I awoke at dawn from a fitful sleep. Glancing around lazily, I could see that Finos was still lying on the Earth, eyes closed. As a child, the sight of a sleeping elephant had always entertained me. I couldn't imagine a thing any farther from the fiercely trained war-beasts than the sleeping giants, looking less dangerous than a mouse. I allowed myself a simple smile, the first that had occurred during the past few days, though it looked more like a snarl in my present feline form.
Allowing Finos to continue sleeping, I sat up where I was in human form and began to think my plan of revenge out. The goal, of course, was to slay all responsible for my parents'--and the elephants'--deaths, but to who exactly did that pertain? To Gareth, certainly, and to the mercenary he had spoken of. But mercenaries didn't act out of feeling, they did out of greed, and so it wasn't them who had planned the massacre.
Some paranoid lord somewhere, fearing that Shifters would provide a danger to his kingdom. A possibility, but my family had always had a decent, if not friendly, relationship with human lords. When some kingdoms went to battle, I knew that sometimes my parents would allow some armies to use elephants in their battle, though why I wasn't sure--we never did seem to get payed for the favor.
But none of these were reasons to want to kill my parents, and so I gave up on that. There was one enemy I was sure of--Gareth. I counted in my mind the things I knew about him:
One, he was a thief.
Two, he was human. Had he been a shifter, surely he would have shifted to attack the elephants. He didn't, so it was no doubt he had no extra powers I needed to be aware of.
Three, he knew me somehow. "It's been three years, Cecille..." I remember him saying. And yet I couldn't recall him. Three years ago, I can't even remember having contact with any outsiders--my family was quite isolated.
And four, he was a killer. Perhaps not of my parents, but of elephants, which both Finos and I wanted revenge for as well.
I rose. "Finos, it is time to get up," I told the elephant, and when he didn't respond, as I suspected. I sent a similar message to his mind in the form of pictures and memories. Somehow, my brainstorming had given me an idea--a way to find Gareth!