Chapter 32. When You Know When Things Go Wrong

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Now what were the chances that this earring would just suddenly appear behind him on its own? Not good Maverick reasoned. He knew that he shouldn’t turn around, but in theory he should be just as or even stronger than an average Kali.

Not only had he turned into one of the freaks but the grey was built like a tank. He should be able to beat the living shit out of this thing. In theory.

Maverick spun around and entered a Bruce Lee stance.

At first he thought he was looking at a mountain. It, because Maverick couldn’t think of a better name for the thing he was looking at. Was the size a London double decker bus. It was in the rough shape of a cat, though it was hard to tell what exactly it was because it was covered in mud and burnt scar tissue.

The thing looked like it had bathed in acid, or its mother had an affair with Freddy Krueger. What fur it had was in small chunks, half its tail was gone, and the only way to identify this as a cat was that it still had its ears.

This thing was a cat in the same way that John Howard could be called a human. It was only with a DNA report and even then the results would be sketchy.

But what truly unhinge Maverick was how utterly silent the beast was. He had been momentarily distracted by the kitten’s death, but the thing had closed the distance of a block, had walked through the shittiest, wettest piece of swamp and it had done it without making a sound.

“Um, hello.” Maverick said. Not losing sight of the cat, Maverick checked his map and wanted to groan.

It looked as if the map prioritized dots. So a yellow dot was more important than a red dot, and so you only saw the yellow dot, never mind if the thing it was attached to fucking Godzilla.

Not wanting to talk, the cat took a swing at Maverick. It was stupidly fast for its size.

Maverick’s body moved independently to his body. His hands reached out for Tabore’s paw and treated it like the turn stiles at an train station, jumping over it like Spider-man. As he was in the air, Maverick caught the sight of something that glinted in the cat’s left ear.

Name: Earring of the Beast

Item Jewelry

Designer: PE0uchs2

Description: This silver earring contains the crystallized blood of a moloth worm. Creatures of the material plain wearing this object become larger and stronger the more aggressive they are.

Maverick was momentarily stunned at his own action. He had just dodged Hulk-Cat.

“Why is cub on Tabore’s territory?” Tabore growled.

There was something really off about this cat besides the fricken’ scale of him. It was in its eyes. Maverick had seen a few blokes like that before, typical junkies who had destroyed they sinuses snorting cocaine that they had cut with all kinds of fucked up shit.

What Maverick was dealing with was a fucking landmine on legs.

Talking his way out of this was going to do shit, this fucker wanted to go off.

Still, he tried, “Nothing, what are you doing?” Maverick said casually like he was dealing with his school mates.

Not happy that Maverick was not giving showing him proper respect, Tabore roared and snarled at the impudent whelp.

Maverick was trying really hard not to let that cup of coffee he had earlier run down his legs. Now he wished he grabbed Driver’s shotgun. Just why hadn’t he got the slug to teleport him back to any army base in the world and just pinched some G.I. Joe’s stash?

Why the hell had he come back to this death trap without so much as a toothpick?

Thinking that he stepped in a superhero movie, Maverick leaned forward and awkwardly punched Tabore in the chest. The Kali looked down and gave Maverick a curious look, as if he could not believe that this gnat had the balls to strike him.

Then, the huge cat exploded. There was the popping and crunching of muscle as the enormous cat defied physics and grew. Now its head was so ridiculously large that Tabore could swallow Maverick whole.

“Shit.” Maverick said. It had just occurred to him that he was not Spiderman and that he had just punched a big arse lion.

That was something for the bucket list.

The rational move was to run but some part of Maverick’s mind told him that would be a mistake. The Kali would just let him get far enough to swat down again, it would chase him down and treat him like a happy meal toy. He needed to try something else.

His eyes turned to the Kali’s left ear. The earring was buried somewhere underneath the cat’s fur. Maverick was certain that if he just got that earring the cat would be less of a threat.

The the rational part of his brain told Maverick that even if he got the earring out that he would still be playing tag with a bloody lion. But what did fucking logic have to do with this situation?

Reverting to primary school tactics, Maverick picked up a handful of muddy filth and flung it right at Tabore’s eye, because that is what you do when faced with a massive lion.

“Reeeeyowwwww.” Screamed the mud missile.

Wait, mud doesn’t scream. Maverick thought.

It just so happened that Scratch-Ear had also encountered Tabore on his travels to find his village, and when confronted with the mammoth lion had buried himself under a rancid corpse to mask his smell. It had worked, right until Maverick had thrown the kitten.

Tabore let out a pained wail as Scratch-Ear clawed at his face. He stood on his hind legs but it was a mistake. Even if his body didn’t obey the law of conservation of mass, gravity was still a bitch. Tabore sunk into the mud, going right into his ankles; and without support his legs shook under his own weight.

Amazed at what he was seeing, Maverick was momentarily stunned. This time he really did contemplate running his arse off, but the cat was still a problem. Maverick could run for an hour and, at Tabore’s current size all it would be like two steps and the Kali would step on him.

Praying, Maverick raised his voice so that Scratch-Ear could hear him, “Get the earring,”

Scratching the shit out of Tabore’s face, Scratch-Ear wasn’t in the mood to take advice. The small Damu-Sarmi was not in his happy place.

“Get the fucking… Oh, good lord.” Maverick sighed. It was like trying to command his DVD player to make him popcorn.

As Tabore’s hairy balls waved right in front of Maverick, and the neutered teen felt a stab of jealousy, a thought tapped Maverick on the shoulder. He looked around and grabbed the biggest rock he could find. Taking aim, he hurled the bloody thing right at Tabore’s furry nuggets.

Tabore howled in pain and dropped like a tree. He grabbed his bludgeoned sack and glared hatefully at Maverick.

Maverick had a front row seat as Tabore’s sized almost doubled. Now the cat looked like something out of God of War. Scratch-Ear was now a faint memory to the giant, his focus was solely on fucking up Maverick’s day.

With God of War still stuck in his head, Maverick aimed for a tangle of Tabore’s fur and shouted out, “THIS IS SPARTA!”

Whatever plan that Maverick had was cut short when Tabore caught Maverick in mid-air with a speed that should not belong to a creature of his size.

Maverick knew his mistake immediately. He wasn’t an action hero, he was just some stupid piss-ant who had let his adrenaline do the talking for him.

Firmly grasped in Tabore’s scared hands, the air abandoned Maverick’s lungs as a grinning Tabore’s squeezed him. Maverick heard the sound of his muscles braking, his eyes nearly popped from his his skull as the pressure behind them wanted release. Tabore squeezed just that fraction more and Maverick could feel warm shit travel down his leg.

This time there was no fight to stay conscious and alert, Maverick’s world turned to blissful darkness.

Tabore shook his head and Scratch-Ear fell to the mud. Another human would have died or got his back broken from the height, but the cat’s natural biology cushioned the impact. The kitten stared up at the monster in horror, unlike Maverick the little Damu-Sarmi had no delusions, he ran.

The giant cat saw the Scratch-Ear flee and his smile grew, it had been a while since he had a good chase.

His anger slipping away, Tabore shank by forty centimeters. It wasn’t noticeable change due to him being the size of a factory, but it was a start.

Tabore turned his fierce eyes on Maverick and he opened his mouth. He had never bitten off the head of one of his own kind before and he wondered if it would sound different.

Tabore drew the unconscious Maverick into his mouth and howled in pain. Tabore tasted his own blood, the whelp had just bitten off the tip of his tongue.

Maverick’s eyes darted open, but Maverick was no longer there. Instead, the cold and alien eyes of a creature that was more beast than man was in control. T’Chull’s murder was back.

There was a roar of pain as Tabore mourned at the loss of his tongue meat and roared again as the creature within Maverick bit a chunk of his finger off. He let Maverick go.

There was a wet slap as Maverick hit the mud. As Tabore cried and growled, the alien spirit within Maverick began to manipulate its muscles; putting the bones back into place by sheer will and effort.

To not confuse you readers we will refer the presence within Maverick as the Alien.

By the time that Tabore forgot about the pain and concentrated on his hate for the whelp who had wounded him. The Alien was already on its feet, its broken arms hanging by its size, unbothered by the pain it had to be feeling.

More savage than grace, Tabore charged for the Alien. From standing position the Alien flipped back like a gymnast crossed with a grasshopper on crack.

Tabore let out a growl and looked down at his arm to see that the Alien had taken another chunk out of him. Tabore’s eyes became slits as he watched the Alien swallow his meat without chewing.

And so it began. The massive Tabore against the Alien. It should have ended quickly but Tabore’s size was getting in the way. The Alien swayed just out of reach, causally nipping at Tabore and devouring mouthfuls of bloody meat.

As the alien ate and ate, its body not only began to heal but also began to take on aspects of Tabore. It began to grow, further enhancing his balance and speed. Its muscles grew and its silver mane turning from grizzled crew cut into a grand silver mullet.

After snagging enough meat for several rolls, the Alien was back in the peak of physical condition and it only got faster and stronger.

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