Tttle: A Cat's Tale 1: The Arrival

author: Lucinda

Sabertooth was a big man, although there were those who would insist that he
was not a man, but some sort of animal. He was Sabertooth. He didn't know
where he had come from, his past had been forgotten. Occasionally, he had the
feeling that he had once had another name, but it rarely mattered to him. He
was over seven feet tall, long hair and rippling muscles, and feral mutation.
He had claws, sharp teeth, and enhanced senses sharper than that of wild
predators. He had a healing factor, and didn't seem to age. He was a mutant.

Society had treated him like a dangerous freak, and in retaliation, he had hurt
people. He had traveled the world aimlessly until Magneto had found him.
Magneto had taken him in, given him a focus. Had made him welcome, and trusted
him. He would do anything for Magneto.

Unfortunately, he had failed to protect Magneto from those strange people that
had fought him at the train station, and again at the Statue of Liberty. It was
a terrible feeling, to have failed the one person who treated him like a person
instead of a rampaging beast. Now, Magneto was locked away in a glorified cage
somewhere. With no one to give him direction, Sabertooth was alternating
between what he figured was guilt for failing Magneto and boredom.

Magneto had sent him a message. Sabertooth had read it slowly, words not being
his strongest skill. There had been a picture in the envelope, of a young woman
with red hair. She looked shy and fragile, like prey. Her eyes were the color
of leaves. Her scent still lingered on the picture, clean, uncluttered by
perfumes and cosmetics. The letter had said that she was Magneto's cousin. It
had said she lived in a dangerous place, and Magneto was afraid something bad
would happen to her. He was supposed to go keep her safe. She was in
California, in a small town named Sunnydale. Magneto had asked this of him, he
would go.

He hid himself in a boxcar, on a train going west. He hated traveling by
plane, the changing air pressure made his ears hurt. Magneto had only said go,
not how he should go there. So, he would use the trains. He would go carefully,
so nobody would see him.

* * * *

He had only had to change trains three times. He was here, in this Sunnydale.
There air felt off, somehow. There were faint scents in the air, of hunting
things he couldn't identify, and of death. magneto had been right: this was not
a safe town. Sabertooth smiled to himself - he hated safe, boring places.

All he had to do now was find the girl, and follow her. Make certain nothing
bad happened to her. As he walked through the dark town, he observed and
analyzed his surroundings, in the way a hunting beast pays attention to it's
surroundings. There were numerous shops, many of them empty. The allies were
dark, and cluttered with trash. the street lights were far apart, and some had
burned out. He could smell death in the air, and fear and blood.

Sabertooth followed the scent of blood and fear into one of the allies. There
was a figure, like a man, stalking a young woman. She was afraid, and injured.
She wasn't Magneto's cousin, so she was unimportant. The person stalking her
smelled dead, and somehow ...wrong. The scent caused a growl to rise from
Sabertooth's chest, and he felt himself going into a crouch.

The dead man turned, snarling at the intruder who had interrupted his meal.
The woman, even half blind in the dark, took the opportunity to run away. Dead
man snarled and lunged at Sabertooth. They fought, and Sabertooth had to admit
the dead smelling man was strong. His face was odd looking, with ridged
eyebrows and yellow eyes and sharp teeth. It was fun to kill him, but rather
odd that the body turned into dust right as it fell.

Yes, Magneto's cousin was in a place that wasn't safe. He would have to make
sure no dead things ate her. It should be interesting. His life was looking up
already. All he had to do now was find Red.

end A Cat's Tale: the Arrival.