** Minor Note: Despite the date the first strip shows up as, it was originally posted on March 17, 2001. This will be the official start date of this strip! **
A picture may say a thousand words, but it only conveys the emotion,… not the reason why. – T. Ross
Chapter 1 – Day 1
The storm had moved in slowly, clouding the sky and sending streaks of brilliant lightening through the oncoming darkness. Still, a few creatures braved the night, namely a small cat about six months old, black with white paws and alert green eyes. Through the hole in the fence, the kitten wiggled and rolled into the alley. The opening was getting too small.
Disdain for the cool ground, the kitten paused to lick the pads on her forefoot, a few stray grains of dirt annoying her. Satisfied that she had recovered her dignity, the cat rose to her feet and strode down the alley, ears forward and alert. There was a mouse in the alley. She could hear it and fear of getting drenched with water wasn’t about to keep her from that tasty morsel.
Dogs barked behind their fences, unable to get through to the little imposter in the alley. The kitten merely glanced at the fence and twitched her tail, confident they couldn’t escape. Slowly, she walked down the alley, following the squeaking sounds of excited mice. She licked her muzzle and went into a crouch, spotting a patch of grey movement.
It vanished beneath a garbage can. If she were patient, it would come out,… if she was patient. For a young cat, that was asking a lot. Her tail swished back and forth in slow methodic sweeps, a rush of wind ruffling her black fur.
And then, it came. A tremendous clatter sounded as something hard bounced off a nearby rooftop, accented by a crash of thunder. The cat froze, eyes wide in fear and every fur on her body sticking upright. She was just about to bolt when the small object came to rest before her, a six sided objects with runes on it, two separate ones pointed up, the face glowing.
A single form emerged from the darkness, followed by a second one. The first was human in form, concealed against the elements behind a heavy blue coat and having a wrap swung around his neck to protect his face. He stood a moment, his six foot stature making him hard to miss in a flash of lightening from above. It glinted over his features, skin with a blue sheen and hair a darker shade, being wildly tossed about by the incoming gale. His eyes were a dull gold in color, in the dim light with oval irises. At the moment, they were almost round.
Behind him, was a most inhuman form, a small creature with red skin and gold splotches on his underside. It shook almost in time with the rolling thunder as though afraid, wide blue eyes with pupils dilated to pinpoints. At only three feet tall, he didn’t appear very menacing, aside from a mouth filled with a row of pointed teeth and sharp claws ending on each of his six fore-claws, and six more on his feet. A tail, just short of being a stub wriggled back and forth behind him, balancing the oversized head.
“Zeta,….” The first began with a sigh, glancing at his small partner. “Relax, it won’t hurt you.”
“Zeta not worry about the crashing, the light more scary, not know where it goes.” The creature spoke in a trembling tone, cocking his head sideways to peer up at the other. “Lexx sure he want go out after dice tonight?”
“Sooner the better.” The first pulled at his wrap, making sure it concealed his face without getting in the way of his sight. “Stealth is a hard one to find, sneaky, but the trajectory should have placed it somewhere near here. She won’t get far and we shouldn’t waste time.” A few raindrops began to fall from above, gradually increasing in number as the pair walked.
Zeta bobbed his head, a row of feathers popping up erect from the back of his head in alarm as another flash of light lit the area, revealing a pair of glowing orbs, fluorescent green in color. “Zeta,… think he see!”
“Drat.” The voice was unmistakable, a low drawn out hiss and then, the hunt was on as the dark form darted across the alley, a pair of tails marking its path.
“Yes, Mom! I’ll be fine. It’s just a little storm!” Chelsea attempted to placate her mother’s fears over the phone. They’d left earlier in the day and already worried something might happen, mothers intuition. Chelsea didn’t really mind, although it was a annoying since she was nineteen years old and a college student. She was just home for the summer while her parents were taking an extended trip. At the moment, she was dressed the part as well, grey T-shirt and an old comfortable pair of her brother’s sweatpants. Her golden orange hair, the source of much teasing and a bit of flirtation in college was tied back in a long braid, a smaller segment separated over her left shoulder, simply because she liked it. Her own little tribute to something she’d seen in a movie. She wore glasses, not the extremely nerdy kind, more of a scholarly kind perfect for her features. These were of course, only for around the house. She much preferred her contacts.
Chel, her sister and brother would have the entire place to themselves for two months. On the other end of the line, she barely heard her mom asking if she remembered that they’d be back next Saturday. “Yes, Andrea and Kalvin will be back on Saturday from summer camp. I won’t forget!” Two weeks of complete run of the house. She didn’t need a reminder of when it would end. A bit bored with the call, Chel listened for a few minutes until her mom was forced to hang up and finish dinner with her dad. “Love you! Tell Dad I love him too!” Chel had missed most of the conversation, but her final words wouldn’t leave any reflection on her lack of attention.