Jul 25, 2005

HR, 23

"What's going on here?" Harlequin shouted over the din of squawks and curses.

Pegasus stopped her wild flapping and came down to rest on her one leg.

"Homeless Tony!" Harlequin shouted again, this time in English. "What are you doing attacking a defenseless bird?"

Homeless Tony stopped his rolling and swearing to ogle at Harlequin, wild-eyed.

"Still there!" he gasped to himself and then gestured frantically. "Go away you demon, I'll have none of you. Send away your demon bird!"

"I'm no demon," Harlequin said matter-of-factly. "Come on, feel my fur, I'm flesh and blood."

Homeless Tony shook his head, closed his eyes, plugged his ears with his fingers and plunged his face into the grass.

"Not much of a communicator, is he?" Hubert remarked.

"Somehow I'll get through to him," muttered Harlequin. "In the meantime, how about you introduce me to Peg?"

Peg stood on her sole leg, eyeing them both suspiciously. It was not in the typical wide-eyed stare that Harlequin had become accustomed to in his dealings with birds. This bird was intense and fierce in her gaze, despite her fluffy appearance and obvious handicap.

Harlequin approached her gingerly, with Hubert following lazily behind.

"Are you alright?" he asked gently.

"Keep your distance, ground-thing. I've defeated the man-thing. I will crush you if you wish to fight."

Harlequin was a little disturbed by the threat, especially as it came from such a helpless looking bird. He stammered a bit, thinking of the most diplomatic way to talk to her.

"I don't wish to fight, Miss Pegasus. My name is Harlequin. I'm new to this field."

The pigeon looked at him with what she intended to be scorn, but her facial expressions were limited to two general emotions: interest and surprise. This one looked like interest.

"I see you are with the dogs. I spit on them." She tried to spit. "I am free and fierce. I fear nothing." Hubert growled disapprovingly and added a few more furrows to his brow.

"No, Hubert is just a friend. You see, I'm not with anybody in particular. I just want to live free of the Pack." Harlequin arched an eyebrow invitingly.

The pigeon saw the claw in his hand and changed her countenance to one of guarded surprise.

"You fight evil cat?"

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