Return to Earth
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Sue returned to earth in what looked like a meteor to those watching.
But it was an escape pod from the Moon colony. Where the cities had gone to escape Earth and its governments' leaving the rest of the planet to its new dark age.
She had fallen unconscious when she popped the pod's hatch to get fresh air.
And had been saved from the surrounding fire by the one witness who saw her land.
A sentient, telepathic wolf.
Now the dominant sentient species on Earth...
When Sue opened her eyes she saw a wolf looking back at her.
Propping herself up on her elbows, she looked it over. She'd never seen a wolf before, especially not close up. She recalled pictures in her schoolbooks of all the life forms they were going to introduce into the new worlds. They were all sorts of canine breed of dogs.
She almost wish she had studied more, as she never thought she'd have to use it. As the books would always be there.
This wolf was here, though. Looking at her with piercing eyes. And the books were not.
Then she remembered: Wild. Carnivore.
She pushed herself back with her elbows and tried to get her feet under her without looking away. She needed to know if it was going to attack her.
Then its voice spoke up in her mind.
"I'm not going to eat you. Besides I've heard hoomans don't taste good, anyway."
Sue was curious about this and wondered how she could hear his thoughts.
So Tig answered the question. "Well, why wouldn't you? Or are you feral or something?
She said out loud, "Feral?"
Tig chuckled and sent, "Yeah."
His response didn't startle the hooman this time. When she saw him smile she smiled back, as a feeling of security washed over her.
"Can you travel?" came the thought.
"I dunno." Sue said, "We can try."
"We must. The fire is still too close." And he loped off.
She struggled to her feet started walking after him. He stopped 50 yards away and frowned.
"Is that all the faster you hoomans travel? No wonder you're almost extinct."
She called back, "No, I can run." And started as fast as she could even though she was stiff and sore from the landing. As she got closer to Tig, he took off again. He started running, but not as fast this time, so she was able to keep up and they headed up into the mountains.
After a piece of steep climbing, Tig stopped for a moment. He waited for her at the top of a cliff. She was soon close by.
She saw him as a tawny creature with browns and silvers and reds in his fur, admired him for his strength and beauty.
At the same time he only saw she was dressed in some sort of one-piece covering, dully reflective where it wasn't covered with soot. Golden hair fell over her shoulders and soot smudged her light, hairless face. He wondered if she was fur or bare underneath that silvery cover.
At that she blushed. "Oh that's right. You don't wear clothes," She thought back at him...
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