by BIG BAD WOLF
Part three of my Planet Animalus Summaries.
|*Check this and the other summeries first*
11. A Thief For Mayor, an Immortal One
Takes place about ten years after the previous story, or about 4470 AS.
As an election as to who will be Grass City's Mayor goes on around her, Zena maintains a deathbed vigil over Ariel, who is dying due to some injuries she received from some outlaws a few years prior. As Zena watches the woman slip away, she thinks about all of the times she had with her, both good and bad. Then, just as the fox passes away, it is revealed that she had nominated Zena to be Mayor, and she had won the election.
12. An Ambassador's Visit
Seven years after the last story.
An ambassador has asked Zena to be one of his Honor Guards, as he visits another planet over diplomatic matters. Figuring that she could use something of a vacation, the former thief, who finished her term as mayor a few years back, decides to take up the man's offer, and brings along forty of her lovers, including her newest one, a young born human named Julia. On the way to their destination, the ship that they are on is attacked and boarded by pirates. Unfortunately, they hadn't reckoned on Zena's cunning cruelty, in which she gave the pirates the choice between surrendering or seeing their leader get eaten alive, as she'd caught the man sometime prior to the attack. Needless to say, they surrendered to a man. Then, after a stop to pick up an ambassador who represented a former penal colony, Julia caught the eye of a young man named James, who was the ambassador’s son. However, Zena knew the type of person he was, someone who wanted a short one-time thing, with no care for what happened to the woman after the fact. As a result, after one close call one night, she and his father had a talk with him, basically telling him that on Animalus, even Ambassadors were not above the law, especially to the eyes of the Wild Beasts, which Zena was the leader of. However, providing that James apologized for his actions, Zena had no problems with him having a relationship with the young woman. Also, Zena adopts a couple of ship rats, orphans whose parents were crewmen onboard a ship that had been attacked by pirates and had been killed.
It is revealed that Zena had spent some time with a young police officer, back when she was still a thief, as she'd saved the woman's life.
13. The Immortal Thief Returns Home
Takes place six months after previous story.
Starts just after Zena and her lovers, and James, as well as the orphans that Zena has adopted, have passed through customs. Zena pays a visit to the granddaughter of her late lover, Ariel, to check on her, as the woman was pregnant when Zena went on her trip, and Zena was concerned, as she was married to a croc, which tend to have large and multiple births. However, after finding out that things were being taken care of, Zena heads back to her house.
Rest of story centers around James, who has a crash course in Animalus culture, which includes things like carnivore hybrids drinking a blood-and-water mixture, the fact that Zena has a collection of life-sized, and life-like, wooden heads of the various people she's captured over the years, the fact that his Diplomatic Immunity would put him in very big trouble if he committed rape or murder, the fact that the hybrids had very different diets from what he was used to, not to mention several other things. Story ends with James getting a job at the "Hungry Wolf and Snake".
14. An Immortal Thief Heads Home
Part Two of the previous story.
Zena watches Ariel's granddaughter give birth to a set of twins, both of which are perfectly healthy, as is she. Zena then deals with a trouble-causing employee she reluctantly hired just before she left for her trip. She also talks to Julia, about her feelings for James. Then, the next day, Julia asks her for something special, a Blue Mountain Lover's flower, a very rare, and powerful, variety of a plant that gave off a gas that acted as a potent aphrodisiac. However the closest place to get that type was Snow City, and that was one of the few places that Zena wouldn't go to when she was a thief, as her parents died in an avalanche near there. However, for Julia, Zena agrees to get one.
15. A Flower for a Thief
Takes place three months after previous story.
Story starts off as a flashback/dream, about the avalanche that took the lives of Zena's mother and father. She wake up with a cold sweat, inside of a cave that she, Julia and James and sought shelter in, to get out of the rain as it was the rainy season. Currently, the other two are inside her stomach, as sleeping on hard rock is not comfortable. *Note. Thanks to a certain pill that most every one on the planet has taken during their youth, this sort of thing is very safe.*
Deciding to get moving for the day, she makes herself an instant breakfast of sorts, hitches a traveling cart to a few straps, and starts walking, waiting until the rain lets up for the day, so that the two young ones wouldn't get cold from the rain. When it finally does, she let them out of her stomach, and waits until they get dressed before they continue on their way. As they start moving, Zena talks about what her childhood home had looked like, but when James makes a comment about how she'd been eight years old when she left the place, she becomes angry, and leaves the pair thirty of her massive paces behind her, muttering about Non-Animalus humans not understanding a thing about Animalus Hybrids. James gets something of a dressing-down by Julia, and from the sounds of it, this isn't the first one she's given him, especially given Zena's dark and tragic past.
Sometime later, Zena stopped and said that it was lunchtime. This made James suspicious, as it was an hour earlier than when they normally stopped. However, when he tried to speak up, Julia gave him a kiss, and whispered that they were being followed by someone, as she loosened the strap on the handle of his knife, and told him to follow her lead. As the two young ones made as if to set things up to get lunch ready, Zena snuck off into the forest to do some hunting. When she came back, she wasn't alone.
As it turns out, they'd been watched by town guards who were on the look out for a group of young outlaws, mostly troublemakers from town, but one, who was the town Head Enforcer's brother, and he was a cold-blooded killer. After talking to the enforcers, as the town that they were from was not an official town yet, Zena tells the two to go with them. After that, she heads out after the group.
While attempting to cross a flooded river, she sees someone floating on top of it, a tied up river otter. After recuing him and getting him to shore, she realizes that the knots are those used by Wild Beast officers. She also knows of a disgraced Wild Beast officer, one who'd been exiled to the Wilds and stripped of his rank, living near by. As it turns out, the otter was a member of the River Guard, a law enforcement group that dealt with the waterways. The man and his wives, a human and a sea otter, had been rafting down the river throughout the day, crossing some really rough rapids, when they decided to go ashore for the night. However, they were attacked by the young outlaws, and had been beaten unconscious. After that, the young man had been tied up and tossed in the river, especially since he'd head butted the leader and broke his nose.
After hearing the young officer's story, Zena meets up with the ex-Wild Beast officer, who is tracking the group down. As it turns out, he is the Head Enforcer of the nearby town, and not only that, he's Zena's ex-partner on the force. The three of them decide to go after the group, the River Guard to rescue his wives, the Enforcer to deal with his kid brother, and Zena to take care of the others.
When the three get to the camp, they make their attack, capturing the young criminals, and rescuing the women. In the morning, after taking a head count, the group heads to the town, where the young hooligans are turned over to the proper authorities, their parents. Zena then gets directions for the place that Julia and James are staying at and heads there.
When Zena gets to the room, she finds it empty, except for a certain flower, a Blue Lover's Flower. It was a Mountain-Valley cross type, not as rare as a full Mountain variety, but it was still potent. A while later, Julia and James come in from taking a bath in the main bathing room. After a bit of talking, James leaves the room, leaving Zena and Julia to spend some quality time with each other.
As James walks downstairs, he is swarmed by reporters. While this sort of thing isn't new to him, as he's been in the papers before, their reaction is, in which they mutter that he's just some human that Zena had shook hands with. He then heads into the dining room to get some breakfast. However, his server, a highly attractive red fox, catches his eyes and gives him a flirtatious wink. It is only with great difficulty that James is able to look at his plate and say thanks. However, the fox seems to be interested in more than just serving him breakfast, and tries to seduce the young man. James however, tells the woman that she best stop before she goes any further, as he doesn't want to betray Zena's trust in him. As it turns out, this was actually trick that Zena and Julia had come up with to see how faithful James would be if temptation presented itself. Needless to say, Zena is pleased with him, and gives him her blessing to marry Julia.
For part four, check out