Grant stared into the face of the bipedal cat creature. He was undeniably curious, but there was too much going on to sate his curiosity. He could hear the roars of the great cats on the hillside above. How long before they were on their way down to avenge the wound their forerunner had received?
This creature was unlike anything known to science. He had a million questions if he lived through this, but for now only one thing was on his mind. How would he get his thoughts across to this creature so they could effectively distract whatever was coming and buy Laura and Dr. Foster enough time to get to safety.
“Um, So what now?”
It simply looked at him, ears forward curiously.
“Yeah, okay.” He thought a moment, then tapped his chest. “Grant. My name is Grant.”
It said something in what was probably a variation of the local language.
“Grant.” He repeated.
“Grrhant.” It finally said.
“Yes! Okay, so those cats, we fight them right?” He tried to think about how to convey this, finally pointing towards the summit and baring his teeth that way, making clawing motions. “Fight?”
The creature watched him carefully, looking towards the summit as well. It’s ears tucked backwards a little and there was a faint rumble. Again words in the local language. He was starting to wish the translator hadn’t been one of the first to run away. Even so, that seemed like affirmation to Grant.
He still had a machete from cutting their way up the hillside, it would do as a weapon. Looking at the creature, it seemed to have non-retractable claws and a set of very sharp teeth. That was something of value when fighting. Now if he could assure himself the fight was an even one he might be able to keep his knees from trembling.
Something moved in the brush. This was a really stupid idea. He was going to die and it wasn’t going to buy Laura any time. Too late now.
“This is it I guess.”
Upright cats, much like his companion but with slightly different markings, began jumping through the brush towards them. More than he expected he could deal with, not that he expected he would be able to deal with one readily and live through it.
“Back!” A few wild swings of his machete before he took up a defensive stance. He was taken aback when he was suddenly pressed close to the creature that had stood with him. Grant almost swung at it, but realized it wasn’t an attack. Had it not come in under his arm, he likely would not have been delayed in the strike. It… was nuzzling him!
It growled out something and made a number of sounds that meant nothing to him, but which was having a massive effect on the other creatures. Every one of them stopped cold and perked their ears forward. Some of them made sounds and looked at one another.
One bleeding, confirmation that these humanoid felines were the same as the great cats encountered earlier, growled out something harshly.
His own nuzzled him closer and ‘spoke’ back.
This back and forth continued for several minutes before the bleeding one suddenly lunged. He was shoved back and his own creature struggled with the bleeding one. After a moment, all of the other creatures descended on the fray.
Grant closed his eyes waiting for death only to have a warm bit of fur nuzzling him a moment later. Opening his eyes, the attacker lay dead and blood lay in the fur of all the others. They had sided with him? His mind struggled with this before he fainted.