Welcome to Valhalla: The Children of Earth ; Chapter 4

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Peter get's int othe mood of how the fennekim show of his "heroic deed", until he suddenly realizes he doesn't know where his parents and friends are. But emotional help is there.

subsection{Town of Tehuioy}

Peter was pointing at various items, saying their name. When the fennecs were unsure what exactly he meant, each one of them would give his interpretation, enacting the use of the item or providing another explanatory performance.\ Some of those performances were so hilarious that Peter started to laugh heartily. The first time the fennecs flinched back but when the acoustic outburst prooved to be free of danger, they went over to enacting the attack of the tiger on Peter, making it more and more hilarious each time. Finally, laughing heartily, Peter agreed to play the part of the tiger and Harun played Peters part. \ The fennecs laughter was staccato-like yipping, which sometimes ended in a hiccup-like coughing.\ The small group followed the gravelroad, passed by the large gates of the white castle. It's gates were wide open, but in the shadow of the gate stood two groups a five of the armored amazones.\ The five fennecs waved to the armored knights, and most of them waved back. Then the five made yet another impromptu performance of Peters feat. Peter had to laugh, as this time he waved to Harun and positioned himself like the tiger had in front of Peter. Harun immideatly took the cue, stepped in front of Peter and mimiced carrying Peters treasurechest that Peter had placed on the ground.

Peter mimiced the growl of the Tiger and lashed out for Harun, Harun ducked, crushed the imaginary chest upon Peters hand who yowled loudly,\ Harun stopped to brush his chestfur before landing the second blow and being obedient in return, Peter threw himself backward onto the ground.\

Snorts and snickers, neighs and spoken words came from the guards at the gate. after a short moment negotiating amongst each other, one of them came over. She took off her helmet, a peculiar item with a neck-guard of chainmail sewn to a wide strip of leather, metal plates protecting the long sides and top of her muzzle and a chainmail veil protecting her throat. She hung it to a hook on her tigh guards and offered Peter her gloved hand to help him up. He was still sitting on the ground and grinned at Harun, having enjoyed partaking in the enactment of, as he started to think of it himself by now, his heroic deed.\ He placed his hand in hers and she pulled him easily up onto his feet. \ However, something caught her interest. Her ears flicked, and she spoke to Harun and Tiz, who made poses Peter interpreted as signs of strength. Or rather of being strong.\ Basically it was throwing a small stone into the air and following it with the head on a much longer flightpath than it actually took.\ She opened a lock on her armored glove and slipped out of it, then offered Peter her hand again.\ A bit worried what it might mean, Peter placed his hand again into hers.\ When she squeezed lightly, he squeezed back.\ Next she squeezed harder, and snorted.\ It was a strong grip, like real boys gave each other, so Peter squeezed back as strong as he could.\ The amazone relaxed her grip and so did Peter. She flickered her ears looked from Peter to the fennecs, spoke a bit with them before releasing Peters hand and sliding her armored glove back on.\ Harun zipped to Peters side and bopped the boys nose.\ "Peter," the fennec piped,\ The Amazone knelt down, thus coming heightwise much nearer to the fennecs and Peter, and tipped her broad black nose with her thumb:\ "Nisha"\ "Okay, I get the knack of this. I just wish I'd understand what they are talking amongst each other," Peter thought.\ Then he repeated the by now familiar process of touching his own nase, repeating his name and then he placed his hand slowly upon the amazones broad nose and said her name.\ What came as a surprise was that she started to touch and explore Peters ears and hair with her hands. Whilst the fennecs had pawy hands with longer fingers that was proper for a fox, but shorter than a humans hand, her fingers matched her hands size. \ Just, where the fennecs had claws and pawpads, her fingers ended in horned caps that covered almost the entire fingertip to the outmost joint.\ Peter flinched back when her fingers opened his mouth. She looked to Tiz and Harun, who flicked their ears in circles, and she repeated the gesture.\ Then her right hand took Peters left and guided it to her ear, whilst hers went to his. \ Her muzzle was a handspan from his and her brown eyes looked at him expectantly.\ After Tiz kicked his rear end for the second time, looking innocently into the other direction, Peter moved his hand along her ear, curiously massaging and feeling it. As best as the differing anatomy allowed, Nisha repeated the motions. When he ran his hand through her black-white striped mane, her hand ran through his hair.\

Peter smiled. She mimiced those motions, too.\ To the boy it was hilariously funny. Her head looked like that of a horse, but then again not. She had a mane longer than any horse he had ever seen, and she wore it in a real hairstyle, like some of the older girls at school had worn theirs.\ Peter burst into bubbling laughters and wrapped his arms around her neck and, laughing happily, pressed his head against hers.\ Her armor was hard where he touched it and he felt for a moment how her muscles tensed when he wrapped his arms around her neck. \ But then, slowly, she returned that gesture, too, and when she moved her head against his like he did, her mane fell over his head like a curtain.\ Holding her, and being held by her, reminded Peter of his mother.\ His mother?\ In all the chaos, where was his mother? \ And his father? He had been there, just yesterday?\ His father, and the fathers of the other children, had come for a surprise visit to the great farmstead the children had been evacuated to, months ago.\ One by one, their mothers had arrived, too, often surprised to find themselves in or around the farmstead, often in some of the nearby farmsteads.\ His mother had told him one evening when she had come over that the farmstead belonged to the officer of his father.\ And yesterday evening...?\ Peters mind drew a blank when he tried to remember anything after his father had invited his mother and him to a glass of a special drink.\ It had tasted of licorice and Peter had poured half the drink aside when his father hadn't looked.\ His father had said that the next day, rather, the next time they'd meet, they'd all be together and it'd be a big adventure.\ Peter started to sob when he realized that he had no idea where his mother was, or his father.\ Tears filled his eyes and he held firmly to the amazone, which just happened to be there in the moment.\ Through teary eyes he noticed that Tiz and Harun lifted the amazones mane from his face and looked at him with an expression of worry he knew from his fathers dalmatians.\ There were heavy steps, silent talk.\ Then the strong arms of the amazone wrapped around his body and he was lifted up.\ He was carried, carried somewhere. Careful fingertips caressed his neck, his head, and a low murmur was at his ear. \ It weren't words - at least none he knew - but they told him somebody was there and was caring for him.\ There was talk around him, pitterpattering paws on gravel and on stonepaved ways.\ Yips and voices, sharp scents, the ringing of a hammer on an anvil.\ Peter was very, very worried about his parents. His father had been a soldier, and despite his reassurances that he wasn't fighting on the frontlines, he had never told him or his mother just what he and his company were actually doing. Just one year ago Peter had been sent to the countryside to a small village to help on a large farmstead.\ Which belonged to the leading officer of Peters father as he learnt later.\ And then a few weeks ago, his mother arrived.\ Some of the older children had said that it was unusual. They had been sent to the countryside already in earlier years, as their towns had been in reach of enemy airstrikes from the begin of the war.\ But, they had told, it always had been only during the summer, whilst Peter and the other children - all who's fathers were soldiers under the officer to whom the farmstead belonged - were now since almost a year there.\ They had went to the small school in the nearby village.\ It had been a mostly normal life, only sometimes seeing the white contrails of the allied bombers in the skies.\

The long, heavy thudding steps of the amazone became muted, gravel giving way to sand. The brightness became dimmed, but more colorful.\ The voices had changed, less of the neighs and sharp accented language of the amazones, but a much more intense yip-yapping and barking of the fennecs.\ Peter had cried himself dry. He didn't knew where the other kids or his parents were. \ But he was sure that they had rescued the other children and brought them into the town. The bloody orange paw that had reached to climb into the ... the THING he had awakened in... had been of one of those beings that had hunted him down the dune.\ Tiger people.\ The amazone had stopped and knelt down when he moved his legs. Her big brown eyes looked sorrowful, there were wet traces in her fur under her eyes\ She had cried, too.\ Her helmet and gloves dangled from her armor. Harun and Tiz carried Peters treasurechest, one other fennec was running ahead clearing the way and the other two carried his travelcase.\ His fennecs had been rather quiet and there were many noses poking from open doors and windows. Whiskers twitching and dark eyes peering at him curiously, chittering, yipping. Above the now sand covered road colorful silks acted as sunscreens, making the light mellow and soft. Nisha painted lines into the sand, Harun nodded and hugged Peter in a way similar to how Nisha had held him.