Training Day, Part II: Day 6-9 Jan 11, 2020 17:56:17 GMT -8
Post by Morgan Payne on Jan 11, 2020 17:56:17 GMT -8
January 6th, 2020
To say that training had gotten easier...well...that wouldn’t be quite accurate to say as much. The rough around the edges city girl wouldn’t even say she’d adapted to it fully yet. Grown more tolerant, perhaps. Maybe? Yeah, that made better sense. Morgan Payne had grown more tolerant of the physical exhaustion that all of the running and excess lifting brought on her body. Well...she supposed she could say she adapted to it. Running from Lugh, Puck and Loki with 50, 60, even 70 extra pounds added to her body had grown easier which was why she was running with a full on 80lb vest lately. On top of that, it wasn’t exactly the same routine anymore. Morgan had expected that Connor would move the post she was supposed to reach further out. What she hadn’t expected was when she realized that he not only moved it further out, but changed the direction it’d been placed. Still near the treeline except more directly in front of it in a manner where she couldn’t juke from the wolves into the woods and scale up a tree how she used to.
From Day 6, Morgan found her designated route in a more open patch on Connor’s estate grounds. He’d also supplied her with another piece of gear in the form of a flag belt. It reminded her of the times in elementary and middle school when they would play flag football in P.E. Or the time she and Marissa went to a Zombie Run back in Monroeville, Pennsylvania for an anniversary celebration of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. Participants had to run a route through the mall and surrounding area with a flag belt that the zombie actors would try and snatch off. Different prizes were awarded to those who completed it with a certain amount of flags on their belt. This wasn’t Pennsylvania, though...and Morgan didn’t see any zombie actors. All she did see on that first day the routine was switched up was Connor standing out front, accompanied by Lugh, Puck and Loki. Three large wolves that looked like they could chew a man in half just on their own. God only knew what the three could do if released on a single target at once. Morgan didn’t like it one bit when Connor handed her the flag belt to put on and instructed her on what she needed to do. It was mostly the same. Already tired and drenched in her own perspiration from weights and combat lessons, Morgan looked at her mentor with a weary expression. What was going on now?
“Same as always. To the post, grab the flag, come back.” He looked at the wolves; all three sitting as if waiting to be presented at a canine show. Three expertly trained beasts. Three expert hunters. Killers. They were all looking at her, more curious than anything. They never growled or snarled at her unless she was running from them. That was one thing she noticed. Only when she was fleeing did they give chase and seem to go into kill mode. Connor returned his eyes to her after looking at his wolves. His expression hadn’t changed. “You’ve got three minutes head start.” Without him lifting a hand, Morgan heard a beep and realized he was holding a stop watch.
“Whoa whoa wait….” Morgan’s brown eyes widened upon the realization. She looked at the wolves and back to Connor. “Ya tellin’ me that---”
“Two minutes, fifty seconds….” Connor said calmly, taking a gander at the watch.
“Hey, hold up, don’t go there with me! What---”
“Two forty five….”
“You jaggin’ me arahnd?!”
Morgan wasted no more time and turned, taking off in the direction she needed to go. She couldn’t see the post yet but she could see the treeline in the distance as she took off against the green grass. That oddly pleasant aroma of it being freshly cut wafted up into her senses as she crossed the property told her that it had been cut just recently; probably during her training elsewhere on the grounds. Morgan could feel her heart pounding in her chest. Her muscles were already burning from exhaustion. It was something she was used to by now but now there was the adrenaline pumping through her blood. Morgan had no concept, at that moment, of how much time had passed. She was waiting to hear the growls and snarls of the fanged trio but she didn’t dare slow down or look back to see if they were coming.
Two minutes and forty seconds from the point she started running felt more like forty seconds alone before she heard the chorus of howls fill the air. Morgan obviously didn’t speak wolf but if she had to take a guess as to what they were saying, it had to be “comin’ to get ya bitch!” She grit her teeth and pushed on, running harder than she already was but she had to be honest with herself. She wasn’t about to outrun three wolves and she had nowhere to climb to get out of reach. All she could do was run...and run...and run…. Run run run...as Lugh, Puck and Loki came barreling over the hill and right towards her. Morgan could just barely see the post up ahead when she heard their snarls gaining closer and closer until they were right on her heels. Morgan pressed on, but she wasn’t fast enough. No way in hell was she outrunning a wolf, let alone three….
January 9th, 2020
It was like that for the next three days. Running from the wolves as they nipped and snapped at the flags dangling from the back of her belt. Each time she felt the sharp tug of a flag being ripped off, she felt her heart skip a beat and pushed on harder than she already was until she ended up running with no flags left. That came with repercussions as well, so to speak. She had to present the flag to Connor on her return; then she had to return the flag back to the goal post for the following day. At least then she had a bike to ride out there but her legs still hurt like hell and she still harbored that underlying fear that Lugh and his pack mates were going to come for her again. She felt like Connor was extremely sadistic at times. However, then there was the point earlier in the week where she wondered what the repercussion was going to be for losing her match she’d been scheduled for in New Frontier. She expected some harsh routine that made the norm look like a joke. What did she get? A pancake supper by Connor himself and encouragement to just try harder next time.
Try harder. That was it. That was what she needed to do. With everything. Training. Her career. Running to the goal post from these damn wolves! Well...it was just Lugh again, this time. Morgan didn’t know what prompted the constant switching of who was trying to eat her. Lugh was a constant threat while Puck and Loki only seldom showed up to join in the chase. She felt like it was a game to them. A pack of wolves chasing her like a little rabbit. How it was she hadn’t been ripped to shreds yet was beyond her. Sure, they were tamed...sort of. How tame could you make a wolf, though? Even Morgan knew about animals smelling fear and feeding off of it and she was goddamned terrified every time she had to run for that goal post. Even now as she felt used to the extra weight on her torso, Morgan booked it closer and closer to the goal post in the distance and she could hear Lugh giving chase behind her, having been released by Connor. This day had more riding on the rest. Morgan ran across the grass thinking about her friend Tiggy and the promise she’d made to show her around her home city while Tiggy was there on a signing event. If Lugh chewed her to bits, she wouldn’t be flying out to Pittsburgh tomorrow night. Hell, if Lugh snatched off one of those flags on her belt, she wouldn’t be going to Pittsburgh tomorrow night. She’d have to end up letting Tiggy down and breaking a promise she’d foolishly made, not even knowing if she’d be able to keep it. All she had to, in Connor’s words, was finish her retrieval of the flag from the goal post with all of the flags on her belt.
Lugh was gaining on her fast, though, and she felt like any second, she was about to feel that familiar tug as he snapped a flag off in his jaws. How the hell did one even train a wolf like this? To go for specific targets. To sit idly by before being sent after someone or something with that look of murder in their eyes? What kind of command had Connor taught Lugh and the others to go from docile to...to...into fucking kill mode?! Or was it training based on the actions of their target? Was it her? After all, she’d always noticed, Lugh and the other two never came after her unless she was running.
Wait a goddamn sec!
They never came at her unless she was running! Any other time, they were completely docile. Maybe distant or stand offish. However, they were still docile around her. As this revelation hit her, Morgan swallowed down any hesitation she had about trying what she was about to. It was either going to work or this was going to be how she died. Supper for Lugh the big dumb wolf. Morgan whipped around, bracing her feet and tried to make her 5’4 frame look bigger than she ever would be. She saw Lugh coming at her like a black bullet in the opening moments of twlight. She tightened her jaw and pointed a finger at him, praying for the love of god that he didn’t decide to go for that and rip it off. If he was going to kill her, go for the throat and make it quick.
“No, Lugh! No! Bad wolf! Cut it aht!” Morgan scolded like she were talking to a regular house dog. Lugh kept coming, getting closer to her. She stomped her foot into the grass and reaffirmed her extended hand. “I said stahp it!! Heel boy!” Maybe she was wrong about her theory. She was beginning to feel that way as Lugh kept coming, getting closer and closer. Morgan wanted to turn and keep running but it was too late to even do so as he was right there.
All she could do was start backing up a few steps as Lugh reached a certain point and just leaped right for her. Morgan felt two things happen next. He heart jumped into her throat.
And all of Lugh’s weight slammed right into her chest as he jumped into her and knocked her to the ground. She couldn’t stop the terrified whimper that escaped her as she squeezed her eyes shut and just waited. Waited for the inevitable end whenever Lugh sank his fangs into her throat. It was an end that never came as all she heard was panting in her ear until she dared to open her eyes and looked up to see Lugh staring down at her as he stood over her with his head tilting in that curious manner canines did. Morgan frowned a little.
“...What...Connor feed ya already or sumthin’?”
Of course Lugh wasn’t going to give her a verbal answer. What he did do was let out a little whine that almost sounded sad, as if his game was over. Then he laid down and relaxed. Not in the grass next to her. No. Right on top of her. Morgan had about a second to wonder what he was doing as Lugh just lowered down and made himself comfortable as if she were a human dog bed, front paws crossing over each other next to her head. His weight pressing down on her already heavy chest and making her groan.
“Uuuggggghhhhh, you’re fat! Get ahffa me, dog...wolf…. Lugh! Get ahff!” Morgan tried to use her hands to push Lugh off. The mountain of furry muscle wasn’t budging an inch. Morgan groaned again in frustration. “You big sonuvabitch! Let me up!” Lugh laid his head down on his front paws and snorted in her ear. Morgan could see just well enough from the angle she was at to see his eyes close. “Ahh, hell nah! You are NOT goin’ ta sleep! Not ahn me! Get ahff, Lugh!” She tried to push him off again. Nothing. Not even an inch. Morgan gave up and just laid there in the grass as she dug her hand into her pants pocket for her phone. She tagged Connor in a message and asked him to come help her up. The answer came short and simple.
Morgan frowned and held out her arm with the camera to her phone open and snapped a pic of Lugh laying on top of her. Connor just laughed back at her - a literally typed out:
Ahahahah-- You figured it out.
Motherf… Morgan dropped her arm and groaned again. She wasn’t moving until Lugh decided to get up and let her. It didn't help that one of her girlfriends in The Collective, Lluvia, was joining Connor in laughing over it and more focused on how "adorable" Lugh was. She supposed he was when he wasn't growling and snapping at her. Morgan closed her eyes and sighed before looking at the bright side and lifted her phone to send a text Tiggy’s way.
Seeya Saturday Tiggy!
To Be Continued….