|the Quest of Catmandu (standard:fantasy, 5692 words) [5/6] show all parts|
|Author: nightshade||Added: Jan 29 2001||Views/Reads: 1777/1043||Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|deliverance and celebration|
The Quest of Catmandu chapter 5 by nightshade and chris dahl Everyone had been preoccupied, even the cubs, and no-one saw the arrival of the crafts until splashes were heard as anchors were dropped into the water. what the Tiger clan saw was unbelieveable...four enormous, wooden crafts with Karo and Rhachyl waving from two of them. Chevelle, and her mate Chodac, ruddered the other two vessels and had just disembarked in time to swim alongside their partners to the dock. a final check was made on all neccessary details and the crowd was soon swimming with the four rudder operators back out to the arks, leaving four standing on the dock to see to the landing. the arks were loaded in quick succession, the gate at the dock being closed when one ark would reach its capacity, to wait for the next ark to move up. first problem: after the first ark was loaded, the eight paddlers on board got the propellers in operation but the weight of the cargo was too much to move...the props too slow. it would take everyone from all four arks to move one. with the exception of Charval and the four individuals on the dock, everyone moved to the one vessel...and success was achieved in moving the floating behemoth. the other three arks were loaded as quickly as possible, the fourth vessel having to accomodate the loads of cut meat which were kept in burlap bags ans chilled with ice from the deepest cave in their half of the Catear mountains. time was of the essence, because the meat would not last long once the ice melted. they had to get the meat to the Cheetahs soon, and no-one but the four who came over in the first place knew how the distance would be spanned so quickly. Chevelle had explained to Shae how the small boats were pulled by dolphins, and Shae listened in shocked amazement, barely daring to believe her ears. Oren was listening as well. "you can get fish to pull you?" she asked "they're not fish, child," Chevelle responded gently "they're dolphins." Yantar had overheard and couldn't believe what she'd heard. "i thought dolphins were extinct." she pondered. "well, they're obviously not." Parnak said. "let Chevelle tel you about it later, after our work is done." once everything was properly secured and locked down, they all waited for Charval to join them. she was enduring morning sickness now and had retreated to an outcrop of beach sand and rocks thet his her from view. it took a short while for her to overcome this bout, and she was soon to join the rest of the party. morning sickness was the only ailment that women of this time had to endure for a positive purpose. many seemed to find it humorous and joyful, but Charval didn't find it funny at all. as the young bodyguard settled into her seat, Shae appeared Chevelle with a strong concern. "how can your dolphins possibly manage to move these arks?" "who said i'd use dolphins to pul these wooden monsters?" "you're saying you're not?" Parnak asked. "no, too small," Chevelle responded. "well, what then?" the princess wondered. "i'll tell you, just do me a favor first." "alright." "just tell everyone not to get scared and fall off the arks when they see how i will." everyone was soon alerted and ready to see Chevelle's method come to light. from under her rudder seat, she produced the oddest sea shell Shae had ever seen. it was eerily shaped...like a whale. even more unsettling was the the fact that when Chevelle blew through it...the sound was a perfect imitation of one of the giant underwater rulers. after a couple of melodic repititons, the waters of Emerald strait began bubbling and seething at a mammoth proportion some fifty yards from the bows of the large crafts. everyone in the Tiger clan was frozen by seeing four monolithic humpback whales surface and spout through their blowholes some fifty feet high. the next move by Chevelle and Chodac made some of Shae's clan scream while others stared in paralyzed disbelief. the man and woman stepped up onto the bow and dove off, swimming towards the gentle giants, by now a mere forty yards away. Shaw was petrified at the spectacle while she watched the two Cheetahs submerge, leaving the onlookers to wonder what they were doing and hoping they they weren't committing suicide. after a couple of minutes of tense waiting, the Cheetah ambassador and her mate came up and sucked in air before swimming back towards the arks. the Tiger princess was more relaxed now, though her feet still shuffled around a little. it wasn't until she looked straight down that she answered another question that Click here to read the rest of this story (447 more lines)
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