Dreamed 1994/7/8 by Chris Wayan
Our world's a rough place, rich in resources but still a frontier for the humans who've settled there. In fact, we got cut off from galactic civilization for centuries, and reverted to savagery. We've struggled back up to barbarism. The men and women fought a war, and still don't trust each other; it's a guarded, segregated society.
Each man wanders through the vast, open forests with a small pack of mutated, intelligent dogs and wolves; each women wanders with a pride of wild talking cats of several species up to lion-size, plus an occasional fox or raccoon.
Yet when a man and woman DO ally, if their cats and dogs manage to adjust to each other, they become an unbeatable team in the wilderness. Such alliances are almost always successful--yet few people risk it!
She tried an alliance a couple of years ago--and we were betrayed! Attacked and mutilated. I was stabbed or shot in the belly. Left me with a wound so deep I bitterly joked "I have an extra cunt now." Yet I survived, and healed at last... physically. But I'm slow to trust any man or dog again, no matter what the success rate is for merged teams. I know the statistics as well as anyone, but I just can't trust men.
At last a brave vixen and a small wolf-dog shyly touch noses and retreat instantly. But they liked each other... the teams cautiously explore, and scent that they truly want to be friends. If the humans will let them. Can THEY trust each other?
The worst thing is, I'm not sure they should. I think the man's gotten a letter from the Mannish government ordering him to betray the woman and her wild animals, even though he doesn't want to. Or is it the other way around? I hate to think ill of our woman, but maybe she's under pressure from the women. The two humans like each other and the betrayal will be reluctant... but could it still happen again?
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