The Official Camarilla
Red Talon Web Site
Keen-Whisker loped steadily over the dirty, ash covered snow.
Garou of other tribes wheezed and ran heavily to either side of her, their breath streaming out behind them in wispy plumes. Keen-Whisker took no notice. If they were so far from the wolf within that they could not run down prey, then they would fall by the wayside. It would not be the first time that homid garou had failed to keep up with a Red Talon on the hunt. The caribou of home were quick, and hardy, and Keen-Whisker had chased them often enough to know the value of endurance. Her lips drew back from her teeth as she remembered that the caribou of home no longer crossed the tundra in great, heaving rivers of bone and muscle. They were gone, victims of the strange human greed for the black liquid they stole from the ground.
A sharp snarl from the local Sept alpha brought Keen-Whisker from the depths of her thoughts. The big ahroun was a heavily muscled Get of Fenris, covered with the scars of battle, and although he tried not to show it, Keen-Whisker could see that he was badly winded. As was the way with his kind, he cared more for the fight at the end of the hunt than for the hunt itself. He glared at Keen-Whisker with his one good eye to cover for his weakness, and Keen-Whisker impassively returned his stare for a brief moment before dropping her gaze. The Get was stronger, so she would submit. He led her into a small copse of sickly trees and together they waited in the moonlight for the others to catch up.
As they straggled in, Keen-Whisker stared out from beneath the snowy pine boughs at the valley beyond. Many hulking, yellow-metal beasts of man’s creation burrowed into the hillside there like predators thrusting their heads into the steaming entrails of a kill. They took no obvious sustenance from their efforts, and not for the first time Keen-Whisker wondered at the strange ways of their two-legged prey. They were so far from the ways of Gaia. She set her confusion aside when the alpha began explaining to the rest of the Garou why the two-legs of this place needed to be stopped, but she soon lost interest in his words. She didn’t care about his reasoning. They were human, and they deserved to die for no other reason than that.
She was one of the first to spring from the trees when the alpha finally stopped talking and signaled the attack, and her Rage sang through her as she threw herself down the slope. The death of her pack less than a moon’s cycle past was already growing dim in her lupine memory, but she still recalled enough about them to feel loss at their absence. They had all been of her Tribe, and she knew they would have found pleasure in this night’s hunt. Her animalistic grief fed her Rage, as did the gibbous moon overhead, and she brought forth a piercing, primal howl as she leapt the first wooden barrier that men had built to guard the great pit.
Her howl deepened as she saw more closely the wound that had been inflicted upon Gaia, and as it often did at such times her mind visited other places. She saw the times long past, when man had first taken up the tools of the Weaver and struck down her lupine Kin. She howled for their pain, and her Rage grew. She saw the times when man first came to hunt more than he needed, and in doing so sent many, many species into extinction, gone forever. She howled for their loss, and her Rage grew. She saw the days when man began cutting down the forests and filling in the wetlands and covering the game-trails with stone and wood and other, stranger things. She howled for the dying of the lands, and her Rage grew. She saw man dig deeply into the flesh of Gaia, lusting for the rarest parts of her body and robbing them from her whenever they found them. She howled for Gaia’s rape as only a Red Talon could, and yet again her Rage grew.
Only the Red Talons were uncorrupted by man’s ways. Only they could still hear the heartbeat of Gaia. Only they could still feel her pulse. The other Garou were lost in their squabbles, hiding behind their Litany while Gaia died around them. They were blind to her suffering. Keen-Whisker knew this to be true, and she howled for the fall of her race, knowing on some instinctual level that it spelled doom for all creation. Once more, her Rage grew.
Keen-Whisker let her voice be carried away by the wind as the first of the fast moving metal pellets that men used as weapons whistled by. There was no time now for the past. The prey was before her, and it must be killed. She knocked aside a grey-metal stick of the sort that men used to throw their stinging pellets and tore the throat from the two-legs who carried it. As his blood ran over her teeth she paused. The deep, overwhelming sorrow was still there, the sadness that came from the knowledge that the war for Gaia was very nearly over, and that the Garou had lost. Still, there was the hunt, and the kill. For now, that was enough. Let the other Tribes meddle in the affairs of men, use their tools, learn their ways and in doing so risk falling to the Wyrm. It would do them little good in the end. Better to live, fight, and die as Gaia had intended, and as Keen-Whisker herself would do. She knew no other way.
She was a Red Talon.
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