Black as Death
by Fur and Fantasy
NC-17 for M/M/M
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

Shade spotted the midnight black Panther watching the sparring from the edge of the field. To the mouse's experienced eye, the Panther's body language screamed assassin, as he watched in motionless silence and calculated the Panther's skill level relative his own.

The Panther was extremely good, almost as if born to the moves, as he took down a much larger Lion fairly quickly. Even when not fighting, the Panther's grace was uncanny, and in a very odd way, seductive. It was appealing on a very basic level to the kinfolk Loup Maru as he continued to watch, following the Panther as best he could though the day.

The Panther went through the morning in an almost ritualistic manner, before sitting down by himself to eat lunch quietly.

"Hello," Shade introduced himself at a respectful distance, meeting the Panther's gaze without an overt challenge. "Mind if I join you?"

"Not at all." The Panther nodded, looking over the dark mouse. "Name's Ebon. You are?"

"Shade of Death, most call me Shade though." He smiled slightly and sat with easy grace. "I didn't see you come in, but you can't have been here long, with those moves."

"First day." He said simply. "Nice to meet you, Shade. I think we have at least one profession in common, likely two."

"Though I expect we have reversed specialties," the mouse nodded with a slight grin as they ate. "Would I be wrong that you're accustomed to working in a team?"

"Normally, yes. Even on solo operations, I still had my NightBlades to return to." He said quietly. "May take them a little longer to find me this time."

"Yeah, this isn't the easiest place to get out of." Shade shook his head. "Though not impossible."

"Nothing's impossible." Ebon said simply. "I've gotten free of tyrants before."

"Not uncommon around here," Shade nodded. "Have you gotten the briefing on sex and lack of rights around here?"

"Telgar's briefing was quite thorough." He nodded. "Odd that the lack of rights focuses on sex. They can't steal from you, maim you or kill you, but if they can beat you in combat they can rape you." He shrugged. "I've suffered worse."

"Welcome to the arena," Shade shook his head. "The head honchos seem to think all sex is good, but have real issues with injury and permanent escape."

"Death is not escape, death is surrender." Ebon said firmly. "Where there is life there is hope. Hope for freedom, and for justice, or at least revenge."

"Only until it's not worth the price," Shade shook his head, though there was no real contention in him over it. "But I come from a very different world that most who think like you. Just pisses me off to have even that choice taken away."

"My mate would consider that their one redeeming feature." He smiled fondly. "But then she is a healer, passionate in the protection of life. But it is an incentive to refine one's combat skills. I choose my partners."

"Or find a Senior you like, and no one else can touch you unless you agree."

"Interesting idea." Ebon considered. "Don't suppose you know any of the Seniors well enough to recommend them."

"A couple," Shade nodded, "and particularly those to avoid. My Senior, DreadClaw, definitely comes with recommendations, if you can handle a Wolf and the pack tendencies we have. He's real good with cultural differences."

"Well pack tendencies aren't a problem. Felsin kind of have them anyway." He smiled. "I'm not picky on species, as long as they're basically decent people."

"Dread's about as decent as you'll find around here," he nodded, "and very light on the kink scale too."

"Oh, kink doesn't bother me." Ebon chuckled. "It was kind of amusing though the time some guy wanted to play pain games. He couldn't even hit my threshold."

"Oh? Who was that?" The ebony mouse perked up curiously.

"His name was Cryton, a Cave Bear I met on Talos V." He smiled. "My mission contact, cover story was that we were lovers."

"Ah, no one here then," he nodded. "Believe me, there are a few, though they prefer much easier targets than you. You could gave Psycho and Lizard a real run for their fun. Not odds they like."

"I've met them." He smirked. "They seem to think they can take me." He chuckled. "I can't wait to kick that stupid cat's ass."

"That'll be an event," Shade's black eyes glittered. "Even with a Senior, you can still challenge others, though loosing is loosing, by challenge or arena. It's the only time being claimed by a Senior doesn't help."

"I'm not interested in their sex challenges. I'm not interested in anyone who doesn't want to be with me." He said firmly.

"Has anyone explained the keep away game to you?" Shade asked quietly.

"Yes, I understand the principle." He said simply. "I think I like the Senior idea better."

"You can still help others with keep-away, even if you have a Senior." Shade explained quietly. "Willing lovers who go through the challenge so they can't be challenged again. Just if you find someone you like, it's a good way to keep them out of the system."

"Perhaps, I don't know." He said quietly. "I don't want to get attached too many. I'm not staying."

"None of us are," the mouse said determinedly. "Just trying to make the best of it until we can get out."

"Think your Senior would be interested in another?" He asked quietly.

"If he likes you, and you ask him to take you, I think he will. He's got three empty bunks." Shade nodded quietly. "I do think he'll like you. We usually react the same to folks, and I like you."

"It's rather mutual, Shade." Ebon smiled slightly, and then twitched as if stretching an unseen muscle in discomfort.

"They blocking something in you?" Shade asked softly.

"Yeah." He said quietly. "I never realized I'd miss shapeshifting. I don't do it much, but I can feel the block."

"I'll never understand why they block that. It makes for spectacular fights, and it's not like anyone can actually be killed around here."

"More difficult to match properly." He shrugged. "There aren't that many who can shift."

"That's still only in the arena," he shook his head, then shrugged. "Not like much of anything here makes sense."

"I'm guessing it's programmed into these collars we wear." He shrugged. "So it affects us wherever we are. I don't know if any of the free-types can shift."

"I think so," Shade said, though a touch uncertain. "But that's a long way off if there isn't a rescue."

"So I've heard. Ten years is the fastest they think freedom can be achieved." He smiled. "I don't intend to take so long."

"Legally to them, or a more active way?" Shade perked up in interest, his own escape drive keying up.

"For the moment, legally." He smiled predatorily. "But I've only had a little while to study things." He said suggestively.

"Anybody tell you two Powers of some kind run things here, and that's why we can't kill?"

"That's what I heard." He said simply. "And it wouldn't surprise me. Just increases the challenge."

"That it does," Shade grinned. "Would you like to meet Dread after lunch? If you don't get along great, there are other good seniors around here too."

"If it won't interfere with his schedule, sure." Ebon smiled.

"Afternoons and evenings are usually free time, unless you're in a match." Shade smiled. "He'll probably be sparing, something I'd like to do some more of with another assassin."

"Would be more of a challenge, I think." He grinned. "Though having to pull my punches takes some getting used to in this environment. The only people I ever pulled punches with before were my NightBlades."

"I know the feeling," Shade rolled his black eyes, though it was more the movement of his head that conveyed the expression. "I'm used to sparing with Crinos Garou and spent my entire life in a war-zone. It does not come natural to me to do anything other than kill or incapacitate as fast as I possibly can."

"I was born and raised black ops." Ebon said quietly. "As were my brothers. I'm used to having them to spar with, and they can take a lot of punishment, probably much like your Crinos."

"I expect so," he nodded. "Average Crinos is in the twelve feet tall, close to a thousand pounds, and designed to kill anything, and everything."

"Okay, not quite so big." He chuckled. "But we're designed to combat beings twice our size successfully."

"Definitely Crinos-like," Shade grinned. "But the Garou were designed with fighting demons and similar supernaturals in mind. It makes them truly stunning against mortals."

"Be interesting to fight one. See who's design works better." He smiled, though the expression on his face left no doubt what he thought. Confidence was clearly second nature to the Panther.

"Nature or Science?" Shade chuckled softly. "I expect a lot would depend on how pissed off the Garou was with you. But that's not a friendly fight."

"No, it's not." He smiled predatorily. "More a matter of curiosity."

"And it'll be largely a matter of skill," he cocked a grin. "You'd have much better odds against some."

"Very true, though I'm willing to put my skill against most." He chuckled. "Seventy years of combat experience teaches you a thing or two."

"That it does, and it shows in you." Shade nodded in complete agreement. "Things that are difficult to learn any other way too."

"Mostly." He shook his head. "Though as my mate likes to point out, if you're not careful it makes you forget how to live."

"Yeah, I guess so." He could only shrug.

"Difference between living and surviving." Ebon smiled. "Gods, it took me a long time to get that one. Though being a father, helped immensely." He said with a sad look in his eyes.

"I expect it would," Shade couldn't stop the pain from washing through him this time, though he let it pass through with more ease than in years past.

"Helped, and then reinforced why I never had any before." He said quietly. "The loss hurts too much, to do it again."

"So I've been told," Shade murmured. "Ready to see Dread?"

"Before I get too deep, please." Ebon said quietly. "I really don't need another decade like that."

"He's pretty good at getting me out," the mouse said quietly as they dropped their trays off and headed out to the training fields.

Dread was just finishing off a sparring opponent, a gray wolf, when they crossed the field. "Hello, Shade." The Dire Wolf said in his deep, powerful voice. "Who's your friend?"

"This is Ebon," the mouse smiled. "Ebon, my Senior, DreadClaw."

"A pleasure, Ebon." Dread said extending a hand to the Panther, while sizing him up. "First day?"

"Yeah." Ebon shook his head as he shook the Wolf's hand. "You looked pretty fast out there." He nodded at the practice field. "Care to spar?"

"Certainly." Dread nodded and led the Panther on to the field, where the two started at each other pretty quickly.

Shade could see that the Panther was both faster and more experienced, but somehow Dread was staying a step ahead of him. Utterly fascinated, the mouse began to circle and watch, suspecting Dread was using his Seer gift, and not wanting to miss a second of the unusual display at this level.

There was a sudden blur of speed from Ebon, and he managed to connect with Dread's midsection, eliciting a woof of surprise from the Wolf before he pulled the Panther into a wrestling match on the ground. After several minutes of shifting control, Dread managed to pin the Panther on his back. "Yield?" He asked politely, when it was clear he had control.

"There are worse places to be than under you." Ebon smirked playfully. "Yeah, you got me."

"You're very good." Dread said as he rolled to his feet gracefully, offering the Panther a hand up. "That last strike was completely blanked."

"Took me a bit to realize what you were doing." Ebon smiled, as he accepted the hand up. "Not a common talent."

"No, but neither are yours." He smiled. "Satisfied?"

"Satisfied?" Ebon said in surprise. "Wait a minute. You knew?"

"Of course. Shade doesn't introduce many, and you had to be sure I was good enough before you'd consider it."

"Can we go somewhere and talk?"

"Sure, our quarters." Dread nodded, leading the way. "You too, Shade."

"Yes, Dread," the mouse smiled and padded along. "I'm the same way," he added to Ebon. "Alphas aren't to be accepted lightly."

"No kidding." Ebon smiled. "Especially when you're born and trained to lead."

"Many strong Alphas never manage to accept having one over them," DreadClaw smiled at the Panther. "Only the most balanced can."

"Only military discipline makes it possible." Ebon nodded. "I was trained to accept a superior, but I've never really had one."

"Because no one tried, or none were good enough?" Shade asked curiously.

"Situation mostly." Ebon shrugged. "I was head of a black ops Commando team. Our only real contact with Command was mission assignment, which usually came by data crystal."

"Kind of sounds like my pack, for different reasons," the mouse nodded, pushing the sadness away.

"At least we've got a pack here." Ebon said quietly. "It's always easier with a pack."

"Yes, it is," Shade smiled slightly. "And we are a strong pack."

"Damn straight we are." Ebon smirked, as they entered Shade and Dread's quarters. "Nice place." He said looking at Dread as he closed the door.

"Thank you." Dread as he sat down on the big bed. "There was something you wanted more privacy to talk about."

"Yeah. Shade tells me I can get out of the nightly games by getting in with a Senior."

"As a claimed warrior you aren't subject to challenge, that is correct." Dread said easily. "You merely have to be bedded by the Senior regularly."

"Yeah, he mentioned that too." Ebon said, sitting on an unused bed. "He suggested you, and honestly I find you acceptable as leaders go. And a damn sight more than acceptable for bed games." The Panther smirked.

"You're quite attractive yourself, Ebon."

"So, is there anything we have to do other than fuck, for this to be official?" Ebon asked bluntly. "And if I'm yours, does that mean yours only." He asked looking at Shade with interest.

"You can play with others if you like." Dread smiled. "Including Shade if the interest is mutual. I don't own you, I'm just protecting you from the insanity this place is to a certain extent. And it can't be official until after your first arena battle."

"Understood. So there's no paperwork or fancy ceremonies or such?" Ebon asked curiously.

"No, everyone merely knows things have changed."

"Cool." Ebon said using one of Cazi's favorite words. "Any objection to my spending the night? We can figure out games after dinner." He suggested.

"Sounds acceptable. And no, no objection at all." He said and turned to the dark mouse. "Since you suggested me to him, I'm guessing that you don't mind sharing with him."

"Not at all," he chuckled and grinned at Ebon. "We're both used to sleeping with a sizeable pack. And it'll make for interesting bedgames, if I've been reading your looks right."

"Oh, I think you have." Ebon chuckled. "And it'll be nice to have a furpile again."

"That it will," Shade rumbled with a grin. "We invite others in, but it'll be nice to have a real pack again."

"So, did anyone have an overwhelming need to get in some more sparring?" Dread grinned, lying back on the bed.

"Only for who gets to be in the middle." Shade grinned and pounced on his Alpha, only to be pounced from behind by a playfully grinning Ebon.

"Looks like you're in the middle." Dread grinned at the dark mouse.

"Oh, yeah," Shade grinned up. "This order?" He rumbled, rubbing his groin against Dread.

"This time." Dread grinned, and pulled the mouse in for a passionate kiss, while Ebon nuzzled Shade's neck roughly from behind.

"All it's ever about," he rumbled, using his tail to loosen their clothes quickly as he kept the rubbing and kissing up.

Ebon, already naked, was quick to get Shade's clothes off as he rubbed his body against the mouse's back. Dread bucked his hips to grind his swelling sheath against Shade's as everyone was quickly stripped, and Ebon was introduced to the dexterous limb that was the mouse's tail when it snaked over his ass to fondle his balls.

"I thought that tail looked agile." Ebon rumbled as he rubbed his half-hard cock against Shade's ass.

"Very agile." Dread rumbled, as his hands caressed the mouse's body.

"Rough cock," Shade sort of squeaked in surprise before sliding his tail further up to feel with the bare skin of his tail tip.

"Never been with a feline, huh?" Ebon rumbled, as he ran his cock between the globes of the mouse's ass only just brushing the furless pucker.

"No," the mouse tried to relax.

"Don't worry." Ebon said quietly. "I'll go easy on you. There lube around here?"

"Always," he nodded and opened the nightstand drawer with his tail to retrieve the bottle. "Very nice stuff too."

"Excellent." Ebon said as he unscrewed the bottle. "Fascinating stuff, bet it works well."

"Very well," Shade rumbled as he rubbed against Dread and nuzzled the Wolf's neck and chest. "It enhances arousal and pleasure too."

"Better still." Ebon rumbled, as generously lubed his hard cock.

"It's an old healer recipe." Dread rumbled, before pulling the mouse into a passionate kiss that quickly consumed most of Shade's attention as they rubbed against each other eagerly.

"That doesn't surprise me." Ebon rumbled, as he pressed one lubed finger against the mouse's relaxed entrance, drawing a low moan from Shade. He gently stretched the mouse, letting the lube work until he felt his partner was ready. He then slowly slipped his cock into the stretched opening until his sensitive barb hairs were past the first ring of muscle.

"You're not gonna hurt me," the mouse moaned and pressed back, eager to be taken.

"Just letting you get used to the feeling." Ebon rumbled, as he pushed deeper until his sheath was brushing the mouse's ass. He then pulled back slowly, letting the barb hairs prick against the unprotected flesh.

At first Shade simply froze, adjusting to the idea of the roughness not bring painful and the feeling in general. Gradually he relaxed into the sensations, rocking his hips to rub against Dread as he encouraged Ebon on.

Ebon continued thrusting with firm powerful strokes, as he pressed his jaws possessively against the mouse's neck. Not causing pain, just the awareness of the powerful cat's presence. Dread thrust up from below, his hard cock rubbing against Shade's with increasing passion.

"Oh, yeah!" Shade moaned heatedly as he encouraged both males, not even caring that he wasn't inside Dread as the possession and passion of the pair worked over and through him.

Ebon's breath became more ragged and his thrusts faster as he approached his limit, hitting the mouse's special spot more by luck than by planning. As Dread continued thrusting against Shade, he leaned forward to lick slowly and teasingly at the mouse's antennae.

That was more than the mouse could take and his voice echoed his body's release; roaring and tightening as his seed made the back fur surrounding their cocks slick, intensifying the feeling of sliding past each other.

The pulsing around Ebon's cock pushed the Panther beyond his limit and he came with an echoing roar, that was quickly followed by the Wolf's howl as his see joined Shade's between them.

"That was very good," Shade said happily as the threesome came down, slowly sinking to their sides to snuggle affectionately.

"Oh yeah." Ebon rumbled, as he pulled himself out of the mouse. "Damn you're hot, Shade."

"That he is." Dread murmured, nuzzling the mouse.

"It's all in the group," the mouse smiled and nuzzled them back. "And we're quite the black pack."

"So we are." Dread chuckled.

"This would work great for cover ops." Ebon said quietly.

"Oh?" She looked over his shoulder at the feline, his tail slinking around to stroke his body.

"Dark fur is great for covert ops." Ebon chuckled. "As I tried to tell my mate for years."

"Less to disguise," Shade nodded, snuggling in. "Same with snipping."

"Very true." Ebon smiled.

"I think I'm the oddball in this group." Dread chuckled softly.

"Every group needs a healer, Dread." Ebon said, leaning over to kiss the wolf.

"It's nothing to be less than proud of," Shade added with a nuzzle. "Healers are much rarer than warriors."

"I know." Dread said quietly, nuzzling the mouse back. "Just feels strange at times."

"I can only imagine," he pressed close to the wolf. "Being a healer in this place."

"Being a Seer isn't much easier."

"I bet," he sighed softly and hugged the Wolf tightly. "We'll get out of here, Dread."

Dread smiled. "I'm sure we will, between the three of us we should be able to manage something."

"With a good pack, anything can be done." Shade said confidently. "And we are getting there."

"With the two of you, I can almost see clear enough." Dread said quietly. "Something connects the two of you, but it's still not clear yet."

"Besides the significantly long list we already know?" Shade asked curiously.

"Yes, something more intrinsic, more personal." Dread nodded.

"Personal?" Ebon asked. "That's strange, considering we just met. Well, I assume that's the case. What planets are you guys from?"

"Haloeth," Shade said quietly. "If you've been there, you managed to not be seen by anything."

"Not that I haven't done that before, but no I've never been to Haloeth. I know where it is though." Ebon said easily. "And I don't think you've ever been in the Alliance."

"I very much doubt either of you has been on Greengrove." Dread nodded. "And this is my first time off-world."

"Could it be that somebody I know is close to somebody he knows?" Ebon asked curiously.

"The possibility exists."

"Well, I suppose the team could've end up on Haloeth. Hell, if Cazi was alive somehow, he could be on Haloeth and nobody would know he wasn't native."

"If they ended up on Haloeth, they're in a lot of danger." Shade said quietly. "It's not a place with a good survival rate."

"Maybe, maybe not." Ebon said quietly, not really arguing. "But we've hamstrung armies in the past. It's part of what we were designed for."

"Still going to hope they landed somewhere better, preferably with spaceships."

"No argument on that." Ebon nodded. "They were just the only ones I'm really close to."

Shade chuckled softly. "They'd hardly have to land on Haloeth to meet someone I know."

"You're people have spread out then?" Dread asked curiously.

"Just enslaved," He shook his head. "Prisoners aren't always left on world."

"Well, that certainly broadens the potentials for contact." He said quietly. "I'm not sure though, how does this connection help us here?"

"It generates a point of focus. A way to reach the starlight bridge network, I hope." He said quietly.

"That'd be nice," Shade murmured. "I miss my pack."

"I don't promise it will be a quick or easy path." Dread said quietly. "Jumping from bridge network to another is not commonly done."

"I've got nothing to loose anymore," Shade said simply.

"Nothing, Shade?" Ebon asked quietly.

"Nothing," he said simply.

"I thought you mentioned a pack? You said you missed them." Ebon asked gently, trying remember how Nareena was always so good with people.

"Yes, and they are lost to me, " he said quietly.

"Not if Dread can get the bridge thing to work, right?" Ebon asked softly. "Or are you talking a more permanent lost?"

"By now, most probably are," Shade said quietly. "But I have no hope of seeing them in this life, so if I do, it's a bonus. But it's nothing to loose."

Ebon nodded, and put a reassuring hand on the mouse's shoulder. "I'm sorry, Shade. But if you can't rejoin your pack, you've still got us."

"Yes, it's something," he nodded and relaxed slightly.

"Once I access the star bridges, we can go anywhere. Even the colonies."

"That would be something to see, a living world with Garou." Shade smiled a little dreamily.

"I don't suppose you can find the Alliance with these bridges." Ebon asked quietly.

"Possibly, not from here though."

"First stop should just be the nearest friendly place to rest and supply," Shade commented quietly.

"I'm hoping the place that the connection the two of you have is leading me, is such a place." Dread said quietly.

"It'll be better than here, at any rate."

"The odds are pretty good that it will be." Ebon said quietly.

"It's the best we can achieve from here." Dread said simply. "From there we figure out our next step. But that will have to wait until I get a better view of the connection, right now its too hazy, to distorted by distance."

"Right." Ebon nodded. "So, snuggle till dinner?" He smiled at the other two.

"Sounds good to me," Shade smiled and snuggled in.

"I think it sounds like a good idea." Dread smiled softly and snuggled in.

"Hey, Shade." A light gray wolf said as he came up to the dark mouse during afternoon practice. "Dread asked me to let you know he wanted to see you in quarters, if you're not in too busy."

"Okay, thanks." He nodded and walked off quickly to find his Senior.

The quarters they shared were dark, which was unusual. Shade could see the wolf sitting on the big bed quietly, and walked up to him in respectful silence.

"What have you seen?" He asked softly.

"The connection, but I still make little sense of it." He said quietly. "You mentioned being from Haloeth. How familiar are you with the Exodus Prophecy, and the prophesied leader of the return, SunWind?"

"Intimately," he said quietly. "It has been the focus of our existence and will for generations. I know he was born before I was."

"Have you ever met him?" He asked quietly.

"I saw him once, in the rebel camp with his pack." He answered softly. "But we've never spoken."

"But the importance of the prophecy makes him at least culturally important to you, doesn't it?" He asked quietly, intensely focused.

"Very much so. He is our rebirth. Everything we have fought and suffered for for generations. He is a good part of the reason a kinfolk like me can hold as much rank as I do as a warrior. He led the Endless Storm after his mother was killed, and he's kinfolk too."

Dread nodded quietly. "He's your half of the connection. The son Ebon lost fifty years ago is his."

"They are together, or will be?"

"They're together now." He said simply. "Possibly what is keeping them sane, stranded as they are. Especially with the two great losses, that SunWind has suffered, or thinks he has."

"His packmates," Shade nodded.

"It fits the level of pain." Dread nodded. "It's still unclear if his perception of loss is the reality. I'm too far away to be sure."

"Perception is the one that matters, for survival and sanity." He said. "Both are mostly a state of mind."

"That is true, but if the truth is different then the perception can change." Dread said quietly. "But the Tiger is remarkably good for SunWind's sanity."

"That's a good thing, after his life."

"Except for appearance, they have a great deal in common." He said quietly. "But they are both strong enough to let me see them from so far away."

"I can't say I'm surprised, given who Ebon is." He smiled slightly. "And SunWind ... he's the SunWind."

"And Ebon's son is the SunFire. A child of prophecy as much SunWind." Dread said quietly.

"I can see how that would be comforting," Shade nodded slightly. "It's not an easy thing to be, when you need to be understood."

"It is not. And SunFire does not open to others easily, not surprising for one orphaned at a young age." He said quietly, his eyes distant from the room. "I can get to them, leaving where they are will be more complicated."

"Is where they are less fucked up than this place?" Shade asked simply, though it was fairly clear he didn't actually care about the answer.

"It is different." Dread said quietly. "A city out of control, and bigger than it should be. And it lies at the heart of a Nexus well. But I sense they are safe, for now. They are protected by someone powerful, to the extent that either is willing to be protected for long."

"That is an Alpha for you," he chuckled softly. "When are we going?"

"First, I have to explain to Ebon that his son, who he thinks died fifty years ago, is very much alive." Dread said quietly. "Learning to live with the death of a child is difficult at best. He may not be able to accept the news easily."

"I understand," he nodded. "It'll be an interesting evening, when he gets back from the arena."

"Yes, it will." He smiled. "Getting out of here, will not be easy. In fact it will be somewhat risky, since I have no intention of doing it by there rules."

"That was a given," Shade leaned over to kiss him gently on the side of the muzzle. "But if we go, we should bring those Martian Garou here. At least those still slaves."

"I don't believe there have been any Garou here long enough to have earned their freedom." He said quietly. "You may wish to make a survey, and find how many there are and who. I need to know how many I will be moving." He said simply. "I will be going out shortly to speak with a friend whose help will be needed."

"I'll see who's around then," Shade nodded. "Starting with Rad."

"Of course, I'll see you at dinner or shortly after if my friend wants to go to dinner."

"Rad," Shade's voice warned the Mouse Garou as the slender black mouse slipped in the window of his room. "Interested in a Bridge Walk?"

Rad sat up in surprise. "If that's an attempt at humor, Shade, you need to work on it." Rad said seriously, though there was barely disguised curiously in his voice.

"Not humor, just a Seer with a Vision."

"Dread?" He asked curiously.

"Who else?" He chuckled in resigned good humor. "Ticket is open to Garou, and their packs. Apparently SunWind and the son of our new packmate are keeping each other sane, and this cat is as prophecy-laden as our leader."

"That is interesting." Rad said as he got up, and got dressed. "I guess Dread must have finally gotten a fix solid enough to get out of here on. Guess we just have to hope both their prophecies don't get active at the same time." He chuckled lightly.

"Still godda be better than staying here."

"That I won't argue with." Rad nodded. "I want to shift so bad, I can taste it."

"How many Loup Garou are there, system-wide?"

"Including me, half-dozen. Three here, two in Castleton, and one at High Peaks."

"Any that are going to be hard to have hired out for the night, or an event?

"Brice is a pleasure slave, because he refuses to fight for anyone but Haloeth. Hammer is always trying to escape, he'll be easy to convince, but getting him permission might take a bit." Rad said quietly. "Raven's Eye in Castleton, I've never met. But her reputation suggests she wouldn't be too hard to convince. Mikal in High Peaks is relatively new, less than two years. He just turned eighteen a few weeks ago. He'll come." Rad said with an oddly soft fondness.

Shade nodded. "Raven's Eye I know in passing, and I've heard of Brice and Hammer back home. Do you know how to contact any of them?"

"Hammer and Brice are easy. They're here in the city." He said thoughtfully. "Castleton will require permission of Telgar, as will High Peaks. Since you know Raven's Eye perhaps you should speak with her. I'll speak with Mikal."

"No problem, but how do I go about that?"

"Easy, just ask Telgar for permission to go to Castleton. Since you haven't misbehaved, and have a respectable record in the Arena it'll be approved. Fastest way there, is the monorail. Just go to the Arena there and asked to speak with Raven's Eye."

"Okay," he filed the info away. "Dread's seeing his friend about this now, do you think you can know if Brice will be coming by dinner's end?"

"I'll talk to Brice before I go to High Peaks." Rad nodded.

"See you after dinner, then? Our den."


There was a knock on the door of the den as Shade and Raven's Eye waited for the others. At the door, was a golden tan Garou with black ears. "I'm Brice, Rad said we were supposed to meet here."

"Welcome to the party," Shade smiled at him and stepped aside to let him in. "Shade."

"Raven's Eye," the brindle waved from where she was lounging on a bed watching Godzilla.

"Pleased to meet you both. What's that?" The golden and black asked curiously looking at the television.

"It's a TV," Shade explained as he closed the door. "It lets you watch things that have been recorded in some forms. Kind of like the story scrolls on Haloeth."

"Fascinating." Brice said as he sat down on the floor leaning against the bed. "What is this a recording of? Is it a history tape?"

"Haven't the foggiest." He shrugged. "Dread says it's a biological documentary on an Earth critter, but I'm not so sure about that."

"And Earth's Garou had time to engage in war against us?" Brice said in disbelief. "I would think such creatures would keep them busy enough."

"Kind of my take on it," Shade nodded. "All that's sure is it's from Earth, and Dread's only got about half of them."

"Interesting." He said settling in. "Hoping somebody back home can get this thing off." He said fingering his gold collar. "While I do like gold, this collar just isn't my style." He grinned.

"At least not as plain as it is," Raven's Eye teased. "Maybe with some braiding carved into it."

"I was thinking something more like a torc." He smiled. "But I don't want this one, I think it can be melted down to make something useful." He grinned, jumping a bit at a knock on the door.

"Hi, Shade." The big dark brown Maru. "Dread left me a message to meet here after dinner. I'm Hammer, in case he didn't tell you." He said extending a powerful hand in a friendly gesture.

"I kind of guessed," the black one shook the hand in greeting. "Raven's Eye is on the bed, and the pretty one is Brice."

"We're currently debating whether this," she waved at the TV, "is about a real Earth critter or not."

"Hammer and I have met." Brice grinned over his shoulder. "Glad to see your joining this party hotstuff."

"Miss a chance to get out of here, you must be joking." He flopped on the floor next to the golden mouse, after waving to Raven's Eye. "I've kind of wondered about this critter myself, and a giant flying turtle I saw in a similar documentary."

"Giant flying turtle?" Shade looked at him cockeyed.

"Yes, I believe they called it a Gamera or something like that. Strangest looking creature I ever saw." Hammer smiled. "A Panther in town that I play with occasionally collects these documentaries as well."

"These things can't be real." Raven's Eye shook her head. "We would have heard the echoes all the way to Haloeth by now."

"Unless the humans are concealing the problem somehow." Hammer suggested quietly.

"Humans can't conceal their own problems, much less this kind of chaos." Raven's Eye pointed out. "Besides, if they were real, one of them would have been dropped on Haloeth by now. Those Earther's are skilled beast-masters."

"Perhaps the Earther's can't control them." Brice suggested. "I never heard of their beast masters controlling anything so large."

"I have, the last time we set foot on their soil," Shade said softly. "It was a sea-beast, but the mega-tooth shark is bigger than those, and nasty as hellfire."

"Well, could be an alternate dimension." Hammer suggested. "Or maybe the humans are trying to create the illusion of Earth being inhabited by dangerous creatures."

"Or maybe the ones on Earth are just as weird as the ones here," Raven's Eye ventured. "Have you seen some of the stuff they film locally for entertainment?"

"Can't say I've watch much locally." Hammer said quietly. "I'm used to being the entertainment." He smirked.

"Lets just say that this would fit right in, if it had better quality interactive."

Black as Death

NC-17 for M/M/M
Het Level is None
Slash Level is Slash Smut Level is Low
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is None

63 KB, Story is Closed-Unfinished, Series is Closed-Unfinished
Written October 29, 2002 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Todd McCall

Setting: Galactic Alliance, Haloeth, Mystera

Primary Races: Felsin, Loup Maru, Wolf

Contents: Furry. Slash (M/M). Slavery (Legal)

Pairings: DreadClaw/Shade of Death/Ebon SwiftClaw

Blurb: Set in the prison arena of The Twins, this minor AU takes a different look at that world through the eyes of three very different characters, all black as death: DreadClaw, Shade of Death of Haloeth and Ebon SwiftClaw of the NightBlades.

Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.

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