“Sister Mayja saw something more than the others who dreamed of Karen Jung. A place with lights and stone, like this one. A place where many humans were walking back and forth and working. And speaking to each other… calling it a probe. Speaking of signals… a radio wave… a virus… we have all spoken about our dreams together for some days now. We understand it to be a howling. Some sort of howling through the stars and the black sky beyond this planet, from far, far away. From another planet so far away, it is too far for them to just send someone.” Kiyuu sneered, “Send someone to conquer us and take our territory away.”
Turim pointed her ears forward, sat up.
“The other planet is called Earth. And on Earth, in one of their large cities, there is a temple like this one, a place with lights and stone and humans rushing about, talking about what they intend to do to us… we know that there is a human woman named Karen Jung, that she takes the Red Line to work and then transfers to the Blue or Yellow Line…”
“She is one of the murderers.”
“No. Karen Jung is only… a minion. An underling, I think. But she gave them her memories… that I do not understand. It would truly be beyond even High Hyuur’s perception, even in his prophecies, I believe. It is a very advanced civilization. They have Earth, but they also have other planets because there are too many humans to live on just the one.”
“And they’re fat. And lazy, and ugly. And they write all over over each other in that slop pit they call a planet. More like maggots on a carcass, from what I’ve seen them doing to it…”
“Yes, that’s fine…” then, “That’s enough, Sister Mayja!” Kiyuu snapped back over his shoulder, then returned to facing Turim. “They have… howled Karen Jung’s memories and the memories of a few other people across the stars and the space between those to give us dreams of humans and their world. I do not understand all of it, but the power of the howling makes us lie down, makes us think we are with them, makes us believe that we are them. Or, the ones who survive think so. The rest eventually die with nothing else to do but sleep and wither away.”
“There aren’t enough humans memories in their collection, I think, so some dogs were grouped up on one person’s memories, and then another’s. A lot of dogs here don’t like Karen Jung, alright, Turim?”
Some growls in the back reassured Turim. She apologized again to Sister Mayja for having been so rude before.
“It’s curious, the dogs on Earth all wear collars, but here, only the priests do…” one of the others observed. Kiyuu tolerated such talk for only a little while though, before he barked again for silence.
“Turim, we are glad to have you. This is a lazy specie of creatures who take territory, not by honorable competition, but by unseen means across the stars and space. They plague us with disease, killing us slowly, even if it takes years to do so, they are willing to wait if it means they never have to set paw here. And I can only suppose, as a failsafe, the dreams they give us are worshipful fantasies of their own lives, day in and day out… a dog is due to be tamed into a loyal stupor by the time a human does set foot on our planet. Much like their own dogs.”
“But they have never seen us before.” Asserted Turim.
Sister Mayja crouched by the fire and set down her cup, resting before her next round of fetching teat. “They have seen us now. I’ll take you to the probe tomorrow, once you’ve rested. They crashed it here… somehow, they knew to send it right here where the temples are, so they must have a way of seeing… or perhaps they predict the way Howlers do. I don’t know how they would, but they do know, by now, what places are important to us, where most of us live. Or, lived.”
Kiyuu got down from his cobalt rock. Turim saw that his back leg was shriveled. Badly crushed. It would never heal, and he would never be the terribly strong dog who’d torn out the throats of so many hungry for his high honor. “You see?” he tried a long-mouthed toothy smile, “I’m not so mean, I would have helped her…” and then Kiyuu was able to take the hide handle of the stone cup and dip it into the hot water, over Sister Mayja’s fretting for him.
“Oh, you’ll burn yourself Kiyuu, let me!”
“I’m a fire-hide, I don’t burn easy, woman! You rest yourself… and listen to all the things we’ve picked up in these dreams. Calling her a woman. I’m afraid to call her a bitch now, humans make it such a dirty word…”
“Do we know whether the others still live? Which ones have… I am a mistress, and I am missing my master.”
Sister Mayja looked up. “Oh how sweet, did you go off and get married at last, Turim? When I was keeping watch for others at the cliffside and I first thought I smelled you coming… I think I did smell some noble animal on you too, so that’s nice. I hope it was one of those good alpha males finally, not that strange Baruther you kept sniffing about. An ice-hide with your talent… tsk. But you did make it in the end. Good girl!”
Turim just stared. Perhaps her instinct about Sister Mayja in the human costume wasn’t so wrong after all, Mayja only barely helping at edge of that cliff.
Part Two: When Blue Envelops
1, Crushing Velvet :: 2, Cold Cobalt :: 3, The Sapphire Hound :: 4, The Teal Pack :: 5, Lone Wolf :: 6, The High Howler :: 7, The Other Planet, Earth :: 8, This is a Dog’s World