Davvishen kept walking, kept picturing the kid's face, the long deep wound from jaw to temple, just missing the eye, so much like his own past injury it shook him to compare it. There was something very dangerous around here, something he had yet to encounter. He scanned the treetops with every step he took.
Increasing his pace, he marched up to the side of the alien mountain and examined the area for the Emerian. Not finding him, he remembered the young man's obvious prowess and decided to find a spot in a patch of shade to sit and wait. Maybe he would get lucky and catch the Emerian off guard.
What came along was not human, it was an animal resembling an Imperial horse, though smaller and fatter in the hindquarters. Without further consideration, Davvishen drew his pistol and fired, killing the creature with a single squeeze of the trigger. He lowered the power level and sliced off a large hunk of meat, frying it at the same time.
Famished and dizzy from want of food, he knelt beside the carcass, ate that hunk of meat, and sliced himself another. It tasted marvelously wild, satisfying to his acute hunger.
"You damned murderer!" The voice ricocheted through Davvishen's ears as he rose to face the Emerian. Lifting his right hand to aim the pistol, Davvishen kept the half-eaten hunk of meat in his left hand with the thought it could be tossed into the kid's face as a distraction if necessary. Meat juice dripped from Davvishen's chin. He ignored its tickle as his stomach grumbled for more food.
Squinting in the bright orange Raekosthian light, he gazed at the Emerian. Armed with a dagger in each hand, the young man stood in an aggressive stance, right side forward with weight balanced between bent knees ready to fight. Rage burned in those eyes, and Davvishen had no notion as to why.
"What's your problem?" Davvishen asked, watching the Emerian's movements for any sign of attack. Two creatures of the same kind Davvishen had just killed, except much larger, approached from the kid's blindside. Their big hind feet thumped loud enough Davvishen knew the kid was aware of them.
"The Ynara are a peaceful people and intelligent. You just killed one of their young!"
"I'm hungry." Davvishen shrugged. No argument would ever convince him that an animal was anything other than an animal. He swallowed the remainder of his last bite, sadly acknowledging he would probably not get another.
His tired, starving mind did not react fast enough when he heard a screech and saw something red drop toward the kid. Simultaneously, something stabbed into his own right arm. Davvishen twisted to face an oversized buzzard latching onto that arm, its nasty beak snapping toward his head. Another large bird dug long, sharp talons into his back.
He threw his lunch at the offending beak at his right arm, turning it away momentarily, though not, unfortunately, knocking the heavy bird off. With his left hand he snatched the pistol from his incapacitated right and fired.
That amazing silver chain of pearly laser globules bolted and cracked, connecting with the target. The beast's talons tore more deeply into his arm as it shrieked and disintegrated.
The other bird doubled its wrenching clasp on his back and bit his left arm, high near the shoulder, ripping that arm. Davvishen thrashed in pain and fear, unable to free himself. Then the kid charged into the muckle, thrusting, gouging, slashing, and harassing the monster, knocking it off him.
Davvishen stumbled and dropped to one knee. Wings flapping upward, the evil bird shrieked and circled to come in again. A whole flock of the creatures homed in on their position. He fired his HAD at the nearest ... and nothing happened.