I am sorry but I CAN’T imagine wrting about cowboys and such so I decided to ignore the picture (I know, bad anachronist!) and give you a glimpse of Grarron for the thrid time:
Grarron knew he had just a few moments to save his life. He tore his shirt and took out a pendant made of some strangely twisted bones. He held it high for the cat-woman to see.
“Look carefully here you she-devil, just look at it! It is the protection token which I got from your Pack Lord!! You can’t kill me! Do you understand? You can’t!! I am protected!!!”
The woman froze in the middle of a fine thrust, her eyes transfixed by the pendant. She recognized it instantly but she could hardly believe it. Adjusting her plans to the new development took her just a few seconds, though.
“Very well, king Grarron. I recognize the token and I won’t kill you but I won’t leave you in peace either. You will have to accompany me – my Pack Lord himself will decide how to deal with you.”
Before Grarron could react he had his hands tightly bound behind and his mouth gagged, his royal cloak wrapped tightly around his head. Next second or two, he was carried like a sack of potatoes on the woman’s back. Like every mutant, his kidnapper was freakishly strong so she handled her hostage as if he weighted as much as a kitten. She exited through a window, like a real cat, and progressed jumping from one roof to the other. People were gawping and shouting but nobody dared to stop the woman. Archers could have shot her but they were afraid they might hurt their king in the process. Accidents do happen. Grarron never felt more uncomfortable or more ashamed. Taken from his own palace by one single woman…carried like a wounded animal on somebody’s back…it was just a beginning, though.
The journey to the Pack Lord’s lair was one horrible nightmare. Grarron has been a soldier all his adult life and he knew everything about hardships of traveling in difficult terrain but it was beyond any of his previous escapades. He was carried first, often unconscious, and then forced to follow the woman on foot or all fours. She never talked to him, just prodding or slapping his head to make him go faster, but she never let him alone either, not even when he had to relieve himself. It was humiliating to the extreme. In order to keep him alive she gave him scraps of raw meat and allowed him to lap water from rivers and brooks. At first he refused to eat meat which, being still warm and bloody, made him nauseous but after a day or two of a really exhausting trek he was ravenous enough to be tempted – in fact he would have eaten even his own flesh.
They could hear their pursuers for some days but it was a false hope. Even the best scouts couldn’t have dreamt of matching the speed and skills of a mutant. Then Grarron heard only silence. The woman could hide her trails and those of her prey very efficiently. In order to prevent Grarron’s escape the she-devil bound him every single night and hanged on trees or buried in heaps of leaves, with his mouth gagged, exposed to chill and rain. Insects crawled on his body, biting and stinging painfully. After a week he was barely alive, a shadow of his former self – a dirty, smelly bundle of rags with stubble covering his haggard face and cuts and bruises everywhere. Nobody would recognize him as the proud, handsome king Grarron now. Still in his eyes simmered anger and resistance – he decided to survive just to make her pay for the torment. And return to the throne. As soon as possible.