Hell In The Artic
Author: Kinda off hiatus. All I have to say about the new GI Joe movie is: HOLY SHIT!. It's fucking amazing.
And even managed to inspire me to write for this story. I know very, very little about Eskimo language & culture.
What little I know comes from reading the Julie of the Wolves books by Jean Craighead George. This chapter is
very heavily inspired by her books. So technically she owns Kapugen. Hasbro owns Spirit, Billy & Long Range.
I own Bullseye, Grey Wolf & Iron Claw. R&R. Eskimo translations at end of chapter.words spoken in Yupit (an Eskimo dialect)
"It's fucking cold." Bullseye grumbled. Despite her many layers and warm parka, she was still shivering.
"Not too many people can live in a place like this. Only reason we have is because it's safe." Long Range told her, running a sharpening stone over his knife.
"I'd rather live in a desert." she muttered, shoving her hands under a blanket of rabbit fur that lay nearby.
"Hush mija." he said gently. They were both cold and so very out of place in this climate. But as he had said: it was safe. After the Joes had fled the Pit and scattered to the winds, the two of them, Grey, Spirit, Iron Claw and Billy had make their way north. Spirit thought they would be safe in a place where only those who could deal with the cold could survive. More than two weeks into their journey, an Inuit hunter named Kapugen had found them and taken them to his hometown. The people there were kind and unwary of strangers. They had accepted the Joes and helped them make an abandoned home near Kapugen's livable again.
"May I enter?" came a voice deeper than Spirit's.
"Kapugen, Kapugen come in!" Bullseye called from where she was sitting on their iglek, a pile of furs stacked to resemble a couch. It was not tall, not nearly as tall as the iglek's in the other villagers homes but it was comfortable and warm.
Their door opened and Kapugen entered their home. The Eskimo was as tall as Bullseye but as solidly built like her father. His jet black hair fell to his shoulders and his dark eyes glittered with friendship. He held his head high like a leader and they had grown to love him for it.
"I have a gift for you, pretty Iraluq. And your willy Aapa too." Kapugen said, smiling widely at them. Long Range smiled at the other man's endearment for his daughter. Shortly after Kapugen had taken them in, he had learned that Bullseye's real name was Selen and took to calling her by the Yupik word for moon. Selen slid off the iglek and took the box that Kapugen carried from him.
"What's this?" Long Range asked, pulling out a massive white fur.
"The fur of a sickly nanook who gave herself to me and my friends." Kapugen told him.
"We should make a new trenchcoat for you out it." Selen teased as she pulled out a second silvery white fur.
"Beautiful rabbit furs for you Iraluq." Kapugen added.
"Let's see it on you mija." Long Range said, setting the polar bear fur aside. She let him drape the rabbit fur around her. She smiled as the door opened and Spirit came in with Grey and Iron Claw close behind.
"You look like a wolf in that fur. What is it for?" Spirit asked, shaking snow out of his hair.
"For a parka. Or a blanket maybe. Kapugen brought it. He gave aapa a polar bear pelt." she said as Grey kissed her cheek.
"A man and his daughter come to the artic from the south. One wears rabbit fur, she looks like a wolf. That is funny." Kapugen smiled. They all laughed and Iron Claw yipped happily.
"Thank you for the furs my friend. I am glad they gave themselves to you." Spirit said when their laughter subsided.
Grey climbed up onto the iglek and Selen followed him, burying them both under some of the furs. Iron Claw yawned and flopped down on the caribou skin rug on the floor. "He is strong like his wolf brother and she is clever like a fox. They are good partners." Kapugen whispered, watching the young pair.
"Yes they are." Long Range agreed.
Several nights later, Iron Claw bounded off the foot of the bed and scratched franticly at the door, barking and snarling as he did. Selen sat up slowly and pulled one of the blankets up to keep herself warm and covered. "What the hell?" she yawned.
"Wake up and get your weapons!" Long Range shouted through the door.
"Shit!" Grey snapped, rolling out of bed to grab his clothes. His quiver and bow were under the bed, along with Selen's trenchcoat and her weapons.
Spirit pulled his parka on and tossed his quiver over his shoulder as Iron Claw ran out the front door ahead of him. "There they are!" a voice shouted in the early morning light. But the stranger was quickly silenced by the wolf's teeth in his throat.
"What's going on!?" Selen shouted over the sound of gunfire as she aimed at one of the men who was shooting at them.
"SPAWN would be my guess." Long Range told her, shooting another figure that had a gun in hand.
Before long the attack was over. But not without casulties. The black clad figures, SPAWN troops, had all been killed of course. But they had killed several of the Eskimo people who had become friends to the Joes and had refused to give them over to SPAWN. "It is not safe here any longer." Spirit whispered, looking at the bodies that littered the snow around them.
"Where will you go?" Kapugen asked.
"It is best you do not ask that question. Even better that we do not give you an answer." the other man told him.
"May the tundra give speed to your feet." Kapugen said, embracing each of them.
"What will you do with the dead?" Bullseye asked.
"That is one less worry for you to bear Iraluq." Kapugen told her.
Spirit led them out of the village and onto the tundra. Once they were out of sight of the village, he called Billy from the sky and crouched beside Iron Claw. "Lead us south my friends. The north is not safe for us. We must find somewhere else." he told them. Billy took wing again and Iron Claw followed. If their human companions wanted to go south, then south they would go.
Nanook: Polar bear/white bear
Aapa: Papa or Father