A Fox Among Cats: Another Path
Naruto x Pumrya
"Help! Help me!" a voice weakly called out. His form illuminated by the rays of the sunset as he tracked the sound of the plead. His fur was a shade of gold along with long and thick whiskers. His long fox-like nose inhaled the air as his chest slightly expanded and then slightly exhaled as he breathed out his mouth.
Naruto followed the source of the voice. He managed to draw up the heavy stone covering and pull out the unconscious cat that had been pinned beneath it. It was a young she cat, she was on the shorter side, about short of five and a half feet tall, covered in tawny fur from head down to her delicate feet. It was a bit torn and caked in dirt from the battle. She was attractive with high cheekbones, and her hair an unremarkable brown, but split by a stripe of ivory down the middle, and pulled into a short ponytail. She was wearing a brown halter top with crimson trim, and a brown wraparound skirt which hugged her hips. To side set a quiver full of arrows and a wristed mounted bow.
"... so many..." she gasped out weakly.
Naruto grasped her wrist, checking her pulse. He continued to assess her injuries, despite her erratic heartbeat her pulse was stead. He scooped her up and made way to his camp. He shifted past the dead bodies of cat and lizards. He laid her on the sleeping bag and went to the portable first aid kit. Hours passed as Naruto applied what little medical training he knew.
Hours passed as the blond patiently waited for the she cat to wait up. Nightfall soon came and Naruto found his waking sense starting to fail. He was startled when the unnamed cat let out a cry and jolted up.
"Whoa, relax there," Naruto cautioned the she cat, placing a gentle arm across her midsection. "It's okay, you're safe."
"Who are you? Where am I?" she demanded, as the blond sighed.
"Look, my name is Naruto and I'm a cleric. You're at my camp. I received the carrier message requesting for backup. I was the closest one and there's no telling how long it'll take more backup to arrive. What happened?"
"Those accursed lizards attacked my unit when we were on our way back to the city. There were too many of them." She clutched her head as an intense pain coursed through it. "And…" she trailed off, growing silent. There was a bitterness in her eyes, a cold hatred that caused Naruto to gulp. "Are there any other survivors?" the she-cat questioned and Naruto turned his head.
"I don't know. If they were, then they've probably been captured. I don't think its safe for us to wait out here."
A scowl formed on her face. "When I get the chance I'm going to make every last one of those skin shredders pay for what they done." She swore. Who would have thought that she would be working with the outcast of all people. Oh well, beggars couldn't be choosers. "Name's Pumrya foxy. I'm still a little woozy so I'm going to lie back down. When I get up, I'll be ready to make the trip back."
Naruto's eyes widened slightly, but he wordlessly nodded at the she-cat's order. He was used to the temper and composed behavior of his fellow clerics, the directness and familiarity this she-cat showed was something else. 'What have I gotten myself into?' the kitsune thought as he left his companion to rest up.'
'I wonder what brought up that memory?' Naruto wondered as he finished his meditation.
He was different from the others. He didn't fit in and they didn't make any attempts to hide that. He was an outsider and there wasn't anything that was going to change that. They were cats and he was an outsider. He was the only one of his kind in the city and the feelings of solitude were something he found himself dealing with each day.
Getting up like he did every morning he dressed in his attire that he had assembled from various places, some thrown away and the others donated, he was ready to start the day. His attire consisted of armor on his shoulders and torso with black pants held up by a large worn out belt. He unfortunately lacked the shin guards and other accessories.
He didn't often train with the other clerics unless it was for mandatory sessions, which while they didn't outright scorn him, didn't hide their uneasiness at his presence. Even the wise warriors and protectors of Thundera weren't sure what to make of him because he was different.
So he often trained alone, away from the others so no prying eyes would be burrowing into his back. Coming across several logs situated in the ground with deep grooves from powerful blows the blond creature got into position.
Getting into a stance his eyes focused on the objects before him. After a few moments he took a step forward, then another, and one more as he took to the air and twist around as the front of his foot impacted with the thick object, his fur covered foot impacted against the object causing a bit of the log's bark to be brushed off by the force with a shred or two becoming inner-mixed with his foot.
Dropping back on his other foot he flipped back and landed on his feet and left hand as he propelled himself forward and began punching the log with powerful blows. Each one impacted the log as grooves were growing with each hit. So intent in his work-out he didn't notice the gentle steps along the soft grass.
Watching the work out far away was a young she-cat whom stood out amongst cats. She was a beauty with long and flowing blond hair that reached down to her waist with the front section brought forward; creating bangs that formed somewhat around her face. She was a cheetah cat with brown cheetah spots with a pale pink up-sweep around her eyes bordered by short, blond eyebrows. Her outfit consisted of a brown two piece casual top that exposed her cleavage and midriff with brown shorts with long, darker strips that seem to function as suspenders for her foot coverings, sandals, which like the clothing of other cats left the claws of the feet exposed. Accompanying the multi-brown color was a red jewel that supported the upper-half. To top off her outfit she was wearing brown wrist-to-elbow guards that sport a disc around each wrist and discs around her ankles.
The woman in question watched the sight as the golden furred warrior struck the log again and again with unbridled determination. His strikes were both quick and precise. Nothing could break his focus for a moment. He wasn't a muscle-bound warrior, no his frame was built for speed just like hers. He was different like the others beyond the obvious one that most would point out.
He was her friend since they were children, and he was like a little brother to her. But the way of the cleric was the mission before personal feelings. That one devoted their lives to the kingdom and must forsake their desires, and cleanse themselves of any emotional ties that would hinder that. Even familial times could cause a hesitation that could cost lives.
His arrival to the Kingdom shook things up. A cloud of mystery that garnered her curiosity. His past; an assortment of jumbled memories that he himself was unaware of. Though from day one there was an uninhibited determination to prove himself. She was shaken from her thoughts when his ears, those large ears that were curved forward twitched a bit before settling back into his position. He came to a stop as his body constricted then un-constricted as heavy breaths exhaled from his mouth. He had looked up, his curious and soft cerulean eyes set upon her as surprise and even worry flashed through them.
The free and relaxed fox's body had suddenly jolted. "Cheetara! What have I told you about sneaking up on me?" the kitsune asked with an exasperated sigh. He was supposed to be the stealthy one. His friend was definitely gifted. She was gifted, rumored to rise up and take Jaga's place one he retired.
"Just checking up on my little bro." she playfully teased.
Naruto sighed, his cheeks flushed. He hated when she did that. "What do you want?"
''Working hard I see? Care to spar Naruto?'' she suggested with that calm and playful tone of hers.
"I'm definitely going to win this time." He remarked, he was confident that he was going to when this time. "If I win, you have to get me all the Lichee fruit I can eat for a week."
"Hhm, and if I win. You have to massage my feet every night for a week." Naruto's face morphed into one of horror and he began making exaggerated gag motions. "Are you done?"
Naruto nodded and moved a good distance away from her. This time around their spar had ended in a draw. Unusual, but it wasn't the first time it happened. They carried on their duties like usual. The routine only being broken up by Grune's arrival and the following celebration. No one would have predicted the betrayal or the invasion of the Lizards.
''You've forgotten one thing Grune.'' the King began, his confidence not lost. ''Jaga's Clerics.''
Likes blazes the Clerics led by Jaga entered the battlefield. The armed soldiers began firing their weapons, but found themselves overwhelmed by the power and speed of the Clerics. The King had left the protection of the Clerics to go save Panthro, leaving the warriors to take on the army. With a mighty kick Naruto sent Slithe flying into a wall. Grabbing one of the downed enemy's swords he scooped up with great speed and brought it down with a mighty to switch Grune blocked with his weapon.
''Petulant Fox! I should have finished you off when I had the chance!'' the cat roared as he pushed back against the strike causing Naruto to jump back.
''You...'' the Kitsune hissed. He always suspected that Grune didn't like him, but never did he think the cat was the one who tried to kill him. Willing to let him die maybe, but to try and kill him? ''You'll pay traitor.'' he said as he charged forward, leaving to move and divert his strike when several wizards began firing their laser weapons at him. Jaga, using his powerful magic caused one of the giant mechs to explode. Naruto shield his face and jumped back to prevent himself from being caught in the attack.
Naruto readied the sword, charging forward to strike again when something shot out from the shadows. Before he could react a foot impacted him in the chest, knocking the air out of his lungs and causing him to fall back on the ground. To his shock the attacker was another cat. It was a female, with red-brownish fur with a white under belly shown off by the armor that shown off her stomach. She had a short, black-tipped tail with long, strong legs, large paws, and tufted ears. She was easily twice the size of even the trained guards. The one breed of cat that definitely did not get along with foxes, a bobcat.
Steadying himself he raised the sword and began pressing the attack but the large she-cat easily avoided his strikes. 'I expected more from your kind fox.'' she taunted as she caught one of the strikes and hoisted him up by his blade. Naruto dropped down to all fours and snarled. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed Grune heading for the Colseum.
''You won't get away traitor.'' he shouted as he attempted to chase after only to be yanked back by his tail. He was hurled into the destroyed mains of a statue, his back impacted against it with a sickening thud. He began coughing up blood, falling to his arms and knees as he looked up at his attacker with blurred eyes. Taking the weapon she raised it above his head.
''Disappointing, but a trophy is a trophy.'' she raised the weapon back as she prepared to lop off his head.
'Damn...not here.' Naruto thought as he tried to push himself up. 'Not when people need me. I can't...I can't die now!' he thought as a strange power flowed through him.
With a roar the female bobcat brought the blade down only for her query to disappear. ''What?'' she exclaimed in outrage. ''Typical fox trickery.'' she snarled as she began searching for the downed fox. She would not let her prey escape.
The group of lizards stared upon the lone cat incuriously. What could possess her to try and take on an entire group of armed lizards. Their over estimation of their superiority would prove costly as she was on the fact.
Faster than they could react Pummyra had quickly landed several quick kicks resulted in them reacting in a panic, firing their laser weapons causing the group to panic.
The sharp reflexes of the she-cat allowed her to take action as she used her wrist bow to fire arrows with lethal proficiency. The sharp arrows pierced the soft throat and soft bellies of some of the lizards seeing as the rest of their scaly hides would protect them from the arrows.
Quickly throwing up her hands she used the metal braces to defend against the laser fire. This didn't prove as well as she hoped as the force of the blast knocked her off her feet and badly singed the fur and flesh around her hands.
Regardless of the mistake her superior agility allowed her to outmaneuver common foot soldiers forcing them to callf or backup which resulted in one of the machines getting involved. A missile impacted very near to her, the one that followed hit right on the target sending her into the air and hitting hard against a solid rock to fall roughly to the ground.
Despite the breath knocking impact she managed to stay alive. The blasts continued as buildings began to crumble around her.
The foot soldiers began to retreat as the area around them began to crumble.
A large structure of the building above her was about to break off and began to fall towards her. Forcing herself forward Pumrya landed on her abdomen, but the force of the impact had injured her so greatly she couldn't stand up to run.
She could only look up in horror as the debris began falling towards her. Next thing she knew felt a strong grip around her midsection taking her off the ground. Quickly they had disappeared under the dust that had been kicked up.
Next thing she knew they had been ducked inside a partially exposed building. Her head nestled against his pectoral while she had been settled on his lap.
"I didn't think I was going to get here in time."
Pummyra's eyes widened in surprise, recognizing the voice. She looked up and weakly spoke to him. "You…you're the fox…Naruto."
"I'm glad you remembered my name. I'm going to try and find us a safe place." He said as he scooped her up into a bridal carry.
After a rather arborous trek in the opposite direction of the action he found a home in an okay condition. He placed her on the bed and left her his medical kit. "I have to go, there's still fighting going on."
"You'll come back right?" She hated how weak she sounded but pain coursed through her body.
"Of course I will, I never abandon my allies."
"Give those scale shedders one for me." Pummyra called out to him in a low tone. "I'll be here when you get back, hopefully."
Naruto nodded and slipped away and back into the battle field. He made his way across the battle field, taking out whatever enemies he could.
Naruto landed on one of the branches, still reeling from his injuries. He had been able to power through them thanks to adrenaline, but even that had its limits. 'No.' he weakly thought as he saw Tygra and Claudus surrounded by walkers who were preparing to take fire. He pushed himself to his feet.
"Luckily, I know a thing about technology you traitor!" A voice said, and from the darkness, a disk flew and attached onto the back of the walker, blinking, then it detonated, destroying the walker, several more flying out and attaching onto the other walkers, destroying those as well. From the smoke, the form of Lion-o appeared, Lion-o on his steed.
Cladus began walking forward. ''Father, where are you going?''
''To show the Lizarda that the Sword of Omens is the greatest weapon of them all!" Claudus said, and grabbing his sword, he lifted it to the sky. "Thundercats, HOOOOOOOO!" He shouted, the Sword of Omens crackling with power. He charged, and with a single swing, he cut down multitudes of lizards, slashing his way through to the tree and began to run up the twisting branches.
Grune grabbed his mace and pointed at the king, it then opened, and green energy formed, and he shot a pulse of green lightning at Claudus, who raised the sword, blocking the attack. He struggled, and then he pushed forward, dissipating the attack and knocking Grune down, continuing his charge toward Panthro.
Claudus slashed the chains off, Panthro falling, but caught himself.
"You came for me?" He asked.
''Look ou...'' Naruto tried to shout before two laser blasts tore into his side and he fell into the unlit depths of the tree.
"I would fight an army twice that size to save you old friend!" Claudus said, and he turned to Lion-o and Tygra. As he looked at them though, Panthro pulled out a dagger.
"FATHER!" Lion-o shouted, but Claudus wasn't quick enough as Panthro stabbed him in the back, blood spraying Panthro's face. ''NOOOOO!''
Claudus fell forward, the sword falling from his grip, and the dagger embedded in his back, he fell into the water, disappearing as he sunk. Lion-o and Tygra dived in after him, and they pulled him out, and swimming to the tree, they lay the king against the base. Claudus opened his eyes and looked at Lion-o.
"No matter what happens, you made me proud today…" He said, and then closed his eyes and relaxed into the cold embrace of death. Lion-o looked at his father, and then he turned to Panthro upon hearing a dark chuckle.
"You, a traitor too Panthro!" He shouted.
Panthro then spoke, and as he did his voice changed, becoming old, ragged, and menacing.
"Not quiet, have you ever considered that if technology was real, then ao are the things of your worst nightmares!" Panthro said, and purple energy coursed from his body, and he began to shape shift, his body shrinking and becoming bone thin, the skin graying, and his face becoming wrinkled and rotten. Standing there was the decrepit form of Mumm-ra.
"Mumm-ra!" Lion-o gasped.
Just outside of the Coliseum on the rubble of buildings, the clerics stood as a dark storm brewed above the Coliseum. Jaga saw Mumm-ra and he knew that it was truly him. "The day I have always feared has arrived! Clerics! To the death!" He said, and they all sprung forward, ready to fight and die.
Mumm-ra chuckled darkly.
"You are but insects to the power of MUMM-RA, THE EVER LIVING!" He shouted, a dark wave of energy shooting out, obliterating all that came into contact. Jaga and a cleric managed to dive under the wave, but were soon surrounded by lizards with rifles. Tygra and Lion-o were also surrounded. "Thundera has fallen!" Mumm-ra shouted to the cheer of lizards. "Take the young heirs to the dungeon and bring the old Cleric to me!'' he commanded before searching around for something. 'No matter. He will come to me in time.' the aged one thought before vanishing in a whirl of his dark cloak.
Despite his heavy injuries Naruto was able to slip into the water. Peeking his head out a bit he saw as Tygra and Lion-o led away by the lizards. A few more seconds passed before he found it easier to breath. He was quick healer, it was unnatural, and another thing that set him apart from the cats.
When he awoke his nose was assaulted by the stench of death permeating through the air and he felt sick. He began searching around, hoping to find some survivors.
'''Persia...'' he softly mumbled as he checked the body of a fellow Cleric. Her body was found mangled, twisted on one of the spheres of the enemy and hung like a decoration. It was absolutely sickening. Despite initial misgivings Naruto then hate the persian cat. Removing her body from the embarrassment he used whatever tattered rags he could find to cover her.
One after another he found bodies. A hairless Sphyn cat and then an Ocicat. One after another he found and unmasked the Clerics. Dread filled him as he accounted for all the bodies, but two. On one hand he was relieved and on the other fear still filled it at what could be happening to them. Where could Jaga be? Where could Cheetara be? Naruto continued his way to the throne room as that was the only place where everyone else could be.