I’d been caught in a cross-fire. And just got saved from bleeding out.
Now my shape-shifting was on hold until I healed. But I was stuck in human shape, having to re-learn the human experience.
I don’t know when I first appeared on Earth. Before recorded time somewhere. And for the last few centuries or so, I’d been happy as a library cat.
But then I got bored, and started helping out with simple missions.
Good thing they got to me in time on this one.
Now I had to re-learn what it is to be human. Me, the cat-goddess.
But I’d never be able to shift back to my native form without shooting pains up that arm – until I could understand human relationships – ones that always left the scholars of the ages mystified.
Easy-peasy – for a goddess. Maybe.
The knives and fireballs were aimed right toward us as we arrived. Sent from rock-outcrops in the darkness beyond our glow-balls. An ambush.
Sal and Jude’s shields came up, but John had already gotten himself nicked. He was holding on to his other arm with his free hand, blood seeping between his fingers. We were pinned down.
So I sent to Sal – “Let me out. I’ll hold them while you get John to safety.”
“We’re sitting ducks otherwise.”
Sal nodded to me and to Jude.
I leapt out and multiplied with alternate selves, borrowed from multiple time-lines. All of us tiger-sized now. And we each held the small groups in stasis. Something I could do indefinitely.
Sal and Jude took John out of there. The attackers and my multiple me’s we were now all in a Mexican stand-off.
Until their reinforcements came in. One of my other future selves went down with a bad slice and a lot of blood. I signaled the others to retreat and take her with them. Then shrunk down to my smallest cat size and bounced out of harm’s way to a small rock outcropping that was out of their firing-sights. Mostly.
It was just a nick, but I wasn’t going to hold that blood in with my tiny paws. And anything larger that had regular human-type hands would stick out enough to become a target.
About that time, Sal came back with Jude on point – rapid-firing lightning bolts with hopes to fry their equipment, or at least make them duck.
For the second we needed, it worked, Sal scooped me up in her arms and Jude took us out of there. Just as the firing started up again. But we weren’t there.
– – – –
I remember a gurney being wheeled somewhere, and Sal holding me down on it with both hands as I wrestled in pain. Sal’s hands were red with my blood, her face worried. Then someone got a very small mask over my feline nose and mouth and I was out…
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