Chapter 31. The Dinner

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As much as Sydney disliked it, Maverick did get twelve hours rest in the office where he had met Scratch-Ear. It had been a bitch trying to get comfortable but the carpet had been pleasant enough to pass out on.

In return for the rest, Maverick had to help Driver with his deliveries to make up for the other times that Driver had to save Maverick’s life. The blood sucking Sydney was a whole other breed of scrooge.

Sydney’s work ethics sucked but it gave Driver an opportunity to drop Maverick off at a universe where only thing in existence was a 1950’s American dinner.

Maverick had nearly cried and name his first born after the disgusting slug when Driver had bought him a cup of coffee and a ham sandwich.

The dinner was not surprisingly empty. It was in a universe where there was not so much as an amoeba of life. The dinner was absolutely alone in an endless nothing that stretched onto an infinity. Or that was what Driver had said.

To Maverick’s astonishment waitress who was manning the counter looked like young Peggy Bundy out of Married with Children. Everything from her red hair to that walk she did, it was incredible. Maverick would have seriously hit on the hot milf, except that he didn’t have penis and that it looked like somebody had ripped out Peggy’s eyes with an ice cream scoop.

Eating his sandwich, Maverick decided to make small talk, “How did you get into this job?” he asked Driver.

Answered an add in the paper.” Driver said.

Seriously? Then how come Sydney picked on me?”

We had a few couriers, you were… highly recommended by our previous one.”

This was strange. It made sense that Maverick was not Sydney’s first choice, but what was so special about him? “What dick recommended me for this?” Maverick asked.

You better finish up. You’re going back to Bracëo.” Driver said, making a point not to answer Maverick’s question.

Maverick wanted more answers but Driver was making it clear that he didn’t want to talk about it. The slug got up and went to pay for the meal. He handed Peggy a trashy romance novel which seemed to pass for currency here.

Maverick went to the toilet, planned to steal as much toilet paper as he could before he went to face off against nature. He went to wash his face and check out how bad his beard was. Maverick had never had a beard this thick before, the days of going through the bush and out witting lions had put some serious bum fluff on his chin. It almost felt like fur.

The water was nice and cold as Maverick splashed it against his face. He looked up at the thing in the mirror and did a double take.

Terror gripped Maverick right down to his bones. He physically shook in fear and shock as he stared at his reflection.

A lion the size of a football player, stared back at Maverick’s with eyes so black they almost appeared hollow. His face was feline and reminded him of a Kali’s, the only difference being that instead of the golden brown fur the Kali had, Maverick’s was an almost metallic silver.

Maverick had seen enough weirdness not to scream, instead, he rushed out of the toilet and nearly tackled Driver.

What the hell did you do to me?” Maverick shouted, pointing at his face. Driver gave him a look, like he was trying to see what Maverick was distressed about.

I’m a fucking cat.” Maverick shouted.

Oh, I thought you looked different.”

If Driver had a neck Maverick would have strangled him, “And how did that happen?”

Peggy gave an eerie smile. It was if somebody had described a smile to pumpkin that only knew what a human looked like from second had experience. Maverick was so desperate for sex that it only mildly lowered his desire to bang her brains out.

You ate a Kali.” Peggy said

What?” Maverick said.

You ate T’Chull, a Kali chieftain. Your body was heavily damaged and it assimilated T’Chull’s genetic code and changed your physical characteristics and appearance . You also ate a castro and absorbed its genetic code. Your body is a combination of the two with the grey being the foundation.”

Maverick just stared at her, not sure how to respond to her claims. He was so stumped by Peggy throwing up this morsel of information that he didn’t notice Driver pulling him outside and into the car park.

The void stared back at Maverick, an endless maddening creature where normal rules like time ceased to exist. Maverick, however wasn’t interested in going insane, as far as he was concerned he was already there.

The slug lay in the car park, casually munching on leaf that kept going in and out of reality.

What the hell, man?” Maverick yelled. “Why the fuck didn’t you tell me about this.”

About you eating things and becoming them?” Driver asked.

Yes!” Maverick shouted.

It was in the manual.”

What manual?”

In the create there was a manual. Didn’t you grab?”

No.” Maverick pulled at his fur. He hadn’t realised that his body was a fucking washing machine.

As he continued with his melt down, Driver open the snail’s ramp, “You just continue with the job and I’ll pick up the manual.” The slug let out a snort as if his kid had just dropped his kid off at school and brat had just complained that he left his bag home.

You didn’t buy any apps did you?” Driver said.

No.” Maverick said still wanting to punch Sydney in the face.

Good, don’t.”

Maverick and Driver got onto the snail. This time the snail ripped a hole through the universe all that Maverick felt was a slight change in his centre of gravity. Maverick was getting use to this.

The backdoor to the snail opened and Maverick saw that they had landed in a swamp. The place stank of mould and stale water. The environment was putrid, the trees were dead, there was bogs everywhere, and the mosquitoes where like a plague.

End of the line, Grey.” Driver called back. “How close did I get you?”

Sure enough, Maverick was back on Bracëo. His map showed that he had travelled about sixty kilometres away from the Kali camp. It also showed him two more interesting things.

One was that the seventh object was just 500 meters from where they landed, which was fantastic, the other interesting h noticed was that Scratch-Ear was only two metres from his position.

Not bad.” Maverick called back. “Nearly got me right on top of it.”

Maverick stepped outside and after fighting with the biting insects, saw that Scratch-Ear appeared to be hiding under a bush.

Not wanting to stumble onto another log with teeth, Maverick checked his map. Hmm, it seemed that there was only a few predators in the area. Another interesting side note was that instead of being listed as Gapachu or Kali this place was Tabore’s territory.

What the hell’s a Tabore?” Maverick shouted, he looked back but Driver had already gone. He didn’t know why the slug bothered, the yellow dot wasn’t moving. Five minutes tops and he’d get Sydney’s thing.

Name: Tabore

Species: Kali

Planet: Bracëo

Tabore along with his brother, T’Chull Stumbled across Sydney’s Emporium after ambushing a Damu-Sarmi Hunting pack.

After stealing several objects, T’Chull Stole his father’s pride and after attempting to steal the pride from his brother and failing, Tabore entered Damu-Sarmi land and began to hunt every living creature, wiping out the Damu-Sarmi culture.

Mentally unstable and nearly unstoppable while wearing the Earring of the Beast, Tabore savagely kills anything that enters his territory.

Tabore currently has a craving for Narsi and Damu-Sarmi and his most favourite thing is hearing the skull crack as he bites down on it.

Well that really, really did not sound good. Maverick had mixed feelings about this new upgrade. Learning about specific targets could make his job easier, however there was such a thing as too much information .

Seeing that there was no red dots in his path, Maverick moved to Scratch-Ear’s position, “Hey, cat guts. Thanks for fucking ditching me back there.”

He wanted to ask what the little cur was doing here? Then again, this was probably where he wanted to go. If this was the Damu-Sarmi territory, or what had been the Scratch-Ear’s place, it would make sense that he would want to come here.

At first, Maverick didn’t understand what he was looking at as he pulled the bush back. The thing that was laying in the mud with flies coving it broken, foul smelling form didn’t look at all like a cat with monkey paws.

On occasions a baby bird would fall out of the tree and die when it hit the ground. After a few days after the ants and maggots got through with it; that was what Maverick saw in front of him.

Confused, Maverick went to his map. Sure enough that bony mess that was festering in front of him was registered as Scratch-Ear.

Maverick didn’t know what to feel. Was he meant to be sad? He hadn’t known Scratch-Ear for long. Though it felt like years at most it had been a week since they got stuck together. Damn, had it been so long?

Was Maverick meant to bury the cat? Nah, he was worm food and Maverick’s hygiene had already suffered enough. He hadn’t known Scratch-Ear long enough to give enough of a fuck to bury him. Plus, he fucking reeked. Hell, Incisor had been more relatable and she had fucking stabbed him.

Time to get out of here. He checked the map again and his face twisted in confusion.

That was funny. The yellow dot had moved. It had been 500 metres away, now it was right behind him.

You smell like T’Chull.” Came a voice like a rusty lawn mower that got caught on a stone.

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