A story of the past
The air in the prefabricated building was humid. LRK didn't need to see the water beading on the face of the human before him, or the sheen it created on the technicians' fur at the consoles to know it. The air felt thick with it around him. The air conditioning unit barely removed any of it.
His own fur was dry. He didn't let the humidity touch him. He could have dried the while room with a thought, pushed it out the door, made everyone comfortable, not just himself, but he didn't. He wasn't going to do anything to make the man before him comfortable. If he had to suffer through dealing with General Montgomery Johns, the man himself could suffer too.
"Well?" the man asked, his old sagging skin giving him an almost comical look. "How many are there?"
LRK didn't growl, or even snarl. He'd like to see him try to count individual soldiers two kilometers away just by the increased water density. "I'd say about five hundred of them, sir."
"About?" the man glared at him, "Soldier, when I ask for a count, I don't want to hear 'about' anywhere in the answer. I want an exact number." The human was never happy with what any of them did. And of the Anthros, but especially the Specialists. Ever since he'd landed, two months ago and replaced the base commander, he'd been putting the seven of them to the test, constantly.
He turned to the rabbit at a console. "How many are there?"
"Five hundred and twenty-three," she answered after reading the display.
The human turned to LRK and grinned. "See how easy that was? She isn't special like you and she was able to give me an exact number."
The lynx made fists just as thunder sounded in the distance.
"Now," the general said. "Tell me what they can do."
"You heard me soldier. There's like the lot of you, freaks, so tell me what they can do so I'll know how to deal with them."
"Sir," LRK began, barely managing to keep the growl out of his voice. "I can feel the water in their body. I can tell you where they are, how fast they are moving, but I have no way to know if they are Specialists, and if so, what they can do."
The human glared at him, his gray eyes gleaming with anger. "Then why the hell are you here?"
"I'm here, sir, because you ordered me to come. If what you wanted was to know what they could do, you should have brought Peek, or Rhine along. One can read their minds, the other can infiltrate their ranks to get the information."
"Watch your tone soldier. It's sounding a lot to me like you're being disrespectful of a superior officer."
LRK gritted his teeth. "Never, sir."
"That's better. You'd better remember who made you. I can have you dismantled with one word."
"Yes, sir," LEK answered through teeth that wouldn't move.
The general moved along the wall, checking the readout on one screen, then the other. He nodded or gave quiet commands to the Anthros seated there. He moved to another one, glanced up and frowned at LRK.
"What are you still doing here? You're useless, so get out. You're dismissed."
LRK gave the general a crisp salute, turned and stepped out of the hastily assembled building. A week they'd been here, preparing for the coming skirmish with the enemy army. A week away from the base camp, being ordered to do things he couldn't.
This wasn't the first time the general had demanded the impossible. The moment they'd arrived here, he'd ordered LRK to kill the enemy soldiers. LRK had stared at him, looking for the words to explain how impossible that was. He couldn't even feel them yet, their intel placed them at over two hundred kilometers away, nowhere near his range. And even if they had been close enough, they were in a forest this time, not by a lake or the ocean. He had nothing to use to drown them.
The general hadn't been happy.
LRK entered the small building he occupied with VeeDee and stood there as the door closed behind him. This camp had been build with sturdier materials, the general wouldn't accept tents for his mission. With a yell he shoved the humidity in the room against the wall, causing it to splash, then drip to the floor.
"Feel better?" the bull lying on the cot asked.
"No," the lynx growled. He looked at the puddles and pushed them out, under the door. "Why the hell did he want me here if all he's going to do is go on about how useless I am? Didn't he read my file? My capabilities and limits are clearly indicated in it."
VeeDee patted the other cot, which they'd pushed together on their first night here. Neither cared that the general didn't want any fraternization within his units.
"Come on, lie down with me. A snuggle will make you feel better."
"I doubt, LRK answered, but he lied down, pressing against the bull, who placed an arm under him and held him.
"I know how you feel. He's forbidden me from going out with the scouts. When I asked why he blew up, told me not to question him when he gave me orders or he's going to have me dismantled. Like he thinks I'm just some sort of machine he can throw away. We lost thirty-two good soldiers in the last four days because of his decision. When I told him I couldn't do anything for the bodies that were brought back, he glared at me, called me useless and stormed off."
"Why the hell is he even here? General Batista was stern, but at least he respected us. It's like this guy doesn't even know how to command."
"Who knows why officers come and go?"
"Can you do something to him?"
"You know, give him indigestion, or hemorrhoids?"
The bull laughed. "Come on, you know I can't do that. I heal."
"You control bodies. You've only used that to heal, but it can't be the limit. I'm sure you can do more."
"Why don't you just drown him? There's enough water in the air for you to fill his lungs."
LRK shook his head. "Everyone would know it was me. Your power is subtle. No one would know."
VeeDee chuckled and held him tighter. "Okay, I'll get right on that once we're done with this mission and back at the base camp." He was silent for a moment. "At least his anger sent you back here. This box is much more comfortable with you around." He kissed the top of the lynx's head.
6 October 2017 at 18:30:45 MDT
Tiranis is a world of humans and furries, of super science and super powers, of ordinary people and extraordinary ones.
Stories of the Past is a series of stories exploring the history of the city of Tiranis, as well as the world it exist in or something people of importance in it.
This is excerpt is about 1100 word of a 8,800 word chapter.
You can read the full story, as well as other stories set in the world of Tiranis by joining my Patreon at the 1$ level: https://www.patreon.com/posts/14744722