torso behind her, then she stretched right out and rolled on her back. She tucked her head under Scarface’s chin as he held her, then they closed their eyes and slept.

     

    As Vilkas and Rikke entered the plains, Vilkas felt he had to get something off his chest.

    “Rikke stop here for a moment, I need to explain something to you”.

     

    “Ah, is this where you tell me you’re not interested in me? Or that it was great but it was just a bit of fun? Or what?”

     

    “What? No, I ermm… I’m sorry, I’m sorry about how Farkas and I reacted, we ermm. We don’t keep secrets from one another. When we were younger we were rescued by someone, it doesn’t matter who. What matters is we can depend on each other. It was a bit of a shock for us both to find out that the other one was seeing someone on the quiet”.

     

    Rikke stopped dead in her tracks.

    “Oh by the Emperor… by the Eight, are you saying that you want to see me?”

     

    Vilkas’s eyes went wide and he shook his head.

    “What? No, no I don’t I ermm... Yea I guess, yes, I do. I’d love to see you again”.

     

    “Oh wow, I ermm yea. I’d like to see you again as well. It felt good being able to talk to someone about weapons and fighting, at the same time being held in their arms, your arms”.

     

    Vilkas walked over to her, then gingerly placed his hands on her waist and pulled her gently towards him.

    “So ermm, we’re nothing serious, but ermm”.

     

    Rikke smiled to herself she could see he was struggling.

    “Friends with benefits? But I can’t do this if you’re seeing other girls, I just can’t and it’s not fair to ask you that”.

     

    Vilkas closed his eyes weighing his words carefully.

    “No, that I can understand, I can do that. We’re just casual, but we don’t see anyone else. But at the same time, no one else knows about us. Let’s just see how we go before we complicate things”.

     

    The next second Rikke leaned up to him and gave him a kiss, his eyes shot open as his hands gripped her tighter. Rikke’s own hands reached up and held his cheeks as she kissed him a second time. She broke off as she panted trying to get her breath back.

    “Oh cripes, ermm yea, come on we got to get to the fort. Look at the defences, whatever”.

     

    Soon afterwards Fort Greymoor came into view, however the more Vilkas looked at it the less impressed he was. By the time they actually got to the gate, he had already seen enough.

    “By the bloody Nine, it’s not a fort, it’s a rat trap”.

     

    “Oh, it’s a bit run down but…” Rikke stated defensively.

     

    “Run down? It needs knocking down and starting again”. The moment he spoke he noticed a change in her whole attitude. “Aww rats, come on we’ll sort it”.

     

    Over the next few hours fortified barricades were erected to cover the main entrance while the ramparts were fortified. Vilkas stopped, then just stared at the stables. “What the hell happened with that? It looks like a mammoth ran through it”.

     

    “Ahh yes! That was Scarface actually”.

     

    Vilkas chuckled to himself.

    “He certainly gets around”.

     

    “Yea, he scrambled over the wall”. As she spoke she pointed to the north wall.

     

    He looked at the fortified stonewall and nooded.

    “Yea, he’s got a habit of doing that. Still, I can’t see any Stormcloaks climbing over. If they did attack it would be from the entrance. Same with the bandits, but you got at least twenty soldiers now, bandits will stay clear of the place”.

     

    Hours later the sun started setting across the plains, Rikke gave him a smile as she tugged his arm.

    “Come on let’s eat, I’ll show you my quarters”.

     

    Vilkas gave a sneaky chuckle.

    I’ve already seen your quarters but I’m always up for another look”.

     

    Oi, not here in front of the men”. She bashfully whispered.

     

    That night Rikke checked on the sentries. While she walked along the ramparts Vilkas entered the courtyard. He sat on some stone steps as he watched her talking to the men and women which formed her garrison. He noticed a young Imperial girl who brandished a two handed sword. She was sitting by the forge sharpening the edge of her blade. He couldn’t help but notice despite she was young, she had the muscle to wield the broadsword. He got up then casually walked over.

    “You know how to use that?”

     

    She never looked up at him, instead she just carried on with the sharpening stone.

    “You’re Vilkas, a Companion of Whiterun are you not? We’ve watched you with Legate Rikke! You should be aware she’s our commander, she’s well liked and respected. You screwing her is one thing, but screw her over, then we all get involved. We know you’re a player, the maids talk about you”.

     

    Vilkas was completely unfazed.

     “Well I’m not entirely sure how to respond to that, except maybe see if you tell an empty bluff, or whether you can actually carry out the threat”.

     

    She looked casually up at him then simply tossed the stone aside.

    “See? You’re dancing with someone else already”. Then she got up and formed her stance. “You first”.

     

    Vilkas drew his sword and swished it around in an arc a few times, Rikke looked down at them from the ramparts.

    “Careful Vilkas, she’s a feisty one”.

     

    He smirked as he saw Rikke watching.

    “Naa she’s nought but a Imperial puppy, I’ve trained with a real bitch”.

     

    The Imperial swung her sword twice over her head in a long arc then advanced on his position. Vilkas’s sword came up to meet her blade head on. Seconds later metal clashed against metal as they both probed each other’s defences. She swung a feint attack towards Vilkas’s leg which he fell for, a second later her fist smacked him right in the mouth splitting his lip.

     

    Vilkas spit out some blood onto the courtyard floor then prepared to attack again.

    “Got you! It would seem the Nord warriors are just simple mutts”.

     

    “Yea? Now it’s my turn”. He swung his sword in a downward arc, smashing into her sword as fast and as hard as he could. Before she could recover, he hit her a second time then a third. Her leg gave way as she found herself kneeling on the floor. Seconds later, Vilkas’s hefty boot kicked out at her shoulder, knocking her on her back as her sword clanged on to the ground. Vilkas leaned over her and smugly smiled.

    “High and mighty Imperial sitting in the dust. Come on, grab my hand”.

     

    He helped her up as Rikke picked up her sword.

    “Don’t curse yourself. He nearly beat me too, you did well”.

     

    Vilkas mockingly glared at her.

    “What do you mean nearly? I had you on your ass”.

     

    Rikke scoffed at him.

    “You would like to. Follow me”. With that she led him inside.

     

    The next morning a few hours after dawn, Red woke up. She stretched out then snarled quietly, as she looked around at her surroundings. Out on the plains she could sense a small wolf pack hunting. She made her way on all fours through the camp stealthily as so not to disturb Scarface who was still sleeping then once she again stretched out her hind legs. Moments later her paws hammered across the shrubs and grassland as she joined in the hunt.

     

    Two wolves were rapidly gaining on a young deer when out of nowhere, Red charged in and savagely attacked the lead wolf. It gave out a small cry as Red’s claws and fangs tore into it, bringing it crashing to the ground, kicking up dust as it fell. A second later Red fed off her prey, tearing at its legs as she ate. She rose to her full height then carried off her prey as she headed back to her lair.

     

    Scarface was still asleep as Red approached the camp. She threw down the dead wolf by the campfire then looked around the camp once more. Moments later Aela changed back. She took in the complete set up of the camp but she struggled to work out when he could have sorted it out. Then she remembered Sotek gave Farkas a thousand gold.

    “That bastard bought a maid here, the bloody Rat I’ll kill him. Damn it; I blamed it on Sotek”.

     

    Just at that moment Scarface stirred, he rolled on his side, lifted his head up slightly as he looked over to Aela, but seconds after his head hit the straw with a thump. He just laid there staring glass eyed at her. Aela smirked as she watched him.

    “Hey, you hungry? There’s food here… wolf. You love wolf”.

     

    She took hold of what was remaining of the wolf by the hind leg but she struggled to drag it across. Scarface watched her with minimal fascination then groggily he rose on all fours then slowly he made his way to the wolf. Scarface slumped down then slowly started chewing on a leg but Aela couldn’t get the idea out of her head that he just couldn’t be bothered to put in the effort for the meal. “Hey, eat faster, I’m not feeding it to you”. She started showing some concern with his apparent lack of apatite. Aela walked up to him, then tilted his head to her face so she could look into his eyes. She was expecting some subtle change but they shone with their usual emerald green intensity.

     

    Scarface slowly plodded over to the bed then slumped down. Sotek transformed then stretched out.

    “Thanks for the breakfast”.

     

    Aela headed over to him, she still felt some concern.

    “You’re welcome. Scarface never ate much, are you two ok?” Sotek just nodded then laid on his back and looked out across the plains. Aela knelt next to him and felt his temple. “Oh, you feel fine. Are you sure you’re ok?”

     

    He gave her a simple ‘yes’ then he pulled her on top of him as he wrapped his arms around her.

    “I can’t help but wonder if Scarface eating last night made a difference. Let’s have a lazy day. Why don’t we just rest here for a while. Look, over there”. He pointed to three deer in the distance they were grazing on the grass as they slowly made their way towards the east.

     

    Aela gave herself a sneaky grin.

    “Ok, lets lay here and be lazy. We can talk instead”.

     

    “What about?”

     

    “Oh, how about why did you give Farkas the thousand gold? What was it Farkas did? Why was Scarface so anti with him? And what I will do with my dagger if I think you’re lying!” Just to show that she meant business, Aela pulled out her dagger then started stroking Sotek’s tail with it.

     

    He eyed the dagger nervously while his tail twitched.

    “On second thoughts, Scarface would love a run across the plains with Red. You want a head start?”

     

    “Sotek, start squealing”.

     

    Sotek sat up then held her against his chest then he pulled his tail away from her. As he leant down and kissed the top of her head, he whispered.

    Aela, I need you to trust me. Bringing this up won’t help anyone or anything. You have to trust me and let it go, it’s best for everyone. Just be happy that Red’s home is safe and secure”.

     

    Aela turned to face him.

    “But it’s not though, is it? They can come back and burn it down any time they like”.

     

    Sotek gave a sigh, he held her tight, reassuring her.

    “No they can’t, I’m protecting it. What I need however is for you to trust me and leave things alone”.

     

    Aela looked around the camp, she huffed a bit then turned to face him, “Fine, I’ll leave it to you and I presume you don’t want me saying anything to Farkas?”

     

    “Exactly, you just have to trust me. It’s for the best”.

     

    Just at that moment, Vilkas called out to them both.

    “What’s for the best?”

     

    “Oh, just the layout of the camp”. Sotek replied as quick as he could.

     

    “You want any breakfast?” Aela called out as she mischievously eyed up the dead wolf.

     

    Vilkas came over and sat by the fire.

    “No thanks; I’ve eaten at the fort”. He stated it as a matter of fact as he tapped his stomach contently, unbeknown to him just how fortunate enough he was to be spared the dead wolf’s contribution to the next meal.

     

    Aela gave a slight smile as she looked across to him.

    “So… you stayed at the fort last night then”.

     

    “Yea we ermm, we had to fortify the defences. Oh yes, Scarface’s demolition skills with the stables? Very impressive”.

     

    Sotek smirked at him.

    “Oh, you saw that did you? It was an impulse kind of thing. I can’t wait to try it out at Jorrvaskr”.

     

    “Like hell you will”. Aela snapped. “Anyway, as you don’t want breakfast I suggest we all move on back to Jorrvaskr. We can take our time if we leave now”.

     

    As Sotek and Aela got up, Vilkas looked around the camp somewhat confusingly.

    “I thought this place was burned out?”

     

    Aela stared at Sotek for a few seconds and nodded.

    “It was but Sotek and Farkas arranged it. Don’t ask me how or why or anything, I don’t know and I’ve been warned off; so!”

     

    Vilkas noticed the carcase of the wolf lying there and smirked.

    “Well, at least Red’s eaten or Scarface has as well and he now chews through bones nowadays”.

     

    “Oh, very funny”. Sotek sneered. “Come on you can help with the body, we can’t leave it there”.

     

    Once Sotek and Vilkas disposed of the corpse, Aela called out to them. “Fifty gold I beat you to the gate, no Scarface or Red”. Then without another word she started running as fast as she could across the plains. Sotek started running behind her and the next second Aela heard Sotek shout.

    “Wuld Nah”. He shot forwards, overtaking her.

     

    “OI! You slimy reptile! That’s cheating”. Gradually over the next few minutes Aela managed to catch him up. He realised that she was up with him when two hands grabbed hold of his tail and started pulling him back.

     

     

Comments

1 Comment   |   Shy Knight of the Shovel and 3 others like this.
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  August 19
    "unlike last time this one had stone boulders set around the [fire's] perimeter."

    “Ok, [let's] lay here and be lazy. We can talk instead”.



    Is that imperial girl someone from the main game or a character you made up?