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Endangered Ch. 06

by ltpc 07/28/17

"How do they all live here if we never see anything like this in the normal world?" Annabel asked as the swarm buzzed way.

"These are purely inhabitants of the Ether, they feed off the energy we all leak through into this dimension. It's not much but it adds up." Chris explained to the best of his understanding as they passed a magical storefront, its shadow form practically glowing.

Several healthy looking vines grew across the window, basking in the radiant energy whilst something resembling a small rodent was poking its snout from its burrow near the doorway.

"Do they ever cross back over into our world?"

"I don't know. Perhaps, but I imagine that it would cost them a lot of energy and I don't know if any of them are intelligent enough or have control over magic. Everything we've seen so far has been of animal intelligence at most, I think. Susan says there are more malevolent things lurking in the Either, the husks of people who have been trapped and even things from dimensions we don't know about."

"How can that be right? How many other worlds are there?"

He pulled her close against his side as they walked, trying to explain his own philosophy about these questions; questions he'd mostly tried to not let bother him as his human life played out, waiting for his awakening.

"There's no way of knowing, Annabel. I try not to think about it too hard, their inaccessibility makes them pretty much irrelevant. When Susan first told me, I couldn't wrap my head around it either but she said that incursions between worlds are pretty much legends these days. The last major event happened many thousands of years ago, a huge battle between two powerful races spilled over into our world. There was no magic back then but that changed pretty quickly as they fought each other and even converted us to fight on their behalf. The Devines won, but were horrified how much they'd changed our world, how much magic was left behind. They placed a barrier on our dimension so that hopefully we would be free to continue on without any more interference. At least that's how the story goes."

"So even Beings don't know for sure?" Annabel felt a little better that she wasn't the only one but it still left her without an answer to the apparent existence of other dimensions, worlds, and sentient beings.

"No, I can't say that story is at all accurate but it's what we've got. Apparently it's passed down from the first Beings, the ones who fought in those battles."

"Hmm," Annabel thought it over as they continued walking a little way. It was certainly a long shot from the creation story she'd grown up with. They'd walked several blocks now and she felt that they had had enough adventure for one night.

"We should head back," she murmured.

"Yeah, Lillian will be pissed if she wakes up and we're missing."

"Thanks for pushing me to come, Chris. It was a bit scary but I want to be involved in what you do," Annabel squeezed the hand she'd captured as they started back.

"Thanks, Dee."

They took a different way back, completing a loop, walking mostly in silence, happy to be alone in each other's presence and soak up the other-worldly atmosphere.

With the hotel lobby in sight, a loud growl and a high pitched squeak issuing from a nearby building caused them to pause.

A blue steak shot out onto the ghostly pavement and attempted to escape up the street in a flutter of tiny wings. However, a much larger creature, about the size of a large dog, merged from the shadows with lightning speed and pinned it easily.

Chris and Annabel looked on in shock as the larger chimera-like creature played with its prey. It was hard to describe, but it clearly had dexterous forelimbs, a long blade-tipped tail, and a maw of sharp teeth. The hapless morsel screamed piteously, sparking Annabel's reaction.

"Do something, Chris! Help it!"

"I don't-," He barely started, not sure if it was right to intervene. Annabel made the decision for him however, pushing him forwards. "Fine. Hey, Hey! Shoo! Fuck off! Grrrrrrr!"

He advanced on the creature, hoping his flailing arms and exclamations would be enough to startle it. All it did was turn towards him with a warning snarl, its prey still helplessly trapped under claw against the concrete.

It did look quite ferocious and Chris was at a loss momentarily until his dragon provided the answer, unleashing a bellowing roar from his mouth directly towards the predator.

It didn't even look back, streaking off through the shadows with a hiss, yielding its morsel to the mightier Ether beast. Annabel shot forwards past Chris, kneeling quickly to rescue the blue streak.

"Oh my God, Chris, it's a tiny person!" She cried over her shoulder.

"Wait, what?" he asked, coming to look.

"A tiny blue person, with wings."

Annabel was indeed correct, the tiny blue woman, barely more than a foot from head to toe looked up at them in shock. She was completely anatomically correct, having the slim, tall build of an elf with proportional bat-like wings and conspicuously long pointy ears. Her rich, slightly wavy hair hung bedraggled around her body to her waist, concealing her in a blue so deep it was almost black.

"She's hurt Chris, look at her broken wing and the cuts across her thighs. Can't you help her?" Annabel pleaded, scooping the miniature woman up in her hands.

"Annabel, I think that's a sprite. I don't know how to help her and they're not always trustworthy or even good natured at all. They're intelligent and mischievous. She can understand us and is probably perfectly capable of helping herself."

Susan had mentioned sprites as one of the more problematic denizens of the Ether or whichever realm they chose to frequent.

"Please, Chris, can't you just use your saliva on her wounds? She's bleeding."

He sighed, knowing it was useless to protest. Besides, if the sprite was actually bleeding he could at least seal the wounds.

"Okay, pass her to me, gently."

The handoff went smoothly, only a few high pitched whimpers escaping the sprite. Soon she was sitting on his palm, bedraggled but with an air of maintained composure belying her drooping, broken wing. Chris brought her close to his face so they were eye to eye, helplessly noticing her perfectly proportional assets and even a tiny triangle of blue hair at her crotch. She was indeed a miniature beauty.

"I'm going to try to heal you now, okay? But I want your word that you won't try to cause trouble first."

He thought he saw a weak smile play across her face before she gave a nod.

Annabel watched on in awe as Chris closed the gap, lapping out across the sprite's thighs, across her navel, and up her chest, clearing the abrasions and deep cuts left by her encounter with the beast.

The wounds were tiny, but on someone her size, Chris could only assume that they were actually quite serious and certainly very painful. Her taste was pure sweetness, combined with an almost almond-like creaminess. Even her drying blood tasted delicious. He looked up when he was done with her front to see a surprised look on her elegant face, almost like she had rather expected him to eat her whole instead.

Turning her onto her belly with a finger, he licked as gently as possible across the broken forewing emerging from her shoulder, the leathery membrane quivering as she cried out in pain despite his care. She lay still for a moment, whimpering as the bone seemed to remesh in the correct position, a dragon's saliva proving to be highly potent on such a small patient. She appeared to have passed out from pain.

He tried to remember what Susan had told him about sprites but couldn't come up with much other than that they were very rare in modern times, that and they were always hungry. His dragon agreed, suggesting he feed her some energy. Sprites have such fast metabolisms that they were always at the brink of starvation.

"What are you doing now?" Annabel asked as Chris took on a very serious look, concentrating on the opposite hand to the one the sprite lay on. A spark slowly grew between his thumb and forefinger.

"Making it some food," he answered, pulling energy from himself and the Ether surrounding them into a perfect, purple cube about the size of a medium dice.

"She eats that? What is it?"

"It's raw magical energy. A tiny amount for me, what's actually difficult is putting it in a form which is stable and solid like this. This cube would probably be considered a high explosive. It's quite inefficient to make but my dragon is helping me."

He took the cube and ran it under the sprite's minute nose almost teasingly. The reaction was nigh instantaneous, her eyes fluttered for a second before her hands, suddenly tipped with nasty, retractable little talons, shot out and ripped the cube from his loose grip.

Her extended fangs glistened as she sunk her teeth deep and let out a moan, proceeding to devour the cube with disregard for her surroundings. It was as if the only thing in the world that mattered was stuffing her little face. It took her about a minute and by the end, her belly was swollen as if she was at half term.

Looking up at him with an appraising head cock, the sprite finally spoke.

"Thank you, dragon, I accept. I must rest now."

Without further discussion, she turned over to drape herself across his palm and wrist in a foetal position.

No amount of gentle prodding would rouse her. What did she mean by accepting?

"She's so cute!" Annabel excited.

Chris wasn't so optimistic. Sure, the sprite was cute, but he couldn't help but feel it probably wasn't the best of ideas to feed the wild animals.

Unwilling to just leave her in the open, Annabel insisted that they take her back to their apartment, at least until she recovered.

"She's not just a bird with a broken wing, Annabel. Sprites aren't really considered full Beings but she's a person, not a pet."

"I can see that, Chris. Don't you think, though, that leaving her on the street would be dangerous with that thing lurking around? Besides, she'll be grateful for our help and maybe you'll have a friend to talk to when you come to the Ether at night."

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